Padma Lakshmi’s ‘Taste the Nation: Holiday Edition’ gets to the heart of immigrant communities


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(CNN)Heed my warning and maybe skip the scale for the next few months.

I, however, have not been following my own advice. Between the Halloween candy and “testing” out possible Thanksgiving recipes, my scale has turned on me lately.

    And let’s not even talk about how fast Christmas is coming up (thanks, Mariah Carey) and all the gorging that entails.

      If you can’t beat them, you might as well join them — so let’s start with:

        Three things to watch

        ‘Taste the Nation: Holiday Edition’

          Award-winning host, executive producer, cookbook author and famous foodie Padma Lakshmi breaks bread with different communities as she explores the rich and diverse food cultures of various immigrant groups across America.

          This delicious four-part holiday edition highlights unique traditions through the lens of immigrant cultures and communities, including Lunar New Year in Los Angeles’ Koreatown and a Cuban Christmas in Miami.

          It’s currently streaming on Hulu.

          ‘The Electrical Life of Louis Wain’

          If you need someone to play an eccentric character, who better to get than Benedict Cumberbatch?

          He portrays British illustrator Louis Wain in his adventures from the late 1800s through the 1930s. Wain seeks to unlock the “electrical” mysteries of the world, all while producing his work built around cat and kittens.

          It’s interesting, to be sure, and starts streaming on Amazon Prime Friday.

          ‘The Harder They Fall’

          Idris Elba stars as a man who is released from prison, only to be hunted by an enemy who rounds up a gang to exact revenge in this Western.

          Oh, and did we mention that Elba’s character, Rufus Buck, also has his own gang, including characters played by Regina King and LaKeith Stanfield?

          It’s streaming on Netflix.

          Two things to listen to

          What’s a few decades between friends?

          It has been quite the trip for Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad, who became an iconic group after winning Eurovision in 1974.

          They have now reunited for those of us who still sing the iconic past hits “Dancing Queen” and “Take a Chance on Me” at the top of our lungs.

          The new album drops Friday.

          Being an R&B star can be difficult when you have social anxiety, but it hasn’t stopped Summer Walker from making incredible music.

          Based on the track list for her latest, “Still Over It,” that she posted this week on social media, Walker has a few things to say about broken relationships.

          And we are here for it.

          “Still Over It” is out Friday.

          One thing to talk about

          By now, you should probably already know I am a major Anglophile.

          I mean, I have rewatched “The Crown” and “The Tudors” a ridiculous amount of times, even with the full awareness that the shows take, shall we say, “liberties” with the historical accuracy.

          Check out this episode of my show Pop Life Pop Off! about our fascination with the royals and why, even though there is already some Oscar buzz, Stewart will always be “the girl from ‘Twilight'” for me.

          Something to sip on

          Memes have been helping us get through the pandemic, according to Popular Science.

          The publication reported on a study that concluded Covid-19 memes actually helped people feel less stressed.

            Now, I’m not endorsing said study, but I will say my meme game picked up during the pandemic and has definitely helped me get a sorely needed chuckle here and there. I’ve heard from others that my memes have also brightened their day here and there (including Dr. Sylvia K., who had me as a guest on her podcast recently).

            Laughter is so good for the soul, and I implore you all to meme it up and share the joy. And if you’d like more tips to help manage stress, sign up for CNN’s new six-part guide, Stress, But Less.