On Tuesday, August 11, Sen. Kamala Harris became the first Black woman to be nominated as a running mate on a major party ticket and the first person of Indian descent to be nominated as a running mate on a major party ticket.
It’s a fitting accomplishment for a woman who has been a trailblazer in almost every aspect of her career.
A child of immigrants from India and Jamaica, Harris was the first Black female Attorney General for the state of California and is currently the second Black woman and first South-Asian American to hold a seat in the United States Senate. She would also be the first woman Vice President.
Born and raised in California, she started kindergarten during the second year of Berkeley’s desegregation bussing programs. Harris went to Howard University for her undergraduate degree before attending University of California, Hastings College of The Law. After graduating law school, Harris devoted her law career to public service.
Harris’ younger sister, Maya Harris, is an established lawyer and public policy advocate who served as a senior policy advisor for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign. Her niece, Meena, is a Harvard-educated lawyer who founded Phenomenal and Phenomenal Media, a platform elevating and celebrating women of color. All of this is just to say: the level of Harris women brainpower about to descend on the Eisenhower building in D.C. is truly more than we deserve.
Kamala Harris has a strong background in criminal justice issues. As San Francisco’s District Attorney, she was a vocal opponent of the death penalty and started a program called “Back on Track.” This initiative, launched in 2005, allowed first-time drug offenders to opt to get a high school diploma and job instead of prison time.
After serving as DA, Harris was elected in 2011 to be California’s Attorney General. In this position, she expanded her “Back on Track” program, mandated training to address racial bias, and, under her, the California Department of Justice became the first statewide agency to require body cameras. Additionally, she launched a program called OpenJustice, a data bank that highlights criminal justice initiatives and gave the public the ability to track police killings.
In the Senate, Kamala Harris serves on the Judiciary Committee, where she has famously roasted all manner of mediocre white men, from Attorney General Bill Barr to Justice Brett Kavanaugh. She’s a member of. the Congressional Black Caucus, the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, and the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues. She sponsored the Justice for Victims of Lynching Act, which passed the Senate but remains in the House.
In the wake of ongoing anti-racist protests around the country, Harris’ history of criminal justice policy is especially important to the ticket. Though Harris’ prosecutorial record raises alarms for those who want to reform the criminal justice system she helped oversee, Biden choosing Harris as a running mate hopefully is a sign of his understanding of the importance of Black and female voices in his administration. She also has a strong prosecutorial background which was made evident in several confirmation hearings during her term – including Brett Kavanaugh’s.
I, for one, literally cannot wait to cast my vote for Biden and Harris. In the meantime, I’ll be tuning in to watch her take on Pence in the Vice Presidential Debate on October 7.
Did anyone else think quarantine was going to be right up their alley for the first few weeks, but now they’ve finished all of Netflix* and there’s nothing to do except alternate between staring hopelessly at the ceiling for hours on end and watching TikTok compilations? No one else? Just me?
Well, fear not either way, because even as you reach your final episode on your final show on Netflix, there are still half a dozen other streaming platforms out there waiting for you to give them a whirl. And why not! There are so many hours in the day in quarantine. You are never required to wear pants. You can be on Slack and watch TV in the background. The only rule of quarantine is to never leave your house. The real world has become a place of madness and fiction, and the only solace we can now find is going to be in the fabricated stress of television.
So, without further ado, here are the best shows available on Amazon Prime during this quarantine. Disclaimer: I haven’t spent as many hours on Amazon Prime as Netflix, mostly because it makes me weirdly uneasy to see my recent orders for lamps and cleaning supplies while I also browse for shows, so it goes without saying that I have probably missed a few of them.
*By all of Netflix, I mean the shows worth watching.
The first season of Hunters recently started airing on Prime, and because I’m trying to avoid high-stress situations, I haven’t started it. However, executive producer Jordan Peele (Get Out, Us) is an absolute genius storyteller, so it’s gotta be super good. It also stars Al Pacino and Logan Lerman from the Percy Jackson movies, whom I completely forgot about, and now I need to watch. The show is set in New York City in 1977 and follows a group of Nazi hunters as they try to dismantle a secret group of Nazi officers that are trying to implement a fourth Reich in America.
‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’
If you’ve ever thought to yourself that maybe you were meant to live a different life and that life is specifically to be a Jewish mother living on the Upper West Side in the 1950s with an undiscovered talent for stand-up comedy, then this show is for you. Created by Amy Sherman-Palladino, of Gilmore Girls fame, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel follows Midge Maisel’s journey through the New York stand-up scene after her husband leaves her for his secretary (schmuck). Would Midge have worked for Betches if it was around back then? Almost certainly, and that’s all you need to know.
Didn’t we all already watch Girls? Personally, I stopped around Season 5 because every character became as annoying as humanly possible and I couldn’t watch Hannah make another terrible decision or listen to Marnie try to launch her singing career for another second. That being said, I did like some of the characters and the incredibly dysfunctional family they created. At least Girls is a really easy binge because the episodes are short and the storylines are engaging and easy to follow. Just don’t watch too much in a row, or you will go through what I did and never finish (but that’s okay, too).
I haven’t watched Fleabag yet, but it won like, all the awards, and I see it everywhere on TL so I think I might just have to start. Phoebe Waller-Bridge writes the show and stars as the titular character, Fleabag. From the season 1 trailer, it seems kind of like a British and more updated version of Girls? As in, the main character kind of self-sabotages everything for herself but you still keep watching to see if maybe she’ll turn it around one day. What seems more unique and interesting about it, though, is that Fleabag breaks the fourth wall often to explain to her viewers what’s going through her brain, so maybe we have some more perspective and empathy for her questionable choices.
Modern Love is a miniseries that brings the New York Times essay column of the same name to life. Whoever was the casting agent really knew what they were doing. They’ve got Tina Fey, Anne Hathaway, and Dev Patel in their own 30-minute episodes, appearing casually as if they were normal people. The first episode made me cry, and the rest were definitely worth watching. With only eight episodes, this is a great show to watch if you don’t want to commit to a whole series. And then you will become addicted to the stories and read 20 essays in one night and convince yourself you can write your own about the guy that has been delivering your groceries for the last week, if only you could come up with a catchy title.
‘Sex and the City’
Since we have nothing else to do in quarantine, let’s all sit around the kitchen table and discuss with our fellow quarantine inmates which character every person in our friend group most identifies with. Luckily, Sex and the City is on Prime to help you out. The one who is still making you do her Ship matches, just to f*ck with the guys? Samantha. The one who began planning a Zoom wedding immediately and already had a stockpile of hand sanitizer? Charlotte. The one who actually knows the facts of what’s going on, but is over talking about it? Miranda. The one who thinks the pandemic is the just the thing to spice up her forthcoming-but-still-unwritten memoir? Carrie.
Psych is a detective sitcom that is the exact show to watch if you want to get really invested in/binge something for like, a minute, but don’t want to be thinking about 24/7. Shawn Spencer is a police crime consultant who has convinced the police that he solves cases using psychic abilities, but was really just trained as a child by his dad to have heightened awareness and photographic memory, which is shown in flashbacks. Shawn works with his friend and partner Gus, at his psychic detective agency, Psych.
The world will never get enough American-Italian mobster drama (@The Irishman), and that’s all there is to say about that. The Sopranos is regarded as one of the greatest television series of all time, and luckily it’s on Prime for you to decide for yourself (although I’m sure everyone has seen at least one episode at some point or another). Tony Soprano is the show’s protagonist (if you will), who must balance his family life and role as crime boss of his New Jersey-based crime family—he delves into this narrative through talking to his therapist, Dr. Melfi.
Some of us think we are quirky and talented enough to be writing for Saturday Night Live, but just haven’t had our big break yet. While we wait for that dream to manifest itself, we can watch 30 Rock. The popular sitcom, created by and starring Tina Fey, is available on Prime, and is based loosely her days as a head writer at SNL (although the live-sketch show depicted in 30 Rock is fictional). 30 Rock is right up there with The Office and Parks and Rec; it’s just a super easy sitcom that you can throw on at any time of day and for whatever mood you’re in.
Downton Abbey is one of my favorite shows ever, and I’m so glad it’s on Prime. Downton Abbey takes place in England and follows the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants from 1912-1926. There is so much drama both upstairs and downstairs, and while there are some people that try to cause tension, mostly everyone gets along and has adorable British accents. It’s so easy to watch and get obsessed with, and I promise it’s worth it.
