You don’t need me to tell you about how today feels, and you don’t need me to tell you that Twitter is frequently a terrible, dumpster of a place to be. But what you might not know, and what might help a little today, is the revelation that Lin-Manuel Miranda, in addition to being a massive nonstop creative force, has become a kind of ad hoc Twitter hype person and digital hug. To wit: 


He does this at least twice a day. Now look, obviously this is cheesy and extra and feels a little bit like a kitten poster saying ‘Hang In There’, but it’s also kind of sweet, right? At a time when ‘sweet’ is in such short supply that it seems like it’s performing a public service to put it into the world? 

I will say that this has always been LMM’s brand. All his projects are about earnest people just trying to do a thing, and if you’ve been exhausted by all the hype of Hamilton or you still can’t get behind the history of the whole thing or whatever, you’re about to see that it was never just a one-off. 

In The Heights, LMM’s first Broadway musical, is going to be a movie, released in 2020. This is a big, big deal for a couple of reasons. First, because there have been talks about it for a long time and it wasn’t always a sure thing – but secondly, because it’s being directed by Jon M. Chu, who, of course, is poised to be an even bigger deal than he currently is, if this summer’s release of Crazy Rich Asians is as epic as we’re all hoping it will be. 

In The Heights fits Chu’s brand too, as the guy who can take a specific culture and world that doesn’t always see the mainstream, and make it extremely recognizable. He’s also able to effortlessly move between worlds, since if his IMDB is to be believed, in addition to Crazy Rich Asians and the next two installments of the Now You See Me franchise, he’s also directing and executive producing Good Trouble, the spinoff of The Fosters – again, projects about people who haven’t, historically, had their day in the sun in entertainment. It’s a really good look, and though I feel cheesy saying this, but everyone in this project is lucky to have each other, you know? Even the ultra-positive LMM himself pointed out that this wasn’t a sure thing for a long time…

I’m excited, and you should be, too. Not only is this going to be a great movie, it’s also a move back to the romantic comedies we’ve been lamenting lately, a movie that’s neither a $10,000 indie about a house of people in the Mid West nor a giant superhero franchise, and that’s huge on its own. Plus, it’s just a great score and story on its own, even though it’s been dwarfed by the Hamilton love in the past few years.

If you’ve only known LMM through Hamilton or hell, even Curb Your Enthusiasm, listen to In The Heights – you’ll see how much crossover and straight-up fun there is in everything he does. If it was another day I might bark about how you should already be on board wit all of this … but it’s not that day. 

Instead, I’ll say that if you’re not that into musicals or can’t commit to a two-hour cast recording but feel like you should care, I have the perfect little cheat sheet for you:

Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote a 14-minute musical about narcs in a high school for This American Life, and the lyrics were mostly taken from transcripts of actual busts in an actual high school, and it’s THE BEST. I can’t do much about anything today, but I can ensure that you will spend your afternoon murmuring ‘Everybody’s Got A Cousin Who Can Hook ‘Em Up With Something’.  Enjoy.