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With TV season finales airing all this month, expect some characters to come back next season as different people—figuratively speaking, of course. Or, literally speaking in regard to Boy Meets World having two different actors play Morgan Matthews and three different actors play Topanga Lawrence’s father. Here are the six biggest TV character transformations.  

Leslie Knope on Parks and Recreation

Played by Amy Poehler

One of the most influential females on TV, the goofy Season 1 Leslie Knope wildly differs from the empowering (and waffle-loving) Knope we now know and love. In Season 1, she appears as the female equivalent to Michael Scott, giving goofy hand gestures and falling into a pit. Over the course of the rest of the series, her Pawnee pride emerges as she enters local politics (and makes friendship quilts!)  Nowadays, Leslie Knope fits in a conversation with Michelle Obama and Ruth Bader Ginsberg. As she should.

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Ben Chang on Community

Played by Ken Jeong

While my mind still can’t fully grasp that Donald Glover, Alison Brie, and Joel McHale were all on a TV show together, I am as baffled with Ben Chang’s transformation. He changes from an unstable Spanish teacher to a Greendale student that gets bitten by a monkey and is living in the air vents. Chang’s kookiness makes Seinfeld’s Kramer look normal. After all, there’s something genius about a coffee table book of coffee tables, but faking your own type of amnesia? That’s straight up Ben Chang.

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Ryan Howard on The Office

Played by B.J. Novak

Ryan was merely known as the “Fire Guy” and Michael Scott’s crush at Dunder Mifflin in the first season of The Office. Over the course of the series he gets promoted to Vice President of the company, gets sent to prison, becomes a drug addict, and inexplicably bleaches his hair. He went from a second-rate Jim Halpert to an employee that only Kelly Kapoor (and Michael Scott) could love.

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Jan Levinson on The Office

Played by Melora Hardin

Just as Ryan became an irrational, comedic character at Dunder Mifflin, Vice President of the company and Michael’s ex-girlfriend Jan Levinson did as well (but even more). Famous Jan moments include her scented candle business, her fascination with her assistant Hunter, and recording a Doris Day cover album. And to think this character transformation began all with a beach trip to Sandals Resorts Jamaica.

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Topanga Lawrence on Boy Meets World

Played by Danielle Fishel

Though most characters change from “normal” to “weird” on TV shows, Topanga Lawrence on Boy Meets World has the opposite transformation. After all, you know if she was intended to be Cory Matthews’ long-term love interest, her name would be Erica or Ashley, not Topanga. She goes from a hippie that performs an interpretive dance titled “Donut in the Sky” to a bookworm perfectionist. Personally, I think Cory, famously known for having a poster of celery, would be fine with either Topanga.

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Eric Matthews on Boy Meets World

Played by Will Friedle

Since Boy Meet World’s strange character became normal, another person on the show needs to take that role. Enter Eric Matthews: the cool older brother from Season 1. Over the series, he catches the curtains on fire, hides in the couch, and calls himself “Kyle.” Most bizarrely, Eric appears as a bearded hermit named “Plays with Squirrels” at an imaginary high school reunion. Who would imagine a popular baseball player would transform into this comedic character? But, I’m here for it. The only lasting trait throughout is the everlasting “Fee-hee-hee-hee-nay” call.

Any characters missing from the list? And no, Pam Beesly making better style choices in later seasons of The Office doesn’t count.

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The 2019 Oscars has loads of controversy between Green Book’s director, Peter Farrelly, and Bohemian Rhapsody’s fired director, Bryan Singer both being accused of sexual harassment and Kevin Hart stepping down as host due to past homophobic tweets. To make matters worse, the show was attempting to air the technical awards during the commercials, before more backlash canceled the change.

Man, so much wrong in two sentences. While there are good movies nominated this year, several have been overlooked. So, skip the drama, and grab the popcorn and watch these underrated movies from 2018. Seriously, Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas’ wedding got more coverage than these movies.

Eighth Grade

Starring: Elsie Fisher, Josh Hamilton, and Emily Robinson

Channeling middle school awkwardness, acne, Bermuda shorts and boy/girl pool parties and all, any previous 13-year-old (oh wait, that’s everyone) can relate to Eighth Grade. From first time director and 28-year-old (!!!) Bo Burnham, the coming-of-age movie follows Kayla Day as she starts eighth grade. Despite her quiet nature and social anxiety, Kayla films vlogs and strives to break out of her introverted shell.

Despite being ignored and having a cracked iPhone screen, Kayla still likes all the popular girls’ Instagram photos. By the end of the film, Kayla has the growth arc of John Hughes’ character and realizes that popularity isn’t everything. While it sounds cliché, this movie is anything but.

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Starring: John Cho and Debra Messing

With the entire film taking place through the lens of a computer screen or other technological devices such as a smartphone screen or a TV screen, visually, Searching stands out from other movies. After his teenage daughter, Margot, goes missing, David, a widowed father, attempts to find her using social media and police detective Rosemary Vick. A devoted father, David’s one downfall is his love of The Voice. Not cool, David. Not cool, David.

