Happy Nostalgia Night! Feliz Noche de Nostalgia!

Uruguay is way ahead of us … or is it way behind us? On August 24, folks in Uruguay celebrate Nostalgia Night, a celebration of times past. Discos and radio stations play songs from years ago, party-goers dress up in throwback garb, and even Uruguay’s tourism site gets in on the action with a full page dedicated to the day’s events – and there are MANY, from dances to dinner shows to karaoke nights. While the U.S.A. seems caught in a Lisa Frank-tinged wave of ’90s nostalgia at the moment, much of Uruguay’s festivities focus on the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s. A sampling of ‘typical nostalgia night songs – not to be forgotten!’ includes I Will Survive, Jailhouse Rock, YMCA, as well as some more South American tunes. Police are out in full force (and, one can assume, The Police are on the stereo), because things are going to get raucous. It’s even one of the biggest party nights of the year , rivaling Christmas and New Year. Well done, Uruguay.

I’m not surprised Nostalgia Night exists – a quick look around a mall tells me that right now we’re living every day like it’s Nostalgia Night – but I’m sort of surprised the rest of us haven’t made it an official THING like Uruguay. Imagine it: a night where every bar you go to is going to be playing something from the Beatles to the Backstreet Boys. When your outfit of choice could be a full disco getup, or for us younger nostalgic folks, low rise jeans with a going out top. Where bars offer Dunkaroos instead of dirt-peanuts.

Since I won’t be getting to Uruguay today – and trust me, I’d love to be in Uruguay today – I’m sending some of our favorite nostalgia-related posts. After all, Nostalgia Nights in 2037 will probably be people sitting around and reading the internet like they did in 2017.

Fashion

  • The 90s were really fun and everything, but nobody looked as good as the kids do in today’s 90s revival. Here’s the truth of 90s fashion  myths vs. realities, as remembered by someone who was a kid at the time.
  • The mid-2000s – say, 2004 – 2009 or so – had a style all their own. You may think times haven’t changed, but when was the last time you wore a going-out top or a butt-ruffle?

Sports

Home Decor

Movies

Friends

SNICK Liveblogs

 

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Best of 2016: The Brangelina Relationship As Told In Rachel Green GIFs

One of the most shocking things to rattle the world last year was the (kind of) unexpected split between Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Or rather that they went through with it and there were allegations of child abuse. But there was no solid evidence of those rumors, so maybe just the fall of Hollywood’s foremost A-list couple.

Naturally, Jennifer Aniston sympathizers celebrated the end of a Brangelina era, and we decided to tell the story of Brangelina’s romance through Rachel Green GIFs. Because in the end, we all just want Jen to be happy.


The Brangelina Relationship As Told In Rachel Green Gifs

2004: Brad and Angelina meet and fall in love on the set of Mr. and Mrs. Smith.  Brad is married to Jennifer Aniston.
March 2005: Jennifer Aniston files for divorce: irreconcilable differences.

2013: Amid cheating rumors, a spate of magazines have cover stories about Brad declaring “I made a mistake”

2015: Rumors (possibly unfounded) of brad cheating begin to circulate.

September 20, 2016: Angelina Jolie files for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences.

The Brangelina Relationship As Told In Rachel Green Gifs

Not so long ago, tabloids and entertainment news shows couldn’t get enough of the (probably very manufactured) rivalry between Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Aniston. But now Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Aniston have a lot in common – they’re both separated from Brad Pitt! – and we think it’s time to talk about them in the same breath once again.

To be clear: we don’t care a whole lot about the Brad/Angelina announcement, except that we feel sad for people who are going through a tough time. They both seem like okay people, but we’ve never really stanned for them as a couple or as individuals. However, we do care about any excuse to describe a situation through the words and actions of Rachel Karen Green, Greenwich Village’s hottest underqualified Ralph Lauren executive:

2004: Brad and Angelina meet and fall in love on the set of Mr. and Mrs. Smith.  Brad is married to Jennifer Aniston.

(More relevant to our interests: this is the year that Friends ended.)

2004-2007: Despite Brad being the cheater, tabloids get a little too obsessed with Angelina and Jennifer’s supposed rivalry.

March 2005: Jennifer Aniston files for divorce: irreconcilable differences.

PS, at the time Aniston’s net worth is about $150 million dollars.

July 2005: Brad and Angelina won’t confirm relationship but will pose for a photo spread as parents of a brood of young children they don’t know.

