“The Hindenburg had a happier outcome.” – Masters Of Sex Recap

how they tickhow they tick 2
 

Masters of Sex Season 3, Episode 7
“Monkey Business”

Posted by Sage

About 30 seconds after this week’s episode of Masters of Sex came to a close, I was already furiously googling “masters johnson gorilla impotence,” hoping against hope that I’d find some real life precedent for an otherwise inexplicable storyline. Unfortunately, my search did not unearth any instance where the flesh and blood Bill and Virginia treated a flesh and blood ape’s sexual dysfunction, and this blunder is entirely on the writers.

Let me lay out an important statistic of this season so far:

Times we’ve seen Bill touch Gini’s breasts: 0

Times we’ve seen Gil the gorilla touch Gini’s breasts: 1

What is wrong with this picture? I don’t want to allege that Masters has lost the plot at this point, because it hasn’t. But the show sure has made some bizarre choices as far as the plot vehicles it’s been using lately are concerned, and the case of the frigid ape is by far the worst. And then they actually had the nerve to the episode “Monkey Business.” Am I being trolled?

I’m getting heated. Let’s shift our attentions to storylines that make Sage less rage-y.

Betty’s partner Helen (Sarah Silverman) is back in this episode, and she’s consumed with baby fever. While Betty huffs in bed next to her, Helen interprets all her dreams as signs of her fated motherhood and cooks up wild schemes to get herself impregnated. (Unfortunately, Rufus the toaster guy is “saving himself for marriage.”) There weren’t many avenues by which same-sex couples could expand their families back in the ’60s. As Betty succinctly puts it: “No one’s gonna hand over a baby to a couple of middle-aged dykes.” You’d think that Betty would have a leg up on her fellow child-seeking lesbians (and every woman without a man in general) since she works in the country’s most famous sex clinic and for the state’s premiere expert on fertility. But you’d think wrong, because that expert on fertility has decided to be a raging asshole about it. When Betty plies him with vague questions about inseminating single women, Bill lectures his secretary about the hardships of single motherhood. HEY BILL: did you forget that your own father was a withholding monster and that your brilliant partner is raising three children almost entirely on her own? Betty counters Bill’s condescending arguments by reminding him that men can also leave. Or die. Or be shit parents. But the fact of the matter is that Bill is never concerned with what goes on with his patients after his role in their cases is over. He changes the subject to side-step her rationality, before he can remember the existence of women who are gay. 

betty helen

Anyway, the selective misogyny of Bill Masters means nothing to Betty. She sneaks into the clinic with Helen after-hours (and this is a dangerous office to sneak into if one prefers to maintain one’s virgin eyes) to peruse sperm donor files. Helen is more sentimental than her partner, and is crestfallen when faced with the cold and lifeless lists of facts. (“Helen, it’s sperm. WE add the character.”) It’s back to the idea of selecting someone they know, and Betty’s got the perfect candidate. (Sorry, Rufus.) He’s tall, handsome, brilliant, and could not give less of a shit what sexual taboos he’s breaking. In fact, he couldn’t look more flattered. Nice to see you, Austin.

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Don’t Be A Dick, Or How Not To Talk To A One Direction Fan About The Band’s Break

drag me down

Posted by Sage

Hello, friend, acquaintance, or stranger.

As you must know by now, the British boy band One Direction has decided to take a break for at least one year. This is of huge concern to the media, even though Beyonce herself takes a minimum of two years between each album to bathe in the blood of the innocent and devise new and exciting ways to pronounce the word “surfboard.” Seriously, the coverage of this very uneventful event has brought about an embarrassing regression in the people who’ve assigned themselves to deliver our news and comedy. And let it be known that I hate any mass idiocy that forces me to refer to them as “the media.” I feel like I’m seeking the Republican party nomination.

Here’s what happens if you Google “one direction fans hysterical” right now.

hysterical

And here’s a discussion of that loaded adjective, which has a storied tradition of being used to gaslight women.

“Hysterical. It’s a word with a very female-baiting history, coming from the Latin hystericus (“of the womb”). This was a condition thought to be exclusive to women – sending them uncontrollably and neurotically insane owing to a dysfunction of the uterus (the removal of which is still called a hysterectomy).” – Gary Nunn, The Guardian

Yep. Our uteruses make us unstable. So, guys: what the fuck? And I’m talking to feminists and allies too, now. You wouldn’t allow a woman protesting the proposed de-funding of Planned Parenthood to be called “hysterical.” Is it the context of these attacks that make them okay? If it does in your mind, then congratulations: your feminism is flawed.

hatin

It’s all just so mean. The promo machine and its various channels spend five years shoving a product down the throats of teenage girls (and boys!) everywhere. Performances, award shows, branded merchandise, magazines, a feature film. They tell these fans that loving this band is an indivisible part of their identity. You are a Directioner. You’re a Niall girl or a Liam girl. You’re a Larrie or an Anti. You’re a family. You are the reason for their success.

