The Day The Internet Had No Chill

Thursday was a DAY, y’all. So, as you’re reading this blog, I think it’s pretty clear that we are fans of the Internet. The Internet has been good to us. It’s connected us with you fine people. It brings us GIFs. It tells us facts in seconds that would’ve taken forever to look up in Encyclopedia Britannica. But yesterday was a day for the record books (Google books?)

It all started in the afternoon when two llamas went on the run in Sun City, Arizona. On the real, according to AzCentral, and I quote, “The llamas were participating in animal therapy at an assisted living facility when they escaped. Authorities believe the llamas got spooked when the door to the trailer they had arrived in opened. They said there was a third llama in the trailer, but it did not escape.”

Thanks to a local news affiliate’s live video feed (#bless), the whole world was able to watch these two run freely in the world for about a 20-minute chase as handlers tried their best to wrangle them.

TBH, I showed up to the party late and couldn’t stay long, as my job doesn’t really allow me to enjoy nice things, so I had to quickly catch up and figure out what was happening. But by the time I entered the #LlamaDrama, there were already a ton of memes floating around. It’s stuff like this that the Internet was made for. We are at are best when we all have to make comments on a ridiculous thing. Here are some of what the Internet folks came up with.

My personal favorite:

When they incorporated the llamas with Balloon Boy. REMEMBER BALLOON BOY??

When someone had to speak the damn truth:

When I will laugh at a pun joke even if it’s not that funny (this one’s funny):

When they brought in Bri Willy:
When they incorporated a meme from the Super Bowl:

When CNN LIT’RALLY INTERVIEWED A CELEBRITY LLAMA NAMED PIERRE:

Was that enough excitement for one day? NOPE. Just a few hours later, a girl took to the Internet for advice on a dress someone was considering to buy, and they sent a pic of it asking if it was black and blue or white and gold. Tumblr first went crazy, as they are wont to do, and it then spread to the rest of social media. It soon became a war. Bloodshed. Lives ruined. People actually breaking up. Friendships torn apart. It was a gruesome scene. Even the local news here covered it. Literally the LA news station showed a picture of the dress and asked what color it was. LA NEWS IS NOT REAL NEWS. But I digress.

On Tumblr, GIFs and stills from TV shows were obviously used.

peggy-carter:

i went to work for six hours and come back to tumblr and my ENTIRE DASH is this dress thing and finally i understand that community gif on a spiritual level

goopypaltrow:

it’s not black/blue, nor is it white/gold.  It’s actually cerulean. And you’re also blithely unaware of the fact that in 2002, Oscar de la Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns. And then I think it was Yves Saint Laurent… wasn’t it who showed cerulean military jackets? I think we need a jacket here. And then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of eight different designers. And then it, uh, filtered down through the department stores and then trickled on down into some tragic Casual Corner where you, no doubt, fished it out of some clearance bin. However, that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs and it’s sort of comical how you think that you’ve made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you’re wearing the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room from a pile of stuff.

 

halpertjames:

I have never felt more like Jim Halpert in my life.

But the best responses came from Twitter.

Of course there’s already a Twitter account for The Dress

And celebrities, who obviously got in on the action. Even Taylor Swift chimed in. Honestly, if Oprah and/or Beyonce tweeted or Instagramed about it it would have been game over.

By FAR, Mindy Kaling had the best response to #TheDress. She was up in arms about it, staying strong in her #BlackandBlue stance, as only Mindy could. It’s exactly the type of response I expected from her, but I am obsessed with just how far she went. Her annoyance got increasingly more dramatic and I feel like she should probably just put this in her show now.

^^same^^

If you missed our tweet last night, we gave our two cents too:

 But what we really need is some perspective, courtesy of the rainbow infused space unicorn:

For the record, the folks at Buzzfeed (who started this who viral mess) tracked down the girl who first posted about the dress, and she says it’s black and blue. It’s all about lighting, y’all. Either way, whatever team you’re on – #WhiteandGold, #BlackandBlue, #LlamasOnTheRun, #LeftShark, it’s good to know we can all collectively #BreakTheInternet without actually baring our butts.

What a time to be alive.

First In Friendship: Small-Town Shows To Watch After Parks And Recreation

I haven’t been able to rewatch the Parks and Recreation finale yet. Part of it is because I’m just not ready to cry again just yet. And a bigger part  is that I’m busy. I’m not someone who treats busy as a four-letter word, even though it can have a negative connotation. Maybe we should start calling it something cuter, like “bustling,” or positive, like “engrossed.”  It’s good to be involved; Leslie Knope would be proud.

But even when you don’t have a lot of free time, it’s easy to feel a tv show-sized hole when one of your favorites gets cancelled. That was especially true of Parks, a half-hour (or hour, thanks NBC) oasis every week. When you’re busy – and honestly, I hardly know anyone who doesn’t qualify as such – you need those little breaks in your day or week. If you’re missing those 30-60 minutes in Pawnee every week, here’s what to watch next:

Parks And Recreation

I mean, again. Watch it again. Now that we know what happens to everybody, take it back to the beginning! Not every show holds up well on a rewatch. Sometimes those “off” seasons are too painful or your favorite character started off awesome and became terrible. I mean I’m still mourning for Season 1 Joey Potter. But Parks is a show that doesn’t have any of those pitfalls … well, it did have a lot of falling into pits for a while, but they filled it in and everyone moved on. Parks and Recreation did character development better than any other show. It’s so fun to watch bratty college April knowing that there was a hard-working go-getter in there all along, or tough cookie Ron Swanson before he had a wife and kids. Or Ben Wyatt, back when he seemed like Public Enemy Number One. So, my first suggestion for what to do after you finish watching Parks and Recreation is to watch it again.

One of the best things about Parks was getting to know all of the wacky residents of Pawnee and feel the sometimes stifling warmth of small-town life. Most t.v. shows are either set in major metropolises – and at that, it’s usually just New York or L.A. Or, it’s in a tiny town. You don’t get a lot of shows set in actual cities that are less acclaimed, like Toledo or Tucsan. If it’s small-town TV you want, we can find that for you. Once you’ve rewatched Parks, here are the next series you should check out:

For an endearing small town: Gilmore Girls

You can’t watch this without wanting to move to Stars Hollow so that you can buy coffee from Luke, take dance lessons from Miss Patti, and plan a weird event with Kirk. Like Pawnee, there are people you love, people you hate, and places you’ll come to know like they’re from your own hometown.

For an innocent small town: The Andy Griffith Show

But not too much Andy Griffith Show. It’s a television masterpiece but it can also get a little hokey in large doses. However, if you’ve never watched it you might be surprised by how fun and quirky it is. If you grew up on classic TV, Griffith is like a half-hour of childhood. Or your dad or grandpa’s childhood, if you grew up on modern TV.

For an April Ludgate-worthy small town: Welcome To Nightvale

Guys, it’s a podcast, not a tv show. You just have to trust me. It’s about the happenings in a spooky yet hilarious town, with idiosyncrasies to rival Pawnee. It’s one of those shows you just have to listen to to understand.

For a dramatic small town: Twin Peaks

Yes, it’s a drama about Poor Dead Laura Palmer. But the second the log lady shows up, you know that you’re dealing with something a bit more wacky than your typical network drama. Twin Peaks is a small town withs dark side, but there’s also teen drama and the requisite diner.

For a heartwarming small town: Friday Night Lights

If you watched Parks and Recreation, listened to the Tim Riggins references, and didn’t get it, I’m jealous of you. That means you haven’t seen Friday Night Lights yet and still get to watch it for the first time. If you’re one of those people who thinks “football? GROSS. Texas? NEVER” then this is the show for you. It’s about football but it’s about life. And Tami Taylor is like Leslie Knope if Leslie Knope got married young, worked in education, and lived in Texas. Guaranteed, you’ll change that “Texas Never” into a “Texas Forever” by the end of season one.

 For a small town that’s not actually a small town: Parenthood

All right, the Bravermans don’t live in a small town, but you never see evidence of where they live, anyway. The Bravermans are sort of a small town unto themselves. Like Parks, it’s a show about the people you love who also drive you crazy.

#RIP: The Oddity of Celebrity Deaths

As I write this, it’s moments after the Parks and Recreation series finale. The episode left me, like many of you fans out there too, laughing and crying and alternating between the two. It’s a bittersweet moment as we say one final bye bye to one of the best TV shows ever to exist. I’m so, so glad with the way it ended, but in a weird place knowing it’s never coming back again.

It became even more bittersweet with the end card that read “We love you, Harris. – The Parks Crew”, a note I had been anticipating yet was just as teary-eyed upon seeing it. For those that might not know, this was a dedication to Harris Wittels, a co-executive producer, writer, and guest actor (Harris the animal control guy) on the show, who died last Thursday from a suspected drug overdose. He was 30 years old.

*This post gets deep. You’ve been warned.

