Of the Week

TV: Unreal


So I was prepping to talk about how amazing Unreal is while comparing it to my own personal experience working on The Bachelor and was all, “I was just like the PA with the braids except when the boss yelled I wasn’t all cool and chill, I just cried. A lot.” But then I watched the episode where the PA with the braids blew the boss and… No. Ew. Analogy over.

But seriously, this show is awesome, soapy, addictive good times. I mean, guys, it’s a fictionalized reality TV — all the enjoyment of reality TV with zero of the guilt! Everyone else has caught on; you’re way behind. Go watch it now. K. Bye.

Movie: Mad Max

This photo provided by Warner Bros. Pictures shows, from left, Abbey Lee as The Dag, Courtney Eaton as Cheedo the Fragile, Zoe Kravitz as Toast the Knowing, Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa and Riley Keough as Capable, in Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Village Roadshow Pictures’ action adventure film, “Mad Max:Fury Road," a Warner Bros. Pictures release. (Jasin Boland/Warner Bros. Pictures via AP)
This photo provided by Warner Bros. Pictures shows, from left, Abbey Lee as The Dag, Courtney Eaton as Cheedo the Fragile, Zoe Kravitz as Toast the Knowing, Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa and Riley Keough as Capable, in Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Village Roadshow Pictures’ action adventure film, “Mad Max:Fury Road,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. (Jasin Boland/Warner Bros. Pictures via AP)

So. Freaking. Badass. If you haven’t already seen it (and loved it) you’re probably thinking, Kelly? Really? That noisy, all crazy-edited, dirt-filled movie trailer with the people painted like homeless mimes? You want me to watch that? And, okay, Mom, you won’t like it. It’s hella violent. But it’s also brilliant, stunning, intelligent, and — I can’t believe I’m saying this — high-octane fun. And the articles you’ve been ignoring are right, it’s also a feminist masterpiece. The director, George Miller, is such a classy guy he even scrolled all the head Visual Effects Artists names before the actors; can’t say no to that.

Book: High-Rise by J.G. Ballard


Whew. That how I felt when I finished this book. It was a journey and it wasn’t always a comfortable one. But the older I get the more certain books are starting to stick with me — and the more that is becoming the most important part of the experience: what I take away from them. The only book that has stuck with me more than High-Rise this year is J.G. Ballard’s collection of short stories, The Terminal Beach. He captures the sick, visceral, selfish, venereal side of humans and how those traits just might dictate our futures in ways like I’ve never read before. (Just consider this a plug for all his work.) High-Rise is a fascinating take on class war through the lens of humans reverting to their animalistic tendencies while maintaining all the shitty habits they’ve picked up on this road we call evolution. Oh, and there’s a movie adaptation staring Tom Hiddleston coming out in the fall.

Album: Of Monsters and Men, Beneath the Skin

Of Monsters and Men bring their atmospheric indie rock back for a second round and it’s just as good as the first. No, it’s probably not going to change your life or land on any super pretentious lists, but it’s as enjoyable as, say, an impromptu dance party in the middle of an empty street on a warm summer night. And I think we can all agree, life could use more of those.

Podcast: Science US!


Vancouver comedians Peter Carlone and Ivan Decker take on the loftiest of goals, making science funny and accessible. It does, in fact, help that they are not scientists (which they will repeatably mention just in case you’ve tuned in mid-cast with the hopes of catching some real, hard scienterrific facts). They are as funny as they are convincing, which is very, and makes me concerned now for all the tidbits I’ll inevitably share at parties that will oh-so-quickly be shot down for being both wildly speculative and mostly untrue. (Or, maybe, they do know what they talking about and I will impress with both my quick wit and theories on the forthcoming robot apocalypse. How am I supposed to know? I am not a scientist.)

Can We Talk About This, Please?

I’ve now lost several hours of my life to this whole Berenstain/Berenstein Bears controversy. While I am 100% Team E, I am willing to admit that thousands of us must just be misrem — NO. NOPE. PARALLEL UNIVERSES. IT HAS TO BE. (Seriously, if you are between the ages of 23 and 33, do not click unless you are willing to have your day ruined/life changed.)

Of the Week

What you should be watching and reading and listening to this week.

First of all, if you’re still not watching Broad City, you’re missing out on the most hilarious, inventive… you know what? There aren’t even adjectives to properly describe it amazing-ness. Just watch it.

