Hamilton Explained: The Schuyler Sisters

True to our promise, we’re becoming a Hamilton blog. Okay, maybe not full time, but you didn’t really think we’d stop at one post, did you? We’ve both been playing the cast recording nonstop, and new references and allusions rise up in the songs every time we listen. I’m sure we’ll keep discovering more, but we’re ready to start unpacking some of the many-layered references in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s lyrics.

First up – our introduction to the O.G. Kardashians, the Destiny’s Child-Made-Entirely-Of-Beyonces, the It Girls Of The Eighteenth Century… the Schuyler Sisters. Lyrics are in italics, the lines that I’m elaborating on are in bold, and our comments are next to bullet points.

The Schuyler Sisters

[BURR]
There’s nothing rich folks love more
Than going downtown and slumming it with the poor
They pull up in their carriages and gawk at the students in the common
Just to watch ‘em talk

  • In 1773, Alexander Hamilton began studying at King’s College – now Columbia University – in New York. King’s College was “overwhelmingly loyalist” at the time. [source]
  • The Liberty Pole in the Common (City Hall Park) was a popular site for debates between the Loyalists and Patriots. [source]
  • As a student, Hamilton wrote treatises, delivered speeches, and was known to frequent the Liberty Pole in the common. [source, source]
  • From genius.com: similar in flow and topic to Melle Mell’s verses in Grandmaster Flash classic The Message. [source, source]

Take Philip Schuyler, the man is loaded

  • The Schuylers were a prominent Dutch American family, and Philip’s wife was Catherine Van Rensselaer of the absurdly-wealthy-and-influential Van Rensselaers. Colonial power couple, right there. [source]
  • And his house was pretty legit:schuyler

Uh oh, but little does he know that
His daughters, Peggy, Angelica, Eliza
Sneak into the city just to watch all the guys at

  • The Schuyler sisters, raised in the pretty good mansion pictured above, stayed with their aunt and uncle for a time in Morristown, NJ. At the time, Philip was serving in the Continental Congress in Philadelphia. [source] They met officers in Morrisown, a revolutionary hotspot. [source]

[COMPANY]
Work, work
[ANGELICA]
Angelica!
[COMPANY]
Work, work
[ELIZA]
Eliza!
[PEGGY]
And Peggy!
[COMPANY]
Work, work
The Schuyler sisters

  • The repeated “work, work” in the chorus is a bit reminiscent of Do You Love Me by The Contours – possible coincidence. [source]

[ANGELICA]
Angelica!
[PEGGY]
Peggy!
[ELIZA]
Eliza!

[COMPANY]
Work!

  • A Rap Genius user suggests that this might be a tribute to the roll call in Hairspray’s The Nicest Kids In Town. [source]

[PEGGY]
Daddy said to be home by sundown
[ANGELICA]
Daddy doesn’t need to know
[PEGGY]
Daddy said not to go downtown
[ANGELICA]
Like I said, you’re free to go

  • I haven’t tracked down evidence of the Schuyler sisters gallivanting through New York – although TBH if it was a stealth sneak-out like Angelica’s describing, I guess I wouldn’t find that anyway. But since New York City was occupied by the British during the war, Philip Schuyler probably wouldn’t have wanted his daughters there. [source]
  • But—look around, look around
    The revolution’s happening in New York
    [ELIZA & PEGGY]
    New York
  • The repeated New York, New York sounds a bit reminiscent of the Alicia Keys chorus in Empire State Of Mind.

[COMPANY]
Angelica
[SISTERS & COMPANY]
Work!

[PEGGY]
It’s bad enough Daddy wants to go to war

  • Gen. Philip Schuyler was chosen as a major-general by the Continental Congress in 1775, and went on to aid the colonists in their instrumental victory at the Battle of Saratoga.[source]

[ELIZA]
People shouting in the square

  • During the Revolutionary War era news and treatises were often read in public (town criers, anyone?) and public debates were common, as mentioned in the first verse. Imagine a live-action internet comments section.

[PEGGY]
It’s bad enough there’ll be violence on our shore
[ANGELICA]
New ideas in the air

[ANGELICA & MALE ENSEMBLE]
Look around, look around—

[ELIZA]
Angelica, remind me what we’re looking for

[ALL MEN]
She’s looking for me!

[ANGELICA (COMPANY)]
Eliza, I’m looking for a mind at work (work, work)
I’m looking for a mind at work (work, work)
I’m looking for a mind at work (work, work)
Woa-oah
[SISTERS]
Woa-oah
[SISTERS & COMPANY]
Work!

  • A twitter user pointed out that “looking for a mind at work” seems to be a West Wing reference:

This was also mentioned on genius.com. [Which I always thought was called Rap Genius??]

  • Lin-Manuel Miranda has confirmed West Wing as an influence in writing Hamilton. [source]

[BURR]
Ooh, there’s nothing like summer in the city
Someone in a rush next to someone looking pretty

  • Potential allusion: The Lovin’ Spoonful’s Summer In The City – Hot town, summer in the city / Back of my neck getting dirty and gritty

Excuse me, miss, I know it’s not funny

  • Potential allusion: Jay-Z’s Excuse Me Miss. Not convinced because the flow sounds nothing like that one, but this verse definitely sounds like … something? Right? Anyone?

But your perfume smells like your daddy’s got money
Why you slummin’ in the city in your fancy heels?
You searchin’ for an urchin who can give you ideals?

[ANGELICA]
Burr, you disgust me

[BURR]
Ahh, so you’ve discussed me
I’m a trust fund, baby, you can trust me

  • A play on “trust fund baby” – a rich kid with family money.

[ANGELICA]
I’ve been reading Common Sense by Thomas Paine

  • Thomas Paine’s Common Sense was a 1776 pamphlet that you probably read or learned about in American history. It was extraordinarily popular and was influential in drumming up popular support for the Patriots’ cause. [source]

So men say that I’m intense or I’m insane

  • One Burr biographer described Angelica as “witty, intelligent, and rambunctious,” which is a nicer way of saying it anyway? [source]

You want a revolution? I want a revelation
So listen to my declaration:

[ALL SISTERS]
“We hold these truths to be self-evident

That all men are created equal”

  • Declaration of Independence,  1776: “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal […].”
  • Its words were echoed 70 years later at the Seneca Falls Convention, in the Declaration of Sentiments (We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal). Which will be relevant in like two seconds.

[ANGELICA (COMPANY)]
And when I meet Thomas Jefferson (unh!)
I’mma compel him to include women in the sequel

  • So, there’s that: the words of the Declaration were an important part of Americans’ continued fight for independence. Maybe not an intentional reference, but still interesting.
  • As for the Thomas Jefferson part: Angelica Schuyler Church carried on extensive correspondence with Thomas Jefferson. From his letters to her, it looks like she at least tried to talk politics, to little avail. Jefferson wrote: “You see by the papers, and I suppose by your letters also, how much your native state has been agitated by the question on the new Constitution. But that need not agitate you. The tender breasts of ladies were not formed for political convulsion.” [source] Can’t win ’em all.
  • Aaron Burr, however, would have agreed with Angelica: he was really into Mary Wollstonecraft. [source]. But he was still kind of a dick, though.

[WOMEN]
Work!

[ELIZA]
Look around, look around at how
Lucky we are to be alive right now

  • This could be a reference to the ‘look around, look around, look around’ part of June Is Bustin’ Out All Over from Carousel, which I forgot was like 10 minutes long. [source] Probably not, because Carousel just doesn’t feel like an influence here. Plus “look around” is like …. kind of a common expression.
  • Okay, now we’re heading into repeat lyrics, so it’s a good time to mention that I grabbed the lyrics from genius.com, where folks collaborate on explaining and breaking down lyrics. No doubt more will be added there over time, so you may want to look back in a while. [source]
  • Official lyrics are here.
  • And finally, we can both vouch that dropping $20 on the iTunes album was two Hamiltons well-spent.

[ELIZA, PEGGY]
Look around, look around at how
Lucky we are to be alive right now
[ALL SISTERS]
History is happening in Manhattan and we
Just happen to be in the greatest city in the world

[SISTERS & COMPANY]
In the greatest city in the world!

[ANGELICA (ELIZA, PEGGY) ((MEN))]
Cause I’ve been reading Common Sense by Thomas Paine
(look around, look around)((hey, hey, hey, hey))
So men say that I’m intense or I’m insane
(the revolution’s happening in)((hey, hey, hey, hey))
[ANGELICA (ELIZA, PEGGY) ((WOMEN))]
(New York) You want a revolution? ((look around, look around))
I want a revelation (In New York, woah)
So listen to my declaration ((the revolution’s happening))

[ALL SISTERS (WOMEN) ((MEN))]
We hold these truths to be self evident
(look around, look around) (hey, hey)
That all men are created equal
(at how lucky we are to be alive right now) (hey, hey)

[ALL SISTERS & COMPANY]
Look around, look around
At how lucky we are to be alive right now
History is happening in Manhattan
And we just happen to be
[WOMEN (MEN)]
In the greatest city in the world (in the greatest city)
[COMPANY]
In the greatest city in the world!

[COMPANY]
Work, work
[ANGELICA]
Angelica!
[COMPANY]
Work, work
[ELIZA]
Eliza!
[PEGGY]
And Peggy!
[COMPANY]
Work, work
[ALL SISTERS]
The Schuyler sisters
[COMPANY]
Work, work

[ALL SISTERS (COMPANY)]
We’re looking for a mind at work (work, work)
Hey (work, work)
[ANGELICA (COMPANY)]
Woah-ah! (work, work)
[ELIZA & PEGGY (COMPANY)]
Hey (work, work)
In the greatest city

[ALL SISTERS]
In the greatest city
In the world!

[COMPANY]
In the greatest city in the world!

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Nickelodeon’s Making You Feel Young/Old Again

There had been rumors that the head honchos over at Nickelodeon were conjuring something up – specifically aimed towards millennials – over this past month, and then last week, it was confirmed. Starting on October 5th, there would be a block of programming called The Splat from 10pm to 6am on Teen Nick. To kick it off, Kenan & Kel had a surprise reunion on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon by revisiting their iconic Good Burger sketch (despite the fact Kel said Kenan refused to ever be seen with him again?).

They couldn’t have had a better way to get people excited for The Splat, which will of course be showing reruns of Kenan & Kel and All That. Not to mention repeats of Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Salute Your Shorts, Rocko’s Modern Life, Legends of The Hidden Temple, and more. So for all your college kids who are already staying up late writing those papers, here’s another excuse to keep procrastinating in the early hours of the morning.

Of course, we’re excited for this new programming (we did have an entire week dedicate to SNICK already), but I’m particularly excited after finding out they’re also showing old promos and interstitials that originally ran in the 90s/early 00s. Have you guys ever gone back and watched commercials from back then? It’s amazing and a black hole that is very hard to come out of when you’re trying to go to sleep (but if you want to waste time, RetroJunk.com is where it’s at).

Before The Splat actually kicks off next week, here are a few choice promos from old school Nickelodeon that will make you simultaneously get nostalgic and make you feel real old at the same time. Just remember that 1995 was 20 years ago, NOT 10.

Until The Fat Lady Sings

I feel like this particular bumper was played a lot, and one of the more memorable scenarios from the 90s. Watching it now, I’m just thinking how that actress must have haaated her life with that enormous wig on her head for hours.

