On… what you should watch this Sunday

Let’s say you have a huge party on Saturday night, or no party at all. You’re in love, or out of love. You love your job or maybe you absofuckinglutely hate it.

Regardless, on Sunday nights, you need to binge-watch TV and you need to do it NOW.

The problem is choosing the right show.

Choose the right show, and you start your week loving humanity, cheerful and optimistic and full of quippy one-liners. Importantly, you feel like you’ve accomplished something with your Sunday.

Choose the wrong show and you’ll feel useless and restless and hopeless (the trifecta of LESSer evils… boom). You’ll get in the bath and cry for no good reason whatsoever. And you’ll dread next Sunday like a 360 review.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll trawl through channel after channel, searching in vain for the perfect TV show to pick up your mood. Consider yourself lucky that you have the internet, by the way. In the olden days, we used to take our hangovers through the rain (it was always raining) to Blockbuster and wander around the aisles, calling things out to each other like ‘What about Cheaper By The Dozen?’ Or, if we were banned from Blockbuster for, oh, I don’t know, never returning Dazed & Confused or something, we’d mooch over to our local no-name video store, and trawl the cramped, messy aisles. We’d pretend to look at the Independent Film section and wonder if we should watch Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! and end up with a Buffy The Vampire Slayer omnibus and that disgusting powdery popcorn they sell in places like that. God, it was exhausting.

Anyway, I digress.

Here are my top six seriously good funny Sunday binge-watching shows that you may have missed.

(Crucially, they’re all sitcoms, which means they never have any giant plot developments that you need to pay attention to if you’re not up for the mental challenge of The Wire*, there is no violence**, there are no subtle-yet-oh-so-fucking-meaningful plot developments that you need to be aware of like in MadMen, and there are many episodes, so you’re unlikely to run out in one day. You can just let the fast smart banter wash over you via Netflix or Hulu or iTunes or whatever content-streaming channel they have in your country of abode…)

EPISODES

I am in love with this show right now, and it inspired this post. It’s about two London screenwriters who move to LA and make a TV show starring Matt LeBlanc. Fast, smart, surprising, and makes me bark with with laughter several times an episode. Matt LeBlanc is hilarious to the point where I keep rewinding bits to watch him do stuff again. I am so glad he won a Golden Globe or whatever it was. He deserved it.

THE GREEN WING

This is a British show from about ten years ago. It is hilarious. It’s mildly weird and very cool and deeply, deeply funny. It’s sort of about a bunch of doctors and nurses in a hospital somewhere outside of London. Several of the lines have stuck with me over the years, including the immortal: “You know what I like about you?” “What?” “FUCK ALL.” And “Can I tell you a secret? I am COMPLETELY SHAVED.” (Okay, maybe it’s in the delivery.)

Incidentally, it has two of the actors from EPISODES in it.

IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA

It’s kind of like Seinfeld in that no-one is even slightly likeable. But it’s also nothing like Seinfeld. Charlie Day could say anything and I would find it funny. Danny DeVito turns up in the second season.

ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT

I missed this when it was first on. Then Fox introduced me to it when we started dating, and it changed my life. No. Really. It did. I have friends who say ‘I watched five minutes, I didn’t get it’ and my answer is always to tackle them to the floor, hogtie them, and make them watch an entire episode. It’s one of the best shows ever made. I used to think that watching a show that’s been cancelled was a bit like reading a biography of some old historical figure – what’s the point when you know they died?  But then I laughed at this show so much that I started to cry a little bit, and I changed my mind.

THE MINDY PROJECT

I was disinclined to like this show, mostly as, um, no reason at all. But it’s fantastic! Mindy Kaling is brilliant. The Dr Castellano dude is amazing. Someone needs to give that girl a ten-movie romantic comedy deal. She can save the genre.

BEN AND KATE

This show was just cancelled, which is a damn shame, because it was great. One of the actresses is called Lucy Punch. She’s English and was also in Woody Allen’s You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger, and she is extremely funny. If anyone wants to make a movie of my first two books, she is the person who needs to be in them. Anyway, find the episodes they managed to make and enjoy. Another great show that was cancelled after just six episodes – or is on hiatus or something  – is BENT. Which starred Amanda Peet, who is awesome, and a very tall handsome dude with serious eyebrows whose name I should google but am too lazy to. Worth finding if you can.

*I am never up for the mental challenge of The Wire. I KNOW. I’m SORRY.

** Shows I have trouble being in the mood for because of violence even though I love them: Homeland, Breaking Bad, The Sopranos. And probably The Wire.

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On… Antigua

We’re almost at the end of a two-week break in Antigua. I wasn’t going to say too much about it because firstly, we weren’t totally sure we’d be able to go because of worky stuff, and secondly, who the heck wants to hear about someone else’s blissful sunshiney beachtime if you’re not there with them? I don’t. I suffer from severe vacation envy. (I know. I’m really not very emotionally mature.)

But then Fox and Errol and I were on the beach at dusk the other night, and it was so beautiful I wanted to share it with you guys.

point3

Dance and point

Dance

Stare

last photo

We point, and dance, and stare, and swim, then point and dance and stare some more… And then he naps and we read. Best book of the holiday so far: The Paris Wife by Paula McLean. Best read in tandem with A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway. Beautiful and heartbreaking.

Fox Errol Antigua

PS Fox and Errol.

PPS One more Errol, in case you missed it, and one tiny last Errol because he is ace.

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On… Pinterest

I wasn’t sure if I liked Pinterest at first.

