Playlist of the Month: TV Tunes Scene Stealers

It’s the final day of Back To TV Week, and we’re ending it by really going back to TV with some of the most iconic scenes on the small screen over the years. We know that music can make or break any soundtrack either in TV and movies or even in real life. But when it’s in entertainment, the choice of song can elevate a scene a million times more and evoke emotion that would have never been brought out otherwise. This month’s playlist features a lot – A LOT – of our favorite scenes from TV shows with the perfect background music, mainly because we’re TV nerds and there are just so many to choose from. Here are our top picks – did any of yours make the list?

Sia – Breathe Me

{Six Feet Under}

You’ve probably heard this countless times already, but Six Feet Under has the best series finale in the history of television, and this final montage is why. I swear I binged the whole show just to get to this scene, and it was worth it. If you don’t know, Six Feet Under centers on a family who runs a funeral home, and each episode focuses on at least one death. In this final scene from the series finale, each of the main characters’ lives are flashed before our eyes, showing us highlights from when the final episode ends in present day to years later when each of them are old and grey, leading up to their deaths. The beautiful montage of life and death is perfectly set to Sia’s emotional Breathe Me, and the scene may leave you in mourning, but equally satisfied with the reality of mortality.

Snow Patrol – Chasing Cars

{Grey’s Anatomy}

Remember 80 seasons ago when Katherine Heigl was still on Grey’s? And she fell in love with a patient? And then he died? And she had ghost sex with him? Ok, well the death scene was emotionally draining, even for stone cold Cristina Yang, and Snow Patrol’s Chasing Cars pulled the tears out even further. It was also this episode that Chasing Cars became the unofficial theme song for Grey’s, and used in several more episodes after that including the infamous musical episode. And in a full circle sort of scene, a cover of Chasing Cars by The Wind and the Wave was played in the background as Meredith watches Derek being taken out of his coma and takes his final breath. WOOF.

Tony Lucca – Devil Town

{Friday Night Lights}

Tony Lucca, of Mickey Mouse Club and The Voice fame, is the voice behind this haunting song, which, like Chasing Cars for Grey’s, became the unofficial theme song for FNL. It was used both in the beginning of season one (as seen in this clip) as the Panthers prepared for their first game without Street, and at the end of season one after they win state. It was used yet again in the series finale when the school board decides to keep the Dillon Panthers and merge the East Dillon Lions into their team, just before the Lions have their own run at the state champs. Yet again, all full circle, and yet again all the goosebumps and tears.

Chris Brown – Forever

{The Office}

As a self-professed Jam shipper, the Niagara episode in which Jim and Pam finally tie the knot was v important to me. And this scene was everything I could’ve asked for and more. It perfectly encapsulates why I loved the show in the first place – comedy, camaraderie, romance and tears all in one. First of all, the idea to have a flash mob was conceived by Michael, who saw a (real) viral video on YouTube of a wedding party dancing to Chris Brown’s Forever. He rallied the entire Scranton crew to participate which was even more delightful, but the newlyweds let it go and didn’t let it ruin their big day. Why? Well Jim was his usual romantic self and devised a plan to marry Pam secretly on the Maid of the Mist in Niagara Falls. Cue the tears.

Jim: I bought those tickets the day I saw that YouTube video. I knew we’d need a backup plan. The boat was actually Plan C, the church was Plan B, and Plan A was marrying her a long, long time ago. Pretty much the day I met her.

Aaliyah – Try Again

{The Mindy Project}

Do you remember where you were when you first saw Danny Castellano bust out impressive moves during a Secret Santa dance to Mindy Lahiri to Aaliyah’s classic tune Try Again? Because I do. Fact: Chris Messina truly knows how to dance, and the person who choreographed this scene actually worked with Aaliyah for the Try Again music video. The authenticity + one of the first memorable Danny x Mindy moments makes for an unforgettable scene. And let us not forget when he went all out Diamond Dan for a private strip tease to Lenny Kravitz’s American Woman. Oh also, during S3, episode 15, when Danny’s mom aka Carla Tortelli accidentally tells him Mindy is pregnant, and he looks for her all over New York to the tune of Beyonce’s XO. It was perfect in every way, especially with the heartbeat in the backbeat of the track, encapsulating the life *growing inside of her*.

Imogen Heap – Hallelujah

{The OC}

If you are an older millenial like us, you know this scene already. You know how iconic this is. Especially since Jeff Buckley’s version was used in the season one finale when it seemed like the gang was all parting ways. But in this scene, Marissa was the one who parted ways for good. RIP.

Nina Simone – I Shall Be Released

{Scandal}

Shondaland does music right, and on Scandal, they perfect the use of soul & R&B songs usually from the 1970s and 80s. In what is maybe Scandal’s best episode, titled The Lawn Chair, the Ferguson-inspired storyline features Courtney B. Vance refusing to remove himself from sitting over his son’s body, which was left on the street after a police officer shot him to death. As if the episode wasn’t emotional enough, Nina Simone’s I Shall Be Released pushes it over the edge, and if you’re not in tears by the final shot, you have no soul. {click here for the video}

U2 – With Or Without You

{Friends}

Nothing made us sadder during the run of Friends than when Ross and Rachel were on a break – and that still holds today, even though our feelings about some of the Friends characters are in flux (do I love Ross? or do I absolutely hate Ross? I’m basically Rachel). With Or Without You has passed into cliche sad song territory – think Everybody Hurts – and yet when you’re in the middle of heartbreak it’s like “Bono was right, I CAN’T live with or without you.”

Our Friends honorable mention goes to Groovy Kind Of Love at Monica and Chandler’s wedding. It felt like a left-field choice for them, which led to 12-year-old me developing a head canon that it was “their song” and they used to dance around to it in the kitchen or whatever.

Somewhere Over The Rainbow – Israel Kamakawiwo’ole

{E.R.}

Sometimes I still get sad when I remember that Mark Greene died on E.R., but at least the show gave him a beautiful sendoff. Not so much the brain cancer (although it was E.R., at least they didn’t have him get stabbed by a madman), but the gorgeous scene where he slips into the next world … which is also an E.R..

Fun (?) fact, this episode aired when we were in high school. My mom had cancer at the time and this scene had me weeping because of little Rachel and whoever the baby was. Watching it as an adult, I can safely say that it would have had that effect no matter what my life circumstances were because of the damn ukulele and because this rendition wasn’t yet ubiquitous in commercials and stuff.

I’d Like To Buy The World A Coke

{Mad Men}

 

Mad Men did a great job evoking the 1960s with music – props to their clearances/legal department, and a big shoutout to the genius who thought of Megan singing Zou Bisou. But viewers had to wait for the end of the series for the most iconic musical moment of all, where it’s implied that a blissed-out Don Draper created one of the most successful ad campaigns of all time, I Want To Buy The World A Cokie. It also signifies the shift, both culturally and in the ad world, from the 1960s to the 1970s.

We still miss this show a lot, just so you know.

Hard Times Come Again No More – Brett Dennen

{Parenthood}

Where my music history nerds at? You’ll remember that this one was written by the hot pop composer of the 1850s, Stephen Foster, but it was given new life in the 2010s when this cover played in the season 2 finale of Parenthood, an emotional roller coaster following Amber’s accident, Kristina’s pregnancy and Julia’s adoption disappointment.

My other Parenthood choices, if you’re cool with crying all over yourself, are that final scene with Forever Young and when Amber and Sarah sing the Circle Game, a song Joni Mitchell wrote so that people would cry more (and then Amber calls Sarah her hero, and then later we found out that it was really Mae Whitman calling Lauren Graham her hero, and we’re really fine, I swear).

Make Your Own Kind Of Music – Mama Cass

{Lost}

Optimistic and life-affirming and bleak and cheerful and disturbing and confusing: this scene was Lost in three minutes. I’ll never hear this song the same way again.

Motown Philly – Boyz II Men

{Full House}

Was the best musical moment of Full House when the Beach Boys would inexplicably show up, invite the Tanners on stage, and the crowd would react with glee for this random nerdy family as though it meant something to them? Or possibly when Jesse crooned Forever to Becky at their wedding? Or is it when the girls ruined their Ace of Base cover and we all learned a thing or two about how important it is to practice? Maybe that Lollypops and Gummybears song from the telethon episode?

Friends, it is none of these. The best musical moment is when Stephanie did a pretty good dance to Motown Philly. No arguments. It is.

Bonus Tracks:

La Vie En Rose by Cristin Milioti/Tracy McConnell-Mosby (Edith Piaf cover) on How I Met Your Mother – we continue to be upset over the unfair treatment of fictional character Tracy Mosby.

Make It Home by Juliana Hatfield on My So-Called Life – I don’t care if it never made sense that a ghost/angel was suddenly around for one episode, this was important and we all know it.

Feels Like Home by Chantal Kreviazuk – This is a Pacey/Joey blog 100%, let’s be clear. This was a Dawson/Joey song, but this melodramatic fan video recasts it as Pacey/Joey… just like the whole show should have been. It’s important to note that I ran the Dawson’s Creek soundtrack into the ground in junior high.

#ThrowbackThursday: Austin Travel Guide for Dillion Panthers Fans

Howdy, y’all! If you’re currently in Austin, Texas you’re either loving South By Southwest or completely hating every single second of the week-long event. If you’re an SXSWInteractive person, congrats nerds, you made it through the whole thing. If you’re a SXSWFilm person, I’m sure you’ll get a chance to talk to Robert Rodriguez at the next secret industry party on 6th street. If you’re a SXSWMusic person, remember Uber isn’t going to be easy to take home after the outdoor stage concerts.

But if you’re in Austin and have some extra time before or after all your activities, and can easily answer the question: “What Friday Night Lights season two plot line do all fans consider to never have happened?”, then may I suggest taking this tour.

In 2013, I went to Austin for the first time and loved it. I didn’t go for SXSW, but rather the ATX Television Festival, which I’ve since gone to three times, including last year, when both of us went and lived in a weird dream world of Dillon, Texas and Stars Hollow, Connecticut combined.

FNL was shot entirely in Austin, which is why the series has that true Texas feel, despite Austin not being a small town. Luckily for you Panthers/East Dillon Lions fans out there, there are still a number of real filming locations available to visit and snap a picture in front of. So have fun SXSW-ers, and remember if you’re stuck in the middle of a mosh pit and need to go to the bathroom during Coheed and Cambria’s set – Clear Eyes, Full Bladders Hearts, Can’t Pee Lose.

A Stalker’s Guide to Dillon, Texas

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Howdy y’all! I recently went to Austin, Texas for a brief weekend getaway, for a few reasons. One: I always wanted to go to Austin, since I heard it was the most un-Texas Texas city in the state. During my road trip across the country in 2009, Austin was on the list of possible cities to go, but we due to time constraints (and the fact we wanted to not drive across desert for another 10 hours), we opted to skip Austin, and I’ve put the city on the top of my bucket list ever since. Two: I attended the ATX Television Festival, which is a new festival for TV fans and those who want to break into the industry, and it was full of screenings, panels, and reunions from fave shows. You may have heard about the Boy Meets World bonanza, and I also attended the American Dreams and Party of Five reunions, and sat in on Parenthood and Veronica Mars panels! Not to mention Friday Night Lights. Which brings me to reason three: Friday Night Lights. The show was set in the fictional town of Dillion, Texas, but was shot entirely in Austin. Ever since I marathoned (and obsessed over) the series in 2010, I made it my goal to go to Austin and find all the filming locations.

So, if you’re a superfan stalker like me, and find yourself in Austin, here’s a guide to Dillon by way of Austin.

The Taylor House

6805 De Paul Cove, Austin TX 78723

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The house were the greatest TV couple/parents lived. They should make this place a national landmark. PS: The Taylor, Riggins, and Alamo Freeze are all close to each other, so you can do it all in one fell swoop!

The Riggins House

2604 Lehigh Dr. Austin, TX 78723

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No sign of Riggs 😦

Alamo Freeze

5900 Manor Rd. Austin, TX 78723

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Fun fact: the Alamo Freeze is actually a Dairy Queen. So you can reenact Matt’s proposal to Julie and then grab an oreo blizzard.

