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Top Five

Top Five

By Chris Paek and Liz Lin
Chris Paek and Liz Lin break down everything - pop culture, politics, race, food, religion, family, thirtysomething life, and all of their top fives.
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3.9 The Top Five Film Festival
Chris survived COVID, and Liz cannot believe the shitshow that is the Michigan Republican gubernatorial primary. Then we celebrate the rarest of occurrences: We both saw Everything Everywhere All At Once and Fire Island! We couldn't wait to talk about the beauty of a rom-com where the suitors are secondary to the story, rave about star performances, and try to work out the takeaway of EEAAO.  (If you want to avoid EEAAO spoilers, please skip from 13:45 to 29:40; to avoid Fire Island spoilers, 30:00 to 43:30.) Plus, a surprisingly delightful top five: condiments!  For the first time ever, both lists get rewritten in real time because the world of condiments is wide and deep and delicious.  Happy dipping, everyone! Instagram: @topfivepod Twitter: @thetopfivepod Art by Colin Turnbull ( Music by Origami Pigeon
June 24, 2022
3.8 Do We Still Have To See Every Asian American Movie?
We're reeling from the SCOTUS leak, so we needed a minute to unpack our reactions and both the political maneuvering and the toxic theology that got us to this point.  Then, on a more hopeful note, we get into the shocking abundance of Asian American movies and TV shows we're experiencing right now - how quickly the tide changed, if we're still obligated to see every single one, and what we're especially excited about. Plus, our top five hidden gems!  Whether you need a domestic travel spot or a fabulous bakery item, we've got you covered. 💎 Instagram: @topfivepod Twitter: @thetopfivepod Art by Colin Turnbull ( Music by Origami Pigeon
May 17, 2022
3.7 What Percent of the Household Labor Do You Do?
The Slap was top of mind for us and everyone else in the world, so by popular request, we talk how we experienced it as avid consumers of celebrity culture (Liz) and survivors of toxic masculinity (Chris).  Then, continuing our conversation about managing our thirtysomething lives, we dig into the division of labor in our households -- the messages we got growing up, what this looks like now with our partners, and if it can ever be truly even in heterosexual partnerships.  Plus, one of our favorite top fives ever: Asian snacks!  It was hard to narrow down this universe of deliciousness to five favorites, but somehow we managed.  And now we're starving. Instagram: @topfivepod Twitter: @thetopfivepod Art by Colin Turnbull ( Music by Origami Pigeon
April 19, 2022
3.6 Show Me Your Spreadsheets and I’ll Tell You Who You Are
Note: This episode was recorded a few weeks ago, before Russia invaded Ukraine, and it feels like we live an entirely different world now. Sending love and care to all, especially those who are directly impacted by the atrocities happening in Ukraine. 🇺🇦 [CW: violence against Asian Americans] Liz and Chris reflect on the murder of Christina Yuna Lee and the rash of violence against Asian American women in New York City and elsewhere, which hits close to home for both of us.  Then we dig into a very different topic: how we manage our unwieldy thirtysomething lives as they get more complicated and more deeply intertwined with other people's. How do you keep track of all the schedules in your household? What spreadsheets do you rely on to keep your life in order? What do your systems say about where you are in life right now? Staying on the thirtysomething household theme, we end with the top five things that make our homes better.  We need all the tools we can get to survive these wild times, so we hope this episode brings you some respite and some inspiration for how to make life a little less stressful. ❤️ Instagram: @topfivepod Twitter: @thetopfivepod Art by Colin Turnbull ( Music by Origami Pigeon
