Born To Dye

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Lana Del Rey puns. Yeah, baby.

Tonight I dyed my hair for the first time ever. Okay, not ever. There was that one time when I dyed it black to rebel. (My mum didn’t care, so I didn’t do it again.) This is the only serious time, when it’s actually been in the interest of making me look nice ‘n’ stuff.

With the help of my trusted hairdresser (read: complete novice), Louise Jones, today was the day: the day for change. I decided I wanted to change things up in the hair department, ruling out legs, bums and armpits and going for the classic head hair. About two years after the rest of the world, I opted to get on board with the ombre trend.

Instructions, you say:

  • You put the lime in the coconut and mix them both up.
  • Dab and scrunch.
  • Find an astonishing number of sexual innuendos regarding the hair dying process (e.g. “this is gonna make you wet”, “bend over” – standard immaturity).
  • Grab a friend, get in a shower and wash your sillies out.
  • Rinse and repeat.
  • Take selfies.

Yes, you now have stunning ombre hair, you stunner. Wow. I am blown away. Twirl. Walk with a jaunt. That’s it. Now you’re ready to be unleashed. You must now immediately take up all opportunities to socialise so as to maximise utility.

The ombre is not the ombre without the obligatory root to tip comparison. Yeah, grab the ends of your hair and put it over your face like a fringe. Crazy stuff. It’ll bring back all the memories of yesterday’s hair. Like, remember when it was the same colour all the way down? Good times. But it’s more exciting now – this was a good decision.

And that’s ombre, folks! I’ve been Jessica Eve Kennedy, and you’ve been dyed.

How To Catch Buses and Alienate Yourself

I’m a very experienced bus-catcher. For proof of this, see my tweets and then imagine me communicating all of them from a bus. As many of you can attest, catching the bus is about as enjoyable as catching the flu. But, never fear, the many hours I’ve spent ridin’ ‘round town in a yellow double decker have taught me a few tricks…

  1. Always check for late risers! This one has caught out many public transport novices over the years. I get it. It’s cold and you’ve been on your feet all day; you’re eager to get on that bus. But wait. The 82 year old in the second row’s decided to wait a good 10 seconds after the bus has completely stopped before indicating she’s getting off, and you’re already trying to pay the driver. Rookie mistake. You must survey the bus for late risers before stepping on (basic bus etiquette).
  2. Bring iPod. Obvious but effective. If you’ve got headphones in, it drastically reduces the number of people who will attempt to talk to you. Pro tip: it doesn’t matter if your iPod is charged.
  3. The upstairs, downstairs trick. Imagine it: you’re sat upstairs and some drunken youths (you’re younger than them but they’re drinking on public transport so all bets are off) sit very close to you. You sense they may heckle you, or worse, try to initiate conversation. My solution: pretend it’s your stop and get your ass downstairs.
  4. The stinky food solution. Friends, Romans, countrymen, this is a timeless classic. Effective on any form of public transport (most useful on coaches, FYI), stinky food is your solution to company. Sick of people trying to sit next to you? Buy yourself some Frazzles or an egg sandwich and Bob’s your uncle*, no one wants to come within a good double seat of you.
  5. Bags need seats too. Another obvious one for avoiding company. When you take your window seat, dump your bag in the aisle seat to put off any prospective seat-sharers. It is effective up until the point where the only seats left are the bag seats, and then it’s anyone’s guess who the over-perfumed Avon lady’s going to sit next to. Obviously, move the bag when things fill up – you’re not an asshole. Pro tip: when seats are running low, move your bag early if you see a non-creepy-looking person. Don’t leave it to chance (CHANCE IS NOT YOUR FRIEND).
  6. NEVER make eye contact. I cannot stress this enough. Eye contact is the cardinal sin of catching the bus. Once done, it cannot be undone. If you want to stare at strangers on the bus (and let’s face it, you do), just watch via their reflection in the window. They think you’re gazing out of the window, you know different.
  7. Invisibility cloak. This is particularly effective when travelling with riotous schoolchildren behaving like pack animals. They will approach. They will annoy. The best solution is to whip out your invisibility cloak and disappear. Warning: they may sit on you.
  8. Speed dial a friend. Much like Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, repeat bus travel requires a ‘Phone A Friend’ option. Use only in the case of an emergency (e.g. you haven’t even got headphones that you can pretend are plugged into something).

Follow these simple steps and you’re guaranteed to a safe, interaction-free journey home. Good luck friends.

*DNA test proven

Life on Mars

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Fans, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears.

THE VERONICA MARS MOVIE IS A GO. In a remarkable display of loyalty, fans of the short-lived TV series came together and reached a target of $2m towards a follow-up film within a matter of hours. It’s impressive stuff considering the show’s relatively underwhelming ratings (2.5 million av.), but proves that you should never underestimate a small but devoted viewership.

