Photo by Sq Lim (Unsplash)

We are not worthy of dogs.

They're loving, funny, loyal, and perfectly compatible with our desire to document and post everything on the Internet. In fact, one might argue that the Internet's surplus of dog and cat videos is one of the best things about living in our technologically overloaded 21st century. Their excesses of fluff and wide-eyed, unconditional love are salves for all our human faults.

In honor of #InternationalDogDay, here are seven of the best dog videos of all time.

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The Office

Netflix comedy-bingers are being forced to diversify their comedy diets.

Despite the streaming platform's multi-million dollar deal to keep Friends, Netflix couldn't pull the same strings for the NBC classic The Office. Many fans took to Twitter to vent their dismay, while others praised the Lord, because maybe now people will stop basing their entire personalities on the show.

It's true; there are worthwhile shows other than The Office to fill the void of your empty, meaningless soul. Branch out and explore comedies old and the new! Find new friends through a fictional program! And finally, learn to let go when your imaginary friends outgrow you.

Mike Schur's Staples:

If you're truly an Office fan, then you will have checked out Mike Schur's other ingenious comedy projects. If not, then you're a fraud.

Parks and Recreation

This show is the obvious and safest choice to fill the The Office void in your life. With Parks and Rec, you won't miss the spectacular mockumentary format and the odd but lovable relationships that blossom in the workplace environment. Even better, the show is also set in the Middle of Nowhere, U.S.A. just like The Office!

Parks and Recreation: Chris Pratt Explains The Series In 30 Seconds | Entertainment

Runtime: 125 episodes of approximately 22 minutes.

The Good Place

Mike Schur debuted without his writing partner, Greg Daniels, as the only showrunner for The Good Place. The original sitcom king, Ted Danson, flourishes as the "architect" of the version of heaven Ellen Shellstrop (Kristen Bell) is accidentally placed in. Just when the show gets good, it gets better in ways one would never expect. Enjoy!

Runtime: 39 episodes of approximately 22 minutes. More episodes are coming.

An Oldie, But A Goodie:


Kids these days don't know about the Holy Grail of TV comedy. Ted Danson played the cultural phenomenon Sam Malone, a Red Sox relief pitcher who owned the bar, Cheers! This show practically founded the "will they, won't they" narrative with Sam's iconic on-and-off relationship with Diane (played by Shelley Long), a graduate psychology student turned barmaid. Cheers! became one of the first American sitcoms to explore love and loss while redefining the notion of family— it's simple and epic.

Cheers intro

Runtime: 275 episodes of 30 minutes.

Netflix Originals

You'll never have to worry about Netflix originals disappearing off the platform. Choose one of their many original comedies to enjoy, and then petition after Netflix cancels it.

Grace and Frankie

Imagine, your husband of over 40 years takes you out to dinner with his longtime law partner and his partner's wife. You and the wife are hopeful and confident your husbands are going to announce their retirement. Instead, they tell their wives they are leaving them, for each other.

Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin shine as Grace and Frankie, the two wives in their '70s who have no one in their lives who understand their situation except each other. It's an absurd and hilarious effort to showcase the trials of aging women in the modern era, changing family dynamics, and sisterhood.

Grace and Frankie | Official Trailer [HD] |

Runtime: 65 episodes of a variation of 25-35 minutes. More episodes to come.

Big Mouth

You know that American Doll puberty book you read when you were 12? No? Does that only apply to women? Well, try to imagine a puberty book that came to life as an animated show starring John Mulaney and Nick Kroll. Are you intrigued? Are you already invested? I thought so. Also, Maya Rudolph voices the Hormone Monstress—I probably should've started with that.

Big Mouth | official trailer (2017)

Runtime: 21 episodes of a variation of 25-46 minutes. More episodes to come.

American Vandal

American Vandal took mockumentaries to a whole new level by deep diving into the world of high school investigative journalism. The show kicks off with the trial of Dylan Maxwell, a troubled high school senior, who is accused of vandalizing 27 vehicles with phallic images (dicks). The true crime satire showcases what it's really like to be a teen today, using social media to propel the story forward in a ridiculous fashion. Netflix may have cancelled the show after its second season, but American Vandal has already earned its cult status.

