I picked up the first Harry Potter book– actually, it was given to me by a kindly school librarian– when I was 12, just a year or so after the book was published in 1997. The series took a decade to complete, culminating, for me, with a trip to a bookstore in Germany to buy the UK edition of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows during a backpacking trip before my senior year of college. Like any piece of art that wallops you at just the right time, those books embedded themselves in my identity. Who would I have been without Harry Potter, or for that matter, the Beatles, Bob Dylan, The Simpsons, Monsoon Wedding, or that mural on the wall of Amoeba Records commemorating the free speech movement? (When I was a freshman in college, I walked by it twice a day and still think about it pretty often.) We are what we love, especially what we love when we are young.
So, it’s not really correct to say that I’m a “fan” of Harry Potter. It’s deeper than that. The series provided a framework for my adolescence. The first movie coincided with my first real crush, who kissed another girl at the screening and provided my first real heartbreak. I picked up the fourth book one hot high school summer and stayed up till 3 AM weeping over the return of Voldemort, my brothers collaborating on music in the next room. The sixth book came out when I was working at a mini-Borders in a shopping mall, so I remember staring at those unopened boxes in the windowless storage room, eating turkey sandwiches brought in from my parents’ house. Then there was the pinnacle seventh book that summer in Europe, a reading experience so dear that I stopped reading it on the plane in order to finish it in the privacy of my own home.
Continue reading “Fantastic” Spinoffs and Where to Find Them
Editor’s Note: In this episode of Tea & Fiction: The Horror Show we discuss episodes three and four of the docu-series: The Staircase. We also touch on a few other stories that got under our skin: the mysterious death of Elisa Lam and a creepy Reddit “ghost story”. Missed our first podcast? Click here!
Quick note, we misspoke in this podcast that the life insurance was $7,000 when it was actually $70,000.
It’s been a little quiet here in Soapy Science land, and I’m sorry for that because we’ve had some good stuff in the last couple of episodes. It’s like the writers know what I am trying to do here and are throwing me a bone. So let’s get down to it.
To recap: Alex is doing scut (a word that can apparently mean anything from the erect short tail of a rabbit to a medieval shield, but which in this case means distasteful work usually carried out by a new doctor) as a sort of penance for his sins (see last week.)
Continue reading Soapy Science: Strange But True
Welcome to episode one of season thirteen, which also happens to be episode one of my attempt to chronicle Grey’s Anatomy in real time.
When we left off last season, Jo, Alex, and DeLuca had gotten themselves into a silly, easily solved predicament; Amelia warmed up her cold, cold feet and married Owen; poor April had to undergo emergency C-section under unusual circumstances, as per Grey’s tradition (has anybody ever just straight-up had a baby on this show?); Meredith, Riggs, and Maggie entered the sort of obtuse love triangle that always leaves one poor sap out in the cold; and Arizona found a way to repair the awfulness of season 12’s custody battle.
Continue reading Soapy Science: When Doctors Attack
I just finished the last episode of Grey’s Anatomy available on Netflix, an accomplishment that feels more or less on par with turning in my Master’s thesis. I mean, look at the time I invested in this show. According to a quick scroll through IMDB, seasons one through twelve were comprised of 268 episodes. At 43 Netflix minutes apiece, that means I spent 11,524 minutes, or 192 hours, watching this show. (I once calculated that I spent 800 hours behind the microscope for my grad school project, so the thesis comparison is not totally out of line.)
Let me first get this out of the way: I know that Grey’s Anatomy is kind of dumb. I could probably have spent those 192 hours on much better things. Yoga teacher training, perhaps, or filibustering. But I also think that Grey’s (as fans call it) isn’t a total waste of time. In fact, I think it gets a lot less credit than it deserves.
Continue reading Grey’s Anatomy: Soapy Science