What You Should Be Watching

If you like Girls:

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Broad City on Comedy Central

Broad City reminds me of a funnier and less awkward version of Girls. Like Lena Dunham’s brainchild, I hated the first episode I saw of Broad City. I wrote the show off until friends urged me to give it a second chance. I’m glad I gave it another chance because I fell in love. The two leading women play hilarious best friends who are struggling through life. Also keep an eye out for talented guest stars like Ami Pohler (who is also the executive producer) as an angry chef and Kelly Ripa as a hysterical drug fueled version if herself. In all Broad City is a wacky and funny modern comedy.

If you like 30 Rock:

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Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is one of the best sitcomes I’ve seen in a long time. Kimmy Schmidt was created by the always spectacular Tina Fey. The show was originally meant for NBC but the network had too many problems with the show’s (possibly) controversial jokes. Luckily Netflix bought the show and gave Fey creative freadom. If you watched 30 Rock you’ll recognize several of actors taking on new roles. In addition to creative jokes, this is a show that is astoundingly groundbreaking. There is an Asian man as a love interest, a gay black man, and a storline involving Native Americans. These are not characters we see on typical sitcoms. The best part is that you almost don’t notice the difference. The show is genuinely funny with well written characters so it doesn’t feel like they’re cramming a social message down your throat. Even though I’ve been vocal about my distate for Netflix in the past, this show made me laugh hard enough that I’ve decided to give them a second chance. This is a great show to binge watch on a lazy Sunday. 

10 Questions I Still Have For Texas

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I’ve lived in Texas for almost 3 years now and I still have some questions.

1. Why do BBQ restaurants never give you a plate? I don’t understand why BBQ has to equal meat on a tray.

2. You do realize the rest of the world ditched Styrofoam back in the early 90’s?

3. Why doesn’t anyone talk about San Antonio? Dallas hates Houston, Houston hates Dallas and people who live in Austin hate anyone who wants to move there. But no one ever mentions San Antonio. I guess they’re the Jan Brady of Texas.

4. Where is all the brown gravy? I don’t know what this white shit is but it’s not gravy.

5. How long do you have to live here before you are considered a Texan? I work with a woman who’s lived here for over 20 years and she still considers herself a New Yorker.

6. Can I get some ginger ale please? I know there is an obsession with Dr. Pepper but can at least one restaurant have ginger ale?

7. Can everyone agree to call the highways by either their name or their number? Most highways have both a number and a name. State Highway 635 is also known as the LBJ Freeway. The President George Bush Turnpike is also called State Highway 190. We need agree as a group to use either the name or number. Using both just confuses me when listening to rush our traffic reports.

8. Why can’t you buy a bottle of vodka on Sunday? Even Connecticut ended it’s blue-laws so that liquor stores can be open any day of the week. Come on Texas.

9. When a road is labeled FM 162, what the hell does the FM stand for?

10. Are there any fast food chains you don’t have here? Whataburger, Jack in the Box, In and Out, Chick-fil-a, Sonic, Steak’n Shake, Five Guys, Raising Cains, Churches, Chicken Express, Taco Bueno, Del Taco, Taco Bell, Taco Casa, Chipotle, Fuzzys Tacos, Velvet Taco, Taco Cabana, Wendys, Burger King, McDonalds, Subway, and Arbys. Did I forget any?

The Bareback Pill

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One little daily pill has caused a tremendous amount of discussion and controversy. Supporters praised it for opening the doors to sexual freedom and giving them the option to have worry free bareback sex if they so choose. However critics link it to irresponsible and risky sex practices and they often make a point of mentioning that diseases like herpes and syphilis are still a danger. In addition questions about the reliability plague early research data. Some of the more boisterous critics, like Rush Limbaugh, have even called users “sluts and prostitutes.”  While he is on the more extreme end, early users of the bareback pill have been looked at with judgement and labeled as cum hungry sluts by many around them.

Of course the pill I’m talking about is the infamous female birth control pill. This pill was designed to prevent pregnancy so women could have condomless sex without fear of the long term consequences. While the birth control pill doesn’t prevent every disease it does prevent child birth which is most (straight) people’s number one fear. If you look back at the history of the pill the early data was not 100% concrete and left some questioning it’s safety. The women of the 50’s and 60’s who did take birth control were seen as feminist trailblazers by some and sexual deviants by others.

If you haven’t noticed, almost every detail of the history of the female birth control pill is remarkably similar to that of PreP. Early PreP users are often looked at as cum hungry bottoms who want to ditch condoms for more pleasurable sex. But how are they different from those women back in the 60’s? It’s literally the same type of sex just with a different consequence. A good question to ask yourself is, do you consider women currently on the pill to be responsible females taking control of their sexuality or ravenous sluts who just want to be used as cum dumpsters?

One thing that helps with the overall acceptance of the pill is the decades of data behind it. It will take a long time for PreP to get to that level making that sure long term side effects and reliability remain at acceptable levels. Until then all I ask is that you keep an open mind. Is your opinion of PreP based in logic and reason or do hints of religious and patriarchal judgement creep in. We all like to think we’d be on the side of those early liberal feminists if we lived in the 60’s but that’s easy to say looking back in hindsight. When faced with the possibility of a large social shift right now which side of the isle do you end up on? Do you open your mind to the possibility of change or do you come from a place of fear by judging and persecuting others.

Personally I am not on PreP although I’ve considered it. The biggest reason I’m not is my general wariness of being on too many prescriptions. I’m already on two long term prescriptions so the idea of adding another isn’t appealing. Plus all medications have side effects that must be considered. PreP is new and long term data is still unavailable so I applaud those who are taking it because they are like the sexual beta testers of the world. With convictions much like those early feminist, they are taking on risk and social stigma in order to give the world more sexual options in the future.

