Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. It’s been a long day, with a little too much food and a little too much family bonding. I’m thankful for them, my friends, and my jobs.
That’s all very boring, though.
So here is my Top 10 List of Pop Culture Items I’m Thankful For.
I don’t watch a lot of reality TV. I get pretty close, with Top Chef and Project Runway, but I stopped watching The Real World after the Hawaii season, and Survivor has never been my bag. But it doesn’t take much to suck me into a reality program that features train wrecks. If it weren’t for shows like Real Housewives of New Jersey (“Prostitution WHO-AH!”), Bad Girls Club (“Pop off, Son!”), and Flavor/Rock/Shot of Love (“I think I’m falling in love with you!”), I would not realize how utterly and completely normal I really am. I? Am a good person.
Oh, Mean Girls. How do I love thee, let me count the ways. This movie is better than it should be. By definition, this movie should be a shallow chick flick that is barely worth a first glance. Lindsey Lohan (1) in a high school film (2) about popular girls (3) who are mean. She seeks revenge (4) by joining them, and ends up becoming one of them (5). Five reasons to ignore this. Yet I’ve seen it over and over, and never miss an opportunity to break out a quote.
I have bonded with three of my coworkers based solely on this movie. It’s a brightly colored, hilarious movie with a cast that works so well together, you wonder why they aren’t all cast in the same movies over and over. Thank you, Mean Girls.
8) Johnny Depp
There are some actors that are so handsome, they make my breath catch, my heart race, and my nipples hard. Then there are actors that are such phenomenal actors that you could stick them in Borat and it would become a palatable film. Johnny is both of these.
From Cry-Baby to Sweeney Todd, there hasn’t been one movie with him in it that I’ve been disappointed in. It doesn’t matter if he’s playing a Michael Jackson-esque candy maker or an eccentric writer on too much acid, I’ve followed Johnny to all of his projects, and I will continue to do so. Can’t wait for The Tourist, which he stars in with number 11 on this list, Angelina Jolie.
I was a big fan of Talk Soup with John Henson. Back then, the show mostly covered the daytime talk show circuit. I never had to watch Jerry Springer, or Sally Jesse Raphael. I could just turn on the TV at the end of the week and find out what happened while I was in school. John was fabulous, but it had more to do with the scripted comedy than anything else.
Now we have The Soup, hosted by Joel Mchale, who is my future baby daddy even if he doesn’t know it. I get so much pop culture knowledge from watching this show, I really cannot live without it. The comedy is so great, and so memorable, that when I hear certain phrases in life, I flash back to skits and openers from the show. Examples include “Oprah’s Va-Jay-Jay”, “It’s Miley”, and “Chicks, Man!” This can get awkward, as I laugh at inappropriate moments.
I am a cooking show junkie. I hate the one person cooking shows, such as Rachael “Stab Me Now” Ray or Paula “Could My Accent Be Faker” Deen. But when it comes down to the reality cooking shows, I watch almost all of them. Top Chef is an obvious favorite, but Food Network fulfills this need better than any other network. I cheered on Aarti while watching The Next Food Network Star and screeched when Chef Estes was booted from The Next Iron Chef. I watch Iron Chef long enough to see what the secret ingredient is. If it’s fish, I keep going. If it’s some secret Indonesian nut that costs $5,000 an ounce, I am in there.
The best part of these shows is that they make me want to cook. I get hungry, and as I watch them flip, saute, and robot coupe1, I think, “Pfft. I can do that. Where’s the butter?!” I invariably end up eating peanut butter and jelly, but still. The inspiration is there.
In the same way The Soup is my pop culture informant, The Daily Show is my political. I have a love/hate relationship with politics. I would be in a much better place mentally if I were one of those people who could live with their head stuffed happily in the sand. I blame my friends for my need to know. Watching any of the cable news networks makes my head spin and has me changing the channel rapidly. John Stewart and his Merry Men (and women) take all of the biggest headache-causing headlines, condense them into jokes, skits, and rants, and feed it to me in small, 30 minute bites. I cannot express enough how grateful I am for this show. I would be more grateful if it were an hour long.
Oh, Twitter. What would I do without you?
Whenever someone I’m talking to tries to break out some “new” information, whether it’s about politics, celebrities, or the newest brand of waffle, I get great enjoyment out of turning to them, raising an eyebrow, and saying, “That didn’t happen.”
“Yes it did!”
“Nope. Wasn’t on Twitter.”
Bitches, if it’s not a trending topic, it didn’t happen.
Not to mention that I can friend as many celebrities as I want on Facebook, MySpace, Livejournal, whatever. But on Twitter? I get actual responses. I will not brag on how many BTVS alumni have been kind enough to respond to me (other than bragging that Eliza Dushku has acknowledged my existence THRICE and Amber Benson remembered me when I met her), but I will say the thrill I get is matched by NOTHING else on the interwebs. YAY for Twitter.
No bad can come from being a Fillion fan. And I mean nothing. The man is not only uber fan friendly, he brings light to every role he’s given. Whether he’s a naughty, wicked priest in Buffy, a Big Damn Hero with a firm ass in Firefly, a not-as-creepy-as-it-sounds gynecologist who falls in love with a pregnant patient in Waitress, or a smart-ass writer with a serious yen for space cowboy references in Castle. I fell in love with Fillion preeeetty much from the moment Xander’s eyeball got popped in Season 7 of Buffy. It didn’t take more than one episode of Firefly for me to realize what I’d been missing. I’m making it my goal to meet him someday, just so I can ask if I can squeeze his ass.
I get the feeling he would let me, too.
I started watching How I Met Your Mother because Alyson Hannigan was going to be in it. I was less than impressed with the show in general, however, my love affair with Barney Stinson began almost immediately.
As the seasons have progressed, Barney’s shtick has never gotten old. The writers have improved upon it tenfold, in fact. Not only has Barney upped the ante on ways to snag women, but we’ve gotten small but poignant glimpses into who he really is. When he and Ted stopped being friends (and he retaliated by banging Britney, of all people), I felt for him. When he and Robin started dating, I truly did root for them, even though I knew it wasn’t going to happen. We love Barney too much as a womanizer. Hell, The Playbook is going to be impossible to top as my favorite episode of all time. Legen…
I hate Ted. Ted is a complete douchebag. I watch How I Met Your Mother for Barney first, Robin second, and Lily and Marshall third. The Ted-centric episodes bore and irritate me.
And the Number One Pop Culture item I’m thankful for this year:
This one should be obvious, seeing how much I love and adore every project Joss gets his hands on. I’m planning on actually watching The Avengers, a movie I would never see without the intervention of someone else. I’ve worshipped at the altar of Whedon since my early Buffy days, and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.
However, Joss doesn’t make number one simply because he created my favorite shows which are all ended now. He’s number one for this. His reaction to the movie reboot of my beloved show, his baby. I cannot believe how calm and cool he is being, especially considering what happened LAST time someone tried to take his characters and rework them to their tastes. (Original Buffy, anyone?)
Joss is a class act, beyond worthy of the miles of respect (and yes, worship) heaped upon him by his fans. It’s moments like these that make me grateful to call myself a Whedonite.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.
1. Thank you, google. ^