Reading, Watching, Etc.

Some recommendations.

Reading, Watching, Etc.

Folks, it’s been a quiet spell here at the Humorism offices while I plug away at a few reported pieces for you. (A sneak preview: UCB applied for and received forgiveness for $793,820 of the $1,120,058 in PPP funding it received after laying off all its employees and saying it would treat the funding as unforgivable low-interest loans. What does that mean for the company that seems mostly to have stopped being a company? I’ll tell you soon, if you don’t scoop me first.) In the meantime, here’s one of my famous lists of media products I’ve consumed and enjoyed lately.

The Dawn of Everything, by David Graeber and David Wengrow. I am maybe an inch deep into this Harry Potter-sized rethinking of social anthropology and I already feel as if it’s cracked my brain wide open. The book is delightfully readable and spits out convention-shattering historical revelations at a rate of one-to-two per page. Recommend.

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. The gang’s still got it!

The Beta Test. I’m a big fan of writer-director-actor Jim Cummings, who made last year’s very funny The Wolf of Snow Hollow. The Beta Test is not quite as strong, but Cummings’ performance—as a Hollywood agent who accepts a mysterious invite to a no-strings-attached extramarital hookup, only to find out there are strings attached—more than makes up for any narrative shortcomings. One of his final monologues so moved me that I may or may not have teared up slightly. Recommend.

The Mountaintop,” a new poem by Sandra Lim over at LitHub. Also, “Poem,” a poem by Louise Glück over at LitHub. And let’s toss in “Some Trees” by Tracy K. Smith while we’re at it. Really you should just check out LitHub’s poetry section.

"Holidays," the new Good Cop Great Cop joint.

How To with John Wilson. My favorite experience in art is that peculiar state of mystery where you not only don’t know what’s going to happen, but you don’t even know what kind of thing is going to happen. The wonder of How To is that it keeps you suspended in that state all episode, every episode. What a gift!

Tim Blake Nelson’s Grub Street Diet. Also, Naomi Ekperigin’s Grub Street Diet. I haven’t watched Ekperigin’s forthcoming Netflix special yet but I’ll go ahead and pre-recommend that too, out on the 29th as part of the new season of The Standups. (Maybe skip Mark Normand’s.)

The Hollow by Greg Jackson, whose book Prodigals is one of my favorite short story collections. Read this, then read his other New Yorker stories “Poetry” and “Wagner in the Desert,” then buy his book. Or, do whatever you want.

The Shrink Next Door. I don’t know if I think this show, which is basically about Paul Rudd emotionally abusing an elderly Will Ferrell, is any good, but I do know that I’ve watched all of it, so.

La Brea. This show definitely isn’t good, but I’m still gonna keep watching until its characters get serious about the fact that they fell into a big hole that transported them 10,000 years into the past.

Alright, that’s all for now. Have a great weekend.