On September 24, 2012, Kim and I broke the bottle over a blog we called Head Over Feels. And we had no clue what we were doing.
The last two years have been a joy, a struggle, and above all, an intensive learning experience. I know I speak for both of us when I say that neither of us could have tackled this alone. Or even wanted to. As usual, Queen Amy Poehler says it best:
“As you navigate through the rest of your life, be open to collaboration. Other people and other people’s ideas are often better than your own. Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.”
Even the posts that are credited to just one of us are team efforts at their core. We are constantly sharing ideas and blurbs with each other, seeking consensus or sometimes even a new angle. There are pieces that never would have made it onto the site without one of us coaching the other through a block. And when it comes to covering live events and interviewing the creative people we admire, we are bolder and more assertive as a pair than we’d ever be on our own.
Now you know we don’t mess around when it comes to celebrating birthdays. So we’ve collected our 12 favorite posts from the last year of our little blog’s life here. Thanks to all of you who’ve read, shared, liked, and commented. And extra special thanks to our guest posters, especially Sarah and Dawn who are bringing you a steady stream of Supernatural flashback recaps that we’re proud to host.
We’ve got big plans for year three: wall-to-wall coverage of New York Comic Con, Communicon, L.I. Who, and Gallifrey One, at the very least; more weekly recaps, including Arrow; the continuation of our Sex and the City series; a definitive Parks and Rec episode ranking; and tons more. Just thinking about everything we’re scheming up makes us want to collapse in exhaustion. But we’ll do it with smiles on our faces, because this is our baby. Or our toddler now, I guess. Anyway, we love what we do and we’re gonna keep on doing it.
Now, to blow out our candles.
“When a Con-goer defended a dumb, popcorn horror flick (I can’t even recall which one) (Kim: It was this summer’s The Purge) by saying, “I mean, what else do you want? It’s a summer movie,” Owen replied, “Your standards are too low.” HEAR, HEAR. We’re at COMIC CON, the purest state of loving something more than is healthy. Why not hold those standards across the board? We’ll all be the better for it, AND we’ll have better movies.”
New York Comic Con was our first major convention together and our first convention as accredited members of the press. I don’t think it could have gone any better. John Barrowman learned we had no boundaries and thus rested his head on our collective bosom. We scored loads of fan art. We went to a party as a 9th, 10th, 11th, and Jack Harkness (“You don’t want to know what I am thinking right now.”) cosplay and made new nerd friends. We attended premiere panels like Agents of SHIELD and The Walking Dead (Sage’s first experience with the show…oh how things change in a year). We got to attend the press roundtable for Sleepy Hollow and interview HOF Sexiest Man Alive Tom Mison (“My dad said my shoes were snazzy!). And oh yeah…we met our heroes David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson and discussed our custom made shirts with them (“What’s that from?” “YOUR SHOW!” “It’s called The X-Files“). NYCC 2014 is less than a month away…and the gauntlet for it exceeding 2013 has been thrown down. We can’t wait.
Wednesday morning at 6 AM I was awoken by my phone buzzing over and over again. I blearily looked at my phone to discover frantic text messages from Sage: VIRGIN CANCELLED OUR FLIGHT OVERNIGHT (at 3 AM to be specific) VIA EMAIL. Sage was met with the same response that I had faced the day before…the earliest Virgin could rebook us was Saturday…which was no help considering the con ended Sunday. And they couldn’t put us on standby as their standby policy was only for “day of” your flight. “BUT YOU CANCELED ALL THE FLIGHTS THURSDAY” was her response. She then conferenced in me and Kelly and we worked out a game plan. We decided to show up at JFK as soon as we possibly could and demand to be put on standby. There was no way they could say no to our faces, right?
This year marked our first pilgrimage to Los Angeles for the biggest fan-run Doctor Who convention in the US: Gallifrey One. And let’s just say our President’s Day weekends are booked from now until eternity. The snow gods did their best to ground us, but we sweet-talked our way onto an early flight (okay, Kim cried us onto it) and slept on our coats on a cold Marriott floor (thanks, kind Whovians!) – gladly. Nothing could keep us from a solid weekend of geeking out with our people.
