50 Reasons Why We Love Lauren Graham For Her 25th* Birthday

As a lifelong Backstreet Boys fan, I admittedly spent a few years during my teenybopper era celebrating the birth of my favorite member, AJ McLean. One year, my parents even fed into my delusions by purchasing a small cookie cake and we stood around my kitchen table singing happy birthday to him. He was not there.

Is it weird that we celebrate celebrities’ birthdays as if we know them on a personal level? Maybe. Now as an adult, I no longer blow out candles on Wegmans pastries for a stranger I’ve met a few times. When the day comes, it’s become more of an appreciation of those we admire as opposed to a borderline stalker event that could be used against you in a court of law. The idea of fame and celebrity is weird enough, but when you get down to it, you’re attracted to these people in the spotlight because you have similar interests, believe in similar ideals, and hold their professional work in high regard.

So today, on the *second anniversary of her 25th birthday, we’re going to do just that for one of our blog patron saints, Lauren Graham, and note just 50 reasons why she’s worthy of that title (in no particular order). Of course she is known as one of the most iconic TV moms in history, but in addition to her stellar work, we can’t help but gush over someone we admire for who she is as a human being. Happy Birthday, LG. Here’s to another 50.

1) Lauren, a New York Times Best Seller, isn’t just an actress who thinks she can write. She graduated from Barnard College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature.

2) While studying at the selective New York school, she used to sneak on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade route the night before and look at all the huge balloons before they were inflated. This is something not only I would weirdly want to see, but apparently, is something her BF Peter Krause did too. Not together. Which is even more of a reason that they’re *~mEaNt 2 B~*

3) And because one degree wasn’t enough, she also earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Acting Performance from Texas’ Southern Methodist University.

4) She and her dad are IRL Lorelai/Rory.

“We had a special kind of friendship: I came along to dinner and dates. He took me to concerts. We’d go on road trips. I didn’t have a strong idea of how to play a mom—my mom was in my life, but not on a daily basis. I came into it without an idea of how moms “should act” or how it “should be.” I came in thinking of my friendship with my dad–that was my model.” {x}

5) Her appearances on talk shows are always entertaining. Exhibit #1: She’s just as awkward as you at parties.

6) She has to deal with people eating her food creations too:

7) Kelly Clarkson/LG mutual appreciation society (click to read entire thread)

8) And she sings along to KC in the car like us too

9) She respects the art of letter writing – she used to keep in touch with her TV dad Edward Hermann by writing notes to him. She even read an excerpt of one of their letters during his memorial in early 2015.

10) And listens to her TV mom when it comes to the important stuff (finding love):

Lauren’s POV:

“From the start of the show Kelly named herself my TVM, or TV mom, by which she meant she was taking her character’s role seriously, beyond the pages or sets and out into the real world … In a maternal, protective way, she found most of my boyfriends at the time lacking, and once told me I needed someone who was more my equal, like ‘that wonderful actor on Six Feet Under’.” {x}

Kelly’s POV: 

“I was always giving Lauren advice on her love life—from experience to advice to opinion. We had lots of discussions about that… I am so happy (she’s with Peter Krause). She doesn’t remember this, but a long time ago, we were talking about the latest unworthy person. She is a very bright woman, and I always thought the guys she was going out with weren’t smart enough for her because that’s going to bore you after a while! Very quickly, actually. A lot of them weren’t that successful, so that always makes the dynamic really awkward. So we’re talking about her latest problem and the fact that there’s no one out there, and I say, “You know, I’ve been watching this show I love called Six Feet Under, and there’s this guy…” and she says, “I know, Peter Krause.” And I said, “I think you two would make the greatest couple.” She said, “That’s all very nice. We worked together years ago and there was some attraction, but he’s married.” I went, “Oh, OK, that’s it!” All these years go by and I send her a birthday email—”Happy birthday. Love, TV Mom”—and she writes back in March and says, “I didn’t tell you this, but I’ve been seeing Peter Krause since December. We’ve been an item; we’re going together.” I said, “That is so fabulous!” I saw her a couple years ago when she was in New York and reminded her of that conversation and she didn’t remember it. I saw that guy and thought, Wow, he’d be really good with Lauren.” {x}

11) And she’s been able to keep her relationship with PK relatively low over the past seven years.

“I don’t really experience a spotlight. In this case, nobody knew for a while, because we like to be at home, cooking and not going out. I’ve also been really protective of it, because it’s important that you can buy us as brother and sister on the show.” {x}

12) Same goes for the fact she’s not seen out and about in Hollywood 24/7:

“I have the same friends I’ve always had; most of my dear friends are from college [she went to Barnard] or high school. I think with a little bit of effort you can lead a somewhat quiet life in this business. And anyway, I don’t know how interesting people would find it to have the Gilmore girl caught in a brawl. [Laughs.] I’m lying. That would be really cool.”

13) She helps bring the fandoms together:

14) Lauren would’ve been a really good fake talk show host on the pilot that was never picked up, but thank GOD she was able to host for real while stepping in for Craig Ferguson on The Late Late Show.

15) Talk Show Exhibit #2

16) Day drinking is acceptable and you can use the excuse of “It’s Christmas!” for it to be totally OK.

“I meet my sister at the hotel restaurant. She’s got to get to an office holiday party, so we quickly share a warm Caesar salad (sounds weird, but it’s good), and a tuna tartare. It’s a little early, but should we have a glass of wine? We decide: Yes! It’s Christmas, after all! Everything is great, and the bill comes to about $1,092. We resolve to meet up later, but decide to branch out and eat somewhere that won’t cost us another Ferrari.” {x}

17) Because she also enjoyed these cameos (#WeLoveYouLaurenComeOnTheShow)

18) She got Amy Sherman-Palladino, and Amy got her back. That’s what made GG magic.

