Why CBS’s Nancy Drew Adaptation Is All Wrong

CBS just announced they’re developing a drama series based on the iconic Nancy Drew novels. It will be a contemporary take seeing Nancy in her 30s working as an NYPD detective.

Please excuse me while I go throw up.

In elementary school I read the shelves of our library’s Nancy Drew section dry. Then I went to city library. I scrounged every garage sale and bookstore clean. I loved her, I lived through her. And then I grew up and became a mystery writer. It is not an overstatement to say that the stories of Nancy (and George and Bess and Ned and Carson and Hannah) changed my life and shaped me into the person I am today. This is why I can state, with utmost certainty, that Nancy Drew would never work for the NYPD. At least not the Nancy that I know and love.

Nancy is an amateur sleuth. Cases find her, not the other way around. She occasionally works with the local police, but has no credentials. She never accepts payment. She doesn’t carry a gun or need a warrant. Nancy hops towns and sometimes countries to solve the crime du jour, always relying solely on her wits, charm, and friends. (What, is Bess an NYPD secretary? George her tough and jaded former partner, fresh out of rehab and back on the beat? Ned… oh, where will sweet, bland Ned fit in this new adaptation?) Her unofficial capacity always granted her the ability to sleuth how she saw fit — and when she got in trouble, she had no badge to back her up. She relied on people underestimating her. Now if someone underestimates her as an NYPD detective, it will be only because she is a woman.

I have no problem with a reimagining of the series. Of course Nancy should be in her 30s! We spent so much time with her as teen and in her early twenties, we’re hungry for the next chapter. But solving crimes on a police force? I don’t think so.

You know where Nancy should be? In a small town, middle of nowhere, hiding from the mystery that brought her to her knees. She should be uncertain of her future, a little bit broken, and traumatized by the mistake that killed her father or Hannah or Ned. (Don’t tell me she can be in the NYPD this way, that’s just Beckett from Castle.) Maybe she’s dusting a centuries old rocking chair in the small antique shop she manages when the bell above the front door jingles and she looks up to see Bess: pregnant in a frilly pink dress, but ashen and crying. Will Nancy be able to forgive herself and help her friend? Can she solve all the secrets of her adopted home, River Cove? And where, for the love of haunted showboats and secret attics, is George?

I want more than anything to go on new adventures with Nancy. I want to travel to new locales, chase down missing heirlooms, be thwarted by charming magicians, sneak through pirate ship portholes and find hidden hallways. I don’t want Nancy answering to her tough boss, bickering with her will-they-or-won’t-they co-worker, or peeking under sheets laid over dead bodies on the streets of NYC. We’ve seen that a million times.

Nancy is different. Nancy is exciting. Nancy is not a CBS procedural. Producing this version of Nancy Drew (without the heart or soul of the story and character the world has loved for 85 years) proves CBS is only interested in brand recognition and a built-in fan base. Oh, network of the Columbia Broadcasting System, you already have Sherlock and a dozen CSIs, why oh why won’t you give us the Nancy we love, the Nancy we deserve.

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!

Why “You’re the Worst” is ABSOLUTELY the BEST

The rom-com sitcom you have been waiting for.

18970Now I don’t exactly want to take back my rant on why A to Z deserves another season, buuuut… since I discovered FX(X)’s You’re the Worst I’ve lost my appetite for romcomsitcom works-in-progress. Unlike all of its network contemporaries, You’re the Worst arrived fully formed and brilliant. (And so much closer to my real life than any of the network shows’ shiny, happy worlds.*) Created by the extremely talented Stephan Falk, You’re the Worst — unlike A to Z — doesn’t need time to grow as a series, it’s already a full blown adult — a drunk, whiney, acting like it’s still on the right side of 30 adult, mind, but an adult none the less.

*Don’t get me wrong: I love shiny, happy things. But sometimes, at least these days, I prefer to see fuck-ups like myself onscreen, as opposed to perfectly coiffed lawyers — and their similarly gainfully employed ilk — all of whom never seem to actually work at their jobs.

