Hello hello! It’s TheJP Pick Vol. NINE — to read vol. 8 click here.
Every Monday, we’ll start with a round-up of things to distract, dazzle and delight you. From books I devoured in a week, to weird Covid-era drive-thru’s, to various theme park-y things that may suggest I only have two dimensions to my personality.
I’m still sleepy from the 4-day “weekend” (ahahahahahaha) so let’s get started!
The Movie You Gotta Stream
There are so many moments in Save Yourselves! that I know I’ll be quoting for years to come. So many moments where John Reynolds’ physical comedy and dopey reactions elevate otherwise flat premises of hipsterdom. So many times where Sunita Mani’s yearning, itchy energy not only perfectly encapsulates “the moment” but also defies “the moment” while saying sentences that deify “the moment”.
The premise is simple: two NY hipster-somethings in their thirty-somethings decide to do a “digital detox” and retreat to the woods where the worst fucking thing that could happen, happens. The rest is the stuff of Sci-fi fare that’s decidedly subdued— partially due to its low indie budget and partially due to this movie not being about that. Similar to its self-centered heroines, the film can’t possibly strain to see beyond their own reflections in their endless selfies as they freak the fuck out and try to survive.
I loved the hell out of this movie. Loved the choices. Loved the writing. The directing. The— all of it. I marveled at how minimal it was to convey something so huge (in my opinion, what should be the goal of all indies — and really all movies in general). I cheered when it ended and was overcome with sadness knowing that if this were A Regular Year, we’d all be in the streets hugging and kissing and singing its praises. I hope that both John Reynolds and Sunita Mani get their power surge to their careers when this is all over. I hope the writer/director duo Alex Fischer and Eleanor Wilson are allowed to do many more movies. I hope you watch it.
The Freebie You Gotta Take
If we were able to in-person gather, there’s no doubt your bookiest friend would corner you at a bar several times over and praise the everloving shit out of the freebies provided by the Los Angeles Public Library. It’s a well-read Angelino’s favorite, “bet you didn’t know this” buzz topic.
And for good reason — with just a simple entering of your library card number at LAPL’s main site, you can treat yourself to free audiobooks with their app Hoopla! Free movies with Kanopy (including a ton of Criterion collection picks!) and of course free NY Times digital subscriptions! The grand-daddy of the print medias. The website I’ve refreshed my browser settings several (several) times so I can keep reading without bumping against the pesky free article limit.
And now I don’t have to! And you don’t have to. And when this is all done and we’re able to go back out, remind me to remind you about the free museum passes the library can offer you, too. Damn, it’s like it’s a good government-funded space, huh.
The Super Bingeable New Show
I feel like we’re all peeking out from the covers when we click on any premium streamer. We’ve been burned too many times — lured in my prestige TV glossiness and then gutted by the lack of care to story. Or enticed with a star-studded cast, only to have the group emulate a “how the hell did they sign up to this?” underwhelming stutter-step. What I’m trying to say is, commitment is hard. Which is why we play the field with Great British Bake-off (It’s finale week!!!) (or it was).
But this is different. Frothy because it wants to be. Mysterious and twisty-turny without making it into its genre affect. If you dig a dash of Catch Me if You Can with your murder mystery; a little Elle Woods with your Big Little Lies. I recommend. If anything, to marvel at the 60s-centric opening title sequence.
The TV Special That’ll Blow Your GD Mind
I have seen Natalie Palamides’ NATE a strong handful of times. It’s a stage show that defies the format, reaching into the audience for a tactile edge of both gross-out and engaging storytelling that can’t be replicated. Hovering between heavy topics like consent, sexual violence and suffocating patriarchy. Sure, the best setting for her clown is in person where the threat of being swallowed into the show is ever-present, but the next best thing is this glossy Netflix special produced by Amy Poehler (!) which hopefully beckons other fans into Natalie’s orbit. She’s gonna be a star, y’all. A big bright burning star. I hope you’re fucking ready.
The Online Market for your Small Business Holiday Shopping
We know we gotta be conscientious when it comes to our online shopping — especially since it’s our only form of shopping in this Covid-era. We know that Amazon is evil. We know that gift-giving is gonna take on a new form and possibly new meaning this year. Items that dig deeper than your standard gift card, items that present the question, “but how are you really?”. Thoughtful treasures that were crafted with love and elevate to something more than fast fashion or something just as vapid and unethical.
Which is why I love the hell out of Eighth Generation. Eighth Generation is a Seattle-based art and lifestyle brand owned by the Snoqualmie Tribe. They provide a strong, ethical alternative to “Native-inspired” art and products through its artist-centric approach and 100% Native designed products. They have everything from custom blankets to jewelry to phone cases to socks! Each item paired with the artist who crafted it and the story it represents — adding “strength”, “love”, “power” to your Monday morning outfit in ways cheaply-made Amazon wares never could.
Big thanks to my pal Maddy Wager (who’s a comedy genius you should be following on all of the things) for hipping me to this shop in the first place! Now go out and do good.