Saturday, December 13, 2014

Imaginary Boyfriends of 2014

Past Imaginary Boyfriends countdowns: 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008

Finn Bálor (aka Fergal "Prince" Devitt)
Hideo Itami (aka Kenta)
Two of the WWE's newest wrestlers (er, superstars) to their developmental promotion, NXT, were actually two veteran indie wrestlers finally hitting the big time. Itami, formerly known as Kenta, is known for originating many of the moves that CM Punk and Daniel Bryan eventually made famous in the WWE. I'm more familiar with Bálor, or Prince Devitt when he wrestled in Japan, whom I fell in love with after hearing his adorable giggle and surprisingly soft voice on a podcast. They're currently working as a tag team, and it's fun watching them go crazy in the ring together. Not only are they talented with great bodies, but don't they look great in suits, too?

Spencer Bledsoe
On the first episode of the Cagayan season of Survivor, I decided that Spencer was "nerdy cute" and claimed him as my own. Over the course of the season, I grew to love him more and more as he fought, clawed and scratched his way to stay in the game every week. Normally underdogs annoy me, but Spencer literally had me jumping up and down every time he won immunity at a crucial moment in the game. Plus, he favorited my tweet once!


Victor Cruz
One of the best things about Fashion Police (RIP Joan) was that it introduced me to a lot of celebrities I would have never been exposed to otherwise. Football player Victor Cruz was one such celebrity and, boy, what a discovery that was. The dude is incredibly built, has a genuine interest in fashion and knows how to dress himself. Oh, and I guess he's good at playing football, too?


Julian Edelman
Another football player? I don't know what's going on either. What I do know is that I saw this gym selfie, and I was a goner.


Tristan Evans
With his gorgeous blonde hair and young age (he's 20), the drummer for The Vamps--a boy band of sorts from the UK desperately trying to make it here in the US--is practically my twink dream come true.

Jack Falahee
Easily the most interesting thing about How to Get Away With Murder that isn't Viola Davis. I came for the prettiness but stayed for his fascinating characterization.


Ronan Farrow
I started watching the news for him. Plus, there's something about a man who graduates Yale Law School at 22 and interviews notable people like Nobel Peace Prize recipient Malala Yousafzai but also tweets about the Sugababes and Pokémon on a regular basis.


Martin Garrix
Yes, I'm aware he's a DJ and that's worthy of an eye roll and a groan on its own. In the end, though, he's a total cutie and that's all that matters.

Calum Hood
Unlike The Vamps, 5 Seconds of Summer actually made an impact in the US this year, even if they haven't quite reached the same level as One Direction yet. I thought Calum was the cutest from the day my friend Guy mentioned seeing 5SOS open for One Direction back in 2013. So all you thirsty bitches who hopped on that train after his nudes leaked this summer can back off.

Nick Jonas
Nick was on my inaugural Imaginary Boyfriends list way back in 2008 when he was an underage hottie. Fast forward to 2014 and he's all grown up. Sweet Jesus has he grown up. Some complained about his shameless photo shoots designed solely to pander to straight women and (particularly) gay men. They were indeed shameless, but it's hard out here for music artists who aren't Taylor Swift or Adele. You've got to do it what it takes to move albums. So bless Nick for taking this route.


Randy Orton
Randy was incredibly good looking ten years ago, and, if anything, he's only gotten hotter in the past decade. His shaved head, tattoos, exquisitely trimmed beard with just the right hint of grey in it, misanthropic demeanor and general fluidity in the ring all do it for me every time I watch him.

Top 100 Songs of 2014

(Explanations to come later)

100. Dominique Young Unique "Throw It Down"
99. 5 Seconds of Summer "Long Way Home"
98. Justin Bieber featuring Chance the Rapper "Confident"
97. The Ting Tings "Wrong Club"
96. Ola "Maybe"
95. Mariah Carey featuring Wale "You Don't Know What to Do"
94. White Sea "Warsaw"
93. Britney Spears "Til It's Gone"
92. Jesse McCartney "Back Together"
91. Zara Larsson "Rooftop"

90. Eagle-Eye Cherry & Darin "Dream Away"
89. Bondax "All I See"
88. Keyshia Cole featuring Juicy J "Rick James"
87. Foster the People "Coming of Age"
86. Strange Talk "Young Hearts"
85. Hozier "Take Me to Church"
84. Neon Jungle "Welcome to the Jungle"
83. Tove Lo "Timebomb"
82. The Saturdays "What Are You Waiting For?"
81. Porter Robinson "Sad Machine"

80. Kleerup featuring Susanne Sundfør "Let Me In"
79. Jennifer Lopez featuring Jack Mizrahi "Tens"
78. RAC featuring Tegan and Sara "Hard to Hold"
77. Lykke Li "Love Me Like I'm Not Made of Stone"
76. Charli XCX "Boom Clap"
75. Alison Valentine "Curious"
74. Tove Lo "Not on Drugs"
73. Austin Mahone "Till I Find You"
72. Pitbull featuring G.R.L. "Wild Wild Love"
71. Becky G "Shower"

70. Clean Bandit featuring Jess Glynne "Rather Be"
69. Lana Del Rey "Money Power Glory"
68. Disclosure featuring Mary J. Blige "F For You"
67. Cher Lloyd "Killing It"
66. Selena Gomez "The Heart Wants What It Wants"
65. Chelsea Lankes "Secret"
64. Brett "Golden"
63. The Fooo Conspiracy "King of the Radio"
62. Lana Del Rey "Ultraviolence"
61. Rebecca & Fiona "Holler (Fred Falke Club Mix)"

