Netflix Review: One Day at a Time

With a whole winter of snow hitting my college campus in one weekend, it was a good time to hunker down and do some binge watching after my homework.

One Day at a Time is a remake of a 70s show of the same name. The premise is about a single, recently divorced mom who is raising her kids and living under the same roof as her mother. The 70s original had Mackenzie Phillips and Valerie Bertinelli. I haven’t watched the original, so I don’t have a frame of reference for what the show covered.

img_0107In the Netflix remake, our single mom is an Army veteran who is Cuban-American. This already peaked my interested because of the diversity. The United States is full of people of color, and our television should reflect that. Also, it’s full of veterans. The family has problems presented that are relatable like sexuality, intersectional feminism, financial instability, sexism, mental health, and religion. And the way in which these topics are handled is so graceful and realistic. It’s refreshing.

Given the aforementioned topics that the show presents throughout the 12 episode first season, this could be a lot like what happened to Glee: too much preaching, not enough heart. Glee had a lot of other problems that this show doesn’t, which has to do with the writing and how the characters are handled.

The topics addressed are threaded throughout the 30-minute episodes. While certain things are the main storyline of an episode, like when Penelope is trying to get ahold of her local Veteran Affairs office to make a doctor’s appointment, others like a character’s coming out is threaded through several episodes until it comes to fruition.

My favorite part of this show has been watching how the show handles religion with many of the topics addressed. Obviously, religion and sexuality can be a stressful topic, but One Day at a Time handles it carefully, being realistic about how people respond. I love the realism in the storytelling. Many of the events I related to, so much so that I found myself crying over the last episode.

If you need something to binge watch, consider One Day at a Time. It is such an important show that needs more attention. The cast is fantastic and hilarious. Justine Machado and Rita Moreno are a great mother-daughter team.

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Comic Review: Seconds

Everyone wants a do-over at some point in their lives. We’ve all had decisions we’ve made that we regret and want a second chance.

Seconds is one of those times where we get a peek at someone’s do-over, or rather do-overs. Bryan Lee O’Malley, famous for the Scott Pilgrim series, writes this unique take on one chef’s do-overs through the power of magical mushrooms from her dresser drawer.

Yup. Mushrooms.

75cd77559a8ce52d0211db98c0ddaae5Katie is a young, talented chef whose life spirals out of her control. All she wants is a second chance, and these mushrooms are going to give it to her. Suddenly her life is perfect.That’s where the story starts to get even wilder than it already is.

O’Malley’s characters are fun, and the world is immersive. I’ve always loved his art style because it is expressive and detailed. It was easy to disappear into this world he created and I wanted to befriend the characters.

Nathan Fairbairn’s colors for this book are fantastic and make O’Malley’s world come alive.

Reading Katie’s story made me wonder if I ever wanted a second chance with any of my decisions. What are the rules with second chances? The rules are where Seconds shines, and that’s an area that is often unexplored when it comes to plots like this.

O’Malley’s unique take on second chances with Seconds makes this well worth the read. If you’re looking for a fun graphic novel, I recommend this without any hesitation.

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When Your Fave is Problematic

We all have that celebrity that we love. They might be who we aspire to be and who we look up to. Kids have plenty of role models both famous and local.

But it’s also important to recognize when they have problematic behavior. Just because someone is a celebrity doesn’t excuse them from having questionable choices. They’re role models, they should be aware of what they say or don’t say and how that could affect their fans.

You can still like your problematic fave. As their fan you can also try to urge them to be better. By recognizing their problematic behavior with their praise, you are acknowledging that they are a package deal.

This was inspired after numerous people have touted Tom Brady and Bill Belichick as the best ever, while not taking into account that both of them support Trump (which I don’t need to explain why that is problematic). 

Comic Review: We Can Never Go Home

I picked this up because of the cover. Anything with a cassette tape on the front to remind me of the days when that’s how I collected and listened to music will attract me. Plus, one of the vendors at Boston Comic-Con recommended it. So why not take a chance?

We Can Never Go Home by Matthew Rosenberg, Patrick Klindon, and Josh  Hood is quite the ride. Combine two teenagers, a stolen car, a mixtape, superpowers, and drugs, and you have We Can Never Go Home.

2I don’t want to give too much away.

Think of it like a dangerous road trip comic. And if you ever wanted to take a wild adventure from a small town in 1989, here’s a great way to do it. This comic covers so many genres, and music is an important aspect.

At the end of every chapter, there’s a playlist that is well worth listening to.

I enjoyed the story. It’s dark and kept me hooked from the beginning. I wanted to know how all of these details crossed and where the road trip would end up next.

The art and colors are awesome. Josh Hood did a great job capturing the script and setting the mood. All of the action is easy to follow but still, makes it feel chaotic. There are moments when the emotion-charged in the scene punches you in the gut.

I’d definitely recommend this to everyone that is following the resurgence of the 80s in pop culture right now. If you like Stranger Things, superpowers, and dangerous road trips, you should pick this up and give it a read.

Walden & Senior Year

“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.”  – Henry David Thoreau, Walden.

I hated reading Walden for my senior American Lit Seminar class.

Some of that might be because I kept falling asleep while reading the selected chapters . And others is because if I were an editor, there were a lot of sections I would have entirely cut for how useless they seemed. But I’m also wondering if I didn’t read the right sections at the right time, or because I was reading it for school my amount of analysis of the book was purely academic.

While writing my final essay for that class, I had to connect three or four of the novels together under one theme. For whatever reason I picked Walden, a strange decision given my strong feelings about the book. As I flipped through it looking for the quotes I needed, I found the quote I used at the start of the post.

I reread it several times and highlighted it.

My high school classmates are married, and some with children. I’m finishing up the Fall semester of my senior year of college. As I write this I’m procrastinating on a ten-page paper (my last final), and completing four more grad school app essays.

Life has taken me in many different directions, all off the beaten path. And I don’t regret it. The drum beat of my life has driven me to pursue my passion and given me opportunities I only dreamed of in high school.

For what its worth, keeping pace with others is a lose-lose situation. You’ll feel like you’re always behind, and that life is unfair. And that can damage your relationships with others because you might feel jaded. Comparing myself to my friends was more detrimental than it was encouraging.

Figuring out what I needed to be happy was all it took for me to be more complacent with what I have and what I’m doing. Listening to the rhythm of my own path was the smartest decision I’ve ever made.