Friday, January 31, 2014

*Disney Week* Bitch of the Week: Charlotte La Bouff

The mole is fake.

Perhaps one of the most underrated modern Disney heroines, Charlotte La Bouff is the perfect candidate the represent the Bitch of the Week brand. Within the context of The Princess and the Frog, she's Tiana's spoiled but well-meaning best friend, but we all know she's the true star of the film.

Ever since she was a little girl, Charlotte has gotten everything she ever wanted, except one thing: to be a princess. It's dream she chases well into adulthood. Now, I know what you could be thinking. Is this some sort of immature Taylor Swift motherfucker? The answer is absolutely not. Charlotte's quest to become royalty is endearing, especially when one considers her heart of gold. She is fiercely loyal to and supportive of Tiana, her biffle, despite their starkly contrasting backgrounds.

When Charlotte learns that her father will be the King of the Marti Gras Parade, thus making her a princess, she's elated. Not soon after, she has the opportunity to become real royalty when Prince Naveen, desperately in need of a wealthy bride after being disinherited, visits New Orleans. Charlotte jumps at the opportunity and accepts his marriage proposal, but little does she know, the Naveen she's engaged to is really his jealous caretaker, Lawrence, using black magic to disguise himself.

The real Naveen is acting a damn fool in the swamps with Tiana, both of them having been transformed into frogs. The only way to break the curse is for Naveen to kiss a princess. Cue Charlotte, the Marti Gras Princess! Once she's caught up to speed and sees that Naveen and Tiana are in love, she throws her own ambitions to the wind and selflessly kisses Naveen... But it doesn't work. Not because her princess title is bogus, but because it's already past midnight.

Well, Tiana and Naveen get married, officially making Tiana a princess, and their first kiss then breaks the spell. But enough about them. Let's focus on Charlotte, who catches the bouquet at the wedding and is totally set with continue life as a brilliant bitch!

Before we get part, let's take a gander at some quotes!
  • As a child: " I would do it. I would kiss a frog. I would kiss a hundred frogs if I could marry a prince and be a princess."
  • Addressing her potential suitors: "Travis, when a woman says later, she really means not ever."
  • On life: "I'm sweating like a sinner in church!"
  • On life, again: "I never get anything I wish for!"
  • On meeting "Naveen" for the first time: "Oh, Tia, honey, did you see the way he danced with me? A marriage proposal can't be far behind."

Thursday, January 30, 2014

*Disney Week* Throwback Thursday: Tommy Picks the Top 10 Albums by Disney Channel Stars

It's a common impulse to dismiss all Disney Channel music as generic pop. To those who fall victim to this egregious opinion, I say you're daft! The mouse machine may manufacture and market its triple threats (they act, sing, and design clothes!) for mainstream consumers, but within that pop demographic, there is a lot of diversity. I already presented you the top 10 songs by Disney Channel artists, so please allow me to show off their top 10 albums.

*Disney Week* Things Tommy Loves and Hates #13


Thing I Love #13: Clarabelle Cow and Horace Horsecollar

If you don't know who Clarabelle Cow and Horace Horsecollar are, it's time to get familiar! She's a cow and he's a horse, obviously, and together, they are some of Mickey Mouse's very first friends! Before Donald, before Goofy, even before Pluto, there was Clarabelle and Horace. Originally, they were both on all fours but eventually evolved and got themselves to a department store STAT.

The best part? They're in LOVE! (Sometimes Clarabelle is paired with Goofy, but we'll ignore that for now.) As for why you may not have seen them before, it's because they took the same post-WWII popularity hit that Mickey took and never recovered. However, in recent years, they've become increasingly more prolific. I personally met them at Disneyland this past weekend for the first time!

Thing I Hate #13: People Making Their Own Princess Line-Up

Like it or not, the official Disney Princess line-up is: Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Pocahontas, Mulan, Tiana, Rapunzel, Merida, Anna, and Elsa. I personally take a few issues with this, but I don't go around making up my own line-up.

