Super Superbowl Halftime Shows

Ah, it’s Super Bowl weekend, y’all. It’s everything this country stands for. Football, piles of money spent on 30 second commercials, spending hours in front of the TV with loved ones yelling at players through a screen, and excessive eating of foods that are bad for you. ‘MERICA.

While we at Cookies + Sangria aren’t the biggest of sports fans (I mean come on, we have liveblogged at least three movie musicals in the past year), what I can say is that the one thing to look forward to is the halftime show.

Back in the 1960s when the Super Bowl was first introduced, the halftime entertainment, like most football games, were by college marching bands (I’m assuming, I’ve only been to one and that was in high school-Friday Night Lights doesn’t count apparently). They slowly introduced popular artists and performers, such as Carol Channing. No, really. Carol Channing.

I’m pretty sure if she showed up today people would throw their nachos at her and immediately leave in drunken stupors.

From the 1980s on, it became more of a who’s who in pop culture, and high profile names like Gloria Estefan, Prince, The Who, Paul McCartney and the Rolling Stones took center stage in the stadiums. [Sidenote: Did you guys know the halftime performers don’t get paid for their appearance? All their expenses are paid for but no moolah for actually singing. Not like Beyonce needs the money anyways.]

While we prepare for everyone’s favorite Grenade catcher Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers to perform in the frozen tundra of New Jersey on Sunday, here’s a look back at some of the best, most memorable Super Bowl halftime shows over the years.

Super Bowl XXV

Date: Jan. 27, 1991

Theme: Small World Tribute to 25 Years of the Super Bowl

Performer(s): New Kids on the Block, Disney characters, Warren Moon, 2,000 local children

Well here’s a little known fact that I was unaware of (maybe because I was busy turning five that day), but NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK PERFORMED AT THE SUPER BOWL HALF TIME SHOW?!?! Brand new information. It obviously makes sense due to the fact they were at their hey day back in 1991. But unfortch that they had to sing that horrible song. Also unfortch: everyone’s outfits. I’m looking at you Donnie Wahlberg. It’s better if you just take the shirt off.

Super Bowl XXVII

Date: Jan. 31, 1993

Location: Rose Bowl (Pasadena, California)

Theme: Heal the World

Performer(s): Michael Jackson

I feel like hiring MJ to perform at the Super Bowl was the ultimate coup. This is when people started paying attention and were like oh, ok. They’re gonna play it like that? I’m watching now. I mean the theatrics of it all. The pyrotechnics. The dancing. The Michael Jackson-ness of it all. He set the bar for high quality halftime shows. Bottom line: be entertained.

Super Bowl XXXV

Date: Jan. 28, 2001

Location: Raymond James Stadium (Tampa, Florida)

Theme: The Kings of Rock and Pop

Performer(s):  Aerosmith, ‘N Sync, Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige, Nelly

As a Backstreet Boys fan, even I will admit this is one of the best halftime shows ever. By 2001, the NFL totally grasped the idea of hiring whoever was the hottest artist in music at the time and having them perform during America’s most watched program on TV. Looking back on it, this performance is the epitome of 2001, like that year was encapsulated in a 10 minute performance. I mean even Ben Stiller, Adam Sandler and Chris Rock made cameos.

Super Bowl XXXVI

Date: Feb. 3, 2002

Location: Louisiana Superdome (New Orleans, Louisiana)

Theme: Tribute to those killed in the September 11 attacks

Performer(s): U2

This was the first Super Bowl after 9/11 and the whole halftime show was dedicated to those who lost their lives in the tragedy. If you’re reading this, you’re old enough to remember that day, how it felt, and the fine line that was walked by everyone in the media to properly pay respects to the victims without being too hokey or ingenuine. U2 did a perfect job at balancing that line, making it a halftime show that we’ll never forget.

Super Bowl XXXVIII

Date: Feb. 1, 2004

Location: Reliant Stadium (Houston, Texas)

Theme: Rock the Vote

Performer(s): Janet Jackson, P. Diddy, Nelly, Kid Rock, and Justin Timberlake

You didn’t expect a Super Bowl halftime show list without the infamous ‘wardrobe malfunction’ did you? We all know what happened, so I don’t need to explain that. You know what I do feel like I need to explain? The fact that this was TEN YEARS AGO. TEN. BYE EVERYONE, BYE.

Bonus: Actual YouTube comment: “4:04 to skip the nonsense”

Super Bowl XLVI

Date: Feb. 5, 2012

Location: Lucas Oil Stadium (Indianapolis, Indiana)

Theme: Polytheism (Greek and Egyptian)

Performer(s): Madonna, LMFAO, Nicki Minaj, M.I.A., Cee Lo Green

Listen, I’m not even a big fan of Madonna. Or Nicki Minaj. or M.I.A. Or basically anyone that was part of this. HOWEVER, I will say that this performance over all was outstanding and exactly what it needed to be: entertaining. Also LOL at the theme of “Polytheism” at the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl XLVII (aka The One With The Blackout)

Date: Feb. 3, 2013

Location: Mercedes-Benz Superdome (New Orleans, Louisiana)

Theme: There was no theme listed, however I’m going to say it was ‘HBIC’

Performer(s): Beyonce, Destiny’s Child

I think this Mr. Carter properly sums up Queen B/DC3’s performance:

Point/Counterpoint: Televised Weddings – Gauche or Glorious?

On Sunday night, the world made a broad leap for marriage equality. Dozens of mixed- and same-sex couples were married by Queen Latifah at the Grammy Awards as Mackelmore, Ryan Lewis, and Mary Lambert sang “Same Love.” Madonna, dressed as a cane-wielding old oil baron from a more fabulous version of 1930s Texas, even warbled one of her classics. If the American public didn’t know it before, they do now — gay couples can be just as tacky as straight couples. Suck it, haters!

