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“30 Rock” is Ending and I Seriously Can’t Deal.

31 Jan

I was in high school when NBC introduced us to Liz Lemon and the cast and crew of “TGS With Tracy Jordan.” Oh boy, just writing that first sentence is getting me choked up. This is going to be hard.

Everyone that knows me knows my affinity for “30 Rock,” whose series finale- after seven beautiful years- is tonight. I’ve become the person that constantlytumblr_lpzmg1mY0y1qzdgq9o1_400 receives links, texts about news, random “Blerg” e-mails and comments (the condolence letters have been non-stop today). I wear my TGS With Tracy Jordan sweatshirt on a way-too-regular basis. I’ve seen all the seasons at least 6 times, which means of course I can quote any episode at any time. And I love it.

It isn’t easy to talk about a television show with such sincerity without sounding tacky or over-the-top. Obviously it is a downright hilarious show, with a story line that is pretty addicting and easy to follow. It’s also smart comedy that allows viewers like me to laugh at our own ridiculous personalities and quirks.

But there is a sentimentality that I feel towards the characters of “30 Rock” that I honestly can’t over-embellish. Being a comedy-nerd there were always shows out there that I loved to watch, from Saturday Night Live to Arrested Development and Parks and Recreation. But now I’m in my mid-20’s, and through it all no characters ever really grew up as I did. They were there tinafeythrough such monumental moments in my life: graduating from college, the awful post-college job interviews and subsequent rejections, landing my first full-time job. Things may have been changing all over the place, but through it all I had the chance to tune it all out once a week with Liz, Jack and a glass of Funky Juice.

I also respect the crap out of Tina Fey, my homegirl and the first female head writer on Saturday Night Live. Growing up I would act out the SNL skits from that week in my basement and subject my friends to stand-up routines at sleepovers. I learned about television comedy and fell in love with its complexities- and its ability to still be funny within the restraints of public broadcasting- because of women like her.

I know it’s corny, but I am not ready to see “30 Rock” go. I don’t want to say goodbye to the characters or the stories or the comfort I feel when I watch it. I am freaking out a lot. There will be a lot of tears at it’s end, and a whole lot of moping tomorrow.

Blerg.

This Season, In Television

13 Sep
There are so many reasons that fall is better than every other season, but right now one thing in particular is jumping out at me: television! All of my favorite shows are in the fall. There are only a handful of shows that I make it a point to tune in and watch, and they are all during this season. So many great characters that I love to absolute death.
Here are the 10 shows whose premiers I have marked on my calendar (with all times in EST). Why can’t every season be fall?

1. Saturday Night Live, Sept. 15
Season 38, Saturdays, 11:30 p.m., on NBC
While I am still in mourning over SNL‘s loss of my girl Kristin Wiig and Andy Samberg, I’m psyched for this upcoming season. It kicks off with Seth Macfarlane as the host, the hilariously inappropriate creator of Family Guy and one of my favorite movies of the summer, Ted. Plus, my favorite band Mumford and Sons will be performing on Sept. 22, just two days before their new album Babel- which I have been awaiting for months- is released.

2. Parks and Recreation, Sept. 20
Season 5, Thursdays, 9:30 p.m.,  on NBC
Leslie Knope. Tom Haverford. Ann Perkins, the beautiful tropical fish. Ben Wyatt. Ron F*cking Swanson. I have developed a very, very unhealthy personal bond with the hilariously lovable characters on P&R. Luckily I work in an office that has also fallen in love with Pawnee, Indiana. We’re no Parks department, but we’re still pretty awesome. As we are speaking, I am staring at my Swanson Pyramid of Greatness, drinking from my Pawnee Dept. of Parks and Recreation water bottle, and counting down the days until my boyfriend and I celebrate our new favorite holiday, Treat Yourself 2012 (held on Oct. 20, if you’re interested).

3. New Girl, Sept. 24
Season 2, Tuesdays, 8 p.m. on FOX
In the one season that New Girl was on, I became completely obsessed. It’s one of the funniest shows on television right now. I will actually be sitting around and think of a Schmidt one-liner and start laughing out loud to myself. And I find every occasion possible to use the word “chutney” (pronounced chutt-uhh-nee). And now I’m laughing again.

