Pop Culture Blind Spot: Gone With The Wind

It only took my nearly 80 years to watch, but I finally dug into Gone With the Wind.

My knowledge of Gone with the Wind: Set during the Civil War(?). Clark Gable hits up Scarlett O’Hara. Hattie McDaniel made history by winning an Oscar. “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.” V LONG MOVIE.
Netflix description: Director Victor Fleming’s 1939 epic adaptation of Margaret Mitchell’s novel of the same name stars Vivien Leigh as self-absorbed, headstrong Scarlett O’Hara, a Southern Belle who meets her match in Rhett Butler just as the Civil War breaks out.

Maybe I’m just having a brain fart, but could’ve sworn the actress’ name was Scarlett O’Hara and Vivien Leigh was just another actress. Oops.

I’ve gathered my snacks, I’m hunkering down. Here we go.

There’s an Overture! And I’m skipping it! If there’s any bit where I can cut down on this 4 hour movie, I will.

In the credits (because it’s 1939 and the credits are at the beginning of the movie, you folks who run out to leave the parking lot early), there are men under the category of “Scarlett’s Beaux” and that’s an IMDb credit I’d gladly take.

Update: Her Beaux are ginger gentleman callers who look like the Mad Magazine’s Alfred E. Neuman meets Alexander Hamilton

And Scarlett is refusing to listen to her maid/Hattie McDaniel. This is going to be a problem.

Do you ever watch old movies like this and think, “All these people are probably dead, right?” No? Just me? Cool cool cool.

“Has been trifling with you?” Scarlett’s Pa asks her.

Scar and her Pa were just walking outside near a lake and now they’re in front of a green screen and it is hilarious. God bless the early days of film.

Ok Mammy is mumbling to herself after giving orders to the other staff members and she’s officially my favorite.

Wait Scarlett’s parents are calling each other “Mr. O’Hara and Mrs. O’Hara”… was this a thing?

“You can’t show your bosom before 3:00!” Mammy telling spoiled bitch Scarlett about picking an appropriate dress

I don’t have a subtitles option with the way I’m watching this, so I legit had to pull up the script. Vivien is speaking real fast, and oddly, it’s harder to read Mammy’s lines than hearing her say it.

“He looks as if, as if he knows what I looked like He looks as if, as if he knows what I looked like  without my shimmy.” Scarlett on Rhett seeing her for the first time

Scarlett’s Beaux should actually be changed to “Scarlett’s Bitches”. They’re fawning all over her like she’s The Bachelorette.

But this Bachelorette is into a dude named Ashley, who’s into another chick, so it’s not looking good for Scar. She confronts him and he’s all, “Get a grip, I can’t marry you,” and she reacts very maturely:

The women get to take a nap in the middle of a party??? This is a custom I can get on board with.

Everyone is celebrating after hearing that President Lincoln called on soldiers to kick off the war. Legit hugging and whooping as if their team just won the Super Bowl.

Charles Hamilton goes and proposes to Scarlett because he’s all hopped up on the war excitement, and because she’s still reeling from that library slap, she accepts. In the course of about 5 minutes, they get married, he goes to war, and she gets a letter saying that he didn’t die “a hero” in battle, but rather got a bout of pneumonia followed by measles. Yikes.

A widowed Scarlett runs into Rhett at some Confederate party/fundraiser. First bad sign: a solider is going around asking women for their jewelry to fund the war. Then an auction is held for men to bid money to dance with a woman of their choice. Rhett offers up $150 in gold to dance with Scarlett, still in her black dress of mourning. This is the most foreign thing I’ve ever watching.

Rhett continues to be headstrong against a needy Scarlett, and the result is this famous scene, that I’ve actually heard of before!

The Battle of Gettysburg happens and the list of everyone who’s been injured or killed is released in the South. And naturally, a band plays some upbeat music like the string quartet on the Titanic.

Should’ve Cut For Time: A slave follows a chicken with an axe, and in the next scene, a dead, cooked,chicken is on the table for Christmas dinner. 

Ashley’s back from the war and Scarlett professes her love for him again and kisses him – despite the fact He’s Just Not Into You AND she’s BFFs with his wife now. Ugh.

Scarlett is helping out in the infirmary, which is surprising seeing as how the only prevalent characteristic she’s shown is selfishness.

This Miss Pitty lady needs to get a handle on herself.

“… Even though it isn’t much of an animal, I did have a even though it isn’t much of an animal, I did have a  lot of trouble stealing it.” LOL Rhett gives no fucks

The war is still happening, Scarlett and one of the slaves are left at the house, she delivered Mellie’s baby, and Rhett continues to be Scar’s saving grace.

Annddd then he tells her he’s going off to join the rest of the men to fight in the war. But not before telling her he’s in love with her, saying, “Because we’re alike. Bad lots, both of us. Because we’re alike. Bad lots, both of us.  Selfish and shrewd.” Yeah. Duh.

Scarlett, her slave, the baby, and the horse go back to Scarlett’s parents’ home and turns out her mom died from typhoid, and her dad is in shambles.

“As God as my witness….as God as my witness they’re As God as my witness….as God as my witness they’re  not going to lick me. I’m going to live through this  and when it’s all over, I’ll never be hungry again.  No, nor any of my folk. If I have to lie, steal,  cheat, or kill, as God as my witness, I’ll never be  hungry again.” A dramatic monologue by Scarlett in a bloodied field.

::Intermission + Entr’Acte::

LOL at the ladies bitching about having to pick cotton.

WELL, Scarlett just shot a soldier attempting to steal from their house straight in the face. As Chris Hardwick likes to say, “POINTS!” This is ridiculous, now it’s turned into Sunshine Clearners and Scar and her sister need to dispose of this body without anyone noticing.

The war is over, and there’s a montage of everyone reacting to the news. Scarlett? She’s still pining for Ashley, saying, “Ashely will be coming home. We’ll plant more Ashely will be coming home. We’ll plant more  cotton. Cotton ought to go sky-high next year.” *dislike*

Scar legit told Ashley that Melanie can’t have any more children in an attempt for him to leave her for him. What is wrong with you?? Oh and then he kisses her? Everyone needs to check themselves.

