Week Links [9 August]

I broke 100 followers on this damn blog. I have ZERO CLUE how that happened but I appreciate you all so much! For reference, I have 91 followers on Twitter… I don’t do any promo for these posts, so I don’t know how you found me, but I’m glad you did. Thank you for indulging my nonsense.

I was listening to Nikki Glaser on Whitney Cummings’ podcast, and Whitney mentioned something about how naming your fear takes away its power. So, I’m trying to name my fear, or rather, my terrifying dream—I want to write! I pathologically don’t take my writing ability seriously—I don’t do revisions or editing. I just jettison my thoughts out into the world as they form. It feels so vulnerable to me to admit that I want something; it feels like standing in front of a crowd naked. What if I’m not good enough?? But then I remember that I have a literal Master of motherfucking Arts degree in Literature. Thoughtful analysis and communication are the only things I’m good at. Even if it’s just my alma mater’s graduate journal, I’ve been published. There is no reason I can’t write something meaningful about Bunheads. So, sorry to be like, Stevie-Nicks-draped-in-turquoise-charging-crystals-in-the-moonlight, but I’m manifesting. Hold me to account!

Apart from the above, this week was dreadfully uneventful, so, on with it!

Whitney Houston Was Too Perfect To Stay - MTV
image source mtv
  1. I desperately need ethical/sustainable fashion brand recommendations. I’m in a fashion rut. I feel really uninspired by my closet (which may have something to do with the damn pandemic, and the fact that I’m in pajamas half the day). Hit me up with your favorite brands, extra points if they’re BIPOC-owned. I’m looking into a lot of the brands on this list. I need to stop shopping at J.Crew, basically.
  2. I got myself a lil’ birthday present. I’ve been lusting over this bag for AGES, and this gorgeous yellow color was on sale. Meant to be! Also, I have a referral link for 10% off if you’re interested! (If you’re wondering, my birthday present from my husband is these earrings in both metals.) And fuck it: in the spirit of manifesting, my Venmo is @highwaytochel if you want to buy me a drink or pay off my student loans.
  3. I upgraded my home office because I’ve been craning my neck for months and I’d like to not end up with arthritis or osteoporosis or whatever terrible posture does to your body. I got these adjustable monitor stands (one for my monitor, the other for my work laptop), and this cute AF keyboard (with an actual number pad, praise be!) I’m in my office 8-10 hours a day, so I really should be taking care of my body! Also, I should be exercising…at all, but that’s definitely a story for a different day.
  4. I just finished Meaty by Samantha Irby, completing my reverse trilogy binge of her work. Hands down my favorite essayist.
  5. I went on a book-buying SPREE. I know Amazon is the devil and Bezos deserves the guillotine, but those daily Kindle deals! My plan is to be totally Amazon-free by age 30. Just like how restaurants say that they’ll use all recyclable materials by 2022 or whatever. I got: The Year of Magical Thinking,  The Collected Stories of Eudora WeltyBird by Bird, If They Come in the Morning…: Voices of ResistanceSick in the Head: Conversations about Life and ComedyFreedom is a Constant StruggleYou Deserve Each OtherThemes and VariationsTomboylandCleo McDougal Regrets Nothing, The White Boy Shuffle, and What Girls are Made ofA mix of rom-coms and radical politics—sounds right.
  6. My queens have honored us with new music. Listen to “WAP” by Cardi B feat. Megan Thee Stallion, and watch the video here. And let me know if you think “wet and gushy” is…way, way worse than the actual lyric.
  7. I’m rewatching This Way Up on Hulu right now and it’s just an absolute gem of a show. Aisling Bea and Sharon Horgan are a dream team. I also watched Military Wives, Sharon’s recent film (also on Hulu), and despite the fact that it’s sympathetic toward military things (boooo), it shattered my heart because I am a sap! Oh, and not on Hulu or related to either of these at all, but Coupling is on HBO Max!
  8. Just discovered that there’s a Haitian-American vegan catering company in the next town over that has been doing a special menu during COVID for delivery…my body is ready to receive it!
  9. This Twitter thread broke my heart. BLACK. LIVES. MATTER.
  10. In honor of Christina Schneider following me on Twitter, please listen to “Hot Wife” immediately! Personalia is a gift to this earth.
  11. Happy birthday to the *wickedly* talented, one and only, Whitney Houston. In the iconic words of Aretha Franklin, “Whitney was a talent. Definitely a talent. She had a gift. And Cissy’s baby.” We will always love you.

Week Links [2 August]

Good morning! I took a bit of a sabbatical for personal reasons, but I’m back and writing and maybe I’ll even share some of that at some point. So, I guess, here’s the past month of things!