In other news, the ex-writers of cult hit of comedy wonder, Happy Endings, have posted an extremely cryptic tweet linking to this website, counting 52 days down to something. WHAT DOES IT MEAN? Happy Endings is one of the best television sitcoms of all time and deserves whatever revival it can find. (I’m looking at you, Netflix. *crosses fingers and prays*)

Eddie Huang wrote a really interesting article about the process of adapting his memoir, Fresh Off the Boat, to network television. And E. Alex Jung over at Vulture wrote about watching said adaption with nearly a thousand young Asian-Americans. I haven’t seen the show yet (as my PVR is a hat made of ass and I have yet to find legal distribution of the pilot), but it’s MIND BLOWING that this is the first Asian-American family on TV in 20 years.

Gina Rodriguez

TV: Jane the Virgin

I do not envy the person who had to pitch this show. That being said, The CW is clearly open and willing to take chances; and this show is a sign the network wants to hold their own with the Big Four.

IMDb offers this log line: A young, devout woman discovers that she was accidentally artificially inseminated. 

But that’s not even the tip of the iceberg. Loosely adapted from Venezuelan telenovela, Juana La Virgen, the soap opera plot twists in JTV are marvellous and many. But unlike the soaps you watched while home sick as a kid, the characters in Jane the Virgin react to each twist like actual human beings. And that’s what makes this show so brilliant. The show knows it’s crazy (and often reminds us with a stellar narration, dream sequences, freeze frames and text on screen), but it never treats its characters as crazy; it lets them roll with the punches in honest, character-based ways. And no one has to deal with more than Jane, played by the categorically wonderful Gina Rodriguez. You’ll fall in love with her instantly. Watch it and I promise you will be utterly charmed. And if you’re still not sold, google ‘Best TV 2014’ and I swear, you’ll find Jane the Virgin on every list.

You can find the entire series on Shomi or iTunes in Canada and a million other places in the States.

Jenny Slate

Movie: Obvious Child

Unfortunately deemed the ‘abortion rom-com’, Obvious Child is so much more. Starring Jenny Slate (SNL, Parks & Rec, Marcel the Shell), this film is about a young woman growing up and figuring out her life and maybe falling in love and dealing with her career and her family in the oh-so-terrifying time that is your late twenties. Oh, and she also happens to get pregnant and get an abortion.

Whatever. It’s a part of the plot, an important part, and an important story to tell and discuss, but  Obvious Child is about so much more. Just see it. See it because it is hilarious. See it because it’s sweet and heartfelt and honest. See it because it was one of the best films of 2014 and not enough people paid attention. Also, did I mention that it’s hilarious? Because it really, really is.

Obvious Child was written and directed by Gillian Robespierre based on a short she made in 2009. I sincerely hope we don’t have to wait too long for another film from Robespierre. As Vulture pointed out the other day, Sundance (where this film debuted) has a major ‘white guy problem.’ Basically, studios troll Sundance for new directors for their upcoming tentpoles and franchises, yet somehow manage to ignore anyone who isn’t a white dude. Sure, things are a’changing, but it’s not fast enough — so hopefully Robespierre and, frankly, every talented, worthy director being ignored by Hollywood (this is an assumption. Maybe she has lots of stuff in the works?!) can keep doing their own thing, writing their scripts and telling their stories; because I really want to keep watching. And, hopefully, Hollywood will start watching, too.

Book: The Interestings51zPTVP+crL

One of the coolest things about reading is when you get to sit down and within a couple days or weeks, you can live through and experience someone’s entire life — or at least the most formative part of it.

The Interestings is a hypnotic, expansive novel. It takes place over the course of several decades, following a group of friends from summer camp to middle age. Meg Wolitzer never worries about making our protagonist, Jules, that dreaded buzzword: likeable; instead, she makes her human. And when she shows us her life, she gives us its interior, with all its terrible thoughts and emotions included.

It is an aching study on friendship, depression, talent, jealousy, and unrequited love. There are so conversations to be had within this novel that I don’t even know where to start.  (Though, I think I might try with, ‘What makes a life interesting?’)

I suggest starting this when you have time to be swept away. It’s not a short book and it’s not easy to put down. Read it and let’s talk more.

Song: Hunger of the Pine by Alt-J

I am painfully, painfully out of the loop when it comes to new music. (Happily accepting suggestions!) This song isn’t new, but it’s really, really good.

Happy Saturday, friends!

Of the Week

TV: How to Get Away With Murder

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve no doubt heard about How to Get Away With Murder.

