Questions, Comments & Concerns: Britney Ever After

It was bound to happen. It’s Britney on Lifetime, Bitch. If Saved By The Bell can have its own dramatized version of behind-the-scenes drama, obviously one of the biggest pop stars of our generation would get her own TV movie too. Over the weekend, Britney Ever After premiered, and it gave viewers a peek behind the stage lights and into her pop star lifestyle. From 1998 to 2015, it covers a lot of ground over her career, and no doubt did I have a lot of questions, comments and concerns about this film. Let’s dive right in to Lifetime’s Britney Ever After.

Concern: I’m already questioning the actress who’s playing Britney

I’d like to preface this post by saying I am a Britney fan. I have been since 1998, and her …Baby One More Time tour was the first ever concert I went to. I’ve seen her live multiple times and always pick her over Christina any day. This commentary is all coming from a place of love.

Now that that’s out of the way, the actress who plays Britney is Natasha Bassett, who is surprisingly Australian. Her Southern accent is not that great, but considering she’s not from the U.S., I’ll give her props for even sounding American. Don’t get me started on her mom Lynne (played by Nicole Oliver), who sounds more like a Georgia Belle instead of a backwoods Louisiana native. The acting from Natasha is already subpar. “I wanna be Britney Jean. I’m Britney Spears” Also her accent is… not good. And her mom’s accent is more George Belle as opposed to backwoods of Louisiana. Oh and Natasha’s acting is exactly what you’d expect from a Lifetime movie.

Comment: I’m excited Fe gets a prominent role in this

Any die hard Britney fan knows exactly who Fe aka Felicia Culotta is. She was a family friend long before she became Brit’s assistant back in the late 1990s, and was constantly by her side as she rose to fame. They had a falling out in 2007 (when Fe went to go work for the Jonas Brothers), and she is working for Brit again, so all is right with the world. In the movie, Fe’s storyline isn’t excessive or dramatic and pretty straightforward so she luckily didn’t get the shaft in the movie. As for other tertiary Brit posse, I’m kind of upset her backup dancer TJ didn’t get a role in Britney Ever After. I legit went to her Baby One More Time tour because I thought he was cute.

Question: Fake Justin actually sounds like Justin?

We’re introduced to Justin Timberlake when he meets up with Britney the first night she opens up for *NSync. As she’s standing on the stage looking out into the empty arena, he approaches in the shadows, so all we see is the outline of his ramen hair. But when fake Justin starts talking we KNOW it’s Justin because he actually does sound like real Justin and it’s a little freaky. The look however…

Concern: Britney’s dad seems too angry

Obviously we don’t know how he was IRL, but Jamie Spears is coming off like a real angry and frustrated asshole. I choose not to believe this characterization.

20 minutes later: He’s a “drunk” who gets angry and leaves whenever something mildly goes wrong… so this is obviously an asshole move, but is this really what he did?

Comment: The Most Disturbing Version of *NSync

*NSync featuring Fe AND TJ in the back!

The rest of *NSync doesn’t have a prominent role in Britney Ever After, but thankfully they do show up in a pivotal moment when they surprise her with an a cappella serenade and birthday cake. It is… a thing that happened.

“You’re one year older, girl” JT to Brit

Question: Did Britney and Justin really have their first kiss drunk and in front of a tour bus?

Slash have sex on her tour bus?! And he told her he loves her? All in the span of like 10 minutes?!

Question: Are we going to hear at least one real Britney song?

All the songs played in the film are fake pop songs that might as well be demos that Britney passed on when she was still trying to find a hit pre-Baby One More Time. The only songs we see her performing are covers of covers she recorded – EG:  Satisfaction and I Love Rock and Roll, which means it was such a blatant problem with getting the rights to her songs.

Instead of hits like Toxic and Womanizer being played in the background, we got to hear pop songs that included lyrics like, “I wanna feel you down with me/You know I’d do you right/You know we got all night/I wanna feel you down with me. RAP BREAK.” Did I mention this was during her wedding reception with Kevin Federline?

Question: Did Brit & Justin really get their nicknames from a ring?

JT gives her a ring after her performance at the 2000 VMAs and it only fits on her pinky finger. So he calls her Pinky. And she says, “Then I’ll just have to call you Stinky”. Is this really the origin story of these nicknames?! Brand new information. Also, very dumb.

Comment: This love montage looks like Brit & Justin’s Hello Magazine spread

Comment: OH SHIT WADE ROBSON

We’re introduced to choreographer Wade Robson as he grinds up on Brit during dance rehearsals and introduces her to Banana the snake for the famous Slave 4 U VMA performance. But also, if you don’t know, Wade is reportedly the guy Brit cheated on Justin with and the subject of JT’s Cry Me A River. Also a v good friend to both Brit and JT. Wade co-wrote Britney’s track What It’s Like To Be Me off her Britney album, and it was the only song she ever collaborated with Justin on (bonus clip: watch Justin mention Wade while talking about said track, after surprising her on a MTV special – around 3:45).

Later, Brit and Justin have a fight in a club (she told him he was slipping on the charts) and when she returns to her room crying, who’s there to cheer her up? Fucking WADE. And Justin finds out they (allegedly) slept together after finding from a doodle Wade made??? I hope that’s not how he found out.

Comment: Dancers Abound

There’s a montage of Brit auditioning dancers and it makes me think about how my hip hop teacher was a backup dancer in her Crazy video. True story.

Comment: Kudos for the exercise scene

Brit used to do like 500 sit ups every day, which is why the montage of her crazily exercising in her room probably isn’t TOO far from the truth.

Question: Are they having a post-breakup dance off?

Yes. The answer is yes.

Comment: The Justin Breakup Really Did a Number on Brit

After her VMAs 2003 performance with Madonna and Christina makeout sesh, she gets off the stage and asks her mama, Fe and Larry Rudolph (her longtime manager) if they think Justin liked it. Except he had already moved on to Cameron Diaz. Britney’s mom already mentioned she had been acting up after their split, but we’re still 4 years away from the ’07 head shaving incident.

Question: Do we all forget Britney was married for 48 hours?

Just me? There’s so much other shit that went down that I always forget she was married to Jason Alexander. And she was a hot mess in this scene.

Comment: Kevin Federline Seems Like a Skeeze

Britney’s second husband is introduced to us in a scene where she and KFed are making out in a stairwell before her show. There is WAY too much tongue being used and I had to legitimately look away. Was this supposed to show us that their relationship was purely sexual? That they had a hot marriage which resulted in two (of a total of six) kids?

Other things I learned about their marriage: KFed’s is nickname was supposedly “Meat Pole”, there were allegations he cheated on her which planted the seeds of the imminent split, and she supposedly texted him to let him know she was done with him, with the phrase, “I wnt 2 divorce u.”

Concern: Just general concern for Britney 2007

I’m still not over this. She needed help and the only media made her even crazier. It makes me frustrated and sad, but in the end very proud that she was able to distance herself from the people who tried to take advantage of her and gain back control of her life.

Comment: The Sam Lutfi Dude Is Still Creepy

Brit flanked by Sam Lutfi and Adnan Ghalib (front), who was not portrayed in Britney Ever After.

