We Need To Talk About Happy Endings’ “New Day”

Happy Endings fans – we need to talk about the show. If you’re not a Happy Endings fan, you are missing one of the greatest things that has ever happened to television so stop reading this right now and go out and buy the DVDs of all three seasons and binge watch until you look like Max hibernating in his apartment.

Great. Welcome back all Happy Endings fans new and old. In February, someone from the Happy Endings writers’ room Twitter account posted a mysterious link to this countdown, with the phrase, “It’s almost a new day”. WHAT DOES IT MEAN, cried every single person in the fandom. Some folks quickly figured out that the countdown led to April 1st – AKA April Fool’s Day AKA THE DAY EVERYONE THINKS THEY’RE A JOKER (see whole rant here).

Since then, the anon Tweeter has been posting random hints, like pictures of Michael Jordan – who not only played for the Chicago Bulls/the city where Happy Endings takes place – but made a brief comeback to the Washington Wizards, the great Mark Morrison hit, RETURN of the Mack, stuff about ketchup, and coordinates to the Four Seasons Hotel in Chi-town.

All these hints could mean nothing or they could mean something, but I’m hoping they do mean something, like a brief reunion of sorts? A revival on Netflix? Recently, the anon did start following the Netflix and Yahoo! Screen accounts on Twitter.

So in saying this, I’m a naturally positive person. I’m a “everything happens for a reason” type of gal. No cynical bones in my body. Which is why I really think something significant will happen come April 1st.

Reasons Why I Think This Is Not Bullshit

  • Ever since the show was cancelled in 2013, it has had a strong cult following grow year by year. Happy Endings’ grassroots fans used word of mouth as a weapon, also with the help of TV critics and Internet critics who loved the show and will forever put it on the “Cancelled Too Soon” lists from now until eternity. Fans were clamoring for more when it ended, and that need/want hasn’t faltered since
  • This is the age of TV where there are 10 million pilots made and only a handful are actually picked up. But this is also the age where shows like Community or Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, both of which were given the axe by NBC, were picked up by online services Yahoo! Screen and Netflix, respectively. TV is changing, so why can’t Happy Endings do the same too?
  • Adam Pally is leaving The Mindy Project and Damon Wayans Jr. is leaving New Girl. Eliza Coupe’s show Benched, was recently cancelled, Casey Wilson is on the bubble for renewal for Marry Me, and Elisha Cuthbert and Zachary Knighton are on shows that could possibly get the boot. Are they secretly quitting all their current jobs to be avail for Happy Endings reincarnate??
  • Adam Pally said this of the countdown to The Huffington Post: “I can’t tell you anything. I know as much as you. I’ll tell you this: I know the origin of that Happy Endings countdown clock was not intended to be where it is headed. That’s as much as I can give you.” BUT LIKE, OBVIOUSLY HE KNOWS SOMETHING, RIGHT
  • It would be extremely mean to have a 50+ day countdown to nothing. 

But even for the most positive of people, I know that like most things in life, we can’t get our hopes up too high.

Reasons Why I Think This Is Bullshit

  • It’s on April Fool’s Day. Honestly, this “holiday” needs to stop. Reiterating this with another link to my previous post.
  • Reps for Netflix, Amazon, and Yahoo have all denied any news of a comeback. ABC bosses are clueless, Sony (the studio that produced the show) has “no comment”. This could also mean something is most definitely happening.
  • The writers link pranks. See Season 3, Episode 12, “The Marry Prankster
  • Casey Wilson is pregnant. Her husband, the creator of Happy Endings and their new show Marry Me, still might have a second season of the NBC show to get ready for, come fall.
  • Speaking of Casey Wilson, she’s a life ruiner. She ruins people’s lives (jk, love ya Pen Pen, but ugh). In a new interview, Casey basically shuts all the speculation down. And she would know, because, again, her husband was the creator of Happy Endings (yes, that’s how they met).
It’s certainly nothing to my knowledge so I think it might be our writer’s assistant joking around and unfortunately, I know it’s not a welcome joke for everyone necessary.

Casey Wilson: I know. I don’t love that he did it to be honest. But at the same time, I think he was framing it like he knew fans would be excited. I don’t think he meant it in any way but to my knowledge, there’s nothing moving forward. I mean I’m still on the show.

You’d probably know.

CW: I would hope. I would hope. But nothing sadly and I apologize if it got anyone excited… It got me excited.

For a second, were you like, “Oh, great, why didn’t they tell me”?

Yeah. I was like I’m sure they want to tell because they’re bringing me such a great offer that they want to wait… So nothing yet.

You’d think I’d be convinced that there’s definitely nothing happening  after Casey’s interview, but I’m still holding on to a glimmer of hope. Maybe at least a small series of webisodes?? A TV movie a la Lifetime? I’ll even settle for a reunion where the cast sits around and does nothing but drink and and eat ribs. Anything. Just let it be something. I can’t be the only one who’s dying over this! And there’s less than 24 hours left!!! What do y’all think? Are we just wasting our time? SHOULD WE ALL JUST GET TOGETHER AND HAVE A MASSIVE HAPPY ENDINGS VIEWING PARTY??

The Frappuccino, And Other 20-Year-Old Foods

Happy birthday, Frappuccino! Starbucks’ premier beverage – proof that a milkshake by any other name really would taste as sweet – just turned 20. That means that this year’s incoming college freshmen never even lived in a world without the frap. Good for them. Who would want to?

Okay, I’m not actually a hardcore frappuccino enthusiast. However, I can remember what a big deal they were when they first came out, during a time when “iced  coffee” was spoken in such a tone that you could actually hear the quotation marks around the phrase. The frap brought coffee and espresso beverages to a whole new season (summer) and a whole new demographic (children). I felt super grown-up ordering a Venti Mocha Frappuccino with Whip at Barnes and Noble in 6th grade while perusing James Cameron’s Titanic book for the third time because that shit costs $19.99 and my gift card is only for 15 dollars, and this became my gateway drug into the world of caffeinated drinks. Starbucks, at least in me, you have created a monster.

The mid-90s were actually a big, weird time in processed food history. While you’re sipping your signature Birthday Cake Frappuccino today, raise your glass to these other treats that turn the big 2-0 this year.