American Vandal | Official Trailer [HD] |

Runtime: 16 episodes of a variation of 25-42 minutes.


Selfies at Chernobyl: Why We Love Dark Tourism

HBO's miniseries has had an unexpected consequence: a nuclear disaster zone is now a hot tourist destination.

When the RBMK nuclear power reactor exploded in the Chernobyl Power Plant's 4th unit, triggering a flood of radioactivity that would devastate the areas surrounding the site beyond repair, it's unlikely that anyone who heard about the disaster imagined that the site would become a tourist trap.

But that's exactly what has happened, following the release of the HBO miniseries Chernobyl. The five-part series amassed a total of six million viewers, scoring high ratings and enthralling viewers with its unsparing depiction of the catastrophe. Its release led to a surprising consequence: Tourism to the Chernobyl site exploded. "Most of the people say they decided to book after seeing this show," said Victor Korol, director of the tour company SoloEast, which reportedly experienced a 35% increase in visitors since the HBO series' premiere.

A Gloomy Destination

A trip to Chernobyl offers a smorgasbord of melancholic views. There's the city of Pripyat's abandoned amusement park, its rusty, moss-covered Ferris wheel looking like the patron saint of failed dreams. There's the remains of the reactor itself, covered with a shell of thick steel. There's a drained pool and a soccer field reclaimed by vines. Over the years, the forest has been creeping back in. With it have come wild dogs, wolves, bears, lynxes, birds, and of course, the supermassive (albeit not radiation-grown) catfish that patrol the plant's cooling pond.

With tourists creeping in fifty years after the disaster, they bring acts of typical touristy disrespect. Among the most incendiary is an image one woman named Veronika Rocheva posted on Instagram of herself in a thong, geotagged at the disaster site. Rocheva also posted a photo of herself wearing a gas mask, illuminated by violet and pink lights, and both images generated significant backlash. Rocheva later apologized and revealed that the photos hadn't actually been taken in Pripyat; they'd been taken thousands of miles away, and she'd only geotagged the location as a tribute to the TV series.

Despite the fact that Rocheva's selfies weren't taken at the disaster zone, many other selfies that were actually taken at the site are currently swirling around the internet. In response to a deluge of images, the Chernobyl series' creator Craig Mazin tweeted, "Yes, I've seen the photos. If you visit, please remember that a terrible tragedy occurred there. Comport yourselves with respect for all who suffered and sacrificed." His comment came in the wake of a thread of images compiled by Twitter user Bruno Zupan, along with the caption "Meanwhile in Chernobyl: Instagram influencers flocking to the site of the disaster."

In response to the criticism, The Atlantic published a piece by Taylor Lorenz which argued that most of the Chernobyl visitors aren't Instagram influencers at all. They're ordinary people, and in this day and age, ordinary people use photos and social media to document their feelings and experiences. "While some critics might still view the posts as distasteful and insensitive, most of these users are all trying to say the same thing: I was here," Lorenz wrote. Through this lens, Chernobyl selfies are ways of documenting and processing tragedy and of sharing one's experiences with others. Perhaps, these images are ways of keeping memories alive.

Chernobyl: Narnia for Fucked-Up Adults?

Whether or not selfies at Chernobyl are acts of self-expression or disrespect, there's another, darker question underlying all this. Behind the images of smiling faces in hard hats against a backdrop of radiation-flattened infrastructure lies the question: why? Why do we feel drawn to these kinds of sites and these kinds of TV series, drawn so strongly that we pay hundreds or thousands of dollars to visit them, and we gather together to watch them in the millions?

The answer may not be so different from the oft-discussed question of why we're so obsessed with serial killers and true crime. Though serial killers are relatively rare phenomenons, as far as causes of death go, they saturate our media landscape, generating obsession, reverence, and even lust among fans (be it the girls who attended Ted Bundy's trial in 1979 or fangirled over him in 2019 after the Netflix documentary, Conversations With a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes). Though many psychologists have offered a variety of theories on why we love cold-blooded murderers, one consensus theorizes that the actions of these criminals are so incomprehensible, so distant from the every day, that they inevitably pique our curiosity, conjuring adrenaline rushes of shock that can even be addictive.

