“So roll me further, bitch.”

August 11 is quickly approaching and for many people, this day could not come faster. The majority of them have been waiting almost a year for this day to come, and some, like myself, have only been waiting months (or weeks or days). What exactly are we all waiting for? Well, to be precise, we’re all waiting for SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT a DEA agent/brother-in-law to get off a toilet. Yes, we’re all waiting for Breaking Bad to come back after the first half of season 5 ended with Hank Schrader discovering this his brother-in-law, Walter White, was in fact the elusive Heisenberg. It just ended up being a bonus that Hank was sitting on the toilet when he found out and of course, the Internet has fully embraced this iconic moment.

I’m getting a bit off-topic, but as you can tell, I absolutely love this show. This might be controversial, but I truly believe this is the best show on television right now and one of the best shows that has ever graced the medium. I used to be a staunch supporter of the “Mad Men is the best show on TV” camp, but after the sloppy mess that was season 5, I’ve lost that love I had for the show. I will always be Team Peggy though and sorry, I still have a soft spot for the Peggy/Pete relationship and will remain hopeful that they’ll get back together. My interest has waned so much that I’ve only watched the first episode of the most recent season and haven’t found the urge to continue. If you’re caught up on Mad Men, let me know if I need to catch up immediately (I mean, I will eventually), otherwise I will look into other shows that have been deemed must watch by my friends and critics (I’m hearing so much about Orange is the New Black; don’t worry, I’ve started it). My sudden loss of interest in Mad Men may have also been aided by my Breaking Bad bingewatching this past December and the realization that YES THIS SHOW DESERVES THE HYPE WHY DIDN’T I WATCH THIS EARLIER?!  In any case, I did sit on my butt for several days and caught up with the series during my Winter Break and I am so glad I did. I’ve mentioned in several past posts just how much I love and am enthralled by the writing, story, and cinematography of Breaking Bad, so I highly recommend starting the show if you haven’t by now, just to get a glimpse to see what you’re missing out on and why the show gets such high praise.

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Opening Credit Mash-Ups

This week, Mad Men wrapped up its sixth season and the online/blog world has been spotlighting one particular fan made video in which the show is re-imagined as the early 2000s teen classic, The O.C. But before we move into that, can I make a confession? I’ve been a horrible Mad Men fan this year and have yet to watch this season, minus the first episode (which was really more like a tv movie) which I finally caught two days ago. I know. I know. This is super shameful, especially coming from someone like me who sat on my ass for days on end marathoning the show four summers ago and later spammed my Facebook with not-so-cryptic-actually-probably-were-spoilers statuses and posts. To be honest, I think season 5 just left a bad taste in my mouth with its extreme heavy-handedness and not-so clever imagery. However, I’ve heard this past season has sort of redeemed itself and managed to set up a possible interesting story line. From what I’ve gathered (I’m not a fan of spoilers, okay?!), Don, Megan, Stan, and Ted have headed out to the Best/West Coast, hence the wonderful fan-made mash up below.

http://video.vulture.com/video/Mad-Men-Goes-OC

This past semester I took a class on digital media and we touched upon the idea of copyrights and constructing creative works based on images or material that have been copyrighted. Fan videos are some of my favorite things to watch, if only because it’s fascinating to see how people can build upon or manipulate an already established piece of work to create something entirely new. When we discussed the issues surrounding copyrighting and the argument over whether creativity is hindered, I immediately thought of fan videos and artwork. YouTube, Tumblr, and DeviantArt are just some of the websites where you can find a multitude of art, videos, and music inspired by various tv shows or books. For many young artists, this is how they begin tapping into their creative skills. If you take the time to search, you’ll find tons of impressive works, much like the Mad Men/The O.C mash-up above. Because I’ve been inspired by the video and the possible cameo appearance by Adam Brody on the next season of Mad Men, here are a few more hilarious and brilliant opening credit mash-ups.

