Happy (Fictional) Presidents’ Day!*

*Today is not Presidents’ Day. Monday is Presidents’ Day. Today is Lincoln’s Birthday. But we all know all these holidays blend together because we really never know which day is which, we just used to get them off when we were still in school.

But in honor of ALL the presidents of these United States of America, I think it’s also appropriate to celebrate the fictional presidents who have also put in hard work to pretend to be the leader of the free world. I’m sure I’ve missed some on my list, so chime in with some of your favorites!

And Happy Presidents’/Lincoln/Washington’s Birthday Day!

President Thomas J. Whitmore {Bill Pullman}

Independence Day

Independence Day is so American that I bet anyone who’s not American will feel American while they watch this movie. Especially during this epic speech. While it’s unlikely we’ll need a President to get us through an unexpected alien attack in the near future, I want Bill Pullman in charge of an air strike if that day does come. Or he can just give motivational speeches to me every morning instead. That works too. “We’re going to live on! We’re going to survive! Today we celebrate our MONDAY!!”

President Andrew Shepard {Michael Douglas}

The American President

For some reason, The American President was one of the first movies I remember being my favorite ‘grown up’ movie. I was nine when this film came out. Maybe it was the allure of Michael Douglas. Maybe it was the romance between him and Annette Benning. Maybe TBS just kept playing it over and over again and I had no chance but to like it. Either way, Michael Douglas is one of the few actors who is actually really believable as the president, and if he’s romancing a woman while in office, count me in.

President James Marshall {Harrison Ford}

Air Force One

Presidential Badassery at its finest.

The President {Billy Bob Thornton}

Love Actually

Okay, maybe he wasn’t a good guy, but Billy Bob played a smarmy, womanizing, douchey prez and I can’t help but think a lot of our former leaders had a little bit of this guy in them.

President George Richmond {Dabney Coleman}

My Date with the President’s Daughter

Basically this movie is a classic DCom and I unapologetically love it. I mean, Eric Matthews! (sidenote: if anyone is interested in watching other DComs like Model Behavior & Life Size it’s all on YouTube, per my research for this clip. I know what I’ll be doing on Valentine’s Day)

President Fitzgerald Grant {Tony Goldwyn}

Scandal

It’s no secret we’re #Gladiators here. So what’s a list of faux presidents without our favorite adulterous Commander-in-Chief? He may have a lot of faults, and may not be the best pres the U.S. has seen, but Shonda Rhimes & co. are brilliant and make you root for a man who’s not only married and having an affair, but his wife knows about it and he STILL pretty much ignores her and their kids. And lest us forget he has also **SPOILER** killed a Supreme Court Justice, who was already on her death bed dying of cancer. But ugh, crisis, because Olitz scenes are 2 hot 4 TV.

Yet the scene above doesn’t involve any handsy moves by the pres. It’s a flashback scene which reminds us why these two fell in love in the first place. They’re no dumb dumbs. They’re independently smart and bring out the best in each other. Without Olivia’s faith in Fitz – the faith he never had in himself – he would have never won the presidency (election rigging aside). And without the dedication and devotion he constantly gives to her, she would have never been able to open up and love a man like Fitz (thanks to her Daddy Pope problems). So I guess all cheating aside, this apparent ‘love’ is what makes us (sometimes begrudgingly) root for them after all.

President Josiah ‘Jed’ Bartlet {Martin Sheen}

The West Wing

You didn’t think I’d make a list without the best TV president, did you? He had too many great moments on the show, from the Butterball hotline to the time he *another spoiler alert* got shot to the time he was high on drugs to the time he walked to the Hill, to the entire Two Cathedrals episode etc. etc. But this particular clip is from an episode called The Midterms which originally aired in 2000. He basically tells off this conservative radio talk show host in a tactful, humorous, ‘don’t disrespect me bc i’m the GD president’ way and it’s this attitude that won him two terms in fake office.

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How to Cope with TV Haituses

Ah, December. The time for friends and family get together to celebrate the holidays watch the winter finales of their favorite shows. This time of year is already stressful with buying gifts, forced holiday parties, and spending too much time with family members you may not care for. But on top of that, TV fans have to gear up for a winter of no new episodes until the next year.

