That man is the richest whose pleasures are the cheapest. - Henry David Thoreau
Question #92285 posted on 06/25/2019 9:59 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Alumni, please pass along your recommendations for any of the following areas you're so inclined:

-Binge-worthy television
-Podcasts
-Book series
-Audible (or other audiobook) adaptations
-Movies on popular streaming services most people might not know
-Documentaries

-Give me media

A:

Podcasts:

  • Waldorf got me into The Pessimists Archive last year and I pretty much drop everything when a new episode posts so I can listen to it. It has completely changed my perspective on how we see new technology and how ridiculous it is to blame whatever our current societal problems are on it.
  • I'm enjoying This Is Love by Phoebe Judge which is just stories about love, but not always love between two people. There are fascinating stories about a person who swam with a lost baby whale, a club for ugly people in Italy, a guy who lives alone in the mountains, and many others.

Binge-worthy TV:

  • Dragon Prince (Netflix): I'm not sure if you're into cartoons, but this is an excellent show (done by the makers of Avatar: the Last Airbender). There are some goofy kid cartoony parts in any episode, but there are also some surprisingly mature themes that are really subtle and well-developed. Season 3 is in development, so you could binge S1 an S2 right now! Do it!
  • Umbrella Academy (Netflix): I am generally not a superhero movie/show guy. I'm kind of sick of all of it and I generally don't see the newest Marvel movies until I can see them for cheap/free. That said, this show totally sucked me in. I think it's because it's much less about these characters using their powers than it is about the kind of people their powers made them and watching those personalities bounce off each other.
  • Handmaid's Tale (Hulu): Well paced, well written, and some excellent acting by Elizabeth Moss (holy cow, her facial expressions). It's dark and dystopian and complex and right up my alley (note: strong language and some nudity).
  • The Great British Baking Show (Netflix): Never has watching people make biscuits made you feel so good about humanity. Even if cooking shows aren't your thing, give this a shot.
  • Frasier (Netflix): I still watch an episode a night (well the first half of one since I fall asleep while watching). It still makes me laugh.

Movies:

  • Train to Busan (Netflix) is a surprisingly good Korean zombie flick.
  • Wandering Earth (Netflix) is the second highest grossing film in Chinese history. I'm not sure I enjoyed it so much as I was fascinated by seeing how a Chinese blockbuster movie is made and what it consists of.
Best,
 
The Man with a Mustache
A:

Dear medias,

I am currently obsessed with The Three Body Problem trilogy. So good.

For shows, The Good Place

-El-ahrairah

A:

Dear Give

Binge-worthy television

  • The Good Place
  • Grand Hotel
  • Stranger Things

Podcasts

  • The Protagonist Podcast - **Self-promotion alert** I host it, and each week we talk about a great character in a great story. Please give it a listen.
  • The Omnibus Podcast - John Roderick and Ken Jennings do a deep dive on an esoteric topic twice a week
  • Judge John Hodgman - Comedian John Hodgman resolves random disputes each week
  • Lore - Creepy stories from history/folklore as told by Aaron Mahnke
  • Star Wars Minute - Analyzing the Star Wars films one minute at a time

Book series

  • I recently discovered the Amelia Peabody mysteries. They're delightful. And there are like twenty of them.

Audible (or other audiobook) adaptations

  • Gulliver's Travels read by David Hyde Pierce (available on Audible)
  • A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court read by Nick Offerman (available on Audible)

Movies on popular streaming services most people might not know

  • Ali's Wedding (Netflix)

Documentaries

  • The Toys that Made Us (Netflix)

-Humble Master

A:

Dear Dorian,

Binge-worthy television: One Day at a Time, The Good Place, and Brooklyn Nine Nine.
Podcasts: The Good Place.
Book series: Wrinkle in Time series
Movies on popular streaming services: Decoy Bride

-Tally M.