I work in entertainment news. It is lit’rally my job to be on the “pulse” of what’s happening in the industry, so when my boss sent me the email of a news alert from TMZ with the headline “Parks and Rec Exec Harris Wittels Found Dead Signs of Overdose” and asked me to write it up, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I felt my heart drop a little. I remember having to read it multiple times to make sure I was comprehending correctly, and was kind of sick to my stomach after realizing it was real life. I checked online to see if anyone was talking about it yet, and slowly, then at all once, I saw “#RIP” and “so sad ::emoji sad face with tear::” sprinkled throughout my social media timelines. While social media condolences often seem contrite and insincere at times, I was especially moved to see his name trending worldwide, only because, forgive me, I just didn’t realize that many people were familiar with his work.

I didn’t know Harris personally. Of course, I was a fan of his through Parks, and I was a fan of his through his Comedy Bang Bang episodes, particularly of the ever ridiculous Farts and Procreation series. One thing we did have in common is that we went to the same college. He graduated two years before me, and while I didn’t know him then, Facebook tells me that we have mutual friends, that my former RA was his close pal, and that we both went to the same beloved study abroad program. Something to know about the school we went to is that it’s fairly small, with around 3,500 undergrads. There’s a joke that we’re part of a “mafia”, especially in places like LA and New York, because most kids who graduate go on to work in film, TV, theater, industries of that nature. Because there are so many alums in the entertainment industry, it’s one of those things where you’ll no doubt meet a fellow mafioso at a job you’re applying for or at a random party, and they’re most likely willing to help fellow grads out with a job or interview. When Harris died, I wasn’t just seeing randoms pay tribute to him online, I was seeing people I knew in real life. I got an email from the school career services center (because they send out job listings and LA events and stuff), with a note from one of the professors who counted Harris as one of his students, and who I knew from working with on an event back in the day.

In the email, he recalls how kind Harris was to the students in his classes, how he skyped in several times to answer questions about comedy or writing, and willingly gave out his email address for kids to contact them if they needed advice or help with a script. Mafia. Harris’ death hit a little closer to home for me than some, but I still didn’t know him, I’ve never met him, I didn’t know what he was like as a person.

But in the age where we listen to Comedy Bang Bang podcasts and watch TV shows like Parks and easily connect to people on Twitter and receive instant responses via Humblebrag, we feel like we do know them. We treat their death like they were our friend, our family, because they have been inside our homes, our cars, our headphones for years.

I don’t think I’ve ever been truly upset about a celebrity death until Cory Monteith. I was kind of a Gleek circa season 1 and 2, but, like many other fans, that petered off towards the end. I even went to one of their CD signings for the first soundtrack and got to meet Cory. It was brief. He had a huge smile. Had kind eyes. Very nice. But, again, I didn’t know him. He wasn’t my friend. But for some reason, when my friend told me the news of his sudden death – I can remember it so vividly – I felt like I had been punched in the stomach. I couldn’t believe it. Watching the episode of The Quarterback where they say goodbye to him – forget it. I ugly cried through 98% of that. But what kept circling back in my mind is that Cory was a teen idol. There were tweens and teens out there who had posters of him up on their wall, and suddenly they find out he died from a drug overdose? The only thing I could compare it to would be if a member of BSB passed away from alcohol poisoning back in 1999. I would have been completely devastated and unable to properly cope with my feelings.

In addition, we live in a world where we not only feel like we spend so much time with celebrities in the privacy of our own homes, we now have the ability to reach out to them in a form that’s not a fan letter sent to some random Post Office Box on Santa Monica Boulevard. Kids these days have Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and Snapchat. The chances of Harry Styles or Ariana Grande or Cory Monteith replying to your declaration of love or fan art is 10 times higher than me getting a signed autographed headshot of Leo DiCaprio in 1997. Celebrities just connect with people in such a different way now that we actually have evidence to prove that the delusional friendship might actually be… real.

And similarly, there are a handful of really important and powerful celebrities whose star status is enough for us to come together and agree that their body of work is worth praising. We had it with Robin Williams, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson in recent years. In the wake of their sudden deaths, we saw an outpouring of condolences and #RIPs for these people that most of us had never even come face to face with. But they were a part of our lives – their work marked important milestones for us, provided bonding moments with friends and family, and that’s why we mourn them. Not because we’re friends with them. But because their contribution to society made an impact on a single life.

All this TL;DR isn’t to say we shouldn’t grieve people in the public eye, especially when their passing is sudden and tragic. It’s that we should. And one step further, it’s to learn from it and let friends and family know you’re there for them and resources are always available if they think they’re going down the wrong path. I feel like I knew Harris through the Mafia. I encountered Cory’s kindness for a few seconds. But my sadness, like many others, shouldn’t be dismissed because it’s for celebrities we’ve never met. It’s because their lives still mattered to those who did know them. Their lives matter. Our lives matter. All lives matter.

 

5,000 Candles in the Wind: Everything I Need To Know I Learned From Parks and Recreation

We’ve come a long way since the pit. From Lil Sebastian to Champion, Rent A Swag to Entertainment 720, waffles to bacon, 2009 to 2017, there was a lot to love about Parks and Recreation. And tonight, we’ll say a goodbye that’s more sad than the Lil Sebastian farewell concert or Ann’s move to Michigan. Parks had a lot going for it: the best actors and writers in comedy, critical acclaim and a loyal fan base. But above all, it had more heart than any other sitcom on the air. The show’s outlook was overwhelmingly positive, and its protagonist was a hard worker with total loyalty to her town, her career and her friends. We learned more from Parks and Recreation than we have from any show since Sesame Street or Mr. Rogers. Dare we say? Everything we need to know we learned from Parks and Recreation.

Friends, Waffles, Work

Or waffles, friends work. No matter. In other words: priorities. Even Leslie, career-driven as she is, knows that work takes a back seat to the big things in life – your friends. And waffles, which in a broader sense you could interpret as something like “taking the time to enjoy life.” Except that I think she really does mean waffles.

Ovaries Before Brovaries

Again, file under: priorities. Parks is about the relationships between a wide net of coworkers, friends, and significant others. If Ben came along and it was The Leslie And Ben Show from that point on, there wouldn’t be much reason to watch. Leslie’s not the sort to get into a relationship and write off her friends. So, the “uteruses before duderuses” approach can be broadened into “don’t forget about your friends just because of relationship stuff.”

There’s also the great way Leslie is supportive of her lady friends, even when it’s tough. It wasn’t easy to accept Ann moving away, but Leslie encouraged her to do what was best for her family. And rather than get jealous that April was moving up in her career, Leslie helped facilitate the move. Leslie knows one of the greatest secrets in life – which is also one of our lessons from Parks and Recreation: when the members of your “team” succeed – whether it’s your friends, family, or coworkers – then that’s your success, too.

Treat Yo Self

You could say that Tom and Donna are a couple of silly geese, but no. They both work hard and play hard. The key to Treat Yo Self: it’s a once a year occurence. You don’t rack up credit card debt because you “deserve” good things, but every once in a while it’s good to enjoy the fruits of your hard work. Like Tom and Donna, it’s always nice to have a friend to back you up, so when you rationalize that you don’t really need those fine leather goods, a still small voice whispers “treat yo self.”

Say Thank You

I have a philosophy about the “sorry epidemic,” that is, the way people start or end sentences with “sorry” when they haven’t done anything wrong. My theory is that in most cases, what the person really means is either please or thank you. Rather than apologizing for being an inconvenience in advance, what they really mean to do is ask for something. And rather than apologizing for being an inconvenience in retrospect, what they mean to do is say thank you: thank you for accommodating me, or understanding, or going out of your way, or being supportive. People apologize for existing when they really want to thank other people for making their existence easier.

No show does “thank you ” better than Parks. Whether it’s the final moments before Ann leaves Pawnee, or April’s tear-inducing speech in D.C., these folks know how to thank the people who make their lives better. Next time you feel compelled to apologize when you haven’t really done something you shouldn’t, look deeper. Do you really want to say please or thank you instead?

Don’t Write The Concession Speech

In one of my classrooms growing up, there was a poster that said “Failure To Plan Is Planning To Fail.” But I also say that “Planning To Fail Is Planning To Fail.” School decor aside, it’s important to not behave as though the worst is going to happen. Ben doesn’t write a concession speech, because he doesn’t think that losing is a possible outcome.

Or maybe the better lesson is this: surround yourself with people who will think that you won’t need the concession speech. Maybe Leslie wouldn’t have won if her circle was full of people who assumed she wouldn’t succeed. Fill your life with the Bens to your Leslie: people who expect you to win, even more than you do yourself.

I Love You And I Like You

The phrase that Leslie and Ben often tell each other is quite endearing and sums up a perfect relationship. But the writers didn’t come up with it – Rashida Jones’ dad did. I believe Amy wrote the episode it first appeared in, and she revealed in an interview that when she was in Monte Carlo with Quincy Jones (as you do), he grabbed her face in his hands and said to her, “I love you and I like you.” Whether it be a significant other, family member a friend, or your daughter’s comedy wife, it’s important to not only let them know how you feel, but actually truly mean what you say. Anyone can say ‘love ya’ as a throwaway, but to add the ‘I like you’ part implies you enjoy them as a human being, enjoy their company, enjoy everything they have to offer.

