Thursday, January 31, 2013

Working on my night cheese alone from now on.

The last episode of 30 Rock aired. It was very satisfying and feelings-inducing and a nice meditation on goodbyes: how painful they are, how they make people act, and how badly we need as much resolution as possible, we being both the audience and the creators. Could the last week's episode have been the series finale? Yes, and it would have been perfect, but it might not have been completely honest. This week was about honesty: how much the show has meant to the people who work there, how much it has meant to its (admittedly tiny for broadcast) audience, and how much we will miss it when's it's gone, even if it got really weird and loopy at times. It was by far one of the most self-referential, self-critical, and super meta series finales I've ever seen, which couldn't be more fitting to a show that fits all of those descriptors at once. I was also happy to get a chance to see the whole cast, staff, and crew say their own goodbye using the classic SNL wave-off. Did you catch the woman with the "Wrap Gift" trucker hat in the back? I have a sneaking suspicion it was Judah Friedlander's, well, wrap gift. I especially loved that it was the same color as his final trucker hat.

My fiance and I paused the episode at the beginning to read Kenneth's list of things not to do on TV shows and thought it was funny how true it was to 30 Rock, the obvious joke. There was one thing on the list that seemed like a throwaway, though, the last one: "No immortal characters". During the "One Year Later" epilogue, when everything got increasingly "In a perfect world-y" I realized that not only was the list referencing 30 Rock as a whole, it was also encompassing this episode, capping off the list with an immortal Kenneth agreeing to produce 30 Rock based Liz's stories as told to her great-granddaughter, complete with flying cars zipping in the backdrop behind Kenneth's head.

While last week's episode was an artfully crafted (the Willy Wonka plot and the reveal of Liz's adopted twins especially), expertly written episode, this week's finale was a messy, mushy, sentimental send-off, providing just the amount of cathartic release for everyone who has traveled on this seven-year journey with Liz, Tracy, Jack, Kenneth, Jenna, Grizz, Dot Com, and everyone on 30 Rock. It wasn't perfect. Instead, it was just right.

Some highlights and noticing's:


  • Did anyone else notice how janky the green-screened Conan-Lemon scene (come on, Conan, you couldn't fly in for one thirty-second scene? Geez!)? 
  • Pete faking his own death, and explaining not at all subtly how great he was at faking his own death
  • Cupcake sandwiches!!! I forgot that was a thing - the best of things! And how nice of everyone to wait for Liz to come back out of her office before eating (I know, I know, it was for the joke, but I still felt bad for all that cake! Less bad for the sushi because blerg!).
  • I'd totally watch Grizz & Herz! And not just because I love dogs as co-stars (yes, I've seen half of a few episodes of Dog with a Blog and one of those half-episodes actually had a really great joke in it!). Also, someone really should give Grizz his own TV show. Everyone from The Office is getting an NBC development deal, why not 30 Rock?
  • While the Blimpie's plotline gave Lutz a funny send-off, of course their last lunch should have come from the teamster's secret Italian sandwich shop. I would have also settled for Cheesy Blasters or Sabor de Soledad chips.
  • Loved how Kenneth proved he would be able to NBC to glory by knowing exactly what would make Jenna feel real sadness (the loss of her mirror).
  • Liz's chats with the moms (and Criss) on the parenting forums were priceless
  • While I loved Jenna's callback to The Rural Juror, couldn't we have gotten a super sad, super spooky-scary rendition of Werewolf Bar Mitzvah instead? 
  • Liz and Jack love each other in, as it should be, a completely and intensely-clearly-stated platonic way.
But my favorite part? How sweet and true it was for Tracy, who has truly been abandoned, to not want to have to say goodbye ("Is this the way white women say 'I'm going out for cigarettes?'"). I don't want to let go, either, Tracy, but if we have to, you did a great job. I love you, too.


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

AHHHH NEW GIRL!!!!!!!!!

DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVE NOT READ THE "COOLER" EPISODE OF NEW GIRL!!!!!

Don't worry, I'm not going to spoil it, but I AM going to link to some ladies over at HuffPo TV who do: Maureen Ryan and Liat Kornowski (good job, HuffPo intern!)

I am also going to say: EEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!! SO MANY FEELINGS!!

Smiley time!

