TV Raised Me, and I Feel Fine

I saw my brother for the first time in months this last weekend. As insufferable as we are as individual units, we’re exponentially worse when we get together. Every other word is an inside joke (Sleepy Richard, earning your lunch meat, Pretzel Boy, moving about the house), and all the words in between are movie and TV quotes. This earns us little respect from the people around us. But this sibling shorthand we’ve developed comes from a shared childhood experience: we were raised by TV.

To be clear, we had great parents. We were always clean (ish), well-fed, and adequately loved. But when both of your parents work full time, TV is often used to fill the gaps. And when you come from a family of renowned movie buffs, a certain level of cultural literacy is expected. The problem is, when people learn this about you, you get a very specific look. It’s a look that says, “I’m so sorry for your unfulfilled life”. My response usually reflects my impeccable upbringing and unimpeachable manners.

giphy

I appreciate your thinly veiled shade, but it is unnecessary. TV made me who I am, for better or worse. From a early age, I was exposed to movies and shows written by some of the cleverest people in the world.

200 (10)

I learned social graces.

200 (5)

I learned how to carefully formulate a snappy comeback.

200 (12)

I realized that not everyone can be trusted.

200 (4)

Sometimes these stories reflected my own experience.

200 (27)

And sometimes they didn’t.

200 (28)

But without them, I’d never be able to feel another person’s crushing disappointment.

200 (21)

Or mortal terror.

200 (22)

I wouldn’t know how it feels to watch someone you love die.

200 (24)

200 (23)

I’d never understand how it feels to lose everything you have.

200 (33)

Good TV, like a good book, gives us a window into another person’s experience,

200 (19)

and explore realities that otherwise wouldn’t exist.

200 (32)

TV made me empathetic, and forced me to experience emotions other than my own.

200 (16)

So don’t be worried that your kids watch TV. Worry about what they watch on TV. Make sure that what they watch reflects the kind of person you want them to be. If it doesn’t…

200

Make sure their shows are funny and smart.

200 (26)

Make sure that they are gaining experiences beyond their own.

200 (15)

And remind yourself to thank me later. I’ll wait.

200 (7)

Whitney Weldon

Advertisements

The Fangirly Show: Episode #3 Fangirling Over Halloween

With an early episode just in time for Halloween, Whitney and Ellen dish on all of their favorite spooky pop culture, including what they put on their Halloween playlists, the first movie to scare their socks off, and who from the horror villain gallery they would prefer to be their murderer.  Plus, Whitney throws out some crazy hypotheticals in a Halloween themed game of Would You Rather!

*NOTE: Listen for the PS at the end of the episode.
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.
FGHalloween

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

23 Times Liz Lemon Hit Too Close to Home

Lately, I have been re-watching 30 Rock, just because. It’s like one of those times when you meet up with an old friend and it is as if no time has passed. If anything, you just remember how awesome that friend is and how much you miss them.

While I have always identified with Liz Lemon, I am realizing that age is only bringing me further into my Liz Lemonhood.  Let’s explore.

1. Post work evenings are more like this:

liz lemon 4

2.  Whenever I put on makeup and my contacts I feel like this:

liz lemon 25

3.  If ever I have a conversation with a crush without wanting to cringe:

liz lemon

4.  Never knowing how to comfort people going through a hard time:

liz lemon 24

5.  Anytime I go to a sporting event: Continue reading

The Reviews Are In: The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

downloadWe’ve gotten to know each other pretty well by now, right? Ellen and I have publicized most of our pop-culture proclivities (ALLITERATION!), and we’ve held very little back. Here’s another confession for the books: we go bananas for 60’s spy thrillers. James Bond, Funeral in Berlin,  Notorious. The hairier the chest, the shorter the swim trunks, the happier we are. So when we heard about Guy Ritchie’s new spy thriller The Man from U.N.C.L.E, starring Henry Cavill (he of the chin that cuts glass) and Armie Hammer (he of cartoon eyelashes) we had difficulty keeping our trademark cool (joke).

kristen-wiig-freak-out

gif13-0-gif

anigif_enhanced-buzz-13468-1374782620-6

And believe me guys, this movie did not disappoint. Guy Ritchie understands that a spy movie is only as interesting as it’s man-from-uncle-2015-alicia-vikander
spies, so he gave us three of the most watchable spooks since… ever.

Henry Cavill plays Napoleon Solo, a Bond-type company man who is carrying out a sentence of indentured servitude to the CIA. In an effort to avert a nuclear apocalypse (as per ushe) he teams up with (gasp!) KGB Special Agent Illya (Armie Hammer) and East Berlin refugee Gaby (Alicia Vikander). World saving ensues.

