The Fangirly Show: Episode #6 Fangirling Over the Best of 2015

Ellen and Whitney go through their favorites of 2015, everything ranging from books to music, movies and TV, performances and scenes.  We’ve got you covered.  Will Ellen go a full hour without talking about Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.?  (Don’t count on it.)  Will Whitney be able to overlook the swooniness of Oscar Isaac?  (Don’t put money on it.)  But still listen to find out.

You can listen and subscribe HERE on iTunes or you can go HERE to listen and let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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10 TV Couples That Are My Relationship Goals

There are many relationships on TV but only few are chosen… by me to someday emulate.  Many are fraught with drama and while those are fun to watch, I hope to someday have one that is more like the following:

10.  Monica and Chandler (Friends) – These two were my first OTP (internet speak for “One True Pairing”).  Shmoss and Shmachel, I only cared about Monica and Chanandler Bong.  I like that his amount of dorky is the perfect match to her amount of crazy.

monica and chandler

9.  Bob and Linda Belcher (Bob’s Burgers) – The Belchers are not only a relationship goal but a family goal.  Someday I hope to raise a similar band of weirdos.  Bob and Linda stick together and accept each other’s eccentricities amidst all the chaos.

8.  Jim Halpert and Pam Beasley (The Office) – Speaking of chaos, in a different bunch of weirdos, these two found each other.  They might have had a few (infuriating) bumps along the way to find each other but they did it.  I always loved that their relationship felt real.  They initially bonded over shared jokes and stayed together through hard work. Continue reading

Choice Picks: If You Don’t Like These Movies, We Probably Can’t be Friends

Making friends as an adult can be fraught with drama and disappointment. I can’t count the number of times I’ve gotten excited about a burgeoning friendship, only to find that the person’s favorite show is Criminal Minds or (heaven forbid)  Angel. It’s a struggle to which we can all relate. So to guard myself from forming platonic attachments I’d live to regret, I developed this friendship litmus test. The idea is that I expose this potential pal to the movies that are, essentially, celluloid chunks of my very soul, and if their response is less than enthusiastic, I cut ’em loose. It sounds mean, but I’m really just saving everyone’s time. Let’s dig in.

super-85. Super 8 (2011)

Super 8 is pretty much everything I ever wanted in a movie: 70’s nostalgia, aliens, Kyle Chandler being a dad, 12-year-olds swearing. This movie came out during the same summer that brought us Bridesmaids, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, and X-Men: First Class, and for me, it eclipsed all of them. When I FORCE a friend to watch this movie, I pay close attention to their face during the scene where Joel Courtney sacrifices his dead mother’s locket to help a wayward alien get back home; if they are not weeping without restraint, I don’t see much of a future for us.

4. Wayne’s Worldwaynes-world-2-20090512040018349-000

Approximately 90 percent of everything that comes out of my mouth is a direct quote from this movie. Last Christmas, my mother handed me a gift and my knee-jerk response was “If this is a severed head, I’m going to be very upset”. That is a true story. So I’m not saying that people who don’t like this movie aren’t cool (out loud), but if you don’t know this film inside and out, there will probably be an insurmountable language barrier between us. Alas.

1450660-7_evil_ex_boyfriends_scott_pilgrim_vs_the_world3. Scott Pilgrim V. The World

This is a fairly recent addition to the list. I coerced a friend into watching this only last February and TO MY HORROR this schlemiel fell asleep half way through. When questioned, their response was “it was kind of stupid”. I have never been so personally offended by a critique of another persons work in my life. Too irate for words. Scott Pilgrim is a lot of things, and stupid is not one of them. This is one of the densest scripts ever to be committed to film; the jokes are so smart and packed in so tightly that most of them are missed on the first viewing. Haters can kindly step to the left. Right off a cliff.

2. The OrphanageBest-Movie-Ghosts-Demons-Tomas-The-Orphanage

This movie serves a duel purpose. One, it tells me what kind horror viewer a person is. Do they shriek in my ear? Do they claw at me during the scary parts? Can they conduct themselves with composure befitting a grown-up when the old lady in the goggle glasses pops out of nowhere? Two, is this the kind of person who whines about subtitles? Not that I’m one of those Art-House-Foreign-Film Elitists, but come on. It’s fifth grade level reading. Suck it up.

