4YE Thanksgiving: To Badass Ladies, Excellent Podcasts, Good Books, And Comfort Television

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It’s Thanksgiving! While this is a holiday that showcases how the white settlers screwed over the indigenous people, (you can donate to various Native American charities here), we still have things to be thankful for in pop culture.

For me, it comes down to badass women, fun podcasts, great books, and comfort television. Let’s be real, the world is dumpster fire and we need things to keep our spirits up.

Badass Female Characters

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This year has stepped up in showcasing some highly badass women. From Ocean’s 8 to The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, we’ve gotten to see all sorts of women headline their own stories. It’s been amazing to watch this past year. With it, we see all different ways it means to female from the Nia Nal (Nicole Maines) refusing to bend in the face of prejudice on Supergirl, Lara Jean’s (Lana Condor) romantic realness, Viola Davis leading a crew to get their freedom in Widows, and literally every single woman that graced screen during Black Panther.

We can only hope that we strive for a more diverse representation on our television and film screens. There was a definite wealth of excellent characters to grace our screens this year.

Fun Podcasts

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My favorite podcasts will always be audio dramas. Call it a leftover from a class on radio drama I took in college, which was endlessly fascinating to me. This year definitely brought me some new favorites like Lake Clarity, which is definitely one to not listen to with the lights off, and Spirits, drinks and mythology. It also showed some of larger companies going into the podcast direction, like Marvel with Wolverine: The Long Night.

This year, though, I often felt like I needed the stories: whether fictional or not, to help me after some pretty long days. They were fun, allowed my imagination to run wild, and provided a chance for me to close my eyes and breathe.

Great Books

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This year was the year of reading of good books for myself. Whether it was comic or novel, I consumed a lot of excellent books this years. At the top of the list is Circe by Madeline Miller, which is gentle yet emotionally wrought novel about the witch from Greek mythology. Miller’s language is some of the most beautiful that I have ever read in my life. I found myself unable to put Circe down until I read that final page.

Also joining the line-up of excellent books discovered in the past year are: Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller, Kim Reaper by Sarah Grayley, Super Sons by Peter Tomasi and Jorge Jimenez, Black Bolt by Saladin Ahmed and Frazer Iriving, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara, and Sadie by Courtney Summers.

Comfort Television

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The world is an absolute dumpster fire right now. While many of us can appreciate some of the finely wrought television today, sometimes you need the TV equivalent of comfort food. Something to put on and watch to make you feel good at the end of the day. Parks and RecreationLegends of TomorrowShe-Ra and the Princesses of Power, Elementary, LuciferLeverage, Queer Eye, and Midnight, Texas have gotten me through some bad days this past year.

What can I say? Sometimes when the world is going to hell in a handbasket, you just want something to make you feel like everything just may be okay. Comfort television at its finest does just that.

Bec Heim