I’ll be the first to admit that the story here is a little light. But the movie is so stylish and fun to watch, I found myself not caring. The dynamic between Nalopeon and Illya is hysterical (you know, typical American-Russian tom-foolery), and Armie Hammer and Alicia Vikander have some of the best on-screen chemistry I’ve seen in a while. My only Man-from-Uncle-Movie-2015-Elizabeth-Debicki-Victoria-Vinciguerracomplaint? Resident super-villain Victoria (Elizabeth Debicki) didn’t really strike fear into my heart as I’m sure was intended. More Femme Fatigue than Femme Fatale, if you feel me. Also, Jared Harris should be legally prohibited from doing an American accent. Ever.

I know this movie has snatched some pretty mixed reviews, but I’m begging you to go see it. I promise it will be the most fun you’ll have at the movies this summer.

Whitney

Early Reviews for Fantastic Four are in…

fantastic-four-kate-mara-invisible-woman…And it’s pretty much just as I expected. Reviews have been mixed, but most critics say the reboot hasn’t significantly improved or innovated the franchise. Even before it hit most theaters, the movie garnered a measly 10% on Rotten Tomatoes. A. O. Scott of the New York Times said:

“‘Fantastic Four’, despite the dogged efforts of its talented young cast, has nothing. The special effects are at about the level of the early “Harry Potter” movies — lots of glowing green clouds and ice-blue bolts and force fields. The human drama is meager. Once again, the only real pathos belongs to Mr. Bell’s Ben, who finds himself trapped in a stony new body and weaponized by a ruthless government. Mr. Teller stretches, not as an actor but as a digitally enhanced body. Mr. Jordan burns in the same way, and Ms. Mara disappears. Her character also has the power to make other things vanish. I would say she should have exercised it on this movie, but in a week or two that should take care of itself.”

(Ouch. Here’s a link to the full review in case you enjoy a good crucifixion).

Even though I fully expected to be underwhelmed by this movie, I’m still disappointed. Mostly, I just hope that filmmakers screen_shot_2015-01-27_at_9.32.47_amwho plan to tackle the superhero genre will take something from this: a story doesn’t necessarily need to be dark and gritty to be complex and momentous. Taking this goofy coterie of heroes and simply mixing in some post-adolescent angst is lazy film-making and, from what I can tell, not very true to the source material. These characters- a stretchy professor, invisible lady, human matchstick, and rock monster- are just too whimsical to be taken so seriously. That’s at least something that the first FF movies, despite their many flaws, understood pretty well.

A full Fangirly review is forthcoming, but in the meantime, tell us what you think in our comment section, on Twitter @fangirly2, or email us at fangirlyfangirls@gmail.com.

Whitney

Sweet Streams: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

unbreakable_kimmy_schmidt_a_lNetflix released the first season of their new show Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt today, so of course, I have already watched the whole thing.  And I loved it.  That is going to be pretty much a guarantee if you attach Tina Fey to a new project.  Tina and fellow 30 Rock executive producer Robert Carlock bring us this new show about an unbreakable girl named Kimmy Schmidt (get it?) who moves to New York for a fresh start after being released from an underground bunker where she has been living for 15 years with her apocalypse cult sisters.  Did you follow that?

Admittedly, I wasn’t immediately sold on this show after the first episode, but much like 30 Rock and every other comedy, it really finds its groove as it moves along.  Ellie Kemper is utterly charming as the titular Kimmy, who is just rife with sunny optimism, 90’s pop culture knowledge, and a middle school naivete (she was kidnapped 15 years ago, remember?).  The rest of the cast gets plenty time to shine with Tituss Burgess as Titus Andromedon, Kimmy’s new roommate, Carol Kane as Lillian, their eccentric landlord, and Jane Krakowski as Jenna Maroney, I mean, Jacqueline Voorhees, Kimmy’s rich boss who hires her as a nanny.

The best praise I can give this show, though, is that it is very similar to 30 Rock in it’s pacing and humor with the sunny optimism of Parks and Recreation.  If you know me at all, you know that is high praise indeed.  The jokes are rapid fire, making rewatchability high, the guest stars are high caliber (I wouldn’t dare spoil some of them for you), the pop culture references are a plenty (the Olsen twins are actually the Olsen octuplets), and there are  moments so bizarre that they rival “Werewolf Bar Mitzvah” (VH3’s Joe Invisible Millionaire, anyone?).  Kimmy, who responds to someone calling her a bitch with “A female dog? The thing that makes puppies?”, has the same can-do spirit as Leslie Knope.  Also, at first glance she may be misjudged as weak given the whole cult thing, but really she is a strong, independent woman who doesn’t get taken down easily.  Also, if you like snappy theme songs that are based on fake viral videos, then this is the show for you.

To sum it all up, I’m already eager for season 2 (the only issue I have with the Netflix model of entire seasons at once) and I recommend that you join me in the wait.

Ellen