Less than two weeks after my groundbreaking defense of the crying laughing emoji, and the war between millennials and Gen Z rages on. Much to my surprise, it seems nobody really cares that much about the emoji, and rather, everyone—from corporate Twitter accounts to PR execs hawking pants—has zeroed in on the youth’s ridicule of side parts and skinny jeans. Look, I know I said you could have them, Gen Z, but I actually lied. I didn’t spend my entire adolescence agonizing over whether I had an oval or a heart or a round face, just for some kids to tell me that I would have been fine accentuating the roundest part of my face all along. Plus, I’m a 5’2″ adult whose biggest growth spurt was two inches, compared to the typical half-inch-per-year I was growing before. Do you know how long I tried to find jeans that would fit? Do you understand the vindication I felt when they invented jeans that didn’t pool around my ankles? And you want me to go back to drowning in denim—for what? For ~aesthetics~? No.
That said, I of course understand that there are certain fads millennials popularized that did not exactly stand the test of time. I’m not saying we’re infallible geniuses, I’m just saying there are plenty of things to mock us for that would be understandable. Things like:
Making Liking ‘The Office’ A Personality Trait
The show’s pilot brought in over 11 million viewers, and before it got poached by Peacock, was said to be Netflix’s most-watched show. The Office is immensely popular, and somehow every single millennial on Hinge thinks they’re the only person who can recall the origin of “Dwight, you ignorant slut”. And this from the generation that turned liking popular things into an inherent character flaw! Oh, so we draw the line at getting your toiletries from Target, but not at this? Sure, Jan. That makes sense. (And no, I’m not talking about Jan Levinson-Gould.)
We killed fanny packs, and then we brought them back. Millennials giveth, and they taketh away. When I was 9 years old and marching in a parade with my Girl Scout troop (don’t ask) and my mom gave me a fanny pack in which to hold all my belongings (probably all of like, my Tamagotchi and a Band-aid), I wanted to die before I’d slap that thing around my waist. And yet, what was I sporting to every music festival from 2015 and beyond? You’re damn right, a fanny pack. We didn’t even try to rebrand these, we just went from hating them one day to wearing them everywhere the next. And can we talk about the design of the fanny pack? It’s useful, of course, but we are really acting like having an oversized crotch belt is cute. And nobody is stopping us!!
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Once again, the very same glasses I made fun of my mom for wearing in the 90s, I now own. It’s the circle of life, it’s the wheel of fortune. Millennials are out here looking like 1970s creepers, and we’re doing it on purpose. Because we think it looks good. Make fun of that—not the fact that I part my hair on the right side because I’ve been conditioned by women’s magazines into thinking it frames my face better. What about the gigantic metal circles? Those don’t frame my face well at all. In fact, they’re falling off!
Leggings! We’re really going to come for jeans that taper at the ankle but not pants that are made of full-on elastic? (Yes, I’m aware that they are not literally made of elastic, but just go with me.) We have built entire empires on stretching fabric over our butts, and we don’t even pair leggings with long shirts anymore! And can we talk about “control top” leggings for a second? Because these are really shame-worthy. Millennials have been so brainwashed by diet culture that we will willingly stuff ourselves into stretchy torture devices and sit in those all day, because God forbid anyone have a slight lump anywhere on their body. We took leggings from occasional workout bottoms and sleepwear (they were never meant to be full-on pants), then we turned them into pants, and then we removed the comfort. And control tops aren’t subtle, either. We’re walking around with leggings that have a waist trainer at the top. Classy.
Our Obsession With Kitchen Appliances
If the air fryer or Instant Pot had never been invented, would any of us have personalities? Probably not, if a quick scroll through millennial Twitter is any indication (and I absolutely include myself in this). Actually, you know what, I bet Gen Z does make fun of us for this. But just wait until you get the little suction cup that separates your yolk from the egg whites—it will truly change your life.
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Maybe the reason Gen Z seems to have no issue with curtain bangs is because they are designed to be worn with a middle part. Touché, kids. Touché. Mostly what I find most mockable about curtain bangs is the fact that they’re… not really anything. They’re just bangs, that you part? Ok, I guess. They’re that awkward growing-out-your-bangs stage, but on purpose? Well f*ck me for thinking the whole point of bangs is for them to cover your forehead.
Mostly what I admire most about Gen Z’s criticisms is that they have all this low-hanging fruit at their disposal, and they instead go for the unexpected. It’s never the bad trend they ridicule; it’s the wardrobe staple that we thought was inoffensive, impossible to dislike. It just goes to show that nothing we hold sacred is safe, and we will never be cool in the eyes of the youth, so we should stop trying.
Images: Joshua Rondeau / Unsplash; hilaryduff, warbyparker / Instagram
Every holiday movie has the same plot: girl unexpectedly meets boy, boy falls in love with girl, something tragic happens, boy and girl profess their feelings, they kiss passionately against the backdrop of a professionally decorated Christmas tree with fake snow falling around them. Yawn.
Although I usually put up with that cookie-cutter plot every year, I decided to try something a bit different (and way more entertaining) this December: re-watching the holiday episodes from my favorite TV shows.
Given that basically every holiday party is canceled, in-person shopping is hardly a thing, and the gyms are closed (although let’s face it, I wouldn’t be going even if they were open), I had all the time in the world to cuddle up with a weighted blanket and a (spiked) hot drink and laugh, cry, and feel all sorts of emotion while watching classic shows like Parks and Recreation, Gilmore Girls, and 30 Rock.
As my wonderful gift to you, I’ve listed the best holiday episodes from all our favorite shows so that you too can fill your time this December with something other than watching people’s annoying Instagram Stories and cringey attempts at creating Reels. Enjoy!
