All The Reasons I’m Delighted Meghan Markle Is A Princess

Prince Harry is engaged. He’s engaged to Meghan Markle, somebody other than me, which would have been a real sticking point for my 11-year-old self. I couldn’t be happier with his choice, though. Meghan Markle is no Chelsie or Cressida (why can my brain store that spelling of Chelsie, and the name Cressida at all, but none of my logins or passwords?). Meghan’s an American, and she’s biracial, and she has a job, and her dogs are cute. This is great!

[If you’re here to say (1) this news doesn’t matter, or (2) the royals are just regular humans who get to live in palaces and dress their children in shortpants with taxpayer money, or (3) Meghan definitely won’t be getting the title princess … see ya later! You won’t have fun here!]

In no particular order, here are the reasons I’m grabbing on to this happy story like a life preserver in an ocean of garbage news:

The idea of a Princess Meghan is delightful

There are princess names and there are middle-class American girl names, and Meghan is a middle-class American girl name. It’s also pretty well date-stamped in the late ’70s through late ’90s, for the most part. That’s why the idea of a Princess Meghan has me absolutely tickled. If she was Margaret (for which the Welsh Megan is a diminutive), I wouldn’t bat an eye, but Princess Meghan sounds forever and always like a little girl in 1993 playing pretend. For the record, this isn’t an attack on Megans or Meghans, almost all of whom I really like – I’m truly delighted by this development. It’s like having a Princess Madison in 20 years. It’s fun! Princess Meghan!

Note: she’ll end up with a lesser title, like Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, or Sophie, Countess of Wessex. It’ll still be great.

Note 2: Meghan is Markle’s middle name. Her real first name is Rachel, which I’d argue is more royal.

Meghan Markle has nice handwriting

Because my dad taught me to always write thank you notes…. #gratitude #pentopaper

A post shared by Meghan Markle (@meghanmarkle) on

This is so princessy (duchessy, countessy, lady-like): Meghan Markle’s secret talent is calligraphy. In most lives this is a cool but not necessarily useful skill, but she’s going to write so many beautiful thank-you notes on engraved stationary as a royal, and I’m so happy for her.

It’s not just the cursive that I love, it’s the respectful gesture of sending a handwritten note.

Meghan is a Rescue Dog Mom

Queen Elizabeth has her corgis, and I like to imagine that in her royal residence, Meghan is going to have a mismatched pack of mutts. Unfortunately, due to his age Meghan’s rescue pup Bogart will not be able to immigrate. I hope he gets a good home but as the owner of an elderly rescue dog myself, I’m so sorry he can’t make the trip.

They Are Going To Live In A Tiny Royal Cottage!

The future residence of Harry and Meghan is Nottingham Cottage, an honest-to-goodness 19th century cottage within the grounds of Kensington Palace. It has two bedrooms and one bathroom and super low ceilings. And a garden and a hammock! The idea of a literal prince playing house in a quaint toy cottage is the stuff of rom-com dreams. Queen Elizabeth’s nanny used to live there, and she said that it “looks as if it had got to London quite by mistake from some distant country place.” I die.

This Whole Thing Is A Hallmark Christmas Movie Setup

Listen. My family loves Hallmark Christmas Movies so much that my dad records the new ones and watches all of them when I visit. We love cataloging all of the tropes – girl moves to a small town and everyone instantly loves her! she is a busy doctor/veterinarian and doesn’t have time for love! she falls in love with a man who works with his hands in a very Christmas-specific industry, like Christmas tree farming or ice sculpture! sometimes somebody is secretly Santa’s nephew – and there’s a whole subset that involve a normal person falling in love with a prince or princess. This is IT. Meghan grew up “normal”: her mom is a social worker/yoga instructor, and her dad is a lighting designer, and they divorced when she was little. When her acting career was still on the climb, Meghan worked as a freelance calligrapher, which is the most Lifetime movie thing I can think of (unless Prince Harry is secretly Santa’s nephew). Eventually, she lands a leading role on a successful TV series – and wins the love of a prince after being set up on a blind date with him. It’s almost too good to be true.

The Royals Are Getting A Little Less White

There’s so much to love here. Little kids in the US and UK – those who care about the royal family, anyway – can look up to a royal who actually looks like them. Prince Charles will be the co-parent-in-law with a black woman. Queen Elizabeth will have great-grandkids who are part black. Finally, the royal family is starting to look… well, like a lot of other families.

