Back in 2016 we published a round-up of pop culture comfort food during a time when we were feeling collectively vulnerable and unsure about the future.
Welp, we’re sorry to have to return with a 2020 edition of “Pop Culture Comfort Food For Difficult Times”, because we’d love to say we’ve come out of hiatus for happier reasons, but goodness knows we need some light pop culture distractions and joy while sheltering at home, and we are happy to share recommendations from our trusted TLF contributors and friends.
Please enjoy this list of recs today, and please watch next week for a list of recs from us, the TLF founders.
Stay safe! – Keidra and Raizel
“I am currently pretending it’s 2010 by blasting Far East Movement’s “Like a G6”. Is it ridiculous? Yes! Is it catchy as hell? Yes! Does it transport me to a simpler time where I could down a shot of vodka in a sweaty club and complain about how “music isn’t serious anymore, ugh?” ABSOLUTELY!”
“Elementary, the Sherlock Holmes series on CBS that ended in 2019, is one that I never managed to watch while it was on. This is convenient for me as I now have (checks Google) 154 episodes of Lucy Liu and Jonny Lee Miller to devour. The series manages to be a detective procedural, with all the attendant comfort of that (see my friend and colleague Elizabeth Cohen’s research to back this up), yet with excellent acting by incredibly attractive people to boot. There are serious and moving themes, including substance use and recovery as well as mental health, plus a bomb-ass opening sequence.”
“I created a Spotify playlist with some of my favorite “chill” artists – Mac Ayres, Lucky Daye, Snoh Aalegra, Tweet, Lion Babe, and others – to set a relaxed and positive tone for my day.
I haven’t had much time to read because I am homeschooling my kids but I have been watching Nailed It! and The Golden Girls, and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air because they always make me laugh. I hope everyone finds a slice of joy or peace to hold onto during this difficult time.”
“Self-isolation began for me on March 12th. For a couple of weeks, I fell ill with what I thought was a combination of my annual lung infection and anxiety brought on by fear knowing the pandemic was only beginning here and priming to get worse.
As I wait knowing there’s not much I can do as an individual, I do what I can to keep myself occupied and keep as much “normal” in my life as possible while hoping that we gain an entirely new and better normal when we finally get past this crisis. That’s mostly music and podcasts with a sprinkling of Netflix and Hulu.”
Inda’s Recommended Music
- Moses Sumney – grae
- Tame Impala – The Slow Rush
- Sylvia Black – Last Laugh
- Nova Twins – Who Are the Girls?
- The Black Swan Collective (shameless plug)
Inda’s Recommended Podcasts
- Escape Artists podcasts
- Uncanny Magazine
- Nightmare Magazine
- Tales from a Black Universe
- Ya Gay Aunties
- Marsha’s Plate: Black Trans Podcast
- The Secret Lives of Black Women
- The Read
- Scam Goddess
- Heaving Bosoms: A Romance Novel Podcast
- Shelf Love: A Romance Novel Book Club
- Black Chick Lit
- Black Girl Squee
Inda’s Recommended Books
- Hood Feminism – Mikki Kendall
- A Cowboy to Remember – Rebekah Weatherspoon
- Octavia’s Brood – edited by Walidah Imarisha and adrienne marie brown
- Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower – adapted by Damian Duffy and John Jennings
“Check, Please! – This is the SWEETEST college romance centered on Eric “Bitty” Bittle, a gay, Southern, NCAA hockey player-baker. The story literally JUST finished, and it’s all available (along with so much ancillary content) for free at CheckPleaseComic.com. You won’t be disappointed.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (available on Hulu in the United States and currently airing Thursday nights on NBC), like a lot of TV, takes about half of its first season to find its voice, but once it does it becomes not just consistently funny, but one of the best and most big-hearted shows on TV right now.
Kim’s Convenience (available in the US on Netflix) is a Canadian sitcom about Mr. Kim, the Korean immigrant owner of a convenience store in Toronto, and his family. The characters are all wonderfully flawed, and the humor is gentle even when it’s laugh-out-loud funny.”
It’s funny that I’m writing this at 1:17 a.m. because what I’m listening to is one of my comfort food things — The Good Place podcast. Even though the show is over, I still find myself listening to it on sleepless nights because it’s familiar, funny and also a nice behind the scenes look at how the sausage is made. Weirdly, hearing Marc Evan Jackson talk is soothing during rough nights.
Also like everyone else, I’ve discovered the joy of Animal Crossing. I don’t like to believe the TOM NOOK IS EVIL view (even though it’s funny as hell). Going fishing in a figure skating dress and work boots is something I’ve always wanted to do in real life, but haven’t been able to. There’s no pressure which also is refreshing so you can play however you want and for how long you want.
I should add my favorite source of comfort right now is my dog. But she’s not a media star or darling.
“K-On on Netflix. With two full seasons of 40+ episodes each and a tie-in movie, K-On is exactly the kind content that these trying times call for, both sweet and silly with a strong foundation of female friendship. The show is an anime set in a high school and stars a club of girls who spend two years working hard to become a rock group; the songs are legitimately catchy, the shenanigans are low-stakes, and the characters are dedicated both to music and each other.”
“Honestly, Critical Role has been my go to during these trying times. I’m all caught up on main episodes, but I’m going back and watching the Campaign 1 One Shots while I wait for new content (all live episodes are on hiatus due to the quarantine). These self proclaimed “nerdy ass voice actors [who] sit around and play Dungeons and Dragons” have been a godsend with their storytelling, friendship, queer representation, and general love of all things nerdy. You can find all their stuff on their Twitch Stream and on YouTube!”
Do you have any recommendations for comforting pop culture that’s helping you through this time? e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org