Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Best Shows You're Not Watching

I know Monday night is an absolute log jam for many of us TV addicts. You have Heroes, Chuck, Dancing, and, if you're truly awesome (like me), CBS comedies Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother. Well, my good people, this is the night the DVR was made for. Watch one or two of these programs on Monday, and save a couple for the wastelands later in the week. You will not be sorry if you add BBT and HIMYM to your plate.

These are unheralded comedies that simply do not get their due, but viewership seems to be on the rise. Hope springs eternal! CBS actually won the night in Adults 1849 last night, which is big. The great part is that new viewers got a stellar new episode of Big Bang Theory to kick off the year. Jim Parsons, who plays ubergeek Sheldon, was in a zone. I laughed out loud several times at his performance. Sure, Leonard (played by Johnny Galecki) is the more relatable nerd, who has at least some idea of how to act socially, but it's Sheldon who steals the thing almost every week. Can you imagine dealing with a person this closed off and socially stunted? He's a unique character, to say the least. Please check this show out; I promise you won't be sorry! Here are two clips to whet your appetite...

Watch CBS Videos Online

Watch CBS Videos Online

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Donna Martin Graduates!

So, I finally got to watch the first hour of the new 90210. I'm waiting for the stupid CW to put episode two up on their annoying website so I can catch that, as my DVR broke the premiere into 2 separate hours, and I only got one. I think I've seen enough to make a few comments.

First of all, problem. Hannah Zuckerman Vasquez was born when Andrea was a college sophomore, and Erin Silver was already at least three or four...Kelly's mom and David's dad got married and had her when the gang was still in high school. (Remember, David lost her at the park that time because he was high? That was freshman year, when he got hooked on drugs doing overnights at the radio station.) So, I don't think there's any way the two of them would both be in high school at the same time, unless one of them is a complete moron, and we know Hannah's parents would not allow for that one. At least they didn't try to toss Maddie, Steve and Janet's daughter, into the mix, since she'd only be about eight or nine. Then, again, it's essentially a soap opera, so we could just chalk this up to SORAS (Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome). Moving on...

Secondly, this Naomi girl is ridiculous. Yes, I imagine there are certainly girls like her in this era of entitlement, but even at her bitchiest, Kelly Taylor was nothing like this brat. I hope she gets some layers soon. Currently, she's like Rachel McAdams in Mean Girls.

I don't mind the central family, the Wilsons. Annie and Dixon are both likable enough, and Lori Loughlin and Rob Estes are fine so far. Kinda random to just throw in that he fathered a child with Naomi's mom right off the bat, no? It's like a reverse Steve Sanders storyline, but we're not invested with these people at all yet, so why not let it build, and make that woman even the teensiest bit likable first?

I guess that dickhead George guy who attacked Dixon is supposed to be Sanders-ish, since he had the slickest car and was a bully, even though Steve was never really like that.

Of course, Jessica Walters kicks ass as Tabitha; perfect casting there. The little bit I did see of the second hour alluded to her being in a car accident (she was drunk, right?), and I saw her hanging out with Linda Gray, who certainly knows from playing a drunk. Sue Ellen Ewing has never looked better.

I love me some Kelly Taylor, so I hope she is around consistently. And, was Nat in any other scene besides the one where he couldn't make a cappucino, and called Willie for help? Is Nadine still there too? WHY DO I KNOW THIS????!!!

I don't yet mind Ethan (Naomi's cheating boyfriend) or Navid (nice David Silver call back with the video camera and the name) and I think I like Silver so far. I like how the connections to the past leave it open for former cast members to return, but they can also be ignored or explained away as necessary.

I missed Brenda's grand entrance, which I why I want to catch episode two somehow. I also know about Kelly's son, and that we are not sure if it's Dylan's, Brandon's or someone else's entirely. Personally, I'm rooting for John Sears.

You've piqued my interest, 90210, I'll be back. Thoughts?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

They Grow Up So Fast...

In our little blog circle (well, there's three of us, so it's more like a blog triangle), we often remark on our similar interests, likes and dislikes. One of my colleagues (I figure we write together, so we're colleagues, right?) and I each have two kids that are very close in age. Our youngest ones are less than a month apart and our oldest girls both started kindergarten recently. He's really concerned about what'll go on in the big bad world of "real" school, because he's a dad, I guess. As a mom, I'm more just in awe of my little girl and how grown up she seemed on that first day. Sure, I had to help her button up the back of her dress, but she did everything else.

