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Feed Your Game of Thrones Addiction By Sharing It With Friends

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WARNING: Vague Spoilers Ahead

A couple of weeks ago, my roommate finally hopped on the Game of Thrones bandwagon (about 6.5 years late). It’s been rough for me, being the only one in my house that watches. I have nobody to talk GoT theory with and as all of us know, that’s half the entertainment of the show. Then I realized an even greater joy. Watching someone else’s mind get blown and remembering how it felt when I binged the first 3 seasons back in high school (only about 2.5 years late).

GoT has been on for 6 years, but for those that have invested hours and hours of their time to watching, talking, and thinking about the show, it’s hard to remember a time before it. The vast amount of depth that has been placed into the show, which even pales in comparison to the giant books I haven’t read, submerges its viewers into a whole other world. You see these characters transform through the hardships they’ve faced, some for better, and for some, much worse. Our emotions ride with the ups and downs of the show, and watching someone else experience them, is like experiencing them for yourself all over again.

That’s what makes the whole show work. My roommate cheered for Rob Stark, God bless his soul, to rip Jamie’s head off, but in the back of my mind I know he evolves into a much more complex character, one that you’d root for, if he wasn’t stuck on the wrong side. He thinks Khal Drogo is a tyrannical asshole who deserves to be a vegetable the rest of his days, but now we know that he helped bring the ruthless side out of Dany (the future Mad Queen???). He thinks Joffrey is bad, well he is crazy annoying, but little does he know, there’s this dude named Ramsey that will haunt your nightmares.

Ramsay: Nightmare Man

So, find a friend and get them hooked. Pretend that you’re giving them your HBOGo login to be nice. Watch their life routine turn into sleep, eat, work, binge, repeat. Then just wait for the big payoff with soda and some popcorn, as they watch the Red Wedding in horror, losing all hope for humanity on Earth and in Westeros. Don’t worry, they’ll recover…right? Wait have you…have I? Man, maybe I don’t want to go through that again.

Red Wedding Memories

 

Image Credits: HBO

What To Do With That Old Cable Box

in news/television

DirecTV, Comcast, Dish, and whatever other cable company executives are out there, huddle together in fear. Once enemies, they look around and realize that they’re all about to meet the same fate. Web based content providers are taking over and there’s nothing they can do about it. Streaming services are simply the next step in the evolution of television and cable is the obsolete past. The cable death march is well under way.

Cable subscribers have been declining rapidly for the past 5 years and now more households have access to Netflix than they do to a DVR. So in a few years when cable boxes are simply dust collectors next to your VHS tapes, you’ll need some ways to get some use out of them.

Dinnerware

Cooking dinner and you realize that you’re out of clean dishes? Don’t worry. Just grab that old cable box, snap off the top panel, and voila. You’ve got a trendy new plate/bowl combo. The raised edges will keep food from getting out and you won’t be able to see the DirecTV logo, so you’ll forget all the turmoil you endured when you forgot to record the series finale of your favorite show.

Frisbee*

Now that you have some functional trendy dish ware, what are you going to do with the top panel you just ripped off? A brand new frisbee for the kids to enjoy. With its sleek design, this piece of plastic will cut through air. You’ll no longer have to worry about where an old, conventional frisbee will veer off to since this new one will be on a beeline straight to the receiver.

*This is a joke. Please don’t allow your children to fling jagged pieces of plastic at each other or the family dog.

Home Gym

Have you been on the cable TV kick from the very beginning? If so, then your house is filled with old, heavy, cable boxes. Why not put them and yourself to work? Grab a branch from the tree out back, tape a cable box to each side, and you’ve got your very own personal gym. Watch out 24-Hour Fitness, these athletes are subscribing to Dish!

Coffee Table Decor

Entertain the grandkids with a blast from the past when they ask you what that giant brick with buttons is. Regale them with tales of shoddy TV connections during Game 7 of the World Series. Blow their minds when you tell them that this 12lb. behemoth could only hold about 30 hours of recorded video. Tell them of all the relationships that ended simply by fighting over the right to pick the channel.