Scarlett’s dad dies so now she needs money to keep the plantation running. Natch, she goes to Rhett???

Scarlett’s dress is the inspo for Carol Burnett’s curtain rod dress, right?

Scarlett continues to be the worst by tricking her younger sister’s fiance Frank (who just happens to be rich) into marrying her. Frank and Ashley start a business together, ??

Rhett comes home with a v drunk Ashley and no Frank in sight – because he tells Scar Frank’s out on some road shot dead in the head. Hello? That’s how you tell her? Also she didn’t ask where her husband’s whereabouts were, because ugh Scarlett.

“Don’t drink alone, Scarlett. People always find out. Don’t drink alone, Scarlett. People always find out.  And it ruins reputation.” Rhett, what do you know, man?!

It’s basically Frank’s funeral, and Rhett casually proposes to Scarlett, who says yes. Here’s the thing – I’m finding Rhett’s conceit endearing, but Scarlett’s selfishness annoying. This is what the patriarchy wants you to think. I’m annoyed with myself, TBH.

RHETT: “What are you thinking about, Scarlett?”

SCARLETT: “I’m thinking about how rich we are.” About sums it up.

Ok so all of a sudden Scarlett gives birth to a baby girl… the time jumps are questionable, yet this movie is still 11 hours long??

Scarlett tells Rhett she doesn’t want any more children (half because she still loves Ashley, half because she doesn’t want to lose her figure). He gets mad and busts open the bedroom door with his swift kick. Maybe a little too agrressive, but OK.

Bonnie has a stroller with a fake horse in the front and reins to make it look like she’s –

Scarlett and Ashley have a lingering hug and Melanie’s sister sees their intimate moment, and because she never liked Scarlett, spreads the nasty rumor around town. Rhett later forces Scarlett to go to Ashley’s surprise birthday party but then at the door leaves her to go in alone. What a dick move. I care for no one in this film. Except for Mammy. I like Mammy.

“I’ve always thought a good lashing with a buggy I’ve always thought a good lashing with a buggy whip would benefit you immensely.” Rhett, WHAT?

“Well, cheer up. Maybe you’ll have an accident. Well, cheer up. Maybe you’ll have an accident.” RHETT, WHAT??? SCARLETT TELLS HIM SHE’S PREGNANT, ADMITS THEY BOTH DON’T WANT IT, HE SAYS THAT LINE THEN THROWS HER DOWN THE STAIRS?!?! WHAT IS THIS MOVIE

(also, it’s horrible, but I immediately thought of this Melissa McCarthy SNL sketch)

GUYS BONNIE JUST DIED BC SHE DISOBEYED HER PARENTS BY ATTEMPTING TO JUMP A FENCE WITH HER PONY (which Rhett shot and killed).

While visiting Bonnie at her … wake (? Rhett locked himself in her room), Melanie faints and while she’s dying, Scarlett finally realizes that Ashley only really loved Melanie, and not her. Bitch, come on now. It took for Melanie to die for her to get that rolls eyes forever

Well Scarlett isn’t having the best luck right now. She had a miscarriage, her daughter died, her BFF died, the man she’d been in love with for years is broken because his wife died, and Rhett ups and leaves with the iconic line 

Crying at the steps of her empty mansion, an audio montage of the important people in her life reminding her about the Tara Plantation where she grew up, and she has an epiphany that she’ll not give up on life and instead go back home, because “tomorrow is another day”.

Well, I really didn’t think it would end with the two main characters together and in love. I thought this was a true ride into the sunset situation, but the 2018 feminist in me is kinda glad it didn’t? Maybe this is just the beginning of her new life as a non-selfish human now that she’s lost pretty much everything in her life.

Except for her plantation, of course.

 

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Golden Globes 2018 – Best Dressed

The 2018 Golden Globes were a little different, and so is our Best Dressed list. Actors used the night as a platform to say something about sexual abuse, harassment and structural inequality, so we’re going to highlight their opinions and accomplishments along with their gorgeous black ensembles. In her New York Times op-ed, Amber Tamblyn wrote:

We actresses are not just modeling clothing when we walk a red carpet on award show night. We are modeling a kind of behavior. We are speaking in a coded language to other women — even young girls — that says: The way I look and what I wear and how I wear it is the standard for women. What is being worn is not an exception. It is the rule. You must dress a certain way and look a certain way if you want to be valued as a woman, no matter what you do for a living or who you are. We never intend for this to be the message we are sending with what we wear, but often it is the perceived one, whether we like it or not.

Last night clothes were part of the message – but just one part. Here are a few of our favorites:

Tracee Ellis Ross

Serving this headwrap fiercness is Tracee Ellis Ross, an actress best known for her work in Girlfriends and Black-ish. She’s won six NAACP Image awards for acting and been nominated for Emmys twice. Her 2016 Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series marked the first time an African-American woman had won in that category in 30 years. Last year, she won the Golden Globe for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series – making history as the first black woman in 34 years to win in the category. Tracee is wearing Marc Jacobs.

Michelle Williams

You probably know who Michelle Williams is. Dawson’s Creek kicked off her career, but since then, she’s become the most credited actor and has the accolades to prove it. Four Oscar nominations and one actual Golden Globe, Michelle simply transforms on screen. Her plus one at the Golden Globes last night was Tarana Burke, who started the #MeToo movement back in 2006.

“I thought I would have to raise my daughter to learn how to protect herself in a dangerous world, but I think the work that Tarana has done and the work that I’m learning how to do — we actually have the opportunity to hand our children a different world,” she said at the Globes. “I am honored beyond measure to be standing next to this woman. I have tears in my eyes and smile on my face.”

Susan Kelechi Watson

Susan is best known for her roles on Louie, NCIS, The Blacklist and of course, This Is Us. She has a BFA from Howard University and a Master of Fine Arts degree from NYU’s Tisch School graduate acting program. She also may or may not be Blue Ivy in the future. Susan is also the director of non-profit Drama Club, an organization that provides theatre programming to incarcerated and court-involved young people in New York City. She’s wearing Monsoori.