Stuffed Crust Pizza – Pizza Hut

Two of my childhood obsessions – pizza and mozzarella sticks – combined into one food? Pizza Hut, you shouldn’t have. I can still remember my excitement when my friend Patty’s mom ordered the stuffed crust pizza at a sleepover. There was a marinara dipping sauce, and despite the resemblance to mozzarella sticks, her mom didn’t remind me not to choke and die like my mom always did. [There was, like, one well-publicized news story about a kid choking on mozzarella sticks, and I’m pretty sure it was a baby, but moms grabbed onto that information and wouldn’t let go.] The commercials said that you would want to eat your pizza “crust first” but that’s not true. You’d save the best part for last. Stuffed crust pizza was at once entirely unnecessary and seriously so necessary.

DiGiorno Rising Crust Pizza

What about when it’s NOT delivery? In those cases, it’s probably DiGiorno. In 1995, the rising crust pizza burst onto the scene and while I wouldn’t say I ever confused it for delivery, it was a hell of a lot better than Boboli. Remember Boboli? Anyway, the main pitfall of the frozen pizza – the flat, crispy crust – faded into the past, and suddenly it seemed a lot more respectable to dish out the frozen pizza at a slumber party. Just not AS respectable as Stuffed Crust*.

*Don’t worry, the future is now and you can currently buy DiGiorno stuffed crust.

Blue M&Ms

Next time you pour a handful of M&Ms, take a good look at the color selection. Then imagine if all of the blue M&Ms were tan instead. Yes, tan. Prior to 1995, M&Ms were significantly less colorful, like the first part of the Wizard of Oz, but after a popular mid-90s contest, the candies brightened up, like the second part of the Wizard of Oz. There was a big, pre-social media campaign to name the new M&M color, but the other entries – purple and pink – were obviously not as M&M appropriate. I voted blue and was thrilled to see the Empire State Building lit up blue after the winner was announced (we’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: the 90s were weird).

Here’s a curveball. Shortly after the contest, my mom noticed that the M&M-sponsored worksheet she’d been using in her classroom for years referred to “blue M&Ms.” So, did they know it was going to be blue all along? Had the worksheet guy time-slipped into the future? And why was my mother using an M&Ms handout to teach fourth grade?

Fruitopia

Fruitopia celebrated two decades in 2014, or it would have if the bev hadn’t died with pogs and sunflower hats. It’s hard to believe that they could bottle so much 90s into one little drink. It had psychadelic branding, “natural” juice that … wasn’t, Gen X-y marketing, and Peace And Love(TM) product names. Remember begging at the gas station for a bottle of Strawberry Passion Awareness, The Grape Beyond, or Fruit Integration? Those NAMES, oy. Coca Cola retired the Fruitopia brand in 2003, folding some surviving flavors into their Minute Maid flagship. Yeah, although Fruitopia was for awesome skaters who hung out under wall tapestries and Minute Maid was for moms who make the bed by billowing a crisp, white sheet into the air near an open window, they were basically the same thing.

Twizzler Pull n’ Peel

The mid-90s was all about taking time-honored junk food and doing weird stuff to it. Enter the Twizzler Pull n Peel. I have to say, I was never a huge fan of Twizzlers, but something about breaking the hard, flat rope into a twisted mass of smaller, softer round ropes was absolutely delicious. You could savor a single Pull ‘n Peel twist for ages, or you could bite through the whole thing for a whole mouthful of Twizzler. These bad boys are twenty years old and show no signs of slowing down.

French Toast Crunch

French Toast Crunch was just one of many high-concept, dessert-y cereals, like Oreo Os or Cookie Crisp. If the idea of toast and syrup condensed into cereal-sized nuggets and doused in milk doesn’t appeal to you, that isn’t surprising. For nearly a decade – from 2006 until the recent past – the product was off the shelves.  But it’s back now, so if you want to relive the 90s head to your nearest grocery store. Be warned: this crap had some sharp corners.

Arch Deluxe – McDonald’s

Looking a bit ahead, next year we will be celebrating the 20th birthday of the most adult burger of all time. Do you remember this? McDonald’s marketing concept was to bill this as a “grown-up” menu item, even though it was just a regular burger with bacon and some sort of sauce on it. It worked, I guess, because I was so offended that McDonald’s thought kids would hate the Arch Deluxe that I begged to try it. It was okay, not great, but at twice the price and twice the calories of a traditional cheeseburger, it didn’t last long.

Pop Tarts Crunch

Like I said: the mid-90s saw a lot of tinkering with junk foods to create Franken-junkfoods. Pop Tarts were already so unhealthy that I was only allowed to eat them for breakfast after I’d had an acceptable breakfast. I think this was actually worse than just letting me eat them for breakfast, since not only was I eating PopTarts, I was also eating two breakfasts. But I digress. What if you couldn’t choose between pop tarts and cereal? For a brief, shining moment from 1994- 1995, that’s not a question you ever had to answer. Pop Tarts Crunch cereal combined all the sugary unhealthiness of Pop Tarts with all of the sugary unhealthiness of kids’ cereals. What a time it was.

Doritos Tacos – Taco Bell

Wait, aren’t these new? Yes. And no. Taco Bell launched the Doritos taco shell a few years ago, but the shell was invented by advertising interns in 1995. I am not at all surprised. Doritos were THE Food in 1995, and we were obsessed with morphing our snacks into other snacks. Plus Taco Bell was super cool at the time – just not cool enough to incorporate Doritos into their fake Mexican experience.

ICYMI: Zayn Left 1D Everything Hurts And I’m Dying But Get Over It

Unless you have been living in a cone of silence or given up all news outlets for Lent, One Direction is down a man as Zayn Malik officially quit this week. Which means you only have a few more days to mourn his loss.

Directioners, I’m Giving You 5 Days

Are you a person over the age of 21, or a teen who isn’t into One Direction? Come on over. The internet is getting scary, and you’re in a safe place.

I’m much, much too old to actively dislike One Direction. I’ve heard probably three or four of their songs on the radio, and I could name three of the boys by first name without looking it up.

Well, two of them. Because this week, Zayn left the group, and now big chunks of the internet are going nutso.

Okay, adults and teens who aren’t into One Direction, I’m still talking to you. We need to give these kids five or so days to sort out their feelings. You hear that, Directioners? You have the better part of a week to deal with this.