4. How I Met Your Mother, Sept. 25
Season 8, Tuesdays, 8 p.m. EST, on CBS
The last season left off with a whole world of scandal, and I’m ready to hear what’s up. I’m most excited by how dynamic Barney Stinson has become. Not just because NPH is a smoking hottie and this means I can see him more, but because I think he’s one of the most interesting characters there. And to be honest, I just want to meet the damn mother already. I know it’s the title of the show, but out with it, Ted!

5. 30 Rock, Oct. 4
Season 7, Thursdays, 8 p.m., on NBC
It’s no surprise that this show is my life blood. I mean you don’t have to know me or anyone that knows me for more than 10 minutes to realize it. It’s had an amazing seven seasons, with the best cast and the smartest lady in television behind the writing. But now it’s time to say goodbye, as they’ve announced it’s unfortunate end. While this final half-season will hang heavy on my heart, all good things must come to an end. I’ve gone through the stages of grief already, gone to my Mecca, (30 Rock, this summer. I even took a studio tour with a page!) and I’m prepared to just enjoy it while it lasts, and rewatch everything on Netflix, like, 8 times a day.

6. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Oct. 11
Season 8, Thursdays, 10 p.m., on FX
My friends and I have an It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia tradition dating back to my days at college. We all settle in to watch it, and drink wine out of Diet Coke cans. Now that we’re all adults (or whatever) and spread out across the country I’m hoping we can keep that ridiculous tradition alive wherever we are. It’s hard not to love this show. It is completely absurd, borderline overly offensive, and it makes fun of all the jerky things us human beings do. Plus it’s in the greatest city on Earth. How can you lose?

7.The League, Oct. 11
Season 4, Thursdays, 10:30 p.m., on FX
You don’t have to be a football fan to watch The League. The really genuinely dysfunctional relationships are what makes this show so funny in the first place. It focuses around the friends’ ultimate demise: their fantasy football league. Everyone has some sort of competition that can drive them crazy: for me it’s Quizzo and FourSquare mayorships. This show will make you feel a lot better about your own competitive edge.

8. The Walking Dead, Oct. 14
Season 3, Sundays, 9 p.m., on AMC
Zombies. Do I really need to say anything more?

9. American Horror Story, Oct. 17
Season 2, Wednesdays, 10 p.m., on FX
If you missed the first season of American Horror Story, you won’t miss much tuning into season two. The show starts over with a whole new plot line, but seeing that it’s set in a haunted asylum I’m assuming it will be equally as twisted and terrifying. It starts a few weeks before Halloween, so I’m already in the spooky mood and ready for a scare. This season sounds even more exciting than the last, so I would suggest tuning it.

10. Community, Oct. 19
Season 4, Fridays, 8:30 p.m. on NBC
Poor Community. I think it has gotten the short end of the stick in the last year, almost getting dropped entirely, then taking a hiatus for entirely too long before losing it’s creator to a serious case of the crazies and then being moved to Fridays. Well don’t worry, Greendale Seven, I am not giving up on you yet. Besides, it’s not like I do anything on the weekend anyway!

The New Girls Take Over

7 Aug

Last winter I made the terrible mistake of dying my hair red. I’ve been a lifelong brunette -except for that short period in high school where I went a stunning shade of pink- and I thought somehow that red would boost my personality in some way. I was so off base.

I recently read an interview in Vanity Fair with one of my favorite actresses right now, Lizzy Caplan, in which she said that she was excited that actresses like her now “get to be the girl” as opposed to the best friend role. Caplan, a pale brunette, is stunningly gorgeous, but you may remember her as the dark and crazy mess that was Janis Ian in Mean Girls.  It got me thinking about television and movies today, and about how brunettes have- in their own way- taken over a role that in the past they never really played. And as a brunette who has now come to completely adore my hair color, I’m all for it.