A:

Dear Give ~

In general, none of these things (except audiobooks) are things that I participate in often enough to give recommendations, but this year I will make two exceptions:

TV Show: The Good Place (though I haven't finished watching Season 3 because Tally told me it's a terrible way to end, so I stopped trying to catch up until Season 4 starts up.)

Podcast: Happier by Gretchen Rubin. I have become nigh-obsessed with The Four Tendencies personality framework this year (thanks Olympus!) This podcast is by the author and her sister, and they reference the Four Tendencies often. Plus, I love figuring out more ways to be happy. It's been very useful in my quest to learn more about myself.

~ Dragon Lady

A:

Hello Kitty,

I'm going to throw out a few TV recommendations and then I'm going to make a case for signing up for DC Universe. Podcasts, movies, and documentaries are stupid and I'll be talking about books in another post.

Here's my top TV Shows from the past year:

  • Killing Eve
  • Superstore
  • Bob's Burgers
  • I Think You Should Leave
  • Schitt's Creek
  • The Good Place
  • Tidying Up with Marie Kondo
  • BoJack Horseman
  • Alone Together
  • Miss Sherlock

OK but also can we talk about DC Universe for a minute? DC finally added a comics library app like Marvel Unlimited and while their selection was a bit limited at first and even though it's still a bit limited (only has books a year or older as opposed to Marvel's six months) it also has a ton of other content. We're talking animated shows, movies, plus some of the older live-action stuff. (The made-for-TV Wonder Woman movie is an absolute gem.) In addition, they're adding new content, and not just a new season of Young Justice. Original shows debuting on the streaming service. Titans was OK but what we really need to address is Doom Patrol. Holy crap that show is so freaking good. Get your trial of DC Universe now and watch the first season NOW. It is amazing. Brendan Fraser voices a human brain in a robot body who at one point chants for his superhero team to do group therapy and that isn't even in the top 20 weirdest things about this show. Go watch it, OK?

-M.O.D.A.Q.

A:

Dear Gimmee,

I binged Derry Girls, only to discover there were only six episodes. What?! Anyway, I didn't properly pace myself, so I had to watch it again. And then a third time. I recommend watching with subtitles. I also devoured The Umbrella Academy, which had a lot of fun characters and an interesting premise. Love me some good time travel. I second and third and fourth the recommendation to watch Schitt's Creek. So delightful and funny and sincere.

The movie About Time was absolutely charming. I can't recommend it highly enough. The second time I watched it I knew what was coming and I actually CRIED. I've only cried during one movie in my whole life, and it was Little Women when I was pregnant, so it doesn't even count. But the ending of About Time was just so pure and goodhearted I couldn't help myself. Having kids makes you soft, you guys.

As far as books go, I read a lot of Agatha Christie last year, specifically Miss Marple mysteries, which was a fun rabbit hole to go down. I also read everything by Rachel Hawkins and I just loved Royals (now titled Prince Charming) and its new sequel Her Royal Highness. They're delightful comedies based around ordinary people dating Scottish royalty, and there's a queer princess thrown into the mix. I also loved Dumplin' (now a major motion picture) and Puddin' by Julie Murphy. Her characters are fat, and it is the least interesting thing about them. I also enjoyed her book Side Effects May Vary about a girl who gets cancer, decides to mess some stuff up because hey, why not, and then has to deal with the consequences when she goes into remission.

-Genuine Article

A:

Dear Gimme—

Podcasts: Hat tip to Man with a Mustache up there for bringing up The Pessimist's Archive, which remains a true favorite. Sauron has also recently gotten me into Personal Best, which he described to me as "a good-natured, Canadian version of Nathan For You where everybody's in on the joke." This has also been the year of true crime for me, and I devoured the CBC's Someone Knows Something as well as My Favorite Murder.  

As for television, most of my favorites this year have already been mentioned in everybody else's answers (Russian Doll, Schitt's Creek, The Good Place, Killing Eve) but I want to give a nod to What We Do in the Shadows. It's not the same as the movie and should be taken on its own merits, and those merits get better and better with each episode. I also adore Better Things, Shrill, and the brand new Tuca & Bertie, which is basically just Broad City in Bojack style. Queer Eye, The Great British Baking Show, and Nailed It remain my top favorites to watch after I need my faith in humanity restored. Then I watch Barry when I want my faith in humanity destroyed.