But a ton of people do, apparently. Fans go ape shit and love adding random female characters to Disney Princess franchise. Some are excusable, others are not. Let's look at some of the more frequently fan-added "princesses:"
  • Alice of Wonderland: She is about as royal as my pinky toe. I supposed it could be argued that she has some sort of official title in the fucked up world of Wonderland, but guess what? She dreamt that shit up. You're not a princess if you're the only one who thinks you are.
  • Wendy: Um NO. This bitch seriously needs to gtfo. All Wendy does is gripe and try to flirt with Peter Pan. She's a royal pain in my ass, but she's no princess.
  • Eilonwy: Never heard of her? Yeah, there's a reason. She's the princess in The Black Cauldron. Sorry, folks. Few people know the film, even fewer know the princess. Bitch ain't gettin' in the line-up anytime soon.
  • Nala: Yeah, she might be Queen of the Pridelands... But she's a fucking lion...
  • Esmeralda: Maybe I missed the memo that being a homeless woman somehow equated to royalty, but I'm fairly confident it does not. She may be pretty and sassy, but a princess she is not.
  • Meg: Zeus is the king of gods, so Hercules must be the prince, right? So when he marries Meg, she becomes a princess. Makes sense to me! Too bad Disney doesn't seem in the habit of retroactively adding characters to the franchise.
  • Kida: She's the Princess of Atlantis, so there's no denying her royal lineage. There's also no denying those box office receipts. I wouldn't count on seeing Kida or any Atlantis: The Lost Empire merchandise, like, ever again.
  • Giselle: I'm all for adding the Enchanted darling to the line-up; and in fact, she almost was added!... Until Disney realized they'd have to pay Amy Adams life rights for using her likeness.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

*Disney Week* 20 Things You Didn't Know About Hilary Duff

The OG.
  1. While it may seem like Haylie Duff is riding on the coattails of her younger sister, Hilary was the one that followed in her footsteps! It's not her fault she got her big break and Haylie just kind of floundered. #thecultoftheothersister
  2. Hilary's first major role came as Wendy the Good Little Witch in Casper Meets Wendy. One scene required her to work with a dog named meaner. While cameras were rolling, the dog trainer called out the dogs name, "Meaner! Meaner!" but Hilary mistook this for acting direction and would play the scene more aggressively each time she heard the word.
  3. Hilary was cast in the NBC sitcom Daddio in 2000, but was dropped from the project shortly afterwards. She was reluctant to pursue acting any further, but then booked the lead role in Lizzie McGuire one week later.
  4. Everyone wonders what happened to Lalaine, aka Miranda on Lizzie McGuire. There's about a million theories on the internet, but thankfully my LA connections have granted me access to the real reason. Lalaine was more popular with the cast and crew, so Hilary quite simply said "either she goes or I go."
  5. After completing 65 episodes of Lizzie McGuire, Hilary was offered to reprise her role in a spin-off series that would have followed Lizzie into high school, but she declined after Disney refused to up her pay.
  6. Hilary's debut album was not 2003's beloved Metamorphosis, but the Christmas album Santa Clause Lane, which was released the year prior and features a duet with Lil Romeo. #sohoodrightnow
  7. The infamous Hilary/Lindsay Lohan feud may have started over Aaron Carter of all things, but these girls made sure to cover all their bases. Hilary showed up with Chad Michael Murray to the red carpet premiere of Lindsay's Freaky Friday in 2003. In retaliation, Lilo showed up at the premiere of Cheaper by the Dozen. The two reconciled in 2007.
  8. Hilary got into a lesser known feud with Avril Lavigne when she criticized the "So Complicated" singer for trashing her fans. Avril retorted by calling Hilary a "mommy's girl." #goodone
  9. In 2005, critics slammed Hilary for releasing the compilation album Most Wanted, as they believed she didn't have enough hits to warrant such a release. Say what you will, but this album featured three new songs that absolutely slayed. "Wake Up", anyone?
  10. In 2006, Elle magazine published quote about Hilary discussing her sex life, alleging she had said virginity "is definitely something I like about myself. It doesn't mean I haven't thought about sex, because everyone I know has had it and you want to fit in." Hilary has since denied the quotes multiple times, stating it's not a topic she'd ever talk about publicly.
  11. Hilary took major creative control of her 2007 album Dignity, which utilized the not-yet-popular dance genre and featured personal lyrics. "Stranger" chronicles the end of her parents' marriage while "Gypsy Woman" confronts her father's mistress. The title track is a diss aimed at Nicole Richie, who was dating Hilary's ex Joel Madden. "Danger" was written for Hilary's friend who was dating an older man and "Dreamer" is about Hilary's stalker, Russian emigre Maksim Miakovsk.
  12. The media taunted Hilary after she got veneers on her teeth, saying she looked like a horse. After these attacks, Hilary's veneers were noticeably missing.
  13. By the time Best of Hilary Duff was released in 2008, Hilary's relationship with Hollywood Records had soured after a long list of creative differences and canceled releases. The parties mutually agreed to end Hilary's contract, which had one more album on it.
  14. Hilary was one of many celebrities who starred in the animated film Foodfight! Never heard of it? It's because it's release was repeatedly delayed from its original 2003 date until it was quietly released on DVD in 2012. It also features the voices of Charlie Sheen, Wayne Brady, Eva Longoria, and Haylie Duff.
  15. Hilary turned down the lead role in the CW's 90210 reboot in an attempt to distance herself from the teen genre. The part eventually went to Shenae Grimes.
  16. Hilary's debut novel Elixir became a New York Times best-seller and spawned two sequels, Devoted and True.
  17. Hilary HATES bell peppers. "Green, yellow, red, cooked, raw, even as a garnish!" #theseriousissues
  18. Our young author planned a non-fiction book aimed at helping children cope with their parents' divorce, but it never materialized.
  19. In 2009, Hilary was cast as Bonnie Parker in The Story of Bonnie & Clyde, a remake of the 1968 film. Faye Dunaway, the original Bonnie, criticized the casting, suggesting they cast "a real actress." In 2011, Hilary was dropped from the project after announcing she was pregnant. The film has yet to be made, but a separate Bonnie & Clyde project recently debuted as a two-part miniseries on A&E, the History Channel, and Lifetime.
  20. I've met Hilary Duff.

