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Film

The Phantom of the Opera (2004)

“Man, this is the best Slayer video ever.”

The Raven (2012)

“How do you fuck up having Luke Evans shirtless in your movie?”

Television

Sailor Moon, “Juban Holiday: The Carefree Princess”

Sailor Moon does Roman Holiday.

Sailor Moon, “Destined Partners? Makoto's Innocence”

Fish’s Eye gets distracted by a beauty pageant and Makoto and Ami dance (like, complete with Dirty Dancing lift) at a dance known for generating couples.

Saturday Night Live, “Miley Cyrus”

Well, hey there, friends! I have missed this show, its cast, and its uneven quality. Cyrus does able work and interesting songs—although for the love of God, please stop appropriating dreads—and it’s a good way to ease back into the show.

Project Progress

Parks and Recreation: 0% (0/7)
Sailor Moon: 23.1% (3/13)
Saturday Night Live: 20% (8/40)
Star Trek: 32.5% (13/40)

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Fanfiction

Hannibal, Hannibal/Will, “There’s a Hole at the Bottom of the Sea” by longwhitecoats

Soft and beautiful and just sharp enough. Hannibal reads Will Dante.

Film

Ravenous (1999)

"AMERICA WAS THE WENDIGO THE WHOLE TIME!"

Television

Sailor Moon, “Believe in Love: Ami, the Kindhearted Guardian”

I would watch an entire series about Haruka and Michiru, teen detectives.

Sailor Moon, “Shadow of Destruction: the Messiah of Silence Awakens”

Ah, the old Twinrova maneuver… a few years before that game came out… huh.

Sailor Moon, “ The Coming Terror of Darkness: Struggle of the Eight Guardians”

Oh, Pluto.

Sailor Moon, “The Shining Shooting Star: Saturn and the Messiah”

That shot of Moon returning from the orb, her eyes just dead? Oh, man. Shivers.

Sailor Moon, “A New Life: Parting of the Stars of Destiny”

THIS IS SO UNNECESSARY. Also: nobody is asking enough questions about that baby.

Sailor Moon, “A Guardian’s Realization: Strength Lies Within a Pure Heart”

And Chibi-usa gets to stay! I do love how all the Guardians get Chibi-usa super personal and meaningful gifts, while Mamoru gets her… a pressed rose.

Sailor Moon, “Meeting of Destiny: The Night Pegasus Dances”

…does Fish Eye wear a puffy blue jumpsuit? And Tiger’s Eye, he is honestly wearing a pair of razor blades as earrings? Holy cow, we’ve found the worst dressed people in a nineties shoujo anime.

Saturday Night Live, “Art Garfunkel/Stephen Bishop”

Art Garfunkel’s eyes lack empathy.

Project Progress

Parks and Recreation: 0% (0/7)
Sailor Moon: 23.1% (3/13)
Saturday Night Live: 20% (8/40)
Star Trek: 32.5% (13/40)

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Film

Man From U.N.C.L.E. (2015)

SURPRISINGLY GOOD. Slick, sleek, and gorgeous, although the third act gets wobbly and the film kind of forgets that Gaby is amazing. (And she is.) But that scene where Gaby and Illya go from hating each other to almost making out? Is so perfect. Lots of fun and nothing that made me want to rip my teeth out.

Television

Hannibal, “...And The Beast From The Sea”

Molly escaping Dolarhyde: SO TENSE, SO WELL ACTED. I mean, I know Nina Arianda is a very good actress and that her chemistry with Dancy is off the charts (they were in a production of Venus in Fur together), but SHE IS SO GREAT. And that hospital scene is also SO GREAT. Ugh, everything is going to hell and Hannibal is doing everything he can to sow chaos and fuck up Will enough so that he’ll come back to him.

Saturday Night Live, “Steve Martin/The Dirt Band”

Jane Curtin as a distaff Fenstrunk is delightful and I never thought I’d love the Coneheads so much. Also, the Dirt Band is compromised of wizards.

Project Progress

Parks and Recreation: 0% (0/7)
Sailor Moon: 15.4% (2/13)
Saturday Night Live: 20% (8/40)
Star Trek: 32.5% (13/40)

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Film

Trainwreck (2015)

I don’t think Amy Schumer punches hard enough for me.