To help you cope with your addictions, I (myself an addict) have compiled a list of shows you should watch during the next few weeks (or months in some cases) until your faves come back on air. For example, last year, I watched all seven seasons of The West Wing in about 26 days. I realize how ridiculous that sounds, but hey, it helped distract me from the cliffhanger of Nashville. I’m only here to help, y’all.

Happy watching!

If you like:

Scandal

You might like:

The West Wing

Speaking of The West Wing… All 7 seasons are on Netflix, so you have no excuse (unless you don’t have Netflix). Scandal is probably the most difficult show to ween yourself off of, especially if you’re a #Gladiator who live tweets and doesn’t miss a single episode. Not to mention, it doesn’t come back until February 27th! So if you enjoy the political side of Scandal, excellent writing, the invention of the ‘walk and talk’ and most importantly, the never sarcastic Josh Malina/David Rosen, who plays Will Bailey from season 3 on, you’ll certainly enjoy this Emmy-winning series that went off the air seven years ago. Warning: there’s certainly not as much sex on this show – but there’s Rob Lowe and a ‘Will they- Won’t they’ situation between Deputy Chief of Staff Josh Lyman (Bradley Whitford) and his assistant Donna Moss (Janel Maloney).

If you like:

Parks and Recreation

You might like:

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

BROOKLYN-NINE-NINE-CAST-570

One name: Mike Schur. If you don’t know who he is and you’re a fan of Parks and Rec and/or The Office, you can revoke your fan privileges right now. Mike used to be a writer on The Office (and also played Dwight’s weird cousin Mose), but left the show to create Parks with Office creator Greg Daniels. Mike decided his one amazing show on NBC wasn’t enough, so he and Dan Goor, also from Parks, created Brooklyn Nine-Nine. The show is hilarious and has the same kind of ensemble quality that both Parks and The Office had. In addition, you can’t go wrong with Andy Samberg as a quirky cop. And don’t forget the fact that both the show and Andy just got nominated for Golden Globes? Congrats Mike Schur.

If you like:

Modern Family

You might like:

Trophy Wife

I’ve talked about my love for Trophy Wife before, and it certainly has not waned since then. This show just keeps getting better and better. A non-traditional family with traditional support and love for each other is exactly the type of foundation Modern Family was built on, and this show is just a different take on it. Make sure you watch the Christmas episode – probably the best of the season so far.

If you like:

Grey’s Anatomy

You might like:

Chicago Fire

Common workplace? Check. Major problem (medical mystery/kid stuck in a burning building)? Check. Hot guys? Check. Lesbians? Check. On-again, off-again/love triangles? Check. Did I mention hot guys? Check. I mean, what are you waiting for?

If you like:

Mad Men

You might like:

Masters of Sex

Okay, this is kind of not following my previous template since Mad Men hasn’t been on since the spring and is coming back in March, but it’s the closest thing to Masters of Sex. This Showtime series just wrapped its first season, and only got better as the season went on. Just like Mad Men, it’s a period drama set in the 1950s centered on (real people) Dr. William Masters (Michael Sheen) and Virginia Johnson (Lizzy Caplan), who were pioneering researchers of human sexuality. Clearly, there’s plenty of sex and nudity happening on this show. But unlike Mad Men where affairs run rampant, the sex mainly happens in the context of their research. Of course both Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan do an amazing job, but the supporting characters like Beau Bridges and his wife Allison Janney (Allison Janney! From The West Wing!!!) are just as outstanding. It’s only 12 episodes you guys!

If you like:

Homeland

You might like:

Homeland Season 1 & 2

No (major?) spoilers if you haven’t seen the season three finale yet, but UGHHH. It will be interesting to see where they go from here. That being said, season three was like a roller coaster and you had no idea where it was going, how it was going to end, or if you even liked it, but you still rode it anyways. If you liked season three, you should probably watch the first two seasons again to remind you how good the show used to be.

Whatareyoudoinghere: Unexpected Guest Stars of The West Wing

In its seven season history, The West Wing created some of the created episodes and moments in television – period. Aaron Sorkin’s most successful show to date took home 26 Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Drama Series four consecutive times. Basically, it was the definition of a hit series.

