Love Is Dead: A Look At Our Obsession With Celebrity Couples

Yesterday, we got confirmation of the rumor we hoped wasn’t true – after almost exactly 10 years of marriage, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner, aka Bennifer 2.0, announced they are getting a divorce. They had been dodging gossip for a while, but like any good American, we denied it was happening until it was slapping us across the face and posing as an actual problem.

Celebrity relationships have always been fascinating to me/the world, and in more recent years, specifically the psychology of why we, as a culture, are so obsessed with celebrity couples. Is it because they are the seemingly ideal, picture perfect, couple where nothing could possibly be wrong? Yes. Is it what our own #relationshipgoals aim to be? Yes. But despite all of that, why does it always feel like we are the ones ‘dying’ when it has absolutely nothing to do with us?

Today I’m looking back at some of the celebrity breakups that shook us to the core, proclaiming in all caps that LOVE IS DEAD and ‘IF THEY CAN’T MAKE IT, WHO CAN?’ to all of the Internet.

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner

BAEs for: 10 years of marriage

RIP: June 30th, 2015 (One day after their 10th anniversary)

OTP Moment(s): The moment when Jen fell in love with Ben, last year’s ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Why are we upset: Ben & Jen were like the All-American couple with the three cute kids, who were Hollywood enough that made them unattainable, but had a certain level of relatability. When they first met, he was engaged to another Jennifer, but ultimately, as we know, Jen G. won his heart in the end. Or not, I guess.

Over It Meter:  It just happened, so it’ll take me a while –

5 out of 5 Notebook Rain Kisses

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Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston

BAEs for: 5 years of marriage

RIP: January 2005

OTP Moment(s): The One With Brad On Friends, any time either of them were on Oprah, that super secret wedding, all their red carpet moments

Why are we upset: Jennifer is and was the beloved star from Friends, and he was the hottest Hollywood hunk that made them the golden couple of the early 2000s. They were a couple everyone was rooting for, so when they split, it was as if an actual person had died from their break-up. Not to mention, it all went down as Brad and Angelina’s onscreen chemistry was palpable in Mr. & Mrs. Smith, leading many to cast Angie as the villain in the scenario and tabloids STILL try to Pitt (pun intended) these women against each other. But the one thing we’ve learned from all of this: we just all want to see Jennifer Aniston happy.

Over It Meter: It’s been 10 years. We’re still a little hurt.

4 out of 5 Notebook Rain Kisses

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Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens

BAEs for: 3 years of dating

RIP: 2010

OTP Moment(s): All the High School Musicals, when they were on the beach, Vanessa’s Say OK video, the last time they walked a red carpet together

Why are we upset: I was in college when the first High School Musical came out, and I’m not ashamed to say I loved it. And I totally stanned for Troy/Gabriella, but more so Zac/Vanessa. I thought they were going to be together forever, TBH. I was Zanessa for life. Then they broke up, and I broke up too. It was sad, and if they ever get together again in the future I WILL NOT BE SURPRISED.

Over It Meter:  Like I said, it won’t surprise me if they fall back in love when they’re 35.

4 out of 5 Notebook Rain Kisses

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Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears

BAEs for: 3 years of dating (why does it seem like so much longer than that?)

RIP: 2002

OTP Moment(s):  Mickey Mouse Club duets, all the denim, Justin surprising a (genuinely shocked) Brit on an MTV special, accepting the Teen Choice Award for Choice Hotties, this whole photo shoot

Why are we upset: I am a Backstreet Boys fan, but also a Britney fan, so when she started dating Justin, I was at a *Crossroads*. Luckily, this was around the time JT was about to do his own thing, so my love for him as a solo artist grew from there, but my love for them as a couple was unquantifiable.They were the prince and princess of pop music, and their coupledom is hard to beat. When they abruptly broke up (What Goes Around Comes Around), not only was it the first celeb breakup (in my lifetime) that was devastating, but it was the first time I thought ~*tRuE LoVe*~ really didn’t exist.

Over It Meter:  Both JT and Brit have clearly moved on, so we should too. But they get 2 rain GIFs only because they were iconic.

2 out of 5 Notebook Rain Kisses

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Ryan Phillippe and Reese Witherspoon

BAEs for: 7 years of marriage

RIP: 2006

OTP Moment(s):  Cruel Intentions

Why are we upset: Cruel Intentions was one of the best cult movies of our generation. I remember secretly going to see it with my friend, whose dad bought the tickets for us because it was rated R and we weren’t 17 yet. I think I told my parents I was going to see Robin Williams’ What Dreams May Come. Anyways, Reese and Ryan were like the younger version of Jen and Brad, and we were rooting for them because their onscreen love was real offscreen too.

Over It Meter:  The best part about them as a couple is their two adorable kids, including Reese’s doppelganger Ava. It’s clear they were just really young when they got married, and Reese has another cute kid with her hubs while Ryan has another kid with the girl from Pitch Perfect.

1 out of 5 Notebook Rain Kisses

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Taye Diggs and Idina Menzel

BAEs for: 10 years of marriage

RIP: 2014

OTP Moment(s):  All of Rent, when he played Fiyero to her Elphaba, just any time they sing together, the time I saw her in concert and I’m pretty sure she was a little tipsy and verrryyy horny for Taye, any time they hang with their cute kid Walker

Why are we upset: This is so cliche, but Rent is one of my all-time favorite musicals, and I spent a lot of my youth listening to the OBC (Original Broadway Cast, for you non-nerds) soundtrack. When I found out that these two met, fell in love, and got married all because of the show, it made me love them even more. I was working when the news of their divorce dropped, and I had to compose my emotions for a few minutes before writing it up because I was THAT emotionally attached to these idiots.

Over It Meter: I. STILL. SHIP. IT.

5 out of 5 Notebook Rain Kisses
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Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams

BAEs for: 3-ish years dating

RIP: 2008

OTP Moment(s):  All of The Notebook, The Notebook audition video, and the ultimate OTP vid: The 2005 MTV Movie Awards Best Kiss acceptance speech

Why are we upset: Obviously The Notebook is considered one of the best romantic films in recent history, and the onscreen/offscreen love story between Ryan and Rachel just made it that much better. We’re gonna dismiss the fact they may not have gotten along on set and just remember that they made an amazing couple. But that Best Kiss tho.

Over It Meter:  This would be 5, except he has a baby with Eva Mendes now, so I guess that trumps this reunion.

4 out of 5 Notebook Rain Kisses

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Will Arnett and Amy Poehler

BAEs for: 9 years of marriage

RIP: 2012

OTP Moment(s):  Blades of Glory, Parks and Rec, Arrested Development, this Gap ad, their “Double A Batteries”, general red carpet merriment

Why are we upset: Oh man. This one hurt. This one hurt real bad. If you’re new to our blog, Amy is deity around here, and just one of the many reasons we love her so much is because, as you know, she’s funny. Will is equally hilarious and can actually keep up with Poehler in the comedy department (watch that Blades of Glory clip). They were up there with like, Stiller and Meara or Lucy and Desi (I just picked refs for 70 year olds). When they announced their separation, I was much like those Twitter users, declaring LOVE IS DEAD. But in the end, like Jennifer Aniston before her, we just want Amy to be happy.

Over It Meter: Amy started dating Nick Kroll about a year after separating from Will, and at the time, I thought it was a downgrade, but I’ve really come to like their relationship, and where she’s at in her life in general – with or without a man. So she and Will get:

3 out of 5 Notebook Rain Kisses

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5,000 Candles in the Wind: Everything I Need To Know I Learned From Parks and Recreation

We’ve come a long way since the pit. From Lil Sebastian to Champion, Rent A Swag to Entertainment 720, waffles to bacon, 2009 to 2017, there was a lot to love about Parks and Recreation. And tonight, we’ll say a goodbye that’s more sad than the Lil Sebastian farewell concert or Ann’s move to Michigan. Parks had a lot going for it: the best actors and writers in comedy, critical acclaim and a loyal fan base. But above all, it had more heart than any other sitcom on the air. The show’s outlook was overwhelmingly positive, and its protagonist was a hard worker with total loyalty to her town, her career and her friends. We learned more from Parks and Recreation than we have from any show since Sesame Street or Mr. Rogers. Dare we say? Everything we need to know we learned from Parks and Recreation.

Friends, Waffles, Work

Or waffles, friends work. No matter. In other words: priorities. Even Leslie, career-driven as she is, knows that work takes a back seat to the big things in life – your friends. And waffles, which in a broader sense you could interpret as something like “taking the time to enjoy life.” Except that I think she really does mean waffles.

Ovaries Before Brovaries

Again, file under: priorities. Parks is about the relationships between a wide net of coworkers, friends, and significant others. If Ben came along and it was The Leslie And Ben Show from that point on, there wouldn’t be much reason to watch. Leslie’s not the sort to get into a relationship and write off her friends. So, the “uteruses before duderuses” approach can be broadened into “don’t forget about your friends just because of relationship stuff.”

There’s also the great way Leslie is supportive of her lady friends, even when it’s tough. It wasn’t easy to accept Ann moving away, but Leslie encouraged her to do what was best for her family. And rather than get jealous that April was moving up in her career, Leslie helped facilitate the move. Leslie knows one of the greatest secrets in life – which is also one of our lessons from Parks and Recreation: when the members of your “team” succeed – whether it’s your friends, family, or coworkers – then that’s your success, too.

Treat Yo Self

You could say that Tom and Donna are a couple of silly geese, but no. They both work hard and play hard. The key to Treat Yo Self: it’s a once a year occurence. You don’t rack up credit card debt because you “deserve” good things, but every once in a while it’s good to enjoy the fruits of your hard work. Like Tom and Donna, it’s always nice to have a friend to back you up, so when you rationalize that you don’t really need those fine leather goods, a still small voice whispers “treat yo self.”

Say Thank You

I have a philosophy about the “sorry epidemic,” that is, the way people start or end sentences with “sorry” when they haven’t done anything wrong. My theory is that in most cases, what the person really means is either please or thank you. Rather than apologizing for being an inconvenience in advance, what they really mean to do is ask for something. And rather than apologizing for being an inconvenience in retrospect, what they mean to do is say thank you: thank you for accommodating me, or understanding, or going out of your way, or being supportive. People apologize for existing when they really want to thank other people for making their existence easier.