March 22, 2022
3.5 Who Are You Inviting To Your Wedding?
Chris is appalled that anti-CRT rhetoric is turning into actual book bans, and Liz wept through Speed Cubers, a sweet documentary on Netflix. Then, inspired by current events, we dig into the complicated process of making a wedding guest list, that once-in-a-lifetime referendum on all your friendships.  How do you decide who gets an invite, especially when you're getting married in your late 30s?  What does an invite convey to a new friend or a childhood friend you haven't seen in ten years?  We also talk about the younger cousin of the wedding invitation -- the holiday card -- and the strange opportunity it provides for an annual assessment of your friendships.  Plus, our top five TV characters of all time.  How many of Chris's are from The Wire?  There's only one way to find out. Note: This episode was recorded before the murder of Christina Yuna Lee in New York City; we will have more to say about this in our next episode.  We hope you're taking care and being extra-kind to yourselves. ❤️ Instagram: @topfivepod Twitter: @thetopfivepod Art by Colin Turnbull ( Music by Origami Pigeon
February 17, 2022
3.4 Kids, Job, Partner, Self: Pick Two
Liz is loving the cast album of Six: The Musical, and Chris is unsettled by his New Year's Eve viewing of Don't Look Up.  (Spoiler alert: Please skip 6:00 to 17:10 if you don't want to know how the movie ends.)  Then we revisit a topic that we first discussed two and a half years ago, in our second episode: adulthood.  We talk about Chris's major life updates, whether adulthood is anything more than a series of logistical tasks, and Liz's newfound understanding of why people have midlife crises.  And since we're right in between Solar New Year and Lunar New Year, we wrap with our New Year's resolutions.  The differences in the aspirations of someone who has kids and someone who does not have never been starker.  Happy Year of the Tiger, y'all!  We still have one more chance to try out those resolutions again. Instagram: @topfivepod Twitter: @thetopfivepod Art by Colin Turnbull ( Music by Origami Pigeon
January 24, 2022
3.3 Who Do You Buy Gifts For?
Happy New Year, friends! Holiday stress was top of mind when we recorded this episode, which led us to some critical questions:  Who do you buy holiday presents for?  Now that we have all these new holiday gift obligations, we get into the weeds:  What do you give the ten different teachers who care for your preschooler?  If you're a New York City resident like Chris, how much do you tip your doorman and the seven other people who work in your building?  What's the minimum you can put on a gift card without looking cheap?  We end by revisiting our favorite top five: celebrity crushes.  New season, new list of beautiful people.  We hope your 2022 is off to a good start and we're honored to be a part of it! Instagram: @topfivepod Twitter: @thetopfivepod Art by Colin Turnbull ( Music by Origami Pigeon
January 03, 2022
3.2 James Bond and the Bad Art Friend
Chris finally gets a taste of pandemic parenting, while Liz has unexpectedly gotten sucked into Succession.  Then we dig into the last two items in our pop culture grab bag: The viral New York Times piece "Who Is The Bad Art Friend?" (where we arrive at different conclusions) and our experiences of taking our dads to see the new Bond movie (where our experiences are strikingly similar -- is Bond an immigrant dad thing?).  Plus, our top five greatest joys from smallest pleasures.  Turns out there's joy to be found everywhere, from In-N-Out burgers to perfectly-sized Tupperwares!  We hope your holidays are full of it. "Who is the Bad Art Friend?" The New York Times, October 5, 2021 Instagram: @topfivepod Twitter: @thetopfivepod Art by Colin Turnbull ( Music by Origami Pigeon
December 14, 2021
3.1 Pop Culture Grab Bag
Surprise -- we're back and excited to chat! We're kicking off season three with thoughts about Ted Lasso (Liz) and the sudden ubiquity of Korean pop culture (Chris). Then we go through all the culture we've been dying to talk about for the last six months, from the Olympics to Harry and Meghan on Oprah to Chris's connection to a high-profile trial.  We wrap with our top five self-care practices that actually work, because in spite of our rosy optimism at the end of Season One (remember that?), this pandemic is not going anywhere.  We're thrilled to be back with you, friends! To prepare for the next episode, please read "Who is the Bad Art Friend?" if you're one of the seven people who hasn't read it yet. Instagram: @topfivepod Twitter: @thetopfivepod Art by Colin Turnbull ( Music by Origami Pigeon
November 10, 2021
36. Engagement Culture
Liz is confused about why queer-affirming people continue to speak at events that are not (content warning for discussion of queer-unaffirming theology; please skip 2:10 through 9:45 if you’d like to avoid it). Meanwhile, Chris celebrates the return of March Madness, and one of us has to pay up on a wager we made when our teams went head-to-head.  Then, inspired by a recent event (!!!), we talk about engagement culture: the traditions that have been locked in — even as wedding traditions get disrupted left and right — and what happens when you decide to do things differently.  We wrap with our final top five of the season: subcultures we want to explore.  Thanks for joining us for Season Two — we’ve loved sharing it with you!  We’ll see you when we return for round three. 🤟 Instagram: @topfivepod Twitter: @thetopfivepod Art by Colin Turnbull ( Music by Origami Pigeon
April 15, 2021
35. The Atlanta Episode
CW: anti-Asian violence, murder We would love to be talking about something else, but here we are. We check in and talk about the shooting through our lenses as Asian Americans and former evangelicals who were raised in purity culture, and in Liz’s case, as an Asian American woman and parent.  We also dig into all of the other stuff the tragedy has kicked up — like how have your non-Asian friends shown up (or not)?  How has your workplace handled this, and how much of the labor did they put on you?  How are you taking care of yourself right now?  In the midst of everything that’s happening, we hope you’re being extra-kind and gracious with yourself.  We’re thinking of you and sending you love. Instagram: @topfivepod Twitter: @thetopfivepod Art by Colin Turnbull ( Music by Origami Pigeon