A Royal Wedding!

The best thing about royal weddings is they involve all the things I love about weddings (seeing what the dress, decor, music and readings are like) and none of the things I don’t (buying a dress, buying a gift, paying for travel). The best wedding is the one you watch on TV at like 5 in the morning.

 

 

 

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Pop Culture Blind Spot: Breakfast At Tiffany’s

My knowledge of this film: Audrey Hepburn. Jewelry. Her iconic look. The hit 1993 song of the same name by Deep Blue Sea.

It’s weird to see this so clearly as if the movie was made yesterday. Also I definitely thought it was made way before 1961, which really isn’t that long ago. I mean we’re talking season one of Mad Men.

No but, did the song Moon River get popular because of this movie??

Also I admit, this is maybe the first movie I’ve ever seen Audrey Hepburn in? JK I FORGOT ALL ABOUT MY FAIR LADY PLS FORGET THAT.

This Japanese guy… isn’t actually Japanese, right? And he has fake teeth? And a horrible accent? This is obviously not OK, but I feel like I’d be more offended if I didn’t know this movie was made when minorities still had to use separate water fountains. UPDATE: IT’S MICKEY ROONEY. IT WAS APPARENTLY A WHOLE THING. GOOD LORD.

HER BED IS SO TINY  Omg these dangling ear buds are so fabulous. And she’s drinking milk out of a champagne glass. Good lord.

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I honestly have no idea what happens in this movie, but I get why people love it based on the New York aesthetic alone.

RIGHT CLICK SAVE THIS FOR SHADY BUSINESS:

Audrey Hepburn’s like, really pretty. Has anyone else ever noticed this?

Also George Peppard. What’s his deal? (I found out his deal)

Oh and Holly just put Paul in the friend zone by nicknaming him Fred, just like her brother. Except then she casually asks to lay in bed with him. Girl. Got. Game.
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This OJ Berman guy (Martin Balsam) talks fast and smooth like Conan O’Brien’s impersonation of guys that go to speakeasies.

Holly has a party in her apartment and by the end of the night people are totally shitfaced. There’s lit’rally a woman crying into her reflection in a mirror. Holly’s friend Mag Wildwood falls flat on her face as Holly yells Timber. Are they are on acid? Is Roger Sterling here? I miss Mad Men.
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HOLLY IS LIVING A PHONY LIFE JUST LIKE OJ SAID. Her name is Lulu Mae Barnes! And she’s married to a Southern dude named Doc Golightly who was on The Beverly Hillbillies! And they married at 14! That was normal back then? Or was it still weird?!

I was under the impression Holly was going to be upset Doc was there but she seems v happy to see him? Isn’t this going to end with her and Paul together? I’m just assuming.

Promise me one thing – don’t take me home until I’m drunk. Until I’m very drunk indeed.

Holly says her goodbyes to Doc and she and Paul go to what seems to be a 1960s strip club. Which leads us to yet another iconic shades GIF:

A drunken Holly states she’s got no money so she’s marrying someone who has a lot of it. Cool. Except a few days later we find out he’s found some other chick to marry. To lighten her spirits, she and Paul decide to spend a day doing things they’ve never done before, which includes stealing animal masks from a store and scare a police officer with them on.

Oh yay they kissed. And spent the night together. Ow Owwww!

Honestly: 

“You’re a very stylish girl. Can’t we end this stylishly?” Is Paul being condescending or is this just how they talked back then?

Holly is on the lamb and when he finally finds her she says she’s marrying another guy from the party, who is Latin and rich.

Asian Mickey Rooney has Holly and Paul arrested for narcotics? Also Audrey looks so fierce in pigtails and a turtleneck sweater. If I wore that I’d look like Boo from Monsters Inc.

Apparently this all has to do with the dude she was visiting at Sing Sing – this is why you don’t do things for money without asking WHY.

And Latin lover calls off their engagement. She needs to get over her inability to feel feelings and get together with Paul already?

FINALLY

I get it, world. This was good.

 

Cyber Monday Guide For Thirtysomethings

Happy Cyber Monday to all those tech savvy people who were smart enough not to jump into the throngs of people on Black Friday!