Here’s my thinking. I was never the boy band type, but I know what it’s like to really love a pop culture phenomenon. I cried during the Friends finale, and I still miss Parks and Recreation. If a celebrity has a baby, I probably know what that baby’s name is. I can still tell you what day Bennifer was supposed to get married (I remember because it was my birthday, but still). So while I can’t directly relate to posting tear-streaked selfies because Zayn isn’t in the band anymore, I do get where these kids are coming from.

This is why we have to let the One Direction fangirls make a fuss now, as long as they don’t drag it on forever. It’s easy to laugh at teenagers for caring so much about things that don’t really matter. But how many times have you gotten upset or cried about ridiculous things? Probably quite a few, if you’re being honest.


Of course, a member leaving a boy band is nothing new, but the way folks react now is way different than in the 1990s, aka the boy band hey day.

Battle of the Boy Bands: 90s vs. Now

I’d like to consider myself a connoisseur of boy bands. While the height of my knowledge was reached somewhere between the years of 1998-2004, I’ve tried to keep abreast of the young artists these days and their teenybopper fans.

As a self-professed Backstreet Boys fan, I know what it’s like first hand to be in the ‘fandom’, and in just 10 years, the way boy bands and fans themselves has changed drastically. While at their core, boy bands in 2013 still aim to titilate tweens the same way they did in 2003, here are some main differences between the fans of today and the fans of yore. Also, it’s a handy guide to feel old/in the know when you talk to someone under the age of 18.

Fashion

One thing that has stayed the same throughout the years is a group’s stylist’s need to coordinate every member’s outfit with the others. For some reason, in the 90s, this meant getting the absolute most ridiculous clothes and fabrics and forcing the guys to wear them in photo shoots. Bless.

Then

You know what’s tearin’ up my heart? The fact that *Nsync is wear short sleeved lycra shirts and no one questioned Lance Bass’ sexuality from this picture alone.

“Hey girl. We know the way to your heart. Hockey. And just to cover our bases, we’re reppin five different teams. Quack Quack, baby.”

The only thing that could make this more 90s is if 98 Degrees was covered in slime. Matching red jumpsuits, sitting on a big orange couch at Nickelodeon’s The Big Help? I can smell the gak now…

Now

These days, boy bands stray away from the themed photo shoots, and go for more of a coordinated look, like One Direction.

The Wanted’s jacket, jeans, sneaks look is so much better than the lycra shirts.

By boy band rules, the Jonas Brothers are technically just a band of boys, but they’ll suffice for this post.

Girlfriends/Love Lives

Then

With the exception of this epic couple, boy band members in the 90s had to hide their relationships. Britney + Justin were the exception because they were perfect and then B had to go and ruin it with her cheating. Oh what could have been. ~*NVR 4GET*~

“When they first started out, “Managers were like, ‘Everybody’s single,'” recalls Brian Littrell. Adds Richardson’s wife Kristin: “I had to say I was his sister!” – People Magazine Interview September 2013 (Please note the source of this picture – the Angelfire page is STILL UP.)

Now

While there are still jealous girls out there screaming ‘OMFG ZAYN AND PERRIE ARE ENGAGED MY LIFE IS OFFICIALLY OVER’, I feel like there is a large majority that are “Zerrie shippers” and appreciate the 1D and Little Mix members’ love like we did with Britney and Justin.

IDK if it’s because Kevin is the least adored Jo Bro, but it seems like every fan was on board with his relationship with Danielle since it started. The two even have their own reality TV show, for goodness sake.

Dedication

Then

At the height of the 90s boy band days, the internet was a fairly new thing. Everyone’s e-mail was @AOL.com, AIM was for stalking your crush and talking to SmarterChild, and Geocities and Angelfire were web hosting sites for your favorite bands. The fact that we could even get pictures and talk to fellow fans seemed incredible, and it was our way of showing our dedication to the world.

I used to live by this site, since they updated it so frequently (like twice a day), and it legit has looked the same ever since 1998.

Now

  • Tumblr Directioners: Holy shit, a Larry Stylinson sex tape better leak soon or I will light myself on fucking fire
  • Twitter Directioners: Omg, Follow me xx I love you so much
  • Youtube Directioners: This is like the best song ever, partyin harrdd
  • Facebook Directioners: Haha oh my goodness look at this, you are like my like bff for eva Harry. Omgomg I love you sooooooooooooo muchhh :))))) lololol rofl

Today’s kids turn to all forms of social media, and I feel like it’s reached a whole new level of obsession. Because you can now reach out to your idol – and even possibly get a reply – fans think they form this bond with the celebrities, which ultimately makes them even more devoted and obsessed. I was going to find examples on Twitter and Tumblr, but honestly, it’s a scary, scary place, and I want no part of that.

Rivalries

Pop Quiz:

BSB : *NSync :: One Direction : ???

Then

I admit, I was totally a *Nsync hater – or as I used to call them, *NSTINK. My “hatred” for them ran deep. So much so that I refused to listen to their songs (save for like maybe 5 of their hits). I’ve probably only heard Bye Bye Bye all the way through less than 10 times in my life. One time in dance class, my teacher put on the new *Nsync cd during warmup and I was SO pissed. Like so mad that my teacher could tell that I wasn’t happy about it, and continued to remind me of it until the day I graduated high school. Get a grip.

But the more I think about it, it was never because I hated the group itself. In fact I agree that they were good singers, were probably the better dancers of the two groups, and of course, like any grown ass woman, my love runs deep for Justin Timberlake. My hatred for ‘*NSTINK’ was for their fans. I loathed the annoying way that they always thought BSB sucked and *Nsync was better – and they wanted to prove it. Constantly. I’m sure you can say the same for BSB fans, but obviously I’m picking sides here. And as an adult, I think we can all recognize that it was totally spurred on by the media. If that one journalist didn’t pit the two bands together, there probably wouldn’t be an entire generation of girls who judge each other in their 20s by which boy band they liked better.

The best example of the fan rivalry is in the video clip from TRL below. I remember watching this live, and being so pissed off at the *Nsync team that I was almost as mad as Tiffany. Creeper alert: I somehow got a hold of Tiffany’s AOL SN and stalked her on AIM, in awe of her BSB dedication.


