Then might I suggest binge watching the following programs over the next couple of days? Sure…you may find yourself covered with potato chip crumbs as you try to wake up whichever one of your limbs has fallen asleep due to lack of movement…but you also might learn something!
Paycheck to Paycheck
Paycheck to Paycheck: The life and times of Katrina Gilbert chronicles the struggles of a single mom desperately trying to make ends meet in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The documentary recently aired on HBO (you can watch it on demand via HBO GO) and I knew I had to watch it–simply because the main character shared my name. (Shallow, but true.)
Five minutes in, I was completely captivated by Katrina’s powerful, extremely sad story. Guess what? Poverty in America is a huge problem, and so much more common than we realize. The most devastating part is that this cycle of impoverishment in the U.S. is nearly impossible to break given our current government programs and systems. I kept trying to come up with a viable solution for Katrina, and I just…well…couldn’t. This film was not only heartbreaking — it was a much-needed wakeup call.
COSMOS: A Spacetime Odyssey
COSMOS airs on both FOX and National Geographic, but Scott and I have been catching up via Hulu Plus. The show originated on PBS in the 1980s and was created by famed scientist Carl Sagan. The new version of the show is produced and hosted by Mr. Sagan’s protegé, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, who I initially mistook for Lamar Burton. Scott nearly divorced me when I uttered “Hey…is that the Reading Rainbow guy??”
Scott, who holds a degree in Biology and loves all things scientific, is the reason I started watching the show. He regularly fits-pumps at the screen when Neil says something provocative, and has even stood up and started clapping vigorously on a couple of occasions. Yup — I married a science geek.
I, on the other hand, am the most non-scientific person you may ever encounter, yet still find the show fascinating. Neil breaks down complex concepts into layman’s terms, and I’m really enjoying learning more about the planet we call home. The world is an incredibly intricate and miraculous place — it’s nice to be reminded of how marvelous our everyday surroundings actually are.
Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson. Need I say more? This tale of two mismatched homicide detectives covering a case in 1980’s rural Louisiana is delightfully addicting. Also? Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson. (Just felt that was worth tossing out there again.)
This 2-hour documentary originally aired on ESPN, but is currently available on Netflix, and details the bat-ish-crazy drama that was the Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan scandal of 1994. I was in fourth grade at the time, and remember the barrage of media coverage surrounding these two Olympic hopefuls as if it were yesterday. ESPN’s film shed a whole new light on what I remembered from the first time around, and provided an entirely different perspective and context.
I had originally planned on only watching the first twenty minutes before going to bed, but was instantly sucked into the bizarre, convoluted tale of competition and slander. It’s true what they say…real life often is stranger than fiction.