Category Archives: Television

Bay State, the nation’s longest-running and award-winning college soap opera.

I was a senior in high school. I had been watching General Hospital at 3pm every weekday since I was in the womb. I was a major Drama Club nerd, and loved acting. I was looking at Boston University for the first time and touring the College of Communication.

On the wall outside of Studio East on the third floor of the COM Building, I was on a student-guided tour and the film major had just pointed to a poster, explaining that this was the stage where Bay State, the nation’s longest-running, award-winning college soap opera, was filmed every Tuesday.

That was the moment.

I had to come to BU. I had to be on Bay State. Period.

Fortunately, the admissions process worked out nicely for me and by the time I arrived on campus freshman year I knew which club email list I wanted to join.

In auditions, I remember choosing to read for the role of Olivia Montgomery because she seemed the most like Blair Waldorf, my beloved character from the CW’s Gossip Girl.

I got a callback. I was ecstatic. I read again for Olivia. This role needed to be mine. A week later, I got a call from an unknown number, and was offered the role because they “really loved the bitchy Blair Waldorf quality” I brought to the role. Win. Destiny.

I haven’t looked back since. 5 seasons and many episodes of elevator fires, marijuanna scandals, sex, drugs, and murder, and Bay State has been one of the best experiences of my college career. It was a great way for me to satiate the part of my appetite that wanted to act, but try something completely different from musicals and plays. The production is entirely student-run and is a true testament to what students with an affinity for daytime TV can do when they get together on Tuesday evenings. The entire cast and crew is brilliant, creative, hilarious, and Bay State will be something I miss more than anything when my time at BU ends.

Stream episodes 24/7 at butv10.com!

HBO gets GetGlue

**THIS IS A TOTALLY BIASED POST ON ABOUT 602937469 DIFFERENT LEVELS**

That was my disclaimer. (I love HBO. I love GetGlue. I interned at HBO. This is a biased post.)

I was honored to intern this past summer in the Digital Marketing & Social Media department of HBO in New York. As a social uberfan, getting to see how the network leveraged social media and their networks to engage audiences and fuel conversations (two of the most over-used phrases #ever, but nothing else accurately describes the outcome of a great social strategy…) was remarkable.

In particular, HBO’s work with GetGlue was very cool. GetGlue is the social network that works like “foursquare for entertainment” and users can check in to the show they’re watching, for example, and share their viewing experience with their friends while gaining “stickers” and other virtual rewards.

HBO, however, took the platform further to offer more to fans of HBO shows. In anticipation for the newest season of True Blood, HBO worked with GetGlue to make stickers that would allow users to obtain the virtual reward of the sticker (bragging rights), and then every few winners would randomly win a special sticker that would win them a bottle of real-world Tru Blood. A simple promotion, that goes above and beyond the expected, and solidifies the fans’ relationship with the show, rewarding them in all sorts of ways! Their victory is shareable, and continues the fandom. What a brilliant use of the platform at a time when many brands are in the process of navigating the emerging social space. Check out what GetGlue’s blog had to say about the stickers here.

iLove Padrick the iPad

I’d always resolved that I had “no reason” to “get the iPad.” Like so many others, I couldn’t justify the cost for what the device truly was, and intended to be patient for the next drastically changed iPhone or wait until MACkenzie (my laptop) finally sank into retirement. Lucky me, for in September I was GIVEN one as part of my on-campus work with HBO.

I named my beautiful new device Padrick, and he has grown to be one of my dearest companions. To be fair, he is not so much my iPad as he is my HBO GO player that has significant space for other apps, but he is THE BEST. (Mostly because HBO GO is the best.)

My back is happy now that I don’t lug my computer to class everyday, and as a fossilic BlackBerrian myself, the apps alone have revolutionized my life. I KNEW the internet could be this fast. The Twitter app makes managing multiple accounts breezier than anything else, and having 3G officially makes me connectable #EVERYWHERE. And I like it.

I now cannot remember life before Padrick, and I don’t want to.

Touched by Alyssa

Fellow NYC-interning-ADPi, Vanessa Misciagna, for some bizarre reason thought of me when she needed “models” for a segment on the PIX11 morning news broadcast.