Kether Donohue, Aya Cash, Chris Ceere, Desmin Borges

Sometimes I forget that TV can do new things. There’s drama and there’s comedy and there’s HBO half hour “comedy.” In my brain, that is how I perceive television series: divided into those three categories. Maybe it’s because I watch a lot of network television. Network television doesn’t try many new things. (Sure, there are dozens of examples to the contrary but, in a sea of thousands, the innovative usually drown.) Half hour cable, too, often follows standard sitcom structures: Broad City, VEEP, It’s Always Sunny, Benched… But You’re the Worst doesn’t worry as much about half-hour comedy structure. (Maybe this is the FX’s M.O.? After all, it is the home of Louie.) If feels more like Californication or, perhaps, even more appropriately, like an indie (coming of age / romance / comedy) film allowed to breathe over 10 episodes. It’s looser and darker than a sitcom and it rarely wraps things up all neat and tidy by episode’s end. I love You’re the Worst because it’s about people who don’t want to grow up… but sometimes do… then don’t… and are just generally confused about the whole thing. The writers pass no judgment on their actions — they just let them screw up royally and organically. And it’s really fucking funny. If I could use one picture to describe the show it would be this: Screen Shot 2014-11-21 at 1.17.48 PM That smile is the smile of grownup accomplishment. Feeling shitty about her life, after a huge fight with her best friend, and coming down off a coke high, Gretchen purchases a food processor (the ultimate sign of adulthood) and rummages through her kitchen for ingredients to make something — in continuance on her journey to pulled-together grownup-ity — and finds… vodka and ice cubes. The characters on You’re the Worst are vodka ice smoothies made in expensive food processors: from afar all you hear is the expensive whirl of a responsible kitchen appliance and as you squint to make out its contents: grey fondant to spread over a winter themed birthday cake? caviar paté? it all looks kosher, but up close the truth is evident: they’re merely all thrown-together cocktails full of empty, if occasionally well-intentioned, drunken promises — the first gulp might make your eyes water, but as you near the bottom of the glass you’ll wonder why you ever bothered with fancy liquors and liqueurs in first place when quick, low-calorie friendship was at your fingertips all along. They share my uncertainties about life, writing, marriage, relationships, friendships… This show feels like coming home. I love it. I love it. I love it. And I think you will too.


If you’re in the same corner of the Pacific Northwest as me, just concede to the rainy weekend right now: buy a bottle of whiskey, several bags of chips and settle in and enjoy. Elsewhere? Schedule a time to binge watch all 10 episodes as soon as possible. It’s going to be your new favourite, I promise. And if you need me, I’ll be over here, humbly writing my You’re the Worst season two spec…

Why A to Z deserves renewal. (Listen up, NBC!)

NBC announced at the beginning of this month that it would not be ordering any more episodes of A to Z. The trades quickly reported that it, along with its timeslot partner and fellow NBC non-orderee, Bad Judge, had been cancelled. Reports that were immediately followed by pangs of regret slicing through the hearts of millions of viewers, “Great,” we thought, “another failed relationship. I can’t believe I talked myself into believing this one would last.” Then, like a friendly text in the middle of the day, (Not late at night! He/she must still love me!) executive producer Rashida Jones took to Twitter to say this,

Screen Shot 2014-11-09 at 5.24.38 PM
HOPE! Hope?

So, wait. Could this beautiful thing we have going could actually last?!? As an EW article wonderfully put it: “It’s like in The Princess Bride: There’s dead, and there’s mostly dead. A to Z is mostly dead.” Maybe we do have a future after all! True love is real! (This is coming from a girl with a “Westley Never Dies” t-shirt, so please keep you salt shaker full of grains nearby.) BUT, this tweet does send hope that NBC could change their minds and give A to Z a second season — that their cold, calculating executive hearts might just give us, the viewers of A to Z, a shot.

I’m choosing to believe in that hope — (But I also believe in the power of social media, so click here to like A to Z on Facebook and here to follow them on Twitter.) —  but what I don’t believe in is asking for things you don’t deserve, SO, today is the day I tell you why A to Z deserves to stay on the air…

This season of fall television brought us an uncommon amount of RomComSitcoms. With Marry Me, Selfie, Manhattan Love Story, and A to Z on the docket, us romantic comedy aficionados were buzzing with anticipation. But then they began to premiere…


Selfie was… okay. John Cho is brilliant, always, but the plot of the pilot played out like a marginal feature film squished into 21 and a half minutes. I loved Suburgatory and wish only the best for Emily Kapnek (and do think the show is rather cute/fun), but keeping Selfie on the air is not the battle I’m fighting today.

