Rex Manning Day, Mean Girls Day and More: Essential Pop Culture Holidays

In The Great Gatsby, Daisy always watched for the longest day of the year and then missed it. In the age of tumblr, I always watch for Saturday Detention Day, AKA Breakfast Club Day, and then miss it. I kind of understand how Daisy must feel. In the interest of never missing another movie or TV holiday, we’re compiling them here. Did we miss any? Let us know before we’re late to yet another Aaron Samuels Day.

Galentines Day

Date: February 13
TV Show: Parks and Recreation (2009 – 2015)
Reasoning:

Leap Day

Date: February 29, every 4 years
TV Show: 30 Rock
Reasoning: 30 Rock didn’t invent Leap Day, but it did invent Leap Day William, the heart and soul of the holiday

The Day Of The Dude

Date: March 8
Movie: The Big Lebowski (1998)
Reasoning: Anniversary of the Big Lebowski’s Release

Breakfast Club Day AKA Saturday Detention Day

Date: March 24
Movie: The Breakfast Club (1984)
Reasoning:

Winston Smith Day AKA 1984 Day

Date: April 4
Book: 1984, by George Orwell (1949)
Reasoning: The day Winston Smith began his diary.

Rex Manning Day

Date: April 8
Movie: Empire Records (1995)
Reasoning:

The Perfect Date

Date: April 25th
Movie: Miss Congeniality
Reasoning:

N Sync Day

Date: April 30
Song: It’s Gonna Be Me
Reasoning:

The Battle of Hogwarts

Date: May 2
Book and Movie: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Reasoning: Confirmed by J.K. Rowling, who said that Victoire Weasley was born on the anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts, May 2. The year was 1998:

Star Wars Day

Date: May 4
Movies: Many
Reasoning:

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Date: June 5
Movie: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
 Reasoning: It’s iffy. That’s the day the audio from the Chicago Bears game they attended came from, but there may have been a few months left in the schoolyear. Also, that parade would have been in the fall. Let’s say that any day you play hooky can be Ferris Bueller Day in your heart.

Best Friends Day

Date: June 8
TV Show: Spongebob Squarepants
Reasoning: There’s no date given for Best Friends Day in the episode where Spongebob and Patrick celebrate it, so it’s usually celebrated on the Facebook-ish holiday of Best Friends Day, June 8

Bloomsday

Date: June 16
Book: Ulysses, by James Joyce (1922)
Reasoning: The events of Ulysses (main character Leopold Bloom) take place on June 16, 1904

Harry Potter’s Birthday

Date: July 31
Books/Movies: The Harry Potter series
Reasoning: Not only is this the date Harry was born in 1980, it’s when JK Rowling was born in 1965. And of course, Neville Longbottom was born the day before Harry if you want to turn it into a two-day event.

Roald Dahl Day

Date: September 13
Books: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The BFG, Matilda, James and the Giant Peach, and many, many more
Reasoning: Roald Dahl was born on this day in 1916. Last year we celebrated with a whole week dedicated to Matilda.

Mean Girls Day AKA Aaron Samuels Day

Date: October 3
Movie: Mean Girls (2004)
Reasoning:

Treat Yo Self Day

Date: October 13
TV Show: Parks and Recreation (2009 – 2015)
Reasoning: The ‘treat yo self’ episode aired on this date in 2011

Abed’s Rudolph Day

Date: December 9
TV Show: Community (2009 – 2015)
Reasoning: In the classic 2010 claymation episode Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas, this is the day Abed always watches Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer with his mom. 

Refrigerator Day

Date: December 11
TV Show: Dinosaurs (1991)
Reasoning: The date this classic episode about Refrigerator Day aired:

 

Festivus

Date: December 23
TV Show: Seinfeld  (1989 – 1998)
Reasoning: The day the holiday ‘for the rest of us’ is celebrated with the feats of strength, airing of grievances and Festivus pole.

 

Questions, Comments, Concerns: Dead 7

Well folks, it was no April Fools’ Day joke – maybe it was kind of a little? – but on Friday, SyFy premiered Dead 7, a zombie Western featuring 90s boy band members and teen idols and made by the fine folks who blessed the world with all the Sharknadoes.

