10 posts tagged tv
Apparently, VH1’s bringing this back. Oh, hell yes.
Unfortunately, the availability of Pop-Up Videos (or more accurately, the heartbreaking lack thereof) on the internet at this point is intensely disappointing. I remember them with such astounding clarity! Brandy and Monica “The Boy Is Mine!” The slit in Monica’s skirt at around 2:45 was added by a stylist to compete with Brandy’s sexed-up outfit there! I remember this thirteen years later! How! Why is this not on the internet! WHY?! And that whole episode of Sabrina, The Teenage Witch where they imitated it? AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO REMEMBERS THIS.
In the meantime, another present from the rusty mid-90’s archives of Viacom networks back before Jersey Shore was, like, a thing — in case you were not yet aware of it, the entirely of Undressed can be watched online. Like for free. Yes. Don’t pretend like you didn’t watch it and change the channel frantically the second your parents walked in the room (perhaps you, too, had something innocuous, like a nature show, or golf, stored in the memory button on the remote for fast switching?), because we all know you did. And, wait — Is that Adam Brody? Katee Sackhoff? Christina Hendricks? Yes, yes it is.
PS: Five bucks (or at least my unwavering gratitude for the rest of eternity) if you can dig up the pop-up version of that Brandy/Monica video for me. Seriously.
So a few weeks ago The Rejectionist and I were having one of our weird long gmail conversations about, like, this thing pissed us off and should we buy these pants and have you seen this cool thing on the internet and OMG the 90s, which naturally progressed into lengthy discussions about My So Called Life, because I mean, what else is there worth talking about? And we realized that the same thing kept coming up — we get it, Jordan Catalano leans really well and like everyone ever thinks they’re Angela, but what about Rayanne? While Angela’s the central character and the “most relatable” because of her “most normal” life, why don’t we ever take Rayanne seriously? Why is it that she’s relegated to the secondary character of “the one with quirky style and attitude but like kind of an unhinged drunk slutty bad girl?”
And then we started thinking about all the other things related to that, like how maybe all of Rayanne’s sex and “slut potential” wasn’t totally consensual and why do we sort of ignore how rich her character is when the show does a pretty good job of it really? Why do we just want to talk about how COOL she looked even though, you know, shit wasn’t exactly coming up daisies for her and her life was impressively complicated for a show airing at that time, and maybe we should talk about that? Why is every analysis of Rayanne and Angela’s friendship that we can find anywhere way too idealized and, frankly, kind of stupid? Could we also see Rayanne some kind of accessible whitewashed pathway into talking about those “othered” (through race, class, gender, body, whatever) teen girl experiences that don’t get talked about as much? What about Ricky, what if we relate to Rayanne and Ricky more as well? Basically — can we make Rayanne more than the quirky, slutty, sassy sidekick drunk with amazing hair?
And how does that relate to other things we’ve been thinking about, like the devaluing of teen female experiences or how we’re both sort of grossed out by the fetishization and flattening of what could be loosely defined as “punk female identities,” and how a tattooed bisexual asskicking brunette does not a feminist storyline make? Or how it bums us out that nobody ever writes good fiction about what it’s like being sixteen and a girl who dresses funny or maybe was a little nuts but doesn’t need to be saved or married off or isn’t going to die or anything from making some bad decisions? Or how we totally can’t fucking stand that manic pixie dreamgirl trope and aforementioned asskicking bisexual tattooed brunette character? Can’t we talk about teenage girls without it turning into a Choose Your Own Adventure of Pick One: crazy-pregnant-addict-anorexic-kooky-overemotional-shallow-lonely-doomed-virgin-whore? And how does all that fun stuff like race and class and gender and sexuality and bodies and ability and everything intersect with those experiences?