Stress-Reliever

As you tell your grandchildren about a simpler time in entertainment, I’m sure rage will begin bubbling up inside of you. Don’t worry, it’s completely natural to resent your old cable provider when you realize how much easier streaming is. Save that rage for your ex-coffee table decoration and current object of hatred, your cable box. It’s useless now. So take a bat and head out back for some good ol’ fashioned stress relief… Office Space style.

Image Credit: Comcast

Divorce Songs

in television

HBO’s new series, Divorce finished its 1st season this year, and recently announced that a second season will be picked up. In the realm of all the action-packed excitement of shows that HBO has to offer (Game of Thrones, Westworld, True Detective), it is easy to gloss over some of the simpler, more idiosyncratic shows like Girls or Insecure. Divorce falls into the latter type of HBO program.

Created by Sharon Horgan and starring Sarah Jessica Parker and Thomas Hayden Church, the show takes place in New York, zoomed in on a married couple in their 40’s/50’s. It depicts a major fork in their marriage, and how they navigate through a divorce for the first time. The subject matter is bleak, but there are wonderful moments of humor peppered throughout every episode. Church definitely contributes most to the humor with his odd temper and sometimes inappropriate social awkwardness. Parker plays a very annoyed and very tired wife and mother to perfection. One element of the show that the audience may notice, is that most of the music is straight out of the 70’s. Every closing credit is accompanied by a classic 70’s song by musicians that range from Supertramp to Little River Band.

While Church’s character, Robert, learns that his marriage might be ending, he starts going through his old records. It’s a little cliché to have a man going through a mid-life crisis, re-discover his old records, but there’s a reason that always happens in movies and TV. People resort to music when they cannot express their feelings. When an old song from high school days comes on the radio, it automatically transports the listener back to that time. When Robert finds his old Yes! albums (which is a delightfully hilarious band for his character to love), he remembers what makes him passionate. He remembers what it’s like to feel alive again. The fact that so much of the music comes from the 70’s is a very poignant move by the music supervisor for Divorce, Michael Hill.

In a way, choosing music from this decade makes the audience remember that this is the music that the couple must have listened to all the time when they were younger, more carefree…more in love. It creates a lovely nostalgia in the show that impeccably contrasts with the struggles the couple faces in modern times. There are some rare moments in the show when modern music plays. However, when this happens, it’s usually during an awkward or uncomfortable situation. A great example of that: Parker’s character, Frances, is riding in the car with Robert and Coldplay’s Paradise is on the radio. It is at the part when Chris Martin is singing “para- para- paradise” over and over, and Robert is singing along with it…badly. He just keeps repeating that part over and over and the audience can see that Frances is boiling with irritation. Finally she can’t stand it anymore and abruptly turns off the radio without a word. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with Coldplay, but any time modern music is playing, it’s almost like the couple just doesn’t fit in…much like how they don’t quite gel with the life that they have created for each other. The music in this series echoes the melancholy of this couple’s marriage as well as the grating harshness of their divorce.

Season 2 of Divorce is expected to air this fall.

Main Image Credit: HBO

Bojack Horseman: A Celebrity Hero

in television

We watch them on T.V., buy their brands, and read about them in magazines, but how much do we really know about our favorite celebrities? We constantly scrutinize them, truly believing that what they are in our minds, is the ideal version of what a human being is. However, we all know that this isn’t the case. Pick your favorite celebrity meltdown of this century. Whether it’s Kanye West or Britney Spears, the people we put on such high pedestals are just people at the end of the day. Like Old Yeezy told us “the people highest up got the lowest self esteem.”

Netflix’s original series Bojack Horseman, sheds a new light on the “has-been celebrity” T.V. show pitch. Set in Los Angeles, Bojack Horseman (Will Arnett) is (well… first of all he is a horse man, obviously) a washed-up 80’s star of the insanely popular show Horsin’ Around. The long-lasting popularity of the show still allows Bojack fame and fortune, but as time moves on, every reference to his past work is like a slap in the face. Although he is loved by the public, he longs for something more.  20+ years after the show went of the air, he finds himself alone, bitter and drinking himself through his days and partying through his nights. And the icing on the cake… his only friend is a homeless dude that lives on his couch, Todd (Aaron Paul). Keep Reading

Ka-Bob’s Burger Bash: How To Throw A Bob’s Burgers-Themed Cookout

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If you haven’t watched one episode of the seven-so-far-seasons of Bob’s Burgers, then we’re sad for you, but there’s still time! Season 7 is currently streaming on Hulu, and the final season is set to premiere late September 2017.