Project Progress

Parks and Recreation: 0% (0/7)
Sailor Moon: 15.4% (2/13)
Saturday Night Live: 20% (8/40)
Star Trek: 32.5% (13/40)

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Film

Magic Mike XXL (2015)

Everything about this movie is amazing, from how it has no plot to the fact that its plot is secretly just about loudly vocalizing its thoughts on female desire and new masculinity.

Top Gun (1986)

Toxic masculinity the movie. Woof. Val Kilmer remains beautiful in this film, though.

Television

Project Progress

Parks and Recreation: 0% (0/7)
Sailor Moon: 15.4% (2/13)
Saturday Night Live: 20% (8/40)
Star Trek: 32.5% (13/40)

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Film

Spy (2015)

Ugh. We could have had it all, but Spy mostly only parodies what it should be satirizing. Still, we do get to see a woman of size kicking considerable ass, and Jason Statham’s utterly bonkers Agent Rick Ford is a magnificent comedic creation.

Television

30 Rock, “Goodbye, my Friend”

Have I mentioned I love Liz being a terrible person and then trying not to be a terrible person? Because I do.

30 Rock, “The Funcooker”

Liz strikes fear into the heart of her workers.

30 Rock, “The Bubble”

I really love that the Dr. Baird storyline ends with him being so sheltered by his looks that he can’t function. (Although I have never found John Hamm that attractive? He’s deeply charismatic and certainly objectively symmetrical, but he doesn’t do it for me. Different strokes, etc.)

30 Rock, “Apollo, Apollo”

Jack getting so excited he throws up? Awwww, Jack. I do really love that, beneath his dapper and shark-like persona, he can get back in touch with his inner child.

30 Rock, “Cutbacks”

Every joke about Kenneth being secretly crazy old? Great. GREAT.

30 Rock, “Jackie Jormp-Jomp”

“Liz accidentally joins a Sex and the City Fight Club” is a great premise for an episode, even if we didn’t have Jenna faking and then not-faking her own death.

30 Rock, “The Ones”

This is such a great conclusion to the Elisa arc; we have to get rid of her, because Hayek has films to do, but Elisa and Jack have crazy chemistry! Also includes the infamous “Night Cheese” joke.

Sailor Moon, “The Death of Uranus and Neptune: The Talisman Appears”

Haruka and Michiru doing coupley stuff: always great. Haruka and Michiru owning a helicopter? YOU ARE SEVENTEEN CALM DOWN YOU’RE PRACTICALLY MAKING SAPPHISM A SUPERPOWER AT THIS POINT. But yeah, this episode is really heartwrenching, because it shows that they can’t sacrifice each other for the talismans; even Michiru, the one who has always been willing to take a life to save the world, can’t let Haruka die.

Sailor Moon, “The Holly Grail's Mystical Power: Moon’s Double Transformation”

Haruka and Michiru are restored to life—THANK GOD—by the arrival of Setsuna, while Usagi gets her third evolution.

Also, THE PROFESSOR IS HOTARU’S DAD? THIS IS SO WRONG THIS IS SO MESSED UP

Saturday Night Live, “Julian Bond/Tom Waits/Brick”

The show shows its hand in race, from managing to conclude a Black Perspectives sketch that starts off with interrogating racist IQ tests with pure colorism to just having Murray, Belushi, and Akyroyd playing black men. The only positive thing that can be said about that is that it’s not blackface, but also Brick was performing and could have subbed in?

Saturday Night Live, “Elliott Gould/The McGarrigle Sisters”

Gould is so good at hosting and more vaudevillian comedy. Whatta guy.

Project Progress

30 Rock: 28.8% (2/7)
Sailor Moon: 15.4% (2/13)
Saturday Night Live: 17.5% (7/40)
Star Trek: 32.5% (13/40)

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Books

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

“Does this thing spark joy?” And now my closet has been reduced by half.

Film

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

A FEMINIST ACTION 80S EXPLOITATION PUNCH TO THE NOGGIN THAT WILL MAKE YOU NEED TO GO SCREAM UNDER A DOCK FOR THREE HOURS JUST TO PROCESS HOW AMAZING IT WAS.

Television

30 Rock, “MILF Island”

Imitating a tasteless reality show’s format for an episode? Ugh, I love this show.

30 Rock, “Subway Hero”

Oh, Dennis. I do really love seeing Liz struggle with how easy being with Dennis is (see the cutaway to a white-clad Liz freezing to death peacefully) and how awful of a eprson it makes her. YOU GOT THIS, LIZ.

