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Dusting off the Manolos.

Dusting off the Manolos. (photo)

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The brisk advance ticket sales for “Sex and the City 2” confirm what’s already obvious — the films are some kind of new phenomenon, and it would’ve been stupid — perhaps even financially irresponsible in these grim times — not to make a sequel. The market is clearly still there.

It’s not, however, the same market as when the show started. The pro-/anti-“Sex and the City” factions have been circling each other, wielding the same arguments for years. If you like the show, you think it taps into something authentic about the way women bond and talk, or you like the clothes. If you’re against it, you probably despise the consumerism, the clothing-as-validation ethos — as Dana Stevens wrote at Slate while reviewing the first film, “I honestly believe […] that ‘Sex and the City’ is singlehandedly responsible for a measurable uptick in the number of materialistic twits in New York City and perhaps the world.” Indeed.

Still, that doesn’t make SatC worse than any number of Kate Hudson movies (as nicely parodied in a throwaway line in “Kick-Ass”: “Do you want to go see that new Kate Hudson movie, the one where she’s a shoe designer who can’t get a guy?”). The show, whatever its grating elements, was at least snappily assembled, certainly with more craft than the average romantic comedy these days. That British Glamour editor Jo Elvin’s best defense for the forthcoming film is that “it’s window-shopping on a big screen… a film like this is playing Barbies for grownups” speaks volumes. Once upon a time, we’d speak about how “Sex and the City” was empowering (or infantilizing), how the relationships meant something about honest discussion of sexuality.

04202010_shopaholic.jpgIt seems that as the women of SatC get older, their bonding and struggles have gotten less relevant. Economic recovery or no, “Sex and the City 2” will deliver what “Confessions of a Shopaholic” couldn’t successfully sell — fashion porn. More specifically, economic fashion porn (the Abu Dhabi setting, with its connotations of extravagant wealth, is no accident). Which means that the show isn’t titled properly anymore: it’s “Sex and Money” these days, assuming it was ever anything else.

That makes sense when you think of Sarah Jessica Parker’s trajectory from Carrie Bradshaw to the standard rom-coms she’s mostly been making since the show’s end. When you take out the sex, there’s not much left besides money, fashion and whining. If Meryl Streep’s become a viable star as she gets older, it seems the only way for the SATC ladies to age is to strip away any complexities from their personas as time goes along.

[Photos: “Sex and the City 2,” Warner Bros., 2010; “Confessions of a Shopaholic,” Touchstone, 2009]


Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.


Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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GIFs via Giphy

Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:


The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.


They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!


Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.


Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.



Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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GIFs via Giphy

Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”


IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?

Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!

Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.

Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 


IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.