thrift your heart out

This blog was created to try to organize my pop culture opinions, but mostly it gives me an outlet to write. And I know there have probably been thousands of posts about ‘how to thrift shop’, but I was in Goodwill this past weekend (plus job interviewed at Crossroads last week) and thinking about my strategies when thrifting.

Have an idea about what you want (know your style).

This is my personal number one. Thrift stores, especially the ones the size of a warehouse, can be overwhelming. It’s too much all at once, so don’t feel obligated to take it all in. Know what you want or you’ll probably come out feeling empty handed and dejected (it’s a lot to pick through!). You can always branch out after if you’re still up to the challenge.

For most people, thrift shopping isn’t the easiest way to nail down their own style, so figure out what you like; window shop at stores and blogs and see what trends and classics you are drawn toward, pay attention to similarities of passersbys whose style you covet, mix and match.

And since fashion trends are circular, thrift stores are good places to get trends cheaper. Right now they’re good places to find overalls, crop tops, and denim blouses, among other 90’s trends making a comeback. A few years ago when I was scouting for rompers, I found my favorites on the cheaper side at thrift stores.

Personally, I have the best luck with items like pencil skirts, blouses (sleeveless and long sleeved), sweaters, and shoes! Sweaters are tricky because they can show their age easily (see check for damage). You can also find some great colors and printed items.

(I’ve also noticed Target dumps items to my local Goodwill, but often you can find them at better deals in Target clearance.)


Play hard and fast with sizing.

Since women’s sizing is so damn unpredictable, and only gets more complicated when shopping within different eras and fits, try to branch out of the sizing concept.

Don’t be afraid to say no, even if it’s only $2.

Items can add up quickly (for your wallet and closet space), so don’t just buy something because it might work all the time. Be as discerning as if you were shopping at a department store (okay, maybe a little less).

Check for damage!

I’m guilty of not double checking items as well as I should. You never know what wear and tear that affect the longevity of a piece.


With stores like Target, TJ Maxx, Nordstrom Rack, plus curated local vintage shops and secondhand stores like Crossroads and Buffalo Exchange selling fashionable items at lower price points, it’s not really necessary to go into the second hand bins for a good deal, but for me, it’s a fun adventure and a feel-good accomplishment. Most of these shops (Goodwill, Salvation Army, and your local church thrift shop) are non-profits, investing profits into programs servicing the less fortunate.

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Eating My Cares Away

Somewhere in the past few years, I’ve come to find one thing that is fairly effective at comforting me: food shows. But one caveat, I’m not a huge fan of cooking shows. Those how-to’s that dominate The Food Network don’t hold my attention half as much as competitions like Top Chef, MasterChef, or Chopped. Even though The Taste doesn’t really live up to the aforementioned, it was still a fun little amuse-bouche. 

If I fall into a little bit more cash, I would be willing to cough up the dough to get some cable because the shows on the Cooking Channel are intriguing. I will admit to a healthy admiration for the Canadian chef  Chuck Hughes, with his brand of enthusiastic softie with tattoos, who has a show or two on that channel.

I like my food tv with a side of narrative, like any good tv, so I shy away from pure how-to’s. That’s why I like travel shows (Bizarre Foods, No Reservations, Parts Unknown), competition shows (previously listed, Ramsay’s Best Restaurant on Netflix), a growing subset of cooking shows that blend some reality television motifs and off-set interviews (Chuck’s Day Off!!! and probably others), and documentary-type teaching (Mind of a Chef, Good Eats).

Even though I have a list a mile long of shows to watch and episodes to catch up on, I find myself just putting on an episode of Bizarre Foods or finding international versions of Top Chef to watch while I’m cooking or eating. It’s madness and I sink deeper and deeper into behind-ness on brilliant shows like The Americans or seeing what the hype over Enlisted is about or finishing the first season of Masters of Sex while I indulge in Munchies and watching every new episode of Chopped Canada and Top Chef Canada.

Food is also just a universal necessity. Everyone eats. It’s like the weather, one of those topics you can make small talk with, and for an awkward introvert like me, that’s a good thing to have in my back pocket. Food shows, like a good meal, is just comforting and exciting, at the same time.

Sidenote: This article has been percolating since I read How Food Network Created and Lost Foodies, which gives you a rough estimate at my procrastination.

Sidenote 2: In the process of finally writing this I got distracted by the videos on The Cooking Channel’s website. Check out some full episodes – I knocked back some of My Grandmother’s Ravioli and of course I’d recommend Chuck’s Eat the Street (though his first series, Chuck’s Day Off is my favorite of his).

