EW PopFest: A Recap Of Fangirling

While y’all were busy partying it up for Halloween over the weekend, I was dressed as a fangirl at the first ever Entertainment Weekly PopFest. TBH, I didn’t have to dress up at all, which is great, because I do not like dressing up for Halloween. My friend and I went to the first of two days at the event, which was filled with panels, screenings, book signings, live podcasts, concerts and more. I figured I’d share a little insider info for everyone who wasn’t in the Room Where It Happened™ and share my day with you in a recap. Keep reading if you’re a Gilmore Girls, Happy Endings, and/or Nick Jonas fan. Or if you just like reading.

To preface, we bought tickets specifically for the Gilmore Girls and Happy Endings programming at the PopFest. We had three panels/events that were at the top of our list, the Gilmore Guys podcast countdown show, Gilmore Girls conversation with Amy Sherman-Palladino & Dan Palladino, and the Happy Endings lost episode table read. Other bonuses included the Crazy Ex-Girlfriend performance, and sets by Lizzo, Janelle Monae and Nick Jonas. Panels/events we didn’t go to but existed: Supernatural, CW Superheroes, Oscar Contenders, Hailee Steinfeld, FOX Comdy previews, and more.

OK, got our bases covered. Let’s go!

Celebrities, They’re Just Like Us

While waiting in line to get in, we were near the talent entrance, and Jared Padalecki was kind enough to say a quick hi and wave to the fans. In case you forgot, Supernatural is still on and in its 12th season and its fans are still hardcore as ever. About 10 minutes later, the girl behind us asked if a man looking lost across the street was Kirk. And sure enough, it was Sean Gunn, standing by himself in front of the Los Angeles courthouse, on his phone befuddled and clueless as where to go. Sidenote: he wasn’t on the schedule. We guessed he was a special guest for the Gilmore Guys, more on that later. I snapped a bunch of pix of him because I’m a creep:

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But a very nice GG fan, wearing a black shirt emulating the end credits which read “Executive Producer Amy Sherman-Palladino”, nonchalantly went up to Sean and pointed out where the talent entrance was. It was a very nice interaction and she didn’t even ask for a picture or amything. Shout out to respectful GG fans!!

What Do You Think, Gillies?

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I’ve written about my favorite podcast the Gilmore Guys before, and admittedly I’ve seen them so many times live it’s bordering stalker level. But I swear I’m not. I just have happened to see them seven times live in LA, it’s fine. Anyways, instead of a regular episode where they spend the whole show talking about one episode, Saturday’s live show was a countdown of top five WB promos, top five characters who need a spin-off, and top five characters (one ep characters like Buzu Barnes the Zydeco player) and their ridiculous backstories. It was great. Gilmore Guys recurring guest Ross Kimball was on hand to join Kevin and Demi, and when they were intro-ing a montage of all of Kirk’s odd jobs, Sean Gunn himself “surprised” everyone by coming out and dancing to Rihanna’s Work. It was glorious.

He chatted mostly about the past seasons and little about the revival, mainly talking about said odd jobs, including a stint as Tevye in the Stars Hollow Elementary School production of Fiddler on the Roof. In case you forgot, he sings a ballad called Do You Love Me with a young girl, and although it was weird it was also weirdly tender? But Sean admitted he was nervous about singing in that scene, so naturally, he went to theater vet and Tony winner Ed Hermann for advice.

“One of the things I remember most about that episode was I was really nervous about how to sing the song, because I didn’t know if I should try to sing it as well as I could, or how Kirk would sing it … I was in my head about it… I remember pulling Ed aside and asking him, ‘You’re a veteran, how do you think I should play this?’ and him giving me the exactly right advice. I think he literally said, ‘Just get out of your head, man. Just go for it.’”

Also during the Tevye clip, Sean took a selfie with himself on the big screen, as seen here:

Seven Minutes in Heaven

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One of the cons of the festival was that the Gilmore Girls panel was right before the Happy Endings reunion and in the same room. After some wrong answers from volunteers and one very right answer from a very helpful volunteer, we found out we basically had to divide in conquer, which meant my very kind, GG loving & Happy Endings obsessed friend took one for the team and waited in line while I was hanging with ASP and Dan. Luckily, Amy did not disappoint both with the conversation and outfit wise – her iconic hat game was on point and she was wear a sequined shiny black top that Lorelai would’ve worn in a pink in seasons one and two.

Anyways, the moderator, EW’s Sam Highfill was fantastic, and asked great questions that hadn’t necessarily ever been asked before, and when she inquired about how they felt going back into the series after all these years, Amy said, “This shit’s in our DNA now… It’s like, I’ll be on my death bed and going on a (GG) rant… *says as an aside to Dan* I’m going first, by the way.”

THAT MADE ME ALMOST CRY BECAUSE, DO YOU REMEMBER:

Speaking of the late great Edward Herrmann, Amy revealed that they didn’t have a floor plan in order to rebuild the Gilmore house, so the production designers rebuilt it by watching old episodes. She said the old house felt (ironically) like dollhouse, and the new Netflix-budgeted one is much larger. She said, “It was finally big enough for Ed, and he wasn’t there… Ed looms large. He loomed large in life, and he looms large over these episodes.”

*Cue second set of tears*

Since we’re getting close to the revival (see: countdown clock), that means A) both ASP and Dan were more open to talking about it, and B) Promo clips are starting to surface – read: they brought along four new clips from the revival – a whole SEVEN minutes from in A Year in the Life. !!!

Because I am a purist and rule follower and HATE spoilers or anything resembling them, I’m gonna tell you right now, you will not find iPhone-shot videos of the new revival clips on this blog. The panel/clips were exclusive for a reason, and I’m sure they’ll be rolling them out over the course of the next few weeks. RESPECT THE WORK. However, I am willing to tease it for you.

Characters involved throughout the four clips: Lorelai, Rory, Luke, Babette, Michel, Taylor, Kirk, Gypsy, Andrew, Emily.

Location: Connecticut

Number of iPhones used to look up an actor’s credit on IMDb: one

City Rory is moving back to Stars Hollow from: Brooklyn

Level of diversity in revival: At least 10 more than the OG series thanks to an “international” even in the Hollow.

And since we received a few questions via Twitter, I figured I’d answer them here, because we need those clicks, baybeeee!

Q: ah did you record it?

A: No. Again, we are not in the business of being sued by Netflix or the wrath of ASP.

Q: do you know when we get to see it? Are they gonna release the footage they showed today?

A: You will definitely get to see it when they release Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life on Friday, November 25th 12AM PST.

Q: (I tweeted that the phrase “Singapore is just being a dick” was said in one of the clips) WHO SAID THIS OH MG GODDDDD

A: Ok, I’ll give you this one. It was Kirk. It’s Netflix now you guys. They can say things like “dick” and it’s totes kosher.

Q: Were the clips all from one season/episode?

A: Nope – Winter, Spring and Summer. THAT’S ALL I’M GIVING YOU.

Other notes:

ASP on guest stars: “When they (The WB executives) wanted stunt casting, they wanted Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, and we’re like, ‘We’re going after Madeleine Albright!’ And Norman Mailer – he’s 200,000 years old.”

The dance marathon portion of the iconic They Shoot Gilmores, Don’t They? episode was shot in Birmingham High School in Van Nuys, giving all of us a good reason to visit Van Nuys.

If you thought the revival wasn’t going to feature a Gilmore girl wearing a bucket hat, you’d be wrong.

ASP on watching us watch the clips while they’re sitting on stage: “Can I just say, there is nothing more comfortable than sitting up here while other people watch your work. Something at Gitmo, maybe, might be a little more delightful?”

ASP on living up to expectations: “Hopefully everybody will be delighted and thrilled and charmed. If not – I don’t fucking know what to tell you. I tried.”

Overall, judging by the four clips, it has the same Gilmore tone that we know and love. I think it’ll take everyone getting used to the fact that the pop culture references are modern and not from 16 years ago, and the fact that it was shot digitally and not on film, making the actual quality look so much more different than you’re used to. If you keep those in mind and just enjoy the revival for what it is, I think we’re all going to be so relieved they did it right.

