Posts Tagged: television

Daria is Still Pretty Much the Best

Recently, I’ve been rewatching old episodes of Daria (mostly the episodes with Tom, because duh), and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how much I still like the show. Daria is hilarious! The writing is actually super-awesome! Sure, the music had to be changed so that they could release the DVD without paying a ton of money for licensing costs, but you know what? I watched some clips of Daria on YouTube, and a lot of that music we thought was so cool was actually just No Doubt. So, honestly, don’t be too sad about that.

Now that I’m old and boring, I don’t feel much like Daria, but when I was in high school I really related to her. She hated everything, and when you’re in high school…well, if you don’t hate everything then I think you’re weird. High school sucks. Sure, I have a positive attitude now, but in high school I was perpetually bummed. Daria just got me. I watched every Daria marathon that came on MTV, and I don’t think I even realized that I liked her so much simply because she was a smart, funny, weird, depressed teenage girl character. I just knew that she ruled.

Daria was actually funny. And she wasn’t funny to attract dudes, either. Most of her jokes were for the sake of making her best friend laugh, or sometimes just for the sake of amusing herself. Although she did end up scoring Tom (total babe) near the end of the show, the message wasn’t, “Be funny and then guys will like you!” It was more like, “Maybe you’ll meet a cool guy who appreciates how awesome you already are.” And since my best friend and I spent most of our time working on a novel-length story in which we were the central characters, let’s just say I understood the importance of cracking yourself up.

Oh, and then there was Trent. Obviously.
daria trent

And Tom (again, total babe).
daria tom

And Daria’s room looks like a total nightmare to me now, but I would’ve loved it when I was a teenager.
daria room

But most importantly, Daria had a passion for pizza. That’s something I can really respect.
daria pizza

9 Reasons Why Gilmore Girls is the Perfect Show to Cheer You Up

gilmore girls dance marathon
Last weekend, when I was packing up my stuff to visit my family, I stuck season 5 of Gilmore Girls in my bag and explained to H., “Maybe Alex will want to watch a couple episodes with me.”

“What’s he sad about?” H. asked, and although I laughed at him…well, he kind of had a point. Gilmore Girls is a show for all seasons and moods, but it’s also the show I turn to when I’m feeling bummed, overwhelmed, or stressed out. I mean, I love Twin Peaks but I’m not going to watch a show about a girl who’s “dead…wrapped in plastic” when I’m feeling upset, you know? Also, please imagine me saying that quote while doing a terrible, terrible Jack Nance impression.

Gilmore Girls is just a feel good show. And you know what? Feeling good FEELS GOOD. I like it. I wish I could do it all the time. So if you’re feeling down in the proverbial dumps, bust out your DVDs (please tell me you have every season), get it from the library, find it on Amazon prime, or just look up some clips or poorly dubbed foreign versions on YouTube (please imagine me saying “on YouTube” while doing a terrible, terrible Mariah Carey in Touch My Body impression). Here’s why watching Gilmore Girls will always make you feel better.

1. Those credits.
Things start out all warm and sepia and they only go up from there. What makes you feel more comforted than Carole King’s velvety voice? Hopefully some fall foliage and clips of Lauren Graham comforting a crying Alexis Bledel, because that’s what you’re going to get here. Anyway, just watching the credits reminds me of all the times I’ve watched GG with my brother or with my friend Dan, and then I imagine both of them singing “any anywhere” and I feel better instantly.

I feel better just looking at this.

I feel better just looking at this.

2. Loralei went through so much.
Seriously. If Loralei Gilmore could get a job at a hotel at 15 and work her way up the ladder while raising a child…well, you can probably face your problems.

Seriously, she wore this terrible outfit/hairstyle combo and made it out alive.

She wore this terrible outfit/hairstyle combo and made it out alive.

3. Rory’s clothes are bananas.
I mean, in the first couple of season they are bananas because they’re so bad. That time she went golfing with Edward Herrman and wore those billowing khakis? I can’t even deal with that. So that’s good for a laugh. But in later seasons, when Rory got all stylish, she started dressing really nicely, and that will just let you daydream about beautiful coats you want to have. How is Rory affording all this Anthropologie? Don’t worry about it. Not the point.
Damn, girl, ya look good.