Know Where Your Money Goes

Okay, on one hand, definitely treat yo self. On the other hand, don’t blow your budget on Harry Potter fantasy camp.

Of course, I would say that, I’m a Ravenclaw.

When You Love Something, You Fight For It

This speech from Leslie’s final statement as she vies for city council is the best summarization of Leslie Knope. “If you love something, you don’t threaten it. You fight for it. You take care of it. You put it first… If I seem too passionate, it’s because I care. If I come on strong, it’s because I feel strongly.” Leslie Knope is one of the strongest, if not THE strongest female character ever on TV because she doesn’t back down. She fights for what she believes in, and she stands up not only for herself, but for those around her. It doesn’t just apply to her career, it applies to her friendships. From making unnecessary holidays to going to all costs to help a friend propose, Leslie will do anything in her power to see things get done. When it came to her relationship with Ben, she was willing to give up her career just to be with him. She said, ‘Let’s just screw it,’ and it eventually paid off. When you love something, you fight for it. As Ron Swanson said, “Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing.” Leslie can proudly say she whole-assed a whole bunch of things.

“I like to tell people get on board and buckle up, because my ride’s gonna be a big one. If you get motion sickness, put your head between your knees, because Leslie Knope’s stopping for no one.”

Time Is Money; Money Is Power; Power is Pizza; Pizza is Knowledge

This is probably my favorite thing April has ever said on the entire series. First of all, the fact that she’s running this meeting is just great character development. I love character development. But no matter how ridiculous it sounds when it comes out, she usually has a point. In Pawnee in particular, there are a lot of randoms who have nothing better to do but complain, like that woman who is always too concerned about her dog and brings up her pooch problems at town meetings. These are the folks April and co. have to deal with and they don’t have time to sit around listening to droll residents all day. Also, pizza. Pizza is always a good choice.

Have Dating Standards

Ok, this might actually be one of the biggest takeaways I’ve had from the show. When Tom said this, he spoke to my soul on a deep level. The fact that Ann didn’t know who Ginuwine was (Ginuwine – is Ginuwine) was astonishing, and honestly, I, like Tom, don’t think I could ever date someone who didn’t know who he was. Speaking of Ann, in her days of going through guy after guy, she often had a tendency to change into the people she was dating. Like Julia Roberts in Runway Bride – she didn’t even know what type of egg she liked. It’s important to have simple standards for your ideal mate, because when you figure out what you want – like Ann wanted a kid – you will most likely get what you’re looking for.

There’s Always Paris

paris parks

I kind of want this in a tattoo form but not, because it’s too long. Leslie always has a lot on her plate, but somehow she manages it all. She has time to make binders on how to be a garbage woman but also finds time to make a scrapbook about her “Thoughts on Sam Waterston“. So when something extremely stressful comes her way, like being recalled from city council, it’s important to just take a break from it all. We know Leslie loves her job, but it’s important to take a break once in a while. We get so caught up in the millions of things on our to do lists each day that we don’t actually take a chance to breathe and be present and let go of whatever is bothering us. Your trip to Paris doesn’t have to be Paris. Paris can be your favorite park or cafe or a place an hour away to the middle of nowhere. If you have the ability to get away, even for just a brief moment, do it.

Be a Good Person

When Leslie realizes her job is at stake because of her romantic relationship with Ben (and the fact that they bribed the maintenance guy during Lil Sebastian’s funeral to keep quiet), Leslie thinks it’s all over for her. But Ron, in his vast font of knowledge, reminds her that despite the fact she did a frowned upon/illegal thing, it doesn’t make her a bad person. I think this show overall has taught us that there is good in this world, and you can be part of bringing that to real life. Parks never puts anyone down, it inspires and encourages us to be better. We’re human. We make mistakes. But it’s what happens after the fact that shows our true character.

Inspire Yourself

Speaking of being inspirational, while Leslie Knope herself is a great inspiration to us all, she also remind us that often times, the best person to encourage you is yourself. I don’t think Leslie would be half the leader she is today if she never thought she could do it. Yeah, she has to remind herself at times she can reach her goals (“Hey Leslie. It’s Leslie. Hang in there. I love you. Bye.”) Sure, you can have people like Ben around you believing in you and not writing concession speeches, but when Leslie walked out on the stage and gave the speech (as seen above a few paragraphs), she was ultimately the one to give the impassioned statement. No one fed her lines, she went with her gut and her gut made her win.

Feminism Isn’t Just For Women

I am a goddess. a glorious female warrior, queen of all i survey. enemies of fairness and equality, hear my womanly roar. Also men’s rights is nothing.

Johnny Karate’s Rules for Success

I mean, I think that’s pretty self explanatory.

The Only Constant Is Change

Unfortunately, doppelganger Ron has a point. Returning for one of the final episodes, Eagleton Ron shows up like he usually does, out of nowhere, and gives sage advice, like a traveling Yoda who is easier to understand. As we say goodbye to the gang tonight, the gang says goodbye to each other. Ben and Leslie and Andy and April are moving to D.C., Tom’s getting married to Lucy, Donna’s enjoying married life with Joe and moving to Seattle, Ron has his construction company and family to tend to, and Chris and Ann are already off being domestic in Michigan. Oh and Garry’s the mayor (CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT). Despite the fact a lot has happened for the Parks department in the past seven/10 years, it was bound to change sometime. Leslie was always bigger than Pawnee, and while her dreams seemed far away in season one, we realize that it’s time for her to actually achieve those goals. She turned a pit into a playground and now it’s her turn to bring that same goal-oriented talent to D.C. And this show, no matter how much we love it, was bound to have its final episode whether we liked it or not. But we’ll find another show to like and love. Maybe not as much and not in the same way, but we will. We’ll move on. We’ll move up. And we’ll miss you in the saddest fashion.

Academy Awards 2015: Best and Worst Dressed

The 2015 Awards Season finally came to an end last night as Neil Patrick Harris sang and danced his way into our homes, Birdman “flew high” with a lot of awards and all the punny headlines, and Adele Dazeem finally got back at Glom Gazingo, who managed to be even creepier than ever before.

So as we take one last look at last night’s Oscars (which you can relive with our live blog here), we break down our favorite and not-so-favorite looks from Hollywood’s big night. Did your faves make the cut? Or were they snubbed like The Lego Movie and everything is actually not awesome?

Best Dressed

Molly’s Picks

Margot Robbie in Saint Laurent

Usually a black dress wouldn’t make my list, but we were seeing so much white and color last night that it was refreshing. This was like a modern take on the 1930s vamp look, and the red lip and vintage ’30s tassel necklace added just enough color. Sometimes loose hair can look too undone at the Oscars, but at this length it’s perfect.

Rosamund Pike in Givenchy

I’m in the fashion minority, but I don’t really like contour dresses. They always make me think of wearing a dress that has an outline of where a skinnier person could fit. But that’s when they do a full-body effect. The satin inserts draw her waist in, but it’s not obvious. I keep zooming in to look at the texture. They always say it’s hard to wear red on the red carpet, but it was a gamble worth taking here.

Lupita Nyong’o in Calvin Klein Collection

Only Lupita is so lovely and precious that she would wear a dress made entirely of pearls. You know, because she’s a pearl of a girl. Hi. I’m your grandpa. The light hit this beautifully. One article called this a Josephine Baker look and it totally is – 1920s but not a full flapper getup or anything. Also I cannot imagine how uncomfortable it must be to wear a dress made of 6,000 pearls.

Reese Witherspoon in Tom Ford

In some lights this was white, in others ice blue. Anyone want to weigh in? I’m on the “ever so slightly blue” side myself, but not in this photo. In any event, on a night when beading and tulle seemed to be the order of the day (not complaining!) this simple look was a nice change of pace. Witherspoon was promoting the #AskHerMore campaign last night, by the way, so for once we actually got to hear more questions about her portrayal of the awesome Cheryl Strayed and fewer questions about her ensemble.

Jennifer Lopez in Elie Saab

The rest of my true Top 5 is covered in Traci’s list below, so why not cover someone who ALMOST made the cut? J.Lo always looks like some sort of modern princess, but the asymmetrical beading/accent work keeps her from looking too Cinderella/Belle/Whatever. If I had a magic wand I’d lose about an inch of fabric from the bottom – the pooling is nice but it was hard for her to walk in. And I’d put that inch of fabric on the inside of the neckline – the plunge is fantastic but it’s just thatmuch too bare on the inside.

 

Traci’s Picks

Anna Kendrick in Thakoon

Oh goddess that is Anna Kendrick. This is one of my favorite looks from her – ever. The coral color is a perfect compliment to her paler complexion and the halter/keyhole combo is simple yet elegant and on point for the Oscars. She really is a princess.

Jennifer Aniston in Versace

Just call this Jen’s ‘Suck it for not nominating me’ gown. Despite the fact she got left out of the running this year, she still managed to look better than a lot of the other nominees in this stunning gold beaded gown. It’s a simple strapless dress, but the swooping lines and shiny touches are just enough to make you admire in awe.