Unbreakable1. Unbreakable

I caught this movie while channel surfing after school one afternoon and decided, at the tender age of 11, that this was about as good as a movie gets. Its a non-comic based superhero movie about a man (Bruce Willis) who realizes that he can’t be hurt. It’s dark and terse and such a slow burn. If a friend trusts me enough to sit through 45 minutes of character development and backstory to reach this beautiful pay-off, I can see us going the distance. In friendship terms.

Whitney

Choice Picks: The Entertainment Podcasts You Should Be Listening to (According to Whitney)

My name is Whitney, and I work… in an office.

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Everyday presents a new challenge.

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And my co-workers are great.

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In general, it’s just a really fulfilling way to make a living.

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But sometimes, even your dream job can be invaded by occasional moments of tedium and drudgery. I know it’s hard to believe that ennui can set in when you’re making 300 copies of a 90 page, 2-sided insurance document, but it can happen. To combat that, I developed a passionate relationship with podcasts and I’d like to share with you what I’ve learned. Here are the top five podcasts to get you through the workday, according to me (aka The Final Word).

posterBlacklist5. The Black List Table Reads

I like to believe that one day, technology will provide me a way to sit at my desk and watch movies all day while appearing only marginally unproductive. The Blacklist Table Reads is the closest thing we have in 2015. It’s essentially a recorded table read of awesome unproduced scripts, performed by some surprisingly big names. Paul Sheer, June Diane Raphael, Rose McIver, and Parminder Nagra are just a few of the many voices you’ll recognize. If you have even the remotest interest in movies, Black List Table Reads should be a safe bet for you.

4. Science V.

Ok, this one isn’t, strictly speaking, an entertainment podcast. It is, however, absurdly entertaining. This show takes 6507062-3x2-700x467popular science fads and pins them against hard scientific data. Before you panic, it’s not remedial Statistics. The format is really engaging and host Wendy Zukerman feels like a BFF waiting to happen. So far, the show has tackled e-cigarettes, race, the female brain, and lots more. Season one just concluded, but that means all of season one is locked, loaded, and ready to binge.

1435103169-tumblr_np69fuubcu1sez6y5o1_5003. Mystery Show

This one is slightly harder to synopsize. It’s sort of like if Veronica Mars were a Wes Anderson movie. It’s a show that ostensibly solves a weekly mystery, but the mysteries are less whodunnit and more “exactly how tall is Jake Gyllenhaal?”. Not kidding about that. It’s laughably addictive. Just trust me.

2. This is Actually Happeningcover170x170

Another entertaining, non-entertainment podcast. I stumbled across this one by accident and became hooked, in spite of myself. It’s people, just ordinary people, sharing stories. The stories themselves can often be hard to listen to, and a few are admittedly very disturbing. It’s sort of like being at a sleep over, post-3 am. You know, when everyone is talking and sharing intimate details about themselves, and suddenly someone tells the most insane, personal, unbelievable anecdote and no one ever mentions it again? It’s like that.

CHqFPsVWcAIII3l1. Pop Rocket

Pop Rocket is my salvation. Everything I need, I can get from one weekly dose of this show. It’s a round table homage to all things pop culture, hosted by the ineffably charming and hilarious Guy Branum. Every panelist has a particular area of expertise: Guy the Comedian, Wynter Mitchell the Media Strategist, Oliver Wang the Academic, and Margaret Wappler the Journalist. They are all so well spoken, so smart, and so distinctive that they warrant a dedicated Fangirly post of their own (but who has THE TIME?). Point is, you could spend your day trying to make small talk at dinguses with whom you share a work-space, or you could listen to interesting people talk about their passions. I leave it to you.

-Whitney

 

 

 

Grade A, Choice Picks: Ellen’s Most Anticipated Movies of Summer 2015

Maybe you can’t tell from this blog, but I am a bit of an indoor kid, so I will be spending most of summer bingeing “crap” television (i.e. amazing television) and going to the movies.  Granted, the “official” summer movie season has already begun and at least three movies that would have made this list have already come out: Avengers: Age of Ultron (awesome), Pitch Perfect 2 (fun), and Mad Max: Fury Road (epic awesomeness).  But I’m getting the list out before June, which seems like the actual start of summer, so cut me some slack.

Honorable Mentions: Vacation (July 29), Magic Mike XXL (July 1), Dope (June 19), Mr. Holmes (July 17), Paper Towns (July 24), Minions (July 10), The Fantastic Four (August 7)

masterminds10. Masterminds (August 19) Not a lot out for this one yet, but a movie starring Zach Galifianakis and Kristen Wiig as bank robbers and Jason Sudeikis with a ‘stache?  That will at least guarantee a good time even if it ends up not being any good.