I'm also VERY MAD at myself for not DVR'ing this episode so I could re-watch it a bajillion times! Thank goodness for YouTube (only watch if you've seen this episode first!!!!)!


We Went To There.

I'm going to miss you so much, 30 Rock!! (fitting that I went to breakfast at the real 30 Rock today!)



It looks like the embodiment of all that is 30 Rock, Tina Fey, will miss us, too.

[via HuffPo TV]

Watch ALL of Disney's Paperman Short!

Did you love Disney's Paperman short in front of Wreck-It Ralph? If so, good news! You can watch the whole thing online for free! Enjoy!



Awww!

[via Big Screen Animation]

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

All the Tina Fey, Amy Poehler Parts of the Golden Globes

Aka "Thank you for not making me watch the Golden Globes!!"



Sorry I'm a little late getting this out to the world, but it's the Golden Globes, not the Oscars, so chill out already, geez!

Take a Chance on Chance (the puppy)!

LOVE this video by the seriously classy Wake County SPCA:



Their volunteers are clearly superb, and their facilities are top notch! I love our local animal shelter, but you do not get that kind of space in Manhattan! Kind of makes me think we should be shipping all our strays to North Carolina... They've got the space and the puppy-loving cheer! Also, I love that this video was posted over a year ago and is now re-circulating the web - crazy how that works, isn't it?

[via Neatorama]

Camouflage Animal Photos!

Check out HuffPo's awesome camouflage animal photos by Art Wolfe (fitting name for someone who takes artistic photos of wolves!).

I think the owl or the giraffe is my favorite. What's yours? Animals are the best!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Eyes on the Stars: A Story Corps' Short

Story Corps' latest animated short is about Ronald E. McNair, a physicist and astronaut who was the second African American to fly in space. Tragically, he passed away during the 1986 Challenger mission at age thirty-five. His brother Carl remembers him in this short, "Eyes on the Stars"



Story Corps, you always make me cry! And yet I'm so much better for having listened...

[via Neatorama]

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Thursday, January 24, 2013

OMG PUPPY BOWL!!!

As we all know, the big news of the week is that Animal Planet's Puppy Bowl IX released their starting lineup!!!! Which puppy do you think is the cutest? Which one will nibble on the others' ears? Which will take a poo in the endzone and cause a delay of game!? These are the questions we need to speculate on before the big day! And considering the superior lameness of the Super Bowl teams this year (a bold stance, I know), the Puppy Bowl is under more pressure than ever before to perform!

Who are your favorites? These are mine:

Willis
Take a look at the fluffy fur and those droopy ears and tell me you're not in love! Clearly, he's the ringleader of some sort of ragtag stray "puppies with moxy" team.

Sally

Sally is the obvious thoughtful sad sack of the group (Chucky from Rugrats style). Secretly, though, she's a hopeful dreamer, sniffing into the sun.

Marta
Marta's the fun-loving hair-brain on the team. If you don't like her crazy ideas, step back, because she's got at least twenty other, even crazier ideas to bark to you about!

Koda
Koda's obviously the mysterious dreamboat of the group - what's he saying with the clear, blue eyes? Does he need to go out? Does he want to take a walk? Will he curl up in your lap and stay their forever (or at least until he sees a squirrel)?

Harry
Harry's the old man of the group, leathery and well-worn. He knows the grounds of battle. He knows the playing field. He's smelled it all.

Biscuit


And finally, Biscuit. Because of those ears and because of the name Biscuit.

Now play ball! Or let me pet you, either way!

Happy 40th Anniversary, Roe V Wade!

I'm so thankful that for forty years, women have had the right to choose. We have the right to make our own choices about our bodies and the ability to, literally, plan our parenthood. After forty years, it's easy to become complacent and assume that because we've had these rights, that they are forever protected. However, many people would like to see women's choice taken away. Take this moment to appreciate the people and sacrifices that got us to this point, and to understand that at some point you might be called on to help uphold these rights in our lifetime and beyond.

PS. This is how the GOP plan makes me feel

Thank you, Gawker!


(Read: Oh sh*t! Let's go stop 'em!)