And when we stopped at Einstein's to get a bagel before we headed to school together, she noticed another girl who looked about her age and just asked if she was going to kindergarten, too. When her mother said she was, and we then discovered they would be in the same class, my daughter just said, "I'm Hannah, what's your name?" Upon receiving her reply, Hannah said, "Nice to meet you!" That's my kid...charming and polite. She truly makes friends wherever she goes. I know kindergarten will be only the beginning of a successful and wonderful life for her. Yes, I'm completely biased, but I'm pretty sure she's special...and you can't tell me otherwise.

I've taught her well. When faced with picking out a folder and backpack for school, a market glutted with licensed material from Hannah Montana, High School Musical and everything else Disney, my child picked a backpack with pink flowers and a folder with purple butterflies because, as she said, "I might get tired of those characters." Of course, she relented when it came to a lunchbox, and selected Tinkerbell. Awesomely, it is a metal lunchbox, just like I carried. They don't come with a thermos anymore, though, so I don't think I can send soup. I desperately wish I'd saved my Charlie's Angels or Holly Hobbie lunchbox for her, but those suckers would probably be pretty rusty by now, huh?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

That was Cool

I have to say, as much controversy as there is surrounding this Beijing Olympics, the Opening Ceremonies that kicked off the "fortnight" of competition was spectacular. My two year old stood up on the couch and tried to play right along with the 2,008 drummers that moved in perfect sync. My five year old was blown away with the dancers, the lights, the fireworks. It was all staged with impeccable precision and grace.

The Parade of Nations can be a little tedious, sure, but it's still fascinating in its own way. Did you see the hideous dresses worn by the Hungarian women? The outfits worn by the Americans, which were designed by Ralph Lauren? When my husband and I were at the Salt Lake Games in '02, you couldn't swing a dead cat without hitting someone wearing one of those Roots hats the athletes wore to the Opening Ceremony. They were somewhat reasonably priced at $25. The retail on those driving caps that Kobe, Lebron and the other 700+ U.S. athletes were rockin'? $55! And the Polo shirts (with extra large Polo pony logo, of course)? $125! Unbelievable. Then again, we're still convinced there was a giant conspiracy amongst the people of Park City, Utah to convince all us gullible tourists that we simply MUST have a $125 wool & fleece blanket to endure the frigid temps at the Opening Ceremony there...which we just ended up schlepping around with us because it actually made us sweat on top of our coats, hats, scarves, ski pants, and long johns. They totally saw us coming, huh?

And then there is the whole Olympic Pin phenomena. There are pin enthusiasts wherever you go at an Olympic Games, and most of those are actually pretty inexpensive (Average price, about $8). In Utah, the most sought after pin was in the shape of Jello, which is apparently the most popular dessert in the state (OK...) But in Beijing, NBC's trying to sell a $60 limited edition pin. That's crazy. It's amazing what people will buy, isn't it?

On another note, did everyone hear the story of the nine-year-old boy who entered the stadium with Yao Ming and the Chinese athletes? He survived the recent earthquake in China, which leveled his elementary school. 20 of his 30 classmates died. When pint-sized Lin Hau got free of the rubble, he actually went back in for two classmates. Asked why he would do such a thing, his answer was "I'm a class leader. I'm the hall monitor, and it's my job." If this doesn't at least put a lump in your throat, you are made of stone.

And then the torch lighting. Now, I have to say, the Chinese gymnast Li Ning being hoisted up to the scrim and then "running" around the upper ring of the Bird's Nest (the central stadium for the games, it actually looks like a bird's nest) was neat, but it kind of dragged on. I enjoyed the way he lit the flame and the visual spectacle of it twisting around the cauldron, but it can never hope to top two of the previous Olympic torch lightings in my mind. One, of course, was Mohammed Ali, racked with tremors from Parkinson's, walking slowly to the cauldron in Atlanta. I'm pretty sure I cried for about an hour. The other, for sheer coolness, had to be the athlete who shot the Olympic flame with a bow and arrow to light the cauldron in Barcelona. I don't think anything will ever surpass that, so they can just stop trying.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I Walked!

Since someone just can't stop going on and on about all the running he's been doing (we got it, Michael Johnson, you're an accomplished athlete now. Or would you prefer I call you Paul Tergat? Yes, I did research on this.), I feel compelled to tell you that this morning, I got up early and walked! For a whole 30 minutes! I attempted to break into a run at several key points, but simply ended up with a cramp, so I just walked really fast. Broke a sweat and everything!

