“A Great Wave of Love” – The Big Ask Review

The Big Ask Poster

Posted by Kim and Sage

I like to play a game called “Netflix Roulette.” Born out of my tendency to skip the depressing documentaries and sparse dramas I dutifully add to my queue, the game involves me closing my eyes, paging through my list, and watching whatever movie I land on, no excuses. I’m now convinced that there are higher forces at work, since last week the game’s result was a much-needed rewatch of Lawrence Kasdan’s The Big Chill. And The Big Ask is nothing if not a postmodern homage to The Big Chill.

This particular group of friends comes together not for a wake, but for the birthday of their buddy Andrew (David Krumholtz). Andrew has just lost his mom to cancer – type unknown, but described by Dave (Zachary Knighton) as “horrible” – so maybe that’s why the group doesn’t question his invite out to the middle of nowhere. They’ve rented a dusty ranch house in Joshua Tree, California; instead of a swim-up bar, they have a hot tub that has to be filled up with a hose. It’s desolate and removed, and so the group is from their daily lives. We don’t know a thing about them except what comes up in conversation during the trip. What they do, where they live, even how they know each other – it’s all a mystery. The Big Ask is about a moment in time, distanced from reality. I’d even argue that what happens in Joshua Tree won’t necessarily define these relationships for good. What happens in the California desert stays in the California desert.

The Big Chill is all about nostalgia and how the intense friendships you embark on in your youth inform the way you relate to other people forever. There’s nothing to be nostalgic about in The Big Ask. Has Andrew always been so spooky? Has Owen (Jason Ritter) always carried a torch for Hannah (Melanie Lynskey)? All we know is the dynamic that’s presumably heightened by the titular question. Andrew, who has refused therapy and prescribed for himself “a great wave of love,” wants to have sex with his girlfriend and his friends’ girlfriends, all at the same time. This will heal his wounds, he is sure. (Poor Hannah!) At first, we wonder why the other two couples aren’t peeling out of the sandy driveway immediately. But though we don’t know the specifics, the dependency among the friends is obviously deep (particularly among the boys and Hannah, I gathered). They want to be there for Andrew, but they’ll do it by helping him to move past this ridiculous request. What I found most troubling about the situation is that the ask seems to be more about Owen and Dave granting their permission rather than Emily (Gillian Jacobs) and Zoe (Ahna O’Reilly) making the choice. I can’t decide if Andrew’s “wave of love” is about being with three women who he feels close to or Owen and Dave benevolently “sharing” their women with him. Either way, both Emily and Zoe seem to find some sort of understanding of Andrew’s need for physical closeness. The Big Ask doesn’t delve too deeply into the sexual politics; it would be a different movie if it did.

I got lost in the last third of the film when a few of the Joshua Tree locals got involved; I won’t give away how. The Big Ask contains a lot of them; it opens up questions on grief, love, death, and friendship. And there’s no way to put a tidy bow on a story like that. The trailer tells us it’s a “dark comedy,” but I found it more a contemplative ensemble drama. It’s not a ha-ha-funny screenplay that Thomas Beatty wrote. But casting actors who – aside from Lynskey, I’d say – are mostly known for their comic chops helped establish the group as a loving and close one in those less fraught moments. And I’ll stop there, since Kim has plenty to say about the film’s performances.

-Sage

Emily (Gillian Jacobs), Owen (Jason Ritter), Zoe (Ahna O'Reilly), and Dave (Zachary Knighton) ponder "The Big Ask"

Emily (Gillian Jacobs), Owen (Jason Ritter), Zoe (Ahna O’Reilly), and Dave (Zachary Knighton) ponder “The Big Ask”