Emma Stone in Elie Saab

OSCAR NOMINEE Gemma Skrones (I honestly can’t stop saying her name like that ever since Andrew Garfield called her that) is looking divine in this lime green *backless* number from Elie Saab. Paired with her gorge hair, it’s a great modern day take on old school Hollywood glamour, and I’m into it.

David Oyelowo in Dolce & Gabanna

The men’s trend this year was Not Black Tuxes, there were a handful of white suits (see Grand Budapest Hotel contingent) and Jared Leto Lavender, but nothing compared to David Oyelowo. Like Jennifer Aniston before him, David opted to wear his ‘suck it’ suit, and went with a bold dark red (crimson?) suit by Dolce & Gabbana that made him stand out from the crowd, despite the fact he didn’t get a nomination. But listen, I think Selma and everyone involved won the moment John Legend and Common stepped on the stage. So win/win.

Zoe Saldana in Atelier Versace

This champagne dress is beautifully made on its own, but add that to the fact that Zoe produced two – TWO – humans a mere three months ago and she managed to go on the red carpet and look like this. Hot freaking mama.

Honorable Mentions: Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka in hot couple suits and Faith Hill in J. Mendel (I still can’t get over how well accessorized she is with that necklace)

Worst Dressed

Molly’s Picks

Marion Cotillard in Dior

I really loved this until she turned around and I saw the butt-panel, too.

Gwyneth Paltrow in Ralph & Russo

Apparently Gwyneth is 42, which is not at all old, but I always think of her as a 20-something because she imprinted in my head during the Shakespeare In Love era. This dress is the same color as her iconic pink Oscar gown, and I almost really like it except that the shoulder reminds me of cabbage. Otherwise flawless.

Lady Gaga in Alaia

First of all, I know that it’s Lady Gaga so we aren’t really judging her on the same criteria as everyone else. Still, I saw this and my heart sank a little. You haven’t been hearing that much about her, and then she shows up in dishwashing gloves. I was never a superfan but I always thought she seemed like such a nice gal and I was hoping for a career reboot. Then she KILLED the Sound Of Music tribute and this look faded to the recesses of my memory.

Keira Knightley in Valentino

She’s pregnant, so it doesn’t even seem fair to place her on this list. If I’m ever pregnant I’m probably going to be dressed in sweatpants and frustration from the moment my clothes stop fitting. But the scalloped bodice and floaty florals look like a maternity flower girl dress. Knightley looked gorge at the Vanity Fair party, so she ended the evening on a high note. And dress aside, holy cow, she really IS glowing.

Scarlett Johansson in Versace

I have relatives who STILL buy me things in green because when I was a kid it was my favorite color. It’s weird to have a favorite color as an adult, but I still love it. And this dress is the perfect shade for ScarJo, and it’s really well-tailored, too. But then that necklace looks like it was poached from a Muppet’s neck-ruff or something. So close/so far.

 

Traci’s Picks

Julianne Moore in Chanel

I’d like to preface this by saying I adore Julianne Moore and think she deserves all the accolades and praise she’s received over the years, especially with her first Oscar last night. But. Woof. It’s not an ‘Oscar-winning dress’ and it’s really not a dress that anyone should wear. ever. The beading is impressive, however the design itself is no bueno. She should’ve gone with a green dress like from the SAGs earlier this year.

Laura Dern in Alberta Ferretti

Once a Gladiator, Always a Gladiator. In a literal suit of armor.

Felicity Jones in Alexander McQueen

Felicity seems like a delightful, British gal, but it’s almost as if she took one of those fashion design stencil plates and mix and matched a top and bottom that don’t actually go together. A for effort though, I guess.

Behati Prinsloo in Armani Prive

I never get how models can just not hit the mark on the red carpet. It’s their actually job to sell clothes, but when they wear a dress like this, it’s hard to sell. And the thing is that she’s a beautiful girl, but with that weird large necklace and slicked back hair, none of it is working for her.

Blanca Blanco

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I don’t really know who this is. I don’t know who designed her dress. But this is like Cinna’s first draft of Katniss’ Girl on Fire gown but decided it was too disgusting for the Games.

(Dis)Honorable Mention: John Travolta in this chain necklace. What in the world.

Live Blog: Academy Awards 2015

Hi friendos! It’s Hollywood’s biggest night tonight and we’ll be by your side to give you the play by play for all 10 hours of it! Just kidding. It’s more like 8. Either way, we’ll be starting our live blog at 7pm EST/4pm PST, so watch this space for updates.

As always, please refresh your browser window periodically to load our up-to-the-minute commentary. You can also follow us on Twitter for updates in 140 characters or less at @cookiessangria (a button linking directly to our Twitter is conveniently located in the sidebar!).

In the meantime, fill out our Oscars ballot here!

And watch this video of this year’s host, Neil Patrick Harris slaying at the 2013 Tony Awards. He’s obviously the king of awards shows, and this proves it. I confess I always cry when it gets to around the 5:40 mark. I mean Harvey Fierstein is crying, come on! I can’t wait to see what he does for the Oscars!

M: As of 6:30, the E! preshow is like a scene in a sitcom where they’re putting on a school play, and the kid isn’t on stage for his cue, and the piano keeps playing the intro over and over until he shows up. A lot of stalling as they wait for celebrities to speak with them.

From what I’m seeing, Margot Robbie is wearing a deep-necked black number that isn’t the sort of thing that usually makes my best dressed list, but it just might this time.

Anna Kendrick has a gorgeous pink-coral gown and looks exactly like you’d hope an actress who just played Cinderella would look.

And then the men are just wearing tuxes or whatever.

… which is the perfect segue to discuss #AskHerMore, the hashtag/movement spearheaded, in part, by our favs at Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls. The concept being that women on the red carpet are asked about their outfits but not the work they’re actually nominated for. Now, I do like knowing what people are wearing – and when dresses are comped/borrowed in exchange for plugging the designer, it’s also partially a business exchange. But, ask about the dress then move onto other things? Great! However, I don’t think that Ryan Seacrest asking Dakota Johnson what props she took home from 50 Shades Of Gray is quite what they had in mind.

The Theory of Everything was the first time I really saw Felicity Jones, and this is probably a weird comment but her teeth are adorable. And she and Marion Cotillard have like bubbly polka dots, almost? Is that a trend? I’m old.

T: HI. STILL NOT OVER THE MAGIC THAT IS LUPITA. A FREAKING ANGEL EVERYWHERE SHE GOES. Can she win tonight without even being nominated?

M: As far as I’m concerned, Lupita Nyong’o is winning every day of her life.

T: So I am lit’rally 10 minutes away from the Oscars right now, and I can tell you that it JUST starting raining again after an on/off morning. Also, it’s unusually “cold” (sorry East Coasters, feel free to smack me through the computer screen) here, so I can only imagine these people, especially the gals, freezing on the red carpet right now. YES I SAID FREEZING.

M: Yeah, I was sitting here thinking “don’t type cold… don’t type cold.” NEGATIVE 12 BEFORE WINDCHILL. Rain is a bummer though.

T: Listen. Cold is relative. It’s been scientifically proven that your body acclimates to the weather around you. Hence, 50s-60s is cold for the average 70-80s weather in Los Angeles.

M: I don’t think the human body can acclimate to negative temperatures. Mine just, like, quits. John Legend says that he’s a “Gucci man” and it looks like Chrissy Teagan is a coochie lady. As in I can almost see hers. Because her dress is slit, like, to her waist.

T: Um Zoe Saldana had a baby 3 MONTHS AGO and looks better than I have or ever will wtf

M: * Two. TWO BABIES. She looks great though. She somehow looks less tired as the mother of baby twins than I do as just an adult trying to function as a human.

M: Why is Chloe* Kardashian here and why is she wearing Samantha Parkington’s Christmas dress? Although she’s talking about her car spinning out last week, and that happened to me last year and my car was nearly totalled, and that shit is scary. But that still doesn’t mean you get to go to the Oscar’s red carpet.

* I realize that it’s Khloe but come on, that’s stupid.

Oooh and now she’s shitting on Anna Kendrick’s dress. Don’t step, Kardashian.

T: Kerry Washington ::emoji with heart eyes:: Honestly, sometimes I’m not that into her gowns but I will always always fangirl after her.

M: I appreciate that she’s always willing to try something different, but the top of it looked like a Fancy Lady Church Suit fabric. But she still looked better than your favs.

T: I just realized there’s still an hour before the show even BEGINS. Hunker down folks. Ration out the vodka and popcorn.

M: I’m already tired! I zoned out for a second because I was typing. Is that lady in the pink dress on E! Baby Spice??

She also looks like the little blonde one in Celtic Woman that they make dance around with a fiddle.

T: I have to also watch the Oscars.com red carpet for work and they’re actually interviewing the sound mixers from American Sniper… I mean kudos but… really?

