This is so exciting!! Can’t wait to talk to everyone about TV and play trivia.
This summer, The O.C. will be ten-years-old (I know, right?) so to celebrate, we’re throwing a birthday bash!
On July 12th, come meet your TV Hangover writers at Brooklyn’s Videology (a lovely video rental store with a screening room and, most importantly, a bar) where we will screen two episodes while, of course, playing the drinking game. We’ll have a few rounds of trivia where you can finally trade in your obsessive Seth Cohen knowledge for some cool and/or ridiculous prizes, we’ll listen to the soundtracks while groaning at the fact that we know every lyric to every Death Cab For Cutie song, and we’ll definitely yell about Oliver. Plus, we’re planning a few more fun surprises. Wifebeater shirts are optional, but encouraged.
Afterward, we’ll head over to a nearby bar to try and outdrink Marissa Cooper. Even if you’re not an fan of The O.C. (and if you aren’t, what the hell?), just come hang out with some of your fellow television Tumblr nerds. Trust me, if you’ve ever wanted to debate Community’s best season, find someone who also watched some obscure ‘90s drama, or yell about what should happen in the Veronica Mars movie—this is the place to be.
We’ll keep you updated through Facebook and Twitter. If you have any questions, suggestions, or want to be involved somehow, feel free to hit up our ask box or shoot an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. See you there!
July 12th, 7:30-midnight
308 Bedford Ave.
Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY
I’m super excited about this & will be coming down to Brooklyn just for this. You should come, drink, & talk to us about The O.C. and TV in general. We have some really cool things planned so mark your calendars.
“You’ve got big balls, Betty Suarez” - Wilhemina Slater, Ugly Betty (2010)
I’ve been watching a lot of Ugly Betty reruns as of late. And I realized that the best moments in the entire series occur when Betty (America Ferrera) and Wilhemina (Vanessa Williams) are pitted against one another. Both are women of color navigating the very racist world of fashion editorial and despite how stridently she treats Betty, there is part of her that beams when Betty is able to leave the fashion world with confidence. It’s one of the most powerful moments in the series—and it has nothing to do with Betty’s ongoing relationship with her boss Daniel (which frequently plays into the problematic stereotype of a person of color helping a white person get ahead.)
This made me want to take a closer look at some of my favorite shows this season—all female-driven—and gauge them. Ugly Betty was by no means perfect when it cames to representations of gender or ethnicity, but it got a lot of things right that I think more ambitious shows are letting slip through the cracks.
Last night, I happened across Anita Sarkeesian’s Feminist Frequency installment about The Bechdel Test and perhaps I’ve been under a rock, but I loved how simply it measured the representations of women in popular culture, but also minorities. For the uninitiated:
• The Bechdel Test was originally created to address the lack of female representation in popular culture; the rubric is simple. There has to be two women who communicate with one another about something that isn’t a man.
• Later on, a variation of this test was created to gauge the representation of people of color in popular culture: Are there two people of color and are they communicating about something besides a white person?
What was wonderful about Ugly Betty was that even if it was creatively uneven at times, it represented a world where characters like Betty and Wilhemina could talk about their careers. It’s a show that frequently passed both variations of this test.
I wanted to apply both tests to four of the most compelling series I’ve been following through the current TV season. It’s odd, but none of these series—which I think represents the TV’s top creative tier—are able to pass both tests. Keep in mind all four of these shows are helmed by, and prominently star, women.
- The Mindy Project. At its core, this comedy is about Mindy Lahiri—an Indian-American doctor who tries to juggles the demands of her job with her pursuit of love. The writing and acting is solid. However, we do learn that this show—as funny as it is—falls short. Because she dates only white guys in the show (the lawyer, the midwife, that guy played by Ed Helms, and maybe even Danny Castellano) and because most of her conversations tend to be about her dating life—whether she’s speaking to a man or a woman—I don’t think this show really passes either test. This is all with the exception of her brother—who appears only a couple times so far. But it’s a good show! And as it starts to wrap up its first season—I have hopes that perhaps this comedy will start to get out of its comfort zone.
