Pop Culture, Salty Stories

Celine Dion Made Me Do It

Welp, I’ve officially done the most ridiculous and embarrassing thing a grown adult can do. I understand that I say that a lot and perhaps have dramatized a scenario or two, but this one truly takes the cake. Let’s set the scene. It’s my third week in my new apartment. A few nights ago I’m doing my nightly TikTok scroll when I stumble upon an official Tok from Celine Dion’s account. She (her team) posted a clip of her greatest hit of all time (don’t fight me on this, I will win) “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now.” This song is uncontested for best car scream singalong and when I saw the dramatic snippet of the music video and her call for people to recreate it, I immediately knew what I needed to do. I’ve never felt more of a sense of duty to Celine. It was like she had cast the bat symbol into the dark Gotham City sky and I was Batman (Christian Bale’s version obviously.) I didn’t grow up imitating her French Canadian accent for laughs amongst my family members for nothing. It was my time to shine. Please feel free to immerse yourself in the original creation to really set the tone for this candid peek behind the scenes of my life imitating what it would be like if a 30 year old moved into the Hype House. (For fellow olds like me, the Hype House is a home where a bunch of teenagers live and create TikToks 24/7.)

The next day it struck me that I live alone now. I can really commit to the bit here and not fear someone hearing me or interrupting my stupidity to ask what the hell I’m doing. This is an insecure content creator like myself’s true wet dream. I began to prepare the creative of how I was going to tackle this video. The original music video (in case you didn’t have a spare 7 and a half mins to review it above) takes place in a castle during a stormy night as Celine mourns her ex. Those theatrics were really going to need some dedication and I was up for the job. First I had to unearth the only silk robe I own that also happened to be my gift for being in my sister’s wedding. It very boldly says Maid of Honor across the back. I’d have to make sure my hair covered that as I’m confident Celine has never been anyone’s maid of honor. She’s the star of the show or she doesn’t show up at all. I mean come on, did James Cameron win a buttload of Oscars for Titanic because he’s a great director? No he won them because he got Celine to create and sing her face off to the smash hit My Heart Will Go On. I’ll never let go, Jack? More like I’ll never get over how much of an iconic diva Celine Dion is.

Celine

Anyway, next I started to brainstorm how I could make it look like a stormy night in my opposite of a mansion new apartment. I only have one curtain in this shack to separate my “office” from my bedroom and I knew that’s where this tomfoolery was about to go down. It’s about time I used my office for some real work. I lit a candle for ambience and because she had a shit-ton of burning candles in the video (my production budget only allowed for one), got dressed in my silk robe, did my hair and makeup and began my grind of setting the scene. I don’t mean to brag but I’ve worked on a movie set, and sometimes you just need to do a little behind the scenes magic to make something believable. As it is now winter and I no longer have fans hanging around, that behind the scenes magic was the one, two punch of my space heater and my hair dryer to create a wind machine. Rigging both of these together to blow at the curtains was not only difficult but also was blowing the bottom, which was out of frame. I won’t reveal how many times I propped that hair dryer higher only to have it flop back down. I finally conceded and figured it was good enough. I also noticed that in this very 90’s music video, the lights flickered to really amp up the drama of the storm and also her ex haunting her, probably. So after several HQ takes of some of my FINEST acting running towards the curtains in disarray…

It was time to up the ante. With both my hair dryer and space heater on full blast for several minutes now, I decided to do a shot of just the “blowing” curtains and flicker the lights on my own. I hammered that light switch a few times then went to what we in the biz call “check the gate” (took a film class once) and suddenly I was in pitch black darkness. My little moviemaking antics for a TIKTOK had blown a fuse. Spielberg over here had gotten so carried away in the process that I forgot that I was in a 220 year old brick house and not a Hollywood soundstage. Panic ensued.

I immediately made quick work of unplugging the hair dryer and stashing it back in the bathroom. I tried to listen for outbursts from my upstairs neighbors, not knowing if I had affected their power as well. They seemed normal amounts of loud and not angry at the new girl for cutting electricity loud. I glanced at myself in the mirror wearing a silk robe with my name embroidered on it and a red lip standing next to a tripod. My worst fear was that someone would abruptly knock on my door and find me like this. Do you know how hard it would be to explain that I’m not sharing solo footage for my OnlyFans account but in fact just getting in touch with my inner Celine circa 1996? I’m guessing they wouldn’t buy it. I immediately erased all evidence and texted my landlord after searching high and low for a fuse box. Of course it wouldn’t be in my apartment. I acted casj cool in my text. “Hey it’s me, your new tenant! I made an oopsie and blew the fuse because I was drying my hair with the space heater on. Can I get access to the fuse box to reset it?” He was kind enough to zip right over and power things up again, with a gentle reminder that this house is old as dirt and that there’s only 15 amps per 6 outlets, as if I would ever know what that means. What a guy. He has no clue he’s renting to a complete moron who thinks dressing her bedroom as a set for a 20 second video is absolutely necessary. Hopefully he never knows. He doesn’t strike me as the type to google somebody, but should he stumble across this blog one day—I wasn’t blow drying my hair at 8pm when I haven’t left the apartment all day. I was trying to Beyonce the SHIT out of a music video shoot. Sorry not sorry. (I’m just kidding I actually am sorry pls don’t evict me, I just got everything unpacked.)

(I mean seriously are the curtains even moving?!)

It should come as no surprise to you that the shot that blew the fuse STUNK. In fact, I forced it into the final video (a measly 2 seconds) as homage to my landlord and the fact that he rectified the situation at lightning speed so that the shoot could continue without additional production days. Once the power was back on we were off to the races and by that I obviously mean I spent another 1-2 hours shooting 6 zillion takes of me lip syncing because I’d rewatch it and immediately coach myself that I could do it better the next time. Thank GAWD there were no witnesses to this. Then on top of that, I started the editing process and realized that when you’re not a 14 year old who lives and breathes TikTok, it’s actually super hard to use and since there was no way on EARTH I was going to shoot that thing in one take live (was any accredited feature film shot live?!) I was forced to spend hours using two different apps to match me and Celine up as best as I could.

The final product is below. It’s probably the shittiest 20 seconds that’s ever caused a power outage. But if you watch it enough times on repeat like I did trying to sync our powerful singing up, you’ll start to see that I basically am Celine Dion. Is there a difference between the two of us? No, no there is not. Unfortunately for my ego, which reached its pinnacle right around the time I did a full face of makeup and decided adding a dramatic rosé sip at the end would really incorporate my own personal brand into this reboot…my TikTok got a measly 49 views and 2 likes. On the bright side someone did comment “10/10.” So thank you for your kindness, stranger. It is words of encouragement like that I’ll remember fondly the next time I’m spending an entire evening by myself with my tripod, convincing myself I’m Celine Dion in the flesh, creating a city-wide blackout.

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Pop Culture

Celeb-oween 2020

This year there may not have been as many events for celebs to get Halloween glammed up for but that didn’t mean these attention grabbers couldn’t get into full costume just for Instagram. Here’s a collection of what the people of Hollywood (or Hollywood adjacent) decided to dress up as this year…and I’m floored that no one went as the year 2020, which turned out to be scarier than any horror movie. Keep scrolling for your one stop shop of all the costumes and unsolicited salty commentary from someone who dressed up as an aunt trick or treating with her niece and a spiked apple cider because she’s too old for Halloween and yet still childless and single. I looked like a real babe soda though, so HA.

Honestly I loved this. Luke Bryan’s wife is a smokeshow and she could easily go slutty for H-Ween but she tossed on a lumpy mouse costume and made her mans dress up like a wedge of yellow cheese, right down to the crocs. Well done, Bryan’s.

This was basically a Neutrogena commercial but I don’t even care because Jennifer Garner is cute as a button and I’ll put whatever she tells me to put on my face to look like her at 48.

I’m kind of over the Karen thing like I’m over people blaming a year when someone famous dies but considering I didn’t see any other Karen’s in the mix this year I’d say Kelsea crushed it.

Jade and Tanner are a bachelor couple which means they’re Z list on the fame scale and yet that didn’t stop them from doing about 13 family costumes for instagram with full photoshoots. Ah, to be able to cash in on that ABC reality TV money would be the dream. I decided to choose one of their costumes for a shout out. I felt like this was a solid family Schitt’s Creek costume. Everyone looked on point. Plus mini David and Alexis are just too adorbs.

I didn’t think minions were still a thing but cute fam costume especially to the kid who was like F it I’m just gonna be a rainbow fairy.

I think these gals are all on the same show, not 100% sure because I don’t watch it but I think this is a solid modern Powerpuff costume for three chicks who probably weren’t even born yet when Powerpuff Girls was on Cartoon Network. Does Cartoon Network even exist anymore? Either way, classy and cute.

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There’s a mean Mommy in town 💋

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Get it, Brie! Use that nursing rack to your advantage for a saucy costume!

I hate on these two a lot but it’s only because they deserve it. Who the hell puts a little fake blood on his face and GOES AS HIMSELF BUT “BEAT UP.” Dumb costumes, 0.0 for effort and gag my face off to your need to post an open mouth smooch as well.

This family goes all out every Halloween and when you’re incorporating a green screen into your shoot, I think you know how next level you are.

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MEDUSA outfit @laureldewitt snake body @sirbabajagne

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Again, full-on photoshoot for Halloween. That’s kind of how things went this year. Everyone’s so desperate to get a fit off during quarantine that they’re like yeah let’s just do a magazine cover photo for Halloween on my Insta. I stared way too long at this pic trying to figure out if the snake tail was edited in or a very real looking costume.

I love that Snooki went from being the trash monster that got arrested for getting a day buzz down the shore to full-on mom doing a family Disney costume.

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Bus a Bus & Janet

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Ciara was another one who did about 14 different costumes for the gram. She was emulating her favorite female artists but going for the Janet/Busta combo deal was my fave. Anytime you act out a music video you’ve won me over.

Demi wants everyone to know that she did her own makeup but I can’t stop looking at her yabbos in that first pic. I mean, damn.

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Jen and Brad > Ross and Rachel

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Hi Aniston…

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Kaitlyn nailed this one, Jason gave me nightmares. It’s the weird yellow-green hair and white facial hair for me, bro.

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💦WAP 💦WAP 💦WAP

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Lizzo also dressed as the fly on Pence’s head at the debate and obviously did some twerking on his grey hair but honestly a catsuit made of pool liner was the clear winner for me. WAP has given us so many gifts this year.

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Happy Halloween!!!

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Fun Fact: I still follow Ryan Cabrera on Instagram. What can I say, “Take It All Away” was a life changing album for me. Anyway, so was Napoleon Dynamite. What a classic movie that deserves to be honored. Now I can start dissing people with “your mom goes to college” again.

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my spidey

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Pretty basic costumes but obviously Chrissy looked like a stage-quality ballerina. They BETTER have recreated the Spidey kiss.

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Happy Halloween🎃🎃🎃

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Gonna be honest, I’ve seen better from this fam. I know that’s tough to hear sometimes but this is why I’m the one laying in a red fuzzy bathrobe judging rich people Halloween costumes and you’re not.

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Hoping Kris Jenner took both these photos

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This was my choice for the Jenner gals. Kendall also dressed up as Pamela Anderson and Kylie dressed up as all of my uncomfies. So I went with this lovely sister throwback. Solid nostalgia recreation but HOW IN THE HELL DO THEY HAVE SKINNIER WAISTS AS ADULTS?! Is that real life?! I’ve never been skinnier than when I was a 9 year old string bean. These two are either addicted to photoshop or addicted to waist training but holy moly.

Honestly Alec Baldwin looks like a very convincing Hagrid. Even though this beard/wig combo looks very dollar store-esque, I could see him reviving the role. Also, tough break to be the kid who ends up shitty Draco Malfoy.

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@jtylerpage @macycpage @graysongregory

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TR went full Hocus Pocus and I loved every second of it. Him and his friends getting sauced and reenacting the cemetery scene is absolutely something I would make my sister do. I had my annual viewing of Hocus Pocus a couple nights ago and that scene is so preposterous and 90’s. The only way it could’ve been improved was if it ended in a bball game like 3 Ninjas. TUBULAR.

Dino and Safari Dads even posed in front of the greenery to really sell the jungle angle.

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The Boy Who Lived. 🔮✨🧹

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Guess HP is making a comeback. This begins my bone to pick with celebrity halloween…if you’re not down with posting pics of your kid’s face (a lot of celebs aren’t these days), WHY ARE YOU POSTING PICS WITH THEM IN IT?! Take a couple pic without the child if you’re looking to show off your costume. Otherwise, I’m getting ABSOLUTELY nothing from a family photo where you’ve emoji’ed your kids face out.

So this Donald Trump: A Series, not only scared the poop out of me but also made me wonder where this was going? Is the point to show Donald Trump as a homeless man? Because I can assure you that if the Donald gets voted out of office, he will be far from homeless… And not for nothing but Glenn Close basically proved to us with this costume that she can add a blonde wig and look SCARY identical to Trump. Not something to toot your horn about as he is most certainly not an attractive older male.

AH! CELINE! YOU’RE SCARIN ME!

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NAS MARAJ 💅🏾💅🏾💅🏾

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Lil Nas X showing us what he’d look like with a couple of SuperBoobs.

I wanna squeeze the stuffing out of this little marshmallow. The white sunglasses really sealed the deal. Gabrielle looks like a bangpiece in that chocolate dress, which is a real strong vibe for trick or treating but whatever.

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Little Costumes Everywhere

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Mindy is literally obsessed with Reese Witherspoon so it’s no surprise she recreated this show.

I’d kill for a Clueless costume. Those plaid-fits were the SHIT growing up.

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It takes my breath away! Well it would if I had any…

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That’s a whole lotta blue makeup for a photo and I’d be terrified that it wouldn’t come off but Halsey really went for it.

