Saturday, February 23, 2019

I'm Almost Over You: Crazy Ex Girlfriend S4E11 Episode Review


This episode was a real treat. It was an experimental, fun, exploration of romantic comedies. It was also unlike any episode before it because the main character was not Rebecca - it was Nathaniel! It was interesting to see how the show could look if Nathaniel was the main character going through his love woes. Scott Michael Foster did some excellent acting here - especially how he was tearing up during his revelation that he needed to let Rebecca go.

As I was watching this episode, I was always a little confused. The main romantic comedy trope in Nathaniel's movie was, "Fake Dating," to make someone jealous. "To All The Boys I Love Before," is the most popular movie right now with this trope (and one that I have watched THREE times). I was confused because the trope always ends the same way - with the two fake dating characters falling in love. When Nathaniel left to go see Maya during Greg's proposal to Rebecca - I was worried! Are Nathaniel and Maya going to be a thing now!? But no, this show turned it around. That moment when Nathaniel was talking to Maya and she suddenly turned into Rebecca was surprising and bittersweet. Rebecca is both the girl Nathaniel wanted to make jealous AND the girl he "fake dated," and fell in love with. Nathaniel wanted Rebecca so bad, he imagined her as two characters.

Lots of tropes were made fun of in this episode. For example, the bro-y best friend obsessed with their friend's love life (reminded me of Pete Davidson in Netflix's Set It Up), the mean boss, and the fumbling assistant. There was also a funny, meta moment when they showed stock video of the location just like they do in movies.

In one scene, Maya says, "my dead mom who told my single dad," which is also a trope in romantic comedies. A lot of our leading ladies have dead parents. In "To All The Boys I Love Before," Lara Jean's mom is dead and her single dad is raising her. In, "Edge of Seventeen," which just arrived on Netflix, the main character's dad's death really affected her and her mom.

This episode included many scenes that were just making fun of a specific trope. For example, there was the make-over scene where the characters got hot, the working-together-montage scene, the glossing over presentation scene, and, of course, the gratuitous karaoke moment. By the way, how hard was it to make Nathaniel look ugly? They just made him wear glasses and khaki pants. As a glasses wearer, I am offended!! (just kidding). In the beginning of Maya's presentation, she seemed really bad at speaking about real-estate law so it was hilarious that once they started skipping over her presentation, everyone thought she did such a good job.

Gratuitous Karaoke Moment: Entertaining song! I am worried it was a parody of one of my FAVORITE songs from one of my FAVORITE movies. You can guess what it's, "The Start Of Something New," from High School Musical!

I loved seeing Nathaniel come to terms with his heartbreak. He explained his relationship with Rebecca really well. "We're that mismatched couple from different worlds. You're short, I'm tall. You're quirky. I'm really not." As a viewer, I shipped Rebecca and Nathaniel. They made a good couple. Within the rules of romantic comedies, they should be together because Rebecca was always supposed to be with Greg, but since he got cut from the show, Nathaniel was supposed to be his replacement, but now Greg is back so it's like Nathaniel was just a red herring to the audience.

Nathaniel crying to the pizza man also tugged at my heart strings. It called-back to Rebecca crying to Patrick, the delivery guy in Season 2. 

Another meta moment was when Nathaniel says, "I was trying out a persona to figure out something in my life. I saw myself in a recognizable pop culture genre." Those sentences basically summarize this beautiful show. Crazy Ex Girlfriend is all about Rebecca using music and movies and pop culture to understand herself.

I think Rebecca and Greg are endgame. So not only was Nathaniel feeling some heartbreak over the loss of his relationship with Rebecca, so was I.

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Sunday, February 17, 2019

I Can Work With You: Crazy Ex Girlfriend S4E10 Episode Review

This episode accomplishes two important things. First, it allows the viewer to see Rebecca interacting with her genetic daughter for the first time since the baby was born. Second, we see Rebecca and Greg as a healthy, mature couple.

We also now understand why Rebecca has been so cold to Hebecca. Rebecca thinks she made a rash decision in donating her egg to Darryl. She didn't think it through that she would be bringing a person into the world with her "garbage genes." In addition, Rebecca is also scared that another family member of hers wouldn't love her. Her dad didn't love her, and her mom never acted like she did. When Hebecca started crying around Rebecca, when she never cries around anyone else, Rebecca's worst fears are confirmed.

