Growing Pains: Thank God It’s Friday

OH MY GOSH YOU GUYS. I am reblogging this post because 4 years ago I was very dumb and did NOT realize that Kristy Swanson plays a very important guest role in this episode. She’s the one in the blue sweater who asks Mike if he wants to do drugs!! I bet you’re wondering how I realized this now? As it turns, I keep falling down the Tonya Harding/Dancing With the Stars rabbit hole and I just happened to be reading a v. long thread in which Kristy Swanson asked people to #TakeAKneeForNancy by not watching the show. This lead to a lot of MAGA people who don’t like Colin Kaepernick’s protests during the national anthem dragging Kristy for supporting “taking a knee.” These people are idiots for the following significant reasons:
1. They don’t realize that every citizen’s right to exercise the first amendment right to free speech in the form of public protest IS what makes America great.
2. They don’t realize that Nancy Kerrigan’s KNEE was injured in a vicious attack.
3. They claim to be sports fans but don’t realize that is is customary for ALL players to “take a knee” when one player is injured on the field.
-END RANT-
HAPPY FRIDAY EVE!

The Very Special Blog

growing painsIf you’re a close reader, you may have already deduced that this episode takes place on a Friday. Everyone except for Mike is at home watching TV. Carol is at home because her boyfriend is grounded and apparently she has no other friends Ben is home because he is nine years old, and Jason and Maggie are tired form the workweek.

So from here on out we’re basically only paying attention to Mike. While innocently hanging out a local pizza parlor, Mike and hi s friends get invited to a college party. Thankfully, this party is a lot realistically depicted than the frat party on Full House. The guys get to the party and suddenly they are on the set of Miami Vice. Everyone is rich and everyone is doing coke in the bathroom. But like everyone is doing coke, so I am confused as to why they…

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Cobra Kai: The Best (Reboot) Around

I am so excited that Cobra Kai is finally out and available! FYI the first two episodes are free on YouTube! (Episode 1 is embedded at the bottom of the post).

Early on in the episode we learn that Daniel LaRusso is a car salesman, who uses his Karate prowess to advertise his business. That’s pretty lame, even for a car salesman.

DUDE, ED ASNER IS IN THIS! Was he in the original Karate Kid? It’s been so long that I cannot remember. He’s playing Johnny’s stepdad, so maybe we’ll see more of him.

Anyhow, Johnny isn’t doing too well. He’s an alcoholic with a record and he just lost his job as a handyman. When some teenagers total his car (one of whom we later learn is Daniel’s daughter) he has to head to LaRusso’s body shop to pick it up. (Whoops, just spoiled the hell out of that episode for ya. Sorry, I’m used to working with older material.)

Narratively, the episode is told from Johnny’s perspective. Episode two is told from Daniel’s perspective, while moving forward chronologically.

After his encounter with Daniel, Johnny is motivated to restart the Cobra Kai dojo with his first student being–get this–a bullied teen who is new in town.

William Zabka is GREAT and I’m so glad we get to see a little more depth to Johnny’s character. I think it will be interesting to see how the plot plays out, especially if they continue to switch protagonists with each episode. That said…it will take many a good review to make me consider paying for a YouTube Red subscription just to watch the full series. (Or maybe I’ll free trial it?)

May Awareness Day: Getting Mandy Moore Into the Meme Mix

By now I’m sure you’ve seen this making the rounds today (and every April 30th over the last few years). IMG_7333

But like a whole year before JT proclaimed the advent of the fifth month in the year of our lord, Mandy was beckoning the arrival of the only month with a name too short to need an abbreviation in one of the greatest songs ever. Here’s my deep dive into the weird way pop stars said vowels in the late nineties/early aughts from last May Day.
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Expectations for Tonya Harding’s Dancing with The Stars Debut

Okay, people, we are only 9 days away from Tonya Harding’s sure to be spectacular debut on Dancing With the Stars: Athletes. While my money’s on Adam Rippon to take home the mirrorball trophy, my heart will always be #TeamTonya. So what can we expect from Tonya this season? I have some predictions:

Fierce Nails
If there’s one thing you can consistently count on from Tonya, it’s square cut, vibrantly colored nails. Sparkles may or may not be present.

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Incredible Soundtrack
Known for her performances to Tone Loc’s “Wild Thing” and the Theme from “Jurassic Park” I fully expect some badass song selections during her dances.

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Sequins
While it is no secret that the judges despised Tonya’s home-made and often-bedazzled costumes, I think DWTS is the moment for her style to really shine.

