We may not have many rules here in the wiki-wiki-wild-wild west of the Internet, but isn’t this one we can all agree on?
This Sunday’s Downton Abbey featured probably the biggest WTF moment of the entire series – one from which all fans are still reeling. (I saw the episode months ago through, um, channels, and I’m not even close to being over it.) One of our dearest readers was flabbergasted at a Facebook friend’s blatantly spoilery status update (THE MORNING AFTER) and her lack of remorse when her friends rightfully called her out on her poor netiquette. According to the culprit, her status wasn’t a spoiler because the episode HAD ALREADY AIRED. So, let me get this straight…she thinks that the definition of “spoiler” is just whatever a person can find out about an upcoming episode of Breaking Bad after breaking into Vince Gilligan’s office under the dark cloak of night and making off with his hard drive?
Can we just not do this to each other? They’re called “spoilers” because they RUIN the viewing experience for anyone who comes across them. Posting a spoiler on Facebook is like walking up to somebody who’s eating their lunch, licking your palm, and then pressing it down on their sandwich while maintaining constant eye contact. It’s cyber bullying for nerds.
And why?! WHY, for the love of Pete, are people compelled to do these things? We GET it. You, like THE REST OF THE WORLD, are like, SUPER into Downton. Congratulations on having your finger on the pulse of something that’s completely mainstream. If you need to talk it about right away, let me introduce you to my friends at Tumblr, who had gif-setted that scene with weepy song lyrics about 30 seconds after it aired in the UK. Or you could, I don’t know, have a PRIVATE conversation about it with a friend. Call your mom. Call your therapist. Whatever you need, man. Just KEEP IT OFF FACEBOOK.
By now, we all know better than to surf Twitter or Tumblr when we’re trying to avoid being spoiled. They are fandom central and just can’t help themselves. But Facebook is where you go to see pictures of your nephews and RSVP to birthday parties. I COULD swear off Facebook for the next six months until I finally watch Homeland. But how about I just hope that none of the family members, friends, acquaintances, or nemeses on my timeline decide to swap out the usual baby bump picture update for a major plot point reveal status? Let’s make Facebook a safe zone, ya’ll. Otherwise, we have no choice than to Clockwork Orange ourselves and watch everything immediately as it airs in real time or retreat from society all together.
The existence of boxed sets, onDemand, and Netflix Instant have all extended the statute of limitations on spoilers. Unless it’s a part of public consciousness or internationally known catchphrase, keep the big reveal (character death, goody turned baddy, a ship that happened or didn’t, etc…) to yourself or to the fandom (trust me, they are out there and ready for you). At any given moment, anyone can decide to embark on a full completed series and I, for one, believe in your right to enjoy it just as much as any original fan ever did. I put an entire post about a show that ended seven years ago under a cut, for crying out loud. At this day in age, it’s only right.
There are ways to brag on Facebook about how culturally relevant you are without inspiring murderous feelings in anyone who wasn’t watching PBS on Sunday night. So, just…don’t be that guy. Spoiler alert: everybody hates that guy.
Well folks, with the SAG Awards airing last night, we are halfway through Awards Season, with only the BAFTAs remaining before the Super Bowl of Pop Culture, The Oscars!! While the majority of the winners were not unexpected, the SAG Awards still managed to have some fun, endearing and moving moments. Let’s reflect on them shall we?
Best Reaction to Winning (Movie Edition): Jennifer Lawrence
Look at our precious blueberry Jennifer Lawrence in that picture. First of all, she is there with Walking Pneumonia and she looks fabulous. And she was genuinely surprised at her win. This was the first head to head battle (or battle with no separate Comedy category) with the other presumed Best Actress Front Runner Jessica Chastain. The race for Best Actress is ridiculously close, especially if Chastain ends up taking the BAFTA. This speech could seal the deal for an Oscar win for Lawrence though. It’s adorable (She thanks “My Super Sweet 16” y’all!!) and gracious without coming off as fake or grating. Ahem. Anne Hathaway. I’ll get to you later.
Also, there has been much debate over whether or not JLaw’s dress ripped. Word is the dress had those sheer panels already, and they were supposed to show throughout the dress but she (wisely) chose to have the sheer panels hidden, and they only showed as she was making her way up the steps.