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What I Learned Over Winter Break

Because learning never stops OKAY

  • The Aladdin show at Disney’s California Adventure is still the best place to take a nap in the parks. It’s heated/air conditioned, dark, and has comfy chairs. Obviously this only applies when you have seen the show before because it actually is a really great adaptation of the movie and the guy who plays Genie improvises (I think) and it’s great. 
  • It’s a really bad idea to go to Disneyland without checking their Twitter to see if it’s a busy day. Imagine a normal day at Disneyland…then multiple that crowd by 10.
  • Davey Havok from the band AFI, or some guy who looks suspiciously like him, eats at Urth Cafe.
  • The new Ke$ha album is actually really, REALLY catchy.
  • Breaking Bad is really great and actually deserving of the hype.

  • Leonardo DiCaprio never getting awards/recognition is one of my favorite running jokes.
  • They still play Drake and Josh reruns on Nickelodeon.
  • Catfish is absolutely hilarious only because you sit there going “WHY DID YOU NOT USE SKYPE? DID YOU REALLY THINK IT WAS NORMAL TO NOT TALK TO THIS PERSON ON THE PHONE? GIRL YOU LIVE 15 MINUTES AWAY FROM THIS PERSON AND DIDN’T THINK IT WAS WEIRD YOU NEVER MET IN PERSON? HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF GOOGLE?!” and so on. Also it somehow doesn’t phase the Catfish people that some girl pretended to be a guy on Facebook for two years so she could distract her boyfriend’s other chick (hay Mhissy hay). Continue reading

Can Team Coco Make a Comeback?

I think most people who know me know I’m a massive fan of Conan O’Brien. I’ve looked up to him since I was 14 years old and in the 9th grade. I used to watch reruns of ‘Late Night with Conan O’Brien’ on Comedy Central after school everyday. The best day of my life, which also happens to be the only day I cut school, was May 4, 2007 when I went to see Conan in San Francisco as part of the week of shows Late Night did in San Francisco. I was also fortunate to be short enough for him to stand in front of and reach behind to sign autographs.

The best minute of my life...under Conan's armpit

During The Tonight Show fiasco I was all about Team Coco; I changed my profile picture to that famous image of Conan and read any article debating the issue, often rolling my eyes at any point of view that wasn’t Team Coco.

When Conan announced that he would be moving to TBS and starting over on the cable channel, I, along with many other fans, rejoiced because we knew this would be the return of our late night king. By airing on a cable network, Conan would have more freedom with his show than he did in the conservative 11:30pm/Tonight Show slot. I literally screamed when I found out I had tickets to see the 4th ever show taping and although I wished for better guests (my third time seeing Michael Cera…), it was still a ton of fun.

It’s now been about 10 months since the show began and there have been a few articles, notably from The A.V Club (“Conan not doing so well at TBS“) and the Wall Street Journal (“Conan Falls Flat in Season 1“), about the sad state Conan is in now. Reading both articles made me feel incredibly sad and guilty. I’ll admit that I haven’t been tuning into Conan lately and when I do watch, it’s usually the short clips from the website, thus not registering any ratings.

I’m going to start out by saying I’m not a media expert, nor completely knowledgable about this field. I’m merely a hardcore fan who hates to see one of her favorite comedians struggle like this. These are just a few of my own ideas/suggestions that Conan can do to bring up those rating numbers.

1. Find Conan‘s niche

Now that Conan is on TBS, it has to compete with a bunch of other late night talk shows: The Tonight Show w/Jay Leno, The Late Late Show w/Craig Ferguson, Late Night w/Jimmy Fallon, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Jimmy Kimmel Live, and Chelsea Late. Some people might argue that too much competition is a bad thing. However, if there’s one thing I learned in all of my economics class (sad…and I’m an economics major), competition is always a good thing. It forces all parties to innovate and differentiate themselves from one another. I don’t even watch some of the listed shows but I know that Jay Leno’s well known for his “safe” humor and generally easy-going interview style, while Letterman’s famous for his snark and Top 10 lists. Fallon’s managed to make Late Night his own by having fun games for guests and lots of up-and-coming bands. Kimmel usually has some great shorts, e.g “I’m Fucking Ben Affleck” and “Handsome Men’s Club”. Chelsea Handler has that circle of comedians trash talking celebs and Craig Ferguson is known for his Scottish wit and charm. Meanwhile, Colbert and Stewart continue dominating on Comedy Central with their news satire shows. Each of these late night shows is well-known for something and have figured out how to hone in on their specialities and perfect it for their audiences.

