Friday, May 20, 2022

Culture From the Couch: What to Watch, Read and Listen to Today

Want to expand your mind without having to change out of your tracksuit pants? Got some downtime on your hands and keen for something truly entertaining to soak up? No problem. Jut sit back, relax and enjoy our hot picks of what to watch, read and listen to from home today.

Podcast: Truth & Lies: Jeffrey Epstein

I almost forgot that I ever listened to this podcast, because this nine-part series ran from January 1 to February 27 this year, aka, a lifetime ago.

It’s not always an easy listen, but it’s an incredibly well-crafted podcast. I find the Jeffrey Epstein case so incredibly fascinating and disturbing, so had been holding out for this ABC series, which was made by the same folks as The DropOut which is also definitely worth a listen (that one follows the insane story of Elizabeth Holmes, of Theranos).

The story of Jeffrey Epstein’s decades of abuse is truly infuriating and disturbing – there are so many villains in this story, but so many incredible women and men who refused to be silenced and are determined to find justice. This podcast is so well put together and meticulously researched – it puts the Netflix series, Filthy Rich to shame.

If you’d been wondering where the case was now at (particularly since Ghislaine Maxwell’s arrest), there’s now a 10th bonus update episode – and hopefully more to come!

Maria Farmer with a photo of her younger self, is one of the extraordinary women who speaks out against Epstein. Photo – ABC

Book: Burnout: Solve Your Stress Cycle

The week before last, the angel that is Capsule’s Emma Clifton, sent me a message saying I HAD to listen to Brene Brown’s latest Unlocking Us podcast episode – with Emily and Amelia Nagoski on “Burnout and How to Complete the Stress Cycle.”

I had never heard of the Nagoski sisters, but lordy, within a few minutes it felt like they were changing my life. Emma and I exchanged a flurry of excited and OHMIGOD HOW TRUE IS ALL OF THIS texts and a couple of minutes later I’d downloaded the book from Amazon onto my phone, because I couldn’t wait the seven days to get it shipped.

I highly recommend both the podcast AND the book, but in a nutshell, it’s all about burnout – something A LOT of people are coming up against at this time of year after the hellstorm 2020 has been. The book actually came out last year, but is hugely helpful for a pandemic drenched world. It’s specifically about women and burnout – because, we experience it quite differently to our male counterparts. As the sisters write in the introduction: ‘This is a book for any woman who has felt overwhelmed and exhausted by everything she had to do, and yet still worried she was not doing ‘enough’. Which is every woman we know – including us.’

They introduce a new way at looking at stress – a stress cycle that needs to be completed, which I’ve started implementing in my own life and am definitely thankful for now knowing about. It combines eye-opening scientific research with humour, great pop culture references and advice that is actually helpful and capable of driving change in your life. If you want to feel less stressed, I HIGHLY recommend this wee book!

Movie: Practical Magic

It’s Halloween, so yes, by all means go and watch the scariest film you can find. But if you want to watch a spooky little film, and still get a good sleep, Practical Magic is one of my all time favourites.

I have no idea why no one has put them in another film together since, but the magnificent Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman star as the Owens sisters, who just happen to have some magical witchy powers. Raised by their aunts (the GLORIOUS Dianne West and Stockhard Channing) after their parents death, they soon learn that the Owens family carries a curse: The men they fall in love with are doomed to an untimely death… This romantic comedy, that’s based off Alice Hoffman’s book of the same name, has it all – love, comedy, drama, supernatural mischief and is worth it just for watching the midnight margaritas scene.

Documentary: I’ll Be Gone in the Dark

Because I apparently don’t like to sleep well, I sometimes listen to murder podcasts and documentaries, and for some reason decided to start this beauty on Halloween Eve after a recommendation.

If you’ve listened to the My Favourite Murder podcast (which you probably should) or are a murder-buff, you’ll already know of the Golden State Killer. He’s the one who terrifies me the most. Originally known as the East Area Rapist (EAR), he terrorized California in the 1970s, attacking women after meticulous research and a going about his scary-as-hell attacks using the same calling cards every time. Over the years he grew bolder, eventually evolving into a killer in the state’s capital – Sacramento – where he was known as the Original Night Stalker (ONS).

This true crime doco all revolves around Michelle McNamara – the author of the legendary blog, True Crime Diary – as she writes a book about the Golden State Killer who is believed to have murdered 13, raped 50 and burgled more than 120. It also features cameo’s from the My Favourite Murder podcast!

If you don’t feel like sleeping tonight, give it a bash on Neon!  

Michelle McNamara

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