Then came Manhattan Love Story. Oh, MLS, what’s there to say? Your creator used to write for Just Shoot Me! and Spin City, both great shows. But —  what’s that!? — said creator just came off 21 episodes of Two and a Half Men?  Yeah, it *ahem* shows. Offensive. Unimaginative. And, just plain old boring. (Also, WHO CARES IF A DUDE SAW YOU “PICKING YOUR TEETH”??? Seriously. This show. I can’t ev — I digress…)

Marry Me is… Well, I can tell you what’s it’s not. It’s not Happy Endings. And while I realize that’s not fair… not fair at all, I’m still in the anger/denial stages of my mourning*, so I can’t be held accountable for my passive disappointment toward it. (Will it stick around to see a full season? I’m 50/50 on this one.)

Last, but obviously the very opposite of least or else what would the point of this article be?, is A to Z, sweet, lovely, A to Z: the reduced-sugar apple pie of television shows — you know, like the kind your friend who spent all her tax return money on a Vitamix would make: delicious, but not entirely bad for you. Can you taste the coconut oil?

*Time does not heal all wounds.

A to Z - Season Pilot
Hot dogs! Small dogs! Doe-eyed romantic leads!

The romantic comedy sitcom is a hard thing to nail. While the “will they or won’t they” couple trope is practically written in blood onto every comedy showrunner’s contract, a show revolving around two paramours is dangerous. If the show is entirely about their relationship, every argument can suddenly seem contrived. We know they can’t break up — it’s a rom com sitcom after all — so why are they trying so hard to keep them apart/fighting?!

Now A to Z doesn’t completely sidestep this pitfall and it isn’t perfect — not by any means — but it’s a damn good start. (And, come on, how many sitcoms are perfect right away? New Girl took half a season; Parks & Rec didn’t kick off until it’s second year.)

The point being, while A to Z does need a little more time to find its true footing, it’s still fun, playful, and holds so much potential. IT DESERVES TO STICK AROUND, NBC. It doesn’t play into outdated gender stereotypes (Manhattan Love Story, Marry Me) or fabricate absurd fights to keep their leads apart (ditto), but it also isn’t blatantly subverting tropes just for the sake of it. The creator, Ben Queen, and the writers and producers have created full, dynamic characters. The show is fresh, thoughtful, and smart. It gives us human beings: flawed, weird, predictable and surprising.


The world of television is rapidly changing. Selling to Netflix is the new syndication. Trending on Twitter is the new sign of success. So why are networks still so concentrated on numbers? Yes, NBC is arguably one of the most linear networks. Their biggest numbers come from The Voice and sporting events (some of the last things people are still tuning in live to — except for Shonda shows, but that’s a different blog altogether). So it’s not surprising NBC has decided not to put trust in a show with potential. But, still, you would think that the network that brought you some of the greatest sitcoms of all time would strive to build and nurture promising comedies… at least a little bit? What NBC needs to realize is in the new wild west television landscape, quality is winning. The model of pouring millions of dollars into a series only to turn around and cancel it isn’t working anymore. Netflix and cable have it right: find a project you love, nurture it, then trust… Of course, that’s never going to work 100% of the time, but besides the last season of Parks & Rec, NBC is sitting with About a Boy, Undateable, Welcome to Sweden, and Marry Me. Not a lineup that inspires confidence; (Amy Poehler and her relations aside.) Time to start pouring some love and care into a series that fans have jumped onto and critics have enjoyed, hmm?


I do think A to Z needs to work on/do a few things differently. It needs to decide more clearly on its tone and subsequently magnify it. It needs to use its magnificent supporting cast far more. It needs to pump up the jokes. And it needs to have even more fun — bigger set pieces, more absurd situations — while keeping the characters down to earth and in touch with the oddball charm it has already instilled in them. Needing finessing is not a bad thing. With the solid foundation already built, this show can only get better and better.