- Scandal. Kerry Washington’s turn as Olivia Pope, a Capitol Hill crisis fixer, is electrifying. And showrunner Shonda Rimes does a pretty good job of trying to keep women and people of color from falling into boxes on this show. That said, there is always a nascent fear that due to the nature of the beast—Olivia Pope is fixing the problems of mostly white people, after all—this sometimes fails to pass the second test. I think Scandal’s probably at its best in those too rare moments when Harrison and Olivia talk about Olivia for a moment—not about the President, or about their latest hot mess client. I think finding a way to mine that relationship is going to be what keeps the soap’s longevity in tact—long after viewers have bored of her on-off relationship with President Grant.
- Bunheads.This was one of the biggest surprises of 2012—a soap about female friendships that (1) didn’t oversexualize its leads; (2) presented a soap driven by women of all ages; and (3) allowed its female leads to mentor one another. Of all the examples herein, Bunheads is the only one that passes the The Bechdel Test with flying colors—talking about boys comes with the turf of being a show about girls who are coming of age. Unfortunately, this show fails spectacularly when it comes to representations of minorities. I think there are two instances where a black girl is literally trotted out to ask, “Hey guys, what’cha talking out?” and then has no further lines. Again, I see a lot of promise and room for growth—and I think that showing the kind of issues a young black girl might deal with in a primarily white community like Paradise, CA could give AS-P some excellent fodder to transform Bunheads into captivating TV.
- Girls.From my vantage point, it’s hard to see Girls as a feminist serial. Its leads—who are in their mid-twenties—spend much of their time worrying about boys and their relationship to boys. This might be realistic, but I know a lot of young women who spent the same—if not more—worrying about how to be good daughters, how to get the job of their dreams, and how to be happy alone. We do see Hannah and Marnie struggle through jobs—in the time that their friendship is functional, they’re able to talk about non-relationship-related things, too, but in the second season, the show basically collapses into a motif of men fixing everything (Charlie chases after Marnie; Adam comes to the rescue for Hannah following a breakdown; an anonymous blond man is quick to console Shoshanna after she dumps Ray). There’s one scene—where Jessa and Hannah are in the bathtub together—and it possesses the potential to pack a punch. But instead Jessa laments her short-lived marriage to the wealthy finance guy. The needle could go either way on this soap and second opinions are welcomed—I’m not convinced that this is the kind of serial that feminists should champion. Its portrayal of female relationships depicts women as unhinged and broken. And the race question? We’ve debated that to death and a few-episode guest arc by Donald Glover isn’t enough to make us second-guess our reservations.I mean, these are all exemplary shows. They represent compelling characterizations and story lines But also consider, these are all shows conceived by women—in some cases, women of color—and their ability to pass either variation of the Bechdel Test is…well, specious.
Rohin Guha is a writer who can be found here and here.
I liked this a lot.
So much chin. So many Emmys.
I love Claire Danes’ chin so much.
Y’all, Mama’s got a headache again. This time it’s caused by a traffic jam of preteens screaming for Juliette Barnes while she is shooting a music video. Juliette is tired of being thought as a singer for preteens and wants to appeal to a bigger audience which is why she’s so adamant about getting Rayna’s lead guitarist Deacon.
Watty’s big idea from last week’s cliffhanger is for Rayna and Deacon to go out on tour together - just the two of them, real intimate, like when they first started out. Rayna reminds them that it was intimate because they were dating. She has to think about it. Back in bed while putting some hand lotion on she talks to her husband who is up to his eyeballs in paperwork for his mayoral run about the tour. He doesn’t like it, but wants her to do some vulnerability test. Which scares her because she likes to keep her private life private which means she wants to keep the fact that her older daughter is actually Deacon’s child a secret.
