Never Were There Such Devoted Sisters
I’m Rosie, I’m Jessica, and you’re reading Rosie and Jessica’s Two Bossy Dames of Fun.
If you are asking yourself, “Who are these women and what are they doing in my newsletter?”, let us introduce ourselves with three key facts: we host the fortnightly podcast Rosie and Jessica’s Day of Fun, we are British and we are sisters.
Dames Margaret and Sophie are having a week off and have asked us to don our Temporary Dames tiaras and guest-edit this week’s newsletter. We choose to believe they are together, scoping out the facilities for a future Dames-cruise, on which we will all gather to drink ludicrous cocktails and swap Hamilton anecdotes (Hamil-dotes).
We are truly hashtag blessed to be your Guest Editors this week. It is as though we have been lent something precious, like an heirloom antique teapot and, while there is a chance we may smash it and accidentally grind shards of ceramic into the carpet of your inbox, we aim instead to fill it with a delicious brew of your regular Dames-features, albeit one of our own delicate blend.
Things Wot We Have Seen This Week
A Mighty Girl’s annual collection of readers’ Halloween costumes reminds us that, in a week of tough news, the future is in safe hands. What I would have given to open my door to the sound of “Trick or Treat!” from a Tiny RBG. Or Teddy Roosevelt. Or a Call the Midwife midwife. Or Hester Pryne. Or a trilobyte. Or her UPS guy dad. Or the flu virus. (Can you tell Your Temporary Dames struggled to whittle down this list?) When a 10-year old girl dressed as Misty Copeland announces her intention to be the first female African-American President, you know someone somewhere is doing something right.
In further Small Person News, MoMa is collecting reviews from its Smallest Patrons as part of its “I went to MoMa and…” project and it turns out that these reviews are works of art in themselves. Annabelle from New York should be given her own column in the New York Times as soon as possible.
If you’ve ever looked at groups of tourists with selfie sticks and thought to yourself “I wish this were a nightmare directed by Michel Gondry”, then the mildly horrific Selfie Arm is for you.
After watching this video, we can all agree that presenting drunk women with puppies should definitely be an activity on the Two Bossy Dames cruise.
If you weren’t planning on getting married, you probably will be once you see these Moonrise Kingdom wedding invitations, sent to us (not literally) by Damespal Rachel Rose. To paraphrase the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt theme, these mails are #TweeAsHell.
This is not a recent piece but, as sisters and connoisseurs of the House of Mouse, Your Temporary Dames truly dug this collection of comments on why, if you are looking for a feminist Disney film about sisters, Lilo & Stitch beats Frozen every time.
Top 5s (Top 5s)
Just as Your Regular Dames will often bring you a Top 5 round-up of the week’s news, Your Temporary Dames’ podcast also has a regular Top 5 feature, where we make arbitrary lists on various topics. As an introduction both to ourselves and perhaps to some new things, we wanted to share five things we love; the things that, when you meet someone who also loves them, you know that you have on your hands a New Best Friend.
Temporary Dame Jessica’s Top 5
Back to the Future. This is not out of left field, this is a well known and well loved cinematic phenomenon, as witnessed by the sheer intensity of that Back to the Future II day we had a couple of weeks ago. (Still no hover board, but I did see someone fall off one of those foot-only-Segway things the other day, so there's that.) Apart from the fact that it is truly a joy to watch at anytime of the day or night, it also provides me with enough geeky trivia and discussion points to keep me going for several days, or at the very least a long car journey with Temp. Dame R. until she makes me stop.
That Thing You Do! is a near perfect film. The soundtrack is one of the best out there, visually it's a delight and it has one of those 'where are they now' epilogues that I love so much. If you want to be in my permanent good books, just engineer it so I find you wandering about in a stairwell singing one of the lesser known tracks. "All My Only Dreams" carries beautifully across several floors.
If, for reasons that don't need exploring at this juncture, you are ever faced with a dilemma, moral or otherwise, it could be helpful to ask yourself "What would Constable Benton Fraser do?". The answer is of course he would foil the crime, right the wrong, save the day and hold the door open. And never look grubby because he was Scotchgarded at birth. This is why I consider Due South to more than just entertainment, it's a handbook for modern times. Also old, pioneer-like times when people lived in the woods. Remember, it only takes a second to be polite. Also, deaf pet wolf? “It’s alright, he lip reads.”
