Dear TV Writers: Your Fear of the Moonlighting Curse is Killing Your Show

What is the Moonlighting Curse, and why is it such a big deal to television writers? Read this in-depth look at the crippling phenomenon and find out!

Getting Rid of the Stigma: Mental Illness in Young Adult Fiction, by Megan Mann

In this piece, Megan brilliantly discusses the stigma of mental illness in literature and how some young adult novels are helping to change the landscape for this discussion.

In Appreciation of the Everyday Heroine

A mask does not a hero make. In this piece, I discuss why it's wrong to dismiss characters without costumes or masks as superheroes.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

5 Reasons I Gave 'The Mindy Project' A Second Chance


My blogger friend Kim and I usually follow the same rule when it comes to watching a new television series. We like to call this particular rule “The Three Episode Test.” Since there are usually so many new shows during the fall and spring, we can only devote so much time and effort to a show in order to gauge whether or not it is worth pursuing long-term. Brooklyn 99 and Trophy Wife are series that I applied this test to this season and given the plethora of shows on the air, I decided to drop them after finishing the third episode. That’s not, of course, to say that the shows are bad. They’re comedies that I simply could not become invested in after three episodes. And if I’m not invested after three episodes, there’s little to no chance that I’ll be invested in ten or twenty.

Kim and I both gave The Mindy Project the Three Episode Test in its first season and I’ll be the first to admit that after three episodes, I dropped the show like a hot potato. It wasn’t clicking for me, and though I had found the pilot to be funny but slightly cringe-worthy in how grating, immature, and self-centered Mindy Lahiri was, I could not continue watching. Here’s what separates a good show from a great show though when it comes to the Three Episode Test: a good show will continue to work with what it has going for them; a great show will recognize its flaws, flatten them out, and re-work the characters, if necessary, in order to be the best it can be.

And The Mindy Project is the only show in recent memory that I have extended a second chance to because of this reason. It seems to me that this series found out (just like New Girl did with Jess’ quirkiness in the first few episodes) that it did not have to exaggerate Mindy’s qualities, nor did it have to exaggerate the qualities of the other supporting characters. The show found its footing when it humanized the Shulman Women’s Health Associates characters rather than turning them into caricatures and archetypes. I am now proud to say that I am a fan of The Mindy Project – I love each of these characters and their quirks and habits; I love that I empathize with Mindy and want to be her best friend; and I love so much that the show allows these characters to be weird and wacky and wonderful.

So below the cut, I outlined five major reasons as to why The Mindy Project got a second chance from me and why I’m so very grateful that it did.*

*none of the following GIFs are mine because I'm talented in other ways!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

New Girl 3x20 "Mars Landing" (Two Roads Diverged)


"Mars Landing"
Original Airdate: March 25, 2014

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

- "The Road Not Taken," Robert Frost

People break up for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it’s because you’re forced into a long-distance situation and cannot find a way to make the relationship work. Sometimes it’s because a person cheats or lies. Sometimes it’s because you fall out of love. And sometimes it’s because you realize that you’re not the same people you once were and have been growing in different directions. Nick and Jess have never seen eye-to-eye on… well, anything. From the inception of the series, Nick Miller was a curmudgeonly bartender who was opposed to feelings and responsibilities. Jess was this quirky, lively, optimistic and bubbly young woman who moved into the loft and challenged Nick on every level. She sang about her feelings; he made a turtle face. She gave people the benefit of the doubt; he did not because people, to him, are the worst and always disappoint. Sometimes naïve, Jess was always the bright ray of sunshine to Nick’s often Eeyore-like persona. They had chemistry though, even in the beginning, which drew them to one another. Of course, this chemistry culminated in last season’s “Cooler,” arguably one of the best episodes that New Girl has ever done. “Cooler” marked the upswing for the series, as every episode to follow was top-notch and fired on all cylinders (it’s the standard by which I judge every other sitcom series, to be honest). This show had always been rooted in Jess as a character and her journey, but now it had become about this relationship between Nick and Jess – the arguable heart of the series. Even when they weren’t romantically involved, Nick and Jess always had a connection with one another and understood each other and sought each other out more than any other character in the loft.

