The First Annual Fangirl Airing Of Grievances

A very Happy Festivus to you and yours!

For the past few years, this has been a thing that I’ve wanted to do, and have always forgotten about it until it’s too late. While my best of 2018 will be coming in the next few days (hint, we’re going to be talking about The Good Place, A LOT) I thought it would be fun to whine about some of my pop culture issues from the past year, keeping with the traditions of Festivus.

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The Purging Of The Defenders From Netflix

Who could have seen this one coming? OK, anyone who knows how corporate consolidation works and wasn’t blinded by “X-Men In The MCU!” and “Full Star Wars distribution rights!” as diversionary tactics probably did. But this is still a bummer. I’m behind on these shows, but they were well made and critically well received, so it definitely sucks.

Season 2 Of The Handmaid’s Tale

There is literally no reason why we needed a season 2 of this show, when season 1 was such an excellent mini series adaptation of the novel. While there was some gold in this season (Serena Joy and Bradley Whitford’s Commander realizing they’d built themselves terrible prisons. Moira trying to adjust to life in Canada after the trauma of her life as a Handmaid and at Jezebel’s) most of it shaved down and softened the bluntness of the allegory. And June’s choice to return to Gilead rather than escape was just plain awful.

Midge And Joel’s Reconciliation(ish) on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

NO! BAD AMY SHERMAN-PALLADINO! BAD! If Midge was going to have ill advised casual sex with someone before heading out on tour it should have been Lenny Bruce.

(I don’t actually think that should have happened either.)

Riverdale…just Riverdale

Back after the season premier I wrote about how I was hopeful for the new season of everyone’s favorite silly horror show dressed up as a teen soap. Instead, within three week’s I’d already dropped it and decided I’d wait until the summer to binge it. Archie in jail? Betty maybe possessed or something? Veronica doing her best Chuck Bass impression and opening up ambitious restaurant concepts? I did catch up enough to watch the big flashback episode, which was fun, if only to watch KJ Appa and Cole Sprouse channel Luke Perry and Skeet Ulrich as we remember them so perfectly. But overall, I’m just not as excited about this show as I once was. (This may be because Cheryl has been sidelined…I will neither confirm nor deny it.)

The show remains as messy as it ever was, but the messiness isn’t fun anymore.

Tahani/Eleanor Shippers

The only thing that I have to complain about in The Good Place is the way the shippers are behaving. As a terrible trash ship person myself, I understand their zealotry. (My complete denial that Rose Tico is even a character in The Last Jedi surely illustrates this.) But my GOD people, it’s been illustrated time and again that although Eleanor is attracted to Tahani, and perhaps Tahani is attracted back (we don’t have confirmation) Chidi is her actual soul mate. Also, when someone ships a different pairing from you, even for a canonically queer character (Eleanor), that doesn’t make them homophobic. Especially since Eleanor isn’t a lesbian, she’s bi (or possibly Pan…). If you want to watch a tiny sassy blonde bi-sexual woman have a fulfilling relationship with a woman who is tall, sexy and her tempermental opposite, I suggest you watch Legends Of Tomorrow, because Sara and Ava are great! In the meantime, let me enjoy watching Eleanor and Chidi fall for each other over and over again as they strive towards enlightenment and salvation.

Penny Marshall Died

I mean, she was on the older side, but still. This is sad. She was a funny, talented lady. I wish I could find where I saw it but someone suggested she’s now in heaven having a laugh and a cocktail with her friends Carrie and Nora. I find this a delightful way to remember her. Also, Big and A League Of Their Own are rad, and Hanks’s best acting work is in Big.

Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill and Amy Adams Leaving The DCEU

THE CAST WASN’T THE PROBLEM.

That said if this, and Armie Hammer being all popular serious actor man now, convinces Warner Brothers to make a Man from UNCLE sequel, all will be forgiven.

Selina Kyle leaving Bruce Wayne At The Altar

This is some BULLSHIT right here. Not to mention the reasoning being that “if they get married, he can’t really be Batman anymore.” NOOOOPPPPPEEEE.

