A few months ago after my DVR was beginning to get too full, I decided to delete all The Carrie Diaries I had saved. It wasn't important to me at the time, my mom was the one who wanted to get into it since she was always a big Sex In The City fan where as I had never seen an episode of that show in my life. Seeing the episodes available on Netflix this past week was a nice reminder that this was a show I wanted to get into. When it comes to CW shows, you should never go into them expecting to be impressed. From Gossip Girl to The Vampire Diaries, these shows are filled with gorgeous looking people who do mediocre acting, but it works for the young adult crowd. It's an easy demographic to channel since most of us don't care about fantastic cinematography or Oscar award winners as the lead roles.
Once I decided to give The Carrie Diaries a go, I was instantly hooked. I realized this was a show I was going to love to hate. Yes, I genuinely love it and at the same time, hate it. It has to be doing somewhat well that it was picked up for a second season which will be wrapping up within the next few weeks. It took me about 3-4 days to conquer both the first and what has aired of the second season. But why do I love to hate it?
It's extremely cliche and unrealistic...
Everything about this show is completely cliche and unrealistic. We can start off with the fact that there's a slut, a nerd, a bitch, a gay, a hot guy and the ever so perfect Carrie. Every single teen show has these exact characters and it's something that creates an emotional connection with the watcher. You know who you need to love and who you need to hate because of their personality traits. When it comes to how unrealistic it is, I don't know anyone who was 16 turning 17 that got a major internship at a magazine and then became a writer for it as well. If that was the case, I would have started that years ago. The second unrealistic point is how the show is supposed to be set in 1986 and it's nearly impossible to tell that's the case. I can't give the costume designer respect because it looks like everything came from Forever 21 and Charlotte Russe. The 80s aren't depicted well enough for my taste, aside from the cars and how big Carrie's hair is.
Austin Butler is hot but can't act...
So I've seen this kid a few times. You might know him simply for the fact that he's Vanessa Hudgen's boyfriend. Alongside my CW show obsession, I find myself addicted to ABC Family as well. He had a small role on the show Switched at Birth (which was uniquely good) and after flicking through Nickelodeon one day, I saw him in a rerun of iCarly. He's definitely got his roles down in young television, but if it wasn't for his looks, I don't know what else could really help him. His acting is far from impressive, but he nails Sebastian Kydd perfectly. Everything about him is drool worthy. The chemistry between both Annasophia Robb and Austin Butler is beautiful on the show, I constantly find myself envying how perfect they look together. He's lucky he's got dreamy hair to help him succeed in this rough business, though.
And the characters are just downright irritating...
I can't even tell you my love/hate relationship with the characters on this show. I could honestly dissect every character and tell you my pros and cons about them. I think Mags (Katie Findlay) is the one character that makes me want to punch things episode after episode. She's constantly in the wrong place at the wrong time and has caused so much drama and tension through out the whole show. It's hard to even feel bad for her when she hits her lowest of lows because she's just so god damn annoying. I don't even care too much for Donna LeDonna's typical popularity driven character or even Mouse being the typical Asian nerd. Yet, there have been many times where Carrie has driven me insane too. She always has so much greatness going for her in more ways than one and she always ruins it by saying something stupid or blaming Sebastian for it. I sit in front of the TV and want to scream at her to just shut up. And then there's Walt, a boy trapped in the closet who finally feels motivated enough to come out to those closest to him. Why must television constantly depict gays in a stereotypical fashion? They make him as fashion savvy and wussy as possible. This is not true and it drives me insane. I think I can just say the name Dorrit and not even explain why she bothers me since fans of The Carrie Diaries will probably understand me just from that.
But now that I'm in too deep, I have to see what happens at the end of this season and I can't give up aside from all my nitpicking. I can completely admit to the show being my guilty pleasure at this point and I'm not ashamed. I haven't read many reviews about The Carrie Diaries, but I wonder if there are other people on the same page as me. I know I'm not alone in this!
I've never had much interest in girl bands for some reason. Growing up, I was interested in Britney Spears, Hilary Duff, and other female solo artists, but never a group. The only band that I can admit to enjoying was The Spice Girls only because I was like every other girl in the 90s. They exist and they flourish for a bit, but for some reason they don't stay together "forever". It might be the fact that girls are cattier than boys. There is always a power struggle among the females and every girl band ends up with the "diva".
Let's take Destiny's Child for instance. I was never a fan of them nor am I even a fan of Beyonce now (no judgement towards those who worship her), but they didn't last forever. Sure, the three of them all had potential in one way or another but Beyonce's voice did shine high above the others. It always ends with one or all wanting to go solo. Once they accrue enough fame through being a group, they can all try their own thing. It just happens that one of the girls in the group will always have a bigger following than the others.
