“Goodbye Whitney of Old”

FullSizeRender(3)Whitney and I have been living together for over 4 months now and one thing I learned pretty quick is that this girl loves her some Elton John.  So this quick ode goes out to my sweet Whitney who turned a quarter of a century yesterday.  It won’t make much sense to anyone but Whitney and it may not even make sense to her, so excuse this bit of nonsense and Happy Birthday, Whitney!

Goodbye Whitney of Old
(to the tune of “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”)

So you think that you’re getting old?
You’re still only twenty-five
You still have time to party
Still lots of time to jive

You know there’s still lots to binge
Lots of movies to see
I need you to see me through all of this viewing
You’re just too young to be singing the aging blues

So goodbye Whitney of old
Where Simba was your main man
There’s got to be someone who’s better
A Marvel Chris or a Dan

Back to the yowling Brendans in jungles
Powerline fans who love Roxannes
I think you’ll finally find your future lies
Beyond the Whitney of old

Look at how much you’ve changed now
You watch Brits who bake pavlovas
The girl who hates those Hallmark movies
Has suddenly found the love

You even like dragons and imps now
Jon Snows and Starks and Hounds
Okay so that doesn’t sound all that grown up
But I had to incorporate Thrones somehow

So goodbye Whitney of old
Where Simba was your main man
There’s got to be someone who’s better
A Marvel Chris or a Dan

Back to the yowling Brendans in jungles
Powerline fans who love Roxannes
I think you’ll finally find your future lies
Beyond the Whitney of old.

Ellen

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Get with the Program: Home Town

home townAirs: Tuesdays at 10:00/9:00c on HGTV

TV show equationHome Town  =  Fixer Upper – 1/2 Asian – Texas + Mississippi

Premise in a Sentence:  Fixer Upper in Mississippi.

Really, I just wanted to use this post as a way to tell all of my Fixer Upper fans that if you aren’t watching Home Town, you should be.  But I guess I can go a little more in depth.

The show follows Erin and Ben Napier as they try and save their small town of Laurel, Mississippi by renovating one house at a time.  She is a designer and he is the handyman.  Sound familiar?  This show was always going to be compared to it’s Texan cousin, mainly because it is obviously HGTV’s attempt to recapture that Fixer Upper magic.  I am happy to report that it holds up pretty well in comparison.  I am even going to make a bold statement and say that the Napiers have had a more promising start than the Gaines’.  Have you ever gone back and watched those early episodes of Fixer Upper?  It’s disconcerting.  Chip is not his Chip-py self, he barely even cares about demo day, and Joanna is clearly uncomfortable on camera.  Not so with the Napiers.  They had the banter and dorky humor down pretty quick, perhaps because they had a pretty good example of a winning formula.

homeBen Napier is not quite as entertaining Chip, but his resourcefulness makes up for it in my book.  He is quite the Mr. Fix-It and seems more than capable when it comes to building furniture, restoring construction, and coming up with solutions to make Erin’s designs work.  Erin’s design aesthetic has a nice lived-in element to it, but it has variety.  Every project thus far has felt different while still having her stamp on it.  The best way I can describe it is that she seems to like a lot of stuff on the walls, but in a good way.  The town of Laurel seems to have more of a small town quality than Waco and the houses have more historic character.

Like I said, it’s pretty hard not to compare the two, but both shows come out of the comparison in good shape.  Part of me wonders if they should have just gone the Flip or Flop way and just called this Fixer Upper: Mississippi, but I am happy to see seemingly nice people get their own platform.  Fixer Upper is always going to be my go-to HGTV viewing, but I am happy to have Home Town in the off season.

Ellen

Grade A, Choice Picks: Ellen’s Most Anticipated Movies of Summer 2017

May is upon us and you know what that means, children?  We are officially in the summer movie season!  Even better news, the lineup this year looks fairly promising.  There are still a lot of sequels but even those seem to be bringing something new to the table for their respective franchises.  With that, let’s take a look at the top 10 movies that I am most looking forward to seeing this summer.