Like I mentioned before, many thought that the move to cable would be a good thing because Conan could go back to his zany humor. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case right now and I don’t know if it’s because Conan’s adamant about reaching a wider audience of if he’s just playing safe right now and doesn’t really want to test the waters just yet. As a Conan fan, this is utterly depressing. What I absolutely loved about Late Night was the zany, oddball humor. Although the guest interviews were extremely amusing sometimes, the best thing about Late Night were the remotes and the shorts. To this day, I can still watch old remotes and laugh till I’m almost crying. Sure, some of the shorts started to get repetitive, but what I wouldn’t give to see a Celebrity Surveys with Justin Bieber or Kim Kardashian.

The Wall Street Journal notes that some television critics are arguing that Conan’s low ratings are because of his “niche appeal.” I completely disagree with this and think that the humor on Conan is nowhere near the niche-ness of Late Night. There have been very few remotes on the new show and the ones they do have, often feel like 10 minute long product placements (Time Warner Cable, Ford, etc). Rather, I think Conan needs to get back to what he’s good at – the zany, off the wall humor. Go back to doing remotes that aren’t centered around a product and establish some short comedy staples. While I love Will Forte, his Ted Turner character is weak and at times, unfunny. Conan needs to have something for his viewers to look forward.

2. Get better musical guests

I think some people write off having musical guests as something that talk shows have to do, but I think it really helps bring in viewers. When I saw that Conan was doing a Summer Concert Series, I was intrigued but then I saw the line-up. PITBULL. KE$HA. KT TUNSTALL. What?! I’m a fan of trashy music at times, but I looked at this and cringed. Jimmy Fallon is doing an amazing job of showcasing a lot of new bands and thus, getting their fans to tune in and generating buzz. Meanwhile Conan’s getting B-list popstars whose fans are too young to stay up to watch the show. Late Night w/Conan O’Brien was notable for its ability to bring in a ton of talented and fresh bands, while the Top 40 acts were always on Leno. The Strokes, The White Stripes, Metric, Foo Fighters, The Shins, and plenty more made appearances on Late Night and even more had their first television appearance on the show.

Conan does have some notable musical acts every once in awhile, but it doesn’t seem to have the power Late Night had. Somewhere along the way, Jimmy Fallon became the show to tune in to find the next big band.

3. It might be time to get rid of Andy

I love Andy Richter as much as any other Conan fan, but I’m starting realize that there really isn’t a purpose for him on the show. Right now, Andy serves as the announcer and Conan’s right hand man; he’s there to chime in every once in awhile during an interview and for Conan to play jokes off of. However, there’s just too much going on. Even though Andy never says that much during interviews, there are too many people talking. Some people have criticized Conan’s interviewing skills for always re-directing the flow of conversation back to himself, and I can definitely see that, and having Andy there doesn’t help. All of a sudden, it’s a Conan and Andy conversation and not a Conan and the guest conversation. Sometimes the guest is boring as hell and I love when they make it more exciting with a joke or a comment, but I think Conan as an interviewer works best alone (this also applies to the monologue). I’m not saying that Andy should leave the show entirely; he can definitely continue as the announcer and pop up in skits. Some of my favorite old skits involved Andy:

I do think it might be best to “trim the fat” (no pun intended!)

4. What to do about social media?

Conan is probably the only late night show right now that has fully embraced social media, and does it well. The entire Team Coco movement wouldn’t have exploded if it wasn’t for the Team Coco Facebook page set up by Mike Mitchell (who later hinted at bad relations between him and Conan on his Twitter…he still hasn’t explained). Fans took to Twitter to show their support by using the hashtags: #teamcoco and #imwithcoco. The show has done an amazing job of expanding their online presence by offering clips of interviews and comedy sketches on their Team Coco website. However, as the WSJ article points out, this has also hurt the show. Fans do not tune in during original airings and watch clips online (time-shifted watching), resulting in lower ratings. It’s difficult to say if this has truly hurt the show because you could argue that having web accessible clips helps promote the show and is less intimidating than offering the entire episode. I think the Team Coco website is a great website and I love that they’ve put entire episodes online. However, I would suggest that they switch from their own web player to YouTube. Right now, their official YouTube channel has short clips from interviews and some comedy bits, but the majority of the show remains only on their website. By having these clips on YouTube, fans would probably be more likely to watch because they wouldn’t have to deal with buggy video players or worse, commercials/sponsored messages.