Mandy Moore

Mandy Moore is the multi-talented star who may hold different titles depending on your generation. If you were alive during the TRL era, you still don’t know who Mandy’s missing like Candy. If you were born during the TRL era, you either know her voice from Tangled or watch the hit NBC program This Is Us. Mandy has been active with philanthropy over the years, including Five & Alive, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. She recently was a spokesperson for Dove’s self-esteem movement, aimed at introducing girls to real, admirable women to look up to. Mandy is wearing Rosie Assoulin.

 

Jessica Biel

Jessica Biel is an actress whose first big gig was in 7th Heaven as the oldest sister, Mary Camden. She was just a teen when she started in Hollywood, and went on to appear in films like Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Summer Catch, Valentine’s Day, and New Year’s Eve. Lately, she’s been producing more of her own projects, including The Sinner, which earned her her first Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Miniseries or TV Film. She also spends a lot of time giving back to her local and global community – In 2010, Jessica teamed up with the UN Foundation to raise awareness of the global water crisis, and climbed to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.  Jessica is in Dior.

Nicole Kidman 

Nicole Kidman is an actress and founder of the production company Blossom Films. She is an Academy Award winner and a five-time Golden Globe winner, and has found that producing films has “allowed me to shape my career in terms of being able to find things that I may not get offered, that I wouldn’t get the opportunity for.” Kidman is also a founding member of the powerhouse coalition, Times Up. In her acceptance speech for Best Actress In A Mini-Series Or TV Movie in Big Little Lies last night, Nicole said: “My mom was an advocate for the women’s movement growing up, and standing here, my achievements are her achievements. This character I played represents something at the center of our conversation right now: abuse. I hope we can elicit change . . . let’s keep the conversation alive.” Nicole is wearing Givenchy (fun fact: Givenchy was a favorite of Audrey Hepburn; both Hepburn and Kidman served as UN Goodwill Ambassadors).

Alison Brie

Alison Brie was nominated for a Golden Globe for work role in Glow, and currently appears in two nominated films: The Post and The Disaster Artist. She is also familiar to TV audiences for her role on Community. Alison did all of her own stunts for Glow, a series about female wrestlers in the 1980s. wrestling-based series. In 2017, Brie threw her support behind Planned Parenthood, saying “it’s a vital resource for women in this country. Women need and deserve the right to make their own decisions regarding their reproductive health.” Alison is wearing Vassilis Zoulias.

Claire Foy

Nominated for her role in The Crown last night, Claire Foy is a university-trained actress who is also known for another royal turn – Anne Boleyn in Wolf Hall. While filming her acclaimed role of Queen Elizabeth, Foy was also caring for her infant daughter. Of her hopes for her child, Claire said: “I wish there was a way of saying to girls: ‘You don’t have to be polite and pretty in order to survive and have people love you.’ The idea that you should be like everybody else genuinely breaks my heart. And I’m going to have to do something about it.” Claire is in Stella McCartney.

Viola Davis

One of the most-nominated actresses alive today, Viola Davis is the only black actress to have one an Oscar, an Emmy AND a Tony. The Juilliard-trained actress has, in fact, received so many nominations and awards that Wikipedia lists them separately from her main page. Davis is an ambassador for Hunger Is, an organization that combats child hunger; the organization has raised over $20 million for the cause. Last night Davis addressed victims of sexual assault and rape – actually saying the words – saying “it’s not their fault, and they’re not dirty. That’s my message tonight.” Viola is wearing Brandon Maxwell.

Natalie Portman

Harvard-educated actress Natalie Portman presented the award for Best Director last night, which she noted contained “all male nominees,” despite, for instance, Greta Gerwig’s direction of Best Picture – Musical or Comedy winner Lady Bird. Portman promotes anti-poverty causes and works as an ambassador for FINCA, an organization that provides micro-loans to women-owned businesses in developing countries. She also lead the Power Of A Girl campaign for Free The Children, challenging North American girls to raise money for a girls’ school in Kenya. Natalie is a founding member of Time’s Up, and attended the Golden Globes with fellow founder, actress and activist America Ferrera. Portman wore Dior Haute Couture.

 

Donate to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund on their GoFundMe page. Learn more about Time’s Up here.

Best ___ Of 2017: Some Really Specific Superlatives

We thought 2016 was bad. Guess what? We were all freaking wrong. 2017 was a dumpster fire of its own. The nightmare administration, disgusting politicians attempting to pass horrific laws, KKK rallies, multiple earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, wildfires, and The Mindy Project coming to an end – it was all very, very bad. Which is why we’re here to celebrate the best things to come out of 2017. It’s time for our annual list of superlatives, and hopefully we’ll all gain perspective from this list about the past year.

 

Best Candid Group Celebrity Photo: Moonlight Mixup

Celebrities: They’re Just Like Us. So much to look at in this photo, which will forever live in Hollywood infamy. Fun fact: Busy Philipps’ husband got her a large framed version of this for Christmas. She obvs had to give one to her BFF Michelle, too.

Best New Life Motto From a Politician: “Reclaiming My Time”

Finding inspiration from California Representative Maxine Waters, the two of us decided that our official motto of 2018 is “Reclaiming My Time”. From life, from work, from politics, from everything. Let this not be a year where you sit back and let folks mansplain to you.

Best Shady Company Twitter Account: Merriam-Webster

Never thought I’d be praising a dictionary’s internet account, but here we are. Give this social media person a raise. It’s the perfect way to call out the administration without actually straight out calling out the administration.

Best New Show That’s Actually Been a Hit For Years But I Joined So Late To The Party: The Great British Bake-Off

I binged all of GBBO this summer and it did NOT disappoint. I realized y’all (including Molly) had been singing its praises for a while, but when you’re unemployed and find baking mesmerizing and soothing to watch, it’s inevitable you’ll fall in love with this bunch. And also pretend you’re a baker too.

Best Pregnancy Announcement Featuring Florals: Beyonce

No explanation needed.

