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Social Distancing Diaries: Getting through week one

Here’s how I spent my time without sports last week.

A detail shot of the Official Practice Puck during warm ups against the Detroit Red Wings at STAPLES Center on November 14, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Juan Ocampo/NHLI via Getty Images

What are we supposed to talk about while sports are gone?

Not even just sports — anything that draws a crowd has been put on hold, leaving few things that the population taking social distancing seriously (as you should be, by the way) are experiencing simultaneously. TV is about the only option and we’re in a world of cord-cutters.

With all of this media instantly available at your finger tips, it can be a little overwhelming to decide what to put your time into, now that you finally have the time. Here are a few things that haven’t quite filled the void of sports, but at least helped my stay-at-home St. Paddy’s weekend go by a bit quicker.

iZombie

I’m coming off a months-long documentary kick and I’ve been struggling to finish binging basically any show that has more than two seasons. I remembered recently that I had once found iZombie to be entertaining, back when there were only two seasons, and the show ended after five. I decided to start over, and the short (13-episode) seasons make it more likely that I’ll get through it, even if it nosedives in quality.

Of course, I didn’t account for the show going full “Zombie Jesus Is Real” at the start of season four, so I’m struggling to finish with about a season and some change left. Still, the first two seasons are very good and they still make cool stylistic choices to where I’m at so far. The plot just took some weird and bad directions. Also making me listen to Liv attempting to rap should be an actual crime.

Scrubs

My preferred method of binging is alternating between a drama and a comedy, though my current two choices are their own very different blends of both. Scrubs is the ultimate comedy with drama. It’s the best workplace comedy ever and it’s not even close.

I’m mostly just prepping for when Shea Serrano’s new ebook drops this weekend.

You’re Wrong About

I would listen to Sarah read me the dictionary. Her voice is so silky and relaxing and this has been my go-to podcast to listen to while getting around for bed. I’ve started backlistening from the beginning, as I do with every podcast because listening out of order feels wrong to me. I don’t know how I hadn’t started in on this show sooner because it feels like putting on my favorite sweater right out of the dryer.

Two history nerds talk about misconceptions we have about various events in history and the cultural history surrounding those events. The early episodes are a lot of events that took place during formative years for millennials, which has been really interesting to re-visit and re-frame.

Mission to Zyxx

If you haven’t gotten into audio dramas yet, a way to dip your toes in might be something like an improv science fiction sitcom podcast! Enter Mission to Zyxx. The cast plays the crew of ambassadors (and their ship), who attempt to establish diplomacy across the “ass end of space.” It’s like Futurama meets Hello From The Magic Tavern. I cannot listen to it while I work because I won’t get any work done.

They recently started season four, so I’ve gotten to catch up on a handful of episodes at once and I’m very sad to get back to once a week.

The Ballad of Billy Balls

Man, I don’t know if I can reveal the twist in this show or not. First of all, listen to both seasons of Crimetown Presents, because the approach that both seasons take is a very personal connection to these sort of mythological figures and stories and the reasons we’re driven to find answers for these mysteries. I listened to The RFK Tapes a long time ago and never got around to the second season, until this week.

If you have any kind of punk-rock roots or interest in the New York punk scene of the 80s, it’s a really cool listen and incredibly produced. It’s about the search for answers after a musician is shot dead by a police officer and then sent to a paupers’ grave.

Captain America: The First Avenger

The best of the Marvel trilogies also kicks off the Marvel Cinematic Universe, if you’re a weirdo like me who likes watching things chronologically (oh yeah, that’s gonna come up a lot in these posts).

A couple summers ago, I watched the entire MCU (including TV shows) in chronological order. I’m playing around with the idea of doing it again while on lockdown and maybe doing a definitive ranking. I’ve started here this week, anyway, but no promises.

Frozen 2

Not only did I recently order the Frozen 2 collection from Colourpop (worth it), but my one break from self-isolation this week was a few hours with my four-year-old niece. She’s going through a big Frozen 2 phase right now, and of course, Disney+ added it this weekend.

First, we decorated some Frozen 2 themed cookies from a kit I bought during the dying days of post-Christmas clearance for $.89. Then we watched the movie, my first time seeing it. Admittedly, I hated Frozen, but Frozen 2 is actually pretty good. Not often the sequel is better than the original.

Let me know what you’ve been using to stay busy this weekend in the comments below!