WATCH OF THE WEEK
To promote the upcoming second season of Stranger Things, Netflix took two of the “ships” (that’s Gen Z speak for relationships) from the hit series and created a whole new storyline reminiscent of fan fiction. Remixing scenes from the show’s first season, the streaming platform created a trailer for an 80’s romantic comedy centering on the love triangle between Nancy, Steve, and Jonathan. Complete with a cameo from beloved Barb (#JusticeForBarb) and set to upbeat 80’s music, the trailer has only a hint of the sinister edge the thrilling series is known for. Garnering nearly half a million views in about a week, the video is proof that the internet simply can’t get enough Stranger Things.
American Airlines recently partnered with pre-IPO unicorn startup Casper to give passengers the ultimate snooze in the skies. Providing a special experience that passengers can’t get anywhere else, the two brands collaborated on eight new products specifically designed to improve inflight slumber, from mattress pads to lumbar pillows. A win-win for both brands and travelers, these unique sleep amenities will be available for first class, business class, and premium economy in December, just in time for the holidays.
One of the benefits of AI chatbots is that when done well, they lend a personal touch to otherwise impersonal experiences. Emily, a new estate-planning chatbot created by LifeFolder, is doing just that. Through Facebook messenger, the bot has a conversation with users about their end-of-life wishes and creates the legal documents they need to be enforced. Given the delicate subject matter, users don’t have to complete their conversation all at once, but can return to it later to give them time to process the information and really think about what they want. Emily offers a middle ground between talking to a person, which can be emotionally difficult and expensive, and filling out the forms alone, which can be daunting and confusing, and thus is a great example of a niche role AI can fill.
IN OUR CARTS
Just in time for Halloween comes Basic Witches: How to Summon Success, Banish Drama, and Raise Hell with Your Coven. With chapter titles like “Healing: The Power to Care for Yourself” and “Banishment: The Power to Avoid What Brings You Down,” the book tackles self-care, self-improvement, and philosophy through a witchy lens. Increasingly, we’ve seen a fascination with the occult among Millennials and Gen Zs. While less religious than older generations, they consider themselves to be very spiritual and are looking for outlets just like this. Authored by Jaya Saxena and Jess Zimmerman, the book is sure to be a hit with the crystal-loving, sage-burning, horoscope-reading crowd as (not surprisingly) it is already stocked at Urban Outfitters.
Between the abundance of quality television content and the accessibility afforded by streaming and on-demand services, it’s unlikely that any two people are on the same episode in a series. EnterTV Yapp, an app for people who love to discuss their favorite shows online but don’t want to risk coming across spoilers. The app allows people to track the episodes they’ve seen of a series, start conversations with their friends about individual episodes, and receive alerts if they are invited to a conversation about an episode they have not yet seen. While it’s now easier than ever for viewers to watch their favorite TV shows at their own pace, we like that TV Yapp is helping revive the old water cooler talk, albeit digitally.
In the aftermath of the terrible tragedy in Las Vegas, many were quick to offer their thoughts and prayers on social media, but thankfully many notable icons have stepped up to use their platforms for more than just an Instagram post. Lady Gaga hosted a 20-minute Instagram live streammeditation-slash-moment of silence for her 25 million followers, while on October 3rd, otherwise known as Mean Girls Day, a few stars of the cult teen comedy came together to garner support for aGoFundMe campaign to raise money for the victims. Meanwhile, YouTuber Casey Neistat is running a similar campaign through his “Love Army” and has already raised over $200k to assist recovery efforts. While there are certainly more campaigns worthy of mentioning, we particularly applaud these efforts to help young people contribute in a more direct way.