Y’all, I have to apologize. I realize that I may have gotten a bit ahead of myself last week by giving you the bare outline of the Dance Moms concept and then diving straight into the dysfunction.
Dysfunction is, of course, delicious…. But talent is the glue that holds the reality sandwich together; without it you have a stale drama sandwich. OPEN FACE. Fortunately, these gurls have plenty of talent. And every week, under the merciless tutelage of Kim Jung Abby, they bring to life her wonderfully demented creative vision through DAYUNCE!
So, to get to the heart of why we grown-ass adults tell our friends we aren’t feeling well so we can ditch happy hour and go home, get on our couches in our sweatpants, and watch Lifetime while we eat cake with our hands…. here are five of Dance Moms‘ finest routines!
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But, like Donald Rumsfeld said, the unknown unknowns are the one’s that’ll getcha! Right now you’re in a state of ignorance, but never fear my chickadees, ignorance can be cured.
There are so many things I love about Dance Moms. Friendships inextricably intertwined with power struggles. There’s the fact that every single blessed moment of this show is an ethical dilemma about how much a parent should push a child to achieve her dreams (yes, the “her” is purposefully ambiguous as to whether it refers to mother or child)….. Plus, there’s DANCING!
For those who have not partaken of the glory of Dance Moms…. The basic premise is that a small group of fame-thirsty mothers subject their (generally lovely and talented) daughters to the cruelty of a completely insane dance teacher, Abby Lee Miller.
Abby takes her “team” to dance competitions requiring them to learn new routines every week and jostle with each other for primacy within the group. Scoring well at a competition (and, if we’re honest, general sucking up to Abby) is rewarded with the opportunity to perform a solo the following week…. “failure” and/or disobedience is punished with no solo and possible expulsion from the weekly group routine.
Because the Lord is just and merciful, the routines are frequently batshit insane.
This show is so good, it’s as though it was engineered in a lab to hit every single dopamine receptor. It is, essentially, perfection.
To inaugurate what I’m sure will turn into a ridiculous series on the massive fuckery that is this TV show….
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Hey y’all. So, I was planning to finally pivot away from the Bachelor franchise this week (despite the incredible announcement that there will be a Bachelor Winter Games airing in tandem with the 2018 Olympics, which will combine competitive sport and dating into one irresistible melange, thereby representing the highest achievement of human civilization to date). I was going to write a post about Dance Moms, which is maybe my truest reality TV love, delving into its moral complexity and downright hilarity.
But Northern California is on fire and the air is filled with smoke a hundred miles away, and I’m not feeling very frivolous. So I’m going to save Dance Moms for a later, happier date, and instead give y’all a quick list of stuff that’s good to watch when you need to send your brain to a happier place…. No wonder Amazon keeps telling me I need one of these.
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Y’all, I have had the delightful (not sarcastic!) but also bizarre experience recently of being the second set of eyeballs for a delightful friend shopping for her wedding dress. Because my friend is the most low key bride in the world (“I don’t have Pinterest. I like the color blue,” was her response to the “what’s your wedding going to be like?” interrogation by the various bridal consultants), the experience was pleasant and anthropological, and I was grateful to be of some limited assistance to her wedding journey….
However, the experience reawakened one of my more shameful addictions…. It’s hard to admit publicly, but Say Yes to the Dress is basically my version of bath salts. I say I’m going to watch a little, and then a little turns into a lot, and soon I’m rampaging through the streets biting off strangers’ appendages because TRUMPET GOWNS MAKE ME DISSOCIATIVE.
In an effort to find a silver lining to this problem, I have compiled a list of five lessons I have learned over the years from watching SYTTD…..
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That you can stick some postage on a potato and send it on the mail?!?!?
I spend so much time exhorting y’all to watch TV that will (not “may,” *will*) make you stupider, I owe it to you to share the only useful media I consumed as part of my thoroughly mediocre public school education.* I don’t know what made me think of this, but you’re welcome.
*Yes, we watched the Teri Polo Phantom of the Opera TV miniseries in my AP English Lit II class… then read the script… all in total burning at least 7 days of class time. Actually, this could explain a lot about my current life circumstances. Will unpack this further in thurpy.
Some days, you can’t handle Great TV. Some days, your brain is tired, you spent the entire day trading passive aggressive emails with those dum dums in sales, and all you want at the end of the day is to sink down into the butt-shaped dent you have made in your couch (come on, that can’t just be me) and be transported onto a light, fluffy cloud where the stakes are low and the laughs are medium-sized.
If you’re having one of those days, have I got the show for you — Powerless, on NBC. It has a fun, marshmallowy premise: in Charm City, superheroes and supervillains are constantly duking it out, resulting in plenty of collateral damage and annoyance for the ordinary citizens just trying to live their lives. Vanessa Hudgens plays a new director of R&D at Wayne Enterprises, which invents products that help protect normal people from the destruction the super-folks leave in their wake.
It’s like the sorbet of TV. It’s light, sweet and a little zingy, and you don’t have to feel bad afterwards about binging.
Oh, and did I mention that the terrific cast includes Danny Pudi, Christina Kirk, Ron Funches, and Alan Tudyk (if you don’t recognize him, then you need to go binge Suburgatory immediately).
Happy watching, everyone!