J. Awkward Prufrock’s Pop Culture Plugs

Hi everyone! I really really really didn’t feel like writing today. But that has been the situation way too often lately. You gotta push yourself to make things happen! Work begets work and yadda yadda. Once again, however, that pesky writers’ block planted itself firmly in front of me, crossed its arms, and dared me to try and move it. I hate both confrontation and passive-aggressive behavior, so even though I was angry with the writers’ block, I didn’t know how to deal with it. But eventually I sat in a corner and cried for awhile and I think I annoyed it into a somewhat-submission.

To figure out today’s topic, I thought, What’s been going on in my life this week? What awkwardness ensued? The thing is I spent a lot of my week avoiding people and indulging in the things I’ve been enjoying. So I thought, why not talk about the things I’ve been (and maybe haven’t been) enjoying?

I know y’all probably don’t give a hoot about my endorsements but if curiosity is what ails you, here’s your cure.

Trial & Error

Please, for the love of God, if you care about keeping good comedy on TV, please watch this show. A lot of people are calling it the new Parks & Rec, and I can understand the comparison because it does adopt that workplace documentary style. But it’s also really well-done satire. Its proposed format is that each season would parody a popular true-crime documentary. Season 1 tackles The Staircase. If you’re like me and you love comedy and also can’t seem to get off the Serial sub-reddit two years later, this show is for you! John Lithgow is brilliant and each episode is laugh-out-loud funny. I’ve been hearing a lot of cancellation rumors due to poor ratings and I can only think it’s from lack of awareness, so I thought I would do my part and tell both of my readers (thanks Mom & Dad!) to check it out. Thursdays at 8pm on NBC!

S-Town

Speaking of Serial, have you heard about its affiliate, S-Town? Yes, yes, you have. S-Town in no way needs my endorsement as the number one podcast on iTunes, but I seriously cannot get over how good it is. It starts off as a murder investigation, but it morphs into a fascinating portrait of a tortured genius, the crippled state of the world, the dynamics of human behavior, the nature of time, and what we leave behind after we’re gone. It would make a terrific novel or play. I hope that’s able to happen.

Beauty & the Beast

Alright, here’s where we get a little awkward and weird. The cartoon Beauty & the Beast was one of my favorites growing up. The new live-action version terrified me. The thing is the cartoon is already separate from reality, so you can enjoy it for its cuteness and catchy songs, but when it’s live, you’re like, “Wait, so, she’s in love with a dog and there are legit eternally-damned souls trapped inside household objects because their boss was a shallow douchebag? That’s messed up.”

Granted, the Beast was hotter as a beast.

Belle was my favorite Disney princess as a kid. I really identified with her as a girl who liked to read and dreamt of getting away from the people who thought she was weird and finding “something more”. As I watch the new movie, however, I realize that those are her only defining characteristics. The Beast was really the main character in this script. They could have done a lot more with her. And it pains me to realize that this girl dreamt of leaving her little town for “something more” and it turns out “something more” is a big, old castle near the town. Did she just mean more property? Were the lyrics more literal than I realized?

I also found myself very confused by part of the spell being that the residents of the town forgot the castle and everyone in it. I assume the Beast’s family governed the town. How did they get organized after they woke up one day and lived in total anarchy? How did they function economically without the castle as the town’s biggest employer? So many questions. I don’t think the witch thought this through.

But the most tragic thing is that these were two French aristocrats who seemingly found each other not long before the revolution. They were probably lynched in their yard. RIP Beauty & the Pretty Boy.

Ugh, you live, you learn, you grow, you mature, and you realize we’re all doomed.

On that note, I would love to hear your endorsements. What are some TV shows, books, movies, podcasts that you’re enjoying? Go to a cool museum recently? Or just stared into the window of a really old guy’s house? Send me the address! I’m always looking for a good distraction.

P.S. If someone more tech literate than me could make a meme of Belle telling the beast to “Come into the light” and, it turns out, the beast is Daniel Radcliffe from Horns, I’d be ever appreciative. In return, I could offer you my firstborn or eight Smash Burger coupons.

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