AKA greetings, fellow thirtysomethings. I’ve never been one for braving the stores at midnight to score a deal on a TV, which is why when Cyber Monday became a thing, I was all about it. Access to all the internet’s great deals WITH an extended deadline? Sign me and my computer up. Now I don’t know about you older millennials, but it wasn’t until recently (perhaps the past year or so) where I really felt like I was aging in that my shopping interests have slightly matured. I’m also single with no kids, so for those of you who already are married with children, this realization might have hit you a while back. That being said, I’ve found myself not searching for sales on DVDs or discounts on Forever 21, but rather items that are a sure sign I’m headed towards those golden years.

If you’re  feeling the same way, here’s a list of items that are not only helpful for thirtysomethings – but on sale on Cyber Monday too.

Deebot

{Amazon.com $199.98}

So it’s become sort of a joke with me and my friends lately because we keep having totally unplanned conversations that lead back to robot vacuums. This is who we are now. A popular one amongst the group is the Deebot. One of the awesome things about it is that you can control it from your phone with an app and schedule cleanings even when you’re not home. Just think about how satisfying removing all that dirt and hair will be.

Ancestry/DNA Test

{Various, Ranging From $99 to $200}

Listen, none of us are getting any younger. Except for Bianca Lawson. She’s the only one. But I bet she would do one of these ancestry tests anyways. A lot of us think we know our family’s heritage and ancestry, but many times, as we’ve learned from Who Do You Think You Are?, we could be tied to folks we never would’ve imagined. There are a number of ancestry tests to choose from, and it’s up to you what kind of results you want back. 23AndMe offers both a regular ancestry test and an ancestry + health test, which can tell you if you have a family history of things like Alzheimer’s or even Celiac’s. Ancestry.com and National Geographic also provide great tests with maps of your lineage and stuff!

Bedding

You know what’s exciting? New sheets. On a new, grown-up mattress. You know what’s even better? Getting new sheets and a new grown-up mattress on sale. Take Lovett or Leave It’s game sponsor Parachute, where everything on their site – yes including the famous sheets – is 20% off! Listen to literally any other podcast? You must be familiar with Casper mattresses! When you use the code GIFT on Monday, you can get $150 off any purchase of a mattress $1000 or more!

Blue Apron

{$25 Off Your First Two Deliveries}

Speaking of the Pod, are you looking for a better way to cook? Blue Apron is apparently the way to go. If you like the act of cooking and the idea of eating fresh foods, this subscription meal service is for you. You don’t need to search for recopies and you also don’t need to go to the store to buy  all the ingredients, which is a dream, because you’re a hard-working adult who barely has time to catch up on the latest season of Stranger Things.

The Home Depot

If you’re a new homeowner, chances are you’re constantly working on fixing something in your house. Places like The Home Depot are just a regular stop on your way home these days, and thanks to the magic of Cyber Monday, you can go to their website and get free shipping and even up to 50% off appliances.

Costco

From diamond earrings to reclining lounge chairs to Kirkland vodka to those hot dogs at the food stand, Costco has it all (except reasonable parking on a Sunday afternoon). And you can even have it delivered right to your door! Maybe not the hot dogs.

Buy Buy Baby

Calling are parentals! Or people who know people that are parentals! We’re at that age where people are getting pregnant on purpose. Weddings seem to be dying down a bit while baby showers are taking over. Need a gift for someone who’s expecting or a new parent? Buy Buy Baby is all about that Cyber Monday action with a ton of sales all over their site.

 

Best Buy

You’re an adult now. You can probably splurge on a TV bigger than 35″. Also available for free shipping at Best Buy: things like a Nest thermostat, an Amazon Alexa/Echo and a Ring doorbell, because everything is automated now and we’re living in Smart Houses.

Vitamins

{Amazon’s Vitamin Shop}

I’m talkin’ Tumeric. I’m talkin Ginko Biloba. I’m talkin Fish Oil. Gimme those Oregano pills babyyyy.

 

The Definitive, Indisputable 30 Under 30 List

The Forbes 30 Under 30 list is out, and as a 31-year-old I would like those successful children to get off of my internet lawn, please. Nobody likes 30 Under 30 lists except the honorees and their usually-rich parents: not people under 30, not people over 30, not the poor guy who has to write glowing bios of all of these talented-but-also-lucky youths.