The Happiest of Endings

LOOK AT DAMON'S FACE STARING IN MY SOUL

LOOK AT DAMON’S FACE STARING IN MY SOUL

Right after Gilmore Girls, I snuck into the line for Happy Endings where my friend had been waiting, and we got in thanks again to the v helpful volunteer #Kayla. To this day, I still think Happy Endings is one of the shows that was most unjustly cancelled, and inexplicably picked up by other networks (HULU WHERE U AT THO). The writers from the series got together to write this very special episode, 401 titled Happy to Be Here. It took place 939 days after the season 3/series finale, and we find out that all six BFFs have parted ways – INCLUDING BRAD AND JANE – because of The Fight that happened the night of the Kerkovich sister’s wedding where we last saw the gang.

After finding out that their acquaintance Scotty has died, Penny (still single, but has been married several times on a Kid Rock cruise) and Max (who lives in D.C. now at an unknown job) decided to use Scotty’s death as a way to get everyone back together.

Penny: “Our group of friends has drifted apart. Like Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood” *this joke made the crowd go OOoooohhhhh in a What, Too Soon? sort of way

They first recruit Alex, who has a “Fortune 500 global lifestyle brand” in London. Because Xela. She agrees to get Jane, who has been living in Japan as an executive for Toyota in their sex doll division – it leads to awk scenes with her sis Alex. Because Jane and Brad split after The Fight at the wedding, Alex knew Jane wouldn’t go back to Chicago for Scotty’s funeral, especially if Brad was going to be there. So she lied and said Brad was the one who died. Apparently Jane still had feelings for him because she arrives back home in mourning.

Meanwhile, Max and Penny easily get Dave, who’s still in the food truck business and has been “retracing Jon Favreau’s road trip from Chef,” and also sporting a “a tiny Lin-Manuel Miranda beard” and a man-bun. Unrelatedly, he’s been working on his hip-hop musical called Hamilton… about the life of ice skater Scott Hamilton. Duh.

Then they heads off to the woods of Wisconsin where Brad retreated after he separated from Jane. He’s also got some facial hair which Max described him as looking like “the photo negative of a rabbi”. Brad has gone a little cray and a family of bears took turns “Revenant-ing” him, and he became friends with a bird (lover?) named Dustin.

Finally, everyone is back in Chicago where they belong, where hilarity and anger ensues (Brad and Jane eventually reconcile). Penny thinks she misses Scotty’s funeral and says, “I was supposed to sing ‘Torn’! Apparently, Scotty’s head was torn off his body by Brendan Dassey’s Sea-Doo” SO MANY MAKING A MURDERER REFS. And maybe my fave niche joke, Max recalls a Halloween without Dave where they dressed up as “the Central Perk Five… the one where Monica, Phoebe, Rachel, Chandler and Joey get falsely accused of ‘wilding.'”.

But the best part came when Derek, aka Stephen Guarino, aka DRAMAAAAAAA guy, and unexpectedly came out literally only yelling DRAMAAAA for a good minute while he walked through the audience and then had Adam Pally pour water on him. We screamed.

YOU STUPID CLUMSY BITCH. 🙅🏻💁🏻🙆🏻🙅🏻 #DRAMAAAAAAA #BRINGBACKHAPPYENDINGS #EWPOPFEST #HAPPYENDINGS

A post shared by Cookies + Sangria (@cookiessangria) on

Two twists came at the end: Scotty wasn’t really dead, it was all an elaborate plan by Alex to get everyone together. Except Scotty ended up really being dead bc of the plan itself. And then, it cut to a dream scene, where Dave wakes up next to Alex (BITCH, IT’S IS 5:30!) the night before their wedding – aka the pilot episode. Recalling his dream (all three seasons), Dave says:

“Then a bunch of super weird stuff happened, but everyone was talking so fast, it was hard to follow… My dad was the tinfoil blanket brother from Better Call Saul and Penny’s assistant was Jane the Virgin. Brad was on New Girl, Max banged Schmidt from New Girl – man, I really gotta stop falling asleep to New Girl.”

In response, Alex asks Dave if people really leave their signif oth at the altar, suggesting she may actually leave for a dude on rollerblades, just like the pilot prophesied.

It was everything we could’ve hoped for and more, and we could barely stop laughing throughout the entire table read. #BRINGBACKHAPPYENDINGS!

Ending on a Literal High Note

Because smokeshow Nick Jonas.

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Playlist Of The Month: Broadway Moments Of The Rosie O’Donnell Show

Whether it’s 1996 or 2016, Rosie O’Donnell is living our Broadway fangirl dreams. Last month we left Hamilton discussing how amazing it would be to be Rosie, who’s been something like 37 times and thus has seen every permutation of the cast. And as two musical-theater obsessed children, it’s hard to overstate how the Broadway moments of The Rosie O’Donnell Show molded our formative years. We saw an adult get as excited about new shows as we did, and just knowing that somebody else out there was playing and replaying cast albums was everything to us. To this day, our conversation about Everything’s Coming Up Rosie week included memories like “didn’t it seem like Fredi Walker was ALWAYS singing Seasons of Love on Rosie?” and “remember how much she loved Bring In Da Noise, Bring In Da Funk?”

Seasons Of Love from Rent

We were both Rent-heads (remember Everything Is Rent Week?), and the cast’s appearance on Rosie made an impression on us. So much so that we commented in Questions, Comments and Concerns: Rent, ” Seasons of Love is very obviously the song they included to be a breakout hit. Like, ‘okay, we need one song in a basic pop structure with no swearing or weird sex stuff in it so we can go on the Rosie show.'” And friendly reminder this is the OBC in the midst of Rentmania in 1996. Look at these babies whose lives are being changed.

Endless Night from The Lion King

The trajectory of musical theatre history is strewn with shows that changed Broadway. It didn’t start with Hamilton – there was a whole path from shows where the music had nothing to do with the plot, to songs that commented on it, to music that actually advanced the story. In the late 90s, The Lion King was another one of those shows changing Broadway by incorporating clever and elaborate costumes,  Garth Fagan’s modern choreography, and total smokeshow Jason Raize. Unfortunately, Jason’s talent was gone too soon after he hanged himself in 2004, but his Lion King legacy will live on forever.

Medley from Titanic

It’s easy to think this is something that would have happened as a result of the bizarre Titanic mania that struck in 1997-1998, but no: this musical predated the Titanic film, meaning that Titanic was kind of a topic of general interest in the 90s. This performance had me itching to see the Titanic musical, if only to find out how it sank on stage.

Willkommen from Cabaret

Caberet struck me as a “grown-up” musical in my Rosie days, but even at that age I couldn’t deny that Alan Cumming had a whole lot of charisma. Between rewatching this performance and picking up Alan’s memoir for some light bus reading a while ago, I have now become an unlikely Alan Cumming stan.

My New Philosophy from You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown

Adults playing kids are a weird thing. As an adult you can suspend disbelief when a grown-up plays a child in theater or on SNL, but as a kid you’re like “nope, that is 100% NOT a child, good try.” Or if you were me as a child, also “here’s my headshot, give me a job instead of this faker.” That would have been my reaction to You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown… EXCEPT for Kristin Chenoweth. I remember watching this and taking a while to decide whether this was an adult or not. Part of it is that Kristin is tiny, but it’s also how well she conveys the attitude and mannerisms of a 5-year-old.

Wheels of a Dream from Ragtime

Part of the brilliance of Rosie putting shows on a national platform is that people like us in Western New York or all the way in Alaska get a chance to see Broadway or are even introduced to theater through TV. I remember watching this and loving it so much that I later went to the library to borrow the soundtrack. In high school, I specifically chose to write a book report on Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow because it was what the musical was based on. And I never would have done that if I hadn’t seen these two icons perform on Rosie. It reinforced by love for theatre and gave me a peek into a world I longed to be in.

Who Will Love Me As I Am? From Side Show

For some reason I also clearly remember this performance, mainly because I thought it was so weird there was an entire musical featuring conjoined twins. However, it’s a great performance and a great song, featuring a pre-Tony Alice Ripley who can belt in my fave any day.