M: I feel like they must have thought they were someone else. Also I couldn’t even come up with an intelligent question to ask them. “So, what does it… sound… like?”

T: They talked about the movie being successful. Nothing abound sound mixing. Probably a sign you shouldn’t be interviewing the sound mixers? #NoShadeToSoundMixers

M: Does that mean they’re giving that award out tonight? Lord give me strength.

We have now reached the part where the E! ladies talk about dresses and um… I don’t know. I’ll say what dresses I like and don’t like, but they’re a little mean. And not in the sassy old lady way Joan Rivers could be.

T: “Good luck tonight, BIRDMEN! Maybe you’ll be flying tonight! ….. Right??” Ugh whoever this person is on ABC.com talking to the Birdman sound mixers trying to make a punny joke. Yes, that’s two sound mixer interviews so far.

M: I’m trying really hard to make it known that I’m NOT throwing shade to sound mixers. I love when a movie sounds nice. Mix-wise. But umm…

M: E! just showed a far-away still shot of Chris Pratt helping Anna Farris out of a limo and even that maybe made me swoon a bit. What a lovely couple.

Speaking of adorable couples, Joanna Newsom and Andy Samberg.

And the only time I’ve read anything worthwhile on the E! news scroll: all of the sisters of the traveling pants are going to be godmothers to the other sister of the traveling pants’ baby. I missed the beginning of the message so, guys, it’s whomever is the pregnant one.

T: Props to JK Simmons to wearing a fedora on the night he *wins an Oscar* He’s also wearing a handkerchief that matches his wife’s dress. The Oscars = Hollywood’s prom, y’all.

Also, have you guys seen Damien Chazelle, the director of Whiplash? He’s 30 years old. The youngest director to be nominated. And only a year older than me. HE LOOKS LIKE A BABY.

M: He’s THIRTY? He looks like Seth Freaking Cohen. Ugh it’s so hard now that people are age are accomplishing big things; it doesn’t feel like there should even have been enough time between birth and now to get that far.

M: One shot I saw made it look like Jessica Chastain was wearing full-leg spanx. It looked like there was a nude-colored hemline at her ankle.

T: I’d probably wearing a full-body Spank (?) if I was on the red carpet at the Oscars. Luckily for everyone, that will never happen.

M: Look. If you could spanx your face so it stayed in the right non-creepy, attractive position the whole night, I’d even do that. I mean I guess Botox does that.

T: Because Big Hero 6 is nominated, the movie’s stars are obvi there, including Damon Wayans Jr. and Scott Adsit (Pete from 30 Rock) and it’s like.. weird to see them there? I feel like they should be on their respective sitcoms, even the dearly departed 30 Rock.

M: Between them and Pratt, I sort of love that my favorite sitcoms are represented. Oh! And Andy Samberg. But it is weird. Like seeing a teacher at the mall-weird.T: OH MY GOD A FILM EDITING NOMINEE IS TALKING ABOUT SPECS ABOUT CAMERAS HE USED FOR GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL. Who even.

M: You may think Traci works in entertainment news but like… come on, are you writing for a really specific trade journal or something? Why are they making you watch this? I’m so sorry and amused.

T: I think there were supposed to be more celebs on it? They ran out of people to interview, I guess, because this pre-show has been going on since Tuesday (I’m assuming)

M: Meanwhile on TV, they’re talking to Faith Hill and Tim McGraw. I feel like I’m watching any one of those weekly country music awards ceremonies.

M: Now that I’ve switched to ABC, I’m getting a second look at some actors. Like Kerry Washington. Her eye makeup is gorgeous and I didn’t notice that before.

Lady Gaga, who is I guess still famous? looks like a character from The Wizard Of Oz. The weird book series, not the movie. Like she’d be a fancy bird that sits on a clock or something. She also has developed a vaguely European accent. [And yet. She always seems like such a NICE person.]

T: CHRIS M’FIN EVANS. He brought his BFF Tara from home. Also brought his beard. And his handsomeness. God bless.

M: I have not seen a single Marvel movie (that’s the thing? with the heroes?) but I absolutely love him.

T: Yes! I have seen Iron Man. And Iron Man 2…. Guardians of the Galaxy is on its way from Netflix. I LOVE TELEVISION.

T: This is Lorelei Linklater from Boyhood, who has been absent from most of the awards show circuit, but WHO is that boy.

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T: LITERAL LOL for the “best and whitest” joke.

GUYS I LOVE NPH AND SINGING ANNA KENDRICK ANNA KENDRICK ANNA KENDRICK

M: SUCK IT KARDASHIAN.

For the folks at home, my dog just basically peed herself (it’s this weird hormonal thing, she’s house trained, NO1Curr.) Oscars opening number is the worst time ever to have to clean up a dog’s pee fur.

T: Also, glad I watched Gone Girl on Valentine’s Day (romantic) because seriously would’ve been spoiled during the ‘slit his throat’ line during this opening.

M: It didn’t even register that that was a spoiler but yeah, glad I read it first (which will TOTALLY spoil the movie once I get around to it.)

Can we get a lip read on Oprah after NPH told her she was rich?

I don’t listen to audio books, but if Lupita Nyong’o read them I’d listen to the entire Bible.

Best Supporting Actor

Robert Duvall, The Judge

Ethan Hawke, Boyhood

Edward Norton, Birdman

Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher

J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

Traci’s Pick: J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

I’m kind of scared to watch Whiplash based on the one clip I’ve seen of JK Simmons bullying the crap out of Miles Teller. I’m not good at disobeying authority figures.

Molly’s Pick: J.K Simmons, Whiplash

I did see Whiplash and it’s exactly like Traci said.

Winner: J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

 M: I mean, he seems very nice in real life. He wants us to call our parents.

 T: NO FEDORA?! COME ON JK SIMMONS. IT WAS YOUR MOMENT.

I also like that we can see Jared Leto super clearly because of his amazing lavender suit.

I also like that NPH gets to show off his magic skills during the show.He’s really really good.

M: Remember this two-minute bit about a suitcase locked in a box when the show is 10 minutes over and they cut all of the major winners off after 30 seconds.

I have trouble understanding how Dakota Johnson is here.

SO BORED during Adam Levine’s song. It’s a fine song, the lighting design is good, but the show is only 20 minutes in and it already feels like a long one.

Best Costume Design

Milena Canonero, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Mark Bridges, Inherent Vice

Colleen Atwood, Into the Woods

Anna B. Sheppard and Jane Clive, Maleficent

Jacqueline Durran, Mr. Turner

 Traci’s Pick: Colleen Atwood, Into the Woods

Colleen has been nominated in this category 11 times and has won thrice, and her fabulous fantasy forest couture could win her the fourth.

Molly’s Pick: Colleen Atwood, Into The Woods

From Cinderella’s Delia*s ball dress to Jack’s little Swedish Burberry model outfit, these costumes were perfection.

 Winner: Milena Canonero, The Grand Budapest Hotel

M: Actually, that’s pretty fair.

M: NPH, you’re so cute you don’t need to scrunch your nose when you smile. 

T: So The Grand Budapest Hotel is winning a lot of awards tonight, then? I mean, okay.

These young Oscar winners or whatever Channing Tatum is introducing make me feel like if I were up there, I’d probably burst out crying. Meryl Streep AND LUPITA?? I’d die.

M: This Polish director of Ida is so adorable.

T: …Is it weird that whenever I hear Mauritania, I think of the boat that picked up the survivors of the Titanic?

M: Wasn’t the Mauritania the one at the beginning when Sassy Rose is like “it doesn’t look any bigger than the Mauritania?” then Cal has to be a dick and tell us like exactly how much longer the Titanic is?

Hi. My name is Molly and I watched Titanic so many times in 6th grade that I still have it memorized.

T: Yes. That is correct. Us with Titanic:

M: I hope this seat filler isn’t going to get in trouble for acknowledging her existence.

T: I love you Steve Carrell, but I was distracted trying to figure out if that was Idris Elba behind him.

M: Ha what, Tegan and Sara and Lonely Island are performing Everything Is Awesome? And now I’m going to have this in my head all night.

T: THE LONELY ISLAND. THESE FOLKS ARE PERFORMING ON THE OSCARS RIGHT NOW:

<3 Jorma <3

Also, GOLDEN GLOBE WINNER ANDY SAMBERG

QUESTLOVE! IS THIS THE REAL DEVO GUY

M:I didn’t stop smiling through the whole number. Like mouth-open smiling. LEGO OSCAR THAT THEY GAVE TO OPRAH. Everything is awesome. Everyone in the crowd is making the same dopey grin that I am.

M: I don’t know what the seating situation is at the Oscars with much specificity, but maybe don’t put the nominees in the balcony? The guy who won for short film just said “crikey” and then said that the statuette was heavy “because we’re only little.” Bless.

T: I want to talk like this donut dude for the rest of the night.

M: Or TO him, maybe? Like he could do some of that lame banter they give to the presenters.

Kerry Washington is not joking even a little bit about pronouncing the foreign nominees’ names properly. Smarter than your favs, too.

