Happy New Year!

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Happy New Year, readers! Thanks for making this first year of Bite Size so great. I’m taking a bit of a break to host some out-of-town friends, but I’ll be back in 2016. Meanwhile, here’s some stuff for your New Year’s celebrations…

My favorite New Year’s Eve scene in the history of film.

This incredible interview with Ta Nehisi-Coates on NPR’s Fresh Air.

Some recipes for New Years Eve.

My new favorite Instagram account.

My friend wrote a book of poetry!

*The festive balloons are from Urban Outfitters. Sadly, they are sold out, but they have a ton of others. Check them out here.

‘Making a Murderer’: Netflix’s ambition grows wider

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Last week, in one of its most ambitious moves yet, Netflix released a grisly true crime documentary series that took all of our collective breaths away. “Making a Murderer” tells the true story of Steven Avery, a man who was exonerated using DNA evidence after serving 18 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Two years after his release, Avery was once again convicted of a crime that he still maintains he didn’t commit. It’s a pretty wild, infuriating ride.

If you remember way back when, Netflix was a DVD delivery service where you created a queue and they delivered your movies to your house. Since those days, the service has transformed to a streaming service and again to a fully fledged production company. The huge popularity of “House of Cards” brought forth a slew of Netflix original series, including “Orange is the New Black” and the wonderful “Master of None.”

With “Making a Murderer,” the former DVD delivery company dips its toe into the true crime genre that has swept the nation in the last year or so. In a similar style of the podcast “Serial” and the HBO documentary series “The Jinx”, Netflix begins to weave a conflicting narrative that leaves you hurtling through each hour-long episode, culminating in the one of the saddest, most convoluted criminal cases of our time.

“Making a Murderer” is available on Netflix now!

 

‘The Force Awakens’ is a promising start

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If you haven’t seen “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” yet, do not read this post! Because, yes, it’s filled to the brim with spoilers.

I saw “The Force Awakens” last weekend, and I’m totally smitten with this film. It is–dare I say it–the best of the franchise, solely because J.J. Abrams listened to nearly 15 years of criticism about the lambasted second trilogy. He took all the protests and created something contemporary and vintage at the same time.

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Will you be seeing ‘Star Wars’ this weekend?

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Guys! Who is psyched for Star Wars: The Force Awakens?! I’m seeing it tomorrow at the recliner theater where they also serve you dinner, so I’m amped. After that, I’m just going to straight chill. Anyone have any fun plans? Here’s some stuff to do this weekend…

If you’re looking for a gift for the TV-lover in your life, look no further than illustrator Tyler Feder’s Etsy shop. She’s the artist for the image above, and if someone wants to buy that for me, I wouldn’t be mad.

I’m reading this book right now. I love Rainbow Rowell’s work!

Did you see the new Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them teaser trailer?!

President Obama was on Running Wild with Bear Grylls! You can watch the full episode here.

 

‘The Mindy Project’ is doing something fascinating

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When The Mindy Project first aired in 2012, I was charmed by its commitment to being like a romantic comedy, complete with the sweet tropes and cliches that are inherent in the genre. The show, of course, convinced me that Mindy would get her happy ending, and she did…for a while.

Spoiler alert: if you haven’t watched the mid-season finale of The Mindy Project, there will be spoilers below the jump!

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10 things to do instead of watching the Republican debate

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If you’re not interested in watching the Republican debate tonight, but someone in your house is, I’m in the same grumpy boat. I fully support being engaged in democracy, don’t get me wrong! (I even wrote about the first Republican debate here.) This time around, I’m opting out. If you’re considering opting out, too, here’s a list of stuff to do that doesn’t have Donald Trump in it.

  1. Watch all the videos on Annamarie Tendler’s beauty blog series, The Other Side, and then try funky stuff with your makeup.
  2. Go for a jog and listen to a podcast episode. Here are three good ones: 1, 2, 3.
  3. See a movie by yourself. Creed is great, and still in theaters.
  4. Read a book! I’m re-reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince right now.
  5. Watch a holiday movie. My favorites are: Christmas Vacation, A Christmas Story and Die Hard.
  6. Speaking of Die Hard, have you see the latest episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine?
  7. Here’s a list of all Golden Globes nominees. Haven’t seen Spy yet? Now’s the perfect time, and oh, also, it’s freakin’ hilarious.
  8. Make a fancy or unusual meal. (I like putting Chicken Tikka Masala in tortillas to make Tikka Tacos!)
  9. Catch up with a friend!
  10. Sleep. Sleep is a wonderful alternative to watching the GOP battle it out.

Serial is back, and so is the weekend!

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The weekend is upon us! Any fun plans? My sweet friend Tessa (and frequent Bite Size contributor) is visiting me in Philly this weekend, so naturally we’ll be eating cheesesteaks all weekend. Here are some things to do this weekend…

Serial is back! Listen to it here.

This article about Michelle Obama cracked me up.

Snap judging the new Bachelor contestants. (I LOVE THE BACHELOR.)

I was a big Roald Dahl fan as a kid, so the trailer for The BFG is obviously going to be on this list.

A badass video of the best films of 2015.

Finally, if you’re looking for a fun movie to watch over the weekend with friends or on a date night, I highly, highly recommend Dope. It got an 88% on Rotten Tomatoes, and you can rent it at a Redbox near you.

(This is not my dog! It’s a picture of my beloved former neighbors’ dog who I was watching for a weekend. It’s from my Instagram.)

 

Kanye Korner: Welcome to the world, Saint West!

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Guys! There’s a new mini-West in our midst! That’s right, y’all – last weekend Kimye welcomed a teeny baby boy by the name of Saint West. Baby Saint was born on Saturday, December 5 at Cedars-Sinai Hospital (that magical cradle of Hollywood civilization). Our hopes of another directionally-themed name are dashed, but either way…hooray for the probably sleep-deprived parents!

Unfortunately, I won’t end up getting the sister musical duo I had hoped for, but not all is lost! I’m imagining little North and Saint as later versions of Willow and Jaden Smith, complete with the avant garde style and incomprehensible tweets.

I also appreciate that Kanye’s naming strategy gives the new Baby West an early ego boost (although Saint is probably far too busy gurgling and pooping to worry about his ego). This holy naming scheme brings us back to Yeezus, when Kanye had the audacity to proclaim himself a god on the album’s third track. His willingness to extend that confidence to his kiddos just makes me feel all fuzzy inside.

We still haven’t gotten any pictures of Saint, but rumor has it he looks a lot like his big sister. Be still, my heart.

I can’t wait to see little Saint grow up to be a nutty celebrity kid. Congratulations to the Kardashian-Wests!

-Sarah

(Photo from Kim’s Instagram.)