Wishful-Thinking Media Part One: Or, Why Can’t It Be Summer??

Hi there — Emily here!

So basically, it’s finally March, and Kazia and I are thoroughly sick of winter. Kazia lives in the Northeast, where she’s been getting bizarre amounts of snow, and I live in the Upper Midwest, where there have been FAR too many days when the high is below zero. Snow is pretty and all, and I love a good reason to wear a knit hat and a warm wool sweater, but it’s March and we’re both officially over winter. So for the next two weeks, Kazia and I are curating some of our favorite summery media.

This week, then, I’m thinking about some of my favorite pop culture that has nothing to do with snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes. Some of these are actually about summertime, while others just seem to like the perfect sort of media to binge on a long July afternoon on the beach — or an air-conditioned June morning — or a cross-country road trip with the windows down in August.

1. Calvin and Hobbes. Okay, I’m assuming that everyone already knows about the brilliance that is Bill Watterson’s comic strip about a six-year-old boy and his tiger best friend. (Although if you’ve somehow not read this yet, have you got some amazing times ahead of you!) But between Calvin’s love for the excitement and possibility that is summer vacation, and my love for spending lazy summer afternoons reading collections of Calvin and Hobbes books, I had to include this smart, philosophical, and silly comic strip about growing up and retaining your wonder for the little things.

2. Carbon Leaf. What’s a long summer road trip without this alt / folk / Celtic-influenced rock band from Virginia? They’re just delightful.

3. Chuck. When Buy More employee and chronic underachiever Chuck Bartowski accidentally gets a spy-network supercomputer downloaded into his brain, he gets recruited by the NSA and the CIA to take part in wacky hi-jinx and foil the inevitable big bads. It’s silly, nerdy fun.

4. Phineas and Ferb. It’s the ultimate Disney cartoon about two stepbrothers (and the requisite platypus secret agent) looking for ways to amuse themselves on summer vacation, complete with a delightfully self-aware formulaic episode structure, catchy musical numbers, more references to Stanley Kubrick than might be expected from a kid’s cartoon, and an awesome theme song by Bowling for Soup.

5. Harry Potter. Finally, though, nothing says summer (to our generation, at least) like Harry Potter. Summer used to be the time when we stayed up til midnight at Harry Potter launch parties at our local book stores. It was — and still is — the time when we read the series over and over again, and listen to the audio books (narrated by either the fantastic Stephen Fry or the even more fantastic Jim Dale) on road trips and lazy days at the beach. Harry can never wait for summer to end so that he can get back to Hogwarts, but for me at least, Harry Potter is the perfect summer media. (Perhaps it’s time to pull out my copy of The Half-Blood Prince to weather my ways through the long winter!)

Happy Snow Shoveling!

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