Nicholas Braun's "Antibodies (Do You Have The)" | Know Your Meme

  1. I am a Succession stan, so Cousin Greg’s new video is the only thing I have the capacity to care about right now. Congrats to Nicholas Braun on his Emmy nomination!
  2. I started Bunheads, finally. There’s really no excuse for the fact that I hadn’t seen it, Amy Sherman-Palladino being my problematic fave and all. It’s basically like, “What if Stars Hollow but…California? And dancing!” but it’s enjoyable as everything else she puts out. I’m clocking the recycled references. And Sutton Foster holds it down as our Lorelai proxy—not an easy feat!
  3. So…did you know that they have original press photos from movies and TV shows on eBay? I may or may not be lurking on every single one feat. Niles Crane.
  4. I’m watching every version of A Star Is Born in chronological order right now and it is an absolute journey. They’re all available on HBO Max.
  5. John Legend’s WTF is a must-listen podcast episode. I can’t wait to check out his new album, Bigger Love, which has been out for a while, but since I listen to nothing but podcasts, I’m usually a few weeks behind the curve.
  6. On that note, Jim Carrey was recently on WTF as well. He’s a modern sage and humanity doesn’t deserve him. I’m looking forward to reading his book, Memoirs and Misinformation.
  7. As someone who has been on quite the quarantine drinking roller coaster, I’m interested in finding alternate ways to treat myself that still feel decadent. I’ve heard really good things about Seedlip, a brand of non-alcoholic distilled spirits. It’s a UK company, but apparently tons of bars in NYC stock it. I may or may not have bought the bundle…will report back.
  8. This might sound insane, but I’ve recently rediscovered my deep and abiding love for Taco Bell. As someone with Food Issues™️, I haven’t really eaten fast food in about a decade, but I have opened my heart back up to my childhood fave. If you know what to order, it can actually be one of the healthiest fast-food chains, and it’s definitely got the best and most varied vegetarian options. The best part? You could pay for a full meal with the loose change you find in your couch. Get thee a bean burrito and a spicy potato taco.
  9. The You’re Wrong About episodes about Jessica Simpson’s book are outstanding.
  10. We lost a real one last month. Rest in Power, Rep. John Lewis. This man devoted his life to service and the Civil Rights Movement, and I’m humbled to have shared the planet with him for 28 years. I do worry that including this news item in this sort of post is inappropriate, but it truly is something that has affected me recently, and I want to leave the tributes to those more eloquent and informed than I am.

    Updated: Former President Obama to speak at Rep. John Lewis' funeral
    photo credit

Until next week,

c

Iconic Leos to Stan During (Mostly) August, the “Sunday Scaries” of Months

One for every day of the szn, July 23-August 22. Fire signs, assemble.

The Kacey Musgraves x Boy Smells Slow Burn Candle Is Back In Stock ...
an august 21st leo icon. and yes, my stupid ass did buy this candle.
  1. Daniel Radcliffe
  2. Rose Byrne
  3. Matt LeBlanc
  4. Sandra Bullock
  5. Maya Rudolph
  6. Soulja Boy
  7. Ken Burnes
  8. Kate Bush
  9. BJ Novak
  10. Jason Momoa
  11. Mary-Louise Parker
  12. DJ Spinderella
  13. Barack Obama
  14. Neil Armstrong
  15. Lucille Ball
  16. Charlize Theron
  17. The Edge
  18. Audrey Tautou
  19. Betsey Johnson
  20. Viola Davis
  21. Peter Krause
  22. Debi Mazar
  23. Steve Martin
  24. Ben Affleck
  25. Madonna
  26. Phoebe Bridgers
  27. Robert Redford
  28. Peter Gallagher (and ME!)
  29. Amy Adams
  30. Kim Cattrall (and the IRL Winklevoss twins, which has me dead)
  31. Tori Amos

 

The Bold Type and Sutton’s Right to Choose

I’ve mentioned recently that I’ve become enamored of Freeform’s The Bold Type, which centers on the wildly unrealistic careers of three best friends in their mid-twenties working for Scarlet Magazine, a fictional analog for Cosmopolitan. The show was inspired by Joanna Coles, who was the former editor of Cosmo and Marie Claire before briefly becoming Hearst Magazine’s chief content officer. Years before The Bold Type premiered, I was familiar with Joanna Coles—Cosmo was a lifeline to me as a young woman. It was a window into a glamorous world that I sometimes still yearn to access—the beauty, the fashion, and the pleasure. Now, more than a decade on from my serious readership, I’m aware of the many criticisms that have been lobbed Cosmo‘s way, but my life does look a lot more like the pages. I own more than one designer handbag, by house is colorful and cutely-decorated, and I actually own a vibrator or two. I have a job I’m not ashamed of in a business-casual office, a graduate degree, and a bright yellow car. I may not have the career-minded, go-getter spirit of the target Cosmo reader, but I fit the aesthetic. I think teen Chels would be proud.

But back to the show. There are a lot of things one could write about The Bold Type, like the fact that no one achieves the amount of success that Kat, Sutton, and Jane have by age 25 in the fashion/publishing/journalism industries, every queer woman depicted on the show is thin, femme, and gorgeous, and that your bosses, even if brilliantly played by Melora Hardin, are not supposed to be mother-figures. But none of that has bothered me in the least. The Bold Type does the work to be progressive and in many ways succeeds, but it has the elements of Sex and the City magical realism—impeccable clothing, gorgeous apartments, and a shiny, clean New York City that is most definitely actually Toronto. None of these, however, is what I want to talk about. I want to talk about babies.

That’s right! In a show where the main characters are twenty-six years old, I am forced to discuss reproduction, and no, I’m not referring to Kat’s past abortion. I’m talking about how The Bold Type absolutely fumbled the ball on the topic of being childfree.

