Best of C+S 2015: Speculative Premiere Week: Meet The New Shows Of 2019!

So it’s 2016, huh? Sounds fake, but fine. In our final Best of 2015 post, we’re going to take it back to the future – here are all the Law and Order spinoffs, fat guy/skinny wife shows, and C-list celebrity comebacks that we’re pretty sure will be hitting our screens in 2019. Happy New Year, everyone! See you Monday with our all-new 2016 posts.

Maybe we’re getting a little carried away with our role as Fantasy Network Executives, but we’re pretty sure we can predict exactly what will be on tv in 4 years. Expect the new batch of series to contain a breakout SNL star, CBS’s latest Fat Guy/Skinny Wife offering, a movie franchise adaptation, a poorly planned reboot, and a patently offensive comeback or two. And Ryan Seacrest, always Ryan Seacrest. So what’s on the block for 2019? Set your DVR’s way ahead, it’s going to be quite a year!

Selfie Off with Ryan Seacrest

The top 10 selfie takers in America face-off (quite literally) in a variety of different challenges to see who can take the best photo. On a rollercoaster, next to a fire, in a haunted house, who will not let outside elements deter them from their photography skills and ultimately take the crown of America’s Favorite Selfie Taker? This show does not do well.

Sass and Grass

taraji franco

James Franco and Taraji P. Henson star in this buddy cop dramedy patrolling a rough Philadelphia high school, which has a bad weed problem. Except Franco may have a weed problem of his own.

Soul Mates

Teen ghost falls in love with a living teen (teen ghosts are the teen vampires of 2019).

Fantastic Four

Because if it fails on the big screen, let’s try TV instead.

The Franny

A reality show starring Fran Drescher, featuring her life as a TV producer and her close friendship with her gay ex-husband.

The George Lopez Project

In this George Lopez vehicle, he plays the George Lopez character from his 2002-2007 series “George Lopez.” He has moved to Tallahassee to care for his aunt with whom he has “comedic” (but not actually funny) spats.

Waffle King Juniors

The search for the best kid waffle maker is on. Hosted by Alton Brown, sponsored by IHOP. As the title suggests, Waffle King is already a show by this point.

Tiny Houseboat International

Features people looking to not only downsize their home but also sail the high seas (but not too high, these boats are TINY).

Roller Coaster Tycoon

In this Apprentice spinoff hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, the search is on for the next great amusement park mogul.

Pretty In Provo

Aidy Bryant stars as a Cool Mormon trying to juggle her mommy blog and etsy shop, while wrangling her kids Wren, Polly, and Olive-Lou. Her house and outfits are bright and adorable, and we… kind of want this to exist for real? AIDY?

Jerry Maguire

In this TV adaptation of Jerry Maguire, Jerry is played by that British kid from Finding Neverland (Freddie Highmore).

By The Book

Keri Russell and Barry Watson are former classmates at NYU who were academic rivals (there was always a sexual tension between them, but nothing happened). Now they’ve both returned to their alma mater as professors in the same English department and still have that feeling of hatred towards each other but also even stronger sexual tension. One of the students is young Gene Draper from Mad Men. There are sweeps week guest spots by Scott Speedman and Amy Jo Johnson.

Blueprint For Love

Taran Killam stars as a Ted Mosby type, but less pretentious and more funny and charming. He’s an architect, trying to follow the rules from an archaic dating guide to the letter in the hope of meeting “the one.”

Gal Pals

Katie Holmes and Ellen Page star as sisters who have to pretend that they’re dating in order to rent an apartment in San Francisco, a la Three’s Company.

gal pals

The London Editor

A career-driven American 30-something (one of our 2019 TV Rookies To Watch) who has no time for love spars with her London-based editor (Thomas Sangster, the kid from Love Actually). She pictures him as a grumpy old sourpuss, but discovers that he’s actually a young, charming curmudgeon. But they live on different continents and, again, she doesn’t have TIME for love!

Kangaroo Court with Bindi Irwin

Bindi Irwin travels to wildlife preserves across Australia, solving training problems and inter-animal rivalries: think Dog Whisperer, but with more kangaroos.

Gossip Woman

In this CW reboot of Gossip Girl, all-grown-up Jenny Humphrey is a touring musician who is haunted by a gossip blogger (still Dan). Inexplicably, Jenny and Dan (along with a few of their classmates) are parents to teenagers, who start to find that their own secrets are being revealed.

Silver Sisters

This reboot of Golden Girls features a cast of 38-44 year old women (the oldest allowable in 2019).

Meerkat Detective

A animated/live-action comedy about a Meerkat detective who solves crimes in Chicago using the social media live video app Meerkat.