It seemed to be a lot of girls screaming ‘I LIKE STRIPES’. And I really do like stripes.

But then I started making boards, and following people like Joanna Goddard and Samantha Hahn and Le Fashion and Anna Hoffman, people with immaculate taste who know what I’ll like before I do, and realised that hey, Pinterest is interesting and effortless and fun and stimulating! I LOVE Pinterest! I know, I’m late to the Pinning party. I was late to the Twitter party. I was late to the blogging party. I left the Facebook party years ago. I guess I’m just not great at…. timing. (BOOM!)

Back to the point: the lovely people at St Martins Press suggested I create special boards about my upcoming book series BROOKLYN GIRLS on Pinterest. (First in the series out July 2013! With Quercus in the UK! Random House in Germany! Luitingh-Sijthoff in the Netherlands! Wydawnictwo PASCAL in Poland!)

But something about making a book- or character-’themed’ board doesn’t feel right. I might do it for someone else’s books, you know, like a board that makes me think of Anne Of Green Gables, or something – but not for my own.

So here’s my little experiment. I selected a couple of quotes from the first book in the upcoming BROOKLYN GIRLS series. I’ve styled them up in two different themes, just to see which is more popular, and maybe if people like them and think they’re funny / interesting they’ll repin them, and maybe they’ll reach new audiences who might like the cut of my jib and decide to read the books. If they don’t repin, hey, c’est la oh well, as they say. What do you think, lovely people? Would you repin?

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On… The Lumineers

This is the song that Fox and I have been playing every morning during breakfast for the past few weeks. Errol dances – well, he rocks from side-to-side and wriggles his shoulders – and Fox and I sing along and I get the words wrong but like, totally on purpose.Then I heard it in a cafe the other day, and I thought ‘that’s our song!’

Not Fox and my song (which is this), but our family song. Errol and Fox and moi. It also makes me think of all my best friends, and everyone I love, in a sort of mildly nostalgic mental ‘best of’ montage. It’s just a nice ol’ hug of a song.

So anyway, press play and make your own mental ‘best of’ montage. Mwah.

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On… Love.

Lovely.

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On… win a free print!

My lovely lovely friend Lydia is running a competition on her blog for a free framed print from Art.co.uk – all you have to do is leave a comment on her blog with a link to the print that you want, and BOOM. It will be yours. (Probably. You know, if you win.)

Just click here to enter and check out the amazing prints at Art.co.uk

Good luck…

PS I can’t enter as I don’t live in the UK, but if I could, I’d choose this.

Or this.

Or this.

Or this.

Or this.

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On… Right This Second

So, right this second I am lying on our bed, which makes me feel lazy but it’s so lovely and relaxing I don’t care. It’s freezing in New York today, and the sun is shining and the sky is bright blue, so I’ve opened the doors to the balcony to give me some fresh air while I write. (Actually, it’s just a fire escape that is no longer a ‘working’ fire escape, but you can walk out onto it, so fuck it, let’s call it a balcony.)

Yesterday I finished the copyedits to the second book in the BROOKLYN GIRLS series (the first is out this July! The second by Christmas!). For the next few weeks, I’ll be tinkering with two other projects – one publishing, one TV.

Our lovely nanny isn’t working today today, so Errol and I hung out all morning and went to the big playground in Tribeca and then played with his toys and sang and danced along to this. Right now he’s napping, so I’ll do the aforementioned project-tinkering as soon as I finish this blog, and later on we’ll go to storytime at McNally Jackson. Errol is 16 months old, and will probably have at least one tantrum this afternoon, usually due to something like me not letting him suck the toothpaste straight from the tube. (I am such a bitch like that.) Errol’s tantrums are so hilarious and adorable that I just crack up and take videos to send to my parents. This is probably the wrong reaction.

What else can I tell you, hmm, let’s see….

This weekend I’m also finally, seriously now, no more fucking around, getting involved with Pinterest. I’m feeling mildly smug about the fact that I escaped a hangover despite some extremely strong drinks last night – date night with Fox, and yeah, I say ‘date night’ without irony – at The Bourgeois Pig, Empellon Cocina and the bar next to Momofuku Ssam. We’re planning a night in tonight, we’re going to order from Westville and eat this chocolate and watch this show, which is insanely funny. And then I’ll get into bed and read The Bachelorette Party by Karen McCullah Lutz, which is also insanely funny.

And that’s about it. What about you?

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On… BROOKLYN GIRLS the cover!

Hello kittens

This is the final cover for the first book in the BROOKLYN GIRLS series!

It’s the same image that we’ve been toying with for a while. We loved the energy and composition of the image, but it was a little squeaky clean in its original format. So for the past six weeks, the brilliant cover people at St Martins Press have been playing with different filters and looks to ‘rough’ it up a little bit. We played with textures, shadows, blocks, frames, fonts, tints… You name it, we tried it. And this is the final choice. 

Isn’t it awesome?!

I absolutely love it. No lame cartoons and script fonts! No mushy hearts and stars! No fluffy pastels! Just cool girls in a big city with a sunny-yet-slightly-dirty edge. That’s the kind of book I would pick up. When I look at it, I’m so happy, I feel like I’m shining a little bit.

Anyway. What do you think? I hope you like it…

PS It’s out in July! You can pre-order on Amazon or Book Depository for free international delivery!  And to everyone who requested an ARC about a year ago when we hadn’t yet decided to delay release (so we could release the SECOND book in the series just a few months later!) – I have your details, my friends. I’ll be in touch. x

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