I figure if I can drag my (increasingly fat) ass outta bed now, when the weather is awesome, maybe I have a shot at making this a routine. So, if you see me, or speak to me, or spot me toolin' around in cyberspace, ask me if I walked today. I need to exercise, as doing so allows me to eat bread and dessert. Oh, and if anyone wants to buy me new shoes, I'm a size 7 and these New Balance cross-trainers are so cute!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Marshall, Will and Holly...

So, today I drove home to a soundtrack of TV theme songs, which I have said on more than one occasion are my personal anecdote to being in a funk of any kind. You simply cannot be in a bad mood when Marla Gibbs sings "There's No Place Like Home" or Jose Feliciano says "Chico, don't be discouraged, the man he ain't so hard to understand." Well, I can't, that's for sure.

And I got an extra kick out of hearing the Land of the Lost theme today, as it reminded me of this article, written by Oscar Winner Diablo Cody for EW. She got to visit the set of the Will Ferrell movie based on the classic Sid & Marty Kroft show, set to open in 2009. I personally cannot wait for this, and will drag my children as well. I assume they will be as frightened by the sleestaks as I was, which is to say, not at all. And my son, who is not yet two, is already proficient at saying "Chaka".

Now, if only there were remakes of The Banana Splits, The Great Space Coaster and 80's kid game show I'm Telling! in the works, I'd be on cloud nine. Anybody else remember these? (Anybody besides EJ?) Any other kiddie classics you'd like to see hit the big screen, or return to the small one?

Monday, July 14, 2008

My New BFF

She doesn't know it yet, but Chelsea Handler and I are BFF. I've been trying to catch her show, the hilarious Chelsea Lately, (11:30 pm on E!) as often as possible, and I have now added her book Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea my list of books I must read ASAP. The title alone means I shall love it instantly.

Chelsea's a slightly different version of the whole Sarah Silverman/Kathy Griffin super-self deprecating, rip on celebs female comic genre. She portrays herself as a slut, but she so owns it, that you can't hold it against her. Plus, I enjoy her interviews with various celebrities on her show, a skill she's still polishing, but getting better at with each episode. Just add her to the list of famous funny women I'd essentially like to be when I grow up, I guess.

Friday, July 11, 2008

A Little Advice

OK, I don't have much to say today, except to pimp out some upcomng stuff on spunkybean, but before I get there, let Aunt Myndi give you a word of advice.

If you're driving along, thinking, "My goodness, I'm parched! That sweet tea that McDonald's is advertising everywhere certainly sounds refreshing! What could be more thirst quenching on a hot summer day than a delightful glass of tea?"

The answer to that question is: Almost anything! You're better off chewing on a sweaty gym sock than you are drinking this crap if you're really thirsty. There's enough sugar in a glass of this iced tea to give a person diabetes on contact. Don't believe the hype, people!

Have a great weekend, get outside and enjoy the sunshine. Start watching Big Brother 10 on Sunday night and tune in to spunkybean next week for recaps. Plus, we'll have the most extensive coverage of Batman you've ever seen on a website that's not already devoted to Batman. See you there!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Tooth Fairy Talk

Yesterday, my 5 year old got her third visit from the tooth fairy. She was so excited and proud; it's one of the cutest things ever, really. I observed her conversation with a slightly older friend on 4th of July on the topic. You see, this girl's seven, so she's a veteran. She was telling Hannah, in the most serious tone of voice, how she and two of her friends have the same tooth fairy and it's the same one both of her parents had when they were kids, and Hannah was fascinated. I was picturing a little tooth fairy union meeting where they bust out a map and all kinds of family trees to see if they can maintain the integrity of a family's tooth fairy through the generations. Wouldn't that be awesome, ya know, if it were a real thing? I wonder if tooth fairies would ever strike?

Of course, the real tooth fairies were scrambling last night to find a dollar to place under her pillow. I only had a ten in my wallet and my husband had no bills. As we were panicking, we came up with this brilliant plan: he had four quarters, which we figured she'd see as a downgrade, so we took her piggy bank and pulled out a dollar and replaced it with the four quarters (like she would have missed them, but guilt is powerful.) We laughed the whole time because it's just silly.

