Pop Culture Blind Spot: Hello Dolly

Welcome back to Pop Culture Blind Spot, where we examine beloved films and tv shows that we definitely should have seen by now. Up today: Hello Dolly, a movie musical totally missed by this person who loves movie musicals.

What I think I know about Hello Dolly: It’s from the 1950s but set in that time all mid-century musicals were – approximately 1908, or whenever Main Street Disney is supposed to be. It’s about Barbra Streisand… doing vaudeville, maybe. The only thing I know is the song Hello Dolly, and by that I mean the part of the song where they say Hello Dolly, well hello Dolly.

Let’s see how wrong I am!

Right out the gate, this was made in 1969, making me nearly twenty years off in release date. I guess I should have been tipped off by the fact that Babs would have been a child in the ’50s.

But it IS from the era I was thinking of-ish: New York City, 1890! I’m already into it by the Ken Burns-y fade-in they do from a still photo of a 1908 street scene to live motion.

The continued opening shots showing people’s feet as they skip, hopscotch and trip-trap about are fantastic. This leads me to look up who directed this… Gene Kelly?!? WOAH. I had no idea he directed, too. Talk about a quintuple threat.

Premise: Dolly Levi (Barba Streisand) is a matchmaker with great hats.

Ambrose (Tommy Tune), doing a nerd voice, wants to marry scroogey rich Horace Vandergelder’s niece Ermengarde. I assume Ermengarde was meant as a nerd name even in the 60s. Ermengarde has a great fuchsia hairbow and a nice complexion.

 

Horace: You are a seven-foot-tall nincompoop!

Ambrose: That’s an insult!

Horace: All the facts about you are insults!

Horace, re: his clerk Cornelius’s announcement that he’s 28 and 3/4 years old: “That’s a foolish age to be at. I thought you were 40.”

Horace (Walter Matthau!) ‘s plan is to get married.  He illustrates that through a cringey song about how it “takes a woman” to do thinks like dump ashes. He describes women as both “fragile” and “frail” but also capable of doing the garbage work he doesn’t want to do like “clean out the drain in the sink”,”washing and bluing and shoeing the mare” and “cleaning the stable.”

Okay, here’s what Horace is. He is to husbands as Marilla Cuthbert is to mothers: he’s more or less trying to buy another human for chores. It sounds like what Horace needs is a maid or a handyman. I assume that in 1969, as in 2017, this song read as a joke about how horrible Horace, the two male clerks and the chorus of singing men behind him are. Men in general I guess.

The scene with Barbra Streisand reading Horace’s palm turned me into a Barbra Streisand fan.

Apparently the frail sturdy chorewoman Horace has in mind is Irene in New York. Dolly sing-explains that SHE wants to be Horace’s wife-maid-stableboy.

Barnaby and Cornelius, the nerdy clerks, are going to New York and aren’t coming back until “they’ve each kissed a girl.” Barnaby is 19 and a half to Cornelius’s 28 and 3/4 so “for me it’s not so urgent.” I should probably mention that they’re in Yonkers, which I guess looked like the Old West in 1890, so it’s not much of a commute. Dolly sends them off to meet that hussy Irene and her shopgirl. I see what you’re doing, Doll.

About to close down the saloon early. Or feed shop. Grainery? General store.

Put On Your Sunday Clothes is the best number so far. “Put on your Sunday clothes when you feel down and out,” sing a bunch of Newsies from a time when ‘Sunday clothes’ meant anything. Ladies dance with parasols, a film industry requirement for all technicolor musicals made before 1970. A family in all white emerges from a Queen Anne-style house and for a second it’s like we’re in a Ragtime crossover. The ladies do a tiptoe move with their bustles that’s the late Victorian precursor to twerking. People talk-sing and you can show that to any old folks incredulous about modern rap musicals. Everyone departs on a train, another one of those midcentury musical requirements.

Parasols. Newsies. Bustles. Trains. Yep, all accounted for.

We meet Irene and her galpal Minnie mid-scene with some quality chuffa:

Minnie: A banana a day keeps the doctor away.

Irene: You mean an apple a day.

Minnie:Who ever heard of a doctor slipping on an apple peel?

Established: shopgirl Minnie is an idiot and Irene’s used to it.

 

Irene Molloy (Marianne McAndrew) would be played by Kristen Wiig if this was made now.

Irene is so much cooler and smoother and better-looking than Cornelius and Barnaby, who is so dense he introduces himself as a hat, plus her shop is unnecessarily large and decorated in sophisticated grays. Minnie Fay is right about on the guys’ level though.

Expensive.

“Forgive me for saying this, but you should see Yonkers.” NEVER.

Everybody is doing that annoying trick where they mention the other person’s significant other to see if they have one. I always secretly like when guys do that, though, because it saves me the trouble about lying about a boyfriend to get them to stop talking.

Horace shows up at the shop to mack on Irene. Dolly shows up in her flashiest purple dress in Old New York and tries to act unassuming. Sorry. Make that the flashiest purple dress in the world. It’s what Prince would have worn if he was a woman in 1890.

