Tuesday, May 29, 2012

This Week in Pop Culture: Season Finale Edition

A lot of my favorite shows have had their season finale, so for this installment I'm just going to tell you what shows you need to catch up with now that the season's over. 


Obviously I'm going to list my favorite show first. Barring the incredibly depressing news of creator Dan Harmon's recent firing, the last three episodes of Community were some of the best yet. We got a 16-bit video game episode, a parody of heist films, and a touching finale that featured character development and great wrapping up of the season's arcs. It was incredibly touching and works as a series finale as well, if the 4th season ends up sucking like I have a fear it's going to. #sixseasonsandweloveyoudanharmon

Some of my favorite quotes:

"No, take him to JAIL. He MURDERED someone. You guys are weird."

"Leave no witnesses! These are your loose ends. I'm just tying them up."

"Chang eats the sun and drinks the skies and they both go with him when he dies."

"Well this place is 20 cat turds and a Pixies poster away from being your apartment."

Video game Troy bouncing the entire time.

"You should meet my best friend Jeffrey!"

 "I just want to reiterate that this should be the only time you seduce a child over the Internet."

"And the truth is...the pathetically, stupidly, inconveniently obvious truth is: helping only ourselves is bad, and helping each other is good."

Parks and Recreation

Spoiler alert: Leslie wins. Or does she? Whatever the outcome, this was one of the most sweet and touching finales ever. Amy Poehler is just wonderful. The scene where she sends Ben away with her Washington Monument statue was just an incredibly sweet scene that highlights what this show does so well: make us feel for these characters, even in a crazy town like Pawnee. 

Oh, and Andy trying to fix a computer like an Xbox by dropping it and blowing on it? Comedy gold.

The Vampire Diaries 

THIS. SHOW. Even in a bumpy season, this show certainly knows how to do season finales. I wasn't expecting Elena to turn so soon in the series, but I'm excited for the possibilities and I'm glad it was done under circumstances she couldn't control and because she was making a sacrifice. I'm devastated that Alaric is gone. But Elijah and his hair made a triumphant return. And that's enough to make any episode great.


Yes, I still love this show. Even on season 24, I still love watching this human chess match of a show, watching how players manipulate and finagle their way to a million dollars by out-strategizing and out-playing the others. This year's winner, Kim, is probably the best female winner to ever win, in my opinion. She just played a perfect game. She got everyone to trust her, she was always two steps ahead in her strategy, and she was a beast at immunity challenges. It was a pretty good season overall, give or take a racist homosexual Republican.

And, because I know you care, here are the two freshman shows that I was able to stick with all year. This is no small feat, mind you.

Best NEW Shows of 2011-2012

New Girl

This show started out a little rocky, but I liked Zooey Deschanel and Schmidt's character enough to keep watching, and about 6 episodes in I was hooked. This show became a great ensemble comedy about 30-somethings trying to figure out their life. Anything Schmidt says is golden and Nick also became a standout. This show also gave me a new pronunciation of "chutney" and a new (coke) drinking game I want to try. And of course there were scenes like this:


This show definitely ties The Vampire Diaries in terms of season finale craziness. In this crazy good yet extremely soapy last episode, we had not one, not two, but three "death" scenes (if they actually died remains to be seen), a surprise pregnancy, a mother-come-back-to-life, and a "this is larger than you or me" governmental conspiracy. And it was done with such good performances and pathos that it didn't seem as ridiculous as it all sounds. I'm so excited to get back to the revenge maestro Emily, her trusty sidekick Nolan, the lovable Jack, ice-cold Victoria, and the rest of the Graysons next fall. 

Is it September yet?? 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Welcome to L.A.

I can't believe it's already been a month since I've moved to Los Angeles. Time is moving way too fast. Mostly this month I've just been settling in, getting used to the city and my job, but I have done some pretty cool things. But first I'll tell you a little bit about my internship:

So I technically work for Edelman, but they are partnered with Kindel Gagan, a public affairs office that works with the American Chemistry Council and the California Restaurant Association. So we work with them. The state of California is trying to place a ban on Styrofoam food containers, but this would hurt a lot of the small restaurants in the state who depend on Styrofoam due to its cheap cost and the way it keeps food insulated (And you can recycle it! And it's littered less often than plastic bags and other plastics! And it's only 95% air! I know way too much about Styrofoam. Don't even get me started.)

