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  • Writer's pictureSusannah Powers Stengel

When I’m Caught Up, You'll Know: Rec-ipe for a Sweet & Salty Friendcap

Shared TV as Visceral Pleasure Bonding From Afar

Spoilers For: Season 4 of Insecure, Tayshia Adams’ season of The Bachelorette, Bridgerton.



Your My-So-Called Life Inspired 2021 Loneliness MEETS Your Insert Golden Girls Meme Hunger For Friendship MEETS Your Dexterous Thumbs

Rec-ipe for a Virtual Post-Mortem Amuse-Bouche Friendcap

You need:

-1 7 cup mood processor for the amalgam of emotions the past year has conjured

-A communal text thread set to: hot takes and cheap shots, or, depending on your oven, a phone set to 375* F


-At least 2 “struck me funnies” from your shared content

-4-8 watery hypotheses for future plot and character and/or eliminations

-3 handfuls of couch cushion from the part of your couch your friend’s ass used to touch

-Tobasco to taste


Take all the ingredients and mix together in a large bowl, blast in the mood processor and pour liberally into a shared mold you co-create, 2 parts banter and 1 part bullshit. Broil until conspiracies are half baked and you both lose your train of thought. Enjoy at regular narrative intervals.

A note on the original recipe:

Stories are best served on a shared plate.

I almost cried with relief when I talked about Rupaul on the phone for 30 thirty minutes in the middle of the day on a Tuesday with my darling friend.

I felt like I was receiving a physical hug when my gorgeous college roommate and I swapped erotic novels on Bridgerton a few weeks ago.

When my perpetual soul sister and I convene on the various production bloodbath scenarios forged in Bachelor Nation, we dissect depravity and analyze emotional boundaries, and I myself grow.

The pleasure of shared TV is the pleasure of harmless gossip. Delicious. Distant. Devastating.

You’re both in on it now. Hooked and baited. Sometimes one of you knows more than the other. When you watch the finale, let me know.

Never before has our capacity to brew unique social experiences been so tapped for so long. Good thing we’ve got TV—and the platform dense buffet it provides, brimming with sharp, cheesy musings.

To feast on shared spectacle, is to live, however briefly, in the exact same world as your friends.

I would happily get embroiled in a chat with you right now (@ 867-5309 or and discuss the dirt of Issa and Lawrence’s hot reunion-and/or-bye-boo sex on Insecure last season. Let’s break down Issa’s loneliness, Lawrence’s constantly improving wardrobe. Let’s get into it.

Tell me you’re caught up. Whoops.

Piping hot plot.

Backstabs and lip syncs.

“Can I steal you?”’s for the wrong reason.

Sex scenes on staircases.

When we share TV with our beloveds from afar, we’re not actually watching alone. The imaginary future chorus of our friendship recap awaits you.

We’re talking about ourselves by not talking about ourselves, and that makes everything better.

Perhaps, a live texting stream swarms your message inbox as your thumbs and eyes watch at once. When we’re both done, the aftertaste of our communal TV adventure will linger on the palate as a sweet reminder that we still talk such beautiful smack together.

HEAR YE, Rec - ipe Reader!

I charge ye, ye socially skittish brethren of the pandemic era, to call or text or meme or gif a friend today by knocking on your shared TV door. Let your incendiary arsenal multiply with their barbs, theories, and screen grabs.

Spread some gossip about people that may or may not exist as they appear on screen.

Risk some spoilers.

Skip into the televisual meadow you once thought you waded through alone only to learn you’ve been camping with friends all along.

Keep the types of people who might be prone to shame others on reality television far, and your recapping homies much, much, much closer.

Did you watch yet this week?


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