Reviews

 

BOOKS

Note: If you want to read any of the following books, I recommend buying right now from a black-owned book store like one of these.

Life Will Be the Death of Me by Chelsea Handler

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I loved this book… so much. I love Chelsea Handler and I’ve seen all of her Netflix specials and shows but surprisingly I have never read one of her many books. Forgetting my AirPods in the car before my flight ended up being a blessing in disguise because I read this whole book on my flight from Philly to LA and it was amazing (I usually sleep on flights but I stayed up to read this). I cried once because it was sad and another time because I was laughing so hard. Chelsea Handler discusses going to therapy to talk about her brother’s death to her experience doing Ayahuasca to finding her dogs fighting. This book is as deep and thoughtful as it is funny and I have been suggesting it to everyone I know. I can’t wait to read her other books. MY RATING: 9.3/10

Untamed by Glennon Doyle

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A gem of a book. The book itself and the words were just as beautiful and inspiring and creative as the cover. I underlined the sh*t out of this book, too, which is always a good sign. I’ve discussed it with a friend and I’ve lent it and recommended it to other friends. I hadn’t heard much about Glennon Doyle before about three months ago I started following her on Twitter then I heard about this book and once my good friend said she was reading it and loved it, I had to buy it. It details her journey to discovering her sexuality and raising her kids while living with her new wife and maintaining a relationship with her ex-husband. Then, there is also a short chapter about a famous singer saying she doesn’t wear makeup then being called out for wearing it and responding that she can do whatever the f*ck she wants. Doyle included this anecdote simply because she wanted to share it, and I’m glad she did. I will most definitely be rereading this book in the next year and lending it out so I can discuss with more friends until then. I learned about her as well as about myself while reading it, and I love that. MY RATING: 9/10

Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney

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I absolutely love Sally Rooney’s writing. Though, the problem is, I think I like her writing a lot better than I like the plot of her books, especially since there isn’t so much to the plot. This book was definitely good, don’t get me wrong, but there just is not that much that happens throughout. Some of the characters are a bit one-dimensional and there is not much character development that can be seen for any of them. Character development is one of my favorite parts of most books because it’s so real and raw, and this book was real and raw but it was missing that level of depth that can be seen through characters that learn and grow. MY RATING: 8/10

Attached by Amir Levine, M.D. & Rachel S.F. Heller, M.A.

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I read this book with my therapist and then also with my friend from high school, Ben. It was an interesting and informative read for sure, though I don’t know if I would have read it without discussing it. It was definitely helpful to discuss and the discussions added a lot of value to the reading. It’s a pretty easy read, too, because some of the chapters aren’t necessary to read if you don’t relate to the specific attachment style that chapter is about. I learned a lot about myself and my past relationships and I think the knowledge I gained will be useful for future relationships, too. This is definitely a worthwhile read if you have the time and the writing is easy to understand. MY RATING: 8.5/10

Dear Girls by Ali Wong

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I did enjoy this book, although it took me a couple months to get through. Ali Wong is definitely funny and she’s a pretty good writer. I think maybe some of the content was too specific for me to relate to and care about, even though I do care about Ali Wong and even like her. The idea was sweet, she was writing letters to her two daughters about parts of her life she wants them to know because she lost her dad and still had so many questions for him about his life. One part that made me somewhat uncomfortable was the graphic details about her sex life when I know this is meant to be read by her kids one day. I hope she prints a less explicit version for them, no matter their age when they read it. It was a decent book, but I would only recommend it if you already own or could easily borrow it. MY RATING: 6/10

I Might Regret This by Abbi Jacobson 

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This comedic recounting of Abbi’s journey on her cross-country solo road trip was good.  I read it fairly quickly and I count that as a plus because it must have kept me engaged enough to want to come back to it each night. However, there wasn’t much, I don’t know, meat (?) to it. I don’t mean this to be as harsh as it sounds, but I could have read it and then forgotten all about it. If you don’t have an unconditional love for Abbi Jacobson and Broad City, then this probably isn’t the book for you. Her humor is contagious, but the small details about her life may be insignificant unless you already know about and like her before you start reading. That said, the funniest moments come in her thoughts, in the way she sees the world with her anxiety, love, and charm. Her late night journals are as hilarious as they are sad and relatable. This book was definitely good, but before you read it, you should probably watch Broad City so you can understand Abbi Jacobson  better first. MY RATING: 7.7/10


