Stop me if you've heard this one before:

Imagine a sitcom based on the life of a stand-up comedian. Maybe there's some stage work thrown in for show, but for the most part, the story follows the life of the comic in his or her everyday life, friendships, romantic relationships, and the like. If that sounds familiar, it's because it's been done many, many times over. Think "Seinfeld" or "Louie," for example.

"Take My Wife," a new sitcom from NBCUniversal's Seeso digital streaming service, manages to take that well-worn premise and transform it into something entirely new and engaging. The story centers on the lives of real-life comics (and real-life couple) Cameron Esposito and Rhea Butcher, a duo in their early-30s living in L.A. who co-host a stand-up show at a local comedy club.


All GIFs from Seeso.

Originally sold as a stand-up show, Esposito and Butcher later re-pitched it as single-camera scripted show built around sketches of their lives off the stage.

"Beyond how awesome stand-up is, we really wanted to talk about, you know, our lives as small business people who happen to do stand-up for a living," Esposito says.

"It's just a sitcom relationship about two people trying to figure out how to make it work." — Cameron Esposito

And it's a good thing they did, because honestly, it's the off-stage material that makes "Take My Wife" stand out from the titles you'll find scattered throughout Netflix, Comedy Central, and HBO. Whether it's Esposito and Butcher's interactions with other comics, scenes of Butcher standing in her living room working on new material, or Esposito's meeting with an old college friend that makes her take stock of her own position in life, there's a lot packed into the roughly 20-minute episodes.

Same-sex couples remain in short supply when it comes to sitcoms. "Take My Wife" wants to change that in a big way.

"I think what I find to be so special about the show and what I hope people like about it is that our relationship and our lives are as normative as anybody's life," says Esposito. "I think we haven't yet seen that on TV. We haven't yet seen a queer couple that is dealt with as if they're any sitcom couple."

"Like, the camera doesn't slow down and candles don't get lit every time that we kiss, or there aren't dudes in our orbit that we may or may not be sleeping with on the side. It's just a sitcom relationship about two people trying to figure out how to make it work."

One of the most impressive aspects of the show is the commitment to pushing back on sometimes harmful tropes used to advance storylines for women, LGBTQ characters, and others.

One of the most hard-hitting examples happens at the beginning of the second episode, in which Butcher and Esposito discuss the merits of sex in a hypothetical TV show starring the two of them.

“I think it’s very important to show two women, I don’t know, being casually intimate with each other, but also, it’s us and we’re real people. We’re a couple," says Butcher in the episode.

"Well, if we don’t do it, then it’s like no actual lesbians on TV having sex with other women," replies Esposito. "And there’s also like no women on TV having sex with other women, period. I mean, maybe that happens, but then like, one of them dies or they both die. They’re warlords and they die or they sleep with a man and then they die or they’re like at school and they die or they’re an art professor and they die. My point is, I just want us to live."

In case you're not picking up what she's putting down, she's not wrong: Queer women tend to not fare too well in modern media. Check out Autostraddle's list of 162 (and counting) fictional lesbian and bisexual women who have been killed off on TV. (For her part, Esposito promises that no queer women will die on "Take My Wife".)

It's a funny show with a lot of substance — just don't expect it to be delivered in some sort of "after-school special" format.

"I think in terms of hot button issues that are often dealt with in [sitcoms] with these sweeping think pieces," says Esposito. "Things like sexual assault and rape jokes and queer people and bathrooms and everything that usually ends up in these very black and white situations where people are firmly against or firmly for it. I think that does a real disservice to talking about how complicated it is just to be a human being today, and there's a gray area to every single issue, and I really think that's the experience of being an outsider in some ways."

"As women, we're outsiders in our profession. As queer people, we're outsiders in the world in general. I think that the positive side of that is that you realize how much nuance there is."

Watch the trailer for "Take My Wife" below:

All episodes of "Take My Wife" are now streaming over at Seeso.com. Rhea Butcher's latest stand-up album "Butcher" will be released on August 19 from Kill Rock Stars.

Courtesy of Elaine Ahn

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The energy in a hospital can sometimes feel overwhelming, whether you’re experiencing it as a patient, visitor or employee. However, there are a few one-of-a-kind individuals like Elaine Ahn, an operating room registered nurse in Diamond Bar, California, who thrive under this type of constant pressure.

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via Pexels

If you know how to fix this tape, you grew up in the 1990s.

There are a lot of reasons to feel a twinge of nostalgia for the final days of the 20th century. Rampant inflation, a global pandemic and political unrest have created a sense of uneasiness about the future that has everyone feeling a bit down.

There’s also a feeling that the current state of pop culture is lacking as well. Nobody listens to new music anymore and unless you’re into superheroes, it seems like creativity is seriously missing from the silver screen.

But, you gotta admit, that TV is still pretty damn good.

A lot of folks feel Americans have become a lot harsher to one another due to political divides, which seem to be widening by the day due to the power of the internet and partisan media.

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Connections Academy

Wylee Mitchell is a senior at Nevada Connections Academy who started a t-shirt company to raise awareness for mental health.

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Teens of today live in a totally different world than the one their parents grew up in. Not only do young people have access to technologies that previous generations barely dreamed of, but they're also constantly bombarded with information from the news and media.

Today’s youth are also living through a pandemic that has created an extra layer of difficulty to an already challenging age—and it has taken a toll on their mental health.

