An Ode To Parks and Rec

Parks and Recreation survived long past expected into seven glorious seasons. Thank God it did. In a few short days, it became one of my favorite shows thanks to Netflix’s never ending stream of awesome. Sadly, the series finale was last night. This show was funnier than the Office and more real than 30 Rock. The cast had unbelievable chemistry and produced a show that will live in our minds forever. I will seriously miss Leslie Knope and her wonderful world of weirdos and waffles. The season finale was so amazing I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. So I did both. Parks and Rec gave us so many amazing things: Chris Pratt, Aubrey Plaza’s perfect deadpan voice and personality as April, Ron freaking Swanson, treat yo’self as one of Tom and Donna’s quotables, Chris Pratt, the most perfect couple in all coupledom Ben and Leslie, literally my most favorite Rob Lowe character ever, and a ridiculous number of other things. There are too many Buzzfeed lists to comprehend and they make me sad when I look at them. So goodbye, Parks and Recreation, you poetic and noble land mermaid, you beautiful, talented, brilliant, powerful musk ox, you magical, priceless gem. You will be missed.

I love you and I like you.

Be A Leslie Knope In A World Full of Liz Lemons
This is amazing and everyone should read it and pay attention.

The 40 Most Iconic Characters of Parks and Recreation, Ranked
Personal fave: #19, Nick Kroll’s The Douche. Bonus points for dating Amy Poehler in real life.

Parks and Recreation’s Cast Reunited onLate Night Because You Need It After Last Night’s Finale
Watch only if you want to cry.

The Best Weird Compliments Leslie Gives Ann on Parks and Recreation
Everyone needs a friend like Leslie.

Why Parks and Recreation’s Final Season Was Its Best Ever
Let’s be honest, they were all great. But the finale was amazing.

How Parks And Recreation beat the odds and went out on top

Parks and Rec Finale Review

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Since Day 1.

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Year One.

We made it, ooooh ooooh.

If you’ve seen Chris D’elia, you know what dance I’m doing right now. If not… how dare you, and watch this:

One year of blogging, never thought I’d make it this far. If you’re reading this, thanks! Glad I can share my random findings, daily thoughts, and general madness with someone (my dog gets tired of me talking to him). I love you all for putting up with my once-a-month or five-times-in-a-day posts however erratic they may be. To celebrate, I’m rewatching Iliza Shlesinger’s Freezing Hot for the millionth time and pin, pin, pin, pin, pin, pinning.

The Big Boyhood v. Birdman Debate: Who Should Win What, and Why

Independent Spirit Award – Best Feature Film

Birdman is a work of directorial and cinematography genius. Alejandro González Iñárritu has made a breathtakingly beautiful creation with this film. When I saw this movie, I was immediately enraptured by everything, the sight, the sounds, the acting, the mood, the camera movements, the editing (or lack thereof). Everything about it draws you in. The captivating force behind this movie never stops. Even after the movie ends, it keeps going. If you’ve seen it, you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, stop reading this and go watch it. I’ve only ever seen one movie shot like this, in the style of one continuous shot, Silent House, with Elizabeth Olsen. But that wasn’t produced nearly half as well as Birdman. It really is a one of a kind cinematic experience.

Golden Globe Winner – Best Motion Picture, Drama

British Independent Film Award – Best International Independent Film

BAFTA Film Award – Best Film

In the century or so that films have been around, no one has EVER done anything like this. That is literally one of the only reasons I believe Boyhood should win Best Film. Richard Linklater championed this wholly original idea and gave it everything he had, getting talented people on board supporting him because this idea is just so amazing. Literally, no other film has done anything like this. The only thing that comes close is a series of films using the same people a few years apart made by, oh…Richard Linklater. And he never got enough credit for that because they were just sequels. But this, this is something you can’t ignore. There’s nothing fake about it. No homogenization or commercialization. It was made by people who believed so much in it and in Linklater that it’s existence and the fact that it has blown up this much just goes to show the power of great art when people have the courage to support it. Even if the Academy doesn’t recognize the incredible talent and genius of this director and his film and all the people behind it, the world will. So, it doesn’t even matter.

Birdman is a great film and everyone should go see it, buy it, watch it. But Boyhood, that’s the kind of film you remember forever. The kind of film they teach about in forty years when movies are being shown on screens inside our brains, because it was so innovative and potentially changed the face of filmmaking forever. It’s also incredibly encouraging to aspiring filmmakers that you can have this radical idea and that if people believe in it- believe in you- it can happen. It’s awesome.

Regardless of how the Oscars go tomorrow, I think it’s undeniable that both of these film are stunningly beautiful works of art. But I know Boyhood is a film that I will never forget.

