Miley Cyrus as the VMAs host? It Could Be Worse

There’s nothing that makes us feel more old than the Teen Choice Awards, as we’ve discussed before. Now a few weeks after our faces have gone back to normal, we’re faced with the annual MTV Video Music Awards. Growing up, I always thought of the VMAs to be the edgiest out of all the awards shows – the one that if I showed up to school the next day and talked about it in 5th grade, I would feel super cool. That didn’t mean I actually was. Over the years, whether we care to admit it or not, the VMAs are a gem in the zeitgeist crown. Even if we don’t know some of the songs or artists nominated, there will ALWAYS be something to talk about around the watercooler (or conversational landmark of your choosing) the next day. This year, plenty of people have already been talking about the show, thanks to their choice of host:

Having not abused my eyes with this picture for a while, it looks absolutely ridiculous. What even is this world we’re living in. Beetlejuice and a grown-up nude Kewpie doll are grinding.

No it’s not Robin Thicke OR that foam finger. It’s obviously Miley Cyrus. Good ol’ Destiny Hope is returning to the VMAs stage two years after the performance that rocked her entire career. One year after she weirdly let her homeless friend accept an award on her behalf:

KATY AND SAM COORDINATED SIDE EYE FTW

But let’s be real here folks, no matter what you think of Miley, we can all agree that whatever she does is entertaining and will garner the attention of… everyone, whether it be positive or negative. I can’t wait to see what she’ll do at the VMAs, and I might be watching with my head down shaking it in disappointment, but I’m looking forward to what she’ll do. Also, brilliant move by MTV.

In saying this, there have been way worse hosts of the VMAs than I expect Miley to be, so let’s just thank MTV head honchos for at least making us want to tune in. Here are some questionable emecees MTV has hired over the years that pretty much make me long for Miley.

1984: Dan Aykroyd and Bette Midler

Ok, let’s attribute this choice to the fact it was the inaugural VMAs, and in the early era of MTV itself. Maybe they didn’t know what they were doing, or what kind of audience they were going for. I guess to be fair, Dan Aykroyd was popular at the time because of SNL and Ghostbusters, and Bette Midler was, more Bette Midler than she is now. But were they really the voice of the youth culture back then? Also, who decided to put these two together? Couldn’t have been one or the other? I have a lot of questions.

1986: MTV VJs: Downtown Julie Brown, Mark Goodman, Alan Hunter, Martha Quinn & Dweezil Zappa

Again, for perspective, MTV was a huge deal in the ’80s, primarily because there was no network like it ever before. MTV was a channel that wasn’t ABC/CBS/NBC, that didn’t show scripted programming, and dedicated entirely to showing visual representations of music heard on the radio. It was groundbreaking, and in those first few years, it was such a big deal that the first VJs subsequently became a big deal too. So again, it makes sense that these folks were the hosts. But come on, that must have been a bore for the regular viewers. Even spreading them out throughout the country – and London? – is mediocre at best. They see these people all the time. It wouldn’t hurt for some new blood in there. I imagine it was so boring that that’s why I couldn’t really find any good clips of them. Which is why I’m sharing this video of a young Whitney singing How Will I Know. There’s something so special about her just singing and dancing without anything else except the neon MTV logos behind her. It’s a  far cry from the superproduced performances we’ve seen over the past decade. ‘N Sync and Britney, much? (As a BSB fan, I admit this is one of the best in VMA history).

1993: Christian Slater

You’re reading this right. Christian Slater, movie star and 90s hunk/bad boy, hosted the Video Music Awards. At the time, he was the hottie from Heathers and on the verge of hitting rave reviews in True Romance, so he was more or less the Zac Efron type of the era. However, he still didn’t quite fit into host of the VMAs, as evidenced by this clip of his monologue. He’s going through it as if he’s reading a presentation in science class. Except making horrible jokes like, “How ’bout that Madonna? I didn’t want that number to end but I ran out of quarters backstage”, in reference to this performance. He also made a joke about the Moonman being able to see up Sharon Stone’s dress from the stage, so, I mean, obviously a solid night.

 

1994: Roseanne

I do not like Roseanne. I do not think she’s funny. I hated her sitcom. The above outfit is physically hurting my eyes. I can’t even get myself to watch this clip of her hosting, but I’m assuming it’s bad.

2008 and 2009 Russell Brand

It’s not that I think Russell Brand isn’t funny. Because sometimes he can be. But also he can be a lot annoying, and bottom line is that I don’t find him entertaining. But hey, who am I to say what the youth of the world finds entertaining these days? I’m just saying do we trust a man with that hair and who divorces someone over the phone???

 

Wedding Guest Drinking Game/ Scavenger Hunt

It’s August, but Wedding Season isn’t over yet … because with the growing popularity of fall weddings, wedding season stretches from May to early November, with an additional, tiny bump around Christmas time. I’m in my  late 20s now, and it has been over 10 years since I have had a wedding-free summer. After you’ve been around the bridal block a few times, you start to notice that from your swanky sit-down affairs to your afternoon backyard bashes, most weddings really do have a lot in common. And after you’ve been around the bridal block more than a few times … especially if you’re single …. especially if like me, you cannot envision having a WEDDING-wedding even if you get married … you start to feel like you need some sort of a game, goal, or mission to keep the events feeling fresh.

Ladies and gentlemen, to that end I give you the Cookies + Sangria Wedding Guest Drinking Game/ Scavenger Hunt. EXTRAVAGANZA! 2015. Or whatever year you’re reading this.

1 point (Scavenger Hunt) / 1 Sip (Drinking Game)
  • Mason Jars
  • Burlap
  • In the days before the wedding, you go through that internal struggle of whether it would make more sense for you to take a cab to the wedding or just limit your drinking to a glass or two of wine way at the beginning. [Obviously if you come out in favor of driving to the event, you’re playing the scavenger hunt, so get your notepad ready to tally those points!]
  • Jordan almonds
  • A grandma
  • A photo announcement for everyone from your alma mater
  • A bride is tanned or toned beyond recognition
  • A bride is keeping her birth name, the couple will be hyphenating their name, the groom is taking the bride’s name, the couple is adopting a new name, or a same-sex couple does literally ANYTHING with regards to surnames … but guests or officiants can’t or won’t accept it (cards with wrong name on it, announcement of Mr. and Mrs. Dude’sName, etc).
2 Points (Scavenger Hunt) / 1 swig (Drinking Game)
  • Wedding party in matching Converse
  • The unity candle won’t light
  • Flower girls strewing something other than flowers
  • You are handed bubbles for when the couple leaves the ceremony
  • A guest misses a key point in the wedding because they are doing something on their phone
  • The first dance song was also the first dance at another wedding you went to
  • Canon in D
  • Wedding March
  • You’re in a barn
  • The ring does not go on easily
  • There’s a wedding coordinator or photographer who would be well-suited to some sort of upper-level commanding military position
  • Bridesmaid or groomsman speech mentions a fraternity or sorority
5 points (Scavenger Hunt) / 1 gulp (Drinking Game)
  • Edison lights
  • A man in white athletic socks
  • Actual tin cans tied to the car
  • Dollar dance
  • The couple does that thing where they make sand art instead of lighting a unity candle
  • One of those signs that tells you to pick a seat, not a side
  • Chalkboards or chalkboard paint
  • “Love is patient, love is kind…” etc.
  • It’s a destination wedding (beach resort, cruise, etc) and a non-wedding guest crashes accidentally. Or on purpose.
  • The wedding party takes photos in an awkward location, or one totally unrelated to the couple or event. (NB: now that the “photojournalistic,” candid, “creative” photo style is in, I always see people taking pics in the park and bridge near where I work by people who have, based on things I’ve heard them say, basically never been downtown in my city before).
  • The wedding party does a jumping picture
10 points (Scavenger Hunt) / 2 gulps (Drinking Game)
  • Superfluous Scrabble tiles incorporated into the decor
  • Another wedding guest with your first name
  • Bird decor
  • A ring bearer or flower girl who is actually a baby who can’t walk yet
  • A whole-hearted bouquet toss enthusiast
  • A bouquet toss conscientious objector
  • Unzipped fly on a guest
  • Something that you, personally, would deem an obvious Pinterest Fail
  • Signature cocktail
  • Photo booth
  • A camera whore is very obviously angling to be in the reception candids
  • Anything Disney (cake topper, dress, anything)
  • The table assignments are something “clever” or Pinterest-based, like photos of the couple at whatever age the table number was, or all based on different locations.
20 Points (Scavenger Hunt) / Chug (Drinking Game)
  • The flower girl can’t or won’t flower girl
  • The priest or officiant says something awkward (for instance: at our friend’s wedding, the priest talked about how wonderful it was that we were all  together to consummate the marriage, then he drew even more attention to it by trying to rephrase it for the next minute)
  • A non-bridal party person in an updo (like UPDO updo. Tendrils, hairspray … baby’s breath?)
  • Someone does a honk-y nose blow during the ceremony
  • Elderly people in love
  • It’s a religious wedding and the sermon/speech/whatever is about wives submitting to husbands
  • Someone in the bathroom who needs a sewing kit
  • Someone in the bathroom who has a sewing kit
  • A groom makes some sort of performance art piece out removing the garter
  • The first dance was choreographed
  • You’re single, and someone awkwardly tries to set you up with another single guest (it’s like when you were 12 at your dad’s company picnic, and your parents tried to make you hang out with another kid because of the great uniting factor of you both being in seventh grade, even though that doesn’t mean you have anything else in common).
  • Self-written vows
  • Unzipped fly on a member of the wedding party
50 points (Scavenger Hunt) / Finish Your Drink (Drinking Game)

