Lazy Sunday Binge Watch: Feminism Documentaries

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On Friday, my husband and I were both feeling under the weather, and spent most of the day in the living room watching documentaries and cuddling with our two adorable cats. It’s probably kind of weird that we watch so many documentaries, but it’s definitely evidence that we’re meant for each other!

Two that we watched on Friday were related, and were both amazing! I’m going to talk about both of them today, because I loved them both so much! They were both very informative, inspiring, and a little sad.

The first one we watched was called She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry. It’s about second-wave feminism in the United States. They talk to many of the women who were leaders in the movement, which was incredible! It was so awesome to be able to hear about the women’s liberation movement from the voices of women who were actually a part of it.

One of the coolest things about the movie was seeing footage from the time, not just of some of the protests and speeches, but also footage of the press and how they talked about the movement. It made me mad, because there were news stories where the reporters were really rude. It made me thankful that I wasn’t alive back then. It was also interesting learning about the women’s liberation movement and the role the civil rights movement and anti-war movement played. Those movements worked together because they tended to have quite a bit in common.

The most heartbreaking part was when they were discussing Roe v Wade, and the way things worked beforehand. One woman talked about how she had a friend from high school who only made it a few months into college and died because she had an unsafe abortion. The role that access to birth control and healthcare for women is so important. This movie made it clear that it’s not something to take for granted. It’s part of the reason that women now are able to have careers and plan their lives. It was a good reminder that access to healthcare, family planning, and birth control is still something that we’re fighting for here, and its importance shouldn’t be forgotten.

She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry can currently be streamed on Netflix.

The second film we watched was Miss Representation. This film was a good complement to She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry, but it took more of a modern focus on media portrayals of women and how it affects not just adults, but also children. This film was made by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, who is the wife of Gavin Newsom, the current Lieutenant Governor of California. She is an actress, who has become a filmmaker and activist, drawing attention to how the media affects both males and females.

Miss Representation talked to politicians, actresses, youth, activists, journalists, and others about the role that media plays in the lives of women and young girls. They discuss many topics, including how women journalists wear revealing clothes, like they are on screen as decoration, rather than as professionals informing the public.

They also discuss the film industry, and how there are not many women protagonists or directors. This is especially unfortunate since women make up 51% of the American population. They bring up an interesting point: women will watch movies and shows about men, but, in general, men will not watch movies or shows about women. This is really strange to me, and I’m not quite sure why it’s the case. That would explain why there are not as many female protagonists, however: it seems that the industry doesn’t think there is much of a market for it. That is starting to change, slowly.

One of the coolest things about this movie was that there were a couple different generations talking about the same issue. It’s cool to see the different perspectives and experiences, since they are so similar and yet also very different. Gloria Steinem, who has been working on this cause for a long time has been through different life experiences than a high school student, but both perspectives are important. It was also cool because the movie discusses how this issue affects men, which is important and interesting. A lot of time is spent discussing how the media’s portrayal of women affects females. And rightfully so. But, it’s important to note that this issue also affects boys and men. It not only impacts how they view the women around them, but also distorts their view of the way the world operates. I find this to be extremely interesting.

Miss Representation is also available for streaming on Netflix.

I think that both of these movies are a good pick for anyone wanting to learn more about the women’s liberation movement or feminism. They are also good movies for people who are knowledgeable about feminism and media’s portrayal of women because they both give great examples and food for thought.

Let’s chat! What’s the best movie you’ve seen lately?

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Lazy Sunday Binge Watch: Invader Zim

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When I was young, cartoons were kind of weird. And on all the time, it seemed. I remember waking up early on Saturday mornings to catch the cartoons. I don’t know when Saturday morning cartoons stopped being a thing, but it makes me kind of sad. I had a schedule for my cartoon watching. I would go from channel to channel, making sure I caught my favorite shows. Looking back, there were TONS of cartoons and kids programming when I was young. There were also reruns of shows that my parents watched when they were young, which I also appreciated. It was a good bonding experience for us.

The past couple Sundays have NOT been lazy for me. Binge watching has been put on hold for coding exercises, resume writing, applying for jobs, and beautiful weather. I am trying to write here more, though, so I picked a show from my past!

When I was in high school, I was definitely part of the nerdy crowd, I would say. I was in a college prep program, so my classes were more advanced. I was a theatre kid. The “parties” I went to involved table top board games, mountain dew, pizza, and movies. My group of friends wasn’t really into drinking or drugs, most of us were into comic books, obscure tv shows and movies, and laughing. It was from this group of friend that I discovered one of my favorite shows, and my pick for this lazy Sunday: Invader Zim.

