“Nobody owns me.” – Scandal Gif-Cap – Extinction

Scandal Season 6, Episode 6
“Extinction”
Posted by Kim

What I am loving about this season of Scandal so far is that every episode has focused around one character and the events that brought them towards Election night. We’re spending this week with Papa Pope and we were promised ANSWERS as to who was behind the Vargas assassination. Boy, did we get them…as well as many more questions. To the gifs!

We check in on Papa Pope 53 days before the election. I love that he makes himself breakfast on a tray every day.

A mysterious box is delivered to his door. Me, automatically: 

(It’s a toy dinosaur, btw)

Eli pops in on a college lecture given by Broadway’s Tonya Pinkins and looks endeared by her. 

“It’s the Predators who are the most vulnerable.” That’s not what the Jurassic Park movies taught me.

Eli regresses into his FULL SCIENCE NERD life when he banters with Sandra about Dinosaurs. 

“We are a long way from grad school…” OH THEY WERE A THING.

Sandra takes Eli to a lab that would make Frankenstein jealous. 

SO MUCH FLIRTING OVER SCIENCE AND DINOSAURS. 

“I could use a partner.” Yessssssss.

“This is the part where you’re supposed to give me some advice.” Olivia comes to her dad about the Mellie and Marcus situation which reminds me: FREE MELLICUS 2K17 AND LET THEM BE IN LOVE.

“You’re here, pretending you don’t already know what you have to do. You know. It’s clear.” 

“She wants it almost as badly as you do, but there is a difference. She is weak. She is undisciplined. She is soft.” Excuse me, SIR.

“She has never learned the hard way that love is a privilege reserved for the victor.”

“I raised a warrior!”

“Eyes on the prize, baby.” I mean even with all the Marcus Drama, Liv’s eyes have never LEFT the prize, she just has a modicum of a conscience.

“Don’t you ever get lonely?” Is that Scandal‘s version of “Don’t you think she looks tired?”

“There he is. The nerd I remember.” I feel like we’re getting a glance of the real Eli here and I am sad.

BUT WAIT THERE ARE HIDDEN CAMERAS IN THE LAB. 

“Anything you need, you just give me a holler.” Remember that lady who scared the bejeezus out of Eli last week? THAT’S HER.

That benefactor that’s paying for Sandra’s dinosaurs? Doesn’t exist. The whole thing is a lie.

“I’m surrounded by children! They don’t know who Marvin Gaye is!” Eli goes to Liv’s house under the guise of raiding her record collection for the lab.

“I don’t play them, I’m busy making a President!” No time for dance parties when you are Queen-making.

“Um how long has that car been out there?” Someone is getting paranoid and it’s Eli.

Eli shows up at the lab with booze and memories about his last dig with Sandra. 

“That’s not what I remember most about that trip.” Soooooo, she’s the one that got away.

“I don’t have a lot of regret in my life. I regret that.” Eli leads Sandra to a closet to make out and I totally buy that this is genuine…

UNTIL ELI PULLS A GUN ON HER IN THE CLOSET. 

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“It’s a mutual admiration society.” – Gallifrey One 2017

Posted by Kim and Sage

Sage: This isn’t a normal time — not to go to a con or to eat a sandwich or anything else. But Gallifrey One 2017 still happened. Not rain, not sleet, and apparently not the speedy death of democracy can keep Doctor Who fans from gathering yearly at the LAX Marriott over President’s Day Weekend (THE IRONY) to hug, drink, and talk shop. L.I. Who happened the weekend after the election, and the general mood of the con was utter shock and numbness. But a few months passed, and the next geeky fan get together we attended was basically Resistance Central. Gally1 was political af this year without the despair and depression that can come with that. There was camaraderie and joy and and a lot of “hell no, we won’t go.” The whole weekend felt like a declaration of who we are, what we stand for, and what we absolutely will not abide. Is that a fair characterization?

Kim: I feel like I stumbled through a lot of LI Who in a state of bewilderment. That’s not to say that it wasn’t an AMAZING experience (remember when we interviewed Paul McGann on the mainstage?) because it was. I just had never experienced a con where the main feeling was almost…”Is this the right thing to do at this moment? Is this whole experience silly when you look at what’s going on in the world?”  Gally felt like a giant bottle of Gatorade to my parched soul. It was revitalizing. It was a time where we could immerse ourselves in both our fandom AND our friendships. I left Los Angeles on Monday afternoon physically exhausted but emotionally? I was raring to go.

TL;DR, yes, that’s absolutely a fair characterization. And it’s a big reason why this con is so freaking special to every person who comes and why it’s the CANNOT MISS convention on my calendar every year.

The Resistance starts here.

What blows my mind the MOST about Gally is that the attendance is right up around 3000 people, and yet it feels like a family, especially the more times you go back. I know there are a TON of people there I don’t know yet every face at the con looks familiar. You can barely walk more than a few yards on that con floor without running into someone you know and having a chat or hugging that person you flailed in line for a photo-op the previous year. How special is that?

Sage: I can only speak confidently for myself, but I’d wager that I’m not the only person at this con who went through a period of my life where I felt invisible and socially inept. (Everyone: “Yeah, dummy, it’s called high school.”) My point is that Gally brings together a lot of scrappy folks who haven’t had it easy, and this is a place where they can strut confidently down the halls in whatever it is they want to wear, live their fandom out loud, and be surrounded by people ready and willing to embrace them. It feels like I’m reaching back in time to tap the friendless 13-year-old in the Han Solo t-shirt and tell her that someday she’ll find her tribe.

And what a tribe it is.

But enough teenage sob stories. Let’s talk about the important stuff: ribbons.

The Gally ribbon game is always strong, but this year it was TOO LIT. “Black Lives Matter.” “Don’t You Think He Looks Tired? (with clip art of Tr*mp)” “Bustin’ fascists makes me feel good.” Those practical pronoun declarations!

The 2017 ribbon game is TOO LEGIT. #levelup #blacklivesmatter #RESIST #Gally1

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Swapping ribbons has always been a big part of the fun for me, because it’s like I’m getting little pieces of everybody I meet to take home with me. And though there were the requisite Doctor Who quotes and podcast promo designs, I was so delighted to see that people were using those little scraps of fabric to make a real statement. And you can tell us in the comments if it happened to you, but I personally didn’t see anyone take any shit for a political ribbon. I really hope that’s representative of the whole weekend.

Kim: One of my favorite things in the build-up to Gally is the Ribbon Exchange group on Facebook, where everyone shares the designs they are planning to bring to the con. What’s super fun about that group is that it feels like people took inspiration from each other and one politically themed ribbon would spawn at least five more. I think it was a combination of the current state of the world and the fact that we only had “Doctor Mysterio” to provide inspiration for new ribbons that REALLY spurred people to up their creativity. There were so many Star Wars ribbons! My final ribbon count was 215 and there are STILL a few ribbons that I am SUPER upset that I didn’t get. Namely the “But when all is said and done, Saxon has beliefs, Tr*mp has none.” one. I will cry over not getting that one for a long time.

Stick it to the man.