Suburban Legends

After years in the city, Jake Potter moves back to the suburb of his youth, where he is reunited with all of his old childhood gang and they pick up right where they left off … to much head-shaking by his prim wife, Julie. There are ’90s and early ’00s flashbacks. This is CBS’s requisite Fat Guy/Skinny Wife show for 2019, and it stars Shia LaBeouf (who is fat in 2019).

Ill-Conceived

In this attempted comeback, Amanda Bynes plays a sassy, wealthy young doctor who recently took up a post at an inner-city abortion clinic as terms of some kind of probation. The show is quickly canceled because everyone hates it, and in the final episode to air Amanda discovers that she’s pregnant. Maybe Diablo Cody writes it?

CSI: Des Moines

It stars Dylan McDermott and Dermot Mulroney, who play Daniel Muldowney and Donny McDaniel.

Law And Order: Car Theft

When your car gets stolen, who you gonna call? Probably 911, who will tell you to call 311, who will refer you to this department run by Camryn Manheim.

So You Think You Lift, Bro?

Just two dudes facing off, lifting heavier and heavier weights as the competition goes on. It’s not a hit on primetime and gets cancelled after two episodes on Spike. Hulu’s fitness-oriented online platform MeatHead, picks it up and does great.

Floored

Brad Pitt realizes every A-lister is starring in a TV show so he does too. In a multi-cam comedy for CBS, Brad plays the super of an Upper East Side apartment building in New York City. He’s an overall upbeat guy and the quirky tenants (think Gilmore Girls or Parks & Rec townies) love him – but when his ex-fiancee moves into the building to live with her new fiance, his jealousy and cattiness comes out. The show airs after the Shia LaBeouf show.

Another Shonda Rhimes show

Doesn’t even matter what it’s about. It’ll be on and we’ll watch it.

Dubya

George W. Bush stars in this docu-series about the months leading up to his first big art show installation at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He shows a stressed side we’ve never seen before but manages to keep his positive attitude a crack a few (a lot) of dad jokes in the process.

 

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Fantasy Network TV Exec

A few years ago, I went insane with my Fall TV scheduling because there were too many shows I loved that were coming back, and the premiere dates were staggered, and I was getting old so I had to write them all down and not just rely on the old noggin. I’ve stopped doing that over the past year or so, since I found an app (FREE app) called Episoder, which is something I swear by and could not recommend more to fellow TV enthusiasts. Anyways, the point is that when it comes time to plan out the Fall TV schedule, whether it be as a viewer or as an important executive of a big network, you have to plan strategically. The shows in primetime have to be equally engaging, GOOD, and bring in non-sucky numbers from whoever the Nielsen people are.

Some of you are in the beginnings of your Fantasy Football Leagues, and because we’re not much of the Fantasy Football type, we decided to play our own version with Fantasy TV Network Exec. We broke down which shows we would bank on if we ran an imaginary network, and hand-picked the series we think will boost our C+S Network’s ratings and help it become a reputable channel with quality programming (this is clearly the humble beginnings of our plan to start our own corporation and take over the world). Plus this is just a general guide of what you should probably watch in a couple weeks. We obviously took this very seriously.

fne_monday

8:00 Supergirl (CBS)

As a whole, we as a society are still not over superhero shows/movies, so naturally this freshman series is gaining a lot of buzz. Melissa Benoist (the new girl from Glee) plays the titular Supergirl, aka Superman’s cousin. That’s pretty much all we know plot wise, but what’s more important is the list of series regulars & guest stars, which includes but is not limited to: Calista Flockhart, Jeremy Jordan, Laura Benanti, Lexie Grey (Chyler Leigh), Jenna Dewan Tatum, and former Superman Dean Cain.!

9:00 Jane The Virgin (CW)

Neither of us watch Jane the Virgin, but it’s not from lack of wanting to. We both love love LOVE Gina Rodriguez as a human, so let’s support her show, shall we?

10:00 Blindspot (NBC)

If you’ve seen ads of a naked woman with words all over her body, that is this show. And TBH, some of these choices were based on, “the shows on the other networks suck, so this is the least offensive”. This is the least offensive.

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8:00 The Muppets (ABC)

Following the success of mockumentaries like The Office and Parks and Rec, the genre has since become a little too overused, therefore losing its magic. However, when it’s used for a beloved franchise that needs an extremely creative twist to keep dedicated fans and viewers happy and tuned in, the mockumentary style makes perfect sense. This is probably the show I’m most looking forward to this fall, and judging by its trailers, I don’t think we’ll be disappointed. Also, Kermit is Jim Halpert. Count me in.

