Fifty Percent – The Flight Attendant – Jamie's under the pump
...and other recs this week!
Kia ora, welcome to this week’s newsletter.
We’re sharing some picks from this year’s season of Loading Docs over the next couple of weeks and they are all very good. The first one, Fifty Percent, is about a big, literally life-changing decision faced by filmmaker Lillian Hanly. She has a 50% chance of inheriting Huntington’s, a neurodegenerative disease that runs in her family, and which it’s now possible to test for. Would you want to know? Or is it better not to?
Have a watch:
This week’s new podcasts
Subscribe and listen now wherever you get your podcasts!
When Sanjay Patel created his Twitter account in December 2008 the character limit was still 140 and retweets could only be done manually. His first tweet, if he recalls correctly, was something about the weather. “It wasn’t very exciting.” Not only did this make him one of the first New Zealanders on Twitter, he soon developed a reputation as one of the few whose tweets were actually funny. He’s funny IRL too, as this week’s episode of FIRST goes to show.
Extremely Online – Welcome to the Metaverse
One day we could all be working in it, socialising in it, even living in it... So what actually is the Metaverse? Let this week’s episode of Extremely Online from the Shit You Should Care About team explain.
The Flight Attendant
Stewart says: “Last week my recommendation (The Great British Sewing Bee) was very much ‘comfort TV’, but this week we’re making an emergency landing in anxiety-ridden, cliffhanger-filled thriller territory. HBO Max original The Flight Attendant (Neon) is an eight episode rollercoaster featuring a deservedly Emmy nominated performance from Kaley Cuoco. After one booze-fuelled layover, she wakes up to find her one-night stand with his throat slashed. It’s part comedy, part thriller, and features a killer supporting cast including Michelle Gomez, who has somehow gone from starring in bizarre British sitcoms like Green Wing to taking on big roles on American cable TV. Simply put, it’s perfect lockdown viewing – entirely bingeable, fast-paced and totally ridiculous.”
Eli says: “Have a shit tonne of random LEGO and don’t know what to do with it? Lost all the instruction booklets? Brickit is an app that scans all your LEGO and provides a list of inspiring new creations to build. Definitely something to try when lockdown boredom strikes!”
Leonie says: “I was introduced to Picture This by my colleague Eli recently, and its been an invaluable companion on my stupid little walks ever since. Take a picture of any plant and it will identify it, as well as providing lots of interesting information. I’ve mostly used it to identify plants and flowers that are edible or non-toxic for salads and decorating cakes, but it’s also great to just learn more about my local natural environment.”
Age of Napoleon
Leonie’s bubble-mate Harry says: “Age of Napoleon has been running since March 2017 and is now up to 80+ episodes – it’s expansive in scope, but quite meticulous in detail. We don’t really meet Napoleon himself until episode 15. Before that we traversed the court of Louis Quatorze, the politics and history of Prussia, the Hapsburg Empire, England, and other European powers, Corsican nationalism, the Jacobins, Robespierre and the Terror, the development of racist and colonialist ideologies alongside that of the Enlightenment and capitalism, and Marx’s 18th Brumaire. It’s a good critical history about a period I didn’t really know much about, delivered by a reasonably dry host, but with a dry humour.”
Jamie Oliver’s big lockdown mood
Chris says: “If anyone wants some lockdown lols, I randomly stumbled upon the most amazing thing last night: Jamie Oliver’s Keep Cooking and Carry On (S2E1). He has nothing in his fridge, is cooking on a single gas burner, films himself on an iPhone and his kids keep interrupting him. He looks dishevelled af.”
How to Do Nothing
Shanti says: “I finished reading How to Do Nothing by Jenny Odell last night and it was really excellent! The title alone is pretty lockdown appropriate, and so is the rest of it.”
Emily says: “I’m really obsessed with this dried kiwifruit. The algorithm served me up Little Beauties on Facebook while I was demolishing some chips and I felt like I should try them as a healthier snack. I’m now utterly obsessed with the kiwifruit packs – they’re somehow tangy and sweet at the same time, and the chocolate is perfection. They’re the best lockdown snack because I feel virtuous because they’re FRUIT. I’m going to have to start selling things because I can’t stop eating them and they’re very expensive but IMO worth it.”
Sam says: “If my brain is broken, my YouTube algorithm is absolutely shattered. Somehow, it recently decided that what I needed to watch was a 2013 bit from the German sketch show Knallerfrauen in which a woman sings her child to sleep. And you know what? The algorithm was right! This is a perfect, silly, stupid sketch with a great twist, and I absolutely needed it in my life.”
The Fundamentals of Caring
Lucy says: “If you’re looking for a nice, watchable movie, I enjoyed The Fundamentals of Caring on Netflix. Paul Rudd plays an out-of-work guy who trains to be a caregiver and gets a job looking after a sarcastic and agoraphobic 18-year-old boy with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. He decides to get him out of the house and the storyline turns into a classic American road trip redemption story, featuring Selena Gomez as a bad ass hitchhiker.”
That’s all for this week! Please reply to get in touch and share with anyone else who might like to subscribe too. See you next Wednesday 👋