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.

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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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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.

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

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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”

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

Whatareyoudoinghere: Unexpected Guest Stars of Boy Meets World

Fourteen years ago, we said goodbye to one of the most influential TV series on millennials. In the current era in which nostalgia is not only cool, but more importantly, profitable, the folks from Boy Meets World decided it would be the perfect time to bring back the beloved series. Except they were super smart about it and instead of doing a whole reboot, it’s a spin-off with BMW’s main star, Cory and his oddly-named soulmate/wife/best friend Topanga and their two kids, specifically tween daughter Riley who like young Cory, is trying to find her place in the world.

Before the highly-anticipated series premieres on Friday, it’s only appropriate that we look back at the past, at a time when jeans were high-waisted, the hair was teased, and leather jacket made teachers look cool (where ARE you Mr. Turner?). While we know that people like Mr. Feeny, Mr. & Mrs. Matthews, and Uncle Shawn are heading to Girl Meets World, here are some unexpected guest stars of BMW that mostly likely won’t be reprising their roles.

Marla Sokoloff as Paige

{Season 1, Episode 4}

Just before Marla appeared as Gia, the bad influence on Stephanie Judith Tanner on Full House, she had a small role on BMW as a classmate who calls Cory overhears her call him a total “Brillo Head”, a term that sticks out in my mind when I think about this show for some reason. Cory gets the courage to confront her about calling him that, except she wasn’t talking about him in the first place, but rather her friend’s brother instead.

Keri Russell as Jessica

{Season 1, Episode 7}

dem jeans doe

Pre-Felicity (but with all the same hair to rival Topanga’s), Keri played Mr. Feeny’s niece who had a brief fling with Eric. That is until Cory pointed out Eric was “swapping spit with a Feeny”.

Rue McClanahan as Bernice Matthews

{Season 1, Episode 7}

In an alternate universe, Blanche Deveraux is the Matthews’ kids’ grandmother. And she wears fringe. God bless America.

Lindsay Price as Linda

{Season 1, Episode 8}

Lindsay Price is supposed to be 15 and 3/4 in this episode, but looks like a grown ass woman wearing one of those sweater vests that is like what you would wear to an ugly Christmas sweater party. Except sans Christmas decorations. Anyways, she plays a love interest for Eric who gets called something racist while she’s at the mall. It’s one of those deeper, more moral-centric episodes of the series, and Cory gives a passionate speech about Linda and Anne Frank in class. Gotta love this program.

Shane West as Nick

{Season 3, Episode 14}

It’s hard to believe there was ever a time when Cory and Topanga were ever not together – and in those episodes, we try to forget – but apparently Topanga even got the chance to date a kid named Nick, played by A Walk to Remember favorite, Shane West. Topanga and Cory run into Nick while they’re shopping for Christmas presents at the mall and turns out he’s working at Macy’s. But really, why is this teen boy working at Macy’s is my question.

Larissa Olyenik as Dana Pruitt

{Season 3, Episode 15 & 16}

Larisa was able to escape the Secret World of Nickelodeon and head over to Disney, leaving Alex Mack behind and stepping into the shoes of Dana Pruitt. She’s one of Cory & Shawn’s classmates, who Shawn asks out on a date, but since it’s clear all he wants to do on said date is make out with her, she declines a second date. Turns out she’s then interested in Cory who’s a “nice guy” and ended up not even kissing him at all, because he’s “boyfriend material” and wanted to take things slow. Meanwhile, Shawn got all jealous and pours his heart out to Dana who agrees to go on another date with him. They date for another episode until things get weird when Dana’s mom AND aunt date Mr. Turner (who is technically Shawn’s guardian at the moment). Yikes. Fun fact: Rider Strong and Larisa appeared as Gavroche & Cossette in a San Francisco production of Les Mis together in 1989!

Danny Strong as Arthur

{Season 3, Episode 15}

In the same episode as Alex Mack’s appearance, comes Danny Strong, who has since become an award-winning multi-hyphenate, but to me will forever be Doyle McMaster/Mr. Paris Gellar on Gilmore Girls. In BMW, he played a rival to Eric when the two compete for an internship at the local news station. Surprise, surprise (no really, a total surprise), Eric beats him to it.

Mena Suvari as Laura/Hilary

{Season 2, Episode 16; Season 3, Episode 12}

Mena is a double agent in BMW, first appearing as a girl who’s into Eric, and the second time she plays a girl checking people in at the door to a dance and thinks Cory is Shawn, who already as a reputation as a ladies’ man at this school on the other side of town. Needless to say, it’s not surprising this was her first professional acting role.