I also can’t help but notice that these lists are really, really inaccurate. These are the REAL very best things that are under 30 years of age:

30. Idris Elba

He’s, like, 45 years old but listen: I’m still angry about People’s Sexiest Man Alive blunder and I want him on MY list.

29. TGIF

TGIF, ABC’s Friday night lineup of family-friendly shows, debuted in 1989. It is under 30 years old and we love it so much that we live-blogged TGIF favs like Step By Step and Dinosaurs all October long.

28. The Frapuccino

Only 22 years old and already a cultural icon.

27. The Addy Doll

Ever wonder what the longest-running American girl dolls is? I googled. It’s Addy. She’s under 30, but also kind of 160-ish, and I’m glad she got that dress she wanted for Christmas.

26.  AIM

AKA, AOL Instant Messenger. I am not surprised that it went caput this year after 20 years, but I am surprised that it was released in 1997: it went from nothing to ubiquitous over the course of my sixth grade school year.

25. The Chicken Pox Vaccine

Can you believe it, fellow elder Millennials? Parents no longer have to arrange the Worst Playdate Ever so that their kids can catch Chicken Pox on purpose. There’s a vaccine for that, and has been since 1995.

That means that half of the people on the real 30 Under 30 lists ALSO never had to get chicken pox, which makes me happy for them, but also kind of begrudge them even more.

24. Smart Phones

The order of this list makes no sense. Pay no mind. Point is, smart phones have given so much more to our universe than all of the other 10-year-olds who haven’t appeared on Stranger Things.

23. Once On This Island

The musical Once On This Island is pretty great, and it’s getting a revival, AND with a 1990 debut, it’s under 30 years old.

22. Text Messages

If you’re not really a calling-people-person, text messages are the greatest invention since Alexander Graham Bell ruined our peace and quiet by inventing the telephone. The text has been around since 1992 but didn’t catch on big-time until the early 2000s.

21. Online Bill Pay

I just think I would be really stressed out if I was constantly sending paper checks through the mail.

20. MP3s

First we lived through clunky Walkmen that never picked up radio stations, trying in vain to time your fast-forward to get to your favorite song. Then we upgraded to the Diskman, which skipped constantly and ate batteries like zombies eat brains. The MP3, invented in 1998, still feels like a little digital miracle.

19. The album Emotion by Carly Rae Jepsen

Carly is over 30 but the purest pop album of the 2010s is not.

18. The Rachel

The haircut The Rachel turned 20 a while back. It was not great looking but it is always a solid pop-culture reference.

I know I could have just put the show Friends on the list but that’s not really how things are going.

17. Movie Rental Kiosks

I know we’re having a cultural moment where it’s trendy to miss Blockbuster – and it was fun there! they even had overpriced movie theater candy in boxes! – but remember when movie rental kiosks like Redbox came onto the scene and you could rent movies for a dollar a day?

16. Netflix

Speaking of which.

15. – 6. [Reserved]

Not to pull back the curtain on you or anything, but my laptop broke and I’ve been typing this draft in Notes on my phone.  I’m a senior book editor in real life and I’m going to take a page from my authors, who will mark whole blocks as [Reserved] when they actually just didn’t get around to writing anything. I’m onto you, guys. It’s a cute trick.

5. The Marriage Of Barack and Michelle Obama

This marriage is 25 years old and it’s by far my favorite under-30-year-old marriage.

4. Babies, Generally

Babies, who are always under 30, are super cute and have not developed the capability to let us down, unlike practically everybody else in 2017. Go babies.

3. The World Wide Web

I remember what it was like having to find out everything using the yellow pages, a card catalog, my parents’ 1976 encyclopedia set, and conversation. It was AWFUL. A world of information at your fingertips is truly extraordinary, and it’s only been around since 1990.

2. Almost Every Living Cat

I’m not even trying to make this a cat person-dog person thing, it’s just that cats thrive on resentment and they’ll get more joy out of this than being number 1.

There are a few 31-year-old cats who have to be judged against the rest of us over-30-year-olds.

1.Every Living Dog

I’m older than every dog alive, guys.

Reaction GIFs Cannot Express How Much I’ll Miss The Mindy Project

After 6 seasons, we’re saying goodbye to Mindy Lahiri tomorrow. Last week on the penultimate episode, Mindy said something that really spoke to me, and I’m assuming spoke to a lot of you internet users too:

When reaction GIFs cannot express a feeling, you know it’s really bad.

