Tag Archives: Comedy

I Loved And Needed “Jojo Rabbit” Today

One of the main things they teach you about writing film reviews is hey, maybe don’t blow the ending. But, god, do I wish I could tell you just how much I needed the last few minutes of Taika Waititi’s “Jojo Rabbit” on today of all days.

Besides, I always err on the side of personal essays anyways. Let’s not pretend I am in anyway a film critic. I aimlessly left my apartment to go for a walk in the pouring rain this morning, trying to tire myself out because I didn’t sleep a wink. I zoned out and walked about four miles.

Candidly, the droplets on my sweatshirt were a mixture of rainwater and tears. Realizing I walked too far to turn back, I sought shelter in the nearest theater. “Jojo Rabbit” happened to be starting right as I arrived, so it was fate, really.

Taika Waititi is an accomplished filmmaker responsible for one of the greatest cult films ever made, “What We Do In The Shadows,” among lesser important things, like “Thor: Ragnarok.” (Sorry, one of the Hemsworths.)

It’s no surprise that I’d be drawn to Waititi’s buffoonish take on dark Nazi Germany. Jojo, played by Roman Griffin Davis, is a 10-year-old Hitler Youth during WW2, whose hopes to become a soldier are thwarted after an accident.

Jojo’s imaginary friend, Hitler, played by Waititi himself is a caricature of  the fuhrer that does silly rumor-based things like eat unicorn meat.

As a literal child, Jojo is a scared boy who wants to belong and loves his mommy (Scarlet Johansson.) He wants to fall in line and thinks love is gross. A development at home challenges his entire belief system and forces the plot along.

Not without its sad and horrific moments (there are literal Nazis after all) the movie still ultimately punches up.

“Jojo Rabbit” has a a lot of heart, humor, and hardship. Without spoiling too much, I’ll just say that I left feeling like I had been given a sign to keep going, no matter what. For that, I am really thankful.

Me, fangirling that one of my favorite composers acknowledged my gratitude.
Me, fangirling that one of my favorite composers acknowledged my gratitude.

 

Comedy 👑 Amanda Bynes

Most people recognize the queens of comedy as Ball, Rivers, and modern Fey/Poehler types — but there’s a certain throne in my heart reserved for the woman whose jokes raised my wit — Bynes.

We need to talk about Amanda Bynes. Amanda Bynes was an early 2000s queen, the nonsensical teen on my TV with all that, and my first introduction to women in sketch comedy.

The lengths of which she entertained a generation are enormously spread. I dreamt of being as funny as her, being as cool as her, being able to pull off a midriff like her.

Everyday when I got home from school I would grab a granola bar, plop myself down on the ugly dark green carpet in my childhood bedroom and glue my eyes to the low-def glowing television screen that sang, “AMANDA-AMANDA-AMANDA-AMANDA-AMANDA-AMANDA-AMANDA-AMANDA SHOWWWWWWWWWWWWW!”

In recent years, the media has done her real dirty. The Hollywood Reporter declared the end of her career. People Magazine chronicled her “fall from grace” in just 5 pictures. They also wrote that she is “impossible to help” at this point. In grocery store mags she’s the “hot mess” and “Lohan 2.0.” Harvey Leven and Perez Hilton pretend to be nice now with reports like “Amanda Bynes Is RECOVERING and we’re so proud!” when the truth of the matter is that they were on the frontlines of a spiral for years exploiting addiction, abuse, and sensationalizing mental illness for profit. Frankly, it’s disgusting how profitable tragedy has become to these sick f*cks.

As I type this I feel similarly to how Chris Crocker felt defending Britney.

Yesterday was Amanda Bynes’ 31st birthday and I want to celebrate her and all she has done to shape my young mind. Her plethora of characters still make me laugh and her wit never falters. Millennials truly do need to celebrate what she has done for us.

She was Ashley, a rude tiny-person with a help hotline in All That.

She was Judge Trudy, a no-nonsense nonsense judge who called in the dancing lobsters in The Amanda Show.

She worked at Blockblister, an off brand Blockbuster – god, how old of a sentence?

She taught us what to do when Hula girls attack.

She took us into The Girl’s Room and introduced us to Debbie, her friend who liked eggs.

She was Candy, girlfriend of Tony Pajamas, one of the Al Dente brothers. (“What’s that for?” “For being an idiot!” “Okay!”)

She marketed commercials with consumers like us in mind.

She would tell physically painful knock knock jokes during a hillbilly moment.

She introduced us to her friend Kyle. (Sorry for this one’s video quality but I HAD to include this iconic moment, you know the one).

