How can there be so much on TV and still so little to watch? 

Maybe it’s just us. We’re not big on crime dramas, psychological thrillers, or anything gratuitously violent or dark – which seem to make up about 70% of the most popular shows. 

Or maybe it’s the overabundance of choice (and recommendations). Tara and I can make high-stakes, life-altering decisions far more easily than we can decide what to watch (or where to order dinner) on a given evening. 

Having the world’s entire history of entertainment at our fingertips is overwhelming. It’s like the other bane of my existence – picking out the perfect card for Tara’s birthday or our anniversary (which happened to be yesterday) from the hundreds of options on the shelves. As with the broadcast networks of yore, it would be simpler to choose from three. It wasn’t perfect, but nobody expected it to be.

Thus, we just finished our fourth time through Ted Lasso. Admittedly, that might’ve been less about decision paralysis and more about the fact that we needed a jolt of unbridled positivity.

Pound for pound, Apple TV+ seems to hit our sweet spot most often, albeit with a limited library and an infuriating weekly release schedule. In addition to Lasso, we loved Shrinking (twice) and Mythic Quest, which hopefully returns one day, if Rob McElhenney ever takes a break from all things Wrexham (also awesome). Even The Big Door Prize sucked us in, if only because we have no idea where it’s going.

Apple has two historical dramas right now that are squarely in our wheelhouse, if flawed. I marked my calendar for the premiere of Manhunt, the John Wilkes Booth story, having read the book, cover to cover, a few years ago on a flight to Berlin. The show is good but, per always, the book was way better. The Franklin miniseries doesn’t suck either, although Michael Douglas’s hair is too full and his paunch too subtle to play a convincing Poor Richard. Nonetheless, we’ll watch both shows to their one-season conclusions.

Then what? I have no idea. Most of our favorite shows are still months or more away because of the writers’ strike. By the time Stranger Things comes back, the “kids” will be in their 30s.

And, so, we’ll wait, belaboring every night over the hardest decision of our day. 

At least until we’re ready to watch Ted Lasso again.

Here’s what we’re seeing:

The consumer confidence bloodletting subsided, for a couple of weeks anyway. For just the third time this year, our Economic Sentiment Index didn’t tumble in the latest reading. The numbers stayed above water largely on the basis of renewed confidence in the 6-month outlook for the U.S. economy, coinciding with the IMF’s rosy estimate for GDP. People are feeling slightly better about the job market as well. Dragging the index downward are consumers’ views on the housing market and major purchases, as interest rate relief seems less and less likely in the near-term. The economy remains a mixed bag.

The impact of GLP-1 usage is beginning to show up in the restaurant category. The only things selling faster than our Ozempic and GLP-1 Consumer Tracker product are seemingly the drugs themselves. And, while the decline in alcohol consumption among GLP-1 users became evident almost immediately – and significantly – we’re only now beginning to detect meaningful changes in eating behavior, particularly dining out. Since the beginning of the year, current GLP-1 users have reported declining restaurant frequency across every category but fast casual, with QSRs dropping most dramatically. Those aren’t the only eating trends we’re seeing.  

Speaking of not drinking, booze consumption appears to be way down among legal-age Gen Z’s and young Millennials. A whopping 72% of drinkers between the ages of 21 and 34 (and 64% of all adults) say they’re imbibing less now than they did a year ago – and no, they’re not all on Ozempic. Cost is a factor, as people tighten their drinking belts, but improving physical health is the most common motivator. Younger respondents are more likely to cite mental health and an overall decline in social appeal (or peer pressure) among their friends. 

The majority of Americans, especially women, aren’t getting enough sleep. In our 3 Things to Know this week, we highlighted the widespread sleep deprivation among U.S. adults, which is particularly profound among our better half. No surprise, sleep is highly correlated with happiness, as long as it’s not too much sleep. We also found, unsurprisingly, that concerns over the situation in the Middle East are on the rise. Finally, we learned that advertisers (CivicScience clients notwithstanding) do a terrible job of understanding the needs and interests of older consumers. 

Young kids are driving a ton of growth in the beauty industry. So-called Gen Alpha (we’re starting over at the beginning of the alphabet), are wearing makeup and other beauty products at a remarkably high rate. Eighty-five percent of parents of 6-to-11-year-olds report having bought hair care, skincare, makeup, and/or perfume for their kids in the past 90 days. Brand is a much more important consideration than price, as TikTok drives the trends. Among the coolest brands with the Gen A crowd, e.l.f. Beauty is Number One by a mile. 

While we’re on the subject of e.l.f., we kicked off a new season of our podcast this week. As part of our big beauty industry push I mentioned last week, we rolled out the newest episode of The Dumbest Guy in the Room on Thursday, starring Kory Marchisotto, the swashbuckling Chief Marketing Officer of e.l.f Beauty. We talked about the company’s meteoric rise, their bold but highly calculated risk-taking, the rise of women in sports, and why movie musicals are ‘meh.’ If you’re not interested in hearing fun, endless wisdom from arguably the most dynamic and successful marketer in America right now, you definitely shouldn’t listen.  

More awesomeness from the InsightStore this week:

The most popular questions of the week:

Have you ever seen a meteor shower?

Do you prefer zip-up hoodies or pullover hoodies?

Do you believe the American dream is more difficult to attain now than it was in previous generations?

Do you believe in “dressing your age”?

What is your favorite type of pizza?

Answer Key: Yes and it was awesome; Pullover but I love them both; I guess it depends on what your dream is; No, you do you; New York-style.

Hoping you’re well,


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