No one asked but I still answered!
Seems to be a theme...
I have a LOT to catch you up on - I spilled all my spookiest spirit encounters on IG Stories in October, fucked off to Ireland for two weeks earlier this November, etc - but since I am currently incredibly disorganized as both a person and a writer, it’s gonna have to wait until I can get some of my ducks in a row (I mean, I still haven’t organized and posted my photos from my trip to New York last year, so…).
But that just means you’ll have more to look forward to in future newsletters! Yays all around. Isn’t this exciting? Aren’t you excited?
Anyway, the official start of holiday season is nigh, so I shalt restrict my ramblings to two key things: TV and movies that you can watch with your adult family over the holidays without causing major squees, and a Black Friday promotion that my business coach is gonna ream me over for sure (what can I say? I’m a rebel! I cannot be tamed! I fly in the face of ah-thor-ah-tay, even the forms that I am literally paying for out of my own pocket!)
Let’s get to doin’…
As I continue to build out this newsletter, one of the regular features that you’ll be seeing is my TV/movie recommendations. Listen - I watch a lot of TV. I also watch so many movies through my movie memberships that I regularly get free theater tickets just from points alone. Please remind me of both these things the next time I complain about not having finished my newest novel.
Thus, I thought I’d kick this off with a special set of recommendations, just in time for the holidays. (Note: This is not an exhaustive list, and holiday movie recommendations will come later! Also, a few of these are throwbacks that I recently revisited and found that they held up)
TV Shows & Movies That Your Whole (Adult) Family Can Enjoy
We've all been there. Your brother (certainly not you!) suggests a movie that seems like it would a be a crowd-pleaser, only to leave all of you sitting stiffly and staring in wide-eyed horror an hour later as an incredibly graphic sex scene plays across the TV screen. I once popped in Love, Actually one Christmas while my grandma was visiting, completely forgetting about the plot-line involving two porno stand-ins (I literally got yelled at for that, though between you and me, I think my grandma like it 😉).
Anyway, these are all shows and movies that have a little something for everyone, with none of the sex stuff, because who wants to see a pair of great boobs when your dad is in the room, amirite??
Confess, Fletch - a very fun crime caper serving up genuine laughs, featuring a very handsome Jon Hamm.
Vengeance - a fun tongue-in-cheek look at the making of a true crime podcast that also serves up genuine LOL’s.
Spy - Honest to god, if you haven’t seen this Melissa McCarthy comedy yet…I recently rewatched it and the laughs were still as pure as the first time I watched it. This movie does NOT miss! It is SO funny!! I do not know why they haven’t made a sequel yet but dammit what are they waiting for!
Only Murders In The Building (Hulu) - this is such a funny, cozy, campy show, full of truly delightful characters. It also stars Martin Short, Steve Martin, Selena Gomez, and Nathan Lane, so unless no one in your family has a sense of humor, you literally can’t go wrong.
Ghosts (both the UK version on HBO and the US version on CBS) - Man oh man, do I LOVE the UK version of this show! It’s so witty and clever, and there’s a favorite character to be had for every single member of your family. The US version is what I would call pleasant…it’s a nice way to pass the time, and it’s got some laughs (especially when you get down to the basement…you’ll know what I mean when it happens), but the casting is weaker and, imo, only a few of the ghosts truly shine in terms of character development.
Rutherford Falls (NBC, Peacock) - I didn’t have a ton of interest in watching this show at first, and was nervous that it would make a parody of the Indigenous characters. Instead, this is one of the first shows I’ve seen where it’s obvious that the Indigenous characters are actually written by Indigenous writers (also, get ready for a hilarious parody of everyone’s favorite Montana cowboy drama). There’s also a non-binary character who is worth the first and second season watch alone (the writers also do a fantastic job of writing the character in a way that’s not all “SEE? It’s a NON-BINARY CHARACTER!! Did you NOTICE that we have a NON-BINARY CHARACTER on our SHOW?!?!?”). This is especially helpful for those with Boomer relatives who might need a lil’ exposure to some diversity in a way that makes them feel like a part of the jokes (instead of being the butt of them). If you’re looking for a very charming, cute show to cozy up to that makes you want to live inside of it, this is it.
The Crown (Netflix) - IMO, the more serious shows you know you should watch but don’t make time for on your own are perfect choices for extending family time viewing. My family and I pummeled our way through all four seasons during the 2020 holidays while we stayed in place between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and it was a supremely delightful experience. We’d watch a few episodes every night after dinner (and maybe watch a couple more in the afternoon if we were really into what was happening), and it provided tons of conversation on subjects like history, colonization, the monarchy, and pivotal political events. Bonus assignment: Ask your parents or grandparents where they were during some of those pivotal events…we’ve all lived through some shit, and if us Minnesota Millennials can still enjoy talking about the Halloween Blizzard of ‘91, imagine how much your dad still loves talking about the moon landing.
Empire Falls (HBO) - Featuring a truly all-star cast, this is a three-part miniseries that’s perfect for a long holiday weekend together. This is the kind of show you’ll sink into the way you would the really great novel of the same name by Richard Russo…it’s a brilliant blend of comedy, conflict, tragedy, and redemption (just a warning that there are a couple of disturbing scenes, however). And the acting...! Phillip Seymour Hoffman! Robin Wright! Helen Hunt! Ed Harris! Paul Newman! Joanne Woodward! And that’s only a taste!!!!
Welcome To Wrexham (FX, Hulu) - Even if you don’t like sports ball games like soccer, this documentary series about two Hollywood actors who buy a soccer team in Wales, UK, is still entertaining enough to hold your entire family’s interest. It’s a fun and riveting romp about what football/soccer means to a town in Wales (spoiler alert: A fucking LOT).
Derry Girls (Netflix) - Last but definitely not least is this critically-acclaimed, uber-popular UK series centered around a group of girls (and one boy) growing up in Northern Ireland in the late ‘90s. Clocking in at 3 seasons with six episodes each, this one is an easy binger, but you won’t want it to end. From scene stealer Sister Michael to a very fun surprise star guest in the first episode of season 3, this show full of characters you’ll fall fast in love with!
Did I miss any big ones? Got your own to recommend, or just wanna compliment me on my thoughtful choices (omg, thank you?!!)? Let me know in the comments!
Black Friday, bb!
By repeated request and just in time for Black Friday, I’ve finally set up subscription packages for readings! Baby, these are a STEAL…fuck those mere 20% deals that everyone else is giving you (also, it’s like, so lame when business are all, “15% off on the inventory that NO ONE EVER wants!!!”). I don’t know what percentage each of these are off my regular reading prices, and I am NOT going to find out because I just applied a full face and I don’t want to sweat or choke. Will these prices go up later? Yes, they absolutely will, because once my business coach sees them, I will not have a choice!! (she’s kind of mean, but she also gets results, so I respect it). But in the meantime, I just wanna give you a super fun offering that makes Black Friday feel special instead of annoying…so much I like did in high school, let’s just ignore any and all mathing, mmmkay?
Email me - or just reply to this email - and I’ll get you all set up!
And yes, you can buy a subscription package for a friend - I don’t know how rich you are! Buy them for everyone you know!! I will make that happen for you!!
Also, can someone please buy my Peloton?
Just in time for the holidays! A great gift for you or that wife that you wish to divorce but don’t wanna have to do the hard work of being the one to broach the topic! Cash only, bb, and you gotta come pick it up (but you don’t even have to talk to me while you do so…we don’t have to make it weird if you don’t want to).
Anyway, that’s it for this week! Here’s to wishing you a very warm and happy T. Hanks Day, and we’ll see you again next week!
Your friend, etc,