October 7, 2014
by melissa

Smart ladies love dumb TV, X Factor UK recap, judges’ houses

Besides Cheryl’s throw-you-for-a-loop picks I could have predicted 8 of the 9 chosen finalists without even watching this weekend’s episodes at judge’s houses (Blonde Electra, really??!!!). And, due to usual producer editing (joint audition footage = all included acts are goners), I was able to verify my predictions early on.

So see ya, Concept (I hope named after this song?), my favorite contestant this year, the shoe girl who can’t dress herself, unnamed manufactured girl group, three dudes I never got to know who all wore awful pants, terrible group with two brothers, the sister of the dude in Twilight, weirdly intense redhead lady, girl who wanted it so much that it became painfully obvious, and this guy:

Please hire him

X Factor UK 21

X Factor UK 16

X Factor UK 22

Even though he could never be a singer, I got choked up when Stevi Ritchie was sent home. He should be on TV. That moment when he dropped all the luggage in the airport was so classic.

Best abs



These dudes!

These dudes!



This is such an ab-y season so far. I need to work out even harder. If by “work out even harder” you mean “reach for more glasses of Vinho Verde.”

Worst abs

X Factor UK 2

Sorry, Concept, you didn’t make the show AND you’re pasty British dudes!

Worst appropriation of culture



Sinitta always proves herself to be a good partner but even Simon thought she looked ridiculous. Blonde Electra’s very uncomfortable appropriation of hip hop culture is runner up.

Hilarious attempt to make Andreas likeable

X Factor UK 12

He also said he is the male version of Bridget Jones. Awww, fifteen year old cultural touchstones.

Worst finalist (tied)

X Factor UK 1

People are calling Blonde Electra Jedward II, but they are decidedly less cerebral and much less entertaining.

Nice lipstick. And dress.

Nice lipstick. And dress.

At least Chloe Jasmine is really pretty.

Least likely boyband member

X Factor UK 8

I don’t know if James Graham is really into being in a boyband but he’s the unnamed band’s best singer so he can’t leave.

Best flashback

X Factor UK 23

Jay James in the Royal Navy!

Worst outfits

X Factor UK 29

I just can’t decide between Kerianne’s homemade labia top and

X Factor UK 31

Stephanie’s homemade Prada-from-four-years-ago outfit. I think their moms used the same pattern for the top.

Most attentive judge, music-wise

X Factor UK 11

I was so impressed when Mel B. got up and helped that guy whose name I no longer remember.

Most attentive judge, emotion-wise

X Factor UK 26

Also, most beautiful. She could have had some competition this year

X Factor UK 4

But The Female Boss has too many fillers in her face. You’re like 24, girl, STOP IT.

Most glamorous meeting

X Factor UK 19

Mel B and Emma Bunton both looked absolutely freaking gorgeous.

Borderline inappropriate decision

Jay James is like, ironically, happy to see 1D.

Jay James is like, ironically, happy to see 1D.

Sending the over 25s to see One Direction.

Favorite performances, finalists

I knew Fleur East would be one of my favorites, but I didn’t know it would happen so quickly!

I was glad to see both Cheryl and Tinie Tempah agree with me that Stephanie Nala has a unique voice that is perfectly suited to recording.

I’m throwing unnamed boyband in here so you can see James Graham sing. I also like that football coach with the higher voice. I would find him very cute if I was not old enough to be his mother.

Favorite performance, non-finalist

It’s only appropriate that Emily Middlemas is last in this post. We will absolutely be seeing my little Scottish friend next year.

October 6, 2014
by katie

Smart ladies love movies, this week in trailers, October 6, 2014

Movie Trailer Monday

Each week I review movie trailers that came out the previous week or for movies that are about to premiere. Some of these movies I am excited about, some I am mildly curious about, and the rest I make fun of!

Notable movies coming out this weekend


Since it’s now officially PRESTIGE MOVIE SEASON I’ll try to pick a movie opening with possible Oscar hopes from now until December. This week it’s the drumming indie Whiplash starring Miles Teller (who I’m starting to adore) and J.K. Simmons (whom I have always loved) as student and abusive teacher respectively. This movie gets a very impressive 85 on Metacritic, last week’s also well-reviewed Gone Girl only gets a 79. Whiplash and Teller probably will not get nominations but Vulture thinks that Simmons has a shot at a best supporting nomination (which I would LOVE for him to win). [I love prestige movie season because it means the indie theater by my house will cycle through movies I actually want to see! J.K. Simmons is wonderffffffffulllllllllll in everything, he has such a varied career, including tons of voiceover work (we're watching Bojack Horseman now). Fun fact: this movie began its life as a short film, in which Simmons also starred. -M]

