Live Blog: Hocus Pocus

We’re only a month out from Halloween, and it’s time to start live blogging some Halloween favorites from yesteryear! Unfortunately, there’s no good live blog pun having to do with Halloween. ‘Liveblog-oween?’ ‘Boo! It’s a Liveblog?’ Nothing.

Actually, that’s not entirely true. It’s just that ‘Liveblog-warts School Of Witchcraft And Wizardry’ would take up too many characters on Twitter.

For my first selection, I will be liveblogging the seminal Halloween classic, Hocus Pocus. Hocus Pocus was released in 1993, so I’m documenting this both in commemmoration of its 20-year anniversary, and of my lost youth – truly, the scariest thing of all.

  • The curtain opens on sometime in yesteryear. 1600s? 1700s? But don’t worry, the boy (Elijah) has the patented Cute Teenaged Boy From The Mid’90s Haircut. You know the one.

    Shhhh. You know what? I initially had the awkward drawing app I was using as an excuse for spelling beautiful like that. But I did it. I own it. Keeping the live in live blog.

  • He also has the patented Yesteryear Accent. Not quite American, not quite British – so, like the 1600s teen boy version of Katharine Hepburn.
  • Special Effect #1: There is purple smoke coming from the witches’ chimney. It looks like it was drawn on the frame with magic marker
  • I wonder if Bette Midler’s hairline is inspired by Queen Elizabeth I, assuming this is the 1600s. Then I realize that I am probably thinking about this way more than the art director of Hocus Pocus ever did.
  • Special Effect # 2: The glowing blue cauldron looks like dry ice over an LED bulb.
  • Elijah pours the cauldron on Kathy Najimy, Bette Midler, and Sarah Jessica Parker. It has turned green, but still looks like something out of a middle school’s production of Little Shop Of Horrors Junior.
  • The 90s Supporting Actress Sisters have killed (?) Emily, the boy’s sister, and are now young-ish and beautiful-ish.
  • The ladies do a spell, the boy becomes a cat, and I realize how much Sabrina The Teenage Witch has to owe to this fine film. It is possibly the same cat.
  • Sister Mary Patrick, The Rose, and Annie sing. It’s less good than you’d think.
  • The witches will be summoned by a virgin. For almost two decades (!), this movie has been inspiring 7-year-olds to ask awkward questions that their parents totally evade. Well, maybe that was just my parents.
  • The Modern Boy, Max, has the same 90s Hot Boy Hair as the 1600s Boy. He is wearing tie dye and has recently come from California. The early 90s were really into stereotyping Californian teens as peaced out, tye die wearing Haight Ashbury types. Dawn Schaffer, anyone?
  • Female lead – Alison – is sporting some serious Stevie Nicks style. She got off really easy for 1993 hair – narry a mall bang nor spiral perm in sight.
  • TV and movies have me believe that everyone else’s school had a thuggish bully and his dweeby toadie. Did everyone else’s school have those? Maybe mine did, and they just didn’t even know who I was. We meet Salem’s – Jay and Ernie, aka “Ice.”
  • We meet Dani, Max’s little sister, who I’m sure all of you remember is played by Thora Birch. Did you know that Thora’s parents are porn stars? That’s why she has a porn star name. My parents are Irish and named me Molly, Thora’s are porn stars and named her Thora. It’s all about heritage.
  • Max declares that he is dressed as “a rap singer.” He is wearing an LL Bean looking-shirt, some Eddie Bauer-looking jeans, sunglasses, and a Gap baseball hat. Max’s father advises him that his hat should be backwards. Never change, 1993.
  • The symbol on Max’s hat is backwards. Did Lifetime reverse the image for this movie? Or was a backwards G the style of the time?
  • Dani cries on a pile of hay. The hay pile has lit pumpkins on it. The people in this town are such dum-dums, they deserve to get haunted by three witches.
  • I’m not talking about the acting during Dani and Max’s heartwarming sibling chat, because if you can’t say anything nice…
  • Max and Dani are at Allison’s house. From the outside, it looks like my parents’ normal-sized house, but from the inside, it’s an enormous colonial mansion. They’re having a 18th century costume ball and Allison looks like a teen Felicity Merriman.
  • Allison has changed into a cozy, but boxy and unflattering oatmeal colored sweater. Here’s what I want to do. I want to get a screenshot of every outfit like this from the movie. Then, I want to start a tumblr. I’m going to call it You Weren’t There, You Wouldn’t Understand. Every time one of those teen girls posts “90s” fashion on her tumblr, I’m going to tag her so she can see how dopey most of this shit really was. And if she asks me why, I’ll tell her “you weren’t there, you wouldn’t understand.”

    Or actually. Teen girls on the internet are already talking about how to look like her. I just can’t understand anybody who wasn’t alive for Beanie Babies.

  • Inside the haunted house, Fake Salem jumps out and then the house does some special effects at us. Dani informs us that the house is going crazy because a virgin lit the candle. Busted, Max. Although, he’s about 15 years old and dressed like Marshall Darling from Clarissa Explains It All. I think Allison probably figured.
  • Sister Mary Pat calls Dani a “shiksa baby.” So the witches are … Jewish? Now’s as good a time as any to mention that everyone in this whole movie is white.
  • Bette Midler’s mouth in this looks just like Lady Gaga’s mouth in real life. It’s a tiny pursed bunny mouth.
  • OH MY GOODNESS YOU GUYS. “Lasers” are shooting out of Bette’s hands and it looks like it was drawn on in post-production in Gel Pen.

    Come on. You can juuuust barely tell which ones I drew on with my thumb using a free drawing app.

  • The witches will turn to dust in the morning if they don’t use some kind of potion that sucks the youth out of children. So basically, David The Gnome. By the way, in the event I ever end up circle-shaped, I’m just going to say screw it and dress like one of the gnome wives on David The Gnome.
  • Max: “We’re talking about three ancient hags vs. the 20th Century!” Hahaha remember the 20th century? Our phones were attached to walls. If you got lost, you had to find a map, read it, then re-fold it, or talk to a human. When you wanted to know what happened to a washed-up celebrity, you had to write a letter to this column that appeared in the U.S.A. Today Weekend section. I’m going Team Three Ancient Hags. If we were to ever add a third to the blog, that’s what we’d change the name to.
  • The kids are now in the Salem Crypt, which attaches to the sewer. So in Salem, when you die you are more or less flushed down the toilet like a goldfish (people who are reading this who know me IRL: I want to be cremated because I don’t think dead people get to own land, and also because I’ve seen just enough episodes of Bones to know that shit gets real dicey, real fast. What I really want is for them to find a way around the whole dying thing before I get to it, though.)
  • Sometime in this whole hullabaloo, Carrie Bradshaw has straightened her hair.
  • The witches get scared of a bus, and I have to admit it: the whole trope when people from the past get scared of mundane modern stuff never gets old for me. Like, I am the one person who liked The Village. Should I be watching Sleepy Hollow? (I’m totally going to watch the 2 eps of Sleepy Hollow today)
  • Dani calls Max a virgin in front of a cop. Yep, little sibs embarrassing their older siblings by accident is another lame trope I kind of adore. Max says “yeah, I’ll get it tattooed on my forehead, ok”, but he is wearing Male Mom Jeans, and that means he will never have to.
  • The witches meet a lady who is wearing hair curlers, possibly as part of a disheveled housewife costume, but more likely because she’s really a disheveled housewife. I’m sort of bummed that nobody sleeps in curlers in earnest anymore. Lost art and all that.
  • Dani tells her mom what’s going on, and as always, begins her spiel with “Max is a virgin.” Ha. Thora Birch’s parents are porn stars.
  • By the way, the mom is dressed as cone bra-era Madonna. Post that note to You Weren’t There, You Wouldn’t Understand.
  • Musical number! Finally! It includes a weird cheer-type thing in the middle and for a moment, I feel like I’m listenting to Hollaback Girl or Mickey.
  • I’m looking at Bette’s buck teeth and I have to get something off my chest. In second grade, there was a girl in my dance class. She had buck teeth and her name was Allison. In my head, I referred to her as Buckingham Alice.  I was seven. SEVEN. I wish live blogs had been invented then. I was such a charming little girl.
  • Max tells the cat “man, you can’t keep blaming yourself for that. It happened so long ago!” The cat’s talking about Emily’s demise, but Max’s advice sounds just like so many 20-something guys when they are drunk and get going talking about a lost love.
  • Dani makes another reference to Max’s virginity, following the comedy rule of ‘if your movie has one funny thing, you can keep repeating it as many times as you need to.’
  • The bully and his lackey are back, and I have no idea whether Ice’s outfit is a costume or 1993 dress. It’s sort of this orange thing that maybe is supposed to be a pumpkin, or maybe is part of that Kente cloth thing that was happening for a while. Do you want to chime in, girls who were born in 1998? Well, don’t. You weren’t there. You wouldn’t understand.*

*(Bam. Rule of threes.)

  • Max wakes up next to Allison. MAX WAKES UP NEXT TO ALLISON. But – ew – the witches’ creepy book is watching them. And Dani is in the room. And they’re both wearing a crazy amount of clothing (seriously, was it even possible to undress in an attractive way in 1993, with all those flannels and waffle weaves?). AND Max’s alarm clock looks like some kind of a rubix cube. So, all of that points to him still being a virgin. Or Allison being into some sick shit.
  • Fake Salem jumps onto the Witch Book while Max and Allison are reading it. Most realistic thing in the movie thus far. Cats are a bunch of book-blocking douchebags, when you really get down to it.
  • Bradshaw is singing, something about her Garden Of Magic, because this movie is just entendres on entendres. The song sounds almost identical to Once Upon A December from Anastasia.
  • Bette has Dani tied up, and Dani shouts “It doesn’t matter how young or old you are! You sold your soul!” Can I get a sound file of that on my phone? Earlier today I was Groupon-hunting for chemical peels or something to make me look less like I’m slowly decaying from the inside, and I think maybe if I played that clip whenever I pulled stuff like that it would make me stop.
  • This one zombie helps them. He hides Dani in a grave, and you know who I want to be, out of everyone in this whole tale? Dani’s therapist, 20 years in the future. He or she must be very rich.
  • That one zombie’s head falls off. He takes it pretty much in stride, which is amazing considering I lost a huge handful of hair in the shower this morning and I STILL feel kind of iffy about it. He hasn’t been getting much screen time because zombies weren’t as trendy back then.
  • Bette’s still all pissed because Dani called her ugly. Some people really do never move past junior high, huh? If I were a witch and someone called me ugly, I’d just be all “well, I’m a witch, I do what I want.” Or really, even if as a person someone called me ugly, I’d just be all “well, I’m a witch, I do what I want.”
  • Max is sort of 1/3 of the way to being see through, and he looks exactly like a kid who would be on the cover of a Fear Street book.
  • Dani calls her brother jerkface. Good, but not great. Anyone else do compound-insults with their siblings? My brother and I used to go back and forth: Stink festival, Crap factory, Dork-Con 2000. We were in high school at the time.
  • Fake Salem becomes a boy and heads off with Emily, but not before really creepily kissing Dani on the cheek.
  • The film closes on little Dani looking off into the sunset. It’s 1993, and in just 6 short years, we’ll all see her boobs in American Beauty. Everything is gross.

