Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I don't know if I've mentioned this before here, but for a couple of years now, I've decided that I want my first-dance song at my wedding, should I ever choose to get married, to be "Fade Into You" by Mazzy Star. It's a really beautiful, dreamy, lush, gently orchestral song with a softly lilting rhythm that is just perfectly romantic without being saccharine. There is, of course, only one person I've ever actually fantasized about marrying (and only one person with whom I've ever actually seen any real point to marriage. I never understood why people even really bother until I met him.)

I try not to get overly sentimental. It's so easy to slip from being emotional into being maudlin.

But I'd rather be at the mercy of my emotions than be dead inside. My therapist that I saw while I was home wants me to get a tattoo and drink and have sex and wear leather pants and be a little bit reckless and young and feel strong. I would rather be a mess than feel nothing. And I've felt so little over the past few years, other than a quietly deadened loneliness. I so rarely get really sad or happy or angry. All I feel is my weak, sick, painful body.

That's not who I want to be, anymore.

I used to go to a lot of concerts. They're one of the real highlights, actually, of my middle school and high school life. Music was a big part of what kept me going. When I had super long thick hair I gave myself whiplash from thrashing around in my room. To Nirvana, usually. In early high school I was in love with someone who loved Nine Inch Nails, so I started listening to them, too. For weeks at a time I would wake up to "Head Like a Hole" playing from my CD player. (Pretty Hate Machine was my favorite NiN album. It still is. I find that there's a playful and irreverent spirit to it that was just lost later on.) I painted my fingernails black over crimson nail polish and wore combat boots. I didn't sleep much. I dreamed a lot. I was skinny and nervous and too pale. I cried a lot and sometimes forgot to eat. I hissed and sneered and sometimes walked arm-in-arm with the boy I loved down the hallways and felt so happy that it hurt, because I know how fleeting that intensity was. I loved him painfully, unimaginably, with an almost physical force. I wrote all the time.

And I was oh, so far from happy. But that girl is gone. I'm afraid that I'll never be that bold, that intense, that vital ever again.

Being back at school isn't so bad. It's hardest on the weekends. My classes are great and exciting and stimulating and they keep me going through the week. The weekends are the tough part. They always have been. I dig deep and find little more than emptiness.

Leather pants are a start. Tattoos maybe, body piercings. Modeling myself, slightly at least, in this regard, after the pure raging id that is Faith from Buffy, played by the ravishing Eliza Dushku.

Obviously, crossbows come later. But a little more id in my life is not a bad idea.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

So! It's been quite a while, yes? Haven't had much to report. It's summer now, and I'm still home, and still jobless and mostly directionless. I have been seeing doctors and am in therapy, which was the most important part about this taking a semester off thing, anyway. I do sometimes regret it and wish I had stuck around, had that spring semester with Lisa - which I so wanted after she'd been away last fall - and had a last semester with my senior friends, but it was kind of the only choice. I was just too sick to continue. Full stop.

I have been officially readmitted, and hopefully will actually have a place to live in my house in the fall (not quite clear on that yet.) Hopefully I'll be able to graduate with both my majors, but if I have to drop one it's really not the end of the world. Finishing my English major won't be a problem at all, since I took so many of my required classes so early on. It would break my heart to have to drop American Studies as a major, but not as much as it would kill me to be taking two seminars each semester which could be what I would have to do. I don't know. My advisors will work some kind of magic, I bet.

As for why I'm writing so obscenely early in the morning, well, there's really only one reason I would be willingly awake and alert and having free time this early: namely, I never actually got to sleep last night. I'm not sure what happened there. I had some brief in-and-out sleep between about 4 and 5:30, but only for a few minutes at time and never deeply at all. I got up at about 5:30 because I was starving, came downstairs for some heavy bread and apple juice. (To the delight and confusion of Duncan and Mabel, who were quite excited for the company so early in the morning.) Went back upstairs and tried to sleep. Got up again at 7 to take some Advil for my headache, hoping that would help. Realized I was just not falling back asleep, said "fuck it" and took a shower and got up for good. My mom isn't even awake yet. She'll be pretty disoriented when she sees me. When left to my own devices I usually get up around 1.

