“Unpretentious and remarkably good-hearted, Love Is Strange is not strictly the gay-rights film its premise might suggest, nor is it easily classifiable as anything else. It’s part romantic comedy, part aging drama, part family portrait, part ode to a beloved city. What all those parts add up to is something rather marvelous and moving. I left the theater on Thursday morning feeling sad and happy and, maybe, a little wiser.”
“Populated by a menagerie of low-lifes and genial dopes—played by a uniformly excellent cast including Kate Walsh, Oliver Platt, Bob Odenkirk, Adam Goldberg, and Colin Hanks—Fargo is akin to FX’s other great crime series, Justified, only with that show’s cool wit swapped out for a loopiness that frequently, and alarmingly, tips over into near-existential dread. That the show maneuvers these sometimes sudden changes in tone so seamlessly is its chief delight. I’ve seen four episodes and am itching for more.”

Walkin home

“On a show that has partly been about uncovering the various lies and compromises embedded in the American dream, Peggy has always seemed like our only occasionally daunted hope for the future. What does that future hold for Peggy, and by some weird extension, for us? From the looks of it, there may be some tough times in the coming weeks. But I still think Peggy, with her reliable pluck and spark, will ultimately be the one who saves the day.”

Roger and Maureen, the later years

This was a lot of work. Read it if you dare!

April fool

It’s funny to enter that brief (briefer and briefer every year, it seems) season when you can’t blame the weather. It’s nice enough now, I guess. It’s rainy, sure, but it’s not freezing cold, my winter coat is probably done for the year. And it’s not getting dark until 7 or so, meaning we’re mostly getting the light we need to stay above the line of seasonal affective whatever. This is the weird liminal time before it’s 90 degrees and we’re allowed to let our resolve melt. Right now we’re forced to shrug and admit that the weather’s fine, but things just aren’t that great.

Many things are great! There’s so little concrete to complain about that it seems kind of silly to even sit down (or lie down, I’m in bed, all right?) and type out “things just aren’t that great.” But perspective is for later, I guess. So at the moment I’m letting myself vibrate at a familiar frequency of vague unease, and restlessness, and loneliness, and plenty else. And I can’t blame the weather! That excuse is gone for the time being, and all that’s left is me in shirtsleeves and a light jacket, wondering what all the fuss is about. 

This is the time of year when people start doing things again. I’ve noticed a lot more handholding, now that hands aren’t mittened or stuffed in pockets. Outdoor seats are popping up again—outdoor seating being a magical thing that makes pretty much anyone look relaxed and cool and happy, in control of the world. If they weren’t, how could they be sitting still with a glass of something while the busy world groans on by, just inches away from them?

I walked into a bar in Williamsburg a week ago for a friend’s afternoon birthday party, and there was a painting class going on, everyone working on their own version of the same rainbow-streaked sky, the same happy rocks bordering the same calm, blue ocean. It was a surreal sight, a field of easels and canvases filling the front of a little bar on Roebling Street. 

But it was a sunny, warm day in late March, so it didn’t seem that surreal. People are doing things now! Which is exciting, encouraging hopefully. But it can also make you feel more stuck if you find yourself feeling stuck anyway. “What do I do with all my time?” is a little memory game I find myself playing, tracing back each weekday and weekend as far as I can go. There aren’t any painting classes that I can remember, certainly not any handholding, not any al fresco afternoons so far this season. Which is normal, mostly. But this is the time of year when you want to feel delightfully weighted down by that kind of possibility. It’s a good replacement for the peculiar comforts of being cold and bundled up, for feeling cozy at home instead of hidden away.
My sister’s taking a painting class. Not the one in the bar, a different one, in DUMBO. Her teacher said she has real natural talent, something she’s known since she was a kid but has ignored for a long time. It could be nice to do something like that, to relearn something. Or maybe I should just start clearing the sweaters out of the drawers, start the weird work of remembering my summer clothes. A pair of shorts I forgot I had, a receipt from last summer still in the pocket. I know it’s not shorts weather just yet, but it might be useful for now to pretend that it is. To try to catch a hazy glimpse of myself trudging up 2nd Avenue, or wasting away in a subway station. So sure that the terrible heat will never end, that fall cannot possibly come soon enough. 
“When the jokes are ultimately as good-natured and silly as they are on Silicon Valley, it makes for a perfectly entertaining and likable series. But it’s so far too flimsy to turn over the heaviest rocks and poke at what wickedness and grotesquerie lies underneath. And there is a lot of wickedness and grotesquerie in the Bay Area! Of course this show doesn’t have to be some grimly satiric exploration of the evils of empty capitalism, but it could maybe be a little more, y’know, disruptive.”