Not to be outdone,  at the very same time, Sean and Catherine from The Bachelor got married on LIVE TV. It’s the Great Gay/Straight Televised Wedding-Off, where whoever wins… basically loses.

Of course, for every person bemoaning televised weddings as super-cheezy, there’s another who thinks they’re, I guess, romantic and beautiful or something. The only way to settle this is through a point-counterpoint.

Point: Weddings should be about you, your spouse, and your loved ones — not you, your spouse, and the American Public.

Need I say it – same goes for proposals.

By getting married in front of a live television audience, you aren’t saying “I love this other person so much!” You’re saying “Look at how I love this other person so much!” It’s a fine distinction, but it’s a distinction.

Counterpoint: Weddings are about publicly declaring your love and commitment. What’s more public than TV?

I’m sorry… were you insulting TV? I know you weren’t insulting TV. Most of us spend more time with TV than we do with our friends and family. Why wouldn’t we invite TV to our weddings? TV should be at the head-freaking-table, if you ask me. TV should be the priest. TV should be the groom.

Point: TV weddings are super tacky. Do you really want to explain to your grandchildren that you got married live on the Montel Williams Show?

So, you got married in a camo dress. And you can’t even lie about it in 50 years, like my grandma did about being 5 months pregnant when she got married, because everyone can just look it up. Good work.

[In case you’re wondering, it all came to a head when my grandma, in a state of light dementia, really strongly opposed the 50th wedding anniversary dinner we were throwing them. Turns out, it was actually their 49th anniversary.]

Counterpoint: Will & Kate, and Charles & Diana before them, got married on live tv. They’re not tacky.

Viewers worldwide didn’t wake up or go to sleep at weird times to watch these weddings because they were tacky. They did it because they wanted to see what dress the bride wore (Will and Kate) or if Camilla would stand up and shout out an objection (Charles and Diana). You know, normal stuff.

Point: Yes, but the royals had the same wedding they would have if the cameras weren’t there. They weren’t mass-married by the woman from Living Single, who didn’t even sing U.N.I.T.Y.

So, my friends and I watched this video before the Grammys, and can I just say what a shame it is that Latifah can do this but chose not to? I miss when rap used to sound like this, and if I could get Latifah at my wedding, damn straight she’d be laying down some early 90s beats.

Counterpoint: TV weddings allow people to have features that they never would have been able to afford themselves, like a Badgley Mischca gown (Trista, of The Bachelor) or the woman from Living Single as the officiant.

These super-cute in-love people don’t look too unhappy with how this wedding thing is playing out – and other people seemed to love it too. Did you see the crowd shots? The only time I’ve seen celebrities look so giddy is when they’re pretending to be happy for somebody who won an award.

Point: By providing your own wedding budget, you also get to call the shots (read: you don’t have to worry that a frail Madonna will keel over while singing a song from the year of your birth)

I… I think she really needs that cane you guys.

What if you love Madonna, but you’re really more into Like A Prayer? Tough luck. A lot of money goes into these tv weddings, but as a wise man once said, mo money mo problems.

Counterpoint: At least on TV weddings you don’t have to audition wedding bands or yield to requests for The Chicken Dance.

#whitepeople

The whole televised aspect of the wedding gives couples an easy out when their families want them to do tacky stuff. Oh, sorry mom, ABC won’t let us do the dollar dance. I can’t do the garter thing because we have to take a commercial break then. Do you know how much it costs to license the Electric Slide?

Point: The Honeymoon Suite Cam.

From what we’re told (yet really do not need to know), Bachelor Sean’s wedding night was his first time. The ever-classy folks at ABC chose to highlight that by training a live cam on the Honeymoon Suite before the wedding. I can only guess that they kept it on until 2-4 minutes after the wedding, at which point there was nothing more to see there.

Counterpoint: There is no counterpoint. The Honeymoon Suite Cam was awful.

Woman Crush Wednesday: Laura Benanti

Today I’m starting a new series after the popular Wednesday trending hashtag, #WCW otherwise known as Woman Crush Wednesday. Now I know this is usually reserved for guys to tag their celebrity or real life paramores, but I’m going to take this time to talk about my girl crush on Laura Benanti. #SameLoveYall

If you’re a theatre nerd, or watched cancelled shows Go On or The Playboy Club or are a religious viewer of Law & Order: SVU or Royal Pains, you’re familiar with Laura Benanti. If none of those things apply to you, here is why you need to start paying attention to this wonderful woman.

The BROADway

Alright, so Laura is KIND of a big deal in the theatre world. She’s been in shows like Into the Woods, Nine, The Wedding Singer, and Gypsy, for which she won a Tony Award. So it goes without saying that this broad is talented. Like I mentioned above, Laura’s been on a few TV shows, making her one of those Broadway types that goes on to try their hand at the small screen – including her run on one of my faves (the whole one season it was on air) Go On, featuring her and Matthew Perry. That being said, she doesn’t always have the best of luck on TV, but luckily she can always return to Broadway and make fun of herself. This clip, featuring Andrew Rannells (The New Normal RIP), Megan Hilty (Smash AND Sean Saves The World RIP) and everyone’s favorite awards show host, Neil Patrick Harris (HIMYM, soon to be RIP) from last year’s Tonys is the perfect example of this.

The Sound of Music Live!

I feel like the masses were really introduced to Laura when she played Baroness Elsa Schrader on the recent live version of the beloved musical, Sound of Music (which we also liveblogged here). She and fellow Broadway vet Christian Borle made up the scheming pair of Elsa and Max Detweiler, and brought some of the Great White Way to middle America. It was like they were the representatives for all the Broadway folks and boy did they do their team proud.

Not to mention we got this fab meme out of it:

And GIFs:

PS: Check out Laura singing my personal fave song from the show, Something Good. Like who are you.

