Wednesday, June 27, 2012

My Favorite TV Shows (That No One Has Seen It Seems)

When I normally go on a date with someone, one of the big conversation aspects that comes up is what television shows do I watch. I can easily say that the usuals of nerdom come up - Star Trek, Joss Whedon creations, anime - you know the drill. But I find often that the television series that I mention as my favorites get left out from the knowledge of most of the general public eye. Sure, most of them are from the first decade that my life encountered in, but that gives people of my generation at least 10 years to have seen it on television or VHS. The others though are from a few years before then or only lasted a season - so let's give them the respect they deserve: These are my favorite Television series, see how many you know!

10. HUFF!

HUFF! was a short lived, 2 season show from Showtime that came out around 2004. The plot revolves around Huff, played by Hank Azaria, who is a therapist that just happened to have a client kill himself in his office. He also happens to halluciente a homeless man, has a psychologically disturbed brother, a best friend with every addiction under the sun, and a mother living in the house next door to his, along with marital problems and raising his teenage son. In actuality, HUFF! is one of the best written shows on television I ever had the pleasure of viewing. Unfortunately, it's second season proved to be a huge misfire and I gave up about half way in - way too many characters, plots and issues were added to keep track. I wish the show could have at least gotten a much better ending then it got, but for the first season alone is worth checking out.

Favorite Episode: Christmas is Ruined
Favorite Character (s): Huff and Bird

9. Northern Exposure

I remember being introduced to this show through watching it with my family as a kid when it was re-aired on A&E. The Alaskan setting, weird characters and plot lines, not to mention having a Moose in the intro instantly made me fall in love with Northern Exposure. The story tells that of Dr. Joel Fleschmen, a young man from New York whose first assignment out of Grad school is to become the local doctor in an very wacky Alaskan town. Though I gotta admit, I did not know a single thing that was actually happening in the show: all I could figure is that these people were wacky, and I liked that. Sadly, similar to HUFF!, this show suffered from a few last miserable seasons that contained a generous helping of WHAT THE HELL. Nothing was understandable, even to the point when I was so young yet intelligent enough to realize WHY IS THIS HAPPENING? Even when I wasn't following the plot extensively. It is 100% worth checking out seasons 1 - 4, for these episodes are magical and completely genius.

Favorite episode: Sex, Lies and Ed's Tape
Favorite Character(s): Ed and Chris.

8. Radio Free Roscoe

Back in the beginning of my high school career, there arrived a little TV show from Canada called Radio Free Roscoe. Playing around the same time slot as Degrassi, I thought I would give this show a try and by god, I am so happy I did. Out of all the shows that played over here in the states via the The N channel (also known as Noggin), RFR was the weirdest of the selection. The story is that of four friends that decide to run a rebel radio station at their local high school, going against the rules of the principal and talking about taboo subjects, silly stories and bringing about important matters dealing with being a teenager to the attention of everyone in their community. Though sometimes there was a lot of filler and silly bits, this show definitely had a lot of heart. Of course, if you ever watched the series everyone had a soft spot for Lily and Travis as a couple, with Ray being the third wheel who has loved Lily forever. If you are into Canadian Teen shows, I highly recommend this one since its a much different flavor in comparison to others shown at the same time. Cheesy, corny, and all around adorable.

Favorite Episode: More Than A Single
Favorite Character: Travis

7. Rick and Steve: The Happiest Gay Couple In All The World

Rick and Steve is a very silly comedy series about the lives of a fictional Queer community, where everyone in the town is LGBT and if someone straight comes alone, that's just bizarre. The main characters are of course Rick and Steve, who are sort of the more bland of the characters that help us enter their universe. My favorite couple is Chuck and Evan, an older man in a wheelchair with his drug addicted 19 yr. old boyfriend. Yes, if you can't tell this show is loud and proud and to many very offensive, but similar to South Park, I kept watching for the ridiculous and light hearted approach with the comedic flair to very taboo topics such as AIDS, Drugs and etc. But unlike South Park, Rick and Steve had a lot of heart and soul more then similar shows of it's type. I recommend it for those that need a good insane yet controversial laugh.

