When blogging was something I did in between college classes, in a busy student union with my battered water bottle and on-the-go lunch next to me, the News Worthy feature was something I managed to post here quite regularly. After I started my current job, I became less inclined to pore over pop culture essays or YouTube travelogues. Guiltily, I turned to more America’s Next Top Model reruns for entertainment in this pre-summer fog than I’m proud to admit.
However, what with the busyness of the past month — TV cancellations and renewals, the royal wedding, the beginning of beach read season — I’ve come across so much on the web that excites me.
It took me a few episodes, but I eventually fell in love with the world of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel when I watched the first season on Amazon earlier this year. As I wrote before, I totally agree with the theory that Amy Sherman-Palladino’s writing style is meant for a eclectic period setting like Maisel‘s. Season 2 is currently in the works, but Amazon also recently renewed it for a third season as well. But the recent Maisel-related news that has most excited in me is Zachary Levi’s Season 2 casting.
In true nerdy fashion, I first fell for Zachary Levi thanks to the livestream of Broadway’s She Loves Me two years ago, in which he earned a Tony nomination for his leading role. His most recent TV and film projects have fallen into the action/fantasy genre, which I don’t actively follow, hence why I’m so thrilled about him going into a more historical project again. His look fits that Old Hollywood-esque handsomeness, matching easily with 1950s Manhattan. Right now, we only know that he’s playing a doctor, I hope he has a shining moment or two in the new season.
This month, I’ve enjoyed two books in Kristan Higgins’ Blue Heron series, which initially follows the Holland family, who run a rural New York vineyard, and three of its four grown kids’ quests in finding love. Later books are about the siblings’ friends and other contemporaries, but so far I’ve only read the first book, The Best Man, exploring youngest sister Faith’s story, and In Your Dreams, which switches perspectives between Jack, the only boy in the family, and Emmaline, one of the neighborhood cops.
I normally can’t get into these romance series named after a quirky town or other setting (there are a lot), but I love the writing style in the Blue Heron books and the strong way in which their world has fleshed out. I recently came across Higgins’ own blog, and her piece “Ten Ways to be a Good Wife” is so beautiful. I particularly liked this bit:
Be happy to see your spouse when you or he or she walks through the door. Get off the phone, put the kids down, stop staring at your laptop and give your honey a hug and a kiss. Even if your day has been hellish, remember that you have someone to come home to, which isn’t a blessing everyone has.
I am obsessed with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. I covered the royal wedding for work and fell even more in love with them by seeing their gloriously modern, inclusive ceremony and their obvious adoration of each other. I’m sure you’ve seen the highlights reel and beautiful photos whether or not you wanted to, so I wanted to share some of my favorite responses to the wedding rather than the event itself. Believe me, I’ve yet to rewatch any wedding footage without crying, so it’s best if I take things this way.
The New York Times first covered the symbolism of Meghan Markle incorporating her own American, biracial identity in a piece that, yes, made me even more teary-eyed the morning of the wedding. But the reaction to the wedding that really touched me was this essay by Empire writer Attica Locke. Locke points out right away that she has quite personal similarities to Meghan’s own upbringing — she’s a black graduate of Northwestern, she works in entertainment, and she’s raising a biracial daughter in Los Angeles.
Despite those parallels, Locke was reluctant about watching the wedding, but upon seeing the gospel choir, diverse guests, and Rev. Michael Curry’s passionate sermon, she gained a new respect for Meghan. She interprets these inclusions as Meghan’s subtle, classy reminder that she is proud and aware of her black background and plans to embrace more multiculturalism throughout Britain. Locke writes:
In the history of television, there have been many instances when the spectacle of a live televised event offered a balm to a world in the throes of deep conflict and turmoil, when the medium itself has acted as a healer. I am thinking of President Kennedy’s funeral. I am thinking of the fall of the Berlin Wall. I am thinking of the images of 9/11 first responders racing into burning buildings, lifting strangers out of rubble.
For black folks, images of ourselves in these kinds of uplifting scenarios have been few and far between. Our relationship with TV spectacle is infinitely more complicated. We are as likely to see one of us in a perp walk on national TV as we are to see one of us give away a gazillion cars to an entire studio audience. We are as likely to see ourselves murdered by police as we are to see ourselves being inaugurated to the highest office in the land. So when a display of the beauty of black people and black culture — our faith, our fortitude, our humor… — finds its way onto my television screen, it is, for me, a moment of healing.
My royal wedding high continued into the following week when I caught this TODAY interview with Rev. Curry himself. While I was a little disappointed that SNL didn’t do more with its impression of the bishop, I was so happy to see that the actual Rev. Curry is even more of a delight in this more casual setting. Try not to smile while watching this interview!
Also on the SNL front, I loved the full sketch dedicated to the wedding. Mikey Day and Alex Moffat (my latest “weird” crush, FYI) easily became my favorite cast members this year because of their Trump brothers act and their previous Wills and Harry appearance, and they don’t disappoint in this skit. They’ll definitely be promoted to repertory players next season, right?
A week later, I’m finally recovering from the wedding buzz, but I’m also getting pumped for upcoming events like the Tonys and the announcement of the Emmy nominations.