Saturday, February 4, 2012

Shoebox Secrets

I wrote my second post for my column for The Huffington Post’s high school site about The Mortified Sessions. You can read the full article here.
The Mortified Sessions is a project started by Dave Nadelberg, which began in a live stage setting where celebrities and amateurs alike are asked to bring a shoebox full of all the songs, poems, art, love letters from their adolescence, to chip away at our exterior and expose our inner geek. Sundance has the televised adaptation of the project, where each week Dave interviews new subjects, who bring Dave a shoebox full of their past. It is interesting to see what these childhood artifacts, unearths not only about their pasts, but even often unlocks something that they hadn't realized about who they are today.

I never really think about the opening credits of a show. But The Mortified Sessions’ opening credits are really just an extension of the project itself so I felt it necessary to screen cap  them for this blog post. The show begins with a shoebox with "PRIVATE: KEEPOUT" written on it, spilling open with precious childhood memorabilia.  As intro begins, a series of different shoeboxes filled with milestones are projected onto the screen. The first shoebox is like a shrine designed to look like a Teenage Bedroom, with crush lists and five year diaries, friendship photos, and key necklaces.   The next shoebox was filled with prom memorabilia: A Back to the Future video, a “Prom of Your Dreams” ticket stub, a disco ball, and cheesy prom photos galore. Then there is a box that is a filled with a girl escaping through the power of the written word by reading/writing angsty poetry.  

The last box of course, is filled with Dave’s own photos. Dave hearts pizza!

The first season began back in December 2011 and ended just last week. The premiere episode that I saw was with Ed Helms, who plays Andy, my favorite character on The Office. Even in the first few minutes of the show, when Ed read a diary entry he'd written when he was little about refusing to give out Valentine's to the girls in his class, had me hooked on the project. The other guests this season were equally illuminating. Everyone from Danny Pudi (Community), Alanis Morrissette, Mo’Nique, Anthony Michael Hall (any great John Hughes movie ever) Paul Feig (Paul Feig is Paul Feig and doesn’t really need a parenthetical explanation. But he is the mastermind behind Freaks and Geeks and Bridesmaids among other things.) joined in. 
Here are some suggestions I have for guests I’d love to see appear in season 2:
1.      Aubrey Plaza
2.      Amy Sedaris
3.      Jimmy Fallon
4.      Fred Armisen
5.      Lou Reed
6.      Carmen Sandiego (Dave would have to find her first, but I think this would be a riveting interview.)
7.      Kathy Griffin
8.      Ben Savage
9.      Raven Simone
10.  China Chow
11.  Stephen Colbert
12. Iris Apfel

Margaret Cho's Mortified Session was also really interesting getting to hear about her experiences growing up in San Francisco and the influences that the community had on her fast maturation.

This little diva in the two photos above is Megan Mullaly. 

My favorite episode of this season was about comedic geniuses and married couple, Megan Mullaly and Nick Offerman. In looking at what they shared from their shoeboxes -- Nick was kind of the "class clown" and into sports while Megan loved to write and spend time alone in her room making up stories about fairies -- both of them did things to seek attention in their own right. It was in seeing that episode, going through their old photos, old homework assignments, and such, which you could see they had realized even from a young age they were meant for each other. I was weirdly emotional when watching this episode because it made me so happy that they were together.

I continue to wonder who Dave Nadelberg's target audience is, because everything about his project makes me, as a 16-year old, so incredibly happy. Watching the show somehow makes me nostalgic for a time that I am currently going through. What I mean by this is that I wish I kept everything I ever wrote, a diary, and was generally more sentimental about things pertinent to my childhood. Ever since the show started, I've been a packrat, though, making sure to keep everything for a shoebox session that I will someday have with myself. Maybe Dave will join me for this.

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1 comment:

  1. never saw this show before, but just youtube'd it... what a find! Definitely agree re: guest list for next season!


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