Speaking of taking inspiration from each other, I have to bring up our Punk Companions Cosplay. What started as an idea inspired by some Punk!Bucky art we saw at San Diego Comic Con became so much more than that. We debuted the Punks at LI Who as just a fun chance for our girl group to get creative and have fun together because we aren’t screen accurate cosplayers, for the most part. And it’s a cosplay that works the best within a large group because individually we may not be recognizable but when we’re together, it’s like “Of course! There’s Clara, there’s Romana, etc.” The Punks got taken to the next level for Gally when Alyssa (@WhovianFeminism) suggested that we add protest signs themed to all our companions. It was perfect because we did our cosplay on the same day as the first General Strike, so it felt like we got to have the best of both worlds – Being massively creative Doctor Who nerds while making our own political statement. And the best thing about it? We didn’t get any sort of blow back from it. Other than a few trolls on the Nerdist Instagram post anyway.

Punk Modern Companions.

Group Selfie Time!

Another really important aspect of Gally is that it feels like a safe space for you to push yourself outside your comfort zone. While I didn’t do any formal panels this year, I definitely upped my participation level, which is always something I’ve been HORRIBLE about. I’ve sat on the front row of “In Defense Of” EVERY YEAR and judged the hell out of the BS coming out of the participant’s mouths (which is the fun of the whole thing) but I’ve never had the guts to put myself on the line. It’s silly, really, because if you can’t make a fool of yourself at Gally, where can you? After Michelle’s triumphant performance at LI Who, I promised myself that I would do it. That didn’t stop me from breaking out into a cold sweat the moment Deb Stanish called my name though. “In Defense Of” is like an out-of-body experience in the BEST way. You just have to give no fucks in regards to whatever comes out of your mouth (I actually tied Tegan getting the snacks to women throughout history being water-bearers?! I don’t even know where that came from.) or turn your OWN criticism on topics into sarcastic defenses (Shippers NEED to be told by old school fans how to think about Doctor Who, you guys). I was RELIEVED when I finally was dethroned but it was the MOST FUN and I’m so glad I did it.

Kim's team DOMINATED Paul Cornell's "Would I Lie To You?" because they are all compulsive liars who can't be trusted. #Gally1

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When you combine that experience with doing a live Comedy Sketch for Reality Bomb and participating in Paul Cornell’s “Would I Lie To You?” game show, so much of my panel experience was performance oriented and fly by the seat of your pants improv, which was a totally new thing for me. And it felt GOOD remembering that part of me that went kicking and screaming into my college improv troupe before I ended up loving it.

Paneling

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“Until he drew his very last breath.” – Jane the Virgin Recap – Chapter Fifty-Four

source: e2barryallen.tumblr.com

Jane the Virgin Season 3, Episode 10
“Chapter Fifty-Four”
Posted by Kim

This tweet just about sums it all up:

Yep. They did it. After sparing Michael in the season premiere, they killed him off just after he finished his LSATs, probably from a pulmonary embolism lingering from his gunshot wound. And the thing is, after nearly a week of processing the episode, I still don’t know how I feel about it. The rational side of me can step back and SEE that they had been laying the groundwork for this, going all the way back to season one, where Mateo Our Narrator first utter the phrase “Michael would love her until he drew her very last breath.” The hints that Michael was not as well as he seemed were THERE when he failed his physical (me: WHY didn’t they look into why he failed further? Could this have been prevented?) and they were there ALL THROUGH this episode when it was obvious that something was off with him, even as he wrote it off as catching Mateo’s stomach bug. (Not to mention I had a growing sense of doom all through the episode.) And yet I STILL felt like I was slapped across the face when he keeled over as he was leaving his testing center. Because it felt CRUEL, you know? The emotional side of me can’t help but scream “HOW COULD YOU?” at my television, over and over. Because really. HOW? COULD? YOU?

source: e2barryallen.tumblr.com

I’ve read all the post-mortems with showrunner Jennie Urman, and like I said, when I take a step back, I can respect the sheer GUTS that it took to shake-up the show this way, not only by having Jane go through this unspeakable tragedy, but then fast forwarding the show three years. Grey’s Anatomy made a very similar move when they killed off Derek; they spent ONE episode that took place over the course of a year, which allowed Meredith to go through the process of grieving, but kept the SHOW from being mired down in it. Jane has ALWAYS been a show that’s been a source of LIGHT in the television landscape; it’s spirit has always been one of optimism and hope and pure GOODNESS, so I would hate for it to lose that. All of our principle characters were on the precipice of great change in this episode, from Rafael preparing to go to jail to Petra finding her strength as a mother to Xiomara preparing to move in with Bruce to Rogelio embarking on his reality show and potential fatherhood with Darcy. It will be interesting to see how these three years have changed them all. Did Rogelio get his wish? How was Rafael changed by prison? How did Petra manage on her own? WHO IS GETTING MARRIED? My money is on Xiomara, but the question is…to whom? (It had better be Rogelio, God Dammit.)

source: fyeahjanethevirgin.tumblr.com

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“Time to switch positions.” – Scandal Gif-Cap – Fates Worse Than Death

Scandal Season 6, Episode 3
“Fates Worse Than Death”
Posted by Kim

When Season Six of Scandal premiered, I was SUPER bummed that we jumped over the entire Presidential Campaign to get to election night. We skipped over SO MUCH good stuff. Needless to say, I’m THRILLED with how they are toggling between the present day and the highlights of the Campaign. This week, we get to spend time with our favorite master manipulator, Cyrus Beene. TO THE GIFS.

It’s 76 Days till the Inauguration and we still don’t have an OFFICIAL President.

Okay, I get that Cyrus is the Devil but let’s take a moment to appreciate that he would be the First Openly Gay President.  The ONLY white hetero man on that Presidential ballot was Jake and I just want to thank Shonda Rhimes for creating this universe.

“For the first time since election night, you seem you. I like it. Mr. President.” I love how Michael has transformed from Male Escort and marriage of convenience to Husband of the Year. Cyrus does NOT deserve him.

Abby calls Cy in FULL BossBitch mode and tells him to shut his blinds. “In 30 seconds, you no longer talk to ANYONE.” Aw yeah, the shit is about to hit the fan.

David Rosen is giving a press conference saying they are expanding the investigation into Frankie’s death. When asked if this will include Cyrus, David simply replies “Anyone and Everyone” with a dead ass “CYRUS DID IT” face.

Never one to listen to anyone, Cyrus opens his front door and finds a swarm of press and paparazzi on the front lawn.

“Now every idiot with a smart phone thinks he’s Ken Burns.”


 

“Charlie we are NOT making a sex tape.” COULD YOU EVEN IMAGINE.

“We need to focus!” Huck has no patience for this twitterpaited nonsense known as Charlie and Quinn.

We flashback to the night of the Vice Presidential Debate, where Cyrus DEMOLISHED Jake.

Ooooooooh Frankie seems VERY buddy buddy with Jennifer Fields aka the Campaign Volunteer who incriminated Cyrus before someone blew up her cabin.

“Who is THIS?” Cyrus’ Spidey Senses are telling him we could have another Fitz/Olivia on the Campaign Trail situation on our hands and he isn’t having it.

Back in the present, Cyrus is spiraling. “I am being set up by Olivia Pope.”

“To answer your question, no, I didn’t do it.” Michael is like “Okay, yeah, sure babe. But DIDN’T YOU?”

Lizzie Bear shows up at Cy’s back door. “I crawled across the lawn to get here. My hands touched the ground. Let me in.” BLESS.

“You are literally a snake in the grass.” I love how much they hate each other but are also the best of friends?