Invader Zim is a super weird and obscure cartoon that aired on Nickelodeon in 2001 and 2002. It was created for the station’s older demographic, and somehow was not very successful, so it was cancelled with episodes left unaired. While I admit that it’s a little dark for a cartoon and weird, it’s definitely no worse than Ren and Stimpy, which I think was a little more successful.

Invader Zim is about an alien named Zim who is tasked with the mission of coming to Earth, find a way to fit in with the inhabitants of the planet, gather intelligence to help with the future conquest of the planet, and help enslave the human race. His sidekick is a malfunctioning robot named GIR (my personal favorite part of the show). Together, they mostly get into shenanigans. Zim disguises himself as a human grade school student, and starts attending school, while working to gain intelligence on humans. He is accepted into his class by everyone except for Dib. Dib is a fellow student, who is interested in the paranormal and supernatural. He is convinced that Zim is an alien, and wants to out him.

In general, the episodes revolve around Zim’s plans to take over the world with the help of GIR, and Dib’s efforts to stop Zim and expose him as an alien. There are tons of weird things that happen in the episodes, but the thing I like most is the dark humor. This certainly isn’t a show for young kids. Not only will they not get it, they probably wouldn’t even like it very much. But, it’s a great show for teens and adults. Especially if you have no problem watching cartoons, appreciate dark humor, and like things that are offbeat. If these are things you’re interested in, I would highly recommend trying this show a try. It is only 2 seasons long, the episodes are short, and it’s currently streaming on Hulu Plus, which is awesome because it used to be extremely hard to find. If you watch the show, love it, and enjoy comic books, there are Invader Zim comic books now. I haven’t read them, but I’m glad they’re out there.

What cartoons do/did you enjoy watching?

 

Lazy Sunday Binge Watch: Super Bowl 50

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Two posts today! I have so much to say!!! I couldn’t let a Sunday go by without talking about something to watch… I mean, I have let Sundays go by without giving you guys a pick for something to binge watch, but not today!

As anyone who lives in the United States could tell you, today is one of the biggest days in the sporting world: The Super Bowl. It’s the final championship game for American Football, and it’s kind of become a pretty big event here.

To be perfectly honest, I don’t really like sports. Unless it’s my hometown baseball team (Win Twins!!), and I am actually at the ballpark, I just don’t follow it. For some reason, I always watch the Super Bowl. I think maybe it’s because I used to watch it when I was younger, and it was kind of a fun day. My parents and I would make something delicious like chili, watch the game, and enjoy the hilarious commercials and fun half time shows. The commercials aren’t always that great anymore, and the half time show isn’t always that fun either, but it’s tradition. Many people throw huge parties, but my husband and I tend to stay home. We both like it that way, I think.

This year, we placed a bet on who would win so that we would be more invested in the outcome of the game. I am making a traditional Super Bowl food: pizza, but am putting our own little touch on it by making a pizza with Kale, Tomato, Pepperoni and Ricotta. Much healthier than the average pizza, I think!

The halftime show this year is Coldplay, who used to be my favorite band. I don’t really like their new music nearly as much as I used to, but I am still a little excited to see them perform and see how it goes. Last year’s halftime show was Katy Perry, and it was ok. People were focused more on the two people in shark costumes (anyone remember Left Shark?), than on her performance. So, I am pretty interested to see what kind of show Coldplay puts on today. If that doesn’t sound like a good time, Animal Planet has the Puppy Bowl, where you watch a bunch of puppies run around a pen, and it has a football theme, with a referee and all. During halftime, they bring out some kittens, which is also adorable. The point of the Puppy Bowl is to raise awareness on adopting dogs and cats, and it’s so cute. It’s also a really good alternative to the Super Bowl halftime show for those lucky people with cable tv.

I pay more attention to the commercials, which are sometimes pretty creative. Companies pay a lot of money to put their products front and center during the Super Bowl. Many times, the commercials are longer than normal, more awesome, and funny. Most of the commercials are for beer and trucks (since the intended audience of the Super Bowl are the people who drink beer and drive trucks). But, there are sometimes good commercials for other goods and services.

So, today, I’ll be curling up on the couch with my husband, cats, a drink and slice of pizza, and enjoying my first football game of the year.

Happy Sunday, everyone!

Lazy Sunday Binge Watch: The X-Files

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Today is the day that X-Files fans have been waiting for: the premiere of the new season is tonight! In preparation for the new season, my husband and I have been watching the important episodes to understand the X-Files mythology. We also watched the two movies. So, in honor of the new season, X-Files is my pick this week for Lazy Sunday binge watching!