10. King Arthur (May 12) Look.  At the very least, Charlie Hunnam.  On top of that, though, Guy Ritchie makes a fun movie and I have always been a fan of the Camelot mythology.  The trailers weren’t getting me super pumped, but the early rumblings are that this is a surprisingly great movie and should be a good time at the movies.  Plus, Charlie Hunnam.

9. The Big Sick (June 23) I always have to have at least one Sundance darling.  This film is about a Pakistani stand-up comic who falls for a white girl and struggles with telling his parents about her.  He further has to navigate his feelings when she becomes sick and falls into a coma.  Kumail Nanjiani and his wife Emily V. Gordon wrote this movie together based on their own relationship and they are utterly charming together on their podcast The Indoor Kids.  I think this one will be a nice reprieve from all the shoot ’em, blow ’em up we have on the docket this summer.

8. Dunkirk (July 21) This one doesn’t look it will be particularly fun to watch, but I am excited to see Christopher Nolan bring his touch to a war movie.  The approach that he is using to tell the story of this event by showing it from three different POVs of land, air, and sea has the feel of a mini Band of Brothers to me and that only further intrigues me.

7. Baywatch (May 25)  Could this be a trainwreck? Yes.  But I think it is more likely to be a pretty fun summer comedy.  Some recent TV spots that I have seen with Zac Efron in drag going “undercover” have me a little worried about the caliber of comedy we will be dealing with, but I am hoping it goes more in the direction of 21 Jump Street with irreverant and self-aware comedy.  You sort of have to with Baywatch, right?

6. Alien: Covenant (May 19) I am not always huge on “scary” or jump scares. Even though this looks like it will deliver both of those in spades, there’s no denying it also looks awesome.  Prometheus was both a hit and a miss with audiences, but this looks like it will be getting back to more of the intensity that Alien(s) delivered.  I may be watching with my hands over my eyes for half of it, but consider the ticket bought.

5. War for the Planet of the Apes (July 14) Both Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (don’t ask me which came first) were huge surprises for me.  What could have been quick money grabs on a pre-existing franchise ended up being very thoughtful films on the essence of “humanity” and a group of apes fighting for their right to it.

4. Spider-Man: Homecoming (July 7th) I think it is safe to say that I have developed into quite the Marvel fangirl over the past 15 years, so to see Spider-Man getting his “homecoming” is pretty exciting.  After seeing Tom Holland make his debut as the (age appropriate) web-slinger in Captain America: Civil War, I was even more excited.   Add a dash of John Hughesian high school comedy with a pinch of RDJ’s Iron Man and you have what should be a great addition to Marvel’s roster.

3. Wonder Woman (June 2) Diana, don’t let me down.  This movie might have taken my top place if not for the DCEU’s less than stellar showing thus far.  My faith is still with Wonder Woman, though.  The trailers seem promising and Gal Gadot was one of the few redeeming qualities about BvS: Dawn of Justice.  I’m rooting for you, so please, please don’t screw it up!

2. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (May 5)  I don’t know if I have made this clear yet, but I love Marvel movies and the first Guardians is my favorite Marvel movie, ergo, I am dang excited for this movie.  Early reports seem to indicate that this is not as great as the first, but not as great as the first is still pretty dang great in my book.  Already have my ticket to see it on Friday.

1. Baby Driver (June 28th) It’s always a safe bet that a new Edgar Wright movie will be number one on my list.  After SXSW, it is being touted as the action movie La La Land.  So, yeah, I’m in.  The premise of getaway listening to music to block out his tinnitus allows for the action sequences to all be set to music.  Did I already mention that I’m in?

-Ellen

 

Fangirly Icons: Madeline Kahn

In these divisive times, it is important to focus on just about anything else.  In keeping with Whitney’s inspirational post from yesterday, I thought I would start another new feature on here, Fangirly Icons.  Whitney and I are never short on awesomely amazing ladies who we look up to, so this should be no problem for us.