I understand why I had trouble actually going to sleep - I had a chai latte too late yesterday while at Barnes & Noble, where I spent the bulk of my afternoon, reading foreign Vogues. (An extremely pleasant way to spend one's afternoon, all told.) I really shouldn't have caffeine of any quantity higher than green tea. It makes me jittery, lightheaded, and my heart race, and apparently robs me of sleep.

The Voguefest was delightful, though. I discovered that British Vogue has sections on fashionable deals that are ACTUALLY deals (as opposed to American Vogue, which lists, like, a $250 bathing suit as a total steal.) I also discovered that Lara Stone is fucking ubiquitous lately, as part of the fashion industry's attempt to foster a healthier body image and make a better name for themselves - look, this one size 4 model! We don't put incredibly unreasonable standards of thinness on our models and clients! Never! It's just so self-congratulatory.

I do like Lara, though. I especially love her Versace ads, as she's perfect for them. Bold, sexy and sometimes a little loud and trashy. A rail-thin model just can't really make those kinds of clothes sing. So good for her for coming along at the right moment and getting the opportunity to capitalize on it.

I dig her tooth gap, too. Another part of being unexpectedly just-right - it's unique and instantly recognizable a la Lauren Hutton, but also somehow actually makes her sexier. No mean feat.

Honestly, I'm not even sure what I'm talking about anymore, at this point. I am so bloody exhausted. (But not sleepy at all. Hence the problem.) Wish me luck, you guys.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Well, so, I haven't blogged in awhile. There hasn't been a lot going on to write about, particularly - I am still homebound on my medical leave, and therefore don't have a great deal happening in my life (not that college was a nonstop thrillride or anything, so.) My dreams have been picking up the slack, though - last night I had a dream that I was a zombie killer. Had to drive my car over a LAKE OF ZOMBIES at one point. My scientist boyfriend and I were keeping some zombies in a lab for tests with, uh, flowers (because in this skewed universe, the zombies were afraid of flowers and you could hurl the flowers at them to keep them away), and there was also an antidote to the zombie bite, as long as you took it within a few hours, to avoid becoming a zombie. It was really fucking weird, though. Too much late-night watching of Buffy, I guess. (Which I'm totally loving. It's great. I am wildly in love with Spike, which should come as a surprise to absolutely no one who is familiar with both the character and my own.)

You know what's a chilling feeling? You know when you start watching a television show ironically - maybe it's on in a marathon, or something - and it's so terrifically, hilariously bad that you just have to continue watching it to laugh at it? You sit there, chuckling, perhaps alone, perhaps with a like-minded friend, rolling your eyes at the terrible acting and the stilted dialogue and the general idiocy, feeling morally superior in your own intelligence? And then, you realize - you really hope there's another episode on after this, not merely so that you can continue laughing at it, but because you actually really kind of want to know what happens with this particular plot point? And it occurs to you that you've actually become INVESTED in this terrible, terrible show, and you sit there in horror and disbelief, feeling the last vestiges of your self-respect fall away?

Yeah. THAT feeling. Chilling.

And before I go, an anecdote that I heard on the radio, apparently reported via someone in the know: Frank Sinatra was quite the playboy, even in his later years, with impressive sexual prowess and stamina, and he apparently credited it all to Wheaties. He once finished having marathon sex with some satisfied young lady, ran out to the kitchen, chowed down on a bowl of Wheaties, and charged right back into the bedroom singing "I'm in the Mood for Love."

Think of that the next time you're having a bowl of Wheaties, will you?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Rest in peace, sweet prince.

This past year or so has been a really rough one for the deaths of truly iconic people, and I haven't really commented much on any of them, partly because there are so many and partly because I just didn't feel that I had much to say. There were those that I was sad but unsurprised to see go (Norman Mailer, Irving Penn, Dominick Dunne, Howard Zinn & J.D. Salinger just recently), and the big gone-way-too-soon shockers that nobody seemed to see coming (John Hughes was a big one for me, and, of course, Michael Jackson.)

But when I heard that 40-year-old fashion designer Alexander McQueen had died this morning, I knew that this was one upon which I would have to reflect and work through. I was actually a little surprised by how much it had affected me, and I'm still not entirely sure why it did. Suicide in someone so young and so unbelievably talented is always tragic, no matter who they may be, but I didn't expect the oddly visceral feeling of personal loss that the news brought me.