The background: in season four, after marrying beau, Richard, 15 years her senior, Sutton becomes pregnant, only to miscarry a few episodes later. The plot device of Sutton’s miscarriage was expected—a baby in the mix would permanently alter the tone of the show, which is dependent on its independent, professional women. What wasn’t expected is that a show that for three seasons was so on the pulse of the cultural moment would hand the “I don’t want to be a mom” plotline to the character with the notoriously fraught relationship with her own mother.

The Bold Type': Can Sutton & Richard Compromise About Having Kids ...
image source

I’m not in the business of disbelieving women when they say they don’t want children. If I were, I don’t think Jen Kirkman could be one of my favorite comedians (she quite literally wrote the book on this topic). Just because want to become pregnant and be some little jerk’s mother doesn’t mean that anyone else should have to do the same. I’m a monthly donor to Planned Parenthood and I believe that abortion is healthcare. It shouldn’t be a political issue. It’s healthcare that protects the lives and autonomy of people of all genders. I’d be a complete hypocrite if I believed otherwise. My feelings on the topic are so strong, in fact, that I’m outraged that they wouldn’t write Sutton’s story to be bulletproof. Sutton (like Kat, who similarly doesn’t want children) could have been a role model to teens and women in their early twenties who don’t want to follow traditional heteronormative, patriarchal paths. But the writers of the show penned Sutton’s story on crumbling rice paper, not giving it the dignity of credulity and leaving Sutton open to the same horrible question that every uterus-haver hears from the day he, she, or they graduates college until menopause or hysterectomy: “When are you having kids?” If the answer is anything but, “My insemination ritual is this evening, I’ll be registered for organic diapers at Target,” you hear the same refrain: “You’ll change your mind.” I don’t want to tell Sutton that she’ll change her mind. She deserves better. But sweetie…you honestly might change your mind someday. And here’s why:

First, most of Sutton’s story arc has revolved around her relationship with Richard. In the beginning, it’s a torrid, secret affair. Then, after they split, he gets company policy changed to allow them to date. Then it’s above-the-board, hunky-dory, and serving rom-com realness in Paris. Before you know it, they’ve moved in and married, overcoming challenges like long-distance with panache. Just prior to their wedding, Sutton plans to sacrifice her New York career to move to San Francisco with Richard (holy recycled Gilmore Girls plotline from 2007) and start anew. It’s only when her boss, Oliver (the glue who holds the damn show together, quite honestly), gives her the promotion she’s been angling for that she decides to stay, throwing a wrench into the plan and eventually leading to their split. Doesn’t it stand to reason that the show would fight for a relationship to which they’d devoted hours upon hours of airtime? In their epic fight scene, Richard makes an excellent point—their major life decisions have rarely been instances of compromise; they’ve mostly been instances of him caving to her whims. As much as I’m loath to give a man credit for anything, he has been very patient and indulgent, sacrificing many of his own desires to act as Sutton’s support system. A decision that Sutton makes overnight and that they barely discuss shouldn’t be what ends their four-season relationship arc.

Second, when Sutton finds out that she’s pregnant, she’s pretty into it. When her friends ask her if she’s happy about the pregnancy, she earnestly responds that she is. Her relationship with Richard during this brief period deepens; he’s overprotective to a ridiculous degree, but until this point, they’d never acted quite so…married. As someone who has been married for nearly four years, the whole glamorous hot-sex dinner-party life they’d been leading is hardly realistic (not that anything on the damn show is realistic). Even the wedding they throw together in a matter of days is stunning and perfect. The scene where Richard accidentally takes allergy medicine instead of a painkiller and winds up half asleep and barely able to move? That’s some husband shit right there. When Sutton miscarries soon after and, numbly unable to grieve, discovers that she’s relieved about not having the baby, it makes perfect sense. She’s 26 (very young to be a mother these days) and on the precipice of beginning her dream career. Just as she couldn’t have predicted where she’d be now two years ago, she can’t predict where she’ll be in two years—a baby could have cost her so many opportunities. It’s only when Richard expresses an interest in immediately trying to conceive again (which, what the fuck, dude? Maybe don’t try to rush a woman who’s barely recovered from a miscarriage into immediately getting pregnant again.) and they agree upon a 5-year-plan that she begins to discover that she doesn’t want children at all. Adding deadlines always makes things stressful. Even five years, which seems like a pretty big window, is still a clock ticking down the seconds until you have to irreparably change your life. Sutton, still probably dealing with imbalanced hormones, stress, and grief from her lost pregnancy, gets thrown into a pressure-cooker. Again, as a person who actually wants a baby, sometimes I remind myself that doing so would prevent me from going out for random weeknight Mai Tais and it really throws me for a loop. Momming is a lot.