Bringing the Hilarity to Side by Side

I feel like I might need to do a follow up post just on this webseries alone. Side by Side is hosted by Susan Blackwell a ridiculously hilarious fellow Broadway gal. She interviews other Broadway stars, usually in odd places, and isn’t afraid to ask the hard-hitting questions. I think this particular one was one of the first – if not the first – she ever did, and it features Susan and Laura enjoying some treats in a Hooters restaurant. It also featured some other fab people, including Jonathan Groff in a horse-drawn carriage and in bed with Sutton Foster.

Making Twitter Her Bitch

I think what pushed my #wcw over the edge was by following her on Twitter. Like the Anna Kendricks and Josh Grobans of the world, Laura has managed to kill it every single time in 140 characters or less.

Be My BFF: Ann Perkins

Parks and Recreation just won’t be the same without Pawnee’s greatest love story playing out on screen. Don’t worry, I’m not talking about Ann Perkins and Chris Traeger – Chris’s first love is, and always will be, whatever Prevention Magazine tells him it is. No, I mean Ann and Leslie. As I mentioned in our last Be My BFF, I’m much more of a Rhoda than a Mary. Every TV protagonist needs a sidekick, and the longer you spend with our fictional friends in Pawnee, the more you wish that Ann Perkins was your BFF, too. Here’s why:

Instant Friendship Chemistry

Unlike relationships in romantic comedies, most love stories don’t begin with grating animosity that slowly gives way to love. Most of my real-life friendships began with that weird, instant friendship chemistry — not too unlike the first day of kindergarten, when you’d ask the girl next to you to share crayons, and then immediately ask if she wanted to be friends.

When Ann showed up at that first town meeting, she did think Leslie was a bit of a weirdo – and she wasn’t all the way wrong. But more than that, she saw that Leslie had a good heart and would do anything to meet her goals. Besides, Ann really needed to get rid of that pit. Before you know it, Ann and Leslie were scheming to build a park and drunkenly warbling Lady Marmalade. I can’t tell you how many of my friendships have started that way.

Will Watch All 8 Harry Potter Movies

On a poorly-written TV show, the main characters’ flaws are written as either (1) an overall awfulness, or (2) not actually flaws – more like those things you make up at job interviews when asked “what do you, personally, struggle with in the workplace?” [If my boss reads this, don’t worry – I really am just “too much of a perfectionist” who “probably cares too much,” just like I said.] In good TV, like in real life, most people’s good and bad qualities are intertwined. Ann tends to model her personality and interests on whomever she’s dating at the time, and that’s not great. But, the other side of that is that she’s the kind of friend who will watch all 8 Harry Potter movies even though she doesn’t like Harry Potter. She’ll drop everything to work on Leslie’s campaign. If Leslie declares some sort of weird friendship holiday based on waffles, she’ll celebrate that holiday. The ultimate BFFs aren’t always the people who are naturally inclined to like everything you do. Sometimes, they’re the people who make an effort to get into the stuff you’re into, not because they care about it, but because they care about you.

Unconditional Love Life Support

You know those friends who only want to hang out if you’re both in relationships or both single? Not Ann Perkins – like the nondenominational church that keeps mailing me postcards, she’ll “meet you where you are.” When Leslie needed dating help, Ann was right there to stage a practice date. When Ann was single on Valentine’s Day, Leslie set up a series of (admittedly non-prime) single men for her to meet. When Ann was working to build her own interests when she got out of a series of relationships, Leslie was ready to lend a hand – probably with a stack of Harry Potter DVDs and a Sorting Hat Quiz, but still.

Her House Is Pretty Cute

I can’t tell you how badly I covet that multicolored afghan. Birthday/Christmas/President’s Day gift idea, anyone?

Okay, this is petty, but I’m house hunting these days so I have real estate on the brain. [If Sallie Mae reads this, don’t worry, you’re still my homegirl and no mortgage can get between us. Law school loans til I die, biches!]. But, let’s be real – it’s fun to have a BFF who has an adorable house to hang out at! Leslie was bound to spend a few nights on that couch, so you may as well make it a cute one. Plus, Ann’s organizational habits came in handy when it became clear that Leslie was serious Hoarders: Buried Alive fodder.

Ann Perkins Loves A Good Costume

There’s something really awesome about people who wear silly costumes for Halloween just because it’s fun. There’s no “hot skunk” or “slutty crossing guard” or “sexy old man” costume in Ann Perkin’s repertoire, but instead we get:

Raggedy Ann. Because, Ann and Andy.

2012 Olympics Team USA athlete. I think I even saw one of those weird hair clips that only gymnasts wear.

Get it? I put the Ann in Eggpl-Ann-t?

Not just for Halloween! And was this inspired by Blossom…

Or by actual, early 90s Rashida Jones?

Leslie’s Amazing Compliments

This may seem like more of a Leslie item than an Ann item, but only a truly great friend could inspire Leslie’s level of adulation. And I mean, Leslie really loves Ann. Remember the word cloud generated from Leslie’s emails?

Here are just a few of Leslie’s amazing compliments. Ann must be one good bestie:

It’s Super Handy To Have A Nurse As A Friend

Let’s remember that Ann Perkins isn’t just a beautiful tropical fish of an ambiguous ethnic blend that perfectly represents the American melting pot, she’s also a smarty pants. When you have the flu, or your town has a child obesity crisis, or whatever, how handy is it to have a friend who knows what’s up? Face it, everyone needs a friend or relative with a medical degree to run your weird symptoms by. [If my pediatrician sister reads this, my knee is doing this weird thing. I’ll text you a picture.]

She Makes An Effort With April

April doesn’t like Ann. Initially it was because of the whole Andy thing, but I don’t think that April even remembers why anymore. Still, Ann’s not about to stir up drama, so she gives a civil relationship the ol’ college try. I’m pretty sure April’s just messing with her, though, because how often do you have sing alongs with someone you absolutely hate? [Okay, sometimes, right?]

We’ll Miss You, Ann Perkins!