Dancing Queen from Mamma Mia!

Fact: I’ve seen Mamma Mia! more times than I should have as a teen. One of those times I saw it on tour and attended a dance workshop where the cast members taught us the choreography for Waterloo, which is the final number after the curtain call. And then we saw the show and got in the aisles and did the choreo like a pre-flash mob flash mob. Anyways, I thought I wouldn’t like Mamma Mia! at all, but two years before my shining moment in the aisle this happened on Rosie and I was all in.

No One is Alone from Into the Woods

If you haven’t seen Into the Woods, it’s important you know that despite the characters all being from beloved fairytales like Rapunzel and Cinderella, this show, specifically the second act, is NOT a necessarily family friendly musical. Despite that, it’s still a fantastic show, and Sonheim nonetheless, so I am envious of everyone that got to see this revival on Broadway. Especially because it features our favorite queen of Broadway and social media, Laura Benanti as Cinderella. Also featured: Adam Wylie aka Jack (of the Beanstalk) aka Brad from Gilmore Girls. In GG, he takes a leave from Chilton, and when he returns, Paris is just as bitchy to him as ever, and even tries to knock him off his game by singing about his magic beans, because Paris.

All That Jazz from Chicago

DR. LILITH STERNIN SINGS ALL THAT JAZZ AND WINS AN EMMY. Reminder that we watched Cheers this year. This role won Bebe her second Tony Award and it’s obvious why. What a gem. And way less obnoxious than Lilith.

Goodbye Until Tomorrow from The Last Five Years

The Last Five Years is undoubtedly one of our favorite musicals, but as someone who didn’t get into it until the revival several years ago, I definitely forgot that it existed at all during the Rosie era. Whether it’s Cynthia Erivo breaking our hearts with Still Hurting or the original off-Broadway cast on Rosie, Jason Robert Brown always knows how to tug on our heartstrings so hard that he rips our hearts all the way out.

Gimme Gimme from Thoroughly Modern Millie

Before Sutton Foster was THE Sutton Foster, she was “this new actress you need to know about, Sutton Foster.” She created a huge splash in Thoroughly Modern Millie, and the first place I ever saw her was on The Rosie O’Donnell Show performing Gimme Gimme. If you told me that Sutton would still be a huge deal 18 years after this, I wouldn’t have been surprised. If you told me that Sutton would look maybe a week older 18 years later, that would have been harder to believe, but here we all are.

Last Night Of The World from Miss Saigon

Everything you need to know about us as friends and as individuals: as oddball fifth graders, we both really wanted to see Miss Saigon. Traci has a traumatic childhood memory of being left with basically strangers when her parents went to it without her, and Molly received tickets for her confirmation, a Catholic sacrament she celebrated at age 10. Weirdos. Fortunately, we BOTH caught OG Kim, Lea Salonga, on The Rosie O’Donnell Show during its convenient after-school time slot. On top of that, Chris was played by a young Will Chase, of Smash, Nashville, and Ingrid Michaelson’s boyfriend fame. What a dream.

 

The Way They Were: Today’s Stars on The Rosie O’Donnell Show

The Rosie O’Donnell Show ran from 1996 to 2002, and even though we watched it to the bitter end we somehow always associate it with the ’90s. When I think of Rosie guests, it’s people like Macy Gray, cast members from Ally McBeal, and throwbacks to Rosie’s 1970s childhood like the Osmonds. However, there are some modern stars we always forget were active in the Rosie era, so it feels like a total time warp seeing them as guests on The Rosie O’Donnell Show.

The Cast Of Harry Potter

Harry Potter and The Rosie O’Donnell Show had a brief overlap – Rosie even campaigned to play Molly Weasley, and while Julie Walters defined the role I bet she would have been great. However, with the last movie coming out in 2011 I tend to forget that Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone was a 2001 release: firmly in the early 2000s. It doesn’t seem possible that it has been 15 years since Harry Potter first hit the big screen, until you see how tiny the kids were here and it feels like when one of your friends posts a #TBT baby picture.

Mae Whitman

We have long loved Mae Whitman as Parenthood’s Amber Braverman, a real-life Friday Night Lights superfan, Ann Veal (her?), and a Dawson’s Creek Live Reading participant. But let’s not forget that before all this, she was one of those 90s child actors who was in EVERYTHING. You might remember Mae from One Fine Day, When A Man Loves A Woman, Independence Day, and as Sandra Bullock’s daughter in Hope Floats. It’s rare that a child actor maintains such a solid career through adolescence and adulthood. It’s even more rare to create such distinct child and adult personas that we almost forget this adorable moppet is the same cool girl who cracks us up on Twitter on a weekly basis.

Lea Michele

Lea Michele first entered our consciousness thanks to Spring Awakening, but there’s a wide audience who didn’t really know who she was until Glee. We didn’t know it, but we were actually familiar with little Lea long before that. In 1998, Ragtime was all the rage (in our circles, anyway) and Lea was the wide-eyed, precocious little girl. Also: AUDRA.

Jimmy Fallon

We certainly knew Jimmy was around in 2001 – we had massive crushes on him that we’d discuss in study hall and at lunch – but it was early in his SNL career and he wasn’t really doing much press yet, so it’s surprising that he was on Rosie. We had no clue he’d be a wildly popular talk show host in his own right over ten years later.

Alas, there is no video of the appearance, so enjoy this photo of Jimmy and Horatio Sanz as Rosie.

Lil Bow Wow

I know he was  lil when he started, but Bow Wow as an actual child rapper on Rosie is something I cannot quite remember. But it’s true, he was there – sadly, with no video to prove it. Woof.

Jennifer Garner

Jennifer may be a rom-com and movie mom favorite now, but in the early 2000s she was best known as the star of Alias … to other people. To us she was primarily the flirty, 30 and thriving Jenna Rink in 13 Going On 30, which didn’t come out until 2004. That’s why it feels so weird knowing that Garner was on Rosie in 2001 promoting Alias, a show I admittedly never watched.

Lauren Graham

We briefly mentioned Lauren’s appearance earlier this week, as she showed off her “skills” during a craft corner segment on Rosie’s last show of the series. But months before, and nearing the end of season two of Gilmore Girls, Lauren appeared on the show for the first time, and Lo and Ro kicked it off right away. I have always been a fan of LG’s TV interviews because she always comes off charismatic, fun and awkward all at the same time (see: all Ellen interviews), and in 2002, this was just the beginning of Lauren’s rise to fame and her journey with Gilmore Girls. BECAUSE I STILL CAN’T BELIEVE IT’S HAPPENING.

Hayden Panettiere

I sometimes forget Hayden was a child actor. But then I remember she played Ally McBeal’s daughter and it all comes screaming back to me. Before she played a country music star on Nashville, she proved she had the chops to be a pop star by singing Britney’s (You Drive Me) Crazy during this interview and bless her heart, it feels like she’s been practicing the bit with her stage mom, whom she keeps looking at off camera. Young Hayden is cute, but I think I prefer confident adult Hayden much better.

Josh Groban

Speaking of Ally McBeal… actually, let’s back up a bit. Josh Groban was just 17 years old when superproducer David Foster called Josh’s vocal coach asking if he had any students good enough to rehearse with Celine Dion at the 1999 Grammys. She was set to perform The Prayer with Andrea Boccelli, but because he couldn’t make it, Josh filled in, and Rosie was in awe after hearing him during rehearsals – this was the year she hosted the Grammys. She invited him to her show, as seen above, and because of this interview, Ally McBeal creator David E. Kelley created a role for Josh on his show, and the rest is history. Also, Josh is so nervous and shy here it’s adorable and nothing like what he is now.

Lea DeLaria and Jesse Tyler Ferguson

Sometimes when you know actors from two completely different shows, it throws you off when you hear they’ve been friends for years. That is the case for Orange is the New Black’s Lea DeLaria and Modern Family’s Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who both starred on Broadway long before their respective award-winning shows. Here they are performing a number from On the Town, and it’s nothing like you’ve seen them before. Ok, maybe excluding Jesse.

