Why I have turned to “90-Day Fiancé” during this difficult time

I love television. Quality television. My viewing schedule every season lines up almost exactly with the Emmy nominations. I pride myself on it: no Friends or Grey’s Anatomy here! There is nothing more exciting to me than a witty, engrossing dramedy (see: Fleabag, Succession, Barry), a stirring true crime documentary (The Keepers, The Jinx, Girls Incarcerated), or pointed satire (Eastbound and Down, Veep, Extras). Only highbrow sh*t for me. 

Until now. Until quarantine

At first, I jumped at the chance to binge all the CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED shows I had put off watching until I could really get into them: 6 Feet Under, The Wire, True Detective, etc. 

But I found myself totally unable to focus. Everything felt bleak, and then bleaker when I brought myself to look outside at the empty streets. No way could I get into watching anything that reminded me of the suffering I was trying to escape. So, in a fog of anxiety, I went where I had sworn I would never go: TLC. 

And I am LOVING IT. I might never go back. This season of TLC’s 90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days is offering me escapism at its finest. (I could explain the premise, but…it doesn’t matter.) Feel-good fluff is my lifeline right now, as it is for so many others. I screamed when I saw SPOILER finally meet SPOILER in SPOILER, I cheered when SPOILER left SPOILER alone at the SPOILER, and I winced when SPOILER drove all the way to SPOILER to hand SPOILER a SPOILER she threw in the trash. Losing myself in the petty dramas of peak reality-TV nonsense is so much fun, I’m genuinely embarrassed that I spent so much time shunning it. 

So, my fellow TV snobs: the buzziest new(ish) show for your quarantine binges: 90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days. If that still doesn’t satisfy, tune in (along with me) to Pillow Talk, and watch other 90 Day couples from previous seasons judge the current ones, just like us. 

25 funny things to do during quarantine

By Kaitlin Goldin

Let’s face it: as we inch toward month four of quarantine, life is getting real boring, real fast. You’ve watched every Oscar-winning film in history AND all 89 seasons of Gilmore Girls (again), you’ve heard the weird aunt you’re trapped inside with tell her “Did I tell you how I almost met George Clooney?” story every single day, and you’ve tossed your knitting project into your sourdough starter. Although some businesses are slowly opening up, camp is down the drain for the summer, and school/work are still up in the air for the fall. The day-to-day is a big huge drag (and not the RuPaul variety).

But hope is not lost! Fight your cabin fever by diving into the world of comedy, where there is always something new to keep you laughing. Why not use some of the waaaaay too much free time you have to replenish your Vitamin C(omedy)? Here are 22 things to do to help you find the funny this extra special summer. 