M: Gwyneth Paltrow, you may be beautiful and classy, but your sleeve still looks like cabbage.

T: Honestly, guys, Country Strong wasn’t THAT bad. Just me? Okay.

M: I thought it was all right. Am I supposed to admit that? Oh well.

T: I AM ACTUALLY CLAPPING OUT LOUD FOR NPH RN.

T: Oh good the sound mixing/editing categories!!!!

M: Any predictions or favorites?

T: Whoever was interviewed earlier. I don’t think it was these guys? Ugh who knows. #AllWhiteMenLookTheSame

M: Particularly white men over the age of 60 or so. And white babies. It’s like all white people start life looking the same way, diverge a bit for a little while, then end up at the same place.

T: Oh actually I think American Sniper was one of them. Congrats boys!

M: Now it’s sound editing, which is an entirely different thing from sound mixing. I do not dispute that good sound editing/mixing is integral to a movie, but it also seems like something that might be more comfortable at the technical awards.

M: Jared Leto, wearing a tux the color of his eyes. Which would be fine if his eye were black or off-white. Catalano does what he wants.

T: WWJCD (the other WWJD)

M: Emma Stone holding a Lego Oscar was about the cutest thing ever. And Meryl, not at all nervous because she doesn’t even have to care anymore.

Best Supporting Actress

Patricia Arquette, Boyhood

Laura Dern, Wild

Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game

Emma Stone, Birdman

Meryl Streep, Into the Woods 

Traci’s Pick: Patricia Arquette, Boyhood

If there’s one thing I know in life, it’s that I will bet all my monies on Patricia Arquette winning this. Unless Meryl pulls a Meryl.

Molly’s Pick: Patricia Arquette, Boyhood

If only for being willing to film herself aging in real-time for 12 years. Don’t get me wrong, she looks amazing, but that would have been a fear of mine at the outset. But Emma Stone was the best part of Birdman.

Winner: Patricia Arquette

T: Wait I’m crying. GOD BLESS YOU PATRICIA ARQUETTE.

M: I was just going to write WHY AM I CRYING. Which is only weird because usually when winners try to get platform-y I feel a little secondhand embarrassment but nope.

T: Is Rita Ora going to sing Defying Gravity after this??

T: Okay who picked the soundtrack to the walk-out music? They just played Endless Love for the special effect categories.

M: I feel like in the special effects or tech-y categories, there’s always one guy in a Scottish scarf or a kilt or something.

M: THIS MUSIC. That was just “The Time Of My Life.”

T: Hear me out: A rom-com featuring Anna Kendrick and Kevin Hart as best friends who everyone thinks will end up together (a la Mindy and BJ). Hart to Hart? No that’s a thing already.

M: I think a height pun. A Little Bit Of Love. Pint Sized Love. Basically anything that means short and then the word love after it. Small Fry, Big Love.

T: Side note: I want all these hanging edison lights for my home.

 Best Animated Feature

Big Hero 6

The Boxtrolls

How to Train Your Dragon 2

Song of the Sea

The Tale of Princess Kaguya

Traci’s Pick: How to Train Your Dragon 2

So the Lego Movie really isn’t going to win?

Molly’s Pick: Big Hero 6

Everything’s NOT awesome. Loved the characters in Big Hero 6, though.

Winner: Big Hero 6

M: I went to this with two of my nephews who hated it, on the advice of two of my other nephews who loved it. So they’re all really cute kids and everything, but now I know which ones have good taste in movies.

M: I think NPH just walked in to “Hey There, Georgie Girl.” Did somebody switch out the orchestra’s sheet music? Or is the musical theme “stuff that had really cheap royalties?”

T: Why s Anna Wintour sitting next to Harvey Weinstein? Why is Anna Wintour sitting at the Oscars? The Devil Wears Prada was in ‘06.

T: PRATT. I adore you.

M: HOOKED ON A FEELING? We’re being punked.

T: I think maybe Hooked on a Feeling had to do with Guardians of the Galaxy? IDK get back to me after I see it.

M: I really want to see it but also am afraid I’ll hate it. Or be bored, at least.

T: I… Love Lift Us Up Where We Belong… for IDRIS???

M: What if these are just being planned by someone with a great sense of humor, trying to give us all something silly to pay attention during this 9-hr-long show? Probably not. These are so all over the place that it almost seems like they’re part of the code. Maybe the titles form an acrostic.

T: Someone get Benedict Cumberbatch to solve this immediately. (That was an Imitation Game AND Sherlock ref. You’re welcome).

T: Is it rude to ask if Meryl just got an Oscar for the intro to the In Memoriam tribute?

M: I was watching it wondering if she was emotional or just a really good actress? Such is the difficulty of anything involving Meryl. Like, credit card rep listening to Meryl say that she “mailed it last week” or a dentist hearing that Meryl “flosses every day” would have no way to know if it was the truth.

T: Shout out to all of Meryl’s doctors, business people, and local grocers.

T: When did Batfleck get there???

Does Terrence Howard think this presentation is an audition … wait what happened. did the teleprompter go out? DOES JOHN TRAVOLTA HAVE SOMETHING TO DO WITH THIS??

M: I’m almost positive that it did so he had to cover by pretending to be overcome with emotion.

T: NPH, I love you but you keep saying “Oyelowo” wrong. Did Brad Pitt teach you nothing?

M: I had to google whether I had been saying it wrong this whole time. I have not. It isn’t even hard to say properly?

T: Oh-YEH-Low-Whoa (i mean not correct phonetic spelling, but whatevs)

M: And I’m very well-versed in that look of panic people get when they have to read off your last name and don’t know how (see: my whole life having 4 consecutive silent letters in my surname), so I tend to cut people a break when they stumble a little. But you’re on TV. Show some respect for TV.

T: omg they just played Dreamgirls for Octavia Spencer’s walk-out… As she talks about Selma

M: I’m at two times crying tonight. Once at Patricia Arquette’s glorious mic-drop speech, and the second during the performance of Glory. Particularly when it was over and Oyelowo was crying.

T: *What Molly said because I am still crying and snotting right now.

T: OMG JOHN TRAVOLTA JUST SO CREEPY #XENU

ALSO IS THAT A CHAIN LINK TIE

Remind John Travolta was creepy on the red carpet with Scarlett Johansson too.

M: New life goal: never get my chin cradled at close range by a Scientologist? WAIT what is his necklace.

T: Or just never get close to a Scientologist. 

Best Original Song

“Everything Is Awesome” from The Lego Movie; Music and Lyric by Shawn Patterson

“Glory” from Selma; Music and Lyric by John Stephens and Lonnie Lynn

“Grateful” from Beyond the Lights; Music and Lyric by Diane Warren

“I’m Not Gonna Miss You” from Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me; Music and Lyric by Glen Campbell and Julian Raymond

“Lost Stars” from Begin Again; Music and Lyric by Gregg Alexander and Danielle Brisebois

Traci’s Pick: Glory from Selma

Despite the fact I would really love to see The Lonely Island get an Oscar, I’m totally fine with seeing Common and John Legend up there lookin foine and winning their first Oscars.

Molly’s Pick: Everything Is Awesome from The Lego Movie

I really think Glory is the likely winner, but I want to see Lego win something. IDK what Begin Again is, but Danielle Brisebois is the original Molly from Annie, so that’s fun.

Winner: Glory

M: If Common were a preacher, I’d start going to church. * I don’t know whether to count this as a separate cry or a continuation of my last one.

M: Gaga singing The Sound Of Music… was not expecting it to go down like this.

T: Friendly reminder Gaga went to NYU (the special theatre school) for musical theatre.

M: Aww, I’ve never cared too much about Gaga (except I heard Poker Face today and remember that it was really fun when that album first came out)… but this is just darling. I honestly didn’t expect to like this. But on the east coast it’s also 11:20 so maybe they don’t have to do ALL the songs. Nothing’s that charming.

T: CRY COUNT 3! Although Glory counted as like 20. CRY COUNT 4 OMG OMG OMG OMG JULIE FREAKING ANDREWS. ROYALTY ON STAGE, Y’ALL.

Back to Gaga for a second – I’m SO glad she got to have this moment because people are quick to dismiss her because of her crazy outfits and pop music, but she’s a fantastic, impressive singer, and she got to show that tonight. 143 Gaga.

M: If you took a photo of me right now my eyeballs would have stars or hearts in them. (Plus still some tears.)

T: Everyone was clapping along to that Grand Budapest score in rhythm.

T: Oh my GOD you guys – WILL ARNETT WAS IN THE BATMAN COSTUME DURING THE EVERYTHING IS AWESOME PERFORMANCE

M: NOO REALLY?!?! Because I’m a celebrity creeper: I bet Archie and Abel flipped the heck out about that.

T: Archie and Abel are lit’rally the luckiest kids in the world

Best Original Screenplay

Birdman, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. & Armando Bo

Boyhood, Richard Linklater

Foxcatcher, E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman

The Grand Budapest Hotel, Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness

Nightcrawler, Dan Gilroy

 Traci’s Pick: The Grand Budapest Hotel

My record for liking Wes Anderson’s films is not that good, but I will say Grand Budapest was entertaining and I actually paid attention to what was happening. Only he could create this specific world of a European mystery adventure thriller with a backdrop dreams are made of.

