Pop Culture Cheat Sheet: NOVEMBER

courtesy Toby Lowenfels

Remember back in the day before you were a parent — just try — when you were like, “I’m sooo busy,” and now you look back at that time and think, “Oh, that was cute. Now I’m actually busy.” As Moms, our days are filled with countless time-based decisions, like choosing between applying makeup or drinking coffee. Needless to say, we can’t spare a single minute on entertainment that does not entertain. So take off your bra, pour yourself a drink, and settle in for these delightful nuggets.

TV & Streaming…
I’m Sorry

Did we need another family comedy based in LA? Technically, no. But Andrea Savage’s I’m Sorry is the show we deserve. After wading through the pile of mom-coms out there — The Letdown, SMILF, Better Things, Catastrophe, etc.— it’s refreshing to have one that stays purely in the fun zone and doesn’t get super-dark or depressing. The show centers around comedian mom and alpha female Andrea, who lives in SoCal’s San Fernando Valley and offends pretty much everyone in her path – but in a totally charming way. It’s kinda like Curb Your Enthusiasm… for parents. The lols are high, the jokes are crude—her last name is Savage, after all—and the situations are painfully, cringe-fully real. Bonus is a diverse set of guest stars: Judy Greer, Nick Kroll, and June Squibb, just to name a few. TruTV actually released I’m Sorry last year but I only caught on when it started streaming on Netflix (hey, I’m a mom). And, thankfully, it was just picked up for a second season. We earned this.

Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness

We love coffee, right? Well, listening to Jonathan Van Ness’s podcast is like taking a shot of espresso through your ears. The contagious energy he brings to Queer Eye is somehow magnified for our aural pleasure in his podcast, Getting Curious. He spends the beginning of each half-hour episode fanboying adorably over his guests, but you’d totally do the same if you ever had the chance to sit down with Reese Witherspoon or Nicole Byer. Not sure where else you can hear about neuroscience, Nascar and exfoliating in the same conversation, but I am so there for it.

Uplift daily email

Parenting advice is best served in small doses, which makes the Uplift newsletter a perfect daily addition to your inbox. It’s written by Kari Clark, a Mom of two, who offers up “snackable coaching” — little info-packed morsels that can actually be consumed during the course of your day: during pumping (milk or iron), commuting, or those 4.25 minutes of quiet time you get in the bathroom to tweeze your eyebrows or just stare blankly into space. Her newsletter is based on interviews with 70 working moms at the top of their fields, and the emails give creative and practical tips for achieving everything from spousal chore distribution to that elusive work-life balance. I kinda wish I’d started reading this newsletter before I had kids, to get some extra pointers under my belt. Better late than never, though, right?

Cat Power’s Wanderer

Confession: I have officially reached the point where I only listen to artists I discovered in college, and I’m all right with that because 19-year-old me had really good taste in music! Cat Power aka Chan Marshall just came out with Wanderer, her first album in six years—and her first one since becoming a mother—and it’s essential listening after facing a day’s worth of apocalyptic headlines or toddler tantrums. She’s explored almost every style of music throughout her long career: rock, soul, blues, and electronic. Now, with Wanderer, she turns to folk, with carefully crafted ballads and not much else besides a piano, a guitar and her voice. Ugh, that voice. I could listen to her voice all day. I do listen to her voice all day. Notable tracks include “Woman,” featuring Lana Del Rey, which could basically be the #MeToo power anthem, and a cover of Rihanna’s “Stay,” which I think of as a lush, dreamy accompaniment for those grey, autumn days.

Mom Crush…
Melissa Maker

Speed-cleaning is one of those weird video trends that’s surprisingly addicting. And, without it, we wouldn’t be graced with a slew of cleaning experts who actually make cleaning seem fun while offering some pretty helpful tips. Among them is @MelissaMaker who has proven to be the most entertaining and relatable of the “clean with me” movement. Her cleaning advice is actually handy and relatable, she doesn’t make too many annoying product pushes, and her Insta stories feature her hilarious squabbles with her husband/business partner—another thing that’s more fun to watch than live through. Definitely worth a follow.

Toby Lowenfels is a writer and mom of three in Nashville. Follow her daily musings at @tobyfels.