Things I’m Willing To Believe About 2015

Almost everything that is going to happen in 2015 has already happened. That means we’ve reached the point where you can sit back and reflect on the year that was … not. None of the following things actually happened in 2015, but the way the past year was, I’m willing to believe all of them.

  • The fastest-rising baby names were Temerity (girl) and Elfin (boy), springing from the trends toward word names for girls and names ending in “n” for boys.

 

  • Middle schoolers across the nation frightened their parents by “kale-ing” – snorting dried kale chips to enjoy the chill buzz of toxins leaving their systems.

 

 

  • The most-downloaded Youtube video in the U.S. was “oops-shite,” in which a British preschooler drops an ice cream cone then shouts “oops! SHITE.” YouTube Grand Master Martin Fillburgh called it a “perfect storm” of a child swearing combined with a non-American accent.

 

  • A Today show segment about a popular pair of sweat-wicking socks caused demand to skyrocket; they were selling for up to $15 a pair on eBay by Christmastime.

 

  • The most popular Google search was “how to hide political posts from Facebook.” The most popular Yahoo search was “how computer work.” The most popular Yahoo Answers search was “if I am pregnett with baby can baby get pregnett too yes or no.”

 

  • A detailed forensic analysis proved that at least two of Shakespeare’s worst sonnets as well as Timon of Athons were, in fact, written by his cousin, Trevor Shakespeare.

 

  • The least-attended panel in Comic-Con history was the reunion of Wild West C.O.W.-boys of Moo Mesa, an early 90s cartoon about a community of mutant old-west cows that formed after the prairie was hit by a comet, which I know existed because I watched it every week. Con planners are said to have “seriously misjudged” the pull of 90s nostalgia.

 

  • An entire chain of spin studios had to close when a serious strain of ringworm infected up to 70% of the patrons, many of whom didn’t really mind because at least that meant people could tell that they work out.

 

  • When pressed for a description of Minecraft, the creator explained “there’s like… these blocks, right? And you make a farm, sort of? But maybe like there are… wars… at times?” He then pulled a nine-year-old child from the audience to explain it better.

 

  • Archaeologists at Colonial Williamsburg believed that they had uncovered a 250-year-old time capsule. They scheduled a public opening, where it quickly became clear that it was actually a box of stuff a Colonial man didn’t want his wife to find.

 

  • At least seven flights were grounded when the combined GPS signals of the passengers’ Fitbit devices overpowered the plane’s navigation system.

 

  • People younger than you started a massive dance craze based on a 1970s Chilean novelty song.

 

  • Gwyneth Paltrow’s website, Goop, began selling amazingly ineffective cashmere towels for $475 a piece.

 

  • Your favorite show ended.

 

  • Somewhere in the United States, a teenager told a friend that they were singing a “song from an old musical” for an audition; it was from Rent.

America, at the end of the millennium.

 

  • The National Institute Of Health released a report entitled Everyone Is Fat And We’re All Going To Die: An American Epidemic.

 

  • Emily Patton, a 22-year-old recent NYU grad, launched #Married, a business that creates custom wedding hashtags for couples; each hashtag comes with a guarantee that the tag will not be used for any photos not associated with the wedding for up to 6 months after the event.

 

  • For the first time ever, 100% of the models in New York Fashion Week were born after 1990; over 10% were born in this millennium.

 

  • Someone you went to college with got a pug. And I bet it’s really cute, too.

 

  • Ariana Grande placed a drive-through Dunkin Donuts order that she had to repeat 13 times, as the girl CANNOT ENUNCIATE.
  • The latest hit social network: Mrow, described as “like Vine but for cats, on more of a Twitter interface.”

 

  • The fastest-growing subscription box company of the year was Flounce. Once a month subscribers get a box to fill with clothing they already own; it is mailed back to them with minor embellishments like lace ruffles, embroidery, or a bow.

 

  • A three-day convention called Handsome, Clever And Rich celebrated the bicentennial of Jane Austen’s novel Emma along with the 20-year anniversary of Clueless. Festivities were held in Surrey and Beverly Hills. Events included speed dating and makeovers; it was described by attendees as well-intentioned but a little shallow.

 

  • A Go Fund Me account has raised over $500 for Pizza Rat and his or her children.

Playlist of the Month: Christmas Songs by Jewish Artists

Hanukkah 2015 is already in the books. That means that from this point onward, people of all religions can focus on that other December holiday: Christmas. Sure, if we’re getting technical about it Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus – but it’s also turned into a cultural celebration where we put our differences aside and eat cutout cookies, decorate trees, and jam out to the likes of Barbra Streisand and Amy Winehouse. Who better to sing Happy Birthday to one of the most famous Jewish babies in the world?

Traci’s Picks

The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)
Mel Torme and Judy Garland

This tune is one of the iconic Christmas songs we all know and love, but did you known it was written by two Jews? Mel Torme and Bob Wells wrote it in 1945 in the middle of summer in an effort to cool down. Truth. Bob was randomly writing down wintery things on a notepad like, “Yuletide carols” and “Jackfrost” and “folks dressed up like Eskimos” because he was so damn hot, but when Mel (who was 19 at the time) took a look at it he saw them as song lyrics. The rest is history. This version features Mel on Judy Garland’s self-titled TV show, and also includes a sly Over the Rainbow ref. This is the kind of song that just warms your heart.

Happy Xmas (War is Over)
Adam Levine & Sara Bareilles

Many people have covered John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s iconic Christmas protest song, but there’s something special about the pairing of Adam and Sara. Adam has the right range for it, while Sara can literally sing anything and I’d be on board.

This Christmas
Carole King

This Christmas is one of my favorite modern day holiday jamz. Maybe it’s because I grew up listening to Platinum Christmas and heard R&B singer Joe’s version on repeat, but I associate this with pop and R&B acts, not folky types like Carole King. But that’s what makes me love this version that much more. She gives it a lived in, Tapestry quality to it that makes you want to curl up by the fire and drink hot cocoa.

From a Distance (Christmas version)
Bette Midler

Listen up. Sometimes I enjoy turning up to the easy listening radio station. I can enjoy a good Kenny G tune or Celine Dion power ballad every once in a while. I can also appreciate Bette Midler and her classic tune From a Distance. BUT, in doing research for this post, I found out she made an alternative Christmas version that is maybe even better than the OG? Maybe. But the Queen of the Jews singing “Joy to the World” at the end is the best. The best.

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
Amy Winehouse

No bit zone – I really think Amy would’ve made an amazing Christmas/holiday album. Her voice is already astounding, but her spin on classic songs would’ve been such a hit.

Molly’s Picks

Baby It’s Cold Outside
Idina Menzel and Michael Buble

Yes, this song is creepy, but this version subs out some of the skeevier lyrics, making it my favorite rendition.

It was only a matter of time before Idina Menzel released a Christmas album. This particular song is really just a winter song, but there are plenty of Christmas-specific tracks on the album.

