Fandoms of the Summer #5FF

The last time I wrote something for #5FandomFriday was November of last year! I think it’s time to pick it back up. There are no prompts at the moment but I wanted to reflect on some of the great media content I consumed over the past few months.

Orange is the New Black

Season 4 was unreal. Things in the prison got crazy, and we got some backstory of some beloved characters like Blanca, Suzanne, and Lolly. I can’t choose whose story was the most interesting or touching. I just love it all! I think I watched this whole season in two days. This show is literally a gift. The death at the end of the season was unexpected and heart-wrenching. I didn’t realize it would happen until it was happening. It’s – just – not – FAIR!! 

But on the bright side, this season gave back Nicky Nicholls.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

This is literally my favourite sitcom right now. I know season 3 aired much earlier but I live by Netflix schedules, okay? Also, this is what I’ve had on in the background while I doodle. Solid overarching story, character development, and Jake being a dumb puppy. I also enjoy that Jake and Amy finally get together, and Amy sets an example of how to communicate to your partner that they are being an asshole.

Also after thinking I was an Amy for a very long time (with a touch of Gina), I realized I have been thinking with a gender bias and I am 100% Charles Boyle.

American Horror Story

Specifically, Coven. Summer used to be about True Blood for me and I was feeling nostalgic for something southern, magical, and kinda witchy. In comes AHS: Coven to fill this void in my soul. I really enjoy the different stories they tell but Coven was really enthralling for me. From what people tell me, you’ll either love it or hate it. I loved it. Jessica Lange is a BOSS.

Also Stevie Nicks was there!

How to Get Away With Murder

Honestly, I had another show listed here but I recently became hooked on this show. I finished season one in no time and I’m on season two. Viola Davis is a gift, tbh. I love the mix of courtroom drama and mystery. Plus the cast is way more diverse than I’m used to seeing. Take a look at the above photo. More than half the characters are black! And Laurel is Spanish and was dating a brown guy for a time. And Conner is gay. His boyfriend is east Asian. I just really like the diverse casting in this show. It doesn’t feel forced, I dig it a lot.

Plus, I love looking at Alfred Enoch thinking “it’s little Dean Thomas!”

You grew up super hot, little Dean. Well done.

Stranger Things

As if you didn’t see this coming. I have been obsessed with this show! It feels like a Stephen King novel come to life. There’s all sorts of 80s nostalgia, including my favourite movie as a kid: The Goonies. Dustin is literally a combination of Mouth and Chunk. Aside from Eleven who is everyone’s favourite, I really love Nancy. (I did an Everyday Cosplay of her!) I have complicated feelings towards Steve. Basically he’s an asshole but not as big of an asshole as he could have been. I hope in season two that he and Nancy are over, but he’s still very much a part of Team Monster Hunters.

Plus we can’t forget about Barb. The sweet cinnamon roll, the true star of the show.

Favourite Thanksgiving Episodes #5FF

Canadian Thanksgiving happened over a month ago, but with American media leading the television schedule networks are churning out their Thanksgiving episodes right about now. I love seasonal specials on TV! Usually Halloween and Christmas are my favourite TV specials but Thanksgiving gets a few great hits too. Surprise: they’re all comedies!

Slapsgiving (How I Met Your Mother)

HIMYM gave us a great many running jokes but my favourite, by far, is the Slap Bet. For anyone who hasn’t watched, a slap bet is exactly how it sounds: two people make a bet and the winner gets to slap the loser in the face. The two appoint a Slap Bet Commissioner who will make difficult and objective decisions. The result of the bet was that Marshall (Jason Segel) gets to slap Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) 5 times, at any point in time. Watching Marshall use his slaps when Barney is being a prick is incredibly satisfying but the Slapsgiving episode is my favourite because it comes with an original musical number: “You Just Got Slapped”.