...And the GOP's Plan to Not Let it Happen Again

Spoiler alert: it's not from changing their policies and entering the realities of the 21st century, it's by allocating electoral votes in Democratic or Democratic-leaning swing states by gerrymandered districts instead of the current winner-take-all method, meaning that as much as your vote doesn't count now, it might not count at all in 2016.

TPM has a great write-up here, and Gawker has their snarky take here.

Just think, if this plan was in place for 2012, Obama would lose the electoral college even though he won five million more votes nationwide. That's just plain not democracy. I'm no fan of the electoral college. I don't understand what's wrong with letting the popular vote decide who wins an election. But this is much worse than the electoral college as (imperfectly) is.

Frankly, the way to win the White House isn't by making voting meaningless, it's by appealing to the majority of America through solid, inclusive, actionable policy plans that help lead America into a better and brighter tomorrow. If the GOP really wants to win, and by win I mean win the hearts and minds of Americans and make America the best country it can be, that's what they should be thinking about, not rigging the system against the people they're supposed to serve.

PS. Don't even get me started on gerrymandering!


Monday, January 21, 2013

ICYMI: Obama's 2nd Inaugural!

An historic day!



Dig the shout-outs to climate change, but do you think he'll back them up with real legislative and executive action this time? Don't get me wrong, the decision between acting on the climate bill vs. the healthcare bill was a total Sophie's Choice in 2009-2010, but he's got an even steeper hill to climb this time around. I certainly hope you succeed, Mr. President!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Surprise Cameo!

Remember that moment in this week's Parks and Rec when Jerry mistakes his reservation at the steakhouse with Newt Gingrich's? It wasn't even in the script! The crew showed up to shoot that scene, and it just so happened that Newt Gingrich was there, so Mike Schur wrote him into the script and - bam! - a cameo was born!



 My favorite part? That Gingrich says, "I don't think so, Jerry" because how does he know his name is Jerry!? Love it!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Eternity? Is 600 Years Close Enough?

In a move that surprised no one, a Swiss court relieved a farmer of his 655-year-old debt to a Catholic church. The unsurprising part? That a Catholic church would assume that a farmer (who may or may not even be related to the original debtor) would pay a debt "for eternity" as the debtor originally promised or that this Swiss debtor, his family, and descendants would continue to pay the debt for 655 years? No, it's that only in 2013 would it come to a head either way - a) that the church would try to get the debt in writing and "legitimize" it (after 655 years!) and b) that the family would finally say "enough is enough! 655 years is close enough to eternity!"

My favorite part, though, is that the court ruled against the church because "the legal customs practised in the 14th century had ceased to be valid when Switzerland reformed its lending sector in the mid-1800s." As Marshall would say...


[via The Hairpin]

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Pop Danthology 2012

Ok, I know this dropped over a month ago, but my brother just told me about it and it's AWESOME! Daniel Kim's Danthology 2012:



My favorite part is how he labels everything that's happening, so you know what songs you're listening to when and which part (vocals or instrumentals) is from which song! How cool is that!?

Monday, January 14, 2013

Hey, You! Watch 'Happy Endings'!

So apparently Happy Endings fans are worried that ABC doubled-up their episodes in January because they don't believe in the show! I really hope that's not true. I know the Sunday ratings weren't great or anything, but that's only because no one watches comedies on Sunday (except for the Fox animated block). Besides, ABC doesn't have much to lose - they're not exactly on top this year, and that's not Happy Endings fault! Don't blame them!

Anyway, Happy Endings is one of my favorite shows (along with Parks and Rec), so I really hope that it's got many, many more years of Happy until it gets to its Ending if you know what I mean!!

So, America, get to watching! Watch it on Sundays, on Tuesdays, and all the in between days!

[via paranoia at /Film]

A 'Brave' Congratulations...

... to Brave for winning the Golden Globe for Best Animated Film! I know Brave has its faults, but it is a beautiful film with a lot of heart, and I'm happy for the Pixar team. Who knows who the Oscar will go to, though, since Frankenweenie and Wreck-It Ralph were also great! And Paranorman wasn't bad, either. A strong near for animated films!

[via Big Screen Animation]

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Perfect "OMG PUPPY!" Reaction



After his father's beloved dog passed away last year, Phillip and his mom knew that his dad deserved a new best friend. This is his reaction to meeting his new (surprise) pup. Also, the fact that it's Christmastime doesn't hurt. The cutest!