Copenhagen, is out onDemand and for Rent

I’ve been waiting FOREVER to share this movie starring Melissa’s GoT boyfriend Renly Baratheon (AKA Gethin Anthony) in Copenhagen. I think he plays a rich slacker who falls in love with a teenage girl which could be problematic so lets focus on his hot ass beard. [RAWRRRRRRRRRRR HOT RENLYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY. I am so happy he's getting cast in good movies! I also love movies that take place in European cities and show a lot of scenery. -M]

Movies I can’t wait to see in an ACTUAL theater

Inherent Vice, December 12, 2014

Despite my dislike of Joaquin Phoenix this Paul Thomas Anderson movie looks fucking fantastic –I’m hoping I can convince the family it’s a Christmas Movie winner. [So many feelings! 1. Great mutton chops, Joaquin! 2. This is the most Boogie Nights-esque movie PT Anderson has made since that movie broke him out. 3. JONAD!!!! 4. Besides Jonad from Veep, the rest of the cast looks spectacular. 5. This is a really well-edited trailer that actually makes people want to see the movie! -M]

I won’t go to an ACTUAL theater but will pay for it on Amazon

Miss Meadows, November 14, 2014

I always liked Katie Holmes on Dawson’s Creek I always thought she did a good job of making Joey NOT the squeaky clean dream girl Dawson saw her as but more the flawed and sad girl Pacey always knew her to be (TEAM PACEY 4EVA). ANYWHO Katie Holmes does good work in weird indie movies like Teaching Mrs. Tingle and Pieces of April. I also am super invested in the career of James Badge Dale who is a terrific character actor and seems to be everywhere (for good reason). [This trailer TOTALLY had me until it got creepy. I like the art direction. I would probably watch this on TV after someone who knows me watches it and tells me the level of scary/creepiness. -M]

You would have to PAY me to see it in an ACTUAL theater

Taken 3, January 9, 2015

As I said to my friend E when I first saw this trailer, “why do people in this family keep getting taken?” ALSO if I were related to Liam Neeson in a movie and he asked me to go to Europe with him I would fucking decline. [Why are there three of these? How did I miss Taken 2, or did I just pretend it didn't exist? I really want Liam Neeson to be in better movies. Like some Coen brothers or something Clooney is involved in. Or, better yet, season 2 of Fargo. -M]

October 1, 2014
by melissa

Smart ladies love dumb TV, X Factor UK season 11 recap, bootcamp

X Factor bootcamp 1

Both via.

Both via.

Mel B + Cheryl 4EVA.

The dramatics of the 6-seat challenge do not interest me, especially when it results in a stupid sing off where a manufactured group gets in over a real group who has their own songs. I fast forward through most of these shenanigans.

Best secret dialogue

“You’ve got a hard category”- Cheryl
“In what way?”- Simon
“It’s good”- Cheryl

Biggest WTF

An EIGHT PERSON (as yet unnamed) boyband? I hope at least two of them drop out before judge’s houses. I think James Graham and the 14 year old (I don’t remember his name) overshadowed the rest.

Worst producer decision

Not showing us the solo performances of the first part of bootcamp. Those are some of the most exciting performances, and then we would have been more attached to the boys/girls that were cut and reformed into groups.

Best peer pressure

Cheryl harassing Simon after every one of his overs that he needed to get rid of Raign. She prevailed, though, as Simon eventually switched her out for Fleur.

Best throwback to an earlier gif

Cheryl can finally use a straw! YAY!

Worst accessory

Ben Haenow’s tongue ring. Is it 1995?

Saddest moment

The elimination of Overload. Their performance wasn’t great (“9 to 5″ is a bad song for the shortlist, producers) but I was looking forward to them in the lives.

Biggest WTF, pt 2

Blonde Electric’s existence, let alone that fact that they’re through, is totally puzzling to me. Instead of watching their performance, just admire this gif of Cheryl being pretty and doing a great hair toss.

Best contestant that I hope returns next year please please please it would be a good story producers, don’t lose her number

The ever-nervous Kayleigh Manners.

Favorite performances, by category


Emily, Emily, Emily. She sings an Ellie Goulding song WHILE wearing a party dress and trainers. How could this not be my favorite?

I also loved Stephanie Nala’s “Wicked Games.” She should leave X Factor immediately and just get a good producer.


I don’t super love the boys this year (the loss of James Graham to the groups category was strongly felt) but Jack Walton is pleasant, even though there are thousands of dudes at bars singing at the exact same level around the world.

Special mention to Hayden, who did not change the gender in “I Love Rock and Roll,” thereby avoiding my #1 reality singing competition show pet peeve. It is probably why he didn’t get through. Bravo, Hayden!


I will be cheering on Fleur East this year, thanks to this clever cover of “Paper Planes.”


Y’all, Only the Young is THE group to watch.

I’ll leave you with this clip of Stevi Ritchi going shopping with Sarah-Jane, the prettiest presenter in all the land, set to the Austin Powers theme song, from Xtra Factor.