Sadly, Hannah is already sort of jaded. This morning, we had to ask her if the tooth fairy had come! Her response, "Oh yeah. He came. I got the same National Treasure money as last time." (The preview for that movie is on her Enchanted DVD, so she's seen the logo with the pyramid many times.) She wasn't complaining about the amount, mind you, they're all just "moneys" to her, but she's looking for something "different". Maybe we should have stuck with the four quarters...

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Random and Retro

So, this morning, I listened to a TAPE in my car. Yes, that's what I said, a tape. It was something I happened to find in the storage bin I have in my arm rest...Common Thread: Songs of The Eagles, and it was released in 1993. Basically, it's a Eagles tribute album, and it's all Country artists. I love The Eagles, but not so much Country music, however this album is not too bad. I mean, no one desecrates an Eagles song in the way Kristy Lee Cook positively molested "8 Days A Week" on American Idol.

By far, the best songs are "I Can't Tell You Why", sung by Vince Gill, and "Sad Cafe", covered by Lorrie Morgan. Of course, these songs are the last songs on either side of the tape, which in infuriating. How did we deal with this years ago? Rewinding, fast forwarding, flipping the damn thing over? It's just obnoxious! It was easier back when everything was on vinyl and you just counted the grooves and figured out where to drop the needle. One good note was that the tape was recorded in something called "Digalog" so the sound quality was actually not too bad.

All of this old school audio stuff made me smile twice as broadly when I saw a Chevette roll by me on the road. We had a maroon Chevette for many years, with sticky vinyl seats and a radio where you had to push the buttons to change stations. That was fun. I also spent a few minutes wondering how the TV repair shop and old school Mom N Pop hardware store (the place looks like it could be on the set of The Wonder Years) that I pass each day actually stay in business.

I'm also suddenly living with a tiny Squiggy from Laverne & Shirley as my 1 year old (he'll be two in September) has taken to saying "Hello" in the same way as that classic TV character. It's a little eerie and a lot funny.

Ferris Bueller had it right when he said, "The world moves fast. if you don't stop and look around once in a while, you might miss it."

Other random thoughts for you today...

I was a little too happy about the team from The Office winning on Celebrity Family Feud last night. I just love that entire cast, and I feel like I know them, since I listen to every commentary track on the DVDs and just follow the show so completely. I know, I may need help. But, you have to admit that it kicks ass that they picked a charity located in Scranton, PA to donate the $50K they won. That's too cool.

Finally, I have to admit that I know every word to the song "Bleeding Love" by Leona Lewis. That thing's catchy, even if it's a little gross and not terribly realistic in its lyrics. These are the things I think about, gang. That, and the fact that the new Big Brother should be a VAST improvement on the winter edition. Check out the Snap Judgements EJ & I made over at spunkybean!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Please Tell Me How to Feel

I'm so confused by this trainwreck called The Two Coreys on A&E. Being who I am, and having come of age in the 1980s, I greatly anticipated this show's first season, and was sorely let down. Turns out that Corey Feldman and his wife (who was the President of his fan club--wait, it gets better) are total douchebags. And it also turns out that the show was at least partially scripted and completely contrived. Like, nothing happening was real at all. Including the house we're led to believe is the Feldmans and the fact that Haim is depicted as a giant slob.

I didn't make it to the finale, in which Haim apparently blew up on Feldman's wife, Susie, and left town. I didn't intend to even peek in on Season 2. Somehow, though, I stumbled across it one night and was transfixed. This season is obstensibly about two things: The Coreys are in "couples" therapy, in the hopes of repairing their broken friendship, and Haim is working full time to get his once promising career back on track.

OK, the therapy thing is bizarre. Haim seems to be really trying and maybe even benefitting from his time with the shrink. Feldman just sits there like the asshat he so clearly is and always has been, talking about all his "projects". (The best was when he went to pitch some reality show with his manager, and was asked if there was any way they could get Haim to join the project. Ha!)

I feel for Corey Haim, as he was always, by far, my favorite Corey. I mean, c'mon, he was Lucas! This kid is all about talent and potential that was squandered by drugs and alcohol; he is the quintessential E! True Hollywood Story. To me, you have to root for the kid. Unless you're Corey Feldman, in which case you make fun of him. To which I say, shut up, ya tool bag. You married the president of your stupid fan club and just hired some clown who is your self-professed number one fan and who is all kinds of inappropriate once let into your house.