When I first heard about this movie, I was NOT aware it was supposed to be in the same vein as Sharknado, so finding out my beloved Backstreet Boys members – Nick Carter, AJ McLean and Howie Dorough – were going to be in it, I immediately #SMH in shame. Especially because this is the movie’s description:

A post-apocalyptic Western that follows a group of gunslingers as they look to rid a small town of a zombie plague.

Um. Nope. But if you go into it knowing it’s a parody of sorts, I think you’ll enjoy it more. Or at least not shake your head in as much shame. Or if you really want to forego the entire viewing experience all together, just watch this trailer and keep reading.

Comment: what.

lol the opening credits are already ridiculous and I already know I’m going to hate this “plot” because I don’t care for zombies OR Westerns. But this is what I’m told: “Will they become cattle for the army of the dead or become warriors and fight against the growing darkness?”

Concern: U MadTV

This is the villain of the movie, Apocolypta, who is leading the “cattle”. She was also on MadTV and that’s the only thing I know her from, so will I be able to see past that? She does have an extremely annoying growling voice that isn’t anything like her Whitney Houston on the show.

Question: Dothraki?

Apocolypta is speaking some sort of foreign language, but why? Where is this taking place?

Concern: Ew. Blood.

One of the reasons why I hate zombie movies/shows is because I do not like watching blood and guts and anything of that nature. We’re four minutes in and Apocolypta serves some prisoner a human heart to eat. This is going to be rough.

Comment: MY BBs

Story by Nick Carter. My boo 4 LIFE AJ McLean on a horse. A REMINDER OF WHY I’M WATCHING THIS MOVIE.

Comment: Come on and Heat it up

Chapter 1 (there’s more than one chapter??) takes places in Harper’s Junction, and we meet the first of the Dead 7, Billy aka Jeff Timmons of 98 Degrees, who shows up looking like a real dirty All-American hero. He has aged well, considering some of his counterparts. Hey, remember the time Jeff was in the Chippendales? Let me tell you – I just went to Vegas to see the Chippendales for my friend’s bachelorette and no one was quite as famous as Jeff Timmons.

Question: Random killings necessary?

Why is AJ straight up running into Harper’s Junction and shooting people left and right? He’s like the Joker on acid (I answered my own question – he’s working for Apocolypta and killing folks for the zombies to heat. Can you tell I don’t watch The Walking Dead?)

Concern: Visual effects are mediocre at best

Turns out Jeff Timmons is one of the heroes (duh, Traci), and he kills zombies with his guns, in a way that is very reminiscent of the “special effects” seen when Ian Ziering battles sharks in Sharknado. As in, it’s horrible but horrible enough to let you know they’re not serious about this.

Comment: Hey boobs

 Number 2 of 7 is Daisy Jane, a large-breasted blonde played by Carrie Keegan. Don’t know who that is? That’s fine, I only know her because she used to host a live morning show on VH1 I had to cover for work called Big Morning Buzz, which she left in order to focus on acting. Ironically, she was replaced by none other than 98 Degrees’ own Nick Lachey.

Comment: This dialogue

“She took my eye but she took your balls.”

One of the first scenes Chris Kirkpatrick of ‘N Sync fame has is when Apocolypta gouges his eye with her thumb. He has an eye patch. And is the mayor of Desert Springs Jon Secada of Jon Secada has sideburns. GOD BLESS.

Comment: Perfect casting

AJ is an insane villain and no shade, he is so good at being crazy. He’s always been the crazy one of the group so it’s in his wheelhouse, and his performance is getting me through this movie. And it’s only been 13 minutes. Also, we’re on “Chapter II: The Magnificent Dead 7” … how many chapters are there?

Question: Should I know these people?

Because there are so many rando 90s stars in the movie, I honestly can’t tell if some of these folks are celebrities or people from central casting.

