I was in Fargo, ND a couple of weeks ago, so I felt like I couldn’t not watch FX’s new show Fargo. So on Wednesday night I hit up my DVR (the show airs on Tuesday, but I had a thing), and like 4 million+ other viewers, was treated to an incredibly well done adaptation of the 1996 Coen Brothers classic. From the looks of it, series creator Noah Hawley has got a winner.

There are still 9 episodes to go, but the pilot was what a television pilot should be; good enough to warrant an internet list about why it was really good. So with that, here are some reasons why Fargo could (very easily) end up being this year’s finest television spectacle:

1. Lorne Malvo Is The New Rusht Cole

A good chunk of Matthew McConaughey’s early 2014 decimation can be attributed to his already iconic performance as the sapient Rusht Cole — the True Detective co-star will likely rack up an award or two at this year’s Emmy Rossums, and deservedly so.

Billy Bob Thornton’s Lorne Malvo doesn’t talk with the same rambling mystique as Rusht, but he’s perfected an unmistakable brand of eerie, #nextlevel charisma that’s sure to make for one of the more ominous, yet celebrated characters in recent memory.

2. Character Transformation

Billy Bob’s co-star, Martin Freeman, plays an equally compelling Lester Nygaard. A “loser” in every sense of the word, Nygaard is a bumbling life insurance salesmen with a much more successful younger brother, and a wife who’s long since stopped respecting him.

The show appears to be all about giving this spineless man the toughest spine of them all, and it should be fascinating to watch the inevitable growing pains. For starters, here’s what we’re working with:


3. It’s Got That Game Of Thrones “Anything Can Happen” Sort Of Feel

People die a bunch in the first episode. Doesn’t seem like anyone is safe — unless their episode count is already displayed on IMDB.

4. It’s Got Colin “Orange County” Hanks

In the humble opinion of this internet user, Colin “Orange County” Hanks is amongst one of the most underrated actors out there. He might not survive the first episode (then again he might…in 2014 internet you need to give ambiguous misdirection spoilers in order to avoid actual spoilers), but his episode one performance, if brief, was rather spectacular.

Again, if he survives, his cop character has some real potential.

5. It’s As Funny As It Is Dark

One of the reasons HBO’s Non-False Detective was so compelling was because it went places most shows don’t go; to the unforgiving depths of psychological brutality you only really see in shows on the level of The Sopranos and The Wire. 

Only one episode in, and Fargo seems to already be going to those places. Malvo’s big reveal to Lester, “You spend your whole life thinking there are rules. There aren’t.” feels like a challenge that’s gonna set up the rest of the series.

The difference with Fargo, though, is that all this darkness seems to have almost zero place in the culture of midwest niceness. When a society predicated on unlocked doors is confronted with the more uncomfortable components of human nature, the contrast makes for endless humor. It’s like watching a overly benevolent con-man.

6. Solid Pacing

Maybe just a commentary on the pilot, but the pilot was like 70 minutes long and I didn’t pause it once. Don’t see that every day.

7. The Assertive “Fargo” Contrast

The Fargo area is known for their trademark “midwestern niceness” — a quality perhaps best exemplified through the characters of Molly Solverson; a young, talented police offer who’s as ambitious as she is nice. There’s a scene in which forgoes a family activity in favor of going to the office, and the way the scene is executed is rather amazing; the way it plays out simply wouldn’t be possible in any other area of the country.

This contrast could only be good; it’ll allow characters to have a versatility and depth that most characters simply can’t pull off.

8. It Fuses The Best Qualities Of Really Good Shows

The first episode seems to have taken some of the brighter qualities of recent critically acclaimed shows — the dark ambition of House of Cards, the philosophical boldness of True Detective, the no one is safe attitude of Game Of Thrones — and put them all into one…while also, without a doubt, creating something that’s uniquely itself. Although Fargo has all these traits, it definitely makes all of them their own.

All in all, pretty excited for next Tuesday. TC mark









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I think there comes a time in everyone’s life were we have to man the heck up and start living for ourselves.

I say this like I’m an expert, like I’m brilliant at being selfish or letting people go. Well I’m not. I’m the worst example of someone who’s lived life for themselves because I never let go of people.

Until now, I guess.

Recently I’ve stumbled upon one of the most amazing people I’ve ever met…and one of the most flawed. That’s the beauty of being genuine though: you see the flaws before you get to know the person. She grabbed me from the get go and is slowly coaxing selfish Harriet, strong Harriet, won’t take shit from no one or I’ll get ratchet on yo’ ass Harriet out of her shell, because current Harriet is drowning. Drowning in past mistakes and Thursday night expectations, in days when she feels like she’s 17 again and in nights when she stays up until 2am writing blog posts that remain drafts. Current Harriet is a little bit lost in the wilderness sometimes and it is, quite frankly, getting tedious.

I won’t say “love” is the reason behind this, because that’s stupid and cliched and we don’t tolerate mediocrity here, no siree, I would say “love” or at least the word and not the feeling directed at someone else is the reason behind all this.