Best Celebrity Insta Story: Busy Philipps

Ready.

A post shared by Busy Philipps (@busyphilipps) on

You know her from Freaks and Geeks, or White Chicks, or Dawson’s Creek, or even Cougartown, but you should know Busy Philipps from her Instagram stories that are entertaining beyond entertaining. She’s a mom of 2 girls, a fitness fan (#lekfit), and an actress who might not be an actress anymore. She’s *relatable* and funny and guyyysss, you just have to check it out for yourself.

Best TV Revival We Didn’t Need But Was Actually Pretty Good: Will & Grace

I will be the first to tell you that a Will & Grace revival was not necessary. I was a fan of the show when it was on, but there was really no legit reason for it to return besides the fact nostalgia makes companies money these days. And the series finale canon. THE CANON WAS BROKEN AND THROWN OUT THE WINDOW. I do not enjoy when shows/movies do not follow canon. After a shaky first episode back, they found their footing in the second episode and it’s been fantastic ever since. The creators, writers, and actors seem like they never took a nearly decade-long break, and the tone is exactly the same as it used to be. In a world where everything seems to suck, this show is a welcome relief.

Best Display of Arts & Crafts in Honor of The Resistance : The Women’s March

So. Many. Good. Signs.

Best Author To Happen To Streaming TV: Margaret Atwood

If there’s one good thing I can say about 2017 it’s that the coolest woman in television was a 78-year-old Canadian author. With the one-two punch of Alias Grace on Netflix and The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu, we had Margaret’s interpretation of one society long before ours and another slightly after … and both looked a lot like our own. They watch really well as companion pieces, by the way.  Keep up the good work, Mags. Cat’s Eye on Amazon Prime 2020, perhaps?

Best Real-Life Hallmark Movie: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s Engagement

Some might say that it’s silly to care about foreign figureheads using taxpayer money to throw an enormous wedding, but 2017 was a steaming cesspool of a year and I’d like to have this one thing, please. We wrote about this already, but a biracial American actress with middle-class roots getting engaged to a prince – while he cooked for her! – and they’ll live in a cottage! – is the stuff low-budget romcoms are made of and I am HERE. FOR. IT.

Best Celebrity Vacation: Obama’s Post-Presidential Blast

In January 2017, we were all kind of cold and sad and Obama was, like, kite-sailing on billionaire islands with a smile that could light up the whole White House and looking like that person who really *thrives* after a breakup.

Best Viral Revolution: #MeToo

Fall 2017: when our favorite hobby was watching dirtbag producers, news anchors and celebrities get ripped to pieces. This one calls for a Michael Jackson popcorn gif:

But before Hollywood’s reckoning, thousands of normal folks were using #MeToo to give voice to the stuff we all knew was going on.

Best Wedding Dress I Could Never Pull Off : Serena Williams

I don’t necessarily want to see celebrity wedding dresses that I’d totally wear; instead, I love when they wear gorgeous creations that I could absolutely never pull off. Cue Serena Williams’ giant cloud by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen. You know you look good when your bridesmaid is Venus Williams in a stunning ivory gown and you aren’t even worried about it.

Best Unexpected Gay Icon: The Babadook

Babadook-ook-ook. We watched the movie and discussed it here.

Best Physical Comedy (Political Division): Melissa McCarthy as Sean Spicer

Songs From 2017 That Should Stay In 2017

2017 was a shitshow of a year. A lot of things happened that we’d rather not extend into the new year (or just forget it all happened in the first place). And that goes for music too. Like we do every year, we’ve compiled a list of songs that we’re totally over and for the sanity of all citizens of the world, maybe not be played as much – or at all – in 2018.

Traci’s Picks

Bad and Boujee by Migos and Lil Uzi Vert

This song made me realize that there was another way of spelling “bougie” and it really was one of the most “A-Ha” moments I’ve had in realizing my old age. Other than that, I can’t stand the repetitiveness of the chorus – we get it. You’re bad AND you’re boujee. Congrats. Now play some Carly Rae Jepsen.

Look What You Made Me Do by Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift is problematic, we know this. Here’s just one of the reasons she really gets my goat – this song makes it seem like she’s blaming the other person (Kanye?) for her own actions. It feels very pointing fingers, and I don’t like it. Also, while I’ve only heard the other single, Ready For It, once, I’m not into this new sound of hers. Give me 1989 and Taylor in audio only and we’re good.

Issues by Julia Michaels

This song isn’t even that bad. I just don’t need this kind of downer song playing 24/7 in my 2018 life.

I Feel It Coming by The Weeknd ft/ Daft Punk

I think the real problem is that The Weekend releases 5 singles at a time and everyone plays them all in rotation constantly. No thank you.

Rockstar by Post Malone ft. 21 Savage

“Post Malone featuring 21 Savage” is a phrase that yet again makes me feel old. Are these people? New phrases like “It’s Lit”? Or stores at the local Westfield Mall? Either way, I don’t like this song and it can go bye bye.

Molly’s Picks

Despacito by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee feat. Justin Bieber

This is a great song. Really catchy. Awesome to see a song in Spanish climb to the top of the charts. That said, this summer my parents watched 5 of my nieces and nephews every day, so I helped out whenever I could. During the peak of this song’s popularity the kids kept DESPACITO-ING constantly. CONSTANTLY. No more than 30 seconds would pass without a kid singing “Despacito.” The song Despacito, you ask? Nah. Just that part. Just the word despacito. Imagine hearing children singing JUST THE WORD DESPACITO twice a minute for hours on end. I feel like a modern-day Poe character and Luis Fonsi et al. are … some kind of a bird that says despacito all the time.

Something Just Like This by The Chainsmokers and Coldplay

There haven’t been lyrics that bugged me this much since “concrete jungle where dreams are made of.” Strike one: Books of old. Nobody says that unless they’re trying to rhyme with “gold” or “sold.” See also: strife, only used to rhyme with life. Strike two: the entire rest of it. The whole premise is that an adult man feels inadequate because he reads old books about Spiderman, Superman and Batman and then his girlfriend has to talk him down. A.) Is the narrator a 7 year old boy? B.) Too many do do do dos.