Lauren on Amy: “Reading through the script] felt like two things: One, the idea of someone else doing it made me really mad [Laughs]. It’s just a spark, you read something and you’re like, “Whoa.” I started playing the character from like page one and sometimes it’s not that seamless. I felt like I knew what the writer meant, you know? It was a connection. I just really connected to the material.” {x}

Amy on Lauren: “She talks a mile a minute, and pace is my whole life… Lauren could handle the language and get her mouth around the words and make it mean something. I got her immediately, and I could write for her voice like gangbusters.” {x}

19) She’s fully aware of the dated costumes on GG:

20) She’s really good at cold reading/improv, as witnessed in this bit with Anna Faris on her Unqualified podcast

21) Also on that podcast ep (around :23), Lauren detailed how she understands and truly gets fans’ passion and love for Gilmore: “Something about Gilmore Girls really speaks to certain people… I really appreciate that sense of ‘I know you’ kind of feeling… I never thought this would be the case, but the show stuck around, so (fans) are now watching it with their kids, and it’s meant a family thing to them… I didn’t really grow up with my mom, I grew up with my dad. My mom lived in England for many years and while I was doing that show, they would send it to her – it wasn’t airing there, but they would send it to her. It meant so much to her that they did that and it was such a bonding experience for us, so i have actually had that experience of the show bringing me closer to my mother so I try to respect that.

22) She loved Downton as much as we all did

23) And had the same reaction we did when we first saw the Downton cast in full glam:

“It was a dark day when I saw the Downton Abbey cast in street make-up. I really love to be transported and not to think about how they might shop at Whole Foods.” {x}

24) Talk Show Exhibit #3

25) She could’ve contributed to our Everything’s Coming Up Rosie Week

26) Parenthood boss Jason Katims perfectly details what we love about LG’s acting abilities:

“What impresses me is her ability to not only play the humor that’s inherent in the scene, but to mine the humor, to find more of those moments. Sarah (Braverman) is in an embarrassing situation: she has to move back home as an adult with two children. So you’re looking for somebody who will bring the humor, intelligence and humility to make you really like that person. Those are qualities that Lauren brings so beautifully to what she does.” {x}

27) She steals things from work like all of us:

28) She isn’t the type of actress to leave her co-stars in the dust. E.G.: helping newbie Alexis Bledel on the GG pilot/beginning of season 1:

“The only place where she was so new was technically, and that show – as fun and breezy and light as it is – is technically really challenging because Amy liked to get a master, flawless single take….The camera’s following us and we’d have to curve around at a certain point or pause at a certain point. We have a very delineated path and if, you know, she’d sort of stray, we’d pull her back. We have a lot of scenes in those early episodes where I’m literally gluing her to my side. I don’t know if she noticed or cared, it kind of worked and it served to help make us look like this connected duo because I literally wouldn’t let go of her.” {x}

29) She was in an a cappella group in college called the Metrotones. If there is footage of this, RELASE THE TAPES.

30) Talk Show Exhibit #4

31) Adam Shankman, her director on 2005 film The Pacifier sings her praises for her ability to balance work and friendship: “She’s incredibly smart and incredibly upbeat – always supportive and a great cheerleader, both personally and professionally. As a friend, she is everything you could hope for in this town.” {x}

32) She keeps in real – sometimes being on your fave TV show isn’t all you expect

33) She’s always game to play a prank:

34) She’s really best friends with her TV daughter, Mae Whitman

35) And really close with Miles Heizer (Drew) and Jason Ritter (Should-have-been-husband Mark Cyr). So much so they all got matching champagne bottle necklaces

36) Because #TeamMark forever

37) To reiterate, it’s a family affair when you support your TV daughter’s play

we bravermans gotta stick together #themysteryofloveandsex #supportivefamily #extremelylucky

A post shared by mae margaret whitman (@mistergarf) on

38) Seriously, we adore their friendship:

Mae on Lauren: “When you’re acting with her, I could go in and not have any idea what I was doing and look into her eyes and know that I was going to be taken care of, because she’s truly the most elegant and smart and funny and classy person I know.”

Speaking of a scene in the penultimate episode of Parenthood in which Sarah and Amber have a heart-to-heart and sing Joni Mitchell’s The Circle Game: “They let us improvise a lot on Parenthood. That was one of the last scenes we shot together after six years of building this relationship with our two characters, and so right before we were about to cut — I added, I looked at her and it just came out — I said, ‘You’re my hero,’ and that really wasn’t a line. That came from Mae Whitman to Lauren Graham: So she’s my idol and my hero.” {x}

39) Because LG’s the type of friend who will write break-up texts for you:

Mae: “My first introduction to Lauren’s writing was a poem around Christmastime that was so so genuine and hilarious and so, so smart, without being the least bit manipulative or saccharine. Right then I knew that we would see great things from her in the writing department.I mean, I’ve had her write break-up texts for me for God’s sake! Side note: I do not necessarily condone or recommend breaking up with anyone over a text; but if you’ve got to do it, get yourself a Lauren Graham. Trust me … I think the most amazing thing to me about her writing is that she’s able to be so inclusive and present and so genuinely funny without ever being mean or cutting anyone down. She’s like the Jim Henson of the writing world.” {x}

40) Wise words:

41) Talk show exhibit #5:

42) She’s obsessed with Hamilton too (and bonus Mandy Moore getting in on the action)

43) This is a good time to remind everyone she’s a theater nerd at heart.