It's always odd and intriguing to me to see how people react to the deaths of famous people - people they knew in a certain way, people to whom they feel a personal connection, but who they didn't really know. When a person feels really affected there's something proprietary about that, claiming that person and their affects on the world for oneself. That's really how I feel about Kurt Cobain - even though I was only four years old when he died, I definitely feel a sense of possession and even a kind of ownership, a way in which I take him for myself.

And as someone who loves the world of fashion, who believes in the power of its art and artifice, of the creativity and its reflection on the world - and how the world appropriates it back again - I am, in a way, claiming the the innovation and genius of McQueen for my own. Maybe that's why it's hitting me hard - that this is a world I really care about, and know that while other people certainly share that, not everyone does, so there's a kind of necessity of appropriation there. Bottom line, I know that McQueen, and his incredible impact on the fashion world, will never be forgotten.

And I know I will never forget the day of his death, either.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Characters: a devolutionary chain.

Okay, so I'm taking a medical leave this semester to try to figure out this body shit. As you might expect, this has led to me having WAY TOO MUCH free time on my hands (and I've only been home again for a few days...) It'll get better, I think - there will be some temping jobs in my future, and my mom is suggesting that I go to bartending school (hooray for marketable skills!) but in the meantime, I'm left to my own devices and coming up with shit like this.

So it has come to my attention recently that pretty much all of my favorite pop culture characters are basically THE SAME PERSON. Charismatic, witty, highly sexualized, and self-absorbed, with terrible pasts, intelligence, and a healthy level of cynicism, and a somewhat sociopathic view of the world. No, seriously, it'll become more and more clear. Let's start with a perennial favorite:

Dr. Gregory House

I love this show a lot, even though it's kind of devolved into mostly shittiness for the last couple of seasons. It basically kind of sucks now, but as long as House himself is there, doing his thing, I will keep watching. I love him so much. He is so funny and brilliant and complex and dynamic and Hugh Laurie plays him so goddamned brilliantly. I have had numerous dreams in which House and I are best friends. (I actually think he and I would get along quite well, as weird as that sounds.)

Okay, so House? Change his occupation from a doctor to an advertising executive, make him about 20 years younger, and make him gay, and we have...

Brian Kinney

Much like House, Queer as Folk's Brian has a strange sort of mythology surrounding him, with an appeal that can only really be understood by a big fan of the show who watches continuously. Deeply cynical and ridiculously selfish, Brian nonetheless has frighteningly keen observational skills (much like House) and an incredibly warm heart that he hides unbelievably well. He also utterly makes the show. I mean, yeah, the smut is fun, but without the character of Brian pretty much all of the emotional and dramatic plots would fall flat. He is just so fucking beautiful. I can't watch the show that much anymore, because it makes me unbelievably depressed, but Brian makes it worth it, as does Gale Harold's acting. In real life, Gale is both very straight and very shy, mild-mannered, and unassuming. Holy. Fuck.

Okay, so take Brian, make him straight again (sorry Bri!), make him a teenager, plop him down in the 80's, and you have...

John Bender

Yes. Evie and I actually discovered this one last summer. I've been in love with Bender for God-knows-how-long, since it's been years and years since I first saw the Breakfast Club, and upon the first viewing I fell hard. There's just nothing like a wrong side of the tracks bad boy with a fucking razor-sharp wit and a hardon for Molly Ringwald. I mean, can you blame me? I'm probably doomed to fall for a hilarious sociopath.

Now, take Bender, make him a girl, make him prettier (because as fuckable as he is, I think we can all agree that Judd Nelson would make a fuggin' fugly girl), put her in modern times and give her a big dose of compassion. What results?

Veronica Mars

Yeah, it all comes back around to Veronica. It's a devolutionary chain, yo! They are all the same.damn.people. And I'm out.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I neglected to mention this before, but my mom got me a cat clock for Christmas:

It's fantastic, and hanging on my wall here at school. It makes this gentle clacking sound as the tail moves back and forth (and the eyes roll, of course), that is both soothing and kind of mesmerizing. It's kind of hard not to let it put me to sleep, hence why I have music on whenever I am trying to work the last couple of days.

(Yeah, back at school. I'm hoping it will get better, and I think it will, but it fucking sucks right now.)

You know who I really, unironically love a whole lot? Kate Moss.