Horace is shocked that Cornelius comes into New York City. Again, from Yonkers. In 1890, when there were trains. Dolly talks Cornelius up,  and it’s funny (” Who took the horses out of Jenny Lind’s carriage and pulled her through the streets?”).

Does this take place in one day? Also is there a term for musicals that take place in one day, because it seems like there should be?

Horace is going to march in a parade with “the kind of people I can trust – 700 men.” I remain confused as to why he doesn’t just hire a chore boy.

Barnaby is the Niall Horan of this musical: affable, charming, boyish and underrated.

While searching for images of Danny Lockin I found this FASCINATING info about what happened to him after Hello Dolly – pic links to article. Woah.

Anyway, right?

Not to make too much of Irene’s giant hat shop but it’s so big you can swing a lady in a hoop skirt without hitting anything. Which they do. If I had that kind of hat shop money I’d never get married.

Dolly has so much purple, including a little purse and a feather boa and a giant hat, that she’s like a purple muppet. She has some LONG acrylics as well, just like the Victorians did. They are her “getting back in the dating game” nails. She’s widowed.

I thought Horace was talking about a metaphorical parade, but there’s actually a giant parade. Once again, it looks like Main Street Disney. Women are there too, including some suffragettes (another requirement of technicolor musicals) but Horace goes anyway. Babs sings about parades, which is one of her specialties.

Along with Niall Horan, Barnaby also has some Mark Hamill vibes.

Niall, Cornelius, Irene and Dumb Minnie sing about how elegant they are, a thing I think you’ll notice elegant people never do. Like how smart people don’t talk about being smart. They make a fun friend group and I would 100% watch a spinoff movie of Minnie, Mark Hamill and Cornelius bumbling about and Irene having to be the only adult in the situation.

Image links to cute Hello Dolly post.

Here’s what I appreciate about the costuming here: everyone is head-to-toe color coordinated like a 1980s bridesmaid. Dress, cape, hat, shoes all dyed to the exact same color. Babs changes into what I guess is the most uncomfy loungewear invented, a lacy tan corset top with a lacy tan jacket over it with some giant sleeves. It’s kinda Stevie Nicks-esque and I’m obsessed. Her hair is a smooth orange dome with a ponytail at the end. This is her casual hairstyle.

Best I could do

Don’t worry, there are dancing waiters in red tailcoats.

I wonder if Mock Turtle Soup struck people as funny in 1969 too, but I bet it did. Just the idea that turtle soup was so in demand but so rare that people had to fake it.

“If I tell you the truth, would you let me put my arm around your waist?” Weird bargain but OK.

“I’ve never touched a woman before.” YOU DON’T SAY, CORNELIUS.

Don’t Barnaby and Cornelius sound like what a hipster couple would name their sons?

Dolly is BACK wearing a very gold beaded dress and a feather headpiece, which is what prompts everyone to sing Hello Dolly.

LOUIS ARMSTRONG IS IN THIS. I know everyone else probably knows that but I didn’t. He’s absurdly charismatic.

I kind of feel like the first hour, hour fifteen were jam-packed and then we’ve been marking time in this restaurant ever since.

There is a whole turkey on Dolly and Horace’s two-top table. Is this how rich people eat?

Cornelius dances with a fan like an idiot. On one hand, Irene can do better. On the other, they’re both having fun and he doesn’t take himself too seriously like ol’ Horace.

Horace almost fires Cornelius and Barnaby for being in New York even though I’m fairly certain he doesn’t own them like he will the chore-wife he wants to buy.

Falling in love “only takes a moment” but the song about it lasts seven.

Back in Yonkers, Barnes and Cornes quit. Cornelius is becoming a new Horace, and Barnaby is becoming the new Cornelius. Dolly and Horace are getting married. ALL the people you thought would get married in the first ten minutes will get married, but my, wasn’t it a fun journey to get there?

I just wish these men would stop singing about how it takes a ‘fragile’ woman to do chores, is all.

Bottom line: I see what the fuss was about – not so much the songs themselves (not too many showstoppers) but the character of Dolly Levi and Barbra Streisand’s performance, plus the supporting cast and throwback sets and costumes. This was delightful and a break from real life, just like a musical should be.

 

 

 

Podcast You Should Be Listening To: Pod Save America

Four former Obama staffers walk into a podcast recording studio. Then Donald Trump wins the presidential election. That’s it. That’s the joke.

We live in an era in which podcasting is in a golden age – ever since Serial, it seems like the cool thing to do now is either start a podcast (LOL I HAVE ONE LISTEN TO IT PLS) or have a never ending queue of podcasts you listen to on the regular. Today, I’m sharing one of my favorite pods that get top priority in my app – here’s the DL on literal chart topper Pod Save America.

What’s It All About

A no-bullshit conversation about politics. This is a podcast for people not yet ready to give up or go insane.

If you’re a person who is frustrated with the way this current administration is handling the state of our nation, this podcast is for you. Twice a week, these White House alums discuss U.S. politics through a progressive, liberal lens, so if you have a problem with that, this podcast is probably not for you.

