Sailor Moon Crystal Check In: Her Hair Is Full of Secrets

Sailor Moon Crystal 3

Everyone is asking Chibi-Usa to keep secrets and it’s kind of weird and annoying. I mean, it’s one thing when Hotaru does it because they’re in love, but when Haruka picks her up in her helicopter and tells her that their relationship with Usagi is a secret it sounds…predatory? I don’t know, I’m not into it.

Anyway, Chibi-Usa goes to see Hotaru to return her handkerchief, and to flirt, because they’re adorable. They talk about how Hotaru was in an accident and it’s awesome and I love them and this Ship is leaving the harbor.

Meanwhile, Usagi is freaking out about that kiss with Sailor Uranus, but when she’s talking to the other Senshi about it, she’s all, “she told me to stay out of their way and definitely nothing else happened you guys, OMG what??????” Sometimes I feel like Usagi should speak only in Emogi.

So Haruka gives Usagi tickets to Michiru’s next concert at Mugen Academy and the Senshi decide to go to investigate and also because pretty violin music. Mamoru got tickets from Michiru and I’ve always hated this aspect of this arc because it’s like, dudes you’re all star crossed soul mates here, stop making it difficult for the others. Anyway, he brings Chibi-Usa.

Minako is bummed about this because in another theater at Mugen Academy (how big is this school?) Pop Idol Mimi something (Mimette! MY LOVE!) is performing and she’d much rather do that, so she sneaks off to go to that show and learns that Mimi is really Mimette and goes to get the others. They fight and Uranus and Neptune show up and win the fight.

When Sailor Moon asks who they are we get a beautiful shot of them standing in dual spot light, and they say their names and the episode ends.

I’m liking so many things about this season, but the fact that we get this show once a week instead of every other week is probably my favorite part, it keeps everything from being bogged down and keeps the momentum going. And I really did forget just how much this arc books. 

I want to talk for a minute though about the closing theme which hit me in a completely different way this time. The opening chords are so haunting and gothic and perfect for Michiru and Haruka. Also, I’m a huge sucker for a female tenor line, which is what Haruka is singing here. Michiru sounds like a Mezzo? It’s pretty high but it doesn’t quite hit the full on soprano line. Anyway, for another stellar example of gorgeous female tenor stylings, listen to Queen Latifah’s version of “California Dreaming,” or any of her songs from December’s production of The Wiz. It’s one of the things that I’ve come to really love about Sailor Moon is how integral music is to the show and how beautiful the music is.

Anyway, I’m off to Disney World tomorrow, so I may not update tomorrow. It depends on how packing goes tonight!

Anything Other Than Me: One Tree Hill Rewatch: Season 3: Episodes 11-15


Season 3: Episode 11: “Return of The Future”

So Keith is back! And it’s great, because Keith is really the best. He shows up at the Raven’s second game, which they lose, because Lucas and Nathan are refusing to engage with each other or, really the rest of the team. Remember when Tim was a character on this show? Anyway, as punishment Whitey sends them to an old beat up gym that they have to get into shape to play in for the rest of the season. Nathan is being a jerk about it, because of course he is. But he’s really being a jerk because when he and Haley had sex they didn’t use protection.

He confronts her about it and they fight a lot about it. But in the end they make up and have an actual conversation about their future and it’s lovely.

Brooke finds out that she’s going to be in a big fancy fashion show called Rogue Vogue and she thinks that Lucas submitted her so she decides to reward him by them finally having sex. Or having sex again. Whatever, it winds up not happening because of the Naley fight and also because she learns it wasn’t Lucas who did the submitting, it was Rachel. They do agree that Lucas is now going to write her as many letters as he wrote him. And it’s great.

Ellie and Peyton go to see Nada Surf to convince them to put a song on their benefit album. They succeed. They also bond more and it really is beautiful. I love this plot so much.

Keith tells Karen that he was planning to go after Dan the night before he left, but Deb beat him to it. After they decide to give their relationship a try, Dan has him arrested for attempted murder.

Season 3: Episode 12: “I’ve Got Dreams To Remember”

I hold this episode very close to my heart because it was the very first episode of One Tree Hill that I watched. It was on Soap Net and I was 20 and I fell head over heels for the show, and spent the next few months getting caught up on it.