I know she's a cokehead (although why people were ever shocked at that is beyond me, but whatever.) I know she ushered in the super-waif trend among high-fashion models that has plagued the fashion industry ever since. I know she's kinda trashy and something of a train wreck, and that her rough living is totally reflected in her appearance when not in photos. I get it. I love her, and not just because of her breathtaking modeling ability and seemingly effortless personal style that no one else has ever quite pulled off (not that they haven't tried!) Simply put, I love her because, whatever lifestyle she leads, be it shitty or glamorous or both, she doesn't feel the need to talk about it. She doesn't try to be a role model, or talk about her wonderful organic zen life or all of her world-helping charity work, or how she achieves her beauty simply by drinking water and eating vegetables.

Not that there's anything wrong with doing any of that that. I just love that she's out there, doing her thing, be it modeling for the best designers in the world or going on a coke binge with a minor rock star or launching a fashion line, letting people take from it what they will and not shoving anything down anybody's throat about it. It's kind of refreshing, actually. She's one of the most famous, recognizable supermodels of all time for both her public and private life and yet she's managed to remain a creature of mystery. She's a fucking model, and shouldn't be expected to be anything else. She's got a job to do and she does it better than anybody else, every time.

So you go on with your bad self, Kate.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Y'know when you have some caffeine to prepare yourself to work/give yourself more energy, and instead of making you more awake and focused, you just get sort of scatterbrained and sleepily jittery?

Yeah. That's what's happening with me right now. I had some chai to work on this paper (and ugh, I'm tired because the goddamned cats were in and out of my room all night, wanting to CUDDLE and PLAY!) and instead of it increasing my focus, it's just made me kind of jittery and nervous. Besides I'm freaking out a little about going back to school, mostly for various emotional reasons, and this is seriously not helping. At all.

I don't know. I mean, on a certain level I'm glad that I had work to do over this break since it kept my brain from atrophying in absence of school, and all (and obviously I'm grateful that I got the extensions, because there was no way in hell I would have been able to get it done with all the seizures I was having in the last few weeks of the semester), but ugh, it really does suck to have work to do when on winter break like this. I'm freaked, is what I'm saying. I never feel totally comfortable at school, and I'm so much lonelier and sicker there - like, always.

I do always do better spring semester than the fall one, though, because I'm going towards more light and warmth and longer days, as opposed to fall semester, when I'm going towards darker and darker and colder and colder and it's like some kind of hellish descent. Fall semester really fucking sucks. All the time.

Also? Grateful for these paper topics. It's been an American Studies-heavy semester (next semester is going to be an English-heavy one, and I anticipate it being way harder), so in the past couple of weeks I've written on Trainspotting, Citizen Kane, His Girl Friday, Twin Peaks, and now Mad Men. (The Twin Peaks research also got me a chance to correspond with Ms. Sherilyn Fenn, a.k.a. Twin Peaks' Audrey Horne - a fangirl's dream, if ever there was one. She was a peach.) Not that there aren't difficulties associated with this shit, because trust me, there are, but it's much easier when you're studying something you really find to be a lot of fun.

All this popular culture studies stuff has really given me a new appreciation for aesthetics. I've been following lots of variously aesthetic-focused blogs and I really do think it's just as valid as the study of anything else - I don't see why substance and style have to be pried apart and differentiated (they certainly aren't in film), or why styles and aesthetic can't be every bit as thought-provoking as a "higher" form of culture. And I don't think one has to be "trained" in this stuff to appreciate it - you just have to have a good eye for what you find beautiful and visually arresting, and cultivate and seek out what you like and find compelling. Sure, having studied art or film or fashion helps, but I don't think it's a requirement if you have a natural compulsion towards it.

I caught Vertigo on TV the other night after the Golden Globes (which were really good this year! Good show, good show), and it's still one of my favorites. Just hits all the right notes - dramatic and romantic and tragic and deeply creepy. Kim Novak gives the shivers - good AND bad ones! (Jimmy Stewart just gives me the bad ones.) She's exquisite. My favorite scenes are the early ones, seeing her dreamlike, haunted wanderings around San Francisco, her obsession with the portrait (that portrait still gives me major fucking creeps), her almost out-of-body hurling herself into the San Francisco bay. The sensuality, the paranoia, the obsession - it's all some of my favorite stuff.