The Hosts

Jon Favreau (no, not that one) is the lead host/moderator of the pod. He was the Director of Speechwriting during President Obama’s first term, and worked for Barry dating back to his days in the Senate. Unrelatedly, he dated Rashida Jones back in the day, and that’s how I first heard of him. The hot Obama speechwriter who once dated Rashida Jones.

Jon Lovett also worked alongside Favreau as a speechwriter during the Obama era, and prior to that, wrote for John Kerry and Hillary Clinton. After he left the White House, he pursued a career as a screenwriter, and together with Josh Gad and Jason Winer, they created and wrote short-lived sitcom 1600 Penn, which was truly the best show you weren’t watching and got cancelled way before it should have been. He also wrote and served as an advisor on The Newsroom, and just kicked off his own spin-off podcast, Lovett or Leave It.

Tommy Vietor worked with Obama since the Senate, and in the White House, Tommy was his spokesperson, as well as the spokesperson for the U.S. National Security Council. Like Lovett, he also has a spin-off pod called Pod Save the World, which focuses on global issues and policymaking decisions.

Dan Pfeiffer was a Senior Advisor to Obama for Strategy and Communications, rounding out this fraternity of Obama bros. Dan also worked on Gore’s presidential campaign, as well as various senators throughout the years.

They’re Not N00bs

Pod Save America is actually the result of the foursome’s very successful podcast, Keepin’ it 1600, which focused on the 2016 presidential election. It was praised as one of the best podcasts of 2016, and garnered a huge fan following. Because of their success, Favs, Lovett and Tommy started their own podcast network, Crooked Media, and Pod Save America became the first podcast under their new network. Needless to say, they’re not amateur podcasters.

And They’re Not Political N00bs, Either

Because these guys have had years of experience in Washington, it’s not like they’re randos who are just giving their POVs on the week’s current events after only having read one article on Vox.com. The know their shit. In fact, it’s what makes their podcast a bit better than the rest. They’re experts who are giving us insider information on how an administration worked, how it should work, and what the current one is doing “wrong”. As someone who follows politics, but not enough to know all the intricacies of it, it’s extremely informative, but not condescending or pretentious. They’re also funny, so don’t expect a straight up news podcast, either.

The Guests Are No Joke

Keepin’ It 1600 had been on my queue for months, but I just never got around to it. So when Barack Obama sat down for his final interview as president with these guys, I obviously had to tune in. BTW, that ep is a good starting point if you need a gateway drug! Every episode features a special guest in the second half (after the hosts talk about the overall current events in the first half), and every single person so far has been impressive and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. For example, when DT first laid down a whole bunch of Executive Orders (like the travel ban), former White House lawyer Danielle Gray came on the pod to discuss the legalities of his EOs, while Obama’s former Deputy Chief of Staff and Health Care Czar Nancy-Ann DeParle discussed Trumpcare. Other guests include former chief strategist David Axelrod, another chief speechwriter, Cody Keenan, and A Closer Look’s Seth Meyers.

They Promote Activism

Sure you can listen to the podcast and feel like you’re helping to fight the cause. And you are, just by learning about what’s happening in the WH shitshow, but obviously there’s more work to be done. The hosts of the pod make it a point to share resources and encourage listeners to be active in politics and local government, whether it be which Congressman/woman to call for the Issue of the Week, or when to attend town halls to give your reps a piece of your mind. They have a list of resources on their website but you should probably just listen to the pod to get all the details.

Listen to new episodes of Pod Save America every Monday and Thursday [subscribe here]

 

Ridiculous Pretty Little Liars Plot Lines You Forgot Happened

It’s been a very long, twisty road, PLL Army, but we’re finally at the end of the road.

Season 7(B) of teen drama Pretty Little Liars kicks off tomorrow, and honestly, it’s about time. Regular viewers got sucked into the mystery of “Who Is A?”, the mysterious person who stalked, tortured, and harassed teenage girls for years. Everyone became a professional conspiracy theorist, taking every single hint on the show and turning it into their own personal A lair.

And fans can attest that throughout the seven years there has been more than enough red herrings and insane moments that either made us question what the eff was going on, or why the eff we’re still watching this show. And there are so many of them that it’s hard to remember every single one. Before we dig into the final 10 episodes, let’s take a look back at the previous 150 episodes and see just how many ridiculous plot lines we’ve had to accept as canon over the past seven seasons.

  • Before Emily came out as a lesbian, she had a boyfriend named StraightGuy. At one point, he attempted to assault her in the girls’ locker room, but Toby came to rescue and beat him up. Tender is the Toby/Emily friendship.
  • While glamping, A hits Hanna with a car. At this point in the timeline, Mona is A. Mona aka Hanna’s BFF, hits her with a vehicle.
  • Spencer, the most scholarly of the liars, willingly takes off her bra in order to get back on the Decathlon team. It’s the Sixteen Candles underwear scene of Rosewood.
  • Rando You’ll Never Meet Again #4 is Duncan Albert, a dude who used to be Alison’s secret summer boy toy. He arrives to Rosewood in hopes of meeting with “Vivian Darkbloom” (TL;DR) and ends up meeting Aria. He happens to have his pilot’s license, so natch he invited her up in his two-seater for a romantic fly over Pennsylvania. And then he LETS ARIA, WITH NO PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE, STEER THE GD PLANE.