Third—speaking of moms, we’ve gotta talk about Babs. Sutton’s estranged mother, Babs, with whom she’d recently reconnected, is a serious alcoholic whose negligent parenting left Sutton to fend for herself her whole life. Since no one on this show will go to a goddamn therapist, Sutton’s disappointment in her mother’s many relapses breeds bitterness, resentment, and denial. Ask any woman with a rocky relationship with her mother (I am well-qualified to speak on the topic) and she’ll tell you that that particular childhood trauma complicates her relationship to her own pursuit of parenthood. Will I be the same way? Will I overcompensate in the other direction? Will I fuck my kid up? All you want is to give your kid a better life than the one you had, but who among us has the tools to be a perfect mother? Who could possibly ever be “ready” for it? For Sutton, whose mother’s negligence is tantamount to abuse and whose father was completely absent from her life save one meeting (and whose bizarre aversion to therapy has left her without perspective and coping tools), it is impossible that she has a healthy relationship to the idea of family. Throughout the series, Sutton is pathologically unable to accept help or charity from anyone, preferring to tough things out on her own. Mothering can, in real life, be very isolating, but what it should be (as anthropological observations bear out) is a community endeavor. Mothers must ask for help—from their spouses, their families, their friends. The phrase “it takes a village” is a cliché for a reason. Sutton’s happy marriage to a loving man has already triggered the ways in which she cannot function in “healthy” relationships. I mean, the man (who’s a millionaire!!!) tries to buy her a sewing machine for like $2,000 and she loses her mind. I wouldn’t think twice if someone tried to give me a $2,000 present, and all of our wedding rings total didn’t cost that much. Her inability to accept it is a knee-jerk, fear reaction that, AGAIN, could be worked through over years with a qualified psychotherapist. By refusing to seek professional help for her inability to seek help (ahh, the complexities of mental health), she manifests her greatest fear—the fracturing of her relationship with Richard.

And fourth, we gotta talk about that. I mean, not to be a shallow, materialistic monster, but the man has more money than God and lets you live rent-free in his apartment that must have cost more than most small towns in America. Your engagement ring alone definitely cost more than my car. He’s also been your rock while you’ve pursued your various dreams and has actually started working on his own emotional issues regarding his fraught relationship with his recently-deceased father. And he also offered to do 100% of the parenting while you go live your best life. I understand that this offer in itself runs counter to Sutton’s entire being and brings up her fears about being a bad mother and continuing the cycle of abuse, but on the other hand…you can’t just give this man a baby? I mean, Kat’s living in your makeshift bedroom now…where are you planning to go? This, I know, is a Bad Take™, but it’s the one that really tugs at my heartstrings (my husband and I have a similar age gap to Sutton and Richard but I’m definitely the Richard in the situation). I’d volunteer to fill Sutton’s shoes faster than Katniss Everdeen volunteers to fill Primrose’s. I go to therapy. I’d turn myself into a human Pez dispenser if I never had to earn money again.

But that’s entirely unfair of me. I don’t want to make it seem like I don’t believe Sutton, or that she bears an undue portion of the blame. Far from it. Hey, Richard—if you wanted to be a dad so badly, you couldn’t have gotten married before your early forties, to a woman your own age? “Unlucky in love” doesn’t apply to this extremely attractive, wealthy, intelligent man: men like this hold the keys to the world. Him being a bachelor into his forties was a choice, just like Sutton deciding not to have children is a choice. Men like Richard are given decades to put their careers first, to follow their ambitions, and as such, have no right to even suggest that women whose frontal lobes have only just finished developing stall or abandon their own dreams to raise his offspring. And I’m sorry, but his hypothetical, as-yet-non-existent children are more important to him than his relationship to the love of his life? What if Sutton did want children, but was unable to bring a baby to term? Are you open to adoption? Would you leave her if her inability to proliferate your DNA was a physical shortcoming, rather than a willful decision? Also, how could you legally marry someone before ever having one (1) discussion about children? Did you really think that the offhand comment “I want what [my friends] have” was sufficient to inform your future wife of your desire to procreate? Literally get the fuck out of here with your inability to effectively communicate.

Ultimately, neither of these people should be parents any time soon, and this show has a responsibility to start normalizing therapy and communication. Therapy is not just for people with mental illness or huge problems in their lives—therapy is a space where anyone (with health insurance or immense wealth because this country is an absolute dumpster fire) can go to talk things through, gain perspective, or simply unburden themselves of boring work stories so that they don’t stupefy their friends at Happy Hour. Sutton deserves better—not just better character development and storylines, but better treatment. No one should have to recover from the wounds of negligence and abuse on her own. Sutton has every resource available to her—it is incumbent upon the writers to grant her the dignity of peace of mind. And five, ten years from now, after regular therapy and a robust understanding of her issues? She may still not want kids, and that decision will be fucking rad. But the current writing trajectory leaves open the possibility for the dreaded prophesy of our nosy elders—that she will change her mind, undermining the hard-fought and hard-won rights of women who don’t wish to become mothers.

Week Links [12 July]

Good afternoon! It’s 400 degrees out and I honestly don’t have the energy for an intro.