According to James Hoare, editor of the magazine Real Crime, serial killers "represent something larger than life, something truly cartoonishly monstrous, like the horror stories you're told as a child. Everybody responds to the idea that there's something nasty out there." Serial killers, he says, are sort of "fairytales for grownups. There's something in our psyche where we have this need to tell stories about being pursued by monsters."

If serial killer narratives are fairytales for grownups, lodged in archaic hierarchies and old fears, then Chernobyl is Narnia—a larger-than-life arena where visitors can gaze out over the remnants of otherworldly drama without stepping too close to the edge. The catch is that what happened in these places, though distant enough to allow for a safe level of detachment, still really happened, and this lurking truth can also serve as a reminder of how fragile human life is in the end.

The Shadow Side of Travel

Though Chernobyl may be one of the more extreme destinations around, there's a whole field of travel called "dark tourism" dedicated to exploring the world's sordid, destitute wonderlands. Interestingly, the term "dark tourism" was coined by another streaming service—Netflixvia its 2018 series, Dark Tourist. That show featured host David Farrier traveling to eerie destinations, including a walking tour of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer's murder sites and the remnants of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Dark tourism has been gaining traction under different names since the 2000s, though, and popular destinations include Auschwitz, the September 11 memorial, and the ashen remains of Pompeii, Italy. Of course, dark tourism destinations don't have to be famous; the haunted house in the town over, the desert ghost towns off Route 66, or the ossuaries and catacombs of subterranean Paris all qualify.

Of course, dark tourism can be disrespectful or extremely dangerous, both for travelers and the inhabitants of the destination in question. To avoid negative consequences, National Geographic writer Robert Reid advises visitors to examine their intentions before embarking on a trip to places with sensitive histories. "The first thing we should ask ourselves?" he writes. "Are we traveling to a place to heighten our understanding, or simply to show off or indulge some morbid curiosity?" After all, he continues, almost every destination in the world could be seen as dark tourism if you look at its history, and sometimes, "turning your back on reality can be the ugliest travel of all."

In the end, dark tourism might be a way of embracing the world's twisted history and distorted present, instead of trying to escape them by running away to plastic paradises. Through this lens, dark tourism actually offers a viable alternative to traditionally overcrowded, super-commodified destinations that capitalism thrives on selling us. In a way, it's about appreciating a different sort of beauty, one less based on instant gratification and sterile lavishness and more in reflection, history, and perspective. Since many of us know that traditional tourism—and the excessive consumption and environmental destruction that often accompanies it—can be harmful, visiting abandoned, historically macabre, or otherwise gloomy places (especially if they're local) might just be a positive departure from the well-traveled path.

Dark tourism is part of popular culture, and it fits there, just as Chernobyl fits neatly into the TV landscape, right alongside war dramas and the daily news, which a disaster zone of its own. After all, it's hard to pay attention to the headlines (depending on what publications you choose to read) without realizing that we're kind of living in the end times, considering on the consequences that climate change will wreak on our world. If we're living in an era of ecological disaster, being able to find the beauty in scenes of destruction, contamination, and natural reclamation—for example, in cities overcome by pine trees and reservoirs full of massive catfish—might just be a blessing in disguise, a way of living with the consequences of the weight of our human lives on earth.

So go ahead: put on your gas mask and smile for the camera.


The Stranger Things Season 3 Trailer Takes Things In a New Direction

Stranger Things Season 3 might finally do something new.

After an admittedly lackluster second season, the trailer for Stranger Things Season 3 dropped today. It looks good – so good your disappointment with Season 2 will disappear.

Season 2 of Stranger Things wasn't bad. The problem was that after its adventurous first season, it just repeated the same formula, playing everything way too safe, casting Will as the damsel once again.

