Saturday, August 28, 2010

Shallow: No Diving

You've heard about the dangers of superficiality. People who hang in the shallow end are just a few inches away from hitting rock bottom. You want to swim in the deep end and explore what's underneath the surface, right? Well, that's great, but the understated complication of depth is the risk of getting in too deep, and it's a risk that makes the rocky shallow end look much more inviting.

When I get in too deep, I wish I was a shallow person, because even though I know I'll eventually make it out, there are those moments where I'm convinced that I'm going to drown in that water.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Saved by the Bell

Take a cast of attractive but ethnically different teenagers, assign them socially different roles, match them all up into boy-girl relationships, add a wholesome, unrealistic, yet socially relevant view of a high school, some corny dialogue, dorky 90's outfits, and top it all off with a moral or a life lesson at the end. The result is Saved by the Bell.

This show ran from 1989 to 1993. After that, it ran for another season under another name, Saved by the Bell: The College Years . To give you an idea of how wholesome this show was, it's rated Y7. This is Disney Channel before there was Disney Channel, but so much better.

On the top is Zach Morris, the star of the show who narrates to the audience. He's a troublemaker in the class clown kind of way. Next to him is his girlfriend and eventually his wife, the popular cheerleader Kelly Kapowski. Under them are AC Slater and Jessie Spano. Slater is a stereotypical jock on the wrestling team. Jessie is his girlfriend for most of the series, and she's the type-A, OCD overachiever. Next is Screech, the weird, annoying kid, socially awkward kid. He always had a crush on Lisa Turtle, the last in the picture. She was the princess of the group, the kind of character that complains when her nail breaks. She usually made fun of Screech who took her mocking as a sign of affection.

This show is dorky retro gold. All the characters are stand-up citizens, rejecting bullying, smoking, drinking, and pretty much any issue where teenagers should just say no. They have their disagreements, misunderstandings, and they make their mistakes, but in the end, friendship reigns over all else.

But of course, the cast of the show is not as wholesome as the characters they play. Dustin Diamond, the actor who played Screech, sold out his old friends and published their secrets in a book called Behind the Bell. It looks to me like an attempt to break free of the Screech image. I didn't read it, but in this article listing the main points of the book, he asserts that he "has a large penis and has used it to have sex with more than 2,000 women, most of whom he picked up at Disneyland."

A little farfetched? I think so.

After the end of "Saved by the Bell," all these stars dove into roles to counter their goody-two-shoes images. Sadly, none of them got very far. My favorite blog out there, Children of the Nineties, posted "The Stars of Saved by the Bell: Where are they Now?" From Tiffani-Amber Theissen's bad girl role in 90210 to Elizabeth Berkley's dive into the unecessarily graphic NC-17 Showgirls, these actors didn't waste time trying to reverse the effects of SBTB on their images. Mark-Paul Gosselaar did a made-for-TV movie called She Cried No where he date rapes Candace Cameron (Full House's DJ Tanner). The whole movie is on You Tube.

When you watch Zach Morris rape DJ Tanner, your illusions are shattered forever.

Speaking of date rape, check out number two on Dustin Diamond's tell-all. Shocking. I thought Mario, the one who ended up being an announcer on E!, was straighter than the rest of them. Looks like Lark Voorhies (Lisa) was the most normal of everyone.

Another revelation, number four on the list, was that the cast was actually smoking weed in their dressing rooms while filming the "No Hope with Dope" episode. The first part of that episode is posted below.

The guy who played Johnny Dakota, the actor in the episode booked to do the "No Hope with Dope" commercial, was caught by the gang at a party smoking weed. This resulted in them all losing their admiration for him and the crew getting to do the commercial instead. The funny thing is that in real life, according to Diamond, he was the most "steadfast dude you'd ever want to meet." I don't know how much of his accusations are true and how much is fabricated for the shock factor, but it's not too far off. Most is just normal teenagers with too much freedom doing stupid things.

The No Hope with Dope commercial straight from the show. At least you know these guys were really acting.

This show may be an illusion, but it's a very entertaining one. I think this show should go on Nick at Nite. It's like The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Pure 90s gold.