44) She truly gets the importance of Gilmore:

“That’s part of the wish fulfillment of this show, is ‘What if?’. What if you lived in this town where getting a traffic light was a major event? What if you were late to the town meeting again and everyone was going to know about it, you know, ‘What if?’ There was a real comfort aspect to living in this world that wasn’t gritty reality and that was part of the joy of it. It’s real but it’s also a break from the real world.” {The Today Show Reunion at the ATX TV Festival, 2015}

45) Friendship Goals AF

46) Writer’s block is real for everyone:

47) She’s with her and him

48) She understands how unique and rare it is to get the opportunity to go back to a show years after it ends, and embraced it fully.

“You hardly get a chance anytime in life to appreciate the moment you’re in while you’re in it,” Graham said. “The fact that it was the people who brought us back, and we got to finish a story we hadn’t gotten to finish, and this character I love so much … I was just walking around like, ‘Thank you so much for being here.’ I was just a freak. I had so much appreciation, it was overwhelming. I’m not a person who cries very easily. I cried almost every day.” {x}

49) As a person who cries at pretty much everything, LG describing her first time back on the Gilmore set is basically me the first time I watched Winter:

“When I walked onto the set for the first time. We had to do a camera test and… the house. [She gets choked up] It’s on a different stage but it’s… the house. Alexis [Bledel] and I walked onto the set together and — I feel super emotional about a lot of it and I’m afraid I’m going to start crying at every turn — but walking onto that set really felt like something. It felt like a lot of time had passed and it felt like we were just there. It felt amazing.” {x}

50) The Future Is Female, and Lorelai Gilmore will never be forgotten: “I can’t tell you what a kick I get out of (hearing from the fans), especially the younger people over the years who have grown up with the show and have (developed) a bond with a family member from a different generation while watching it together. I hope when I’m 55 and I’ve been out of a job for a long time and those girls are running the studios, that they remember Lorelai Gilmore.” {x}

Playlist of the Month: TV Tunes Scene Stealers

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

Sia – Breathe Me

{Six Feet Under}

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

Snow Patrol – Chasing Cars

{Grey’s Anatomy}

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

Tony Lucca – Devil Town

{Friday Night Lights}

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

Chris Brown – Forever

{The Office}

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

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

Aaliyah – Try Again

{The Mindy Project}

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

Imogen Heap – Hallelujah

{The OC}

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

Nina Simone – I Shall Be Released

{Scandal}

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

U2 – With Or Without You

{Friends}

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

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

Somewhere Over The Rainbow – Israel Kamakawiwo’ole

{E.R.}

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

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

I’d Like To Buy The World A Coke

{Mad Men}

 

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

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

Hard Times Come Again No More – Brett Dennen

{Parenthood}

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

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

Make Your Own Kind Of Music – Mama Cass

{Lost}

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

Motown Philly – Boyz II Men

{Full House}

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

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

Bonus Tracks:

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

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

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

ICYMI: Mama Said Knock You Out

Saw Creed last weekend. Still not over it. Here’s one reason why.

Michael B. Jordan: An Adonis To Be Thankful For

Over the weekend, I saw Creed, the Rocky spin-off movie. If you know me, this may be a somewhat surprising choice for holiday weekend viewing because I usually don’t put sports movies on the top of my list. However, if you do know me, you know I’m a fan of Michael B. Jordan and HBMs in general. On top of that, I kept hearing nothing but good things about Creed, so I caved and went to see it. And let me tell you  – I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. It’s just that good.

For Creed, MBJ clearly had to get into a boxer’s shape. Playing the son of a legendary fake boxer, he had to live up to the Creed legacy Carl Weathers started 40 years ago. So my boy called up his boy, trainer Corey Calliet, a former boxer himself. Over the course of a year, MBJ worked out twice a day, drank lots of water, ate boiled chicken and broccoli and brown rice (why does that sound good to me) and gained 24 pounds of muscle. !!

For comparison, a totally still hot pic of MBJ in January 2014 on some beach:

and a year ago:

Looong road ahead of me but…#progress

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nine months ago:

A post shared by Michael B. Jordan (@michaelbjordan) on

eight months ago:

on the cover of Men’s Fitness today:

yeahhhhh. I’m here for all of it.


As much eye candy as MJB is, he’s an equally talented actor that made me cry thrice in Creed and countless times in his previous work.

Kleenex Owes Michael B. Jordan A Lot of Money

If you don’t know who the guy above is, you need to reevaluate your life choices (and also reference my HBM post from a while ago). Michael B. Jordan has been in a bunch of critically and fan acclaimed TV series and movies, but for some reason has never received the true recognition that he deserves. In fact, he’s been acting since he was 12 years old, and managed to be one of the few child actors who has not only been successful, but hasn’t gone down the Lindsay Lohan/Amanda Bynes route.

Michael has especially proven he’s at his best when it comes to dramas, pulling out performances that tug at your heartstrings to the point where you’ll cry until you’re out of tears and then you remember that one scene and you cry all over again. Of course, it’s a testament to the projects he chooses to do and the writing of said projects, but really, it takes a special kind of actor to make you weep uncontrollably. Here are a few of my favorite performances by MBJ that have made be question my sanity after shedding so many tears for fictional characters (save Fruitvale Station).

The Wire

I just started watching The Wire a few weeks ago, and unfortunately knew the outcome of Michael’s character, Wallace (obvs, spoiler alert). Michael was just 15 years old when played a smart kid who ended up on ‘the wrong side of the tracks’ in season one. Wallace spent his days as a drug dealer in the low-income projects in Baltimore, but you could tell he had a heart, especially when he was taking care of the younger kids in the community. He tried to leave the dangerous world behind and even gave the police details about the drug organization, but once the leaders found out about his snitching, they ordered Wallace’s friends to kill him. What’s so heartbreaking about this is not just the fact that he died, but that he had so much potential. Michael played him with so much hope, so much desire to want to be better, and the last few moments of his life live on much longer than his 12 short episodes on the series.