Sailor Moon, “I Want to Quit Being a Sailor Guardian: Minako’s Dilemma”

Minako used to be a star volleyball player? Love it.

Sailor Moon, “Usagi in Tears: a Glass Slipper for My Birthday”

Tuxedo Mask is surprisingly more effective this episode.

Saturday Night Live, “Louis C.K./Rihanna”

And we click off the lights for the summer with a solid episode.

Project Progress

30 Rock: 14.3% (1/7)
Sailor Moon: 15.4% (2/13)
Saturday Night Live: 17.5% (7/40)
Star Trek: 32.5% (13/40)

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Film

The Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

Overstuffed and sloppy to be sure, but still capable of rousing character moments and one moment in particular that is… one of the best and most efficient storytelling shots I’ve ever seen in my life.

Camelot (1967)

Woof. A slavishly devoted filmic interpretation of the stage musical, which ends up largely implying that Guenevere destroyed Camelot all on her own. Franco Nero acts his HEART out, though. Damn.

Television

Saturday Night Live, “Ruth Gordon/Chuck Berry”

Gordon doesn’t live up to her promise, but Chuck Berry remains as electric as ever.

Saturday Night Live, “Fran Tarkenton/Leo Sayer”

A remarkably sweet and cohesive episode as the cast tries to make a sports star comfortable. Aww.

Project Progress
30 Rock: 14.3% (1/7)
Sailor Moon: 15.4% (2/13)
Saturday Night Live: 17.5% (7/40)
Star Trek: 32.5% (13/40)

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Film

Beautician and the Beast (1997)

“Back up, I need to hear Timothy Dalton say discotheque again.”

Television

30 Rock, “The Fighting Irish”

Molly Shannon punching Tina Fey in the face is all I have ever needed. Also, Jack giving his father and brother a three day head start out of love and sportsmanship.

30 Rock, “Fireworks”

Kenneth being willing to do anything for NBC and relating his life to NBC shows? Oh goodness. And of course there’s no fic for it. Grumble grumble.

30 Rock, “Corporate Crush”

Oh, I may never tire of the bizarro world Jack operates in.

30 Rock, “Cleveland”

Jason Sudeikis singing?! THANK YOU, SHOW. THANK YOU.

30 Rock, “Hiatus”

Elaine Stritch as Jack’s mother is everything I have ever wanted.

Project Progress

30 Rock: 14.3% (1/7)
Sailor Moon: 15.4% (2/13)
Saturday Night Live: 17.5% (7/40)
Star Trek: 32.5% (13/40)

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Film

The House of Yes (1995)

“Okay, we get it, the twins are doing it! Jesus.”

Television

30 Rock, “Black Tie”

This might be my favorite episode so far? it covers most of my favorite parts of the show: the utterly insane world of privilege Jack operates in (including his obsession with his ex-wife), Liz’s mix of unflappability, shit-stirring, and snark, Jenna’s mix of willful optimism and calculation (“we gotta boogie, gang” after murdering a prince), and… I suppose there’s some Kenneth in the B plot, which is pretty okay. Oh, and Jack and Liz’s friendship which makes me melt into a thousand hair-chewing pieces.

30 Rock, “Up All Night”

We finally meet Tracy’s wife! And Kenneth and Cherie are fun together.

30 Rock, “The C Word”

Another great episode, from Liz’s conversation about how there is no male equivalent to “cunt” and the entire B plot about Tracy pointing out the racism at the top of the industry. YES YES YES.

30 Rock, “Hard Ball”

Liz drunk on power is hilarious. I adore her friendship with Jack so, so much, and seeing her be more Jack-like (which does not work out of her) is so endearing.

30 Rock, “The Source Awards”

Wayne Brady playing the world’s most boring dude? Genius. But the episode doesn’t have much in cutting comedy re:race, save for Tracy sarcastically responding to Liz’s question of whether or not she’s racist by pointing out that he’s being put in drag for a sketch.

Saturday Night Live, “Taraji P. Henson/Mumford and Sons”

Henson is so great, and she’s poorly used in this episode. A lot of the sketches that actually involve race are written from the wrong perspective—i.e., Henson is often pulled in as a funny black person, instead of, say, “Their Own League” being from her perspective. It’s also infuriating to see Davidson used so well in a sketch that’s fundamentally about dismissing/not believing that boys can be raped by women. And yet Weekend Update was the best it’s ever been, with Che and Jost landing their own style of jokes well. No interplay as of yet, save for Jost blithely waving “hi” after a cutting joke from Che. What bizarro world is this? Seeing Kate McKinnon’s Hillary with Hammond’s Bill is kind of wonderful.