White Christmas
Barbra Streisand

How about a two-fer: when he wrote White Christmas, Irving Berlin, nee Israel Baline, made the most important Jewish contribution to the Christmas holiday since the Virgin Mary. Then Barbra Streisand covered it, and while nobody, not even Babs, is Bing Crosby, this is still pretty darn wonderful.

Must Be Santa
Bob Dylan

If you ever doubt the extent to which Bob Dylan DGAF, just watch this video.

Christmas Must Be Tonight
The Band

Two things you may not have known: The Band performs a good Christmas song, and Robbie Robertson is Jewish.

Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight)
The Ramones

This is my second-favorite song about sparring on Christmas (after the fantastic Fairytale of New York) – and it proves that you don’t have to grow up celebrating Christmas to know that it’s a holiday that sparks a lot of arguments.

It’s The 90s: Let’s All Decorate For Christmas!

Here’s a bit of 90s nostalgia you never hear about: Christmas decorations. That’s because holiday decor of the 1990s, like holiday fashion and holiday television, was delightfully cheesy. In this, the Let’s All Decorate Christmas Special, let’s look back at the Yuletide decor of the 1990s. Then next week, you can revisit 90s Christmas decorations all over again when you visit your parents who are still displaying the ornaments of your youth.

Ceramic Tree With Half Of The Bulbs Missing

For a 20-year period, everyone had one aunt who took a ceramics class where she painted and glazed a Christmas tree. You probably lost most of the bulbs within a decade (especially if you had cats). The “classy” ones were frosted white.

Lights Hung Inside The Windows Because You Didn’t Have An Outdoor Outlet

Outdoor electric outlets certainly existed in the 90s – but more homes hadn’t added them yet, so you saw a lot more lights strung up inside the windows. We’ve come full circle: I don’t have an outlet at the front of my house, so I hang twinkling fairy lights inside my windows.

Giant Bulbs

We are all Chandler Bing. At some point in the 1990s the tiny lights took over, but the big ones are sort of back in a retro way now.

Slow-Moving Animatronic Santa

Even at the turn of the millennium, our technology wasn’t really *all there* yet. It took us 5 minutes to sign on to the Internet and our cell phones were as big as kittens. These slow, jerky electronic Santas were pretty high-tech for the time. Also they looked like they were about to launch into a really awesome break dancing performance at any time.

Aerosol Spray Snow

I was never allowed to have spray paint snow, in part because my mom didn’t want to clean it up and in part because I lived in a city that gets 100 inches of annual snowfall. Still, these aerosol cans of “snow” were all the rage. Some people stenciled elaborate snow scenes, but most just frosted the bottom quarter of their windows and called it a day.

Precious Moments Nativity

Reignite THIS 90s trend, teenaged Tumblr hipsters! Precious Moments, deformed cartoon children who loved Jesus, were popular in middle class homes in the 90s. Somehow I ended up with a hand-me-down set, so just like suburbanites in 1991 I can reflect on these two weird-looking kids who have a baby.

Country Angels

My requisite Grandma Who Was Into Crafting loved making angels …  which are now part of my Christmas decoration stash because somebody decided I should have them. There’s a crepe-y one in “country blue,” a doll-like one with a raffia head, a puffy squat plush one, and a gingham-dressed doll with straw hair. Country Angels were the Yuletide companion to those damned country geese. If your mom decorated in powder blue and “dusty rose” and hung quilts on the wall, she probably had a country angel or two to herald the birth of the Baby Jesus.

Those Big Plastic Santas and Snowmen

Before those blow-up decorations burst onto the scene, these big plastic Santas and Snowmen were the in thing. Of course, if you were really into the *reason for the season* you probably had this bad boy:

Ceramic Ornaments You Painted Yourself

Every year as a child, I looked forward to a craft day spent meticulously painting these ceramic ornaments. And every year as an adult, I regret keeping so many terribly painted ornaments from my childhood (turns out kids aren’t actually meticulous).

A Village From Yesteryear

There are still plenty of collectors of Christmas villages, they were just bigger in the 90s. These elaborate villages were complete with cottony snow and tiny carolers. I thought they were awesome, but also sort of a tease because it was a whole set of cool toys that you weren’t allowed to play with.

Christmas villages were usually set somewhere in the 19th century, but has it been long enough that we can have a 1990s Christmas village? Because THAT is something I’d collect.

A Big Victorian Angel

Another thing that technically still exists, but has been phased out by most decorators of our generation. Nowadays people choose stars, less-fluffy angels, conceptual tree-toppers, or nothing at all.

Hess Trucks

I never got the connection between Christmas and Hess Trucks, but some people not only bought them every year (normal) but also displayed them every Christmas (okay).

Collectibles From A Fast Food Place

Fast food glassware is a thing of the past, but in the 90s you could go to Burger King or McDonald’s and obtain a set of Christmas cups or plates. Happy Meal toys could even be called into decorating service:

Yuletide Troll Dolls

I don’t know why we liked trolls so much, but we did – and even adults incorporated them into their holiday decor. There were plush trolls that a child could cuddle on Christmas Eve, too.

Holiday Beanie Babies

Now, everybody knew that the special holiday beanies were more “valuable” so you had to treat these gingerly if you wanted to sell them for big money in 20 years (oops).

A Christmas Barbie

I had friends whose moms collected the annual holiday Barbie. It was usually wearing some kind of swanky gown and displayed with pride in a mirrored curio cabinet.

A Porcelain Doll Dressed Like She’s From The 1800s

They always looked like a cross between a ghost and a rich girl from a Charles Dickens novel.

A Stuffed Bear In Outerwear

I just learned that K-Mart released Christmas bears every year, so I guess that’s where everyone was getting these from in the 90s.

 

The Woman Who Wrote Sisters Is Your Favorite Person You’ve Never Heard Of

We’ve written about our comedy deity numerous times on the blog before – the queens that are Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Instead of writing about how much we adore and look up to these wonderfully smart, talented, confident women before their BLOCKBUSTER movie Sisters comes out on Friday (against Star Wars – #YouCanSeeBoth), let’s talk about the person who is responsible for bringing our First Ladies back together, the writer of Sisters, Paula Pell.

totally normal, casual photo

For comedy nerds, Paula and her impressive career shouldn’t be news to you. But for those who aren’t as geeked as us, here’s a brief intro to this hilarious human. Paula’s first big break was in the mecca itself, Saturday Night Live. She started as a writer in 1995 and continued working there until 2013, but she occasionally writes a few sketches here and there (and rumor has it she might be returning this weekend when Tina & Amy double up as hosts!). But more on SNL later.

Paula’s writing has spanned into her own webseries Hudson Valley Ballers, and she was hired by Judd Apatow to tweak, or “punch-up” the scripts for Bridesmaids and This Is 40. Plus she’s a great follow on Twitter.

