Things I’m Obsessed With Right Now: Indian Summer

Summer seems to be finally breaking and I’m thrilled about that. I love fall and here’s a bunch of the stuff that I’m using to wait out the heat, so we get to the time of year of tights, sweaters and boots. (I’ve already started with boots though…)

Anyway, here we go:

  • Gilmore Guys: I mean obviously, but I’ve been listening to it like crazy, not at the expense of my other podcasts, but a whole lot.
  • “Nobody’s Crying” a song by Sutton Foster about her divorce from Christian Borle. It’s on her solo album Wish. It’s melancholy and heartbreaking and perfect, and I’ve loved it for a while, but Crystan and I listened to it while we were driving into the city on Saturday and my love for it has sprung anew. Listen to it, I swear you won’t be disappointed.
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena…WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS SHOW? I should explain, despite a long list of anime that friends I love and trust have recommended to me, I decided instead to dive into this one because, “The Mary Sue says that it heavily inspired Steven Universe.” As I have previously noted, I will do just about anything The Mary Sue tells me to, so I clicked it on Hulu and now I’m sucked in when I should finally be watching Stranger Things or at least Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood like everyone I know told me to. And yet now I’m sucked into this weird anime about sword fighting and lesbians and incest where everything might just be happening inside of the characters heads or whatever. But it’s fantastic and I love it and I think Utena might be my new favorite protagonist in anything (Sorry Korra.) Mostly because I love a passive protagonist. (Sup Harry Potter?) And Utena doesn’t really do anything except wear a totally stylish blazer and get dragged along by the plot. I’ll do a full post about it when I finish, but it’s taking up a lot of my time and brain power.
  • My friend Lora’s daily closet cosplays! She’s putting me to shame you guys! Check out her Tumblr and Instagram (@dailycasualcosplay)!
  • Party Planning! I made the facebook event for my birthday party this year and I’m really excited about it. My costume is done, which means I can focus on the other fun stuff, liked themed food and drinks, decorations, and entertainment options! I’m really excited about it.
  • Comic Con planning. I’m so organized that I’m worried I’m missing something. But I’m going to just let it go. (LET IT GOOOO…)

So that’s what I’m doing right now. See you tomorrow with more stuff!

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The Best Summer Ever

Over the past week, I’ve been reading a lot of “How I Came To Camp Firewood” stories, as everyone I know on the internet (and a good chunk of the people I know in real life) worked their way through the 8 episodes of Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp. And this is mine.

Wet Hot American Summer is a weird movie. But as a kid who grew up on Mel Brooks it always made perfect sense to me. (Dealing with the crashing of a space station while a perfectly choreographed version of “Day By Day” goes on is downright low concept compared to say, anything that happens in Silent Movie.)

I found it, like many others, due to the reputation of one of it’s really, really accomplished cast members. And while learning that Paul Rudd, Amy Poehller and Michael Ian Black were all in it made 18 year old me all the more hungry for it. But I came to the party for Marguerite Moreau and I will not apologize for that. Not ever.

See, the summer after my senior year of high school, I dealt with the anxiety of the coming life changes by deciding to watch Kevin Smith’s entire catalog and by watching as many movies starring the cast of The Mighty Ducks as I could get my hands on.

(Mostly this meant watching Newsies and Heaveyweights over and over again…)

And that when I found Wet Hot American Summer and was overwhelmed by it’s silly greatness. It helped that I recognized just about everyone in the movie, and in the next ten years, they’ve all become pretty much ubiquitous on the comedy scene, which I love just as much, if not more, than I did back when I was 18.

Which is why I was really excited and also nervous last week for First Day of Camp, which promised, at the very least to bring together a group of people still at the top of their comedic powers, and like, half the cast of Mad Men.

The 8 episodes were stellar, and not surprising, my favorite parts revolved around Elizabeth Banks. But it was nice to see that Coop doesn’t fall in love with Katie because of Katie, it’s because Coop is that guy who talks to a girl twice and decides she’s his soulmate. McKinley and Ben fell in love because of a musical number. The talking can of vegetable was not all in Gene’s head, but actually, their fallen camp director, Mitch, who drowned in Toxic Waste.

