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Friday open thread: comforting diversions

Making It - Season 2 Photo by: Evans Vestal Ward/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Hi there! Happy Friday. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but life these days is...a lot. There’s a ton of stuff happening in the world, a ton of stuff to get super worked up about (either happily or sadly, depending on how you roll), and it just seems there’s always something else we’re supposed to react to, be upset about, be deliriously happy about, or just otherwise have to process more than you might want to.

So, my question is, to what do you retreat when it’s all too much? What do you do when you just need to escape a bit? Is it food, a drink, a movie, a book, a TV show, or something else?

I can’t say this is a year-round thing for me, because it’s only been around for two seasons, but one of my TV happy places right now is Making It. For those not familiar, it’s a crafting competition show, hosted by Nick Offerman and Amy Poehler, in which every week people get two craft assignments - one short, one long - that they have to complete in a set time and then are judged on.

Now, here’s the thing you may not know about me. I detest competition shows. I don’t really like HGTV shows, either, even just as background noise. I’m also one of the least creative people you’ll ever meet, at least when it comes to what people would consider “crafting” - I barely know what to make for dinner, so don’t ask me to create an office cubicle that reflects my unique personality or a mailbox that shows off my imagination. So literally nothing about this show (which did both of those things as challenges) screams YOU NEED TO WATCH THIS at me. But this show is so amazing precisely because it doesn’t pander to the stereotypes, tropes, and cliches of most competition shows.

It’s a “competition” in the loosest possible sense - there’s a grand prize at the end of the series, and each episode crowns a winner and sends someone home - but it’s also the kindest, nicest, most generous show ever, because the “competitors” basically all end up helping each other out on their projects, and more than a few of them will probably end up being friends after the experience of the show is over.

It’s 100% not a show that’s in my wheelhouse, but I love it so much, because it’s gentle, it’s happy, it’s amazing to see what these really creative people can come up with, and Nick Offerman and Amy Poehler are fantastic hosts who are super nice and mellow and encouraging to everyone on the show. The whole thing has a generosity of spirit that is very rare in this day and age, it doesn’t have a cynical or snarky bone in its body, and it’s just wonderful and fun to watch. You should go watch it.

So that’s my latest and best retreat from reality. What’s yours?