Comment: More Joey Fatone

We meet 3 of 7, Whiskey Joe as played by the second best actor in this movie, Joey Fatone of ‘N Sync. He’s beating people up and drinking from his whiskey bottle it is fantastic. Right after this fight, he says, “I gotta go” and he doesn’t mean leave the premises, he’s gotta go number one because WHISKEY.

Concern: Type casting

 Howard Dwaine Dorough of the Backstreet Boys is 4 of 7, a dude named Vaquero. Aka a Latino man with Ray Bans from the actual 1990s. And his accent is… maybe slightly offensive. Maybe also offensive is 5 of 7 Komodo – Erik Estrada of O-Town. Despite also being Latino, he is not type cast but rather playing a sword-wielding ninja cowboy. So Vaquero is way more offensive, I’ve decided.

Question: THERE’S A FOURTH SHARKNADO?

“Sharknado 4 – The 4th Awakens”. This title tho.

Comment: Meta jokes begin

In what I think is the first meta joke of the movie, Gerardo Mejía (the Rico Suave guy) is a store owner? (Who accepts teeth as payment?) Anyways, he says, “Suave! Woo! That’s my boy!” while he’s reading a magazine of sorts. What type of magazine could he possibly be looking at in this zombie world?

Question: What is Nick Carter hiding?

6 of 7 is the one and only Nick Carter of BSB, who plays Jack, Billy/Jeff Timmons’ brother. He’s camped out in a field by himself and gets a letter from Daisy Jane (who is engaged to Billy), and in the note, she encourages him to “put the past behind them”. Did Jack and Billy have a falling out? Did Jack and Daisy Jane have a romantic past? These are the things I’m willing to explore.

“This is a big ass door” Vaquero, while walking through a big ass door.

Comment: Joey Fatone is hilarious

Honestly. He keeps mispronouncing Vaquero as Vacaro (like Brenda Vaccaro, which is a totally relevant reference) and it’s v entertaining to me. He also says, “There’s a bunch of chopped up copperheads (zombies) and they’re… muy muerto.” Spin-off with Joey and AJ. Except no zombies. Or as a Western. So, like a normal movie.

Question: What happened to Everclear?

This is Art Alexakis. He was in Everclear. Now he’s in this movie.

Concern: A kid is going to die

“I’ve gotta check on my foster kid, Georgie.” Jon Secada is the maybe only sheriff/cop in town, and earlier, AJ/Vermillion/Apocolypta’s right hand man, was talking to some kid after breaking out of jail. I am concerned for his safety now. Also, his foster kid?? Update: Foster kid is a zombie. So is Jon Secada. Great.

Question: What does Ikaika Kahoano think of all this?

 Sure, Ashley Parker Angel wants nothing to do with O-Town anymore, but Making the Band fans know Dan Miller actually replaced the originally chosen singer Ikaika, who left because he felt like O-Town wasn’t a good fit for him. Then he went and started his own boy band who had a semi-hit with Hey Juliet and disappeared into the Hawaiian night. Does he wish he could’ve been a bartender then have his flesh chewed out by zombies like Dan? Probs not.

“Everybody’s gonna die some day.” – Jack

Comment: Komodo’s girlfriend is no bueno

Komodo meets Trixie at a bar and she hasn’t left his side since. He’s trying to kill zombies and she’s just there. That is annoying enough, but this girl is like every hot girl in horror movies who looks great running away from a murderer, but the acting skills are just not there. And you know what I found out? The actress, Chloe Lattanzi, is the daughter of Olivia Newton-John. Yes, Sandy herself. Do with that information what you will.

Question: Nepotism?

7 of 7 is Sirene, a machete wielding amazong played by Lauren Kitt Carter, wife of Nick Carter. Nick Carter – star, executive producer, writer of the story. So she’s not the greatest actress, but bless.

Question: What happened to Shifty Shellshock?

My, my a Starry Eyed Surprise – to see Shifty Shellshock in a movie with members of ‘N Sync and BSB.

Concern: There’s just blatant racism now

Whiskey Joe yells to Vacquero, “We’re in America we speak American!” Which, I get is a joke, but felt weird to me. To make matters worse, Howie’s Spanish is 6th grade Spanish and an accent that’s fit for Speedy Gonzales.