I hope the outcrying on Twitter and Facebook has already made the NBC execs take notice. I won’t even be mad if they keep this season order at 13 — as long as season two is given a go ahead. With 26 letters in the alphabet, a second season of A to Z  could end perfectly on that 8 month, 5 week, 3 day, 1 hour cliffhanger of “will they or won’t they.” (As the perfectly cast Katey Segal explains via voiceover in the pilot, that’s how long our couple will date for. But does that clock tick down to a break up or an engagement/marriage?) And Hollywood needs to start mimicking the British model of series length, anyways. Quality > quantity, people — I can’t say it enough.

a to z supporting cast
Parvesh Cheena and Hong Chau, Ben Falcone and Christina Kirk, brilliant actors deserving of A Plots. A move towards ensemble comedy, anyone?

If you’re not already watching and in America, catch up on Hulu or NBC.com. If you’re in Canada, well, I’m not saying illegally download it, but… (in perhaps some weird conspiracy???**) A to Z is not available on Shaw on Demand, on Global TV’s website, and only the first two episodes are available on iTunes (when six have aired). So find a way to watch it now — then find a way to support it monetarily later.

**Bad Judge — the other show NBC hasn’t ordered more episodes from — is available on all of these platforms. What gives? Is this some wide, Canada-based conspiracy to keep A to Z from finding more fans?

If you haven’t seen A to Z and love comedies, rom or otherwise, this is the one to watch. If you already love A to Z, make your voice heard. We are the viewers. We deserve good television. Good stories deserve to keep being told — even if it takes a little time and faith. And if NBC gives us an initial 13 episodes of a television series and we love it — and there’s enough of us — WE DESERVE MORE (as long as the writers and cast/crew want to keep giving it to us, which it appears they definitely do). 

NBC, take a chance. Let it breathe. Don’t throw all your money into another development season; give a charming, wonderful show a second chance. The times are changing; quality is starting to win. Let A to Z  live on; commit to this relationship and, who knows, it might be “the one” (to bring must see TV back to NBC).

Of the Week

Cooool! 13 Houses with Secret Passageways 

If you haven’t heard yet, I’m here to tell you, New Girl is getting sued. I’ve read all the comments and the public seems to be evenly divided. Half the commenters are saying this 100% happened and FOX with pay through the nose and the other half are saying its ridiculous and a total stretch. After skimming through the lawsuit myself, I don’t have anything new to tell you, except that half of those people might be right.

Speaking of FOX, they’ve ordered the pilot for Empire, a hip-hop drama from Lee Daniels and Danny Strong solidifying a new trend in music based television, specifically in the hip-hop/rap genre. I am, however, most excited for the half hour HBO Calvin Harris/Will Smith/Jay Z/Irvine Welsh collab.

Am decidedly less excited for the Leo Dicaprio/Jonah Hill/Q-Tip one. (And my gut tells me it won’t go anywhere.)  And, also, ALSO Baz Luhrmann and Shawn Ryan are prepping a drama set at the birth of hip-hop. (Did that sentence make sense?) It will probably be awesomely entertaining/critically reviled, but I am contractually obligated to my fifteen-year-old self to be obsessed with anything that man makes. (Except for Australia. Let’s continue to pretend like that never happened.))

TV: Have we talked about Sherlock yet? If you’re not watching Sherlock, you are not living life to the full extent. YOU ARE MISSING OUT ON LIVING A GOOD LIFE. Just watch it, please.

Film: Philomena – If you’re in need of a good cry, I suggest you bring the whole frickin’ box of tissues to this one. So sweet.

(Sorry it’s a short one today. Slow news week? I’ll do better next week. Promise.)

Here there be $2 tacos AND bottles of wine.

Wednesday started off the way every day should: with two breakfasts.

wednesday breakfast

Nisha and I walked a few blocks down Tujunga and stopped at a little taco stand that Google Maps tells me is called Cactus Taqueria #3. I had chorizo and Nisha had vegetarian and they were flippin’ delicious. After that wonderful appetizer we crossed the street to take in Aroma Cafe for the first time. (The fractured narrative of this blog may cause some confusion, but this was, in fact, my first visit to Aroma.)

