Heading

This is some text inside of a div block.

Enjoy these editor-approved distractions

Whether you’re in lockdown at home or simply want a distraction from work/life/your kids, we asked a few Ensemble friends to share something they’ve enjoyed recently.

WATCH: Wholesome TikToks from Grandpa Chan & Grandma Marina

Recommended by Lofa Totua

“Nothing beats wholesome content, and with Auckland heading back into lockdown, I will need to be taking extra care of my anxiety! I’ll be stalking the social media of these 78-year-old Korean grandparents (aka @drawings_for_my_grandchildren on Instagram and @grandpachan on TikTok) and hoping that one day, I will be just as sweet and cool as a grandmother lol.”

READ: Girl A by Abigail Dean

Recommended by Carolyn Wadey-Barron

“I inhaled this book in two sittings, only interrupted by a dinner that I slipped out of early so I could get home to finish it. While the ripped-from-the-headlines premise seems gruesome – abused children who have escaped their parent's confinement in a House of Horrors – rather than focussing on describing the abuse, the novel is a study in the different paths trauma can take a person down.”

LISTEN: UK Hun? by the United Kingdolls

Recommended by Zoe Walker Ahwa

“2 minutes and 46 seconds of pure silly campery with the thoughtful lyrics ‘Big Bang Bong, Sing Sang Song, Ding Dang Dong’; this is the dumbest, catchiest song I have heard in a long time. So of course I'm obsessed and listening to it on repeat. It's from a Eurovision-inspired challenge in last week's episode of RuPaul's Drag Race UK, which also featured an instantly iconic TV moment where Ru lost it at a queen who dared to wear H&M on-stage. I’ve seen it described as Ru’s Tyra moment; it's also brought up conversations about the economy of drag and RuPaul's idea of 'glamour at all costs'. A must-watch!

“I tend to enjoy Drag Race UK more than the US series (which I also love): it's weirder, and the queens don't feel as rehearsed and desperate for screen-time. If you haven't watched it, season one and two are streaming on TVNZ On Demand. I'm backing Bimini ‘Gender-bender, cis-tem offender’ Bon Boulash for the season two win.”

STREAM: Search Party on Neon

Recommended by Rebecca Wadey

“The amazing news for anyone who is yet to find this show is that there are four whole seasons of joy to binge through. Plus, they are only about 25 minute episodes and very digestible. I’ve loved Alia Shawkat since her turn as Maeby in Arrested Development (also 100 percent worth watching if for some reason you haven’t seen it), but the whole cast here is an absolute delight as completely self-involved millennials in perennially privileged angst. Jordan Firstman, my favourite thing about Instagram, is a writer/producer on the series which should give you an idea of the vibe. And season four features some amazing guest appearances.”

LISTEN: Little Dogs by @playboymanbaby

Recommended by Tanya Barlow

“A friend shared this 30-second song to me last week and it still continues to play non-stop in my head. I love little dogs! The artist has some other great songs too, like getting excited about asparagus being on special, and that weird dude at the coffee shop. Joyous!”

READ: Dawn Raid — born in South Auckland

Recommended by Lofa Totua

“I recently watched Oscar Kightley’s directorial debut Dawn Raid with my mum and - like I’m sure it was for many - it was a reminder of some pretty special times for music and the Pacific existence and experience in Aotearoa. My childhood memories are extra full because of the music that came from Dawn Raid’s Polynesian artists; Aaradhna’s I Love You in particular has been on repeat! I’m really interested to read Litia’s review on e-tangata, and see whether some of my initial reactions to the music label and its journey are shared.”

LISTEN: Lolita Podcast

Recommended by Tanya Barlow

“A kinda heavy but but very much worth it deep dive into the world and adaptations of Lolita - including the media’s incessant twisting of the narrative, Lana Del Rey’s tumblr aesthetic, surprisingly two (!) failed attempts at musical theatre renditions and so much more. Huge recommend, but CW - mentions of child abuse.”

PLAY: '80s video clips

Recommended by Kiekie Stanners

"I am currently watching lots of late '80s funk/R&B/dance video clips for the feel-good vibes and procrastinating a work load. A quick break to Inner City’s Good Life, Neneh Cherry’s Buffalo Stance or The Jet’s Crush On You is my current zone out mode."