8:30 Fresh Off The Boat (ABC)

I was so relieved when Fresh Off The Boat got picked up, and unfortunately somewhat surprised when it did, because I was expecting ABC execs to dismiss yet another primetime show that doesn’t feature all white people *gets off soapbox*. Besides the whole #RepresentationIsImportant aspect of the show, it’s actually a really good program. The writing is fantastic and the acting is A+ (Constance Wu, y’all). Despite the fact it’s about an immigrant family and the first generation of kids in America, it’s a comedy about family at its core, and that’s why it should be appealing for everyone.

9:00 Scream Queens (FOX)

This was a process of elimination pick, with a healthy pinch of “it’s Ryan Murphy, it can’t be all bad.” Think the camp of Glee meeting the horror aspects of American Horror Story. It’s not necessarily our “thing” but we will always be here for Lea Michele in headgear. Plus Emma Roberts, Abigail Breslin, and Keke Palmer rounding out the “When Did They Grow Up?” contingent, and Nasim Pedrad bringing the comedy.

Plus it’s also up against yet another superhero show (Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.), a third-generation NCIS (New Orleans), and a doctor show (Heartbreaker).

10:00 Wicked City (ABC)

We’ll have to wait a minute for this one – October 27 – because shows are airing willy-nilly this year. You can start off watching Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris on NBC, but don’t get too attached because in November Chicago Fire will take over the slot. Most of the shows this year are so genre – it’s all procedurals, zombies, and superhero reboots – that it’s nice to see something a bit different. Wicked City is a crime show set in 1982 on the Sunset Strip. Erika Christiansen as a 1980s Los Angeles mother who falls into cahoots with a serial killer? We’ll try it.

fne_wednesday

8:00 Rosewood (FOX)

Not actually sure if this show about a pathologist named Dr. Beaumont Rosewood, Jr. is actually going to be any good, especially since the tagline is, “Life. Death. Miami.” However, Morris Chestnut is in it (references here, here, and here), and I’d watch him do literally anything over the 102nd season of Survivor.

9:00 Empire (FOX)

If you think Drip Drop and Boo Boo Kitty are songs from the Wiggles or something, you are seriously missing out. We wrote a more in depth post about why you need to be watching Empire, but even if you aren’t totally sold, there are only 12 episodes. You can watch all of season one and be caught up in a few lazy weekends. Empire is one of those rare runaway success midseason replacements that became a cultural touchstone.

10:00 Nashville (ABC)

I started watching this show for Connie Britton and now it’s starting its fourth season and I’m still here. It’s like, it’s good, but could be better, but I’m too invested so I’m not going to give up now type of show. So here we are.

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8:00 Grey’s Anatomy (ABC)

How is this show in its 12th season what’s happening? I know the whole McDreamy storyline has been a point of contention with fans, and it’s understandable. However, as both a fan of the show and fan of the construct of TV as a whole, I’m interested in seeing where they’re going to take Meredith’s story after a devastating loss. It’s the first season we’ve seen her without Derek AND Cristina by her side, so how does that change her as a person? Or does it?

9:00 Scandal (ABC)

Scandal might be the best show on television right now. It is also one of the most popular, with an unusually engaged fan base.  It’s on season five, yet I still feel like I have no idea what will happen with Olivia and Fitz, who is truly trustworthy, and how Olivia has never spilled on one of those white coats. Scandal has found a way to bring TV to a must-watch-live EVENT and fans live tweet with the cast in an unprecedented way (props to our fav Kerry Washington for that one). Take that, Video On Demand!

10:00 How To Get Away With Murder (ABC)

If you were frustrated with the twists and turns and multiple murders on HTGAWM, believe me when I say this show is a breath of fresh air compared to Pretty Little Liars. Surprisingly (or maybe not so much so), the finale of season one solved the mystery we’ve been trying to figure out since the pilot, but then minutes later, we were hit in the face with another murder to leave us on a cliffhanger to go into season two. HTGAWM is also a super strong ending to a night in Shondaland, and you’d be crazy to pick any other lineup than this on a Thursday night.

fne_friday

8:00 Masterchef Junior (FOX)

If you’re into any sort of cooking competition program, you need to watch Masterchef Junior. Especially if you’re not a fan of Gordon Ramsay. The tough, expletive-spouting Brit takes a cooler tone with these home chefs, who range in age from eight to 13. It’s nice to see a softer, more encouraging side to Gordon, who just wants to see these kids succeed. It’s also nice to see a reality show that doesn’t focus on the drama between the contestants – these kids are just there to have fun and cook amazing dishes with food I’ve never even heard of before.