*Disney Week* Cunt of the Week: Jessie

Oh my god.

As far as I'm concerned, the Toy Story franchise has a pretty spotless track record. Sure they've made a few mistakes (the animated Buzz Lightyear series comes to mind), but can't we just overlook the few bad things and focus on all the good?

The answer is no, not as long as Jessie's around. In case it somehow slipped your mind, Jessie was introduced in the second film as a rare doll modeled after the cowgirl character from Woody's Roundup, some track-as-hell black and white TV show with puppets. That shit got canceled after the space race, and all its merchandise became super rare. So when toy collector Creepy Al had the chance, he stole Woody and completed his Roundup collection.

Woody meets Jessie, Bullseye the horse, and Stinky Pete the Prospector, and they're all excited to be packed up and sold to some museum in Japan. Woody tries to escape and return home to his beloved Andy, but Jessie, in her infinite selfishness, decides to unload all her personal bullshit on him against the backdrop of a Sarah McLachlan song.

A bunch of other stuff happens, and before you know it, Woody is back with Andy, and Jessie and Bullseye have joined the fold. Feeling love for the first time in forever, Jessie morphs from a nuisance to a tried-and-true cunt. How so? Well, let me explain.

Firstly, she has to remind everyone about her tragic backstory every fucking chance she gets. We get it! You were abandoned by your original owner, but that doesn't give you the write to be a claustrophobic bitch. Take your panic attacks elsewhere, cowgirl.

Secondly, there's just the simple fact that she's annoying. She's always hootin' and hollerin', and not in a fun way. She's just so fucking loud. It's like, chill the fuck out. You're giving everyone a migraine and making it really difficult to enjoy the movie.

Thirdly, she thinks she can just swoop in and be the alpha bitch of Andy's toy collection. Because she's such a fucking camera hog, other female characters like our beloved Bo Peep get the boot by the third movie. It's fine if Woody's heartbroken about losing the love of his life as long as Jessie has Buzz. Because we know it's all about Jessie!

Despite Jessie dolls allegedly being one of the hottest toys of the 1999 holiday season, I think a lot of the population is on my side with this one. Every time I go to Disneyland and Jessie is out for meet and greets, her line is nearly non-existent. (You'd think that would alert Disney to the fact that they could swap her out for a better character, but they seem to be pretty fucking clueless when it comes to meet and greets. But that's a story for another time.)

So as we head full speed into more Toy Story television specials and maybe even a fourth movie, let's not let Jessie ruin our viewing experiences. Just say to yourself, What a cunt!, and move on happily.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

*Disney Week* This or That: Disney vs. Pixar

Who will fold?

It's a hotly debated issue within the Disney community. What's better, Disney animation or Pixar? But Tommy! Disney OWNS Pixar. Isn't it the same thing? No shit. And no, it's not the same thing. Disney may own Pixar, but the two studios each have their own unique brand. It's a sibling rivalry of sorts, and it's the newest topic in Tommy Time's This or That series.


Pixar has long been a critical darling and box office juggernaut. Its string of hits, ranging from Toy Story to The Incredibles to Up, has yet to be duplicated, bringing in both praise and millions for the studio. Recently, however, there has been a shift. Pixar's last three releases were its first to score below a 90% on Rotten Tomatoes, with 2012's Cars 2 getting a whomping 39. Still, the film's prove to be financially successful.

Conversely, Walt Disney Animation Studios has been reborn following a string of commercial and critical flops in the early 2000s. Since 2010's Tangled, the studio has seeing the kinds of reviews and box office returns that characterized its famed renaissance period of the 1990s. More recently, Frozen has pretty much kicked everybody's ass and is a strong candidate for this year's Oscar for Best Animated Feature, a category usually dominated by Pixar.

One reason for the switch? Critics blame Pixar's new reliance on sequels rather than original stories. Three of its last four releases have been sequels, whereas the WDAS vowed to stop producing sequels several years ago.