When Ann leaves Pawnee, it’s not just Leslie who will be crying into a plate of Belgian waffles, playing “When She Loved Me” from Toy Story 2 on repeat. The show will go on, but we’ll miss the love story that started the whole series. I’m not worried about Ann and Leslie at all, though – as we know here on Cookies + Sangria, long-distance friendships can be just as good as local ones. However, if Ann’s looking for another bestie, we’d be first to volunteer.

Justin Bieber Mugshot Redux

If you’ve been living under a rock or like a jungle or are an elder in the rural parts of Wyoming, then you know that Justin Bieber was arrested last week for not only blocking off a Miami street for drag racing, but for being drunk and high while doing it.

Of course, the Biebs has had a string of bad luck as of late, under investigation for egging a neighbor’s house, leaving graffiti literally everywhere around the world, peeing in buckets, and mysteriously getting ‘sick’ during concerts and promptly leaving thousands of Beliebers either in tears or so angry they throw water bottles at him.

But it all came to a head last Thursday, when he was brought into jail and his first mugshot ever was released to the public.

The OG:

Mugshot or Proactiv commercial?

There’s really not too much more I can say about this that you’re not already thinking. This kid is ridiculous and clearly needs help. However the people of the internetz, like usual, had something to say about Bieber’s arrest and of course, this smizin mugshot. Here are just a few of the hilarious and perfect reactions the world wide web had to Jail Bieber.

Just hold on, we’re going home (hopefully back to Canada)

I mean at least the kid stays positive? Even though he’s clearly high as a kite…

#TheAccuracy

Get a headstart on your Valentine’s Day cards this year!

I actually just want to know how Macaulay Culkin got to sit at the Plastics table.

Coming up on season 25 of Bad Girls Club…

Might as well try going to Europe, JB.

Because, drag racing.

And finally, perhaps my most favorite of them all. IDK who should be offended more.

In short, Justin Bieber, get your shit together.

ICYMI: What to Expect at the Grammy Awards

The Grammys are on today, so to help you get in the mindset, here are some ways to prepare for the show. Check out this week’s post on Grammy fashion and an oldie but goodie of Taylor Swift at awards shows. Because you know she’s taking home at least one of those gramophones tonight.

The Worst: Grammys Fashion Through the Years

Awards season continues this Sunday with the 56th annual Grammys, a brief distraction from the weekly January fete of movies and television. Like the grown-up version of the MTV VMAs, the Grammys are where the rules of the red carpet are thrown out the window. It’s a show for rockers, rappers, pop stars and singers who are artists and basically wear whatever the hell they want.

Over the years, there have a been quite a few stunning (I mean that in the way that ‘Oh my GOD I am stunned by the egg contraption Lady Gaga is arriving in’, not ‘Beyonce looks stunning in that gold gown’) outfits on the red carpet, and here are just a few to get you prepared for Sunday.

Jennifer Lopez in Versace (2000)

Ah, the infamous green Versace dress. I think this will go down as one of the most recognizable gowns in all of Grammys history. I remember when this happened and everyone making a reallly big deal out of it. 14 years later, it’s funny because I think people would still make a big deal out of it, despite all the Mileys and Lady Gagas of the world.

Christina Aguilera in Versace (2000)

The only thing that could make this more 2000/millennial is if Xtina was wearing butterfly clips in her hair to match the jeweled butterflies on her dress.

Mary J Blige in Gucci (2004)

Mary J – you’re better than this. You’re better than a knock off version of Big Bird.

Imogen Heap in items picked from the earth (2007)

Imogen Heap OF TRASH, more like.

Nicki Minaj in Versace (2012)

This guy plays Santa during the holidays at the Glendale Galleria and needed the extra cash to play the pope*.

How To Be Taylor Swift At An Awards Show

Let’s imagine some kind of Freaky Friday thing happened. Or Big thing. I guess that part depends on your cultural frame of reference. The point is, you are now Taylor Swift, and have an awards show to attend. What do you DOOOO?!

Fortunately, T. Swift follows some hard-and-fast rules for awards show behavior. Follow this guide, and you’ll be all set:

(1) Wardrobe

Wear something sparkly! You can NOT arrive to the red carpet on the back of a unicorn or a pegasus. God knows you’ve tried. Sparkles are the next-best thing.

See, e.g.:

If you look like your kid sis is on Toddlers and Tiaras, your uncle invented the bedazzler, and your grandmother was a fairy duchess ( a step down from a fairy princess, because you’re REAL, y’all), you’re doin’ it right.

(2) Red Carpet

Posing:

  •    Arch your back waaay back on one side. Untreated scoliosis is to the 2010s as deportment classes were to the 1930s.
  • Smile with your eyes, and a liiiitle bit with your mouth. Channel the Mona Lisa or a middle schooler trying to conceal that she’s chewing gum in study hall. Resist the urge to smile widely. You have to rest your face for later — you have a lot of expressions to make.

Interviews:

  • You may want to mention something that makes you seem endearing and goofy. You will not SAY “oh, little ol’ me!”, but it will be an undercurrent in all that you say and do.
  • Other topics: people who used to make fun of you, boys who have broken your hearts, kittens.

(3) Performance

Are you performing tonight? Sit on a stool (or dance around and get rained on), then sing your song in a way that sounds absolutely NOTHING like it does on the album. As in, the key is here, and you are waaaaaay over there. Try not to get too down on yourself when the applause afterwards sounds like a slow-clap.

(4) Awards:

Win:

  • YOU ARE SO SURPRISED. Practice a face of utter, overjoyed, humbled amazement. If getting an award doesn’t surprise you at this point – and it shouldn’t – now is your chance to do some acting. Imagine this: a beautiful pegasus flies from under a rainbow. It lands at your feet, kneeling before you, and doffs its cap. Under the cap is a tiny orange kitten. The kitten is a swashbuckling pirate with an eye patch and a tiny sword. He presents you with a single, perfect, miniature rose. What kind of face would you make if that happened to you?