Later that evening, Watty tells Scarlett and Gunnar that what they did the other night was great and he wants to record three songs with them. I am predicting big things for these two! Like romance, heartbreak, cowboy boots, guitars, and probably an opening on Rayna and Deacon’s tour.
Some cat claws are unleashed between Rayna and Juliette at the rehearsal studio mostly over Deacon. Deacon heads off with Juliette after the rehearsal to the dismay of Rayna. Juliette brings him to land she owns that was once owned by Tammy Wynette and busts out some old ass fancy guitar. They get to songwriting/making out/actually songwriting.
Rayna and Coleman discuss why Lamar picked Teddy to run for mayor. Coleman tells her that it all has to do with the baseball field and that Coleman disagreed with him in a public venue. She apologizes and then heads off to Teddy’s fundraising event. Rayna starts talking with three ladies at the party and in my favorite moment of the show so far, one that really shows the potential for some real humor (like last week’s “Mama’s got a headache” line) one of the ladies asks if her album is available at Starbucks. She walks away only to be caught in another conversation with her daddy. He knows she went to see Coleman and isn’t happy about it.
Teddy gets pretty upset when asked about his investments and stuff at his vulnerability test. I am sure more will come out of this, especially when it’s Rayna’s turn.
Avery’s band is playing at the club and they aren’t as bad as I was expecting given the description of his music in last week’s pilot. He certainly has a lot of people, ladies mostly, interested in him and how hot he is. Gunnar came to the show and one of this one lady that was throwing herself at Avery recognized Scarlett and Gunnar from their Bluebird Cafe show. So, now Avery knows everything, even the Watty White thing, he is totally jealous.
Rayna has her vulnerability test which SURPRISINGLY revealed she is pretty vulnerable.
My favorite side storyline revolves around Gunnar and Scarlett. It’s the real heart of what Nashville is about. What country music is about. A struggling musician and the girl he can’t have. It’s basically an earlier version of Rayna and Deacon and what can they do differently. It’s like Rayna said in the pilot episode when Deacon asked if she would do anything differently if she could do it again. She says no instantly, then says she’d change everything. That’s the fun part about Gunnar and Scarlett - we get to see their mistakes and successes as they are making them.
Quick bits on the last few minutes: Juliette gave Deacon a demo of the song they worked on and told him he makes her want to grow up. Taylor Swift would just write a song about that Juliette! Lamar likes that Teddy wasn’t forthcoming during his vulnerability test. Teddy is standing by the fireplace burning papers which I assume were about the deal that went bad that ruined his career. Teddy has a vulnerable spot too.
The final scene at The Bluebird Cafe is a pivotal second episode moment. Deacon is playing his usual show and then calls Rayna up to sing an old song of theirs; it becomes clear to the audience and the two of them that they still have feelings for each other. I mean the song was called No One Will Ever Love You (Like I Do). Scarlett and Gunnar were watching from the audience, a reflection of their older selves on stage, and agreed to do the recording with Watty.
- No one can rock a side ponytail like Connie Britton.
- I actually like Juliette’s demo she recorded, but I also like Taylor Swift so that speaks for itself.
Still watching & still loving Nashville.
The Dunkin Donuts internet near my work thinks TV Hangover is a “known pornography website” which I guess it could be if you get off on TV.
hi internet! so tv hangover is a few months shy of its second birthday and it’s amazing that so many people are paying attention to it and you’re all lovely for indulging our drunken television thoughts, etc. etc. and we have a handful of new writers and some cool features/interviews coming up and stuff and it would be nice to also have a new look that isn’t just a tumblr theme so if any of you are (slash know anyone who is) into web design and are willing to give us a *makeover* for free or very, very little money (sry i am still against ads but i will gladly give you some bucks from student loans if i ever get that check) plz msg/e-mail me and i will kiss you on the mouth.
also we’re always into guest posts and that shit too so holla if you have something fun to write
I’m bringing back The Hangover Sessions at TV Hangover and I am so excited that Tess Lynch (one of my favorite writers on the Internet) is the first to participate in its return.