I can’t praise this show highly enough. Seriously. It’s AMAZING! But, actually, in the effort of honesty, you probably shouldn’t trust me on this one. I am the very opposite of an impartial viewer. Because, this show, it feels like, is made specifically for me. Not one, but TWO over-arcing murder plots. Fast-paced story telling. Attractive (but not cookie-cutter) leads. Episodic trials of the week. Screaming, crying, plotting, and soapy amazingness.

It’s hard to trust in a post-Lost era, but I believe that the creator, Peter Nowalk, has it all planned out. I’m choosing not to try and figure anything out — I just want to go along for the ride. But, holy crap, HOW ARE THEY ALL CONNECTED?!? WAS IT ALL PARIS’S* FAULT?!? DID ANNALISE MAKE THEM DO IT? WHAT’S UP WITH THE GOTH CHICK?!?!!? Ahhh, is it Thursday again, yet?

(And a selfish note: I’m so happy this is doing spectacularly in the ratings, but this is exactly the type of TV show I want to make.)

*Liza Weil will never not be Paris from Gilmore Girls.



Song: “Busy Earnin'” by Jungle

According to Wikipedia, Jungle’s music has been described as, “‘midtempo 1970s-style funk’ and their music is intermixed with tropical percussion, wildlife noises, falsetto yelps, psychedelic washes and badoinking bass.” How can you not love that? They’re playing at The Imperial Vancouver this Tuesday night. The show appears to be sold out, but it would be worth trying your last minute luck as it’s going to be an incredible show.


Book: An Embarrassment of Mangoes

Since I already blogged about it twice in the past week, might as well go ahead and officially recommend this book. It’s not going to blow your mind or change your life, but it will keep you warm** on a grey fall day. While I hope you all have the opportunity to travel far and often, I know many of your days will be spent in your hometown, working hard (to save for traveling?); things can get a little monotonous, so whenever you can, treat yourself to book that will transport you somewhere else. An Embarrassment of Mangoes does just that. Ann and her husband take you all over the Caribbean on a fun, easy, and enjoyable literary sailboat ride.

**Metaphorically speaking.



Movie Trailer: The Imitation Game

Doesn’t it just make you want to pack up and move to England? (I mean like, not during WW2 or anything, but it’s just those accents and that tweed… Sigh. I might have to apply for a Visa or something.)

Anyways, Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley are two of the best of their generation. This is going to be a fantastic film.

Of the Week

Movie: If you’re looking for your new favourite romantic comedy, look no further than The F Word(Or What If if you live in America.) Writer Elan Mastai and director Michael Dowse deliver on all levels. It’s sweet; it’s hilarious; it’s touching; and it’s truthful. Mastai has been quoted as saying “… everyone is an expert (on romantic comedies).” That acknowledgement and respect shows throughout the film: it’s your, my, his, hers, our romantic wins and failures up on screen, but funnier and with better hairdos. My only complaint is they could have pushed the “Annie Hall-ness” of it even further; but leave them wanting more, right? (Just go see it.) 

Trailer: There are SO many good trailers out right now. (Note to self: do a full post dedicated to trailers.) But if I’m only going to choose one, and this is a very difficult decision, I’m going to have to go with Dear White People. This is writer/director Justin Simien’s debut feature and it looks BRILLIANT. And you know what? Regardless of the quality of the film (which we have to wait until Fall to determine (but, let’s be honest, it’s gonna be good)), this trailer deserves multiple awards. It’s beautifully cut, showcases the film’s wicked cinematography, and tells you exactly what the story is going to be about without giving away too much of the plot. With further ado…

TV: It’s been awhile since I’ve done an “Of the Week” which is the only reason you have yet to hear me expound on Broad City‘s incomprehensible awesomeness. It’s everything I wanted Girls to be and so much more. I espouse this amazing show to anyone who will listen, and though most of never heard of it, as soon as I mention it’s produced by Amy Poehler, I have no more convincing to do. No one else has captured life as a twentysomething struggling in a big city better than Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer. The heart of the show is the girls’ friendship, but what really takes it to the next level, beyond the relatability in even the smallest, most throwaway lines/plots (Think in Episode 8, “Destination Wedding” when Abbi’s date suggests they buy a dog together but then later can’t commit to going to a further away train station.), what makes this show INSANELY good is the directing and the endless pop culture/film references. More Spaced than CommunityBroad City sucks you in with dream sequences, endless nods to genre, and inventive cinematography. It’s not only the funniest show on television, in my opinion, it’s the overall very best.