And with its critical acclaim and popularity, came outstanding actors, both those were were already accomplished (Martin Sheen, Alan Alda, Jimmy Smits), there was also a multitude of actors who were talented but on their way to finding fame.

Here are just some of the guest stars throughout The West Wing that were totally a part of Bartlet for America before hitting it big.

Nick Offerman

Season 1, Episode 4
Leave it up to the guy who plays a government worker who hates the government to play someone asking the White House for a $900 million ‘wolves-only roadway’ on The West Wing. Ron Swanson, everyone.

Liza Weil

Season 1, Episode 13
For some reason, Liza Weil is typecast as the unlikable, bitchy woman in everything I’ve seen her in (Paris Gellar?!). In TWW, she plays a young staffer who leaks Chief of Staff Leo McGarry’s troubled addict past. She gets fired, then gets rehired because Leo is da bomb.

Jane Lynch

Season 2, Episode 1
Pre-Glee, Jane Lynch spent her time in the White House press room, nagging Allison Janney for answers.

Sam Jaeger

Season 2, Episode 4
Before becoming a Braverman on Parenthood, Sam played a reporter in the White House. Look at how tiny he is!!

Eric Stonestreet

Screen shot 2013-10-02 at 9.36.41 PM

Season 2, Episode 19
Cam from Modern Family didn’t have many lines, but I’m sure he was an integral part to Oliver Platt’s White House Counsel.

Connie Britton

Season 3, Episode 2
Tami Taylor, y’all! She appeared in a few episodes as ‘Connie’, a Bartlet-Hoynes re-election campaign staffer. She was flawless before, she’s flawless now.

Dennis Haskins

Season 3, Episode 9
It’s really unfortunate that the guy I looked at as the ultimate high school principal turned into a creepo who owns a karaoke bar in Burbank. What happened to you, Mr. Belding? Luring Chief of Staff alcoholics liquor, that’s what.

Evan Rachel Wood

Season 3, Episode 21
This lucky bitch got to play CJ Cregg’s niece. And go shopping for designer clothes for prom. More jealous about the CJ Cregg thing, tho.

David Burtka

Season 3, Episode 21
Alright, how cute and adorable is Neil Patrick Harris’ boo?! Even though he played a young intern who ends up selling moose meat Josh gave Donna who gave it to David Burtka who illegally put it on eBay.

Amy Adams

Season 4, Episode 1
In the season opener, Bartlet & co. are back on the campaign trail, and we meet them in the middle of Indiana. Except the bus leaves without Toby and Josh, and they have to rely on farm girl Amy Adams to get them to their next stop in time. Really, it’s like she doesn’t age.

John Gallagher Jr.

Season 4, Episode 1
In the very same episode, high school student and Bartlet for America volunteer named Tyler helps out the gang by driving them around in his jeep. BTW, does he look familiar, Newsroom fans? Yep, that’s a young Jim Harper.
In fact, when John auditioned for Newsroom, Aaron Sorkin didn’t remember him from TWW, and just saw on his resume he had been in an episode. John of course refreshed his memory.

Danica McKellar

Season 4, Episode 6
Winnie Cooper guys, Winnie Cooper, back on TV! She played Will Bailey’s (Josh Malina) stepsister and assistant, Elsie Snuffin – an amazing name!

Christian Slater

Season 4, Episode 7
Basically if you were a person who got in the way of Donna and Josh’s sexual tension, I was not a fan. Enter Christian Slater. She met Lt. Commander Jack Reese outside a polling place, as she was trying to trade votes with a Republic voter after accidentally voting for the opponent instead of incumbent Democratic Pres Bartlet. They went out for approx 2 episodes before he was sent of to Italy. Good riddance.

Matthew Perry

Season 4, Episode 19
Technically Chandler still worked in the White House up until the new President moved in, but we only got to see him in a few episodes as the Associate White House Counsel. But their continuity is a little off since he was seen in season 4 as “Matthew Perry”, a celeb Donna tries to chat up during a Hollywood party. Oops.

