Shia LaBeouf: Pulling a Joaquin Phoenix or Amanda Bynes?

Last week, we were reminded that Shia LaBeouf may have lost his damn mind. In case you hadn’t heard, Louis Stevens attended Thursday’s performance of Cabaret on Broadway, but he wasn’t able to see how it ended since he was escorted out of the theater by police, arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. Earlier in the day, he was spotted chasing down a homeless man (more on that later), and this was just in a day’s work. This past year, he’s been doing a lot of crazy things, so one must ask – is this real or all for show?

Two cases we can look at are the Joaquin Phoenix complex and the Amanda Bynes complex.

Joaquin Phoenix

In late 2008, Joaquin announced he was retiring from acting in order to focus on his music career, which, okay a lot of actors do. But JP wanted to become a rapper. Like a legit hip-hop star. He started appearing in public with the long hair and scruffy beard, as seen above, and had a series of super odd appearances, including the infamous David Letterman interview in 2009.

In 2010, the film I’m Still Here by actor/director Casey Affleck (and JP’s brother-in-law) debuted at the Venice Film Festival. It wasn’t until after the movie was released that Casey revealed that JP had gone through two years of this performance art as an uber Joaquin Phoenix and it was all for the sake of the movie. That’s right kids, JP hadn’t actually lost his mind.

Amanda Bynes

Amanda’s fall from fame began around 2012, when she was arrested and charged for a DUI. That same year, she was charged for two alleged hit and run incidents, which were later dismissed after reaching a settlement with the victims. Her license was suspended, but was caught and cited for driving on it and had her car impounded.

In 2013, she was arrested for criminal possession of marijuana, attempted tampering with evidence, and reckless endangerment after she threw a bong out the window of her 36th floor apartment in Manhattan (which she insisted was a vase).  That summer in California, Bynes allegedly started a small fire in the driveway of some person’s house and was hospitalized and put under a 3 day mental health evaluation hold. She was later transferred to a “specialized treatment in a private facility” outside of Los Angeles and in December, she was released to her parents, who were granted a temporary conservatorship over her.

She now takes classes at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in LA (aka the same school Lauren Conrad went to).

Alright, with this information, let’s take a look at a timeline of Shia LaBeouf’s troubles over the past year, and try to determine if he’s more of a Phoenix or Bynes…

February 2013: LaBeouf’s Broadway Beef with Baldwin

Shia was due to star alongside Alec Baldwin and Tom Sturridge in the play Orphans, making his Broadway debut. However shortly into rehearsals and weeks before previews were to begin, the producers announced that Shia was leaving the show “due to creative differences”, but rumors swirled that Shia had a dramatic bust-up with Alec, thus leading to his firing.

Ben Foster ultimately replaced him, but Shia didn’t go down with a fight. That same day, he posted his audition for the show on his Twitter (the vid has since been taken down). Two days later, he returned with a screenshot of an email from the show’s director, who wrote, “I’m too old for disagreeable situations. You’re one hell of a great actor. Alec is who he is. You are who you are. You two are incompatible. I should have known it.”

In the e-mail between Shia and Alec, Shia seemingly apologizes, Alec accepts, and Shia wishes him good luck on the show.

Shia even posted an e-mail from Tom Sturridge saying what an honor it was to work with him in the brief time they had together. Shia continued talking about theatre/the craft on Twitter:

the theater belongs not to the great but to the brash. acting is not for gentlemen, or bureaucratic-academics. what they do is antiart. actors used to be buried with a stake through the heart. those peoples performances so troubled on-lookers that they feared their ghosts. those actors moved the audience not such that they were admitted to graduate school, or recieved a complimentary review. but such that the audience feared for their soul. now that seems to me something to aim for. invent nothing, deny nothing, speak up, stand up, stay out of school.

What’s interesting about this is that Shia’s “apology” is eerily similar to that from an Esquire article from 2009 by Tom Chiarella called “What is a Man”.  Take note of this.

December 2013: Plagiarism Accusations

Shia debuted his first project as a director online with a short film on HowardCantour.com. Except the only problem was that his directing debut was exactly the same as author Daniel Clowes’ 2007 graphic novella called “Justin M. Damiano”. Like same dialogue, visuals – everything was the same.

But Shia, thinking another apology would clear it all up, yet again took to Twitter and said:

Oh yeah, he plagiarized the apology AGAIN – but decided Yahoo! Answers was the way to go this time? Legit copied and pasted some rando talking about plagiarism.

Later in December, it was revealed that comic books Shia wrote in 2012 were ALSO a rip off from text from authors Charles Bukowski and a French writer named Benoit Duteurtre, and his mea culpa on Twitter came in the form of this:

^^ Tiger Woods’ apology for cheating^^

^^ Former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara about the execution of the Vietnam War, as written in his memoir. ^^

Not to mention his apologies in the form of Kanye, Shepard Fairey and Mark Zuckerberg.

January 2014: Sky High Apologies

In addition to his Twitter “apology”, Shia made a grander gesture to the graphic novelist by hiring a skywriter over Los Angeles to write “I am sorry Daniel Clowes”

February 2014: I Am Not Famous Anymore

Shia attends the Berlin Film Festival for his new film Nymphomaniac (which is weird enough on its own). During the press conference, a reporter asked him about all the sex scenes in the movie and Shia oddly quoted a famous French soccer player Eric Cantona, and said, “When the seagulls follow the trawler, it’s because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea,” then just up and left.

Later that night, he returned to promote the film on the red carpet – but wore this accessory that hasn’t exactly become a trend since.

A few days later, back in Los Angeles, Shia opened up his own art exhibit called #IAMSORRY, which again, was extremely similar to artist Marina Abramovic’s famous 2010 installation/documentary “The Artist is Present” at the MoMa in New York, where she sat at a table and visitors could sit across from her and just stare at each other.

In Shia’s version, visitors entered the space and were asked to pick an item off a table, including a “leather whip, a pair of pliers, a vase of daisies, an Optimus Prime Transformer toy, a bowl of Hershey’s kisses, a bowl of folded slips of paper containing tweets about LaBeouf, a large bottle of Jack Daniels, a small bottle of Brut cologne, a pink ukulele, and the graphic novel The Death-Ray by Daniel Clowes,” according to Buzzfeed.

In the next room was Shia, sitting at a table, weawring a tux and paper bag over his head just like the one at the Berlin Film Festival. The visitor would then sit across from him and according to most reports, he would just sit there, but some lucky folks were able to get him to take the bag off or get a handshake.

True story: this art exhibit was not that far from my office, and I drove past it but was too scared/didn’t want to wait in line to go in! I’m not good with eye contact anyways.

Photo Feb 14, 9 18 23 PM

June 2014

It had been a while since Shia had caused a stir – mainly because he was off filming a movie with Brad Pitt in Europe, and Mrs. Jolie was probs setting him straight over there. But then we were all reminded last week that Shia Shenans is alive and well.

Before his Cabaret incident, Shia began loading up on margaritas while watching the World Cup at a bar in NYC late Thursday afternoon. By 5pm, he was outside another bar, chatting people up and taking pix/videos with people on the sidewalk.

Ma nigga ma nigga #ShiaLabeouf

A post shared by LIVIN GOOD LO$O (@carlosmorales9) on

And then… Shia allegedly chased down a homeless man in Times Square for a bag of McDonald’s… you can view the bizzare video here.

As if that activity wasn’t enough for one day, Shia went to see Michelle Williams and Alan Cumming in Cabaret, which takes place at the Studio 54 theater. Because it’s supposed to feel like a – cabaret – the set up isn’t like a traditional theater, and the actors, including MC Alan Cumming, go through the audience during their performance. According to eyewitnesses, Shia was smoking a joint and slapping Alan on the ass as he walked by. He also apparently was yelling lewd things to the Kit Kat Girls on stage, and during Michelle’s solo, he was dropping bottles and falling out of his chair.

Once the police had him in custody, he was yelling a bunch of “Fuck yous!” and calling them the F word, screaming, “This is fucking bullshit. Do you know my life? Do you know who the fuck I am? Do you know who I am?” Oh lawd.

Shia spent the night in jail and on Friday, he came before a judge and was officially charged with criminal trespass, disorderly conduct and harassment.

♦  ♦  ♦

So, here we are, folks. On a scale of Joaquin Phoenix to Amanda Bynes, just how crazy has Shia become? While we can just make assumptions as mere bystanders, my best guess is that it’s leaning more towards a Joaquin than anything. The fact that he keeps using plagiarized apologies, that he seemed completely normal to fans on the street last week – it all seems more calculated than mere insanity. But who knows, he fooled me when he played a mentally challenged kid in the classic DCOM Tru Confessions. What do I know? Actually – here’s what I do know. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a secret documentary or he clearly needs professional help:

Get it together, Holes.

 

ICYMI: Meet Miss Matthews

After 14 years of wondering what happened to one of our favorite 90s TV couples, the waiting finally came to an end this week with the premiere of Girl Meets World

‘Boy Meets World,’ Meet ‘Girl Meets World’

Like any Ecto Cooler-blooded 90s kid, I am over-the-moon thrilled about the Boy Meets World spinoff hitting the airwaves. I just had to catch the pilot of Girl Meets World – airing tonight on The Disney Channel – on iTunes. It was pretty cute, and I loved seeing Cory and Topanga again, but make no mistake: this is not your mother’s Boy Meets World. (Oh Lordy, today’s children literally have parents who grew up on Boy Meets World; I cannot.)

I’m biased, but I think the 90s were a golden age for kids’ shows. Most, like Boy Meets World, were fairly realistic in terms of sets, wardrobe, plotlines, and how the kids looked. Girl Meets World is a product of the modern Disney factory, which is very NEON! and SLAPSTICK! and SASSY COMEBACKS! and IDIOT PARENTS! and MUSICAL TIE-INS!   I was hoping the overall vibe of Boy Meets World would be there, but the pilot felt sort of like a Disney show that Cory and Topanga somehow landed in. Also I know it’s not really the case, but they still seem way too young to be the parents of a middle schooler to me. Still, Girl Meets World was cute enough that I’ll be watching again. In case you want to be prepared for what’s ahead, here are the main differences between Boy Meets World and Girl Meets World:

Badass Friend

Boy Meets World

Shawn was the trailer-dwelling kid from a broken home – with a heart of gold, an eye for mischief, and the most perfect Patented Mid-90s Sad Puppy Haircut my 8-year-old self has ever seen.

Girl Meets World

The main character still has a more mischievous friend, but Maya isn’t a down-to-earth troublemaker from a blue-collar background. She’s supposed to be the one who always “goes farther than Riley,” – like Shawn was to Cory – but you can tell she’s “sassy” because she wears a lot of sequins and “worldly” because she rides the subway (we’ll get to that later).

Feeney

Boy Meets World

The neighbor/teacher/mentor/sage who guides/stalks Cory and his pals with a lot of tough love.

Girl Meets World

A pro-education ad model? A ghost? One of those. At the end of the pilot we see Feeny walk out of a stay-in-school poster to offer reassurances to Cory. First of all, why is he in an ad? Is he famous? And is he dead, or was that Cory’s imagination, or has he ratcheted up his stalking that much? Will all of Boy Meets World be the sad dream world of a lonely Cory after Topanga has ran off with Minkus, and Feeny is – along with his wife, kids, and teaching job – just one of his many delusions?


And while I’m the first one to admit that the Girl Meets World theme song is extremely catchy (and sung by the two main gals), there was a time when the Boy Meets World theme song wasn’t the “when this boy meets woo-oo-orrlld”, joining the ranks of other catchy wordless TV theme songs from the history of the small screen.


10 Catchiest Wordless TV Theme Songs

For years, instrumental TV theme songs were de rigour. Then, sometime in the mid-to-late 60s, somebody realized that you could sum up the entire premise of the show in a one-minute, three-verse song. Writers didn’t have to add in any exposition! Keep in mind, this was before the age of a two-minute “previously, on ____” preceding every 42-minute program. Viewers needed some way to know what they were getting into.

As time wore on, more generic theme songs took hold, usually about themes like friendship (Golden Girls) or family (Full House, Family Matters). By the mid-90s, tv themes had become chart toppers in their own right, and I still get a little giddy when the Friends theme pipes onto the radio.

