Winter Break Recommendations from Wes Creatives

Sarah ParkeDecember 18, 202310min
Winter 2023 Recommendations (1)

Exams have been graded and final projects evaluated. Perhaps you’re enjoying some much-needed rest and relaxation after a busy semester, or you want to bring a little bit of Wesleyan home to share. We’ve compiled a list of entertainment offerings from Wesleyan alumni for you to enjoy until we return to campus in January.

Television and Movies

The seventh season of Big Mouth premiered on Netflix in June. Jennifer Flackett ’86 is writer and co-creator of the raunchy, animated adult sitcom about teenagers struggling through the turbulent, traumatic changes of adolescence. Big Mouth was renewed for its eighth and final season in spring 2023, making it the longest-running original scripted series ever produced by the streaming service. You can binge watch all 71 episodes this winter break—and then check out Flackett’s Big Mouth spin-off, Human Resources, also on Netflix.



If you’re interested in issues of social justice, we recommend No Accident (HBO Documentary Film) produced by Michelle Rabinowitz Carney ’02. The film follows the civil suit against the organizers of 2017’s deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Attorney Michael Bloch ’00 is interviewed in the documentary regarding his role representing the plaintiffs.




Justin Lacob ’02 executive produced Periodical, a documentary about menstrual justice, the stigma surrounding periods, and two incredible young women fighting to repeal the tampon tax state by state. Whether or not you menstruate, Periodical is an eye-opening documentary that examines science, politics, and mystery of the menstrual cycle, through the experiences of doctors, athletes, movie stars, journalists, activists, and everyday people.




Articles of Interest has been featured on many best podcast of the year lists since its debut in December 2018. Created by Avery Trufelman ’13, who also hosts and produces the show, Articles covers everything from the technology used in fashion manufacturing to cloth alternatives and the psychology behind color. Each episode features interviews with scholars and industry experts, including Wes friends. Check out the “More Pockets” episode where Trufelman interviews Hannah Carlson ’90 about her book, Pockets: An Intimate History of the Things We Keep Close (Algonquin, 2023).



Don’t let the name fool you—Couples Therapy is a side-splitting comedy podcast hosted by real life couple and comedians Naomi Ekperigin ’05 and Andy Beckerman. Join Naomi and Andy as they interview their favorite actors and comics about relationships. Check out episode 264, “Beautiful Chaos,” with guest Sara Dosa ’05, Oscar-nominated filmmaker of Fire of Love—and Naomi’s first-year roommate at Wes. You can also catch Naomi in the new Netflix film Family Switch, starring Ed Helms and Jennifer Garner.




Film buffs should check out Too Much Movie, a podcast hosted by Rob Belushi ’04, Chris Candy, and Blake Howard, that celebrates 90s movies that are outrageous and over-the-top, in the best possible way. Highly recommended that you watch before you listen to appreciate the trio’s discussion of plot, favorite scenes, quotes, and interviews with screenwriters and actors from iconic movies like L.A. Confidential and The Devil’s Advocate.




If you love Christmas and classic movies, pick up the revised and expanded edition of Turner Classic Movies’ Christmas in the Movies: 35 Classics to Celebrate the Season by Jeremy Arnold ’91 (Running Press). Arnold, a film historian and commentator, profiles 35 iconic Christmas films, with behind-the-scenes stories about the Hollywood production process and each film’s legacy, alongside full-color and black and white photography that makes this volume a keepsake for Christmas lovers and cinephiles alike!




A Second Chance for Yesterday (Solaris/Simon & Schuster) by R.A. Sinn, the penname of siblings Aram Sinnreich ’94 and Rachel Hope Cleves, is a time-traveling story about family, redemption, and queer love. Nev Bourne is a hotshot programmer for SavePoint, the brain implant that rewinds the seconds of all our most embarrassing moments. When the test-run goes awry, Nev starts falling backwards in time, one day at a time. A long-lost friend from college reappears in her life claiming they know how to save her. Can a friendship born of fear possibly grow into love? With time running out, Nev must learn what it will take to set things right, and what it will cost.



Nicolas Cage is an icon and an enigma, defying the film industry’s attempts to typecast him in any one kind of role. No other modern actor has explored such profound creative extremes while bending the boundaries of good taste. Zach Schonfeld ’13’s How Coppola Became Cage (Oxford University Press) is part biography, part filmography, brimming with previously untold stories and insights to Cage’s most famous roles and onscreen eccentricities.




Garth. (Garth Taylor ’12) just released his fourth studio album, Coronation, in partnership with producer Cale Hawkins. The album is a fusion of R&B, pop, and electronic beats that celebrates the ’80s, ’90s, and ’00s. Garth has also been hard at work behind the camera, writing, directing, and producing music videos for his songs “Warning Sign” and “Golden Light.” Check them out on his official YouTube channel.




Thirty years after the release of his first album, Dave Keller ’89 just released his tenth blues album, It’s Time to Shine (Tastee Tone Records). The album, which Keller and his band recorded in a remote mountain cabin, features 12 original soul- and blues-inspired songs.