Friday Night Lights

Friday Night Lights was the program that introduced me to this gem of a man. Although Michael joined the cast for the last two seasons, he made a huge impact on the show when the characters’ (and fans’) loyalties switched from the Dillion Panthers to the East Dillon Lions. When Coach Taylor  moved from a school with literally the best football team in the state to a school with no football team at all, he had to scramble to put together a group of guys who not only could play the damn sport, but wanted to do it in the first place. Someone who kind of involuntarily became the star quarterback player was Michael’s character Vince Howard. He was at his last straw with the law, and in exchange for not locking him up in jail, he promised Coach he’d play for the Lions.  While Vince’s father was off in jail and his mom a drug addict, he had no real parental supervision or role models to look up to – until Coach came along. Eric Taylor may have been a father figure to a lot of his players, but none more so than to Vince. In this scene in the fifth season, Vince is feeling a lot of pressure to essentially, be an adult. Coach, with his infinite wisdom, helps him out.

Eric Taylor: I first met you, you were climbing out of a police car. People said you were a punk, you’d never last in the field. You know they still believe that?

Vince Howard: Screw them. I work hard for everything I’ve got!

Eric Taylor: I know you do and you ought to be damned proud about that. I am. I’m proud of you. Your teammates are proud of you. It’s about character. It’s about striving to be better than everybody else.

Vince Howard: Coach, my dad just got out of prison. He’s staying with me in my house… and I can’t stand him. My mom, she asked me to forgive him. To be ‘better’. And you’re asking me to be ‘better’. I don’t know how to be ‘better’ because he never taught me how! He never taught me how to be ‘better’! He’s not around!

Vince Howard: And I’m supposed to be ‘better’ than them? I’m supposed to be ‘better’?

Eric Taylor: Listen to me. I said you need to strive to better than everyone else. I didn’t say you needed to be better than everyone else. But you gotta try. That’s what character is. It’s in the try.

Parenthood

Because it’s hard to turn down Jason Katims and also because Jason Katims is one of the greatest TV writers ever, Michael had a fantastic arc on Parenthood as Alex, the troubled teen turned responsible adult who dated Haddie and her horrible hair. I like to think that in some weird Katims universe, Alex is just a grown up version of Vince Howard. Alex is a recovering alcoholic who emancipated himself from his parents when he was 16 (the age of Haddie when they start dating), but now runs a local homeless shelter. Naturally, Haddie’s parents aren’t too excited about Haddie dating a 19 year old who attends AA and has his own apartment, but they come to love him as much as Haddie loves him. Alas, their course as a couple ran out, and surprisingly, it wasn’t their breakup that brought tears to everyone’s eyes – it was his breakup with Haddie’s mom, Kristina (played by the Emmy-snubbed Monica Potter) that felt like we were simultaneously breaking up with him too.

Alex: I just want to say I’m sorry for bringing you guys into my mess. I really regret that, Mrs. Braverman. I really do. I know that when we first started dating I wasn’t exactly what you guys expected.

Kristina: We’ve gotten past all that stuff. You’re like our family.

Alex: I know you probably already know this but you’re a really good mom. I lost mine a  long time ago, and I feel really lucky to have gotten to know you, Mrs. Braverman.

Kristina: You’re a good kid, You’ve been through a lot. And we love you.

Alex: I love you guys too. Can you just tell your husband I said thank you for everything? Tell Max I said keep working on his jump shot, okay?

Fruitvale Station

If you see one movie this weekend, make sure it’s Fruitvale Station. No doubt this will break your heart into a million pieces, but now, more than ever, Americans everywhere need to see this film. Not to mention, if the above examples haven’t convinced you that Michael B. Jordan is one of the best actors of our generation (and deserves all the awards), then this will.

Based on a true story, Michael portrays Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old two time convicted felon, who’s turning his life around in hopes for a better future for his girlfriend in daughter. The movie mainly focuses on the day leading up to the moment he was fatally shot and killed by a BART (subway) officer in San Francisco who believed he was involved in a brawl that broke out on a packed train. And it was all caught on camera.

Thinking about it, Oscar is the adult version of Wallace (basically MBJ likes to play the same character evolved over time). Oscar is someone who’s had a rough past, and just when he tries to leave it all behind, injustice occurs. First-time director Ryan Coogler could have easily made Oscar seem like an ex-con who was killed and had it coming. But he and Michael decided to give Oscar Grant the legacy he deserves – the lasting impression that he was a good boyfriend, father, son. He humanizes Oscar so that viewers don’t even get a chance to think that he possibly could be in the wrong and “deserved” to get shot. Plain and simple: an innocent man was pulled off a train and shot by a transit officer who thought he reached for his taser and not his actual gun. And Michael plays it in such a way that makes your heart sink into your body the second you hear that gunshot. It’s as if that one sound was the sound of all his potential, everything that he could have been, a better boyfriend, a better father, a better son – all gone in an instant.

And I suppose this goes without saying, but make sure you bring some tissues with you. You’ll need them.

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. 2

Welcome back, kids! Thanks for waiting it out, I know we left you with a cliffhanger from the first part of the ATX Television Festival Wrap-Up, so I appreciate your patience. We packed a lot in over the weekend, so here’s the breakdown of the second half of the fest, including that surreal Gilmore Girls reunion and a lot of Dawson’s Creek goodness!

Here’s a picture to prove we did some sightseeing in Austin, not just celeb-sightseeing!

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

Photo Jun 06, 2 35 41 PM (1)

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.

Photo Jun 06, 5 16 43 PM

[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.

Photo Jun 06, 9 40 32 PM

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.

 

ICYMI: Crying’s My Favorite

Anyone else still reeling from the Parenthood series finale? No? You’ve moved on and are focused on football now? Okay.