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Some Tumbles
The DWTS competition can be tough and Tonya tends to get in her head when she’s under pressure. When Tonya gets in her head, she falls. Maybe having a partner will benefit Tonya and help her not overthink her lifts.

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Inhaler
As one of the 25 million Americans with Asthma, I appreciate Tonya’s transparency with her inhaler use. Also, is she still a smoker? That probably didn’t help…

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Success Face
Tonya can’t hide it when she knows she’s done a good job. And who wants her too?? Hope we get to see our girl making a lot of this face!

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Mama’s Family: Zirconias are a Girl’s Best Friend

I’m not sure how this popular sketch from The Carol Burnett Show became a fairly long running sitcom, but then again I’m not sure how Vicki Lawrence had a #1 song either, so I guess she was leading the charmed life in the 70’s/80’s.

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Anyway, I’d like to talk about a very serious issue that we haven’t yet covered here: shopaholicism.

As a person living in the digital age, I find myself suffering from this frequently. But for some people, it’s a debilitating disorder. And even before we had the internet in our homes, people suffered from it via THE TELEVISION.

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Shopping is a slippery slope. First, you’re just buying some fake diamond earrings that remind you of the ones your mother used to wear. Then you’re using your credit card that’s “only for emergencies” to buy some miniature fans in bulk. Then you’re buying “a portrait of Elvis that lights up.” (But actually that one sounds cool. I want that one. Someone link me to one in the comments!!!)

Then you’re skipping church meetings to watch the 3 O’Clock Bargain Bonanza! Money is the root of all evil, lest we forget.

After about three weeks of this nonsense, Mama’s family intervenes (probably because she’s spending a lot of money and they all seem to be moochers) with aversion therapy. This consists of hitting her with rolled up newspapers–as you might do if you’re really bad at training your dog and also kind of an a-hole–every time she tries to order something over the phone. And for the price of only four people hitting her with newspapers in three easy-installments, Mama is cured for good! Wow!

Very Special Lesson: tbh I learned nothing from this and am heading to Amazon right now. I have to find that picture of Elvis!

Night Court: Halloween, Too

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Before you start thinking that Night Court is just underrated yet dated NBC comedy from the late-80’s/early-90’s, let me remind you that the real Manhattan night court is, apparently, a tourist attraction.

Now, I’m not sure that the real night court celebrates Halloween–nor would I want to visit Manhattan’s nightcourt on Halloween in order to find out–but in NBC’s version the court is bubbling over with Halloween cheer. The lovable judge of the night court, Harry, is particularly excited about the holiday, having recently fallen in love with a woman whom he directed to the traffic court.

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Sadly, it’s not long before the honeymoon is over. She appears in Harry’s court a few days later having been arrested for destruction of public property and disturbing the peace. She “danc[ed] robustly through Central Park.” Oh yeah and she built a bonfire. Because she is a witch. It was a witch thing. Oh and also the mom from The Goonies is a witch too and she was there with her. (She was dancing naked by the bonfire. Yep, sorry, now you have that image in your mind.) Of course, Harry has to recuse himself from the case. But what of their romance?? Will Harry recuse himself from that too? More, after the jump!

Lol. Just kidding, of course there is no jump. Ugh, I hate when people do that. But I would like to take this time to apologize for the lame ads that WordPress is probably making you view on this site. It’s because I’m cheap and I didn’t pay for premium. I didn’t even pay for my own domain. Can you get any cheaper??

Well, I guess maybe there was a jump, after all. Sorry. So yeah Harry’s skeptical of the legitimacy of her witch-claims. So she proves it to him by zapping a miniature chandelier into his hand. Kind of an odd choice. But okay.

So he says, “You really believe you’re a witch?” Uh, no shit dude. How do you think you ended up with a light fixture in your hand??? At this point you should believe it too.

And she says, “It’s not what I believe. It’s what I am.”

And he says, “I believe that you are the best thing that’s happened to me in a long time. And I’m gonna fight like hell before I even think about giving you up.”

hqdefaultOkay, calm down, no one said anything about having to give one another up. As they embrace at the resolution of a drama that existed only in their own minds, a journalist shows up and wants to interview them about their “compromising position.” But she tells some stupid story about how they’ve known each other since the second grade. She says Harry’s just offering her free legal advice because she once gave him lunch money. It works and the journalist is bored enough to leave them alone.