It's hard to say who's winning, but for now, it looks like Disney is in the lead!

The Good

It's hard to compete with the 80 years of rich, classic stories WDAS has given us. From Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to Frozen, the studio has given us some of the most beloved films of all time, liiiiiiike Bambi, Cinderella, Peter Pan, Sleeping Beauty, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, and Pocahontas to name a few. These films have built franchises and theme parks. In short, they've given the world LOVE.

Pixar certainly hasn't failed in that regard. Toy Story and Up alone are enough to complete with the best Disney classics. But nothing quite compares to that traditional 2D! Disney wins this round! (I said it would be hard!)

The Bad

Disney has certainly had its hiccups along the way. Most of the films the studio released in the 1940s, 70s, and 80s are often forgotten, and for good reason. And don't even get me started on the atrocities of the early naughts, in which unspeakable films like Home on the Range and Meet the Robinsons were released.

Pixar doesn't have a perfect batting average either. It's no secret I hated Brave and I never bothered to see Cars 2. The original was disappointing enough. And while Pixar animation is amazing and revolutionary, it unfortunately led to a CGI surge in all animation, and 2D films are few and far between. Still, none of that is as bad as Chicken Little, so Pixar wins this one!

Pixar might be all the rage now, but at the end of the day, Disney feels like coming home. Deep in your heart, you know Disney should always win! After all, Walt never touched a Pixar film...

*Disney Week* Tommy Picks Disney Princess Stories as Sung by Contemporary Pop Stars

You know that moment when you're driving in your car, blasting the radio and singing a song you've heard a million times before, and then BAM! It hits you. This is what *insert Disney Princess here* would sing if she were, like, a modern pop star.

Okay, maybe you don't know that feeling. But I sure do! And so I've decided to share that with you. Allow me to present to you the story of 13 Disney Princesses as sung by 13 contemporary pop stars.

Snow White: "Poison" by Nicole Scherzinger

Snow White may pass for fairest of them all in her land, but I'm not about to reward this squeaky bitch with a song about her alleged beauty. Instead, I'll celebrate her near death via poison apple!

In "Poison", former Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger warns her man about her toxicity. "Got venom dripping from my lips/Know who you're about to kiss/Think that you can handle it, boy, it's on," she sings. If only the Prince adhered to this warning and left Snow for the birds.

Cinderella: "Midnight Memories" by One Direction

The ultimate poser, Cinderella finds that her magical night at the ball only lasts until the clock strikes midnight, when she's reduced to her ash-covered rags. But until then, she lives in the now, and nobody savors the moment better than One Direction.

In "Midnight Memories", the boys sing, "Midnight memories, oh/Baby you and me/Stumbling in the street, singing." Isn't that basically what Cindy and Prince Charming are doing? Acting a damn fool with their false, lust-induced sense of invincibility. Well tick, tock! Here's midnight, bitch.

Aurora: "Don't Wake Me Up" by Chris Brown

Yeah, yeah. We all know Sleeping Beauty loves to sleep, so of course "Don't Wake Me Up" by Chris Beat-Her-Down makes sense. But are we forgetting that she doesn't meet Prince Phillip in the forest, but rather in her dreams? (Well, actually she meets him when she's fresh out of the womb, but that's just a technicality.)

In the club-ready jam, Chris sings about a love that's so good, it must just be in his dreams. In fact, at the very beginning, he says, "Dearly beloved, if this love only exists in my dreams...don't wake me up." Aurora probably had similar sentiments before Merryweather barged in at the crack of dawn to boss her around.

Ariel: "Roar" by Katy Perry

Imagine going a lifetime three days without your voice, and in that time, you have to convince the man of your dreams that you're the girl (or guy, I don't judge) for him. And if you fail, your ass is grass. Ariel finds herself facing this very same predicament in The Little Mermaid.

I hardly need to even cite any lyrics from Katy Perry's "Roar", as you could probably turn on the radio right now and hear it. So you'd agree that Ariel can totally relate to seizing the opportunity to use her voice and take back her destiny.

Belle: "Beautiful" by Christina Aguilera

Accusations of bestiality aside, Belle is renowned for her ability to look past appearances. An outcast herself, she knows how words can hurt, so she loves the person you are on the inside.
In "Beautiful", Christina Aguilera overcomes her own haters before assuring the listener that, "You are beautiful no matter what they say/Words can't bring you down....oh no." So Gaston, you can swerve. #kthanksbye

Jasmine: "Castle Walls" by T.I. & Christina Aguilera*

For whatever reason, Jasmine is over being a princess and yearns for a life beyond the palace walls. In probably the most literal entry in the list, T.I. and Christina Aguilera's duet "Castle Walls" is all about wanting more than a life of material excess. "Everyone thinks that I have it all/But it's so empty living behind these castle walls." I think Jasmine would agree!