Favorite episode: Swallowing Pride
Favorite Character (s): Chuck and Evan

6. Daria

Though this show definitely had a lot more popularity then I'm giving it credit for, it seems that not a lot of people seem to actually remember it or almost like to discard it when its brought up in conversation. To me, Daria is an American treasure. I think everyone in their life has felt in some strange way a connection with the monotone heroine, as she to me was the voice inside my head whenever someone similar to the character of Brittany, the cheerleader, would come up to me in school. Daria's relationship with Jane reminds me of my relationship with my best friend at the time, along with many other similar instances. To say Daria was a one of a kind show is the understatement of the year, and nothing will ever be able to replace it.

Favorite Episode: Through a Len's Darkly
Favorite Character(s): Daria and Troy

5. Freakazoid!

I'm sure everyone had a favorite character in their youth that gave them their first discovery of comedy. Many would say The Animaniacs was theirs, or even Tiny Toons. But for me, it was Freakazoid. This is certainly one of the weirdest shows I ever had the pleasure of sitting down to watch, possibly weirder then the previous shows mentioned. But with a name such as it was given, how could it not be weird? The story is that of teenage kid Dexter Douglas, who one day turns on a computer program and becomes his alter ego, Freakazoid. I am openly convinced that me and many others being born into the generation that was extremely diagnosed with ADD, Freakazoid was our champion of random behavior and intelligence. As much as you would like to argue otherwise, this show was incredibly smart and ahead of it's time. It's definitely my favorite comedy show, period, because it took a lot of risks for the time and showed some really bizarre things when it comes to Children's programming in the 90's. If you haven't watched this in a while, I fully encourage a reviewing. You'll appreciate it even more now.

Favorite Episode: Bonjour, Lobey.
Favorite Character: Sgt. Cosgrove

4. Jim Henson's The Storyteller

Though only lasting one season, Jim Henson's The Storyteller was a brilliant show. Some back story: At the time, many different cable channels were springing up and needed programming for children, so a lot of Fairy Tale re-telling sorts of shows were being produced. The most notable of these was Sherry Duvall's Fairy Tale Theater, but the one I think deserves the most respect and I would love to see brought back (BUT NO CGI PLEASE) is The Storyteller. Starring one of my favorite voice's ever (John Hurt), the show revolved around The Storyteller, a wise older almost fairy like man that lived in an abandoned house with his faithful talking dog. All day they would tell stories, and the stories they would tell would be then shown to the audience. But what was unique about the show was that the character of The Storyteller himself was also involved in the stories, playing an actual part in the plot themselves or just fooling around with the audience to think he was important. But the voice of reason was definitely his dog, who would always assure the audience that he was only joking. Every single bit of casting and visuals were perfect, and with only 13 episodes, it left a lasting legacy for children's programming. 

Favorite Episode: Hans My Hedgehog
Favorite Character: The Storyteller

3. Beauty and the Beast

Yep, this show is cheesy as sin. But I couldn't not include one of my favorite versions of my favorite fairy tale. This show definitely is a huge part of my life, mostly because it got me into loving the people involved and their other work, especially (my number one old man crush) Ron Perlman. His portrayal of Vincent is his most iconic role, and should be on some sort of top 10 TV list. The show took a really great modern concept to the fairy tale, with sprinkling some (for the time) edgy elements. The plot tells of Catherine, a rich upper east sider who is brutally abused by a gang. She is saved by Vincent, who lives underneath the subways in a community known as the Tunnel Dwellers. He and Catherine grow to have an extremely tight bond, that begins to become supernatural in ways, and eventually they fall in love with each other. What made the show really cool was the incredible amount of action and complex drama. Also, there was a lot of poetry and older books mentioned, which got me into reading the material later on in my life. And of course, we can't not talk about the romance. Catherine and Vincent's relationship was lovely to watch, yet refreshing since they were not focusing on their physical attraction but rather their mental (yeah, you never really see them kiss ::shrug::)
Overall, even with it's awful ending,
this show was beautiful and hopefully it's current remake will do it justice (though I doubt it).