Commercial breaks expanded, and run times contracted. Networks had to cut something from their shows, and theme songs were the first to go. By season 9, the Friends theme was about 12 words long. Other themes were reduced to a single line, followed by a nonsense word (Friendship is family forever…. toodles!). Don’t believe me? The Mike And Molly song is 17 seconds long. 10 words.

In tv theme songs – as in fashion and politics – the pendulum always swings back eventually. Instrumental theme songs are it again. I’ll be damned if they aren’t darn catchy, too.

Mad Men

A great title sequence calls for a great theme song. There’s a bit of a tense, Hitchcock-y buildup, so you know there’s going to be drama. But then the cymbals kick in, so you’re pretty sure there will be fun times and laughs, too. Who needs three verses explaining Don Draper’s back story when you have that? (I would actually benefit from three verses explaining Don Draper’s back story).

The Simpsons

I started watching The Simpsons almost as soon as it aired, even though I was barely a toddler. My mom didn’t approve of Bart’s attitude, but that didn’t mean we weren’t allowed to watch it. It just meant that my brothers and I had to go upstairs to do it. This really typifies my parents’ child-rearing philosophy. Like, my room could be messy for a while, but my door had to be closed. Hi, I’m half Irish Catholic, if you couldn’t tell.

Anyway, the most exciting part of the show when I was 4 or 5 was “the couch” – the sight gag at the end of the credits when the family piled onto the sofa. To get to it, you had to sit through a rollicking tour of Springfield. Danny Freakin’ Elfman, you guys. Genius.

30 Rock

Totally jazzy and New York-y. Oddly, more of an early-60s feel than the Mad Men theme. Jeff Richmond is without a doubt one of the great tv composers of our day. His wife’s pretty cool too I guess.

Parks and Recreation

Upbeat and spirited, this is like a theme song for optimism itself. Will Leslie Knope prevail? Of course she will. You don’t write a theme like this for someone who’s anything less than triumphant.

Boy Meets World

I have so much trouble finding people who remember the original Boy Meets World theme. We all remember the generic 90s tune of the later seasons (when this boy meets world — boy meets wor-or-orld – travelin down this road that we call ly-eeef –). But, do you remember the synth-y yet magestic tune of the first season? Extra bonus, the entire title sequence looks like it was created on Microsoft Paint, pre-Windows ‘95.

Because we all still  love the Boy Meets World cast, enjoy this behind-the-scenes info from the filming of the later title sequence:

Law And Order

I don’t know if it’s the solid bass backbeat, the twangy guitar, or the — is that a clarinet?? — but if you blindfolded a person who had never seen Law and Order, played this sequence, and asked them what this show was about, they’d be like “police procedural set in a big city? Early 90s?” I like the moment about 50 seconds in when you think that it’s over, then the music kicks back up, like “just kidding!” Am I overthinking it if I think that’s supposed to evoke the moment ⅘ of the way through the show when you think they got the bad guy but it was a different bad guy? Yeah, I thought so.

Batman

This doesn’t all-the-way qualify, because they say Batman a crazy number of times. By the end of it, it’s like when you repeat a word multiple times and it stops sounding like a word. I also notice that the way kids sing “na na na na na na na na na na BATMAN!” doesn’t sound much like this. See, I find that children are terrible at most things because they haven’t been alive very long.

What’s amazing is that even though this is a superhero cartoon, it kind of sounds like 1960s beach music, too. Except for the part where they won’t stop saying Batman.

Doug

I think in this context, “do” isn’t a word.

Babar

Oh, Babar. The show I always saw 20 minutes of because it was on HBO right before I had to leave for church in the morning. Babar was a gentle, sweet show (about colonialism), so this lovely little melody fits perfectly. Unless, that is, crazy, terrible shit always started to go down in the final 10 minutes.

Leave it To Beaver

    When you listen to this peppy, spirited little tune, you just know that for the next half-hour you are going to be in a world where the biggest problem is an 8-year-old with a slingshot. If only that darn announcer would just shut up.

Honorable mention: Clarissa Explains it all

Just a cheerful, energetic number featuring a 14-year-old girl dressed like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. I had to DQ it from the list proper because there were a few too many words in there.

Honorable mention: Andy Griffith Show

This theme song is iconic and completely evocative of the show. I’m not denying that. Here’s the thing, though. When I was in elementary school, our music director decided to debut a sung version of this song at the spring concert. It wasn’t even my grade doing it, but all I can think of when I hear this song is 40 eight-year-olds with recorders trying to squeak out the melody, then putting them down to sing about a fishin’ hole.  It was actually way more cute when Andy Griffith sang it than when two classes of third graders did it, who would have thought?

Also, I know this makes me sound like a dour and joyless person, but I can’t stand when people whistle, and this song just encourages it.

Saturday Spotlight: I’m Not Crying, The Sands Of Time Just Got In My Eye

Last week we celebrated 10 years since we graduated high school. This week we examined Cory and Topanga as parents, the Lion King as a 20-year-old movie, the Duggars back when they wore jumpers and perms, the last in our series of Dawson’s Creek diaries. As the song that I’m super, super sick of says, “young, but I’m not that young, old, but … I legitimately might start crying, I am so old.

The Duggar Girls: A Style Chronology

14 Children And Pregnant Again – 2004 – 2005

Isn’t it weird to look at a family and thing “wow, they ONLY had 14 kids then!” This is when we first met the Duggar girls, and they were …. um… not looking awesome. The year was 2004, which style-wise involved a lot of flared jeans and fake tans, but which wasn’t super Doctor Quinn-y. You’d never know from looking at these kiddos.

Jana – who was in one hell of an awkward phase, so thank heavens my family had a normal number of kids so I didn’t have to be on reality TV – has a collar bigger than a Thanksgiving turkey platter. Jessa has puffed sleeves that would make Anne Shirley blush.

Nope, that’s not a 44-year-old midwestern piano teacher who attends the local Kingdom Hall. That’s Jana, proving that awkward phases can always get awkwarder. Those bangs were not her fault; she was just a kid. Bless.

The Dawson’s Creek Virgin Diaries: Season 6

Episode 24

Alright guys. Here we are. Last episode. Like, forever. I’m not emotionally prepared for this, but then again, are you really ever prepared when it comes to series finales?

Again I know what happens to Jen, but how did you people deal with not knowing if she’s going to die or not?? I mean it’s like, as a TV fan you want to believe they won’t kill off a main character because how could they? Even if it is the series finale and all.

It’s really unfortunate that Joshua Jackson has to have stitches and a black eye for the finale.

I really shouldn’t be allowed to watch shows like this because this food fight scene with Pacey and Joey is making me squeal. Literally squeal like a teenager in the nosebleeds seats at a One Direction concert.

Jen has some one on one girl time with Joey and she tells her that her dying wish is for her to stop running (aka stop running from Pacey). JEN IS SO WISE BEYOND HER YEARS THIS ISN’T FAIR.

Jen asks Dawson to videotape her leaving a final life lesson video for her daughter. I’M NOT CRYING YOURE CRYING.

The Lion King: Where Are They Now

Nala

Then

Nala was the ultimate BFF-turned-love interest, like a leonine Joey Potter.

Now

Nala had a bunch of cubs. Lion cubs born in the same litter can actually have different fathers – science! – which lead Nala to appear on Timon’s short-lived talk show, sort of an animal version of Maury Povich.

Simba was not the father.

Nala is now dead.

Whatareyoudoinghere: Unexpected Guest Stars of Boy Meets World

Keri Russell as Jessica
{Season 1, Episode 7}
View Post

dem jeans doe

Pre-Felicity (but with all the same hair to rival Topanga’s), Keri played Mr. Feeny’s niece who had a brief fling with Eric. That is until Cory pointed out Eric was “swapping spit with a Feeny”.

‘Boy Meets World,’ Meet ‘Girl Meets World’

Feeny

Boy Meets World

The neighbor/teacher/mentor/sage who guides/stalks Cory and his pals with a lot of tough love.

Girl Meets World

A pro-education ad model? A ghost? One of those. At the end of the pilot we see Feeny walk out of a stay-in-school poster to offer reassurances to Cory. First of all, why is he in an ad? Is he famous? And is he dead, or was that Cory’s imagination, or has he ratcheted up his stalking that much? Will all of Boy Meets World be the sad dream world of a lonely Cory after Topanga has ran off with Minkus, and Feeny is – along with his wife, kids, and teaching job – just one of his many delusions?

‘Boy Meets World,’ Meet ‘Girl Meets World’

‘Boy Meets World,’ Meet ‘Girl Meets World’

Like any Ecto Cooler-blooded 90s kid, I am over-the-moon thrilled about the Boy Meets World spinoff hitting the airwaves. I just had to catch the pilot of Girl Meets World – airing tonight on The Disney Channel – on iTunes. It was pretty cute, and I loved seeing Cory and Topanga again, but make no mistake: this is not your mother’s Boy Meets World. (Oh Lordy, today’s children literally have parents who grew up on Boy Meets World; I cannot.)

I’m biased, but I think the 90s were a golden age for kids’ shows. Most, like Boy Meets World, were fairly realistic in terms of sets, wardrobe, plotlines, and how the kids looked. Girl Meets World is a product of the modern Disney factory, which is very NEON! and SLAPSTICK! and SASSY COMEBACKS! and IDIOT PARENTS! and MUSICAL TIE-INS!   I was hoping the overall vibe of Boy Meets World would be there, but the pilot felt sort of like a Disney show that Cory and Topanga somehow landed in. Also I know it’s not really the case, but they still seem way too young to be the parents of a middle schooler to me. Still, Girl Meets World was cute enough that I’ll be watching again. In case you want to be prepared for what’s ahead, here are the main differences between Boy Meets World and Girl Meets World:

Badass Friend

Boy Meets World

Shawn was the trailer-dwelling kid from a broken home – with a heart of gold, an eye for mischief, and the most perfect Patented Mid-90s Sad Puppy Haircut my 8-year-old self has ever seen.

Girl Meets World

The main character still has a more mischievous friend, but Maya isn’t a down-to-earth troublemaker from a blue-collar background. She’s supposed to be the one who always “goes farther than Riley,” – like Shawn was to Cory – but you can tell she’s “sassy” because she wears a lot of sequins and “worldly” because she rides the subway (we’ll get to that later).

Setting

Boy Meets World

The Matthews lives in suburban Philadelphia. Phillies games figure prominently into a few episodes, and Cory has a collection of Eagles’ jerseys (although he doesn’t properly pronounce it “Iggles”).  Delco, maybe?

Girl Meets World

Cory, Topanga and the kiddos live in New York City, which is where you set a show if you want 11-year-olds to think it’s cool. Well, that or near “the beach.” Any beach. The most unrealistic part of the pilot was tween Riley not being allowed to ride the subway yet. Like, I know some parents are probably weird about their kids riding the subway alone, but it seemed like Riley had never even been on it at all. Huh!? Although, maybe Cory had some traumatic experiences with SEPTA in his youth. We all have.

Theme Song

Boy Meets World

The early seasons featured a weird instrumental, kind of triumphant thing. Later on it switched to the theme song we all know and love, if only because the credits sequence spawned this internet exchange:


Girl Meets World

It’s an obvious attempt to start a Disney tv star-turned music career. And it sucks.

Feeney

Boy Meets World

The neighbor/teacher/mentor/sage who guides/stalks Cory and his pals with a lot of tough love.

Girl Meets World

A pro-education ad model? A ghost? One of those. At the end of the pilot we see Feeny walk out of a stay-in-school poster to offer reassurances to Cory. First of all, why is he in an ad? Is he famous? And is he dead, or was that Cory’s imagination, or has he ratcheted up his stalking that much? Will all of Boy Meets World be the sad dream world of a lonely Cory after Topanga has ran off with Minkus, and Feeny is – along with his wife, kids, and teaching job – just one of his many delusions?

Siblings

Boy Meets World

Big brother Eric was always one step ahead, providing guidance and some classic big-sibling animosity. First Morgan was a lovable idiot, and then Next Morgan was sort of sassy and tween-y.

Girl Meets World

It’s too early to tell if Riley’s little bro is going to be a precocious kid a la Olivia Huxtable, or a dumb little moppet like First Morgan. Unlike Cory, Riley has no same-sex older sib. This is partially to make it more believable that she doesn’t know stuff until Maya tells her, and partially because, maybe it’s just me, but they’re already really pushing it with Cory and Topanga having an 11-year-old.