And who could forget that fucking hair swirl?

More shivers. I read this terrifically creepy short story by Joyce Carol Oates called "Fat Man My Love" about Hitchcock from the perspective of one of his blondes. She's great when she's not completely grossing me out, which can definitely happen. I can kind of overdose on her stories a little bit and end up a bit woozy.

Enough morbidity! Let's see some aesthetic perfection! ANTM again, here. From the "short cycle," Ms. Rae Weisz:

Fucking perfect.

Also, my absolute all-time favorite photo from that show: Cycle 11's Lauren Brie:

I feel a little better now. And now, to the paper-writing!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Scattered thoughts.

So "Rocket Queen" by G n' R came up on my iTunes shuffle (I should be writing a paper, but isn't that sure and always the case?), and remembered this delightful little peace of lore about that girl moaning throughout certain parts of the track. Allegedly, one of the members of the band (I don't remember which at the moment), slept with Axl Rose's girlfriend and Axl, having what is surely a highly overdeveloped sense of revenge, decided to sleep with said fellow band member's girlfriend, tape it, and put her orgasming moans on the song.

That is just such an epic level of out-assholing that it reminds me of that episode of South Park in which Cartman gets back at some kid after a prank by arranging for his parents to be killed, making them into chili, and serving it to the kid. Some serious, House of Atreus, Greek vengeance-type shit. No real point to this, just that I love Axl Rose and I love South Park.

Really love South Park - I watch it a lot late at night while hanging out with the cats. A couple of weeks ago I caught an episode that referenced Fiona Apple. It involves Barbra Streisand as an evil monster, going around town indignant that no one seems to know who she is, to which the police officer responds: "Well, I know you're not Fiona Apple, and if you're not Fiona Apple, I don't really give a rat's ass." Bliss.

Hey, you know what else I've gotten kinda hooked on lately? Six Feet Under. It took me a couple of episodes to warm up to it, but I'm starting to like it a lot. Its combination of dark humor and morbidity is right up my alley, and the cast is really good (with the exception of Rachel Griffiths - can't stand her, and in fact she comes close to ruining the show for me), especially Michael C. Hall. I was in love the moment he appeared on screen, so of course a few minutes later it was revealed that his character is gay. Yes, so it goes.

There's something so odd and chilling about him, like he has the "leading man" looks but not quite, which is what makes him uncanny. Love him a lot. I've been meaning to watch him on Dexter, too, but I'm occupied with Six Feet Under and Ally McBeal at the moment. So much kickass TV to discover, you guys!

(I've also been meaning to get into True Blood. Kinky sex + vampires + violence + Southern Gothic vibe = party, as far as I'm concerned.)

Well, I should get back to work. At least my next few papers will be full of fluff and popular culture (but from an academic perspective, y'all!) Party time for me, for real.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Ranking the ANTM winners

Time to do something useless!

So, I love America's Next Top Model, basically, which I know is ridiculous. And trust me: it is a ridiculous show, if only for the utter absurdity that is Tyra Banks' ego. But I love it, anyway - the show has a knack for providing great entertainment with its mix of beauty, utter train wrecks, ego, idiocy, oversimplification of various social problems, and fascinating, breathtaking photos and photo shoots. I don't know how the producers of this show keep it as fun and entertaining as they do, but it's really pretty damn impressive, as is the level of total absurdity they can produce.

And so, in that spirit, I am going to personally rank the winners of the show, in order of least to most favorite. (The fact that the show can go through two "cycles" a year is also impressive.) It's also an excuse to look at pretty pictures.

13. Naima Mora - Cycle 4

Oh, Naima. While I admit that she gave good face in her pictures while on the show, her unbelievably dull personality, awkwardness, and odd looks while in motion pretty much served to convince me that runner-up Kahlen was robbed. Also, she just depresses me, especially when she inexplicably had sideburns, post-show.

12. Nicole Linkletter - Cycle 5

Pretty as Nicole was, and as photogenic as she could be, she never really looked like a model to me, either in print or on the moving camera (certainly not nearly as much as runner-up Nik), nor did she have a particularly good runway walk. Still, I have to admit that she could be pretty hot sometimes. (Also, so not my favorite: notorious lesbian Kim was, who was, in my opinion, possibly the most beautiful girl ever on the show.) Her look is very Covergirl, though, which I'm sure played a large part in her win.

