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.
PLAY: Cyberpunk 2077
You might have heard of this one? From the same studio that created The Witcher 3, one of my favorite RPGs of all time, comes Cyberpunk 2077 — a sprawling RPG opus, set in a huge, gorgeously rendered future-corporate city-state called Night City. This is one of the most incredible open worlds ever rendered in a videogame. You play as V, a mercenary for hire who must collaborate with a grumpy, crude artist played by Keanu Reeves to expose the truth about a corporate assassination. Chock full of insane characters and incredible side-quests, this is a game that can take 50-100 hours to complete, the perfect thing to dive into as we head into the holiday break.
The movie of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest with Jack Nicholson is a classic. But the book’s even better. Ken Kesey’s seminal novel tells the story of Randall Patrick McMurphy, a rebel and non-conformist who winds up in a mental institution run by the strict and abusive Nurse Ratched. But instead of conforming to Ratched’s whims, McMurphy pushes the hospital’s other patients to find themselves and own their identities — and in so doing, sparks a rebellion against Nurse Ratched and the institutions she represents. An absolute knockout of a book and one of my all-time favorite novels.
WATCH: Home Alone
When I was a kid, Home Alone was THE Christmas movie. We watched it dozens upon dozens of times growing up, wearing out the poor VHS cassette until it was almost broken. A few friends and I rewatched it over Zoom recently, and it’s remarkable just how well it holds up — and how differently it lands when watching it as an adult. The physical comedy is evergreen — watching eight-year-old Macaulay Culkin take on the responsibilities of an adult is even more hilarious now that I am an adult — but it’s the movie’s message about the importance of family that makes it such a classic. A perfect one to watch over Zoom with friends or relatives over the holidays. Streams free on Disney+.
LISTEN: Merry Christmas Lil Mama
Since 2016, Chance the Rapper and Jeremih’s 2016 Christmas mixtape, Merry Christmas Lil Mama, has been my non-stop soundtrack throughout the month of December. In a year that has been tough on so many levels, this album is even more of a perfect listen — a mixtape bursting with so much joyful energy that it always manages to put a smile on my face. Even better? Chance and Jeremih have promised another Christmas mixtape, expected to drop at some point today. (I’ll be thinking tonight of Jeremih in particular, being that he spent the last month hospitalized with Covid-19 but is still somehow managing to release new music.) Not on Spotify, but a free listen — and download — on Soundcloud.
MAKE: Potato Pancakes
Potato pancakes, also known as latkes, are traditionally served at Hanukkah, which began last night. What is a potato pancake, you ask? Well. Think of the very best aspects of a French fry and a tater tot, but delivered in the shape of a pancake: crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside, perfectly salty, with a bit of yummy onion for flair. Gents: these are very, very tasty and very, very addictive. And yes, you can buy them frozen — but it’s worth making your own, because homemade potato pancakes are WAY tastier. While I am honor-bound to not share my secret family recipe, the Serious Eats one here is equally excellent.
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.