Best Reaction to Winning (Television Edition): The Cast of Downton Abbey
The ONE upset of the evening was in the Drama Ensemble category, with Downton beating out the likes of Homeland, Mad Men, and Breaking Bad. Clearly, SAG voters are as obsessed with British Television as we are. Apparently this win happened right as something TERRIBLE happened on this week’s airing of Downton on PBS. I’m not saying what the terrible thing was. We respect spoilers here at HoF, as Sage will be discussing shortly. As someone said on twitter last night, that win does NOT make up for what happened, universe!!
Also how FOXY is Mrs. Hughes???? And this is the most precious picture ever, even with the amount of side/underboob Lady Mary was showing.
Worst Reaction to Winning (entire show edition): Anne Hathaway
Annie. We discussed this in our post on the Golden Globes. You KNOW you are winning. Work on your speeches. You just come off as disingenuous to me. Maybe it’s nerves? Whatever it is, you’re just trying too hard. You’re also rich, so there is no need for you to joke about “just being thrilled to have dental”. This is why people roll their eyes at you. Get yourself together before February 24th please. Watch tapes of Lawrence and Chastain’s past speeches. Also wear a better dress please, cause that one was fu to the ugly.
Parks and Recreation
Season 5, Episode 11: Women in Garbage
– Posted by Sage
If there’s one thing Leslie Knope can’t resist, it’s waffles. If there are two things, they’re waffles and making out with Ben, on his face. And if there are THREE things that Leslie Knope can’t resist, they are: waffles; making out with Ben, on his face; and knocking down gender stereotypes.
Leslie is used to just ignoring some of Pawnee’s more archaic guidelines (i.e., she really shouldn’t be reserving any conference rooms without permission from her husband or father). But after meeting with Pawnee’s first ever female City Council member Paula Hork, she learns two things: 1) it’s time to correct the underemployment of women in all areas of city government and 2) there is probably a calendar of her own menstrual cycle somewhere in City Hall. Leslie picks up the ball and brings the Equal Gender Employment Commission plan to Chris, who, of course, thinks it’s the greatest idea in the history of ideas. He asks every department to send two people to a meeting. And they do – they each send two men. The Pawnee man-pigs think that Chris (“Oh no, it’s just a very beautiful man.”) and “the girl who brought the snacks” are enough of a female contingency, thank you very much. After listening to some ancient lawmakers wax poetic about the frailty of women, Leslie challenges the worst offender of employment inequality, the sanitation department. She and April take over a garbage collection route to prove that women are up to the task. Chris brings his maybe-kinda-sorta girlfriend Shawna Mulwae-Tweep to cover it for the Pawnee Journal.
Leslie’s proving her point by being ahead of the regular timing for the route. April gets to dig through the trash of all her high school enemies. (“She has to use prescription-strength deodorant. This is the best day of my life.”) Arguably having a less awesome time are the misogynistic sanitation dudes, who are being taken to school, and poor Chris Traeger, who is completely at sea in Tweep’s twenty-something world of group hangs and no labels. The garbage dudes make a last ditch effort to hold on to their manhood by sending Leslie and April to move a giant bakery freezer that apparently the regular route guys couldn’t budge the week before. Of course, they don’t tell the girls that, so Leslie is ready to make it happen. (“Easy, breezy, beautiful. That’s the CoverGirl slogan. I didn’t mean to say that.”) They could call them on it, but April wants to WIN, not to tie. So Leslie calls in the ladies from the soup kitchen to take the donation. With all this combined lady power, the freezer gets onto the truck and the sanitation guys start hiring female workers. Joan of Arc would be proud.
Just like Leslie, Tom is doing his best to hang with the boys. His Rent-a-Swag customers are obsessed with basketball, so he recruits (or tricks, whatever) Andy and Ben into teaching him the basics. (Necessarily side flail: BEN’S BASKETBALL OUTFIT. The goggles. The gym socks. I cannot breathe.) Tom isn’t exactly a quick study (“Did I do basketball?”), and the guys get humiliated by some middle-schoolers in a 3-on-3.
Ben shows a depressed Tommy a video of Kevin Durant and Russel Westberg talking to press after a loss to show him that the best pros know how to come back after a defeat. Tom completely ignores that advice, but has his own epiphany. He uses Kids 46 News to position Rent-a-Swag as THE place to get your post-game press conference fashions.
