I've been on a bender. Deep in the hole.
Not booze, not blow, not the slots, none of that.
My drug of choice, when I'm struggling with work and want to escape, is TV.
(Or, I guess the kids—the "Grandpa, what's TV?" generation—might call it "streaming." Or do they just call it all Netflix, the way we call all tissues Kleenex?)
If you read this Fast Company piece
, you might recall that I choose to lean in to procrastination.
I don't believe I'll avoid my work any less if I stare at my laptop—opening Facebook, Shopbop, the NY Times, The Daily Mail, Twitter, that sponsored post about The Hair Scrunchie Celebrities Can't Get Enough of that's Finally Back in Stock—than I will if I'm lying down power-watching through multiple seasons of Peak TV. (I mean, Peak Streaming.)
I also need sometimes to get my head out of my industry.
I reach a saturation point where everyone and their webinar and 5-day self-love challenge feels like a zombie takeover and I hate them all and hate myself and need to immerse myself in stories that don't contain phrases like "your ideal customer" or "10x your results."
Here's what I've started and watched all the way through in the past couple of weeks, not counting my returning favorites (Handmaid's Tale, Younger, Real Housewives of NY, Real Housewives of BH).
I recommend all of these:
Mare of Easttown. HBO/Max.
If you haven't watched this and the "Murder Durder" sketch on SNL,
you're out of the conversation. What conversation? Whose conversation? THE conversation. Maybe not for much longer, now that it's over. But for the past month, this show is what we've been talking about with friends when we've exhausted the obligatory vax-and-mask conversation.
Your Honor. Showtime.
This is a Bryan Cranston vehicle, which, given my religion—I was raised Jewish but converted to "Breaking Bad"—you'd think I would've watched right when it came out.
Here's the importance of promotion (and/or my level of sucker consumerism): I didn't hear anything about it or see it plastered on the sides of buses, so I didn't think it was any good. It was so good. Not a relaxing show, but more relaxing than the work I was avoiding.
The Friends Reunion. HBO/Max.
I'm not a hardcore Friends fan. I liked it well enough, have probably watched them all, but not repeatedly. Never memorized it or gone to a Friends trivia night. Don't know the lyrics to Smelly Cat. But this reunion was fucking touching! Really well done. Like most people who watched it, I'm now Team Matt LeBlanc. That's a guy I want to hang out with and maybe buy something from. I don't care what. A home, a car, even a fax machine. Whoever* came up with the structure for this special and edited it into a perfect specimen of watchability will win an Emmy.
*I would look up the credit if I could, but I can't because I'm lazy.
Pose. FX/ Netflix.
I was excited about this show when it came out, but then didn't watch. I was put off by some shitty reviews. Was that a mistake? No way. What's better than discovering a show you're obsessed with, and having all previous seasons of it to catch up on? NOTHING. Don't even try to tell me sex is better. Or a summer boat ride at sunset. Or crack. Which I haven't tried, but there's a bit of it in season 2 of Pose!
Pose isn't flawless. The dialogue is on the nose. Not a lot of subtext. Characters say things out loud like, "I came to this city to make my dreams come true, and I'm not giving up."
But I can overlook that. It's basically a nighttime soap. And the extraordinary Billy Porter brings enough nuance all on his own. All the actors (most of them trans) grew on me.
And the show nails time and place like nothing I've seen. NYC in the mid-80s and early 90s: the city, the fashion, the decor, the music, all of it. Heavy D and The Boyz. Cece Peniston. The Christopher Street piers. Crop tops. It's transportive. And I've become so attached to these characters and their heavy-handed storylines of overcoming adversity, I think they're my friends. I keep wanting to call them (from a 1980s push-button phone).
I didn't choose to motor through 20 + hours of Pose right at the start of Pride month, but it feels appropriate. Like I'm somehow contributing. Don't @ me, I know watching a Ryan Murphy show for hours on end doesn't actively support the LGBTQ community. Still, it's timely. And it inspired me to open my purse. Just looked up and donated to this cause for Trans rights.
[Pivoting platforms now.]
It may not sound like it, but I do get up and move my ass during the day. If I'm not watching, I'm walking. So I have one more reco for you, and it's a podcast.Smartless.
Any podcast app.
I've been listening obsessively to my best friends hosts Jason Bateman, Will Arnett and Sean Hayes. Each episode features a guest one of them has picked to surprise the others. So far, I've listened to the interviews with Tina Fey, Gwyneth Paltrow, Sarah Silverman, Billie Eilish and Finneas, Mitch Hurwitz (creator of Arrested Development), and Reese Witherspoon.
I laugh so loudly listening to this podcast that I often think someone will come out of their house armed with a baseball bat to see what the f that noise was.
Happy bingeing, if that's the place you're in right now, too.
PS – EMAIL WRITING TIP: If you're trying to stay consistent with emailing a list and have days when you think you have nothing to say, recommend something. A show, a podcast, a book, an article, a salad recipe. I could've made a whole email out of just one of these recos. (Of course I didn't, because I have no restraint.)
PPS – Inbox Hero, my rave-reviewed email copywriting course, will give you endless inspiration to get and stay prolific—which is how you build loyalty in your audience so they're primed to read everything you send and buy everything you offer. It's coming soon!Make sure I don't miss Inbox Hero when it's offered!