Like many of you over the last few weeks, editors at Time Out New York (or should we say Time In) have been turning to books, movies and TV for some comfort in these rapidly changing times. Looking for something to engage your mind while you’re stuck at home or just provide a little distraction from all the craziness? Read on for some recommendations of the things we’re loving right now.
Will Gleason, Time Out New York editor
“I’ve been going the escapist route with a super lighthearted read, Casey McQuiston’s Red, White & Royal Blue, a novel that depicts the absolutely possible romance between the president’s son and the Prince of Wales. I’ve so far found exactly zero holes in the plot. I’m also practicing for our pod dating future by watching Netflix’s Love Is Blind and furiously taking notes on how to emotionally connect with someone while sitting on a couch, draped in a cashmere blanket and talking at a screen. All of Dua Lipa’s new music has been on repeat.”
Anna Ben Yehuda, Global content editor
"I finally found the time to sit down and finish Lisa Taddeo's Three Women, the nonfiction book chronicling the sex and love lives of, well, three women from different backgrounds. Although I'm planning on starting Little Fires Everywhere tonight (Reese Witherspoon. Kerry Washington. Joshua Jackson. Hulu.), I've started re-watching my very favorite TV show: Dawson's Creek. There's just something about watching a familiar show in times of stress that soothes me. Needless to say, I've had the Modern Love podcast playing in the background since starting my self-quarantine: stories of love will uplift just about anyone.
Emma Orlow, Associate food and drink editor
"Embarrassed to say this but: I purchased The Sims, so at least I can create characters that can move freely about their world, even when I can't. I also started watching the HBO show McMillions, which is about fraudulence within McDonald's Monopoly game from the late '80s... because life feels like a scam right now. I also enjoyed Catherine Cohen's livestream comedy show on Wednesday. I've been watching a lot of backlog Bon Appetit cooking videos for inspiration for ways to rethink my pantry. And, last but not least, my favorite bougie yoga studio, Sky Ting, has been offering free yoga classes, which has been a nice mental respite."
Shaye Weaver, Things to do editor
"Rita Wilson's Spotify playlist, "Quarantunes," and the occasional Queen living room dance party has helped keep me going, while the really superb historical reenactments on Comedy Central's Drunk History have kept me sane. I've also been having fun playing a challenging but super-silly platformer game called Ultimate Chicken Horse. And now that I have more time, I'm about to (finally) dive back into Alice Sparberg Alexiou's Devil's Mile: The Rich, Gritty History of the Bowery and Kambri Crews's memoir Burn Down the Ground."
Adam Feldman, Theater and dance editor
"I’ve been reading R. Eric Thomas’s debut memoir, Here for It. As readers of his humor column in Elle.com already know, he’s take-a-full-three-seconds-to-throw-back-your-head-and-laugh hilarious. But his insights into his maturation process as a queer black man are also insightful and touching. I’m trying not to read it too quickly because I don’t want it to end."
Danielle Valente, Time Out New York Kids editor
"I couldn't help but feel as though I struck gold when an arc of the new Samantha Irby book, Wow, No Thank You, surfaced on my Kindle. Her comedic antics make for the perfect escape. (Be sure to also check out her previous essay collections, Meaty and We Are Never Meeting in Real Life.) And—in a revelation that would make Irby proud—I'm embarrassed to admit that I've been passing the time by watching Lisa Vanderpump and the SUR/Tom Tom crew on Bravo."
Ji Soo-Ann, Designer
"I've finally started Calypso by David Sedaris which has been sitting on my shelf untouched for the past three months. I also recently watched Ratatouille on Disney Plus which not only put a smile on my face but also has made cooking my endless meals at home more entertaining. And Lauv's new album How I'm Feeling has been my go-to album since it came out on March 6."
Alex Plim, Director of digital content
"I've been taking the opportunity to catch up on all of the TV series I'm too embarrassed to admit out loud that I never watched first time around... Breaking Bad? Yep. House of Cards? Yep. Game of Thrones? You betcha. It'll take me hours and hours to get through them all, but I've got plenty of time on my hands right now. I'm taking a similar approach to reading by working through the stacks of unread New Yorkers and Wired magazine that have been cluttering up my living room."
Kellyn Nettles, Junior designer
"I’m dangerously close to finishing Michelle Obama’s Becoming, and after that I’m going to need to find something new! Considering reading The Namesake, or staying on the memoir route and going for former Teen Vogue beauty editor Elaine Welteroth’s More Than Enough. My roommates and I have compiled a long, long, LONG list of movies to watch, but instead of getting started on those we sat down and started Westworld from the beginning since Season 3 was just released (While we were on HBO, we did try to stream Les Miserables to pay our respects to Anne Hathaway’s spectacular performance, but it got a little too dreary for us to watch all the way through.) In terms of music, Beyonce’s Homecoming documentary on Netflix and the concert album on Spotify has helped me stay motivated from my couch."
Howard Halle, National culture staff writer
"I'm reading a thriller right now titled Play The Red Queen by Juris Jurjevics, which takes place in the former Saigon during the pivotal year of 1963. That's when the United States helped to stage a military coup against the corrupt regime of South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem—ostensibly because he was Catholic and was persecuting Buddhists, but really because he didn't want U.S. troops to come into the country massive numbers to fight the Viet Cong. Anyway, the story involves two American Military Police detectives pursuing a Viet Cong assassin who is targeting the U.S. Ambassador. The book really brings the setting to life. Also, I'm watching Better Call Saul and the new season of Westworld—love the former, but as of yet, I'm undecided about the latter.
Oliver Strand, Time Out New York Kids writer
"My son and I are reading and watching every Harry Potter together, in order. It's a binge that we can stretch out over days, and it allows us to spend time alone together when we're reading, to spend time chatting when we're comparing notes, and to spend time streaming movies when we give ourselves over to the spectacle of all those special effects that feel particularly magical right now. We're already discussing what to do when this runs it course. So far, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are the leading candidates."