My Definitive Ranking of Every Song From ‘Julie and the Phantoms’

In case you’ve been living under a rock this autumn, Kenny Ortega (the visionary director behind High School Musical and Descendants) has returned with his latest project. It’s a nine-episode Netflix Family series about a girl, Julie, who plays a CD of the tunes from ’90s boy band Sunset Curve (who sounds eerily similar to 5SOS, just saying) when the band — now [cute] ghosts — appear to her. So, naturally, they form a band together because they are all musically inclined. This show is one of my new favorite Netflix obsessions even though I’m way older its suggested demographics. But, oh well, it’s just that good. Part of the reason, I’m loving JATP is due to its bop-worthy soundtrack because all 15 tracks are massive hits, I promise you.

So, for all my fellow JATP-loving fans and unapologetic Sunset Curve stans, here’s my official, definitive ranking of the entire soundtrack.

15. “All Eyes on Me”

Sure, this track has a catchy beat that makes me want to dance like the girls of Dirty Candy, and Alex too, but that’s about it. Now, when the pandemic is over, who wants to join me and choreograph our own dance to this track and become our own version of Dirty Candy?


14. “I Got the Music”

Yes, these young ladies are absolutely, incredibly talented, but this just isn’t my type of music. It’s the hip hop-py vibe and yelling thing that I just can’t get into. But, it’s very upbeat and has me wishing I could be in a flash mob every day of my life.


13. “Wow”

Seriously, Carrie is poised to be a miniature pop star already. Girl has the drive, determination, and precision to be the leader of a girl group. Flawless, that’s right.


12. “You’ve Got Nothing to Lose”

What do you get when you put Broadway veteran Cheyenne Jackson in a musical TV show? A fabulous musical number, obviously. This track has a big-band feel that makes me want to get up and dance. Also, Dancing With the Stars producers are seriously lacking if they don’t give one of their couples a quickstep or something to this number. I need to see it.


11. “Wake Up”

Madison Reyes was born to sing and be a star, that’s for sure, and this track proves that tenfold. This is only No. 11 because it’s less catchy than some other tunes, and I’m less likely to have this stuck in my head, singing and dancing along at every aspect. It’s still incredible, because of her voice, just wow.


10. “Edge of Great”

Here’s pure proof that this band was meant to play together. Like, their chemistry as a group is just electric and gives me chills every time. Also, I just want to stand on all my furniture and belt out their tunes. Seriously, if there’s a concert, I’ll be first in line to buy tickets next to all the teenybopper fans.


9. “Flying Solo”

This ode to best friends is beyond precious, but also makes me wanna sing and dance along throughout my entire apartment. Next time you want to tell your besties how much you appreciate them for always supporting you, just send them this link and that alone will say a lot.


8. “The Other Side of Hollywood”

But this Cheyenne Jackson number is pure Broadway and I love this track for that exact reason. It has a 1920s-inspired groovy beat, and it’s everything us theater nerds love. It’s flashy, has killer vocals, and perfect dance breaks. Yes, please!


7. “Perfect Harmony”

This ballad is absolutely pure and romantic from the very first moment that Luke appears through the mirror to dance with Julie, and gah, I’m a puddle. It’s so freaking cute, my heart has melted for these two and this beautiful duet.


6.”This Band is Back (Reggie’s Jam)”

This feels like a backyard jam sesh and is just plain, good fun! It starts with my favorite line, “Come on, Reginald” which, of course, I say every time I listen to. It’s just such a fun, cute line because Reggie is so lovable and underrated as a character. This track is just for fun, I dig it.


5. “Now or Never”

The opening number of the entire show gives off so much 5 Seconds of Summer vibes, and as a 5SOS stan, I’m on board. It has that rocking boy band music type that makes me want to stan Sunset Curve as a massive fangirl (oops, too late). Now, excuse me as I go blast this track and dance around my apartment while I do my chores.


4. “Bright”

For the first time the band played together in front of a crowd, I have chills. Their chemistry together is electric, pure poetry, and I’m obsessed; just call me a Fantom already!! This band was just meant to play together, and then, uhh, Luke, his voice is like an angel.


3. “Finally Free”

I think the section where Luke and Julie share a mic, look deep into each other’s eyes, and repeat “I got a spark in me” is why I love this so much. They ooze chemistry and it just makes me melt, like gah, it’s so perfect. Other than that, it’s an upbeat track that makes me want to sing along and dance around. I love it. Also, I saw a TikTok theorizing that Kenny Ortega included this song as the follow-up to HSM‘s “Breaking Free,” which, ahhhh, that would be amazing.


2. “Stand Tall”

This song is now my go-to confidence-building, empowering track to power pose to before I have to do anything important. Seriously, hit play and then power pose for the duration of the track, it works every time. When the song ends, you’ll feel so freaking empowered and fierce, ready to conquer the world. Which, like, yes, we need more of that especially as women in today’s world. Plus, each of the guys’ solos make my heart race, and then Luke’s grand entrance, after nearly giving me a heart attack, was everything to see him get there and it made me smile.


1. “Unsaid Emily”

Here’s the big one. The all-time best. The one that makes me cry literally every single time I hear it. And if Spotify is on shuffle and this comes on, then I’m a goner. It’s so vulnerable and raw, but so beautiful and authentic that I’ll always stan Charlie Gillespie and his character of Luke because look at his range! Look at what this boy can do! Now, considering the emotional impact of “Unsaid Emily” and Luke’s backstory, I’m gonna need all the tissues when Season 2 (please, please, please renew this, Netflix!) gives us songs and moments about both Reggie’s and Alex’s backstories.

