So, what have you been doing over the past year? Really? How interesting. Actually it was a rhetorical question, but... No by all means, go on. Huh. With sharks you say? Isn't that illegal? Yeah but... I mean, how do you even know that it's consensual? Well that's a good point. Still, it sounds a bit fishy. HAHAHA GET IT? Sorry no, I didn't mean to... Go on. Oh that was it? Huh. Well I really don't know what to... Yeah, no I won't tell anyone. You wouldn't want to... Exactly. Yeah. Well that was unexpected. Good story though.
ANYWAY, here's what you should have been doing in 2014:
Listening to the Serial podcast.
"The most popular podcast of all time" (so far) may not be the type of thing that appeals to you, but it does mean that millions of people are adding at least dozens of perspectives to a real murder case, that may or may not have gone the way the prosecutor and the police want you to believe it did.
Hae Min Lee, an 18 year old high school student in Baltimore, was murdered in 1999. Adnan Syed, her ex-boyfriend, was convicted for the crime and is currently in prison for life. Did he do it? Who the hell knows. Should he have been convicted? I don't think so. Should we blithely speculate about things that deeply affect real people's lives? Um...
I think the answer is yes, actually. It brings some much needed attention to things we might otherwise take for granted, concerning the (U.S.) justice system, truth, subjectivity, justice, and the American Way.
And if you like Serial, you may also like:
The documentary series "Up" by Michael Apted. I mean, it's very different from Serial, bur it's real, and my god it's brilliant. In 1964, British broadcaster Granada Television commissioned a documentary film about fourteen 7 year old British children, and Apted has been revisiting them every seven years (and filming them) to see how they were getting on. In the most recent installment, two years ago, they were all 56 years old, and if like me you've watched every installment, they are like old friends. Yes, even you, John. Please keep participating. We honestly do appreciate it.
Watching Soul Mates.
Australian comedy series about two men who are friends through different periods of history. Four periods, to be precise. Just watch some clips: Cavemen Discover Addiction (to spinning around really fast), Kiwi Assassins: The New Zealand Munustry of Dufinse, "Fuck the Banks" by the Bondi Hipsters, and there's a future time travel agency, but I couldn't find any clips of that on Youtube... I guess you'll have to watch the show to find out how they manage to undo all of Christianity.
And if you like Soul Mates, you may also like:
Flight of the Conchords, the Mighty Boosh, and you should really already be familiar with the IT Crowd you philistine.
Watching Jane the Virgin.
A playful take on a Venezuelan telenovela, Jane the Virgin mixes lighthearted fun with sincere depth. Centered around, and anchored firmly by, three generations of Latina women in Miami, the show can afford to be silly without losing sight of what's important. And silly it, um, affords. I particularly enjoy Rogelio (Jaime Camil), the completely shallow but well-meaning telenovela star (it's a show within the show!) who is physically incapable of talking about anything other than himself. Check out the character's Twitter! And then, you know, watch the show.
And if you like Jane the Virgin, you may also like:
Twin Peaks! Yeah that's right, I said it.