What notable Torontonians are watching, reading and listening to in March

Pop culture recommendations from Eden Grinshpan, Tennyson King, Gina Sorell, Patrice Goodman and Gurdeep Ahluwalia

Photo taken by Getting Captured Photography
working moms (Radio-Canada Gem)

Recommended by Gina Sorell, actress and writer

“I’m late for this show, but I love watching showrunner Catherine Reitman’s character navigate the crazy world of PR. The writing and casting are all great, and I love that it’s in Toronto. It is a joy to see familiar places appear. I’m also a working mom, which means I’m often multitasking and find myself laughing out loud while watching the show and bouncing on my mini trampoline in my living room.


Dune (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) by Hans Zimmer

Recommended by Alex Porat, musician

“Hans Zimmer’s score for Dunes is one of the best things I’ve ever heard. It keeps me company while I walk and run, do the dishes and drive. There are moments in the music that are so haunting they leave me frozen, while other moments are the perfect motivation to sprint several hundred meters – it makes you feel like the main character in a movie. ‘a movie. I’ve been listening to it non-stop since I watched the movie in November 2021.”


Close (the criterion channel)

Recommended by Maziyar Khatam, Filmmaker

“This brilliant Iranian docufiction tells the true story of a movie buff who impersonates his favorite director, tricks a family into believing he will star in their next film, and is then arrested. Director Abbas Kiarostami re-enacts the particular incident – inviting the real people involved to play themselves – and follows it with footage of the trial and the verdict that followed.


dessert person by Claire Saffitz

Recommended by Eden Grinshpan, author of eat out loud, and host, Top Chef Canada

“Saffitz covers all the baking bases (focaccia, tarte tatin) but also brings a sophisticated twist to many of my favorite baked goods (savory halva blondies and babkallah). My four year old daughter and I cooked a lot during the pandemic. She loves breaking eggs, pouring in all the ingredients, sifting the flour and, of course, eating all the dough.


Strong

Recommended by Nana aba Duncan, Carty Chair in Journalism, Diversity and Inclusion Studies at Carleton University

“Told in a mix of Spanish and English, this podcast is so fun, smart and deep. It immerses you in Panama City and the colorful buses playing reggaeton, and addresses the socio-economic and cultural factors of the way the music was produced and consumed. The host, Ivy Queen, is a major voice in reggaeton, and her authenticity is part of the magic. It’s a rich and delightful listen.


Photo by Wendy Mcalpine
hope matters by Lee Maracle, Columpa Bobb and Tania Carter

Recommended by Susanna Kearsley, Writer

“In November, the writing community lost one of its most accomplished storytellers and generous teachers, Lee Maracle. She left us a multitude of writings to remember her, but my favorite – and the one that has been on my nightstand lately – is the book of poetry she wrote with her daughters, with her titular beautiful poem shining like a light for me in these uncertain times.


Photo by Gennelle Cruz
Disintegration by the priest

Recommended by Grae, musician

“It’s definitely The Cure’s darkest and saddest album, but I find solace in its sound. When the world seems dark, I turn to music that has strong emotional content because I feel like the artist understands what I’m going through, like I have their support. I particularly like “Pictures of You”, which is super sad, but beautiful. And the first notes of ‘Disintegration’ always send shivers down my spine.


Drug (Disney+)

Recommended by Aalia Adam, co-host of World News Weekend

Drug is one of the few shows that I can’t binge because each episode makes me too angry to continue. Based on Beth Macy’s non-fiction book, it tells the story of Purdue Pharma’s role in the opioid crisis, marketing its “wonder drug” (OxyContin) as non-addictive. Michael Keaton stars as a doctor who becomes addicted and Rosario Dawson plays a federal agent trying to end the crisis.