  • Hay bales are involved in any capacity
  • The entrances to the reception were choreographed
  • A bride has separate ceremony and reception dresses
  • RHYMING vows
  • They make you sit on the hay bales
  • A direction sign pointing the way to food, dancing, custom candy table, etc
  • Custom candy table
  • Two women in the same dress (not in the bridal party)]
  • There’s a theme. Not a color scheme, but a THEME. Like Civil War.
  • An unassuming person with surprisingly awesome dance moves
  • A non-bridesmaid who accidentally wore almost the same dress as the bridesmaids
  • There’s another couple with the same, or almost the same, wedding hashtag that weekend
  • Crying bride (happy tears)
  • Custom cake topper
  • Cake smash. You’re gonna need that drink.
  • An ex-spouse of the couple is present
100 points (Scavenger Hunt) / New Drink (Drinking Game)
  • A non-bride is wearing white (flower girl doesn’t count)
  • The couple’s pet(s) are involved in the ceremony
  • An awkward bouquet/ garter combo (relatives, exes, massive age gap … I have been avoiding the bouquet toss my whole life because even as a little kid I realized that hey, if I catch this thing I don’t want, a stranger is going to have to put an undergarment on my leg??)
  • Somebody has an objection during the ceremony
  • Crying bride (non-happy tears)
  • One of the spouses serenades the other
  • There’s choreography when the bridal party and couple go down the aisle.
  • Someone surprises the couple with a performance that they don’t know about.

 

Pop Culture Extra Credit: College Edition

A couple months ago, my alma mater, Emerson College, announced that starting in the Fall of 2016, there will be a new major available to students – a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Comedic Arts, AKA a degree in comedy. Emerson is a communication and arts school where being a musical theatre major doesn’t make you a nerd and Quidditch is the top sport. We’re known for having unusual or quirky things that you wouldn’t find at a “normal” college. When I first heard the news, I thought, ‘Oh, that makes sense’. The school already offers classes on things like puppetry and “Queer TV After Ellen Came Out”, so yeah, a comedy major sounds about right.

However, it was a much bigger question mark to the rest of the world who went to schools that had classes like Accounting and football teams. Emerson even got a mention from Seth Meyers who suggested students can “just take your tuition money and burn it in front of your parents.” Fair.

So with kids heading back to college over the next few weeks, I thought that there must be other schools out there that offer odd, or pop culture-centric classes. Luckily, the American educational system did not let me down. Here are just a few courses you can take right now – did you guys take any weird classes in college?

Emerson College {Boston, MA}

TV Creators: Understanding the Whedonesque

Description:

This course will use the career of Joss Whedon to introduce students to the variety of positions in the entertainment industry and their potential for fulfilling and creative work… By examining his work at various stages, students will better understand auteur theory, modern industrial entertainment production, and artistic production across media. Works covered include: Roseanne, Alien: Resurrection, Buffy the Vampire Slayer as a film and TV series, Angel, Firefly and Serenity, Dollhouse, The Cabin in the Woods, The Avengers, Much Ado About Nothing, Buffy: Season Eight, and Astonishing X-Men.

Class Notes:

Surprisingly enough, I’m not too familiar with the Whedonverse. The closest I’ve ever gotten is watching Dr. Horrible multiple times over. Back in my day, this class was specifically about dissecting Buffy, and not any of Joss Whedon’s other works. My friend (who shall not be named because in her words, ‘I have a reputation to uphold’) took the Buffy class and had this to say about it: “12-year-old me couldn’t believe she was watching one of her favorite shows in class to achieve a real college degree, but it was surprisingly one of the most demanding classes (work load wise) that I have ever taken.” As I think we’re going to find with the rest of these courses, it may sound silly at first, but it’s probably really interesting and a lot of work.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology {Cambridge, MA}

Topics in Comparative Media: American Pro Wrestling

well this is frightening

Description:

This class will explore the cultural history and media industry surrounding the masculine drama of professional wrestling. Beginning with wrestling’s roots in sport and carnival, the class examines how new technologies and changes in the television industry led to evolution for pro wrestling style and promotion and how shifts in wrestling characters demonstrate changes in the depiction of American masculinity. The class will move chronologically in an examination of how wrestling characters and performances have changed, focusing particularly on the 1950s to the present. Students may have previous knowledge of wrestling but are not required to, nor are they required to be a fan (although it is certainly not discouraged, either).

Class Notes:

Exactly what major is this class fulfilling? I particularly like the disclaimer at the end. ‘You don’t have to be a fan of WWE… except you should probably be if you’re spending money on this class.”

Rutgers University {New Jersey}

Feminist Perspectives: Politicizing Beyoncé

Description:

Calling all the single ladies: this exploration into Queen Bey’s influence on feminism, race, gender, and culture helps students become more aware of the way in which pop culture shapes society. Most classes that are named for celebrities deal with sociologies of fame or psychologies of human behavior, but Kevin Allred’s version zeroes in on politics. By juxtaposing Beyoncé’s song lyrics with readings by distinguished black leaders like Sojourner Truth and Octavia Butler, students ask and attempt to answer the question, “Can Beyoncé’s music be seen as a blueprint for progressive social change?” Yet the more appropriate question may be: Who runs the world? Beyoncé.

Class Notes:

Sign. Me. Up. The person who wrote this description is clearly a member of the BeyHive, so that’s already a plus. But like previously mentioned, this class sounds hard as shiiiit. But that’s what you get when you break down the genius that is Queen B.

Georgia Regents College {Augusta, Georgia}

Good Kids, Mad Cities

Description:

Taking its name from Kendrick Lamar’s 2012 album, this course will examine the role of urban living on the development of young people. In Kendrick’s case, “the streets sure to release the worst side of my best” (Lamar 58). By studying and analyzing various literature, films, and K. Dot’s album, we will consider what effects our characters’ surroundings have on who they become as adults. The cities we will be visiting, in our imaginations, are Dublin, New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles.

Class Notes:

This class should be offered at more colleges, TBH.