Reading various online forums about the show, I can't tell if Haim is really sober or not. His demeanor is certainly a little off, but I was just assuming it was from all the drugs he's done before and how addled his brain was by the stroke he had as a result. Some people are observing that he has habits inidicative of a meth head. I don't know. I want to believe what I'm being shown by A&E, because I want him to get back on track and have the redemption arc he truly needs. I would like Feldman to go away entirely. Maybe his new assistant can help me with that...

Monday, July 7, 2008

Sha La La La

Someone has issued me a challenge to blog every day this week. I am attempting to meet said challenge. I can't promise they'll all be gems, but I will write an entry every day this week, starting with yesterday's missive.

So, while I ate my lunch just now (does that salad really balance out the pizza and Oreos? No it does not.) I watched an old episode of Family Ties that I discovered on CBS's website of all places (they must own the production company or something) while I was waiting the announcement of the next Big Brother cast. (I know. I'm disgusted, too.)

ANYWAY...sure the "C" plot of Alex buying the family an answering machine is dated and only slightly funny, but I still think this show holds up as a solid family sitcom. I know we all love our irreverant, unconventional, uncomfortable sitcoms nowadays, but a well-made family sitcom is still deserving of a spot on a network schedule. The key, of course, is witty writing and good casting, both obvious, but neither are easy feats.

What I really noticed today was the excellence of Michael Gross' portrayal of Steven Keaton. He plays Steven as goofy yet deadly serious and he should be the example to which all TV Dads aspire to today. I caught an episode of The Bill Engval Show on TBS recently, and I think that show could have the goods if it gets the chance to grow, which it should on TBS. Heck, they have Tim Meadows as a neighbor, which is a good sign.

On the other hand, I also sought out an episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia on hulu this morning (I heard the Sklar Brothers on the radio this morning, and wanted to see them in said episode...their parts were too small, dammit!) and laughed my ass off.

I'm an enigma, people. It's gonna be a strange week.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

I'm Sorry, Have We Met?

Hi there! My name's Myndi and this is my blog. Not that you would know it from my stunning lack of presence lately. In my defense, things have been hectic with summer activities in full swing, a big merger going on at work (and me struggling to properly file all my TPS reports!) plus the big doins' over on spunkybean. I noticed in my last post that I mentioned my anticipation of the new Celebrity Family Feud. Well, it's on the air, and here's where you can find my very candid thoughts (plus some pretty big boobs--thanks to Don for that...) Now on to another summer show that I didn't really plan to watch, but I found to be a compelling mixture of fascinating and annoying once I tuned in.

The show is The Baby Borrowers on NBC. I'm sure you've at least heard the premise, which involves teen couples being given a nice suburban home and about 2 days to get settled before a real, live infant is handed over for 3 days by their parents for the kids to care for. The rest of the episodes will involve the teens caring for toddlers, preteens, teenagers themselves and then, I guess for fun(?), the elderly. I suppose this could help the kids determine if they're cut out to work in a nursing home...and we will need more people who can do that as the baby boomers age...hell, we need them now.

But I digress. The first two episodes focused on the kids adjusting to the idea of having a baby and just how much work it truly is. One of the couples was obviously quite good at the whole thing, from dealing with the pregnancy belly to setting up the nursery (including putting the crib together) and finally to caring for the child, all while barely a cross word passed between them. This was Sascha and Jordan. I hate to have to point out that they are the African American couple, but in the world of reality TV, a positive portrayal of an African American couple is something that must be noted. Sadly, the fact that they created next to no drama meant we barely saw them.

Next in terms of competence were Kelly and Austin, at least as far as caring for the child. Mostly, I think Kelly is concerned with playing house and playing tennis, all while looking her very best, but she was genuinely good with her baby, and even made dinner while Austin was out working for the day. If she could have just avoided the spazz out she had when she was told by producers to wear the pregnancy belly (which was uncomfortable--duh) that ended with her sobbing behind a locked bathroom door, she would have been the big winner. Then again, maybe she was just giving poor Austin a taste of what he's in for when those hormones kick in, figuring she's in good shape since he didn't run away screaming.

