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Music

Electric Six, I Shall Exterminate Everything Around Me That Restricts Me From Being The Master

It’s been such a rough week that I forgot I listened to this.

Project Progress

Parks and Recreation: 0% (0/7)
Sailor Moon: 23.1% (3/13)
Saturday Night Live: 22.5% (9/40)
Star Trek: 32.5% (13/40)

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Music

Electric Six, Señor Smoke

An album that makes the refrain of “Backstreet’s back, alright” poignant and tragic. WIZARDS.

Television

Star Wars: The Clone Wars, “Innocents of Ryloth,” “Liberty on Ryloth,” and “Hostage Crisis”

Anakin and Padmé are in perfect idiot form in “Hostage Crisis”, from Anakin making it really clear he is WAY MORE into her than she him to Anakin giving her his lightsaber to prove his love to Bail Organa wondering why Padmé has a Jedi lightsaber and Padmé being like “IT DOESN’T MATTER.”

Project Progress

Parks and Recreation: 0% (0/7)
Sailor Moon: 23.1% (3/13)
Saturday Night Live: 22.5% (9/40)
Star Trek: 32.5% (13/40)

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Music

The Bangles, All Over The Place, Different Light, and Everything

“In Your Room” is so adorable.

Crystal Castles, Crystal Castles

I meant to get through all of Crystal Castles’ discography, but the second album is too clashy for me. But “Crimewave” sounds perfectly elegant to me: a nightmare of a video game soundtrack, played in the dark, digital light flickering over you.

Electric Six, Switzerland and Fire

I usually try to listen to discographies in order, but this playlist got messed up. “Night Vision,” “Rubber Rocket,” “Infected Girls,” and “Slices of You” are all great, like The Ark but darker. I was surprised to find that Electric Six is American—I’ve always enjoyed their weird, seemingly secondhand English lyrics.

Oh, and “Danger! High Voltage” is a goddamn classic.

Television

Saturday Night Live, "Russell Crowe/Margo Price"

Unbearably dull. 

Star Wars: The Clone Wars
, “The Hidden Enemy”, “Blue Shadow Virus”, “Mystery of the Thousand Moons”, and “Storm Over Ryloth”

“Anakin, you have to let me die.”

“NOT AN OPTION.”

Ugh, Anakin and Padmé are going to be the death of me, I love those morons.

Project Progress

Parks and Recreation: 0% (0/7)
Sailor Moon: 23.1% (3/13)
Saturday Night Live: 22.5% (9/40)
Star Trek: 32.5% (13/40)

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Film

Funny Or Die Presents Donald Trump's The Art Of The Deal: The Movie

I just super-needed something silly and dumb this week, and this fit the bill. Depp does great weird comedy, so it’s nice to see him apply himself to this. Also, that theme song is great.

Music

Selena Gomez, Revival

I accidentally listened to this entire album on Spotify, and it’s really… good? Like, very minimal, very coherent, and very her. “Hands To Myself” is pretty fun.

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

Humpday (2009)

Well-executed… but very much navel-gazing white dude indie shenanigans.

Music

AWOL Nation, Megalithic Symphony

Hostile and earnest in equal measure, which certainly appeals to me. Stand outs: “All I Need,” “People,” “Jump on my Shoulders”, and “Wake Up.”

AWOL Nation, Run

Second verse, similar to the first, but more scattered on the edges. “Hollow Moon” is obviously the purest and most danceable distillation of this attitude, but “Woman Woman,” an otherwise lovely song about loving someone, is still dotted with melancholy and promises of a better future.

Television

Agent Carter, “Better Angels”

How is this show so aggressively good? Like. Criticizing it only makes the showrunners thoughtfully reevaluate and organically tool it to be better. All the characters are interesting (or have interesting hooks, like Jack, who is trying to do the right thing—in the power structure that rewards men like him because I’m assuming daddy issues), the dialogue is snappy and great, Dr. Wilkes and Peggy are amazing together, and somebody eats a Sklar brother. The hits just keep on coming.

Saturday Night Live, "Rhonda Rousey/Selena Gomez"

This happened, I guess?