No show does “thank you ” better than Parks. Whether it’s the final moments before Ann leaves Pawnee, or April’s tear-inducing speech in D.C., these folks know how to thank the people who make their lives better. Next time you feel compelled to apologize when you haven’t really done something you shouldn’t, look deeper. Do you really want to say please or thank you instead?

Don’t Write The Concession Speech

In one of my classrooms growing up, there was a poster that said “Failure To Plan Is Planning To Fail.” But I also say that “Planning To Fail Is Planning To Fail.” School decor aside, it’s important to not behave as though the worst is going to happen. Ben doesn’t write a concession speech, because he doesn’t think that losing is a possible outcome.

Or maybe the better lesson is this: surround yourself with people who will think that you won’t need the concession speech. Maybe Leslie wouldn’t have won if her circle was full of people who assumed she wouldn’t succeed. Fill your life with the Bens to your Leslie: people who expect you to win, even more than you do yourself.

I Love You And I Like You

The phrase that Leslie and Ben often tell each other is quite endearing and sums up a perfect relationship. But the writers didn’t come up with it – Rashida Jones’ dad did. I believe Amy wrote the episode it first appeared in, and she revealed in an interview that when she was in Monte Carlo with Quincy Jones (as you do), he grabbed her face in his hands and said to her, “I love you and I like you.” Whether it be a significant other, family member a friend, or your daughter’s comedy wife, it’s important to not only let them know how you feel, but actually truly mean what you say. Anyone can say ‘love ya’ as a throwaway, but to add the ‘I like you’ part implies you enjoy them as a human being, enjoy their company, enjoy everything they have to offer.

Know Where Your Money Goes

Okay, on one hand, definitely treat yo self. On the other hand, don’t blow your budget on Harry Potter fantasy camp.

Of course, I would say that, I’m a Ravenclaw.

When You Love Something, You Fight For It

This speech from Leslie’s final statement as she vies for city council is the best summarization of Leslie Knope. “If you love something, you don’t threaten it. You fight for it. You take care of it. You put it first… If I seem too passionate, it’s because I care. If I come on strong, it’s because I feel strongly.” Leslie Knope is one of the strongest, if not THE strongest female character ever on TV because she doesn’t back down. She fights for what she believes in, and she stands up not only for herself, but for those around her. It doesn’t just apply to her career, it applies to her friendships. From making unnecessary holidays to going to all costs to help a friend propose, Leslie will do anything in her power to see things get done. When it came to her relationship with Ben, she was willing to give up her career just to be with him. She said, ‘Let’s just screw it,’ and it eventually paid off. When you love something, you fight for it. As Ron Swanson said, “Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing.” Leslie can proudly say she whole-assed a whole bunch of things.

“I like to tell people get on board and buckle up, because my ride’s gonna be a big one. If you get motion sickness, put your head between your knees, because Leslie Knope’s stopping for no one.”

Time Is Money; Money Is Power; Power is Pizza; Pizza is Knowledge

This is probably my favorite thing April has ever said on the entire series. First of all, the fact that she’s running this meeting is just great character development. I love character development. But no matter how ridiculous it sounds when it comes out, she usually has a point. In Pawnee in particular, there are a lot of randoms who have nothing better to do but complain, like that woman who is always too concerned about her dog and brings up her pooch problems at town meetings. These are the folks April and co. have to deal with and they don’t have time to sit around listening to droll residents all day. Also, pizza. Pizza is always a good choice.

Have Dating Standards

Ok, this might actually be one of the biggest takeaways I’ve had from the show. When Tom said this, he spoke to my soul on a deep level. The fact that Ann didn’t know who Ginuwine was (Ginuwine – is Ginuwine) was astonishing, and honestly, I, like Tom, don’t think I could ever date someone who didn’t know who he was. Speaking of Ann, in her days of going through guy after guy, she often had a tendency to change into the people she was dating. Like Julia Roberts in Runway Bride – she didn’t even know what type of egg she liked. It’s important to have simple standards for your ideal mate, because when you figure out what you want – like Ann wanted a kid – you will most likely get what you’re looking for.

There’s Always Paris

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I kind of want this in a tattoo form but not, because it’s too long. Leslie always has a lot on her plate, but somehow she manages it all. She has time to make binders on how to be a garbage woman but also finds time to make a scrapbook about her “Thoughts on Sam Waterston“. So when something extremely stressful comes her way, like being recalled from city council, it’s important to just take a break from it all. We know Leslie loves her job, but it’s important to take a break once in a while. We get so caught up in the millions of things on our to do lists each day that we don’t actually take a chance to breathe and be present and let go of whatever is bothering us. Your trip to Paris doesn’t have to be Paris. Paris can be your favorite park or cafe or a place an hour away to the middle of nowhere. If you have the ability to get away, even for just a brief moment, do it.

Be a Good Person

When Leslie realizes her job is at stake because of her romantic relationship with Ben (and the fact that they bribed the maintenance guy during Lil Sebastian’s funeral to keep quiet), Leslie thinks it’s all over for her. But Ron, in his vast font of knowledge, reminds her that despite the fact she did a frowned upon/illegal thing, it doesn’t make her a bad person. I think this show overall has taught us that there is good in this world, and you can be part of bringing that to real life. Parks never puts anyone down, it inspires and encourages us to be better. We’re human. We make mistakes. But it’s what happens after the fact that shows our true character.

Inspire Yourself

Speaking of being inspirational, while Leslie Knope herself is a great inspiration to us all, she also remind us that often times, the best person to encourage you is yourself. I don’t think Leslie would be half the leader she is today if she never thought she could do it. Yeah, she has to remind herself at times she can reach her goals (“Hey Leslie. It’s Leslie. Hang in there. I love you. Bye.”) Sure, you can have people like Ben around you believing in you and not writing concession speeches, but when Leslie walked out on the stage and gave the speech (as seen above a few paragraphs), she was ultimately the one to give the impassioned statement. No one fed her lines, she went with her gut and her gut made her win.

Feminism Isn’t Just For Women

I am a goddess. a glorious female warrior, queen of all i survey. enemies of fairness and equality, hear my womanly roar. Also men’s rights is nothing.

Johnny Karate’s Rules for Success

I mean, I think that’s pretty self explanatory.

The Only Constant Is Change

Unfortunately, doppelganger Ron has a point. Returning for one of the final episodes, Eagleton Ron shows up like he usually does, out of nowhere, and gives sage advice, like a traveling Yoda who is easier to understand. As we say goodbye to the gang tonight, the gang says goodbye to each other. Ben and Leslie and Andy and April are moving to D.C., Tom’s getting married to Lucy, Donna’s enjoying married life with Joe and moving to Seattle, Ron has his construction company and family to tend to, and Chris and Ann are already off being domestic in Michigan. Oh and Garry’s the mayor (CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT). Despite the fact a lot has happened for the Parks department in the past seven/10 years, it was bound to change sometime. Leslie was always bigger than Pawnee, and while her dreams seemed far away in season one, we realize that it’s time for her to actually achieve those goals. She turned a pit into a playground and now it’s her turn to bring that same goal-oriented talent to D.C. And this show, no matter how much we love it, was bound to have its final episode whether we liked it or not. But we’ll find another show to like and love. Maybe not as much and not in the same way, but we will. We’ll move on. We’ll move up. And we’ll miss you in the saddest fashion.

5,000 Candles in the Wind: Batman is Crying and So Am I

I hate that I’m even saying this, but there are only TWO more episodes before the Parks and Recreation finale. TWO more episodes before we say one last goodbye to Pawnee forever. TWO more episodes before I’m huddled in a corner of my room, swaying back and forth repeating the name ‘Bobby Newport’ and practicing with different inflections, and crying my eyes out.

We all know that Parks is one of the funniest TV shows that’s every graced our screens, but one of the reasons that make Parks one step above the best sitcom is that it has heart. It tugs at our heartstrings and make us feel the feels, and because we’ve already established we’re both criers here, make us sob uncontrollably as if these are real people. So as we prepare for even more tears next week, here are some of our favorite (not favorite?) moments that have made our eye sockets well up with tears over the past seven seasons.

Andy Sings ‘The Way You Look Tonight’ {Season 2, Episode 16}

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Season One was all about exposition, establishing the characters, and the show finding its footing.  So, the tears didn’t really hit until season two.  April and Andy’s relationship had been building, and by the time Galentine’s Day aired we were all pretty sure they were made for each other. Andy dedicated a Mouserat cover of ‘The Way You Look Tonight’ to April, and I didn’t cry… the first time. But I’m rewatching in preparation for the final episode, and seeing these two at the very start of things really got me. It’s like that part of Our Town when Emily goes back and looks at an ordinary day from when she was alive (IDK, spoiler? It’s from 1938). Things that didn’t seem big at the time were infused with meaning in hindsight. Try watching the little uncomfy, self-conscious look on April’s face right after seeing the scavenger hunt during The Pie-Mary when Andy jokes about April’s crush on him. It’s precious.

April and Andy get married {Season 3, Episode 9}

I love weddings. One of the things I love doing at weddings is looking at the groom as the bride comes down the aisle for the first time. It’s the look Andy has the moment he see his bride-to-be that kills me. Up to this point, Andy is the resident dumb-dumb, and April his Grumpy Cat girlfriend, but in this moment, they’re just a couple in love. And then they high five once April comes face to face with him, and you remember that, sure, they’re a couple in love, but they’re an awesomesauce couple in love. She hates everything but Andy, and he truly means it when he’ll protect her for the rest of their life.

“Let’s just say screw it.” {Season 4, Episode 8}

Leslie and Ben’s “forbidden” romance looked like it had finally come to an end when Leslie decides to run for city council and being in a relationship could put their jobs at risk. But this scene shows just how much Leslie had a gut feeling about her love for Ben – that she was willing to potentially throw her career away in order to get a great love with Ben. Leslie ‘I’m gonna work til I’m 100 then cut back to 4 days a week’ Knope was choosing love over her career. “Let’s just say screw it” held so much more weight for her than it would anyone else.