‘New Girl’ – “LAXmas” Season 4 Episode 11
There is literally nothing more relatable in these COVID-19 times than having your holiday plans ruined, your vacation canceled, and you therefore not being able to post that thirst trap bikini pic in December. Call me a masochist, but that’s why I loved re-watching this episode of New Girl. I got to commiserate, emphasize, and shout “HA! You got screwed too!” at the TV when Jess, Nick, Winston, and Schmidt’s holiday flights were canceled.
’30 Rock’ – “Ludachristmas” Season 2 Episode 9
It’s as if Tina Fey knew we needed something to prove that there are families out there more dysfunctional than our own when they created this episode. In the most hilarious way, we see the picture-perfect Lemon family break down after an outing with Jack and his mother, and the TGS crew have their party plans hijacked by Kenneth. Plus, I promise this is the exact Rockefeller-related holiday content you need to get that sad excuse for a tree they put up this year out of your mind.
‘The O.C.’ – “The Best Chrismukkah Ever” Season 1 Episode 13
Confession time: I completely forgot about The O.C. until I Googled “shows like Gossip Girl” this summer… and then promptly re-binged it with no regrets. And one of the most entertaining, dramatic, and heartwarming episodes happens to be a holiday one, where Seth introduces Ryan to the wonders of Chrismukkah and struggles in a love triangle between himself, Anna, and Summer. I have to admit, seeing a love triangle that didn’t involve me, my fridge, and Netflix was actually pretty refreshing.
‘Keeping Up With The Kardashians’ – “Christmas Chaos” Season 16 Episode 9
Being invited to the Kardashians’ annual Holiday Party is on my bucket list, Amazon wishlist, and in my letter to Santa every year. Is there anywhere else I can add it at this point? But while my invite is still lost in the mail, the next best thing is to watch the party unfold on TV. And I promise you, this is one of the most iconic holiday episodes ever. It’s the one where Kim is literally quoted saying, “This is so inappropriate. It is so so much money for one night.” Do I need to say more?
‘The Office’ – “A Benihana Christmas” Season 3 Episode 10 & 11
We’ve all been that psycho b*tch, but in this episode Michael takes crazy to a whole new level. How? By Photoshopping his face onto his girlfriend’s ex-husband’s body in one of their old family photos, and sending it out as his Christmas card. And, no spoilers, but this episode includes some major Pam vs. Angela drama and a classic Jim prank on Dwight that will make you forget about TikTok for, like, 20 minutes.
‘Gilmore Girls’ – “Women of Questionable Morals” Season 5 Episode 11
Some things are just the f*cking worst until someone comes along and makes it special for you (like Valentine’s Day, for a totally random example). And that’s the case for Lorelai and her feelings toward snow in this episode, until Luke surprises her with a romantic snow-related gift that made even a Grinch like me say, “AWWWW!”. Beyond the snow drama, this episode also features the cutest little stray dog that brings Emily and Richard together in a true holiday miracle kind of way.
‘Friends’ – “The One with Phoebe’s Dad” Season 2, Episode 9
You know that friend who waits until the last possible moment to buy their presents? Well, be prepared to watch Joey and Chandler do that exact thing… and be forced to buy their gifts at a place I only go into when I really need to pee during a road trip. And, as if that’s not enough comedy, what screams tradition more than some classic Ross and Rachel drama? Be prepared to get your fill of it this episode.
‘Gossip Girl’ – “Roman Holiday” Season 1 Episode 11
I’ve watched this episode about 14 times, so at this point let’s just say it’s a holiday tradition. I swear, no matter how many times you see Blair come up with a conniving plan to break up her Dad and his boyfriend, the story is guaranteed to transport you from your burrito-stained sweats and unmade bed to the Upper East side within moments. It’s the exact escape you didn’t even know you needed.
‘New Girl’ – “The 23rd” Season 1 Episode 9
Picture this: Schmidt shirtless, wearing just a Santa hat and Santa shorts. If that’s not enough to convince you to re-watch this episode, keep in mind that the theme is how dealing with new relationships around the holidays is stressful AF (relatable, right?). Like any New Girl episode, this one will have you laughing at the lovable, entertaining, and slightly inappropriate trouble the crew gets themselves into at Schmidt’s office party.
‘Fuller House’ – “Oh My Santa” Season 4 Episode 1
Even though the holidays may suck more than usual this year, just know that for the first and probably only time in your life, your holiday season is going better than Lori Loughlin’s. And speaking of which, this episode of Fuller House is sure to bring a smile to your face, despite how cheesy the plot is. The most relatable part? Tommy throwing a tantrum in the mall. Been there, done that (and over much less, if I may add).
‘Parks and Recreation’ – “Citizen Knope” Season 4 Episode 10
Are you one of those people who re-gifts an old box of chocolate or nauseating-smelling candle to your co-workers every year? If you said “yes”, you seriously need to take notes during this episode. While Leslie is off work for two weeks, Ann rallies the Parks department to create a special holiday gift for Leslie. As cheesy as the gift is, it’s actually pretty sweet (pun intended) and will probably make you feel as warm and fuzzy inside as the spiked eggnog you’re sipping.
‘Ally McBeal’ – “Silver Bells” Season 1 Episode 11
There’s something about watching Ally McBeal that brings back all sorts of early ‘00s nostalgia. And this episode gives us just that against the backdrop of a hectic office during the holidays (TBT to offices), and plots about Ally being her usual badass self and the romantic troubles the couples in the office are facing. I won’t reveal if there are any holiday miracles at the end of the episode, but I can safely say you’ll be feeling emotions far from the disappointment Kyle Richards felt when she realized bangs just weren’t her thing.
‘Modern Family’ – “Undeck the Halls” Season 1 Episode 10
If you want to escape the stressful bullsh*t of your family’s holiday Zoom call by finding another family going through equally dramatic times, look no further. In a mix of both hilarious and feel-good storylines, you’ll get to emphasize with the Dunphy kids as their parents cancel Christmas until someone fesses up to ruining their sofa. Plus, you get to see what happens when Cam and Mitchell say something we’ve all thought at least once in our lives: “this mall Santa is just not jolly enough”.