X-Files started in 1993, and was a really successful show. I remember my family watching it when I was a kid, though I didn’t usually watch it with them. I usually thought it was too scary and was not interested in it, but there are some parts of the show that bring back memories of being a kid. While it was on tv, it benefitted from being a generally well-made and entertaining show, that kept peoples’ interest for almost 10 years. For those of you unfamiliar with the show, it follows two FBI agents, as they work through cases considered part of the “x-files”, which are unsolved cases with paranormal aspects. Agent Fox Mulder, played by David Duchovny, is more of a believer in the paranormal, and thinks that there are things like aliens out there that have been to Earth. Agent Dana Scully, played by Gillian Anderson, is a skeptic who is assigned to work with Agent Mulder and discredit his work and theories. Over the course of the years, and all of the weird things they encounter, she becomes less of a skeptic, but in some ways, he becomes more of one.

This show is generally pretty dark, handling many story lines involving murders. It is often considered a thriller, and I definitely agree with that! There have been quite a few times where I have had to stop watching the show long before bed because it got a little scary. There have also been quite a few episodes that are riotously funny too, which is a great balance to the scary and dark episodes. This show can be hit-or-miss though when it comes to writing. There are tons of episodes that are really well written. There are episodes that definitely miss the mark, though. It seems to get worse in the later seasons.

There are two X-Files movies as well. I don’t really think that either of them are very well-written. The second one is cool because it takes place after the original run of the show ended, so we are able to see what happens to Agents Mulder and Scully after the show. It’s just not a great concept for a movie. It was also written during the writer’s strike in 2007-2008. So, that helps explain why it was so poorly written, though I don’t think that it would be a fantastic movie if it had been written when the Writers Guild of America wasn’t on strike.

I think that X-Files is a good show for people who like mysteries and thrillers. I don’t generally love thrillers, but the stories in this show are interesting enough to make it worth getting a little scared. If you are interested in watching the show, I would honestly suggest looking for lists of the best episodes online and watching those. Being able to watch the “greatest hits” is definitely worth it, and is a great way to be introduced to the show. The entire show is available to watch on Netflix. The movies are not streaming on Netflix right now, but we were able to get the first one from Netflix’s DVD service, and the second one was available through our library!

Hopefully the new season will be well-written and a great way to continue the story. I am anxiously waiting to watch it! Have a great week everybody!

Lazy Sunday Binge Watch: Property Brothers

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Well, winter has finally hit in full force here in Minnesota. Through Christmas and the New Year the weather was pretty mild. We didn’t get a ton of snow at that point. Now, however, we’ve finally gotten a coating of snow, and it’s cold. I always seem to get sick around this time of year. My job brings me in contact with lots of people on a daily basis, and no matter how often I wash my hands and use hand sanitizer, I manage to get sick. A few days ago, a couple people were complaining about having a cold, and sure enough, now I have a cold! It’s slowly getting better, which is awesome, but I’m pretty bummed out to be sick just in time for the weekend…

One thing about this cold is that I have had the hardest time concentrating! Writing blog posts has been taking me twice as long because I just don’t want to focus on them. Reading is out of the question. So, it’s the perfect opportunity for me to catch up on episodes of today’s binge watch pick: Property Brothers. It doesn’t require much thought, but it’s still entertaining and even educational!

Property Brothers is an HGTV show that you can currently watch on Netflix! It’s a reality home improvement show about two twin brothers, one who is a realtor, and the other who is a contractor. Each episode, they have a client looking to buy a new home. They always have pretty specific wish lists. The brothers bring them to a house that is move-in ready and has all of their “must have” items. After the people see the house and love it, they drop the bomb: the house is totally out of their budget! Sometimes, the house costs double what their budget is! It’s a tough love thing to do, but the point they are trying to make is that the client will need to get a fixer upper house, and renovate it. That way, they will be able to get the house they want, but they will also be able to say within their budget. It’s interesting how the couple reacts with the icky houses they go see. Then, when they decide between two houses and the design that goes along with them, you get to watch the renovation, along with all of the problems and unforeseen complications! But, in the end, you get to see beautiful finished products that seem like they were worth the extra time.

I love home improvement shows, even though I live in an apartment and can’t really use them. There are some really fun decorating tips though. This one is nice because it does kind of go into what to look for when buying a house. There is also some good information on how to get high end looking houses while being able to work inside a budget.