  • Caleb just lived in the school. IN the school.
  • Mona falls off a cliff. And lives.
  • Emily gets a gift from A, and instead of a Tiffany’s necklace, she gets a necklace made of out teeth – teeth that belonged to her dead girlfriend.
  • Speaking of teeth (BECAUSE THAT’S THE TYPE OF SHOW THIS IS), instead of giving a teeth necklace to Hanna, A decided to play dentist by performing surgery on her while she was unconscious, and then left the world’s tiniest message in her tooth.

  • The girls became models for a bridal show (again, they’re teenagers), and Spencer finds out that her corset wasn’t the most comfortable because it had finger bones in it. Duh.
  • Ravenswood.
  • In order to relieve stress for a v important swim meet that could determine her collegiate future, Emily rubs muscle lotion cream on herself to make her calm down. Except the cream was actually poisonous steroid cream that A obvs had a hand in. At the hospital, Em got even more bad news, because doctors discovered the steroids in her blood, which is never good for someone who wants to be a professional swimmer.
  • Aria’s dad’s mistress (and later Rosewood High teacher) Meredith, tends to a sick Aria, not in a ‘let me make you chicken soup’ kind of way, but in the ‘i’mma slip drugs into her hot tea’ kind of way. And then she locks her inside her bedroom, but when Aria tries to get out, Meredith knocks her unconscious. Hanna and Emily arrive to help save Aria, but then Meredith locks them up too. Reminder: all these girls are high schoolers.
  • Spencer gets trapped in a sauna:

  • Spencer and Aria get trapped in a freezer:

  • Emily and Jason get trapped in an elevator:

  • Emily gets trapped in a coffin (which is on a conveyor belt closing in on a chainsaw):

  • Aria gets trapped in a box on a Halloween train (with a dead body):

  • Spencer, Aria, Emily, and Hanna all get trapped in a dollhouse (complete with replicas of their own real bedrooms):

  • Not only does Spencer have an Adderall addiction, but it’s actually a relapse since she was hooked on the drug before. There’s even a scene where Maddie Ziegler shows up in Spencer’s drug-addled dream:

  • During one of PLL’s famous Halloween episodes, a little girls shows up at Hanna’s house looking for her mom. Instead of, I don’t know, calling the police (which everyone in Rosewood apparently has an aversion to), Hanna’s mom Ashley leaves her alone in one of their rooms, but when she comes back to find her, little girl is gone – BECAUSE SHE WAS A GHOST.
  • There was a bird named Tippi who repeatedly sang a phone number
  • And this. This is what Toby looks like in jail:

Handsome Men In Pastels And Florals: An Appreciation Post

Spring is in the air! Passover and Easter are here, tulips are popping up, days are getting longer, and it’s the perfect time to bust out some pastels or floral prints in your wardrobe. While I like lighter colors and flower patterns myself, there’s nothing better than a man confident and exuberant enough to wear FUN clothes (and while I’d argue that fun clothes shouldn’t require confidence, the Standard Man’s Wardrobe is admittedly pretty staid – and if that’s what you prefer, you do you). With trendsetters looking this fresh and sunny, though, maybe the general populace isn’t far behind!

Tinie Tempeh

This Gucci cotton crepe blazer is screen-printed with a gorgeous chinoiserie pattern, given a bit of edge with the gold chain and bare chest. Is he at a tea party? I love everything about this.

Taking it back to 2014, Tinie Tempah is at it AGAIN in Casely-Hayford, ankle pants and plain white tennis shoes. The man knows he looks good in a floral print.

Let’s be real. I’m presenting these gents in no particular order, but Tinie Tempeh’s at the top of the list because he’s the king of the floral blazer in my book. This Louis Vuitton brocade tux jacket fits like a dream and looks like one too.

Rami Malek

Rami is one of our blog favorites, and part of that’s because he’s such a consistently well-dressed man. It comes as no surprise, then, that he’s one of our repeat floral enthusiasts. This bright blue suit worn for his Time Off shoot makes his eyes stand out even more than they already do.

Listen. There is a middle ground for the man who likes the idea of florals but doesn’t feel comfortable in a brocade or chintz look, and that middle ground is the Hawaiian-style shirt. It’s summery, bright, and fun, but has been part of the menswear establishment for decades. Rami knows. This one’s by Sandro and has a gorgeous sheen in higher-res images.

Then there’s this alternative to the floral blazer or tuxedo jacket: a solid-color suit with a flower-print shirt underneath. And a polka-dotted pocket square for whimsy.

Jared Leto

Jared Leto made waves at the 2015 Oscars in the Givenchy tuxedo that’s somewhere between lavender and periwinkle. He even accessorized: that’s not a boutonniere, it’s a pink floral Fred Leighton brooch.

You know what? The long double-breasted coat feels costume-y to me, and I’m not feeling the slouchy socks, but that’s OKAY. The fact that Jared went for it in this very Lilly Pullitzer color-combo (in Gucci, no less) is great.

