Whether or not you regularly watch The New Girl, it’s probable that you heard about THE KISS. Honestly, it truly was buzz-worthy. It’s worth watching
on repeat even if these characters mean nothing to you.
In an uncharacteristic move, I actually watched this week’s episode the night it aired. As sexual tension mounted the whole episode about whether or not Jess and Nick were going to kiss, the viewer was left to assume that they would not, in fact, show us some mouth to mouth. BUT, as the very end of the episode came to a close, something about the tone felt different enough to compel my eyes away from my computer screen.
THEN BAM. They did it.
In a conditioned response, I accidentally deleted the recording. Instant regret overcame me. I wanted to watch that stupid kiss over and over again right away, and could not. Because even the Internet is not that fast.
Additionally, I had to wait a whole day to talk about it with my best friend because she was BUSY the night before.
Part I of an unnumbered series of love lessons from Beverly Hills, 90210.
Let’s get this out of the way:
There’s really no way to sugarcoat my unmitigated obsession with Beverly Hills, 90210. When asked if I wanted to write about the love lessons of the show, my response was, “I’ll start with Season 2 and I won’t get through an entire season in one piece.”
Here are just a few of the love lessons we can apply to our everyday life, courtesy of everyone’s favorite West Bev 27 year-old juniors.
I consider myself a pretty savvy lady – I can change a car tire, I have a career that I love most of the time, I can make it an entire night in five inch heels without my feet touching the pavement, and I know how to use a credit card to break into my apartment when I leave my keys at the bar. But, underneath this I-am-a-modern-woman-hear-me-roar exterior lies an unabashed lover of the hater’s favorite movie genre: The Romantic Comedy.
Give me a flight any longer than an hour and I’ll take a Vampire Diaries marathon. Put me on a flight across the country, and I’ll wash the Vampire Diaries marathon down with viewing #726 of He’s Just Not That Into You. It’s not that I don’t realize that the romantic comedy is estrogen laden bubblegum for the brain. It’s just that I really, really like bubblegum.
Last Tuesday was the season finale of my new favorite show “Ru Paul’s Drag Race: All Stars”. A show in which drag queens from around the country compete in various challenges week to week and are subsequently eliminated one by one, leaving the ultimate “queen” standing. This show’s premise is nearly identical to every other reality challenge show, but it is the glitter, the wigs, the lip syncing, the talent, the Cher impersonations and the message that truly separates this campy masterpiece from all the other reality garbage out there.
Of course Drag Queens, themselves, are nothing new. A man dressed up as a woman is universally seen as funny, has been lampooned in the media forever and exists in nightclubs and unsuspecting neighborhoods across America.
So what is it about them that is so fascinating? Is it the taboo? The mystery? The size 12 shoes? Or is it just about the look?
Mishka Shubaly is the bestselling author of the Kindle Singles, Shipwrecked, Are You Lonesome Tonight, The Long Run and the new Bachelor Number One, which is excerpted below. For like not much money at all, you can buy his writing here, which you should do, because it is great.
I ran out to grab a Diet Mountain Dew — judge me, go on, judge me — and when I walked back into my room, I caught a faint whiff of something, a scent that may have been disturbed by my excavations. It wasn’t as rank as the Unabomber’s shack nor as fetid as the sagging couch facing the PlayStation in some defeated suburban basement-dweller’s grotto nor as acidic as the lived-in storage unit of some divorcé in freefall but it was there: the bitter, defeated tang of curdled manhood, a bachelor gone to seed. I was beginning to spoil.
Is this going to be, like, the neo Sex and the City? I remember being so pissed at the end of that show, that in the finale, they all ended up with men. My roommates at the time thought I was a sour puss, but I thought that was a pretty narrow viewpoint for a show that was supposed to be so groundbreaking.
Don Draper is the sexy train wreck you can’t look away from. He does it with such flair! He’s so vulnerable when he makes (another) bad decision!
Great for TV. Bad for life.
Mad Men, the drama returns March 25th.
I’m already talking about it.
I’m even publishing this promo video, which is nothing more than a tease. But if you clicked on this post, you’re just like me and you’re totally going to watch it anyway.
Go ahead Don, say yes.