60. MØ "Say You'll Be There"
59. Nicki Minaj featuring Skylar Grey "Bed of Lies"
58. Clean Bandit & Jess Glynne "Real Love"
57. Shakira "Broken Record"
56. Marina & The Diamonds "Froot"
55. Beyoncé featuring Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche "***Flawless"
54. Neon Jungle "Braveheart"
53. Lana Del Rey "Brooklyn Baby"
52. 2NE1 "Gotta Be You"
51. Ariana Grande "One Last Time"

50. Lana Del Rey "Black Beauty"
49. Danity Kane "All in a Day's Work"
48. Broken Bells "After the Disco"
47. A-L-X "Allure"
46. Sam Smith "Like I Can"
45. La Roux "Sexotheque"
44. Tove Stryke "Even If I'm Loud It Doesn't Mean I'm Talking to You"
43. Mr. Probz "Waves (Robin Schulz Radio Edit)"
42. Foster the People "Best Friend"
41. Jessie Ware "Want Your Feeling"

40. Ella Henderson "Pieces"
39. Walk the Moon "Shut Up and Dance"
38. La Roux "Uptight Downtown"
37. Kylie Minogue "Mr. President"
36. Nick Jonas "Teacher"
35. Calvin Harris featuring Ellie Goulding "Outside"
34. One Direction "Fireproof"
33. Jennifer Lopez featuring French Montana "I Luh Ya Papi"
32. Aretha Franklin "Rolling in the Deep (The Aretha Version)"
31. Sia "Hostage"

30. 5 Seconds of Summer "Don't Stop"
29. Tove Lo featuring Hippie Sabotage "Stay High (Habits Remix)"
28. Paloma Faith "Only Love Can Hurt Like This"
27. Lana Del Rey "Cruel World"
26. Röyksopp & Robyn "Do It Again"
25. Ace Wilder "Busy Doin' Nothin"
24. La Roux "Let Me Down Gently"
23. Idina Menzel "Let It Go"
22. Charli XCX "Break the Rules"
21. Ella Eyre "Comeback"

20. Rixton "Me and My Broken Heart"
19. FKA twigs "Two Weeks"
18. Tinashe featuring ScHoolboy Q "2 On"
17. Beyoncé featuring Jay-Z "Drunk in Love"
16. BANKS "Beggin for Thread"
15. Kiesza "No Enemiesz"
14. Taylor Swift "Blank Space"
13. Indiana "Solo Dancing"
12. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart "Eurydice"
11. Fifth Harmony "BO$$"

10. Ryn Weaver "OctaHate"
09. G.R.L. "Ugly Heart"
08. 5 Seconds of Summer "She Looks So Perfect"
07. Ed Sheeran "Sing"
06. Broods "Mother & Father"
05. Rita Ora "I Will Never Let You Down"
04. Katy B "Crying for No Reason"
03. Sia "Chandelier"
02. Ella Henderson "Ghost"
01. Sky Ferreira "I Blame Myself"

Monday, July 21, 2014

2013 Diva Cup Awards

The Top 10 Films of the Year
10. Saving Mr. Banks (John Lee Hancock)
09. The Wolf of Wall Street (Martin Scorsese)
08. The Heat (Paul Feig)
07. Nebraska (Alexander Payne)
06. Frances Ha (Noah Baumbach)

The Best Picture nominees:

05. Spring Breakers (Harmony Korine)
04. No (Pablo Larraín)
03. Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón)
02. Her (Spike Jonze)
01. Short Term 12 (Destin Daniel Cretton)

Best Actor
Bruce Dern, Nebraska
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
Alden Ehrenreich, Beautiful Creatures
Nicholas Hoult, Warm Bodies
Joaquin Phoenix, Her

Best Actress
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Adèle Exarchopoulos, Blue is the Warmest Color
Greta Gerwig, Frances Ha
Brie Larson, Short Term 12
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Enough Said

Best Supporting Actor
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
Will Forte, Nebraska
James Franco, Spring Breakers
Sam Rockwell, The Way Way Back
Keith Stanfield, Short Term 12

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams, Her
Scarlett Johansson, Her
Lea Seydoux, Blue is the Warmest Color
Emma Watson, The Bling Ring
Oprah Winfrey, Lee Daniels' The Butler

Best Director
Destin Daniel Cretton, Short Term 12
Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity
Spike Jonze, Her
Harmony Korine, Spring Breakers
Pablo Larraín, No

Best Original Screenplay
David O. Russell & Eric Warren Singer, American Hustle
Noah Baumbach & Greta Gerwig, Frances Ha
Spike Jonze, Her
Ethan Coen & Joel Coen, Inside Llewyn Davis
Lynn Shelton, Touchy Feely 

Best Adapted Screenplay
Richard LaGravenese, Beautiful Creatures
Ghalia Lacroix & Abdellatif Kechiche, Blue is the Warmest Color
Pedro Peirano, No
Destin Daniel Cretton, Short Term 12
Jonathan Levine, Warm Bodies

Thursday, February 6, 2014

2012 Diva Cup Awards

Yes, you read that right, bitches. Let's party like it's 2012 once again.