Community‘s Gillian Jacobs.  Happy Endings‘ Zachary Knighton.  Parenthood‘s Jason Ritter.  The cast list of The Big Ask reads like a roster of my favorite criminally under-appreciated television shows.  Add in The Help‘s Ahna O’Reilly, Comedy Vet David Krumholtz (This Is The End) and indie darling Melanie Lynskey and you have one stellar cast.  The cast truly functioned as an ensemble and there was a sense of ease and comfort in all their interactions and you truly believed that they had been in each others’ lives for a long time (O’Reilly’s Zoe felt like the newest addition to the group, which was an interesting dynamic).  It’s a blessing and a curse because the biggest problem I had with The Big Ask is that it felt like it was a random episode in the middle of the fifth season of a television show I had never seen.  That’s not to say it wasn’t a GOOD episode of a random television show I had never seen, but I would have gladly sacrificed the subplots with the Joshua Tree locals (one in particular) for a more in-depth look at these six friends (for example, it even implies on the POSTER that Owen carries a torch for Hannah…TELL ME MORE).  What can I say?  Once a completist, always a completist.  Give me character and relationship development over random subplots any day.

While The Big Ask lacks in exposition and character exploration, it makes up for it in performances.  While we the audience may not know all the history of these friendships, it’s clear that the ACTORS do in the way that they relate to each other on-screen.  Krumholtz does a terrific job with an unlikable (to US, as again we don’t know the history) character.  He plays Andrew with a detached kind of madness, to where we never quite know if he genuinely believes that his “great wave of love” will cure his grief or if he is bullshitting his friends just to see if he can get away with it.  Andrew is so wrapped up in himself and his pain that he is blind to how his actions are affecting his girlfriend and his friends…it’s a very raw and ugly and REAL portrait of grief.  Knighton, so delightfully dim in Happy Endings (RIP), continues to expand on the dramatic chops he showed during his arc on Parenthood this season.  His chemistry with Ritter is fantastic; Dave and Owen have a definite yin and yang dynamic, with Dave being the more grounded (and cheerfully befuddled) one in contrast to the tightly wound Owen.  Ritter’s Owen is a tough nut to crack: he’s immediately repulsed at Andrew’s ask, yet there is an instant sexual tension with Hannah, and Ritter plays this conflicted nature beautifully.  The three men also relate to each other as lifelong friends WOULD.  Theirs is the type of friendship where they would rather hire Andrew prostitutes and throw rocks at each other to get their aggressions out than sit down and actually discuss the motivations behind his request.  It felt very true to life.

O’Reilly plays Zoe with a coolness that belies her inner turmoil (Dave has recently proposed and she’s mulling an answer).  Zoe is clearly friends with all of these people through her association with Dave and O’Reilly plays her discomfort and “What have I gotten into with these people?” state of mind perfectly.  You can tell that Zoe HAS become friends with Dave’s friends over time and does care about what’s going on, but you also sense that she could bolt at any minute…because these aren’t really her people.  A situation like this one NEEDS an outsider to counterbalance all the long-standing emotions, and O’Reilly plays that role perfectly.  Jacobs plays the free-spirited Emily with an innate sweetness and goodness.  She is unassuming and just radiates warmth.  I really wanted her to envelop ME the way she envelops Hannah as the ladies try to comfort her and get to the root of Andrew’s problems (a stark contrast to the said rock fight between the men).  And the, in the third act of the film, Jacobs has a scene with Ritter where you see her character deflate within the span of a single sentence…and I wanted to be the one hugging HER.  There are no shades of Britta Perry’s needless defiance in this performance and as a massive Community fan, it was a treat to see her excel here.  You don’t ever get the sense that Jacobs is ACTING, she just has a natural screen presence that draws you in.  If Hollywood still wrote good romantic comedies, I would be SCREAMING for her to be cast in one.