It’s funny how words hurt, even if they’re positive and just not meant for you, even if they’re just monosyllabic in response to the speech you gave, even if they’re just strung together in a stupid hashtag that no one will read anyway. Words hurt.

My mom once told my dad off for teaching my brother the “sticks and stones rhyme”. I laughed when he told it to me, I thought it was the cleverest thing to say to someone trying to hurt you. “You can’t do anything to me because words don’t hurt me”.

“I won’t take a photo of you, you’ll break the camera.” “I don’t like you because you’re ugly.” “It’s definitely not your looks that are the problem, babe.” “I think you should stop relying so much on your metabolism.” “You’re not a responsible person.” “Oh my god, you’re such a freak.” “I tried to talk to her but she’s really weird.” “You must be the dumb one in your family because you’re studying English.” “How come whenever I see you, you don’t look very feminine?”

Don’t tell me those don’t hurt, that sticks and stones are worse than that. You can’t run away from the words of your past. No matter how hard you try not to let them become who you are, they do. Words — especially the ones that destroy — shape us.

But slowly, ever so slowly, you have to learn to let those words (and the people attached to them) go. Remember that tumbling stomach feeling and the way the confidence you spent months encouraging and protecting shattered with a couple of syllables. Remember that, remind yourself that you’ll never let yourself feel that way again, and then release.

Tell yourself every day the opposite of those words: beautiful, vibrant, healthy, independent, responsible, quirky, spunky, practical, smart, feminine. And then refuse to be forgotten, do it for the “wow, you got so hot!”; do it for the “You proved me wrong,” and the “I’m sorry I underestimated you.”

Find your own happiness and do it for yourself.

Stop worrying about how many people think you’re crazy, stop caring if nobody notices how amazing you are. You have to find your own happiness. I don’t care if you find it today or tomorrow or in the next 20 years after making a garbage dump’s worth of mistakes and being hurt by everybody you believed in who didn’t believe in you. Just find it.

I want to find mine. In some small way I think I have. Because sitting on a straight-backed wooden chair with a numb, bony ass at 2 o’clock in the morning, pontificating all over the internet makes me the happiest person awake right now.

And for once I know I’m not dumb or going to break any cameras, my personality is not the problem and being weird means I look at the world sideways which is so much more fun than having an average perspective on things. For once I am just me.

And I kind of love just me. TC mark

featured image – Marcy Kellar









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It’s understandable if you’re the kind of person who finds it difficult to be happy for others’ success. It’s also stupid. Here are six truths that will help you see the error of your jealousy.

1. Realize that success isn’t a zero-sum game

We tend to see others’ success as an impediment to our own. That’s how it works in the animal kingdom—one lion must lose for another to win. So we blindly assume that’s how it works for us.

If another’s success truly gets in your way, it would be best for you to live in a society of losers. But you don’t want to live in a society of losers, otherwise you would move to Alabama to get ahead.

2. It’s good to be associated with successful people

It’s common to feel jealous for a friend or family member’s success. And the closer the successful person is to us, the more likely we are to feel jealous—sibling rivalry, and so forth. However, the next best thing to being successful is being affiliated with someone who is successful. If your brother is a millionaire, then you’re a millionaire by proxy. This is at least the way people will see you.

3. Use their success as inspiration

We’ve all seen too many Coen brothers movies so we forget that success is inspiring. Let others’ success make you feel better—let success demonstrate what’s possible for you.

4. Being jealous makes you look insecure, so don’t be insecure

When you’re bitter toward the success of others, people will tell you that you’re an asshole. But they’re just being nice. You’re not an asshole—you’re insecure, which is the beta male version of being an asshole.

5. Take charge of your own success

It’s natural to be happy for others’ success when you have your own thing going on. If you ever do feel jelly, take that as a sign it’s time to put the bong down and make something happen.

6. Learn from others’ success

We’re often told that we learn more from failure than success. This is a lie to make people who are failures feel better about themselves. The truth is that success teaches us a lot. Others’ success teaches us a lot, too. If somebody else is a success and you’re not, there are volumes of information in that. Don’t be blind to it just because you’d rather rationalize your failure.

Conclusion

Being happy for others’ success is often seen as blind optimism, as if it’s only possible to be happy for others if you’re a self-help zombie. But being happy for somebody else has nothing to do with being blind to reality and everything to do with seeing reality for what it is. TC mark









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I was born with honey colored ringlets all over my head. And from day one on I hated my curly hair. All the girls had straight hair. I wanted straight hair. I bought a straightener (after months of begging my parents), and I straightened my hair as often as I could.  My curly locks used to be the thing I disliked most about my body.  But as I’ve grown older (and wiser), I realize that curly hair is superior to straight hair.  And I can get straight hair in the blink of an eye (ok, maybe more like 45 minutes with my flat iron). But it’s almost impossible to achieve natural looking curls. So here’s a tribute to my curly hair, and how I’ve learned to love it. (Also, why I think all girls with curly hair should embrace their curls).