Cougar Town – “Cry To Me” Season 2 Episode 14
If you’re the kind of person who gets pissed when people leave their holiday decor up way past December, this episode will make you feel more seen than ever. Now bear with me, because this episode is actually more about Valentine’s Day than Christmas, but it still delivers an accurate depiction of how crazy people get around any holiday.
‘Brooklyn 99’ – “The Pontiac Bandit Returns” Season 2 Episode 10
Amy’s weird-yet-adorable admiration for Captain Holt is somehow one of the most entertaining things to watch (because who TF actually likes their boss?). And as odd as their relationship is, this episode delivers just the right amount of it, showing us Amy working hard (but hardly working on her actual work) to get around Holt’s “no gift” policy. And, to quote the queen of the holidays, Dorinda Medley, we see Jake “make it nice” with his nemesis/best friend Doug Judy in order to gather intel for Rosa.
Images: Netflix; Giphy (12)
Even before coronavirus was the only thing we had to talk about, everyone’s dating app profiles were already pretty much the exact same. On any given profile, you’d be guaranteed to see a line about The Office, loving margaritas, or asking your opinion about pineapple on pizza. But the lack of originality is even worse than usual. We may all be living the exact same lives right now, but that doesn’t mean we need to be making the same jokes about toilet paper, how we don’t know what day it is, or if we’ll ever leave our homes again. We all get enough of that coronavirus small talk on our Zoom meetings with our bosses. Here are all the quarantine dating app opening lines, bios, and prompt answers that no one ever wants to hear again.
“This year, I really want to…leave my apartment”
All this does is remind me that I had to cancel all of my summer trips and will instead be getting drunk on White Claws all by myself and inflating a mini pool in my living room just to feel something.
“Need some toilet paper?”
Not sure about everyone else, but I don’t know a single person who has had trouble finding toilet paper in the last two months. The toilet paper jokes should have ended in March, just like any hope we had of having a real summer.
“Can’t wait to hang out after quarantine”
The optimism here is nice, but given all the people playing the game of “how many drunk people can we cram into this public pool” in states outside of New York and California, it’s looking like quarantine is literally never going to end. You’re better off acknowledging that we’re all probably going to be FaceTime dating until it’s time for our Zoom weddings in 2023.
“On day __ of quarantine…”
Just like every major event planned for 2020, jokes about wearing sweatpants every day, having conversations with your cat, and not remembering what day it is have been canceled. Once my Boomer parents start making jokes about it, that means it’s officially time for the joke to retire (to Facebook, where your relatives share memes from six months ago).
“Ideal night out…going outside”
“F*ck, am I ever going to go to a crowded bar and pay for overpriced drinks and forget my purse in the bathroom because ‘Mr. Brightside’ came on and I needed to go scream-sing it with my friends ever again?” That’s what this response makes me think of. Not exactly “swipe right” material.
“First round is on me if…Rona ever ends”
Then odds are, there won’t ever be a “first round.” Maybe you wrote this back in March when you thought the world would go into lockdown for a few weeks and then everything would go back to normal. In that case, maybe it’s time for an update.
“I’d break quarantine for you.”
Hmmm…. Pretty sure if you’re breaking quarantine for me, you’re also probably breaking it for every other girl you talk to. It may feel like it’s been 84 years since I’ve felt a human’s touch, but I’d still rather ride out the rest of the hellscape that is 2020 alone than get coronavirus from a guy whose entire profile consists of mirror selfies.
Puns are never effective even when the world isn’t living out an episode of Black Mirror. And maybe we’re lowering our standards a little bit right now (I’d swipe right on a Goldfish cracker if it meant I could talk to it), but not enough for me to change my mind about immediately unmatching with anyone who uses puns.
“If coronavirus doesn’t take you out, can I?”
IDK if you’ve read the news lately, but 100,000 people have died. And if that isn’t enough to convince you that this is a super f*cking insensitive thing to say, consider that eventually you will probably end up sending it to someone who has lost someone to Covid.
“I love The Office!”
Because apparently, even in a global pandemic where we’ve all got nothing but time to stream new content, people still think being obsessed with a seven-year-old TV show is a personality trait.
Not only are none of these even that funny, they’re also just a really f*cking boring way to start a conversation. Like, do you really want to talk about your quarantine routine with every person you match with? It seems like maybe we should all make a resolution to fix our dating app game before this is all over.
Images: Samantha Gades / Unsplash; Maddie Dean (9)
Quarantine is life now. Social distancing is bae. Pants and hair washing are a thing of the past. I can’t recall the sensation of a gentle touch from a rando I met at the bar lover. My boss keeps giving me deadlines, but time has lost all meaning and also I don’t *feel* like working.
And yet, one thing remains the same: I am watching The Office in its entirety…again. My therapist said it was important to keep my regular routine, so here we are. It would be impossible not to lose sight of it all if I didn’t fall asleep every night with a glass of wine on my chest and The Office playing on my laptop. We must keep some normalcy here, people.
Rewatching The Office for the, idk…15th? time has got me thinking…what would my best friends (the employees of Dunder Mifflin) be doing during their quarantine? Well, since I had the time, I went ahead and thought about it in great detail and wrote down my conclusions. Enjoy!
Tbh, Michael is pumped. He sees this as an elongated snow day, where can spend some quality time with his best friends, aka his employees. He’s making his rounds to everyone in the office’s house (except for Toby, obv), ready to play games like Twister, tag, or anything that involves touch. He’s greeting everyone with a high-five, followed immediately by a coughing fit that he does not cover his mouth for. He for sure has coronavirus.