There’s something to be said about brunettes taking charge of the television industry right now, because in a way it opens up the door for all women to take a new lead in media. Lizzy, Tina Fey, Zooey Deschanel, Mindy Kaling, Aubrey Plaza, Kat Dennings, Krysten Ritter. All unusual suspects in Hollywood that have managed to make a name for themselves as strong, independent, funny, smart, unique and sexy leading ladies. And they’ve used their talents to draw their crowd as opposed to a stereotypical idea of what is supposed to be beautiful in Hollywood.

These women have created  a new persona and pushed the limit on what all women actresses can do on TV. Amy Poehler and Tina Fey are proving that you can be strong, funny and powerful without a man influencing every aspect of your life; Kat Dennings and Krysten Ritter prove that women can be snarky and sexy without being labeled bitchy and slutty; and Zooey Deschanel is stepping up and showing women that it’s okay to be girly and cute, because being a woman doesn’t make you any less of a leader or any less in control of your destiny.

Gone are the days of the “quirky best friend” for every woman that isn’t a cardboard cutout of the typical tall blonde bombshell. And gone are the days of every tall, blonde bombshell being labeled as the “ditsy sex object.” Women are proving their chops in new ways. I think that, despite hair color, women have been restricted by their sex in the media, and that is changing. There hasn’t been a better time to be a funny woman in Hollywood then there is now, and I love that I’m on board for the ride.

The New Faces of SNL

7 Jun

With superstar cast members Kristen Wiig and Andy Samberg having left Saturday Night Live in the last week, a lot of people have been scratching their heads over the future of next season. Trust me, I’m bummed too. Kristen Wiig is my girl.

But such is the show. Will Ferrel, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Chevy Chase, Adam Sandler, Chris Rock… all names that left the comfort of the famous live stage to pursue bigger careers. And even without those cast members the show has continued, bringing in new talent that succeeds just as much as the stars we all come to love.

Luckily, there are a few cast members that can step up and take over. Here are my predictions for the 2012-2013 rising stars. I really look forward to seeing what they can bring to the stage!

Jay Pharoah
The network is already prepping Jay to take the lead on the show, with appearances all over talk shows- including a showing on ESPN that had all of social media buzzing- and the Internet, and with good reason. Jay Pharoah is damn funny. He’s a younger, more-attractive Eddy Murphy. His Jay-Z impression alongside Maya Rudolph as Beyonce killed me, and he’s earned a reputation for his Denzel Washington, Chris Rock and Will Smith characters. I think he can really grow to become one of the many icons of SNL, if he can get away from impressions from time to time, create his own signature characters, and embrace his stand up background.

Abby Elliott
Without a doubt, Abby Elliott is and has been one of my favorite cast members for the last year or so. Daughter to Chris Elliot, a SNL cast member in the 90’s and star in films like Groundhog Day and Scary Movie 2, funny is in her blood. She’s made friends in the right places, palling around (and getting great press) with HelloGiggles.com starlet Zooey Deschanel, even going so far as to make her quirky Zooey persona a regular (and really funny) part of the show. It’s obvious that she has the looks to stand out in the spotlight, but more than anything she knows how to be a funny girl, which can be kind of tricky for women. She’s not over-the-top and she still manages to get a laugh while highlighting some of her own personality

Taran Killam
Killam was the youngest cast member ever to appear on the old MadTV at just 19 and his comedy career is really reaching a high point now. Plus, his career outside of SNL is taking off too. He’s engaged to How I Met Your Mother hottie Cobie Smulders (they also have a daughter) and has made several appearances on that show, and has had his own comedic stints on shows like Scrubs and Community. He’s diverse, and the show needs a young, goofy guy to fill the place of Andy Samberg. SNL. As long as he embraces the need for a new Samberg-esque presence, he should blow up.

Nasim Pedrad
When I first started watching Nasim Pedrad perform on Saturday Night Live I wasn’t sold on her, mainly because I had never heard of her before. I thought she was good in the background, but I never really saw her stepping out more than that, until recently. I like that Nasim isn’t always doing an impression of someone: she can take a written character and make it her own. She plays one of my favorite characters on the show, Bedelia, the teen who thinks her mom is cooler than any of her friends. And I appreciate that, on a show that isn’t know for a very racially diverse cast, she can come into her own without abusing her ethnicity (she’s actually from Iran). She’s funny without overplaying racial stereotypes, which I think can make her last longer in multiple parts.