Topanga

Boy Meets World

The One True Topanga was a weird hippie kid who had a love-hate (or, like love-confusion?) relationship with Cory. She got progressively more normy through the years, but we still always loved her.

Girl Meets World

It appears that Topanga’s personality-ectomy is complete. She was only in a few scenes in the pilot, playing a super-generic supportive wife/mom. Maybe it will get better as the series progresses.

Nerdy Kid

YEP. THAT’S ADULT MINKUS. Aka Lee Norris.

Boy Meets World

Minkus! MINKUS FOREVER.

Girl Meets World

Farkle – a classic attempt to reignite the “weird surname on a nerdy kid” – has a double-crush on Riley and Maya, and has the overall demeanor of Full House’s Derrick.

Over-Involved Teacher

Boy Meets World

Feeney!

Girl Meets World

Cory is Riley and Maya’s teacher, and as with Feeny, boundaries are crossed. As in, he allows Farkle to stop class to wax poetic on his crush on CORY’S OWN DAUGHTER – yet there’s nary a “oh my God, Dad, STOP” to be heard. It is weird. He also has sassy convos with Riley and Maya about not doing their homework. If I talked to my teacher, parent, or teacher/parent (yes, my mom taught 4th grade in my school and yes, the puberty unit WAS awesome, thanks for asking) there wouldn’t have been a laugh track.

The Parents

Boy Meets World

The Matthews are your classic 90s sitcom parents – tough when they need to be, but overall fair. They are neither super strict and old-fashioned, nor youthful “cool parents”

Girl Meets World

The parents are Cory and Topanga. I’m hoping that as the episodes progress they’ll be written as the logical adult extension of their Boy Meets World characters, not as a generic mom and dad. They do escape the dumb Disney parent thing so far, except for about a million awkward references to their daughter Riley “meeting the world,” which I hope was only a thing for the pilot.

Whatareyoudoinghere: Unexpected Guest Stars of Boy Meets World

Fourteen years ago, we said goodbye to one of the most influential TV series on millennials. In the current era in which nostalgia is not only cool, but more importantly, profitable, the folks from Boy Meets World decided it would be the perfect time to bring back the beloved series. Except they were super smart about it and instead of doing a whole reboot, it’s a spin-off with BMW’s main star, Cory and his oddly-named soulmate/wife/best friend Topanga and their two kids, specifically tween daughter Riley who like young Cory, is trying to find her place in the world.

Before the highly-anticipated series premieres on Friday, it’s only appropriate that we look back at the past, at a time when jeans were high-waisted, the hair was teased, and leather jacket made teachers look cool (where ARE you Mr. Turner?). While we know that people like Mr. Feeny, Mr. & Mrs. Matthews, and Uncle Shawn are heading to Girl Meets World, here are some unexpected guest stars of BMW that mostly likely won’t be reprising their roles.

Marla Sokoloff as Paige

{Season 1, Episode 4}

Just before Marla appeared as Gia, the bad influence on Stephanie Judith Tanner on Full House, she had a small role on BMW as a classmate who calls Cory overhears her call him a total “Brillo Head”, a term that sticks out in my mind when I think about this show for some reason. Cory gets the courage to confront her about calling him that, except she wasn’t talking about him in the first place, but rather her friend’s brother instead.

Keri Russell as Jessica

{Season 1, Episode 7}

dem jeans doe

Pre-Felicity (but with all the same hair to rival Topanga’s), Keri played Mr. Feeny’s niece who had a brief fling with Eric. That is until Cory pointed out Eric was “swapping spit with a Feeny”.

Rue McClanahan as Bernice Matthews

{Season 1, Episode 7}

In an alternate universe, Blanche Deveraux is the Matthews’ kids’ grandmother. And she wears fringe. God bless America.

Lindsay Price as Linda

{Season 1, Episode 8}

Lindsay Price is supposed to be 15 and 3/4 in this episode, but looks like a grown ass woman wearing one of those sweater vests that is like what you would wear to an ugly Christmas sweater party. Except sans Christmas decorations. Anyways, she plays a love interest for Eric who gets called something racist while she’s at the mall. It’s one of those deeper, more moral-centric episodes of the series, and Cory gives a passionate speech about Linda and Anne Frank in class. Gotta love this program.

Shane West as Nick

{Season 3, Episode 14}

It’s hard to believe there was ever a time when Cory and Topanga were ever not together – and in those episodes, we try to forget – but apparently Topanga even got the chance to date a kid named Nick, played by A Walk to Remember favorite, Shane West. Topanga and Cory run into Nick while they’re shopping for Christmas presents at the mall and turns out he’s working at Macy’s. But really, why is this teen boy working at Macy’s is my question.

Larissa Olyenik as Dana Pruitt

{Season 3, Episode 15 & 16}

Larisa was able to escape the Secret World of Nickelodeon and head over to Disney, leaving Alex Mack behind and stepping into the shoes of Dana Pruitt. She’s one of Cory & Shawn’s classmates, who Shawn asks out on a date, but since it’s clear all he wants to do on said date is make out with her, she declines a second date. Turns out she’s then interested in Cory who’s a “nice guy” and ended up not even kissing him at all, because he’s “boyfriend material” and wanted to take things slow. Meanwhile, Shawn got all jealous and pours his heart out to Dana who agrees to go on another date with him. They date for another episode until things get weird when Dana’s mom AND aunt date Mr. Turner (who is technically Shawn’s guardian at the moment). Yikes. Fun fact: Rider Strong and Larisa appeared as Gavroche & Cossette in a San Francisco production of Les Mis together in 1989!

Danny Strong as Arthur

{Season 3, Episode 15}

In the same episode as Alex Mack’s appearance, comes Danny Strong, who has since become an award-winning multi-hyphenate, but to me will forever be Doyle McMaster/Mr. Paris Gellar on Gilmore Girls. In BMW, he played a rival to Eric when the two compete for an internship at the local news station. Surprise, surprise (no really, a total surprise), Eric beats him to it.

Mena Suvari as Laura/Hilary

{Season 2, Episode 16; Season 3, Episode 12}

Mena is a double agent in BMW, first appearing as a girl who’s into Eric, and the second time she plays a girl checking people in at the door to a dance and thinks Cory is Shawn, who already as a reputation as a ladies’ man at this school on the other side of town. Needless to say, it’s not surprising this was her first professional acting role.

Adam Scott as Griff Hawkins

{Seasons 2 & 3}

Adam Scott easily wins the best guest star role award, just because he is Adam Scott. The funny thing about him in this show is that when I watched it as a tween, I remember thinking he was way too serious and seemed like too much of an “adult actor” on a kids show that it was oddly unsettling. Fast forward years later when I find out that the kid who fills in for the man in charge, Harley Kleiner, was no other than Human Disaster Ben Wyatt I flipped out. If anyone should make an appearance on GMW, it needs to be Adam Scott. Come on, Adam. Do it for your kids.

Brittany Murphy as Trini

{Season 3 , Episode 9}

Don’t be confused by her name – she’s not the yellow power ranger (although, RIP to both of them :\ ) Britt plays a classmate who needs a partner for one of their projects, and since Topanga is out sick, and Mr. Feeny split Cory and Shawn apart, Cory’s in need of a partner. And instead of choosing sweet, awkward Trini, he goes for super popular hot girl Missy. Check minus, Cory Matthews.

Charisma Carpenter

{Season 3, Episode 10}

This is the episode where they get stuck on a subway train on New Year’s Eve – and don’t get that confused with the episode of Full House where they get stuck on a subway train on the way to Uncle Jesse’s graduation, because lawd certainly knows I did. In the clip above Charisma Carpenter doesn’t have any lines, however you know who does- Wesley Jonathan. C-I-T-Y you can see why/these guys/the neat guys/smart and streetwise. Anyone? Anyone?

Andrew Keegan

{Season 3, Episode 21}

Remember the heartthrobs of the 90s and how both Rider Strong and Andrew Keegan were always in those pullout posters in Teen Beat? Well I can’t even imaging what it was like when they were on the same show together, even if it was for but a fleeting moment. Andrew played Ronnie “Lips” Watterman, who along with Topanga and this chick Kristen win an essay contest that wins them a trip down to Disney. And yes, this is the episode (again, not to be confused with the FH ep where DJ can’t stop seeing Steve everywhere) where Cory follows Topanga down to Florida to declare his love for her.

Candace Cameron Bure as Millie

{Season 5, Episode 5}

Speaking of Deej Tanner, immediately after FH ended, Candace got married and died her hair bleach blonde and then ended up back on the TGIF lineup on BMW as a crazy neighbor to Jack and Eric. Also, she’s a witch. Naturally. I wonder what her brother Kirk Cameron had to say about this.

Jennifer Love Hewitt

{Seasons 5, Episode 17}

Obviously, if you’re a BMW fan, you know this episode is probably not only the greatest in the entire series, but one of the most 22 minutes of television ever. How can you deny the screams of Jennifer Love Fefferman and the ultimate story of loyalty and friendship??

Linda Cardellini as the bitch who kissed Cory Lauren

{Season 5 }

First of all, I’d like to point out that I did not make the above meme, someone else clearly has the same thoughts as many BMW experts who also watch Mad Men. Linda obviously played the infamous Lauren in the ski trip episode, kissing Cory and ultimately the reason why he and Topanga broke up. Listen, Linda. You can be Freaks and Geeks me, Scooby Doo, even ER me, but you will forever be the bitch who broke up one of TV’s greatest couples. I mean, they clearly got back together, but still.

Fred Savage

{Season 6, Episode 7}

It was inevitable to have Ben Savage’s brother be on the show, right? Well I always found it interesting that the one time he’s on it, he plays skeezy college professor Stuart,. who hits on Topanga then instantly denies it. When confronted about he by Cory, the usually level-headed Mr. Matthews pushes Stuart through a glass door and he has to “go on trial” in front of the Dean – who subsequently only suspends Cory for one day. Peace out Ben Savage.

Nia Vardalos as Mrs. Gallagher

{Season 6, Episode 18}

Remember the time Eric befriended a small tot named Tommy who basically begs Eric to adopt him so he doesn’t have to live with foster parents in California. Eric seriously considers it and talks to the adoption center worker, played by Nia Vardalos. In a shocking moment of clarity, Eric realizes it’s the wrong thing to do and has to break this kid’s heart.

Marcia Cross as Rihannon Lawrence

{Season 7}

I appreciate that Topanga’s mom’s name is Rihannon – it totally fits with their hippie vibe. However I always thought Marcia Cross herself was an odd choice of casting, even though she joined later in the series, since the original Mrs. Lawrence was busy, I guess? I mean Topanga’s dad was played by three different actors, including one of The Monkees.

 

The Lion King: Where Are They Now

The Lion King was released twenty years ago this month. If you’re anything like me, your reaction was “NOPE,” followed by a long contemplation of your own mortality. In Disney terms, Lion King is roughly as old now as The Aristocats and Robin Hood were when we were kids. But, as Rafiki would remind us, it’s all just a part of the circle of life — so let’s see where life has circled our favorite savannah-dwellers to in the two decades since Nala, Simba, and the gang hit theaters (and I wore a steady stream of Lion King t-shirts, camped in a Lion King sleeping bag, and regarded my stuffed Pumba as a prized possession):

Simba

Then

We watched Simba grow from lovable scamp, to outcast, to grown man, to redeemer of Pride Rock.

Now

Simba is almost certainly dead. Lions in the wild live for 10-14 years, though lions in captivity may live to 20-25. So, Simba is either deceased or elderly and languishing in the zoo.

And how’s this for a bummer? Male lions are typically ousted from the pride once they are 2-3 years old if their father gets the boot, unless they take it over. So, Simba’s exile was basically just a cold, scientific reality. Isn’t nature grand? And once he was too old to be useful, he was probably kicked out again. It’s basically the lion version of abandoning an elderly relative at the home.

Nala

Then

Nala was the ultimate BFF-turned-love interest, like a leonine Joey Potter.

Now

Nala had a bunch of cubs. Lion cubs born in the same litter can actually have different fathers – science! – which lead Nala to appear on Timon’s short-lived talk show, sort of an animal version of Maury Povich.

Simba was not the father.

Nala is now dead.

Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed

Then

Scar’s hyena henchmen were last seen mauling their former leader to death.

Now

Hyenas can live up to 25 years in the wild, so it is possible that these fellows are alive and really, really old. Hyenas look decrepit even when they’re babies, so I can only imagine.

Rafiki

Then

Wise Rafiki was supposed to be some sort of shaman/jester hybrid, maybe?

Now

Nope… still don’t really see it.

Babboons can live up to 30 years in the wild, but face it, Rafiki was already pretty old 20 years ago. But if you look up to the night sky, you can see the word “sex” spelled out in the stars and know that he is with you always.

Timon

Then

Funny guy Timon taught Simba how to live and love, and taught us that damn Hakuna Matata song that’s still stuck in our heads two decades later.

Now

Before dying (sorry! you knew it was coming!), Timon took advantage of the weird meerkat reality show trend, and became a star of sorts on Animal Planet.

Pumba

Then

Pumba issued the first fart ever heard on a Disney film (this is a true thing).

Now

Dead.

Well, that’s the circle of life, kids. And the circle stops at death. Also two decades closer to the grave: all of us. Man, I feel old right now.

 

The Dawson’s Creek Virgin Diaries: Season 6

Well friends, this is it. The final installment of my Dawson’s Creek Virgin Diaries. It’s been a long road from Capeside to Boston and there were definitely a lot of memories made along the way. In case you want to reminisce with past seasons, you can find them here -> Season 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. It’s been sort of a struggle bus with season five, and I’m so glad the producers decided to end it at season 6, or get cancelled, whatever it was. There was a possibility Joey was going to Paris, Audrey and Pacey embarked on an epic road trip to LA – but will they still be together by the end of it, is the question – and Dawson … actually don’t remember Dawson’s storyline, nor do I care. IF THIS SHOW DOESN’T HAVE PACEY AND JOEY AS END GAME I QUIT.

Episode 1

Joey kicks things off with a voiceover, and the first scenes include Pacey and Audrey driving in front of a green screen. The cuts involved side swipes (yet again) from Windows Movie Maker and do they just not give any fucks the last season?

ATTENTION: Pacey has a goatee. A goatee. This is the most exciting plot point in the past season.

Look, a Jack Osbourne cameo because the year is 2002 and he was still relevant then.

Oh man it finally happened. Dawson and Joey had sex. I had to watch with my hand over my face.

Notable Quotes:

Dawson: Jo guess what?

Joey: You’re gay.

Dawson: Yes, that.

Episode 2

I’m probably not supposed to have this reaction but ughhhhhh it’s so awkward seeing Dawson and Joey post-sex. It’s almost incest like. AND he got her a rose hahahahahaha

Pace wants to be a stock broker now? He was better as a chef. I mean I’ve obviously never had his food, but I’m assuming. Also, he’s not real.

How’s this for meta – the movie set Dawson’s working on had to create a house and they recreated his Capeside one.

Episode 3

Joey just accidentally sent her heartfelt email meant for Dawson to the entire college, because that’s how it was in 2002 BF (Before Facebook) era. She legit had to go to her address book and click on his name.

Pacey. Just – gel haired Pacey.

Episode 4

Dawson gets called out by actress/fling Natasha in front of Joey because he dumped her via answering machine and then slept with Joey – and director Todd’s face is perfect. What happened to young, innocent Dawson?

And Jensen Ackles comes to the rescue for Jen when this stupid frat type guy won’t let her go save drunk Audrey from sleeping with some rando. Is this the show other WB actors went on before going on their respective shows? Also, I don’t watch Supernatural, but I can’t be the only one who will always associate Jensen with Days of Our Lives?

Episode 6

Oh great it’s the Halloween episode! At least it’s the last one I’ll have to sit through.

Audrey breaks up with Pacey and it’s the worst outfit he could possibly be wearing, because everyone’s at some kind of goth-type Halloween party? I don’t even know. But this breakup iss like when Snooki got kicked off Dancing with the Stars in her zombie costume or Candice on Big Brother voted out of the house as a clown. I used to write reality TV stories for a living.

Lawd the end credits looked like it was designed by RL Stine.

Episode 7

Do the producers exclusively have the rights to One Way or Another? Because that’s all they sing on this show. And might I add, Audrey is killing it. And by killing it I mean lit’rally killing the song because she is wasted out of her mind.

The song used at the end of this epuside is Orange Sky by Alexi Murdoch, which I fell in loved with seven years later when it was featured on the soundtrack to one of my faovrite movies to watch on a rainy day, Away We Go. It was a weird crossover of media in my head upon hearing that song. (And apparently on The OC too?)

Episode 8

This episode is called Spiderwebs and is essentially a giant ad for No Doubt. Remember their Jamaican dance hall album? I do because I was a junior in high school and highly influenced by TRL. It’s why I had the Lit, Limp Bizkit and P.O.D. albums next to my BSB ones.

WHOA Audrey slept w Jensen Ackles while she was still dating Pacey and Jen is really into him? Can they break up already?

People who can stay together (for the mean time): Joey and Kate Hudson’s brother. Who knew he was so hot??

Also this English chippie is unnecessary. I actually find it annoying that she’s British. This coming from a girl who works for a British based company.

Episode 9

Tag! Tag with bad hair!

Oh Joey. Deciding to sleep with whatshisname/Eddie/Oliver Hudson hours before your final exam. Of course you’re gonna be late.

Pacey invites British chippie (honestly don’t know her name) to his work party and ends up kissing her when they’re back home in their apartment but he’s clearly just going from girl to girl while waiting to get back with Joey. That’s what I’m hoping for, anyways.

Speaking of Joey, the fact Eddie/Oliver Hudson/Joey’s current object of her affection’s dad works at the Worcester Arena is a huge plus because he snuck them in to ice skate after she punched her teacher in the face.

Episode 10

The description of this episode. Like who writes these?

“An out-of-control Audrey brings Christmas dinner at the Leery house crashing down – literally”

Ah, it’s Christmas in Capeside. I feel like this should’ve been an annual thing, inside of those stupid Kevin Williamson-inspired Halloween episodes.

Pacey, still trying to get get his bro Doug out of the closet, is still has a hilarious dynamic with Dougie as ever

Doug: Pacey, is that you?

Pacey: Merry Christmas, Dougie.

Doug: Yeah, right back at ya. Now, if you wouldn’t mind, could you tell me what you did with my little brother?

Pacey: I murdered that punk and stuffed his body into a dumpster behind the red lobster in Centerville.

Doug: Yeah, good to know. Well, you look, uh…

Pacey: Hip, handsome, hetero?

Doug: I was gonna slick, sleazy, and smarmy, but sure.

Pacey: Ok. Your sexuality, on the other hand, is just as dubious as ever. Good to see that some things never change, Doug.

I forgot to mention Joey’s dad got out of prison but failed to tell his family. But she found him and now he’s back with them for Christmas? Forgive and forget?

Also, this Natasha chick is still here. And in Capeside. Get out of here. At least British chippie didn’t follow everyone else to the Cape.

So Audrey is on this downward spiral, mainly because of her breakup with Pacey, but partly because she’s an alcoholic. Natch, she gets drunk at the Leery dinner and she resorted to stealing pills from the medicine cabinet. And she is causing a SCENE at dinner  – moreso than director Todd who attempted to hit on Dawson’s mom whilst saying prayer before the dinner.

Oh LAWD Audrey is lettin it allll out on the table right now!

Busy Phillips: A+. Audrey: get a fucking grip. She stole Pacey;s car and drove it into the house. Really I think the Leerys have had enough to deal with in the past years with accidents involving cars and ice cream.

This is the first episode in like 2 seasons that was actually some semblance of good.

Notable Quotes:

True facts from drunk Audrey:

Audrey: Hey! Where’s Tony and Maria?

Mr. Potter: Out on the porch.

Audrey: Ohh. Ditched for the boyfriend yet again.

Mr. Potter: What do we know about this guy, Audrey?

Audrey: Hmm. Chip on his shoulder, blue on his collar. I don’t know. Joey seems to like him.

Mr. Potter: Is it serious?

Audrey: Oh, well, like a heart attack, because you see, Eddie seems to be able to incorporate all the best elements of Pacey and Dawson, so it’s like the t-1000 of love interests.

Episode 11

This girl who’s professor’s daughter is supposed to be 15- aka the age the kids were in season 1, yet looks NOTHING like KT Holmes when they started the show.

These movie execs just gave Dawson the job of directing the movie reshoots. Now, I’m not in the industry, but I’m pretty sure they don’t just offer directors assistants/kids not even out of college an entire movie.

Jack Osbourne makes another appearance playing himself and he’s actually not that bad? Color me surprised.

Just when I thought Joey had gotten over her odd fashion choices she wears a velour bucket hat. I know it’s 2003 but like, that wasn’t in style anymore, right? Well it should’ve been.

ALERT: THE HAWAIIAN SHIRT IS BACK Y’ALL

Notable Quotes:

Pacey: Because that’s a part of growing up. Let me tell you, Pacey at 15 was a bit of a schmuck– bad haircut, bad Hawaiian shirts, broke all the time. Dumb enough to be chasing after things he knew he was never going to get, anyway.

Episode 12

What is Jen’s hair. And those bangs – are those even bangs good lord.

Audrey kissed and made up with everyone including her bandmates. Two things about British chippie: she’s old. And I was just thinking how completely unnecessary she is to this show. Whereas Gretchen was integral to advance multiple characters, this chick has no purpose.

Joey has taken up mentoring her professor’s daughter – a professor who is not Ken Marino. And why are they bringing in a new character halfway through the last season!?

Remember land lines in dorm rooms? No you don’t, children born after 1990.

Jo and Eddie are exchanging “I love yous” already? And if they really were from Massachusetts it would be ‘yous’. Too soon, guys. Toon soon.

Uh oh Audrey’s passed out in her bed. This is not a good sign. Intervention, anyone?

Episode 13

Audrey’s alive. And she’s heading to rehab. Except she’s not. Joey finds Audrey in Seth Rogen’s apartment taking a bath and think she’s dead and it’s hilar.

CLIFTON SMALLS IS JEWISH AND WANTS GRAMS TO CONVERT BAHAHAHAHA

There is a montage of their road trip and there’s a weird handheld camera going on it’s distracting.

Seth straight up stole Eddie’s car while it was attached to the gas pump. Look at your life. Look at your choices.

Oh god Joey and Eddie are breaking up and as they kiss and say goodbye the music playing in the background has the lyrics: “I only want the best for you my love” Get out.

Notable Quotes:

Bill: All right, lady, what’s your problem?

Grams: Excuse me?

Bill: Well, you’re a real downer. I mean, you’re sitting here, staring into your soup, and every once in a while, you mumble some derisive comment, when you should be going to see your doctor.

Grams: What are you talking about? Why should I go see my doctor?

Bill: So he can remove that polar icecap you got wedged up your butt.

Episode 14

So like at the end of the series, were the producers just like, ‘let’s make money any way we can/that includes setting a scene in Best Buy and promoting Bad Boys 2 on a big screen TV?

British chippie is engaged to a Deadbeat approx 2 eps after she was about to have a thing with Pacey. I hope this mean she leaves the show to run away with this low life.

Pacey/Jack/British chippie are having a party at their apartment and Pace encourages Jo to drink and let go for once in her life since she’s safe at his apartment *swoon*. So drunk Joey pinches Pacey’s cheeks and I CANNOT.

THERE ARE A LOT OF PACEY/JOEY SCENES AND THE FEELS ARE COMING BACK DESPITE THE GOATEE STILL GLARING INTO MY SOUL.

Dawson goes to visit Audrey in rehab and they have some super tender bonding moments and I hope they have more scenes together because they’re presh.

Oh dear lord they are NOT playing spin the bottle right now. And they are NOT putting it in a montage. Who keeps writing these in?! This particular one looks like the opening credits to a sitcom.

The inevitable happened and Pacey’s spin landed on Joey. But of course they get interrupted because Deadbeat somehow ended up on top of the giant TV and broke it. This would be a good time to head back to Best Buy for another product placement scene.

Jen just had sex in either Pacey/Jack/British chippie’s bed. I will never understand how people can just have sex at a party in someone else’s bed. Rude. And disgusting. And inappropriate.

…Well… Jack is offering to marry British chippie so she can stay in America. Come on. This can’t be happening.