Project Progress

Sailor Moon: 15.4% (2/13)
Saturday Night Live: 17.5% (7/40)
Star Trek: 32.5% (13/40)

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Film

This is Us (2013)

Liam is such a dad, Zayn is perfect (godspeed, kiddo), Harry is a weirdo, Niall is a sweetie, and Louis is an eighteenth century child thief.

Television

Sailor Moon S, “Premonition of the Apocalypse: the Mysterious New Guardians Appear”

I’m really excited for this, because I have no idea what happens after Sailor Moon R beyond the existence of the outer Guardians. Our villains and MacGuffins for the season are established and we’re off to the races. And we’re introduced, briefly, to Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune.

Sailor Moon S, “The Rod of Love Is Born: Usagi's New Transformation”

Wait, Mako lives alone? Like Batman? Mako is nice Batman.

Star Trek: The Next Generation, “First Contact”

A fantastic twist on a first contact story, especially because there’s not an easy answer and because the Federation respects their decision. Also: the doctor who has always wanted to have sex with an alien is marvelous.

Project Progress

Sailor Moon: 15.4% (2/13)
Saturday Night Live: 17.5% (7/40)
Star Trek: 32.5% (13/40)

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Here’s a super-update to make up for the last three weeks.

Film

Wayne’s World (1992)

Warm, low-stakes, human, and honestly very sweet.

Wayne’s World 2 (1993)

And then money and a rushed script drain everything from it, although there are good character moments and lines. (“Take me now, Garth.” “Take you where? I’m low on gas and you need a jacket.”) BOO.

What We Do in the Shadows (2014)

Charmingly and unaggressively weird; I imagine this played well for me because I don’t watch many mockumentaries, so it still feels fresh.

Music

Marina and the Diamonds, Family Jewels

Simplistic but sumptuous brat pop, which I luckily love. “Shampain” is pure glory.

Television

Sailor Moon, “Rubeus the Heartless: The Tragic Sisters”

Chibi-Usa discovers that Usagi is Sailor Moon; the Spectre Sisters are finally freed. Through the power of sisterhood and friendship.

Sailor Moon, “A UFO Appears: The Sailor Guardians Abducted”

Ah, Esmeraude, my new favorite villain.

Sailor Moon, “Defeat Rubeus: The Battle in Space”

I remember hearing about those crosses getting edited out. Oh, late nineties Internet.

Sailor Moon, “The Mysterious New Guardian: Sailor Pluto Appears”

Chibi-Usa’s mom is so obviously Usagi, although people do appear to be hairblind in the world of Sailor Moon.

Sailor Moon, “Magic of Darkness: Esmeraude's Invasion”

While it’s usually played for cruel humor, I do appreciate it whenever Usagi’s appetite is brought up. She glories in it! And so does Esermaude, who is exactly the kind of petty I like in a villain. Delicious.

Saturday Night Live, “Blake Shelton”

An affable dude.

Saturday Night Live, “Elliott Gould/Leon Redbone, Harlan Collins & Joyce Everson”

“The Last Voyage of the Starship Enterprise” is one meta trip. Although I think Laraine would have given better Spock than Chevy.

Saturday Night Live, “Louise Lasser/Preservation Hall Jazz Band”

This is an incredibly uncomfortable watch.

Saturday Night Live, “Kris Kristofferson/Rita Coolidge”

“Police State” is actually a very interestingly black comedy sketch. And the fake credits are ahead of their time—I wonder how many people caught the glory of “SHEP GREMLIN”?

Saturday Night Live, “Lily Tomlin/James Taylor”

“We Asked Judith Beasley” is a lot of fun, especially anchored by one of Dan Ackroyd’s bonkers salesmen.

Saturday Night Live, “Norman Lear/Boz Scaggs”

An episode with the bare minimum of Chevy Chase? I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, where Jane Curtin is the Weekend Update anchor and nothing hurts…

Saturday Night Live, “SNL40”

Enough nostalgia and remarkably gorgeously edited montages to choke a horse, and just a little bit of that weird, strange Saturday Night Live magic. It’s best expressed through a Weekend Update segment that features Tina, Amy, and Jane (!!!) sharing the desk while funny ladies Emma Stone and Melissa McCarthy do Radner and Farley. (As well as the latest chapter in the Stefon saga, where we discover that Seth is an alcoholic and they have two kids now. IT’S THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING.) Or in the digital short, which gently ribs everyone for breaking but also remembers that it’s a reminder of how much they love each other. Awww.