19 of My Favorite Book Boyfriends That Ruin the Mere Idea of Dating

I think this title pretty much says it all. As you may have gathered by now, as frequent visitors to Miranda’s Book Nook, I’m a big fan of romance books. Because, especially in today’s uncertain and disheartened world, these books and the sweeping HEAs never fail to put a smile on my face and make me feel happier.

But, these love interests are fictional. Like seriously, where on Earth are these soulmate types IRL? I mean, where’s a Peeta Mellark, Bo Lawson, or even a Drew Nichols in reality, and how’s a girl supposed to find him amongst the billions of people roaming around? Since these dream dates aren’t sniffing around in the real world, I guess I’ll settle to read about these picture-perfect matches where heartbreak isn’t a major concern. (Seriously, why don’t I see these types of devoted book BFs pop up on Hinge, huh?)

This is not a ranking per se, but rather a comprehensive list of all my favorite (recent and all-time) fictional boyfriends across my favorite romance, YA, and women’s fiction novels. These guys just take such an interest in the girl they are crushing on, truly caring about her wellbeing and happiness for who she is — baggage be damned. And in the end, we get a picture-perfect love story that, sure, doesn’t exist IRL, but they feel just right and genuine, which is everything that us single girls could ever dream of for a match.

Seriously, all my fellow single ladies, prepare to swoon.

Writer’s Note: This may be an embarrassing post, but you know what? F*ck it. After reading an ARC of Smash It! (review post coming soon), I want to be more fearless in my own life and less afraid to do anything and so, here we go. I wanted to write this because I thought it would be fun and good for a laugh. So, here it is. Whether you like it or not, this post for me and I enjoyed writing and compiling every entry. Bam. Enjoy.

Jas Singh, Girl Gone Viral

Come on, like, I was already crushing on him *before* he even professed his feelings for his boss Katrina. There was a definite vibe between the two and sparks and chemistry aplenty. Within 37 pages of the book, I was already hardcore shipping Jas and Kat together, before they even professed their feelings to each other! But, they’ve been pining over each other for years (and his abs certainly didn’t hurt). Kat wanted the zings when it came to love, and with Jas, she got them, from their deep chats, innocent flirt sessions, and other *ahem* steamy moments.

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Connor Markham, American Royals

One of my favorite parts about this book was Princess Beatrice (aka Bea)’s storyline, which heavily involved our next Book BF. While Beatrice needed a blue-blooded man to sit beside her on the throne one day, she can’t help but ignore her feelings for former friend slash crush Connor, who also happens to be her personal bodyguard. Meaning, he always just wants to see her happy and safe. I mean, come on! Like, when he proposed to Bea (not the queen-to-be, but the girl he crushed on back at school) with just a Sharpie drawing because he couldn’t afford a giant rock? I wept. Money can’t buy you love and he proves that tenfold.

While they had to keep their relationship trysts on the DL because he’s her bodyguard, what they did share was romantic and cute as hell. I just can’t wait for the sequel Majesty to drop this fall just to get more Bea+Connor swoon-worthy content.

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Ben Mackenzie, Meet You In the Middle

Geez, where do I find a Ben Mackenzie that treats me like his own Kate IRL? Like, gah perfection. I mean, I may act like an ice queen to protect myself from getting hurt, but even I know that, damn, deep down I’m such a romantic Pisces girl, who’s just wanting and yearning for true love to be real and just so full of hope that someone can think you, quirks and all, is perfect.

I’ve since read my ARC of this book at least three times and swoon over him every time. Sure, like Kate, Ben and I fall on opposite political ends, but he proves how compatible the two are in so many other ways regardless and how much he’s willing to support her no matter what. Plus, he’s more excited for her own victories than his own, which is just so precious. Sure, they have physical chemistry and all that jazz, but they also have banter and wit, and that in itself is like dream guy material.

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Jay Shah, The Trouble With Hating You

Jay is absolutely head over heels with Liya, truly accepting and supporting her for who she is. By the time they admit their feelings for one another, the romance feels justified and earned. Even when Liya tries to push him away, he still sticks by her because he cares so deeply about her. Hell, he’ll even move away from his family if it means they’ll be together. Gah, it’s authentic yet sweeping, and is a Jay too much to ask for IRL??

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Alex Rouvalis, Four Days of You and Me

It’s the classic ‘popular boy is a jerk to a girl, but that’s only because he likes her’ trope, but as we get to know Alex better, we see he’s more than just a pretty-boy jock. Regardless of where he and Lulu stand personally, he always does what it takes to make her happy, from planting a garden, skipping school trips, risking injury, even if he gets in trouble, because his consuming love for her is worth it. They just have such a strong connection that can’t be broken.

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Derek Darcy, The Wrong Mr. Darcy

Derek may seem like the stereotypical rich professional athlete, but actually, he has so much heart in this novel. Just look at the storm scene, and everything he risks to help Hara and her new friend get to safety when things looked fatal and really bad. Then, he was willing to confront the basketball team owner over his misdeeds to help protect Hara and her family. He’s such a stand-up guy with the best heart around. I mean, I guess he is a Darcy after all.

