Welcome back to Overwhelmed: The Cool Table Newsletter, where we give you ideas on what to watch, read, and listen to. There is too much content and we are all overwhelmed! And as always, keep scrolling to the end for our exclusive Turtle Creek Lane updates.
Veteran’s Day is this week!
Every time we go to France, Gilles’ family asks what I want to do for fun, and I always say, “Go look for Nazi bunkers.” They think I’m insane, but considering Gilles grew up on the Atlantic Wall, you can’t throw a cat without hitting reinforced concrete and a gun hole. There was a house for sale with a bunker in the back yard, like no big whoop, and it became my “when I win the lottery” dream home.
Source: Amy’s iPhone, a few miles from Gilles’ ancestral home
Like any 71-year-old father of three from Ohio, I’m World War II obsessed. Event time I’m on a plane, I look to see if Saving Private Ryan is free with in-flight entertainment. I can nap to Dunkirk. I have a first edition of Herman Wouk’s The Winds of War. I didn’t have to go hard to find it; it was in my parent’s basement.
Sometimes I think it’s weird that the French never demolished all the German bunkers that line the coastline and are peppered throughout of their countryside, but I like to think of them as monuments to good overcoming evil. Fascists died in there! Live, laugh, kill Nazis.
So let dive into some content to scratch your WWII itch and unrelenting desire to see Nazis go straight to hell.
Band of Brothers on HBO Max
What This Is: “This landmark miniseries based on Stephen E. Ambrose’s best-seller, and executive produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, recounts the remarkable achievements of an elite team of U.S. paratroopers during World War II.” This year marks the 20th anniversary of the first airing on HBO.
Why I want you to watch it: I had a rough week. MOHS surgery on my gorgeous visage. A birthday. An IUD replacement. Some people binge-watch Friends when they are on the struggle bus, but not me. I turn on the 9-part miniseries and hang with the boys of Easy Company. They are young, hot, and very competent at one thing and one thing only: killing Nazis. While America Nazis are currently on trial in Charlottesville, VA, I’m enjoying the certainty of the German Nazis losing — and dying — at the end of the day.
I sometimes think about which celebrities will make me cry when I eventually meet them. Big Papi will make me cry. So will Julie Andrews. And then there is Damian Lewis, aka Major Dick Winters. He’s the reason I always carry Kleenex in my purse because you never know.
The Official Band of Brothers Podcast
What This Is: “HBO’s Band of Brothers Podcast celebrates the 20th anniversary of one of the most iconic miniseries in television history. A show that honors an America which saved the world with selflessness, courage and everyday heroism. This 12-part podcast series will explore these themes via emotionally-rich, highly-researched interviews with individual cast members, revisiting the Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning epic episode by episode.”
Why I want you to listen: The first episode start off with our Band of Brothers zaddy, BoB producer Tom Hanks. I love watching something amazing and then absorbing (or recording) podcast material about it. I think of post-viewing podcasts as the cherry on top of a great viewing experience. Sometime you just don’t want the show to end, and podcasts are where the fandom part of you can live. We might need to record a TCT podcast about my upcoming Band of Brothers tour I’m taking in summer 2022. Normandy and Bastogne, here I come!
*Towards the end of the Prologue episode, Hanks does talk about the dangers of finding BoB as mere comfort viewing while not accepting we face these same evils every day. It’s a good reminder to always keep punch Nazis.
Band of Brothers by Stephen E. Ambrose
What This Is: “Stephen E. Ambrose’s iconic New York Times bestseller about the ordinary men who became the World War II’s most extraordinary soldiers: Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, US Army.”
Why I want you to listen: This is the book that started it all. Sometimes you need to take Winters, Malarkey, and Lipton to bed with you. I re-read this book all the time — when I’m not re-reading Little House in the Big Woods. Totally different vibes, with those two.
TikTok of the Week
My TT curator sent me this one, along with five other people who know my brand, which is hating pickleball.
This Week in Turtle Creek Lane
This week I’m obsessed with Jen Turtle’s daughter, Tiffany Turtle.
Tiffany is the Lisa Rinna of the TCL family. She thinks she’s hilarious (she’s not). She’s committed to dorky dancing on social media, begging for people to compliment her teeny figure. She wakes up every day and thinks “How can I be extra annoying to my husband before he finally leaves me for a man?” And like a true Turtle, Walmart sponcon is Tiff Turtle’s love language, even as she calls herself a small business owner with an online store.
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One last thing
They are filming Hocus Pocus 2 in my town all week, and I might see Hannah Waddingham in person. And Sam Richardson is here, too. Ted Lasso S2 reunion! (I was Keeley Jones for Halloween this year, so I will fit right right in).
Amy takes pride in being a grumpy optimist. Want to talk sports ball? Amy is your girl. Her favorite New York Times crossword puzzle day is Tuesday. If your book is set in the former Soviet Union or World War 2, Amy will read it. As a recovered Southern Baptist, she is raising her daughter to be happy.