Monday, September 13, 2010

As We Go On, We Remember...

Summer is over and school has officially begun. How do I know this? Well, for one, the NYC subways have become more crowded during morning commutes, and I find myself pushing through backpacks and uniformed students just to find standing room. Although I don't enjoy this crowded mess, I'm not opposed to the start of Autumn.

For starters, I work in retail, so Summer, Fall, Spring... it's all the same. No summer vacations, no weekend getaways... every week is a work week and you can find your days off nestled in the middle of the week. So its not like I'm coming from this fantastic summer vacation and headed back to work. Nope, just going from summer work to fall work. It's all the same.

And number two... TV is better in the Fall, so it gives you something to look forward to. Even when I was a school-bound young chap, I still didn't dread going to school because I knew I'd have my F*R*I*E*N*D*S greeting me every Thursday night. Although I may have graduated and my F*R*I*E*N*D*S may have moved on with their lives, I still have no life when it comes to entertainment and live through fictional characters...

In fact, television and movies have gotten me out of some of my darkest times. Okay, fine - I haven't had many dark times... any, actually... I just want an excuse to post about my favorite movies and TV shows. And since school has just started again, they'll be High School-related movies and TV shows.
And since these are MY lists, they will be MY favorites... Just because "My So Called Life" and "The Breakfast Club" may have originated/perfected/blah blah blah the genre doesn't mean I like them. So, without further distractions, school is in session....

Top 10 High School Movies

10.Not Another Teen Movie
In the olden days, spoof movies used to be my favorite. I even wrote my own teen drama spoof called "Not The OC" when I was younger... obviously you've never heard of it because it was a hot ass mess, but watching spoofs has always been my favorite. But then something happened called "Date Movie/Epic Movie/Disaster Movie/__Fill in the Blank__ Movie." They sucked. And I'm officially over them. But before they began sucking, "Not Another Teen Movie" came along. I was a young buck (under 17) and my mom had to take me to the theater to see it. I loved every minute. Does it add anything new to the high school genre? Of course not. But it does take all of our favorite moments from high school movies and turns them on their heads. Plus there's a musical number...

9.She's All That
While "Heathers" and all of those 80's high school movies may have been the REAL starting point for high school comedies, the big burst of great 90's high school movies began with "She's All That." Freddie Prinze Jr. starred in what appeared to be only the beginning of his long, successful career. Fine, that career may have only lasted for a handful of years, but now he has a job rewarding than any acting postion... Father to Sarah Michelle Gellar's baby. I've been sending in my resume for that job since I was in middle school, and he got the spot. Lucky bastard.

8.Can't Hardly Wait
This movie is everything that is right with high school parties. And Dharma in angel wings makes anything better.
7.High School Musical 3
While one (or 2: Big Sexy and may roll their eyes at the fact that this was placed on ANY Top 10 List, I'm not apologizing. It's heart warming. It's cute. It's funny. It's the closing chapter of characters we've fell in love with and watched grow. While there may be no post-prom sex or a Ryan outing, we DO get more Zac/Vanessa kissage than ever more. And good ones, too.... And if you pull the "I can't believe I'm watching a Disney movie with Zac Efron..." stick out of your ass for a second and just watch it for what it is, you may find yourself with the chills... or even more, tearing up... at a few scenes. The comedic role of Mrs. Darbus in the first two movies has a particularly touching scene with Zac that gets me every time...

I love when great teen movies are loosely based on classics, and "Clueless" does just that with "Emma."
If you think this movie doesn't belong on this list, whatever - you're a virgin who can't drive.
RIP Brittany Murphy.

5. 10 Things I Hate About You
I love when great teen movies are loosely based on classics, and "10 Things I Hate About You" does just that with "The Taming of the Shrew."
If you think this movie doesn't belong on this list, Has the fact that you're completely psycho managed to escape your attention?
RIP Heath Ledger.
4.Jennifer's Body
Although you may be asking yourself why a horror movie is in the top 10 high school movies... even more - the top 5, please believe me when I say it is SO much more than a horror movie. It has a lot of comedy, for one. But even deeper than that... it's somewhat of a character analysis between high school best friends. And while some may say this is a stretch and could be said about any high school movie, I disagree. And this is my site, so boo - cross out you.