Middlebury College {Middlebury, Vermont}

Urban America & Serial Television: Watching The Wire

Description:

Frequently hailed as a masterpiece of American television, The Wire shines a light on urban decay in contemporary America, creating a dramatic portrait of Baltimore’s police, drug trade, shipping docks, city hall, public schools, and newspapers over five serialized seasons. In this course, we will watch and discuss all of this remarkable-and remarkably entertaining-series, and place it within the dual contexts of contemporary American society and the aesthetics of television. This is a time-intensive course with a focus on close viewing and discussion, and opportunities for critical analysis and research about the show’s social contexts and aesthetic practices.

Class Notes:

I would take this class for one reason, the same one reason I watch the entirety of The Wire in the first place: Mr. Idris Elba. God bless.

Colorado College {Colorado Springs, Colorado}

Queen Bees, WannaBees, and Mean Girls

Description:

Queen Bees, WannaBees, and Mean Girls explores the means and motives behind why women seek authority and the actions they are willing to take in order to hold onto it. Students will examine this concept through the use of literary works and movies, such as the 2004 film Mean Girls.

Class Notes:

Temporarily ignoring the fact that first sentence makes it seem like this class is slightly sexist, it would be interesting to take a look into this culture of mean girls. And obviously, the class would have to be held on Wednesdays.

American University {Washington, D.C.}

Contemporary American Culture: Hunger Games

Description:

The Hunger Games trilogy is a publishing phenomenon that has dramatically impacted American popular culture. Using the series as a case study, this course examines the interplay of class, politics, ethics, and marketing. Topics covered include oppression, feminism, food deserts, rebellion, the publishing industry, and social media marketing. 

Class Notes:

Hunger Games isn’t just for kids, y’all. I also read “food deserts” as “food desserts” and immediately started to think what significance desserts had in the books, scouring my brain to remember Katniss’ fave food – then I realized it said “deserts” as in, the lack of food pretty much everywhere besides the Capitol. The Hunger Game isn’t just for kids, y’all.

Georgetown University {Washington, D.C.}

Philosophy and Star Trek

Description:

Star Trek is very philosophical. What better way, then, to do philosophy, but to watch Star Trek, read philosophy and hash it all out in class? That’s the plan. This course will center on topics in metaphysics that come up again and again in Star Trek. In conjunction with watching Star Trek, we will read excerpts from the writings of great philosophers, extract key concepts and arguments and then analyze those arguments. Questions we will wrestle with include:

I. Is time travel possible? Could you go back and kill your grandmother? What is time?
II. What is the relation between your mind and your brain–are they separate items or identical? Can persons survive death? Could a machine someday think? Is Data a person?
III. What is a person? Must you have the same body to be you? Same memories? When do we have one person, and when do we have two (think of the episodes where people “split” or “fuse”).
IV. Do you have free will, or are you determined by the laws of nature to do exactly what you wind up doing (while believing you have free will)? Or both? What is freewill?

Class Notes:

This description is VERY thorough. Not only that, but seems questionable. For instance, why is one of the questions, “Could you go back and kill your grandmother?”. First of all, it should be “Would”. Second of all, what? Is this a plot point in the Star Trek series? If yes, WHY? Also, “What is a person?” ??? This could be a very deep and depressing conversation I personally wouldn’t want to have in a classroom setting.

Georgia State University {Atlanta, Georgia}

American Poetry: Kanye vs. Everybody

kanye vs

Description:

According to the syllabus, Kanye makes for a useful lens through which to “investigate the continuous development of African American poetry and poetics—the uses of language and literature to represent blackness and Americanness in particular—observing shifting meanings in and of the text with important considerations of race, class, gender, and sexuality.” Throughout the semester, students decode Kanye’s work and interviews, which Dr. Heath believes help draw a line from the Harlem Renaissance to the black nationalist era to current-day hip-hop.

Class Notes:

Can’t tell if Kanye would love this course or disagree with it so much he’ll interrupt during class to say just how much he hates it. Is that a dated reference? Him and TSwift are all good now? Ok.

University at Buffalo {Buffalo, New York}

Breaking Down “Breaking Bad”

Description:

“Breaking Bad” was one of the most spectacular narrative achievements in television. Its five seasons comprised some 60 hours of a single narrative arc, something no film or television program (cable or commercial) has ever accomplished… In this seminar, we’ll take a close look at all the components of the series; we’ll talk about what was done, how it was done, why it worked. There is one prerequisite: that members of the seminar have seen the series before the seminar’s first meeting. We’re going to be studying it, not greeting it. We’ll look at some segments during the semester, but only so we can deconstruct the work. I’ll expect participants to do class presentations on different aspects of the epic, and a term paper on a topic of their choice.

Class Notes:

Unlike the American wrestling course, watching the series IS a pre req to being in this class. Luckily, most people on this planet have watched Breaking Bad. There’s gotta be something meta about teaching a class about a show that features a chemistry teacher who isn’t the greatest teacher.

University of California, Berkeley {Berkeley, California}

Arguing with Judge Judy: Popular ‘Logic’ on TV Judge Shows”

Description:

TV “Judge” shows have become extremely popular in the last 3-5 years. A fascinating aspect of these shows from a rhetorical point of view is the number of arguments made by the litigants that are utterly illogical, or perversions of standard logic, and yet are used over and over again. For example, when asked “Did you hit the plaintiff?” respondents often say, “If I woulda hit him, he’d be dead!” This reply avoids answering “yes” or “no” by presenting a perverted form of the logical strategy called “a fortiori” argument “from the stronger” in Latin. The seminar will be concerned with identifying such apparently popular logical fallacies on “Judge Judy” and “The People’s Court”and discussing why such strategies are so widespread. It is NOT a course about law or “legal reasoning” Students who are interested in logic, argument, TV, and American popular culture will probably be interested in this course. I emphasize that it is NOT about the application of law or the operations of the court system in general.

Class Notes:

As the lawyer of this Cookies + Sangria duo, I’m sure Molly can support or oppose this much better than I can, but in theory, this class actually sounds more interesting than it should? Although I hate watching court show, I’m sure there’s a psychology to it that can be studied. Or just a reminder of how stupid Americans can be.

 

Achy Breaky Heart: I Just Don’t Think I Understand

It’s one of those disjointed childhood memories where all I can remember is an image and a feeling. I was standing in front of my family’s tall TV cabinet watching Billy Ray Cyrus performing Achy Breaky Heart on some awards show or late-night program. I knew that the song was really popular, and the crowd was going crazy, but all I could think was “man, I DO NOT get this.” Obviously my internal narrator hasn’t changed much: I was 5 when Achy Breaky Heart came out, I’m 28 now, and I still do not get it. But on this, the 54th anniversary of Billy Ray Cyrus’s birth, I’m at least going to try to explain it.

The thing with Achy Breaky Heart is that it wasn’t just a pop song: it was a phenomenon. I can’t think of a song in recent memory that is similar. Call Me Maybe, maybe? Single Ladies? It tapped into, and defined, the country craze of the early ’90s. You know how now country artists look like slightly glitzier, more polished versions of regular musicians? And most of their songs sound like regular pop songs, save a guitar intro or two (or, if you’re really unlucky, that country guy talk-singing that sounds a bit like the “rap” music on educational tape cassettes in the early ’90s about, like, the solar system). That’s not quite where we were in 1992. For one thing, this was peak Rural Mullet* era, and Billy Ray was leading the brigade.

*The Rural Mullet is not to be confused with the Rock Mullet of the ’80s or the Fashion Mullet of the 2000s.

So we’re talking super-short, like military-short top-hair, and then extra long spiral curled back-hair. This was a MULLET. Shall we have another?

There you go. A nice profile shot, where you can really see the transition from short to long. See, the feathery 80s mullets tried to go for a seemless business-to-party experience, but this was like two independent haircuts coexisting on one head. It was like if you turned a corner in your corporate workplace and were suddenly at a kegger.

