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23 Media Journeys to Embark On While You Have Extra Downtime Right Now

From movie marathons to TV triumphs, we have you covered!
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If you follow Jess on Instagram, you're probably already well aware of her six day, 681 minute (not including credits, she checked!) journey to Middle-earth as she powered through all of the extended versions of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. She was generous enough to share her thoughts, comments, and concerns of the films with the world, and is happy to report that she came out more assured of her love of Harry Potter than ever. We are all inspired by her commitment to movie marathons (she has since moved on to Marvel - oh hey #12!), and spent the better part of a recent team meeting discussing other "media journeys" on which we could embark in the coming weeks. Some of the following film, television, and podcast quests are cult-classics, while others are based around an overlying theme or a particular person. We hope that this extensive, though certainly not exhaustive, list helps spark a fun night (or serious media undertaking!) for you and your quarantine crew in the coming weeks. And without further ado, let the "journey" begin: 

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Kicking this list off with a tried and true classic. While reading the entire book series or watching all of the movies would be excellent journeys in their own right, we suggest that you take the time to do them both simultaneously for a magical, movie filled bookclub. Haven't read Sorcerer's Stone this decade? Ever had the desire to read Prisoner of Azkaban AND watch it in the same day? Craving a Butterbeer? Send out an e-Hogwarts acceptance letter to your closest friends and get started!

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Name a better batch of Disney movies. This is a great journey if you have young children in the house, but maybe even better if your fellow viewers are all adults who haven't yet watched these classics in years. And if you're at all concerned you've forgotten the words:  Trust us, you have not.

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This marathon is partially inspired by an epic Nancy Meyers film themed 30th birthday party Leslie threw for her friend earlier this year (check it out here). From the impossibly gorgeous homes, the drool-worthy food scenes, to the utterly charming storylines, Nancy Meyers' films are like the big hug you didn't know you needed. While you could certainly plan out your version of "The Nancy Canon," we highly recommend spending every evening for the next week curled up with a gorgeous bowl of pasta watching the above films, in no particular order.

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Not much to say here since this one sort of explains itself, but if you've ever felt left out of the cultural zeitgeist, or confused why the internet freaked out about baby Yoda, now is the time to finally sit down and watch all of the Star Wars movies. Yup, the anthology films, too. 

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You know that saying, "History is written by the winners?" Well, we simply do not agree. So while it might seem obvious to suggest watching the Best Picture winners, it is our humble opinion that the Academy doesn't always get it right. Incredible films like The Wizard of Oz, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Graduate, Apocalypse Now, Pulp Fiction, Saving Private Ryan, Brokeback Mountain, Get Out, and Roma were all robbed of that little gold statue in their respective years. Make some fresh stovetop popcorn, have everyone dress in their red carpet best, and celebrate these incredible losers. 

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If you have been needing a laugh, like a real belly laugh, then this journey is for you. Not only are each of these films true classics, but they also all feature wild adventures that are sure to transport you far, far away from your home. 

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Remember a few years back when Andrew Rea's Binging with Babish videos, where he diligently recreates famous dishes from TV shows and movies, took the internet by storm? Oh, you don't? Well, take a moment to watch some of our favorites here, here, and here. Whether you use this food-focused film quadruple feature to try out some thematic meals à la Andrew, or simply as an excuse to finally attempt that recipe you saved on Instagram, this one is for anyone in a cooking rut. We included a few of our favorite foodie films, and their corresponding dishes, to get you started: Julie and Julia (boeuf bourguignon), Ratatouille (the titular dish, of course!), Eat Drink Man Woman (Taiwanese beef noodle soup), and Jiro Dream of Sushi (while we commend anyone who tries to make homemade sushi, consider making these onigiri for your first go).

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A movie marathon consisting of the best of the '80s is sure to brighten even the darkest of days. Plus, if you've been wearing leggings and hair scrunchies every day like we have, you're already halfway to Hughes!

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Missing the glamour of red carpet season? Lamenting the loss of this year's Met Gala? Staring at that sewing machine taking up space in your closet? The artistry and sheer creativity exhibited in each of the following films is rather extraordinary, and serves as a much-needed reminder of what life outside of pajamas looks like. Start with the four films above, but if you find yourself wanting more, we also suggest The September IssueIris, and last, but certainly not least, Zoolander for your viewing pleasure. 