The film truly belongs to Melanie Lynskey, who is always terrific, no matter what genre.  From the kind-hearted stepsister in Ever After (“I’m only here for the food.”) to being the woman who had a baby in a bar in Sweet Home Alabama to her truly chilling performance in Heavenly Creatures, she always brings her A-Game.  Lynskey’s Hannah is truly a woman on the verge of a breakdown.  She LOOKS like she has it all together and then she will grimace or purse her lips and you can see all the embarrassment, confusion, helplessness, pain, and rage simmering just beneath the surface.  Lynskey finds all the nuances of Hannah’s emotional state and is just as effective when she is observing the action going on around her as she is when she actually opens her mouth.  While Andrew is the anchor of the action of the story, I would argue that The Big Ask is just as much Hannah’s story.  It’s not easy to see the person you love suffering and being unable to help them.  It gets even worse when you are unable to tell that person that their suffering is causing YOU pain.  You can tell that Hannah feels selfish when it comes to her pain, but she is also desperate to acknowledge that she is suffering too.  It’s a wonderful contrast to Andrew and Lynskey plays it with such a quiet ferocity that I often just wrote “MELANIE LYNSKEY!!!” in my notes while watching the film.  I’ll never understand why the big studios aren’t fighting over who gets to cast her next.

All in all, while I had many problems with the script and felt that it failed to expound fully on the outlandish premise, The Big Ask is worth seeing for its outstanding performances.  I do agree with Sage that it is being completely mismarketed as a black comedy.  It’s a character study in the way we react to grief and intimacy.  It forces you to think and contemplate and it’s definitely a movie for adults…and they make far too few of those these days.

–Kim

Hannah (Melanie Lynskey) and Andrew (Dave Krumholtz)

Hannah (Melanie Lynskey) and Andrew (Dave Krumholtz)

The Big Ask is in limited theatrical release and is also available through iTunes and Video on Demand.

Fan Video Friday – A Thousand Years

Posted by Kim

Welcome back to Fan Video Friday, where we seek to fulfill all your procrastination needs for the last day of the work (and at the same time destroy you with feels/make you never want to hear certain songs again).  We made our case for the validity of Christina Perri’s “A Thousand Years” when we guested on the Crash Chords Podcast earlier this spring.  Yes, this sweeping ballad was originally Edward and Bella’s wedding song…but aside from giving Anna Kendrick more exposure, it’s the one good thing to come out of the Twilight saga.  This song means so much more than Edward and Bella and here are some fan videos to prove it.

Amy and Rory – Doctor Who

Because there is no better song for The Last Centurion and the Girl Who Waited.  He LITERALLY waited 2000 years for her.

“Together…or not at all.”

Josh and Donna – The West Wing

Because it FELT like a thousand years before these two crazy kids got their shit together and admitted they were madly in love.

Eric and Sookie – True Blood

Because if this song is going to be about Vampires, I’ll take Alexander Skarsgard over RPatz any day.  And really the only reason I even WATCH True Blood is that Eric is often naked.

Shout out to our buddy Mindy who requested this pairing and found this video!

Maks and Meryl – Dancing With The Stars

Yes, they are real people.  No, I don’t care.

As this season of Dancing With The Stars progressed more and more of my Twitter timeline was drawn into the #ChmerkovskiySpiral as we watched The Big Bad Grumpy Russian and the Ice Princess fall madly in love.  It started out innocently enough but by the finale Maks and Meryl had whipped us into the kind of fangirl frenzy that is usually only reserved for the likes of Tom Hiddleston or David Tennant.  The way they would dance together, the way they LOOKED at each other, the blatant displays of affection…DWTS has had its share of showmances in the past, but M&M took it to a whole new level.  You can’t TELL me they aren’t in love (to the point I started screaming “STOP YOU’LL SCARE THEM” anytime a nosy reporter asked if they were dating).  If they are not, someone go ahead and give them Academy Awards right now.

And just taking this opportunity to remind you about this:

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“You can’t call yourself a dancer if you give up.” – SYTYCD recap

Posted by Kim

The doldrums of Summer TV are saved by one thing: So You Think You Can DanceSYTYCD gets MUCH less fanfare than its “sister show” American Idol but it (in our humble opinion) is VASTLY superior as a show.  As I always say…there are a lot of tricks you can hide behind when it comes to singing, but you can’t FAKE dancing.  SYTYCD also embraces the positive and tends to showcase talent over gimmick which just makes it a more enjoyable show to watch.  Every year around the end of April, when I am reaching PEAK American Idol fatigue, I start saying “Oh my GOD when is So You Think You Can Dance going to start?”