A Little Info on Yours Truly

What are you doing right now?
I was emptying last years school papers out of my binders, but I got distracted/tired, so now I'm doing this.

Who was your first boyfriend/girlfriend?
Never had one and I don't want one.

Who's your celebrity crush?
Chace Crawford ;)

Who do you dream about the most?
There really isn't any one person that's in my dreams a whole lot, but there is this one random guy who shows up a lot. I went to school with him from K-8th grade, but I wasn't really friends with and have only talked to/seen him a few times since, but for some reason I dream about him once in a while and in the dreams I always get that butterflies feeling you get when you like someone. It's so bizarre.

Do you think looks matter?
I know everyone wants to say that they don't matter and it sounds shallow to say yes, but how can you be attracted to someone if you don't think they're attractive?

Would you ever kiss a stranger?
Not, like, today, but yeah, I would one day

What do you think about abortion?
That's controversial xP
I'm pro-choice, but I would never choose it for myself. If someone is willing to end their kid's life before it starts, I don't think it would be a good thing for either them or the child to force it.

Gay marriage?
Go for it. People who are against it are all "Well man-woman marriage is tradition" but the whole traditional point of marriage is old school now anyway. It used to be that a girl's goal in life was to find a man who could support her and give her half the genes for her kids, who she would raise for him and carry on his family name. Now, marriage is less of a big deal because the traditional point of it is based on antiquated social customs. We have new social customs and a new idea of marriage, so I'm all for it.

Do you believe in bisexuality?
I really don't understand bisexuality, but I guess it's legitimate. On Sex and the City, Carrie called it "a stopover on the way to gay town." I do think that someone would have to lean one way or the other though...I don't understand how anyone could be straight-down-the-middle bi. I would think you'd have to have a preference.

Are you hiding something from someone?
I'm hiding from my orthodontist that I chew gum. Shh. Don't tell him.

What are you afraid of?
Spiders, snakes, people, being alone in an unfamiliar place, sex, needles, dark alleys, sparklers, making phone calls, those 3D rides like Spiderman and Harry Potter, being betrayed by someone I trusted, losing my best friend, going to college, having a baby, going to the hospital, drowning, getting drafted into a war, ghosts, people reading my mind, the phone ringing

When was the last time you fell over or ran into something?
I tripped on the stairs at school today. I don't think I'm going to wear flip flops to school anymore.

Do you get butterflies around guys/girls you like?
It's been a very long time, but obviously I remember what it feels like since I dream about it.

Do you think it's bad to have sex at your age?
I guess it's okay at 17.

Will you be having sex in the near future?
Not a chance.

How many people have you slept with this week?
Two actually XD

Will you get married?
I don't know. I can't imagine finding anyone I want to spend my whole life with, and I think divorce is stupid, but that could change. I really want kids though.

Would you change yourself for the person you love?
Depends on what's wrong with me. I would try to fix the things that are wrong with me if someone pointed them out, but I can't/won't change the little things that are just part of who I am.

What do you tell yourself when things get hard?
That it will get better soon and has to end eventually

If you ever met a unicorn, what would you ask it?
You didn't die in the flood? Also, can I keep you?

Do you know who Stewie is?
Oh God, don't get me started on Family Guy. All those adult cartoons are obnoxious and I will rant about them at any given opportunity.

Ever been addicted to a video game?
I don't like video games. I used to play Roller Coaster Tycoon, Sims, and Pokemon a lot.

Ever wish you were born the opposite sex?
When I was little, yeah. I always thought boys had more fun and I used to prefer to play with them than girls a lot of the time. Now I know that's not true. I would never want to be a guy.

Favorite talk show?
The Ellen Degeneres Show. So funny. My second favorite is The Today Show with Hoda and Kathy Lee.

I guess this is the end.


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Easy A

This actually looks funny. I thought Amanda Bynes left the planet but apparently she's back...and doing teen movies. And she's not even the star of the movie. Aww, Amanda, I had higher aspirations for you.

I like movies about tricking people into believing something about you. It's just funny how easily people can be tricked. I read this book in third grade called Dork in Disguise and I still remember it.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

My Top 10 Favorite Boy Meets Girl Movies

I had said in a recent article that the only boy-meets-girl movies I actually like are The Notebook, The Wedding Date, and Meg Ryan movies. I recently realized that's not correct and have compiled a top 10 list of my favorite boy-meets-girl movies (doing what I'm supposed to do with my blog and spreading opinions on pop culture).

