• Interview: True Jackson's Ashley Argota

    Posted on 05/29/2011 by Mary

    Soon, Ashley Argota (aka Lulu from True Jackson) will be heading to NYU to study nursing -- her mom's a nurse, too. In the meantime, she talked to us about dress emergencies, books, and best friends. (There's a True Jackson marathon on right now! If you didn't know!)

    Ashley Argota, aka Lulu on True Jackson, at the 2011 KCA I was just looking at your Kids' Choice Awards look... it was gorgeous. How do you pick a dress for an event like that?
    Thank you! I'm not even gonna lie, I picked that dress the night before the Kids' Choice Awards! I had another dress picked out a few weeks before -- it was kind of a peachy orange, but I was not really wanting to wear orange because the carpet is orange. So the people who dressed me for my birthday party -- I had a big 18th birthday bash this year -- sent me dresses from NY literally the day before the show. My brother had to drive them from my house to the set; I tried them on on the set. And it was a little bit too big so I had to get it altered, and I didn't try it on again until the morning of the Kids' Choice Awards, like two seconds before we left. And I took my shoes and I ran out of the house.

    Oh my God. That sounds like an anxiety dream I used to have about prom.
    It felt like... it was a nightmare, I was so nervous. Because I wasn't there when the lady altered my dress! We had to pin it ourselves, and I'm not like a master wardrobe person. I was so scared that it was going to be botched but it turned out perfectly.

    I saw somewhere that you love to read and you always have a book on set. Is that true? Very true. Right now I'm reading a poetry book by Billy Collins, called Horoscopes for the Dead.

    What are your favorite books of all time?
    The Great Gatsby -- I read it for school. And usually when you read a book for school you think it's going to be a little bit boring, but I talked to Greg Proops who plays Mr. Madigan -- he's a total bookworm. And when I mentioned that I had to read The Great Gatsby, he was like "No no no, you don't understand; that's a great book." And he was so right.

    When you're picking out a book that school isn't making you read, what do you usually gravitate towards? I really like books by Sarah Dessen. I think she's a really good writer. And of course I'm a big Twilight and Harry Potter fan.

    So, what do you like about Lulu on True Jackson? I love that she tries to find the positive in everything. Pretty much nothing can faze her, she can be having the worst day and still try to find something positive in it, which I love.

    And I guess she and you have in common that you're both pretty good at school and enjoy it?
    Yeah, I think that's where we're the most similar -- she's very booksmart. But she also gets so easily distracted, and that's where we totally part ways because I'm very, very focused in real life and she's very much... not.

    Do you have a real-life best friend?
    I do! She's been my best friend since we were 8 years old; my mom and her mom were best friends for years, and they lost contact. And I was singing in my hometown and they somehow got reconnected, and then I became best friends with my mom's best friend's daughter!

    That's so cool! Did you just have stuff in common immediately?
    Well, it took awhile because she was really shy. So I kinda had to pull it out of her. But now, I mean... she won't stop talking. It's all good now.

    What do you consider the rules for best friendship? What keeps it together?
    I think honesty and loyalty. One of the cool things about her is that, if something is going on, she won't even hesitate to tell me. And she also gives really, really good advice, which I appreciate. Because she's not in the business... and in the business there are so many people that you don't know if you can trust them. And I know that I can trust her and that she's really loyal.

  • True Jackson marathon -- and a new True quiz.

    Posted on 05/28/2011 by Lisa

    We're showing lots of True Jackson this weekend (through Monday!) so we put up a shiny new quiz -- Which True Jackson, VP, Character Are You?

    I took the quiz the other day to be sure it was working right, and I got Lulu, which made sense, since I was in a Lulu-ish mood.

    Which True Jackson, VP, Character Are You?When I took it again just now, I got True, which is funny, because I AM working during True Jackson's Workin' It Weekend! I guess True and I have more in common than I thought. :)

    Whatever you're doing this weekend, I hope it's fun. YAY for the unofficial start of summer!

    True Jackson, VP!

  • Interview: True Jackson's Matt Shively

    Posted on 05/28/2011 by Mary

    True Jackson will be airing on TeenNick starting with a marathon Memorial Day weekend -- then on weekdays @ 5p et. To celebrate, we got on the phone with Matt Shively (aka Ryan Laserbeam) to talk TJVP -- and of course, his Degrassi fandom.

    Matt Shively and Ashley Argota from True Jackson, VP
    Matt Shively with co-star Ashley Argota from True Jackson, VP

    So, would you say True Jackson is pretty much a girl-dominated set?
    Yeah. It is very woman-dominated. I will say I'm probably the biggest diva on set.

    What have you learned about girls just by being around that set?
    I have learned that... because we became so close, like brother and sisters, I learned a lot from them about how women communicate. And I learned that sometimes you have to take those tricky little side notes that they say and read into them a lot more than you usually would.