3.Cruel Intentions

Although the majority of this movie takes place during the summer, everyone's favorite ORIGINAL Upper East Side'ers are still high school students. This movie has everything a successful high school career should have - laughs, tears, drama, comedy, manipulation, sex, drugs, bitches, lies and more manipulation, sex and bitches. And I will never be able to listen to "Bittersweet Symphony" the same way again...

2.Bring It On
This movie showed that cheerleaders are people, too. Or they're "dancers who've gone retarded." But whatever side you decide to take, you'll be entertained the whole time. I could do without the 4+ "sequels," but the original is cinematic gold. If it wasn't for my lack of upper body strength or unability to do gymnastics, I would have joined a cheerleading squad after seeing this movie. But instead, I just put on a skirt and lip synced to "Hey Mickey" in front of my mirror...
1. Mean Girls
I saw this movie 11 times in theaters, and if it is ever re-released, I would be first in line to see it again. I was Regina George for Halloween once, and it's still my favorite costume to date. The movie is amazingly funny, it's smart, it's truthful, it's Lindsay Lohan at the peak of her career, it's Rachel McAdams and Amanda Seyfried at only the beginning of theirs... In a word, it's fetch.

Top 10 High School TV Shows

10. Laguna Beach
Was season 1better? Season 2? It's really up in the air (unlike the rain, which falls downnnnnnnnnnn as sung so nicely by H.Duff at the start of each episode). But whether you're Team Kristin or Team LC, one thing is easy to decide: season 3 was CERTAINLY not the winner here. "Laguna Beach" brought us many great things: everyone and their mom had black & white parties after LC & friends did. And without "Laguna Beach," we wouldn't have "The Hills," which, in turn, means we wouldn't have "LA Candy." And without "LA Candy," what the hell is going to be at the top of my Book Club list when I have my own talk show?

Plus, when I am in the mood to get some during a night on the town, I drink before going out and yell at myself, "Keep dancin' on the bar, slutttttttttttttttttt."

9. Popular
I wasn't as much of an avid viewer as I wish I would have been. But I want to buy both seasons on DVD and start from the beginning. I know it ends with a cliffhanger, so I already hate myself for doing this to myself... but I can't help it. I like torturing myself. Ryan Murphy got too wild too soon, leading the show to its early dimise, but hopefully he learned from his mistakes (I don't think he did...)

8. Saved By The Bell
My favorite episode will always be the murder mystery episode, but I also enjoy any rap re-telling of "Snow White and the 7 Dorks." Ten-year-old me was OBSESSED with this show, and I would be lying if I said a small part of 24-year-old me wasn't still obsessed... Everything I want to be in life is the love child of Lisa Turtle, A.C. Slater, Zack Morris & Kelly Kapowski... Sorry Jesse & Screech, I don't need those genes. Or that hair.

7. Boy Meets World
Watching something that took place in Philadelphia was amazing for a young me. Watching something that took place in Philadelphia that was actually a great show was even better. Much like "Saved by the Bell," my favorite episode of this show is the scary movie episode. But Jennifer Love Hewitt cameos aside, this show owned my heart for a large part of my life. I still cringe every time I think about Cory having to stay at the ski cabin... Don't do itttttttttttttttttttt.

6. Glee
I have every song from this show on my iPod. Some of them more than once. So it's no secret that this is one of my favorite shows. But plot-wise, this show is very hit-or-miss. And I could use some more character development, as well. But I really do like it...

5. Dawson's Creek
"Dawson's Creek" showed the world that boys and girls CAN be just friends. Oh, wait. Maybe it didn't... but it did bring one of TV's greatest love triangles/squares to life. This show had a scary movie episode, too... Just sayin.

4. Gossip Girl
Based on the best-selling novels, "Gossip Girl" follows a group of rich Upper East Side'ers as their lives are... basically, stalked... by an obsessed internet fan. Although it's fun for us to watch each week, the fact that someone is following these students is creepy. I'm waiting for the "Gossip Girl/To Catch A Predator" crossover finale... XOXO.

3. 90210
When this show began, it relied on a high school version of "Spring Awakening" and too many original 90210'ers as cameos. But sometime during two seasons, it became its own show, leaving its original Beverly Hills roots and moving even further away from silly high school musical productions. The season 3 premiere featured car accidents, an earth quake, deaths, divorce, life changing accidents, sex, break ups, hook ups, sex dreams, and rape. Now THAT'S a show...