Pacey Witter: still a dream man. He takes drunk Joey up to his room to tuck her in, confesses what Audrey said was true about not being over her back during her meltdown at a Capeside Christmas, he gives her the long awaited kiss and leaves. STOP BEING PERFECT BYE

Notable Quotes:

Drunk Joey: She killed a girl once.

CJ: What?

Drunk Joey: Abby Morgan. Killed her with champagne. You want some?

Episode 15

Aside: I have gone the entire 6 season series without watching the real opening credits with Paula Cole’s I Don’t Wanna Wait and I think I will wait until the end as to not ruin this experience for myself.

Pacey has to make a pit stop at K MART to buy condoms for the “no strings attached” sex he’s having with a blonde chick he just met at some fancy dinner where he took Joey as his date, but told this girl that Joey’s his sister. Let’s hope Joey doesn’t find out.

I would also like to point out that Katie Holmes’ acting has gotten sooo much better since season 1. Those acting lessons (I’m assuming she’s taken over the course of 6 years) have paid off. It’s not just an awkward side smile anymore!

Pacey to Joey on the homework she has due the next day: “You’re paying $35,000 to read Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas?” Sounds like Emerson. I paid more than that to write a final paper on the stereotypes of cast members in The Real World. Oh also a paper about The OC.

Ohhhh shit. It’s the conversation we’ve been waiting for since these two fools broke up. They can’t talk about sex. Specifically them having sex with other people. In all fairness, both of them have really good points. Pacey’s upset Joey never really got depressed like she did with Dawson when they broke up and Joey’s annoyed that Pacey won’t let all of this go (hint: it’s because he’s not over you, you crazy person).

Joey has taken out all the books from one of those discount bins and I seriously thought she was going to reorganize it. At least that’s what my OCD brain thought.

THERE IS A WALL OF PACEYS ON THE TVS I CANNOT. HE GOT HER PAJAMAS.

OMG I AM DYING. THIS IS LITERALLY THE MOST I HAVE LAUGHED AT THIS SHOW. PACEY SAID HE OWED HER ONE FAVOR AND SHE BROUGHT HIM TO THE AISLE WITH THE RAZORS. DEAD. BYE GOATEE. BYEEEEEEE.

Pacey compared his goatee to a sports beard and his winning streak. I mean, nice try. SHE JUST WANTS TO SEE HIS FACE Y’ALL.

They are making shaving someone else seem entirely sexual and that’s a lot coming from someone who hates blood and the possibility of blood. But let’s be real, I’m so into this.

{Joey grabs two cans of shaving cream from the table}

Joey: Regular… or menthol?

Pacey: Are we smoking, or are we shaving?

Joey: Pacey Witter– friend to women. I think it’s better to go with sensitive skin.

Pacey kisses Joey after they get super close whilst she shaves off his goatee. She makes him express his feelings. They set up camp – lit’rally – and Joey’s all ‘I need time to think about you telling me you basically have never stopped loving me and always want to kiss me, but I’m gonna get into this sleeping bag and kiss you anyways and fall asleep together because when we were on that boat it was my dream that we’d be castaways on some deserted island because SHE OBVIOUSLY STILL LOVES HIM TOO

Everything that is happening in this episode is perfect.

Real talk: Is it weird that I retroactively have a massive crush on Joshua Jackson now?!??!?

Notable Quotes:

Pacey: So what is the secret to our long-lasting and angst-free friendship? What is the one thing that keeps it going year after year after year after year?

Joey: We suck at meeting new people.

Episode 16

Wait. Pacey’s apartment is directly across from the bar Joey works at? Totally missed that. Something I’m not missing: him creeping and looking longingly towards the bar thinking about one Josephine Potter.

I HAVE BEEN REDUCED TO A GIGGLING OH MY GOD JAPANESE GIRL WHEN THESE TWO ARE TOGETHER GET A FUCKING GRIP (that was directed towards myself. Like, really.)

OLIVER TRASK AS A BABY. I REPEAT CRAZY OLIVER TRASK FROM THE OC AS A BABY! He’s dating Joey’s professor’s teen daughter that Jo has taken to “babysitting”. Be careful Harley – he turns out to be a gun-wielding psycho in a couple years.

Pacey’s dad has something called an exaggerated arrhythmia and Pacey rushes back home to Capeside to be with his dad at the hospital. Meanwhile, Dawson is also back in Capeside talking to a film class back at Capeside High. Full circle moment for Dawson. And also for Pacey and Dawson, since Pacey goes to Dawson’s house to check on his mom – without knowing Dawson’s home too – and the BFFs are back together again.

Notable Quotes:

Joey leaving Pacey a voicemail: I’m not gonna look at you and think of what happened. I’m gonna look at you and think of what could.

Harley: Ugh! I hate you so much right now. I hate you with the burning passion of a thousand STDs.

Episode 17

There was a mystery girl Pacey almost hooked up with at his work party, and she shows up again, only for him to discover she is a reporter. But also IRL, she was recently on Chicago Fire and looks completely different. WTF.

Well, Grams is serving as a mediator to CJ (Jensen Ackles) and Jen regarding their sex life, and as you can imagine, it’s totally an awkward teepee.

Dawson’s back in LA realizing that making a movie in Hollywood is difficult, especially if you want to make a movie about innocent teenagers who don’t have sex. He tries to backtrack on a pitch he made to this movie exec, and eventually ends up standing up for himself and decides to not make a movie that is all about sex and not what he envisioned in the first place.

Dawson: I came in here the other day because I wanted to tell a story about… something small, something personal, something I’ve been… tryin’ to figure out for quite some time. I wanted to write about growing up… and why it’s so hard. And… I wanted to write about falling in love and why it can’t last, but at the same time, how it lasts forever. And somehow, that got twisted into a story about a stripper. I–I guess what I’m tryin’ to say is, I can’t do this. I appreciate the–the offer and the confidence… but… I just wouldn’t feel right taking your money.

Episode 18

Eddie came back because he is still in love with Joey and is a successful writer in LA – and he says he needs her for inspiration? What a lame excuse. Luckily she tells him she’s moved on so peace out Oliver. Make room for Pace.

Does CJ just live with Jen now? And grams broke up with Clifton then started dating CJ’s cranky old uncle? Where is Jack? Is he seriously married to the British chippie? The whole Pacey/Joey thing has made me so distracted from any other storyline happening on this show.

Joey agrees to be a chaperone at Harley’s school dance, and Pacey subsequently agrees to be her date. He even gives her a corsage with carrots and a radish? They make those? I find this incredibly hilarious and a good way to make up for their senior prom when he gave her dried out flowers.

GRAMS HAS BREAST CANCER. MY EMOTIONS.

And now joeys “breaking it off” with Pacey because Eddie, came back even though Pace just poured his heart out to her. Ughhh but, being the dream man that he is, has put aside his romantic feelings and came back to dance with her and walk away one last time booooooo

Joey goes back to Eddie. Okay really, did she love him this much? It seemed like a really fast and non-passionate relationship? Again – I’m incensed with Pacey blinders on, so her love for Eddie is totally possible.

Notable Quotes:

Pacey: Dawson! Hi! Welcome to the dream machine, my friend. Can you smell the money growing?

Dawson: Uh, if it smells like Drakar Noir, then yeah, big time.

Episode 19

I forgot someone told me Katie Holmes mentions Tom Cruise at some point during the series, but I have yet to see the scene slash there are only 6 episodes left so it’s probably happened already and I was too busy not paying attention to Tom and put all my focus on Pacey.

Hey Joshua Jackson directed this episode. Didn’t know he did that.

Adam Corolla and Dr. Drew are like the center of this Loveline-themed episode and Dr. Drew is actually an effortless actor?… Except this is probably one of the worst episodes of the entire series. I’ve checked out.

Episode 20

Pacey just reminded us he is 20 years old and working as a successful stock broker. When I was 20 I was getting lost in Europe and losing all my money, so really, Pacey, high school graduate, is livin the life.

Speaking of Europe – Eddie has convinced Joey to spend their summer in Europe. WILL SHE GO OR WILL SHE STAY?

This convo between Jo and Eddie: real talk.

Eddie: I’m not asking you to throw your life off course, Joey. I’m talking about a summer here. All I’m asking is that you take a leap. Come away with me.

Joey: Oh, like Saul Bellow or on the road? Eddie, those are just stories–poems. Little pieces of unreality that we’re not meant to base our lives on. Eventually we always have to come back and deal with the real world.

Eddie: So what? What are you gonna do? You just wanna sit here for your entire life waiting and hoping for the world to come to you? Because the point of those stories, Joey, is that people’s lives– their real lives– only begin when they step out into the world. And when you do that, when you meet it head on, maybe you change the world, maybe you don’t, but the point is, is that it changes you. And that is what people mean when they talk about growing up.

Joey: So what? If I want to be with you, I’m supposed to just throw all of my previous life experience out the window? I’m supposed to just stop being who I am?

Eddie: Who you are, Joey, is not some scared little girl who’s afraid to take a chances on anything, who’s afraid to really love someone because of the risk or the pain. That does not define you as a person. Or maybe it does, you know? Maybe–maybe I’m crazy. Maybe you’ve just blinded me.

Wait this bitch Pacey’s been sleeping with has a fiance?! WTF he seems really fine with it too? Come on you’re better than this, Pace.

Oh no. The company Dawson (and Pacey) put (all, in Dawson’s case) their money in went under. Pacey got into a physical fight with his boss because he told him this investment was a sure thing, subsequently got fired, only has $300 to his name and now has to tell his BFF that he has no money at all to make his movie. This is horrible. Just when they were getting on so swimmingly! And only 4 episodes left!!!!

Notable Quotes: 

Rich: Ooh, ah, hey… that date with Sadia last night– did you close the deal?

Pacey: Why don’t you just ask those guys in there?

Rich: Oh, that does it, Witter. I used to be mildly impressed. Now I am in awe. Nicely done my friend. Nicely done.

Pacey: You know, that’s just what she said. (FIRST THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID ON TV??!)

Episode 21

Mimi Rogers as Jen’s mother!? Okay let’s get out of Boston/Capeside for a second. Mimi Rodgers was Tom Cruise’s first wife… and was 10 years older than him… and well, you know the rest about Katie Holmes.

Okay Jack Osbourne has gotten so much screen time I had no idea he was even on this show.

Apparently CJ’s Uncle Bill ‘loves” Grams? this the 2nd episode he’s been in. Tone it down, buckaroo.

OMG Joey going up Dawson’s ladder is legit giving me the feels. I am tearing up. Glad I can go back to reality once I’m done watching this because I’ve lost all sense of it.

Oh lawd Pacey finally told Dawson about the money and Joey is there too and I legit feel like I’m going to vomit up the salad I just ate. It’s so sad that they keep up this viscous Circle of being BFF then not then BFF then not. And Joey is lit’rally in the middle of it.

Grams CUDDLING UP TO JACK TO CONVINCE HIM TO GO TO NY IS THE MOST PRESH

Important question: is Busy Phillips actually singing? Because she’s actually really good! (Answer: yes, per this recent video of her singing a song from The Last Five Years at a cabaret)

Notable Quotes:

Joey: That’s the thing about ghosts they say that they don’t leave until they’re at peace with what they’ve left undone.

Jen’s mom: Well, you and jack are both so attractive, and I don’t know what the gays look like these days.

Episode 22

Joey’s doing a weird voice over thing and suddenly it’s like Veronica Mars sans noir right now. Pacey and Jack move out of their apartment which leads me to wonder : where is British chippie because the last time we saw her, Jack was legit thinking of marrying her so she could stay in America?? She has legitimately not shown up since. BYE GURL.

Remember when Joey decided to start wearing makeup when she went to college? Yeah she’s back in Capeside and back to her old Joey ways sans makeup or any sense of style. Is this symbolic or just lack of continuity? I guess this episode is called “Joey Potter and the Capeside Redemption”, so we should expect this? Or for her to start a rock band. Either one.

Oh God. Pacey, you’re in shambles after losing your job and your best friend. There are crumbs stuck in your face. You actually called soap operas your “stories”. He’s also back in his Hawaiian shirt. This can’t be bueno.

