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’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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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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Band Dynamic Documentaries

Tonight VH1 is premiering the Backstreet Boys documentary Show em What You’re Made Of and I think you should watch it. I say this not as a BSB fan but as a fan of anything that involves uncovering the fascinating world of band dynamics.

I recently read Mick Fleetwood’s autobiography Play On: Now, Then and Fleetwood Mac because for my money there is no band with more incredibly complex, deranged inter-band dynamics then Fleetwood Mac. Marriage between members? Check. Affairs between members? Check. Break-ups between members who then make the person they dumped sing songs about how awful their break-up was on-stage to thousands of fans? CHECK. Their episode of Behind the Music is well worth 45 minutes of your life.

Less romantically tangled but just as fascinating to this U2 fanatic is the near destruction of the band pre-Achtung Baby detailed in Bill Flanagan’s U2: At the End of the World and explored further in the band’s own documentary on the experience in From the Sky Down. Coming off of a decade of unparalleled success the members find themselves on opposing sides when it comes time to define themselves for the 90’s and nearly fall apart until they stumble into One.

And the king of all band dynamic documentaries is surely Metallica’s Some Kind of Monster which details abrupt departures, rehab stints, long buried animosities, and the band partaking in some of the craziest “group therapy” you’ll ever see. I am not a Metallica fan but I was enraptured by this film and the exploration of the complexities of being in a band and staying in a band, sharing your life, livelihood, emotions and talents with multiple other people who may not always have the same agenda or investment.

Which brings me back to the Backstreet Boys and their documentary detailing the making of their latest album In a World Like This and the subsequent tour. I watched it on VOD when it as released a few months ago and it hits all the sweet spots of a good band dynamic documentary: the camaraderie and frictions, the long-standing tensions and love for each other and the music. There was always a lot of backstage drama with BSB – the contract lawsuits, Brian’s heart problems, AJ’s addictions, Nick’s arrests – they were basically a documentary waiting to happen. The group visits to each member’s childhood home reveals a lot about each guy not just to the audience but to their other band members (the one to Nick Carter’s elementary school and his reunion with a teacher who supported him is heartbreaking as Nick’s very raw breakdown at the memory of what a lonely little boy he was and what kindness and faith this woman showed him is difficult to watch.)

So I don’t think you have to be a fan of a particular band to find their story and their relationships interesting. In some cases seeing the non-glossy, not-so-glamorous reality of what being in a band is actually like makes me appreciate them in a way I wouldn’t have if it was just about listening to their music. Check out any of these docs I’ve mentioned and you can start tonight on VH1 🙂


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I am Elaine Benes

I know at one point I was sure I was Liz Lemon but after two years of repeated exposure to Seinfeld (and a newfound appreciation of the awesomeness that is Julia Louis-Dreyfus) I realize I am a bit of an Elaine Benes.

You know Elaine “Get OUT” Benes?:

And her Sweet, Fancy Moses “dance”:

Catching the frequent repeats (my boyfriend is a big fan) as an adult I now recognize my similarities to Elaine in ways I never noticed when I was 20 years younger and hadn’t had a real job, dating life or my own apartment yet. There’s something in her snarky, exasperated, self-absorbed ridiculousness that I often now think “YES! THAT IS ME!”

For example recently at work there have been various occasions for colleagues to send out thank-you cards after the passing of a parent, the departure of an intern, etc. Last week after finding two different cards on my desk (that I just have to check-off on reading and pass along) I burst into an Elaine-esque rant about waiting all month to combine the cards and then pass along one envelope full. It was eerily close to Elaine’s disgust with her office finding a reason to celebrate any little thing with cake and a song:

Yes, I was actually COMPLAINING ABOUT PEOPLE BEING GRACIOUS like Elaine was pissed about having to eat cake with her colleagues all the time! And in a true case of Life Imitating the 90’s: just like Elaine in the classic episode “The Contest” I too once worked out at the same time with John F. Kennedy Jr. at my fancy gym! But apparently I am not alone in feeling a connection to the Queen of the Castle as Buzzfeed has also addressed how We Are All Elaine Benes.


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A girl walks into a bar…

Today I discovered the feature on Facebook that lets you look at an archive of your old posts and status updates. I randomly selected April 2012 and scanned through to see that I sure posted a lot about food, Downton Abbey and Ewan McGregor!

I also found a status I posted on a day I clearly remember for a very important reason:

I have been so useless today. I’m supposed to go out now even though I’d rather go to bed, I’m so exhausted by my uselessness ;-p

That Saturday is still very vivid in my mind: I wasted a lot of time doing nothing at my apartment. Then I went grocery shopping and in the parking lot I ordered out and picked up my dinner on my way home (I was too lazy to cook what I just bought!) then I got comfy on my couch eating take-out and catching up on my DVR. I was due to go see my friend’s band at 10PM and that’s probably near when I posted this.

I really did NOT want to go but I was a single girl with no good excuse to bail on seeing friends on a Saturday night. The gig was about 5 minutes from my house and I could be home in two hours tops.

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And that’s what happened – despite being cranky and texting on my phone a cute guy bravely walked up to me to say hi and introduced himself and like that – my life changed forever. I would have missed out on meeting The World’s Best Boyfriend and nearly a year’s worth of discovering what it really means to meet that one person who is your perfect fit because I thought getting out of comfy pants and away from Revenge was too much effort.

Earlier that same month I posted a quote from The World’s Ultimate TV Boyfriend, Mr. Pacey Witter:

You want to know something Miss Josephine Potter? I think the world just may surprise you yet. I mean you fall in love, and it doesn’t work out, you think it will never happen, but it does, believe me it does, in the strangest of places.

So what’s my lesson here? 1. Always Listen to Pacey!! and 2. Get off your ass and make things happen. Sweet, handsome, loving, supportive-of-your-Boy-Band-obsession-bring-you-cookies-and-make-you-dinner-guys don’t just knock on your door and ask if you’re available!! You have to do the work and put in the time and sometimes whether it’s a project, job, goal or a boy – really lovely things happen.

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The Klaus Show

So, this is happening:

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KLAUS IS GETTING HIS OWN SHOW!!!! AND ELIJAH!!!! SALVATORES WHO???? !!!!!!!!!!!

I’m very excited 😉

April 25th on the CW.