Mike Birbiglia

It's my favorite time of the week, when we get to sit back, relax, and enjoy some recommendations from yours truly. Let's get into this week's tastebreakers!

Sleepwalk With Me

Right off the bat, we have a film from Mike Birbiglia, a comedian who's sat comfortably in his niche for the last decade, never quite gaining fame or recognition but massive respect from comedians and producers alike.

There's a reason he gets that respect, because he's brilliant. On a personal note, when writing my half hour comedy specials, which I guess everyone else doesn't do in their free time? I try to emulate his storytelling when I write.

Birbiglia tells the true story of the life threatening sleepwalking condition he suffers from, and how its onset affected his relationships, love life, family life, and everything else. This movie is a raw, deep look into the insecurities, the shortcomings, and the shining moments of one of America's absolute best comedians.

Loiter Squad

I won't lie. Loiter Squad is one of the dumbest things you'll ever watch. There's no comedic genius, no twists and turns to unravel. It's just a group of friends making fun sketches because they can. As funny as it is, it's just as enjoyable to just watch the Odd Future boys just have fun.

This is long before Tyler and Frank Ocean were international icons, before Earl Sweatshirt was one of the most critically acclaimed rappers ever, before Taco was a TV star. They were just teenagers with big dreams who got a TV show, and they had as much fun with it as they good. Loiter Squad is a big, beautiful mess that reminds me of my adolescence and the sheer goofiness of being a teenager.

Watch This! by Jean Deaux 

For years, Jean Deaux has been flying under the radar, performing angelic lyrics for the likes of Saba, Isaiah Rashad, and Mick Jenkins, garnering a great reputation in the hip hop community but never quite bursting out on her own.

She still isn't quite there yet, but her 2020 album Watch This! is a very good start. While probably her best quality on features is her ability to blend seamlessly into any sound with her incredible vocals, she definitely puts forward her own sound, a funky, R&B style album where the blends her voice with rap bars. She also, and this is a rare quality in rap often only shown in singers like Anderson Paak and Frank Ocean when they chose to step into the rap realm, harmonizes the entire time she raps, which creates a level of satisfaction that's nearly indescribable.

Jean Deaux is up next.

Mario and Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story

I found my Nintendo DS when I was unpacking this week, and I have had SO much fun. Am I twenty years old? Yes. Do I care for your opinion on my fondness for children's content? No I do not.

Mario and Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story is one of the best installments to ever grace the franchise. Often, I feel like, while endlessly creative, games like Mario Odyssey set that creativity almost too loose, with so many different worlds and creatures and diatribes that the game almost comes across as nonsensical. Although, Mario Odyssey is an amazing game, don't get me wrong, there are so many creative concepts in that game that they all get bogged down together.

But the concept of Bowser's Inside Story is incredibly creative, and they play on that concept incredibly well. The combat is new, with an almost Pokemon-esque style of play, with Mario and Luigi crawling through Bowser's body while Bowser travels back to Peach's castle to defeat the main villain, who shockingly isn't Bowser.

This game retains that sense of wonder Mario games have brought us through the years while maintaining a sense of focus and direction that they often overlook.

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