Podcast → “Serial”
Every episode of “Serial” season one begins the same, with a pre-recorded phone call from Adnan Syed, a recap of the last episode, and it’s signature eery theme music. A witty and captivating investigative podcast, “Serial” is one of the best out there.
The first season examines a 1999 murder case, specifically the murder of Hae Min Lee, a high school student. The podcast is equal parts high school drama and detective story, providing all the necessary suspense. It’s thrilling and compelling not because it has an interesting explanation of an old case, but rather because it is still trying to find the truth. The host, Sarah Koenig, knows just as much of the truth as the listener.
“Serial” is one of my favorite podcasts, and I’m sure it will be one of yours too. Now with three seasons streaming online, the This American Life spinoff is sure to please your ears.
TV Show → “The Good Place”
Moral philosophy and eternal damnation might not seem like a comedy goldmine, yet “The Good Place” is entering its third season delivering some of the quickest laughs on television.
After Eleanor Shellstrop dies, she wakes to find herself matched with a soulmate in the pastel, frozen-yogurt filled paradise of the “Good Place.” Sounds like Heaven — or it would be, if Eleanor weren’t a self-centered narcissist who sold fake pills to the elderly down on Earth. Under the watchful eye of “Good Place” architect Michael, Eleanor must find a way to fake basic human decency for the next few eons.
Darkly hilarious and surprisingly inventive, “The Good Place” is a sitcom with an ethics lesson.
Coffee Shop → Muddy Waters
Tired of rainy, dreary Vermont days? Need somewhere to stay warm and recharge? Then check out Muddy Waters. A cozy coffee shop located on Main Street, it’s the best place to get out of the cold, get a warm drink and do your work.
Walking into Muddy Waters always makes me feel like I’ve been transported to a secret treehouse full of good music and great food. The menu has a wide array of drinks, ranging from coffee to smoothies, and all sorts of great snacks like cookies, croissants and cake. Personally, I love getting a white hot chocolate with a chocolate chip cookie, sitting at a table with friends and reading notes left in the wall by previous patrons. If you’re looking for a coffee shop with a lot of charm and life, check out Muddy Waters!
Event → Jazz Night at Juniper
Are you interested in surrounding yourself with fun, lively music and a tasty appetizer to munch on? If so, go to Hotel Vermont downtown on 41 Cherry Street and watch your fellow students and professors perform creative jazz tunes.
This venue offers a cozy environment with cushioned seats and a fire to keep warm. You can ask for the food to be brought to you rather than eating at a table. It’s like eating breakfast in bed and you have the freedom to relax.
Upstairs is a bar called Junipers, and you can also eat a delicious meal while listening to uplifting jazz in the background. Jazz night features world-renowned trumpet player and UVM music professor Ray Vega. Concerts are on Wednesdays from 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. All you need to do is show up and bring a friend, no entry fee required.
Movie → “Crazy Rich Asians”
Most romantic comedies follow the same formulaic plot: guy and girl meet, they get together, they break up and they, presumably, learn how to resolve their differences and stay together at the end. “Crazy Rich Asians” breaks from the stale mold in many ways, especially in regards to breaking the conventional plot of modern-day romantic comedies.
Constance Wu is amazing as Rachel Chu, and her character undergoes a stunning transformation throughout as she gains confidence and agency among her boyfriend’s wealth-obsessed family. Culture is one of the most compelling parts of the movie, as it’s often treated with more care and importance than the actual romantic relationships.
“Crazy Rich Asians” truly stands out because it acknowledges cultural differences and is able to celebrate and critique them. The movie ends with the potential for a sequel, so definitely go and see it before you’re swept up in the encore.