Being the charming young sociopath he is, Jim is going to spend his time in quarantine the way he spends his time at the office: coming up with an elaborate prank to torture Dwight.
Jim will be messaging Dwight from a burner email address, telling him the CIA would like to recruit him as part of the coronavirus conspiracy task force meant to weed out the weak from the strong in society. He’ll invite Pam to help out, and they’ll count that as their date night for the month.
Dwight is in full apocalypse mode, living in his bunker underneath Schrute Farms that has been stocked with goods since 2001, waiting for this moment. He has been living off beets in various forms for the past week and a half.
He receives Jim’s prank mission and immediately springs into action. Luckily, all of the tasks don’t require him to leave his quarantine (Jim isn’t that much of a sociopath), they’re mostly just menial, embarrassing tasks, like answering personal questions in order to prove his worthiness to the cause, i.e. “What’s your favorite kind of porn?”
Dwight is in hell, but feels like he’s in heaven.
Kevin is going on a lot of FaceTime dates, which is perhaps an even worse medium for him than IRL, which he’s surprised is possible. (Apparently, the ladies don’t take too kindly to “why say lot word when few word do trick?” as an opener.)
He went to Whole Foods and bought out the entire aisle of canned beans so he could make another giant batch of chili.
Fingers crossed this time.
Stanley booked a super cheap one-way ticket to Florida at the first sign of trouble. He’s working remotely from the pool, and no one at Dunder Mifflin has any clue. He has no plans to return to Scranton.
Meredith is getting blackout drunk and walking around her house naked. Happy hour starts at 9am. In other words, nothing new. She’s started an OnlyFans, but only has one subscriber.
Angela is keeping busy by embroidering pillows of her late cat, Sprinkles, disinfecting every inch and crevice in her house, and making signs telling her neighbors, mail people, and delivery workers to stay 100 feet from her or she’s calling the cops. She is also calling the cops any time she sees someone walk by. The CDC has blocked her number.
She’s sticking to her routine of waking up at 4:45am, praying, ironing all of her clothes, putting on her chosen American Girl Doll outfit of the day, and making a spreadsheet of all the people who have annoyed her in the past 24 hours, which she plans to email to the governor.
The Nard Dog is practicing acapella, and since he has no one to do it with, he’s making compilation videos on TikTok of him harmonizing with himself. They’re unbearable.
Kelly honestly doesn’t see what the big deal is? She’s survived a tapeworm, so she’s pretty sure she can survive a “coronavirus.” Plus, whenever she gets sick she loses like, 3 pounds, so if anyone has the virus, she’s asking they come over and cough in her mouth.
In the meantime, she’s setting up fake dating profiles and trying to find Ryan on each app so she can catfish him.
Ryan watched The Inventor: Out For Blood In Silicon Valley one too many times and was inspired to start his own coronavirus testing company, which he claims is a contactless COVID-19 test that gets results in 15 seconds or less. In reality, he’s running a pyramid scheme. The FDA has his phone and computer tapped and will be shutting him down next week.
Toby is being proactive by putting together detailed newsletters with information on how to deal with this pandemic. He’s got tips, links, resources, and emotional support to offer. Nobody even opens the email.
Phyllis and Bob Vance of Vance Refrigeration have been social distancing for a while now, and their marriage has never been stronger. Bob was somehow able to get his business declared as essential, and Phyllis is selling her handmade oven mitts on Etsy. Phyllis has now coined the catchphrase “cover your mouth sweetie, you look like a trout” to encourage her fans to sneeze and cough into their elbows.
Gabe has actually been practicing social distancing for years, though not by choice. At least now he has a term for it.
Erin might perish because she has no lifeskills whatsoever.
Creed is the one who put forth the conspiracy theory that COVID-19 was made in a lab as an agent of biochemical warfare. He has been directly exposed no less than 17 times but has not so much as gotten a fever. He appears to be immune.
Halloween is almost here, and I say this with all the enthusiasm of someone who will be spending the holiday double fisting Kit-Kats and red wine. Look, I know technically Halloween falls on a Thursday this year, so it is socially acceptable to black out like you would on any other thirsty Thursday, but by god I just can’t do it. In fact, the only celebrating I intend to do is with my dog as we sit on the couch and re-watch our favorite Halloween episodes to ever air on TV whilst dressed in costume as Dobby the house elf and his prized sock (I’ll let you figure out who is who in that scenario). So, for those of you who are looking to go all out on the couch this year, here are the best TV shows to watch to get you in the Halloween spirit (without really being in the Halloween spirit).
Friends: “The One With The Halloween Party” (Season 8, Episode 6)
Tbh I was never a huge fan of Friends. I know, I know. Let’s tie me to the stake now because apparently that is an unforgivable sin. Sighs. That said, I do love a good Halloween episode, even if it’s a Friends episode. Monica and Chandler decide to host a Halloween party where Ross tragically shows up dressed as a spud…nik. No one gets his costume and he is appropriately shamed throughout. If anything, you should watch the episode for costume inspo (it’s seriously gold) and also for the hilarity of Joey showing up dressed like Chandler.
Parks & Rec: “Greg Pikitis” (Season 2, Episode 7)
Parks & Rec had quite a few Halloween episodes, but my favorite has always been the first one, which aired during the second season. Leslie Knope stands off against her sworn enemy, Greg Pikitis, a junior high delinquent who pranks the Parks Department every Halloween. This is also the episode where we meet Burt Macklin, FBI agent, for the first time, when Leslie asks Andy to interrogate Greg over his whereabouts and “maybe waterboard” him. To this day I wish you knew how much I regret not naming my dog “Pikitis” so that whenever she secretly sabotages me by chewing a hole in the crotch of my favorite leggings I could venomously whisper “Pikitis” under my breath. Also, Ann throws a Halloween party and it’s trash because Ann is trash. Watching Ann miserably fail at being fun is in itself worth a re-watch.