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Halloween 2020

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Let’s revisit the emoji-kid hiding. The ONLY reason this picture was posted was to show that they trick or treated with their kids together to stir up some headlines, which everyone took the bait of. “Kristin and Jay spend holiday with kids amidst divorce!!!” Dirty move, Kristin. Jay looks like a total bad boy babe though.

JLo did Madonna better than Madonna does Madonna. Is that surprising in the least?

And ARod went as the Boss. God these two are cool as hell.

What do you do if you have endless amounts of money? Rent an actual DeLorean for a Halloween photoshoot.

Breaking News: Apparently fairies are also known for wearing lingerie you can see their nipples through.

Leave it to Kim to do the MOST played out Halloween costume of 2020. And do it with her kids and “FoodGod”. Where is the most most most most most genius man of all time tho? He didn’t want to dress up as Joe Exotic’s teenage boyfriend?

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this is halloween #jackskellington

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Not only did Kris go for it, but she plugged Kylie cosmetics at the same damn time. No days off when you’re the biggest Momager in H’wood.

Drew Barrymore’s show may have been the most awkward talk show I’ve ever watched but she started strong with the Halloween costume game.

I cannot stop laughing at this. If you have to wear a sweatshirt that says “Hi, I’m a gopher” your costume sucks. Just like if you have to wear a name tag when you’re dressing up as someone.

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First look at Zayn and Gigi’s daughter OPE JUST KIDDING SHE HAS A FREAKING EMOJI ON HER FACE. Everyone cut the shit with the emojis. Keep your photos personal since you obviously don’t want your child in the spotlight. Don’t post shit with their face covered like it’s some creepy crime to know what your offspring looks like. Also of course Gigi has bounced back FLAWLESSLY. 

emrat

A little ode to pregnant Demi. Slight belly difference but I appreciate the throwback. 

kelly ripa

Schitt’s Creek and Tiger King were hot in the streets this year but I thought out of all the Live with Kelly & Ryan looks, they really nailed Moira and David. Must be nice to basically get your hands on the original wardrobe they used. 

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Easily one of my faves. Everyone goes big and Kelly Clarkson tosses a sweatshirt and shades on for a 2004 pop culture reference. That’s why she’s the best. SHE DOESN’T EVEN GO HERE! 

today

I’d be remiss to not include the Today Show even though they didn’t have one good photo to share of the whole crew. So this will have to do. They went as Broadway stars, again probably going to Broadway itself to get glammed up. 

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WHAT A TROUTSNIFFER. Ellen WOULD go as a nurse and call them superheroes right now. GROVEL HARDER FOR PEOPLE TO LIKE YOU AGAIN. IT’S NOT GOING TO WORK. 

And the self-proclaimed Queen of Halloween’s great unveiling was…

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A wall. Heidi Klum went through like 8 hours of makeup to blend in with a wall. I will quite literally never understand where she comes up with this shit but more power to her. She’s basically taken ownership of Halloween. Even went so far as to make a “horror film” with her whole family this year since her party where she parades around in her over the top costume couldn’t happen.

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Movies, Pop Culture, Television

Doc O’Clock

I’ve noticed that I’ve been really watching a buttload of documentaries in “quarantine”—I put it in quotes because I’m pretty sure the rest of the world is no longer quarantined but fun fact: when you’re unemployed, quarantine never ends. I’ve always loved a good true crime doc so I can pretend that my several years of watching cop shows and one semester of a Forensics class have qualified me to solve crimes. Typically immediately after I watch a true crime doc, I speak to everyone I know and even some people that I don’t about the details of this horrific crime sometimes even becoming a truther attempting to exonerate murderers who have been sentenced and are currently sitting in jail like I’m Kim Kardashian or something. (See: Stephen Avery & Scott Peterson) HOWEVER, I found myself really reaching beyond the typical true crime doc these past few months and expanding my doc horizons. And all of this consumption has compelled me to yap my face off about the things that I’ve found and now believe I’m an expert on. If you would like doc recommendations, or just want to feel exponentially smarter from watching hours and hours of TV like I do, feel free to browse the below list of documentaries that I’ve consumed over the past 6 months. And if I might add an overall comment, incorporating actual text messages into many of these docs has really added a whole new layer of invasiveness and enhances my incredibly nosy viewing experience tenfold. BRAVA.

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark – HBO

I was overly-hyped for this. I had heard through Twitterland that this doc focused on Michelle McNamara, a crime writer married to comedian Patton Oswalt, who invested her time focusing on the Golden State Killer and cracked the case on her own. I love Hollywood and I love murders so this seemed like a real match made in heaven. Unfortunately, that was quite a Twitter exaggeration. Michelle was writing a book entitled “I’ll Be Gone in the Dark” about the Golden State Killer and was getting access to the case documents and immersing herself in all of the evidence and details of his murders in the 80’s but there were a lot of other people doing the same thing she was doing as well. Most of the victims, people from the town, law enforcement and others had formed groups and were determined to solve this open case. Tragically, Michelle died before finishing the book or seeing the arrest of the Golden State Killer. The doc is through the lens of Michelle’s work and includes a lot of victim personal accounts. Due to the fact that they did not find the killer until recently and the crimes took place 30+ years ago, there wasn’t a lot to offer by way of video evidence or footage so there was a lot of reenactment, which I have a hard time taking seriously. What I did take seriously was the one recorded phone call they had of the GSK saying “I’ll kill you bitch” which they chose to play 900000 times and I chose to crap my pants each time it was played. As someone who was not familiar with the Golden State Killer, I found the details about his crimes very interesting, especially because he was so prolific for many years, breaking into people’s homes at night, raping and killing. So basically every fear of mine come to life whenever I’m home alone. Even though I found it interesting, I did start to get a little bored after the third episode and therefore this wasn’t an overwhelming home run for me in the doc department. Adding in Michelle’s tragic story created another interesting layer, but I feel like it could’ve been wrapped up a little neater. Also by interesting I mean kind of horrifying because she was terrified and had stopped sleeping because of how much she had immersed herself in this case. And she didn’t even get to see this scumbucket finally get caught. And not for nothing, but how OUTRAGEOUS is it when serial killers have a family and everyone’s like yeah we had no clue dad/my husband/Uncle Joe was raping and murdering 5 nights a week. WUT?!

The Vow – HBO

I cannot stress enough how obsessed I am with this story and documentary. For those looking for a quick and dirty doc, this is not it as it’s episodic and each episode is an hour long. They release a new one each week, so if you’d rather binge I suggest waiting until they’re all up—right now there are 7 episodes out there. This series follows the cult NXIVM, which holds a special place in many of our hearts as it was a hometown cult. Started by Keith Raniere in Clifton Park, NY, anyone from the Cap Region might have heard about this through the years or might even know someone who was involved. As a Saratoga Resident for 10ish years, I gleefully outbursted when Keith described Clifton Park as the “Rome of the modern day” and texted my old co-workers when our radio station banners were hung in the gym where Vanguard invites everyone to watch him play volleyball every night. I even got excited when I saw the Dalai Lama visit The Palace Theatre. So I would say it’s especially a must-watch for people who live in that area because they have TONS of video footage from the former cult members who are the main focus of this doc, plus it’s not often that HBO shines a spotlight on dear old CP also referred to as Albany almost exclusively throughout the series even though they are completely different cities. But anyway, let’s get to the real meat here which is that NXIVM started as self-help classes and preyed on people who were kind of lost in their career or life path and told them to sign up for a couple thousand dollar course and start working the stripe path to get different colored sashes and eventually have the opportunity to bone Keith Raniere, one of the schlubbiest looking men alive. Let me be clear, this is not coming from a judgmental place. Well, the sex with Keith part is. But falling for this cult thing is not and mostly because I know for a fact I would’ve fallen for this. I, too, am a wayward soul looking for happiness. And if someone approached me and was like I know how to guarantee you’ll be happy again, I’d be like yeah bitch let’s do this. Unfortunately once I attended my first volleyball game where Keith is wearing a sweatband in his long grey hair and being treated like a sex symbol, mouth kissing everyone’s faces off I’d be swiftly out. But that’s just me. The details of this cult are not only baffling, but the fact that it went on for 20+ years before law enforcement was involved is nuts beyond belief. Since I’ve already babbled on too long and I could probably talk forever about my fascination with NXIVM, I’ll just say watch it and get back to me. I mean, literally I brought this shit up in therapy and my therapist had to tell me 3-4 times that she’s not an expert on this cult before I finally gave it up. SO JUST WATCH IT, OK?!

The Social Dilemma – Netflix

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This doc interviews executives in some of the largest internet and social media companies and brings to light just HOW MUCH the internet was created to stalk our lives. It’s an eye opening experience for all generations because as much as adults want to say they’re too old for social media, look no further than Facebook to see the olds POPPIN OFF on the daily. So it really applies to all ages here. There are astonishing facts about how the rate of suicide and mental health issues in middle school age children skyrocketed after the invention of social media. There’s explanations as to how people who wrote the actual algorithms to keep you hooked online fall for the same pitfalls we do even though they created it. So basically this is the doc for anyone whose ever had a conversation about getting a new vacuum cleaner and then the next time they open Facebook or Google, there’s ads for vacuum cleaners. It’s crazy and invasive and yet I will never ever ever give up social media and you can’t MAKE ME. But seriously, lots of interesting stuff and then a little bit of “the internet is going to ruin the world” vibes as well. Take that with a grain of salt. It seems like the world is crashing and burning all on its own with minimal interference from the internet but whatevs. 

This is Paris – YouTube

thisisparis

Yes that’s right I’ll even stoop to Youtube if it means getting to pull the curtain back on an infamous celeb. Although I really wanted this to be about Paris’ lavish upbringing and how she came to basically create reality TV and the “famous for nothing” crew (lookin at you, Kimmy K)…what it was really about was much darker than that. When Paris was in her teen years she was sent to a bunch of different behavioral correction schools, escaping them all and finally ending up in one out in Utah where she and the other “students” were mentally, physically & sexually abused. And Paris never even told her parents this until recently, just burying the trauma until she decided to seek justice and reunite with old classmates through this doc. Overall I’d say it was interesting to see a lot of public things that Paris did through the new perspective knowing that she was abused for several years when she was forming her identity. She admits that most of her relationships have been abusive, even showing paparazzi photos where she has bruises all over her body. Obviously she touches on the sex tape and how she was coerced into it by her first real boyfriend who she was trying to impress. And probably the most interesting tidbit of them all, Paris is Keyser Soze. She’s secretly brilliant and has been putting on this dum dum “That’s Hot” act ever since the early 2000’s. In her child slavery schools she was forced to clean so acting like she didn’t know what a sponge was in “The Simple Life” was pure acting talent. Her normal voice octave isn’t breathy and moronic. Bitch has been playing the media for decades and has made billions off of it. Watching this unfold throughout the documentary leading up to the point when one of her former fellow students pointed out that she was a physics brainiac in school was the moment when Keyser Soze loses the limp at the end of the movie (spoiler alert). Glass shattered. Paris is smarter than us all. Also, hands down best scene of the whole thing is when Paris is DJ’ing Tomorrowland, the biggest festival she’s ever played, and her drunk insecure boyf picks a fight with her minutes before she’s supposed to go on and she loses it on him and gets him bounced from the entire festival. If you don’t immediately want to start cheering for her in that moment, you’re not human. The director said she wanted it cut out and I’m glad it didn’t get cut because that was PURE entertainment and suuuuch a SAVAGE Paris moment. 

American Murder – Netflix

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Nobody loves a deep dive into a murder more than me, but this one just hit different. I felt very icky after watching it and it took me several moments to craft a tweet to sum up why. What it really came down to for me was the fact that not only was this a very recent murder so I was involved in the story from when it broke and not just learning about it through this doc, but it was a murder of 2 children and a pregnant wife. I feel like I can’t remember any other murder that I’ve read/heard about that includes children. And not only that, but this documentary included LOTS of footage of the children and the wife. It turns out Shanann (a name I will NEVER be able to pronounce, it’s Shannon or bust) fancied herself somewhat of an internet influencer. They had an overwhelming amount of videos from her Facebook page just updating her “followers” on her kids and her husband and things she was going through, some of them were very personal about her health or serving as inspirational messages for people who might be watching. She seemed to be the type of person who filmed and/or took pictures of everything. Which is EXACTLY the type of person I would roll my eyes at and block on Facebook, but now, seeing it on a documentary about her untimely death, it just seemed sad and eerie. There were many videos of the kids and their dad, showing them playing together or just being a normal family. Her pregnancy announcement was filmed. And I think it was just especially jarring in the age of social media to have all of this now included in true crime docs. I’m so used to reenactments and old-ass interrogation tapes. This is very much a modern doc, right down to using the police chest cam footage from the days after Shanann and the kids go missing. And don’t get me wrong, I HATE docs that are just talking heads and no action, so I really loved the fact that they incorporated all of this video footage and even personal texts that she had sent leading up to the murder. And yet it’s a catch-22 because Chris Watts is the SCUM of the earth and it just painted a clearer picture of the fact that Shanann and her children were murdered in the most disgusting way, FOR ABSOLUTELY no reason. So now that I’ve ranted about it giving me the uncomfies, let’s talk about the rest. The BIGGEST takeaway that I had from this doc, was the blonde polygraph chick who was RUTHLESS and I LOVED it…for about 5 mins and then immediately after she was done being a sassy B she suggested to Chris that maybe Shanann killed the kids and that’s the story he went with for several months, blaming the murder of his children on his innocent wife until he finally set the story straight. It was a quick high to low situation, I loved the fact that she was calling him out for being a MORON to take a polygraph when he’s clearly lying, but then she enabled him by giving him a story that there’s NO CHANCE he would’ve come up with on his own, and then rubbed his back for “confessing.” I mean this is the guy who pulled his truck into the garage to put his wife’s body in it KNOWING his neighbor camera-stalks the street. That neighbor deserves a badge of honor btw for knowing Chris was a murderer IMMEDIATELY. Regardless, we’re dealing with a real dummy here and this “interrogation” had some Brad Dassey vibes to it and I’m surprised Chris Watts didn’t ask if he’d be out of jail in time for Wrestlemania after confessing to the murder.

