You have the time: media for when there’s nothing else to do

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Brinda Ambal

Take advantage of this time of isolation by trying new music, movies, shows, podcasts and more!

With the Stay Home Missouri Order in place until at least May 3, we are all in desperate search of something to do. I’ve been curing my boredom with a variety of activities such as walking my dog, biking through the neighborhood, doing puzzles (I recommend White Mountain brand) and playing board games. However, sometimes I prefer to cozy up and indulge in a mindless pastime. Below are the movies, TV shows, albums, songs and podcasts I’ve been binging since quarantine began. These are not necessarily the latest releases to Netflix, Spotify, etc. but are my personal favorites as of late.

Movies

I’ve been a Marvel fan since “The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes” made its Disney XD debut in 2010. Since then, the steady stream of Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) films ranging from “Iron Man” to “Guardians of the Galaxy” to “Doctor Strange” have kept my interests piqued. Though I’ve always been a fan of these comics brought to life, I haven’t had time to see every film… until now. If you think you don’t like superhero movies, choose from the plethora of films the MCU has to offer, and let Stan Lee change your mind. The stories don’t end with “Avengers: Endgame,” either. “Black Widow” which was set to release May 1 has been delayed to Nov. 6 due to the same reasons I started binging these films in the first place, so that gives you something to look forward to post(hopefully)-quarantine! So, whether you’ve seen all of them or none of them, give the MCU a watch. I promise these films will make you forget that you’re stuck on the same couch you’ve been quarantined to for the past two weeks and the next who knows how many. There are 23 of them. Get busy.

TV

I promise I’m not going to tell you to watch “Tiger King.” I won’t even link it for you because you already know what it is. Anyway. Escape to the 80’s and to the “Upside Down” with “Stranger Things:” the Netflix Original I dubbed too scary until boredom raised my fear tolerance and I gave in… and fell in love. If you want something less intense and more feel good try “Queer Eye.” It will likely motivate you to clean out your closet Tan France style, which is perhaps a more productive pastime. This next recommendation isn’t a TV show but I’ll still include it because everyone could use a laugh right now. Netflix has three John Mulaney stand-up routines that are always in my Recently Watched: “New in Town,” “The Comeback Kid” and “Kid Gorgeous at Radio City.” You can also find his various SNL routines on YouTube. The final TV series I recommend you watch is one your mother is probably a fan of: “Downton Abbey.” This, in my opinion, is the single most underrated (by teens) TV series of all time. Watch the history class that you are now being forced to take online come to life with this drama! The series spans across historical events including the sinking of the Titanic, World War I and the Roaring ‘20s. We were jipped out of a great start to our own Roaring ‘20s so watch the characters enjoy theirs. 

Music

Sticking with the “Stranger Things” theme, I’ve been listening on repeat to “Twenty Twenty:” an album by Djo AKA Joe Keery AKA Steve Harrington.This psych-rock album has some catchy tracks including my personal favorites “Personal Lies” and “Roddy.” Another song I’ve had on repeat is Troye Sivan’s newest single “Take Yourself Home,” released April 1, which provided a much needed escape from the monotony and silence of quarantine. On a more serious note, we all know that self-isolation and a global pandemic can cause anxiety and stress to just about everyone. For me, stress is something that keeps me awake, so, to help me fall asleep, I listen to Spotify’s playlist “Peaceful Piano.” If you’re an Apple Music user (really?), they also offer several calming playlists just for you.

Podcasts

I didn’t recommend “The Office” in my list of binge-worthy TV shows because it should go without saying. If you’re a fan (if you’re not, please watch it, you have the time) of my personal favorite TV show of all time, you might also enjoy “Office Ladies” by Earwolf, which releases an episode every Wednesday. In this podcast, former cast members Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey break down the series episode by episode. Each episode features Fischer’s “fast facts” (behind the scenes facts about that episode or its cast and crew) and Kinsey’s “notecards” (first-hand commentary about the episode and its individual scenes and cast). The great news is that the podcast just started October of 2019 and has only made it to Season Two Episode 17 of “The Office,” a nine season TV series. You have a LOT of episodes to look forward to and a lot of time to get caught up! In addition to “Office Ladies,” one of my favorite podcasts is “Serial.” Serial is an investigative podcast with three seasons each dealing with a different topic. These topics range from murder to military crimes to the justice system. This podcast is incredibly captivating and will take you out of your world and into the world of the case, which I think we all need right now.

Hopefully one or many of these recommendations will strike a chord with you, and if they do not, I hope you are finding your own ways to keep yourself busy and entertained during this time. During stressful times, it is essential to find something that you are interested in to keep you going.