I wanted the mainline universe to become a place where Damian was Helena’s OLDER BROTHER. CAN YOU IMAGINE THAT PARTICULAR LEVEL OF AWESOME?

“Remake The Last Jedi,” “Solo sucks,” and the fall of Star Wars fandom

Star Wars is one of my favorite things in the world, Crystan once said, “Reenie’s obsessed with Game Of Thrones it’s her favorite thing to talk about.” I replied, “It’s not my favorite thing, it’s not Star Wars or Les Mis.” But this year, well, I didn’t like talking about Star Wars so much anymore. The sexist, racist internet bullshit overtaking my favorite conversation topic soured me on everything involved. I gave up even my cushiest and safest internet spaces, (The Mary Sue, though this wasn’t the only reason) when I found myself in a swirling argument with a man who was trying to convince me that Kathleen Kennedy deserved no credit for the successes of her producing career but did deserve to be fired for the faltering of Solo. Going so far as to claim E.T. a project that she shepherded and championed from day one, didn’t benefit from her involvement.

The Full Politicization Of My Pop Internet Spaces

I get it. I do. I hate 45 as well. Truly. But when I’m going to a pop culture space online, I’m not going to see commentary on the political process. A think piece on how a piece of work converses with the political moment, sure, but I read news sources to learn about the goings on in Washington. The blurring of the lines between politics and theater (which isn’t to say political theater, in both senses of the phrase, politicians taking advantage of humanity’s  tendency to create narrative and “theater” commenting on the political hasn’t always existed) is part of how we all got into this mess.

No Game Of Thrones

Silly me, hoping against hope, I thought we might actually see The Winds Of Winter this year to make up for the fact that we got no new episodes of Game Of Thrones but no. I’m sure Fire And Blood is quite good, though I haven’t gotten around to reading it, but man, it hurt me not having the show around this year.

That’s it! That’s what I’m annoyed about this year. What about you, fair readers? Anything in pop culture righteously piss you off?

 

 

 

Riverdale Season 3: It’s All Or Nothing

Riverdale Season 2 was a lot of things. “Hilarious,” is definitely one. I don’t know that “good,” is a word I’d use though.

I was confident going into season 3 though that the show could turn it around, and if it can’t, I’ll keep watching because it’s kind of the only teen drama game in town…(and as you all know, it’s my favorite genre.)

But the season 3 premier gave me some serious hope, as the show seems to just be going with the whole, “this show is so dumb…I love this show,” thing, and in the meantime, was able to hit some classic Archie comics beats, while still being it’s own weird wonderful dumb thing.

Archie Iconic Thing #1: Archie’s Bowtie

Before Greg Berlanti decided to make him sexy this is what Archie Andrews looked like:

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The bowtie was kind of a thing. Anyway, as Archie sat trial for murder in last night’s premier, (Sure, whatever…this show is so dumb, I love this show so much) he looked like this:

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BOWTIE! Look at his dumb face!

Archie Iconic Thing #2: Everything About Archie’s Car

Archie’s Old Gillopie (am I spelling that right?) is also a think in the comics. And boy oh boy, was I psyched at the end of season 2 when Riverdale introduced it! So we see Bughead and Varchie driving around in it, and even more importantly Archie and Betty working on it in his garage! Riverdale has jettisoned so much of Betty and Archie’s dynamic in favor of Bughead (worth it) and Archie trying to be a gangster or a vigilante or whatever. (Less worth it) so seeing them work on his car, and Betty in her overalls warmed my heart.

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She is precious and perfect and must be protected

Archie Iconic Thing #3: Cheryl’s Pool Party

So, like I get that they’ve set Riverdale somewhere in the midwest, (Archie’s mom, Molly Ringwald, is in Chicago after all) so they couldn’t have it be a beach party, but the pool party get the gist across. The Archie gang is at the beach, like, kind of a lot. But the Beach Boys playing as everyone danced and tossed footballs (Is Reggie not a raging douche anymore?) did it.