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*Fun Fact: the store I used to work at is right next to where they built the smallest park, and I creepily got to watch Amy and co. film not one but two eps there through the confines of the window (it’s the two-story building behind them in the clip!). This is the closest I got to taking a pic without the security guard taking me down.

Ben didn’t write a concession speech {Season 4, Episode 22}

Ben: Your victory speech, Councilwoman Knope.
Leslie: Someday, when I’m more emotionally stable, I want to read the concession speech you wrote for me.
Ben: I never wrote it.

Like previously mentioned in last week’s 5,000 Candles post, one of the best things about Ben and Leslie’s relationship is how much they support each other. They encourage each other to go for their dreams, and if it doesn’t go the way they planned, they’ll figure it out. Ben knew in his heart Leslie was going to win city council, and wouldn’t even entertain the idea she would lose. It’s the strong belief in each other that sets them apart and sets me off into tears.

Ben Proposes to Leslie {Season 5, Episode 5}

There’s a chance I was already near tears when Leslie was just looking around that room, and then more when Ben walked in, and then even MORE when Leslie said “what are you doing?” But her reaction – wanting to freeze and remember everything – was so beautiful and perfect and real. And the fact that the ring was in the box from the Knope 2012 button and the Washington Monument? Pow. Right in the tear ducts. Somebody go fetch Amy Poehler that Emmy she deserves, why don’t you?

The Entire Leslie and Ben episode {Season 5, Episode 14}

A lot of my favorite Parks episodes involve plans gone awry. So do a lot of my favorite life moments, when I think about it. There’s something so special about a small, quickly-planned wedding because two people just want to be married instead of a big, orchestrated affair because they want a wedding. So, you know, on concept alone we’re looking at some tears. Then Leslie and Ben’s friends pitch in by making a wedding dress, welding some wedding rings, awaking Ethel Beavers and stealing all of the other marriage licenses so that nobody takes Knope and Wyatt’s thunder. Even Jamm can’t ruin it (did I cry at that part? I can’t remember , but let’s file it as a “probably”). When the wedding moves to the Parks office, and Ron talks to Leslie in the hall, and Donna starts singing, and Ben makes his speech, and Leslie makes HER speech, I watched the entire thing through a heavy veil of tears. I love you and I like you.

Chris and Ann leave Pawnee {Season 6, Episode 13}

The entire Ann and Chris episode had me at a constant tear in eye situation, and then the moment we had been anticipating, when Leslie finally has to say goodbye to Ann, arrived and it’s just as heartbreaking and hopeful as you thought it would be. They exchange simple ‘I love you’, but in their faces, you can tell there’s so much more behind their goodbyes. I mean, just the gif of this makes me cry. And to make matters worse, you know that it’s really Amy and Rashida saying “goodbye” to each other IRL. I have a feeling the finale will be similar.

5,000 Candles in the Wind Reprise at the Unity Concert {Season 6, Episode 22}

After all their hard work to bring the people of Pawnee and Eagleton together, the Unity Concert finally happened. Despite the big act Land Ho! (Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy) being the main attraction, I love that Mouse Rat was the last band to take the stage to perform their hit 5,000 Candles in the Wind, which we last saw them perform together at Lil’ Sebastian’s funeral. But this time, as a viewer who knew the next season would be the last, a song about saying goodbye meant a great deal more. Combine that with everyone that was on that stage – Andy, Ben’s fave band Letters to Cleo, GINUWINE, a hologram Lil’ Sebastian and Duke Silver, who finally revealed himself to the rest of the Parks crew – and Leslie and Ben watching from the front row. It was pure magic.

Ron admits to Leslie he was going to ask her for a job {Season 7, Episode 4}

Does anyone remember that Chicken Soup For The Soul story (I mean I’m just assuming it was from there), where the kid got all pissy at his dad for giving him a Bible for a graduation gift, and stopped talking to him for years, then opened it and found … not sure. A check for a thousand dollars, or the title to a car or something. It was the saddest thing my little sixth-grade self could think of. But even now, one of the saddest things to me is when a person is trying to reach out in kindness to someone else, and the other person doesn’t know it. I spent the first episodes of this season wondering what could have POSSIBLY happened between Leslie and Ron. I assumed it was something work-related, but these two are a couple of softies. They’d never let something like their jobs come between them, it had to be more personal than that. It wasn’t even the conversation itself that got me, it was the idea of Ron spending years thinking that Leslie didn’t really care about him, and vice versa.

April has a heart to (back) with Leslie {Season 7, Episode 8}

Boys crying always makes me cry. So do generally unemotional people getting serious. April acts tough, but she loves Leslie and looks up to her. Like the scene when Leslie says goodbye to Ann, you watch this knowing that this show is about to end, and you’re watching a moment between two characters but you’re watching a moment between the two actors too.

A Little Verklempt: Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special

It’s a good thing I get President’s Day off, because otherwise I’d be taking a mental health day today. The SNL 40th Anniversary Special had me up to my eyeballs in feelings. I knew it would, because I remember how it felt watching the 25th Anniversary Special as an SNL-obsessed toddler teenager. Obviously we were primed to love everything on our screens last night, but here’s what I loved the most of the most:

Opening Musical Number with Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon

Did you start off counting the throwback references and quit because the number was so jam-packed? There were shout outs to Lazy Sunday, Dick In A Box, the Ambiguously Gay Duo, Matt Foley, the wild and crazy guys, Debbie Downer, the cheerleaders, the “don’t make me dance” lady, the Blues Brothers, cowbell, Mary Katherine Gallagher, and a bunch more.

The Opening Credits

The only thing missing was Don Pardo. Yes, I’m talking about the list of people who would appear in the show. During our high school masses sometimes they’d roll out the litany of the saints, where the school chorus would just bust out a list of Catholics. The opening introduction of SNL 40 was the closest I’ll get to a personally relevant litany of the saints. But with Sarah Palin in there also.

The Bass-o-matic

Do you ever have that dream that you’re on stage and you’re supposed to be performing a play you were in years ago? And you worry that you’ll screw up your lines and blocking, and in the good version of the dream as soon as you’re out there it all comes rushing back. I bet this felt like a real-life good version of that dream to Dan Ackroyd.

Jeopardy

ALL of my favorite Jeopardy idiots in one go? AMAZING. From Kate McKinnon’s spot-on human piddling puppy Justin Bieber, to Sean Connery’s filthy misreads of Let It Snow and Who Reads (Le Tits Now and Whore Ads), it was hilarious and – success! – went on for exactly the right amount of time.

Audition Reels

If there’s one thing that makes me verklempt (and there are a billion things, we did a whole week on it), it’s seeing successful people during those little tenuous moments before things started for them. Just the idea that they were living a normal-isn life and couldn’t know how much things would be changing is so sweet. The one that really got me was seeing a baby-faced, slightly nervous looking Amy Poehler. Andy Samberg as a jogger from 1982, Jimmy Fallon looking like he took a cab over after junior high, Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig debuting some of their most famous characters – it was like when you see baby pictures of people you’ve only seen as adults.

The Californians

Everyone I know loves the Californians, and I only ever just liked it. This one was different. Laraine Newman cracked me up, Betty White making out with Bradley Cooper was the best thing I’ve seen in weeks, and even Taylor Swift’s wacky accent and hair-mustache were hilarious.

WEEKEND UPDATE DREAM TEAM!

Highlight of the night, here. I had hoped for a Tina/Amy reunion, or a Tina/Jimmy, Amy/Seth showdown, but I hadn’t even dared to dream we’d get Jane Curtin. Watching the clip reel of past Update moments, it’s really clear that some people are just better at it. They have the right combination of charisma and crisp, sharp delivery to make the jokes land hard. I’m not here to name names of the people who weren’t as good (though let’s just say that everyone I listed was amazing, and I think Cecily Strong had the makings of being darn good too). Anyway, whenever anyone starts the job, I think they should sit in a room and watch tape of Jane to see how it’s done.

[Sidebar: my favorite Jane Curtin story is also a Gilda Radner story. Compared to the coked-out masses of the early Not Ready For Primetime Players, Curtin was always very straight-laced and diligent. She had a stable marriage and was basically just normal. Gilda would go over to Jane’s house just to watch Jane and her husband Patrick Lynch make dinner and act like regular people. Jane felt like it was a little weird, but of course she let Gilda keep coming over because she so loved seeing regular, happy people in their natural habitat. So while Jane Curtin pulls off the stern, ball-busting news anchor thing, she’s a giant sweetheart at the same time.]

The celebrity tributes to their favorite characters was an adorable way to bring back Roseanne Rosannadanna (Emma Stone, who nailed it and looked like she was living a Gilda fan’s dream) and Matt Foley (Melissa McCarthy, physical comedy for DAYS). They were perfectly framed not as an attempt to replace Chris Farley and Gilda Radner, but as recognition of what all fans did growing up, impersonating recurring characters. And of course, no Update segment would be complete without the return of Seth Meyers and Stefan and the land shark at the update door.

Maya Rudolph as Beyonce

With appearances by Garth and Cat, Marty Culp and Bobbi Mohan-Culp, Opera Man, What’s Up With That, the Love Theme from Jaws, and the Blues Brothers.

Jerry Seinfeld Q and A

The audience Q and A is a classic SNL opener, and this one with an all-celeb audience was great. Ellen Cleghorne really stole the show though, didn’t she?

Tracy Morgan

Yes, I shed a little tear when Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin introduced a clip of Tracy Morgan, who is still recovering from last year’s car accident and couldn’t be there last night.

Digital Short: That’s When You Break

Andy Samberg and Adam Sandler are a perfect pairing, and it felt so right to celebrate the many times cast members have cracked up over the years. But mostly Fallon and Sanz.

In Memoriam

Look. I cannot watch Gilda Radner without my heart breaking and singing at the same time. I knew that part would make me cry a bit, and it did. There are some other cast members, like Phil Hartman and Jan Hooks, who were taken far too soon. But I was especially touched to see the tributes to the crew members who have passed on. Next time you watch SNL, pay attention to one non-performing aspect of the show, whether it’s sets or costumes or props or cue cards. The show wouldn’t have made it 40 years if they didn’t have one of the best crews in television. It felt so special to acknowledge their efforts, especially in a room full of performers from all different eras who knew firsthand how important these workers were. It was also fitting to end with a moment of levity, mourning the untimely loss of John Lovitz.