Alyssa Milano was on the show to chat about her new clothing line, “touch,” which is sportswear for women that can be purchased online or in major ballparks, stadiums, etc. I’m not necessarily a Mets fan, but I am a fan of supporting Vanessa and Who’s the Boss Alyssa, and the very attractive morning co-anchor, John Muller.

It was lots of fun! We dressed up in the clothing (which we got to keep- thanks Alyssa!), and did a quick mock-modeling on the green screen stadium.

Alyssa’s really sweet, and SHE TWEETED US! Which is a huge honor, since this all came immediately after this summer’s Wieden + Kennedy Old Spice hullaballoo. Active tweep? She wins in my book.

 

This Tea Party’s Gone Mad

I know, I know: the whole “going MAD,” “mad” world, “mad about Mad Men!” concept has been incredibly overdone, especially lately, but I couldn’t help but draw the Mad Hatter/ Mad Men comparison. As a student majoring in advertising, Mad Men is to the department as Samantha Jones was to PR, or Elle Woods to law schools. Everyone suddenly finds the field sexy and wonderful now that Don Draper lights up a Lucky Strike and makes it so. (and MY GOD does he make it so.) Mad Men has become uncomfortably integrated into my studies, and I know my peers can say much the same. My personal Intro to Advertising notes are riddled with references to the show. Surely I passed the class because rather than “account management” I wrote “Pete Campbell,” and where “art director” would be, my notes instead say “Salvatore Romano,” while the entire “copywriter” portion of the course is entitled “Peggy Olson.” I’m not completely naive, and obviously don’t expect that all agencies in this day and age down Maker’s Mark between meetings. Still, I’ve seen the offices at Y&R, and though there is no “secretarial pool,” there were certainly the ping-pong tables and Rock Band setups to prove that advertising is at least crazy fun, if it isn’t oozing sex.

After a grueling eight months, with only New York Magazine coverage to ease the longing for Roger Sterling’s silver locks, Mad Men is FINALLY BACK this Sunday! AMC is pulling out all the stops, including an updated MadMenYourself, Monday night “Best of” Marathons, the genius Banana Republic Casting Call Contest, and a Times Square Premiere Party that would delight the pants off any secretary. The PR and planning leading up to this season has been so brilliantly crafted, you’d thing only Don Draper himself could concoct this stuff. To honor Mad Men’s return to television, and America’s return to time-traveling, disbelief-suspending bliss (CAUSE I’M SORRY- NO WIFE WOULD EVER LEAVE A HUSBAND AT THIS TIME. I JUST DON”T BUY IT. ESPECIALLY NOT GUTLESS AND MINDLESS BETTY DRAPER, I DON’T CARE HOW CHARMING THIS HENRY FRANCIS MAY BE…), enjoy some of my favorite bits, spoofs, and aspects of arguably the smartest show on television that can appeal to a college student!

BEST SCENE.

God– I mean Don Draper

Cooking & Laundry for Dummies Women

Mad Men in 60 Seconds

Betty Draper, Mother of the Year

Vanity Fair Explains Mad Men

Parenting

Great Scene

Epitome of Why Don is An Epic Ad Man Scene: The Kodak Carousel

Another great Don pitch: Lipstick

and Roger.

C is NOT for “Chick Lit”

But it IS for Cecily, Candace, and Commencement! (hehe, and CHUCK) Last week, the Union Square Barnes & Noble AGAIN made my literary dreams come true by hosting a book signing with Cecily von Ziegesar, Candace Bushnell, and that other girly book authorĀ  (J. Courtney Sullivan).

What better way to celebrate Serena van der Woodsen’s Bastille Day Birthday, than WITH HER CREATOR?!?! I read the Gossip Girl books (yes, all of them) during my senior year of high school. Okay, I was only 4 years older than I should have been, reading a girly teen fiction series… don’t hate. I loved that I was applying for schools at the same time as the characters, and living senior year right as S & B were. I remember reading Gossip Girl to put off a Hamlet paper, and I’d open the book… and Serena was PUTTING OFF A HAMLET PAPER! Yes, yes I DID apply to Boston University because Nate did. Yes I DID buy Gauloise cigarettes while in France because Serena smoked them chimneyily. Yes I DID have my mother use natural oils to concoct a real-life replica of the “Serena’s Tears” perfume. YES I DID bring the first book with me to my freshman year of college like some girls bring their bible. OKAY?!?!?!! I have a problem, and I’m aware of it. Yet, Cecily is one of the many people on my “dream dinner party” guest list, and I couldn’t pass up the chance to drool at her brilliance. I mean, she’s…like…THE CREATOR OF BLAIR. The books were so great…. and then season 3 of the show and Vanessa’s HAIRY HAIRY HEAD ruined them! Except not really cause nothing EVER could, but still, Josh Schwartz: you always come just SO close to brilliance and then invite Hilary Duff… I mean kill Marissa… I mean jump the shark. UGH.