January 2006: Angelina Jolie announces her pregnancy.

May 2006: Baby Shiloh is born. By this time, Brad has adopted Angelina’s older children, Maddox and Zahara.

 

March 2007: The Jolie-Pitts adopt Pax from Vietnam.

Guys, it was either this or Rachel and Ross singing Baby Got Back to Emma.

July 2008: Twins Knox and Vivienne are born.

2009: Brad announces that he and Angelina won’t get married until it’s legal for everyone to do so.

Image result for rachel green cheat

April 2012: The couple announces their engagement; Angelina begins wearing a wedding ring.

2013: Amid cheating rumors, a spate of magazines have cover stories about Brad declaring “I made a mistake”

August 2014: Brad and Angelina get married, roughly 7 years after I thought they were married.

2015: Rumors (possibly unfounded) of brad cheating begin to circulate.

2015: Brad and Angelina release a movie together. It’s called By The Sea. Chances are, you didn’t watch it.

April 2016: The Jolie-Pitts, who granted, have a ton of money, move into a house that costs $21,000 a month.

September 2016: Cheating rumors reach a high point (still unconfirmed).

September 20, 2016: Angelina Jolie files for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences.

 

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.

Rad 90s Dog Names: Pogs, Polly Pocket and More!

Chances are if you had a dog in the 90s, it’s dead.

But if you’re a 90s kid – someone whose main childhood years took place from 1990 – 1999 – you’re also now old enough to adopt a dog of your very own. Silver lining!

I’ve entertained the idea of getting a second dog – an idea that I’ve shelved for now because my 11-year-old puppy needs some pricey surgery. However, I got far enough to start mulling over dog names. I don’t think you can really name a dog before you meet it, but maybe you have a new dog and you can just tell that it’s a 90s dog. But not an actual dog from the 90s. Which, again, are mostly dead. If your new pup is giving you total pre-Y2K vibes, get a load of some of the 90s dog names I’ve brainstormed.

Lisa Frank

Because a great dog deserves to be named after a great dog artist. I actually had a dream that I had a dog named Lisa Frank which was the catalyst for this post. I may use this if any of my short-list dog name faves don’t fit my next dog.

DJ Tanner

Other Tanner family options that work are Becky Katsopolis, Kimmy Gibbler and Uncle Joey, which will always lead into a fun convo about how Joey wasn’t even really an uncle.

Comet would still be good, too.

Space Jam

For this reference to really *work* and make people think of the preeminent sports/animation/celebrity vehicle right away, you can’t name your dog after a Space Jam CHARACTER. You have to name it Space Jam.

Bela

Bella is one of the most popular dog names out there, but in this case your dog is named for famed gymnastics coach Bela Karolyi.

You could probably name your dog after Kerri Strugg as well.

Kerrigan

After Nancy. Also if you have two dogs, and ones a good girl and one’s full of mischief? Nancy and Tonya.

Spinderella

Please? Someone please?

Hallie and Annie

Only if you have two dogs, otherwise the reference is lost.

Pogs

I happen to think that it works better with the “s” on the end, but do what you wanna. Pogs the pug would be especially wonderful.

This is a great name for a dog that you think is really cool-looking but you don’t actually know what to do with.

Cory Matthews

Is your dog the lovable boy next door? With tousled brown curls?

The Rachel

You can technically name your dog just Rachel, but you have to use the article before it for this to be a top-shelf 90s reference. 

Mavis Beacon

Mavis is a great dog name AND Mavis Beacon is a great fictional typist. Obviously if you get a pet pig you’ll name it Mavis Bacon.

McCallister

Have to leave your dog Home Alone? And he always gets into unlikely, messy mischief?

Also you could call a boy dog Mac for short and a girl dog Callie so this is just perfect for any dog ever.

Polly Pocket

If your dog is tiny and compact, maybe you should name her after our favorite 90s choking hazard, Polly Pocket. I’ve already talked about how Molly is an overdone dog name, but for some reason Polly doesn’t get much play and I think it’s a lot more unexpected and cute.

Furby

Your dog already has fur, so right away this fits. It’s especially apt if you end up with a dog who doesn’t shut up.

Macarena

Macarena isn’t just an annoying pop song and an even worse dance craze – it’s also a girl’s name. Heyyy, Macarena!

Dunkaroo

If you were jealous of the kids whose moms bought Dunkaroos, imagine how jealous people will be of your dog named Dunkaroo. This has no basis as a dog name other than that it’s fun to say and also sounds kind of dog-ish?