this is us

Which makes the response when there’s band “drama” to be reported feel like a adult kicking over a kid’s sandcastle and then rubbing that kid’s face in the ruins. So much time and money and energy and hoo-doo from Simon Cowell’s radioactive life-extending underground lair is spent convincing girls that this band is the most important thing in their lives. Then they’re ridiculed for buying into it. Everything about the coverage I’ve seen has been gross, especially the gleeful compilations of fan Twitter reactions. A.) I praise Heathus every day that social media was not around when I was a child. I cringe in embarrassment at Timehop posts from 6 years ago, when I was a 26-year-old tax-paying grown-up with a full-time job. I can’t even fathom the kind of bullshit I would have put out into the world at age 11. B.) Oh, you found an extreme opinion or 50 on Twitter? Where all the calm and sophisticated discourse happens? What skill. What research. C.) WHAT ARE YOU ADDING TO THE CONVERSATION? Think about this: there are adults who get up, shower, commute to work, make shitty office coffee, pay their gas bill online, and then point and laugh at heartbroken teenage girls from their position of power and influence. There’s nothing new about 24/7 internet news cycle’s need to “report” on the reaction to the reaction to the reaction to the thing, but, as I’ve pointed out before, the implied judgement is especially hostile when it’s in reference to a cultural phenomenon that falls into the domain of the young and female.

disgusting jesus

The very best piece I’ve seen so far in the overblown aftermath to the break news came from Vice’s new lady-oriented channel, Broadly. “Why Do Adult Women Love One Direction Slash Fiction?,” in addition to being the title of my upcoming autobiography, is also a clearer picture of one slice of this fandom than any of those dashed off “nyah-nyah, we killed your heroes” responses have offered. The focus here is mostly on the older, straight, and female fanbase, so obviously I identify. One read of this by a lay-person (a sad, non-Directioner, with no joy in their life) and several stereotypes about the kind of people who love this band and the reasons why they do come crashing down.

1. All One Direction Fans Are Teens

dan charles

Like writer Miranda Popkey, I too have a core group of 401K-holding fellow 1D fans with whom I trade fic recs and impossibly beautiful photos of Harry Edward Styles. The existence of adult Directioners is something that the media would mostly like to ignore, since liking boy bands is stupid, and women who have surpassed puberty are presumed to be at least marginally less stupid than they used to be.

2. One Direction Fans Are Only Fans Because They Want To Marry One Or More Of The Boys

liam bear

My favorite statement in this whole article comes from a fic writer with the screenname wandaplenn: ‘I kind of want to be [Harry],’ she said. ‘But I also kind of want to be his mother, and I kind of also want to be his girlfriend.’ GIRL. This. That’s why the Tumblr fandom pinballs between calling the boys “my sons,” “dad,” and, in a fabulous Twitter typo gone full-meme, Harry and Louis (Larry) are become: “my larents.” The kind of closeness that a fan feels for one of the guys can change from photo to photo and sometimes within the mere six seconds of a Vine. Observe.

It’s a multi-faceted relationship between fans and 1D: sometimes hormonal, sometimes nurturing, sometimes exasperated. The band is on tour right now, and on show nights, Twitter and Tumblr blow up with reports – not just on what the band is wearing and if there have been any set list changes, but also about whether or not they look happy and how much they seem to be enjoying each other’s company. I felt the same way at both concerts I went to this summer. I paid *muffled mouth noises* to be entertained by a boy band, but ultimately what I wanted most out of the experience was to see them having a good time. And by “them” I of course mean my sons.

3. One Direction Fans Are Timid Creatures Who Are Scared Of Sex

larry

Ah, my favorite fallacy. And my second favorite quote from the Broadly piece: ‘I think it’s actually kind of fucking radical that teenage girls on the internet are writing custom porn for each other for free,’ [author Zan Romanoff] told me in an email. ‘Like, hello, every dude who thinks women are undersexed as a gender: check and mate, motherfucker.”’ Also, it’s GOOD custom porn. “Where are they learning these things?” I asked a friend after reading a particularly detailed gay sex opus. “From other fan fiction,” she answered. What a beautiful cycle.