Top 10 Films of the Year
10. How to Survive a Plague (David France)
09. Cloud Atlas (Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski & Lana Wachowski)
08. Seven Psychopaths (Martin McDonagh)
07. Magic Mike (Steven Soderbergh)
06. The Forgiveness of Blood (Joshua Marston)

And now, the best picture nominees:

05. Django Unchained (Quentin Tarantino)
04. Damsels in Distress (Whit Stillman)
03. The Master (Paul Thomas Anderson)
02. Amour (Michael Haneke)
01. The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Stephen Chbosky)

Best Actor
Colin Farrell, Seven Psychopaths
Logan Lerman, The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Joaquin Phoenix, The Master
Channing Tatum, Magic Mike
Jean-Louis Trintignant, Amour

Best Actress
Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
Ann Dowd, Compliance
Greta Gerwig, Damsels in Distress
Keira Knightley, Anna Karenina
Jennifer Lawrence, The Hunger Games

Best Supporting Actor
Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
Samuel L. Jackson, Django Unchained
Jude Law, Anna Karenina
Matthew McConaughey, Magic Mike
Sam Rockwell, Seven Psychopaths

Best Supporting Actress
Isla Fisher, Bachelorette
Anne Hathaway, The Dark Knight Rises
Selma Hayek, Savages
Nicole Kidman, The Paperboy
Rebel Wilson, Pitch Perfect

Best Director
Paul Thomas Anderson, The Master
Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Michael Haneke, Amour
Joshua Marston, The Forgiveness of Blood
Whit Stillman, Damsels in Distress

Best Original Screenplay
Drew Goddard, Joss Whedon, Cabin in the Woods
Whit Stillman, Damsels in Distress
Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained
Joshua Marston, Andamion Murataj, The Forgiveness of Blood 
Martin McDonagh, Seven Psychopaths

Best Adapted Screenplay
Tom Stoppard, Anna Karenina
Leslye Headland, Bachelorette 
Skip Hollandsworth, Richard Linklater, Bernie
Jay Baruchel, Evan Goldberg, Goon
Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Top 100 Songs of 2013, Part 3

Part 1
Part 2

15. Ke$ha "C'Mon"
We've been keepin' it kosher/But I wanna get it on, for sure
Compared to the high school snottiness of her breakthrough "TiK ToK," Ke$ha's "C'Mon" is the older, (somewhat) wiser answer to that song. I wouldn't exactly call it mature, but it's certainly smarter, more clever and proof of a bright future for our Glitter Trash Pop Queen.

14. Miley Cyrus "We Can't Stop"
It's my mouth/I can say what I want to
As Vampire Weekend lead singer Ezra Koening pointed out, there's an undercurrent of melancholy throughout this song. It's nothing something I was ever able to put my finger on before I read that, but it's the "Eureka!" moment that made me realize what a special and unique song "We Can't Stop" truly is.

13. Rebecca & Fiona featuring Style of Eye "Taken Over"
Nothing's gonna change how I feel for you
*Sobs in the fetal position for an hour*

12. Ciara featuring Nicki Minaj "I'm Out"
Pop her like a molly 'til these bitches recognize
Ciara's return to her 2004 glory was the most unexpected--but also most welcome--comeback of 2013. Not only does "I'm Out" find a rejuvenated Ciara at her most electric in years, but it's also the most inspired Nicki Minaj guest verse since, I don't know, "Monster." Whatever these two did to make this magic happen, I need them to recreate it once a year until the end of the time.

11. Swedish House Mafia featuring John Martin "Don't You Worry Child"
I was a king, I had a golden throne
A mournfully nostalgic song about the end of childhood and innocence lost that is impossible not to dance to at the club? Sure, I'll go with it.

10. CHVRCHES "Recover"
But you know you don't need me
The most exciting new electropop group around with one of the most infectiously downbeat tracks of the year. Excuse me while I take some time to "recover" from this corker of a track (Thank you, thank you. I'm here all week).

09. The Saturdays "Gentleman"
Somebody I can take to mama/I need to find my Obama
The Saturdays get back to basics, loosen up a bit and return with their freshest-sounding single in ages. I love the flashes of humor that appear throughout the song, most notably in the "rap" section which lists of various gentlemen the girls would like to date (which include both Larry King and Lil' Wayne).

08. Lana Del Rey vs. Cedric Gervais "Summertime Sadness" (Cedric Gervais Remix)
Telephone wires, above/Are sizzling like a snare
As if the original mix of "Summertime Sadness" wasn't depressing enough, somehow Cedric Gervais' masterful remix manages to bring out even more gut-wrenching emotion. It's the perfect song to cry to on the dance floor, lost in a sea of people caught up in the song's rhythm.

07. Miley Cyrus "Wrecking Ball"
All I wanted was to break your walls
Right power ballad, right time. This will forever be the moment Miley cemented her status as a premiere pop star.

06. Zedd featuring Foxes "Clarity"
Why are you my clarity?
You may have noticed a pattern emerging, particularly in this installment of the countdown, of electropop/dance songs about heartbreak, sadness, depression and unrequited love--all the biggies. The apex of this trend in 2013 was this song by German DJ/producer Zedd and indie pop singer Foxes, sort of the indie version of Calvin Harris & Florence Welch. The brilliance of "Clarity" is that the most intensely sad moment of the song is also the loudest; the instrumental that plays over Foxes crying, "Why are you my clarity?" towards the ends manages to flood us in sadness far better than any ballad. It's as if you know you should be dancing to the song, but the words are so heartbreaking you can't, and that's even more distressing.

05. Ciara featuring Nicki Minaj "Livin' It Up"
I don't believe in much/But I believe in you
The heart and soul CiCi bares on this perfect pop gem only makes me sad that she was so underutilized for so long. Never again, CiCi. Never again.

04. Pet Shop Boys "Love is a Bourgeois Construct"
So I've given up on the bourgeoisie/Like all their aspirations, it's a fantasy
I must admit, I didn't have high hopes for a song with the title "Love is a Bourgeois Construct," assuming it would be some bullshit exercise in mental masturbation. Then I heard the song and I couldn't believe that the Pet Shop Boys were able to make a dance song which uses Communist themes and ideology to tell the story of a man getting over a heartbreak. A smart triumph which tries harder than 95% of all songs that are released yet manages to look as simple and straight forward as an Austin Mahone song.