Project Progress
Sailor Moon: 7.7% (1/13)
Saturday Night Live: 17.5% (7/40)
Star Trek: 32.5% (13/40)

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Film

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)

Muddy and overblown with all the weight of a bad video game cutscene, but the cast does what it can. A middling note for Jackson’s Middle-Earth to go out on.

Music

Kate Bush, The Red Shoes

Notable: “Lily” and “Big Stripey Lie.”

Television

Agent Carter, “Now Is Not The End”

IT’S THE GREATEST SHOW ON TELEVISION. It’s Peggy Carter doing awesome stuff for 44 minutes. It’s a superhero show without superpowers (mostly). It’s a show to quench the thirst of any Marvel-loving feminist.

Agent Carter, “Bridge and Tunnel”

IT’S THE GREATEST SHOW ON TELEVISION. Peggy in disguises! English people having polite fights! Jarvis gently offering his support to Peggy because she needs it! Playing with the cultural legacy of Cap! Peggy physically overpowering ANYONE! SCREAM.

Galavant, “Pilot”

A fantastic set-up, although it only sticks the landing about 80% of the time. Joshua Sasse, who plays Galavant, lacks a certain zing because he’s just so gosh darn handsome. CAMP IT UP, SASSE. Also: Karen David and Luke Youngblood and Darren Evans are fantastic.

Galavant, “Joust Friends”

80s style training montages in a medieval musical? PLEASE AND THANK YOU. The best gag, however, is Isabella “horse riding” Galavant.

Saturday Night Live, “Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Neil Sedaka”

Neil Sedaka is a robot and Peter Cook and Dudley Moore are done professionally with each other.

Project Progress

Sailor Moon: 7.7% (1/13)
Saturday Night Live: 15.3% (5/39)
Star Trek: 32.5% (13/40)

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Film

The Court Jester (1955)

The most adorable Technicolor medieval musical ever made. Filled with sparkling performances, good humor, and witty visual gags. I ADORE IT.

Television

Sailor Moon, “The Beach, the Island and a Vacation: The Guardian’s Break”

It’s nice to have an episode where there’s not really an antagonist. And Makoto just gets to show off that she’s great at everything. (“You can pilot a boat?” “I CAN DO ANYTHING!” Sailor Jupiter, my queen!) Although that dinosaur was a straight-up Lapras. WE ALL KNOW IT.

Star Trek: The Next Generation, “The Loss”

A solid episode for Deanna that also explores the role of the Ship’s Counselor, especially because Troi is the rare counselor who is an empath.

Star Trek: The Next Generation, “Data’s Day”

A day in the life of Data, so it’s a little wacky and mostly sweet. The best moment may be Data and Worf attempting to purchase wedding gifts for humans, with Worf wielding his knowledge of humans over Data and Data wielding his knowledge of social mores over Worf. ADORABLE.

Star Trek: The Next Generation, “The Wounded”

Next Gen deals with PTSD and the fallout of war. Very human of them.

Star Trek: The Next Generation, “Devil’s Due”

A lady devil comes to collect; Picard discovers that CHRISTIANITY IS A LIE BECAUSE SHE WAS PRETENDING TO BE SATAN. Kidding aside, this is a fantastic episode: the characterization is strong, Ardra is a great, funny, and engaging villain, and the conflict is self-contained. SOLID.

Star Trek: The Next Generation, “Clues”

Another fantastic self-contained episode! The conflict is solid and the xenophobic aliens are never presented as wrong—they have a right to be as private as they want. The build is slow and the structure is solid. Are we finding our stride, Next Gen?

You're Welcome America (2009)

I’m not sure where to slot this, because it’s a theater presentation shown on television, so television it is. It’s only five years old, but it’s such an artifact of that specific political climate. Ferrell is clearly aware of the power satire can have over politics, driving home Bush’s decisions as president at every turn. (Although the more surreal stories, such as Barbara Bush rescuing the Bush men from an abandoned mine, are delightful.) It’s an angry piece, and it’s so weird to see Ferrell at the end, being himself. It’s kind of spooky, actually.

