Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Culture From The Couch: Witches and Race Cars and Carrie Bradshaw, Oh My!

It’s raining, it’s pouring, your boyfriend/cat is snoring… here’s what you can watch, listen to or read this weekend

Watch

Formula 1: Drive to Survive
When I tell you that I don’t like sports, cars or most men, and yet I find myself addicted to the Netflix show Drive To Survive, I want you to take me seriously. Last year, I sent so many people frenzied messages about this show that one pal genuinely assumed my phone had been stolen, because it was such an out-of-character recommendation. This show follows the Formula One car races and the many (attractive) racers who fight it out for the main prize (a cup? I think?) I cannot stress to you a) how little I know about Formula 1 and b) how fantastic this show is. Why? Firstly, everyone is handsome – see above. But even more so, because it is less about cars – phew – and more about DRAMA. Egos and money and mind games and the psychology of race car drivers – it’s a rich tapestry to work with and the latest series covers the 2020 racing season, which of course was dominated by Covid-19. Watching how the rumours of the virus are treated when it comes to setting up – and then quickly shutting down – these international events is fascinating, as it is watching the various drivers deal with the politics of money versus safety. Plus, the show is edited brilliantly so each super-long race is taken down just to the highlights/lowlights and it is GRIPPING stuff. Also, in a twist you won’t have seen coming, Geri Halliwell stars in this show. Reason enough to give it a try, right?

Listen

Sentimental In The City: Sex and the City
I pooh-poohed the Sex and the City reboot very strongly but that hasn’t stopped the show from being imbedded, Inception-like, back into my brain. Clearly I’m not alone, because a bunch of my friends are also re-watching the show and then there is this brilliant companion podcast to listen to as well. Here at Capsule, we are BIG fans of journalist and author Dolly Alderton and she teamed up with fellow UK writer Caroline O’Donoghue for a special edition of Caroline’s podcast Sentimental Garbage, where famous fans of oft-maligned pop culture give passionate defences of their favourite movies/books. (The tagline: ‘Justice for Dumb Women’ makes me laugh every time). Dolly and Caroline are doing a podcast episode per season of Sex and the City where they ‘treat each season like the great American novel that it is’ and friends, this is magnificent listening. Each episode is long, sometimes slightly drunken, hilarious and rambley (my favourite combination) as well as being very clever and, at times, very emotional. If you’re a fan of the series and you want someone to take it seriously as you do – while still being very eyes-wide-open about its shortcomings – then you will adore this podcast.

Read

Women Who Run With The Wolves: Contacting the Power of the Wild Woman
By Clarissa Pinkola Estés
*feminist klaxon sound* This iconic book was first released in 1992 but, much like Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, continues to inspire new generations of mad, bad and sad women with its raw and honest look at the power and passion of the female spirit. Right from the very first line – “wildlife and the wild woman are both endangered species” – Clarissa uses her years as a Jungian psychoanalyst, poet and cantadora, ‘the keeper of old stories’ as well as her work studying the behavioural patterns of wolves to draw parallels between wild women and wild creatures. Using a series of feminist myths to illustrate her point, it’s witchy and dirty and graphic and raw and ugly and messy and after reading it, I can totally see why it’s considered a canonical piece of pop culture for female-identifying people. With beautiful writing about the power of nature to both heal and fuel women, it’s also a great book to read at this time of year as we shift into autumn (and get a little witchy with this Easter weekend!)

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