SCROLL: Depths of Wikipedia Instagram account

Recommended by Carolyn Wadey-Barron

“A collection of silly shit from everyone's favourite method of settling arguments. Very useful as a source for screenshots to send to your group-chat for lolz.”

LISTEN: You’re Wrong About: Jessica Simpson

Recommended by Rebecca Wadey

“As we re-examine cultural icons, and the wrongs inflicted upon them by the media in the past, this podcast series is an incredible listen. I desperately wanted to read Open Book by Jessica Simpson during the last lockdown but was staunch about not ordering anything not essentially essential. Enter this podcast series. Lowlights: John Mayer, Tommy Mottola, the Catholic church and all media. Highlights: Willie Nelson and, yay, Dolly Parton.”

WATCH: Catfish on Neon

Recommended by Chloe Hill

“Embarrassingly I've gotten hooked on watching the reality show Catfish. If you want to be really shocked/grossed out, go straight to season 5, episode 13!”

READ: This Atlantic article about ‘Shooting Britney’

“I haven’t watched Framing Britney Spears yet (but will be now it’s streaming on ThreeNow!), but I’m fascinated by the entire phenomenon of #FreeBritney - and how the documentary has encouraged a lot of introspection around how terribly female celebrities were treated by the media in the noughties. There is a lot of relevant reading, but this 2008 story about the paparazzi culture that surrounded/exploited Britney is a particularly sad but insightful long-read.

No items found.

Whether you’re in lockdown at home or simply want a distraction from work/life/your kids, we asked a few Ensemble friends to share something they’ve enjoyed recently.

WATCH: Wholesome TikToks from Grandpa Chan & Grandma Marina

Recommended by Lofa Totua

“Nothing beats wholesome content, and with Auckland heading back into lockdown, I will need to be taking extra care of my anxiety! I’ll be stalking the social media of these 78-year-old Korean grandparents (aka @drawings_for_my_grandchildren on Instagram and @grandpachan on TikTok) and hoping that one day, I will be just as sweet and cool as a grandmother lol.”

READ: Girl A by Abigail Dean

Recommended by Carolyn Wadey-Barron

“I inhaled this book in two sittings, only interrupted by a dinner that I slipped out of early so I could get home to finish it. While the ripped-from-the-headlines premise seems gruesome – abused children who have escaped their parent's confinement in a House of Horrors – rather than focussing on describing the abuse, the novel is a study in the different paths trauma can take a person down.”

LISTEN: UK Hun? by the United Kingdolls

Recommended by Zoe Walker Ahwa

“2 minutes and 46 seconds of pure silly campery with the thoughtful lyrics ‘Big Bang Bong, Sing Sang Song, Ding Dang Dong’; this is the dumbest, catchiest song I have heard in a long time. So of course I'm obsessed and listening to it on repeat. It's from a Eurovision-inspired challenge in last week's episode of RuPaul's Drag Race UK, which also featured an instantly iconic TV moment where Ru lost it at a queen who dared to wear H&M on-stage. I’ve seen it described as Ru’s Tyra moment; it's also brought up conversations about the economy of drag and RuPaul's idea of 'glamour at all costs'. A must-watch!

“I tend to enjoy Drag Race UK more than the US series (which I also love): it's weirder, and the queens don't feel as rehearsed and desperate for screen-time. If you haven't watched it, season one and two are streaming on TVNZ On Demand. I'm backing Bimini ‘Gender-bender, cis-tem offender’ Bon Boulash for the season two win.”

STREAM: Search Party on Neon

Recommended by Rebecca Wadey

“The amazing news for anyone who is yet to find this show is that there are four whole seasons of joy to binge through. Plus, they are only about 25 minute episodes and very digestible. I’ve loved Alia Shawkat since her turn as Maeby in Arrested Development (also 100 percent worth watching if for some reason you haven’t seen it), but the whole cast here is an absolute delight as completely self-involved millennials in perennially privileged angst. Jordan Firstman, my favourite thing about Instagram, is a writer/producer on the series which should give you an idea of the vibe. And season four features some amazing guest appearances.”

LISTEN: Little Dogs by @playboymanbaby

Recommended by Tanya Barlow

“A friend shared this 30-second song to me last week and it still continues to play non-stop in my head. I love little dogs! The artist has some other great songs too, like getting excited about asparagus being on special, and that weird dude at the coffee shop. Joyous!”