Erica’s Hot 100… Men!

2 Jun

With the introduction of my Hot 100 just a few nights ago, I thought it would only be fair to the men of the media to make a hot 100 list of the opposite gender. It was hard, but I struggled through it and got it together.

Without any more interruptions, my male hotties.
Continue reading

Leslie Knope Style

12 May

As all you Parks and Recs fans know, Leslie Knope won her spot on on the City Council this week. So to celebrate I decided to throw together my own Leslie Knope-inspired work style page.

On my first day at my new job I actually went full-Knope. My outfit was completely based on what Leslie might wear. Since I’m not working in an office that requires dress pants and blazers I have since eased up on the fancy clothes, but I still love the way she looks! Cute but professional, serious but a little sassy.

Blazer
Gap, $98
My girl Leslie Knope is notorious for rocking many a blazer in her day. And she looks good doing it. Blazers don’t always have to be stiff and smothering, but they still help you look professional and classy really easily. Even with a pair of jeans you can make an outfit look work-ready with a really nice blazer.

I’m totally obsessed with this blazer, mainly because I’ve never seen a pinstriped outfit for women that I actually like.  But this is right up my alley. So much so that I may or may not have added it to my secret online Gap shopping cart that has been tempting me for days…

Slacks
J. Crew, on sale! $88
As a professional lady surrounded by a bunch of men, this girl needs to suit up a lot. Though she always has the cutest dresses ever outside of work, most of Leslie’s in-work outfits involve some mighty fine slacks.

Now I know what you’re thinking, slacks? Even the word itself it completely terrible. But come on! It’s almost white pants time. Throw this with that blue blazer you’re eyeing up and you’ve got yourself a cute little summer outfit. And if you’re trying to pull a Knope and get your patriotism on? Red shirt, badabingbadaboom. We’ve got the next city counselor on our hands.

Blouse
New York and Company, on sale! $19.99
I have a shirt that’s very similar to this shirt, and the only reason I own it is because when I was looking at it my boyfriend told me that it looked like something Leslie would wear. I didn’t even have to try it on.

Just because a lady is wearing a pant suit doesn’t mean she has to wear the same thing every single time she walks into the office, and Leslie Knope is the perfect example of that. She rocks a lot of flowie-front shirts, and I love it because so do I. They’re comfy and classy, and most importantly, they’re unique! Leslie proves you don’t have to be boring in the office.

Waffle Necklace
TinyHands Jewelry, $28
No matter what is going on, Leslie cannot get enough of her beloved sweets. It’s one of her big struggles, and what gets her through the millions of stressful situations she tends to put herself in. Of all sweets in the wonderful city of Pawnee, she especially can’t get enough of the waffles from JJ’s Diner. The girl loves waffles. It’s kind of her thing. I’m like that with pancakes, actually. So, in one of her many casual acts of adorableness Leslie decided to rock a waffle charm on her necklace in one of this season’s episodes. I loved it, of course, and I loved it even more when I found out I could actually buy that same necklace! And, it’s scented. What!? Shut up, that’s fabulous. I know, right!?

How Sitcoms Have Stolen my Mojo

17 Apr

The last week of my life has been filled with “How I Met Your Mother” on Netflix. It’s a pretty awesome show, but like all sitcoms it has its flaws. Maybe it was that I’ve been watching it non-stop for way too long, but I can’t help but feel like a huge nerd whenever I watch sitcoms. The people on these shows are just so… cool.

So being the really un-cool, non-sitcom, real-life-living girl that I am, I came up with a list of ways sitcoms have made me feel less awesome.