Lastly, I saved the best for last, she gifted us with the most important melodramatic short series of all time: Moody’s Point. (I could write a whole other blog post about Moody’s Point alone – in fact, I think doing a react and recap for each episode would be pretty cool? Would anyone want to read that? Me rewatching probably my favorite parody drama series for the first time since the early 2000s? Let me know if this would interest you and I might do it?)

Basically, I owe Amanda Bynes my childhood and a large percentage of my sense of humor. In a world where women are constantly told they aren’t funny, I am glad that as a little girl I had Amanda Bynes to prove critics wrong. I continue to wish her all the happiness and laughs, just as she’s given me for all these years. We should all bow down to comedy queen Ms. Amanda Bynes.

Lena Dunham Out, Sharks In

Women are powerful. Sharks are powerful. Women sharks are very powerful. I think it’s time we paid homage to the female shark community and see them for what they truly are – feminist heroines.

I know you’re reading this thinking, “She’s lost her mind.” Correct. I lost my mind a long time ago and she’s not coming back any time soon. You know what’s also correct? I can name 3 female sharks in the past week that have inspired me. Let’s do this.

#1. This female shark in Seoul that isn’t putting up with any bullshark bullshit.

She was just a happy 8-year-old-tiger shark, swimming along when this 5-year-old male shark started bumping into her in the tank. So she ate him. Then proceeded to parade around with his lifeless body in her mouth for the next 21 hours.

Why I respect her: She doesn’t put up with toxic males in her life. She takes control of the situation and shuts it down. This fool was probably some frat dude that was bumping all up on her and she’s giving him that side shark eye like back off. Of course he didn’t listen and keeps bothering her, probably going to brag to his alpha acai trenta epsilon bros that he was able to touch some fin – but NO, she won’t allow it. She eats him and shuts his shit down. Good for her.

#2 Leonie, the Australian zebra shark that doesn’t need a man.


After being separated from her mate 2 years ago in 2014, Leonie the zebra shark has lived a lonely life. Well it was lonely…up until recently when she gave birth to three pups asexually. She shocked scientists by possibly being the first shark ever to make the switch from sexual to asexual reproduction. When they checked the DNA of her babies, they had expected to find she had been saving sperm. N O P E. All three babies only had Leonie’s DNA, and it was clear that she was miraculously the sole parent. No custody battles here.

Why I respect her: Nothing is impossible for Leonie. She decided that she wasn’t done having kids even though there was no man in her life. She was too good for men. Nothing could get in the way of her motherhood. Now, she has three new babies to love. What a good mom.

#3 Deep Blue, the biggest and baddest mommy in the ocean.

Her name is Deep Blue and she is the biggest Great White shark ever captured on film. I first saw a video of her on Tumblr with all these positive comments like, “Who’s a big pretty girl?” Someone else commented this picture of her high-fiving a diver. They added, “Not only is Deep Blue big, but she’s super pregnant too.”

http://killermemequeen.tumblr.com/post/156004402190/k-lionheart-fieryartemisproductions

Why I respect her: Deep Blue is thicc, confident, and killing it. She is a big pretty girl. She’s the ocean’s top predator and still has time to high-five the peasants along her way. Deep Blue is slaying the ocean game, literally, rip to all those seals she must now eat for two. She is the ocean baddie we all need to see.

I don’t think there is a predator that’s a feminist icon yet. Are there animal/mammal feminist mascots already out there? I’m not sure. I do know that feminine animals in TV and film are depicted as cute and small. Female animals are often characterized as mice, does, bunny rabbits – basically small woodland creatures that bat fake eyelashes and help princesses get dressed in the morning. I think it’s time to reconsider. Females are more than capable of carnage. All of the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park, and Jurassic World are female. Sharks could be the new symbol of female power. There is more than enough evidence to support this claim. Take it from someone who admires sharks when they eat toxic males, reproduce asexually despite the odds, and flaunt their way through the ocean.

Saturday Night’s newest, familiar faces

Saturday Night Live season 42 premiered last weekend with a Trump/Hillary debate cold open, a first Family Feud, and many sexy Margot Robbie sketches.

The return of SNL means two things, out with the old and in with the new cast members.

Let’s all  take a moment to observe and commemorate  the fallen cast members who won’t be returning this season.

RIP to the SNL career’s of:

Taran Killam (2010-2016)

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Mostly known for: Snooty 1800’s critic Jebediah Atkinson, Mokiki, French Dancing Fool, overall strong ensemble traits.

 

Jay Pharoah (2010-2016)

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Mostly known for:
Jay-Z, Kanye West, Ben Carson, Katt Williams, Barack Obama, Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, literally everyone else.

 

Jon Rudnitsky (2015-2016)

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I’m sorry, who is this? Can someone please tell me? Is this the record for shortest SNL career in history?
Do you even go here?

Two of you will be dearly missed.