The Hangover Session with Tess Lynch
Tess Lynch is a writer living in Los Angeles. She currently writes for Grantland and Tumbls here. Tess has written some of my favorite things on the internet. You should really spend some time reading (or re-reading) her writing.
What TV character would you most like to have drinks with?
Peter Paul “Paulie Walnuts” Gaultieri. And his mother, God bless her.
Where do you watch TV? Do you watch television on an actual TV?
I watch TV in my living room under a pile of laptops, afghans and a baby, just like Amber Portwood does. I watch TV analog style because paying for Hulu Plus gives me a rash and I have to watch things in real time in order to recap them. Except MTV’s “True Life” because its schedule lies to my DVR and it’s better to watch that outside on your balcony so your neighbors can hear you shouting at the teenagers like you’re Grandpa Torino.
What is your “must see tv”?
Survivor, always. Louie. American Horror Story. All of the Top Chefs. The Voice, X Factor, American Idol. Mad Men. Parenthood, but typing that makes me hate myself, so pretend I just coughed and all you heard was “Dax.” Any re-run of The Mary Tyler Moore show. Most miniseries about medical experiments or horrible crimes.
What fall TV shows are you looking forward to most? Least?
American Horror Story: Asylum is going to be off the chain. Chloe Sevigny as a sex addict and Adam Levine playing a guy named “Leo” are very powerful draws for me. Ryan Murphy is insane. I will also be watching Challenge on MTV because I just need to, man, I really need to. Potentially Last Resort and almost definitely 666 Park Avenue. As for least? Do you have to even ask? Whitney.
If you could invite three TV characters to a dinner party, who would they be and what would be the topic of dinner conversation?
Randy Marsh, Roger Sterling and Lou Grant. We’re discussing Jeffrey Eugenides. We’re eating eclairs.
What TV show are you embarrassed to say you watch regularly?
I count the lengthy Google Chrome commercials (i.e. daughter off to college, motherless, Skyping with dad, hiding miserably in dorm room, contemplating suicide) as shows because they have very complicated arcs and tend to linger in my consciousness. And I hate them. But I love them. But I hate them. Also: fine. Chopped.
Who is the most underrated actress on TV right now?
Has Mae Whitman “arrived” yet? I love that girl. I love her face.
What book do you think could be made into a great TV show?
Oh! Oh! Tree of Smoke as a miniseries! Also Raymond Carver’s “Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?” and Robert Stone’s collection “Bear and His Daughter.” I love unsettling dramas. David Lynch to direct! Make it happen!
What was your favorite television show as a child?
Taxi. So much subtext when you’re eleven.
Write a short story about this gif:
“This is fun!” said Velma. “I thought that after what happened last time we were here, we’d never come back to this pizza place again.”
“That’s true,” agreed Daphne, “for a while I didn’t think I could stand to be reminded of all that ooky stuff with Shaggy. But they have bottomless pop, and I sure love their calzones!”
Shaggy didn’t say anything.
“It took me a while to get over last Saturday, to be honest,” said Fred. “I never knew that just a tiny shard of glass could kill a big, strong teenage man in his prime.”
“Shaggy,” said Velma, “would you like a cream soda?”
Shaggy started to lean over towards Daphne. She screamed and pushed him upright again. A fly landed on Shaggy’s piece of pizza.
“I want the check,” said Daphne. “I’m finished.”
“No,” said Fred, “No. We’re all having a good time.”
Everyone chewed thoughtfully. Everyone except Shaggy.
Scooby-Doo pressed his nose against the pizza parlor’s window. A single tear rolled down his nose.
