she liked Imaginary Men best of all


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Fangirls Fall Guide to 2016: Television Edition

I have been lucky enough in my blogging “career” to meet some great people. One of them is Julie Kushner who wrote a blog about Pacey and Joey in 2010 that I read, loved, gushed over and out of that connection we became real friends. Since then we have spent time together chatting about boys (imaginary and real), giggling about TV Boyfriends, attending actual fan conventions, joint blogging about Hot Vampires, and of course, fangirling our hearts out.

Today I’m excited to present our latest venture together: our Fangirl Fall Guide to what we’re watching, reading, listening to and much more that we want to share with you! So just scroll past the photo here to see the Julie penned intro to this series that is also cross posted at Julie’s fab blog TV Recappers Anonymous. Read on Fangirls!

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In Amy H. Johnson’s honest, fresh, funny and inspiring memoir “The Fangirl Files: True Tales and Tips from the Fandom Frontlines,” she writes about how Fangirling is not just a hobby but a way of life.  Whether it’s a favorite band, or a favorite book series, a favorite actor, or a favorite television show, Fangirling is a way we define ourselves, both to stand out from a crowd, and connect with the wide world of people who share similar interests with us in ways we never dreamed possible even a decade ago.  Through Fangirling, Amy, like many of us, found solace and comfort, excitement and adventure, independence and self-reliance, and a loving extended network of like minded fans, who she can turn to, not just to discuss the latest album by The Killers, but to share all the ups and downs life has to offer.

IG fangirlfiles.comThroughout “The Fangirl Files” Amy details her life from childhood, through adolescence into adulthood, using the various fandoms with which she associated as milestones along her thrilling journey.  And this, of course, may lead you to wonder, what is Amy fangirling about now, in the Fall of 2016?

With the help of her fellow Fangirl friend (Me, Julie, naturally), Amy will share with us the things that get her all excited and fangirly right now.

I’ll play as well, because, why not?  I’m a Fangirl too, after all.

Coming up we’ll discuss a few of our favorite things in 2016 from a wide variety of pop culture topics including television, movies, music, apps, podcasts, columns, and books.  And you can weigh in on whether you agree with us, think we are totally nuts, or have your own recommendations.  Because that’s what true fangirling is about, after all . . . . sharing our passion, expanding our horizons, and bonding over the things we all love.  Also, let’s be honest, it’s about the cute boys . . . because who doesn’t love those?

Amy’s TV Picks

What I’m watching:

I have been binging on season four of The Americans. Perhaps “binging” isn’t the right word as sometimes an episode is so stressful it takes me days before I feel emotionally ready to watch the next one! I often wonder why this show has never had the same sort of pop culture fixation as other “prestige dramas” like Mad Men or Breaking Bad. It is also filled with conflicted anti-heroes and heroines and is intense, brilliant, suspenseful, heartbreaking and superbly acted (if you ever thought, “Awww, Felicity Porter is so adorable!” Keri Russell will kick the living sh*t out of your memory of her previous incarnation). Plot lines are artfully woven through multiple seasons so things that happened two seasons ago come back to haunt the characters. Under the layers of spy intrigue and danger is the story of a family trying to stay together through the mundane tasks of every day life, and the high stakes secret world of espionage. And it always bears repeating, “POOR MARTHA!” Watch it: Amazon, iTunes.

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What I can’t wait to watch:

I’m excited about season three of The Affair. This one is another under-the-radar show that critics and awarding bodies like but is also not part of the “Peak TV” conversation. I think that may be because it can contain some soap opera-y elements although I don’t think that detracts at all from the performances or really deep emotional places it goes to. It is another doozy of a show in terms of stressing me out but this one also makes me cry a lot because at the heart of it is the understanding that relationships­—with spouses, lovers, friends, parents, even enemies—are complex and often overwhelming. The first season featured the POV of the two characters having the affair Alison and Noah. Season two added the views of the spouses they cheated on, Cole and Helen. As we follow the frequently conflicting interpretations of what happened in each relationship, there’s also a central mystery unfolding known as, “Who Killed Scotty Lockhart.” Let me tell you, last season’s finale was a true Gasp-Out-Loud-What-Just-Happened-Holy-Sh*t! Kind of TV moment that made me miss a time when everyone watched TV shows at the same time so we could discuss them right afterwards. Of course the entire reason I even began watching this show was because of my Ultimate TV Boyfriend Joshua Jackson (Pacey 4eva!) who even got his own chapter in my book The Fangirl Files! Watch it: Showtime, November 20th.

If you’d rather laugh:

Try Billy on the Street (Hulu), Parks and Recreation (Hulu, Netflix) or my latest binge, Very British Problems (Netflix).

Julie’s TV Picks

Stranger Things (Netflix)

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Admittedly, I was a bit late to the party on this one, if only because I thought it would be too scary for my wimpy, fraidy cat, ass. (Also because I’d heard the ending involved a full-sized slug coming out of somebody’s mouth, which pretty much describes every nightmare I’ve had from the age of six until forever.) If you’re an eighties kid, you’ll love the overload of nostalgia you will inevitably feel for a simpler time, when “fun” for kids involved just riding bikes around town or playing an intense round of Dungeons and Dragons, two activities that involve NO TECHNOLOGY AT ALL. Not to mention the fact that the film is jammed packed with pop culture references from the time: movies (E.T., It, Nightmare on Elm Street), music (Hazy Shade of Winter, Waiting for a Girl Like You); even school supplies (Teen Heroine Nancy owned and promptly displayed her very own Trapper Keeper during the series).