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Nicholas Rose, You Deserve Each Other

While, at first, we as readers are poised to dislike Naomi’s Prince Charming-esque fiancé Nick, once their battle of wits heats up and their walls tumble back down, they re-warm to each other as accomplices, BFFs, and lovers to become even stronger. Soon, we discover the lengths he’s gone to save them, the real them; not the society couple they are supposed to be. From the cabin, the little notes, and teaming up against his controlling mother, it’s so clear they are meant to be. And that’s why he makes this list because his authentic self loves hers. They have to fight for their love and he doesn’t ever give up, because he knows the real Naomi is his person. To have someone fight for you when you’ve all but given up hope? Gah.


Ryan Nicholson, Head Over Heels

First, Avery’s childhood crush offers her a job and friendship once she moves back home following a traumatic breakup. So, they start to work together as gymnastic coaches. And I’m not kidding because, within ninety pages, I’m sitting here squealing over the prospect of them becoming the hottest new couple and co-coaches ever. I’m definitely getting ahead of myself, but that’s because you want to root for these characters. Soon enough, the sparks start flying. It’s never that easy when a massive scandal rocks the gymnastics world and could threaten to pull them apart. But, of course, he believes her and supports her.

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Prince Nicholas, The Royal We

He’s definitely a favorite book boyfriend, first off, because he’s basically Prince William but fictionalized. Then, once he and Bex give into their crazy chemistry and connection, all bets are off. Even when they are apart, he cannot stop thinking about her. Ugh, and like the whole British Prince + American Commoner trope is just straight out of a fairytale, even before Prince Harry and Meghan Markle started dating.

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Fitzwilliam Darcy, Eligible

Another Darcy? So, obviously, he needs to be on here. While he and Liz don’t exactly get off on the best foot, soon enough their banter translates into crazy, unexplainable chemistry. Even when Chip reveals himself to be the real jerk, it is Darcy who shines as the man who really cares for her and her family. It just goes to prove that first impressions are rarely as they seem.

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Bo Larson, Dumplin

Seriously, he has to be one of my top book boyfriends, like ever. Sure, Luke Benward does a great job portraying him in the Netflix film, but there was a lot to his backstory that was excluded. And that was the best part and why I took a liking to him so much. You think he’s some stuck-up private school kid and athlete, but actually he’s there on scholarship, dirt-poor, a great big brother, and a helpful son. That, and he likes Willowdean as she is, without even a care that she doesn’t have a typical Barbie-girl physique. He’s honest and lays his heart on the line to her and he’s legit one of the best YA romantic love interests I’ve ever read about.

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Oliver, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

I think I have a British boy infatuation problem? Oops. Anyway, ever since I first read this YA book back when YA was age-appropriate for me in technicality, I loved it in part to how sweet Oliver was to our heroine. He was heroic and charming, but still vulnerable and grounded, and just sought to be with her and be present in the moment. I mean, how many times did I secretly wish I was seated next to a handsome suitor on a flight?? Countless. How many times has it happened? A big fat ZERO, zilch, nada. So, I’ll live vicariously through these two.

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Adam Martinez, By the Book

While this story picks up some 20-odd years later, their relationship actually began while college students. Adam and Anne spent so much time together, he met her family and her college mentor, and then gave her the most incredible literary proposal of all time. Then, he does it a second time! He builds her a dream library, aims to do whatever it takes to make her happy and I just *sigh.*

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Nick Young, Crazy Rich Asians and China Rich Girlfriend

Of course, you can’t think of the best book boyfriends without thinking of the doting, handsome, intelligent, and family-orientated Nick Young. Sure, the movie definitely makes him even more lovable, but I’m focused on him as a love interest in the books. Even by the end of the first book, when they aren’t even together, he still wants to do what is right by here, give her the time she needs to wrap her head around her own life and goals before giving her all in a relationship. He lets her do exactly that at her own pace, no rush. And seriously that book proposal in the second book from the trilogy blows the movie’s airplane proposal out of the water, because it’s so sweeping and romantic, and I’m gonna swoon. I mean, the movie viewers are definitely robbed of seeing that incredibly romantic scene play out in the sequel film. I’m fine, it’s not like I’m bitter or anything, whatever.

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Alex Claremont-Diaz & Prince Henry, Red, White, & Royal Blue

They both make the list because they are both wonderful love interests. What starts off as a fake friendship turned real friendship to real love is every bit as authentic, genuine, and cute as imagined. They see each other as more than just the supersized public personas from the tabloids and get to know the charming and honest men underneath. And I mean, the fact that one’s a royal prince certainly doesn’t hurt.

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Josh, Younger

He proves that age, et cetera, doesn’t matter when it comes to love and two souls that belong together. I loved how sweet and caring he was in the book and on the show, and what more could a girl want? He’s perfect, I’ll even make an exception for the tattoos. OK, I can’t help it: the book made it so easy for me to be a #TeamJosh supporter, especially since the novel has no Charles. But in her follow-up Older, I definitely swayed a bit more towards Team Hugo. Hey, it’s where Liza is out now, some five years later since the first book.

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Eli Stock, Along for the Ride

Honestly, he was one of my first book crushes once I started diving into the world of YA. (Thank you, Sarah Dessen.) Sure, he’s mysterious and a loner, but he’s someone Auden can count on and open up to. Oh, and he’s good with babies too. He helps her embrace her fears and to see the world in new ways. They help each other grow and if that’s not real love, then IDK what is.