Sam somehow got close enough to Brit that he was hired as her “manager”, but he was no bueno. At the time, he already had two outstanding restraining orders against him, so already off to a great start. In the movie, he’s correctly portrayed as someone who is just in Brit’s life for the fame and money, clearly not getting her the help she needed during the dark days. What an asshole. Britney’s parents ultimately got a restraining order against Sam, and in the film, the order is literally thrown at his face. It’s great.

Question: I still don’t get why this is called Britney Ever After?

It goes all the way up to the opening of her Vegas show… which is still happening… and I’m starting to think this was just one giant commercial for her residency and they just acted like she had no part in it. LARRY RUDOLPH IF THIS IS TRUE, I APPLAUD YOU.

*cue the I Am Britney Jean documentary right after this film ends. Seriously.*

Notable Lines:

Phrases used to show it’s not present day:  “Look a Furby!””Straight buggin… The bomb diggity.”  We get it. It’s 1998.

“Cool friggin beans – BUNKBEDS!?” Definitely something Brit would’ve said

Jamie Spears calls Brit and Justin’s alleged sex tapes “boudoir videos” after they were stolen from her home.

*Justin surprises Britney after being out on the road, and shows up at her door with finger guns*

Brit: “Is this a stick up?” Justin: “I’m about to rob you… of your heart!”

“Who’s that fool?… A clown is what she’s got.” Her bodyguard when he first sees Brit making out with Kevin Federline

Things I’m Willing To Believe About Logan Everett, The Boy American Girl Doll

There’s something different about the newest American Girl doll. It’s a boy. Which is a fine thing to be, if you’re a human, but I have to admit that my knee-jerk reaction was more like:

As if white boys couldn’t already be EVERYTHING, now they’re an American Girl doll? Ugh. What would Felicity think? (Trick question, she’d just note whether they wore the same britches size in case she had to steal another pair under cover of darkness.) Okay, also the boy looks like this:

Of course he does.

Anyway, the Boy American Girl is named Logan Everett.

Of course he is.

Logan is apparently the drummer for the doll version of 2008-era Taylor Swift. As the latest addition to our series Things I’m Willing To Believe About, here are some things I am willing to believe about Logan Everett, Boy American Girl:


His working name was Logan Bruno because he was 100% based on Logan Bruno, boy associate member of the Baby-Sitters Club. He’s even Southern.

Not to put all Logans in a box but all Logans are exactly one way, right?

Not to put all Logans in a box but all Logans are exactly one way, right?

Logan would like to invite you to a fun laser tag outing with his youth group.

His dad is in the worship band. Logan’s first performance was Lord I Lift Your Name On High.

 

The original plan was for Boy American Girl Doll Logan Everett to be a historical character from 1994. He would have had the requisite Cute Boy In The 90s Haircut (see: Rider Strong), a plaid flannel with a heather gray hood, and you could buy him a scaled-down, working Talkboy for $19.99.

Like this.

Like this.

In a frozen pioneer cemetery in Minnesota, Logan’s great-great-great-great grandmormor Kirsten is rolling over in her grave due to his coddled and simple lifestyle.

He calls his dog a rescue dog but it’s just a regular dog.

Logan rarely looks up from his Nintendo DS when he is forced to visit his great-grandma Molly. To be fair, all of her “harrowing war stories” are, like, “one time I curled my hair when it was wet and I got a cold” and “I ate turnips, once.”

Get a grip, Molls.

Get a grip, Molls.

I’m not saying Logan smirks mockingly at people, I’m just saying that doll is smirking mockingly at me, right? 

That face where you dropped something on your shirt and he's not gonna laugh, he's just gonna stare at you.

That face where you dropped something on your shirt and he’s not gonna laugh, he’s just gonna stare at you condescendingly.

His parents buy Lunchables.

And Sunny D.

And maybe Cheez Wiz?

Logan’s instagram is all skating pictures he stole off of other people’s instagrams (he doesn’t skate) and quotes.

Just really wants to bring hacky sack back.

Is the main character’s older brother who the best friend has a crush on on a Disney show.

If his name wasn’t Logan, it would have been Hunter. Or Kyler.

Was the first kid in his class whose parents didn’t care if he watched PG 13 movies.

Was in a commercial for a local amusement park 2 years ago and finds way more ways to bring it up than you’d think.

Boy band role: the one moms are OK with

Logan “thinks you look prettier without makeup,” but also thinks “no makeup” looks like concealer, light, well-blended foundation and bronzer, neutral eye shadow, lightly smudged dark brown liner, full mascara and lip gloss

Also “Tthinks you look prettier when you don’t do you hair;” hot rollers and highlights.

I understand this is supposed to be a country musician but I still kind of feel like on Myspace c. 2005 his favorite music would have been “anything but country lol.”

 

Always has to show you this hilarious video he found on YouTube.

Things We Need To Revisit From The 2017 Grammy Awards

It’s 2017, and we’ll take our heroes where we can find them. We love all our feet-on-the-ground workers and thinkers and doers, but even the Grammy Awards had their slate of performers and guests who saved the show from being a hum-drum night of pop hits and elevated it to the next level. Picks are in no particular order and there’s gonna be a lot of Beyonce. Just so you know.

Beyonce

My explanation for Beyonce’s performance: when you’re in an art museum, and you’re expecting to walk into another gallery room, but it’s actually a video installation and there’s movement, light, color and sound all around you.  Just a few of the amazing features of this performance, because we all know that YouTube video isn’t staying up:

  • Beyonce looking like some kind of pregnant Renaissance painting subject
  • Beyonce also looking like some religious fresco subject
  • Hologram Tina, Bey and Blue
  • That crown. Statue of liberty? Space queen? Egyptian deity? Halo? All of the above?
  • Every single one of those dancers
  • That kind of last supper thing.
  • Bey reenacting the move that always made our teachers tell us that we’d crack our head open if we leaned back in our chair like that.
  • My realization that almost 4 minutes passed before Bey even sang.
  • That time she sang right into all of our souls, personally and individually, all at the same time.
  • Jay-Z’s look of pride and adoration.
Tribe Called Quest

A Tribe Called Quest is exactly the group we need, back exactly when we need them. This video’s going away soon too (we are waiting and hoping for an official, sanctioned vid), so here’s what we love:

  • The fact that they performed We The People, the same fantastic song they did on SNL just days after the election, which came true in the intervening months.
  • The moniker “President Agent Orange”
  • That classic throwback with Award Tour
  • When the wall broke down
  • The fierce looking hijabi standing center stage
  • Everyone processing down the aisles
  • The raised fist
  • The presence of Phife Dawg so strong it was almost like he was there
Chance The Rapper

Both his win and his performance. I included one of Lil Chano’s Acid Rap songs on our summer 2013 playlist. For a few years after, I was worried that one of the most promising and talented new rappers was out of the scene. Lucky for all of us, Coloring Book is making huge waves. These wins – Best New Artist, Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Album – aren’t JUST huge for Chance’s career, they’re a huge moment for indie rap in general.

“I’m gonna talk. Y’all can play the music if you want. I want to thank God for my team. I know a lot of people think independence means you do it by yourself, but independence means freedom. I do it with these folks right here. Glory be to God, I claim the victory in the name of the Lord, let’s go!”