Favorite Episode: Arabesque
Favorite Character(s): Vincent, Devin and Joe.

2. My So Called Life
Confession: I had a huge crush on both Jordan and Brian. There, I've said it - though most girls would say they would chose Jordan over Brian, I had a big thing for both of them because they were real guys with huge flaws. Okay, so 95% of you probably don't understand a lick of what I am saying, so I'll break it down for you: My So Called Life was my teenage life on screen. I'm sure anyone that watched the show could equally say the same thing, but really, I can't find a show more similar to my real life story then this show (except that I didn't have a little sister or red hair.) But everything else was pretty similar, and thus the show has stuck with me. This show only lasted one season, but those 14 episodes continue to be marathoned in my room on an almost monthly basis. When I am sad, happy, or getting ready for a party: The show covers all my watching needs. It's a shame it never was given a proper ending, because it really was a great show and ahead of it's time. But maybe in some way it's good it never finished because then we might not want to know the real ending. To explain the plot is hard, so if interested just based on this paragraph - go watch it.

Favorite Episode: Life of Brian
Favorite Character (s): Gram, Angela, Ricky and Tino (get it?)
1. Disney's Gargoyles

Looking at this blog, you would think my favorite TV show is some kind of girly sparkle magic show. Well the answer is far from it. Gargoyles has and will always be my favorite TV show. The plot, action, animation and voice acting were perfect in almost every episode. It was beyond ahead of it's time and was nothing like anything Disney had made before or since. The story is that of the creatures known as Gargoyles, stone by day and warriors by night, who in Scotland a thousand years ago were cursed to sleep in stone forever. They are then awakened by billionaire playboy David Xanatos, and their lives are never the same after. I loved the relationships, the use of Shakespeare and the dynamic between all the characters. Sadly, in it's third season the show went down a slippery slope of fail, so I like to think Season 2 as the last season. If you haven't watched the show since you were a kid, I highly recommend checking it out now as it is a very different experience watching it. But truly it was a brilliant series, and continues to stand the test of time.

Favorite Episode: The Mirror
Favorite Character (s): Brooklyn, Puck, Fox and Griff

So those are my top 10 TV Shows, what are yours? Trust me, it was hard to chose just 10, so I'd love to know what others you would put down!
Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Top 5 Love Songs That Never Get Enough Respect

(Found on Tumblr)

Recently, since I have begun a new relationship, me and my boyfriend have been doing the corniest of actions: Tagging each other with mushy songs on Facebook. It is nothing short of the mushiness you find in a Disney movie, but every time we do this it puts the biggest smile on my face and the biggest shiny feeling in my heart. Overall, it's just adorable, but it got me thinking: What are my favorite love songs? Sure, I like the usual suspects of our modern times, but then there are ones that get me that maybe doesn't exactly get the everyday person and thus they get no respect (as Rodney Dangerfield would say) and maybe today will get some after this post. So let's take a look at what I believe to be the best of the best, as cheesy as some of them can be.

5. Your Love Strong Enough by Bryan Ferry

I love the 80's, can you tell? One of the things that came out of the decade that I really love is the film "Legend" by Ridley Scott. The film tells the story of a princess and a poor boy that fall for each other in their magic land, with their love being tested by the forces of darkness and the elements of time (there are also unicorns and Tim Curry as The Devil - legit.) So it's fitting that the film contain a love song as part of it's soundtrack. Though it can be a tad cheesy (isn't everything from the 80's in some way?) Bryan Ferry's vocals and the guitar by David Gilmour make it especially romantic and special. It has stayed with people in a cult sort of way, that it even got covered and put into the American version of Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. So, Is Your Love Strong Enough?

4. Can't Help Falling In Love With You by Lick The Tins

Yeah, yeah, this song in it's original and more pop like versions gets respect. It's an Elvis classic and everyone and their momma knows it. But, I'm pretty sure not everyone knows the cover by Lick The Tins. From the Some Kind of Wonderful soundtrack, this down to earth cover always makes me think of the most romantic and mushy of thoughts. With its adorable use of celtic influences and small little additions, this 80's version really makes it its own and to me is honestly more memorable then the original. Beat that Elvis!

