Entertainment

'Old Enough!' Is Perfect Comfort TV

The show about adorable Japanese children running their first errand is ideal relaxation television.

Nippon TV
Nippon TV
Nippon TV

Say it’s a Saturday morning after a big Friday night, and you’re a little hungover. Or it’s a Wednesday night after a long day at work, and every single brain cell of yours is already fried for the week. Either way, you’re on your couch, flipping through Netflix, in need of something easy and fun. You don’t want to watch a series like The Ultimatum (too harrowing) or Bridgerton (too messy). Good thing Netflix has licensed Old Enough!, a long-running Japanese show about toddlers running errands that is the ultimate in soothing television.

Ever since Old Enough! dropped on the streaming service in late March, it’s been amassing a new crop of fans despite the fact that the series has been around since 1991. The premise is charmingly basic. In each 15-minute episode, a tiny, adorable child-usually just 2 or 3 years old-is sent on their first-ever solo mission. The stakes are almost comically low. Will one kid remember to get the right kind of curry from the grocery store? Will another get his father’s clean sushi chef whites from the dry cleaner across the street? And, sure, these kids may occasionally be crossing busy thoroughfares, but they have little flags that alert traffic to slow down, plus we know that the camera crew is there to make sure nothing actually disastrous happens.

What makes this perfect relaxation TV is that you can completely identify with the difficulty of the mundane tasks. Take, for instance, Episode 5’s saga of Naoki and his friend Seina, two 3-year-olds who have been charged with picking up snacks and an amulet near Naoki’s family’s toy shop. This seems easy enough, but it requires climbing the 202 steps up to the Shiogama Shrine that would be enough to wipe anyone out.

Noaki is absolutely a relatable king. He uses up all his energy too early, and keeps getting distracted because he wants balloons and toys. Meanwhile, Seina is trying her best to keep him on track. Seina basically is anyone who has ever had to keep their wasted friend in line. Naoki, in this moment, is you. Or how you were the night before you started to watch Old Enough!

Toshiyuki Shiomi, a professor at Shiraume Gakuen University in Tokyo, told the New York Times that Old Enough! has roots in Japanese traditions, which encourage independence and participation in household tasks. “It’s a typical way of raising children in Japan and symbolic of our cultural approach, which can be surprising for people from other countries,” Shiomi said. Of course, it’s also extremely cute. The parents are almost as equally nervous as their offspring, fretting on behalf of their toddler that they won’t be able to remember all that’s ahead of them. But the grown-ups who encounter these lone youngsters tend to be extremely encouraging, often stuffing their change and receipts in their tiny purses, and you want to cheer them on too.

Old Enough! is both extremely engaging-you get invested in the activities-and a salve. When you just can’t watch anything else, it’s perfect.Want more Thrillist? Follow us on InstagramTwitterPinterestYouTubeTikTok, and Snapchat.

Esther Zuckerman is a senior entertainment writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @ezwrites.

Entertainment

Where to Celebrate Lunar New Year 2023 in Australia

And what it means to be in the year of the Rabbit.

where to celebrate lunar new year australia

Starting with the new moon on Sunday, January 22, this Lunar New Year ushers in the year of the Rabbit. We’ve put together a guide on celebrating the Lunar New Year in Australia.

What is special about the year of the Rabbit?

As you might know, each year has an animal sign in the Chinese Zodiac, which is based on the moon and has a 12-year cycle. This year, we celebrate the year of the rabbit, known to be the luckiest out of all twelve animals. It symbolises mercy, elegance, and beauty.

What celebrations are taking place and how can I get involved?

There are plenty of festivals happening all around the country which you can get involved with. Here they are per state.

New South Wales

Darling Harbour Fireworks
When: Every year, Sydney puts on a fireworks show, and this year, you can catch it on January 28 and February 4 at 9 pm in Darling Harbour.

Dragon Boat Races
When: Witness three days of dragon boat races and entertainment on Cockle Bay to usher in the Lunar New Year. The races will commence on January 27 and finish on January 29.

Lion Dances
When: Catch a traditional Lion Dance moving to the beat of a vigorous drum bringing good luck and fortune for the Lunar New Year. The dance performances will happen across Darling Harbour on Saturday, January 21, Sunday, January 22, and Sunday, February 4 and 5, around 6 pm and 9 pm.

Lunar New Year at Cirrus Dining
When: Barangaroo’s waterfront seafood restaurant, Cirrus, is celebrating the Year of the Rabbit with a special feast menu. Cirrus’ LNY menu is $128pp with optional wine pairing and is available from Saturday, January 21, to Sunday, February 5.

Auntie Philter
When: Hello Auntie’s owner and executive chef, Cuong Nguyen will be dishing out some of the most classic Vietnamese street foods with his mum, Linda. All of Philter’s favourites will be on offer, as well as Raspberry Pash Beer Slushies and other cocktails being served at the Philter Brewing rooftop bar on Sunday, January 22 and Sunday, January 29.

Victoria

Lunar New Year Festival
When: Ring in the Lunar New Year with food, music, arts, and more on Sunday, January 22, from 10 am to 9 pm.

Lunar New Year at the National Gallery of Victoria
When: Celebrate the year of the rabbit at the National Gallery of Victoria’s festival of art, food, and art-making activities for everyone from 10 am-5 pm.

Queensland

BriAsia Festival
When: From February 1-19, Brisbane will come alive with performances, including lion dances and martial arts displays. There will be street food, workshops, comedy and more.

South Australia

Chinatown Adelaide Street Party
When: Adelaide is set to hose a fun-filled day celebrating the Chinese New Year on Saturday, January 28, from 12 pm to 9 pm.

Western Australia

Crown Perth
When: Across January and February, Crown Perth hosts free live entertainment, including colourful lion dances, roving mascots, and drumming performances. The restaurants will also throw banquets and menus dedicated to the Lunar New Year.

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