9:00 Shark Tank (ABC)

Let’s call a spade a spade. Nothing good, or even “good,” is on TV at 9:00 on a Friday. We’ve fallen very far from the must-watch TGIF lineups of our youth. Shark Tank has a solid audience, big enough to warrant a spinoff this year, so I guess we pick that.

10:00 Blue Bloods (CBS)

It’s not so much that we are raging Tom Selleck fans – I mean the man can grow a good mustache, but let’s not go crazy. And Mark Wahlberg isn’t even my favorite Wahlberg. The Irish cop cliches will surely be super lame. However. We’re sure that Dateline and 20/20 will split the News Magazine contingent, so this seemed like the best choice. For the record, we’ve both always been 20/20 girls, and in third grade we were even traumatized by the same episode about kids getting sucked onto pool drains.

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Watch Netflix.

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8:00 The Simpsons (FOX)

The Simpsons is my first television memory, sneaking upstairs to watch it with my brothers. It was my first appointment with appointment television, and I didn’t miss an episode from the ages of three until about 18. That said, I’m not sure if I’ve seen a new episode for the past decade. But looking at the competition on Sunday nights, it’s not hard to see why the show continues to do well. A television institution, The Simpsons has been on the air since 1989 and it looks like it isn’t going anywhere.

[Psst – I’m actually into Once Upon a Time, but we wanted to include Brooklyn Nine-Nine at 8:30 so we really needed a half hour show here.]

8:30 Brooklyn Nine-Nine (FOX)

This show is good. When it won that Golden Globe a lot of people were shocked, but it combines the best elements of workplace comedy, police procedural, and buddy comedy. Plus, I hate that this is still a pleasant surprise in 2015, but it’s about a police precinct where two of the main characters are black men (and one is gay), two are Latinas, and most importantly, everyone is hilarious. Gina was one of the characters we needed back on our TVs after the 2014 hiatus, (and it’s true again), and Andy Samberg is that goofy coworker who is somehow actually amazing at his job. For some reason I feel like a lot of already-good shows really hit their strides in the third season, so I think this year is going to be great.

9:00 The Good Wife (CBS)

We don’t watch The Good Wife, which has apparently been on for five seasons (FIVE.). However, we know that a lot of people do. Besides, we’re not going to watch Oil and we are VERY not going to watch Sunday Night Football. There are some shows that we know will technically win the time slot, but we don’t like them so we aren’t choosing them. That’s what we’re doing with football.

10:00 CSI Cyber (CBS)

It’s this, football,  the local news on FOX, or an ABC series about the Bible. I understand that for a lot of people Sunday is the Lord’s day, and for a lot of other people it’s Football Night, but for us, every day is TV day and that programming just doesn’t cut it.

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!”

O Come Let Us Adore… Holiday-Themed Sitcom Episodes

ATTENTION: IT IS DECEMBER. IT IS THE LAST MONTH OF 2014. WHAT HOW HUH.

Ok now that I’ve made you feel like you’ve done nothing this year, it’s time to introduce you to our special holiday playlists of the month, because we like spreading joy here at Cookies + Sangria.

If you are a frequent reader of our blog, you know that we usually have a Playlist of the Month featuring our favorite songs based on the given theme. For December, we decided to give our gifts to you early (yay!) and have THREE ‘playlists’ that are all holiday themed. Today we’re kicking it off with some of our favorite holiday sitcom episodes. If you’re like us, you enjoy watching stuff like this to get into the spirit, so break out the egg nog (or just like, wine or something) and kick back with some of the best Christmasukkah crap TV has to offer!

Molly’s Picks

Parks and Recreation – Citizen Knope
{Season 4, Episode 1}

Guaranteed to bring on my annual Yuletide happy-cry, in this episode Leslie learns that as much love and dedication as she has for her friends and community, they have for her. Leslie always gives almost obsessively perfect presents, but after her rough suspension she receives the best gifts a gal could ask for: the love of her friends, a gingerbread facsimile of her workplace, and a campaign staff.

Seinfeld – The Strike
{Season 9, Episode 10}

Yes, my family has celebrated Festivus. The Feats of Strength were a real bummer because my brothers are both 6’5, but I think the Airing Of Grievances hurt more. If you don’t know what those things mean, you need to watch this episode.

The Office – Christmas Party
{Season 2, Episode 10}

Remember those sweet, early ‘will they/won’t they’ days of Jim and Pam’s relationship? When a Christmas gift exchange turns into a forced Yankee Swap, Jim’s gift to Pam is in jeopardy. She ultimately gets the teapot he bought her, but not before Jim removes the note he wrote her … then gives it to her like 7 years later.

Guys. I really miss this show sometimes.