And on more shaking up of traditional gender roles, Ron is playing babysitter to Diane’s little girls, Zoe and Ivy. He’s covered in stickers (courtesy of Leslie, obviously), his shoes are painted red, and his office now looks like something a Justice threw up. Diane asks if he can handle it for another day. After scouring the building for Ann (“I thought your last name was Hanson for some reason.”), Ron ropes her into helping out. Trouble is, beautiful Ann is a complete awkward turtle around kids. (“Hey, dudettes. So, you guys like Coldplay?”) But once she pulls out her medical supplies, the girls are enthralled. Somehow, they lock themselves into the conference room alone, and Doctors Ivy and Zoe perform surgery on each other’s infected hair. Ron has a meltdown and inadvertently reveals his true feelings for Diane. Yes, it’s true: Ron loves Mommy.
His fears of ruining the relationship are unfounded, as Diane remains the COOLEST CHICK EVER and takes the girls’ scissor adventures in stride. She’s so touched by Ron’s concern, that she makes a declaration of her own: Mommy loves Ron. Ron loves Mommy. Ron and Mommy 4-Ever. And Family Love Michael too, why not?
Friends will forever be my favorite sitcom.
Yes. Even more than my beloved Community.
I grew up with Friends, as it premiered when I was 15 and ended when I was 25 (ugh, now I feel OLD). It (along with The X-Files and Dawson’s Creek) defined event television when I was in college. I often had rehearsal on Thursday nights, but I would set my faithful VCR (remember when you had to do that? #theworst) and everyone would come over to my apartment afterwards to watch together. I lived for the day when a season would get released on DVD and I could marathon it. The day of the finale, my best friend and I ordered The Joey Special (TWO PIZZAS?!) and watched our favorite episodes all day and then cried while watching the finale.
As a side note we did the same thing earlier that year when Sex and the City ended, except it was cosmos instead of pizzas. 2004 was a rough year for TV lovers.
Friends remains my ultimate TV comfort food. I tend to watch the entire series every year or so, so asking me to choose my favorite 5 episodes is a bit rough. But I’ve done it AND I have ranked them. So here we go…
5) “The One Where Ross Got High” – Season Six, Episode 9
All of the Thanksgiving episodes are CLASSICS. One of my favorite traditions is watching all of the episodes while I’m cooking Thanksgiving dinner…it’s the perfect way to pass the time while the turkey is in the oven. So why THIS Thanksgiving episode? Because I can never imagine an English Trifle without beef sautéed with peas and onions. Because whenever I am stuck somewhere I don’t want to be I do this. And because this is one of the greatest 96 seconds to ever happen on television:
If you watch the DVD commentary for this episode, you’ll learn that it took them FOREVER to get through this scene as the audience was laughing too hard with each confession. Amazing.
4) “The One With The Prom Video” – Season Two, Episode 14
Also known as the episode where Joey buys Chandler a gaudy gold bracelet that says “Best Buds” and they become bracelet buddies (THAT’S WHAT THEY’LL CALL US!!).
Also known as the episode with first appearance of Fat Monica. (“Shut up, the camera adds ten pounds!!” “How many camera are ON you?”)
Who am I kidding?
This is the episode where after MONTHS of torturing us with one of the most epic kisses ever and then immediately breaking up when he wrote a list comparing her to Julie (“She’s not RACHUM?!”), Ross and Rachel FINALLY got together for good. Well until mid Season Three anyway 😉
“See?! He’s her lobster!!” is one of the best responses ever. I remember screaming and jumping up and down when this happened. I should have known THEN what kind of fangirl I was.
One of the most anticipated (for me at least) new series of the winter HAS to be Fox’s new serial killer drama, The Following, which premiered last night. A serial killer drama from Scream mastermind Kevin Williamson starring Kevin Bacon? Sign me up! And the serial killer is obsessed with romantic writers like Thoreau, Emerson and especially Edgar Allan Poe?? And then he inspires a cult of followers and gets them to do his bidding from prison?
No, seriously, WHEN DOES THIS AIR AND PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE BE GOOD.
I am pleased to report that The Following lives up to the hype…at least the pilot does anyway.
Is the violence shocking? Yes, for a network show. I’m sure it’s much worse on shows like Dexter, which I have never gotten into, (I KNOW, LEAVE ME ALONE I REALLY TRIED TO OKAY?) but many of the images are quite disturbing. I imagine that it has given standards and practices quite a nightmare. This is a serial killer that likes to stab out EYES after all. So if you have an eye thing…um, maybe don’t watch. Unless you are a masochist and enjoy torturing yourself. And like I said in the title of this post, I am glad that I opted to DVR both Bones and The Following, as I have learned after 7.5 seasons of Bones never to eat during it.
