she liked Imaginary Men best of all


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I’ve written a book!

So it is clear that my attention to this blog has fallen by the wayside the last few years. There are many reasons for that including, but not limited to: a real, non-imaginary-man boyfriend, a house and a dog.

There is another reason that will be far more interesting to you which is that I have been writing a book! If you’ve liked what goes on here (when things were, you know, actually going on) then I guarantee you will like

The Fangirl Files

True Tales and Tips from the Fandom Frontlines!

Click to connect to my new book-centric website!

Click to connect to my new book-centric website!

The book is an expansion of this blog so if you enjoyed my tales of chasing Brandon Flowers on his Flamingo Tour, unapologetic love for Boy Bands, devotion to Pacey Witter and all things that celebrate being a Fangirl then get your copy and join the Fangirling Revolution!

May I interest in you a fabulous book trailer?

Buy now in Paperback or Kindle!

And follow along with #fangirlfilesbook on my social media (just look over there to the right, and up, and there you are!)


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The X-Files Today vs. Back in the Day

I have been loving the “revival” of The X-Files, or, technically, season 10. There’s been a mythology episode (My Struggle), a monster one (Founder’s Mutation), a funny one (Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster) and a heart breaker (Home Again). But even with two episodes left in this run, it will be hard for them to top this quiet moment in Home Again as they sit together in the hospital with Scully’s dying mother:

Scully: Back in the day did we ever come across the ability to just, wish someone back to life?
Mulder: I invented it. When you were in the hospital. Like this.
Scully: You’re a dark wizard Mulder
Mulder: What else is new (laughs)

There is a LOT going on in this brief exchange. Writer Glen Morgan knows these characters well, and these actors know their characters incredibly well. So much of Mulder and Scully’s entire relationship both professional and non has hinged on all the looks they exchange and what those gazes are saying, oftentimes without them having to speak a word. These 30 seconds intimately capture a shared history of pain, loss, struggle and understanding with exactly the right level of understatement in the performances.

Which brings me to a surprising aspect of the revival that I hadn’t expected which is the interesting new chemistry between Mulder and Scully. The show is famous for creating the “shipper” mentality in TV fandom and that’s because the leads had such incredible, lightening in a bottle on-screen chemistry together. Many viewers were like me and my friend Sarah shouting “JUST KISS ALREADY!!” at them in the 90s. But that was two decades ago and since then there have been a lot of kidnappings, near death experiences, monsters, creepy children, alien conspiracies, shadow governments, comas, dead parents, talking tattoos, buck toothed vampires, shape shifters, black oil eyes, ghost ships, inbred hillbillies, virus carrying bees, and cancer that these two have survived together.

Even with all that our favorite special agents found time to finally get it on, have a kid, give the kid away, go on the run together, settle down together, break up and reunite (at least professionally) to re-open the division that brought them to one another in the first place. And while that’s all fantastical and made-for-TV, in many ways it mirrors a marriage or any long term relationship. There are ups and downs, there are disappointments and joys, celebrations and sorrows, sometimes you want to throttle the other person and other times you could kill anyone who has hurt them.

And in the same way the actors probably feel that they are in a long term relationship of sorts that will always keep pulling them back together. It wasn’t much of a secret during the original run that David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson didn’t always have the best off-screen relationship. They worked very long hours on an extremely intense show and both have said at various points they were just sick of each other. I tend to think that their off-screen prickliness may have been what lent their on-screen dynamics such an undeniable spark, because now that they clearly are quite close in real life (they seemed to be having a ball doing press together for this season), their on-screen chemistry is less hot and more cozy.

And isn’t that what happens in a real relationship as well? You ease into something comfortable and familiar. It isn’t as exciting or sexy but it’s deeper and more interesting because there are years and layers to it. This new Mulder and Scully dynamic seems lived in and because fans have watched it unfold in all it’s mysterious complexities over the last 23 years, it feels earned. Scully seems more appreciative of Mulder and he seems a lot more respectful of her and together they are just as interesting to watch as they ever were. It’s made me want to see how they develop further into another season, one in which they hopefully would find their son William, now a lanky red-haired teenager with (possibly alien) superpowers and an eye-rolling attitude about his parents who are sooooo lame.

 


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New Album Crush: Mumford & Sons

Before David Letterman retired he had Mumford & Sons on to perform from their latest album. I don’t know a lot about them other than I didn’t like much of their previous work and that they were vaguely associated with hipsters (this may be more my own judgement and less fact).