A note: if you like our fictional tumblr from this post, you’ll love our post this upcoming Friday! But there are plenty more 90s posts between now and then, so why don’t you just come back every day instead?

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The Final Goodbye: Television’s Best Series Finales

It seems like just yesterday we were introduced to Chemistry teach Mr. Walter White and his ex-student Jesse Pinkman, who became entrepreneurs with their booming meth business. And for some of you, it was like yesterday if you’re of the late-to-the-party-binge-watching ilk. And this weekend, it all comes crashing down to an anxiety-ridden end. Will Jesse die? What will happen to Skyler, Walt Jr. Flynn & Holly? Will Todd kill any more people? Who will Walt use the Ricin on?  Will anyone in ABQ ever have an A1 day?

While we anticipate Sunday’s series finale, I decided to take a look at some of my personal favorite series finales. To be clear, I only considered shows I’ve seen from beginning to end, so don’t complain that The Sopranos finale isn’t on here because I’ve never seen it. Buuut I would like to hear what your favorite series finales are! And then at approx 10:16pm on Sunday, we can all add Breaking Bad to that list and cry together knowing there will never be a new episode of one of the greatest TV shows ever again.

(In chronological order) ((Also, spoiler alert??))

Friends (1994-2004)

Besides being one of the most legendary sitcoms in TV history, Friends also has a special place in my heart as well. It was the first show that I ever became obsessed with – to the point where I wore out the VHS tapes I used to tape every episode on. I went through the seasons multiple times, reference it daily, held day long marathons called ‘Friends-travaganzas’ and it even had some influence on this very blog (In high school, Molly & I made a bet on who we thought the father of Rachel’s baby was going to be, and the winner had to buy the loser our cafeteria’s famous cookies. We both lost.)

That being said, as a fan of a series for 10 years, you want the last episode to wrap up everything in a nice package with a perfect bow. You want the best for the people/characters you’ve spent the past 10 years laughing with. And the finale did just that. Monica and Chandler finally got the family they desperately wanted, Phoebe was also able to find a family she never really hard growing up with her husband Mike, and after their epic on-again, off-again relationship, Rachel got off the plane and promised that ‘this was it’ with Ross and they could build upon their own family too (My only qualm is that Joey still didn’t end up with anyone, even if it was because of the awful spin-off).

Co-creator David Crane has said that he and Marta Kaufmann were inspired to write about their own lives, living in NYC in their 20s. They pitched the show as such: “It’s about searching for love and commitment and security, and the fear of love and commitment and security. It’s about friendship – because when you’re young and single in the city, your friends are your family.” And in the end, all the characters achieved and surpassed that. The finale was like a graduation for the gang, even though they spent pretty much the past 10 years relying on each other, the end of the series signified that their friends weren’t the ‘ultimate family’ anymore. It was time to go make their own.

Six Feet Under (2001-2005)

I binge-watched Six Feet Under last year, and even though I found it too dark for my taste at times, overall it lived up to its hype. Not only that, but the finale was everything that people said it would be. Seriously, just watch SFU for the finale alone. Don’t worry, I won’t spoil anything, but the last montage ^AS SEEN ABOVE, SO DON’T WATCH IT IF YOU PLAN ON WATCHING IT IN THE FUTURE^^ is the best, most genius, satisfying ending I’ve ever seen. I honestly can’t even talk about it because it is that good.

Friday Night Lights (2006-2011)

Much like Six Feet Under, I was a little late to the Friday Night Lights game – and I’m assuming most of its fans are. Right after the series finale aired in May, the entire show was available on Netflix Instant – a moment I had been waiting for for years! I spent the summer (ok, like a month and a half) of 2011 bonding with Netflix, the Taylors and Tim Riggins abs. It was one of those instances where all I could think about was the Panthers. I would be at work just dreaming about what would happen next, and rushing home to watch the next episode.

But when it came down to the final season, I had mixed feelings. I wanted to know what happened to the gang, but absolutely did not want it to end. The problem was that I watched it so fast that five years of drama in Dillon was condensed into just a few weeks – but it was there. The bond I had with the team was there. It literally took me almost as long to watch the final five episodes, particularly the finale, than it did to watch the whole thing. But when it did, it was perfect. Stories were tied up, characters found their happy endings, and Mr. and Mrs. Coach were still the perfect role models they were from the pilot. Clear eyes. Full Hearts…

30 Rock (2006-2013)

There’s a reason why 30 Rock has won 16 Emmy Awards – it’s just that good. It’s a rare breed of show that has been able to be intelligent, biting, sentimental and most importantly funny throughout the seven seasons on air. The combination of the final three episodes was incredibly fulfilling for all 30 Rock fans, as the show highlighted everything we loved about it in the first place. Liz dealing with the ragtag group of writers, Jenna vying for attention, and Kenneth, well Kenneth ends up exactly where he was meant to be all along.

The Office (2005-2013)

Add The Office right next to Friends, because this show is one of my all-time favorites. Now I admit that the show kind of lagged towards the end of its run, but I maintain that it was still funnier than most shows on TV at the time. In my opinion, NBC landed the jackpot with smart comedies like 30 Rock, Parks and Rec, Community, and of course, The Office. Executive Producer Greg Daniels proved that he could not only adopt the UK version, but alter it to fancy American audiences and make it last twice as long as its namesake.

For me, The Office blended that perfect mix of comedy with heart, that only few shows have been able to master. The perfect example of this is in the boss himself, Michael Scott. He may have done asinine things like almost commit suicide in order to show the risks of depression and suicide, or hold a funeral for a bird in order to cope with the death of a former co-worker or organize the ‘Michael Scott’s Dunder Mifflin Scranton Meredith Palmer Memorial Celebrity Rabies Awareness Pro-Am Fun Run Race For The Cure’. When you whittle it down, he does all these things because he cares. He cares about his employees, the people who became his friends, and ultimately his family.

The entire Dunder Mifflin Scranton branch may have been filled with shenanigans, feuds, intertwining relationships but as seen in the series finale, they all went through the documentary together – as a family. Not to be a broken record, but the show came full circle – from Angela and Dwight, to Michael’s surprise appearance and That’s What She Said moment, to Jim and Pam finally getting to courage to do what they wanted- get out of the rut they were in in Scranton. In honestly couldn’t have ended any better (and if we’re speaking honestly here, I’d say it’s my number one finale in this whole list). It was so good in fact, that I still haven’t been able to get myself to watch an entire episode of The Office since – I couldn’t even make it through the first 10 seconds of this video without crying…. I might have a problem.

BONUS:

ER (1994-2009)

Alright, I admit, I’ve probably only seen 10 out of the 15 seasons of ER, give or take a few episodes throughout the last five. But come on, 15 seasons is one hell of a commitment. The cast changes, writers and executive producers come and go, but through the heart of it all, it was always about these doctors, and their relationships with their patients and each other.

Clearly the heyday of ER was towards the beginning, when Noah Wyle, Anthony Edwards, Juliana Margulies and some guy named George Clooney started off as regular folk on a medical TV drama. It was really nothing like TV had seen before, and became a critically acclaimed hit, essentially paving the way for Shondaland and Grey’s to leave its own mark on TV. And while it may have stumbled towards the end, the finale was purposefully (and wonderfully) mirrored the pilot, a full circle maneuver that I personally enjoy in any series.

For me, the most poignant part of the finale was seeing Rachel Greene, daughter of the hospital’s late Dr. Mark Greene, come back to County General in hopes to follow in the footsteps of her revered father. In the early seasons, viewers saw Rachel as a kid wandering around the ER aimlessly, but now she had a purpose. The end scene (as seen above), may not be too flashy, but it’s a reminder that even if we don’t get to see what happens in this hospital for another 15 years, it will keep on going without us.

Signature Hairstyles: The Mark Of A Bad Bitch

There was a time when I thought I was doing everything right to be a competent, professional lady. College? A breeze. Law school? Magna Cum Laude, like a boss (well, okay, I missed summa. But I said boss, not CEO.) Real job? Take that, tough economic times. I even have a shelter dog.

But something was missing. I was tripping on my way up the corporate ladder. I aimed my slingshot at the glass ceiling, only to find it loaded with Nerf pellets. What gives?

Well, there was one power move I seriously overlooked: the signature hairstyle. Throughout history, every lady who has done anything important has had a signature ‘do. It kills me that I’ve wasted 2 years of my career with my hair any-which-length. Learn from my mistakes, and take a cue from these distinctively-coiffed ladies:

Anna Wintour

Anna Wintour, when Princess Diana was alive.

Anna Wintour, hair unchanged 16 years after Princess Diana’s death even though we all swore we’d never be the same again after that.

Anna Wintour’s bob is as precise and razor-sharp as the steel wire that encases the empty place in her chest where her heart used to be (Because hearts are for fat people. Why do you think those heart-shaped boxes are filled with chocolate candy? To make you fatter. What can happen when you get fat, whether externally or with inner fatness? Your heart ATTACKS you. All ties together).

Cher

1966 – just before shit started to get real weird out there.

Well, this is depressing.

Cher’s crazy rich. She’s absurdly famous. And she’s had the same hairdo since the mid-60s. I think she owes her success, in part, to the signature ‘do. Do you think she’d have the same panache with a nice shoulder-length cut with some bangs? You know all that hair can’t be real. At this point she should just start a hair extension company, name it Gypsies, Tramps and Weaves, and be done with it.

Little Edie Beale

I know the theme of the list is successful ladies who have signature ‘dos, and I’d say that Edie fits the bill. If slowly decaying inside of a decrepit mansion surrounded by lots of cats doesn’t sound like your idea of “making it,” just remember that Edie was such a staunch character that she carried a documentary and inspired a telefilm and a musical. Plus, she looked oddly beautiful doing it. So you know what? I think this WOULD be the best costume for the day.