I’ve also noticed a heavy reliance on the Internet as a source of comedy. There have been comedy bits about Twitter or posts about the “funniest” Internet videos. Rather than trying to exploit the medium for comedy, the show should focus on creating Internet-worthy material. Much like The Lonely Island’s work with Digital Shorts, Conan’s writers should come up with skits that are hilarious and easy to digest. Create something original, viral-worthy, and of course, very funny.

Additionally, I seem to recall that during Conan’s brief Tonight Show stint, they used to have viewers all tweet using a specific hashtag. I don’t know if they’ve been banned from doing it on the new show, but it was actually a lot of fun and got viewers engaged. That might be something to bring back!

5. The writing staff

The monologues on Conan have always been my least favorite part of his shows. They’re never quite that funny and usually get only few giggles out of me. I understand it must be difficult having to write up new jokes everyday of the week and still remain topical, but is there any way they can bring in new talent? I believe Mike Sweeney and the Brians (McCann and Stack) are still working for Conan and I think that’s absolutely great, but I’d love if they changed up the writing staff a bit. Lately the jokes have seemed a bit stale, safe, and tired. The show needs to recruit new writers who are edgier and wittier, perhaps younger writers who haven’t had much experience, but show potential. I’m not sure where they’d recruit them, maybe Upright Citizens Brigade, but the show is located in LA, which is just a festering pool of desperate talent.

Bonus: Did you know Demetri Martin used to be a writer for Late Night?

6. Change the format (?)

I’ve seen this suggested by some people online. What if Conan got rid of the talk show format and just made it a sketch show? That would definitely make his show stand out among the other late night talk shows, but a decision like this could hurt the show more. It’d be smart for the show to look into viewer interest of a show that only focuses on comedy bits and gets rid of the interviews. Or maybe they could just have one guest/interview and the rest comedy bits? Again, it’s an interesting suggestion and I would fully support it if the show went through with it, but Conan should conduct some research beforehand. It’s definitely a radical choice that could really help the show.

In the meantime, I feel like the show’s been having bad timing lately. When Rebecca Black’s “Friday” exploded on YouTube and became the butt of EVERYONE’S joke, the show was on a break/hiatus. During the week of the release of Harry Potter, the show was on a break/hiatus and so it lost the chance to interview the stars. A huge blockbuster movie, and you’re not going to have the actors on the show? Huge mistake. Luckily, Tom Felton showed up later to promote Rise of the Planet of the Apes and I will say that it was one of the only interviews I’ve watched recently.

Also, the show could benefit from a Friday airing. Currently, the show airs M/T/W/R and has a break on Friday. However, most people can’t stay up late during the week because of school or work, so having a Friday show would give viewers the chance to tune in to a new episode at least once a week.

I’ve offered my own thoughts and suggestions as to how Conan might recapture some those viewers lost over the past few months. Again, I’m not an expert on any of these issues, but I am a fan who wants desperately wants Conan to flourish in its new home on TBS. Writing this also helped me figure out why I haven’t been tuning in lately, but I will try to do so more often from now on. After all, I’m a Conan girl for life!

Lifetime movies are amazing. FACT.

One of my all time favorite shows is It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and it would require an entire separate post to go into everything I love about that show, but that’s for another day. What I want to mention is the fact that they’ve got a few promos out right now for their upcoming 7th season premiering in September.

They all seem to be recreating the inspirational cheesiness of Hallmark Movies and my favorites, Lifetime Movies. Here’s an example:

I absolutely love these promos because I’m an avid Lifetime Movie watcher. There’s just something about those made-for-tv-especially-television-for-women movies that draws me in. It’s the ridiculous storylines, the overdramatic acting, the low budget sets, and more! I think everyone needs to watch a Lifetime movie at least once in their life. You will be forever changed by the experience…or more likely, you’ll probably be left wondering, “Who comes up with these brilliant movies and who are these classy people watching them?” I’m not sure what the answer to the first part is (though I have noticed that quite a few movies on Lifetime are based on books by Nora Roberts, the romance author), but I am going to guess the answer to the other part of the question is mothers, middle aged women, and people who enjoy movies that are so bad that they’re amazing. I’ve put together this post of some of my favorite Lifetime movies and I hope that it inspires whoever happens to to read this, to go out and find a Lifetime movie on YouTube or television.