The song, “Believe” stunned me. I rewound about 4 or 5 times because I kept falling more in love with it. In the last few weeks I have been listening to the album Wilder Mind a lot and I absolutely love it. It is rare for me to find an album where I like each and every song and yet that is exactly what has happened with this one.

In doing some poking around I’ve found that perhaps the reason I am loving M&S so much is that this album sounds very different than their previous ones! I always thought of them as sort of folksy and twee but now they sound like a catchy hybrid of U2 and Foo Fighters which I know sounds totally bizarre but they have got the soaring anthemic guitars of U2 happening (“Believe”, “Tompkins Square Park”) and the slow burn to a loud crescendo “whisper to a riot” that Foo Fighters are masters of (“Snake Eyes”, “Only Love”)

The other thing is that there’s a lot of sad-relationship-bitterness-heartbreak in this album. The songs are all about painful realizations and last moments and it’s making me feel heartbreaky even though my heart is fully safe. THAT is a mark of good songwriting and songs if it’s making you feel something that you’re not actually experiencing at that moment. It’s evocative and makes me long for a good Cheesy Teen Drama to watch and then enhance with these angsty lyrics!

So I guess I’m one of those annoying johnny-come-lately-fans that hardcore fans always hate. Does liking Mumford & Sons make me a hipster now? Please advise.


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Female gazing at the boys of “Magic Mike XXL”

The PR campaign for Magic Mike XXL has been really entertaining so far.

There have been suggestive posters:

Appearances at Pride Parades:

 

Viral videos… (bonus points to the lady who point blank answered “NO” to the question, “would you say you care about the story?”!)

And a whole lot of abs-tastic eye-candy being put out there:

What has been the most interesting thing about all this is not even the sculpted pretty-boys flexing their oiled pecs for the camera but the fact that all the publicity is being aimed squarely at straight women and gay men, traditionally two audiences Hollywood doesn’t really give a sh*t about because they are not straight guys. This has been SO REFRESHING for a few reasons:

  • Straight men aren’t the only people who like movies OR are titillated by sexy body parts
  • The actors in the movies seem to be game for just about anything and don’t seem to care about how cheesy it may look so as a result everything about the movie and the press tour looks FUN!
  • They are totally on board with flipping the standard “male gaze”  (women as objects in film that exist for the pleasure of the male eye) which just about every other movie in creation is geared to – over to a “female gaze” in which the men in the movie become the objects

Look, I’m totally going to see this movie. I saw the first one and I’m a straight lady with eyes, I like a strong set of shoulders when I see them and male strippers are basically Boy Bands minus the nudity and singing. But honestly a major part of why I want to see it is because I want to support a press campaign that is actively courting at an audience who is usually ignored when a studio is trying to sell something.

Well done Magic Mike and your band of Merry Strippers, thanks for letting us objectify you as if you were actresses!


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We Want to Believe in X-Files Ice Cream!

Maybe you have heard that a little show called The X-Files is making a return to our entertainment world next year and it begins shooting today!

My friend Andrea (perhaps you’ve read about her Wall of X?) and I thought that this momentous occasion needed to be marked in some important way – and that way is through ice cream my friends. Specifically Ben & Jerry’s ice cream as they are known for making special pop-culture themed flavors!

To that end we have started a petition and we want you to sign it! It’s quick, easy, fun and hey, we may get some Mulder and Scully themed creamy cold tasty goodness out of it!

Find it HERE and please sign, don’t be left celebrating a new season of The X-Files with only tofutti rice dreamsicles to eat🙂

Kudos to Andrea for making this!

Kudos to Andrea for making this!


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An Ode to Dave

In my early teens I developed an obsession with Late Night with David Letterman. I’m not sure how I discovered it but it must have coincided with when we got a VCR which allowed me to tape episodes (given that 12:30AM was much too late to be up on a school night!)

