March Favorites

Spring break is here and that means I got to catch up with a lot of my favorites and make new ones as well.

Favorite TV Shows: Fresh Off The Boat and Sherlock

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Never in my years of watching television, have I found a show I can so relate to. Fresh Off The Boat is a new show on ABC that is set in the 90’s (is there even a better decade to compete with?). Eddie Huang and his Taiwanese family move from comfortable life in D.C., which has a predominant Asian population, to Orlando, Florida which basically has no Asian population. This show is hysterical. I related so much to Eddie’s mom, and the similarities she had to my own. From not allowing sleepovers because she watched too much Dateline, packing a smelly Asian lunch, not turning on the AC to save money, to competing with relatives through “success perms” I loved every minute of this show. I wouldn’t say it’s stereotypical but rather points out the casual racism Asian Americans receive in a white community and the juxtaposition of two very different cultures. It also has layers of depth I could relate to such as Eddie being isolated as the only Asian member of his Middle School and trying to fit in. If you’re an Asian American or were once the minority in your community, or even felt like an outsider at one point I highly recommend this show. It’s funny without trying too hard and depicts a touchy issue with so much grace and effortless comedic timing. Fresh Off The Boat is definitely my new favorite show!

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I was absolutely blown away by this show. Sherlock is a British TV show based on the crime-solving adventures of Sherlock Holmes and his sidekick Dr. John Watson.  It has everything a fantastic show needs; thrills, comedy, action, drama, crime. This show is interesting because each episode is made like a movie, an hour and a half long with only three episodes per season per year. So don’t make the mistake I did and watch it all at once. Then you’ll be waiting, like me, until next year for season 4 which seems unbearable! What makes you become a loyal fan of Sherlock is the characters, who you grow quite attached to. You’ll end up loving both Sherlock and John even though they have completely opposing personalities and in real life you know you’d actually hate Sherlock. But I love how Holmes and Watson’s characters balance each other out. You mix the witty, arrogant, manic, brilliance of Sherlock Holmes with the kind, straight-shooting, support of Dr. Watson and you get a bromance that keeps you rooting for them every episode. Sherlock is more than a crime drama or mystery. It has the depth that comes from the serious crimes, counterbalanced with the nonchalance and witty comedy by the male duo which results in a well-rounded and impactful show. Trust me! Watch just one episode and you’ll be hooked.

Favorite Movie: The Young Victoria

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Although this movie came out in 2009 (and received many award nominations), I only saw this movie recently and was pleasantly surprised. I had enjoyed Emily Blunt’s acting in The Devil Wears Prada and was so impressed with the way she protrayed Queen Victoria. This movie is set mainly at the cusp of Victoria’s right of passage to become queen. Her character is filled with such youthful exuberance yet the common insecurities of a young individual which made her immediately likable as the protagonist. What I really liked about this film was the interesting perspective of showing Victoria at the beginnings of her journey rather than at her prime. A time when she is trying to handle many players, unsure of who to trust but aware of being manipulated and used for status and power. I also liked how the movie showed her flaws and mistakes but overall passion and yearning for strength and independence to become queen and a great one. The romance aspect of this movie was also done beautifully, perfectly capturing the spontaneity and brightness of young love without being gratuitous or sappy. I would not call this movie a chick flick because it’s filled with so much more substance than that. It’s full of the realities of coming-of-age with the added pressures of becoming queen of a nation. It was a refreshing portrait of an independently fierce woman who I knew nearly nothing about to begin with but fully admired by the end of the film. A wonderful portrayal full of heart and intelligence, with a breathable air making the film a great delight to see.

Favorite Singer: Kina Grannis

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I had watched Kina Grannis on YouTube sporadically for a few years, but recently attended her concert when she came to Austin when I fell in love with her voice. It’s light yet poignant, and her falsetto is gorgeous. I always appreciate a singer who writes her own work, and besides her covers she produced an entirely original album on her own through the support of her mega YouTube following.  Her newest album, called Elements, is full of mellow techno vibes, indie melodies, and soft pop tunes. It feels very raw and honest, reminding me of campfire or road trip music. I love how heartfelt her music feels and her storytelling ability through the intimate lyrics of her songs. Kina Grannis is a very talented musician that leaves both a deep impression and makes you feel refreshed. Whenever I listen to her I can’t help but wish that the plethora of overrated artists could be as authentic as she.

Favorite Book: It’s What I Do

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I may only be halfway through this book but I was immediately drawn in from the first page. It’s What I Do is a memoir about a war photographer’s journey through some of the most dangerous circumstances of all time including Iraq and Afghanistan. Through kidnappings, car bombs, and guns pointed to her head Lynsey Addario’s story is truly amazing. Being an aspiring journalist myself, I really wanted to see how someone else came to success. I enjoyed learning about her beginnings around Latin America trying to get hired, to her big success post 9/11 freelancing with the New York Times. I feel like I’ve already learned so much about the world while reading this book, from varying customs to the intricacies of war which she transforms into readable and emotional stories. Also, seeing the tumultuous balance she struggled with as a journalist, between flying across the world at a second’s notice and trying to maintain relationships and normalcy during the in between really opened my eyes. Addario also reveals the added adversity she must face as a female war photographer in a male-dominated field. However, what I love the most so far about Lynsey’s story (besides it being extremely well written) is how she manages to humanize so many people we hold misconceptions of. If you love excitement, culture, history, current events, or just a captivating story this book is perfect for you.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any fashion or beauty favorites like February’s posting. However, do expect a few postings on fashion coming soon! Let me know if you enjoy this Favorites series and if you’d like to see more in the future.

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