It’s also an example of my favorite kind of OTH episode, the excuse to stare straight into the camera and talk about your feelings. The gang are going to see the guidance counselor to talk about college and it’s pretty great. Haley wants to go to Stanford, but Nathan wants to go to Duke. They need to work that out. Lucas isn’t sure what he wants, except he thinks he needs to stay close to home, would like to keep playing basketball and wants to study literature. Peyton doesn’t even really want to go to college. Brooke wants to go to FIT, but also doesn’t want to leave high school, the world she knows and is good at.

Meanwhile, the Ravens have a game coming up. They have to win, now, for real. Lucas and Nathan are ready for it, but Nathan gets benched when he cuts a class that Dan is the guest speaker for. It’s unfortunate because there is some big scout at the game, but in the end, Lucas makes sure that Nathan at least gets to talk to the guy.

Karen and Keith go on their first date. It’s ADORABLE! Dan is really jealous and Keith tells him off. It’s all perfect and wonderful.

Also, Peyton and Ellie decide to call their album, “Friend With Benefit,” and Oh god, I just love it so so so much. Also, it turns out Rogue Vogue and The Sparkle Classic are the same weekend, which is why Rachel submitted Brooke’s designs.  She also starts spending time with Mouth which causes a rift between Brooke and Mouth which is just really, really sad. Brooke decides to do both and I really love this storyline because I love Brooke and Lucas as a couple and I love empowered Brooke.

Season 3: Episode 13: “The Wind That Blew My Heart Away”

Ellie dies. But it takes a minute to get there, but it’s all very moving. Ellie and Peyton finish working on Friend With Benefit and she’s getting ready to leave but when a hurricane knocks out the power they get one last night together. Peyton tells her how much she hates that they don’t have deeper conversations, talks to her about Jake, and all sorts of things, Ellie tells her that she needs to live life, and then leaves and dies.

Lucas and Brooke stay at her place. Lucas brings another letter and it turns out he used the same phrase he ended it with when he wrote a note to Peyton and Brooke freaks out about it. They kiss in the rain. It’s wonderful.Speaking of kissing in the rain and being wonderful…Nathan and Haley hang out at the big house, eating junk food and talking about good memories. They also talk about college a little bit. Haley says they should go to Duke because it’s Nathan’s dream, he says that they should go to Stanford because it’s hers. They run out and kiss in the rain to the Tyler Hilton version of “Missing You,” and everything about it is perfect.

Mouth spends the night with Rachel and I always wish the show had gone there with them. They compliment each other so well, but as it is, Rachel tries to get Mouth to be meaner to girls, and he says he just wants to meet someone to love and she wants to make out and he thinks she’s just trying to make Brooke jealous, but she does actually like him, she just can’t be vulnerable, and OMG I love it so much, and I wish that these two had gotten together, truly.

Also Karen and Keith finally have sex and it’s perfect.

Season 3: Episode 14: “All Tomorrow’s Parties”

It’s time for Rogue Vogue! And also the Classic! Brooke is determined to do both, but when her show gets moved to the second day, she has to make a decision. She decides to do the fashion show, it means too much to her not to. She makes friends with a fifteen year old model, and they go out on the town together. Brooke realizes that she’s not ready for this grown up world yet and decides to skip the fashion show and head to the classic.

Peyton is having trouble dealing with all of the Ellie fall out, but she’s just bottling it up and winds up getting drunk with Rachel who deposits her in Lucas’s bed. This would be remotely surprising if anyone wasn’t paying attention for a little while. She manages it because Bevin has arranged for everyone to trade rooms so that she and Skills can share a room.

Nathan and Lucas meet up with one of Nathan’s friends from High Fliers and spend the evening with his really awesome family. They pledge to be better fathers than Dan when the time comes. This will not be difficult for either of them, since Dan is, just the absolute worst. Nathan gets back to the hotel and he and Haley have lots of hotel sex and it’s adorable.

Keith and Karen get engaged and the kids end the episode by having a massive dance party. You just know things are about to get bad in Tree Hill, because everyone is way too happy right now. And they really are about to get terrible…

Season 3: Episode 15: “Just Watch The Fireworks”

Someone opened the time capsule and everyone saw how angry everyone else was in season 2. Seriously, I understand the need for this episode from a prelude stand point, but God, it really is just a reminder of how awful season 2 is. Brooke also flashes the whole school, which she of course manages to turn into a marketing campaign for Peyton’s benefit concert. That’s about the only good part.