On screen, you might remember her as Ron Swanson’s mom, Tammy Zero, on Parks and Rec:

or Pete Hornberger’s problematic wife Paul on 30 Rock:

But back to SNL. In her nearly 20 year tenure at the show, she wrote some of the most iconic sketches in the show’s history, and you’ve probably quoted her lines at least one point in your life.

Starting with the most recent, she returned for the SNL 40th Anniversary special, joining forces with longtime SNL writer/producer & Tonight Show announcer Steve Higgins and Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake for the musical journey through SNL history in the cold open:

And Paula’s work was mentioned multiple times throughout that song, since he work is so prevalent in SNL history. Here are just some of the sketches she’s written throughout the years. If you like any of these, you’ll probably like Sisters too. #YouCanSeeThemBoth.

Bobbi and Marty Culp

I remember truly getting into SNL when I was in 6th grade, when the main players included folks like Will Ferrell, Tracy Morgan, Tim Meadows, Ana Gasteyer, Molly Shannon, etc. Needless to say, it was a solid time for the show. During this era was a sketch featuring The Culps, a husband and wife team of music teachers and frequent random school assembly performers. Their shtick was to cover “hip” pop tunes but still sing it in a ridiculous way, and still to this day, sketches like The Culps and a few below have special places in my heart that feel like a warm hug.

Spartan Cheerleaders

<<click here to see a classic Spartan cheerleader sketch!>>

Will Ferrell and Cheri Oteri’s over enthusiastic and under qualified Spartan cheerleaders are two of the most recognizable and beloved characters to come out of SNL, and Paula helped bring them to life. She and Will and Cheri would write all the sketches together, and Paula has even said their late-night sessions even led to Will taking off his shirt in delusion. Oh to be in those offices. For the genius in the making – not shirtless Will Ferrell. To be clear.

Debbie Downer

<<check out the epic Lindsay Lohan Debbie Downer sketch here!>>

Paula helped create possibly Rachel Dratch’s most memorable role as the depressing Debbie Downer who just could not catch a break. Years later, I feel like the term “Debbie Downer” is still used in regular vocabulary to describe anyone who is just downright miserable. Which I think is ironic, seeing as how Debbie Down only brings us joy to our lives. Plus, I will still watch that classic Lindsay Lohan episode every few months.

Omletteville

<<Watch Paula’s work in the sketch that helped JT become SNL royalty>>

In 2003, Justin Timberlake was coming off ‘N Sync and setting himself apart as a solo artist. But when he signed up to host SNL for the first time, he also had to prove his acting and comedic chops. Little did we know he blew us all away and went on to become a member of the prestigious Five-Timers host club. In that very first ep he hosted in ’03 when he knocked it out of the park, he did a sketch called Omeletteville, in which he dressed up as a giant omelette in order to promote a nearby breakfast restaurant. His rival? Chris Parnell, dressed as bacon and eggs and also keen on getting customers into his diner. The sketch was such a hit, that JT has gone back to do it five more times, including visits to Homlessville, Wrappinville, Veganville, Liquorville, and more.

Appalachian Emergency Room

 

<<The genius continues with this Christmas-related clip>>

Paula’s sketch featured the emergency room where redneck folks who got into redneck medical issues would go to be healed. I feel like this sketch was so odd and obscure and weird and off-kilter that it was brilliant.

Gilly

<<Click to watch SORRY! from Gilly & Paula!>>

Paula continued her streak of writing iconic characters for cast members with Gilly, A mischievous schoolgirl with an afro and questionable facial expressions played by Kristen Wiig. The initial unassumingness of Gilly, the use of repetition, and Kristen’s natural comedic talent make this such a great character, and Paula is the one to credit.

Comments, Questions, Concerns: Coat Of Many Colors

Like most tv movies, Coat of Many Colors left us with a few questions, a handful of concerns, and a whole lot to say. Airing on NBC last night, it was a two-hour sugar-fest as Dolly Parton told a childhood tale of this one coat she had. And I loved it.

Comment: Dolly Parton + Red Sequins + A Sleigh + Dollywood = Christmas Magic

Dolly opens the movie wearing a sequined dress and sitting in a sleigh in Dollywood. That might be the merriest thing I’ve seen all season. By the way, when I was a kid I thought Dolly was way older than she is (even though she looks great). It’s because I interpreted her platinum hair as white, and also because being from the Northeast, I’ve only ever known very old ladies to have that kind of sculpted, sprayed-out hair and heavy makeup. But again: Dolly looks wonderful. .

Question: Did Baby Dolly really trot up the aisle at church wearing clownish makeup and singing?

They’re retroactively making Baby Dolly act just like Sassy Adult Dolly. She even quips that she wants to go to heaven but doesn’t want to “look like hell to get there.”  Dolly fans will remember that story about how she saw a heavily made-up woman as a child, and told her mother that’s what she wanted to look like. “That woman’s trash,” her mother replied. “That’s what I’m gonna be when I grow up, trash!” Dolly said. The whole thing sounds more like a funny story an adult would make up, or a Family Circus comic, but whatever. It’s a cute origin story.

Comment: This Baby Dolly actress is adorable. Oh my goodness. And she’s great!

Face it, a lot of child actors are working just because they’re cute, can read lines fairly convincingly, and they aren’t awful to work with. But this girl is adorable and she can ACT. I know 8-year-olds. Most of them could never do this. Her name is Alyvia Alyn Lind; remember it.

Concern: Can this family support another kid?

Dolly is excited about getting a new sibling, but seemingly has dozens already. They’re like blonde, southern Weasleys. I’d say Muggle Weasleys, but we all know that Dolly is magic. (I looked it up, by the way. Dolly had 11 siblings and obviously it worked out just fine for her).

Comment: Dolly’s mom compliments each kid when she prays before dinner.

I don’t even care if it’s not true, that’s beautiful and something I’d do if I had kids. A lot of people complain about the modern ‘everybody gets a prize, everybody is special’ parenting, but if you let kids know what’s wonderful about them they’ll always remember to let those qualities shine.

Question: Will this end with a Christmas scene? I may not be able to deal with that.

Spoiler: it doesn’t, unless you count Dolly in that sleigh again.

Comment: This sequence after Dolly’s brother dies is ROUGH.

Dolly’s baby brother dies and adult Dolly takes over singing. Props to little Alyvia for keeping up with a duet with Dolly Parton. However, if this movie doesn’t pick up after baby Larry dies, I’m going to have to change the channel.

Comment: Jennifer Nettles, everybody.

She’s great! As is Ricky Schroeder, who I didn’t recognize at first but should have due to his trademark twinkling blue eyes.

Question: She’s going to turn the dead baby’s blanket into a coat for Dolly, right?

Right. Dolly is really excited to be the first person to wear it. I’d say that was sad, but as a kid my wardrobe was like 80% hand-me-downs, 10% school uniforms, 10% new, so I feel that.

Concern: I’ve gotten so into this movie that I’m starting to think Willadene and Dolly are pretty cute names.