Taye Diggs

Season 4, Episode 22
Let me start by saying this pic is what dreams are made of. My boyfriend Taye played a secret service agent who was in charge of keeping Pres Bartlet’s daughter Zoe (Elisabeth Moss) safe when she went out the night of her graduation. Except… things didn’t go so well…

Jesse Bradford

Season 5, Episode 2
Awesome, oh wow. Like totally freak me out I mean right *clap clap* the Toros sure are number one!!!
Jesse Bradford did not befriend a high school cheerleader in The West Wing. He basically followed Josh and Donna around just like in the gif.

Jason Isaacs

Season 5, Episode 21
Remember that thing I said about anyone getting in between Josh and Donna? Yeah, that goes for Lucius Malfoy. ESPECIALLY Lucius Malfoy. Jason Isaacs played a photojournalist Donna met during her trip to Gaza, and the two had a little fling. *Spoiler alert* Donna is one of the group of the White House who is injured in a car bombing, and Malfoy follows her to the German hospital she’s being treated in. Except Josh flies to her side too – to find the scene above…

Navid Negahban

Season 5, Episode 22 I would think it would suck to always be a Middle Eastern/Muslim/Terrorist if you’re of that ethnicity. But hey, as long as you keep gettin that dolla dolla billz, I guess it would be fine. Imagine my surprise when I found out Abu Nazir from Homeland showed up in the season finale as a foreign operative. I watch way too much TV to fully accept that Nazir travelled back in time to rendezvous with Josh Lyman.

Dean Norris

Season 7, Episode 6
Well, well, well, good old Hank Schrader, putting away his rocks and minerals in order to hang with the big guns. Dean came in for a couple of episodes in the last season, as the Chairman of the Republican National Committee, and while he may have had to face some tough politicians, I bet it was nothing compared to Heisenberg cornering you in your own garage.

Jon Bon Jovi

Season 7, Episode 15
What’s more American than getting Jon Bon Jovi to play at a campaign rally? Springsteen, probably, but he wasn’t available for this episode. JBJ even had speaking lines in this episode, where he helped raise money for Congressman Matt Santos’ (Jimmy Smits) campaign. He’s just livin on a bus and a prayer, you guys.

 

 

Secret Couples That Aren’t So Secret

Because Hollywood is so Hollywood, it’s notorious for its brief, fickle, incestuous relationships between actors. Celebrities get married, and they break up 72 days later (looking at you, Kimmy K). But then there are couples you don’t really hear about that often and fly under the radar. Surprise, surprise, these are usually the ones that have lasted the longest. Or at least longer than most. Check out some celebrity couples that you may have never known were happily married.

Adrian Pasdar and Natalie Maines

Heroes reunion with Zaquinto!

How you know him: Nathan Petrelli on Heroes

How you know her: Dixie Chick

Status: Married since 2000, have two sons

Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally

Tammy alert!

How you know him: Ron Swanson, creator of the Pyramid of Greatness, lover of meats.

How you know her: Karen on Will & Grace, also Tammy 2 on Parks & Rec

Status: Married since 2003

David Cross and Amber Tamblyn

Cutting the cake on their wedding day!

How you know him: Tobias Funke, the never nude on Arrested Development

How you know her: Joan of Arcadia and Tibby on Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants

Status: Married since 2012, together since 2008. And since you’re wondering, she’s 29, he’s 49.

Taran Killam and Cobie Smulders

attractive couple is attractive

How you know him: One of the funniest cast members on SNL, impersonator of Andy Cohen, Michael Cera, and Robyn.

How you know her: Robin Scherbatsky/Robin Sparkles. Proud Canadian.

Status: Married since 2012, together since 2004. Have an adorable three-year-old daughter Shaelyn.

John Slattery and Talia Balsam

sterling’s gold.

How you know him: Silver fox Roger Sterling on Mad Men

How you know her: Roger Sterling’s ex-wife, Mona Sterling

Status: Married since 1998, have one son

Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone

can you feel that steam heat?

How you know him: Air marshal on Bridesmaids, the guy in the Target music teacher commercials

How you know her: Megan in Bridesmaids, Sookie St. James-Belville on Gilmore Girls, and possibly the best SNL host ever

Status: Married since 2005, have two daughters

Brian Benben and Madeleine Stowe

legit just found out this couple existed. i thought he was gay. oops.