Project Progress

Sailor Moon: 7.7% (1/13)
Saturday Night Live: 15.3% (5/39)
Star Trek: 32.5% (13/40)

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Film

Into The Woods (2014)

A decent film adaptation, although why on earth is it filmed so darkly? I could barely see anything. The musical is so tightly staged that abandoning physical juxtaposition of characters in separate stories hurts the film by forcing it to cut constantly, but, by and large, the performances are great. James Corden and Emily Blunt are perfect as the Baker and the Baker’s Wife, especially the way Blunt plays her infatuation with Cinderella’s Prince. (“Agony” is practically a comic set piece. It’s amazing.) The second act is largely defanged, however, and let’s never talk about how the film deals with Little Red by pointedly ignoring the sexual subtext of her story. Ugh.

Music

“Same Sex Symbol,” Cameron Esposito

“Shit was rough! I turned out amazing.” Esposito’s mix of confident swagger, homespun charm, and dim view of straight dudes makes this instantly my favorite comedy album of the year, not that I’ve listened to much.

Theater

Rock of Ages

So Rock of Ages is closing on Broadway on January 18th, which is tragic yet significant, as it is my favorite musical. (Did I say best? No. Did I say inclusive? I did not. I said my favorite.) So off I trotted to see it before it closed, but before the last two weeks. (Mitchell Jarvis, the original Broadway Lonny, will be playing Stacee Jaxx those two weeks. I had no idea!) The show remains the same: crude, camp, and unabashedly sweet.

Constantine Maroulis is amazing as Drew, which is probably why he scored that Tony nomination. Maroulis’s Drew is just really sweet, tender, tentative, and, shall we say, smokin’ hot when he finally does take action. Lauren Zakrin, who was playing Sherrie, made her a little dottier than some Sherries I’ve seen, but it works. Also: I am all about giant!Drews with tiny!Sherries. IT WORKS FOR ME. Frankie J. Grande was a great, impossibly energetic Franz, although fellow YouTuber Chester See was a low energy Stacee Jaxx. He’s fine.

I was a little bummed to see that Chris D'Arienzo’s bio specifically dismissed the film adaptation not for totally ignoring the show’s message, but because it made Dennis and Lonny make out. Don’t write dudes in love if you don’t want dudes in love, dude.

Television

Sailor Moon, “Dispute Over Love: Minako and Makoto’s Conflict”

I thought this was going to be a fight between Minako and Makoto over a boy, but it’s actually about their different love ideologies. And Minako coming around to JUST HOW AWESOME Makoto is. Seriously. I know I have my slash goggles glued to my head, but Makoto teasing Minako is just. Oh, Makoto, you baby lady lover. I adore you.

Sailor Moon, “Usagi’s Parental Love: the Curry Romance Triangle”

WE GET IT THEY’RE HER PARENTS. But awww, Rei feeling awkward about stepping in as Chibi-Usa’s “parent”. But the Sisters turning all the supermarket shoppers dark-skinned—that’s… that’s a racist thing, right? Like, they’re not green or diseased, they’re just brown.

Saturday Night Live, “Amy Adams/One Direction”

Not the heights of Jimmy Fallon’s Christmas episode, but endearingly sweet and straightforward. “Office Christmas Party” sees Pete Davidson and Jay Pharoah discovering their wickedly good chill chemistry, “The Singing Sisters” is pure wackiness, and “Cat Rescue Commercial” is always perfect.

Project Progress

Sailor Moon: 7.7% (1/13)
Saturday Night Live: 15.3% (5/39)
Star Trek: 32.5% (13/40)

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Film

Die Hard (1988)

It’s so odd to hear about the strange path this movie took to get onto the screen, because it is such an elegantly crafted action movie. A classic then, a classic now.

Television

Saturday Night Live, “Richard Pryor”

A classic episode that I’ve seen before, so I’ll only add that Shelley Pryor’s story is endearingly sweet and offbeat—just the thing for shaggy, early Saturady Night Live.

Saturday Night Live, “Candace Bergen”

It’s our first Christmas show with Candy Bergen! Adorability reigns, from top to bottom, ending with a lovely cast (and host) rendition of “Winter Wonderland.” (And guess who the only one not dressed in a matching outfit is. Ugh, Chevy Chase.)

Saturday Night Live, “James Franco/Nicki Minaj”

Oh my gosh, can Mike O’Brien just become the new Albert Brooks and contribute bizarro shorts every once in a while? And old Star Wars—an obvious joke, but one well-executed. Especially Moynihan as old Leia. Adorable.