__ Spice

You can name your dog after a Spice Girl, but I think the spice name has to match your dog’s personality. Like if your dog is intimidating, Scary Spice, and if small and fluffy, Baby Spice.

Carmen Sandiego

How dope was Carmen Sandiego? This would work great on a dog who was a runaway, is sneaky, or who is just very good with geography.

Zubaz

You can definitely call your dog Baz or Zubie for short, but if he’s stripe-y or sporty there’s no name like Zubaz.

Biggie Smalls

Too soon? It works equally well for a very big dog or a very small dog.

Pepper Ann or Doug Funnie

She’s like one in a million.

Or in the case of Doug, dah dah dah dah dah dah dah dah dah dah dah.

Tamagotchi

I don’t like the sound of this as a dog name. But what I DO like is the idea of someone being like “I have to go home to feed my Tamagotchi.”

Wishbone

 

Last but not least: I can think of no better way to honor your dog than to name him or her after the greatest dog of the 1990s, Wishbone.

Graduation Caps On Fleek

When we graduated high school 12 years (!!!!) ago, we didn’t have the option – or maybe didn’t even know there was the option – to decorate the tops of our caps. By college, I think the trend was still out there, but people at my school didn’t delve into their arts & crafts side, despite being an arts school. But now that it’s graduation season again, I am constantly seeing more and more elaborately decorated caps that are more exciting than any commencement I’ve ever attended.

And of course, there’s a good chunk out there that were inspired by pop culture, so here are some of the best from the Class of 2016 and their graduation caps on fleek*.

*I’m too old to be saying that they’re not “on fleek” I take that back.

Where is the lie?

Queen B for those Queens, B.

OMG!!!! 🎓❤️💛💙🎓

A post shared by ☕️ Best Of Friends Podcast ☕️ (@bofpodcast) on

And of course the wise words of Michael Scott…

Some call it the Hamilton Effect (we do. we call it that.)

Celebrating The Rachel, On The 20th Anniversary Of Its Death

The Rachel is dead.

Long live The Rachel.

Jennifer Aniston’s choppy shag – the biggest boon to the round brush industry to date – met its end by Season 3 of Friends. That means that right now, we are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Rachel’s death.

I think that to avoid looking too dated or silly, you should avoid any haircut with a first name (unless that name is bob. Pretty classic). But in 1996, America couldn’t resist the curled-under layers of Jennifer Aniston’s bouncy ‘do.

In the years since The Rachel died, Aniston has been pretty vocal about the cut:

Like anyone who has tried to curl their ends with a blowdryer while twirling a brush with the other hand, Jennifer hated styling her haircut. In 2011, she went so far as to call it “the ugliest haircut I have ever seen.”  My favorite part: stylist Chris McMillan was (allegedly) high when he created the style. “Stoned out of his mind,” Aniston said.

Okay, but was the Rachel really that bad? Let’s take a look-see.

I mean. Highlights have come a long way, and at the time those frosty pieces read more “sun-kissed” and less chunky. But NOBODY’S hair curls in towards their face like that, and that was the Rachel’s biggest downfall. Add in some cowlicks or waves and this thing is toast; try it on stick-straight hair, and it’ll just hang straight down with layers that look like they were cut with kitchen scissors.

Here’s the thing to remember, two decades on. It wasn’t just that people liked Rachel Green’s hairdo. It’s that the haircut spread across the nation like nothing I’ve seen before or since. (Closest match: Kate Gosselin’s I Want To Talk To The Manager haircut; that heavily inverted bob that looked cool for about a month and now just looks like a short haircut with two long puppy ears in the front.) It started with the moms. It moved on to the 20-somethings. I was 9, and my mom joked that I should get The Rachel.

Don’t think that just because The Rachel crawled off Jennifer Aniston’s head and died in 1996, it was gone for good. That baby multiplied and infested heads worldwide. In the early 2000s, you could still see a Rachel in the wild. Legend has it that a few dozen Rachels still exist in the natural world, but even if not, the echoes of the Rachel can be heard.  Every time your stylist asks if you want “a little face-frame,” the Rachel lives on. When a hairdresser suggests “some piece-y layers for texture,” you can hear the wind whisper “Rachel.” And whenever a thick highlight is pulled through a latex cap, the faint sound of Chris McMillan’s hairstyling shears floats into the room.