A Cautionary Fruit Tale

First of all, these fruits remind me of those erasers from the 90s that you think would smell like whatever fruit it’s shaped like, but instead just smelled like plastic. Second, kids love a good pun. I mean, I love a good pun, but “orange you glad” is a classic. Add on the fact they’re singing, and you’ve got a catchy tune. Just ignore the fact they fall to their deaths at the end.

Whatever Happened to Porkchop?

Speaking of catchy tunes, any 90s kid can hum you the theme song to Doug. Moreover, the opening credits were also unforgettable thanks to its simplistic nature. It was only natural for Nickelodeon animators to create a bumper in its style.

Get Those Harmonies

Do these barbershop singers look like they’re three heads on one body? Also, why are they singing at night? And why are the billboard workers putting the posters up at night too?

Here With My Friends

I just realized Nickelodeon got to a point where they were like, ‘Hey, ya know what really works for us in these bumpers? A trio of random people/animals/things that sing our theme song in beautiful harmonies.’ This also reminds me of that All My Friends Are Dead book. THAT’S THE HARSH REALITY, KIDS.

Made on Windows Movie Maker

This looks like a commercial for Mad Gabs.

Akin to The Little Mermaid

They stepped up their game and added a lead singing fish. They got a bigger budget.

The Prequel to Chicken Run

Guys, we hit the jackpot. A whole gospel choir full of singing chickens!!

 

Watch Your Back, Michigan J. Frog

Um, was Nickelodeon throwing lowkey shade at WB? Actually I don’t think WB existed yet, so probs not? Still. This also looks like the croc from the Crocodile Dentist game, which I had to Google as “Alligator Game” then “Crocodile teeth” then finally “Crocodile Dentist”.

Where Are Your Parents?

So you’re telling me this kid fell asleep in the living room while watching Nickelodeon, was dreaming about Nickelodeon when he started sleepwalking back to his bed, where he slumbered and continued to dream about Nickelodeon, but only in orange splat form? Ok, just wanted to be clear.

If You’re Thinking About My Baby

The kids’ version of Michael Jackson’s Black or White.

It’s 1994: Let’s All Decorate Your Grandma’s House!

In this edition of Let’s All Decorate, we are delving into one of my personal fascinations: grandparents. For the design-obsessed, there’s something even more fascinating about grandparents than their stories about the Great Depression: their houses. It’s almost like irrespective of income or geography, everyone’s grandmas and grandpas were decorating from the same catalog.

The best thing about your grandma’s house – other than your grandma, naturally – was that it was sort of a time capsule. After a certain point, your grandma probably decided that she was done redecorating, so visits to her house were like going to the Happy Days set. Even my more modern, design-minded grandma had these amazing artifacts of my mom’s 1950s childhood in her basement and closets. Visiting your grandma was a bit like time-traveling or visiting a living history museum.

Like all of our Let’s All Decorate installments, we are focusing on a time in the near past – roughly 1994, during our peak childhood years. In 1994, the relatively hip baby boomers weren’t yet grandparents (my boomer parents have 8 grandkids, but they don’t have a “grandma” house). No, grandparents of 90s kids were members of the “greatest generation” – which did not stand for “greatest generation of decorators.”

Let’s all decorate in 1994: when your grandparents’ house was full of love. Love, and probably a wooden television case.

Candy You Weren’t Allowed To Eat

“Eat me!”, the candy said.

“Eat some candy!”, your grandma said.

“Don’t eat that!”, Your mom said.

Everyone’s grandma seemed to have glass jars of candy – gumdrops and Werther’s Originals were popular choices. And your mom never let you eat it. Was it old? Dusty? Merely decorative? Who would keep jars of candy that children weren’t allowed to eat? Old people, is who.

It’s like every trip to grandma’s kitchen was a visit to one of those wedding candy bar tables and nobody gave you a gift bag.

A TV In A Giant Wooden Box

 

In the 1950s, there was an unfortunate collision of home decor forces: the rise of the television, coupled with the rise of suburban Colonial Revival. The result: the television set they would have watched in Colonial Williamsburg, complete with spindles and a drawer that didn’t open.

Fun fact: I remember my grandma searching for a new TV in the mid or late 90s. She complained about how hard it was to find TV sets in the giant wooden box, which she preferred because she said it looked nicer and warmer. Grandparents found naked televisions sort of stark and electronic-looking.

Grammy eventually found the wooden 13 Colonies Television, by the way. I imagine it was in a special basement stockroom marked “Grandma TVs.”

Paneling, Somewhere

When the grandparents of the 90s were the parents of the 1950s – 1970s, somebody convinced all of them that wood paneling was easy to clean and maintain, and could look either stately or rustic depending on how you styled it. My dad’s parents proudly proclaimed that they would never have to paint their living and dining room again!

Yeah. Because it looks like Pa Ingalls’ cabin, instead.

By the 1990s, nobody was installing wood paneling, but most grandparents still had it somewhere in their home, even if only in a basement lounge.

These Bowls

You know why everyone’s grandma had these bowls – often in way less appealing colors? Because she bought them in 1961 and Pyrex is indestructible. My mom has a set too, and I wish I did as well, because these bowls are the best.

Carpeting Where There Shouldn’t Be

And it was always gold or brown for some reason? And just a little bit too long.

When my parents bought their house from some older people in 2000, the entire house was full of gleaming original hardwoods – except the kitchen and the bathroom. The two very worst places to have carpeting.

Possibly Some Clear Runners On The Hardwoods Or Carpeting

Why even have hardwoods? Or carpeting? It really added to the “this is a museum of American life in 1976” vibe.

Toilet Paper And Kleenex Receptacles

Where grandma’s glue gun chops really had a chance to shine. Grandparents loved keeping a spare role on top of the toilet, and covering it in either a floral and lace-trimmed box, or maybe a hand-knitted cozy. Sometimes the toilet paper cover looked like like a human woman from the past, to go with the misguided colonial motif.

Weirdly Dark Lamps

They’re lamps. Yet they’re somehow making everything look darker.

This one kind of chair

Both sets of grandparents had these. I scoffed, but now I kind of which I had them for some of those hard-to-fill corners of my house.

Drapes. Not Curtains. Drapes.

That you’d draw, not open or close. These were usually heavy, light-blocking, and in some kind of a gold  or mustard color.

A tweed couch

Not always the primary couch, it may have been a pullout in the family room for grandkid sleepovers. It wasn’t necessarily plaid.

Knick Knacks From The Land Of Their Ancestors

Whether your grandparents were right off the boat or daughters and sons of the American Revolution, they probably displayed their pride in their ancestral homeland through figurines, dolls, and plaques.

[Aside: in my weird family, my grandpas were both those Irish-American guys for whom “being Irish” is like their number one hobby, so ancestral knick-knacks abounded. I don’t even think I knew until mid-childhood that my grandmothers weren’t at all Irish. Go figure.]

Maybe some religious stuff, too

This varied. I had one of those Catholic grandmas who had all of the merch, so there were statues, portraits and rosaries all over that joint. At the very least, your grandparents probably had a church or synagogue directory with their photo in it, and phone numbers of all the other old people.

There were other things some grandparents’ houses had, like absurdly old photos of you, old people smell, and plates full of baked goods that were foisted on you as soon as you walked in the door. But without the heart and soul of the 1994 grandparents’ house – their total love for and obsession with their grandkids – it would have just been a collection of decorating mistakes and DIY disasters.

Fall 2015 Pumpkin Spice Roundup

Now that it’s officially fall, we’re well into every white girl’s favorite time of the year – Pumpkin Spice season. I don’t know how it got to the extreme level of obsession, it’s like you really enjoy Pumpkin Spice Lattes from Starbucks one day, and the next thing you know, they’re marketing it as “PSL”, which is obviously the acronym for it and also the code baristas write on the cups. It’s gotten so crazy this year, that Starbucks tried to make it seem like PSL was available to VIPs, and if you wanted to get the bev 1 week early, you needed to know the secret code. There was a secret code to get a $5.75 PSL ONE week before it was released in stores. This is where we are now.

Last year, we covered the PSI (Pumpkin Spice Items, obvs) currently on sale, and because apparently this is an ever-growing market, I decided we needed to dig into this year’s offerings. Now, to be honest, I haven’t tried most of these things, so these comments are purely based on conjecture, but if you’ve taste tested any of these, feel free to chime in!

Pumpkin Pie Mochi

Pumpkin Spice Meter: 2. Mainly because it’s pumpkin pie flavor and not pumpkin spice.

Is it necessary? Maybe. OG Japanese ice cream mochi has flavs like chocolate, vanilla and AZN ones such as grreen tea, but I feel like pumpkin may be too out of the realm of normal. But that doesn’t matter, I bet this is good, anyways.

Pumpkin Waffles

Pumpkin Spice Meter: 9 – the perfect amount.

Is it necessary? Yes. This is the only item on the list that I’ve actually tried. These waffles have just the right amount of pumpkin spice in them that it’s not overwhelming and tastes like autumn in your mouth.

Pumpkin Spice Peeps

Pumpkin Spice Meter:  4 – based on the “flavored marshmallow” and overwhelming white fudge.

Is it necessary? No. I get that the Peeps company is trying to get consumers to buy their items year-round, and not just for Easter. I get that. But that doesn’t mean use the ziestgesty flavor of the season, dip it in white chocolate, and sell it to sugar heads.  Maybe just still to the original recipe and do a different color.  Rainbow, perhaps?

Pumpkin Spice Mini Wheats

Pumpkin Spice Meter: 7 – those pumpkin spice granules can easily get lodged in all those mini-wheat nooks and crannies.

Is it necessary? Sure. I feel like pumpkin spice goes well with breakfast foods (waffles, bagels, oatmeal), so why not with the Frosted Mini-Wheats. Does pumpkin have fiber in it?

Pumpkin Spice Latte M&MS

Pumpkin Spice Meter: 4 – the PS flavors are artificial so I’m guessing not the PS goodness that we expect.

Is it necessary? No. These are the flavors that only need to exist in M&M world: original, dark chocolate, peanut and peanut butter. I don’t want your crispy or pretzel or lemon lime (not real) and I don’t want your pumpkin spice.

Organic Pumpkin Spice Kale Chips

Pumpkin Spice Meter: who cares this sounds disgusting

Is it necessary? Absolutely not. Can we stop trying to make kale more than it isn’t? It’s fine in salads and ok as chips, but why does it need to be added with pumpkin spice??? Just stop.

Pumpkin Spice Hershey Kisses

Pumpkin Spice Meter: 3 – again, artificial PS flavor, real gross flavor

Is it necessary? No. Does anyone else just not like all the other flavored Hershey Kisses? I still would pick a million other candies over a Kiss, but if I had to, the plain chocolate is the way to go. Also do people actually just want a lil but of pumpkin spice in their bellies? If you’re hankering for that flavor, just get a PSL.

Pumpkin Spice Milanos

Pumpkin Spice Meter: 5 – not real pumpkin spice flavor, but good enough to be edible.

Is it necessary? Perhaps. Pepperidge Farms usually does really well with their different flavors. I used to be obsessed with the mint ones. The mini mint milanos? Forget it.

Pumpkin Spice Terra Chips

Pumpkin Spice Meter: 8 – yeah, I’m in support of this

Is it necessary? Yes. I fel like this would be a great mix between sweet and salty. Also Terra chips are bomb, so they usually don’t do wrong.