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

The Princess Diaries (2001)

“Lilly, you are a terrible friend!”

Music

Asia, Aqua

“Crimes of the Heart” feels like the platonic ideal of soft rock anthem about crying over a girl. I like it.

Asia, Phoenix, XXX, Gravitas

…I definitely listened to these this week.

Television

Agent Carter, “The Lady in the Lake”

The greatest show on television is back and they actually listened to the fans when they said they wanted more diversity!

Agent Carter, “A View in the Dark”

I love Peggy and Violet being instant friends (because I’m so sick of women competing against each other for dudes); I think Wendy is going to be a really fascinating villain; and Dr. Wilkes is awesome. And ugh, Peggy and Jarvis’ perfect banter.

Saturday Night Live, “Adam Driver/Chris Stapleton”

…well, I guess I’m on the Adam Driver train now.

Star Trek: The Next Generation, “The Drumhead”

A politically very interesting episode, with Admiral Norah Satie using a saboteur onboard the Enterprise to further her xenophobic goals. Jean Simmons crushes it.

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

The Princess Diaries (2001)

“Lilly, you are a terrible friend!”

Music

Asia, Aqua

“Crimes of the Heart” feels like the platonic ideal of soft rock anthem about crying over a girl. I like it.

Television

Star Trek: The Next Generation, “The Drumhead”

A politically very interesting episode, with Admiral Norah Satie using a saboteur onboard the Enterprise to further her xenophobic goals. Jean Simmons crushes it.

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

Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Finn/Poe, “one hell of a mess” by noelia_g

UGH THIS IS TOO CUTE AND PERFECT. Great feel for the universe—Kire! Jess! Snaps! Snaps’ wife!—and fabulous amounts of our boys sweating about whether or not they like like each other.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens, “Late Night Call” by hellotailor

This is so pitch perfect—just the trio, talking.

Film

Hackers (1995)

“That’s not how the Internet works.”

Music

Asia, Alpha

LET IT BEGIN.

Television

Star Trek: The Next Generation, “Identity Crisis”

How refreshing to see a past relationship that was “just” a super-important friendship between a woman and Geordi.

Star Trek: The Next Generation, “The Nth Degree”

Oh my God, I forgot how much I love and adore Riker and Deanna, because they really love each other no matter their dating status. Riker finding it hilarious and being delighted that Barclay successfully hit on Deanna is just so sweet.

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

The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl (2005)

“God, I played a shitty build of Doom like this in the nineties.”

Music

Halsey, Badlands

Consistently haunting and spare. “New Americana” is rightfully a single, but “Gasoline” and “Young God” are my stand-outs.

Melanie Martinez, Crybaby

Aggressive lolita darkness over spare beats and sung with a phenomenal voice. I love Martinez’s aesthetic—it makes me remember running around with alternative kids in the early aughts—and I would love to see her tackle gender moreso than she already does. “Pity Party” is great, of course, but so are “Dollhouse” and “Carousel.”

Television

Sailor Moon, “Battle Inside the Demonic Space: The Sailor Guardians’ Gamble”

“I should have never been born!” Hotaru, take it down a notch, sweetheart. You are dark.

Sailor Moon, “The Messiah of Silence Awakens? Stars of Destiny”

I love that this is a show where you can have silly hijinks but also seriously talk about the morality of killing one person to save the world.

Sailor Moon, “An Invasion from Another Dimension: Mystery of Mugen Academy”

Someone pokes the Guardians on their butts; they immediately blame Mako. (Also, Makoto has this bitty crush on Ami that’s really, really cute.) And farewell, Mimete!

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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Music

Calvin Harris, Motion

Not the blissed out retro bomb I wanted, but there are still highlights: “Outside” and “Pray to God” are fantastic.

Mark Ronson, Uptown Special

Almost the blissed out retro bomb, and probably could be. I have a hard time with albums, what with being raised by wolves who only owned greatest hits compilations, so repeated listening could help. But how on earth was this released in November? This is pure, funky summer. “Daffodils” and “I Can’t Lose” are infectious, and “Uptown Funk” is the greatest song ever written (since “Get Lucky”).