“Mars Landing” focuses on a shift in dynamic, some pretty devastatingly beautiful parallels to “Cooler,” and a shake-up that I’m processing but accepting. Alert: If you haven’t watched the episode yet, I’m about to drop some major spoiler bombs on you so stop reading this sentence. “Mars Landing” sees the breakup of Nick and Jess. Well, it sees the uncoupling of Nick and Jess (it’s never stated explicitly that they’re breaking up; they simply express the desire to return to their pre-relationship state so, okay, maybe they ARE broken up/on a break… so many Friends memories typing that phrase) and it’s both painful and necessary because at some point, this had to happen. Liz and Brett and Dave have always known and expressed the notion that Nick and Jess are two very messed up, very broken and very different individuals. And, to be honest, I really enjoy the fact that unlike some other series, these showrunners didn’t say: “But look! Look at all the chemistry they have; let’s get them engaged because we want to keep our core audience – the people who are ‘shipping’ Nick and Jess.” The truth is that real relationships don’t progress from point A to point B like we want them to or think they should. The truth is that there are bumps and mishaps and problems along the way, and Nick/Jess has never been a pairing that would have it easy in the show.

The real truth of the matter is that Nick and Jess’ relationship went from zero to sixty, as they noted in “All In.” They had been officially dating for an hour and already lived together. There’s that unique complication of them already being roommates, even though they JUST began a relationship. And both Nick and Jess know, in their heart of hearts, that being in a relationship together would only magnify their own personality flaws. Jess is optimistic, but mildly obsessed with the idea of having a plan and having the perfect home by the perfect lake with her perfect children. But even THAT is problematic, as Nick notes and I’ll discuss later: you can’t plan everything in life. When you start to do that, you get obsessed with the notion of control and that you can somehow warp people and events into your plan and that’s just not possible. Nick, on the other hand, is a bit emotionally and maturity-wise stunted. He’s improved a lot over the years, don’t get me wrong. But he’s got his own set of issues because of that: he doesn’t like planning, in any way, shape, or form. He also makes a lot of valid points to Jess about plans and her expectations of him in this episode and I’ll expand on those momentarily, too. As much as Nick has grown and as much as Jess has, too, they’re just not quite at a stable point in a relationship where they’re following the same vision. And it’s mature of them, I think, to ask the question: “What if loving each other just isn’t enough?”

Because the fact is that so many people stay in relationships with other people and compromise their values and their visions because they don’t want to lose the person they’re with. It’s fine for a while, to kind of coast like that, but eventually you hit a fork in the road and realize that those forks may lead toward the same clearing a mile down through the forest but… what if they don’t? What if they wind and twist and turn and you actually end up further apart because of your decision to stay together?

Nick and Jess wonder this aloud. We wonder it, too. But what we never wonder is whether or not these two crazy kids love each other. They do. They honestly and truly and profusely love each other. But sometimes that just isn’t enough. Love can do a lot of things, but it’s no match for the thick brush and tangled branches that line the separate forks in a relationship. But before I delve too deeply into the themes of “Mars Landing,” the ending that made me sob like a child, and the very “Cooler”-esque B-story, let’s recap the episode, shall we?

Friday, March 21, 2014

5x10 "Advanced Advanced Dungeons & Dragons" (Of Interventions and Owed Endings)


"Advanced Advanced Dungeons & Dragons"
Original Airdate: March 20, 2014

I have always had a pretty good relationship with my parents, with the exception of a few rough patches throughout my teenage years. I’ve always followed the rules, never really questioned their authority or rebelled, and never had a huge falling out. My brother and sister have had their fair share of fights and arguments and periods of silence with our parents, but for the most part we have all managed to coexist peacefully and respect and love each other. My mom’s side of the family was always dysfunctional and I think she knew that growing up and knew that she didn’t want to follow the same cycle that her mother and father and sisters did. My extended family fights with each other nearly all the time. My grandmother yells at my cousin; my aunt yells back at her. There’s this weird codependency that exists, though. Even though they fight and even though they argue… they still love each other and because of that, they still NEED each other. And, as weird and dysfunctional as it may sound, that bickering serves as a tie that binds them together rather than severs them. This is what “Advanced Advanced Dungeons & Dragons” focuses on for a good chunk of the episode: the relationship between Buzz Hickey and his son. The two don’t get along and have the kind of relationship that Jeff and William Winger had. It’s strained, to say the very least and it’s because both father and son (in each of these cases) are stubborn. It’s what happens when a powerful force collides with another powerful force spinning in the opposite direction. Those sorts of collisions are what create storms and cracks.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Jenn's Pick: My Top 20 Favorite Disney Songs Ever (#10 - #1)


I decided to make a post ranking my favorite Disney songs of all time and I needed to split it up into two posts for the sake of rambling and praising each of my choices. So, in case you missed the first installment, I wrote about my #20 - #11 songs here and ranked them.