Obviously, there’s a lot going on here.

But mostly I’m digging the little details. The fact that they had to create a character who’s an even bigger ass hole than Andy for us to root for Andy and Katie to get together. The fact that Gail was involved with 3 men in a 24 hour period.

First Day of Camp is a worthy prequel and a very funny one.

As Long As You Love Them

Show em

One of the best parts of the summer (for me) is that with my TV schedule being greatly reduced, (Even if it is clogged with teen super hero cartoons and revisits to Westeros), I have time to explore some of the more obscure and less on the Comic Con beaten path pop culture elements that have obsessed me over my life.

I’ve talked about my deep and abiding love of boy bands many times. And I’ve noted that I consider The Backstreet Boys  and in particular the vocal stylings of AJ McLean to be in the upper echelon of pop music, and that they’re consistently passed over as the late 90’s and early 2000s fade into nostalgia.

I often feel like I’m alone in this, and then I talk to other women my age about it, for whom listening to Millennium on bedroom floors and voting for “The One” on TRL were also seminal moments of tween-dom, and it’s certainly what the documentary Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of is predicated on.

While I’d hardly call the two hour in depth documentary a “warts and all” look at the guys, it’s definitely not as vain and golden colored as it could be. Exploring both the group’s rise to fame and their prep of a new album and 2014 20th anniversary world tour I was reminded of all the reasons I always preferred BSB to their glossy, perfectly choreographed doppelgangers NSYNC.

Not surprisingly to anyone who’s followed the band for 20 years…ie me and a small army of other 20 something women, the movie pretty much hinges on Kevin Richardson’s choice to leave and then return to the group and Nick Carter’s penchant for hissy fit throwing, but other elements shouldn’t be ignored. AJ’s sobriety is mostly taken for granted, and Nick’s not explored at all. Brian Littrell’s vocal problems could have been compelling all on their own, but instead lead to a confrontation between him and Nick, who feels no one is talking about how Brian isn’t up to snuff anymore. Howie Durough initially intended to be the group’s lead singer is sidelined almost entirely, except when he talks about how he was supposed to be the lead singer…it’s not a terribly compelling narrative.

But in the end the movie illustrates two points that are made in it’s first few minutes, “What do you do when you’re a man in a boy band?” which AJ asks the camera, and “We had some great pop songs and we sang the shit out of them.” Which is Kevin just perfectly encapsulating the thing that’s great about The Backstreet Boys.

Whatever It Takes

Degrassi: The Next Generation has been cancelled from TeenNick, and been picked up by Netflix.

But for a minute, the internet is really sad about it.

I’m really sad about it.

Everyone should be really sad about it.

Because Degrassi was wonderful.

I didn’t watch the show’s first few years, due to my lack of premium cable, but, by season 3, I used to go to my friend Ali’s house and we would have “Degrassi Parties,” and watch it with all of our friends. (We were really cool, in case you couldn’t tell…) The first episode I ever watched was when Manny and Craig had sex in his garage. (He got her pregnant, we didn’t know that yet.) In college, my roommates and I would watch the “every episode ever” marathons, because Degrassi invented binge watching.

Here’s how those worked: Around the clock TeenNick would show every episode of Degrassi, you would sit down to watch a couple and then all of a sudden it was twelve hours later, Ash and Craig had gotten back together five times, JT was dead and Paige was a lesbian. (Or bi? I think Paige was the first bi character I was really aware of in something.)

Yes, the writing is hamfisted, and the acting atrocious, and Ellie and Marco never got enough to do, and no one ever talked about Hazel’s sudden disappearance. (Seriously, where did Hazel and Terry go? They should have graduated with Paige, Ellie & Marco right?) But also, Manny Santos taught me that slut shaming was wrong, (I didn’t absorb the lesson right away…but still) and Paige’s college breakdown made me feel a little bit better about my own (I at least never set anything on fire), and JT was just the most devastating character death in the history of character deaths.