The early ’90s country fad was less Keith Urban, Pedicured Cowboy and more 10 gallon hat-ish. Also, buckles. Hefty buckles. If you can answer the question “could I work on my car in this ?” in the affirmative, then an early ’90s country artist could wear it.And yet, layered earthy necklaces weren’t out of place, either.If Billy Ray could simultaneously sport chest hair, a cowboy jacket, denim, and multiple necklaces … well, be still our achy breaky hearts.But it wasn’t just that Achy Breaky typified how country boys dressed in the early ’90s, it also controlled how a generation of moms danced (technically people of all life stages and genders, but primarily moms for some reason). The line dancing craze was the biggest Achy Breaky-related cultural phenomenon other than Miley Cyrus. I definitely remember watching a line dancing show that aired regularly on television. Line dancing was inexplicably popular in malls. Maybe the show was filmed in a mall? And maybe malls were more of a cultural meeting place in the 90s, because I feel like people went to malls a lot more then, just as a general activity.

One thing that I’ve observed at weddings and gatherings: white people, in particular, love dances where you don’t have to figure out what to do. So it is no surprise that white people across the nation flocked to line dancing classes (technically people of all backgrounds and ethnicities, but primarily white people for some reason). The Achy Breaky was the must-know dance of the early ’90s, like the Lindy Hop and the Charleston in ages past.

Here, you can learn, too:

I definitely remember my mom pining for line dancing classes – maybe she still does. I should check on that because her birthday and Christmas are coming up.

I’ve avoided it so far, but we need to talk about Achy Breaky Heart, the song. Listen if you dare: this will be stuck in your head for days.

If you couldn’t bear to listen, I can’t blame you. It’s about a man who just went through a breakup. He tells his ex all the things she can do, but what she CANNOT do is tell his heart (his achy, breaky heart). Okay. But most of the things he says she can do are kind of ridiculous. Billy Ray is apparently fine with her doing the following:

  • Burning his clothes while he’s gone
  • Tell his lips to tell his fingertips not to reach for her. But why do his lips tell his fingertips anything? Is he like my niece, who learns about things by trying to eat them? (She’s fine, she’s a baby, it’s normal.) Or like Helen Keller putting her hands to Annie Sullivan’s mouth to feel the words? (I might be getting that wrong.)
  • Tell her dog to bite his leg. WHY? That isn’t okay.
  • Tell his eyes to watch out for his mind (It might be walking out on me today). I don’t think Billy Ray knows how body parts work?

Today, Billy Ray Cyrus is 54 years old. But 23 years ago, he was the 31-year-old king of country, creating a musical, fashion, and dance craze that swept the nation off its achy breaky feet. I won’t tell his heart – his achy, breaky heart – but I just don’t think I understand.

Questions, Comments, and Concerns: The Unauthorized Full House Story

Another day, another unauthorized story of a 90s TV show from those fine folks at the Lifetime network. This past weekend it was all about Full House, that TGIF (and TBS/WGN/ABC Family/Nick at Nite) favorite that was a staple in our adolescence. We grew up with the Tanners-Katsopolis-Gladstone clan in our living rooms as we watched them grow up in theirs. We saw Rigby the Rhino, Tommy Page, the Beach Boys and even Little Richard come through the doors, and now, we get to see what really went down behind the facade of the Full House. In theory, that is.

Lifetime describes the movie as “the rise of the cast of one of America’s most beloved family sitcoms and the pressures they faced in balancing their television personas with their real lives”. But according to the FH cast, the movie wasn’t exactly how it went down, and to be honest, I’m more inclined to believe them.

Why? I had a lot of things going through my mind while watching it, so if you tuned in or even if you didn’t (probably better that you didn’t), let’s discuss The Unauthorized Full House Story

Question: Why is the VERY first shot of this movie a bush?

Photo Aug 24, 12 45 28 AM

Comment: We start in 1987, when they shoot the pilot, but I’m distracted because the fake Full House set looks like Becky’s house on the real Full House.

Photo Aug 24, 12 35 03 AM

Comment: The cameramen are laughing at the show. While it’s filming. This isn’t how television works.

Comment: We flashback to 1985 for origin stories, starting off with Bob Saget, who is doing stand up and taking about tampons. He sounds like Seinfeld shouting, ‘What’s the deal with tampons?!’

Question: Bob and Dave knew each other before the show? The world of standup comedy is smaller than you think, so it makes sense these two knew each other before FH.

Question: Dave Coulier was almost on Saturday Night Live? Really, how did I not know this? Apparently he was hired then Lorne and co. were like JK, you’re too similar to Dana Carvey. Ok… But tbh, he seems like a better fit for Full House than sketch comedy.

Photo Aug 24, 12 37 37 AM

Comment: John Stamos is played by Justin Gaston. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because he used to date Miley Cyrus. Now he’s playing John Stamos playing Uncle Jesse in a Lifetime movie. Miley is hosting the VMAs on Sunday.

Concern: Bob’s wife tells him she’s pregnant. He says he’s happy about this. His face says otherwise.

actual snapshot of fake bob saget

Comment: Creator Jeff Franklin’s first pitch to ABC was a show called House of Comics (three men/comedians living in a house together, shenans ensue).

“The Cosby Show is doing so well. So the network really wants more of a family show.” Exec who clearly doesn’t know the shit that goes down with Jell-o man in 2015.

After the exec says that quote ^^ Jeff makes up a new show on the spot, which is the plot of Full House. And to think, Full House is all kind of Billy Cosby’s doing. ::insert joke and side eye here::

Comment: Candice Cameron, was only known as Kirk cameron’s little sister at the time. When she went in to audition for Deej, she overhears the casitng director say she was “only okay”. However Candace later redeems herself after a pep talk from her stage mom, and eventually gets the part. Being Kirk Cameron’s sister didn’t always help, folks.

Concern: Paul Reiser was the first choice for Danny Tanner, but he was busy with My Two Dads. What’s that show you ask? Well it’s where the girl from Step by Step is adopted and raised by the dude from Mad About You and straight George Michael. It only last three seasons, so is Paul Reiser upset? Probably not. He went on to Mad About You.

Question: John was already a star. At least with the daytime mom crowd, and he was getting hounded by crazy General Hospital fans. By the time he was approached by Jeff about FH, John was ready to find a new demographic. He was so eager about the new gig that he told Jeff the vision he had for “Uncle Adam” – he pitched that Elvis had a twin brother whose name was Jesse and died at childbirth, and he wanted to be Jesse. Uncle Adam became Uncle Jesse. I still don’t get why he wanted to paid tribute to Elvis’ dead brother?

Concern: MK & A just happened to be sitting in the waiting room of the casting office because their mom’s friend took her kids to the audition. How PISSED is that friend now?

Question: John Posey was originally cast as Danny, because Bob wanted another job on CBS or something. The pilot was shot with this Posey dude. The network picked up the show w Posey and Jeff Franklin (EP) wanted to reshoot the pilot w Danny. This is what one in the biz calls a “Shitshow.” More importantly, where is this footage with Posey as Danny Tanner???

Concern: Justin Gaston is like, significantly younger than the guys who play Bob and Dave.

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Comment: The dude who plays Bob is like *almost* nailing the real Bob Saget’s voice to a point, however it also sounds like he has a frog in his throat the entire time.

Question: Why does the guy who plays Bob have more chemistry with his sister than his wife?

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His sis convinces Bob he needs to bond with his co-stars

“If looked like him (John) I’d never get out of the shower.” – Bob

“So start there” – Sis

“In the shower with Stamos? – Bob

“No, you know what I mean” – Sis

Cue: boys’ trip to Vegas.

Comment: It’s interesting that they keep portraying Bob as a serial monogamist, seeing as how he decided to play blackjack instead of hanging out with John, Dave, and three hot ladies in Sin City. However, back on set, he’s still got a pottymouth and basically told Jodie Sweetin she hopefully won’t grow up to be a stripper. I mean, good advice, to be fair. He even pitched to Jeff that Danny get OCD or terets (so he can curse). The Olsens twins and Cameron’s moms hate this about him and decide to talk to Jeff about it.