Kobe Bryant

When doing research for this, I saw the third guest in a season one episode titled as “High school student and NBA draftee Kobe Bryant”. I’m not even a big basketball fan, but this is iconic. Kobe, 18 at the time, had signed a three-year $3.5 million contract with the Lakers and he hadn’t even played college basketball. Again, like Bow Wow video from 1998 is scarce, so just trust he was on the show.

Kate Winslet

Technically Kate had a few films under her belt before this interview, but it’s just a treasure of a vid because she is actually doing press for Titanic. It’s her first time on the show, and Rosie wishes her the best of luck as an actress. And like we all knew in that steerage party when she went up on her toes, she’s been knocking it out ever since. Also she talks about Leo and their true love.

BONUS:

When the maybe first female president sings a Bye Bye Birdie song. Also note Rosie in her Rosie-est getup.

Times We Assumed Rosie O’Donnell Was Straight

The world was different in 1996, when The Rosie O’Donnell Show began. The famous Ellen DeGeneres coming out episode hadn’t aired yet, Will & Grace was still years away, and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was only a few years old. As much as the internet loves to act like 2016 is a trash-lined sewer and the ’90s were a hip, inclusive wonderland, things have gotten a lot better in the past two decades. We were different in 1996, too: we were 10 years old. We knew that gay people existed, but in that era we both tended to assume people were straight unless given evidence to the contrary. A LOT of evidence to the contrary. Rosie’s presence as an affable, cool lesbian paved the way for today’s suburban mom fav, Ellen, and her wide-open closet door was probably really inspiring to a lot of kids in the 90s and 2000s… the kids who weren’t too dense to notice all of these clues, anyway.

Exhibit A: Tom Cruise, Lawnboy

The facts:

  • Throughout the course of her show, Rosie talked a lot about her giddy crush on Tom Cruise.
  • She called him “My Tommy.”
  • A specialized soundboard played The Who’s “Tommy Can You Hear Me”
  • The whole thing read less like a legitimate infatuation, and more as a fun running gag
  • To that end, Rosie even TOLD everybody that she had no adult desire for Tom Cruise:

My crush on him has nothing to do with anything that is adult. It’s a prepubescent girl desire to have his picture thumb-tacked to my bedroom wall. It doesn’t have to do with a thirty-five-year-old woman’s adult desire.

  • On Tom’s first appearance, he brought flowers and didn’t respond like someone at the receiving end of a real and genuine crush. Rosie commented “it’s not like I want the marriage to break up. I just want you to, like, live in my house and mow my lawn. That’s all I want. I want you to do yard work around my house.” As a single lady who hates lawn mowing, I feel that.

  • Rosie, referring to Nicole Kidman, lightheartedly commented “isn’t her husband beautiful”

  • The Rosie O’Donnell Show ended with Tom mowing Rosie’s lawn and offering her a lemonade.

Can you blame us?: I mean. As adults of 2016 we realize that having an opposite-sex crush doesn’t make you straight any more than having a favorite Orange Is The New Black inmate makes you gay. However, this one is less about the cultural milieu of the 90s and more about what it was like to be ten years old. If you told somebody you had a crush in fifth grade, it was SERIOUS BUSINESS. It’s more that we couldn’t understand flippant celebrity crushes, which are now the mainstay of our internet presence.

Exhibit B: And They Called It Puppy Love

The facts:

  • Donny Osmond’s poster was on her bedroom wall “for eight years” when she was a tot
  • Rosie was a member of the Donny Osmond Fan Club. Like the kind where you pay a fee and you get a sticker with his face on it.
  • She owned a Donny Osmond doll. Her brothers wanted to play GI Joe, she wanted to play Donny and Marie.

Rosie: Me and my brother Danny would do Donny & Marie in my backyard with wooden spoons. My mother would be screaming…

Donny: Ok, but hopefully, you were Marie.

Rosie: Most times. But ya know, hell, I’ll be you if you let me.

Can you blame us?: Like Tom Cruise, we kind of just expected that because Rosie had googly eyes and a laminated Donny Osmond Fan Club membership card in her wallet, it meant she was keen on the gentlemen type.

I remember one time around this era I was talking to an older male family friend who was at the time probably in high school, and while a group of us were watching TV, Rosie came on the screen and he said, “You know she’s gay, right?” and being a staunch fan and a 12 year old who believed “gay” was an insult, I came to her defense. “No way. She loves Tom Cruise and Donny Osmond! How do you explain that??” But again, that was just a sign of the times. Obviously as a tween in the mid-90s, I couldn’t delineate between celebrity crush to real life romantic feelings crush, so my points sounded valid at the moment.

But this is kind of all a moot point since Ro and Donny got into a brief feud after he suggested she was fat by saying a helicopter “couldn’t take that much weight.” She turned that Donny doll into more of a Donny voodoo doll, and made him apologize by singing Puppy Love in a puppy get up. Don’t all great straight relationships work like this?

Exhibit C: Lebanese-American

The facts:

  • For a period of time in 1996, there was a long lead-up to Ellen DeGeneres’s character, Ellen Morgan, coming out on the sitcom Ellen. I still remember thinking it was cool, but also consistently thinking it had happened already because it had been in the media for so long. That’s how big a deal it was.
  • Before the episode aired, Ellen appeared on Rosie. Later on, Rosie said that she didn’t want Ellen to be completely alone on this new TV frontier, so they came up with the Lebanese bit and “the people that got it, got it.”
  • We didn’t get it.
  • Watch it and let Rosie explain here:

  • “I pick up sometimes that you might be Lebanese”

Can you blame us? This is the kind of joke that would be hard to understand if you were new to the English language. Lebanese and Lesbian sound sort of similar, Ellen’s quip about dropping hints that character was “Lebanese” (baba ganoush, Casey Kasem, etc) is an analogy to Ellen winking at her character’s orientation, but the punchline was implied. And implied punch lines are one of the last things you understand when you learn a new language, right? Except… we were NOT new to the English language when this aired, we were natives like 10 years deep in it. Even as kids, we should have picked up what Rosie was putting down here.

Things I’m Willing To Believe About Rosie O’Donnell

It’s Day 2 of Everything’s Coming Up Rosie Week, and we’re bringing back a recurring series, Things I’m Willing To Believe About ___, where we compile fake facts that seem… sort of plausible. Today we are spotlighting the Queen of Nice, Rosie O’Donnell. We are willing to believe that Rosie:

  • Had an early showbiz dream to appear as either the newest Brady Bunch kid or newest Partridge Family member.
  • Secretly sells art on Society6 under the pseudonym Katie Morosky
  • Hasn’t been able to let go of all the cassette tapes of Ryan’s Hope she recorded from the ’80s (she didn’t have a VCR back then so she recorded the audio, duh).
  • Has a permanent reserved seat at Hamilton, like how people in the 1800s used to have reserved pews at church. The only reason she hasn’t been MORE times is that she keeps giving the tickets away.

  • Is a generally peace-loving person, except that she can hear a North Shore vs South Shore argument from seemingly blocks away and will jump in.
  • Has not one but TWO dedicated craft/art studios in her home
  • Once had a house decorated with 100% decoupaged furniture. Made a concerted effort to scale back. Occasional pieces still surface at the Commack Volunteers of America Thrift Store.
  • Has had so many millennials come up to her telling her that her show “practically raised me” that she has had to stop agreeing to be listed as their emergency contact, after two such millennials were injured in trust falls on the same day.
  • Didn’t actually sign this autographed headshot that still sits in a frame on my childhood bed headboard

true story: i made my mom take a photo of this and send it to me. she doesn’t know how to take a pic on her phone and text it, but DOES not how to take a pic on her ipad and email it. hence the reflection. WOOF.

