+
comfort shows, 2022 shows

"Ted Lasso," "We Are Lady Parts," and "Avatar: The Last Airbender"

When the real world has lost its luster, we must sometimes throw ourselves into the world of fiction. Comfort shows can be bona fide therapy, especially when so much time these days is being spent indoors.

The following is a carefully curated list of feel-good TV options to accompany the well-known not-so-good moments of life. May they instill your faith in humanity, warm your heart or at the very least, give you a moment of “ah.”


When you feel like a total outcast, hate your body and want to crawl in a hole where no one can find you: "Sex Education."

sex education netflix

"Sex Education" gets all A's.

www.tvguide.com

The great thing about this show is that everyone—both the teenagers and the adults—are sort of bumbling along the path to self-discovery. And though, as the title suggests, this show does have a lot NSFW moments, sex isn’t really the central theme. Rather, it's about identity, expression and authenticity. This show also tackles LGBTQIA+ topics with integrity and heart, particularly in Season 3.

When you take a gander at your bank account, and now feel just as empty on the inside: "Schitt’s Creek."

schitt's creek

The Rose family provides an abundance of giggles.

m.media-amazon.com

First, there’s the initial bit of therapeutic schadenfreude, seeing the shallow, materialistic Rose family have their fall from grace, and their millions. Then you’re hit with purely delightful, totally unforgettable comedy moments. I mean, there’s a reason why there are “fold in the cheese” T-shirts. That bit was comedic gold. Finally, there’s the added hope injected into your soul after seeing the Roses not only overcome financial hardship, but become better people along the way. Certainly, if they can do it, we can do it.

Plus, “A Little Bit Alexis” is a straight up bop.

When it’s the third time you’ve been “mansplained” to this week, and are so done with the patriarchy: "We Are Lady Parts."

we are lady parts

This show truly rocks.

m.media-amazon.com

"We Are Lady Parts," a new sitcom from Peacock, tells the story of an all-girl Muslim punk rock band trying to make their big break. Actress Anjana Vasan, who plays timid “Capricorn” Amina, the band’s new guitarist (facing just a dash of vomit-inducing stage fright), is particularly delightful. With every subtle look and awkward giggle, the girl just knows how to get a laugh. But truly, it’s an ensemble show. It’s hard to not root for cunning band manager Momtaz, whose face covering makes her “feel like Beyonce,” or bassist-slash-mother Bisma and her misunderstood comic about “a group of women who all become homicidal maniacs when they’re on their period,” or powerhouse drummer Ayesha who appears to be goddess Khali incarnate, or unbreakable frontwoman Saira, who screams out the lyrics to bangers like “Basheer With The Good Beard.”

Yeah, they’re a LOT. And that’s what makes them great. And the best part is: By watching Lady Parts dismantle stereotypes and overcome their own insecurities, you somehow gain more confidence in the process.

When you haven’t seen your family in so long and just want a hug: "British Bake-Off."

great british bakeoff

"The Great British Bake-Off" always delivers the sweetness.

cdn.vox-cdn.com

Remember when you used to tell your mom, “I don’t wanna go to school, I just wanna stay home and bake cookies with you?” That feeling you were chasing is exactly what "The Great British Bake-Off" delivers.


It’s pure soul medicine. Plain and simple. There’s the artistry of it all, as the bakers make the most creative, most exquisite and exotic desserts ever imagined. Even if you don’t have a sweet tooth, it’s hard not to drool over some of the showstoppers. Plus the judges and contestants are as warm as baked brie. I’m convinced that even if America produced it’s own version and replicated it to a “T,” it would still not be able to capture that special something the British one has to offer. It’s a high stakes competition for the Star Baker, sure, but without any normal tension-inducing gimmicks that normally come from similar programs. And because of that, audiences are left with a soothing balm that brings a sense of home, no matter where you’re watching.


Pro tip: Don’t watch on an empty stomach.

When you’ve read far too many dreary headlines exposing dark secrets: "Avatar: The Last Airbender."

avatar last airbender

A magical show that gets right to the heart.

static.tvtropes.org

Looking for a story where good guys win and even bad guys redeem themselves? Where concepts of mindfulness are broken down so clearly you can’t wait to meditate? Look no further.

Though the animated Nickelodeon fantasy originally aired in 2005, it quickly became one of Netflix's most watched shows at the beginning of the pandemic. And there's a reason for that. Even adults can appreciate the way this cartoon elegantly conveys moral lessons sans the preachiness. And as any Airbender fan will tell you, this “kid’s show” depicts a cast of nuanced, dynamic, flawed characters. And this is coming from someone who didn’t watch the series originally. So no leaning on nostalgia here.

Curl up in a blanket and watch kids fight the world’s injustices with the power of magical martial arts and friendship. Your heart will thank you for it.

