Monday, September 13, 2010

Don't Worry, Be Happy: Top 5 Video Pick-Me-Ups

So I've been a little sad of late.

This is hard for me to admit.  I mean, most aspects of my life are fabulous, and a vast improvement over several years ago, when I was in law school and battling depression and anxiety.  And with the vast amount of suffering going on in the world, I always feel guilty whining about myself.

Still, some personal things in the last few weeks have me feeling down.  And I don't like it at all.

Besides the usual coping mechanisms--exercise, healthy food, reading, talking to friends--I've found some sanctuary in silly TV and videos.  Whatever works, right?  Below are five visual stimulants that can make me laugh, even when I feel like crying.

1.  Hellcats
Even if the words "CW" and "Bring It On goes to college" didn't sell me, the involvement of Ashley Tisdale (whose Sharpay in the High School Musical films reminded me a bit too much of teenage Unpro) and Aly Michalka (who was excellent in the cute-teen-movie-that-nobody-saw Bandslam) would get me to watch in a heartbeat.  And true, it's not a completely flawless show: at times the heroine, a prelaw student who reluctantly joins her school's competitive cheer squad to replace her lost scholarship, comes off a little TOO snarky.  Also, the "adult" plots are completely boring: more locker room and pom pom shenanigans, please.  That said, there's a lot of things I like: I like how the show's set in Memphis and not L.A.  I like the diverse cast, and how the potential love interest for the blonde white girl is African American.  (Yes, you see that more than you used to.  Still not a lot.)  And I'm a sucker for a good dance number.  Hellcats is mind candy at its sweetest.  I can't complain when Sharpay is gracing my TV.

2.  Joel McHale and a surprise guest on Countdown With Keith Olbermann
You thought my pick-me-up list wouldn't include my #1 celeb crush?  Think again.  When I commented on a Jezebel post regarding celeb fidelity a while back, a fellow Jez alerted me to what is possibly the most adorable video ever.  Anyone who's heard Joel's stand-up comedy knows all about his older son Eddie, but second child Isaac doesn't get as much spotlight (then again, Isaac's only two).  Not the case in this clip from Keith Olbermann's Countdown, filmed shortly after President Obama's election in 2008.  In what was probably a last-minute decision, Joel rattles off political commentary and banters with Keith, while simultaneously wrangling his giraffe sleeper-clad younger son.  Yeah, I don't even want kids and this clip had my ovaries in overdrive.  Four letters: D.I.L.F.

3.  "Two Worlds Collide" (Saturday Night Live)
From the category of Comedy Shorts That Shouldn't Work But Inexplicably Do comes this little gem, in which the adorable Andy Samberg raps about his love for "America's Sweetheart" Reba McEntire (Kenan Thompson).  Yes, Kenan Thompson plays Reba McEntire.  I remember when the short first aired, as part of the Saturday Night Live hosted by Joseph Gordon-Levitt (celeb crush #3).  I spent the first half shaking my head in confusion, and the second half cracking up.  And it holds up on near-daily repeat viewings.  Just trust me and click Play. I'm Reba!

4.  "New Senator" (Saturday Night Live)
As you've probably guessed, I'm not one of those SNL purists who constantly goes on about how the show's sucked since Joe Piscopo left to concentrate on his burgeoning movie career.  Yes, some sketches are better than others.  But if you've got a genuinely funny host who really commits to the material, there are belly laughs to be had.  Case in point: Jon Hamm (celeb crush #2), whose two hosting gigs in as many years have yielded some new classics.  In this sketch, Hamm dons a pretty impressive Massachusetts accent to play Senator Scott Brown, who goes from party enemy to object of lust for the Democratic contingent.  Oh, and he's in skimpy outfits.  YES.

5.  Burlesque trailer
Recently, my best friend Bob announced his decision to move back to Chicago.  I can't lie: the fact that I won't have to travel 2,000 miles to hang out with him come November is part of what's getting me through the day.  Upon seeing the trailer for Burlesque, I immediately informed Bob that he will be my date to what is sure to be a glittery train wreck.  Cher advising Christina Aguilera on make-up application!  Kristen Bell goes from Veronica Mars to dance club diva!  Stanley Tucci with his hot bald head and requisite one-liners!  Vocal riffs!  Costumes!  Did I mention CHER?  Oh yes.  There will be cocktails.  And then there will be Burlesque.

Hope you enjoyed my rundown of tele-giggles.  What are your favorite pick-me-ups?  Leave a comment!


  1. You've probably seen all these videos, but I thought I'd share:

    The 1987 Crystal Light Aerobic Championship!

    Celebrity Jeopardy:

    And of course, Terget!!!!

  2. I'm not really an SNL purist, but to me the heyday was the late 80's early 90's version. Just thinking of the song Choppin' Broccoli puts a big smile on my face. Or the All-Drug Olympics. Or Wayne's World. Or Mr. Subliminal. You get the idea...

    Another pick me up that I'm kind of ashamed of is the show Boy Meets World. It was on four times a day when I was on maternity leave in 2006, and those were a precious few moments when my spiraling emotions (read: PPD) were not on the forefront of my mind.

  3. Meg: thanks for sharing those links! Welcome to Ter-get!

    Nikki: I eat broccoli almost daily and have been known to sing "Chopping Broccoli" around the house. And I was a much-bullied outcast in middle school, but my sixth-grade Wayne's World D.A.R.E. skit made me Goddess for a Day. So much talent in that cast.

    As someone who finds Full House ridiculously comforting, I am certainly not going to judge your postpartum Boy Meets World habit. It's why I posted these silly videos: sometimes it's just about whatever gets you through the day. If it's the antics of Cory and Shawn and Cory's hair, so be it.

  4. I have to admit that I will be going to see Burlesque. I think it looks like fun! But then again I also think that Britney Spears' videos are fun.

  5. NW: Britney Spears videos ARE fun. Even in my college hipster days when I pretended to hate them, I was a fan. :)

  6. Hope there's lots of positivity in your life - being down is no fun (to put it obviously). Watching videos that make you feel happy, no matter how cheesy, is the BEST, which is why when I'm sick or whatever I always rent a bunch of dance films. How She Move FTW!

  7. Would admitting Dirty Dancing make me sad? Too late

  8. hungryandfrozen: OMG, I NEED to see How She Move! I'm sure Rutina Wesley's acting is just as stellar (read: NOT) as it is on True Blood!

    Amiee: Dirty Dancing doesn't make you sad, unless by "sad" you mean "AWESOME." :) RIP Swayze. There will never be another Johnny Castle!