Saracen House

3009 Kuhlman Ave. Austin, TX 78702

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Grandma Saracen and her tiara not included.

Del Valle Field

2404 Shapard Lane, Del Valle, TX

The FNL fieldhouse is still in tact and on a random street near the Austin airport. The only thing still up and running nearby are a few trailers – like trailer park trailers. But you could clearly see the football field and the stands, which is pretty cool. The area was actually used for two ‘sets’, with the Panthers on the left, and when East Dillion needed a field, they built the Lions homefield on the other side of the Panthers’ bleachers!

Here’s me and my friend Suz hanging with Riggins at the fieldhouse…

riggs and us

PS: I didn’t just come up with these locations, it’s easily found on the internet – including here!!!

And to round out my tour of FNL filming locations, the ATX Festival also had a couple of FNL events, including an outdoor screening of State (Season 1 finale) and a panel with the cast! The screening, which appropriately took place on Friday night, was great because a lot of the cast members were there to meet with fans and introduce the ep. I got to meet most of them, and I still can’t believe it happened!

AND THEN, the next morning was the FNL panel, where we were surprised by a couple guests:

COACH AND MRS. COACH, Y’ALL!!!!!! I think I may have started crying.Who knows. But you can always bet on me crying. I shared the same air as the greatest couple ever.

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Thanks for the great time, Austin/Dillon! See y’all next time!

Things We Need to Revisit From Super Bowl 50

Last night, millions of Americans tuned in to watch Beyonce take over the field the Denver Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers. The Super Bowl is the U.S.’s most unofficial national holiday, but to me, it’s a free concert surrounded by some football riff raff. But, since I’m not a quitter, and have a bit of FOMO, I still “watched” the game from the comfort of my work office. There were definitely some highlights and lowlights of the Super Bowl, so it’s only fitting that we do a post-mortem on it and revisit a few things that need to have our attention again. And it’s worth noting that surprisingly, a majority of these things have absolutely nothing to do with football.

Tom Brady Lit’rally Missing the Mark

Because it’s the 50th Super Bowl, the NFL had to be all nostalgic and whatnot, so before the game, they had a ceremony honoring the 43 game MVPs of the past. Among them was New England Patriots QB and polarizing athlete Tom Brady. Deflategate and all. First of all, each MVP had to come out, stand on the yellow dot on the field, wave to the crowd then join the others on the side. Tom lit’rally missed the mark and just walked out and waved then joined the MVPs. To make things worse, he got booed by the crowd of Broncos and Panthers fans. I have a lot of friends from New England, so I’m not going to comment (I also have no opinion, really) but I mean, yikes.

Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose

Hey, remember when Scott Porter (Jason Street) posted this FNL reunion pic from one of his football parties and everyone freaked out? I feel like we also need to freak out about this picture of Street and Lance/Landry from yesterday’s game. Dear people who run next year’s Super Bowl (NFL, I guess? lol), stage a FNL reunion at the game and you’ll get a lot of publicity. I mean, not like the Super Bowl needs it, but still.

SLAYDAY GAGA

Believe it or not, there are still people who aren’t aware that Stefani Germanotta is actually a really great, trained singer and not just a woman who wears a meat dress to the VMAs. So for those expecting her to look ridiculous and make a spectacle of the National Anthem were shit out of luck because Gaga showed off her impressive vocal talents and didn’t go over the top with her runs. It was pretty much perfect, so just watch the entire performance again.

Is This Not Grease 2: Live

This fellow’s name is Jonathan Stewart and when he scored a touchdown for the Panthers, his dance involved the hand jive. For those of us who were tweeting #GreaseLive all of a week ago, we had hope Aaron Tveit and Vanessa Hudgens would suddenly appear at the Super Bowl.

That Independence Day Trailer

The trailer for the Independence Day sequel aired during the Super Bowl, and props to the marketing team for this one – the first shot is an aerial shot of a crowded football stadium and someone is singing the National Anthem (a female pop star?) in the background. Then havoc ensues. Too real. I got chills.

Stealth The Wire Reunion

No, Idris Elba wasn’t involved, unfortunately. This Wire mini-reunion is from S2, the dockworkers played by Pablo Schreiber and Chris Bauer, who use a Prius as a getaway car after robbing a bank. So, like, the same thing as The Wire.

Salty Brother

I’m not a football aficionado or anything, but here’s the situation as I know it. Peyton Manning, QB for the Broncos played in the Super Bowl for what could be his last game before retiring. His younger brother, Giants QB Eli Manning was not playing in the Super Bowl, but watching from a box with his family. They cut to the Manning family after Peyton made some kind of successful play, and Eli didn’t look thrilled. Personally, I think he just looks stressed on behalf of his brother, but others are thinking he’s hating his life and jealous of his bro. Whatever you want to believe.

Super Bowl Babies

Just, no. I don’t like this. Is it even a thing? Or did the NFL just make it up? But they got people to talk about it, so mission accomplished.

Live Your Best Life

This guy doesn’t know who Coldplay is, doesn’t know who Mark Ronson is, doesn’t know who Bruno Mars is. Vaguely familiar with Beyonce because she’s been on The Oprah Winfrey Show.

Beyonce and Friends

Here’s one thing I know about the Chris Martin and Coldplay – they must be REALLY REALLY nice, kind-hearted people to invite Beyonce on stage to make an appearance at their headlining half-time show at the Super Bowl, because the moment she walks on stage, it’s the Beyonce and Friends show.

Bow Down Bitches

Beyonce. Shuttin’ it down. Getting the fuck back up again. All day. Every day. Watching on loop.

Confused Cookie

Oh Taraji. She was just living her life, enjoying the Super Bowl as one does, and accidentally thought Coldplay was Maroon 5. It’s fine. She realized her mistake and deleted the tweet. We all make mistakes. all white people look alike anyways.

Gotta Get That Free Pizza Tho

I don’t know enough about this friendship, but why is Papa John of Papa John’s one of the only people Peyton reaches out to hug right after winning the Super Bowl? I’m as confused as Taraji.

 

Best of C+S 2015: ATX Television Festival Wrap-Up

Things that happened in 2015: (1) There was a Gilmore Girls Reunion. (2) We were there. (3) We met Luke Danes Dream Man and we aren’t about to pretend that that isn’t a big deal. Because it is. God bless Gilmore Girls. God bless Texas. God bless us, everyone.

—–

Well, friendos, we certainly had an eventful weekend. If you’ve been following along at home, last week was Gilmore Girls week (read them all here), and besides the fact it’s one of our most favorite and sacred shows of all time, we dedicated our posts to GG in prep for our weekend in Austin, Texas for the ATX Television Festival. Despite the fact our generation has a tendency to use the word ‘epic’ to often describe non-epic things, this our experience at ATX was by far, the most EPIC (in all caps) in the classic sense of the word.

We gave lil’ nuggets of our time on social media, but here’s a little bit more in depth info from what we learned from our jam-packed weekend in TV nerd heaven!

Friday

Within a few hours, Traci shared a plane to Austin with Amy Sherman-Palladino (ASP) and her husband, Keiko Agena walked by her at baggage claim, and Scott Patterson (Luke) favorited our tweet. Off to a good start.Photo Jun 04, 9 20 18 PM

Per usual, we get totes and rando items when we check-in, but this year, Southwest was kind enough to give everyone credit to use towards a flight! We attend a TV nerd fest, and get money back. Perfect.

Bunheads

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Our first panel of the fest is from the Cancelled-Too-Soon category, beloved dance dramedy, Bunheads, which was cancelled by ABC Family after 18 episodes. ASP, Sutton Foster, Kelly Bishop and Stacey Oristano were there representing, as select clips were shown while the ladies talked about their experience in between each one.

First off, this was the first time we had been in the presence of Broadway queen Sutton and Gilmore matriarch Kelly Bishop, so that was a little jarring. Jarring = amazing.

Highlights: 

– ASP threw SO much shade at ABC Family for pulling the show way before its time. But, even ASP in her ultimate wisdom, had a feeling that it might be the final curtain for them before execs gave the official word.

“We had some ideas, but we knew. When you’re on a network that revolves around 13-year-old girls who haven’t menstruated yet, it’s tough to continue stories about life and emotion. It’s not really ABC Family’s game. Maybe that game will change, but at the time, they didn’t know what to do with us.”

Stacey added, “We didn’t have the word ‘liars’ in the title.”

– “She is, as we say in the biz, ‘The Best’.” ASP loves Sutton Foster as much as we do. She saw Sutton on Broadway in Anything Goes, and she immediately wanted to work with her. Sutton, who is/was incidentally a huge Gilmore Girls fan, was already working with Kelly in Anything Goes. But Sutton wanted the part of Michelle real, real bad. Who wouldn’t?

“I never wanted something so bad, and I worked really hard. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life.”

– Stacey originally auditioned to be Michelle’s dancer BFF, but there was an intense dance call, and ASP asked her to read for another part – that of Truly. Stacey also revealed that she had been hiding a secret from ASP and ASP got super mad at her for not saying her secret talent sooner. TBH, I am too.

Stacey: “Amy actually got mad at me one time because she didn’t know I’m a tap dancer.”

ASP: “Not a fucking word! I find out, not from her, but from Sutton, who said, ‘You know, Stacey’s a great tap dancer.’ I’m like, ‘Fuck you!’

Sutton: We were pitching … a duet, a tap-off between Michelle and Truly.

The Final Finale

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Panelists:  Marta Kauffman (Friends), Graham Yost (Justified) Daniel Lipman and Ron Cowen (Queer as Folk)

Highlights: 

– The talented executive producers/creators of the iconic shows came together to talk about how to end a series. Marta said one of the best and most true things I’ve ever heard and believe about media: “Film is a one night stand. You’re married to TV.”

– Since we’ve only seen Friends, I feel like a lot of our takeaway were from Marta. There was no way Ross and Rachel weren’t going to end up with each other, FYI. Something a little different than Dawson’s Creek, which you’ll find out about later.

– Marta said all the scenes they wanted in the finale were in the finale. But if something was cut, she would here about it.

“Every single person I knew – my agent, my lawyer, David’s (Crane) partner – everyone was in the background of the show. So the only way I knew if something got cut was if someone asked, ‘Where was my scene?”

– Billy Dreskin, the unseen guy Rachel sleeps with on her parents’ bed in high school, is actually the name of Marta’s friend who became a rabbi, and he got a whole lot of backlash after the episode aired.

– “The Joey series was something I had nothing to do with.” – Marta making it clear she wasn’t part of that trainwreck.

– After talking about how to create the perfect and most satisfying series finale for fans and cast and crew, Marta ended the panel with this:

“Oh and I have one more thing to say.” Then she stood up and started walking away.

Boy Meets Girl Meets World

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Highlights: 

– We were sitting fairly close to the front, and for some reason we both feel like we’ve made awkward eye contact with Ben Savage and we don’t know how to handle it. This happened to us separately.

– Rowan Blanchard and Sabrina Carpenter are just pure delights. They are wise beyond their years. Someone during the Q&A asked if Ben and Danielle gave the girls advice about being a child actor and growing up ‘normal’, but as a person in the audience to see them IRL, these two girls do not even seem like “child actors”. They’re regular tween girls who happen to be very talented, and seem super down to earth. They’re like the Kiernan Shipka of Disney Channel.

– Michael Jacobs said we’ll find out who Farkle’s mom/Minkus’ wife is this season. And it’s someone we’re very familiar with. Our guess: Morgan Matthews. And Michael confirmed we would see Morgan again. But Cory would know if he had a nephew, right??

“She’s the last person you would believe is married to Minkus. She will be radically different and evolved, and I believe you will love the reappearance of this character.”

– Also coming back: Minkus, Jack (meets up with Eric and Rachel closure is involved), Angela (to maybe break up Shawn and Maya’s mom), MR. TURNER.

“You guys are going to kill me for what we decided to do with Shawn and Angela, but I will tell you that it is right, it is real, and you’re going to have to watch the episode six times before you put the guns down.”

