The Culture Binge: 12 Things Our Team Couldn’t Put Down In March

The Culture Binge: 12 Things Our Team Couldn’t Put Down In March

Welcome to the end of March; you made it! While you were busy debating a hot or iced coffee, our team was reading, eating, listening
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Welcome to the end of March; you made it! While you were busy debating a hot or iced coffee, our team was reading, eating, listening, and watching anything we could get our hands on– all in all, we were bingeing everything. The good news is that we curated the creme-de-la-creme, worthwhile things for you to spend time on that you can brag to your friends about. 

Read a Desi retelling of Taming of The Shrew, listen to Delicious Ways to Feel Better, and watch season 2 of Bridgerton and more. 

Books We Couldn’t Put Down

1

If You See Me, Don’t Say Hi, Neel Patel

What we loved about it: This recommendation comes straight from our team member Leena: “For me, at least, I grew up without a lot of South Asian representation, and especially after studying media in college I’ve realized I definitely tried to distance myself from being a “certain type” of first-generation American. I think a lot of other contemporary media is trying to tell stories like this (ie: Kim’s Convenience, Fresh Off The Boat) but it was really refreshing to see characters I felt I could relate to, and that this level of guilt and shame surrounding the model minority myth and a disconnect between generations and culture is really normal. I liked that the stories in IYSMDSH were diverse but all followed the same theme of relationships coming together and falling apart. It has gay love stories, young love, perspectives from both women and men, those who do follow the model minority myth, and those who don’t.”

Why it’s consciously cool: The book is not only written by a South Asian author, but it delves into LGBTQ+ relationships, interracial relationships, as well as focuses on minority/POC protagonists. 

2

Dating Dr. Dil, Nisha Sharma

What we loved about it: Think about this as a Taming of The Shrew retelling but with meddling aunties, 30-year-old Indian love interests, and a girl who likes to fix cars– then add a heavy heaping dose of spice and you have Dating Dr. Dil. We read this book in two sittings, recommended it to everyone we could get our hands on (i.e. you), and couldn’t stop thinking about how SEXY Dr. Dil was. If you like fake relationships and enemies to lovers, this is definitely your next read.

Why it’s consciously cool: Nisha Sharma is a major Bollywood fan and acclaimed romance writer, and each of her books is definitely auntie-approved.   

3

The Paris Apartment, Lucy Foley 

What we loved about it: Who doesn’t love mystery and suspense? I should start by saying I’m a massive fan of Lucy Foley and her previous two books: The Hunting Party and The Guest List. All her books keep you on the edge of your seat, and this latest installment is no different. This time, think about a scenario where you have to talk to all your neighbors in hopes of finding your missing brother, only to find out how weird and eerie they all are. Yeah, I double-locked my door after this one. 

Why it’s consciously cool: Written by a best-selling author, Lucy Foley, a British mystery and suspense author. 

Articles We Forwarded To Friends

4

NY Times – How Covid Stole Our Time…

What we loved about it: Though it feels like Covid has taken a back seat this month, many of us are still struggling with pandemic-related anxiety and depression. We loved this NY Times article because it reminds us that we’re doing just fine, and we’ll be just fine. Urban writes, “the life we’ll be living 10 years from now will largely be determined not by our past selves but by our present and future selves. If we imagine what we might regret down the road, it’s very much in our hands to do something about it now.”

Why it’s consciously cool: Writer Tim Urban forces us to take a look at our deepest fears and challenges us with a seemingly impossible task— live in the present. 

TV Shows That Had Us Hooked

5

Bridgerton, Netflix

What we loved about it: If you’ve already seen the first season of Bridgerton then you probably don’t need us to explain why Season 2 was equally as good– if not better. We binged all the episodes within a two-day span and loved the romance, *spice*, politics, and actors. Not to mention the cast is incredibly diverse and talented.

Why it’s consciously cool: Bridgerton is the latest installment in Shondaland (Shonda Rhimes empire), and its main love interest is none other than British-Indian actress Simone Ashley.  