  • Auditioned to play the lead of Polly in Crazy For You on Broadway but lost out to Jodi Benson (aka Ariel of The Little Mermaid fame)
  • Her deepest secret: “not really a cat person.”
  • Steven Pasquale would be her modern day/Broadway Tom Cruise-esque crush if she still had her talk show
  • Turns out to be A.D. in the series finale on Pretty Little Liars as a favor to Marlene King (who wrote Now and Then)
  • Knows that Now and Then is an American classic, she just doesn’t want to make a big deal about it.
  • Despite the movie being questionable, Rosie secretly took home her Exit to Eden costume “just in case”

  • Lobbied extensively during the filming of Harriet The Spy to have Harriet’s beloved tomato sandwich swapped for something “less disgusting.”
  • Owns Donald Tr*mp voodoo doll
  • Super tempted to pull a Michael Jordan and take back her talk show from Caroline Rhea after six months
  • Caroline Rhea was her second choice for a replacement. Kristin Chenoweth was first.
  • Geena Davis taught her archery on the set of A League of Their Own
  • Still texts/emails/calls A League of Their Own & Sleepless In Seattle homeboy Tom Hanks for advice

  • Asked British boy band BBMak if they wanted to do a duet with her on her Another Rosie Christmas album, but they respectfully declined citing an “effort to protect their brand”
  • Kangol sent Ro hundreds of free hats that she couldn’t possibly wear herself, so that’s why anyone who shopped at Goodwill or Salvation Army in the Greater New York City area between 1996 and 1999 are owners of said accessory
  • Had Mormon missionaries visit her house weekly for YEARS in an attempt to capitalize on her love for Donny Osmond. It didn’t take.
  • Goes without saying, her Tom Cruise obsession caused similar problems. She does not want a free personality test, thank you very much.
  • Secretly made the Internet with Al Gore and sneakily popularized it with her show

  • Is still really good friends with Madonna, and is (secretly) the only person allowed to shorten her name to “Maddie.”
  • Tom Cruise is on her Christmas card list, but every year she worries it could be some sort of Scientologist faux pas.
  • Forced John McDaniel to spill all the juicy details on working closely with Patti LuPone, and wouldn’t give him the job of musical director on her talk show until he caved
  • Still keeps in touch with Kathy Del Bel Baluz (sp?) from Toronto, Canada and they exchange notes about wall stenciling.

  • Once prank called Elisabeth Hasselbeck and asked if her refrigerator was running
  • Gets free bus rides from the MTA ever since Riding the Bus with my Sister aired
  • On the days she misses being a talk show host, she makes her kids be her guests, and acts it all out in the replica of her Rosie show set in her home
  • Yes, it IS cute when they change “Tommy Can You Hear Me” to “Mommy Can You Hear Me,” thank you very much.
  • Sent Jimmy Fallon a care basket and heartfelt (yet funny) note after his ring finger accident, since a staph infection nearly cost her her own finger too
  • Since childhood, Rosie has maintained a complex, multi-factor ranking of supermarket snack cakes – and has a curious aversion to the Swiss Cake Roll.
  • Single-handedly revived Pepto Bismol’s brand by constantly singing “plop plop fizz fizz” on her show
  • Found  Oprah’s secret poop bathroom while filming The Rosie Show at the Queen’s studios in chicago
  • Secretly hated Tickle Me Elmo and all that he stood for

We’ll Never Love Anything As Much As Rosie O’Donnell Loved….

Rosie O’Donnell may be one of the most famous talk show hosts of the 90s and early 2000s, but we like to think of her as one of the most famous FANS, too. So deep was Rosie’s fondness for her favorite things that when we were discussing this post, we came up with dozens of musicians, games and foods that Rosie adored – even though it has been nigh on 14 years since The Rosie O’Donnell Show left the airwaves. While we like to think we share some of Rosie’s gusto, the fact is that we will never love anything as much as Rosie O’Donnell loved:

Kids

M: Rosie thought kids were punny (other thing Rosie loved: puns), but most of all, she was the ultimate kid-friendly adult. She actually LISTENED to kids, acted like their opinions and stories were legitimate, and didn’t ask them condescending questions. There’s a chance I’m conflating Rosie with Golly, her character in Harriet The Spy, but probably not.

I also always loved that Rosie seemed like a parent who genuinely got a kick out of her own kids, and I refuse to believe that Parker is a grown man because I still can hear Rosie’s Parker imitation.

Broadway

M: You know when you’d get a cast recording and listen to it over and over again? And maybe you still do that (ahem – Hamilton)? Rosie was a TV-sanctioned adult who did the same thing. Rosie adored showtunes and musical theater actors, and all of the hottest shows of the 90s and early 2000s performed on Rosie. It didn’t seem weird at the time, but there are very few talk shows that you can count on to feature up-and-coming musicals. There’s a lot to say here, so we’ll be revisiting this topic later in the week.

Of course, no mention of Rosie and Broadway would be complete without a nod to her tenure as Rizzo in Grease.

T: Remember right after her show ended, she invested in a musical called Taboo loosely based off of Boy George? Don’t worry, it got mostly bad reviews and closed after 100 performances, so unless you’re a crazy person like we are, you wouldn’t have remembered just how deep her Broadway love runs.

Broadway Kids

M: Rosie loved Broadway, and Rosie loved kids, so it stands to reason that Broadway Kids were Rosie’s jam – to the extent that she created Rosie’s Broadway Kids (now called Rosie’s Theater Kids), an organization that gets kids involved in the performing arts. However, during our childhood the Broadway Kids were at troop of polished musical theater kids who sometimes performed on shows like Rosie. I remember watching them through a lens of admiration mixed with envy. I feel like Lacey Chabert was always involved, but that can’t be possible.

T: Lacey Chabert – that bitch be everywehre.

Entemann’s

M: Entenmann’s baked goods reminded Rosie O’Donnell of the Long Island mom-types during her childhood playing bridge or whatever it was that Long Island moms did in the 60s. And now, Entenmann’s baked goods remind me of Rosie O’Donnell. I don’t know her position on TastyCakes.

T: I do know her position on Ring Dings, because audience members got that and milk before the show.

Koosh balls

T: There are few talk show hosts who can get away with launching rubber balls into the audience and make it look cool. Just imagine Oprah doing this for a second. And that’s OPRAH. When Rosie flung these into the crowd, it suddenly became an interactive show and added a sense of innocent fun unlike any other talk show on TV. It became so synonymous with her show that Koosh sold a special Rosie O’Donnell Show version of their Koosh Fling Shot, as seen here and the one sitting at my home collecting dust.

M: I got one of these at the store after the NBC tour, c. 1998. I don’t keep things so I got rid of it sometime in high school, but I sort of wish I still had it.

Tom Cruise

T: If there’s anything you took away from watching Rosie in the 90s, it’s that she had an obsession with two people: Tom Cruise and Barbra Streisand. If you recall, Rosie had a soundboard that played audio clips next to her desk, and anytime she’d talk about her deep love for her celebrity crush, she’d play “Tommy, can you hear me?” a line from a song of the same name by The Who. She campaigned for him to be on her show, and when he finally made it, it was like watching Jim and Pam kiss for the first time. Rosie invited fans into her life by sharing personal anecdotes that made it seem we had been friends growing up in Commack, Long Island, and we were cheering her on as she lived out life long dream. I mean, while rewatching this clip, I legitimately said out loud (to no one), “THIS BRINGS ME SO MUCH JOY!” Especially if you forget about all of Tom Cruise’s persona.

M: When we were doing our Rosie Week research this summer, we were both floored by how quickly into the show’s run Tom appeared (plus a few others, like Donny Osmond). The buildup was so huge that at the time, it felt like years before “my Tommy” was a Rosie guest.

Barbra Streisand


T: As mentioned, Rosie’s other love was Barbra. She had loved the icon ever since she was a kid, not only because she enjoyed her music, but it was a common interest she shared with her late mother, who died of breast cancer when Rosie was just 10. She even used to amuse her mom by impersonating Barbra, so it was always like a maternal fan relationship with her.

In that first interview with Babs in ’97, I distinctly remember tearing up because Rosie was tearing up, but I feel like anyone would after watching Ro interview/meet her lifelong idol.

“For every boy and girl out there watching, dreams do come true, please welcome Barbra Streisand… You were a constant source of light in an often dark childhood. You inspired me and gave me the courage to dream a life better than the one I knew. I am profoundly grateful to you in so many ways.”