Why by Sabrina Carpenter

Sampling of actual lyrics: “You like New York City in the daytime, I like New York City in the nighttime. You say you like sleeping with the air off. I don’t, I need it on.” Despite all that, young love will overcome.

Shape of You by Ed Sheeran

Ed’s great, I just need a break from this song after hearing it every time I turned on the radio this summer. After a while my only joy in it was intentionally mishearing “magnet do” as magnadoodle.

Believer by Imagine Dragons

Everything by Imagine Dragons sounds like an original song recorded to play in an indoor roller coaster.

 

Best of 2017: Throw Your Own #FyreFestival For Under $50

Guys. If I told you the Fyre Festival debacle was THIS YEAR, would you believe me? Well, it’s true. Not only is America’s government a shitshow, but that dumpster fire bled onto a brand new musical festival that turned into one of the biggest jokes of the year.

But if you want to celebrate the end of the year with your own fest, here’s a way to recreate the Fyre Festival for UNDER $50! Don’t say we never gave you anything.


Throw Your Own #FyreFestival For Under $50

Imagine Coachella. Now imagine a more upscale version of it, promoted with the ritzy allure of a pricey island getaway. Got it? That’s what attendees of the inaugural Fyre Festival were expecting. Okay, now imagine the Tom Hanks movie Castaway, except with crowds and feral dogs. That’s what attendees got. Price tag? A cool $12,000. If you’re confused but intrigued, welcome to the club.

It all started in late 2016, when rapper Ja Rule began promoting a new “boutique, luxury festival” in the Bahamas. 400 “influencers” were compensated for promoting the fledgling festival on Instagram.

There was supposed to be music, boats, models on boats, jet skis, models on jet skis, a friendly island pig, snorkling through shipwrecks, gourmet chef tents, workouts on the beach, and workouts on the beach with models.

The reality:

If you’re watching from home and wonder if you could through an even cheaper version of the Fyre Festival, the answer is yes. Here’s how you can recreate the experience at home:

Venue: Your Backyard
Cost: Free

Sure, it’s not as flashy as the Bahamas, but to be fair it looks like nobody is really enjoying the Bahamas at this festival anyway.

 

Wildlife: Feral Dogs
Cost: Free

It’s probably hard to find and wrangle feral dogs, but if you want to find a plain old mean dog I know just the thing. Based on my experience, all you have to do is walk your mild-mannered dog down a residential street on a nice day. At least one dirtbag dog will come charging out of its house at you. Grab it. That dog is coming to the festival.

Dinner: A Sad Cheese Sandwich With Lettuce Pile
Cost: $5-10

Guests were promised custom chef-created meals and actually received a sad piece of American cheese on soggy bread next to some naked salad. We got this. You can get a pack of American cheese and a loaf of cruddy bread at the dollar store for a buck each. (I bake my own bread for less than a dollar a loaf, but that’s too nice for our purposes). A head of romaine and a few beefsteak tomatoes later, you’ve got a meal, sort of. By my estimate you could serve ten people this ‘dinner’ for a grand total of about $5-7, with the price only increasing slightly the more people you add.

Atmosphere: Some Garbage and Fire
Cost: Free

Because I guess there are just piles of garbage everywhere? Probably also bees. Just leave an open soda out, the bees will come.

True to the festival’s name, things are on fire.

Bathrooms: Pee Everywhere
Cost: Free

We are told there is pee everywhere, so.

Best of 2017: What I Think Happens In The Fast And The Furious Franchise (I Haven’t Watched It)

Another year almost gone; another year in which neither of us has seen a Fast And The Furious movie. However, that doesn’t stop Traci’s wild conjecture about what possibly… probably happens in every single film in the series. Click on to read the full post!

What I Think Happens In The Fast And The Furious Franchise (I Haven’t Watched It)

The Fast and The Furious (2001)

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

Best of 2017: Pop Culture Blind Spot: Hocus Pocus

Milestone moment: over 20 years after its release, Traci finally watched Hocus Pocus — so you can stop telling her she missed her whole childhood. But is Hocus Pocus actually good if you first watch it in your 30s, or do you love it because you loved it as a 7 year old in 1994? Click the link below to read the full post:

Pop Culture Blind Spot: Hocus Pocus 

I haven’t seen Hocus Pocus. I’m an older millennial who was the perfect age to be a fan of Hocus Pocus when it came out, yet I’ve managed to still succeed in life without having seen this “cultural touchstone”.  When I say I haven’t seen it to others of my generation, there’s shock, disgust, and a response of, “You have to watch it, it’s soooo good.” Listen, I get that a lot about every movie I haven’t seen. That’s the point of these Pop Culture Blind Spots. Please stop telling me popular movies are going to be good. Anyways, you want to keep reading after my rant, right? Good.

My knowledge of Hocus Pocus: Bette Midler. Sarah Jessica Parker. Kathy Najimy. Three witches get together dressed in over-the-top costumes to hang out with kids and sing some songs. They’re probably good witches? Guys, honestly, I have no idea. People love it especially at Halloween? There’s always a rumor there’s going to be a sequel.

Actual movie description: After 300 years of slumber, three sister witches are accidentally resurrect in Salem on Halloween night, and it is up to three kids and their newfound feline friend to put an end to the witches’ reign of terror once and for all.

Sooooo they’re not good witches? Also there’s a cat involved? And no idea it took place in Salem, but that makes sense.

 

Questions, Comments, Concerns: A Christmas Prince

Today’s Questions, Comments, Concerns features A Christmas Prince, a Netflix Original Movie that’s really a Hallmark movie for cord-cutters. Mindless, low-quality holiday entertainment isn’t just for people with a cable package! It’s 2017!

Comment: You can tell they’ve got that Netflix budget because of all the establishing shots of New York City.

to be fair they saved some $$ by using the clipart that came preloaded on their PC

On Hallmark, everything takes place in a picturesque small town that’s obsessed with Christmas because that’s the cheaper thing to do.

Comment: “Amber! We’re junior editors! Not writers!”