One Tree Hill: “An Attempt To Tip The Scales” (Season 3, Episode 4)
Were you even truly living in the early ’00s if you weren’t tuning in every week to watch the utter madness that was One Tree Hill? The show was about two half brothers who share the same scumbag dad and a love of basketball, but one of them is rich and one of them is a bastard. This is like, the least dramatic plot line of the entire show, and to illustrate this point, let me recommend to you the Halloween episode of season three. Haley comes back from her world (??) music tour and tries to reconnect with her husband, Nathan. She is a sophomore in high school. Lucas, also a sophomore in high school, tries to be exclusive with his f*ck buddy Brooke (baby Sophia Bush), and he believes his worthiness and willingness to commit must be proven via a killer Halloween costume. He chooses Tommy Lee. I think that says enough about how their relationship inevitably turns out.
Peyton, not being dramatic at all, decides to dress as an angel of death, and her father only gives a half-hearted shrug in protest to this alarming outfit choice. The episode culminates at a Halloween party at underage nightclub TRIC, where Fall Out Boy casually performs. Watching this episode live on air, my only question was, where I can I replicate the angel of death outfit to properly alarm my mother? Watching the episode as an adult has me asking quite a few more questions, like why is there so much leather during this underage party? Is it too late to call a hotline about Peyton’s obvious issues with depression? And what blackmail did The CW have on Fall Out Boy to get them to continually perform on this godforsaken show? THESE ARE THE THINGS THAT KEEP ME UP AT NIGHT.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer: “Halloween” (Season 2, Episode 6)
For those of you who are like, Buffy The Vampire Slayer? What’s that? SHAME ON YOU, YOUTHS. To educate you poor, misguided children, Buffy is iconic and, as far as I’m concerned, should be mandatory viewing in all schools, sort of like how that Romeo & Juliet movie from the 1960s was. The show follows Buffy, high school cool girl and avid scrunchie wearer, who eviscerates people with snarky one-liners by day and slays vampires by night. If anyone has a problem with that plot description, they can take it up with me and the pointy end of my stake, mmkay?
Any one episode will have enough monsters and vampires to feel like a Halloween special, but the Halloween episode from season two is truly something else. In an effort to seduce the vampire she has a crush on, Buffy dresses up like a girl from his youth: an early 1800s noblewoman. I took a similar tactic to impress the guy in Kappa Sig I dated by dressing up like a cheerleader one Halloween, complete with underwear that said “haze me” on the butt. To each their own I guess, Buffy! Things go amiss for Buffy and her friends when the owner of the Halloween store enchants everyone’s costume so that you transform into the thing or person you’ve dressed up as. Mayhem ensues. The episode is complete with treacherous wigs and even more treacherous English accents, and is an absolute must-watch.
The Office: “Costume Contest” (Season 7, Episode 6)
Like Parks & Rec, The Office has a LOT of Halloween episodes to choose from, but I think we can all agree that the one from season seven was the best. Pam raises the stakes of the annual costume contest by awarding the winner a Scranton book of coupons that could amount to $15,00o in savings. This leads the employees of Dunder Mifflin to think that the book is literally worth $15K and so everyone goes all out for the costume contest. Angela shows up in a naughty nurse outfit (lol I can’t wait to hear how she rationalizes that one to Jesus), Jim actually wears a costume, and Gabe is doing the most as Lady Gaga.
Stranger Things: “Trick or Treat, Freak” (Season 2, Episode 2)
Guys, is there literally anything in this world that’s cuter than watching 13-year-old nerds coordinate their group Halloween outfits?! I don’t f*cking think so. Stranger Things is fun to rewatch because it feels appropriately spooky and nostalgic, which is what Halloween is all about. Plus, at one point during the episode Nancy gets drunk at a costume party and yells at Steve. I’m sorry, but if drunkenly sobbing in a bathroom after fighting with your boyfriend isn’t a Halloween mood THEN I DON’T KNOW WHAT IS.
Gossip Girl: “The Witches of Bushwick” (Season 4, Eipside 9)
First of all, I forgot this episode of Gossip Girl even existed, let alone that it’s aptly titled “The Witches of Bushwick.” As a person who used to call Bushwick her
penance for past sins home, I can honestly say that there are, in fact, witches in this area of Brooklyn. Not to name names but there was a very suspicious incident at a vegan cafe wherein I mistakenly asked for creamer in my coffee and later became mysteriously ill. I’m just saying, it’s suspicious is all. The episode takes place at Chuck’s Saints and Sinners masquerade party at the Empire Hotel and it is PEAK Gossip Girl in terms of fashion and fighting. It’s a very Serena-heavy episode in the sense that Jenny and friends try to overthrow her while Nate and Dan both try and woo her. Also, Chuck and Blair are there and are perfect.
New Girl: “Keaton” (Season 3, Episode 6)
New Girl has always been the gift that keeps on giving for me, especially since I’ve always self-identified as having the spirit of a crotchety, 90-year-old man, in the same way that Nick Miller does. This is one of my all-time favorite episodes because we find out that Nick has been sending Schmidt fake messages from actor Michael Keaton FOR YEARS. Schmidt for some reason believes with his whole heart that the actor who plays Batman has been sending him supportive letters and emails for his entire life when in fact it’s been his mom and then roommate Nick writing the sage advice. I almost peed myself watching this episode—it’s that good.
These are the best Halloween episodes to re-watch in preparation for (or during) Halloween. If you don’t spend the next 3-6 hours watching this powerhouse lineup of television, I’ll be personally offended. Smell ya later!