11. Saleisha Stowers - Cycle 9

I must admit that Saleisha would probably rank higher if her win didn't absolutely reek of a setup. Not only has an African-American girl won every third cycle so far, she went to Tyra's camp years before and, although she'd had previous modeling experience that probably should have disqualified her, she was cast (and won!) anyway. Also, while I admit that she does make sense as a winner, she won over two girls (Jenah and Heather) who were far better models, but were, admittedly, not particularly Covergirl-employable.

10. McKey Sullivan - Cycle 11

Although McKey seemed to have an incredibly dull personality (again, one can never really know this, it being TV and all), and was pretty awkward-looking in motion, she really did have a killer face in front of the camera. She wasn't exactly terribly memorable, but she's probably more likely than some of the others to be able to make a real career out of this thing.

9. Teyona Anderson - Cycle 12

Like McKey, Teyona isn't exactly "classically pretty" in motion, but in pictures? Takes my breath away. She most certainly wasn't my favorite of Cycle 12, but she and her alien-like face earned her win.

8. Yoanna House - Cycle 2

Yoanna was never my favorite - I was madly in love with Miss Shandi - but she possibly had the most striking, stunning face out of all the winners, ever. Goddamned breathtaking.

7. Whitney Thompson - Cycle 10

While I don't doubt that Whitney won more for the plus-size tokenism than for her actual modeling ability, she's a good winner nonetheless. She was fun and funny, seemed to actually have a sharp wit, and is definitely one of the sexiest, if not *the* sexiest, of the winners, and her appeal is very Covergirl-appropriate. In terms of commercial success, she has a good shot, since she can win the straight men over with her sexiness and the women with her admittedly killer, but still not scrawny body.

6. Nicole "Bloody Eyeball" Fox - Cycle 13

Ah, good old Bloody Eyeball, winner of the "short" cycle. I love this girl for her stoned-seeming weirdness, the fact that she is a self-proclaimed dork, and that she's goddamn flawless in pictures. I love weird, intense, stoic ginger girls, I gotta say, and I love her bloody eyeball.

5. Danielle Evans - Cycle 6

Danielle is probably the overall audience's all-time favorite, and it's easy to see why: she's gorgeous, she's funny and endlessly quotable ("Shut cho mouth and say it ain't so!"), and she's a people's champ, with her love of her arthritis-suffering mother and her dedication to the competition, dealing with a sprained toe, having painful surgery to get the gap between her teeth closed, and checking out of the hospital early from dehydration and food poisoning to go to her photo shoot. And even though I was pulling for runner-up Joanie, I had to admit I got teary-eyed when she burst out with "I'm a Covergirl, mommy! I'm a Covergirl!"

4. Adrianne Curry - Cycle 1

Adrianne was the perfect winner of ANTM's inaugural season - a little vulgar, a little rough around the edges, and unaware of her own incredible charisma and hotness. Plus, her status as an outspoken anti-ANTM alum who was then blacklisted by Tyra because of it? Makes me love her even more.

3. Eva Pigford - Cycle 3

As hot as Eva and her pictures were, there's really one word and one word only for why she ranks so high: charisma. There's a certain "it" that you have or you don't, and Eva had it. In spades. She rocked her horrible curly blonde haircut and whenever the camera was on her, I couldn't take my eyes off of her. Even though she was the shortest girl of the cycle, she filled up a whole room.

2. Jaslene Gonzalez - Cycle 8

God, I love this girl, with her almost indecipherable accent and stunning closeups. I love that she looks like an amalgamation of Janice Dickinson and a drag queen. I love that I've run into her twice while in New York and I love how unexpectedly, unconventionally gorgeous she is. Latina tokenism? Maybe, but the girl is amazing.

1. CariDee English - Cycle 7

Oh, CariDee. How do I love thee?

She's the rare girl on this show who looked just as gorgeous both in motion and on print. Plus she's downright adorable, albeit totally vulgar (which makes me love her even more), and is pretty much the very definition of "bubbly." (Plus she bears a very strong resemblance to a family friend.) Cycle 7 may have been one of the weaker cycles in terms of watchability, but her immense beauty and hilarity made it all worth it.