 

Post-Holiday Blah-Busting Winter Watchlist

So. Now it’s January. Just January. Been back at work for a few days. I’m feeling sort of chilly, but otherwise unremarkable. Maybe I have some Christmas cookies in my freezer, maybe not. Blah. January.

The same part of me that loved getting new school supplies every September (and even buying new textbooks in college and law school, except for the hefty price tag) likes the clean slate of a new year. Everything is white and blank and open to possibility. But still, it’s not exactly Christmas, is it?

If you had a really good Christmas or Solstice or whatever, going back to regular life is a letdown. If you had a terrible holiday, it kind of feels like you should get a do-over. There’s nothing you can do about that now, so let’s start our post-holiday watchlist.

Here are my requirements for post-holiday blah-busting viewing:

  • It shouldn’t be about the holidays, at least not primarily. If you simply had a wonderful Christmastime you’ll miss it, and if you had the Worst Kwanzaa In The World you’ll just dwell on it.
  • Something set in winter is good, but something that is at least not summer-specific is fine. Some people like escaping to warmer weather and longer days via TV and movies, but I’m more into celebrating the season that I’m in.
  • You know those dark independent comedies that are KIND of funny, like you chuckle under your breath a bit, but mostly they leave you feeling sort of bleak? Not now. Not this binge watch. Not on our blog.

Television

Happy Endings

Why: It’s one of the funniest shows that not enough people (apparently) watched, and is so light and sweet that you could consume large quantities of it in a single sitting, like FroYo. AND it is finally streaming on Hulu, for those of you who didn’t buy all of the seasons on DVD.

Friends

Why: It’s straight-up TV comfort food, and it’s also been so long that a lot of us have watched certain episodes that it’s like rereading old letters. For some reason I’m particularly thinking of seasons 3-8 or so, not sure why. Again, Netflix is going to facilitate this one.

Wings

Was this even good? I genuinely forget.

Why: I don’t know. I got it in my head a few days ago that I’d like to rewatch Wings, so I guess I just want SOMEONE to do it. But really: workplace comedy, occasional romantic intrigue, it’s set in Nantucket so things never get particularly tropical.

Fawlty Towers

Why: If you haven’t seen Fawlty Towers yet, you should – so why not now? And if you have seen it before, I think it would hold up to a rewatch. I know it’s set on the “English Riviera” but the hotel setting makes it feel kind of cosy.

Master of None

Why: We already told you that it’s a show you should be watching if you aren’t already, and we meant it. When I was wrapping Christmas presents this year I literally texted Traci and asked whether I should watch Master of None or Making a Murderer (I didn’t want anything Christmas-y, so I was basically looking for something that would fit on this list). Anyway, Master of None made the cut and two days later I had finished the whole series. Master of None is remarkably true to life for a certain kind of older millennial (read: us), and it paints a kind and optimistic portrait of people you’re sure to recognize.

Movies

Groundhog Day

Why: In the 90s, this passed for a solid and possibly innovative comedy. In 2016, the concept reminds me of one of those Hallmark Christmas movies. Except not even about Christmas. About Groundhog Day. And yet it’s still fun and cute and it taps into the 2016 zeitgeist with Bill Murray and “normcore.”

The Mighty Ducks

Why: The Mighty Ducks is the rare children’s winter movie that isn’t about Christmas, it will remind you of your 90s childhood, it’s a surprisingly well-done family comedy/drama, and you can watch baby Pacey Witter and realize that in 5 years you’re going to have a crush on him and feel weird about it.

Chronicles of Narnia

How I feel about James McAvoy with cloven hooves and a tail.

Why: When Winter is presented as a mystical dreamland, you remember how really beautiful it is. Lots of gorgeous snowy imagery, cute British tots, and some religious allegory if you’re into that. I mentally still refer to this as “the Chronic -what? – cles of Narnia,” so thank you, Samberg and Parnell.

March Of The Penguins

Why: Warm-weather nature gets all the glory, but arctic life is pretty awesome too. If you haven’t seen this yet you may think it sounds dumb, but it isn’t, it’s life-affirming and fascinating and there’s a chance that I cried when I saw it.

Cool Runnings

Why: Okay, there’s a lot of Jamaica, but it’s warm-weather action leading up to cold weather action. Besides, you loved this movie, once upon a time. May as well give it another shot.