Well it finally has started and Wednesday’s premiere showcased auditions in New Orleans and Chicago.  Let’s get right to breaking down the episode, shall we?

Cat Deeley Scale of Awesomeness

Is there a better reality host out there than Cat Deeley?  I don’t think so…and it is not just because we vastly prefer Brits here at Head Over Feels.  Cat is warm, goofy, stylish (we’ll be rating her outfits once we get to the live shows), and genuinely cares about the contestants and it shows. Cat obviously plays a larger factor in the live shows…with the audition rounds we get her intros, her delightful voiceovers, some post-audition hugs, and a few sit-down interviews with the contestants Uncle Nigel thinks Ameriker (say it in the Cat voice!) is going to get the most invested in.  But Cat makes the most of her limited time in the audition rounds.  You can tell the contestants love sitting down with her (Hey Cat, open invitation to have drinks with us anytime you are in NYC) and that she’s incredibly easy talk to.  Obviously, the Cat highlight of the night was any of her time with Caleb, from discussing his father’s death with him to the way she rejoiced when he finally got his ticket to Hollywood.

Pun of the Week: calling a bitterly cold Chicago Chi-beria.

This Week’s “Jidges” Score of Awesome: Who are we kidding? She’s Cat!  10/10.

Audition of the Night: Trevor Bryce

Trevor’s unique blend of Contemporary, hip-hop, and animation made him an instant contender for the Top 20.  Nigel (king of exaggeration) went as far as to say that it was one of the best solo performances in the show’s history.  While I won’t go THAT far (TEN full seasons, Nigel!!), It was definitely the dance highlight of the night.  His weirdness reminded me a bit of Mark (Sage’s all time favorite SYTYCD alum) and his clear training will make him strong when it comes to partnering.  Unless he COMPLETELY falls apart in Hollywood week (it’s SUPER weird to not say Vegas anymore guys), I would say he’s definitely in the top 20.  Sonya Tayeh is gonna have a field day with him.

Does he come off a little cocky?  Sure.  But, as guest judge Wayne Brady said, he’s “TRAINED for this, bitches”.  When you have the skills to back it up, it’s fine to be a little cocky.  In fact, I would say that being one of the top 20 DEMANDS a little cockiness.

Top 20 Material? (aka four other auditions that stood out to me)

Megan Marcano

Megan has the Human Interest Story (she’s been on her own since age 12 when her substance abusing mother was put in jail) to go along with her exquisite skills (LOVE the broken doll action at the end of her solo) and kick ass hair.  You know how some people just LOOK like they belong on So You Think You Can Dance?  Yeah.  She has that look.

Novien Yarber

One of the things I love the most about SYTYCD is the fact that people come back year after year to audition.  A LOT can happen in a year as a dancer, especially if you work your ass off taking classes.  Novien is one of those people who was cut last year (in Vegas? SURELY he made it to Vegas…help me out in the comments) who refused to take “no” for an answer.  I was touched by his tears expressing the amount of self doubt he had after being cut the previous year and Nigel’s “You HAVE to know you’re a good dancer, whether you make the show or not” comment was one of his most sincere moments of the night.  Good (extraordinary even) people don’t make the show every year because like it or not, the producers HAVE to build a cast of all types.  Let’s hope one of those types is open for Novien if he continues to dance like this.

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X-Men: Days Of Future Past – A Comprehensive List Of All The Times We Overreacted

Everything is McFassy

Posted by Sage

After months of teasing us with the Ovary Crushing Press Junket of DoomX-Men: Days of Future Past hit theaters this past holiday weekend. And Kim and I dedicated our inaugural trip to Manhattan’s fanciest movie house for the second installment of this reboot. Reserved seats, cushy recliners, and a Coke Freestyle machine? What better way to settle in for 2+ hours of McFassy?