Susan B. Anthony

The B stands for “Badass.” Or possibly “Bun,” because she wore one every day – ending with when she died and starting, I picture, with birth. Suze here reminds us that when you’re really committed to a cause, maybe the best thing is to pick a hairstyle and then never waste your energy thinking about it again. Also that if you work really hard for something, and commit 40 or so years to it, then maybe a few decades after you die it’ll happen!

(Screw that; I’m not even patient enough to ever let my microwave timer run all the way down.)

Diana RossTo paraphrase Mean Girls, we all know why Diana Ross’s hair is so big – it’s full of secrets. As in, the secrets to success. If you look at old pictures of Ms. Ross, it almost seems like every year her hair gets bigger and bigger. It’s like it absorbs the love of her supporters and the scorn of her detractors, so that none of it gets to Diana.

Mary, Mother Of God

Look. I’m not trying to get into one of those “mommy wars” where we debate whether raising children is a job. I don’t need to. When, for 33 years, your full-time business was raising God – changing God’s diapers, sitting through God’s Little League banquets, silently judging God’s date to the Freshman Formal – I’m calling it: it’s a job. Mary is also the only person on our list whose ‘do is actually iconic. Like, in the literal sense: she appears on a bunch of religious icons. While not a “hair” do in the traditional sense, always styling your hair underneath the same long veil is a hair statement, and the gal never wavered.

Barbara Walters

Babs, 1975

Babs, present day.

Think of a classic wardrobe staple – let’s say, a blue blazer. In any time in recent history, you could have worn a blue blazer and looked legit. Sure, in the 70s the lapel would have been bigger, and in the 90s it would have been a boxier cut, but it’s still a blue blazer.

That’s Barbara Walters’ hair. There have been some variations on the theme through the decades, but if you scalped Barbara Walters and put her hair on a mannequin -whether in 1975 or 1992 or 2013 – you’d see it and say “yep, someone scalped Barbara Walters, I guess. And this is her hair.”

Sarah Palin

Hair as tall, shining and majestic as the peaks of Denali.

I don’t care what your politics are, you have to admit that this is some power hair. The biggest boon to Palin’s run for national office -and, possibly, the biggest drawback – was hair so distinctive that you could dress as her for Halloween without really trying very hard.

Whoopi Goldberg

If we have two panel members from The View on this list, it’s only because getting paid to sit in a semi-circle and talk over people is the true meaning of “having it all.” The last time I sat around every morning with my peers talking about the events of the day, I was in kindergarten, and I wasn’t getting paid for it. It was called Circle Time. Anyway, Goldberg is so known by her unwavering, tidy dreadlocks that when you see her with straightened, loose hair in Sister Act, it’s kind of unnerving.

Marie Antoinette

Ya know … maybe if people are about to behead you you shouldn’t make your head look so damn showy.

While I painstakingly catalog every premature gray on my head, Marie Antoinette was powdering her entire enormous wig. She knew what the rest of us haven’t figured out: Gray hair has gravitas. It has dignity. It has flair. It… will not keep the proletariat from chopping your head off. So remember, while you’re cultivating your signature ‘do, don’t neglect the little people – or the little people might kill you.

Louise Brooks (Counter-Example)

Louise Brooks, in her heyday.

Louise Brooks, in her dotage.

Louise Brooks had THE iconic bob in the 20s. She was also the toast of Hollywood. Then in old age, she grew her hair long and ditched the bangs. Result? She died in our hometown of Rochester, NY. See, that’s what happens when grow out your signature hairstyle. You become a reverse Samson, losing your power because you stop cutting your hair.

Playlist of the Month: Songs by High Schoolers

It’s back to school time for all you kids out there! However, the last September that we headed back to high school, Mean Girls was in production and I was the first person I knew to go back to school with side bangs.

So, it was a while ago. And while our memory of high school isn’t as crisp as it used to be, we can be sure that we were not internationally-known recording artists. As if we didn’t feel old enough during this, the Tenth Anniversary Of Our Last First Day Of High School, here is a playlist comprised entirely of tracks by young artists who were still in high school at the time of recording.

Check out the entire playlist on Spotify!

Traci’s Picks

Name: Lorde
Song: Royals
Age of release: 16

If it seems like Lorde came out of nowhere, she did. New Zealand to be more exact. She released this song in her home country back in March, and months later, US stations began picking it up and now here we are. I can’t believe how great of an artist she is and how her voice is so unique and distinct. If you like this song, check out her new one, Team.

Name: Birdy
Song: Skinny Love
Age of release: 14

I feel like Birdy was hoping to be what Lorde is becoming now. A teenager from England, she covered this Bon Iver song and blew up shortly thereafter. She also earned her first Grammy nomination thanks to her awesome song with Grammy darlings Mumford and Sons, Learn Me Right, from the Brave soundtrack.

Name: Aaliyah
Song: Back and Forth
Age of release: 14

Despite the fact that R. Kelly was the first one to mentor her in the music industry and they were rumored to be dating, Aaliyah and R. Kelly made a classic 90s R&B song that kicked off her too short of a career. I don’t think anyone’s really been able to create the same magic since her, and this was the song that started it all.

Name: Destiny’s Child
Song: Say My Name
Age of release: 18 (all 4 members were 18!)

Listen, guys. Say My Name is probably my all time favorite DC3 song. And to think that if we went to the same high school, I’d be looking up to them as they were Seniors, being all cool and making hit songs and shit. Seniors in high school don’t make classic records like Writing’s on the Wall – they are too focused on getting into college and acting like the own the school and stuff. I guess Beyonce & co. owned pop music at the time, really.

Name: Michael Jackson
Song: Ben
Age of release: 14

Oh Michael. Little black Michael. Ben was the first song he recorded as a solo artist, but was still in Jackson 5 at the time of the release. It was the title song for the 1972 movie of the same name, and even though it’s essentially about a rat, it’s still a good song. Just forget about the rat part.

Molly’s Picks

Name: Jake Bugg
Age of release: 18
Song: Lightning Bolt

Back in June, I almost put Lorde on our summer playlist. Then I thought “I don’t know, this song has been out for a while. It’s  great… but it’s probably on the way down.” That song? Royals. Clearly I don’t know anything. So take this with a grain of salt: I think this kid is really good and might be going places.

Name: Brandy and Monica
Song: The Boy Is Mine
Age of release: 19 (Brandy), 17 (Monica)

Everything about this is awesome. In an awful way. Who could forget the probably fake drama that was concocted between the teen singers?  While not a technically good song, The Boy Is Mine is fun because it seldom comes up alongside the other cheesy 90s R&B tunes, so it’s always a fun surprise when you hear it. It’ll make you want to wear tims and head-to-toe Tommy Hilfiger like you wanted to in the late 90s.

Name: Hilary Duff
Song: Come Clean
Age of release: 16

I’m really embarrassed by how long it took me to choose between Come Clean and So Yesterday. Feel free to include both on your next Playlist Of (no) Shame.

Name: LL Cool J
Song: Rock The Bells
Age of release: 17

Before LL Cool J was a man with a hardworking publicist… before he guest-rapped on a track about a skinhead having a conversation about race in America with his barista… before he was the tough yet dad-ish agent on NCIS, LL Cool J was a teen rap phenom.

Name: Laura Marling
Song: New Romantic
Age of release: 17

Even when she was 16-17, Laura Marling was writing wonderfully clever lyrics. The difference is that in those first years some of her music had more of a Lily Allen, Kate Nash vibe than it does now. This and Ghosts were released around the same time and it was almost as hard as choosing between So Yesterday and Come Clean.

Celebs Who Are About To Get Killed By Their Exotic Pets

One of the earliest lessons of childhood is that certain animals don’t belong in your house. This message was reinforced everywhere. In the American Girl books, Kirsten’s house got destroyed because she brought a baby raccoon inside and he went HAM and burned their house down using his tail as a tiny torch of destruction. Children’s books teach lessons, and I guess the American Girl company thought that “don’t bring weird-ass animals into your house” was still a relevant one in the early 90s. In that one Full House episode, Danny’s heretofore-unheard of sister showed up with her monkey and it got lost. There are even real-life community standards against owning odd-as-shit animals:  the family on my street with the ferrets were treated to open scorn, because ferrets were illegal in our parts. Besides, those animals were little weaselly assholes.

Despite these lessons, some people just don’t get it. Remember a few years ago when that guy owned a menagerie and he set them free and they all got shot? Or that woman whose face got mauled off by her friend’s chimp? Sure, she got a face transplant, and I’d say all’s well that ends well, but there’s somebody else’s FACE on her FACE now and I’m not ready to act like that’s okay.

Here are some famous pet owners who should know better. But since they don’t, I’m here to tell them: you’re bouts to get killed by your exotic pet.

Mike Tyson: You’re Bouts To Get Killed By That Tiger

Recently Mike Tyson got head butted by his pet tiger. The cork at the top of this champagne problem? It knocked the gold teeth right out of Tyson’s mouth. Still, the fighter has reported that he sleeps with his tiger, answering the question posed by the 90s tv movie “Mother, May I Sleep With Danger?” with a resounding YES.

Kristen Stewart: You’re Bouts To Get Killed By That Half Dog/ Half Wolf

The only surprising thing about Kristen Stewart owning a dog/wolf hybrid is that I can’t imagine Kristen Stewart caring enough to go out and buy a dog/wolf hybrid. I sort of picture her out on her porch smoking weed with a dog/wolf watching her longingly from the side of her yard. She turns to go in and the dog/wolf is at her heels. Stewart looks at the dog/wolf, shrugs, and lets him in behind her. They live apathetically ever after. Until he freaking KILLS her because that is a WOLF Kristen. It’s a wolf. And in real life, wolves don’t turn into handsome muscular teenage boys. They turn into a thing that is eating your still-living flesh.

Justin Bieber: You’re Bouts To Get Killed By That Capuchin Monkey

Justin Bieber bought a Capuchin monkey, abandoned it in Germany, then was ordered by the nation of Germany to pay monkey support. If there’s one country that I would NOT want to get into a child support relationship with, it’s Germany. They’re stern. That, or one of those countries that people always parental-kidnap their children to. Now Bieber’s monkey is a stern German, too. Plus monkeys are crazy. Watch your back in Berlin, Biebs. That Capuchin monkey is going to revenge kill you.

Nicolas Cage: You’re Bouts To Get Killed By That Octopus

Octopuses are kind of cute. Until they squirt ink in your eye and strangle you with their tentacles. Before you know it, the last thing you see before you die is the undercarriage of an octopus. And the only time that should be the last thing you see is if you’re an old, married octopus having an affair with a young female octopus and you have a heart attack during octopus sex and that’s how you die.

