Monday might be Memorial Day, but today, friends, is Towel Day, that somewhat arbitrarily chosen time of the year when fans of Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series carry a towel around with them as a sign of appreciation. But if that's too weird for you—and I kind of hope it is—you could also just watch the best adaptation of his foremost work tonight.
There have been several versions of HGTTG through the years, including a not-terrible recent one starring Martin Freeman and Zooey Deschanel and Mos Def (!) and a BBC radio show several decades ago. But neither can top the inspired dryness and wit of the 1981 BBC television miniseries. It's terrific.
Six half-hour episodes allow the series to dive deep into the source content, which means all of the diversions into the Guide's more arcane references are well-preserved. The effects bounce between delightfully cheesy and surprisingly modern, and more than anything the spirit of the books are preserved in crystalline clarity.
If you're not familiar with the plot already, it's best to go in fresh, and if you're a lifelong Douglas Adams fan, you don't need any reminders. No matter who you are, though, this is by far the most sane way to celebrate the most arbitrary holiday of the year. [Netflix]