Friends – The One With The Routine
{Season 6, Episode 10}

Do you guys remember Millennium Fever? Survivalists were freaking out about Y2K and everyone else was under heavy pressure to have the best New Year’s ever. When Monica and Ross land a spot on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, they decide to bust out their childhood dance routine.

Surest sign you were a tweenaged Friends fanatic in the late 90s: you watched the episode (taped on VHS, naturally) over and over until you had that routine down. Guilty.

30 Rock – Ludachristmas
{Season 2, Episode 9}

This one had me at the title. What can I say, I love a good portmanteau. But the episode itself seriously delivered. Jack’s mom (Elaine Stritch) is in town, as is Liz’s family (including her brother, whose brain injury makes him believe that it is perpetually 1985). The TGS Christmas party is ruined when Kenneth takes it upon himself to teach everyone the Real Meaning Of Christmas, and saved when Tracy decides to ignore his alcohol monitoring bracelet.

The Simpsons – The Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire
{Season 1, Episode 1}

I was a big Simpsons fan as a little kid, and this is probably my favorite of their Christmas episodes. Homer gets a job as a mall Santa, but still comes up short on Christmas Eve. He and Bart hit the racetrack, and come home with the best present of all – Santa’s Little Helper, the losing greyhound they bet on.

Traci’s Picks

The Office – A Benihana Christmas
{Season 3, Episode 11}

This isn’t just one of my favorite Christmas episodes, it’s one of my favorite episodes of The Office – ever. There is so much going on in this episode that I don’t even know which storyline is my favorite. So let’s break it down. First we have Michael, whose realtor girlfriend, Carol (and Steve’s IRL wife) breaks up with him, leading him into a spiral of depression. To help him with the pain, he goes out to lunch at Japanese restaurant Benihana with some of the guys in the office. Michael and Andy pick up two of the waitresses (Kulap!) and bring them back to the office for the annual Christmas party. Except Michael can’t remember which Asian waitress was the one he was hoping to hook up with, and after a heart to heart with Jim, Michael realizes he really likes someone else and invites them to go to Jamaica with him (spoiler alert, it’s Jan). Speaking of the party, there are actually two dueling parties between Angela’s Party Planning Committee and Pam and Karen’s margarita-karaoke party. This is important because it’s the first time Pam and Karen are actually getting along despite the fact there’s the whole Jim love triangle. Eventually the two parties merge, and all is fine. Oh and as a Christmas present to Jim, Pam has been playing an elaborate trick on Dwight which involves the CIA. This episode is The Office at its finest. It has the perfect mix of humor, heart, and plot progression that will fit in a special hour-long episode. Ugh, I miss this show.

Friends – The One With The Holiday Armadillo
{Season 7, Episode 10}

This is obviously one of the more iconic moments of Friends – even though it’s from one of the much-debated later seasons. Ross wants to teach Ben about Haunukkah, since he’s half Jewish, but all Ben wants to do is talk about that Santa dude. Ross gives in, but it’s too late into the season that all the Christmas-related costumes are sold out, so he settles for an armadillo – the Holiday Armadillo to be exact (who is Santa’s representative for all the southern states. Annnnnd Mexico!) But because Ben has uncles who love him a lot and want to help out, Joey and Chandler dress up too, and the result looks like the Easter Bunny’s funeral.

Full House – Our Very First Christmas Show
{Season 2, Episode 9}

When I was a kid, I always thought Corduroy and his story was just the coolest. The fact that this bear came to life and gets to wander around a department store at night when it was closed just seemed so intriguing to me. Basically, any plot that involves people (or inanimate objects coming to life, I guess) being stuck in a place where they’re not usually supposed to be is great to me. In the first Christmas episode from Full House, the fam is on its way to Colorado for the holidays, but a blizzard forces the plane to land in a rando small airport and they have to spend the Christmas Eve in the baggage claim waiting room. Jesse’s dad tries to get Jesse to kiss Becky under the mistletoe, Deej is mad that their gifts have gone missing, Steph is upset because she doesn’t think Santa will find her in the stupid airport, and Joey doesn’t get a real storyline because this is Full House. Eventually some guy Steph was afraid of on the plane turns out to be the real Santa, and they all get their presents. It’s full of cheese, but what else do you expect from this show?

Parks and Recreation – Ron and Diane
{Season 5, Episode 9}

Because Leslie Knope is the greatest, she dresses up in this elf/santa’s workshop worker costume to tell Ron he is nominated for an award from the Indiana Fine Woodworking Association for a chair he recently built. Ron invites Diane to the ceremony and Leslie invites herself, and therefore meets Diane for the first time (cameo appearance from Tammy 2). Meanwhile, the rest of the gang are planning their annual Jerry Dinner – every time Jerry does something stupid, they put a dollar in the box, and at the end of the year, they use the money to treat themselves to a dinner. But on their way to spend the $500, Tom, Donna, April and Andy pass by Jerry’s house only to find out that the Gengriches, including Christie Brinkley, are having a big Christmas party without them. Ann, who is a guest at the party, won’t let them in, but they finally apologize and end up giving the Jerry Dinner money to Jerry to help pay for his hospital bills after his fart attack.