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Oliver Blackwood, Boyfriend Material

He’s not just the perfect fake boyfriend in this book, he’s pretty much the perfect boyfriend in general. He has banter, is nice and normal with a good job and a good fashion sense. Also, he’s a vegetarian because of his strong ethical code and he’s never had a scandal in his life. Seriously, that’s boyfriend material. Hence, the book title. It’s just precious as can be to see Oliver’s adorableness as the world’s most perfect boyfriend. It’s just like so much perfection. But, you’ll learn that he’s actually not perfect, and between him and Luc, they make each other better, and it’s even sweeter and cuter.

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Augustus Waters, The Fault in Our Stars

OK, I’m pretty sure Gus here is like the OG Book Boyfriend from any YA novel. Sorry, I don’t make the rules, he just is. Everything about him and who he is as a survivor is just so strong and kind, and I can’t help but melt every time I read the book (or watch the movie). He helps Hazel Grace cope with her own diagnosis, help her fulfill her dream with a romantic trip to Amsterdam, and helps her meet her favorite author. Plus, their flirty “okay” text conversations still gives me goosebumps.

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Well, maybe I’ll never find my ultimate, perfect prince in real life, but at least I know him in my imagination through these books. Hey, it’s something right?

My Immediate Reactions After Watching Netflix’s ‘Too Hot to Handle’ Series

One thing y’all know about me is that I’m a sucker for a good reality TV show, and the trashier the better. It’s a guilty pleasure, I’m not even guilty about. Upon seeing the trailer for Netflix’s latest foray into the dating reality TV game, Too Hot to Handle, it immediately looked bad — but in a way that I definitely needed to watch. And so I did. Oh boy, did I. And, um, it was A LOT. But instead of recapping what y’all missed, I thought I’d give my unfiltered and unapologetically honest first impressions and opinions of this series. Because, hey, it’s what I do and what I like.

First off, here’s the official trailer of the new show, from the streaming service that brought you Love is Blind.

So, keep reading for a list of all my random musings and thoughts I had while watching this trashy dating show starring beautiful people, places, and accents. I watched it so you don’t have to, and here’s what happened.

  1. Slow-mo beach/pool shots of beautiful people in swimsuits, OK, this is just like Love Island.
  2. They found “the hottest, horniest, commit-phobic swipesters,” like this is a real quote from the narrator.
  3. The resort is essentially run by a Siri or Alexa-type called Lana. Lana quietly and secretly gathers intel on the guests without their knowledge, how creepy.
  4. Essex girl Chloe is like every girl I’ve ever seen in all six seasons of Love Island.
  5. The are all like 20 years old; babies! Basically, there’s an air of immaturity around the lot.
  6. Sharron openly admitted that he’s most proud of his manhood, which, um, is the size of an air freshener. Which like, ew, we didn’t want to know that. (Hey, it’s been four minutes! Geez!)
  7. I can already tell Haley is going to be annoying: She has a tattoo in another language that she doesn’t know what it means and can’t stop doing her sorority chant. Just please stop.
  8. Within 5 minutes, I already can tell it is a pure dumpster fire. Like it’s so bad, but I just can’t look away.
  9. OK but seriously, Love Island and the entire Bachelor franchise both look classier than this. Which is saying a lot because people are making out and hooking up in like every episode.
  10. Did Harry just call the girls quesadillas? Like the food? Um. And then naughty possums? Creep alert.
  11. Most of them are models and influencers, of course. One dude (the Jesus lookalike) was even on America’s Next Top Model once upon a time, like obviously none of them are here for the right reasons.
  12. It’s just so ridiculous, but I just can’t look away.
  13. David walks into bars, whips his top off, and that works for him? I’d give him serious side-eye, like what the heck, that’s so unsanitary.
  14. OK Haley doesn’t know were Australia is. Like, I just. And yet, she’s in college??
  15. This show is rapidly decreasing my interest in dating as it continues to prove that men are The Worst and just trash even more. This song just gets me right now.
  16. One thing that really, really bugs me is that the lower thirds are inconsistent. It bothers me. For the US contestants, it says the state and USA, but international kids get their city and country code. For example, “Colorado, USA” or “New Jersey, USA” are not in the same style as “Essex, UK” or “Cork, Ireland.” Like, Colorado and New Jersey are states, and Essex and Cork are cities not states.
  17. There’s no way “Kelz” is his given name. Come on, please gimme a backstory and the real information.