Even those who don’t exactly remember the eighties will still find plenty to love in this super fun series that is filled with action adventure, mystery, humor, horror, plucky characters you will root for, and cheesy special effects that will make you giggle. But most of all, I think Stranger Things is about the enduring nature of childhood friendship. Because when you are eleven years old your best friends are your whole wide world. It’s a feeling you never quite get back, after you inevitably grow into the self-absorption of your teenage years . . .

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The Night Of (HBO)

Based on the British series Criminal Justice, this HBO crime procedural / mystery follows Naz, a well-behaved, dutiful Pakistani college student, who gets invited to a party, meets a hot girl, has the best sex of his life, and then proceeds to have the WORST SIX MONTHS EVER! Though its Naz’s plight and the mystery of Who Killed Andrea, that will draw you into the series, you’ll stay for the harrowing portrait of our criminal justice system, and the pressure it puts on everyone from beat cops, to detectives, to district attorneys to judges to arrive at a conviction for violent crimes, even if it means ignoring exculpatory evidence, not to mention the picture it paints of our prison system. The Rikers Island of The Night Of makes the Litchfield of Orange is the New Black look like a trip to the mall.

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Also there’s a really cute cat in the series. And I’m just a sucker for really cute cats…

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This is Us (NBC)

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A husband whose wife is about to give birth to triplets; a Hollywood heartthrob experiencing malaise over the trajectory of his career; an overweight woman struggling to take back control over her life in a society that often obsesses over appearances; a successful businessman who has just reconnected with the biological dad who abandoned him at a fire station 36 years earlier.   These are four very different people, with vastly different stories; people who seem to have nothing in common with one another but the date of birth that they share . . . OR DO THEY?

From the first moment of the pilot, this series instantly had me hooked with its cast of likeable, not to mention super attractive characters, their relatable stories, and the unexpected twists the writers seem to enjoy slipping into the end of every episode. And touching, man is this show touching. Bring your hankies folks, because if you are in the right mood when you are watching this, you will be happy crying all over the damn place!

Stay tuned for Part 2: Movies!

For more check out Amy’s book The Fangirl Files: True Tales and Tips from the Fandom Frontlines and Julie’s novels on Amazon.


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I love you and I like you

Did you watch Leslie and Ben “Tie the Knope” on Parks and Rec last week? WHY NOT??! IS YOUR HEART MADE OF STONE????

Click here to watch and sniffle. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

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I mean – you can’t beat a reception with WAFFLES!!

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What hit me the most is Leslie’s vow, “I love you and I like you” which is so sweet and so necessary in a good relationship. You have to like the person you love, want to be friends with them even if you’re not anything more romantic. I totally believe this and it’s how I feel about The World’s Best Boyfriend, so I’ve taken to telling him, “I like you and I love you.” Thanks Leslie!

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Poehler/Fey 2016!!!!!

Bitches get stuff DONE!

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And how awesome were these kick ass bitches hosting the Golden Globes!?? My fave gossip blogger Lainey summed up what made them so great: their camaraderie, fearlessness and incredible timing. But what I also love about these women is that they are Grown-Ups. They were not child stars or jailbait-y starlets who are emotionally stunted, immature and entitled. They went to college, they had real life jobs, they had lives before fame and it shows in their work ethic and their commitment to being as smart and funny as they possibly can be.

And on top of it all – Real! Life! BFFs! Two women who are at the top of their games professionally and support one another and work together as beautifully as peanut butter and jelly – no backstabbing, cat fighting or undermining like you see among women all over the entertainment world. LOVE THEM!

Hell, I’d vote for them even if they were running in character as Clinton/Palin 🙂


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Happy Galentine’s Day!!!

Sure it’s almost Valentine’s Day, but even better – today is GALENTINE’S DAY!!!!

What is Galentine’s Day? Why it’s Leslie Knope’s favorite holiday of the year!:

Every February 13th my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home and we just come and kick it breakfast style – ladies celebrating ladies. It’s like Lilith Fair, minus the angst. Plus fritattas!

I love this! So much so that this year I’ve decided to celebrate by creating my very first Someecards! Please pass along to your lady friends and celebrate the joy of girlfriends – boyfriends can wait until tomorrow 😉

I made this!!

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Here’s some tips from the lady herself to plan your very own Galentine’s Day celebration!


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Parks and Rec: Andy’s Mouth Surprise!

Look what I’m giving my Parks and Recreation fangirl work-friends for Christmas:

Pawnee mugs overflowing with Andy Dwyer’s favorite “sandwich” makings which would be Skittles between two Starbursts aka Andy’s Mouth Surprise.

It’s gonna be awesomesauce!


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Somethin’ stupid

My stepsister led me to this site and I love it!:

It reminds me of the Parks and Recreation episode “Ron and Tammys” where Ron Swanson’s evil first wife Tammy One utters a line that I love so much I want it on a card to hand out whenever I have to deal with morons:

Oh, are we playing a game where everyone says something stupid

Except, it’s not a question 😉 The episode is here (7:21 for the scene)

 


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Why TV Boys Do It Better

Thanks to adorkable Ben Wyatt on Parks and Recreation, I’ve been reminded of a Dreamy TV Boy Move that I adore: the wildly romantic Grab and Kiss.

Ben and Felicity: this NEVER stops being swoonworthy!

Ultimate TVBoyfriend Pacey and Joey: I am STILL cursing that cutaway!

Jim and Pam: coming on the heels of Jim’s heartbreaking confession, this was a doozy

Ben and Leslie: Go Ben GO!!

Ben and Leslie again!

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(I recommend watching the whole scene here because it is heartbreaking and tender and sweet and all around lovely)

You know what is best about this move? It’s decisive. Not enough Real Life Boys are decisive in my experience. Lots of hemming and hawing and waiting for the girl (ME) to do all the damn work. Not these fellas, they take the initiative and spontaneously show the object of their affection what they want and what she means to them.

SWOON with a capital S-W-O-O-N!