It is well documented throughout the podcast, and also my life, that I Love A Quizᵀᴹ! I don't care what the subject is, I just want to answer questions and maybe get arbitrary points/rewards/treats. Not only this, but I love random and seemingly useless facts in general, which is why I love podcasts like No Such Thing As A Fish, brought to us by the QI elves, Stuff You Should Know, and 99% Invisible. If you can entertain me while secretly teaching me things then you can stay. We have a Christmas quiz coming up at work. I am going to be unbearable and I cannot wait!
I love Punk Pop Guitar Bands of the late nineties and early noughties. Especially, for some reason, ones that appear on film soundtracks. Letters to Cleo (and that time they were basically Josie and the Pussycats), The Donnas, Save Ferris, Lillix...um...McFly... Get in the car, we'll have excellent, sing-along road trips. See also the fact that the Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey (OK, and early nineties (wait, I just remembered Empire Records - OK, all nineties)) has one of the best movie endings of all time.
Temporary Dame Rosie’s Top 5
It is inadvisable to disagree with me in my assertion that Moonrise Kingdomis not only Wes Anderson’s best film, but the greatest film ever made. It combines everything I love about Wes - precision, detached humour, pretty things - with an overwhelmingly optimistic worldview. This is a film that, despite the troubles of thunderstorms and Social Services, community operas and leftie scissors, ends on an assured “See you tomorrow”. Unlike, say, The Grand Budapest Hotel which ends 100 minutes of madcap adventuring with speedy deaths and upset. Anyway, how can you argue with the Chief Arbiter of Internet Justice?
How have we had infinite Spider-Men movies and yet not a single film about The Mitford Sisters? This group of six minor aristocrats somehow summarise the entire twentieth century between them: there’s Nancy, the novelist and noted acerbic wit, Diana, who was a noted beauty but UH OH also a big time fascist, Jessica, the communist (who ended up in America), Hitler-fancier Unity, Deborah, Duchess of Devonshire and resident of Chatsworth a.k.a PEMBERLEY, and Pamela, a probable lesbian who knew a lot about chickens. They are a completely fascinating bunch: if you find the great swathes of Mitfordalia hard to penetrate, may we suggest you start with Letters Between Six Sisters, which collects their correspondence?
A strong contender for this week’s Twee as Hell, the Scottish band Belle & Sebastian is a useful shorthand for anyone with a love of cardigans, literary references and high-street heartbreak.
There is a marvellous story that, the night after somehow winning the Best Actress Oscar for The Country Girl, my personal villain Grace Kelly received a phone call. The voice on the other end yelled, “This is Judy Garland, Judy Fucking Garland. You bitch! You took what was rightfully mine. Tonight was my last chance for the Oscar. You’ll have many more chances in your future. This was it for me. I’ll never forgive you.” I urge you to handle all wrongs to your persons in this way. Now go watch Easter Parade and understand why Judy is the greatest performer ever captured on film.
This American Life celebrates its 20th birthday this week, which has prompted many a reminiscence of favourite episodes. It was as I described one episode as a “friendship litmus test” that I knew it should be the final slot in my Top 5 - 61: Fiasco! If you do not find the story of children being flown into stage wardrobes unendingly hilarious, then this friendship is over before it’s even begun.
As this is a newsletter based in the colonies, we feel it appropriate to discuss that Netflix has seen sense and gifted you The Great British Baking Show (it’s Philosopher’s Stone all over again - Temp. Dame R.) While British Netflix is woefully inferior and will only show us the first two seasons of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, we are delighted to have a whole new nation with which to discuss the greatest show on British television.
Who are your favourites? What are the best bakes? Temporary Dame Rosie’s favourite contestant is Howard from series 4 - please say you have reached the custard episode?! - but not in the way that she loves Baking James from Series 3, who is a serious candidate for #PunimWatch. Scots accent, knitwear and baking AND he’s a doctor. Your mothers want you to marry him!
Hey Dame R., they’re reshowing Series 5 on the BBC, can we just discuss the time Martha made a ski lift out of biscuits?! (That’s biscuits biscuits, not gravy biscuits. This is the BBC.) (They mean cookies -- Dame S.)
Dame J., we most definitely can! The structural integrity of some of these bakes has to be seen to be believed. And even when Baking James’ barn collapsed, he just covered the thing in spun sugar, claimed it was a spooky abandoned barn and Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry totally went along with it.
(I once worked with a woman who turned out not to like Victoria Sponge Cake and I was rendered deeply suspicious of all her actions from that moment on - Temp. Dame J.)