Adele

I think Adele is incredibly talented. I mean, we’re past objectivity with her: there’s no ‘I think’ about it; Adele IS incredibly talented. That said, I was pulling for Lemonade for the Album Of The Year win. Of all the nominees, I thought it was the best-crafted and most innovative: it was the album that would define 2016, above the others. Still, Adele seems like such a genuine and kind person that I can’t help but be happy for her good fortune. Besides, she was pulling for Lemonade too. She pulled a Cady Heron and broke up her award:

“My artist of my life is Beyonce and this Lemonade album is just monumental. It was so monumental and so well thought-out and soul-baring, and we all got to see another side to you that you don’t always let you see. And all of the artists here, we all fucking adore you. You are our light. And the way you make me feel, the way you make my Black friends feel, is empowering, and you make them stand up for themselves. I love you, and I always will.”

It’s 2017, we’ve come a long way as a people, and Adele just “I’m’a let you finish”-ed herself.

Blue Ivy

Blue Ivy in a pink Gucci power suit with a black panther on the back, because she’s Beyonce’s girl already and you can be adorable and make a statement at the same time.

Blue Ivy cheering for her mother’s win.

Hologram Blue Ivy.

Blue rushing in to the Carpool Karaoke car to save a failing bit.

Blue showing her purse to her bestie during Bey’s speech.

Blue Ivy Carter is our future. It’s her world, and we just live in it.

Blue Ivy’s Friend Madison

This woman of mystery is so enigmatic that I found myself searching “2017 Grammys seating chart,” “Jay Z niece” and “does Beyonce have a cousin.” It took days to learn that Blue’s gal pal is Madison Brown, daughter of Roc-Nation co-founder Jay Brown. Blue Ivy gets a front row guest when half of the entertainment industry can’t even get a ticket (okay, I GUESS Madison was there with her dad), and Madison was living her best life and making the most out of this awesome school night outing. I’d never really want to be famous,  but Blue’s mystery friend proves that having a famous bestie might be the best gig of all. Madison mugged for the camera and, wither her impeccable white-silver dress, proved that she won’t just be singing backup.

Drunk Chrissy Teigen and Helpful John Legend

Chrissy Teigen is hilarious, fun, and exactly the kind of person I would like to have in all of my group texts. She’s also one of my favorite famous people because she DOES.IT.RIGHT. Like, she really enjoys the perks and parties that go with her lifestyle instead of appearing blase or too cool for it. John Legend is every guy trying to figure out how girl clothes and jewelry work, and earned himself an internet Relationship Goals badge in the process (“why would I be mad at you? You’re perfect.” Cherish him, Chrissy. I mean, we know you do.)

True, but unfortunately when you’re single and drunk you have to take off all of your own jewelry, and it’s HARD.


In conclusion, the Grammys were great, A Tribe Called Quest just might save us, Blue Ivy is a blessed child of the light, and Chrissy Teigen is invited to all of my texts forever.

Pa Ingalls Had Bad Ideas: C+S Book Club

If I’ve learned one thing from life, love and fiction it’s that most great relationships consist of one logical, methodical quick thinker, and then a nonsense person. Pa Ingalls was the nonsense person in the Little House universe, but not the benign kind. A benign nonsense person would, say, decide that it would be a great idea to open a used book store in small-town New England and then they let the logic person figure out how to do it. Pa’s more like “let’s cross rivers and woodlands to go build a house underneath the earth for whatever reason and not really take care of our dog while we’re doing it.” Every couple needs an idea person: the problem was, Pa Ingalls’ ideas were bad.

Good looking couple, though.

During the Big Woods years, Ma and Pa Ingalls more or less serve as the Goofus and Gallant of 1800s forest life. Caroline painstakingly dyes her butter with carrot juice so that it looks more appealing; Charles lets shiny hot lead bullets cool within reach of toddlers. (Granted, he did warn Laura, but that child was half Charles, after all.)  They balance each other pretty well, except that it is the nineteenth century and every time Pa wants to get into a covered wagon and move onto an Indian reservation that the family has no legal right to occupy (a true thing!) Ma just had to pack up the calico and deal with it.

The Ingallses were poor. It’s fine to be poor, but I can’t help but think it’s because Pa can’t settle himself in one place and be normal. You can tell the family is poor because the inventory of their possessions is so small that I can recount it decades after reading the books. Ma had one (1) china shepherdess, Pa had one (1) fiddle, they clearly owned a thimble because Pa did that Jack Frost stuff on the windows which was admittedly pretty cool, and then one day a year they had a pig bladder to play with until it disintegrated because that is not a toy, it is a body part. Okay, so the family wasn’t doing terribly but wasn’t raking it in either, and they went off to find a “better life” or whatever. Problem was, Pa wasn’t good at finding it.

First the family lives in the Big Woods of Wisconsin. It’s pretty good; they have a garret full of dried vegetables in the winter and they run around in bonnets in the summer; Ma has the love and support of her family close by; sometimes Laura gets a piece of hard candy if they take the wagon into town. As I said above, they’re poor but in a comfy way. This is when Pa gets it into his head to, in the great words of T.L.C., “go chasing waterfalls” even though he quite literally would be better off sticking to the rivers and the lakes that he’s used to.

Bad Idea Beard

Bad Idea Beard

The family piles into a covered wagon and crosses a swollen creek, huddling in a rickety wooden cart that I don’t even think they caulked per Oregon Trail recommendations. Oh, did I say the whole family? Not their dog Jack, who was left to swim alongside the wagon and drown. Jack comes back later because he is a Very Good Boy but that was a bad position for Pa to put his kids and dog in. While I know dogs served more of a utilitarian function in those days, you can’t deny that Laura loved that pup and for good reason. Jack jealously guarded and protected his family from everything … except for Pa’s poor choices, which almost killed him.

The family gets to Kansas, but psych! They move onto Osage Indian land and they aren’t allowed to be there. You know all those times Pa says racist garbage like “the only good Indian is a dead Indian,” and you kind of try to put yourself in the head space of a white man from the 1800s, but it STILL seems awful? To make it even worse, Pa was acting like the Osage were dangerous intruders when he was on their land. It’s like a racist version of that movie The Others, where the characters think that their house is haunted because they don’t realize that they are the ghosts. Sorry if you haven’t seen The Others, but it came out 15 years ago and was good but not amazing.

You know the real threat in that part of Kansas? Of course you do. It was weird white people. More specifically, the “Bloody Benders,” a family – or possibly not a real family? – who ran a tavern of horrors where they murdered over twenty people. The Ingalls drove by the Bender tavern at one point, saw the murderess, looked her in the face, but didn’t have tavern money. This is one time when Pa’s inability to provide for his family actually saved them, so that’s nice. What’s not nice is pretending like the Osage were out for blood when the real killers were more like a 19th century homespun Manson family.