Now

I suppose the correct answer to the analogy above is Justin Bieber. Which might not make complete sense, since he’s not a boy band. Today’s kids are more fandom vs. fandom, rather boy band vs. boy band (or artist in this case). And since kids don’t have the luxury of having TRL, they take to social media yet again, specifically on Twitter. Case in point:

The second thing you need to know is that Directioners don’t like Beliebers. The conflict began (where else?) on Twitter. “The Beliebers trended #HitDirectionersWithAShovelDay” for no reason explains Holly, a 16-year-old 1D fan from Chicago. She says the war has raged on ever since. “When they won at the TCAs instead of Justin Beiber, they started making fun of Harry’s acne. They’re just trying to make us angry.” {x}

Of course Biebs had to say something to stop the madness and the the constant Twitter trends, but that didn’t really stop the fans from being cray online…

 

So whose side are you on? BSB or *Nsync? One Direction or Justin Bieber? Do you even care? Do you just want to reclaim your youth now? Yeah, probably the latter.

 

Saturday Spotlight: It’s A Zayn-y World

What a crazy world we live in! The whole internet universe has gone topsy-turvy, and it’s all over a young man named Zayn Malik who used to be in a band, and isn’t now. That’s not the only thing that’s wacky this week, but it’s like … 2/5 of the wackiness. Well, in terms of our blog posts anyway:

  • Now that One Direction has lost a member, maybe they’re looking to replace him? We have some suggestions.
  • Also, Directioners are posting crying selfies and shrine vines, and it’s okay. We care about pop culture too. But we’re giving them five days to short that shit out and then we’re drawing the line.
  • When I was the Directioners’ age, I was watching MTV’s Spring Break and forming ideas about what my college trips would be like. Then I went to Panama City Beach in college and learned that it was, if possible, even cheesier and trashier than I ever could have imagined.
  • Some other zaniness coming up soon: April Fools’ Day. This may surprise you, but we are not fans. At all. What are pranks but a joke where the punchline is “you believed me, and we all just wasted a lot of time?”
  • Finally, something crazy-good: James Corden is hosting a late-night talk show! If you don’t know much about him, here’s everything you need to know about your new favorite British entertainer.

Have a great Saturday, and may all your weekend zaniness be the good kind!

Too Soon to #ReplaceZayn?

We talked about giving you Directioners a week to deal with the fallout of Zayn leaving the group yesterday, but I’m going to talk about it again today, because the internet is still not over it, and in turn, with us being… the internet, we’re not over it either.

Unlike Molly, I am a proud card carrying member of The Cult of Boy Band (not a real cult, just made it up, should probs be legit tho).  Since I’m 29, I’m not really emotionally invested in Zayn’s departure, but I can only imagine what these teenyboppers are going through right now. Kind of.

In the summer of 2001, the Backstreet Boys, well four of them, appeared on TRL and sat down with MTV News dude John Norris for what looked like a serious chat. I knew something was up because 1) AJ was missing 2) Why was John Norris interviewing them and not Carson 3) They were sitting on stools. And sure enough, they came on to let everyone know that AJ had gone into rehab for his alcohol addiction, depression and anxiety and they put the Black and Blue tour on hold.

In full disclosure, watching this brought back a traumatic memory for me and I started tearing up just watching the clip. Because as a 15-year-old teen girl whose life centered around BSB, the moment was a traumatic one, like the kind of ‘JFK assassinated-9/11-Princess Diana’ type moment – I was sitting on my couch and crying uncontrollably, and when my parents got home they thought something went horribly wrong but then I had to explain to them that AJ went into rehab (This was around the time my mom informed me I liked ‘bad boys’ because I was also obsessed with Robert Downey Jr. during his dark days). I was sad, confused, concerned for AJ, mad because I had tickets to the tour and it was going to be delayed – I felt a lot of feels. So I get it, Directioners. I really do. If that moment had been the end of AJ in the group, I would be distraught too.

But times are different now. I didn’t have Twitter and Tumblr and Facebook and SnapTube to express my feelings. You know what I had? The Backstreet.net fan forum and a boom box to play Don’t Wanna Lose You Now on repeat. We didn’t have campaigns to get all 10 Trending Topics on Twitter to be 1D-related. We didn’t have a GoFundMe.com crowdfunding site to raise $877 million to “buy the band” (seriously I’m dying this is real and hilarious). There was no easy way for me to send a 140 character message to AJ’s (hypothetical) fiancee and blame her for being the Yoko of the situation and forcing him to leave the band. We had none of it. Which is why fandom in 2015 is still so fascinating to me. I could go on about that, but let’s stick to the topic at hand.

One of those Twitter trending topics that has been mentioned a lot in the past three days is #ReplaceZayn. Most of the posts suggest that NO ONE CAN REPLACE ZAYN THIS IS RUDE #TooSOon

^how do u even come up with this, people?

But then there are the hilarious responses, because this is the interwebs, and people are photoshop experts and clever 140 character wordsmiths. While the odds of the remaining members of 1D replacing Zayn with any of these people slash any one at all are very slim, it’s still amusing to entertain the idea that one of these folks could be on the next piece of 1D merch. Let the recruitment process begin!

Alan Rickman as Professor Snape

He’s British, so that’s helpful. Also please note it’s not just ‘Alan Rickman’ or ‘Professor Snape’ it’s ‘Alan Rickman AS Professor Snape’.

Chris Kirkpatrick

He has a resume to prove his talent in a group environment, and what else is he doing? Also he’s apparently travelling back in time to #ReplaceZayn, per this poster? And why does everyone else look like they’re photoshopped too?

This Guy From The Wiggles

Honestly didn’t even know The Wiggles were still doing their thing. Respect.

Perrie Edwards (AKA Zayn’s fiancee)

PLOT TWIST

Jaden Smith

Any and all of his nonsensical tweets could easily be made into lyrics, so he’s like halfway there.

Duke Silver

Niall can play the guitar, but can anyone play a mean jazz sax? Didn’t think so.

Right Shark

Guys, I feel like we’ve been giving a lot of attention to Left Shark, and rightfully so, but what about Right Shark? While Katy is off making Left Shark onesies, and Left Shark is busy on his motivational speaker tour of Ramada Inns in North America, Right Shark is probably sitting at home kicking himself for getting the dance moves on point. Let’s give him/her/it a chance at fame, shall we?