Sidenote 3: I really did not plan to have as many food puns as ended up coming out of my fingers.

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tv’s funny ladies shine

I am not the first, nor will I be the last, to lament about the lack of developed female characters in media.  I’ve unfortunately been seeing a lot of The Smurfette Principle in New Girl and The Mindy Project this season.

funny women on tv

I don’t want to wax poetic about how I’m disappointed in The Mindy Project because I love Mindy Kaling, but instead of the parade of funny, good looking men I’ve seen on the show, it would’ve been nice to add a few of her funny, good looking women in the mix instead of axing BFF Anna Camp (they never figured out how to integrate her personal life with her professional). Although Mindy isn’t the only woman  onscreen, she has been downgrading her other female compatriots in the medical office such as the secretaries while giving more dimension and screen-time to her plethora of male colleagues (Jeremy Reed played by Edward Weeks, Danny Castellano played by Chris Messina, Morgan Tookers played by Ike Barinholtz, and newly added Peter Pretince played by Adam Pally)  and love interests. They have snagged a guest appearance by Emmy winner Anna Gunn of Breaking Bad fame, and I’m interested to see how they incorporate her.

And while Cece Prekah is probably my favorite character on New Girl, we’ve seen her interact less and less with Jess as the seasons progressed. The only reason we still see her around is not because of her BFF-since-childhood, but because of her former flame Schmidt.

The good news is there are a handful of new female-centric sitcoms this season that has made these two turns slightly less painful for me.

The Trophy Wife (or is it just Trophy Wife?) has been the unexpected gem of this season. It’s managed to make relatable (if not exaggerated) characters from stereotypes that make you laugh and sometimes ponder the implications of certain parental styles. While my personal favorite parts are the mother-son stylings of Jackie and Burt (together and individually), the show has managed to showcase three very different women without really pitting them against each other, or elevating one over the others, a feat considering they were all, at one point, married to the same man (played by the affable Bradley Whitford).

Perfectionist first wife Diane and new age hippie second wife Jackie couldn’t be more different and then there’s new wife Kate, who’s young and vivacious, and learning how to be a (step)mother to her three stepchildren, all add a compelling dynamic to this particular take on the modern family.  As I’ve noted, they’re not exactly friends, but they aren’t enemies either. The show does a great job at pointing out flaws, and benefits to each other their personalities that emphasize the importance of each in the family. (I completely forgot to mention Meg, Kate’s best friend, from her recent partying past – who is great, but doesn’t completely jive with the show yet, but finger crossed!)

My other show is Super Fun Night, which I know isn’t hitting the critics in any warm spots, but I’m really enjoying the trio of socially-awkward women at the center of the sitcom (but I could do without Rebel Wilson’s accented American accent). And yes, I’m having fun watching these three friends get in and out of hijinks in their reluctant, skittish manner. If I watched more than a couple episodes of Sex and the City, I’d probably say it’s like the Sex and the City for awkward geek girls, but it’s probably not that. It’s just nice, easy, sitcom fair with a female spin, whether traversing the difficulties of online dating, becoming disillusioned with your idol and a slow break from fandom, feeling inadequate compared to you sister, your girlfriends are by your side. There may be too many fat jokes but they feel trivial considering Rebel’s fictional Kimmie Boubier (pronounced boobier, so, I understand some of the issues) seem to be cutting it off before she becomes the joke (you can argue whether she’s helping or hurting) and seem trivial compared to even the most popular and critical darlings in like most jokes aimed at Jerry/Larry on Parks and Recreation, Scully on Brooklyn Nine Nine, and a quarter of the jokes on any given How I Met Your Mother (another quarter going toward slutty women jokes). But it’s looking like Super Fun Night will be cancelled soon anyway.

Along with these two shows, a few ensembles are also tickling my feminist (read: equal seeking) funny bone, notably Parks and Recreation and Brooklyn Nine Nine, both from creator Mike Schur (with Greg Daniels and Dan Goor respectively). Not only have they both introduced some wonderful people-of-color-who-are-not-only-defined-by-their-race-or-have-their-race-ignored characters they also have some kickass, funny, flawed women – who talk to each other!

None of this should take away from the many varied talented men in entertainment, of course, but there’s room for more gender (and race) balance on television.

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Social Media, Fandom, and Grief (I Miss You, Cory)

I wrote a little bit about Cory Monteith yesterday (has it only been a day???), but I’ve seen some things minimizing fan reaction and it made me think about the ever shrinking crossroads between the internet and the ‘real world’.

