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

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Fangirly Investigates: Can There Be a Perfect Series Finale?

fans-are-not-happy-with-the-how-i-met-your-mother-series-finaleSeriously, is it even possible?

Last night, 9 seasons of How I Met Your Mother culminated in an hour long series finale.  The episode began with Ted Mosby still never having even laid eyes on the titular mother, so I went into already concerned.  How were they going to give me all of the moments that I wanted to see between Ted and the mother?  It just wasn’t possible.

SPOILERS FOLLOW: My worst fears were realized.

Bummer #1) After a season of Barney and Robin’s wedding, we find out that 3 years later they got a divorce.

Bummer #2) Robin gets too preoccupied with her job and basically never sees the gang anymore, breaking Lily’s heart (and mine).

Bummer #3) The mother dies.  Yeah, you read that right.  On a show called How I Met Your freaking Mother, the mother dies.

Bummer #4) After sitting through 9 seasons worth of story telling, Ted’s kids tell him that it is so obvious why he has been telling them all these stories.  It has not been to tell them how he met their mother, but how he may still have feelings for their “Aunt Robin”.  This was mainly a bummer because I never really “got” Ted and Robin.

Last Forever Part OneWhilst I am beginning to come around to the finale a little bit more, I was initially crushed.  This entire show has been building up to Ted meeting his soul mate, the one.  Or at least that is what I thought.

I have to at least respect that they hoodwinked all of us, because, yes, in theory it makes sense that this has been leading up to Ted ending up with Robin seeing as how the show has mainly centered on their on again, off again thing.

SPOILERS OVER

Mainly, the finale got me thinking about series finales in general.  Has there ever been one that has been universally adored?  In short, no.

I have to imagine that this is in part due to the fact that when you build a relationship, whether in real life or with a TV show (personally, my favorite kind of relationship), and you loved that person/show, the goodbye is always going to be the hardest part.

That is why I am trying to look on the HIMYM finale with some optimism and instead think of all the good times we had.   And not that I wanted to throw my TV out the window over this crushing major disappointment (*salute* Major Disappointment.)

Ellen

Grade A, Choice Picks: Top Christmas Episodes

Today, I give you my list of Christmas episodes.  This list is almost impossible to whittle down to just 10, so I made this a list of 15.  Also, I tried to keep the list to just one episode per show.  Some of these, I haven’t watched in a long time and some are brand new additions to the Holiday Episode list. Keep in mind that I don’t watch every show and I am very biased in my selection of the “best holiday episodes ever”, but I think you can enjoy my list regardless.

15. “The 23rd” New Girl: Season 1 – Nick really fouls things up when he tells Jess’ current boyfriend that she is not in love with him.  The real Christmas magic is when Nick wakes up the most decorated neighborhood in town, Candy Cane Lane, to turn on all of their lights to cheer her up.  Is it any wonder why these two are together now?

how.i.met.your.mother.11120514. “Symphony of Illumination” How I Met Your Mother: Season 7 – Definitely the biggest bummer episode on the list, but that is what makes this episode so great.  Robin takes the narrating reins and tells the story of when she thought she was pregnant to what turn out to be her imaginary children.  You see, Robin finds out that she cannot have children.  The true Christmas spirit comes when Ted cheers her up without knowing why she needs cheering up by setting up an elaborate Christmas light routine.

13. “Christmas Party Sex Trap” The Mindy Project: Season 2  Yes, this just aired, but hello!  Did you see Chris Messina dance to Aaliyah?  Yeah.  And if that weren’t enough, Mindy and Danny almost kiss!

Bones12. “Santa in the Slush” Bones: Season 3 – Ah, the good old days when the only person getting into the Bones-Booth mix was Caroline bribing them into kissing under the mistletoe. I love Caroline. While the whole first-kiss aspect really helps, this is also just a pretty good Christmas episode. You have the gore and mystery with a dead Santa in a sewer, you have the funny with Booth having to sniff Santas, you have the whimsy with Santa’s apartment above a toy store, and you have the touching with Booth giving Brennan her Christmas tree. Le sigh.

