A few weeks ago, in need of an escape from another day of miserable headlines, I loaded up Netflix in search of some mindless entertainment. The algorithm soon delivered, offering up a new documentary series about the career of soccer superstar David Beckham. I hit play and within ten minutes, I was watching a montage of Beckham in his prime, smashing in goals to an Oasis soundtrack. Perfect, I thought. Just the nostalgia-fest I was looking for.
Yet, as Kat Rosenfield writes in the first part of a pop-culture double offering today, the miniseries is more than a glossy look at a global superstar. Yes, there’s Posh and Becks and paparazzi and hairstyles and goals and everything else you’d expect. But Beckham goes deeper than that. As Kat writes, the show is “ultimately a story about men, and manhood—and most fascinating, it’s about how to be a good guy in a world where the word masculinity is often preceded by the word toxic.”
At 48, Becks himself is more olden balls than Golden Balls these days, a man at peace with himself and the world. And Kat is here for it:
My colleague Suzy Weiss has taken a rather different approach to switching off in recent weeks: after a long day working at The Free Press towers, she’s been wasting hours on a terrifying-sounding new app called Flip. It’s TikTok for shopping, QVC for Gen Z—a turbocharged form of retail therapy in which everyone is an influencer trying to sell you something. Still confused? Suzy explains the experience:
[Y]ou encounter video after video of mostly women, your new “Flip Fam,” trying out a new product—a stainless steel saucier, a gel eyeliner pencil, tweezers, a rice cooker, blush, workout clothes, a bergamot candle, an anti-anxiety journal—behind a banner where you can click to buy it.
Read the full story here:
Readers, I’ll be honest. We’re a little worried about Suzy. Furiously flicking through a neverending reel of stuff you don’t need until you’re cross-eyed doesn’t exactly seem like a healthy way to unwind. There are other options, Suzy! Consider this an intervention from your co-workers. Put the phone down. The rest of The Free Press team want you to know there are other ways to relax. Here’s what some of us have been watching, reading, or listening to.
Julia has been listening to 1989 on loop. (Taylor’s version, of course.)
Natalie just watched When Evil Lurks, but warns that Argentine horror may not be everyone’s cup of tea.
Kiran has been watching basketball, reading Haruki Murakami, and buying lots of candles (it’s unclear whether or not these candles were purchased on Flip).
Sam has been watching The Golden Bachelor.
Shira has been rewatching Seinfeld.
Bari has been reading Faith, Hope & Carnage by Nick Cave and Séan O’Hagan.
And finally. . .
Nellie has been unwinding by arming herself and hitting the gun range.
Have a great weekend, all.
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