  18. Harry is awful and not even the least bit cute. Like, how is he a hot commodity? Surely, it’s just the accent??
  19. This show is over the top and trash, but I can’t stop watching. OK, I’m in it and invested completely, just like the streaming service’s The Circle.
  20. Even the bedroom decor looks like it was inspired by Love Island meets the beachy vibes and palapas of Bachelor in Paradise.
  21. I cannot stand Francesca and Haley. These two girls are fake fake fake and snooty bullies and I do not like watching them on my TV screen.
  22. Real question: Considering this is an international show, how would these potential intercontinental relationships work on the outside? Like, I need follow-ups.
  23. Seriously, point deductions already? Can’t you keep it in your pants? You just met and there’s a cash prize on the line.
  24. How did the casting team find these people? They are all the absolute worst.
  25. Can’t touch, can’t kiss? Huh, seems like good practice for quarantine. Welcome to our new world!
  26. It’s truly mind-boggling, like, I just cannot.
  27. Rhonda’s nails are like talons. How is that comfortable?
  28. I swear, David’s only move seems to be applying sunscreen to girls. Like, no, please don’t touch me, we just met.
  29. The boys are flirting with Lana, who is a computer. Like, quite childish?
  30. Matthew and David don’t know a single man that’s gone a month without sexual practices? Um, welcome to quarantine life as singles, hun. LOL.
  31. Chloe is funny and my instant favorite. “Think of your nan” is my new favorite quote from one of these shows. Hahahaha.
  32. Like how is this hard? Girls, just avoid the temptation: don’t shave your legs, don’t put on makeup, cover up your bikinis. You have all the tools, use it. When there’s a giant sum of money on the line, wouldn’t it be worth it?
  33. This lot cannot even go two 12 minutes without breaking the rules. Like seriously?
  34. With each kiss worth $3,000 each, surely they are going to wind up with like $50 each??
  35. Ok, I keep forgetting that Nicole is there. Oof, girl does nothing. #freeholiday #unproblematic
  36. Ick, Harry is the worst. Why is he lying and pinning it all on Francesca. Boy, you’re canceled.
  37. Haley and Francesca must not be worried about money or financial obligations if they decide to break the rules out of revenge to intentionally drag the pot down without a care in the world. Like how selfish and immature are you?
  38. I’m watching these humans tie each other up. Oy, what is TV anymore?
  39. Sharron was so happy the truth came out that he and Rhonda didn’t break the rules that he says he “feels like OJ.” Um yea, I don’t know if I’d go down that route, yikes.
  40. LOLOL, Bryce joining the crew as a late arrival with no knowledge, then finding out immediately from the rest of the participants, oh it’s a priceless look.
  41. Lana reading out an itemized bill of infractions to the group is so savage.
  42. Poor Chloe, she keeps wasting money on kisses with boys whom she doesn’t fancy. Poor girl.
  43. Boys are learning to be vulnerable by covering each other in mud? Ummmm ok? Oh and then running across the garden with wooden spears? A weird version of Braveheart or something that I didn’t expect.
  44. Why is Bryce sleeping on the floor? Like, hun, you could share a bed with a friend, make a pillow wall, sleep on the couch in the living room or the outdoor bed. Why the floor?
  45. Banter! Banter! Banter! I like a bit of banter myself (it’s the Anglophile in me) but like no one has it? They just keep saying that’s what they like???
  46. Ooh poor David, he is so sunburnt. Yikes, that’s got to majorly hurt.
  47. Like Harry and Francesca, are you the least bit remorseful about costing the group $20,000? A bit selfish, huh?
  48. The girls take part in an empowerment workshop. Great, love it, we stan women being strong and independent. But, doing so by um taking a mirror up to their *ahem* yoni and then painting an artistic portrait of it? Yea, it’s a lot. Not even Love Island has gone there!
  49. Wait, Rhonda has a son? And she waited until the penultimate episode to reveal it to anyone? Like, wouldn’t you mention that in your voiceover? To your boyfriend? Someone, anyone?
  50. Oh, so y’all are putting faith in the couple who’s lost more than $30,000 to not touch at all for a whole night in the private suite. Oy. But seriously, you better stay six feet apart. Hey, it’s good quarantine practice.
  51. I get for suspense they wanted it to seem like one couple or whatnot would get the final prize, but it was obvious based on how the whole show was set up that everyone would get a piece of the fund. And Francesca’s smug face when it was just her and her beau standing, ugh. So selfish and snooty. Nope. Then, her face when Sharron was next to stand up and then, everyone else? Like, huh, karma hun, that’s what you get for being so mean-spirited and arrogant.
  52. This was filmed a year ago. How many of them are still together? (Or at least attempted to last outside the resort.) Come on, Netflix, gimme the tea and a reunion like now.