The Bloody Benders

The Bloody Benders

The books kind of shift the timeline here, but after that the family moved back to The Big Woods. “Lesson learned! Better stay comfy-poor in these big woods!” That’s how a normal person would react. Not Pa! He decides maybe if it would be better to go move to a hole next to a creek in the coldest and snowiest state, and Ma says “Charles, that sounds irresponsible and also like a weird thing to do, even for people in the 1800s.” Just kidding! Societal conventions wouldn’t have allowed it. She just packed up the china shepherdess and they moved into a dirt hole.

the dugout, recreated

the dugout, recreated

At this point the Ingallses kind of move to and fro within Minnesota for a while. Then they go to Iowa for a bit to manage a hotel, a weird kind of Wes Anderson-y chapter in the family’s existence. While that seems like a tough lifestyle to mess up, Charles finds a way. He wasn’t into the hotel so he works at a grist mill for a second, the family lives above a grocery store and then they live in a rented house… and THEN the family skips town under cover of darkness and they go back to Minnesota. Okay. Cool. Minnesota is a bit too warm and dry so then the Ingalls go to De Smet, North Dakota, where they experience the worst winter America has ever had, per my twenty-year-old memory of The Long Winter. Laura meets Almanzo, gets married, and no longer has to live under the rein of her father’s nonsense ideas.  I mean, Manly’s favorite food is apples fried with onions, so I’m not saying he’s perfect; I’m just saying they get a bit more stable.

During her whole childhood, Charles (and Caroline, but we’re talking Pa here) was also painfully oblivious to Laura’s feelings of inadequacy, probably because he was too busy making plans to get lost in blizzards or move out of a perfectly good cabin into a way less-good cabin. Laura always thought Mary was so much better than her, probably because of things like Mary having a legit ragdoll, Nettie, while Laura just had a handkerchief that was trying to be a doll. Laura clearly had a hangup the size of the wide-open prairie about Mary having blonde hair, because she brings it up a LOT. You’d think Pa would have squashed that nonsense or, at the least, informed Laura that Mary was seriously not even all that blonde but Pa was cooking up a schemes and a once-annual pig tail so I guess he never got around to it.

Brown-haired Mary.

Brown-haired Mary.

 

This is just the tip of the Bad Idea iceberg. Remember the time Pa dressed up in blackface for the minstrel show? Or almost got blizzarded to death that one Christmas? When I was a kid, I thought Pa seemed like the most fun dad ever, what with his singalongs and scruffy friends and all. Now that I’m older, I can see Pa through Ma’s eyes instead of Laura’s – and what I see is a whole lot of nonsense wrapped up in a legacy of terrible ideas.

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This Is Where I Leave You

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Miss Honey Is Wonderful

Gritty, Dystopian ‘Little Women’ Plotlines

Amy March Was A Total Bitch

Tiny Crush Tuesday: Marcel The Shell With Shoes On

Beyonce Is Here To Save 2017

Call it divine intervention. Call it Destiny’s Child(ren). But for sure call it TWINS.

Yesterday, February 1st, Beyonce dropped not a new album, but rather baby news that made the world stop…

CARRY ON.

Actually, no. We, as a world, could not carry on. I will forever remember today as one of the most important days of my life. I work in a newsroom specifically for entertainment and we have one of those open floor plans where you can basically hear and see everyone. Someone sent through an email with the subject line: “Beyonce is Pregnant” along with the link to her Instagram picture. Sure enough, you could hear gasps and screams from throughout the office  – did I mention it’s a predominantly young-ish female environment? About 30 seconds later, someone said, “Wait did you guys notice she’s having twins?” UM NO, WE DID NOT SIR, WE WERE DISTRACTED BY THE BELLY BUMP, FLOWER WALL AND MESH VEIL PLACED UPON HER HEAD. TWINS?! WE HAVE BEEN BLESSED TWO TIMES OVER. What happened next was something I wish I had on camera (but I was still too shook to do anything). The screaming continued, people were congratulating and hugging each other as if we ALL were pregnant with twins.

meeting cancelled

And you know what, this is the type of communal excitement we need with this sham of administration tearing the country apart. Each morning, I wake up thinking, “Ah, what fresh hell is awaiting me today?”. But on this first day of Black History Month, Beyonce reminded us that despite the fact we’re surrounded with dumpster fires, the world is still spinning and new life is created, just like it did pre-January 20th (November 8th).

So now that Bey is prepping for The Carter 5, I feel like we as a society are a little bit better in the state of the world knowing that love is still on top. Yes, she’s a celebrity that a majority if not all of us will never be BFFs with, but in dire times like these, it’s exactly why the idea of stardom and artistry are important. It gives us a moment of distraction away from the insanity happening in politics and lower our blood pressure just a tad knowing new, talented life is being made. Just how will she save 2017? Here’s what we’re hoping Bey & these two little nuggets will do for all of us in the coming year:

  • She’ll have two more girls and start Destiny’s Child: Part II
  • DC:P2 will wear matching/coordinating clothes designed by Beyonce, just like Miss Tina designed for DC3
  • She’ll have a boy and a girl, and they becoming mini-Bey & Jays doing a rap/sing combo
  • She’ll have two boys and they’ll only wear the RocaWear baby collection Jay has secretly been hiding in their underground bunker for years
  • Bey’s mere appearance at the Grammys next Sunday will show off her belly and give us VMAs 2011 feels all over again
  • Bey starts a new trend of pregnancy announcement photos in lingerie, a veil and a flower wall. (It gets old fast)
  • She’ll be the fiercest pregnant performer ever to take the Coachella stage
  • But she could also lit’rally sit on a folding chair in the middle of the stage and it would be the best thing the world has ever seen
  • Bey letting us in on how Blue will be as a big sister
  • Blue wearing a “Big Sister” shirt
  • Bey and Jay have dinner with Mariah and Nick Cannon for advice on parenting twins
  • Instead of Who Is Becky With The Good Hair, B’s biggest mystery is WHY THE VEIL
  • Jay drops a surprise album on Tidal the day the twins are born all about his kids
  • Makes Tidal free. For one day.
  • Beyonce drops another surprise 5 track EP, one song is just the twins cooing
  • Just all the maternity outfits. All of them.
  • Anything Taylor Swift tries to do in 2017 will never be as good as this
  • To reiterate, this is not just one child, it’s TWO. TWO MORE BEY/JAY BABIES THIS IS A MIRACLE AND SHOULD BE REASON ENOUGH

Best Spoken of the 2017 SAG Awards: Actors Take On The #MuslimBan

Whether you were watching last night’s Screen Actors Guild Awards, or were tuned into the other breaking news instead, I think you’ll understand why we decided to forego the Best Dressed post. We would have loved to talk about outfits and we’re sure all those actors would have loved to talk about their “craft,” but here we all are, in strange times. An actor’s opinion is no more qualified than any other individual’s and we don’t wish to imply that. However, events like the SAG awards give actors a platform most of the rest of us don’t have, and we were pleased to see that many celebrities made good use of their soapboxes. Here are some of our favorites, in no particular order:

Mahershala Ali [Moonlight]

“I think what I’ve learned from working on Moonlight is we see what happened when you persecute people – they fold into themselves. And what I was so grateful about in having the opportunity to play Juan was playing a gentlemen who saw a young man folding into himself as a result of the persecution of his community, and taking the opportunity to uplift him and tell him that he mattered, that he was okay, and accept him. I hope that we do a better job of that.”

“When we kind of get caught up in the minutiae, the details that make us different, I think there’s two ways of seeing that — there’s an opportunity to see the texture of that person, the characteristics that make them unique, and then there’s an opportunity to go to war about it, and to say that that person is different from me, and I don’t like you, so let’s battle.”

“My mother is an ordained minister, I’m a Muslim. She didn’t do backflips when I called her to tell her I converted 17 years ago. But I tell you now, you put things to the side. And I’m able to see her, and she’s able to see me. We love each other and the love has grown. And that stuff is minutiae. It’s not that important.”