Michael also assured us fans that they have a clear vision of where they want to go with the series, and said, “Like Mr. Feeny said in the finale, ‘Do you mean do well?’ ‘No, I mean do good.’ We will do good for you.” CHILLS.

Sightseeing break

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Friday Night Lights Tailgate

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One of the free events of the fest is the FNL tailgate, where you sit in a parking lot and watch an episode of FNL with a bunch of fans, and some of the actors are usually there too.

Here is Grandma Saracen talking to angel Adrienne Palicki, who possibly made us lesbians for the like hour we saw her.

Grandma Saracen invited us to sit down past the VIP rope, so we’re basically all BFF now.

We also finally met the awesome and talented Sage (and Kim) from Head Over Feels! Actually getting to hang out with Internet friends is fantastic and we had so much fun seeing Sage this weekend!!!

atxhofcs

definitely not photoshopped

But the highlight was when we saw on Twitter from John Cabrera (Brian) that Hep Alien YES, FICTIONAL BAND HEP ALIEN was playing a ‘secret show’ in 45 minutes at the FNL tailgate. AKA the place we were already at. We saw it hoped it was early enough that not a lot of people saw it yet, so we got prime spots. And ASP was there, hand in hand with ultimate GG fan Sutton Foster, who had two cute buns in her hair. Jackson Douglas (Jackson) was there to intro the band a la Tippicanoe and Taylor Too – well he actually intro-ed Daniel Palladino dressed as a 60s guy who then introduced the band. IDK. All I know is that we found ourselves watching Hep Alien (AGAIN, A FICTIONAL BAND) in concert, with ASP in the front row, playing songs like Daydream Believer and a cover of Single Ladies and the GG theme song, during a Friday Night Lights event. It was Stars Hollow meets Dillon and our brains could not. Still cannot.

OH AND THEN WE MET JACKSON

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As a preface, I (Traci) had been to this festival twice before, and this was Molly’s first time. Because of the GG reunion, more people than ever before came to the fest, selling out with like, 1,700 attendees. The fest itself has smaller venues, which I loved about it since it feel intimate with your fave TV stars. However, taking into account the hundreds more people this year, there was a good chance you might not get into things.

Enter: anything to do with ASP. Coffee with Amy was a panel set for 10am. We got there at like, 8am, and there was absolutely no way for us to make the cut for a room of about 80. Rumor has it folks were waiting since 5am. Bitch, please. We weren’t that concerned about not getting in, but the first panels of the day start at 10am, so we had time to kill. We figured we’d wait in the hotel lobby, where not only the panels are, but the same hotel where the celebs were staying.

So there we were, sitting in the lobby, checking social media, and Scott Patterson tweet THIS photo of him in bed.

Swear to God, like 15 minutes later, I notice some girls near us get up and approach some person for a pic and IT WAS SCOTT FUCKING PATTERSON. All my chill was lost, my sanity out the window, my conscience had gone bye-bye and I lept up towards him and was feet away before his people rushed him off to a room.

I proceeded to freak out (Luke is … Luke is #LUKEDANESDREAMMAN to me) and maybe 10 minutes later he came back out and it looked like he was going somewhere so I held back a bit, but then he stopped to take pix with people, and I lit’rally said, “no. no no no. NO NO NO” outloud, and ran over as if “I had been waiting long before these other bitches”. This part starts to get hazy, because I remember his publicist saying he can take pix just don’t crowd and push, and I held back. I held back until I noticed no one moved fast enough and said, “Can we take a picture with you?” and he said, “sure!” and like went to shake my hand, and we snuck in there. A lovely girl offered to take our pic (SHOUT OUT TO MYSTERY PHOTOG ANGEL) and she took it and i felt his back it was muscular (like Lauren has said publicly) and he kind of did the linger on the back but not in a creepy way and for the next 15-20 minutes I couldn’t sit down and felt like I was going to vom and was on the verge of crying, PER THE PHOTO.

I can’t even look at this bc I get all the feels

Actual footage of my brain during this time period:

SO LET THIS BE A LESSON KIDS – SOMETIMES IT’S OKAY IF YOU DON’T MAKE IT INTO A PANEL WITH ASP AND FREE COFFEE BECAUSE YOU’LL HANG OUT WITH THE MAN WITH THE COFFEE HIMSELF. SANS COFFEE. JUST ALL MAN.

Luckily, we had some time before going to our backup panel, A Kiss is Just a Kiss, focused on the LGBTQ portrayals and relationships on TV. The Queer as Folk folk were back, also Dawson’s Creek writer Gina Fattore, Peter Paige from QaF & The Fosters, and moderated by My So-Called Life’s Wilson Cruz. It was very interesting, and we learned a lot, including facts about An Early Frost, one of the first TV movies dealing with the HIV/AIDS dilemma in the 80s, and we were surprised we’d never heard of it before. On the queue. Also, we had just met Luke ‘Butch’ Danes, so that was kind of distracting.

Empire

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The Empire: Creatives panel featured writer/co-creator Danny Strong (yes, Doyle) and Wendy Calhoun, writer. Showrunner Ilene Chaiken was a no show!

– It was Danny’s birthday and he offered to give the audience a prize: “For my birthday I will be performing Drip Drop.” He did not do as promised.

– Danny on getting the idea for Empire: “Hip-hop is cool. I gotta do something in hip-hop.”

– Wendy Calhoun has an impressive resume, with her latest being a writer on Nashville. She was eager for something closer to home, and turns out Danny and Lee were making it.

“Oh my God, they wrote the black version of Nashville!”

– Wesley Snipes with the OG Luscious Lyon. Negotiations didn’t go in his favor, so Terrence Howard slipped in instead.

– On disagreeing with Terrence about the use of the N-word on the show: “It’s not a documentary about hip-hop. It’s a soap opera set in the hip-hop world.

– Danny playing with us and Jamal’s future: “Just because you get the Empire, doesn’t mean you get to keep the empire. Ohh snap! Rock the Vote”

After seeing writer Wendy Calhoun at the Empire panel, we were so enamored with her that we decided to follow her to the Diversity in Progress panel, featuring Wendy, Power creator Courtney Kemp Agboh, and Men in Trees creator/What a Girl Wants screenwriter Jenny Bicks. In an industry dominated by white males, these three women, two of whom are black, discussed their personal stories of going up the ladder in an environment which isn’t necessarily in their favor.

Across the board, their advice was to just be yourself – that obviously doesn’t just apply to writers. For example, if you’re a writer who wants to go on Empire, but you’re a young white woman who isn’t too familiar with hip-hop, don’t go into the interview pretending you’re basically Eminem and an expert. Because if you do get hired, and you’re in the room and they figure you out – you’re going to get fired anyways.

Courtney talked about how she needed to hire a white woman on her show, Power, but she couldn’t get a single person to accept the job. She offered a lucrative salary, but none of them wanted to take it, because they probs didn’t think they were qualified to write on a show about black people. But her point is that she can write about black people – she’s all set on that – it’s the young, white woman perspective she needs, and that’s why she set out for that type of writer, saying, “It’s important to have the diversity of the writers room to reflect the DNA of the show.”

Other little nuggets:

“Excellence is the equalizer. You go out and you kill it.” Courtney Kemp Agboh

“There’s no diversity in Hollywood, because the only color in Hollywood is green.” Wendy Calhoun

Dawson’s Creek Writers Room

Waiting in line to get in – Molly sent me this book like three years ago, and I thought it was appropriate to bring on the trip for some light reading.

Some of the writers from Dawson’s Creek, including creator Kevin Williamson, co-executive producer Paul Stupin, Jenny Bicks, Rob Thomas (of Veronica Mars fame), Gina Fattore and Anna Fricke, came together to discuss the six-season run of the teen drama (which I finally watched for the first time last year).

The Vampire Diaries’ ep Julie Plec grilling her bud Kevin Williamson and the other DC writers

It was interesting to see this group, since all of them – sans Paul – were there for different seasons and covered such different ground. E.g., Kevin left at the end of season two, and only one person survived in the room (Arrow’s Greg Berlanti), Rob was there for a season, Gina (who apparently wrote two of my fave eps – both Pacey/Joey centered – True Love (season 3 finale) and Castaways (the K-Mart lock-in)) was there from season three til the end.

Highlights

– Kevin Williamson kind of just made up the pitch to the show about his life. He was Dawson, also an aspiring filmmaker and from a small town. He said each character had a piece of himself – except the gay side of him – enter Jack McPhee. But KW was the only person who knew Jack was gay when he wrote the part, he didn’t even tell Kerr Smith. In fact, Jack’s coming out story was based on KW’s own story, and the whole plot with the letter in class was direct from Greg Berlanti coming out as a teen. Also – it’s not a coincidence KW picked to male names – Dawson and Joey – to be the lead characters.

– DC was originally picked up by Fox, but they passed because they were “already struggling with Party of Five and didn’t need another one.” About two years later, a new network called WB (now the CW) picked up the pilot.

– As part of a type of hazing process, one consulting producer wanted to have all the writers pretend they were Scientologists to trick the newbies. #ClearEyesClearHeartsXenu

– “A Jim Belushi character – when that name meant something” – original one-line description for Pacey Witter. KW also said, “I always wanted Pacey to have that Officer and a Gentleman feel. … The whole second season was, as I call it, ‘Pacey’s Pond.'”

“Charlie (Chad Michael Murray) was in a band!” – Gina

“And Pacey was a stockbroker!” – Julie

“Yeah, how did that happen?” – Kevin, creator of the GD show

– Listen, people have regrets. The writers’ regrets include introducing Eve and Pacey becoming a stockbroker. “We were really into the movie Boiler Room,” Anna said, attempting to defend herself.

– Generally speaking, nobody knows what was up with season three. Nobody. They attribute some of the weird choices to groupthink in the writers’ room.

– Andie McPhee was supposed to have a shorter character arc, but they all loved working with Meredith Monroe so much that they kept finding ways to keep her around. They filmed a scene with her for the finale, but it was cut for time. The whole purpose of the Andie character was to make Pacey learn responsibility and grow up.

– The writers thought about bringing Jen’s gramps back to life from a coma – and on a ventilator – in season one, but Paul said, “As the episodes went on, we couldn’t find a way to revive granddad, but then in the finale he comes out of his coma for five minutes and dies!”

– The original theme song was supposed to be Alanis Morissette’s Hand in My Pocket. After the WB used Paula Cole’s I Don’t Want to Wait for promos before the pilot aired, the song became a hit and they used Paula’s song moving forward.

– They tried to rerecord I Don’t Want To Wait several seasons in, but the result was just a little too angsty.

– Kevin agreed to come back to write the final two episodes of the series, and for all y’all against Jen’s death *spoiler alert?*, he says he created the show as a “coming of age story”, and the group had never had to deal with the death of someone in their circle. Her death also forced Joey to make a choice between Pacey and Dawson…

– Paul said Dawson/Joey had always been end game from the beginning. Halfway through, KW called Paul and said he changed his mind. KW: “Guys, my mother hates me. She went to her grave hating me for that.” He added, “Dawson seemed like the obvious answer and once I got into writing the first hour (of the finale). … This isn’t what the show set up to be. Maybe that’s where it started but it evolved and it ended up as something else (DO YOU HEAR THAT HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER WRITERS). I wanted it to be a twist on the teen genre but also wanted it to be surprising, honest and real and say something about soul mates and what soul mates can be. That’s why we did it that way. When you left the show in that last moment, they’re a family and everyone got what they wanted. There was fulfillment and they were all happy.”

