DID YOU READ

Maggie Carey Talks Dirty About The To Do List

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For every movie about a guy’s quest to lose his virginity, there’s a girl’s story left untold — but The To Do List has that on the top of its list to remedy. Our heroine, Brandy Klark, played with much aplomb by Aubrey Plaza, is her graduating high school class’ valedictorian, but she has a singular goal to achieve before she starts college — and it’s to sleep with hot older guy about town Rusty Waters (played by Scott Porter). Since she’s a virgin, her plan is to get some experience under her belt first, so she makes a checklist of every sexual practice she’s ever heard of, with the goal to acquire skills she thinks it would be necessary to finally “graduate” in this arena.

“People said, ‘Aubrey’s too pretty. Guys would just sleep with her, no problem,'” the film’s writer/director Maggie Carey told IFC. “But she doesn’t want just any boy. She wants a hot college boy, and she has no way to wow him. She’s inarticulate in front of him.”

Brandy, however, is far from inarticulate in front of everybody else. She’s the quintessential high-achieving smart girl at school, who in any other movie or sitcom would be portrayed as a nerd, even if she’s a cute nerd. Think Carol Seavers on Growing Pains, Jesse on Saved by the Bell, Willow on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Tracy Flick in Election, Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter series. Some of these girls are referenced visually in the film, which takes place in 1993, since the costume designer actually tracked down wardrobe items from Saved by the Bell and Beverly Hills, 90210. “When Rachel Bilson shows up at the pool with a great black and white print with the midriff showing, that was something Donna would have worn,” Carey said.

Although these girls did sometimes get the hot guy (or hot girl, in Willow’s case), they usually had some degree of romantic feeling about it. The ones who were a little more cynical about it — Stacy in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Ferris and Angel in Little Darlings — had to pay a price of sorts for their nonchalance.”One thing that was very important to me is that losing it wasn’t a bad thing,” Carey said. “I didn’t want Brandy to regret it. It didn’t happen as she thought it would, or the way she expected it would, but she was in control. The audience never had to be worried for her, so you’re not uncomfortable.”

Some of Brandy’s first experiences with making out, digital stimulation, and hand jobs are with her male study partner Cameron (played by Johnny Simmons). From his perspective, this constitutes a romance, but not in Brandy’s eyes.

“That was something that even when I was trying to get the movie financed, marketed, and tested, people kept calling it a romantic comedy,” Carey laughed. “But this is not romantic! This is a comedy comedy, not a romantic comedy. Don’t get me wrong. I love romantic comedies, but that’s not what this is. Brandy is stereotypically male, and Cameron is stereotypically female, because he’s sappy about it, and she’s more methodical, treating sex like she’s studying for a test.”

Hence her penchant for wanting to get the terminology right. A funny discussion between Brandy’s friends (played by Alia Shawkat and Sarah Steele) is a debate about what to call a particular sex act, pre-Internet when you couldn’t look up sex slang on Google. “It’s the one most people kept asking me about, when I sent out a draft of the script for feedback,” Carey said. “Fingerbang. One person said, ‘No, I think it’s called, ‘Fingerblasted.’ Another would write back, ‘I think it’s fingerbombed.’ So I turned that into the argument in the movie.” (The term that confused Carey most growing up? “Pearl necklace. No one was doing it, but people would make jokes about it, and you’d be like, ‘What is that? What? No thank you!'”)

During one of these feedback sessions, Michael Cera came up with an alternate title for the film — The Fuck-It List. “That was a pretty brilliant title,” Carey chuckled. “We actually were going to call the film The Hand Job at one point, and then once we started location scouting at schools, we realized we couldn’t keep it.”

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Holiday Extra Special

Make The Holidays ’80s Again

Enjoy the holiday cheer Wednesday December 21 at 10P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Whatever happened to the kind of crazy-yet-cozy holiday specials that blanketed the early winter airwaves of the 1980s? Unceremoniously killed by infectious ’90s jadedness? Slow fade out at the hands of early-onset millennial ennui? Whatever the reason, nixing the tradition was a huge mistake.

A huge mistake that we’re about to fix.

