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May the Source Be with You

November's edition of podcasts and shows

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Ahhhh, November. The month where we stare out the window at the cold foggy mornings as we sip $16-a-pound coffee while playing Evanescence so loudly the neighbors call the police again. No? That's just me, huh? I don't believe you, but I accept your judgement willingly.

November is the month where my Seasonal Affective Disorder gets extra SAD and starts lashing out by getting me addicted to podcasts I don't have time for and streaming shows that literally give me nothing but brain freeze. I'll watch or listen to just about anything to keep my mind off of picturing the possible 6 feet of snow that could (or couldn't) appear at any moment and keep me housebound for a week or four. Luckily, there is an almost bottomless reservoir of media that just continues to accumulate every day and, my goodness, I'm there for it. Here are a few of the things making my SAD happy and the dark evenings of winter just a little bit brighter.

"Hellbound" is more proof that South Korea makes the most interesting television in the world. - PHOTO COURTESY OF NETFLIX
  • Photo courtesy of Netflix
  • "Hellbound" is more proof that South Korea makes the most interesting television in the world.

I am a theater kid and always have been, even as I slowly got away from actually doing any theater over the last few years. While I've never had much talent in the musical theater arena, I have such a deep devotion to people randomly bursting out in song that I usually watch every single musical I can possibly get my hands on, even the ones that look, sound and are terrible (I'm looking at you, "Diana"). If you're a musical theater nerd, the podcast "MusicalSplaining" follows a Broadway obsessive who's constantly trying to convince her friend that musicals are awesome. It's sweet, funny, kind and a genuinely important look at why theater, especially now in 2021, is more important than ever.

"The Favorites" is another podcast that's been keeping me bright-eyed and optimistic lately, as it follows comedian/actors Jes Tom and Tessa Skara, who converse with queer artists and friends about the things that have brought them comfort during the pandemic. This show is a warm blanket to me during SAD and I can't recommend this show's blend of optimistic bravery enough.

There are too many things to watch right now. I mean, there are always too many things to watch, but it feels like an actual deluge of content right now. Jeff Bezos woke up on his dick-shaped spaceship awhile back and decided he wanted Amazon to have its own version of "Lord of the Rings," so he bought the rights to "Lord of the Rings" and another giant fantasy franchise, Robert Jordan's "Wheel of Time." The first three episodes of "WoT" are up now (with the "LotR" prequel show launching next year) and it's surprisingly engrossing. "Wheel of Time" feels like epic, HBO-sized TV, so here's hoping the season continues to be as strong as the first few episodes.

"Cowboy Bebop" is easily one of the finest anime shows of all time and the long gestating live-action "remix" has finally arrived on Netflix. The first few minutes of the first episode feel like the biggest-budget cosplay of all time, but once it settles down into the familiar rhythms of the show, it feels like a lovely companion piece to the series that could share the lovely story of Spike, Jet, Faye, Edd and Ein with a whole new generation of fans.

"Hellbound" is a new Netflix-produced Korean apocalypse series about demons that show up one day and start sending people to hell. It's big and epic and creepy as, well, hell, and worth watching for people who thought "Squid Game" could have used some less-human monsters.

"The Shrink Next Door" is a bleakly funny dramedy starring Paul Rudd and Will Ferrell that features both of their best performances in years. If you need a reason to hold onto AppleTV+ until "Ted Lasso" returns, this would be the show.

There's so much more than what I mentioned, but I don't want you as overwhelmed as I am with all this blasted media. Let's take it a day at a time. Together.

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