According to Mental Health America, nearly 14% of youths ages 12 to 17 experienced a major depressive episode in the past year. In a September 2020 survey of high schoolers by Active Minds, nearly 75% of respondents reported an increase in stress, anxiety, sadness and isolation during the first six months of the pandemic. And in a Pearson and Connections Academy survey of US parents, 66% said their child felt anxious or depressed during the pandemic.

However, the pandemic has only exacerbated youth mental health issues that were already happening before COVID-19.

“Many people associate our current mental health crisis with the pandemic,” says Morgan Champion, the head of counseling services for Connections Academy Schools. “In fact, the youth mental health crisis was alarming and on the rise before the pandemic. Today, the alarm continues.”

Mental Health America reports that most people who take the organization’s online mental health screening test are under 18. According to the American Psychiatric Association, about 50% of cases of mental illness begin by age 14, and the tendency to develop depression and bipolar disorder nearly doubles from age 13 to age 18.

Such statistics demand attention and action, which is why experts say destigmatizing mental health and talking about it is so important.

“Today we see more people talking about mental health openly—in a way that is more akin to physical health,” says Champion. She adds that mental health support for young people is being more widely promoted, and kids and teens have greater access to resources, from their school counselors to support organizations.

Parents are encouraging this support too. More than two-thirds of American parents believe children should be introduced to wellness and mental health awareness in primary or middle school, according to a new Global Learner Survey from Pearson. Since early intervention is key to helping young people manage their mental health, these changes are positive developments.

In addition, more and more people in the public eye are sharing their personal mental health experiences as well, which can help inspire young people to open up and seek out the help they need.

“Many celebrities and influencers have come forward with their mental health stories, which can normalize the conversation, and is helpful for younger generations to understand that they are not alone,” says Champion.

That’s one reason Connections Academy is hosting a series of virtual Emotional Fitness talks with Olympic athletes who are alums of the virtual school during Mental Health Awareness Month. These talks are free, open to the public and include relatable topics such as success and failure, leadership, empowerment and authenticity. For instance, on May 18, Olympic women’s ice hockey player Lyndsey Fry will speak on finding your own style of confidence, and on May 25, Olympic figure skater Karen Chen will share advice for keeping calm under pressure.

Family support plays a huge role as well. While the pandemic has been challenging in and of itself, it has actually helped families identify mental health struggles as they’ve spent more time together.

“Parents gained greater insight into their child’s behavior and moods, how they interact with peers and teachers,” says Champion. “For many parents this was eye-opening and revealed the need to focus on mental health.”

It’s not always easy to tell if a teen is dealing with normal emotional ups and downs or if they need extra help, but there are some warning signs caregivers can watch for.

“Being attuned to your child’s mood, affect, school performance, and relationships with friends or significant others can help you gauge whether you are dealing with teenage normalcy or something bigger,” Champion says. Depending on a child’s age, parents should be looking for the following signs, which may be co-occurring:

  • Perpetual depressed mood
  • Rocky friend relationships
  • Spending a lot of time alone and refusing to participate in daily activities
  • Too much or not enough sleep
  • Not eating a regular diet
  • Intense fear or anxiety
  • Drug or alcohol use
  • Suicidal ideation (talking about being a burden or giving away possessions) or plans

“You know your child best. If you are unsure if your child is having a rough time or if there is something more serious going on, it is best to reach out to a counselor or doctor to be sure,” says Champion. “Always err on the side of caution.”

If it appears a student does need help, what next? Talking to a school counselor can be a good first step, since they are easily accessible and free to visit.

“Just getting students to talk about their struggles with a trusted adult is huge,” says Champion. “When I meet with students and/or their families, I work with them to help identify the issues they are facing. I listen and recommend next steps, such as referring families to mental health resources in their local areas.”

Just as parents would take their child to a doctor for a sprained ankle, they shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help if a child is struggling mentally or emotionally. Parents also need to realize that they may not be able to help them on their own, no matter how much love and support they have to offer.

“That is a hard concept to accept when parents can feel solely responsible for their child’s welfare and well-being,” says Champion. “The adage still stands—it takes a village to raise a child. Be sure you are surrounding yourself and your child with a great support system to help tackle life’s many challenges.”

That village can include everyone from close family to local community members to public figures. Helping young people learn to manage their mental health is a gift we can all contribute to, one that will serve them for a lifetime.

Join athletes, Connections Academy and Upworthy for candid discussions on mental health during Mental Health Awareness Month. Learn more and find resources here.

Screenshot taken from a live video of the trial.

A recent (and fairly insensitive) sketch from “Saturday Night Live” said it best regarding the widespread fixation many have on the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard trial:

“It’s not the most pertinent story of the moment, but with all the problems in the world, isn’t it nice to have a news story we can all collectively watch and say ‘glad it ain't me?’”

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard Trial Cold Open - SNL www.youtube.com

Schadenfreude, celebrity fascination and previously inaccessible information now being at our fingertips is a potent combination in this trial, making amateur lawyers and psychologists of all who feel compelled to unleash their hot takes. And though the right to converse and speculate exists, is it always in our best interests to do so? Especially when it means potentially spreading misinformation, or at the cost of empathy and compassion?

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Photo from Upworthy Library

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Mama sloth, aka Grizzly, gave birth to their healthy little one in Feb 2022, which delighted more than 3,000 people on Facebook.



The video, posted to the Florida zoo’s YouTube page, shows Grizzly slowly climbing toward her mate, who is at first blissfully unaware as he continues munching on leaves. Typical dad.

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