When I first started at my job, a copy-editor addressed a whole bunch of queries to me as Dolly instead of Molly. I thought it was the cutest mistake ever.

Comment: MAN SCREW THOSE KIDS laughing at Dolly’s coat.

Her coat is beautiful and all their brown clothes suck. They’re like Garbage Pail Kids. Or the Herdmans (Best Christmas Pageant Ever? Anyone?).

Concern: There is an hour left and the only thing to resolve is whether or not Dolly will feel good about her new coat.

And I guess whether her dad will start to like church.

Question: Why don’t we like that girl Judy? She seems nice.

There’s some reason we don’t like the Ogles (the Garbage Pail Kids/ Herdmans) but I must have been out of the room. Anyway, apparently Judy is still Dolly’s BFF, which is precious.

Comment: I just got really excited when I realized Dolly’s dad was probably going to start going to church and become wonderful.
Concern: How will they fit Jolene into this?
Comment: Dolly cuts school to put on makeup at a department store. Dolly, you little scamp.
Comment: “I’ve got a little, shriveled up black heart” – Baby Dolly, expressing my worst fears about myself to be totally honest.

But she doesn’t, of course. Dolly is full of love. Do you all know about Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library? Get acquainted. Rumor has it she gives a TON of her money away to other causes too, but it is mostly anonymous.

Question: Can you do big confessions of love at Church like that?

Dolly’s parents have one of those romantic public confession of love scenes — in the middle of church. Can you do that? I grew up Catholic and for us, the answer is definitely no.

Comment: YOU WEAR THAT COAT, PRECIOUS BABY DOLLY.

 

 

Coveted 90s Christmas Toys

It seems like everything from the 80s and 90s is getting a revival these days – from Full House to The X Files to Jem and the Holograms (although that didn’t go so well). There’s a rush of nostalgia going on right now, but it seems different to us millennials because it actually pertains to us. Instead of wearing 70s-inspired bell bottoms when we were in 7th grade, now we’re the ones who are rocking daisy print baby dolls dresses and jelly shoes. Yeah, I feel old too.

In addition to fashion and entertainment, kids’ toys also somehow make a comeback, with things like Easy-Bake Ovens (which are weirdly futuristic looking now) and Puppy Surprises reappearing. In fact, the Puppy Surprise, you know that stuffed animal that’s holding an unknown number of baby puppies in its velcro sack, made a return last year, and it was so popular that the company had to stop airing commercials because the demand was so high.

Easy-Bake Ovens and Puppy Surprises may have been coveted in the 90s for Christmas, but they’re just as coveted in 2015, too. To make you feel even older, here are a bunch of other toys from our childhood that I would’ve died for as a tot. Or maybe wouldn’t even be mad about seeing under the Christmas tree as an adult.

Talkboy/Talkgirl

We can all thank Home Alone 2: Lost in New York for this gem. The one Kevin McAllister uses was only a prop, but a letter-writing campaign by young fans begging for a real version to be made was launched, and a year after the movie came out, Tiger Electronics finally made a real one and it became one of the most wanted toys for Christmas. Not to brag or anything, but I totally had one. Not even the Talkgirl – the OG silver version. I wasn’t as cool as Kevin.

Sally Secrets Doll

I was one of those weird kids that loved those invisible ink books or having things that had secret compartments, so the Sally Secrets doll was a GD dream. In her shoes, there was a stamp and stamp pad, by pressing a button, stickers would come out of her belt. Genius. That’s why her body is so thick – it’s full of secrets.

Moon Shoes

Is the rise and popularity of NASA in the 90s a direct correlation to the necessity of Moon Shoe toys and grand prize winnings to go to Space Camp from Nickelodeon game shoes?

Tamagotchi

I’m not gonna lie to you guys. It’s the holidays. I not only had one Tamagotchi – I had two. AND a GigaPet. AND I held them all on this super cool, trendy, not nerdy at all red Brine lanyard. Honestly, how did I make it through my youth?

Talkback Dear Diary

Like the Tamagotchi and Talkboy, I’m starting to realize that the trend for 90s toys was primitive technology. The era was when we, as a world culture, were getting into things like the Internet and computers instead of typewriters. So when we upgraded from paper diaries to electronic diaries, it was a huge deal. And one that had a recording device on it? Forget it.

Teddy Ruxpin

Anyone can tell you that if you had a Teddy Ruxpin, you were one lucky kid. I feel like these talking bears were super expensive, and a lot of that had to do with the cassette tapes that came with it. Too many accessories. But did anyone else find him creepy? No? Just me?

Pogs

Story time: In 1995 (20 YEARS AGO HOLY CRAP), I spent my Christmas with my family in the Philippines for the first time ever. Like any nine year old, my memories of this vacation is fairly vague, with a few standout moments in my brain. One of them is opening presents my parents (or Santa?) brought with them from America for me to open in the Philippines. One of which was a Pog maker, as seen in the well-made commercial above. Looking back on it, I must have seemed like the spoiled American to all my cousins who were like, “What is this product? I got a shirt from Santa.” Like, what a douche.

Hit Clips

Here we are again with the primitive technology – except maybe Hit Clips were more of a Kidz Bop version of teens and their CDs. I had both the portable clip and the boom box, and only like 3 songs (2 BSB, 1 Britney) and if I’m remembering correctly, they didn’t even play the whole song? Or there was an option to only play a ‘clip’? IDK all I know is that it’s still in my bedroom at home, even though they don’t work anymore.

Sky Dancers

“Fly for me, just for me… Come to me, dance for me, Skydancers fly for me!” Why are these girls so demanding??

Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 2015: Things That Made Me Say WTF

It’s time for our third annual recap of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion show, and God, they just keep getting younger.

Segment #1: My Eyeballs Hurt

  • The first segment begins with a series of flashing lights replicating the moment you slip from earth into all that lies beyond. Or, you know, maybe it’s supposed to look like camera flashes.
  • FRINGE IS IN. Magazines, shop windows, and that one coworker have been warning me about this development for months. It’s just that that’s a whole lot of dry clean only.

Behati-Prinsloo

  • It feels like once every 5 or so years, fashion magazines try to tell us that wearing a single dangly earring on purpose is a thing to do. You look at worst like a pirate, and at best like someone who lost an earring. Anyway, Behati Prinsloo can pull it off but that means nothing for the rest of us.
  • Okay, this lighting GENUINELY hurts my eyes. Like when you check your phone in the middle of the night.
  • I was very proud to recognize a Kardashian-Jenner! I know the youngest two by sight but can never tell which is Kylie and which is Kendall. I feel like there’s one we’re meant to like more than the other, right? Also: Kris and Caitlyn Jenner, looking proud.
vs-fashion-show-2015-01

KENDALL.

  • I think I just don’t like fringe.
  • I’m not sure I knew that’s what Ellie Goulding looked like.
  • Someone is wearing Totally Hair Barbie pattern (my personal favorite Barbie, c. 1991).