Class Action Park – HBO

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I’ve heard about Action Park for years and knew that Johnny Knoxville was in a movie about it yet felt like that was more a boy movie than something I’d be super interested in. Then people started buzzing (specifically my favorite cousin who constantly tells me I’m funny so obviously I trust her opinion the most) about this new doc and you KNOW I have FOMO, so I decided to watch. And yes, Action Park was NUTZ. Just the cannonball loop alone was a covered slide with a loop in it. It looked like someone drew it and then just slapped some materials together to make it, as if the park was a hamster cage and not meant for human beings. The “mastermind” behind Action Park, Gene Mulvihill would give employees cash for testing out the rides. At one point they noticed people coming out with scratches and when they opened the slide up to see what was going on, previous riders TEETH were stuck in the padding and injuring other kids. WOOF TIMES A BILLION. And this was pretty much the case for each ride they described. They had Tarzan rope swings, cliff dives, slides that dropped 50 feet, and motorboats that you could booze up and ride. Basically this place was a walking lawsuit and everyone who went got injured and even a couple died. My personal favorite, the wave pool known as the “grave pool” where they used fresh water and noted that the human sludge and constant waves made it hard to spot if someone was drowning. When a person died in the wave pool, they cleared out the body and let everyone back in to keep body surfing/potentially also dying. These are all the fun facts I learned by watching this doc, but it was also one of those movies that never ended. I checked my phone several times because it felt like it was hours long and I definitely started to nod off. It was like they wanted to show how badass this place was but then felt the moral obligation to include heartfelt remarks from a family whose teenager died there. It was a real moral crossroads for me because at one point I’m laughing hysterically about how Action Park is SO Jersey it hurts and shouting CLASSIC to someone who drove a motorboat up onto a dock over another human being and walked away… and then a second later I feel like a dirtbag for laughing because this family who lost their child is traumatized and thinks Gene is a total money-grubbing heartless dirtbag.  Real waterslide of emotions, pun intended.

Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich – Netflix

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Again, I may be one of the last people to know what the deal is with Jeffrey Epstein but this doc was a great peek into that world. Sometimes I find that watching a well-made flick about a hot topic that is most definitely a little bit political, is better than learning about it from your Great Uncle on Facebook. This was 4 hour-long episodes and honestly the same message could’ve been delivered in 2 episodes or a feature film. This is one of my favorite things to critique about docs as most of them are THE MOST drawn out for no reason. Unless you have LOADS of compelling footage to show, most of the time you’re interviewing the same people and showing the same 4 photos or clips and that gets old REAL quick. I will also add that this was heavily for the victims and therefore they were really trying to tug at your heartstrings with their personal accounts and the justice they were seeking. Jeffrey Epstein was a very wealthy and well-connected pedo and he used his privilege to get away with it for several years even when the evidence was stacked against him. And his right-hand gal Ghislaine (pronounced in the DOUCHIEST french accent “ghee-lane” or if you’re my dad and have the maturity of a 14 year old, “Jizz-lane.”) who was FINALLY tracked down and arrested recently essentially groomed girls to be raped by Jeffrey and also deserves to rot in prison. If you’re anything like me, you’ll watch this and then immediately dive into the wormhole of conspiracy theories right down to Wayfair trafficking children disguised as expensive cabinets. If this doc taught me anything, it’s that without a doubt there’s a pedo ring in politics and Hollywood and I can’t wait for the day that shit’s blown wide open and these pervs are outed. Also, it taught me that Prince Andrew has a physical condition that prevents him from sweating. LOLOLOLOLOL.

McMillion$ – HBO

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I came late to the party for this one, people were telling me to watch it back in February but I’m cheap and didn’t get HBO until recently when I got a free trial JUST to watch I’ll Be Gone in the Dark and then when said free trial expired, I waited until they sent me a cheaper monthly price before I committed again (to obviously cancel when they raise the price after a year.) That’s how you play the game, folks. Anyway, this one covers the classic McDonalds Monopoly game that ran for a decade and it turns out it was completely rigged. I had no previous information about this case so the story was a real rollercoaster. Doug Mathews was the rookie special agent who first pursued this case and he is ELECTRIC on camera. Honestly if it weren’t for Doug I might’ve shut the doc off after episode 1 because it was a bit of a slow start. And thank God I didn’t shut it off because it was one of my fave doc-series. The creatures that were in this criminal Monopoly ring were the type of people that I couldn’t tear my eyes away from. Robin Colombo in particular. I cherished every time she graced the screen with her Kool Aid red hair, 16,000 wrinkles and constant ciggy hanging out of her mouth. I’m honestly not sure what’s more offensive, the cast of characters that won millions of dollars from McDonald’s illegally or the fact that these morons got away with it for SO long. In fact, had there not been an informant, there would still be schmucks buying winning Monopoly tickets like it’s an underground betting ring and not a fast food chain promotional contest.

Fear City – Netflix

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This is for all my fellow I-talians out there. My dad and I watched this one together in our matching wife-beaters and gold cross chains while we ate sauce and called everyone mamalukes. Just kidding, sort of. Fear City dives into the height of the NYC mafia in the 70’s and 80’s and how a bunch of baby-faced agents took them down. I love a good mafia/mob movie and the best part about this one was that it was real life. The five families were quite literally running the entire city at that time, making money off of the construction of every new skyscraper that was going up, in addition to having their hands in every other revenue-generating business right down to the gas you put in your car. In just three episodes (my favorite kind of doc) you’ll get to see how the FBI managed to assign an agent to each family, bug their homes and build enough evidence to take them all down. The sting operations get my juices flowing (there was a great sting in the McMillions doc where they acted as a film crew Argo style) and watching the bug guy tell us how he put on a mustache and a jumpsuit and dropped by the head of a mafia family’s home to “fix his TV” in the 1970’s when technology literally did not exist was riveting stuff. There wasn’t AS much real time footage as I would’ve liked but again, it was short so it’s not like I was bored to tears.

I Love You, Now Die – HBO

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Nothing excites me more than forming an opinion on a crime strictly from the very few headlines that I read. And that’s exactly what everyone did with this case, which is why I truly enjoyed this more balanced look into what might have happened. I guess this doc came out last year, but having just gotten access to HBO, I went a little apeshit last weekend consuming every recent doc they had and this just happened to be one of them and I wanted to recommend it and not just because it took place in Massachusetts and featured some PRIME Ben/Casey Affleck exaggerated movie accents. The case was a big deal a few years back because technically Conrad committed suicide but once they dove a little deeper into his relationship with his girlfriend Michelle, they found text messages from her encouraging him to do it and she was charged with his murder, which is a pretty controversial thing and a unique murder charge. The doc did a great job of covering the back and forth of if you can really charge someone for murder when they texted someone to do it–at the end of the day Michelle didn’t start that car and let it fill up with carbon monoxide to kill Conrad and it seemed like the judge was kind of torn on it too. What was made very clear though was the fact that both Conrad and Michelle were AWL sorts of F’ed up. They were both being treated for depression and on medication, Conrad had attempted suicide before, and the two of them lived in this kind of toxic fantasy world of dating via text and never actually seeing each other. So for anyone who saw Michelle in court with her jet black bushy brows, her bleach blonde hair and a REAL bitchy stank face and though ooooh this teeniebopper ho is guilty AF, I suggest you watch this and it might not be so black and white. I’m not saying you’re going to finish it and think she’s innocent like I did when I watched the Scott Peterson doc and spent every Christmas party bringing up the gruesome murder of Laci Peterson to everyone who got stuck talking to me in order to convince them of his innocence, but you might just see the case from all sides. And that’s really why we watch docs, right? To get a different perspective, learn some new tidbits, and then shove all of that down everyone else’s throats and act like you’re superior to them because you watched an educational movie that was 100% created with an agenda and also a bias. DOCS 4 LIFE.

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Pop Culture, Television

Quarantine Bingies

Being holed up in your home for the past month or two means LOTS of TV time. Realistically it should also mean lots of reading time but most of these shows I’m about to recommend were based on books anyway so you’re really killing two birds with one stone here. (JK, I’m a book nerd and I stand by the fact that books are better than movies, but that opinion doesn’t really align with laying horizontally for 10 hours straight watching an entire series in your pajamas.) You know all those things that have been sitting on your “watch list”, well no excuses now. Play like a champ and smash “I’m still watching.” I’ve done a little recon for you and I’ll let you know below which new series to consume in full immediately, and which ones you’ll be #blessed to miss out on.

SKIP

Tiger King – Netflix.

This one came out early quarantine and me telling you to skip it is a WILDLY unpopular opinion but honestly it was a dirt doc and I’m not afraid to shout it from the rooftops. The premise of the doc was to uncover the weird, trashy world of exotic animal owners and ended up mostly following the feud between Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin and an eventual jail sentencing for Joe attempting to do a murder for hire. The documentary is 7 episodes too long. There’s episodes that dive into things that could have their own doc and are completely irrelevant to the story, then they gloss over things like someone committing suicide in front of someone else. I’m not going to go on and on about this doc because you’ve most likely heard about it non-stop since it was released. There were certainly entertaining parts as you watch the underbelly of white trash commit crimes and bang each other, it’s a lot like a horrific car wreck that you can’t look away from. But don’t waste 7 hours of your life on it. Just watch a highlight reel of Joe Exotic if you want to be in the know. On TOP of that, there have been two specials released since the world became obsessed with  the story–no new info was provided, they were both basically repeats of what we already knew and now everyone in Hollywood is fighting over who should play these “characters” in a movie. WHY DO WE NEED A MOVIE OF A DOCUMENTARY? WE ALREADY SAW THE STORY IRL, WE DON’T NEED TO THEN WATCH A MOVIE SO I CAN SEE NICHOLAS CAGE PLAY JOE EXOTIC. Obviously I’m very triggered about this because it takes everything that is lazy and un-inventive about Hollywood and magnifies it. We didn’t have a movie made about Making A Murderer. We just tweeted about getting justice for Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey and made fun of how the entire Dassey/Avery compound answered the phone “Yeah? Yeah.” for a few months before forgetting completely about it. And you know what?! That’s what we should’ve done with Joe Exotic. Laughed at a few memes and the fact that there are people in this world who take wedding photos with their husband on a leash in a one-shouldered tiger toga and move on with our merry lives.

PS the more attention we give these trash machines, the richer they become and as someone that is forever in debt, that is NOT something I can support.

Normal People – Hulu.

I didn’t have high hopes for this show because it is one of the very few books that I gave up on after a couple of chapters. I have an annoying habit of not being able to not finish something that I’ve started even if it’s horrible, so I only have a few movies/books I’ve ditched halfway through –so you KNOW this one really stinks on ice. Then everyone was buzzing about how it was made into a TV show and how obsessed they were and I was like eh let’s give it another shot, maybe it’s more visually stimulating than the book. It was not. There is literally no substance to this show, it’s the blandest thing on this earth–at times I literally felt like it was moving in slow motion. It’s like staring at a glass of skim milk for 12 episodes–their only saving grace is that they’re 30 minute-rs, thank God because the hour long epis for all these new shows were starting to wear on me. This series follows a friends with benefits sitch between a weird, smart girl and a popular athlete. Tale as old as time, the athlete wants her to keep it a secret that they’re having sex and basically treats her like dog shit yet still bones her every day after school. (The series also follows them throughout college.) He’s not even attractive so we can’t even call him a hot douche, and the story takes place in Ireland, so I had to use subtitles to even know what the hell they’re all saying. There’s a LOT of sex, so if you’re into Irish softcore porn, this series is for you. Otherwise, you can get the same amount of bland plain bagel boning by turning on E! this weekend as they undoubtedly show another 50 Shades of Grey marathon for the 500th Saturday in a row. ALSO: let this be a lesson to any TV show moving forward, if you play Hide and Seek by Imogen Heap, the only thing I’ll be seeing is Marissa Cooper shooting Trey to stop him from kicking Ryan’s ass…so putting in the background of a montage of you banging just won’t work. That song retired out of the TV game with the OC and everyone knows it.

Double also, props to me for sticking it through all 12 episodes and you cannot even for a second try to convince me that the lead girl isn’t Anne Hathaway 10 years ago. It’s creepy as hell and I spent most of the time wondering if Anne traveled back in time to do this show because I was so bored and I had a lot of time on my hands to brainstorm.

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Hollywood – Netflix.

I gave this one episode. I know that’s kind of cheating and shit but I knew from that one episode that I wasn’t going to be into it. JK I knew when I heard it was a Ryan Murphy joint that I wasn’t going to be into it. So this is more a personal preference skip. If you, like me, think everything Ryan Murphy does is sensory overload then opt outta this one. It’s a re-imagining of the start of Hollywood basically but with more inclusion on sexuality and race. Since Ryan Murphy is a big ole big booty baller in Hollywood (the real one, not the Netflix one) he’s got budgets through the roof so there’s a heavyweight cast of A-listers and the set/visuals are movie quality. Unfortunately for me, (as you might have also assumed from my previous review of Normal People) I’m just not into watching shows where everyone bangs each other…and that’s pretty much how this one started out. So it’s a no for me dawg, but make your own grown up decisions about if you’ll like it.

Upload – Amazon Prime.