* = I know, I'm annoyed Christina made the list twice, too.

Pocahontas: "Royals" by Lorde

Sure, she's royalty as far as the Native Americans are concerned, but Pocahontas isn't exacting rolling in dough; in fact, the only thing she rolls in are the richest all around her, aka dirt. She teaches John Smith a great lesson, but girlfriend isn't exactly living the luxurious life.

You know who else isn't? Lorde, who is so fucking over society's obsession with being wealthy, so she wrote a song about wanting to be rich. Again, I won't bother citing any specific lyrics, because this song hasn't gone anywhere since it took over the radio this summer.

Mulan: "If I Were a Boy" by Beyoncé

One of Mulan's favorite pastimes is masquerading as a man. Once again, I don't judge. And while she initially does it to save her father's life, she definitely seems to be enjoying it more than she lets on. Through this cross-dressing, Mulan experiences sexism and the gender double standard firsthand.

Thankfully, Beyoncé wrote a whole song about that! In "If I Were a Boy", she vows that if she ever swapped genders, she would be a decent man who knows how to treat a lady: "If I were a boy/I think I could understand/How it feels to love a girl/I swear I’d be a better man." It's no "I'll Make a Man Out of You", but it'll do.

Tiana: "Work Bitch" by Britney Spears

Through her amphibian misadventures, Tiana learns the value of hard work, and that you won't get what you want, whether it be a man or your own restaurant, by wishing on a star. (Sorry, Charlotte.) If there's any pop star who embodies this philosophy, it's the legendary Miss Britney Spears. "You want a hot body? You want a Bugatti? You want a Maserati? You better work, bitch!"

Rapunzel: "Whip My Hair" by Willow Smith

Tangled may end with Rapunzel chopping off her long magical golden locks in favor of a gross brunette pixie cut, but there's no denying that bitch had hella fun whipping her hair all about. Rapunzel's weave got her out of many a jam, so it's only appropriate she get paired with the jam about hair. "I whip my hair back and forth," Willow Smith sings about 14 million times in her one and only hit, "Whip My Hair". Keep on whipping, girl!
Merida: "Mama" by the Spice Girls

Merida may not need a man by her side, but she sure as hell needs her mother. Or at least that's the one message I took away from the shitfest known as Brave. After refusing to abide the laws of the land, Merida turns her mother into a bear, which somehow makes her realize how much she loves her.

Cue "Mama", the Spice Girls' ode to their mothers and all that they've done. "You used to be the enemy and never let me free... I never thought you would become the friend I never had... Mama I love you, mama I care/Mama I love you, mama you're my friend," the five divas coo. Only they never turned their moms into ferocious bears.

Elsa: "Landslide" by Fleetwood Mac

Ah, the song that started it all. It was upon relistening to this classic and realizing it wasn't Stevie Nicks, but Elsa singing it, that I came up with the idea for this article. The lyrics "Climbed a mountain and I turned around/And I saw my reflection in the snow covered hills" are particularly telling, but the entire song's theme of fear fits perfectly with Elsa's phobia of her powers.

Did you think it was gonna be a Demi song?
Anna: "Slow Down" by Selena Gomez

Through this exercise, I realized just how boring Anna is. True, she's quite entertaining in Frozen, but the fact that it was SO HARD to pick a song for this bitch is evident of her bland personality and nonexistent character arc.

So I went with "Slow Down", Selena Gomez's jam about taking her time in a relationship. If you haven't seen Frozen, kill yourself you wouldn't know that Anna gets engaged to Hans the day she meets him. One thing leads to another and she eventually falls for Kristoff, and she has presumably learned her lesson and takes this shit slow.

Probably not, though.