Dialogue like this is why people think that editor means human spellcheck.

Question: Wait, how can I become a Junior Editor?

Forget that my real rank is above “junior editor.” Amber gets sent abroad to cover a European prince. Nice work if you can get it.

Concern: Netflix spent its whole NYC budget on those establishing shots.

or actually, this is new york’s FINEST diner.

Amber goes into a tiny, empty diner that definitely seems like it’s somewhere in Hallmarkville. It’s her dad’s. He’s a Real New York Character, AKA he has an accent.

Comment: Netflix also spent some Establishing Shot Money on European mountains. Alps?
Concern: By the time they show the lush, snow-covered Swiss? Bavarian? castle, I’m already sold.

I don’t need this to be a GOOD movie, I just need to have a good time watching it.

Comment: Maybe Lead Girl would be a senior editor if she hadn’t showed up to a royal press conference in jeans and sneakers.

non-spoiler: rom-com lady is clumsy. also i have a follow-up question about the white plastic light switch. surely the castle electrician could upgrade that.

Now would be an appropriate time for me to use the terms “slacks” and “pumps.” Yech.

Concerns: Many

Amber gets mistaken for Princess Emily’s new tutor, Martha.

Question: Can we cut to the part where Emily is vibrant and lovable?

On one hand, A+ for having a child with disabilities as a primary character! On the other, they make her petulant and peevish like that hidden boy in Secret Garden. Collin, was it?

Comment: You know Rose McIver (Lead Girl) from other stuff.

I IMDB’d her because her face was so familiar, and not just because she looks like she’d play Keri Russell’s sister. She’s been in a LOT but I remember her best as the sister in The Lovely Bones.

Comment: We didn’t have to wait long for Emily to get vibrant and lovable.

She’s a cutie.

Concern: My ability to suspend disbelief.

For a split second I start questioning how Amber is pulling this off, whether there are visa implications, the scads of journalistic ethics violations… and then I relax into the soft fluff of A Christmas Prince like a child making a snow angel.

Comment: Cousin Simon’s no Prince Richard, but could still get it.

Richard though.

Concern: Male primogeniture, boo.

Princess Emily isn’t in line for the throne and I’m having S1 Downton Abbey flashbacks.

Comment: The cell phone sticking up out of Amber’s back pocket is honestly some of the most realistic costuming I’ve seen.
Concern: We have competition.

Meet Lady Sophia, a hussy in a red dress. You can tell she’s a hussy by the red dress. I don’t make the rules.

Question: Do we know for absolutely sure that Princess Emily’s not a Little Girl Ghost (TM Joey Tribbiani)?

Emily discovers Amber’s true identity and barters to keep Amber’s secret as long as she writes the truth about Richard. Emily says knows because she sneaked into Amber’s unsecured computer, but she seems awfully British and all-knowing …  like a Little Girl Ghost.

Comment: I want Emily the Little Girl Ghost to get a friend who is a child.
Concern: Amber takes Emily sledding

I definitely think that children with disabilities should be encouraged to do anything other kids do (with necessary modifications and safety supports) but I just feel like Amber should’ve at least Googled if it was fine.

[It was fine, by the way.]

Comment: Horse stuff.

There was an equistrian sequence, but we all already knew that going into this. Richard chases off wolves in a page straight out of the Beauty and the Beast storyboards, then they retreat to Gaston’s lounge.

Concern: Prince Rick looks good in a turtleneck.

I don’t hate turtlenecks but it’s such a specific man who can pull it off, right? I know Amber agrees because they almost kiss in a beautiful barn. I could pay off my student loans selling reclaimed wood from this barn. And those are law school loans, ok.

Question: Do they put Christmas lights on actual castles?

Genuine question. I love them but bet royals think they’re naff.

Comment: Prince Richard is a fake!! Prince Richard is a fake!!

Well not FAKE, but he was adopted into the royal family in 1990. I assume there’s a rule about that in most royal families? Also with the giant age gap between Richard and Emily, I like to think this is one of those fake adoptions, like when old-Hollywood actresses would get pregnant, disappear for a year, then “adopt” a baby.

Concern: I was surprised by a plot twist in A Christmas Prince.

I never get surprised in Hallmark movies. Advantage: Netflix.

Amber’s so shocked that she uses the words “gosh” and “freaking.”

Comment: I love Amber’s bedroom with the Christmas tree.

When I was a kid, sometimes I used to pretend I was princess Anastasia and had a room like that. Yes, I know it’s actually Grand Duchess. Yes, I willfully ignored the unpleasant imprisonment and execution angles.

Comment: Richard’s so British (or whatever… Genovian?) he pronounces Sophia “Sophier.”
Comment: Amber wears her converse with her formal outfit…

Just like every group of groomsmen in wedding photos, c. 2010.

Question: Do princes really have a wedding ceremony to their country?

That’s more or less what Richard has. Objections and everything. Reminds me of when Dennis Rodman married himself (I’m old).

Comment: Mean Sophier’s objection was the adoption thing, clearly.
Comment: Richard’s late father hid the truth in an acorn ornament because nobody can be normal in these movies.

My favorite part is how Richard’s dad knew this would all come to a head at Christmas, and that somebody would decipher the secret clue about acorns, and how nobody would crack open or throw away the ornament before this point.

I also don’t see how a note in an ornament is legally binding. He should’ve just changed the code while he was alive. Easy-peasy.

Comment: Aldovia. The country was “Aldovia.”
Comment: The judge or whatever says “Merry Christmas to all,” which is the most Christmas we’ve had in a while.
Question: Why won’t Amber’s editors encourage her to run a piece on this?

They call it a “puff piece” but it looks like an exclusive, walks like an exclusive, sounds like an exclusive, it’s a duck.

Comment: It’s not a romcom unless someone makes a grand gesture at the end.

Richard comes to NY and proposes to Emily. I’m still floored that she works for a publication that thinks this ISN’T a story. He has neither a security detail nor a press following. She accepts.

Comment: A Christmas Prince has one thing in common with Hallmark movies

…. and that’s a couple meeting, falling in love, AND getting engaged all between the start and end of the Christmas season.