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Why: Like Fawlty Towers, the enclosed hotel setting feels comfy and wintery, and it has a story you can really fall into for a few hours. Plus the very Wes Anderson sugarplum and macaron color palette feels seasonal, in a good way.

The Peanuts Movie

Why: If you’re watching movies with kids, and you don’t want to watch a Christmas movie and you’ve seen Frozen a million times … but you still want to keep it wintery …. this adorable but not ground-breaking movie is not a bad way to spend 90s minutes.

Obvious Child

Max, guys.

Why: It’s a funny and sweet film and Jenny Slate is the kind of leading lady I want in my rom-coms. But also, this one is set during that point in the winter where you sort of give in and wear Brillo-textured sweaters everywhere and can’t sleep because your radiator is always either at 0 or 1,000. By the way, Jake Lacy is going to be a big thing in 2016 and you can totally see why.

Bridget Jones’s Diary

Why: There’s some minor holiday season shenanigans, but it’s mostly a winter (/season-neutral) romantic comedy. I haven’t seen Bridget Jones’s Diary since I was 15, so I completely forgot that it’s a reinterpretation of Pride and Prejudice (… I know), but I have the same ambivalent feeling toward Colin Firth’s character as I do toward Fitzwilliam Darcy, so now I probably need to rewatch it and write a post about that.

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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#ThrowbackThursday – The One With All The Thanksgivings

Happy Thanksgiving, friends! Hope y’all are having a wonderful day surrounded by friends and family and all the food your stomachs can handle! One of my favorite traditions on this day is to go back and watch all the Friends Thanksgiving episodes, because, America. While each of them have their own merits, I decided to rank them in order of import, so if you feel like watching one or two of these today, I’d say go with the the top spot and work your way back. Thanks for reading and enjoy your turkey!!

Good television fans know that certain series have the market on lock when it comes to holiday-themed episodes. For example, The Office had superb Christmas episodes every year. Community goes above and beyond with its Halloween shows. And of course, you could always count on Friends for a solid Thanksgiving episode.

friends t gives

Over the past few years, I’ve started my own tradition (like the Geller Cup, if you will) of watching every Thanksgiving episode from all 10 seasons, just to get me in the mood for the holiday.

So in honor of today, here’s a definitive list (read: based solely on my own personal opinion, my mind will probably change tomorrow) of the episodes from worst to best.

Oh and Happy Thanksgiving!

Number Ten

Season 2: The One with the List

Ross must choose between Rachel and Julie and enlists Joey and Chandler’s help in making a list of the pros and cons of each. He chooses Rachel, but she finds the list and gets angry with Ross. Meanwhile, Monica gets a job making food with a synthetic chocolate substitute called Mockolate.

This was the only episode in the show’s 10 year run that was not an official “Thanksgiving episode”. It served as such when it aired in 1995, but there was not real T-Giving banter until the following season. That being said, I still think this is a great episode, not only because everyone’s still on a high from Ross and Rachel’s first kiss, but because Chandler’s laptop is like a life-changing instrument where you can both type semi-offensive documents about your friends but also play Doom. Could it BE anymore 90s?

Number Nine

Season 7: The One Where Chandler Doesn’t Like Dogs

Phoebe sneaks a puppy into the apartment; Chandler reveals why he hates dogs. Ross becomes obsessed with naming all 50 states in order to earn his Thanksgiving dinner. Phoebe names celery.

Because of Ross, millions of people were left dumbfounded and extremely annoyed that they couldn’t list all 50 states. Unless you’re one of those people who learned the States song when you were younger. In which case you can’t participate in the game or Thanksgiving.

Number Eight

Season 10: The One with the Late Thanksgiving

Monica and Chandler grudgingly agree to host Thanksgiving. They get angry when their friends show up late, when Ross and Joey having gone to a game and Rachel and Phoebe having taken Emma to a baby beauty pageant, because why not. But their mood changes when they get good news from the adoption agency.

The best scenes in this mediocre episode are with the four latecomers who are brainstorming to come up with a way to get on the Bings’ good graces and come to dinner. Not to mention the creepiest door scene in all of Friends history.

Number Seven

Season 9: The One with Rachel’s Other Sister

Amy, Rachel’s spoiled sister played by Christina Applegate, shows up for Thanksgiving. The gang argues over who gets custody of Emma if Ross and Rachel die. 