And then we realized that there was a lot to say here, and that it might as well not be said only to our own Gmail archives, and that we had an entire internet of people with Very Smart Opinions who we also wanted to talk about this. So: we want to know what you have to say. Do you want to blog about this as part of a big ole internetwide Let’s Please Talk About Rayanne or Girls Like Rayanne Seriously kind of thing, our Rayanne Project, as we’re calling it? Do you not have a blog but want to guest-post on one of ours, or interview someone, or be interviewed? Are you overwhelmed with some other related creative impulse that we could also somehow e-share and show off your fabulousness? Awesome, because we want it all.
Ideally, since it was the basis of the conversation (and we basically really want to talk about Rayanne without being like OMG THOSE BRAIDS!! THOSE PATCHWORK PANTS! again, because we have that conversation twice a week) — we’d love for you to use My So Called Life as the basis of whatever you want to contribute. But if you want to branch off into that multitude of related topics above, or have other really awesome ideas that relate, we certainly aren’t going to stop you, since we pretty much think enough can’t be said about this.
We’re planning mostly on a blog conversation for starters which we may then later curate into another website — but if this goes as well as we’re hoping it will, there will be a zine coming out of it (!!!!), and some kind of event for those of us based in NYC.
So! If you’d be interested in contributing in some way, please email megpclark[at]gmail and rejectionistandyourmom[at]gmail by Thursday, May 12th just to say that you’d be down, and let us know some of your ideas, or how or what you’d like to contribute. We’ll get back to you soon with more concrete details, posting schedules, and more guidelines later next week — because duh, we can’t wait to hear what you have to say.
So. I may or may not be spending inordinate amounts of time (like, hours? daily?) watching Buffy The Vampire Slayer on Netflix lately. Maybe I’m making up for lost time during my actual teenage years, when I was too focused on The X-Files and my own high horse to pay too much attention to anything involving blondes that was marketed to teenagers? Maybe it’s just Roxie's fault? EITHER WAY, hours. Let's not judge me for this, because there is something really important to talk about here, something about which I am having a lot of feelings. Which is: THEIR CLOTHES HOLY CRAP YOU GUYS.
Gratuitously terrible special effects, rampant continuity errors, and hilariously unrealistic dialogue aside, I can’t turn away: I anxiously await every scene change for wardrobe alone. It’s a veritable Pandora’s box of everything that made the mid to late 90’s unspeakably amazing: The long skirts! The awkward boat-neck and ballet-neck tank tops! Ill-fitting leather pants! Skorts and spaghetti-strap tank tops! Zig-zag parted hair! Unfortunate mixed floral prints! Oversized button-downs in polyester and gruesome raver prints! Wire-frame glasses! Overalls! Tie-dye! Twinsets! Those weird striped ribbed mockneck sweaters that were sold en masse at whatever the teenage boy version of Contempo Casuals was! Bucket hats! Blow-dryed Jennifer Anniston hair! Center parts with clips! Skirts over pants! Chokers! In short: be still my heart! This, I knew, was going to be a blog post. This was going to be a great blog post. I could feel it.
I was so totally fucking amped as I embarked on my journey into an internet k-hole of Buffy style, anticipating the hours of screenshotting to come, the bad puns I could make, the moments of faux-critical insight, the nostalgia for outfits I wore to junior high school dances. Imagine my dismay when I started googling — “Buffy leather pants" for one, or "vampire slayer style fashion willow" — and realized that it was all — all! all of it! every idea I had! — already done, to great and ridiculous lengths, and a decade ago.
There is an entire universe of Buffy The Vampire Slayer fashion fanatics, o readers. I expected fanfic, compulsive detailing of quotes and plot lines, you know, the usual. But the clothes! There is a Willow style tumblr. There are lengthy forum threads of favourite Buffy looks on both fansite and fashion sites. There are wiki and eHow pages on how to look like Buffy. There are blogs ranking the fashion sense of various characters per episode. There are dress up games and candybar dolllmakers. There are Polyvore collages. There is even a 12 page academic essay by some college professor about the semiotics of the Buffy fashion aesthetic.
Seriously. Seriously. How can I beat any of this? More internet treasures after the jump — I need to go buy a skort, a spaghetti strap tanktop, and a leather trenchcoat, stat.