Pop Culture Blind Spot: Christmas In Connecticut

Merry December! This month’s pop culture blind spot challenge: finding classic or otherwise beloved holiday films that we haven’t seen. It’s a tough one for me – I was raised on oldies like White Christmas, It’s A Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street, and kept up with the major developments of the ’80s, ’90s and 2000s like the other Miracle on 34th Street,  Christmas Vacation and Elf. That’s why my blind spot pick today hearkens all the way back to 1945: Christmas in Connecticut.

Short Description:  A food writer who has lied about being the perfect housewife must try to cover her deception when her boss and a returning war hero invite themselves to her home for a traditional family Christmas.
Not only does this sound like a really fun premise, it reads 100% like a rom-com they’d still make today. The difference is that in 1945 talkies weren’t even 20 years old. It would be a rom-com cliche today, but in the ’40s it was a rom-com groundbreaker.
We open on a submarine shooting torpedoing a ship. So this is like, definitely a World War II movie.

Image links to post from the blonde at the film. i didn’t let myself read it before writing, but it’s a lot of fun with some great background on old Hollywood!

Two sailors from the ship have been adrift in a lifeboat for 15 days. One – Jefferson Jones, played by Dennis Morgan, who had an extensive career playing a lot of military guys – imagines himself in a light blazer dining at a bistro table and he looks like a handsome hipster of today. After getting rescued he convalesces in a military hospital and becomes obsessed with magazine food columns. See also, the Minnesota Starvation Experiment.
 
Alexander Yardley is a human Bustopher Jones, and he’s Elizabeth Lane (Barbara Stanwyck)’s publisher. She’s a food writer but PSYCH she does not know how to cook. This is such a good rom-com job! So good, in fact, that I start googling which other rom-com involves an advice columnist who’s winging it. I swear I’ve seen this somewhere else?

It wouldn’t be one of our Pop Culture Blind Spot posts without linking to an article about the house in the movie. Click on over to Lisa’s Home Bijou!

Anyway, Yardley wants Elizabeth to host Jefferson Jones for dinner because he’s a war hero and her number one fan. You will recall that Elizabeth knows jack about cooking. I can’t wait for the wacky misunderstandings! Also in the course of writing about cooking wouldn’t you learn how to cook? Wouldn’t it be easier, writing-wise, to just learn how to cook? Or are all of her recipes made-up craziness that magically turns out OK?
Elizabeth also has a pretend husband and child! This is a blast! And her drapey blouse and high-waisted Katharine Hepburn pants outfit is completely on point.

LOOKS FOR DAYS.

If they remade this in 2017 you know they’d make Elizabeth a food blogger and it would not be as good. Maybe a HGTV-style personality.
Elizabeth’s first excuse to get out of falling in love with Jeff being a hostess is that her fake baby has whooping cough. #VaccinateYourKids
So Elizabeth has this friend John who always proposes to her. Like, it’s a habit. And they’re not even dating or anything, he just proposes marriage regularly and Elizabeth expresses zero interest in him.  Here’s how this convo plays out:
His point: You need someone to look after you. [Note: it’s 1945 -M]
Her counterpoint: I don’t love you.
Elizabeth demurs that it “gets harder and harder to find an excuse to say no.” John counters “well you can’t blame it on your career this time because you haven’t got one.”
1. SICK BURN, JOHN.
2. This is why nobody accepts your proposals, John.
Elizabeth accepts the proposal, but only because she needs a husband and a farm in Connecticut, like, yesterday. Elizabeth’s editor Dudley also needs Elizabeth to procure a fake baby (a real baby that’s not hers, technically), because they’ve already bought his kids’ Christmas presents so he needs this to go off well. If you’re keeping track, so far Elizabeth is a liar who’s otherwise okay, and Dudley and John are The Pits.
Elizabeth brings her chef friend, Felix, along to cook. That’s where she’s been getting her recipes, by the way. He’s German. I ship him and John’s Irish maid Nora. German and Irish? That was an OK marriage in the ’40s, right? I lose track of who used to be weird about each other.
 
Barbara Stanwyck’s waist is tiiiny. Or is it the shoulder pads?

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but bring back shoulder pads 2K18?

Elizabeth coos “oh, John! Where did you get it?” about a neighbor baby he borrowed them, as though it’s a nice table runner or a new coffee table.
Felix puts paprika into Irish stew, which turns it into goulash. B- ethnic humor.
Know what you never see anymore? Tinsel.
Jeff brings Elizabeth a rocking chair because she wrote in her column that she could never find a good one.
HA! Elizabeth tries to answer Jeff’s questions about the baby and she is clearly a stranger both to him and to all babies. Fortunately Jeff is a good uncle and has met babies before. He gives “Robert” a bath and JUST KIDDING, turns out the baby is now Roberta.
[I will say that I have a lot of nieces and nephews and I’m always surprised when adults who can’t deal when they have to feed, change, bathe and generally deal with babies. They’re just little humans who need their necks supported, is all.]
Elizabeth and Jeff have an old-fashioned piano party while she trims the tree. He plays the piano and sings. Girl. Marry him.

John pervs about where he and Elizabeth are going to sleep tonight because it’s supposed to be his wedding night. Except they didn’t get married, so Elizabeth will stay in the guest room, thanks. He pouts and stomps off saying that he won’t sleep a wink. Wow, rom-coms in the ’40s really ramp up the bad qualities in the guy who’s purpose is to get dumped, don’t they? In the 2010s he’d just be too into his work or fantasy football.
A different neighbor drops off a different baby than yesterday, because they assume the new lady in the big house just takes other people’s kids for the day

Elizabeth cooks.

