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  • What happens when these fictional governments shut down? We took a closer look at some of the systems in literature and pop culture to find out.

  • The final season of Portlandia starts this week and from the anxiety-provoking “Did You Read It?” sketch to the recurring feminist bookstore segments (RIP Women and Women First), the show is steeped in literary references and a culture of book worm-ery. Today, we’re showcasing the fictional literary references in the show – books that the writers room at Portlandia created just for us. Zip up your fleece and hop on your bike. Because we’re heading to Portland.

  • Today, we raise a glass to the younger brothers in pop culture. The overlooked second children. The “aren’t you related to _____?” of the world. They’ve been compared to their siblings their entire lives and there’s nothing we can do about that. Except celebrate them.

  • 2017 has come to an end, and with it, our hopes for checking off the last few New Year’s Resolutions still hanging around from last January. Hopefully you managed to hit most of your big ones – finding a job, perhaps, or keeping in better touch with long-distance friends, or eating more salad – but there are always those little add-on resolutions that seem to slip through the cracks, the ones we think that surely we will get to sometime during the year, but never feel like quite a high enough priority to actually sit down and do.

    Like finally binge-watching Supernatural.

    Look, if you are one of those people who started watching Supernatural early in its run and have been keeping up ever since, good for you. But for those who were late to the party, thirteen seasons (and counting) is a tall order. That’s 287 episodes of television. You know what you could accomplish in the amount of time it takes to watch 287 episodes?*

    You could complete a training program for a full marathon. Twice.**

    You could watch the Lord of the Rings extended editions 18 times, with time for bathroom breaks.

    You could write a rough draft of a novel.***

    You could walk from New York City to Detroit.

    Basically, picking up Supernatural now is not just a matter of curiosity; it’s a long-term commitment, like a middle school romance.**** So it’s understandable if you’ve decided that, at this point, no matter how great your friends say it is, the Supernatural ship has sailed. It’s too daunting. Maybe one day if you are ever recuperating from a severe illness, or are put under house arrest, you might give it a go. But as it is, you know better than to put that show on your list of New Year’s Resolutions again. You’ve learned your lesson. Fool you once, CW.*****

    Then again, maybe you’ll give it a whirl anyway. Who knows, 2018 may just be a year where you want to hermit away for a few weeks and power through 210 hours of epic battles between good and evil. No judgement. Sometimes building a blanket fort in your living room and watching a full season of television in one sitting really is the best and most logical option.

    Here are a few other shows that you’ve heard were good, and you were thinking about watching sometime this year…if you can just find the time.

    * or 210.5 hours, assuming an average of 44 minutes per episode

    ** It takes about 88 hours of activity to train for a full marathon, assuming around a 10-minute-per-mile pace – although you could run at a slower pace and still be able to complete the training program twice in under 210 hours.

    *** writing 3.5 hours a day, 5 days a week, for 3 months, assuming you are a person who can draft a novel on that sort of schedule. If you aren’t, no shame.

    **** 8.77 days, which… actually, that might be aiming a bit high for a middle school romance.

    ***** Supernatural has actually been around for so long that it started on The WB, not The CW.

  • Holy mother forking shirt balls. The Good Place is back on January 4. The November 4 episode about Derek – remember Derek? – feels like it happened a lifetime ago, so we’re here to catch you up on the literary references from the first season and a half of the show. Surprise! They’re all philosophy texts. We hope you’ve kept up with your reading. You know how Chidi can get.

    Caution: spoilers abound!

  • The holidays can be difficult. After all, one cannot choose their family, and it takes time before all the complex carbohydrates and copious amounts of egg nog to do their work and put everyone to sleep. What do you talk about in meantime that won’t set off a shouting match? Books, television and movies, of course!

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