Despite entertainment studios being on pause right now due to COVID-19, it doesn’t feel like there’s a shortage in things to watch. We’ve had five months of this and I haven’t run out of movies and television shows. In fact, new things are being added to my list all the time. The one thing that has changed is that I don’t forget when things are premiering now because I mark it down somewhere. That is essentially how much time we have.
One series that I’m looking forward to returning this fall is PEN15. In my opinion, there isn’t another show quite like it. Actresses Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle play younger versions of themselves from middle school and it is as uncomfortable and awkward as you would imagine. They may be surrounded by younger actors and dressed up in pre-teen clothing, but at the end of the day they still remind me of adult me! The first half of season two (7 episodes) premieres on Hulu September 17th.
What an exhausting four years. Over this time span, I continue to watch almost every interview that he is a part of – not because I’m a supporter – but because I need to see it. It’s important to not only be informed, but to see the other side and let me tell you – the other side is bizarre. There wasn’t much hope early on that I could be proven wrong, but we try and go into things with an open mind. At this point, I’m convinced that anyone that opens their mouth to form full sentences will be more qualified for this position.
As I watch the interview, I feel like I’m laughing externally, but crying inside because this state of the world we’re in in a true mess. The best part of this interview actually is Axios National Political Correspondent, Jonathan Swan, who exerts an incredible amount of patience in this interview. He embodies the frustration that we all feel, but instead of being over the top condescending, he challenges. How did we get here?
When Kristin Cavallari posted this Instagram last night snuggling up to her former high school boyfriend Stephen Colletti, I did a double take. Even the caption “2004 or 2020?” really had me going for a minute! In fact, so much so that I had to confirm it myself to see if in her stories she was wearing the same outfit as the photo. We know this cast never really ages much anyways so it was anyone’s guess! I hate to jump the gun on shipping rumors, but we do know that Kristin and Jay Cutler announced their divorce earlier this year. Is a reunion in the works for these two? Do former high school relationships have a shot many many years later?
After reading about how Hyori’s Bed and Breakfast was the show to watch in quarantine and watching myself, I’m here to say that this series is a hidden gem. Maybe it has always lived on Netflix, but never once did I see it on my recommendations until the day that I was looking for it. I’ll admit, the thing that brought me to the series was a several episode guest stint by Park Bo Gum, but that alone made me finish the rest of the season. In a world where Vanderpump Rules and Love is Blind, Hyori’s Bed and Breakfast is a breath of fresh air.
For those who don’t know, Hyori is one of the most famous K-pop stars. She first debuted in a girl group before going solo and having her own successful career. Somewhere along the way, she got married and bought a home with her husband on Jeju Island. While she is famous, the two live a humble lifestyle. Known for her glam looks and heavy eyeliner, on the show you wouldn’t be able to tell that Hyori was a pop star. Often times, she’s dressed down in casual lounge wear just like us in quarantine!
For two seasons, guests shuffle in and out for several days often overlapping with other guests. The guests are self sufficient though. They have their own plans, but have meals at the bed and breakfast prepared by Hyori, her husband and the celebrity staff member at the time. Guests help out around the home and not every guest has their own bedroom. Everything is super scrappy and that’s what makes this show so likable. In America, we consume television shows where wealth is the main subject. Even though the show could have gone there, they don’t at all. Don’t come here looking for drama because all you will get is innocent humor.
The episodes are always a little over an hour, but you don’t need to consume it all at once. In fact, it’s the perfect show to come back to which I didn’t know existed. I watched this every day during my lunch break until I finished! I’m biased, but truly the best part of the series is that when Park Bo Gum arrives, everyone falls in love with him including a married Hyori.
I never thought that I would enjoy superhero type shows, but in the last year I’ve been gravitating towards them. It has been a year and a half since we were first introduced to Umbrella Academy on Netflix, but now they are back for season 2. The cast includes who I consider a veteran, Ellen Page, as a lead, and a few newcomers to watch. We’ll be holed up all weekend finishing this!
What We’re Listening To: Eric Nam – The Other Side
It’s a weird time to be releasing new albums and such isn’t it? Eric Nam is someone I recently have been getting into, but I can’t even really remember how I first heard of him. He was raised in the states, but left it to become a singer in South Korea where he’s thriving. Eric has songs both in English and Korean and we’ve got a mix of both on our playlists. He just released his latest album this week and this song is a bop.
I’m not the type of person to own many pairs of sweatpants, but these have converted me into a fan. I own a long sleeved dress by Lou & Grey made in the same Signaturesoft Plush so having this in pants form is a dream. The good thing about quarantine is that no one can see me wear these many days in a row.