Television

Saturday Night Live, “Dakota Johnson/Alabama Shakes”

What a freaking cutie. If anyone can leverage Fifty Shades of Grey into a career plus, it seems to be Johnson—she’s playing just aloof enough from the material that she’s going to be fine. Plus, she’s sweet, relatable, and a little goofy. Like Deschanel at half-speed. “Brave” was amazing, featuring ALL THE LADIES, and McKinnon’s Ruth Bader Ginsburg was… a work of art. Not astonishing—although that “harder!” joke made me cackle—but solid footing. ONTO HEMSWORTH.

30 Rock, “The Aftermath”

I do like Tracy and Liz teaming up.

30 Rock, “Blind Date”

Holy crap, Stephanie March is smokin’. I remember some solid laughs and Liz awkwardly proposing that she could be into lesbian sex if she just lay there, so.

30 Rock, “Jack the Writer”

A lot of people have told me that the first season of 30 Rock is rough, but I’m actually enjoying it. Largely, that’s because Jack is a really fun character. He’s fascinated by the creative process but cannot execute it. At all. That adds some sweetness to him.

30 Rock, “Jack-Tor”

Which gets expanded here, when Jack is asked to ACT ON LIVE TELEVISION. Jack breaking down over something so simple is just fun.

30 Rock, “Jack Meets Dennis”

And then there’s the other great thing about Jack: the potential he sees in Liz and how, even though they butt heads a lot, he really values her as a human being. Especially when she’s stuck with Dennis.

Also, a Liz Taylor played by Rachel Dratch shows up to beat the crap out of Josh, who has already admitted to being very down to having sex with her. Amazing.

Last Man on Earth, “Alive in Tucson/The Elephant in the Room”

Very Will Forte. Very Will Forte. Aggressively weird, fascinated by toilet humor, and sweet enough to make it all work. Of course, things pick up with the introduction of Kristen Schaal as the last woman on Earth. Much has been said about how she’s a killjoy, but the show is pretty clear about showing that she’s the only one of the two that’s still invested in human civilization. That gag that starts with Phil begrudgingly stopping at stop signs and ends with her forcibly pointing out that he still, somewhere, believes in the meaning humans imbue objects is fantastic.

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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Music

Calvin Harris, I Invented Disco

The seeds of the ‘10s Harris are present, but he’s leaning much more kitsch and novelty here. “Acceptable in the Eighties” and “Merrymaking at my Place” are the stand-outs.

Calvin Harris, Ready for the Weekend

Slightly more polished, but the last time that Harris uses his own vocals in his music. Which cuts down on the camp.

Calvin Harris, 18 Months

Oh snap, “Bounce” and “Let’s Go” are off this album? The summer of 2012 makes so much more sense now.

Television

Saturday Night Live, “Steve Martin/Kinky Friedman”

Seeing Steve Martin as a young rake is so weird.

Saturday Night Live, “Buck Henry/The Band”

Buck Henry returns and we, at long, long last, bid goodbye to Chevy Chase. Thank God.

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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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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Music

Kate Bush, Director’s Cut

Notable tracks: “Deeper Understanding” and “Flower of the Mountain.”

Kate Bush, Fifty Words for Snow

The title track is literally fifty words Bush invented for snow. Genius. And with that, I’ve completed her discography. Huzzah!

Television

Sailor Moon, “For Friendship: Ami vs. Bertheir”

Bertheir is wooed to the side of good by the idea of sisters actually caring for each other in meaningful ways; she’s literally saved by Koan, who, without any of her superpowers anymore, still tries to save her and succeeds. Ughghghg friendship.

Saturday Night Live, “Desi Arnaz/Desi Arnaz, Jr”

How weird must it be to be interacting with someone playing your dead wife (or in Jr’s case, dead mother)? Gary Weis’ adorable, humanistic short films continue to be amazing. “The Bisexual Minute” is a good choice, although I do wish the humor came more from the wife’s description of how much she hated her home life and less from “queer ladies! existing!”. I am starting to be concerned about my crush on young Dan Ackroyd.