Damn, girl, ya look good.

4. Something to laugh with and laugh at.
Last weekend, Alex brought up a good point: Gilmore Girls has the perfect blend of funny, well-written jokes and weirdly bad guest actors. My favorite shows and movies are the ones you can laugh at and make fun of, and you can totally do that with Gilmore Girls. Sometimes Loralei will say something hilarious that will crack you up, and sometimes Alexis Bledel will try to act and that will also crack you up. No insult to Alexis Bledel intended.

I'm sorry, okay?! Fine, I take it back.

I’m sorry, okay?! Fine, I take it back.

I dare you to watch the episode where Luke and Loralei get together for the first time and not feel better. Or the episodes where Jess is hardcore flirting with Rory. Or even the early ones with Dean, before he got all weird and creepy and grew that ugly facial hair.

My heart can barely even take it when Luke doesn't wear a hat.

My heart can barely even take it when Luke doesn’t wear a hat.

6. You can pretend you’ll ever be as witty as Loralei.
Okay, so there’s an entire team of writers coming up with Loralei’s quips, but I still like to pretend that I could totally be that funny. And I feel everyone reading this has a little bit of Loralei in them, right? Like, I always say that H. is the Luke to my Loralei, because I talk too much, make a lot of references he doesn’t get, and do what you could call “bits.” Also he’s a real guys’ guy who builds me furniture and fixes things. So I make myself feel better by pretending I’m as pretty, resilient, and hilarious as a fictional character played by Lauren Graham. Is that weird? Probably. But I don’t care.

Our relationship, summed up in one GIF.

Our relationship, summed up in one GIF.

7. Stars Hollow could not be any more perfect.
I wish, so much, that Stars Hollow was real. The twinkle lights! The gazebo! The niche stores that somehow remain open! The ethnic diversity in such a small town! Everything about it is unrealistic and perfect. Y’all, I am from a small town, and while I love it, I will tell you that you won’t find Indian takeout or that many people who aren’t kind of bigoted. But that’s why Stars Hollow is so attractive…a small town with so much to do and so few assholes is the dream town I hope to find one day (and then spend the rest of my time convincing H. to move to).

I just want to spend Fall here.

I just want to spend Fall here.

8. The tunes.
That Sam Phillips soundtrack is the single most comforting thing in the entire world. In fact, I wanted to have “Love is Everywhere I Go” as either our first wedding dance or as the song I walked down the aisle to, but it didn’t work out and I had to be content with using it in our pre-ceremony mix. Here, watch a weird YouTube video set to “How to Dream.”

9. The end credits music.
Bum-bum, buh-dum-buh-buh-dum-bum! Do you feel better yet?

Need more Gilwhores (that what Lauren calls them every time she talks about them, which is often because our mutual love of GG is one of the cornerstones of our friendship)? Don’t worry! I wrote several other posts about them:

Things I’ve Learned from Gilmore Girls, Part 1
Things I’ve Learned from Gilmore Girls, Part 2
Gilmore Girls, Season 3, Episode 9: A Deep Fried Korean Thanksgiving
Things I Actually Don’t Like About Gilmore Girls
The Gilmore Girls Finale Was the Worst Finale Ever: A Reflection

I never realized I wrote so much about GG. Do you think I could be considered our nation’s foremost GG historian?

Lady Show: Top of the Lake

Top of the Lake
I hadn’t heard of Top of the Lake until my friend Liz asked me on Facebook if I’d watched it. “Well, whatever, I’ll give this a shot,” I thought, and I watched the first episode not knowing what it was about, where it was made, or who was in it. And then I fell in love with it, and…well, I think it might be the best show I’ve seen in recent memory.

