"The pop culture that's comforting me now" is a new series in which some of TODAY's favorite celebrities share the TV shows, movies, books and songs getting them through this time.
"This Is Us" is hard to beat when it comes to comfort TV — and star Justin Hartley said the emotional drama has been finding new fans as viewers discover new shows while quarantined.
"What’s really been interesting is that it’s rebirthed the enthusiasm for the show," he told TODAY. "When it first came out, everyone was like, 'Oh, my God, you’ve got to watch this,' and then that momentum built up to everyone watching the show. But obviously there are people who just haven’t gotten around to it or they’ve heard of it but just don't have time. But now with a little more time on their hands, we have brand-new viewers starting from the pilot. And it’s cool to see this thing that we saw four years ago happening again."
Hartley shared what's been keeping him entertained.
What shows I've been watching:
I’ve restarted "Game of Thrones." I’ve restarted "Veep." I’m going back and watching "This Is Us" from the beginning. I’m just hoping it doesn’t turn into a critical eye kind of experience. I’ve watched "Game of Thrones" from the very beginning of that series and now that you’ve seen the whole thing, you go, "Oh, my God, they planted that four, five, six years before it actually happened." It’s interesting; you get to watch it from a different eye. I’m trying to go back on everything that people have been telling me I should watch and I haven’t had a chance to watch. So "Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," I’m about ready to start that. I’m going to start “The Witcher” next week. And this is such a nerdy thing to say, but it’s true. I miss my sports, so I’ve been watching a lot of Dodger rewind games, from ‘81 and from ‘88, and they were great.
What movies I've been watching:
Rewatched "Days of Thunder." I started "Lord of the Rings." This is a terrible thing about me and I’m just going to come clean. I have not seen any of the "Lord of the Rings," I’ve not seen the "Harry Potters," and I’ve not seen the very first three "Star Wars" movies that came out. And also "The Godfather." I’ve tried and it’s hard to get through that stuff — there’s too many things going on. But now I have time to sit there and stare at the television for several hours and take it in. So I’m going to get up to speed on movies that I probably should’ve watched, especially because of the career that I do, I should’ve watched these decades ago. So that’ll be my chore.
What I've been listening to:
I’ve a huge music fan. I listen to most of my music on vinyl for several reasons — I think it sounds better, I think it’s more intimate and I like the experience of choosing which record you’re going to put on. There’s a commitment that goes into that; you have to take it out of the sleeve and put it on the player and put the needle down and sit there and listen to it. I listen to a lot of Chvrches, this band called Always, Naked and Famous, I listen to a lot of Teskey Brothers, a lot of Chris Cornell. Chris Cornell’s amazing; I could listen to that guy all day long. Pearl Jam’s always a staple. Gary Clark Jr., throw some Mandy Moore in there, Otis Redding.
What I've been reading:
My mom just sent me this novel recommendation that I had already literally just finished called "The Silent Patient." I’m reading about the end of the Roman Empire; I’m such a dork. "Kitchen Confidential," my firm gave me this book. It’s Anthony Bourdain’s book, but it has his notes. He goes back and rereads it and takes notes. Thumbing through this book called "Mindfulness." Really kind of a cool thing when you’re by yourself and you have time to either think and be peaceful or completely go f---ing insane — it’s kind of a cool thing to read and remind yourself how to center yourself and calm down and try to stay as zen as possible.
My go-to snack:
I’m a chip freak. I love chips. So I try to stay away from them, but it’s hard since I’m around them all the time. I’ll have chips and salsa, guacamole, hummus, anything you can put on a chip. I’m trying to get as much green stuff as I can. And then I enjoy a nice cold beer if I’m watching TV.
My quarantine uniform:
I think I have an everyday uniform when I’m not quarantined. I think it’s jeans and a T-shirt; that’s pretty much my uniform anyway. So it hasn’t really changed.