And what a foolish assumption to make, that the only sexual interest that any famous dude or dude character can generate is A) solely within straight cis girls, and B) manifested always in a desire to bone or dream about boning him herself. I’m sure there’s fan fiction out there about One Direction and original female characters designed in the author’s image (“Mary Sues,” for n00bs), but that’s not the richest part of the fic canon about the band. 1D slash fiction isn’t taboo at all; it’s such a visible, known part of the fandom that fans come to concerts waving signs that reference the most popular smutty love stories. (Jack McQueen, for the win.)

larry dmd

I’m not ashamed to say that it was my exposure to the history of Larry (short for Larry Stylinson, the great ship Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson) that pulled me into this fandom in the first place. I’m never one to turn down a gang of cute, singing boys; but, to be honest, I’d been busy and hadn’t noticed they’d gotten hot. Well, about 20 minutes into my Larry indoctrination and I was hooked. Shipping can and does happen in any circumstances, even between fictional characters from different shows and movies who have and will never meet. Fangirls and boys are persistent like that. But Larry has such a fandom foothold because it feels like so much more than wishful thinking. Sometimes the existence of a current or previous relationship between the two is referred to as a “conspiracy theory,” and it is, in that shippers theorize and collect proof wherever they can. But is it so far-fetched to believe that at least two of these five boys who auditioned for the X-Factor experience attraction to other boys and maybe had a special connection to each other? Part of the appeal for Larries (that’s Larry shippers – try to keep up) is the belief that a tyrannical management team not only forbid them from going public but also put strict limitations on any kind of visible interaction. Old interviews show Harry and Louis full-out gazing at each other, touching each other’s thighs, singing each other’s praises, and being generally hands-y. Now, they barely look at each other on stage and are rarely seated next to each other at any appearance or interview. Pair the perceived longing of an alleged pair of star-crossed lovers with the sexual potential of two dreamy boys in the prime of their lives and a preponderance of slash fiction is the only possible result.

Like Popkey says in her article, there are universal personality traits and little details that span much of the 1D slash fic canon. In fact, I know it was my growing fondness for Fic!Louis that bled over and enhanced my feelings for the real one. It was Louis who I connected with the least at first, maybe because I came in during the “party boy” PR period. (First impressions of the other three included admiration of business-like Liam’s attempts to corral the others; affection for Niall’s harmless bro-iness and Irish brogue; and straight-up awe of the beauty and kindness of St. Styles. If you haven’t figured it out already, I’m a ryde or die Harry girl and have been since day one.) But Fic!Louis – mischievous, witty, and sometimes doubtful of his own worth – that guy, I could get a handle on.

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Fan Video Friday – TV Nostalgia

Posted by Kim and Sage

Summer may be winding down (HOW is it August 28th?) but Fan Video Friday is still here to serve all of your dog days Procrastination needs!  This week’s post is the child of last week’s montage happy post as we pay homage to the great shows of the 90’s and the Aughts.  We are leaving out The X-FilesFriends, and The West Wing because there are fanvids a plenty for these, thanks to their availability on Netflix.  These are the shows that may not be able to fill an entire post but still hold a great place in our hearts.  Read on and enjoy all the nostalgia.  And tweet Netflix and ask them to add Will and Grace and ER, would you? We need to binge-watch them desperately.

— Kim

“Hungry Eyes” – Lois and Clark

Sage: Lois & Clark was the first show I ever truly loved, and maaaaaaaaan was it terrible. But when I watch this video, I can almost convince myself that it wasn’t, and that it could possibly stand scrutiny beyond what sophisticated critique I could offer at the age of 11. What no one can ever take away from this series is that Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher were hot together – her, even in those matronly ’90s hairdos and him, especially in those glasses. If anyone had to make the Moonlighting version of Superman, I’m glad it was them.

“Footloose” – Will and Grace

Kim: I FORGOT how much dancing there was on Will and Grace.  Jack and Grace doing “Oops I Did It Again” (how is it not in this?).  Jack shoving his son aside to do the full dance break of “Pop”.  CHER.  Kevin freaking Bacon recreating his iconic Footloose dance.  It’s all amazing.  But seriously…I need this show on Netflix.  I would binge the SHIT out of it. Will and Grace lost me a bit in the latter years when it became all about Grace wanting a baby and who they could get to make a guest star appearance, but when it was good? It was brilliant.  I need it.

“The Scientist” – ER

Sage: I kick and scream daily because E.R. isn’t on Netflix yet. I started to fall off in seasons 4 and 5 as characters piled on and quality dipped. But I don’t think it’s coincidental that my interest started to wane not long after Susan Lewis got on a train and left Chicago.  As young as I was, I didn’t know why I identified so much with Susan except that I did. Carol Hathaway is also a queen – don’t get me wrong – but there was an unnecessary amount of focus on her fragility and on her being one half of the S.S. Doug and Carol. Susan was always just doing the best that she could, whether with her patients, her friends (MARK + SUSAN 5-EVER), or her family. Warm, funny, down-to-earth…forever my County General hero.

“Sweet Dreams” – Lost

Kim: Having just finished a series re-watch of Lost (a post on my top 15 coming soon), there really isn’t a more perfect song to equal the show’s delightfully trippy nature.  This video mainly focuses on Locke/Desmond/Ben/Richard and I can’t really argue with that.  “Sweet Dreams are made of these, who am I to disagree? I travel the world and the seven seas…everybody’s looking for something.” Yep, that’s Lost in a nutshell, isn’t it?