1. It bounces.

Straight hair doesn’t bounce. It might swish (which curly hair can do too, by the way), but no bounce.  Bouncing hair reminds me of happy things, like bouncy castles as a child.

2. It’s easy to play with.

Curly hair is endlessly entertaining. It’s easy to separate one large curl into lots of strands of smaller curls. Or you can just pull the curl and watch it spring back up. Straight hair can’t do that. Wavy hair can’t do that. Curly hair. Curly hair can.

3. You don’t have to brush it.

In fact, with naturally curly hair, it’s better not to brush it. People always gave me weird looks when I told them I used to not own a brush.  But you just run your fingers through your hair and you’re good to go! In fact, brushing curly hair too much can actually brush out the curls. And then it’s all poofy, and your hair looks like a lion’s mane.

4. They make special shampoo.

They make shampoo just for curly hair. How special your hair must feel, that this shampoo was created with a formula designed just for it. That’s true hair love, is it not?

5. No Ponytail Ridge.

After hair has been in a ponytail for a long time, and then it’s let down there’s normally a ridge, wave, whatever you’d like to call it where the hair tie was secured.  Not with curly hair. Curly hair just bounces back to its normal state. Lovely.

6. It’s Easy to make Fancy or Relaxed.

What do all the girls do during prom season to look fancy? Get their hair curled. (In those fake, too tight, curls. Gah.) What is the essence of beach hair? Curls. Either end of the spectrum, completely ready for girls with curly hair.

So, ladies, let’s embrace our natural curls. Let them free, let them breathe, and remember your curly hair is beautiful (and better). TC mark









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1. How to use the word “wicked.”

This is number one for a reason: it’s the most important. I’ve been told that some people outside of Massachusetts use this word, but it mainly belongs to the good ole massholes. And for those of you who don’t use this word: let me explain. The word “wicked” is an adverb. Not an adjective. You would never say the phrase “this is so wicked,” because that would be using it as an adjective. No — instead, you say “this is wicked awesome,” using it to describe an adjective. And there’s your grammar lesson for the day.

An aside: when you meet someone who asks why you say “wicked” so often, I guarantee you’ll respond with, “I don’t know, but it’s wicked hard to stop.”

2. You know how to pop a U-ey.

Consider this: you’re driving down a main road in your town at 11 p.m. It’s late, and you’re hungry. But damn, you just passed Dunkin’. Should you pull into a parking lot and turn around? No, that would be a waste of time. Instead, you simply make a left hand turn directly into the opposite lane, continue your drive going the complete opposite way, and without even thinking twice about how illegal it is.

3. You can jay-walk like no one’s business.

So you need to cross a street in the city; why wait for the signal? That would be a waste of time, and you know the cars aren’t going to hit you if you give them enough time to slow down. So you take (a little bit of) caution and start walking forward. Fingers crossed!

4. You know the differences between ice cream toppings.

Let’s get this completely straight: sprinkles are the rainbow ones, and jimmies are the chocolate ones. If I work at an ice cream shop and you request one, but really want the other, I’ll have no sympathy for you when you’re disappointed.

5. People make fun of the way you say absolutely everything.

Your New Jersey friends pronounce words wrong too, but no one ever calls them out on it. It’s just you. Poor old you. You little Massachusetts child, who was raised to speak this way. Everyone always makes fun of you. But always remember: you’re right, they’re wrong. They’ll all figure it out some day.

6. It’s called a bubbler.

Never in your life have you ever turned to a teacher and said, “May I get a drink from the water fountain?” Because if you had, they would have looked at you in disbelief for requesting permission to go to the local park to take a sip of water from a literal fountain.

7. You’ve never been to Cape Cod.

But every summer you pack up your favorite bathing suits and beach balls for a day or a week down by the Cape. It is the only way you know how to refer to it, and the only way to refer to it.

8. It’s Dunks. Or Dunkin’.

To put in all the effort to actually say the entire name “Dunkin Donuts” is absurd to you. And on a road trip, the first sign of reaching that “middle of nowhere” mark is when you can no longer see a Dunks in your horizon.

9. You know that not everyone in Massachusetts fails to pronounce their R’s.

People who were born and raised in Boston or the surrounding area have strong accents, but that doesn’t mean everyone does. And most of the time when people hear you’re from Massachusetts, they end up asking “Do you pahk ya cah in Havahd yahd?” No. Actually, I don’t…

10. You hate when people say they’re from Boston if they aren’t.

Just because you’re from Massachusetts doesn’t mean you’re from Boston — trust me. And there’s nothing worse than meeting a guy at a bar out of state and having him tell you he’s from Boston when you know he isn’t. “I’m from Boston. Yeah, I know it’s cool. I live like 40 minutes outside of the city.” Oh, okay, except that isn’t really Boston then, is it? TC mark









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