Here are two things that you will learn about me in the coming months. Number one, I live in Los Angeles with two large, straight men, both of them broad-shouldered and over 6’2 with alliterative first names. Jeremy, my boyfriend (awww!), and Josh his close friend and screenwriting partner.
Number two is that they both, Josh especially, love Downton Abbey, the British WWI drama on PBS. Josh and I watch it together and drink wine.
Don’t watch D.A., yet? Well, if you’ve ever had a daydream in which you’re wearing exquisite Edwardian clothing and are locked in some sort of tragi-passion situation involving a uniformed man with a British accent, you should probably start. That said, beyond my libido and rapacious desire for literally every hat I’ve ever seen on screen, I should also point out that D.A. is REALLY WELL DONE, like Ang Lee’s Sense and Sensibility well done. It’s beautifully shot (OMG so gorgeous), and it’s wonderfully written. Meaning, it’s funny; it’s sweet. It’s dramatic and a little bit epic, too. There are real good guys and real bad guys and you’re hooked on all of them. Not only that, it features major talent, people like Maggie Smith (You know, uh, Professor McGonagall…), who is particularly rad in her role of the Dowager Countess.
So, are you googling Season 1 Episode 1 yet? Good. You’ll find out that it’s not only online but also streaming on Netflix. Talk to you tomorrow when you’re done with the first season. You forewent washing your hair and doing your laundry and going outside today? Me too. You’re welcome.
Anyway, back to what happens when Josh and I drink wine and watch period dramas. It is this: Ask me how long it’s been since I’ve seen a man tear up and ask me how long it’s been since I watched Downton Abbey with Josh. The answer to both questions is yesterday.
I have a lot to say about this. First, why is it so funny to me that Josh, who is 6’2, shed a tear (or two) while watching D.A.? And why, when I saw him do this did I make fun of him? “Ohhh, snuggle bear!!” is what I think I said, verbatim, mockingly, for the record.
Now, let’s also expand this analysis to what Josh and I are watching, which is a drama that draws its central conflict from some of the freaking ginormous changes that affected the world a century ago. Things like: electricity, the telephone, the automobile, suffrage, women’s lib, Communism, the machine gun. “It’s like the Mad Men of the BBC,” Josh said yesterday. And it totally is.
Without revealing anything (because you are all obviously going to go out and watch D.A. now), a main plot point revolves around Lady Mary, the oldest daughter, whose boldness inspires some risky choices. These choices cause her to fight both an internal and an external battle between ‘honor’ and empowerment. The thing is, that all of the struggles we see the characters face, despite being completely antique, remain relevant. Given the fact that I’m living with Jeremy AND Josh, we can go ahead and assume that I am, unlike Lady Mary, not terribly concerned with my ‘honor.’ However, the boundaries Lady Mary tests – the ones that divide cultural mores and what Mary herself wants – are similar to the boundaries I test when I tease Josh.
Theoretically of course, I have no issue with Josh even bawling his eyes out, because of course men have feelings. Men have a right to be in touch with their emotions and I’m glad for it – for the sake of both sexes. I mean, how many of you have wished at one time or another that a boyfriend, a brother, a father, a co-worker could be a little more in touch with your, or even their own, feelings? Or, even, have you ever felt that as a lady, you were self-conscious about your emotions, that they might be overwrought or (ugh) unjustified because a man would have reacted differently? We’re all better off remembering that having feelings isn’t gender-specific.
However, Josh’s reaction to D.A. was such a stereotypically feminine reaction, that even though it is something I condone, it was not something that I expected. Bummer. So, in the moment, I teased Josh about his teary eyes.
In a word, WTF?!
Apparently, there is a discrepancy between what I want to expect of men and what I actually expect of men.
A moment of honesty: There’s something comforting about the man-ness of men, even if it’s only perception, their heft, their strength, their stoicism. We all watched Disney movies, read Jane Austen. We were all imprinted with the knight-in-shining armor paradigm, something that the male characters, in D.A. (particularly Matthew and Lord Grantham) provide in droves. See my aforementioned “tragi-passion situation involving a uniformed man with a British accent” as a series selling point. There is a prototype of masculinity that makes women feel rescued or safe, and often it is nostalgic. This, by the way, is what makes D.A. so GOOD! The show is relevancy, wrapped in fantasy; meaning, it touches on gender divides that we still feel our way through today, while simultaneously playing to nostalgic fantasies of gallantry and tradition.