March 31, 2021
34. Is It OK to Wait in Line for a Leftover Vaccine?
In true pandemic fashion, Netflix is giving us life: Liz finally discovered Schitt’s Creek, and Chris loved The 40-Year-Old Version. Then we get into the ethical questions that have been weighing on us in the current COVID landscape:  Is it okay to wait in line for a leftover vaccine before we’re eligible?  Is it reasonable to ask a teacher to return to the classroom without a vaccine?  What is our individual responsibility in a messed-up system?  Plus, the top five fads/trends (we’re not clear on the difference) that we don’t understand.  The dawn of middle age is upon us, y’all, and we’re leaning all the way in. Note: We recorded this episode before the shootings in Atlanta; we'll discuss that in our next episode. We’re thinking of you, friends — please stay safe. Instagram: @topfivepod Twitter: @thetopfivepod Art by Colin Turnbull ( Music by Origami Pigeon
March 24, 2021
33. It's Time to Talk About MRAzns
Chris is astounded by the Smartmatic lawsuit, and Liz recalls a fifth chapter of sex ed that she forgot to mention in the last episode. Then we get into a topic that’s resurfaced again on Asian American social media: MRAzns, or Asian men who harass Asian women on the internet. We talk about our experiences with them, what we think motivates their behavior, and if there’s any hope for change. Plus, our top five things we need to apologize for. To our parents, former youth ministry students, and more — we're sorry. For more on MRAzns: “When Asian Women Are Harassed for Marrying Non-Asian Men,” Celeste Ng, The Cut, October 12, 2018 “Eating Our Own: Deconstructing the Misogynistic Myths of Asian American Antifeminism,” Ju-Hyun Park, Reappropriate, August 22, 2017 For more on the recent anti-Asian violence, we recommend @beyonkz and @eeewhysee on Twitter and Instagram. Instagram: @topfivepod Twitter: @thetopfivepod Art by Colin Turnbull ( Music by Origami Pigeon
February 23, 2021
32. Why Does the Football Coach Always Teach Sex Ed?
Chris atones for the transgression of calling Michelle Branch a one-hit wonder, and Liz still isn't over how amazing Michelle Obama looked at the inauguration. Then, inspired by our discussion of Big Mouth in the last episode, we talk about the fraught terrain of puberty — what the show gets right, our own awkward and traumatic experiences, and what we learned about sex and our bodies from school and church. (God knows we did not learn anything from our parents.)  Plus, our top five same-sex crushes — a fitting end to an episode about hormones. Instagram: @topfivepod Twitter: @thetopfivepod Art by Colin Turnbull ( Music by Origami Pigeon
February 09, 2021
31. Our Bodies, Our Parents
[Content warning: body image issues] Chris pays tribute to his late uncle; Liz is blasting through Big Mouth on Netflix. Then we dig into all the messages we got from our parents about our bodies -- what they told us about our weight (and height, and skin, and...), how those messages impacted us and what was really behind them, and how we navigate these conversations as adults.  We wrap with our top five one-hit wonders.  Is it just us, or was the ‘90s full of fantastic one-hit wonders? 😉 Instagram: @topfivepod Twitter: @thetopfivepod Art by Colin Turnbull ( Music by Origami Pigeon