Haley is worried about performing after seeing how hurt and angry Nathan was, afraid that it will trigger him into it again. But when she does perform, they’re mostly just still in love and kind of perfect and amazing.

But then there’s the big one. Jimmy Edwards, who used to be good friends with the River Court guys rants on the time capsule about how awful Tree Hill High is, and it’s really, really brutal. Mouth and Lucas try to reach out to him, but it doesn’t really go anywhere and it leads to a fight at the benefit and also Rachel being a huge bitch to everyone.

Lucas does make a crack about The Outsiders though and Nathan doesn’t understand and Lucas assures him that he’d be a soc. This is painfully obvious to anyone with eyes. Also, Keith decides to adopt Lucas and I’m really, really not ready for what’s coming next, like at all.

Overall Analysis of This Arc

I love it so much because everyone is so happy, and I hate that it doesn’t last and OH GOD, it’s just so awful what happens next and I’m trying to not get overly invested in it, but I know that I’m going to cry so so hard. UGH!

Playing Catch Up

I haven’t been super into writing lately and it’s mostly because I’ve been playing a lot of catch up and remembering that we’re gaining on movie season and getting ready for my travel for the next three weekends and my day job getting pretty busy.

What I have been doing lately is catching up on things that have been hanging out on my DVR and after the past few days I’ve got things pretty well caught up.

I’m up to date on Agents of SHIELD. I don’t want to go into movie season behind. Not that I expect Civil War to have a huge impact on it, but there might be one. I hate that the team is split but I like it for the narrative.

I have one episode of Scandal before being caught up and everytime I think that show can’t get more ridiculous, Olivia does something like beat Andrew to death with a chair in the White House bunker. Also it looks like she and Fitz are going to get back together which, you know, ick.

Caught up on Empire. I don’t even know what the plot of that show is anymore, but I’m still loving it. I’m glad that Hakeem and Jamal haven’t turned on each other and that Andre is scheming again and the twist that Lucscious’s mother is actually alive is also pretty great.

Fox Comedies, I don’t even know how behind I am, although I think just one week? It’s hard because the programming schedule on that block is weird and some weeks some shows have new episodes and others have reruns.

I have one The Flash, since The CW is even more inconsistent than Fox, god knows if it’s even worth getting caught up. I’ve given up on Legends of Tomorrow and I watch Arrow begrudgingly these days, although I’m caught up on it too. (RIP Laurel, a character who never met the potential laid out for her.)

I’m finished with Supergirl and absolutely adored the finale. I really hope we’re getting a season 2, but I’m even more looking forward to Melissa Benoist showing up next year on The Flash as Power Girl. Overall I think Supergirl was a qualified success, much like the first season of Agents it was a slow start, took a while to find it’s legs and then took of running. And it’s sunny beautiful view of superheroics is so necessary right now if the genre is going to survive.

So that’s where I’m at. I’m hoping to binge How To Get Away With Murder over the summer and maybe Jane The Virgin and Crazy Ex Girlfriend too, but we’ll see what I have time for with movie season and HBO and OTH rewatch. I’m also considering trying Battle Star Galactica since that’s another foundational piece that’s missing from my geek stuff. I don’t know, we’ll see.

Game of Thrones Winner: “The Red Woman”

I mean, you guys watched the episode right? It’s pretty obvious who won, right? I mean, really? 

Brienne won, you guys. Brienne won the whole damn shooting match. Or sword fight, as it were.


Brienne saved Sansa and Theon from Ramsay’s men. (Pod helped! Also Theon helped a little…) And then she pledged fealty  to Sansa who accepted it and the four of them are going to have an adventure and IT’S THE BEST THING EVER.

Runner up is Danerys because she was going to be raped by that Khal but then went all, “I am Khaleesi and Mother of Dragons, so bow down bitch.”  I am worried about her, and being at Vas Dorthrak, and not wanting to be there and needing to get to Mereen and then to Westeros and all. But she was great.

Missandei and Greyworm Watch

There was no time for shipping this week. There was only badassery, just so much of it everywhere.

Sansa’s Agency Watch

Sansa is going to be Queen in The North, I bet. She was whining a lot but she was entitled with fording that river while be chased down by dogs is not great for agency. But I have a feeling that this is going to be a smack down. I mean, she now has Theon and Brienne, and Theon did some good fighting and also Pod. And hey, isn’t she also a bigamist? There’s a lot going on with Sansa right now.