Screen Shot 2020-07-08 at 5.44.18 PM

  1. Did you know that when your Pyrex lids get all cracked and shitty from years of use/the dishwasher, you can replace JUST THE LIDS? I don’t know why it hasn’t occurred to me in the past decade to do this, but I finally did and let me tell you—it’s a gamechanger. Full disclosure, I did buy them on Amazon because there was a better selection and the option for multi-packs, but c’mon. Can we briefly discuss this muted aqua color? If, perchance, you are reading this and not already a ride-or-die Pyrex stan, you must immediately make peace with your god and join us. Pyrex glassware lasts a lifetime, is microwave-safe, and will never get the inevitable tomato-sauce stain that plastic containers do. This beginner set, at least, is essential. I have easily three of these. This set is so sleek, so elegant. I am truly such a psycho that I bring a Pyrex container or two with me pretty much everywhere I go so that I can avoid plastic takeout containers at all costs.
  2. Right now I’m reading Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows and it’s checking all of the boxes. It’s fun, it’s provocative, it’s a mystery–I recommend it highly, especially for people who, like me, knew virtually nothing about the Sikh religion.
  3. I guess I’m using quarantine to develop a new personality, because I just got a bunch of fun eyeliners and eyeshadows from Glossier? I got the Colorslide in “Stable Relationship,” “Early Girl,” and “Hardcore Velvet,” and the Skywash in “Pool” and “Lawn.” I’ve basically been wearing the exact same makeup look, if you can even call it that, for my entire twenties (just winged black liquid eyeliner and a matte lipstick in the red/pink/mauve family). I cannot endorse these products enough–I usually hate eyeshadow and think I look terrible in it, but I’m a convert now.
  4. It’s my birthday in roughly 40 days, so please get me these earrings, they’re all I want. In both metals, to match all of my looks.
  5. The most important song on earth to me right now is “Bummer Days” by Liza Anne. Who can relate?
  6. The way that this article came for my neck…
  7. Padma Lakshmi’s new Hulu show, Taste the Nation, is really good so far. Spoiler, but when Madhur Jaffrey showed up, I fell off my chair.
  8. This is the best tweet ever written. We can all quit Twitter now.
  9. MIEL HAS DONE IT AGAIN. Stream “I’ll Be Holding” on Spotify.
  10. Can’t wait to watch Palm Springs on Hulu. I love Cristin Milioti, but I am a Samberg stangirl for life.
  11. Bonus content: watch this video of my husband playing “Charade” by Henry Mancini.

Until next time,

c

Week Links [5 July]

Good morning! I’ve made an extremely controversial decision and started writing the date the British way, because (I capitulate) it makes more sense and is more aesthetically pleasing. This, from the same woman who changed her iPhone to 24-hour time in England and was perpetually confused for 3 weeks. Don’t worry, I’m not conceding in the aluminum vs. aluminium debate. Also, what a fuck-you thing to do on “Independence Day” weekend, innit?

Anyway, it’s been a big week for culture, so let’s get to it:

oh the cleverness of you — Adele Dazeem™ at the 92nd Academy ...

    1. The most important thing that has ever happened in my entire life happened this week, and it’s the TRILOGY of Las Culturistas “Top 200 Moments in Culture History.” It has moved me. It has shaped me. I laughed, I cried, I screamed, I gasped.
    2. Miel’s album is coming out on 22 July and we simply have to stan! Her new single, “Must Be Fine” is avail to stream on Spotify right now!
    3. The last thing I need is an excuse to drink, but I love a lemon drop.
    4. I finally got the crossbody of my dreams for a ridiculous price. Call me basic all you want, but it’s a classic MJ shape. One day I will have the finances to justify a full-price, current season, actual Marc Jacobs bag, but today is not that day. Okay okay okay, maybe I also got this one too, but literally how could I not at that price??
    5. I got this moisturizer in my Causebox and I really like it. It’s super lightweight, smells great, and has SPF 30. I also got this serum, which I haven’t tried yet, but apparently I’m supposed to be using hyaluronic acid all the time now? All of my products seem to have it. I guess 28 is old in skincare years.
    6. Currently binge-eating these lentil chips, and concerned about the subscription option…quitting wheat (based on my Everlywell results) has been a journey!
    7. Please don’t judge me for the particular retailer, but I may have gotten this case set for my new MacBook, and this ergonomic mousepad set for my work computer. Between the computer, my phone case, and my ribcage tattoo, I am way, way too on brand. Perhaps next is just blowing this print up and hanging it in my office?
    8. Love these earrings from TalkUniqueDesigns on Etsy.
    9. I read The Cactus by Sarah Haywood this week and in spite of myself, really liked it. The Eleanor Oliphant comparison is apt; they both have wildly unlikable protagonists. Like, truly, awful people you’d never want to be around. I will say, I think Susan’s about-face is a tad abrupt (I know motherhood is a moment, but like, probably try therapy instead of having a baby).
    10. We finally set up our AppleTV (and by we, I mean my husband bought it off a friend over a year ago and it sat unused in his office, until I got frustrated attempting to screen mirror with our TV on Friday and set it up), so we will be using that to watch Hamilton on Disney+ (which we have a year free trial of through our mobile provider).
    11. Speaking of D+, anyone else just counting down the minutes until Black Is King?
    12. Save Stereogum.

au revoir, les enfants

-c

It’s Like You’re Always Stuck in Second Cheers [pt. 1]

As the foremost millennial scholar and fan of the 1982-1993 sitcom Cheers and its spinoff, Frasier (1993-2004), I believe it is my sacred duty to write about them, and to air my many grievances against the shows and their glaring inconsistencies. I should clarify that I love these shows with my entire heart…it is because I care that I must criticize. This is the first installment of what I genuinely plan to turn into an academic/cultural study of Frasier, as outlined in my first ever Library School assignment.

