Friday, December 31, 2010

Why I Love....

...Beef Stew (2010 Wrap-up Edition)!
(whoa! Two features merge to become one!)

The year is coming to an end and I haven't had Beef Stew in quite a while. I need my protein so let's grub.

Ya know, 2010 has been a fairly decent year. But, as usual, more things annoyed me rather than giving me that warm, fuzzy, loving feeling. So while I'd love to end the year on a purely positive note, it's just more fun this way...wouldn't you agree? Here are couple people & things that I had major beef with this year...and loved it:

Miley Cyrus
When Miley was first stretching her sexy bone back in 2009, it was pretty amusing. But 2010 came around and Miley decided short-shorts and push-up bras were not enough. All year we've been forced to look at her underage crotch and boobies while listening to her really crappy music. (Actually, thanks to those songs sucking that hard, we haven't had to hear them too much. For once the pop world gets it right and shuns the right songs. Current record: 2/1,000,000,000,000)

The thing with Miley is, try as she might, she is not and will never be sexy. And yet, no one's clued her in. As a result, we innocents continue to be tortured. I mean, it's pretty damn obvious what she's trying to do. Hannah Montana is finally being put out of it's misery and Miley, not content to just fade into oblivion and leave us all alone, is trying hard to prolong her "career" by transforming herself into an "adult" performer. (No, not that kind. Ugh,'s too early for vomit.)

What she's really doing is pissing off the parents off all the little girls that made her money and grossing the rest of us out. Oh yeah, and annoying all of us with that terribly grating voice of hers. Sorry, Miley, but all the cool, older people you're trying so hard to impress with your cooch thought you were lame before and there's not much you can do to change that. No, not even smoking salvia and getting "high."

For all these reasons you've been dethroned as my idol. Yes, it's all very sad.

Lady Gaga
I think I've mentioned a couple times before on the Juicebox that I had yet to come to a decision on the Gaga. I wasn't sure - was Lady Gaga a real, genius artist who was just too cool and avant garde for lame, old me? Or was she just a fancy famewhore who had managed to trick the masses into thinking she was a real, genius artist? Well, I've decided: Lady Gaga is just a fancy famewhore who's managed to trick the masses into thinking she's a real, genius artist.

Now, let's get this part out of the way: I don't not think that Gaga is talented. She is a good singer and she does churn out (annoyingly) catchy pop tunes. Oh yes, and as her fans love to mention, she can play the piano. *eye roll*

But a genius? A visionary? The world's most creative fashionista? PUH-LEASE! Wearing funny costumes, making catchy pop tunes and playing the piano a genius does not make. Why do you think she wears those outrageous costumes EVERYDAY, EVERYWHERE she goes? Because Gaga wants attention and wants very badly for you to not forget she exists and how WACKY, OUTRAGEOUS and AVANT GARDE she is. I mean why else would you wear these boots? (HAHAHAHA! @ her falling down)

As for the piano playing part...lots of people can play the piano and sing at the same time; it's not that difficult. And it really doesn't make her special or super-duper talented. And anyone can sing the stuff she sings about. None of it is particularly deep or meaningful. Examples:
-Telephone: Please stop calling me; I'm dancing with my friends at the club.
-Paparazzi: I'm so obsessed with you, it's like when paparazzi follows a star.
-Just Dance: Just dance.

Anyway, 2010 was the year of annoying Gaga. She tried her hand at politics, wore more stupid clothes (meat dress), made long, ridiculous videos (you're not MJ) and tried to be a fashion professor (WTF?!). Gaga 2010 wouldn't have been so bad if people would just acknowledge that she's nothing more than a overhyped pop star. And it would have been beautiful if she had just disappeared but...that's not gonna happen anytime soon, is it? *sadface*

Lindsay Lohan
UGH. This chick. How many chances does one crackhead get? And how delusional can one bitch be? *cough*DinaLohan*cough*

As almost everyone has said before, any of us normal folks would have found our asses in jail after going on a coked-up joy ride with captives in the backseat of our stolen cars. Or violating our probation. Or failing multiple drug tests. Lindsay, however, just gets herself a bit of probation. And after she violates that, she just gets a bit more. And even when her judges sprout some balls and send her to jail, she only spends a couple seconds in there.

I mean, I guess I understand...Lindsay Lohan is a prolific actress with unending amounts of talent and she must stay out of jail in order to do research for all the roles that are being offered to her. Ok, so, yeah, I guess I understand now...


Famous mistresses
Anyone can be a useless're not that special. Please go away.

Ahhh, yes, I love me some beef and those were the juiciest steaks this year had to offer. Happy End of 2010 guys! Let's hope there's more good beef in 2011.