Arya Badass Watch

Arya wasn’t terribly badass this week, with sitting around blind and not being able to fight well. I think that she’ll get there though. When is she going to warg into a cat? I hope it happens soon!

NEW FEATURE!!!! Is Jon Going to Stay Dead?

Right now, it’s looking like yeah, he is. I’m not sure how to feel about it. I still think that Melisandre is going to bring him back though. HEY, let’s talk about Melisandre, who is actually like SUPER old and her necklace is magic and keeps her young and hot and WHAT THE SHIT IS THAT????

I’m excited for the new season, I’ve waited 5 years for this answer. I can wait 9 more weeks.

The Next Few Weeks

I have a lot going on right now. It’s all good stuff but it’s been occupying my time and mind. Here’s what’s going on!

  • April 22-24: I’m heading down to the shore and then Atlantic City with a bunch of the awesome ladies from my family to celebrate my grandma’s birthday. There will be so much drinking and probably dancing and fun and joy and I’m really looking forward to it.
  • April 24: Game Of Thrones, Veep and Silicon Valley are back! I’ve waited FIVE GODDAMN YEARS FOR THESE ANSWERS STAY OUT THE OF MY WAY!!!! I don’t care if they might not be the “real” ones. I want to see Assassin Arya, and find if Jon Snow is dead. (The boy Jon Snow is dead, but the man Jon Targaryen lives. R + L = J people…) Also, Selena might be the president. And what’s going on with Pied Piper, and for the love of god why isn’t Monica in charge? (I’m rewatching Season 2 and it’s painfully obvious that she should be.)
  • April 29-May 2: I’m going back to Disney World! There’s a whole long boring soul searching story about this that I won’t get into but it’s happening. It’s the Epcot Flower and Garden festival, so that should be fun, and I’m going to do the Monorail Bar Crawl because I’m on my own schedule and I’ll do what I want. I’m disappointed that the Animal Kingdom night time show won’t have started but I will get to see the Star Wars fireworks!
  • May 5: Captain America: Civil War!!!!!!! This is apparently the best movie ever! I’m really really can’t wait to see how it shakes out. Aless and I are going on Thursday night, 8:30 in the city. It’s going to be fun. We’ll probably be drunk. Or at least buzzed. I’m sure I’ll cry.
  • May 7: My cousin Tommy is getting married to Leah. They are two of my favorite people and I’m thrilled to celebrate them! Family wedddings are a big deal with my large crazy group of relatives and this is probably the last one for a while. (No one’s engaged at the moment but over the past two years we’ve had 5 family weddings.)
  • May 11: Going to see Shuffle Along on Broadway, starring Audra McDonald and Brian Stokes Mitchell. Pretty sure my brain will explode. Audra tap dances you guys. It’s king of a huge deal.
  • May 13-15: ACBC! Really excited for this too! I will be guiding Kristi and Juli through their first Con. I’ve got my cosplays together, my hotel booked and my girls are going to be with me. It’s going to be a lot of fun. (Also, I’ve declared this “The Year of Atlantic City” because I will have gone 3 times in 3 months.)

So that’s what’s going on with me. Watch twitter for pictures of all of this fun stuff! YAY!


Sailor Moon Crystal Check In: Maguffin Time!

Sailor Moon Crystal 3

I toyed with calling this post “Just super gay you guys” but I figured that might be a little too on the nose.

But the episode is.

Like super gay. 

We get Chibi-Usa’s mega crush on Hotaru. We get Michiru and Haruka being all snuggly and we get Haruka kissing Usagi.

Just, super gay. In a good way.

Anyway, the Senshi are trying to figure out who the new Senshi on the scene are and Usagi figures out that Michiru is Sailor Neptune, although she doesn’t know that she’s Sailor Neptune, you know? Anyway, she sees her flirting with Mamoru and gets all hysterical about it and runs right into Haruka, who she still thinks is a boy.

Anyway, Chibi-Usa is fantasizing about Hotaru who is really not doing well. We meet her father. (CREEPY) and see her house (UBER-CREEPY but in a great way.)

We also see the Senshi defeat the first of the Witches 5, which is fine, because it means that next week they’re going to fight Mimette which makes me clap my hands in a giddy way because I love her. (You can go back to my reviews of the original anime if you’d like to see me expound on how delightful I find this character.)

Anyway, our middle level villain who’s name is escaping me at the moment, mentions the three talismans, (talisman?)