Mega-Goodnight

I should probably watch the goodnights in slow-mo, because it was like a Where’s Waldo of awesome people who I love. The whole night was, really.

 

 

5,000 Candles in the Wind: Pawnee OTPs

It’s week two of our month-long series dedicated to Parks and Recreation, and since we’re in the midst of RomCom Week here, we figured we’d feature the romantic side of this #blessed sitcom with the series’ best OTPs.

If you’re not into the Internet (I’m guessing if you’re reading this, you are), OTP = One True Pairing, or in basic terms, your favorite couple (usually of the fictional sort). Basically it’s the two people (or inanimate objects, whatevs) that you have an unhealthy obsession over their wellbeing together. These OTPs are ones we’ll miss dearly, ones we already miss, and ones that will live forever in our hearts.

Leslie and Ann

I ship Leslie and Ben as much as the next person, but let’s be real, one of the reasons that make Parks so special is Leslie’s independence as a woman. She’s a fantastic, strong, positive person on her own, and doesn’t rely on others to get shit done. But that’s different than enlisting the help of your friends and loved ones. Because of her generous heart, she has forged strong relationships with others, including the love of her life, Ben, and the other love of her life, Ann. Leslie and Ann’s friendship started off kind of work related, but it turned into this beautiful, brilliant, powerful musk ox of a relationship that is really unparalleled with other fiction female friendships on TV. They look out for each other, they support each other, they genuinely care for each other. They’re each other’s soul mates, and not even distance can tear them apart. Ovaries before brovaries, y’all.

Leslie and Ben

Before Ben came along, Leslie needed someone that was as smart or smarter than she was, who could handle previously stated independent woman qualities, and someone who would support her in any dream she dared to follow, no matter how big or how small. That’s what make’s their relationship work so well – no matter what they each go for in life, the other is right by their side. We saw it when Ben ran Leslie’s councilwoman campaign, and *potential spoiler alert* we’re most definitely going to see it when Leslie helps Ben run for Congress. Like Ben said during his vows, he had been to 46 cities in 11 years, but all that time, he was just wandering around, looking for Leslie.

Ben and Game of Thrones

I would’ve put Ben’s side piece of Calzones on this list, but ever since they betrayed him, idk if he’ll ever be able to trust them again. Who he can trust are all those GoT folk, like the Lannisters and Tyrions and dragon women and red wedding (I don’t watch it, can you tell?). Ben will gladly defend the show to anyone, since GoT is not just a “fantasy” show – it’s a show that tells human stories in a fantasy world.

Leslie and Joe Biden

As early as season two, we find out that Leslie has a gigantic crush on our nation’s Vice President. When Ann asks her what her ideal man is, Leslie responds, “He has the brains of George Clooney in the body of Joe Biden.” I mean, that’s just not an answer you hear every day. But it’s exactly the answer you expect Leslie Knope to say. By the beginning of season five, we see Leslie achieving one of her dreams, and meets big Joe himself. The brief meeting is enough to get us to ship Leslie and Joe if this whole Ben thing doesn’t work out (JK THEY WILL NEVER BREAK UP). Ben setting up the meeting with Joe (and also Leslie getting Ben the Iron Throne) are yet another reason to admire their relationship. They just love seeing each other happy.

Leslie and Waffles

Unlike Ben’s calzone betrayal, JJ’s waffles have never done her wrong. Not even a bout of the flu could take her away from her beloved round slabs of dough slathered in whipped cream. At one point JJ tells Leslie she spent over a thousand dollars (at JJ’s) on waffles alone. Some amazing person on Tumblr did some calculations and figured she had 4 to 7 waffles a week. I can’t even think of one thing I eat that many times a week. Maybe coffee. Yeah coffee.

Donna and her Mercedes-Benz

Donna may have found love in season seven, but throughout the series, she happily touts her flings with men. But her longest and most meaningful relationship might be the one she has with her beloved SUV. The above clip is when Leslie accidentally shoots her car during the gang’s hunting trip at Ron’s cabin, and her reaction pretty much sums up how she feels about it. In a full circle moment (and yet another testament of how much Leslie’s friends love her), Donna willingly rams her SUV into a truck belonging to the stupid owner of a van company who won’t handover the vans so that the gang can pick up senior citizens and drive them to a polling place to vote for Leslie. Donna selflessly injured her baby so Leslie could win!

Andy and April

Andy and April are one of my favorite television couples of all time. When Andy says something half-witted or April says something creepy and depressive, the camera never zooms in on their other half making a WTF face, which would be the approach of most sitcoms and, face it, most people. It shows them making googly eyes of affection, instead. Whether it’s Andy’s band or April’s dream of buying a haunted-looking racoon hostel of a house, they have each other’s back,  always see each other in the best light, and encourage each other to make those big crazy decisions.

 

Ron and Meat

Ron Swanson lives on his own terms. He hates government intervention, sentimentality, and fluff.  He calls vegetables “the food that his food eats” and tosses vegan bacon to the ground in disgust. If Ron Swanson had a tumblr – which he wouldn’t – it would be pages and pages of bacon memes and steak gifs. If Ron Swanson had a refrigerator, not only would it be full of meat, but the door would be plastered with pictures of meat, held up with meat magnets. And if Ron Swanson had a restaurant, the whole menu would be meats wrapped around other meats, and you’d pay through barter or maybe gold bars.

Chris and Dr. Richard Nygard

Dr. Richard Nygard is the Cathy Santoni (Full House) or Tino (My So-Called Life) of Parks and Recreation. He is Norm’s wife (Cheers) or the bottom half of Wilson’s face (Home Improvement). Nygard is the unseen, influential, constant presence in Chris Traeger’s life. In 50 years, when a student writes a college thesis about Parks of Recreation, they’ll claim that Dr. Richard Nygard represents God, or maybe Traeger’s inner life. Anyway, Chris loves that damn therapist. As a viewer, you can imagine anything you want about him. Personally, I picture an unlicensed whackadoo who rents the back room of a children’s dance studio in a strip mall, dispensing whatever advice was on Oprah’s Next Chapter that week.

Tom and Jean-Ralphio

If Leslie and Ann’s friendship grew on a mutual foundation of caring for their community and wanting to do the right thing, Tom and Jean-Ralphio’s grew on a mutual foundation of caring for themselves and wanting to make serious bank. And we love them. Tom and Jean-Ralphio are a couple of silly geese who pursue wacky business ventures and speak in even wackier abbreves. But they’re also two people who don’t quite fit into Pawnee culture, yet have these grandiose ideas of what they can turn Pawnee into. It’s like that quote about how love isn’t about looking at each other, but looking outward in the same direction. But they’d say that they’re looking “O.W. in the same direx,” and they’d half-sing it, and they’d be looking at a Baby Gucci wholesale outlet they built on the Eagleton-Pawnee border.

Lil’ Sebastian and The City of Pawnee

Every hometown has those weird cultural quirks that you can only truly understand if you’re from there. Ours, for instance, had a long-running waterfall laser light show about a man who died in that very waterfall while attempting to jump it with his pet bear (the bear lived). So you might think that Pawnee’s adoration for Lil’ Sebastian is over the top, until you realize that your city has its own weird obsessions. I swear, Leslie could have dined out for years on getting Lil’ Sebastian for the Harvest Festival. Even meat doesn’t make Ron smile as big as he did when surprised with a Lil’ Sebastian sighting. And that miniature horse’s funeral was a sendoff to rival Princess Diana’s. Sebastian may have been li’l, but his impact on Pawnee was anything but li’l. I like to think that Sebastian taught Pawnee how to love.

Live Blog: Golden Globes 2015

Happy Golden Globes day, friends! We look forward to this day every year, for a few reasons. It kicks off the start of awards season, it mixes the Hollywood elite with the charming folks of television, there is drinking involved, and for the past two years, our queens Amy and Tina have been the glorious hosts.

Also, if you want to follow along, fill out our handy dandy C+S Golden Globes ballot by clicking here!!

T: I’M ALREADY CRYING AS SOON AS AMY AND TINA APPEAR ON THE RED CARPET.

T: Hi Emily Blunt is gorge but why is JKras avoiding the interview??

T: I am dying over Amal Clooney’s white gloves, y’all. Like when is someone making a Twitter account for this? Also, when Ryan Seacrest asked who her gloves were by she said, “They’re my own.” OF COURSE THEY ARE.

M: YES. You can almost see Amal thinking “this is all very cute, but just so you all know, I have a REAL job.” Except more gracious.

T: She’s so much better than this. The woman wore a Dior Haute Couture gown because, and I quote, “In solidarity with the French people who have gone through a terrible week.” Like, you’re a better person than everyone on this carpet.

M: My over-the-top love for Amal Clooney finally makes me understand how baby boomer women feel about George Clooney.

T: Agreed. And mine is a newer love for her, kinda like the time everyone was freaking out about Kate Middleton and their wedding and I was all WTF she’s just human then I started watching it and next thing you know I’m up at 4am watching it and DVRing every possible special on their matrimony.

M: I tuned in around 7:30 only to be greeted by Emma Stone’s brother(?) wearing a men’s headband (headman-d?) and chewing gum. Queue my memory of our Italian high school Spanish teacher – got that? – telling us that chewing gum makes you look like a horse.

M: Reese Witherspoon is wearing a pretty silver number and walking with real-life Wild. Okay, not sure what her name is. Anyway you know how usually in biopics the actor is a significantly more attractive version of whoever they’re playing? Not here! Wild is really pretty.

M: Please, just one time, can Jennifer Aniston just say screw it and show up with The Rachel?

M: Lupita Nyong’o. Human flower petal. Jeeeez.

T: So clearly, if you watched the E! Red Carpet, Guliana’s love for George Clooney has pushed her to drinking multiple shots of his tequila and now she’s shitfaced. She’s the girl who you can tells is trying super hard to concentrate but is completely gone.

