Why Ready or Not is worth a rewatch


Last summer I took it upon myself to watch the entire series of Ready or Not. I discovered some kind soul had uploaded all 65 episodes of the 1993 – 1996 Canadian youth show to YouTube, and what other option was there?

I have many a fond memory of watching the show back when it aired in the 90s on Saturdays and after school on Global. It was entertaining, and surprisingly socially acceptable. Even some of the guys in my class watched this female-centric show!

What I discovered when I rewatched the series from start to finish was everything that made it appealing back then stands true today. The story of an unlikely best friendship between tomboy Busy and girly girl Amanda is still awkward, unflinching, funny and endearing. They talk about Busy’s new armpit hair in the first scene of the series; Amanda’s bra size and Busy’s period take centre stage in separate episodes within the first season. And from there things run deep (like Busy’s mom miscarrying, Amanda’s parents separating) to more typical teen fare (trying to fit in, boys, party crashing).

There’s a naturalness to how these stories unfold, owing to the conversational writing and the chemistry between leads Lani Billard and Laura Bertram. (Without making too much of a leap, I’ll point out it’s the conversational nature of HBO’s Girls and Looking I also love). In fact, the dialogue at perhaps its most ‘real’ feels a bit jarring today. It reminds us (for better or worse) Busy wouldn’t be able to call Amanda “retarded” on kids’ TV today, and the word “faggot” might not fly out of her brother Manny’s mouth quite so freely.

The stories themselves aren’t trying too hard to be attention-grabbing or controversial in the way current shows like Degrassi have veered. They’re simple and straight forward, yet still deeper than anything TGIF or TNBC offered. They’re not melancholy or melodramatic, but also aren’t overly concerned with finite resolution: while Amanda’s one-episode eating disorder is remedied with a pizza by the half hour’s close, Busy kind of just has to accept her dad’s full racist.

That’s not to say this show is perfect. Storylines in later seasons get increasingly frivolous not to mention repetitive. (Season one Amanda starves herself when she wants to be a model, while season four Amanda considers a nose job when she wants to be a model). Still, we’d be hard-pressed to find a youth show today that relies so heavily on conversation and familial relationships, sans gimmicks.

If you were a preteen in a Canadian suburb in the 90s, Ready or Not is definitely worth a rewatch. You’ll probably still relate to some of the adolescent awkwardness. And if you weren’t a preteen in a Canadian suburb in the 90s, just take a look at what you were missing…

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Man in Style: Daniel Radcliffe

Man In Style: Daniel Radcliffe

There’s a lot to love about Daniel Radcliffe. He’s Harry Potter. He’s a versatile actor. He’s a big gay rights supporter. And he’s got a damn fine collection of suits and distinct fashion statements in his closet.

Dan Rad was all over the red carpet during festival season last year, and impressed the hell out of me in the process. Yup, my crush grows stronger. Here are some of the looks I loved most.

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An artifact from Christmas past

A couple weeks ago I went to my parents’ house to help decorate the Christmas tree. These are two of my favourite ornaments, which I have to comment on every year as we hang them.

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I coloured the one on the left and my brother coloured the one on the right, probably around 1992. I like to remind my brother how mine is so perfectly coloured in the lines, and not only does his go out of the lines, but he made questionable colour choices to boot.

He likes to remind me he was three years younger than me — so if we’re going with 1992, he was five. Fair.

This year my mom unearthed another decoration none of us had seen in years, which threw us for a bit of a loop. Who coloured this?!

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On the one hand, the colouring stays quite clearly in the lines. On the other, it largely does not adhere to the true colours these items would be in reality.

Any debate was put to rest, however, when we turned the stocking inside out.

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Yup, these illustrations are certainly my handiwork.

The creative colouring and the Leonardo Ninja Turtle suggest this creation is circa 1990, or perhaps 1991. A few things to note:

Both my brothers were quick to point out that couldn’t possibly be a Santa hat on Leonardo, so it must be a sleeping cap or party hat.

