TV 2011-2012 season round up

Well I’ve reached the end of my TV season for this year. The season finales have come and gone. I’ve cried. I’ve laughed. I’ve questioned. I’ve yelled at my TV. So there is only one thing left to do. JULIA’S YEARLY ROUND UP OF HER PERSONAL ALL STARS.

This year I’m gonna do something a little different. I’m going to add some new categories to make it spicier. So we won’t only be focusing on all the random characters I’ve had a special love for – but dwell a little deeper.

TOP 3 FAVORITE CHARACTERS

Obviously I can’t repeat my faves such as Ron Swanson, Troy Barnes, Nate Archibald and my king Ken Cosgrove, but they still had some stand out moments this year.

Ron Swanson

But on to this year!

NUMBER 3 – Jake Armstrong from The Secret Circle

Oh Secret Circle, so much potential. Sexy high school students who are witches being chased by demons while dealing with teenage problems like who to take to prom? Sign Julia up. So sad this was canceled just when shit started getting real, but that’s life on the CW. Jake Armstrong came in late to the season after his brother was killed by a demon and took his place. At first he was just pretty to look (but bland), but when he started putting Cassie in her place finally (“I’M CASSIE I DO WHAT I WANT EVEN THOUGH IT FUCKS EVERYONE UP”), I got intrigued. His partnership with Cassie was interesting, they were actually producing results and moving story lines forward, and their chemistry helped as well. But when he teamed up with Cassie’s father when no one else wanted to, and even agreed to protect Cassie in secret (after she rejected him no less, silly girl), a sort of bad-ass came out in him. It was sincere and interesting. All his motivations started making sense and small parts of his character started coming out. I would have loved a second season to explore his character more, but I guess I will have to live in my memories of him trolling Cassie and Adam’s melodramatic relationship and being the most bad ass on the show.

NUMBER 2 – Fiona Gallagher from Shameless

Oh Fiona, the girl who can’t catch a break. Emmy Rossum stepped up her game this year portraying this complicated character. It was a tremendous season for Shameless, and the last few episodes were truly heartbreaking, yet uplifting in the sense that no matter how bad life gets, family and friends can make it worthwhile. You truly are never alone. Which is the biggest struggle with Fiona, she thinks/wants to always do it alone, but she really can’t. The greatest moments are when her siblings step up for her, but it’s always devastating when eventually someone fucks up and lets her down and she’s back to carrying the weight for everyone. Her on again/off again boyfriend on the show Steve is always amazing to remind her she doesn’t have to do it. That eventually people have to figure it out for themselves. The few moments he gets through to her resonate through your heart. What’s great about Fiona is she’s selfless and rarely feels sorry for herself. She could moan and whine about her situation (taking care of her 5 siblings with no help from fucked up mom and dad), but she takes pride in it. Get Emmy Rossum some nominations, it’s time.

THIS FUCKING SCENE. WATCH IT. (ugh no embedding)

NUMBER 1 – Nick Miller from New Girl

Where to begin with Nick Miller. Holy moly. New Girl made its debut this year (more on that below), and the initial character that got everyone talking was Schmidt. But somewhere along when Nick and Jess almost had a threesome with their landlord, Jake M. Johnson stepped it up a billion notches and took Nick Miller to a whole new comedic level. Stand out episodes include when Nick thought he had cancer and the gang got mega drunk due to thinking he was going to die. It was the first episode where we got an inside look to what makes Nick so grumpy and insecure. Once we understood that, all his moments became a hundred times more hilarious. I can not praise Jake M. Johnson enough. The delivery of his lines, his facial expressions, the small subtle choices he makes has put his Nick Miller to the number one spot for me. I love him so much. Most of my laughs come from him. How to even pick a favourite moment? I literally can not sum it up, you just have to do yourself a favour and start watching the show.

MOST BAD ASS PEOPLE ON ONE SHOW – The Borgias

The first season of this show got me hooked with its over the top EVERYTHING, and the second season is not disappointing. Especially since everyone got a little more malicious. Whether it’s Cesare murdering people left and right with his trusty assassin, Lucrezia trolling her older brother and killing the chick he’s having sex with WHILE THEY ARE HAVING SEX (by dropping a chandelier on them), the Pope’s mistress starting a threesome to keep him interested, and of course the Pope himself Jeremy Irons demanding an army of hawks to take out pigeons. This show. So ridiculous.