Archie Iconic Thing #4: Hiram trying to break Veronica and Archie up

Look, no matter the version, Hiram Lodge does not like that Andrews boy around his daughter. So he tries to break them up. Usually he like, cuts off Veronica’s allowance, or enrolls her in private school, but in Riverdale it involves framing Archie for murder.

Tomato, Tomahto, really.

Not Archie, but Still Iconic:

Fred punching Hiram in the face at the courthouse, as cameras roll. Straight up Dylan McKay move.

Cheryl shooting at Ghoulies with her bow like she’s on Arrow or something.

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“You have failed this city”

Also Cheryl walking into Pop’s reminding everyone who the real star of this show is.

 

Ultimate Teen Drama FanFic: That Day At The Docks

A few weeks ago I put together what I consider to be the Ultimate Teen Drama Cast Of Characters. I mentioned at the end of that post that I might start playing with some fanfiction with them. Here’s the first attempt at that.

For some context notes. I’ve decided to set it in Capeside in the summer. This way I don’t have to deal with how the hell Blair is at a suburban high school, or Seth is on the east coast. (I’ve transplanted Dylan, Wallace and Brooke east and north respectively. And as Riverdale is both everywhere and nowhere by design, Jughead isn’t a problem) They’re summering there, problem solved! Also, having watched Dawson’s Creek about a dozen times, I know Capeside’s geography better than other settings. (The OC’s Newport seemed to grow and shrink as necessary and Gossip Girl’s Manhattan was completely nonsensical. Tree Hill and Capeside are quite literally the same place…) Other nuances of my imaginary mash up will come out in time. 

Joey Potter was not as excited as her classmates that it was summer. For her, unlike most them, the closing of Sophomore year meant working at both the marina gas station and a local diner to save for college, rather than lounging around at the beach all day. At least at school she got to focus on things she liked, reading and art. Work was just, work.

“Joey Potter!” She turned hearing her name and smiled seeing two boys approaching her dock. Wallace Fennell and Jughead Jones were her closest friends at Capeside High and at the moment, a week into the summer a welcome sight.

“Hey,” she said as they reached her. “How’s freedom?”

“Boring,” Jughead shrugged, jumping down onto the dock. “I thought you were at the diner today.”

“I was this morning,” Joey said, “then here until six.”

“Guess what we’re doing tonight?” Wallace grinned. Joey looked at Jughead who shook his head.

“Um,” she pressed her lips, “nothing, like always?”

“Mr. Fennell here has garnered an invite to the beach party,” Jughead rolled his eyes. “He’s spent the past hour trying to convince me to go. You’re the deciding vote.”

“We’re not going to that,” Joey laughed.

“Why not?” Wallace shrugged. “It could be fun.”

“It won’t be,” Joey said. “That party is just an excuse for Brooke Davis to scope out which summer people she’s going to sleep with until Labor Day.” Wallace shook his head.

“You two, need to broaden your horizons,” he said, “not all summer people are evil.”

“Just most of them,” Joey pointed out.

And Brooke’s actually really cool,” Wallace pointed out. “We hung out a bunch during basketball season. People misunderstand her.”

“OK, one,” Jughead chimed in, “I agree with Joey, summer people are like ninety percent evil. And, two, I don’t care how nice Brooke Davis was to you while she was in cheerleader mode, she is probably the devil.”  Joey nodded.

“Well, I’m going,” he said, “and I would like to go with my two best friends,” Joey sighed. “Just think of all the material for making fun of people you’ll get. Just in this one night, this will fuel an entire summer worth of snark, I bet.”

“Fine,” Joey sighed, “I’ll go but if one, I mean it, even one, douchey summer dude asks to show me his boat, I’m not speaking to you until the fourth of July.”

“I’ll go to protect Joey from said douchey summer dudes,” Jughead agreed, “and that thing you said about making fun of people.”

“Great,” Wallace said, “pick you up at 8?” Joey sighed and nodded.

***

Blair Waldorf sighed miserably sitting on the back porch of the large beach side mansion she’d arrived at the night before. What had possessed her mother to decamp them to this sleepy Cape Cod town for the summer instead of the Hamptons like everyone else they knew? Blair picked at the croissant in front of her and sipped her mimosa mindlessly. It was going to be a long summer, she knew that for sure.