Question: Did Dave Coulier really single-handedly convince MK&A’s  mom to stay with the show? She is basically juggling being a stage mom all by herself since her husband is not in sight, but Dave assures her everyone can help raise them, and even offer to help find them a nanny, just so they don’t leave the show.

Comment: Dave farts during tender moment about season 2 pickup. This I can believe.

Question: WAIT JOHN AND LORI DATED ‘A FEW TIMES’ BEFORE SHE JOINED THE SHOW??

“We went on a date to Disneyland before we were both married. In real life, when we were 18, 19 years old… No disrespect to her family and her husband now, I would say that she could be the one that got away. She’s one of my dearest friends, and that’s good enough. I really do adore her.” Real Stamos saying OTP could’ve been real {x}

Question: Why is Danny surprised when he gets fan mail dumped on his person? Like, he’s shocked that the bag of fan mail dumped on his person is all for him and not for the Olsen twins.

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Concern: Andrea Barber (Kimmy Gibbler) runs into the on-set classroom to tell Candace she got upped to a series regular, and Jodie Sweetin looks on at their friendship longingly and a lil jeals. I feel like maybe this would’ve been true on a nine-year-old kid level, but not for realsies.

Comment: The guys find out MK&A are the most popular stars from the show, so Dave lit’rally runs to Jeff’s office so he can campaign for more scenes. Bob and John look at each other and say, “Should we tell him the EPs office is that way?”, in a way that easily could’ve been in the real Full House – it was that corny.

Question: Because MK&A were getting popular by the second, their parents decide to negotiate their contract to get more money. They ask to DOUBLE their salary. The twins are THREE YEARS OLD. Aren’t the other cast members a lil pissed about this??

Comment: Network execs are hoping to tie-in more of their programming with the super popular Full House by asking Bob to host a new show called America’s Funniest Home Videos. His response: “Americas Funniest Home Videos? That seems ever more sophmoric than Full House. Just kidding, that’s not possible.” They are really making it look like Bob had so much disdain for the show.

Question: Did John really set up a rehearsal space for his band in the.. green room on the FH set? And were there actual fam jam sessions

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Question: They keep giving a behind the scenes look at Bob’s marriage with him juggling a marriage (that’s clearly disintegrating), three kids and two jobs setting it up for disaster. Also how does this effect the show?

Concern: If this is how people gathered to watch TGIF in 1990, I really missed out.

The book on the coffee table, The Century, was published in 1998. Full House ended in 1995.

Comment: Instead of a talking woodchuck Joey has a talking dog.

Did somebody say…. BONES? (idk, i’m not good with dog jokes)

Comment: Dave announces he’s engaged to some chick, and for some reason, John mystericously jealous about this.

Concern: Candace goes crazy looking for Lori because she got the new script and found out she has to have her first onscreen kiss. Lori enlists “Stamos” to show Candace how to kiss. I feel weird about this.

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Question: Were John Stamos and Paula Abdul a tight enough couple that they almost got married? I always forget they dated, but per the movie, Stamos says, “I really like Paula I think she might be the one.”

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Except she wasn’t because in the next scene he says they break up. Wah wah.

Comment: Execs see Bob molesting a mannequin on the closed circuit video feed of the set, so Jeff chastises him for being inappropriate. Again with the ‘Bob Saget was an overly dirty man on a set about pure family values’.

Concern: Candace has a heart to heart with John after seeing an article in a tabloid that says she’s chubby. Stamos gives her advice to not let it bother her. She says, “My brother thinks I need to be closer to God.”

if you don’t get this picture, read this immediately

Question: WHY IS THERE NO COMET??? I just realized no dog has come on my screen yet!

Concern: I feel really bad for Dave, who says, “The truth is I’m not so good at being a grown up,” a notion we all can relate to. He reveals he’s getting divorced and his sister just died, so things aren’t going swell.

“Wouldn’t it be great if real life was more like Full House? No matter how big your problem is, you knew that everything was going to be okay?”

“And anything could be solved with a few bowls of ice cream and some hugs.”

Concern: Candace starts going to public school in ’93 AND SHE IS A NEW ACTRESS. Also, the clothes from “1993” are so “2015”.

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Question: Did Stamos, Bob and Dave really have whipped cream battles backstage? And if they didn’t, was this really the worst thing they could do? It’s like they’re 6th graders getting reprimanded at recess.

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Comment: Earlier in the movie, Bob’s sister tells him that their mom has some disease, but now it turns out that his sister has scleroderma. She later passes away and now I feel like an ass for saying they flirted earlier. All of the adult FH cast shows up to her funeral, and it’s nice to see them all supporting each other.

Question: Jeff Franklin created Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper? Because of his success with the show, he left Full House in order to get Mark Curry and co. off the ground. Jeff Franklin is responsible for your TGIF memories.

Comment: I’m so over this Bob/wife drama, especially because I know how it ends. There’s more about this than Jodie Sweetin.

Comment: We’re suddenly backstage at a fashion show where Dave and John are guests and John literally has a meet cute with Rebecca Romijn (I still call you last name Stamos).

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Concern: Lori gets divorced right as John starts dating Rebecca. Talk about bad timing. Perhaps they would have actually made a good couple?

Comment: The whole cast is gathered in a room and told the show is cancelled and they’re filming the last one next week. Jodie has a difficult time accepting this. This is really her only storyline beside being jealous of Candace/Andrea friendship.

“Now I’m even losing my make believe husband.” Lori about John. Too soon?

Question: WHO are the people in this audience?

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Comment: The last scene is very similar to the final scene of the series, in which Deej is off to her prom without a date but Kimmy surprises her by inviting Steve, who we see for the first time. Also for the first time: Nicky and Alex. Not seen: Michelle’s concussion where she forgets everything and confronts her other self AKA screen time for both MK and A.

“See somehow everything has a way of working out.”

“As long as we stick together.”

‘The way we always do.” META, MUCH?

Concern: We cut to two years later, and we’re back to seeing Bob doing standup. He overhears a woman say “It makes me feel gross. That’s Danny Tanner up there saying those horrible things!” You know what makes me feel gross? This woman’s inability to separate actor from character. She’s overreacting.

Comment: We see that John went on to star in a Broadway revival of How To Succeed… and he’s super in love with Rebecca Romijn, Bob gets a divorce (obvi), and Dave hosts a charity hockey game. Candace and Lori (who look the same age, BTW) visit Dave in the locker room, where he introduces Candace to Russian hockey player and her future husband Val, who lrearned Rnglish watching Full House in Russia… So their relationship started because he was a fanboy?

Concern: Candace and Val get married a year after FH ends, and all the cast goes to her wedding. Dave sits next to this woman:

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Candace meets and greets every. single. member. of the cast as if she’s a pop star backstage and meeting her fans and I literally say outloud  I HATE THIS.

Comment: Bob gives a speech at Candace’s wedding, and talks about the influence Danny Tanner had on his life.

“The best thing about Danny was that he knew what was important. He surrounded himself with lots of poeple he loved…”

“With ice cream and so many hugs!”

“As you start your new family, just know wherever you go – wherever any of us go – we’ll always have this family (John aside: that’s true). The one we made.” ::Dave farts::

Cue: Follow You Down. No, seriously, Follow You Down started playing in the background.

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Concern: THERE IS A VOICE OVER. I THINK IT’S DAVE? THERE IS A VOICE OVER THAT MIGHT BE DAVE PLAYED OVER A MONTAGE OF WHAT WE’VE SEEN SO FAR AND THE FH BILLBOARD BEING TAKEN DOWN.

“We had such good memories… and to this day, when one of deals with hard times, or one of the many challenges that life puts in front of us, the other ones do whatever they can to help out. You know, it’s pretty incredible after all these years we all remain close and get together often  – like the family we are.”

This actually faded into a pink background and FH graphic.

 

ICYMI: Hand-Me-Down Disney

In the 90s, kids’ bedrooms seemed to always be coordinated, like, way too coordinated. Like to the point of nausea.

It’s 1996: Let’s All Decorate Our Childhood Bedrooms!