TELEVISION

Love, Victor (Disney+)

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This show was so adorable. I loved the movie that this world was based on (Love, Simon), so I had high expectations for this show and they were met and more. First of all, all the actors were adorable and incredible. The mom is played by Ana Ortiz who also played a major character on one of my all-time favorite shows, Ugly Betty. The only part I didn’t absolutely love about this show was the ending that left me with so many unanswered questions and I just felt like I had no closure. I know there will be a second season but I want to know what happens now. Also, George Sear who plays Benji is my new crush. The creators of this show, Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger (who also work on This Is Us, another all-time favorite), have been my idols for a while now and so again, I am not surprised by how much I loved this show. If not for the abrupt and not very satisfying ending, my rating would have been at least .5 or maybe even 1 point higher. MY RATING: 8.5/10

Love Life (HBOMax)

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Another adorable show, especially because Anna Kendrick is the cutest actor. Her presence is captivating, entertaining, and wholesome always, but especially in this show. It’s a relatable and deep love story but more than that, it’s a human story. It’s about love and life and the pleasures and the problems that arise in both love and life. This was a super easy show to watch as well; it could easily be binged in one day. I watched some of it with my parents, too, which was fun because we could discuss which guys we liked best for her and we could guess which one she would end up with (we didn’t guess right). I will probably watch this again at some point, and definitely would if a friend wanted to watch it with me. It was super cute and I wish I’d thought to make it. MY RATING: 8.6/10

Dave (Hulu)

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This is, without a doubt, the best new comedy show I have seen since The Other Two (Comedy Central) in early 2019. This show is grounded, risky, sweet, funny, sensitive, amusing, and all-around fantastic. I believe that anyone with a heart would love this show as much as I did (and all of my friends did, too). Dave is hilarious and talented and it is a thrill to watch him act as well as perform. GaTa is an amazing actor and character and when I watched his mental health story (won’t spoil it) in episode 5, I sat on the couch between my parents with tears silently streaming down my face. It was beautiful and so realistic, the best on-screen representation I have seen of a mental health disorder that I struggle with as well. I actually talked to GaTa over Zoom for an article I wrote here for USC Annenberg Media. This show is subtle and aggressive at the same time in its comedy, its portrayal of mental health, and of being a young person in the music business and it’s everything I could have asked for. MY RATING: 9.5/10

Russian Doll (Netflix)

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This show was wonderful in every single way. It was captivating, interesting, creative, smart, and funny. My dad and I watched it in two nights because we literally could not stop until we knew what happened in the end. And the ending was satisfying which was so great. I totally recommend this show, especially if you liked the movie, Palm Springs. This is a new take on the whole Groundhog Day time loop and it works. MY RATING: 9.3/10


FILM

Palm Springs (Hulu)

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This movie was good, definitely better than I expected it to be. I loved Andy Samberg and to be honest, I haven’t ever really seen him in much besides sometimes on SNL. He was an outstanding actor and Cristin Milioti was great as well, though I already knew that from watching How I Met Your Mother. This movie was definitely weird and at times it moved a bit slow because of the whole storyline being that the two are stuck in a time loop so every day repeats, but there are developments that come just at the right time to keep the audience engaged. The ending was fun, too, and it was also somewhat of a love story without being aggressively about love, even though the repeated day was a wedding. I will probably watch this again soon with a friend and I have been recommending it to friends already. MY RATING: 7.9/10

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Hulu with Starz)0_fg8KLe_Zu6fwT2Yj

A beautiful film. There is not even much I can say that would do it justice. It’s entertaining, gorgeous, and the acting is unreal. Please just trust me and watch it. (WARNING: It is very violent but only once or twice throughout and so I just leave the room during that scene because in the theaters, I so did not feel good during the violent scene at the end…) MY RATING: 9/10