The beautiful ladies were at Barnes & Noble to promote their latest novels and not address the enormous elephant in the room that was my main question: “Cecily, how is it that you’ve allowed for the television series to be so CRAPTASTIC in comparison to your books, and yet Candace has done just the opposite in that the show is just as wondrous as her original novel, if not slightly better?” Oh. Maybe I was the only one thinking this.

Candace was very sweet when I met her, and she behaved like a charmingly inappropriate Carrie Bradshaw, explaining the changes in the workplace for women today (less cocaine in the office, safer city streets, etc. etc.). The ladies also discussed their novels, writing, “the process,” and each offered wise gems such as Candace’sĀ  “…When you’re in your twenties, you feel like, ‘I have to get everything done. Right. Now!’ and… you really don’t,” and “If you don’t feel that if you’re not a writer [or whatever career it may be], you’ll DIE, then DON’T do it.” Candace’s friendship with the GREAT SIR BRET EASTON ELLIS was clear with her explanation about the “idealism that a teenager has… [and the] break between the fantasy of adult life and the reality of adult life…[there is an] inherent tension in it, which goes back to girl versus society.” Thus began Cecily’s eloquent dismissal of “chick lit” as a defining category of literature, and asking “is there a ‘DUDE LIT’?!” I knew as soon as the rando in the audience mentioned “CHICK LIT” in the same sentence as one of their names that heads would roll. CECILY IS NO LAUREN CONRAD!

It should also be noted that Cecily chatted with me and Annie (the Serena to my Blair) for so long after signing all three books I’d brought (including the copy of the first novel which I purchased in French, in France), and J. Courtney Sullivan is so sweet and adorable and… Candace Bushnell created the novel that led to a very well-written show? All in all: GREAT evening of female-driven books and CCCChit CCCCChat!

Stumbling Upon the Jersey Shore

Heading uptown after one of our adorable boy/girlfauxriend dates, Greg and I saw some NYPD, a tent or two, and a decently-sized hullabaloo. We decided we may as well cross the street to check it out, and I expected to find maybe a release party with your average c-list “big in New York” crowd. Then I saw a faint mist in the air… ’twas hairspray. Then I realized that the flickering lights were not just camera flashes, but the glimmering of rhinestone-encrusted ribbed tank tops and trucker hats. It was undeniable. The eastern shore of the Hudson had been transformed into JERSEY SHORE TERRITORY.

Apparently we had stumbled on The Jersey Shore Soundtrack Release Party. Golly were we at THE PLACE TO BE. Ignoring the fact that every aspect of this moment was embodying the downfall of society and all that trite, tired nonsense, WE WITNESSED SNOOKI DEBUTING HER NEW RED-ACCENTED HAIR! (aka FIREBALL!) SHE WAS BUMP-LESS!

The cast seemed to be happily answering questions, and generally very warm and amicable. I have always defended the show. Though it can be labeled “stereotyping trash,” fact of the matter is, you can tell that they are all genuine, that they KNOW that they’re acting RIDICULOUS, and they have legitimate values. The cast cherishes family, and they sit down for wholesomely extravagant meals every night, which is more than most American families can say for themselves today.

Cheers, Jersey Shore, cheers!

One day I will certainly tell my grandchildren about the time GrandMaMa wished she was dressed appropriately enough to pretend she was with some really important blog to crash the party that APPARENTLY Danielle Crazy Staub was also attending. In retrospect I don’t think I could have handled that much Jersey in one room. Still, it was very surreal (seeing them, and also the fact that they drew a decent crowd of paps), and it was another very cool happenstance moment!