READ: Dawn Raid — born in South Auckland

Recommended by Lofa Totua

“I recently watched Oscar Kightley’s directorial debut Dawn Raid with my mum and - like I’m sure it was for many - it was a reminder of some pretty special times for music and the Pacific existence and experience in Aotearoa. My childhood memories are extra full because of the music that came from Dawn Raid’s Polynesian artists; Aaradhna’s I Love You in particular has been on repeat! I’m really interested to read Litia’s review on e-tangata, and see whether some of my initial reactions to the music label and its journey are shared.”

LISTEN: Lolita Podcast

Recommended by Tanya Barlow

“A kinda heavy but but very much worth it deep dive into the world and adaptations of Lolita - including the media’s incessant twisting of the narrative, Lana Del Rey’s tumblr aesthetic, surprisingly two (!) failed attempts at musical theatre renditions and so much more. Huge recommend, but CW - mentions of child abuse.”

PLAY: '80s video clips

Recommended by Kiekie Stanners

"I am currently watching lots of late '80s funk/R&B/dance video clips for the feel-good vibes and procrastinating a work load. A quick break to Inner City’s Good Life, Neneh Cherry’s Buffalo Stance or The Jet’s Crush On You is my current zone out mode."

SCROLL: Depths of Wikipedia Instagram account

Recommended by Carolyn Wadey-Barron

“A collection of silly shit from everyone's favourite method of settling arguments. Very useful as a source for screenshots to send to your group-chat for lolz.”

LISTEN: You’re Wrong About: Jessica Simpson

Recommended by Rebecca Wadey

“As we re-examine cultural icons, and the wrongs inflicted upon them by the media in the past, this podcast series is an incredible listen. I desperately wanted to read Open Book by Jessica Simpson during the last lockdown but was staunch about not ordering anything not essentially essential. Enter this podcast series. Lowlights: John Mayer, Tommy Mottola, the Catholic church and all media. Highlights: Willie Nelson and, yay, Dolly Parton.”

WATCH: Catfish on Neon

Recommended by Chloe Hill

“Embarrassingly I've gotten hooked on watching the reality show Catfish. If you want to be really shocked/grossed out, go straight to season 5, episode 13!”

READ: This Atlantic article about ‘Shooting Britney’

“I haven’t watched Framing Britney Spears yet (but will be now it’s streaming on ThreeNow!), but I’m fascinated by the entire phenomenon of #FreeBritney - and how the documentary has encouraged a lot of introspection around how terribly female celebrities were treated by the media in the noughties. There is a lot of relevant reading, but this 2008 story about the paparazzi culture that surrounded/exploited Britney is a particularly sad but insightful long-read.

Creativity, evocative visual storytelling and good journalism come at a price. Support our work and join the Ensemble membership program
No items found.

Enjoy these editor-approved distractions

Whether you’re in lockdown at home or simply want a distraction from work/life/your kids, we asked a few Ensemble friends to share something they’ve enjoyed recently.

WATCH: Wholesome TikToks from Grandpa Chan & Grandma Marina

Recommended by Lofa Totua

“Nothing beats wholesome content, and with Auckland heading back into lockdown, I will need to be taking extra care of my anxiety! I’ll be stalking the social media of these 78-year-old Korean grandparents (aka @drawings_for_my_grandchildren on Instagram and @grandpachan on TikTok) and hoping that one day, I will be just as sweet and cool as a grandmother lol.”

READ: Girl A by Abigail Dean

Recommended by Carolyn Wadey-Barron

“I inhaled this book in two sittings, only interrupted by a dinner that I slipped out of early so I could get home to finish it. While the ripped-from-the-headlines premise seems gruesome – abused children who have escaped their parent's confinement in a House of Horrors – rather than focussing on describing the abuse, the novel is a study in the different paths trauma can take a person down.”

LISTEN: UK Hun? by the United Kingdolls

Recommended by Zoe Walker Ahwa

“2 minutes and 46 seconds of pure silly campery with the thoughtful lyrics ‘Big Bang Bong, Sing Sang Song, Ding Dang Dong’; this is the dumbest, catchiest song I have heard in a long time. So of course I'm obsessed and listening to it on repeat. It's from a Eurovision-inspired challenge in last week's episode of RuPaul's Drag Race UK, which also featured an instantly iconic TV moment where Ru lost it at a queen who dared to wear H&M on-stage. I’ve seen it described as Ru’s Tyra moment; it's also brought up conversations about the economy of drag and RuPaul's idea of 'glamour at all costs'. A must-watch!