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Monday, November 22, 2010

Why I Love...

...Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1!

Think of this as one of those fancy, critical "movie reviews." Except a lot less intelligent.

It feels so unnatural and wrong to say that I "loved" a Harry Potter movie because I usually strongly dislike Harry Potter movies. (And yet I go out and buy all of them and watch them multiple times...My mind works funny.) But I actually, really, genuinely liked this movie. I think it's due first and foremost to the fact that 1) Deathly Hallows is the only Harry Potter book I have yet to read more than once and 2) I haven't read it in quite a while. That really helped because I didn't have all the details of the book hanging out in my head space.

As "just a movie", I think it worked very well. The performances were really good (yes, even you, Emma). Rupert brought it like he has since the first movie and I love him for it. (Plus I suspect he's got hidden pec action going on under all those clothes which I find hot.) D.Rad has been steadily improving and it shows. And Emma, well...yeah...she wasn't bad, or whatever. Anyway, as for the other people, I liked that Bill Nighy was there, even if it was for only a couple minutes. I found Bellatrix annoying. I've never really liked Helena Boham Carter as Bellatrix but that's probably because I don't cream my panties over the character like some other Potter fans do. I'm sad that hot piece Blaise Zabini (don't know the actor's name) wasn't just randomly there for no reason because, well, he's a hot piece.

As for technical stuff, despite my 4 years of "training," I can't really say much about it critically. But from a plebeian point of view, I found the saturated color complemented the mood very well. And I found the hand-held camera (I think it was hand-held?? Either that or their Steadicam was broken) very intriguing and odd because it just popped up really randomly. Whatever.

I want to talk about the plot as a "just a movie" plot but, I really can't. Even though I don't remember the details very well, I still remember the basic plot of the book so I can't separate it from the "just a movie" plot. So, moving on to the "book adaption movie," besides the first two movies (which were probably, admittedly, pretty easy to adapt) this has been the best adaption of any of the books. I'll wait to judge the whole lack of Dumbledore's backstory since we have another 2.5 hours of plot left. Since there weren't too many "WTF?! Where is [blank]!" moments, I think they did a fairly decent job bringing this book to screen. It probably doesn't hurt that they have approx. 5 hours to do it.

As usual, I have to complain:
1)It was kinda annoying when they tried to weasel in things that they should have introduced before but couldn't until now. I can't recall any off the top of my head but it would be something like, "Oh, look, there's RUFUS SCRIMGEOUR, the Minister of Magic who came to power after Fudge stepped down about two years ago. I wonder what he's doing here?"

2)Why why why did Harry and Ron not have their heart-to-heart after he destroyed the Horcrux??? It wouldn't take that long and it was important in finally defining Harry and Hermione's relationship as strictly platonic. Ugh. Steve Kloves is totally a Harry/Hermione shipper.

3)When I read the book I was mostly looking forward to Ron's quasi-emotional breakdown at Malfoy Manor when Hermione was getting tortured. They were all so chill down there while Hermione was getting tortured (which wasn't as hardcore as it should've been) and that was annoying. Like I said, I'm convinced Kloves is a H/Hr shipper AND that he hates Ron because he never wants to show Ron or Hermione showing extreme affection for each other. And that annoys me. Because I found Ron's wailing and shouting and crying for Hermione really moving in the book.

4) There were some dumb unnecessary sequences like 1)Snape going to Hogwarts, 2) Neville on the train to Hogwarts, 3)that really stupid bit where Hermione was like "Put up the tent," then they faded to a shot of the tent, then faded out again. That was stupid.

Besides that stuff, and some other stuff that I've been told was important and missing, the movie was really good. I was pleasantly surprised and that was nice. (Also the theater I went to had caramel popcorn! How awesome is that?! I mean, it kinda sucked and got really stuck in my teeth but it was still really cool.) I'm cutting them a lot of slack since there's a second half of the movie. So, HP movie-makers, you have escaped my wrath this time. Nice going because I was totes sharpening my machete.



P.S. - I wonder if I'll suddendly hate it after finally re-reading the book? Hmm....
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Friday, November 5, 2010

All Hail King Kevin! . . . Again!

It's that's time of year!

Man it's been quite a year for our man, King Kevin. He's now 23, married, officially in a band with all adults, and the proud owner of a Steve sweater. Happy Birfday, yo. We'll see you for the big 2-4. (It's big because the first is the square root of the latter.)

PS Estherocket has a November 5th post too. It's wonderfully nerdier though.
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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Why I Love...

... Rock of Ages, the musical.