  1. While your family is out on a walk, decorate inside for Halloween or Christmas decorations. Holidays are fun, and time is a flat circle!
  2. Halloween alt: Haunt your house by leaving creepy notes in the steam on your mirror, flickering the lights, and moving objects from across the room with invisible string. 
  3. Play this hilarious Press Briefing drinking game. Or, if the kids are around, play a game of Press Briefing Bingo.
  4. Paint one wall in your room lime green so that your Zoom background is flawless.
  5. Perfect the family recipe as proof that you could be your parents’ favorite child if you really tried. 
  6. Start a cult. Everyone is looking for connection right now! 
  7. Cope with your loneliness by drawing a face onto anything that looks remotely human. Your light switch. Your ceiling fan. Your child (wait…). 
  8. Turn your home into a capture the flag war zone. Divide your family up into teams with themed names like Lysol vs. Clorox or Fauci vs. The World. Bonus points for costumes. 
  9. Hold a pie- or hot-dog-eating competition over Zoom or with your fellow prisoners. These are now socially acceptable activities for any day of the week, according to me.
  10. Play an online version of Cards Against Humanity with a group of friends PLUS one wild card (Grandpa Howard). 
  11. Invent a new cocktail (or mocktail) and get your family to guess the formula. Extra credit: Do Hippy Hippy Shake
  12. Join the always funny folks at Second City online for drop-in improv classes. 
  13. Take the time to master a cool party trick, like making a flute out of a straw or applying lipstick with no hands like Molly Ringwald. Mine is being able to recite 100 digits of pi, so I’ve already taken the coolest one. Sorry. 
  14. Start your own podcast, like so many funny ladies before you. Listen to 2 Dope Queens or My Favorite Murder to get your creative juices flowing. 
  15. Double down on the comedy intake by reading one of these memoirs by badass female comedians.
  16. Borrow crayons, paint, and glitter glue from the kid of the house and create abstract art. See if anyone can tell the difference between your creation and what is on the MoMA website. 
  17. Play dress up with your pets. They can only hate you for it so much. 
  18. Make yourself cry a little bit by virtually riding all the Disneyland rides
  19. Have a friend talk you through a blind makeover. 
  20. Tune into Comedy Quarantine to end your day with a laugh and to support comedians whose performances were canceled due to the virus. 
  21. Go down the Wikipedia rabbit hole. Search the first thing that comes to mind, then continue clicking links to new pages until you somehow end up reading about the correct orientation for toilet paper. (Yep, that entry exists!)
  22. Call up your grade school rival and bask in how far you’ve come.
  23. Create a hilarious display in your window or on your lawn to entertain your neighbors. Check out @themoorbears on Instagram for inspiration. 
  24. Write funny notes to the people in your house, then stick the notes somewhere they won’t be found for a while (like in the final pages of your brother’s book, or in the toe of your roommate’s ~sexy stilettos~). Who knows when the surprise will strike? 
  25. Learn to write and perform standup comedy (you can do standup online!) with GOLD’s online class. Being cooped up with family, we all have a lot of material to work with. Now’s the perfect time to find your funny. 

What’s been making you laugh during quarantine? Tweet @GoldComedy to spread the funny!


Kaitlin Goldin is a writer, theatermaker, and storyteller studying at Brown University. During her time inside, she’s been writing her first full-length play, taking a stab at stand up comedy, teaching a class on comedy and politics, and banging her head against a wall. You can find her on Instagram at @kaitlingoldin. 

Black Lives Matter

I founded GOLD Comedy to help make sure that girls get taken seriously. Some people say our purpose is “empowering” teen girls, but there’s more to it.

 

Girls already have their own power. It’s on everyone else to respect that. 

 

So really it’s more about (let’s call it) “de-empowering” everyone else. That’s the kind of cultural and structural change I’m really talking about.  That kind of change needs to happen in the comedy world, which—not coincidentally, like the world-world—is (despite obvious progress) still structured from the ground up to privilege and promote straight cis white men. 

 

That kind of change requires more than just—for one thing—not telling (or sharing) racist jokes. (Though that’s obviously imperative.) It means telling (and sharing) anti-racist jokes, especially if you’re white. It means not just opening doors for comics of color and everyone else outside what’s still the norm. It means breaking them down and building new ones.

 

Comedy—as content and business—is too often a tool for normalizing, perpetuating, and promoting violence, racism, and racist violence. But the reason we’re here is that comedy can also be a force for good, even stronger than a balm or a break. (“The best medicine” is a cure for COVID-19.)

 

Comedy, handled right, provokes and demands new ways of thinking, helps shift the standards of what’s acceptable (and what’s not). Comedy (and comics) (especially white comics) (and white industry gatekeepers) really can do their part to help drive—both slowly and as seismically as we’re seeing right now—the kind of structure and culture change required to ensure that black lives matter.  

 

This is almost literally the least we can do, but it is important to follow and share the anti-racist work of comedians of both color and of, shall we say, pallor. A teeny tiny sampling of some who may not yet be on your radar: Ted Alexandro, Kerry Coddett, Sarah Cooper, Ayo Edebiri, Negin Farsad, Jena Friedman, Ziwe Fumodoh, Akilah Hughes, Dwayne Kennedy, Leighann Lord, Zahra Noorbakhsh, Jeff Simmermon, Elsa Eli Waithe, WellRED Comedy (Trae Crowder, Corey Ryan Forrester, Drew Morgan), Kristina Wong. (Tag @goldcomedy on Instagram or Twitter with other recommendations!)

 

Also, I recommend following and supporting Teens4Equality. It’s the group that organized Nashville’s recent15,000-person #BLM in five days, founded by six teen girls. Told you they had power.