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TV Shows

Tagline: I watched most of these shows because Maddy told me to. Who is Maddy you ask? One of the best humans. Check out her youtube channel here.

Summer is time when teachers like me catch up on curriculum for the next school year, relax, read, and also binge-watch the things we didn’t have time for when we got up at 5:30 and passed out by 9:30 for nine months.

  1. Wynonna Earp

This is the show for you if you like the following things: bad-ass ladies, sometimes cheesy effects, clever dialogue, strong black men, old-school cowboys with moustaches, curses, red-head lady cops, LGBT representation, and no killing off of minorities for the sake of it. Basically, if you enjoy Buffy the Vampire Slayer, you will like this show. Fun fact: it is loosely based on a comic book of the same name. It aired on SYFY but I just want you to somehow find a way to watch it so it gets renewed for a second season.

Eugh. That comic is well, something. She’s much more realistic and #relatable on the show.

 

2. Couple-ish

Canada is our lovely and kind neighbor to the north and has always produced quality programming in my opinion. (I grew up watching TVO kids, Pingu, Fred Penner, and the Red Green Show). I’m also 1/4 Canadian so I guess that’s what we would call biased. But that quality programming has continued today on the internet. This show was written and created by Kaitlyn Alexander, a non-binary youtuber also known for acting in the web-series Carmilla. With compelling characters and dynamic acting, this show is a must.

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Not even from this show, but these two are #FriendshipGoals 

3. Carmilla

I technically started watching this at the end of the school year. Sometimes you need a treat after getting all your school-related work done.

Based on a Gothic novella by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, this is a Canadian Web-series featuring the plucky nerd protagonist Laura and her ensemble cast of characters. It involves chases, escapes, vampires, magic, true love, miracles. All the good stuff.

 

4. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

My brother Cullen is also responsible for getting me to watch this and making it my new 10/10 would recommend. (Ps. he also has a youtube channel). This show has everything: a catchy theme song, a female protagonist, musical numbers out of nowhere, that guy who plays Hans from Frozen being snarky. (Santino Fontana is a national treasure and we should all cherish him).

The premise of this show is that Rebecca Bunch moves from New York to West Covina California to be near her ex-boyfriend from summer camp in high school. Hilarity ensues. For real though this is a fun show that doesn’t hate its characters. It handles everyone’s emotions and desires in a very valid and real way. Also it doesn’t shy away from letting its good characters make bad choices and suffer the consequences and letting its “bad” characters be shown to be humans too. It also just has really killer songs, like “Settle for Me.”

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As many in the pop-culture world are aware, Jimmy Fallon hosted his last Late Night this week. He is moving on to bigger and better things by inheriting the Tonight Show. But what can be said of the five-year legacy he leaves behind? This npr article touches on it very well saying “Because Jimmy Fallon lives on joy, and joy is not solitary.” Yes. Joy is exactly what sums up Jimmy’s approach to entertainment and is one of the reasons why I and many others love him so much. He is very different from the cynical comedians of the past, all of which have their place. But having him go out singing along with Muppets is very fitting. He is a muppet as well.

Hear me out, all of my favorite actors, actresses, comedians, etc are muppets in some way. Jimmy Fallon is a muppet-man because he entertains for the sake of entertaining and to bring others joy. His show was like the old Muppet show. He wouldn’t simply just interview his guests but he would play games and sing songs with them. Sometimes they would be odd choices that ultimately worked smashingly. Who would have thought of singing “Sexy and I Know It” with Bruce Springsteen, or having Tom Hanks do beat poetry about Full House, or competing in a lip-synch off with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Stephen Merchant. And any and everything he ever did with Justin Timberlake. I leave you to the internet to find all those and more comedic gold.¬†Jimmy did all this and more with the exuberance and enthusiasm of a human Kermit the Frog.

Jamming with Elmo

But isn’t that joy and fun something we need in pop-culture today? It’s sorely lacking even in the comedic world, cynicism, and snark tend to be the norm. Other Muppet-humans however, like Jimmy, have tried to change that. Think of Tina Fey, who’s show 30 Rock was basically a live action cartoon/Muppet show. Pretty sure they knew this. Jason Segel is another muppet-man. I mean he re-booted the franchise even. I’m super excited that another muppet man, Ty Burrell, is going to be in the sequel. Other Muppet people include Maya Rudolph (watch her rapping with Elmo here), John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Amy Poehler and the entire cast of Parks and Recreation, Andy Samberg, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zooey Deschanel, Fred Armisen, basically everyone on Portlandia and SNL, even Lorne Michaels is a Muppet (Sam the Eagle, duh).

Lip-synch off with JKras. Muppetyness at its finest.

Lip-synch off with JKras. Muppetyness at its finest.

If we all sought to bring joy to people like the Muppets and like Jimmy Fallon, the world, and the entertainment industry would be a much better place.

It’s the fourth of July! The day our country declared that “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

So today I am going to list a few things that to me are just American-ness at it’s best. Now these are not the stereotypical things people think of when they think of America. There’s definitely more to this country than eagles, George Washington and loud tourist clothing.

So what do I deem filled with Americana?

#1. Bruce Springsteen.
Now I know most people think of genuine American music as country, but Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band is THE American Band. All of his songs just have an American feel to them and fill you with that fervor that makes you feel glad to live in this country. Even if he does sing about the grittier side of our country, it’s still super American. The song that epitomizes this feeling the most, is I would have to say, “Born to Run.”

#2. School House Rock
Where else did we learn not only grammar and math, but American history? It’s one of the only chances we had as kids to see our cartoon Founding Fathers dancing like chickens and pursuing happiness.

#3 1776-the musical
Here we also get to see dancing and singing Founding Fathers. Not to mention that they weren’t all that different from us. They had tempers, emotions and crazy personalities. And that Congress wasted just as much time back then. Plus it made politics look really fun. Not to mention I fell in love with John and Abigail Adams and how sweetly their marriage was portrayed.

#4 The Music Man
This movie is just the epitome of small town America. Which is why I love it. Of the times on family road trips, when we have driven through Gary Indiana, or Iowa, we always think of it fondly.

#5 Norman Rockwell Paintings
He captured the hometown family feel of America perfectly. His iconic images portray a simpler and happier time, but I think that it still exists in America today.#6 Will Smith
Because he is little Willie from Philly, the All-American boy. And he also is the hero in many films, particularly Independence Day seems rather relevant.

#7 Liberty’s Kids
Because this show was just awesome. It was funny, cheesy, and taught us lots of cool things about the American Revolution. Not to mention it had a wicked theme song.

#8 American Girl, by Tom Petty
This song is just plain awesome and pretty full of American-ness.

#9 Chuck Taylor Converse All-stars
Because these sneakers are so comfortable, just plain awesome, and superly American. And they come in lots of different colors so you can get red, white and blue if you so desire.


#10 Wizard of Oz
This is THE American fairy-tale. It had the best characters and who didn’t want ruby slippers after watching it? The little Kansas farm girl going on a strange and wondrous adventure. Very American.

#11 Star Wars
I couldn’t resist doing a #11, and if the Wizard of Oz is the American fairy-tale, Star Wars is the American epic mythology. It’s the American ideal, a small-town farm boy going up against the evil Empire. That’s what’s great about America, we fight for the little guy.

Happy Independence day to all! God Bless our wonderful country, the United States of America!