Saturday Night Live, “Jill Clayburgh/Leon Redbone, The Singing Idlers”

The more backstage meta the better, although I remain deeply unimpressed with Chevy Chase and his sloppy comedy. “Great Moments in Herstory” is incredibly underwhelming and racist. Clayburgh is sweet and game, which is all I ask from hosts. And Jane Curtin looks really, really, really cute as Betty Grable. Awww.

Saturday Night Live, “Anthony Perkins/Betty Carter”

“In some countries, it comes in like a lion and out like a different lion!” It’s the same joke every time, but I do like Belushi’s weather man.

Saturday Night Live, “Ron Nessen/Patti Smith”

It’s the seventies all over, as the Press Secretary hosts and the musical guest does punk rock. And Gerald Ford approves of Saturday Night Live, in an attempt to get ahead of it. “Super Bass-O-Matic '76” is fantastic. “Autumn Fizz” is funny because the idea of carbonated douche is hysterical. “Supreme Court Spot Check” is a fantastic, if slightly messy, sketch, because it makes its political point very cogently. (It should have ended in the awkward silence after Curtin’s character wonders why there’s no women on the Supreme Court, if they’re going to police her sex life.) Seeing a very young Bill Crystal is intriguing, although I’m not sure where his performance truly lies.

Also, spotting Mike O’Donoghue and his thousand light year stare in a sketch is a new, terrifying game I play with myself.

Saturday Night Live, “Raquel Welch/Phoebe Snow, John Sebastian”

Oh, poor Raquel Welch. It must be such an odd thing to try and negotiate your status as a sex symbol when that’s not what you set out to do. And then she turns up here and her trying to get her top off is a running gag, to the point that she makes a remark about tastelessness in her monologue. “The Decabet” is both an interesting joke and sign of the times (METRICS ARE COMING, Y’ALL!). And the running gag about the Beatles is born here, as baby Lorne offers them a tiny check to appear on their show.

Scred and Ploobis, in their penultimate episode, deal with puppet body horror (if they don’t have lower halves, Welch asks, how can they experience sexual attraction?) and lock themselves away in a trunk with the other Saturday Night Live Muppets. Dark stuff.

Saturday Night Live, “Madeline Kahn/Carly Simon”

“Wilderness Comedian”: somewhere, a young Will Forte has a dream about the Falconer. “Slumber Party” is an amazing sketch that uses its female cast perfectly; the humor is more of the slice of life variety, rather than specific jokes. And I always need Radner’s confused kiddos and Newman’s bratty girls in my life. “" Feel Pretty" is inspired silliness, as is “Final Days.” Kahn is an amazing host.

Saturday Night Live, “Dyan Cannon/Leon & Mary Russell”

Dyan Cannon was an actress in the seventies, I guess? This is why these episodes are so useful to me pop culturally. That and I definitely needed to learn about Leon Russell, MUSIC WIZARD. Although now I know what Chevy Chase looked like in his skivvies, which was NOT ANYTHING I NEEDED TO SEE.

Saturday Night Live, “Buck Henry/Gordon Lightfoot”

Laraine Newman snatching a crutch out from under Chevy Chase is beautiful. This is the beginning of the end, I think; there’s the fun tension that the show taps into, and then there’s the real tension simmering in the background. They’re coming for you, Chevy. “Talk Back” is a wonderful sketch. “Crowd Audition” goes great until the lynching joke (NOOO). Baby Lorne continues to offer the Beatles money. (And shit on Ringo. RINGO IS THE BEST YOU ASSHOLE.) Garrett Morris sings Schubert beautifully, but the scrolling text… if the joke had been the producers being amazed that one of their young, hip performers liked and performed Schubert, that’d be hilarious, but it’s racialized.

Saturday Night Live, “Kevin Hart/Sia”

Sia’s performance of “Elastic Heart” is astonishing and heartbreaking. Kate McKinnon is a comedy goddess. The “James Brown” sketch is beautifully silly.

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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Music

Kate Bush, Aerial

Notable tracks: “King of the Mountain” and “Pi.” “King of the Mountain” is amazing.