11. “Christmas Special” 30 Rock: Season 3 – In my book, it doesn’t get much better than Liz Lemon ruining Christmas for some kids and Jack finding out that his mom took F.A.O. Schwartz as her gentlemen lover (“Uhh that word bums me out unless it’s between the words meat and pizza”) to make Christmas for him as a kid.

Parks-Recreation-Christmas-Episode-Pictures10. “Citizen Knope” Parks and Recreation: Season 4 – It shouldn’t be surprising that the merriest show on television is good at doing a Christmas episode.  Sure enough, in true Parks and Recreation style, this episode is hilarious and sweet.  Leslie is in the midst of her suspension after it is revealed that she and Ben are dating. Leslie is obviously the best at gift giving, but the parks department wants to make up some of the difference.  When her campaign team bails after low approval numbers, they give her the best gift of all!

9. “Afternoon Delight” Arrested Development: Season 2 – Ah, Christmas. The time of year when you have parties on Bethlehem time, sing about daytime lovin’ with your niece, and let kids get their grubby little hands all over a $3000 dollar suit. Come on!

8. “The Polarizing Express” Psych: Season 5 –  It is exactly what you would want out of an It’s a Wonderful Life episode from Psych written and directed by James Roday: bizarre, hilarious, and Gus in a UPN sitcom in the 90s. This episode only further solidifies my love for Roday.

Community Christmas7. “Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas” Community: Season 2 – This stop-motion, musical spectacular holiday special send-up had to be on the list. Um, Abed finding out that the meaning of Christmas is the first season of Lost on DVD because Christmas can mean whatever we want it to mean? Brilliant, uproarious, and kind of sweet. Also, this episode gave me my new favorite Christmas mascot. Christmas Pterodactyl!

6. “Christmas Party” The Office: Season 2 – This one made me all sorts of nostalgic for the (now fulfilled) sexual tension of Jim and Pam. It also had some other great stuff, too. Michael’s impromptu Yankee Swap to get rid of the homemade oven mitt, Creed’s equally impromptu Secret Santa gift, Angela’s babies-playing-saxes poster, and Meredith flashing Michael. “Happy birthday, Jesus. Sorry your party’s so lame.”

5. “A Very Supernatural Christmas” Supernatural: Season 3  This episode is exactly what you would expect from a Supernatural Christmas episode: it’s creepy, it’s kooky, and it has that punch of heart right at the end between the demon hunting bros.

happy4. “No-Ho-Ho” Happy Endings: Season 3 – All I want for Christmas is this show to come back.  Is that so much to ask?  The episode centers around the gang trying to give Jane the best birthday ever when they find out that her birthday is actually on Christmas, but they have a hard time keeping Christmas out.  Between Brad’s penchant for dancing with hip-hop Santa, Max’s Egg Nog addiction, and Alex’s weird present opening fetish, there is no way they can succeed.  “Happy Birthday, Jane.  And Jesus.”

The Bath Item Gift Hypothesis3. “Bath Item Gift Hypothesis” The Big Bang Theory: Season 2 – Sheldon really struggles with what to reciprocate Penny’s Christmas gift with so he buys up every gift basket in Bath and Body Works with plans to pick the present that best fits her gift to him in terms of price. And while I enjoy this whole episode, I adore the last five minutes. When Sheldon receives Penny’s … you know what, just go watch this.

2. “A Christmas Carol” Doctor Who: Eleventh Doctor – It should be noted that I somehow forgot to include at lease ONE Doctor Who special on yesterday’s list.  I’m so ashamed that I am cheating and including this special on the episode list.  Hey, it’s my list, I can do what I want.  It has gotten to they point now where my Christmases are not complete without my Doctor Who specials and this one is my favorite.  A twist on the Dickens classic may be a bit over done, but the Whovian element makes this just right.

mst3k-patrick-swayze-christmas1. “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians” Mystery Science Theater 3000: Season 3 – In answer to your question, yes, this movie is as ridiculous as it sounds. In fact, probably more so. But that is what makes Joel and the bots making fun of it so great. Then you couple their commentary with their performance of “A Patrick Swayze Christmas”, a seminal Christmas carol classic, and you get pure holiday magic.
Phew! That’s a lot of linking for your viewing pleasure, there you have it! Do you have any shows you like with great Christmas episodes that I should check out? Do you disagree with my order? Not that I am going to change my mind, but I would love to at least pretend to listen to your feedback. Check out my favorite Christmas specials and stay tuned for my favorite holiday movies and holiday records!