Though our theater was full, we didn’t experience any of the bad behavior we’ve come to expect from city audiences. Maybe it’s because everyone was so comfortably blissed out in their armchairs that they didn’t feel the need to fidget, text, or talk. But though our flails were perhaps more muted than usual, they were still there. You know we can’t resist a big summer sci-fi blockbuster with flirty men and powerful ladies. And so, here are all the parts of X-Men: Days of Future Past that made us go to pieces.

The future is bleak, but at least Ellen Page is there.

Kitty Pryde X-Men DOFP

The film kicks off with a vision of our dystopian future should Professor X’s plan not work out – the days of future present, if you will. It’s a chance to show off those terrifyingly adaptable Sentinels, introduce some new characters (Blink is EVERYTHING, as is Fan BingBing’s red carpet realness), and bring some mutants from the Ratner canon back into our lives. Iceman! Storm! Kitty Pryde!

In the comics, it’s Kitty Pryde who’s sent back to the past, not Logan. And though it’s worth discussing that choice, it’s not a shock that Wolverine would play the more significant role. The franchise has a lot of eggs in that basket. Still, Ellen Page is always fun to see, even when her part mostly consists of performing X-Reiki on Hugh Jackman’s comatose form.

Hugh Jackman wants you to know that he went to the gym. A lot.

X-Men Hugh Jackman Wolverine Shirtless

Logan wakes up in the ’70s next to a pretty young thing, and all we could do was fervently whisper, “Veins. VEINS.” I don’t know what Jackman does before these movies, but it looks like he’s inside out. Does that make sense? Anyway, he swings his legs to the floor and stands up – our fingers are crossed. The camera pans up to his shoulders. Disappointed sigh. And then: miraculously, magnanimously, a wide shot.

X-Men Wolverine Butt

It’s better when not a blurry iPhone bootleg, I swear. I’ll speak for Kim and say that the super-jacked are generally not our types. But one half-second butt shot and we both became Tina Belcher.

Tina Belcher Butt

And now a baby Hugh from Someone Like You, for scale. Don’t bother watching that movie. Just look at this gif. Trust me.

Hugh Jackman Someone Like You

Quicksilver and Jim Croce

QX-Men DOFP Quicksilver

Some Marvel crossover blah-be-de-blah business makes it possible for Quicksilver to appear in this movie and The Avengers: Age of Ultron. But after the character’s indelible debut in DOFP, the Avengers version has got his work cut out for him. Your move, Aaron Taylor Johnson.

Evan Peters can do a delightful cocky bastard smile; Quicksilver is a little shit. And his scenes offered some much-needed relief from the bleak opening sequence and the reveal of strung out, hopeless Charles. I applaud whoever came up with scoring Quicksilver’s Pentagon stunt with Jim Croce’s “Time in a Bottle” and all the various powerful people who let it through. That’s exactly the kind of cheeky joke that can either fall flat or take the scene from okay to unforgettable. Luckily, the gamble paid off. Totally delightful.

X-Men DOFP Pain in the Ass

Fassbender.

X-Men Magneto DOFP

What could Michael Fassbender possibly do if he weren’t an actor? Could he be a mailman? A taxi driver? The only other occupation that could possibly work out for someone this handsome is fireman. Now you’re picturing that. You are welcome.

Kim and I have already divided McFassy/Cherik up between us, just to speed things along. Fassy is hers, and I think everyone around us knew it based on the incomprehensible noises she’d make when he was on screen. Let’s also take a moment to appreciate his take on Magneto’s sense of spectacle. What a drama queen. I love him.

Michael Fassbender Smile

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Fan Video Friday – “Ships In The Night”

Posted by Kim

Welcome to another edition of Fan Video Friday, where we aim to bring you all the procrastination tools you need for your work day.  This week we’re spotlighting Mat Kearney’s “Ships in the Night”, the anthem for all the ships that very often just can’t quite get themselves together.  “Ships” tends to be much more friendly to our favorite Sitcom Couples with its upbeat track and driving beat.  Don’t get me wrong though…some of these will still kill you with feels.  Sorry not sorry.