Parenthood Owes Me Money For Tissues

Creator Jason Katims has nailed down the subgenre of “Shows That Make You Super Emotional And Attached To Fictional Characters In An Unreasonable Way”, and this is no different. You’ve witnessed it in Friday Night Lights, and you’ve witnessed it with Parenthood. I mean, this guy fucks with your heart so much that it should probably be a crime by now (An example taken from the series finale, which is aptly titled “May God Bless and Keep You Always,” a lyric from Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young,” the show’s theme song. LIKE CAN U NOT).

In saying that, Parenthood is known for its emotional storylines. It’s known for eliciting an unexpected and unmentionable amount of tears. When I went to the PaleyFest panel for the show a couple of years ago, they actually handed out packets of tissues with the Parenthood logo on them. That’s how synonymous crying is with this damn show. Every week, there’s at least one emotional scene where you find yourself with tears in your eyes. Because I’m a crier by nature, this stat is higher for me.

“I think that Parenthood is a good litmus test to see if you’re emotionally okay. If you tune in… and you don’t laugh a little bit, and cry a little bit, you might be a sociopath. You might need professional help.” – Peter Krause on the psychological impact of the show.

And while there have been many scenes that have made our eyes well up, I’ve picked my personal favorites that make me cry just thinking about them. I’m sure the entirety of the series finale will be added to this list, but for now, let’s focus on the magic moments from the past six seasons that will stay in our hearts forever. Like Dawson Leery before her, this is ranked on a scale of 1 to 5 Crying Ambers, 1 being a little tear up in the eyeball region, while 5 is straight up ugly cry pray to Jesus that no one ever sees you.

Thank you Parenthood. We laughed, we cried, we learned more about ourselves. But mostly we cried. So thank you.

*possible spoilers ahead if you’re not caught up. in chronological order! and a lot of mae whitman because she’s the best crier in the world*

 Season 2, Episode 22: Zeek confronts Amber after she gets in a car accident

5 Crying Ambersamber crying 5

Amber’s lowest point comes when she spirals into a drunken depression and gets into a super bad car accident. Luckily she survives and has to face the wrath of Zeek Braverman. He brings her to the junkyard where her totaled car is, and says a line that marked the first time I had really broke down and ugly cried while watching the show:

“I dreamt you, Amber. You do not have permission to mess with my dreams.”

Turns out that the brilliant Craig T. Nelson rewrote that speech on the spot and Mae had no idea what he was going to say. They did it in one take, and that’s the take they used.

Season 4, Episode 5: Kristina tells the family she has cancer

5 Crying Ambers

amber crying 5

This is perhaps the most memorable scene in the entire series. Everything about it is perfect. The family is all gathered and Kristina finally has to tell them she has cancer. It starts with us hearing her say, ‘I have something to tell you’, and the sound goes out. The camera pans to all the family members, and because each actor knows their character so well, they each respond to the news differently. I think my favorite is when the camera goes to Crosby, and he looks like he’s in shock, mainly because he had been giving Adam a hard time about the business, and now he realizes how much of an ass he’s been while he’s been dealing with Kristina’s diagnosis. And he does it in one single stare.


The Parenthood finale went out in true Jason Katims form, and one of his recurring characters in his arsenal of amazing actors is Michael B. Jordan. Who not only made us cry in Parenthood, but Friday Night Lights and other things too. (See, football reference on Super Bowl Sunday).

Kleenex Owes Michael B. Jordan A Lot of Money

If you don’t know who the guy above is, you need to reevaluate your life choices (and also reference my HBM post from a while ago). Michael B. Jordan has been in a bunch of critically and fan acclaimed TV series and movies, but for some reason has never received the true recognition that he deserves. In fact, he’s been acting since he was 12 years old, and managed to be one of the few child actors who has not only been successful, but hasn’t gone down the Lindsay Lohan/Amanda Bynes route.

Michael has especially proven he’s at his best when it comes to dramas, pulling out performances that tug at your heartstrings to the point where you’ll cry until you’re out of tears and then you remember that one scene and you cry all over again. Of course, it’s a testament to the projects he chooses to do and the writing of said projects, but really, it takes a special kind of actor to make you weep uncontrollably. Here are a few of my favorite performances by MBJ that have made be question my sanity after shedding so many tears for fictional characters (save Fruitvale Station).

The Wire

I just started watching The Wire a few weeks ago, and unfortunately knew the outcome of Michael’s character, Wallace (obvs, spoiler alert). Michael was just 15 years old when played a smart kid who ended up on ‘the wrong side of the tracks’ in season one. Wallace spent his days as a drug dealer in the low-income projects in Baltimore, but you could tell he had a heart, especially when he was taking care of the younger kids in the community. He tried to leave the dangerous world behind and even gave the police details about the drug organization, but once the leaders found out about his snitching, they ordered Wallace’s friends to kill him. What’s so heartbreaking about this is not just the fact that he died, but that he had so much potential. Michael played him with so much hope, so much desire to want to be better, and the last few moments of his life live on much longer than his 12 short episodes on the series.

Friday Night Lights

Friday Night Lights was the program that introduced me to this gem of a man. Although Michael joined the cast for the last two seasons, he made a huge impact on the show when the characters’ (and fans’) loyalties switched from the Dillion Panthers to the East Dillon Lions. When Coach Taylor  moved from a school with literally the best football team in the state to a school with no football team at all, he had to scramble to put together a group of guys who not only could play the damn sport, but wanted to do it in the first place. Someone who kind of involuntarily became the star quarterback player was Michael’s character Vince Howard. He was at his last straw with the law, and in exchange for not locking him up in jail, he promised Coach he’d play for the Lions.  While Vince’s father was off in jail and his mom a drug addict, he had no real parental supervision or role models to look up to – until Coach came along. Eric Taylor may have been a father figure to a lot of his players, but none more so than to Vince. In this scene in the fifth season, Vince is feeling a lot of pressure to essentially, be an adult. Coach, with his infinite wisdom, helps him out.