03. Justin Timberlake "Mirrors"
Comin' back here to you once I figured it out/You were right here all along
At first, I wanted nothing more than the return of Justin Timberlake to the music world. But then I heard "Suit & Tie" and was kind of over it before it even began. But then I heard "Mirrors" and remembered why we should never let JT go.

02. Demi Lovato "Heart Attack"
And every time I try to be myself/It comes out wrong like a cry for help
She had the number one song last year, almost repeated that feat this year. Either I'm stanning for her ridiculously hard or she is truly the future queen of pop. It's probably a mix of both, let's be honest, but that does nothing to diminish her triumph this year. "Heart Attack" is a song that only Demi could have performed, her own history adding way more depth to a song that was already precisely written. It's a showcase for Demi and I'll be damned if she didn't run away with it.

01. Icona Pop featuring Charli XCX "I Love It"
I DON'T CARE/I LOVE IT
What else can I say about "I Love It" that countless blogs haven't already said? It's two minutes and thirty-seven seconds of the purest form of exaltation pop music has ever produced.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Top 100 Songs of 2013, Part 2

Part 1

30. Cody Simpson "Pretty Brown Eyes"
I couldn't move, felt like I was stuck/And then baby girl looked up
In an all-too-common trend this year, the former "Aussie Bieber" ditched the teen pop sound of his earlier music for an acoustic guitar. Not surprisingly, most of it was shit. But, as with all of Cody's work, there is a diamond buried in the mounds of unlistenable garbage, and the sweet, simple "Pretty Brown Eyes" was just that song.

29. Avicii "Wake Me Up"
Life will pass me by if I don't open up my eyes/Well, that's fine by me
One of the weirdest songs on the list: an electropop/country hybrid that summed up the angst and longing of the millenial generation in four short minutes. In an age when a new EDM DJ pops up every five minutes, Avicii continues to prove why he is at the top of the pack.

28. Little Mix featuring Missy Elliott "How Ya Doin'?"
So why don't you leave your name and number/And we'll get back to you
I'd still argue that Little Mix are a tad overrated by a generation of girl band lovers looking for the next Girls Aloud. But when everyone under the sun was doing 90s throwbacks in 2013, this song is a fun throwback while remaining fresh and modern sounding.

27. Ed Drewett "Undefeated" (Cahill Club Mix)
Now I know the world is on my side
Listen, I've been banging the Drewett Bell for years now, so you can hardly expect me to remain unbiased. The single version of "Undefeated" is great, but the Cahill remix raises it to another level. A far better inspirational anthem than "Roar" could ever dream of being.

26. Katy Perry featuring Juicy J "Dark Horse"
There's no going back
Prism never quite lived up its hype: the melancholic edges never quite spilling out in the Rated R-style it could have gone, the singles generic as hell or plain boring. Perhaps the album's only true triumph is this song which pushes the boundaries of Katy's sparkly persona into unrecognizable territory. The result is the most exciting song Katy has released since "E.T."

25. Union J "Carry You"
Nothing's too heavy/Just hold on, I'll carry you
The X-Factor's latest attempt to find the new One Direction came the closest anyone will probably come to matching them. Not in terms of sales, mind you, as this single flopped like it was a Justin Timberlake single from Part 2 of The 20/20 Experience. But this song is a return to the simplicity and catchiness of the One Direction of yore (2010 to be precise). With a little more personality, the Union J boys could be on to something.

24. Mutya Keisha Siobhan "Flatline"
I can feel a flatline that ought to be a wave
All hail the return of the Origibabes! Please save the pop world in 2014. We need you.

23. Ariana Grande featuring Mac Miller "The Way"
You got my heart, don't know how you did it
Who knew 2013 needed a return to mid-90's Mariah Carey realness? And from a former Nickelodeon (!!!) starlet at that?

22. Kanye West "Black Skinhead"
They see a black man with a white woman at the top floor they gon' come to kill King Kong
A late entry on the list, mainly because I stupidly ignored Yeezus until December. Kanye pairing up with Daft Punk is one of the smartest, most fruitful collaborations in years as DP's ominous, intense percussion adds the perfect emphasis to Kanye's insatiable ranting. This song will no doubt be heard on the soundtrack to many angry, badass action scenes for years to come.

21. Natalia Kills "Saturday Night"
The boys I kiss don't know my name
Is this achingly sad, incredibly lived-in song ripped from Natalia's childhood or is she just that good?
 
20. Lily Allen "Hard Out Here"
Forget your balls and grow a pair of tits
A bit of a fourth quarter Hail Mary from the best anti-popstar around. With her tits-to-the-wall take down of the misogynistic undercurrent that ran through most of 2013 (i.e. the "Blurred Lines" and Miley Cyrus controversies), most people failed to notice that "Hard Out Here" was also Lily's sly commentary on the state of pop music in 2013. "But there's so much autotune in it. She's clearly selling out," people complained. Uh, no. As she sings in one of the verses, "If you can't detect the sarcasm, you've misunderstood."

19. AlunaGeorge "You Know You Like It"
Life can be cruel/If you're a dreamer
Someone (probably Evan) gave me this song towards the end of 2012. I probably listened to it once before getting overwhelmed with other new music and tossed it aside. Luckily, I came back to it some time later and completely fell head over heels in love with it. Such are the happy miracles of pop music.

18. One Direction "Best Song Ever"
Said her name Georgia Rose/And her daddy was a dentist
Listen, I've complained ad nauseum on Twitter about the "mature" One Direction sound. Let me just reiterate that One Direction doesn't need to do Mumford & Sons-lite shit because they actually have personality. If they had pushed the snot-nosed, smart-ass punk-popiness of "Best Song Ever" a little harder, they could have matured their sound without having to make an album of "real" music.