  • Now it’s time for your speech. Spend the first 10-15 seconds making your  surprised face. You deserve it. You’ve practiced so hard.
  • You should refer to yourself as blessed and humbled, whether explicitly and implicitly.
  • For extra Swift Points, please mention your mom, God, or your fans.
  • If you’re going for bonus points, please call out either an ex-boyfriend or mean girls from junior high.
  • Is it an ex you dated for such a short time that most ladies your age would have to think for 30 seconds before being like “oh yeah, that guy I was seeing for a little while?” So much the better.

Lose:

If you don’t win, you have to look like you’re excited for the person who did. Not just “okay with it,” but actually excited. Use Justin Guarini as your guide:

The smile doesn’t have to reach your eyes.

Draw:

  •  If you win, but someone interrupts your speech, this is the best-case scenario EVER. You don’t need to say anything at the time, but you also don’t need to shut up about it anytime in the next four years. Great songwriting fodder.

.

(5) After:

– Don’t be photographed doing anything unseemly or embarrassing at the after parties. Say what you will about TSwift, she is really great at avoiding appearing shambly-drunk in public.

I hope you realize that while you’re being Taylor Swift At An Awards Show, Taylor Swift is being you. That means she gets to watch one of these things from her couch with a bowl of popcorn, her cat, and some pajamas. Despite all her “blessed and surprised” faces, I bet she’d like that, sometimes.

Oh. Feel free to leave her some notes about your ex-boyfriends. She’ll probably write some songs about them during the commercial breaks. They might sound insipid, but they’ll be catchy as hell, you’ll be singing along in spite of yourself, and Taylor Swift will have yet another awards show to attend in a few months.

Saturday Spotlight: Everything’s The Worst

Everything we wrote about this week was the woooorst. Before you grammar fiends point out that “worst” is a superlative, and five things can’t be “the worst,” realize that this week we wrote about Flowers In The Attic, bad Grammy’s fashion, Amy March, instagram cliches, and songs that should have never made it out of 2013. So, yes, I’d say that it is possible for all of these five things to be the worst:

Live Blog: Flowers In The Attic (The Worst Lifetime Movie)

0:42 Evil Marilla Cuthbert asks Sally Draper if she poses for her brother’s paintings with her blouse off. Ew. She said “blouse.”

0:55 The teens have to hide in a bar to watch the family’s party.

Let’s just recap a little. The Dollangangers’ father died. The Dollangangers learn that they’re really Foxworths. They have to move to Foxworth Hall Manor Estate, or something that sounds like either a low-rent townhouse development or midrange wine label. The kids have to hide from their grandfather, while their mother puts the moves on him to try to get written into the will. The grandmother, a horrifying blend of Marilla Cuthbert and Michelle Duggar, hits Heather Graham with switches and insinuates that the kids are all gettin’ it on with each other. And now they’re at a Christmas party with Greensleeves playing on a lone violin, because if anything says “hopping holiday bash,” it’s Medieval songs on string instruments.

Everything after Fake Don Draper dying could have been prevented if Heather Graham (Corinne Foxworth, I guess?) would just get a damn job already.

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The Worst: Grammys Fashion Through The Years (The Worst Thing To Happen To Our Eyeballs)

Shirley Manson in Garbage – literally (1999)

There’s no better way to promote your own band than by sticking it to the front of your see through dress.

Imogen Heap in items picked from the earth (2007)

Imogen Heap OF TRASH, more like.

M.I.A. in House of Holland (2009)

*All I wanna do is BANG BANG BANG BANG and KACHINNGG dress you in something more appropriate for a woman who is about to pop out a human baby*

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Amy March Was A Total Bitch (The Worst (/Best?)  March Sister)

Amy March Hates Irish People. This Irish Person Says Amy March Can Suck It.

The Republic of Ireland has retaliated by naming its least-appealing souvenir porcelain doll after Amy March.

When Amy’s limes got thrown into the snow, she wasn’t upset because she lost her limes – she was upset because the limes were “exulted over by the little Irish children, who were their sworn foes.” Yep, Amy March’s sworn foes were anonymous Irish street urchins. You bet your sweet bippy that one didn’t make the Winona Ryder movie. It wasn’t losing the limes that made Amy cry like – forgive me – a little bitch, it was the Irish kids getting the limes.

Amy. You live in Boston. Concord, whatever. You know those little Irish street children? They’re going to run your city. In 100 years, the descendants of one of those lime-eating Boston Street Micks is going to be our nation’s president. Your city’s basketball team is literally going to be called the Celtics. Don’t worry about what basketball is. If your grandchildren ever get arrested, you know who’s going to do it? An Irish cop. But you don’t even have to wait 100 years. Even in the 1860s, every one of those Irish kids has a pack of 14 siblings to back them up in a fight. And those kids are scary. They have been working in silk mills since they were 5. You know how my great-great-great grandmother survived the Potato Famine? By eating GRASS. Honestly, poor Irish children from Boston in the 1860s are probably the worst “sworn foes” you could make.

So, on behalf of Irish and part-Irish Americans, let me just tell Amy March that she can suck it. Know what she can’t suck, though? A lime – because the Irish kids got them. Booyah, March.

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Instagram Cliches That Need To Stop Happening (The Worst Use of Social Networking)

Pictures of the “Moon”

Whenever there is a full moon – especially if it seems larger than usual – people try taking pictures of it with their iPhones. Here’s a news flash – it’s not going to come out the way you think, so just don’t bother posting it. When you look at the shot after you take it, don’t you think – ‘Hey, this just looks like a blob in the sky?’ No? Okay, well do that moving forward.