If you’re already a fan of the show, then you’re very familiar with the dysfunctional-yet-lovable Belcher family who owns and operates Bob’s Burgers. Between running a business and raising their three children -awkward Tina, precocious Louise, and light-hearted Gene — Bob and Linda have a bit more than burgers on their plates.

Most of the episodes display at least one “Burger Of The Day” whose ingredients always make for a great joke. When planning for a Bob’s Burger themed party, this is where the inspiration begins. I’ve aptly named this party “Ka-Bob’s Burgers Bash,” because the more food puns the better.

The Burger Bracket
Start with a burger bracket to determine which burger you will be serving. With over 150 Burgers of the Day to date, this may be a little tricky. I narrowed down the list to 16 burgers, and paired up the ones with similar names or ingredients. From there, I faced off each burger pair until I came down to my ultimate winner: A Leek Of Their Own (I have a weakness for Tom Hanks movies).

Decorations
Order/make burger themed decorations. A few things I ordered from Amazon for this party were cardboard food trays, a gingham tablecloth, and the best of all: inflatable burger drink holders. For DIY decorations, I taped tissue paper to yellow balloons to make them look like hamburgers, created my own “Burger of the Day” chalkboard, and wrote some of the best one-liners from the show on the burger wrappers. I think the one-liner idea would also lend well to burger bibs if you have messy friends.

Drinks
Come up with a Bob’s Burger-themed drink. In this case, I felt like Louise’s trouble making personality would lend well to a Bloody Mary. I whipped up some tomatillo-based bloody mary mix to match Louise’s green shirt, and then renamed this cocktail the Bloody Louise. The ingredients I used to top the drink also happened to be many of the same burger ingredients which allowed me to consolidate my grocery list and cut down on party costs. For other options, I thought a Mar-Tina, Marga-Tina, or a Gene and Tonic could be fun.

Side Dishes
Your guests will probably be asking if they can contribute. Let them. This can be a great way to get some side dishes in the mix. I always find it helpful to give your guests specific direction on what to bring because it cuts down on pre-party stress and errand running for you. In this case, I thought it would be fun to have each friend bring their own fries. This is such an easy item to bring because they can choose drive-thru or homemade, and it’s also a fun way to determine who makes the best fries in your city. For this party I chose In-and-Out, Arby’s, and Chick-fil-A (just remember that you can’t throw your party on a Sunday if you want fresh Chick-fil-A fries to be an option).

Dessert
This is where the “ka-bob” comes into play — a dessert kabob! I skewered my kabobs with strawberries, bananas, and homemade brownie bites as a fun way to end the night, but any fruit or cake square combo would work well here.

And that’s it! Now, start planning your Ka-Bob’s Burgers Bash, and when everyone fawns over what a fantastic hostess you are, just reply with Tina’s best quote: “I’m no hero. I put on my bra one boob at a time.”

photo credit: Kelly Boyles

3 Netflix Comedy Specials You Need To Watch This Weekend

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Netflix currently has a load of comedy specials streaming right now. Here are three gems that everyone should check out!

Image Credit: Freeform/Jonathan Weiner)

Iliza Shlesinger – Confirmed Kills
This is Iliza Shlesinger’s 3rd hour-long special. Shlesinger is loud, proud and not afraid to be silly. Her set is filled with funny voices and hysterical asides. Her material is fresh and she tackles issues that many women in their 30’s can relate to: partying too hard and paying for it too hard, self-esteem, and beauty routines. Iliza’s stage presence and high energy are truly compelling. Her confidence is contagious and it definitely makes her comedy shine.

