It’s Friday. Looking for something to switch up your weekend, or to give you an excuse to relax a little? That’s what the Weekend Reset is for. Each week we’ll pull together five things to get your weekend started. Could be something to read or watch, something to eat or listen to, or even something to do. Enjoy the weekend fellas.
WATCH: Raiders of the Lost Ark
Need I say more? Boulders. Bullwhips. Idols. The Ark of the Covenant. Every minute of this movie is an absolute blast, a roller coaster of high after high after high. Yeah, you’ve seen it before. Watch it again. And then check out this transcript and this supercut. I think we sometimes take George Lucas and Steven Spielberg and Lawrence Kasden for granted. The transcript of their Raiders brainstorm sessions reveals just how much genius and intention there was behind each of this film’s iconic moments — they’re pulling from pulp adventure serials, from Humphrey Bogart classics, from Kurosawa, all in service of creating a film that, in Spielberg ‘s words, is designed to feel like “a ride at Disneyland” — and boy, did they pull it off.
BAKE: Macaroni and Cheese Casserole
As a child, this was my favorite food — something my mother would make for special occasions, something I would down by the plateful — and for good reason. Crunchy buttery bread crumbs. Onions. Cheese. Pasta. It’s basically all of the good things, wrapped up in a box. (Ok — a casserole dish. But you know what I mean.) A few notes. The recipe is missing some rather important information, namely: it doesn’t tell you how much macaroni to use. I used a pound. (And I used radiatore instead of macaroni because that’s what I had on hand — any small pasta shape will do.) I also grated an additional half-cup or so of cheddar cheese on top of the casserole, right before throwing it into the oven, because more cheese is always a good thing. And if you don’t have breadcrumbs? Grab a few slices of stale bread, throw ’em in a food processor, and you’re all set. Comfort food at its finest.
BINGE: Sex Education
Stop me if you’ve heard this one: An awkward unpopular teenager whose mother is a kinky sex therapist suddenly becomes well-liked by his peers when he starts offering them sex therapy for money. (OK, yeah. You probably haven’t heard this one.) Yes — the concept is bonkers! — but the execution is so, so, so good. Sex Education is perhaps my favorite teen show since Friday Night Lights — a show that’s equal parts heart and heartache, humor and pathos. And the acting is out of this world. For those of you used to seeing Gillian Anderson in serious, dramatic roles, seeing her as a wacky sex therapist (with a British accent, to boot!) is a real treat.
In Terraforming Mars, you and other players each take on the role of a corporation, angling to both 1) make Mars hospitable for human life, and 2) become the biggest, baddest, fattest, planet-conquering, Amazon.com corporate conglomerate of the red planet. In other words: you and other players are simultaneously working towards a cooperative goal (literally, terraforming the planet) while also in direct competition with each other. What’s fantastic about this mechanic is that sometimes, the things you do to further your own goals inadvertently further those of your opponents. Plant some greenery to increase Mars’ O2 level, and you might make it possible for an opponent to launch a project that nets them a bazillion victory points. Once you get the hang of it, it’s an absolute joy to play. (Important caveat: the paper underlay mats the game comes with are not good at keeping the plastic marker cubes in place. You may want to pick up a set of custom underlays or design your own to ensure that an errant table bump doesn’t ruin your game.) Great for family game night at home, but also available on computer or mobile if you want to play with non-resident friends.
WRITE: Something. Anything.
A few years back, when I was going through a rough patch, a friend introduced me to The Artist’s Way — a method many of my writer-friends have used to rediscover their creativity. One of the book’s central tenants is that — every day — you get up. Get out of bed. Sit down. And write three pages of… anything. Literally. Whatever’s on your mind. Just get it down on paper. Clear out the cobwebs. I found doing this to be deeply, deeply, helpful.
Maybe this weekend, you steal away for a few minutes. Shut off the devices. And just write. The key here is: Simplicity. A pen. Some paper. No internet. There’s a person inside your head. Who is that person? What’s going on with him? What does he need right now that he didn’t realize he needed?
Getting stuff down on paper? It’s a great way of figuring that out.
About the author: Michael Robin is an LA-based television writer. When he’s not working away on his latest pilot script, you can find him scuba diving, hosting Shabbat dinners, or goofing off with his goldendoodle, Biggie Lebowski.