Oscar Sunday Prep!

Oscar Night is here!! The ultimate in Slutty Dress Parties. The excitement starts with E!’s Livestream coverage at 5:25 which gives us at least 3 hours of red carpet fun before the award show begins at 8:30!

So in preparation for the big night:

LISTEN

to all the nominated songs, put together on this playlist.

READ

Indiewire’s exclusive interviews with the nominees.

LOOK

Before we can look forward to the Oscars red carpet, we first have to look back at some of the best fashion to ever walk it.

20 Best Oscar Red Carpet of All Time

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LEARN

Fandango put together this awesome “Oscars by the Numbers” infographic for our convenience.

 VOTE!

Get together with some friends, open some wine, and vote! Kate Spade made these cute little ballots, which makes it more fun. And the winner gets bragging rights until next year!

2015 Spirit Awards

I love that the night before the Oscars, probably the biggest, most prestigious night of the whole year in the film industry, is one of the most laid back nights, the Spirit Awards. Held on the beach in Santa Monica, CA, the spirit awards are an independent film award ceremony for films with awards like most other shows (Best Director, Best Actor, etc.) but also Best First Screenplay, Someone to Watch, and the Truer than Fiction award.

The definition is literally “The Independent Spirit Awards, founded in 1984, are awards dedicated to independent filmmakers. Winners were typically presented with acrylic glass pyramids containing suspended shoestrings representing the paltry budgets of independent films.” And this year celebrates the 30th anniversary, so clearly independent films can do big things.

Red Carpet:

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Awards:

BEST FEATURE

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Boyhood
Love is Strange
Selma
Whiplash

BEST DIRECTOR

Damien Chazelle, Whiplash
Ava DuVernay, Selma
Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
David Zellner, Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter

BEST SCREENPLAY

Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski, Big Eyes
J.C. Chandor, A Most Violent Year
Dan Gilroy, Nightcrawler
Jim Jarmusch, Only Lovers Left Alive
Ira Sachs & Mauricio Zacharias, Love is Strange

BEST FIRST FEATURE

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
Dear White People
Nightcrawler
Obvious Child
She’s Lost Control

BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY

Desiree Akhavan, Appropriate Behavior
Sara Colangelo, Little Accidents
Justin Lader, The One I Love
Anja Marquardt, She’s Lost Control
Justin Simien, Dear White People

JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD
*Given to the best feature made for under $500,000.
Blue Ruin
It Felt Like Love
Land Ho!
Man From Reno
Test

BEST FEMALE LEAD

Marion Cotillard, The Immigrant
Rinko Kikuchi, Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter
Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Jenny Slate, Obvious Child
Tilda Swinton, Only Lovers Left Alive

BEST MALE LEAD

André Benjamin, Jimi: All Is By My Side
Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler
Michael Keaton, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
John Lithgow, Love is Strange
David Oyelowo, Selma

BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE

Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Jessica Chastain, A Most Violent Year
Carmen Ejogo, Selma
Andrea Suarez Paz, Stand Clear of the Closing Doors
Emma Stone, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

BEST SUPPORTING MALE

Riz Ahmed, Nightcrawler
Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
Alfred Molina, Love is Strange
Edward Norton, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Darius Khondji, The Immigrant
Emmanuel Lubezki, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Sean Porter, It Felt Like Love
Lyle Vincent, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
Bradford Young, Selma

BEST EDITING

Sandra Adair, Boyhood
Tom Cross, Whiplash
John Gilroy, Nightcrawler
Ron Patane, A Most Violent Year
Adam Wingard, The Guest

BEST DOCUMENTARY

20,000 Days on Earth
CITIZENFOUR
Stray Dog
The Salt of the Earth
Virunga

BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM

Force Majeure (Sweden)
Ida (Poland)
Leviathan (Russia)
Mommy (Canada)
Norte, the End of History (Philippines)
Under the Skin (United Kingdom)

ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD
*Given to one film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast

Inherent Vice
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Casting Director: Cassandra Kulukundis
Ensemble Cast: Josh Brolin, Martin Donovan, Jena Malone, Joanna Newsom, Joaquin Phoenix, Eric Roberts, Maya Rudolph, Martin Short Serena Scott Thomas, Benicio Del Toro, Katherine Waterston, Michael Kenneth Williams, Owen Wilson, Reese Witherspoon

SPECIAL DISTINCTION AWARD

Foxcatcher
Director/Producer: Bennett Miller
Producers: Anthony Bregman, Megan Ellison, Jon Kilik
Writers: E. Max Frye, Dan Futterman
Actors: Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo, Channing Tatum

18th ANNUAL PIAGET PRODUCERS AWARD

*The 18th annual Producers Award, sponsored by Piaget, honors emerging producers who, despite highly limited resources, demonstrate the creativity, tenacity and vision required to produce quality, independent films. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Piaget.