So basically, Joey’s Capeside Redemption is her getting everyone in town to pitch in and help Dawson make the movie he was supposed to make with the money Pacey lost, including recruiting their friends to play the real life people from their past. It’s all very meta. Joey assigns Audrey the role of Miss Jacobs, but Jen suggests she play Eve, remember that pixie-haired chick from season 3?

Audrey: Wait a second. Let me get this straight. You want me to play the slutty teacher that–that robbed Pacey of his delicate flower?

Joey: Do you have a problem with that?

Jen: You could play Eve.

Joey: Sadly, Eve didn’t make the cut.

Jen: Aw, that’s a shame.

Audrey: Who the hell is Eve?

Jack: Eh, long story. Ambiguous ending.

Literally getting dizzy from this shot spinning around Jack, Grams and Jen while everyone says goodbye to them. And it’s so poetic that they’re leaving in a cab just like Jen rolled in. It would’ve been better if they got the same cab from s1. It’s probs illegal to drive in it by now.

Audrey and douche director Todd hook up. Yes. That makes sense. Not even being sarcastic

Joey: Me, too. So how would you describe your movie? If somebody asked you, what would you say?

Dawson: I would say… it’s about a girl who wanted more than what she had… who had to grow up to realize that she already had everything she ever could’ve wanted.

YES. BECAUSE THIS ISN’T DAWSON’S CREEK IT’S FUCKING JOEY’S CREEK.

Finally, some closure between Pacey and Dawson, whom Joey sneakily sets up thinking they’re each meeting her but they’re really there so they can kiss and make up.

Pacey: We can’t go back to the way things used to be, and there’s nothing we can do about that ’cause the guys that we are now are worlds apart from the guys that we were back then. The only tie that really binds us together is the fact that we still love the same woman.

Dawson: It always comes back to that, doesn’t it?

Pacey: Yes, it does. Yes, it does, and you know what? I don’t really regret a single second that I spent with her, and I’m guessing you don’t either. In fact, I really consider us pretty lucky… that a woman like that would give either one of us the time of day.

Dawson: You know, it makes sense.

Pacey: What does?

Dawson: Why it never worked out for either one of us. All we wanted was her. So much so that we destroyed our friendship… and in the end, all she ever wanted was for us to be friends again.

Pacey: Ok, I’m gonna ask you this once, and then I promise you I’ll never ask it again. Is it possible?

Dawson: For us to be friends again? Anything’s possible.

Ugh there’s a song playing in the background and the actual lyrics include the words “butterfly girl”.

In the end, Joey goes to Paris by herself and ends up in front of a green screen Eiffel Tower. However there are still two more episodes left. WILL JOEY POTTER COME BACK TO CAPESIDE/AMURRICA?!

Episode 23

Literally had to say, ‘okay let’s do this’ outloud in order to psych myself up to watch the final two episodes. I always do this – speed towards the end then stop because I don’t actually want it to end. It’s a CATCH 22 (which was the name of episode 20).

Another random celebrity cameo and it’s Jeremy Sisto. And my first thought was, ‘Oh from Six Feet Under!’ I think I actually might have time travelled back to 2003 for a brief moment.

Meta Dawson (10 years in the future, since that’s when this takes place?) is the executive producer on a Dawson’s Creek like show called The Creek – which is what I’m convinced this show should’ve been called because it’s not about Dawson, for the 100th time.

OMG I DON’T WANNA WAIT IS USED FOR THE FIRST TIME AND I ACTUALLY SAID ‘OMG’ OUT LOUD. THEY COULD FINALLY PAY FOR THE ROYALTIES FOR THE FINAL TWO EPISODES THIS IS A CAPESIDE CHRISTMAS MIRACLE wait it’s actually kinda weird bc I was anticipating Hearts and Arrows :\

Wait can Sheriff Doug and Jack get together???

OKAY FOR THE RECORD I WROTE THAT BEFORE THIS KISS HAPPENED. I LOVE THIS EP ALREADY WE’RE ONLY 7 minutes in and I keep pausing bc I CANNOT

Oh Pacey. Having an affair with an older woman in the office of his restaurant AKA THE ICE HOUSE BECAUSE PACEY REOPENED THE BUSINESS JOEY’S FAM USED TO OWN.

Going back to his teacher/student ways. And Jack is a teacher at CHS who’s teaching his class about poetry – THE SAME TYPE OF POETRY THAT GOT HIM/PACEY INTO TROUBLE S2 I LOVE FULL CIRCLE MOMENTS SO MUCH.

Everyone’s back in town because Gail is getting married again. But who is this random that she’s marrying? He doesn’t even have a name! And why is Alexander not aged in 10 years, but Dawson’s little sister is so big and presh?

JEN HAS A BABY OH NOOOOO Her boyfriend apparently knocked her up and left. What a piece of garbage (him, not her, obvs).

For old time’s sake, Joey climbs up the ladder to Dawson’s bedroom and Dawson picks up his computer in order to attack the ‘attacker’. Never a manly man this one.

Welp. Pacey is getting beat up by grown ass man for sleeping with his wife. That’s what you get folks, for making whoopee.

JOEY AND DAWSON ARE SITTING IN HIS CHILDHOOD BED LISTENING TO EDWIN MCCAIN HAHAHAA

There’s a dream wedding sequence that throws me for a loop because it’s between Dawson and Joey, and their vows sound like this:

Joey: We’ve been through so much, Dawson. So many good times and bad. When I loved you, you loved Jen. And when you loved me, I needed to be on my own. So I left you for Jack, and then he realized he was gay.

Dawson: And then I convinced you to turn your dad in for trafficking cocaine, and…you said you’d never speak to me again.

Joey: But I did. I offered myself to you at that party after you crashed your dad’s boat.

Dawson: And I refused… for some reason. And so you fell for Pacey.

Joey: And years passed… until finally here we are… saying, “I do.” The way it should be… the only way it can be for star-crossed, ill-fated soul mates. So, I do.

Dawson: I do, too.

HONESTLY THIS SHOW WAS SO RIDICULOUS. But those Dawson Joey shippers must have loved this scene, which actually turned out to be a fake scene the characters were filming for The Creek.

The older woman Pacey’s been sleeping with, played by Virginia Madsen, eyes Pacey enjoying himself  at the wedding reception, and Pacey, battered and bruised since her husband beat her up, tells Joey to play along and dance with him but Virginia Madsen is all giving him the evil eye. Like, calm da fuck down. To pile it on, Pace even kisses Joey to make her jealous. Well, it worked.

Ahhhh Jen collapsed at the wedding. This is bad (I know what happens which might actually be worse. This is why I don’t like spoilers.) Turns out Jen has been battling this heart problem for a while but decided not to tell anyone.

JEN AND JACK – DID I SAY I MIGHT SHIP THEM THE MOST? Or at least almost as much as Pacey and Joey? Ugh seeing them go through this is heartbreaking. No pun intended. Jack, rightfully so, wants to know why Jen, his bestest friend in the entire world, didn’t tell him about her health problems, but all she wants to do is not talk about it and talk about possible love interests for him, but even Jack isn’t up to engage in what he calls “patented, meaningless, good-humored Jack-Jen fag-hag banter”. Gonna miss these two.

Okay, in my whole ‘procrastinating/not wanting to see the finale shenans’ I watched the episode of Don’t Trust the B- where James Van Der Beek attempts to get a Dawson’s Creek reunion episode and the only person who shows up is Busy Phillips. If you’ve gotten this far in my ramblings, you should watch it – it’s on Netflix!

Notable Quotes:

Joey: Get over it. What is the big deal? So I like a teen soap. So what?

Christopher: The way it possesses you is what frightens me, honestly. Every Wednesday at 8:00, you enter this supernatural portal of teen angst.

Joey: I have an emotional connection to it you wouldn’t understand.

Christopher: Will Sam and Colby ever get together? Will Sam choose Petey? Will Sam choose Colby? Find out next week as we continue to beat a dead dog all the way into syndication!

***

Gale: Ah! You’re here! Yay! Oh, look at you. You get handsome every time I see you.

Dawson: Mom, I look terrible. I’ve aged 10 years in the past 9 months.

***

{Pacey’s driving with Joey & Dawson to the hospital after Jen collapses}

Joey: I’m worried. This isn’t good.

Dawson: She’s gonna be fine. Right? I mean, we don’t know anything. Let’s not jump to conclusions.

Pacey: Yeah. And she’s young. She’s healthy.

Dawson: Best thing we can do is just be ourselves– carry on in our typical, usual, distracting…

Pacey: Sordid love triangle ways.

Dawson: Leave it up to you to say the most inappropriate thing possible.

Pacey: Aw, I’m always dependable, my friend.

Joey: So very not funny. {her cell phone rings} Hi, Christopher.

Dawson: And the triangle becomes a square.

Pacey: Well put.

***

Jack: Hey, what’s up with Audrey, anyway? Anybody talk to her lately?

Joey: Audrey’s singing backup for John Mayer. She’s touring Europe, and she’s got some boyfriend she calls the anti-Pacey. He’s totally boring and… really sweet or something.

Pacey: And “really sweet,” as opposed to the actual Pacey? And that from my ex-girlfriend, no less.

Joey: Pacey…thank you so much for reopening this place. I did not know how much I missed it.

Pacey: Maybe if your daddy hadn’t burned it down in the first place, it’d still be yours

Joey: Ohh, nice, Pacey. Nice.

Dawson: I couldn’t write this stuff if I tried.

Joey: How long has it been?

Pacey: Not long enough, apparently.

Jen: Oh Dawson… remember when I de-virginized you?

Pacey: What?!

Episode 24

Alright guys. Here we are. Last episode. Like, forever. I’m not emotionally prepared for this, but then again, are you really ever prepared when it comes to series finales?

Again I know what happens to Jen, but how did you people deal with not knowing if she’s going to die or not?? I mean it’s like, as a TV fan you want to believe they won’t kill off a main character because how could they? Even if it is the series finale and all.

It’s really unfortunate that Joshua Jackson has to have stitches and a black eye for the finale.

I really shouldn’t be allowed to watch shows like this because this food fight scene with Pacey and Joey is making me squeal. Literally squeal like a teenager in the nosebleeds seats at a One Direction concert.

Jen has some one on one girl time with Joey and she tells her that her dying wish is for her to stop running (aka stop running from Pacey). JEN IS SO WISE BEYOND HER YEARS THIS ISN’T FAIR.

Jen asks Dawson to videotape her leaving a final life lesson video for her daughter. I’M NOT CRYING YOURE CRYING.

Annddd Pacey is showing Jen B-roll of the footage they shot for the season one opening credits. Is this meta or am I making it meta?And I just realized Jen’s parents aren’t here. I mean they probably couldn’t fit them into the budget but still.

Just remembered that Meredith Monroe shot a scene that got cut and she looks amazing. And is a doctor in Boston?? The video below includes her cut scenes, but also the scenes where Jack calls Jen his soulmate (STOPPP) and Grams says her final goodbye by saying, “See you soon, child. Soon” (NOOOOO)

Jack and Dougie, finally out and proud, are so friggin tender I cannot. AND Jack basically adopts his goddaughter (Amy) once Jen passes away and they have an adorable little family!!!!

More full circle moments as Dawson and Joey have a heart to heart discussion at his house. Really, the will they or won’t they is right up until the end, isn’t it?

Look, as much as I ship Pacey and Joey, Dawson has in this final talk with Joey in that they’ll always have each other as soulmates and be together forever in this place beyond friends and lovers. Sometimes your soulmate isn’t necessarily who you’re meant to live your romantic life with. Which is perfect because Joey fulfills Jen’s dying wish and tells Pacey she wants to stop running, and essentially be with him. Pacey apparently leaves his restaurant behind and moves to NYC to be with Joey in her swanky apartment, which Jeremy Sisto has since vacated. The reveal is nail-biting as they don’t show Pacey as the guy Joey’s with til the very end. And he’s crying. Oh sensitive Pacey Witter I will miss you.

OMG fake Joey on The Creek just used the ‘I don’t wanna wait’ line! Just when you think it’s getting good.

Notable Quotes:

Dawson: She’s dying. Jo, she’s gonna die, and all I can think about is some frickin’ ending to some stupid TV show. I keep thinking there’s gonna be time for the rest of it, but it–it–it runs out.

Joey: Yes, it does.

Dawson: Nothing in my life feels real anymore. I’ve lost touch with my family, my friends, you… and you and me together is the only thing that ever made sense to me, and I forgot that… until I saw you, and then it came back, what we were, and we’re not even together.