“Has ANYONE taken your call?” Lizzie pulls no punches and hits Cy right where it hurts. They BOTH know he’s being shut out.

“And how do you want to help YOU?” Cy knows Lizzie’s visit isn’t selfless. She wants something and what she wants is to be his Chief of Staff.

Back to the night of the VP Debate, Liv and Cyrus engage in some fake “Oh I miss  you so much” banter and some backhanded compliments regarding his performance in the debate.

“I’m saying you’ve changed, you’ve evolved, you’ve grown. You’ve gotten good at this.”

“So I’m no longer the troll under the bridge who grunts and snorts, there’s lipstick on this pig now, and look at the monkey dance? That doesn’t even make sense.” Look, I’m with Cyrus here. This conversation would make my head explode.

“I was wrong. I’m saying I was wrong. Look at you. You’ve bloomed. So maybe putting yourself on Frankie’s ticket wasn’t the worst…” JUST STOP TALKING OLIVIA.

“Putting myself on the ticket? I put myself on the ticket? That’s what you think?” I meeeeeeeean, it’s what we all thought, Cyrus. BUT ALSO this is Olivia Pope’s fatal flaw: she throws around comments like this and COMPLETELY underestimates how deep they cut and how it just kicks people’s pride into overdrive. She did it with Abby and now she’s doing it with Cyrus.

“I made his policies, I hid his secrets, I ran his country. Watched the two of you grope each other like a cheap porno. And none of you ever saw me. And that’s fine. You think what you want to think of me. I certainly have all kinds of opinions about Olivia Pope.” YASSSSSS I LIVE.

“You better watch yourself.” Part of me misses when Liv and Cyrus worked TOGETHER but seeing them as adversaries is just so much more fun because they are both MASTER manipulators.

Meanwhile, Abby continues to be the best as she silently stands in judgement of Fitz for pursing the Cyrus angle. She gives him the judgy silent treatment until Fitz can’t take it anymore and I JUST LOVE how she is the only woman on this show to have never been dickmatized by him.

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“The view from here” – Scandal Gif-Cap – Survival of the Fittest

Scandal Season 6, Episode 1
“Survival of the Fittest”
Posted by Kim

Aaaaaaaaaaand we’re back. GOD IT HAS BEEN SO LONG.

When we last saw Scandal, Mellie had just won the Republican Nomination for President. Cyrus had pulled a fast one and gotten on the VP Ticket with Frankie Vargas. We were ready for a Battle Royale, where our fictional President would be either a woman or a Latino. It was a DREAM. And then Kerry Washington had to go and get pregnant again (CONGRATS) and our beloved Scandal was pushed to midseason, after the ACTUAL election that turned the world upside down. How will Scandal play out in this new reality we’re all living in? Let’s get to the gifs and see.

We open with Huckleberry Quinn traipsing through the woods on some sort of mission. Remember when they used to have hate sex? If I have to, so do you.

“He could have gotten to her.” How much time have we jumped? Who is he? WHO IS HER? GOD I MISSED THIS SHOW.

In typical Scandal fashion, the Cabin in the Woods explodes.

We flash back 24 hours and it’s Election Night. Team Mellie is gathered around the TV watching the returns come in. The map is an equal distribution between red and blue. Suddenly, Scandal has become a documentary and it’s TOO REAL. (Except Frankie Vargas has a moral compass.)

“I want ‘I voted’ stickers on everyone!!!”

It all comes down to California, which is hilarious because California hasn’t gone Republican since 1988. But it IS Mellie’s home state, so making it a battleground makes total sense. PS I always forget Mellie is a Republican.

 “Olivia’s Business Walk is my favorite thing.” – Sage

Olivia shoots back some whiskey after talking to Charlie who apparently works here now. She knows.

Frankie wins. I get that this makes better television, but DAMN SHONDA IF I DIDN’T NEED THIS. Why why why why.

“Obviously there has been voter tampering!” Mellie goes straight to denial.

“And make sure that the entire campaign staff is aware that this race is far from over.”

“Mellie needs you.” At least Fitz recognizes this is the most important relationship on the show.

“I NEED A MINUTE.” What Fitz isn’t getting is that this loss means as much, if not more, to Olivia as it does for Mellie. And she needs a minute to deal with that before she has to be the bastion of strength for her candidate.

DON’T SEEK COMFORT FROM HIM OLIVIA.

I forgot Will’s wife from Glee was here. She’s drowning her sorrows in booze, so she can stay.

“NO WE ARE STILL IN THIS!!!” WHY IS THIS HAPPENING.

“You have to make the call now, Mellie, before too much time goes by! You wait too long, the press out there is gonna say you’re ungracious. They’re gonna label you a sore loser.” I mean that’s actually what happened IRL, like I said, this show is now a documentary.

“And because you’re a woman, half of them are gonna call you a bitch, and half of them are gonna report that you cried.” AIN’T THAT THE TRUTH THOUGH.

“You don’t go down like that. We don’t go down like that.”

“Make the damn call.”

Olivia can’t even deal with this.

Mellie, my sad queen. Bellamy Young is SO GOOD, y’all. The way she lowers her voice as she speaks to Frankie is so brilliant. WHERE ARE HER EMMY NOMINATIONS?

Olivia giving Mellie prompts for the phone call.

Mellie drinking the victory champagne in the bathtub. Gurl, same.

Mellie and Liv passing the bottle back and forth. PLEASE BE BEST FRIENDS FOREVER.

“You know what gets me? Cyrus. Cyrus Beene was on the winning team. Cyrus Beene gets to hold public office. Can you believe?”

The way they laugh when they say “Vice President Beene” though.

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“Life’s not a comic book, right?” – Doctor Who Recap – The Return of Doctor Mysterio

source: gloriusamy.tumblr.com

Doctor Who 2016 Christmas Special
“The Return of Doctor Mysterio”
Posted by Kim

I’m a young Whovian. (I’ll be six this December!) I had no idea the show existed during the year of one David Tennant Special every few months. I was too busy bingeing the show during the 9 and a half months between “The Doctor, the Widow, and the Wardrobe” and “Asylum of the Daleks” to realize that existing fans had been without the show for so long. I really had no idea what it was like to wait SO LONG for new Who until this year break between “The Husbands of River Song” and “The Return of Doctor Mysterio” and let me speak for all of us when I say it SUCKED. (Could no Who be one of the reasons 2016 ended up being a dumpster fire? Discuss.) So I curled up on Christmas evening to watch Doctor Who and was overwhelmed with a desire to just hug my television. PETER CAPALDI I MISSED YOU SO MUCH NEVER LEAVE ME AGAIN.

Will “The Return of Doctor Mysterio” go down as the Best Christmas Special in Whovian History? No. (My shipper trash self will always go for “Last Christmas” and “The Christmas Invasion” first.) But it was a fun take on a superhero story, filled with charming performances and snappy dialogue, AND no one died, which is all we can ask for from a Christmas Special, really. It also serves as a lovely coda for Series 9 and last year’s special “The Husbands of River Song” while also setting up the Doctor’s emotional state going into Series 10. (Here’s a hint: he’s desperately lonely, but at the same time, he’s afraid to commit to a new Human companion because he’s still reeling from the loss of Clara and River.)



source: ochocolate.tumblr.com
One of the themes that Series 9 explored was the concept of the Doctor coming face to face with the repercussions of his actions in regards to the people he’s encountered and left. We saw the disastrous results of an encounter with the Doctor in Ashildr/Lady Me; we get the opposite in the story of Grant, a young comic book nerd who saves the Doctor from plummeting to his death on a Christmas Eve in New York City. (Never mind that whole plot thread about the TARDIS never being able to go back to New York after the events of “The Angels Take Manhattan”. It’s Christmas, no one care about continuity.) The Doctor is setting up a trap on Grant’s roof (Why? Details, schmetails! Look at how cute Peter Capaldi is with this kid! Look at how they are bonding over superheroes!) and enlists his new pal to help him finish it.

