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The Friday High Five
Stuff I'm into, for January 13, 2023
Every Friday I share 5 things I am digging at the moment. This is that.
Things I’m Missing
I know I mentioned American Football in this space last week. I also know that there are probably readers who are ambivalent about sports in general or actively hate them specifically. So at the risk of alienating such people, I include the following with a little trepidation, and also the assurance that this is not turning into a sports newsletter. It just happens to be on my mind at the moment.
Look: Here in Michigan, the Detroit Lions have a long and storied tradition. It’s called losing. It’s noteworthy whenever the Lions finish with a winning season because it rarely happens. 9-8 admittedly doesn’t sound that impressive. But when they went 8-2 in their last 10 games, it feels a little different.
The Lions just missed the playoffs, and I’m majorly bummed about it. It felt like this team still had something to play for. I’m not ready for it to be over, which, to be honest, is a new feeling. Is this what hope feels like?
I guess I’ll just keep watching this incredible postgame (and post-season) interview.
Things I’m Watching (on Apple TV+)
I wrote a story on Medium last year that talked about how it was now impossible to watch everything worth seeing. My solution was a bit unorthodox: Subscribe to less streaming services. The only thing I was accomplishing by paying for Netflix, Apple TV+, HBO, Hulu, Prime, and Disney+ was to lighten my wallet.
We quickly dropped Hulu and Prime—which we never watched—and are now delving the depths of Apple TV+ before it gets the axe, too. Here’s a couple of quick-hit thoughts about stuff I’ve seen on Apple’s service:
Ted Lasso: The one Apple TV show everyone talks about. It’s as good as you’ve heard. 10/10
Trying: I’ve mentioned it before but I think Trying is the best show on Apple. Same heartwarming vibe as Ted Lasso but better characters and a more meaningful story. 10/10
Defending Jacob: Limited mini-series where Chris Evans tries to figure out if his son is a killer. 8/10
The Morning Show: Dark and sometimes depressing, this slick ensemble tries hard but never quite sticks the landing. 7/10
Mythic Quest: Strong Silicon Valley vibes. I’m only 3 episodes in but it’s amusing enough that I’ll keep watching. 6/10 (but the potential is definitely there)
For All Mankind: Alternate history where the Russians put a man on the Moon first. Interesting premise and it is well done, but my wife noped out after one episode. I love history though so I’ll keep watching. 6/10 (but promising)
Loot: Maya Rudolph divorces an Elon Musk-esque software magnate after he cheats on her, and wins a $87 billion settlement. And then she has to figure out what her life is. 5/10 (sometimes funny, sometimes lackluster, mostly cute)
Severance and Slow Horses are on deck. (Has anybody seen the Jason Momoa-led See? I dig the fantasy post-apocalyptic vibe but not as sure about the “everyone is blind” premise.)
Things I’m Watching (on YouTube)
I’d probably be embarrassed if anyone saw my YouTube history for the past month. Whenever I try something new, I go deep on research. Like obsessively, past the point of all reason. My obsession du jour is this here newsletter. I’ve been watching a bunch of videos about newsletters: how to grow them, what works, etc.
I’ve also watched a lot of Detroit Lions videos and some tabletop RPG stuff because a geek’s gotta geek. Amid all that nonsense, there was one gem I can’t stop thinking about.
Director Kevin Smith (Clerks, Dogma) has a long-running podcast called Smodcast. At some point, he brought the production to YouTube. I’m only a casual fan of Smith’s work, but I love him because he is a bleeding heart nerd. He recently had George R.R. Martin on the show, and their conversation was just pure joy to my nerdy little heart.
Things I’m Listening To
I recently reconnected with Tim Ebl, a writer I befriended on Medium a couple years ago. We got to talking and he pointed me to his pop culture podcast, Unreliable Narrator. I downloaded an episode out of curiosity.
Tim and his co-host, Ryan Hanson, banter lightly in an entertaining manner. The podcast is funny and I even learned some things about the Star Wars Holiday Special I didn’t know. I also find their Canadian accents completely endearing. Anyway, I’ve listened to 4-5 episodes now and have subscribed.
Tim invited me to come on the show next week. I’ll drop a link here when the episode airs, or you could just go subscribe right now!
Things I’ve Written in the Past Week
My Fireside Chat with ChatGPT, the AI That Will Make All Writers Irrelevant (Medium) A somewhat tongue-in-cheek look at the revolutionary AI’s capabilities
What are you into at the moment? Drop a comment and let me know! Don’t be shy. :)
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