Boom Chicka Pop Pumpkin Spice

Pumpkin Spice Meter: 7 – I can’t imagine this using artificial spices on the kettle korn

Is it necessary? Yeah, okay. It’s another case of sweet and salty, so it’s probably good.  But we need to draw the line somewhere.

 

So The Pope’s In Your ‘Hood

Yesterday, Pope Francis touched down in his Shepherd One (large Alitalia plane) in Washington, D.C. for his first visit to the States as Pope (and as a human). It marked the beginning of a five-day trip on the east coast, and if I’m being real, interrupted my viewing of Ellen with Lester Holt describing a Fiat 500L. Even if you’re not Catholic, or religious, it’s still fascinating to keep up with, and if you’re a resident of DC, New York or Philadelphia, it’s kind of necessary since it will probably either make or break your day. So if you’re in one of these cities where the Pope is lit’rally blessing you with his presence, here are some guidelines to follow to stay sane with the holy one.

Get Ready For Angry Commuters

In Los Angeles, we already deal with a lot of traffic. But people’s anger is tested when the President is in town, as major streets have to be closed, subsequently rerouting folks all over the place. It’s the kind of anger that’s usually taken out on all social media platforms by pretty much anyone. There’s nothing worse than assuming you’ll be on time for work only to find out the roads are closed and you have to take 15 side streets instead, but everyone else is doing the same thing and you’re at a full stop and the only way to vent your frustration is by tweeting #THANKSOBAMA.

Spot His Ride

In likely Pope fashion, he got off the plane, walked on a red carpet, greeted the Obamas and misc. members of the archdiocese and got in his sleek, black, spacious Fiat 500L. If you’re one of the folks who saw this and thought, ‘Well that’s a choice’, Pope Francis is known for using more modest cars, as a reflection of his emphasis for a simple less consumeristic lifestyle. Still, the Popemobile is nothing compared to the whip he usually rides in all around the Vatican, a Renault 4 that’s 20 years old and has over 170,000 miles on it. I know Catholics are super not into change, but come on bro, at least see if Fiat can score you a 500L after giving them free advertising.

Check Out The Website NOT Made On Geocities

Photo Sep 22, 11 21 22 PM

For some reason, I was expecting the official Pope website to look like it was made via Geocities and include a lot of WordArt and Comic Sans, but I was delightfully surprised to see that it was none of those things (although I would’ve been pleased if it had). There’s a lot of useful information on the site, and the layout is easy to navigate. But my main takeaway was that the site is run by CatholicToTheMax.com. Catholic To the Max Dot Com. In case you missed that, it’s CATHOLIC. TO. THE. MAX. DOT. COM. Not just a little Catholic, or a lot Catholic, but to the MAXimum level one can be Catholic. GOD. BLESS.

Scroll His Twitter

While he’s not the type to share his location on Swarm or crosspost his #NoFilter photos from Insta, but the Pope does have a strong Twitter following with 7.23 million. If you’re hoping to get a reply from Pope Frank, it’s not going to happen. He’s more of a tweeter than a replier.

Buy Some Swag

After clicking around the website and CatholicToTheMax.com, I discovered a treasure trove of Pope branded items. Items I never knew needed to be made, or that there is even a demand for.

“Takes selfies. Not all about the bling.” Those are actual phrases on the back of that shirt. Why are 60 year old former ad execs attempting to market to teens?

THIS STANDEE IS $160. ALSO WHO ARE THESE WOMEN.

Again, who is coming up with the ad copy and ideas for merch? I didn’t realize people still wore custom dog tags. If someone had informed me earlier, I would’ve dug out my BSB dog chains a long time ago.

Again, what year is it? Are these yellow bands leftover from LiveStrong?

I *hat* Pope Francis = We *peacock* comedy.

Learn the New Words To Mass

If you are so inclined to attend one of the Pope’s masses, it’s important that you know that the words to the mass changed in 2011. I found this out recently when Molly & I attended our friend’s wedding, which was a full mass. Now, as we’ve previously mentioned, Molly & I met at our Catholic high school, and I went to Catholic school my entire life, despite not being Catholic. But I learned the script. I was prepared for our friend’s wedding – EXCEPT I WASN’T. Stuff like ” And also with you,” has been changed to “And with your Spirit.” It’s a small change, but it’s like Jim Halpert-level pranks that are so harmless but annoying at the same time. Although if you’re pumped enough to brave the crowds and see the Pope IRL, this is kind of a moot point (A cow’s opinion).

 

#Hamiltunes: How Lucky We Are To Be Alive Right Now

Because I’m your one crunchy cat aunt, I love NPR. But today I love NPR more than ever, because they posted the full, streaming Hamilton cast recording. If you want to hear it head over fairly quickly, because it probably won’t stay up for too long -but the recording will be available to buy on October 16. And let me tell you, it’s even better than I was expecting.

There’s been some discussion about whether people who haven’t seen Hamilton should listen to the soundtrack. As someone who grew up listening to cast recordings of musicals I hadn’t necessarily seen yet, it’s not an issue for me. Nor am I concerned about “spoilers” since this happened over 200 years ago and I know the basics.  Still, I guess if you’re super spoiler averse, want to hear the music on stage first, or aren’t familiar with Alexander Hamilton’s story, feel free to wait until you can see the show. I know that will probably not happen for me this year, so I never had any intention of waiting.

So what do I love about the Hamilton recording? First of all, Lin-Manuel Miranda provides all of the exposition modern audiences need to understand the story and the time it happens in – without ever talking down to us or underestimating the intelligence of a general audience. The different musical styles assigned to each character actually help further their character development and the plot. There are clever rhymes and allusions, but he is never clever for clever’s sake. Also it’s also just really, really good.

Here’s a brief track-by-track reaction, with the caveat that I jotted down thoughts as I was listening to it for the first time, so I probably mis-assigned the speaker a few times, and there are several tracks for which I didn’t get anything down. Fair warning: spoilers ahead.

Hamilton streaming online: how lucky we are to be alive right now.

1. Hamilton

I have listened to the White House performance of the early draft of this more than a few times, but this feels different.  It’s more musical theater (in a good way) with backing vocals and orchestra. I may be imagining shades of Jay Z’s Empire State Of Mind – both here and in later tracks, like The Schuyler Sisters. Leslie Odom Jr.’s (Aaron Burr) voice is amazing – speaking, rapping, and singing alike.

2. Aaron Burr, Sir

I love the old-school, fun rap wordplay – like pairing Burr, sir with bursar. Burr’s advice: “talk less, smile more, don’t let them know what you’re against or what you’re for” proves that there has been little change in the practice of politics since the 1770s. I love how the rap styles tell you about characters – the more youthful, energetic American guys vs French-y Frenchman Lafayette.

3. My Shot

This has been the breakout song so far. A really brilliant use of rap wordplay because the pun or double entendre with “not throwing away my shot” lies in foreshadowing. If you’re the kind of adult who reads colonial history for funsies or remembers everything from AP American – guilty! – then you’ll remember the controversy of whether Hamilton genuinely aimed at Burr at the start of the duel, or pointedly threw away his shot to signal that he was not out to kill.

4. The Story of Tonight

The formation of a new nation: this is like the pre-revolution Red And Black of Hamilton.

5. The Schuyler Sisters

This introduces the Schuylers as the Kardashians* of the 1770s (but not vapid, just that they’re rich and well-connected). This track establishes the colonial era as an exciting, modern time to live in. The harmonies between Phillippa Soo (Eliza), Jasmine Cephas-Jones (Peggy, and later Maria Reynolds) and Renee Elise Goldsberry (Angelica) are amazing and reminiscent of old-school Destiny’s Child.

6. Farmer Refuted

This one gets real 18th century for a sec, and contains actual references to the fact that it’s a musical without busting the fourth wall: “don’t modulate the key then not debate with me.”

7. You’ll Be Back

It’s a 1960s Brit pop-style breakup song, performed by King George. Actually perfect. Jonathan Groff is magic and Lin Manuel is a genius.  “I will kill your friends and family to remind you of my love.”

8. Right Hand Man

Like in the opening track, this is a great use of expository rap which I am just learning is a thing. That I am obsessed with.

9. A Winter’s Ball

Just your classic rap braggadocio that includes the claim that George Washington and Martha Washington’s feral tomcat was named after Hamilton.

10. Helpless

Eliza and Hamilton meet, and it’s like the perfect blend of an 18th century story, a very 2015 musical, and 90s pop/ R&B styling.

11. Satisfied

Renee Elise Goldsberry is a fantastic rapper. I love how Lin-Manuel Miranda creates this tension between Eliza’s relationship with Alexander against his feelings for Angelica, but you never question the loyalty between the sisters. Also a testament to Soo and Goldsberry’s performances, though.

12. The Story Of Tonight (Reprise)
13. Wait For It

If the lyrics weren’t about 18th century politics, I would think it was something on the radio when I was in 6th grade (in 1997-1998, for reference).  It’s also just a lyrically lovely song that does a lot to turn Burr from a villain into a man.

14. Stay Alive

It’s not just military strategy, but catchy military strategy.

15. 10 Duel Commandments

This track is not just a lot of fun, but actually necessary information for the Burr/Hamilton duel later on – it will be important that we know about seconds, that shots often aren’t fired in a duel, making sure there are no technical witnesses, etc.

16. Meet Me Inside
17. That Would Be Enough

They’ve been largely silent, but I’ve definitely heard some (often older, stodgier) musical theater purists bemoan a rap musical – especially one set in the 1700s. You know, as though your classic Musical Theater torch songs and 11 o’clock numbers would bear any resemblance to things people were singing in the 1780s. Well, I think numbers like That Would Be Enough should silence some of those folks. Some numbers are definitely more “musical theater” and this is one of them.

18. Guns and Ships

More expository rap, as Burr, Lafayette, and Washington strategize.

19. History Has Its Eyes On You

I don’t mean at all that Miranda’s rap is old-fashioned or boring – exactly the opposite – but I have to say it’s amazing to listen to a rap track narrated featuring George Washington (Christopher Jackson) and think to myself “my dad might like this musical.” [Background: my dad, an old white man, categorically hates rap – along with most music – and is so befuddled by musicals that he left Cats in the early 90s muttering “I just don’t get it.”]

20. Yorktown (The world turned upside down )

Consider this one sort of a My Shot reprise.

21. What Comes Next

YES. More ’60s pop from Groff. When you get excited to just hear a character again  – not even see them walk on stage –  you know it’s a good score.

22. Dear Theodosia

Aaron Burr sings to his baby daughter and it’s really moving (and for us history nerdos, extra sad when he says “someday you’ll blow us all away” and you know that she actually died at sea in her 20s). Alexander sings the same to his son Philip – we’ll get to why that’s sad later. Great way to humanize these historic figures. [Fun fact: Theodosia was the first person recorded to have honeymooned at Niagara Falls.]

23. Non-Stop

Miranda excels where a lot of librettists bore me: incorporating earlier numbers. After listening to this I realized this was probably at the act break, so it makes sense that it’s a bigger number with a lot of throwbacks.

24. What’d I Miss

So brilliant: this is like an oldschool motown tune because Thomas Jefferson (Daveed Diggs) has been gone for years since the revolution and he’s a little behind. He “basically missed the late ’80s.”

25. Cabinet Battle #1

I could see a cool history teacher using this to help explain how the US treasury was formed, as well as state vs national taxation and currency. So good.