It went downhill from there, with Kelsey and Sean. Now, in fairness to Kelsey's apparently fragile psyche, they were given the youngest baby (Etta was only six months old) and she was given to their care by her mother, who is still nursing her, carries her in a sling at all times and co-sleeps with her. (I was afraid of that last one myself...I would've never slept a wink due to my intense fear of smothering my child.) So, poor Etta didn't take to Kelsey, likely out of massive confusion and a sense of Kelsey's fear, but she dug Sean, who wanted only to see his girlfriend stumble in this "experiment" (as the show is being called) and talk herself out of a desire to marry and have kids immediately. Kelsey was a basket case, but at least she wasn't selfish about the baby's needs.

Morgan and Daton epitomized one stereotype of today's teens, who are so self-absorbed they can't see setting aside their desires, whatever they may be, to please or take care of others. Then again, this is essentially every teenager, and they look like they may grow out of it. They had a very cute little one, whose dad came over to the house (all the parents could watch the goings on via monitors and intervene at any time) and very rationally calmed them down when his daughter was insanely fussy.

The cherry on top of this crazy sundae was Alicea and her well-meaning but overwhelmed boyfriend Corey. These two said they were the product of teen mothers so they figured having kids young would be best. Yeah, not if you're a spoiled, entitled brat who refuses to be patient, take advice, criticism, correction or guidance of any kind. Good luck and I will pray for any of your children. Corey was the only one to get up with their teething, miserable child at 3 am and even changed the poopy diapers. Alicea showed zero compassion for the poor little guy after she was dressed down by his mother on day one for giving up on trying to feed him baby food. She told him to "starve". In fairness, I guarantee you I've said that once or twice to my kids out of frustration, but I think this mother was afraid Alicea really meant it.

The biggest surprise was the lack of actual work experience among any of these ten kids. I understand that school work may be too much to work during the year, but how about a summer job? It's infuriating to watch some of the kids (ok, it was mostly Alicea) freak out at any criticism on the job and talk back to supervisors and so forth. Of course, the parents have to shoulder some blame for that. If nothing else, I've learned how crucial it is for me to have my kids begin some sort of job--anything--when they are young teens. They have to learn responsibility and how to behave in a workplace.

I think this show should be screened in high schools. Between the evil that is Paris Hilton and that pregnancy pact that was in the news, it's obvious that teens today think that babies are nothing more than accessories or toys and it's all fun and games. Talk to me at 4 am when you can't get the kid to let go of you or sleep or anything else. On second thought, don't. I've done it twice and I'm done. I'll be sleeping at 4am!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Don't Stop Believin'

Wow, once again, it's been too long since I've written anything here. I'm sure you've all (all four of you) found other things to occupy your time. I finally found something I thought was screaming to be shared. Two things, actually. First is this: the new singer for Journey, a man from the Philippines named Arnel Pineda. He sound so much like Steve Perry, long estranged from the band, that it gave me chills when I heard him sing. And he has a touching story of survival as an orphan in his native country that makes this feel like he's getting the opportunity of a lifetime as well, which is cool. Check out this snippet of him being talked about on Ellen a few months back:

On another topic, I watched Million Dollar Password this week, and was entertained, mostly by Neil Patrick Harris, but also sad that the game was not really Password, but rather an amalgam of $100,000 Pyramid, Password and Millionaire. Why can't we just have a nice, old fashioned game show set with slightly slicker production values? Oh no, we have to look we're taking a journey into space with Captain Regis at the helm, or it's simply not a 21st century game show! Please. I miss the days when everyone wore suits by Botany 500 and got Turtle Wax and Rice a Roni as conciliation prizes. I'm a little afraid of what the sets for Celebrity Family Feud and the new Gong Show are going to look like, but I will certainly watch and find out. I love me some classic game shows!!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

It's Tribe Time Now!

Wow! I have not posted to this blog in a very long time, have I? I guess having all my shows return from the strike in full force has limited my free time a bit.

But, I just had to share this gem from my favorite baseball team, the Cleveland Indians. Sure, the Wahoos aren't flying as high as I'd like them to be at this point in the season, but despite some woes, they're still only a game and a half back of the Twins in the very competitive AL Central.

Last night, in what turned out to be a loss, second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera still completed one of the rarest feats in the majors. He turned what is only the 14th unassisted triple play in the history of Major League Baseball. With a hit and run on, the runners at first and second were in motion as the hitter smacked a line drive at Cabrera. He then stepped on second and tagged the runner who would've been heading for third.

Honestly, it almost looks a little routine, but this is not something that happens often at all, as the statistics indicate. I'll choose to take it as a sign that big things are happening for the Indians this year. I'm really big into that right now. I'll explain another day.