I dropped off watching in adulthood, mostly because I was tired of having to track the new characters. But I loved my Degrassi gang so much. Just, so very much.

I’m going to go cry about JT for a little bit.

It’s A Relationship

Schedule Shift! (Mostly For Sleep Reasons)

Jurassic-World-The-Game

I was seven years old when Jurassic Park came out, which is a little on the young side, but it’s stayed with me as a tried and true favorite for all of those 20 long years.

I made a conscious choice to not watch Jurassic Park before heading to Jurassic World, because I knew, no matter how much good, scary, actiony fun contained there in, it would suffer in comparison to Jurassic Park.

It does.

But, there’s still plenty of good scary actiony fun. Plus Chris Pratt (who sadly, remains fully clothes the whole time.) and Bryce Dallas Howard, who are also the right age to remember that Jurassic Park once ruled everyone’s collective world and seem to be having a real ball.

Jurassic World takes place on Isla Nublar (Which, thank god, I thought we might be subjected to a third location, after the previously unknown “second facicility” popped up in Jurassic Park III) 20 years since “the incident” of the first film. Now a fully functioning resort and theme park, it’s hard not to giggle at the corporate pandering in Jurassic World. Claire (Howard) runs the park with peak efficiency, and is treating her young nephews to a weekend away from home as their parents prepare to begin divorce proceedings. She’s also getting ready to reveal a new genetically engineered super dino known as Idominus Rex

Meanwhile, Owen Grady, a former naval officer has shown a talent for training and wrangling Jurassic World’s velociraptors.

Things go wrong. This is a Jurassic movie, there are certain beats that need to get met.

But let’s talk about the raptors. There’s a lot of internet talk about “90’s kids,” but I’d like to see a buzzfeed article that covers the nightmare factory that is the Jurassic Park raptors. And that 20 years and four movies later I’m surprised and terrified when one of those mofos pops out of the tall grass or opens a door or dodges a bullet speaks volumes.

T-Rex saves the day in the end and it’s a pretty great reveal when Claire realizes it’s the only way out. The techs are played by Jake Johnson and Lauren Lapkus and they’re great. The “corporate greedy guy” is Vincent D’Onofrio, and BD Wong is back as the main Jurassic Doctor! (Remember that time that Star Lord let a raptor eat The King Pin?)

It’s a fun, dumb, movie

Rankings!

  1. Mad Max: Fury Road
  2. Tomorrowland
  3. Jurassic World
  4. Avengers: Age of Ultron
  5. Pitch Perfect: 2

Trailers!

The Martian looks impossibly good.

Mockingjay Part 2 did NOT make me weepy, unlike the trailers for it’s predecessor. To be fair, this is the more actiony, revengy part of the story.

The Walk looks great, I will not be able to see it the theaters, or maybe I’ll just hold my breath and do it. Because it looks wonderful.

And hey! The six minute preview finally got me psyched for Ant-Man, having a sense of what the story is going to look like helped a whole lot.

Sailor Moon Check In: Where Do We Go From Here?

This is a big Sailor Moon week, as all “Three weeks between Crystal episode” weeks are. Because there are more classic episodes to watch and reminding myself what happened before stuff and all kinds of other issues. (But watching 3 episodes of S and an episode of Crystal while chilling in my hotel room in NYC this weekend was so delightfully lovely.)

Sailor Moon

Manga

LOLZ…considered buying it at the Midtown Comics Booth this weekend. Realized I’d already spent WAYYY too much money. Did buy a Kindle Fire this week though (I’m trying to minimize crap, thus having a portable device for reading graphic work = GOOD)

The Best Cartoon Ever Sorry Korra

OK, so before I watch this week’s episode I just want to talk about that finale, and Uranus and Neptune A)realizing that they were in love with each other. B) No one recognizing Pluto…except Chibi-Usa because BFFL transcends space time and super hero secret identity suspension of disbelief. B)THEY ALL HAVE PURE HEART TALISMANS (talismen?) and it’s so beautiful and now we have the holy grail.

