For my first column of the year, here are 22 recommendations to get you through 2022. I’ve included books, TV shows, movies and even some things to avoid. Happy new year!
1. “Sister Act” (1992)
I rewatched this movie recently and I am still in awe of how great it is. Whoopi Goldberg has to go undercover in a nunnery because she’s on the run from the Italian mafia—-that’s all I’ll say. It makes me feel a pleasant nostalgia for my Catholic school days… just kidding.
2. “Ginger Snaps” (2000)
The perfect horror movie to watch with friends! It’s very campy at times and so much fun.
3. Pretend beef with celebreties
I’ve been telling people that Timothée Chalamet hit my car and drove off. I’ve also been saying that Martha Stewart ruined my friend’s Bat Mitzvah. I love this one because who knows? Maybe Martha really did make the horah all about her.
4. “Paddington” (2014)
What a film! I call this movie a film because it deserves the same recognition as something like “Pulp Fiction” (see #10 “Hating Quentin Tarantino”). The characters, the plot: it’s all masterfully done, and it’s only topped by its sequel.
5. “Paddington 2” (2017)
The only movie that’s better than the original “Paddington!” The little bear just wants to buy a gift for his grandmother, who’s living in the Home for Retired Bears. Shenanigans ensue!
6. Trader Joe’s dried mango
If I ever see Trader Joe on the street, I will kiss him for this product alone.
7. Being high-strung
The “cool girl” era is OVER! What’s trendy and fun right now is being anxious about everything and crying while receiving constructive criticism.
8. Kami Chrome Extension
If you want to be as studious as the people in Grammarly ads, this chrome extension is genuinely helpful. It lets you highlight websites and pdfs and will help you get work done, so you can watch “Sister Act” stress-free.
9. “Fetch the Bolt Cutters” by Fiona Apple (It’s okay to be THAT girl!)
Yes, Fiona Apple is a key aspect of many teenage girls’ For You Pages on TikTok. But what’s the harm in going with the crowd? I am exactly like other girls, and I love that. This is my favorite album of hers.
10. Hating Quentin Tarantino
That man needs to go on Wikifeet and stop making Margot Robbie wiggle her toes around in his movies. He creeps me out.
11. “Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel
Don’t be deterred by its pandemic-ravaged setting—this book is heartfelt and well-written. It’s one of the few post-apocalyptic novels that feels hopeful. It follows a troupe of Shakespearean actors trying to spread art despite worldwide devastation.
12. “Station Eleven” (2021)
This HBO limited-series adaptation of the aforementioned book is incredible. It is somehow both optimistic and devastating. Even though its plot veers from the book, it never feels like a betrayal of the original story.
13. “Modern Girl” by Sleater-Kinney
Believe it or not, I got into a car accident while listening to this song. Coincidence? Maybe…
14. “Don’t Look Up” (2021)
Hear me out! The cast is notoriously “star-studded,” and at first, this annoyed me, but a major aspect of the movie is criticizing people who care more about celebrity gossip than the end of the world. So if someone watched Don’t Look Up for Timothée Chalamet, they would be directly called out by the movie. It’s trying to force some self-reflection, maybe? Or famous people just wanted to be self-righteous and preach from their fossil-fuel-burning yachts. Watch it and decide!
15. Sleepytime Lavender Tea
Pair this tea with a face mask and all of your mental illness will be gone.
16. “Kajillionare” (2020)
The movie centers a strange, dysfunctional family. “Kajillionare” is plainly stated but
deals with the complex emotional dynamics between people, especially siblings.
17. Pirating “Parks and Recreation”
The fact that this show is no longer on Netflix is a travesty. It’s on that NBC streaming service now, and I refuse to buy a subscription out of principle. How dare NBC take “Parks and Rec” away from me! A student here probably has a parent who’s the CEO of NBC or something. If that’s you, tell mommy to free “Parks and Rec”!
18. “Greenwood” by Michael Kristie
This book follows different generations of the Greenwood family, all of them being somehow tied to trees. The characters include a grassroots environmentalist in the ’70s, the head of a lumber company, her carpenter son, etc. It’s perfect for the granola girls who enjoy Trader Joe’s dried mango.
19. Bringing your own water bottle to school
You CAN fill up a HydroFlask with lemonade from Café M! It is within your rights.
20. “Never Let Me Go” by Kazuo Ishiguro
In this book that will appeal to basically everyone, students at a school called Hailsham unlock secrets about themselves and their futures. Half of the junior class usually does this book for their Extended Essay, and I am one of those students. I can safely say that it is a popular choice for a reason!
21. “Russian Doll” (2019)
Someone help Natasha Lyonne get out of her time loop!
22. Reading this column
I hope you enjoy reading Eyes, Ears, Ella every month. I’m sticking around!