A photo of Gigi Silla, the creator of “Would Recommend”
Welcome to “Would Recommend,” the new and improved version of “Gigi’s Corner: A Column,” the column in which I write about things that spark joy in my life and then rate them on a ten-point scale. Sort of like if Marie Kondo wrote Yelp reviews. There are plenty of things in my life that don’t spark joy (humidity, people who don’t wear masks, the squirrel that keeps on eating the cucumbers in my garden), but, here in the column, we like to keep things positive.
- Ramy on Hulu: Do you wash between your toes? Ramy does. Or at least he thinks he should. And maybe you will too after watching this show. Follow sexually and religiously confused millennial Ramy Hassan on his quest for spiritual truth, a quest which takes him mostly just around New Jersey but also occasionally to the Diamond District and for a little while to Cairo where he eats strawberries and finds salvation. Sort of. Not really. Actually not at all, but I’d still give it a 10/10.
- Pose on FX and Netflix: The category is Ryan Murphy dramas, and Pose is taking home grand prize. This show has all the classic elements of the Ryan Murphy dramas you know and love, like Glee, The Politician and Hollywood, meaning it has beautiful actors, lots of gays, an obligatory lesbian, gorgeous costumes and Patti LuPone. (Thankfully both Gwenyth Paltrow and unrealistic portrayals of the high school experience decided to sit this one out.) Pose also comes with an insane plot line including (among other things) dead bodies in closets, a fist-fight at Trump Tower and a giant inflatable condom. Intrigued? Thought so. Judges, your scores? 10. 10. 10. 10. 10!
- Late Night With Seth Meyers on NBC and YouTube: Ok, full disclosure, I’ve never actually seen an entire episode of this show. I mean, what kind of a wacko watches late night television late at night? I just watch the clips that are suggested to me on YouTube like a normal person. My favorite segment is “Jokes Seth Can’t Tell” in which show writers Amber Ruffin and Jenny Hagel tell the punchlines to jokes that, due to his being a straight white man, Seth can’t tell. A lot of the jokes aren’t even that funny, but what is really funny is watching as jokes about lesbian sex and racism make Seth deeply uncomfortable on live television. Also, this segment proves they really should just change the show to Late Night With Amber Ruffin as she is the superior comedian. 10/10.
- Portrait of a Lady on Fire on Hulu: The place? France. The time? 1770. The gist? A lesbian painter is comissioned to paint a lesbian noblewoman. They kiss on the beach. They play cards. They smoke pipes. They attend a midnight bonfire cult thingy. They do drugs in their armpits. 10/10.
- Wild Nights With Emily on Kanopy: While we’re on the topic of lesbians in olden times, let me introduce you to Wild Nights With Emily, a charming film all about the life and love letters of Emily Dickinson and her lover Susan. They kiss in the woods. They play badminton. Emily intimidates men. Susan marries one. And then this opportunist named Mabel Todd screws everything up. 10/10.
- Women In Music Pt. III by HAIM: Two of the three Haim sisters may have cut off their signature long hair since the last album cycle ended, but never fear; they’re still up to their same old shenanigans, still writing killer bass lines, walking aggressively in music videos and saying “hey!” and “huh!” at various intervals in their songs. Wimp 3, as I like to call it, even has some exciting features that the previous two albums don’t. It’s got some smooth, smooth alto sax, a love note to delicatessens, a hate note to Los Angeles and a surprising degree of emotional depth. I’m disappointed that Danielle and Alana cut off their hair, yet still I remain a Haim sister wannabe. 8/10.
- Reply All: Hosted by two of the very few white men I would call for advice, PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman, Reply All is a true powerhouse of a podcast. PJ and Alex take their jobs very seriously and themselves significantly less so, and the result is one of the most consistently innovative and delightful podcasts out there. For some good old fashioned Nancy Drew-esque mysteries, listen to “Adam Pices and the $2 Coke,” “The Case of the Missing Hit” and “The Case of the Phantom Caller.” For the wildest international telemarketing saga you’ve ever heard, listen to “Long Distance.” 10/10.
- Code Switch: In NPR’s premiere podcast on race and culture, Gene Demby and Shereen Marisol Meraji introduce you to Karen’s mother Becky and her grandmother Miss Anne, take you into the Dream House with Carmen Maria Machado and explain why sometimes they explain things and sometimes they don’t. They break down qualified immunity in an episode with a pun for a title, ask white people “why now?,” interrogate the cultural significance of Nickelodeon’s Dora and. So. Much. More. 10/10.
- Crossword puzzles: There is nothing quite like the unique satisfaction of filling in “six across” using some obscure knowledge you obtained about the 1840 election in your AP US History class junior year of high school. 10/10.
- Peaches: No, this isn’t some sort of Call Me By Your Name innuendo. (I’ve actually never seen that movie because I wasn’t seventeen yet when it came out, and I was and still am too much of a rules-follower to try to go see an R-rated movie while I was underage, and it’s also not really the kind of movie one can go see with one’s mother on a Sunday afternoon. And then I tried to watch it once on a flight to Germany two summers ago, but I was flying by myself and the guy sitting next to me had told me earlier that he was on his way to the Ukraine for a Jehovah’s Witness convention, and I couldn’t remember if Jehovah’s Witnesses are homophobic or not, and we had already taken off so I couldn’t Google it. So in short, I have never seen Call Me By Your Name, and I probably never will, and I have made peace with my fate.) Anyway, I love fruit, and peaches are my favorite fruit of the summer season. Enjoy them fresh and chilled as a light afternoon snack or baked into a cobbler with a scoop of vanilla for a delightful dessert. 10/10.