January 25, 2021
30. What Do You Do With Problematic Old Friends?
Liz is obsessed with Future Nostalgia, Dua Lipa’s incredible new(ish) album, and Chris is digging into The Color of Law, Richard Rothstein’s landmark book about housing segregation. Then we talk about that age-old adult problem: how to navigate old friendships where you no longer see eye to eye. We talk about the place that our old friendships have in our lives, how we’ve handled significant differences that have appeared over the years, and the complicated question of who we feel most at home with now. Plus, the top five personas we’ve taken on. Turns out: trying on new identities isn’t just for teens. Instagram: @topfivepod Twitter: @thetopfivepod Art by Colin Turnbull ( Music by Origami Pigeon
January 07, 2021
29. National Landing and House Clothes
On the eve of his move, Chris reflects on his time in DC, while Liz finally sees the light regarding Harry Styles. Then, as we love to do at the end of every year, we reflect on what this year of cataclysmic change meant for us personally, how it changed us, and what we’re looking forward to in 2021.  Plus, our top five things we’ll never do again after 2020.  Which leads to a discussion about an underdiscussed topic: house clothes.  Do you differentiate your wardrobe into inside clothes and outside clothes (like Chris) or day clothes and night clothes (like Liz)?  We’re dying to know. Instagram: @topfivepod Twitter: @thetopfivepod Art by Colin Turnbull Music by Origami Pigeon
December 24, 2020
28. What Do You Get Your Parents for Christmas?
We’re so excited not to be talking about existential threats anymore! Liz is mourning the loss of Tony Hsieh, and Chris is binge-watching The Queen’s Gambit and The Legend of Kora. Then we get into the real quandary of the day: gifts for our parents. What do you get for an immigrant parent who has no hobbies and can buy anything they need? Why have we still not figured this out after thirty-some years of gift-giving? And keeping with our holiday theme, we end with our top five holiday songs. We can agree on one thing: There’s only one reigning queen of Christmas. Instagram: @topfivepod Twitter: @thetopfivepod Art by Colin Turnbull Music by Origami Pigeon
December 07, 2020
27. One of the Best Things About Elections Is All the Data
We've got reasons to celebrate: Liz, the power of the people in getting Detroit's election results certified; Chris, the selection of Kim Ng as the General Manager of the Miami Marlins.  Then, in our final election discussion, we dig into exit poll data and try to make sense of some surprising findings:  Why did support for Trump go *up* in every community of color, compared to 2016?  Why did his support double among Asian American women?  What does all this mean for us going forward? We wrap with our top five most inspiring living figures.  We're thankful to them for guiding us through these trying times, and we're thankful for you for choosing to spend time with us.  We hope your holiday is lovely, however unusual it may be. "How Whiteness Affected the Election," 1A, November 9, 2020 These pieces came out after we recorded, but they fit into our discussion perfectly: - "'People of Color' Do Not Belong to the Democratic Party," Jay Caspian Kang, The New York Times, November 20, 2020 - "A New Political Force Emerges in Georgia: Asian-American Voters," Sabrina Tavernise, The New York Times, November 25, 2020 Instagram: @topfivepod Twitter: @thetopfivepod Art by Colin Turnbull Music by Origami Pigeon
November 25, 2020
26. We Can Finally Breathe Again
IT’S NEW DAY IN AMERICA, Y’ALL. We’re elated to talk about Biden’s election win, our experiences of election week (including Liz’s day working at the polls… in Trump country), and the results we’re celebrating and grieving. Plus, our top five states and people we have messages for, in light of the election, since that’s all we’ve been able to think about for the last two weeks. Florida, it’s not us -- it’s definitely you. Instagram: @topfivepod Twitter: @thetopfivepod Art by Colin Turnbull Music by Origami Pigeon