Images: Giphy (5); Tenor (1); weheartit (1)
It’s been nearly 15 years since The Office premiered, which means we’ve been blessed with knowing about Mindy Kaling for a long time. Mindy was just 24 when the show started, and she instantly became a fan favorite as Kelly Kapoor, but her time on camera wasn’t even close to the whole story. She was also a writer, director, and producer on the show, continually breaking down barriers on a staff that was mostly white, male, and older than her. But breaking down barriers usually comes with doubters, and in her new profile in Elle, Mindy Kaling opens up about a time when she had to fight for the respect the deserved.
Kaling said that in the early years of The Office, the Television Academy tried to cut her from the list of producers on The Office, saying that there were too many names on the list. This would have ruled Kaling ineligible to win the Emmy award for Outstanding Comedy Series, which is obviously a major career achievement. But unsurprisingly, Mindy was the only producer who got cut! In order to overturn this decision, Mindy says that “they made me, not any of the other producers, fill out a whole form and write an essay about all my contributions as a writer and a producer. I had to get letters from all the other male, white producers saying that I had contributed, when my actual record stood for itself.”
Basically, the Emmys decided that there were too many names on the list, so who did they target? The only woman, the only person of color, and the youngest person. Convenient. Luckily, Mindy’s appeal was enough to persuade the Television Academy to include her, but she shouldn’t have had to do any of this sh*t in the first place.
Of course, this isn’t how the Television Academy sees it, and their statement to the Los Angeles Times in response is so typical. “No one person was singled out. There was an increasing concern years ago regarding the number of performers and writers seeking producer credits. At the time the Producers Guild worked with the Television Academy to correctly vet producer eligibility.” This is a lot of jargon that means nothing, because they’re not actually saying that Mindy didn’t have to do extra paperwork. Just because everyone was vetted in some way doesn’t mean that everyone was treated equally.
And, like me, Mindy Kaling was unimpressed with the statement from the Television Academy. She fired off a series of tweets further explaining herself, pretty much telling the Emmys to take several seats:
Respectfully, the Academy’s statement doesn’t make any sense. I *was* singled out. There were other Office writer-performer-producers who were NOT cut from the list. Just me. The most junior person, and woman of color. Easiest to dismiss. Just sayin’. https://t.co/frT2pQUfLF
— Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) October 9, 2019
Yeah, the Television Academy can say whatever they want about the vetting process for producers, but it really means nothing if Mindy Kaling knows for a fact that other people in the same situation with The Office were treated differently. To claim that she wasn’t singled out is just false, even if you ignore the racist, sexist, and ageist connotations here. Which of course, you shouldn’t ignore, because the Television Academy probably was racist, sexist, and ageist.
I’ve never wanted to bring up that incident because The Office was one of the greatest creative experiences of my life, and who would want to have an adversarial relationship with the Academy, who has the ongoing power to enhance our careers with awards? (1)
— Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) October 9, 2019
Mindy followed up the first tweet with a series of three messages, in which she elaborates on the pain that this situation caused, and why she’s waited so long to speak publicly about it. I’m especially glad she brought up the complicated relationships performers have with these academies, because whether they care or not, at the end of the day, awards can have a huge impact on careers. Of course, Mindy would be worried that if she fought back against the Television Academy, she could be blackballed from awards consideration in the future. Awards aren’t everything, but this certainly creates a tough dilemma for performers deciding whether they should speak out in situations like this.
(2) But I worked so hard and it was humiliating. I had written so many episodes, put in so much time in the editing room, just to have the Academy discard it because they couldn’t fathom I was capable of doing it all. Thankfully I was rescued by my friends, the other producers.
— Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) October 9, 2019
Awards are one thing, but Mindy Kaling is also bringing attention to a more important issue: the constant struggle for women, and especially women of color, to be taken seriously in their careers. In her final tweet, Mindy clarifies that this happened over a decade ago, so “maybe it wouldn’t happen now.”
(3) The point is, we shouldn’t have be bailed out because of the kindness our more powerful white male colleagues. Not mentioning it seemed like glossing over my story. This was like ten years ago. Maybe it wouldn’t happen now. But it happened to me.
— Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) October 9, 2019
Yes, there’s been progress in the last decade, but honestly, this could definitely still happen in 2019. According to the Center For Study Of Women In Television & Film, in the 2018-2019 TV season, the percentage of producers that were women hit a record-high 31%. Think about that. It’s a RECORD HIGH, and it was still less than a third. Sad, but not surprising.
I’m glad Mindy Kaling is speaking out now, but it’s important to remember that she’s at a point in her career where she’s calling the shots on major projects. For every super famous person like her, there are so many more people of color who have similar stories, but don’t feel like they have the platform or the power or the job security to share it. We’re definitely making progress, but there’s still a long way to go.
Images: mindykaling (4) / Twitter
As the modern world crumbles around us, The Office remains a beacon of hope, a reminder of simpler times, and hands-down one of the best ways to put off solving your actual problems. Whether you’re pre-gaming, recovering from a hangover, or not an alcoholic, The Office is the perfect soundtrack, and the number of hours I’ve spent watching and re-watching in my life is probably frightening. Because fans in 2019 can’t leave well enough alone, there’s of course been an uproar about getting an Office reboot. But Steve Carell says a reboot would never work—and when Michael Scott talks, you listen.
Carell makes some decent points: “The show is way more popular now than when it was on the air,” he noted, adding, “I just can’t see it being the same thing, and I think most folks would want it to be the same thing, but it wouldn’t be.” When people still wouldn’t leave him alone, he clarified further: “I just wouldn’t want to make the mistake of making a less good version of it.” TBH, I’m on board for that kind of thinking—how many really successful reboots have we seen anyway? Aren’t they always at least a little disappointing? That being said, all this talk of a reboot got me curious about how The Office would be different in 2019. Here are all my predictions—just in case Carrell changes his mind.