Behind The Scenes #1: We’re A Rainbow Made Of Children

  • Anyone remember that song? Catholic school thing?
  • In any case, the VS brass tell us that the show is “very global” because there are models from everywhere!
  • It’s like Donald Trump’s nightmare except we know that it’s not.

Segment #2: Angelica! Eliza! And Peggy.

  • The Weeknd has a coat on and the models are in underwear. For the the first of many times, I worry about everyone’s temperature regulation. The curse of being an always-freezing person is that I’m always worried that everyone else is freezing, too. I’ve even started carrying extra gloves and socks to give to homeless people, and I can assure you that they are not that interested and would prefer some money, thanks.
  • The theme of this segment is like a Sexy Schuyler Sister.

2. Kendall Jenner Victorias Secret

  • That is: Maria Reynolds.
  • Apologies to Anne Shirley: these gals are sporting the puffiest of puffed sleeves, too.

Behind The Scenes #2: So It Turns Out Models Like Photographs

  • Now they’re all talking about their favorite hobby, taking selfies. Which is like a chill version of their job.
  • “Instagram is very important to me” – shit beautiful people say.
  • I can’t help but notice all the gorgeous eyebrows. Eyebrows, eyebrows everywhere! All us translucent-colored, faint-eyebrowed folks are just waiting for the pendulum to swing back to small brows – not because you all don’t look great, but because giant eyebrows are physically impossible for us.

Segment #3: Fly Abandonedly Into The Sun

  • I can’t say anything bad about all of these beautiful butterfly wings. And frankly, I don’t even want to know anybody who COULD say anything bad about them. It’s a dark, cold world and dammit, we need more bedazzled butterfly wings.

 

 

  • When I was in Kindergarten, you secured a part in the graduation play by having your parents sign a slip saying what role you wanted. It was first come/first serve. All the girls wanted to be the butterfly.  I said I wanted to be the worm because I knew the butterfly would be taken (and I couldn’t bear being in the chorus). It’s been 24 years and my mother still laments that I graduated kindergarten in a brown jumpsuit. Point is: butterfly wings are great but they aren’t EVERYTHING and sometimes you gotta be the worm.
  •  I mentally referred to some over-the-knee boots as “hip waders” which is probably the most upstate thing I’ve ever done.

Behind The Scenes #3: In Which Shit Gets Real

  • The models explain that they work out seven days a week, sometimes twice a day. Realism! I like that. Also, no thanks, homegirl needs her rest days.
  • Also I’m going to need specifics about what they’re doing, because I assume there’s something I’m supposed to do to my arms that I’m not.
  • Me, when the ladies explain their kick boxing regimens:

beast

Segment #4: The Weeknd Is My Brother

  • “The Weeknd’s like a brother to me, dating my little sister” – a model whose family works differently from mine.
  • What is this theme? There’s a fire fighter, a weird American flag, a cop and an astronaut. Jobs you wanted when you were 7? The Halloween costumes that are left when you go shopping on 10/30?

And Selena Gomez as Hot Holly Golightly.

  • Selena Gomez’s backup dancers are awfully unnecessary, since she has all these backup walkers already.
  • Are these supposed to be like those occupational-themed stripper costumes, and I mean that in a nonjudgmental way?

Behind The Scenes #4: Nobody Gets A Puppy

  • The models get presents, and my first thought is “good God, will there be a puppy in there?”
  • A model has the same thought.
  • There’s no puppy, which is good because I would have stormed out in protest.
  • The models tell us how they like Christmas, and look at old photos of themselves from when they weren’t models, but just humans in photographs.

Segment #5: Some Elsa Looking Stuff

  • A nude mesh and sequin Fair Isle bodysuit – what you’re missing if you didn’t see the Victoria’s Secret fashion show, I guess.

5. Candice Swanepoel Victorias Secret

Behind The Scenes #5: Sweet Sweet Fantasy Baby

  • That’s my second Mariah reference of the post, and you’re welcome.
  • They reveal who will wear the “fantasy bra” – it’s Lily Aldridge, who is of course very pretty and seems nice.

Segment #6: The Lorax

  • Technically, fireworks, but I’m pretty sure it’s The Lorax.

6. Lily Aldridge Victorias Secret

  • Do you think any of these models hate people yelling at them urgently all the time?

You’ve Got A Lot To Live Up To, Saint

If you’ve been keeping up with the Kardashians as of late, you know Kimye welcomed their second child over the weekend. And after two days of speculation of what baby boy’s name would be, Kim finally revealed their son’s name:

Naturally, anyone’s first reaction is of confusion.

Then the realization it’s legit:

and acceptance:

So I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been seeing it everywhere since Monday, but I think the name is actually growing on me? I had a similar reaction when they announced North West, but the winning point for me was that they would be calling her Nori, which is adorable. Saint, though? First of all, someone let ‘Ye pick the name. Second, what would his nickname be, if anything? Third, Saint is like, not a name. To be fair, *what even is a name anyways*??

However, to put things in perspective, Pete Wentz (Fall Out Boy rocker, ex-husband to Ashlee Simpson, father of son Bronx Mowgli) and his girlfriend had a son last year and named him Saint Lazslo, but the reaction was definitely not as fervent as it has been with Saint West. Kim and Kanye are an easy target, so unless they named their son Robert (after Kim’s late dad) as rumored, they would’ve gotten shit for anything they named him. But who even remembers the fact Pete Wentz named his son Saint a year ago? No one.

To also give Kim and Kanye more props, let’s be honest here – it could be worse. His name could’ve been Audio Science or Pilot Inspektor. Now those are REALLY not names in the slightest. With Saint, it implies a greatness to be achieved, whereas Audio Science, Shannyn Sossamon’s son, could be a major at MIT. There is of course a caveat to having a name like Saint – it gives him a lot to live up to. Just like being a Kennedy or even a Kardashian, there’s a stigma and pre-judgement that comes with a name that you have no control over. So if Saint West needs any advice on how to live up to a name larger than life, he can consult with these other celebrity babies who have just as odd if not more odd names than him.

Royalty {Daughter of Chris Brown}

Chris didn’t actually have anything to do with the naming of his daughter, since he found out she was his well after her birth, but it somehow seems exactly the right name that he would give her anyways. He’s also been treating her as such ever since the truth about his paternity came up, so much so that he’s named his upcoming album Royalty, and in the spirit of philanthropy, he’s also donating proceeds of the record sales to the Children’s Miracle Network hospital. He’s a *changed man* y’all.

Messiah Ya’ Majesty Harris {Son of T.I.}

That is not a typo, that apostrophe belongs there. Perhaps it was because it was T.I.’s first kid that he thought he needed to go big or go home, so he went for our savior, Lord Jesus Christ as the name for his baby.

Mary, did you know that your Baby Boy is Lord of all creation?