For more information about the history of the birth control pill visit Planned Parenthood

Fixing Fashion Police

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Over the weekend Kathy Griffin announced that she will be leaving E! Fashion Police. Kathy gave it a great effort and she was the best possible replacement for the show if it wanted to continue as close to the original as possible. She eluded to the fact that it wasn’t a good fit and the show was more scripted and formulaic than she had expected. She also mentioned that it she had trouble criticizing people based purely on appearance. While at first you might scoff at this, it holds weight the more you examine it. Griffin is known for her sharp critiques of pop culture but if you really pay attention she only goes after people for their actions not their appearance. Her jokes are about a pampered pop star’s diva demands or a right-wing politician’s infamous past. She never makes fun of someone for being fat or having an ugly dress. Due to this we could tell she never felt completely comfortable. While she knows celebrities she’s never been a fashion lover. The reason why Joan Rivers was such a good host was because she was outrageously funny while also having a genuine love of fashion. Beyond the jokes I don’t think Kathy ever really cared about the clothes. I respect her for bowing out gracefully early before she got too entrenched in things.

With Griffin out, along with Kelly Osbourne, it’s time to overhaul the whole show and shake off some of the memories of the past. If I were in charge, here is what I’d do:

  • Demote Giuliana Rancic. She doesn’t have to be totally fired but she needs to be removed from the regular show. Maybe she could be a sort of field reporter and have a short segment from time to time. They need to start fresh and Rancic will always be a reminder of the Joan Ranger years. Getting her off the set will force the change the show needs.
  • Hire Stacy London. Fashion Police need a cast with a little bit more fashion cred. London has a strong upbeat personality and her years of fashion and TV experience fit well with the job. (I still love What Not to Wear reruns) While she doesn’t have to be the official host, London would be great as the leader and top chair similar to Whoopi Goldberg’s role on the View.
  • Keep Brad Goreski. As I said before, no one was more surprised than me by how much I liked Brad. He’s genuinely funny and has the fashion background to support his opinions.
  • Don’t hire Khloe Kardashian. While the show needs someone with a younger perspective KK is not the answer. E! is already 90% Kardashian as it is.
  • Hire a solid supporting player. London and Goreski will provide plenty of comedic relief so the show will need someone who is comfortable taking a backseat. They need a person who has a lot of fashion expertise even if they are a little unknown, a Randy Jackson type if you will. In American Idol’s early years Randy Jackson was a good supporting player to Paula and Simon’s constant antics. He never tried to steal a spotlight but instead was the “industry” insider that added a bit of credibility to the show.
  • Melissa Rivers needs to come back. Melissa already executive produces the show and she needs to come back out in front of the camera. Fans of the show already feel comfortable with her so she will help ease the transition without feeling like they are trying to replace Joan.
  • Make it a weekly show again. When Kathy Griffin took over FP it was only on after award shows. Making it a weekly show again will help the cast and views get used to a routine again. Having shows so sporadically prevents everyone from getting into a groove.
  • Choose fashion over funny. While we don’t want a ultra serious dissection of weekly outfits, try to create an atmosphere that puts fashion first and comedy second. Have panelists with quality opinions that may or may not make you laugh.

TBRU Detox

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I’ve made it a tradition to give you recommendations before the start of every TBRU. This year I decided it was probably a good idea to also help you with the reality that is the Monday after a bear run. 

1. Our value as people has nothing to do with the amount of messages we get on Growlr. 

2. Like every year before you’ll swear off TBRU next year.

3. Every year on Thursday I say “I want to go to the St. Patrick’s Day parade this year.” and every year on Sunday I say “Damn I forgot about the parade.”

4. Sometimes the event isn’t the problem as much as our own attitudes toward it.

5. Reminder for next year: Stop buying unique and niché alcohols for the hotel room. Although Bombay Sapphire is tasty, there’s no reason to for a whole bottle. Stick with plain vodka, rum, and whiskey.

6. Go out to the bars. Staying in the hospitality suite is cheaper but you need a change of scenery so you don’t end up feeling like a shut in.

7. Don’t eat chocolate chip granola bars in bed. When a stray chip melts on pure white sheets it looks like poop.

8. You’ll leave TBRU with many new Facebook friends. By June you will have forgotten and defriended half of them.

9. It feels nice to be sober and eat something other than Jack in the Box.

10. How is the staff of Italia Express so cultishly friendly? Don’t get me wrong I’m not complaining, I’m just curious.

11. When tagging Facebook photos don’t forget to tag the drunk friends in the background. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

12. Don’t fall victim to the Saturday sads. After 2 or 3 days of hard partying the emotional and physical wear and tear start to set in. Extra rest and a non-bear excursion with friends can help.

13. Depending on your comfort level at work, here are possible answers to give your co-workers when they ask what you did over the weekend: 

  • “I got really drunk (and/or high) and fucked a bunch of hairy guys.”
  • “I was at a fundraiser for local LGBT charities.”
  • “Friends from out-of-town came to visit.” 
  • “I was visiting Davenport Florida.”
  • “Not much.”

14. Next year’s TBRU theme is Mardis Gras. 

15. A bear run husband is a guy you meet early in the weekend and end up spending most of your time with. Be warned because they always end up being crazy come Monday. Always. 

16. The TBRU free tee-shirt makes a good cleaning rag when cut up.

17. The run bag included a very nice high quality card advertising a Kickstarter campaign. Although I understand the reasoning, there’s still something weird about spending money just to ask for money.

18. Going to bear runs is a great way to stock up on free condoms.

19. They say bear runs are bad for relationships. I say bear runs are bad for relationship that already have problems.

20. If you got a premium a Growlr subscription just for the weekend don’t forget to cancel it to avoid automatic re-billing.