Photo: Becca Hamel | Photo Illustration: Alex Kidd

Screen Time: Valley Tells Us What To Watch

Karah James settles the score on the best Batman and reveals why mangos beat chips as the ultimate movie snack. 

Screen Time is an ongoing series that taps our favourite artists and tastemakers for their go-to streaming habits. From bingeable TV shows to the cult classics and everything in between, they tell us what to watch so we don’t have to do the heavy scrolling. 

Valley occupies a place in the music sphere where pop culture rules all. The Toronto indie quartet fully embrace the stimuli of the world around them and channel it into their songwriting to create polished toe-tapping pop songs filled with heart and humility. 

Their music embodies all of the emotions that come with being young and vulnerable while searching for deeper meaning and connections. When we heard the line, “Flipping through the channels, looking for something that feels right,” on their catchy-as-hell single “nevermind,” we knew we had to ask one of Valley’s channel-surfing creatives for their streaming recommendations.

Karah James keeps Valley together from behind the drums while also lending her sugary backing vocals to the band’s colourful pop songs. We asked her to share some of the movies that she’s got on her watch list for the fall. From her love for Christian Bale and the Batman Begins Trilogy to classics like Thelma and Louise or the forever comfort show, Friends, you’ll find yourself reaching for Karah’s dried mango slices while the opening credits roll on these choice cuts. 

Karah James 

Star sign: Capricorn
Favourite director: Greta Gerwig. Greta is an effortlessly genius writer and director, and nothing she does is flashy or loud because she is a master at intention.
Favourite movie: Lady Bird or Toy Story. I legit can’t choose. Coming of age movies that make it all OK.
Go-to movie snack: Dried mango slices. Unlike a chip, it takes effort to eat and chew so it lasts the whole movie. 

On a rainy night: Back To The Future

Back when cable television was my thing, I remember turning on the TV and watching Back to the Future for the first time, not knowing it was a trilogy. After I finished the first one, the station started the second one and they just kept coming. I watched all three parts in one sitting; such a commitment but totally worth it. 

Hungover on a Sunday morning: Friends

Episodes on episodes of Friends. I feel like if I’m coming off of a late night, I don’t want to try and digest something new, so I just rewatch something I’ve already seen and don’t have to think about too much. I usually just let it play in the background while I’m inevitably on Instagram or TikTok and my fourth cup of coffee. 

Best film to watch with the sound cranked: Batman Begins Trilogy

Firstly, anything composed by Hans Zimmer deserves to be cranked with surround sound, and secondly, who doesn’t want to hear Christian Bale’s baritone voice at full blast when he screams “RACHELLLLLL.”

Best series to binge all the way through: Bates Motel

Bates Motel will make you question your sanity if you watch it all the way through in one sitting, but it’s one of the most incredible series I’ve ever seen. Not only are Freddie Highmore and Vera Farmiga‘s performances some of the best acting our generation has seen, but the cinematography is also spectacular. The series truly makes you forget that you’re watching anything. Regardless if you know the plot, as the series is a broadly interpreted re-make, I guarantee you’ll be surprised no matter what.  

Best film or series to watch with your bandmates: Thelma And Louise

We wrote a song back in November that we consider to be our favourite Valley song we’ve ever written and when we were tracking vocals for it, we felt some emotion was missing in the takes. The song is about unconditional companionship; the person who would be with you on your last birthday, if you will. I couldn’t think of a better way to capture the sentiment of the song other than to watch Thelma and Louise while we were recording our vocals. I can’t give much away about this film, but hopefully while you watch it you’ll think of that one person in your life that you know is forever, whether that’s romantic, platonic, or a family member. 

Most entertaining guilty pleasure series: Gossip Girl

There are some girls who I went to high school with that watched WAY too much Gossip Girl and it really showed [laughs]. I had seen a few episodes when I was in high school but never watched the whole thing through until quarantine started. Bit of a waste, but at the same time I couldn’t stop watching it for the nostalgic essence of the early 2000’s. Watching the show really made me miss my Motorola Razor and my crimper and had me wanting to go back to high school to remind the popular girls that, despite their best efforts, there can only be one Blair Waldorf.