Even Michael Wouldn’t Have An Office
The first and most obvious: 2019’s obsession with open-plan offices would ensure even Michael didn’t get a space of his own. (And Ryan can forget about having a divider between him and Kelly.) While Michael might fuss initially (remember when he and Jim traded jobs for a few hours?), ultimately he would use the new arrangement to distract his employees more than ever. Also, can you imagine what he would do with access to Slack? He’d send inappropriate GIFs all day long—and because he can see everyone around him, he wouldn’t leave them alone until they responded. Honestly, the whole branch might have shut down if Michael didn’t have an office—so in that sense, Carrell is right that it couldn’t work in 2019.
Dwight Would Be Obsessed With Bitcoin
Knowing almost nothing about Bitcoin, doesn’t this just seem true? Dwight’s all about unusual forms of currency (Schrute bucks, anyone?), and while his battle against the machine to sell more paper left him less than fond of technology, I’m sure a modern-day Dwight would come around. A 2029 Office reboot would probably show Dwight having become a billionaire from investing in Bitcoin early, and Jim feeling like a real idiot for how much he mocked him.
Ryan Would Be Selling Everyone’s Data
In keeping with 2019’s obsession with scammers, Ryan—already a scammer in his own right—would have gladly upped the ante of his schemes. The Dunder Mifflin website wouldn’t have just been a way to inflate sales data, it would have been some Zuckerberg-meets-Fyre Festival hoodwink that actually didn’t work as a paper-selling website at all, but had people enter enough information that third-party companies were willing to pay. Ryan would have planned to secretly collect all the profits and finally take that trip to Thailand, but being Ryan, he would have messed up and gotten caught anyway. Kelly might have caught him, actually—she knows enough about what online shopping sites look like to know a scam when she sees it.
Creed Would Be Exactly The Same
Creed is timeless. He would have equally little idea what his job entails, continue growing mung beans in his desk, and still be selling fake IDs to kids in town. Nothing Creed is involved in has substantially changed in 2019, because Creed lives in a world of his own creation. Things like “current events” and “logic” do not apply to him, and for that we are grateful.
Angela Would Be A Pence Supporter
This one’s a little darker, but too obvious to ignore. Hyper-religious Angela would be thrilled to have such a vocal (or rather, non-vocal) Christian in the White House. Remember when Pence said he wouldn’t eat with a woman who wasn’t his wife? That kind of comment is like catnip to Angela (even more than regular catnip, which she probably enjoys too.). Instead of fighting with Oscar over a poster of babies dressed up as jazz musicians, she would have fought with him over a Pence poster she wanted to hang. On the bright side, her eventually marrying a straight-laced politician who turns out to be gay could have been a fun and pointed allegory for what’s really going on with Pence.
Ultimately, The Office in 2019 would be a little more grim and a little more high-stakes for our beloved cast of coworkers. Hey, that’s what happens when we’re facing eight different versions of the apocalypse—and looking at my predictions, I’m very glad that Steve Carrell isn’t down to reboot anytime soon.
Images: Giphy (5)
So we’re all in agreement these days that we would rather binge watch shows and act like the characters are our real-life friends rather than engaging with society, right? Okay, cool. Glad I’m not the only one. Since we all have emotional investments in television shows even though these characters really should have no bearing on our day-to-day lives, I thought I should indulge this toxic mentality by talking about couples from beloved TV shows that should never have ended up together. God, I have way too much time on my hands. All of these couples are considered iconic, but I’m going to tell you why their relationships at best, wouldn’t work, and at worst, are straight-up toxic. Go ahead, rip me apart in the comments.
Dan and Serena from ‘Gossip Girl’
Or any couple from Gossip Girl, for that matter. I’ve said it before: Dan and Serena’s relationship was only fueled by drama and looking into each other’s eyes as The Fray swelled in the background. That’s not romance. That’s just making each other’s lives hell with a (crappy) soundtrack. I could write an entire dissertation on why Chuck and Blair were terrible together too, but let me put it this way: the worst jumping off point for a marriage is if you’re getting married to an abusive guy solely to make sure he doesn’t go to jail for murder because as his wife, you won’t have to testify. There’s literally no argument that could prove me wrong here.
Here’s what should have happened: Rufus and Lily should have gotten married. Blair and Dan should have gotten married because they really were the healthiest couple on the show and Serena f*cked Blair’s stepbrother that we all forgot about, as well as her ex-boyfriend, so it’s a double whammy in terms of revenge. We all know how much Blair loves revenge. Nate and Jenny should’ve at least had a better shot at dating because they seemed to really care for each other. And Chuck and Serena can rot in hell with all the other good-looking but inherently terrible fictional characters. I’m sure they would’ve gotten along swimmingly with Lyla Garrity and Patrick Bateman.
Aunt Becky and Uncle Jesse from ‘Full House’
Don’t worry, I’ll make an inevitable Operation Varsity Blues joke at Aunt Becky’s expense in a minute. Full disclosure: I’m writing this without having Fuller House in mind because I’d rather have unprotected sex with Charlie Sheen or eat a lobster roll from McDonald’s than watch that sh*t. Anyway, Aunt Becky and Uncle Jesse were so. f*cked. up. It was not due to them simply being a modern couple with the woman being the breadwinner who was close with their spouse’s family. I mean, think about it: after Aunt Becky and Uncle Jesse got married, they moved into a really nice apartment that she was paying for, and literally two seconds later, they got manipulated into moving back into the Full House. Like, the catalyst for them moving back in is that the baby of the family cried and said she missed Uncle Jesse. Can you imagine that? Getting forced back into an overfilled boarding house because of a baby? Was Aunt Becky just a doormat in this relationship or did she move in to a place to cut costs so she could buy the twins admission to USC (ba dum tss)? I mean, I get Joey living there. With or without the Full House, he was set to be perpetually single. Any man whose job involves fisting a puppet in front of children is doomed for a life of celibacy. But Aunt Becky could’ve fled, and honestly, so could’ve Uncle Jesse had he ever grown out of his
failing struggling rockstar phase. Having to move into the Full House a day into your marriage is grounds for annulment. Also, did I mention, f*ck Uncle Joey?