Thanksgiving (New Girl)

There was never a part of me that thought defrosting a turkey in the dryer would be effective but now I know to never try it. In this first season Thanksgiving episode, Jess (Zooey Deschanel) invites a fellow teacher and her crush Paul (Justin Long) to Thanksgiving dinner because his grandma just died. I have a soft spot for episodes where the character tries to adult really hard and fails at everything and the night is a mess. That’s what happened in this episode. 100% mess. Paul’s dead grandma isn’t the only corpse in the episode.

Thanksgiving (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)

Jake (Andy Samberg) tries everything he can to get out of the Thanksgiving dinner hosted by the overachieving dorky Amy Santiago (Melissa Fumero). Santiago is only hosting the party to impress Captain Holt (Andre Braugher) and deliver a heartfelt speech in front of the whole squad. Her Thanksgiving goes awry when Captain Holt has to leave and also her food is inedible exacerbating Terry’s hunger rampage. When the dust settles around this disaster of a Thanksgiving, Jake learns a lesson about who he considers family and drops a total humblebrag about the show’s diversity:

I’d just like to say I am happy to be here with my family. My super weird family with two black dads, and two Latina daughters, and two white sons, and … Gina. And I don’t know what you (Scully) are. Some strange giant baby? To the Nine-Nine!

The Black Friday Trilogy (South Park)

I’m cheating slightly with this because 1. there are three episodes, and 2. they have more to do with the aftermath of Thanksgiving that is Black Friday in America. As someone who spent 6 years working mall retail (including when Canada adopted Black Friday sales), I feel the dread and drama around this one day of aggressive shopping. The plot centers around the boys figuring out which gaming console to buy — a PS4 or an XBox One — and it takes on a Game of Thrones theme. Kenny becomes Lady McCormick and later, Princess Kenny, the champion of PlayStation. This epic saga is hilarious and will satisfy all of your scorn towards Black Friday consumerism.

The One Where Ross Got High (Friends)

An absolute classic. Mr. and Mrs. Geller come to the apartment for Thanksgiving dinner and Chandler (as Monica’s secret serious boyfriend) has trouble winning them over. He learns that it’s because Ross blamed him when his parents caught him smoking weed in college. Meanwhile, Rachel tries to make a dessert trifle but 2 pages of the cookbook stick together and she creates something that’s half a trifle and half a shepherd’s pie. Eventually everyone’s secrets are out on the table and we get this amazing scene of lightning round confessions:

I hope everyone celebrating Thanksgiving next week has a wonderful time with friends and family! Try not to have any sitcom-like disasters.

Favourite Seasonal Foods #5FF

Halfway through November, we’re beginning to feel the chill and some of the holiday spirit (without being too grouchy about it). It’s also the time to start bringing out the holiday foods! Even in our home, we pull out all the Christmas mugs.

I feel very fortunate to be someone who celebrates more than one holiday so I get some extra special noms in addition to your typical Western holiday goodies! Spoiler alert: they are all sweet.

Seasonal Lattes from Starbucks

JUST BECAUSE I’M NOT WHITE DOESN’T MEAN I CAN’T BE BASIC. Also they’re delicious. I mostly buy them for the whipped cream topping. When people suggest cutting out your extra coffee as a money-saving tactic, they’re talking about people like me who have a Starbucks shame secret. #GoldCard

Fun fact: every year when “red cups” start trending, I always think there’s a flip cup championship happening somewhere.

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(If only.)

PearDrax

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This isn’t actually a seasonal drink, but it sings “Trinidadian Christmas” in my heart. Peardrax is a delicious bubbly pear cider — non-alcoholic but tastes vaguely of champagne. While the drink is available year-round, my parents would buy a case only around Christmastime. It would be gone by New Years. The day I learned you can buy tiny bottles from Caribbean restaurants was the best day of my life. Once I found 6 tiny bottles stocked at a small grocery store in Kingston, ON, and I bought them all.

They never re-stocked.

Gulab Jamun

(Or as my Canadian friends call it — “Tim Bits in syrup.”)

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This has been my favourite Indian dessert since I was a child. Yes, it’s little cake balls soaked in syrup. Try not to call them “Tim Bits” or doughnut holes though. It’s pronounced “goo-lob jaw-moon” and it takes a lot of effort to make which is why my mom will usually save it for Diwali.