In this Let’s All Decorate, we’re taking it back to 1996 – one of the summers that stands out sharpest in my memory, although I’m not sure why. The Olympics were on TV and I was obsessed with the entire U.S. Gymnastics team and their flat snappy hair clips. My brothers and I knocked a pint of wall primer onto the hall carpet imitating old people at a wedding dancing the Macarena. I spent my days at acting camp, falling hard for improv. Mitzi, my beloved, gentle mutt, slipped out of the front gate and was never seen again. My mission in life was to be the kind of person who owned a bra, and by fall I had one (I concede that it was, and is, completely unnecessary).  Inspired by the summer’s hit film Harriet The Spy, I took to observing my inner-city neighbors and writing down their activities in a notebook … for about two weeks, when I forgot. There were kind of a lot of drug deals, to be honest. And with my older sister about to head off to her first year of college, we were all shuffling bedrooms.

Nothing says “child of privilege” more than getting your very own bedroom, and being given permission to pick out a new bedspread, wallpaper, and accessories. I took the mission very seriously for an almost-10-year-old: I went antiquing. However, most of my planning consisted of flipping through the giant fall Sears and J.C. Penney catalogs and dreaming about the perfectly coordinated tween bedroom.

A Stupid Comforter

THIS EXACT SET. Yes. The back had pink dots and teal bows.

Now, as an almost-fifth-grader, I wasn’t going in for licensed character merchandise anymore. But there was a comforter set for any tv show, movie, or hobby you were into. In my previous bedroom I had Minnie Mouse because my mom predicted that I’d only be into Beauty and the Beast for a year of so (so instead I got a character I was never into ever).

Curtains That Match The Comforter A Little TOO Well

I have to go put my head between my knees for a sec. Yikes. That’s a sick Mrs. Potts on the bedside table, though. Also: canopy beds. YES. Yes. Like sleeping in your own secret tent/fort every night.


But despite this pang of nostalgia, that doesn’t necessarily mean we want to relive our entire youth out. For example, I’m never going to use a canopy bed with the coordinating Beauty & The Beast bedset for my own personal use.

You Can Throw That Away: Childhood Items My Mom is Hoarding

My mom recently called me to ask if she could give my Disney’s The Lion King comforter to my cousin.

Two things about this inquiry:

A) I don’t live at home anymore, haven’t lived there since 2006.

B) I am 27 years old. This was something I used when I was approx 10 years old.

C) I have a queen bed. This is for a twin.

D) This is what it looks like (more or less)

Here’s the thing – I suppose it was nice of her to ask if I still needed it, but… really? Oh, forgot to mention my cousin, who she wants to hand it down to, is about 17 years old. I found this picture on eBay, so she should probs just sell it there instead. I mean she should do that, but she won’t because my parents still use AOL.

Anyways, it boggles my mind to think that my mom would think I could use this any time soon. Perhaps she asked for sentimental value purposes, but honestly I forgot it existed and if I wanted it, I would’ve taken it to fit my bed by now.

To paint you a picture, my bedroom back at home has been relatively untouched since I lived there, which means it hasn’t been redecorated since I was in high school. There is a library of VHS tapes, Backstreet Boys memorabilia, photos of my friends from my youth, and pictures of my favorite celebs ripped out of Teen People magazine.

So as you can imagine, this isn’t the first time my mom has asked if I was still going to use childhood items. Here are a few notable others:

Beauty and the Beast comforter

Apparently I was really into keeping warm with the entire Disney family

Notebooks from High School

Never going to use those Chemistry notes. Didn’t understand it then, won’t understand it now.

VHS Rewinder

Kids, long before DVDs, we had these ‘tape’ things that usually required another machine in order to start the movie from the beginning.

Stamp/embossing collection

Okay, in all fairness, thanks to my recent history working at an invitation/stationery store, as well as interest in crafting, this might be useful. Except I haven’t used those items since circa 1995, so better that it goes to someone who can use it. In related news, I was a dork.

Saturday Spotlight: So Dirty Dancing Is Set In The ’60s?

HERE

While we’re working on exploring our pop culture blind spots, we’re learning a lot. A few weeks ago, we learned that Crossroads was about a surprisingly bleak Britney Spears road trip. And this week, Traci watched Dirty Dancing for the first time and learned that it’s set in the ’60s. Which wouldn’t be surprising, except that everyone has ’80s hair and they dance to a super-80s pop song.

I’d say that we also learned that Kelly Bishop is a total fox, but let’s be real. We’ve always known that.

THERE

Playlist of the Month: Ridiculous Summer Jams

There are two times a year when we all act so ridiculous – wearing wacky clothes and garish color combos, attending party after party, and listening to corny novelty songs – that you have to wonder if we all have temporarily lost our minds. One of these times is Christmas – too wintery, too cold, no thank you – and the other is summer.

When we look back at the summers of our past, the soundtrack is a series of pop and hip hop jams, each more ridiculous than the last. We have another month of summer to go – a whole month of sunny skies, sundresses, and warm nights! And we have just the ridiculous summer jam soundtrack to remind us of all those silly, long-ago summer tunes.

Listen to the entire playlist on Spotify!

Jump by Kris Kross
{April 1992}

This song is anything but wiggidy wiggidy wiggidy whack, and makes me want to put on my backwards overalls and sideways ball cap. [ Favorite summer style c. 1992 – 1995: overall shorts with one strap undone, pacifier necklace, keds.] Jump was such a sensation during the summer of ’92 that my brother joked that he would one day have two sons and name them Kris and Kross. 2015: his boys are named Charley and Henry.

I thought the lyrics were more overtly summery, but they aren’t. I guess as a kid I just equated summer with jumping and free-form movement and winter with huddling miserably.

Fly by Sugar Ray
{June 1997}

Summer days from the mid-90s are a blur of riding bikes with the neighborhood kids, making new friends at acting camp, and hanging out at my aunt’s pool until way past my bedtime. This song was all over the place in the summer of ’97 and I can almost still taste the chlorine-tinged Sour Patch Kids when I listen to it. It’s also a little ridiculous: you just started talking two sentences ago, why are you telling me that your mother died? What are those weird sounds you’re making in the middle of it? Are you having a stroke? Is that how your mother died?

Walkin On The Sun by Smash Mouth
{July 1997}

This band’s songs were so tied to summer in the mid and late 90s that on my initial draft of the list I just said “something by Smash Mouth.” I’m sure Smash Mouth fans existed, but I never knew any. It’s more like their music just materialized near swimming pools, beach shops, and water parks from thin air during the summers of 1997 – 2003.

Summer Girls by L.F.O.
{June 1999}

In the summer of 1999 I was about to begin eighth grade. According to the photo album from our trip to the Cape, my three teenage siblings and I were really into khaki. What can I say? Gap and Abercrombie were pushing the khakis, and the youth of America wanted to look like girls that wear Abercrombie & Fitch.  Summer Girls was chock full of nostalgic references to the early 90s, which was only several years in the past … but to a 12-year-old it was a lifetime ago.

Thong Song by Sisqo
{December 1999}

Don’t let the December release date fool you: the video was released in the spring of 2000, and there were massive tie-ins to MTV’s Spring Break in order to boost it for summer’s Tacky Music Season. This was really at the beginning of butts being a thing; J.Lo’s butt was a pretty new topic in the national dialogue. I feel like Thong Song is at least partially responsible for kicking off the Butt Zeitgeist that I don’t fully understand.

Traci’s Picks

In The Summertime by Shaggy featuring Rayvon
{May 1995}

Years before Shaggy was in denial of it being him and going by Mr. Boombastic, he kept the tone light and fun by sticking to his Jamaican roots and singing straight up about hittin on chicks in the summer. I think my main problem with this, though, is that he constantly refers to himself in third person. “Shaggy say”, “Raggamuffin Shaggy” – both lines muttered by Mr. Boombastic. Also, in general he constantly sounds like he’s got nasal problems.