Project Progress

Sailor Moon: 7.7% (1/13)
Saturday Night Live: 15.3% (5/39)
Star Trek: 32.5% (13/40)

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Film

The Love Punch (2013)

Catnip for Anglophiles of a certain age, but a weird little number for everyone else. At the very least, though, it does feature a beautiful rich girl who begins as a mark but ends as a friend to the main couple, through the magic of treating her like a person.

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (1987)

Y’all, I think I just don’t like John Hughes movies that aren’t Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

Television

Sailor Moon, “Is Seijuro the Moonlight Knight? Mako On Fire”

Yesss, Mako’s turn to get a power up… and make food and hit on boys while also being a Sailor Scout. And Ail and An are kind of adorable this episode, where’d they been mostly intimidating before, as they don’t understand human food.

Sailor Moon, “Steal a Kiss from Mamoru! An's Project Snow White”

Mako claims that she should be Snow White because she has the biggest breasts, which is not something I expected the show to go for. Meh?

Sailor Moon, “After-School Trouble: Usagi Is a Target”

Aww, the girls go to a movie but get interrupted by being superheroes. ADORABLE.

Sailor Moon, “Disconnecting Love: the Raging Makai Tree”

Part one of the end of this storyline.

Saturday Night Live, “Lily Tomlin”

Lovely and beloved by the cast. It’s nice to see the show just wholly showcase her because both she and they can. Also: Lily Tomlin singing with a Muppet and whispering in its ear. I DIE.

Saturday Night Live, “Cameron Diaz/Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars”

Bruno Mars, you consummate showman. And the return of Your Girls, which should be a holiday tradition.

Project Progress

Sailor Moon: 7.7% (1/13)
Saturday Night Live: 15.3% (5/39)
Star Trek: 32.5% (13/40)

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Film

Brazil (1984)

Packed wall to wall with ideas and visual imagination, per Gilliam’s standards, but it’s a little shaggy and long-winded. He doesn’t know how to tell when an idea is too small or too large, which is something we should celebrate, as it’s so rare, but it does lead to bloat. Still, a visual feast.

Interstellar (2014)

And it’s interesting that I watched Brazil and Interstellar this week, because Interstellar, despite pointedly ignoring its sf origins, is similarly packed wall to wall with ideas and visual imagination, to the point of bloat. Huh. Still, affecting, sentimental in a lovely way, and filled with wonderful performances.

Saturday Night (2010)

James Franco’s crack at a documentary is sub-film student levels—there’s a lot of black and white, slow zooms, and starting the audio from the next scene before cutting to it—but he’s using his powers for good to let us see what the famed Saturday Night Live production process is like. I know it’s covered in books like Live From New York (I just got the updated edition and will read it… um… sometime…), but seeing it is different, especially with one of my casts from high school. It’s even more hectic and strange than you think it is, and it also implies that Seth Meyers wrote “J’accuzzi” in an hour. Goodness, he’s good at his job.

Music

Kate Bush, The Sensual World

“Love and Anger” is such an amazing song—the chorus, the way the hook is barely repeated, and how it perfectly captures two people drifting apart in a weirdly positive way. Huzzah huzzah.

Project Progress

Sailor Moon: 7.7% (1/13)
Saturday Night Live: 15.3% (5/39)
Star Trek: 32.5% (13/40)

eralkfang: (Default)

Film

Blow Dry (2001)

A by-the-numbers wacky urbanites come to a working class English town fillum that’s elevated by featuring a queer protagonist whose story isn’t about being queer and is actually largely about making peace with her family. Also, Heidi Klum overplays a bit part as an evil Barbie doll, and it’s hilarious.

The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

Better paced than the first, more emotional than the first (despite the monster speaking, removing the eeriness of his face), and then there’s the Bride herself—an arresting, iconic presence in only five minutes. Holy crow.

Macgruber (2010)

A mediocre action film with occasional funny scenes. I love Will Forte, but Kristen Wiig is the best part about this movie.

Music

Kate Bush, Hounds of Love

I love Hounds of Love, but I’ve never made it past the first EP before. “Running Up That Hill” is a stone cold classic, “Hounds of Love” is theatrical gorgeousness. But this time around, “Mother Stands for Comfort” has been sticking with me.

Television

Sailor Moon, “Mamoru and Usagi’s Babysitting Mayhem”

I kind of love that, despite the cats despairing of Usagi’s interest in having her one true love regain his memories, the other Guardians are all over it (except maybe Rei? I don’t recall her teasing Usagi in this episode). Sailor Mercury gets her power up for no real reason.