Screw the middle classes...and Andrew Lloyd Webber
image source
    1. Frasier is a show about male familial bonding, but Frasier Crane moves 3,000 miles away from his only son to “start over.” You’d think the conceit of Frasier would be that he moved back to Seattle to take care of his father after he’s shot in the line of duty, but Marty moves in with him after he’s well established in Seattle.
    2. Frasier never mentions being from Seattle on Cheers. Also, though I don’t have the episode, I swear Norm mentions being from the Chicago area in an early episode of Cheers; in the later seasons, in one of the episodes with Kevin McHale, Norm references going to Celtics games with his father as a kid.
    3. In the pilot of Frasier, Frasier explains that just six months ago, his wife left him, and that at the time, he contemplated suicide by climbing out onto a ledge. However, in the final season of Cheers, after the infamous ledge scene, Lilith goes to live in an eco-pod with her (deranged) lover for roughly six months. When she returns, Frasier rejects her proposal that they reunite, but the show leaves open the possibility of reconciliation. Frasier begins after all of these events, the divorce with Lilith being finalized, Frasier moving to Seattle, setting up a residence, and establishing a new career in radio. The timeline just doesn’t add up, sorry!
    4. To that point, on Frasier, Frasier often refers to Lilith with contempt, which is unfounded; even during their separation after her infidelity, he always regards her with respect and admiration. In fact, on Cheers, Frasier and Lilith are perhaps one of the all-time best TV couples; the circumstance of their divorce and animosity are creations simply to justify the premise of Frasier.
    5. We meet Frasier’s mother, Hester, in season three, episode 8 of Cheers, yet Frasier makes several references throughout the series to both his parents being dead. Then the spinoff, Frasier, centers around his relationship with his heretofore dead father, Martin. (The explanation in The Show Where Sam Shows Up is so weak it’s nauseating; later, when Woody resurfaces on Frasier, he casually mentions having heard of Martin. Why would Woody know more about Frasier’s family history than Sam, his closest friend?) Also, Niles is never mentioned in Cheers; the only characters on Cheers with confirmed siblings that we meet are Sam, Carla, and Rebecca.
    6. Furthermore, on Cheers, Frasier’s mother literally threatens to murder Diane with a gun, but in season five of Frasier, Marty Crane extolls his late wife’s gentle nature. Hester, played in flashbacks by Rita Wilson, is the picture of domesticity, which contradicts her insane behavior on Cheers, as well as the established fact that she was a serious research scientist, much like Lilith.
    7. In season one of Cheers, it is established that Sam Malone had been married prior to the show beginning. We even meet his ex-wife in season 1, episode 2. But shortly thereafter, any and all mention of this is dropped, and his character is portrayed as a lifelong bachelor.
    8. Frasier’s first wife, Nanette, is played, in order of appearance, by Emma Thompson, Dina Waters, and Laurie Metcalf. Recasting is normal (I mean, Emma Thompson was busy), but did they think the audience wouldn’t notice her no longer being British?
    9. Eddie the dog is played by two different dogs: the original, and his actual biological son. Again, this is normal—how long do dogs realistically live? But Eddie looks younger in the later seasons than he does in the earlier seasons, and seems to be utilized less and less as the series progresses. Wasted potential, as Eddie was obviously the glue holding the Cranes together (and this, coming from someone unfriendly to the canine species!)
    10. And finally: how dare these shows pretend like Bebe Neuwirth isn’t hot? Her mere presence could melt Carbon. Bebe Neuwirth is so attractive that a friend of ours (who shall remain nameless) famously asked my husband “Have you had yourself to Lilith yet?” A fox of the stone cold variety. Please put some respect on Emmy and Tony-winner Bebe Neuwirth.
    11. Bonus grievance: as a proud (?) Bostonian, NARY a cast member of Cheers had a half-way decent Boston accent, except for my beloved Coach (RIP), a Rhody native.

Next time, we tackle Niles, to whom I feel a potent sexual attraction. What does that say about me as a person? Tune in next week.

Niles Crane being shocked. | Funny shows, Movie tv, Barney miller

A Very Special Quarantine

I’ve made no secret of my obsession with stand-up comedy. Both of my favorite stand-up podcasts have ended their runs (Put Your Hands Together and 2 Dope Queens), so I’ve been bingeing specials just to feel whole again. And what better time to immerse yourself than during a quarantine? I live in a state that is sort of opening up, and has a decent-ish handle on COVID, but I’m not taking any chances. Imagine if I died to go out to, like, Bertucci’s. Or worse, imagine if I went out, got asymptomic COVID, and infected someone else! The level of selfishness of my fellow man never ceases to amaze. All of which is to say, wear a fucking mask, take what precautions you can, and find things to do at home. Might I suggest…watching these? For your pleasure, a list of the specials I’ve watched since stay-at-home orders went into effect. There will be more.