In the years we’ve been welcomed into Mindy Lahiri’s life, we’ve seen a character that’s rarely represented on TV. She’s unapologetic, candid, a hopeless romantic, self-centered, delusional, incredulous, truthful, brash, audacious and likable all at the same time. She’s the type of person whose personality is borderline offensive, but you find her so endearing that you compartmentalize and don’t actually care. That credit all goes to the writing staff including Mindy Kaling, whose own Twitter presence and memoirs resonate so much (with young women in particular) that they feel a connection with her in a different way than other celebrities. The type of connection that spurs shirts like this one, despite how concerning the message on it is. That same voice that Mindy Kaling found for herself is similar to the one she found in Mindy Lahiri – it’s satisfyingly unique and makes us feel like we get each other on a deep level.

That’s what we’ll miss most about this show. Knowing there’s someone else who says the things you sometimes wish you could say but never have the courage to. Or does things you thought you only did. No reaction GIF can express that feeling enough.

Which is why I’m honoring Mindy and The Mindy Project with a lot of GIFs. GIFs that show exactly why we do and don’t want to be like Mindy and properly represent the rarified air she’s occupied for the past six seasons. Thank you for everything. Your legacy lives on in our hearts and the interwebs. Later, baby.

 

And just because I’ll miss him too:

Fall Memes Make Me Feel Fine: Me On Election Day 2016 vs. 2017

Election Day 2016 was a year ago today. A year that felt like walking uphill through knee-high mud that’s like 50% sewage and every time you start to make progress more orange mud slides down but you keep going and then the mud starts tweeting at you. On November 8, we were sweet summer children who looked like Shirley Temple and now we all look like Norman Bates’s mom in Psycho.

It’s been a year.

But here, let’s let my favorite election meme of the year – Me On Election Day 2016 vs. Me On Election Day 2017 – tell the tale:

I’m always here for Sissy Spacek, is all.

Like Eleven in season 2 of Stranger Things, this has been the journey from pretty to bitchin’.

They’re not all going to be ’70s/’80s themed, but we are all sweet innocent baby Drew Barrymore vs. Firestarter Drew Barrymore, right.

I think this is my favorite: a classic portrait of Jesus painted by a renaissance master vs: the work of an elderly Spanish woman with a lot of ambition and zero face-drawing skills.

Election night 2016 was (Good Place season 1 spoiler!) that moment when you find out you were really in hell all along.

And here I thought punching Nazis was just a thing my grandpas got to do in World War II.

I saw Triumphant Peggy (Mad Men) vs Handmaid June (The Handmaid’s Tale) as a 2016 vs 2017 comparison earlier this year, but it’s perfect for election day.

I love the ones that paint our 2017 Election Day as badass superheroes but sometimes it’s more like Sad Andy Dwyer.

We should have learned not to make jubilant predictions from Titanic, right?

What I don’t want lost in the above is that I LOVE Britney Spears and think 2007 Britney, in hindsight, was awesome.

One more Stranger Things one? #WinoForever

It wouldn’t be us if there wasn’t an Orphan Black reference. 2016: Alison Hendrix. 2017: a blood-splattered Helena.

In Jessie Spano speak, 2016: I’m so excited. 2017: I’m so scared.

Sidebar: I WISH I had been Canadian on Election Day 2016.

For my fellow Old People: From Gidget to Norma Rae.

I’m 31 and feel personally attacked.

You don’t know how long I searched for Chilton-era Rory Gilmore vs Handmaid’s Tale Alexis Bledel.

Fun fact, you can pick any two images of Julia Louis-Dreyfus, from Seinfeld, Veep, or both, and they will work for this.

I should have known hooded Kermit would make an appearance; I’m sure tea-sipping Kermit is out there somewhere on Twitter, too.

 

 

A Letter To My Past Self (On November 7th, 2016)

To: Past Self (November 7th, 2016)
From: Current Self (November 7th, 2017)

Tomorrow is Election Day. It’s the day the world has been anticipating for months years. Countless debates, a tough primary, campaign appearances left and right: it’s all coming to a head tomorrow. But tomorrow – prepare for the worst.