“In the musical Company, there’s a line that says, “There’s a time to come to New York and a time to leave.” I’ve never been too keen on that second part, but the fact remains that New Yorkers are so often saying goodbye to friends who’ve decided that that time has come. And when it does, it feels like the bubble has burst. Because it’s like living in a little fantasy world to get to be so close to people that you love, to make snap decisions on last minute happy hours or movie marathons or long walks to solicit much-needed advice. We’re living on borrowed time. So when the moment comes for that friendship to evolve into something else – phone calls, Christmas cards, and hopefully not sporadic visits – it’s hard to feel abused. You make that friend a Sarah McLachlan-heavy mix-tape to send her off to her new adventure and feel lucky for the time you had. And then you go out for breakfast, because there’s no sadness it can’t cure.”
Sage’s recaps of Parks and Recreation have been one of the cornerstones of our site from Day One. She’s recapped almost TWO FULL SEASONS…and the only reason I say *almost* is that we launched after the season five premiere. I feel like Sage truly understands Pawnee and its residents and her love for them emanates from every word of every recap. We chose her recap of “Ann and Chris” because when I first read it, when I got to the paragraph that I quoted above, I DEFINITELY sent her a text telling her to go fuck herself because I was crying. It’s truly the highest compliment I can give.
“You sent Gabby to me in your place.” Her name is ABBY, you cretin. She’s worked with Olivia for years and you can’t even be bothered to learn her name, you jerk.
When Smash left us, we took to our beds for weeks, pining for Ivy, Derek, and Eileen’s martini-throwing arm until we finally realized there was a solution. The hole in our hearts where our weekly #SmashBash used to reside could be filled. And thus, Scandal gif-caps were born.
Scandal slid so perfectly into this format because every episode is designed to evoke one horrified/shocked/titillated reaction per say, every 15 seconds. We had a lot of plot to contend with this season (and a lot of Fitz-hating to do), and organizing our thoughts into cute little animated photos really helped us to make sense of Olivia’s world. In this post, Kim beautifully covered the season three episode “The Fluffer” in a symphony of gifs – everything from Severus Snape to John Watson to the Cat in the Hat.
Still, there is one thing Smash had that Scandal doesn’t: toilet ratings. Our Scandal gif-caps will return this week and continue for as long as Shondaland churns out the DC drama.
“But it’s the same line that girls like Mindy, who don’t coast on tedious, photoshop looks, have been hearing forever. Girls like us have got to be funny and loud and friendly to get anyone to give us the time of day. But then you’re TOO funny, you’re TOO great to be around, you’re such a good FRIEND, and wouldn’t it be a shame to ruin that? It would have been better if he cheated on Mindy or stood her up for All -You-Can-Eat Sushi or made fun of her for following Prince George’s first royal baby tour or became an event planner or sold her stuff for drug money. At least then he wouldn’t be convinced he was just doing “the right thing.” Instead he’s punishing her. It’s her fault for getting so close. Maybe if she weren’t so important to him, they could really have something. He really is bad at this.”
We are SO PROUD of The Mindy Project, you guys. It’s a shining example of what Network Patience with a show can do. It would have been very easy for Fox to cancel Mindy after its initial lackluster episodes…but instead Fox showed a surprising amount of patience as Mindy Kaling tinkered with the dynamics of her show throughout the first season. By the end of season one The Mindy Project was a much more confident show and it hit the ground running in season two. Mindy crept slowly up our “Must Watch” list until anuary 21, 2014 when Danny Castellano kissed Mindy Lahiri on an airplane and our collective hearts exploded. Over the season two hiatus that followed, Sage kept talking about how she wanted to do a post on how far Mindy had come. The post kept getting pushed off as some of our grand plans often do until Sage finally sent me a text one day saying…”I think I’m just going to recap Mindy instead”. I’m so glad she listened to her gut. Much like Parks, Sage really understands the core of The Mindy Project and I look forward to her posts every week. We chose her recap of “Be Cool” for obvious reasons…after giving us a couple episode of Dandy bliss, Mindy Kaling yanked the rug out from under us in spectacularly real fashion. It hurts so good.