Anyway, I’m loving these episodes, I’ve completely fallen for the closing theme which everytime I watch I feel like it hypnotizes me. I’m thrilled they’re leaning into the Chibi-Usa/Hotaru crush, because they’re so cute and my favorite OTP. (Helios can go…elsewhere…I don’t care.) And just visually I can’t get over this show and how much better it looks than the previous season (which I also loved, for it’s stand alone shots if not for it’s actual you know, animation.)

Overall I’m happy this is here, and now that we know what the quest is for, and The Bad Guys are clued into the powers of the Senshi, I’m really excited to see things move forward. YAY!

Anything Other Than Me: One Tree Hill Rewatch: Season 3: Episodes 6-10


Season 3: Episode 6: “Locked Hearts And Hand Grenades”

First of all, awesome emo song title.

Second of all, this is the “fantasy boy draft” episode. Which is contributing in a lot of ways to a thesis that I’m building up. That thesis being that One Tree Hill is probably the most feminist teen soap of  them all. (This is also if excise Veronica Mars and Buffy as primarily genre shows.) While Gossip Girl was predicated on a more feminist stance, being that it’s two main characters were girls, it still pitted them against each other and treated them much more superficially. One Tree Hill is pitched about two boys, but by this point in the series it’s clear that the most compelling narrative is centered around the three girls.

Peyton is not in a relationship this season…at least not yet. She dates Pete Wentz later. But at the moment her primary concern is whether she should reach out and connect with Ellie. I’ve already praised how much I like Peyton as a character, but really, her being unattached (and not striving to be attached btw) at this point is another thing that’s really revolutionary about her.

Haley is fierce here. She’s fighting for Nathan. She’s fighting for Lucas. She’s fighting to build a life she wants with the people she cares about. It’s exceptional and not something that you see that often. In other soaps the Haley style character would have to be “distracted” by her crumbling marriage. But not Haley. She’s still an honor student. She’s still trying to be a musician, and she still wants her man.

And then there’s Brooke. She’s flawed, and trying her best. She loves Lucas but doesn’t want her heart to be broken. So she organizes the “fantasy boy draft,” which is the kind of objectifying and ridiculous premise that would (probably) be applied to girls in real life, but in One Tree Hill, the power is given to the girls. They choose which boys they want and set the rules of interaction. It’s a fantasy and fun one.

Rachel, meanwhile is still trying to be friends with everyone, and now Karen is running for mayor against Dan and it all leads to shenanigans. Also, Lucas is trying to overcome HCM with the power of will because Lucas is kind of an idiot!

Season 3: Episode 7: “Champagne For My Real Friends, Real Pain For My Sham Friends”

Another awesome Emo Song Title. Seriously, it’s the gold standard of Emo Songs. (Not the song itself but the title. The gold standard emo song is either “The Black Parade” or maybe something from Brand New’s self titled album…)

It’s time for the fantasy boy draft chickens to come home to roost. The boys demand dates. Because of course they do. Well, actually Tim demands a date and considering that no one drafted him. Brooke is furious, because this means that Lucas is going to have to go on another date with Rachel. (Any mention that she did this to herself, is met with a frustrated grunt, because Brooke is annoyed not oblivious.) So, Haley is super excited to go on a date with Nathan, but when Chris shows up and Brooke refuses to go out with him, Nathan takes it as a chance to bail. Brooke wants to be a good friend to Haley so she goes.

They first go to where Nathan and Haley got married, which is being paved over. Then they go to the mall and everyone is miserable until they see some clothes that Brooke designed in the window of Suburban Filth. So they get a bottle of champagne and head back to the apartment and get drunk. Well, Brooke and Chris get drunk, Haley and Nathan have a few touching talks that make me cry.

Rachel tries to convince Lucas to give up on Brooke. It does not work, but it’s fun, because Rachel is fun. He goes to the apartment to talk to Brooke and finds her in bed with Chris, because of course. Bevin and Skills watch The Notebook because it was 2005, and the world was obsessed with that movie…Peyton and Mouth go to see his grandpa who’s in a home with alzheimers (and is Tom Bosley! This leads to a convoluted headcanon where Mouth is actually Richie Cunnigham’s kid…look, I don’t know why the Cunninghams moved to North Carolina and changed their name to McFayden…and why The Fonz is not an active presence in Mouth’s life…but whatever…)It’s a sweet little B plot and convinces Peyton to reconnect with Ellie.