26. Take A Break

I LOVE how in his raps, Miranda incorporates references and allusions that would have been available to these guys during their lifetimes – like Banquo and Macduff from Macbeth. The occasional baroque riffs are awesome, too.

27. My Dearest Angelica

Again, Miranda doesn’t underestimate his audience, and it pays off. This number actually discusses how punctuation changes the meaning of a sentence in a letter Eliza sent to Angelica.  Okay, we’re starting the Tony For Renee Elise Goldsberry campaign.

28. Say No To This

The orchestration is also wonderful throughout, as in the violin of romantic tension in this track. Hamilton meets Maria Reynolds, begins an affair, then gets a letter from her husband blackmailing him. Jasmine Cephas Jones really rocks her dual role of Maria Reynolds and Peggy Schuyler.

29. The Room Where It Happens

Hamilton has now adopted Burr’s advice from Act I. Yes, this is a rap musical, but to reduce it to just that ignores how great Miranda is with melody.

30. Schuyler Defeated
31. Cabinet Battle #2
32. Washington On Your Side
33. One Last Time

Christopher Jackson as Washington has such a gorgeous, smooth voice for this R&B-incluence number. American history teachers take note: this is a much better way to explain the two term custom than whatever’s in your textbook. Seamlessly incorporates Washington’s gorgeous farewell address, so well written (possibly by Hamilton, possibly not) that it fits in brilliantly with Miranda’s other lyrics.

34.I know Him

GROFF. I can’t overstate how the musical styles assigned to each character help move their characterization and the plot forward, as in this song where King George gets news that John Adams is taking over.

35. The Adams Administration
36. We Know

American political scandals have changed so little. In this song, it has broken that Hamilton gave hush money to Maria Reynolds’ husband.

37. Hurricane

Hamilton sings “I wrote my own deliverance.” Like so many politicians since, he admitted one bad act (his affair with Maria) to quiet talk of another (involvement in Reynold’s financial scheme involving back wages to Revolutionary War vets). How hasn’t there been a musical about Hamilton yet? His arc is amazing.

38. The Reynolds Pamphlet

Hamilton’s peers react to his publication.  It’s so good, and very similar to the reaction today when a politician’s rival falls: “never going to be president now/ one less thing to worry about.”

39. Burn

Eliza burns Hamilton’s letters, a clever way to explain why we don’t know how Elizabeth reacted to Alexander’s affair and the publication of Maria’s letters. Miranda turns Eliza’s silence into an act of agency: “I’m erasing myself from the narrative/ let future historians wonder how Eliza reacted when you broke her heart.” So gorgeous. Tony for Phillipa Soo as well, please.

40. Blow Us All Away

The new generation is taking over, and Hamilton’s son Phillip (Javier Munoz) is ready to “blow us all away” as predicted in Act I. There’s a duel between Philip and Burr’s man George Eaker. Yeah, dueling was really big. They went across the river to New Jersey (“everything is legal in New Jersey”) to the same dueling ground Alexander would visit years later. This number also helpfully reinforces the rules of dueling, which will be handy later.

41. Stay Alive (Reprise)

Phillip’s death. I know I’d be crying if I saw this live, because I’m crying listening to NPR (to be fair, I probably cry listening to NPR on a fairly regular basis).

42. It’s Quiet Uptown

Alexander’s grief after Phillip’s death. Great use of the ensemble. Really beautiful and melodic, further develops Angelica/Eliza/Alexander relationship. Again: Not just a rap musical.

43. The Election Of 1800

Love the electorate’s observations of Jefferson, Madison, Addams, Burr – a wonderful glimpse into the history of campaigning in the US as we head into another year and a half long election cycle, too.

44. Your Obedient Servant

Hamilton and Burr arrange their duel. I love their relationship as cordial enemies .. not all the way to frenemies. Political rivalries were so classy back then. The duel is on.

45. Best Of Wives And Best Of Women

This was more of an interlude. Adios, Eliza.

46. The World Was Wide Enough

Miranda brings back the rules of dueling in case you had forgotten some of them (I had). He also provides evidence for whether or not Hamilton intended to shoot Burr to kill (wearing glasses, for instance) or whether he was throwing away his shot. The action pauses as we enter Hamilton’s thoughts as his last moments play out. Miranda still leaves enough ambiguity – just like the historical record – that the audience can decide for themselves what happened. You also get some tones of regret from Burr.

47. Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story

Eliza is the one who recorded Hamilton’s legacy, interviewed his contemporaries, and controlled how Hamilton was represented in history — as she says, she put herself back in the narrative.  I’m crying again, it’s okay.

Emmy Awards 2015 – Best and Worst Dressed

It’s been a while, but we’re back in awards show mode, and what better way to kick it off than with the ceremony where all our favorite TV stars unite! Last night, we saw some gowns to die for and gowns that should maybe just… die. Since we’re considered fashion experts (amateurs) (no one’s every called us that), we’re doing something that no one else is going today and picking our best and worst dressed celebrities from last night. Did your faves make the cut? Pun intended.

Best Dressed

Traci’s Picks
Elisabeth Moss in Oscar de la Renta

This dress is obviously super simple, but I love that it’s tailor ed to her body, which gives it that extra detail. Also, with a bright color like this (which I love), it doesn’t need much more accessory-wise. Elisabeth was styled perfectly with the hair, makeup, simple studs, and minimal jewels.

Zoe Kazan in Miu Miu

Ok, so this isn’t necessarily an “Emmy Dress”, per se, but I love it. It’s flowy and perfect for the scorching LA heat, and red, from head to toe, looks great on her.

Aubrey Plaza in Alexander Vauthier

It was kind of hard to tell in most pictures, but Aubrey’s dress is actually accented with burgundy jewels, which is why I love it. The low cut neckline and high cut slit show just enough skin. And again, she’s styled perfectly since the dress is a statement in itself, with minimal jewels and a gorge bob haircut. She’s even smiling!

Ellie Kemper in Naeem Kahn

I don’t know if anyone else has noticed, but Ellie Kemper is a low key red carpet goddess. She rarely fails when it comes to picking gowns for these shows, and she didn’t fail last night. The colors in the dress are mesmerizing, and the asymmetrical lines give it just enough edge. Christina Hendricks also donned a similar Naeem Kahn dress, but Ellie edged her out just a bit.

Emma Roberts in Jenny Packham

Ok, so Emma’s face isn’t great here. However, she went for an old Hollywood look, and just nailed it. Yet again, it’s hard to tell in this photo, but the dress is more of a shimmery gold, which is on point for the occasion. The skirt flowed behind her when she walked, and was the perfect pairing with her golden curls.

Honorable Mentions: Nancy O’Dell in her own co-design with Evine Live, Allison Janney in Labourjoisie, Tituss Burgess in Bonobos, Cat Deeley (and fetus) in Monique Lhuillier
Molly’s Picks
Amy Poehler In Michael Kors

First of all, love this golden brown hair color on her – more natural and complimentary to her skin tone than platinum blonde or gingery red.  Amy almost always kills it on the red carpet, and I’m always a fan of formalwear that incorporates a non-tacky midriff. The bangles are fun and youthful, perfect for someone who doesn’t take this awards show thing TOO too seriously.

Tatiana Maslany In Bouchra Jarrar


It took the Emmys a VERY long time to notice Tatiana Maslany. Orphan Black may be a huge cult hit but a lot of people don’t know about it, or the actress behind the clones. I’m sure Tatiana was well aware that last night was her shot to make an impression, and this suit did just that. The looser fit was a bit of a gamble – usually on the rare occasion that a woman wears a suit on the red carpet, the pants are impeccably tailored and crisp. I’d call this one a risk that paid off.

Jon Hamm

Not only am I breaking my “suits and tuxes are too boring to be Best Dressed” rule, I’m breaking it twice. It’s just that Jon Hamm wears formal attire so well. Yes, tuxes and suits are not half as fussy or uncomfy as even the most comfortable gown, but a lot of men still manage to look sort of stiff and unnatural in them. Jon, however, looks like he has been wearing a tuxedo on the daily since he was a toddler. I’m also loving these throwback narrow lapels we’ve been seeing for the past several years – so much better than those schlubby, boxy 90s tuxedos. The tailoring is perfect here.

Kerry Washington In Marc Jacobs

Kerry Washington is one of those people who is SO gorgeous and wears clothes SO well that she often takes red carpet risks … which sometimes can fall flat or overpower her. So I was delighted to see this metallic chain mail piece that is a tad offbeat but, with the relatively simple and not too clingy cut, isn’t too over the top either. That said, the dress and shoes both must be uncomfy as hell and I can’t even imagine.

Gina Rodriguez in Lorena Sarbu


She looks like an angel. More runway-type, concept-y gowns don’t always work on the Red Carpet (see: Kerry Washington) but Gina looks like a dream and I swear we’re going to start watching Jane The Virgin. It can be very hard to wear white without looking like a bride or a girl at a really nice quince, and the mixed textures are what keeps it out of that arena. Love the pop of color with the clutch.

Honorable Mention: Teyonah Parris, wearing a great polka dot gown that would be very hard to pull off for anyone less adorable than Teyonah Parris.

Worst Dressed

Traci’s Picks
Heidi Klum in Versace

It’s always disappointing and a lil second hand embarrassment when a supermodel/fashion icon fails on the red carpet. It’s like she picked a 10th place finisher’s design from Project Runway.

Sophie Turner in Galvan

Guys, I know the 90s are back and all, but I’m still not on board with velour.

Jaimie Alexander in Armani Prive

I… just don’t get it.

Joanna Newsom in Delpozo

I really, really, really think these two are super adorable to the point I want to vom, but honey sweetie. The front of this dress. Joanna’s style is usually left of center, but I can’t get on board with this. Love you two, though.

Edie Falco in Prada

90% of the time, pleats are no good. This gown is included in that percentage. Also, the rando flower embroideries are confusing, and the fit just doesn’t show off Edie’s form. She can do much better, as evidenced from Emmys past.

Kathryn Hahn in Vivienne Westwood

I think Kathryn Hahn is one of the most underrated and underappreciated actresses in the biz. That being said, what is even happening here.

Molly’s Picks:
Tracee Ellis Ross in Zac Posen

Tracee has great hair (I mean, she is destined for great hair), and her face and skin are wonderful too. The general silhouette of the dress is fine, although I am never into that kind of bodice and I don’t like the cutouts on the skirt. So I think what I don’t like is the combination of that sweetly pink color with the glossy fabric – all I can think is Galinda from Wicked.

Taryn Manning in Rubin Singer

Maybe this isn’t a technically bad dress, I’m just over the Angelina Jolie/ Morticia Addams/ Theda Bara thing. It’s also hard to pull off unless impeccably styled, and her hair looks like a Delia*s-era Sun In and Wet Look combo.

Alan Cumming in Vivienne Westwood

This is so silly that I actually find it delightful. He looks like an old-time jolly chimney sweep who’s gettin’ married in the morning. The tie, the chain, the umbrella, the pocket square, the giant pants — I find it so joyful and fun that I almost want to put it on best dressed, I just know that it isn’t technically “good.”

Julianne Hough In Marchesa

It almost doesn’t seem fair judging reality tv people on the red carpet, because it seems like they’re in a whole different universe. It is something I would probably LOVE on the runway, or in Swan Lake, I just don’t like if for the red carpet.