The Doctor hands Grant a red gemstone as he attempts to explain to Grant exactly WHAT he is doing (“It’s a time distortion equalizer thingy.” Okay, so maybe he’s trying to fix what happened in “Angels Take Manhattan”?). The gemstone is the final element to get it to work but unfortunately Grant mistook it for medicine to help his Christmas Cold, so he swallowed it. (In his defense, I’m sucking on a Halls right now and it looks just like the gemstone did.) Because this is a superhero origin story, naturally this is no ordinary gemstone. No, it’s an intuitive gemstone. “It knows what you want and it draws energy from the nearest star to make it happen.” What does meek little Grant want most in the whole world? To be a superhero. Grant’s chest glows red and he zooms off the building, the Doctor clutching at his heels. Hey, it’s better than a bite from a radioactive spider. The Doctor makes Grant promise that he won’t use his newly found powers but we all know how THAT will turn out. I mean…if you could fly, wouldn’t YOU? Exactly.


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What goes down for the rest of the episode is lovely homage to Superman (The Christopher Reeve films, naturally. AKA the only ones that exist). Grant lives a double life as a glasses-wearing mild-mannered Nanny and the confident protector of New York City, The Ghost. (Grant also proves his knowledge of comics because he completely covers his face as The Ghost, unlike Superman, who only uses glasses to differentiate himself from his Alt-Ego Clark Kent.) We have a feisty Lois Lane heroine in Lucy Fletcher Lombard, Grant’s employer and unrequited childhood love. There are shady alien bad guys, Harmony Shoal, who are a bunch of brains in blue liquid trying to stage a fake alien takeover so they can take over the bodies of world leaders. (Also, they exist solely to show how much the special effects on Doctor Who have improved since the days of the Slitheen.) There are hijinks, there’s screwball romance, and there’s heroism. Grant (with the Doctor’s help) saves New York City AND gets the girl, who loves him, just as he is. The end.

Source: scriptscribbles.tumblr.com

So why am I even doing an episode recap if I found the plot so basic? Because despite the fluff, I think “The Return of Doctor Mysterio” is an incredibly important episode for the Doctor as a character. The Doctor needed a WIN, y’all. Think about it. The Doctor spent four and a half billion years in his own personal hell, mourning Clara, grieving her, and torturing himself trying to find a way to save her. And he STILL lost her in the end. He lost her physically and he lost every memory of the woman who helped shaped this regeneration into the man he is today. (*Dark Kermit Meme* He totally remembers her though, which makes it worse.) Sure, “The Husbands of River Song” was a wacky good time adventure but how did it END? It ended with The Doctor spending a 24-year-long night with someone he loved, only to send her off to her imminent death in the library. I may never buy into the great love story of the Doctor and River Song (nope, can’t do it) but I will NEVER deny the fact that he loved her, wholeheartedly. So he lost her too. All the Doctor has done lately is LOSE and it’s heartbreaking.

Grief is not an easy process and it’s not something that anyone can put on any sort of time-table. You can be fine one day and the next day it can sweep over you and leave you incapacitated. The Doctor in “The Return of Doctor Mysterio” is a portrait of grief. Sure, he’s there with his sarcastic remarks and his heroic acts of defending the earth, but it’s almost like his heart isn’t fully in it. He’s trying to put one foot in front of the other, telling himself that he’s “fine” (Okay, Scully.) when he’s not. The cracks in the facade show whenever the concept of time comes up or whenever Nardole tries to push him into talking about his feelings. He pushes through and carries on as normally as possible because that’s the only thing he knows how to do.

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The Best Performances of 2016

Posted by Kim and Sage

We’ve discussed the best TV moments of 2016 (you can find those here and here), so now we turn to the individual performances that brought us the most joy this year. These are the performances that inspired us, that stayed with us, and drove us into many a social media fight defending their worthiness. (Note of warning: if you come at Ryan Gosling, we WILL fight you.) I love everything we do for this website, but I have to admit that our annual “Best Performances” holds a special place in my heart, especially when I go back and re-read them when they pop up in our Timehop. These posts are like little time capsules of OUR year in entertainment; they reflect our crushes of the moment, our long-standing love affairs with performers that can do no wrong (Hey Eddie Redmayne), and a scrapbook of all the TV and Movies that we saw throughout the year. Some of these are the performances EVERYONE is talking about, whilst others are the ones that we think you all should be paying attention to. (ARE YOU ALL WATCHING SPEECHLESS BECAUSE YOU SHOULD BE.) Thus we present to you our 18 Best Performances of the year plus four Honorable Mentions. Because it’s our blog and we can’t be limited to our normal 20 shout outs. We hope you love them as much as we do.  — Kim

1) Millie Bobby Brown – Stranger Things

I obviously follow many celebrities on Instagram who are on the convention circuit. And I’ve noticed a pattern over the last few rounds of cons. All of these icons who themselves draw fans by the droves to their photo ops were all geeking out over one of their own. I can’t tell you how many backstage selfies I’ve liked of some famous fan cheesing like mad with Millie Bobby Brown.

And why shouldn’t they be starstruck over her? Millie burst onto the pop culture scene in the role of Eleven on Stranger Things in a striking performance reminiscent of Drew Barrymore in Firestarter. Eleven is a scientific marvel and a weapon, but she’s also a child – a child who was stolen from her family and exploited by the only “Papa” she’d ever known. Millie can do a thousand-yard stare like nobody else, but my favorite moments in the series are the ones where Eleven grasps for a sense of normalcy and belonging with the boys who find her. (“Still pretty?”) This young actor’s work warrants those deep reads of Stranger Things as an allegory about puberty, child abuse, or just being a kid in this big, bad world. 2016 will always be her breakthrough year, and we can’t wait to see how Millie’s career unfolds. –Sage

2) Kylie Bunbury and Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Pitch

The success or failure of Pitch as a show depends entirely on the woman playing Ginny Baker. If the audiences don’t connect with Ginny and her journey as the first woman to play professional baseball, the show never gets out of the dugout. (BASEBALL METAPHORS.) Lucky for the creators of Pitch and the television audience at large, we’ve got Kylie Bunbury carrying the entire show on her (very toned) shoulders. And the thing is, Kylie makes it look easy. Ginny Baker is an incredibly complex character and Kylie is tasked with a LOT. She’s got a spine of steel yet she remains incredibly vulnerable. (If you weren’t moved by her breakdown in the bathtub during her Almost Famous-esque “fuck everything” night, you may want to make an appointment with a cardiologist.) She’s been hurt and taken advantage of by so many people, yet she constantly puts herself on the line in the name of pursuing her dream. She fights to be treated as an equal in her workplace. (The episode where she blatantly refuses to back down from the “Beanball” war because she is a woman is SO IMPORTANT.) Kylie makes Ginny wonderfully human; she is flawed and complicated and she struggles being considered a role model when all she really wants to do is just play baseball. She’s the most important female character on TV right now, for so many women, and I PRAY that Fox does the right thing and picks up the show for season two.