6

Severance, Apple TV 

What we loved about it: Severance is a different perspective on an “ethical workplace” because while all the employees consent to undergo a procedure to make them more efficient/productive employees, it forces viewers to consider different forms of exploitation and control in the workplace. In general, Adam Scott gives an incredible performance, totally separating from his prior roles and making the distinction between his “work self” and “home self” clear but cohesive.

Why it’s consciously cool: Severance focuses on the ethics of the workplace, specifically on Employer/employee control dynamics. A lot of coming to the office and being in a workplace is just employers seeking to control as many aspects of their employees’ lives in order to maximize productivity (read “exploitation”) all while many of those jobs could easily be done WFH or hybrid at the most.

7

Phoenix Rising, HBOMax

Trigger warning– Phoenix Rising discusses sensitive topics such as sexual assault, domestic violence, physical violence, and mental abuse. 

What we loved about it: The highly anticipated Phoenix Rising came to HBOMax this past month. The 3-hour docuseries centers on actress Evan Rachel Wood’s allegations of sexual abuse against ex-boyfriend Marilyn Manson, and how she uses her story to advocate for increased statutes of limitations.

Why it’s consciously cool: Wood is the founder of The Phoenix Act, a survivor-led advocacy group. In 2019, California passed The Phoenix Act, which extended the statute of limitations for survivors of domestic violence survivors to 5 years, and is the direct result of Wood’s hard work.

Podcasts We Couldn’t Stop Listening To

8

Delicious Ways To Feel Better 

What we loved about it: Delicious Ways to Feel Better dives into various topics around bettering your ‘self’ from a holistic, harmonious approach. Through chatting with experts in the field, Ella Mills unpacks why we feel the way we do and how we can work towards a healthy and balanced life. We enjoyed it because it helps us think about health and wellness as a whole body, mental and physical, way of living. She doesn’t force the wellness industry on you, she helps to prompt a conversation within yourself about ways that you can live holistically

Why it’s consciously cool: Founded by a woman, this podcast dives into the health and wellness sphere, unwrapping the complexities of physical and mental health in attainable ways. 

9

PRETTYSMART

What we loved about it: PRETTYSMART coins itself as a love letter to women with something to say. As if we need any more reason to love Danielle Robay’s podcast, this month, she hosted Reshma Saujani, founder of Girls Who Code, who touches on ‘burnout at work’ and its disproportionate toll on working women.

Why it’s consciously cool: Danielle Robay’s interviews range from a woman CEO, an Adult Film star, a Drag Queen, a Psychologist, and even a female meteorologist. 

Music That’ll End Up On Our Spotify Wrapped

10

THE SNAKE, Lana Lubany

What we loved about it: Funny enough, one of us discovered this while scrolling through TikTok (as one does) and instantly fell in love with this song by Lana Lubany. The song combines the artist’s two cultural languages, English and Arabic, in a beautiful and soothing blend.

Why it’s consciously cool: “The Snake” is written and sung by female Arab artist Lana Lubany and is reminiscent of traditional music with a modern spin. 

Videos We Couldn’t Stop Replaying

11

P.Volve

What we loved about it: Hello, endorphins. Working out to look good is a thing of the past, but working out to FEEL good– that’s where it’s at! P.Volve’s physical-therapy-inspired classes are designed with women in mind, and they help manage aches and pains with emphasis on the pelvic floor muscles. With classes online, in NY, LA, and Chicago, it’s never been easier to try something new. 

Why it’s consciously cool: P.Volve was co-founded by a woman (Rachel Katzman), and their instructors cater to postpartum women. 

Drinks We Shared With Friends

12

Ghia

What we loved about it: With longer nights and sunnier days on the horizon, we’re slowly shaking off our introvert-ways and spending more time with friends. Ghia, a spirits-free apéritif, has been our go-too non-alcoholic choice for easing us back into this thing we call socializing

Why it’s consciously cool: Ghia was started by a woman (Mélanie Masarin) who grew up near the Mediterranean, where Aperitivo is a way of life.

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