November 10, 2020
25. How Have the Last Four Years Changed You?
Liz is channeling her pandemic and election anxiety into home improvement, while Chris feels the effects of an executive order at work. Then, on this Election Day Eve, we reflect on the last four years: where we were during the last presidential election, how the last four years have changed us, and (dare we even hope) what we’d want to see immediately from a Biden administration, should we be so lucky to see one. We wrap with an escapist top five: dream travel destinations. The food we want to eat, the places we want to see, and did we mention the food we want to eat? Instagram: @topfivepod Twitter: @thetopfivepod Art by Colin Turnbull Music by Origami Pigeon
November 02, 2020
24. Life After RBG
We‘re jazzed about the Michelle Obama podcast (and pitching in for the election)! Then, we talk about the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg - hearing the news, our favorite RBG achievements, and what progressives should do in the wake of Amy Coney Barrett's certain confirmation. And after weeks of dragging so many other people and things, we drag ourselves in this week’s top five: most embarrassing or awkward moments. So cringey, it’s delicious. The Michelle Obama Podcast "Part 1: The Life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg" and "Part 2: The Battle Over Her Seat," The Daily, September 21, 2020 Instagram: @topfivepod Twitter: @thetopfivepod Art by Colin Turnbull Music by Origami Pigeon
October 14, 2020
23. Nice White and Asian Parents
So much has happened in culture since our last season ended, so consider this our pop culture catch-up.  We finally get to discuss The Last Dance (remember when that was what everyone was talking about?  Can you even remember?) and Indian Matchmaking before tackling Nice White Parents, the new podcast from the producers of Serial.  We talk about the tensions between valuing equity and public education vs. wanting what’s best for your kids, our experiences of these issues as a parent and a policy researcher, and where Asian American parents fall in this equation. Plus, our top five things that haven’t aged well.  Children’s books, revered politicians — we're coming for all of them. Note: This episode was recorded before the passing of RBG, which we’ll discuss in our next episode. Instagram: @topfivepod Twitter: @thetopfivepod Art by Colin Turnbull Music by Origami Pigeon
September 29, 2020
22. The New Racial Landscape
Happy Labor Day, everyone!  Liz is still buzzing from the Democratic National Convention, while Chris is reeling from the newly released bodycam footage of Masai Ujiri, president of the Toronto Raptors, and his run-in with police in the aftermath of his team’s championship win.  Which leads us into our topic of the day: how the racial landscape has changed in the post-George Floyd era, particularly in our Asian American communities.  We talk about the engagement we’ve seen in recent weeks compared to post-Ferguson in 2014, the conversations we’re having now, and how we hope to sustain momentum for the long haul. We end on a lighter note: our top five favorite stand-up comedians. In trying times like these, their wit and incisive observations are essential. Instagram: @topfivepod Twitter: @thetopfivepod Art by Colin Turnbull Music by Origami Pigeon
September 07, 2020
21. So... It's Kamala, Right?
We’re back for our second season! And my oh my, how the world has changed. Liz is thinking about education and equity as a new school year starts in the COVID era, and Chris runs down everything that’s happened in the world since our last episode. Which leads us right into the news of the day (of recording): Joe Biden’s choice of Kamala Harris as his vice-presidential candidate, and we can't wait to talk about it. We wrap with our top five silver linings of COVID times. We know we are lucky lucky lucky to have any at all -- let alone five -- and we’re trying to practice gratitude in the midst of this long slog. We’re grateful to be back with you! Note: This episode was recorded before the DNC. (Which we’ll discuss in our next episode!) “Why Ta-Nehisi Coates Is Hopeful,” The Ezra Klein Show, June 5, 2020 Instagram: @topfivepod Twitter: @thetopfivepod Art by Colin Turnbull Music by Origami Pigeon
August 27, 2020
20. I Guess We’re Voting for Joe Biden
In these trying times, we’re finding hope in the political realm, of all places -- Chris from old Obama videos, Liz from a surprising victory in Wisconsin. Speaking of politics: Now that the Democratic primary is settled, we finally have the spoons to talk about it -- who we were rooting for, our feelings about its conclusion, and our hopes and fears for the presumptive nominee. And as we wrap our first season, we leave you with the top five pieces of advice we’ve ever gotten. Thanks for taking this ride with us, y'all! We've loved sharing Season One with you. We’ll be back soon! ✌️ Instagram: @topfivepod Twitter: @thetopfivepod Art (and episode title) by Colin Turnbull Music by Origami Pigeon
