Media List

Please read this first!

Go to the home page to see where the font and layout came from

This page will be where a list of media that influenced me and/or list of media I plan on experiencing will go. Perhaps more hot takes here, too?

Doing the letterboxd thing and choosing 4 of whatever medium listed that I think represent my general tastes and vibes. Not necessarily all my FAVORITE of that medium, but tbh, my true favorites are hard to decide (unless I specifically cite otherwise).

4 Movies

  • Everything Everywhere All At Once (2022): My number one favorite movie of all time. I'm a Middle-Eastern first generation American with mommy issues who loves martial arts, comedy, and crying. Of COURSE this film fucking pulled at my heart. My brand of chaos can go either way on a maximalist aesthetic, but the way this movie did it just worked for me.
  • Venom (2018): Yes, I do want to be Tom Hardy in a lobster tank with no direction in my life but to cool off with the immortal beafts (yes, an intentional typo). It's also maybe the horniest movie I've ever seen other than the 1992 Dracula, but that Drac movie isn't on here because it's not FUNNY ENOUGH.
  • Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle (2004): The movie that taught me, the child of two Iranian immigrants, that people who weren't white were allowed to be stupid. No irony at all: representation of stupid people matters so much. No, the movie doesn't hold up well to our modern times, but my god it's near and dear to my heart.
  • Kiki's Delivery Service (1989): No, not my favorite Miyazaki. BUT I fondly remember the whole process around watching this movie: my partner and I were long distance, and the only activity I felt safe doing myself was going to movies at Alamo Drafthouse. I remember being pleasantly surprised that there were screenings of Ghibli movies, getting the tickets for this one because it was a classic I'd never seen, driving to a far away theater and listening to fun music on the way, just vibing with the film, and the nice drive back. All in all just a very cozy day, and a very cozy movie to boot.
  • Honorary Mention

  • The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D (2005): The movie that taught me that I'm not immune to propaganda. The trailers convinced me of how much I DESPERATELY NEEDED to watch this film. And when my parents caved and got tickets, I did not like it. Yes, I did want to be Lava Girl. Yes, I still do want to be Lava Girl. I have nothing else to report.

4 TV Series

  • Pluto (2023): I think this is my number one favorite series of all time? It's definitely my favorite when it comes to commentary about robots, at least. When I watched season 1 of Westworld (the best and only season fyi), something about the relationship between the humans and androids rubbed me the wrong way despite my enjoyment. After talking about how much more I loved Pluto with my partner, he put it in a way that made perfect sense: Pluto is about fatherhood, and Westworld is about divinity. I'm a Middle-Eastern first generation American with daddy issues (yes, I said "mommy issues" for movies earlier; I have both!). Of COURSE the show that says "robot-hood relates to parenthood" would appeal to me, especially when its politics are directly influenced by the Iraqi war and the Palestinian genocide. But also making the relationship a father-child relationship rather than a god-mortal relationship just adds visceral tension and intimacy. When the distance between two species is that of a god and mortal, yeah of course that's gonna be a hard bridge to gap; the answer to the question "what makes humans/robots different/similar" sort of answers itself. When it's about parenthood, the desire to bridge the gap while also open it is there because isn't that what we want to do with our parents? ALSO also, Pluto depicts violence against robots with the same techniques and seriousness as violence on humans without making the robots look human. When you see metal and lens glasses beaten to bits on the bathroom floor, it evokes the same feeling as seeing blood and guts. It's absolutely phenomenal. Wow this explanation turned out so long yes I love Pluto and am so normal about it.
  • Evil (2019): What if X-Files was Catholic? Ok, to be fair, I haven't seen X-Files. But I love the way this show intersects the scientific and the supernatural. How are the ambiguities in science any different from the unexplainable miracles in religion? Psychology, law, and religion are all controlled by institutions; which means they can all be molded, manipulated; which both validates and invalidates all of what they say. And the characters are...god I love them. Even the ones who suck, I love. Leland's such a loser, and Kristen's daughters are perfect. I want to play a paladin like David in a DnD game someday because he's one of the characters of all time to me. And BEN THE MAGNIFICENT MY BOY BEN. And Kristen. Women's rights and women's wrongs all belong to her. I normally gravitate away from scary shows because I'm a coward, but the occasional spooks are a small price to pay for the sake of storytelling.
  • Courage the Cowardly Dog (1999): Just a funny lil doggo trying to protecc his mom, Muriel, and I guess also Eustace who is there. The way the computer worked in this show had lil me convinced that I could put anything in a CD drive and my PC would process it exactly as I wished. Even the creepiest images and sounds never actually scared me as a kid thanks to the formula of Courage winning every time.
  • Peach Girl (2005): When my family moved to Texas, we only had public TV for a while. Funimation was included in that because they're based in Dallas. My sister selected what we watched, and she was deep into anime. I tried to act better than that because I was a pretentious lil shit (affectionate), but Peach Girl TESTED me. The love drama was so stupid and ridiculous, and yet I hung onto what kind of batshit decision Sae would make next. I wanted to back Momo up and make her and Kairi kiss. I want to throw Ryo off a bridge. I COULD throw Ryo off a bridge. It was the first time I realized that I, too, was not immune to soap opera.
  • Honorary Mention

  • Helen of Troy (2003): The first time I saw something in my Greek Mythology hyperfixation where I thought I was right about something when I was actually wrong. Yeah, Theseus DID kidnap Helen when she was 8, and yes it WAS all kinds of fucked up. My dad thought he got me the movie Troy starring Brad Pitt. He wanted to bond with me by watching something about Greek myth. We binged the entire mini-series in one sitting. Don't binge this mini-series with your dad unless you really want to test your bond or you really trust him. I don't have any regrets or horror stories about binging this with him, even though it feels like I should because of one particular scene towards the end. What could have easily been a Traumatizing Moment ended up being a pretty healthy core memory for me, actually. And that's not a sarcastic "actually."