“I tend to enjoy Drag Race UK more than the US series (which I also love): it's weirder, and the queens don't feel as rehearsed and desperate for screen-time. If you haven't watched it, season one and two are streaming on TVNZ On Demand. I'm backing Bimini ‘Gender-bender, cis-tem offender’ Bon Boulash for the season two win.”

STREAM: Search Party on Neon

Recommended by Rebecca Wadey

“The amazing news for anyone who is yet to find this show is that there are four whole seasons of joy to binge through. Plus, they are only about 25 minute episodes and very digestible. I’ve loved Alia Shawkat since her turn as Maeby in Arrested Development (also 100 percent worth watching if for some reason you haven’t seen it), but the whole cast here is an absolute delight as completely self-involved millennials in perennially privileged angst. Jordan Firstman, my favourite thing about Instagram, is a writer/producer on the series which should give you an idea of the vibe. And season four features some amazing guest appearances.”

LISTEN: Little Dogs by @playboymanbaby

Recommended by Tanya Barlow

“A friend shared this 30-second song to me last week and it still continues to play non-stop in my head. I love little dogs! The artist has some other great songs too, like getting excited about asparagus being on special, and that weird dude at the coffee shop. Joyous!”

READ: Dawn Raid — born in South Auckland

Recommended by Lofa Totua

“I recently watched Oscar Kightley’s directorial debut Dawn Raid with my mum and - like I’m sure it was for many - it was a reminder of some pretty special times for music and the Pacific existence and experience in Aotearoa. My childhood memories are extra full because of the music that came from Dawn Raid’s Polynesian artists; Aaradhna’s I Love You in particular has been on repeat! I’m really interested to read Litia’s review on e-tangata, and see whether some of my initial reactions to the music label and its journey are shared.”

LISTEN: Lolita Podcast

Recommended by Tanya Barlow

“A kinda heavy but but very much worth it deep dive into the world and adaptations of Lolita - including the media’s incessant twisting of the narrative, Lana Del Rey’s tumblr aesthetic, surprisingly two (!) failed attempts at musical theatre renditions and so much more. Huge recommend, but CW - mentions of child abuse.”

PLAY: '80s video clips

Recommended by Kiekie Stanners

"I am currently watching lots of late '80s funk/R&B/dance video clips for the feel-good vibes and procrastinating a work load. A quick break to Inner City’s Good Life, Neneh Cherry’s Buffalo Stance or The Jet’s Crush On You is my current zone out mode."

SCROLL: Depths of Wikipedia Instagram account

Recommended by Carolyn Wadey-Barron

“A collection of silly shit from everyone's favourite method of settling arguments. Very useful as a source for screenshots to send to your group-chat for lolz.”

LISTEN: You’re Wrong About: Jessica Simpson

Recommended by Rebecca Wadey

“As we re-examine cultural icons, and the wrongs inflicted upon them by the media in the past, this podcast series is an incredible listen. I desperately wanted to read Open Book by Jessica Simpson during the last lockdown but was staunch about not ordering anything not essentially essential. Enter this podcast series. Lowlights: John Mayer, Tommy Mottola, the Catholic church and all media. Highlights: Willie Nelson and, yay, Dolly Parton.”

WATCH: Catfish on Neon

Recommended by Chloe Hill

“Embarrassingly I've gotten hooked on watching the reality show Catfish. If you want to be really shocked/grossed out, go straight to season 5, episode 13!”

READ: This Atlantic article about ‘Shooting Britney’

“I haven’t watched Framing Britney Spears yet (but will be now it’s streaming on ThreeNow!), but I’m fascinated by the entire phenomenon of #FreeBritney - and how the documentary has encouraged a lot of introspection around how terribly female celebrities were treated by the media in the noughties. There is a lot of relevant reading, but this 2008 story about the paparazzi culture that surrounded/exploited Britney is a particularly sad but insightful long-read.

Creativity, evocative visual storytelling and good journalism come at a price. Support our work and join the Ensemble membership program
No items found.