Prepare yourself for the unimaginable. Prepare yourself to see a divided America like never before. Prepare yourself to be constantly shocked but not surprised by what the next four years can bring. Prepare yourself for an election night you’ll never forget.

You’ll see the numbers start trickling in. You’ll get so nervous you’ll start watching The West Wing for comfort. You will think that all the media outlets have made an accounting error. You’ll wait for them to come back like Steve Harvey admitting he crowned the wrong woman Miss Universe. You’ll start to wonder if the electoral college should be a process we should still adhere to when the person with the popular vote loses. You’ll never get over the 3 million more votes. You’ll dread every time you scroll past your Tumblr draft of Lorelai saying, “See you when Hillary’s president” because you were saving that for when she actually was elected president. You will ugly cry. You’ll feel like throwing up (it’s not food poisoning, it’s America). You will feel like you’re in a nightmare. That feeling might never end. It’s not a night you’ll particularly want to revisit ever again.

Wednesday will not be a good day. Going to work will feel like going to a funeral. It will be eerily quiet. Thursday and Friday won’t be good either. For that matter, neither will Saturday, Sunday or the following week. You’ll go through the five stages of grief (even though acceptance might never be complete).

You will see the worst in people. You’ll see the worst in people that you hoped would never happen but does. It will happen immediately. Like within 24 hours immediately. You’ll see stories of DT voters yelling at strangers to “get out of the country, Apu”,  his name graffittied on the door of the Muslim Students Association at NYU, and two white male college students driving to Hillary’s alma mater Wellesley & parking outside a house for black students, yelling Make America Great Again. And it won’t stop.

In fact, you’ll see the KKK decide not to hide behind their white shrouds anymore and lead a march with tiki torches, resulting in the death of a protestor. You continue to ask if it’s still 2017 or 1957. The term “on many sides” will have a new meaning after this event.

So many bad things will happen that even when you try to track it all, you can’t. There will be a Muslim travel ban. A ban against transgendered people from joining the military. Denial of climate change by promising to pull out of the Paris accord. A threat of “fire and fury” on North Korea. He & the Republicans will confirm a Supreme Court Justice all thanks to the Senate deciding to change the law in their favor. He’ll encourage police brutality. He’ll bully the mayor of San Juan and continue to ignore Americans in Puerto Rico. Russia. To name a few.

It will get so bad you’ll actually get nostalgic about George Bush and reconsider if Mitt Romney’s “binders of women” was actually just an adorable joke and nothing more.

But the thing is, you’ll also see the best in people. You’ll see strangers come together in a Burbank park the day after the election to talk about their emotions and eager to take action. You’ll never call or contact your representatives in D.C. as much as you will after this day. You’ll have some of them on speed dial. The term “She Persisted” becomes a new slogan for women. You’ll learn that because of the results of this election, thousands of women will be inspired to run for public office and serve within their own communities. Organizations like Planned Parenthood and the ACLU will receive unprecedented donations (some made in VP Mike Pence’s name). You’ll see brave people stepping up and defending strangers against bigots, with some even losing their lives to fight back.

The day after the inauguration, you’ll see millions of women, men, and children across the country come together in unity to advocate for equality. And not just in America, but all over the world, with 5 million people taking a stand against hate and standing for love. But the activism doesn’t stop there. Grab a sign and go to the airport. March for science. March for impeachment. Weekends are busy because Protest is the New Brunch.

Just like Pearl Harbor or 9/11, those who lived through Election Day 2016 will never forget it. Nor will they think they’re the same before and after those official results came in. And neither will you. You’ll wake up every morning for the next 365 days (and probably until his entire administration is out of office) and check the Twitter trends to see what fresh hell awaits you. But remember to never sit back and watch it all unfold. Do something. Encourage others to fight the too. And most importantly, don’t give up hope. Hope that our country actually will be great, but it’s up to us to achieve that.

To take a page out of the Obama Speech Archive: “I have always believed that hope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working, to keep fighting.”

Fight. Insist. Resist.

TGIF Month: A Teen Angel Live Blog

Well, it’s the final installment of our month-long TGIF series is here, and we can no longer thank god it’s Friday after this. JK. What we can do is enjoy the presence of these shows back in our lives, fully embracing nostalgia and the way we were in the 90s.