And now, without further adieu, I give you my top ten favorite Disney songs ever. Ever. This was a difficult list to compile, but I feel pretty good about all of my choices. I only chose Disney (not Disney Pixar) songs and only listed songs where a character  or person performs them in the actual movie itself. There are no end credit songs, no scores, etc. included for the sake of my own personal rules and because I would have way too many choices if I went in that direction.

So here we go: click below the cut to find out what I chose as some of my favorite songs of all time and see if you agree with some, all, or none of them.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

7 Reasons You Need to Watch FOX's 'Enlisted'


I’m kind of easily persuadable when it comes to television series. My sister has told me I need to watch Pretty Little Liars. Jaime was the one who got me into both Community and Sherlock. And my Twitter timeline is the reason I started watching Enlisted, Fox’s newest comedy. Because I like Geoff Stults (I’ve enjoyed him since his days on 7th Heaven – yes, and I’m not denying it) and because my friends generally have good taste, I vowed to watch the series. Imagine my utter joy, then, when I discovered that every episode was already available to watch on Hulu, allowing me  to easily catch up with the series.

I fell in love with Enlisted from the pilot episode which honestly very rarely happens, even in my absolute favorite series. Community’s pilot? I didn’t love it. Parks and Recreation? Meh. New Girl? It was good, but not the best. And it is so amazing and rare to find a sitcom that fires on all cylinders from the pilot episode. But as The AV Club noted (and I rarely totally and completely agree with their gradings but I do with their reviews for this show), this is a show that manages – from its very first episode – to find the heart without the intense saccharine and cliché and find the comedy without the overkill. That’s so rare these days and I agree with their assessment of Enlisted having the very best comedy pilot of the 2013-2014 season. The writing on this show is witty and touching and so solid that I have found myself enjoying every single episode that I have had the opportunity to watch. And you all know me: I’m very picky when it comes to my comedies.

So I thought that I would spread the television sitcom love. When you care about a series, you need to tell others about it. I’m about to give you seven very compelling reasons why YOU need to catch up with Enlisted and watch what has quickly become one of my favorite comedy series. Let’s do this!*

*None of the following GIFs belong to me because I can't make GIFs. I'm the worst.

Friday, March 14, 2014

5x09 "VCR Maintenance and Educational Publishing" (The Elephant in the Room)


"VCR Maintenance and Educational Publishing"
Original Airdate: March 13, 2014


Ensemble series are special because their focus is on the way that the show and the cast work together in a seamless and effortless way. But what happens when there is a shake-up within the ensemble? Imagine Scrubs without Dr. Cox. Imagine New Girl without Nick Miller. Imagine The Office without Jim Halpert. The longer a series runs, the more shake-ups it is prone to have. Recently, Rob Lowe and Rashida Jones left their respective roles of Chris Traeger and Ann Perkins in Parks and Recreation. Steve Carell bid adieu to Michael Scott before the series finale wrapped, and Chevy Chase and Donald Glover left Community before the show actually ended. Things like this happen all the time in television, really, but when a show is driven by such an ensemble-centric dynamic as Community is… well, the absence of Troy Barnes’ heart and soul is felt and hits the audience and the characters quite squarely in the chest.

I won’t pretend that I have loved every episode of Community, post-Troy Barnes. In fact, I’ve enjoyed some of the episodes but I have felt something quite distinctly missing and that – of course – is Troy himself. I miss his childlike wonder and optimism; I miss his humor and his one-liners; I miss his friendship with Abed; and I miss how he seemed to be holding onto the other end of one of seven ropes that anchored the study group on the ground. Without Troy Barnes or Pierce Hawthorne, Community doesn’t fall apart. Parks and Recreation continues to exist without Chris and Ann, and The Office  had its flaws, but Dunder Mifflin did not collapse under the weight left in Michael Scott’s absence.