Inspirational quotes that make no sense

This is a trend commonly found amongst teenagers, although I see people my age doing it too (albeit not as hokey and stupid). But really, if you ever find a teenage girl’s Insta (which sounds creepy & weird but it happens) I swear you’ll find at least 10 of these.

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Playlist Of The Month: 2013 Songs That Need To Stay In 2013 (The Worst Music Of Last Year)

Thrift Shop – Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

“They had a broken keyboard, I bought a broken keyboard, I bought a skeet blanket, then I bought a kneeboard.” This song is nominated for not one but TWO Grammys, y’all. GRAMMYS.

Wake Me Up by Avicii

I can just hear the concept discussion for this song:

Avicii Guy #1: Let’s start with a kind of 90s, alternative, folksy sound. People LOVED Hootie and the Blowfish and Counting Crows!

Avicii Guy #2: But then, let’s add some beats! Bitches love house music!

AG#1: Wait… what about the music video? Can we have an old west sequence, but also a club scene, but also a model, but also a child? With human branding and ambiguous time travel? And maybe, like, The Dust Bowl? And DIALOGUE? And RALPH LAUREN PRODUCT PLACEMENT?

AG#2: CAN we?!

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Playlist of the Month: Songs from 2013 That Need To Stay In 2013

Towards the end of every year, magazine editors, television producers, bloggers, and miscellaneous people on the internet compile their Best and Worst of Lists. Music lovers tend to release their favorite (and least favorite) songs of the year. And unlike books or movies, songs can carry over into the next year and constantly play on the radio, thus making us want to pull out our hair and also the radios from our cars and throw it out the window if we ever hear that one hit song from last year again. 

In the spirit of hating on tunes, here are some of our picks for songs that should stay in 2013 and never show their face in 2014 – or every year moving forward.

Click here to listen to the entire list on Spotify!

Traci’s Picks:

What Does The Fox Say? – Ylvis

Just like Gangnam Style before it, 2013 needed one of these novelty songs and Norwegian duo Ylvis filled that quota. This song wasn’t even made as a real track – if you don’t know the story, brothers  Vegard and Bård Ylvisåker are hosts of a popular talk show in Norway. They created What Does The Fox Say? as a music video to promote their show, and the video went viral and here we are. But let’s just let the fox and its mysterious sounds in 2013, shall we?

Blurred Lines – Robin Thicke ft. T.I. and Pharrell

I feel like we’re probably on the same page as this, so I’m not even going to explain why this is on the list.

Thrift Shop – Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

“They had a broken keyboard, I bought a broken keyboard, I bought a skeet blanket, then I bought a kneeboard.” This song is nominated for not one but TWO Grammys, y’all. GRAMMYS.

Timber – Pitbull ft. Ke$ha

Sometimes songs grow on me. But then other times it’s Ke$ha and I know immediately that I will be utterly annoyed with the song. This song is no different. Unfortunately for us, this was a late entry to 2013 and it’s probably going to stick around until like June. Also, if Ke$ha sings a song with Pitbull in the forest, does it make a horrifying sound?

#thatPOWER – will.i.am ft. Justin Bieber

When Justin Bieber is 50 years old, he’s going to wish he could do 2013 over again. He’s also going to wish he never agreed to do this horrific song with a Black Eyed Pea.

Molly’s Picks

Radioactive – Imagine Dragons

As I’ve said before, Imagine Dragons sounds like the name of a pretend band created by two eight-year-old boys who are really into Lego. Let’s allow this song to fade into 2013 and just imagine the dragons from now on.

[Note: I’m noticing a lot of these songs were released in late 2012, but they all climbed the charts in 2013.]

Can’t Hold Us – Mackelmore

This doesn’t even make sense. The ceiling doesn’t hold you. The floor does.

Don’t You Worry Child – Swedish House Mafia

Apparently my gym is a card-carrying member of the Swedish House Mafia, because this is on every time I go there. [Also, inexplicably, Miss Independent by Ne-Yo.]

Locked Out Of Heaven by Bruno Mars

So, I’m of two minds on Bruno Mars. On one hand, I think he’s a talented guy who makes catchy music. On the other, he’s responsible for Just The Way You Are, which is the musical version of a Dove Real Beauty commercial. And readers, you do not want me to get started on Dove commercials.

Wake Me Up by Avicii

I can just hear the concept discussion for this song:

Avicii Guy #1: Let’s start with a kind of 90s, alternative, folksy sound. People LOVED Hootie and the Blowfish and Counting Crows!

Avicii Guy #2: But then, let’s add some beats! Bitches love house music!

AG#1: Wait… what about the music video? Can we have an old west sequence, but also a club scene, but also a model, but also a child? With human branding and ambiguous time travel? And maybe, like, The Dust Bowl? And DIALOGUE? And RALPH LAUREN PRODUCT PLACEMENT?

AG#2: CAN we?!

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Instagram Cliches That Need To Stop Happening

We’ve hit the point of the social media popularity curve with Instagram where it’s well known enough to be referenced in pop culture and everyone knows what it is. You know, at first, new social media sites/apps are unknown, except for the early adopters who have already been using it for the past 6 months. Then it starts getting more users and then slowly but surely it’s the hottest new app around.

That being said, Instagram’s been around long enough that there are certain photos that repeatedly show up on the feeds. Those photos that are so over done that they’ve become cliches, and maybe definitely they need to stop. I’m just saying we should get creative with the photos we take in our lives and want to publicly broadcast to the world. Life’s too short to be wasting it on horrible pictures, y’all.

Pictures of the “Moon”

Whenever there is a full moon – especially if it seems larger than usual – people try taking pictures of it with their iPhones. Here’s a news flash – it’s not going to come out the way you think, so just don’t bother posting it. When you look at the shot after you take it, don’t you think – ‘Hey, this just looks like a blob in the sky?’ No? Okay, well do that moving forward.

is that a street light? no one knows.

