All yoga and no play makes Melissa a dull girl (and bad blogger).

Yoga Teacher Training is draining and it definitely has impacted my ability to post consistently.  I’m pretty sure that will be the case until the end of the year so I hope you’ll bear with me.

YTT has been really interesting but also super intense.  I haven’t quite gotten to this pose yet but there have been days that I might have gotten pretty close (at least in my mind):

Jewish Yoga, Challah Pose

To combat the crazy, I do what everyone else does when they can, escape.  

My current route of escapism includes some good movies and TV shows.

The 5 following movie and TV picks run the eclectic route but they’re definitely are worth putting into your media queue for whenever you might need to escape in the future.

Must See Friday's High Five

Hint:  The holidays are approaching!

All Things Must Pass (aka The Tower Records Documentary)

Tower Records Documentary. All Things Must Pass

If you spent any time during the 1980’s – 1990’s buying records, cassettes and (later) CD’s, you likely spent time in a Tower Records store.  As a die hard music lover, I can’t tell you how many friend meet-ups started or ended at Tower Records on Broadway in NYC during my youth.  I spent hours just sifting through music.  Tower was always a destination recognized by fans of all kinds of music.  Even Simon Le Bon mentioned Tower Records in his Octobeer Katy’s Kafe while talking about his current #musicrediscovered phase. Yes, I did have to insert SLB and Duran Duran into this post.

The unique story of the rise and fall of the empire of Tower Records is brought to light in a unique way by Colin Hanks (from Mad Men, Dexter, the current CBS show Life In Pieces and is the son of Tom Hanks).  One would never really believe what was started as a family run business would become not only a lynchpin in the business of music but also a behemoth in general business.

This isn’t your typical dry documentary about how a business was radically changed by poor business decisions and technology.  The interviews of staff and musicians (including Elton John and Dave Grohl) make this story really about family, community and the love of music wrapped in a business lesson.

This film will also shares the best euphemism for cocaine ever used in the English language.  When you hear it, you’ll just know.  Go to the theater now!


Grandfathered (Fox)

Grandfathered, FOX

Fox should just call themselves the “we have all the good looking actors that don’t age” channel because John Stamos (as well as Rob Lowe and Terrence Howard) looks amazing and who would ever believe he’s playing a grandfather?!

John Stamos is Jimmy, an ultra cool, forever bachelor (with a vibe that seems very familiar) who discovers he’s not only a father to a long lost grown son but a grandfather to a toddler.  The show highlights Stamos doing what he does well but what makes this show great (IMHO) is the hat tip to 80’s music (The Cure and Billy Squier for starters) and Paget Brewster (who plays his former girlfriend and mother to the long lost son, Gerald).  Some people might be intrigued by the show having Josh Peck and Christina Milian but to me, they’re just background for the chemistry between Stamos and Brewster.

30 fluffy minutes with some witty banter and an always gorgeous John Stamos, you really can’t lose with this one.

 Red Oaks (Amazon Prime)

Red Oaks, Amazon Prime, Good TV

Even though I should be upset with Amazon Prime for not going ahead with my 2015 pilot pick of the hilarious “Salem Rogers: Model of the Year 1998”, I decided to give 10 episodes of the original series “Red Oaks” a try when I found out it was a coming-of-age comedy set at a New Jersey country club in 1985.

The series is more “16 Candles” than “Porky’s” or “Meatballs” but it’s got some heart.  If you’re an 80’s fan, you’ll be happy to see Richard Kind, an unrecognizable Jennifer Grey, Gina Gershon and Paul Reiser playing way against his well known Mad About You character, Paul Buchman.

You might have some Zoey Deschanel deja vu when you see Alexandra Socha as Skye but it’s likely you won’t recognize Craig Roberts who plays the main character of David.  Roberts is featured in this video of “Here With Me” by The Killers (and directed by Tim Burton and featuring 80’s darling, Winona Ryder).  I’m definitely on a kick with The Killers lately.  

If you’re longing for some John Hughes nostagling and are looking for a binge series that doesn’t take too much commitment, this might be your new jam.

The Mindy Project (Hulu)

The Mindy Project, Mindy Kaling

I’ll admit it.  I’m very late to the Mindy Kaling party.  I’m not sure why it’s taken me so long to jump on the celebration train of this very funny, smart and groundbreaking woman’s career but I’m here now and ready to sing a song all about how much I heart Mindy Kaling.

It’s hard to say that normally I don’t care for female comedians without feeling like I’m betraying my gender in some way, but it’s true.  I thought for sure that before Mindy Kaling’s voice would get on my nerves that her comedy would do me in first.  I was wrong on both counts.

I’m close to calling Mindy Kaling a genius.  She’s made the character of Mindy Lahiri self-centered and shallow but still likeable.  She has a die hard devotee of black clothing and muted decor considering crazy patterned clothing and imagining a house with bold colored walls!

It’s been a long time since I’ve found a comedy series that can make me literally laugh out loud and yet surprise me with me story arcs.  Mindy Kaling, Chris Messina and Adam Pally are ridiculously funny but lovable.  I’m currently in binge-watching mode (still in S3 so no spoilers, please) and I’m thrilled that Hulu picked up where Fox left off.

If you miss Seinfeld or Friends, look no further than The Mindy Project.   You’re welcome.


I Smile Back

I Smile Back, Sarah Silverman

I told you that I’m not a fan of women comedians and when it comes to Sarah Silverman, I’m definitely on the “anti” team.

However, when I read the plethora of detailed media about Sarah Silverman’s long bout with depression, I gained a new respect for her as a human.  After I saw her in the feature film, “I Smile Back”, about an upper middle class mother and wife battling bipolar disorder and addiction, I gained new respect for Silverman as a bonafied actress.

This ridiculously raw story was difficult to watch but one of the best films I’ve seen in a very long time.  I’ll say it here, if Sarah Silverman is not nominated for an Oscar, I can’t imagine who else would even deserve the nomination.

Depression is having a moment in film and television right now.  One of my TV picks earlier in the year, “You’re The Worst“, is showcasing a woman with clinical depression in the most honest and captivating way that I have never seen on television.  “You’re The Worst” is shining light on clinical depression in the backdrop of a comedy but “I Smile Back” hits you hard with a reality you would never dream of being even close to real.  As a woman who struggles with depression, this movie was like being splashed in the face with ice water complete with razor sharp shards.

I’m someone who sometimes likes to match her moods with media but after this movie, it took me some time to right myself back into the world.  It’s powerful but not easy to take.

If you’ve got a strong constitution and have a deep appreciation for raw performance within a dark drama, I highly recommend this movie.  It’s not an easy movie to view but it is a worthy challenge of story and cinema.


Done.  My 5 most recent movie and TV show recommendations.  


What would you add to my list?  Have you seen any of the above?  

Have you read Mindy Kaling’s books?  Yay or Nay?

FYI – The links above are NOT affiliate links but are purely informational.  This is NOT a sponsored post.