However (and this is a BIG however), just because a show doesn’t crumble to the ground after a piece or two of the ensemble leaves doesn’t mean that it isn’t affected at all. We’d be foolish to pretend that season four wasn’t affected by the lack of Dan Harmon and we’d be foolish, too, to presume that Community could be the exact same show it has always been without Donald Glover and/or Chevy Chase. Acknowledging that this show has changed and it is NOT the same show it once was (and that's not to say that it is somehow a worse show or a better show: it is just a different show) is the first step of accepting the show that it is now. There’s one element though that I have failed to discuss, though: how a show deals with the absence of a character. This is really the first episode that acknowledged Troy’s absence. It’s the first one to talk about the role he played and the void that is left in his absence. A show like Community cannot pretend that Troy’s absence or Pierce’s absence doesn’t affect its dynamic and structure and I think that for the most part, the writers and Harmon have tried to distract us with guest stars and homages and pop culture references in hopes that we would simply forget that the Greendale Seven are now the Greendale Five. Until, that is, this episode.

No guest star, no homage, and no amount of paintball will fill the void that Donald Glover left in his absence. We cannot pretend it doesn’t affect the show and until the writers stop pretending that it doesn’t affect the show, Community will not and cannot accept the hand they were dealt and move on. I think that what this episode DOES do well is what Community has always done well: address an issue within the context of the characters and be very meta about it in the process. Anthony’s remarks cannot be lost on us, nor can Abed and Annie’s method of distraction. “VCR Maintenance and Educational Publishing” is a meta commentary about the white elephant in the room: Troy's absence. And though this episode was flawed, I am glad that the writers and Harmon finally addressed the off-balanced nature of the study group in Troy's absence.

Well, now that this is out of the way, let’s discuss “VCR Maintenance and Educational Publishing,” shall we? There are two plots for the episode, really: In our A-plot, Annie and Abed realize that they need a new roommate to help foot some of the bills and they decide, together, to play a VCR game in order to decide whether or not Abed’s girlfriend or Annie’s brother (yeah I’ll touch on that momentarily) move in. The B-plot finds Shirley, Jeff, Britta, Chang, and Hickey in possession of a hidden gold mine of new Chemistry textbooks. With money and lying involved, you can bet that things go from bad to hostage situation pretty quickly.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Jenn's Pick: My Top 20 Favorite Disney Songs Ever (#20 - #11)



I love few things in life more than I love Disney.

It’s true: for as often as I’ve been to the theme parks, I love Disney World. I recently went to Epcot with my roommate Leah and our friend Lisa after our half-marathon (which you can read all about here). While we walked around, we discussed which Disney parks we were most familiar with and ranked them. I’m most familiar with The Magic Kingdom, knowing the park like the back of my hand.

I love Disney movies. I love the animation and I love the stories and the characters, but most of all, I love the music. I love that I have friends across the world who share this love with me and who make Spotify playlists or listen to Disney Pandora radio stations. There’s something magical in these songs, really. There are messages of hope and love and they’re catchy tunes that you can’t help but sing along with. As I contemplated my favorite songs from Disney movies, I decided to make a list, as I often do, and ranked twenty of my absolute favorite songs from Disney films. Since there are twenty of them and that’s a rather large number for a single blog post, I decided to break them up.

So, below the cut, join me on a magical journey through my #20 - #11 picks for favorite songs in Disney movies. And feel free to hum along with me as we work our way through the list! I won’t even judge you if you bust out some dance moves, I promise.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

New Girl 3x19 "Fired Up" (If You Want It, Just Ask For It)


"Fired Up"
Original Airdate: March 11, 2014

When you want something, you try your hardest to get it. If you want a new job, you apply for positions that interest you. If you want to run a half-marathon, you train for it. If you want to be the best at whatever you do – whether it’s sewing or building a rocket’s engine for NASA – you try your best and devote your time and energy to achieving your goal. And sometimes, just sometimes, you have to ASK for what you want.

Kids have no problem with this concept. If they want a pony, they ask their parents. If they want to spend the night at a friend’s house, they ask their parents. If they want clarification on why their parents have said “no” to either of those requests… they just ask. Kids are good at that, but adults often aren’t, especially if they’re anything like Jessica Day. In “Fired Up,” Jess wants a promotion but she’s a lot like me in that confrontation isn’t necessarily her area of expertise. So instead of asking Principal Foster for the opportunity to apply to be Vice Principal of the school, she spends her time doing meager jobs around the campus in hopes that her boss will see her good work and reward her for it with a promotion in a few years. Coach is baffled by this approach and I’m sure some of the audience is as well. But we have to remember that Jess isn’t the type of person who likes to demand things; she’s rather meek and sort of a pushover and very trusting, which makes her near-opposite boyfriend crazy sometimes.