After the success that his wife Kyra Sedgwick had on The Closer, I am surprised that it has taken Kevin Bacon this long to get on a network series. I’m sure he was just “looking for the right project” and boy, this is the right one for him. He brings the same world-weary haggardness that Kiefer Sutherland brought to Jack Bauer in 24. But yet behind all the torment and obvious addiction (he drinks vodka out of a water bottle, y’all. Either he is an alcoholic or he really knows how to party. Or both.) you can see the bad ass agent beneath it. The first time Bacon’s Ryan Hardy pursued and eventually caught James Purefoy’s Joe Carroll obviously took a toll on Hardy and eventually destroyed his life. The pilot does a good job in flashing between both the pursuit that landed Carroll in prison and the manhunt after he escapes. And the chemistry between Bacon and Purefoy? Amazing. And if you didn’t know, it resulted in this at the winter TCA conference:
Parks and Recreation
Season 5, Episode 10: Two Parties
– Posted by Sage
The wedding of the century is almost here, and the girls and guys of Pawnee are sending their friends Leslie and Ben into marriage with style. Well, they’re trying to, anyway.
Maid of Honor and beautiful nurse, Ann Perkins, has bought up all the penis-shaped novelties in three towns. She booked Babe Lincoln, professional historical stripper. But planning a party in honor of the ultimate planner is completely stressing her out. Meanwhile Chris Traeger, literally the Best Man anyone has ever had, is supporting Ben’s choice to have a beer and boardgames bachelor party. And maybe some Homeland on the DVR, if we have enough time.
**Head canon sidenote: before coming to Pawnee, I don’t think that Ben Wyatt would have called Chris Traeger his best friend. Old Ben drew a line between work and his personal life, and Chris’s status as his coworker would have trumped any familiar relationship they had. Also, thanks to Pawnee and Leslie, Ben’s come to appreciate the unique weirdness in everyone he meets. Thus, the coworkers become true bros. Head canon sidenote complete.**
But the boys can’t compete with a nationally ranked Settlers player and Tom Haverford isn’t going to let Jello Shot’s night go down like that. Andy, Ben, Chris, Ron, Tom, and Jerry move the festivities to Essence, Eagleton’s new “molecular mixology” bar, where Ron is served his drink via a whiskey-infused lotion hand massage. Turns out, none of the married or formerly married among them ever had a true bachelor party. So, new plan: this night is now about all of them, and each bachelor boy gets to pick one thing they want to do.
Female friendships often take center stage on Parks, so it was a complete joy to watch the boys bonding in this one. Again, Parks avoids the worst of tired and sexist sitcom tropes: These bachelor parties are about the guys celebrating their friends, not mourning their single lives. Tom gets his vaporized drinks. Andy gets to catch a touchdown pass thrown by the Colts’ Andrew Luck. Jerry gets a couple of ice cream cones and called by his actual name. And, of course, Ron gets a steak. With a rasher of bacon on the side. Chris is thrilled just to be the facilitator, but Ben wants to find some way besides a Best Man trophy to thank our lonely fitness guru. Then Pawnee reporter extraordinaire/former hole in the Beslie ship Shauna Mulwae-Tweep shows up, wanting to do a story on the rotating bachelor party. Ben hardly thinks it’s news, but Shauna disagrees. She thinks that people want to read about “a group of good friends, having fun, doing nice things for each other” and that she wants to write about it. (Ahem – practically Parks and Rec‘s reason to exist and brighten up our sad, desperate lives.) A light comes on in Ben’s mind, and he takes Shauna to Chris’s office to get the story – over lunch.
Let’s be real: this episode was all about the boys. I was disappointed with the girls’ storyline, mostly because my hopes for the return of my personal hero Drunk!Leslie were foiled. Of course it’s in character for Leslie to let work ruin her bachelorette party, but her lack of concern for Ann and the rest of her ladyfriends was a reversion to the Steamroller!Leslie of seasons past. None of them want to see another Paunch Burger location in old pit surely, but was it really worth digging Wamapoke artifacts out of the dirt in the middle of the night using penis hats for shovels? Just…Ann worked SO hard! And, sue me, I wanted the girls to have a little fun. On the bright side, now that this story has happened, hopefully the writers won’t let any Pawnee business get in the way of Ben and Leslie’s actual wedding. DON’T YOU DARE TAKE THIS AWAY FROM ME, SCHUR. I NEED THIS.