How I Met Your Mother – How Lily Stole Christmas
{Season 2, Episode 11}

Lily finds an old message on their answering machine that Ted left for Marshall after Lily left him to go off to San Francisco. He called her a grinch (bitch) and urged Marshall to get over her. Ted tells her that in all fairness she was being a huge grinch during that time, and refuses to apologize, which makes Lily furious. She takes away “Lily’s Winter Wonderland”, in which she decorates the entire apartment full of snow and Christmas items, and it’s Marshall’s favorite part about the holidays, especially this year since he’s busy studying for the bar exam. There are a lot of episodes in HIMYM focusing on Marshall/Lily and Ted/Marshall/Barney, but there are a few which get to focus on Lily/Ted, and this is one of them. Throughout college, it was Mashall, Lily, and Ted as a trio, and sometimes it’s hard to remember that with the Marshall/Lily ship, so seeing them fight and ultimately reconcile in this episode is certainly a Christmas miracle.

Saved By The Bell – A Home For Christmas
{Season 3, Episode 24}

Boy, do I love/hate a teen show which tries to incorporate adult subject matter. We briefly talked about how this show handled drunk driving and drugs during our SBTB Week a few months ago,  and this is no different. Most of the gang has jobs at the mall, and Zack lit’rally runs into this blonde girl and hits on her but he turns around for one second and she’s gone. Separately, Zack and Screech run into a man in the bathroom who they realize is homeless. Turns out, the blonde, Laura, not only works with Kelly at a department store, but is the homeless man’s daughter, and they’ve been living in their car after he lost his job. Zack’s mom offers to let them stay at their house until they find a place to stay. At the same time, the crew is putting up A Christmas Carol, which IRONICALLY mirrors a similar story between Laura and Kelly and their mean scroogey boss Mr. Moody. The episode ends with everyone singing Silent Night around a piano, and S2G, if I watched this episode as an adult I would hate it, but because I watched it so many times as a kid, the corny factor doesn’t even bother me. God bless us every one (esp Zack Morris).

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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!”

10 Catchiest Wordless TV Theme Songs

For years, instrumental TV theme songs were de rigour. Then, sometime in the mid-to-late 60s, somebody realized that you could sum up the entire premise of the show in a one-minute, three-verse song. Writers didn’t have to add in any exposition! Keep in mind, this was before the age of a two-minute “previously, on ____” preceding every 42-minute program. Viewers needed some way to know what they were getting into.

As time wore on, more generic theme songs took hold, usually about themes like friendship (Golden Girls) or family (Full House, Family Matters). By the mid-90s, tv themes had become chart toppers in their own right, and I still get a little giddy when the Friends theme pipes onto the radio.

Commercial breaks expanded, and run times contracted. Networks had to cut something from their shows, and theme songs were the first to go. By season 9, the Friends theme was about 12 words long. Other themes were reduced to a single line, followed by a nonsense word (Friendship is family forever…. toodles!). Don’t believe me? The Mike And Molly song is 17 seconds long. 10 words.

In tv theme songs – as in fashion and politics – the pendulum always swings back eventually. Instrumental theme songs are it again. I’ll be damned if they aren’t darn catchy, too.

Mad Men

A great title sequence calls for a great theme song. There’s a bit of a tense, Hitchcock-y buildup, so you know there’s going to be drama. But then the cymbals kick in, so you’re pretty sure there will be fun times and laughs, too. Who needs three verses explaining Don Draper’s back story when you have that? (I would actually benefit from three verses explaining Don Draper’s back story).

The Simpsons

I started watching The Simpsons almost as soon as it aired, even though I was barely a toddler. My mom didn’t approve of Bart’s attitude, but that didn’t mean we weren’t allowed to watch it. It just meant that my brothers and I had to go upstairs to do it. This really typifies my parents’ child-rearing philosophy. Like, my room could be messy for a while, but my door had to be closed. Hi, I’m half Irish Catholic, if you couldn’t tell.

Anyway, the most exciting part of the show when I was 4 or 5 was “the couch” – the sight gag at the end of the credits when the family piled onto the sofa. To get to it, you had to sit through a rollicking tour of Springfield. Danny Freakin’ Elfman, you guys. Genius.