Jeremy Clarkson

This person is relevant if you’re British or watch BBC America on Monday nights instead of The Bachelor or are like, really into cars? Either way, this dude just got fired from his job because he allegedly punched a producer of Top Gear. Use that anger and channel it in music, Jeremy.

Billy Zane

It’s like a warped version of Wheel of Fortune’s Before and After, but I think it can work, you guys.  Fans have already “mistaken” him for Zayn, so let’s just keep going with this.

Lil Wayne

I’m just rhyming things now, TBH. But hOLY HELL WTF IS THIS PIC

Robert Durst

Just don’t piss him off. In fact, he’ll probably never leave the band because the boys already know too much. Just keep your mouth shut, Louis.

Directioners, I’m Giving You 5 Days

Are you a person over the age of 21, or a teen who isn’t into One Direction? Come on over. The internet is getting scary, and you’re in a safe place.
 
I’m much, much too old to actively dislike One Direction. I’ve heard probably three or four of their songs on the radio, and I could name three of the boys by first name without looking it up.
 
Well, two of them. Because this week, Zayn left the group, and now big chunks of the internet are going nutso.
 
Okay, adults and teens who aren’t into One Direction, I’m still talking to you. We need to give these kids five or so days to sort out their feelings. You hear that, Directioners? You have the better part of a week to deal with this.
 
Here’s my thinking. I was never the boy band type, but I know what it’s like to really love a pop culture phenomenon. I cried during the Friends finale, and I still miss Parks and Recreation. If a celebrity has a baby, I probably know what that baby’s name is. I can still tell you what day Bennifer was supposed to get married (I remember because it was my birthday, but still). So while I can’t directly relate to posting tear-streaked selfies because Zayn isn’t in the band anymore, I do get where these kids are coming from.
 
This is why we have to let the One Direction fangirls make a fuss now, as long as they don’t drag it on forever. It’s easy to laugh at teenagers for caring so much about things that don’t really matter. But how many times have you gotten upset or cried about ridiculous things? Probably quite a few, if you’re being honest.
 
Also, I bet if you talked to the kids that are sick and pale with grief over this, most of them do have other things going on in their lives. I’m sure plenty of these girls have to study for an Advanced Placement Chemistry tests, volunteer at their church’s day care, and worry about their sick grandfather. It’s easy – too easy – as an adult to look back at the time when you didn’t have bills to pay and a career to build, and get angry at your former self for not appreciating how good you had it. But then think harder. I was in an all-honors and AP schedule, was always participating in some sort of school activity, had to meet my school’s volunteer hour requirement, and worked a part-time job on top of it. I may not have had as many financial responsibilities, but I still felt like I was busy and stressed. Not to mention, at any given time a teenager could be having problems with their friends or family; it’s not like having no or few financial worries means having no worries at all.
 
So if these kids distract themselves by getting really, really into a boy band, why make fun of them for it? I know plenty of grown men who are crazy obsessed with a football or baseball team. There are comedy nerds who can break down the style of every stand up on the circuit. Even on this blog, we’ve received (and deleted) a few comments saying “why are you writing about this? Aren’t there real problems in the world? Don’t you have anything better to do?” Listen. If you can’t take a half hour out of your day to watch a stupid tv show, obsess over a boy band, or write a blog post, that’s probably pretty rough. I just don’t think there are that many people who take every single free moment they have and use it for the betterment of the world. It would drive you crazy and leave you dull and joyless. I mean. Even the people writing those sassy comments are taking ten minutes to find a post on Google, read it, hate it, and comment on it.
 
Something these kids really love is changing, and they’re sad, and I’m not going to make fun of them for it. But I stand firm on the five day thing. You can think about it and get a bit bummed beyond that, but in terms of public outpouring of grief, I’m not going to give you a full shiva period. If you’re still crying in your school hallway by the end of next week or posting heartfelt collages six times a day, I’m going to assume that you’re projecting your feelings about your parents’ divorce onto One Direction, and kids, you should probably deal with that before it deals with you. Go ahead and make a great big noisy fuss right now; it’s fine. But get back on track within a week. I know everyone thinks you’re just some dumb kid who only cares about this stupid band, but that’s not why I think you need to let it out then pull it together. It’s because I know that you care about other things, too; that you have tests to study for, work to do, and a life full of thousands of horrible and wonderful things other than this one band.

Can We Not With April Fool’s Day

As a kid I looked forward to April Fool’s Day solely as a result of Nickelodeon magazine. If you’re a 90s kid, you remember this publication. It was constantly advertised on Nick and filled with comics, interviews with celebs, general silliness and pranks. There were tips on how to prank and actual pranks you could cut out and use for everyday life.

Looking back on it, I don’t think I actually had a passion for pranks, I just thought Nickelodeon magazine was so cool that I would do whatever was in it. Ah, my constant desire to my liked as a child. Anyways, I would attempt to pull those pranks, mainly on my Filipino parents who probably could care less slash didn’t know what was going on, so it was completely lost on them. Maybe the lack of reciprocation is also a reason why I just don’t care for it now.

Flash forward to present day, and I find April Fool’s Day not only annoying but exhausting and actually effecting my life in a way I abhor. It’s exactly one week away from today and I’m already over it. Why? I’ll tell you why, kids. Gather round and listen to grandma tell you why this “holiday” is pure nonsense.

Unfunny People Think They’re Funny

Look, I fancy myself a fairly funny person. I love watching comedy, I love learning about the process of making comedies, I’m a big ol’ comedy nerd. I appreciate a good laugh. But when it comes round to April 1st, naturally unfunny people come out of the depths of Last Comic Standing hell to attempt to do a prank or make a joke that they’ll be able to get away with that they wouldn’t be able to the rest of the year. April Fool’s Day is like forcing people to laugh at whatever dumb thing you’ve planned, simply because you’re allowed to be an ass one day of the year.