Cast Mo’Nique in the following AMC shows:
- Walter dies (sorry). In the final season, he wakes up one morning to the sounds of a malevolent laugh and a hand with acrylic nails holding a pink teddy bear up to his face. The hand makes the teddy bear into a horrible puppet singing a terrible song, like “Sex on Fire.” Walter screams, the puppet drops, and we zoom out to reveal that Mo’Nique is Satan and Jesse is her eternal sex slave. Oh yeah, Jesse also died. Everybody died. Mo’Nique guides Jesse and Walter on a trip through the physical world. They lean on her gigantic tatas for comfort, but find none, for she is Satan now.
The Walking Dead
- Full disclosure: I have never seen even one episode of this show. So I’m just going to go for it and cast Mo’Nique as a totally crazy woman who has barricaded herself in her house for like six months fearing the zombies and who has grown to believe that her collection of Madame Alexander dolls are real children. Also she eats spiders. I think that this falls right in Mo’Nique’s wheelhouse.
- Mo’ is Megan’s drama teacher who instills both confidence and paranoia in her pupil: suddenly Megan is booking Broadway roles and landing a great guest spot on The Brady Bunch, but her ambition has driven a wedge between her and Don. Mo’ encourages Megan to leave Don, which she does, but then her control on the young starlet starts to get out of hand: the next time Don sees Megan, it’s in Godspell off-Broadway; afterward, they have drinks and she won’t stop babbling about Judas. Chatting over martinis, her voice won’t deviate from B-minor. Mo’ is hiding in the hallway by the restrooms, spying on them with opera binoculars.
X Factor or The Voice?
X Factor has become so glossy-glossy. What’s with the weird fly-on-the-wall intro’s of people having conversations while they wait in line or in front of the mirror? Can that be real? I’m going with The Voice, despite Carson Daly.
Party of Five or Party Down?
SpongeBob or Bob’s Burgers?
I am almost thirty years old. That is my answer to this question.
Emily Thorne or Emily Fields?
Fields all the way. I want more lesbians on network TV. BRING ME MY LESBIANS.
Diane Chambers or Rebecca Howe?
Diane Chambers. So aspirational. I waitressed in college and it only took two days of Hawaiian Shirt Week to make me realize how quickly real waitressing would have broken that woman. Your hair cannot stay flippy during Hawaiian Shirt Week. You tear it out in the breakroom when you’re sobbing into your enchiladas.
Best hangover remedy?
Raw eggs and aspartame. Served on the potty.
What other tumblrs/bloggers would you like to see answer questions like this?
Tomorrow, we’ll start our official The O.C. rewatch as we tackle the pilot episode to see whether or not it still holds up nine years later (spoiler alert: it does). Until then, here’s the drinking game we’ll be doing for the first few episodes of season one (we’ll obviously have to add some more to deal with Oliver later on). If you’re into watching a train wreck in action, you can follow us on twitter while we attempt this every week. As for the rules, take a drink for the following:
- Any character throws a punch.
- Whenever there’s a lens flare.
- Ryan wears a wifebeater, Marissa wears a miniskirt, or any character randomly wears a bikini to a party.
- Any band is mentioned by name or shown on a poster in Seth’s room. Drink twice if that band’s music is then heard in the episode.
- Anyone says Chino, Newport, California (including the theme song, if you’re self-destructive), or O.C.
- Summer says “ewww” and is super adorable while doing so.
- Ryan glances at someone sideways instead of speaking.
- Seth makes a pop culture reference.
- Marissa cries.
- Anyone mentions a prescription drug.
- Any character on the show drinks. To stay true to her character, drink twice if it’s Marissa.
I just poured my first drink.
Summer is the season when networks conspire against us obsessive shut-in television viewers by taking away all of our favorite shows in an attempt to force us to go enjoy the sun or the beach or whatever the hell happens outdoors. But Vitamin D is overrated so we’ve decided to instead spend the summer rewatching some classic shows in our TV Hangover TV Club. First up: The O.C.