Honestly, it says a lot about the quality TV they’ve been dropping during Quarantine that I’m scrounging for stuff that’s so bad, I’m telling you not to waste time that you have seemingly endless amounts of watching. This was another personal preference skip but not because it’s a bad show…just because thinking about death and what happens after we die gives me MAJOR anxiety. I tend to avoid shows that deal with the afterlife because who the hell wants to think about that, especially right now?! So I gave it one episode and was like ok I need to quit…then in the last few minutes of episode one, they trickled in a little mystery and suddenly I was starting episode 4 in the same sitting. So like I said, to each his own. This futuristic series (just picked up for season 2) follows the untimely death of a young guy in a world where you can choose to just die and go to heaven, or you can choose to be uploaded to a simulated world and become an avatar like you’re in Sims heaven or something. Also, real world can communicate with uploaded world. Super weird stuff all around. I don’t typically like to think this hard about how things work in a made up world when I’m watching TV (plus DEATH) but it’s actually pretty funny–same creators as The Office & Parks and Rec–and like I said, there’s a little bit of mystery to how he died and damnit if I get hooked by a mystery EVERY TIME. Plus Robby Amell ain’t too shabby to look at, amirite ladies?! And there’s a love story to it as well. Truly something for everyone! [Update: I finished the series in a day and will absolutely be tuning in for season 2 to find out what happened. Sue me.]

Middleditch & Schwartz – Netflix.

I was pretty amped up to check this one out because I have a huge boner for everything that Ben Schwartz does. I’ll watch any movie he’s in and instantly like it, I’ve even been dabbling in indies just because he’s the lead so I guess you could say Ben Schwartz has made me supes cultured. Plus, as I’ve yapped about before, he gave us Jean Ralphio and nothing can top singing stupidity. Now that I’ve gone deep in the B.Schwartz droolfest, I regret to inform you that I lost interest in this almost immediately. It’s a short series–only 3 episodes and the first time that a full improv show has ever been brought to TV (not just bits like Whose Line is it Anyway.) And if I might add my two cents, I’m not sure that it translated. I had a super hard time keeping up with what characters they were playing and following the story. Definitely a few laughs here and there but way too much brain work for comedy. I guess I’m too dumb for improv so I’ll just tuck my tail between my legs and go back to watching low budge flicks featuring Ben.

 

WATCH

Little Fires Everywhere – Hulu.

Based on a book, this one was a Reese Witherspoon specialty. Typically I read every single book that Reese recommends and then her all-ladiezzzz production company turns the book around into a very dramats series with a bunch of A-list actresses. It’s a win, win really. The story follows a mom and daughter who move around a lot and barely scrape by, everything they own fitting in a car. They move into an elite neighborhood in Ohio and a super ritzy family rents out an apt to them then the kids become friends and their lives are intertwined but it’s very clearly a class struggle and the two moms hate each other’s guts. The series has Reese and Kerry playing the two moms and added race as a main focus to the story as well. Despite the fact that Kerry Washington’s only face for the entire series is this with a quivering lip:

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Which is annoying beyond belief, the rest of the cast managed to act their asses off without a weird face. The last episode was definitely the best, special shout out to my boy Joshua Jackson who kind of stayed under the radar for the whole thing then had an epic shouty meltdown in the last epi that had me triumphantly raising my fist from the couch. Bonus points that the story takes place in the 90’s and therefore has the best music–Chumbawamba, Mariah Carey, Alanis Morisette, Collective Soul, 2Pac…all the classics. If I may add my final words of wisdom, however, let’s leave this at a one and done. The book ended the same way, we don’t need to unearth multiple seasons of everything. Learn your lesson from the giant waste that was Big Little Lies season 2, Reesey Piecey. I don’t need an entire season dedicated to a Meryl Streep cameo with no plot. Tysm.

Never Have I Ever – Netflix.

The latest in Mindy Kaling projects, this one is definitely the most inclusive peek at high school you’ll ever see (or I’ll ever see…I don’t know where you went to high school but the FM Hornets were not aflush with black, Indian & Asian teens.) It follows an Indian-American sophomore who just lost her dad and is trying to cope with that while also smooch boys and be a cool sixteen year old except that she’s a real nerd-bomber. Narrated by John McEnroe for an interesting twist–and making it feel much more acceptable to watch as an adult, it has the typical sassy Mindy writing that I love and plenty of awksies teen moments. The real hero of this show is main character Devi’s mom, who has to tolerate her salty AF daughter and knows just how to put her in her place–like not making bagel bites for her and her friends as an after school snack because Devi called her a bitch. A bagel bite-less homework sesh is the worst kind of punishment if you ask me. I used to eat a hot pocket with soda every day after school so if my mom ever took my snacks away I’d run away from home too. But anyway, I was expecting this to be a real uproarious teen comedy with some To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before teen crush vibes…but it was actually much more emotional than I expected. I teared up a few times and thought they had a good mix of funny and sad plus a great cast of characters that all pulled their weight in different ways. AND they left it hanging on a love triangle cliff hanger, which I’m nothing if not a sucker for. Sign me up for season 2, yo.

Dave – FX/Hulu.

I’m going to preface this one with a little “it’s not for everyone” disclaimer (Mom and Dad, I’m looking at you.) If you’re not familiar with Lil Dicky at this point, then if I had to guess, you won’t enjoy this show. Lil Dicky is famous for being a white Jewish rapper who can spit bars but mostly raps about funny stuff and makes himself the butt of the joke. I’ve blogged about him here and there for his ridiculous tunes and when I heard he was making a semi-autobiographical show, I gave it a chance fully realizing that I have no street cred. BUT the great news is, neither does Dave/Lil Dicky, which made me feel right at home. The show follows him and his weirdo friends as he chases his dream of becoming a rapper. There’s a couple of early episodes that are touch and go but he really hits his stride toward the end of the season and the second to last episode had everything from a family wedding with an emotional toast to diarrhea in the woods. A real emotional rollercoaster, if you will. I literally cried real tears, both from laughing so hard at the poop and sadness from the maid of honor speech (no spoilers.) Dave has the ability to create a real storyline for an episode and then typically tie it into a song by the end. Mad props for creating something original and interesting in TV times where nothing is original, and tossing in a Kourtney Kardashian/Justin Bieber cameo for the basic betches too. Also, Gata is hands down one of the coolest characters and I would like to be his friend.

The Last Dance – ESPN. (Final two episodes to air this Sunday)

I feared that I wasn’t the target demo for this one because I’m not a boy who was born before 1990 and the only thing I know Michael Jordan from is Space Jam. However, propelled by my severe FOMO when Twitter only talked about MJ every Sunday night, I decided to give it a whirl and I was PLEASANTLY surprised, which compelled me to include it in this list even though the entire series isn’t available yet, but will be after this weekend. Plus credit where credit is due, this doc was set to be released in June and everyone was so desp during quarantine that ESPN threw us an early bone. Also, it’s about time because the majority of the footage they created this with is 22 years old and was just legit collecting dust until Jordan finally said IT’S TIME. As someone who knows literally nothing about Michal Jordan’s career, especially the 1997-1998 season, I find the doc very interesting and I can’t wait to see what happens! Will they win the championship again? Will Phil Jackson furrealz get the boot? Will Scottie Pippen ever grow into his teeth? Will Bugs Bunny take down the Monstars? I CAN’T WAIT TO FIND OUT. Other things I’d love clarification on: why the hell did all of the Bulls chew gum on the court like their jaws were going to stop working at any moment? As someone who has accidentally kept gum in her mouth during gym class, I can tell you that it only makes you thirstier and the gum gets rock hard much more quickly when you’re salivating for some agua. Weird move by that team. Is that what made them so good? Did they have a Winterfresh sponsorship? Also, why does MJ have milky yellow eyeballs? Feel free to report back to me with legitimate or silly answers to any of these questions. This is what ESPN gets for a non-target demo consuming their product. Sorry not sorry. [Last minute tag-on comment: my favorite two episodes so far have been 7 & 8 as they jump us back and forth from the early 90’s to the late 90’s making ties to where Michael was emotionally in those time periods and drawing parallels. And if that sentence just made me sound like an educated film critic, let me completely ruin that by saying THE best part of these two episodes was how much Michael Jordan called his teammate a ho. Bully Jordan is WAY more hilarious to watch than gambling Jordan. Couldn’t stop giggling. May LaBradford Smith rest in peace.]

Outerbanks – Netflix.

I was fully prepared to put this on the skip list after hearing mixed reviews and feeling like the only positive reviews came from people much younger than me. Advertised as a cross between The OC and The Goonies, Outerbanks just didn’t seem like it’d be for me. Then I started it one night and finished it by the next afternoon, gripped the entire time. I’m half and half about recommending it because I don’t know that I would want to be that stressed again while watching TV. So I guess if you’re looking to be on the edge of your seat and having a whole lot of anxiety at dumb teenagers doing everything they can to put themselves in danger, then definitely watch this. If you’re just looking for a hot teen drama (like I originally was) this probz isn’t for you. There was FAR more violence than I was anticipating. Like every episode the same 4 characters get their asses kicked to the point where I genuinely wonder how they’re all alive, let alone not severely injured. They all just manage to escape with some shiners (which just make them look kewler), no biggie. Plus there’s a kid who just illegally carries a gun everywhere and everyone keeps telling him to stop bringing his gun and he’s like nah I need it, yet never has it on him when he actually needs it. Plot twist. But anyway, the real shining star of this series is the lead character, John B. Yes that’s right, he is addressed as his first name and middle initial for the entire series by every single character–to an excessive amount. It’s very hard to take seriously. No JB, or John Jr because his dad’s name was John. It’s literally John B. ALWAYS. It’s a good thing he’s a real babe soda in his mostly open-button Tommy Bahama shirts to make up for his dumb AF name (relax, pedos, he’s 27 IRL.)

Now that I’ve thoroughly distracted you with a John B thirst trap, let’s talk about how the first episode was very misleading that we would mostly be served with John B’s hot musings on Pogue life and then BAM all the sudden I’m watching an old lady with glowing eyes chasing a bunch of kids with a gun and I was scared to brush my teeth before bed that night thinking the old blind bag would emerge from the guest room and chase me with a fire poker into my room. At least we all have new stupid terminology to abuse all summer when we want to call someone rich or poor. Kooks and Pogues. STAY OFF THE CUT.

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(If you haven’t realized it yet, my lifelong dream is to be a beach babe who lives on the shore and only dresses in beachy casj so this show really fulfilled that for me and much like when I came back from Hawaii and refused to take off my backwards Hawaiian floral hat and shoved hang loose down everyone’s throats, I will continue that tradition of pretending to be an islander with Pogue Life. I’m already halfway there because in quarantine I’ve been brushing my hair out and letting it air dry, thus creating a very frizzy beachy wave. Mahalo. Pogues til Death. ‘Guna for Lyfe.)

Seriously check out those beach waves. Lettuce for DAYZ. Also yes, yes I did put on my bikini and reenact going to the beach on the kitchen floor for a TikTok, thanks for asking. Maybe if it stopped SNOWING, the world would be able to appreciate my big beach energy.

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Happy Quaran-streaming!

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Music, Pop Culture, Red Carpet

AMA’s Red Carpet 2019

I just returned from a European vacay, and in true asshole “I’ve traveled abroad” fashion, I went to Price Chopper and bought myself a whole baguette as a casj snack to pretend I don’t actually live in the trashhole that is America. Why am I telling you this? Well, because I settled in to judge the AMA’s red carpet looks with an ENTIRE charcuterie board and bottle of rosé, just by myself. There was not a snack left in sight within 20 mins of the show starting. This is the kind of qualifications I bear to pinpoint when people look bad or sound bad at awards shows. Who better to cast stones than someone who skipped the gym and ate olives, bread, meats and cheeses for dinner in sweatpants. KEEP IT COMIN, HOLLYWOOD AND I’LL KEEP JUDGING.

But enough about me, let’s briefly recap the highlights of the show. Selena SOMEHOW nabbed the opening performance and dear lord did she make everyone question that. Selena has been MIA for 2 years (in rehab & recovering from Justin Bieber dumping her again and getting married 5 minutes later to someone he wasn’t even dating at the time) and tonight was her big comeback singing her two most recent singles about getting over that Biebz good good. Unfortunately she’s delivering burns to JB by singing “you sang off key in my chorus” while SINGING OFF KEY. Her voice was beyond bad. Like I sing karaoke better than her bad. On top of that, she barely moved her body for the dance number. Really mailed it in all around and that was the kickoff to the AMA’s.

Then we got Camila & Shawn still not smooching–at this point are they even dating if they don’t tongue each other onstage? Taylor’s audience SHOCKED faces (enough of this already) and then her Artist of the Decade medley where the ONLY shade she threw was toward Selena by not including her in the besties “Shake It Off” portion of her performance. Do you think Tay sat her down and was like look, I know we’re BFF’s but your voice stinks and I only want good singers onstage with me? Cause I do. But seriously where was the Big Machine drama? Starting off by singing The Man with a white lab coat with all of your Big Machine records listed on it with a bunch of 5 year olds was not dramatic enough for me and I was v. disappointed. Other than that, Halsey’s paint ball performance was cool as hell and Shania and her leopard men brought down the hizzouse as the grand finale.

WORST

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We flew too close to the sun with Halsey’s red carpet looks, guys. She was 2/2 and I knew she couldn’t pull a trifecta. I hoped she would but here we are. Hailing from another planet, red hair rectangles glued on top of her head, eyebrows ceasing to exist & rainbow eyes. The dress isn’t the worst thing I’ve ever seen her wear but it’s not GREAT EITHER. GAWD, HALSEY.

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Great color but can’t exactly get on board with the Shaq-sized sports jacket and hard flare pants.

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Lizzo is an orange cupcake. Don’t do ruffles, girl. Just don’t. Shout out to her purse tho–wonder if she’s holding Will Ferrell’s cell phone in that.

willferrell

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I’m being very honest when I say that one look at Kesha’s hair here made me want to puke. Those bangs look like they are plastered to her forehead. Also she’s wearing a robe.

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Gaga isn’t here so Xtina thought she would step up to the plate in her absence. No one should ever have block shoulders.

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Heidi out here dressing like it’s the VS Fashion Show. Is she wearing the fantasy bra?!?!

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This is such a Tyra outfit that I almost burst out laughing when I saw it. America’s Next Top Model Tyra showing us how to smize while also dressed like a slutty Panama Jack.

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I’m sorry but I don’t get Billie Eilish. She whisper sings and stares at the camera with voodoo eyes and dresses only in baggy bad 90’s trends. I DON’T GET IT. EXPLAIN IT TO ME, YOUTHS.