Ellen

Fangirly Exposed: I Am a Binge-Watching Harlot and Addict

how-i-met-your-motherOn the 5th of July, I found myself faced with an entire day devoid of work, errands, and pressing social engagements.  Sure, my apartment could have used a good cleaning and a stop by the gym was in order, but I instead chose (wisely, in my opinion) to stay in my pajamas and marathon a TV show.  Seeing as how I am a glutton for not having a life, I chose a show that has long been recommended to me during the course of its run.  What followed was 8 days of watching 8 seasons of How I Met Your Mother, which after doing the math comes to 67 1/2 hours of television.   However, it is not nearly three complete days of watching TV that is shameful.  No, the shame comes from the fact that I don’t regret it at all.

My behavior while binging leaves me cringing (see what I did there?).  When I watch a show, I become literally addicted to that show and no, my use of “literally” is not hyperbole.   I read about the show online, I watch cast interviews, I shamefully read terrible fanfiction, I laugh at bloopers, I re-watch my favorite episodes, and I sound like a crazy person discussing all of these weird obsessive tendencies in a blog post. Netflix has basically become my dealer, feeding my unhealthy TV watching habits and the new autoplay feature is like having the needle in my arm, constantly feeding me my next fix.

Why can’t I be a normal person and spread this behavior out over an extended period of time?  Oh, yeah, because I am kind of a slut.  I’ll hop into bed with just about anything.  Comedy, drama, sci-fi, paranormal, anything!  The networks should just refer to me as the village bicycle, ’cause mama makes the rounds.  My passion for a show is fleeting and my binge-watching habits are the equivalent of a one-night stand, because I use ’em and abuse ’em.

Right now, sure, I am pretty obsessed with How I Met Your Mother, but next week I’ll probably be blogging about my intense obsession with something like Pretty Little Liars or Merlin.  Stay tuned because it is bound to happen, but you can bet it will be legen-, wait for it, dary!

Ellen

Get with the Program: How I Met Your Mother!

Let’s play Guess that Show! Ready? Ok, I’m thinking of a show about a group of friends living in New York City. They live together, laugh together, cry together, date and even marry each other. It’s really one of your classic ensemble sitcoms that defined comedy for a new generation. Think you know the answer? Oh, sorry folks, if you guessed NBC’s Friends then you need to put down your walkman, hang up your toll-free call to Miss Cleo, and allow me to drag you into the 21st century. ‘Cause these days, it’s all about How I Met Your Mother.

The premise is simple enough: an older version of love-obsessed Ted Mosby (voiced by Bob Saget) narrates the story of how he met the mother of his children. But like I mentioned before, this show is about a group of friends. So really HIMYM isn’t so much about a single event, as it is about how the group’s many exploits lead up to the much anticipated moment when Ted meets the as yet unrevealed baby mama.

I could go on about the writing, pacing, acting, blah, blah, blah, but the truth is what makes the show work is that it’s based around five awesome, hilarious characters. There’s Robin (Colbie Smulders), the teen-pop-sensation-turned-news-anchor who actually dated Ted early in the series. Here is the music video of “Let Go to the Mall”, the smash single released by her Canadian pop start alter-ego Robin Sparkles.

Then there’s Marshall and Lily (Jason Segel and Alyson Hannigan), the most co-dependent TV couple ever.

Barney (Neil Patrick Harris), who is probably my favorite character on the show. This clip speaks for itself.

There’s a pretty good chance that season 8 will be the last for Ted and the gang, so if you haven’t jumped on the HIMYM train, this might be your last chance. Do yourself a favor and tune in for the season premiere tonight on CBS. It’s going to be legend…wait for it…DARY!

-Whitney