FAVE CAST – Parks and Recreation

This show just can’t fail at this point. It’s in its own corner of TV land and no one can touch it. The balance of pure comedy, sweetness, romance and physical comedy are perfectly balanced. This season the cast was thrust even more together to help Amy Poehler’s character win the election. It only made them realize that they are certainly more than co-workers, they have become friends, whether they like it or not. Leslie, Jerry, Donna, Tom, Anne, Ben, April, Andy, Ron and yes, even Chris are all a perfect blend of characters that work fantastically as a group. Amazing work from the actors, and great chemistry together. One second I’ll be crying, the next they have me laughing. To them coming out at one of Leslie’s first rallies to “Get on Your Feet” only to fall as a group every 5 seconds or organizing an ill-fated surprise party for Jerry, the gang never has a dull moment.

CHARACTER THAT EVERYONE HATES BUT THAT I LOVE – Dave Rose from Happy Endings

To be fair, not everyone hates Dave, but in such a strong cast of amazing comedic actors who have taken this little show to a new level, one might say he is the weakest. But for some reason Dave is always cracking me up. Something about the way Zachary Knighton chooses to deliver certain lines that could be total throwaways make me appreciate him.

** honorable mention to the lady above with Dave, Alex Kerkovich, whose character went from bland to hilarious in one season. Her Ellen imitation was a comedic highlight from all comedies this season.

SHOW THAT NEEDS TO DIE – Gossip Girl

Oh GG, we’ve been lovers since the beginning, but you are truly starting to test my patience. The way you introduce new story lines and wrap them up in 40 minutes is leaving a sour taste in my mouth. Everyone is a caricature of themselves and not at all the same people you initially created. At this point I only tune in to catch a glimpse of my Prince Nate Archibald doing what he does best – showing up randomly for 5 minutes per episode to remind us he’s on the show and being generally confused. NATEFUSED. IT’S A THING.

PEOPLE THAT SHOULD BE MAKING OUT BUT AREN’T

Jason and Aria on Pretty Little Liars

Why was this story line dropped? It lasted like 5 episodes and it was amazing. Lucy Hale and dream boat Drew Van Acker (be still my heart DIOS MIOS) have amazing chemistry, and it finally spiced up Aria’s story line. Her moping about her secret relationship with Ezra is starting to grow stale. There is still a part of my that enjoys the two, and I know the writers will keep them as THE couple, but throwing obstacles like Jason (who is a great character) keeps it fresh and exciting. BRING THEM BACK.

Jess and Nick from New Girl

Ay caramba these two! Clearly we are in the long haul with them, this could become a Ross and Rachel situation, but the trip so far has been a blast. With Jess living with 3 boys, of course one of them is going to become her love interest. And the path has been set for her to eventually realize she is mad crushing on Nick Miller! It took Nick awhile to even admit he liked having her around as a roommate, but by the end of the season one thing was clear: these two deeply care for each other. Both spent the first half of the season getting over terrible break ups and psyching themselves up to try dating. Both had multiple significant others through the course of the season, and their fights in between about said people revealed a lot. But at the end of the day both grew up a little and learned some lessons, and became very close friends. In the season finale, in a moment of truth when Nick revealed that he thought Jess couldn’t handle being without him (he was planning to move out of the apartment), she did what we always do when we genuinely care about someone, we let them go. And in the sweetest moment of the season, she said she would be fine alone “because I met you”. Nick never did move out, and their smiles at each other in the last few seconds of the episode when he comes back clearly hints that eventually their friendship will grow into something more. No matter how long it will take to get there, fans are hooked thanks to Jake M. Johnson and Zooey Deschanel’s great chemistry.

*** honourable mention – Emma Swan and Jefferson from Once Upon A Time. Please make this happen. Now.

FAVE FRIENDSHIP – Ken Cosgrove and Peggy Olson from Mad Men

There have been some great friendships this year, from Mary Margaret and Emma Swan on Once Upon a Time, Abed and Troy from Community, the entire group of Happy Endings, and the threesome that was Faye, Melissa and Diana on Secret Circle, but somehow I’m putting out a friendship that we barely see. Peggy and Ken have barely had any scenes together this season, but the few we’ve had speak volumes about their mutual respect for each other. It was revealed that if either Ken or Peggy move to another agency or start their own, they are taking each other with them. Their own secret pact. For some reason, I love, love this. I love their secret friendship.

*** keeping with Mad Men friendships, any scenes with Joan and Don together are ace. Same with Joan and Lane. They are all adorable together.

BEST NEW SHOW – New Girl

With my gushing about Nick Miller, it’s quite obvious I’m a huge fan of this show. It was a rough start, but by episode 3 a vibe between the cast and a better understanding of how to write Zooey Deschanel’s character helped bring it to a new level. And by mid-season the cast was cruising along with an amazing comedic chemistry, and the writers were punching out unforgettable one liners. Between the douche bag jar, Schmidt’s OCDness, Winston’s secret love for musicals and Jess’s quirks, this show has brought the whole “hey we’re in our late twenties and thirties and confused about life” genre to a refreshing level. So many stand out moments in each episode. Below are some episode previews to give a very small taste. Just get all of season 1 and marathon that shit. Straight up.