“Miss Blair?” Dorota, her maid walked out. “There’s someone here to see you?”

“Who?” Blair said. “Dorota, we don’t know anyone here!” A girl about her age walked out the door and waved somewhat awkwardly. The other girl shared a few similarities to Blair, similar dark hair, and wide brown eyes. She was dressed in a pair of yoga pants and tank top that said “Minute Men” across the chest though, which Blair realized was probably from her school. So the similarities ended with the physical, because sartorially Blair wouldn’t be caught dead out of a gymnasium dressed like this.

“Hi, yeah, hi,” the girl said, “I’m Brooke, I live a few blocks away and I was going for a run and saw you and wanted to welcome you to the neighborhood.” Blair smiled placidly.

“Oh,” she said, at least the run explained the outfit. “Sure, I mean, whatever. I’m Blair Waldorf.”

“Right,” Brooke nodded and shook her hand. “Anyway, there’s this party on the beach tonight, we have one every year, to welcome the summer people. You should come.”

“We?” Blair said, her eyebrows raised. “So, you’re like what, a townie?”

“Unfortunately,” Brooke sighed, “but some of us are more civilized than others.” Blair smiled. At least this girl knew enough to acknowledge her lower social status. She could work with that.

“Alright,” Blair said, “so tell me about this party.” She gestured to a chair and Brooke smiled and sat down.

***

“Damn it,” Seth Cohen mumbled, as the sail boat he’d rented for the summer failed to catch the wind. “Once again, I have been foiled by Atlantic weather.” He knew that eventually he’d get the hang of east coast sailing, but for now, he was missing the calmer Pacific Ocean and the spots he knew in Newport.

He could almost hear his dad teasing him about it, though. He, Seth Cohen, who had always obsessed about moving to New England, bitching about it.

“Need some help, man?” A guy in a wet suit carrying a surf board jogged up.

“Sure,” Seth said, as the mysterious surfer helped him pull the boat into the dock. “Thanks for the help.”

“Sure thing,” he nodded. “You’re here for the summer? I don’t recognize you.”

“Yeah,” Seth nodded, “um, a couple of pushes to the parents and I managed a summer away from California sunshine. I’m Seth.”

“Dylan,” the surfer grinned and shook his hand, “yeah, I blew of Cali a few years ago too. Dad decided work would be better in Boston, and we wound up here.” Seth nodded. Something about this Dylan guy reminded him a little bit of his foster brother, who had not made the cross country trek with the rest of them.

“Alright,” Seth nodded. “You surf?”

“Whenever possible,” Dylan grinned, “you?” Seth shook his head. “OK, cool meeting you man, nice boat, and see you around.” He left and then turned around. “Do you want to go to this party thing, tonight?”

“Party?” Seth said. Yeah, definitely a Ryan.

“Yeah,” Dylan shrugged, “it’s the townies way of saying, ‘hey summer people, we can all drink cheap beer together. No need for dividing lines.'”

“Capeside is very different from Newport then,” Seth said.

“Different from Beverly Hills, too,” Dylan said with a laugh, “but in a good way mostly. You in?”

“Sure,” Seth nodded. “Party sounds good.”

Ultimate Team Ups: Teen Drama Edition

I like to consider myself something of a scholar of the teen drama television series. While I haven’t watched every entry into the genre, I still need to finish Felicity, I don’t speak Party of Five at all, I’m woefully ignorant of anything in the post Gossip Girl era, save Rivderdale, and anything Degrassi that happened after Spinner became the sage older character belongs in a flaming trash can, I do have certain episodes of The OC actually memorized, and I could probably write a book on the various film allusions in Dawson’s Creek. Plus, you know, One Tree Hill. 

So, that gives me some cred, I think.

Anyway, I thought it might be fun to create the ULTIMATE TEEN DRAMA CAST Avengers style. We’ve got some archetypes to play with, and I think it’ll go well.