Watch and enjoy history!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Beyond Random

First of all, I have to note that while I compose this, I'm watching one of my favorite movies no one has ever seen. It's called Playing By Heart and stars (check it out) Angelina Jolie, Sean Connery, Gena Rowlands, Ellen Burstyn, Dennis Quaid, Ryan Phillippe, Gillian Anderson and Jon Stewart. It's a quiet little movie about relationships, but it's beautifully acted and I am always amazed that it wasn't more successful just based on that cast.

How crazy is this picture? My cousin apparently flew from L.A. to Chicago on a plane with Mr. T, and she had the cajones to ask for a picture afterward, which, even though this man's fame peaked 20+ years ago, I still doubt I would have been able to do. Way to be, Suze! And good job spotting him without all that gold. Must make it easier for him to go through security, though, huh?

So, continuing on with the theme of family, this weekend was the beginning of the Passover holiday. We drove to Cleveland to have the seder with my parents, a meal that is fun when you have little kids. My mom went all out. She decorated the table with the seder plate I made in Sunday School in 1981, which is still awesome. She even picked up finger puppets that represented the ten plagues. When I asked where one could get such things, she said "I got them at Bed, Bath & Beyond. I guess this is the Beyond." No kidding!

I did something at my parents' that I haven't done in ages. I actually called the time and temperature. There were some computer issues and we weren't near a TV, so I actually picked up the phone and dialed the number. The best part was that there was a message that said the service might not be able to continue on without advertiser support. It asked callers to please EMAIL the reasons they want to keep the service going. Isn't that awesome? Because, honestly, how many of the people who routinely call the time and temp do you think even know what email is? I'm willing to bet it's a small percentage.

Some other random items:

I suddenly found myself missing Celebrity Poker Showdown the other day. I don't know why exactly, but it was sort of fun to watch some of the stars interact in that setting. And in the couple of years since it's gone off the air, so many great shows have come into their own and it would have been just phenomenal fun to watch table featuring the casts of shows like Lost, The Office and 30 Rock, among others.

I am now openly rooting for Cirie on Survivor: Fans vs. Favorites, based solely on her brilliant engineering of Ozzy's ouster this past week. Picking the exact right time to pounce when she knew he felt so comfortable he wouldn't play the hidden immunity idol? Genius.

On our trip, I discovered a business to business catalog in my husband's car which he had borrowed. Should I be concerned that he might develop feelings for one of the models? Some of them were quite attractive.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

SNL...funny bits

Although it was not the best of the season, last weekend's Saturday Night Live, hosted by Ashton Kutcher did have it's moments. The Cold Open was not one, as the thing went on for NINE MINUTES. Good Lord, it's called editing. But I did enjoy Ashton's monologue about the importance of a producer's job, the "Cougar Den" sketch (which I have not been able to find online, dammit!) and the little "Death By Chocolate" bumpers, one of which is below for your amusement.

And no post these days is complete without a link to spunkybean. This week we have the mix tape piece (audio of said tape is now linked to the article) and EJ's brilliant Breakfast Cereal Mascot investigation. The results may shock you, so be prepared. And, of course, there's always recaps of Dancing With the Stars, Big Brother, and American Idol and even an early review of Ironman to round out your day. See you there!

Monday, April 14, 2008


No, no not me! But thank you!

I have already watched and rewatched last week's triumphant return episodes of The Office and 30 Rock on TV and Hulu. I couldn't be happier, as a huge fan of both, to see them back and in fine form.

The Office ratcheted up the awkward factor to a disturbing level, but that's where we like it, isn't it? There are so many amazing things happening in this episode--from Jan's Andy Warhol-esque picture of herself on the wall (see the clip below) to her former assistant Hunter's song, to Dwight's "carnal" relationship with his babysitter and Michael's hand-shaped chairs. I could go on and on. What this episode proved is that you don't need Jim and Pam to have a fight or any other standard sitcom angst to keep this show moving. It's in a class almost by itself in the way it can take a situation and turn it on it's head thanks to these insane yet somehow endearing characters and their mundane lives. Just watch the clip of "The Tour":

I say almost by itself because 30 Rock is right there too, except it can be even wackier, in a sense. This week's episode was a callback to an early season reference to a show Jack had in development called MILF Island, which is now airing on bizarro-NBC (Jerry Seinfeld is one of its executive producers, as a matter of fact). It features terms like "erection cove", "you've kept it tight" and "we no longer want to hit that". Aren't we just inches away from this show, anyway? And the whole thing was just a metaphor for Liz trying to frame any other member of her staff for calling Jack a "Class A Moron" in the elevator while unknowingly bitching about him to a Page Six reporter. As usual, it's Alec Baldwin who makes the episode, and I think I almost hyperventilated during this scene:

If you need some more fun this sunny Monday, bop on over to spunkybean, where you will find my idea of the ultimate summer mix tape...