So I've shown my concern about certain rock musicals in the past. I love me a good rock opera (I mean, hello! JC Superstar?), but it's hard to take music we already know and love and make them work on Broadway. So when Estherocket (you know from We're Tight Like Lithium and Beryllium) initially mentioned Rock of Ages, a musical full of 80's hair metal, the Lady Friend and I were hesitant and instead picked the other option, Million Dollar Quartet. (It was awesome, JSYK.) Rock of Ages would have to wait.

For those who don't know, the basic plot of RoA follows Drew and Sherrie in their Sunset Strip love story, narrated by the fabulously mulleted Lonny, and with classic hair metal songs to sing alone with. But even with mullets and great music I was hesitant. I mean, come on; I'd seen what
Broadway had done to Green Day. I was afraid of what it would do to the 80's awesomeness. Plus, Constantine Maroulis was the star. American Idol people aren't real people.

Anywho, the touring company stopped in Boston these past two weeks and I gave in to my fears and went. This is what we saw:

Per usual, Estherocket was right. It was a-to-the-muther-effin-awesome. In fact, we saw it twice.

(Imma be Lonny for Halloween next year. I would this time around but I'm all set for Tank Girl. Also, the touring girl, Rebecca Faulkenberry has a better voice for this show/music.)

Tomorrow is the last day for Boston, but
the rest of the country is next in line for face-melting greatness.

An American Idol dude won me over. Who knew?

PS youtube some videos of Constantine singing "Midnight Radio". It's awesome. I'd love to see him as Hedwig.
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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Why I Love...

...old school Late Night with Conan O'Brien clips!
(whoo! that was a mouthful)
(not really)

I was gonna love "Skins" this month but I only have 3 hours til September is over. Loving fail! I won't procrastinate next time.

Anyway, there's no reason not to give any last minute love to old school Conan O'Brien. I'm always tardy for the party so I didn't really start watching Conan until he took over the Tonight Show and even then I didn't watch him religiously. But I do have love for Conan's awkwardness, his sense of humor and his great knack for self-deprecation. He obviously doesn't take himself too seriously and it makes for some great fun.

The above video is my absolute favorite old school Conan clip that I've found (Particularly the English muffin bit...Don't give me that look. Watch it and you'll know what I'm talking about. Geez...) And here are a couple others that gave me a serious case of the giggles:


P.S. - Happy October!
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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Holy Legal!

Today is Nick Jonas' 18th birthday. I was gonna be all "Poor Nick! His crazy fangirls will attack him in the streets and tear his clothes off in want of his now legal body!"

...Then I remembered no one cares about the JoBros anymore; there's a new JB in town. (The Biebster, in case you didn't pick up on that. I thought it was pretty clever, ya know? Since they both have the initials JB. Yeah...I'm mighty clever.)

Lucky you, Nick. You're in the clear. Now you can breathe a sigh of relief and go back to being the most boring JoBro.*

Happy Birfday, Nick!

* Kevin = most royal/awesome Jonas; Joe = most annoying/really annoying Jonas

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Monday, August 30, 2010

Why I Love...

...Summer Radio!

To me, summer radio is special. It's the only time I really listen to the radio seeing as a)I only really listen when I'm in a car and b)I'm usually only hanging out with my car for a couple weeks out of the school year. So, the only time I get to catch up with what the young folks are listening to are doing those breaks at home.

What I love about summer radio is all the great lessons you learn. Yep, the schooling extends beyond the classroom. Due to most Top 40-esque radio stations only playing like, 12 songs on hour rotations, you tend to have some very important lessons hammered into your head over the course of 3 months. Here are 5 of the MOST important lessons I learned this summer. I can't wait to tell you what I learned!


1. "
Break Your Heart" taught by Professor Taio Cruz (with help from T.A. Ludacris)
What I Learned: It's a very basic lesson really: Taio Cruz is gonna break break your break break your heart. Don't worry, if you missed it the first time around, he repeats for you about 10 more times throughout the song. And if you miss it then, Ludacris will eventually put it into other words for you. Then Taio will repeat it again. It's a good teaching strategy, I must say.

2. "
OMG" taught by Professor Usher (with help from T.A.
What I Learned: Usher Raymond, a grown ass man, refers to a woman's chest as "boobies." And he thinks they're "pow pow pow," whatever that means.

3. "
Billionaire" taught by Professor Travie McCoy (with help from T.A. Bruno Mars aka the new love of my life)
What I Learned: When you can't understand what a person is singing, it ruins the joke they try to tell. Professor McCoy says,
"It's been a couple months that I've been single so, you can call me 'Travie Claus' minus the ho-hos. Get it?" At first I didn't "get it" because I couldn't understand the "since I've been single so" part. But, now I get it and it's not that funny. Disappointing. Oh, also, most importantly: Travie wants to be a billionaire, so freakin' bad.