And to be quite frank, I’m still shaken up, completely wrecked over this loss. Not many people know, but I spent a lot of my daily time devoted to this actor, the character he portrayed, and the couple he was part of on and off screen. It gave me something to do between job searches and soon became a bigger and bigger part as time wore on. And now that Cory’s gone, a lot of that is gone or means something else now too. And it is a loss for me, whether I met him or he knew me. We all have different relationships with celebrities, just like we have different relationship with people. And I know fans have grieved for their favorite celebrities before the internet and before social media, today I am made acutely aware how close I felt and how much social media was part of that relationship and how it shaped my perception of this person.

We  interact with our favorite ‘celebrities’, creators and actors, musicians, on social media. They feel real. Those messages which are seen by millions still seem personal. It doesn’t feel completely one way. I’ve wanted to write about how this affects the creation process, especially in relation to television, and shows with rabid fanbases (see: Glee), but maybe another time.  Fact remains, I spent hours of my day watching, editing, reading about this man and his projects. I learned more about him, and about myself .

He indirectly introduced me to some of my closest friends. We’ve shared tears and laughter, albeit over a screen, but those emotions don’t feel any less real because of that restriction (even though some days, like yesterday and today, all I wanted to do was hug them close to me and I was unable to).

It feels real. It is real.

And I know it’s real because these are the only people who truly understand the loss, who don’t belittle the experience because they too ‘interacted’ with this kind, gentle, inspiring man every day too. Even more of us invited into our homes every week.

There have been some insulting comments left on articles, on facebook, and other places around the internet made by people who didn’t follow his career and want to generalize addicts as awful and selfish. From all the stories pouring in, and his general disposition, I have to adamantly disagree. He was beloved by all; friends, fans, reporters, and even paparazzi. He constantly went above and beyond for strangers, shaking drivers’ hands before getting in a car, stopping for the homeless, asking fans if they wanted more, talking to extras who the other actors never talked to, there are endless stories about his seemingly endless attention. His struggle started when he was a child, around 12 or 13, when he was dealt a poor hand and was unable to handle it properly as a child. There is nothing disparaging about this. There is nothing but sadness. Yet he radiated nothing but positivity to others, shielding them from his struggles. He was nothing if not selfless as he continued to better himself. It’s nothing but a shame to say otherwise.

And this particular tragedy is undercut by his openness and willingness to seek help and his growing career. I have no doubts he would’ve only grown and embraced more challenges. (He told James Lipton on Inside the Actor’s Studio he wanted to direct.) This is the same guy who auditioned for Glee with no singing experience, not even karaoke. Who drove from Vancouver to LA in one night to make it on time because he couldn’t afford a plane ticket. He shot two films last season while also shooting Glee. Two great departures from his affable jock persona on Glee, McCanick and All The Wrong Reasons. (Some information here, here including clip of McCanick, here and here with clip from All The Wrong Reasons.) And his storyline for Glee is left unfinished as well. So I celebrate his achievement and feel proud that he was able to add to his legacy more than just Finn Hudson (as much as I loved Finn), but I mourn for all those untouched projects he was meant to do, and all the lives he had yet to touch.

On a personal level, he was a beloved son and brother, and in a loving relationship with co-star Lea Michele. A relationship we watched bloom over four years, from co-stars, to friends, to lovers. She continued to support him during his rehab stint in April, and for all intents and purposes, seemed to be starting to build a life together. I am not often impressed by celebrity couples, but this one touched me and I believe they were planning on making it. They shared so much learning to deal with stardom together. I watched them fall in love onscreen and off, and I feel intimately part of it. I can’t begin to imagine her pain at this moment.

My heart hurts for all these reasons. And that’s not immature of me. He was a hero, an inspiration, a human life cut short.

I don’t know if I’ll ever have another relationship with a celebrity that reaches this level of intimacy again. The loss of it as his career was still climbing is utterly devastating to me. He had a lot more to give, to learn, and to experience. In one of the clips, director Carl Bessai said “Glee was the beginning.” That he, and we, will not be able to experience his growth as an artist is tragic.

Grieve, don’t grieve, but don’t belittle someone else’s emotions in the process.


I know there is so much going on in the world and in the country right now, but I’ve never felt a celebrity loss as personally as this one. (I’m writing this on two hours of sleep, please excuse any errors.)


How do you say goodbye to someone you never said hello to?