“Long Live” – Dawson’s Creek

Sage: Wow wow wow, okay, I’m fine. As Kim pointed out to me, it’s not often that you find a Dawson’s Creek fan video that isn’t ship-oriented. This one is all about the group as a whole, and puts zero focus on the Dawson/Joey/Pacey love triangle. “Long Live” is in my…let’s say top three T. Swift songs. It’s the only track I can think of that makes me feel that instant and bittersweet nostalgia for old friends and our triumphs. This video is a work of art, from setting Jack’s coming out to “you held your head like a hero…” to using a montage of “Detention” and “The All-Nighter” for “for a moment a band of thieves in ripped up jeans got to rule the world.” Part of my own adolescence will always be wrapped up in Capeside; if that goes for you too, then prepare to cry.

“I Don’t Want to Want You” – Felicity

Kim: Before Team Edward vs. Team Jacob and before Team Peeta vs. Team Gale and before Team This Guy vs. Team That Guy there was Team Ben vs. Team Noel.  Who you wanted Felicity Porter to be with said a LOT about you in the late 90’s/early Aughts.  Ben vs Noel was like fate vs. happenstance.  Me? I was ALWAYS Team Noel (which makes me happenstance? INTERESTING.)  What can I say?  I’ve always been a sucker for Scott Foley’s giant hazel eyes and I remain so to this day, given my allegiance to Jake on Scandal.  I WILL say that I was in the midst of a Felicity rewatch when it got yanked from Netflix (THE PAIN).  What team was I on as a 30-something, you might ask?  I was on Team Felicity is the WORST and both of these guys are better than this wishy-washy girl who can’t make up her mind.

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“We all need stories to tell ourselves.” – Masters of Sex Recap

Masters of Sex Season 3, Episode 6
“Two Scents” 

Posted by Kim

“We’re all just stories in the end. Just make it a good one, eh?” — Doctor Who

Everyone is guilty of rewriting their own history to serve their own needs.  We remember certain people and relationships fondly while we assign the role of villain of the story to others. (Side Note: if I don’t put pictures of my ex in my scrapbook, he never existed, right?) This week’s Masters of Sex involved a lot of storytelling and examination of individual perspective. Virginia, reeling from her mother’s blatant endorsement of her affair with Bill, starts rewriting their history, telling herself that feelings had nothing to do with it. Libby Masters, so desperately alone in her marriage and her life, created a new identity for herself as she took over Joy’s bachelorette pad. The women on this show, y’all.

There’s been some criticism that Virginia has been acting out of character this season and her writing has been erratic.  I wholeheartedly disagree.  Virginia is an EXPERT at self sabotage.  We’ve seen this from the very beginning of the show.  She threw away her relationship with Ethan and so many other “nice guys”. I think why the relationship with Bill has worked for so long is the fact that he was unattainable in that she could never actually BE with him publicly.  Now that she is fully aware she’s on the precipice of that being able to happen (THANKS MOM), she’s running in the opposite direction.  My precious blueberry, this is what she DOES. Going back to last week’s episode, you can’t TELL me that Virginia wasn’t ready to jump Bill’s bones right then and there after his speech.  That desire was palpable.  But one word from her mother pushed her over the precipice of doubt that had ALREADY been building (I’m still questioning Gini’s reaction to the fur coat, after all) and now she’s running the other way.  Why?  I don’t know.  Perhaps she is afraid of her sexual relationship with Bill discrediting her work (as naturally, being a woman, it would).  Perhaps she doesn’t TRULY want to be the kind of woman who ruins a marriage and a family.  Perhaps she just doesn’t want to be the person her mother believes her to be. Whatever it is, poor sweet earnest (desperate) Bill doesn’t know what hit him.

 

To make matters worse, Edna is behaving like Bill and Virginia are already married, proudly proclaiming over dinner how great it is to have a famous author in the family, much to Virginia’s chagrin.  (Bill’s “If by family, you mean your daughter.” = everything.) Shipper Grandma (copyright Tumblr, not me. I wish I was that clever) even goes as far as manufacturing a way to get the kids out of the house so Bill and Virginia can have alone time.  SUBTLE.  It is, as Virginia says, grotesque.  There’s no faster way to get rid of a boner than to have sexytimes manufactured by your pseudo mother-in-law.

Bill and Virginia have always connected and communicated through sex, so Bill’s immediate solution to feeling her slipping away is to try and get her into bed as soon as possible.  He proudly announces that Dr. and Mrs. Holden will be returning as he booked them a room at the hotel where they spent so much time in season 2.  What Bill doesn’t count on, however, is the fact that their notoriety follows them everywhere now.  The check-in boy recognizes them and proceeds to flail about how Human Sexual Response has revitalized his marriage by the sheer fact that the book is in the house.  Well…at least someone is getting laid around here.  Left with no options, Bill takes them back to where it all began: the lab.  For some, this might be a romantic notion, going back to the place where they had sex for the first time.  For Virginia, it only serves to remind her that she and Bill wired themselves up and had sex under the guise of contributing to the study.  Dan Logan’s comments (don’t worry, I’m getting to him) about deserving a “proper courtship” echo in her head and she forgets about the banter and the blatant desire that led up to her consummating her relationship with Bill and chooses to only remember clinical detachment. “We had a negotiation and then we hooked ourselves up to wires,” she remembers coldly. Thus there was no sex in Mastersville that night.  Mighty Bill has struck out.