Jeff and Annie – Community

Aside from “Gravity”, I declare this to be their theme song.  I will NEVER understand why Dan Harmon and the writing staff had SUCH resistance to them.  Talk about ignoring what’s right in front of your face.

Ben and Leslie – Parks and Recreation

“But Kim,” you say.  “Ben and Leslie are happily married and perfect together!  No angst or passing each other by for this ship!”  Sure…NOW they are happy and nothing will break them apart.  But they weren’t always this way, so.

Nick and Jess – New Girl

All of their UST in Seasons One and Two was DELICIOUS.  I like Nick and Jess BETTER when they are yelling at each other because there is just something about Jake and Zooey’s chemistry when that happens that makes me scream “MAKE OUT” at my television.  I’m sure these crazy kids will find their way back to each other, but in the meantime…more fighting please!

Ross and Rachel – Friends

Sage may be pro Joey/Rachel (and I promise to find a good video to showcase them one week), but even she can’t argue with the accuracy of this one.

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“My Game, My Rules” – Our Favorite Britney Spears Deep Cuts

Britney Spears Work Bitch

Posted by Sage

It’s Godney, y’all!

We’ve been through so much with her, you guys. And we’re all still standing. Whatever her issues, Britney has contributed hugely to the pop music canon and I don’t just mean your Womanizers and your Slave For Yous. We’re talking eight full studio albums also full of tracks that Carson Daly didn’t drill into your brain every day after school in the late ’90s. Today, we’re celebrating our choice Britney deep cuts from throughout her career. So pull on your red latex jumpsuit, drape a boa around your shoulders, and let’s dance.

Britney Spears I'm Excited

“What It’s Like To Be Me” (ft. Justin Timberlake)

RIP Pinky and Stinky. You were too beautiful for this world.

No question about it, our first selection had to be Britney’s one and only collabo with then-flame Justin Timberlake. Justin backs Britney up on this one and I wish this weren’t the only track in her oeuvre with his smooth falsetto layered behind her sassy lead vocal. He beatboxes, she tells him not to “get it twisted.” It’s sonic love.

Ballin’-est Britney Lyric: 

“Baby, take the time to realize
I’m not the kind to sacrifice
The way I am”

“Autumn Goodbye”

Everybody ought to know this track, because it was the B-Side to Britney’s break-out single, “Baby One More Time.” You know, the one you had to go to Sam Goody to purchase immediately after you read the Britney spotlight in the Delia’s catalog? This is vintage Brit – long before she told us she actually wasn’t this innocent – saying a sweet goodbye to her summer fling. But in, like, a dancey way.

Ballin’-est Britney Lyric: 

“Red leaves and blue tomorrows
Time will give back the love that we shared
On the time that we borrowed”

“Don’t Go Knockin’ On My Door”

In college, my roommate broke up with her boyfriend, who I loathed. And for a good three days afterwards, I forced a playlist on her that was just this and “Stronger” over and over and over again.

Ballin’-est Britney Lyric: 

“I can see
It’s no mystery
It’s so clear to me
What we had is all history”

“Anticipating”

If Oops…I Did It Again was the big girl record where Britney pulled out all the available stops to convince us that she was a real sex symbol and not just pigtailed catnip for pedophiles, then Britney was the party album. The clean kind of party though, where you “skip on the drinks, head to the floor.” Sure, Brit.

This Patchwork Barbie stage outfit wasn’t even a good idea in 2001. But the sparkly “Anticipating” was always the right choice for driving around with your best friend, pretending that you had somewhere cooler to go than the closest Wal-mart.

