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The New Year Begins With a Less Than Stellar Start

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Happy New Year!

Today is the first day many Americans are returning to work from their holiday breaks. 2008 is over and 2009 is on. Blogs will get back to business as normal, and the search for the 10 best albums of the year begins all over again.

So here’s my question for the first cerebral day of 2009–with so much promise in the upcoming year and so much to celebrate from the previous one (though it did have its share of crappy moments), why does the start of a new year always suck?

(left: Don’t judge a year by how it starts…or finishes.)

Being the king of all letdowns–New Year’s Eve that is–I’ve lowered my expectations and have learned to not expect much during the final hours of any given year. I’ve tried to enjoy New Year’s Eve, but no matter how I fandangle it, I never come out a winner. I’ve been to parties, thrown parties, seen live music, paid really high cover charges to get inside a dance club that was so packed you could barely lift your arms to remove your coat (let alone bust a move on the dance floor), and even did the Times Square thing. None of them ever lived up to the hype.

Because I don’t enjoy starting a new slate of twelve months on the wrong foot, I now spend my New Year’s Eve in front of the television set with a few select family members, eating left over holiday food. It may not sound like a bunch of a fun, but it always lives up to its low expectations.

New Year’s Eve television is usually pretty underwhelming, but this year I found it to be more so than ever. It began with a Rocky marathon on Versus concluding with the crappiest sequel of the entire franchise, Rocky V. Want to be letdown on New Year’s Eve? How about Rocky Balboa discovering that he has irreversible brain damage, ending his legendary boxing career.

Right after Rocky lost his Philadelphia mansion, I began flipping between the various network and cable countdown shows. MTV centered their night around Miley Cyrus and featured a handful of power-pop bands I couldn’t even name. Two minutes was more than enough for me, so up next was MTV-alum, Carson Daily. He had about as much charisma as the dried-up Christmas tree in the corner of my brother’s house. It seemed like the letdown of New Year’s Eve got to him a couple hours early.


Ryan Seacrest delivered the I’m-going-to-fill-the-shoes-of-Dick-Clark-whether-you-like-it-or-not routine and FOX showcased the long-past-his-prime, Robbie Knievel, jumping over a (man-made) volcano in Las Vegas. FOX was apparently so desperate for viewers that they even featured four different computer animated scenarios detailing how Knievel would die a fiery death if he didn’t land his jump perfectly.

The music performances weren’t much better. It was great seeing the Ting Tings on network television, but awkward explaining to a living room of non-Ting Tings fans how a band consisting of only a drummer and guitar player could also produce a mysterious bass loop (I felt their pain, if I’m hearing a bass, I wanna see where it’s coming from too). The Jonas Brothers were horrible, and T.I. performed with full-on a band, making me wonder why hip-hop groups never bring their turntables on network television?

When midnight neared, we curiously turned back to Seacrest’s party to see if Dick Clark would make his annual appearance. He did. Half of the room thought it was touching, the other half thought it was silly that he just doesn’t retire.

As he’s done since his stroke (and though he can’t help it), Clark slurred the last ten seconds of his countdown making everyone in the room wonder when exactly the New Year began. At midnight my wife and I folded laundry, my brother and his wife washed dishes, and we all watched Knievel successfully jump his motorcycle over a fake volcano.

Happy freakin’ New Year!

(Trust me, 2009 will get better.)

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Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.

Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.


Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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WTF Films

Artfully Off

Celebrity All-Star by Sisters Weekend is available now on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Sisters Weekend isn’t like other comedy groups. It’s filmmaking collaboration between besties Angelo Balassone, Michael Fails and Kat Tadesco, self-described lace-front addicts with great legs who write, direct, design and produce video sketches and cinematic shorts that are so surreally hilarious that they defy categorization. One such short film, Celebrity All-Star, is the newest addition to IFC’s Comedy Crib. Here’s what they had to say about it in a very personal email interview…


IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Celebrity All-Star is a short film about an overworked reality TV coordinator struggling to save her one night off after the cast of C-List celebrities she wrangles gets locked out of their hotel rooms.

IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Sisters Weekend: It’s this short we made for IFC where a talent coordinator named Karen babysits a bunch of weird c-list celebs who are stuck in a hotel bar. It’s everyone you hate from reality TV under one roof – and that roof leaks because it’s a 2-star hotel. There’s a magician, sexy cowboys, and a guy wearing a belt that sucks up his farts.


IFC: What was the genesis of Celebrity All-Star?

Celebrity All-Star was born from our love of embarrassing celebrities. We love a good c-lister in need of a paycheck! We were really interested in the canned politeness people give off when forced to mingle with strangers. The backstory we created is that the cast of this reality show called “Celebrity All-Star” is in the middle of a mandatory round of “get to know each other” drinks in the hotel bar when the room keys stop working. Shows like Celebrity Ghost Hunters and of course The Surreal Life were of inspo, but we thought it
was funny to keep it really vague what kind of show they’re on, and just focus on everyone’s diva antics after the cameras stop rolling.

IFC: Every celebrity in Celebrity All-Star seems familiar. What real-life pop personalities did you look to for inspiration?

Sisters Weekend: Anyone who is trying to plug their branded merch that no one asked for. We love low-rent celebrity. We did, however, directly reference Kylie Jenner’s turd-raison lip color for our fictional teen celebutante Gibby Kyle (played by Mary Houlihan).


IFC: Celebrity seems disgusting yet desirable. What’s your POV? Do you crave it, hate it, or both?

Sisters Weekend: A lot of people chase fame. If you’re practical, you’ll likely switch to chasing success and if you’re smart, you’ll hopefully switch to chasing happiness. But also, “We need money. We need hits. Hits bring money, money bring power, power bring fame, fame change the game,” Young Thug.


IFC: Who are your comedy idols?

Sisters Weekend: Mike grew up renting “Monty Python” tapes from the library and staying up late to watch 2000’s SNL, Kat was super into Andy Kaufman and “Kids In The Hall” in high school, and Angelo was heavily influenced by “Strangers With Candy” and Anna Faris in the Scary Movie franchise, so, our comedy heroes mesh from all over. But, also we idolize a lot of the people we work with in NY-  Lorelei Ramirez, Erin Markey, Mary Houlihan, who are all in the film, Amy Zimmer, Ana Fabrega, Patti Harrison, Sam Taggart. Geniuses! All of Em!

IFC: What’s your favorite moment from the film?

Sisters Weekend: I mean…seeing Mary Houlihan scream at an insane Pomeranian on an iPad is pretty great.

See Sisters Weekend right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib

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