Mary, did you know that your Baby Boy would one day rule the nations?

Valor {Son of Emile Hirsch}

Valor {noun}: great courage in the face of danger, especially in battle.

Valor {proper noun}: Hufflepuff.

 

Happy Hinds {Son of Macy Gray}

Wouldn’t it be great if he could just change his name depending on his mood? Today he’s Happy, tomorrow he’s Outraged, next week he’s Flabbergasted.

King Cairo {Son of Tyga and Blac Chyna}

Is he just supposed to be treated like a king in general, or is it that he rules over the city of Cairo?

Atlas {Son of Ed Norton}

Despite what you may thinking, Ed Norton’s son wasn’t named after the huge ass book of maps, but rather the Greek god who was condemned by Zeus to hold up the sky forevs. TBH, this seems like the most difficult of all the names to live up to, since your name LIT’RALLY means to hold the world on your shoulders. I can’t even wear heavy coats.

Titan Jewell Witherspoon {Son of Kelly Rowland}

Although Kelly’s said the name itself has to do with family, it still bears heavy on the kid, since Titans were Greek gods of incredible strength. Sure you want your kid to be strong, but what if he’s a crier and a chess player? Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Moxie Crimefighter {Daughter of Penn Jillette}

For a little backstory, Penn and his wife EZ (those are her initials) wanted to use a “purely American” name like Moxie to represent spunk and energy. As for the CrimeFighter part, Penn’s wife thinks middle names are stupid and they chose “CrimeFighter” as a joke. A JOKE. Who’s going to be laughing when there’s a murder to be solved and the only person who can seek retribution is Moxie CrimeFighter?

Kal-El Cage {Son of Nicolas Cage}

Literally his son is a superhero. He is Superman.

Pop Culture Blind Spots: I’ll Be Home For Christmas

Jonathan Taylor Thomas – J.T.T., if you were born between about 1980 and 1990 – perfectly illustrates the life cycle of a tween hearthrob. He was Randy Taylor on Home Improvement, Young Simba in The Lion King, and a Certified Hottie in the pages of Tiger Beat. When I was in fourth grade (the 1995-1996 school year), all of the girls in my class were obsessed with him. A few short years later – 1998, when I’ll Be Home for Christmas was released – we had all but forgotten about JTT. A lot had happened since 1996 (Hanson. Leonardo DiCaprio. Puberty). That’s how I, a one-time J.T.T. fangirl, got to 2015 without seeing his foray into Christmas entertainment. Here goes:

  • This is the most high-school looking college I’ve ever seen. J.T.T. is in a hallway covered in lockers; his dweeby friend is STUFFED INTO ONE.
  • 1998 thing: J.T.T. uses the phrase “on the net.”
  • 1998 thing: a flock of girls are wearing Biore pore strips and J.T.T. asks if they work (1998 thing: they don’t).
  • 1998 thing: J.T.T. (Jake), wearing one of those button up bowling shirt things, flirts with a Mary Camden-era Jessica Biel (Ally), who has a Smashmouth poster.

  • Ribbed shirts sure were all the rage, weren’t they?
  • I think Mary Camden  is wearing a skort.
  • So Jake wants Ally to spend Christmas with him instead of her family. Is this a thing 18-year-olds do? My 18-year-old cousin went to Florida with her girlfriend’s family last Christmas and we all thought it was a little extra for someone who didn’t exist until 1996.
  • J.T.T. and his bros are in a cafeteria. This is the weirdest, most high-schoolish college.
  • J.T.T’s little sister is roughly the age we were when this came out, and she is the late-90s awkward stage personified.

File under: lime green mock turtleneck, stripey zipped thing, half of your hair pulled tightly back. Yep, all checks out.

  • “Is the convenience of technology worth the loss of our privacy?” – a very prescient J.T.T.
  • J.T.T.’s father offers to GIVE HIM A PORSCHE if he comes home for dinner at 6:00 pm on Christmas Eve. If I am home for dinner at 6:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve, I get dinner.
  • So how’d I end up watching this? I’m watching a nephew and niece while their brother is in the hospital (note: this will be relevant later). Anyway, the 8-year-old boy requested a Christmas movie that neither of us had seen. He pronounced J.T.T.’s dad’s offer “a little extreme.”
  • 1998 thing: A group of boys cheat on a final with the aid of beepers and antique dial-up internet.
  • Mary Camden is wearing her second chunky-knit awkwardly short ribbed sweater.

  • The bros drop J.T.T. in the desert wearing a Santa Suit and I have questions. They leave a note: “Let’s see you sweet talk your way out of this one.” So. They knocked him unconscious, changed his clothes, and drove him to a secluded location to die? God, this is dark.

  • Mary Camden: “if you make me listen to any sexist, racist, or homophobic jokes I’m gonna have to slug you.” Add that one to my to-cross stitch pile. (She’s driving cross-country with J.T.T.’s enemy bro.)
  • 1998 thing: Eddie, the enemy bro, is in a sensitive mood, wants to listen to “Jewel, Sarah, Fiona.”
  • Tracey, Jake’s sister, is wearing giant terrible overalls.

Can’t find a pic of the overalls, but here’s a vest. A vest and I guess a spoiler.

  • J.T.T. and a car full of blue-haired Tom Jones fanatics listen to What’s New Pussycat.
  • It starts snowing on J.T.T. in the desert, I scoff, 8-year-old reminds me that deserts have dry climates but can be extremely cold at night. Which is true.
  • Jessica Biel slug’s Douchebag Eddie “as per our agreement.” I miss this teen movie archetype.
  • A van driver swerves about the road while he’s trying to retrieved a dropped sandwich and Charley and I both laugh out loud. FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY. GIGGLES FOR ALL AGES. No but really, this movie is not bad on the separate rating scale I use for Christmas movies.
  • Douchebag Eddie calls himself a “millennial type of guy” who likes yoga and macrobiotic food. I could have sworn we were still going by Gen Y in 1998.
  • J.T.T. and the sandwich guy lie to a cop and say they’re giving presents to children in the hospital. They hand out kitchen appliances.
  • THEN a little boy says that all he wants is to go home and be with his family. My nephew looks a bit glum thinking about his brother, and I learn a lesson about trying to entertain a worried child with Jonathan Taylor Thomas movies. See, that’s why the Babysitters Club used to bring Kid Kits with them. ANYWAY. The hospital boy is never seen again, so there was no point in the movie turning serious for like 20 seconds.

21 Reasons You'll Want To Watch "I'll Be Home For Christmas" This Holiday

  • Sandwich Guy sings to his estranged wife Marjorie at her workplace. Her workplace is a restaurant where you, I guess, choose which cow you want to eat.

