The imperfectly perfect series for the rom-com addict

An aerial shot of downtown Manhattan at night.
An aerial shot of downtown Manhattan at night.
Photo: Andre Benz via Unsplash

If you know me, or you’ve read my Twitter bio, you know I’m a sucker for romantic comedies. I don’t necessarily consider myself a romantic, even though I live in Studio City, CA, and I don’t expect a Hollywood ending to my own life. That being said, I’m not ashamed to admit that rom-coms are my jam and whole-wheat toast.

I’m into the first couple of episodes of Season 4, and I can safely tell you that Sex and the City has absolutely nothing to do with pandemics. The only link between the two is that I just decided to start watching the series in chronological order for the first time — during a pandemic. …

Yet ‘Locked Down’ manages to turn a shared nightmare into a heist movie.

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Photograph by Susie Allnutt/HBO Max

It was only a matter of time before movies and shows about the pandemic hit streaming services.

I don’t watch every show and movie. I’m sure there have been other fictional stories with the coronavirus pandemic as the setting. But HBO Max romantic comedy and heist movie Locked Down is the first film I’ve seen that involves the pandemic. (I haven’t watched Songbird.) I was hoping Locked Down would help me get through what’s hopefully the final stretch of covid, but it only made me feel more sad and miserable. As if I needed to feel even more helpless.

Locked Down features some rough shit — and a true to its nature Hollywood ending. A broken up couple continue to live with each other because there’s no other place they can go during the pandemic. While watching the two main characters, it’s tough for me not to think… this isn’t my pandemic. …

This series about love and life has its flaws — and so do I.

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Photograph by Zach Dilgard/HBO Max

Contains mild spoilers for Love Life.

I didn’t want to write about Love Life.

For those who have yet to tune in, the HBO Max series follows Darby Carter (Anna Kendrick). Darby, similar to other tropey rom-com characters, is searching for love throughout her twenties and thirties. Yet like most twenty- and thirty-somethings, Darby struggles to love herself. If you’ve read my essays, you know this storyline is my ideal setting for a TV series, movie, or just about anything in life. …

Why I can’t wait to get back on a cruise ship…

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Photo by Alonso Reyes on Unsplash

Cruises bring out the worst in humanity.

You know, like wastefulness: putting more food on your plate than you can eat and throwing away whatever you don’t finish. Or not picking up after yourself. People drop food and rubbish on the ground and don’t pick it up. Or acting like you’re the only person who exists yet being on a boat that houses thousands of guests and workers. And so on and so forth.

Hear me out: I love cruises.

But I can’t stand how countless privileged guests continuously treat the staff like shit because they think they’re better than them. …

Looking up successful people’s schedules is a rite of passage.

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Photo by Max Delsid on Unsplash

Despite wanting to know when my favorite authors write in hopes of somehow taking what works for them and adapting it to my writing routine, I’ve concluded that I’ll never have a set writing schedule. The sooner I finally accept that, the better. But seriously — because I’ve been having this conversation for years.

My friends and family members know all about my writing schedule woes. It comes with the territory of creating a new schedule every week and telling them about it. I’ve tried everything. Morning writing, 9-to-5, night writing. At times, it all works. But mostly, nothing works. …

Blocking out the madness with fictional characters

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Photo credit: Eike Schroter/Netflix

I’m not a pretentious person. I know… by writing those words, I come off as pretentious. What I mean is, well, I’ll give you an example: I rather eat at McDonald’s than a fancy steakhouse — even if money weren’t an issue. (Maybe I’m just an idiot.) I’ve spent countless Fridays and Saturdays purchasing *dinner* from 7-Eleven. Sure, alcohol is usually involved, but I love 7-Eleven. Mostly, I crave sloppy food that takes up the entire plate.

I don’t desire sophisticated food for the sake of sophistication. Likewise, I don’t prefer highbrow movies and shows for the sake of them being highbrow. Although, most — yet not all — of these pictures tend to come with remarkable casts, well-written scripts, all-star directors, and so on and so forth. …

The Netflix series provides viewers with imperfectly perfect escapist TV.

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Contains spoilers for Dash & Lily.

Watching eight holiday-themed episodes of Dash & Lily makes me long for the day when we’re allowed to leave our homes again — at least without masks. It’s almost impossible to watch the Netflix holiday rom-com and not dream about living in a post-pandemic world, especially if you’re like me and tend to put everything on a pedestal.

I dream of the day when I can finally visit New York City, the setting of Dash & Lily. Every year, without fail, I tell myself — and anyone willing to listen — that I’m going to visit New York. …

Reflecting on life as I turn 30

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Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Many people spend their twenties in bars with one hand weighed down by 12 ounces, or 1.5 depending on what they’re celebrating — and, who are we kidding, they’re always celebrating something. A friend’s birthday routinely turns into an all-day event as if people are competing for the last drunk standing.

I spent the last year of my twenties *mostly* sober. Okay, maybe more like half the year. But who’s counting? While I’d like to say my decision to put down the bottle was because I’m tired of wasting my weekends drinking my money away, the truth has more to do with current events than my newfound maturity. Living in Los Angeles during a pandemic has meant being sheltered in place for months, surrounded by stress and fear, and avoiding human contact like the plague. Plus, my asthmatic self doesn’t want to get sick. …

Observations while watching ‘Holidate’

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Photo credit: Steve Dietl/Netflix

Contains spoilers for Holidate.

As someone who’s routinely questioned about his love life at family and social gatherings, a ‘holidate’ sounds like a genius idea: dating someone for the holidays to get your family off your back as being in a relationship is somehow considered the height of American society (that and bragging about cryptocurrency, or owning a house).

Rom-com Holidate stars Emma Roberts as Sloane and Luke Bracey as Jackson. Both actors are right around thirty in real life and portray right around thirty-year-olds in this Netflix Christmas present come early. Sloane suffered a recent breakup, but she and Jackson are both haunted by ghosts of relationships past. …

We all want to know when this madness is going to end.

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Photo by: Jessica Perez/Hulu

Contains spoilers for Palm Springs.

Time loop movies have become so common that Palm Springs’ concept of living the same day over and over again doesn’t seem all that crazy. While Palm Springs is a solid movie, I’d put it behind other time loop flicks like Groundhog Day and Russian Doll — despite being a huge fan of Bill Murray, Russian Doll is my favorite.

The time loop genre has been normalized to such an extent, that it eerily feels like what we’re going through in 2020, where it feels like we’ve been reliving the same day for months.

Not only has the current pandemic kept many people indoors and out of offices, but Assembly Bill 5 (AB5 for short), a California worker classification law, has put many jobs and lives on hold — mine included. While I won’t bore you with the fine details of this expansive, and frankly, arbitrary and out-of-touch law, it limits many people’s ability to work thereby making every day seem like the one before. Under AB5, I’m not allowed to write more than 35 articles per website per year. To put this into context, I used to write seven or more articles a day at a staff writing job. Although I’ve come a long way since those days, and have paddled my literary boat through many writing industries from sports writing to content writing to pop culture writing, I still need to write three articles a week to make ends meet. I hit my 35-article quota early in the year, and have been waiting for the law to be amended — which for my industry, seems to be around September 1, 2020 — so I can get back to writing full-time. …


T.S. Lowry

“The Bad Boy of Watching Rom-Coms” // Just a guy who likes to cruise the aisles at the local 7-Eleven //

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