Television

Agent Carter, “Time and Tide”

IT’S THE GREATEST SHOW ON TELEVISION! Some nicely juicy backstory on Jarvis, Peggy coming to terms with the fact that she now has to work from the shadows (you’re a spy, Peggy!), and enough Krzemenski to make me like him as the Harvey Bullock of Agent Carter, but then he bites it. Also: Angie wanting to immediately get drunk, eat pie, and throw up with Peggy. She’s got it bad. I LOVE THIS SHOW.

Sailor Moon, “Protect Chibi-Usa: Clash of the Ten Warriors”

Usagi learns a little bit more about the future, but not because Chibi-Usa tells her directly; she overhears her talking to Puu.

Sailor Moon, “Awaken the Sleeping Beauty: Mamoru’s Distress”

THIS IS SUCH A STUPID SUBPLOT. Why is Mamoru staying away from Usagi? Okay, he’s having nightmares that tell him that she’ll die if they get married. Did you forget the part where she’s a superhero and you… you kind of do nothing? I assumed they would finally get back together at the end of the episode, since Chibi-Usa explicitly compares them to the fairy tale Usagi was reading her at the beginning of the episode, but no. Ughghghghg.

Sailor Moon, “Battle of the Flames of Love! Mars vs. Koan”

Here’s what I love about Sailor Moon—the sympathy of it. Koan—and her sisters!—are being heartily manipulated by Rubeus, but Koan stays because she loves him. When Sailor Mars realizes that Koan has been lied to and manipulated and has never had a chance at being an ordinary person, she takes it upon herself to try and help her. And the Guardians do help her, because that’s what they do. They help people.

Saturday Night Live, “Dick Cavett/Jimmy Cliff”

A decent show—Cavett is game, but has no range—but there’s something really fascinating about seeing little baby Lorne Michaels tie John Belushi’s shoes together during a sketch and failing to move out of shot in time. Lorne’s presence on the show in recent years has been as frowning authority figure—refusing to join in the “Chandelier” dance, barely having any patience with the “Lasercats” sketches—so to see him young and fresh and a bit of a scamp is so odd. The past is another country.

Also, “Dance to the Nation” is a fantastic sketch and I love Jane Curtin forever.

Saturday Night Live, “Peter Boyle/Al Jarreau”

Boyle is a very warm, sweet presence, which is perfect for Valentine’s Day. “All-Pro Wrestling” pits the bees against the WASPs (Chevy Chase, of course, wears Converse with his costume, because asshole can’t commit). “Dueling Brandos” is a fantastic concept, well-executed. “Household Orgy” is so deliriously and wonderfully weird—I just love Curtin’s character frantically spouting utterly nonsense that still totally sounds like a commercial to dodge suspicion.

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 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

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)

eralkfang: (Default)

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

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)

eralkfang: (Default)

Film

Attack the Block

Stretches every penny of its tiny budget so far that it’s a gorgeous, claustrophobic film, balancing between the fun of seeing a pack of teenagers deal with an alien invasion and the politics of housing in the block. Whenever I hear people whine about diversity in sf being shoehorned in, this is a perfect example of it being organic and necessary.

Gone Girl

Deeply unsettling, in both a technically perfect kind of way and in a decidedly misogynistic kind of way.

Less Than Zero

The young Robert Downey Jr. is better than this material, which heralds his future in a really tragic way. But this material is better than the novel, which just lists off garbage, abusive, and rapist behaviors without analyzing them and calling that satire. Jesus take the wheel.

Music

Kate Bush, The Dreaming

Saved to Spotify: “Night of the Swallow,” “Pull Out the Pin,” and “Suspended in Gaffa.”

Television

Sailor Moon, “I Won’t Run Away from Love Anymore: Ami vs. Mamoru”

And now I ship Jupiter/Mercury.

Sailor Moon, “Sailor Venus’s Past: Minako’s Tragic Love”

Should I read Sailor V? I’m mostly just interested in Sailor Moon as a franchise, especially as a rare all-lady superhero team, and Sailor V, in everything I’ve read, just seems to be a first pass at Sailor Moon. I imagine I’ll get to it eventually. But only if it involves Minako fighting crime in London.