Honestly, who let Dance Moms air in the first place? Every Tuesday night in middle school for me featured a Dance Moms and Pretty Little Liars marathon, and looking back, that lineup feels like a bizarre fever dream. The antics of Miss Abby Lee Miller honestly haunt me, and the fact that she went to jail for a minute really doesn’t help the whole situation. How did she choreograph those dances every single week? What is the rival studio, the inglorious Candy Apples, up to now? Will Maddie ever not be at the top of the pyramid?
Mostly just putting this on the list because I think it might be fun to watch Meghan, Duchess of Sussex (wait do we still call her that, or no?) during her life before Harry. Suits is set at a New York City law firm, opening when Harvey Specter hires Mike Ross, a genius college dropout, to help him solve and close cases, despite Mike never attending or graduating from law school at all.
‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’
Larry David, the creator of Seinfeld and hilarious Bernie impersonator on SNL, plays a version of himself in Curb Your Enthusiasm. The 10th season just started, and luckily Prime has all the prior seasons so you can catch up. In the show, David faces the many annoyances of daily life, and basically just calls everyone out on their bullsh*t. TBH the show stresses me out because I am not a confrontational person at all, but it’s really funny. I would love to see an episode of David coughing on someone and/or being coughed on during this pandemic. Maybe they’re already working on it.
‘Law & Order: SVU’
Over the last 20 years, Law & Order: SVU has seemingly gotten away with any and every plotline they could ever think up. My jaw immediately hits the floor every time I watch this show, and it stays there the whole episode. I love how they only seem to get the perp like half the time and then the rest of the time it’s a therapy session. I love how they make up mid-season storylines for the main characters, and when you question them, diehard fans comment, “oh yeah, they mentioned that offhandedly 10 seasons ago,” as if you should’ve remembered. I love how Finn seems to improvise all of his lines and no one ever reacts to them. This show is a great watch because you really don’t need to watch it any particular order, and after one episode you’ll be done with TV for a while.
‘American Horror Story’
Eight seasons of AHS are on Prime, and I know everyone has a personal favorite. I only tried to watch this show once, when I was in ninth grade. I remember it so clearly, sitting in my friend’s basement in the dark. It was season four: Freak Show. She didn’t warn me at all. Enter: the scariest clown I have ever seen. Cue: me not sleeping for a week. That was the last time I ever even thought about watching this show. However, I’m older now, and wiser, and the world is as scary as it’s going to get, so I’m considering giving it another try. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Let me be the first to say I would GLADLY elect Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Vice President and/or President of the United States right now, which is her role as the protagonist in Veep. Veep is about the personal and political careers of Selina Meyer, the Vice President, and her wacky but reliable staff as they try to make their mark and advance themselves politically. Does it seem like something like this will ever be allowed to happen in our country? Maybe not, but it’s still fun to watch nonetheless.
Hopefully, by this point, you have found some sort of routine for your quarantine, and are not just watching TV for 9 hours a day as you maybe did at the beginning. (And if you are doing that, literally no shame at all.) However, we’re in it for the long haul, and we’ll need some entertainment to help us through it. If you can’t stand staring at the screen any longer, try an audiobook. One show at a time, this quarantine is going to get a little more bearable.
Images: Jose Perez/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images, Amazon (16)
So the talk of the town for the past, like, year is that the final season of Game of Thrones is coming up. How do I know that? Okay, I just said that it’s the talk of the town. F*ck, this is a terrible set-up for what I’m about to tell you all, then: I’ve never seen Game of Thrones in spite of everyone talking about it. And I probably never will watch it.
Now let me preface this entire piece by saying that I think people who refuse to indulge in mainstream pop culture simply to act like they’re above being mainstream are the absolute worst. I am not that girl who wore Vans to prom that I doodled all over because ~*~ I’m not like most girls.~*~ I would never be the Betty Buzzkill by pretending like I don’t know all the names of the Kardashians. (If I were, I’m working at the completely wrong websites.) But with that being said, if there’s people talking about Khaleesi like they rushed a sorority together, I sit that conversation out. And that’s fine with me because I’ll take any pass to not converse with people. (It’s why I wear still wear my headphones in public, even though I broke them two weeks ago.)
