Friendmendations 11.4.19

on the radio, we heard November Rain - that solo's awful long, but it's friendmendations

Friendmendations 11.4.19

Hi friends! Happy November! I love November. The weather is legitimately autumnal, something we’ve been deprived of in Octobers recently due to global warming. The leaves hit their peak. And we get Thanksgiving, a holiday that requires only that you show up to cook and eat good food. So I personally do not understand the desire to say it’s the Christmas season as soon as Halloween is over. November is its own month! It’s a golden, cozy month that’s our last chance to enjoy fall (the best season) and should not be discounted. This has been my highly specific PSA.

Hey, new topic! Is everyone aware that there is a paid subscription tier that gets a bonus post every other week? It’s $5/month and once you sign up you can access all past bonus posts. I’m always looking for more ideas for the bonus posts, so let me know if there’s something you think would entice you to sign up!

I’m also trying to figure out a schedule for November and December. How should I work around holidays? Is anyone checking their email the Friday after Thanksgiving? Suggestions for this conundrum or for content are always welcome in the comments. Or email me at lizziemcguirereviewed[at]gmail[dot]com! Okay, let’s get down to business.

A show you gotta watch! You gotta!

I should have recommended this before Halloween if we’re being technical, but I think November is a lovely time to watch Over the Garden Wall, which is now streaming on Hulu. It’s a 10-episode miniseries that’s weird and hilarious and touching and wonderful. It was created by Patrick McHale, former creative director for Adventure Time, and features the voices of Elijah Wood, Tim Curry, Christopher Lloyd, John Cleese, Thomas Lennon, Bebe Neuwirth, and more. The animation style is gorgeous,  incorporating elements of different American art styles from the 19th and 20th centuries, and the music is perfect.

It’s just beautiful and I can’t recommend it highly enough! I found out about it a few years ago when I took a mountain trip with a fun group and our friend Morgan B. simply wouldn’t shut up about it the entire time. He was right!

*Tiffany Pollard voice* BEYONCÉ?!?

You may have noticed by now that I love a good limited-run podcast series. It’s so great to dive into something that you know has a specific number of episodes that you can immerse yourself in without having to waste too much time catching up! I find these types of podcasts ideal for road trips or for days when I’m taking on a long project like deep cleaning my room or something.

I found “Making Oprah” fascinating and inspiring. It’s an in-depth look at how Oprah became the success that she did, and I learned a lot about the hard work and planning she put into making a show that she believed in.

They did a second series called “Making Obama” and I never listened because it hurts me too much to remember that we used to have a president who can string a sentence together, but I was SHOCKED AND THRILLED this week to see a preview pop up in my feed of their new season: “Making Beyoncé!” This is aggressively up my alley! “Learning to Be Beyoncé From Her Terrible Father” was one of the first recommendations I ever shared in this newsletter. I can’t wait for this new series!


This is my go-to fish taco recipe, which I forgot to photograph when I made them this weekend so let’s endure the above free-use cartoon of a taco instead. I made this recipe for a group recently to great success, and my friend Olivia taught me a trick when we were prepping dinner together. She suggested salting the cabbage first to drain the water out of it,  which was nifty, so now I do that before marinating the fish. Here’s a guide on how to do that so you don’t egregiously over-salt it, as I did when I decided to try this on my own. I also substitute turmeric for the cumin in the fish seasoning, which is an odd move but I just love turmeric a lot.

YouTube time

Lindsay Ellis makes very smart long-form video essays, a lot of which use her film school expertise and most of which engage in pop culture in some deep, interesting way. “Woke Disney” is such a good deconstruction of Disney’s soulless live-action reboots. Disney has filed a claim against this video, claiming copyright infringement when it’s quite obviously fair use, and Lindsay is now challenging YouTube’s bullshit system of punishing creators in situations like this.

She’s smart and great and I recommend her video on that god-awful Beauty and the Beast remake if you like this one. If you want something a bit weightier, I highly recommend “Mel Brooks, The Producers and the Ethics of Satire about Nazis” and her two-part look at the way American pop culture processed 9/11.

Pharrell never phails

This song is just…aggressively groovy. Can’t check it out right now? You’re in luck! I’ve decided to keep all the songs I’ve ever recommended in one Spotify playlist because I know a lot of people read these at work. So now they’ll all be compiled in one place to catch up!

Let’s end with a comic from someone who’s a good artist - and who happens to be @PixelatedBoat on Twitter, the genius who coined the term “milkshake duck!” Some people get all the talent! But I’m glad they share it with us.