After an episode or two of everyone just sort of pushing through not trusting one another it was a really, really nice resolution to that arc.

And the new arc started. And we met Hotaru. (YAY!) And we found out her father was the professor. (Which I knew, due to having read the Manga!) And Usagi is now Sailor Super Moon, and that costume is awesome. I love this incarnation of the show so much!

Crystal

Sigh, filler. I mean, it’s a little bit not. But we literally had five minutes of transformation sequences. I’ve forgiven most of Crystals pacing problems because you know, shiny, but this was ridiculous. Also Dark Lady, who’s kind of really, really gross, but I’m considering cosplaying her. (I actually have a dress that would work, though I don’t know how it would fit these days, and actually my black canary vest over it would work…this idea is coming together now…)

Look, the episode was basically made by Diana assuring King Endymion that everything was going to be fine, because that is the most adorable thing in the world. The cats so often make everything better. Also, Saphir has definitely caught on that, like Wise Man is not a good dude. Or at least, not the level of bad dude that they want.

Other Stuff

I was at a con! I saw some cosplayers. As brainstormed above I might start cosplaying some things. We’ll see. I also resisted buying roughly all of the Sailor Moon art I saw, but I did by a Sailor Chibi Moon Bookmark.

The Force Is Strong In My Family

Today’s post was supposed to be about Batman VS Robin, and for something lesser, it totally would have been. But this isn’t lesser. This is EVERYTHING.

I get a little hysterical excited when I talk about Star Wars, because I love it so deeply and truly. Seriously. It’s Star Wars, I didn’t spend my childhood running around in the yard playing Batman VS Robin, OK? I didn’t manipulate my little sister into believing that a character who can’t speak was really super cool and she should totally pretend to be him so that I could be Damian Wayne. (Sometimes I think about our childhood and wonder why my sister even speaks to my brother and I, the making her be R2-D2 was symptomatic of how we treated her in general.)

No, I was a Star Wars kid. In middle school, when I learned one of my friends had never seen the movies but wanted to go see Episode II with me, I said, “NOPE, not allowed,” and forced her to have a 4 movie marathon in my basement, so that she could fully appreciate what we were going to see…that didn’t really work out, but that’s Episode II’s fault, for being basically unwatchable. (I will still be watching it come December.)

Star Wars is snuggling on the couch with my Dad while I covered my eyes at the stuff that freaked me out. (As previously chronicled, this wasn’t difficult as I was a chicken.) Star Wars was late night marathons with my cousins, and my first crush.

This Guy!

Him. I had a crush on Han Solo…and Indiana Jones…and Linus from the Sabrina remake (THE ONLY ACCEPTABLE THING ABOUT THE SABRINA REMAKE)…and just Harrison Ford

Star Wars was waiting in line with my sister for Episode III and Christmas mornings because it was what we all felt like watching. Star Wars is my dream Cosplay. (Hoth Leia…I could probably pull it off now, but I want to be a certain size…it’s a motivating factor.) Star Wars is a series of choreographed play light saber battles in my cousin’s basement with everyone taking turns who would be Luke and who would be Vader.

The point is that Star Wars is important to me.

I had a feeling that we’d get something this week, coming out of The Star Wars Celebration, but I didn’t expect a new trailer, I really didn’t. I figured it would premier before Age of Ultron, because Disney loves Synergy so much. (I am looking forward to seeing it before Ultron, because, come on, you know it’ll be there.)

But this teaser, this beautiful wonderful teaser, with it’s light sabers and it’s Mark Hamill narration, and Harrison Ford pop ups and perfect music cues, and beautiful everything about it.

You know what, let’s just watch it again. And again. And again.

“Chewie…we’re home.” #Chewiewerehome, I’m making this a thing.