Joey: Do you not watch the Creek? We’re together every Wednesday at 8:00. Dawson, you wrote a show about us.

Dawson: And that’s the problem. I’ve turned my entire life into fiction. It’s not even real life that I’m living anymore.

Joey: It is real, in the best way possible. Dawson, do you know how lucky you are? You’re a writer. You get to live life twice. Who else can do that?

***

Guys, it’s over. It’s been a great six months getting to watch this iconic piece of American teen drama from the beginning for the very first time. In the end, I’m glad I watched it, and it was definitely worth spending almost 90 hours of my life dedicated to the gang from Capeside. I can see why it’s considered one of the best examples of this genre, and despite the fact that there are undoubtedly problems riddled throughout the series, at its core, it is a fairly accurate portrayal (somewhat exaggerated at times) of life as a teenager. I mean, it’s no John Hughes, but it’s definitely a program that will go down in teen TV drama history.

ALSO: PACEY-CON GUYS. PACEY-CON.

The Duggar Girls: A Style Chronology

It’s no secret that we’re a little fascinated by the Duggar family.  I hold the same befuddled interest in them that leads people to read ethnographic studies in National Geographic. I may not have seen their TV show for years, but we’ll always have fond memories of creating a slightly sarcastic Duggar Facebook group – only to be inundated with Duggar groupies.  I promise, we’re even going to do a C+S Book Club post on the Duggar girls’ book — as soon as we gather the mental fortitude to read it.

Jill’s wedding this past weekend has me thinking about why this family is so fascinating. Sure, part of it is that they have 97 kids and a lifestyle that is completely foreign to me. Part of it is hate-watching for hints of Vision Forum creepiness. But I think a good bit of why this family has such a huge audience is getting to see the variations in how the kids all go through their childhood and teen years. There are so many Duggars that you get to see all of it — the carefree tomboy (Joy-Anna), the girl who’s too cool for her family (Jinger), the gawky teens who manage to become really pretty (Jill and Jana), the golden child who wouldn’t know an awkward phase if it hit her in the face (Jessa). You get to experience all the awkwardness of trying to find your style footing as a teen, without having to be the one to go through it yourself.

When the Duggars first hit the airwaves a decade ago, they looked like something out of Little House On The Prairie. I distinctly remember Jana sewing bonnets for her sisters. They wore matching teddy-bear-print dresses, even the girls who would be in middle school if their mom weren’t teaching them about Noah’s tea parties with the dinosaurs instead. But today, the Duggar ladies look almost stylish! What a journey it’s been.

14 Children And Pregnant Again – 2004 – 2005

Isn’t it weird to look at a family and thing “wow, they ONLY had 14 kids then!” This is when we first met the Duggar girls, and they were …. um… not looking awesome. The year was 2004, which style-wise involved a lot of flared jeans and fake tans, but which wasn’t super Doctor Quinn-y. You’d never know from looking at these kiddos.

Jana – who was in one hell of an awkward phase, so thank heavens my family had a normal number of kids so I didn’t have to be on reality TV – has a collar bigger than a Thanksgiving turkey platter. Jessa has puffed sleeves that would make Anne Shirley blush.

Nope, that’s not a 44-year-old midwestern piano teacher who attends the local Kingdom Hall. That’s Jana, proving that awkward phases can always get awkwarder. Those bangs were not her fault; she was just a kid. Bless.

Here, the Duggar ladies teach us how to “draw attention to our countenance.” The trick is to wear dresses so horribly hideous that nobody will want to look at them. What is Joy-Anna wearing? Is it a Laura Ashley shower curtain? It is, I think.

Raising 16 Children / 16 Children And Moving In / On The Road With 16 Children – 2006

There are more bangs, now. Not just any bangs – bangs curled under with a round brush. A few girls are still sporting jumpers made out of bold patters culled from the discount fabric rack. However, some of them have graduated to button-up tops with t-shirts underneath, lest we be exposed to some errant collarbone. True facts: our high school dress code prohibited us from showing collar bone, which in most human anatomy, is nowhere near your boobs, anyway. We coined the term “collar-bone slut” for those days when you wore your clavicle loud and proud.

Here, the children are forced to dress alike because when you hit the road with 16 kids, it’s really easy to lose one or five of them.

YOU BETTER WERQ.

Take a look at those countenances, kids.

Duggars’ Big Family Album – 2007

There are now 17 children – yes, it took 17 J names to get to Jennifer. You may think there’s still a lot of permed hair and ankle length skirts, and … well, you’re right. But there are some changes afoot. Yes, I would pinpoint 2007 as the year the Duggar ladies dressed a little less like my childhood porcelain doll collection and a little more, in their words “modern modest.” Sure, they still look a little like a kid trying to fashion a pioneer costume out of stuff that’s already in their wardrobe, but look closer. Of the older girls, only Jessa is wearing a jumper, and let’s be real, they probably made her wear jumpers longer because she’s the pretty one. The others look borderline-normal, with modern tops and more casual skirts. Little Joy-Anna is still in a frock with ankle-socks, but she’s also a small child.

For the most part, bangs have been replaced by crispy perms and these brushed-over quasi-bang sections of hair in the front.

This is just further support for my Jessa-Jumper theory. Note, again, the collarbone-obscuring white tees.

If you’re wondering why I’m not doing a post about the Duggar boys’ fashion, it’s because it seems that the family policy for boy clothes is “Fashion? Yolo! – Wear a Polo!” or possibly “Buttons of four – show it the door! Buttons three – it’s right for me!”

17 Kids And Counting / 18 Kids And Counting / 19 Kids And Counting

So many kids, so much counting. By the time they get an original series, the girls’ style starts getting so much better. Some skirts even almost show knee! The girls go through those style phases that I guess happen even if you don’t go to high school with other kids: sunglasses on the head indoors, flip flops when they should be wearing proper footwear, improperly styled side bangs. Ah, youth.

But really, what an improvement. If you looked closely you’d realize they’re all wearing skirts, but they aren’t calling attention to themselves anymore. Which, when you think about it, is way MORE modest, right?

The Duggar style evolution (oops, that may be a swear word in Duggar parlance) was never more evident than when they visited the Bates family. I think this is the first time we heard the phrase “modern modest,” as one of the girls (Jinger, probably) said “we’re more modern modest, and the Bates are more…” I forget the end of the sentence, but you could easily fill in the word “collared,” “jumper-y” or “be-calicoed.” A few elder Bates girls even had Gibson Girl-worthy pompadours, if the Gibson Girls hadn’t been such hussies. Basically, they looked like the 2004-era Duggars. Amazing what a tv show will do for your fashion consciousness.See? They’re in public in different colored shirts, the girls are accessorizing and wearing skirts of reasonable length, they’ve sprayed on some tan. I know this isn’t about the Duggar boys, but they’re even letting them wear fitted jeans. The times really are a-changin’.

PANTS.

And here we are today. Except for the number of kids, this looks like a normal family. In the final step away from outdated fashion, the girls have loose curls instead of crunchy perms.

But the truest sign that the future is moving in? Look at the flock of little Duggar girls. They’re wearing long tunics over leggings. That’s practically pants. Unlike their big sisters, they’ll never know teen years of teddy-print jumpers, six-inch collars, and hairsprayed bangs.

Praise be.

 

ICYMI: Dear Alma Mater

Class of ’04 week is officially ending today, but let’s have one last look at us at teens because you’ll never get to see these pictures again (jk this is the internet.)

Class of ’04: Traci & Molly’s High School Reunion

As Class of ’04 Week comes to a close, we’re taking today to look back at our own personal experience in high school. Like everyone else who spent four years trapped inside a building with pubescent teens and seemingly endless piles of homework (that we may or may not have done), we have fond memories of our time together in those hallowed halls. From being theatre nerds to drama with friends and a trip that took us to meet our very first (gay) boyfriend in Europe, the anecdotes are endless. Since the odds of us attending our upcoming (official) 10 year reunion are the same as, say, Britney and Justin getting back together or my Beanie Babies collection being worth $1 mil, or ever knowing the real way to pronounce ‘Xanga’, we now share with you reflections on our teen selves as adults 10 years later – in lieu of a real reunion.

Recess/Lunch (You Can’t Sit With Us)

M: I could still draw the social geography of our high school cafeteria from memory. Having multiple groups you sit with depending on the day was okay – I floated a bit – but going to a table that wasn’t part of your usual scene just wasn’t done. To the extent that freshman year when I went to the senior boy table to give my brother my leftover lunch money and stayed there a while, THAT was the moment he decided I was sort-of cool. One time they tried to start this Change Your Seat Day, and we were all like “this is some kind of crazy bullshit.”

T: I weirdly remember the geography too. In fact freshman year, I almost sat with the girls who played sports – because my friends from middle school played volleyball, not because I did HAHA – but I decided to sit somewhere else instead. That somewhere else was the theater/band/chorus section, where I usually sat. Although, like Molly, I think I floated a bit, between that table, the table that our group of friends started that was kind of a mish mosh of folks, and when I felt daring, the minority table (read: black table). I used to sit at the black table all throughout middle school, but that’s because we were all friends. In high school, it was like two of them were my friends and the rest were the guys who played football. Nope.

This was not in our school’s cafeteria, this was at the annual theatre banquet our senior year.

M: The volleyball thing reminds me of that period right at the beginning of freshman year when you’re trying to get your bearings, and you hang out with people that you end up not even saying hi to in the hall four years later. The same thing happened in college, too. You befriended some random group of people, figured out who you really want to spend time with within a few months, and by graduation you didn’t even know their names.

T: And I’m still friends with those people on Facebook. Still trying to get myself to unfriend them, but stalking is just so satisfying on the internetz.

AP Life Class

M: While I think you really have to learn things by experience, there are still some things I wish I’d known:

♦ Straighten your hair or wear it curly, but please do not just blow-dry it and leave it sort of puffy and lumpy and sad.

♦ Being as young and enthusiastic and optimistic as you are at 17 is attractive no matter what you look like. But also, looking back at pictures I can’t believe I didn’t realize that I looked perfectly normal, not the ugly sewer-troll I thought I was. Besides, nobody cares what you look like; they’re all too busy with their own lives. Maybe that’s the biggest lesson: nobody else really cares what you look like, so you shouldn’t either.

♦ You really AREN’T going to use calculus.

♦ A high school teacher said this once, but I had to live it to know if was true: a lot of your best friends and people you’ll love most in your life are people you haven’t met yet.  It’s easy to be myopic when you’re a teenager but your relationships when you’re 16 aren’t IT. Or at 27, for that matter.

T: Like Tim Riggins, I also have no regrets, but here we go:

♦ Pay attention during instructions for school picture day. I came from a middle school where you could dress up (aka not wear the required uniform) for picture day, and assumed it was the same in high school. So freshman year, I showed up in a long black skirt, white shirt, with a black button up short sleeve shirt that wasn’t buttoned up. I got pulled over by one of the vice principals who asked why I wasn’t in dress code. I blamed it on my stupidity. Probs my most embarrassing moment in my high school career.

♦ Hang out with your friends outside of school more. Because our school was a private school with kids from all over the greater Rochester area, my friends lived all over the city, not down the street. In fact I had no friends that lived down the street from me. Anyways, I didn’t really hang out with my friends on weekends for real until late junior year. I wish we had more nights together.

♦ Take that journalism class. Because it will help you for your future job, probably (aka the job I have now).

♦ Don’t be afraid to do more extracurriculars. I wish I could’ve done choir all four years, been involved in theatre somehow even when I wasn’t cast in the show, and I totally could’ve made the yearbook much better than it was our senior year.

♦ Don’t be afraid. Period. I think I was trying too hard to be “adult” by the time I was a senior that I forgot how to be a teenager and just not think about the possible consequences. I mean, it’s not like I was breaking any laws, I just mean I shouldn’t have have been so uptight about life in general.


We went to a Catholic high school – in fact, both of us spent our entire early educational years in Rochester’s Catholic school system, so we were used to it. But for those of you public school kids who, like parents to Will Smith, ‘just don’t understand’, we’re here to assure you that really, Catholic school was fine.

 Seriously, You Guys, Catholic School Was Fine

At a party in college, a friend from my city asked me about the high school in my suburb. “Well, I lived there, but I actually went to Catholic school.”
“Oh God,” he answered, “I’m sorry.”