4 Video Games

  • Kingdom Hearts 2 (2005): *THE* Kingdom Hearts game of all time to me. Builds on the lore from 1 and Chain of Memories without bringing in too overwhelming elements but still having rich complications, classic PS2 vibes and mechanics, just a staple of my childhood. Also ends with the satisfying reunion of the Destiny Island Trio, such closure after SO MANY YEARS of them being apart.
  • Kirby and the Forgotten Land (2022): It's got MY BOIE KIRBY. AND THE COLLECTIBLES ARE WADDLE DEES. OF COURSE I'M GOING TO 100% IT BECAUSE I NEED TO SAVE ALL OF THEM. King Dedede truly being a king in service of his subjects after all he's been through. A freaky final boss and flesh horrors. The implication that Waddle Dees are from another world where they LEFT THEIR ORIGINAL SUBJECTS BEHIND?? A simple 3d platformer that still challenged me. Yes.
  • Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage (1999): The quintessential collecta-thon for me. It had a slightly beefier story and lore than the first game, and its post-game actually gave me an incentive to play through the whole game again with the super-fireball power-up. Also its controls felt more manageable, which meant even for horrible-at-video-games lil kid me, beating it felt within reach. The remake does tickle that nostalgia spot in my brain, but nothing'll ever compare to the crunchy PS2 graphics and the thrill of seeing a sequel to the first video game I ever played.
  • Devil May Cry 5 (2019): Listen. I debated putting Hades or putting Devil May Cry here. You know why I decided on the latter? I'm bad at it. I love a game where I have to actually pay attention to my enemies and environment to Git Gud, Scrub, but where I can still just barely get by with button-mashing when I don't feel like using my senses. Yes, I do know what your attack patterns are. No, I can't push the buttons fast enough to dodge them perfectly for SSS combos every time. But I am getting Cs and Bs, and GOD that feels JUST SO CLOSE THAT MAYBE NEXT TIME I CAN nope. I rage quit every time and yet I come back to her. Story-wise, yet another game that has CLOSURE.
  • Honorary Mention

  • The Company of Myself (2009): The first PC game that gutted me. We love a platformer because kid me can quickly understand and play it, and we love crying about a tragic well-dressed man.

4 Prose Pieces

  • Guardians of Ga'Hoole: The Rescue (2004) by Kathryn Lasky: Yes, I was a Guardians of Ga'Hoole girlie. I specifically went with this entry in the series because it centers around rescuing my favorite character: Ezylryb, the grizzled old teacher (ryb). You see the band work together with the other owls in the tree, learning Ezylryb's backstory, and I think it's the first book to reveal that the series takes place in a post-apocalyptic earth where humanity's extinct? I don't remember if this was also the book that featured "SPRINK ON YOUR SPRONK", but that is an all-time moment.
  • Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened (2013) by Allie Brosh: These stories are burned into my bones. I know them pretty well, and yet the way she's written them gets me pissing myself laughing and crying every time. No one else is doing it like her.
  • A Hunger Artist (1922) by Franz Kafka: Welcome to the reason why this section isn't just "books!" When I took a creative writing class in high school in sophomore year, the upperclassmen discussed this short story in whispered tones. I wanted to seem cool, so I read it online. I then became a Kafka girlie. After doing assignments on Kafka in high school, I took a college course on Kafka to help me transition my brain from high school to college vibes. And, funnily enough, college freshman me impressed some of the upperclassmen taking that class with my hot Kafka takes to the point where the professor wanted me to take her major. Full circle, babey. (I ended up not doing that major, but hey, we love the validation.) Dark resigned humor that my pretentious high school self gorged on, that now, as an adult, gets me to reflect on the literal Kafka-esque nature of my life. A Hunger Artist's not my favorite Kafka; I believe that moniker goes to In the Penal Colony. Nor is it the most hilarious Kafka; that goes to A Country Doctor because it's about Santa Claus. But something about that hunger artist's stubbornness and his replacement by a big fucking kitty still haunts me.
  • The Battle of the Labyrinth (2008) by Rick Riordan: OF COURSE I WAS A PERCY JACKSON GIRLIE. I HAVE PARENTAL ISSUES. Angsty teen nonsense wrapped up in a penultimate, high stakes quest where some heroic kiddos have to save the whole world and also go through Character Development? Sign me the fuck up. It's also the book where my childhood true love, Grover Underwood, finally came into his own and showed everyone how he's actually been awesome the whole time and SHUT UP.
  • Honorary Mention

  • The Mourners of Bayal: Sixth Qessa (1964) by Gholam-Hossein Sa'edi: I wish I could remember this short story's title, specifically. I read it in college when taking a Farsi class. The villagers of Bayal find a big ol' black box, and shenanigans ensue. Surreal and existential, I still remember one of my classmates going "What the FUCK?" as we delved deeper into its plot. I'm a fan of when dark and edgy material can still loop back around into ridiculousness and back into darkness.

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