Dascha Polanco in Leanne Marshall


If you were one of the good kids in school, do you remember how you would get in trouble if you made the slightest peep in class, because the teachers had grown to expect more of you? That’s how I feel about this dress. On anyone else I would probably just think “Okay, not my favorite” and move on, but I’ve come to love Dascha’s style so much that I’m surprised I don’t like this one. I do love the sunny yellow on her, I think I just hate this new trend of the super short opaque skirt with a sheer gown over it. I think they look silly now, but I think everyone will think they look silly when they look back in a few years.

Dishonorable mention: January Jones in Ulyana Sergeenco (only because I’m so used to LOVING whatever she wears).

Live Blog: Emmy Awards 2015

It’s hard to believe but it’s Super Bowl weekend! And by Super Bowl, we mean Emmy Awards, because, hello, welcome to our blog. Like we do every year, we’ll be liveblogging the ceremony on Sunday starting around 8pm EST/5pm PST, so come back and join us!

Friendly reminder that we’re still too cheap to update and get legit liveblogging technology, so please refresh this page every 5 to 10 minutes for our up-to-the-minute updates! Also, for up-to-the-second updates, join us over on Twitter!

Andy-Samberg

serious andy samberg welcomes you to the emmys.

7:15 M: Guys, I’m a bit worried. I tuned into FOX to see if there’s a preshow on (there isn’t) but (A) it’s still football, and (B) the announcer is speaking Spanish.

I should add that I majored in Spanish in college and spent like 5 months in Spain, but I am not interested in translating an entire awards show.

[Note: I don’t have cable and have noticed that my over-the-air FOX affiliate does some weird stuff, like narrating the action for blind people  – obviously not weird if you’re blind, but.]
On to the much-lauded Yahoo live stream. Right now: an overhead shot of a tight crowd of warm-looking rich people.

Oh cool. A clip from Louie. Really outdoing yourself, Yahoo.

7: 20 I almost always love everything that Dascha Polanco is. Which makes me think that me not liking her gown is a “it’s not you, it’s me thing.” To be fair, I’ve been hating on the short opaque skirt under a sheer long skirt trend.

7:25 Sarah Paulson (in custom Prabal Gurung) is asked who she wants to see tonight. Answers “Emma Thompson” without pause. You and me both.

M: Let’s talk about Tatiana Maslany. No, let’s LOOK at Tatiana Maslany. Jesus.

7: 39 Emmy Guy: I know Amy Poehler started this Smart Girls thing about not asking women so many fashion questions –

Naomi Watt: SO DON’T!

7:42 Yahoo wraps up Game of Thrones in 2 minutes and it basically sums up everything I said in What I Think Happens In Game Of Thrones (I Don’t Watch It). Also this GoT segment really doesn’t seem like a good use of time.

7:56 Good Lord, Poehler.

Same, Mindy. Same.

8:00 M: Well, my TV is in English now. That’s nice. Andy Samberg does a number emerging from a TV viewing bunker. Or as I call it, my house.

T: Legit just LOLed at the ‘Have you seen Castle?’ joke. You know who watches Castle? my aunts who don’t have a DVR and have to be home to watch Castle REPEATS.

M: Man. Aunts love appointment television, don’t they?

Did Andy Samberg end his number with “and I’m white?” Not a rhetorical Q, my tv pixelated right at that second.

T: I thought he said, “And I’m right?” We could easily both be completely wrong. We’re old now.

M: I thought he was making a commentary on why he was chosen as host and I was like “brazen, but … true.” Yours makes more sense.

T: “Justin Timberlake is not coming.” – Andy answering the question we’ve all been thinking.

M: I don’t watch GoT, but of COURSE there’s a mean nun.

T: I was just about to say, ‘I don’t watch GoT’ but Jane Lynch looks exactly like that mean nun. We’re not fans of dragons and incest and rape (?), okay.

M: I feel like GoT offers lots of nice braided hairdos, but so does Pinterest. [We’ll try it. Someday.]

M: Oh, Tina Fey looks gorgeous!

T: ::Emoji with heart eyes:: That quadrant of seating also includes Poehler and Jimmy Fallon. I want to go to there.

M: Also looking great: Amy Poehler. Now I just need Andy to make a lame joke about Canada so we can get a reaction shot of Tatiana Maslany, because she looks extra :heart eyes emoji: :praise hands emoji:

T: “If I wanted to see an intolerant woman dance I would’ve gone to one of Kim Davis’ four weddings.” I legit said, ‘OOOHHHHH SNAP” out loud. No one is with me.

M: Jon Hamm in a suit. You know?

T: “Dick Whitman Horny Hobo” Who wouldn’t watch this prequel, tho???

M: I straight up chuckled out loud when Andy mentioned the actor starring in Houdini then they focused on an empty seat. Dad jokes and things they would have laughed at in the 1920s really :get: me.

T: I cannot stop laughing at this Houdini joke, either!

M: Uzo Aduba: the new Ed Asner.

Allison Janney: The new Ed Asner and the old Uzo Aduba.

T: POEHLER & SCHUMER BUDDY COMEDY IMMEDIATELY PLS & THANK YOU

M: Sorry. I was just staring at my TV grinning like an idiot.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Niecy Nash, Getting On

Julie Bowen, Modern Family

Allison Janney, Mom

Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live

Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory

Gaby Hoffman, Transparent

Jane Krakowski, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Anna Chlumsky, Veep

Molly’s Pick: Jane Krakowski, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Also love Kate McKinnon, but SNL performers usually don’t win. Love Anna Chlumsky too. And Gaby Hoffman is amazing in Transparent. I like Modern Family but I’m sick of it winning, and I don’t like Big Bang and I’m sick of it winning.

Traci’s Pick: Anna Chlumsky, Veep

Wait, why are there so many nominees in this? anyways, I pick Anna Chlumsky because she plays the most sane insane person in the White House perfectly, and it’s about time she gets recognized for it.

Winner: Allison Janney

M: Is there a reason she’s singing her speech, though?

T: I want to say yes, but I definitely missed the explanation.

8:22 M: I want to be nice about Tracee Ellis Ross’s dress.

Louis C.K.: Every time you have an idea, you feel sure that that was the last one.

He may have been joking but that is 100% true for me.

Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series

David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik, Episodes, “Episode 409”

Will Forte, The Last Man on Earth, “Alive in Tucson”

Alec Berg, Silicon Valley, “Two Days of the Condor”

Jill Soloway, Transparent, “Pilot”

Armando Iannucci, Simon Blackwell and Tony Roche, Veep, “Election Night”

Molly’s Pick: Jill Soloway, Transparent, “Pilot”

I could see Transparent picking up a few awards – I watched it because I finally got Amazon Prime this year, and it’s great. Only caveat: not really a COMEDY comedy. The only other show I watch on the list is Veep. Not sure what Episodes is.

Traci’s Pick: Jill Soloway, Transparent, “Pilot”

I haven’t seen Transparent, but I’m going to pick it anyways. They’re going to have a good night.

Winner: Armando Iannucci, Simon Blackwell and Tony Roche, Veep, “Election Night”

T: I am glad they won, though, FTR.

M: Same.

Ricky Gervais doesn’t really walk so much as saunter.Photo Sep 20, 5 27 02 PM

T: He does this bit where he pretends to win an Emmy, and tells viewers to “Tweet that, and Bob’s Your Uncle” – barely any laughs for that joke, because this is America, and most people don’t get that that phrase means like, ‘And you’re all set’.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy

Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Adam Driver, Girls

Keegan-Michael Key, Key & Peele

Ty Burrell, Modern Family

Titus Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Tony Hale, Veep

Molly’s Pick: Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Would love to see a Titus Burgess win, but not holding my breath.

Traci’s Pick: Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine

I just rewatched the season two finale, and he plays that end scene so freaking well. If that’s one of the episodes they submitted, the Captain might have a shot at winning gold.

Winner: Tony Hale, Veep

M: Liking this. Hale says “I just had a fear my zipper’s down” and I immediately flashed back to every play I was ever in when I’d check my zipper like 8 times waiting in the wings.

8: 34 M: I never see Gina Rodriguez without thinking “man, I should really be watching Jane The Virgin.”

T: Same. We need to get on it.

T: Two things: Bradley Whitford’s hat. Also, CJ & Josh Lyman are in the same room right now.

uh is bradley taking off allison’s dress here

M: Jill Soloway wins for comedy directing, beginning our predicted run of awards for Transparent. Because I have trouble with names that sound alike: I always at first think she is Jill Sobule, of I Kissed A Girl “fame” (not the Katy Perry version).

T: Unrelatedly, I forgot to mention how OUTSTANDING Andy’s monologue was. Like, perfection.

M: So far, in terms of hosting, winners, fashion, speeches: no complaints. I don’t know if I’ve ever made it 40 minutes and had that still be the case.

T: Forte’s beard is OUT OF CONTROL. (BONUS JORMA <3)

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Anthony Anderson, Black-ish

Matt LeBlanc, Episodes

Don Cheadle, House of Lies

Louis C.K., Louie

William H. Macy, Shameless

Will Forte, The Last Man on Earth

Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent

Molly’s Pick: Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent

Should win, anyway.

Traci’s Pick: Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent

Like I said, they’re going to have a good night, and it’s thanks to this guy.

Winner: Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent

M: I wouldn’t tell you to get an Amazon Prime membership BECAUSE of Transparent, but if you were thinking of doing it anyway it’s a good perk.

M: When I see Matt LeBlanc and Matthew Perry, it’s like when you see one of your old teachers and are shocked that THEY got older, too.

T: I thought they were stuck in the series finale forever, TBH.

8: 50 T: Um that Apple Music commercial with Taraji, Kerry and Mary J was FIRE. How do I get invited to that party? ALSO, AVA DUVERNAY DIRECTED IT? TALK ABOUT #SQUADGOALS.

M: I was posting in our live blog then my head shot up when I heard Kerry’s voice.

T: Seth and Andy, BFFs together again, and paying homage to their leader, Lorne Michaels.

Photo Sep 20, 5 52 01 PM

M: Are they doing lead actress in a comedy next? Because I am not mentally or emotionally ready.

T: Ugh I hope not. I’m never ready. Amy’s been nominated 16 times? I cannot. WAIT IF AMY WINS AND SETH GIVES IT TO HER I WILL CRY.

M: POEHLER. Does a bit in a hoodie and shades.

pls note jimbo in the back

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie

Amy Schumer, Inside Amy Schumer

Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie

Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation

Lisa Kudrow, The Comeback

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep

Molly’s Pick: Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation

PLEASE?

Traci’s Pick: Amy Meredith Poehler, Parks and Recreation

IF YOU BUILD IT THEY WILL COME. (AM I USING THAT SPORTS MOVIE REF RIGHT?)

Winner: Julia Louis-Dreyfus

M: Every time JLD has won, it’s been totally deserved and I’ve been very pleased. Yet, a bunch of the times I’ve also been sort of pulling for Amy so not been as happy as I’d expect? Love her, though.

T: I am literally shaking because I felt like Poehler had a chance… I mean, I get a grip, maybe? Congrats to JLD tho, she’s great.

M: If I were Poehler I’d be wearing those sunglasses not as comedy sunglasses, but because of tears. I mean I’m not her and I almost need them. [Aside nobody cares about: I always pause for a sec when JLD thanks her kids because they have the same names as 2 of my nephews who are brothers.]

Outstanding Reality Show Competition

The Amazing Race

Dancing with the Stars

Project Runway

So You Think You Can Dance

Top Chef

The Voice

Molly’s Pick: The Amazing Race

I don’t know, I feel like they win a lot.

