The first season of Big Little Lies was a tough, yet addictive watch. The complex lives of five women in Monterrey, California exemplified great drama. Based on the novel by Liane Moriarty, the HBO series featured a strong cast headlined by Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Laura Dern, and Zoe Kravitz. To create a second season, Moriarty had to scrape together a new story beyond her book. The end result was a product that fell short of the first iteration with one exception: newcomer Meryl Streep.
The Funspot Family Fun Center in Laconia, NH boasts the world’s largest arcade. It is the kind of brag that usually meets reality when you walk through the door. I braced myself for a letdown. Instead, I found a host of vintage video arcade games and pinball machines. It turns out that Funspot is also the American Classic Arcade Museum. With each turn I found a throwback game and discovered an unexpected yesteryear wonderland.
What kind of music do I take on a road trip? This question might be priority 85 for most people. This is something I spent more time on than planning the route (or really anything) from Philly to Lake Winnipesauke, New Hampshire. The ten-hour, six-state, 437-mile drive is a long time. Podcasts are not really an option. I listen to baseball and pop-culture podcasts. My wife prefers current event and true crime podcasts. Music it is.
There are few decades-long constants in moviegoing. Even the longest-running film series experience casting changes and dud story arcs. Pixar’s Toy Story continues to defy the normal Hollywood decline. Twenty-five years after its debut, the franchise has cranked out yet one more entertaining film.
I was not looking for a coffee shop during my New Hampshire vacation. The free coffee at the hotel got the job done. During a trip from Meredith to Weir’s Beach, I could not help but stop at Lake Winnipesaukee’s Mello Moose Coffee House. It looked like a friendly place for a cup. Not only was it amiable, but the shop also turned out to be my first experience drinking Nitro Cold Brew.
This is the first post in my new series about coffee houses in the Philadelphia area. Coffee is an everyday comfort. Coffee houses are as much a part of a community's culture as any bar or corner store. They get us going in the morning. They are essential for meetings, minglings, and the fabric of a neighborhood. As myopic as the daily coffee run can be, sometimes coffee is more than a regular boost. No more important coffee is served than the java from Narberth's new business: GETCafe.
The movie Yesterday imagines the unthinkable: a world without The Beatles. Starring Himesh Patel and Lily James, the Danny Boyle film just asks that you consider a world sans the Fab Four for two hours. Watching the removal of the band's immeasurable contribution to culture is a tough ask. They have been everywhere for over 50 years. It turns out that it is a fun way to appreciate John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr.
Late Night tackles the rare big screen subject of a prime time talk show. A queen of comedy is playing out the string as her long-running chat series continues a ratings slump. Even the comedian's husband acknowledges that the show is bad. The threat of cancellation forces the host to shake up her writing staff with a little diversity.