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Summer

Remember when I used to post daily on this blog? It’s been a while. I’ve been consumed by schoolwork, extracurricular activities, and all sorts of other pursuits that you likely don’t care about. As a result, I’ve failed to do more than re-post the latest episodes of The M&M Report, and sometimes even those went up late.

But summer has arrived, and with it, some pretense of this thing called “free time.” I’ll spend some small part of that free time doing apparently important tasks like “eating,” “sleeping,” “spending time with other human beings” and, if I’m feeling particularly daring, “venturing into the outside world.”

But those tasks are far less interesting than the pop culture consumption I’ve got planned for the months ahead.

My first task is to catch up with all of the TV shows I’ve missed this year, from new offerings like Fargo and Silicon Valley to old favorites like Hannibal and The Americans. I also need to fill some of the many gaps in my filmgoing repertoire, everything from Almost Famous and Pitch Perfect to the filmographies of Wes Anderson and Paul Thomas Anderson. As for music, I’ll do my best to broaden my horizons and hone my aural sensibilities, which is a fancy way of saying I don’t have a firm plan of what I’ll be listening to. I’ll let Spotify and recommendations from readers like you be my guide.

***

Lest I forget that pop culture doesn’t stop while I catch up with it, this summer brings plenty of new content to devour. I’m not hugely excited about this year’s slate of blockbusters as a whole, but I have high hopes for Guardians of the Galaxy, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Chef, 22 Jump Street and The Fault in Our Stars. (Not so much for Transformers: Age of Extinction, Hercules, Blended or A Million Ways to Die in the West, but any one of those could surprise me.) Even if the studio fare doesn’t satisfy, I’m eagerly anticipating the arrival of Richard Linklater’s grand cinematic experiment Boyhood, which debuted to rapturous reviews at several film festivals earlier this year, and Steve James’ Roger Ebert documentary Life Itself, which promises to provide quite the catharsis for movie critic nerds and casual Ebert fans alike.

On the smaller screen, I’m foaming at the mouth for new episodes of Orange is the New Black, Rectify and Louie, and I’m intrigued by the positive early reviews for Ryan Murphy’s Larry Kramer adaptation The Normal Heart. FX’s The Strain, HBO’s The Leftovers and CBS’ Extant have high-concept premises and major star appeal – I’m hoping that the shows live up to the credentials. And I’m hoping for even more unexpected discoveries like Orange, Rectify and Orphan Black from last year, or even in the vein of Comedy Central’s brilliant Review with Forrest MacNeil, which just wrapped its first season.

All this to say: I likely won’t get to everything I want to cover this summer. Life will get in the way, as it should. But I’ll do my best to stay up to date. Thanks for sticking with me. It’s “summer.” Let’s have some fun.

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