1. Cyber Seduction

First up, Cyber Seduction, starring Zac Efron look-a-like/kid who was in that weird non-Disney Peter Pan movie, Jeremy Sumpter. Sumpter’s character is your average teenage boy who participates on the swim team and has a cute girlfriend. She also happens to be waiting until marriage to do the deed. The movie starts to get interesting when his friends introduce him to a softcore porn website featuring Monica, another girl at school. Justin’s interest in the website becomes a full blown addiction to porn and begins to affect his school performance, swimming, love life, and family life. His much younger brother somehow manages to find his stash and his parents eventually learn of his addiction. Because Lifetime is a basic cable channel, none of the porn is particularly x-rated, providing more laughs as you get to see everyone worked up over images that are as racy as your basic PG-13 movie. In true Lifetime fashion, there are numerous scenes involving Justin and his parents shouting at each other, though the best one would have to be when he shouts, “I WAS LOOKING AT PORNOGRAPHY! IS THAT WHAT YOU WANT TO HEAR?!” Someone give this kid all the awards.

2. Maternal Obession/Locked Away

Crazy lady who desperately wants a baby of her own

This movie is so awful that Lifetime changed the title to thwart eager viewers like myself from finding more information on it. I can’t even find a clip of this disaster on YouTube! Insane. Anyway, in this movie a teenage girl discovers that she is pregnant, much to the chagrin of her mother. The girl then seeks the help of a pregnancy counselor, who kindly offers her a place to stay during the girl’s pregnancy. However, it turns out that the counselor is a complete psycho who has been unable to have her own child and has been turned down by the adoption agencies multiple times (most likely because she’s a psycho). The teenage girl eventually realizes that there is something strange about the counselor and subsequently, tries to leave. However, the counselor isn’t have any of that, obviously, and poisons the girl and then chains and locks her away in a room with a few slits of sunlight and a toilet. How accommodating. The counselor has already devised a plan to make it seems as though the girl has decided to run away, complete with a handwritten note and voicemails. There are a few unintentionally hilarious scenes involving the psycho counselor rewarding the girl by providing her with a few CDs and magazines, but punishing her by shooting mace directly into her eyes. The movie ends with the mother and baby daddy finally (FINALLY) realizing that something was up and finding the girl locked away and the psycho counselor is killed by either the mother or the teenage girl (I really can’t be bothered to look it up). The movie is a great way to pass two hours and the baby daddy has an atrocious mullet, if I recall correctly. Maternal Obsession should be shown in health classes, if only to show teens the consequences of getting pregnant and then stupidly agreeing to live with a stranger.

3. Homecoming

Hey, remember when Mischa Barton sort of had a promising career and wasn’t the complete mess she is now? Yeah, those were good times. Well, she has fallen off the radar after The O.C ended and is now doing television movies. I managed to catch Homecoming right after Maternal Obsession (an amazing television double bill) and was quickly drawn into this hot mess. Mischa’s ex-boyfriend has been at college for the past semester and is returning home with his new girlfriend. Somehow, Mischa never understood that the two of them ended their relationship and has been awaiting his return for months. His new girlfriend gets trashed after doing several tequila shots with Shelby (Mischa Barton), who strangely handles the news that she no longer had a boyfriend well. The new girlfriend decides that she’s in no state to meet her boyfriend’s parents and insists that she stay at a hotel for the night and sober up. The local police officer, who is also the boyfriend’s cousin, drops her off at the hotel and drives off before checking to see that she has a room to stay in. The hotel owner tells her that they have no vacancy and the poor girl is now stranded outside the hotel without a ride back to her boyfriend’s home. The sensible thing to do would be to call the boyfriend and get him to pick her up, but because this is a Lifetime movie, she has no signal on her cell phone and the hotel owner has closed the office. She now has no choice (I guess?) but to walk all the way back to his house. Guess who happens to be driving down the very same road, whilst sobbing hysterically over her break-up? Oh, Mischa Barton, that’s who! Shelby manages to run the new girlfriend down and instead of bringing her to the hospital like any normal person would, she brings her to her own home and “nurses” her back to health. Shelby is so desperate to win back her ex-boyfriend that she steals the girl’s lingerie and then tries to seduce him in a crappy bar bathroom. The climax features a fight in the bathroom, killing someone with an axe, Mischa Barton making a ham sandwich in between killings, and the boyfriend shooting her only once and failing to make sure she’s dead. I never watched The O.C, but I heard Mischa Barton’s character got a little crazy towards the end. She certainly continues that crazy streak with Homecoming, though Mischa should probably try to find work in a movie that isn’t such a blatant rip-off of Misery and Single White Female. Still, the movie delivers some unintentionally hilarious scenes and bad acting, all signs of a great Lifetime movie.