3. That Old Black Magic (Any version)
Johnny Mercer is my favorite songwriter in the world. Every single one of his songs had an incredible amount of drive and soul, that were complex for their time and were also incredibly well thought out lyrically. Sure, Moon River is a classic that will never go out of style, as well as number of his other classics. But the song that always sticks with me is That Old Black Magic. Though not exactly any sort of wedding tune, this song perfectly explains that moment of when you meet someone for the first time and feel the fire and drive they have that makes you attracted to them. No, it's not about getting to the club and seeing some hottie from across the room that you'll forget about the next day. Instead, That Old Black Magic discusses the elements of a person that stay with you for days and that never escape your mind. I think we all can connect with that on some level.

2. Zing went the Strings of my Heart by Rufus Wainwright

I'll confess that Rufus Wainwright is definitely up there in my favorite singers category. I've discussed my love for the Mr. Fabulous himself on numerous occasions, but it is pretty obvious that Wainwright doesn't have a lot of love songs in his catalog. But for some reason, his cover of Judy Garland's Zing! is one of my favorites in the bunch. It's so full of life, love and that magical feeling similar to the song discussed previously. If you haven't, I highly recommend checking out the concert DVD it comes from, where Wainwright replicates one of Garland's last famous concerts in her career. It's brilliant, to say the least.

1. Dreams by The Cranberries

Okay, let me break it down this way for you: I am a product of the 90's. For some reason whenever I heard this song I thought that it meant the world was perfect, that everything was at peace. Also, as evidence by the video, I connected this song with one of my favorite TV shows, My So Called Life. If Angela got happy and in love with this song, then that most be the ultimate love song. Of course, I then learned Angela was falling for a not such great guy (but Jordan is a hottie, can't deny it). Regardless, Dreams is one of those unique songs that only comes around every so often and sticks with people. It was bold and different for it's time, yet reflected much of the feelings that young people in the decade had about their life and moving on to adulthood. I imagined this in the soundtrack of my life, and I never plan on taking it out. I can easily say it will definitely be played on my wedding.

So what is your ultimate love song that you think doesn't get enough credit? Post it in the comments below, I'm always looking for new additions to my iTunes!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Obsession Ala Mode: Creamy Mami

I am a girl. That is definitely an easy word to say to describe myself on a general basis as it is my gender. But why do I make such a bold statement? Well, if you knew me at age... let's say 5, you would have thought otherwise based on my interest. My favorite thing was Power Rangers, along with Godzilla. I did also have a fondness for girly things, but on a very long scale in comparison.

Fast forward to the present, and I am almost the complete opposite. When you enter my room, I am a girly freak of nature. Everything I own is either pink or purple (along with mint) and if possible everything has a laced edge. And nothing is more apparent of my recent girly evolution then my recent dive into Mahou Shoujo titles, specifically ones made in the 80s and 90s. My newest love: Creamy Mami. The shoujo classic that for some reason I have only just discovered.

Creamy Mami tells the story of Yuu, a somewhat tomboy younger girl who is suddenly taken by alien cats (I kid you not, they make Luna look much more normal) and is given the power to become an older and more mature purple haired version of herself. This version of herself goes out into the world and is discovered with the talent of song and names herself (after her parent's bakery) Creamy Mami!

It's very obvious that the series has had a recently huge rediscovery around the world. This in a lot of ways is due to the abilities of the internet and the introduction of the fashion Fairy Kei and Spank! With these fashions, and the love affair that Creamy Mami represents, this show has gained a huge new fanbase (including myself) who without these new styles might have not discovered this classic and inspirational Mahou Shoujo piece. 

But what is the drive of this show in the first place? It has an incredibly simple concept that by today's anime standards are almost considered maybe too old school for fans to even begin to enjoy. To me, I think a lot of its popularity stands from it being one of the first. Since it's creation in 1983, Creamy Mami was the first anime that created its own unique advertising style: It was made to jump start the career of a up and coming singer! It's seiyuu, who played both Yuu and Creamy Mami, eventually became a huge musical star in Japan based on the show. 