Ballin’-est Britney Lyric: 

“Move it baby over here
So we can set it off”

“Cinderella”

Britney is our girl’s strongest, most eclectic album – the sweet spot between her cutesy early efforts and the obvious strain behind all her “comeback” records. Give it another listen and tell me it doesn’t work from top to bottom. And then watch Crossroads, because why not?

My head canon has always been that Britney is singing “Cinderella” to the same guy who was on the receiving end of “Born to Make You Happy.” Because that guy sucks and he should learn to do his own laundry or at least hire a service or something and maybe the first red flag should have been that he actually called you “Cinderella” to your face because that’s messed up. Anyway, CINDA-RELLA’S GOT TA GAAAOO.

Ballin’-est Britney Lyric: 

“From time to time I’d try to tell just what was on my mind.
You’d tell me ‘Not today.’
‘Come back, do that.
Where’s Cinderella at?’
Was all you had to say”

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Top of the Charts: The Definitive Nashville Character Ranking

Nashville Door's right hereNashville Rayna Juliette high five
Posted by Sage

We haven’t posted anything on Nashville since Kim checked in on its freshmen season last year. But, rest assured, we both remain loyal viewers of the sturdy little drama, which ABC has already locked in for a 22-episode third season.

In an era when most network dramas are struggling to keep up creatively with their premium cable counterparts, Nashville is a series that can be enjoyed on its own terms – no daydreaming about the HBO version. It doesn’t need looser restrictions or a bigger budget. Nashville is what it is. And though it’s had its fair share of missteps (Peggy and the pig’s blood, the inexplicable focus on Rayna’s dad, Deacon giving up his dog – WHY??), the series is packed with enough characters to guarantee that at least part of every episode will strike your fancy. With two seasons under our belts, we’ve ranked the current main stable of Nashville artists, from can’t-stand-them to YAS, BITCH, YAS. Your current country standings are as follows.

13. Scarlett O’Connor

Nashville Scarlett Freak Out

You cannot make us care about Scarlett, NashvilleNo matter how hard you try. And oh, how you’ve tried.

Scarlett O’Connor is the worst kind of perpetual victim. She’s the Grand Ole Opry’s answer to the Manic Pixie Dreamgirl. She’s apparently the second coming of Patsy Cline, but doesn’t want to be famous ’cause she’s just lil ‘ol me (chinhands). She wore that red tutu monstrosity and looked like she’d escaped from an episode of Hee Haw. She fell prey to the generic prescription drug addition established in TV trope-dom by Jesse Spano and carried on recently by Ivy Lynn and her glorious bosom on Smash. She dropped out of the game, but only after Rayna spent who knows how much of her new label’s (and therefore HER OWN) cash and time on producing her album and promoting her as an artist. She’s nothing but support and love to alcoholic Uncle Deacon, but has no time for a mother who clearly suffers from mental illness AND substance abuse. And we were VERY NEARLY RID OF HER until Gunnar opened his big, fat mouth and told her to stay. (A smooth move that did him no favors re: this list.) Because who needs a degree from Ole Miss when there are half-eaten lemon bars to be bussed at the Bluebird?

12. Teddy Conrad

Nashville Teddy and Daphne

Now that Teddy half-murdered Rayna’s dad and sadness-banged Deacon’s lawyer girlfriend, he is officially irrelevant. Rayna’s ex spent most of the second half of this season pushing Maddie away and then giving the stink eye to Deacon at every opportunity. For the mayor of this town, Teddy seems to be just about its most impotent citizen.

11. Layla Grant

Nashville Layla JulietteNashville Layla Juliette 2
Layla was smartly introduced as a foil for Juliette. The winner of a Nashville Star type reality series, she was even younger and even more marketable than Ms. Barnes, which made for some great scenes like the one above. (Avery’s face is gold, btw.) Then she was linked to Will and to his storyline, one of the most heavyhanded and exhausting of the show. It’s brought her down. We still see hints of her drive, especially with her refusal to take Will’s weak “no” to signing on for their own reality show for an answer. But the role of the unwitting beard isn’t a fun one for anyone. So hopefully Will’s tearful confession will lead to a more ruthless and amusing Layla next season.