How you know him: Dr. Sheldon Wallace on Private Practice

How you know her: Victoria Grayson on Revenge

Status: Married since 1982, have one daughter

Jay Mohr and Nikki Cox

ugh ew.

How you know him: Comedian, Jennifer Aniston’s love interest in Picture Perfect, douche agent in Jerry Maguire

How you know her: Unhappily Ever After, Nikki, Las Vegas

Status: Married since 2006, have two kids

Melissa Gilbert and Timothy Busfield

loving him was red

How you know him: Danny Concannon on The West Wing

How you know her: Child star/ Laura Ingalls Wilder on Little House on the Prairie

Status: Married this past April

Richard Schiff and Sheila Kelley

speaking of the west wing…

How you know him: Toby Ziegler on The West Wing

How you know her: One Fine Day, Lost, Aunt Carol Rhodes on Gossip Girl

Status: Married since 1996, have two kids

Jason Momoa and Lisa Bonet

How you know him: Khal Drogo on Game of Thrones

How you know her: Denise Huxtable on The Cosby Show, previously married to Lenny Kravitz, mother to Zoe Kravitz

Status: Married since 2007, have two kids

Albums I own that I probably shouldn’t have paid for

I think we’ve all been the victim of buying one or two (or three or four) CDs that make us question if we were sane when we purchased them. I’d say my collection of records that fall under this category was a result of the TRL, the need to be cool, and wasting time in the mall record store.

Of course, most kids these days don’t have the luxury of going to an FYE/Media Play/Virgin Records, etc. and scouring through a bunch of albums, but when I was a young, impressionable teen, these are some of the gems I purchased – with my parents’ money.

A Rosie Christmas

Back in middle school, Rosie O’Donnell’s talk show was the absolute hottest thing to take daytime TV, and I was obsessed. So naturally, A Rosie Christmas was on my wish list. It’s basically an entire album of Rosie singing with celebrities. Including “Angelica Pickles”, the hit pop singer from the Rugrats.

A Very Rosie Christmas

Like I said, I was obsessed. But that’s a story for another day. This is the follow up to A Rosie Christmas, because apparently, the first one was such a hit. (BTW, what ever happened to Billy Gilman?)

NBC Celebrity Christmas

So I totally forgot I owned this until I came across this jam on Tumblr – John Spencer, Martin Sheen, and Stockard Channing ‘singing’ Wonderful Christmastime. I was like, ‘What in God’s name is this and where is it from?’ Then I remembered I actually owned the very album it came from. Oops. Other notable NBC celebs on the cd: Sean Hayes, Megan Mullally, and the devil Jay Leno.

P.O.D. – Satellite

So this is where the TRL influence kicks in. Because let’s be honest, I would have no idea who P.O.D. was if Youth of a Nation wasn’t my jam.

Lit – A Place in the Sun

Hey you know what, it’s no surprise to me I am my own worst enemy.

Ruben Studdard – Soulful

When American Idol first aired in 2003, I was a fan immediately. I even went to a taping during the first season, was on TV with an embar sign, and met a 90s teen heartthrob (again, a story for another day). But season 2, I wasn’t even that big of a fan of Ruben, in fact I was more of a Clay Aiken fan – whose album I did have, but please note it’s not on the list. So why did I have his album? Because I fell intro the trap. I mean the lead single from this album is called “Sorry 2004.” Literally the lyrics are “This is my sorry for 2004.”

Krystal Harris – Me and My Piano

Never seen this person before? Well probably only a small niche of people have, so it’s ok. Krystal Harris was the “first” singer signed to the Backstreet Boys (now defunct?) record label. She opened up for them on their Black and Blue tour, which is how I’m familiar with her. However she did have a super minor “hit” with a song called Super Girl, which was featured on The Princess Diaries soundtrack. [Ed note: I just listened to this song for the first time in years, and it’s actually pretty catchy?]

Limp Bizkit – Significant Other

I was so bad ass as a kid that I didn’t even do it for the nookie. I did it to impress my friends because I wanted to show that there was more to me than a BSB fan. I was wrong.