*** honourable mention – Veep. Anything that has Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tony Hale AND bonus Reid Scott back on my screen is a winner. Julia Louis-Dreyfus as the Vice-President is absolutely hilarious. She is killing it.

BIGGEST TROLL – John Blackwell from The Secret Circle

Try to get all my friends to turn to black magic and then get everyone killed while I escape? Check.

Abandon my daughter? Check.

Come back 10 years later and try to gather all teenagers that are actually my illegitimate children to make an army of black magic? Check.

Ruin my daughter’s relationship with her ~one true love~ by creating fake curse? Check.

And the list keeps going.

****************

ALL RIGHT. That’s it. Thank you for reading this ridiculous entry. And don’t forget to keep watching Community. Always watch Community.

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birthdays, birthdays, birthdays

Apologies, I dropped off the face of the earth since May. I was granted a couple of weeks off from work and have been enjoying them immensely. Welcome back readers! I promise to not abandon you again. 

Birthdays. I just celebrated one. I love birthdays. I know a lot of people hate them. Either because they don’t like turning old, or they don’t like the attention. I love them because I can do whatever I want. I thankfully have enough people in my life who love me who will go along with the shenanigans for my birthday. If I say I wanna go to a water park, usually my friends oblige. The last couple of years I’ve been going to my German roots and dragging my friends out on a week day to ring in my birthday at midnight. But at the same time, I’ve had years where I’ve wanted to lie on the couch and day drink all day in no one’s company but my own. And why not? It’s my day. Embrace thy birthday. It’s the only day you can be selfish without feeling guilty.

Y’all know how much I enjoy taking trips down memory lane, so… lets reminisce of all the birthdays that came before.

1-6

Who the fuck knows. I can only imagine it involved my mother baking strudel and inviting family over for afternoon coffee in our East Berlin apartment.

7-8

Vague recollections of my first Canadian birthdays involve Dairy Queen ice cream cake (HOLY SHIT MOVING TO CANADA WAS WORTH IT), party hats, Aladdin themed and Lion King themed, wearing a stripped neon bathing suit (I have to find this picture) while the other girls wore pretty party dresses, and learning about the art of goody bags and the importance of properly handing out invites in class while everyone watches. I kept inviting girls but only some came “to the weird German girl’s house”. I think I was invited to 2 parties during my Edmonton-Calgary years.

9

My first year in Gatineau I invited all the girls in my French immersion class. I think we were 5 in total (the class only had 11 students). We ate a Mickey Mouse ice cream cake. In the picture we are the definition of multiculturalism in Canada. German, Mexican, South African and Russian. We should have been in a brochure of sorts. My bangs were crooked and the gap between my two front teeth were at its ultimate width (“6mm!” exclaims my dentist). We all barely speak French but can converse somewhat in English.

10

My first year in French school. The neighbourhood girls from my street have warmed up to me now that I can talk to them. They are in my class so they agree to come. My mother who still has yet to learn a word in French frightens them by parading around in short shorts and a crop top. It’s 1996 and our small street only has one single mother: mine. And we’re weird. The girls who are attending my party are due to report back to their mothers as to how weird we are. I am painfully aware of this, my mother is not. Bless her heart she doesn’t force them to play any of the weird German games we’ve made my party guests play in the past (one involves eating gross foods in hopes of getting the prize, a cracker with Nutella on it, while wearing mittens and a toque). She does though decide to try the BBQ for the first time to serve us good old-fashioned hot-dogs like a regular Canadian family. I’ve brought the gals to the basement to watch The Hunchback of Notre Dame. My mother comes down 20 minutes into the movie with a plate of burnt weiners and no eyebrows. All the girls laugh. I’m embarrassed. When the BBQ wasn’t turning on, my mother decided to lean down to inspect while still flicking the ignite button. So she almost blew her entire face off.

11-12

No recollection whatsoever. Except for a brief mixup where my mother thought she had bought a traditional German strudel, but it was some savory mushroom creation. Our first bites of the “cake” were memorable. We urge my mother to learn french so she can read labels properly.

13

I now have actual friends who lovingly throw me a surprise party. My BFF, Genevieve, brings me home after we had some pizza only to get egged from all the girls. We had a typical pre-teen sleepover that involves too much sugar, giggling, and boy talk.

14

Now with braces and drinking lemonade beer.