*these are all on Netflix unless otherwise listed

Amazon.com: Watch Gary Gulman: The Great Depresh | Prime Video
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Taylor Tomlinson, Quarter Life Crisis

Fortune Feimster, Sweet & Salty

Pete Davidson, Alive From New York

Alice Wetterlund, My Mama is a Human and So Am I (Amazon)

Michelle Wolf, Joke Show

Gary Gulman, The Great Depresh [x2] (HBO)

Hannah Gadsby, Douglas

Seth Meyers, Lobby Baby

Marc Maron, End Times Fun [x2]

Joe Mande, Joe Mande’s Award-Winning Comedy Show

Jenny Slate, Stage Fright

Trevor Noah, Son of Patricia

Patton Oswalt, I Love Everything

W. Kamau Bell, Private School Negro

Eric Andre, Legalize Everything

Whitmer Thomas, The Golden One (HBO)

Ronny Chieng, Asian Comedy Destroys America!

Simon Amstell, Set Free

Donald Glover, Weirdo

Judah Friedlander, America is the Greatest Country in the United States

Every Hat Frank Rossitano Wears on 30 Rock

Let me blow your mind grapes.

Does this list already exist on the internet? Maybe it does! Who cares! The last time my husband and I watched 30 Rock, I literally kept a pen and notebook in the living room and recorded each one, because I care. Tag yourself—I’m (blank-budget cuts).

Ranking Every Hat Frank Rossitano Wears On "30 Rock"
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  1. Ninja Expert, s1e1
  2. Done Deal, s1e2
  3. Extra Sausage, s1e3
  4. Joystick Master, s1e3
  5. Double Cheese, s1e3
  6. Arcade Champ, s1e4
  7. Bigfoot Expert, s1e4
  8. Hand Held, s1e5
  9. Over Easy, s1e8
  10. ESP Tutor, s1e8
  11. Kung Fu Beech, s1e8
  12. Rods, s1e9
  13. Karate Sluts, s1e10
  14. Beef N Beans, s1e10
  15. Smells, s1e11
  16. High Score, s1e12
  17. Extra Cheese, s1e13
  18. 1,000,000 Points, s1e14
  19. UFO Cop, s1e14
  20. Time Travel Agent, s1e16
  21. Liz Rocks, s1e17
  22. Mashed Potatoes, s1e18
  23. Beef Ravioli, s1e18
  24. Atomic Super Kick, s1e18
  25. Mystery Solver, s1e19
  26. Bahama Trapezoid, s1e19
  27. Alabama Legsweep, s1e20
  28. Alien Knight Force, s1e21
  29. Coin-Operated, s2e1
  30. Kill Screen, s2e1
  31. Ready, s2e2
  32. Field Hockey Coach, s2e4
  33. Balls, s2e4
  34. AND, s2e5
  35. LIPS, s2e5
  36. Half Centaur, s2e5
  37. Karate Prom, e2e6
  38. Olé, s2e7
  39. Right Boot, s2e7
  40. Got It, s2e7
  41. Handy Man, s2e7
  42. Beef, s2e7
  43. Burrito, s2e7
  44. Power Tool, s2e7
  45. Atlantis Lifeguard, s2e8
  46. Harvard, s2e8
  47. (Toofer) Mom Expert, s2e8
  48. KayFabe, s2e8
  49. Shower Scene, s2e9
  50. Ho Ho Horny, s2e9
  51. OR, s2e11
  52. Exactly, s2e12
  53. Trap Do r, s2e13
  54. Rescue Team, s2e13
  55. Spelling Expirt, s2e14
  56. Sumo Dog, s2e14
  57. Slo-Bot, s2e15
  58. Former Cyclops, s3e1
  59. Horny, s3e1
  60. Alien Abductee, s3e2
  61. Role Model, s3e4
  62. Foley Artist, s3e6
  63. Bronx Golf Club, s3e6
  64. Night Chicks, s3e6
  65. Pinball Mechanic, s3e9
  66. Phase 3, s3e9
  67. Feelin’ It, s3e9
  68. illegible, s3e10
  69. Emotional Friend, s3e11
  70. INCOMPL TE, s3e12
  71. Two Fare Zone, s3e12
  72. Reverse Pendulum, s3e13
  73. Drapes, s3e14
  74. Laser Disc, s3e15
  75. Game Changer, s3e16
  76. (blank-budget cuts), s3e17
  77. Constant Craving, s3e18
  78. Space Gravy, s3e19
  79. Flowers, s3e19
  80. Fedora, s3e19
  81. Crop Octagon, s3e20
  82. Drapes Carpet, s3e20
  83. Mute Button, s3e21
  84. Disco Fries, s4e1
  85. Long Pips, s4e1
  86. Spaceship Owner, s4e2
  87. Not Guilty, s4e2
  88. Wet to Activate, s4e3
  89. Costume, s4e3
  90. See Miller Grip, s4e3
  91. Because, s4e4
  92. Scanner, s4e4
  93. Scrawkcab (?), s4e5
  94. Shark Cop, s4e5
  95. First Class, s4e5
  96. Teenage Grandpa, s4e7
  97. PG-25, s4e8
  98. I’m Cool, s4e8
  99. illegible, s4e9
  100. I Tried, s4e9
  101. Karate Hockey, s4e10
  102. In Training, s4e10
  103. Wide and Tight, s4e11
  104. Delete, s4e11
  105. Night Beast, s4e11
  106. Mason Storm, s4e12
  107. Mind The Gap, s4e12
  108. Pound for Pound, s4e12
  109. Busway, s4e12
  110. Dial-Up Access, s4e13
  111. Intestinal Fortitude, s4e13
  112. Under the Bottom, s4e15
  113. All The Way, s4e15
  114. Sort of Loaded, s4e16
  115. Free Parking, s4e16
  116. Tow Away Zone, s4e16
  117. Monster Truck Wrestling, s4e17
  118. Last Shot First, s4e17
  119. Defcon 50, s4e17
  120. Feet, s4e18
  121. TBD, s4e18
  122. Good Pieces, s4e20
  123. Touch Down, s4e20
  124. Pocket Dialer, s4e21
  125. Why., s5e1
  126. Bottom Feeder, s5e1
  127. Long and Twisted, s5e2
  128. I Did It, s5e3
  129. Promotional Consideration, s3e4
  130. Full Tank, s5e8
  131. Speed Glue, s5e8
  132. Cream Sauce, s5e8
  133. Dream Reader, s5e11
  134. Cheese Gravy, s5e12
  135. 1 Card Monte, s5e12
  136. Man Scent, s5e12
  137. Straining Order, s5e13
  138. Wet Tacos, s5e14
  139. Regional Dis-Honor Society, s5e15
  140. Snake Biter, s5e15
  141. Code Breaker, s5e16
  142. Deli Meat, s5e17
  143. Dot Matrix, s5e17
  144. Food Coma, s5e18
  145. Tandem Alert, s5e18
  146. Plumber College, s5e19
  147. Busy Signal, s5e19
  148. Sitting Ovations, s5e20
  149. I Give Up, s5e20
  150. Nap Partner, s5e21
  151. Casual Flosser, s5e21
  152. Van With Man, s5e22
  153. Closet Amish, s6e1
  154. Volunteer Pilot, s6e2&3
  155. Peaked, s6e4
  156. Vacant, s6e4
  157. Partial Foods, s6e4
  158. Flip Phone Owner, s6e5
  159. Jobber, s6e5
  160. Tornadic, s6e5
  161. Feet, s6e6
  162. Thick, s6e8
  163. Cryptid, s6e9
  164. Be Cool Liz, s6e9
  165. Suplex, s6e9
  166. Dorm Food, s6e10
  167. VHS Repairer, s6e13
  168. Emotion Illiterate, s6e14
  169. Butler School, s6e15
  170. Click Here, s6e15
  171. Maintenance Required, s6e15
  172. Low Oil, s6e15
  173. Bad Ranch, s6e17
  174. Average Voltage, s6e17
  175. Frank 2.0, s6e17
  176. Hookie Mentor, s6e19
  177. Push For Cheese, s6e20
  178. Cured, s6e20
  179. Brain Masala, s7e1
  180. Free Zits, s7e2
  181. Punch Ball, s7e2
  182. Ammnesia, s7e3
  183. Freshly Bathed, s7e3
  184. Semi-Legal, s7e4
  185. Lice Owner, s7e4
  186. 1st Time Flosser, s7e5
  187. Letters, s7e6
  188. Going Stron, s7e7
  189. Cheese Soup, s7e8
  190. Inappropriate, s7e8
  191. Hug Stain, s7e10
  192. Panic Dream, s7e11
  193. Untitled, s7e11
  194. Taco Robot, s7e12
  195. Period, s7e12