Then Harry asks her to stop being a witch. Why??? And then they realize that neither of them could ask the other to change. Thus, they can never be together. BUT WHY??

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Then they have a super weird conversation that I do not understand. If you understand it, please explain it to me in the comments.

Harry: Suppose, you walk out one night and there’s this message blazing across the sky or there’s a burning bush and it’s got my name on it.
Witch: (sobbing) You’d be the first one I call.
Harry: Fine. Just as long as we’re clear on that.
(She runs away in tears.)

Very Special Halloween Lesson: If you meet a cool person and you want to date each other then do it. Don’t make up stupid, potentially discriminatory against witches, reasons not to.

Pretty in Pink is All About Harry Dean Stanton and Jon Cryer

Pretty in Pink, a classic tale: Boy meets Girl. Boy is rich. Girl is poor. Girl’s BFF is an eccentric guy who is madly in love with her. Girl picks pretty rich Boy. Boy ditches her for shallow reasons. Girl makes ugly dress. Girl goes to prom alone only to be rescued by consolation prize BFF. Girl ends up with pretty rich Boy in the end anyway because everyone loves Andrew McCarthy.

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Of course, thirty plus years of re-watching this movie has led to a general consensus amongst viewers that Andy should have picked her BFF Duckie. One day that pretty smile of Blane’s will fade or he’ll try to use it to weasel out of some dumb crap like flirting with the pretty woman next door while Andy tries to hustle their brood of children into their suburban mansion, juggling the groceries alone.

And she’ll look back on her largely lust-driven, desperate need for validation from the cool guy and wonder why she didn’t notice that their relationship was rife with communication issues from the start–or why she didn’t care that his friends were all colossal jerks that she now has to make nice with at the country club. After all, what was his big gesture of romance after spinelessly shunning her after James Spader shamed him for “slumming it”? He shows up to prom alone and claims he “always believed in her”?? Barf. But you’ve heard that all before and I’m here to talk about Pretty in Pink‘s sub-plot.

That being, of course, that Andy’s mom ditched the family three years prior to the start of the film and her father is utterly blown apart, barely functional, for most of the film because of it. I first saw this movie at eleven and I thought he was an alcoholic because that was most of the dysfunction I had seen in my own extended family. I didn’t know what grief and depression looked like. I didn’t understand what it feels like when someone you love deeply abandons you out of nowhere. I certainly didn’t realize how short three years could be and, for Andy as all of us, the difference between thirteen and sixteen must have felt like a lifetime.

But her father, it isn’t. He wakes up every day in the same house he lived in with his happy thirteen year-old child and his seemingly happy wife. He wakes up alone, haunted by his memories of the past and the memories of his aspirations for what his family could have been. It must feel like someone has died. It must feel much worse than if someone had died. And yet, he is still deeply in love with his wife.

I re-watched a scene between Andy’s father and Duckie as soon as I heard of Harry Dean Stanton’s passing. He’s a terrific actor. He’s shown off his chops in much better movies than this. I find Pretty in Pink to be a pretty weak entry into the John Hughes cannon (go ahead, fight me in the comments if you will), but it’s Harry Dean Stanton who offers the one sage piece of advice in a script full of melodrama unsuitable for the subject matter.

In this scene, Duckie (Jon Cryer) meets with Andy’s father (Harry Dean Stanton) to reassure him that he is serious about Andy’s welfare and cares deeply about her wellbeing. Of course, he doesn’t need to offer his assurances because he and Andy aren’t dating. And let’s be honest, this whole exchange shows that Duckie has some pretty poor boundaries, so maybe Andy should just wait until college to get serious about anyone. But Duckie’s feelings are genuine and her father–no stranger to unrequited love–offers him some advice.

In my opinion, Duckie is the real winner of Pretty in Pink. I guess we’re supposed to think that he’s such a “good friend” that he wanted Andy to be happy with Blane and that’s why he’s such a good sport at the prom. But I hope it’s more that he learned how to be a good friend to himself.

John Hughes’s original ending would have subverted this exchange between Duckie and Andy’s dad. If he had his way, Duckie would have ended up with Andy, but ultimately this didn’t test well (see above re: Andrew McCarthy’s smile). And that makes this subtly poignant scene with Harry Dean Stanton feel all the more relevant to the overall plot of the film. I’m not worried about Duckie ending up sad and alone in his middle age like Andy’s father. I feel like he’s going to bounce back from pretty much whatever life throws at him and he’s going to do it while wearing a bolero tie.