10. Will Lexington

Nashville Will and Gunnar

Chris Carmack is pretty compelling and has been ever since his puka-shelled bully days on The O.C. And I get that the show is trying to say something here about the conservative nature of the country music community. It’s just that I’ve seen enough fictional gay martyrs to last me several lifetimes. Please give Will more to do than stare longingly at boys and then cry in dark rooms. He’s an artist. He’s a friend. He went to the edge, looked over, and stepped back to keep on living. He deserves more.

…like maybe a beautiful romance with his best friend Gunnar, the person who loves him most in this world? Idk. Idk.

9. Zoey Dalton

Nashville Zoey Dalton

Oh, Zoey. I don’t know why you’re here. But I do know that your hair is SUPER pretty and somehow you endure being best friends with attention vampire Scarlett. I hope that you go off to have great success 20 feet from stardom while your boyfriend explores his true feelings for his strapping friend Will.

8. Daphne Conrad

Nashville Daphne Conrad

Cute as a god damned button, this one. And master of some pretty sick harmonies. She unfortunately learned this year that her older sis has a cool dad while she’s still saddled with Mr. White People Problems. So, props to Daph for taking that one in stride.

7. Gunnar Scott

Nashville Gunnar Alright

Chill is Gunnar Scott’s middle name. When everyone around him is either wallowing or wildin’ out, it’s Gunnar’s job to talk them down. He’s making bank as a songwriter, making him one of the only musicians on this show who’s concentrating on just doing his job and not on taking some other bitches down. He’s got a dope house. He’s been a true friend to Will. But Gunnar, I warn you: you WILL drop like a stone if you use Zoey’s absence as an opportunity to reconnect with Scarlett who never did deserve you. Go for Will instead and you might be giving #1 a run for her money in the 2015 rankings.

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Fan Video Friday – “Fix You”

Posted by Kim

Welcome to our new series: Fan Video Friday!  Because what fangirl hasn’t spent hours upon hours falling down the YouTube Rabbit Hole of Fandom Videos?  Plus…it’s Friday and you don’t feel like working today, do you?

This week we spotlight David Tennant’s second favorite song (after “(I’m Gonna Be) 500 Miles” that is), “Fix You” by Coldplay.  “Fix You” is the anthem for every angsty OTP .  Video requirements include longing looks, tears, running montages, grabby and desperate kisses, and hospital bed vigils.  These are typically the couples of your hour long dramas.  The couples that have seasons upon seasons of UST before FINALLY getting together.  The couples that give you ALL the feels.  I’ve pulled a sampling of the best “Fix You” videos for your pleasure and tears.   Watch them all or watch the ones specific to your interests.  Enjoy!

Meredith and Derek – Grey’s Anatomy

For many many seasons, these two were the DEFINITION of angst.  They may be happily married NOW (but according to last night’s finale, we’ve got some rocky waters ahead)…but there will always be natural disasters and rogue gunmen to cause these two some drama.  Bonus points for the PERFECT use of the house of candles at the end of this video.

The Tenth Doctor – Doctor Who

Sure we could have used a Ten and Rose video, but when David Tennant’s Doctor is the KING of angst, why not do a tribute to his entire era? Bonus points to the RUDE use of TenToo on “Get what you want but not what you need”.

Booth and Brennan – Bones

Hart Hanson kept these soulmates apart for SIX SEASONS you guys.  Angsty McAngesterson.  Yes, it took longer for Mulder and Scully to get together, but these two were professing their feelings openly long before they did, so really it was just torture/fear of ruining the show dynamic that kept them apart.  And that bitch Hannah.

Mulder and Scully – The X-Files

Ultimate angsty UST-y OTP is ultimate.  Quoth Kelly, who is about to start the series, when I showed her this video: “I see I am in for a LOT of Hospital Bedsides.”

Sydney and Vaughn – Alias

These two though.

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