Just Tell Me What to Buy: The Verge’s This Is My Next

this is my next logoI didn’t think I’d be as enthralled as I am by The Verge series This Is My Next, but the central idea and its deft execution are really working for me. This has shifted me into exactly the mindset the series has in mind, a mindset that perhaps I should have had for a while in this age of consumer electronic abundance: tell me what’s the best out there—the best smartphone, the best digital camera, the best whatever—cut down my information overload, my choice fatigue, and I’ll gladly take it from there. Sure, there’s a bunch of tech options this trust I’ve placed in The Verge is filtering out, but as a recent episode nicely sums up,

…the truth is, most of them are garbage.

Coming from a long readership tenure with Engadget, my attitude had previously been “show me everything that’s out there, lay out the whole consumer tech smorgasbord, and I’ll figure out a supremely well-informed decision.

Then along came The Verge, and they know what they’re doing. Continue reading

Old cravings flare anew

Every time I think I’ve kicked (outgrown?) the j-drama addiction, I get hooked on some new series. Over the summer, that series was 私が恋愛できない理由 (roughly: The Reason I Can’t Romance). What really pulled me into the series were scenes of the two characters here, Saki and Takumi—the emotions that resonate between them during those moments. While the drama has other characters (almost overnumerously so) who are melodramatically interconnected (e.g. Takumi’s wife—yes, wife, no, that doesn’t give anything away), I rapidly became engrossed in the unfolding of interactions between Saki and Takumi, pretty much watching the drama just to see what would happen with them hoping they would continue to share something special together.

There’s something spectacular about the scene above, a turning point when rapidly everything changes between these two people who have a fundamentally deep need for each other, yet with all they’re entangled in, have significant challenges in forging the sort of connection each wants to have.

I can’t say I recommend the series, but if you like the notion of people who are capable of transforming one another even if only momentarily yet possibly profoundly while meeting in the midst of tough circumstances, you might find Saki and Takumi as compelling as I did.