What to Watch: Holiday Edition
Looking for Alaska
This show had so many good scenes and quotes I don’t even know where to start. I loved this show from the first episode!
First of all, it’s set in Birmingham, Alabama which is just about three hours from Dothan, Alabama where I live. So naturally I was drawn to this show. I had heard of the book Looking for Alaska from some of my students several semesters ago but honestly forgot about it until this show popped up on my Hulu feed!
It was intelligent and thought provoking as well as some really great acting from everyone, but especially Kristine Froseth who played Alaska and Charlie Plummer who played Miles. They are high school junior/seniors, so the usual hormone + drama kinda tornado you would expect, and then some.
Miles, Alaska, the Colonel, and Takumi scheme up pranks to play on the “Weekend Warriors” aka rich, go home for the weekend to my mansion, white kids. Miles has a thing for Alaska but Alaska dates Jake, “the sweet college guy.”
I really loved all of the strong female characters. Especially Alaska who is an informed, “woke” feminist and deep thinker, that collects books and calls them her “life’s library.” Although she is very troubled– don’t want to give any spoilers!!
This is one you should put at the top of your list!! You can find it on Hulu!
The second show I want to recommend is one of my absolute favorites! Better Things with Pamela Adlon is SO GOOD! When I can’t find anything else to watch I’ll watch this show again and again and again. Seriously, I love it! Currently there are two seasons out but a third is on its way in 2020. It is an autobiographical show about Adlon, in which she is a single mom to three girls. Adlon plays a working actress and we even see her go on several auditions. But she holds a steady job as a voice over for a kids cartoon.
I read an interview that Adlon did for Variety maybe that said that she filmed the episodes so that you can watch each one as its own story. Like, you don’t have to have seen the last episode to know what’s going on in this episode. Anyway just watch them in order like a “normal” person!
Adlon’s daughters in the show are Max, Frankie, and Duke. I couldn’t figure out their ages in the show but I did find a good article in Vulture that had an interview with the three of them. In in I learned that their real ages and names are– Mikey, Hannah, and Elizabeth and their real ages are 19, 15, and 12. I also learned that Hannah who plays Frankie is from Birmingham, AL! Which is cool because, like I mentioned above, that’s really close by to my hometown Dothan! So anyway, the three girls are all really great actors and I love watching them! The finale of the first season where Max graduates high school is my absolute favorite and I’ve probably watched it 20 times!!
There is strong language so maybe not watch it with younger kids but if you have teenagers its definitely a good show to watch with them and a good way to open up dialogue between you about important topics going on in their world. When your kids can talk to you about anything you know you’re doing something right!
This would be a great series to sit and watch on a cold winter’s night! You can thank me later! 😉
**Find this on FX on Hulu
The Politician is an “American comedy drama” that is absolutely fantastic! It is created by Brad Falchuk, Ryan Murphy, and Ian Brennan. Brad Falchuk and Ryan Murphy are the creators of some of my other favorites (maybe yours too) like, American Horror Story, 9-1-1, Pose, and American Crime Story. The cast includes some exceptional actors including, Ben Platt, Gweneth Paltrow, and Jessica Lange just to name a few.
This show is about a high school senior played by Ben Platt who wants to be the President of the United States when he grows up. He has known this for basically his whole life and everything he does is for the benefit of reaching that goal. In his research of past presidents he learns that a majority of them were presidents of their graduating classes. So he too MUST become class president at all costs!!
This show is witty and thought provoking and hilarious. Gweneth Paltrow plays Peyton’s (Platt’s) mother and does it beautifully. Her dry humor and over the topness are hilarious. Peyton picks a VP running mate that reminds me A LOT of Gypsy Rose, named Infinity, who lives with her Grandmother played by Jessica Lange. I love Jessica Lange and her role in this makes you love to hate her! Ben Platt even sings a few songs in some of the episodes, and if you’ve never heard him sing, you are REALLY missing out! Watch this one ASAP!
**Find this on Netflix
Good Trouble is a spin off series from the Freeform (formerly ABC Family) show, The Fosters. It follows foster sisters Marianna and Callie as they begin their new jobs in New York. Marianna works for a Web Design company and Callie is clerking for a top judge in New York City.
I did not watch The Fosters before I watched this show, however I have since started to watch it here and there– but my point is, you don’t need to have watched The Fosters to be able to enjoy Good Trouble!
One twist to the girls move to New York is that Marianna got them an “apartment” in a communal living space, which at first appears to be a bad thing but eventually becomes a good thing. (I know that’s vague but I don’t want to spoil anything!) This is just a really fun, make you cry, but also make you laugh kind of show. Another plus is lots of pretty people to look at! 🙂
Good Trouble gives you stories of friendship, passion, conflict, discrimination, coming out, difficult parents, difficult roomates, and mental health. Trigger warning — suicide is discussed as well as depression.
You can’t go wrong with this one while you home from school or work during the holidays this year!
**Find this one on Freeform on Hulu
The Moodys is a series on FOX about a family in Chicago during Christmas. The three adult children of the Moodys are coming home for Christmas break. The parents are played by Denis Leary and Elizabeth Perkins. The kids are played by Jay Baruchel, Chelsea Frei, and Francois Arnaud.
I liked this show because it was all based around Christmas and you don’t usually get shows like that! This show will make you laugh and remind you of the importance of family and having each others back. A perfect show for while you’re roasting chestnuts on an open fire.
**You can find this one on Hulu on Fox
Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings
Last but certainly not least is my newest favorite, Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings on Netflix. This show is so cool because each episode is based on a song that Dolly wrote. And at the beginning of each episode Dolly talks about a song, in the first episode for example she talks about Jolene and how she got the idea for the song and what the song is about. Julianne Hugh stars in this episode and it’s a really good story of female friendship. I really enjoyed watching it and I absolutely loved the message that it sends. First, never judge a book by its cover — or just never judge anyone else period. And two, not every pretty woman is out to get your husband.
If you love Dolly Parton like I do — but really who DOESN’T LOVE DOLLY??? — You’re gonna love this show! This one is good for the whole family and for when it’s too cold to go outside!!
**Find this on Netflix