 
 
 
Bill (rightfully so) tells her she’s being ridiculous, because he chooses to remember things differently (Accurately? Am I currently watching The Affair?).  He remembers the passionate sex and the doorway declarations and the volatile fights and the even more volatile make-up sessions.  The funny thing is Bill has ALWAYS been ready to leave Libby for Virginia. This is not a new development, despite what Edna says.  It’s been Virginia who has been so insistent on maintaining the status quo because she is afraid of what her passion for Bill makes her and she’s afraid of truly taking the plunge with him. I think Virginia’s current indifference has very little to do with Bill and everything to do with making herself feel better about her life choices.  It’s easy for her to dismiss their relationship as amoeba in a petri dish rather than face the truth that she fell in love with a married man and risked professional and personal ruin for it.

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“Whatever happened to predictability?” – Live Blogging The Unauthorized Full House Story

Posted by Kim and Sage

HAVE MERCY!

Honestly, I never knew the making of Full House was fraught enough to merit an authorized tell-all pic on Lifetime, but here we are. Get yourself some ous-cream and join us here at 8/7 for all the snark and gifs you can handle!

22.02

And we are done. THANK YOU JESUS.

22.01

ONE LAST FART. At Candace’s Wedding no less.

22.00

BOB’S WIFE FINALLY DIVORCED HIM.

21.50

HOME STRETCH YOU GUYS. I need a wine refill.

21.48

Sorry actual Steve was WAY HOTTER.

21.46

Bad news from the network!

21.44

And their banner gets covered by a Seinfeld one.

21.40

Honestly, it’s like the casting department didn’t even try.

21.38

“This is what being wildly successful looks like.” I can’t wait for his wife to dump his ass. Please tell me she dumps his ass.

21.36

I imagine they weren’t able to get the rights to “Forever”?

21.34

“I can sponsor you for membership in the Dead Sisters Club.”

21.31

Case and Point about Stamos’ Hair.

21.28

Real Talk: I do feel sorry for the Olsen Twins.

21.27

Everyone is jealous of Mary-Kate and Ashley.

21.26

Note to this movie: John Stamos had a WAY hotter haircut by this point.

21.25

Are they for reals huffing?

21.23

It’s 1993 and we have a new Candace who looks nothing like the previous Candace.

21.19

Sage: NONE OF THEM EVER SAID THEY WISHED THEIR LIFE WAS LIKE FULL HOUSE.

21.16

“My brother thinks I should get closer to God.” Mhhhhhmmmmmm

21.13

The children witnessed this sexualizing of the mannequin.

21.11

“America’s Funniest Sexual Positions”

21.09

PAULA ABDUL.

21.07

It’s good to see that Candace was as neurotic on Full House as she was on Dancing With the Stars.

21.02

My main takeaway from this is that Bob Saget is a horrible human being.

20.57

He totally just did finger guns, y’all.

20.55

AMERICA AMERICA THIS IS YOOOOOOOOOOOU.

20.54

CONTRACT RENEGOTIATION TIME. True Story this is the making of a multi-million dollar empire right here.

20.52

Jodie is having middle child syndrome just like Stephanie.

20.49

I can’t believe Sage and I quit watching quality television for this.

20.48

“We’ll soon have a Full House of our own.” KILL ME.

20.47

FIRST MICHELLE CATCHPHRASE! DRINK!

20.46

WAIT A MINUTE JOHN AND LORI WERE EXES?

20.43

Is there going to be a liaison between Dave and Mama Olsen? You oughtta know.

20.41

Saget really just wants to be taken seriously.

20.38

But really how do any of these actors have any modicum of self respect? This is horrible.

20.37

BOY WEEKEND IN VEGAS.  How else are they going to play three best friends?

20.34

Poor Bob Saget.

20.33

Sage re: Bob Saget (real and fake)

20.32

HORRIBLE GAY JOKES.

20.31

Saget gets on set and already doesn’t want to be here.

20.30

Truth time: didn’t realize they shot the pilot with a different Danny,

20.26

Sorry Dude the Olsen twins were MUCH younger than that when they were cast.

20.25

“What about Paul Reiser?”

“He passed.”

paul

20.24

10 to 1 Candace is going to have some insecurity re: her brother being more famous.

20.22

HOW IS THIS AN ACCEPTABLE CANDACE CAMERON?