gifs vis ginnyspitch.tumblr.com

And in the other corner, we have Mark-Paul Gosselaar as the aging All Star catcher Mike Lawson. Listen, it’s not like this is an out of nowhere comeback for the erstwhile Zack Morris. Mark-Paul has worked steadily since his Saved By The Bell days, but something feels DIFFERENT in this performance. He brings a “seen it all” attitude to Mike. He has a weariness that could easily be seen as a disillusionment towards the game when really it’s a career ballplayer being painfully aware that he’s coming to the end of his time in the sun. It took me about 75% of the pilot episode before I realized that I was watching Mark-Paul Gosselaar on my TV screen and it’s NOT just because of his GLORIOUS mountain man beard. Mark-Paul completely disappears into the character and brings a very Coach Taylor-esque quality to the Padres captain. It’s the speeches and the eye crinkles and the bone deep love of the game. Come on, you KNOW Mike Lawson would bust out with “Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.”

So what happens when you put these two incredibly dynamic performers opposite each other? Fireworks, naturally. Kylie and Mark-Paul’s chemistry is SO PALPABLE and has so many levels. For Mike, Ginny serves as an inspiration and a reminder of why he loves baseball in the first place. In Mike, Ginny finds a true teammate who will stand up for her and not treat her with kid gloves. There’s a definite mentor relationship between them but there is also an undeniable sexual chemistry. Bawson is the slowest of slowburns, with their attraction building through lingering looks and late night phone calls. It’s the most DELICIOUS kind of tension and it’s one they are both incredibly aware of. Mike and Ginny are like magnets, pushing against each other, challenging each other, and eventually, falling into each other. To quote my boo Kate Moseley, “all they needed was a little flip.” — Kim

3) Joshua Sasse – No Tomorrow

As the meteor he believes is hurtling towards Earth inspires Xavier Holiday to live his life to the fullest, so does the uncertain future of the CW’s apocalyptic romantic comedy No Tomorrow inspire us to recognize it while we can.

Bearded, beanied, and tattooed Xavier is played by HOT AUSSIE Joshua Sasse, fresh off the unfairly canceled musical romp Galavant. (YEP, he sings too.) He makes an amazing case for not writing off the sexy guy who’s into you juuuuust because he believes the rapture is on its way. He breaks the Dealbreaker Scale, basically.

I’d like to keep on objectifying Xavier and Joshua (as the show clearly does – he’s 1/2 or more naked in most episodes), but I’ll get serious. It’s a challenging part, because Xavier has to believe completely in his end-of-the-world theory but not come off as dangerous or deranged. And as charming as he is to Evie and the audience (and OH, HE IS), Xavier is also kind of an arrogant jerk, accustomed to putting himself first. It’s a credit to Joshua’s embodiment of the character that Xavier is still our hero – a flawed person who heard terrible news and decided to use it to turn his life around. You see his petulance when Evie challenges him, but you also see the way he lights up when someone around him takes control of however many days they have left. And the man knows how to sell a love scene, just saying.

He’s so convincing that I wonder sometimes if Xavier is actually right about our impending doom. And if No Tomorrow gets the pick-up it should, I hope it ends with a completely fulfilled Apocalyst and a vindicated male lead. –Sage

4) Sterling K. Brown – This Is Us

2016 was a garbage year but it’s ALSO the year that gave us Sterling K. Brown’s major career breakthrough, so I am ALMOST willing to call it even. I foolishly missed out on The People Vs. OJ Simpson (and am counting down the days until it gets added to Netflix), so my first exposure to Sterling’s acting came when I saw the pilot episode of This Is Us. Sage said it perfectly when she wrote about Sterling for our Handsome Young Man post: just when we think Sterling has hit his peak as Randall Pearson, he just gets BETTER. Randall is easily the most compelling character on This Is Us, and sometimes I can’t decide if it’s because he has the best story or because Sterling is just THAT GOOD in a cast filled with stellar actors. I actually think it’s a combination of both; Randall DOES have the meatiest stories, but Sterling also elevates every single scene that he’s in. In my humble opinion, he is giving THE male television performance of the year.

It’s clear that Sterling understands Randall on a fundamental level. The performance is never one-note and Randall can switch from achingly vulnerable to slyly sarcastic in the blink of an eye. (His comic timing is MASTERFUL.) If I had to think of one word to describe Sterling’s performance it would be DEFT. You never see him working, you never see him changing gears, and you NEVER see Sterling. You only see Randall Pearson, king of bad Dad jokes and devoted son, brother, and husband. It’s such a fully formed and nuanced performance. But the most important thing about Randall is how wonderfully human he is. It would be quite easy, after all the truth about William and Rebecca and his adoption came out, for Randall to be played as bitter and jaded. But he’s never been that, even in his initial meeting with William in the pilot episode. Randall Pearson has the biggest HEART and his capacity for love and forgiveness is truly inspiring. Sterling imbues him with such grace and warmth that you can’t help but fall in love with him immediately. It’s the perfect combination of actor and the character he was meant to play and we’re so blessed to watch him work week after week. — Kim

5) Aya Cash – You’re the Worst

The first time I saw Aya Cash perform was in 2008 when she played a disillusioned teen in the off-Broadway comedy From Up Here. She was memorable in a way that surpassed quirkiness, and I’m so thrilled to see her thriving in a role like Gretchen Cutler.

I binged the first two seasons of You’re the Worst in time for the season 3 premiere and responded instantly to the show’s filthiness and honesty. As it progresses, the show digs deeper and deeper into what familial and chemical circumstances make Gretchen and Jimmy, in fact, the worst. And what Aya has done with already keen and incisive material is to give an alarmingly accurate crash course on clinical depression. Jimmy can talk himself out of feeling most things, so it’s scary for him and for us when the normally verbose Gretchen goes nearly comatose. She wants nothing, asks for nothing, finds comfort in nothing. For the novelist, cause and effect are always talking to each other. Aya shows Gretchen paralyzed by the fear of telling Jimmy that there’s not switch to flick when it comes to her illness. She worries that he loves her because she’s irreverent and fun, but she can only be those things when she’s capable of feeling anything. In a brave and desperate moment of confession, she finally tells him: “So the only thing I need from you is to not make a big deal of it and be OK with how I am and the fact that you can’t fix me.”

This is You’re the Worst, and it’s not the kind of show that will present a newly determined Gretchen facing her illness with gumption and putting one foot in front of the other until she’s better. Mental illness and its treatment are not linear. In season 3, she backslides and claws and insults her therapist for wearing the same pair of jeans every day. But that’s Gretch and that’s depression. Even badass bitches can have it. –Sage

6) Minnie Driver – Speechless

Speechless is my favorite new comedy of the season and that’s largely in part to Minnie Driver’s FIERCE performance as ultimate tiger mama Maya DiMeo. The overbearing mom is a sitcom trope that could easily go the clichéd route but Minnie plays Maya like she’s in on the joke. She KNOWS she’s ridiculous but she also makes no apologies for it. (Also, she’s advocating for her disabled kid, so how ridiculous is she, REALLY?) It’s such a WRY performance, especially in the way Minnie delivers so many of her lines completely deadpan, her posh British accent just ACCENTUATING the dry delivery. While I never watched About a Boy, I heard nothing but good things about Minnie’s performance on it, so I am so happy to see that she’s found herself another television vehicle to showcase how talented she is. (Look, I can make a very strong case for the fact that she should have won the Oscar for Good Will Hunting. Ask me about it over cocktails.)