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Sometimes, when it feels like all hope is lost, we find great comfort in our long-standing relationships and childhood best friends friends. For us, that includes Lizzie McGuire, Jenna Rink, Troy Bolton, Lola Cep, and Edward Cullen, among others. Whether your friend group matches ours identically or looks entirely different, fear not! This journey is extremely DIY-friendly, but does require that you use AIM exclusively to communicate with your friends while watching. Sorry, we don't make the rules!

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When it comes to movie musicals, our small but mighty office thespian club does not discriminate. Pick your favorite theatrical films and grab your jazz shoes for an uplifting, show-stopping movie musical marathon. Can't get enough? Looking for an encore opportunity? Check out Broadway HD per Leslie's recommendation to watch some of your favorite plays and musicals right from your own home. After all, we could all use a little more cultcha!

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23 movies, 11 years, and more comic book characters than we could ever possibly count. Start at the very beginning (a very good place to start!) with the original Iron Man to the latest Spider-Man to fully immerse yourself in the Marvel universe. And if you are thinking to yourself, "Wow, I really wish I had someone from the cupcakes and cashmere team with whom I could watch," today is your lucky day! Jess just embarked on this journey last week, watching the films in chronological order based on storyline, not release date!

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There is no in-between when it comes to Grey's Anatomy: You either do, or you really don't. If you currently find yourself in the latter camp, but have always been curious why Taylor Swift named her cat after Meredith Grey or why so many of your peers spent 15 years of life (oh yes, 15 years!) watching this medical drama, then now is your moment to find out! 

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Ambitiously written and gorgeously styled, Mad Men really is one of those shows that lends itself well for watching, re-watching, and then re-watching again. This 92-episode period drama is one of our all time favorites and is well-worth the screen time indulgence. 

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In many ways, this is the most ambitious media journey of the list. Our Editorial Intern Natalie watched all of GOT, start to finish, in 3 months last year, and let's just say a slower pace is highly recommended. Whether you're already fluent in Dothraki or think that Jon Snow is a children's holiday show character, this is a media journey that will definitely keep you captivated in the coming weeks (ehem, months). 

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There is something to be said for short and sweet sometimes. Shows that give the satisfaction of completion without falling into a dark hole of all GOT, all the time (Natalie is still recovering, clearly). These three shows really have nothing to do with one another, except for the fact that none of them ever came back for season two. Don't let that deter you, though! We promise that each is excellent and worthy of marathoning. 

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If Ina Garten hasn't fully convinced you that the Quarantini is out and the Cosmo is in, consider it your homework to re-watch all six seasons and both movies, of SATC. To quote the Miranda Hobbes, in reference to the iconic cocktail, "Why did we ever stop drinking these?" Miranda, we don't know, but we hope that this TV binge helps us figure it out. 

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Hold up, you haven't watched The Sopranos yet?! Forget everything else we've recommend up until this point, make a hefty batch of meatballs, and gear up for a wild ride. 

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We aren't going to lie, this one is a doozy since it calls for a binge of several lengthy shows. Not one, but all. While we can't promise anything, if you're somehow able to complete all four mockumentary series before 2020 is over, we will put in a good word for you with Michael to be honored at this year's Dundies Awards. 

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Named one of the "Best Podcasts in 2018" by The New York Times, Dissect takes the listener on an in-depth, forensic dissection of a different hip hop/rap album each season. The host, Cole Cuchna, expertly breaks down the lyrics, music, and story of the artist in an effort to transform the way we digest music. Each season is different, but we especially loved Season 2 on Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

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Are we the only ones out there still thinking about Adnan? The only people still wondering if we somehow missed something crucial to this famed true crime story that never seemed to add up? Join us in giving Serial another listen! And while the first season is undoubtedly the most popular, we also really enjoyed the second and third seasons as well. Oh, and if you never listened to Dirty John either, we highly recommend that you get on that ASAP!

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Doesn't January feel like a short lifetime ago?! If you never got around to listening to our January "Of The Month" pick, now is the time to belt your heart out to "Jolene," brush up on your Dollitics, and embark on this 9 episode journey into Dollywood. 

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With well over 600 episodes to date, we certainly don't expect anyone to get through This American Life any time soon. We are talking journeys, not torture, people! During this time of social separation, we've found great comfort in these stories of togetherness and of "normalcy" as well as in Ira Glass' cadence. We hope that this journey will continue on long after shelter in place is lifted. Who knows, maybe you'll even get inspired to submit a story yourself!?

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