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Pop culture advent calendar, Day 11: The Bright Sessions

Inspired by NPR, every day (gulp) from December 1st to 24th, I will be highlighting

a pop culture moment from this year that I loved. Today I talk about my favourite fictional podcast.

The Bright Sessions is a sci fi podcast about people with special powers - called 'atypicals' in therapy. X Men in therapy, is its elevator pitch. I often wish for a podcast series, or a book of short stories, about normal humans who live in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. What do you do if your path to work is blocked by aliens? What do you do if you have a date in the city and the Staten Island ferry has been toppled by Spiderman? One of my favourite scenes in Spiderman Homecoming was when the teens were playing kiss marry kill (or the non PG version) with the Avengers, because of course they would. What I love about The Bright Sessions is that even though they are atypicals, it's really about trying to make your way in the world with the burden that you are tasked with carrying. About figuring out what you have, how you can turn your blights into strength, and ultimately, how to accept yourself, and maybe even like yourself, how to stop seeing yourself as a burden or a curse. There's plenty of action and intrigue and sinister government agencies, but at its heart it is a story interested in therapeutic growth, which made the ending of this arc, although incredibly sad, so very heartening and gratifying to me. I really loved it and miss it. There are two spin off series and two books on the way from next year, so I can't wait to see what the characters are up to next. This series also delivered one of the most tender and sweet love stories I have consumed in any way, so I'd love to see how it pans out. Both I and TBS creator Lauren Shippen love traditional superhero narratives, but I also love the triumph of intimate personal growth. The Bright Sessions delivers both. Listen to it!

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