4. "
Haven't Met You Yet" taught by Professor Michael Bublé
What I Learned: This is not a lesson that masters of summer radio would let me forget. Professor Bublé has yet to meet the woman of his dreams and he wants all of us to know. Too bad he doesn't know how desperate that makes him sound. Especially since homeboy recently got engaged. So, that means they should've stopped playing the song a while ago, right?? I know you agree.

5. "
California Gurls" taught by Professor Katy Perry (with help from T.A. Snoop Dogg)
What I Learned: Cal-i-forn-ia gurls are unforgettable. And really, fcking annoying. A lesson I didn't mind learning at first soon became insufferable. It was like, ok Professor Perry, I get it! California gurls wear bikini tops and daisy dukes. Now leave me alone!

These are only 5 of the many songs that became unbearable over the course of the summer. Being someone who does have some love for pop songs, I liked quite a few of these upon first listen. But then I started to hear them all the time. Others include "Alejandro" by the Gaga (that evil, evil, little woman), "Airplanes" by B.o.B., "Your Love is My Drug" by Ke$ha (haha, that looks dumb), "Find Your Love" by Drake and "Love the Way You Lie" by Eminem ft. Rihanna.

And this is what I love about summer radio. They take their 12 mildly enjoyable songs and play them over and over and over and over again, annoying us half to death until that artist releases another single (Example: "Dynamite" offered us reprieve from Taio Cruz's incessant warnings about breaking all our hearts). It's like they don't understand; your playing "Love the Way You Lie" once every half and hour does not make me like the song more. It makes me hate you (and Eminem)
a lot. I know, I know, I can change the station. The only problem with that is I run the risk of hearing "Pretty Boy Swag."


ciao, summer!

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Sunday, August 22, 2010

How Many Licks?

A 1, A 2, A 3 *CRUNCH*

This guy came out pretty adorable. More adorable then I had anticipated. I used this pattern for the basic body, and the rest I improvised. I'm so happy with this, and my friend seemed to enjoy it too.
Also I made this 4 months ago. Bit late, ain't I? But you know, camera phones are hard.
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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Top 5 Best Worst Degrassi Couples

Welcome, my friends, to the final Degrassi Top 5. For the time being, of course, because really, I could do these all day. Hm...that's a thought...
Anyway, on to the best worst couples on Degrassi. These are the couples that are either so bad or so meh that I can do nothing but smile, laugh or shake my head in amused shame. Usually all three. Each couple is the best worst in their own special way so I'm sure you'll enjoy this one. Alright kiddos, let's do this.

5. Trick (Terri and Rick)

     I don't know if Trick is the proper way to refer to the Terri and Rick pairing but, I'm under the impression that no one cared enough to give them a name. I think it fits though because Rick tricked Terri into thinking he was a sane person. HAHAHAHA....

     Anyways, Terri and Rick weren't really that fascinating. But they were good because they brought us a new Degrassi "Issue of the Week" in a pretty decent fashion. The relationship development was a little fast (this was when Degrassi writers still pretended they knew the meaning of "development") but they made up for it by bringing Rick back to try and kill Terri with a boulder. And to give birth to Wheelchair Jimmy. So yay! Degrassi writers for a well-used and well-crafted recurring character.
     Trick was also good because it gave Hazel something to do (I think?). Hazel only had something to do when it came to being Paige's "yes" lady, kissing on Jimmy or telling people they've been abused. Well, there was the one time Hazel pretended to be Jamaican but, who cares? We've already established no one cares about Hazel. Trick also gave Terri something to do. Before Rick, she was just the fat chick whose mom died (Geez. She told that damn "My mom died" story all the time. Ok, Terri! We get it - your mom died). Like Hazel, the writers figured the only way to make Terri interesting was to put her in a relationship. At least they got it right with Terri and brought the drama.

     On the other side, Terri + Rick were bad for one obvious reason: beating on your girlfriend ain't nice. It's also not nice to be a psycho control freak and bash said girlfriend's head open with rocks. Ok, he didn't bash her with a rock, per se. But he put her in a coma, for God's sake! Not cute. Terri and Rick were also bad for other less obvious reasons: the chick that played Terri was a less-than-stellar actress and her beau, the dude that played Rick, was annoying to look at. I would have preferred if Rick was hot-creepy instead of plain, old creepy. 
     Even though their acting was sub-par and their "love" was kinda gross, Trick was a chance for the Degrassi writers to show the big girls some love...Even if that love consisted of sticking her with a psycho weirdo, putting her in a coma, then booting her off of the Degrassi island.