9. The Diary of a Teenage Girl (August 7) The trailer for this Sundance darling just dropped this week and it seems to be my brand of quirky and weird.  I am also a sucker for a good coming of age summer movie.  I am not going to even touch the skeevy Alexander Skarsgard, even if I may want to with some degree of shame.

8.  Spy (June 5) The track record of Paul Feig and Melissa McCarthy teaming up for a summer comedy is pretty stellar and I am quite excited to see a comedic Jason Statham and Jude Law.  The summer season is not a place for your broody period dramas.  Give me a lot big action sequences or a lot laughs and I’m happy.  I get both with this one.

n-MISSION-IMPOSSIBLE-ROGUE-NATION-large5707. Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (July 31) Little bit about my family, my dad is a pilot and any time there is a plane in a movie, he is bound to be complaining about the inaccuracies.  Any time I see that trailer with Tom Cruise hanging off the side of that plane, I can hear my dad screaming in my head.  The M:I movies may be a bit inaccurate, but they are always a good time.

6. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (June 12) I recently went to an even where they were handing out promotional items for this movie.  I was quite pleased to be intrigued by the trailer for the movie that is plastered on my new towel and beach chair.  Another quirky coming of age story (see number 9).

5. Jurassic World (June 12) If you know me at all, it will come a surprise that I am putting Chris Pratt at number five, but even the glory of Chris Pratt leading a pack of velociraptors apparently couldn’t surpass my excitement for the top 4.

manfromuncle4. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (August 14) Guy Ritchie movies tend to have a particular cool vibe that speaks to me and this one looks even more fun than most.  The movie looks good, but do you know what looks really good?  Henry Cavill.

3. Inside Out (June 19) Even better than Paul Feig and Melissa McCarthy’s track record is Pixar’s.  A Pixar movie fronted by Amy Poehler about a teen girl’s emotions is sure to be an Ellen-pleaser if maybe not a crowd-pleaser, but it will probably be a crowd-pleaser, too.

2.  Ant-Man (July 17) I feel like I can just leave it at “Paul Rudd in a Marvel movie”, but I’ll try to say a little more.  The movie may have a bit of a storied production process, but remember that at this same time last year everybody was referring to Guardians of the Galaxy as “that Marvel space movie”.

trainwreck-trailer-pic1. Trainwreck (July 17) Bit of a disclaimer: I recently binge watched all of Inside Amy Schumer, so I am on a bit of Amy Schumer kick.  The movie is also getting some good buzz from it’s SXSW premiere.  At this point in my life, Amy Schumer and Bill Hader in a romantic comedy is probably going to be number one in my book, so I just went ahead and put it at number one.

Ellen

Grade A, Choice Picks: Top Dogs in Pop Culture

The readers of this blog can be split into two camps: those who we know in real life and those who we don’t.  I think we are now to the point where we have more stranger-danger-readers, which is awesome!  If you DO know me in person, this will not be news to you because I have not stopped instagramming pictures, but this past week I got a puppy and named him Steve!

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As you can see, he is pretty much the cutest thing ever.  However, he is also a massive time suck so I have had little time to think of anything but dogs.  That being said, I give you a list of my favorite dogs from pop culture.  I know that some of you are going to give me grief for leaving off some of the more iconic pop pups so I have made sure to include them in the honorable mentions.

Honorable Mentions: Pluto, Scooby Doo, Tramp from Lady and the Tramp, Chance and Shadow from Homeward Bound, Hooch from Turner and Hooch, the 101 Dalmatians, Beethoven from Beethoven, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Blue from Blue’s Clues, and Nana from Peter Pan

10. Ren from The Ren & Stimpy Show – Sure, he’s got some anger management issues but I’m pretty sure that I would too if I was always having to put up with Stimpy’s “happy, happy, joy, joy” “eediot” schtick.  I respect occasional control and this is coming from someone who doesn’t usually like chihuahuas.

triumph-insult-comic-dog9. Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog – Right along with Ren, Triumph doesn’t take any crap and, in fact, will insult you right to your face.  Whether he is calling out nerds at the premiere of a Star Wars movie or humping fellow dogs at the Westminster Dog Show, Triumph’s humor is always biting and not in the way that is going to get him sent to the dog pound.