Taraji P. Henson [Hidden Figures]

“This film is about unity. … The shoulders of the women that we stand on are three American heroes: Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson. Without them, we would not know how to reach the stars.”

“These women did not complain about the problems, the circumstances, the issues. We know what was going on in that era. They didn’t complain. They focused on solutions. Therefore, these brave women helped put men into space.”

“We cannot forget the brave men who also worked with us. God rest his soul in peace, John Glenn. ”

“This story is about unity. This story is about what happens when we put our differences aside, and we come together as a human race. We win. Love wins every time. Thank you so much for appreciating the work we’ve done, thank you so much for appreciating these women. They are hidden figures no more!”

David Harbour [Stranger Things]

“In light of all that’s going on in the world today, it’s difficult to celebrate the already celebrated Stranger Things. But this award from you, who take your craft seriously and earnestly believe, like me, that great acting can change the world, is a call to arms from our fellow craftsmen and women to go deeper, and through our art to battle against fear, self-centeredness, and exclusivity of our predominantly narcissistic culture and through our craft, cultivate a more empathetic and understanding society by revealing intimate truths that serve as a forceful reminder to folks that when they feel broken and afraid and tired, they are not alone.”

“We are united, in that we are all human beings, and we are all together on this horrible, painful, joyous, exciting, and mysterious ride that is being alive. Now, as we act in the continuing narrative of Stranger Things, we 1983 Midwesterners will repel bullies. We will shelter freaks and outcasts — those who have no hope. We will get past the lies. We will hunt monsters. And when we are at a loss amidst the hypocrisy and casual violence of certain individuals and institutions, we will, as per Chief Jim Hopper, punch some people in the face when they seek to destroy the meek and the disenfranchised and the marginalized. And we will do it all with soul, with heart, and with joy. We thank you for this responsibility.”

Julia Louis Dreyfus [Veep]

“Whether the Russians did or did not hack the voting of tonight’s SAG Awards, I look out on the million or probably even million and a half people in this room and I say this award is legitimate and I won! I’m the winner, the winner is me, landslide!” …

“I want you all to know that I am the daughter of an immigrant. My father fled religious persecution in Nazi-occupied France, and I’m an American patriot, and I love this country, and because I love this country I am horrified by its blemishes. This immigrant ban is a blemish and it is un-American. So I say to you this: Our sister guild, the WGA, made a statement today that I would like to read because I am in complete agreeance with it.”

“ ‘Our guilds are unions of storytellers who always welcomed those from the nations of varying beliefs who wish to share their creativity with America. We are grateful for them. We stand with them. And we will fight for them.’ ”

Sarah Paulson [The People Vs. O.J. Simpson]

… “Any money you have to spare, please donate to the ACLU. It’s a vital organization that relies entirely on our support.”

[Note: as someone who has logged plenty of volunteer hours with a local refugee settlement/services organization and in pro bono legal services, I’d also add that it would be great to look at what organizations are doing work in your own back yard. -m]


Like we said: actors aren’t the only people speaking up. They aren’t necessarily the most qualified spokespeople, either. But they ARE concerned citizens using the platforms that they have available to them to say what they feel needs to be said. It’s a reminder that all of us can and should work within our personal spheres of influence and capitalize on our own connections or expertise. And for the love of God, let’s get things back to being okay soon. We’d like this one to be an outfit post next year.

 

A Walk To Remember to Remember

I’ll always remember it was late afternoon… when I went to Greece Ridge Cinemas as a 15 year old and saw A Walk to Remember and unexpectedly cried because ~*tRu LoVe*~.

On January 25th, 2002, “Candy” and “I Wanna Be With You” hitmaker Mandy Moore hit the big screen for her first starring role in a movie, alongside Once and Again star Shane West. Based on the 1999 novel of the same name by Nicholas Sparks, the story centered on bad boy Landon Carter, who unexpectedly falls in love with good Christian girl Jamie Sullivan (even though she tells him not to). It’s a love story for the ages with one big twist and for most people, it was just another teen movie. For older millennials, it was one of the movies that defined our generation.

For me, A Walk to Remember holds a special place in my heart for different reasons, with different memories connected to each one. In addition to the VHS tape I played over and over again (and currently have in my room JIC I need a Landon/Jamie fix), I was equally obsessed with the soundtrack. For my 16th birthday, my friend gave me the soundtrack (along with a set of fake play keys because I could drive and lololol) and as soon as I popped that baby in my boombox, it was spinning constantly.

While music did play a big part in the film (ONLY HOPE THO), I always felt like the soundtrack didn’t receive the attention it properly deserved. So what better way to celebrate A Walk to Remember than by stepping back in time This Is Us style and revisiting the tracks that formed our formative years.

Dare You to Move by Switchfoot

Some songs are just meant to be featured in movies with characters driving a long distance and thinking about their lives. In this case, it’s Switchfoot’s Dare You to Move falls under that category. It’s the perfect blend of stirring instrumentals and contemplative lyrics that make it a great fit for the movie and an even better fit as the first song on the soundtrack.

Cry by Mandy Moore

Only Hope aside, Cry was the most well known song off this album. Partly because it was sung by Queen Mandy, but also because it was also a single from her self-titled album that came out the year prior. Of course the irony is that we were all left crying in the theater after watching this movie, but I find it much more entertaining to take in the magic that is this music video to promote the film.

Someday We’ll Know by Mandy Moore and Jonathan Foreman

I was obsessed with the New Radicals original version of this song when it came out in 1999, and when I thought I couldn’t even love it even more, Mandy and Jon Foreman, lead singer of Switchfoot did just that. By having the two of them cover the song specifically for the movie, it took on a whole new meaning and reflected the love story between Jamie and Landon, pivoting from the New Radicals’ version of lost love and regret.

Dancin’ in the Moonlight by Toploader

15 year old me had no idea this song was a cover of a King Harvest track from 1972, but I guess A Walk to Remember was there to educate the people. Either way, it was a nice lighthearted song that conveyed the easiness to Jamie and Landon’s relationship, despite the fact the odds were against them. Also I’d like to think it was a preview into Mandy’s most ICONIC album, Coverage (which I wrote about for a past Mandy Moore Monday post).

Learning to Breathe by Switchfoot

Fun fact: Switchfoot was initially signed to a Christian label, and throughout their tenure as a band, they’ve had a weird relationship with being labelled a “Christian band”. However, this song, and the album of the same name, proved to be very sucessful for them in 2001, when it was nominated for a Best Rock Gospel Album Grammy.

Only Hope by Mandy Moore

I.CON.IC. ICONIC.

It’s Gonna Be Love by Mandy Moore

I really like this song, but it always threw me off when it started playing during a tender moment between Landon and Jamie when he’s putting the temp tattoo on her and softly blowing her skin. Cue Mandy Moore singing on the radio while Mandy Moore as Jamie Sullivan reacts in awe/shock/love when she feels the feels.

You by Switchfoot

Switchfoot probably got the most exposure during the Walk to Remember era, but they’ve always been one of those bands that is just always… around. It’s because their music is fine – it’s not bad, it’s not great, it’s not mainstream pop being played on the radio 24/7. Example: this song.

If You Believe by Rachael Lampa

Now that I’m thinking about it – were the producers of this film purposefully choosing Christian music artists for the soundtrack because Jamie and her Reverend father were too? Or does Rachel Lampa just have a really good PR team?