20.21

Bob Saget is pretty much a horrible person.

20.21

Rue McLanahan reference, drink!

rue

20.19

“The Cosby show is doing so well right now…”

20.17

Like Satine, Bob Saget just wants to be a real actress.

20.14

Is this seriously the best they could do for John Stamos?

20.14

“Is Alanis Morrissette gonna be in this?”

 

20.11

I haven’t had nearly enough wine for this.

20.09

AND WE ARE LIVE. NONE OF THESE PEOPLE LOOK LIKE THE PEOPLE THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO BE PLAYING.

20.05

We’re a little behind because we’re celebrating our friendaversary which involved the X-Files Pilot which is a not network standard 48 minutes.  WHOOPS NOT SORRY.

“Any perfect day should involve crying uncontrollably.” – It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye To Parks and Recreation

parks and rec group hug

Parks and Recreation Season 7, Episode 12 and 13
“One Last Ride” – Producer’s Cut

Posted by Sage

When Kim and I launched Head Over Feels back in 2012, we had a title we loved, a pocketful of pop culture opinions, and enough mimosa ingredients for small brunch party. What we didn’t have was much of a concrete plan. The blog has grown organically, reflecting our changing obsessions and (hopefully) growth as writers. Think of it as the field of wildflowers that inspired Leslie’s favorite mural: a little unkempt, but still beautiful.

From the very beginning, there was one regular feature that I knew we had to include. I had to recap Parks and Recreation. It wasn’t about a defined schedule. It wasn’t about our audience – at that point, we didn’t really have one. It was about me needing to respond to this show in some way other than just grinning like a maniac at my TV screen for 22 minutes a week.

I’ve stuck with Parks since the pilot, though that qualifier only really applies to those first six shaky episodes. And there was significant value in those too. It’s just that when the show plugged into the right vein early on in season two, it became and remained one of television’s most reliable and reliably inspirational comedies. More than that: to me and so many others, Parks has been a companion and a cheerleader. Just knowing that Leslie and her team were out there taking risks and having each other’s backs made me feel more adventurous and less inclined to take my life teammates for granted. The series finale of Parks and Rec has come and gone, but the show’s goofy, optimistic spirit will live on: on Hulu and Netflix and DVD, in gifsets and Swansonisms and my JJ’s Diner t-shirt. It’s like Mike Schur and his team presented us with 125 lovingly crafted scrapbooks, each bedazzled and puffy painted in true Knope fashion.

A Reddit user recently did a cool calculation, plotting the audience response to dozens of series finales. And the proof is right there in green and red: it’s tough to stick the landing. Not for Parks (its finale was rated even higher than the average episode, thank you very much), and that’s because I’ve never watched a show that has takes such wonderful care of its characters.

I watched the finale while eating breakfast for dinner (complete with waffle bar) with Kim and Kelly of The TV Mouse. Fitting, since Parks brought the three of us together in the first place. It was Kelly and my mutual admiration of each other’s recaps that led to our meeting and a treasured friendship. And really, was there any other possible outcome of that first hang than gChat pep talks, marathon TV nights, and us dragging Kelly into the Doctor Who fandom by her adorable curly hair? As far as personality indicators go, appreciating Parks is the most solid one I know.

As sad as I was to see Parks go, I sat on Kim’s couch confident that it would get the send-off it deserved. I was a big fan of the three-year time jump to begin with; it allowed for new storylines and dynamics (Ron and Leslie’s falling out, for example) to be explored without the time it would have taken to develop a proper run-up. In “One Last Ride,” Parks co-opted the nifty trick that made Six Feet Under’s finale one of the highest rated on that Reddit list. We got flash forwards for our Pawneeans. They felt satisfying, but not final. We learned something new about everyone; they got to share some of their future with us. But there was so much more we hadn’t seen, and so many life events still to come. Let it be known that if Parks had given all its characters the FULL Six Feet Under treatment, Kim would still be trying to peel me off her floor.

teach yo self

Instead, Parks time traveled to significant moments in its characters’ lives. Most were milestones. Some, like Donna’s, were small moments of realization. We caught up with Donna and Joe in Seattle, where the former is making that paper while her boo continues to shape young lives as a teacher. Donna’s life has always been about decadence; about giving herself the best that she can offer. But what could be more decadent than getting to enjoy your life with someone who’s fully dedicated to your happiness? Donna has always been quick to accept change. And if the guy who deserves to see her in that little red thing needs something other than a dream vacation to Middle Korea, she won’t think twice about giving it to him.

make up

It’s nice to see that Donna’s maid of honor (“Call Satan’s Niece.”) is still her partner in crime. (And I’d like to request a web series about their two weeks in Venezuela. Did they visit Pawnee’s sister city and sabotage some important, cultural festival?) April already had a hell of an arc in the final season; with all the inane think pieces about the struggle and shortcomings of the millennial, only Amy Poehler and her writers can be counted on to treat a journey like April’s with respect and empathy. A few years into their new lives in D.C., Andy, already king of the kids, is dying to have one of their own. (“Babe, I wanna put a baby in you, babe.”)