For much of my teen years I was an avid fan and would record a week’s worth of shows and then spend the weekend watching them. I even kept a notebook with a dedicated pen to write down my favorite quotes and skits that the show did. There was “Bridget Jackson’s TV Nest Egg” where he had a staffer who was getting married come on and perform to earn different amounts of money towards her wedding (for example, $600 for doing a puppet show); during a writer’s strike Dave had a fountain built in front of his desk that he called “The Dancing Waters” and every night he’d introduce it and Paul would tinkle on the piano and they’d light up the fountain – and – that was it. That was the bit! When he tired of that they changed it up and added various other liquids (milk or Windex) and re-named it “The Prancing Fluids”; there was his crush on Connie Chung (one of my favorite bits was him spending the day running errands with her and deriding her need to get “shoe trees for Murray” – her husband and Dave’s romantic nemesis Maury Povich); there was the woman in the building opposite 30 Rock that he started calling randomly and chatting with; or yelling demented things through a bullhorn at an annoyed Bryant Gumbel as the “Today Show” tried to shoot.

Dave was absurd, irreverent, caustic, snarky, hilarious and sharp. He made me realize what made me laugh the most and what I wanted to emulate in my own humor were those very same qualities. I truly idolized David Letterman and that notebook was my way of keeping track of what it took to BE David Letterman. In all honesty I wanted to grow up and inherit his show when he retired. With that deadline looming TONIGHT I clearly did not reach that particular goal. I could have possibly come close at one point: in college I was looking for summer internships and found one on The Late Show. By then my Dave Worship had dwindled but seeing that there was a possibility that I could actually WORK on his show pulled me right back in. As I scanned the requirements I found I did not meet an important one: I was not a Communications major therefore I couldn’t receive credit which was required as part of the Late Show Internship program. Once again, my Dave Dreams were dashed.

So Dave was a big part of my formative years and he was also strangely a comfort during a particularly rough time in my life. When I was 15 and my parents told me about their separation I went numb and curled into a fetal position on my bed. I remember them gently asking me if I would like the TV moved into my room so I could “watch Dave” and I nodded and the TV was set up next to my bed where I watched with glazed over eyes and willed Dave to make me forget what was going on outside my door. I don’t remember anything about the episode other than being grateful for the familiarity of Dave doing his monologue when everything else had just been turned inside out.

But their eventual divorce did lead me to another grand plan and that was to get my mother to marry Dave and have him adopt me, therefore making me an actual, legitimate heir to his talk show crown. My mom however, didn’t warm to this plan citing Dave’s cigar smoking as a deal breaker (around the same time Letterman had an actual stalker who was always claiming to be his wife so it is likely this particular plan would not have gotten very far.)

Last year when he announced his retirement I realized that I probably wasn’t even going to fulfill probably the easiest Dave Goal to reach and that was to go to a taping of his show. The last few weeks I’ve been DVR’ing the Late Show and getting very nostalgic and even weepy about my youthful adoration of Dave and all his silliness. In recent years when I’ve caught the show he seemed bored at best, cranky at worst. In this home stretch he’s loosened up considerably and it’s reminded me how funny he is and how big a part of my life he’s been these last thirty years.

Late night TV is a changed landscape and now the entire point of a talk show seems to be getting a good clip that will go viral the next day – the Jimmy’s are the co-kings of this. But Dave is still old school and I’m sure CBS is a little relieved he’s decided to go and that the more viral-friendly Stephen Colbert is coming.

Just watching the final Top Ten lists has made me a little weepy so I fully expect to be a sobbing baby when I watch his final show. I truly feel it’s not just a man who is retiring but an entire form of entertainment – the last original late night talk show. He’s going out with a lot of accolades and deserved thanks from comedians and other hosts who would not have careers without the goofy and hysterical path he paved. But to me he’ll always be the guy who made me want to be as funny as he was when I was still finding out who I was.

Letterman Final

 


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“This is the story of four vampires who live in a flat and have their eternal lives taped…”

Last night I saw What We Do in the Shadows which is a HYSTERICAL “vampire reality TV documentary” (should such a thing actually exist!)

Here, just watch this:

I haven’t laughed so much at a movie in ages. It is so funny, so clever, so ridiculous that afterwards as I was trying to fall asleep I literally burst out laughing remembering one of the scenes. Just the idea of vampires having “chore charts” when one roommate isn’t pulling his weight or tricking people into thinking their spaghetti is worms because they learned it from The Lost Boys (!!!) is so brilliantly demented.

If my gushing hasn’t sold you – how about the fact that it’s by the same lunatics behind Flight of the Conchords? Or that Jemaine Clement stars and Rhys Darby has a supporting role as the alpha of a rival gang of werewolves (not “swearwolves” because they watch their language, OK?) Why don’t you watch this and remember how on-the-nose these guys are at parody and then go see the movie?