Comment: I forgot about the other half of O-Town

I failed to mention Jacob Underwood and Trevor Penick are also in this film, and while Jacob spends most of his short time on screen driving a pick-up truck, I honestly don’t even remember seeing Trevor at all. And he’s my fave O-Towner.

Question: What’s happening?

I stopped paying attention because I got distracted by stalking Scott Patterson on Twitter.

Comment: So there’s a brothel

If you were bored by the blood and the zombies, don’t worry, because they’ve thrown in a random brothel to spice things up. And Frenchie Davis of American Idol Season 2 (disqualified bc porn) fame is the madam there. Komodo’s GF Trixie lives here, because she gave him directions but failed to mention she’s a prostitute. He brings along Whiskey Joe and Vaquero, who are being THE BIGGEST CREEPS AND EYING DOWN THE LADIES OH MY GOD THERE IS STRAIGHT UP SIMULATED SEX HERE I HATE IT. Oh bye Howard. He’s dead.

Question: Why?

ARE YOU KIDDING ME Whiskey Joe plays a few notes of Amazing Grace on his harmonica before killing Howie and letting him out of his misery after a zombie prostitute bit him. Like what even was that sentence I just typed.

Concern: I’m still attracted to AJ

He is literally knifing Daisy Jane and Billy is crying because his girl is dead and AJ mocks his tears and it is equally hilarious and hot.

Comment: Just… a lot of blood

So much blood.

“I can’ play rough You’re my kind of bitch” AJ what are you saying

Question: What happened with Billy and Jack?

Billy’s dying and Jack is by his side and crying over his death, but I still don’t get why they had a tense relationship? These characters need to be *fleshed* out better, said no one except me about a SyFy channel movie.

Comment: THIS.

LOL AJ’S HEAD IS LITERALLY ROLLING AFTER KOMODO USES TWO SWORDS TO SLICE IT OFF.

Comment: AND THIS.

LOL ERIK USING A LEG FOR PROTECTION

Question: When zombies die, don’t they come back to life?

Legit question.

Comment: I am mourning the loss of Whiskey Joe

 Whiskey Joey hints earlier that if he ever gets bit by a zombie, he has a separate “blood flask” that’s connected to a bomb lining his coat so when he turns into a zombie he’ll know to detonate it and kill himself. This happens for real and his intestines hang out. I cannot.

“They’re everywhere and I’m running out of whiskey.” Whiskey Joe keeping it real

Comment: Komodo let love ruin his life

Trixie get bit by a zombie, and in mourning, Komodo cradles her in his arms, then kisses her one last time – except she bites him. Like, come on. So he has to kill her they only way he knows how, by jabbing a knife into her skull. Then he kills himself in a Romeo + Juliet situation, thus becoming our tragic lovers.

Question: I still don’t get this movie?

Honestly where is this going, what’s the moral of the story here?

Comment: Baby Baylee appears

Jack/Nick gets bitten by a baby zombie that legit looks like Brian Littrell’s son Baylee when he was a tot, and I can’t unsee it. Luckily, Sirene saves the day.

Comment: The song makes so much more sense now

The original song made by the stars (mainly Nick and AJ) called In The End, is played in the beginning and, surprise surprise at the end of the movie, and it totally resonates so much more because of the journey I just went on.

No one’s left to take me home/Nothing’s left just a dream/Don’t look back nothing’s gonna save us

Comment: Apocolypta is dead

I forgot to mention that. Pretty much everyone dies except Sirene. Which apparently is a relief to some, including Jack, who tells us in the voiceover that he ” has a chance to rest finally rest in death.”

Boy Band Babes Breaking Onto The Big Screen

If you’re wondering where Harry Styles has been since One Direction began their indefinite hiatus in December, he’s been (maybe) dating Kendall Jenner, tweeting about burgers and moved to Hollywood in an attempt to start an acting career. Luckily for him and for all of us, he is kicking it off with a legit movie. Harry recently got cast in Christopher Nolan’s World War II action thriller called Dunkirk, which is about “the British military evacuation of the French city of Dunkirk in 1940.” It also stars no-names like Tom Hardy, Sir Kenneth Branagh and recent Oscar winner Mark Rylance, so, NBD. There hasn’t been much detail on what Harry’s role is, but I’m assuming it’s a soldier of some sort, and he could either be on the same level of Matt Damon in Saving Private Ryan or Jimmy Fallon in Band of Brothers. EXACTLY.