I loved the reprise of, "Hello, Nice To Meet You," that Rebecca sang to Hebecca. "All I can say is have fun in the grey," almost made me tear up. Rebecca even sniffs the top of Hebecca's head just like Darryl suggested in the beginning of the episode. By the end of the episode, Rebecca starts to accept her daughter.

The second important thing this episode accomplishes is that it starts a new relationship with Greg and Rebecca. There is a reason why Greg came over when Hebecca started crying - and that reason is that the writers wanted us to see Rebecca and Greg as a domestic couple. It was so cute seeing Greg comforting Hebecca and getting her to stop crying. "You know I'm the first person to impulsively throw myself into any really romantic moment," says Rebecca. When Rebecca takes a second to examine her feelings after the shame-spiral - we were seeing a healthy Rebecca making good choices. If Greg and Rebecca work hard to keep their relationship healthy - it could really work!

I know lots of fans still say Rebecca should end up alone because she needs to work on herself. Other fans don't like the cliche that the main female character HAS to end up with someone. I disagree. It would be nice for Rebecca to be in a good place and continuously working hard to keep herself healthy in a good romantic relationship by the end of the series.

Sports Analogies: One of the best songs of this season. It was funny and fun to listen to! Highlights included, "shuttlecock," and, "We're American men, we like all sports except for soccer/cuz soccer's just a bunch of foreigners running around." I laughed so hard at that ending line. It was also cool to see Nathaniel and Josh's dads playing instruments together. "We're sad about our dads, we couldn't talk to our dads." They both have daddy issues! I also loved how during the ending of the song, they both turned to their dads and the dads were reluctant to clap. But then the dads did decide to slow clap just to give their sons the validation they desperately craved.

Hello, Nice To Meet You: As I stated earlier, I loved both reprises - the one sang to Hebecca and the one with Greg and Rebecca. This is a very cute and hopeful song.

Paula's Law School Graduation Party: It was an interesting dynamic to see the main characters gathered without Rebecca. Paula really needs to learn how to celebrate herself.

"What happened to Marvin Gaye?" says Josh Chan. I said the same thing as the show was airing. Later on, I looked up the tragic story.

It was super sweet and funny when everyone helped Josh take the photo for Fett Regoso! It was heart-warming team work!

Valencia and Hector Beef: I thought the reason for the beef was lame. Valencia was jealous that Hector was more popular because he was nice and easy-going. That could be said for anyone - even Josh! Also, it just seems like such a child-ish reason to be mean to someone. Valencia should know better.

Favorite Jokes:
"Water cooler has been empty for weeks." - Paula about inviting Josh.

Josh: "You're mean."
Nathaniel: "NOT ANYMORE."

All the weird sportsy ways Nathaniel described those court cases to Josh. I didn't understand most of them. Also, Hector passing the entire time he was playing the game because 1) he didn't know the court cases and 2) because he was scared of Valencia.

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Saturday, February 16, 2019

Every Song Off Kacey Musgraves's Album Golden Hour RANKED [Track-by-Track Review]

Kacey Musgraves's Golden Hour Review

Hey ya'll, Kacey Musgraves won album of the year this year at the Grammys! I love Kacey's music and I am proud of her for winning. In honor of this, let's talk about her album Golden Hour. This album is so good that I don't want to rank her songs because they ARE ALL GOOD BUT IN DIFFERENT WAYS. Like, I feel like I can't compare and contrast. The album as a whole is so cohesive. I feel like all the songs are all in the right order. They come together to make the finished product. This is some fine art.

13) Golden Hour

Golden Hour is my least favorite song because it's the least memorable which is interesting because the album is named after it!  I think it is so low on my list because it is about love and ya'll know I don't have any experience with that. I do like the imagery of the sun between the clouds and the sky. The song also has a peaceful feel.

My Favorite Lyric: "I used to get sad/And lonely when the sun went down." (I still get lonely and sad cuz I don't have a significant other LOL).

12) High Horse

Everyone is shocked that this song is so low on my list. The critics really love this song. I don't think it is the best lyrically. I do think the over-arching metaphor is cleaver. This is a country song so we are going to talk about horses but let's talk about an idiom instead! I like the puns of this song. It's a good, danceable song. It really does remind me of disco which makes it unique! There aren't many songs I've heard recently that remind me of disco.

