Entertainment Editor

Communicate & Connect: A pop-culture column. | This week: Netflix.

There’s a lot to do as far as Central Florida’s local entertainment, but there’s a lot more to talk about when it comes to pop culture. We have such easy access to the Internet, that it makes it possible to communicate and connect with others from all over the world about things that are popping up on our newsfeed.

So this is my pop culture column, where every now and then I’ll be talking about what’s happening in worldwide entertainment — not just in Central Florida’s. 

This week, we’re talking about Netflix’s new and notable.


Bird Box. You may have heard of it. Or maybe you haven’t. It’s a Netflix original film featuring Sandra Bullock. Without giving away any spoilers, I’ll leave it simple: Bullock’s character has to wear a blindfold throughout the film.

Needless to say, the blindfold started a brand new trend of memes. Photos of Bullock wearing her blindfold in a boat on open water captioned, “When he sends a million red flags:” and “Me when my manager texts me to come in on my day off.” Implying, you know, that we’re pretending not to see either.

Some Internet users even took to photoshopping the cut-out image of blindfolded Bullock into Target, the liquor store and walking past Salvation Army bell-ringers — just trying to get by without spending any money.

But the thing that’s most interesting about the popularity of Bird Box is the “Bird Box Challenge” — people are blindfolding themselves to attempt daily tasks, and filming it. Videos have shown blindfolded challengers attempting to pour cereal, and navigate around their homes. While others show challengers trying to cross heavy traffic streets, and even drive their cars.

Netflix put out a statement on Twitter stating, “Can’t believe I have to say this, but: PLEASE DO NOT HURT YOURSELVES WITH THIS BIRD BOX CHALLENGE. We don’t know how this started, and we appreciate the love, but Boy and Girl have just one wish for 2019 and it is that you not end up in the hospital due to memes.” The tweet had more than 300,000 likes and 61,000 retweets as of Sunday night.

Relatable. Ellen DeGeneres shared with us her first stand-up comedy performance in 15 years. She starts the show with a bit that talks about her decision to get back into stand-up. She says she told her friend about her idea, and her friend asked her if she’s still “relatable.” Hence the title, “Ellen DeGeneres: Relatable.”

DeGeneres tells stories, jokes and more in this hour-and-a-half episode. She talks about topics ranging from her early television life to her love of driving fast and slight road rage, and she even gets serious when talking about the death of an ex-girlfriend 40 years ago. 

I have to say this is very different from DeGeneres’ daily talk show, especially being too young to have known her as a comedian. But I really enjoyed this Netflix exclusive and do recommend it, whether or not you’re a fan of The Ellen Show. 

Stranger Things 3. Just to quickly mention this, Stranger Things has announced its official release date for season 3. Viewers will be able to tune in to catch new episodes on July 4, which is really quite awesome because July 4 is a holiday on a Thursday, so you can make it a four-day weekend and watch all weekend long. (Not that it’ll take you all four days to finish the season… Let’s face it, that show is totally binge-worthy.)

Send me your thoughts on “Communicate & Connect: A pop-culture column.” What’s popular on your newsfeed right now? Email me at jdidomenico@osceolanewsgazette.com.