17. Bastille "Pompeii"
Oh, where do we begin?/The rubble or our sin?
The best use of the Pompeii volcanic disaster as a metaphor for a dying relationship since the excavation scene in Rossellini's Journey to Italy.

16. Austin Mahone "What About Love"
You cut my wings/Now I am falling
Do I expect Austin Mahone to be the heir apparent to the Biebz's teen heartthrob throne now that he's retiring (LOL)? No, not at all. But I have to give him mad respect for this early 2000s throwback and, in particular, the lyric that references *NSYNC's "Bye Bye Bye."

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Top 100 Songs of 2013, Part 1

I'm perfectly aware that my blog has become a barren wasteland. That happens when you're only inspired to write a post every five months or so. But I still feel obligated to do my year-end lists, as evidenced by my Imaginary Boyfriends post from a few weeks ago (Let's ignore the fact that I'm still behind on my 2012 lists). To be fair, I doubt many people will care at this point, but c'est la vie.

In the wake of multiple disappointments from pop's heavy hitters (Perry, Spears, Gaga to an extent) the last quarter of 2013, the past year has been labeled a failure by most. Yes, the big guns failed to deliver, but their missteps allowed a host of new acts to find their footing and expand their audience. In the end, it made for a fantastic year for individual songs (if not quite albums as a whole). So fantastic, in fact, I had to expand my year-end list of songs from 50 to 100. Enjoy numbers 100 to 31 right now. The Top 30 (with commentary) will be coming soon.

100. Two Door Cinema Club "Changing of the Seasons"
99. David Guetta featuring Ne-Yo & Akon "Play Hard"
98. Stooshe "Round 2"
97. Fifth Harmony "Miss Movin' On"
96. Duke Dumont featuring A*M*E "Need U (100%)"
95. Avicii "You Make Me"
94. HAIM "The Wire"
93. The Vamps "Can We Dance"
92. Natalia Kills "Problem"
91. CHVRCHES "Gun"

90. Lady Gaga "Gypsy"
89. The Saturdays "On the Radio"
88. The 1975 "Girls"
87. One Direction "One Way or Another (Teenage Kicks)"
86. Ciara "Overdose"
85. Miley Cyrus "#GETITRIGHT"
84. AlunaGeorge "Kaleidoscope Love"
83. MS MR "Think of You"
82. Ke$ha "Thinking of You"
81. Cookies N Beans "Burning Flags"

80. Betty Who "Somebody Loves You"
79. 2NE1 "Do You Love Me"
78. Swiss Lips "Carolyn"
77. Britney Spears "Work Bitch"
76. Little Mix "Move"
75. Eminem featuring Rihanna "The Monster"
74. Jennifer Lopez featuring Pitbull "Live It Up"
73. Demi Lovato featuring Cher Lloyd "Really Don't Care"
72. Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams "Get Lucky"
71. Stooshe "Slip"

70. Janet Leon "Heartstrings"
69. Icona Pop "Girlfriend"
68. Sara Bareilles "Brave"
67. Britney Spears "Perfume"
66. Ke$ha featuring Iggy Pop "Dirty Love"
65. Margaret Berger "I Feed You My Love"
64. Lady Gaga featuring R. Kelly "Do What U Want"
63. Girls' Generation "Galaxy Supernova"
62. Ciara "Body Party"
61. Anton Ewald "Begging"

60. Pitbull featuring Ke$ha "Timber"
59. Johnny Stimson "Human Man"
58. Paramore "Still Into You"
57. AlunaGeorge "This is How We Do It"
56. Pet Shop Boys featuring Example "Thursday"
55. Janelle Monáe "Dance Apocalyptic"
54. Icona Pop "All Night"
53. Miley Cyrus featuring French Montana "FU"
52. Selena Gomez "Nobody Does It Like You"
51. Agnetha Fältskog "Dance Your Pain Away" (7th Heaven Mirrorball Club Mix)

50. Lady Gaga "G.U.Y."
49. Lorde "Royals"
48. AlunaGeorge "Attracting Flies"
47. Capital Cities "Safe and Sound"
46. Jessie Ware "Imagine It Was Us"
45. Lorde "Team"
44. Kelly Clarkson "Underneath the Tree"
43. The 1975 "Sex"
42. Robin Thicke featuring T.I. & Pharrell "Blurred Lines"
41. Leona Lewis "One More Sleep"

40. Selena Gomez "Forget Forever"
39. Icona Pop "On a Roll"
38. The Neighbourhood "Sweater Weather"
37. Calvin Harris & Alesso featuring Hurts "Under Control"
36. Bridgit Mendler "Hurricane" (Bit Error Vocal Remix)
35. Avicii "Dear Boy"
34. Mariah Carey & Miguel "#Beautiful"
33. Justin Timberlake "Pusher Love Girl"
32. Zendaya "Replay"
31. Drake featuring Majid Jordan "Hold On, We're Going Home"

Friday, December 6, 2013

Imaginary Boyfriends of 2013

Past Imaginary Boyfriends countdowns: 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008

Dean Ambrose
Yes, he's kind of white trashy looking at times, and he's definitely not the pretty boy I usually go for. But there's something to be said for his swagger in the ring, both on the mat and the mic. This tweet sums it up, really.


Henry Cavill
Did I see Man of Steel? Nope. Will I ever see Man of Steel? Hell to the no. Can I still appreciate his beautiful face and bangin' body? You know it.

CM Punk
This one can be blamed on my random viewing of his WWE-produced documentary on Netflix earlier this year. After that, it was a serious spiral into outright obsession (If you don't believe me, check out my Tumblr and you'll see he's probably the second most tagged person after One Direction). Just like Dean Ambrose, I don't know if I can really explain why I love him so much. All I know is that it confuses my friends as well (Thanks Jakey!)