Eric Taylor: I first met you, you were climbing out of a police car. People said you were a punk, you’d never last in the field. You know they still believe that?

Vince Howard: Screw them. I work hard for everything I’ve got!

Eric Taylor: I know you do and you ought to be damned proud about that. I am. I’m proud of you. Your teammates are proud of you. It’s about character. It’s about striving to be better than everybody else.

Vince Howard: Coach, my dad just got out of prison. He’s staying with me in my house… and I can’t stand him. My mom, she asked me to forgive him. To be ‘better’. And you’re asking me to be ‘better’. I don’t know how to be ‘better’ because he never taught me how! He never taught me how to be ‘better’! He’s not around!

Vince Howard: And I’m supposed to be ‘better’ than them? I’m supposed to be ‘better’?

Eric Taylor: Listen to me. I said you need to strive to better than everyone else. I didn’t say you needed to be better than everyone else. But you gotta try. That’s what character is. It’s in the try.

Parenthood

Because it’s hard to turn down Jason Katims and also because Jason Katims is one of the greatest TV writers ever, Michael had a fantastic arc on Parenthood as Alex, the troubled teen turned responsible adult who dated Haddie and her horrible hair. I like to think that in some weird Katims universe, Alex is just a grown up version of Vince Howard. Alex is a recovering alcoholic who emancipated himself from his parents when he was 16 (the age of Haddie when they start dating), but now runs a local homeless shelter. Naturally, Haddie’s parents aren’t too excited about Haddie dating a 19 year old who attends AA and has his own apartment, but they come to love him as much as Haddie loves him. Alas, their course as a couple ran out, and surprisingly, it wasn’t their breakup that brought tears to everyone’s eyes – it was his breakup with Haddie’s mom, Kristina (played by the Emmy-snubbed Monica Potter) that felt like we were simultaneously breaking up with him too.

Alex: I just want to say I’m sorry for bringing you guys into my mess. I really regret that, Mrs. Braverman. I really do. I know that when we first started dating I wasn’t exactly what you guys expected.

Kristina: We’ve gotten past all that stuff. You’re like our family.

Alex: I know you probably already know this but you’re a really good mom. I lost mine a  long time ago, and I feel really lucky to have gotten to know you, Mrs. Braverman.

Kristina: You’re a good kid, You’ve been through a lot. And we love you.

Alex: I love you guys too. Can you just tell your husband I said thank you for everything? Tell Max I said keep working on his jump shot, okay?

Fruitvale Station

If you see one movie this weekend, make sure it’s Fruitvale Station. No doubt this will break your heart into a million pieces, but now, more than ever, Americans everywhere need to see this film. Not to mention, if the above examples haven’t convinced you that Michael B. Jordan is one of the best actors of our generation (and deserves all the awards), then this will.

Based on a true story, Michael portrays Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old two time convicted felon, who’s turning his life around in hopes for a better future for his girlfriend in daughter. The movie mainly focuses on the day leading up to the moment he was fatally shot and killed by a BART (subway) officer in San Francisco who believed he was involved in a brawl that broke out on a packed train. And it was all caught on camera.

Thinking about it, Oscar is the adult version of Wallace (basically MBJ likes to play the same character evolved over time). Oscar is someone who’s had a rough past, and just when he tries to leave it all behind, injustice occurs. First-time director Ryan Coogler could have easily made Oscar seem like an ex-con who was killed and had it coming. But he and Michael decided to give Oscar Grant the legacy he deserves – the lasting impression that he was a good boyfriend, father, son. He humanizes Oscar so that viewers don’t even get a chance to think that he possibly could be in the wrong and “deserved” to get shot. Plain and simple: an innocent man was pulled off a train and shot by a transit officer who thought he reached for his taser and not his actual gun. And Michael plays it in such a way that makes your heart sink into your body the second you hear that gunshot. It’s as if that one sound was the sound of all his potential, everything that he could have been, a better boyfriend, a better father, a better son – all gone in an instant.

And I suppose this goes without saying, but make sure you bring some tissues with you. You’ll need them.

Saturday Spotlight: My Top Superbowl Snack Is My Feelings

Okay, I will not be eating my feelings on Superbowl Sunday. Probably just guacamole. But if I were an emotional eater, Superbowl would be a minefield – where all the mines were full of bleu cheese.

Childhood: My home team made it to the big game when I was 4, 5, and 6 years old. My parents had a shrine to the team with streamers and newspaper clippings, we had cookie cakes in the team colors, and when my uncle had surgery during the post-season, an effigy of Uncle Bruce sat in the La-Z-Boy for the game. My cousins, siblings and I wrote and performed plays about the big game – because again, I am not a sports person.

Then the team lost every time, because it was the Buffalo Bills.

College: During my semester in Spain, we all went to a bar in the middle of the night to watch the game, and I felt more American than I ever did in America.

The next year, my first nephew – the first grandchild and great-grandchild in my family – was born on Superbowl Sunday. Both of my brothers were expecting their first sons that week . The second baby was born on Valentine’s Day, and those kiddos really brightened up two blah holidays that year.

Law school: In the middle of the game, my parents got a call that my grandpa – the last grandparent left – got in a minor car accident. He had had a major heart attack while driving. After a dramatic helicopter flight to Buffalo (the source of so many Superbowl joys and disappointments already), he died that night. The birth of my first nephew and death of my last grandparent, united by a game that I don’t even care about. Oh. And my grandpa won his Superbowl pool that year. What a freaking weird holiday.