April 24, 2020
19. When 'Rona Meets Religion
Liz has Feelings about Andrew Yang’s op-ed in the Washington Post, and Chris is not feeling Tiger King.  We’ve also got feelings about how some religious communities have responded to the coronavirus, which brings us to a conversation about religion and science -- how the evangelical communities of our youth separated the two, our journeys of breaking down that barrier, and engaging (or not) with people who haven’t done that work yet. We wrap with a bittersweet top five, given the sports desert we currently find ourselves in: our top five athletes of all time. Sports! We miss you! Instagram: @topfivepod Twitter: @thetopfivepod Art by Colin Turnbull Music by Origami Pigeon
April 14, 2020
18. Life in the Time of Corona
The world has completely changed since we last recorded, and we’re trying to make sense of it all. We break down what our lives look like in the era of social distancing and working from home -- with and without kids -- and, to lighten things up, the silver linings and winners of quarantine. Then we share our top five pop culture things giving us life in the time of corona, because in these trying times, every bit of joy counts. Sending love to you all -- stay safe, wash your hands, and don’t touch your face! Instagram: @topfivepod Twitter: @thetopfivepod Art by Colin Turnbull Music by Origami Pigeon
March 26, 2020
17. Reckoning with the Suburbs
Liz devoured the Catch and Kill podcast, and Chris is thinking about the immediate and long-term implications of coronavirus. Then we break down our ever-evolving relationships with the suburbs: our childhoods in peak suburbia, fleeing to cities as young adults, and — dare we say it — slowly warming to the ‘burbs again in our thirties.  Plus, our top five movies that changed our lives. (Note: We recorded this a week ago, before coronavirus concerns reached fever pitch. Stay safe, everyone!) Instagram: @topfivepod Twitter: @thetopfivepod Art by Colin Turnbull Music by Origami Pigeon
March 12, 2020
16. Race and Friendship
We can’t wait to talk about the Oscars!  And we’re just as excited to talk about a recent Code Switch episode about race and friendship.  We break down the kinds of friends we had growing up and now, how intentional those decisions are, and how we experience interracial friendships as adults. Then, a super-fun top five: Ways we’re turning into our parents. The transformation has begun, y’all. Resistance is futile. “Ask Code Switch: What About Your Friends?” Code Switch, January 22, 2020 Instagram: @topfivepod Twitter: @thetopfivepod Art by Colin Turnbull Music by Origami Pigeon
February 26, 2020
15. Out of Time
The whole world has changed since our last episode. We discuss the death of Kobe Bryant and what he meant to our communities, and Liz gives a nod to her childhood friend Jason Polan, who died the day after Kobe.  Then we move to a bright spot of the last few weeks: Chris got to see Hamilton (!!!), so we can finally talk about it -- whether it lived up to the hype, the parts that moved us, and why it the show feels so revolutionary.  Plus, in honor of the Oscars, we share our top five Oscar moments.  For better and for worse, these lists already need to be revised because Sunday’s telecast provided so many good moments!  We can't wait to talk about them in our next episode. "Jason Polan, Fast-Drawing Artist of the Offbeat, Dies at 37," The New York Times, January 27, 2020 Instagram: @topfivepod Twitter: @thetopfivepod Art by Colin Turnbull Music by Origami Pigeon
February 13, 2020
14. Always Hustling
Chris is thinking about baseball’s sign-stealing scandal, while Liz is verklempt after getting a glimpse of her brother’s life in DC. Then, we talk about side hustles - the pros and cons of having projects to work on after work, piecing together a professional life with multiple jobs, and making room for rest in the midst of all of it. Plus, the top five dining experiences of our lives. Who knew that a Burger King in Budapest and a basement food court in LA could ever taste so good? Instagram: @topfivepod Twitter: @thetopfivepod Art by Colin Turnbull Music by Origami Pigeon
January 30, 2020
13. The Biggest Stars in the World
Chris is still reeling from a visit to a California cannabis dispensary, while Liz can’t get over Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio’s interview on the WTF Podcast. Speaking of Brad and Leo, the Golden Globes happened! We break down the moments we loved, the things about award shows that make no sense, and why we love celebrity culture (all the time for Liz, some of the time for Chris). Plus, the top five things we want to see happen in the 2020s. One of us is putting their faith in Elon Musk to save us all. "Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio," WTF with Marc Maron, January 6, 2020 Instagram: @topfivepod Twitter: @thetopfivepod Art by Colin Turnbull Music by Origami Pigeon
January 16, 2020
12. Decade in Review