Props to the person who cast both Christina Applegate and Reese Witherspoon as Rachel’s sisters. Christina was even nominated twice for her role and won in 2003 for this very episode! And it was totally well deserved because her spaciness and inability to understand that Phoebe’s name is, in fact, Phoebe and not Emma, makes her the sole reason why this episode needs more credit than it deserves.

Number Six

Season 1: The One Where Underdog Gets Away

The gang gets locked out of the apartment in order to see the Underdog balloon fly away from the Macy’s Day Parade. Monica’s first Thanksgiving dinner gets burned, Rachel misses a ski trip with her family, and Joey becomes a poster boy for VD.

The first season is a magical season for many reasons, but most importantly because if you’re watching it in current day, you can tell there’s still an innocence among the cast members and within the actual show – these people have no idea how big the show’s going to be or how much of an impact it will have on television history in general. The first ever Thanksgiving episode is no different. It set a precedent for future T-giving episodes, and the rest of the series in general.

Number Five

Season 3: The One with the Football

The gang plays a game of touch football on Thanksgiving as Ross and Monica argue over winning in a case of sibling rivalry over the coveted Geller Cup. Meanwhile, Joey and Chandler argue over who gets to date a model from Holland and Rachel is still clueless on the game. 

Family, Friends, Food and Football. Pretty much Thanksgiving summed up in alliteration. The Friends writers knew they had to incorporate one of America’s most beloved past times, and this was the perfect way to do it.

Number Four

Season 4: The One with Chandler in a Box

After Joey finds out that Chandler kissed his girlfriend Kathy, he forces Chan to spend Thanksgiving in a huge wooden box so he can think about what he did. What’s even weirder than Chandler in a box? Monica inviting her ex-boyfriend’s son over for Thanksgiving and she hits on him.

The reason for this episode being one of the greatest is threefold: 1) Monica with an eye patch. 2) Chandler/Matthew Perry being in a box the entire episode. 3) One of the greatest and unforgettable lines ever in Friends, as seen in the clip above. Judge all you want.

Number Three

Season 5: The One with All the Thanksgivings

The gang’s past Thanksgivings are revealed flashback style. We get to see when Chandler and Monica first meet, how he changed her life, Joey’s head up a turkey’s butt, and Pheebs in the 1600s. 

I appreciate that Friends has done only a few clip shows in its 10 year run, since it can feel like the writers haven’t come up with any new ideas and are just being lazy. But one thing that Friends did, that I think How I Met Your Mother really perfected, is having flashback scenes that are brand new to both the cast and the viewers. This episode takes the cake, as we get to see the Friends in different eras, different stages of their life and how they all came together as one unit. Plus who doesn’t love a good turkey head?

Number Two

Season 8: The One with the Rumor

Monica invites a high school friend, Will, played by Brad Pitt, to her Thanksgiving dinner. He and Ross were pals back in the day and had an I Hate Rachel Green club, which she finds out in the episode. Meanwhile, Joey tries to eat an entire turkey and Chandler and Phoebe attempt to avoid helping Monica with the dinner.

Oh boy. It’s like pouring salt in the wound thinking about this, but remember when Brad and Jennifer were still married and happy in love? But then they played enemies in this episode? Brad hardly makes any TV appearances, but obviously he made an exception with this, and I think he played the perfect roll. This could also be because my obsession with him started around this time, but whatever. Despite Will and Ross’ “hatred” for Rachel, it turns out to be a sweet moment at the end between the show’s iconic couple, leaving you with the warm and fuzzies. Isn’t that what the holidays are all about?

Number One

Season 6: The One Where Ross Got High

Ross and Monica’s parents come to dinner, and Ross is forced to tell Chandler why Jack and Judy don’t like him, since they still don’t know Monica and Chandler are living together. Things get more stressful for Ross as he and Joey are trying to speed up Thanksgiving to hang out with Janine, played by Elle MacPherson, and her dancer friends. Rachel *tries* to make dessert for the first time. 

The Friends’ Thanksgiving episodes are usually bottle episodes, which means the action primarily takes place in one setting, with the same characters. In this case, it’s the six Friends in Monica’s apartment, seemingly like an act of a play. In saying that, the 22 minute episode goes by so quickly because the writing, acting, and comedic timing by all is just that good. So many things are happening with all of the characters, and it converges together in one of the most hilarious scenes on TV. From Phoebe’s infatuation with a French aqualegend to Rachel’s feet-tasting trifle, this episode is the perfect mix of disaster, family time and sentimentality that Thanksgiving is all about.