Image Credit: Netflix

Theo Von – No Offense
This is Von’s very first Netflix special. It has received mixed reviews. Von’s stage persona is that of a good ol’ Louisiana Christian man. He comes off as an opinated, southern college “bro.” The material he discusses deal with race, women and religion…basically, all the things you should not discuss on a first date. When his set is looked at out of context, it can seem offensive (hence the name of his special). However, much like Sarah Silverman or Zach Galifinakis, Von is poking fun at the persona he plays. When the audience embraces that, his show is hilarious.

Image Credit: Guidepost

Jim Gaffigan – Cinco
In case it isn’t obvious from the title, this is Jim Gaffigan’s 5th special. Gaffigan is very straight-forward and honest in his comedy, so the title of his show suits him. One of Gaffigan’s comedic trademarks are his asides/commentary he makes to himself as an audience member. Although he does this much less in his special (maybe he is becoming tired of the bit), he still tells hilarious stories of his extremely insane life with his wife and 5 children.

Main Image Credit: Netflix

Fact: Samurai Jack Is the Best Thing on TV

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After 10 years, my favorite fictional hero of all time has returned to save us all from the clutches of Aku, Samurai Jack. The action-packed children’s anime, Samurai Jack, from the extremely talented Genndy Tartakovsky, (remember Dexter’s Labaratory  and The PowerPuff Girls? Yeah — that guy), is in my humble opinion, the greatest show of all time.

When the show was released in 2001 on Cartoon Network, it featured Jack, a young samurai with a vendetta against Aku, a demonic shape-shifter, hell-bent on ruling the world. After his village is destroyed as a boy in a surprise attack from Aku, Jack trains throughout his childhood to one day return and vanquish him.

Upon Jack’s return home many years later, a battle of epic proportions ensues. With the help of the mystic sword bestowed upon him by his ancestors, it appears that the samurai has won, but Aku had one last trick up his sleeve. Aku cast a portal into the future, sending Jack through time, where Aku’s power could grow more powerful. Over 4 seasons, Jack combats aliens, demonic minions, and even himself, in hopes of finding a way back to the past and free the world from Aku’s grip.

From 2001-2004, all 7 members of the Norwood family crowded around the TV religiously to see what sort of mess Jack was in and how he slashed his way out of it. However, upon season 5’s release on Cartoon Network’s late night channel, Adult Swim, it is apparent that this is not the same Jack of a decade ago.

Switching to a more fitting adult program, Samurai Jack has transformed into the darker, more intense show that it always was destined to become. Robots and minions have been replaced with real flesh and blood. Although time travel has blessed — or more fittingly cursed — Jack, stealing away his body’s ability to age, he no longer is invincible. He’s depleted, facing almost certain death week after week. He has lost his sword, his hope, and his mind over the past 15 years trapped in the future and there’s no telling if he’ll get any of them back before his adversaries succeed in taking his life.

Obviously I am deeply, deeply biased. I grew up with Jack. I feel like I know him personally, and maybe I really do. That is the type of character Tartakovsky has created, an admirable man of great honor and I will be right by his side during the most trying times of his fictional life.

Hopefully you’ll bare with all my oohing and ahhing every time Jack disposes of an enemy (it will be slightly obnoxious) and watch Samurai Jack take on the world with me.

Catch Samurai Jack every Saturday night at 11 p.m. ET on Adult Swim and recap seasons 1-4 on Hulu.

 

Main Image Credit: Adult Swim

A Series of Unfortunate Events

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The critically acclaimed dark comedy children’s book series, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, has gained new life in form of a Netflix series. After the mysterious death of their parents, the Baudelaire orphans, Violet (Malina Weissman), Klaus (Louis Hynes), and Sunny (Presley Smith), are left to fend for themselves with the enormous fortune that has been left behind. All the while, the menacing Count Olaf (Neil Patrick Harris) devises scheme after scheme in efforts to steal away the Baudelaire inheritance.

Through crude disguises, murder, and nonsensical danger at every turn, the Baudelaire’s must keep their wits about them to outsmart Olaf and discover the truth about their parents.

Season one, which debuted in early 2017, covers the first four books: The Bad Beginning, The Reptile Room, The Wide Window, and The Miserable Mill, over a span of 8 episodes. Impressive cameos are featured throughout, with appearances from Joan Cusack, Will Arnett, and many more.