2. Veronica Mars
It took a while for me to get into this show. TOO long, actually. It wasn't the right time for me. "Buffy" had just ended, critics were comparing this show to that one... and I, for one, was not ready to fill the void with something claiming to be ready to take its spot. Nothing would EVER take the spot of that vampire slaying goddess in my heart, so I didn't need this high school bitch trying. Just stop, Veronica. Just stop.

Then many years later, I found myself bored and searching through "On Demand" when I came across "The WB" section. The pilot of "Veronica Mars" was only a click away, and so, I did. "Buffy" had been off of the air for a while now, and so I had an open mind and heart. And Veronica filled both. I'm going to make a bold statement, but out of 24 years of watching television, it's still something I believe... "Veronica Mars" has the best pilot episode I've ever seen. It's dramatic, it's MORE than enough to hook you and keep you coming back, it's touching. I've never felt so connected to characters as quickly as I did to my favorite Neptune residents...

And the graduation episode makes me tear up and get angry at the same time. And NOT because they're graduating... Ugh, Weevil. Gets me every time.

1. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
I could type until there is no more room on the internet about this show. I've always thought it would be wonderful to teach a college course on this show. It's symbolic. It's... maybe I CAN'T fill the internet with ramblings about this show because it leaves me speechless. I've never laughed AND cried at a show more than I have with this show. My best friend and I would have weekly "Buffy" dates where we could call each other and just stay silent through the episode and only talk during commercials. Which, as I think about it now, I'm surprised my parents didn't shove a stake through my heart for holding up the phone line/rackin up the phone bill, but I appreciate that the fact they didn't (seeing as I am a werewolf and not a vampire, it wouldn't have killed me, only made me angry...)

Besides fighting the undead, the emotions and situations in this show are some of the most realistic I've ever seen. And felt. "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" may have been a bad, cheesey 90's movie first, but the show will live on forever as the REAL Buffy (and in my head/heart, the ONLY Buffy).

...While I realize I'm no spring chicken and that if it's going to happen, it better happen soon, typing these lists made me realize I want to be an actor in a high school show. Just so I can get a graduation episode. I look quite dashing in a cap and gown. And I can rock a tux like nobody's business for a prom episode...
(CW, I'm talking to you...)


  1. I agree whole heartedly with those choices. Though I am a fan of "The Breakfast Club" blah blah blah. As a person who hasn't watched "some" of the TV shows...I know shoot me, bury me, remove vital organs, I get it. I have found myself liking many of the newer shows, Pretty Little Liars, even MTV reality shows like Teen Mom and Made/True Life(although they aren't ranked as high as many of those shows). But as you are the almighty media man, above Perez Hilton in my book, I trust your judgments.

  2. I CAN'T BELIEVE WE'RE ONLY NUMBER FOUR. *angryface* Except even we don't conquer the Godliness that is Mean Girls, so I suppose agree with that as number one.

    (And the fact that there is no Twilight in sight makes me love you even more.)

  3. TV - Freaks and Geeks, Friday Night LIghts

  4. I'm glad your parents didn't stab you with a stake while we watched Buffy. But I wouldn't have noticed until a commercial anyway.

  5. I distinctly remember seeing "Not Another Teen Movie." I couldn't wait to see it- as a film school hopeful who had seen every teen movie EVER, I begged my dad to take me to see it during my stay at his Miami Beach house, and he reluctantly agreed. Stabbing Westward (one of my top ten favorite bands) somehow managed to butcher my favorite song ever ("Bizarre Love Triangle"- I've since forgiven them, and actually now LIKE this cover of the song) in the film, and I was largely disappointed by the film. They had so much to work with, but they seemed to abandoned a lot of the teen movie genre in favor of mostly just mocking She's All That. While She's All That is certainly an amazing movie, I just wish they would have utilized more teen flicks.

    I'm a little bummed out that you didn't include Varsity Blues and the OC, but otherwise, terrific list.

  6. I agree more with your tv shows than your movies. But if you didn't know I'd say that then we're not friends anymore. Cross out.

    I LOVED Popular when I was little lol.

    And if you made yourself "Needy Lesnicki" and commented on your own blog I'm gonna be so upset hahaha

  7. WOOHOO Laguna Beach made it! And 90210. Looove it!