I never met Cory Monteith, but I have been following his career since May 2009 when the Glee pilot aired on Fox and he’s been a big influence on me, especially as I graduated and gained more free time a couple years ago. I spent more time than I care to admit thinking about and discussing him and his fictional counterpart and the things I learned made me love him more.

He was a generous man. Always appreciating the people around. Always thanking those around him whether it be a superior or a driver opening the door. Even when he was struggling, he tried to radiate positivity and took the extra step to make someone feel visible whether fan or otherwise.

He was a kindhearted man who portrayed a kindhearted boy on Glee, who stepped into our lives and gave his all. Who sadly had so much more talent and love to share. It’s still surreal, as my relationship with him were mostly indirect pixels through a screen, but I feel the loss to my core. He’s made me laugh, inspired me to be more, try more, and to be a more open person.

As an introvert, I don’t connect with people often, but Cory gave me a connection, and made me friends. It’s silly, but he was a “beacon of light” in the words of Finn Hudson. He was funny, he was self-aware, he struggled and survived, and he never thought himself above anyone. He was grace personified.

As of this writing, we don’t know how he died, other than it was alone, in a hotel room, in a city and country he loved. The world is a little darker today. If I feel this pain as a fan I cannot imagine the grief of those who knew him personally and who loved him deeply.

You can search some of his sillier moments on youtube, or look through his twitter for a smile. But this interview shows what an articulate, smart man he was and why he will forever be in my heart:

And a few words from about some of his philanthropic contributions:

It is with with deep sadness that we join with others to thank Cory for all he did to make a difference in other young people’s lives.  We applaud his work to end youth homelessnessand call upon all of us to continue this work to ensure that millions of young people no longer live on the streets.

Specifically for homeless youth, Cory wanted other youth to have the chance to discover their strengths and potential through the arts. Here is a sweet, current video showing Cory at Project Limelight, which he started with Virgin Mobile in May 2012.

We mourn the loss of a lovely human being with a big heart who moved mountains to make the world a better place. All of our thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones (Richard Branson)

It was an honor to have him in this world. He was taken much too soon. I have so much more to say, especially in regard to his portrayal of Finn Hudson, but today is about Cory. He will be missed.

We always joked that he was an angel, and now he is. See you in the stars.

RIP Cory Monteith: “I would say, don’t stop believing”

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Second Take: Veronica Mars

I finished my first full run rewatch of Veronica Mars last week and came away a bit different than I expected. The first time I watched (and fell in love with) Veronica Mars I was in high school, looking for a new show to be excited about after my first fandom show, Roswell, fizzled out. I caught up the summer after season one with other people’s opinions buzzing in my ear, mainly Logan and Veronica belong together.

veronica mars

As I got through that season, and the latter two, that relationship still hung on the lower end of my investment list, and my enjoyment of Logan Echolls fell much below par in my second go-around. His mopey, privileged white boy attitude rubbed me completely the wrong way even if the guy could pull off a plain white tee like the best of them. But enough of my unpopular opinions! Here are a few things I took away from the delightful Veronica:

  1. Keith and Veronica remain one of the best father/daughter duos in tv history.
    • That witty banter, the mutual protectiveness, they walk a fine line between authoritative and
  2. Mac continues to be one of the best nerd-girl characters to exist
    • Clever, tech savvy, won’t take your bullshit, yet still sexual. You go girl.
  3. There are way fewer females than there should be
    • Other than Veronica, the only truly notable (living) female in her cadre is Mac and that still takes more time to develop than her other friendships. Even by the end of the series a vast majority of those in her orbit are male, some great and some not-so-great. This seems… odd in real world notions of social groups, but unfortunately very normal in fiction and reminds of the depressing statistic that
  4. Our cliques don’t define us
    • Veronica was part of the popular crowd until her best friend died and her boyfriend broke up with her, but popular girl Meg was still nice. And in season three, pretty girl Parker ended up befriending her too. So you know, it can all work out.
  5. Sex positivity and consent culture!
    • Even for a show stuffed with sexual assaults, this show is shockingly sex positive and conscious on the importance of consent in the show. I still think the show’s (and especially fan reaction to) 09’ers role in s1’s sexual assaults (and the implied normality of similar behavior) is mostly glossed over and what there is of remorse is too personalized (bad/worse because it’s Veronica and Logan loves her now) instead of focusing on how it’s completely repugnant to drug someone without their approval until season three because the rapist isn’t a friend. And even though they decided to lean on the feminazi strawman a bit too hard in the third season, Veronica remained a staunch feminist.
  6. Even when they exist, colored characters are too often underrepresented in fandom depictions (see also: Friday Night Lights)
    • Eli “Weevil’ Navarro and Wallace Fannell are (after Veronica and Mac [season 2 definitely, jury's out on season 3] and possibly Cassidy) my favorites. Weevil’s development is probably one of my favorite things on the show and I love his dynamic against the other characters, especially Logan and Veronica.

