Thursday, March 3, 2016

Series: #TBT - Week 8 Spotlight: Rae Nudson [Contributor: Maddie]

Maddie approached me about doing a Throwback Thursday (#tbt, for all you Internet-savvy folks) piece where each we highlight our writers. She noted that what makes our site unique and separates it from all of the other entertainment sites out there is the personal touch each of the writers put on their reviews. Throughout this #tbt series, you'll get the chance to know each of us as individual writers a little bit more and hopefully relate to us a little bit more as well. Thanks, Maddie, for such a great idea! - Jenn

It's always a pleasure to talk to our Rae-diantly beautiful editor. This week I got the opportunity to discuss Rae’s faves of pop culture past. Enjoy this piece as much as I'm pleased with myself for make both a pun and a rhyme involving Rae’s name.

(28 years old)

Q: What was your first major TV obsession and how did it impact you and your taste in television?

A: Okay, I didn’t watch that much TV as a kid, so most of my truly obsessive TV watching began in college or later and I’ve been catching up ever since. I definitely had the first three seasons of Grey’s Anatomy on DVD and had seen every episode of Friends, but my first REAL obsession was Breaking Bad. My friends and I would email each other after every episode, and I didn’t have cable at the time, so I would get up early on Monday morning and watch the new episode on Amazon before work. It took a lot of work to not be spoiled for that show!

But that definitely influenced my taste and really showed me that I love analyzing TV and taking stories on TV seriously. I try to apply that line of thought no matter what I’m watching — whether that’s in something dark like Breaking Bad or something light and funny like Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

Q: What Disney movie do you still love to watch and sing the songs to?

A: Well, I just watched Frozen earlier today, so does that count? Hercules is also definitely a favorite of mine, and when I was little I watched Aladdin every single day and had the soundtrack on a cassette tape. When I love something, I go hard.

Q: Which Disney princess has the best dress?

A: Belle, hands down. That dress coming down the staircase made a huge impression on me when I was little — the same impression a really good gown in real life can make on me now. It leaves you a little bit gobsmacked.

Q: What show shaped your sense of humor most growing up?

A: Friends. I have probably seen every episode of Friends a million times, and I would quote it excessively. It was pretty easy to start mimicking Chandler’s dry wit.

Q: Who is your favorite pet from TV and film growing up?

A: Salem the cat, from Sabrina the Teenage Witch. I’ve always had cats growing up, and I loved that he could talk with his people. Plus, when I got my own cat, he was all black, too.

Q: What is your nostalgic pop culture guilty pleasure?

A: I really believe in taking time to enjoy frivolous things and try not to feel guilty about anything I have fun with. Having said that, I did watch every episode of Secret Life of the American Teenager.

Q: As the lead of our Bachelor round table panel, what was your first reality TV obsession?

A: Do you all remember Rock of Love? Because, boy, do I remember it. I also went to weekly watch parties for Project Runway, though I’ve fallen off the show's train in later seasons. (I still love Christian Siriano.) I also watched The Hills, but I missed out on Laguna Beach. I definitely did not ship Spidei, but I think they provide a really interesting look at relationships under a reality TV microscope and how stories get manipulated both in media coverage and on the show. Actually someone should write a thesis on them, if that hasn’t happened already.

Q: What 90s/ 00s fashion trend are you most embarrassed for loving?

A: Oh boy, there are so many. Gaucho pants have to be the worst. They were a kind of culottes, I guess, but made just of black stretchy fabric around the waist and had a very wide, flowy leg. I guess sort of looked like a black skirt, but really they were pants? I swear they were comfortable, but I’m not sure why I jumped on that bandwagon. Not all trends are for everyone!

Q: First TV boyfriend?

A: Sean from Boy Meets World. Sean was far superior to Cory to my preteen self. (Actually, he still is.)

Q: Who was your television OTP before you even knew the term existed?

A: Jess and Rory. I still ship them, and in my head canon they got it together and argue about books over candlelight.

Q: What was your first internet fandom and what brought you to it?

A: Harry Potter! In between books I was all up on messageboards and theory sites and I would talk about them with people as if everyone knew the latest theory on Snape posted by SlytherinBoyz672. I got some weird looks, but I regret nothing.

Q: Who was your fictional style icon growing up?

A: This is a tough one! Maybe Elle Woods? Even though my style nowadays is more white t-shirt and leather jacket than a pink skirt suit, I love the unabashed girliness of Elle Woods and that she could still be a brilliant lawyer while being blonde and wearing pink. She really was a role model for me and showed me that you don’t have to give up your girliness to be good at something. In a world that rarely takes young girls seriously, that meant a lot to me.

Q: What has been your favorite thing about being involved in fandoms?

A: Harry Potter was my first real experience with fandom and it was so wonderful to spend more time in that world with people who cared about it as much as I did. That community and that feeling of being excited to talk about something we have in common with total strangers (who become friends!) is what I love best about talking about pop culture, and why I love writing about it.

Q: What TV friendship did you aspire to have growing up?

A: Meredith and Cristina from Grey’s. I still use the phrase “you’re my person,” and I love that it is in reference to two female friends and not a romantic relationship. Meredith and Cristina always supported each other in a way that the men in their lives never did. They were strong, ambitious women and who understood each other and loved each other even though they weren’t perfect. In fact, it was because they weren’t perfect that their acceptance and friendship meant so much.

Q: Finally, what female fictional character from television past was the most influential for you? Why?

A: Even though I didn’t watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer until after it aired, Buffy is still everything I aspire to be. Not only is she physically strong, but she also has a strong sense of self and believes in her abilities and her choices. She stood up to literal demons, but she also stood up to an unjust system that she was a part of. That is so brave and to see a woman value her worth and stand up for herself in a room full of authoritative men means so much to me.


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