With countless twists, there are episodes of Forensic Files that are more cut and dry than Searching. What’s even more baffling is that it took until 2018 for an Asian-American actor to star in a Hollywood thriller. Guys, give John Cho (and other Asian actors) more leading jobs! Especially if we get more movies as good as Searching.

Three Identical Strangers

Starring: Edward Galland , David Kellman, and Robert Shafran

Between The Thin Blue Line, Capturing the Friedmans, and First Position, I’m a huge fan of documentaries. Due to its sheer shock value, add Three Identical Strangers to that list. In 1980, 18-year-old strangers Edward Galland, David Kellman, and Robert Shafran discover that they are triplets. Without revealing too many spoilers, this film debates the topic of nature versus nurture. Even people like me, who took only two psychology classes in college find this subject fascinating. It’s more intriguing than the boys’ indistinguishable appearances.

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Beautiful Boy

Starring: Steve Carell, Timothée Chalamet, Maura Tierney and Amy Ryan

If a movie stars Timothée Chalamet, I will see it and I will love it. Based on David Sheff’s memoir, Beautiful Boy centers on Sheff’s son Nic and his battle with drug addiction. Illustrating both progress and pitfalls of drug recovery, Chalamet was robbed of an Oscar nomination. While it is an emotionally heavy film, there is a happy ending. Though, there’s nothing better than Michael Scott and Holly Flax playing Chalamet’s parents.

 Here are more underrated from 2018. 

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With Thanksgiving around the corner, here are actors being compared to different Turkey Day foods. Yes, you read that right.

Turkey: The Unlikable Main Character

Everyone talks about the showstopping turkey just as movies and TV shows overly focus on main characters. Let’s be real though: dressing, vegetables, rolls, and desserts all outshine the turkey. Turkey is dry and just as dull as Riverdale’s Archie Andrews, Dawson’s Creek’s Dawson Leery, and any Julia Roberts or Molly Ringwald character. Storylines for them include a teen struggling to have a music career, a teen striving to have a directorial career, breaking up an impending marriage, and two boys fawning over her. Thankfully, we have the likes of Jughead Jones and Duckie Dale to act as the gravy to add some interest.

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Jon Cryer as Duckie Dale and Molly Ringwald as Andie Walsh in Pretty in Pink

Dressing: The Scene-Stealing Side Character

Without a doubt, dressing is the best side dish on Turkey Day. It’s the go-to food on Thanksgiving and a staple for leftovers. Just as family and friends leave the dining table raving about the savory dressing (not stuffing, don’t get confused), moviegoers left The Devil Wears Prada discussing Emily Blunt’s Emily Charlton more than Anne Hathaway’s drab and sweater-loving main character. The most empathetic, best all-around, and most dressing-like in The Social Network is Andrew Garfield’s Eduardo Saverin. Let’s face it, I am as enthusiastic to discuss Andrew Garfield as often as Eduardo is willing to join a fraternity and wear Hawaiian shirts.

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Emily Blunt as Emily Charlton in The Devil Wears Prada

Andrew Garfield as Eduardo Saverin in The Social Network

Other than Goop having several dressing recipes (I checked!) Gwyneth Paltrow herself is “dressing” as Margot Tenenbaum in The Royal Tenenbaums. So is toilet paper-loving Emma Stone as Sam Thomson in Birdman. Both dressing and these characters deserve to be celebrated year-round.

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Gwyneth Paltrow as Margot Tenenbaum in The Royal Tenenbaums

Emma Stone as Sam Thomson in Birdman

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Mashed Potatoes: The Old Hollywood Actor

Mashed potatoes are the classic Thanksgiving side dish that doesn’t need all the bells and whistles to make it sing. No sweet potatoes, no bacon, and no cheese. Just potatoes. Similarly, old Hollywood actors, like Grace Kelly, Paul Newman, and James Dean, made it on the silver screen because of sheer talent. It doesn’t hurt that they’re so gorgeous, it seems genetically impossible. It was a simpler time when every movie didn’t get a sequel.

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Homemade Cranberry Sauce: The Overrated Actor

Anyone who thinks that homemade cranberry sauce is better than canned cranberry sauce is lying to themselves. Perhaps people think that every dish on Thanksgiving needs to be homemade; therefore, the chunky cranberry sauce with orange zest is made. Stop making it and putting it on the table. Similarly, some actors keep getting jobs despite a lack of talent. Maybe I’m in the minority, but I’m not here for “pretty” boys getting hired for their looks and not acting ability à la Chris Hemsworth or Zac Efron. Likewise, I don’t buy Hugh Jackman and Rachel McAdams as fully transformative actors (think Daniel Day-Lewis or Christian Bale). Though, these actors pale in comparison to Mr. Overrated himself, Adam Sandler. Playing the titular siblings in Jack and Jill says it all.