Enjoy these editor-approved distractions

Whether you’re in lockdown at home or simply want a distraction from work/life/your kids, we asked a few Ensemble friends to share something they’ve enjoyed recently.

WATCH: Wholesome TikToks from Grandpa Chan & Grandma Marina

Recommended by Lofa Totua

“Nothing beats wholesome content, and with Auckland heading back into lockdown, I will need to be taking extra care of my anxiety! I’ll be stalking the social media of these 78-year-old Korean grandparents (aka @drawings_for_my_grandchildren on Instagram and @grandpachan on TikTok) and hoping that one day, I will be just as sweet and cool as a grandmother lol.”

READ: Girl A by Abigail Dean

Recommended by Carolyn Wadey-Barron

“I inhaled this book in two sittings, only interrupted by a dinner that I slipped out of early so I could get home to finish it. While the ripped-from-the-headlines premise seems gruesome – abused children who have escaped their parent's confinement in a House of Horrors – rather than focussing on describing the abuse, the novel is a study in the different paths trauma can take a person down.”

LISTEN: UK Hun? by the United Kingdolls

Recommended by Zoe Walker Ahwa

“2 minutes and 46 seconds of pure silly campery with the thoughtful lyrics ‘Big Bang Bong, Sing Sang Song, Ding Dang Dong’; this is the dumbest, catchiest song I have heard in a long time. So of course I'm obsessed and listening to it on repeat. It's from a Eurovision-inspired challenge in last week's episode of RuPaul's Drag Race UK, which also featured an instantly iconic TV moment where Ru lost it at a queen who dared to wear H&M on-stage. I’ve seen it described as Ru’s Tyra moment; it's also brought up conversations about the economy of drag and RuPaul's idea of 'glamour at all costs'. A must-watch!

“I tend to enjoy Drag Race UK more than the US series (which I also love): it's weirder, and the queens don't feel as rehearsed and desperate for screen-time. If you haven't watched it, season one and two are streaming on TVNZ On Demand. I'm backing Bimini ‘Gender-bender, cis-tem offender’ Bon Boulash for the season two win.”

STREAM: Search Party on Neon

Recommended by Rebecca Wadey

“The amazing news for anyone who is yet to find this show is that there are four whole seasons of joy to binge through. Plus, they are only about 25 minute episodes and very digestible. I’ve loved Alia Shawkat since her turn as Maeby in Arrested Development (also 100 percent worth watching if for some reason you haven’t seen it), but the whole cast here is an absolute delight as completely self-involved millennials in perennially privileged angst. Jordan Firstman, my favourite thing about Instagram, is a writer/producer on the series which should give you an idea of the vibe. And season four features some amazing guest appearances.”

LISTEN: Little Dogs by @playboymanbaby

Recommended by Tanya Barlow

“A friend shared this 30-second song to me last week and it still continues to play non-stop in my head. I love little dogs! The artist has some other great songs too, like getting excited about asparagus being on special, and that weird dude at the coffee shop. Joyous!”

READ: Dawn Raid — born in South Auckland

Recommended by Lofa Totua

“I recently watched Oscar Kightley’s directorial debut Dawn Raid with my mum and - like I’m sure it was for many - it was a reminder of some pretty special times for music and the Pacific existence and experience in Aotearoa. My childhood memories are extra full because of the music that came from Dawn Raid’s Polynesian artists; Aaradhna’s I Love You in particular has been on repeat! I’m really interested to read Litia’s review on e-tangata, and see whether some of my initial reactions to the music label and its journey are shared.”

LISTEN: Lolita Podcast

Recommended by Tanya Barlow

“A kinda heavy but but very much worth it deep dive into the world and adaptations of Lolita - including the media’s incessant twisting of the narrative, Lana Del Rey’s tumblr aesthetic, surprisingly two (!) failed attempts at musical theatre renditions and so much more. Huge recommend, but CW - mentions of child abuse.”

PLAY: '80s video clips

Recommended by Kiekie Stanners

"I am currently watching lots of late '80s funk/R&B/dance video clips for the feel-good vibes and procrastinating a work load. A quick break to Inner City’s Good Life, Neneh Cherry’s Buffalo Stance or The Jet’s Crush On You is my current zone out mode."