But obviously this is nothing new. Harry isn’t the first boy band hunk to break into acting. There have been many in our generation alone, so let’s revisit some of their great and no so greatest hits in film and TV.

Justin Timberlake {‘N Sync}

Arguably one of the best boy band alums to have the most success as an actor, JT has won four Emmys, been nominated for a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and in a movie that was nominated for 8 Oscars (The Love Guru haha jk). Among my personal faves are Inside Llewyn Davis and his first big TV movie in DCOM Model Behavior (<-that is the full version!), as seen above. Classic, just a classic. But we all know he excels the most in comedy, thanks to every single one of his Saturday Night Live episodes. Remember when he hosted for the first time and you were like, ‘Oh shit. He’s really funny and talented and a natural’? It was magic. Even Lorne Michaels has said he would hire JT if being a comedian was his number one priority. I wouldn’t be mad at that.

Jesse McCartney {Dream Street}

Technically Jesse began acting before he was in Dream Street since he was in All My Children, earning those young actor trophies soap opera awards shows are wont to dole out. But he became a teen idol with one-hit wonder Dream Street and the huge, mega popular, number one song all around the world, It Happens Everytime. Jesse was smart by using the group as a platform for solo work and it’s the reason we’ve been #Blessed with songs like Leavin’ and Bleeding Love. Anyways, he’s consistently worked on either music or acting ever since, starring in shows like Greek, Army Wives, Young & Hungry and of course, a “Fresh New Summerland” with future hunkasaurus Zac Efron. In full disclosure, I am a legit Jesse McCartney fan – like the kind that has paid money to meet and greet him fan. As a result of this, I have voluntarily seen a handful of movie’s he’s been in JUST because he’s in it. Like teen drama Keith and Lifetime original movie Expecting Amish, which was so ridiculous and good as any Lifetime movie usually is that I’m surprised I didn’t write a live blog about it. But you know where he’s really getting the cash money from? All FOUR of the Alvin and the Chipmunks movies.

Nick Lachey {98 Degrees}

After 98 Degrees, Nick mainly transitioned into a successful TV host, serving as the emcee for shows like The Sing-Off, Big Morning Buzz Live and The Winner Is, and if we’re not counting acting on Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica, he’s also appeared on Charmed, One Tree Hill, and Hawaii Five-O. Least we forget his unforgettable film, Rise: Blood Hunter, a horror film starring Lucy Liu, Matt Saracen, Marilyn Manson and Tawny from Even Stevens. Yeah.

Joey McIntyre {New Kids on the Block}

If there’s any boy band who has a high ratio of successful actors, it’s New Kids on the Block. Joey’s done TV (Boston Public, The McCarthys), film (The Heat), and theatre (Wicked, The Fantasticks). He’s obviously typecast as a dudeked from Boston with a super thick accent, but hey, don’t fix what ain’t broke, yanno?

Donnie Wahlberg {New Kids on the Block}

Let’s face it, Donnie Wahlberg is a more successful actor than Justin Timberlake. He may have been doing it longer, but he’s also had steady acting jobs and won acclaim for his roles over the years. He’s been on a steady CBS drama, Blue Bloods, for the past six seasons, and also starred in Boomtown and Band of Brothers. Not to mention his movie roles in Saw II through IV, and of course, The Sixth Sense, a role which I think collectively blew every viewer’s mind after realizing the dude in the bathroom was the bad boy in NKOTB. PS: the clip above is horribly dubbed en espanol but it is still so good.