The Brooding Bad Boy: Dylan McKay – Beverly Hills, 90210

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There is only one choice, and it is the original. I firmly believe that without Luke Perry as Dylan, this genre would not exist. Everything about Dylan is perfect. His agnst, his chip on his shoulder, his dumb 50’s haircut, his ability to cry at the drop of a hat. I recently rewatched season 1, and I think that the scene where he sits on the floor of his hotel suite, crying into the phone when he can’t reach his parents might be the peak moment of the entire genre. It’s been all downhill from there.

The “Slutty” Girl Who Just Wants To Be Loved: Brooke Davis – One Tree Hill

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While 90210 and Dawson’s did excellent work with this archetype in Kelly and Jen respectively, it was perfected in Sophia Bush’s Brooke. Desperately insecure and insanely confident at the same time, Brooke is fun, funny, brilliant and perfect. Not to mention in the right circumstances she is also an excellent shit stirrer.

The Comic Relief: Seth Cohen – The OC

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If the genre wouldn’t exist with Dylan, it would have gone away in the 90’s without Seth. The OC was going to bring twenty somethings playing angst ridden rich teens into the twenty first century kicking and screaming if it had to. And the biggest part of that equation was Seth. Ever quippy, indomitable, perfectly cast in Adam Brody, sometimes a little bit too much Seth.

The Bitch – Blair Waldorf – Gossip Girl

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Look, I love Brenda Walsh, I love Cheryl Blossom. Neither of them can hold a candle to the queen of the Upper East Side, and really everything, Blair Waldorf. Never learns her lesson, treats everyone around her like they’re beneath her (they are), and we root for her anyway. (To be fair our other options were Jenny, Serena and Vanessa…which no.)  Also, in a fun meta sense, Leighton Meister is now married to Adam Brody, which means that Blair and Seth can be a couple in this imaginary show.

The Normal Boring One – Wallace Fennel – Veronica Mars

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While his classmates dealt with murder investigations, rape recovery, gang wars, learning they were switched at birth and any number of other insane plots, Wallace was worrying about things like basketball, whether Tessa Thompson liked him (even she was a secret teen mom!), if he was OK with his mom dating his best friend’s dad. He’s very normal. Also, unlike his competition for this slot, Dawson Leery, Archie Andrews and Dan Humphrey, Wallace is neither the worst nor totally boring, he’s got a fun personality. And keeps the list from being completely white people! (It’s a genre that’s only just starting to do well on a diversity basis. It’s been very white for a very long time)

The Girl Next Door – Joey Potter – Dawson’s Creek

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The secret main character of the show she was on! (Blair, Seth, and Dylan also fulfill this requirement) Again, with deference to the “perfect” version of this Betty Cooper, she’s not as perfect as dreamy, weepy, constantly put upon Joey. So wonderful is Joey Potter that Dawson rewrites their story every time so that they end up together, even though they never end up together. (TEAM PACEY!) And just imagine the amount of cry-shouting that would go into a Joey and Dylan romance!

The One From The Wrong Side Of The Tracks – Jughead Jones – Riverdale

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While Jughead also qualifies for Brooding Bad Boy, he does double duty as the character from a slightly more disadvantaged background who hangs around to tell people that they “don’t understand.” Sometimes this person is barely from the Wrong Side, (Andrea Zuckerman was from The Valley! The Humphreys lived in Brooklyn!) and sometimes they’re there to provide culture shock (Ryan Atwood worked construction on his summer vacations!)  and sometimes they are genuine criminals (Weevil Navarro CHAINED A DUDE TO A PIPE TO GET EXPLODED!) But Jughead is all of those things. He still goes to school with Archie, Betty and Veronica, but he lives in a drive in for a while and HEY REMEMBER WHEN HE CUT THAT LADY? Bonus Points: He and Joey can bond about their ex con fathers who now work in food service.

Obvious Pairings That Are Obvious:

Brooke and Jughead, they’d banter and be the best, and one day realize that they’re both much more sensitive than they let everyone see. Then there’d be trailer sex.