SCROLL: Depths of Wikipedia Instagram account

Recommended by Carolyn Wadey-Barron

“A collection of silly shit from everyone's favourite method of settling arguments. Very useful as a source for screenshots to send to your group-chat for lolz.”

LISTEN: You’re Wrong About: Jessica Simpson

Recommended by Rebecca Wadey

“As we re-examine cultural icons, and the wrongs inflicted upon them by the media in the past, this podcast series is an incredible listen. I desperately wanted to read Open Book by Jessica Simpson during the last lockdown but was staunch about not ordering anything not essentially essential. Enter this podcast series. Lowlights: John Mayer, Tommy Mottola, the Catholic church and all media. Highlights: Willie Nelson and, yay, Dolly Parton.”

WATCH: Catfish on Neon

Recommended by Chloe Hill

“Embarrassingly I've gotten hooked on watching the reality show Catfish. If you want to be really shocked/grossed out, go straight to season 5, episode 13!”

READ: This Atlantic article about ‘Shooting Britney’

“I haven’t watched Framing Britney Spears yet (but will be now it’s streaming on ThreeNow!), but I’m fascinated by the entire phenomenon of #FreeBritney - and how the documentary has encouraged a lot of introspection around how terribly female celebrities were treated by the media in the noughties. There is a lot of relevant reading, but this 2008 story about the paparazzi culture that surrounded/exploited Britney is a particularly sad but insightful long-read.

Creativity, evocative visual storytelling and good journalism come at a price. Support our work and join the Ensemble membership program
No items found.

Whether you’re in lockdown at home or simply want a distraction from work/life/your kids, we asked a few Ensemble friends to share something they’ve enjoyed recently.

WATCH: Wholesome TikToks from Grandpa Chan & Grandma Marina

Recommended by Lofa Totua

“Nothing beats wholesome content, and with Auckland heading back into lockdown, I will need to be taking extra care of my anxiety! I’ll be stalking the social media of these 78-year-old Korean grandparents (aka @drawings_for_my_grandchildren on Instagram and @grandpachan on TikTok) and hoping that one day, I will be just as sweet and cool as a grandmother lol.”

READ: Girl A by Abigail Dean

Recommended by Carolyn Wadey-Barron

“I inhaled this book in two sittings, only interrupted by a dinner that I slipped out of early so I could get home to finish it. While the ripped-from-the-headlines premise seems gruesome – abused children who have escaped their parent's confinement in a House of Horrors – rather than focussing on describing the abuse, the novel is a study in the different paths trauma can take a person down.”

LISTEN: UK Hun? by the United Kingdolls

Recommended by Zoe Walker Ahwa

“2 minutes and 46 seconds of pure silly campery with the thoughtful lyrics ‘Big Bang Bong, Sing Sang Song, Ding Dang Dong’; this is the dumbest, catchiest song I have heard in a long time. So of course I'm obsessed and listening to it on repeat. It's from a Eurovision-inspired challenge in last week's episode of RuPaul's Drag Race UK, which also featured an instantly iconic TV moment where Ru lost it at a queen who dared to wear H&M on-stage. I’ve seen it described as Ru’s Tyra moment; it's also brought up conversations about the economy of drag and RuPaul's idea of 'glamour at all costs'. A must-watch!

“I tend to enjoy Drag Race UK more than the US series (which I also love): it's weirder, and the queens don't feel as rehearsed and desperate for screen-time. If you haven't watched it, season one and two are streaming on TVNZ On Demand. I'm backing Bimini ‘Gender-bender, cis-tem offender’ Bon Boulash for the season two win.”

STREAM: Search Party on Neon

Recommended by Rebecca Wadey

“The amazing news for anyone who is yet to find this show is that there are four whole seasons of joy to binge through. Plus, they are only about 25 minute episodes and very digestible. I’ve loved Alia Shawkat since her turn as Maeby in Arrested Development (also 100 percent worth watching if for some reason you haven’t seen it), but the whole cast here is an absolute delight as completely self-involved millennials in perennially privileged angst. Jordan Firstman, my favourite thing about Instagram, is a writer/producer on the series which should give you an idea of the vibe. And season four features some amazing guest appearances.”

LISTEN: Little Dogs by @playboymanbaby

Recommended by Tanya Barlow

“A friend shared this 30-second song to me last week and it still continues to play non-stop in my head. I love little dogs! The artist has some other great songs too, like getting excited about asparagus being on special, and that weird dude at the coffee shop. Joyous!”

