I’m experimenting with podcasting about whatever I want. I’ve got 3 finished episodes of a planned Buffy the Vampire Slayer podcast called Things of Bronze, so I thought I’d go on and upload the pilot for it and see how it goes. Show notes and transcript coming soon!
In recent weeks I have watched all of Sherlock, finished tonight. It was fun, then it wasn’t fun, and then it was really upsetting and made me feel bad. Now I can’t sleep until I do something else that makes me feel better. 📺
📺 M. and I are watching MY LITTLE PONY: FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC and I am reminded of the extent to which I am Twilight Sparkle, who owns a reference book about slumber parties but has never had one.
📺 I recently binged Disney+’s Diary of a Future President, about an ambitious Latina middle schooler who one day becomes president. You should try it if you like Netflix’s BSC and/or One Day at a Time.
I binged the Netflix Babysitters Club series last weekend. Growing up, I was not a Babysitters Club obsessive like many of my peers. They were one of the many series on offer that I enjoyed. The main thing about them that thrilled me was that, unlike many of the other books I read, they were books that other kids had also read and would talk to me about.
So. Not obsessive. But I’m still filled with nostalgia for them. And, unlike many of my peers seemed to do, I read them mostly in order, so the Netflix series sticking with the order for the first few episodes made me really happy. I told W. the other day that much as women older than us did with Sex and the City, many girls my age strongly identified with a particular BSC character. (In case you’re not familiar with this phenomenon, the main characters on SitC were Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda, and you could buy lots of merch that proclaimed things like “I’m a Samantha.” In case you’re curious, I’m a Charlotte with aspirations of being a Carrie.) Lucy Aniello, director of the Netflix BSC series, describes herself as “a Kristy with a Stacey rising” (and in case you aren’t familiar with that, it’s a reference to astrology. I’m a hard Mallory with some Kristy tendencies, who wished to be Claudia but was too good at school and bad at art to come close. (I did wear coordinated-but-mismatched earrings and hide candy all over my bedroom, though.)
I loved the show. Its tone is amazingly perfect. The performances are great. I would like Alicia Silverstone to be my co-parent, please. All of the things done to update it are beautiful and none of them feel weird. I don’t have a lot to say about the show itself besides that.
What really hit me this time around was Stacey. When I read the books, I was relatively poor, unfashionable (though not without style), and the only big city I had ever been to was Miami. Stacey was so far out of my reach. (By the way, the costume designs on the new show perfectly evoke the original characters; of all of them, though, Stacey’s outfits look the most like I think Stacey’s outfits should.) I was sickly, catching every virus that came my way and maxing out my 10 allowed absences before I started being considered truant, but I wasn’t ill.
Life is different now. Now I’m diagnosed with four chronic illnesses (two mental), with another one undiagnosed but likely. While illness doesn’t define me, it strongly shapes my experiences and decisions. And watching Stacey deal with that moved me so thoroughly. Stacey’s not wanting anyone to know about her diabetes, because then she won’t be a person anymore, she’ll be a sick person. Fearing the consequences. And, the point that actually brought me close to tears: after Stacey goes into insulin shock on the job, her having to face a room full of clients (along with her fellow BSC members, blessedly) and listen to them say things like “Do I even want her watching my kids if something like this could happen again?” (I’m paraphrasing here.) Y’all, the impact of chronic illness on work and hireability is real, and to see it in microcosm for a twelve-year-old was every bit as affecting as seeing it for an adult would be, if not moreso.
Anyway. That was a new perspective. A part of me wants to go read the books again and pay close attention to how my feelings about Stacey are different now.
So. I didn’t have a lot of insight to offer on the series, just my personal response, but if you want to read more about it, here are a bunch of interesting and relevant articles:
🔖📺 Alex Brannan’s article, “It Could Be About Anything”: Middleditch & Schwartz and the Viability of Televised Improv Comedy is an interesting read. Longform improv is definitely hard to explain to non-improv normies but also, in my experience, it’s um, not great fun for most people who aren’t “yes…and” nerds, as Thomas Middleditch calls them, to watch. Like… Does anybody NOT initiated into longform WANT to watch a Harold? Maybe they do, but I’m not sure. By the time I was about to stop performing improv, I was over the Harold as an audience member. And I got to see some really amazing teams. Still not a format I would recommend to just anybody. It’s a performance art piece as much as a comedy piece. I don’t know. Anyway, I’d been thinking about watching the show and now I definitely will.
It’s worth noting that I myself never was on a team that did longform without a gimmick. I think our gimmicks were a huge part of the fun for me. We may never know if I would be able to sustain interest in performing the Harold for longer than a six-week class.