McDonald’s Happy Meal Toys

M: Rosie seemed so genuinely delighted by McDonald’s toys that it didn’t occur to me until I was writing this post at age 30 that it could have been a marketing tie-in. And honestly? I still think she really liked the toys. Rosie always had ALL of the Teeny Beanie Babies, even the “rare” ones.

T: Rosie probably had the Princess Diana one, LBR.

M: Thing from my childhood I DIDN’T KonMari: My Princess Diana Bear. That thing was gonna pay my college tuition.

Chub Club

T: When you’re living in America, at the end of the millennium – you are what you eat. Which is why Rosie started the Chub Club, a campaign to get herself and viewers in shape. The motto was “Eat Less and Move More” and basically served as a virtual support group to lose weight. Over 300,000 people joined, and was a staple on Rosie’s show. She’d invite Chub Club members to the show, discuss the right foods to eat and try out exercise tips. If I wasn’t a tween at the time, I definitely would try to do this for the swag alone (I think there was swag, at least).

M: I love how no-fuss this idea is. There are no weird things with tracking carbs or fats (it was the 90s) and you didn’t have to do Billy Blanks. Everyone on a diet in 1999 had to do Billy Blanks workouts before this. That’s just how it was.

Being Kissable

M: Doesn’t ring a bell? Here, let me help. Scope did a poll that named Rosie one of the least-kissable celebrities. Yeah. If you think the media is nasty now, the 90s were possibly worse. Anyway, Listerine disagreed and donated $1,000 for every celebrity guest who kissed Rosie. In the end, it was a lot of money.

Being Crafty

T: This video includes two of our favorite people in the world. And if you’re wondering what the timeline is here, LG appeared on Rosie’s very last episode in 2002 aka season two of Gilmore Girls. Yeah, I know it’s weird. BUT THIS IS A DELIGHT. “Shells are very big for Summer 2002”.

Anyways, Rosie was so cool during this time that she made even crafting hip (amongst the suburban mom demo and kids under the age of 14). She even had a segment called Rosie’s Craft Corner, and she’d usually have either her official show crafter named Christina, I think? Or a celeb guest, as seen above. No lie, I bought Mod Podge solely because Rosie decoupaged all the things, so natch, I did too.

Being Irish-American

M: Rosie freaking loved being Irish-American, and it was so refreshing to have a celebrity cultural spokesperson who wasn’t a Kennedy. (Yeah, lots of celebs are part-Irish, but there’s a difference between being raised doing Irish dance and going to the AOH verses just knowing some great-great-great grandparent was supposed to be from there). So did Rosie sometimes say things were “Irish” things when they were really just her family (I recall cold sores and having a short upper body)? Sure, but who cares? She helped maintain the Irish reputation for being hilarious and affable, and we all owe her a Guinness for that.

Donny Osmond

T: Donny Osmond, former teen heartthrob and longtime Mormon singing icon, made a cutting joke about Rosie’s larger figure, and she got on the outs with him. In an effort to apologize, he dressed as a large puppy and sang his signature song, Puppy Love. It was obviously rude of him to make the joke, but the result is great, and I can’t say that I didn’t have a crush on him twenty years too late during this era.

M: Thanks to Rosie, I saw Donny Osmond appear at the Hill Cumorah pageant, a big Mormon to-do. Readers? I am not Mormon.

Her BFFs Jackie and Jeanie

M: When we watched Rosie as tweens, we imagined (a) that we’d be friends with our childhood besties forever and (b) if we ever got famous, they were coming with us. That’s why we loved how Rosie would bring her buddies onto her show and chat about them in the same way one might name-drop a celebrity.

Lapels

M: OK. It was a 90s thing. But the fact remains that the woman loved a pantsuit with big lapels. Do you remember those giant brooches that moms and teachers would wear back then? You NEEDED those lapels.

Her Barbie

M: Can you blame her?

T: Is that a card deck labelled “Activity Zone!”??? Because I need it.

Having A Footrest

M: Rosie’s desk had a slide-out footrest for short guests. She LOVED offering it to people, and it came in handy because a lot of Rosie’s guests were children or, for whatever reason, small adults.

When people did her desk

T: I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure Rosie had a contest in which different people would design her desk and it lasted maybe a week or two. Here’s one featuring a real habitrail with real hamsters. Other themes included Star Wars, Hot Wheels and an entire desk made out of Legos. As a 12 year old, this desk was #goals.

Everything’s Coming Up Rosie Week

We’re not afraid to proclaim this – we love Rosie O’Donnell. And it’s admiration that has been running deep for two decades. 20 years ago this past June, it marked the anniversary of The Queen of Nice’s talk show premiere, and all this week, we’re celebrating the show and the iconic comedienne that is Rosie O’Donnell.

Join us, won’t you?

 

Cheers Chats #10: Indoor Fun With Sammy And Robby

Welcome back to Cheers Chats! We’re almost to the end of the series (and that is a good thing for both of us), but we have a couple more before we get to the finale. Here’s a stop in season eight, when we definitely are wondering why we are still doing this.

Episode 8.19: Indoor Fun with Sammy and Robby

Originally aired: February 22nd, 1990

Previously on Cheers

(Brief synopsis of what happened prior to this episode)

T: I’m not gonna lie to y’all – I have NOT been enjoying this season. It’s probably because this show aired in 1990 and society has shifted since then, but BOY is this show not friendly towards women. I think I’ve mentioned it before, but in the 11 seasons of Cheers, only 10 or so of the writers were women. Plus, there are only 2 main female characters, and Carla tends to side with the guys in general (or is always pregnant). The blatant misogyny and lack of respect for women in the show has bugged me so much that if I wasn’t *doing it for the blog* I would stop watching.

M: We have hashed out the idea of doing a full post dedicated to this particular frustration, and stay tuned because it’s coming as soon as I can distill my thoughts into something more than an angry rant punctuated with the sentence “DIANE DOESN’T EXIST.” It’s almost as if, in addition to containing almost no women, the writer’s room of Cheers had also never met one.

Like Traci, I’ve been surprised to find that things got worse as we entered the 90s. Or maybe we’re just tired.

T: Rebecca finally sleeps with her forever crush and boss Robin Colcord in a two-parter called “Finally”. Sam (who’s still trying to get in Becky’s pants) finds out Robin is seeing another woman. Robin, in an effort to prevent Becky from finding out about his infidelity, offers to sell Sam the bar back if he doesn’t tell her. Being the semi-good guy he is, Sam decides to tell her anyways. She confronts Robin but apparently they’re still together?

M: REBECCA DOESN’T EXIST.

Netflix synopsis

Robin takes a day off work to spend some romantic time with Rebecca, but he ends up getting into a competition with Sam that takes all day.

What Had Happened Was

(Basic recap of the episode’s main plot)

Rebecca – Rebecca has big plans for Robin’s rare day off- they’re going to live out every “fantasy” she’s ever had, which includes walking on the beach, having a picnic in the park, paddleboating, going to the zoo, and seeing Phantom.

Cliff – A pool ball ricochets off Cliff’s head and he may or may not have a concussion.

Frasier –  Frasier keeps playing darts and wants someone to beat him.

Little Ditty About Sam and Becky

Sam fuels the Robin fire by continuing to engage in bar games with him as he continues to put off going out with Rebecca. Part of this includes a game of chess, which Sam does NOT know how to play. So he gets the assist from Norm, who is talking to him through a headset while he plays it out via a game on the computer. So much masculinity.

Becky with the Good Hair

T: Despite knowing that Robin has another girl in his life, Rebecca “doesn’t care” because she is “winning” and “not jealous” because he “prefers” her to “Jeanne Marie”. WOOF.

Rebecca, going through a rack of different outfits for the day: “This is for the beach walking hand in hand, picnic in the park, paddle boats, zoo, seventh row Phantom of the Opera, and this is for the end of a romantic evening…” holds this up:

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M: Oh, Bex. By the way, Outfit To Wear To Phantom was a staple in the wardrobe of every fine woman of 1990.

T: Robin gets caught up with the darts tourney and Rebecca ends up going to the beach with Woody. Robin continues to face-off with Sam in bar games. Rebecca continues her day of fun with Woody instead of Robin. I don’t get why she is continuing her day. Besides the Phantom tix, she can do everything else with Robin at another time.