 

 

Week Links [6.28.20 or so]

Good day, sunshines! This is only…three days late. That’s fine! And I’ve changed the name of this again because I can’t commit to anything! How I didn’t think of this extremely basic pun in the past 5 years is beyond me. And on that note, I’ve been writing this blog for five years. My how time flies when the world is falling apart.

You Need To Be Watching 'The Bold Type' | The Nerd Daily
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  1. I started bingeing The Bold Type recently and *very Joan Jett voice* I hate myself for loving it!!
  2. Just discovered this ethical jewelry brand out of Portland. So affordable and stylish! I love these for my 2nd piercing and these are incredible. I’m also just a big ol’ sucker for a hammered hoop! Also, this might sound crazy but I think I’m going to become an anklet person?? I just got this one and I love it.
  3. I almost bought these Pride Pumas because I’m predictable.
  4. Ziwe Fumudoh has been doing the most iconic Instagram lives and watching the reposts is one of my singular sources of joy in this terrible world!
  5. I’ve long wanted to become a headband person, but I have impossible hair and wear glasses, so things about the ears can be a bit tricky. This Madewell scarf/band is a DREAM. It actually stays in place and is so, so cute.
  6. This TED Talk was assigned for my Library Science course, and man do I love me some Adichie.
  7. Ronny Chieng’s special Asian Comedian Destroys America! is incredible start-to-finish.
  8. This brand sells bra bundles that are super affordable, but I’m so skeptical that a comfortable strapless bra can exist! At least not with my difficult boobs.
  9. My faves at Girlfriend just dropped the Summer Orchard line, so I got myself a full Lemon set: Paloma Bra, Skort, and High-Rise Bike Short.
  10. Cynthia Nixon posted this to Instagram and…I didn’t think it was possible to love her more.
  11. Psst…have you read my friend Rachel’s writing? She writes about TV so much more intelligently than I do, it’s a treat.

In case you didn’t know, I have an Instagram account for this blog, @dellabitesblog. I wrote a little something about the five-year anniversary of this blog there. You can also following me personally on all socials @highwaytochel / IG.