📺 “Parents are just older weirdos, doing the best they can. Just like the rest of us.” Netflix’s Babysitters Club series makes me feel seen on so many levels.
📺 So is Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist a jukebox-musical version of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend?
📺 My wishlist for Picard Season 2:
More Spot II
Something about watching Picard gives me the same feeling as reading a novel and I love it. 📺🖖
Back in June 2019, M. and I visited the [Center for Puppetry Arts]() in Atlanta, GA while accompanying W. on a work trip. They have a whole gallery devoted to Jim Henson’s work. My family has always been a Muppet family, I suppose because my parents had only been married a couple of years when The Muppet Show started airing and I wasn’t born until it had been on the air for four years. I saw it a great deal, so it must have been available in second-run syndication. And then of course there were the movies, which I watched many a time.
This visit to the Center for Puppetry Arts reminded me of my long-standing affection for The Muppets, something I hadn’t thought about overly much since purchasing the Blu-Ray of the 2011 movie The Muppets, which I adore. Truly, coming around a corner from the Sesame Street part of the gallery to the Muppet part of the gallery, I saw Kermit the Frog sitting on a director’s chair in a glass case and it was like seeing an old friend. I think I may actually have said hello to him.
Since that trip, I have slowly been bringing M. into my Muppet obsession. I think it may have begun with this adorable clip of Kermit and a little girl on Sesame Street:
and continued with “Mahna Mahna”:
I’m not sure what order the rest of it all proceeded in, but it involved the Kermit stuffy I bought at the Center for Puppetry Arts, an old Muppet Babies Kermit stuffy from my childhood, a squeaky Muppet Babies Miss Piggy toy that my sister found in her house, some Muppet picture books that are probably over 35 years old (and not in great condition), and The Muppet Movie. Through all of these activities, our household is in the throes of Muppet Fever, and I love it. M. has been especially obsessed with Muppets Most Wanted, he says because he likes that there are two frogs in it (not counting Robin’s brief cameo). We used an audiobook on a doublet set of the novelizations of the two most recent Muppet movies. He falls asleep to it every night.
Earlier this week, when we had just finished watching Muppets Most Wanted and he said he wanted to watch more Muppets stuff, we decided to try the 2018 Muppet Babies. I had tried it once before and not been able to handle the CG-ness of it, but I will try just about anything for him. It’s actually super cute and has some phenomenal jokes and references for parents.
Since I hadn’t liked this before but was finding it fun now, I decided to try the muppets.. I had been very excited when it was announced, and immediately turned off by the clear references to The Office which is just not for me. I didn’t like the mockumentary style and I was really displeased by the character design for Kermit’s not-Miss Piggy-but-still-a-pig girlfriend. But that was 2015, and this is now! So I started it.
I’ve really been enjoying it. The writing is sharp; the showrunner was one of the writers on Muppet*Vision 3-D, which does a brilliant job of capturing Muppetness. There was an uproar when the show came out about its depiction of relationships, sexuality, and alcohol use as being inappropriate for a “family” property, but one of the earliest Muppet specials was called The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence, so that really doesn’t bother me.
I think the show gets better further in to the run, as the really familiar bits of character come out.
One of my favorite things about it is how very much screentime Uncle Deadly gets. He leaped into my top 3 muppets (after Kermit and Piggy) after I saw him in the 2011 movie and, upon researching him, discovered that he is the Phantom of the Muppet Show.
Anyway: I have loved watching this show and am looking forward to the episodes I have remaining. I have been reminded that I have no other OTP that I cling to as fiercely as I cling to Kermit/Piggy.
As a kid, family viewing of TNG was one of my favorite things. I had an immense crush on Wesley Crusher (and still do on Wil Wheaton) and fancied myself a bit of a Spiner femme. The show aired from when I was 6 to when I was 12, and in middle school my best friend and I plotted a spec script where a teen flautist is the only one who can communicate with the Crystalline Entity and also befriends Data. We never actually wrote or submitted it. At the time, I thought Jean-Luc Picard was very cool, the kind of guy who would be a great mentor.
Now, at 38, I find myself having very different feelings about Picard, specifically that he is
possibly the most attractive fictional character ever. I attribute this not only to my middle-aged hormones, but also to the fact that now he reminds me of my husband (the most attractive real person ever, to me, anyway). His blend of calm and intensity is :chefkiss:.
And now I realize too (and actually have for a while now) that Data’s appeal is about the extent to which I identify with him, for I, too, am a walking, talking computer trying to generate algorithms that will make me more human.
I really enjoyed Yoda being awesome in “Ambush,” but the rest of these are a bit space battle-heavy for my tastes. I watched most of them while cleaning, so I didn’t pay super close attention. I’m looking forward to later seasons when things involve more diplomacy.