READ: Dawn Raid — born in South Auckland

Recommended by Lofa Totua

“I recently watched Oscar Kightley’s directorial debut Dawn Raid with my mum and - like I’m sure it was for many - it was a reminder of some pretty special times for music and the Pacific existence and experience in Aotearoa. My childhood memories are extra full because of the music that came from Dawn Raid’s Polynesian artists; Aaradhna’s I Love You in particular has been on repeat! I’m really interested to read Litia’s review on e-tangata, and see whether some of my initial reactions to the music label and its journey are shared.”

LISTEN: Lolita Podcast

Recommended by Tanya Barlow

“A kinda heavy but but very much worth it deep dive into the world and adaptations of Lolita - including the media’s incessant twisting of the narrative, Lana Del Rey’s tumblr aesthetic, surprisingly two (!) failed attempts at musical theatre renditions and so much more. Huge recommend, but CW - mentions of child abuse.”

PLAY: '80s video clips

Recommended by Kiekie Stanners

"I am currently watching lots of late '80s funk/R&B/dance video clips for the feel-good vibes and procrastinating a work load. A quick break to Inner City’s Good Life, Neneh Cherry’s Buffalo Stance or The Jet’s Crush On You is my current zone out mode."

SCROLL: Depths of Wikipedia Instagram account

Recommended by Carolyn Wadey-Barron

“A collection of silly shit from everyone's favourite method of settling arguments. Very useful as a source for screenshots to send to your group-chat for lolz.”

LISTEN: You’re Wrong About: Jessica Simpson

Recommended by Rebecca Wadey

“As we re-examine cultural icons, and the wrongs inflicted upon them by the media in the past, this podcast series is an incredible listen. I desperately wanted to read Open Book by Jessica Simpson during the last lockdown but was staunch about not ordering anything not essentially essential. Enter this podcast series. Lowlights: John Mayer, Tommy Mottola, the Catholic church and all media. Highlights: Willie Nelson and, yay, Dolly Parton.”

WATCH: Catfish on Neon

Recommended by Chloe Hill

“Embarrassingly I've gotten hooked on watching the reality show Catfish. If you want to be really shocked/grossed out, go straight to season 5, episode 13!”

READ: This Atlantic article about ‘Shooting Britney’

“I haven’t watched Framing Britney Spears yet (but will be now it’s streaming on ThreeNow!), but I’m fascinated by the entire phenomenon of #FreeBritney - and how the documentary has encouraged a lot of introspection around how terribly female celebrities were treated by the media in the noughties. There is a lot of relevant reading, but this 2008 story about the paparazzi culture that surrounded/exploited Britney is a particularly sad but insightful long-read.

Creativity, evocative visual storytelling and good journalism come at a price. Support our work and join the Ensemble membership program
No items found.

Enjoy these editor-approved distractions

Whether you’re in lockdown at home or simply want a distraction from work/life/your kids, we asked a few Ensemble friends to share something they’ve enjoyed recently.

WATCH: Wholesome TikToks from Grandpa Chan & Grandma Marina

Recommended by Lofa Totua

“Nothing beats wholesome content, and with Auckland heading back into lockdown, I will need to be taking extra care of my anxiety! I’ll be stalking the social media of these 78-year-old Korean grandparents (aka @drawings_for_my_grandchildren on Instagram and @grandpachan on TikTok) and hoping that one day, I will be just as sweet and cool as a grandmother lol.”

READ: Girl A by Abigail Dean

Recommended by Carolyn Wadey-Barron

“I inhaled this book in two sittings, only interrupted by a dinner that I slipped out of early so I could get home to finish it. While the ripped-from-the-headlines premise seems gruesome – abused children who have escaped their parent's confinement in a House of Horrors – rather than focussing on describing the abuse, the novel is a study in the different paths trauma can take a person down.”

LISTEN: UK Hun? by the United Kingdolls

Recommended by Zoe Walker Ahwa

“2 minutes and 46 seconds of pure silly campery with the thoughtful lyrics ‘Big Bang Bong, Sing Sang Song, Ding Dang Dong’; this is the dumbest, catchiest song I have heard in a long time. So of course I'm obsessed and listening to it on repeat. It's from a Eurovision-inspired challenge in last week's episode of RuPaul's Drag Race UK, which also featured an instantly iconic TV moment where Ru lost it at a queen who dared to wear H&M on-stage. I’ve seen it described as Ru’s Tyra moment; it's also brought up conversations about the economy of drag and RuPaul's idea of 'glamour at all costs'. A must-watch!

