Thursday, May 16, 2013

Quitting Time: A Farewell Post to The Office

Tonight marks the end of an era. The Office airs its last episode tonight. The television series, adapted from the British version in 2005, has been on the air for 9 years and has been a Nerdy Pop favorite since we started. Although the series has had its highs (Jam Wedding! Dwight Pranks!) and lows (Jam Fighting. Michael Leaving.) we'd still like to give it a proper send off. Below Auddie P and S.E. Andres discuss the TV series' impact on their lives.

S.E. Andres:
I had always been a dry humor person, and it was easy to find indie movies that I'd love.  Christopher Guest gives me my favorites.  So when The Office came along, it was an instant must.  My oldest brother told me to watch the second episode after he raved about the first and said I'd love it.  (This is exactly how I got into It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Archer, as well.)  And I did.  I couldn't get enough, despite how different the first season was.  As I found out, it was essentially the first season of the original British version with different actors that acted in the same manner and had similar looks.  But I loved it, and I loved every background character that appeared.  I wasn't as vocal about my love for it until we watched it junior year together in Auddie's apartment (before I left to go to English Theory Club, of course).  My fondness for The Office exceeded its humor.  I connected to the characters.  It was like each one was a different part of my personality: Meredith's love of alcohol, Jim's pranking, Pam's gapes, Dwight's entirety (I love bears, I grow beets, and I LOVE Battlestar Galactica), Creed's random musings, Angela's control.  I'm starting to think I am more complex than I might be.

Auddie P:
I remember the first time I watched the Office. Season 2 was airing and the episode was Take Your Daughter to Work Day. If you're familiar with this episode you should understand why, from that moment, I was not exactly hooked. I was so confused by Dwight's strange behavior, Pam's desperate attempts to get the kids to like her and Creed's unusual feet. I didn't understand the show at the time. I found no humor in its awkwardness and ended up wondering what the big fuss was about.
Fast forward a couple months to me passing time at S. E. Andres's apartment and he and his roommate pop in season one. This time I got it and I was hooked. Over the next few weeks I became obsessed, binge-watching before it was a thing. I got caught up with the show in time for the season three premiere, as did my roommates.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Flash: Iris (A fantastic fan film)

Recently there have been a few crackdowns on fan-made films, especially those that have been raising money to make them.  The Wonder Woman fan film by photographer Adam Jay almost succeeded but was shut down by DC/WB.  There's been plenty of trailers, like the newest Wonder Woman incarnation, played by Nina Bergman and directed by Jesse V. Johnson.  But what does it take to make a great fan film, like the brilliant Lazy Teenage Superheroes or the Y: The Last Man fan short? It takes a talented cast of creators from New Orleans, including up-and-coming lead actor (who also served as co-writer) Patrick Flanagan, hair and makeup artist Natalie Shea Rose, and commercial/minor character actor Ada Michelle Loridans.  
Loridans and Flanagan as Iris and Barry/Flash

It's Hip to Be Square, but Rectangle?

Whether they like it or not hipsters have started and championed many trends in the last few years. Skinny jeans are available and acceptable in every color and pattern. Organic foods are easy to find at your local grocery store or farmer's market. Large, black-frame glasses can be seen on everyone from Justin Timberlake to Katie Couric. Vinyl has been brought back from the dead.

Funny isn't it, how a subculture whose M.O. is to go against the mainstream can actually have the power to dictate it? Something tells me, though, the latest trend in the hipster world won't reach the masses.

Indie duo She and Him released its third volume today. I adore She and Him and its female leader Zooey Deschanel but am only about 40% hipster. I'd assume many of the duo's fans are a full 100% so I'm guessing to cater to its fan base, Volume 3 is being released on a turquoise cassette as well as digitally, on CD, and on LP.

From what I understand, Zooey and M. Ward of She and Him aren't the first or only musicians attempting to resurrect the cassette. But, will it take off the same way vinyl did? Will it be worth my while to dig up my now vintage Walkman for the next yard sale?

I understand the romance and the appeal of vinyl. The presentation makes the album a full experience allowing the cover art to, if you're me, double as wall decor. There's a certain feeling you get when you place a record on the player. It feels almost like you're going back in time.

Are cassette tapes capable of accomplishing the same thing? Maybe I'm alone in this, but I just don't see the appeal. Aside from the days when a mixtape was truly a mixTAPE, I don't have many fond memories of cassettes. The cases would easily break, there was always a risk of the tape getting stuck - it's just not the same. 

How about you? Will you be embracing the cassette or is this a trend hipsters can call their own forever?