(Young) Leonardo DiCaprio
I'm still sad that I'll never be as pretty as Leonardo DiCaprio was from 1995-97.

Alden Ehrenreich
Two words: Beautiful Creatures.

Colin Ford
Or, as I tend to refer to him in real life, "My Boyfriend Colin Ford." He turned 17 back in September, so I think it's slightly more acceptable for me to freely discuss my attraction to him. No? Oh well.

Austin Mahone
Only if he's wearing a tank top and doesn't talk.

Dylan O'Brien
He made the list last year with the rest of the Teen Wolf Boys, but 2013 was all about Dylan. I mean, I considered on multiple occasions watching that shitty looking Vince Vaughn/Owen Wilson movie just for his five minutes of screentime. If that's not love, I don't know what is.

Suraj Sharma
I know it's hard out here for a non-white actor in Hollywood, but someone must be able to find him a cute romantic comedy where he gets to be his adorable self for 90 minutes. I would watch the shit out of that (as long as it didn't star Vince Vaughn or Owen Wilson, obviously).

Cody Simpson
The dude has an amazing body. Let's just gloss over the fact that he's 16 (going on 17 in about a month!).

Max Thieriot
For awhile, Max was giving my favorite performance on Bates Motel, but then Vera turned the crazy meter up to 4,000 and he fell to second. Combined with his sexy, trashy turn as a webcam "model" (read: prostitute) in Disconnect, Max had quite a year.

Mike Vogel
Mike Vogel receiving a blowjob from Anne Hathaway in Havoc had a profound impact on me when I was a teen. This year, his fine self gave me the vapors in two brand new TV shows: as the man-of-few-words hero in Under the Dome and as the sexy, sex-slave-owning boyfriend of batshit crazy Vera Farmiga in Bates Motel.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

I Hate These Blurred Lines



Am I allowed to like "Blurred Lines"?

I ask this because in some circles on the internet, it's akin to endorsing date rape. With idiotic politicians by the truckload making equally idiotic comments about women not being able to get pregnant from rape, states desperately trying to pass laws, in clear violation of Roe v. Wade, prohibiting all types of abortions, and straight males crying, "Misandry!" every time someone (usually a woman) tries to raise awareness about these issues, this has been a hot topic in America since last November's presidential election. As hard as it is to believe in 2013, rape, whether forced or casual/acquaintance, is still a major issue and needs to be discussed in all facets of society--even pop culture.

Enter "Blurred Lines," the monster hit from the white Justin Timberlake, Robin Thicke, rapper T.I. and producer/singer Pharrell. Even before I heard the song, I heard a lot about the controversy surrounding it: "He endorses date rape! He hates women! The models in the video are nothing but sexual objects!" "Wow," I thought, "This song must be absolutely vile. I need to listen to it right away!" And then I did. And then I wondered what everyone had lost their minds about. All this hoop-la over this? I understand that every issue needs a whipping boy, a pop culture phenomenon that detractors can cry out and say, "Here! This is why our issue needs attention!" Most notably, the Columbine shooting was blamed on South Park, violent video games and Natural Born Killers instead of, you know, our crazy gun culture. If it had been released a year ago, I doubt "Blurred Lines" would have been perceived as grossly offensive as it is. The song just happens to be a victim of being released at the wrong time in the wrong place.

Personally, I don't think "Blurred Lines" is all that bad, particularly as I listen to the song more and more. Maybe I'm going deaf, maybe I'm out of my mind, but the songs makes me want to get up and bust a move, particularly when my favorite lyric "You the hottest bitch in this place!" comes on. "Do you really think any girl would fall for that line?" someone (snidely) asked on Twitter after I quoted it for the fourth or fifth time. No, probably not. I mean, I wouldn't fuck anyone simply because they dropped that line on me. But I would certainly be flattered and thank them for the compliment. And I don't think Thicke & Co. intended for that lyric to be a pick-up line, either. If anything, it feels like a parody of songs like "Back That Thing Up" which use lyrics like "You a fine motherfucker, won't you back that thing up?" as a deliberate come-on. If anything, it fits in with Thicke's defense that "Blurred Lines" is tongue-in-cheek and not meant to be taken seriously. Not sure if that comes across since so many people have taken offense to the song, but at least it beats Thicke's other defense that the song is actually about female empowerment. Nice try, Robin. Any song in which a woman needs a man to liberate her is automatically not about female empowerment.

The only lyrics in "Blurred Lines" I felt could conceivably be troublesome were the "I know you want it, I know you want it" chants and the line which the title derives from, "I hate these blurred lines," but even they felt unworthy of all the negative attention they were receiving. In both cases, I can see why detractors find them offensive. "I know you want it" is a phrase often used by men to get women who have already declined to get them to sleep with them. The "blurred lines" could be referring to the point between a woman saying no and a man trying to convince her to change her mind; namely, at what point is he allowed to keep asking before it crosses into date/acquaintance rape? In the context of the song, though, I don't believe either connotation is correct. "Blurred Lines" is written entirely from Thicke's perspective. The woman in the song never gives an indication either way whether she wants him. This is important to note because it forces two extremely different interpretations of the song: the Date Rape Interpretation and a far different one. In the latter context, the "blurred lines" could refer to the fact that the woman, for whatever reason, can't express her desire for sex. Maybe she does want to sleep with Thicke, but she's afraid of coming across as "easy" or a whore. So, she plays coy, shamelessly flirting without giving away the goods, because that's "acceptable" for women to do. Thicke hates these blurred lines women are stuck in when it comes to their bodies and desires, how they are forced to tone down what they want for fear of going against society's image of a good girl. When he chants, "I know you want it," he's referring to sex, yes, but he means it in a general way, not that she necessarily wants it with him. She may not even be impressed with what he's offering. No, he's not empowering women as he wants us to believe, but he's certainly calling attention to this discrepancy.