Molly’s Pick: Birdman

Birdman, while probably technically very good, just didn’t do it for me. But I’m usually really into Wes Anderson and Grand Budapest wasn’t my fav. And the strength of Boyhood wasn’t really in the script. And I didn’t see the other movies.

Winner: Birdman

Best Adapted Screenplay

American Sniper, Jason Hall

The Imitation Game, Graham Moore

Inherent Vice, Paul Thomas Anderson

The Theory of Everything, Anthony McCarten

Whiplash, Damien Chazelle

Traci’s Pick: The Imitation Game

I have not seen any of these movies. This is total educated guess.

Molly’s Pick: The Theory of Everything, Anthony McCarten

So, I saw three of these, but haven’t read the books/whatever they were adapted from… this was a fantastic screenplay though.

Winner: The Imitation Game

M: That was totally deserved so I’m trying not to be TOO jealous that the writer looks to be possibly younger than we are.

T: CRY COUNT 5. THIS GUY NEEDS TO BE MY BEST FRIEND.

M: He’s such a cutie. At this point the crowd is like Catholic mass-status with all the sitting and standing.

T: So instead of giving Ben Affleck a nomination for directing Argo , he just gets to present the same award to some other white dude?

M: It’s like if I went back to our high school to announce prom queen.

[ Did we even have that?]

T: […Yes?]

Best Director

Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu, Birdman

Richard Linklater, Boyhood

Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher

Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game 

Traci’s Pick: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu

Like best picture, it’s really down to Boyhood and Birdman for the big categories, and based on the fact Birdman has all those long uncut scenes, I’m going with Alejandro.

Molly’s Pick: Richard Linklater

Maybe it’s gimicky, but Boyhood was a novel approach that actually worked.

Winner: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu

M: I’m actually sort of embarrassed that I wasn’t into Birdman. I do understand why it was good, but, meh.

T: Didn’t see it. Feel like I should.

M: You can watch it on demand now, so that’s something. OH GOD. It’s 11:45. Come on. This is like the west coast’s revenge: for once, the east coast is stuck watching things at inconvenient times.

The west coast’s other revenge is that right now if you go outside on the east coast, there are actual warnings on the news to let you know you might Jack Dawson. (To Jack Dawson = to die by freezing)

T: Still can’t get over Steve Carell being nominated for an Oscar.

Best Actor

Steve Carell, Foxcatcher

Bradley Cooper, American Sniper

Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game

Michael Keaton, Birdman

Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything 

Traci’s Pick: David Oyelowo, Selma Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

It’s either Eddie or Michael Keaton, but I think Eddie has the slightest of edges because of his role as Stephen Hawking. It’s technically a bit more challenging and dodgier than playing an actor. It’s like Kate Winslet’s Holocaust/Oscars theory, but for disabled people. (was that PC?)

Molly’s Pick: Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

The thing that Traci said is right, though. And it wasn’t just how Redmayne captured Hawing’s physical impairments, but the whole — ugh, sorry, “emotional journey” of the character. 

Winner: Eddie Redmayne

T: HE IS THE CUTEST.

M: Romcom where Eddie Redmayne and Lupita Nyong’o meet in some sort of a doctoral program and are fierce academic rivals but ultimately find love?

T: The Report Card. No. The Dean’s List. No. Grade A. Ugh I’m bad at this.

M: PINT SIZED LOVE. No we already used that.

Best Actress

Marion Cotillard, Two Days One Night

Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything

Julianne Moore, Still Alice

Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl

Reese Witherspoon, Wild

 Traci’s Pick: Julianne Moore, Still Alice

She needs this. WE need this. THE WORLD NEEDS THIS.

Molly’s Pick: Julianne Moore, Still Alice

This falls under the “probably too sad to watch” category for me.

Winner: Julianne Moore

M: It’s midnight. I have a meeting to run first thing in the morning. NPH, this bit with your predictions is not endearing you to me. 

Best Picture

American Sniper

Birdman

Boyhood

The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Imitation Game

Selma

The Theory of Everything

Whiplash

Traci’s Pick: Birdman

I keep changing my choice but let’s go with Birdman BUT BOYHOOD SHOULD WIN BECAUSE the story may be simple, but it’s every person’s story, and that’s why it’s impressive. Theoretically, a story about a family over the course of 12 years shouldn’t be this interesting, but with the divorce, marriage, abusive husbands, relationships, puberty, etc. these actors make you actually feel like you’re part of their lives. And an Oscar should be a part of theirs.

Molly’s Pick: Boyhood

This is a year without one clear winner. The movies I actually enjoyed the most were The Imitation Game, The Theory of Everything and Whiplash. But Boyhood did something that sounds so simple that it’s amazing nobody had attempted it before. It sounds like the top two picks are Boyhood and Birdman, and I think a larger proportion of the academy might vote for Boyhood.

Winner: Birdman

Thanks for sticking with us, everyone! We’ll be back tomorrow with our best and worst dressed picks!

Saturday Spotlight: The Return Of Crying Week

From the SNL anniversary special to babies bawling at fashion week, Parks and Recreation moments that made us tear up to weather that brought cry-cicles to my eyes, this wasn’t an official crying-themed week like our last one, but it may as well have been. Read on for the posts: Continue reading

Go Suck An Icicle: Pro-Snow Culture Hurts Children, Adults, Everyone

I thought that my TV said that it was 10 degrees Fahrenheit outside this morning. It didn’t. It said negative ten. I looked out at my snow-covered car and driveway and wanted to cry. I’m pretty sure I have shoveled every day for a month, and most of those days have been in the single digits or below. Yesterday my car ran like a cross between tumblr and a Little Golden Book: “I think I can’t. I think I can’t. I can’t.” The only vehicle that could safely drive outside right now is a Zamboni. My toes are blue. You know what I wore this morning? My clothes. Like, all of my clothes. If you have a grandmother, please check on her, because I appear to be covered in an old lady’s skin.

And lest you think I’m just bad at winter, know how Boston has had 100 inches of snow so far? That’s my city’s average every winter. I’m used to this, but that doesn’t mean I like it. Now is probably the time for a post about appreciating the simple joys of winter, or a chipper reminder that spring is just around the corner. I’m not in the mood for that. I’m so tired of our pro-snow culture. Snow propaganda targets our most vulnerable population – children – and tells them that snow and cold is somehow okay.  It needs to stop.

Snow Forts

When I was a child, every time we’d get a foot or two of snow I’d rush out with a shovel, gloves, and buckets and start building a snow fort. We had mammoth snow castles, with walls taller than I was and hollowed-out snow living rooms with built-in benches. When we were done we’d douse the whole thing in water so that it would become solid.

And do you know what all of that was? It was practice for being an adult who has to shovel in order to get out of your house to go to work. Bet nobody told you THAT when you were seven. Snow forts, I cordially invite you to go suck an icicle.

A Snowy Day

This beautifully illustrated children’s classic is beloved by kids, teachers and parents alike. It’s about a little boy who’s too stupid to know that snow is awful. And it’s responsible for propagating the myth that snow is somehow fun or exciting. My only consolation is that little Peter is now an adult who has to shovel out a section of yard so that his dog doesn’t poop in the house. Yeah. Those are the things children’s books don’t tell you about winter. Ezra Jack Keats is one of my favorite children’s authors, but from the icy shores of Winter 2015, I say that A Snowy Day can go eat snowballs.

The Chronicles Of Narnia

I, too, have a portal that brings me into a snow-covered landscape of crystalline cold. It’s called a door. As in, any freaking door in the entire Northeastern United States.

If I were the Pevensie children, I would have boarded up that wardrobe and maybe set it on fire to make it go away. And also for warmth. Because it’s freezing.

C.S. Lewis wrote an entire allegorical series about a mythical land that just looks like outside. Why are we celebrating this again? Narnia, go bleed a radiator.

Most Of The Jan Brett Cannon

Oh, lets all wear Fair Isle sweaters and frolic in the snow! That’s the harmful message of most of Jan Brett’s Scandinavian-inspired story books. Let’s flounce around with woodland creatures in the snowy forest! I can’t believe I fell for that hogwash as a kid. From the story about the idiot grandma who makes her grandson snow-white mittens, to the tale of the stretchy hat that a bunch of animals hide in to avoid a frigid death, these books try to make outerwear into something greater than it is. Cute illustrations, fun to read to children, but Jan Brett books can go snort road-slush.

Frozen

No. I do NOT want to build a snow man. And I’ll never know if an act of true love can thaw this mess, because right now I hate everything. Frozen can go lick snow tires.