Gilmore Girls Reunion

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Ok, here it is. The reunion we had been waiting LIT’RALLY YEARS for. So in a nutshell – the panels/screenings at the fest have tickets that guarantee you admission. They put 1/3 of the capacity online a week before the fest, but because this was the main event, these tickets sold out in seconds. Neither of us got the tickets, which meant we’d have to be in the stand-by line. I wasn’t concerned, because never in my three years at the fest had I ever been turned away from a panel (except for earlier that day when we got shunned from Coffee with Amy and met Luke instead). No one was allowed to get in line until 5p (the reunion started at 7p), but it was complete and utter chaos – none of the volunteers/staff would tell anyone anything, it was a shitload of crazy fans who wanted to get in, and it was also like 10,000 degrees (give or take a few). Needless to say, everyone was on edge. And this is how far back we were in line:

Photo Jun 06, 5 11 28 PMThe theatre is a block up, and around the corner. There were probably like 400-500 people ahead of us in the STAND-BY LINE (I’m horrible at guesstimating, it was a lot). Like you do at these type of things, you talk to the folks around you, you witness a car accident or two (seriously), you get handed free Pop Tarts (LIKE LOR AND RORY’S FAVE)…

Photo Jun 06, 5 33 55 PM… and then slowly the line moves, and you have hope you’ll get in soon and then it gets to be 7pm and you’re practically still a mile away and you start to get nervous for the first time. And then you hear people screaming at the front of the line, and then you realize a group of people walking to the right of the line as the screams follow and you realize LUKE DANES HAS FOLLOWED YOU TO THE LINE AND HE’S LIT’RALLY COMING BY AND SAYING HI TO ALL THE FANS AND THANKED THEM/US FOR WAITING SO LONG OUTSIDE AND HE SAYS ‘I DON’T KNOW IF YOU GUYS ARE GONNA GET IN BUT THANK YOU FOR COMING’ AND HE SHAKES YOUR HAND AGAIN BECAUSE THIS IS YOUR LIFE NOW.

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[Note: we theorized that they would possibly send Scott around first to break the news that you might not get in, then maybe in 15 minutes Lauren would come by and be all “I don’t know, doesn’t look great, guys” then finally Alexis will stroll by and be like “sorry, didn’t work out, thanks for trying.” You know, so that people didn’t lash out at the volunteers instead. In hindsight, they maybe should have done this.]

I’m not joking when I say that it got to be around 7:15-ish (15 mins past start time) when we both started to get so nervous – like I might vomit and cry if we don’t get in – nervous. Every step we took closer to the doors was like a step out of the desert oasis and towards a real non-mirage lake that had been the mecca you had been journeying towards for years. Then, it happened. They let us in – the volunteers were lined up giving us high fives as if we had just finished a marathon. We made it. We made it and we were legit probably the last 50-100 or so people let in, sitting in the back balcony. Far away, but we were there. We made it.

The panel started out with the opening credits of the show, Carole King etc., but the names included all the people at the panel. I got chills then and I get chills now thinking about how everyone in that 1,300 seat theater was singing/screaming along to the song – it was electric. I was tearing up already. As TV fans, we don’t often get the chance to watch a show with hundreds of superfans like you do in the movies or theater. This is the type of place I want to be. Arielle Kebbel, who played Dean’s wife Lindsay, is an ATX advisory board member and came out to help intro the panel. First up, the moderator, Jessica Shaw from Entertainment Weekly, sat down with Amy and the three generations of Gilmore women – Lauren, Alexis and Kelly.

Highlights:

– Lauren was up for the part of Lorelai with one other actress. Following one of the final auditions, the other unnamed woman didn’t have a car so she asked Lauren for a ride. While LG was driving her home, she got a call on her cell phone – from the producers. But she obviously couldn’t pick it up in the event they were telling her she got the job. Could’ve been awk sauce.

– There was another Dean – two Canadian Deans – in the pilot, since they shot it in Canada.

– Alexis was super green going into the pilot, and among other things, didn’t realize the mics were still hot when she wasn’t on camera and in the bathroom. LG made a Robert Durst joke, as if I couldn’t love her even more.

“It was leafing season.” – ASP

“… You mean ‘fall’??” LG

“… It was fall…” ASP

– When asked what gets quoted to them the most, the answer is ‘Oy with the poodles already!‘, to which LG said, “Why did I say it and why do you people like it so much?” A fan also yelled out “Copperboom!” (one of my personal faves) and Alexis said, “What’s Copperboom?”. Fans proceeded to explain it and it didn’t really work, she still probs has no idea what it means.

– They talked about the late Ed Hermann, and how they were all surprised to find out he had died of brain cancer. Amy said Ed was the first person who said he would be at the panel, and it was clear they were all still emotional about his death. LG was even crying a little. Amy put together a montage of her favorite Richard Gilmore moments, ending with this scene from S5, Wedding Bell Blues, where Richard dedicates the song to Emily and they have a sweet dance. As the song went on, a montage of other shots of him throughout the series flashed and that’s when I lost it. It was such a moving tribute, and so sad that he’s gone.

Since it was just the four ladies and moderator Jessica on stage, the curtain behind them was lifted, to reveal seats for everyone, including the actual signs from the set (I think). I was EMOSH.

Here’s a video of their intros, and apologies in advance for the screaming and non-focus in the beginning because I HAD ABSOLUTELY NO CHILL.

Highlights:

– The Dean/Jess/Logan debate:

Jared Padalecki: “I was always a Team Jess guy. I love Milo. I think he’s cool and sexy and handsome.”

Milo Ventimiglia: “Logan was a dick. But I don’t know… I was kind of rooting for everyone. ”

Matt Czuchry: “I saw something Amy said recently about how the right boyfriend came along at the right time. That’s kind of what I feel, between Jess and Dean and Logan. They each brought something out in Rory that she needed at that time… But I was also kind of Team Jess.”

Scott Patterson: “None of you are good enough for Rory.”

LUKE IS STILL LOOKIN OUT FOR RORY, Y’ALL.

(*Ed. note: Guys, I am rewatching the panel whilst writing this, and I’ve had to stop the part where they talk about Luke and Lorelai thrice and have yelled out ‘I CANNOT’ to myself because I lit’rally cannot)

– Danny (Doyle), who created Empire, is asked what would happen if Cookie walked into Stars Hollow, and basically she would “mess shit up”.

– On where each of their characters would be today:

Rory: Still a journalist

Emily: She and Richard would be in the exact same place, since they’re comfortable with their country clubs, etc. But Kelly added, “But now, Emily’s a widow, so that’s a whole other world, so I don’t know where she is.” ALL THE FREAKING TEARS.

Luke: *Scott has a long backstory he’s clearly thought about which involves either still running the diner or moved to a lake and re-opened Luke’s as a bait-and-tackle shop, etc.* before Lauren interrupted him and said, ‘Does he have a girlfriend?’

hi tyler oakley

Jess: “Jess is just out being Jess… and then walking away when too many people show up.”

Lane: She’s trying to figure out what kind of mom she wants to be. She wants to be Lorelai but in her heart she’s a little Mrs. Kim. She hopes she’s still playing music with Hep Alien. *HOLY CRAP KEIKO AGENA IS 41 YEARS OLD WTF. SHE’S SEVEN YEARS YOUNGER THAN LAUREN, THREE YEARS YOUNGER THAN MELISSA HOW

Michel: “It’s a tough one for Michel. Because I never understood how he ended up in that town. But, patronizing people for sure. Maybe in an inn that he now owns. Or he went back to Paris because he couldn’t deal with Americans anymore.”

Paris: “I’d like to think Paris and Doyle are still together. I think they’re really well matched. Supporting each other and just taking over the fucking world.”

Logan: He would not be working.

Miss Patty: *Liz Torres was a bit off her rocker, IDK, that’s what we thought* First of all, she always thought she would end up with Luke (!?). Anyways, some sort of TV show comes to town, and all Miss Patty’s students are in it and they’d put her in front of the camera. And she’d run for mayor of “Scott’s Hollow” and would call on Taylor for help. [This seemed to be partially informed by a GG fanfic from the internet, not sure.]

Dean: Worked at Doose’s and took over from Taylor to turn it into Dean’s Market and he’d still have the apron *just realizing Taylor has been pushed out of all his duties, what is HE up to now??*

Doyle: “Definitely married to Paris still… Ride or die all the way… Probably a reporter working at a website, NAACP maybe. Probably thinking everyone he was working for was an idiot.”

Jackson: “The vasectomy never took. There’s 42 children out there and I’m actually farming children now.”

Zach: “He got to have a nice homecoming and he got to come back to his hometown where he went to college with his hot wife and his best friend and rock the shit out of the place where he used to make lattes for people.” *IRL, Todd went to UT Austin, so maybe he was reflecting his own life there.

Brian: Had a tech start up, maybe a music app. He developed a really close bond with the twins and they’re kinda like his best friends. ! Kwan and Steve!!

Lorelai: “I think they’re (Luke and Lor) together. 100 percent… But I’m not fishing.”

“I love that Danny, between The Butler and (Empire) has become the voice of Black America. It’s the weirdest… finally they found somebody to speak for them!” -ASP

*Panel rewatch note: Scott just winked to someone. I’m not okay.*

– A big convo was had about when Rory was going to have sex. ASP: “At the time, every girl under 18 was having sex. All of them were a bunch of little whores. I’m all for a bunch of little whores running around, but not my girl!” ASP wanted it to be Dean and she wanted them to not be together. He was the one great first BF of hers, and ASP wanted to go to the place where you think maybe it could work out with that ex, and revert back to see if anything could come of it.

– As far as Daniel Palladino is concerned, though, that never happened.

– LG says her storyline with Luke didn’t end in a satisfying way… ASP adds that there was a plan to bring Luke and Lor together, and they were stingy with it for a reason. “It couldn’t happen until we knew what was gonna happen after. TV sometimes rushes into things without thinking about, ‘What are you losing?'”

– I got the general feeling that while season seven was fine, everyone in the cast wishes it was Amy that wrote the final season/episode.

– ASP is not going to give up those final four words. She also gives Michael Ausiello (TVLine founder, OG GG fan, one-time extra) a shout out which I personally find hilarious, saying he’ll be at her death bed trying to get it out of her. Only Dan Palladino knows, and LG doesn’t want to know unless it’s in the context of the episode/movie/etc. I’m with her.

– Liz Torres ‘couldn’t see’ something in the audience?  A fan? IDK but she started walking towards the edge of the stage, and ASP goes, “Sit down. Sit down, young lady. There you go alright.”

“We didn’t know it (the show) was ending! I would’ve stolen so much!!” Keiko being the cutest

– Scott Patterson basically doesn’t understand how the internet works, didn’t realize his interview on the Gilmore Guys podcast can be listened to by everyone in the world, and his comment that there might be a movie in the works got blown out of proportion. He was just giving a stock answer, in hopes of it coming true.

*BUT WILL THERE BE A MOVIE? ASP: “I’m sorry, there’s nothing in the works at the moment. But here’s the good thing – nobody here hates each other. That’s a very important step. It would have to be the right everything. The right format, the right timing, the right budget, it would have to be honored in a certain way and I think that if it ever came around I think we would all jump in and do it. But unfortunately it’s not happening right now… If it ever happened, I promise you it would be done correctly.”

**Ed. note: I’ve written on here before about the heartbreaking report that LG and Scott didn’t get along with each other IRL. There were rumors they hated each other while filming, but after Scott’s Gilmore Guys podcast and the course of events and discussion over the weekend, we decided that rumor simply wasn’t true. Like anyone you work with, you might not get along 100% of the time, but you still like them. It’s a working relationship, and ASP saying no one hates each other confirmed that for us.**

– There were some Q&A with the fans, 10% of which were actually intelligent. But we had a good, long debrief about the panel over breakfast food for dinner and our main takeaway was that a good chunk of the nearly two hour event was wasted. Don’t get me wrong – this was amazing, surreal, #blessed, something I didn’t ever dream of happening – which is why I perhaps expected more? We wanted more interactions with the rest of the cast, questions that could be answered by everyone, and not just ASP, LG, and Dan. If you watch the panel, it’s mostly ASP talking, which is informative, but when’s the next time you’ll ever see all these people in a room together? I want the behind-the-scenes info, things that we didn’t get to see because Twitter wasn’t a thing in the early 2000s, I want to see Keiko and Liza interact or Doyle and Luke or Logan and Jess – anything! I want to know stupid stuff like their fave scenes to shoot or who they wished they had more scenes with – I just wanted it all from the cast. We just didn’t feel like the moderator did a particularly good job with inciting conversation between the actors. But overall, we’re just glad we got in.