Ryan and Marissa from ‘The O.C.’
This relationship only lasted as long as it did because it was propelled by these characters’ toxic traits. Ryan’s toxic trait is him having to be the white knight in every situation to the point where he sacrifices himself, and Marissa’s toxic trait is that she sucks. Having a killer wardrobe, brooding, and saying, “Hey” every other word is not a personality. That being said, I still loved watching the drama she got herself into. Every single relationship that girl got into was just to piss off her mom, probably because she was bitter that her mom was a way more interesting character who was actually funny. The only relationship Marissa had that I liked was with Volchok because, well, he was hot and they had hate sex, which again, is hot. Everything about it was hot until he, ya know, killed her. Ryan actually seemed like a good person, but just went overboard with helping others to the point where he got himself into some sh*tty situations and I stopped feeling bad for him. Honestly, most high school relationships aren’t #couplegoals or whatever because we were all weird, insecure, hormonal teenagers in high school. Even though Ryan and Marissa were a sh*tty couple, The O.C. still f*cks (except for Taylor Townsend and Oliver. Them I could do without).
Nathan and Haley from ‘One Tree Hill’
One Tree Hill was the most ridiculous show to me because it’s an alternate reality. There is absolutely nothing realistic about that show, and yet they half-assedly tried to make us believe that we could relate to their “high school struggles.” The most amusing thing to me was that basketball team would play games with Gavin f*cking DeGraw in the background. When have you ever gone to a basketball game and heard that?? Also, what was up with Brooke having a wildly successful fashion line at the age of 12 and a guy named CHAD writing a successful novel at such a young age? F*cking CHAD. And the craziest part of that alternate reality was that Nathan and Haley got married at 16 and a crazy amount of people supported it. I remember one episode when they were just dating, and Haley nearly broke up with Nathan because HE WATCHED PORN. Like, in 2019, it would be nearly impossible to date a guy that DOESN’T watch porn. And then Nathan got his child bride pregnant at a wildly young age, and again, no one really batted an eye. Did I mention she went into labor during her valedictorian speech? That’s insanity to me. Can someone please pass me a blunt? Because writing about these couples is bumming me out and I can’t afford Botox to get rid of stress wrinkles.
Ross and Rachel from ‘Friends’
My main takeaway from Friends is that they all had such an arrested development that they would almost never deviate from that friend group. That’s too bad, because the only one who did deviate from the group was Phoebe when she married Paul Rudd, and that was the best relationship on the show. And do you know why that was the best relationship on the show? Because it didn’t enable this arrested development. Also, because it’s Paul Rudd. I’m happy that Monica and Chandler found someone to be extra annoying to, because no other self-respecting person would tolerate either of them. Rachel was one of the only characters I liked, so it sucked to see her consistently roped back into a romance with a mopey, immature weenie whose life’s passion was DINOSAURS. And I never understood why he was totally cool with the mother of his child moving to France with their baby, and the only reason he stopped Rachel was because he still was in love with her. Wait, what? Your baby is going to live in another continent, but you’re fixated on getting your ex back in the most selfish and inappropriate way possible, thusly making her look unprofessional by giving up a job with one of the biggest designers on the planet? I just can’t get over the fact that this dude stopped regarding his son from a previous marriage halfway through the series and then wasn’t really thinking about his daughter when she was moving to another continent. I’m calling it: Ross is a loser.
Jim and Pam from ‘The Office’
The Office had some great couples, and the top two were Michael and Holly and Phyllis and Bob Vance. Dwight and Angela were definitely bad for each other at times, but I genuinely believed both changed for the better and belonged together. Ryan and Kelly were totally wrong for each other but amazing to watch as well. But Jim and Pam? Uhhhhh, no. It’s not like I actively hate them because it’s not even worth having strong feelings about since they’re overall inoffensive. But I definitely don’t think they’re meant to be. Jim was a catch in that he was funny and tall. But Pam? I cannot remember one time where she made me laugh, and I’ve seen that show so many times. I honestly do not get why Jim romanticized her so much. Besides making fun of everyone at Dunder Mifflin, literally what did they talk about? The only things I ever saw them talk about were getting annoyed by their coworkers or getting sappy with each other because they bonded over getting annoyed with their coworkers. That does not a marriage make! And yet somehow it did.
However, I do admit that bonding over hating the same people is borderline erotic and can count a form of foreplay. Still, I have no idea what Jim and Pam would do with themselves after moving to Austin if they can’t sh*t-talk their coworkers anymore. Jim would have no cameras to awkwardly look at, and I’m sure he had to take a long, hard awkward look at his sham of a marriage instead.
Cory and Topanga from ‘Boy Meets World’
Okay, first off, I never bought it when Cory and Topanga insisted that they fell in love in the fourth grade. I don’t get why that kept trying to sell us that wildly inappropriate and nonsensical storyline. Kids at that age find romantic pleasure by making their action figures or dolls f*ck alone in a corner during recess. That’s the only instance. I don’t get how you can marry someone who you started dating in middle school, either. Remember your 12-year-old self? Would you trust someone that fell in love with the dweeb that you probably were at that age? I know I wouldn’t. And don’t most people experience personal growth, thus making it difficult to stick with the person you awkwardly slow danced to during the entirety of “Stairway to Heaven” at a middle school dance? I mean, my college boyfriend and I are so different from who we were back then that we would have literally nothing to talk about today. Cory and Topanga are both great people, but any relationship that blossomed from middle school or high school and ended up in marriage makes no sense to me.
Images: Netflix; Giphy (7)