Jokes That Go Awry Can Make People Feel Like Shit

There’s a segment on Ryan Seacrest’s L.A. radio morning show called Ryan’s Roses, that isn’t exactly a prank per se, but it’s basically designed to catch a cheating partner. A person who thinks their significant other may be cheating on them enlists the help of Ryan and his morning crew. They have someone on the staff call the alleged cheater, telling them they’re from a florist and they’ve won a free dozen roses to send to anyone. When asked whose name should be put on the card, the alleged cheater either A) gives their real S.O.’s name or B) gives a third party name, thus proving them to be a cheater, and then the original person gets on the line and all hell breaks loose. It gets heated and embarrassing and I can’t even listen to it. There is nothing worse than witnessing something go awry when real feelings are involved. There’s been a horrible history of April Fool’s Day pranks gone wrong, and you can’t help but hang you head in shame and embarrassment for them, unless it’s just pure anger. Like the time an employee at a Virginia college texted her daughter saying there was a shooting on campus, and the daughter immediately called 911 – police swarmed the school and now said woman is facing charges. Or maybe the time a woman in Tennessee called her sister saying she killed her husband and she needs to help her dump the body – and the sister turned prankster sister into the cops. People are dumb.

There Will Always Be a RickRoll

I remember being at my internship senior year of college and sitting at the computer and being told I needed to go to YouTube and click on any video. I clicked a random link. I was all, “WTF”. I laughed, I think. Do y’all remember what happened? Of course you do, because unless you’ve been living under a rock, that meme won’t die. The bait and switch of Rick Astley was funny for a minute in 2008 – not so much now.

Radio DJs Always AssBuckets

Is there some kind of clause in radio DJs’ contracts that state they must perform some elaborate, ridiculous, horrible prank on April Fool’s Day? I feel like they’re usually the perpetrators and egging listeners on to play pranks on their friends and loved ones. This morning show crew even has a hand list of “last-minute pranks”, which include putting tape over the laser at the bottom of a computer mouse and mixing Skittles, M&Ms and Reese’s Pieces in a bowl. What kind of fuckery… And then there’s the category of pure idiocy when well-known Boston shock jocks Opie and Anthony told their listeners in 1998 that beloved Mayor Tom Menino had died in a car crash. Unfortunately, Tommy Menino was on a flight at the time and couldn’t be reached, leading to even more panic. Opie and Anthony were eventually fired. (RIP Tommy Menino frreal.)

There Will Always Be A Story You Think Could Be True

Number one reason I hate April Fool’s Day. Since I work in entertainment news, I have to be vigilant of fake stories beginning… like, today. And when it comes to April 1st, I have to constantly double check and make sure it’s not some elaborate joke ‘N Sync is pulling and they’re not actually coming back together for a new album and world tour. But some of the fake stories put out there are actually believable and it’s frustrating to find out when it’s not. For instance, if it was announced that Abe Vigoda died on April 1st, I would actually believe that, because he’s old. Skip to two hours later and Abe is confirming he’s alive on Twitter. IT’S JUST ANNOYING AND NOT FUNNY AND EVERYONE JUST STOP PLEASE, FOR MY SANITY.

MTV’s Spring Break: Expectations Vs. Reality

First things first: before you ask “but Molly, isn’t Spring Break just a trash-cation for college-aged garbage people?” Yes. Yes it is. I should know – I used to be a college-aged garbage person.

But before I was a college-aged garbage person, I was an impressionable tween learning about my world through MTV. I have no idea if MTV is still considered cool or relevant to today’s teenagers. I just know that when I was 12, MTV was “all that.” My parents didn’t love it, but I was like “guys, they’re marketing to ME! Now, can you please buy me some Clean & Clear and a Seventeen Magazine subscription? I’m told I want both.”

Late 90s, early 2000s MTV is where I learned about the American rite of passage known as Spring Break. This, coupled with watching P.C.U. on cable, formed my basis of what college was like in the 1990s. Imagine my surprise during my 2008 trip to Panama City Beach, when I learned that Spring Break is nothing like I was led to believe.

Expectation: When you go on Spring Break MTV will be there, filming everything.

Reality: A tenth-level MTV affiliate, like MTV-Z or MTV-X, will be there. But creepy old men will also be there filming everything. Yeah, the internet gets pretty weird in the 2000s.

Expectation: You won’t just dance to awesome party jams, you’ll BE the awesome party jams on Say What Karaoke. By the way, Say What Karaoke is where I learned the lyrics to “Too Close” when I was just old enough to know what it meant.

Reality: Say What Karaoke goes the way of the dinosaur by the time you’re in college. However, your first night in Panama you will find a seedy karaoke dive bar with cheap drinks, and you’ll go there every night. The troll-looking bouncer becomes obsessed with one of your friends and for some reason, you find this not just okay but hilarious. But seriously, college kids: if it still exists, you should go to the cheap karaoke bar in Panama. It’s a blast. It’s just not Say What Karaoke-level glamorous.

Expectation: You will spend the weekend in the sand and sun, surrounded at all times by a crowd of fun-loving drunk college kids.

Reality: No, that’s all true. But all of those things are awful.

Expectation: You’ll make friends with college kids from around the nation and maybe the world!

Reality: Here is a rundown of “friends” we made on spring break:

  •  The kids from Ohio who taught us all the OH-IO cheer. Actually, they were cool but it only goes downhill from here.
  • That troll-looking Karaoke Bar guy.
  • These guys we met the first night at the karaoke bar after a 24-hour sleepless bus ride. They were from the South and took us to a diner for grits. Then they took us to see the high-rise the one kid’s dad owned; they were staying in the penthouse. Then they were like oops, that driver we said would take you home just left and it’s 5am, guess you all have to stay! TL;DR I got kidnapped.
  • The girls from our college’s most vicious sorority, whose room was next to ours. When my friend accidentally went into their room and fell asleep like Drunk Goldilocks, she woke up to one of the girls saying “If I were you, I would kill myself.” My friend responded “If I were you, I wouldn’t be such a bitch.”
  • The Christians in a white van who offer free rides to people.
  • The DJ who was from the same super-tiny town as my friend, which gave us a pass to request See You Again by Miley Cyrus more times than was even okay in 2008.

Expectation: You’ll probably run into Jesse Camp!

Reality:  Nah. You’ll run into a lot of people talking like Jesse Camp. That’s because they’re all wasted. The one that stands out in my mind is a girl in our hotel lobby raving about the Baconator she just bought. I congratulated her without any irony, because she was really proud of that Baconator.

Expectation: You will observe and take part in all kinds of wacky contests and win fabulous prizes!

Reality: The contests all involve things like mud and jello, and the grand prize is an extra-large giveaway t-shirt that for some reason people will go apeshit for.

Expectation: College spring break is the best you’ll ever look in your life, just like those girls on Fashionably Loud.