Melanie Griffith and Tippi Hedren From The Past: You’re Bouts To Get Killed By That Lion

In the Wizard of Oz, there’s a good reason that the song didn’t go “Lions and Tigers and Bears, You Know, Those Would Be Fun To Have Live In My House With Me.” The Griffith-Hedren clan loved a good lion photo op. Lions in bed with the child! Lions roaring at us in the pool! Lions taking up too much space on the kitchen floor as the maid gets juice from the fridge! Only by the grace of God was the final photo op not “Lions Eating All Of Us With Their Enormous Bone-Crushing Jaws.”

Tracy Morgan: You’re Bouts To Get Killed By Those Sharks

I saw that movie Soul Surfer. It made getting your limb torn off by a shark seem normal, inspirational even. But I ALSO saw that movie Sharknado, so I know that Sharks could kill you – and the fact that sharks live in water, and you’re on land, doesn’t help you. Some day, that tank is going to break and then Tracy Morgan is bouts to get killed by that shark.

Michael Jackson From The Past: You’re Bouts To Get Killed By That Chimpanzee

It’s all fun and games until a chimp eats your face and you have to raze all of your original facial features and rebuild them and regrow your skin in goodness knows what color. Actually, you know what? Never mind. As you were, Mr. Jackson.

Vanilla Ice: You’re Bouts To Get Killed By That Wallaroo

A wallaby/kangaroo hybrid sounds like a really cute pet, right? Especially when you name him Bucky Buckaroo, like Vanilla Ice did. But you know how you get a little nervous when a large, friendly dog jumps up on a tiny person because it could knock them over? Imagine if instead of a large, friendly dog the jumping animal was a mutant kangaroo. Vanilla Ice, you’re bouts to suffer extensive head trauma when that wallaroo knocks you over.

Audrey Hepburn From The Past: You’re Bouts To Get Killed By That Baby Deer

Whenever I find myself looking a little TOO Etsy-and-twee, I think to myself “girl, you look like you would have a pet baby deer that you feed out of a mason jar. And that baby deer only listens to vinyl. Shit. That baby deer wears a loooot of ModCloth.” Sure, a tiny fawn seems like the perfect Manic Pixie Dream Pet. However, those of us who live in deer country know how un-cute it is to get a deer-sized dent pounded out of your car. Audrey Hepburn from the past is bouts to get into a driveway crash because of that fawn.

Steven Tyler: You’re Bouts To Get Killed By That Raccoon

Well. SOMEONE didn’t read Changes For Kirsten. Hide your oil lamps, Aerosmith.

Emmy Awards 2013: Best & Worst Dressed

Well folks, it’s the day after the 65th Annual Emmys (did you check out our live blog?), and if you’re anything like us, you’re still bitter about the (failed) results of your Emmy ballots.

One thing that we can’t lose at are our Best & Worst Dressed list, so here are our picks from last night’s ceremony with TV’s biggest stars.

Molly’s Picks:

Best Dressed

Tina Fey in Narciso Rodriguez

The dress so nice, we’re listing it twice. While we’re trying to keep repeats on our best/ worst dressed lists to a minimum, I’d be a fool not to include this on my best dressed list. Not only is Tina Fey smarter than almost everyone on this red carpet, and funnier than almost everyone on this red carpet, she’s also more stylish and prettier.

Kerry Washington in Marchesa

I had to sleep on this one – and so, apparently, did Kerry Washington, judging by the dress’s kind of rumply texture. I was on the fence about the dress last night, but the more I see it, the more I love it. Would’ve been a great dress to win in. Next year, Gladiators.

Kate Mara in J Mendel

This might show up on a few worst dressed lists, and I think maybe another year it could’ve ended up on mine. I think it’s just the overall styling that’s working for me – the dress with the simple hair and smoky makeup.

Elisabeth Moss in Dolce & Gabbana

I was really feeling these 2 trends that kept appearing: the separate or faux-separate skirt and bodice, and the black and white color blocking. Since Traci already covered my favorite black and white dress (read on to see who!), it only seemed fair to give space to my second-fav.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Monique Lhuillier

Last night, Traci said that this looked like a beautiful disco ball and I said that I wanted to touch JLD’s face because her skin is so pretty. I stand by both of those comments.

Honorable Mention: Claire Danes in Armani Prive

When I was writing my best dressed picks before work, I included this one. Post coffee, I cannot remember why. I’m keeping this on the list for my sleepy-eyed, 6am self who for whatever reason thought this was pretty. That 6am girl is also the person who dressed me today. She didn’t do so great.

Worst Dressed

Lena Dunham in Delia’s Prada

When Lena Dunham tweeted that her dress looked like it was designed by Delia’s earlier this week, I had high hopes for butterfly clips and butterfly print. But the thing that’s really Delia’s-esque about this is that Lena’s eyeshadow is matched to her dress. After 9th grade Lena -or someone around her – should know better.

Mayin Bialik in Oliver Tolentino Couture

Everyone else liked this, and I did until you got to the tinselly belt and cuffs. That made everything look kind of costumey to me, like she’d be playing The Giving Tree in a really nice Montessori school or Blanche Dubois in a less-nice Montessori school.

Julianne Hough in Jenny Packham

Remember in 2002, when girls used to walk around with visible thongs over their low-rise 501s, and you would think “what could be less hot than this?” This dress answers that question with “well, visible granny panties, of course.”

Zosia Mamet in Honor

I like everything about this until the giant faux mustache over her boobs.

Lily Rabe

Annie taught us that you’re never fully dressed without a smile. But you’re also never fully dressed without that other half of your dress. Besides, nobody was smiling last night. That was the most sorrowful, grim Emmy Awards I ever did see and that’s counting the time they postponed it because of 9/11.

Traci’s Picks

Best Dressed

Taylor Schilling in Thakoon

Daaannnnggg Chapman. You clean up well! Taylor was there for nothing but publicity and eye candy, but she sure made her mark on the red carpet. Simple, sexy, elegant – that’s how you do an awards show, folks.

Michelle Dockery in Prada

Lady Mary sure knows how to hit a home run on the red carpet. Or like, whatever the equivalent to a home run is in cricket. She always knows what styles and colors look great on her, and this is no different. Of course I LOVE color blocking, so maybe that’s why I adore her dress so much.

Tina Fey in Narciso Rodriguez

Listen. As much as I love Tina Fey. The first thing you think of her is that she’s funny. Not a fashionista. So while she has made some questionable fashion decisions in the past, she looks absolutely stunning in this bold blue dress. Suck on that, nerds.

Kaley Cuoco in Vera Wang

For me, Kaley Cuoco is usually a hit or miss for me at awards shows. But this Vera Wang dress is to die. It’s the perfect mix of sexy and classy, just like Taylor Schilling’s dress. And while a lot of ladies were going with white and black or pastels, she decided to go the other route with the fantastic burgundy.

Anna Gunn in Ramona Keveza

You know when someone who is nominated/expected to win first appears on the red carpet and they come out wearing a dress and you just KNOW they’re going to win in? Yeah, this is it. Julia Roberts. Jennifer Lawrence. Anna Gunn.

Honorable Mention: Kiernan Shipka in Delpozo

Guys, I can’t get over how much older and mature little Sally Draper looks! I’m obsessed with the style direction she’s going in as she enters her teens. She knows exactly what is age appropriate, but also always picks something that will stand out in a crowd of grown-ups. And if you ever watch her in interviews, she is the smartest 13 year old ever. More like 13 going on 30, amirite ladies/Jennifer Garner?

Worst Dressed

Melissa Leo

I just… did she think she was going to either a circus or not be on stage at all? Because she was on stage. And not at a circus.

Paula Abdul

Honestly… just when you thought she couldn’t get any crazier. Just like Melissa Leo, I tried researching the designers for each dress, but to no avail. Maybe they didn’t want the negative publicity.

Heidi Klum in Versace

Um, I’m pretty sure Heidi Klum is being attacked by her own sequined gown. Should someone help her?

Lena Dunham in Prada

Oh Lena. In all honesty, this still isn’t as bad as the poop brown Zac Posen gown she wore at the Golden Globes. But like she/I said in the live blog yesterday, this looks like a dress she would wear to a summer BBQ in 1994, courtesy of the Delia’s catalog – evening gown edition.

Julianne Hough in Jenny Packham

Jules. You’re a gorgeous girl who actually get her style choices right most of the time. Not so much now. When they showed her in the audience when Derek won, you could only see the waist up, and she didn’t look that bad. And then I saw this picture. I know you’re a dancer and all, but no need to bring your leotard to the Emmys. THE EMMYS. This is a black tie event, ma’am. Not the VMAs.

Live Blog: Emmy Awards 2013

Happy Emmys Day!! Thanks for joining us on television’s biggest day of the year. Since we are too cheap to upgrade to the type of server that allows auto-refreshing when it comes to liveblogging, please refresh this page every 5 to 10 minutes for our live updates! Also, feel free to join us on Twitter as we join the convo there too!!

Pre-Show Fun with E!

T: If you caught any of the E! Pre-Show Pre-Show, Giuliana Rancic, Kelly Osbourne and George (Ksomething Greek sounding last name) made up Hashtags for the night. Kelly’s was #ohnoshedidnt & G’s was #NipSlip. So I mean…. probably no Emmy for E! on the red carpet next year… or ever.

M: Zooey Deschanel is dressed like she’s from the future but she usually dresses like she’s from the past and I’m SO CONFUSED right now. She’s like a really pretty Jetson cousin.

M: Zosia Mamet’s dress is sort of tie dye looking and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Outfit Critics didn’t like it. I actually find the fabric pretty but there’s a black bar over her boobs that either looks like a censor bar or a giant fake mustache. But on her boobs.

M: I was going to say I don’t like Heidi Klum’s dress color but then I imagined Heidi Klum turning to the camera, looking straight at me, raising a single eyebrow, and saying “oh really? Well I don’t like your sweatpants.” I got served by imaginary Heidi Klum.

M: So… we’re supposed to say Anna Gunn’s name with an accent? Is that what I just heard? Listen. I’m from the Great Lakes region. You’re lucky that I don’t say it like my voice box is stuffed into my nose. Let’s not get greedy, Ahhna.

T: Speaking of Anna Gunn and Breaking Bad, it is like freaking SOPHIE’S CHOICE tonight – Breaking Bad comes on at 9p, Emmys at 8p. Luckily for me, I can watch one right after the other, but that means avoiding Twitter starting at 6pm EST. #FIRSTWORLDPROBLEMSYALL

M: Is that why I’m manning Twitter tonight? (Traci says ‘Yes. Absolutely. Every man for himself) BTW “manigram” is a really distracting segment name because it sounds exactly like they’re saying mammogram.