Luckily, if the Season 3 trailer is any indication, things are going to be a lot different now in Hawkins. For one, it's summer. And as every 80s teen movie ever has taught us, summer is the best time for life-changing experiences – romance, friendship, transitioning into adulthood. Setting the trailer to The Who's "Baba O'Riley" is an especially fitting choice.

As Mike, Eleven, and the rest of the gang come into their own, a new monster joins the fray too. Unlike the previous Demogorgon and Mind Flayer, this one seems more grotesque, less D&D and more The Thing. There are more psychic powers on display, too, which seems to suggest the third season might try to expand that part of the mythos.

Best of all, everyone's favorite babysitter Steve is back, working at the mall and bonding with Dustin because he's the world's greatest dad and easily the best part of the entire show.

Check out the trailer above, and be sure to catch Stranger Things Season 3 this July 4th on Netflix.

Dan Kahan is a writer & screenwriter from Brooklyn, usually rocking a man bun. Find more at

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The Weird, Heartless Magic of Marie Kondo: The Cleanest Cult To Ever Exist

The phenomenally successful KonMari method is part self-improvement, part sexism, all cult.

Marie Kondo arrives at BAFTA

Photo by DFree (Shutterstock)

When you're finally ready to dispose of your 9th-grade formal wear, that copy of Infinite Jest you should admit you'll never read, or your creepy, tiny baby teeth tucked underneath your mattress, Marie Kondo wants you to gently stroke each time, thank it for the joy it's brought to your life, and throw it the fuck away.

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The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind | Offical Trailer [HD] | Netflix

Welcome back to "Now in Theaters: 5 New Movies for the Weekend."

February felt surprisingly long, but thankfully a new month means a new Madea movie.



GRETA - Official Trailer [HD] - In Theaters March

In this female-centric horror/thriller, Chloë Grace Moretz plays a young New Yorker trying to make her way in the big city. After returning a missing handbag to an older piano teacher named Greta, the two develop a nice friendship...but uh oh, things are not what they seem. That missing handbag? Planted. And Greta? She's crazy. Now Chloë Grace Moretz needs to escape the clutches of insane, geriatric Greta before it's too late. If you've ever wanted to see a horror movie where the ultimate terror is a nice old lady, here's your chance.

Tyler Perry's a Madea Family Funeral

Tyler Perry's A Madea Family Funeral (2019 Movie) Official Trailer - Tyler Perry, Cassi

Madea is back, and this time she's organizing someone's funeral for some reason. Why would they let Madea do that? Don't they know that Madea's involvement is sure to lead to wacky hijinks? Maybe if you wanted your funeral to be filled with big farts and slapstick humor involving your corpse, then you'd want Madea to organize things. Otherwise, you should probably hire a professional funeral director.


The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind | Offical Trailer [HD] |

Directed, written by, and starring Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave), The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind is the story of a young boy in Malawi who builds a windmill to save his village from famine. Based on a true memoir of the same name, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind is sure to be an emotional ride showcasing the power of human imagination and ingenuity in the face of turmoil. Check it out on Netflix from the comfort of your own couch.



Climax | Official Trailer HD |

French director Gaspar Noé, best known for his controversial art films, possibly has his best movie yet with Climax. Part dance film, part gruesome, LSD-driven horror, Climax is a wholly original and disturbing take on party films. The movie is incredible on a technical and cinematic level, but it's also not a good choice for the easily disturbed. Consider this one a highly recommended film with the caveat that you might not be able to handle it.

The Hole in the Ground

The Hole in the Ground | Official Trailer HD |

This movie's got it all: a hole, the ground, and best of all SPOOKY BOIS™. Yes, in this weekend's newest Spooky Boi flick, a young mother discovers that her son has become a true spook after seeing a hole in the ground outside their new home. You better believe this boy is dedicated to spooking. He's eating spiders! He's breaking peoples' arms! He's slurpin' his spaghetti. Very impolite! Now, as always, this young mother is forced to choose between putting up with a Spooky Boi in her home or abandoning her maternal instinct and murdering him. Hooray!

Dan Kahan is a writer & screenwriter from Brooklyn, usually rocking a man bun. Find more at

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