Where even is the moon in this

Selfies in the Mirror

Look, I’m not saying I’ve never done this before, because I definitely have. I just don’t post them in a public forum. Often times, they come out blurry or you just end up looking like a douche.

This was taken this week, not 1995 like his bucket hat might suggest.

OR YOU COULD BE A 70-YEAR-OLD EX-TALK SHOW HOST WHO IS MISTREATING THE #SELFIE HASHTAG. DAMNIT GERALDO.

Food that’s not appetizing

“Iceberg wedge with homemade Russian dressing. Perfect salad for the onion soup lunch”

Again, I am totally guilty of posting pix of my food on Insta. But I make sure that it at least looks so good that you want to crawl through the phone to eat it. Just don’t follow suit like Martha Stewart.

“Foie gras walnut brioche. Delicious by Kristen Kishinev” Um is that even food

“Pickerel. In a spicy tomato based broth. A varied menu. No choice. Just chef directed. Very good edulis” You know what’s worse than horrible looking food? Horrible looking food when it’s blurry.

Blurry Shots

DOUBLE WHAMMY

Speaking of which, I never understood why people post pix that aren’t blurry. I’m not talking tilt-shift, I’m talking so blurry that you can’t really tell what it is.

i mean why

is this an amusement park ride

Inspirational quotes that make no sense

This is a trend commonly found amongst teenagers, although I see people my age doing it too (albeit not as hokey and stupid). But really, if you ever find a teenage girl’s Insta (which sounds creepy & weird but it happens) I swear you’ll find at least 10 of these.

#FirstWorldProblems

Don’t forget this one, okay

i write for a living but i’m pretty sure that this isn’t english.

Amy March Was A Total Bitch

Growing up in the 1990s, it was sort of normal for a girl to be into the 1800s. The American Girl catalog was in your mailbox, the Little House books were in your Scholastic orders, and everyone had a mom or grandma who was really into Dr. Quinn. The 1994 film adaptation of Little Women was right in the zeitgeist. When I saw that it was on tv around Christmas, nostalgia got the better of me. I had to watch. And, umm… something jumped out at me that didn’t when I was a kid. So, I decided to re-read the book on my bus rides to and from work, and it was confirmed.

Amy March was a huge freaking bitch.

I accepted early on that Amy was my March counterpart. While I loved writing and piano, I was neither a free-spirited lesbian like Jo nor a gentle, shy dead girl like Beth. And Meg — seriously, did anyone ever want to be Meg? Leave a comment if you did. No, I was an Amy. I’m also the youngest of four, and I – like many youngest children – am kind of hammy and want everyone to love me. Like the youngest March sister,  I’m even the only one of my siblings to miss out on getting a nickname. Alcott never mentioned it, but I just know that Amy felt like she got the shaft there.

So,while it does pain me to say this, let me repeat: Amy March was a total bitch. Let’s discuss:

Nobody Cares About Your Nose, Amy.

Amy hates her nose, which is described as a small, flat snub nose. Oh, so an adorable nose? A nose that is too cute? What a trial that must be – like those girls who complain about being “too pretty.”

Amy wants a “Roman Nose,” which according to Wikipedia, is “a human nose with a prominent bridge, giving it the appearance of being curved or slightly bent.” Wow, March. Have you ever got shit taste in noses. That’s probably what my nose looks like, and you know how I got it? Not by sleeping with a clothespin on it – no, I  broke it. Twice.

Oh, You’re Too Good for Hand-Me-Downs? Can it, Amy.amy-little-women-helen-page

The hardest thing in Beth’s life was dying of scarlet fever and the hardest thing in Jo’s life was having a dumb-bitch little sister who stole her manuscript, Eurotrip, and Laurie, but Amy — the hardest thing in her life was having a tiny, cute nose and having to wear hand-me-downs.

Alcott writes: “Amy was in a fair way to be spoiled, for everyone petted her, and her small vanities and selfishness were growing nicely. One thing, however, rather quenched the vanities. She had to wear her cousin’s clothes. Now Florence’s mama hadn’t a particle of taste, and Amy suffered deeply at having to wear a red instead of a blue bonnet, unbecoming gowns, and fussy aprons that did not fit. Everything was good, well made, and little worn, but Amy’s artistic eyes were much afflicted, especially this winter, when her school dress was a dull purple with yellow dots and no trimming.”

Look, I had a cousin who was an only child, and her mom shopped at the good stores. The day I’d get the big black trash bag of her hand-me-downs was like a freaking holiday. Oh, Florence’s mama sent you a red bonnet? Well my cousin’s mama sent me skorts and shortalls, and I was happy to have them.

Amy. Limes Are Stupid.

Poor thing. Always thwarted in her search for citrus fruits.

Pickled limes were the fashion at Amy’s school, because apparently she was educated with a bunch of other little dummies. So, Meg gave Amy the rag money to buy some limes, and I’m not even completely clear on what “rag money” is, but I’m pretty sure that if your family is poor enough to rely on something called rag money to supplement your income, safe to say you’re pretty hard up and shouldn’t be wasting your money on preserved citrus fruits.

Limes were outlawed in Amy’s classroom, but obviously all of the kids still brought them in, kind of like tamagochis in my school, circa 1998. [Sidenote: the spell-check suggestion for tamagochis is “masochists,” which is pretty apropos. What were we doing to ourselves? At least when limes are the 6th-grade trend, you don’t have to sneak off to feed it every 3 hours.] But, Amy wouldn’t give this girl Jenny a lime because Jenny was being a total bitch, so Dumb Bitch Jenny told the teacher that Amy had limes. He made Amy throw the limes into the snow and Amy had a fit even though a citrus fruit will do just fine in the snow. As a matter of fact, Amy couldn’t have known this, but in like 70 years they’ll invent this magical box that keeps food cold all of the time and – will wonders never cease – the food lasts longer. Also Amy’s limes are PICKLED, which admittedly is gross, but it means they can stay outside for a minute. [However, the limes do get stolen. We’ll go there later.]

