Arts·Warm Blanket

What art has been your pandemic lifeline? We asked 12 writers in our essay series Warm Blanket

Canadian writers and artists reflect on the pop culture that has brought them comfort and coziness during one year of the pandemic.

From Bridgerton and Batman to Twitch and TikTok, odes to the pop culture that has brought comfort and coziness

(CBC Arts/Illustration by Sacha Stephan)

Well, here we are. The end (according to the calendar, at least) of our second winter in quarantine. With this March marking one year of lockdown in Canada, we've all been more dependent than ever on our favourite art and pop culture to help us get through the last twelve months — and we wanted to tip our hats to our pandemic companions.

So we asked 12 Canadian writers and artists to reflect on the pop culture that has brought them comfort and coziness during the past year. The result is the personal essay series Warm Blanket: a collection of love letters to the art that has provided these writers with steadiness at a time when the world is anything but. From Bridgerton and Batman to Twitch and TikTok, you can read all their tributes below. We hope that they make for some suggestions for a few warm blankets you can call your own as we continue to barrel on through these endlessly unprecedented times.  

How Bridgerton set my soul on fire during my heart's coldest Christmas

Regé-Jean Page as Simon and Phoebe Dynevor as Daphne in Bridgerton. (Netflix)

For Téa Mutonji, the Netflix romance was a warm reminder of the healing power of representation. Read her essay here

In a real world full of darkness, the wicked camp of Batman Returns is a safe cocoon

Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman in Batman Returns. (Warner Bros.)

Curling up with an over-the-top tale of good vs. bad has brought Sarah MacDonald comfort since childhood. Read her essay here

There's gotta be more to that story: Finding solace in the delirious beauty of Mitch Hedberg's jokes

Mitch Hedberg performs in Kansas City - February 5, 2005. (Jason Squires/WireImage)

For Casey Plett, the legendary comedian's singular humour has been the perfect company for the absurd tedium of pandemic life. Read her essay here

You're all terrible and I love you: Why the zany optimism of Bob's Burgers is my pandemic oasis

The Belcher family (and Teddy!) in Bob's Burgers. (FOX)

At the end of the day, Brendan D'Souza is tired of having to be an adult — so they turn to cartoons. Read their essay here

How streaming video games on Twitch helped me find pure, unapologetic joy in the midst of a pandemic

(Arielle Twist)

Streaming has offered Arielle Twist a way to document joy and share it with the world. Read her essay here

In the depths of an unforgiving winter, the reliable mayhem of the Dateline podcast kept me afloat

Left to right: Dateline hosts Keith Morrison, Andrea Canning, Lester Holt, Josh Mankiewicz and Dennis Murphy. (NBC)

A daily dose of true crime has kept Jessica Antony from spiralling into a Winnipeg winter's frozen despair. Read her essay here

How TikTok Lumberjacks wrapped me up in their burly arms and carried me away from my pandemic woes

Highlights from Lumberjack TikTok. (TikTok)

Their bearded, red-flannelled glory helped Stacey McGunnigle find love in a most hopeless place. Read her essay here

The many important lessons my new friends (a.k.a. The Real Housewives) taught me during lockdown

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. (Bravo)

Selena Vyle watched literally hundreds of episodes of the reality show with her mom, and it was an education unlike any other. Read her essay here

My Brilliant Friend transported me from quarantine to Italy — and made me finally track my roots

Gaia Girace (left) as Raffaella "Lila" Cerullo and Margherita Mazzucco as Elena "Lenù" Greco in My Brilliant Friend. (HBO)

Missing his own family, Christopher DiRaddo looked for them in stories. Read his essay here

The princess of pandemic power: How the She-Ra reboot gave me a glimmer of hope in a broken world

She-Ra and the Princesses of Power. (Netflix)

The cartoon's kaleidoscope of queerness nurtured writer Makram Ayache through his isolation. Read his essay here

How French import Call My Agent made me forget about COVID monotony and became my happy place

Call My Agent. (Netflix)

Laurence H. Collin found an inescapable joie de vivre in the addictive Netflix series. Read his essay here

In unclear times, How To with John Wilson showed me how to see the world with sharper eyes

How To with John Wilson. (HBO)

The endearingly silly HBO docuseries helped Carly Maga find beauty in the mundane. Read her essay here

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