I’m well aware that GOT is an incredibly curated HBO show that wins all the Emmys or is a runner-up to another HBO show because that channel borderline has a monopoly on award shows at this juncture. And obviously, I applaud all and all Emmy nominated shows for giving the platform that privileged white males so desperately need. Thank you for your service! So I recognize that Game of Thrones is technically very good. However, I feel like I’ve given Game of Thrones a fair shot. I watched the three-part South Park episode about it, and it wasn’t great. Truthfully, I think the only HBO shows I’ve ever watched are the ones that come from the same people that did Seinfeld. Also, Big Little Lies because that was only seven episodes so it wasn’t much of an investment. But I’ve been told by people that in order to watch GOT, it’s such a tedious thing to get into. And that’s not to be understated. Each episode is at least an hour with no commercial breaks—it’s like I need an Adderall just to get through a recreational show. But wait, isn’t this supposed to be entertainment, not a chore?
I’m not just averse to Game of Thrones; I don’t go out of my way to invest myself in shows or movies that are dark and/or serious in general. I’ve seen, like, five Oscar nominated movies in the past decade. I’ve also never seen a Leonardo DiCaprio movie. I’m sorry, but do you really expect me to buy him as a romantic lead after learning that he wears headphones and vapes during sex? I don’t think so.
I used to watch stuff that had more substance when I was younger, but then life happens when you get older and you become more wary of the world. After a hard day of writing about the Kardashian family, taking a depression nap, and forcing myself to drink water and maybe eat a vegetable, I just wanna take a load off, man. And I do that by watching the same four or five shows that I always watch. I’m not the only one. Live look at a conversation with my politically correct, craft beer swilling, yoga instructor sister who is meditative and constantly trying to self actualize to a fault:
Why is she into even more trash than me? Being the legit journalist that I am, I sought out a quote from her:
“As someone who used to watch a lot of crime shows and dramas, I switched over exclusively to the brand of reality TV because I watch less television, I realized when I do I want to decompress and escape the world around me. Sad to say that my former TV preferences became far too reminiscent of headlines and daily life to comfort/entertain me, which is why I turn to the walking messes of delusion that grace Andy Cohen’s late night couch after their episodes in which they self destruct once again in front of America.”
Well put. Maybe she should be the sister working at this site instead.
So forgive me if I’d rather watch Judd Apatow movie. I’m sorry if The O.C. is the most drama I can handle. Pardon me while I watch “The Contest” for the thirtieth time because I have SO. MANY. THEORIES. about that episode of Seinfeld.
I can assure you I have been told to watch *insert serious television show or movie here* even more times than a guy saying “Oh, you’re a female writer in New York? Like Lena Dunham?” (No.) Or “Oh, you like vulgar jokes? So you like Amy Schumer?” (No.) Or “Oh, your name’s Millie? Like the Lil Wayne song or the disgraced lip synching group from the 80’s, Milli Vanilli?” (Get f*cked.)
If I haven’t watched any TV show by now, not just Game of Thrones, chances are I’m not going to watch it. I’m fully aware that for a duration of the time a popular *serious* television show airs, I’m gonna be questioned about watching it. And there’s a five year period afterwards where people still interrogate me about my decision to not watch it. (By the way, a very special f*ck you to Breaking Bad for saying they’re coming out with a movie once that period ended.) And THEN people are going to remark that I’m way too proud for being an outlier when really, I just don’t want to watch the show. Also, if it’s truly *classic* television, I’ll get around to watching it eventually and people will still want to talk about it with me long after the show has ended. But for the time being, I don’t want to talk to about Khaleesi like she and I took a blood oath together.
Unless I’m doing “Netflix and chill” (God, are we still using that phrase?) with someone that’s over 6’8″, I’m not gonna watch what you say that I *should* watch. So no, I won’t be watching Game of Thrones any time soon. With that being said, stay tuned for my next article where I tell you that I don’t think Beyoncé is that great, Taco Bell is better than Chipotle and Del Taco, and Friends actually kinda sucked.