Why all the bullshit about Robin appearing in Penny and Luke’s childhood drawings as they made it very clear that after the divorce Robin was an infrequent presence in the gang’s life? And WORSE why make it seem that the REASON Robin dropped out of the gang’s life was because she couldn’t stand seeing Ted happy with Tracy? Way to paint Robin Scherbatsky in a flattering light guys. Way to reduce a character who had always been confident and independent to a shrew who sat in the corner sniveling about the one that got away. Way to turn her into someone who chooses to walk away from the closest group of friends she’s ever known. Way to make her life about one that is not fulfilled because she was alone (AND TED FUCKING SAID IN “SYMPHONY OF ILLUMINATION” THAT SHE WAS NEVER ALONE, WHEN SHE WAS). She WAS alone, she wasn’t part of the gang and she wasn’t part of their big moments. Way to make ROBIN SCHERBATSKY the sad, barren spinster who worked all the time and sadly comes home (with her really bad hair) to her dogs every night. Way to make ROBIN the character that pathetically cries with relief when her ex-boyfriend (whose wife is dead) shows up at her apartment with the Blue French Horn he stole for her twenty-five years ago. Way to have her cry like she’s been just WAITING for him to show up at her doorstep this whole time. Yeah…that’s the ending we wanted for Robin Scherbatsky.
Somehow Kim managed to corral all the anger that the controversial How I Met Your Mother finale built up in her heart and shape it into a glorious take-down of the episode. Right before the series ended, she’d put together a list of her favorite episodes – one that made me tear up a few times in anticipation of losing Ted, Barney, Robyn, Marshmallow, and Lilypad – and she’d put so much love and thought and care into honoring the show. So you can see why, when the HIMYM showrunners decided to throw years of character development and the investment of their audience into the garbage, she took it personally. This post (and the explosive reaction to the finale across the internet) inspired one of our most highly trafficked days, because Kim perfectly illustrated the difference between the petulance of an entitled fan and the heartbreak of one who sees the growth and change in her characters sacrificed for arrogance and lazy writing. We’ll never be over it.
“Lady showrunners mean characters like Juliette Barnes and Mindy Lahiri, who are selfish, smart, and vulnerable, with closets to die for. They mean sex scenes that actually acknowledge female pleasure. They mean fully rounded male characters who can be emotionally attached to women and each other without their openness being a joke. They mean unapologetically making the soapiest nighttime soap to ever practically hand you a bottle of red wine through your TV. They mean Mellie Grant rooted like a mountain while everyone around her falls apart and the widely accepted truth that “my best friend” means one thing, and “my person” means something else entirely.”
We love strong women here at Head Over Feels, and we never let a moment where we can celebrate them pass us by. In a time where powerful women are being assaulted on all fronts, be it having their phones hacked to steal their nude photos and post them on the internet for all the world to see or being reduced to an “Angry Black Woman” in the New York Times (it’s even MORE offensive to me that the horrible article on Shonda Rhimes, which I will NOT link here, was written by a woman), it’s comforting to remember that women of all shapes, sizes, and colors are kicking ass and taking names. Keep on doing what you’re doing, Ladies…we’ll keep throwing love and sparkles your way.
Then we got to the moment that we all knew would come…the moment where we would learn that one of the witnesses would have to stay behind in order for Katrina, who still needed forgiveness (FOR WHAT?), to be freed. Abbie immediately volunteered, much to Ichabod’s (“That is NOT an option!”) dismay. He had brought her there with him, wasn’t this fulfilling the prophecy that he would deliver her soul to Moloch? But what Abbie makes him see that the difference is that she is staying BY CHOICE…and (again as we learn in Harry Potter) THAT makes all the difference. Abbie is tired of running. This is what she was CALLED UPON TO DO when she was made a witness and she is ready to stand up and fight…willingly.
Look at the way Ichabod looks at her in that moment. Awe. Respect. Love. (Yes, it is love, even if it is platonic. Which it may or may not be.)
So Ichabod reluctantly agrees to leave her, but not before swearing “For as long as I can draw breath” that he won’t stop until he is able to come back to her and free her. “Remember our bond,” he whispers in her hair as she holds back tears. “I’ll come back for you.”
Oh…did I mention that all this epic-stuff-of-legends-love stuff happened right in front of his WIFE?
Head Over Feels collectively fell head over feels for Sleepy Hollow, basically at the word “go.” We are its target audience – easily seduced by an epic romance with some supernatural qualities, BAMF female characters, and oodles of sass. Its first season was one of the most fun we’ve had with a debut show and we wasted no time in adding it to our recap roster.
It was Kim’s duty to cover the season one finale. No big deal. Nothing much happened, except for everything. To organize our thoughts on this genre-fluid beast of a show, we section our recaps into distinct buckets: SassyHollow, CreepyHollow, ShippyHollow (fist bumpppps), and a necessary late addition: WHATTHEDAMNHELLHOLLOW.(Friendly reminder that we brought #SassyHollow to Tom Mison’s attention and he was delighted.) Kim’s recap walked the very us line of recapping important plot points while translating keyboard-smashing reactions into actual words. The finale blew the doors off every one of these categories and left us rocking back and forth for the long nine months that stood between us and season two. We survived. Much like Andy Brooks, we won’t go down easily, and Kim’s season two premiere recap is coming your way this week.