  • Douchebag Eddie wonders why more breakfast places don’t serve food right in the skillet. Same. But also, tort liability probs.
  • I’ve somehow stopped noticing that JTT has been wearing a Santa suit this whole time.
  • Douchebag Eddie and Mary Camden stay at a honeymoon suite decorated by my grandma during one of her mid-90s craft sprees.
  • JTT steals a man’s gross meat sandwich, which sounds like a euphemism but isn’t, and says it’s a liver transplant so that his bus goes where he needs it to.
  • This is an OK Christmas movie, but you know what would be the BEST Christmas movie that I’d watch every year? If they cut together all of the Christmas or wintery or snowy parts from all the Harry Potters. I’d pay probably not evening admission for that, but definitely matinee.
  • Allie and Jake meet up and have a boring fight. You could skip it.
  • J.T.T. enters a Santa 5K to get money to fly home. He wins after a cluster of Santas gets taken out by a friendly dog. The whole thing would make a fantastic Where’s Waldo page.

  • Jake donates his winnings to homeless people.
  • Tracey has a plane ticket’s worth of money in her “ballerina bag.” The best thing I had in my Irish Dance bag was maybe like a newish Werther’s Original.
  • Jake stows away in a dog crate because he doesn’t have an I.D.
  • Charley: “How did Allie and Jake get there at the same time, if he flew and she took the bus?”

Me: Wait. How DID they?

Honestly the geography of this trip is very confusing to me.

  • Jake steals a sleigh to get home in time. My nephew notes that Jake “steals a lot” and he isn’t wrong.
  • Jake makes it home at 5:59, but refuses to go into the house until after 6 because he is silly.
  • The Porsche is parked in the snowy front yard by a set designer who doesn’t know how snow works.

 

  • Jake, a silly goose, refuses the car but accepts his father’s love. AWWW.
  • Jake and his stepmom exchange sweater sizes. She is an 8.
  • 1998 thing: a size 8 woman in a movie.
  • Bottom line: this Lifetime-quality Christmas movie that was perfectly serviceable. On my separate rating scale for Christmas movies, it was “cute.” In Christmas movies, cute isn’t a bad thing.

 

Questions, Comments and Concerns: The Wiz

Last night, millions of Americans tuned for another edition of NBC’s ______ Live! Last year, we flew with Allison Williams over London in Peter Pan Live! and the year before that, we named our favorite things with Carrie Underwood in The Sound of Music Live! This year, third time proved to be the charm with The Wiz Live! As expected, the telecast dominated social media with viewers’ quips, but perhaps what wasn’t expected was the sheer positivity across the board. We livetweeted it, but we still have a number of questions, comments and concerns about the show, so here’s our post-mortem on the life-changing musical that was The Wiz Live!

Concern: The Wiz is my pop culture blind spot

Oops. Somehow I’ve never seen The Wiz. Not the MJ/Diana movie or anything from the OG musical. I’ve somehow managed to be in the Wizard of Oz musical, see the horrendous recent Wizard of Oz tour, and Wicked four times, but never The Wiz. This might be my downfall. – T

I’ve seen The Wiz, but the first thing I always remember about it is how someone we went to high school with was in an all-white production, which sounds like a joke but isn’t. – M

Question: Is this a modern day musical?

Dorothy’s dressed like she could be from 2015, but also it’s nondescript enough that it could be a generic timeline. Either way, I’m kind of really into it, and her skirt? – T

Into it, too. Those skirts were popular when we were in high school (c. 2000 – 2004), but had moments in the 70s, 80s and 90s as well. I like the nod to the original light blue and red Dorothy color scheme. But then Auntie Em is dressed like Aunt Bea from Andy Griffith.  “Generic timeline” checks out. – M

Question: Is The Wiz a precursor to The Color Purple?

Pretty sure the cart Stephanie Mills leans against is the same one from The Color Purple. – T

Comment: Beyonce took part in this

The cyclone scene almost looks like it was lifted from a Beyonce tour production, or more specifically, the music video for Ghost. By the by, the choreography was done by Fatima Robinson, who has worked with some of the best musicians in the biz, including Michael Jackson, Pharrell, Aaliyah, and the Backstreet Boys, which is the only reason she’s been a part of my life for so long. She did the choreo for iconic songs like Everybody and As Long As You Love Me, and when I hear her name it’s like *Home*. – T

The cyclone reminded me of those trippy live-action children’s shows from the 1970s, like H.R. Pufnstuf and The Wombles. – M

Question: This costume

If I dress up like one of these munchkins for Halloween next year, will I have missed the boat on the zeitgeist of it all? – T

And if I wore the glittery silver Mary Janes, the Scarecrow’s fun bird blouse, and Dorothy’s skirt in my daily life, would you still be friends with me? – M

Question: Omaha?

Was Dorothy always originally from Omaha, Nebraska?? – T

I THOUGHT IT WAS KANSAS. Was “we’re not in Kansas anymore” just a reference to how Nebraska and Kansas are mostly samesies? – M

Concern: I *almost* forgot just how amazing Amber Riley is

OKAYYYY YOU BETTER SING AMBER RILEY!!! #FlashbackFriday – the time my friend and I were on our way to the Glee concert and were belting out Amber’s part in one of the Glee songs in the car, and Amber rolled up next to us and I looked over, felt flushed with embarrassment and she gave a wave before driving off. Moral of the story, leave the belting to Amber. – T

RYAN MURPHY DOESN’T KNOW A TREASURE WHEN HE HOLDS IT IN HIS HANDS. – M

Comment: Life lesson number one:

“There is some nasty stuff betwixt here and there.” – T

Comment: Looks like Lord Licorice’s house

Photo Dec 04, 4 33 42 AM

Pretty sure this set could double for a Candy Land musical. – T

Thing I’d be into: a Candy Land musical. – M

Comment: Life lesson number two + joke

“Sometimes the most dangerous things are also the most beautiful.” “That’s deep, cuz.” – T

Concern: I might be a Shanice fangirl now

Shanice sings Soon as I Get Home, and I’m actually screaming. YASS SHANICE. A STAR IS LITERALLY BORN. WERK. IT. – T

If Shanice Williams isn’t all over the Broadway stage or a movie screen or WHEREVER IT IS SHE WOULD LIKE TO BE MOST, there’s no good in the world. – M

Concern: I already forgot who’s playing the Scarecrow

That’s how good this costume is. Oh JK it’s Elijah Kelly. I’ve watched Hairspray enough to recognize that voice. – T

I hope Elijah Kelly has been living his best life, and I know he’s worked consistently, but I’m still surprised he didn’t get huge after Hairspray. – M

Comment: Apparently you CAN win

During You Can’t Win, the crows are giving me so many jokes (“I’ll catch you on the B-Side”). Also giving me life with this song. Did anyone else notice the stanky leg from the Scarecrow? – T

Comment: I have a bad memory

Ok I thought I didn’t know any songs from The Wiz, but I forgot about Ease on Down the Road. But is the original arrangement as funky as this version? I love it. – T

I feel like you would also know Home, if only from televised singing competitions. – M

Concern: I’m crying again

And this time it’s for this Barbie commercial. – T

Me too, we’re messes. – M

Question: What’s up with this magic oil?

