Friday, May 31, 2013

Texts from Last Year Pt. 4: In Which Anya Needs a Therapy Dog

Welcome back to a series that makes us laugh almost as much as it makes us cringe, the last of our 2012 collection. Thank goodness. Catch up on our dysfunction here, here, and here. Don’t be sad that this is the end of another’s year’s worth of happy because we never stop accruing insanely weird text messages, and we’re always willing to share them with you.

The only reason this doesn’t happen is because neither of us have a cat
Judge if you must, but mostly appreciate the relationship we’ve cultivated, which not only allows but necessitates the following:

Monday, October 29 3:55pm
The Office quote of the decade “when you’re with someone, you put up with the things that make you lose respect for them, and THAT is love”

Thursday, November 1 6:16pm
Haha right? Anya’s Mom could just make a vest for Dog. They have dogs for people with autism, they HAVE to have one for me.

He’d be more convincing than poor Justice
Tuesday, November 13 2:15pm
Paul. Paul. I’m pretty sure I told Married Guy about my dog as a lobster costume idea and THEIR NEW BABY WAS A LOBSTER FOR HALLOWEEN! Oh, the feelings. The confusion. Almost weirder if I didn’t tell him.

Wednesday, November 14 9:42pm
I need to live tweet my reactions to Twilight, the movie, and the book.

Anya starts asking Paul a million questions and expressing her disgust

Wednesday, November 14, 9:47pm
Nope, I quit. Don’t want to ruin it. My fans need my true first reaction. I need that dragon dictation shit. Also, not sure I can confine myself to 160 characters.

This is exactly how it works in my mind. Only in some fab sixties clothes.
Monday, November 19 11:37am
Ladybird Johnson had pet raccoons at the white house and everyone loved them!

Thursday, November 22 1:13pm
Just got teary over a fucking folger’s commercial. Life is not good

Wednesday, November 28 7:10pm
I hope thankstaking and gamlumpagus is everything you wanted and more

Thursday, November 29 1:23pm
Maybe I should have a kid so I always have a built in excuse to call in to work and get four day weekends.

Friday, November 30 5:10pm
Totally picturing No Boundaries’ voice/tone/fervent head nodding that she does when she’s saying something super crazy and wants you to agree. Watching Soul Sister try to gently be like “well, I don’t think it’s really like that...” was priceless.

Thursday, December 6 10:52am

Making me feel glad that I’m not you
Thursday, December 6 12:55pm
It’s hard to do nice things for you to make up for driving me everywhere when the people in my life are idiots and when you don’t eat! Haha food is my fav love currency

Friday, December 7 11:06am
No she’s staying for now? Idk I guess Faded Hippie has some over-the-counter meds for these things.

Friday, December 7 1:37pm
He’s just so fucking obnoxious AND his kids don’t like Harry Potter. I told him he was reading it wrong.

Friday, December 7 1:42pm
I mean, this is coming from a librarian who doesn’t like to read and loves burn notice, why am I even surprised?

Thursday, December 13 2:38pm
Also, kombucha tea: What. The. Fuck. Can we try it? Dare we?

Thursday, December 13 9:27pm
This is what happens when you leave me alone

Because I’m chocolate Lab levels of pathetic
Thursday, December 20 10:10am
Oh NO, No Boundaries hugged me! It’s over.

Friday, December 21 9:56am
Ummm That Guy invited me to lunch today

Thursday, December 27 5:56pm
Your Anya Mom moment of the day: makes very clear her disappointment that something “made me so messed up” about children/pregnancy and then buys my tights and lipstick for NYE.

Thursday, December 27 8:50pm
Haha closest thing to a sext I’ll ever get

Friday, December 28 9:47pm

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

RIP Smash

Shutting it down.
I just finished watching the two hour season/series finale of Smash, NBC’s hit show about the backstage world of Broadway that we’ve all been eagerly watching (Just me?). Sure, the show may have suffered from a few bouts of plot holes, nonsensical characters, and a pace matching that of a narcoleptic dog, but it was a mostly entertaining spectacle that featured some extremely talented theater actors and composers. The finale does fairly decent job tying up the loose ends of the numerous questions presented by the show, from show-long arcs, like Karen or Ivy, to eleventh hour issues, like the unplanned pregnancy.

The show occasionally did look at some interesting topics, including: the price of fame/success/accolades, the possibility of conquering your inner demons, the merits and values of different forms of artistic expression, and the eternal difficulties of maintaining long-term relationships of romantic, friendly, and professional natures (sometimes all three). Of course, the show never fully explored any of these themes, or would have its characters act in wildly contradictory ways from episode to episode undermining any depth that it had previously reached (Although, maybe that’s more like real life than I have been giving it credit for).