Song: Gotta give it up for B.C. up-and-comers Good for Grapes. Their song “Skipping Stone” lives comfortably in that beautiful genre of folk-rock-pop well-established by acts like Mumford & Sons and The Lumineers. These young musicians have been beating the road for years already, honing their craft and sound; it’s only a matter of time before they totally take over.

Check out their Facebook page here for info on tons of local shows.

Book: This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper

Is it cheating if I post the movie trailer instead of a picture of the book? The trailer was what led me to read it after all. If nothing else, the casting of the film makes it worth seeing. (But this isn’t supposed to be about a movie…) I felt quite unsatisfied after reading This is Where I Leave You. I flew through it in one weekend and later realized that maybe I should have paced myself. I was disappointed and a little bit angry and, going through an already delicate couple of weeks, depressed. It wasn’t until a few days later that I begun to appreciate the story. While the film adaptation will likely end on an “up” note, the book didn’t feel that way for me. Why am I recommending it then? Because life isn’t always #YOLO and #100happydays; life is often shitty and disappointing and many people never achieve most of what they set out to do. I’m not saying that’s my, or anyone else’s future, but I think perspective and realism are things we don’t get enough of these social media-filled days.

Of the Week

Links, stories, entertainment, and other various things I enjoyed this week:

The full Hollywood Reporter “Drama Queens” roundtable has been released. And if you, like me, are a TV/acting nerd, you’ll really enjoy it.

Could Vancouver host the 2022 Winter Olympics? Probably not. But this likely isn’t the last we’re going to hear on the subject.

A comprehensive history of Fireball. (Spoiler: it contains brilliant marketing.)

Quentin Tarantino and Uma Thurman might be dating. I don’t know why, but this makes me very happy.

It’s hard to know how legit this is until one actually tries it themselves, but there’s now a website that helps you crowd fund your travels: Trevolta.

Photographic proof that The Matrix is real and we’re living in it.

Bees are dying all over the place and it’s legitimately terrifying. Click here to do a little something about it. And check out Generation A by Douglas Coupland to scare yourself a little more. (Then check out his exhibit at the VAG, ’cause why not?)


Movie: The Perks of Being a Wallflower 


I’m not going to lie to you guys, my eyes are still puffy a day later. Nearly ten years after I fell in love with the book and two years after the film was released, I finally settled in to watch TPoBaW. (That’s a hideous looking acronym, isn’t it?) Stephen Chobsky, the book’s author, adapted the screenplay AND directed the film, giving perfect explanation to why it’s so lovely. I don’t know if this story is for everyone, but if you’ve ever felt lonely, isolated, and as if the pain of the world might be too much to bear, you need to watch this film. It is beautiful and touching and completely heartbreaking, but ultimately hopeful. Prepare to get in touch with that teenage angst that lives inside of all of us and bring the tissues.


TV: Orphan Black – It’s fast-paced, smart, and ridiculously entertaining. Tatiana Maslany is… well, I can’t think of a word in the English language to properly describe how incredibly talented she is. Streepian, perhaps?



Song: “Take Me to Church” by Hozier – This song can best be described as cavernous. SO good.


Book: Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris


It’s fascinating to me how vastly unique siblings can be from one another: in careers, morals, interests, personalities. Coming from a large family, Sedaris shares tales of his unique (read: psychotic) family, from childhood ’til present. (Bonus: an insight as to how Amy Sedaris got so wacky.) He takes stories, that would no doubt be mundane from a less talented writer, and spins them into tales of humour, grace, and depth. The best part is that he never holds back from sharing all the awful things he has said or done. No rose coloured glasses here. Sedaris will make you feel better about being the flawed human being that we all are.

Word: ostensible [o-sten-suh-buhl] adjective
1. outwardly appearing as such; professed; pretended: an ostensible cheerfulness concealing sadness.
2. apparent, evident, or conspicuous: the ostensible truth of their theories.

Of the Week

Magic Mike 2 is going to be “… essentially the movie that everyone thought the first one was going to be.” #YESSSSSS This is wonderful news. Also, no Alex Pettyfer, please.

Creepy ass pictures. Like, arty, creepy ass pictures.

Will Ferrell’s production company (Gary Sanchez) is forming a “female-driven” division (Gloria Sanchez). Awesome, awesome, awesome-sauce.