For this first foray, I wanted to highlight my literal favorite of all time, Madeline Kahn.  I recently did a binge of every Madeline Kahn movie I own and was again reminded of how amazingly talented she was and how little credit she seems to get for the groundbreaking work that she was doing as female comedic talent of the time.  She was doing broad, over-the-top comedy that still came off as understated and nuanced, doing silly comedy in an intelligent way.  She was able to be loud and brassy (Blazing Saddles), nagging and conservative (What’s Up, Doc?), reserved and disturbed (Clue), and cultured and refined, with a touch of animalistic (Young Frankenstein). She was often a featured player in her movie roles, most notably in her run of Mel Brooks movies, but no matter the size of her role, she always stood out.

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As a little girl watching these movies, I always loved seeing this beautiful, seemingly-sophisticated lady be just as silly (if not sillier) than the guys.  A woman who was described by all who knew her as shy and reserved, making jokes about “sausages” and “poo poo undies”.  She delivered dirty jokes with a graceful, knowing arched brow that seemed to dare the viewer to try and scorn her for it.  To that point, Madeline Kahn was once quoted as saying, “It’s acceptable for men to act the fool. When women try, they’re considered aggressive and opinionated.”

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It has only been within the past 10 years or so that people have finally begun discussing this phenomenon and we as a public are still working on recognizing that yes, women CAN be as funny as men.  In this humble writer’s opinion, Madeline Kahn was being funnier than men 50 years ago.

Ellen

The Fangirly Show: Episode #12 Fangirling About Stranger Things

Whitney and Ellen get back at it after their summer hiatus by talking about the summer’s most bingeable show, Stranger Things.  80’s nostalgia, conspiracy theory, Winona Ryder, and a hot dad sheriff, it’s all here.  Plus, we delve into how the Netflix model is changing how we watch TV, for better or for worse.  As always, Whitney tries to embarrass Ellen in a new game, this time quizzing her on Netflix taglines.

You can listen and subscribe HERE on iTunes, (NEW!!) on Google Play, or you can go HERE to listen and let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Stranger things

A Fangirly Birthday Tribute: Whitney’s 2016 Gifture Book

There once was a normal girl who lived on a normal street went to her normal school and had a normal day.  She even had a normal name of Whitney.

sweatpants

 

One day, Whitney came home to her normal house and began her normal evening routine wishing she could have something other than normal.

reading

What this normal girl didn’t know was that she was destined for greatness and would soon be a member of the coolest, most exclusive club there is: The Society for Exceptional Ladies.

what-boom

As Whitney laid her normal head on her normal pillow, she was pulled out of her bed by masked figures.

scared

 

 

They instructed her to be quiet as they put a black bag over her head.  shocked cat

They seemed to be taking her somewhere and before long she was made to sit in a chair.

Scared and shocked

“Where am I?  Who are you?  Is this a Saw-type situation?  Because I will have you know that I am well trained in the horror movie genre and know how to handle any situation you throw at me?”

kill you

As her hood was pulled off, Whitney saw she was sitting on a chair in the middle a darkened room with only a single light bulb hanging over her.  She could see others standing in the shadows, but decided to first deal with the person standing directly behind her.

Come at me bro

“This isn’t a horror movie, Whitney.  You’ve been selected for The Society for Exceptional Ladies.”

excitement

The woman came around to face her.

“The Society…. wait.  Are you Peggy Carter?”

ac2

“Yes, I have nominated you for the society based on your general badassery and for always fighting for superior representation of women in superhero movies.”

ac 3

Whitney was still in a state of shock but managed, “Batman v. Superman was a bit of a mess, right?  They should never have cancelled you, Peggy.”

ac

“Sorry,” Whitney said.  “I didn’t mean to bring up a touchy subject.”

Peggy shrugged and moved back into the shadows as two more figures came out into the light.

ta

“Tina and Amy?” Whitney exclaimed.

“Yes, it is…we.  We have nominated you for your hilariousity and your ability to always make your cousin laugh.  Without fail.”

anigif_enhanced-buzz-24304-1419268580-4

They moved back into the shadows as a Tina of a different variety emerged.

tina fall

“I have nominated you for respecting the male form, especially those of the famous variety.  And especially their butts.”

tina butt

“It has been my absolute pleasure,” said Whitney.

wink

Over the course of the next hour, several more extraordinary ladies came forward.