What makes #GBBO the showstopper of reality shows is just how good-natured it is. The judges are never cruel. No one is shamed. The contestants help each other out, for crying out loud! Did you know that if contestants cry, Sue will start mentioning lots of brand names so the footage can’t be used? These people are angels! Angels, goddamnit.
Please alert us to when you have seen series 6 so we can a) fill #PunimWatch with pictures of Tamal and b) crown Nadiya the queen of all our hearts.
The Week in Hamilton
Just as King George predicted, you have come back to us - by sending Hamil-fever across the Atlantic some 250 years later. Your Temporary Dames, who were indoctrinated introduced to Hamilton on their recent trip Stateside, are beginning to see their Facebooks and Twitters peppered by links to Spotify and dilemmas over who one would rather play - Eliza or Angelica? (An easy answer: King George - Temp. Dame R.)
Lin-Manuel Miranda, Founding Father of the Hamilton Nation, has said he has no problem with gender-blind casting. Ladies, ready your breeches.
If you, like us, can still be founding belting Ring of Keys while you do the washing up, then this week’s #Ham4Ham, featuring the cast of Fun Home rapping is for you.
Why are geek feminists so very into Hamilton? Sumana Harihareswara breaks down a bunch of the appeal factors.
Daveed Diggs & Leslie Odom, Jr. are exactly as charming & smart as you'd imagine they are on the Slate Superfest on Broadway (a massive live podcast merger of Slate's Culture & Political Gabfests and their sports podcast, Shut Up & Listen). Odom was also on Late Night with Seth Meyersand told two priceless anecdotes about theater heroes Joel Grey & Liza Minelli.
Todd Snider, an actual linguist, spent a week tweeting snippets of linguistic analysis of Hamilton. Includes ten tweets just on the line “When you’re gone, I’ll go mad”, if that’s what you’re into.
It is important to note, for reasons of historical context and accuracy that King George III was, of course, this guy’s dad. Just to add some depth to your Hamilton experience.
Your Regular Dames are bringing sunlight to the #Gloomvember months by collecting a collection of downright cutie-patooties to keep us all going till Spring. To this list, we humbly submit Arthur Darvill, who you may know as Rory from Doctor Who, but we call Temporary Dame Rosie’s Future Husband For Sure.
If you, like us, hate all the fuss and bother of NYE then may we invite you to join us in the Annual Lee Pace Film Festival, which is a totally legitimate thing that Temporary Dame R. and I have been holding for some years, whereby we spend December 31st watching a Lee Pace movie instead of going and socialising with anyone. Sometimes it’s not a movie, sometimes it’s just multiple episodes of Pushing Daisies, so please accept Ned, The Piemaker as Temporary Dame J.’s contribution.
Exit Links for a Newsletter
Thank you so much for listening reading! We have loved being Your Temporary Dames - although, as Subjects of the Realm, it is not impossible for us to become yer actual real life Dames, like Maggie, Judi, Helen, and Edna. The campaign starts here!
There are over sixty episodes of Rosie and Jessica available free for your listening pleasure, on our website and via iTunes, where you can also subscribe. If you too are #HyggeAsFuck, you may enjoy our most recent episode, where we run down our Top 5 Rainy Day Movies. May we also recommend Episode 33: Brussels and Howard, which involves a lot of Bake Off chat about custard, Episode 8: Hip Hop and Falafel, in which we discuss our Top 5 Sandwiches, and Episode 50: Rumbles and Crumble, the episode that brought us and Your Regular Dames Together i.e. our most important episode.
We are on Twitter, both separately as @ohsewjessica and @rosieatlarge and collectively as @thedayoffunshow. Please come and say hi and shower us with praise maybe.
One More Thing! Give Thanks for A Beyond the Lights Tweetalong!
Swoonsville. Population: Us
Hi, Dame S. back with a fun announcement - we’re holding another tweetalong extravaganza next Sunday!
When: Sunday, 11/29 | 7:30 PM
What & Where: Beyond The Lights - find it on Netflix & join us on Twitter using #beyondlights
If you missed this small gem in theaters last year, it’s kind of What if The Bodyguard, But Good? The super-talented and stunningly beautiful Gugu Mbatha-Raw (who you may remember from Belle) deals with the uglier aspects of pop stardom while pursuing love with a very handsome & empathetic police officer.
If you’re in the US that weekend, we figure you’ll have had enough of the holiday & will be ready to make the transition into the working week with a deliciously swoony romance.
Many,manythanks to our Treasured Transatlantic Chums for taking on this week's editorial duties! Mwah!