 

Now to the exciting part: NEW CAST MEMBERS. There’s three new names to know: Mikey Day, Alex Moffat, and Melissa Villaseñor.

I’m excited to say that I already recognize two of the newbies. I felt an inkling of familiarity watching Mikey Day on the SNL’s premiere and quickly realized he was in one of my favorite viral videos in middle school. He played Evan, a man terrorized by David Blaine in, the David Blaine Street Magic series. I still think this video is comedic gold. “You shrunk my Honda, you bitch!”

Melissa Villaseñor also resonated with me and I realized she was the person on the Vine who got famous a couple months ago for her INSANE “Oh wow” Owen Wilson impression. Her Vine, titled “Owen Wilson On A Date,” along with her Vine account has gone private since then, but she’s posted similar content on her YouTube.

As for Alex Moffat, I can’t say I’m familiar from first glance, so I guess he’s our SNL rookie underdog at this point.

Anyway, here’s what you need to know about each of SNL’s newest entertainers.

Mikey Day

source: ew.com
source: ew.com

From: Orange County, California

Also apparently dated (is dating?) Selma Blair. Hmm.

Previous Work: Friends with Benefits, Kath & Kim, The Jay Leno Show, MAD, Maya and Marty (current), Robot Chicken (current).

Debut characters: Matt Shatt, an unattractive croc-wearing husband whose marriage to an attractive woman (Margot Robbie) puzzles a news team. Donald Trump Jr. during Family Feud: Political Edition.

Known Impressions: James Vanderbeek

Alex Moffat

source: zap2it.com
source: zap2it.com

From: Chicago, Illinois

Previous Work: The Second City, ImprovOlympic, Annoyance Theatre, Zanies Comedy Club, and Uncle John (2015)

Debut Character: Eric Trump, during Family Feud: Political Edition, and a seismologist.


Melissa
Villaseñor

source: @melissavcomedy on twitter
source: @melissavcomedy on twitter

*The first ever Latina cast member in SNL’s 41 year history.
From: Whittier, California

Previous Work: Adventure Time, Family Guy, TripTank, America’s Got Talent Season 6, First Impressions

Debut Character: Sarah Silverman in Family Feud: Political Edition.

Known Impressions: Owen Wilson, Natalie Portman, Whitney Cummings, Sia, Zooey Deschanel, Barbara Walters, Jennifer Lopez, Hillary Clinton, Kate Micucci, Sonia Sotomayor, Kristen Wiig, Gwen Stefani.

I’m looking forward to an interesting season, here’s hoping these 3 fill the enormous shoes left for them!

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Scream Queens season 2 premiere: Bloody Bitches

Disclaimer: this post contains sass and SPOILERS. It can also be considered a hot take. For some cynical context,  here is the actual Wikipedia definition of a hot take:

A hot take is a journalism term derisively used to describe a “piece of deliberately provocative commentary that is based almost entirely on shallow moralizing” in response to a news story, “usually written on tight deadlines with little research or reporting, and even less thought.”

Now that the bar is set so high, (Thanks, Wikipedia!) let’s get to some “shallow moralizing.”

Season 2 of Scream Queens premiered last night on Fox and my initial thoughts are “STAMOS” and “My bitches are back.” If Ryan Murphy’s two shows, American Horror Story and Glee, had a drunken love-child, it would be Scream Queens.

ICYMI Season 1 of the horror-comedy-parody-whatever Ryan Murphy likes to call it-left viewers with an odd resolution. To recap, main bitches Chanel Oberlin (Emma Roberts), Chanel #3 (Billie Lourd), and Chanel #5 (Abigail Breslin) fell from power as Kappa Kappa Tau royalty and were charged with the serial murders that shook up campus last season. The trio was sentenced to life in an asylum as their ultimate fall from grace. The real murderer, or Red Devil Hester (Lea Michele) admits in almost Shakesperean soliloquy that the Chanel’s conviction was her biggest move yet. Dean Munsch (Jamie Lee Curtis) approaches Hester and admits to recognizing her as the bathtub baby and the killer, but Hester blackmails the Dean into not turning her in for the bloodbath on campus.

Season 2 starts up three years later in present day 2016. Dean Munsch has left her days at Wallace University behind her, traveling the word promoting her book and giving a TEDx Talk on “New New Feminism.”  For a humanitarian reason (or a creepy reason to be discovered later) Munsch’s latest project is purchasing a hospital and taking  on cases of the most incurable disaeses. With a new team of A-list actors yet D-list doctors, enter Dr. Brock Holt (John Stamos-have mercy!) and Dr. Cassidy Cascade (Taylor Lautner), Dean Munsch launches the C.U.R.E. Institute.