The O.C. is one of my all time favorite television shows and has the honor of being one of the very few teen dramas that I legitimately enjoy (see also: Freaks & Geeks, Life As We Know It, the first generation of British Skins) as opposed to being one of the many teen dramas that I “ironically” enjoy and gleefully hate-watch (see also: Everwood, Dawson’s Creek, the later generations of British Skins). The O.C. was a big hit for Fox. It completely killed in the ratings for a while, it turned Josh Schwartz into the youngest creator of a TV show, and it ultimately became this crazy television phenomenon that spawned board games, hilariously bad novelizations, clothing, fragrances, soundtracks, and even Chrismukkah wrapping paper. And it was actually good! Or it was good for just a few seasons, depending on who you ask. The O.C. walked the line between being a dramatic soap opera about pretty rich kid problems and being an actual realistic depiction of teenage relationships (platonic and otherwise) and very rarely teetered too much in one direction. Every glitzy storyline about an expensive and unnecessary cotillion party was tethered to the ground by Seth Cohen’s snark and adoring love for Summer; every tedious episode about Ryan & Marissa’s melodramatic relationship was kept interesting by a puntastic school dance or an over-the-top plot point.
Of course, the show crossed off every item on the teen drama checklist: parents getting divorced, a geek trying to win a popular girl, so many fist fights, the rich girl’s fall from grace, virginity, pregnancy, addiction, love triangles, suicide attempts, sweeps week lesbianism, and everything in between. It looks unremarkable on paper but the show managed to pull off most of the storylines successfully in its own little way. There were some notorious failures — Oliver is the first to come to mind, but that’s a whole different story — and at times, it got a little too out of control but there was always some charm in the episodes, especially found within the perfect friendship between Ryan Atwood and Seth Cohen. The show went through a billion plots during its 92 episodes and although I’ve seen the first two seasons way too much, I can’t readily recall some of the bigger moments but I can probably list off my favorite quips between Ryan and Seth. Oh, and Rooney. I always remember a lot of Rooney.
The O.C. was fast and funny. It was campy with moments of perfection. It was full of all the meta humor and pop culture references that your nerdy heart desired — there was a show within the show! It had the sentimentality that Schwartz’s other rich kid show, Gossip Girl, is often lacking. The soundtracks featured every overwhelmingly emo or too-cool indie song that you hated admitting that you liked and then, thanks to the introduction of The Bait Shop, later brought in bands like Modest Mouse and Death Cab for Cutie to perform. It’s embarrassingly addicting and quick to get through and, most importantly to me, it’s a show that I really love to talk about at length to any poor fool who will listen.
So basically, this TV Club just means that we’re all going to rewatch the series (or, ahem, watch it for the first time) and we’re obviously inviting you guys to watch along with us and abuse our comment section to try your best to defend Marissa Cooper. We’ll start next week and are aiming for two or three episodes a week (like I said, it’s super addicting but I know we’re also busy revisiting the creek) with some random posts or guest entries every once in a while. And obviously a drinking game (feel free to suggest some rules). Unfortunately, it’s not on Netflix Instant but it’s about $18 on Amazon if you’re feeling fancy or, even easier, the first season is available on The WB’s website for free streaming.
I am one of those people that have never watched the show. I am going to change that this summer.
TELL ME MORE
It seems as though Party Down Catering is catering the Valentine’s Day Party Leslie is throwing. Watch this promo for the episode and at 0:21 you will see a pink bow tie pass by.
Okay, so maybe TV Hangover is a little late but hey, at least we waited until the actual end of the year before we made a list! This is not a list of the absolute best shows or moments from the year (spoiler alert: Community isn’t on it, although everyone knows we love every episode of that show) but it’s our personal favorites because we have lots of feelings. Side note: Thanks to our friend Harry for helping us out so this list wouldn’t just be an FX or teen drama lovefest.
So here you go, our top twenty television moments:
I bet you can guess which 5 of these I wrote.