Sailor Moon, “The School Festival Is for Me?! Queen Rei’s Song”

But Sailor Mars gets her power up for a really awesome reason—namely, that, while she will never admit it, she works really hard, and if a monster is going to destroy her work, she will destroy that monster. I also love that Rei is hero-worshipped at her school. It puts her “bossiness” in another light. And then the episode ends with an affirmation of her friendship with Usagi! This is a great Sailor Mars episode.

Saturday Night Live, “Candice Bergen/Esther Phillips”

Candice! She’s so lovely on the show and off, to the point that I think she’s the only two-time guest in the first season. Adorable. Widely considered the beginning of Saturday Night Live because this episode introduces so many hallmarks. (Assignment: forty episodes of Saturday Night Live, one a season, that encapsulates the season. This could be it for season one.) That Catherine Deneuve sketch is still so funny.

Saturday Night Live, “Robert Klein/ABBA, Loudon Wainwright III”

Utterly unknown to me actor/comedian Klein meshes very well with the cast here. “Tough Director” is a hard sketch to watch. But Gilda’s “Firefighter” sketch is amazing.

Project Progress

Sailor Moon: 7.7% (1/13)
Saturday Night Live: 15.3% (5/39)
Star Trek: 32.5% (13/40)

eralkfang: (Default)

Film

Ghostbusters (1984)

I love the eighties. I love Saturday Night Live. I love sf. You’d think this would be a slam dunk… but there are just pieces here and there that I like, because young asshole Bill Murray’s charisma has no access point for me and actively repels me at times (see: trying to get Dana to agree to a date by being an awful human being). But Ray, Egon, and Winston are darlings. I’m interested to see what the all-lady reboot will do with it.

Nosferatu (1922)

Silent films are best appreciated with live accompaniment and a live audience. It’s certainly aged, but it’s fascinating from a historical perspective, and the deathship sequence is still terrifying. And, of course, Max Schreck’s Nosferatu is an amazing creation.

Shadow of the Vampire (2000)

To the point that a biopic positing he was actually a vampire exists. Shadow of the Vampire doesn’t have the budget to execute its dreams, but when it does, in fits and spurts, it’s amazing—creepy, bitingly funny, and sharp. Willem Dafoe is astonishing as Schreck.

Music

Haim, Days Are Gone

I’ve been listened to this a lot lately. I have trouble with music sometimes, because I can’t quite grok albums versus singles—there needs to be a balance between the consistent atmosphere of an album and tracks that have their own merits. Haim does that on this album. So my top three favorite albums at the moment are Night Work, Ta-Dah, and Days are Gone. Yeah. That’s the ticket.

Television

Sailor Moon, “Moon Returns: The Mysterious Aliens Appear”

I actually remember this arc from childhood! All I really remember is Ail, An, and the parking garage they live in, but that’s delightful. I do have a history with this show!

Sailor Moon, “For Love and for Justice: Sailor Guardians Once Again”

Here’s why Sailor Mars and Sailor Jupiter are great: even without superpowers or the knowledge that they possess superpowers, they will still beat the crap out of monsters.

Sailor Moon, “For Whom Is the White Rose? The Moonlight Knight Appears”

So he’s Mamoru?

Sailor Moon, “Usagi’s Crisis: The Tiara Stops Working”

So he’s not Mamoru. Is he Mamoru from the future? This is my first unanswered question in the show, and I am excited to learn the answer.

Saturday Night Live, "Jim Carrey/Iggy Azalea"

Carrey is such an engaged performer that it's always great to see him on the show. 

Star Trek: The Next Generation, “Reunion”

No, K'Ehlyr! You were so wonderful…

Star Trek: The Next Generation, “Future Imperfect”

Has The Next Generation done a hideously powerful alien storyline yet? They must have, four seasons in, but this feels a little more like a The Original Series episode—which makes sense, because Riker is Kirk for a new generation. Love the double twist.

Star Trek: The Next Generation, “Final Mission”

Wait, Wesley leaves? I only get to give him guff in five more episodes in the whole series? This was the last time I used my awful Picard impression to make fun of him?

Well, goodbye, sweet prince. Try not to let your science experiments eat the Academy.

Project Progress

Sailor Moon: 7.7% (1/13)
Saturday Night Live: 15.3% (5/39)
Star Trek: 32.5% (13/40)

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Eralk Fang

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