But interestingly enough, Jess and Nick have parallel issues in this episode. Nick wants to be respected by Schmidt, but he’s fearful that he’s going to let his friend down. And Schmidt is very trusting of Nick for the majority of the episode. All Nick wants – all he really wants in every situation in life – is a chance to prove people wrong. He tells this to Jess mid-way through the episode in a one-sided heart-to-heart. He explains this to her in “Winston’s Birthday,” too, when he notes that he wants “all fathers to like [him].” Nick has been told all of his adult life that he’s essentially amounted to nothing. All of those jerks at law school didn’t think he had what it took to become a lawyer and his friends – his BEST friends – thought the same of him. So Nick wants to prove everyone wrong and Jess wants to prove to herself and to her boss that she has what it takes to help run her school and… well, “Fired Up” sees both of these characters trying and failing and then trying some more in these areas.

But before we delve too deep into the characters and their development this week, let’s recap the plot of the episode, shall we?

Monday, March 10, 2014

Happy Birthday, Danny Pudi! Today We Celebrate You... Through GIFs.


Today is Danny Pudi's 35th birthday, and is there a better way to celebrate the day of someone's birth than through the wonderful innovation of GIFs? Danny Pudi, of course, is best known for his role as Abed Nadir on the cult-hit Community. I love the show, obviously, and over the years have grown to love and understand Abed more as a character. He's still not the character I relate to most of all (#AnnieEdisonForLife). Sometimes Abed he frustrates me. Sometimes I feel sorry for him. Sometimes I'm baffled and impressed by his extensive knowledge of pop culture. But what I love so much about Abed is the way that he's portrayed by Danny. This is a character who, at the hands of any other actor, would not - I feel - be as beloved as Abed is on this show. Danny has such an amazingly nuanced way of portraying this pop culture-defined character. He is able to convey deep, meaningful emotion through the dead-panned delivery of a line or the slight tilt of his head or a mere stare. Danny and Abed are vastly different in personality. You can tell that through the way, of course, that Danny speaks in interviews and functions off-set that he is nothing like his character. But the most impressive thing about Danny Pudi and why I know that he is a fantastic actor is that, in these interviews, he really and truly understands every layer that there is to know about Abed. He's still growing as an actor as Abed grows as a character. That's amazing, to me. What I love really about Community and why I think the actors are so fantastic is that each one of them really and honestly understands what makes their particular character tick. Danny knows what scares Abed and what motivates him and what confuses him and how much he has grown over the course of five years. And when an actor gets that - when they REALLY get that - it translates beautifully on screen.

So to celebrate Danny's birthday, I thought I'd post ten of my favorite Danny Pudi/Abed Nadir GIFs. Are you ready? Then let's do this!*

* None of these GIFs are mine. I'm not talented enough to do things like make GIFs, to be honest. I'M GIFTED IN OTHER WAYS.

Friday, March 7, 2014

5x08 "App Development and Condiments" (How Five Little Kittens Destroyed Greendale)


"App Development and Condiments"
Original Airdate: March 6, 2014

My mom is contemplating a career change. She’s a pre-school teacher at the moment and doesn’t know what she wants to do in the next stage of her life. But her workplace is fragile and draining and she’s ready to move on. The only problem is that she’s a teacher, which means that parents of her current students are requesting her for their other children in the future. My mom and I were discussing her career this weekend when she admitted that she can’t be afraid to move on with her life. Moreover, she expressed that she cannot be guilted into staying at a place she doesn’t feel called to anymore. Guilt is a powerful thing and one of the most subtle and damaging forms of manipulation. Shame is a direct result of guilt. It’s why we hide ourselves from others; it’s why we put up walls and shut others out. It’s why our relationships falter and fail. Manipulation comes in all forms. It comes in the twisting of words or the twisting of lips or it comes in complete silence. The reason that we manipulate others, as I stated in a recent New Girl review (“Sister II” which dealt heavily with this theme) is because we love the idea of control and hate the idea of sacrificing our pride and egos. Jeff Winger has always been the king of manipulation. He turned an entire group of strangers against one another with a single speech in the pilot. He talks and talks until he gets what he wants. He realized at an early age that if he talked long enough, he could make anything true. Shirley Bennett has the most subtle form of manipulation on the show, but it’s manipulation no less. She loves the control and the power (everyone on this series gets pretty crazy whenever they’re handed even the slightest bit of power), but more than that… I think Shirley just loves being NEEDED. She and Jeff share that desire. Jeff hates being left out of things and so does Shirley. Jeff hates it when others see someone else as more valuable than himself and Shirley feels similarly. Though fundamentally they’re quite different in terms of beliefs, they’re rather similar in many other aspects.