[via Gawker]

Friday, January 11, 2013

Happy Weekend!!

This is such a fun twist on the "puppy learns how to walk downstairs!" video: a six-month old puppy teaches an eight-week old how to walk downstairs! It's so fun watching how the one teaches and cares for the other - too sweet!



Awwwwww! That'll start your weekend off right!

[via Gawker]

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Happy 100th Birthday, Nixon!

Happy Birthday, Nixon!

I know, I know, Nixon was a pretty seedy (and horribly racist, awful, etc) guy and Watergate disillusioned American politics forever, but he accomplished more progressive good in his presidency than either of the Bush's or Reagan. He signed the EPA into law. He supported universal health care (and as the first step toward that, he allowed Medicare to cover all ESRD patients and transplant patients, like me! And that is the only disease specifically covered by Medicare to this day). He even supported the Equal Rights Amendment! So while we can all hate Nixon for this or that (and certainly he wasn't as good as if we had elected a Democrat), let's not forget that he did accomplish a lot of good, good that has directly impacted all of us (cleaner air, water, etc) and me personally (Medicare for kidney disease patients!).

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Best Week Ever Best Be Back!

And it is! It is back! And I know one of the new cast members, Jared Logan. He's super funny - you can meet him, too, right now via the internet!




I also know one of their writers and he's super funny, too! The new Best Week Ever is going to be the best Best Week Ever!

[via Vulture]

Monday, January 7, 2013

Sneak Peek: The Blue Umbrella



The WSJ has a sneak peek of Pixar's latest short, The Blue Umbrella...



Pixar's really on a love kick, aren't they? Fine with it!

The animated eyes on the umbrellas are cute, and the animated rain feels super realistic (especially in comparison to the intentionally unrealistic eyes). I hope the story is strong enough to back it all up!

Also, I'm a big fan of the director's name: Saschka Unseld - very Eastern European/Russian... just wondering if it's a guy Saschka (whatever) or a girl Saschka (awesome!).

[via Big Screen Animation]

Lady Edith with Googly Eyes



In honor of the return of the illustrious Downton Abbey, I present you with... Lady Edith with Googly Eyes. She's finally a respectable woman!

[via Videogum]

Sunday, January 6, 2013

It's Good for this Dog to Sniff Your Butt!

Cliff is a C. Diff-sniffing dog, the first of his kind! He (and others like him) could potentially save a lot of time, money, and lives by smelling out C. Diff amongst patients in hospitals quickly, helping them get treated and separated from other patients before they infect anyone else. Check it out!



[via Neatorama]

Saturday, January 5, 2013

OUAT Love Stories

I'm feeling very conflicted right now, because I'm excited that Once Upon a Time is returning from its winter hiatus tomorrow, but that also means I'm going to have to go to work on Monday, so I'm also dreading it..

In the meantime, I think I'll just watch HuffPo TV's exclusive montage of all the love stories from OUAT. Awww...

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Newwwwwttttt!!!!























A bevy of gorgeous concept art from Pixar's cancelled Newt emerged today, and it makes me even angrier that they canceled it! Who cares if it was like Rio (which is the general assumption I've made as to its cancellation - what other reason could their be?) - it looks like such a cool world for Pixar to explore!

You can see all of it on the visual development artist Katy Wu's blog or on PixarBlog (the German fansite that spotted it).

I'm sure Pixar's got its reasons, but couldn't we have gotten Newt instead of Cars 2?


[via Big Screen Animation]

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

House Hunters: Disney

Oh my goodness, this video is a combination of two of my favorite things: Disney's Beauty and the Beast and... HGTV's House Hunters!!! I don't even care that this is just advertising their new section of the park, it's amazing!



Interesting that they use the House Hunters International intro... I suppose the Magic Kingdom is by definition a separate country than the US, though, so it qualifies.

Do you think this is how long all House Hunters eps would be if they took out all the recapping before and after the commercial breaks?

[via /Film]

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Cinescape and Cinema 2012

Let's start the new year by looking back on all the films of the old, with the hope that this year's will be even better!





[Matthew Shapiro's Cinescape and Kees van Dijkhuizen's Cinema 2012 via /Film]