My reindeer illustration also left much to be desired for my younger brother, who quickly dubbed it a poo with antlers.

And let me be the first one to point out that no, I didn’t realize stars were denominational at the time so yes, there is a Star of David on my Christmas stocking.

Rounding out the illustrations we’ve got a present, an elf head, a candy cane, a (brown!) Christmas tree, and a triangle with a heart in it that no one can quite explain. (It can’t be a Christmas tree on account of the brown one, which has much more detail).

But the piece de resistance really comes from the opposite side of the inside of the stocking. Check this action out.

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Fuck yes, the ultimate in creativity for a six-year-old kid. Look at that R werq.

Merry Christmas!

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The Truth about Pink

Pink performs Raise Your Glass at the Air Canada Centre, Nov. 30, 2013

I’d be remiss if I didn’t use this oft-underused space to let you know how incredibly blown away I was by Pink’s The Truth About Love show in Toronto Saturday night.

It’s been a while since the release of Pink’s latest album and her last awe-inspiring award show appearance, so while I was certainly looking forward to the show I didn’t quite go in with the excitement I soon learned the show deserved.

Pink the powerhouse kicked off the show with a high energy rendition of Raise Your Glass while dangling, spinning and ever-so-gracefully trapezing herself through the air. Needless to say, she set the bar high. And for the two hours that followed, she maintained that level of entertainment when she wasn’t raising it even further.

In sync with the theme of her latest album title The Truth About Love, the stage show was a delightful cross between carnival and burlesque. Love, hate, sex, and embracing your everything (your sexuality, your inner freak, your self) was the name of the game. Of course, Pink brought the hits from across her career — Just Like A Pill, U + UR Hand, Just Give Me a Reason. And she also rocked a selection of up-tempo on-theme faves from from TTAL, from the no-apologies anthem Slut Like You, to the tongue-in-cheek Walk of Shame.

Pink's The Truth About Love tour hits the Air Canada Centre, Nov. 30, 2013

Pink wasn’t happy to just start the show at the top, however, periodically elevating herself to the top — literally — for songs including Try. As she swung from the rafters along with her incredible dancers, they exhibited flawless, seemingly effortless strength and grace that hits home the amount of time they must train and rehearse for this show. My mouth was literally agape in awe at the ease with which she traversed a wireframe globe hanging from the ceiling during Sober. “That woman is incredible!” is all I could say or think. (The drunk mom beside us, on the other hand, went with “I fucking love that bitch!”).

Between songs Pink was all too happy to chat with fans, and accept their gifts (a giant Rice Krispies Square, many bouquets of flowers and stuffed animals). She would even grant their wishes made via signage for a kiss, or a pet of her hair. Pink was incredibly gracious, sincere, and above all seemed to be having the time of her life, which made the show nothing less than a joy to watch!

Even a fair distance from the stage, I had goosebumps as Pink slowed it down for The Great Escape and later went acoustic for Who Knew (a personal fave) and Perfect. She also nodded to her early pink-haired origins, with a medley of her first hits including There You Go and You Make Me Sick.

For her final awe-inspiring act, Pink literally flew across the Air Canada Centre while performing So What, landing on a perch right in front of us before floating over to the other side of the stadium.

Pink performs So What at the Air Canada Centre, Nov. 30, 2013

After that show, I’m already counting down to the next time Pink comes to Toronto. I would go again in a second. From start to finish Pink was in every moment, committed to entertaining the packed venue and having a blast at the party herself. She commanded attention in a massive venue with her magnificent stage presence, choreography and personality, not to mention her voice. As I trekked home afterward, all I could think was “I’m so happy!” Yup, the truth about Pink is she’s the best I’ve ever seen.

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The time I went to Screemers with Steven and Chris

A couple weeks ago I went to Screemers with Steven and Chris, and some other members of the team to shoot a field piece through one of the haunted houses.

We had a blast, and the piece turned out pretty hilarious. It aired yesterday as part of the Halloween show. Check it out above, and spot me laughing in the background of a number of shots.

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