But the thing is? I’m not sorry at all. People sometimes assume that, because I grew up into a politically liberal adult who likes outfits, my Catholic school years were probably unbearable — a wasteland of conservative repression and hideous uniforms. Or that since I don’t regularly go to a Catholic church these days, I’ve probably turned against it and am all bitter about it.[1] It’s true that I could go my whole life without wearing another jumper or hearing On Eagles’ Wings[2] again, but for the most part, it was a pretty non-traumatic way to grow up. Here are some misconceptions I’ve run across, and how things actually played out for me:

A nun named Sister William Gerald[3] probably hit you with rulers. First of all, most of my teachers weren’t nuns. They were middle-aged married women[4] wearing adult jumpers. And the nuns that were there were actually pretty nice, usually. True, they didn’t take crap from anyone, but generally in a typical old-lady sense. And I’d be stern too, if I were them. My piano lessons were in the convent, and they had the saddest, smallest, antennaed black and white t.v. – and this was in the mid-90s. Vow of poverty and all that. I mean, you all know how we feel about t.v. around here, right?  Also they had to listen to 6-year-olds play Hot Cross Buns and Ode To Joy all day long. They had a tiny chapel with stained glass windows in the convent, and that was pretty cool, though. But having my own personal, tiny church would not make up for a sub-par television experience. I guess that’s what you get for marrying a famous guy who is also invisible (read: Jesus).

You were denied self-expression because you had to wear uniforms. This probably is just me being a nerd, but I loved my plaid uniform. I liked that I didn’t have to think about what to wear every day. Before a dress-down day, I would look through my entire wardrobe and consult with 2-3 friends by telephone to plan my outfit. There is no way I could have handled that pressure on a daily basis. In retrospect, it was nice that you never knew which kids had tons of nice clothes and which ones didn’t.  Everyone, rich or poor, tall or short, fat or thin, had an equal opportunity to look shapeless and terrible. In terms of creative expression, I had things like crayons and school plays, you know? I creatively expressed myself through clothing in my off-hours, and let me tell you, the results were less than spectacular. Lots of stirrup pants, really, as was the style of the time.

By first grade, this uniform hadn’t stopped me from becoming 39 lbs of concentrated sass.

Your teachers were unqualified, and you only learned about Jesus(/Mary/Joseph). This is the only misconception that I take sort of personally: first of all, I know I received a really good education, and second, my mother is mega-educated and is a Catholic school principal. All of our teachers had masters degrees, just like yours. The graduation standards of my high school were well above my state’s regents diploma. I started college credit courses my sophomore year, and I think senior year was an all-AP schedule for me. I swear we learned about evolution and all of that.[5] We just had religion classes on top of it. This paid off in college, when I entertained friends with Bible Story Time With Molly, where I’d share ridiculous, gruesome, or filthy stories that actually appear in the Bible. In high school I developed a theory that some of that stuff was written by ancient Israelites who ate bad desert mushrooms, etched their musings on stone tablets, then stashed them in a bunch of holy scrolls where they assumed nobody would ever look.

My former elementary is now a public school, but there’s still a cross on top, which I guess is allowed??

You didn’t know about any other religions. In college, I remember meeting classmates and friends who had gone to public school and didn’t know the difference between Catholics and Protestants (or “Catholics and Christians,” as a few maintained that the two were mutually exclusive. Ugh.). I’m not saying that public schools do a bad job of teaching about world religions, I’m just saying that going to one is no guarantee that you are better-informed than a Catholic schooler. My schools did a great job teaching about other religions, and my class even had an awesome partnership with students at a school in Israel. I’d also like to point out that (1) not everyone in my school was Catholic, or even Christian, and (2) like public schoolers, I had … you know, neighbors and friends from outside of school and stuff.

Those were the kids who got beat up in my neighborhood. Yep … okay, yeah. I can’t refute that, because that’s potentially very true. On Sundays, public school kids from our church used to use our classrooms for religious ed. Those punks used to mess with our desks every single week! They even left the cover off of our incubator when we were hatching baby chickens. Luckily the teacher checked on them right after, so no harm there. We were so pathetic that we got out our big classroom chart paper and wrote them a letter asking them to please stop taking our things, if you don’t mind.

1 I would absolutely go to a friendly, non-judgmental church! But do I have to memorize the new mass responses?
2 On Eagles’ Wings is engineered to make people cry at funerals, and vows that God will “make you to shine like the sun,” like a new car or a Twilight vampire.

This song was part of the “contemporary” Catholic music movement of the 70s and 80s. Usually this kind of music is performed by a “folk group,” which is comprised of 4-7 elderly people, one of whom has a guitar. All of the ladies have wavery old-lady church voices. In many churches, the “folk group” is still a “hip” attempt to “reach out to the youth.”

3 My parents have verified that, in the ‘50s and ‘60s, nuns with men’s names were all-around more terrifying that nuns with ladies’ names. So, if your substitute was Sr. Damian Louis, you knew you were worse off than if you had Sr. Margaret Elizabeth.
4 One time someone asked if my mom was a nun since she’s always worked in Catholic schools, and I was all, I don’t think you really get how this nun thing works…
5 In the interest of transparency, our health class was lacking. It was one semester long, and sex ed was basically just graphic descriptions of STIs, and a warning that condoms had tiny holes for AIDS to get through (maybe it was just my teacher? When talking about the id he pronounced it “the I.D.”. He was only on staff because he was a coach, and I think this kind of thing happens at public schools too, maybe? I am basing this opinion entirely off of Mean Girls.) That lasted for about a week, and the rest of the time we watched outdated TV movies about Tracy Gold overcoming things. On a related note, there were like 3-4 pregnant girls my senior year.

 

Saturday Spotlight: Class Of ’04 Week

A decade ago this week, we graduated from high school. A fifth grader ago! The entire run of Friends ago! HOW?! We couldn’t let the occasion go by without a MAJOR blog celebration, so we spent the entire week taking you back to 2004.


 Class of ’04: Celebrity Superlatives

Best Dressed

Paris Hilton

 Guys, this Paris Hilton girl is apparently a big deal and she has this weird show with her best friend Nicole Richie that’s like about them going to different parts of America and having different jobs even though they’re both uber rich. But I can’t help but notice Paris’ style. It’s so edgy and hip! I’m probably never going to wear anything like this, but I bet a lot of other girls will soon enough!

Most Likely to Succeed

Beyonce of Destiny’s Child

Through a whole bunch of lineup changes, DC3 finally settled with Beyonce, Kelly and Michelle, but the two longest members of the group, Beyonce and Michelle have always stood out. Okay, maybe just Beyonce. There’s just something about her that makes you want to see more. If she does solo stuff in the future, she’s definitely one to watch out for!


Class of ’04: In Memoriam – Things That Existed in 2004 & Don’t Now

Ecto Cooler

If you’re an ’04 grad, Ecto Cooler was probably a staple of your childhood. I can still taste it now – a thick, corn-syrupy, vaguely citrusy drink that was almost always room temperature, because I was usually drinking it from a Hi-C juice box that had been sitting in my coatroom for 4 hours. Now Ecto-Cooler really is but a slimy green ghost: it was renamed in 2001 and discontinued entirely in 2007.

I have a hunch that if I used organic ingredients, set myself up in a hipster enclave, and started making artisinal Ecto-Cooler, I could make a killing.

Guys Who Were Born In The 1800s

RIP. Like, literally RIP. Ten years ago there were a pretty good number of folks alive who were born in the 1800s, but now the Lost Generation is… well, you know. The world’s oldest man just died (am I supposed to still call him that? Such a confusing honorific). Anyway, he was born in 1903. There are no more living World War I vets, either.  Shout-out to the five still-living women holding it down for the 19th Century ladies. I can’t help but hope that one of them is actually Samantha Parkington.

Samantha Parkington (And Molly, Felicity, And Kirsten)

Speaking of Samantha Parkington, everybody take your $30 doll-sized tea service and pour a little out for our homie. American Girl has discontinued those 90s girl status symbols Samantha, Molly, Felicity, and Kirsten. But that doesn’t stop us from wanting to dress like them. (1, 2, 3)


 Class of ’04: What’s My Age Again?

Oops… I Did It Again

January 3rd: Britney Jean Spears decided to go to Las Vegas and marries her childhood friend Jason Allen Alexander at The Little White Wedding Chapel, the same place where Paul Newman married Joanne Woodward and Pamela Anderson tied the knot with Rick Salomon (the first time).

January 5th: Brit filed an annulment petition stating she “lacked understanding of her actions” and two hours later, her marriage was completely dissolved.

July 5th: Brit gets engaged to dancer Kevin Federline, whom she met three months earlier. Besides the fact that their relationship was on the fast track to marriage (read: divorce), they were under a lot of heat since Kevin’s and his ex-girlfriend Shar Jackson was still pregnant with their second child.

September 18: B & KFed get married. This is a picture that was taken during the reception.


 Class of ’04: Playlist of the Month

Your Body is a Wonderland by John Mayer

I honestly could’ve picked any one of JM’s songs from Room for Squares album for this playlist and it still would accurately be the soundtrack to my high school life. I remember listening to this record non stop, particularly this song – and of course, I would pretend he was singing it to me. Remember this is pre-pretentious John Mayer, so it was okay. I lived and died by all his albums, and even played Wheel off Heavier Things for one of my religion classes (we went to a Catholic high school, I guess one of the things we had to do was bring in a “prayer song”? IDK all I recall is that I tried to be all deep with Wheel and some kid brought in the full, like, 7 minute version of The Doors’ Light My Fire). Also: Heavier Things, tho.

New Slang by The Shins

From here, my list turns into a tour of sensitive indie rock of the early 2000s. My musical tastes were very Seth Cohen-y, to use a 2004-vintage reference. This was before that time in 2005-2006 when “Garden State soundtrack” became a shorthand for a type of music, but – well, obviously that’s what we’re looking at here.

History lesson: the internet was smaller then, and finding a band that wasn’t played on top-40 radio felt like a real discovery.  With no iTunes, if you wanted a record you either had to download illegally (mea culpa!) or scour a real-life music store. If you wonder why hipsters are so insufferable about liking things before they were cool, it’s probably because back in the day they really had to earn it. There was no tumblr to tell teens what they were supposed to like, there was TRL and Teen People and you had to dig to find things outside of that.


Class of ’04: Traci & Molly’s High School Reunion

Introduction to Theater

M: We sort of had a weirdly politicized high school theater department, which I think is such a normal thing. Like, the same kids got all the roles even if they weren’t great, and it was impossible to edge your way in there. Both of us came in with more “experience” (whatever) than a lot of kids, but since we started sophomore or junior year it was like “nope, sorry.” And I was like BITCH I WAS IN AN EDUCATIONAL VIDEO ALREADY.

T: And I was all BITCH I’VE BEEN IN ALL THE PRODUCTIONS OF MY CHURCH MUSICALS DAMNNNN. But really. I think I went into the freshman year audition of Cinderella thinking I was the shit and ended up not even getting into the chorus. It wasn’t until junior year when both Molly & I got into Crazy For You – and I got in only because I was good at tap dancing and somehow made the “dance troupe/Follies Girls”. I felt like I finally had an in but senior year, I was determined to get a good role for the musical, My Fair Lady. I started taking voice lessons from a local music school just so I could properly prepare for my audition. I guess it worked because I played Mrs. Pearce, the head housekeeper. CATCH YOUR DREAMS, KIDS. SHACKLE THEM TO YOUR HEART.

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M: But the most memorable theater experience by far was The Theater Bandit. During the spring musical, stuff kept disappearing from kids’ backpacks during rehearsals. After a while it became clear it was someone involved in the play. THEN a big sum of money went missing the day of our dress rehearsal, and the play was going to be cancelled – cancelled! – if the person didn’t fess up or turn in the money. The directors called everyone up onto the stage, one by one, and went through their bookbags to look for it. Girls were crying.

Honestly, even for the theater department, calling each kid up to be searched right at center stage was a liiiiitle dramatic. There were three chairs – one for the kid and one for each director – and in my imagination, a spotlight. Maybe some suspenseful piano music.

T: But really, in my head it looked like the “green mile” on So You Think You Can Dance right before they find out if they make the top 20 or not.

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