Diwali is my other holiday for the season, celebrated with family time, food, lights, and fireworks. I don’t make Indian sweets a big part of my life but I’ll usually find myself in an Indian restaurant getting take out dessert to share for Diwali.

Pumpkin Pie

I’m not a huge pie person but I’m a huge pumpkin person! And I don’t mean I’m a person made of pumpkins. Though if I were this blog would be way more impressive! Pumpkin pie is my special treat to make up for the fact that it’s cold and miserable. People who don’t serve pumpkin pie at holiday gatherings: who hurt you?

 Ferrero Rocher

My mother works as a receptionist and lab tech for a medical clinic. She’s great at her job and her patients love her. For the holidays she’ll often receive a plethora of sweets, most commonly packs of Ferrero Rocher and Turtles. As a child, Turtles was my hands-down favourite Christmas treat but as an adult I just love the light crispy shell of a Ferrero Rocher and the creamy innards. I get about 3-4 boxes every Christmas because my mother can only eat so much chocolate. So thank you, kind patients, your gifts are not going to waste. They are going to mah belleh.

Honestly with such a sweet tooth and no will power there’s no wonder I plump up every winter.

Favourite Famous Geeks #5FF

After discovering a wonderful community of geek girl bloggers, I learned about a number of blog post series that I could take part in, including this series called Five Fandom Friday started by The Nerdy Girlie and Super Space Chick. I thought my debut Five Fandom Friday could simply be my favourite geeks! Sounds like an easy topic, right? Apparently I love more geeks than I thought and narrowing the list down to five was a bigger challenge than I expected.

Zachary Levi

I have loved Zachary Levi even before I loved Tom Hiddleston. That’s how deep my love is. I discovered him when he played Chuck Bartowski (Chuck) and was an adorable little baby face. He will also be the main reason I watch the Heroes reboot. He founded The Nerd Machine and Nerd HQ. On top of being devilishly handsome he’s also known for being genuinely nice. Way to rep the nerd community so well!

Felicia Day

My first encounter with Felicia Day was from Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog where she played the sweet and well-meaning Penny. She’s such a multifaceted entertainer, I pretty much want to be her when I grow up. She’s the creator of The GuildGeek and Sundry (who totally featured a blog I worked for, Paper Droids, more than once), and is the author of You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Probably). She inspires me to embrace my weird because it makes me interesting and sets me apart.

Donald Glover/Childish Gambino

You may recognize him as the beautiful cinnamon roll Troy Barnes from Community, or his rap persona Childish Gambino, or the guy that everyone wanted to be Spider-Man (except the racists).

YIKES.

Whether he’s voicing Marshall Lee (Adventure Time) or he’s spitting lyrics about hot nerdy girls, I’m on board. And if you’re a fan of rap you should listen to Camp. I admire Donald for not allowing himself to be swept away with a current; he’s very thoughtful on what he wants to do and who he wants to be (which is why he left Community). He won’t let anyone else define him.

Chris Hadfield

This man is a Canadian treasure and I’ve had the privilege of making coffee for him when I interned at Penguin Books (he was pitching An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth). For those who are unfamiliar with Chris Hadfield, he’s a former astronaut who habitually played the guitar in space and last month released an album of songs he wrote up there (Space Sessions: Songs from a Tin Can). He also taught me that tears don’t fall in space so if you cry you get Ghibli tears.

Sophie crying in Zero-G

Margaret Atwood

I will admit it actually took me a really long time to appreciate Margaret Atwood. That’s not really an okay thing to admit in Canada because everyone frickin loves her. It’s kind of hard not to; even if her writing doesn’t strike a chord you can’t deny that she’s just really cool. She wrote the first manuscript for the Future Library project called Scribbler Moon. Nobody can see it until 2114 when the works in the Future Library can finally be read (and most of us will be DEAD). (Hey that rhymed!) Additionally she’s constantly advocating for the support of public libraries which is very rad of her.