A$ap Rocky

One of the most common men’s floral staples the past few years has been the printed bomber jacket. In 2013, A$ap Rocky was years ahead of the fashion curve in this Balenciaga jacket and matching shirt.

Here’s a new one for our list: floral jeans that manage to look beautiful and not at all like my embroidered floral jeans from the Limited Too circa 1999. That’s probably because these are Gucci. And PAINTED. Love love love.

Bruno Mars

No apologies here: I still love Uptown Funk and I think the video was an instant classic, due in large part to the retro throwback looks — especially Bruno’s fantastic pink jacket.

And then there’s Bruno in last year’s Jane The Virgin finale, all flowy and flowery.

Nick Cannon

I’m no Nick Cannon stan, but I’d be remiss to leave off this dapper three-piece that’s like a cartoon version of an Edwardian man on Easter, which to be clear, is a compliment.

Harry Styles

Open strong, close strong: if Tinie Tempeh is a king of floral jackets, Harry is the Emperor Of The Full Floral Suit. Here he is in Gucci, 2015, keeping it December-appropriate in a cheerful red.

This Gucci suit Harry wore to the 2015 AMAs made my jaw drop in a good way. And since I’ve come to expect him to wear prints that are a bit extra, the part that surprised me was that he managed to make a flared leg look current. What can I say, I came of age in the early 2000s.

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It’s like a rockstar Minnie Mouse, which I’m good with and you should be too.

One more before we go: floral Gucci pants. These are Good Pants. And what’s that I see? Niall’s little yellow head, with a floral patch on his elbows? Harry’s enthusiasm for flower prints is downright infectious.

 

One thing I noticed when brainstorming this list was that most well-dressed men either wear florals and pastels regularly, or not at all. With the exception of the stray pink or light blue button-up or t-shirt, which barely counts IMO, it seems like these springy styles just aren’t a part of most mens’ day-to-day fashion lineup. But who knows? Maybe all fashionable gents are just one well-made pastel tuxedo jacket from entering the light side.

 

What I Think Happens in The Fast & The Furious Franchise (I Haven’t Watched It)

WHO IS EXCITED ABOUT FATE OF THE FURIOUS COMING OUT TOMORROW???

*lowers hand* Not me. Not sorry, Vin Diesel, but I will not be lining up to watch the eighth installment of your very popular film franchise when it is released in theaters. Don’t take it personally. I’m not one for action movies about cars, so I’m not your target demo. I’m sure you’ll be fine without my $15. In fact, the FF franchise has received none of my dollars since it first came out in 2001 – I have not seen one single Diesel movie that has the words “Fast” or “Furious” in it. And yes, I have decided to live with that burden for the rest of my life.

In following line with Molly’s previous What I Think Happens In Game of Thrones (I Don’t Watch It) post, my version is strictly on The Fast and The Furious – except think of it as the complete opposite of our Pop Culture Blind Spot series – because I don’t think I’ll ever sit down to watch these movies ever. So instead, I’m sharing what I think happens in the FF franchise, because that’s way more entertaining to me than any of the movies will be.

The Fast and The Furious (2001)

  • The movie is set in Los Angeles, judging by this picture alone. Because this is where all the fast and furious drivers live. That last bit’s a fact.
  • I forgot how long ago this was released – I was a mere 15 years old, circling everything in the dELiA*s catalog, and apparently Michelle Rodriguez and Jordana Brewster did too.
  • The dude with the tatted arm and wife beater is the villain. And other dude in the back with the arm tattoo and wife beater is his villain friend.
  • Michelle and Vin are romantically involved but she’s had a tough life and doesn’t let people in that easily.
  • Paul Walker (RIP) is the hunky hearthrob who gets all the girls.
  • Squad gets into a face-off with a local gang who own the streets of LA
  • Vin and Paul are friends but enemies on the street when it comes to drag racing (is this movie even about drag racing?)

2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)

  • Tyrese joins the mix and takes Vin’s place…? Is he in this movie? If so why is he not in this picture?
  • Eva Mendes and Cris “Ludacris” Bridges are also newbies to the FF world, and Eva plays Paul Walker’s (RIP) new gal pal while Luda is his longtime friend from his hometown of Tampa, Florida. (but really, where are Vin, Michelle and Jordana? I had no idea they weren’t in this movie)
  • The drag racing continues, this time in Florida, because Paul Walker (RIP) moved back home

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)

  • Luda convinces Paul Walker (RIP) to go on vacation in Tokyo, because they’ve both been working too hard (as drag race pros) and are both single and ready to mingle.
  • Once they get to Tokyo, local drivers notice Paul and Luda are in town and convince them to race in Japan’s biggest underground competition, despite the fact they promised each other the trip wouldn’t involve cars at all.
  • There’s a fun scene where Luda and Paul get drunk while out on the town and meeting ladies in sushi bars (set to the tune of Nelly Furtado’s Promiscuous Girl)
  • Vin, Michelle and Jordana are off laying low in some remote island in Micronesia, because they were caught running a chop shop (like the Riggins bros in FNL), so they fled the country. They continue to not be in the franchise.
  • The drag racing continues, this time with more Asian cars