M: Also, Guliana is saying “selfie” like my parents do. Like, you can hear the quotes around it. Like it’s on this week’s vocab quiz.

M: Melissa McCarthy… first of all, beautiful. Second of all, sort of Annie Hall meets caterer or All-County Chorus? Maybe I’ll like it more tomorrow. Hair and face-wise, she’s looking amazing though.

T: Honestly though, as it gets closer to the beginning of the Golden Globes, I feel like a little kid on Christmas Day, but instead of opening presents, we’re opening the pure joy and delight of Tina and Amy.

T: THE QUEENS ARE ALREADY IN THEIR SECOND OUTFITS FOR THE NIGHT! Amy said on the red carpet, “We have about 50 outfit changes and 10 emotional changes”.

T: I don’t think I have seen Wes Anderson before? Maybe? Either way, yeah that’s what he should look like. Even his velour black tie is askew.

 

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or TV Movie

Uzo Aduba, Orange Is The New Black
Kathy Bates, American Horror Story: Freak Show
Joanne Froggatt, Downton Abbey
Allison Janney, Mom
Michelle Monaghan, True Detective

Molly’s Pick: Uzo Aduba
Is it even a question?

Traci’s Pick: Uzo Aduba, Orange Is The New Black
Uzo Aduba all day son. All friggin day.

WINNER: Joanne Froggatt

M: Anna had a hell of a season and all but I never thought Joanne Froggatt would have won.

T: Me either. I lit’rally said out loud: WHAT?!

M: Aw, she seems sweet. So I’m not TOO mad about Crazy Eyes.

M: Yes, Jennifer Lopez. We KNOW. You wear dresses like that.

Best Mini-Series Or TV Movie

Fargo
The Missing
The Normal Heart
True Detective
Olive Kitteridge

Molly’s Pick: The Normal Heart
I should probably watch True Detective, right?

Traci’s Pick: True Detective
For the record, I want The Normal Heart to win all the awards.

WINNER: Fargo

M: So, is Twitter alight with ‘Golden Globes’ jokes re: J. Lo’s boobs? Because those suckers are SPHERICAL.
…and I was typing that her co presenter Jeremy Renner just made one.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or TV Movie

Martin Freeman, Fargo
Mark Ruffalo, The Normal Heart
Billy Bob Thornton, Fargo
Matthew McConaughey, True Detective
Woody Harrelson, True Detective

Molly’s Pick: Mark Ruffalo, The Normal Heart
Because I don’t think you should have to listen to a McConaughey acceptance speech unless you’re stoned.

Traci’s Pick: Matthew McConaughey, True Detective
Oblig McConissance, Alright x3, Time is a Flat Circle, etc.

WINNER: Billy Bob Thornton

M: This is that time every year or two when we all remember that Billy Bob Thornton and Angelina Jolie used to be a thing, and she wore his blood in a vial around her neck. I remember THAT but it’s a crisis every time I have to remember where my phone charger is.

M: If you missed the bit with the “North Korean journalist” and Meryl taking an iPhoto with a magazine so the show could continue… Check tumblr. I’m sure there will be a gif by the time we post this.

M: When they announce Lena Dunham’s nomination, all I can look at is the plate of tiny, beautiful cookies on her table. Oscars are classier but the Globes are definitely the show I’d want to be at.

T: MY EYES WENT TO THE COOKIES TOO.

Best Performance by an Actress In A Television Series – Comedy Or Musical

Lena Dunham, Girls
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Gina Rodriguez, Jane the Virgin
Taylor Schilling, Orange Is The New Black

Molly’s Pick: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
What I really want is an acceptance speech written in the voice of Selina Meyer.

Traci’s Pick: Gina Rodriguez, Jane the Virgin
Remember when Andy Samberg won last year? And everyone was like WTF (even tho I love him)? I feel like Gina is the wildcard this year to illicit the same reaction.

WINNER: Gina Rodriguez

T: Guys, I’m crying, and I don’t even watch Jane the Virgin.

M: I’m not just tearing up I am straight up CRYING. I mean to watch it, if that counts.

Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy

Girls
Jane the Virgin
Orange Is The New Black
Silicon Valley
Transparent

Molly’s Pick: Orange Is The New Black
How have we never discussed our mutual love of Poussey Washington?

Traci’s Pick: Orange Is The New Black
#PousseyWashingtonFTW

WINNER: Transparent

M: So, Transparent winning might be that extra push I need to finally subscribe to Amazon Prime.

T: LAWD THE TEARS AREN’T STOPPING. I didn’t realize this year’s Golden Globes was an episode of Parenthood.

M: YOU AREN’T KIDDING. Again, don’t even watch Transparent. This year’s Golden Globes scores a five on a scale from one to five Crying Dawsons.

5 crying dawsons

M: I even saw St. Vincent, yet every time they mention it I expect to see the musician by the same name.

T: Melissa McCarthy used her fashion skills to take the skirt from an old gown and mix it with that collared white top to make her dress tonight. I can barely sew up a hole in my leggings.

M: I have a shirt where the seams are ripping and I’m like “alright, we’ve had a good run, enjoy your new home at the Goodwill drop off shed.”

T: Johann Johannson (best name of the night, tbh) is from Iceland and for some reason I expected him to come out speaking like the Swedish chef. #typicalamerican

M: Yeah, and I also expect that everything he says will be all quirky and Bjorky. False advertising, Iceland Travel Bureau.

T: WTF Prince? Even Allison Janney was like fangirling and completely confused as to why he’s there.

M: The nominees in the original song category, though! Patti Smith?! Between that and Prince I’m caring way more about this category than I expected to.

Is Common the first person to thank God yet? That’s my favorite awards show trope. But his speech is great! Also, I was listening to the speech but hadn’t looked up at the screen yet, and I thought John Legend was speaking, and let me tell you, seeing Common when you’re expecting to see John Legend is a weird sort of jolt.

M: Joey Potter bought a LOT of hair to wear tonight. Also, I cannot see her without remembering Tina Fey’s story about how she said she was a good tap dancer, and was not. Hope they had a dance off backstage!

T: Reminder that BOTH Joey and Pacey are at the Golden Globes right now.

M: I’m going to need a picture. #OTP

f30c0-photoapr1311154am

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or TV Movie

Matt Bomer, The Normal Heart
Alan Cumming, The Good Wife
Colin Hanks, Fargo
Bill Murray, Olive Kitteridge
Jon Voight, Ray Donovan

Molly’s Pick: Alan Cumming, The Good Wife
I don’t even know what the hell I’m doing.

Traci’s Pick: Bill Murray, Olive Kitteridge
Again, The Normal Heart, all day every day, but Bill Murray is one of those people like Ellen Burstyn that is iconic enough that people will vote for him.

WINNER: Matt Bomer, The Normal Heart

M: YAY! Well, there go the waterworks.

T: Matt Bomer and The Normal Heart haven’t won enough awards, IMO.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy Or Musical

Amy Adams, Big Eyes
Emily Blunt, Into the Woods
Helen Mirren, The Hundred-Foot Journey
Julianne Moore, Map to the Stars
Quvenzhane Wallis – Annie

Molly’s Pick: Emily Blunt, Into The Woods
Amy Adams was great in Big Eyes, but I’ve never seen the Baker’s Wife be so lovable and funny and just fantastic.

Traci’s Pick: Emily Blunt, Into the Woods
I was just so enchanted with Emily Blunt in Into the Woods. I mean I’m always enchanted by her (and J Kras as a couple), but even more so in this film. Like everyone else, I didn’t know she could sing, and mix that with her excellent acting skills, she’s a standout in the movie.

WINNER: Amy Adams

M: Dude, “Quevenjohnny?” NOPE.

T: Yeah, still saying it wrong, man.

M: Yay! While I would have loved to see Emily Blunt win, Amy Adams was incredible in Big Eyes. My only qualm is that it didn’t read as a “comedy,” really. If we want to talk about comedic roles this year, I think the best might have been Jenny Slate in Obvious Child. Just understated and lovely.

M: We’re now at the Little Miss Nepotism portion of the evening (Miss Golden Globe, the child of a famous person, who does nothing).

Best Animated Feature Film

Big Hero 6
The Book Of Life
The Boxtrolls
How To Train Your Dragon 2
The LEGO Movie

Molly’s Pick: The LEGO Movie

I liked Big Hero 6 a lot, but the two nephews I went with (ages 5 and 3) hated it. Like, they were traumatized not by the movie but by the depth of their own hatred for it.

Traci’s Pick: The LEGO Movie

EVERYTHING IS AWESOMEEE

WINNER: How To Train Your Dragon 2

M: I’m of the mind that nothing with “2” at the end of the title should ever receive an award.

T: Ahem *Sister Act 2*

M: Point taken. His eye really WAS on that sparrow. All the awards.

M: I have so much trouble remembering which one is Kate Hudson and which is Katherine Heigl.

M: Jared Leto’s hairline and eyes are so perfect and even that he looks like a limited-edition doll from the Ashton Drake galleries.

Best Performance by an Actress In A Supporting Role in a Motion Picture

Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Jessica Chastain, A Most Violent Year
Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game
Emma Stone, Birdman
Meryl Streep, Into the Woods

Molly’s Pick: Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Admittedly I haven’t seen A Most Violent Year, so Jessica Chastain could be a dark horse here.

Traci’s Pick: Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
This gal has been racking up awards this season, so unless Meryl pulls a Meryl, Patricia’s got this in the bag.

WINNER: Patricia Arquette

M: Whenever a celebrity thanks their kids, their names just sound like random sounds.

T: Patricia Arquette also has odd yet not Banjo odd kid names. Ugh, celebrities.

M: Yeah, not like fruit name-odd. Hey, everyone. As in all things, when naming a human being, be more like Meryl, Tina and Amy.

T: I just watched The Skeleton Twins the other day, and if you haven’t seen it yet, I suggest you put it on your Netflix queue. Bill and Kristen are delightful and will make you laugh and cry. Who doesn’t want that in their life?