Since the show decided to never really commit to these subjects, I am going to take a page from their writers’ book and leave that brief and unpacked set alone. Instead I’m going to provide you with a short list highlighting the good, the bad, and the truly atrocious. A warning: as you may have guessed, Anya and I are both fans of musicals (Julie Andrews is my spirit animal.), but my love for the theater has been known to occasionally dip into a more obscure (alternatively, fanatic or bizarre) territory. Spoilers throughout.

GOOD - Broadway Talent (Read: Krysta Rodriguez)

Krysta Rodriguez is phenomenal. I first discovered her when she was in the ensemble for Spring Awakening and have basically been in love with her ever since. When I heard that she was joining the main cast for the second season of Smash, I found myself getting excited again after my gradual disengagement from the clunky first season. She didn’t get a lot of screentime, but she found a way to shine with the little she was given. Seriously, if you haven’t done so already, do yourself a huge favor and watch her entire YouTube repertoire (don’t miss “The Answer” or her Christmas monologue from Gremlins). I know that she’s about to be back on the Great White Way this summer in First Date, but if she ever actually wanted to play the Girl in Once... part acquired, no further audition needed.

Krysta is not the only theater vet I was happy to see in Smash. The show featured quite a few current and former Broadway actors, more than I am capable of listing here.  From legends, like Bernadette Peters, to the current generation of young stars, like the adorable Wesley Taylor, there was a plethora of recognizable Broadway faces scattered throughout the show.  While they were often underused, it was still nice to see them (working).  

Aside from actors, the show also has music from some great composers. The show primarily features the work of Marc Shaiman and Andrew McMahon, who wrote some pretty great songs, like the initial hit “Let Me Be Your Star,” the moving “Second Hand Baby White Grand,” and the show stopping “Don’t Forget Me.” The second season welcomed a few lesser-known Broadway composers like Pasek and Paul and Joe Iconis, and also more original pop/rock music from the likes of Andrew McMahon (of Jack’s Mannequin fame). There were some nice covers throughout, but the frequent use of original music (or relatively unknown music, as in the case of Joe Iconis) was where Smash managed to really glow.

BAD - Bollywood Number

I imagine that when the scripts for this episode went out, quite a few of the cast members (this song briefly features just about all of the major characters in the first season) responded with confused calls to the writers, angry calls to their agents, or, at the very least, hopeless heavy sighs (minus Katharine McPhee, who I picture being gleeful over another featured song, and Megan Hilty, who I picture being gleeful over how dumb Kat was bound to look). Smash is at its best with musical numbers when it is displaying the practiced staging of its broadway shows, the processes of the director’s mind creating that polished staging, or allowing us to look into the mind of the actor (who uses their own personal experiences to bring to life the characters he or she portrays).

“A Thousand And One Nights” is not Smash at its worse, but it exemplifies the musical failures of show. This number was a flight of fantasy, similar to drunken Times Square duet between Karen and Ivy, that pulled the audience out of the show, forcing them to wonder, “What the fuck is going on here?” The song not only made very little sense (Karen’s boyfriend is of Indian descent so... Bollywood... ???), but was also executed rather shittily. The whole piece came across as being disrespectful and poorly thought out.

TRULY ATROCIOUS - Katharine McPhee’s “Acting”

Oh, Kat. Kat, Kat, Kat, Kat, Kat. What are we to do with you? Now before all you diehard McPhans go ballistic on my ass, I will say this: She should have won her season of American Idol over this clown:

She does have a perfectly adequate voice for pop music and there genuinely were a few moments on the show where I did laugh at her line delivery in the way it was intended. Unfortunately, Katharine “Dead Eyes” McPhee was literally doomed from the start. The poor dear was first cast opposite the divine Megan Hilty and then spent the entire show locked in competition with her. I maintain that the most unrealistic aspect of the show (among many other options) was that this competition was ever even entertained or that any audience or critic enjoyed Karen’s sad wooden excuse for acting.

Karen fared a little bit better as Amanda in show-within-a-show Hit List than she did with her cringeworthy Marilyn Monroe in Bombshell, but this was simply a terrible casting that I believe negatively impacted the success of the show. You know it’s bad when her best acting moment on the entire show was “The Goodbye Song,” when her Hit List character, Amanda, is dead. Sorry, Kat. Don’t fret too much though, I’m sure you have a bright future as a mediocre American Idol host or novelty cruise singer.