Now: There are some good things about the Superbowl. There are some bad things about the Superbowl. Then, regular life continues around the Superbowl. I think our posts from this week sum that up really well:

  • If you aren’t into the Superbowl, you can watch the REAL game – the Puppy Bowl! We aren’t into fantasy football, but Traci compiled a Puppy Bowl dream team in Fantasy Cute Animal Bowl.
  • And athletes are kind of fun, right? I know absolutely nothing about Tom Brady, but I have a few things I’m WILLING to believe about him. Basically, that he’s a modern adult version of a little boy from the 1950s.
  • Ugh PARENTHOOD. If I’m super emotional this Superbowl, it’s because I still start blubbering every time I think about the last 2 minutes or so of the finale. That’s not new for Parenthood – on a scale from One Crying Ambers to Five Crying Ambers, it was a teary series.
  • Then, there’s the totally non-Superbowl stuff that happens. Like, Emma Watson was cast in Beauty and the Beast, so we decided to cast Harry Potter actors in all our favorite Disney cartoons.
  • Finally, because we’ve learned that Superbowl week is super Circle Of Life, Traci just entered the last year of her 20s! And the decade is going out with a bang, because she came up with an amazing 30 before 30 list.

Whether you live for Superbowl Sunday, don’t really care, or are just in it for the snacks and the puppies, I hope that yours is a happy one!

Parenthood Owes Me Money For Tissues

Tomorrow marks the end of an era. After six seasons, our beloved Parenthood comes to an end. It’s been a rocky road over the past few years, and I’m not just talking about the fact that it could’ve been cancelled by NBC at any given second. No, I’m talking about the literal ups and downs this show has taken us in just this little sliver of a peek into the Braverman family history.

“When are we going to know? I need to get off this roller coaster.” – Sarah Braverman having a meta moment while talking about Joel and Julia’s relationship status

Creator Jason Katims has nailed down the subgenre of “Shows That Make You Super Emotional And Attached To Fictional Characters In An Unreasonable Way”, and this is no different. You’ve witnessed it in Friday Night Lights, and you’ve witnessed it with Parenthood. I mean, this guy fucks with your heart so much that it should probably be a crime by now (An example taken from the series finale, which is aptly titled “May God Bless and Keep You Always,” a lyric from Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young,” the show’s theme song. LIKE CAN U NOT).

In saying that, Parenthood is known for its emotional storylines. It’s known for eliciting an unexpected and unmentionable amount of tears. When I went to the PaleyFest panel for the show a couple of years ago, they actually handed out packets of tissues with the Parenthood logo on them. That’s how synonymous crying is with this damn show. Every week, there’s at least one emotional scene where you find yourself with tears in your eyes. Because I’m a crier by nature, this stat is higher for me.

“I think that Parenthood is a good litmus test to see if you’re emotionally okay. If you tune in… and you don’t laugh a little bit, and cry a little bit, you might be a sociopath. You might need professional help.” – Peter Krause on the psychological impact of the show.

And while there have been many scenes that have made our eyes well up, I’ve picked my personal favorites that make me cry just thinking about them. I’m sure the entirety of the series finale will be added to this list, but for now, let’s focus on the magic moments from the past six seasons that will stay in our hearts forever. Like Dawson Leery before her, this is ranked on a scale of 1 to 5 Crying Ambers, 1 being a little tear up in the eyeball region, while 5 is straight up ugly cry pray to Jesus that no one ever sees you.

Thank you Parenthood. We laughed, we cried, we learned more about ourselves. But mostly we cried. So thank you.

*possible spoilers ahead if you’re not caught up. in chronological order! and a lot of mae whitman because she’s the best crier in the world*

Season 2, Episode 17: Amber yells at Seth

1 Crying Amber

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Seth comes back and tries to assimilate back into the family in a totally normal way as if nothing’s wrong and he hasn’t been absent from the kids’ lives, but Amber totally calls him out on it, and you can tell she’s letting out years of frustration in one fell swoop.

 Season 2, Episode 22: Zeek confronts Amber after she gets in a car accident

5 Crying Ambersamber crying 5

Amber’s lowest point comes when she spirals into a drunken depression and gets into a super bad car accident. Luckily she survives and has to face the wrath of Zeek Braverman. He brings her to the junkyard where her totaled car is, and says a line that marked the first time I had really broke down and ugly cried while watching the show:

“I dreamt you, Amber. You do not have permission to mess with my dreams.”

Turns out that the brilliant Craig T. Nelson rewrote that speech on the spot and Mae had no idea what he was going to say. They did it in one take, and that’s the take they used.

Season 3, Episode 4: Alex says a final goodbye to Kristina

4 Crying Ambers

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Haddie’s first real boyfriend, Alex (played by the smokeshow that is Michael B. Jordan), is, on paper, the total opposite from Haddie. When their differences become too glaringly incompatible, he breaks up with her. But when he says goodbye to Kristina, you realize that Alex needed to be a part of this family as much as Haddie needed to love and lose the first boy that completely changed her world. And the Bravermans changed his world too.

Season 3, Episode 17: Julia realizes Zoe isn’t giving her the baby to adopt

5 Crying Ambers

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Despite being all, ‘hey if you’re not using that baby’, and Zoe ‘agreeing’ to give Joel and Julia her kid, Zoe changes her mind at the last minute to raise the child by herself. The moment where Julia realizes the time and effort and heart she’s put into the baby she thought would soon be hers, wouldn’t be going home with her – Julia shatters into a million pieces.

