I spent much of my childhood reading books. Then, at some point, I got a laptop. After that, my me-time has grown much more, as they say, “mindless,” consisting mostly of some video playing in the background while I bother my dog.
That being said, I still try to keep in touch with my literary roots through a slew of period drama productions, eventually turning into something of a BBC and ITV groupie. When it comes to American shows, as much as I appreciate the likes of Mad Men and House of Cards, I’ve come to accept that I’m really just not digging the whole anti-hero shebang. Instead, I live off of comedies that I re-digest on the Netflix mobile app before I go to sleep — Friends, Scrubs, 30 Rock, and Community are my holy grails, and I have a very soft spot for Archer. As for guilty pleasures, I’m not so much about TLC as I am about cheesy Japanese dramas, where sex scenes are virtually nonexistent and characters make unsubtle speeches about friendship and virtue.
Meanwhile, my favorite movies are all over the map, so I’ll just make a haphazard list here: Les Choristes, the story of a boy-choir in postwar France; Breakfast at Tiffany’s because Audrey Hepburn’s face brings me comfort and joy; Hot Fuzz, along with most things by Simon Pegg; Stephen Chow’s Kung Fu Hustle, following that outrageous comedy vein; The Grand Budapest Hotel, the most aesthetically pleasing movie to date; and any and all films by Studio Ghibli.
I believe that “extremely depressing” should not be a criteria for good art. This is perhaps the only common thread in my preferences. Whether literary or cinematic, I am consistently more impressed by the works that inspire both laughter and reflection as opposed to ones that make me too sad to think.
Unless we’re talking about The Book Thief. I wouldn’t mind crying forever at that one.