Close your legs, Terri. That's not very lady-like.
Wait. Damn. That's harsh. Even Hazel got a better send-off then that.

4. Jashley 2.0 (Jimmy and Ashley)
     Ah, Jashley. Jashley was our first taste of a Degrassi power couple until Spaige came along and showed us how it was really done. Anyway, Jashley 2.0 is the Season 5 finale resurrection of the once-dead relationship. (I'm ignoring their brief resurrection in Season 2)
     Jashley was golden for one main reason: the mega-bitch that is Ashley Kerwin made her triumphant return. All hail Ashley!  I think that Paige and Emma duke it out, in the minds of the fans that is, for the title of Degrassi's Original Bitch (correct me if I'm wrong). I have to give the crown to Ashley though because I think she deserves it. She initially showed us this during her original stint on Degrassi in it's first four seasons. She was being nice for a while when she returned and I was kinda sad. But then! Then, the real Ashley returned for that one Season 6 episode where Ashley deletes Jimmy's rap off their demo track because she is jealous of Wheelchair Jimmy's supa fly, hip-hop flow

     So, the only reason Jashley wins is because it brought back bitchy Ashley who was the only character, besides Paige, of course, who was brave enough to embrace the bitchiness, caress the bitchiness and love the bitchiness.
     Also, if you've ever wanted to see Ashley in her bra and panties, then this is the relationship for you. Oh! And if you wanted to see Jimmy's boner you'd like Jashley 2.0. I mean, we saw Spinner's so, why not?

*mwah* There! Now we both still have a reason to be on the show.
         But, overall, Jashley is a major fail. This was Degrassi just throwing people together AS USUAL. First, Jimmy gets his heart broken by Ellie (HAHAHAHAHAHA!). (I love Jimmy but relationship-wise he always gets the short stick. Having a crush on Ellie? I think the wheel chair straps were squeezing his legs to tight and cutting off blood to his brain.) Then Ashley, fresh off of a plane from London, is all, "I love you, Jimmy!" It was so weird and so incredibly random that no one genuinely questioned it because we weren't sure what we had just seen. Us: "Wait. Did Ashley just kiss Jimmy? When was the last time they even talked? Huhhhh? Oh well." Basically Jashley 2.0 is the first indication that Degrassi writers were about to give up. (Spoiler alert: they give up somewhere around the middle of Season 7).

"Uhh...why did you just do that?"
   I really think the writers just felt bad for leading us (and Jimmy) on with the whole fake-me-out Ellie romance so they just stuck him with someone familiar. A convenient someone who had yet to graduate because she was too busy being bitchy in London: "I'm not American. I'm Canadian, dumb ass!...HOCKEY!"

3. Patt (Paige and Matt, aka. Mr. O)

Watch the horn, dude.
     Another made up 'ship name from yours truly. As you can tell by their being on this list, I'm not too wild about Paige and Mr. O. However, one of the winning points of this pairing though is the funness (that's a word) of a secret, elicit, romance. Besides Craig screwing Manny on the side, this was the first secret, Degrassi relationship. It was fun watching Paige and Mr. O try to avoid anyone finding out they were making out in closets and eating lemon squares in the park. Also, Patt gave us two of Degrassi's finer moments: 1) The Manny and Paige GIRL FIGHT. (Although it was pretty lame compared to Emma and Alex's throwdown) and 2) "You're dumping me? And giving me drugs?" So delightfully bad and soo very LOL-worthy.
      On the bad side, Mr. O was kinda gross. I'm guessing he was half-rhino or half-unicorn because, for some odd reason, he was sprouting a horn of some sort right in the middle of his forehead. He never completely transformed and of this I am deeply saddened because I was always hoping Mr. O would transform into a pretty unicorn and gallop away with Marco on his back into the Land of Fantastical Rainbows. Ok, I never really hoped for this. But now, thinking back on it, it would've been a much more fitting send off for them, right?
     More bad: Paige and Mr.O's epically lame break-up. (See the above "dumping and giving me drugs" quote.) I mean, it didn't make any sense. "Yeah, sorry Paige. I'm gonna go be a teacher in the Yukon. But here, have some weed to remember me by. See ya later!" I know they were just trying to get him outta the way so they could pave the way for Palex but, come on now, there are much better ways to do it.

"Man...I wish Marco was here."

