1. State of Georgia on ABC Family
A half-hour sitcom starring Raven-Symone, Majandra Delfino, and Loretta Devine, State of Georgia centers around a recent college grad named Georgia (Symone) who has moved to NYC to become a star. She lives with her wealthy aunt Honey (Devine) and her geeky best friend Jo (Delfino). Hijinx ensue.
This happened accidentally. I like Jennifer Weiner (I follow her on Twitter), and she kept tweeting about the show. So I watched an episode. Then I watched another. And another. I can safely say that I’m totally hooked, despite my initial hesitation. I read several positive reviews of the series (one in the New York Times), and the general consensus is that it’s fun, light, and often really funny. One reviewer remarked that Raven-Symone’s particular brand of humor is an acquired taste, and I have to agree. But if you can get past that, there’s some genuinely sharp dialogue happening here, and it’s kind of awesome.
2. The Joy Formidable – Roarities EP
Generally, I’m not a fan of remixes. When I heard that The Joy Formidable was releasing a new EP, I was stoked. They’re one of my favorite bands right now. When I heard it was comprised entirely of remixes, I was a little disappointed. But when I actually took the time to listen to it, I was pleasantly surprised. It works, you guys. I particularly recommend the remix of “Austere” (remixed by The Naked & Famous, another of my favorite bands). If you haven’t checked out this band from North Wales, you should. They’re kind of noise-pop, but they’re more accessible than some other bands.
3. Parks and Recreation on Netflix
A mockumentary in the same vein of The Office, Parks and Recreation follows the parks and rec department in Pawnee, Indiana. It focuses specifically on Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler), an enthusiastic but bumbling employee. Although the first season got off to a rocky start, the show started to find its legs in its second season. It is really smart, really funny, and amazingly well-cast. Each episode gets better, and I can’t get through the series fast enough. I’m surprised by how much I’m enjoying it.
4. The creepy photographs featured in Ransom Riggs’s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
Author Ransom Riggs started collecting strange vintage photographs before he ever came up with the idea for his debut novel Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. He decided to weave a story using some of the photographs, and the result is a strange novel indeed. However, the photographs are absolutely haunting, and I’m more than a little obsessed with them. He solicited photos from some famous collectors (because the really good, weird vintage pictures are hard to come by), and the result is pretty stunning, indeed.
You can read more about the collection here.
5. “Skyscraper” by Demi Lovato
This one is a little more than embarrassing, but I pride myself on both my candor and my relative transparency on this blog (except, for, you know, the fact that I use a fake name). As someone who considers herself a pretty hardcore audiophile, admitting to even listening to a singer as innocuous as Demi Lovato is cringe-worthy, but owning up to the fact that I actually really like one of her songs? That’s almost shameful. Even so, there’s no denying that “Skyscraper” is pretty powerful. Her voice has a raspy quality to it that works perfectly with the melodrama of the song. I heard a snippet of an interview with her on the radio the other day, and she didn’t seem completely ridiculous. I can’t explain it, you guys, but I’ve listened to this song a lot recently.