So, when Josh got teary, he contradicted what I abstractly wanted him to be, perhaps not a Matthew Crawley, but at least a 2012 version, maybe something like the lead in a Judd Apatow film. Say, a tall, strong, farty-yet-unselfconcious dude, who, because he is smelly and unafraid of being smelly, is thereby strong, a big brother-type.
But, what DID I expect from Josh. Grunts? Some good old American Paleolithic Al Bundy? With my conscious brain, I can tell you that’s just about the last thing I’d get from either Josh or Jeremy. I mean, we’re all watching DOWNTON ABBEY, here. They’re not exactly ax-swinging, pick-up driving MEN, even if Josh is from Lubbock, Texas. Moreover, a heightened emotional intelligence is one of the things I like best about both of them. It makes them approachable, moral, sincere and intelligent arbiters of art. The three of us are all writers after all. Only, there I was, mocking a quality in Josh that I most respect.
Why did I do this? Because a part of me wanted Josh to be unaffected, manly. It’s a gender role that we’ve all been taught and boundary we all test. It’s why you laughed when I made a joke about Josh crying earlier. It’s why you’re reading this article. It’s why you’re all going to go watch Downton Abbey, right now.
P.S. Stay tuned for the next in-series. I think it’s going to be called Relationship Advice from Your Mother, The Dowager Countess. But don’t hold me to it. I’ll get it up shortly…just as soon as I live through WWI.
*Much has been made of the Millennial generation’s sense of entitlement, self-importance and rule-thwarting. But have we been using this freedom for good or evil? Are we creating a youth culture of ambition and achievement – or of selfishness and bratty behavior? It’s time for some answers…
Oh, stop judging me. You should have guessed that I was watching this season ofThe Bachelor!
Let’s look at the evidence. Not only did I recap and live tweet the last season of The Bachelorette(from the post-dating perspective, of course!), start a comments war about the show’s viewership in my Huffington Post column, and use it as a viable platform to discuss psychological theories of attraction, arousal and why Vienna’s face still sort of bothers me - but I can’t seem to do anything WTF?!-related without throwing in a symbolic rose. Check out my cartoon. Or my photo in Time Out New York. Or my choice of guest bloggers (that one took some convincing, let me tell you). That hint of romance just hasn’t quite been beaten out of me yet.
Say what you will, but I’m definitely not the only one watching The Bachelor. 13.8 million people tuned in for the season finale on Monday night! Well, 13.8 million plus one, if you count my dad. But while most of them were probably focusing on the romantic helicopter rides, or wondering how Brad found time to exercise and keep up that physique (yum) in between all those shark diving outings, I was thinking about Dating & Hookup.
The conclusion of this past season – Brad’s season – reminded me of a very important truth about Dating & Hookup. Dating & Hookup works a lot better when you both have one.
Yeah, yeah, I know. It’s only been two days since my last Bachelorette post. It’s a ridiculous show. Why do I seem so addicted to it?
Well, let me correct you. The question is – why are we all so addicted to it? Did you know that the current season has been killing its competitors in the ratings, amassing some of the highest numbers that the show has ever seen? And that, even more surprisingly, it’s been leading in the highly coveted 18-49 demographic? This week’s episode pulled in more than 10 million viewers. We – modern women – are watching this show in droves.
I needed to figure out why this is happening, and this week’s Huffington Post article – Why We’re Addicted to The Bachelorette – seemed as good a place as any to do it. Why are we canceling our Non-Dates to tune in? Why are we texting our friends about every episode immediately after it airs? And why are we boring our Ego Boosters to tears, trying desperately to explain to them why Chris is the greatest guy everrrrr?
Here’s your answer.
datingandhookup.com is a website that explores modern romance in the Millennial era – which, let’s be honest, looks nothing like we were taught to expect. We feature essays, advice and social commentary with humor, compassion and brains, and we vow never, ever to publish a piece called “The 10 Best Ways to Satisfy Your Man in Bed”. Do click to submit your work to us. We love you.
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