Impeachment catches Chris's attention, and Liz revels in the food trends that defined the 2010s. Then we reflect on what the decade meant for each of us -- where we were when it started and where we are now, the central conflicts we had to navigate -- and what we hope the next one will be about. And to celebrate all the delicious gifts of the 2010s, we wrap them up with a retrospective top five: pop culture that defined the decade for us.  We hope you relished it as much as we did, and we can't wait to talk about everything the next one brings! "8 Ways Restaurants Have Changed in the Past Decade," The New York Times, December 17, 2019 Instagram: @topfivepod Twitter: @thetopfivepod Art by Colin Turnbull Music by Origami Pigeon
December 31, 2019
11. Home for the Holidays
Liz reflects on the end of Kamala Harris’s run for president, while Chris embarks on his first man-date. Then, in honor of the holiday season and all the big dinners that come with it, we talk about contentious family conversations: navigating them with our families and in-laws, how the addition of partners and children can change the dynamics, and setting boundaries when your parents have (literally) no language for them.  Plus, the top five millennial stereotypes we embody.  (We do have a podcast, so… there’s one.) Instagram: @topfivepod Twitter: @thetopfivepod Art by Colin Turnbull Music by Origami Pigeon
December 19, 2019
10. Making Friends In Your 30s
It’s our first in-person episode! We talk about Chris’s weekend in Ann Arbor for the Michigan-Ohio State game and Liz’s last hurrah with football. Then, we get into a topic that isn’t discussed often enough: making friends in your thirties. Why is it so hard? What makes it so different from making friends in your twenties? How do we get over the hurdles and make these friendships happen? Plus, in honor of the big game, the top five sports moments of our lifetimes. We laugh, we cry, and we remember that sports are magic, and sports are never just about sports. Instagram: @topfivepod Twitter: @thetopfivepod Art by Colin Turnbull Music by Origami Pigeon
December 05, 2019
9. RIP Sports Illustrated, or How to Survive Capitalism
Liz wonders if she’s reached the final straw with football, and Chris raves about Parasite and Boon Jong-ho. Then, a discussion about the end of journalism as we know it, most recently evidenced by the gutting of Sports Illustrated and Deadspin, morphs into a conversation about how to mitigate our complicity in a capitalist system. We close with the top five things we can’t believe are still around in 2019. Once you start asking "How is this still a thing?", it's hard to stop. "Inside Football's Campaign to Save the Game," The New York Times, November 7, 2019 "The NFL Has A Painkiller Crisis That It Never Wants To Go Away," Deadspin, September 12, 2019 "A Lineman Became a Doctor, but Dementia Made Him Retire. He's Only 42," The New York Times, October 28, 2019 "The Ham-Handed, Money-Driven Mangling of Sports Illustrated and Deadspin," The New Yorker, November 3, 2019 "I Was Fired From Deadspin for Refusing to 'Stick to Sports,'" The New York Times, November 11, 2019 "How Internet Trolls And Online Extremists Are 'Hijacking' American Politics," Fresh Air, November 12, 2019 Instagram: @topfivepod Twitter: @thetopfivepod Art by Colin Turnbull Music by Origami Pigeon
November 21, 2019
8. What Do You Talk About With Your Parents?
Both of us are thinking about recent episodes of Fresh Air - Chris, an interview with the writer with whom Prince collaborated on his memoir; Liz, a discussion about the cost of rebuilding coastal real estate in the face of climate change. Then we get into another topic we can’t reasonably cover in 20 minutes: our relationships with our parents, now that we’re in our thirties. What do we talk about with them, with and without grandkids in the picture? Does the pressure stop after we meet the usual thirtysomething milestones? How have these relationships evolved since our younger days? Plus, our top five celebrity crushes - lists that were harder to make, and more self-revealing, than we anticipated. "Prince's Co-Writer Reflects On Posthumous Memoir," Fresh Air, October 28, 2019 "Climate Change & The Cost of Coastal Real Estate," Fresh Air, October 17, 2019 "Going Home With Ocean Vuong," The Atlantic, June 4, 2019 Instagram: @topfivepod Twitter: @thetopfivepod Art by Colin Turnbull Music by Origami Pigeon
November 07, 2019
7. Couples and Money
Liz binges on Conan O’Brien’s podcast, while Chris reflects on the geopolitical rift between the US and China opened by… the general manager of a basketball team. Then we get to some real talk about couples and money: Does everyone merge their assets when they get married? Who should pay for the first date when culture and feminism give us different answers? Will we ever be free of our anxiety about picking up the check? Plus, the easiest top five lists we’ve ever made: pet peeves. Talking about the most irritating things has never been so fun. Instagram: @topfivepod Twitter: @thetopfivepod Art by Colin Turnbull Music by Origami Pigeon