    Do you have close just-a-friend girl friends like that in real life?
    Yeah, one of my best friends out here is Sarah Highland, she's on Modern Family.

    Do you think there are benefits to having co-ed friendships that you don't get out of being friends with just guys?
    Oh, 100%. Because whenever I have a girl problem, I know exactly who I can go to. She'll give me the girl perspective of the problem. It's always nice to have at least one or two girl or guy friends because they'll always all have different advice and it's nice to get it from different angles.

    How about style... have you learned anything about style from working on True Jackson?
    I have! I've learned MATCHING. I never knew the word until I joined that show, but I guess matching is like when colors go together and it looks good? I learned how to do that.

    Matt Shively of True Jackson, VP How would you describe your personal style in real life?
    Well, as much as I do try to match I'm kind of all over the place. I've always been kind of a skinny jeans guy. A lot of people don't understand why I always wear tight jeans, but I just really like things to fit perfectly. Especially since, on the show, everything gets fitted [by wardrobe pros]. And you start to realize what things really feel like around your legs and around your arms when they're perfectly done.

    You know, skinny jeans on guys can be kind of controversial... what do you think are "too-skinny jeans" on a guy?
    Too-skinny jeans are when there are no wrinkles in the pants at all. Flat from hip to ankle, that's too skinny. When it's like painted on. That's too much. Cause then... there's no room. It's hard to walk. And I've tried that, like when I was in 7th grade I wore my cousin's jeans because that was the thing to do, to wear THAT skinny of jeans. No. It's not OK.

    So my friend and co-worker Lisa was at the Kids' Choice Awards, and when she was talking to Aislinn Paul and Munro Chambers from Degrassi, she said you came running up to talk to them and that you're a big Degrassi fan. Can you confirm?
    I am a huge Degrassi fan. When I went to the KCAs last year and I saw people from Degrassi... I'll admit, I was a little starstruck, because I've been watching Degrassi since I was in like 7th grade. So this year, I was kind of like: you know what? I'm taking this opportunity. We work for the same network, I'm gonna go say hi. And little did I know that a TeenNick person was standing right there, able to tell the world.

    Was that embarrassing for you at all?
    No, I'm really happy about it because now a bunch of people want me to be on it! So I'm glad I got it out there. You have no idea how honored I would be to do an episode of Degrassi.

    What kind of character would you want to be? The Eli, Jay, Johnny DiMarco guys...
    I want to play like, Eli's older brother who has kind of a drug problem and tries to get him to go down the same road.

    Oooh, juicy. That sounds very Degrassi-ish. What are your favorite characters and episodes? Ok, one of my favorite episodes... was actually the episode where JT got killed. That episode was like, just absolutely insane. Because at that point, he had been on the show for like five years. And he was my favorite character, because he was like the quirky, funny guy. To watch him for four years and then for them to take him off was just insane. I'll be honest, I cried a little bit. And then, watching the behind the scenes where he had his last shot of the entire episode, and them saying bye to him, it was so sad!

  • We Know Where You Can Watch the Degrassi: Now or Never Teaser....

    Posted on 05/27/2011 by Mary

    Even though it'll be playing in big, gorgeous, full-tv-sized wondrousness Monday night during Bring It On on TeenNick (9p et!)...

    You don't have to wait 'til Monday night to see the Degrassi teaser!

    You can cheat and watch it now, over on EW.com. Click here to see!

    And here's a little something extra to tide you over for the holiday weekend (True Jackson, VP marathon this weekend, btw!).

    Aislinn Paul, aka Clare Edwards, sparkles in the Degrassi: Now or Never teaser
    Aislinn Paul, aka Clare Edwards, sparkles in the Degrassi: Now or Never teaser

    More pics to come on Monday!

  • Girl Crush: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

    Posted on 05/24/2011 by Lisa

    Hi. I'm Lisa, and I'm in love with Buffy. If you're already a Buffy fan, you know why. If you haven't met Buffy yet, please watch her on TeenNick, starting a week from tonight.

    When I first heard about Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I thought, "That show sounds waaay too scary for me." I'd seen a few commercials for it, and thought it would be like a horror movie, but on TV. I couldn't have been more wrong. I don't like scary things, and Buffy can be scary at times, so why do I like it so much? I don't know.

    I just know that Buffy is one of my favorite people. Here's why:

    I love this girl! She kicks ass. It's her destiny, and there's nothing she can do about it. She was born to fight evil.

    She's brave, cute, smart, sensitive, and funny... Haha, I really thought I could write up a straightforward little list about how great Buffy is, but it's hard for me to think about her in a rational way. My girl crush is that bad. Buffy is straight-up awesome in pretty much every way that I've ever wanted to be awesome. Did I mention that she kicks ass?

    Buffy has awesome friends, and she'd do anything to keep them safe. I'm protective of my friends, too, and if I had to, I think I'd battle evil for them. (But I'm so glad I don't have to.)