Rey nominated Whitney for her never needing a guy to hold her hand.

Rey

Veronica Mars nominated her for being as sassy as all get out.

vm

Penny Hartz nominated her for always trying to make the best out of a bad situation.

penny

Jane Kerkovich Williams nominated her for owning up to her peculiarities.

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Alex Kerkovich nominated her for knowing the value of both TV and a well placed pop culture reference.

alex

Jane Austen nominated her for being one heck of a writer.

ja

The Clones nominated her for embracing all all aspects of her personality.

ob

Mindy nominated Whitney for knowing her self worth.

ass that wont quit

Kimmy Schmidt nominated her for always keeping it cool.

kimmy

And her cousin Ellen nominated her for being the best cousin, friend, psuedo sister, all-around-awesome person that a girl could ask for.

bad-max-side-five

(Oh, I’m sorry.  Did you not think I was going to be in this club?)

as if

Whitney accepted her new membership in the club with aplomb.

i do rock

She went on to eventually become the club’s president because even the most extraordinary of ladies had to recognize that Whitney was the most extraordinary of them all.

opera doc

THE END

Happy birthday, Whitney!  I agree with everything the extraordinary ladies said.

-Ellen

Let’s Read Comics: Mockingbird

dcmarvelHey, I get it.  Comics are hard.

Hollywood can’t seem to get enough superheroes and it would seem that I can’t either.  A few years ago, I wanted to go straight to the source to get my fix, but getting into comics can be… daunting.  Where do you start?  Do you have to start with #1? There are more than 10 different teams of Avengers?!  These are the questions that haunted me when I entered the fray.

In light of this, I thought I would start a new feature here on Fangirly where I try and help you read some comics by highlighting series that are easy to begin.  I am by no means a comic expert, but we can do break into this world together.

My first piece of advice on getting into comics:  Just jump on in.

The good news is that there are new series or runs starting up all the time, but I’ve also learned that you can jump into a series whenever.  They always give a suitable summary at the beginning of each issue and re-introduce characters regularly.  Also, let’s face it, the plots to comics aren’t that complex.  The name of the comic is usually the good guy, they are more often than not trying to save the city from a bad guy, and bad guys are distinguished by some sort of scar, snarl, or furrowed brow.

The most difficult thing about getting into comics is knowing which series to read, but only you can know the answer to that and you can only find out by trial and error.   If there is a character you like from the movies or TV shows, start there.  Go to a comic book store and browse for a character or even art that speaks to you.  Or even better yet, ask your trusty comic book store guy (or girl) for recommendations based on what you typically enjoy.  There is so many different stories, styles, and characters out there that you’re bound to find something. Soon enough, you will find your niches and be into comics!

mockingbirdFinally, on to my recommendation!

For me, I have found that my niche is sassy ladies who kick some butt, so I thought I would highlight my current favorite of that variety: Mockingbird.   This is a great series to help you get into comics because while the character of Mockingbird is not new to comics, this is her first stand alone series and it is soooo good.  The new series, written by Chelsea Cain with art by Kate Niemczyk, features agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Bobbi Morse who was recently injected with some experimental serums. As we know from other comic book stories,  that does not always work out well so Bobbi is being monitored by the S.H.I.E.L.D. medical clinic.  It is a lot of fun to see superhero medical pamphlets and cameos from some familiar faces in the waiting room.

Even more fun is the character of Bobbi herself, who is feisty, tough, but also vulnerable as she deals with the side effects of recent “enhancements”.  The series is “puzzle box” meaning that the issues will jump from story to story in a somewhat disjointed manner but ultimately culminating in an arc that will make more sense.  This could potentially be challenging to read as a series, but the individual issues are fun enough that it doesn’t bother me.  mockingbird2

I can’t recommend this series enough and really just more people to read it so I have someone to talk to about it.  Plus, this is a great series to break into because it is only 3 issues into the series, so go to your local comic book store or online comic reader and pick it up!  You won’t be disappointed (hopefully).

Do you have any favorite series?  What are you reading?  Is there one you want me to feature?  Let me know.