My mother is gone for the weekend. My 16-year-old sister has 18-year-old friends who we beg to buy beer for us. They oblige with a 24 pack. Forty people from my high school show up and we all get shit-faced. My crush gets so drunk he passes out in a park. His friend calls me from his cell (He was a drug dealer. Only drug dealers had cellphones in our town in 2000) and asks to come get us. I’m about to go thinking this will be the moment I save my crush and he falls in love with me. My other best friends Pat and Jo offer to take care of it so I can stay at the party. Jo ends up staying with me. My sister’s wiser and older friends observe us talking in the driveway. They tell me he’s the one I should go after. They were right. Five months later he becomes my first kiss and first boyfriend. He is still one of my best friends till this day.

15

Terrible birthday. Jo and I have broken up and are in too foul of a mood to pretend like we want to be in the same room together. We end up drinking at the skate park by our high school. It’s me, Genevieve, Pat and Jo. At one point we all sulk off in separate corners. I’m pretty sure at least 3 people cried that night. Teen drama.

16

Barely any recollection. Probably involved a house party.

17

There is a bush party out in the woods so I use it to celebrate. There are 200 kids milling about. Genevieve and I try to drunkenly dial for a taxi cab at the end of the night from a corner store. See video footage below.

18

Pretty sure my boyfriend at the time took me out for a fancy dinner.

19

I’m was in Berlin for a month before moving to Vancouver. It was my second day there. We celebrated at midnight at the corner pub below my sister’s apartment with her roommate Jule and her co-workers. They were a lovely bunch and we had a great night. The next day we went for dinner and I was surprised my sister had assembled my entire family for a surprise dinner. I had been planning on seeing them all individually over the next month and to have them all sitting there together was overwhelming. One of my best birthdays ever.

20

I was in film school. It’s was a Tuesday and I was sitting in my film history class. Around 8 pm in my film history class I have my first freak out about my age.  I’m heading into a new decade. Towards adulthood. HOLY CRAP. I leave mid-class (sorry Alfred Hitchcock). This was the only time I missed film history. I went to the bar across the street and found my classmates Brian and Dave. We got ridiculous drunk and celebrated at midnight in front of the 7-11 with cigars.

21

Caely-Ann and I were in Los Angeles for a week long vacation. We suddenly realized I was turning 21 tomorrow which is a big deal in the states. We randomly rented a car and drove to Vegas to stay in the Bellagio for the night. We took a nap upon arrival in our luxury beds, only to be awoken at 11:45 pm by Sean to wish me happy birthday. We quickly threw some dresses and make-up on and sauntered to the bar downstairs. We drank 15$ champagne cocktails at midnight and the pianist played Happy Birthday for me. We wound up strolling the boulevard all night, winding up in a ghetto club and befriending a black jack dealer at the Pink Flamingo.

22

I finally used our backyard from our heritage house to good use and hosted a BBQ. The sun was shining and loads of people showed up. I vaguely remembering discussing the Rolling Stones with Kevin for an hour, and Mike Dinsmore dancing alone to Aqua’s Barbie Girl at 3 am before his friends put him in a cab.

23

I hosted an old school birthday party at our apartment. I remembered all the things I learned my first year in Canada. I made goody bags so that my grown friends could wear plastic friendship necklaces and fake tattoos. We played Jenga, the Girl Edition, which involved having to answer personal question with each block (“When was the last time you cried?” “My aunt’s funeral” replied Jordan. Being adults suck). The girls tried to rouse the boys away from the hockey game by playing Twister. We failed. We all get drunk enough to go to the Fairview where Drew and I sung “Forever Young” by Rod Stewart as loud as possible.

24

I warned my old neighbourhood bar in Kits, Elwoods, that I want to have my birthday there. The staff still knew me and kept the back open for us. By 10 pm we had taken over the entire bar and the bartender was only letting people in that were there for my birthday. The night ended with Dan, my boyfriend at the time, and I running to get poutine like little children (complete with me wearing a birthday tiara) while Alexis and her man at the time supervised us.

25

I decided to keep things light and have drinks with my best friends. We began at a bar by my house, and then graduated to fancy cocktail bar The Diamond. I was fed tequila shots by Drew and ended up getting into a fight with someone. The boys (Sean, Drew and Jordan) collect me from outside and brought me to the only bar still open at 2:30 am on a Tuesday – The Blarney Stone. We purchased several pitchers and I shook off my fight. Sean ends up falling down so we get kicked out. The next day I am hung the fuck over at work. But it was all kind of worth it.

26

I did what I love the most – have my friends over and cook for them. We have a Greek feast and then headed to the Waldorf where severe dancing happened, and I drank out of a coconut. Byron and I have a drunk heart to heart outside after the bar closes. I end the night in a cab alone heading home watching the Super Moon shine brightly and thanking life for granting me amazing people in my life, health and happiness.