Reality: Let me break it down for you:

After an hour of pre-trip bathing suit shopping, my friends and I were so miserable that we decided we must have low blood sugar. We bought some Auntie Anne’s pretzels, signed up for department store credit cards that we should NOT have signed up for in order to get a 20% discount, then wore our bathing suits occasionally at our house to get used to them. This is probably not an advisable bikini-body plan.

I was also day-glo pale the whole time, because even in Florida, even on Spring Break, I’m still a freckly redhead. And I had giant bags under my eyes because bars closed at 4 A.M. and the free band on the beach started playing at 8 A.M.

Finally, the week before Spring Break I decided I wanted my hair to be more manageable. Do you see where this is going? I went to the bargain salon chain in our small college town for something between chin and shoulder length. This was the second of three times in my life when “between chin and shoulder length” ended up being ear length. I don’t know if it’s my hair type or if all of these hairdressers went to some weird anatomy class where your ear is located somewhere after your face. Then I had to go back the next day and get it cut even shorter because the right side was two inches shorter than the left.

Anyway, I looked sort of appealing, in the same way Dorothy Hamill did and also with the same haircut. It was the haircut every mother hopes her daughter will get right before Spring Break.

So yeah. I did not, in fact, belong on Fashionably Loud, even from far away in one of the crowd scenes.

Expectation:  You will be so pumped for SPRING BREAK! that you’ll have energy for days.

Reality: After a full day on a bus, which kicked off with you scurrying down a gully on a bathroom stop to get shots at an Applebee’s, you will still be shouting “SPRING BREAK!” That’s because you’ll have energy drinks for days. Energy DRINKS. One of my friend had a bunch of Red Bulls then totally tweaked out. He called us in a sweaty panic because his wallet was missing. His wallet was in his bed.

Expectation: One of the hottest bands of the 90s will play for free!

Reality: One of the hottest bands of the 90s WILL play for free. At 8 in the freaking morning. In 2008.

Expectation: You’ll have a crazy week full of wacky stories that you and your friends will laugh about for years to come.

Reality: That’s completely true. But you’re sort of laughing at yourself instead of with yourself, if that makes sense.

 

‘Ello Gunvor! Getting To Know James Corden

Tonight, British import James Corden is taking over hosting duties at The Late Late Show – aptly titled – With James Corden. As he joins the ranks of fellow late night hosts Letterman, Fallon, Kimmel, and Meyers, he doesn’t exactly have the same popularity as said comedians. He’s a Brit who you “probably know from that thing” (Into the Woods, Begin Again), more on the ranks of Freddie Highmore and less like Daniel Radcliffe.

I personally was excited to hear of the news James was taking over because I had been a casual fan of his for years, so I’m glad he’s finally going to make a name for himself in America. Before he makes his debut tonight, here are six things to know about him that will hopefully make you love him as much as I, and a bunch of Brits do.

He is a Tony Award Winner Who Loves His Wife

In 2011, James starred in One Man, Two Guvnors, a one-man show about a guy who becomes employed by two men (see the amazingness here). The success in London led him to transfer the show to Broadway, and in 2012, the production received critical acclaim and allll the awards. This includes James’ first Tony, for Best Actor in a Play. He was up against household names like Phillip Seymour Hoffman, James Earl Jones, Frank Langella and John Lithgow for the prize, but even with that feat, the best moment is his speech in which he thanks his then-girlfriend for being by his side through everything. I’M NOT CRYING, YOU’RE CRYING.

He Cut Off Adele During Her Acceptance Speech

In 2011, James hosted the BRIT Awards, which is the British equivalent to the Grammys. Of course, this was during the time when Adele wasn’t in hiding and was winning all the awards, and she went up to the podium to accept her British Album of the Year prize. It being the last award of the night, producers were yelling in James’ ear piece to cut her off so they could have one last performance and end the show on time. But of course, that would mean interrupting ADELE. He hated that he had to do it, and when he did, she was not pleased and the crowed booed, she gave the middle finger and fans were outraged. James later said that although there was a bunch of shouting, in the end, it’s just an awards show and Adele was super understanding.

He had a Number One Song in the UK

Not only is he a Tony winner, but he’s also a best-selling recording artist. Okay, well he recorded a song that made it to number one. You know how countries participating in the World Cup make songs to pump up the nation and its players? James Corden and British rapper Dizzee Rascal collaborated for Shout, a song that samples Tears for Fears’ Shout and Blackstreet’s No Diggity. It debuted at the top spot in 2010, but it didn’t exactly help England win the top prize.

 He Was Given A Fancy Title By The Queen

Just this past year, James was awarded the Officer of the Order of the British Empire (or OBE, for short) for his services to drama and his charity work. I’m still not really sure what this means, but according to Wikipedia, he is “the most junior and most populous order of chivalry in the British and other Commonwealth honours systems.” Okay. Whatever it is, I think he met the Queen.

He’s Friends With One Direction

This may seem like an odd friendship, but when you think about it, it’s really not. I mean, they’re both British (Irish) and all Brit celebs are friends with each other, right? No you stupid American. However, in this case it’s true. James’ longtime BFF Ben Winston (who is now the executive producer on The Late Late Show) has done multiple projects with One Direction, including The X Factor and directing a bunch of their videos. The boys have already helped him promote the new show, and one time, James even gave Niall a tattoo of his face on his bum.

He Used To Be in a “Boy Band”

Boy band is a super loose term in this case, as James and his mates were more like 2Gether than 1D. As he explains in the clip above, he starred in a British show called Boyz Unlimited in 1999, the height of the boy band era. It was a comedy about a boy band and their attempts at fame, but it was art imitating life as he really thought he could make it big as a teen idol. He was in a band called Full Frontal as well as one called Insatiable, that had a “song” titled “Girl Are You Ready”. James’ boy band dreams came true when he sang and performed with Take That (Back for Good? Robbie Williams?) star Gary Barlow during one of his solo shows. Gary sang Take That hit Pray, and James came out and not only sang the shizz out of it, he danced his bum off too.

ICYMI: Venti Half-Caf Over Ice With A Shot Of Diversity

Not sure if that order even makes sense, but I do know what makes not a lot of sense is Starbucks’ recent campaign for diversity.