What other famous girl centered show is like this? One of my favorites, Jem and the Holograms. Both shows take an somewhat ordinary character and make her an much more unique and special person. Though I am a fan of the shows in which the magical girls kick actual bad guy but, I am also a fan of these idol like shows, to which of course would make me a fan of the one that started it all. 

It's also hard to deny that the colors within the Creamy Mami world are beyond attractive to anyone involved in Sweet Lolita or Fairy Kei. Many shoujo shows are appealing to this as well, but nothing continues to visually inspire fashion in the way it does like Creamy Mami. Even brands like Angelic Pretty made an entire collection inspired by the show (and its really hard for me not to buy every single piece from it.)

Because of this recent obsession, I am now highly wanting to do an outfit inspired by the purple haired songstress herself at Otakon this year! Are any of you Creamy Mami fans? Have you purchased any items from the Angelic Pretty or other fashion brand collections? I am so wanting to discuss this! If you are interested in seeing the show, check out the subtitled episodes here

Monday, June 4, 2012

Disneyland Trip January '13: Planning The Outfits

It's no secret that I love Disney, and have since I was in the womb. Anything related to the company (minus it's awful Tween market) are a big part of my life and my nerding. So, I decided when I was younger, that I wanted to spend my 23rd birthday in one of the Disney parks (Because my birthday is on the 23rd!). This decision was made prior to my first trip to Disneyland, but I recently came to the conclusion that though Disney World is the bomb, Disneyland is my favorite of the two American resorts. And with that, my 23rd birthday will be spent in the Disneyland Park! 

And of course, it is no secret that I have all ready begun making plan after plan for this trip, including all my outfits which I plan to purchase some new ones in accordance to my special day. This trip I am trying to make it visually everything I have dreamed of. So thus I am going to wear everything I would possibly want to so I can remember my birthday as a fashion extravaganza! 

The most important outfit is of course, The Birthday outfit! Ever since I traveled to Acen to see Angelic Pretty, I had become fascinated with AP's Toy Drop series, specially the OP cut in Red! The combo of the chiffon fabric and its comfortable full shirred back looks like a girls dream come true. I truly dig the feel and look of the dress, especially after seeing it on Rin Rin in person! Also, red shoes with the outfit are a must. I found these off of etsy, which can be custom made into any color you want! (Also planning to get a pair of boots made in mint color from them also)

Another outfit I want is another frilly outfit to wear during another day at Disney and possibly for when I travel to LA! One dress I have had my eye on has been Meta's Cotton Candy Cloud print. I love the fully shirred version, and it just so happen to go really well with both these adorable kitten heels from ModCloth and these tights from SweetieCakes

Finally, no trip is complete without some more run around travel outfit gear. For me, I require a girly nostalgic tee, and Might Fine T's recent Jem collection is perfect for me. I freaked out when a Glitter and Gold shirt was released, and I seriously need it in my life to represent my love of the Holograms. Also a pair of fun printed or colored skinny jeans always does the added trick for me! 

So will my trip unfold into the fashion week of my dreams? We will just have to see!
Friday, June 1, 2012

New Beginnings

When I created this blog, I intended it to be an outlet for my Disney nerd, my extreme hobby of choice. But as you can see, this blog has stayed silent since it's creation in August 2011 with nothing that has been posted. But then I thought "Hey, why not come back here again and make it something more." and that is what I am going to do ladies and gentlemen.

Welcome to my one and only blog that will be existing from this point on. Magical Ala Mode will be where it is at for everything I do. Lolita, Disney, Movies, Theme Parks - everything that I hold dear I am going to post the hell out of on this blog. I refuse to just let my thoughts stand slowly behind the counter of a restriction to a theme. I am myself after all, and I deserve to have my day in the sun, as Cyndi Lauper would say.

So welcome to the new Magical Ala Mode. Everything will be getting into the swing of things slowly, but eventually a fresh new layout will be in place with a lot of sparkly and fun posts to boot to the whole new theme of the theme being everything about me, and I hope you can handle that! Be prepared my friends, this is gonna be a bumpy ride.



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