M: Seconded. It’s the perfect mix of laughing and crying. Joke with a tiny target audience: ” Kristen Wiig graduated from Brighton but she’s looking more Aquinas tonight… RIGHT?” (See, Kristen Wiig is from our hometown, and everyone at our high school was really tan all the time, whereas her school… Whatever. She’s TAN. OKAY?)

T: CLASSIC AQ V. BRIGHTON JOKE.

Best Screenplay – Motion Picture

Birdman
Boyhood
Gone Girl
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game

Molly’s Pick: The Imitation Game

Traci’s Pick: Birdman
I haven’t seen Birdman, but sure, they’ve been winning a lot, so add this one to the trophy case too.

WINNER: Birdman

T: Oh my, Alejandro Inarritu’s accent is fantastic. He did the thing where people add an ‘s’ to the end of words, like “Thank you to Amy Ryans”. So glad he’s a frontrunner so we can experience more of his speeches in the next few months.

M: My favorite use of the superfluous S is in the movie Selena, because screw it, let’s just keep dating ourselves here. Selenasssss.

M: I was going to write something about Lily Tomlin but I put my cursor down and the only words I could form were LILY TOMLIN. Lily Tomlin. I feel about my childhood comedy heroes the way other people feel about Mr. Rogers or their first really great teacher.

T: Jane Fonda – proving her workout videos actually work since 1982.

Best Performance by an Actor In A Television Series – Comedy Or Musical

Louis C.K., Louie
Don Cheadle, House of Lies
Ricky Gervais, Derek
William H. Macy, Shameless
Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent

Molly’s Pick: Louis C.K., Louie
Wishful predicting: I expect to be bored for about half of this show and think a speech from Louis would really liven things up.

Traci’s Pick: Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent
On my list of ‘shows I should probably watch during the summer hiatus’

WINNER: Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent

T: HERE COME THE WATERWORKS AGAIN.

M: Ha. I was just going to ask how you were holding up. Me too.

T: So the announcer took a struggle bus to say those guys’ names who won the Best Foreign Film award.

M: it’s like when a kid from the slow reading group would get called on to read aloud in elementary school. Cringe city.

T: You know that feeling when someone goes up to a microphone and they start talking and you get a feeling that they’re about to say something cringe-worthy and you just grip your seat hoping it doesn’t become embarrassing? Yeah, that was me with Maggie Gyllenhaal.

Best Television Series – Drama

The Affair
Downton Abbey
Game of Thrones
The Good Wife
House of Cards

Molly’s Pick: House Of Cards
I love Downton but Traci’s right.

Traci’s Pick: House of Cards
I like Downton and all, but why are we still nominating them for things, folks?

WINNER: The Affair

T: Diane Kruger is exceptionally excited for Joshua Jackson’s win, so much so that I’m beginning to think he’s not actually still with Joey Potter…

M: Nah, Pacey & Joey forever. All my notebooks from 1998 can’t be wrong. It looked like some sort of funhouse with everyone filing in through a mirrored hallway.

Best Performance by an Actor in a TV Series – Drama

Clive Owen, The Knick
Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan
Kevin Spacey, House of Cards
James Spader, The Blacklist
Dominic West, The Affair

Molly’s Pick: James Spader, The Blacklist
How have I seen NONE of these?

Traci’s Pick: Kevin Spacey, House of Cards
I feel like this is a weird category, maybe it’s because none of these are traditional network shows, but hey, that’s where TV is going these days. Anyways, Kevin Spacey is a scary breaking the fourth wall motherf’er.

WINNER: Kevin Spacey, House Of Cards

M: I’ll take your word for it, HFPA.

T: Too QT that Kevin and Kata Mara came together. #NoSpoilers

M: I can’t even figure out what could have gotten bleeped in that speech.

T: “It’s about fucking time?” Purely a guesstimate/wish of him saying that

M: I’d like that.

T: OMG I JUST REALIZED NURSE HATHAWAY IS PRESENTING THIS LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD TO GEORGE CLOONEY. ONE OF THE OG OTPS.


“We all want to be a ‘F.O.G.’ (Friend of George) is that a thing that people say?? Also I feel like George is too “young” to be receiving this award? He’s like 50 something. People that get this award are like the old guy from The Holiday (RIP).

M: yeah, me too! You have to be collecting social security at least, but ideally be likely to die of natural causes inside of a decade.

Wait. The old guy from The Holiday died????

T: IRL, yeah. Last year. Eli Wallach 😦

M: Man. I usually don’t start my Sunday Night Cry til 11 or so.

T: I INTERRUPT GEORGE’S SPEECH TO ANNOUNCE THAT JARED LETO IS SPORTING A BRAID TONIGHT.

M: And he clearly did some kind of texturizing spray or backcombing.

T: WAIT I’M CRYING AGAIN BC GEORGE WAS JUST SINCERE WITH THAT SPEECH TO AMAL. I’M DYING.

M: George seems awesome, but I just wanna hang out with Amal and talk about when the US will ratify the Convention On Rights Of the Child, and nuclear nonproliferation, and what Oscar de la Renta was like. God I love Cool Lawyers.

Best Director – Motion Picture

Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Ava Duvernay, Selma
David Fincher, Gone Girl
Alejandro González Iñárritu, Birdman
Richard Linklater, Boyhood

Molly’s Pick: Richard Linklater, Boyhood
He may not be a likely winner but I’d like to see innovation awarded; just thinking of the directorial process when you’re working on the same story for a decade makes my head spin.

Traci’s Pick: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Birdman
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association always has a tendency to like foreign people, so give it to this Mexican director, por favor.

WINNER: Richard Linklater, Boyhood

M: Dream couple here. Let’s skip the award and talk to the Pratt-Faris family.

Best Performance by an Actress In A TV Series – Drama

Claire Danes, Homeland
Viola Davis, How To Get Away With Murder
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Ruth Wilson, The Affair
Robin Wright, House of Cards

Molly’s Pick: Claire Danes, Homeland
I hope that Viola Davis wins because I love her… But I’m also a proud member of the National Association Of Law School Graduates Who Couldn’t Get Through One Episode Of HTGAWM

Traci’s Pick: Viola Davis, How To Get Away With Murder
HOOWWWW TO GET AWAYYYY WITH WINNING EVERY AWARD AS A HBIC.

WINNER: Ruth Wilson, The Affair

T: IDK if it’s because I don’t really like her character on The Affair, but I’m annoyed.

M: if you don’t get Showtime, is The Affair worth finding an, um, alternate way of watching it?

T: I exclusively find alternate ways of watching premium cable shows.

M: Yes, I’m a subscriber to “my parents don’t even know their HBO subscription comes with HBO GO” myself.

T: Also, this is how Viola Davis handled her night (as did Diane Kruger, which explains a lot). Oh hey Octavia Spencer. Love that they’re still friends.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy Or Musical

Ralph Fiennes, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Michael Keaton, Birdman
Bill Murray, St. Vincent
Joaquin Phoenix, Inherent Vice
Christoph Waltz, Big Eyes

Molly’s Pick: Michael Keaton, Birdman
Everyone I know who saw it is either super into Birdman or super NOT into it, but I’ve heard overall positive reviews of Keaton.

Traci’s Pick: Michael Keaton, Birdman

A guy who played Batman IRL playing a fake actor who was famous for playing a super hero? Yeah, it’s about time he win a Golden Globe.

WINNER: Michael Keaton, Birdman

M: Is E Michael Keaton’s SL? Everyone’s eyes are saying “I have no clue what is happening.”

Best Motion Picture – Comedy Or Musical

Birdman
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Into the Woods
Pride
St. Vincent

Molly’s Pick: St. Vincent
Taking the middle approach between Birdman (likely winner) and Into The Woods (crowd pleaser). Besides, I really enjoyed this one.

Traci’s Pick: Birdman
Again, haven’t seen this, but I’m assuming the HFPA loves it.

WINNER: The Grand Budapest Hotel

T: Whoa. Grand Budapest Hotel coming in from behind! (That’s what she said) AND homeboy has a speech prepared. Also that movie’s cast is apparently a total sausage fest.

M: I liked Grand Budapest, I mean it was fine, but I think I like when Wes Anderson works in a smaller scope (see, eg, Moonrise Kingdom).

M: Does Matthew McConaughey always speak like a VoiceOver of Civil War soldier reading an old letter in a Ken Burns documentary?

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama

Jennifer Aniston, Cake
Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon, Wild

Molly’s Pick: Jennifer Aniston, Cake.
I can’t decide whether to pick who SHOULD win, who WILL win, or whose win would really make me happy based on what I’m Netflix binging. So, Jennifer Aniston.

Traci’s Pick: Julianne Moore, Still Alice
I’m afraid to watch Julianne Moore play a woman with alzheimer’s because it’s probably going to make me super sad, but I love her and she deserves this.

WINNER: Julianne Moore, Still Alice

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama

Steve Carell, Foxcatcher
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler
David Oyelowo, Selma
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

Molly’s Pick: Steve Carell, Foxcatcher
Holy NOT Michael Scott. But hey, maybe David Oyelowo?

Traci’s Pick: Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything
TBH, my choice is Steve Carell in Foxcatcher, because he was creepy as hellll and the polar opposite of everything you’ve seen him in. But Eddie Redmayne did the same thing, so he should win too.

WINNER: Eddie Redmayne

T: ‘Wow, what a category’ – Gwyneth Paltrow. Just gonna leave that there.

T: “How much are we gonna miss Amy and Tina” – Queen Meryl about Queens Tina and Amy’s last time hosting the Golden Globes. They still didn’t get enough air time, TBH.

M: I don’t know if I’m just greedy or what, but it seemed like even less this year.

T: Tina and Amy have been drinking since 10am this morning, let’s be real. Also if we’re being real, that Cho North Korea gag went on for too long. It also provided for less Tina/Amy time.

M: yes! I love her, but at an awards show I want quips, not gags.

Best Motion Picture – Drama

Boyhood
Foxcatcher
The Imitation Game
Selma
The Theory of Everything

Molly’s Pick: Boyhood
Well, it’s what I want to win, anyway.

Traci’s Pick: Boyhood
If you haven’t seen Boyhood, go right now or get it on DVD or whatever, because it is fantastic and nothing like I’ve ever seen before.