Wow, that was truly trash and sleazy. But like, wow, it’s addictive.

30 Thoughts I Had Watching Netflix’s “A Christmas Prince 2”

As you may have gathered, um, I’m as you could say, a bit obsessed with romantic comedies and cheesy love stories unfolding on screen. There’s just something about curling up and watch your troubles melt away when can watch a totally predictable and cheesy romance movie with zero regard for conflict and only a couple coming together. So settle in (I’m already wrapped up in my Snuggie.) and pop on the latest Netflix holiday flick, A Christmas Prince 2: A Royal Wedding, and once you’ve finished (or don’t mind spoilers), read on for a list of my random thoughts and musings I had during and after the cutesy holiday followup to last year’s festive flick.

Photo: Netflix

  1. Amber and Richard are still going strong… But like, how practical is it that a king can take off to visit his lady love whenever he wants. Especially she’s a blogger, like she can write anywhere. I mean, nothing is tying her to NYC.
  2. “I don’t want to get recognized!” Then, why did you (the future queen) fly into the country commercial?
  3. “I feel like a new person” HAHAHA they just had to address that they recast her father, to a slimmer, gruffer, less facial hair, and more hair-hair version…
  4. How much money did they spend on this? It looks poorly made, like horrible quality… Sorry, but I speak what I feel.
  5. Her new Pops asking if “all this stuff free” in the limo is such a MOOD. Like, 100 percent accurate and my life.
  6. Amber got a Meghan Markle casual look wardrobe update.
  7. Is it possible that Richard got even stiffer than the first film?
  8. The “haute couture” wedding gown? Yikes.
  9. Richard is being a jerk who doesn’t want to hear his love’s ideas or thoughts. HELLO, We as women have thoughts that are valid and important!
  10. Leopold (which, who?) is coming back from Monaco to help… Why do I get a bad feeling??
  11. SIMON! He’s gone… well, common. And, hair. Oh, and is he redeeming himself??
  12. Oy. That wedding dress and veil. Oooo.
  13. This lil’ shy, nerdy boy that clearly likes Emily is so cute. This is the love story I wanted in the movie. HEART MELTING.
  14. How dare they censor her blog? #FreedomOfThePress
  15. Did Richard just say “keep calm and carry on??” LOL, like, they aren’t in England.
  16. How dare the wedding planner and protocol head make Amber take off her dead mother’s locket for a busy J.Crew statement necklace??
  17. If this is a romance movie, why can’t Richard stick up for his supposed love?? Perhaps one reason why I cannot seem to get into this sequel.
  18. Simon and Amber’s bestie Melissa have more chemistry and have far more fire together than the future king and queen of Aldovia. Just saying..
  19. Can we discuss how they made the young princess Emily a master hacker/coder?? YASSSS. She is my fave.
  20. How very Meghan Markle of her to make Amber shutter her blog. She’s a writer; she loves to write. As the future queen, she should be allowed to do what she loves.
  21. HE DOESN’T DEFEND HER AND HER PASSIONS. HOW ARE WE SUPPOSED TO BUY THEM AS THE LEAD ROMANTIC COUPLE. HOW?
  22. We have 20 minutes left, and in a movie titled the wedding, where is the wedding, huh??
  23. I take back what I said about her dress earlier. This wedding dress she actually wears is far too plain, boring, and ill-fitting. Ew.
  24. This film feels like bad fan-fiction as opposed to having a good story to tell, like they tried to rush the idea of making a sequel to be timely with the real Royal Wedding.
  25. The inflatables on the royal Christmas tree look extremely tacky.
  26. Amber’s best friends finding love with Sahil and Simon, respectively, were too cute though, and made up for the lack of chemistry all damn movie between the two leads who were supposed to be madly in love.
  27. The Queen catching the bouquet presumably to fall in love with Amber’s butler is giving me Queen Clarisse and Joe love vibes from Princess Diaries and I am here for it. Almost as much as I am here for a Princess Emily spin-off feature film. Maybe her dull brother goes off on a foreign trip and she must save the day and steal the show (as if she doesn’t do that already). Buy that movie, Netflix.
  28. Has anyone ever made a Chanukah romance holiday movie? Because, that is a genius idea that they need to rectify. Like, you could even call one “The 8 Dates of Hanukkah.”
  29. Does the end of the film mean we are getting a third film??
  30. This film was pure trash, but did I watch it in its entirety? And rewatched to write this post? Obviously.

In pure Christmas romance movie (and Netflix) fashion, this brought out all the feels as we like to cozy up to watch cheesy romances unfold. If a third film (or frankly, any other romance from the platform) gets made, I’ll still be right here, watching every minute of it. We could all use a good, relaxing cheering-up sometimes…

Thoughts after watching “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life”

Alright, so it’s been long enough to avoid spoiling Netflix’s newest TV revival: Gilmore Girls. That means I can write a post I’ve been yearning to do since I first started the four-part mini-movies right after Thanksgiving. (Note: I literally stayed up until 2 a.m.- 8:30 a.m. to see it in completion that Friday post-Thanksgiving. And it was totally worth it.)

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Here’s a random collection of my thoughts, divided by season.

*Please stop reading for now if you have yet to finish the series– spoilers aplenty 😉

Winter:

  • Rory is freelancing? How much does she hate not having a solid job?
  • Wow, Paul is super nerdy, poor guy
  • Luke’s offers free wifi for customers?? He’s gone soft
  • Wow, the sets are wayyy bigger, ASP
  • Michel got married?? To another Frenchman? Who wants kids?
  • Haha Lorelai’s Jeep is “fun to kick”
  • OMG, Richard’s portrait is HUGE (but, I’m still crying)
  • Funeral making me cry  a lot
  • Oh my god, JASON STILES!
  • Luke and Emily hugged?!?!
  • No no no no, not Richard’s seat, Luke!!
  • Okay, maybe I was right in my prediction that Lorelai will be pregnant?
  • Paris has a surrogacy/fertility firm? (Well, it combines her law and medical passions)
  • Geez, Paris has a lot of degrees!
  • Rory and Logan in London together! (shrieking here)
  • It’s a “only in London” relationship??
  • Haha Taylor finally lost it… But Luke’s has fake wifi
  • Haha the irony of Doyle being a screenwriter (accurate, right, Danny Strong??)
  • Nooo Paris and Doyle divorcing?? (I shipped them the hardest in the original series.)
  • Did Lane and Zach buy Sookie’s house??
  • We get to see preteen Steve and Kwan!!
  • Hep Alien looks the exact same.
  • I can’t believe Emily is wearing jeans… (OMG, they were teenage Lorelai’s!!)
  • Can’t have Stars Hollow without its wacky festivals..
  • Paul Anka the dog dressed as Luke, haha

Spring:

  • Stars Hollow composts??
  • Haha Mrs. Kim is the exact same… “They suck eggs… Literally.”
  • It’s Sasha (Julia Goldani Telles) from Bunheads! (Side Note: Lin-Manuel Miranda loved it!!)
  • OH MY GOD, Mr. Kim appears!!! He exists!
  • Awww, Rory and Logan are so cute. Heart eyes emoji…
  • WTF, Logan is engaged?? (I did think that’d be possible…)
  • Stars Hollow has a secret bar??
  • Real Paul Anka dream is back!
  • Kirk made a second film??
  • Gilmore Guys cameo at the inn!
  • Rachael Ray??? (Um, she pronounced Sookie wrong…)
  • Well, I think Dakin misspoke at Waitress about which episode he was in…
  • Richard left Luke money to franchise the diner?? That’s still a thing?
  • New actor as Tristan?? Weird.
  • Francie??? In the bathroom??
  • Paris and Doyle have cute kids!!
  • Awww, “Ace…” Heart eyes emoji.
  • What did Paris name her kids though???
  • Look, Paris dresses her daughter in Burberry..
  • Mae Whitman cameo! And such a cute little scene between Lauren Graham (her TV mom)
  • Rory is not the best journalist– blatantly ignoring an unplanned story angle that’s more interesting than her scheduled idea of what it should be.. (See Nylon article on this topic for more.)
  • Wow, Rory is back to a relationship with someone else’s guy…