If I recall correctly, my breakfast sandwich involved bacon and brie while Nisha ordered some sort of vegan plate which she claimed was delicious (and I took her word for it despite the fact that I’m gravely suspicious about anything involving fake cheese).

We enjoyed our breakfast on the patio, trying to make celebrities out of our dining companions. (Is that guy from The Eagles? *googles* Nope.) (Although I did definitely see an actor. But I don’t know his name and can’t remember anything he’s been in and then I went and IMDbed That Guy… movie and I can’t even remember the original guy’s face because all the guys from That Guy… have now blended into my memory.)

After our second breakfast at Aroma we waddled home to catch up on TV. (Sherlock OMFG!!! Amirite, guys?!) As well as New Girl, Mindy, HIMYM, Modern, and our weekly hate-watch of Super Fun Night. Then somehow we managed to extract ourselves from Narnia* and walk to the grocery store.

cacti walkAlong the L.A. River.

Have I mentioned that Hayley and Ryan live right beside the Los Angeles River? (I think of Chinatown every time I walk over it.) It’s dusty and kind of hideous, but it’s nicer than walking along the road. So after Nisha and I traded our money with the hard working people at Trader Joe’s for food and alcohol, we walked home along the river. Then we made Indian food.

riverSee, look: pretty and ugly at the same time.

Actually, Nisha made Indian food. I probably blogged read Vulture. Just as she was putting the finishing touches on the Saag Paneer Mozzarella and Butter Chicken Chickpeas, Hayley and Ryan returned home, followed by their friend, Dave, and Ryan’s brother, Matthew. We dug into the feast, chatted, and played Cards Against Humanity. It was really awesome to meet Dave and even awesome-r to catch up with Matt. Much beer and wine was consumed and even more laughs were had.

California, your people are great.   

* The oversized couch. Keep up, will you?

2013 in Review


Two thousand and thirteen has come and gone. And what I year it was. I was extremely blessed last year to spend eleven and a half months in school studying writing for film and television. Storytelling has been a passion my entire life, but, as they say, the path is not straight. There are times when I chastise myself for taking so long to figure out how to get where I want to go, but I finally understand that I’m exactly where I need to be. (If you can think of a less platitudinous way to say that last sentence, let me know.) Had I gone to film school earlier in life, there is no way I would have completed it as successfully as I did. I’m excited for 2014 like I’ve never been excited for anything before. (Well, except maybe flying to Paris for the first time.) But I am grateful for being exactly where I am and for everything it took to get me here (even all of those soul-sucking years of waiting tables). But this post isn’t about 2014, it’s about 2013, so here we go:

In 2013 I: successfully kidnapped zero dogs. My apartment got flooded with mud. I got a tattoo. I read my writing in public. I had my writing filmed. I spent three months on crutches. I went to Vegas. There were nights out: Lydia’s bday when we got bear-sprayed; fireworks when Lydia sweet-talked us onto a boat to watch; (that girl’s the best kind of trouble.) Dancing and drinking with my fellow writers. But, more than anything, I wrote. I’ll spare you the boring details, but after dozens of drafts, hundreds of hours, and thousands of words, I completed two feature films, two television spec episodes, two TV pilots, two web series pilots, dozens of film critiques, a short film, and a ten page reimagining of the end of Romeo and Juliet in full iambic pentameter. Whew. But that’s not very photogenic. So, without further ado, 2013 in pictures and only a few more words.

Vancouver, our glorious city, was extremely beautiful. The sunniest year in my memory, Vancouver showed us why it consistently places on the list of most livable cities.

Vancouver beaut 2

Making it all the more incredible, Vancouver is filled with amazing people. I neglected these beautiful weirdos more than I wanted to (see list of writing accomplishments above), but we still managed to spend plenty of time together, all of it ridiculous. Birthdays, drinks, concerts, random adventures, lazy board game nights, you name it. I couldn’t ask for better company. I love you guys.

beautiful weirdos

Between all the writing and semi-successful attempts at a social life, I also endeavoured  to keep my garden alive. It wasn’t as successful as 2012, but I still managed. Sweet peas, snap peas, kale, squash, tomatoes, herbs, and flowers all grew beautifully; my pumpkin, however, died. It is my dream to have a thriving pumpkin patch and I may have shed a few tears when my baby pumpkin rotted on the vine. C’est la vie. One day I will succeed!! (Can you grow pumpkins in California?)


