Saturday Nights need no introduction. Since the dawn of the nine-to-five, the weekend has beckoned as an outlet of equal and opposite measure: Our glamorous (read: debaucherous) answer to the contained, bureaucratic work week. Think: sequins and cigarettes, dance floors and Champagne showers. But alas, like with most forms of hedonism, Saturday revelry comes with its pitfalls: Namely, what we’ve diagnosed, culturally, as “the Sunday scaries” — some proverbial (or literal) hangover, endemic to the weekend’s finale. The symptoms are two-fold: On the one hand, the ennui-forward malaise spurred by whatever abundance characterized your Saturday night (be it dehydration, fatigue, a dwindling bank account, a sunburn, perhaps an altogether ill-advised text message to an ex — the list goes on). On the other hand, there’s the droning anxiety presented by Monday’s approach. You see, on a Sunday, the full work week looms ahead — taunting, inspiring fear. And as a result, our Monday-phobia has robbed us, psychologically, of a critical chapter of our weekends: Sunday evenings.
But, we’re putting our foot down: It’s time we revolutionized the butt of the weekend, and reclaimed our Sunday nights. Listen up: In spite of the bad PR brought on by the whole “Sunday scaries” shtick, there’s a case to be made that it’s actually the best day of the weekend — née, full week. Hear us out. For starters, let’s talk Sunday supper. Sure, perhaps a weekend of shenanigans can inspire a craving for some indoor time — but we’re living in the midst of the great dinner party renaissance. These days, tinned fish and buttered radishes, plated at home, offer a new kind of glamor — one that can’t be found in even the most upscale of restaurants. “In my opinion, all the best dinner parties take place on Sunday nights, because no one is rushing to get elsewhere,” says Sara Goldstien, a Brooklyn-based chef who hosts a roving monthly supper club. “You don’t have to get dressed up, you wear your comfiest clothes, and people aren’t usually restless to go out, or get to a party — as is so often the case with a Saturday night. Plus, there’s something so lovely about spending your Sunday afternoon cooking.”On the other hand, for a more maximally cozy approach to quelling your Sunday scaries, there’s the phenomenon that is Sunday Night Television. This year, we’ve watched countless home viewers rally around the cause that is serially released Sunday TV — a la proper cable programming, in the good ‘ol days. Even while siloed to our respective apartments, we’ve arranged our afternoons around the collective viewing experience of any given show. “For me, there’s always been something a little bit magical about the Sunday night, 9pm viewing slot — often, there’s been an HBO show we all watched feverishly at that time, like White Lotus or Game of Thrones,” explains Ricardo Castro, Director of Product Management at online streaming platform, Plex. “Those shows always gave me a reason to look forward to the end of the weekend.” Yes, the absolute surplus of streaming platforms available to us at any given moment means we have the option to recklessly binge nearly anything we like. But there’s a communal charm to that shared, episodic viewing schedule whereby, on so many couches, strangers and beloved friends are convening simultaneously.
That said, Plex has gone one step further to make Sunday night spectating a communal endeavor — whereby viewers can share in their evening streaming rituals. The platform’s newest Discover Together feature is all about interaction: The service allows you to see what your friends are adding to their watchlists, how they’re rating various programs, and what they’re viewing right now. Long story long, it’s streaming-meets-social media. “I think it's pretty fun to open your Plex activity feed, see what your friends are watching — talk to them about it, see what they think of it,” Castro explains. “And it'll give you an idea of who you want to talk to about a specific episode, come Monday morning .”For context, think of Plex as the antidote to what-to-watch-paralysis. The global entertainment platform — which is something like a TV concierge — offers over 50,000 free aggregated titles, movies, and TV shows, along with more than 600 live channels in the US. With the service, you can keep track of streamable shows and movies from your other subscribed services in one place (hence: one unified Universal Watchlist — no more toggling between Netflix and Hulu and Peacock to find what you’re looking for). And what’s more, users can also search for content by actor or director, which is to say, whatever kind of media kick you’re on, streamlining your options has never been easier (whether you plan to watch ASAP, add to your watchlist, recommend to a friend, or stream via another device).Au contraire, for folks looking for a different angle on Sunday reclamation, might we suggest a night out? “If you’re a bar that’s open late night on Sundays, you can certainly bet on the fact that you’ll get a huge surge of folks who work in bars and restaurants” says Alatz Ortega, a bartender at iconic New York natural wine bar, Ten Bells. Stationed on the Lower East Side, the longstanding local spot is rarely empty on a Sunday evening. “There’s something special about having nights that feel really hospitality industry-heavy,” Ortega explains. “The energy is so excellent, and folks treat each other super well, and there’s this kind of lovely camaraderie to partying when the rest of the city seems to be asleep.”Of course, that’s not to imply that any of these approaches are mutually exclusive. Sunday dinner is a long-lauded tradition — but who’s to say you can’t pair vodka sauce with some serial television…perhaps followed by a night-cap at whatever hospitality haunt is most proximal to your couch? The truth of the matter is, Monday will come either way — even if you dismiss Sunday as the work week’s prologue. So, you’d be well advised to enjoy it.