"Oh, for the baby?"

“Oh, for the baby?”

April acts like nothing scares her, but the people closest to her (especially Leslie) know that her projected fearlessness is all a front. In past episodes, what panicked April the most was the thought of losing her own identity and becoming a boring adult. (As if that’s possible for any spouse of Andrew Dwyer, who will threaten your OBGYN with a Taken monologue just so your child’s birthdate can officially be Halloween.) But her private conversation with Leslie about Andy’s baby jones reveals a deeper fear: that she won’t be any good at it. And what’s the point if so many variables are up in the air? “You have kids because you and Andy are a team,” Leslie tells her. “And you want to bring in some new team members.” There’s no question that Andy will be the dad to make other kids insane with jealousy; and April is coming around to the idea that she might not fuck everything up. But I think what really helps her decide the issue is the thought of the bigger team standing behind her and Andy. Jack-O-Lantern Ludgate-Dwyer is a part of that too, now. That team gave April everything. So how bad could it possibly go?

a tom

Tom has a rockier road than most of his friends. But that’s because he refuses to settle. The most telling part of Tom’s flash-forward is the scene where he mopes in front a documentary that he made about his own business failures. That’s so Big T. He can’t stop interpreting and analyzing and creating things out of other things, even when he wishes he could. Yeah, it’s a visual gag to see Tom in suit and a wireless mic standing underneath the word “FAILURE” in bold capital letters. But it’s also kind of the story of his life, and it’s not a bad one. I mean, what’s the difference really between Tom’s list of defeats and Donna’s list of “experiences” other than the way that they frame them? Tom has too many ideas to be stuck in one industry for the rest of his life; and Failure: An American Success story will lead to many other crazy ventures, I’m sure. And every one of them will be fueled in part by a Knope-Wyatt gift basket and a Ron Swanson pep talk, because his friends aren’t giving up on him either.

ron

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Fan Video Friday – “Shut Up And Dance”

the office everybody dance

Posted by Kim and Sage

The Modcloth “New Arrivals” section is all pumpkins and aubergines; the fall premiere dates have been set; and autumn is breathing down our necks. But we’re not giving up on summer just yet. Or on Fan Video Fridays. Or on distracting you from the important work you’ve got to do at your grown-up job. (As always, you are so very welcome.)

Fittingly, this week’s theme tune is definitely a strong contender for “Song of the Summer” 2015. Walk The Moon’s “Shut Up and Dance” has all the qualities you need to distill the fleeting freedom of the season down to 3:30 minutes: it’s upbeat, romantic, and has a great sense of abandon to it. It’s also the perfect track to build a multi-fandom video around, since it syncs up perfectly to every dance move ever. This is some magical shit, right here. Don’t believe me? Check out this week’s crop.

–Sage

Classic TV Mash-Up

Kim: GOOD GOD I LOVE A MONTAGE.  People always complain about them at the Academy Awards, but I LIVE for them.  There is something about watching one and squealing every time you see something you love.  Jim and Pam’s Wedding! Troy and Britta! ERWill and GraceHappy Endings! The Scrubs Musical! This has em all!

Sage: Ainsley Hayes! Rose Nylund! Badger! My So-Called Life! This video digs deep. If you can’t find something in here that you love, then let us design a syllabus of TV history for you. Seriously, let us. We’d love it.

Jake and Amy – Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Kim: These two are precious, I must add this show to my binge list.

Sage: My little pumpkin pies, how I adore you. (YES, KIM, YOU DO.) Like any will-they-won’t-they couple worth watching, Amy and Jake had the maybe-this-is-more-than-I-think-it-is dance. And their banter and relationship development have just been so warm and good-hearted and fun. This song suits them as well as they suit each other.

Marvel Actors

Kim: Or, all of these assholes must be stopped because I can’t handle this.  Also I love that Hiddles is getting great buzz for the Hank Williams movie because the thought of him doing the Awards Season Red Carpet makes my heart explode with rainbows and sparkles.

Sage: Personally, I strongly believe that Mark Ruffalo should dance like Michael Jackson in more of his films. (“Matty! Matty, it’s ‘Thriller!'”) Also, the fact that this mash-up is 60% these fools shaking it in real life to 40% clips from movies says a lot about the Marvel talent stable.

Movie Mash-Up

Kim: I appreciate the liberal use of Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion.  This is another one where I squeal with joy as the video progresses with each clip.  Well, really, that’s the theme of this whole post. JOY. Also, props to ending with the MUCH under-appreciated Only You. BB RDJ, you guys.