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My favorite Munsch line so far was when she was accused of not being a real doctor and she responded, “That’s not true. They gave me the actual honorary doctorate they stripped from Bill Cosby.”

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Feeling guilty about ghosts of the past, Munsch reaches out fan favorite sorority sister from last season Zayday Williams (Keke Palmer) and invites her to  work as a doctor at the hospital. She accepts and delivers my favorite Zayday line so far in this season: “I’m here for my M.D., not my M.R.S.”

Then, a flashback  reveals that The Chanel’s were set free from the asylum when former security guard turned FBI agent, sorry, special FBI agent, Denise Hemphill (Niecy Nash) presents video evidence of Hester admitting to the murders.  The Chanel’s get a Making A Murderer-style Netflix documentary about their innocence,  so you’d think  America would get  back on their side, however, the documentary just reveals that while innocent, the three are still just awful people in general.

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The Chanel’s go from glamour to squalor; they get cut off from their wealthy families, and are forced to work. The three do go back to school to get their degrees in Communications, but “quickly realized that a degree in Communications is practically worthless.” OUCH. Me and my 50k a year education feel personally targeted. The Chanel’s get blue collar jobs to make some money, but they are miserable about it. Chanel works at a blood bank because she loves blood (shocking). Chanel #3 works as a janitor at a sperm bank, because she loves, um, bodily fluids and Chanel #5 just works as a dental assistant.

After Zayday complains to Dean Munsch that the hospital employees are mostly men, the perfect set up for the Chanel’s to return is created. Dean Munsch pays The Chanel’s a visit and offers them a chance to work in the new hospital as medical students.

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The Chanel’s arrive on the scene in pink scrubs and in mean girl formation. Immediately they meet hospital administrator Ingrid Marie Hoffel (Kirstie Alley) and realize she’s HBIC. This doesn’t jive well with Chanel and it’s obvious that this season those two will have it out for each other, I’m excited.

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The plot in the new hospital setting starts off by taking on the task as a hospital team to treat Catherine Hobart or “Hairy Mary” or “Sasquatch” played by SNL cast member Cecily Strong. Catherine is a patient that’s covered head to toe in body hair, and his been deemed incurable by all the other doctors in the area. Munsch and Zayday pledge to find a cure, while Chanel pledges to find a cure faster than Zayday for her own personal gain.

Chanel and Stamos–I mean, Dr. Holt–brainstorm and realize the answer is simple: image

Dr. Holt changes Catherine’s diet and it works-she loses her hair! Except she loses all of it…but that’s okay, because it sets up perfectly for a classic Scream Queens makeover scene. The girls give Catherine a wig, some drawn on brows, and she looks ready to Tinder.

Zayday congratulates Chanel and asks her if it feels good knowing she genuinely helped someone. In typical Chanel fashion she responds that if she’s learned anything, it’s that “though the power of the Internet, anyone can be an M.D.”

As the day at the hospital ends The Chanel’s get rewarded and sent home early, except for Chanel #5 (the Kevin Jonas of the three) who gets put on the night shift. During her shift, Chanel #5 takes the now hairless Catherine for a hydrotherapy bath, and feeling stressed, decides to take a bath too. The hydrotherapy baths lock into place, leaving both girls temporarily stranded with their just their heads exposed–and because this is Scream Queens, something bad is about to happen.

An hour goes by and the two hear a slicing noise of someone sharpening a knife outside their bath curtain (typical). Suddenly, a masked green figure appears with a blade, and the two girls plead that he kill the other girl instead. It’s unclear if the killer chooses one or the other, but he beheads Catherine, leaving Chanel #5 screaming. Catherine’s bald head lands on top of Chanel #5’s bath cover and then the episode ends with a dramatic out of view slice and screaming.

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It’s unclear if Chanel #5 is hurt or not, but my guess is that she’s fine, because I don’t think they would kill her off this early.

My immediate thoughts of this episode that it was a lot of setting up and that the next few episodes should make more sense. I wonder if Grace from season 1 will return. This episode also had a lot of great quotes.

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The preview for next week showed the return of Chanel’s ex Chad Radwell (Glen Powell), and I’m really excited for that. It also teased with a great Chanel #3 quote, “Yoga is just stretching for douchebags.”

The next episode will air next Tuesday at 9pm on Fox, but until then fans can catch up with the show’s hashtag on Twitter #ReadyToScream. I’m excited to see where this season goes and how bloody it will be. My prediction is that the Halloween episode will be the bloodiest. I also predict that Dr. Holt is a killer. Maybe not the killer, but he definitely will get some blood on his hands this season. Same goes for Dean Munsch. Until next week, I will be screaming internally about my day-to day life and wishing I was as on point as Chanel Oberlin. A girl can scream dream, right? 💋🔪💉 🎀