*NOTE: After High Horse, these songs are all really good and I love all of them 100%

11) Happy & Sad

"And I'm the kind of person who starts getting kinda nervous/When I'm having the time of my life." The thesis statement of this song is so relatable. You are so happy, that you are actually sad because you know it can't last forever.

10) Wonder Woman

This song is about how no one and nothing is perfect. "I can show you strong, I can fight for you I can try to move mountains if you want me to," is a beautiful lyric. It's very feminist because a lot of times the patriarchy says only men can do those things. It says only men can protect their loved ones. Kacey is saying that in her relationship, she will protect him and love him the best that she can. However, she is still human and can be weak at times or make mistakes. She expects the same from her partner. "All I need's a place to land I don't need a Superman to win my lovin'." She just wants someone to love. She doesn't expect him to be a Superman. She knows he will still try to protect and love her, but he will also be vulnerable and weak at times.

9) Mother

The perfect Mother's Day song. It's a very short song, but with the piano melody it is beautiful and touching.

8) Slow Burn

I was watching an interview and Kacey was talking about this song and she just blurts out. "I was on Acid." LOL. She sings "We should take a walk and look at all the flowers," in such a childish wonder voice. The song does sound like someone wrote it at their clearest moment while on drugs. A moment where everything makes sense. In this song, Kacey is telling everyone to slow down. To actually be present in the world. It's beautiful. 

7) Lonely Weekend

I like this song because I can relate as I also do not have a lot of friends LOL. At least Kacey has a boyfriend - but unfortunately he is out of town. This song sounds happy. It doesn't seem like Kacey is too upset she doesn't have anything to do on the weekend. It makes sense that this song comes after Slow Burn. Being by yourself also slows you down. It also makes you think deeper. While you are feeling sad that no one is around you or that there is nothing to do, you can look at the flowers and say at least I have that. At least I have this world I am alive in. It's another opportunity to be present.

6) Oh, What a World

I love how she named her tour after this song, because I am sure every place she visits has something unique to cherish. "Oh, what a world," is a phrase that comments on the beauty and vastness of the world. This song is very zen. It's makes you focus on the present and savour the world around you. We sometimes get so lost in our routines that we forget how complex this universe is. If you really think about it, the world is amazing and interesting. We just forget because of our day to day tasks.

5) Butterflies

Butterflies is the ultimate crush song. "You give me butterflies" is such a cliche. But Kacey does something special here. She's a country artist and I like how she brings up nature throughout this album. Apparently, Kacey wrote this song after THREE weeks of meeting her now husband. Wow, she is a really good judge of character. My favorite part is, "Now, you're lifting me up 'stead of holding me down/You're taking my hand 'stead of taking my crown." That's important for feminist, ambitious women like me and Kacey. A lot of men do want to drag us down so when someone respects our success, it's great!

4) Love Is a Wild Thing

This song reminds me of "Oh, what a world," because of how it also names awe-inspiring natural phenomenon. The imagery of flowers growing in concrete is such a poignant way of describing love. I agree! Love is a wild thing because it is natural. Mothers have been loving their children since the beginning of mankind. If they didn't, we would all die out. Another thing Kacey points out is that you can't stop love. No matter what you do there will always be humans who care for each other.

3) Velvet Elvis

I saw Kacey Musgraves at The Beacon Theatre in NYC, and everyone jumped up at this song and started dancing! I was shocked that everyone else loved this song just as much as me because it hasn't been a single. I love this song because it is catchy and fun! It just has sweet vibes to it - and is also a little funny! "Soft to the touch, feels like love, knew it as soon as I felt it." This sentence could describe both the person she is in love with and the painting.

2) Space Cowboy

I LOVE THIS SONG. "You look out the window, while I look at you." I love that imagery, that parallelism of what each character in this song values. One values freedom and the other values the love. It's so heartbreaking. The song is sung with sad resignation. "Well, I guess that's the purpose of roads and boots so I can't get mad," is something the narrator is thinking. I also like the title of the song - even though it is misleading. I was hoping this song was about cowboys in space!!!

"Space Cowboy" has so many lyrical gems!!

