When We Were Young: The Best Pop Culture Of The 80s & 90s

when-you-were-young-3.jpgWe’ve now aired multiple episodes of the When We Were Young podcast, which means it’s officially time to start uselessly ranking things.

That’s right — because I am a millennial (barely), I am obsessed with ranking things that are not terribly similar in any way, and chances are, you are obsessed with it, too. (Thanks, Buzzfeed!) So I am keeping a running tally of which of the movies, TV shows, albums, and other pop culture artifacts from the 80s and 90s hold up best.

Is it completely arbitrary to compare, say, Steven Spielberg’s E.T. to the 90s catalogue of Britney Spears to the entire run of The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air? Of course it is! That’s what makes it such a meaningless waste of time!

Continue reading

Love In The East: The Season Two Debut Of ‘EastSiders’

Eastsiders-Kit-Williamson-shirtless-Van-Hansis-bedFor anyone going through Looking withdrawals since HBO cancelled their low-rated gay series, the internet now has your methadone. Season Two of EastSiders just made its Vimeo debut.

Seeing as it takes place in Silver Lake (the Brooklyn of Los Angeles, for you outsiders), EastSiders is not quite but almost as hairy as the San Francisco-set Looking, which is quite possibly the single most important factor in depicting any hipster ‘hood. Unlike other hipster habitats like Brooklyn and Portland, Silver Lake has managed to maintain a relatively low profile without being savagely mocked by the media — possibly because Los Angeles is already so viciously ridiculed, what’s the point? Silver Lake is a great neighborhood, one I would visit more often if it wasn’t so terribly far. (It’s 7.6 miles from my apartment in West Hollywood, which in Los Angeles traffic takes about a day and a half.) I would wager that Silver Lake has managed to retain what is good about cool, hipsterish neighborhoods without quite succumbing to what makes them ripe for parody — but don’t take my word for it. Take a look for yourself in EastSiders.

Continue reading

Hard In The City’s “Best Of Google” Volume 3

p.l.-travers-britney-spears-margot-robbie-lovelace-enemyHappy New Year!

This little blog of mine has existed for a little over three years now, and you know what? The more I blog, the more I realize what ignorant freaks the human race can be, thanks to the magic of Google.

Google has helped a handful of people find my blog for perfectly relevant reason — they come seeking Looking or Comeback recaps, comparisons of Black Swan to Birdman, or an explanation of what the hell Enemy is about. Just as often, however, it brings assorted masturbators and perverts to my photo gallery, seeking all sorts of unsavory things. (Some of which they may find on HardintheCity, some of which they may not.)

A lot of Google searches are your basic filth, while plenty are completely nonsensical and defy logic. I’m growing more and more certain that extraterrestrials are studying us through Google, but have not quite managed to get a grip on English syntax yet.

Here are my favorite Google searches from the past year — some hilarious, some creepy, and some utterly baffling.

Continue reading

Don’t Do Anything: Life Gets Easier Thanks To DVR

Don-Knotts-Pleasantville-tobey-maguire (Flashback Friday: The danger in writing about something “cutting edge” is that you will soon sound ridiculous. So I’ve learned upon reexamining my old columns, such as this one about the dawning of DVR and how it changed our television viewing processes forever. Of course, this was well before streaming changed the game even further; at this point, it was still rather mesmerizing just to choose when you watched any given program. This piece was first published in INsite Boston in March 2007.)

Architects and screenwriters know equally well: structure is important. Without it, stories come crumbling down.

The same is true in life. Without a schedule, we’re bound to idle away hours chatting online, playing Guitar Hero, contributing nothing to the world at large. To remedy this, many have looked to work or school to dictate how they spend their time.

Me? I looked to television.

Continue reading

Here’s Looking At You, Kids: Passing The Baton To Generation MySpace

sandra-bullock-the-net-computer-mozarts-ghost(Throwback Thursday: Today we’re flashing back to October 2006. It’s hard to imagine that news about social media was once a novel and somewhat shocking thing. This piece reflects the moment that social networking stopped being just a college thing and started making national headlines; a time when “web series” wasn’t really a thing. It seemed ridiculous at the time. This piece was first published in INsite Boston.)

Close your eyes. Imagine a bizarre futuristic world in which words like “yahoo” and “google” dominate the global lexicon. Where “podcasting” and “blogging” are daily occurrences. Where “Add me!” has replaced “Call me!”

Now open your eyes. That future is here.

Continue reading