Casablanca is not on this list. I know it's the most famous classic movie of all time and supposedly the best romantic movie ever made, but like I said, I'm not big on romance and I actually thought it was a little boring. Don't stone me.

I'm leaving off the old movies like Casablanca, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Sabrina, The Way We Were, An Affair to Remember, A Philadelphia Story, Roman Holiday...they're getting their mention here. There are too many of them. On my list, I'm sticking to movies less than 30 years old and also excluding Disney because that's another list unto itself.

My Top 10 Favorite Boy Meets Girl Movies

10. The Holiday (2006) – Cameron Diaz from LA and Kate Winslet from England decide to switch houses for Christmas to escape the memories of their ex-boyfriends and they meet new guys on their vacations, Jude Law and Jack Black. It sounds cliché and unoriginal, but I think it’s a combination of the first-rate cast, good screenwriting, and a very mood-fitting musical score that makes it work well.

9. You’ve Got Mail (1997) – Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks are e-mail pen pals under anonymous screen names and they fall for each other, even though they don’t think they’ve ever met. Unknown to them, they’re actually fierce enemies in real life. Great use of dramatic irony, and it’s cool to see how they used internet around the time when it was a new invention.

8. Pretty Woman (1991) - Julia Roberts is a hooker hired by Richard Gere to pretend to be his girlfriend for a week. I love Julia Roberts. She may be my favorite actress.

7. Grease (1977) - Good girl meets bad boy in the 50's and they both try to change for each other. Awesome musical, 50's pop culture gold, even though it was made in the 70's.

the cast of grease
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6. When Harry Met Sally (1989) - These two meet when they drive from Chicago to New York together after college, and he tells her that he doesn't want to be her friend because he believes that it's impossible for men and women to just be friends. The movie follows their relationship over 12 years, challenging and reevaluating his idea about friendship and introducing ideas about love and fate. A little slow and I didn't like it at first, but it made me think.

The link is a really funny scene from the movie where she illustrates how to fake an orgasm in the middle of a diner.

5. (500) Days of Summer (2009) - You've read my obscenely long review complete with spoilers.

4. Dirty Dancing (1987) – “That was the summer of 1963 when everyone called me Baby and it didn’t occur to me to mind.” That's the opening line of this movie about an innocent 18-year-old girl, nicknamed Baby for a reason, who goes on vacation with her family and through a series of right-place-at-the-right-time, meets a dance instructor and has to be his dance partner in a show. She has to learn to dance, and he teaches her a lot about the real world and makes her grow up. This movie is pure sex, not really about romance.

If you click on the name, it's a link to Patrick Swayze's song "She's Like the Wind" from the movie. Awesome song.

3. Sleepless in Seattle (1991) - A woman falls in love with a widowed man she hears on the radio after his 8-year-old son calls in to a talk show to say that his dad is sad and needs a new wife to make him happy. (Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks)

2. The Princess Bride (1987)- Classic fairy tale romance, literally. Princess falls for a farmer boy, but she's forced to marry an ugly royal instead. There are castles, magicians, pirates, sword fights, monsters, poisoned chalices, and the theme that true love conquers all. It's narrated by a grandfather reading the story to his grandson. There's something for everyone in this movie, and I think it's not just one of my favorites but one of the best romantic movies ever made. My sixth grade teacher used to quote it all the time, and we would watch it in his class before winter break.

1. The Notebook (2004) - Boy meets girl in the 1940s. The story follows their relationship over the years. It sounds generic, but if I give away what makes it amazing, I will give away too much. I believe this is the most emotional boy meets girl movie there is. You will cry. I bawled my first time, and I tear up every time.

The Wedding Date got kicked off the list is revision. It’s similar to Pretty Woman. The girl hires the guy to pretend to be her date for her sister’s wedding. This scene and Dermot Mulroney’s sexy voice are the selling points of that movie, but it actually isn’t quite good enough to make it into the top 10.

And there’s my list! Watch them and love them like I do.