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KETCHUP & MUSTARD.

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I will not support these sneakers.

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Bad prom dress alert.

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I think we all know at this point that I was just put on this earth to roast Diplo’s country western act.

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Can we hook up this goober with Billie? They can wear his and hers plaid outfits and just make sounds at each other because that sums up both of their singing careers.

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This was a tough call for me as I love purple AND teal but sometimes you’ve gotta be the baaaaaad guy (see, I’m cool sometimes, Billie) and tell Shawn Mendes to put his chesties away. It’s way too much. Dial it back on putting the pecs on display at a family event.

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H O L Y BooBZ.  Y’all know I don’t like boobage and she’s serving a whole lot of it here. Plus I feel like maybe she should’ve sat this one out.

BEST

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Shania is poppin that hourglass figure and I respect the hell out of the fact that not only did she just come back from the dead for this awards show, but she also decided to wear her hair in the classic, pile it on top of your head because you don’t want to deal with it style. Left a little tail though, just in case.

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 I guess I’m really into the olds tonight but sometimes when you keep it tight and rock classic black, you deserve a nod.

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DAMNIT THESE TWO ARE CUTE AND COLOR COORDINATED.

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The men really showed up tonight with classy and unique suits.

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Pains me to do this because Nick Viall is such a fame-sucking wiener, but God I love this jacket color.

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I keep going back and forth on this. On the one hand, this looks genuinely uncomfortable and like she might pierce her boobs with sharp tin with a sudden movement. On the other hand, SHINY.

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Gr8 color choice for Jenna who already looks v. pregs.

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This is adorbsicles and also they both look fab.

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BAAAAAABE SOOOOOOODA.

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Love me some purple and I love me some Carrie’s stems.

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Camila going for the woodland *possibly nude* fairy look.

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I ate too much bread and my brain has gone to sleep so I can’t even find something clever and catchy to say about these two. They look like smokeshows. That is all.

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We’ve reached the part of the evening where I hate something so much that I come right back around again and like it ironically. This getup is giving me Lisa Frank vibez. I feel like he could have a purple dolphin on his pants and it would still fit in.

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This also applies to that theory. I had a friend in college who used to rock pigtail buns and I was so jelly that they looked cute on her because when I did them I looked like a real idiot. Constance is really puling off the PB’s and lace-up dress.

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KWEEN.

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Music, Pop Culture, Red Carpet

MTV VMA’s Red Carpet 2019

For the first time since 2016, I felt like I was familiar with enough singers & performances to endure the MTV VMA’s. And although they tried to dub themselves music’s biggest night, I wasn’t terribly disappointed! Am I getting cooler or is MTV just catering to my age demographic now? It’s the latter, obviously. There was a BO$$ performance from Missy Misdemeanor Elliott with a cameo from Alyson Stoner (her OG dancer) that brought the house down. Also featured: Taylor Swift, Jonas Brothers, Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello NOT kissing but definitely creating some boner jams, Miley Cyrus and my queen Lizzo serving up some real talk. So, yes, this was an awards show for those above 25 and I accept. Here’s my breakdown of how everyone looked.

WORST

avamax

I get that her hit song is sweet but a psycho but like do we really need to dress like it’s a comic con event to hammer it home?

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I DON’T UNDERSTAND TRENDS. THIS IS A WOMEN’S SUIT STRAIGHT FROM 1982. HE WON A FASHION AWARD LAST NIGHT. HOW.

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I’ve been dabbling in Snooki’s insta lately and even (gasp) browsed her online store and tbh I expected her to look a lot cuter. This weird rain coat with wedges combo didn’t hit for me.

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DJ Khaled’s style is dad at Señor Frogs and it makes me laugh out loud because WHAT A NERD.

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I’m having a real difficult time getting on board with gauchos again. They were in circa 2005, I bought 5 identical pairs of them including a sweatpants pair from AE (versatile) and now I look back at those pictures and scream laugh at how stupid they are. Please don’t bring them back. Put them away again. You should never have to question where someone’s legs/feet are.

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What fresh hell are these shoes that look like they have teeth on them?

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LOOFAH.

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Sorry Bella but this is weird as hell. What happens if you pull the straps on the bottom? Does her whole outfit scrunch together like the living room shade that it most definitely is? God I need to know.

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HALSEY. Cuuuuuutttt the shittttt. I’m so sick of seeing you in a dominatrix outfit every time you walk a carpet. YOU IS KIND. YOU IS BEAUTIFUL. STOP DRESSING LIKE A TRASHWAGON.

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These are drapes.

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Holy SHIT Allison. What’s the point in even wearing the dress?

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Taaaaacky.

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Just Diplo bein himself, forever on my worst dressed list.

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Great bod but ya’ll know how I feel about nearly nudes on the red carpet.

I get that we had a little throwback to the 2000’s night what with the Missy Elliott medley but by no means does that require a B. Spears snake copycat on the red carpet, LET ALONE TWO.

BEST

justinmikita

FLOWER.PANTS.

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I’m loving Queen Latifah in orange. I’m loving her Asian tourist dubz peace sign EVEN MORE.

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I recently saw Bebe Rexha live and she turned me into a fan just by wearing leggings and shaking her ass an IMPRESSIVE amount all over the stage. Girl gives good thigh and I’m here for it.

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Best way to win a moonman? Dress like one. Respect.

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Covered up that butterfly tattoo with a nice teal suit.

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Never would’ve guessed J.Woww would be the classiest of the crew but she looks great. Living her best life without Roger.

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B2B yellow lewwwwkz. My favorite color of the moment.

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If you hate Lizzo and her cocky as shit persona then you have a big dump in your pants.

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COLORS. BLAZER WITH NO PANTS. OVER THE KNEE BOOTS. REVERSE SWEETHEART NECKLINE. WHIMSY. Her performance outfit was better, tbh but this works too.

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Pink suit really complements his blue hurrrr.

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I can’t shout out Tay’s blazer/over the knee boot combo deal without also shouting out Megan’s! #hotgirlsummer

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Billy Ray’s still got itttttttt

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Outfit looks great, I’m really concerned about the fact that Gigi is a model and her go-to red carpet move is a gaping mouth. Is that what models do now? Should I start opening my mouth for pics? Trick question I already do.

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Curveball–Lenny’s pulling OFF the Canadian tuxedo.

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Always love a subtle leopard.

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Gotta give all the props considering these three goobers wore emerald green, royal blue, and orange suits (respectively) on their stop in Albany last week and it looked like we were accidentally at a Wiggles concert. Keep it simple with greys and blacks, boys.

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DAAAYummnnNnn Whit looks like a babe soda!

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Love this move by Lil Nas X. Especially because he didn’t top it with a bejeweled cowboy hat.

TWINZZZZZZZIES. Literally. They’re wearing the exact same suit, one was the host of the show, one hosted the red carpet. Would be suuupes embarrassing if I didn’t LOVE a summer aqua. T wore it better. White sneaks awl day.

BEST LOOK OF THE NIGHT:

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I don’t have words. Everything about this outfit is perfect.

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Music, Pop Culture

Taylor Swift – Lover

taylor-swift-lover-album

The album dropped Friday and now that I’ve had time to listen to it several times, buy the deluxe edition, read Taylor’s diary (scary similar to my own circa 6th grade, much less similar when she was at the Met Gala at 18) and tape the Deluxe Version 1 poster up to my front door, I’m fully ready to give you all of my opinions on each song and relate all of the lyrics back to my own life. Also I might add that I’m writing this track by track review v. hungover so basically I’m battling the queasies just to deliver content for your Monday morning at work. I’m the Taylor Swift fan that you all deserve.

1. I Forgot That You Existed. I love the move to start an album with a bop especially because it’s Petty Mayonnaise Taylor and she’s right out of the gate being shady as hell toward Calvin Harris. HOWEVER I also hate talking Taylor and her speaking the word indifference (and adding a giggle in) makes me want to blow my brains out. I get she’s trying to be funny and sassy and all but I could do without the talkies, always.

Best Lyric: In my feelings more than Drake, so yeah/Your name on my lips, tongue-tied/Free rent, living in my mind

2. Cruel Summer. At first listen I hated this song but then second time around and every time since it’s rapidly grown on me and now it’s easily one of my favorites. What sold me, you ask? When she basically starts screaming in the bridge. I’m like oh ok, cruel summer whatever, lots of ooh’s and colors but then when she’s drunk and shouty and goes HE LOOKS UP GRINNING LIKE THE DEVIL, it’s game on. First of all, there’s a reason Drunk Taylor was trending on twitter a couple of weeks ago to her clearly smashed singing her own song. It’s a rare occurrence we get to see a tipsy Tay so we have to relish it when we can and I literally pictured a drunk Taylor screaming up to some guy’s window I DON’T WANT TO KEEP SECRETS JUST TO KEEP YOU and it makes me laugh out loud and also want to shout everything.

Best Lyric: I’m always waiting for you to be waiting below/Devils roll the dice, angels roll their eyes/What doesn’t kill me makes me want you more. Honestly who is this devil man she keeps referring to? What an aggressive comparison to be making. Did Tay try casual sex?

3. Lover. (My initial reaction: Typical Tay, dropping 15 singles off of her album before the album officially comes out and then there’s like one song we haven’t heard yet from it. Coming off of a moody “The Archer”, this is a bold move to release another deep, slow tune. And let’s not pussyfoot around this, it’s basically her proposing through a song. So obviously, the bitter love-hating bitch that I am, I immediately wanted to be like nope, not for me. But then she warmed my cold dead heart, as only mah gurl T can do, and I was a puddle by the end of it. Obviously the best lyrics are “my heart’s been borrowed and yours has been blue, all’s well that ends well to end up with you.” It ain’t even a competition. What a wordsmith she is. And I’ll save you the quick google search because all I did was look up the lyrics and I saw 9898239802 articles titled “All of the references to Joe Alwyn in Taylor Swift’s new song.” OH YOU DON’T SAY?! The song she wrote about loving someone forever is about the guy she’s been dating for 3 years?! GET OUT OF TOWN. Also if you really wanna go down a rabbit hole (which I always do), look up the lyrics on Lyrics Genius and see that Taylor is such a boss that pretty much every song she writes is tied in some way to another song she’s written. HOW DOES HER BRAIN WORK?! Anyway, enjoy loving love with this new song and cue the countdown to her and Joe’s engagement.)

My current reaction: Every single time I hear this song I love it more and more and it’s my favorite song, might even be vying for a second place pick for overall favorite Taylor Swift song. All Too Well is a very clear and obvious numero uno. Even the video was beautiful and mesmerizing. God, Tay turning me into such a sap.

4. The Man. Hey guys, it’s the era of #MeToo and #GirlBoss and #Feminism and that’s basically what this song is here for. It’s a Who Run the World but jabbier. I mean she goes after Leo and that’s PREEETTTTYYYY bold. No one goes after Leo. He made saying “boo boo” cool again, but he’s a man SO HE SUCKS. But seriously, guys, stop calling Taylor a serial dater just because she has a vag. Cut the shit.

Best Lyric: If I was out flashing my dollars/ I’d be a bitch, not a baller. Taylor swears now.

5. The Archer. (My Initial Reaction: here we are at The Archer and it’s moody and dramats with deep lyrics and I’m all about it. Tay has a knack for releasing songs that speak to a certain part of my life, like when 22 came out the year that I turned 22 (yeah that’s right all you young hoez who post “feelin 22” right now. The song was basically written for me and not about today’s youths, who have essentially no problems and feel the need to wear crop tops with no bras every time they leave their home.) So obviously Tay knows that my love life is a shit storm right now and drops this juicy dramatic song. “Who could ever leave me, darling? But who could stay?” I MEAN COME ON. If I had a diary right now, it would probably say exactly that. Good thing I don’t keep diaries anymore because every time I read my middle school one and see “Seventh grade is the year of dating. I want a boyfriend, but not so bad that I’m desperate, and I’ll take anyone.” I want to kms. So I’ll just leave it to Taylor to write all the embarrassing things that I relate to in that moment and look back on in five years and laugh at. Thanks, boo.) My current reaction: now that I’ve heard the whole album it doesn’t stand out as much for me but I still don’t hate the moody feels to it either. Also since we were talkin’ diaries, Taylor had an entry from like 8th grade about how she forgot it was valentine’s day because she doesn’t have a boyfriend OR a crush and there’s no point in even acknowledging v day if you don’t have “those key elements” and if that’s not literally a page ripped from my dramatic pre-teen life then I don’t know what is. So thanks for sharing your embarrassing and overdramatic words so that I can identify that I wasn’t the only loser writing in a diary about being single at 14.

Best Lyric: And I cut off my nose just to spite my face/Then I hate my reflection for years and years. Honestly it was very difficult for me to pick just one lyric because they’re all dramatic as hell and I identify with each one at this point in my life.

6. I Think He Knows. Lots of punchy elements on this one. We’ve got the high background singer voices that could get real annoying, real quick. But then when the beat picks up and she scream sings HEARTBEAT, I just can’t stop myself from grooving. In case you haven’t already come to this conclusion, I love a good scream sing. Not only is this a fun dance number, but Taylor is REAL high on herself basically saying that Joe knows how great she is and couldn’t fathom letting her go. He just HAD to lock her down. Lotta cocky confidence there, which I respect. Also she wants to know that body like it’s hers. Sex stuff. Taylor’s just so grown up now.

Best Lyric: He’s so obsessed with me and, boy, I understand/Boy, I understand. Get it gurl.