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Sunday

Orphan Black

We spent three days in a row getting up at the asscrack of dawn (or like, 6/7am, I wake up at 10am IRL) and we had two final panels on Sunday. Luckily, I was eager to get up early for the Orphan Black panel, featuring co-creator Graeme Manson and Kristian Bruun, who plays the great Donnie Hendrix, and they screened the episode that aired the night before.

Highlights: 

– Kristian and Tatiana improv before takes IN character. Can you just imagine what Donnie and Allison would say to each other UNSCRIPTED?!

– On the possibility of more clones: “Nobody wants to see clones of Donnie… that’s too much sexy on one screen.” Kristian Bruun is our new favorite.

– Kristian was not informed whether or not Donnie was a monitor at first, so that he’d successfully convey that he had no clue what was going on.

– (spoiler alert?) “RIP, BDP.” – Graeme using the best acronym for Paul (Big Dick Paul).

– On Cosima/Delphine getting back together: “Sorry, but some ships are made to be sunk.”

– In general, Graeme basically tells us to hold on to our panties for the last couple of episodes this season because we’re not going to be happy.

– Kristian willingly tried to recreate the iconic Donnie/Allison twerking scene… without music… by himself

Dawson’s Creek Live Script Reading

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Our final panel was also stressful – this time around I got a ticket in, but Molly did not, and she was literally one of the last four people to get in. Didn’t realize it was going to be that popular! So it was billed as a live script reading of the the DC pilot, with Kevin Williamson and special surprise guests. We get there and like GG, the DC credits rolled, but with the new cast, as follows:

Dawson Leery: Mae Whitman

Joey Potter: Patrick J. Adams

Pacey Witter: Abigail Spencer

Jen Lindley: KERR SMITH

Grams: Grandma Saracen Louanne Stephens

Mitch Leery: Derek Phillips (Billy Riggins)

Gail Leery: Stacey Oristano (Mindy Riggins)

Tamara Jacobs: Arielle Kebbel

Bessie: Kristian Bruun

Bodie: Nick Weschler

The best casting ever? Possibly. The surprise and screams when they were first revealed was akin to the GG electricity, but not quite the same scale.

– Mae, professional Friday Night Lights fangirl, was presented with an early birthday present from Stacey: a framed picture of Tim Riggins that was from the actual Riggins house. Mae brought it out and put it in front of her during the reading.

Photo Jun 07, 1 38 23 PM– Mae was perf (as usual), and her interaction with Patrick/Joey was fantastic. It was weird seeing Kerr, who didn’t come in as Jack until season two, play Jen:

– Louanne did the best “Jenniferrrrr” that had the crowd lit’rally go wild for a good 20 seconds.

– Patrick kept doing Katie Holmes’ side smirk and it was on. point.

– Louanne accidentally said, “I’m firm…” before realizing it wasn’t even her line.

– Julie Plec was in the audience and tweeted to Josh Jackson that Abigail Spencer was taking over for him, and he

And that’s all folks. We had such a great time thanks to ATX TV Festival and all the nice people we met, including the actor panelists. It was like a weird fever dream that I’m just starting to get over, but I kinda hope I never do.

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Clear Notes, Full Voices, Can’t Lose

When I binge watched Friday Night Lights for the first time, I couldn’t stop playing episode after episode in rapid succession. But when it came to the final few episodes of the series, I couldn’t bear to come to the reality that the show was actually ending. It took me weeks to gather the courage to watch the series finale, and when I did, it left me wanting more. But as the years go on, the less I want a FNL reunion movie. The show ended perfectly, so there’s no need to add to the story. But IRL reunions (like the one at ATX TV Festival) or cast get togethers (like the one at Scott Porter’s house) are perfectly acceptable – which is why a Friday Night Lights musical is the best thing to happen since Tim Riggins.

The fine folks at Sucker Love Productions have brought to life Cruel Intentions and most recently, The OC in musical form, and in 2016, they’re bringing the world of Dillon, Texas to Los Angeles. And if you thought it didn’t get any better, well it does, because Scott Porter, aka Six aka Jason Street is in it and he’s playing Coach Taylor. That’s right, man among men Dad of the Year Coach to all will be played by Jason Street.

PS: Scott has a history with singing and musical theatre – he starred in the Off-Broadway hit Altar Boyz, and you can be impressed with his killer pipes here, here and here.

Like I did with The OC musical, I’m just gonna go ahead and guess what songs will be featured in the FNL musical based on storylines and general music knowledge. We’ll see if any of these tunes show up – because you best believe I’m trying my damnest to get a ticket to this.

Devil Town by Tony Lucca

{Cast}

Besides the actual instrumental theme song for FNL, Devil Town is the unofficial theme song for the show. It was used in the beginning and end of season one, as well as various promo clips throughout the run. The song itself is tonally a perfect representation of the series with its simple instrumentations and the overall vibe feels small town-esque, while the lyrics suggest Dillon is more than a town focused on football.

Run The World (Girls) by Beyonce

{Tami Taylor}

We know that out on the field, Coach Taylor is in charge. But let’s face it y’all, behind every strong Coach Taylor is a formidable Tami Taylor, and she’s the one who’s really in charge. She’s smart, caring, giving, fair, and doesn’t make excuses for who she is, her values, or what she wants in life. Mrs. Coach became Principal Taylor and at the end of the series, she moved up in the ranks to fulfill her own career dreams. And who followed right behind her? Eric Taylor.

Magnets by Disclosure featuring Lorde

{Tim Riggins and Lyla Garrity}

Despite the fact Lyla promises her boyfriend Jason Street she’ll stick by him during his tragic paralyzing accident in the pilot, she ultimately commits the ultimate betrayal mid-season 1 and sleeps with his BFF, bad boy and teen heartthrob Tim Riggins. Poor choices all around, but it’s the beginning of one of the series’ most iconic relationships, and TBH, I ship it. More so than Tim and Tyra. And maybe even more so than Tim and me. HAH JK.

Never really felt bad about it/As we drank deep from a lie
‘Cause I felt melting magnets, babe/The second I saw you through half-shut eyes
Uh-oh, dancin’ past the point of no return/Let go, we can free ourselves of all we’ve learned
I love this secret language that we’re speaking/Say it to me, let’s embrace the point of no return

Bitch by Meredith Brooks

{Julie Taylor}

It’s so so easy to hate on Julie Taylor throughout the entire series, and for good reason. I always come to her defense, mainly asserting that she’s supposed to be an annoying teenage girl, but I can only do it for so long.

Maybe I’m Amazed by Paul McCartney

{Tami & Eric Taylor}

There’s a scene in the season 1 finale, State, in which Tami tells Eric she’s pregnant, and it is just the epitome of true love. He obviously needs her to repeat the phrase ‘I’m pregnant’, since they certainly weren’t expecting this, and his reaction is picture perfect. Later in the ep, Eric tells Tami he’s reconsidered taking the big job at TMU and wants to stay in Dillon, but Tami is all, ‘you are so dumb’ and is like don’t give up on this big opportunity you idiot. They are #relationshipgoalsAF and if any of us can get this type of love in our lifetime, we would be pretty lucky indeed.

Secret by The Pierces

{Landry & Tyra}

Yeah, you know that storyline all FNL fans refuse to accept happened? That’s this song.

Marry You by Bruno Mars

{Mindy & Billy Riggins}

One of the most endearing relationships to come out of Dillon is that of the unlikely pairing of Tim’s older, equally poor choice making brother, and Tyra’s stripper sister Mindy. Their wedding was iconic for the outfits alone, but can’t you just picture them dancing down the aisle to this song? Also, the actress who plays Mindy, Stacey Oristano, is a fab singer IRL, so she should probably be in the FNL musical.

All We Ever Do Is Say Goodbye by John Mayer

{Matt}

In maybe the best episode of the series, The Son, Matt finds out his estranged dad Henry dies while in the Army in Iraq. When we first meet Matt, we find out his mom and dad are divorced, his mom left, his dad has spent most of his time overseas in the military, and he has to take care of his Grams, who suffers from dementia. Matt never really got the chance to know his father, since he was leaving constantly, much like his mom, and technically grams. It all comes to a head in one of the most powerful scenes between Matt and Coach, after he finds out Coach might be leaving Dillon.

Gravity by Sara Bareilles

{Vince and his mom Regina}

In addition to the stress of being the the star quarterback of the new East Dillon Lions, Vince has to deal with his mother, a former drug addict who relapses. He manages to get her help and into rehab, but it obviously takes a toll on him. Gravity might not be the super obvious choice for this particular storyline, but it’s all because of one of the most memorable routines from So You Think You Can Dance that deals with addiction.

Whatever This Song Is by Crucifictorious

{Landry & Cruicifictorious}

IDGI, but do whatever your heart tells you, Lance.

House Party by Sam Hunt

{Tim Riggins}

It occurred to me while compiling this list that Sam Hunt is like the Tim Riggins of music. Hot, talented in their craft, hot, popular with the ladies, hot. One sings about being in a cop car while the other voluntarily turns himself into the police. Same thing.

Brick by Ben Folds Five

{Luke & Becky}

Luke and Becky have a one-night stand in season four, and she ends up pregnant. It’s a whole situation involving HBIC and principal Tami Taylor, but Becky eventually decides to have an abortion. Is this song too real?

When You Come Back Down by Nickel Creek

{Matt & Julie}

Every year at the ATX TV Festival, there’s a FNL tailgate party complete with music, a screening of an FNL episode, and random cast members avail to meet and take pix with. Last year, Sara Watkins of Nickel Creek played, and like Devil Town, their music fits perfectly with the Dillon vibe. This song is all about letting someone you love go in order for them to live their life. Matt & Julie had been dating pretty much all throughout high school, but when Matt invites Julie to visit him in Chicago where he’s attending college, she decides against it because she knows if she does go, she wouldn’t want to leave, thus putting her own dreams aside (except she ends up following him to Chicago at the end of the series anyways bc they’re engaged and stuff. Spoiler alert?).

Devil Knows You’re Dead by Delta Spirit

{Cast}

FNL has one of the best series finales in TV history, and I think a lot of that has to do with the final montage, which gives each character an ending, with their stories wrapped up in perfect bows. During that montage, this Delta Spirit song plays and gives you lit’rally all the feels.

Playlist of the Month: Best TV Theme Songs

It’s been a trend as of late for shows to skip theme songs in favor of the extra 30 seconds to 1:30 minutes of extra episode time. Remember when Grey’s Anatomy had an actual theme song? They gave up on that and now it’s just the white title screen. Elsewhere in Shondaland, Scandal just goes on a 3 second shutter speed sound so we can watch more of Fitz & Olivia argue why they can’t be together then immediately make up (and make out).

Back in the day, theme songs were more of a prominent fixture in TV culture, and as much a part of the show as the scenes in the program itself. TV theme songs were the equivalent of old movies putting all the credits in the beginning of the film so you saw all the cast & crew prior to the start, rather than the end. And while this practice of creating catchy, memorable and good tunes isn’t as much of a priority as it used to be, we still can’t forget the classics, and that’s why we’re throwing it back to our fave TV theme songs over the years.

Traci’s Picks

Friday Night Lights

Friday Night Lights Theme by W.G. Snuffy Walden

In general, Friday Night Lights is an emotional show. It will make you laugh, cry, feel frustrated with Julie Taylor and elated when the Panthers win a game. Like with all Jason Katims-run shows, he incorporates music into the fabric of the storyline, and it never takes you out of the scene when one of composer W.G. Snuffy Walden’s instrumentals start swell during one of these forementioned emotional moments. As any FNL fan can tell you, hearing the first few notes of this theme song will make you feel all the feels, despite it not even having lyrics. But that’s how powerful it is – it doesn’t even need them. Also, it’s worth noting that this is my current ringtone, so it makes me feel the feels of not wanting to pick up phone calls.

Growing Pains

As Long as We’ve Got Each Other by B.J. Thomas & Jennifer Warnes

I watched Growing Pains off and on when I was a kid, and I can kind of tell you the basics of the show. However, one thing I can recite to you from memory is the theme song. It’s a classic 1980s jam that was sung by Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head singer B.J. Thomas and (I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life star Jennifer Warnes. It has the sappy 90s family feel perfect for the show, and perfect for me to play on loop in 2015.