Chris Hemsworth as Kevin Beckman in Ghostbusters

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Zac Efron as Matt Brody in Baywatch

Hugh Jackman as Robert Angier in The Prestige

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Rachel McAdams in Spotlight

Canned Cranberry Sauce: The Underrated Actor

Give me the tube-shaped-with-can-lines cranberry sauce any day of the week. Despite its deliciousness, canned cranberry sauce still does not get any love on Thanksgiving. Equally, several actors don’t get appreciated for their talent. If Michael Shannon shows up in a film, you know it’s a good movie. He earned a Best Supporting Actor Nomination for only appearing in eight minutes of Revolutionary Road. It takes me longer to decide what new show to start binge-watching! Sticking with the Michaels, Michael B. Jordan singlehandedly saved the last two seasons of Friday Night Lights and should still be receiving praise (five years later) for Fruitvale Station.

Though he’s been an acclaimed actor since his first film, Primal Fear, Edward Norton still doesn’t get the praise that he deserves. He should be in the same conversations as George Clooney and Leonardo DiCaprio for favorite (and best-looking) actor. Plus, he has a great working relationship with Wes Anderson. Moonrise Kingdom, The Grand Budapest Hotel and Isle of Dogs are some of the quirkiest and most entertaining movies of the 21st century.

Michael Shannon as John Givings Jr. in Revolutionary Road

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Edward Norton as Scout Master Ward in Moonrise Kingdom

Pumpkin Spice Latte: The Up-and-Coming Actor

While you don’t drink a pumpkin spice latte with your Thanksgiving meal, it is a drink only consumed in the fall months, so hear me out. Just as a PSL was an unknown term a few years ago, these actors were undiscovered as well. Before turning eighteen, Saoirse Ronan starred in Atonement, The Winter Bones, and The Grand Budapest Hotel. Two of her most recent movies, Brooklyn, and Lady Bird, had the Irish darling playing a 1950s Irish immigrant falling in love with the cutest New Yorker and playing an angsty teen in a coming-of-age movie, respectively. Her Lady Bird costar and current “It” boy, Timothée Chalamet masterfully plays a moody, precocious teen in last year’s Call Me by Your Name and a drug-addicted teen in Beautiful Boy. Considering there’s already three Oscar nominations (and one 2019 prediction) between these two talents, Ronan and Chalamet may give Meryl Streep a run for her money in the most Academy Awards acting nominations.

Saoirse Ronan as Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson in Lady Bird

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Since the time of Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, and Barbara Streisand, singers have always acted and won awards for it. With Lady Gaga’s recent turn as Ally in A Star is Born gaining Oscar buzz, it looks like things have not changed that much.

Lady Gaga would have gotten praise from me for this movie alone just for the facts that it’s her first major film role and she’s using her stage name to promote it (I’m looking at you, Rihanna, or should I say Robyn Fenty.)

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Perhaps Gaga succeeds in the role because the character, Ally has the same climactic rise to popstar status. Though, part of Ally’s fame is due to her duetting with washed-up country star Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper). All Gaga needed was a meat dress.

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In recent years, Gaga isn’t the only singer to have success on the silver screen. Janelle Monàe’s first two films, Moonlight and Hidden Figures were nominated for Best Picture at the 89th Academy Awards. And if you’re reading this blog, I shouldn’t need to remind you that the former infamously won the top prize as well. Do you know how many total movies of the world’s ten highest-paid actors of 2018 have been nominated for Best Picture? SIX. Janelle Monàe is taking somebody’s roles, but it must be from these guys…

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Moonlight (2016)

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Hidden Figures (2016)

While there’s been victories in singers successfully transitioning to film, there have been failures as well. Though he’s still acting, and I consider it one of the best movies of the 21st century, Justin Timberlake is the worst part of The Social Network. And does anybody even remember Runner Runner or Trouble with the Curve? Exactly.

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The Social Network (2010)

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Before Timberlake’s movies hit theatres (because Model Behavior was a made-for-TV movie!) and before she broke up with him, Britney Spears gave acting a go, with the surprisingly depressing and Shonda Rimes written, Crossroads. I’ll take Spears over Mariah Carey and her Glitter fiasco any day, but the best of worst popstar movies will always be From Justin to Kelly. Not only did 2002 American Idol producers force winner Kelly Clarkson and runner-up Justin Guarini (I bet you thought you’d never read that name again) to star in a spring break movie together, they also thought it was a good idea for Kelly to wear a skirt only made of men’s ties. Sorry, Selena Gomez and Monte Carlo: your wannabe Mary-Kate and Ashley movie doesn’t even deserve to be ranked.

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From Justin to Kelly (2002)

Monte Carlo (2011)

As for the future, Lady Gaga’s Oscar buzz may push more singers to act. I guarantee that Justin Bieber is already lobbying for How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days remake, because he thinks that’s the role that earned Matthew McConaughey his Oscar. Obviously, he’ll star in McConaughey’s role and push for Margot Robbie to play Kate Hudson’s role. Someone needs to tell him that she acts with the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio and Allison Janney. We don’t need that right now. Let’s stick with Gaga.