The Spice Girls are another great example. They went strong for so many years and produced some of the most popular 90s music staples. When they had their comeback a few years ago, girls were dressing up as their former idols for halloween and the five brits were able to sell out a tour. It was interesting how nostalgia can overwhelm people, especially when it has to do with their childhood. I actually remember their break up quite clearly, Ginger Spice (Geri Halliwell) was the one who wanted to leave. It was quite devastating and while they all tried their own thing and had some pretty juicy tabloid stories, none of them were able to excel into anything better. I blame it on the fact that their voices weren't that good and their careers fueled on mediocre pop music and really ridiculous 7 inch platform shoes. It was the age of GIRL POWER!!
Now I am looking into things more recent. I am not a big fan of these voice competition shows only because it gets extremely repetitive every season. Sometimes I wonder why American Idol is still on, but with The X Factor and The Voice, we've been able to see what talent is hidden in the world today. There are 2 new girl bands who I have been interested in seeing bloom and that's Little Mix and Fifth Harmony.
I spent most of the day today watching videos of Little Mix on YouTube to get a better feel about them and I can admit that they have amazing voices. Every single one of them sounds uniquely different than the other and after watching a little documentary on how they first started, I agree with every single judge. These girls wouldn't be able to do much on their own, but put together, Perrie, Leigh Ann, Jesy and Jade are absolutely amazing. They're talented and they're making great music, coming from the over opinionated girl herself. While I have hope for them, a part of me is very worried there's going to be a brawl or perhaps a solo struggle yet again. When you stick that many talented people together, it's bound to happen.
Where as Fifth Harmony, my opinion differentiates a bit. I haven't followed them very much nor have I bothered to research them. I admit that because if we're speaking honestly here - I don't care about them. I saw them perform on The X Factor a few weeks back and I was more than unimpressed. First off, their lyrics for their current single "Me and My Girls" is beyond corny and whether they were nervous or not, their voices do not hold on compared to Little Mix. Seeing them bounce around on giant sized beds in onesies really had me question them. I have always bragged about how I have a keen eye when it comes to music, hence why I would love to go in A&R and my hypothesis with these girls? I don't see them lasting very long. Most people on these talent shows don't last very long regardless.
When it comes to music, nothing lasts forever and I don't think there will ever be a clear explanation why what artists stick and which artists fade. It all depends on society and what our ears are craving during that time. I am grateful for the iconic people that have graced this business and I am also grateful for the ones that have disappeared. In conclusion, I continue to be on a level of indifference when it comes to girl groups. These are the ones that come and go, just like boy bands, with some that'll make a lasting impression. Remember Eden's Crush, B*Witched, Cleopatra, and Play? How well did they do? Case closed.
I have always been enthralled with teen pop culture for some reason. It started when I was a little girl and collected every teen magazine under the sun and oddly enough, everything I read in those magazines was information I already knew. I always tell people that I know more about these celebrities that they know about themselves. While pop culture is a hobby for some, it's become a passion for me. I tend to find the lives of these superficial people more interesting than the "normal" people around me. Sickening to say the least, but it gives me something to write about right?
I came across this idea a few days ago after hearing Austin Mahone's new single "Banga Banga". I couldn't even tell you where I even came across the seventeen year old, but I was interested because of course, he was making good pop music. Starting as a YouTube star, like the ever so famous Justin Bieber, I saw something a little more humble about Austin. I know I should probably take into consideration that Austin is two years Justin's junior, but I have grown more of a liking towards him. Don't get me wrong, I loved Justin Bieber for some time. He was cranking out solid pop music, learning how to dance, and stealing the hearts of girls all over the world. It's been in these recent months where he's gotten on my nerves so much that I try to avoid reading anything about him in the tabloids. As much as Bieber pisses me off, I do think he's talented. Austin is pretty dang talented too and there's one thing that the entertainment world needs every so often - someone new, fresh, and exciting.
So why am I comparing the two? I think it's because Austin is bringing something new to the table. He's not irritating, he's got some cool fans called "Mahomies" and he's making good music. Plus he's cute which reminds me not to say that again until next April (he'll be 18 and I'll feel like less of a creep). He's got a lot going for him which makes me happy since I am witnessing a new star in the making.
The stem of all my hatred towards Bieber starts right here. Why can't the kid smile and WHY DOES HE SQUINT ALL THE TIME? I won't even let you give him the benefit of the doubt with the sun being in his face in the above picture. He does it all the time, in every single picture. I guess it's sexy for a sixteen year old, but look at Austin on the right. The kid looks so cute and he's actually smiling for the camera, showing off the nice dental work he had done. If you had braces, flaunt it right? Smiles keep people guessing anyway and there should be absolutely no shame in a gorgeous/dreamy smile.
Yes, I know, boys will be boys with baggy pants, but no one ever said boys had to wear diaper pants. When these pictures of Justin wearing the overly baggy crotch pants first emerged, all I could do was shake my head. I don't know who was styling him or how they even thought it looked good. In that left picture of Justin, he had on a pair of spikey red loafers dawned with knee high socks as well which were twice as bad as the diaper pants. It was nice to see Austin Mahone at both the 2013 VMA's and 2013 AMA's looking extremely professional in a suit. Maybe Austin should lend Bieber his stylist for the next event he attends.