"I know my place and it ain't with you."
"Sunsets fade and love does too. We had our day in the sun."

1) Rainbow

I have cried to this song so many times! I LOVE IT WITH ALL MY HEART. It's so simple, yet so beautiful. I feel like she is talking to me during this song, you know? "If you could see what I see/You'd be blinded by the colors/Yellow, red, and orange, and green/And at least a million others." These lyrics are some of the most compassionate, loving things you can say to someone. She is acknowledging their worth, their value, their uniqueness. She is showing real love here. It's my personal opinion that she is talking to someone with depression because of the lyrics: "It's hard to breathe when all you know is/The struggle of stayin' above the risin' water line." Trying to defeat depression can feel like that because you are always trying to survive.

ugh, it's such a perfect song. I am listening to it now and I just started crying!!

"There's always been a rainbow hanging over your head."

As a whole, this album is beautiful and deserves all the awards it won. It's an album about slowing down, enjoying the present moment, and looking at the world with loving eyes.

Let me know what you think in the comments: Do you agree or disagree? I think a lot of people will disagree with my comments on High Horse!!

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Tuesday, February 12, 2019

I Need Some Balance: Crazy Ex Girlfriend S4E9 Episode Review

I really enjoyed this episode! It's interesting - I also love musical theater but I have no knowledge of Cats whatsoever. I know in the 90s it was a huge phenomenon. I've heard people say it was the longest running Broadway show a while ago (which I'm sure is no longer the case). I haven't heard a single song from the musical. But if the musical has bangers like "Hungry Cat," - I would love it!

It's hilarious how Rebecca doesn't like Cats. I love her commentary on it even though I don't understand it. For example, when she said she would like Cats if it was just a dancing revue without a plot. Maybe I will finally learn what I need to learn about Cats when the movie comes out (which features Taylor Swift!). I also wonder if Rachel Bloom shares Rebecca's sentiments about Cats.

I loved how this episode gave Jason a chance to shine. I like him! Rebecca/Jason is now a ship I endorse. They have so much in common because they don't mind revealing embarrassing stuff like pooping in public trashcans (Jason) or yeast infections (Rebecca). Also, wasn't it refreshing when Rebecca told Jason the truth towards the ending of the episode? So many television plots are based on conflicts that could be solved if you just told the truth. I loved how they played the instrumental of "Sex With A Stranger," when Rebecca and Jason were about to sleep together - because it's a nice throwback to Season 1!!

When the "Hungry Cat," song (performed by Riki Lindhome) came on - I had no idea what it was implying AT ALL. Rebecca literally had to spell it out for me when she said, "I have to get laid." Crazy Ex Girlfriend is a comedy musical so I think their idea to use Cats for this metaphor was great! Riki Lindhome really did shine with her vocals in this song. Lots of cool guest stars in this episode: Fred Armisen as Itchy Cat, Todrick Hall as Funky Cat, Rebekka Johnson as Elated Cat, and Megan Amram as Nostalgia Cat.

I LOVED the subplot of Greg and Nathaniel. It was hilarious how worried White Josh was about the train wreck he kept on seeing right in front of his eyes. I know this is a TV show but: out of all the people at the gym - did Nathaniel and Greg have to meet each other? Obviously they did - for plot development.

White Josh looks so scared!

Favorite Jokes:

BEST JOKE: Maya bringing up the Twitter drama that many of us Crazy Ex Girlfriend fans saw first hand during the Tonys when Neil Patrick Harris shaded Rachel Bloom. In the episode, Maya says she agrees with NPH - "who was that weird lady at the tony's with the tiny top hat?" Neil Patrick Harris said this on Twitter. but apparently he had met Rachel before! Awkward!!

"I need you to say that you won't sleep with my dad." - Valencia, and a hilarious, sick burn.

"Wine with Whine Dinner" - creative name! Love the pun.

Darryl gave Bert dirt for a gift (which rhymes!!).

"Mayo is just chicken embryo mucus mixed with oil" - Jim. This was poignant for me because I've been playing Stardew Valley where I can quickly turn eggs into Mayonnaise and I never thought about how much egg plays into Mayo.

"What are you doing later and do you like oatmeal draft lattes? - Because I do." - Maya. I love how she hits on people!

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