Joey Fatone {‘N Sync}

As a Backstreet Boys fan, I was allergic to anything ‘N Sync. But I guess one day I decided to screw it and watch On the Line, a romantic comedy featuring Lance Bass and Joey Fatone and I genuinely loved the movie a lot. It was a classic 1990s teen romcom that most people probably thought sucked, which is why I loved it. Then Joey showed off his comedic chops in My Big Fat Greek Wedding (and the sequel) and perhaps we all realized he was much better as a funny TV personality and comedic actor than a boy band heartthrob. Speaking of which, he, along with fellow 90s boy banders Nick Carter, AJ McLean, Howie Dorough, Chris Kirkpatrick, most of O-Town and more are starring in a zombie western, Dead 7, which premieres on SyFy on Friday. Guys. I hate zombies. I hate westerns, but I am HERE for my boys. And I will be presenting a full recap on Monday.

A Definitive Ranking of the songs on Platinum Christmas

The year is 2000. I graduated 8th grade and met Molly in high school for the first time. We survived Y2K. George Dubya was elected President for the first time. American Beauty won Best Picture at the Oscars.  Ian ‘Thorpedo’ Thorpe dominated in his native Australia during the Sydney summer Olympics. Joey chose Pacey over that other dude in the Dawson’s Creek series finale. TRL (Total Request Live, duh) was at the height of its popularity. This was the year of …Oops I Did It Again, The Real Slim Shady, ‘N Sync vs. BSB. Pop music was alive and well, and being a 14-year-old teenybopper, I soaked it all in.

The folks over at Jive Records, which was home to a lot of the pop acts featured on TRL, decided to capitalize on this and make a compilation album for the holidays called Platinum Christmas. If you shared any of the same musical tastes as I did, you remember this album clearly. My Christmas music collection was sparse at the time, and rather embarrassing to be quite honest. But I played this album on my boom box for hours. I would make my parents play it in the car, so listening to a lot of these songs remind me of sitting in the backseat, staring out the window and gazing at the piles and piles of snow we passed by.

So in honor of the holiday season, I’ve revisited one of the most nostalgic albums from my youth, and ranked each song by order of import/how good it is. Please tell me I’m not the only person who played this on repeat! And immediately skipped over Santana!

{16} Posada (Pilgrimage To Bethlehem) by Santana

In the summer of ’99, I became obsessed with Smooth by Rob Thomas and Carlos Santana. Like, I bought the CD single, and put that shit on repeat with no end in sight. Because I didn’t know any better, I thought I would just automatically love all of Carlos Santana’s music. Yeah, I was a teenage girl into the Backstreet Boys, someone should’ve told me I wouldn’t like listening to the Latin-inspired blues guitar stylings of Santana.

{15} My Gift to You by Donell Jones

This song sounds like one of the B-Side tracks off a Time Life R&B/Soul collection comprised of 10 CDs.

{14} Silent Night / Noche de Paz by Christina Aguilera

Listen, I owned Xtina’s My Kind of Christmas album, and this song wasn’t on it. Because it’s boring. Literally every song on her own record is better than this one.

{13} Christmas Day by Dido

I never really got into Dido, mainly because her voice annoyed me. But apparently Dido’s been busy releasing new music since 2000, and none of it involves collaborations with Eminem.

{12}  The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire) by Toni Braxton

I feel like I only really like Toni Braxton’s voice when it’s strictly in the confines of Un-Break My Heart or I Get So High. If I hear it in any other song, I’m not into it. Exhibit A.

{11} Little Drummer Boy by Jars Of Clay

I went through a period of time in my life, albeit brief, where I was super into Christian music. Jars of Clay is one of the big names in that genre (and also some of the guys are from our hometown of Rochester) so I got “excited” when I saw they were on this album. Their version of Little Drummer Boy is real chill, the kind of song that you probably listen to while watching fire crackle in your fireplace.

{10} Christmas Time by Backstreet Boys

As a self-professed BSB fan, I am the first to admit that isn’t the best Christmas or BSB song in their catalogue (If you want a better one by them, listen to this). At the time this song was released, I was in full BSB fangirl mode – I even remember calling into the local Top 40 radio station back home and asking them to play the song, even when it really wasn’t a single? I can’t even recall if they obliged me or not. The point is that although my love for them knows no bounds, I usually only listen to about a minute or two before skipping to the next song.