Monday, May 27, 2013

Top 6 Looks from Mad Men S6 E9: The Better Half

Wow, guys. This week’s episode really knocked our socks off and then ran both of our feet over with lawn mowers. What. The. Fuck. Believe us, we’re not complaining, it was incredible to spend a whole hour three minutes saying “Is this really happening? Holy shit!”, especially when it involves Betty Fucking Draper getting back to her old bitchy ways. Love her. We wondered where things would go after the strange and sad nature of the last episode, and this was a great direction. We started this series purposely not spending too much time analyzing the episodes and breaking down all of the symbolism, because we can’t quit our day jobs until you guys start sending us a paycheck. Ha. But our list of top moments and WTFs is kind of endless this time around! Still, we’ll give it a whirl:

-Betty has shed the rest of her mystery weight, and starts the episode off with a bang, literally. Having almost the EXACT same conversation that led her to Henry, with some skeeze, then fucking her husband in a limo? Anya couldn’t help crowing “bitch is backkkk!” like nine hundred times this episode.

-Betty and Don, reuniting and it feels so good? As soon as we saw that gas station attendant gaping at a blonde, we had high hopes the Dysfunctional Drapers would have another romp, and Matthew Weiner made all of our dreams come true, down to Betty winning the morning after contest. They’re both so delusional, it’s great and bizarre to watch them singing with their most obnoxious child, pretending that the past few years never happened. Keep on keepin’ on, Drapers. You almost belong together.

-Peggy “I’m gonna sell this shit hole” Olson slamming the door on Abe. Less great? The stabbing, and then him slamming the door on her with his incoherent ambulance rambling. Even worse? Peggy going to Ted and getting a very sunny shut down from him, and then finding both his and Don’s doors closed to her. Ugh.

-Bob Benson hanging out with Joan? Not happy about it (hoping that it’s genuine and not all part of a career-climbing plan), but it was definitely another gasping moment, featuring the second most talked about pair of shorts in the episode. POOR ROGER. Well, we really can’t feel that bad for him, since his shopping trip for Kevin was a direct result of Margaret banning him from spending time alone with his grandson.



The one liners:

  • DON: How was your day?
    MEGAN: It was terrible, I don’t even know if I want to talk about it
    (You’re going to be in soaps forever with shitty acting like that, Megs.)
  • BETTY (to Don): Are you lost too?
    (Always, Betty.)
  • DON: What’s good here?
    BETTY: I’m afraid nothing.
  • BETTY: That poor girl. She doesn’t know that loving you is the worst way to get to you.
  • PETE: My mother has run amok!
  • MEGAN (to the ever-advancing Arlene): Fine- NO! I’m fine with being a tease!
  • JOAN (on Pete): Actually, he’s the only person there who’s never broken a promise to me.
  • PEGGY (to EMT): He’s going to make it.
    EMT: *shrug*

And now, onto the looks:

6. Soap Opera Silliness

Don and Betty may have visited Bobby at camp, but the real camp was happening on the set of Megan’s soap opera.  We had to watch this episode separately, so when this orange dress and Megan’s bizarre red lace pantsuit with blonde wig came on the screen, Anya’s exclamations and enthused costume inspired smacking were directed at The Libertarian instead of Paul. Apparently, we should be watching soap operas from the sixties, especially if they’re all dressed like this. It’s so MUCH, and in such a great a hilarious way. We knew from Betty’s great yellow dress at Henry’s event that this was going to be quite an episode for clothes, and this only confirmed how over the top it was going.

5. Peggy’s Plucky Polka Dots (The Red Ones, Not the Sad Dropped-Waist Green Number at the End)

Peggy started out this episode looking so fantastic, and everything sort of went downhill (ending on a rather sour note) for her as they went sideways? for everyone else. We’ll cover her mustard and white dress/jacket number later, but we really like this sleeveless red polka dot top with the skirt too. She looked polished and professional, and we think she’s been dressing up for Ted too. Love the scarf element, and the bold pattern with a bold color. Looking fly, girl.

4. Don’s Pleasing Polo

With Don apparently over both Sylvia and her fainting spell, we were happy to see him looking like his old manly self both in the office and at this mysterious camp. Anya loved his plaid blazer and light blue shirt (his morning after outfit), but we both loved his extremely fitted navy polo. So casual for Don, and something we have seen before, but not in a looooong time. It’s appropriate that he broke it back out for his trip down memory lane, or maybe What Might Have Been Avenue. Despite his MANY personal problems, so far Don is still managing to pull it together and be his old self, at least enough to tell a lady what she wants to hear in order to get into bed with her.