Images: HBO; Giphy (3)
It’s almost cuffing season, which also means everyone’s staying inside watching TV because we no longer have to pretend to give a shit about our summer bodies. This means that while you’ll be narrowing down your hoe-tation, you will also want to come off as chill as possible as post-summer blues make everyone lazy and not ready for a high-maintenance betch. You’ll need to arm yourself with shit to talk about with guys other than football, because not every guy is going to want to talk about sports—sometimes his team loses and he’s a sore loser, or it’s just annoying, and all of the time he’ll think you’re pretending to care about football to seem cool. Therefore, to appear chill AF, here are the shows you should be watching or at least be vaguely aware of because every male specimen is obsessed with them, for reasons we will
never quite understand get into in a second.
1. ‘Rick & Morty’
You’ve definitely heard bros gushing about this show like it’s the popular girl in school. The good news is this show is actually good so if you haven’t watched it yet, it’s an easy one to get into. It’s science fiction—but like, science fiction in the way that Drunk History is historical—and it’s also animated, so basically if you liked Futurama or Adventure Time or just like to get high, this show is an easy one to get hooked on. Guys talk about this show like betches talked about Pretty Little Liars, and you’ll get bonus points if you quote it. And why not? Half the quotes are random ad-libs anyway, so it’s easy to memorize a couple catchphrases just to have them under your belt for later. We don’t want to give the fuckboys credit, but Rick & Morty is a funny show, so if you watch it you’ll have something to laugh about even when you’re waiting for that fuckboy to text you back.
^See what the fuck I mean? Men are idiots.
Every guy either thinks Seinfeld or Cheers was like, the best show ever invented and those guys go on to watch Veep. Good thing for you, Veep stars Julia Louis Dreyfus, so you can relax knowing the guys who think they’re better than you because they watch this show are rooting for a woman. If you liked Arrested Development you’ll like this show, plus Julia is just queen bee when it comes to carrying a comedy. Also since you’re busy af, this show is only 30 minutes, which means you can watch this if you need to pop an Adderall trying to remember everyone’s names in Game of Thrones.
3. ‘Twin Peaks’
This show used to be on TV and now it’s back, directed by David Lynch again, which means the hot nerds are going crazy for it. The show has every celebrity you can imagine in it, plus it’s got a missing homecoming queen which is like some of our favorite things. Missing hot people and small town drama—it’s basically what Riverdale was trying to be. I mean, Riverdale is still pretty chill, but if you want to go to the source, watch Twin Peaks. Guys love showing off their knowledge of directors like it isn’t the most basic thing you could know about movies, so they’ll tell you facts about David Lynch all day. How cute, it’s like if we bragged about knowing all of Britney’s albums names… how could anyone not already know?! But you’ll let him sound smart in front of you and he’ll love how chill you are.
4. McGregor/Mayweather Fight
Should someone tell the men that watching strong men fight each other doesn’t actually make you stronger yourself? But for whatever reason, guys think staring at muscles will enhance their own, and who are we to break the spell? This fight is coming up on Saturday and it’s the perfect excuse to text him to make casual hang plans. Because even if he’s not that into the fight, you asking him what he’s doing for it will probably make him realize he should be more into it, which will cause him to invite you to watch it together so he can appear stronger in front of you. It’s a win-win for everyone, plus you’ll be able to meet his friends and acquaintances in case things don’t work out and you need a rebound. Chill all around.
5. ‘Bob’s Burgers’
Why do men love cartoons so much? Probably because they don’t want to face the fact that they’re adults and responsible for the future of this world. Regardless, Bob’s Burgers is a funny classic that bros love because it’s got dry humor along with absurd situations and the guy who voices Archer. Plus, it’s what made Kristen Schaal famous, and she’s the only quirky celebrity we can stand.
6. ‘Last Week Tonight’
This show is where men learn how to mansplain the shit out of things they don’t understand to women. If you watch this show you can learn about current events with punchlines built in, so when you’re discussing why prison system is so fucked in America on your 14th date, you can throw in an angle that isn’t just dry preaching. John Oliver keeps his show short enough to keep your attention span, but long enough to get into it in a real way. Guys probably won’t admit that they’ve done little to no research on most of the topics they’re acting like experts on, and you can do the same amount of no work by watching this show.