All in all, I’m glad  I did a rewatch, and you know, pretty excited for the movie!) A little upset this show is more of the same “rich, pretty white people problem” focus considering the potential, but not enough to not recommend it. I probably have more to say, possibly will say more, but maybe later. Be cool soda pop.

[Next up: my new favorite show, Orphan Black??]


music and words

(Is there a handbook for making up titles? If so I need it.)

Sometime between leaving for Vietnam and coming back to the states in 2010 I went from voraciously looking for music to rarely. Now, I listen to a lot more radio (aka singles over albums) than before I left and gotten quite lazy on the music blog front and entertain more podcasts than albums. But Cory Monteith decided to come back to twitter and ask for suggestions which got me thinking about music again and wanting to get back into a swing. (This isn’t the first time I’ve thought about it, and I do listen some, mostly bands I was really into before my departure.)

So, here a few newish songs/albums and podcasts I listen to:

I’ve loved Her Marseilles for a few years now and happy to see them getting some traction. Their new single “Heart Beats” is a song that I get stuck in my head on a weekly basis, but I’m not complaining… yet. It’s somewhat jaunty lament about a lost love for when you’re sitting by the sea watching a sunset.

Bonus: Wes Anderson-esque short they made about making an album

I’ve wanted to be Thao Nguyen since high school. Dance break for the traditional musical instrument type.

And a more modern electronic dance break from Two Door Cinema Club!

I’ve been also enjoying releases from Passion Pit, Tegan and Sara, Of Monsters and Men, and other usual suspects like the Lumineers, Mumford and Sons, and some Rihanna and Beyonce too. I just feel really out of it. Suggestions wanted. I will be attending Capitol Hill Block Party in Seattle at the end of the month, and Outside Lands in San Francisco in August, so maybe that will kickstart something! (Music Fest NW also looks amazing! We’ll see if I can make it down.)

As for podcasts, some favorites include Pop Culture Happy Hour (the one I keep track of the best) and public radio shows like On the Media (!!!), RadioLab, This American Life, Weekends on All Things Considered, and some TED Radio Hour and some of the Nerdist spinoffs (some of the misogyny on the orignal podcast turned me off, but I might pick it up again someday) like Nerdist Writers’ Panel and some Making It. (While on the site, I noticed The Browncast with Alton Brown which I will pick up tomorrow.)  I’ve also been sampling from The Dork Forest, Professor Blastoff, and Scriptcast. I’ve dropped the ball of WTF with Marc Maron and Bullseye with Jesse Thorne the past year but I want to catch up with those too.


PS: I’m trying to write something about shipping but it’s not working out. Hopefully I can post it soonish.

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Reality versus Fiction: Bert and Ernie, Mascots or Icons?

I was going to write a post about how conversations about pieces of fiction can be just as  or even more telling than conversations about personal events the same way books, shows, and movies are able to bring new worlds to your imagination. They’re important gateways for the public to exist in worlds and contemplate decisions they may never encounter and those hypothetical situations can be both revealing and opinion changing.

Cultural shifts are helped by their cultural imagery and framing. Angela Watercutter wrote for Wired “How Pop Culture Changed the Face of the Same-Sex Marriage Debate“, because we do feel emotionally connected to many of the characters that greet us on screen and personal relationships can alter world views, and also create a more tolerate environment for more gays and lesbians  (as per this topic) to come out, which creates a more tolerant environment, etc. etc.

And then today’s New Yorker cover came out:


to mostly accolades and few dissenters.

And while I understand the emotional resonance to this photo, many of us grew up with Bert and Ernie, two single male roommates who share a bedroom and bicker like an old married couple, I don’t think it should be the centerpiece image for this fight.

I don’t have terrible grievance about Bert or Ernie’s sexuality (Sesame Street Workshops dismisses the claim, while the country at large appear to agree they are indeed, closeted life partners), but I did find Tyler Coate’s objections most compelling:

[T]he whole ordeal was summed up in a conveniently cheap and cloying image of puppets looking at a frozen image of the Supreme Court justices on their TV. Because Bert and Ernie are now apparently gay icons, at least in the eyes of The New Yorker‘s staff. And that’s a shame, because I can list off a ton of names who have done more for the marriage equality fight with level-headed dignity and pride. Are these America’s most recognizable gay icons? Because that’s a shame. We deserve better — we at least deserve to be identified and recognized and treated with respect rather than belittled with the cheap and easy imagery used here.