Tired of lugging heavy cans of beer around with you everywhere? Allow me to introduce, Beer Concentrate!!!

Ben Affleck and Matt Damon want your money… for charity. And if you give them some, you might win a dinner out with those two crazy kids.

Vulture listed the 25 best RomComs since When Harry Met Sally and I heartily disagree with at least half of them. I think part of the problem is that there hasn’t been 25 great RCs since then. Lots of other people are angry too, but mostly about what they didn’t include. They’re certainly playing pretty fast and loose with the term “romantic comedy” (specifically for their number one choice); plus there’s no way I can get behind any list with “best” in the title that includes THREE Adam Sandler flicks.

Song: Now that I’m back in Vancouver, I’m listening to The Peak again. Super digging “Afraid” by The Neighbourhood. Figures the first song I get into back in Canada is by a band from California.

TV: Less than one month ’til the Veronica Mars movie, guys!!! If you haven’t seen the show yet, get on it!

Quote (from that awesome Buzzfeed article on one of my favourite people in the world, Amy Poehler):


Of the Week

gay pride flag facebook covers

While what’s going on in Russia is obviously a terrible, no-good, really bad thing, I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge how well the rest of the world is responding. Keep in mind that en masse, Internet-wide LBGTQ(IA*) support is a new thing. I think we (we, of course, being a relative term, meant to represent all the internet I come across) have finally reached a place where supporting gay rights is second nature. Like, duh, of course everyone should have the right to marry, etc, etc. It wasn’t like that five years ago, not even within the liberal media (or on my Facebook newsfeed).

So while we’re laughing at all the absurd, insane ways Sochi is breaking down and shaking our heads at Putin and his shirtless horseback riding, let’s keep in mind that this is the first time the entire world has banned together to support gay rights. Let’s keep the Google doodles rainbow, the sassy viral videos coming, and our spirits high because, with the way things are headed, this mess of horrific oppression will soon be distant history.


In case you were too busy chilling in a park somewhere to read the news/watch Jimmy Kimmel Youtube videos, Vancouver is allowing this sign to stay posted in a local park.

Some chick was single for a really long time and published a book about it (and I got really jealous). Then one of those ubiquitous internet lists popped up about why it’s great to be single. So, is this the hot, new trend? Being happy as a singleton?! Choosing to be single!? Pass me the ice cream; I’m in.

I totally thought American Hustle was overrated (And was more or less too terrified to say so on Facebook for fear over angering the cinefiles.), but, thankfully, I’m not alone!! (Thanks, Farran!)

Canadian television politics are still a tangled, laughable mess. So what are we going to do about it? No, seriously, that wasn’t rhetorical.

Movie/TV: Nothing’s stuck out to me the past week as I’ve solely been watching reruns of Arrested Development. So, uh, yeah, you should probably do the same.

Music: Dancepack by Volcano Choir – Like most of Justin Vernon’s side projects, this band isn’t instantly accessible; but it’s totally worth the effort. Perhaps start with the first single off the album, Byegone, before you move on to Dancepack; once you get there, I promise it will be worth it: it’s beautiful and mellow and will probably make you want to perform modern dance in your living room.

Photo: A hotel in Switzerland.travel_backpacking_round_the_world_amazing_hotels_ascher-cliff_switzerland

*Are the ‘I’ and the ‘A’ official now? Whatever… doesn’t matter. Give ALL the people ALL their rights.


Of Last Week

National flags made of their country’s traditional food. Exactly what it sounds like. And super cute.

(Online) dating in “No Fun City*” aka Vancouver.  A few well written stories.

All the places Canadians can get holiday/work visas. Whaaat? We have so many options!

Anna Kendrick is the bestest; and the writer of this ad deserves an award.

Vulture wrote a really interesting article about the history of the selfie. 

*Other people’s words; not mine.


Movie: Normally I like to stay positive and recommend only things that are SUPER awesome, but I would be remiss if I didn’t warn you of the atrocity I saw last week. Now you’re all smart people so you probably weren’t going to see it anyway but just in case, please, PLEASE don’t pay to see That Awkward Moment. I agree with this review that describes Zac Efron’s character as a sociopath, but it’s so much worse than that. I LOVE romantic comedies but TAM used the usually fun tropes in atrocious and offensive ways. I almost walked out multiple times. (Will I watch it again someday? Probably. But I’m a real glutton for punishment.)