M: Except that Robin NEVER TAKES A DAY OFF, a fact that is very emphatically repeated at the beginning of the episode for no real reason.

LLOL

The moments that made us literally laugh out loud

T: Literally did not laugh one bit of this episode.

M: Not even a chuckle. We’ve fallen so far since the pilot.

Say It Again, Sam

(Memorable lines from the episode. Not exclusively from Sam Malone.)

Rebecca: “That chick is in Paris.”

Carla: “Oh, I thought Robin was in charge of that.”

“Being a progressive couple…” Fraiser and Lillith are splitting time waking up in the middle of the night to feed their baby. Which is a thing that happened.

“Hey, no one calls me ‘adroit’” Sam. Bless.

Frasier: So, where did you get all this expensive listening equipment, anyway?SO, WHERE DID YOU GET ALL THIS EXPENSIVE LISTENING EQUIPMENT, ANYWAY?

Norm: Oh, this is Pete’s stuff. He uses this all the time. 

Frasier: Pete, are you a surveillance expert?

Pete: No. My wife sleeps around a lot. 

Sam: You shouldn’t have moved your cardinal, bub!

Robin: Bishop. It’s called bishop. 

Sam: I never like to nail a guy twice in one afternoon.

Carla: You haven’t LIVED. [This feels like a very 1990 joke right?]

Cheers Queries

Woody irons all of Rebecca’s clothes for her multiple dates. Why does he keep agreeing to do personal work for her?! He’s the bartender.

REMEMBER FLOPPY DISKS???
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How long did it take Norm to boot up that computer? It was always like the first entire 15 minutes of computer class in the early 90s.

Do people sing “na na nana, na na nana, hey hey-ey, goo-oodbye” to taunt people anymore? They do in this episode, and it happened in my childhood, but I can’t say I’ve heard it for years.

Have they always had this room with a giant rococo computer table? Heck. Have they always had a computer? All you could do with it at this point was play minesweeper.

Carla’s My Boo

Bless Carla for at least calling out that Robin’s got a side chick. Or maybe Rebecca’s the side chick.

Barfly Fashion

Rebecca’s mint green pant suit is a lot

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This is exactly the type of sweater Frasier would wear.

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Rebecca gives Robin “beachcombing” wear aka a matching sweater and yellow bucket hat. WHAT IS WRONG WITH HER.photo-oct-18-10-12-19-pm

Sam on his headphones, pretending he’s listening to a basketball game on his walkman

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Carla’s shirt with… fruit?

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Also, Rebecca’s outfit to wear walking on the beach is a big Aran sweater. Presumably they will meet a golden retriever and take part in a Land’s End shoot.

Final Thoughts

T: Is it season 11 yet?

M: I totally would have tagged along for Rebecca’s day of yuppie fun, but I don’t think the Cheers writers know that female friendship is a thing.

Next Up: We are basing our watch list off of AV Club’s 10 Episodes That Show How Cheers Stayed Great For 11 Seasons. We’re going chronologically, so stop by next month when we’ll discuss season eleven, episode 22, It’s Lonely at the Top.

HamilTour in the Greatest City in the World

It’s finally happened. You bought your Hamilton tickets,  and if you’re like us, you were willing to wait for it (we booked ours 11 months in advance). You’re finally in the Greatest City In The World and by 8pm you will be in the room where it happens. Assuming you’ve already been to New York a number of times and don’t need to hit the biggest tourist attractions, you might want to take in some A.Ham-based sites. Here’s a slate of activities that you can fit in before showtime, answering the ever-important HamFan questions: would it be a good place for a duel? Is it a good place to cry? And, should you throw away your shot to see it?

Alexander Hamilton: Striver, Statesman, Scoundrel at NYPL

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Would it be a good place for a duel?

NO. It is very small and crowded, which means you would hit somebody, A, and also couldn’t get the requisite steps apart, B.

Is it a good place to cry?

Pretty good, yeah. We both got emotional looking at a letter from Alexander to Eliza strictly because an informational plaque contained the word “orphanage.” Also libraries are quiet and respectful, so it sort of feels like crying at church which is not at all an unusual comparison to make, right?

a letter from alex to angelica aka MY DEAREST,

a letter from alex to angelica aka MY DEAREST,

Should you throw away your shot?

No. It’s FREE and primary sources are a total riot. Plus I think the makers of the exhibit threw in some sly Hamilton refs in some of the documentation.

THE REYNOLDS PAMPHLET

THE REYNOLDS PAMPHLET

Also, if you’re looking for Hamilton-based books and tchotchkes, the library store is A+.

Alexander Hamilton statue in Central Park

Would it be a good place for a duel?

It’s not bad.  There are people around but it’s not packed and there’s a lot of space. In terms of places to duel within Manhattan, it’s probably one of the better ones.

Is it a good place to cry?

It didn’t make us emotional and we wouldn’t necessarily cry there.

Should you throw away your shot?

If you happen to be nearby at the MET or something, swing on by, but otherwise it’s just a (nice) statute.

Trinity Church

Would it be a good place for a duel?

You know, we talked about it and we felt that it would feel disrespectful to the dead to duel there. On the other hand, at night it would be a good place for a duel for spooky atmospheric reasons, if you’re going to really go for it.

Is it a good place to cry?

Listen. We cried at  the word “orphanage” on Eliza’s plaque and the pennies on her grave and on her being placed in front of Hamilton’s and the marker next to them explaining that Philip is buried in the same cemetery but the location is unknown and at Angelica being around the other side of the church.

Also it’s a cemetery. That’s probably the most normal place anyone could ever cry.

angelica RIP

angelica RIP

Should you throw away your shot?

No, we found it emotionally gratifying to see where Hamilton lies and it connects you to the real history of real people.

Hamilton: An American Musical

Would it be a good place for a duel?

It would kind of be redundant, no?

Is it a good place to cry?

If you DON’T cry at the Richard Rodgers, I’m seriously concerned for your mental health.
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Should you throw away your shot?

If you even get a shot to be inside the room where it happens, you’re more than lucky to be alive right now. So, the answer is and always will be a resounding no.

Non-Hamilton Side Trips

A few bonus places we made it to this trip:

The Best Pizza – Rubirosa

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Would it be a good place for a duel?

OK you know those restaurants that are really hip in the front, then there’s a back room that’s for, presumably, less front-of-house appropriate customers (ahem, us), then somehow MORE rooms after that? That was this place. It was deceptively large so there is probably enough space to duel. Plus, this pizza would make a phenomenal last meal. Also the cruelest thing I can think of is to shoot somebody right before they were able to eat a slice from here.

Is it a good place to cry?

No, it’s like Pizza Disney. I have never heard so many people refer to something as “the best” of ANYTHING. I bet it’s an honor just to work there because you know that you are helping people to have the best pizza of their lives. You could cry happy tears like at a wedding, I suppose.

Should you throw away your shot?

Absolutely not, this was the best pizza I could ever hope to have.

New York’s Finest…. Audio Tour – Central Park

We’ve both been to Central Park, but neither of us have done any sort of a tour or read any sort of a guidebook. This time we pulled out our cell phones, resigned ourselves to racking up a ton of data, and listened to the audio tour narrated by notable New Yorkers . It’s extra fun to guess who is going to be up next.

Would it be a good place for a duel?

This really depends. Would I duel on the bow bridge, about which Julia Louis-Dreyfus made a Beau Bridges joke in her segment? Probably not. Too crowded, and a raucous group of schoolchildren who wouldn’t SIT DOWN in their paddleboats would really tempt me to throw away my shot.  But would I duel at The Mall, about which Jerry Seinfeld did not ask what the deal was? Yeah, maybe. Once I stopped recreating key scenes from When Harry Met Sally.

Is it a good place to cry?

It didn’t make us want to cry. However, if you were adjacent to Central Park and had to escape somewhere to cry, I think you could find a good spot. Maybe from the audio tour.

Should you throw away your shot?

If you have time, get there and do some sort of tour or guidebook thing. We couldn’t believe how much we missed on other visits.

All the Art – The Met

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Would it be a good place for a duel?