No One by Cold

This is the song I always skip.

So What Does It All Mean? by West, Gould, & Fitzgerald

This track is more in line with Landon’s squad of horrible people, but also, could have been on the Empire Records soundtrack too?

Mother, We Just Can’t Get Enough by New Radicals

New Radicals didn’t get to sing their own song, so instead, they featured on their own track. Good enough.

Only Hope by Switchfoot

You’re a certain type of person that says they prefer this version over Mandy Moore’s version of Only Hope. I’m not saying it’s bad, I’m just saying it’s a choice.

Questions, Comments, Concerns: Beaches

In an attempt to get back into regularly scheduled programming – both on the blog and life-wise – I watched a Lifetime movie this week. It was a remake of Beaches, the classic 1988 Bette Midler/ Barbara Hershey friendship drama that I don’t remember ever seeing. This reboot takes the action to 2017 and stars Idina Menzel and Nia Long. It was exactly what I’d expect out of a Lifetime remake of a beloved movie with good actresses in it. Take that how you will.

Comment: I’m not coming at this with a lot of history with Beaches.

I thought “didn’t I do a monologue from that for auditions for a while as a kid?” but that was Brighton Beach Memoirs. I think I saw Beaches on TV as a child but I don’t really remember it. Guess what I’m saying is, I’m not expecting to have my memories of Beaches tarnished, I’m just expecting a better-than-usual Lifetime movie.

Comment: They did a really good job with the 80s flashback clothing!
Concern: The 80s being a flashback. I was alive then!

Part of the time anyway.

Concern: When you’re such a musical theater nerd that you know the child versions of CC and Hilary.

CC is Gabriella Pizzolo (Fun Home) and Hilary is Grace Capeless (The Lion King). Goes without saying, they’re adorable and talented in that classic older-than-their-years Musical Theater Child way.

Question: Did they just say this was supposed to be Vegas?

For some reason I thought it was meant to take place in Coney Island or something.

(Per Google, the flashback in the original was set in Atlantic City, which makes way more sense. Sorry. Must have misheard something)

Comment: I can see why people love Beaches.

The segment where the letters are going back and forth is really sweet.

Concern: I don’t love Idina in this role ??

OF COURSE I know Idina is talented. Obviously I loved Rent and Wicked. I don’t dispute that Idina Menzel knows what she’s doing. Just what she’s doing here isn’t working for me. I’m willing to admit the problem is probably me, I just wasn’t expecting to feel this way.

Comment: Love the throwback to Idina’s early lounge/wedding/bar mitzvah singer days though.
Comment: PEN PALS ARE LIKE INTERNET FRIENDS.

I don’t know why it took me this long to realize it, but I suddenly relate to this story more.

Question: Is CC’s apartment really messy or just really cluttered or somewhere in between?

(It’s messy, right?)

Concern: I shouldn’t have laughed so hard at “there’s only one dreidel song.”
Question: There’s gonna be singalongs??

They start singing Oh Come All Ye Faithful and my hopes for this movie skyrocket.

Question: Is the show CC’s in SUPPOSED to be bad?

I legitimately do not know.

(They go on to say that it’s supposed to be good. Huh.)

Comment: Nia’s acting at her father’s funeral.

Good work.

Concern: This friendship really isn’t bringing out anyone’s best selves

I just can’t imagine being this mean to one of my friends, ever?

Like I said, I don’t have any history with this movie but I was expecting a lot more warm fuzzies. Someone better give someone else a kidney soon.

Comment: I went from zero emotional investment to crying when Idina sang about “don’t let the last time I hurt you be the last time…”

This is either the magical power of Beaches, which I’ve known about for years but never witnessed, or the magical power of Idina Menzel, which I know very well.

I think my lack of investment may be because I never really have friend breakups on purpose, I just sometimes suck at keeping in touch with people on accident.

Comment: I miss the beginning of the part where they’re putting a crib together because it sounds and looks like a commercial.

Like, where one woman would start explaining to the other why she likes her new brand of tampons.

Question: When is something awful going to happen?

Because Hilary is adorably pregnant and happy and CC and Hilary love each other and there’s, like, an hour to go. I’ve started to emotionally invest. IS THIS WHAT EVERYONE WAS REFUSING TO TELL ME ABOUT BEACHES.

Comment: Hilary delivers the most gorgeous 2-month-old baby ever.
Concern: Shit. Hilary’s gonna die. Isn’t she. ISN’T SHE.
Concern: C.C. is singing I’ll Stand By You.

This can’t be good. Hilary now has a precious, beautiful 7-year-old. Oh, no.

Concern: “Mommy is tired.” “You’re always tired.”

Oh NO.

Comment: You know you watch a lot of Lifetime movies when you get to the last hour and fully realize that the commercials are gonna start coming every 5 minutes.
Comment: This movie is unexpectedly guilting me for being Type O and unable to donate.

SORRY.

Maybe I’ll work on it.

Comment: Now they’re back to the scene they opened with.

Which means Hilary’s gonna die. Come on, Beaches. This is NOT the week for this.

Comment: “Want to know the most magical thing about being a mommy? I’m always with you.”

Beaches can burn in hell.

Comment: “I want you to take Tory.”

What are you trying to do to me, Beaches.

Comment: “I put it in my will.”

You’re really still going, Beaches.

Concern: Is she going to really die right in the middle of Oh Come All Ye Faithful?

(She doesn’t.)

Comment: This movie has been brought to you by Guilt Over Not Donating Blood
Comment: OH WOW. I forgot that (a) Wind Beneath My Wings was from this movie and (b) for whatever reason, I always hated Wind Beneath My Wings.

Like, I’m half sad, half furious that this song is playing.

Comment: I take back what I said about not liking Idina in this role.

Slow burn, was all.

Concern: If little Tory comes on stage to sing I’m going to die.

She didn’t. I live.

But you know who doesn’t?

Hilary Whitney. RIP.

Comment: Going from this to Steel Magnolias feels like a very irresponsible programming choice, Lifetime.

 

 

One Last Time: Obama and Celebrities

It’s been an emotional week, and tomorrow’s going to be even rougher. That’s why today we’re taking a break for a bit of fun. We always get a kick out of celebrities meeting a well-liked president, if only because sometimes it’s hard to guess who’s more excited. Getting to meet the president can be a major perk of success in athletics or the entertainment industry, but it’s got to be a blast for the president, too: you signed up to lead a nation, but you also get to meet all of these varied, talented, fascinating people. Whether he’s cracking up with Olympians or welcoming Broadway actors into his home, it’s a real ‘presidents – they’re just like us!’ feeling. Get ready to smile and relive some of the fun times from the past 8 years!

Barack Obama shed his Obama mask on “Saturday Night Live.” Darrell Hammond and Amy Poehler were the Clintons. November, 2007.

Barack Obama shed his Obama mask on “Saturday Night Live.” Darrell Hammond and Amy Poehler were the Clintons. November, 2007.

President Obama, Amy Poehler and Saturday Night Live – talk about three beautiful, cherished American institutions, all in one picture.

Usher and Kerry Washington campaign for President Obama during a rally in South Carolina. January, 2008.

Usher and Kerry Washington campaign for President Obama during a rally in South Carolina. January, 2008.