All That

All That by TLC

We talked about this during SNICK Week, but this song still holds up. As soon as you hear, “Fresh out the box…”, it brings you back to sitting on your couch and watching Nickelodeon, ready to laugh at some jokes from the best sketch comedy show for kids to grace the TV. Yeah, it was a great theme song, but in general, it was a track that could’ve been a radio hit, too.

The Nanny

The Nanny Named Fran by Ann Hampton Callaway

Besides the extreme catchiness of this song, the best part about it is the fact that it tells you the premise of the show before every episode. Like just in case you tuned in for the first time and were wondering what a brash lady from Queens was doing in a Manhattan mansion, no need to worry because Ann Hampton Callaway (and fans of The Nanny everywhere) can sing her origin story to you in a flash.

The Mary Tyler Moore Show

Love Is All Around by Sonny Curtis

This song sounds so dated and I just love it that much more. I was one of those kids who watched The Mary Tyler Moore Show at Nick at Nite, and this song is as embedded in my brain as All That and Pretty Little Liars. It’s a song of joy, positivity, and a sets up a strong female character – much like another Unbreakable female on this list.

Honorable Mentions:

Perfect StrangersNothing’s Gonna Stop Me Now by David Pomeranz. This song was written by the same guys who wrote the Full House, Step By Step and Family Matters theme song, so no wonder it was so good.

Girl Meets WorldTake on the World by Rowan Blanchard and Sabrina Carpenter. Genius move to have the two main girls of the show sing the theme, and a super catchy one at that. And I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – if you were a Boy Meets World fan and you’re not watching this show, you are wasting your life.

Molly’s Picks

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Theme Song by Tina Fey/ Robert Carlock / Jeff Richmond / The Gregory Brothers / Mike Britt

UNBREAKABLE. They alive, dammit! It’s a miracle. This is one of the most creative, innovative theme songs you’ll ever hear, spoofing those wacky neighbors who always give interviews when shocking news breaks — paired with an auto-tuned news segment a la Antoine Dodson. So how’d they do it? (1) Tina Fey and Robert Carlock wrote the neighbor’s monologue. (2) They picked out the lines they want repeated in the song, and Jeff Richmond created the melody. (3) Mike Britt recorded the role of the emphatic neighbor Walter Bankston. (4) They hand it off to the Gregory Brothers, the guys behind Songify The News. (5) Kimmy Schmidt begins streaming on Netflix. (6) It has been over 6 months and you still have the song in your head, don’t you?

Cheers

Where Everybody Knows Your Name by Gary Portnoy and Judy Hart Angelo

Yes, this is mainly a song about people knowing what your name is. Yet it is so iconic that I had never seen an episode of Cheers, but I think I’ve known all of the lyrics since I can remember. It doesn’t sound as synth-ed up or jubilant as the classic 80s theme song. In fact I think something about it is sort of melancholy. It sets the tone for an unpretentious show about a Boston bar where there are no name tags.

Party Of Five

Closer To Free by The BoDeans

If the 60s and 70s were the era of the theme song that told the entire backstory and lasted 8 minutes, and the 80s were the era of the synthesized, schmaltzy pop song that’s just sort of vaguely about love or family, the 90s were the age of the crossover alternative music/ TV theme song radio hit. Think I’ll Be There For You (Friends) or I Don’t Want To Wait (Dawson’s Creek). I started watching Party Of Five when I was probably too young, and it was HUGE for me. The theme song still makes me feel like I’m about to kick back with the Salinger clan (and Jennifer Love Hewitt) (but not Claudia when she’s at boarding school) (and usually not Owen, when you think about it).

Parenthood

Forever Young by Bob Dylan

I’m not crying, you’re crying. Fine, we’re all crying. But if it were the Rod Stewart version, I would not be.

Friends

I’ll Be There For You by The Rembrandts

Is this song even good? I can’t be sure anymore. But it was such a hit that it launched the (largely defunct) TV soundtrack trend of the 90s and early 2000s. Plus just listening to that opening riff reminds me of one of my favorite Comfort TV shows – have a cruddy day? Turn on Friends and you’ll feel a bit better. You could almost say they’ll be there for you (but don’t).

Honorable Mentions

The Courtship Of Eddie’s Father – Best Friend by Harry Nilsson. Yes, that’s Harry Nilsson, of the Lime In The Coconut Nilssons. As Traci mentioned, our cultural touchpoint are colored by how much time both of us spent watching repeats of old shows as children.

Sesame StreetCan You Tell Me How To Get To Sesame Street? by Joe Raposo. It’s good and you know it’s good. And as an adult, sort of brings you back to being 4 years old in a kind of bittersweet way, right?

Fresh Prince of Bel AirFresh Prince Of Bel Air by Will Smith and Quincy Jones III. One of the proudest moments of my life was realizing that we were on a train of 100% American college kids in Spain going to a Jack Johnson concert, and leading a singalong to this theme song. It is SO good. Okay, I’ll stop here before I get into The Muppet Show and All In The Family.

TV Dads That Will Make You Grateful For Your Real Dad

It’s Father’s Day on Sunday, and it’s a time to celebrate and recognize all the dedication and love our fathers give to us as their children throughout the year and every year. But we all know that sometimes it isn’t rainbows and butterflies with our parents. Not everyone can be as wise and profound as the Coach Taylors and Zeek/Adam Bravermans of the world. Parents all have their moments. And on television, those moments can be dramatized to the max degree. As you shower your dad with all the food and love this weekend, just remember that it could always be worse. Your dad could be like any one of these fictional fathers, so just be grateful this Sunday that your dad doesn’t sell meth or openly cheating on your mom with multiple women.

Walter White

{Breaking Bad}

I mean, if you watched any of Breaking Bad, I don’t really have to explain why he’s on this list, do I? He started as a high school chemistry teacher with lung cancer and in the most poetic, Greek tragedy way possible, he turned into the baddest man in all of New Mexico, and possibly the world. While he claimed to be making and selling drugs to help his family, in the end he was only helping himself, and even practically kidnapped his daughter towards the end of the series. You can’t even call that bad parenting because it isn’t even parenting.

President Fitzgerald Grant

{Scandal}

It’s clear Fitz loves his kids and would do anything to help them if they’re in trouble, but when you’re the president of the United States, and you send your kids to boarding school, have a baby with the wife you don’t really like just to keep up appearances AND have an extramarital affair that said wife knows about, you have a few more cons than the pro side on the list.

George Bluth, Sr. and Oscar Bluth

{Arrested Development}

Well, here you have George Bluth, Sr., a man incarcerated for fraud and who also built houses for Saddam Hussein. He doesn’t seem to really care about his kids and is willing to put them at risk for his own benefit (this is a comedy). And then you have his twin brother Oscar, who is the real dad to Buster, who knows this and doesn’t really give af. What do you expect from this family, though?

Lou Smith

{Fresh Prince of Bel-Air}

If you ever want a good cry, watch this clip. Will was so much better for moving out to Bel-Air, and it makes my heart cry fictional tears knowing the real Uncle Phil/James Avery has passed away 😦

Christopher Hayden

{Gilmore Girls}

Ok, in his defense, he did become a better father throughout the series. However in the beginning, he was just some guy in a motorcycle who couldn’t hold a job and left Lorelai to take care of Rory on her own. Again, they were 16, so I guess he has *sort of* an excuse, but not really. Luckily, Christopher made up for it in the later years, but he was still douchey in the beginning. #LukeAndLorelaiForever

Joe McCoy

{Friday Night Lights}

Photo Jun 18, 11 30 38 PMSometimes, when I rewatch season three of FNL, I fast forward through the JD/Joe McCoy parts because he’s just that annoying. Joe is the father to star quarterback and new Dillon Panthers player JD, and Joe is like a stage/dance mom but in the football field. He’s overprotective, overbearing, and a downright asshole. He put a lot of pressure on JD to do well on the team, and doesn’t even allow him to drink soda or eat candy or watch TV because it will make him distracted from football. Also, no girls – which was proven in the ep where Joe gets mad JD’s dating a girl, and he ends up physically hurting him and the American treasures the Taylors have to call child protective services. He’s a delight.

Mike Potter

{Dawson’s Creek}

Joey’s dad not only cheated on her mom/his wife before she died, he also got caught for selling drugs, which is why he is in jail. He gets released at the end of season one, but then starts dealing drugs again and Joey is the one who turns him in, because that’s what daughter’s do. He’s in jail for a majority of the rest of the season, until Joey goes to talk to him and finds out he got released but didn’t tell anyone. Not even his daughters.

Bart Bass

{Gossip Girl}

Honestly, so much shit went down on Gossip Girl that I hardly remember what happened. I don’t think I even knew what was happening when the show was on the air. I do remember that Bart was always an asshole, especially to his son Chuck, who he lied to about being dead, took back Bass Industries from him and tried to maybe kill him? IDK, he just looks skeezy, ya know?

Thatcher Grey

{Grey’s Anatomy}

So Meredith Grey hasn’t had a life that’s been ideal. Her aesthetic is more dark and twisted. A lot of that has to do with her parents. First her mom, the revered surgeon Dr. Ellis Grey, had an affair with Dr. Richard Webber and they had a secret daughter no one knew about, and after they broke up, Ellis attempted suicide and a young Meredith watched it all happen. Then she got Alzheimer’s and on top of all this, Ellis was overbearing and thought Meredith was “ordinary”. Enter Thatcher, who left when Mer was five years old, and didn’t even attempt to contact her for 20 years. He remarried and had two daughters, including Lexie, who would later work at Seattle Grace/Mercy West/Grey Sloan Memorial. He’s also an alcoholic, and a few seasons in, he comes to the hospital in hopes of getting a liver transplant. He returned to the hospital when his wife had weird symptoms, which turned out to be a weird fatal thing and got mad at Mer and blamed her for her death (see scene above).

Don Draper

{Mad Men}

It’s barely been a month and I still miss Don. He’s like Fitz, where I know he’s doing morally wrong things, but I can’t help but sympathize and like him. Don didn’t have a father or mother figure of his own growing up as the illegitimate son of a prostitute. He barely had a family, and as a result, didn’t know what to do when he actually had one. The only kid he’s even close to at all is Sally, and that wasn’t until later on in the series. Not to mention he slept with her teacher and then left his door open for Sally to see him having sex with his neighbor. Plus Baby Gene was born out of sloppy sex on the floor of Betty’s parents’ home. Bobby was basically irrelevant based on the actor turnover alone. Don especially seemed to neglect his kids after his split with Betty, and as much as he tried, it seemed like he was just going through the motions of being a father rather than really trying to be a good one.

 

ATX Television Festival Wrap-Up: That Was A Thing That Happened, Pt. 1

Well, friendos, we certainly had an eventful weekend. If you’ve been following along at home, last week was Gilmore Girls week (read them all here), and besides the fact it’s one of our most favorite and sacred shows of all time, we dedicated our posts to GG in prep for our weekend in Austin, Texas for the ATX Television Festival. Despite the fact our generation has a tendency to use the word ‘epic’ to often describe non-epic things, this our experience at ATX was by far, the most EPIC (in all caps) in the classic sense of the word.

We gave lil’ nuggets of our time on social media, but here’s a little bit more in depth info from what we learned from our jam-packed weekend in TV nerd heaven!

Friday

Within a few hours, Traci shared a plane to Austin with Amy Sherman-Palladino (ASP) and her husband, Keiko Agena walked by her at baggage claim, and Scott Patterson (Luke) favorited our tweet. Off to a good start.Photo Jun 04, 9 20 18 PM

Per usual, we get totes and rando items when we check-in, but this year, Southwest was kind enough to give everyone credit to use towards a flight! We attend a TV nerd fest, and get money back. Perfect.

Bunheads

Photo Jun 05, 10 13 43 AM (1)

Our first panel of the fest is from the Cancelled-Too-Soon category, beloved dance dramedy, Bunheads, which was cancelled by ABC Family after 18 episodes. ASP, Sutton Foster, Kelly Bishop and Stacey Oristano were there representing, as select clips were shown while the ladies talked about their experience in between each one.