30 Rock

Totally jazzy and New York-y. Oddly, more of an early-60s feel than the Mad Men theme. Jeff Richmond is without a doubt one of the great tv composers of our day. His wife’s pretty cool too I guess.

Parks and Recreation

Upbeat and spirited, this is like a theme song for optimism itself. Will Leslie Knope prevail? Of course she will. You don’t write a theme like this for someone who’s anything less than triumphant.

Boy Meets World

I have so much trouble finding people who remember the original Boy Meets World theme. We all remember the generic 90s tune of the later seasons (when this boy meets world — boy meets wor-or-orld – travelin down this road that we call ly-eeef –). But, do you remember the synth-y yet magestic tune of the first season? Extra bonus, the entire title sequence looks like it was created on Microsoft Paint, pre-Windows ‘95.

Because we all still  love the Boy Meets World cast, enjoy this behind-the-scenes info from the filming of the later title sequence:

Law And Order

I don’t know if it’s the solid bass backbeat, the twangy guitar, or the — is that a clarinet?? — but if you blindfolded a person who had never seen Law and Order, played this sequence, and asked them what this show was about, they’d be like “police procedural set in a big city? Early 90s?” I like the moment about 50 seconds in when you think that it’s over, then the music kicks back up, like “just kidding!” Am I overthinking it if I think that’s supposed to evoke the moment ⅘ of the way through the show when you think they got the bad guy but it was a different bad guy? Yeah, I thought so.

Batman

This doesn’t all-the-way qualify, because they say Batman a crazy number of times. By the end of it, it’s like when you repeat a word multiple times and it stops sounding like a word. I also notice that the way kids sing “na na na na na na na na na na BATMAN!” doesn’t sound much like this. See, I find that children are terrible at most things because they haven’t been alive very long.

What’s amazing is that even though this is a superhero cartoon, it kind of sounds like 1960s beach music, too. Except for the part where they won’t stop saying Batman.

Doug

I think in this context, “do” isn’t a word.

Babar

Oh, Babar. The show I always saw 20 minutes of because it was on HBO right before I had to leave for church in the morning. Babar was a gentle, sweet show (about colonialism), so this lovely little melody fits perfectly. Unless, that is, crazy, terrible shit always started to go down in the final 10 minutes.

Leave it To Beaver

    When you listen to this peppy, spirited little tune, you just know that for the next half-hour you are going to be in a world where the biggest problem is an 8-year-old with a slingshot. If only that darn announcer would just shut up.

Honorable mention: Clarissa Explains it all

Just a cheerful, energetic number featuring a 14-year-old girl dressed like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. I had to DQ it from the list proper because there were a few too many words in there.

Honorable mention: Andy Griffith Show

This theme song is iconic and completely evocative of the show. I’m not denying that. Here’s the thing, though. When I was in elementary school, our music director decided to debut a sung version of this song at the spring concert. It wasn’t even my grade doing it, but all I can think of when I hear this song is 40 eight-year-olds with recorders trying to squeak out the melody, then putting them down to sing about a fishin’ hole.  It was actually way more cute when Andy Griffith sang it than when two classes of third graders did it, who would have thought?

Also, I know this makes me sound like a dour and joyless person, but I can’t stand when people whistle, and this song just encourages it.

Did I Do That?! Top TV Teen Nerds

Believe it or not, I wasn’t a cool kid. Yes, I know this might be hard to get your head around, but despite my appealing attributes – short, freckled, bookish, brillo-textured red hair — I wasn’t exactly homecoming queen.

However, I wasn’t so uncool that I was a total pariah. I was just more of a non-entity. I was also not a social striver: I figured whoever liked me, liked me and I wasn’t about to try to act cool to get cooler friends. First of all, I didn’t care enough*, and second of all, I don’t know HOW to act cool. Did those girls just get a special book at the beginning of every school year telling them what to wear and how to behave? Because if there was a book, I’d have been golden. I’m good at books.

* If you think this means I was too cool to care, let me disabuse you of that idea. I am just astoundingly lazy.

All of my favorite TV nerds are the same way. These characters aren’t all so dorky that people point and laugh at them in the hall. They’re just too busy being themselves to care what anyone else thinks. However, if they did put out an annual annotated guide on how to be cool, that’s not to say these characters wouldn’t have read it:

Millie Kentner from Freaks And Geeks

Although the entire cast of Freaks and Geeks really deserves a place on this list, I’d like to take a moment and single out Millie. Millie was that girl in high school who was a total goody-goody, but only because she actually liked wholesome activities and behaving. I can relate, as my main interests in high school were being obedient and exceeding expectations. Something about Millie is so earnest, it just tugs at my heartstrings. She isn’t so nerdy and well-behaved because she’s sucking up, it’s because that’s what comes honestly to her. Again, I can relate. I can remember one girl on my tennis team  who was acted like I was judging her because she was a “bad kid” and I was, well, hyper-compliant. I wasn’t — I just wasn’t interested in anything too badass myself.