Karen and Deb deface one of Dan’s billboards and this plot is confusing to me right now because I’m also rewatching The West Wing, so I’m wondering why Karen isn’t better at political PR.

Season 3: Episode 8 “The Worst Day Since Yesterday”

It’s game day in Tree Hill, and no one is thinking about basketball, like at all. Except for Dan, but mostly he’s thinking about it from a controlling Nathan standpoint. Nathan is actually pretty focused and that’s always been one of the cool things about him, like, the game means a lot to him and he works hard at it.

I love this show.

Anyway, Lucas is being all pouty about Brooke sleeping with Chris. Brooke is heartbroken because she knows that Lucas will never forgive her for this. Peyton and Haley try to cheer her up and tell her that she should talk to Lucas, but he’s freezing her out. Also she learns that Suburban Filth owns her designs and she’s getting bupkis for them.

Not Brooke’s day.

Peyton tries to convince Lucas to forgive Brooke, but he’s being a butt about it, so he doesn’t. He does paint his bedroom door black, because as much as he insists that Brooke is the one for him, he and Peyton so deserve each other. (Huh, almost like they’re endgame?) Anyway, she does wind up forgiving Haley though, so all the girls are friends again, which is pretty great.

Since the theme of this post is the ladies of Tree Hill being the best, Rachel also kicks Lucas to the curb, telling him that she’s done being used, and also that she doesn’t want to hook up with him anymore. I love Rachel.

Karen goes on the radio and owns Dan. Dan puts Nathan into a locker and Mouth films it. Also, after the team loses the game, Nathan walks home with Haley to feel better, rather than by himself. Oh, also Peyton slaps Chris, because she’s the best. Also, it appears Dan and Chris have joined forces. Or something.

Season 3: Episode 9: “How Resurrection Really Feels”

It’s the birth of Clothes over Bros! Brooke, Haley and Peyton get arrested for stealing the clothes from Suburban Filth and in order to lift Brooke’s still Lucas free spirits. (He bailed them out, but let Brooke sit a while, because he’s still pissed) Haley suggests that she start her own clothing line, complete with a website. Brooke runs with it. And the clothes are adorable. Seriously, I still dream about the sundress that she makes for Bevin.

Chris comes to Nathan and tells him that he lost the money he gave him for Haley’s studio time in a poker game. They go on a road trip to win the money back and they do not. But in the end Chris explains that he kissed Haley and he took money from Dan to seduce her. Nathan punches him a bunch but in the end he sells his guitar so that Nathan can own the masters and demos of Haley’s songs. When Haley comes over to talk to him, he tells her that he loves the song and they have sex!!! Naley back together!

Lucas is still stewing about Brooke and both Haley and Peyton have kind of had it. Brooke finally breaks and gives him the letters that she wrote and tells him that she loves him. He says he loves her too and they get back together!

Peyton has been having visions of herself as the Angel of Death which is a manifestation of her guilt about Ellie, who she’s pretty sure is actually dying. It’s election night and Dan wins. Also we learn that Deb is the one who set him on fire. I think because Lucas and Karen figure it out.

Season 3: Episode 10: “Brave New World”

Everyone is back together! Except Nathan and Lucas both get mysterious phone calls first thing in the morning and have to leave Haley and Brooke in bed and that doesn’t look great. Lucas at least explains that he’s going with Peyton to see Ellie, but Nathan just flees.

It turns out it’s to see Deb in a motel, she tells him that she’s leaving Dan, Nathan asks why she can’t do that and stay in Tree Hill and she explains that because she tried to kill Dan. Nathan’s mad about it, but they sort of resolve things when she goes off. He also goes back to Haley and I love that they’re back together! I love it so much.

Peyton and Ellie bond over music and Peyton suggest that they produce Haley’s record together, she also suggests that Ellie’s dying. Ellie gets annoyed by all of this and they fight and Peyton leaves but then Ellie shows up and movies in with Peyton and they’re going to create Red Bedroom Records…and I didn’t remember Clothes Over Bros and Red Bedroom happening one right after the other like that.

While Peyton hangs out with Ellie, Lucas visits an old friend who’d moved and they talk about how their worlds have changed. The girl, who’s name I can’t remember, recalls a Lucas who used to stand up to bullies for his friends, and wonders whether he’s still that guy or if he’s forgotten it. This becomes very important later. In the end Lucas takes Brooke to the river court for a game because it’s important for him to remember who he is.