I recommend this show for people who like DIY or home improvement shows. I also think this show would be good for people who are thinking about moving or renovating. Netflix has a couple seasons of episodes, so I hope you check it out!

Let’s chat! Do you watch home improvement shows? What do you like about them? Any recommendations of things I should watch?

Lazy Sunday Binge Watch: Trainwreck

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Boy, today has not been a lazy Sunday at all! I would have loved to spend the last day of a long weekend not doing anything, but we had tons to do! My husband and I were actually really productive, and it feels really good!

Now that I have a chance to sit down, I can tell you about this week’s pick of something to watch! I recently watched Trainwreck with Amy Schumer and Bill Hader. I generally really like Amy Schemer’s comedy, and I heard that she wrote this movie, so I thought I would give it a try! I watched it with my husband on New Years Eve (we would much rather stay home on NYE…). My first impression is that it’s a hilarious romantic comedy, and something that just about anyone would enjoy.

I think that Trainwreck might be one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen. It’s not especially crude or disgusting (though there are some sexual jokes, and if you know anything about Amy Schumer, she doesn’t really sugar coat anything). Bill Hader is always amazingly funny, but I am not sure I’ve really ever seen him as the love interest before, and I thought it was refreshing and awesome!

Basically, this movie is about a woman whose dad told her and her sister when they were kids that monogamy is unrealistic. While it didn’t have as much of an effect on her sister, she has taken it to heart. She dates, and has a boyfriend of sorts, but she never gets too close to anyone. Now that she is an adult, and getting older, she is noticing that she is missing something in her life. She meets Bill Hader, a famous sports physician who also participates in Doctors Without Borders, while writing an article about him. They begin to really like each other, but she doesn’t know how to handle someone wanting to be in a relationship with her. So, of course, in true rom com form, there are some misunderstandings and heartbreaks before both people realize that they have been stupid and need to be together. Trainwreck breaks out of that mold a little, which is nice, but it does still have that basic storyline.

One of the most surprising things about this movie is that LeBron James plays a pretty big role in the movie, and is actually really funny! There are actually a few big name athletes in the movie, but he kind of steals the show! He plays himself in the movie, and Bill Hader is basically his best friend. For some reason, his comedic timing is really impressive to me. It actually makes me respect him quite a bit. Judd Apatow did a great job directing this movie. He is also known for Freaks and Geeks, The 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up and This is 40. This is by far the best movie of his I’ve seen. I can’t speak to whether or not this movie is better than Freaks and Geeks, because I never saw the show (though it’s definitely on my list).

So, if you like funny movies, and especially funny romantic comedies, or aren’t offended by sexual humor at all, I would highly recommend this movie. My husband, who does not like romantic comedies much, and isn’t the hugest fan of crude humor agreed that it was one of the funniest movies he had ever seen.

Have you seen Trainwreck yet? Let me know what you thought in the comments!

Lazy Sunday Binge Watch: Angel

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I have been waiting to write this binge watch post for a long time! But, I wasn’t able to write it until I was done with the series, so I am finally done, and I can finally talk about it! Yesterday, my husband and I watched the series finale of Angel, which we have been watching for over a year!

Angel is a spinoff show of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It is a show created by Joss Whedon, who also created Buffy, along with Firefly, Dollhouse, amongst others. He also wrote the most recent Avengers movie. It is essentially about a vampire who has a soul and spends his life trying to help the helpless, with the assistance of his friends. It is an action-packed show, which is really fun and interesting to watch. There are also times that it is sad and anger-inducing. As the show progresses through its five seasons, the story changes and evolves.

The final season is especially interesting. It is full of emotional highs and lows, and has a thought-provoking plot. There are some points that are absolutely hilarious, and more people who were on Buffy come onto the show, which is fun for those of us who watched it. There are some parts in the final season that are so heartbreaking, it actually brought me to tears (not at all surprising, I cry during shows and movies frequently). One thing to know about Joss Whedon is that he tends to kill off characters. It’s almost an ongoing joke about his work, because it happens so frequently. It makes it hard to watch sometimes, but after watching the whole series of Angel, it was a really good show, and I guess most of the deaths were justified or good for the story.

Angel is a great show to watch for people who have seen Buffy or other things that Joss Whedon has done. I would also recommend it for people who like show that are full of action and some sci-fi/fantasy elements. There are story lines involving the occult, vampires, demons, etc. So, if you can’t handle those kinds of topics, this is probably not the show for you. If you’re interested in giving Angel a try, the entire series is available of Netflix. Have you seen Angel or any other Joss Whedon show/movie? Tell me your thoughts in the comments! Have a great week!