So often on television, unabashedly alpha females are portrayed as ball busters or stone cold bitches. Speechless takes a different approach. Maya IS a ball buster and she is often a bitch but it’s clear that those closest to her adore and cherish that part of her personality. Her husband Jimmy (a DELIGHTFUL John Ross Bowie) is more than happy to let Maya wear the pants in the marriage, but not from a slacker “oh look at the old ball and chain” point of view. It’s clear that Jimmy loves and respects his wife immensely and takes pleasure in watching her run the show. (And he’s always there to pick up the pieces when she comes in like a wrecking ball, shrugging his shoulders in a “Yeah, isn’t she great?” kind of way.) While her kids often roll their eyes at Maya, it’s obvious that there is no one they would rather have in their corner than their mother. Same. TV needs more characters like Maya DiMeo and it needs more actresses like Minnie Driver to bring them to life in an honest and relatable way.  — Kim

7) Kate McKinnon – Ghostbusters

Dudes, I love you. But it is IMPOSSIBLE to explain to you how much Ghostbusters means to us. When you tell me it’s “OKAY” or “good but not great,” you’re just proving how little you understand our intense craving for movies like these. We were DEHYDRATED over here, okay? But we didn’t know how thirsty we truly were until we saw Kate McKinnon as Jillian Holtzmann.

We got Holtzmanned, baby. And we loved it. Forever an SNL MVP, Kate imbued the gadget-loving scientist with a resplendent weirdness that made the whole movie sing. She instantly became an icon for girls who geek and – explicit though it wasn’t allowed to be – girls who would absolutely hit on Kristen Wiig if she ever wandered into their basement lab. The women in this movie were never sexualized, yet somehow, everyone I know walked out of that theater with a massive crush on Jillian and her collection of safety goggles. I’m so distracted by the gif below, it’s taken me 40 minutes to write this paragraph.

Which brings me back to why this is so important. Not since Ellen Ripley can I remember a female character kicking paranormal ass like Kate does in that sublime slow motion fight scene without being stuffed into cut-offs or a catsuit. Holtzmann is not a token hero, like so many in the “There’s One Girl!” teams that have been shoved down our throats. She’s a brilliant, bizarre, queer, ghostbusting scientist who’s biggest takeaway from this whole world-saving thing is that she’s finally found her tribe.

There should be a sequel. Kate McKinnon should be a movie star. Safety lights are for dudes who say this movie could have been better. –Sage

8) The Women of Penny Dreadful

RIP Penny Dreadful and some of the best female characters to grace our television screens in years. I’ll never understand why awards didn’t rain down upon Eva Green, Billie Piper, and Patti LuPone (whose role is the definition of a Guest Acting Emmy). But WE know the truth and we will never stop preaching the gospel of Vanessa Ives. Years from now, television historians will look back on Eva Green in Penny Dreadful and laud her bravery and her boldness. Her performance exhausts me, honestly. I don’t know how she did it. It was completely free of vanity. She wouldn’t just go to the ugly places, she would marinate in them and let them soak into her soul. Watching her every week was a masterclass in character development and determination and any episode that was Vanessa-less was weaker for it.

It was such a brilliant move to bring back Patti LuPone back for season three as Vanessa’s shrink, Dr. Seward. She had an incredibly memorable role in Season 2 as Joan Clayton, a witch who helped shape Vanessa’s life and cemented her identity as the Scorpion. I love how the two roles were completely different but yet the underlying thread of overwhelming compassion for Vanessa Ives tied the characters together. Patti brings SUCH gravity to all of her roles and really she’s the only woman who could go toe to toe with Eva Green and WIN. My biggest regret about the fact that we won’t be getting a season 4 is that we won’t get more of Seward the Vampire Slayer. NEVER FORGET how Seward casually admitted that she killed her abusive husband with a meat cleaver. Where’s my spinoff John Logan?

And then there’s Billie Piper, Queen of Our Hearts and the 2016 Feelie Winner for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama. There’s not much to say about Billie’s furious portrayal of Lily Frankenstein that we haven’t said before, so I’m just going to quote creator John Logan here. “It’s a very feminist show, and the idea that the audience gets to see, in our three years, Lily as a degraded figure who’s abused by men, as Brona, literally being reborn into a blank slate and then achieving incredible power but always having a great human connection. That was a case where I was also inspired by the actor, because Billie Piper so delights me, and I found that in the second season I was able to write her an eight-minute monologue that she absolutely delivered, completely, in a way that I found thrilling. I just wanted to do it again, because she’s an actor who understands theatricality and understands larger than life language in a very unique way, and that’s part of what this show is about.”

Quite right too.  — Kim

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The Top 20 Television Moments of 2016 – Part Two

Posted by Kim and Sage

2016 is almost over (THANK GOD), and our year-end coverage continues! Earlier this week, we dropped the first half of our Top 20 Television Moments, featuring amazing performances and jaw-dropping surprises from Bones, Outlander, The X-Files, and more. Today we’re bringing you the second half of that list. So without further ado, here are ten more moments that prove we’re nothing as a society without the art we make and the emotions we share on TV. –Sage

1. Kelly and Yorkie drive off into the sunset  – Black Mirror

Source: killbill.tumblr.com

I never know quite what to expect when I start an episode of the techno nightmare anthology Black Mirror, aside from one of its bleak and nihilistic conclusions. So imagine my surprise when the show served up a genuine love story between two radiant women in the exquisite “San Junipero.” The chemistry between Mackenzie Davis’s reserved Yorkie and Gugu Mbatha Raw’s vivacious Kelly grounds the sci-fi plot, which I won’t spoil completely here. And the ’80s are usually remembered as a tragic era for style, but the heavenly recreation the girls visit makes it look like a flawless Westworld for anyone who just wants to dance to the Bangles and have a run at their Pac-Man high score for the rest of eternity.

The pull between the women is palpable, but the circumstances threatening to keep apart aren’t easily overcome. In very anti-Black Mirror fashion (and very anti-lesbians-on-TV fashion), “San Junipero” dares to give its characters a happy ending. An EARNED happy ending, achieved through communication and self-searching. It’s a beautiful, self-contained film that will challenge the rest of the series’ thesis that the more automated we become, the farther we stray from our humanity. Kelly and Yorkie are more themselves in this matrix than they have the ability to be in their physical world. And when they are themselves, they choose to be together. Heaven is truly a place on Earth. –Sage

Source: prettylittlegreene.tumblr.com

2) Beyonce SLAYS the VMAs

Honestly, after Bey’s 13-and-a-half-minute medley from her masterpiece of rage and empowerment, Lemonade, what point is there in having the Video Music Awards EVER again? Nothing will ever beat this. Ever. Quoth Sage, “I’m terrified of her and I LOVE IT.” — Kim

3) “I’m the one on the mound right now. Me.” – Pitch

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I’m invested in the lives of the Pearsons and I’m so impressed with what Speechless is doing in its first season. But overall, my very favorite freshmen series of the 2016-2017 season is Pitch: Fox’s sports drama about a fictional first female Major Leaguer. Feminism, the business of sports, the burden of celebrity, and the pressure of the game all get equal billing on Pitch. The cast is led by the poised Kylie Bunbury as phenom pitcher Ginny Baker and (swoon swoon swoon) a BEARDED Mark Paul Gosselaar as the Padres’ reliable but perhaps past-his-prime catcher, Mike Lawson. Mike and Ginny’s relationship is the beating heart of the show. He’s the first teammate to admit he’s “blown away” by her courage; she becomes the person whose voice he wants to hear when he’s pondering his own mortality in the middle of the night. This ship demands to be shipped, but we’re in for the tortuously slow burn. Because Ginny and Mike are teammates.