I’ll admit it — I’ve kind of turned into a Person Who Watches Television after years of sort of having a high horse over sticking my nose in the air and making obnoxious comments about not having owned a television in yeeeaaaaaars. But amongst others (True Blood, Mad Men, and, um, Glee), HBO’s Scorsese-directed star-studded Boardwalk Empire has captivated me — secretly I’m kind of a big dork for period pieces (accurate or not) and I just can’t get enough of the architecture and clothes and even the advertisements against the backdrop of the Jersey shore in the 1920’s. Because, seriously, is there anyone who doesn’t grossly overromanticize the 20’s? You basically can’t go wrong.
Slick HBO dramas aside, Contexts recently put together a great little summary of some of the less obvious facts about life under prohibition - things like that wine was still somewhat legal, which in turn kicked off the wine industry in California, that speakeasies weren’t quite as secretive and glamorous as we’d like to think (damn!) and that alcohol could still be prescribed “medicinally.” (Whiskey for toothaches, plz.)
And of course, as it turns out, the LIFE archives are rife with photoessays of prohibition-era images, and the US Coast Guard even has a hilarious collection of images from their liquor patrol boats of the time period. And searching the Google-hosted LIFE image archive (ps this is my favourite thing ever basically) pulls up hundreds more images from the time period, and despite the historically less-than-glamorous facts, the photos are just as rich and stylish as HBO’s pricey reproduction. More images of both after the jump!
While y’all are busy gushing over pencil skirts and skinny ties (not that I’m not), here’s another fun little bit of linguistic assholery about linguistic anachronisms in Mad Men. More at Visual Thesaurus, too.
We’re just going to start this out with blatantly saying that I loathe anything Sex and the City related with the passion of a thousand burning suns, and the defense that’s been making the blog rounds lately — Jackie Ashley’s review at the Guardian — still falls short for me. But while it does little to control my irrepressible sneer at any mention of the franchise, it brings up indirectly a lot of issues I’ve been wrestling with lately. Ashley, a fan of the series and films, argues that a closet of Manolos, credit cards that pay themselves, an endless string of sexy men and best friends to always fall back on when they turn out to be jerks, are a female fantasy life, whereas the male fantasy life involves big cars and iPads and guns and porn, so back off and stop criticizing us for liking SATC ‘cause a girl can dream, ok?
Angela Chase and Jordan Catalano, fifteen years later! (aka Claire Danes and Jared Leto at some fashion week party in London.) I’m just going to take this moment to direct y’all over to My So Called Life on Hulu, even though I don’t think you’d still want to talk to me if you knew how much time I’d spent watching it there in the past year. Or, for that matter, if you knew that I hadn’t watched much TV as a kid, let alone much TV with (quelle horreur!) teen angst and gay people and sex and drugs or whatever, so it’s not like I can even use nostalgia value as an excuse for it. [via sarahspy/nymag]
This is exactly the kind of garbage that I end up creaming my sociology-pants over for days: interactive maps of Netflix rentals and queues in twelve major metropolitan areas, and the fascinating endless cultural/demographic/social/economic/movie-distribution-budget-etc information you can glean from that. Guess what, guys? Mad Men is for urban rich white people, mostly in NYC (Denver doesn’t give a rat’s ass about Don Draper.) Will Smith movies are for the suburbs and middle America! Nobody outside of very major metropolitan areas (the only places where, to the best of my knowledge, the film was in theatres) cared about Man on Wire! My current zipcode rented Milk most this year, whereas in the area where I grew up that honor goes to, uh, Twilight. The distribution by critics is also interesting and makes it pretty obvious that critical reception and public reception/interest are, uh, not exactly clearly correlated.
HOLY FUCKING SHIT THIS IS THE MOST EXCITING THING THAT HAS HAPPENED TO ME IN ~5 YEARS AND I CANNOT WAIT TO SPEND MONEY ON THIS BECAUSE DARIA IS THE BEST THING IN THE WORLD