Monday, January 27, 2014

*Disney Week* 20 Things You Didn't Know About Mickey Mouse

  1. Mickey Mouse was created after Walt Disney lost the rights to his original cartoon superstar, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. While trying to come up with ideas for a new character, Walt and Ub Iwerks considered many anthropomorphic characters, including a female cow and male horse that would later debut as Clarabelle Cow and Horace Horsecollar. Walt was eventually inspired to draw a mouse after finding one at his desk in Kansas City. He named the character Mortimer Mouse before his wife Lillian suggested Mickey instead, or so the story goes. (Mortimer Mouse later became a different character, Mickey's rival for Minnie's affection.)
  2. Ironically, Walt was scared of mice, but viewed them as sympathetic creatures.
  3. Though popular opinion states Mickey made his debut appearance in 1928's Steamboat Willie, he was actually introduced in Plane Crazy earlier that year alongside Minnie Mouse and Clarabelle Cow. Steamboat Willie WAS, however, the first cartoon in which Mickey appeared with synced sound.
  4. Mickey's original rat-like appearance has since evolved into a more mouse-like character with bigger eyes and rounder features. This "babyfication" is believed to psychologically make people like Mickey more.
  5. The very first piece of Mickey merchandise was a notebook.
  6. The original characterization of Mickey was that of a mischievous mouse. These trouble-making characteristics was later passed on to Donald Duck, and Mickey gained his iconic, albeit a little annoying, good two-shoes personality.
  7. Walt was the original voice of Mickey Mouse (and Minnie Mouse!) and there have been three primary voice actors since then: Jimmy MacDonald, who occasionally shared the role with Walt; Wayne Allwine, who married Russi Taylor, the current voice of Minnie Mouse; and Bret Iwan, who took on the role in 2009.
  8. Mickey began speaking in 1929. His first words? "Hot dogs!" Maybe that's why, even today, he says "hot dog!" when he's excited.
  9. In 1935, Romanian officials banned the character from its cinemas, as they believed children would be frightened to see a ten-foot mouse on screen.
  10. Similarly, in 1938, Italy banned foreign children's literature; however, Mussolini's children were such big Mickey Mouse fans, he managed to delay the ban on Disney stories until Italy declared war on the United States in 1942.
  11. Before his death, Walt recognized Mickey and Minnie as a married couple, but acknowledged the confusion on the issue and stated: "What it really amounts to is that Minnie is, for screen purposes, his leading lady. If the story calls for a romantic courtship, then Minnie is the girl; but when the story requires a married couple, then they appear as man and wife. In the studio we have decided that they are married already."
  12. Though he was originally drawn without gloves, animators eventually gave Mickey white gloves so that his hands were still visible when in front of his body.
  13. The character's popularity declined after his appearance in 1940's Fantasia, but public interest was revived in the 1950s through his various television appearances, namely The Mickey Mouse Club.
  14. The character's popularity declined again following 1953's "The Simple Things", the final theatrically-released Mickey cartoon before Walt's death in 1966. Mickey wouldn't appear on the silver screen until 30 years in 1983's Mickey's Christmas Carol, which is a fucking classic if you've never seen it.
  15. In 1978, Mickey became the first cartoon character to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
  16. Mickey Mouse often appears as a write-in candidate for presidential elections by protest voters. His name also turns up on fraudulent voter registration lists. #Vote4Mickey
  17. The Walt Disney Company frequently makes headlines for defending the copyright of Mickey Mouse. While a simple copyright would eventually expire, thus allowing the character to enter public domain, the company argues that he is also trademarked and is essentially theirs forever.
  18. We all know The Mickey Mouse Club launched the careers of Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Ryan Gosling, and Christina Aguilera, but did you know it could've launched the careers of Jessica Simpson and Matt Damon, too? Both auditioned for the 90s revival of the show and both were cut.
  19. Universally, the term "mickey mouse" is slang for easy, amateurish, or trivial. In the UK and Ireland, it means poor quality or counterfeit; however, in Australia, it means excellent.
  20. Currently, there is an estimated 290 Mickey costumes at Walt Disney World alone.

*Disney Week* Jam of the Week: "Once Upon a Dream" by Lana Del Rey

What better way to inaugurate Disney Week on Tommy Time than to award Jam of the Week to a new rendition of a Disney classic?

Maleficent, a live action retelling of the beloved classic Sleeping Beauty, hits theaters in May, but the lead single from its soundtrack just hit the internet. Lana Del Rey was reportedly handpicked by the film's star, Angelina Jolie, to deliver this haunting, airy cover of the "Once Upon a Dream". (So this is pretty much the only thing the future Mrs. Pitt has done right.)

The film itself doesn't look amazing, but I am loving this song. It's minimal production and gloomy vocals make it Lana's own, but it still honors the original. Slayed. Hail the Queen of Soundtracks!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Jam of the Week: "Can't Remember to Forget You" by Shakira & Rihanna

I'm not a big Shakira fan, and we all know I'm the complete opposite of a Rihanna fan, but there's something quite fun about their new duet, "Can't Remember to Forget You". As you can probably gleam from its title, the song is about trying to move on from someone who's no good.

There's no telling whether or not this song will be a hit, or even memorable (my money is on no), but for this week, it's a jam that will add some sizzle to the cold January weather.

Things Tommy Loves and Hates #12

I'm running this like, like, like a circus.

Thing I Love #12: Circus Themes

Even though the actual circus is disgusting, it provides such a killer theme. My wedding will have a circus theme, complete with crazy costumes, PETA-sanctioned animal tricks, and Britney Spears performing a ballad version of "Circus".