Traci Pick: Top Chef

In my heart of hearts, SYTYCD will always win, but I’m going to say Top Chef. Mei Lin FTW!

Winner: The Voice

M: Can they do reality tv on a different night or something? Or like on TBS?

T: “Sorry The Amazing Race, it’s our year this year”. Mark Burnett, calm down. Didn’t you guys win last year too?

M: Also this is not a real award category. It reminds me of a weird dream I had once when I somehow was on America’s Next Top Model and I made it like 4 weeks in because everyone felt too bad to kick me out even though I clearly didn’t deserve to be there.

9: 03 M: I love James Corden But when they play the Ghostbusters music I was expecting the Ghostbusters ladies. He is so huggable though.

T: I was just about to say I love James Corden! If you haven’t seen his Carpool Karaoke with Stevie Wonder yet, you should. And if you don’t cry like I did multiple times, then… well, you have your motions under control.

T: I’m also giving the accountants from Ernst & Young a standing ovation, but that’s mainly because I need to get more steps in for my Fitbit.

M: I’m like 800 steps under. Better get moving.

T: IDEC, I still think Terrence Howard is the creepiest. Remember when he was being really weird while presenting at the Oscars?

M: Oooh. Yeah. I had forgotten.

T: Oh, well Jane Anderson is a spritely little woman, isn’t she?

M: She reminds me so much of every enthusiastic writing professor in college.

T: “Oh my God. Goodbye!” is the new “OK I gotta go. Bye.” from Merritt Wever in 2013.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

Regina King, American Crime

Sarah Paulson, American Horror Story: Freak Show

Angela Bassett, American Horror Story: Freak Show

Kathy Bates, American Horror Story: Freak Show

Mo’Nique, Bessie

Zoe Kazan, Olive Kitteridge

Molly’s Pick: Zoe Kazan, Olive Kitteridge

Olive Kitteridge was pretty buzz-y which makes me wish I had picked up the book for the 2 years it was at the front of the book section in Target.

Traci’s Pick: Mo’Nique, Bessie

I’m assuming she did great in this.

Winner: Regina King, American Crime

T: NO JOKE, I WAS GOING TO PUT REGINA KING! I’ve never seen American Crime. Also, I want Taraji in my squad cheering me on all the time.

M: Moment of silence out of respect for Regina King’s arms/ personal trainer.

T: Andy’s new dark teal suit = Fresh To Death.

Photo Sep 20, 6 13 39 PM

M: “I haven’t seen Olive Kitteridge, I’ve seen Half of Kitteridge.” – if you don’t know who your dad is, it might be Andy Samberg, because that man is flush with dad jokes.

M: Man. Olive Kitteridge. I should watch it.

Wait… they just said “4 hour movie.” Eh. Maybe no.

M: They’re doing an In Memorium for departed SHOWS now? No wonder these things always run 20 minutes over.

9: 24

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

Richard Cabral, American Crime

Denis O’Hare, American Horror Story: Freak Show

Finn Wittrock, American Horror Story: Freak Show

Michael Kenneth Williams, Bessie

Bill Murray, Olive Kitteridge

Damian Lewis, Wolf Hall

Molly’s Pick: Bill Murray, Olive Kitteridge

I don’t know, just going to keep going with Olive Kitteridge.

Traci’s Pick: Bill Murray, Olive Kitteridge

Olive Kitteridge got a lot of traction with the critics this year, especially for its stars Frances and Bill. Also Bill Murray’s never won an Emmy, so why not?

Winner: Bill Murray, Olive Kitteridge

M: THAT WAS A WHOLE SEGMENT. Did a switchboard operator have a stroke?

T: Insert “DAMNIT, JERRY” here.

M: HA nevermind. The fake cut really got me.

They’re doing a Mad Men finale pastiche.

M: Kerry Washington – so pretty, tonight and always – has a jaunty walk. Should stroll with Ricky Gervais sometime.

T: Kerry is a GD dream and delight

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

Felicity Huffman, American Crime

Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Freak Show

Queen Latifah, Bessie

Frances McDormand, Olive Kitteridge

Emma Thompson, Mrs. Lovett

Maggie Gyllenhaal, The Honorable Woman

Molly’s Pick: Emma Thompson, Mrs. Lovett

I have hardly heard anything about Mrs. Lovett, so it will probably be Queen or Maggie, but I just love Emma Thompson so much.

Traci’s Pick:  Frances McDormand, Olive Kitteridge

It’s going to be down to the Queen, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Frances, but I’m going for Frances, purely because Olive Kitteridge is popular among voters, as previously mentioned.

Winner: Frances McDormand, Olive Kitteridge

M: Guys. Olive Kitteridge is NOT the 1920s American Girl doll. I just double checked. You’re welcome.

T: Frances’ speech was short and to the point. I honestly expected her to go on a 5 minute soapbox, but I’m glad she proved me wrong.

M: I mean I love … serious issues, or whatever … but sometimes I put my Secondhand Embarrassment Pants on when actors do the Soapbox Speech unless they do so quickly and well.

9: 30 T: TATIANA

M: I have no idea what this bit is but I’m always here for Tatiana Maslany. She changed her outfit?

T: I don’t think anyone really knows what this bit is, tbh.

M: Am I supposed to know these audience members they show when Gaga comes out, or did they just pick two kids because, like, “youths like Lady Gaga.”

T: Yes Gaga, you look fierce! Despite the fact your “joke” fell flat.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or a Movie

Timothy Hutton, American Crime

Ricky Gervais, Derek Special

Adrien Brody, Houdini

David Oyelowo, Nightingale

Richard Jenkins, Olive Kitteridge

Mark Rylance, Wolf Hall

Molly’s Pick: Timothy Hutton, American Crime

I don’t know what I’m doing.

Traci’s Pick: David Oyelowo, Nightingale

I’ve only seen clips of David Oyelowo in this, but that’s enough to make him my pick. He’s that good.

Winner: Richard Jenkins, Olive Kitteridge

that time richard jenkins was starstruck by gaga

M: What is the Kitteridge medal count? Okay, let’s all steal our parents’ HBO Go passwords and watch this.

T: It’s FIVE. Five for Olive Kitteridge, not American Girl Doll. Also Richard Jenkins, you’re QT.

M: Still feel like Olive’s character bio is like “a spunky, spirited girl discovering the wide world of the Roaring 20’s.”

M: You know you were a college kid in the mid 2000s when your gut reaction is “get off my screen!” when George W. Bush is on TV. His dog paintings are QT tho.

T: This is an In Memoriam for all the shows we lost this year? Here for it. Still gonna cry. SPOILER ALERT, THOUGH.

M: Again. The reason these always run 20 mins over.

T: I’M CRYING BECAUSE PARKS.

M: ME TOO. And offended that Two And A Half Men is on my TV, for hopefully the last time ever.

Outstanding Limited Series

American Crime

American Horror Story: Freak Show

The Honorable Woman

Olive Kitteridge

Wolf Hall

Molly’s Pick: Olive Kitteridge

The Target Book Club picks can’t be wrong

Traci’s Pick: Olive Kitteridge

Read above.

Winner: Olive Kitteridge

M: I filled that in as winner before they announced it.

Olive Kitteridge: A Plucky Girl Who Loves Her Country And Her Family. $82.99 plus S+H.

9: 47 M: Okay, I think we’re finally done with miniseries right? And almost done with TV movies? Can’t believe the Hannah Anderson Story didn’t make the cut.

Outstanding Variety Sketch Series

Drunk History

Inside Amy Schumer

Key & Peele

Portlandia

Saturday Night Live

Molly’s Pick: Inside Amy Schumer

The show seriously hit its stride this year. Key & Peele might have a shot.

Traci’s Pick: Inside Amy Schumer

Even though the SNL40 special was epic in every sense of the word, it’s Amy Schumer’s year, and she deserves it. The show was obviously really good this year too.

Winner: Inside Amy Schumer

M: Love that this happened.

T: YAY! I’m tearing up already! I don’t even watch this show on the regular! “We all had to get Final Draft once they picked up the show.”  This makes me laugh slash cry even more.

M: Amy thanks “this girl who gave me sort of a smoky eye.”

T: UM THEY JUST CUT AMY SCHUMER OFF???

M: WHO WOULD EVER???

10:07 

Outstanding Variety, Music, or Comedy Series

The Colbert Report

The Daily Show

Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

Late Show with David Letterman

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Molly’s Pick: The Colbert Report

More as a win for its whole run, not this season alone.

Traci’s Pick: The Colbert Report

With three outgoing shows, it’s tough to say which sentimental program to pick, but I’m going with The Colbert Report.

Winner:  The Daily Show

M: Well, that’s just as good a sentimental pick for me. Also, remember in the early years of Daily Show when they’d have interviews with random people who didn’t know it was fake news?

T: The on stage graphic for the Drama categories turned red and all of a sudden it was The Red Wedding, amirite? (Again, we don’t watch GoT).

Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series

Joshua Brand, The Americans, “Do Mail Robots Dream of Electric Sheep?”

Gordon Smith, Better Call Saul, “Five-O”

David Benioff and David Weiss, Game of Thrones, “Mother’s Mercy”

Matthew Weiner, Mad Men, “Lost Horizon”

Matthew Weiner, Mad Men, “Person to Person”

Molly’s Pick: Matthew Weiner, Mad Men, “Person to Person”

A sentimental pick that was actually good.

Traci’s Pick: Matthew Weiner, Mad Men, “Person to Person”

I really liked the Mad Men series finale, and have an inkling in will win, but in my heart of hearts, Lost Horizon, the episode that gave us this fantastic gif, is the tops.

Winner: David Benioff and David Weiss, Game of Thrones, “Mother’s Mercy”

T: Reg Cathey’s glasses though. Also this is his real voice? He gives Morgan Freeman a run for his money.

10: 18 M: UGHH Promising college students. As though their youth isn’t enough?

I love creative excellence as much as the next girl, but straight up nobody cares about high-achieving youths except for their families when all of us want this to end at 11 EST.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Joanne Froggatt, Downton Abbey

Lena Headey, Game of Thrones

Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones

Christina Hendricks, Mad Men

Uzo Aduba, Orange Is the New Black

Christine Baranski, The Good Wife

Molly’s Pick: Christina Hendricks, Mad Men.

I don’t know if this is a likely win, but I feel like a lot of people only mention her role in terms of the costuming and such, and overlook that Joan is a nuanced, layered character and Christina kills it.

Traci’s Pick: Christina Hendricks, Mad Men

I really want Mad Men to be the Breaking Bad of this year’s Emmys, in that because it was its last year, they got all the awards. But Christina will have some tough competition, including from Uzo Aduba, who is moving up in the world after submitting as a Supporting Actress as opposed to the Guest Actress like last year (which she won).

Winner: Uzo Aduba

M: !

T: HI I’M CRYING AGAIN.

M: is it weird that they have a crawler telling us when the In Memorium is? Also the bumpers tease the next segments like a bad local news commercial. “Will we remember our favorite entertainers in the In Memorium? Find out at 11!”

10:28

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Jonathan Banks, Better Call Saul

Ben Mendelsohn, Bloodline

Jim Carter, Downton Abbey

Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones

Michael Kelly, House of Cards

Alan Cumming, The Good Wife

Molly’s Pick: Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones

Not sure. Sometimes he wins things.