The North Pole

What a harmful myth. Not the whole Santa thing, but that a mega-productive society can exist in the most frigid and snow-laden part of the world. In real life the elves would show up 20 minutes late to work every day, everybody would be out sick half the time, and the leading cause of death would be shoveling heart attacks. You want to make a toy for every child in the world, station yourself in Italy or Mexico. For every employer who doesn’t understand that it took you an extra half hour to drive to work and that you can’t stay late when your city is in white-out, we can blame the North Pole. Santa and his elf-slaves can go blow a snowblower. I’m done.

Carnival is Weird: World Edition

For partiers and the lackadaisical types, this week has been perfect so far. On Monday, many Americans stayed at home or enjoyed a good sale thanks to Presidents Day. On Tuesday, many folks reveled in New Orleans for Mardi Gras. Many kids have the entire week of for winter break, and hell, Mardi Gras is still alive and well. For those who need a quick reminder, Mardi Gras = Fat Tuesday, a celebration of everything in excess before you fast or give things up for Lent, the time period leading up to Easter. Now Mardi Gras is the biggest celebration in the U.S., but around the world, there are oh so many more extravagant parties.

When I studied in the Netherlands, I happened to be in Nice, France during their weeklong version of Mardi Gras, which is Carnival. You probably relate the term to the biggest one in Rio, where I’m pretty convinced no one goes to work for like, a good month. I had never experienced anything like it before – drinking, parades, people dancing in the street, just a lot of organized chaos and large bejeweled costumes. People do Carnival big overseas, and to be quite honest, some of the floats and masks and costumes are just plain weird. And scary. But mostly weird. While you’re sitting at work today, here are so people around the world that are actually having a better (yet odder) week than you.

Brazil

Sao Paulo – If you stare into her glasses long enough, you’ll think she’s the love child of Beetlejuice and Lady Gaga

Rio – I feel like this is the version of the Hulk I would see if I was tripping on shrooms. Do kids still do that these days?

Rio – Obviously Rio has the largest Carnival in the world with tourists flocking there every year, but the scariest thing about this picture isn’t the creepy sleeping mask float – it’s the thousands of people crammed in that arena. I MEAN THE PARKING MUST BE A NIGHTMARE

Rio – Carnival: Where you can get a cheerful reminder that global warming exists and we’re all gonna die soon

Paraty – Outside of Rio, there are plenty more Carnival celebrations, and in Paraty, they have what’s called the “Bloco da Lama” or “Mud Block” carnival party. According to local legend, the off tradition of covering yourself in dark mud and dancing dates back to 1986 (exactly our year of birth), when teens who were hiking in a nearby forest slathered themselves in mud to ward off mosquitoes as they went through the town. The tradition has grown every since. IDK, you can go to the Korean Spa and get something like this without the danger of diseases or whatever is in dark mud.

Germany

Cologne – Nothing says “I’m ready for Lent” like cut plastic watering cans with tiny disco balls and feathers attached to it.

Munderkingen – My, what large nostrils you have scary clown man!

Wuerzberg – For some reason I feel like this pink elephants got lost on their way to the pride parade.

Mainz – Is this the episode of Walking Dead where the dude from Love Actually starts killing German zombies?

Wuerzburg – Ich wanna Rock and Roll all night!

Mainz – Vlad Putin. In a bear costume. On a float that says “Problem Bear” … in GERMANY.

Dusseldorf – Apparently the Germans like to incorporate a lot of political floats in their parades.

The Netherlands

Roermond – I just feel like people must be high 24/7 during Carnival week in order to just get through it.

Italy

Venice – Never has Venice looked so much like the set of Pretty Little Liars.

Hungary

Mohacs – I know where the wild things are

Spain

Aguilas – Not shitting you. These are dancing Jim Carreys from The Mask. Apparently Aguilas is 21 years late to the party. Sssssmmmmookin! *jazz hands*

Luzon – In more frightening Carnival news, Luzon holds the La Fiesta de los Diablos y Mascaritas, or Festival of Devils and Masks. Clearly the dude with the horns represents the devils and the ladies are the masks. Couldn’t pay me enough to hang out with these people.

Luzon – I mean come on. For Lent I would give up hanging out with anyone who dresses like Babe the Blue Ox’s long lost evil twin brother.

Lesaka – Spain, seriously, what’s up with your Carnival traditions? In the small village of Lesaka, townspeople dress as the “Zaku Zaharrak”, or “Old Sack”. After the sun sets, they cover their faces with white handkerchiefs, stuff themselves with straws in sacks, hold a stick of an inflated animal’s bladder (which is used to hit people), and roam through the streets for hours dancing to an accompanied band. Hide yo kids. Hide yo wives.

Switzerland

Lucerne – I’d like to call this series “Switzerland takes well-known children’s story characters and fucks it all up”. Here is Shrek and Princess Fiona, who is apparently being held at gunpoint.

Lucerne – “How do you expect me to grow, if you won’t let me blow??”

Lucerne – Antonio Banderas sure has changed since his split with Melanie Griffith.

Lucerne – In which the Native American crying by the side of the road goes to see Dr. 90210 and has a botched face lift.

Lucerne – Just kidding. THIS is the episode of The Walking Dead where the dude from Love Actually travels to Switzerland in the 1960s.

Lucerne – Something has changed within me. Something is not the same. I’m through with playing by the rules of someone else’s game

Lucerne – Frozen 2: The long lost third princess of Arendelle returns from Star Trek Deep Space Nine

Your Baby Hates Fashion Week

New York Fashion Week is in full swing, and this year’s hottest accessory is a human baby. Anna Wintour hates it:
Even Queen Beyonce looks a little shady.  But nobody’s crying about it more than the babies. You know, because they are babies.

Now, you might be thinking “but Molly, what do you know about what babies hate?” Here are my qualifications:

  • I know some babies.
  • And some of my best friends are babies, so it’s not like this is an anti-baby piece.
  • Also I used to be a baby.

Whether your baby is North West or Blue Ivy, Harper Beckham or Suri Cruise, your baby hates fashion week. Fashion week goes counter to everything that baby culture stands for. To wit:

  • Babies love naps. There are no naps at fashion week.

Fashion week is all go-go-go, fueled by coffee, cigarettes, and cocaine, which parenting manuals call the “Three Cs” as a mnemonic so you remember not to give them to babies. Babies, however, are sleepy. And sleepy babies are cranky babies, and cranky babies get side-eye from Anna Wintour.

  • Babies also hate naps. So if you want your baby to sleep like a fat drool-y angel through the show, your baby will choose that time to be awake and angry.

It’s not Thanksgiving at your Aunt Pat’s. You can’t arrange the events of the day around your baby’s nap schedule. So if you think you’re going to have a gently dozing baby in the front row of the Armani collection, you’re wrong.

  • Babies like when adults make ridiculous faces. Catwalk models make no such faces.

Your baby isn’t going to giggle and clap with delight as the models pass by, because babies are interested in faces that move and show expression. If anything, your baby might be scared. I mean I’m 28 and I’m scared of them, a little.

  • Fashion Week is an entire week devoted to clothes – which babies hate.

You know what babies love? Kicking back on the changing table waving their arms and legs during no-diaper time. An event celebrating clothing is an affront to baby culture. Do you think North West likes wearing a bullet-proof vest at her dad’s Emperor’s New Spanx fashion show? She wants to wear Garanimals and pull off her socks to eat.

  • Your baby wants some apple juice and goldfish NOW.

A baby’s blood sugar is a delicate flower, but not like a lily of the valley, more like that plant in Little Shop Of Horrors that craves human flesh. Hell hath no fury like a toddler who knows her mommy has a baggie of Teddy Grahams in her purse. I remember when I was a little kid and I was so jealous of – and a little disgusted by – those kids at church whose parents brought juice boxes and bags of loose cereal to mass. Catholic mass. Which is only about 45 minutes long, maybe an hour if they sing a lot of those response bits instead of reading them. But you can’t bring food to fashion week, leading to our next item…

  • Babies are a mess.

Not YOUR baby. I’m sure your baby looks awesome. But if you know enough babies, you know what I mean. They have sticky faces and pureed sweet potatoes in their neck folds. Their hands have a layer of grime. They literally sit in their own excrement until you clean them. They spew puke (you can call it spit-up, but your baby is PUKING). There are a lot of great places to bring babies – like, say, to visit me so I can tickle their adorable chubby cheeks and make faces at them – but a room full of the finest and most expensive fabrics in the world is not one of them.

  • Nobody likes your baby as much as you like your baby.

And I say this as someone who is totally friends with a lot of babies. Try bringing your baby on a plane and you’ll see what I mean. Your cranky, snack-crazed, sticky little darling is the light of your life. But she sure as heck isn’t the light of Anna Wintour’s life.

It’s not just babies. Kids at Fashion Week have also stirred up some trouble, and kids are really just older babies so it makes sense. Before she was the Princess Of The Internet and a Broadway starlet, our much-loved Tavi Gevinson was a child fashion blogger annoying New York fashionistas with her giant bow hat.

I can’t wait to see what the next big fashion week accessory is. Maybe it will be a living dog, or a very old person, or ant farms. But based on the babies’ – and Anna Wintour’s – reaction, I think within a few years, babies at fashion shows will be “so 2015.”