So we basically act as "foam advocates" (or Avengers of Foam, a name Chris came up with. We really liked the movie, OK?) and go around to smaller restaurants in the L.A. area collecting letters to send to their district leaders asking them to vote no on the bill. It's kind of like lobbying, but hey, I've always needed to work on my speaking and presentation skills, and no better way to train.  We also get to have trainings with Edelman and come up with our own PR campaigns, so we get to have some variety. Also, a lot of these restaurants are ethnic, so I'm working not only on my persuasive skills, but my cultural negotiation tactics as well. All I know is that I need to brush up on my Spanish and Chinese asap. Bueno!

I really like the job so far. The other interns I work with are great, and the fact that it's all-expenses-paid doesn't hurt much either. I live in Arcadia, a really nice area where almost everyone is Asian. Literally, some of the signs aren't even in English. It's pretty awesome.

On the wall in the Edelman office

Cursory shot of my apartment

We usually eat at parks during lunch breaks, and these little creatures like to mooch off of us.

At the supermarket. Everything is Asian. And I love it.

And L.A. is beautiful! The weather's been wonderful and I love the palm trees mixed with the mountains. And the food is delicious, obviously. The people are a lot more friendly than I expected as well. Granted, we're mostly traveling to the poorer areas of the city (Compton, what's up?!) and not the ritzy areas, but I've been pleasantly surprised by how nice everyone is.

L.A. during the day

And at night.

Unless, of course, you get them mad on the road. Which is the one reason I wouldn't want to live here permanently, I think. The traffic can get insane. During rush hour it can take hours to get home. I hate it. I also understand this SNL skit so much more now.

Anyway, like I said, I haven't done too much yet. I'm waiting for some of my peeps to get out here to spend all the crazy money, but the other interns and I have had a good time getting to know the city and doing some fun stuff. Here's just a couple of things we've done so far:
  • We've been to two Dodger's games (including one all-you-can-eat session. So good but so gross) with at least two more to come. Got myself a Dodgers hat and everything!

All you can eat hot dogs, popcorn, nachos, peanuts, and drinks. Don't even say what you were thinking...
  • Celebrated Cinco de Mayo on Olvera Street, an area famous for its Hispanic markets and delicious food. They closed the street down for this day and there were a million booths set up. Bands were playing and I got free salsa and a purse. And ate some delicious tacos. We then ate at El Tepeyac, which you may have seen on Man vs Food: 

Yes, it tasted as good as it looked.

I couldn't even finish half of that guacamole. That should tell you something about their portion sizes.

  • Last Saturday we went to Santa Monica Pier. It was too cold to lay out on the beach, but we walked around Muscle Beach and the pier and saw the beautiful ocean, the cool street performers, and the aquarium. There's also a mini fair and I wanted to ride the rollercoaster, but everyone else was too cheap so we didn't. 

Chris, Darren, Christine and me

You could touch them! They feel really squishy.

  • Pinewood derby FHE. This is not a joke. The ward here is awesome. It's HUGE for a non-Utah singles ward and once again, everyone is way nicer than I expected from an LA ward. It helps that it's East LA, but still. I'm loving it so far. There's even an official dance committee. Like, that's a real calling. Also, I now have a 72-hour kit. If there's an emergency I am SO staying alive. For 3 days. 
Really sophisticated.
One of these cars is not like the other.

  • NBA playoff game. Clippers vs Spurs. Clippers lost, obviously, but it was really cool to experience the Staples Center in a playoff environment. It got crazy at times! And we got free t-shirts. Win-win. 

Sorry, it was a little dark.

    Things still to come:
    • The Price is Right on Tuesday and The Conan O'Brien Show on June 5. So stoked. 
    • Six Flags. Universal. Knotts Berry. DISNEYLAND.
    • Hollywood, studio tours, concerts, THE BEACH
    • Road trips to Sacramento and San Fran. Possibly San Diego.
    Please come visit. Name what you wanna do and we'll do it. Also, I'll try and be better about updating this blog more constantly. Until next time.

    I run L.A.