4. For My Daughter’s Honor

This movie made me suspicious of all my middle school PE teachers. In this Lifetime classic, a high school freshmen is seduced by the football coach at a small town high school. The coach is revered throughout the town because the football team has managed to win several championships and in small towns, high school sports are a big deal (this is just what Lifetime has taught me and obviously, what Lifetime says is true…ALWAYS). For some reason, the freshmen girl and her friends have no problem hanging out with the coach outside of school, despite rumors that he picks a new girlfriend from the student body every year. I guess, having someone buy alcohol for you wins over getting preyed on by your high school’s creepy football coach.

~KANYE SHRUG~

The movie is essentially Gary Cole acting like a creeper, but the scene in which he harasses the boy that Amy goes on a date with, definitely takes the creepy cake. First off, seeing any of your teachers outside of school is awkward and uncomfortable. Second, having your teacher follow you around and stare at your from afar would just increase that awkwardness and uncomfortableness by 1000. That scene makes me so uncomfortable that all I can do is laugh incredibly hard. I’m sure if this were to happen in real life, I’d be doing the opposite, but because this is a television movie, I am amused by the football coach who hangs out with students and stalks them at the county fair. Anyway, the girl’s father finds out about the affair and the coach is arrested and tried. Unfortunately, the town is so passionate about their high school football team so the girl is ostracized for putting their beloved football coach in jail. I’m not sure if this is even plausible, but again, I can’t help but laugh at how ridiculous this story is. Regardless, thank you Lifetime for making me suspicious of all of my PE teachers. I learned so much from this movie.

5. Odd Girl Out and She’s Too Young

What I love about Lifetime movies is that they try their best to address modern day teen issues. These two movies stand out in my mind for tackling the issues of girl bullying and teen sexuality. In Odd Girl Out, former Spy Kid Alexa Vega plays a teenage girl who is suddenly cast out of her group of friends. The group and some other students harass her online by sending malicious IMs like , “Die, slut” or “You’re so ugly” etc. It gets so bad that she tries to kill herself by swallowing a handful of her mom’s pills. This movie is so GAME CHANGING that ABC Family recently produced their own television movie, Cyberbully that was essentially a carbon copy of this Lifetime classic.

In She’s Too Young,a teenage girl is peer pressured by her friend in to giving a bj to a guy at school. Somehow, for reasons I can’t remember clearly, the school suddenly experiences a syphilis epidemic. The girl’s mother, naturally, is outraged and tries to rally up support at the school, but the other parents are indifferent. Worse, the other students bully her daughter because of her activism. Typical Lifetime. I actually can’t remember the rest of this movie so I just had to wiki it. Supposedly, the teenage girl is attacked but saved by the stereotypical sweet guy who is pushed aside. The movie ends with a PSA from the main actress advising teens to consider the consequences before becoming sexually active.

While I think it’s admirable that Lifetime attempts to address important issues such as these, their original movies are just hard to take seriously. The overdramatic acting in these tv movies makes me laugh harder than most comedies on television. And these story lines! I feel slightly bad for being so amused by cyber bullying and STD epidemics, but Lifetime is just that good. Instead of these movie being unsettling, they’re cheese fests, filled with PG rated insults and terrible acting. So many of these stories are unrealistic, to the point that they seem more like parodies. What kind of parents would shrug off their kids getting STDs? Only on Lifetime. I just love how this channel consistently provides me with many LOLs. I can always count on Lifetime to brighten my day with their poorly made television movies. If you’ve managed to read this entire post, I think it’s only right to reward yourself with a fabulous Lifetime made-for-television movie with deliciously bad acting, cheesy writing, and cringeworthy storylines. Thank God we have Lifetime.