“App Development and Condiments” takes a good hard look at what happens when you place power into the hands of the students at Greendale and allow them to dictate the merits of one another. It goes about as well as you’d expect it to. Seriously, after two paintball wars, three failed documentaries, school-wide pillow fights, and countless other shenanigans, you’d think that Dean Pelton would learn to never involve his students in anything that had even the slightest stakes. Nevertheless, this episode focuses on what happens when certain students acquire power and others lose it. It’s an episode that focuses strongly on the caste system, while also being reminiscent of a dystopian novel like Brave New World (ranking students and grouping them into sub-sections by the app, refusing to allow certain groups certain rights and privileges, etc.). There’s really only an A-plot in the episode which is important in something like “App Development and Condiments” which relies heavily on its genre/homage to carry the story. (You’ll notice that most of those homage episodes that Community does only contain one story, too.) Jordan Blum and Parker Deay wrote the episode and I thought they did a pretty good job in terms of storytelling. The main conflict in the episode is between Jeff and Shirley and this is their token “one story per season” episode, so I’m okay with that. And while “App Development and Condiments” was visually appealing, it was a bit joke-light this week, as the homage episodes typically are.

But before I delve too deeply into the deeper meaning of the story this week, let’s recap the plot first, shall we?

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

New Girl 3x18 "Sister III" (Let's Be Clear: You Really Can't Choose Your Family)


"Sister III"
Original Airdate: March 4, 2014

I’ve had my own room ever since I was a little girl. The first time I had to share a living space with someone – a small, cramped dorm room – was when I went away to college my freshman year. I lived away from home for two years, then transferred back to attend a local university. I had pretty decent living experiences, to be honest: I liked and got along with both of my roommates quite well. But something happens when you share a space too small to really share with someone. Eventually you get on each other’s nerves. Eventually, you’ll have a bad day and your nerves will already be frayed and the way that your roommate intermittently sighs when reading her book or the way that she taps her pen will set you over the edge. You can literally feel yourself bristle and snap in those moments, like lightning just sizzled throughout your entire body. This week on New Girl, each person and pairing learns a concept that is common to that of preschoolers. They learn how to share. Nick and Jess try to really LIVE together by moving into Nick’s bedroom and in the process share a lot more with one another than either is comfortable with; Coach and Cece share a new, friendly bond; Abby and Schmidt over-share in their relationship; and Winston shares his struggles with those darn rings in his fitness test for the police academy. It’s all about adapting to your current circumstances, learning to be brave, and figuring out what you want out of life in “Sister III.” And I quite enjoyed the journey.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Oscars Fashion 2014: The Good, The Bad, and The Meh


There are exactly two reasons I watch The Oscars every year: 1) I don't like feeling left out of things that other people watch and 2) I love seeing the array of dresses that the actresses wear each year. I'm not a big "Oscar movie" person (this year was the first year I've actually seen any of the Oscar-nominated Best Picture films, so go me!), because I like fluff and movies like that don't often get nominated for anything, let alone major awards. Though I do enjoy watching the hosts make jokes and the presenters give away awards and though I often enjoy listening to singers perform, the real treat for me during awards season is the fashion. I love pin-pointing my favorite designers and gowns and I enjoy watching the Fashion Police try to guess what designer a particular celebrity will wear to the event. I'm a sucker for things like that, which is why I have a stack of InStyle magazines in my apartment about a foot high and follow fashion blogs. I may also often daydream about what designer I would wear to an awards show, should I ever miraculously do something that would cause me to be invited to one.

So I decided that I would compile my best dressed and worst dressed and "meh" dressed here for you all! It's Oscar Monday (Maggie is right - why isn't this an acceptable national holiday to take off work for?), which means that we're going to revisit some of my favorite gowns and designers from last night's ceremony. Ready? Let's check them out!*

* all photo credits to hollywoodlife.com