And what better way to end it than with Teen Angel, a show that proves that even if you leave everything behind, you can still come home again (is that reach a bit too much? bear with me anyways).

Season 1, Episode 1: Pilot/Marty Buys the Farm

Original Air Date: 09/26/1997

Pilot Plot: Marty passes on after eating a 6 month old burger under Steve’s bed. Steve goes into a deep depression, since not only is his best friend gone, but his father has recently left, and he’s picked on constantly at school. His mother, sister, and aunt attempt to help, but God’s cousin, Rod, sends Steve Marty as his guardian angel, or “Teen Angel”, as Marty dubs himself. Marty helps Steve conquer his fear of talking to girls, failing tests, and being unpopular.

T: This show only lasted one season, but I remember I was in it for the long haul.

M: I feel like I had a minor-league crush on Marty?

T: This room looks eerily similar to Cory’s room at the beginning of Boy Meets World. And they’re even playing “baseball”.

M: This was the requisite Teen Boy Bedroom In The Mid-Late 90s. See also: Dawson Leary.

T: Marty, the kid who’s about to die, finds the eight-month-old hamburger underneath Steve’s bed, and proves why boys are dumb. He immediately dares Steve to eat it. Not only that, but the reason he found the burg in the first place is because he was too lazy to go down to the kitchen and get real food. You can only really blame yourself here, Marty.

M: All those youths who think the 90s were really cool? Watch this show. Read this episode description. They were NOT.

T: “Alright, I will (eat the burger). It’s not like it’s going to kill me.” Literal famous last words.

T: Larry Wilmore, the writer on such shows as Bernie Mac, Sister, Sister, The PJs, and The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, was a consulting producer on the show, because we all have that one thing on our resume.  Unless you’re the character actress who plays Angela the angel taking Marty up the elevator to heaven, in which case you’re entire resume is made up of Teen Angels (see: Full House, The Simpsons, Alf, Teen Witch).

M: “So which one of you angels is Farrah?” Yeah, this was not a current ref in 1997, either.

T: Marty’s in the court of eternal judgement and told he has a good soul but could never stay our of trouble. He’s only being considered for heaven because he’s a kid. He then is sent on a mission to be Steve’s guardian angel through this difficult period (puberty). This process seems questionable. Also, this news is being given by this head:

M: I’m going to say being assigned to a suburban white teen boy to help him get through his trying life sounds a lot like the opposite of heaven.

T: He cracked a joke about making a mistake with “the Chevy Chase show” and believe it or not, the joke doesn’t hold up.

M: This is like a really really terrible version of The Good Place.

T: Maureen McCormick is the mom!!!!

M: I remember  Brady Bunch nostalgia being huge in the 90s and it seemed like the original series was so long ago. Reality check: Maureen McCormick as the mom in 1997 is like, well, Ben Savage as the dad in 2017.

T: Apparently a lot of rock stars are in hell.

M: I swear kid sister Katie was the little girl in every TV movie in the mid-90s.

T: As angel, Marty can walk through walls, but “not thick walls, but certainly through any apartment building built after 1957.” That joke holds up.

M: Yeah, that was nice.

T: THE HEAD IS GOD’S COUSIN ROD. HE GOT THE JOB “ON HIS OWN MERITS”. THIS IS COMEDY.

M: OK fine, this show is not really really terrible.

T: Marty comes out of the closet and offers to let Steve touch his new wings, which Steve responds, “a guy doesn’t touch another guy’s wings”. Besides from the obvious, that is not a phrase anyone says.

M: Marty looks like a BSB/N*Sync video concept.

T: Marty’s parents sued  the burger company and won $11 million. How.

T: FYI: http://www.angel.marty.cooldude.com does not work.

M: But I DID find a Geocities page for Teen Angel still in operation! Ready to time-travel into the internet of yesteryear? Here.

T: If Rod thinks Marty could never stay out of trouble, why did he send him down to act as Steve’s guardian angel? It seems counter-productive, unless he had faith Marty would change. But as seen in the shenanigans in history class and called their teacher a wiener (thus giving the entire class a test on the Monroe Doctrine), Marty has yet to learn his lesson.

M: He has no special powers except for invisibility, saving a houseplant, and walking through some walls. Honestly he just seems like a liability.