Summer:

  • OMG April!! Hipster?
  • Woah, April went to MIT…
  • This scene really humanizes April from the original series… Makes her likable now
  • Luke is still an ass about parenthood (haha punny, sorry.)
  • Prediction: Logan will break up with his fiancee for Rory??
  • Ginny (Bailey De Young) from Bunheads cameo!!
  • Carole King is back!
  • MUSICAL!
  • Is Rory going to take over the Gazette? Knew it.
  • Sutton Foster singing!!!
  • Michel is leaving?? Sad.
  • “Let’s have another round tonight:” Hamilton reference??
  • Lane works for her mother??
  • Whose kids are Dewey and Brandon?
  • Haha Doyle as a sellout
  • Christian Borle singing!!
  • Oh my gosh, I freaking love this musical….Hilarious. Jeanine Tesori did great.
  • Sutton and Christian’s pilgrim number…
  • Yes Babette, Christian Borle is hot… (Sorry, my Broadway fangirl is showing.)
  • “You are me in pants/ a dress.” What?? (They are siblings???) WHAT.
  • “Rapping like Hamilton..” hahaha
  • Haha singing Waterloo from Mamma Mia!
  • Carole King singing!! Haha Taylor saying it’s bad…
  • New DAR ladies?
  • “TV tray in the living room.” What. Emily wouldn’t even let them eat in her car…
  • JESS!! (A bit confused that Jack Pearson from “This is Us” is in Stars Hollow and shaved…jk)
  • “Still a contender,” aww cute.
  • Wait, has Rory not had any underwear for three seasons?? Um…
  • Jess, so inspirational
  • Prediction: Jess’ book idea is the perfect show ending
  • How has Emily not fired Berta by her standards?? (Side note: Berta is Gypsy aka Rose Abdoo!)
  • Is Emily saying ‘hello’ again?
  • What is going on with Luke??
  • Hmm I bet Logan still loves her over the fiancee…

Here we go… Fall:

  • Mimics Wild by Cheryl Strayed?
  • Truly (Stacey Oristano) from Bunheads cameo!!
  • LG’s teacher fiance from Parenthood (Jason Ritter) as park ranger cameo!!
  • Are Luke and Lorelai the wedding scene??
  • Life and Death Brigade!! In Stars Hollow?
  • Logan showed up, awww… he so loves her!
  • Dancing with the Stars and Strictly Come Dancing pros in this tango scene!
  • Huntzberger Maine house key?? (Like Vermont for Olivia Pope and Fitz of Scandal??)
  • Book: how the show will end??
  • Logan’s eyes show he’d rather be marrying Rory instead
  • Adam Braverman from Parenthood (Peter Krause, Lauren Graham’s partner as other ranger!!
  • Where is Emily??
  • Luke fighting for Lorelai. FINALLY.
  • Ah she’s proposing again!
  • Is Rory going to write Richard’s story?
  • I’m in tears as we see old image of Richard in his study…
  • The show was her whole manuscript??
  • Emily just revealing everything!!
  • Miss Celine!
  • Rory meeting with her dad!!
  • Christopher joined his family company?? GG is still in Paris??
  • Emily is selling the house?? WHAT.
  • Asking for a loan– full circle to the pilot
  • DEAN in Doose’s!!
  • Dean left town and got married and has four kids?? Wait, he LEFT??
  • SOOKIE baking the wedding cake! (I knew it from the trailer!)
  • Is Truncheon/ Jess going to publish Rory’s book??
  • Is Team Jess endgame?
  • 20 minutes left and I can’t stop crying.
  • End: “Mom, I’m Pregnant.”– Like no matter guys, she’ll be just like her mom to the next generation?
    • This show has never been about men and romantic relationships– it’s a family dynamic of a close mother and daughter; final scene exemplified that.
    • When she met with her dad, was that closure about her childhood or really about coming to terms with this baby and potentially Logan as the father/ raising the baby on her own???
    • SO FULL CIRCLE.
    • It closes the chapter of the show that had been open since season 7, with a hint of openness that only Amy could write…
  • 8:30 a.m.– I finished it. So moving and profound. Wow, a perfect ending to a longtime favorite show of mine…

Well, there you go, a random collection of my complete thoughts while binging the latest Gilmore Girls movies for the first time. Were you similar? What did you think?
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My Latest Fall Obsessions

Hi everyone! It’s been a crazy, hectic fall semester full of homework, keeping up with the election news (ugh, so overwhelming), job applications and my senior seminar research study, which is why I haven’t posted as much. But, I’m back now! Yay! (I choose to believe you, my loyal readers, are just as thrilled to be reading this as I am to get to write this.)

With the fall season, in between the serious news and workload, there’s been plenty of new pop culture to immerse oneself in.