Reviews have been overwhelmingly positive for the television remake, and a second season is already in production. Be sure to catch Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events on Netflix and be on the lookout for season 2 later this year.

Artwork by the amazing Cuddles & Rage.

Game On! Wayne’s World Turns 25

in film

Saturday Night Live has been the origin of so many hilarious characters. Dozens of movies have been made based on one 5 minute sketch from SNL. Possibly the most successful and well-known SNL sketch-made-movie is Wayne’s World. Starring Mike Myers and Dana Carvey, Wayne’s World celebrated its 25th anniversary on February 14th. It is very hard to believe that this film is as old as a person who can legally rent a car. To honor the birthday of this hysterical film, many theatres around the nation have re-released it.

As funny as SNL sketches are, it is common for movie renditions of a sketch to flop. This is typically because the joke tires out quickly. It is difficult to keep a joke that is hilarious for 5 minutes, go on and on for 90 more minutes. That being said, some sketch movies have been hugely successful like The Blues Brothers which topped the national box office at over $57 million. Wayne’s World set the SNL movie bar with $121 million at the box office. No other SNL movie has ever come close to topping that.

So what makes this movie so popular? Well, that scene with the car sing-a-long to Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody is definitely one of the most iconic moments in film. Seeing all those metal heads laughing and head banging in their junky little car to such a monumental song was something that many people can relate to. It was truly a moment from the 90’s that everyone remembers.

Besides that scene, there was so much more that made Wayne’s World break the SNL movie mold. Mike Myers and Dana Carvey were able to take a funny little sketch and create a whole world. The used their characters and the setting to make social commentaries and satirize the entertainment culture.

Finally — and most importantly — this movie is STILL FUNNY. The jokes still work! Yes, it is definitely a ’90s flick, but it doesn’t feel dated. This is mostly because the movie was created by extremely talented writers who did not depend too much on ’90s trends or politics. Instead, it re-invented the movie soundtrack and coined new slang such as “Party On” or “Schwing!”

Wayne’s World was original, and it will forever be one of those movies that comes on TV that makes you stop changing the channel and say “I LOVE this movie!”

Happy Anniversary, Wayne’s World. May the party continue to go on and on.

Main Image Credit: NBC

Netflix’s “The Crown” Is A Royal Hit

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More period piece than tell all Netflix’s The Crown more than fills the gaping hole left behind since the end of Downton Abbey. This biographical look at a young Elizabeth Windsor’s ascension to the throne is a visual feast with sumptuous gowns, elegant cars, and stately homes- well, palaces as it were.

With a relatively unknown cast to American audiences, excepting John Lithgow, The Crown jumps feet first into the, extremely well acted, goings on of the erstwhile King George’s VI (remember The King’s Speech, same king) family life. In rapid fire succession we are introduced to the King’s (Jared Harris) alarming health decline, Philip Mountbatten’s (Matt Smith) political and personal concessions to marry Elizabeth (Claire Foy), and Princess Margaret’s (Vanessa Kirby) illicit interest in the king’s equerry Peter (Ben Miles). Despite having a multitude of storylines to follow The Crown feels neither rushed nor cluttered. Even the introduction of Lithgow’s Winston Churchill and the goings-on of 10 Downing Street do not distract, rather give a rounder, more complete, picture of the situation Elizabeth finds herself thrust into.

Foy’s Elizabeth is kind and gracious, interacting with those around her with a quiet and serious confidence. Perhaps more interesting (at least to watch) is her ambivalence in her relationship with Philip, at once both confident and insecure; Elizabeth talks to him with an ease that speaks to a deep familiarity but quakes tearfully at the altar. With the unexpectedly sudden death of her father Elizabeth is forced into a role that changes her home, job, and title instantaneously. Upon hearing the news of her family’s and country’s loss she is allowed but a moment to mourn before having to summon a stalwart stoicism that belies her 26 years of age.

If The Crown strives to the highbrow it does so without skirting around the licentious.

Main Image Credit: Netflix
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