Elizabeth and All Her Guys* go to a barn dance. But in a dance hall. So just a dance I guess.
*All Her Guys = Yardley, John, Editor – was it Dudley?, Jeff and probably Felix.
Elizabeth and Jeff joyride in a sleigh, and I’m sorry but you only do that with somebody that you mean to fall in love with.
I was really hoping they’d bust out the Comedy Rule of Threes with people dropping off random babies at the house, but no such luck.
Elizabeth and Jeff got arrested – just a misunderstanding! – and the borrowed baby got reported as kidnapped after its mom collected it – also just a misunderstanding! We have angled the Tangled Web stage of the rom-com.
Elizabeth spills the beans about her… all of it. Everyone’s furious except for Jeff, a good person. In this pre-internet age, as long as none of these people say anything about Elizabeth’s true identity, nobody would find out, right? Felix pulls a fast one and tells Elizabeth’s publisher that she has another offer, and suddenly they want to keep her after all.
By the way, Jeff had been engaged to his nurse. Fortunately she married his shipmate so he’s all set to mack it with Lizzie. People really were willy-nilly about their engagements in the post-war era, huh?
“What a Christmas!”, Felix giggles.
What a Christmas, everyone.

Little Women (1994) Is Our Aesthetic

It’s December, and our choice aesthetic is the 1994 adaptation of Little Women: earth tones, plaid dresses, candlelight, roaring fires, Winona Ryder’s bob, Meg upstaging Queen B Sallie Moffat in the blue afternoon dress, surprise pianos and a lot of quilts. The production design of Gillian Armstrong’s 90s masterpiece was cozy, lived-in and totally real: you could actually see the March family staging plays in that attic, gathering around that rustic table, or having a singalong at Beth’s piano. There’s also a lot of winter – hence our December pick – and it’s depicted so beautifully that it will make you appreciate the season.

This post is also known by its alternate title, I Have A Real Christmas Tree And An Old House And Now I Think I’m A March Sister.

Orchard House’s Foyer

The moment the sisters call out “Marmee’s home!” and you see the muted stenciled floors, sidelights and printed wallpaper, you feel like you’re home, too.

Full disclosure: my parents live in an 1830s farmhouse that’s almost identical to Orchard House, so maybe that’s because it literally looks like my home.

As per usual, we’re going to point you over to Hooked On Houses – if Little Women is your aesthetic, you need to check out their Orchard House post.

The March Living Room

These shades of olive green! The built-in bookshelves! The brick fireplace! It’s so beautiful. It’s also a great reminder that, while the current iteration of “farmhouse” style is all whites and grays and spartan decor, there’s another path to the same cozy feeling.

Everyone’s Hair

Real-life adult womens’ hair in the 1860s didn’t really mesh with our current trends. Think center partings, snoods and clumps of sausage curls at the sides. Fortunately for us, the March girls are in their teens so their hair is long and loose – it was even kind of a ‘thing’ in the book that Jo didn’t want to start wearing her hair up like a, um, big woman.

Jo even looked sassy in her cropped ‘do, and calling Winona Ryder’s hair her “one beauty” is an evergreen laugh line (I’m sure if she time traveled to the 1860s, they’d have gotten a kick out of it then, too).

Everyone’s Winter Clothes

It can be hard to look cute and feel comfy in dresses during those cold winter months, but it’s not as though girls in the 19th century had another option. The Marches cope with the cold in lots of layers and tons of warm earthy tones — it was 1994, after all.

Some favorites are Jo’s  red ball gown (plus the choker on the black satin cord!)

Meg’s hunter green coat with the big buttons (and Jo’s no slouch in the outerwear department – I think garnet’s her signature color)

Amy’s plaid dress

I always especially loved Amy’s old-fashioned knitted ear warmer and vest (Meg had a matching one – sweet touch!).

Oh! And Jo’s fitted gray dress!

The sleeves and waistband!

If you find historical costumes interesting too, I suggest the Frock Flicks podcast episode on Little Women.

The Dining Room

Bonus: image links to hilarious post from Homeless Monsters about visiting Orchard House

The dining room is a little less cluttered than the rest of the house, but the simple table and chairs and calming colors would easily fit in a Magnolia spread.

The Garrett

The Marches cosplay as the Pickwick Society in their sweet attic hideaway, and as always, something about setting up a space in an attic is so much more comfy, mysterious and cool than the same exact setup in a regular room of the house. It’s all in the eaves and sloped ceilings. You can just see how the girls have adapted and added to this space over the years.

Bedroom Fireplaces When Manuscripts Aren’t Burning In Them

That was not okay, Amy.

[I wrote this piece about Amy March being a total B, and it was 80% in jest, but I haven’t forgotten about the manuscript.]

The Girls’ Bedroom

Pardon the scarlet fever happening in the foreground

I love the red ticked curtains, wallpaper and green wainscoting. I always wish I could get a closer look at that wall-o’-trim. I have so many questions.

Snow On Snow On Snow

In real life, snow is an inconvenience that turns your commute into a risky obstacle course, but on screen – when I don’t have to shovel it – snow is serene and beautiful. The first 40 minutes or so of the movie are snow-covered and it totally works to get you into a winter mode, especially if you want to watch something that isn’t entirely focused on Christmas.

Meg’s Afternoon Dress

Sallie Moffat can go fly a kite. Meg’s chill, forget-me-not blue gown looks way prettier than child labor silk and we all know it.

 

The Opera Sets

Weird or not weird: I wouldn’t mind if my house looked like this opera set.

The Boarding House

Jo March was the original free-spirited girl who starts over in New York City after a major heartbreak in order to “find herself.”

If you weren’t super-poor in the 1870s, this was probably the second-most Bohemian place you could live.

Europe

… Europe being the first. While I feel awful for Jo when Amy gets her Eurotrip with Aunt March, at least Amy makes the very most of her adventure. It’s like the 1800s version of when you went on your study abroad semester and came back a different person (in your own head, anyway). It’s so fun seeing Amy level up in her clothing, like that kicky straw boater hat, boho linen smock, and high-1870s-style fitted jacket.

The trunk of memories

When Jo opens that trunk of memories that spurns her to write Little Women, I always regret my Konmari-Lite tendancies and wish I had kept tangible objects from my teen years.

That Soundtrack

The soundtrack is poignant, spirited and heartbreaking right when it needs to be. I hear like 2 measures and I’m sad about Beth all over again.