Saturday, August 9, 2014

What I'm Digging - Summer 2014 Review

It's time for the annual summer What I'm Digging roundup, where I give some of my current entertainment addictions!  I'm hoping some of these things are new to you too, because I have this problem:

 
So although I can't be creepy and watch you watch these things (or listen to them), I still want to share the awesomeness! (and then be nice and let me know what you thought in the comments, ok?  Ok.)

MUSIC:

1960-1970's Guitar Rock Jams  



apart from Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin, i've never been much of a fan of any music from these two decades. however for reasons i cannot explain, i'm digging "the sound" more this summer.  my playlist is steadily growing a nice repertoire of Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Wonder (how can you not get up and dance when "Sir Duke" comes on?!), Rare Earth, Traffic, and some hits of the time such as the Animals "Don't Bring Me Down" and the Knack's "My Sharona". funny thing, my wardrobe has taken a slight 60's/70's fashion turn with a few vintage pieces i've added too - i'll blame it all w/ getting a Mini.

Taeyang's album "Rise" 



If you've not taken the opportunity to expand your understanding of Kpop beyond Gangnam Style, this is one to try.  i've had this album on repeat for much of the summer.  Taeyang is from the group Big Bang, a hugely popular boy group known in most of Asia.  he has a velvety hip hop voice that croons like Usher or Nelly, and if you watch some of his music videos, an amazing dance talent.   he's definitely his own man with a unique vibe and style, so go ahead, give the music a listen.  my only critique is that they should have kept "Ringa Linga" a single and left it off the album, as it doesn't quite gel with the feeling of the rest of the album.  but since that's nitpicking, imma gonna get back to playing it...again...  9/10.

TV:

Top Gear (BBC)



We don't get "normal" TV, just Netflix and the interwebs for all of our shows, and we've been steadily making our way through seasons of Top Gear BBC now that we've stopped trying to like Doctor Who ever since Clara came along.  If you like cars, non-PC humor, and juvenile pranks coming from three grown men, this is the show for you.  I don't think there's been a single episode that has not made me laugh.

The Paradise (BBC)



Also discovered The Paradise BBC on Netflix and we're making our way through the second season.  The story takes place in 1870's England and centers around the lives of the people who live and work in the first English department store. I'd say the best thing is the characters aren't cliche.  In fact you sometimes hate a character in one episode and emphasize with them in the next as you learn their personality and motives.  I love that.  The story has smartly escaped some pitfalls as well that befall too many episode plotlines that leave you frustrated with the characters' inability to communicate or ask a simple question that would solve everything. I haven't seen Downton Abby, but if you liked that, you'll probably like this series as well.

Boy Meets World


need i explain?  gotta have some throwback in the mix!

Roommates



Personally, 99% of the time I abhor and stay the heck away from reality shows.  However, not this one.  First it helps that it isn't American, but Korean.  In Roommates, 11 Korean celebrities (actors, singers, comedians, athletes, etc.) who have been living alone now live together in a house and learn to become a family.  If this were an American show, the roommates would be seen constantly creating drama and bickering, being selfish, backstabbing, and being neurotic and narcissistic.  Thus, this is why I appreciate the completely refreshing 180 of these celebrities in Korea.  They're humble, genuine, vulnerable, creative, and they really strive to understand one another.  I've grown to love them all.  The show balances well between some heartbreaking insights into the lives of these people and what they have gone through (or are going through), and some outrageously hilarious adventures.  It's a feel-good reality show with palpable honesty.  The show started early this summer and is still airing future episodes.  If you'd like to catch up, you can watch all the episodes (free) on Drama Fever.

Running Man
 

Maybe I should rephrase and say that I run away screaming at the prospect of watching 99% of American reality shows, because Running Man is a reality variety show, and a darn funny one.  Think of it as a cross between SNL and The Amazing Race: it's a weekly show with the same cast, save a guest star or two appearing in each episode, and it has everyone running around finding clues and competing in crazy quests.  They keep it fresh every week by changing the rules as well as location.  Sometimes there's teams, sometimes there's a mole, and other times it's every man for himself.  What I find most hilarious about it is that the rules can be bent; truces and cheating in order to win can be done, but always in a comical way, because the main goal of the show is to be funny, and it delivers.  You will be laughing.  A lot. Again, if you'd like to watch the episodes (they're ongoing), you can watch them free (w/ subs) on Drama Fever.

FOOD: P.F. Changs since discovering this restaurant while visiting my brother and sis-in-law this past Spring, i've been there no less than a half-dozen times, and never been ill.  not only do they have a legit GF menu, but it's got CHOICES.  and they have sauces.  even more spectacular?  they have not just ONE, but TWO incredibly delicious desserts that are GF/DF!  in fact, the desserts are not a GF version of the actual dessert they normally offer, but the actual dessert is something that both non-GF and GF eaters alike can devour!  i'll usually order several more of their chocolate dome cake to take home with me, because dude, where else do you get GF desserts like that?! Chocolate speaking of the chocolate dome cakes at P.F. Chang's...i know this is something that a stereotypical female will have as a lifetime "like", but until the last few months i've never been a chocolate fan.  for the most part i've always strongly disliked the stuff, even the smell of it.  i did grow to like brownies and chocolate cake by the time i was in college, but that was the extent of it. however, since eating the chocolate dome cake at P.F. Chang's, i've been on a hyper-chocolate craving frenzy!  granted, it's still not full-on chocolate bars, but the fact that i'm craving chocolate at all is a new experience for me.  and it demands i listen to it like nobody's business.  if only it were easier to find dairy-free chocolate...  :)



What have you guys been finding this summer?  Any goodies to look forward to this Fall?

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