“A. Let’s trust Hermione to choose her own life partner. I don’t think she’d get that wrong.
B. If Ron was the wrong choice, then why is Harry the right one? I suppose Hermione only exists to be wifed up to one of the two male leads.”
Sometimes you have to school an author when they try and ret-con their own canon. Even when that author is Queen J.K. Rowling herself.
Ron + Hermione 4EVA!
KR: I think that’s why a lot of women hooked into the show.
DS: It was a different emotional beat than classic Who had. Classic Who always had those intense relationships, but we watch television differently now. We’re looking for that…especially women in a post-Buffy world. That is as important element to the story as all the adventures. We want to see emotional vulnerability.
At Long Island Who last fall, Kim sat down with podcaster, writer, editor, and Doctor Who fan extraordinare, Ms. Deb Stanish. What came out of their meeting (in addition to Kim sitting on a panel about defending the word and concept of “fangirl”) was this fascinating interview. It’s a must-read for anyone who self-identifies as the F-word, or who takes pleasure in thinking critically about what they love and enjoying it at the same time.
“It may have been John and Mary tying the knot, but the wedding itself was The Sherlock Holmes Show. They didn’t seem to mind much. No one minds when the overactive ring bearer runs onto the floor and interrupts the first dance or gets a little icing on the Maid of Honor’s dress, do they? They just let the little guy have a good time and tucker himself out. Sherlock showed unusual self-awareness when he assured an expectant John and Mary that they’ve already had plenty of practice parenting him.”
While “His Last Vow” took home all the Emmy glory last month, winning trophies for Steven Moffat, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Martin Freeman (remember how THAT happened?!), “The Sign of Three” was my favorite episode of Sherlock‘s quick and dirty third series. While “The Empty Hearse” may have been a smidge too much in the fan service department (not that I am arguing with that) and “His Last Vow” took itself SO seriously, “The Sign of Three” hit the sweet spot of the two. There is so much to love in this episode from Johnlock’s delightfully drunken stag party (“But am I a pretty lady?”) where they went “clueing for looks” to Sherlock showing off his dance moves to his incredibly moving and pitch perfect best man speech. The Sherlock episodes are so incredibly dense (just look at the list of “random observations”! Every single detail of the episode is awesome and much be observed), so all my respect goes to Sage for not just attempting to recap Sherlock but NAILING it.
And it hit me: EMBRACING HUMANITY. That’s truly what Community is all about at its very core and it’s WHY we have all hooked into it so deeply and embraced this little low rated show about a bunch of weirdos at a community college. Because underneath all the snark and the parody episodes and the pretty pretty faces, Community is a show about accepting yourself and embracing your flaws and your quirks. It’s about finding your family in the unlikeliest of places. It’s about allowing yourself to be completely at ease with who you are and finding people who celebrate it. It’s about how we all need each other in order to get through this crazy thing called life. It’s about US. That’s why whenever I meet a Community fan, I instantly want to hug them. That’s why we fight for our six seasons and kickstarted movie. THAT’S why this little low rated show inspires us to throw conventions to celebrate it. It’s pretty damn special.
I can now re-read Kim’s comprehensive and joyful post about Communicon without the raging jealousy because IT’S NEXT MONTH AND I’M FINALLY GOING.
I told Kim the other day that I’ve been thinking of it less as a convention and more of a family reunion, and she responded, “Well, it is.” We’ve both made a lot of lifelong friends through the Community fandom, but it’s not as if we exclusively talk Greendale with them. It’s the “embracing humanity” spirit that Kim writes so eloquently about in this post that’s brought us a community (sorry) of supportive, creative, and hilarious pals who live that acceptance every day. These are people who have talked us through major life changes, been our biggest cheerleaders (Head Over Feels wouldn’t be celebrating our second birthday without the support of our Communies and that’s the truth), and yes, occasionally geek out with us over TV. So, whadaya say guys? Meet you at the Glendale Embassy Suites in about 31 days?
Again, we’re so grateful to all of you for reading and liking liking things with us. Any requests for Head Over Feels’ terrible twos? Leave them in the comments.