First off, this was the first time we had been in the presence of Broadway queen Sutton and Gilmore matriarch Kelly Bishop, so that was a little jarring. Jarring = amazing.

Highlights: 

– ASP threw SO much shade at ABC Family for pulling the show way before its time. But, even ASP in her ultimate wisdom, had a feeling that it might be the final curtain for them before execs gave the official word.

“We had some ideas, but we knew. When you’re on a network that revolves around 13-year-old girls who haven’t menstruated yet, it’s tough to continue stories about life and emotion. It’s not really ABC Family’s game. Maybe that game will change, but at the time, they didn’t know what to do with us.”

Stacey added, “We didn’t have the word ‘liars’ in the title.”

– “She is, as we say in the biz, ‘The Best’.” ASP loves Sutton Foster as much as we do. She saw Sutton on Broadway in Anything Goes, and she immediately wanted to work with her. Sutton, who is/was incidentally a huge Gilmore Girls fan, was already working with Kelly in Anything Goes. But Sutton wanted the part of Michelle real, real bad. Who wouldn’t?

“I never wanted something so bad, and I worked really hard. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life.”

– Stacey originally auditioned to be Michelle’s dancer BFF, but there was an intense dance call, and ASP asked her to read for another part – that of Truly. Stacey also revealed that she had been hiding a secret from ASP and ASP got super mad at her for not saying her secret talent sooner. TBH, I am too.

Stacey: “Amy actually got mad at me one time because she didn’t know I’m a tap dancer.”

ASP: “Not a fucking word! I find out, not from her, but from Sutton, who said, ‘You know, Stacey’s a great tap dancer.’ I’m like, ‘Fuck you!’

Sutton: We were pitching … a duet, a tap-off between Michelle and Truly.

The Final Finale

Photo Jun 05, 1 28 55 PM (1)

Panelists:  Marta Kauffman (Friends), Graham Yost (Justified) Daniel Lipman and Ron Cowen (Queer as Folk)

Highlights: 

– The talented executive producers/creators of the iconic shows came together to talk about how to end a series. Marta said one of the best and most true things I’ve ever heard and believe about media: “Film is a one night stand. You’re married to TV.”

– Since we’ve only seen Friends, I feel like a lot of our takeaway were from Marta. There was no way Ross and Rachel weren’t going to end up with each other, FYI. Something a little different than Dawson’s Creek, which you’ll find out about later.

– Marta said all the scenes they wanted in the finale were in the finale. But if something was cut, she would here about it.

“Every single person I knew – my agent, my lawyer, David’s (Crane) partner – everyone was in the background of the show. So the only way I knew if something got cut was if someone asked, ‘Where was my scene?”

– Billy Dreskin, the unseen guy Rachel sleeps with on her parents’ bed in high school, is actually the name of Marta’s friend who became a rabbi, and he got a whole lot of backlash after the episode aired.

– “The Joey series was something I had nothing to do with.” – Marta making it clear she wasn’t part of that trainwreck.

– After talking about how to create the perfect and most satisfying series finale for fans and cast and crew, Marta ended the panel with this:

“Oh and I have one more thing to say.” Then she stood up and started walking away.

Boy Meets Girl Meets World

Photo Jun 05, 3 44 10 PM (1)

Highlights: 

– We were sitting fairly close to the front, and for some reason we both feel like we’ve made awkward eye contact with Ben Savage and we don’t know how to handle it. This happened to us separately.

– Rowan Blanchard and Sabrina Carpenter are just pure delights. They are wise beyond their years. Someone during the Q&A asked if Ben and Danielle gave the girls advice about being a child actor and growing up ‘normal’, but as a person in the audience to see them IRL, these two girls do not even seem like “child actors”. They’re regular tween girls who happen to be very talented, and seem super down to earth. They’re like the Kiernan Shipka of Disney Channel.

– Michael Jacobs said we’ll find out who Farkle’s mom/Minkus’ wife is this season. And it’s someone we’re very familiar with. Our guess: Morgan Matthews. And Michael confirmed we would see Morgan again. But Cory would know if he had a nephew, right??

“She’s the last person you would believe is married to Minkus. She will be radically different and evolved, and I believe you will love the reappearance of this character.”

– Also coming back: Minkus, Jack (meets up with Eric and Rachel closure is involved), Angela (to maybe break up Shawn and Maya’s mom), MR. TURNER.

“You guys are going to kill me for what we decided to do with Shawn and Angela, but I will tell you that it is right, it is real, and you’re going to have to watch the episode six times before you put the guns down.”

Michael also assured us fans that they have a clear vision of where they want to go with the series, and said, “Like Mr. Feeny said in the finale, ‘Do you mean do well?’ ‘No, I mean do good.’ We will do good for you.” CHILLS.

Sightseeing break

Photo Jun 05, 4 46 16 PM

Friday Night Lights Tailgate

Photo Jun 05, 6 35 47 PM (1)

One of the free events of the fest is the FNL tailgate, where you sit in a parking lot and watch an episode of FNL with a bunch of fans, and some of the actors are usually there too.

Here is Grandma Saracen talking to angel Adrienne Palicki, who possibly made us lesbians for the like hour we saw her.

Grandma Saracen invited us to sit down past the VIP rope, so we’re basically all BFF now.

We also finally met the awesome and talented Sage (and Kim) from Head Over Feels! Actually getting to hang out with Internet friends is fantastic and we had so much fun seeing Sage this weekend!!!

atxhofcs

definitely not photoshopped

But the highlight was when we saw on Twitter from John Cabrera (Brian) that Hep Alien YES, FICTIONAL BAND HEP ALIEN was playing a ‘secret show’ in 45 minutes at the FNL tailgate. AKA the place we were already at. We saw it hoped it was early enough that not a lot of people saw it yet, so we got prime spots. And ASP was there, hand in hand with ultimate GG fan Sutton Foster, who had two cute buns in her hair. Jackson Douglas (Jackson) was there to intro the band a la Tippicanoe and Taylor Too – well he actually intro-ed Daniel Palladino dressed as a 60s guy who then introduced the band. IDK. All I know is that we found ourselves watching Hep Alien (AGAIN, A FICTIONAL BAND) in concert, with ASP in the front row, playing songs like Daydream Believer and a cover of Single Ladies and the GG theme song, during a Friday Night Lights event. It was Stars Hollow meets Dillon and our brains could not. Still cannot.

OH AND THEN WE MET JACKSON

Photo Jun 05, 8 48 01 PM (1)Saturday

As a preface, I (Traci) had been to this festival twice before, and this was Molly’s first time. Because of the GG reunion, more people than ever before came to the fest, selling out with like, 1,700 attendees. The fest itself has smaller venues, which I loved about it since it feel intimate with your fave TV stars. However, taking into account the hundreds more people this year, there was a good chance you might not get into things.

Enter: anything to do with ASP. Coffee with Amy was a panel set for 10am. We got there at like, 8am, and there was absolutely no way for us to make the cut for a room of about 80. Rumor has it folks were waiting since 5am. Bitch, please. We weren’t that concerned about not getting in, but the first panels of the day start at 10am, so we had time to kill. We figured we’d wait in the hotel lobby, where not only the panels are, but the same hotel where the celebs were staying.

So there we were, sitting in the lobby, checking social media, and Scott Patterson tweet THIS photo of him in bed.

Swear to God, like 15 minutes later, I notice some girls near us get up and approach some person for a pic and IT WAS SCOTT FUCKING PATTERSON. All my chill was lost, my sanity out the window, my conscience had gone bye-bye and I lept up towards him and was feet away before his people rushed him off to a room.

I proceeded to freak out (Luke is … Luke is #LUKEDANESDREAMMAN to me) and maybe 10 minutes later he came back out and it looked like he was going somewhere so I held back a bit, but then he stopped to take pix with people, and I lit’rally said, “no. no no no. NO NO NO” outloud, and ran over as if “I had been waiting long before these other bitches”. This part starts to get hazy, because I remember his publicist saying he can take pix just don’t crowd and push, and I held back. I held back until I noticed no one moved fast enough and said, “Can we take a picture with you?” and he said, “sure!” and like went to shake my hand, and we snuck in there. A lovely girl offered to take our pic (SHOUT OUT TO MYSTERY PHOTOG ANGEL) and she took it and i felt his back it was muscular (like Lauren has said publicly) and he kind of did the linger on the back but not in a creepy way and for the next 15-20 minutes I couldn’t sit down and felt like I was going to vom and was on the verge of crying, PER THE PHOTO.

I can’t even look at this bc I get all the feels

Actual footage of my brain during this time period:

SO LET THIS BE A LESSON KIDS – SOMETIMES IT’S OKAY IF YOU DON’T MAKE IT INTO A PANEL WITH ASP AND FREE COFFEE BECAUSE YOU’LL HANG OUT WITH THE MAN WITH THE COFFEE HIMSELF. SANS COFFEE. JUST ALL MAN.

Luckily, we had some time before going to our backup panel, A Kiss is Just a Kiss, focused on the LGBTQ portrayals and relationships on TV. The Queer as Folk folk were back, also Dawson’s Creek writer Gina Fattore, Peter Paige from QaF & The Fosters, and moderated by My So-Called Life’s Wilson Cruz. It was very interesting, and we learned a lot, including facts about An Early Frost, one of the first TV movies dealing with the HIV/AIDS dilemma in the 80s, and we were surprised we’d never heard of it before. On the queue. Also, we had just met Luke ‘Butch’ Danes, so that was kind of distracting.

Empire

Photo Jun 06, 11 37 47 AM

 

The Empire: Creatives panel featured writer/co-creator Danny Strong (yes, Doyle) and Wendy Calhoun, writer. Showrunner Ilene Chaiken was a no show!

– It was Danny’s birthday and he offered to give the audience a prize: “For my birthday I will be performing Drip Drop.” He did not do as promised.

– Danny on getting the idea for Empire: “Hip-hop is cool. I gotta do something in hip-hop.”

– Wendy Calhoun has an impressive resume, with her latest being a writer on Nashville. She was eager for something closer to home, and turns out Danny and Lee were making it.

“Oh my God, they wrote the black version of Nashville!”

– Wesley Snipes with the OG Luscious Lyon. Negotiations didn’t go in his favor, so Terrence Howard slipped in instead.

– On disagreeing with Terrence about the use of the N-word on the show: “It’s not a documentary about hip-hop. It’s a soap opera set in the hip-hop world.

– Danny playing with us and Jamal’s future: “Just because you get the Empire, doesn’t mean you get to keep the empire. Ohh snap! Rock the Vote”

There is so much more to talk about, and part two will be coming this week. Stay tuned – the Gilmore Girls reunion is coming!

First In Friendship: Small-Town Shows To Watch After Parks And Recreation

I haven’t been able to rewatch the Parks and Recreation finale yet. Part of it is because I’m just not ready to cry again just yet. And a bigger part  is that I’m busy. I’m not someone who treats busy as a four-letter word, even though it can have a negative connotation. Maybe we should start calling it something cuter, like “bustling,” or positive, like “engrossed.”  It’s good to be involved; Leslie Knope would be proud.

But even when you don’t have a lot of free time, it’s easy to feel a tv show-sized hole when one of your favorites gets cancelled. That was especially true of Parks, a half-hour (or hour, thanks NBC) oasis every week. When you’re busy – and honestly, I hardly know anyone who doesn’t qualify as such – you need those little breaks in your day or week. If you’re missing those 30-60 minutes in Pawnee every week, here’s what to watch next:

Parks And Recreation

I mean, again. Watch it again. Now that we know what happens to everybody, take it back to the beginning! Not every show holds up well on a rewatch. Sometimes those “off” seasons are too painful or your favorite character started off awesome and became terrible. I mean I’m still mourning for Season 1 Joey Potter. But Parks is a show that doesn’t have any of those pitfalls … well, it did have a lot of falling into pits for a while, but they filled it in and everyone moved on. Parks and Recreation did character development better than any other show. It’s so fun to watch bratty college April knowing that there was a hard-working go-getter in there all along, or tough cookie Ron Swanson before he had a wife and kids. Or Ben Wyatt, back when he seemed like Public Enemy Number One. So, my first suggestion for what to do after you finish watching Parks and Recreation is to watch it again.