I’ve actually never seen Veronica Mars. That doesn’t stop me being utterly thrilled about the success of the Kickstarter campaign. This is a potentially monumental step in the evolution of media production. The reaction on Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook during the short duration of the project has been encouraging from all corners. For any fan whose show has ever fallen victim to the premature network cancellation, this is a joyous occasion. Networks no longer hold all the cards. Hope for all! In fact, Zachary Levi’s already tweeted some excitement-inducing tweets for Chuck fans.

I hope that the success of this particular Kickstarter will see to many more in the future. The idea that fans can be so in control of what’s in the cinema and on their TVs seems like a natural extension of the online media. I’m still reeling from the recently-blogged-about cancellation of The Hour, which prompted a fan-fuelled campaign of its own, so it’s rather good timing to hear of the big Kickstarter success story.

Before now, it has been the Chuck supporters who have been the poster fandom for this kind of activity. So incredibly vocal in their support of the show, fans helped the series through many near death experiences – eventually getting it to five seasons. As mentioned, it seems like Zachary Levi might not be done, and after today I wouldn’t bet against him. Arrested Development is another notable fan-driven success, with new episodes coming to Netflix in the near future. Never underestimate the power of the fans, especially not with casts and writers who are just as enthusiastic. And no one can say Kristen Bell didn’t want it enough, that’s for sure.

One small step for fans, a giant leap for fankind.

So it begs the question: what shows would you like to see return or be adapted for film?

Whose Line Is It Anyway?

My university is really hot on plagiarism. Not in a fangirly way. In a NEVERYOUMUSTNOTEVERDOTHISNO kind of a way. And don’t get me wrong, I’m down with that. Plagiarism = bad. Especially on an English course (yes, I’m doing English, can’t you tell?). Thing is, we’re not allowed to plagiarise ourselves. Once we’ve said something in an academic work, never again. It’s basically the stuff of Aaron Sorkin’s nightmares…

While it amuses me that Sorkin rarely writes an original sentence these days, I think it is interesting to consider how effective recycling old material really is. Sorkin’s writing has received great acclaim, most notably for A Few Good MenThe West Wing and The Social Network – Emmys, Oscars, Golden Globes flying everywhere (accurate). Big Sorkin fans will no doubt have been aware of the high dosage of “Sorkinisms” that these works contain before the supercut video came along. So, question is: does all this recycling – while great for the planet – truly benefit the respective screenplays?

When Isaac from Sports Night quotes, “I don’t always know the right thing to do, Lord, but I think the fact that I want to please you pleases you,” does it make it less powerful when Leo from The West Wing does the same thing? Hmm. No. I don’t think it does. That said, the prominence of “Gather ye rosebuds…” in The West Wing does undermine its use in The Newsroom for me. If not just because The West Wing’s use of any of the dialogue immediately makes it law – it IS the White House after all! The show is too iconic to steal from as often as Sorkin does. Or maybe it didn’t fit the characters because they weren’t Josh and Donna, and use of the quote is cemented in my head as those characters saying it that way.

If you’re a big fan of The West Wing, you associate the words, “I go home when you go home” with Leo and Margaret (IT IS LAW, like I say). When Studio 60 tries to get all up in that, it begins to irritate me. I like Studio 60 but it needed to go further to differentiate itself from The West Wing by delivering memorable dialogue of its own. The Newsroom: take note.

So many fans of The Newsroom have commented on their frustration about the number of comparisons people make between Newsroom characters and West Wing characters. Well, surely Sorkin’s to blame for that.

There is a part of me that delights in it. I smile and think, “Oh, Sorkin,” as another, “Not for nothing” or “I’m really quite something” is delivered. It calls on memories of a TV series that truly was the crème de la crème. While it’s yet to really work for me on The Newsroom, there were certainly points in Studio 60 where cross-referencing made me giddy. That was largely related to casting choices though. He capitalised on something that The West Wing didn’t get a chance to: the chemistry between Matthew Perry and Bradley Whitford (at least 80% of the appeal of Studio 60). As well as that, in a genius move late in the series, Sorkin opted to have Allison Janney play herself alongside fellow West Wing alum, Timothy Busfield. It goes to show, West Wing callbacks can seriously pay off.

I think The West Wing beautifully showcased the potential of Aaron Sorkin’s writing. The simultaneous complexity and simplicity of the dialogue was utterly genius. References to other aspects of the series are fond reminders of the dizzying heights of TV brilliance. Recycled dialogue, however, is often a wasted opportunity for exciting, refreshing new material.

What do you think, though? Besides being an amusing supercut, do you think Sorkin needs to be a little more original in his writing? Or should quoting The West Wing be endlessly encouraged?