{9} World Christmas by R. Kelly

Controversies and weird shit aside, I actually do appreciate R. Kelly and his voice. Every time I hear this, I think ‘UGH’ but then it gets to the chorus and I’m hooked.

{8} Grown-Up Christmas List by Monica

While this is a popular Christmas tune, I think this was the first time I had ever really paid attention. Monica, while she doesn’t have to belt-iest or most impressive voice, it’s smooth and pure, and that’s what makes her version of this song so great.

{7} Sleigh Ride by TLC

If you want a never-heard before track by classic TLC, you need to listen to this. Everything about it screams 90s/early 00s, and it’s fantastic. T-Boz’s distinguishable voice, Chili’s R&B riffs, and the magic that is Left Eye’s raps is all featured in this track. Not to mention they managed to make a classic Christmas tune sound like an original. Not many artists can do that without coming off as trying too hard.

{6} I Don’t Wanna Spend One More Christmas Without You by ‘N Sync

As previously mentioned, I was a BSB fan. Also as previously mentioned, 2000 was the height of the BSB vs. ‘N Sync rivalry. And while I wasn’t as intense as some girls, I did refuse to listen to any ‘N STINK songs. I changed the radio station anytime they came on, and silently seethed in dance class the day my teacher played the entire No Strings Attached album during warmups. I still have only heard Bye Bye Bye a limited amount of times. So, when Platinum Christmas was on repeat back in Y2K, I promptly pressed fast forward on my CD player. Years later, I calmed it down a bit, and actually listened to this song. It’s great, y’all. But hey, let’s not get crazy. BSB 4 Evr.

{5} Who Would Imagine a King by Whitney Houston

Boy, do I miss 80s/90s Whitney. This particular song was also on the soundtrack to her movie The Preacher’s Wife, and it shows off her gorgeous voice in a more religious setting, and the lack of excessive riffs is exactly what the song needed (or didn’t need). This song is a reminder why Whit became a music icon in the first place.

{4} Christmas Song by Dave Matthews

I don’t know about you guys, but in Rochester, I feel like Dave Matthews Band was like THE band to be into if you were one of those people that was granola-y and wore hoodies like this. And in usual DMB fashion, this track was recorded live, and just hearing the screams in the background reminds me of all the dudes wearing those baja hoodies and flip flops and Grateful Dead tye dye t-shirts. But I mean, great song.

{3} Merry X-Mas Everybody by Steps

2000 was also the year I went to London/UK/Europe for the first time, and I was into this phase of being into a lot of British pop acts, because I wanted to seem cool, I guess? Like I was super into Westlife, BBMak, Craig David, S Club 7, etc. Steps was a S Club 7-like band that was comprised of five guys and gals and really big in the UK. While I did get into Steps a little, it was really just this song that I still sometimes listen to on my current Christmas rotation.

{2} This Christmas by Joe

Look, no one can touch Donny Hathaway’s OG version, but Joe is pretty close. While others have tried, I feel like Joe is the only one who can sing it like Donny, but not actually be Donny or copy his every note.

{1} My Only Wish (This Year) by Britney Spears

By far, this is the best song on Platinum Christmas, and worth the price of the entire CD just for this song. Brit hadn’t released any holiday songs up to that time, and again, she was at the height of her popularity (…Oops era, remember) so this song was like a Christmas gift in and of itself. It’s an original song, which is a welcome respite from the usual Christmas music catalogue played on soft rock radio stations during the holidays, and it’s just fun. It’s upbeat and makes you want to dance around the Christmas tree while eating cookies and watching the snow fall outside. In fact, in college, my friend and I even made up a dance – quite literally made up a dance on the spot – to this song and the non-impressive moves were the highlight of the holiday season every year.

 

Class of ’04: Celebrity Superlatives

Wasssuupppp?! This week we’re reflecting back to 2004 – aka the year Molly & I graduated high school. It’s been exactly 10 years this month ::insert quarter-life crisis freakout here::  since we received our diplomas and officially became “adults”, and while it seems like it happened just yesterday, it equally feels like lifetimes ago. All this week we’re looking back at pop culture, fashion, and all things early 2000s, but also fast forwarding a decade and reflecting on our 2004 selves with our 2014 selves. We’re putting it all out there, folks.