Fast & Furious (2009)

  • Fast & Furious is the real sequel to The Fast and the Furious, because Vin, Michelle and Jordana all come back and they brought an ampersand with them
  • The charges they were running away from were dropped after miscellaneous extra took the fall for them, so they’re all back in LA and being all fast & furious with their driving
  • The drag racing continues, this time with the four leads in one car

Fast Five (2011)

  • The gang travels down to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in an attempt to get back the cars that were stolen from them in the last movie
  • Paul Walker (RIP) invites his friend Dwayne Johnson to join them as extra backup, since rumors surfaced that the dudes who took the cars were also embroiled in some drug cartel business
  • The drag racing continues, this time with Dwayne Johnson literally just throwing cars all over the place and he somehow wins

Fast & Furious 6 (2013)

  • The gang travels to London, where Paul Walker (RIP) moved because he fell in love with some British chippie. Jordana Brewster wants to get him back and her brother (I knew this!) doesn’t want her going alone so he tags along for the ride. Slash he misses Paul.
  • Dwayne Johnson is probably like an ex-SWAT team member who just can’t let go of his past and continues to wear all the gear, despite the fact it’s totally unnecessary.
  • Of course they all get involved in local street racing, and the villains are rogue MI6 agents
  • The drag racing continues, this time on the other side of the road

Furious 7 (2015)

  • Everyone gathers back in Los Angeles where they face a similar problem in the first film, in that they’re yet again running the streets against a local yet powerful gang
  • Dwayne ditches the SWAT gear for a simple American Apparel black tee. He’s more comfortable in the LA heat now
  • Paul Walker (RIP) decides for good to leave drag racing, because he and Jordana Brewster have a child and he wants to give her a life free of danger that she deserves. He walks off into the sunset while See You Again crescendos in the background.
  • The drag racing continues, this time in honor of Paul Walker (RIP)

Rex Manning Day, Mean Girls Day and More: Essential Pop Culture Holidays

In The Great Gatsby, Daisy always watched for the longest day of the year and then missed it. In the age of tumblr, I always watch for Saturday Detention Day, AKA Breakfast Club Day, and then miss it. I kind of understand how Daisy must feel. In the interest of never missing another movie or TV holiday, we’re compiling them here. Did we miss any? Let us know before we’re late to yet another Aaron Samuels Day.

Galentines Day

Date: February 13
TV Show: Parks and Recreation (2009 – 2015)
Reasoning:

Leap Day

Date: February 29, every 4 years
TV Show: 30 Rock
Reasoning: 30 Rock didn’t invent Leap Day, but it did invent Leap Day William, the heart and soul of the holiday

The Day Of The Dude

Date: March 8
Movie: The Big Lebowski (1998)
Reasoning: Anniversary of the Big Lebowski’s Release

Breakfast Club Day AKA Saturday Detention Day

Date: March 24
Movie: The Breakfast Club (1984)
Reasoning:

Winston Smith Day AKA 1984 Day

Date: April 4
Book: 1984, by George Orwell (1949)
Reasoning: The day Winston Smith began his diary.

Rex Manning Day

Date: April 8
Movie: Empire Records (1995)
Reasoning:

The Perfect Date

Date: April 25th
Movie: Miss Congeniality
Reasoning:

N Sync Day

Date: April 30
Song: It’s Gonna Be Me
Reasoning:

The Battle of Hogwarts

Date: May 2
Book and Movie: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Reasoning: Confirmed by J.K. Rowling, who said that Victoire Weasley was born on the anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts, May 2. The year was 1998:

Star Wars Day

Date: May 4
Movies: Many
Reasoning:

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Date: June 5
Movie: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
 Reasoning: It’s iffy. That’s the day the audio from the Chicago Bears game they attended came from, but there may have been a few months left in the schoolyear. Also, that parade would have been in the fall. Let’s say that any day you play hooky can be Ferris Bueller Day in your heart.

Best Friends Day

Date: June 8
TV Show: Spongebob Squarepants
Reasoning: There’s no date given for Best Friends Day in the episode where Spongebob and Patrick celebrate it, so it’s usually celebrated on the Facebook-ish holiday of Best Friends Day, June 8

Bloomsday

Date: June 16
Book: Ulysses, by James Joyce (1922)
Reasoning: The events of Ulysses (main character Leopold Bloom) take place on June 16, 1904

Harry Potter’s Birthday

Date: July 31
Books/Movies: The Harry Potter series
Reasoning: Not only is this the date Harry was born in 1980, it’s when JK Rowling was born in 1965. And of course, Neville Longbottom was born the day before Harry if you want to turn it into a two-day event.

Roald Dahl Day

Date: September 13
Books: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The BFG, Matilda, James and the Giant Peach, and many, many more
Reasoning: Roald Dahl was born on this day in 1916. Last year we celebrated with a whole week dedicated to Matilda.