Oh, and then the teacher hit Amy’s hand, which was majorly not cool. Our biggest bitches in this story are really the teacher and Dumb Bitch Jenny. Still, Amy’s a bit at fault for squandering the family’s rag money on some stupid limes.

Amy March Hates Irish People. This Irish Person Says Amy March Can Suck It.

The Republic of Ireland has retaliated by naming its least-appealing souvenir porcelain doll after Amy March.

When Amy’s limes got thrown into the snow, she wasn’t upset because she lost her limes – she was upset because the limes were “exulted over by the little Irish children, who were their sworn foes.” Yep, Amy March’s sworn foes were anonymous Irish street urchins. You bet your sweet bippy that one didn’t make the Winona Ryder movie. It wasn’t losing the limes that made Amy cry like – forgive me – a little bitch, it was the Irish kids getting the limes.

Amy. You live in Boston. Concord, whatever. You know those little Irish street children? They’re going to run your city. In 100 years, the descendants of one of those lime-eating Boston Street Micks is going to be our nation’s president. Your city’s basketball team is literally going to be called the Celtics. Don’t worry about what basketball is. If your grandchildren ever get arrested, you know who’s going to do it? An Irish cop. But you don’t even have to wait 100 years. Even in the 1860s, every one of those Irish kids has a pack of 14 siblings to back them up in a fight. And those kids are scary. They have been working in silk mills since they were 5. You know how my great-great-great grandmother survived the Potato Famine? By eating GRASS. Honestly, poor Irish children from Boston in the 1860s are probably the worst “sworn foes” you could make.

So, on behalf of Irish and part-Irish Americans, let me just tell Amy March that she can suck it. Know what she can’t suck, though? A lime – because the Irish kids got them. Booyah, March.

Ruining the ONE THING Your Sister Loves? Pretty Bitchy.

Remember when Amy was a little piss who burned her sister’s manuscript because Jo dared to have fun without her? God. What is your beef with Jo, Amy? Tell me. Because it’s sort of a recurring theme throughout the book.

On the plus side, I’d like to thank Amy March for the world’s first lesson that you should always, always back up your work.

You’re Using It Wrong, Ames.

I just cannot with this basic girl and her five-cent vocabulary. Honestly, though, Amy is 12 when the book starts, and that’s an 1860s 12. In 1860s Massachusetts, you could be a six-year veteran of the mills at 12. You could be betrothed at 12. But no, Marmee sent Amy to the ol’ schoolhouse instead, probably because of the child’s demonstrated inability to speak the English language. Look, Amy wasn’t spending her time watching tv or instagramming. The only thing to do was read books and learn how to use words properly, yet she was somehow incapable of doing it. For instance: “label” for “libel” (when she actually meant slander) and “vocabilary” for “vocabulary.” You just know this bitch says “liberry” and “pisgetti.”

I’m not saying I’m glad her teacher beat her at school, because I’m not, I’m just saying that if any of the March sisters deserved a formal education, it wasn’t Amy. All I know is, if Amy March lived today, she’d be that little cousin of yours whose tweets and Facebook posts are so incomprehensible that you basically have to do an English-to-English translation every time you read them.

She’s not even that good at art so maybe she should just shut up about it.

Amy March isn’t a real person, but she was somewhat based on Louisa May Alcott’s sister Abigail May. May probably had a lot of gifts and talents, but art wasn’t one of them. Here are some of her drawings:

Compare the scale of Marmee(?) in the chair with the girl to the right. It’s like a Cabbage Patch doll next to a Barbie.

My favorite part is the floating table.

May died young, and that’s sad, but you know what else is sad? These sketches.

I Ain’t Sayin’ She’s A Gold Digger (Yes, I am. Yes, she is.)

So, first Amy gold-digs her way into Fred Vaughn’s heart. Then, she sees the opportunity to get with Laurie, who in addition to being wealthy, also provides her with the opportunity to ruin Jo’s life. So, she does that instead. Either way, she’s a gold-digger.

Steals Jo’s Trip

Eyes on the prize, Li’l Amy. Eyes on the prize.

Jo put up with Aunt March’s Crappy Plumfield Storytime every day, with the understanding that at some point she’d get a Eurotrip out of the deal. Look, for a 20-year-old girl in the 1800s, it wasn’t as easy as just finding a college with a good study abroad program.

Then, Amy – freaking Amy – swoops in, befriends Aunt March, and gets the trip. As an indirect result, Jo had to move to a boarding house and marry an old German man.

Steals Jo’s Man

Jo and Laurie were endgame. I refuse to hear differently. Sure, Jo shot down Laurie’s proposal, but I think it was just the wrong time — she was coming back for him later, and that’s all there is to it.

So, when Laurie proposed to Amy — because she was the next-closest thing to Jo — Amy should have had the decency to know that Laurie was Jo’s one true love.

Instead, Amy was a total bitch, so she married him.

Conclusion

After all that, here’s the truth: now that I’m an adult, Amy is my favorite. Beth does nothing, gets scarlet fever, then dies. [Also, please don’t stone me, but did anyone else think Beth wasn’t exactly playing with a full deck?] Meg does nothing, twists her ankle, then gets married. Jo ruins her chance at true love, and acts so obtuse about how to behave in human society that I think she’s just doing it to get on her sisters’ nerves. She’s like that one girl in college who tried to be unconventional just for the sake of it, and you were always like “you know what? You’re not Amelie. Stop trying to be Amelie.”

Whether or not you think Amy is a huge freaking bitch (and don’t get me wrong, she is), that girl knew how to go after what she wanted. Somehow, she was ridiculously well-liked, but at the same time, you sure as hell didn’t walk all over Amy March. But, if I ever ended up with an Amy March of my own, I would need to make like Marmee and send her to live with a great-aunt for her teenage years – because honestly, what a little bitch.