October 24, 2019
6. Did You Apply to Harvard?
It’s been a minute since we applied to college, but those memories come back QUICK. We talk about that formative time, inspired by our topic of the day: the decision in the Students for Fair Admissions vs. Harvard case. We break down why affirmative action and race-conscious admissions are important, the use of Asian Americans as political pawns, and the perils of organizing without understanding our place in the racial landscape. Then, a classic top five: TV shows of all time! Instagram: @topfivepod Twitter: @thetopfivepod Art by Colin Turnbull Music by Origami Pigeon
October 09, 2019
5. Why Aren’t We Excited About Andrew Yang?
The internet has been overflowing with good stories this week! We talk about the articles and podcast episodes that grabbed us the most. Then, we ask: If we’re all about Asian America, why aren’t we jazzed about Andrew Yang? We get into the model minority myth, the ideology undergirding Yang’s proposals, and our experiences with the YangGang. And that’s before we get to the real controversies: our top five things everyone loves but we don’t. Come for the sociopolitical commentary, stay for the shade. Instagram: @topfivepod Twitter: @thetopfivepod Art by Colin Turnbull Music by Origami Pigeon
September 25, 2019
4. What’s More ‘90s Than a Hidden Track?
Chris watches Aziz Ansari’s first standup special after his #metoo accusations, while Liz can’t stop talking about the new season of the 30 for 30 podcast. Then we ask our burning questions about our very different thirtysomething lives: resuming adult life after a five-year break (that’s Chris) and parenting two kids while struggling to find time to work (that’s Liz). Plus, a jaunt down memory lane as we discuss our top five albums of the 90s. Brace yourself for nostalgia, all your teenage feelings, and a wicked horn section. Instagram: @topfivepod Twitter: @thetopfivepod Art by Colin Turnbull Music by Origami Pigeon
September 11, 2019
3. We Need to Talk About The Farewell
A typhus outbreak makes Liz realize the extent of the housing crisis in California, while Chris grapples with giving up his car. Then we break down The Farewell -- what the film nailed, the scenes that stayed with us, and (spoiler alert) a surprising difference of interpretation on the ending. Also, an extra-fun top five: power couples! It’s the dawn of a golden age of power couples, y'all, and we’re lucky to be living in it. Instagram: @topfivepod Twitter: @thetopfivepod Art by Colin Turnbull Music by Origami Pigeon
August 28, 2019
2. New Year's Resolution: Skin and Teeth
Chris catches three race-related movies on a flight to Tanzania. Liz binges on Adulting, which leads us to break down the most adult things we’ve done in the last year. We wrap with this week’s top five: problematic faves. Nothing and no one is safe. Instagram: @topfivepod Twitter: @thetopfivepod Art by Colin Turnbull Music by Origami Pigeon
August 15, 2019
1. Ali (Wong) Is the Greatest
Liz tries to figure out why #goback feels different and Chris escapes the madness with a trip to Fenway. Then we break down Always Be My Maybe, our anxiety watching Asian American media, and the ways in which Ali Wong shows up for Asian men. Plus, our first top five: podcast episodes that changed our lives. Instagram: @topfivepod Twitter: @thetopfivepod Art by Colin Turnbull Music by Origami Pigeon
August 14, 2019
0. ... Another Podcast?
If Malcolm Gladwell is to be trusted -- and we think he is -- 750,000 podcasts are already out in the world.  So why make another one?  We explain why we decided to start number 750,001 and what we'll be talking about.  (Spoiler alert: It's everything.) Instagram: @topfivepod Twitter: @thetopfivepod Art by Colin Turnbull Music by Origami Pigeon
August 14, 2019