When I first saw the uncensored video for "Blurred Lines"--the one where female models walk around topless while the fully-clothed men dance around them--I wasn't nearly as offended as many others were. While I get why some were uncomfortable with this interpretation of the power roles in the video, I agree with this article that it merely tip toes the line of bad taste, never quite crossing into blatant misogyny or skeeziness (the author of that article does a fantastic job explaining why it may not be as bad as detractors claim, the social implications of this line-touching may not be so great). From the shot where the model's feet rub all over Thicke's face or how "Robin Thicke has a huge dick" is scrawled on the wall, the "Blurred Lines" video is pure trash through and through. For me, it works and makes "Blurred Lines" one of the most memorable videos of the year. Give me naked ladies in pure trash like this over whatever the fuck Justin Timberlake was trying to accomplish with his "Tunnel Vision" video.

A couple days ago, I found an excerpt of this smart interview with one of the models from the video, Emily Ratajkowski. In it, she mentions that the models were "directed to have a sort of confidence, a sarcastic attitude about the whole situation." I watched the video again with this new perspective and understood what she was talking about. For the most part, the models look disinterested in what the men are doing. Although this disinterest could easily be misinterpreted as objectifying the women, I see it as the women having the upper-hand. "Impress me," they seem to be saying as Robin, T.I. and Pharrell dance around them in a silly manner, trying (and failing) to get their attention. And, much like the song itself, we're not really sure whether they are impressed or not. But, in a certain way, the women hold the power in this video.

This post is not meant to change minds or belittle anyone's opinion. If you believe "Blurred Lines" is about date rape, I can definitely see where you are coming from and don't mean to belittle the issue. I just wanted to get my opinion out there so people know where I'm coming from when I defend this song, especially in the wake of the Miley Cyrus VMA performance she shared with Robin Thicke. I noticed that if you disagreed with the slut-shaming of Miley, you had to denounce Robin Thicke's equally damning performance. If you thought Miley was inappropriate, you had to completely ignore Robin Thicke either because Miley was the crazy one or because, hey, it's no big deal that a man was acting just as lewd as she was. No, we can't let Thicke off the hook, particularly since Miley was getting all the negative press. But what either of them were doing was not that bad (At least from a sexual stand point. Racially, I'm not sure anymore). It's not an either or thing, people. We can like Miley and "Blurred Lines."

Maybe? Man, I really do hate these blurred lines.

Monday, April 8, 2013

The Single One: Finished

About a month ago, I posted the opening scene from The Single One, the screenplay I've been working on (and blathering about) for a year and a half now. The response I received from various people in my life was incredibly kind and positive, which I greatly appreciated. Spurned on by that (surprising) positivity, I'm happy to announce that as of 3:00 pm today, I have finished the damn thing. Whew! What a relief, let me tell you. And for you all as well because now you won't have to hear me go on and on about this project anymore. Well, at least until I sell the thing and they force me to change everything and I complain on Twitter about how The Man is raping my material. Until that day, however, I would love to share my work with you. Download the final copy of my screenplay here. If you feel so inclined as to read my work, please let me know what you think! I can take the criticism if you think something's shit! Honest! But, truthfully, you better like my work or I'll punch you all in the face.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A Preview of My Screenplay

If you've been a follower of Rants of a Diva for awhile, you may have noticed that posting has been a bit lax during the last year or so. Yeah, sorry about that. But, rest assured, there is a good reason for my absence: I've been working on my first screenplay! Titled The Single One, it's about a part-time alcoholic in his mid-20's, wasting away in retail hell, who finds himself involved in a love triangle with guys much older and younger than him. As you can probably tell, it's based in part on my life (My favorite joke for awhile when people asked if I was basing it on my life was to reply, "No! The character is 25. I'm only 23!" Now that I'm approaching 25, that joke isn't so funny anymore). I'm not completely finished yet--I have to rewrite the climactic homage to The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer--but I figured that after 18 months, I have to share something with those of you who may or may not be sick to death of hearing me yammer on and on about it on Twitter. So, I present you with the first scene(s) of The Single One. Enjoy and let me know what you think!

"THE SINGLE ONE"

FADE IN

EXT. TOWNHOUSE - DAY

A picturesque spring morning. BIRDS CHIRP gaily. Little children are on the parking lot playing hopscotch. Another child is riding around on a tricycle.

BEN BRONZE, full-time retail worker, part-time alcoholic in his mid-20's, walks out of his townhouse. Dressed in his work uniform of red polo and ink-stained khakis, he takes one step into the sunlight and winces.

BEN: Ugh. Sunlight.

Ben steps onto the sidewalk. Before he can take more than a couple steps, the little kid on the tricycle zooms past, unaware that he has just cut Ben off. Ben doesn't say anything, but he looks like he is suppressing the urge to flip over the kid's tricycle.
Finally, Ben gets to his car. He puts it in reverse and begins to move when he notices that the kids playing hopscotch are directly behind his car.

BEN: Fucking monsters.

He HONKS the HORN aggressively. The kids look up and begrudgingly move. Ben pulls out and drives off.

EXT. BULLSEYE - DAY
Ben pauses at Bullseye's front doors. He looks up at the store's sign and sighs.

INT. FRONT LANES

Ben walks up to his lane and turns on the light.

BEN: I can help whoever is next on lane --

He looks up at the lane light.

BEN: Six.

CUT TO:

Ben looks on in bewilderment as a customer throws cash at him like a stripper.

CUT TO:

Another customer, busy texting on her phone, hands Ben her credit card. She does not notice that her hand is resting on the card reader.