Announcing IFC’s Joe’s Pub Presents: A Holiday Special, starring Tony Hale. It’s a celeb-studded extravaganza in the glorious tradition of yesteryear featuring Bridget Everett, Jo Firestone, Nick Thune, Jen Kirkman, house band The Dap-Kings, and many more. And it’s at Joe’s Pub, everyone’s favorite home away from home in the Big Apple.

The yuletide cheer explodes Wednesday December 21 at 10P. But if you were born after 1989 and have no idea what void this spectacular special is going to fill, sample from this vintage selection of holiday hits:

Andy Williams and The NBC Kids Search For Santa

The quintessential holiday special. Get snuggly and turn off your brain. You won’t need it.

A Muppet Family Christmas

The Fraggles. The Muppets. The Sesame Street gang. Fate. The Jim Henson multiverse merges in this warm and fuzzy Holiday gathering.

Julie Andrews: The Sound Of Christmas

To this day a foolproof antidote to holiday cynicism. It’s cheesy, but a good cheese. In this case an Alpine Gruyère.

Star Wars Holiday Special

Okay, busted. This one was released in 1978. Still totally ’80s though. And yes that’s Bea Arthur.

Pee Wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special

Pass the eggnog, and make sure it’s loaded. This special is everything you’d expect it to be and much, much more.

Joe’s Pub Presents: A Holiday Special premieres Wednesday December 21 at 10P on IFC.

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It Ain't Over Yet

A Guide to Coping with the End of Comedy Bang! Bang!

Watch the final episodes tonight at 11 and 11:30P on IFC.

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After five seasons and 110 halved-hour episodes, Scott Aukerman’s hipster comedy opus, Comedy Bang! Bang!, has come to an end. Fridays at 11 and 11:30P will never be the same. We know it can be hard for fans to adjust after the series finale of their favorite TV show. That’s why we’ve prepared this step-by-step guide to managing your grief.

Step One: Cry it out

It’s just natural. We’re sad too.
Scott crying GIF

Step Two: Read the CB!B! IMDB Trivia Page

The show is over and it feels like you’ve lost a friend. But how well did you really know this friend? Head over to Comedy Bang! Bang!’s IMDB page to find out some things you may not have known…like that it’s “based on a Civil War battle of the same name” or that “Reggie Watts was actually born with the name Theodore Leopold The Third.”

Step Three: Listen to the podcast

One fascinating piece of CB!B! trivia that you might not learn from IMDB is that there’s a podcast that shares the same name as the TV show. It’s even hosted by Scott Aukerman! It’s not exactly like watching the TV show on a Friday night, but that’s only because each episode is released Monday morning. If you close your eyes, the podcast is just like watching the show with your eyes closed!

Step Four: Watch brand new CB!B! clips?!

The best way to cope with the end of Comedy Bang! Bang! is to completely ignore that it’s over — because it’s not. In an unprecedented move, IFC is opening up the bonus CB!B! content vault. There are four brand new, never-before-seen sketches featuring Scott Aukerman, Kid Cudi, and “Weird Al” Yankovic ready for you to view on the IFC App. There’s also one right here, below this paragraph! Watch all four b-b-bonus clips and feel better.

Binge the entire final season, plus exclusive sketches, right now on the IFC app.

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Everybody Sweats Now

The Four-Day Sweatsgiving Weekend On IFC

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This long holiday weekend is your time to gobble gobble gobble and give heartfelt thanks—thanks for the comfort and forgiveness of sweatpants. Because when it comes right down to it, there’s nothing more wholesome and American than stuffing yourself stupid and spending endless hours in front of the TV in your softest of softests.

So get the sweats, grab the remote and join IFC for four perfect days of entertainment.

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It all starts with a 24-hour T-day marathon of Rocky Horror Picture Show, then continues Friday with an all-day binge of Stan Against Evil.

By Saturday, the couch will have molded to your shape. Which is good, because you’ll be nestled in for back-to-back Die Hard and Lethal Weapon.

Finally, come Sunday it’s time to put the sweat back in your sweatpants with The Shining, The Exorcist, The Chronicles of Riddick, Terminator 2, and Blade: Trinity. They totally count as cardio.

As if you need more convincing, here’s Martha Wash and the IFC&C Music Factory to hammer the point home.

The Sweatsgiving Weekend starts Thursday on IFC

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