Uncomfortable Discussions To Have With Your Starbucks Barista

At Starbucks – as in life – everyone has an objective. The customer wants some damn caffeine. The barista wants to do their job, then get paid. And the Starbucks corporation wants to start a racial dialogue. All in a morning’s coffee run, eh?

Starbucks is facing a lot of crinkled brows and quizzical expressions – basically, everyone is looking at them with Jaden Smith Face – because of their new initiative, #RaceTogether. A barista has the option of writing Race Together on your coffee cup (in Starbucks tradition, probably spelled wrong). That can start a conversation about race between the barista who just wants to do their job, and a person who presumably hasn’t had coffee yet. Sounds awesome. If it seems familiar, that’s because this was also the plot to an ill-received country song that we live-blogged a few years ago.

But listen. I don’t want to go to Starbucks knowing that I’m going to face an uncomfortable discussion about race with a side of Grande Americano with skim. I want to go to Starbucks not knowing what kind of uncomfortable discussion I’m going to have. Starbucks making me discuss racism with a stranger sounds an awful lot like classroom group work, something I hated my entire educational career, but fine. While we’re at it, let’s talk about everything that’s taboo in polite company.

Here are some conversation starters to get the discussions rolling with your favorite barista or customer:

Money
  • Wow. Venti? How much do you make?
  • On your way to work? Cool. How much do you make?
  • Gold card? How much do you make?
  • How do you feel about poor people?
  • POOR PEOPLE. Am I right?
Relationships
  • Didn’t you always used to come in with that one guy? What happened?

Despite the weirdness Starbucks is going through right now, let’s be real – we still love coffee too much to totally give up on awk questions with our fave baristas (shout out to my boy Alan).

Bottoms Up: Our Favorite TV Baristas

It’s National Coffee Day! Normally I skip over these made-up-sounding holidays, but when I think about things that really make a difference in my day-to-day life, coffee is at the top of the list. A few weeks ago I had to go to a lake house with a janky coffee maker (my life is hard!) and waiting 15 minutes and jostling the machine to get the coffee to brew was the worst thing ever – particularly because, cruel fate, I had to do that before I’d had coffee. Not to mention the few times I’ve started my Keurig without a cup under it – again, a harmful byproduct of having to make coffee before you’ve had coffee.

That’s why, although teachers and administrative professionals and dental hygienists all deserve their respective fake holidays, people who make us coffee so we don’t have to are the real heroes. They’re the ones who keep our streets safe (because they make coffee for police officers), our population healthy (because they make coffee for doctors), and bring joy and laughter to our world (by making coffee for comedians or, if you’re into that, clowns). And how about the baristas who keep our favorite TV characters going? Today, I raise my mug to them:

Gunther, Friends

Gunther – full name Gunther Centralperk? – is a barista with “hair as bright as the sun” who did not father Rachel’s child (“that hair on a baby?”). He was full of hope – an aspiring actor who once appeared on All My Children, chronically enamored with Rachel, and ever expectant that he’d be let into the Friends clique. Ah, Gunther. You may not have been part of the primary crew, but you did something even more important: provided laughter, coffee, and – briefly – employment to the people we really cared about. Fun fact: James Michael Tyler was a real barista who earned his role, in part, due to his ability to operate an espresso machine.

Luke Danes, Gilmore Girls

At Luke’s diner, coffee was made with love – years and years of unrequited love – and served with a little bit of judgment. But as much as Luke scoffed at the Lorelais caffeine habit, he knew that it was important and was always ready with a mug of coffee and a tousled baseball cap. October 1, guys. We’re almost there.

Larry The Cook, Seinfeld

Sure, Monk’s Cafe was a full service restaurant – I mean, any restaurant that doesn’t serve a Big Salad can get out – but let’s not forget that the characters frequently referred to it as a “coffee shop,” so we all know what the main attraction was (other than the Big Salad). Larry (Lawrence Mandley) was the owner, but we can’t forget the supporting players who brought coffee to New York’s finest: checkout lady Ruthie Cohen and weird temporary owner, Mr. Vilaski.

The Waitress, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia

I don’t think there’s a good way to explain The Waitress’s storyline on It’s Always Sunny if you’re not already familiar with the tone of the show. Just know that she’s a career waitress – after a Starbucks opens across from her cafe, she also gets a job working at a Ruby Tuesday-esque chain restaurant.

Roseanne, Bonnie, Jackie, and Nancy, Roseanne

Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name. And sometimes, you just want to go where nobody cares at all what your name is, they just sort of gruffly serve you black coffee and pie.

Kit (and the full cast of Cafe Nervosa employees), Frasier

Frasier, more than any show, reminds me of the aspirations of the 90s. I watched this and – when I understood what was going on – felt like some day I, too, could order cappuccinos, own a laptop, and have my hair cut into The Rachel. Cafe Nervosa was really serving up that dream. The cafe was a Seattle coffee shop during that magical age when Starbucks still felt sort of special, and all of the employees – mostly randoms, but also Frasier’s one-time girlfriend Kit – kept our favorite tv psychiatrist well-caffeinated in true 90s style.

Emily, Pretty Little Liars

A teen can’t just run away from/towards A all the time – she’s got to make money, too. This has worked well for plot devices like having Emily working at Jenna’s party, because what high schooler didn’t want to have her birthday party at a coffee shop? Although, doesn’t working as a barista seem like more of a Spencer thing? It’s only a matter of time before someone serves up a latte with a cursive A squiggled into the foam.

Ruby/ Red, Once Upon A Time

If there’s any job that’s cuter than working in a cozy little diner, it’s working at a cozy little diner… in small-town Maine … in a village populated entirely with fairy tale characters … and also you are Little Red Riding Hood. Seriously, though, everything here looks amazing, and Ruby is the perfect coffee shop worker/ waitress who always remembers everyone’s orders (cinnamon hot chocolate, amIright?) and is super nice, even though she looks sort of scary because they dress her like she bought the Hot Waitress Halloween costume from Spencer’s Gifts.

The Coffee Shop Workers Of Portland, Portlandia

I think everyone’s been to that coffee shop that has so many rules for how to order (which Italian word meaning “large” is the large, again?) or how to behave (no laptops??) that you feel like someone must be playing a trick on you. But no, some baristas just take their work that seriously. This Coffee Shop Manifesto penned by the baristas of Portland is one of those “funny because it’s true” TV moments.