2. Jiberty (JT and Liberty)
JT makes out with a bowl of oatmeal
     I just can't get into the Liberty and JT pairing mostly because I thought they were kinda...nasty. Why "nasty"? Well, because of Liberty, of course. As any Degrassi fan knows, Liberty crushed on JT since forever. But it was always annoying, never cute. You got the impression that you would never see the two of them together because Liberty was constantly butthurt over something while JT was the resident joker and free-spirit. Not a good combo in my book. So it was weird when the writers suddenly decided JT should return those feelings. I mean, I don't hate Liberty as much as some people do; she was much more bearable in her last couple of seasons. But her and JT? No, I didn't buy it.(I also didn't buy that JT would pick Liberty over smokin' hot, meatball sub, Mia. But then Pia came along and I'm now sure, more then ever, that JT was smarter than he looked.)
     But it wasn't just Liberty. Their "chemistry" was kind of nasty too. It was just gross watching them make out with each other and be all lovey dovey. Not as gross as the nightmarish Liberty and Toby kiss we were forced to endure (*shudder*) but almost just as bad. Their dialogue always came off as extra corny (JT started talking very strangely when he got with Liberty). I never really bought that JT would all of sudden be into Liberty as much as I could buy her still pinning after him for all those years. There was just nothing sexy about their tragic, young love and I like my tragic love sexy, dammit!

Oh lordy...
     Despite all that, we did get our second pregnancy thanks to Jiberty. Before Degrassi writers got bored and just started re-writing their characters and storylines (we all know Clare, Alli, Connor and KC were a lame attempt to recreate the Fantastic Foursome/sometimes Fivesome of Emma, Manny, JT, Toby and Sean), they seemed to actually be able to recreate some themes without it seeming super redundant. Liberty's pregnancy was completely different from Manny's. First of all, she wasn't a piece on the side. Secondly, she decided to give the baby up for adoption. Thirdly, JT played a much bigger baby-daddy role then Craig did and brought drama of his own to the drama party. And lastly, Liberty's pregnancy was completely unexpected. Liberty was supposed to be Ms. Responsible so it was interesting seeing what she went through. Anyways, I say kudos to Degrassi for a job well decently done.

1. Parcy (Peter and Darcy)

Manny struggles to hold back the puke as she witnesses "true love"
     Aw man, words cannot begin to describe my love for the pairing of Peter and Darcy. They were Degrassi's own Romeo + Juliet. The most epic of Degrassi couples since the beginning of Degrassi time. The height of all Degrassi love, sacrifice and heartfelt sorrow. The master Degrassi combo of creeper-ness and fantastical weaves. Parcy: the very best worst Degrassi couple ever.
     As you might have gathered, I'm very fond of Parcy. They epitomize what a Degrassi best worst couple should be. While you shake your head at their lame, contrived drama, the annoying antics they get up to and their extremely bad dialogue, you continue to giggle in sheer delight every time they grace the screen and you think to yourself, "Gee, I hope this never ends!" Unfortunately, it always does. :'(
     So what's so bad about Parcy? Well, every thing that's good.

Secret lovers caught in their passionate tryst.
   Darcy was further proof that Degrassi girls are dumb as rocks. After Peter lies to her constantly and almost gets her raped by a Kevin Smith look-a-like, Darcy decides she's madly in love with Mr. Stone and that their destined for eternal love. Only at Degrassi. Then the DRAMA commenced. I could be good here and look up why it is that Peter and Darcy decided they just couldn't be together in public, but I'm too lazy. Also, I suspect it was some strange delusion of theirs that made them think that way anyway. But, off the top of my head, I think it had something to do with Peter being in trouble with his mommmy and not being allowed to kiss on girls.After they solved that non-dilemma, Peter and Darcy were left to prance through Degrassi halls whining at each other and being stupid.
     Kinda like Pia, the worst part of the Darcy + Peter equation was the annoying chick involved: Darcy. Miss high and mighty. (And somehow Spirit Squad captain even though Manny had been there much longer.) Darcy was one of the most annoying Degrassi characters ever and even though she sorta mellowed out when she was with Pete, she still made me want to punch her in the weave. Wait, no, not the weave; I love her Raggedy Anne weave. Don't get me wrong though, Darcy was one of those classic "love to hate her" characters for me so I was a bit sad when she left. But only a bit!
     On a (rare) serious note, one good thing about Parcy was how they factored in to Darcy's rape storyline - one of the saving grace's of season 7, IMO. Peter did a good job being the supportive boyfriend so, for most of season 7, you forgot that Parcy was a dumb couple and actually rooted for them to make things work.
     The best part of Parcy, though, was how incredibly contrived they were and the humour that ensued from such a fact. I already mentioned the stupid way they got together. But also stupid was the fact that the two of them had absolutely nothing in common. It wasn't even like Liberty and JT who had been (sorta) friends for a while or Sean and Emma who just worked because they just did. I mean, the dude almost set a sexual predator on her and she forgets after a couple of weeks. Once they got together though, Degrassi really took it to another level with their lame and hilarious dialogue. Feast your eyes on these gems (exclamations added for increased dramatic effect):

~Darcy: " are my prince!"