[Also I’d just like to add that I’m somewhat scared of the potential hits I’m going to receive after using a few choice words in this entry. Praying for my blog right now….]

“In a criminal justice system…”


You know how there are those days when all you want to do is sit on your couch and watch television for hours on end? Typically, this occurs after a hard day’s work at work/school or a chaotic week in which you barely had time to eat and sleep. There are times when sitting in front of the television and not having to worry about deadlines, projects, or exams sounds like paradise. Thankfully, the USA channel understands this and puts on Law and Order: SVU marathons at least twice a month.

As someone who finds more than enough time to sit on the couch and enjoy the thrilling adventures of Benson, Stabler, and company, I’ve managed to come up with a few things that any passive viewer should expect when tuning into Law and Order: Special Victims Unit (CHING-CHING!)

5. The first five minutes usually have absolutely nothing to do with the overall plot. Oh, what’s that – a hot couple about to go skinny-dipping at night in some nice fountain? BAM – there’s a dead woman floating in the water and we never hear from that nice couple again. Aww, how sweet! A girl teaching her dad how to rollerblade in the park! Oh, there he goes, tumbling into a nearby bush and into a dead body! Or how about how the children crossing the street find a suitcase containing a dead body and the crossing guard has to keep those curious kiddies away from the body? It’s just funny watching the writers come up with the most random people who just happen to stumble upon the victim. I’m sure this is how it happens in real life, but on the screen it seems so hastily put together. Sometimes it seems as if the writers always think about the first scene last and tack on the most random situations to transition into the main story. Oh well, it’s somebody’s five minutes of fame! If you’re not into finding the hilarity in sweet family scenes or hot couple scenes that quickly turn dramatic, then use the first few minutes to get some snacks or use the bathroom, because once you start a SVU episode, you will probably not want to get off that couch.

4. Watch for the witty side comments from Munch and Stabler. With all that suspense and drama, Law and Order: SVU has to lighten the mood somehow! Luckily, Christopher Meloni and Richard Belzer are always up for the task and drop snarky and hilarious one-liners when arresting or ambushing perps (pervs). Unfortunately I cannot embed the video, but here’s a video compilation of some great Munch lines: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Bmhp-i6OjE

Robin Williams on Law and Order: SVU


3. Celebrities flock to Law and Order: SVU when they want that juicier and darker role. Much like film actors who know that an Oscar nomination is guaranteed after taking a part that requires radical change, those on Just off the top of my head, I can list Hilary Duff, Martin Short, Robin Williams, and even Jesse McCartney (yes, he’s still out there) as some of the more recent guest stars on SVU. The best thing about having celebrity guest stars is that it makes the job of figuring out the culprit much easier. What would be the point of hyping up an upcoming appearance if Jesse McCartney was only playing the emotional boyfriend of a dead pregnant teenage girl? Exactly! That would be a waste of advertising money and I’m sure NBC would not want to be the victim of fangirl rage (that’s assuming that there are still enough McCartney fans out there; to be honest, I’m not sure as I stopped paying attention to him after 2003). Well, SPOILER ALERT – the girl was actually part of a pregnancy pact and was killed by our favorite “Beautiful Soul” singer in a jealous rage when he learns that she had slept with another guy from school in order to get pregnant. In short, if there’s a celebrity guest on an episode of Law and Order: SVU, you should probably suspect him or her first, unless they are the victim. Although, some of the best episodes have been the ones where the victims are, in some crazy twist, the ones whom we’ve should have been suspecting (more on that in a little bit).