There were a number of early Obama adapters during his first presidential campaign, namely because he had a lot of buzz as a senator in Illinois. Among them were Usher and pre-Scandal Kerry Washington, who campaigned for him in 2008. These folks ain’t bandwagon supporters.

Barack and Michelle embrace next to Oprah during a campaign rally. December, 2008.

Barack and Michelle embrace next to Oprah during a campaign rally. December, 2008.

Oprah is all of us. Also, remember that shining era when we had Obama in the White House AND Oprah on TV? I swear these are the things we’ll be telling our grandkids about.

Two days before the inauguration in 2009, musicians and actors came together for the We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial, performing songs and reciting pieces for the Obamas, Bidens and 400,000 people in attendance. Among those who took the stage were U2 (as seen above), Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Garth Brooks, and Bruce Springsteen, as well as collabos between James Taylor, John Legend and Jennifer Nettles, Josh Groban, Heather Headley, and the Gay Men’s Chorus of D.C.,Herbie Hancock, will.i.am, and Sheryl Crow, and Usher, Stevie Wonder, and Shakira. Not to mention the other stars like Denzel Washington, Tom Hanks, Tom Hanks, Samuel L. Jackson, Steve Carell, Queen Latifah, Forest Whitaker, and Martin Luther King III and more reading historical passages. You can watch the two hour concert here!

Aretha Franklin sings My Country, 'Tis of Thee at the inauguration. January, 2009.

Aretha Franklin sings My Country, ‘Tis of Thee at the inauguration. January, 2009.

For the actual inauguration, Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, pianist Gabriela Montero and clarinetist Anthony McGill collaborated on a piece by John Williams called Air and Simple Gifts, and although that was lauded, it was Aretha Franklin who really stole the show as she sang My Country, ‘Tis if Thee. Sure, we all know how great of a singer she is but it was the hat – a grey, Swarovski crystal-studded bow hat, that sparked conversation and memes all over the world. Also getting to see the hat IRL at the ceremony were

That night, the Obamas attended 10 official inaugural balls, where even MORE celebrities attended like Jennifer Aniston, Rihanna, Will Smith – legit the list is too long to type out so read all of them here – and Beyonce showed up again in her iconic romantic serenade of At Last.

Miranda Cosgrove, Matthew Morrison, Mariah Carey, Ellen DeGeneres, Maxwell, and Annie Lennox at the WH Christmas special. December, 2010.

Miranda Cosgrove, Matthew Morrison, Mariah Carey, Ellen DeGeneres, Maxwell, and Annie Lennox at the WH Christmas special. December, 2010.

This is just a sample of their annual holiday concert. Just imagine this times 8.

Will Ferrell and his wife, Viveca, laughed with President Obama in the Oval Office. Oct. 2011.

Will Ferrell and his wife, Viveca, laughed with President Obama in the Oval Office. Oct. 2011.

My favorite is that Will Ferrell and his wife – a person who lives with Will Ferrell – appear to be laughing at whatever OBAMA said.

President Obama meets with over 20 actors for a private Young Hollywood event. June, 2012.

President Obama meets with over 20 actors for a private Young Hollywood event. June, 2012.

Usually the President’s activities during a trip are explicit, but there was no mention of this secret meeting at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, where Barack asked 25 of Hollywood’s hottest stars to get involved in his re-election campaign. Among them were Anna Kendrick, Zach Braff, Jeremy Renner, Zachary Quinto, Jessica Alba, Jared Leto, Kal Penn and Sophia Bush. Obviously, these folks put their photos on social media later for all of us to be jealous of.

May 11, 2012

President Obama takes a break during a basketball game in Los Angeles with some A-list teammates and competitors – Don Cheadle, Tobey Maguire, and George Clooney. Plus two of Clooney’s long-time friends and now ex-girlfriend Stacy Keibler. September, 2012.

Find yourself someone who looks at you like George Clooney is looking at POTUS.

November 15, 2012

President Obama poses with Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney. November, 2012.

I love that Obama fangirled over the 2012 Olympics as much as the rest of us, and also that he’s clearly up on his memes.

Beyonce is greeted by U.S. President Barack Obama after her performance during inauguration ceremonies. January, 2013.

Beyonce is greeted by U.S. President Barack Obama after her performance during inauguration ceremonies. January, 2013.

Obama’s second inauguration was a star-studded event, and by this point Beyonce was an established White House favorite. Really makes me proud to be an American!

President Obama greets Kelly Clarkson after her performance at his second inauguration. January, 2013.

President Obama greets Kelly Clarkson after her performance at his second inauguration. January, 2013.

Like we said, really fun inauguration. In this photo, Kelly Clarkson is looking at Obama exactly how I would, AND Obama is looking at Kelly Clarkson exactly how I would.

Singer Stevie Wonder is honored Monday with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama, who said the first record he ever bought was by Wonder.

Singer Stevie Wonder is honored Monday with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama, who said the first record he ever bought was by Wonder.

The Obamas danced to Stevie Wonder at their wedding and all these years later he’s a regular guest in their home, playing POTUS’s birthday party and getting awards from him. If you look closely you can see all of Barack’s dreams coming true.

Justin Timberlake greets President Obama (with Queen Latifah in the background). May, 2013.

Justin Timberlake greets President Obama (with Queen Latifah in the background). May, 2013.

JT posted the above photo on Obama’s birthday and captioned it “Just showing The Prez how I made a half-court shot on his hoop while he was leading the free world and stuff… No big deal. Happy Bday, Mr. President!!”

They have inside jokes, it’s fine.

This is an Emmy-winning video.

The President and the First Lady meet the President and the First Lady. White House Correspondents Dinner. May, 2014.

Mellie/Michelle 2020?

POTUS strikes a pose with Usain Bolt. April, 2015.

POTUS strikes a pose with Usain Bolt. April, 2015.

Can we all just take a moment to appreciate how happy Barry looks? That is pure joy right there.

After Cecily Strong's speech at the White House Correspondents Dinner. April, 2015.

After Cecily Strong’s speech at the White House Correspondents Dinner. April, 2015.

Remember how Cecily Strong absolutely crushed it at the WHCD?! Then, even though he was the butt of some of the jokes, POTUS also acknowledged that she was absolutely hilarious and all of the hits were totally fair. Also, this happened to be the same WHCD where Obama’s Anger Translator Luther (Keegan-Michael Key) showed up.

July 18, 2015 “The President greets the cast and crew of ‘Hamilton’ after seeing the play with his daughters at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York City.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

July 18, 2015 “The President greets the cast and crew of ‘Hamilton’ after seeing the play with his daughters at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York City.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

I like to think that this is how everyone looks at you when you get to heaven.

We consider Hamilton a true musical of the Obama era and we get such a kick out of the mutual love between the cast, creatives and POTUS.

Dec. 7, 2015 “Comedian Jerry Seinfeld knocks on the Oval Office window to begin a segment for his series, ‘Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.’” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Jerry Seinfeld knocks on the window of the Oval Office. December, 2015.

I’m not one who particularly *loves* Jerry Seinfeld, but I do enjoy Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, and this one with President Obama is no different. Well, actually it was. Since the Pres has limited ability to drive around in a vintage car with a guy who makes jokes for a living, they could lit’rally only make a loop in front of the White House and the coffee was in some WH bunker. That’s exaggerating – just watch it.

