19. Things I Ponder - What Makes Certain Entertainment "Hold Up"?

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We made it to another weekend!

I love pop culture, especially stuff that I grew up, especially movies and TV shows. Lately I’ve been thinking about one specific question: what makes a movie or TV show “hold up”? For the unfamiliar, I think of “holding up” as being able to be enjoyed years later and still be in touch with current society. There are shows that I was still watch and love that definitely fit the criteria of holding up, and others that I watch solely for the nostalgia because they definitely do not hold up, for various reasons.

Take, for example, Golden Girls - a show that I think completely holds up 30 years later. It’s still so funny and the jokes still work in 2019. And their serious episodes all fall on the right side of history, whether it’s tackling gay & lesbian issues, interracial marriage, the AIDS epidemic, undocumented immigrants, etc. Similarly, I think Living Single holds up in the same way - the storylines were (mostly) realistic, the jokes are still funny and it’s still very relatable in 2019. Contrast that with a show like Sex and the City, which feels really dated even though it was a more recent show. I think it doesn’t hold up because the setup was so unbelievable, from Carrie’s designer habit to portraying a NYC with virtually no people of color. It’s also out of step with current cultural norms - for example, you can hear the term “tranny” on the show, which is a no-no. Another is Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, a movie which I loved as a kid, but as an adult I realize is so incredibly racist in its portrayal of India. There’s no way that movie would ever get greenlit in 2019.

I’m formulating a theory in my head around what makes a TV show or movie “hold up” but I’m curious what other people think - what would you highlight as a TV show or movie that still holds up in 2019?

Things I Read This Week:

Not all of West Side Story has aged gracefully, but its spectacular dancing sure has (A.V. Club)

Black Voters Get That Bernie Marched With MLK. They Want To Know What He’ll Do For Them Now. (Buzzfeed)

LOFT’s New Mommy-And-Me Collection is ADORABLE (The Mom Edit)

Lyft Says It’s ‘Not in the Transportation Business,’ So Disability Law Doesn't Apply (Gizmodo)

Seattle Times Journalist Suspended After Harassing Writer With Gross Twitter DMs (Jezebel)

The Midwest Isn't Just White People (Jezebel)

The True Road Warriors: How Men With Disabilities Travel the World (MEL Magazine)

Switching Political Parties (Design Mom)

Alexa has been eavesdropping on you this whole time (CT Post)

Tweak the Vote | Radiolab | WNYC Studios (Radiolab)

The Coming Generation War (The Atlantic)

Representation Matters: 35 Black Kids TV Shows You Can Watch Right Now (Mater Mea)

The politics of home (Curbed)

Other Stuff:

I took advantage of the Sephora VIB sale to restock on some of my favorite items: L’Occitane hand cream, a Benefit brow pencil, and Clarisonic replacement brush heads. I also picked up the Fenty Beauty Instant Warmth Bronzer in Caramel Cutie - I hope it looks good!

I haven’t been doing much reading lately - my free time is taken up by writing and knitting - but I picked up The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle because I couldn’t resist after reading a quick synopsis.

This weekend is Mother’s Day weekend! I won’t get to spend it with my mom but I did make sure to get her gift and cards in the mail so hopefully she gets both before Sunday. I’ll be spending the day with my little one. For all the moms out there, I hope you enjoy it in whatever way is good for you.

Enjoy your weekend!

I Listen To These Six Podcasts Every Week (and You Should Too!)

I realized when I was writing this post that I’ve been listening to podcasts for a long time. My very first podcasts were The Bob Edwards Show and the Answer Bitch show. Both were on XM radio (this was pre-merger with Sirius) and the only place you could get the episodes was from the iTunes store. I’d download episodes to my iPod classic and listen to them in the lab as I worked (so you see how long it’s been, since I haven’t worked in a lab since 2012!).

Over the past 2-3 years, podcasts have really exploded, along with the ways that you can listen. I use Spotify for 99% of the podcasts that I listen to regularly, and I keep Stitcher because that allows me to listen to This American Life. I’m sure you can also listen to podcasts via Apple Music, Soundcloud, Stitcher, or other podcast services.

My full podcast subscription list has 40+ shows, but I listen to these 6 shows every single week…

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The Read

I came to show late, like maybe Year 3 or so? It was around the time that Beyonce dropped the self-titled album. I was just coming around to the fact that I was indeed a member of the BeyHive, and Kid Fury and Crissle helped me feel comfy with that fact. Those two are my cousins in my head, and I love their commentary on what’s happening in pop culture, and their advice to listeners. New episodes drop on Thursdays and it’s the first thing I open on Thursday mornings. I love this show so much, that I traveled to Chicago to see them live back in 2017, and it was totally worth it. They also have really cute merch - the Break Up With Him sweatshirt is my personal fave to wear.

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The Nicole Walters Podcast 

I discovered Nicole when my friend shared one of her videos on Facebook. I’ve been following her on Facebook & Instagram and really loving her authenticity. When her podcast dropped, I was blown away at how timely it was for me, as a newbie entrepreneur. The episodes are about 30mins which is the perfect amount of time for me, and I really love the stories she tells about her entrepreneurial journey.

If you’re a budding entrepreneur, this is the podcast you should be listening to!

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Reply All

I stumbled on this podcast by accident but I was instantly hooked. I grew up on the Internet, back when it consisted of IRC chat rooms and AOL dialup, so a podcast about the Internet is right up my alley. They’ve done some great stories, like tracking down phone scammers in India, or how fraudsters work on Amazon, or figuring out how robocalls manage to make it seem like they are calling from your number. My favorite episode is the one that shows how easy it is to fall for a phishing scam.

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Stuff You Missed In History Class

I’m a history buff - if I hadn’t majored in chemistry, history would have been my next choice. There’s so much to learn and that’s why I love this podcast. Every episode is well-researched and there’s a variety of topics. I’ve learned about so many figures and topics that I’d never heard of thanks to the show, and even with people I was familiar with, I learned a ton more than I thought I knew. Also I really enjoy the hosts! This show has been around for a long time so I highly recommend going through their back episodes as well. It’s great listening on your commute, or on a road trip, and most of the episodes are family friendly, which is a plus.

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Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me

I think I discovered this show when I was driving in a rental car that didn’t have satellite radio, so I stuck to NPR. Yall know I love a good quiz show, and I was delighted to discover a nerdy yet funny quiz show on NPR. Each week there’s a different panel of celebs who compete to see who knows the most about the news from that week. I tune in every week and I’ve even attended a live taping when the show came to Minneapolis. I’ve also met two of the panelists - Brian Babylon & PJ O’Rouke - and they were both gracious and delightful.

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The Pitch

The first time I listened to this show, it was at the recommendation of Rachel Miller, who sent a link to the Tushy episode to the APW Slack with a "YOU MUST LISTEN TO THIS” message. After listening to that episode, I went back and listened to the entire catalog. In this show, a startup pitches to a panel of investors, and you get to learn about a new company while also hearing the types of questions that investors ask. Not only am I learning about how to run a startup and how to pitch, I’ve learned about several new interesting companies.

Have you listened to any of these podcasts? What are you listening to regularly? Let me know in the comments!