TV Marathoning: 5 Steps of Grief (The Taylor-Bartlet model)

In a world where we can easily access DVDs, DVR and Netflix, it makes it so much easier to watch a TV series for hours on end, lending itself to the highest form of laziness. In the moment, you think it’s worth it, but is it really?

For me, TV marathoning began in college, when a few of my friends and I decided to spend an entire day devoted to a whole season of Friends. We were/are fanatics of the show, so it’s not like we needed to watch it, but it’s the experience of watching it together with, ahem, friends, that makes it 10 times better. We called it a Friendstravaganza, and literally played episodes non stop all day, only stopping to get take out for dinner.

That was the beginning of the end, because I’m pretty sure the Friendstravaganza taught me how to watch TV all day. In fact, I made it a goal to use this new found skill to catch up on series that I’ve been meaning to watch but haven’t seen yet. My roommates and I even made a list of all the series we aimed to watch. In the past few years, I’ve been able to cross off Veronica Mars, Grey’s Anatomy, Six Feet Under, Friday Night Lights, Arrested Development, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Homeland, and a bunch more.

Here is the original 2011 (?) version of the TV list. Crossed off 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, and 11. Plus 1 and 2 from the Catch up column. Here’s the newest version, if you’re still reading this.

I recently finished all seven seasons of The West Wing, thanks to Netflix Instant. A personal best, I managed to watch 155 episodes in 26 days. That’s about 1/7th of my month dedicated to President Bartlet and co. And as my beloved Tim Riggins would say, No Regrets.

But finishing The West Wing got me thinking, that just like Riggins and FNL, I found myself wanting to watch the last few episodes, but not wanting it to ever end. I was heading towards the usual post-show withdrawal and depression. In fact, with FNL, I immediately purchased all five seasons on DVD and watched the first season like a week after I finished the whole series.

Which got me thinking: post- TV marathoning is just like the five stages of grief, also known as the Kubler-Ross model. Except for entertainment purposes, I’ll call it the Taylor-Bartlet model. Let me explain.

**West Wing spoilers ahead**

1) Denial — “I feel fine.”; “This can’t be happening, not to me. Not to this show.”; “There’s gotta be more episodes, obviously.” ; “How can I go another day without watching another sexual tension filled episode of Josh and Donna moments?”

2) Anger — “How can this happen to me?”; ‘”Who is to blame for this show ending? NBC? Of course.”; “I want to know what happened to Moira Kelly’s horrible character, and now we’ll NEVER find out.”; “Why was Sam not at Leo’s funeral?? Come AWN Rob Lowe!”; “DID ZOEY MOVE TO DC TO BE WITH CHARLIE WHILE HE’S STUDYING AT GEORGETOWN TO BE A LAWYER LIKE HIS SOON-TO-BE FATHER-IN-LAW (I’M ASSUMING)??”

3) Bargaining — “I’ll do anything for another season, maybe Pres. Bartlet at his New Hampshire farm, driving Abbey crazy because he can’t smoke?”; “I will give my life savings if I can watch Toby’s kid Huck and CJ and Danny’s daughter get married”; “If only Aaron Sorkin came back for just one last half season and make a Two Cathedrals finale part two?”; “Ok, what if I rewatch season one in its entirety, that’s like a whole new revamped WW, seeing as it’s been weeks since I last saw it”

4) Depression — “I’m so upset that I never caught on to WW sooner.” “Nothing will be this good, why bother with any other show?”; “I miss Mrs. Landingham, why go on?”; “There will never be a series like this ever again. I’m looking at you, Newsroom.”; “No, it’s totally normal for me to be crying and laughing and eating ice cream while watching this reunion video, and this and this.”

5) Acceptance — “In hindsight, I’m just thankful Netflix finally decided to put it on instant so I could watch the entire series at a rapid pace.”; “It ended on a good note, so there’s really no where else to go with it. I’ll just watch the Parks and Rec episode with Bradley Whitford doing a walk and talk, now”; “It’s going to be okay. I still haven’t watched The Wire”

I’m pretty sure I’m still in stage one of TV Marathoning grief, so if you need me, I’ll be on tumblr reblogging gifs and photosets of Josh and Donna’s relationship.