Stay sexy and don't get murdered,
Waldorf (& Sauron) 

A:

Dear media,

I've been really into a podcast called This Podcast Will Kill You lately. It's about diseases!

-Owlet

A:

Dear Give me,

I don't have the brain power to give descriptions of all these right now, but here are some things I've enjoyed (YMMV):

Podcasts: Criminal, Reply All, Hidden Brain, This American Life, The Moth, Radiolab, This Is Love

TV Shows: Parks and Recreation, The Great British Baking Show, Nailed It, Galavant, Broadchurch, Avatar: The Last Airbender

Documentaries: Perfect Bid, 7 Days Out, Blackfish, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, The Confession Tapes, Mommy Dead and Dearest, Dear Zachary, The Barkley Marathons

Anime: Ouran High School Host Club, Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny-Girl Senpai (this is much better than its unfortunate title would suggest), Your Name, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Fruits Basket (the new season), ERASED, Steins;Gate, Code Geass

Book Series (Mostly Fantasy): The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss, Pretty much anything by Brandon Sanderson, The Lightbringer Series by Brent Weeks, The Broken Earth Trilogy by N. K. Jemisin, The Elemental Trilogy by Sherry Thomas, Arc of a Scythe Trilogy by Neal Shusterman, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, The Partials Sequence by Dan Wells, A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, The Shades of Magic Trilogy by V. E. Schwab, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

--Maven

A:

Dear friend,

I already list my podcast recommendations here and my book recommendations in an upcoming post but just wanted to add a binge-able TV series recommendation. 2019 has been the year that I've unexpectedly gotten into sports anime. Yuri!!! On Ice is easily one of the sweetest and most wholesome shows I've ever seen. If you like watching the ice skating portion of the Olympics and want a show with breathtaking animation and loveable characters, I'd highly recommend it. It took me like a month to watch the last episode because I didn't want it to end.

-Van Goff

A:

Dear You,

Since you asked, here's my list of must-see anime:

  • Naruto and Naruto Shippuden - Quite possibly the greatest story ever told. It's a world full of anachronistic ninja warriors and every character is full of personality. It's often light-hearted but things can get very, very real. And with 720 episodes, that'll keep you busy for awhile. Just find a filler list and skip the filler episodes. Besides the slightly slow pacing, this is storytelling at it's finest. (Don't worry, my other recommendations are much shorter shows.)
  • Steins;Gate - This is a really good time-travel story that impressed me with how solid the time-travel mechanics are. It dives into not just time travel, but the psychological effects of it too.
  • Clannad - This is an extremely touching story about high school. You will feel the feels. It's hilarious too. And there's some cool fantasy elements mixed in.
  • Zombie Land Saga - Okay, this show made me want to be a teenage Japanese idol so bad. Wacky zombie humor meets performers striving to succeed, and I love it.
  • Cells at Work! - What if every cell in your body was an anime character?
  • Sword Art Online - This one has to be on here, because of my 'nym. If you want to get excited about the future of VR, this is the way to do it. The first arc is the best, but it keeps going if you're really hooked.
  • Kino’s Journey - This one's a little different. It feels like a mix of The Twilight Zone and Doctor Who, but as an anime. A lot of crazy situations that lead to deep questions about the human condition.
And some honorable mentions. I really enjoyed all of these:
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
  • Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works
  • Erased
  • One Punch Man
  • My Hero Academia
  • Deathnote
  • Your Lie in April
  • Yona of the Dawn
  • Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun
  • The Devil is a Part-Timer!
  • Attack on Titan
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica
  • The Promised Neverland
-Kirito
 
A:

Dear friend,

I love podcasts and I'm going to recommend a bunch of them right now. I feel like it almost goes without saying as far as podcasts go but if you're sensitive about language some of these are swear-y

Reply All - This podcast is what I can best describe as investigative internet journalism. They delve into a lot of topics like scam calls, internet culture, and account theft (in a cool, innovative way).