As much as I love the entertainment industry, there's one thing as a bystander that I don't seem to sympathize with and it's paparazzi. This argument could go two ways, but I don't feel bad for celebrities when they're being hounded by paparazzi. I feel like this is something that comes with becoming famous and being in the limelight, it really can't be avoided. I know there are laws in place with paparazzi now and yes, there's the other argument that celebrities are normal people like you and I, but they have an image to uphold. It doesn't help that Justin Bieber has to argue about everything, from pictures that people post or things people say about him on Twitter. He also has to argue and attack paparazzi too. He is always starting some sort of beef with someone about what he's doing and how he wasn't "actually" doing it. Maybe it comes with Austin's situation where he isn't as big as Justin and people don't care about what he's doing right now, but he's looking pretty happy go lucky up in that picture. Yes, paparazzi need to be respectful but as do the celebrities. Too many people are watching, especially younger children when it comes to these teen stars. Bieber is growing up, as are his fans, but he's finding younger ones along the way too. Austin is starting off right, setting a great example for everyone around him.
Since Austin is still fairly new, I guess he has yet to face the hardship that Bieber has been facing these past few years after being the hot one in the spotlight. I've had encounters with both celebrities and in the end, I have to say Austin was the one I found much more humble and down to earth. I've seen Bieber in concert 3 or 4 times (I lost count) and met him at his perfume release. I suppose it was the circumstances he was under that made him not so pleasant that day, but getting a wink, smile, AND wave from Austin Mahone at the VMA's after I called his name and waved to him, it seemed to me that he felt grateful that someone over the age of 12 was acknowledging him. Hey, I may have even squealed a bit. I am ready for Justin Bieber to take a rest and let Austin Mahone take the spotlight, he's just getting started and I want to see what else he'll have in store for us. If you don't have any idea who Austin Mahone is, check out his music video below.
I am pretty shocked that the internet didn't explode this past Sunday. When I heard about One Direction's album "accidentally" leaking on iTunes, I was pretty sure the fandom would be in an uproar. Sadly I don't follow the 1D fandom enough and everything I do know is from my 11 year old niece, which is fine with me. I've heard horror stories of fandoms from being a BTR fan so I try to avoid going into them in the first place. They're a weird place, like a bar at last call. The lights come on and everything you didn't want to know finally shows. All in all, I stay out but that didn't stop me from being curious about Midnight Memories.
I have nothing against One Direction, honestly. I thoroughly enjoy their music and I do think they're a talented and handsome group of guys. I always go back and forth on who is the most talented and most attractive in the group and I can never pin point it. Their vocals are all strong and their personalities are compatible, but unique nonetheless.
The only qualms I have with the boy band is that there is a severe lack in songwriting and simply put - Louis. Hearing the progression from Up All Night to Midnight Memories, their maturity has excelled in sound, but Louis' voice still gets me. It's pretty hilarious because in my opinion, I am most attracted to him, but he definitely ranks last in vocals. Sometimes I wonder if he was kept in X Factor for the fact that he was good looking (except for that god awful Bieber bowl cut). My biggest guess is they nearly slaughtered him with a butt load of vocal lessons to put him on the same level as the rest of the guys or simply, cut his lines in their songs down to one or two segments. Whatever works though.
Moving on to songwriting, I am always impressed when I know that not only are artists using their own voices, but they're singing the words they concocted too. I always open up CD booklets when purchasing an album out of curiosity of the photos and most importantly, lyrics. I am slightly disappointed in the lack of power One Direction has in writing their own lyrics. I think when you follow an artist you love so much, there's a sense of honor and admiration knowing they worked as hard as they did on the writing aspect. Not to say 1D doesn't work their asses off because I know they do, but it'd be nice to see what they have to say musically more often.
After listening to Midnight Memories through and through for the past few days (yes I didn't wait, I told you I was curious!), I can finally conclude that I have mixed feelings. A lot of the songs were too slow for my liking, especially coming from Take Me Home. I felt like their prior album was more "single ready", meaning most of the songs could end up on top 40 radio in a heartbeat. This album dragged for me, especially since I listened to the deluxe edition so it was twice as long. There are two songs I have been jamming to back to back since they seem to be the most up beat and to my taste. If you're not sure on whether you want to listen or not, I would recommend starting with the more energetic of the tracks such as Does He Know? and Alive.
1D stuck to their typical sound which I praise, I am always iffy when artists swap around their sound. When BTR released 24/seven, I listened more than ten times until I found songs I enjoyed. Let's be real though, every artist will have a killer album and one (or more) that sucks. I am impressed that these British (and Irish) guys are doing so well, though. I always see an influx of boy bands every four years and they don't seem to last forever; under the exception of The Backstreet Boys, NKOTB, and Boyz II Men. Don't you think it's time to give it a rest?
All that aside, I can see myself turning into a "Directioner". I am being swayed because of their popular demand (I am enthralled with trends, a follower of sorts), but you won't see me buying that Harry Styles life size stand up from FYE anytime soon... or I could be lying. ☺
Must listen: Little White Lies, Better Than Words, Don't Forget Where You Belong