Cruel Summer by Ace of Base
{July 1998}

If you did a drinking game to this song and took a shot anytime “Cruel Summer” is sung, you’d probably be dead. They’re complaining that it’s too hot and it’s a “cruel summer” because of the heat. What makes this ridic is that the singer is complaining his/her mate isn’t in the city to experience the record heat, and therefore it’s an even crueler summer. Guess what – it’s going to be fucking hot no matter if your signif oth is there or not.

Steal My Sunshine by Len
{July 1999}

“Now the fuzzy stare from not being there on a confusing morning week impaired my tribal lunar-speak” WHAT EVEN ARE YOU SAYING, LEN. ALSO WHAT IS A LEN??

Graduation (Friends Forever) by Vitamic C
{June 2000}

This song came out when we graduated middle school, and for that reason alone, the timing was perfect and it became THE JAM. Back then, the song was reminiscing about our school daze and promising to K.I.T. forever and ever. But I’m more annoyed with it now because A), I’m older than the “we talked all night about the rest of our lives, where we’re gonna be when we turn 25” line, and B) she spoke/sang it like almost slam poetry but with less anger? And a little bit of a whisper, because Vitamin C is embarrassed of her hair, I’m assuming?

Who Let The Dogs Out? by Baha Men
{July 2000}

No one ever got the answer to this. No one cares. Carry on with your summer.

Pop Culture Blind Spots: Dirty Dancing

It’s time for another installment of Pop Culture Blind Spots, in which we tackle famous films and TV shows that are supposedly staples in the history of entertainment, but that we admittedly have never seen. Molly previously covered the 2002 teen road trip classic Crossroads, a film I personally saw in the theater because I was a teenybopper, and today we’re visiting a movie I really should’ve seen a long, long time ago – Dirty Dancing.

Statements of note from the trailer:

“The heat is in the music. The music sets you dancing. The dancing sets her free.”

“She thought it would be just another summer vacation, but it turns out to be the time of her life.”

“What they learn from each other feels too good to be wrong.”

My knowledge of this movie: Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey do a lot of dancing. Kenny Ortega of High School Musical fame choreographed it. Kelly Bishop aka Emily Gilmore is also in it, but I always manage to forget this fact.

The reason I had never seen Dirty Dancing is from a lack of not wanting to see it. By nature, it should be a movie I love – romance, impressive dance sequences, drama, comedy. I just never got around to watching it. Thank God for Netflix, amirite, ladies? So here we are, almost 28 years to the day it was released on August 21st, 1987, and I’m sharing my thoughts with you on it for the very first time. Here goes nothing.

2:20 This movie takes place in 1963? Definitely did not know that. I thought it was just another 80s movie.

2:44 I remember that Kelly Bishop is in this movie. I know, I know. She’s a Tony Award winning actress of stage and screen, but to me she will forever and always be Emily Gilmore. And to quote the Gilmore Guys podcast, Bishop is Queen.

2:57 I knew there was greenery and cabin-looking structures in this movie, but I was not aware it takes place at a sleepaway camp for families. Does anyone go to this kind of camp anymore? Do these even exist?

3:24 The cars lining up to Kellerman’s camp legit looks like moving in day for freshman at my college.

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3:54 Is Newman from Seinfeld in this? [the answer is yes]

5:00 MAMA KELLY BISHOP IS SERVING IN THIS DANCE SCENE, DESPITE THE FACT THEY’RE SMUSHED TOGETHER LIKE A BUNCH OF SARDINES.

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7:20 I get Patrick Swayze now.

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7:55 “You just put your pickle on everybody’s plate, college boy, and leave the hard stuff to me.” – Johnny Castle, an employee at a Jewish family camp, definitely NOT a porn star.

9:00 Baby is set up with some doofus who is the camp owner’s grandson, a dude named Neil who is going to Cornell for Hotel Management. Meanwhile, Baby’s got her eyes on going to Mount Holyoke to study the economics of underdeveloped countries and then enter the Peace Corps. Obviously well matched.

10:30 Johnny Castle and the blonde dance instructor Penny take center stage at this dance Baby and Neil are at, clearly auditioning for whatever the version of Dancing with the Stars was in 1963. However, they get cockblocked by the owner Max who wants them to dance with the guests instead.

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13:37 After being forced to appear in a magic show and awarded a chicken for participation, Baby wanders into the staff quarters, which is a big no no. What a rebel.

14:30 Baby runs into a guy holding three huge watermelons, but they really just look like three prop pickles. There is no way he could carry three of those on his own. Come on.

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15:00 Baby enters the secret staff dance party where the literal Dirty Dancing is going down. Basically this type of dancing is grinding on top of your partner with no room for the holy spirit at all. Which I guess doesn’t matter for the employees of this Jewish camp.

17:00 This soundtrack is amazing, by the way. I’m a sucker for 60s/Motown era music. Still blown away that this takes place in 1963.

20:00 Johnny teaching Baby how to roll her hips is the most awkward. It’s like she’s about to drop a deuce right on the dance floor. (GOD HELP ME I NEVER WANT TO SAY DROP A DEUCE AGAIN)

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21:00 For some reason, an activity for the women at this camp is to try on wigs. What else is available at this camp – How To Cook A Proper Roast For Your Man or Top Tips For Cleaning Your Curlers?

25:00 Penny is pregnant. I was not aware there was a pregnancy twist in this film. Despite attempting to help a devastated Penny, she tells her to GTFO. And apparently the father of this baby is the asshole misogynistic server in the restaurant.

30:00 To remedy this, Baby asks her doctor dad Jerry Orbach for $300 to do a “non illegal” activity – aka she’s going to pay for Penny’s abortion??? This is a lot of money for someone she just met a day ago. Is she trying to prove something or is she just a good person? Or trying to prove she’s a good person?

33:42 Baby agrees to take Penny’s place in a dance competition since she’ll be recovering from her aforementioned abortion – is there really no one else qualified to take Penny’s place? A sub dance instructor at the camp, perhaps? Baby can barely roll her hips around, as we learned earlier. She’s worse than Julia Stiles learning hip-hop in Save The Last Dance.

37:00 Jennifer Grey is incredibly skinny. Penny is even skinnier. And the two skinny waists have a weird threesome with Johnny as they teach her how to dance. Uncomfy moment #3 – it’s the same feeling I get while watching ballroom trios on So You Think You Can Dance or Dancing With The Stars.

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38:00 The closeups on the gyrating hips – not for me. Uncomfy moment #4.

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I know I keep on bringing up Dancing With the Stars, but this B plot about Baby learning how to learn competitive-level dance is totally a parallel to DWTS. The fact that you have to pick up a foreign skill quickly then perform it under the (hungry) eyes of judges is just like in this movie. Which probably explains how she won season 11 of DWTS.

40:00 Johnny accidentally locks the keys to his car inside said vehicle, so he just straight up takes a pole out of the ground to smash his car window. With ease, he does this. It’s also raining, but it’s the fakest rain ever and the sun is shining like it’s 90 degree day, and all I can think is the rain machine is blowing the water horizontally at Patrick Swayze’s face. That handsome mug must be insured, this shouldn’t be happening to him.

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41:00 This balancing on a log practice could be problematic. That is a ravine right there. Maybe don’t risk your life when you could easily do this on a dance floor? Also, I’m supposed to be shipping this right?


43:00 Johnny takes Baby to a field and subsequently the famous lake, which is much better than a log in the middle of the forest. But why isn’t Baby’s family concerned about her whereabouts? She just disappeared from camp. Isn’t her sister wondering why Baby didn’t show up to Wig Class?

47:00 Baby has somehow aged 10 years with her costume for the competition. She now looks like a New York Housewife competing in DWTS.

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51:00 Uh oh. Penny’s not looking too hot after her shotty abortion. Baby comes to the rescue again by secretly getting her M.D. Dad to help her. Jerry Orbach (RIP) is quite the Doctor Detective. And quite upset with Baby’s interaction with the Dirty Dancing sexual deviants.