2. Benson and Stabler have an enormous amount of sexual chemistry between them. Personally, my favorite pairing would have to be Finn (played by rapper Ice-T) and Munch. I suppose it’s the hilarity the results from pairing two people who seem to be polar opposites – a curmudgeonly Jewish man and a guy who used rap about killing the cops. Plus, the best lines usually come out of Munch’s mouth! But, back to our leading lady and her partner/should-be-boyfriend/soul mate and their frustrating “romance.” Recently, Christopher Meloni announced his departure from the show, leaving fans to wonder how the show will go on without their favorite angsty detective, but more importantly how Olivia will deal without Elliot as her partner will go on living without ever getting together with Elliot. Judging from the amount of Olivia and Elliot fan videos on YouTube, there must be a lot of disappointed Olivia/Elliot shippers out there. Law and Order: SVU has teased viewers with numerous occasions in which the two have been extremely close to getting it on (for example, Olivia pretending to be Elliot’s prostitute to save him from being outed as an undercover cop, or Olivia kissing nerdy technician Dale to “make him jealous”). Unfortunately, viewers will never get to see our favorite detectives kiss or do anything more together, and we’ll just have to make do with a well-edited fan video on YouTube. Here’s a good one:

1. It is always the person you least suspect. Whenever I watch an episode of SVU, I immediately begin guessing the perpetrator; usually it’s someone the detectives interview in the beginning or someone in the family of the victim. IT IS ALWAYS SOMEONE YOU LEAST SUSPECT. They may arrest a suspect early on in the episode, but chances are that person is some idiot who didn’t know what they were doing or they have more information leading to the actual perp. The show is an hour long, which means the writers need to fill that time with engaging twists and turns. Law and Order: SVU does a great job of taking the viewer through what can be a very complicated story. One of the best episodes I watched recently (when I really should have been studying for finals…) had a member of the forensics team as the killer! It was a great twist and proved that the show was capable of switching things up every now and again. Although there are times in which it’s much easier to guess the rapist/murderer/pedophile, it’s just fun and exciting to watch the SVU team tread through those complicated, and sometimes hilariously outrageous, stories.

Thank God You’re Here…Where’ve you been?

Up until this point, this wordpress blog was temporarily used as a place to vent and post when I had disabled my facebook. I’ve decided to change things up and turn this into a pop culture-y blog, with a hint of random musings. Everyone says to write what you know and what do I know? Movies, television shows, celebrity gossip, unimportant facts, trivia, music, things no one cares about, etc. I’m not going to claim that I know everything there is to know about pop culture, because I definitely know there are people out there who out there who have crazy scary knowledge about all there is to know about pop culture (freaks!…I mean, the people I aspire to be). So here we go, my take films, television shows, music, and more!

I think it would be nice to start with the title of my blog/this post. The quote, “Thank God you’re here…where’ve you been?” is taken from the hilarious Australian show, Summer Heights High. Written and produced by Chris Lilley, the show follows three characters at the school, Mr. G, Jonah Takalua, and Ja’mie King. All three characters are played by Lilley to perfection. As Mr. G, the catty drama teacher at Summer Heights High, Lilley shows off his amazing dancing and singing skills in various musical sequences and rehearsals. The final episode with the musical that Mr.G works on all throughout the series is one of the funniest scenes from the entire show. Lilley is also hilarious as Jonah, a teenage Polynesian boy at the school who has to deal with breakdance fights with year 7s, controlling school officials, and teachers who don’t seem to care. Jonah’s story is the most heartbreaking in the series as we see what happens at school through the eyes of a teenager catalogued as a bully, but may really need a person who believes in him (I swear, it’s not as cheesy as I may it sound!). Perhaps, Lilley’s best character is Ja’mie King – the bitchy, blunt, “private school girl” who is at SHH as an exchange student from Hillford Grammar. Lilley plays Ja’mie perfectly; she is that mean girl at every high school. What makes Ja’mie gut bustingly hilarious, instead of offensive, is the fact that she is so ridiculous that it’s hard to believe anyone would ever say this to another person in real life.

Here are a few clips, introducing each of the characters:

Mr.G

Jonah

Ja’mie

Summer Heights High is one of my absolute favorite shows and I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a show that’s smart, funny, and in some ways, touching. There are 8 episodes and each episode is about 25 minutes so it’s not a huge time commitment either! If, after watching SHH, you want more Chris Lilley (and who wouldn’t after watching that man sing, dance, and have panic attacks), check out his other shows We Can Be Heroes (the origin of Ja’mie King) and his newest project, Angry Boys.