Saturday Night Live, “Chris Pratt/Ariana Grande”

When Kenan leaves next season, it’ll be the first time Saturday Night Live has no vestigial pieces of the show I imprinted on. (Blah blah blah the cast when you were in high school was your favorite blah blah blah.) But it already feels like a wonderfully different show, from Darrell Hammond taking over announcer duties from the late Don Pardo to the new kids who actually have pretty strong comedic points of view. I mean, no points for Kyle Mooney and Beck Bennett, those wonderful weirdos, but Pete Davidson has a nice energy (situated directly between Jon Cryer and Rami Malik) and I hope he does more. The ladies, of course, are killing it, with the flawless Kate McKinnon managing to steal a sketch with a single line. And Michael Che is lovely.

Colin Jost, however, remains at large and must be stopped.

Project Progress

Sailor Moon: 0% (0/13)
Saturday Night Live: 15.3% (5/39)
Star Trek: 32.5% (13/40)

eralkfang: (Default)

Music

Kate Bush, The Kick Inside

Look, “Wuthering Heights” is an amazing song and everybody knows it. But I’m impressed by how diverse Bush can get; it all sounds different but of a piece. “Oh To Be In Love” is charming and a bit of a chanting vortex (my favorite kind of songs!) and “James And The Cold Gun” is thrilling. Plus, they’re all story songs, which used to be the only kind of songs I could get into.

Kate Bush, Lionheart

This album art is magical. I want this for my wall of vinyl. “Wow” reminds me of that book, Help Thanks Wow. Like a kind of prayer. And “Hammer Horror” is great, especially considering the season.

Kate Bush, Never For Ever

I’ve liked “Babooshka” since seeing its music video, and the delicate nature of “Army Dreamers” is fascinating.

2NE1, Crush

Well, this happened. I did see “I Am The Best” being used in a technology ad at the movie theater the other week, so there’s that.

Television

Sailor Moon, “Crushing On Ami: the Boy Who Can See the Future”

Sailor Moon, “The Painting of Love: Usagi and Mamoru Get Closer”

Sailor Moon, “Total Chaos: the Messy Love Rectangle”

Sailor Moon, “Grandpa Loses Control: Rei in Danger”

Sailor Moon, “Love and Chased: Luna’s Worst Day Ever”

This… might be one of my favorite episodes, because it’s hilarious. No set-up for Luna’s predictament, the sheer hilarity of the incongruity of Rhett Butler, regular cat, playing Tuxedo Mask to Luna’s Sailor Moon, and Zoisite having to go through the sewer to get the crystal.

Sailor Moon, “Umino’s Resolve: I’ll Protect Naru”

Sailor Moon, “Enter Venus, the Last Sailor Guardian”

Sailor Moon, “The Shining Silver Crystal: The Moon Princess Appears”

Sailor Moon, “ Returning Memories: Usagi and Mamoru’s Past”

Sailor Moon, “Usagi’s Confusion: Is Tuxedo Mask Evil?”

Sailor Moon, “Let’s Become a Princess: Usagi’s Bizarre Training”

Sailor Moon, “The Snow, the Mountains, Friendship and Monsters”

Okay, that’s too many episodes for me to comment on specifically, because Sailor Moon, the anime, has tons of filler and I powered through these to catch up to the airing schedule on Hulu. I honestly prefer to watch this weekly, because it allows me to marinate. That’s how fandom gets started. But I really did enjoy this stretch—seeing Usagi and Mamoru slowly circle each other, the revelation of the Moon Kingdom (which I knew, but didn’t know in specifics), and the introduction of Sailor Venus. And dealing with Usagi’s depression after Mamoru is taken? WHAT? WHAT GORGEOUS EMOTIONAL ARC IS THIS? And then there’s Zoisite’s death. I’m sure there’s a lot of interesting meta about Zoisite and Kunzite and queer representation. Zoisite is a fey stereotype, but he has his dignity and a lover who clearly adores him. And what about Kunzite? There’s so much to analyze. This is great.

Project Progress

Sailor Moon: 0% (0/13)
Saturday Night Live: 15.3% (5/39)
Star Trek: 32.5% (13/40)

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Eralk Fang

July 2016

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