Thing I Hate #12: My Story on Snapchat

While fun as fuck, Snapchats are already a silly waste of time. So naturally I don't appreciate having to sit through a long-ass collection of your Snapchats for the day all packaged together as your "story." Truth be told, I don't watch them, but the orange glow of the notification every time I open the app is enough to warrant this hatred.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Jam of the Week: "Battlefield" by Lea Michele

On the heels of her smashing debut single "Cannonball", Lea Michele has just released the heart-wrenching ballad "Battlefield". As you can guess, the song is all about a love that turned into war. It's not the most original idea, but Lea's beautiful voice makes it worth a million listens, and certainly makes it a prime choice for Jam of the Week.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Cunt of the Week: Anne Hathaway, a Dubious Cunt If There Ever Was One

And here's another award for you...

The night was February 24, 2013. Over 40 million Americans were watching the 85th Annual Academy Awards. It was a joyous supposed to be a joyous occasion. But then, Anne Hathaway was awarded the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. Thankfully, it wasn't for he obnoxious performance in The Dark Knight Rises, but for her role in Les Misérables, which I didn't bother seeing. When Anne took the stage, she said, quietly enough that it could be passed off as a private thought but directly into the microphone so that everyone in the audience and all of us at home could hear, "It came true."

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the epitome of Anne Hathaway's cuntitude. Now, I haven't always hated Anne. When she first made a name for herself in The Princess Diaries, who didn't love her? She was so great that I was willing to overlook her participation in its disastrous sequel and the spell-binding shit-spewing Ella Enchanted. And The Devil Wears Prada? Genius. It only reaffirmed my admiration for the actress.

But sometime in between then and now, she got really cunty. But why? There's actually nothing inherently wrong with her; in fact, there's a lot that's right with her. She's talented. She's successful. She's pretty. She's intelligent. So maybe the reason I hate her is because she's too damn perfect. And the fact that she knows that and indulges in it like she's some sort of fucking saint makes me sick. She knows she's talented. She knows she's successful. She knows she's pretty. She knows she's intelligent.

She's a full-time actress. That might seem like a compliment, given that she is, by trade, an actress, but it's really not meant to be flattering. Anne Hathaway does not seem like a real person. She's like a mannequin, or a robot programmed for public consumption. Even worse, she seems like she's always playing to the people in the back of the theater. Everything she does seems calculated and rehearsed, like she's eternally fixated on being America's sweetheart.

Let's look at two recent examples. There was the December 2012 interview with Matt Lauer on Today. The controversial news anchor repeatedly referenced the crotch shots a paparazzo had recently taken while Anne stepped out of a car sans underwear. (See Britney? It happens to the best of 'em.) When asked what lesson she had learned from the experience, Anne responded:
Well, it was obviously an unfortunate incident. Um, I think— It kinda made me sad on two accounts. One was that I was very sad that we live in an age when someone takes a picture of another person in a vulnerable moment and, rather than delete it, and do the decent thing, sells it. And I’m sorry that we live in a culture that commodifies sexuality of unwilling participants, which brings us back to Les Mis, because that’s what my character is—she is someone who is forced to sell sex to benefit her child, because she has nothing and there’s no social safety net. And I— Yeah, so, um, so let’s get back to Les Mis.
Brilliant, right? She makes her point respectfully and assertively. And it's hard to disagree with what she says. But does this make you like her? Personally, I commend the ease with which she formulated this response on the fly, but it also makes me dislike her. It's almost inhuman how quickly she weaves the incident into the troubled fabric of our society. Once again, it seems calculated and rehearsed.

The second example I'll give is her acceptance speech from the Critics Choice Awards last year. Anne pointed out that her name had been misspelled onscreen (it read "Ann" instead of "Anne") and then apologized for her "gauche" behavior. Not even an English professor would whip out that word for a seemingly spontaneous comment. It sounded scripted, almost cold.

Nothing about Anne Hathaway seems personable or friendly. Most celebrities stick out because we either love them or hate them. But not Anne. She sticks out because she's so distant and boring. There must be another dozen celebrities just like her, but none have racked up the public heat like Anne has.

And that's what makes her a dubious cunt. She deserves the title simply because she's annoying beyond all belief, but the things that make her annoying don't immediately call for the title. I think it's still appropriate to bestow upon her the title of Cunt of the Week, however, just so she's recognized in some way. :)

Monday, January 6, 2014

Jam of the Week: "Wildfire" by the Saturdays

Last year, British girl group the Saturdays made a strong but ultimately ill-fated attempt to make a splash here in the states. I've been following their career for some time now, so even if most of my fellow Americans haven't heard of them, I feel like they deserve some recognition.

"Wildfire" is a sizzling dance track from their last album, Living For the Weekend. (Curiously, the song is only a bonus track, despite being better than all the album cuts.) This song is at home on American airwaves, so it's truly a wonder why the band had such difficulty breaking into our music industry.