7. Miss Americana and the Heartbreak Prince. Here’s when I started to realize we are miles and miles away from Reputation. Bad Girl Tay was in full force looking for vengeance on Reputation, and there were times I was a little scared. I was like ooohhh get em gurl THAT’S RIGHT TELL EM. This song is supposed to be like a callout and first of all let’s be honest and say the name of it stinks. It’s wordy and fairytale-ish. Then she’s talking about stupid names and stupid prizes and it makes me think of a child who knows they’re wrong and is like THIS IS STUPID just because they don’t want to do it. So as far as the lyrics go, I’m not all in. I’m to assume she’s taking a political stance here? Yet I seem to miss most political references because I actually am stupid, so I’m heavily relying on Lyrics Genuis here for this one. Either way, it’s not resonating with me. The song itself isn’t bad, plus there’s some shouting, which I’m always down to clown with and throw a fist bump into the air. However, I’m not really a politics gal, so if we’re makin’ commentary on the ole US of A. Count me out.

Best Lyric: I’m feeling helpless, the damsels are depressed/Boys will be boys then, where are the wise men? #Feminism

8. Paper Rings. This is a hard fan favorite. All of my twitter scrolling has told me that people are going wild for this one. Another ode to her being ready as hell to get married, JOE. Let’s hope he’s on the same page here otherwise that would’ve been a REAL awkward first listening sesh for this album where almost every song is like let’s do the damn thing, yo. Also important to note, when she sings now I wake up in the night and watch you breathe. Um….serious relationship or not this is a hard red flag. No one should be watching anyone breathe. Unless you’re watching someone SNORE waiting for the right moment to smother them and hope that their near brush with death will make them reconsider breathe right strips or sleeping on their side. Whoa. That got too real for a second. Either way, I’m out on the watching your sig oth sleep. They threw the sleeper creeper (infamous sleep watcher of Saratoga) in jail so that makes it pretty clear it’s a crime. Anyway we got sidetracked there, this is a fun song and it has counting in it so it’s also educational. Groove on.

Best Lyric: I want to drive away with you/I want your complications too/I want your dreary Mondays. How nice it is to want someone else’s complications. That’s true love, folks.

9. Cornelia Street. Since Taylor and Karlie Kloss were on this street at one point in their friendship or something, everyone wants to push the agenda that it’s about her and I’m so over the “Karlie and Taylor dated” theories. It’s a sweet song about how she doesn’t want to go through a break up because when you do everything sucks and all of your memories are tied in with everywhere you go. Basically just set all of your things on fire when you end a relationship because everything is going to remind you of that relationship and it bloooooooows. This song is nice though. Because she’s still happy and is like oh if we broke up everything would be terrible but we’re still together so look at all these nice memories we made in this apt. It’s All Too Well vibes without the actual heartbreak. Fall! Dancing in the kitchen! Living together and being in love! Good for you, Tay (she says bitterly and with a look of disgust on her face.)

Best Lyric: And baby, I get mystified by how this city screams your name

10. Death By A Thousand Cuts. Now this is more like it. A real dramats break up song. It’s like she knew I was going to roll my eyes at Cornelia Street and was like just you wait, breakups are like being sliced to death, revel in this song. And YOU KNOW WHAT I WILL. The next time my mom calls to check up on me and ask how I’m doing, I’m going to tell her I’m dying from a thousand cuts and honestly she probably won’t be that thrown off because this sounds like something I would say anyway because I’m the biggest drama queen ever to walk this earth. BUT WHATEVER. The most unfortunate part of this song is that it was inspired by the Netflix movie Someone Great, which my sister and I watched and it was a giant grease fire of garbage. See? Dramatic. But seriously though the movie stunk and I would not recommend. The girl goes through a sad breakup and basically just parties her face off with her besties. Cool. Sick way to handle that.

Best Lyric: I ask the traffic lights if it’ll be alright/They say, “I don’t know”/And what once was ours is no one’s now. Sobbing emoji.

11. London Boy. UGH as you’ll recall from Reputation, I hate when Taylor yaps on and on about how her boyfriend is British. Like we get it, everything he says sounds fancier JUST because he was born in England. I’m already jelly of that because my accent will always sound like T-rash next to a Brit. You don’t need to rub it in any harder. This song is fine, I guess. I can just do with a little less British slobbering.

Best Lyric: They say home is where the heart is/But that’s not where mine lives.

12. Soon You’ll Get Better (ft. Dixie Chicks). Since this song is about Taylor’s mom going through cancer it’s a total sobfest and you have a stone cold heart if you don’t at least tear up when listening to it. There’s not much else to say about it. It’s beautiful but also will give you all of the sads. 

Best Lyric: And I hate to make this all about me/But who am I supposed to talk to?/What am I supposed to do/If there’s no you?. 

13. False God. Taylor REALLY loves NYC. Like really can’t stop name dropping it in songs. And honestly, the last time I was there I saw a homeless man high as a kite, barefoot, farmer’s blow loads of snot onto the sidewalk directly in front of me. And having that visual, which is a preeetttyyy common occurrence in the city that never sleeps, how can she love it so much? Is NYC better for rich people? I mean I know she probably has a penthouse and takes a black car everywhere, but like, still gotta walk on the same sidewalks as the commoners sooo….I just don’t get it. Either way, this song is also an easy skip for me. Mostly because it just got me fired all the way up about what a dumpster fire the city of New York is but also because it’s just not that good.

Best Lyric: I know heaven’s a thing/I go there when you touch me, honey/Hell is when I fight with you.

14. You Need to Calm Down. (My Initial Reaction: I didn’t blog about it because I didn’t want to look like a homophobe but I was strictly OUT on You Need to Calm Down because no one ever tells me to calm down and also it was basically just a way for her to crown herself queen of the gays, which like, we get it Taylor. EVERYONE LOVES YOU. Gawd.) My Current Reaction: This song still blows but it doesn’t mean I hate the gays. It just means I hate this song.

Best Lyric: We all know now we all got crowns. It was a struggle to pick a lyric here but I’ll stan anything that says I’m a queen.

15. Afterglow. Another break up song and at this point I’m struggling to get through the album. The highs and lows, IT’S ALL TOO MUCH TAYLOR. This one she’s like hey guess what all of this is my fault. So for all you h8ers who say Taylor excludes herself from any narrative she doesn’t want to be a part of, ya lyin. Look at her taking ownership in this song. She’s so mature. Also this is another one that grows on you.

Best Lyric: Fighting with a true love is boxing with no gloves

16. ME! (ft. Brendan Urie). (My Initial Reaction: Let’s get this out of the way real quick–could’ve done all the way without a random dramatic french scene at the beginning. And the spelling breakdown in the middle. But that’s just Taylor and of course she has to throw her talking and dramatics in every song and I’ve just come to accept it rather than fight it. Other than that, I was captivated by this video from start to finish. I felt like I was high on pastels and unicorns and I was perfectly content with it. For a fleeting moment I considered also getting pink hair. But the moment has passed.) My Current Reaction: This song still slaps and I will fight anyone who shits on it for being a Sesame Street song. It’s fun and poppy and narcissistic and I support any song that’s basically like I’m the best person ever so suck it, world. It’s over the top and that’s why I love it. The perfect first song into Lisa Frank pastel and happy Taylor.

Best Lyric: Livin’ in winter, I am your summer

17. It’s Nice to Have a Friend. Hard pass on this jingle. Between the chimes and the children’s chorus choir, it is CREEPY AF. Like gives me the shivers every time I hear it and not in a good way. Nightmare fuel. Sorry but this will be an auto skip always. Can’t win em all, and I’d say we’re still pretty good odds with such a long album that there’s only a couple that I want to rip my ears off as soon as I hear the first few notes. The trumpet solo in the middle with church bells? Seriously, rip them right off.

Best Lyric: Light pink sky, up on the roof. Honestly I hate all of the lyrics too but who doesn’t love a pink sky. 

18. Daylight. And the grand finale, Taylor finally knows what true love is actually like and shocking absolutely no one, she’s comparing it to colors, cause that’s just what homegirl does. Cheers to her golden love with her British boyf. What a hopeful and cheery way to end the album. I wholeheartedly approve and have nothing snarky at all to say except for that I wish she didn’t talk at the end. OK BYEEEE.

Best Lyric: I once believed love would be (Burning red)/But it’s golden

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Pop Culture, Red Carpet

Met Gala Red Carpet 2019

After rocking the cross last year in one of the very rare themes I understood, we’re back to the Met just making up complete and utter bullshit as the theme. I googled it. The theme is “camp”…what is that you may ask? Well I referred to a “what does the camp theme actually mean” article and honestly walked away from the article dumber than when I began reading it. According to everyone and no one all at once, “not everything can be camp, but many things, ideas and objects can be considered ‘campy.'” WOW. With that dum dum dribble, let’s delve into Halloween in May and a rare time that I applaud those who look like assholes and reward them with a spot on the Best Dressed. (As always, apologies for the varying size photos, you would think the Met Ball isn’t held for the ridiculous outfits with the way they hold back on the save-able shots. High internet security.)

WORST

cardi

There have been far too many period comparisons to this outfit for me to see anything other than a giant pool of uterine wall shedding all over the Met Gala carpet. Also sick red swim cap to top it all off.

harry

I’m feeling ashamed for the time I so desperately defended Harry’s hotness to everyone in my family telling me he was yucky. Because this nipple peekaboo jumpsuit is yuck-yyy.

janelle

Janelle’s left tit is following me everywhere I go.

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I love how Kim Kardashian is continuously invited to this shindig and never fails to show up in whatever “trend” she’s been wearing everywhere for the past month. (That Kanye 100% dictated for her.) Thanks for lubing up your cleavage and stopping by, Kim. Always a pleasure.

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Although my instinct is to be dazzled by the sparkly shoes, I can’t with this duet. Nick looks like Gomez Addams and Priyanka is a figment of my nightmares.

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Everything about this gives me the uncomfies. From the Dumbo feather ears to her just completely being naked.

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There HAS to be something living in that hair. You don’t toss hair like that out into the open air without a bird calling it home.

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I’ve stared at this a lot and I will 9000% wake up tonight with a jolt, look around my room and only see eyes.

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That hip bone jutting out actually pains me. Can you imagine physically running into her on the pink carpet? You’d literally feel like a stab victim with that pointy guy. Also we get it, you’re rich and covered in jewels.

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I don’t know what about CAMP means EYES but enough already, ya creeps.

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These two are grouped together because I ASSUME they were only invited to this because they played Freddie Mercury & Elton John respectively this year. Two of the most flamboyant and fashionably out-there singers in history. Their costumes were so over the top what I can only imagine CAMP is, and yet these two boners showed up in black suits. WOW. You really took a dare here. Plain bagels through and through.

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This made me laugh out loud because we were just graced with a public appearance from these two trolls and it’s SO soon for them to double back and switch out their wool cloaks for leather ones. Thank you for coming and showing your diversity. Back to the caves now.

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GATOR DON’T PLAY NO SHIT, YA FEEL ME?! GATOR NEVER BEEN ABOUT THAT, NEVER BEEN ABOUT PLAYIN NO SHIT.

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UGH. I already bitched about Halsey stinking up the joint with skanky outfits on my last red carpet and here she is again, rolling up to a high fashion event showing maximum skin. Great color. But cover up for a change, gurl. WHAT WOULD YOUR MOTHER THINK?!

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I don’t know if they tried to coordinate but if they did, yoikes.

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Burlesque Show Girl.

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I like kicks with a dress but not when that dress looks like an omelette with bacon scattered in it.

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I feel like this is more than one time that Kylie has channeled Lil Kim and at this point just become her, yo.

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OH MY GOD how badly does Kris want to be young and hip?!

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It’s hilarious to see how seriously people take this and Emma Stone is like I’m just gonna wear an 80’s tracksuit thanks.

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Originally I was going to be nice and toss her on the best because I was so intrigued by this head to toe striping but then I scrolled back up to the mechanical teeth and bananas fastened to her dome piece and had to have a real heart to heart with myself about if I’ve become soft in my old age. So Rainbow Brite Chiquita Banana can hang loose on the worst dressed.

BEST

celine

I’m so torn here. Because on the one hand, Celine’s face looks like Yzma from The Emperor’s New Groove.

yzma

Yet on the other hand, her 51 year old stems look like THAT. You know I’m a sucker for good leg and she’s giving it.

jared

I can’t help but laugh out loud at this fool. He’s so extra every year and who would’ve thought that taking it to the next level would be making his head into a purse. SO creepy and yet the hair on that decapitated head purse? Majestic. One might even call him “Sexy Jesus.”

katyperry

CURVEBALL. I dump on Katy Perry all the time for her STUPID AF red carpet outfits. She tries WAY too hard because she doesn’t have a career anymore and got engaged to Orlando Bloom to stay relevant in the world. I have to applaud her coming to this dressed as a chandelier though. It’s the straw that broke the camel’s back. From dressing as a cheeto to a double decker lamp. She’s come such a long way. I see you, girl. How could I not, you’re GLOWING. lololololol.

Lizzo-Dress-2019-Met-Gala

I declared my newfound obsession with Lizzo in the weekly JUice last week and she dressed as a G-D flamingo, which IS BASICALLY MY SPIRIT ANIMAL so yes, tysm you bright pink flaming, you.

billyporterThe 2019 Met Gala Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion - Arrivals

I’m pro anyone who finds a way to be carried into an event. And then have a wingspan the length of the carpet. Mad respect.

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I shit on Zendaya a lot too but dressing as Cinderella in a light up dress hits me right in the Disney princess feels. She even set up a glass slipper that she “left behind” and had this “fairy godmother” sprinkle magic dust on her for photos. COMMITMENT TO A BIT.

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LIFE IN PLASTIC, IT’S FANTASTIC. WHO DOESN’T LOVE BARBIE?!

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I like purple and I’m intrigued by this lacy legging situation.

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Ryan Murphy basically invented camp (am I doing this right?!) This ensemble is nothing short of amazing.

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I guess I’m just a real hoe for Barbie vibes because I’m loving this. I even somehow overlooked the fact that she’s very clearly wearing a G string, probably because I was drooling over how tan her back is and wondering if I’ll ever have skin that isn’t the color of ghosts someday soon.

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Wifey Miley really cleaning up her act and I’m here for it. Nothing needs to be said about that specimen on the right. Stunning as always.