Fiction is a fun place to play with ideas and even become invested, but when real life consequences are involved, real life people should get most of the attention. (Don’t get me started on the gay rights for my favorite fictional couple activists. I know people say any ally is a good ally, but also turn around and shame detractors and mind-changers – which is not a way to build alliances and a more important function of activism than emphasizing fiction.)

I also found this quote from Kevin Fallon’s Daily Beast post baffling:

True, Bert and Ernie are not gay, and many people are offended by the fact that in its iconic gay marriage cover, The New Yorker couldn’t be bothered to feature an actual gay couple. But the truth of the matter is that they are gay icons—probably the most recognizable gay icons in pop-culture history. That may be a “shame,” as Tyler Coates at Flavorwire says, but it’s true. Bert and Ernie are not gay, but the cultural narrative behind their relationship is a gay one. If The New Yorker was looking for a meaningful way to symbolize a decades-long struggle, given the connection so many of us have to Bert and Ernie and their “story,” the magazine couldn’t have depicted the moment with a more powerful image.

It sounds like he’s saying because Bert and Ernie are imagined as gay icons, regardless of their (lack of) sexuality, they should be gay icons even if it’s “a shame”. Just like traditional marriage has been defined as man and a woman for “thousands” of years, they should be?

I understand why it has created a personal resonance throughout the country and thus hopefully more sales and more conversation. In keeping with creating discourse, we should examine why this cover has hit a culturally positive nerve while other minority mascots do not.

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Given it’s upfronts week, I feel like I should giving pithy reviews on 3 minute trailers with vague descriptions, but I’ll wait until next week and choose favorites and least favorites. Today I’ll just start my summer series: I Liked This Too! about the shows without too much critical acclaim over the past season.

First off, Bates’ Motel on A&E, a campy drama loosely advertised as a prequel to Hitchcock’s Psycho set in modern times. I’ve tried my hand at some of the more critically approved camp-series like Revenge and Vampire Diaries but they haven’t been able to hold my attention, even with the ridiculous twists and turns of story. I think because I haven’t been able to attach to a character, not even superficially. (I should go talk to a therapist about my internal angst over liking/not liking pop culture entities.)


But even though I can’t figure out how much Freddie Highmore’s distant depiction of Norman Bates is a conscious choice I’m interested, Olivia Cooke’s Emma is one of my absolute favorite teenage girls that has come out of television, and of course Vera Farmiga’s Norma Bates performance is masterful (as Ken Tucker noted.)

As part of a surge of horror tv shows (ie: The Following, Hannibal) I’m enjoying this one the most (I stopped watching The Following after two episodes and I really like Hannibal). I think it’s the unfazed weirdness that doesn’t seem to take itself too seriously ambiance I’m enjoying. 

I Liked This Too!: Bates Motel

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Criticizing Criticism

Since the passing of acclaimed critic Roger Ebert, (which I know was about fifty news cycles ago just bear with me) I’ve been thinking a lot about the role of criticism and the idea of tastes and labels.

I will admit, I don’t have the most conventional tastes at all times, though I wouldn’t call myself an eccentrist by any stretch. Barring a few summer months in college I still cannot fully get on the T-Swift Express while even some of the most ardent hipsters have a first class ticket, I’m still a couple steps removed from the Nick/Jess obsession that has overtaken even the most coldhearted tv critics, and I’m not sure how to stay interested in The Vampire Diaries despite critic approval and twisty twisty twists (I find none of the men save maybe Jeremy attractive, and I think that may be at least 40% of the appeal for some people).

I mention these three because there appears to be a general consensus that they’re good and if you don’t like it, you’re lying or wrong (holler at me about all the Taylor hate, but in my circles it’s a ten to one ratio of defense to criticism) and the default is you have no legitimate claim to your opinion.

When faced with the dilemma of not enjoying a piece of culture it’s unwelcome to feel like a degenerate. I often wonder how taste is determined and how I came to be a sensitive, apathetic curmudgeon.

I prize my opinion above others too, but there should be be space in this world for people to genuinely dislike things you like. Maybe I  should figure out how to write about it.

(I’m not exactly sure how, but this link was in my draft of this post, so I’ll just stick at the end: Tim Goodman on TV’s Hottest Trend: Hate Watching)

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