M: Tina Fey is wearing something flawless because she’s perfect.

T: Literally my first thought about Tina: *OWOOOOGA* like a cartoon character with eyes bulging out

M: Like Mad Men, Kiernan Shipka has now entered the late 60s (judging by her dress). And her awkward stage. JK. She’ll never have an awkward stage (I’m slowly crawling out of mine as we speak. I’m in my late 20s).

T: Jewel is at the Emmys, everyone. Don’t worry.

M: My standout memory of Jewel is during the Kids Choice Awards when we were still in the proper Kids Choice Awards demo (like 10 maybe?) all the kids were yelling like annoying brats and she made them quiet down before she sang. Like a stern but kind preschool teacher. Hope she does that at some point tonight.

Also – Christina Hendricks is here with 20s hair.

[Deleted block of text where I freaked out about someone’s awful purple dress then realized I was looking at E’s decorations and went to get my glasses]

M: You know what Michael Douglas? You ruined everything when you told us all how you got cancer.

T: Things we just learned from Michael Douglas: Fan of both Ryan Seacrest’s morning radio show as well as Big Bang Theory. Never would’ve guessed either.

M: Speaking of Big Bang Theory, Jim Parsons is here and he always seems like the human version of a cartoon cat to me. Never so much as when he’s wearing a bow tie.

M: Lena Dunham tweeted that her sister said that her dress looked like it came from a Delia’s catalog.

“It’s like the Delia’s catalogue made a red carpet dress!” – my sister giving me the truest compliment when I showed her my Emmy look #joy

— Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) September 20, 2013

Also, her hair looks like this one time in college when I went to a cheap place to get my hair cut to shoulder length, and the lady kept taking off hair to get it even, and when I got home it was super short AND the sides were about 3 inches different. I had to go back and get it cut to roughly Dunham’s length. I cried until my friends all told me that they didn’t feel sorry for me.

T: AMY POEHLER JUST SHOWED UP AND LITERALLY SAID OUTLOUD ‘AHHHHHH’

M: Amy declared that she is wearing “a good attitude” which is the exact thing we love about her. BTW I didn’t type the whole time she was up there, I just sat with my chin propped up in my hands like a child staring out the window at Santa.

T: Um Amy just interviewed Carrie Underwood as she came up to Seacrest and said, “And you’re… performing?? ….. What are you doing here?” THIS IS THE BEST PAIRING THAT I NEVER THOUGHT I’D WANT

M: “We’re going to talk about religion… politics… just really get into it.” What if there was a show where it was just Amy Poehler in social situations with very random celebrities? I’d DVR every ep.

T: Lena Dunham is aware she’s not attending a 1997 summer BBQ, right? And like the haircut is reminiscent of the one Allison Pill did on The Newsroom. Also, unlikely friends? Lena and Claire Danes.

M: I’m getting stress flashbacks from her haircut right now. Claire Danes is here with a faux bob that reminds me of a blonde version of the Brown Helmet referenced in Steel Magnolias. Lena Dunham seems like she’d be a great person to be friends with/meet at a party because she’s a really interested and engaged listener.

M: Don’t worry, Connie Britton is here to bring us some high-quality Beautiful Flawless Mermaid hair. Also “my jewelry is worth more than I am.” So, priceless??

M: Will Arnett is here. I can’t see him without shaking my head and thinking  “sir, you’ve made an awful mistake.”

T: What Molly said. I said, “RIP” when Will came on the screen. WHO WOULD EVER DIVORCE AMY I DON’T UNDERSTAND.

Aaron Paul is gushing over his wife, who I think is gorge and great, but it’s like, shut up stop being so perfect and in love. #BitterBetty

M: I thought his mom was his wife at first so clearly, everyone in that whole family is just touched with gold.

M: Ryan Seacrest, Shut Up. Julie Bowen, I love you, but also shut up. (ICYMI they’re discussing Bowen starving to fit into her dress, and it’s not even so much that that’s not funny, it’s that they’re not being funny about it. There’s like an unspoken thing that if you’re dealing with offensive material you should at least be actually funny)

T: Also, Julie, you need a stylist. your dress looks like a Georgia O’Keefe painting. The only time I’ve ever seen you look good was last year at the Emmys.

M: AND WE ALL KNOW WHAT THOSE PAINTINGS WERE SUPPOSED TO BE, right people who took one semester of art history?

M: January Jones is here and I don’t care WHO says she’s cold and standoffish, I love when she acts like she can’t be bothered by any of this. You do you, Betty.

M: I missed everything Sofia Vergara just said except “Cover Girl,” which was crystal clear as all sponsored messages should be.

Sofia was asked something that makes her un-sexy. She said it’s that she sleeps with socks on. That is such a cop out, like when you’re on a job interview and asked for your biggest weakness and you say something like “I care too much.”

T: Julia Louis-Dreyfus looks like a disco ball. A fabulous, hilarious, gorgeous Monqiue Lhuillier-made disco ball.

M: Her skin is so beautiful that I sort of want to touch her face.

THE MAIN EVENT

T: GUYS I’M SO EXCITED IT’S LIKE MY SUPERBOWL.

M: It’s 8:05 and the Emmys are JUST STARTING because boys ruin everything. Thanks, football guys. (I know ladies watch football but I’m giving you all an out. This time).

T: “There are too many shows, there’s no time to finish.” – NPH

“Story of my life.” – Me

M: NPH is wearing a dark burgundy tuxedo jacket, a color that’s been forever ruined for me when I learned it was also called “oxblood.” Course he just referenced American Horror Story: Asylum, so clearly the same things don’t freak he and I out.

T: Jimmy Kimmel running on stage to interrupt NPH reminds me of the awksauce time Aubrey Plaza ran on stage during Will Ferrell’s MTV Movie Awards speech.

M: This whole segment is that exact same level of uncomfy. At least Jimmy Fallon is here, but I say that in the same sense that you’re always happy when one of your friends is at the same bad party as you.

T:  OMG KEVIN SPACEY.  If you haven’t watched House of Cards, this segment doesn’t make sense to you. But it’s so good.

photo 1

“I come to Awards Shows for the twerking” – Tina

MY LOVE FOR THESE TWO KNOWS NO BOUNDS. AMY JUST ROLLED ONTO THE STAGE.

M: Came for the TV accolades, stayed for Amy Poehler’s extended twerking references. And Tina and Amy’s patented Jennifer Lawrence Graceful Falls.

photo 2

Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory
Jane Lynch, Glee
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
Julie Bowen, Modern Family
Merritt Wever, Nurse Jackie
Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock
Anna Chlumsky, Veep

Traci’s Pick:  Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock

Since Rural Juror already lost in the Best Song category last week, it’s only fair that the singer herself get the accolade that she’s deserved for the past seven seasons.

Molly’s Pick: Julie Bowen, Modern Family

Always someone from Modern Family. Surprised Lily isn’t winning these things yet. (But I want to see Anna Chlumsky or Jane Krakowski take it home)

WINNER

Meritt Wever, Nurse Jackie

M: Meritt Wever went to the Fame High School. That is officially the only fact I know about her.

She got on stage, said “I gotta go, bye,” and did. I like the cut of your jib, Wever.

T: LL Cool J – photobombing your awards shows since the 1980s

M: LL Cool J always wears the non-tweed version of the hat my dad always wears, so hope you’re into looking like a suburban Irish lawyer!

Writing for a Comedy Series

Jack Burditt & Robert Carlock, 30 Rock

Tina Fey & Tracey Wigfield, 30 Rock

David Crane & Jeffrey Klarik, Episodes

Louis C.K. & Pamela Adlon, Louie

Greg Daniels, The Office

Traci’s Pick: Louis C.K. & Pamela Adlon, Louie

I don’t even watch Louie, but I feel like he’s got this one in the bag. My heart lies with The Office, though. Best series finale I’ve ever seen.

Molly’s Pick: Greg Daniels, The Office

Loved the 30 Rock Finale, but splitting the finale will probably split the votes, no?

WINNER

Tina Fey & Tracey Wigfield, 30 Rock

T: Fun fact: I had a great run-in with Tracey Wigfield during a Mindy Project WGA event (she writes for them now, slash sorry that was #SoLA). Basically we bonded over our names.

M: Fun fact: I live in Rochester. It’s cold and everything’s closed. Good story Traci!

Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Adam Driver, Girls
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family
Ed O’Neill, Modern Family
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Bill Hader, Saturday Night Live
Tony Hale, Veep

Traci’s Pick: Ty Burrell, Modern Family

To me, Ty is the standout male actor on the show, so my vote’s on him. I have a soft spot in my heart for Jesse Tyler Ferguson, though. You know who should really with this? Bill Hader. No more Stefon you guys, NO MORE STEFON 😦

Molly’s Pick: Ed O’Neill, Modern Family

See Supporting Actress Comment, above. See also, Traci’s Stefon comment, above.

WINNER

Tony Hale, Veep

M: Robin Williams is about ¾ of the way through the long journey into turning into Jack Nicholson.

T: Wait… There should’ve been a cross-over 30 Rock/Mad Men ep where Jack Donaghy goes to Don Draper for advertising help

Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

Laura Dern, Enlightened
Lena Dunham, Girls
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep

Traci’s Pick:Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep

If you don’t watch Veep, you’re doing it wrong. But I think it’s pretty clear that both of us would rather have Amy Poehler win this one. Always Amy Poehler. Always.

Molly’s Pick: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep

The real award goes to Amy Poehler for whatever awesome bit she schedules this year (do you have .gifs of the other years? I don’t but I’ll look) Why yes, they just happen to be on my Tumblr… (T)

WINNER

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Photo Sep 22, 5 38 50 PM

M: Once again, Anna Chlumsky should be taking home an award for Best Supporting Actress In an Awards Show Comedy Bit, for her appearance in “casually glancing up from her cell phone”

T: Guys…. If that bit Julia Louis-Dreyfus just did went over your head, you need to watch Veep. Now. Or, like after the Emmys.

M: WILL ARNETT YOU’VE MADE A TERRIBLE MISTAKE.

M: The voiceover just said “this is only the second time a woman has won for comedy directing,” but she put so much overemphasis on “a woman” that it sounded like she was saying “this is only the second time a woman has been born with XY chromosomes and also a penis and also was a dude.” Calm down, voiceover lady. It’s fine.

T: Observation: the writers of this year’s Emmys are on point.

Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Jason Bateman, Arrested Development
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Matt LeBlanc, Episodes
Don Cheadle, House of Lies
Louis C.K., Louie
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock

Traci’s Pick: Louis C.K., Louie

Louie is juuuust edgy enough to garner the support of the viewers this year, and even though Alec has already won this category twice before, I think he has a good shot at winning for nostalgia purposes too.

Molly’s Pick: Louis C.K., Louie

What the shit is Episodes? I don’t feel like I’m very good at TV right now.

WINNER

Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory

T: I literally ‘UGHHed’ when Jim Parsons won. Sorry guys. Not a Big Bang Theory viewer.

M: I only don’t like it because I don’t think it’s very fun. Parsons is a very cute cartoon cat of a man and I loved Blossom on “Blossom.”

M: I think they’re going to do a tribute here. Let’s go over the ground rules, everyone. No clapping til it’s done. No unwrapping snacks. Try to look serious. Church rules, people. OK, the All In The Family Tribute was one of the most touching ones I’ve seen on an awards show in a good while. Kind of want to watch Jean Stapleton’s funny singing in the All In The Family theme song to rinse the sad out of my mouth.

T: I’ve only seen approx 15 minutes of Behind the Candelabra, but I still can’t believe Good Will Hunting and Gordon Gekko played lovers. Like, gay lovers.

M: Between Will Arnett and Michael Douglas, I haven’t seen this much spray tan since prom week at our high school in 2004 (when we were visiting as part of a little brothers/ little sisters thing, we’re not that old) (we’re so old)

Elton John’s piano piece best get a lot flashier, because it sounds like something I’d have played at my spring recital in 1995 (when I was a fetus I’m not that old)

T: “… I’m just gonna turn this down a little.” -Me, re: Elton John

“I mean you can probably just put it on mute, to be honest. Is there an episode of TV we could watch? – my music lover fan, Suzanne.

M: I’m clawing at my face in secondhand embarrassment like I haven’t done since Joey Potter sang On My Own at the Miss Windjammer Pageant. Go back to Baby Zachary Levon, Elton. He needs you more than us.

Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie

Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Asylum
Helen Mirren, Phil Spector
Sigourney Weaver, Political Animals
Laura Linney, The Big C: Hereafter
Elisabeth Moss, Top of the Lake

Traci’s Pick: Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Asylum

I REFUSE to watch American Horror Story. I can barely watch the promos or look at the ads. Have you SEEN the one with the snake in the mouths? Anyways, Jessica Lange will probs win this, although Elisabeth Moss was really good in Top of the Lake. She was honestly the best this about it. Everything else sucked.

Molly’s Pick: Helen Mirren, Phil Spector

This is a list comprised entirely of Actresses Awards Committees Can’t Get Enough Of, so it’s anyone’s game really.

WINNER

Laura Linney, The Big C

M: I checked my work email during Elton John’s song because it was so boring, so then I had to go get some things to stress eat, so if I’m a little fatter tomorrow than today, it’s on you, Liberace.

T: This How I Met Your Mother bit is making me sad that it’s the last season all over again.

M: I know. When long running tv shows end it feels like leaving high school except unlike our high school the tv shows are actually made up of people that I like.

Writing for a Drama Series

George Mastras, Breaking Bad
Thomas Schnauz, Breaking Bad
Julian Fellowes, Downton Abbey
David Benioff & D.B. Weiss, Game Of Thrones
Henry Bromell, Homeland

Traci’s Pick: Henry Bromell, Homeland

This particular episode from Henry Bromell, Q&A, was by far the best episode of the season, maybe even the series to date. No brainer.

Molly’s Pick: David Benioff & DB. Weiss, Game Of Thrones

I’m going solely off of which episode made people on Twitter freak out the most. Not sure if People Who Freak Out On Twitter is the same market demo as People Who Are In The Academy Of Television Arts & Sciences.

WINNER
Henry Bromell, Homeland

T: I feel like it’s almost impossible to talk to Connie Britton and not mention Friday Night Lights. Example: this bit.

M: Other example: the reassuring, Principal Taylor-esque shoulder squeeze she just gave the widow of the last category’s winner.

M: If Connie Britton had watched the preshow, she’d know that it’s pronounced Ahhhna Gunn.

Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones
Morena Baccarin, Homeland
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men

Traci’s Pick: Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad

Because if Skyler’s gonna make it out of the ABQ alive, she might as well get an Emmy for it.

Molly’s Pick: Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad

Anna Gunn plays someone’s wife on Breaking Bad. He makes drugs. Some people don’t like her but it’s only because they’re sexist (everything I know about Breaking Bad I learned from Tumblr. Starting it soon. Honest.)

WINNER
Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad

T: GOD BLESS AMERICA SKYLER WINS, ONCE AND FOR ALL.

This show is turning out to be a tearjerker. Not prepared.

M: Getting real emotional. About to go through a lot of snack mix and kale chips. So, screw you, Elton John.

T: I just … love NPH for being virtually the only host who can sing and dance and act flawlessly.

M: I just clasped my hands and raised my shoulders up to my ears like those creepy smitten triplets in Beauty And The Beast when Gaston walked by.

T: Waiit… Castle can sing. Also, I’m freaking out over all the SYTYCD alum dancing right now.

M: So, numbers are up for each of the performers in the last number and lines will be open for an hour after the show.

M: Evidently the teleprompter wasn’t working during Mindy Kaling and Stephen Ammell’s presentation. I sort of just thought that was the level of writing we were supposed to expect for this kind of thing.

Reality-Competition Program

Dancing With the Stars
Project Runway
So You Think You Can Dance
The Amazing Race
The Voice
Top Chef

Traci’s Pick: The Amazing Race

Ugh, even though I think The Amazing Race is a good show, it has won every.single.year since the category was introduced in 2003. Except in 2010 when Top Chef won. In all honesty, So You Think You Can Dance should win, but that’s a completely biased opinion.

Molly’s Pick: The Voice

I’m one of those old-school folks who doesn’t love this category. SYTYCD is the only one I watch on the regs anymore, but I’d be surprised.

WINNER

The Voice

T: EXCUSE ME? THE VOICE?

M: Sometimes Cee Lo has that cat, though. Seems fair.

T: Kerry! I love you so much. And I usually love alllll your fashion choices… but… On second viewing, it’s really not that bad and kind of pretty.

M: Like Connie Britton, I tend to attribute Kerry Washington’s character’s traits to her. Totally fair to assume she’s as smart and driven as Olivia Pope, right?

T: Why is Dihann Carroll so far away from Kerry right now?

Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Bobby Cannavale, Boardwalk Empire
Jonathan Banks, Breaking Bad
Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
Jim Carter, Downton Abbey
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Mandy Patinkin, Homeland

Traci’s Pick: Mandy Patinkin, Homeland

I LOVE YOU AARON PAUL. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH. But after Mandy’s snub last year, I feel like the Academy will want to make up for its massive mistake in not nominating Inigo Montoya.

Molly’s Pick: Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones

But Maybe Bobby Cannavale as a super-dark horse. Sometimes I think Emmy voters are like that one neighbor you had in 1992 who always wanted to show off that he had HBO. Yes, Academy. We know you have HBO.

WINNER

Bobby Cannavale, Boardwalk Empire

Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Hugh Bonneville, Downton Abbey
Damian Lewis, Homeland
Kevin Spacey, House of Cards
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom

Traci’s Pick: Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad

I honestly kept switching my vote from Heisenberg to Nick Brody, but Heisenberg won in the end… just like he will in the series finale????

Molly’s Pick: Damian Lewis, Homeland

Know what? I really don’t know about this one.

WINNER

Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom

M: Like I said, the Academy members are really proud that they upgraded to the HBO package with their cable service.

T: Jeff Daniels “I didn’t expect this.” Yeah neither did we.

What in the actual fuck is going on? None of these people were expected to win!!!! #SelfishBallotTalk

But really, I like Jeff Daniels and all, but over Mandy Patinkin and Aaron Paul?

M: Don Cheadle is now hosting a mini-segment called “Shit That’s Supposed To Make You Cry That Was On TV One Time In the 60s”

Also supposed to make you cry: Carrie Underwood singing ‘Yesterday.’ So THAT’s what she’s doing here.

M: It’s ok, Jimmy Fallon’s here, we can all stop crying now. Really, that wasn’t cool, Cheadle.

T: Literally started clapping when Jimmy came on the stage. This mic bit is way funnier than it should be.

M: I’m getting nervous about this category. Like, because I care who wins and because I care how they’re going to fill a whole other hour after this.

Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Vera Farmiga, Bates Motel
Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey
Claire Danes, Homeland
Robin Wright, House of Cards
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
Connie Britton, Nashville
Kerry Washington, Scandal

Traci’s Pick: Kerry Washington, Scandal

I think my pick is half who ‘will’ win and half who ‘should’ win. Either way, I’m sticking with Kerry in the event this is the one upset of the night and she steals it away from Claire Danes. The whole African-American actress hubbub mixed with the fact that I recently binge-watched Scandal and now am obsessed with it is why I’m choosing Olivia Pope. #GoGladiators

Molly’s Pick: Kerry Washington, Scandal

Claire Danes is trying to wrestle back her Ugly Cry Showdown title, but I have to go with Olivia Pope. Love Scandal.

WINNER

Claire Danes, Homeland

M: And, with Claire Danes’ win, she yanks the title of Best Ugly Crier from Anne Hathaway. You had a good run, Annie. Now why don’t you cry about it (you’re really quite good at it).

T: I had so much anxiety during that category and Kerry didn’t even win. Gah. Also Claire Danes WTF is with your hair. Just, no.

M: Anyone else having a tough time dealing with Damian’s face right now?

M: Traci, you don’t watch Game of Thrones, right? I don’t have enough time to get as into it as people on twitter convince me I would be. I also feel like it’s for people who play games with really big multi-sided dice and secret names. *even though I know super normy people who watch it.

T: No, I do not, and will not watch Game of Thrones. I have too many shows. Also, I don’t watch programs with dragons or vampires.

M: Sometimes I think about watching it so I could understand more memes. Everything about me is embarrassing.

T: The group writers intros are always my favoriteand OHMYGOD OPRAH.

M: So, who on Jimmy Kimmel is sleeping with Oprah? (Don’t say Gayle or Stedman, we know neither of those are happening)

T: I mean, if he’s not sleeping with her, they’re at least BFFs (Example A, Example B).

M: Right now the Emmys are reminding me of that one older relative who, every time you see them, has to tell you about another person you know who died.

T: I cannot express how excited I am about this choreography dance number. SYTYCD alum galore! Also, I just really like it when dance is featured on a major show. (If you want to see these amazing choreographers’ nominated routines, watch them here!)