Chad Burris
Elisabeth Holm
Chris Ohlson

21st ANNUAL KIEHL’S SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD
*The 21st annual Someone to Watch Award, sponsored by Kiehl’s Since 1851, recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Kiehl’s Since 1851.

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
Director: Ana Lily Amirpour

H.
Directors: Rania Attieh & Daniel Garcia

The Retrieval
Director: Chris Eska

20th ANNUAL LENSCRAFTERS TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD
*The 20th annual Truer Than Fiction Award, sponsored by LensCrafters is presented to an emerging director of non-fiction features who has not yet received significant recognition. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by LensCrafters.

Approaching the Elephant
Director: Amanda Rose Wilder

Evolution of a Criminal
Director: Darius Clark Monroe

The Kill Team
Director: Dan Krauss

The Last Season
Director: Sara Dosa

Fallin’ for Fallon

Tonight marks Jimmy Fallon’s one year anniversary as the host of The Tonight Show. Even though he’s been amazing since before his SNL years, during his time as a movie star (Fever Pitch, anyone?) and into Late Night, I think he’s surpassed everyone’s expectations on The Tonight Show. Firstly, bringing it back to New York was a huge move and stepping into Jay Leno’s shoes, bringing the ratings higher than ever was quite a feat. Crazy to think that’s it’s only been a year. I’ve only ever watched The Tonight Show since he’s hosted. And before that, Late Night. There’s just something about Jimmy that draws you in. I hate missing his nightly shows, and one of the first things I do the next day is watch clips of it online, regardless of if I’d seen it already. It’s just that good. And others seem to think so, because I tried getting tickets to see him when I went to NYC in December and it was a no-go even though I had 3 computers refreshing to get tickets and it still sold out in milliseconds. Not seconds, milliseconds.

I’m both insanely jealous of and incredibly in love with how Jimmy talked about the SNL 40th special and after party because he gets so happy, and talks so passionately about everything. It’s so genuine. I love celebs that are like that, and Jimmy is notorious for being really sweet to fans that approach him in public.

Some of my favorite look backs over the past year of The Tonight Show are:

Tight Pants

Lip Sync Offs

Impressions

Ew!

His (Almost) Date

O Captain, My Captain

Evolution of Hip Hop Dancing

Morgan Freeman and Helium

Back to L.A.

Anything with J.T.

not The Tonight Show, but still worth watching.

And I’m sure the next few years will be just as, if not more, exciting and hilarious, because Jimmy wouldn’t have it any other way.

40 Years at SNL

snl

Live from New York, it’s (the 40th Anniversary Special of) Saturday Night!

And for one night only, New York’s hottest club is…

stefon

the SNL studio!

The special, which starts tonight at 7 on NBC, will be a three and a half hour packed Studio 8H boasting a long list of former cast mates, hosts, musical guests, and favorites of the show (including Jimmy Fallon, Justin Timberlake, Sarah Silverman, Will Ferrell, Adam Sandler, Chevy Chase, and on and on). They even released an awesome app and you can now text emojis of your favorite sketches! Like stefon, above, coneheads, and more!

emojis

There are many great lists of the best ever on SNL, but here are a few of my all time favorites:

(I apologize for the short and/or bad quality of some, they didn’t have DVR in the early days!)

Matt Foley, Motivational Speaker

I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard I was actually crying real tears.

Schweddy Balls

I’m So Freaking Excited

I say this to my sister almost daily, about anything.

More Cowbell

Celebrity Jeopardy

My siblings and I quote this religiously.

Amy Poehler’s Pregnant Rap

If you haven’t already read Yes, Please, (who even are you then?) she details this event in an entire chapter and it’s so worth reading.

Tina Fey as Sarah Palin

Chippendale’s Audition

Anything from The Lonely Island

Creating anthems for my generation and the next.

What is Love?

From which my favorite movie was born…

Granted, I may not have been old enough to watch the show for many of these, it just goes to show how awesome and generation-boundary-busting Saturday Night Live can be.

Unfortunately, the incredible people in the line up to return won’t involve some fan favorites, as they were taken too soon. But you can be damn sure they won’t be forgotten.

belushiradnerfarley

Don’t miss it! It’s going to be a show for the ages, (not all ages, obviously) but I’d be sad to miss any second of it.

Sunday, Feb 15 @ 7pm on NBC