Since I brought it up, tennis is the dorkiest physical activity you can join that still counts as a sport. Seriously. Even bowling might be cooler, in an ironic, blue collar, old-man way. Tennis: The Reading Of Sports.

Also this:

Seth Cohen from The O.C.

Seth Cohen made teen nerdiness hot. And God, do I still love him for it. It’s hard to believe it’s been a decade since we first met young Seth, who is the first and only person I would ever describe as being “adorkable.” From his snarky message t shirts to his enthusiasm for comic books to his dorky joy about introducing people to Chrismukkah, Seth was everything good about uncool adolescents. I also appreciated how Seth was into indie/alternative music, just like most of my unpopular friends. This just goes to show that most nerdy teens aren’t lame and boring, they’re just not into whatever is in the teen mainstream. Cohen reminds us that dorky teenagers are just one semester of liberal arts college away from being hipsters. Also, just look at him.

Sue Heck from The Middle

The Middle really does not get enough play. I think it’s funny (usually) and hilarious (sometimes). Like all teen nerds, Sue is supremely enthusiastic. Rather than understanding and accepting that she’s a geek, Sue has total faith that someday, she will be one of the cool kids. Because of this, she flies whole-heartedly into the nerdiest activities (see: specialized cheerleading squad for the wrestling team). I especially love her supporting cast of dorky Wrestlerette friends:

Lisa Loopner from Saturday Night Live

By far the most hilarious teen nerd on the list, Lisa Loopner had a chronic stuffy nose, frizzy hair, and a boyfriend named Todd. She may sound like a typical dork, but this character is played with classic Gilda Radner joie de vivre, and that makes all the difference. I… listen. Just watch this.

Lisa Simpson from The Simpsons

Lisa may be too smart to fit in at Springfield Elementary, but she’s also too smart to care… usually. While she does try to fit in with the mega-90s kids on her beach vacation and the occasional third-grade mean girl, she is usually pretty content filling her time with her music, inventions, and Thanksgiving diorama of influential women in U.S. history. However, she is still just a kid, and can be seen playing hopscotch with Sherri and Terri or pining over Malibu Stacy. Lisa isn’t technically a teen nerd, but she has the reading comprehension and math skills of a girl twice her age, which has to count for something.

Landry Clarke from Friday Night Lights

On paper, Landry (or Lance, whatever) doesn’t really sound like a nerd. He’s a high school football player in a land where high school football is king. He’s the lead singer and bassist in a garage band. He loves the lovely and sometimes-badass Tyra. He even may have committed a pretty big felony (seriously, what WAS that plotline?). However, life isn’t lived on paper. Somehow, despite all of these cool factors, Landry is kind of a dork. He’s also proof that sometimes dorks can emerge victorious. Or crucifictorious, I guess.

Fun fact: As far as I know, Jesse Plemons is the only actor who appeared in both Varsity Blues and FNL. Those, along with the times my high school won states, mark the trifecta of Things That Have Made Me Actually Care About High School Football.

Kimmy Gibbler from Full House

Kimmy Gibbler sucked. I’m not denying that. The thing is, I feel so sorry for her! It didn’t occur to me as a child, but she had three grown men living next door to her who mocked her mercilessly. Danny? Joey? Jesse? You’re bullies. Also, her BFF was kind of a dud. Remember when DJ forgot Kimmy’s birthday cake and made her a dish of hashbrowns with Happy Birthday written on it in ketchup? I sometimes use that as a metaphor when I’ve made really weak gestures of friendship. Try it for yourself sometimes. Kimmy did have some positive attributes, like being a pretty decent keyboardist when Girl Talk butchered The Sign (no, not that Girl Talk).

Steve Urkel from Family Matters

I wasn’t even going to put Urkel on the list. I think he forfeited his Teen Nerd title during the later seasons, when suddenly it was All Steffon, All The Time. I’m also still a little bitter that his affinity for cheese made cheese seem nerdy. I freaking love cheese. Come at me, nerd haters and vegans!

You gotta hand it to Urkel, though. He really knew how to deliver a nerd catch phrase.

Carlton from Fresh Prince of Bel Air

He invented “The Carlton,” and that alone earns him a spot on the list. It’s got to be hard being a nerd when you live with super-cool Hillary and Ashley and your badass cousin from West Philly. Having so much money that you live in a full-size replica of the White House probably softens the blow a little. While mostly a classic uptight nerd, Carlton also knew how to let loose and dance.