Traci’s Pick: Michael Kelly, House of Cards

Ben Mendelsohn was fantastic in Bloodline, like so good that as you’re watching it, you know he’s bound to be nominated for something. But Michael Kelly went through a lot of shit on HoC this season, so I’m going with him.

Winner: Peter Dinklage

“and the rest”

M: Ah, yes. Sometimes he wins things, indeed.

T: Um, what’s happening? Why is Game of Thrones winning a lot of things?

M: I wouldn’t know.

But seriously, it’s rapey as hell and I’m just not interested. Dragons? Swords? Nah.

M: In Memorium. Wonder what percentage of In Memoriums use Somewhere Over The Rainbow or It’s A Wonderful World? Or that one mashup of both of them. It’s like Catholic funerals with On Eagles’ Wings, clearly engineered to make you cry.

M: Got misty with Jan Hooks and Edward Hermann. Because I’m a human.

 10: 40

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Kyle Chandler, Bloodline

Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom

Jon Hamm, Mad Men

Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul

Liev Schrieber, Ray Donovon

Kevin Spacey, House of Cards

Molly’s Pick: Jon Hamm, Mad Men.

Makes sense.

Traci’s Pick: Jon Hamm, Mad Men

Legit forgot Kyle Chandler was nominated. But I’m going with my boy Don Draper, because he’s already had a tough life, let’s give him this, at the very least.

Winner: Jon Hamm, Mad Men

T: I AM LITERALLY JUMPING UP AND DOWN AND CHEERING FOR HAMM, WHO IS LOOKING LIKE A SMOKESHOW (PER USUAL)

M: Too tired to jump (although I need the fitbit steps) but I am smiling placidly. I like when his face is on TV.

T: ALSO, THIS:

Drew Baird & Liz Lemon

M: Oooh. Not at all ready for this category.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Claire Danes, Homeland

Viola Davis, How to Get Away with Murder

Taraji P. Henson, Empire

Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black

Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men

Robin Wright, House of Cards

Molly’s Pick: Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black

I know getting nominated for a BBC America genre series is a win in itself and I shouldn’t expect any more, but it would still be nice. Whatever, she won my fashion prize. Which I’m sure is just what Tatiana Maslany wants. To win Molly from the Internet’s imaginary fashion prize.

Traci’s Pick: Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men

Such a tough category! I have been going back and forth a lot with this one, and I’m just going to go with Elisabeth Moss. She’s been nominated for the show six times, and like Jonny Hamm, she has never won an Emmy on her own. I so so so so happy that Tatiana got nominated this year, like all of the Internet, but it’s going to be a miracle for her to win over enough Emmy voters to win this one.

Winner: Viola Davis, How To Get Away With Murder

T: WELL. GUSES WHO’S CRYING.

M: GOD am I crying.

“You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are not there.”

10:50

Outstanding Comedy Series

Louie

Modern Family

Parks and Recreation

Silicon Valley

Transparent

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Veep

Molly’s Pick: Transparent

It just seems like the sort of thing Emmy Voters would go for. That or Silicon Valley.

Traci’s Pick: Transparent

I really really really really hope I’m wrong and Parks takes it and literally runs away into a party where they get wasted and just be best friends all night long.

Winner: Veep

M: Emmys love Veep, huh?

T: Anna Chlumsky is EXCITED. But, tbh, so am I. It’s about time Modern Family stopped winning this category.

M: I love a good Andy Samberg tuxedo.

M: TRACY MORGAN.

T: YUP IT’S HAPPENING. TOO MANY TEARS TONIGHT.

M: I’m gonna have a crying headache tomorrow. What, you guys don’t get those? It’s like a tear-hangover.

Outstanding Drama Series

Better Call Saul

Downton Abbey

Game of Thrones

Homeland

House of Cards

Mad Men

Orange Is the New Black

Molly’s Pick: Mad Men

Come back.

Traci’s Pick: Mad Men

I miss you already, Mad Men.

Winner: Game of Thrones

M: ????

T: GUYS. MAD MEN THO. WHAT IS ACTUALLY HAPPENING.

M: LIKE ARE DRAGON SQUADS THAT EXCITING?! I do not know how Mad Men didn’t win. All of the people involved with GoT seem really cool and nice, and I’m sure they are great and the show is great too, but still.

Okay guys, that’s it! Thanks for reading and be sure to come back tomorrow for our fashion post! Gonna go pop some ibuprofen to fight off our tear-hangovers.

Give It Up For The Gilmore Guys!

If you’ve arrived to our blog for the first time, it’s important you know that you will see multiple posts under tags like, “Amy Poehler”, “90s” and “Gilmore Girls”, among others. The latter of which, we dedicated an entire week to in June in preparation for our visit to the ATX Television Festival for the Gilmore Girls Reunion. Yeah, we’re those kind of bloggers.

Naturally, anything concerning the show would make us interested, including a little podcast called the Gilmore Guys. I first heard of it last December, since my friends know I’m a crazy Gilly (GG fan), they asked if I had listened to this podcast yet. The conceit is simple – a longtime fan (Kevin) and someone who had never seen the show before (Demi) discuss every episode in the show’s seven-season run. Ok y’all, full disclosure – I started listening to the first episode and I just couldn’t get through it. I felt like they were trying too hard to prove they were funny and entertaining, and I went in hoping for insightful criticism on GG’s pilot ep.

Fast forward to a few months later when they had Scott Patterson (#LUKEDANESDREAMMAN) on the show, and obviously I needed to tune in. Although this particular episode was an interview (Gilmore Gab, if you will) instead of the usual discussion of an episode, I noticed that they were much more interesting to listen to, and felt like they were finally comfortable behind the mic. That led me to download random episodes, which led me to stalking Kevin on Twitter and seeing his suggestion to follower about which eps to listen to as a first-timer… and I quickly became obsessed. All I would do was listen to the podcast, and at a rapid pace, might I add, because I wanted to get caught up. This lead me to start rewatching GG on Netflix from the beginning so I could following along at home while listening to the podcast. I’ve been even more obsessed with GG lately (if that’s even possible), and started telling anyone who’s ever watched an episode of the show about the podcast. And that’s what I’m going to do today for this post.

gg

Where can I find the episodes?

Click here! Or ya know, use that Podcast app on your phone that you can’t delete.

Who is this podcast really for?

Gilmore Girls fans (both gals and guys) who like hearing a different perspective on the show with a comedy twist. This isn’t a serious in-depth podcast. You will legit LOL.

What’s the deal with these dudes?

Kevin is a freelance editor by time, longtime fan by night, and Demi works on social media/interactive components for @midnight, and first-time fan by night. They met through UCB (Upright Citizens Brigade, you n00bs), and exactly a year ago, Kevin sent out a tweet half joking about doing a podcast about the show, since it was about to launch on Netflix. Demi responded and the rest is history.

Photo Sep 14, 10 41 14 PM

Where did you take that picture? Who is that man in the middle?

Because I’ve reached the height of by obsession, I recently attended one of their live shows (AKA Town Meetings) in LA. They’ve already been to New York, Austin, Philadelphia and D.C., but since Kevin and Demi are based in LA, most of their shows are here. The guy in the middle is comedian Paul F. Tompkins, who was the guest for Episode 507, You Jump, I Jump Jack, which you Gillys might know as the Life & Death Brigade episode. Hence the tuxedos, umbrellas, and Out of Africa outfit.

There are guests?

Yes! Kevin & Demi rarely do an episode solo bolo, and often have one other person in the studio discussing the episode. The guests, usually comedians or in that world, either are fans of the show or, like Demi, have never seen it before.

Intriguing. So which episodes should I listen to as a first-timer?

Again, because folks know I’m hardcore, they’ve asked me about my thoughts on the podcast, or if I know my friends are Gillys, I’ll bug them to listen to episodes. In saying that, I created a Gilmore Guys Podcast Starter Kit, and now I’m sharing it with y’all! They’re currently at the beginning of season five, so there is plenty of time to catch up, and I’m sure many more great eps to come!

  • 207 Like Mother Like Daughter w/ Jeff Hiller
  • 208 The Inns & Outs of Inns w/ Jamie Woodham
  • 219 Teach Me Tonight w/ Sean Clements
  • 221 Lorelai’s Graduation Day w/ Aisha Muharrar
  • 222 I Can’t Get Started w/ DC Pierson
  • 307 They Shoot Gilmores, Don’t They? w/ Jason Mantzoukas
  • 309 A Deep Fried Korean Thanksgiving w/ Sarah Heyward
  • 316 The Big One w/ Aisha Muharrar
  • 401 Ballrooms and Biscotti w/ Jeff Hiller
  • 404 Chicken or Beef? w/ Anthony Troli
  • 413 Nag Hammadi Is Where They Found the Gnostic Gospels w/ Keiko Agena & Sarah Ramos
  • 414 The Incredible Shrinking Lorelais w/ Keiko Agena, Stacey Oristano, and Sarah Ramos
  • 421 Last Week’s Fights, This Week’s Tights w/ Aisha Muharrar, Mike DiCenzo and Mara Wilson
  • 422 Raincoats & Recipes w/ Jason Mantzoukas
  • 501 Say Goodbye To Daisy Miller w/ Todd Buonopane
Looks like some pretty awesome guests. Have they ever talked to any other members of the cast?

Why yes, yes they have! As previously mentioned, they had a Gilmore Gab with Scott Patterson, and recently interviewed Sean Gunn (Kirk) and Liza Weil (Paris). They’ve surprised fans at a NYC show by inviting Wayne Wilcox (Marty) to read some “lost scripts” – the full vid of which you can watch here -, and at the ATX Festival, Kevin had a chance to sit down with the Queen, Emily Gilmore aka Kelly Bishop. Also, they’ve interviewed executive producer Helen Pai and composer Sam Phillips (the ‘La Las’ singer), and maybe my fave gab, with casting directors Jami Rudofsky and Mara Casey, who are fantastically enthusiastic and give great insight on behind-the-scenes stuff.

Do I need to know anything before I dive into these?

My rule with any new TV show is to watch three episodes. If I still don’t like it after the third one, I quit. I’d say apply that rule to this podcast (even though I think you’ll only need one to get into them). Also, it helps if you’re a Gilmore Girls fan, new or old.

Ok, bottom line – why should I spend my time listening to this? And please be as thorough as possible with your answer, maybe even longer than you have to.

There’s probably no one more surprised to see the huge success of the podcast than Kevin and Demi themselves, but my theory is simple – it’s the perfect storm (the good kind, of course).

Gilmore Girls ended in 2007, wrapping with a seventh season many fans consider as its worst, since creator Amy Sherman-Palladino left due to failed contract negotiations at the end of season six. Moreover, they didn’t know if season seven was going to be its last or not, so what turned out to be the series finale was left open ended, leaving fans wanting more, and wanting closure.

I like to classify Gillys into three different groups – the OGs who watched it from the beginning and during its actual run (2000-2007), The Middle Sisters who started watching in the past few years thanks to ABC Family reruns and DVDs, and The Netflix Generation, who began to binge the entire series when it went up last fall.

Group all those together and you get a bunch of fans (most of whom are nostalgic-craving millennials) currently (re)watching Gilmore Girls, a show that ended eight years ago.  So when Kevin started this podcast last fall (around the time everyone was obsessed with Adnan Syed) because the show was going up on Netflix, he unknowningly had a huge fan base already.