M: When NPH started singing “Luck Be A Lady” I thought “hey, this always reminds me of Mrs Doubtfire!” So, everything nice is wasted on me. Just feed me Taco Bell and give me a stack of Lifetime movies. It’s all I deserve.

M: So I think it’s time for me to watch Boardwalk Empire (ICYMI 1920s people 1920s-danced to a 1920s Get Lucky.)

T: I AM LEGITIMATELY CRYING RIGHT NOW GUYS. IT’S A PROBLEM.

I LOVE ALL THOSE DANCERS AND CHOREOGRAPHERS. AND TRAVIS AND ALLISON – WHO WERE CONTESTANTS IN SEASON TWO OF SYTYCD ARE NOW NOMINATED FOR AN EMMY?! AND THE FACT THAT CHOREOGRAPHY IS EVEN ON THE PRIMETIME SHOW I ACTUALLY CANNOT.

M: I almost cried too, but nothing came out because I used up all my tears during the JFK thing. I’m Irish Catholic.  The JFK funeral is like holding fresh cut onions under my eyes.

Sorry, did Mandy Moore just get introduced as Mandy Jo Moore? Not makin’ it better, Mand’.

Variety Series

Jimmy Kimmel Live
Late Night With Jimmy Fallon
Real Time With Bill Maher
Saturday Night Live
The Colbert Report
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart

Traci’s Pick: The Daily Show With Jon Stewart

It’s hard to pick anything else besides The Daily Show, because much like The Amazing Race, it’s dominated the competition since 2003. If anyone has a chance, it’s his buddy Stephen Colbert. A long shot would be my boy Jimmy Fallon, and I might have to Funkin’ Gonuts myself if he wins.

Molly’s Pick: The Colbert Report

The Colbert Report has been pretty on its game this year, but it would be nice to see Jimmy Fallon win since that show’s been having more fun than I’ve ever really seen a late night show have. However, this isn’t community rec U4-U6 soccer, so I guess you don’t get a trophy for “going out there and having fun.”

WINNER
The Colbert Report

T: *caps lock rant over* In other news, I am doing horribly with my ballot.

M: You could totally change your answers before you post it, but you wouldn’t do it. You’re the kind of person who would leave money at an unattended farm stand. (I’m the kind of person who lives near farm stands. Like I said, everything about me is embarrassing).

M: These spread-out tributes are really killing me. This is why you don’t do funerals in installments. Best to get it all over with at once.

T: Seriously, I’m crying again… Maybe I should seek psychiatric help…

M: Nah you’re good. My mom texted me during this that she was driving my nephew and he kept telling her “you really, really have to tell Aunt Molly that I love her” and I cried for like five minutes. OK, or maybe we’re just both messes.

T: “This just in: no one in America is winning their office Emmy pool.”- NPH Yes.

M: Yeah. I could win at this point just because everyone’s doing so poorly. The winner will probably be someone who doesn’t watch TV and just goes by whatever has the best name (read: my football pool strategy).
Anna Farris is wearing a Sleeping Beauty wig and a very nice yellow dress.

T: This lovely British woman winning for The Hour is just the absolute loveliest. Lovely.

M: She’s really, very lovely.

Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie

James Cromwell, American Horror Story: Asylum
Zachary Quinto, American Horror Story: Asylum
Scott Bakula, Behind the Candelabra
John Benjamin Hickey, The Big C: Hereafter
Peter Mullan, Top of the Lake

Traci’s Pick: James Cromwell, American Horror Story: Asylum

See: Lead Actress in a Miniseries… but I mean he was great in Babe.

Molly’s Pick: Scott Bakula, Behind the Candelabra

I suppose.

WINNER
James Cromwell, American Horror Story: Asylum

T: Kevin Spacey looked perturbed when he flicked that piece of paper into the lens. He should be used to speaking into cameras.

M: MORE DEAD PEOPLE. Jeeesus. What is this, the Hogwarts Portrait Gallery? No. Because at Hogwarts, people are better behaved than to clap at inappropriate times. Bunch of damn Slytherins here.

So, Behind the Candelabra is like… really happening right now, huh? I just can’t take anything seriously with Candelabra in the title. Also: more music from my 4th grade piano recital.

Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie

Sarah Paulson, American Horror Story: Asylum
Ellen Burstyn, Political Animals
Charlotte Rampling, Restless
Alfre Woodard, Steel Magnolias
Imelda Staunton, The Girl

Traci’s Pick: Sarah Paulson, American Horror Story: Asylum

Sarah Paulson is one of those people for me that I always remember them for that one thing they did that probably no one else does. Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. RIP.

Molly’s Pick: Imelda Staunton, The Girl

I typed 3 different actresses before settling on Imelda Staunton. Never realized I cared so much about supporting actresses in miniseries.

WINNER
Ellen Burstyn, Political Animals

M: Ellen Burstyn looks very… diaphanous tonight.

T: Ellen Burstyn: Forever the crazy lady in Requiem for a Dream.

M: 10:56 EST. How many awards to go? Put on the hustle, Emmys! You can do it!

Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie

Michael Douglas, Behind the Candelabra
Matt Damon, Behind the Candelabra
Benedict Cumberbatch, Parade’s End
Al Pacino, Phil Spector
Toby Jones, The Girl

Traci’s Pick: Michael Douglas, Behind the Candelabra

Michael Douglas playing a gay, rhinestone wearing, piano player who has sex with Matt Damon? Yeah, just give him the Emmy now.

Molly’s Pick: Michael Douglas, Behind the Candelabra

I have nothing to add to Traci’s comment. That’s pretty much it.

WINNER

Michael Douglas, Behind the Candelabra

T: What is Michael Douglas actually saying right now.

M: He’s saying that Matt Damon’s a top, I think. That means what you think it does. Michael Douglas: making my stomach feel not great since he told us all how he got cancer. Also “My wife Catherine?” Didn’t they just get divorced?

T: I think they’re separated? Slash maybe he’s just trying to be nice about their split. What a great guy.

M: You know, I’m just a simple, old-fashioned girl who thinks that once you’ve gotten throat cancer from your spouse’s vag, you’re in it for life. (Sorry) (No I’m not. Michael Douglas should be sorry. AND CZJ I guess. Everyone who made it possible for me to know that fact)

Miniseries or Movie

American Horror Story: Asylum
Behind the Candelabra
Phil Spector
Political Animals
The Bible
Top of the Lake

Traci’s Pick: Behind the Candelabra

Sorry everyone else, this is the year for the gays.

Molly’s Pick: Top Of The Lake

I think other people liked it more than I did.

WINNER

Behind the Candelabra

M: Claire Danes is doing awesome, but I’d just like to take this moment to point out that all of the best actress nominees this year were played by Tatiana Maslany. Amazing how you just forget that it’s the same actress. /#stillbitter

T: Will Ferrell… pretty sure these are his actual kids. Are they getting paid for this or straight up child labor?

M: Oh my God I think you’re right. I thought those Asian kids from the last award show were his real kids. But this is probably more correct.

Comedy Series

The Big Bang Theory
Girls
Louie
Modern Family
30 Rock
Veep

Traci’s Pick: Modern Family

Modern Family 3-peat. 30 Rock should win based on sentimentality alone. Blerg.

Molly’s Pick: Modern Family

I like Modern Family – really, I do. I’d just rather see 30 Rock win.

WINNER

Modern Family

T: “This may have been the saddest Emmys ever, but we could not be happier.” Steve Levitan, Modern Family EP, who has hit the Emmy nail on the head.

M: Yeah. The tone of the Emmys is supposed to be all “TV forever!” but this year it’s like “TV forever! Until you die. Everyone dies. Here’s some people who did this year, for instance. And JFK, which was a while ago,but you know, why not?”

Drama Series

House of Cards
Breaking Bad
Downton Abbey
Game of Thrones
Homeland
Mad Men

Traci’s Pick: Breaking Bad

Basically, just give Breaking Bad ALL the awards while you can. ALL of them.

Molly’s Pick: Breaking Bad

If not this year, then next. Source: tumblr.

WINNER

Breaking Bad

T: Finally Breaking Bad wins and all is right with the world.

M: Except this Emmy telecast. It just left me feeling kind of “off.” Speaking of which, now you can all go watch Breaking Bad! I don’t have any spoilers I’m just taking it that something crazy happened.

Thanks everyone for reading!! Check back tomorrow for our Best and Worst Dressed Lists!!! Go drown your sorrows in your Emmy ballots now…

Be My BFF: A Love Letter To Rhoda Morgenstern (And Valerie Harper, Too)

I’m a Rhoda, not a Mary. If you’re a classic tv fan, an old person, or both, you’ll remember Mary Richards and Rhoda Morgenstern as one of the sitcom world’s best buddy duos on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Mary was sort of the straight man, and eminently sweet and lovable. Rhoda was sassy, self-deprecating, others-deprecating (is that a thing?) and had a disastrous dating life.

I watched Mary Tyler Moore repeats as a kid, but it was by and large a “grown-up” show to me. See, I could watch shows about adults in my era (see: Friends), but a bunch of adults in the 70s didn’t really resonate with me. Now that I’m a young professional, The Mary Tyler Moore show is my life. Since college, my friend and I have even used “throwing our hats in the air” as a catchall expression for just generally succeeding at life.

 

Rhoda Morgenstern probably reminds you of either yourself or one of your friends (in which case you’re a Mary, and likely far more likable and bubbly than I am). When prepping for a beauty contest, Rhoda introduced herself: “My favorite hobbies are cheerleading, liking people, and living in America.” Still, Mary always had the good luck, as Rhoda informed her on a down day: “You’re having a lousy streak. I happen to be having a terrific streak. Soon the world will be back to normal. Tomorrow you will meet a crown head of Europe and marry. I will have a fat attack, eat 3000 peanut butter cups and die.” Then, there’s the voice-over from season one of Rhoda:

Whomever decided that a voice-over monolog would make a good theme song was freaking crazy. It was the 70s, and everyone was just kind of trying things I guess. But still. Rhoda. I love Rhoda.

Not to mention, the gal could really pull off a turban.