When Facebook shows you that your ex is engaged, and you’re wondering if you’ll ever find love: "Four Weddings and a Funeral" (Hulu version).

four weddings and a funeral

The rom-com for people who hate rom-coms.

m.media-amazon.com

This mini-series never got the visibility (or good reviews) it deserved. Co-created by Mindy Kaling, “Four Weddings” adapts the classic rom-com movie of the same name, but with a “modern, diverse twist” (originally said by Entertainment Weekly, and it’s so accurate I can’t beat it). Let me say this first: I despise romantic comedies. But this one hits differently. As Kash and Maya go through their messy “will they won’t they” roller coaster, you fall in love with them in the process. It reminds you that love is complex, perfectly imperfect, and the basis for all healthy relationships, not just the romantic ones.

When you’re ready to just give up and let the planet destroy itself: "Earth to Ned."

earth to ned

Ned is the best late-night host in the galaxy.

m.media-amazon.com

Earth to Ned on Disney+ blends late-night show antics with puppetry in a way that’s out of this world. Alien space invader Ned is set on a mission to annihilate Earth, but instead he falls in love with its inhabitants, and beams up celebrity guests to answer his burning questions about earthly customs, and pop culture of course. It’s just so quirky, so wholesome and so silly in a way that only a Jim Henson project can accomplish.

When it’s been so long since you’ve laughed at anything, you’re not sure you remember how to: "Whose Line is it Anyway?"

whose line is it anyway

1,000 points for bringing smiles.

m.media-amazon.com

Ah, "Whose Line," the long-running improv comedy show where the points don’t matter, but laughter certainly does. This really is my go-to when I’m down in the dumps. Something about seeing Colin, Ryan and Wayne unapologetically make utter fools of themselves while playing pretend, makes the world seem less bleak. Even bits I’ve seen a thousand times bring a smile to my face.

And believe it or not, new episodes of "Whose Line" are still airing, now hosted by Aisha Tyler. And yes, it definitely still holds up. Try this one the next time you need an escape into pure joy.

When you simply can’t shake the feeling of being a loser: "Ted Lasso"

comfort shows

"Ted Lasso" is the champion of feel-good.

www.apple.com

Call it a fish-out-water comedy, or call it an underdog sports drama. Either way, "Ted Lasso" tends to our need for creature comforts. The show manages to stay uplifting without being blindly positive, even as it explores darker topics such as toxic masculinity and father issues in Season 2. As Ted Lasso teaches his team to “believe,” it’s hard to not find yourself being inspired to look for the silver lining.

Though my list could be much more exhaustive (honorable mentions to Netflix's "She-Ra and the Princesses of Power" and "Star Trek: The Next Generation"), I hope these can provide a little inspo next time you’re in need of a more nourishing binge watch.

Pop Culture

Artist uses AI to create ultra realistic portraits of celebrities who left us too soon

What would certain icons look like if nothing had happened to them?

Mercury would be 76 today.

Some icons have truly left this world too early. It’s a tragedy when anyone doesn’t make it to see old age, but when it happens to a well-known public figure, it’s like a bit of their art and legacy dies with them. What might Freddie Mercury have created if he were granted the gift of long life? Bruce Lee? Princess Diana?

Their futures might be mere musings of our imagination, but thanks to a lot of creativity (and a little tech) we can now get a glimpse into what these celebrities might have looked like when they were older.

Alper Yesiltas, an Istanbul-based lawyer and photographer, created a photography series titled “As If Nothing Happened,” which features eerily realistic portraits of long gone celebrities in their golden years. To make the images as real looking as possible, Yesiltas incorporated various photo editing programs such as Adobe Lightroom and VSCO, as well as the AI photo-enhancing software Remini.

“The hardest part of the creative process for me is making the image feel ‘real’ to me,” Yesiltas wrote about his passion project. “The moment I like the most is when I think the image in front of me looks as if it was taken by a photographer.”

Yesiltas’ meticulousness paid off, because the results are uncanny.

Along with each photo, Yesiltas writes a bittersweet message “wishing” how things might have gone differently … as if nothing happened.
Keep ReadingShow less
All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

True

Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

via Dion Merrick / Facebook

This article originally appeared on 02.09.21


At 1:30 am on Monday morning an AMBER Alert went out in southern Louisiana about a missing 10-year-old girl from New Iberia. It was believed she had been kidnapped and driven away in a 2012 silver Nissan Altima.

A few hours later at 7 am, Dion Merrick and Brandon Antoine, sanitation workers for Pelican Waste, were on their daily route when they noticed a vehicle that fit the description in the alert.

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

Nurse turns inappropriate things men say in the delivery room into ‘inspirational’ art

"Can you move to the birthing ball so I can sleep in the bed?"

Holly the delivery nurse.

After working six years as a labor and delivery nurse Holly, 30, has heard a lot of inappropriate remarks made by men while their partners are in labor. “Sometimes the moms think it’s funny—and if they think it’s funny, then I’ll laugh with them,” Holly told TODAY Parents. “But if they get upset, I’ll try to be the buffer. I’ll change the subject.”

Some of the comments are so wrong that she did something creative with them by turning them into “inspirational” quotes and setting them to “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton on TikTok.

“Some partners are hard to live up to!” she jokingly captioned the video.

Keep ReadingShow less