1. Constantly Attainable, Huge Group of Friends.
When I’m sitting at home on a Friday night in a t-shirt and leggings watching repeats of Swamp People I always wonder, ‘where’s my ragtag group of buds waiting for me at the bar below my apartment?‘ Where’s my saucy single guy friend and hopelessly romantic girl friend that always end up together even

Honestly, who has the time in their life to match their schedules with six other friends!?

though they know it will never work, and the crazy one that’s always getting into trouble but bringing us all closer together in the process? Am I the only person on the planet that doesn’t have a group of four-plus people constantly ready to jump and do something wacky and wild? Or am I just a friendless weirdo? I mean, let’s be honest, getting a group together takes some planning: decided whose house is the cleanest or less chaotic to head over to, finding times when everyone isn’t at class or at work, picking designated drivers for nights at the bar, it’s not as easy as it seems. How is everyone constantly attainable on these shows? Is it just an attempt at making everyone else look like losers? You’re killing me, big old group of TV friends.

2. Amazing Apartments
Oh, look at us, we’re a bunch of sexy 20-something singles on the road of life just trying to make it in the big city. Look at how big our fancy schmancy loft is! Pfffffft. Can I tell you how obnoxious it is to watch these people that are supposedly my age thriving in big giant apartments with couches that aren’t from Ikea and brightly painted wainscoting and vintage refrigerators that would obviously be expensive to maintain but still look cool while I sit here in the same bedroom I’ve existed in for the last 22 years? I read somewhere that Monica’s apartment in the middle of Greenwich Village on Friends would cost around $5,000 a month, which seems perfectly reasonable for a barista, a line cook and a masseuse to afford.  The crappy part about all this is that growing up and watching these shows I actually believed that when I graduated from college I would actually be in one of these apartments. No one told me that sitcom stars didn’t have to pay student loans, and Carrie Bradshaw makes shopping addictions look a lot cuter than they are in real life.

3. Endless Bank Account
How does a weekly columnist for the New York Star manage to afford so many amazing designer outfits!? Seriously, what is Carrie Bradshaw making, like $40,000 a year!? It’s not possible! And how much do you think it costs to keep Rachel Green’s hair looking that immaculate? Then of course there’s the

Seriously, Carrie?

random sitcom trips to various locations like Vegas and Atlantic City and London and all unfortunately funny mishaps that result in hilarious car crashes and pipes spraying water all over people in the middle of Thanksgiving dinner. What are sitcom characters just being constantly smothered by their own debt? And where is the episode about that? I understand the whole point of a situation-comedy is to provide viewers with comedy, but seeing how money grows on trees for all of these characters is not making me laugh! They all dress so perfectly and do fun things and look super cute and are never wondering where the money for their next bill will come from. I spend a lot of time finding out where these peoples’ outfits are from, and usually gasping at the actual price. Learn some financial responsibility, Rachel!

4. Socially Acceptable Alcoholism
Who doesn’t love a nice trip to the bar with friends. It’s awesome, it’s fun, and it’s fine… in moderation. My beloved sitcom characters have taken bar bonding to an absurd level. First of all, no one should be spending money on bar outings five days a week. Plus, these people have supposed jobs that always somehow work around their bar schedules. If I knew that my employees spent every night boozing, they’d be gone, no matter how many hilarious who-done-its they get themselves into. How many people in their late 20’s and early 30’s can drink like sitcom characters and not get judged like crazy? I mean they are literally sitting at bars pounding back shots every single time a minor situation come up in their life. You know what that is in real life? A warning sign.

5. Cool Jobs
I actually have one of those “cool jobs” that sitcom stars usually have. I’m an assistant editor at a magazine. I know, I know, it’s all big floor-to-ceilingwindows and crazy run-ins with celebrities and models. Actually… it’s not. It’s a lot of sitting at a cubicle, fighting with salespeople, and leaving voice-mails and e-mails for people that will never get back to me. It’s a lot of joking about Shutterstock, re-hashing scenes from Star Wars, and eating lunch at my desk and very little crazy antics and happy hours. No job is as fun as television tells us it will be; not because life is not some miserable journey to the end, but because if it that much fun no work would ever get done. Honestly I don’t know how the guys on “Just Shoot Me” managed to put out a 250 page magazine every month, they were just plain reckless.