In mid-March the trouble making Lydia invited me to try rock climbing for the first time. It was fun… until I fell and brutally sprained my ankle. The swelling eventually went down and, with it, half of the muscle mass of my right calf. It was certainly an ordeal, but I was lucky enough to have a ton of help to get me through three months on crutches.

rockclimbing evolution

Shortly after “the fall”, I hopped on a plane to Las Vegas to meet Hayley and all her beautiful friends for an amazing stagette. They all kindly pushed me around in a wheelchair and dumped me into the pool whenever necessary. After Vegas, we hopped in a couple cars and drove to Carmel, CA for the wedding. Hayley and Ryan Neimy are simply two of the most wonderful people you will ever meet and I was honoured to be there. The wedding was stunning and touching and unbelievably fun.


We drove into LAX only to fly out (a heartbreaking task), but, thankfully, upon my return, Vancouver continued its year-long (mostly) warm and sunny streak.

vancouver beaut 4

About a week after I was fully back on my feet, sans crutches, Bonnie and Erik fly in from San Francisco for a visit and solidified their place in my heart as two of my favourite people of all time. I showed them as much of Vancouver as I could and as quickly as they arrived they were off.

bonnie and erik

I think in 2013 I cooked and baked more than I ever have before. Perhaps it was a necessity of being a broke student, but more likely, it’s my growing enjoyment of all things kitchen-related. (Even cleaning. But, like, on a much smaller scale.) I ate far more pizza than necessary, but it was often topped with kale, making it acceptable. I made eggs benedict, pecan tarts, curries, all things Mexican, cinnamon buns, pad thai, baked squash, and all sorts of other dishes with varying degrees of success.


Oh yeah, the writing and the reading and the brainstorming; a lot of that was happening.

reading and writing

Sometime in the summer this crazy kook moved in. She brought with her approximately one thousand DVDs and the repeated, welcome presence of the lovely Farran. I have lived with dozens of people over the years — including almost all of my best friends — but Nisha just might be the best roommate ever. Together we’ve consumed more television, boxed wine, and homemade hummus than any doctor would recommend, but I’ve loved every minute of it.


Last summer was amazing (fireworks, BBQs, beach days and nights), but the Illuminares Festival was my highlight. Do whatever you can to get there next year; it’s incredibly beautiful.

public dreams

At the end of August we had a short break from school. My wonderful parents drove in from the Okanagan and took my brother and I to the Sunshine Coast. Gibsons has to be one of my favourite places in the world. While we were there I also fell madly in love with Davis Bay. Life goal: own a cottage there.

sunshine coast

And Vancouver continued to be stunningly beautiful.

Vancouver beaut 1

There were many other fun times. Some even, gasp, not captured by a camera.

fun times

One of the coolest parts of 2013 was seeing my brother break into the music world. He is hands down the hardest working person I know and deserves every ounce of success he achieves. He inspires me to chase after my dreams. (Cheesy; I know. But sorry I’m not sorry, it’s true!) I know 2014 is going to be huge for him; (after closing 2013 out DJing at BC Place, how could it not?) I can’t wait to watch him rise to the top.

sleepy tom

And, yes, Vancouver was still very pretty.

vancouver beaut 3

Save the best for last, right? 2013 would be nothing without all the incredible people I met at VFS.


For the first time in my life I was completely surrounded by people who wanted nothing more than to talk about film and television for hours and hours on end. I owe my year to everyone on that 4th floor. To the teachers, admin, my classmates, and all the other students wandering around, thank you. 2013 was more than I could have ever asked for and that’s thanks to all of you.

I could not be more thrilled for 2014. And, I think, a year from now when I do my next “Year in Review” I’ll be floored at how much things have changed. I’m ready 2014. Bring it on!