The insidious power of the flu is not only that it makes one feel like crap, it can turn even the most high-functioning adult into a whimpering glob of Jell-o. The only way I’ve found to prevent spending three to five days begging for mercy and comparing oneself to Job is a steady diet of brain candy.
As I was huddled under every blanket in the house with my own case of Death Flu yesterday (it’s still here, today’s posts are brought to you by a powerful combination of will, Alka Seltzer Plus and store brand cough syrup.) and charging through the backlog of items in my instant queue, I was hit with an idea. Motivated by the fact that writing is really rather hard with Death Flu and quite possibly all the medication I keep guzzling for relief, my underwhelming epiphany is this: Netflix Queues based on Why You Couldn’t Drag Your Ass to Work Today.
You’ve Thrown Out Your Back
This will happen to you at least once, around your 30th birthday. It’s a rite of passage no one tells you about until after it happens to you, like pooping during childbirth used to be. When your back is out, it’s best to avoid both comedies and movies about getting older, as both laughing and contemplating your own mortality will make you feel worse. Instead, consider the following:
This is a documentary about an election for student union president at New York City’s Stuyvesant High School, and it may be the best political documentary I’ve seen. As four tickets campaign through a primary and a general election, we see some of NYC’s best and brightest students explore race, class, gender and image. I won’t spoil who wins, but from the beginning I was a big fan of Team George and Vanessa. Frontrunners will take your mind off the agony between your ribcage and your ass and give you something to think about while you’re talking yourself into getting up and going to the bathroom.
Angel season one
Long enough to a big chunk of time, generally light enough to digest on pain killers, the biggest selling point of the better-as-it-went Buffy spin-off is that David Boreanaz is very pretty.
You Have A Stomach Virus
The key here is to find something you can pause frequently and not worry about jumping right back into. You’re not looking for deep or meaningful, you’re looking for background noise and a simple plot.
I will always watch a dance movie. From The Turning Point to Breakin’, dance movies are almost universally awesome. Center Stage is a fluffy little bit of fun peppered with really fantastic dance numbers by really pretty people.
Blazing saddles is always appropriate, but there’s nothing like it when you’re battling demons in your digestive system.
This movie was pretty universally hated, but I’ve always loved the hell out of it, and there are scenes I laugh at no matter how many times I see them. Best back-to-back with Drop Dead Gorgeous (sadly not available on instant), when you like your dark comedies dunked in a little low-brow humor for spice, it doesn’t get any better.
When You Have Death Flu
Your head hurts, your throat hurts, your fingernails and hair hurt. You’ll want to avoid anything loud, or that makes you think too hard but can still take your mind off your misery.
One of like five romantic comedies made since 1986 that doesn’t suck, this movie will totally help you take your mind off your troubles. And not only because sexy David Duchovny is irresistible in it.
Roman Polanski is a terrible man who can make wonderful movies. Rosemary’s Baby is one of the scariest horror movies I’ve ever seen, and there isn’t a single gory scene in it. I watched it on repeat after my hysto, and it was surprisingly therapeutic. It’s a good flu movie because you’ve probably seen it before, so it doesn’t matter if you doze off during some of the scenes in the middle.
This actually goes against my recommendation not to watch anything that makes you think too hard. Everyone should see this, and if you’ve already seen it you should totally see it again. This documentary explores the MPAA rating system and how it affects how films are distributed and promoted.
You’re taking a “Screw this stupid thankless job” day
We don’t judge.
Hands down, the best teen angst movie that isn’t Heathers or River’s Edge to come out of the ’80s.
Because if you have to live any day of your life over and over, it should be a day you blow off work.