What We’re Eating: Ju-Ni’s Red Crab, Ikura, Salmon, and Hokkaido Uni Bowl
Ju-Ni has been getting me through this quarantine with all of their delicious bowls. Every time they create a new one, I can’t help myself from trying it. This bowl was delicious if you’re a fan of all of the above, however, fair warning that it is quite filling. The uni is creamy and the crab is heavier than it looks so if you’re going to order this, just make sure you come hungry.
The benefit of staying indoors is that it gives us plenty of time to catch up on television before the Emmys. Nominations were revealed this morning and we’re excited for a few! While I’m thrilled that Paul Mescal has been nominated for “Normal People,” I wish there had been more recognitions for the series. Additionally, we’re excited about Watchmen, Succession and Zendaya for Euphoria. Jimmy Kimmel will host the completely virtual award show on September 20th. Unfortunately for us, that means no red carpet post for us this year!
Sports are back! Sort of. Over the weekend, Kevin told me that Matisse Thybulle has been documenting his return to the court and life in the “bubble” since COVID all began. The series started sometime in early July, but it’s already picking up a lot of attention. His vlogs have been getting over a millions views and he’s already been reached out to by the New York Times and LA Times. As someone who’s been watching it on my lunch break, I’m really enjoying it! They are quick snapshots of what’s been going on in the bubble including what basketball looks like right now and regular testing of course.
Thybulle, himself, is actually very entertaining to watch. Additionally, he’s responsible for all of the editing and recording on his own. We’re not sure how long he’ll continue on with this project, but regardless, when this ends, we hope he’ll keep up his side hustle.
To All the Boys is still my favorite Netflix rom-com series, but fine, we’ll give into this. After The Kissing Booth premiered and was incredibly successful, I decided months later that it was time for me to see what it was about. It wasn’t exactly what I had predicted, but in a good way. The characters were likable and I really did feel like I was rooting for them. In the sequel, it was thrilling to see Elle struggle in a different way. Noah is kind of a bad boyfriend? And we like the dynamics of the new characters that join the film. What you don’t see from the trailer is that they spend a significant amount of time in another location and the film revolves a lot around this plot. We’re a fan when trailers don’t reveal the entire movie.
What We’re Listening To: Taylor Swift – Folklore
While I consider myself a fan now, I can’t say that I haven’t wavered in the past. We aren’t big enough fans to listen to her album the night it premieres though. I actually don’t know if there’s anyone that I would do that for. When new albums come out that I am generally excited about, I like to set aside time for it. It’s not the kind of album that I’d have in the background because I want to pay attention to the lyrics. Plus, sometimes we write reviews on here and I need to be able to construct my thoughts. From the poll that I did on my stories, many people seem to lean positively on it. I think we’ll save it for tomorrow!
What We’re Wearing: A White Blouse
Already labeled the closet staple of quarantine, the white blouse is one of my favorite versatile pieces. It has saved me for work days when I want to look put together on top, but comfy while wearing it with plain black leggings or cozy shorts. It’s funny to think that I almost left this behind in Seattle on my last visit because it has been the piece I run to regularly these days.
I’ve been doing a good job of cooking at home when I can and only reserving take out for special occasions or once a week. Tomorrow, Kevin and I are exploring another neighborhood in the city and one place I’ve been excited to try is Queen’s which serves hot meals that you can take away, but also doubles as a market. We’re likely going to be doing some shopping while we’re there and I’m excited to try a few of their dishes!
As cheesy as it may seem, I am a sucker for television series that highlight strong female friendships. I’ve always been a girly girl, but a girl that knew how important it was to be surrounded by great girlfriends and strong women. When I watched the pilot of “The Bold Type,” I wasn’t yet convinced that this would be my show, but I came to love it. It even became a series that I recommended to other people in my network. Kat, Sutton, and Jane were career-driven, had strong beliefs in the world and love for each other.
Earlier this week, Aisha Dee, who portrays “Kat” on the series posted to her Instagram her thoughts on how Kat’s storyline was going in the season and her thoughts behind the scenes on the show. It’s clear that the show’s fourth season was missing the mark. I felt validated hearing Aisha’s words after the fact. The criticism is that Kat a woman of color and a bisexual was now “hooking up” with a conservative character named Ava who has a father that supported conversion therapy. Aisha nailed this one on the head in her post, “this is something Kat Edison would never do.”
As I watched this storyline play out this season, I was disappointed. If this was the director that the writers wanted to take then did I really know Kat Edison at all during this time? We know now that she didn’t agree with this. She opted to portray her character’s story honestly, but to me it wasn’t believable. Her post also mentions how the series missed the mark in several areas: including being without a BIPOC writer in the room for two seasons and without a stylist that knew how to work with her hair.
Spoiler alert: after Aisha’s post, a change was made to the ending of the finale yesterday evening where Kat broke it off with Ava. It took guts for Aisha to do what she did, but I hope is that others will follow in her example. In order to spark change, you have to speak up about it. Upon writing this post, I read two other posts that I thought were well written following this story.