Lizard People - You might be able to tell from the name but this podcast is all about different conspiracies. It's a pretty fun and creative podcast where the theories are explained by a guest comedian and the host critiques the theories.

Song Exploder - This is a really cool podcast where the host talks to a musical artist who explains how they wrote one of their songs. They have really cool guests and a cool back catalog!

My Brother My Brother and Me - This is an advice show, of sorts. It's basically three brothers joking around for an hour. They're good boys.

Harry Potter and the Sacred Text - This is a really cool and a little bit different podcast where the hosts analyze the Harry Potter series as if they were analyzing scripture. It's extremely nice and uplifting.

Invisibilia - This podcast is a mix of narrative storytelling and compelling scientific phenomena.

The Adventure Zone - The Adventure Zone is a D&D podcast that developed into more of an RPG/storytelling podcast by the same brothers that do My Brother My Brother and Me. It's fun and whimsical and surprisingly beautiful at times.

Wonderful! - This is a podcast by a couple that basically just talks about things that they think are wonderful! It's nice!

Sawbones - Sawbones is about medical history and they get into lots of strange medical practices and claims throughout history.

Punch up the Jam - This is a comedy podcast where the hosts go through a song and examine it, then rewrite it to be "better". It's a fun show.

Keep it real,
Sherpa Dave

A:

Dear, 

Here's some I haven't seen on other answers yet:

For podcasts, Judge John Hodgman -- listeners call in with their small disputes ("Tell my roommate she can't save EVERY spaghetti sauce jar always to use as drinking glasses!" "No, tell my roommate that saving spaghetti sauce jars is thrifty and responsible!"), the "judge" and "bailiff" Jesse Thorn ask questions about the situations, and then come back with a judgement. Guiding principles: "everyone has their little weirdsies," "be mindful of the work you leave for others," "draculas can have ANY job!!" (please read that in a panicked tone), and "if it isn't fun for everyone, it isn't fun for anyone." Bonus joy: Bailiff Jesse Thorn dissolving into helpless joyous laughter when someone shoehorns in a picture of a pet doing something funny--make sure you hit the right arrow until you get to the video. 

 

For people who like Great British Bake-Off and want more positive British cooking tv shows, The Hairy Bikers' Asian Adventure follows two kindly long-haired motorcycle-riding comedians as they travel around various countries, joining families for dinner, helping critically-acclaimed chefs, and cooking for the natives. Give it a couple of episodes to really be sold on it. "Flaming Nora!" "What a privilege!"

For other bingeable tv, I've enjoyed a couple of zombie shows recently: Santa Clarita Diet and iZombie. They're both light and silly, and I go through all of what's available whenever I see new episodes have been added. Maybe I should give Kingdom a try to make it a trifecta of zombie shows, but it might be more gruesome than I would enjoy. But I do like period drama Korean shows, so ... it's still a maybe.

I (finally) got around to watching Katya's recommendation of Ali's Wedding, a Muslim rom-com, and it was delightful and sweet. 

And while it's on Netflix, I can't not recommend Jodhaa Akbar, a gorgeous period drama (or to a slightly lesser extent, Daawat-e-Ishq on Amazon Prime, which is a lady-sets-up-a-revenge-engagement-to-get-back-at-greedy-grooms-as-a-group-but-falls-for-her-mark style, more modern movie), if you're into Bollywood, or Man Up if you're into quirky-sweet British rom-coms where a blind-date mix-up goes better and worse than expected (if you, like me, you like to think you don't like rom-coms, but your snooty brain is fine with foreign ones). 

-Uffish Thought

A:

Dear Sam,

Gotta put a plug in for Kim’s Convenience on Netflix; it is absolutely delightful. Each episode is around 20 minutes, which makes it super easy to binge. 

-Az