WINNER: Boyhood

T: Anyways, I’m really glad Boyhood won, because it’s one of my favorite movies of the year.

M: Agreed! Also, I’m now realizing that all of the movies and tv I watched this year were pretty lowbrow. Thanks, Hollywood Foreign Press Association!

Thanks for reading & watching with us! Until next time!

 

Everybody Who’s Anybody Is On Sesame Street

I have been waiting YEARS for someone to tell me how to get to Sesame Street. They drop the question in the theme song, but the show debuted 45 years ago today and still nobody has answered it.

When I was 3, one of the kids who hung around Mr. Hooper’s store looked like my neighborhood best friend, and I stewed for days over how she got on the show.

In preschool, Sesame Street led to my first ever wave of nostalgia. On a class field trip, my teacher turned on Sesame Street for us in her conversion van, and I realized that the show was still airing every day without me – when I was stuck playing duck duck goose with a bunch of sticky-handed tots who couldn’t even read yet. Remember, this was 1990, when there were no 24-hour children’s networks or YouTube clips. The only way to get to Sesame Street was to stay home from school.

A few years after that, one of my friends was convinced she was going to be on Sesame Street because of a donation her mom made during the annual PBS drive. Nope, that’s not how you get to Sesame Street either!

And now, as a full adult, I’d like to get to Sesame Street more than ever. Sure, part of it is that it represents a time in life when you could watch t.v. in your pajamas during the day. But mostly, these days it’s all about the guest stars. These clips make me feel as mad as I did in 1990, realizing that Sesame Street dares to go on without me every day:

Comedians Are On Sesame Street!

Jon Stewart delivered the fake, fake news.

Amy Poehler exercised (sort of!) with Elmo.

Ricky Gervais says “stumble” so many times it no longer sounds like a word.

And Cedric The Entertainer makes me wonder whether canteens are more relevant to kids’ lives than I realized. I grew up in the era of juice boxes.

Tina Fey is some sort of a book pirate.

What’s more adorable than Jimmy Fallon? Jimmy Fallon with Elmo. It’s all a bit much  for me.


Maya Rudolph raps, sings and dances with Elmo. Also I think she has a real future in children’s television, if she wants it.

Conan O’Brien does startlingly good dog impressions.

Even Saturday Night Live itself is on Sesame Street.

Actors Are On Sesame Street!

John Kraskinski talks about the meaning of the word soggy, interacts with a non-Elmo Muppet, and is just generally as cute as a bug’s ear.

And he’s not the only cast member of The Office to make the trip from Scranton to… is it supposed to be New York? Steve Carrell teaches us about the importance of voting and snacks.

Melissa McCarthy learns choreography from a penguin with Elmo and it’s exactly as delightful as it sounds.

Jonah Hill is making sure today’s youth are aware of the inexplicable mustache trend that’s sweeping the nation.

Benedict Cumberbatch is just generally rakishly charming, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Tom Hiddleston. See comments re: Cumberbatch, Benedict.

Kristen Bell instructs us on the word “splatter” but does not instruct us on how she has managed not to age since Veronica Mars.

Our hometown hero, Taye Diggs, makes a three-year-old puppet drive him around.

Musicians Are On Sesame Street!

Remember when you couldn’t get away from Call Me Maybe? Well, it even made it to Sesame Street (no Carly Rae Jepsen, though).

Bruno Mars doesn’t want you to give up if you’re the kind of child who is bad at catching balls.

Usher teaches the alphabet and it’s just really, really good.

Even Queen Bey herself made it to Sesame Street, during her Destiny’s Child days.

You may remember this Katy Perry performance because a bunch of parents got mad that their toddlers, who stopped breastfeeding probably under 2 years ago, were exposed to Perry’s boobs. I really don’t know.

Delightful tap-percussioned group Tilly And The Wall even swung by for kids parents who are a bit more into the indie scene.

Political Figures Are On Sesame Street!

Sandra Sotomayor is hanging out with Abby Cadabby,  melting my cold lawyerly heart, and letting kids know that princess isn’t a job.

Kofi Annan suggests that the muppets resolve their conflict “the United Nations Way”; thereby creating a “choose your own punchline” moment for the grownups watching.

Michelle Obama does a little light gardening.

And lest you think Sesame Street is partisan, Laura Bush reads a book.

Assorted famous people of 1991 are on Sesame Street!

We focused on currently famous folks, but Sesame Street has been hosting celebs since before the age of the remote control. This video features a number of early 90s superstars, but if you search through the Sesame Street archives you can find many more guest stars who were on the show while you were stuck in school, wishing for another field trip so you could hop in a conversion van and get to Sesame Street via the grainy tv set.

 

 

 

Yes Please, Amy Poehler

This is not brand new information: we love Amy Poehler. We’ve paid tribute to her on her birthday, we’ve endlessly praised her and her comedy wife Tina at the Golden Globes, we cry at all her Ask Amy videos, and today we raise our glass to her as an author. Her very first memoir/autobiography/life bible comes out today and it has the perfect title for how we view everything about her – Yes, Please. Amy P on SNL? Yes, Please. Amy P on Parks and Rec? Yes, Please. Amy P and her Smart Girls, Yes, Yes, Please.

It’s fair to say that we’ve been counting down the days for her book to come out, and our admiration and obsession aside, Amy is an interesting person who has lived a life/lives that I would want to hear about. As someone who grew up from a working class family in Massachusetts and eventually ended up on the most revered sketch comedy program ever to being one of the most beloved celebrities today, I’d want to know about their life, even if it wasn’t Amy. But I mean, it’s better because it is her.

This is the real author’s photo from the book. I mean, come on.

One of the reasons I love her is that in every interview I read or see of hers, she manages to churn out not only a hilarious response, but also give out heartfelt and genuine anecdotes. It’s one of the reasons I think so many people want to be her best friend. It’s like the Mindy Kalings or Jennifer Lawrences or Emma Watsons of the world – there’s a certain accessibility to them in which their aura of “celebrity” doesn’t get in the way of you becoming one of their friends.

A few months ago, Amy attended BookCon in NYC and sat down with her pal Martin Short to talk about the book. Martin told the crowd that he read it and the best part about her book is that reading it is like speaking to her IRL. It’s absolutely in her voice, and that’s what makes it so wonderful and honest.

As for Amy, she described Yes, Please as a book that doesn’t divulge tooo much into her personal life, and gets away with it by evading the reader with humor. She also says her book is an “attempt to speak to the feelings of being young and old at the same time”, because she’s kind of at an intersection of her life where she feels like she’s lived so much but still has so much more to live. And I think that’s what a lot of people who ‘look up’ to her need to hear right now. It’s not necessarily all about her life and what’s happened to her, but it’s what she’s learned and she shares those life lessons with us plebeians who aren’t worthy to hear such sage advice.

But if any of her past interviews are any indication of what her book’s going to be like, then get ready for one of the best books you’ll ever read in your life. Here are just a few of my favorite Poehler convo nuggets that will not only want to make you read her book, but have you saying, Yes. More, Please.

On her best mistake: “Thinking everything is going to run smoothly all the time. It won’t – things will always go wrong – but it never hurts to be optimistic.” {O Magazine, 2014}

Now that I have little kids, I’m up at 5:30 a.m. no matter what. Sleep at this point is just a concept, something I’m looking forward to investigating in the future. But I’d like to say that I maintain that same sense of play and creativity and spontaneity—of being able to get into a room with people and say, “Let’s waste some time.” When you’re a creative person, even when you’re in a position of power, you still have to be able to straddle those two worlds. Power sometimes comes down to knowing the vocabulary, figuring out how the system works and how to work within it. You need to believe that you deserve to be in the room once you get there.

I like to do things that challenge me and make me nervous. You learn early as an actor that creating your own material is the only way to have any control. Hollywood is like a bad boyfriend. You can’t stand around and wait to be asked to dance. I used to say that I wanted to make great art with people I love. Now I have an addendum to that goal: to get things on the air. {Elle Magazine, 2014}

{In which she schools Neil Brennan on being a woman}

I just love bossy women. I could be around them all day. To me, bossy is not a pejorative term at all. It means somebody’s passionate and engaged and ambitious and doesn’t mind leading, like, “All right, everybody, now we go over here. All right, now this happens.” {Glamour, 2011}

Sometimes when you get too worried about how you look, or about how something’s gonna go, you kind of lose what made you special in the first place. I think that ASSSSCAT will really do that to you, really remind you that things are supposed to be dangerous, you’re supposed to feel uncomfortable, you’re supposed to enjoy not knowing, trusting your partner, and not falling back on the same stuff, and I think that that does that for me. It’s the kind of thing that every time, even when I’m really tired, or I feel kind of burned-out, or I feel like I don’t have anything—every time I go out and do it, I feel a thousand times better.  {The A.V. Club 2008}

“You know when you look in your closet and you’re like, Nothing’s working? I say, give yourself a theme. Rashida Jones and I have a game: We decide for three months how we’re going to dress, like Japanese Executive, Little House on the Prairie, Female Sailor on Leave. A couple of months ago, our look was Eighties Art Dealer: black blazers with shoulder pads, high-waisted jeans, air-dried hair and big eyebrows.” {Good Housekeeping, 2014}

 

If I wanted to give you advice as a Bostonian, I would remind you that: (with accent) “Just because you’re wicked smart it doesn’t mean you are better than me.” {Harvard College Class Day speech, 2011}

We’re ushered to a table in the back of the restaurant, and Poehler quickly orders her breakfast without consulting the menu. “Everything here’s good,” she declares. I place an iPhone on the table to record our interview. “Do you need me to hold the phone?” she asks. It’s not necessary, I tell her, iPhones are great at recording conversations. “That’s good to know,” Poehler says. Her eyes dart around the restaurant, then she leans and whispers, “…for spying purposes.” {Paper Magazine, 2013}

 

Always remember your kid’s name. Always remember where you put your kid. Don’t let your kid drive until their feet can reach the pedals. Use the right size diapers…for yourself. And, when in doubt, make funny faces. {The Daily Beast, 2009}

I would say my interview style is Morley Safer meets Kermit the Frog, with a dash of Christiane Amanpour. And a pinch of Dinah Shore wrapped in the shell of Lois Lane. My goal is to be the Edward R. Murrow of girls.  {The Huffington Post, 2008}

Grab your copy of Yes, Please today!! (we are seriously not even being paid for this we just love her so much}

Playlist of the Month: Birthday Dance Party For Poehler

Today is one of our favorite days of the entire year, and I know what you’re thinking – yet another post dedicated to National Stepfamily Day. Well we’re here to shake things up a bit because today we get to celebrate the birthday of, essentially, the patron saint of this blog, Amy Meredith Poehler.