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Everyone has their undies in a wad for the gents who show up not wearing a dress and heels basically. Well guess what, Michael B Jordan can wear whatever he’s comfy in and I’m still gonna say he looks like a dime piece. Also I never need to see a man’s nipples on the red carpet, cough cough HARRY.

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She is quite literally dripping in Gold.

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Could take or leave this weird dragon girl dress but ultimately put her on the best list for her hair and makeup because she looks like a real beaut.

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Basically stepped out of T.Swift’s ME era.

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I can only imagine Mindy told her stylist she wanted to be Chloe Silverado for the night and this is what they landed on. Only 3% of my already dismal number of readers will get that joke and I’m ok with it. Mind Project stan 4 lyfe.

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dAYuMn.

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I could do without the sparkle head but I mean it’s JLo and she looks like a babe soda. And ARod is killin the pink tux.

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Hi this guy dressed as a literal THEATER. Asshole level: 1000%. I love it.

And obviously bow down to the queen of aholes, Lady Gaga, who stripped down, literally, to 4 different outfits as she werked the carpet. No one will ever compare, so like don’t even try, ya know? Also, it’s her year so just let her do her thang.

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Concert, Movies, Pop Culture

Top Fyre Fest Revelations

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As I’m sure you heard, Netflix and Hulu chose a particularly wintery-don’t-wanna-leave-the-couch week to drop two dueling documentaries on the horrific dumpster fYre that took place a couple years ago. As originally reported on the Weekly JUice where I pointed a heavy finger at Ja Rule (or Ja, as I learned his “business partners” and friends call him), this music festival was created to be an exclusive event on a private island for rich millennials, except for the fact that when they all arrived their accommodations were FEMA tents with no food or water and whoopsie there were also no musical acts booked. Obviously Twitter rants ensued and all of us poor people who would never drop 5 grand for a trip to an island music festival sat in our office chairs with tears rolling down our cheeks from laughing uncontrollably. Just me? Whatevs.

Each doc provided a behind the scenes view of what led to this. Spoiler alert: the most stupidity you will ever feast your eyes upon. Although both had different footage/interviews, if you’re looking to just watch one, Netflix takes the cake. They partnered with Fuck Jerry, the media company that had all of the juicy BTS footage and boy was that worth a watch. Hulu offered an exclusive interview with the mastermind dirtbag himself, Billy McFarland. Although if we’re being real here, the Billy that filmed himself wanting to document his creative process (partying) is FAR more telling than the Billy that was paid to sit down for a formal interview and chose not to answer half the questions. Jus sayin. Strap in for the best and most ridiculous revelations from the two docs where my jaw had a permanent residency on the floor.

1. Andy being extorted by someone half his age to suck Customs D. 

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Andy. Who hurt you? Some view Andy as a ride or die. I view him as a lil bitch who is literally crying every day but still cleaning up messes from someone half his age. The only logical conclusion is that Billy has something on Andy. Judging by Billy’s character, my first assumption would be some sort of financial fraud. Anyone who willingly comes running every time Billy wah wah’s about the latest disaster CANNOT be doing that just because they like the guy. When he casj AF drops in the, Billy asked me to suck the Custom guy’s D and I swished around some mouthwash and flew right over there, I was literally in shock. HOW. WHAT. WHY. Andy is 100% the person whose still visiting Billy in prison and can’t wait until he comes out so that they can embark on a new business venture together.

2. Partying like Rockstars, F*cking like Pornstars

I couldn’t pick just one jaw dropping aspect of Billy and Ja’s time on the island leading up to this disaster so I broke it down to my favorite three. Basically all of these moments fall under the umbrella of the fact that this crew did NOTHING but party for the 3 or 4 months leading up to this event. The fact that it’s actually a good event idea but would take 1-2 years to build the foundation and these jabronis threw out a promo video and sold tickets 4 months ahead of it and didn’t plan one single thing is so frustrating in itself, but then to watch their “visits” to the island contain jetskiing, drinking and hearing Ja Rule give stupid cliche party toasts made it 1 bazillion times worse. At one point in the Hulu doc, Ja just does blow on camera. Cool bruh.

a. Billy spilling beer on the map that says this won’t work

billy

The two masterminds recruit a guy who knows the island and he’s like hey look at how much space you need versus how many tickets you sold, this maybe isn’t a good idea. And Billy spills his beer on the map. Then fires the guy. Sick.

b. ZERO gravity!

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Aforementioned guy who actually sounded pretty reasonable when he was like Hey Billy, this won’t work is actually the SAME guy who apparently learned how to fly a PJ based on like a video game or simulator and all of the douchebags/influencers who came every weekend to party were like OMG he gives the best zero gravity rides. No, morons, you were just getting in a small aircraft with someone whose never flown it before (probably drunk or high) and letting it fall from the sky. The wild things rich people do for kicks.

c. Pig island=Bhole island.

 

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This point was actually more so because of the Bachelor and the fact that pig island is marketed as this adorable fun thing but pigs are actually gross and being stuck on an island with them probably isn’t fun at all. The porkers going after all these dainty models’ bholes and them running and screaming was high entertainment. PAY THOUSANDS OF BUCKS TO COME TAKE INSTAS WITH PIGS LIKE THESE MODELS. Notttttttt.

3. MASS CHAOS.

Look we all heard about the shit show that was people showing up and not having any housing or food. And we ALL remember the cheese sandwich. Probably the most reported aspect of this entire festival. But what was learned through these docs is that if you bring a bunch of entitled young adults to an island in another country, fill them with booze and then basically release them into the wild to find sleeping arrangements for the night, they’re going to act like animals. At first it was like everyone’s drunk and trying to find a tent and a mattress, ahhhh! Then it escalated REAL QUICK to:

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and then that went rrrrright into peeing on mattresses and looting. WHAT?! How is this a normal reaction?! Obviously not one police officer in sight. Supes normz for thousands of people coming to a music festival.

4. Do I want to be an influencer when I grow up?

I’ve never heard the word influencer more in my life and I’d feel good about going the rest of my life never having to hear it again. I know I probably have no leg to stand on here, as I blog about pop culture, but SERIOUSLY HOW IS THIS A CAREER?! Not only is influencer a career, but these influencers, most of whom I’ve never heard of were PAID to come to this festival. Just so that they could Youtube, and Insta and whatever else live stream their trip. The portion of both docs where it shows random internet people just live stream narrating their flight made me want to set my apt on fire. Mostly because I too would like to be paid $250,000 to post an instagram just telling people to go to a festival. YEAH THAT’S RIGHT KENDALL JENNER, I CALL BULLSHIT! Girl was never even affiliated with this festival but had no issues accepting a wire transfer in exchange for one insta post. Woof. Barf everywhere. Ok before I have a full on mental breakdown about how many people in this world probably call themselves influencers, let’s go right ahead and call them out for DEFINITELY having enough money and not sending it right to the Bahamians that were screwed over.

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Instead, we all (I’m using we in a very general state, I did not put any of my personal money up) raised the funds for this sweet, sweet woman to have a savings again. So you owe us Kendall. YOU OWE US.

5. Frauders never stop frauding.

nycvip

By far the most shocking thing out of this whole shit show, the thing that I still couldn’t get past is Billy getting INDICTED, doing some jail time, being out on bail and starting up a fresh scam with the SAME EXACT CONTACT LIST AS FYRE FEST. Not only basically making it the most obvious thing in the world that it’s him scamming again for tickets that don’t exist and using a frontman to make the phone calls, but HE FILMS IT ALL TOO.

billy film

“Hey are you guys looking for cold hard proof that I can’t stop extorting people? YOU BETTER COME FIND ME (in my penthouse, with a full video shoot setup, using the same phone number and email I’ve always used.)” – Billy, probably. Also shout out to the Hulu version for letting us know that he also tried planning Fyre Fest 2018 immediately afterward as well. You and Ja deserve each other, Billy.

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Honorable Shout-out for no particular reason:
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I genuinely would’ve appreciated a phonetic spelling of this name.
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Do you feel dumber having read that entire blog? Great. We’re all on the same page now.
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Pop Culture, Television

Best of the Worst Hallmark Holiday Movies, 2018 Edition

Listen, Hallmark really doubled down this year and it was actually difficult for me to keep up. Starting BEFORE Thanksgiving, they were on a roll debuting 2-3 per week, getting an AGGRESSIVE jump on the holiday movie watching szn. Obviously that was far too overwhelming for me. So with the help of my equally as TV holiday movie obsessed sister, we printed out each channels schedules and highlighted our favorites based on plot and if the guy was hot. We created quite a robust list and got to watching. So here we are, your annual installment of the best of the worst in holiday trash movies. PS Due to the large number of movies to view between the two Hallmarks and Lifetime (and I guess Netflix), Ion and ABC Family had to be cut from the list. You understand why. Please respect our decision at this very difficult time.

SKIP

graceland

Christmas at Graceland, Hallmark (Kellie Pickler, Wes Brown)

Right off the bat you would think this is going to be a golden Hally because of ya boy Wes. He’s higher up on the list of Hallmark hotties and I thought that would be enough to pull us through this flick. Sadly, I am here to report that it was not. Centered around a music theme ala Graceland, this movie was nearly unwatchable. Laurel goes back home to buy a bank or something corporate and Clay is like remember when we used to sing together and god I wish she hadn’t remembered. Could have saved us all from a whole lot of Silent Night. No seriously, this one song was performed no less than 6 million times throughout the course of this 2 hour movie. I feel it is also important to point out that although Kellie Pickler is actually a singer, she chose to lip sync in this movie and I’ve never seen a more horrible hack job. Even pop stars still sing during their music videos so it looks real. COME ON, KELLIE! Also, there is a child in this movie and she sings as well.

Bonus Points: Kellie not even attempting to hide her southern twang and everyone else in the movie having no trace of an accent. At the end (spoiler alert) when Laurel gets everything she ever could’ve wanted, she could not look less enthused. What an actress.

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Christmas in Evergreen:Letters to Santa, Hallmark

It took me the entirety of this movie to figure out that this was a sequel to an already present story line on Hallmark. I would’ve really hated to have to sit through more than one of these. Lisa doesn’t want to put down roots but she really wants to go back to her hometown for Christmas. YA, Ok. On her way home she has side of the road flirtations with the guy that she’ll most obviously end up with when she seems like the ultimate cool girl who fixes his truck. There’s a whole slew of characters all coinciding at once in this Evergreen place and naturally that means Hallmark needed to toss in a dubbs coups because they can’t just focus on one cookie cutter romance at once–it’s their new favorite thing to do and I for one, hate it. This particular version had a white couple and a black couple because black people fall in love at Christmas too. #Diversity on Hallmark. There’s a little wrench in the mix when Lisa’s PLATONIC BFF comes into town and Kevin thinks she’s taken but have no fear because they kiss when the bells ring and the little kid with the lisp FINALLY finds a lock that his key works in. THANK GAWD.

Bonus Points: When these two discover that they REMEMBER EACH OTHER FROM CHILDHOOD and there’s a flashback to them literally just being in the same general store writing letters to Santa like every kid in that town did.

tennessee

A Christmas in Tennessee, Lifetime (Rachel Boston, Andrew Walker, Patricia Richardson)

Andrew Walker, once of Hallmark royalty, now switching over to the Lifetime side, is typically a must-see for holiday staples. He’s cute and charming and usually has a little bad boy edge to him. Unfortunately, I’m gonna need him to take a beat after this one and reassess. The story revolves around Allison, whose a baker and single mom to Olivia. Patricia Richardson makes a star-studded appearance as her mom and naturally Matthew (Andrew Walker) is the corporate big wig trying to buy out the family business and take over the town UNTIL he spends time there and realized the importance of Christmas and family and that is obvious. To be completely honest this movie is all over the place and there’s so many stories happening at once that it’s exhausting. Santa and Mrs. Clause like Allison’s cookies so it becomes a marketing ploy/reason for Allison’s daughter Olivia to get bullied for still believing in Santa. There’s a conniving assistant to Matthew who forges a signature to sell the property. Allison’s dad died recently, Matthew lost a fiance 4 years ago, the mom is still sad about the dad dying and an old guy is pursuing her HARD. As my notes read, “Pull the story together homies or we take Andrew Walker back.” You’re on notice, Lifetime.

Bonus Points: At the children’s play when little Olivia (a partridge in a pear tree) gets bullied about being poor, dad-less, and believing in Santa by a kid with a drawn on Hitler ‘stache. REALLY?! This mf’er is bullying someone while he looks like that?! I would’ve knocked his stupid nutcracker hat clean off his head if I were Olivia. Kids are the worst. Also, the mom from Home Improvement sings at the end to close up the randomness that was this movie.

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The Princess Switch, Netflix (Vanessa Hudgens)

This now marks the second Netflix Christmas movie that has been so awful that I’ve turned it off before finishing it. That alone should be evidence enough that Netflix needs to read the room and slowly moonwalk out of the holiday movie game. You came late to the party and nobody likes you, cut your losses and leave before Hallmark and Lifetime have to physically boo you out of here. Anyway, from what I did watch here’s what I can tell you…Stacy is a baker who got dumped and her ex already moved on with what seems to be a real biddy. So she goes to a baking competition in a country probably located next to Genovia in made-up fairytale land. A weird magical guy who pops up all over the joint is VERY fixated on fulfilling a Christmas wish for Stacy. There’s an annoying over-acting child and a straight rip from The Parent Trap handshake. And true to the switching places classic trope, Stacy finds that the Duchess of Belgravia(?), Margaret, looks identical to her and is yearning for a normal bakers’ life of chaos. Of course since we’re dealing with a fictional country, an accent that sounds somewhat British and somewhat bullshit is tossed into the mix so watching Vanessa Hudgens navigate that is lolworthy.

Bonus Points: A VERY predictable love interest switcharoo and a Chicago baseball cap that never goes away in case you’re ever wondering where Stacy hails from. Also the two “twins”/ “distant relatives” physically running into each other the first time they meet.