Yo does this magic oil make everyone sing like Ne-Yo tho because I have some choice handsome men I could think of that could become 10 times hotter if they could sing some R&B. – T

Is this supposed to be very sexual or is there a problem with me? – M

Question: Why do we still not have a live audience for this?

Both The Sound of Music and Peter Pan before this were shot without a live audience, and it was awkward when it came to needing laughs for jokes and clapping after big numbers. If this was shot in front of a live audience, there definitely would’ve been a lot of cheers and applause for Ne-Yo’s robot dance break. – T

Yeah, when you have to time the beats to laughter or applause that ISN’T THERE, it doesn’t work. The whole reason they had fake laugh tracks in old shows is because audiences respond better when they hear other people responding. Give these stars an audience next time! – M

Question: Does the scarecrow’s hair look like The Weeknd or nah?

Photo Dec 04, 4 31 38 AM

Comment: That’s a trusting lion

For someone who’s cowardly, the Lion had an oddly easy time to ease on down the road with strangers. Also, David freaking Alan Grier. What a talent. Also the psychiatrist owl really made me chortle. – T

Comment: Nature’s not for me.

These shenans are exactly why I don’t go into enchanted forests with three strangers. – T

Everyone trusts everyone so much.  – M

Concern: I’m crying again

DIDN’T EXPECT TO BE CRYING THIS MUCH AT THE FREAKING WIZ. YOU BETTER SANG SHANICE AND DAG. – T

Question: What are these poppies trying to get at?

“I know just what they want and it’s not gonna happen.”… Is the Lion going to sex these sexy poppies???? – T

No but everything IS v sexual, right? – M

Comment: Ad targeting

I’m just gonna say it – a lot of these commercials are geared towards black viewers. From McDonalds to USPS, there’s a number of them which prominently feature black actors. It’s like when you’re watching BET and the commercials are not quite the same as the ones you would see on say, Fox News. And it’s great on one hand, as in a whole other demographic is being catered to, but like, also, just show the same commercials during an episode of Castle or The Big Bang Theory. That being said, The Wiz being playing on primetime network TV is so incredibly important, because like I’ve said many times before, representation is important. And this cast and crew is doing an outstanding job at it. – T

“the ones you would see on say, Fox News” – Traci, I love you forever. – M

Concern: I FORGOT COMMON WAS IN THIS

Photo Dec 04, 4 42 59 AM

OK BUT COMMON. I WOULD GLADLY BE DENIED ENTRY TO A CLUB IF I HAD FACE TIME WITH HIM. – T

Question: But I do I get into this club frreal tho?

I am LIVING for this Wiz club! It feels like the set of J Lo’s Waiting for Tonight video filled with dancers from the Sprockets SNL sketch with Mike Myers. ALSO, I can’t stop watching this part where they circle around Dorothy & the squad, and they’re vogueing and whacking while the ensemble says, “Live. Werk. Yass. Fierce. Slay. Serve. Fierce.  Twirl.” “I don’t know what none of that means,” says the Tin Man. LOL. – T

The ensemble is everything! They sell it so hard. – M

Comment: Life lesson number three

“The door is just a door.”

Question: Is this secretly a Spice Girls crossover?

We meet Queen Latifah as The Wiz, sporting a Brigitte Nielsen haircut. She also says the phrase, “Tell me what you want. What you really really want.” Is that a Spice Girls ref or coincidence?? – T

Since we’re sharing embarrassing celebrity encounters: at DeGaulle airport c. 2006, I thought my friend said “Queen Latifah just passed away!” I squealed “No, I LOVE Queen Latifah!” But, she said “Queen Latifah just passed by.” Queen Latifah heard, and smiled like the Queen that she is, and was really nice and chit-chatted with a bunch of American college kids, she’s royalty, the end. — M

Comment: Through the wire
Photo Dec 04, 3 38 52 AM

I just realized Ne-Yo sounds like Kanye circa Through the Wire, because the tin is around his face. Still sounds 10 million percent better than I ever will. Also, I’ve never been so attracted to a chunk of metal before. – T

Question: Is a standing ovation a real standing ovation if you do it by yourself?

I legit just stood up and gave the cast a standing ovation after singing We Got It. I’m watching this alone in my living room. I tried looking up this song and I didn’t realize Ne-Yo co-wrote this specifically for the telecast. Amazing. – T

Am I wrong that they included an original song for award nomination purposes? – M

Comment: Praise in the highest to Queen Mary J

Bitch comes on screen and I’m already all SLAY YASSS QUEEN. By the by, I feel like the words screamed out the most by viewers are “YASS” “SLAY” and “QUEEN” over and over again. – T

When Mary J. was on screen I found myself sitting with my chin propped in my hands and the glistening eyes of a child present at the Sermon on the Mount. – M

Comment: No Bad News = No More Drama

WHEN MARY J BLIGE IS SCREAMING AT YOU TO WORK, YOU WERK. – T

Question: Did we switch to another musical’s set again?

I feel like the Brand New Day scene turned into Fela! all of a sudden. Either way, props to DAG for werking this choreo (including some Carlton and Soul Train action) in the ridic lion getup, and props to him for catching Elijah Kelly in his arms at the end. – T

Concern: Have I become an elderly person at age 29?

Queen in a robe is lit’rally me rollin up to the club. And the club is my bed. – T

Comment: The bench is deep

Legit every member of this cast, including the ensemble is fantastic! – T

Question: Can u not?

UZO ADUBA IS A LITERAL ANGEL FROM HEAVEN. – T

She is SO GOOD as Crazy Eyes that I feel like people don’t even realize how beautiful and amazing she is IRL. – M

Question: Is this a Michael Jackson tribute?

Actually is Dorothy’s jacket an homage to MJ??? – T

Speaking of which, it takes guts to take on a role most associated with MJ. Let’s hear it for Elijah Kelly! – M

Concern: I am crying again

I JUST STOOD IN FRONT OF MY TV CRYING. SHANICE GIVING ME GOOSIES. GIVING ME LIFE. I get really emotional when I see people achieving their best, ya know. Shanice was picked out of obscurity (New Jersey) and because of her true talent – and NBC taking a risk on a non-celebrity – she’s truly become the breakout artist of the year.  (Also watch this video of Shanice post-show. All the tears.)- T

Random final comments:

Overall, I loved this Live! version of The Wiz. The talent, the production value, the costumes (by Hamilton costume designer Paul Tazewell), a teleplay by Harvey Fierstein (I KNOW), the choreo (no but did you see that dabbing tho) – everything. But most importantly, I think something changed last night. Changed the landscape of what we expect and see on television and media in general. Like in the 1970s when this musical made its debut, the themes still have a prominent relevance in today’s society. When kids who are watching this with their families at home can see themselves on the screen, it’s progress. And that is the power of art. -T