Today, I’m kicking it off with one of my personal extracurricular activities in high school: Yearbook. I know, hard to believe right? ‘But Traci, you’re so cool and hip, it’s hard to imagine you were in something so academic and somewhat nerdy like the Yearbook Club!’ You’re right, reader. Not only was I in choir and did theatre, I ALSO was part of putting the yearbook together.

In the spirit of my infinite coolness, here are some superlatives from a faux celebrity yearbook for the stars who took over Hollywood between 2000 and 2004 when we were impressionable teens and TRL ruled the world. Put on your sparkly flare jeans and let’s get started!

Best TV Host

Carson Daly

If there’s one show that will define our generation, it’s TRL. I rush home every weekday and obviously vote non-stop for BSB to be number one on the countdown. True story: I was the TRL fan of the week in 2002 and Carson showed my picture on TV AND he said my name!!! So maybe I’m a little biased, because we’re best friends, but whatevs.

Best Dressed

Paris Hilton

 Guys, this Paris Hilton girl is apparently a big deal and she has this weird show with her best friend Nicole Richie that’s like about them going to different parts of America and having different jobs even though they’re both uber rich. But I can’t help but notice Paris’ style. It’s so edgy and hip! I’m probably never going to wear anything like this, but I bet a lot of other girls will soon enough!

Most Likely to Succeed

Beyonce of Destiny’s Child

Through a whole bunch of lineup changes, DC3 finally settled with Beyonce, Kelly and Michelle, but the two longest members of the group, Beyonce and Michelle have always stood out. Okay, maybe just Beyonce. There’s just something about her that makes you want to see more. If she does solo stuff in the future, she’s definitely one to watch out for!

Biggest Prankster

Ashton Kutcher

The guy from That 70s Show has his own TV show about pranking celebrities, so basically nobody else deserves this title but Ashton. I mean, he got away with punking Justin Timberlake – that’s epic enough.

Best Couple

Britney and Justin

Speaking of Justin, I’m still not over the fact this perfect couple broke up in 2002, so let’s just pretend they’re still together, okay?

Favorite Celeb Couple On & Off-Screen

Adam Brody & Rachel Bilson

If Seth and Summer isn’t your favorite couple just turn around right now. The geeky loner guy gets the popular girl? That never happens. AND IN REAL LIFE TOO?! Stop it. (PS that pic is from a Halloween party where Adam was an astronaut and Rachel was a martian (?) and they’re with The OC creator Josh Schwartz & Summer Cohen’s mom, played by Melinda Clarke. I mean…)

Best Hair

Chris Kirkpatrick

Obviously.

Class Clown

Jimmy Fallon

Jimmy is totally hilarious on Saturday Night Live. Even though he’s leaving the show (which will never be the same without him) I know he’s gonna be a huge movie star. He even has a movie coming out with Queen Latifah that’s supposed to be really funny!

Most Athletic

Apolo Anton Ohno

Molly & I are probably a little too obsessed with America’s golden boy. Literally golden boy because he’s physically incapable of not winning gold medals at the Olympics. Also he’s so dreamy. Who knew short track speed skating could be so exhilarating (not me. didn’t even know it was a sport)?!?

Most Attractive

Heath Ledger

With The Patriot and A Knight’s Tale, Heath and his flowing hair are the stuff dreams are made of. And to top it all off – he’s Australian!!! That means he says things like G’Day and Vegemite!!! I’m not even going to admit how many posters I have of him on my wall…

Most Changed

Lindsay Lohan

lilo pt to mg

From Parent Trap to Mean Girls, I can’t believe Lindsay Lohan has grown up so much! It’s also hard to believe we’re the same age. But remember how cute she was in The Parent Trap and now she’s hanging out with Tina Fey and Lacey Chabert from Party of Five (still one of my fave shows). Hopefully this is a rollercoaster that only goes up for Linds!