We could have gone with the close call from the penultimate episode of the season – that charged embrace when Mike and Ginny’s lips TOTALLY BRUSHED before he got a call telling him his trade was off. But though the sexual tension is very good stuff, ultimately, the show is about a young woman blazing a trail and dealing with all the bullshit that comes with it. In the finale, Ginny is on the mound and on the verge of blowing her no-hitter. She and Mike have been weird around each other, because they are both very aware that they almost crossed the point of no return. She’s being romanced by a Zuckerberg-esque tech billionaire who plays acoustic open mics and wants to kidnap her away on some stupidly impulsive honeymoon. Her brother is conning her out of her money; she fired her agent for being too involved in her personal business; and the ghost of her demanding father still hangs over her success. So when Mike strides into her space to talk her down, Ginny takes the opportunity to remind him whose ass is really on the line right now.

Mike: Okay, Baker, you want to talk? Let’s talk. You were right. It was completely awkward the other night. I mean, not in comparison to how awkward it’s been since then. Now we’re bordering on middle school dance territory. It doesn’t really matter because…
Ginny: Shut up. Stop trying to distract me from the fact that I’m throwing a no…
Mike: Don’t say it. That’s not what I’m doing.
Ginny: Yes, it is. You think I got rattled, so you’re coming out here on your white horse to give me one of your great movie speeches. I don’t need a speech from you today. I don’t need a speech from you or my father or my brother or my agent. And I don’t need some billionaire taking me all over the world, as if I’ve got nothing else to do. He can come watch me train in Arizona if he wants to. I don’t need a man to rescue me. I’m the one on the mound right now. Me. I throw the ball, I give the speeches, and I decide if you and I are gonna talk about what happened the other night, not you. And I’ve decided we’re not, by the way, because we’re teammates. And as long as we’re teammates, that’s how it’s gonna be. So, go back to home plate, put down the sign. And let me finish my no-hitter. That’s right, I said it. I’m throwing a no-hitter. And if you don’t mind, I’d like to keep doing it.
Mike: Fine by me.
Ginny: Good.

There’d be no drama in Pitch if the Padres were unbeatable or if Ginny were a beast from the moment she arrives. She’s shaken by the stress. The team is firmly in the middle of the pack. And this moment stands out because it caps the arc Ginny has been on for the whole first season. She’s figuring out who she is, in the middle of that field, with the spotlight right on her. And she’s accepting that responsibility with everything that she has because it is HERS. (And we love Mike still, because he TRUSTS her with that. No one knows better than him that she can handle herself.) I need Fox to renew Pitch for many reasons, including the promise of a much more self-assured Ginny recommitting to what she came here to do. So, Fox: What else you got? –Sage

source: conzyricamora.tumblr.com

4) “There Are Worse Things I Could Do” – Grease Live

Fox decided to get into the TV musical game in 2016 with the pre-taped Rocky Horror Picture Show and Grease: Live! While RHPS sadly fell flat (why was it so bright and shiny?????), other than a couple of exceptions, Grease was a smashing success that captured all of the fun of both the movie and the stage musical. (Note to NBC, after watching how you tried to copy Grease‘s style with Hairspray, you should PROBABLY start with hiring Tommy Kail.) The morning of the show, Grease took on a whole new meaning when news broke that Vanessa Hudgens, who was playing Rizzo, had lost her father to cancer the night before. Suddenly, the production became the true embodiment of the core principle of performing: “The show must go on.” All eyes would be on Vanessa as she took on the most challenging and vulnerable role of her career in the face of unspeakable tragedy. Would she rise up and prove her mettle?

Of course she would because Vanessa Hudgens is a goddamn PRO. Vanessa sang and danced her heart out that night, showing wonderful comic timing with “Look at Me, I’m Sandra Dee,” and showcasing mad dance skills at the Rydell School Dance. She had Rizzo’s sass and attitude down pat and she LOOKED amazing in those pencil skirts and in that Rizzo wig. Vanessa’s shining moment came with her 11 o’clock number, “There are Worse Things I Could Do”. Girlfriend just planted her feet and belted the shit out of it. It’s the first number where Rizzo lets her tough facade fall by the wayside and shows the audience that she’s just as emotionally vulnerable as Sandy. For Vanessa, it was truly the first time she could stop on that soundstage and just BE. It was a beautiful thing to watch because her emotions were so real and genuine and you could SEE the pain in her eyes…but you also never saw it overtake her. She channeled it into her performance and used her grief to show the audience her character’s brokenness and vulnerability. It was the kind of NO FEAR moment that not only showed her strength as an actress but her strength as a PERSON. The whole production was dedicated to her dad’s memory and I KNOW his daughter made him so so so proud.  — Kim

source for both gifs: forcewakens.tumblr.com

5) The Spy’s Goodbye – Agents of SHIELD

Can you believe they wasted this beautiful moment AND Bobbie and Hunter’s entire characters on a spin-off that never made it to a pilot? I have a suspicion that this Ghostrider storyline wouldn’t be quite as dull if they were still on the team. –Sage

source: just-me-and-the-tv.tumblr.com

6) Laurie and Val’s Freestyle – Dancing With The Stars

Listen, Laurie Hernandez won Dancing with the Stars as soon as she signed on the dotted line. She was the breakout star of the Final Five (because everyone was already hyped about Simone Biles and Aly Raisman) with her giant emoji eyes and expressive face. Olympic Gymnasts have ALWAYS done well on the show. And getting Russian Teddy Bear Valentin Chmerkovskiy as a partner? Yeah. Laurie was assured a berth in the finals before the dancing even began.

Even though she was a ringer, there was something delightfully unexpected about Laurie and Val’s partnership. Val is normally paired with the hot twenty-something (all the more to fuel those vote-getting showmance rumors) and is ALWAYS super sexy, so I wondered how he would adjust to being paired with a 16-year-old. Laurie’s enthusiasm and spirit was INFECTIOUS and it brought out such a lovely and carefree side of Val (one that was clearly evidenced by all the time he just let his curls run wild rather than slicking them down). It was clear that he adored her and cherished the responsibility of being the one who took Laurie on the journey of the DWTS experience. Even though I was definitely Team James and Sharna (ONE DAY MY GINGER QUEEN), I couldn’t help be caught up in Laurie and Val. Their partnership culminated with a joyous freestyle to “Brand New” that had me in tears by the end because everyone was JUST SO HAPPY. The whole playground set-up could have easily gone too saccharine but there was just something about Laurie in that bright yellow dress, with Val at her side looking at her like she was the best person in the world, the two of them dancing with pure abandon that it just WORKED. It’s the perfect mix of a great dancer and a partner that knows how to choreograph to their strengths. Like I said…I can’t even be mad they beat my favorites. HOW COULD YOU BE? — Kim

7) Elliot confronts Tyrell – Mr. Robot

“Okay, but where’s Tyrell?” – the fandom, after every season 2 episode of Mr. Robot.

