Now that the presidential election is over, we can all stop pretending we have something in common with half the people in the country and retreat to our own tiny, personal subcultures. With this in mind, check out some interesting narrowcast kid niches from the internet and beyond.
TikTok trend of the week: Imitating your children
I’m a big proponent of parenting through annoyance, so I’m a huge fan this week’s TikTok trendlet: Videos of parents imitating their teenage kids. Whether it’s lola_juliaaa’s mother nailing the “moody teen girl” vibe or champagneshanty’s dad’s pitch-perfect “Oh my GOD,” these videos are hilarious and weirdly touching: The laughs coming from behind the camera show that the teasing is good-natured. Click here for more videos in this tiny TikTok sub-genre.
Viral video of the week: The nicest Taco Bell on earth
Is there anything rarer than a fancy Taco Bell? It’s so unusual, over a million TikTok kids have watched Megan Homme’s tour of the nicest Taco Bell on earth. Located in Pacifica on the rocky coast of Northern California, this may be the only Taco Bell where you could bring a first date. I’m talking tasteful furnishings and decor, a transparent fireplace, and a dining deck right on the beach so you can take in spectacular views of the majestic cliffs and azure waves while shoving a chalupa in your maw-hole. Even the food is better than other Taco Bell locations…well, at least the drinks are. At this dreamlike Taco Bell from heaven, you can add shots of booze to any of the soda fountain’s choices. I’ll have a Sierra Mist and Vodka.
This week in video games: Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla
Everyone who plays video games is a Viking this week…that is, everyone who is into open-world, historical action games with RPG elements. The new Assassin’s Creed lets you control a fur-wearing Norseman (or Norsewoman), and lead a longboat full of deadly berserkers on a mission of bloodshed, conquest, and terror in Ninth Century England.
You can’t even understand how satisfying it is to ravage shoreline monasteries until you’ve played Valhalla. Your longship silently approaching an unsuspecting settlement; the bellow of the Gjallarhorn breaking the silence of a gloomy morning; the terrified screams of the monks fleeing before the bloodthirsty heathens under your command; the red mist of steaming blood as the blade of your war-axe cleaves your enemies in twain. Skol!
Valhalla is so good, I’m afraid impressionable kids will finally start imitating violence in games and take up swinging hammers at each other while wearing hats made out of wolves they murdered with their bare hands.
This week in TV: Transhood
Transhood isn’t made to appeal to a broad section of young people, but the kids who relate will really relate. This excellent HBO documentary follows the lives of four Kansas City transgender youths and their families over the course of the last five years, a tumultuous time for everyone, but for transgender people in “the heartland” especially. Each of these families face similar issues—a world that often doesn’t understand their unique situation, confused friends, outright bigotry—and each meets the challenge in a unique way.
This week in movies: Rent your own movie theater
Is there anything more 2020 than bespoke movie-going? Going to the cinema has been verboten for most of us since the pandemic took over our lives 34 years ago, but AMC aims to change that with an audacious plan to avoid total bankruptcy. The massive theater chain is renting screens all over the country for private movie parties. For a very reasonable price (starting at $99) you can have a theater to yourself for a couple hours, pick whatever movie you want to watch, make a phone call in the middle of the second act. Do whatever. It’s your theater. If you’re wracking your brain for a (kind-of) COVID-safe birthday party for your kid (if everyone wears masks and stays distanced), this might work.