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May the Source Be With You 

January's roundup of podcasts, shows and more

Hello, lovelies. How are we coming with those New Year's resolutions? Me, neither! In fact, I didn't make any since I ultimately realized that if I can lose 70 pounds during a pandemic, then I don't need arbitrary dates on which to tell myself to be a better person. I'm gonna do it year-round and just see how that feels. I'm going to watch as much TV and movies as I can, bombard myself with podcasts, maybe find love and hopefully become a being made up entirely of empathy and goodwill.

"Search Party" is the Neo-Noir comedy thriller mystery that you never knew you needed. - COURTESY OF HBOMAX
  • Courtesy of HBOMax
  • "Search Party" is the Neo-Noir comedy thriller mystery that you never knew you needed.

If none of that works out, then I'd like to eat less sausage. It's all I want, like, all the time. As I try to work toward those things, however, I'm going to start with bombarding my brain with as much pop culture as I can, so here are a few things I'm obsessed with as we begin 2021.

In Pod We Trust:

The website "Cracked" has had some of the smartest and funniest writing on it for years. Ex-editor Robert Evans' podcast, "It Could Happen Here," is just as smart and funny as he's ever been. He also seems to predict the future. One of the episodes from 2019 is about a second American Civil War and delves into the animosity between liberals and conservatives while breaking down how the protests and riots in Portland could basically be a preview of things to come. It's not happy listening, but the podcast is sober and informative in such a way that feels cathartic as we get closer to the inauguration.

If you're after something a little less stressful, "Writ Large" has been a boon to me over the last few months. I don't get to talk about them as much, but I love books just as obsessively as I do movies and shows. "Writ Large" breaks down a different important work with each episode. Host Zachary Davis and his scholarly guests bring so much enthusiasm and knowledge about each book that you instantly want to read or reread them. The episode on the "Critique of Pure Reason" will change your brain.

Now Streaming

Was anyone else as blown away by the first two episodes of "WandaVision" as I was? I know that pop culture has gotten pretty far away from the "Ozzie and Harriet" meets "Bewitched" domestic sitcoms of yesteryear, but adding a feeling of something being slightly off gives it such a contemporary and twisted vibe. If they follow the comic run that I think this is mostly based on, then "WandaVision" could be the darkest and most emotionally devastating piece of work that Marvel Studios has put out so far. Maybe it's just because I've been missing Marvel so much, but this really feels like a creative game changer for the studio.

I guarantee the best show you're not watching is HBOMax's "Search Party," a blisteringly funny black comedy thriller/mystery that starts off being about a group of friends disaffectedly looking for a missing acquaintance and becomes something much weirder, sadder and more hilarious. Each season shifts genre, going from a Neo-noir detective satire to a psychological thriller to a courtroom drama without much heavy lifting. If you're after something breezy that also keeps you guessing and makes you question the world around you, search no further than this party. That was terrible and I apologize.

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