President Obama joined Jimmy Fallon for a second installment of Slow Jam the News. June, 2016.

Since Jimmy had a talk show, the Obamas have been happy to play along with his bits, including Slow Jam the News, which is another reason why President Obama is the coolest. Slick Willy Clinton could probably get away with doing this but can you imagine Dubya saying “Oh yeah” then dropping the mic?

President Obama serenades daughter Malia with 'Happy Birthday.' July 4, 2016.

President Obama serenades daughter Malia with ‘Happy Birthday.’ July 4, 2016.

The 2004 films Chasing Liberty and First Daughter taught me that it can be hard to be the child of the American president … but if your 18th birthday involves Kendrick Lamar and Janelle Monae singing you Happy Birthday on the White House lawn, it sounds pretty OK.

Sept. 12, 2016 “After a meeting with actor and human rights activist George Clooney, the President invited him and three of his colleagues to shoot hoops on the White House basketball court. This photo garnered a lot of attention when it was hung on the walls of the West Wing.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

George and Barack back on the basketball court after they met to discuss some human rights policies. September, 2016.

This is also the poster of the 2018 film where Clooney & Obama lead a rag-tag group of international figures in some kind of witty heist.

Oct. 21, 2016 “Bill Murray stopped by the White House to be honored as the recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. When the President opened the door to the Oval Office, he laughed that Bill was in full Chicago Cubs regalia just before the Cubs were to begin the World Series. After the presentation, Murray demonstrated his prowess in putting, ‘sinking’ several putts into a White House drinking glass, all while doing a public service announcement to sign up for the Affordable Care Act.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Bill Murray shows off his putting skills in the Oval Office while filming a PSA to sign up for the Affordable Care Act. It was also just before he was awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. October, 2016.

Just two Chicago boys casually putting into glass in the Oval Office.

Nov. 22, 2016 “Bruuuuuce! The President reaches out to shake hands with Bruce Springsteen in the Blue Room of the White House prior to the Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony. I’m so happy for Bruce, having been a fan of his for almost 30 years during which I’ve seen at least 35 of his concerts.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama greets Bruce Springsteen before he received the President Medal of Freed. November, 2016.

I don’t think you know how many Bruce Springsteen pictures we had to choose from. There’s probably a small, dedicated guest room where Bruce stays and they’ll have to forcefully remove him on 1/20.

Rather than a photo, just watch the whole video of Obama awarding Ellen Degeneres the Medal of Freedom. It’s definitely a two-kleenex moment.

That face when the President drops by for a visit. Today, the cast of Hidden Figures visited the White House to highlight the stories of Americans who defied stereotypes and broke glass ceilings to advance human space flight, science, and innovation. December, 2016.

That face when the President drops by for a visit. Today, the cast of Hidden Figures visited the White House to highlight the stories of Americans who defied stereotypes and broke glass ceilings to advance human space flight, science, and innovation. December, 2016.

Octavia Spencer, somehow simultaneously so adorable you could imagine being BFFs with her and so talented that it’s intimidating, is the face of America.

WHEN THE WHITEHOUSE BECAME THE BLACK HOUSE. #THEUNION #ORGANIZE

A post shared by Janelle Monáe (@janellemonae) on

When your favs are each others favs: I’ve heard that Janelle Monae has been invited to/performed at the White House more than any other musical artist. Also just this whole crowd, in general.

Kendrick Lamar meets President Barack Obama in the Oval Office of the White House. January, 2016.

Kendrick Lamar meets President Barack Obama in the Oval Office of the White House. January, 2016.

Do yourself a favor and run a search of Kendrick Lamar and President Obama at the White House. All of the photos are absolutely delightful.

President Obama teaches Steph Curry a few things about shooting. April, 2016.

 

Y’all – do yourself a favor and watch this entire concert of BET Presents Love & Happiness: An Obama Celebration. Partly because BET isn’t going to present a damn thing for the next administration, but mostly because there are star-studded performances from Jill Scott, BFF Janelle Monae, smokeshows Common, Usher and Leslie Odom, Jr. and Bradley Cooper is also there to fill a quota.

Going away party. January, 2017.

What better way to end eight years in a mansion than with your famous friends? The Obamas held one last bash at the White House earlier this month, with a bunch of celebrities who have supported the administration throughout their tenure. Guests weren’t allowed to take pictures inside the party that lasted until 4am, so all the available photos are from the outside, or in performer Solange’s case, during soundcheck. Among those who danced alongside Barry and Michelle were Amal and George Clooney, Robert De Niro, Nick Jonas, Kelly Rowland, Chrissy Teigen and John Legend, Jason Sudeikis and Olivia Wilde, Chance the Rapper, Jay Pharoah, Usher and Billy Eichner. AND MORE.

Finally, cry your eyes out as you watch celebrities thank the Obamas for their years of service.

Songs from 2016 That Need To Stay In 2016

2016 was a shitshow of a year in many ways – in all the ways, really. From entertainment to politics to social injustice, it really wasn’t the best of times. And that goes for music too. Every year we make January’s playlist a collection of songs that we think should stay in the previous year, but for some reason, this playlist came a little too easily to come up with.

Traci’s Picks

The Chainsmokers ft. Halsey – Closer

The Chainsmokers – A) I don’t care for their name. B) I don’t care for their music. C) This song is not good. I had to put it on mute when they performed it live on the VMAs.

Lukas Graham – 7 Years

Fact: Lukas Graham is a band, not a singular person. Other fact: I don’t like this song that’s supposed to ring nostalgic but is just grating on my ears as an old person.

Mike Posner – I Took A Pill in Ibiza

For the record, I thought this song and Lukas Graham’s song were the same thing. They’re not. Also, I don’t care what you did on the party island of Ibiza, rich white man.

twenty one pilots – Stressed Out

Twenty one pilots seemingly came out of nowhere, right? Or am I just that not in touch with the youth these days? They were the musical guest when Lin hosted SNL, I know that. Anyways, this song reminds me of the early 2000s era Good Charlotte types, which I wasn’t into, and I’m still not into now. I feel like I’m starting to sound like an Ethel with this post, guys.

Panda – Desiigner

This is one of those songs that’s semi-ok during the chorus and then the repetition makes you want to bang your head against the wall. Also have you ever heard Desiigner (sic) speak IRL? It’s not the greatest.

Molly’s Picks

Rihanna feat. Drake – Work

I like Rihanna, I like Drake, I even pretty much like this song. But after months on end of hearing “work work work work work work” it has taken up residence in my brain and I want it gone. By 2019 or so it’ll be a fun throwback, but I need a break break break break break break.

Flo Rida – My House

At first I thought it was refreshing that a top 40 hit was just about hospitality, offering friends a drink, and staying in. I still think that, but as with work, I just can’t hear this again for a while.

Fifth Harmony – Work From Home

I think the combo of this song and Work are the reason the word ‘work’ is stuck in my head roughly half the time these days. I don’t need that kind of negativity in my off hours.

G-Eazy x Bebe Rexha Me, Myself & I

This one’s fine, more or less. But I didn’t even realize it was a new song until it had been out for months because it reminded me of so many other songs that have come out in the past several years, and no hard feelings, but this one can live in 2016.

Meghan Trainor – Me Too

Meghan seems like a nice girl, some of her songs are very catchy, but I don’t think even SHE is sold on this one.