56:00 Welp Baby basically just confessed her love to Johnny. He’s already got his shirt off, so she asks him to dance… But on the real tho –  this sex dance scene is still hot.

1:00 Penny clearly picks up the sex vibes that Johnny and Baby are putting down, and she warns him not to get serious with Baby. Which of course, in 80s movie terms, he obviously is.

This outfit is the reason I keep forgetting the movie takes place in 1963. This could either be 1987 or 2015, who the hell knows.

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“What is with all this rain? Remind me not to have my honeymoon in Niagara Falls.” Baby’s sister

“So, you go to Acapulco, it’ll be fine!” – Queen Bishop

1:04 Baby and Johnny can’t stop boning. She’s technically a teenager, right? Since she’s “planning” to go to Mount Holyoke? Johnny’s obviously the type to skip college in favor of living out his dreams of being a camp dance instructor, so is this forbidden love even more forbidden?

1:07 Oh hey, a scene I actually have scene before. This makes sense in context now. Before I thought it was just some weirdo lip syncing to a song.

1:09 Neil, the annoying grandson, is like the Patrice of this movie. He wants Johnny to dance the Pachanga for the final show, and Johnny’s response is one that made me legit LOL: “He wouldn’t know a good idea if it hit him in the Pachanga” 1:12 Johnny’s bad boy side comes out when asshole waiter sees him kissing Baby, and the scene is like a fight between the Jets and the Sharks.

1:13 Baby’s sister singing I cannot.

1:18 There’s some side plot about Johnny’s cougar dance client setting him up as a kid who stole her husband’s wallet, but Baby comes to his defense by providing an alibi that he was with her at the time of the alleged theft. Not really important.

1:19 Baby goes to confront her upset father about basically admitted she slept with Johnny, and the whole conversation looks like a scene from The Bachelor when one of the final girls meets the bachelor’s dad for the first time to talk about how in love they are with their son.

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1:22 Johnny’s heading out of town because of all the “trouble” he’s caused, and as he rides away, She’s Like the Wind plays in the background. Yes, the hit song by Patrick Swayze. TOO META. BTW, what exactly is Johnny’s accent? And does he not look like The Terminator in this scene?

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1:26 This camp has its own theme song. This is just such a foreign culture to me that I’m having a difficult time believing it’s real. This tune is a cross between a traditional hymn and one of those camp songs you hear in like Troop Beverly Hills.

1:29 Ah yes, the iconic “Nobody puts Baby in a corner” scene. In my head she was in a literal corner of a room, sitting in a chair as if she had been punished. In addition, Johnny was gone for like 2 hours they’re all acting like it’s been years. ALSO Queen Bishop looks so hot rn!

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1:30 So here’s my problem with Baby and Johnny dancing to Time of My Life – it’s a song that was made in the 1980s, but supposed to be set for a performance in 1963. This is why I’m confused. However, I will say that this song in context also makes so much more sense with the movie. Oh, and how did Johnny coordinate a flash mob so fast??

“I think she gets this from me.” KELLY FREAKING BISHOP

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There are some interesting characters in the crowd, including the guy who predicted wearing sunglasses at night long before Corey Hart, the band leader dancing with Penny, and the two larger women happily dancing with each other. The movie ends with a pan out on the dance floor, with a spotlight on Baby and Johnny DIRTY DANCING. Bless. Also, it’s very reminiscent of the High School Musical 3 finale, because as you remember, Kenny Oretga is a mastermind of both these epic films.

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It’s 1996: Let’s All Decorate Our Childhood Bedrooms!

In this Let’s All Decorate, we’re taking it back to 1996 – one of the summers that stands out sharpest in my memory, although I’m not sure why. The Olympics were on TV and I was obsessed with the entire U.S. Gymnastics team and their flat snappy hair clips. My brothers and I knocked a pint of wall primer onto the hall carpet imitating old people at a wedding dancing the Macarena. I spent my days at acting camp, falling hard for improv. Mitzi, my beloved, gentle mutt, slipped out of the front gate and was never seen again. My mission in life was to be the kind of person who owned a bra, and by fall I had one (I concede that it was, and is, completely unnecessary).  Inspired by the summer’s hit film Harriet The Spy, I took to observing my inner-city neighbors and writing down their activities in a notebook … for about two weeks, when I forgot. There were kind of a lot of drug deals, to be honest. And with my older sister about to head off to her first year of college, we were all shuffling bedrooms.

Nothing says “child of privilege” more than getting your very own bedroom, and being given permission to pick out a new bedspread, wallpaper, and accessories. I took the mission very seriously for an almost-10-year-old: I went antiquing. However, most of my planning consisted of flipping through the giant fall Sears and J.C. Penney catalogs and dreaming about the perfectly coordinated tween bedroom.

A Stupid Comforter

THIS EXACT SET. Yes. The back had pink dots and teal bows.

Now, as an almost-fifth-grader, I wasn’t going in for licensed character merchandise anymore. But there was a comforter set for any tv show, movie, or hobby you were into. In my previous bedroom I had Minnie Mouse because my mom predicted that I’d only be into Beauty and the Beast for a year of so (so instead I got a character I was never into ever).

Here, you like unicorns? Of course you do. Enough to sleep under them? Hell yes:

Sports? I don’t get it, but sure, why not:

Maybe you’re just generically the kind of kid who likes to listen to music and eat ice cream, probably? (AKA the “your dad’s new girlfriend helped decorate a room in his new townhouse and things are okay, but sort of weird” set)

Curtains That Match The Comforter A Little TOO Well

I have to go put my head between my knees for a sec. Yikes. That’s a sick Mrs. Potts on the bedside table, though. Also: canopy beds. YES. Yes. Like sleeping in your own secret tent/fort every night.

But did anyone have parents who bought the whole curtain/rug/bedding set? Because my mom was always  like “come on, Moll, you can have the comforter but I’m just getting white curtains from K-Mart.” Unlike this nerd (who is probs really great at Carmen Sandiego):

A Bed That’s Trying To Be Something Else

Today my bed is just trying to be a bed. Well, I made the headboard out of an 1800s barn door, so I guess it’s trying to be that, but it’s mostly just a bed. But in 1996, your bed could be anything! It could be a race car, a doll house, or – as I had c. 1999 – a bookcase. I don’t know why beds couldn’t just be themselves but it was sort of a weird time socio-culturally.

Like, look at this lucky freaking kid. You just know that in 2015 she’s one of those girls who has a ridiculously lucrative job doing something vague in marketing and who actually enjoys bridal and baby showers, because her life has been blessed from day one:

By the way, I slept in my nephew’s race car bed last year and it was just like a tiny, awful bed with static electricity on the sides.

A Desk You’ll Never Use

Yeah, you’ll never use that desk. You do your homework at the dining room table.

Above is Abbi Jacobson’s childhood desk, and who knows, maybe she DID use it. Maybe that’s how she became who she is today, by being the kind of person who actually uses her desk.

A Regrettable Chair

Hey, former 90s kid, current adult person! How’s your back feeling? Not awesome? Yeah, that’s because we sat on bean bags and, like, pool toys. The inflatable chair was more late 90s and the bean bag was more early-mid, if memory serves.

Fun fact: my cat used my inflatable chair as a litter box (as it should be, honestly) and then my dad sloshed cat pee everywhere getting it downstairs. So not worth $21.99 from the Delia*s catalog.

A Shelf For Your Treasures and Collections (AKA Beanie Babies and Creepy Porcelain Dolls)

In the 90s, children and old ladies alike were really into collecting useless things. I actually still have a mix of mine and my grandma’s 90s porcelain doll collections in boxes in my attic that I won’t open because they’ll probably start haunting me. Like Kirsten Dunst, pictured above, you probably used your shelves to “express your personality” and stash your Dottie the Dalmation and World Book collection, plus maybe a Sand Art creation or two.

Maybe A Rug That Looked Like A Road?

As far as I was concerned, these were strictly for rich kids and dentist waiting rooms.