~Peter: They're sending me away! I've got nothing to lose except you! 
   Darcy: Peter - you got me!"

~Darcy: Your mom can't keep us apart, Peter! I believe that love conquers all!"

     I mean, these are really bad but, they're exactly why I love Parcy. We have delusional writers thinking their fans are dumb enough to fall for the intense, whirlwind "romance" between two delusional characters and that combination creates some of the best of the worst Degrassi coupledom ever.
Ah, young, delusional love.


P.S. - Question: I'm curious. Who do you think is Degrassi's Original Bitch?
P.P.S. - I'm gonna take a break from Degrassi Top 5s for now but there will be more in the future. :)

They grow up so fast.

Most pictures are actually mine! Aren't you proud of me? "Parcy" pictures courtesy of Boycott the Caf and the Degrassi website. No copyright infringement intended. 
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Friday, July 30, 2010

Why I Love...

...Avatar: The Last Airbender!

Even though the ratio of decent:crappy tv on Nick is dangerously close to Disney's, Nickelodeon has it's few advantages that tip them over the edge. I've already discussed one earlier (iCarly) and now it's time to give some love to another one - Avatar: The Last Airbender. With kids' television in the shitter, it's shows like Avatar that give me hope for the young ones today.

First, what I love about Avatar is that it's not another kids' show about singing/dancing little morons who want to be famous. In fact, the Avatar world is pretty awesome. For those of you who don't know, in the Avatar universe, some people (called "benders") have the ability to manipulate the elements (fire, earth, air & water). The Avatar, who is supposed to keep the peace between the four nations, is the only one capable of bending all four elements. Avatar tells the story of a young airbender, avatar Aang, and his mission to master fire, earth and water so he can defeat the evil firelord. At its most basic, it's a pretty standard hero/villain storyline but, the bending & avatar lore mixed in with real Asian cultural influences makes for a very compelling story. (Plus, bending the elements? You know that's cool - don't lie.)

Another great part of Avatar are the characters; especially Aang. Aang has to be one of the most optimistic Chosen Ones I've ever seen. It doesn't take long for him to stop lamenting the fact that he's the Avatar and take full responsibility for his Avatar duties. He's no Buffy or Harry; constantly whining about how tough it is to be Chosen and how sad it is they aren't normal. (Whiny bitches...) Aang's a kid that still likes to have fun and that attitude makes the show a lot more accessible (and a lot less depressing than it has the potential to be). Plus he's freakin' adorable! Also great are Sokka and our favorite little scarred baddie, Zuko (Rufio! Rufio!).*

One of the best elements of the show, though, is the amount of effort the creators put into researching various cultures (mostly Asian) and incorporating them in the show. In fact, I learned something interesting from Avatar. The way they choose the Avatar in the show is based off of the selection of the Dalai Lama. Like the Dalai Lama, the avatar is a reincarnation. They choose the Avatar (and the Dalai Lama) by giving various toys to a group of children. Whichever child chooses the same toys that Avatar has chosen in a past life determines his or her status as the Avatar (Dalai Lama).
Avatar draws from various other Asian traditions, including Buddhism, Hinduism and general Japanese and Chinese culture. There are even elements of Inuit culture in Sokka and Katara's water tribe. Also (I'm almost done nerding out here), the bending styles and weapons used in the show are based on varying styles of martial arts. I find it really admirable that the show's creators and team would put so much effort into a "kids' show."

However, what's most cool about Avatar has to be the ample amounts of kid-friendly, badassery. First, our resident BAMF Aang who is, for sure, a master of airbending. Going hand-in-hand with his epic airbending skills are his BAMF tats. Yes, 12 year old (technically 112 but, whatevs) Aang has got himself some nice arrow tattoos that get all glowy when he goes into ultimate-BAMF mode, aka The Avatar State. Also, there's Katara, who, once she masters it, goes hard with the waterbending. Then there's Sokka who, although he's lacking in the bending department, can definitely hold his own. Also laden with BAMF tendencies is Toph, the little blind earthbending prodigy who'll give you a boulder to the head if you look at her wrong. Wait...
Anyway, the bad guys are pretty cool too (Zuko, Azula, Uncle Iroh, etc) but I've used BAMF enough so I'm just gonna move on.**

As for the movie, well, I haven't seen it yet but I heard M. Night took a big poo-poo on it so I think I'll just away from that one for a bit. At least we have some great source material to fall back on. For what could've been a lame anime knock-off, Avatar's done a great job creating interesting storylines and epically cool characters. Probably the greatest part about it is that you don't have to be embarrassed to enjoy it if you happen to be over the age of 12.