Directed by Jane Campion (she of the long, lustrous gray hair), Top of the Lake takes place in New Zealand and stars Elizabeth Moss as Robin. At the beginning, it’s about Robin trying to find out who impregnated a 12 year old girl named Tui. But, pretty quickly, the show turns into a whole lot more than just a mystery. Slight spoiler: Robin, we come to find out, was brutally gang-raped in this town back when she was in high school. Her rapists weren’t punished and no one seems to take the crime seriously. That’s part of the reason why Robin is so invested in Tui’s case.

top of the lake paradise

What I loved so much about about Top of the Lake (besides the breathtaking scenery and the truly compelling plot) is that it’s a story about women. Primarily Robin, but also Tui, Robin’s mom, and the women who are staying at an all-lady compound called Paradise with a weird, enigmatic leader named GJ (played by Holly Hunter with the weirdest hair I’ve ever seen on a human being). At its heart, this is a show about rape culture, about the violence inflicted on women, and about the connections between women. I mean, there are some truly God-awful men in this show played by some amazing actors, but the women are the real core of the story.

You know how a lot of the time when people talk about “strong female characters,” they’re talking about women who shoot bad guys or fight vampires or exist in some violent fictional universe? I get why people like those stories, but they aren’t for me. I’m much more interested in a strong woman like Robin, whose scars are more emotional than physical, who’s dealing with an incredibly real pain that real women go through every day. She’s dealing with the trauma of her own sexual assault while trying to help other people…that’s what I consider strength. And things definitely aren’t easy for Robin, as you know if you’ve seen the show already. I mean, lady deals with some shit, which I would love to detail but seriously you just have to watch it.
top of the lake robin tui

And while it wasn’t like I was watching this show for the nudity, I appreciated that there were so many different types of female bodies represented. There were women of different sizes and ages shown in situations both sexual and not sexual, and honestly, I always find that really refreshing. We’re presented with one type of “perfect” body so much that it’s easy to forget what real human beings look like.

Anyway, this is the best show ever. I really and truly loved it, and it’s only 7 episodes, so there’s no excuse not to watch it (as long as you have Netflix)! It’s full of symbolism and shocking moments and weird, unexpected violence. Tone-wise, it sort of reminded me of David Fincher’s version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

Have you guys seen Top of the Lake? Will you please all watch it so we can talk about it together? If you’ve already seen the show and don’t mind some spoilers, you can read this article about its examination of rape culture. And if you haven’t seen it, watch this trailer and get hooked.

Lady Inspiration: Linda Belcher from Bob’s Burgers

“Linda Belcher? But isn’t she a fictional character?” you might be asking me right now. Well, yes, she is, but open your mind! Fictional characters can be lady inspirations, too!

I recently discovered that I want to be Linda Belcher when I get older. You know what, why wait until I’m older? I want to be Linda Belcher right now. She is the coolest lady on TV because she’s a sassy mom, something I truly hope I can say about myself someday. I really do feel like I was meant to be the sassy mom of teenagers. Like, that’s when I’m going to hit my stride, you know?
linda belcher bobs burgers
She’s involved in her kids’ lives, but she’s not too involved. She still has her own interests (wine, dancing, competing with other moms in spaghetti fund raisers).
linda belcher bobs burgers 1
She also understands the importance of food, be it soft serve ice cream or a piece of cake. I like any woman who can really go to town on a dessert.
linda belcher cake gif

And she’s not afraid to let people know when she isn’t happy. Like when there’s a cow in the living room.
bobs burgers

And, of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Linda’s voiced by the wonderful, hilarious, genius John Roberts, who brought us one of my favorite characters ever.

Bob’s Burgers is probably my favorite current TV show (even though I’m woefully behind). If you’re not watching it, you can watch a few episodes on Hulu (more if you have Hulu plus!) or catch up on the first season on Netflix.

The Best of Jess Mariano on Forever Young Adult

I’m super excited to be back on one of my favorite websites, Forever Young Adult, writing about Gilmore Girls! This time, it’s all about Jess Mariano, Rory’s best boyfriend. If you don’t think he’s the best…well, then maybe you should rewatch every Jess episode over the course of two days, because that’s what I did. He starts out great, gets terrible, and ends up great again. Check out the post at Forever Young Adult and let me know what you think!

And if you missed my post about Lane Kim from a couple of months ago, you can read it here. And let me know if you have any suggestions for my next Gilmore Girls post!