Of course, there’s no Rhoda without Valerie Harper. The fact is, Harper’s pretty great in her own right. She got her start touring with Second City, and appeared on the super-60s (but still funny) comedy album When You’re In Love The Whole World Is Jewish. She ran for SAG president but lost to Melissa Gilbert, which isn’t even really fair because who could vote against Half-Pint Ingalls, except for Nellie Freaking Olsen? Harper even advocated for the ERA in the 70s, and you can tell that I have the boundless, baseless optimism of someone who was raised in Buffalo Bills territory, because every time it’s introduced I’m like “you know, maybe this is our year.” In 2006, she called Britney Spears a “Disney Hooker.” Harper also offered one of my favorite bits of life advice:

“Stop working so hard at being interesting and focus on what’s outside yourself. There are universes out there that need to be explored. And, an interested person is extremely interesting.”

This fall, Valerie Harper has advanced cancer and a reality tv contract – because she’s Rhoda Morgenstern and she does what she wants. So, on Monday I  voluntarily watched Dancing With The Stars even though I am not a suburban lady in my early 60s. I’ll keep watching as long as she’s on the show – and possibly longer if Bill Nye and Jessie Spano make it farther. I was a 90s kid, after all. I’m not watching because it’s amazing that Harper is responding unbelievably well to treatment, or inspiring that she’s undertaking a serious dance regimen on top of a serious illness. I’m watching because Rhoda Morgenstern was hilarious, and so is the woman who plays her. Which means that – at the very least – if a routine is really awful, or someone falls down, or the costumes are atrocious, I think we can count on her for some witty, Rhoda-like commentary.

[Ed. note: This was initially written to appear this past Monday, but was postponed to write about one of our other favorite funny ladies. I don’t think Valerie Harper cares, though. Meaning: I don’t think she’s one of our readers. But, the delay allowed me to watch DWTS before posting, and Harper did not disappoint. But would it have killed them to put her in a turban? For old time’s sake, I mean.]

Expectations Vs. Reality: Saved by the Bell The College Years

sbtb college

In 1993, the men of Bayside High left Mr. Belding behind and continued on to higher education by attending California University. Now if they were real, which in all honesty they sometimes are in my head, Zack Morris, AC Slater and Samuel ‘Screech’ Powers kicked off their journey exactly 20 years ago this week. “20 YEARS?!”, you say? Yeah. 20 years. 1993 was 20 years ago, and 2003 was 10 years ago, a fact that I always always fail to believe.

Just like real life, Saved by the Bell (the high school era) ended in May, and months later, the crew started college in September and while the constant repeats made us believe this iteration ran on for approx 2 seasons, it actually only ran for 19 episodes. That’s 19 episodes for young, impressionable kids to find out what college life is like through a fake TV show. Seriously, I didn’t know anyone in college at the time, so what I saw on SBTB was what I assumed college (and high school for that matter) was going to be like.

Of course, now I know that it wasn’t really supposed to be treated as a college bible.

Expectation:

All your best friends will go to the same college as you.

Not only will your gang ALL be accepted into the same school, but you will all decide to go there TOGETHER.

Reality:

You will go to college alone.

If you’re lucky, you’ll have a buddy or two. Otherwise, man up and find new friends.

Expectation:

You will share a spacious triple and suite with your roommates

Reality:

You will be crammed into a double with a stranger

Robin Scherbatsky’s cubicle is roughly the size of a normal college dorm room.

Expectation:

You will meet a dreamy boyfriend/girlfriend – and that person will be your professor

Oh Professor Lasky. He was a handsome, single dad who crossed the line with his student/babysitter. At least you’re the reason Kelly decided to finally tie the knot with Zack.

Reality:

You will date randoms and half of them will probably be gay

That’s what college is for, right?

Expectation:

You will be forced to join a sorority/fraternity and undergo a ridiculous hazing process

And that hazing process will include Nickelodeon slime and a frat leader who is actually the younger version of Billy Chambers from Scandal.

Reality:

You don’t have to join Greek Life at all

Nothing against Greek Life, but if you’re like me and are too lazy and poor to join an organized group of friends, this will be a relief.

Expectation:

You will be able to redecorate anything and everything in your dorm

And your suite (which connects the boys room to the girls room) will be big enough for a poker table in the living room.

Reality:

No tacks, staples, tape on the walls, no microwave, no hot plate, no fridge, and absolutely no room for anything.

In reality, not a big deal. But still annoying.

Expectation:

Turning a dorm room into a rave will be super easy and fun and include stolen nitrous oxide from the science department

Painting the walls black will be a breeze! And all these people in a small area won’t break any RA-set sound ordinances or anything.

Reality:

You won’t even go to rave, just a bunch of house parties in dingy apartments/basements, fill your red solo cups with indiscernable types of alcohol

Honestly, all part of the college experience and worth the vomiting for the anecdotes

Expectation:

You will befriend a lab monkey who later escapes but then comes back

Screenshot 2014-09-03 23.29.34

This was an actual plot line. And that chimp is actually wearing a dress.

Reality:

No monkeys. No monkeys at all.

Thank God. Although it sounds kinda fun, no? Yeah, no.

10 Reality Shows To Make You Feel Better About Your Life

When Holly Golightly got a case of the mean reds (“you’re afraid, and you don’t know what you’re afraid of”), she’d head to Tiffany’s. When I’m in that position – feeling sort of vaguely directionless, unaccomplished or dissatisfied – I watch reality tv. It’s not like I get pleasure out of other people’s misfortune — I just get a little solace. When you get that nagging itchy feeling that you’re doing something wrong in life, try one of these shows. It’s like calamine on the chicken pox of your soul.

Hoarders and Hoarding: Buried Alive

We’re not going to think about the part where we’re using people with real, legitimate mental issues to feel better about our lives. We’re just thinking about the whole cleanliness thing. Whatever it is that’s troubling you, you can watch this and think “hey, at least I don’t have a stack of bowed-out yogurt containers* in my fridge. At least my shower is accessible because it isn’t full of records, newspapers, and rat poop. And I have never chosen a pile of decrepit pizza boxes filled with cockroach babies over my family and friends.”

The great thing about Hoarders is that it always inspires me to clean — and cleaning always makes me feel like my life is a little more “together.” That’s why I clean infrequently and save it for when I really need it.

* I had bowed-out yogurt containers for like a day because Chobani issued some gross fermented yogurt. Oh, Wine Chobani. I could eat a case of you and still be on my feet.

Confessions: Animal Hoarding

A special category of hoarders, these people inspire a lot of gratitude: “how many cats do I have? A normal number*? Then compared to these folks, I’m on a pretty OK path.”

* I think the measuring stick for a “normal number of cats” is whether or not you’re embarrassed to tell people how many you have.

Nanny 911/Supernanny

This summer there was a serious baby boom involving whichever demographic my Facebook and real friends are in. Sometimes you look at those cherubic little baby faces and think “am I supposed to want one of those now? Because I really don’t want one of those now.*” Nanny 911 answers that question with a “yeah… you’re not really missing much.”

* Unless it’s a child I’ve already vetted and found to be cool. Like, my nephews and niece? Great kids. I’d kidnap them in a second if my siblings weren’t all the kind of people who would catch wise to it. However, the child screaming  “I want a Happy Meal NOW!” on my bus this morning? Not so much. McDonald’s is on the breakfast menu for another 6 hours. Get a grip, kid.

Teen Mom

This show makes me feel better on two fronts. First of all, the whole thing where I don’t have kids, so I’m not responsible for another person’s safety and well-being. Awesome. Also – and much, much more importantly – I’m not a teen. I would be okay with being 15 again for a day – literally one day, which I would spend waking up without coffee like MAGIC, looking at my face in one of those magnifying mirrors and going everywhere in a bathing suit. Beyond that, though, I’m very pleased not to be a teenager, particularly a pregnant one. Finding a prom dress was hard enough without having to find a maternity prom dress. The pregnant girl my junior year had to have her mom make hers, and my mom didn’t even sew, so there goes that option. If you’re in your 20s and beyond, and feel uncertain about your life path, just watch this and realize that there is a 0% chance that you could be a teen mom at this point. Or a teen, even. Hallelujah.

Sister Wives

Along with not wanting kids right now, sometimes I ask myself whether I’m supposed to want to be married now that I’m in my mid-20s.* However, 98% of the time, I really don’t care. And another 1% of the time, I’m watching Sister Wives and thanking the Heavenly Father that I’m not married to beady-eyed Kody with his poor man’s Keith Urban haircut, and also to 3 other ladies who hate me to varying degrees.

* Um… late 20s.

19 Kids And Counting

I’m sure the super-fundamentalist Duggars want you to watch their show and get drawn closer to God, but I don’t think that my prayers of gratitude are what they have in mind. Like, thank you, Lord, that I am allowed to wear pants. Praise God, I do not have to wear a t-shirt underneath my polos. Jesus, I do not have to perm my hair because that is how my dad likes it, and it is a blessing unto me. Father Almighty, with sincerest gratitude, I say that I never had to raise my dozen-or-so younger siblings since I’m not going to college because nobody expects me to have a career, anyway. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, at least I have not had to sleep with a man named Jim Bob a minimum of 19 times. Amen.

Here Comes Honey Boo Boo

I may be in the minority, but I really like Honey Boo Boo and family. They’re always up for anything and don’t care what anyone thinks about them. Alanna and her mom June are both super-confident, and I think it says a lot that they both get a lot of criticism for that very reason. But … but. The sketti. And the outfits. And the fart games. I’m glad Honey Boo Boo and family exist, and I’d definitely hang out with them for a few days, but I’m glad I’m not them.

Toddlers And Tiaras

This show makes you grateful that you’re not a grown-ass woman whose only hobby is dressing up her child and having her do silly dances. It makes you even more grateful that when you were four, your parents weren’t ratting your hair, giving you fake teeth, and making you flirt with a panel of judges while dressed like a cross between Little Bo Peep and a Vegas showgirl. You’re even glad not to be the dead-eyed stepdad or teen brother who is being forced to sit in the audience.

Only people I’m jealous of here? The pageant owners. Seriously, someone tell me how to get into that racket. You charge all of the contestants a few hundred bucks, rent out a conference room at the Double Tree, print out a few mylars and buy some trophies from Oriental Trading Company. That’s it. Nobody goes to the pageants except the kids and their relatives, and you probably net easily 10K per pageant. Please, give us like two years to get our shit together and we’ll be running the Little Miss Cookies And Sangria Grand National Supreme.

My Strange Addiction

Eat too much? At least you don’t eat too much of your deceased spouse.

Made some bad relationship choices in your days? Probably not as bad as having sex with your car. Suddenly, my problems aren’t problems.

Dr. 90210

This has been off the air for a bit, but from time to time I’ll catch a repeat. We’d all like to have a little more money, but this makes me pleased that I don’t have so much extra cash that I can use it to pay someone to cut up my face. Honestly, I can’t say I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t have the money, so thank heavens the option isn’t even there.