Over/Underrated 2014 – Part One

1 Jan

Today marks the start of another new year, which means it is once again time for my bestie Brook and I to once again pretend that we are Entertainment Weekly columnists and share with you our humble and snarky opinions on the pop culture goings-on of 2014. This year, we will be bringing you five parts of what was over and underrated this past year, followed by five parts of what was on pointe and what totally missed the mark. So, without further ado…

Overrated

The Media Reaction to Ellen Page Coming Out

–Andrea

On February 14, 2014, actress Ellen Page attended a Human Rights Campaign event and announced to the audience that she was gay. In her speech, Page said, “I’m here today because I am gay,” continuing “and because maybe I can make a difference. To help others have an easier and more hopeful time. Regardless, for me, I feel a personal obligation and social responsibility.”

Today’s post requires two disclaimers. Disclaimer #1: I applaud Page’s intentions. To want to help LGBTQ youth by acting as a supportive and relatable role model is an incredibly noble goal.

What is bothersome to me is that Page’s true purpose for speaking at the conference, to help youth, is not what made headlines. Instead, my Twitter feed was instantly flooded with headlines from alleged news outlets about how Ellen Page came out of the closet. Even the Human Rights Campaign itself tweeted, “Congratulations, @EllenPage for taking the steps to live openly and come out as lesbian. #comingout #timetoTHRIVE.”

When I read these headlines, the first thought that came to my mind was, So?

Enter Disclaimer #2: I cannot even begin to imagine the anxiety that goes along with coming out. Coming out to anyone, never mind a public and international audience, is a brave and courageous act.

I would argue, however, that coming out of the closet is not newsworthy. Or, perhaps, it shouldn’t be. Today is the first day of the year two-thousand-and-fifteen. I truly hope that this is the year when, finally, a person’s sexual orientation is not something that needs to be declared. Quite frankly, a person’s sexual orientation is nobody else’s business. It certainly isn’t news.

EP

Underrated

Matt McGorry

–Brook

One fateful weekend two summers ago, I had the immense pleasure of being introduced to Matt McGorry.

Tall. Handsome. Baby faced. Nice teeth. Nice bod.

It’s possible that I was home, sick in bed with a summer cold. And it’s also possible that I was bingeing this new Netflix show.

Ok, so maybe it wasn’t technically in person. But still.

For those who don’t know, McGorry co-stars on Orange is the New Black as John Bennett, a correctional officer at Litchfield Prison who adorably (and unwisely stupidly) falls in love with inmate Daya Diaz.

Of course all hell breaks loose as they attempt to hide Daya’s inevitable pregnancy, and McGorry has to walk the line between portraying doting father-to-be and hard-ass correctional officer after some of the other Spanish inmates attempt to blackmail Bennett to ensure their continued silence on his and Daya’s extracurricular activities.

OITNB was my, and I would guess most people’s, first glimpse of McGorry (although, maybe some knew him from his time as a professional body builder — hence the nice bod — I digress). And I fell in love with misguided, peg-legged Bennett almost immediately. So when I heard that he was going to be in a new network TV show in the fall of 2014, I got more excited than Morello planning her dream wedding to Christopher.

McGorry’s portrayal of Asher Millstone on How to Get Away with Murder is so good. He is the epitome of a bro. A collar-popping, fist-pumping, daddy-buys-me-everything bro. And it’s hilarious. With lines like, “It’s not just white people who go to Kennebunkport!”, he’s often the comedic levity when Wes is being intense (read: moronic). He (and I guess Paris, from Gilmore Girls, oh and Frank, too. What? I like his beard.) is the reason I tune in every week. And just before HTGAWM went on its winter break, we finally got to some juicy stuff with Asher and his father.

I’m just spitballing here, but maybe the writing team finally realized what a slam dunk they had with McGorry and decided to develop Asher’s character beyond the good-looking walking trust fund.

With three titles in post-production on his IMDB page, it’s clear that we’ll be seeing a lot more of Matt.

Yeah, we’re on a first name basis.

MMG

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