7 magical things to watch on TV right now
'High on the Hog,' 'Ted Lasso' top my current what-to-watch list.
I treasure my television-watching time.
As a kid who grew up watching lots and lots of TV, I consume far less of it now, but what I do watch, I love.
I did a big round-up at the end of last year for Austin360 of the 21 shows that got me through the pandemic. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that television helped get many of us through the pandemic. My favorite shows took me out of the house after a long day of being at home. Many of the programs, like “The Durrells in Corfu,” have been something I eagerly shared with Frank; others, like “Too Hot to Handle,” “Indian Matchmaker” and “The Circle,” were juicy candy for me to enjoy all by myself, sometimes while soaking in my backyard stock tank pool. (It was a weird year.)
But now it’s 2021, and we’re out and about, doing more things, and I’m still finding TV shows to love.
Here are 7 I’ve fallen for in the first months of this year:
1) High on the Hog: This is the one show from this list that you really *have* to watch. The others? Eh, take them or leave them, but this four-part docuseries about how African American cuisine shaped America provides so many “aha” moments that it should be required viewing. Host Stephen Satterfield is a sensation, teaching viewers about history, social systems and power structures with an enormous sense of empathy and compassion, and it’s wonderful to see his mentor-teacher, Jessica B. Harris, a longtime heroine in my food writing world, share her wisdom on such a big platform. (Her 2011 book, ‘High on the Hog,’ is the basis of the show.) (Netflix)
2) Concrete Cowboy: Also on Netflix, this film stars Idris Elba as an urban cowboy in Philadelphia who is trying to keep the historic Fletcher Street horse community alive while also learning how to parent his teenage son. This movie made me think about Bronte Wittpenn’s incredible story/photo series about Austin’s thriving Black cowboy community. (Netflix)
3) Down to Earth with Zac Efron: I didn’t think I was going to be a fan of this eco-conscious travel show starring an actor I don’t particularly care for, but I’ll be damned if he and co-host Darin Olien didn’t win me over as they travel to different countries to learn about water, renewable energy, biodiversity and other aspects of sustainability and wellness. Their age/maturity difference makes this show something of a Karate Kid-like story of mentorship, and we all get to learn along with Zac as expands his understanding of the world on camera. Another rare show that everyone in my house likes. (Netflix)
4) Truly Texas Mexican: I wrote about this new food documentary for the Statesman earlier this year, and I recommend it to anyone with an even passing interest in Texas food, culture or history. Fellow food writer Adán Medrano has created something really special with this film, and I hope more folks watch it. (Amazon Prime)
5) James May Our Man in Japan: Never been a James May fan, but this is a show that our Japan-loving family can watch together and all find something to learn. (Amazon Prime)
6) Ted Lasso: This show about an American football coach getting hired by an English soccer team is totally worth the hype. Jason Sudeikis plays the title character perfectly, and even though it’s a show about soccer, there are a bunch of dynamic women who get plenty of screen time. Even the ancillary characters are brilliant. (Apple TV)
7) Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry: Julian’s favorite artist is now one of *my* favorite artists, thanks to this documentary about her and her super creative and awesome family. I had no idea that she and her brother make all of her/their songs in their parents’ house. She’s an old soul, and I’m glad that, of all the people Julian could become a megafan of, he picked her. (Apple TV)
I hope everyone is having a great weekend!
We’re in the thick of several big transitions around here. My kids have a few days of school left, and I’ve been busy wrapping things up at the Statesman.
My farewell column runs in print on Wednesday, which is the same day I launch my first Tarot 101 class on Zoom!
I’ve been amazed at how quickly Don’t Fear the Death Card is taking off. That Wednesday noon class is almost full, so I have a second class that will start at the end of June. Go to calendly.com/addiebroyles to sign up for classes or one-on-one sessions if you want to learn more about tarot cards and/or building your own practice.
The “Class Reunion” podcast is also ramping up quickly; I have three interviews with my high school classmates this next week, and four scripts due to my editor by mid-June, so I’ll be busy, but in all the best ways. :)
Stay tuned for a Feminist Kitchen post later this week about grief rituals, inspired in no small part by this video I shared on Instagram this morning. I love a good cry over breakfast.
I’m grateful for your Substack support! Your paid subscription is helping me focus entirely on creative projects this summer and that is an INCREDIBLE gift. Thank you for believing in my work!