BEN: Er, you can slide your card right there.

CUT TO:

"$31.97" appears on the register. Agitated, Ben looks on as an OLD LADY takes every piece of change out of her piece.

OLD LADY: I can never find a penny when I need one!

Ben fakes a smile and nods.

OLD LADY: Thank goodness there's no one behind me!

CUT TO:

Ben's lane is deserted. He steps in front of it to attract another customer. An OLD MAN quickly approaches.

OLD MAN: You look bored!

Ben fakes a smile to the old man's face but rolls his eyes as soon as he turns away.

CUT TO:

BEN Your total is $198.75. Would you like to open a credit --

The customer, a MIDDLE-AGED MAN, quickly interjects.

MIDDLE-AGED MAN: No!

CUT TO:

A YOUNG MAN begins unloading his shopping cart onto the belt. When he finds an item he doesn't want, he shoves it in various places around the checklane: on the ground, in the candy, on top of the pop coolers. Ben watches in morbid curiosity.

BEN: I'll take anything you don't want.

The Young Man sets his last item on the belt.

YOUNG MAN: I'm good now, thanks!

CUT TO:

Ben stares vacantly in space as a MIDDLE-AGED ACADEMIC begins unloading his cart.

MIDDLE-AGED ACADEMIC: Hey there!

Ben looks up in recognition.

BEN: Hi, Dr. Peters.

PETERS (MIDDLE-AGED ACADEMIC): Nice to see you. Are you doing okay?

BEN: Yeah.

PETERS: When do you finish up your Master's?

BEN: I'm already done. I finished a couple years ago.

PETERS: Oh. (beat) Are you sure you're doing okay?

Wordlessly, Ben nods and hands him the receipt. Dr. Peters walks away with a wave. Ben slumps over his register, his head buried in his hands.

GABBY (O.S.): If you got stabbed by an angry customer, I am not cleaning that mess up. I don't get paid enough.

Ben looks up and sees GABBY, sassy, mid-20's, take no prisoners. He picks himself up and sighs.

BEN: I should be so lucky.

Gabby slides into the lane next to him.

GABBY: At least you'd get out of this shithole for a few hours.

A nauseatingly lovey-dovey couple wanders through Ben's lane on the way to the exit. Hands intertwined, they stop repeatedly to kiss each other. Ben rolls his eyes at the display.

GABBY: Someone's a bitter queen early today.

BEN: I'm not bitter. I just don't want their heterosexual lovefest thrown in my face.

GABBY: You'd act the same way. If you could find an interested man, that is.

BEN: I'm waiting for a man who has all the best features of the One Direction boys: Louis's wit, Harry's dimples, Niall's innocence, Liam's seriousness and Zayn's dreaminess. Sigh.

Throughout this speech, Gabby rolls her eyes as if she's heard this all before.

GABBY: No wonder you're alone.

BEN: Yeah...well...how's your relationship going?

GABBY: I'm not so sure, actually. Ron hasn't been responding to my texts lately. We haven't seen each other much in the past week. He said he has choir practice every night. Then, when we do spend time together, he can't even look me in the eye.

BEN: You don't think...

Gabby nods.

GABBY: What in the hell else could it be? It's a church choir. They sing one damn hymn during service!

BEN: If you need me to help you catch him with his pants down, I'm totally there. I don't even care if we end up in jail. You're the Mammy to my Scarlett, the Morgan Freeman to my Jessica Tandy, the Viola Davis to my Emma Stone. You're the sassy, wise black person to my crazy white lady.

GABBY: And I thought that would be offensive.

RYAN, the jovial store manager, approaches Gabby's lane. He speaks into a walkie.

RYAN: Yeah, I have her right here. (to Gabby) They're asking for you on the walkie.

Gabby takes the walkie from Ryan.

GABBY: This is Gabby.

WOMAN (V.O.): Are you at the checklanes?

GABBY: Yes.

WOMAN (V.O.): Good. Stay there.

Gabby and Ben share a look of confusion. Ben ultimately shrugs his shoulders.

In front of the checklanes, a small group of people dressed in flashy choir robes appear. One of them carries a boombox and presses play. The beginning of Beyonce's "Love on Top" is heard. The choir members begin to sing and snap along with the song. More choir members, marching single file, walk through the lanes on either side of Ben and Gabby.

BEN: What the fuck is going on?

Gabby shakes her head. Out of nowhere, RON, a "tall drink of water," appears in front of the choir holding a microphone.

RON: "Honey, honey, I can see the stars all the way from here. Can't you see the glow on the window pane? I can feel the sun whenever you're here. Every time you touch me I just melt away."

Angrily, Gabby steps out from her lane and walks toward Ron.

GABBY: Ron! What the hell are you doing?

In reply, he simply smiles, grabs her hand and pulls her toward the middle of the scene.

RON: "Now everybody asks me why I'm smiling out from ear to ear. Nothing's perfect, but it's worth it after fighting through my tears. And finally you put me first!"

Gabby stands around, not quite sure what to do, feeling like a fool. Finally, Ron stops singing as the choir continues to produce background music.

RON: Gabby, I love you with all my heart. I want to spend the rest of my life with you.

As he gets down on one knee, he pulls an object out of his pocket: a ring box.

BEN & GABBY: Oh my God.

RON: Gabby, will you marry me?

GABBY: Yes!

They embrace and start kissing. The choir sings the chorus.

CHOIR: "Baby, it's you. You're the one I love. You're the one I need. You're the only thing I see. C'mon, baby, it's you. You're the one that gives it all. You're the one that always calls. When I need you, everything stops. Finally, you put my love on top!"

All Ben can do at this scene is stare, his jaw hanging wide open.

BEN: What?