Season 4, Episode 1: Haddie leaves for college

4 Crying Ambers

amber crying 4Before all this Kristina stuff goes on, she and Adam send their first born off to college, thousands of miles away from Berkley to Cornell in upstate New York. A lot of us can relate to this, which is why this scene is so important. So when she says goodbye to her family, she knows it’s the end of an era, and things will never be exactly the same again.

Season 4, Episode 5: Adam talks to Haddie about Kristina’s diagnosis

3 Crying Ambers
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Woof. The whole Krisina cancer storyline is a doozy, but the beginning of the arc brings a lot of tears. From Kristina silently confirming to Adam she has cancer, to this scene where Adam has no choice to talk about her diagnosis with his college-aged daughter, these scenes were always hard to take. But the great thing to take away is that Peter Krause is such an incredible actor. In just this phone conversation alone he perfectly portrays a man who is just trying to keep it together.

Season 4, Episode 5: Kristina tells the family she has cancer

5 Crying Ambers

amber crying 5

This is perhaps the most memorable scene in the entire series. Everything about it is perfect. The family is all gathered and Kristina finally has to tell them she has cancer. It starts with us hearing her say, ‘I have something to tell you’, and the sound goes out. The camera pans to all the family members, and because each actor knows their character so well, they each respond to the news differently. I think my favorite is when the camera goes to Crosby, and he looks like he’s in shock, mainly because he had been giving Adam a hard time about the business, and now he realizes how much of an ass he’s been while he’s been dealing with Kristina’s diagnosis. And he does it in one single stare.

Season 4, Episode 11: Adam watches the video Kristina made in case she dies

5 Crying Ambers

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Kristina suffers a setback in her cancer battle, and in the event something went awry, she decides to make a video for her family. The result is another brilliant scene from Peter Krause, but also one that will tear you to bits.

Season 4, Episode 14: Crosby consoles Julia about adopting Victor

2 Crying Ambers

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For some reason, Crosby and Julia never get a lot of screentime with just the two of them. But this scene features the two babies of the family, with the usually unreliable black sheep of the family, Crosby, assuring smart, perfect lawyer Julia that she’s a better mom than she thinks she is, and that he’s admired her strength for years.

Season 4, Episode 13: Drew comes crying to Sarah after Amy’s abortion

3 Crying Ambers

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After Drew’s girlfriend Amy finally decides to get an abortion, we see Drew having a really hard time coping with it, and he finally lets it all out by just going to Sarah’s house and sobbing in her arms. It’s a realization that while he may not have been ready to be a father, there was still a part of him that thought he could.

Season 4, Episode 15: Joel and Julia officially adopt Victor

4 Crying Ambers

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This is the scene that makes you want to become a Braverman.

“Beautiful family you have.” – Judge

“They’re something aren’t they?” – Zeek Braverman

*Didn’t realize this until I rewatched the clip, but the judge is totally the guy who played the Stars Hollow Rabbi in Gilmore Girls.

Season 5, Episode 10: Ryan tells Amber he’s re-enlisting

3 Crying Ambers

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 Literally as soon as Ryan gets back from duty, he asks Amber to marry her. But after a while, his demons get the best of him, and instead of facing real life and a future with Amber, he decides to re-enlist instead, leaving an extremely stunned Amber speechless and beyond mad, and Ryan numbed from the pain.

Season 5, Episode 18: Kristina comforts Max when he realizes he’s different

5 Crying Ambers

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Max realizes that kids treat him differently because of his Aspberger’s, but doesn’t comprehend why they’re treating him like crap. But the heartbreaking part of this scene is seeing Kristina and Adam, who are not only unable to properly give Max an acceptable reason, but are so frustrated that there’s not much they can do to change it.

Season 5, Episode 21: Kristina says goodbye to Gypsy

4 Crying Ambers

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I know her name on the show is Gwen, but she will forever by Gypsy from Gilmore Girls. Anyways, Kristina became friends with Gwen while they were both receiving chemo treatments, and because Parenthood isn’t one to ignore what happens in real life, Kristina has to give one (teary) final goodbye to her friend, who is nearing the end of a losing battle with cancer.

Season 5, Episode 22: Zeek and Camille slow dancing in the empty house

3 Crying Ambers
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It took some cajoling, but Zeek and Camille finally sold their iconic house. And while we’ve been with that home for five seasons, Zeek and Camille had been its occupants for decades as they raised their kids and grandkids. One of the final shots in the house is the outline of the two heads of the Braverman clan slow dancing in an empty room, acknowledging both the good times that happened there, and the new memories they’ll make in their new home.

Season 6, Episode 10: THE ENTIRE EPISODE

10 Crying Ambers

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WHERE TO FREAKING BEGIN. The entire opening slow-motion montage of all the kids getting the call Zeek was in the hospital (gave me goosebumps). Drew crying in the car after it wouldn’t start. Julia calling Joel her ‘husband’, the makeshift baby shower for Amber where the women give her advice? Honestly cried through 90% of that episode. It was one of the roughest hours of television, ever.

Season 6, Episode 12: Amber names her son Zeek

3 Crying Ambers
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IT’S A FULL CIRCLE, Y’ALL. SHE DIDN’T MESS WITH GRANDPA ZEEK’S DREAMS.

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

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


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

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

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

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

One Crying Dawson1 crying dawson

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

Two Crying Dawsons2 crying dawsons

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

Three Crying Dawsons

3 crying dawsons

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

Four Crying Dawsons

4 Crying Dawsons

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

Five Crying Dawsons

5 crying dawsons

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

Pop Culture Moments That Make Me Cry

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

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

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

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

One Crying Dawson1 crying dawson

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

Two Crying Dawsons2 crying dawsons

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

Three Crying Dawsons

3 crying dawsons

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

Four Crying Dawsons

4 Crying Dawsons

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

Five Crying Dawsons

5 crying dawsons

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