Various staff members have been sharing Top 5 lists for things that have helped them pass the time while we all stay hunkered down at home. Here is my list!
- Metallica Monday’s – I’m a metalhead, and Metallica is my absolute favorite band in the history of music. I have been in headbanging heaven since stay-at-home laws went into effect thanks to Metallica doing something they have never done before: each Monday night at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, they post a previously unseen/unavailable full-length live concert to their YouTube channel! However, I admittedly haven’t been watching live on Monday nights. I prefer to wait until Tuesday morning and play one while I work from home. Nothing helps mornings pass faster than having your favorite band wail away in the background as you work! Their most recent post is of a 1991 concert from Muskegon, Michigan, a town I have visited often thanks to having family that lives nearby. Oh, to have been able to go see that concert live…
To view any of these newly released concerts, head to Metallica’s YouTube channel, but hurry! They are only keeping them posted as long as the nationwide quarantine continues.
- Stranger Things – I put off watching this show this entire time because I stupidly thought it could never live up to the hype. I was 100% dead wrong. I finally got around to watching it and I flat out loved it. With the exception of one episode in particular, the entire series is the epitome of “must-see”, and I am chomping at the bit for Season 4 to be released soon – hopefully late this summer! Equal parts mysterious, frightening, and funny, Stranger Things is set in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana, and follows a group of pre-teens who get caught up in the world of the supernatural when their friend Will gets “kidnapped” into an alternate dimension known as “the Upside Down.” As they try to solve the disappearance of their friend they meet a mysterious new girl with superpowers, known only as Eleven. Eleven appears to be the main clue to finding Will, but comes with her own dark past and supernatural connections. The first three seasons are available to binge watch now and trust me, that is the only way you will want to watch them. One right after the other!
Stranger Things is available on Netflix, and is rated TV-14 for language and frightening scenes.
- The Last Man on Earth – This unfortunately short-lived Fox sitcom quickly grew to be a favorite of mine when it debuted in 2015. Lasting only 4 seasons, the show comedically deals with the fallout of a virus that wiped out all of humanity in the year 2020. The supposed last man on Earth, Phil Miller, is a complete buffoon who struggles to come to grips with being the last person left alive. However, Phil soon realizes he isn’t completely alone, and the series takes off from there. The show contains plenty of stupid, sophomoric, humor along with dramatic story arcs and life-lessons about dealing with things that are well out of your control, like surviving in a post-apocalyptic world. It is also unintentionally really on-the-nose, given that it is currently 2020 and there is a virus that all of humanity is collectively battling….
The Last Man on Earth is available on Hulu, and is rated TV-14 for language and adult situations.
- The Last Dance – ESPN’s long-awaited 10-part documentary about the last true dynasty in sports: the mid-90’s Chicago Bulls. Though primarily about the literal G.O.A.T (Greatest of all time) Michael Jordan, the documentary deep-dives into the history of the team and its most iconic players, such as Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Steve Kerr, and more. Intimate and revealing, candid and uncensored, this fantastic documentary is a must-see for any sports fan, even if they weren’t a fan of Jordan and the Bulls. The Chicago Cubs have always been my sports obsession but as a kid growing up in the 1990’s, MJ was seemingly everyone’s favorite, including myself. Watching the Bulls “three-peat” twice (winning championships in 1991-1992-1993, then again in 1996-1997-1998) was literally watching sports history, which this documentary has been wonderfully recapping.
The Last Dance is being released over the span of 5 weeks, with 2 episodes debuting back-to-back each Sunday night at 9:00 p.m. Eastern time on ESPN. If you are behind, or just want to start from the beginning, the previously aired episodes are available on ESPN’s new streaming platform, ESPN+. The Last Dance is rated TV-MA for language, unless you choose to watch the censored version that is available, which is rated TV-14 for language (but with censored F-words).
- The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, by Stephen King – My third favorite Stephen King book behind The Long Walk (2nd) and Cell (1st), King’s story is a rare one, given his storytelling history: it does not deal with the supernatural. The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon is about a young girl who gets lost in the woods of Appalachia while on a day-hike with her mother and brother. Struggling to survive day after day alone in the wilderness, her only solace comes from the small transistor radio she carries, where at night she listens to Boston Red Sox baseball games and roots for her favorite player, relief pitcher Tom Gordon. As she continues to battle her way through the woods and all sorts of unsafe situations in the hopes of being found, her mental state begins to deteriorate, and she is soon convinced that “something” in the woods is trailing her… Scary in its realism, along with being a thrilling adventure tale of survival, I recommend The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon to anyone interested in testing the waters of the world of Stephen King, but that wants to refrain from one of his more common supernatural based fantasies.
The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon is available for free on Hoopla, in Audiobook format only.
Stay safe, stay healthy, and enjoy whatever you watch, read, or listen to!