T: Steve’s little sister gets trapped in a jungle net and Maureen McCormick runs over to help. But Steve’s all like, I’ll help by tHROWING THIS NERF FOOTBALL AT IT BC WE WANT TO SET UP MAUREEN TO LIT’RALLY SAY OW MY NOSE:

M: There was also another gag that was a setup for the phrase “you’ve been touched by an angel.” Oof.

Marty:  Isn’t this the one where everybody gets a second chance?

God: That’s the Arkansas Bar Exam.

M: I’m a lawyer and for the record that joke makes no sense.

T: Marty called up the ghost of James Monroe to scare Mr. Nitzke out of giving the kids an exam. There’s a learning curve with this guardian angel thing, I’m assuming?

M: Couldn’t he just, like… steal the exams?

T: Fun fact: The guy who plays Kyle, who calls Steve “Boat Chimp” & “Blow Chunks” is Aaron Lohr, a Mighty Ducks alum who grew up to become Idina Menzel’s husband.

M: I had NO IDEA. All right. Not only do they use “smooth move, ex-lax” as a joke, they use it twice. It’s not even a joke, it’s just sort of a stock phrase.

 

T: I liked it overall, but have some questions as an adult. However, my main takeaway is that the guy who plays Marty is like a mix of Zach Braff and overactor Seann William Scott.

M: I didn’t love it or necessarily like it, but for family TV in 1997 it was fine.

Questions, Comments, Concerns: The Lion King feat. Beyonce

Welcome back to Questions, Comments, Concerns, a feature we usually reserve for Lifetime movies we’ve seen instead of Disney movies we haven’t. Ready?

Comment: NAAAAANTS ingonyamaAAAAA.

That feels better.

[Thing REAL 90s kids will remember: Having made-up nonsense that you thought were the real Lion King lyrics for decades. I’ll admit it. I did think it was Naaaaa S’ven’yahhh for a long time. And I do have a friend who thought the part a little later in the song was ‘Pink Pajamas Penguins On The Bottom.’]

Comment: I want to go to a mountaintop and triumphantly raise this cast listing into the air in front of awed wildlife.
Question: Can we get more Adult Nala?

It’s Beyonce, and doesn’t it feel like Adult Nala doesn’t get to do much except playfully wrestle near a waterfall and make bedroom eyes at Simba? The point is I want a new song.

Concern: I hope the new songs are good.

I want a new song, but I want it to be really good and fit in well with the Lion King vibe. I’m sure it will, because they need a new number for Oscar eligibility, anyway.

Comment: Good on them for keeping James Earl Jones as Mufasa.

Can you imagine anybody else as Mufasa?

Question: But can we get some more of the original cast back, too?

What I’m saying is, I want JTT to have a cameo as a zebra or flamingo or whatever.

Comment: These children are amazing!

When we tweeted Hairspray Live, I remember commenting that Shahadi Wright Joseph has the world in her pocket. In addition to Hairspray, she has appeared in the OBC of School of Rock and was the youngest Broadway Nala in, you guessed it, The Lion King. Kid’s going places fast.

As for JD McCrary, this isn’t his first collab with Donald Glover. He’s the kid on Childish Gambino’s Terrified and has racked up a nice number of TV credits. He also does a more-than-good M.J.:

Question: How would a live-action Lion King work??

Short answer: it’s not really live-action. I’m sure I’m not the only person who was super-confused on this point. Like, humans in costumes a la the Broadway production? I love Julie Taymor, but that sounds distracting. Living animals? Bloodbath. After some searching, the answer is that it will be realistic CGI, like the Jungle Book remake that came out not too long ago.

Concern: I love that this is happening but I’m greedy and I also want all of these actors to appear together in a film where we actually get to see them.
Comment: LEADING MAN DONALD GLOVER.

We’re both longtime fans of both Donald Glover and his rap alter-ego Childish Gambino, and in the Beyonce of it all it took me a few hours to realize that Donald Glover is the lead in a major motion picture – with many more to come, if there’s any justice in the world.

Question: Who the heck is Kamari?

I can see that it’s Keegan Michael Key (love!) but I mean as a character, I have zero recall of ever seeing a Kamari.

Comment: Banzai and Ed are still up for grabs.

Whoever it is, it’s going to be good.

[Edit: I hear that Kamari and Azizi are the new Banzai and Ed? OK.]

Comment: THE PRESS TOUR.