Mean Girls Day AKA Aaron Samuels Day

Date: October 3
Movie: Mean Girls (2004)
Reasoning:

Treat Yo Self Day

Date: October 13
TV Show: Parks and Recreation (2009 – 2015)
Reasoning: The ‘treat yo self’ episode aired on this date in 2011

Abed’s Rudolph Day

Date: December 9
TV Show: Community (2009 – 2015)
Reasoning: In the classic 2010 claymation episode Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas, this is the day Abed always watches Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer with his mom. 

Refrigerator Day

Date: December 11
TV Show: Dinosaurs (1991)
Reasoning: The date this classic episode about Refrigerator Day aired:

 

Festivus

Date: December 23
TV Show: Seinfeld  (1989 – 1998)
Reasoning: The day the holiday ‘for the rest of us’ is celebrated with the feats of strength, airing of grievances and Festivus pole.

 

Movies That Will Help Restore Your Faith In Humanity Again

So the state of the world is kind of a real big bummer right now, huh?

Missiles are being shot left and right, the plots of Homeland and Scandal are becoming more like non-fiction with every passing day, and Kendall Jenner somehow thought she could save society with one can of Pepsi. If you’ve been feeling downtrodden over the past few days (weeks/months), use this weekend to regroup and remind yourself that there are still good people in the world. There is most certainly humanity left – but we just have to remember where to find it.

Here are some movies to make you feel better about the world, or at least escape from reality for a few hours.

Amélie

Maybe it’s because it takes place in Paris. Maybe it’s because the dreamy color scheme. Maybe it’s because it’s all in French and you have to really pay attention to the subtitles. But watching Amelie is being awake in an amazing dream for 2 and a half hours. The charming Amelie, played by the even more charming Audrey Tautou, secretly helps people who are living not-so-happy lives. As a result of her do-gooding, she is ultimately rewarded with love of her own, and it reminds us a little kindness can go a long way.

Up

Excluding what’s arguably the saddest ever Pixar opening scene ever, Up is actually one of the most UPlifting animated movies ever. Anytime an elderly person befriends a young nugget, it really gets to me. Carl and Russell are generations apart, but a once-in-a-lifetime adventure changes their lives forever, and teaches us that we can always learn new life lessons, no matter how young or old we are.

Little Miss Sunshine

For months now, it feels like America has been split into two sides, with very different views on how to make the country “great”. That divide isn’t just between strangers, co-workers, and neighbors, in a lot of cases, party lines are drawn within families, and it’s often hard to reconcile that these are the people you share a bloodline with. In Little Miss Sunshine, we are taken into the world of a gay and self-harming uncle, a silent son, a drug-addicted grandpa, a failed dad, and and impulsive mother, who all rally around the youngest daughter who has dreams of winning a beauty contest. They don’t get along all the time and fight constantly, but at the end of the day, they’re all still family who may not necessarily win, but it’s the fact that they do it together that counts.

Hidden Figures

When the impossible seemed just that, these ladies made it possible. These real life women were literal geniuses who shaped the history of America and astroscience (is that a thing) as a whole, and have been greatly underappreciated for years. But they persevered through racism and misogyny to become some of the greatest scientists/mathematicians the world has ever seen. Basically any story that centers on overcoming adversity should give you hope that things will always get better.

The Shawshank Redemption

It wasn’t until recently that I watched Shawshank for the very first time, and let me tell you – it lives up to the hype. Tim Robbins plays a decent man who is falsely charged with murder, and while in prison, he befriends Morgan Freeman’s character Red, and they form a lifelong (and tender) friendship spanning years. The movie not only makes us realize that we have more in common with each other than we think, but that you should always have hope, even in situations when hope seems unattainable.

Sister Act 2 Is Our Aesthetic

Sister Act 2 is the closest thing I’ll get to a time machine to my childhood. I’m definitely not from San Francisco, but I grew up going to Catholic schools and living in the “inner city” in the 1990s — so, pretty damn close. It’s also pure proof that the ’90s fashion revival is warranted. Those fashionable teens are still cooler than me at 30, just like they were in 1993 when I was 7. Our previous aesthetic posts include The Holiday (winter), Matilda (Back To School) and The Witches (Halloween). It’s been a while, so let’s get back in the habit (SORRY).

Lauryn Hill At Full Lauryn Hill

Just had to discuss this right out the gate. Lauryn Hill will always be the ultimate teen vocal/rap/songwriter sensation, even though she’s a grandma now (yeah. I feel old too. Remember To Zion? He’s a dad!). Sister Act 2 marks the musical moment when His Eye Is On The Sparrow entered all our favorite hymn lists. Sister Mary Round-Brush Bangs is right. Please don’t stop.

Everyone’s Under-Choir Robe Outfits

When the instruction comes to take off the choir robes, my teen reaction would’ve been “oh, no.” That’s because if I was wearing a choir robe, underneath I’d have on either something boring and schlubby, or something that was guaranteed not to peek out from the gown. These kids are in their full 1993 mall-outfit best. The two young ladies at far left ALONE. They look like they crawled off of 2017 tumblr and onto the screen.

 Specifically Lauryn Hill’s Outfit

It’s not so much that it’s classic – those mom jeans would’ve been majorly out of style for a good decade plus – but that this outfit has completely circled back into looking current again.