1.  Netflix’s new show, “The Crown.”

mv5bnju2nza5mzgym15bml5banbnxkftztgwndawotuxmdi-_v1_ux182_cr00182268_al_As of this past Sunday, November 6, I began binge-watching the latest Netflix original series, titled “The Crown” and chronicling the early days of the marriage of Queen Elizabeth II (Claire Foy) and Prince Philip (Matt Smith). May I just say, in my opinion, it is one of the best dramatic series that Netflix has created. It very much resembles the British shows that I became so fond of last year while I was abroad. While I’m only four episodes in (no spoilers please!), I’ve become hooked, as the storytelling is well-done at expressing the Royal Family “as Kardashians,” as the stars jokingly referred to it during talk shows and press interviews. Now enjoy some of my random thoughts that crossed my mind while watching:

  • Is there a certain quota of Matt Smith’s bum shots to include per episode?
  • Is it [the bum shots of Matt Smith as Prince Philip] historically accurate??
  • Time to pull up Wikipedia for a historical timeline and family tree…
  • Oh no, I can relate to such bad fog over London! 😦

2. Netflix’s acquisition of one of my favorite BBC shows, “Doctor Foster.”

maxresdefaultWhile abroad in London (one year ago *insert sobs here*) and taking classes in British media, I began watching a new series called “Doctor Foster,” a five-part story of British GP Gemma Foster living a happily married life as a wife and mum until discovering a single blonde hair on her husband Simon’s scarf. The show tells the story of a woman finding out about her husband’s infidelity and the lengths she goes to find the truth. Such a powerful story courtesy of the Beeb, and I truly recommend you all to watch it. Truly brilliant, and it’s such a shame it is a British show because I have absolutely no clue how I’ll be able to watch the second series (now filming) when it starts airing.

3. Kenzo X H&M collaboration

screen-shot-2016-05-25-at-8-23-15-pmUpon the release of H&M’s latest designer collab (remember how genius the Balmain one was a year ago??) with Kenzo, I immediately went to the lookbook and was instantly obsessed. Knowing I couldn’t get it all because most of it was sold out was sad, but I chose an adorable off-the-shoulder printed floral blouse and I cannot wait for it to arrive later this week, because I have already planned outfits around it. (Too much?)

4. Gagged Chokers

gagged-chokersCreated by Broadway’s Princess Jasmine (Courtney Reed), a new business venture has emerged and created handmade, unique chokers for the cool girls. And they made a Broadway collection. Seemed like a no-brainer to me. After careful consideration of what was in stock and various styles, I chose the Memory choker: a leopard-print (alternating with a plain gold) choker inspired and named from the Broadway revival of “Cats.” It was the appropriate mix of edgy, trendy and cute, and once again I have outfits planned well in advance to match. (Is that too much?)

5. “The Magnolia Story” book

I just started this weekend “The Magnolia Story” of Chip and Joanna Gaines from the HGTV hit “Fixer Upper.” While I’m only on chapter one and two, I’ve instantly become transfixed by the humor and cuteness of real-life home decor couple Chip and Joanna Gaines. I start thinking, “Aww! They are so cute!! ❤ *melting into a pile on the floor*)

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6. My calming mechanisms

The one thing that can always calm me down after a stressful day: HGTV. Watching any HGTV show never fails to calm down my nervous energy brought on by the amount of stress I’ve been feeling as a senior in my last semester of college ever. So, sometimes it helps to calm down and de-stress, which this blog is also helping.

7. The tear-jerking dramedy on NBC, “This is Us.”

Ever since binging the first episode, I was hooked on this new show (which clearly the rest of the world was too, as it was picked up for a full season hours after the pilot aired.) It’s so well-written and does such a great job at telling human stories, interwoven with the perfect sprinkle of humor. The one downer: I. CAN’T. STOP. SOBBING. Literally, this show has (on average) reduced to me to tears at least twice an episode. The only show where my emotions can play tennis, and alternate between laughing and ugly crying every few minutes. Kleenex, you should get on this– I smell a perfect corporate sponsorship opportunity here.

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8. Niall Horan’s new single, “This Town.”

I know Directioners, this may seem like a tragedy that the day long feared as arrived— the 1D boys’ solo projects. Which for me, signifies the end to a 1D era. But, Horan’s debut single is so different, but I love it. More reminiscent of Ed Sheeran’s ballads, it’s so beautiful and I love listening to it… Sometimes on repeat. (No judgment, please.)

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9. Little Mix’s new single, “Shout Out to My Ex.”

Shortly after Horan’s single another UK-based single was released, this time X Factor winning girl band Little Mix. And while you immediately start debating whether or not this was meant as member Perrie’s ex (and 1D’s ex-member) Zayn and his rather quick turnaround of a relationship with model Gigi Hadid, I’m over here jamming out this smash hit. So fun, and pure Little Mix, which is perfect, rumors aside of who it is based on with the title “shout out to my ex.”

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10. I’d be crazy if I didn’t include the upcoming Netflix “Gilmore Girls” revival…

Yes, I am so excited to see where literally every character from my favorite adolescent television show has ended up. And before you even ask what team I am— I’m Team Right Guy at the Right Time for Rory! (They were all great prospects for the time they were together, I think everyone can agree on that.)

Those are some of my obsessions this fall season! Go check them out yourself, and let me know your thoughts!

And make sure to VOTE tomorrow! Whatever side you choose, remember that it’s YOUR voice and you have the chance to make YOUR voice heard and count, because everyone’s voice matters.

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