Elliot’s partner in Five/Nine chaos finally resurfaced in the next to last episode of the season. Martin Wallstrom spent a lot of time in the dugout after scaring the hell out of all of us with his ambition in season 1. The warehouse denouement of eps2.9_pyth0n-pt2 made up for that absence completely. Tyrell is very much alive, despite what Mr. Robot has been telling Elliot. And he’s chomping at the bit to start the next phase of their anarchic master plan.

Unfortunately for the Elliot side of his personality, the phase his darker self concocted with Tyrell is the destruction of an Evil Corp facility housing the paper records it will use to slowly rebuild its empire. Elliot stands between Tyrell/Mr. Robot and the mass murder of everyone working in that building. It’s a standoff that could very well have been happening all inside of Elliot’s head; I wondered at times if Tyrell were a second Tyler Durden for our hacker hero. But Tyrell proves himself to be very much his own person when he shoots Elliot: his hero, his god. And he does it on Elliot’s own orders. This was Mr. Robot’s long game: giving Tyrell a gun and express permission to sacrifice Elliot for the cause. “You know, when you gave me this, you said to stop anyone who gets in the way of our plan. I didn’t know what you meant, but now it’s very clear,” Tyrell says. “You did this to yourself, Elliot.” If you didn’t get chills, you better check your pulse. –Sage

gifs via mrrobotsource.tumblr.com

8) Kelly Clarkson sings “Piece by Piece” – American Idol

American Idol was finally sent to that great television set in the sky this spring. It was none too soon, in my humble opinion. The show’s glory days were far behind it; it hadn’t produced a major recording star since Philip Phillips (and that’s pushing it with that definition) and much of the audience had migrated to the newer and shinier The Voice. (Though The Voice has yet to produce a LEGIT recording star EVER, which is a whole other discussion to have regarding the flaws of reality singing competitions.) The contestants on the final season of Idol were equally forgettable…but for me, that was not what the final season was about. The final season was about seeing what the show had given us over the span of 15 seasons. Idol was VERY good in its last victory lap in regards to bringing back its past winners and other memorable contestants to remind everyone just exactly what kind of legacy the show is leaving behind.

The highlight of the season came when the original Idol, Queen Kelly Clarkson, stopped by to show all those kids just how it’s done. And at eight and a half months pregnant, no less. Let it never be said that we don’t have double standards here at Head Over Feels because earlier in this post I praised Vanessa Hudgens for not letting her emotions overwhelm her and here I am praising Kelly Clarkson for doing that very thing. Different circumstances, different standards, I say. It was a perfect storm of human emotion for Kelly. She was back on the stage that started her career, singing a song about the father her abandoned her until she had made something of herself (ON THAT STAGE). “Piece by Piece” is ALSO a promise to her child that she’s literally about to give birth to at any minute (seriously, one power chorus could have triggered labor) that she will never be that kind of parent to her. It’s like a lot of shit suddenly got real for Kelly Clarkson in those three minutes and she let it happen and STILL sang the shit out of her song. It’s a LOT. We are ALL Keith Urban watching that performance. — Kim

9)  Seeing the world through Edgar’s eyes – You’re the Worst

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Edgar is the gentlest, most generous character on the FX celebration of bad behavior, You’re The Worst. And he’s the least deserving of the grotesque reality that accompanies his PTSD. Desmin Borges is a bright light in every episode of the show, but in “Twenty-Two,” he’s a goddamn revelation. In an accusatory and cutting bit of cleverness, You’re The Worst rewinds the previous episode “Men Get Strong” in the style of Angelica Schuyler and shows us the events through the lens of Edgar’s relentless mental illness. His sunny manner has always seemed contradictory to the trauma he endured in war; but this episode shows how deliberate his choices are. Edgar is hounded by paranoia. His world is three shades darker than his roommates’. And though he tries to access help and healing through all available channels, he finds that he is alone. “Twenty-Two” is an indictment of this country’s treatment of veterans and of the stigma and misunderstanding of mental illness. It’s a tour-de-force performance. And in its entirety, it’s one of our top 20 television moments of the past year. –Sage

Source: lorelailukes.tumblr.com
10) The Cubs win the World Series

As a ride or die Atlanta Braves fan whose season was basically over in June, my only investment in baseball going into late October was whether or not the San Diego Padres would make the World Series on Pitch. However, once it became the Chicago Cubs versus the Cleveland Indians for the championship, I suddenly had a horse in the race, and that horse was HISTORY. Listen, I couldn’t tell you a single name of a current player on the Chicago Cubs (or the Indians for that matter) but all I knew is that the Cubs HAD to win. They had gotten SO CLOSE in 2015, the year that Back to the Future II had predicted that they would win the series, only to fall short in the National League Championship. They hadn’t won the World Series in 108 years. It was TIME.

I basically wrote the series off once the Cubs went down three games to one, including losing two of those games at home in Wrigley. Teams had only come back from that deficit 5 times, it was a near impossible task, especially when they didn’t have home field advantage. But the Cubbies never gave up and they forced a Game 7. The CMAs were the same night, so I was watching those and following the game on Twitter, updating Sage (as if she cared) the entire time. They took a 6 to 3 lead into the bottom of the 8th inning, by which time the CMAs were DONE and I had switched over to the game broadcast, fully remembering why I love baseball so much in the first place. I’m just gonna quote Field of Dreams, okay? “The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it’s a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good and that could be again.”  That’s SO REAL, okay? It’s why I moaned in agony when the Indians tied the game in the bottom of the eighth inning. It didn’t MATTER that I had no personal investment in either of these teams, I was just watching a game for the history books.

What I loved so much about Game 7 is it seemed to unite EVERYONE. My entire facebook feed was cluttered with people commenting on the game and stressing out when the game went into a RAIN DELAY after the bottom of the ninth inning. (Seriously, it was a perfect storm of a game.) It felt like the entire world other than Indians fans were WILLING the Cubs to make this happen. I knew that the rain delay would either break the already tired Cubs pitching staff, who had already employed their closer, or it would energize them. The Cubs played their half of the tenth with renewed vigor and scored two runs, which led to me screaming at the top of my lungs in my little apartment circa midnight. (SORRY NEIGHBORS.) I think I held my breath the entirety of the bottom of the tenth, especially when the Indians answered back with a run of their own. Finally, Finally, FINALLY we got down to two outs and there was a grounder to the third baseman and the 108 year curse was over. Cue all the man emotion and me crying tears of joy. This game. THIS GAME.

It should be noted that the final season of Parks and Recreation took place in 2017. When Tom and Andy made their trip to Chicago to see Lucy in the spring of 2017, they commented that she was super happy that the Cubs had finally won the Series. Which means that the Cubs had won the series in 2016. Which means we either live in a world where Leslie Knope is a REAL person who will save us circa 2020 or Mike Schur is an evil wizard who knows the future. Either option is fine with me.  — Kim

Did we leave out YOUR favorite moment of 2016? Let us know in the comments.