Speaking of Brooke, the demand for her dresses has outstripped her supply and she sets up a sweat shop with the cheerleaders and is a major bitch all day. In the end she sends everyone home. But the most important part of this plot line is that Rachel and Mouth start bonding and OMG SO GREAT!

Overall Analysis Of This Arc

This season really is so great, but in particular I love this run of episodes because it’s so much about allowing the girls to become full, three dimensional characters, but not at the expense of Lucas and Nathan, who have great stuff here too. I mentioned in it’s episode write up how much I love the inversion of things with the fantasy boy draft, and that the crux of this whole arc is Brooke, Haley and Peyton finding projects that they’re passionate about, all without losing the people that they love. It’s pretty spectacular and ridiculously singular in this genre of show.

Breaking down Unbreakable

Comedy is hard.

Smart-silly comedy is harder.

Executing a second season of a high concept sitcom is hardest.

So, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt had quite a task in front of it for it’s second season. I mean, after all, how many things can Kimmy misunderstand now that she’s been out of the bunker for nearly a year?

Turns out that wasn’t the point this time around, this time we were dealing with what makes our adorable little Kimmy tick, and also, getting Titus a boyfriend! (This was my favorite thing ever!) Kimmy’s world looks a little different these days, after all, Jacqueline isn’t married anymore and can’t afford to employ her, though the two women vow to stay friends, Dong is married to classmate Sonia, and the Reverend (who claims to have created the “I Want To Buy The World A Coke” commercial) is safely behind bars.

So we deal a lot more with Kimmy’s inner life now, her horrifying snaps of violence are highlighted more and as she settles in to a relationship with therapist Andrea, played by Tina Fey, and who is also a raging alcoholic.

One of the things that’s most impressive about Kimmy Schmidt is how it manages to have it’s cake and eat it too. It’s a live action cartoon but it’s also going to explore PTSD and race and class and gentrification and it’s going to have Josh Charles give David Cross a noogie and Joshua Jackson is going to deconstruct why Joey’s decision to have sex with Pacey on the ski trip was kind of bullshit. (It was, but, when he showed up I was flailing all over the place.)

Now on to Titus. This season Titus embarked on an actual relationship with Mikey, who we know as the construction worker who hits on Kimmy, and when she misunderstands him, causes him to examine his interactions with woman and realize that he’s gay. Eventually, he asks Titus out and eventually, Titus accepts. They fall in love, he comes out to his family, Titus grows up a little and even finds himself contemplating fatherhood.

This makes perfect sense to me as Titus has been an excellent kinda Dad to Kimmy throughout the show.

Overall what makes silly comedy work best is the writing, of which Kimmy Schmidt has a dream team in Tina Fey and Robert Carlock and the cast, which, between Ellie Kemper, Tituss Burgess, Carol Kane and Jane Krakowski is exceptional.

So Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt season 2 was wonderful and I’m thrilled about that. I’m looking forward to seeing where we go from here.

Something They Can Never Take Away: Hamilton: The Revolution

Welcome to the first post of The Hamilton Reading List.

We begin our exploration with the purest distillation of Hamilton-ness, with Hamilton: The Revolution or as Lin-Manuel Miranda, it’s co-author, and the Internet are calling it #Hamiltome. The book consists of the full libretto of the musical, featuring informative and entertaining footnotes by Miranda. Also featured are a series of analytic and informative essays by Hamilton ally and theatrical critic, Jeremy McCarter.


One of the first things that I want to discuss is the book itself which is gorgeous. Leather bound, aged pages and full of stunning pictures of the production and back stage and the size of a text book, I was very glad I picked up the physical book rather than read it digitally. It’s worth it.

One of the things that’s been acutely fascinating as Hamilton exploding is how documented this phenomenon has been, thanks to the internet and the relative youth of it’s creators, so between the amazing early leak on NPR of the cast album, the #Ham4Ham shows, the fan art, the endless pairing of lyrics with other forms of media (#Force4Ham and #Parks4Ham being my favorites, of course.), we get a level of engagement that I only could have dreamed of when I was a dreamy twelve year old playing the London Cast Recording of Les Mis on my discman curled up in a corner of my middle school band room.

The Hamiltome chronicles this, as well as the show’s unique evolution from Miranda’s daydream of “The Hamilton Mixtape” initially meant to be a concept album chronicling the life of the ten dollar founding father to the full blown theatrical phenomenon it is. And it is a journey, an excellent and interesting and tortuous one.