How The Choir Room Is Some Sort Of Attic

You keep waiting for the scene where they paint it or at least knock down the cobwebs, but nope. It’s always just kind of an attic for some reason. It’s a look.

This Rooftop Situation

It always seemed so cool to have a rooftop at school to hang out in. Not sure why everything at this school is so high up, but not complaining either.

When Ahmal Gets Really Into It In Oh Happy Day

He might be crusty, but Ahmal’s got that joy down in his heart. Did you know that actor Ryan Toby went on to sing in City High, who did that song “What Would You Do” (if your son was at home, crying all alone… yeah, it’s in my head now, too)? It was totally new information to me.

Ahmal’s Cultural Appropriation Speech

Ahmal was the woke one. You can tell because he is wearing the Woke Kid Uniform of 1993 and because he delivers a speech on cultural appropriation, which, yes, was a thing in the ’90s as well.

Can’t you come up with your own thing? Why must you continually come behind my people and steal our expressions? First jazz, then rock n roll, now rap? What’s next?

The Way Fancy Hotels Looked In 1993

We touched on this in our discussion of Curly Sue: fancy looked different in the early 90s. I’d almost say the era was peak fancy. There was a lot of gold plating and dusty pastels. I don’t know. I just love how this was the epitome of a really good hotel in 1993.

Sister Mary Clarence’s Minimalist Nun Cell

In 1993 this was like a prison room to die in; in 2017 it’s a minimalist studio to die for. And in San Francisco? The Catholic Church could only afford it by selling some Vatican artwork.

Richard’s Outfits

I feel like when anyone talks about ‘classic style’ they mean, like, polo shirts or suits, but consider this: this movie turns 24 years old this year (?!) and in any point since it was released, this outfit would’ve looked current.

Bonus: Baby Jennifer Love Hewitt smearing her mascara (?) behind him.

Uniform Adaptations

Never would’ve been allowed in any of my schools, but lots of fun and very reflective of real-life 90s style. Round sunglasses, hat bills flipped up, backwards snapbacks.

The Credit Sequence

So iconic, it was spoofed on Broad City and we all instantly got the reference.

Everything

From my notes during my rewatch: “The best part of Sister Act is the montage where they fix things up. The best part of Sister Act 2 is EVERYTHING.”

A Very Scientific Process In Making the Ultimate Boy Band

Question: Do we need another boy band?

Keep reading if your answer is yes. Because the correct answer is yes.

Executives at ABC recently announced a new reality show called Boy Band, a 10-episode series coming this summer featuring aspiring male singers vying for a spot in a – you guessed it – boy band. Viewers can vote for their favorites, with the top five forming the final group. Think American Juniors meets Making The Band, but sans sketchy Lou Pearlman and with adults.

But what if the singers of boy band past tried out for Boy Band? Would they make the cut? We make the ultimate group based on a very scientific method: what the singer was like at the height of their popularity, their voice, their voice blending with the other voices, how their popularity would shine on a reality TV competition and my own personal opinion.

Nick Carter

OG Boy Band: Backstreet Boys

Vocal Function: Lead Tenor

Personality Function: The Heartthrob

Why He Would Make The Cut: Every boy band needs a lead heartthrob with a singing ability to make you swoon in your over-postered bedroom. Circa ’99, Nick Carter was the picture perfect dreamboat, made to make the cover of Tiger Beat, YM and Teen People all over the world. Every time he asked, “Am I sexual?”, the answer is always a screeching, “YES!”.

Harry Styles

OG Boy Band: One Direction

Vocal Function: Second Tenor

Personality Function: Silent Heartthrob

Why He Would Make The Cut: That face. That accent. The way he belts those notes. That hair. The way he puts his hands through THAT HAIR.

Nick Jonas

OG Boy Band: Jonas Brothers

Vocal Function: Counter Tenor

Personality Function: The Seemingly Serious One But Actual Sex Pot

Why He Would Make The Cut: I’m talking Jealous -> now era of Nick Jonas even though the JoBros doesn’t exist and I wouldn’t even really classify them as a real boy band. But Nick is a smokeshow, can hit those falsetto notes like nobody’s business and did I mention he’s a smokeshow?

Donnie Wahlberg

OG Boy Band: New Kids on the Block

Vocal Function: Bass

Personality Function: Bad Boy

Why He Would Make The Cut: Similarly to Nick Jonas, I’d say later era Donnie Wahlberg is primo Donnie Wahlberg. I saw him on the NKOTBSB tour with BSB and I was completely shook and quite frankly upset with myself that I had not been paying more attention to Donnie all these years. He is straight up beefcake, masculine to the max sexy, and his speak/singing voice will automatically take your undergarments off.

Joey Fatone

OG Boy Band:*N SYNC

Vocal Function: Baritone

Personality Function: Jokester

Why He Would Make The Cut: Joey is the type of dude who would thrive on a reality TV competition show. He’s such a ham for the cameras that audiences would lap it right up. See: Dancing with the Stars.

BONUS: Justin Timberlake would be the second one to make the group, but like Ikaika before him, he left to pursue a solo career. Nick Jonas takes his place in a dramatic results show episode.

Disagree? Agree? Chime in!