Flash by Malcolm Gladwell

Recommended by Gurdeep Ahluwalia, host, CHFI mornings

“If you’ve never read Malcolm Gladwell’s 2005 book, now is the time. I refer to it if I’m ever dithering or facing a big decision. It’s about trusting your instincts. When you walk into a room and have a bad vibe, or conversely, when you meet someone and immediately feel a sense of confidence, there’s a reason for that. We get very good at creating fairly accurate snapshots of people and situations over the years. Gladwell has an amazing way of selling you an idea by coloring it in with real-life examples and stories, then letting your brain fill in the blanks.


Photo by Basia Wyszynski
You have to remember that

Recommended by Marlowe Granados, writer

“I’ve listened to every episode of this podcast over the past few years – over 200 hours from the voice of host Karina Longworth. It focuses on Hollywood’s forgotten history, like the murky history of the bonds Frank Sinatra’s mobster or the entertainment industry blacklist of the 1950s. Longworth tells these stories from many angles and uncovers the secrets of old studio systems during Hollywood’s Golden Age.


Photo by Arden Wray
Connect only

Recommended by Anna Fitzpatrick, writer

“This BBC trivia game, hosted by the charmingly acerbic Victoria Coren Mitchell, has contestants vying to find the common denominator between increasingly cryptic clues. There’s a strange comfort in watching a show where I don’t I’ll probably never have a chance of winning, and once I get a question right, I can ride that high for days.


Harsh Reality: The Miriam Rivera Story

Recommended by Naomi Snieckus, actress

“This amazing podcast is about a stunning, bold and ambitious New York model who was the star of the 2003 reality show There’s something about Miriam, in which six men competed for money and her love. In the finale, the producers divulge her trans identity as a big reveal. Rivera is an inspiration for her strength and resilience. She rose above how she was treated and chose not to let it define her, but to remain a fighter for what she believed in.


Photo by Lean Weston
Run towards danger by Sarah Polley

Recommended by Patrice Goodman, actor

Run towards danger is the best book I’ve read in ages. Polley doesn’t just delve into her past; she blasts dynamite into her most visceral memories of childhood stardom and collisions with coming of age, and rises again and again from difficulties like a phoenix. She lays bare her hard-earned lessons with a mix of poetry and popcorn. Her formidable intelligence, famous charm, and devastating vulnerability show through in every sentence.


Photo by Tyra Sweet
Kind of (Radio-Canada Gem)

Recommended by MK Morris, comedian

“This comedy-drama, created by Bilal Baig and Fab Filippo, follows a fluid South Asian millennial on a journey of self-discovery. The writing is perfect, the directing is phenomenal, the performances are perfect – my mom and I did it in a matter of days. More of this content please! This is the story of someone finding their way in life, and after feeling lost for two years, I think we can all relate.


Photo by Jen Quires
Barbarian Days: A Life of Surfing by William Finnegan

Recommended by Tennyson King, musician

“Finnegan’s memoir was my great escape. He takes the reader through his life from the mid-60s to the mid-2000s. He grew up in California and Hawaii and started surfing at age 10. As a young adult, he took his board and traveled the world – the South Pacific, Australia, Asia and Africa – camping on beaches, staying in villages and sleeping in cars, all at home. search for the perfect wave.


Franklin Carmichael 1000 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle

Recommended by Shirley Eikhard, musician

“Puzzles – the bigger the better – are like a meditation for me because I just focus on finding the next piece, and I can go for hours without thinking about anything else. My favorites are the puzzles. paintings by Lawren Harris and Franklin Carmichael of the Group of Seven. I like a challenge and some days I only get three or four pieces, but it’s the work that’s fun.


Death threat (Netflix)

Recommended by Sophie Powers, musician

Death threat is my favorite next-gen anime of all time. This is the story of a high school student who finds a notebook with deadly powers. The show’s music is heavy metal, but also moody and dark. I used to think it was a weird soundtrack, but it really grew on me. Overall, the story is so grimy and edgy that I’ve revisited it multiple times for inspiration. It’s one in a million.

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