Amy is everything we could ever want in a person with high celebrity status – gorgeous, hilarious, charming, talented, philanthropic, and an inspiration to us all.

So in honor of the most beautiful, talented, brilliant, powerful musk ox on the day of her birth, we’ve compiled a collection of songs by Poehler or remind us of her infectiously bright aura. And we’re going to do it up just like Smart Girls at the Party videos end – with a dance party!

PS: Shoutout to Eileen and William Poehler for bringing this ray of sunshine into the world.

Molly’s Picks

Sarah Palin Rap: Amy Poehler feat. Eskimos

It’s hard to believe that Amy could gestate a healthy human child while nursing such sick rhymes. However, everybody knows that exceptionally pregnant women make the best rappers. From M.I.A. at the 2009 Grammys, to Amy right here, when a lady is super-pregnant it seems like anything could fly out of her at any time — be it a baby or an iconic rap performance.

Shake It Off – Taylor Swift

Who, us throw shade? Nah. T.Swizzle may have had a hard time understanding that Amy and Tina Fey made jokes about her … during an awards show when they were being paid to make jokes about people … but you know what? I bet she’s shaken off all those hard feelings by now. I like to think that there are special places in hell for both of them.

Back To School: A freestyle rap battle from Comedy Bang Bang, featuring Amy Poehler, Adam Pally, and Scott Aukerman

It’s no mistake that we’re both including Amy Poehler’s signature freestyle raps on the list. I first heard this ditty on a Comedy Bang Bang podcast when I was out running jogging walking in workout clothes, and I swear I replayed it three times – which was hard, because I was exercising so hard  also eating a soft pretzel.

Five Foot Two Eyes Of Blue – Guy Lombardo & Kenny Gardner

Did you know that seeing a smiley face on paper makes you happier? It’s true! That’s why waiters leave smiley faces at the end of the bill sometimes – so you cheer up and pay up. Did you know that dancing around like you’re from the 1920s with fake Charleston moves is also proven to make you happier? Okay, proven by me. But still, if you make every dance party a Gatsby dance party, you’ll feel downright sunny.

If you’re 5’2 and have blue eyes, chances are at some point a very old person has sang the “Five Foot Two Eyes Of Blue” song at you. If somehow Amy Poehler has survived 43 years without that happening, we’re here to change that. Other than that part the song doesn’t really apply to her, as it is a missing persons report for a flapper. That’s how they had to find missing ladies before Nancy Grace.

Protect Ya Neck – Wu Tang Clan

Did you know that RZA from the Wu-Tang Clan almost snagged the role of Leslie Knope? Although it didn’t exactly pan out that way, ?uestlove does have a point: Parks and Recreation is the Wu-Tang Clan of the sitcom world, which I’m pretty sure makes Amy Poehler the RZA of her show. Or ODB, maybe. This particular song isn’t necessarily Poehler-specific, but if we’re talking about Wu we have to include the best song from their best album. Maybe don’t listen if you’re sensitive about swearing, violence, or name-dropping the 90s mall brand Aeropostale. It was a different time.

 

Traci’s Picks

BUTTER: A freestyle rap battle from Comedy Bang Bang , featuring Amy Poehler, Alan Thicke (Paul F. Tompkins), Scott Aukerman, and Neil Campbell

If you don’t listen to Comedy Bang Bang, you should probably start. Host Scott Auckerman invites comedians to his studio and crazyness ensues. It’s really hard to describe, because lit’rally anything and everything happens and there’s no way to anticipate what’s going to come out of the guests’ mouths. But sometimes, there are recurring bits, including these freestyle rap battles. And I mean, where else would you hear Amy Poehler rapping about butter? Yes, butter. Amy Poehler rapping is everything I love about her, and why she is my spirit animal. She seems like a charming gal on the outside, but there’s a side to her that is a hardcore rapper wanting to come out.

Poker Face – Lady Gaga

In the Pawnee Zoo episode of Parks and Recreation, Leslie accidentally marries two gay penguins, and while she is condemned by a lot of the regular Pawnee citizens, she becomes a hero amongst the gays. And when she goes into the gay club, The Bulge, she’s feted like a regular Madonna/Cher/Beyonce and gets wasted and sings Poker Face at the DJ booth. American treasure.

Santa’s My Boyfriend – SNL

There was like a short two and a half season run on SNL where Amy, Maya and Kristen were all on SNL at the same time and it was pure magic. This is one of my favorite Christmas/Poehler SNL sketches and I may or may not randomly listen to it throughout the year.

We’re Not Gonna Take It – Late Night with Jimmy Fallon vs. Parks and Recreation

Sometime during the first(ish) season of Late Night and Parks, Jimbo invited his pal Poehlstar and her fellow co-stars to do one of the earliest digital video parodies, this time for Glee. The two groups were fighting over “sectionals” and an epic sing/dance off ensues. Also, Amy’s sporting a cute baby bump accessory in this vid and doesn’t even act like she’s preggo.

Girls (Who Run The World) – Beyonce

I mean, because, obviously.

TV Characters I Need Back In My Life

There are two reasons to be excited about fall premieres. One is finding out which new shows you will absolutely love (only to find them cancelled three episodes in – seriously, whatever new shows I start watching, DO NOT WATCH THEM. Me watching a new TV show is like seeing a wailing ghost woman on the British moors – it means death is imminent.). The other is returning to your favorite characters again after a long hiatus. It’s like the first day of school, seeing all of those familiar faces after 3 months. These TV characters are what Back To TV week is all about:

Drunk Mellie from Scandal

(Spoilers if you haven’t watched S3 yet!)

Oh, Mellie, Mellie, Mellie. If you are taking our advice to catch up on Scandal before the premiere airs, let’s just say that Mellie hasn’t had the easiest go of it for the past, oh, 15 or so years – but why feel those feelings when you can drink them instead? Drunk Mellie is the absolute last person that I would want “not mad, just disappointed” in me, and she does quiet, seething anger at Fitz so well. She also does loud, explosive anger — and sloppy sadness, and giggly goofiness, and calculating creepiness. Last year found Mellie drawing on the White House’s reserves of hooch and her mental and emotional reserves of bad-ass-ishness. Somebody please give Bellamy Young every award ever – or at least a stiff drink. She’s earned both.

Drunk Uncle from Saturday Night Live

And now for an entirely different kind of drunk – drunk uncle! Everyone has a drunk uncle. If you do not have a drunk uncle, check yourself, because you might be the drunk uncle. The thing is, you get to the end of his rants and you go “hmm… am I crazy, or did that almost make sense?” Like real-life drunk uncles everywhere, Drunk Uncle is confused by and angry with twitter, smart phones, YouTube, tumblr, and pressing 2 for English… everything you love, Drunk Uncle drinks to escape from. Bonus: sometimes he brings along his pals, Meth Nephew and Peter Drunklage. Drunk Uncle is just one of many reasons Bobby Moynihan is an utter delight and a true gem in the current SNL cast.

Tamra from The Mindy Project

Tamra is that coworker who drops random bits of information about herself that you’re shocked hadn’t come up immediately upon meeting her:

She’s a perfect foil to Mindy because, like Dr. Lahiri, she also has supreme self-confidence, and she isn’t afraid to call Dr. L. out when she has to:

 

On one hand, you’re pretty sure a lot of the time she’s just joking around and everyone else misses the point and thinks she’s serious:

But on the other hand, she doesn’t have time to pay attention to every tiny little detail at the office:

As written, this character could be aggravating, but Xosha Roquemore has brilliant timing and delivery and it all just works.

Nick Miller from New Girl

Are you a twenty- or thirty- something who could already be described as “crotchety?” Then Nick Miller’s your guy. Do you have absolutely no patience for people’s ineptitude or ridiculousness, yet somehow end up dealing with it anyway because your friends are (occasionally) inept and ridiculous? Yep. Nick, too. The more Nick hates everything, the more I love him.

 

Like Tamra, this is a character that could be insufferable, but Jake Johnson brings out the lovable in “lovable curmudgeon.”

Gina from Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Years ago, after I jaywalked across an intersection, an elderly lawyer turned to me and said “wow, you must be pretty important.” I smiled and said thank you, head in the air and ego boosted by the old guy in tweed who realized that yes, I am important. An hour or so later realized that that was not a compliment. Gina Linetti would have lived her whole life without realizing that wasn’t a compliment, and that is why I love her.

Chelsea Peretti has been on the comedy scene for quite a while now, and I’m so glad this role is giving her the exposure she deserves.

 

The Bravermans on Parenthood

I love these guys. Sure, some of them can only fairly be described as “the worst, ever” (Sydney, a child), but overall it’s such a realistic picture of life in a certain type of mid-sized American family. The dinner scenes with everyone talking at once and the illogistics of getting everyone into one photo are realistic as hell.

Leslie Knope from Parks And Recreation

I could have had a separate entry on this list for almost every character on Parks. From April, who I think secretly loves the whole world, to Worst People In The World, John-Ralphio and Mona Lisa, to avuncular Ron Swanson, to Andy Dwyer Dream Man, there’s not just one reason I’m already getting emotional about the end of this show already – there are about 15 of them. But Leslie Knope ties the whole show together, and I’m just so happy that she exists on T.V. Leslie is driven, kind, cooperative, enthusiastic, and the best friend in the world — all qualities that she displays to a fault. It’s true that we’d love anything that Amy Poehler did, but mark my words, Leslie Knope will be known as one of the best sitcom protagonists of all time. We’re going to miss her when she’s gone but for now, we’re just glad she’s back on our TV screen sometime this fall…ish.