Let's be honest: Things are different right now, and we don't necessarily have a sense of when that will change, but for now, we're doing whatever we can to get through it. That's why the team at SYFY FANGRRLS decided to share what's helping us relax while we're all staying at home, whether it's playing a new game, watching (or rewatching) a favorite TV show, staring at an actor's gorgeous face ... you name it, we're probably doing it.
So what have some of the members of Team FANGRRLS been relying on to get themselves through quarantine this week? Time to find out.
Buying Midsommar merch from Etsy
Even before all this happened, I have long found scrolling through Etsy to be a relaxing endeavor. For fans of genre there are countless vendors selling merch that pays homage to an array of movies and TV shows. This has only increased over recent weeks, which has seen me turn to this site for a sprinkling of joy in an uncertain world. Making small purchases from independent businesses not only feels good but the anticipation of getting fun mail during all of this injects some pleasure into the daily grind. Not to mention that people who sell things on Etsy are incredibly talented and will often include personalized notes with the item bought (further adding to the joy). My current Etsy obsession is Midsommar, which has led to sticker, patch, button, and tote bags purchases. The iconography of Midsommar is ideal for an artistic marketplace like Etsy featuring an array of interpretations of images from the movie including Florence Pugh's May Queen look to the burning bear boyfriend. Sometimes it leads to seemingly inexplicable pop culture fusions, which is how I ended up with a Midsommar-meets-Kelly Clarkson tote that has brought me so much happiness (even though I haven't been able to use it yet). I know I can't afford any of the items on the A24 fundraising costume and prop auction, but I can still let my fan flag high while helping small businesses. - Emma Fraser
Binge-watching Critical Role
As a fan of D&D and other roleplaying streams and podcasts and a cast member on several myself, Critical Role has served as something of a white whale for me. I did not get in on the ground floor with either the first campaign (Vox Machina) or even the now-running second one (The Mighty Nein), itself close to 100 episodes deep. As well-wishing friends would push me to check out this show, that they knew I’d enjoy, I imagine my eyes would gloss over in the same way others’ do when I try to convince them to watch Doctor Who with its wealth of episodes. I had begun working my way through podcast versions of the Mighty Nein’s adventures during the days of commuting to work, but with run times often blowing past four hours it would take me days, even weeks, to get through a single episode. Now, with nowhere else to go, I’ve taken a deep dive into the YouTube versions of the series, often tossing them on in the background while I work on other projects or get tasks done for the day around the house. As a result, I’ve gone from having listened to a few hours of the show to now having blown through the first 50 episodes of the campaign in just the last month. I may not catch up with the current episodes before the lockdowns begin getting lifted, but I am well on my way. - Riley Silverman
Finding out that you were all right about Timeless
This whole lockdown thing has been weird for me, mostly because, due to other demands on my time and energy, I'm not able to be as productive as I want to be in the ways I want to be. While I might not be able to knock out projects I've been meaning to get to, I do have an ever-growing list of TV shows I can chip away at while I spend my days in front of the computer. Checking things off that list has become my main source of fulfillment this week, and you know what, I think that's fine.
But amid the episodes of Harley Quinn and I Am Not Okay With This and Cheer and Mrs. America, I also finally got around to watching Timeless, a show people on the internet (and my fellow FANGRRLS) have been trying to convince me to watch for years and yes. You were all correct. This show is great and I am also upset that it was canceled. I will never doubt you again (this is a lie, I say this every time and it never happens, I always doubt). - Tricia Ennis
Cloud and Aerith flirting in the Final Fantasy reboot
I am maybe 12 to 15 hours into my play through of the Final Fantasy reboot, and the last three hours have been a constant, soothing balm of Aerith flirting with Cloud and Cloud being awkward (and awkwardly flirting back) and it is my favorite. I'm living in the action-adventure rom com part of the game — tragedy, what tragedy? Aerith teaching Cloud to high-five, or closing the space between them when he settles too far away from her, or getting him to talk to flowers, or ... well, you get the picture, it's all perfect and cute, and if you need me, I'll be lurking on Ao3 for the happily ever after they deserve. - Preeti Chhibber
Gabby Rivera's Joy Revolution
As the breakout writer of the America series (Marvel), B.B. FREE (Boom!), and the novel Juliet Takes a Breath (Random House), Gabby Rivera has no shortage of projects, That said, we're thrilled that she made time for one more. Meet Joy Revolution, the podcast about finding joy in the modern world. Gabby invites people mostly from her own circle to discuss things like the importance of practicing consent in tattoo parlors, the intersection of tarot cards and punk rock, and the necessity of archiving queer Lantix history. Gabby kicks off the whole series with a 30-minute manifesto on the importance of joy and why we must always emphasize it in our activism. If you need a boost of optimism in the face of seemingly unending catastrophes or you just want to check in with viewpoints that aren't often emphasized in the media narrative, this is the podcast for you! - Sara Century
Rewatching Star vs. the Forces of Evil
Created by Daron Nefcy, this sensational Disney cartoon series centers on Star Butterfly (voiced by Eden Sher), a hyperactive, magic-wielding, and quirky teen-princess who is dedicated to battling evil wherever she finds it. In Season 1, that mostly means battling the monsters that followed her to Earth, where she's living as a foreign-exchange student with the Diaz family. She becomes fast friends with their son Marco (Adam McArthur), so the two team up to go on wild adventures through dimensional portals. Over the course of four seasons, Star and Marco create a very diverse menagerie of friends that includes an emo-demon, an enigmatic magic mentor, a monster-loving queen, and a floating unicorn head known as Ponyhead (Jenny Slate). Together, they will confront teen troubles like puberty, crushes, and break-ups as well as world-changing battles for the future of magic. If you like Adventure Time or Steven Universe, you should totally check out Star vs. the Forces of Evil, which is a thoughtfully told story full of fantasy, fun, and wildly funny moments. It's now on Hulu and Disney+. - Kristy Puchko
The materia system in Final Fantasy VII
Every Final Fantasy game does something a little different mechanically. Final Fantasy II, for instance, eschews a traditional leveling up system in favor of a “practice makes perfect” approach that can support a late-game change in specialties. Final Fantasy VII cyberpunks magic into materia and, honey, I’m in love. Every time one of those little magic gumballs comes my way, I drop everything, fire up the menu, and figure out how they can help my crew hit Shinra and Sephiroth where it hurts. (And also these creepy bee egg nesting dolls, who haunt my nightmares!) I’m really enjoying being able to level up specific materia to gain new spells and abilities, as well as trade those materia between characters, since I’m a micromanaging JRPG stage mom who won’t let any of her children level up higher than the rest. But the best part (other than, you know, summoning demons and whatnot) is puzzling out how to make the materia work together. Why yes, I would like to electrify Cloud’s sword, thank you! It’s thematic and devastating! Though not as emotionally devastating as when I equipped Cloud with the Cover materia and he kept protecting Aerith in battle. Man, there’s a materia for everything! (“But Clare, you don’t have a Switch or a PC, how are you playing Final Fantasy VII?” Well, friend, I’m playing the mobile port on my Chromebook. Oh, how I suffer for my stories!) - Clare McBride