What I love about back stage looks in general is that they demystify the magic of theater. There is magic in it, that spark that ignites is real, but before you can get to that spark there’s hundreds of hours punctuated by sweat, tears and a ton of work and The Revolution gives us those moments in often excruciating detail. It would have been easy to keep Hamilton mythic, birthed like Athena, fully formed from the mind of Lin-Manuel Miranda, but that isn’t how theater works, and McCarter makes it clear that Hamilton had many fathers, going in detail about direction and costume design, and set design and choreography and even, bless my heart, what a producer does. (Most people don’t understand this. Hell, I barely understand it and I am a producer.)

The one thing that the book doesn’t get into, or at least not enough, is why this show? I mean as much as you can explore why pop culture phenomenon happen, but I do wonder. We were long overdue for a Broadway block buster and even longer overdue for a mainstream crossover success. Were we primed for it? Young people are hungry for revolution in every generation, but seem particularly vocal about it in the moment. So is that it? Broadway music hasn’t incorporated pop music in a new way since 1996, so is that it? (Well, actually since 2008, but you know, everyone seems determined to ignore In The Heights, so I guess I will too.)

But this is a phenomenon and it’s worth exploring.

Next up on The Hamilton Reading List:

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow which is the book that Miranda read that inspired him to write this musical, which then inspired me to write this series of blog posts. So in a way, I’m also a genius who is changing the face of pop culture.

New Project Plan: Smartening Up Edition

I graduated from college about 5 years ago and in that time I’ve enriched my life in a lot of ways. I’ve made awesome new friends and enriched friendships with old ones. I’ve found new hobbies and interests and figured out my relationships to some new ones.

But intellectually, I feel a lot like I’ve stalled. Part of this blog for me was meant to keep me engaged and analytical and while it definitely has kept me analytical and even opened up analysis for me in different ways…I also feel less academic and intellectual than I used to be.

This felt hugely highlighted this week, as I read through Hamilton: The Revolution, with it’s hard core analysis of this musical I loved so much, and it’s footnotes and glorious stories.  It compared the show to Angels In America and noted it’s multiple literary and theatrical references, as well as enumerating it’s historical facts and foibles.

I was delighted but also felt in over my head.

Then on last night, Crystan and I attended a performance of Richard II at The Brooklyn Academy of Music, starring David Tennant as Richard. It was amazing, but I couldn’t help thinking to myself, “why did it take the presence of a popular television actor to get me off my butt here? I love Shakespeare and find the histories particularly fascinating. There’s no excuse to not just be here…” (This is not to disparage Mr. Tennant’s performance which was incredible. It really was.)

It’s not that I don’t love being able to consume at my own pace rather than an academic one. It’s not that I don’t enjoy overthinking popular culture, it’s just then when I then try to reengage with deeper culture I feel out of my depth, when it used to be what I did all the time.

Anyway all this to say, (Hah! Hamilton reference!) I mentioned yesterday that I’ve got a new project brewing and that is that I’m once again stealing from my hero Jen Lancaster, and I’m spending the rest of 2016 getting myself smarter. (Jen’s project in chronicled in her memoir My Fair Lazy and it is a real contender for my favorite of Jen’s books. It’s hard to pick. I love them all so…) I’m doing it very specifically though…and basing it around some of my obsessions! (YAYYYY!!!)

So, without further adieu I present the very beginning of The Hamilton Reading List and Brush Up Your Shakespeare.

Every month I will read a book about early American history, specifically as relates to Hamilton, I’m currently working through the Ron Chernow biography Alexander Hamilton that started it all as April’s choice. For May, I’m thinking of taking on the actual Federalist Papers, of which I’ve read a few, but not all.

I’m also going to read a Shakespeare play and then watch an adaptation of that play every months. April is Richard II, since I’ve already seen the adaptation. I’m excited about it, hopefully this will kick start my brain a little bit, so I won’t spend all of a Shakespeare performance comparing it to Game of Thrones ever again. (Really, not proud of myself last night guys…like at all. The play was fantastic though, really great.)

So that’s my plan. When I took the semester off my first senior year I did something similar, I made myself read two classic books I’d never read before for every “fun” book I read. When I’ve jump started my brain again I might start that again, but I’m also not train commuting anymore so I have less reading time than I used to and I need to kick start my brain, which is the whole point.