“I tend to enjoy Drag Race UK more than the US series (which I also love): it's weirder, and the queens don't feel as rehearsed and desperate for screen-time. If you haven't watched it, season one and two are streaming on TVNZ On Demand. I'm backing Bimini ‘Gender-bender, cis-tem offender’ Bon Boulash for the season two win.”

STREAM: Search Party on Neon

Recommended by Rebecca Wadey

“The amazing news for anyone who is yet to find this show is that there are four whole seasons of joy to binge through. Plus, they are only about 25 minute episodes and very digestible. I’ve loved Alia Shawkat since her turn as Maeby in Arrested Development (also 100 percent worth watching if for some reason you haven’t seen it), but the whole cast here is an absolute delight as completely self-involved millennials in perennially privileged angst. Jordan Firstman, my favourite thing about Instagram, is a writer/producer on the series which should give you an idea of the vibe. And season four features some amazing guest appearances.”

LISTEN: Little Dogs by @playboymanbaby

Recommended by Tanya Barlow

“A friend shared this 30-second song to me last week and it still continues to play non-stop in my head. I love little dogs! The artist has some other great songs too, like getting excited about asparagus being on special, and that weird dude at the coffee shop. Joyous!”

READ: Dawn Raid — born in South Auckland

Recommended by Lofa Totua

“I recently watched Oscar Kightley’s directorial debut Dawn Raid with my mum and - like I’m sure it was for many - it was a reminder of some pretty special times for music and the Pacific existence and experience in Aotearoa. My childhood memories are extra full because of the music that came from Dawn Raid’s Polynesian artists; Aaradhna’s I Love You in particular has been on repeat! I’m really interested to read Litia’s review on e-tangata, and see whether some of my initial reactions to the music label and its journey are shared.”

LISTEN: Lolita Podcast

Recommended by Tanya Barlow

“A kinda heavy but but very much worth it deep dive into the world and adaptations of Lolita - including the media’s incessant twisting of the narrative, Lana Del Rey’s tumblr aesthetic, surprisingly two (!) failed attempts at musical theatre renditions and so much more. Huge recommend, but CW - mentions of child abuse.”

PLAY: '80s video clips

Recommended by Kiekie Stanners

"I am currently watching lots of late '80s funk/R&B/dance video clips for the feel-good vibes and procrastinating a work load. A quick break to Inner City’s Good Life, Neneh Cherry’s Buffalo Stance or The Jet’s Crush On You is my current zone out mode."

SCROLL: Depths of Wikipedia Instagram account

Recommended by Carolyn Wadey-Barron

“A collection of silly shit from everyone's favourite method of settling arguments. Very useful as a source for screenshots to send to your group-chat for lolz.”

LISTEN: You’re Wrong About: Jessica Simpson

Recommended by Rebecca Wadey

“As we re-examine cultural icons, and the wrongs inflicted upon them by the media in the past, this podcast series is an incredible listen. I desperately wanted to read Open Book by Jessica Simpson during the last lockdown but was staunch about not ordering anything not essentially essential. Enter this podcast series. Lowlights: John Mayer, Tommy Mottola, the Catholic church and all media. Highlights: Willie Nelson and, yay, Dolly Parton.”

WATCH: Catfish on Neon

Recommended by Chloe Hill

“Embarrassingly I've gotten hooked on watching the reality show Catfish. If you want to be really shocked/grossed out, go straight to season 5, episode 13!”

READ: This Atlantic article about ‘Shooting Britney’

“I haven’t watched Framing Britney Spears yet (but will be now it’s streaming on ThreeNow!), but I’m fascinated by the entire phenomenon of #FreeBritney - and how the documentary has encouraged a lot of introspection around how terribly female celebrities were treated by the media in the noughties. There is a lot of relevant reading, but this 2008 story about the paparazzi culture that surrounded/exploited Britney is a particularly sad but insightful long-read.

Creativity, evocative visual storytelling and good journalism come at a price. Support our work and join the Ensemble membership program
No items found.