 

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Christmas at the Palace, Hallmark

It pains me to do this because we all know I have a raging girl crush on Merritt Patterson, but this movie blows big time. It’s no coincidence that the two royal movies were B2B on my skip list. Katie and her bud Jessica, are just two average girls from Trenton, NJ who have an ice skating show in made up San Senova. Katie PHYSICALLY runs into King Alex in the plaza even though neither of them are blind. It’s alarming how often they have people bulldozing each other over as meet-cutes in these garbage royal movies. They’re hired at the palace to throw an ice dancer Christmas pageant because the King’s daughter Christina, is a real fan girl. She takes up FAR too much of the storyline and obviously drama ensues leaving them both to bail on the pageant. Well, one of them bails and then comes back and skates right onto the ice as if she never left. Nice try, girl.

Bonus Points: When Katie breaks the news to Christina that she’s ditching her lame ass pageant, even though the whole thing started because her and Jessica–professional skaters–were hired to put it on, she gives her a cheap ice skating figurine at the same time AS IF THAT WILL MAKE HER ANNOUNCEMENT LESS DOUCHEY.

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Hometown Christmas, Lifetime (Beverley Mitchell, Stephen Colletti)

Noelle’s dead mom used to run the live nativity in her southern hometown every year, so Noelle (who is supposedly a doctor in Chicago, though it’s mysteriously never brought up again after the first ten minutes) comes back to revive it. Her high school sweetheart who broke up with her to go pro in baseball lives back at home now because he blew out his arm or something equally as cliche. The whole movie throws a lot of incesty vibes with Noelle’s family, especially her relationship with her brother, which is far too flirty for comfort. In fact, when the whole fam troops on over to the county fair, they go to do a “southern snowman” contest and Noelle is like obviously we’re partners to her brother and he has to be like um, maybe this year my partner should be my fiance. YIKES NOELLE, READ THE ROOM. In another completely unbelievable storyline, their dad announces he’s dating someone new, then invites Noelle’s ex boyfriend Nick and his mother over to go to the county fair where they immediately eye bang each other. It is VERY apparent that he’s dating Nick’s mom, and yet when the two are found playing tonsil hockey underneath the mistletoe 20 mins later, Noelle is like DAD WTF YOU’RE DATING HER?! How was that not obvious? No seriously, what idiot didn’t pick up on those clues. The two of them were basically drooling when they greeted each other and both kids were like oh this is normal, they’re just friends?! ANYWAY, after 100 million things go wrong (and Noelle and Nick make amends even though their parents are dating as well), the nativity DOES happen and of course, per 2018 holiday movie tradition, ends in TERRIBLE song.

Bonus Points: When the church floods and they have to find a new venue for their live nativity, they go to the local theater and the owner is like oh damn, we’re all set up for this week’s production of a barnyard play. And Noelle and Nick are like the world is ending. Then Noelle has a light bulb and goes to an abandoned barn, where they decide to hold the nativity. IF THE THEATER WAS USING A BARN SET, HOW IS GOING TO AN ACTUAL BARN ANY F*CKING DIFFERENT?! Ok. I’m done. If you’d like to be entertained by this movie instead of triggered by their stupid script writing, check out Bev’s very apparent lazy eye and drink every time it’s looking in a very different direction from the other.

WATCH

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The Christmas Contract, Lifetime (OTH Reunion)

You knew that no matter what, I was gonna love this movie as a diehard One Tree Hill fan. Was it confusing that they cast this movie then did a reunion immediately following it without Chad Michael Murray and Bethany Joy Lenz who were also in tv holiday movies this year? Sure was. But either way, I’m gonna ship any sort of cast hang for a show that was basically my obsession from ages 13-22. The movie itself has Jolie (what a southern name) bringing her bestie’s brother Jack  home for Christmas as a fake boyfriend  because her ex has already moved on. Other than the fact that Skillz and Rachel Gattina are married in this movie, we get a song and performance from Tyler Hilton (with gratuitous slow dancing in jean shirts) as well as a little Clean Teen drop in from the leather pants wearin hussy who stole Mouth’s virginity. They really pulled out all of the stops for this one. Something that is extremely important to note, Jolie’s ex boyfriend is hideous. He has FOREVER greasy hair with quite the five head. In fact, my sister pointed out he’s basically a younger version of Marv. So he’s got that going for him.

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Obviously the two fall in love while fake dating and learning about each other and the fam loves Jack. There’s even a campfire singalong to Deck the Halls that makes me want to rip my ears off. Good, clean, holiday fun for all.

Bonus Points: For all of you 7th Heaven stans, Jeremy London is a supporting role and wears a variety of fedoras. One is corduoroy. There’s also a fun scene where Jolie has to teach her greaser of an ex boyfriend that breaking up means not talking anymore. Also, Robert Buckley in dark framed glasses…sup?

Full Disclozsh: If you’re watching and feel so inclined to watch the HOUR OTH reunion they tacked on afterward to grab more viewers, SKIP IT and thank me later. It’s a bunch of not at all related to OTH Christmas games and it’s embarrassing for everyone involved.

 

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Poinsettias for Christmas, Lifetime (Bethany Joy Lenz)

It seems as though it would be approps to get all my fellow OTH’ers out of the way at once. Bethany has been lookin like a dime lately and really killin it in the holiday movie game. Last year she had a winner with Andrew Walker and this year she got me to care about Poinsettias. Control freak Ellie comes home to her family’s farm to help save it and there’s a babe soda working there, encroaching on her fam’s territory so obviously they are going to butt heads and fall in love. There’s the classic ole spray each other with a hose and have a snowball fight with virtually no snow as flirting. There’s a chance the Poinsettias won’t be ready for delivery by Christmas and it’s a real nail biter until obviously Ellie pulls some bullshit theory out of her ass and saves them. There’s some random side story about Sean possibly dating this TV personality who was trying to buy the family farm? but in the end they “break up” and at the Christmas parade, Sean tosses aside a hot dog before smooching Ellie, which almost makes me put this movie on the shit list. DO NOT WASTE A PERFECTLY GOOD WIENER FOR ANYTHING, let alone a mediocre closed mouth kiss.

Bonus Points: Boo thang Sean built his own log house. What a Noah Calhoun swoon.

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Pride, Prejudice & Mistletoe, Hallmark (Lacey Chabert, Brendan Penny)

Darcy (Lacey) comes home to take time away from her job. She immediately dumps her boring finance boyfriend who also happens to work for her dad and reconnects with her high school debate teammate Luke while they plan her mom’s Christmas event. My first thought is could her family BE more involved in her love life? My boyfriend’s first thought is all of the men in this movie are clearly gay. He’s just bitter I’ve already forced him to watch double the amount of holiday movies as last year and we weren’t even into December yet. Although in relation to the men in this movie, the only requirement I saw for a male role was having a ridiculously deep side part. There’s a song and dance (not literally, this can be confusing as many Hally’s this year have leaned heavy on the musical numbers…rest assured this is a welcome non-singing installment) about kissing under the mistletoe where Darcy continuously hard passes Sean every time he tries to sneak a smooch “per Christmas tradition”. Obviously she finally gives in at the end.

Bonus Points: When Darcy’s bro and sis in law announce their pregnancy on top of her breakup announcement. They’re like can’t wait to celebrate Christmas the four of us and Darcy’s like uh no we broke up and those assholes are like NO THERE’S FOUR OF US, pointing to her belly. Way to breeze right over her heartbreak and still manage to make it about your not even showing baby bump. Thank u, next.

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Mingle All the Way, Hallmark

In the spirit of full disclosure, I saw like the last 40 mins of this movie but it was enough to tell me that it was much better than some of the trash they were tossing out this year. A lot of this review has to do with the fact that the guy is cute and there was NO singing. Molly creates an app that pairs people up (much like a dating app) so that you can have a companion for all of your holiday biz parties/events. Her and Jeff get matched up and since she wants to prove to her judgmental AF parents that her app is a success, they stick it out for all of the holiday season, natch falling in love in the process. I don’t know who the hell has this many events around the holidays but I’d like your job, plz. I haven’t been able to score one open bar holiday party since about 3 years ago and these people are like we have multiple engagements. MUST BE NICE. Although not to brag, but totes to brag, I won a $50 gift card to Target at my holiday party for my part time job this year so I’M BASICALLY RICH. I’m still excited off of the high of that. Didn’t need a date from an app to WIN BIG AT THE RAFFLE. Anyway, there’s a little ex reappearance at the end to confuse this maybe professional maybe romantic relationship (go away, ASHLEY) but in the end, dating apps take the W in this very 2018 Hally.

Bonus Points: Molly somehow manages to fall OVER the Christmas tree and right into Jeff’s arms for a catch FULL of panting, staring and sexual tension. Spoiler alert: this doesn’t result in a kiss because it’s not the last scene of the movie and any kiss before the final 5 minutes is ALWAYS interrupted. Also at one point Molly says “My compliments to the Jeff” while eating Jeff’s cooking and my eyeballs roll at rapid speed out of my skull.

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Time For Me To Come Home For Christmas, Hallmark Movies and Mysteries (Megan Park, Josh Henderson)

Famous country singer Heath (we quickly learn he only sings country Christmas songs), who also confusingly sometimes goes by Lee meets Kara at the airport in one of those classic we’re both going home for Christmas but our travel plans keep getting f’ed so we’re just going to end up making our own way together, road trip with an attractive stranger style. It takes Kara an unnatural amount of time to figure out that Heath is a Grammy-winning singer, which she irrationally gets pissed about. Sorry he’s not a douche who announces that he’s famous when someone doesn’t recognize him, Kara, THAT’S ACTUALLY AN ADMIRABLE QUALITY. True to this year’s traditions with Hallmark, there’s a LOT of singing (specifically terrible lip syncing, which I guess is just their MO) as well as annoying children trying to steal the spotlight. I’m willing to ignore all of these things because somehow I still found this movie more tolerable than most. There’s a lot of sob stories as we learn that Heath/Lee lost his dad recently and Kara lost her mom. They also stay with an old friend of Heath’s en route and the wife is sick. At one point in the movie my boyfriend had an outburst where he yelled, “is this guy gonna choose whether or not he wants to have an accent?!” And that was probably the most exciting moment of the movie. Clearly we’re both triggered by actors being terrible at accents. I perfected my British accent just from being obsessed with Harry Potter movies when I was 12, actual actors who get paid for it should probably know how to do a southern drawl or an American accent. In the most cringeworthy of grand finales, Heath/Lee is struck by inspiration and writes/sings a new song on Christmas day around the fire. Kara joins in, making it a duet of a brand new song that she’s never heard. His mom awkwardly stands far too close to him and bops in his face while he plays the guitar, then she too takes a solo verse right there on the spot and then Kara jumps in for one as well because why not? Suddenly out of nowhere there’s a violinist and Heath’s sister is playing guitar. I literally had to ask myself if I was on drugs or if this scene was real life. Everyone breaks into applause when Kara and Heath hug. Goodnight.

Bonus Points: Lee/Heath’s mom gives him a photo album that they’ve been talking up for the entire movie that she spent all year making. He flips through it at rapid speed, looking completely disinterested and then abruptly gets up to leave and find Kara who he just saw five minutes earlier. Instead of his mom being like wtf you ungrateful twat, she’s like follow your heart, son! Also, at the beginning of the movie there’s a flight attendant that is vying for worst movie character of all time. She denies Heath a spot in first class on the plane and tells him there’s no exceptions then asks him for an autograph. The same condescending MF’er then escorts annoying kid #1 off the flight and when Heath gifts the kid wings from his dad who was a pilot, she whine-sings “LOOK WHO GOT HIS WINGSSSSS.” Bye, bish. Get lawst.

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Christmas Wedding Planner, Netflix

I DIRECTLY contradict myself with this one. My artfully worded diss to Netflix on my Princess Switch review will be eaten in full after watching this number. Technically it’s a last year edition that was overlooked, but nevertheless it IS a Netflix original and I DID like it. Turns out it was based on a Harlequin novel and judging by my rabid taste for red hot reads, I’m not surprised I loved this one. I’m giving the novel credit here instead of Netflix because I’m still annoyed at the fact that they’re trying so hard to be a holiday TV movie competitor. Regardless, Kelsey is a disaster, clumsy wannabe wedding planner and her first job is planning her cousin’s wedding. So basically me minus the planning my cousin’s wedding part, which can easily be remedied if my cousin who is getting married in the fall is reading this. But I digress, Kelsey’s cousin Emily and her aunt Olivia are classy AF so the pressure’s on to throw the perfect event. She has a little meet-cute moment with her cousin’s ex boyfriend who also happens to be the PI investigating her cousin’s fiance, Todd. Ya follow? They do everything they can to make Todd look like a supreme slimeball. I literally cringed out of my body the first scene he’s in where he drops off jewelry to the bridesmaids and says “he just wants to keep his ladies happy.” BARF BARF BARF. He also has a very apparent tick where he winks on every other word that escapes his perv-tastic mouth. These are red flags! How did this beautiful girl fall in love with this dirtbag? As you might presume, Kelsey and Connor investigate Todd while she continues to plan the wedding. They naturally fall in love, probably because Connor’s business partner and BFF is Joey Fatone. No seriously, JOEY FATONE. And his acting is NEXT LEVEL bad. We get it Joe, you’re Italian. In the end, there’s a soap opera wedding moment where it turns out *SPOILER ALERT* Todd knocked up the maid and his parents tried to pay her off. GROSS, TODD. Since the wedding is canceled it obviously makes the most sense for Kelsey and Connor to get married because who needs Connor’s family at the wedding and most marriages that’re built to last start from knowing each other a couple weeks before getting engaged and married right on the spot…everybody knows THAT.

Bonus Points: A very rom-com stakeout montage. They laugh, they snack, they sing and dance in goofy sunglasses, they take selfies, they snuggle into a nap. The makings of every great relationship depends on how good they montage. Plus these two are both babes. 5 stars.

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