Adam Scott as Griff Hawkins

{Seasons 2 & 3}

Adam Scott easily wins the best guest star role award, just because he is Adam Scott. The funny thing about him in this show is that when I watched it as a tween, I remember thinking he was way too serious and seemed like too much of an “adult actor” on a kids show that it was oddly unsettling. Fast forward years later when I find out that the kid who fills in for the man in charge, Harley Kleiner, was no other than Human Disaster Ben Wyatt I flipped out. If anyone should make an appearance on GMW, it needs to be Adam Scott. Come on, Adam. Do it for your kids.

Brittany Murphy as Trini

{Season 3 , Episode 9}

Don’t be confused by her name – she’s not the yellow power ranger (although, RIP to both of them :\ ) Britt plays a classmate who needs a partner for one of their projects, and since Topanga is out sick, and Mr. Feeny split Cory and Shawn apart, Cory’s in need of a partner. And instead of choosing sweet, awkward Trini, he goes for super popular hot girl Missy. Check minus, Cory Matthews.

Charisma Carpenter

{Season 3, Episode 10}

This is the episode where they get stuck on a subway train on New Year’s Eve – and don’t get that confused with the episode of Full House where they get stuck on a subway train on the way to Uncle Jesse’s graduation, because lawd certainly knows I did. In the clip above Charisma Carpenter doesn’t have any lines, however you know who does- Wesley Jonathan. C-I-T-Y you can see why/these guys/the neat guys/smart and streetwise. Anyone? Anyone?

Andrew Keegan

{Season 3, Episode 21}

Remember the heartthrobs of the 90s and how both Rider Strong and Andrew Keegan were always in those pullout posters in Teen Beat? Well I can’t even imaging what it was like when they were on the same show together, even if it was for but a fleeting moment. Andrew played Ronnie “Lips” Watterman, who along with Topanga and this chick Kristen win an essay contest that wins them a trip down to Disney. And yes, this is the episode (again, not to be confused with the FH ep where DJ can’t stop seeing Steve everywhere) where Cory follows Topanga down to Florida to declare his love for her.

Candace Cameron Bure as Millie

{Season 5, Episode 5}

Speaking of Deej Tanner, immediately after FH ended, Candace got married and died her hair bleach blonde and then ended up back on the TGIF lineup on BMW as a crazy neighbor to Jack and Eric. Also, she’s a witch. Naturally. I wonder what her brother Kirk Cameron had to say about this.

Jennifer Love Hewitt

{Seasons 5, Episode 17}

Obviously, if you’re a BMW fan, you know this episode is probably not only the greatest in the entire series, but one of the most 22 minutes of television ever. How can you deny the screams of Jennifer Love Fefferman and the ultimate story of loyalty and friendship??

Linda Cardellini as the bitch who kissed Cory Lauren

{Season 5 }

First of all, I’d like to point out that I did not make the above meme, someone else clearly has the same thoughts as many BMW experts who also watch Mad Men. Linda obviously played the infamous Lauren in the ski trip episode, kissing Cory and ultimately the reason why he and Topanga broke up. Listen, Linda. You can be Freaks and Geeks me, Scooby Doo, even ER me, but you will forever be the bitch who broke up one of TV’s greatest couples. I mean, they clearly got back together, but still.

Fred Savage

{Season 6, Episode 7}

It was inevitable to have Ben Savage’s brother be on the show, right? Well I always found it interesting that the one time he’s on it, he plays skeezy college professor Stuart,. who hits on Topanga then instantly denies it. When confronted about he by Cory, the usually level-headed Mr. Matthews pushes Stuart through a glass door and he has to “go on trial” in front of the Dean – who subsequently only suspends Cory for one day. Peace out Ben Savage.

Nia Vardalos as Mrs. Gallagher

{Season 6, Episode 18}

Remember the time Eric befriended a small tot named Tommy who basically begs Eric to adopt him so he doesn’t have to live with foster parents in California. Eric seriously considers it and talks to the adoption center worker, played by Nia Vardalos. In a shocking moment of clarity, Eric realizes it’s the wrong thing to do and has to break this kid’s heart.

Marcia Cross as Rihannon Lawrence

{Season 7}

I appreciate that Topanga’s mom’s name is Rihannon – it totally fits with their hippie vibe. However I always thought Marcia Cross herself was an odd choice of casting, even though she joined later in the series, since the original Mrs. Lawrence was busy, I guess? I mean Topanga’s dad was played by three different actors, including one of The Monkees.