Blair and Seth: While Blair would initially go for Dylan (with the brooding and hotel living, how could she resist) we’d all succumb to the fact that real world couples need to be fictional couples on these shows. Also, Seth is the not the worst version of Dan, who Blair also dated, although we all pretend that never happened.

Joey and Dylan: SO MANY FEELINGS!

Wallace And A Series Of Lovely Recurring Guest Stars: Much like on Veronica Mars no one in this main cast is a functional enough human to deserve Wallace. Though there would perhaps be a short and ill advised Brooke/Wallace hookup, and the writers would try to keep making Joey and Wallace happen.

I really enjoyed making this list, and I might do more of these ultimate team ups. Or just write some really fun fanfic with this group. Would you guys been up for that? Feel free to suggest plotlines.

 

Cosplay Corner: Garden State Comic Fest Day 1: Cheryl Blossom

love Riverdale, having been an Archie fan already, I really shouldn’t have resisted the show as long as I did, but now that I have watched it, I’m completely obsessed. (Although it is currently going through the thing that teen dramas go through where it’s second or third season isn’t as good as what came before. I’m hoping it bounces back in season 3, as Dawson’s did…)

Anyway, I decided to go for some Riverdale cosplay and realized I had everything at the ready for Cheryl Blossom, Riverdale’s resident Gothic Heroine/Mean Girl/Ridiculous Hot Mess Of A Human.

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The costume is relatively simple, it’s my pleather skirt and red cardigan and over the knee boots. Done. I found the red wig on Amazon (though after the summer I won’t use that anymore!)

This was the first run and it was pretty comfortable, so I’m going to invest in better accessories for it now (a black choker and the spider broach.) and I need a more red lipstick, as my usual one was too pink for Cheryl. What’s great about this costume is that it’s small and packs easily, which means I’ll definitely use it again!

And it was even better to do it with Aless and Kristi as Betty and Veronica!

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Also the milkshakes were totally necessary!

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“You look like you want to kill me…THAT’S PERFECT!” – Aless

Next week I’ll talk through my Ravenclaw Uniform! HOORAY!

Cosplay Corner: The Year Ahead

Hi all!

So, I haven’t done one of these in a while, but I thought I’d get back into it. I’ve missed cosplaying immensely, and if nothing else, costumes are good motivation to keep me on a fitness path.

I had planned on going to Broadway Con (I even had an AWESOME Jenna from Waitress costume put together!) but overscheduling and a hangover wound up derailing that plan. (WOMP) There’s always next year though!

am however, to start getting my act together, going to do the Disneybound March Challenge. So be sure to check out my Facebook to see those outfits! And play along if you like.

Challenge

It’s looking like my first con of the year is going to be Garden State Comic Fest: Atlantic City Edition. One day I’m going to debut Cheryl Blossom (Riverdale Edition) which is 90% done. I bought a cheap red wig a few years ago for an X-Men group cosplay that never came together, but I’m not crazy about it and may invest in a good one for Cheryl, and for my NYCC goals, and I need to order the Spider Brooch, which I found on HotTopic.com already. The other day of that con will probably be either Poe or Wonder Girl, both of which are comfortable and easy (though Poe needs some touch up work!)

I’ll probably bring Cheryl to every con this year, just because it’s a really fun one and packs easily. I’ll might even be able to enlist a Veronica and a Betty to make for a fun group too.

Friends

(It’s not like I have a latina and blonde best friend who I often go to these things with or anything…*ahem*)

And I’ll of course do NYCC as long as I can get tickets (though again, probably just the weekend. My all 4 day days are past me.) and I have something very specific that I want to do. I have a skirt and top that are almost exactly an outfit that Amy Pond wears early in Series 7. (See, the need for a good red wig comes back…) The thing is, said outfit is from 2012…when I worked at The Plaza…I was really really skinny then. I was a full 4 dress sizes smaller than I am right now.

So, I have until September to lose those dress sizes. And then I’ll do Amy Pond one day at NYCC. The other day, well, if I lose the weight, I have some stuff for a Jedi Cinderella mash-up that doesn’t fit now, but might fit then, if I don’t, GOD KNOWS I have enough costumes I like to fill out a weekend.