Adding to the ‘perfect storm’ is Demi, someone who is popular on the Internet (just don’t call him a Vine star), funny, and up for anything, including agreeing to do a podcast for a seven-season show he’s never seen before and doesn’t even know if he’ll like. But that’s what makes the podcast interesting – no matter where you are in your Gilmore Girls ‘journey’, you can relate to either Kevin or Demi. Together, they make a great team and bounce off each other really well, with not only off-the-cuff jokes, but insights – by GUYS – that most female fans of the show haven’t heard that much of.

As mentioned, they frequently invite guests on the show, which makes the listener want to keep coming back each episode to hear a new perspective. Also, because of their connections to UCB and the comedy world, they’ve managed to score impressive guest stars like Jason Mantzoukas, Jessica St. Clair, Paul Scheer, and Paul F. Tompkins, and of course having Luke Danes hint that there could be a future for the show then getting picked up by hundreds of news outlets doesn’t hurt either.

In addition, it was a real blessing that the Gilmore Girls cast reunited at the ATX Television Festival in June, something that hasn’t happened since the show ended, adding even more attention to their podcast (and again, Scott mentioned it during the ATX panel). The resurgence of interest also rings true among the millenial fans of the show, who now work at places Rory would die for like The New York Times Magazine and The Washington Post, and can write articles about their favorite podcast.

In summation, this podcast is coming in hot at the right time, with a podcast by two insightful and hilarious hosts who *get* the show and treat it reverently, not like some extra-curricular hobby they have to take part in. Gilmore Guys is listed in the Comedy/Entertainment section for a reason, and you’ll soon see why.

 

Filling The Dancing with the Stars Card

The 21st (yes, really) season of America’s favorite celebrity ballroom competition series kicked off last night with a whole new crew of stars, a term which is used very loosely for this show.

I got into DWTS a few years ago due to my job, and although I’m no longer required to watch it, I find myself accidentally tuning in. This year, I had no choice, since my boy Nick Carter signed up for the show. (BTW my first reaction upon hearing he was cast was ‘Oh no. Nickolas. What are you doing.’ It changed to, ‘I guess I’ll be voting this season?). Of course this isn’t the first time a pop star or even boy bander has joined the competition, and it got me thinking – over the course of 21 seasons, the casting department and producers of DWTS, especially over the past few years, have made it a mission to fulfill certain “stereotypes” when it comes to the contestants on the show. Nick isn’t the first pop singer to join the program, and he’s certainly not the last.

Let’s delve into the certain characters and qualities that appear on the show every year – and determine who actually has a shot of winning the coveted MIRROR BALL TROPHY.

*denotes winner of season

Season 21 Contestant: Nick Carter {Backstreet Boys}

nick-carter-sharna-burgess-dwts-season-21

Filling the Quota: Pop star and-or actor/has plenty of dance experience/ringer

Preceded by: Alfonso Ribeiro (S19)*, Corbin Bleu (S17), Aaron Carter (S9), Lance Bass (S7), Mario (S6), Joey Fatone (S4), Drew Lachey (S2)*, Joey McIntyre (S1)

Usually Partnered With: Sharna Burgess, Alison Holker, Cheryl Burke

Notes: This contestant usually comes in having an impressive background in dance, but not necessarily with ballroom, making them meet high expectations on the dance floor. They’ve also got a sufficient fan base that will vote for them, no matter what.

Season 21 Contestant: Chaka Kahn {Soul Singer}

Filling the Quota: BBW

Preceded by: Patti LaBelle (S20), NeNe Leakes (S18), Amber Riley (S17)*, Sherri Shepherd (S14), Gladys Knight (S14), Wendy Williams (S12), Niecy Nash (S10)

Usually Partnered With: Tony Dovolani, Artem Chigvintsev

Notes: This contestant usually makes it fairly far (not eliminated the first two weeks), even though they’re not usually the best dancer, but they’re universally loved and bring personality and charisma to the show.

Season 21 Contestant: Bindi Irwin {Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin’s Daughter}

Filling the Quota: Most likely to be on cover of CosmoGirl or Teen People

Preceded by: Willow Shields (S20), Sadie Robertson (S19) Bethany Mota (S19), Zendaya (S16)

Usually Partnered With: Mark Ballas, Derek Hough

Notes: The teens are eager to learn, and quick to learn, maybe most importantly. They also make it fairly far in the competition, and it’s always a fine line between being sexy on the dance floor and remembering they’re underage.

Season 21 Contestant: Andy Grammer {Singer/Songwriter}

Filling the Quota: Rando singer/musician

Preceded by: Redfoo (S20), Gavin DeGraw (S14), Master P (S2), Billy Ray Cyrus (S4), Chuck Wicks (S8), Donny Osmond* (S9), Michael Bolton (S11).

Usually Partnered With: Allison Holker, Sharna Burgess, Emma Slater

Notes: You’d think musicians would have good rhythm as dancers, but most of the time, it just means their rhythm is better suited off the dance floor.

Season 21 Contestant: Tamar Braxton {R&B singer/Reality TV star}

Filling the Quota: Rando female singer

Preceded by: Willa Ford (S3), Marie Osmond and Mel B (S5), Toni Braxton (S7), Belinda Carlisle (S8), Macy Gray and Mya (S9), Nicole Scherzinger * (S10), Brandy (S11), Chynna Phillips (S13), Wynonna Judd and Kellie Pickler (S16),

Usually Partnered With: Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Val Chmerkovskiy, Derek Hough

Notes: Same as Rando Male Singer. Unless you’re former Pussycat Dolls star Nicole Scherzinger, who should could as a boy band ringer.

Season 21 Contestant: Victor Espinoza {Jockey/Triple Crown Winner}

Filling the Quota: Athlete

Preceded by: Michael Sam (S20), Michael Waltrip (S19), Keyshawn Johnson (S17), Jacoby Jones and Victor Oritz (S16), Donald Driver (S14)*, Metta World Peace (S13), Sugar Ray Leonard and Hines Ward (S12)*, Rick Fox (S11), Chad Ochocinco (S10), Warren Sapp (S7), Helio Castroneves* (S5), Apolo Anton Ohno (S4), Emmitt Smith (S3)*

Usually Partnered With: Witney Carson, Karina Smirnoff, Cheryl Burke

Notes: Unless they’re an NFL star, they have no chance of winning.

Season 21 Contestant: Hayes Grier {Vine Personality}

Filling the Quota: Reality TV/Internet Person/WHO?

Preceded by: Mark Cuban (S5), Rocco DiSpirito (S7), Steve-O (S8), Jake Pavelka (S10), Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino (S11), Carson Kressley and Rob Kardashian (S13), Sean Lowe (S16),

Usually Partnered With: Emma Slater, Peta Murgatroyd, Karina Smirnoff

Notes: Although this person has plenty of fans, the contestant has a lot of work to do in the dance studio. He gets frustrated often and knows how to be dramatic in front of a camera.

Season 21 Contestant: Alexa Penavega {Actress}

Filling the Quota: Younger actress

Preceded by: Rumer Willis (S20)*, Janel Parrish (S19), Chelsea Kane (S12), Sabrina Bryan (S5), Monique Coleman (S3), Kelly Monaco* (S1)

Usually Partnered With: Val Chmerkovskiy, Mark Ballas, Artem Chigvintsev

Notes: Is the underdog, surprisingly good and consistent throughout the show, a force to be reckoned with towards the end.

Season 21 Contestant: Carlos Penavega {Actor/Singer}

Filling the Quota: Younger actor/singer

Preceded by: Riker Lynch (S20), James Maslow (S18), Brant Daugherty (S17), Roshon Fegan and William Levy (S14), Romeo Miller (S12), Kyle Massey (S11), Cody Linley (S7)

Usually Partnered With: Alison Holker, Witney Carson

Notes: Is the underdog, surprisingly good and consistent throughout the show, a force to be reckoned with towards the end.

Season 21 Contestant: Gary Busey {Actor/This Guy}

Filling the Quota: Older actor/Comedian/Not a chance in hell

Preceded by:  Tommy Chong (S20), Andy Dick (S16) David Hasselhoff (S11), Buzz Aldrin (S10) Tom DeLay (S9), Steve Wozniak (S8), Jeffrey Ross (S7), The Holy Trinity – Steve Guttenberg, Penn Jillette and Adam Carolla (S6), Wayne Newton (S5), Jerry Springer (S3)

Usually Partnered With: Kym Johnson, Cheryl Burke, Emma Slater, Anna Trebunskaya

Notes: Just. No.

Season 21 Contestant: Paula Deen {Former Food Network Star/This Guy}

Filling the Quota: Older Actress/TV Personality

Preceded by: Suzanne Somers (S20), Betsey Johnson and Lea Thompson (S19), Valerie Harper (S17), Ricki Lake (S13), Kirstie Alley (S12), Florence Henderson (S11), Cloris Leachman (S7)

Usually Partnered With: Tony Dovolani, Artem Chigvintsev

Notes: Depending on the star herself, they could either fail (Cloris) or do really well (Kirstie).

 

Season 21 Contestant: Kim Zolciak Biermann {The Real Housewives of Atlanta}

Filling the Quota: Reality TV Star

Preceded by: Lisa Vanderpump (S16), Kristin Cavallari (13), Kendra Wilkinson (S12), Audrina Patridge and Bristol Palin (S11), Kate Gosselin (S10), Joanna Krupa (S9), Holly Madison and Melissa Rycroft (S8), Kim Kardashian (S7), Trista Sutter (S1)

Usually Partnered With: Tony Dovolani, Louis van Amstel, Mark Ballas

Notes: Because this is a REALITY competition show, after all.

Season 21 Contestant: National Guardsman Alex Skarlatos {one of the Americans who helped stop a gunman on a Paris-bound train}

Filling the Quota: Inspirational hero

Preceded by:  Heather Mills (S4), Chaz Bono and J.R. Martinez* (S13), Amy Purdy (S18), Noah Galloway (S20)

Usually Partnered With: Karina Smirnoff, Derek Hough

Notes: The demographic for DWTS LOVES a good inspirational story, one that makes you cry in the video package shown before their dance every week. This contestant usually does really well.

Other Random Quotas Not Filled This Season:

Female Athletes: Laila Ali (S4) ,Monica Seles and Kristi Yamaguchi* (S6), Misty May-Treanor (S7), Shawn Johnson* (S8), Natalie Coughlin (S9), Hope Solo (S13), Martina Navratilova (S14), Dorothy Hamill and Alexandra Raisman (S16), Lolo Jones (S19)

Female Models: Rachel Hunter (S1), Shanna Moakler (S3), Kathy Ireland (S9), Petra Němcová and Elisabetta Canalis (S13), Charlotte McKinney (S20)

Middle-Aged Actress That Were Somewhat Relevant At Some Point In Their Career: Tia Carrere and Tatum O’Neal (S2), Jennie Garth (S5), Shannon Elizabeth (S6), Shannen Doherty (S7), Denise Richards (S8), Melissa Joan Hart (S9), Pamela Anderson (S10 & 15), Ricki Lake (S13), Melissa Gilbert (S14), Elizabeth Berkley Lauren (S17), Danica McKellar (S18)

Middle-Aged Actor That Were Somewhat Relevant At Some Point In Their Career: John O’Hurley (S1), Joey Lawrence and Mario Lopez (S3), Ian Ziering (S4), Ralph Macchio (s12),

Season 21 Predictions: Final Three – Nick Carter, Bindi Irwin and Carlos Penavega