8. Snoopy – As my new little buddy is a beagle, I have a newfound respect for this ace flying pooch.  I suppose I have an affinity for wise-cracking dogs because Snoopy is also not a dog to be pushed around.  He isn’t one to take Lucy’s ribbing lying down and he doesn’t have much respect for his owner, but then who does?

airbudgoldenreceiver_photo_037. Air Bud –  What other dog can play basketball, football, soccer, baseball, and volleyball?  And yes, those are all real movies in which a dog plays all those sports.  That happened. Makes you feel pretty lame about your dog, huh?  Oh, big deal, your dog can play dead?  Air Bud can make the penalty kick that wins the championship game.  Probably.  I don’t know for sure.  I didn’t actually watch any of these movies.

6. Brian from Family Guy – There are few dogs out there with the class and sophistication of Brian.  This dog can croon with the likes of Frank Sinatra Jr., get some serious tail from a myriad of pretty hot chicks, travel through space and time with Stewie, and may someday finish that book he has been working on.

ScreenShot2013-04-03at4_38_48PM_crop_exact5. Hercules from The Sandlot – The dog, the myth, the legend.  This poor guy gets quite the bad reputation for being a man-eating beast from hell who got locked up FOR-EV-ER when in actuality he is just a protective, slobbery softy with an affinity for baseballs signed by the Great Bambi.  “That wimpy deer?”

4. Dug from Up – There is no other dog in pop culture that more perfectly captures the happy-go-lucky loyalty of real life dogs.  He instantly loves people upon meeting them and he is always on the lookout for squirrels, just like pretty much every dog I have ever met.  Dug and his high tech speaking collar perfectly give voice to dogs everywhere.

wishbone as robin hood3. Wishbone – This Jack Russel Terrier has played Tom Sawyer, Romeo, Sherlock Holmes, Rip Van Winkle, Mr. Darcy and Ichabod Crane, to name a few.  I would like to see you get that kind of range from another dog, let alone another human.  He’s basically this generation’s Laurence Olivier.

2. Rowlf from The Muppets – I may be in the minority but Rowlf has always been my favorite Muppet, both as a puppy on Muppet Babies (I watched that show so hard as a kid) and an adult dog.  He is a cool cucumber who always keeps it together despite the madcap shenanigans that the Muppets get into.  As long as he’s got his piano and deadpan sense of humor, it’s all good, baby.

Gromit_thumbs_up1. Gromit from Wallace & Gromit – I considered naming my puppy Gromit, that is how much I love this claymation pooch.  Gromit is far too wise for his dorky owner but that doesn’t stop him from being a loyal pet.  Gromit faithfully protects Wallace from a thieving penguin, a sheep-napping cyber dog, and a were-rabbit and is still able to kick back and share some cheese with his “old chum”.

I know that nobody is going to agree with me on the ranking, but who is your favorite pop pup?  Feel free to leave comments about how cute my puppy is.

Ellen

Fictional Music Groups it’s Totally OK to Listen to Unironically

Mandonna (Happy Endings)

To this day, Mandonna’s rendition of “Like a Prayer” is the most hauntingly beautiful I’ve ever heard. Also, I love that they hum the intro for almost a full minute to give Penny (Casey Wilson) time to do the murderball bit. Team Friendship!

Robin Sparkles (How I Met Your Mother)

Phhfff. Like I needed an excuse to put on jelly bracelets and my cool graffiti coat.

Powerline (A Goofy Movie)

Wouldn’t it be, like, completely insane if I crafted this entire post for the sole purpose of posting another Poweline video? …Seriously, would it?

The Barden Bellas/ The Treblemakers (Pitch Perfect)

The Bellas and the Trebles make those Glee weirdos look like the S Club 7 of acapella.

The Sapphires (The Sapphires)

Fun Fact: The sapphires were an actual girl group that sang for the troops in Vietnam, but those chicks never put out a record on iTunes, so we must settle for the soundtrack version. And by settle I mean put it on repeat.

Billie Piper (Surprisingly, a real pop star)

When Robin Freaking Sparkles is a more realistic teen pop icon than you, your act must be remarkably whack. But clearly she did something right because I own, umm, three of her records.

Mouse Rat (Parks and Recreation)

I bet we all thought that there was no way Lady Di could ever be one-upped by a mini-horse. Then this happened.

Sex Bob-Omb (Scott Pilgrim V. The World)

I want to have this band’s adopted babies.

I am so in lesbians with this band

They are Sex Bob-Omb and they are here to sell out and make money and stuff.

(If that cluster-quote made no sense to you, you need to get less of a life).

Whitney