    I feel like Buffy understands that sometimes life sucks, but on your absolute crappiest days, there's only one thing to do: Keep going, and keep fighting, and keep hoping that things will get better... because sometimes, when you least expect it, they do.

    Buffy lives in a world with vampires and demons and all sorts of scary evil, but to me, she seems more like a "real girl" than any other TV character. How crazy is that?

    I seriously love this girl, you guys. I feel like watching Buffy has made me a braver, more self-confident person, and if you haven't seen the show before, I'm soooo excited that you're going to be meeting Buffy (and Willow! Xander! Giles! Angel! and even Cordy!) for the first time.

    Next Tuesday, at 10pm, there's a new student at Sunnydale High -- and on TeenNick. Be nice to her, OK? Buffy had some problems at her last school, and she needs a fresh start. : )

  • What Songs Do YOU Want to Hear on Degrassi?

    Posted on 05/23/2011 by Mary

    Which bands' music do you think belongs on Degrassi?
    Sav and Holly J are dying to hear which bands you'll mention.

    I had a brief chat with Degrassi's Music Supervisor last week -- he's the one who gave us all that great info last season about how they picked the songs that went in each scene -- and he told me three very interesting things:

    1) He's not the kind of person who minds getting inundated with submissions.
    2) He's curious about your favorite music, and which bands (including the widely unheard of) you think would totally work on the show.
    3) He doesn't mind if you tweet him directly about it! He's @jvonhollen. Or, if yr not a twittering type, you can post in the comments and I'll make sure he sees it.

    Seriously, you could even send him a link to your own band's demo if you wanted to! Why not, right?

  • The First Time Buffy Met... Everyone

    Posted on 05/20/2011 by Mary

    You know... now that Buffy's coming to TeenNick (May 31st @10p et!), all of the Buffy fans who work here are getting to go back through the whole series and have massive fits of nostalgia/excitement/geekdom.

    For instance we just put together this playlist of scenes from the first episode... all the moments when Buffy first met the people who will come to be so very, very important to her -- the "scoobs" (as in Scooby Gang), as they are (eventually) called.

    Here's Buffy and Willow talking for the very first time... (awww!)

    And you can click here for the full Buffy Firsts playlist -- with her first conversations with Xander, Giles, Cordelia, Angel (Haaaaay, Angel)... and her first TV vampire dusting to boot.

    I have a feeling these clips will be more exciting to people who are already fans of the show; if your head isn't already filled with all of the insane, profound, hilarious, and intense stuff these characters are going to go through together, these moments might not pack the same thrill. In fact... they might even carry the taint of standard first episode awkwardness. Actually, I'll do another blog on "why first episodes are soooo stupid hard" soon.

    So yeah, I'm curious what non-Buffy fans think of them; feel free to comment (as always)!

  • High School Is Hell

    Posted on 05/16/2011 by Mary

    It's happening! It's really, really happening! Tuesday May 31 at 10p et!

    To answer your question (if this is your question) yes: we're going to start with episode 1 of season 1 and work our way up from there. For the first couple weeks, they'll be shown back to back -- so two eps a night at first. (But at some point we'll probably switch to one ep a night.)

    We -- in the parlance of our times -- so excited.

  • Sweet Merciful Crap: It's Mr. Simpson

    Posted on 05/13/2011 by Mary

    We found this old picture of Archie "Snake" Simpson -- aka Principal Simpson, aka Degrassi director and producer Stefan Brogren -- as a teenager. (Those who don't know... he was on the Super Old School '80s version of Degrassi.)

    Um, we hope he forgives us?

    Stefan Brogren, aka Snake Simpson from Degrassi
    Stefan Brogren, aka Snake Simpson from Degrassi High

  • Saved by the Bell!

    Posted on 05/12/2011 by Mary

    I saw on the twittering machine that a bunch of you are stoked to be coming home from school to a double dose of Saved by the Bell these days:

    Therefore, I thought it would be a defensibly valid use of company time to go digging through some photo archives to bring you these bright, sparkly, blinding gems of early '90s awkwardness, so that you can print them out and hang them in your locker, obviously. Or just put them under your pillow, for totally sweet dreamz!

    Zack and Slater with their shirts inexplicably openScreech, Dustin Diamond
    L: OMG, Zack and Slater, I know just how you feel... that happens to me ALL THE TIME. R: One of these things is not like the others.

    Kelly, Jessie, and Lisa Turtle from Saved by the BellJessie and Lisa are supportive friends to Kelly as she gazes at herself in a mirror. L: Kelly, Jessie, and Lisa having fun in the sun(-like studio lighting). R: Three girls, one mirror, and no fisticuffs!

    Lark Vorhees, Saved by the BellTiffani Amber Thiessen, Saved by the Bell
    L: Lisa Turtle: proud like a leopard. R: Don't lie... if they offered this background for your senior portrait, you'd be all over it like flowers on Kelly's pants.