Without further ado, take a listen to "Wildfire" and see just what makes these girls so fun!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Bitch of the Week: Emily Thorne

She a bad bitch.

She may be lost at sea with two bullet wounds in her gut, but there's no denying that Emily Thorne is and always will be Bitch of the Week material. Unfamiliar with the first bitchin' BoW of the New Year? Well, she's a mass manipulator and the center of the chess game of eternal fuckery that is Revenge.

To explain Revenge to someone who doesn't watch it is much like teacher a the blind how to color in the lines. Hell, explaining Revenge to someone who DOES watch the show isn't much easier. But with a title like that, you know it must breed bitches like no other. In the spirit of getting everyone on the same page, or at least in the same library, I'll take a stab at simplifying the fuck out of this sudsy storyline.

Emily Thorne was born Amanda Clarke, the apple of her beloved father David's eye. When she was a child, Emily saw her father carted off to jail for terrorism, and then murdered will he was in the slammer. Now, as an adult, Amanda has vowed to exact revenge upon the people who framed her father. With a new identity, she targets the two people most responsible, the patriarch and matriarch of America's most powerful family: Conrad Grayson, David's boss, and Victoria Grayson, David's mistress.

Essentially, it's The Count of Monte Cristo meets Gossip Girl. And as you can imagine, there's about a million other people involved, and just when you think you've finally caught on to what's going on, you realize that you're lost at sea.

Hey, that brings me back to my first point. You see, after taking down countless people who helped the Graysons frame her father, Emily was about to finally pull off the ultimate revenge we've all been waiting three seasons for: marry the eldest Grayson heir, Daniel, and then frame Victoria for her own murder. But something goes awry. Daniel finds out about Emily's lies (to a very limited extent), and shoots her in a drunken rage and now she's somewhere in the ocean.

The show returns from its winter hiatus this Sunday, and we'll finally learn Emily's fate. (Excuse me if I'm not shocked when she turns up alive... You know, being the fucking main character and all.)

So you know the basic plot of the show. But what makes Emily Thorne Bitch of the Week material? That's just it! To know why she's the ultimate bitch, and why she's setting the pace for all future BoWs in 2014, you have to watch the show. I'm not plugging, I'm just saying. Emily is cold, calculating, and brilliant. Her uncanny ability to manipulate everyone, predict their behavior, and set traps that they fall right into is something we should aspire to.

So cheers, Emily. When you wash up on the Hamptons shore, I hope you continue to be the devious bitch we all know and love

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Tommy Picks 20 Things to Look Forward to in 2014

Happy New Year, everyone! As we herald in 2014, and hopefully get over everything that was wrong with last year, it's important that we embrace what lies ahead. After all, there's so much to look forward to in 2014, like...
  1. Orange Is the New Black. Was last season's cliffhanger juicy or what?
  2. Carrie Underwood's fifth album. There's no confirmation of a 2014 release, but the Queen of Country has said that her post-Sound of Music days will be devoted to working on new material.
  3. The Hunger Games: Mocking Jay - Part I. Hopefully it continues the pattern and is even better than Catching Fire.
  4. Possible reunions. The possibilities are endless and the rumors are rampant. I'd love to see fabulous reunions for Mean Girls, Desperate Housewives, Beverly Hills, 90210, and, of course, Friends.
  5. Lea Michele's debut album.
  6. Lana Del Rey's third album, UltraViolence.
  7. Maleficent. It may star a former Cunt of the Week, and the trailer may have been disappointing, but everybody loves a Disney fairytale turned on its side!
  8. Second rate Disney stars' return to music. 2013 was the year of Miley, Selena, and Demi. If rumors and vague statements are to be believed, 2014 may be the year of Ashley Tisdale and Hilary Duff.
  9. Britney: Piece of Me. Vegas, here I come!
  10. Noah. Even though I'm not really into Biblical stuff.
  11. Darren Criss' debut album.
  12. Girls. And Looking, which is touted as the Girls for gays.
  13. The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Superhero films may bore me, but the first film in the Spider-Man reboot series was good enough to leave me wanting more. Plus I love me some Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone!
  14. Pretty Little Liars. Now that we now EzrA's little secret, things are about to heat up!
  15. The Muppets Most Wanted.
  16. Seeing if the Superbowl is rescheduled because of snow.
  17. Serena. This mysterious Depression-era film, which once again pairs Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, has been quietly shelved many times, but will finally see its release this April. That doesn't bode well for its quality, but I'm still intrigued.
  18. The inevitable break-up of One Direction's Zayn Malik and his fiancée Perrie Edwards. I will NOT let them get married.
  19. Big Hero 6. It will be interesting to see how Disney animation handles superheroes.
  20. Most importantly, all'a dis.