One of the best things about Parks was getting to know all of the wacky residents of Pawnee and feel the sometimes stifling warmth of small-town life. Most t.v. shows are either set in major metropolises – and at that, it’s usually just New York or L.A. Or, it’s in a tiny town. You don’t get a lot of shows set in actual cities that are less acclaimed, like Toledo or Tucsan. If it’s small-town TV you want, we can find that for you. Once you’ve rewatched Parks, here are the next series you should check out:

For an endearing small town: Gilmore Girls

You can’t watch this without wanting to move to Stars Hollow so that you can buy coffee from Luke, take dance lessons from Miss Patti, and plan a weird event with Kirk. Like Pawnee, there are people you love, people you hate, and places you’ll come to know like they’re from your own hometown.

For an innocent small town: The Andy Griffith Show

But not too much Andy Griffith Show. It’s a television masterpiece but it can also get a little hokey in large doses. However, if you’ve never watched it you might be surprised by how fun and quirky it is. If you grew up on classic TV, Griffith is like a half-hour of childhood. Or your dad or grandpa’s childhood, if you grew up on modern TV.

For an April Ludgate-worthy small town: Welcome To Nightvale

Guys, it’s a podcast, not a tv show. You just have to trust me. It’s about the happenings in a spooky yet hilarious town, with idiosyncrasies to rival Pawnee. It’s one of those shows you just have to listen to to understand.

For a dramatic small town: Twin Peaks

Yes, it’s a drama about Poor Dead Laura Palmer. But the second the log lady shows up, you know that you’re dealing with something a bit more wacky than your typical network drama. Twin Peaks is a small town withs dark side, but there’s also teen drama and the requisite diner.

For a heartwarming small town: Friday Night Lights

If you watched Parks and Recreation, listened to the Tim Riggins references, and didn’t get it, I’m jealous of you. That means you haven’t seen Friday Night Lights yet and still get to watch it for the first time. If you’re one of those people who thinks “football? GROSS. Texas? NEVER” then this is the show for you. It’s about football but it’s about life. And Tami Taylor is like Leslie Knope if Leslie Knope got married young, worked in education, and lived in Texas. Guaranteed, you’ll change that “Texas Never” into a “Texas Forever” by the end of season one.

 For a small town that’s not actually a small town: Parenthood

All right, the Bravermans don’t live in a small town, but you never see evidence of where they live, anyway. The Bravermans are sort of a small town unto themselves. Like Parks, it’s a show about the people you love who also drive you crazy.

Best Of C+S 2014: Pop Culture Moments That Make Me Cry

Happy 2015, everybody! The start of a brand new year is always a happy, hopeful thing – but as you get older, the passing of time can also make you a little blue. As you get older, you are also more and more likely to spend New Year’s day holed up in bed, watching Netflix and eating whatever your go-to hangover foods are. This didn’t used to happen to us. Anyway, these are all of the pop culture moments that make us cry, on a scale from one to five Crying Dawsons, in case your plans for the day include a lot of media content and a little crying.


Some pop culture moments are engineered to make you cry. Any time they show you an old man who is alone, or a beloved dog bravely facing his mortality, you know they’re trying to make you bawl.

Others aren’t supposed to be sad, but for some reason they grab onto your feelings and twist them until your eyes water. For instance: any time a child sings and it’s very beautiful.

Then there are those moments that were meant to be sad, but came out hilarious instead. I present for your approval:

This is the rare tearjerker scene that makes us weep – because we’re laughing so hard. So with Dawson Leery as our patron saint of pop culture crying, we’re listing those moments in entertainment that brought us to tears. Our scale stretches from one Crying Dawson (your eyes are lightly watering, but there’s no real tearstorm) to five Crying Dawsons (or as we like to call it, a Full Leery). And disclaimer: there will be spoilers ahead. Consider yourself warned.

One Crying Dawson1 crying dawson

  • The final, heartrending scenes of The Notebook. And I’m only putting it here because zero crying Dawsons wasn’t an option. I’m a monster, I know.
  • The end of Bridesmaids where Maya gives one last glance back at Kristen before she gets in the limo with her new husband. There’s an unspoken understanding between two best friends that just gets me.
  • Any time an actor/actress that is announcing Emmy/Oscar/Golden Globe nominations at the asscrack of dawn, only to announce their own name as one of the nominees.
  • Cyrus realizing he was the reason his hubs got killed on Scandal. You brought it on yourself dude.
  • When Little Michael Scott wants to grow up and have 100 kids so he can have 100 friends and no one can say no to being his friend.
  • The end of City Lights (taking it way back to the 1930s here!), when the blind girl sees the tramp for the first time.
  • When Mary is sort of mean to Martha in A Secret Garden but it’s because she doesn’t know how to play or love and her parents are dead and she lives in a creepy house in the middle of nowhere.
  • The “Love Is A Dream” sketch with Phil Hartman and Jan Hooks, serving the one-two punch of old people thinking about their youth, and people who died before their time.
  • When the now-elderly Peaches take a team picture and sing their song one last time in A League Of Their Own.
  • In The Great Gatsby, both the book and film adaptations, when Daisy delivers the “beautiful fool” line. Gut punch.

Two Crying Dawsons2 crying dawsons

  • When Papouli taught us about Greek dance, the love of family, and brief character arcs on Full House.
  • The look on Louis’ face when his daughter plays the violin duet with the neighbor on Louie.
  • The episode of The Simpsons where Homer gets the crayon lodged in his brain removed and suddenly becomes smart. At the end Lisa reads a letter he wrote her from before he got dumb again and it was the first time anyone in her family understood her.
  • Also, after Maggie is born and Homer goes back to work at the plant, he covers the mean plaque from Burns “Don’t Forget, You’re Here Forever” with her pictures so that it now reads “Do it for her.”
  • When Brian Williams reported on the NBC Nightly News that his daughter Allison Williams had been cast in the live version of Peter Pan. No matter what you think about the casting decision itself, you have no soul if you don’t get emotional watching him be so proud of his daughter.
  • Mr. Feeny dismissing class one final time.
  • Jen Lindley’s final conversation with Jack. And TBH, I might have cried more when Jack and Dougie declared their commitment to each other on the beach.
  • When Will believes his father isn’t going to leave him again on Fresh Prince of Bel-Air but Pops lets him down again, and Will breaks down in the arms of Uncle Phil asking why his dad doesn’t want him.
  • The voiceover at the end of The Time Travelers episode of How I Met Your Mother, when Future Ted says that he wants 45 extra days with The Mother… probably because at that point I had a pretty good idea of what that darn show was going to do to us.
  • Leslie saying goodbye to Ann on Parks and Rec. Uteruses before duderuses.
  • When Mel Gibson is getting ready to leave in The Patriot, and his mute daughter runs after him screaming “I’ll say anything!” Doubly so now that she’s passed away.

Three Crying Dawsons

3 crying dawsons

  • The final moments of that old dog in Homeward Bound.
  • The Muppets (2012), just in general. It made both of us cry and neither of us knows why.
  • Jessie singing When Somebody Loved Me in Toy Story 2.
  • The little girl singing Desperado in In America.
  • I was in a hotel a few months ago and came across a documentary on like the Travel Channel or something that was about the new Diagon Alley attraction in Harry Potter World at Universal Studios Orlando, and the planning, construction and attention to detail that went into it before they opened the doors. Before opening it to the public, a select group of young HP fans were let into the park as a sneak peak and the look of awe was astounding. I can’t imagine being a kid, being obsessed with the books & movies and finally being in Diagon Alley for real.
  • In what is one of my favorite dances over all the seasons of So You Think You Can Dance, golden child Travis Wall choreographed an emotional contemporary (and Emmy nominated) piece to Coldplay’s Fix You, a dance based on his own experience of helping his mom through her bout with cancer. While Fix You is always a tearjerker, add on the brilliant dancing by Robert Roldan and Allison Holker and you have a piece of pure art that will leave you breathless.
  • Speaking of SYTYCD, season 11’s Ricky Ubeda was one of those winners who actually deserved the victory, thanks to his combination of talent and personality. But during Hollywood week, it was his solo that made me (and a lot of other viewers) single him out from the crowd, thanks to vulnerability and emotion he brought to the dance.
  • Lily telling Marshall his dad died on How I Met Your Mother.
  • The final scene in Friends when they all walk out of Monica & Chandler’s to go to Central Perk and there’s one final sweep of the empty apartment with swelling music in the background.

Four Crying Dawsons

4 Crying Dawsons

  • Carrie Underwood singing. Pretty much singing anything. Especially if it’s live. I’ve seen her in concert three times and every single time I was brought to tears. She sings with such passion and conviction. And if she’s singing any kind of religious song, you know she’s channeling the big JC, making her voice even more powerful for some reason.
  • The scene in both the book and movie version of The Fault in our Stars where Hazel is giving the ‘eulogy’ for Gus in the church.
  • The Normal Heart. All of it.
  • Friday Night Lights – pretty much the entire show. However, I’ll pinpoint one that stands out, which is when Coach throws Matt Saracen into the shower, but QB1 breaks down, insisting that his loved ones always abandon him. And to continue this Zach Gilford lovefest, the entire episode of The Son is heartwrenching, but I won’t ruin it for you if you haven’t seen it.
  • Call it the Jason Katims effect because Parenthood also makes me cry during every episode, no matter what. Again, it’s hard to pick just one, so the scene where Kristina tells the family that she has cancer – a scene so powerful with no words at all. This current season hasn’t been lucky for Zeek, and because of personal reasons, I’ve found his storyline extremely upsetting. Also Mae Whitman crying. Legit the best crier in the biz.
  • The series finale of Gilmore Girls in which Rory assures Lorelai that she’s “already given her everything she needs” before she goes on the road following Senator Barack Obama. In fact the final like 20 minutes of that show including Rory’s speech under the tent make me cry so hard that I’ve only watched the finale approx thrice, as opposed to like the 30 times for all the other episodes.
  • The finale of I ❤ Nick Carter where he and Lauren get married. Legit stayed up til 4am watching it and it was totally worth it. His family sucks but good thing they have the rest of BSB and other friends and family – that’s what got me.
  • Jim Halpert learning he and Pam are having a baby after she injures herself at the company picnic. The whole office singing Seasons of Love to Michael on his last episode. The ‘Forever’ flash mob at Jim & Pam’s wedding and them getting married on the Maid of the Mist and Jim cutting off his tie. The entire series finale. I had a hard time saying goodbye to The Office.
  • The first 5-ish minutes of Up.
  • When Mary and Edith realize that they’re the only ones left after Sybil dies.
  • I was never big into Buffy, but that scene where Buffy tells Dawn that their mom has died, and you’re watching it through the window of her classroom? Nope.
  • DOBBY. RIP.

Five Crying Dawsons

5 crying dawsons

  • The Quarterback episode of Glee where Finn (Cory Monteith) dies. I literally went through almost an entire box of tissues during that and I’m not even a huge Glee fan. The pain on everyone’s face was real, and watching Lea Michele sing – forget it.
  • The end of The Best Man Holiday – what in the fuck was that all about?! I paid $15 to see Taye Diggs and his fellow HBM co-stars possibly take their clothes off and it turned out that I needed extra sleeves because my tears and snot were all over the shirt I went in with.
  • Right before Leslie and Ben get married, when she’s talking with Ron in the hallway. I’m a wedding crier anyway, but jeez.
  • In Little Women, when Jo is going through the trunk in the attic after Beth has died (note: Beth’s death gets knocked down to 4 Crying Dawsons because of the weird brogue Claire Danes starts speaking in).
  • Everything that happens after Sara Crewe goes to live in the attic in A Little Princess. This is the second Frances Hodgson Burnett appearance on this list so I hope wherever she is, she’s proud of her vast legacy of children’s tears.
  • The funeral scene in Philadelphia, when they show the home movies of Beckett as a kid with his mom.
  • Good Will Hunting: 4 words – “It’s not your fault.”
  • My Girl: 6 words – “He can’t see without his glasses!”
  • Dead Poets Society: 4 words – “O Captain! My Captain!”