3. Peggy in her Professional Power Mustard

Peggy may not ever really give us the glamour that Betty, Joan, or Megan are capable of producing, but she does have some damn excellent work clothes.  She seems to have finally figured it out this season and has been giving us one great office look after another (although her attraction to her boss might have a little something to do with it).  We loved the color blocking on this mustard and white piece and it looks amazing with and without the jacket.  The peek-a-boo strip of white between the pleats on the front of the skirt is a particularly nice detail.  Love the sad attempt to avoid having to pick between Don and Ted by briskly walking by and pointing at the files in her hand.

2. Joan’s Bewitching Beach Dress

Joan, oh Joan. When we heard she was going to the beach this episode, we pictured delightful sixties bathing suits and Joan classing it up in the sand (under an umbrella to protect her fair skin) sipping something. Basically what we wish we were doing this weekend, down to the fair skin. When we saw this fantastic anchor embroidered dress, we gave the writers a break for skipping the actual beach. This lovely nautical dress fits her perfectly, like everything she wears, ever. Love the patriotic headscarf, the loose hair, and the cute and more casual fit. Joan knocks it out of the park again.

1. Betty in a Butter-Colored Dream

No margarine here, folks, this is the real deal. Joan looked amazing this episode, but no one could top Betty (Hofstadt-Draper) Francis, back on top. We loved this amazing yellow dress, but really, everything Betty wore this episode made us happy. From her great opening charming a creepy donor and making every transparent attempt to show off her new body, she is back to her old self and we couldn’t be happier. (The gloves! The pearls! The cape! The limousine makeout sesh!)  Betty walked her frequently-visited line between childish bullshit and cutting commentary, but it seemed refined somehow. Not that she learned a lesson about being shallow from her fat days, but she seems slightly more together. We loved her interactions with Don this week, and Anya was pleased to finally see her having what seemed like the upper hand. We’re excited to see Betty back on top.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Facebook Friends, How Do I Hate Thee?

Let me count the ways.

Unlike Julia Stiles, we actually do HATE you.
Remember when Facebook required a college email address to sign up? Those were the days. That was technically a little before our time, but Anya got in on the ground floor when the kids in a summer class she was taking at our nearby school made her join so they could work on a group project via this great new social networking site. Before we had to worry about our grandmas seeing everything we did online, before you could access the site from your cell phone, back when your status had to start with “Paul Smith is...”

If you think we miss those days, you’re only partially correct. The thing that we miss most about olden times Facebook is the fact that no one really knew what they were doing on it. Don’t get us wrong, there was still the odd emo status, the beginnings of aggressive cyber-stalking carried over from MySpace and Xanga and Livejournal (remember that shit, you guys? Every once in awhile we still look up those old Xanga sites we used to stalk, and we have basically the same reactions now as we did then. We’ve matured from cackling hyena pups to cackling hyena pack leaders), etc. Nowadays? Ugh.

Here’s the thing, Facebook World: You’re doing it wrong. Luckily, we’re here to detail the right and the oh so wrong ways to use Facebook, complete with examples. Look, we get that for some reason there’s a push for creating a brand for ourselves. People like to be able to easily categorize ALL THE THINGS, including other people. Employers might be looking for a certain “type” and you want to be that guy! Sure. But it’s so goddamn annoying to watch all of these people you know in real life put on a persona that you know is bullshit.

The most common offenders:

1. Look how happy I am (with my new house/job/relationship)

 2. Look how smart I am (pursuing an advanced degree and being so busy)
 3. Look how pretty I am (please like my 2,376 photos of myself. Photoshopped.)
 4. Look how liberal I am (I support basic human rights by changing my profile pic)
 5. Look how brave I am (standing up for my intolerant religious beliefs)
 6. Look how cool I am (with my obscure bands and thrift-store clothes)
 7. Look how sensitive I am (with my sincere, heartfelt responses to the tragedies of strangers)

Find our thoughts on the oversharers (Look at me getting this cavity filled, look at me getting my prescriptions filled at Meijer, look at all of the friends I have, look at my stitches/surgery wounds/IV/hospital band, I neutered my dog, here’s a pic of his nuts! etc.) here.

So that’s pretty bad, right? When faced with that bullshit every time we log on, some of you might say “If you hate it that much, just get off Facebook! No one will miss you, you clearly spend enough time together that you don’t need it, stop complaining and deactivate!” If this is your attitude,

You guys, we NEED Facebook, and we have earned the privilege of using it by not being fucking assholes. Please find below our list of acceptable ways to use Facebook which do not entail annoying the snot out of other people. Because that’s kind of how we go about life.

Proper way to use Facebook (us)
-Share funny picture or video with friends, don’t have to wade through the shit that is tumblr.
-Spy on people and mock
-Blasts from the past
-Stalking work acquaintances