Sage: Only You is SO MAGICAL, y’all. And it’s on my Top 15 Rom Coms list, plug plug. Anyway, is that Sister Act: 2 I spy up in here? It’s good to see good/bad movies like that, BAPSThree Amigos, and Music & Lyrics share a compilation with all the best classic movie musicals. Gotta love a nice mix of high and low culture.

Rick and Kate – Castle

Kim: Let’s talk about how Nathan Fillion is one handsome mother fucker.

Sage: Okay, let’s. The first topic is, which is better: his face or his butt? (Also, show, you listen to me: if you break up Caskett, so help me, I will not be there by the time your inevitable 15th season rolls around.)

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Fan Video Friday – The Best of Twelve and Clara, Part II

Posted by Kim and Sage

It’s no secret that we are total trash for Clara and Twelve here at Head Over Feels.  There’s already been one Fan Video Friday entirely devoted to them, after all.  However that was posted before the shipper GIFT called “Last Christmas”.  In light of all the Whouffaldi goodness that has been in the trailers for series 9 (those dying seal noises you heard when the new trailer was released? That was us screaming over the hug in the above gifs), we figured there was no better time than now to celebrate all the new Twelve and Clara vids out there.  Come…join us in the feels.  We’re not going to make it through series 9 alive.

“Shut Up and Dance With Me” 

Sage: I find the way that Jenna Coleman says “Shut up” to be disgustingly adorable, so yes yes yes on this song choice. The early day Whouffaldi videos were so angsty; I’m glad we’re getting some fun, UST-heavy mash-ups now.

Kim: First of all, I’m obsessed with this song and this cover is fantastic. I love how the vidder timed so many of the “shut up and dance with me”s with Clara unabashedly throwing her arms around him. Also the look they give each other in the tunnel at the climax of “Flatline”?  If there hadn’t been monsters to fight in that moment, it would have resulted in a CRUSHING kiss. You can’t tell me anything different.

“Distance” 

Kim: “I’ll make sure to keep my distance…say I love you when you’re not listening. How long can we keep this up?” AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. No. This isn’t the end of “Mummy on the Orient Express” AT ALL.

Sage: Sometimes I think that I must have built the romance of the Christmas special too much in my shipper brain, but then this vidder puts the lie confession over the bridge of this song and the sleigh hug over that swelling chorus and nope, my reading is accurate.

“(I’m Gonna Be) 500 Miles” 

Sage: The Doctor/Companion arc in series 8 was so dark and beautiful and HEALING and I will never, ever forget it. BUT, I’m ready for light and fluffy bickering best friends in the TARDIS. And according to a lot of the series 9 promo, that’s what we’re going to get.

Kim: I think David Tennant will forgive Whouffaldi for borrowing his song because this video is SO PERFECT.

“I See the Light” 

Kim: Honestly, this song could have underscored the last 5 minutes of “Last Christmas” and I would have been fine with it. Because that’s what that entire episode was ABOUT…how The Doctor and Clara NEED each other. Truly. Madly. Deeply. “If she’s here, it’s crystal clear it’s where I’m meant to go. And at last I see the light and it’s like the fog has lifted. And at last I see the light and it’s like the sky is new. And it’s warm and real and bright and the world has somehow shifted. All at once everything is different…now that I see you.” Leave me here to weep.

Sage: “Deep Breath”: *Doctor can’t tell Clara and Strax apart*.
“Into The Dalek”: *Doctor doesn’t know how to describe Clara’s relationship to him*.
“Death In Heaven”: “My friend. I need her with me.”
Light: SEEN.

“Here With Me” 

Sage: Sadly, this video is not to the angsty Dido masterpiece “Here With Me,” but the ship sailed on that song with Mark zipping up his sweater in Love Actually. Instead, this video uses another tune to make me forget that I violently refused to ship 11 and Clara. (And still do ONLY IN HINDSIGHT.) Excellent use of dialogue and pull quotes from the lyrics.

Kim: Like Sage, I can ONLY buy Eleven and Clara in the context of Twelve.  There is something about Clara and the Doctor’s relationship NOW that in retrospect makes me go “yes, okay” in terms of Eleven.  My greatest complaint with “Time of the Doctor” was that Clara’s devotion to the Doctor didn’t feel earned.  WELL IT DOES NOW. This video is so deliciously angsty, I love it.

Also, I ever be over the “Oh THERE you are, Doctor” look from “Deep Breath”? The answer is no.

“True Love” 

Kim: “You’re an asshole, but I love you.” I think my favorite thing about the Twelve/Clara dynamic is how they push each other’s buttons.  They bring out the worst in each other but at the same time they bring out the BEST in each other.  As Pink so wisely states, that’s how you know it’s true love.

Sage: Danny Pink accidentally summed it up: “You’re never done with someone when they can still make you angry.” The Doctor and Clara push all each other’s “buttons down,” and that’s how you can be sure that two people really know each other, deeply and completely.

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