The Met is one of the more popular museums in NYC, so there would be a lot of witnesses. But also, due to the high number of valuable pieces of art, if you accidentally shoot a bullet through a Degas, that might be worse than losing the actual duel. If you live, that is.

Also, if you are going to duel first you need to decide how much you’re going to pay to get in (there’s a “suggested donation” and we are not the kind of people who would stiff a museum, but also $25 was a lot since we could only spend a few hours there, so it is a very stressful situation for a very particular kind of person). Do you tell the ticket lady you’ll pay $0 and face the shame of it, or do you pay $25 and hope that you live to take a leisurely stroll through the 19th Century European Impressionist galleries?

PS, it’s also an excellent location to take photos pretending that you’re Blair Waldorf on the front steps. We did so for a WHILE.

Is it a good place to cry?

I think in general, people don’t frown upon being emotional and moved by art, so it’s acceptable here.
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I should note that I actually did tear up when a class of 8-year-old schoolchildren was discussing a mural, and it was honestly just because this one little girl was so smart and articulate that I was just very happy for her.

Should you throw away your shot?

No! We were sad we didn’t have enough time to go through the entire museum and thoughtfully look at all the pieces. Like Disneyland, The Met needs one of those two-day passes so you can see everything.

Working on my (To)Night (Show) Cheese – 30 Rock


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Would it be a good place for a duel?

No. Security is so tight at 30 Rock that they won’t even let you take a picture inside the screening room where they show you a video on the history of NBC before the actual tour. 

Is it a good place to cry?

Yes, if you’re the type who gets emo at seeing the Saturday Night Live set IRL.

Should you throw away your shot?

Meh – the tour is fine, and worth the $30ish ticket. If you plan ahead, you can get into a taping of Late Night or the Tonight Show like we did, and that was a lifelong dream come true.  The taping was free, but getting a high five from Jimmy himself – priceless.

 

Pop Culture Blind Spot: The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Tomorrow, October 20th, we’ll be introduced to another TV musical, and just in time for Halloween – The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Unlike Sound of Music, The Wiz, or the best of them all, Grease Live!, this is NOT live. But it does feature a lot of stunt casting with Victoria Justice and Adam Lambert and Laverne Cox as Dr. Frank-n-Furter. Now I have no emotional ties to this movie/musical, so I could care less. But I imagine there are folks out there that do. But you fall into the same category as I do, here’s a post from last year, when I watched the movie for the very first time. Spoiler alert: I did not enjoy it.

 


Pop Culture Blind Spot: The Rocky Horror Picture Show

It’s been 40 years since The Rocky Horror Picture Show was released and for the past four decade’s it’s been a cult classic. It’s spawned countless stage productions, midnight dress-up movie sing-a-long showings and even a Glee episode. But it’s only been a few weeks since I’ve watching The Rocky Horror Picture Show for the first time.

If you’re just joining us for our Pop Culture Blind Spots series, we basically live blog our first viewing of something we’ve never seen before but we probably should have. So let’s start by sharing my knowledge of Rocky Horror:

  • Susan Sarandon plays an innocent girl
  • Tim Curry is in drag
  • Time Warp is a song. So is Touch a Touch a Touch a Touch Me.
  • I somehow confuse this show with Little Shop of Horrors in my head and often picture Tim Curry with a talking venus flytrap.
  • I guess I don’t really know the plot?

Alright, so here I am, about to watch Rocky Horror and in full disclosure this might not end favorably for Rocky fans. You’ve been warned.

Haven’t even started the movie yet, and I have to decide whether or not to watch the US version or the UK version… apparently the Brits get an extra song called Superheroes, because America hates heroism. Also there’s an option called “I’m frightened”, and I didn’t pick it because WHY ARE THERE SO MANY OPTIONS JUST TO PLAY THE DAMN MOVIE. 

I already hate these talking lips. Literally it’s talking to me during the DVD menu selection. “Everything is in readyness, we nearly await your selection”, it says to me. SHHH.

I feel like we’ve gotten off to a bad start. Let’s collect ourselves and calm down.

Did movies made in 1975 still have credits in the beginning or was this a style choice made specifically for this film? Either way, I appreciate it

The side of the car said “WAIT TIL TONITE SHE GOT HERS NOW HE’LL GET HIS” …. she got her… sex? I’m too young for this movie.
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I was not aware this movie was in black and white.

Janet’s boyfriend is proposing right after a wedding and defaced church property. Poor form all around.

I’ve never heard Susan Sarandon sing before? Gosh she’s pretty and hasn’t aged.

Who is this Hitchcockian character breaking the fourth wall??

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Janet is using a newspaper to cover herself from the pouring rain. First of all, she is completely drenched. Second, the newspaper is made out of some type of waterproof paper because it’s not soggy at all.

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Maybe it’s because it’s 1975, but TBH, if I walked up to a rando house in the middle of the night in a storm and this dude with the balding hair with Dracula voice answered the door, I’d be all, ‘Oh sorry, wrong house BYE’. NOT TONIGHT SIR. 

Is American Gothic a theme here

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There was a star wipe effect. Did someone edit this on Windows Movie Maker

Oh it’s in color now.

This Time Warp scene is like if Cabaret met Grease and they were meeting in Jeckyll and Hyde’s home office. Also, Eyes Wide Shut.

SPEAKING AS A TAP DANCER THIS WOMAN’S TAP DANCING IS HORRENDOUS AND NOT MATCHING WITH THE SOUNDS OF THE TAPS

HOLD UP. THE 20TH CENTURY FOX LOGO SHOWED UP AGAIN AND IT’S THE SAME OPENING FROM THE BEGINNING? IS THIS LIKE GROUNDHOG DAY (which I watched for the first time a couple months ago)

Is my DVD doing something weird because now the credits are in color, as opposed to black and white when I started this shit 20 minutes ago… OK lit’rally this movie just restarted from the beginning to be in color is this what really happens because I’m fast forwarding.

We’ve managed to move past the 20 minute mark without going back to the beginning. Never have I been so excited to see Tim Curry as a transvestite *apologies for saying ‘in drag’ earlier*. Also, Tim Curry has a huge mouth. take that as you will. I’m already obsessed with him.

Also Barry Bostwick was a babe??

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What kind of fuckery is this? A mummy in formaldehyde? Maybe not formaldehyde. But might as well be.

This is horrible but my other prior experience with Rocky Horror is the Glee episode, and I distinctly remember Chord Overstreet in these tight gold lamé underwears.

Guys, TBH I’m like paying half attention and have no idea what’s happening. Why did Meatloaf just crash through the wall of the Tim Curry’s Willy Wonka laboratory on a motorcycle??

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Yoooo did Tim Curry just murder Meatloaf with an axe

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Why is Janet sleeping in a malaria tent?

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Now the Igor hunchback is walking around with a candelabra and throwing the wax on the gold lamé naked guy. Honestly have no idea what’s going on.

Brad just had sex with Tim Curry? And Brad was okay with it? Oh I guess it’s fine because Janet just sought out Gold Lamé to have sex with her.

Dr. Scott is here. It is someone’s birthday. They’ve been having dinner on a table with a dead person in a coffin underneath it. So that’s another normal thing going on at this mansion.

Funniest thing to happen so far: Igor and busty maid laughing hysterically then Igor suddenly reprimanding her: SHUT UP

I’m gonna be honest with y’all – I lost interest around this point. I got distracted, decided not to pause the movie, but didn’t understand what was happening anyways and I probably skipped a a lot of things moving forward.

They’re in a pool now. Having a huge orgy while the dude in the wheelchair is watching from afar. Because at this point, why the hell not.

Why are there lazer guns involved now?

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Are these aliens?

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Oh it’s Igor and what’s her name?? Gold lamé shorts just shook his fist as he’s trying to carry Tim Curry on his back.

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They fell into the poolWHAT IN THE ACTUAL FUCK IS HAPPENING

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I give up y’all. This isn’t for me. I don’t get it. But respect for those who do. 

Unpopular opinion I’m assuming most people will disagree with:

Rating of Rocky Horror: 1 spear shaped lazer gun (out of like 20)