Not that I would be embarrassed because, I mean, I have no shame. *shrug*


**Almost forgot the ultimate bad ass: APPA.

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Friday, June 25, 2010

Why I Love...

... Michael Jackson's Off the Wall!

I feel bad for Off the Wall. Off the Wall is like the neglected younger sibling of Michael Jackson's (adult era) solo album family. Thriller is the annoyingly lovable eldest brother who everybody knows and adores. Bad is the cool, chill older brother who gets laid every weekend. HIStory is the moody, angry brother who you like sometimes but hate others., I don't have any clever family metaphors for Dangerous or Invincible but that's ok because I think you get the idea. Invincible aside, I think Off the Wall is one of Mike's most forgotten solo works. Which is a shame because I think it's one of his finest pieces.

Maybe I shouldn't say forgotten: Of course, no one can forget "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" and "Rock With You" but, most casual fans wouldn't be familiar with the other ear morsels (!) that the album has to offer.

Nugget of Knowledge: Off the Wall may be the first in the mind of some but, it is actually MJ's fifth solo studio album. (His first four solo albums were released under the Motown label back in the day.)

This little nugget of knowledge brings me to my first point of love: Off the Wall was when we got to see Mikey forreals. At this point in time, his creativity was no longer being confined by Berry Gordy & Co. Although Mike and his brothers had left Motown a while ago and had had more say in their music for some time, audiences could now enjoy MJ's freedom without having to expend extra effort trying to ignore his brothers in the background. (Except for Jackie who was, and still is, hot. And Marlon who was, and still is, ROCKIN' that mustache.) OtW was the first indication that Michael Jackson was not to be a child star that would fade into oblivion. He had [song]writing and composing chops in addition to his already proven singing chops. And he was serious about the music business - Off the Wall was MJ's first solo assault on the music industry. It should be renamed I'm HERE: You Bitches Best Get Used to Me.

Off the Wall was also a good plot foreshadowing of the happier times in the life of Michael Joesph Jackson, especially his musical success. It happened to be the first collaboration between him and Quincy Jones, a power duo that would churn out the subsequent mega-albums Thriller and Bad. It was also the first combination of MJ and British singer/songwriter, Rod Temperton. Rod wrote "Rock with You" for Off the Wall and would later go on to write the song "Thriller." OtW was a nice precursor to Thriller. It laid the groundwork for the collaborations that would bring Mikey big time success.

What I love most about Off the Wall though, is that we get young, happy Michael Jackson. The album was released in August of 1979, a couple weeks before his 21st birthday. I'm not sure how far back in history you have to go to find a carefree MJ, but I think if you stop at 1979 then you probably don't need to bother to go back much further. Yes, Mike was probably one of the most popular people in the world by then and yes, he was probably already a bit jaded by fame. But I don't think you ever again see the confident, carefree, happy Micheal that you see on Off the Wall; not musically at least. Michael Jackson was definitely an artist who could tell his audience where he was at with his music so you can tell there's a difference between Off the Wall-MJ and Thriller-MJ, a mere 3 years down the line.

A nice example of young, carefree, fraking adorable Michael Jackson (bow-tie!):

Besides all the implications of the album, the music itself is what really rocks my boat. Besides being a nice wrap-up to the disco era, Off the Wall is also pretty damn timeless. "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough," written and composed by Mike himself, is an absolute masterpiece. (Really, DSTYGE is saturated in awesome.) "Off the Wall" is a really fun and light "just chilax" tune. "Workin' Day and Night" has to be one of the happiest laments of a whipped boy who ain't gettin' any AND it's funky to boot.* And the unbridled joy of "Get on the Floor" (in addition to that killer bass line) makes it one of my favorite new MJ discoveries.

If you haven't heard the other stuff on Off the Wall than I highly suggest you hop on over to Wikipedia, look up them songs and then get your butt over to YouTube because you're seriously missing out.**

RIP Michael Jackson!

*I promise I will never use the phrase "to boot" ever again
**Also, I'd highly suggest the special edition of Off the Wall. It has some fun interviews with Quincy Jones and Rod Temperton. It also has two demos ("Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" & "Workin' Day and Night") featuring Janet & Randy banter and MJ's obnoxious/endearing laugh.
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