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

I Am Giddy

In case you have not been paying attention, this Thursday will mark the triumphant return of The Office from its strike-induced hiatus! I was excited before, but when I saw this interview clip and the other preview clips for the episode on Hulu, I squealed with delight. I really don't know if I can get through the next 48 hours or so, honestly.

Also, I have to tell you all how much I've been enjoying watching classic episodes of The Mary Tyler Moore Show over on Hulu as well. Sure, some of the furniture and costumes are dated (though not as many costumes as one might think!), but most of the humor still resonates as well as it did when the show debuted a whopping 38 years ago. And best of all, it's not like watching a clip on You Tube, where the quality is haphazard. If you don't want to go out and buy a DVD set, I think this is best way to watch free TV on the Internet.

And don't forget to head over to spunkybean to read my Dancing With the Stars and Big Brother recaps as well as other scintillating stuff, like how monkeys control the universe. It's true. If you haven't checked the site in a while, please stop by soon!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

More sitcom stuff

Well, as it turns out that, after just three airings, The Return of Jezebel James is being put of its misery. And mine, frankly. Fox is going to air Bones re-runs in its place for the forseeable future. If you want to regain your faith in Parker Posey, go ahead and watch Waiting for Guffman or Best in Show. Girlfriend is great in those. Heck, I'd even suggest the little seen Josie and the Pussycats. It's one of my favorite movies that no one's ever seen, and she's hillariously over-the-top in it.

As for Britney's big appearance on How I Met Your Mother last night? Let's just say she wasn't awful! I'm not saying she was good or anything, but she didn't ruin the show, so there's that. I thought the episode was worlds better than the previous week, and I really liked Josh Radnor and Sarah Chalke together. That two minute date at the end had me grinning from ear to ear, but I'm a sap like that. Did you hear her say she was at a St. Patrick's Day party? She is at least a candidate for being "the mother", dontcha think? I haven't seen the ratings yet, so I don't know if all of the Britney press had an impact on the numbers, but my fingers are crossed. I'm going to be furious if CBS cancels this show!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Three Very Different Comedies

I actually got to watch some fresh, new sitcoms this week. I wish I could say all three were insanely funny, but that distinction is reserved for just one, Miss Guided.

Judy Greer stars as Becky Freely, a once mousy student who returns to her old high school to be a guidance counselor. She has settled in and even has a good friend/potential love interest in Tim O'Malley, the shop teacher who's been forced to teach Spanish, which he doesn't speak, creating a few funny subplots. Then, the former head cheerleader, Lisa Germain (played by Brooke Burns, most famous to me for things like dating Bruce Willis, having a baby with Julian McMahon and breaking her neck in a diving accident, but who also acts) returns as an English teacher and sudden rival for Tim's attention. This makes Becky, who's still a little ditsy and living with her mom, feel like she's back in high school all over again.

Chris Parnell, aka Dr. Leo Spaceman from 30 Rock, co-stars as the Vice Principal, Bruce, and he's spot-on; perfect in small doses. The cast is stellar across the board, and the show hit all the right notes in each of the three episodes that aired. I was interested in these people from the get-go and, although there are some silly set-ups, the situations as a whole are believable. Unfortunately, the ratings have not been very good and ABC is choosing to double-pump the show on Thursday nights, an obvious move to burn off what they bought. Well, you never know, right?

Week 2 of The Return of Jezebel James was slightly better, but still feeling super-contrived. I was happy to find out that Coco's real name is Caroline, though. Turns out she doesn't like needles, which is going to make pregnancy that much more fun. It just seems like ASP did not flesh there characters out as much as she should have. We have no real idea what drives them, besides the fact that Sarah seems to be a little OCD. I keep waiting for Parker Posey to ask Lauren Ambrose, "where is busy bee?!" I mean, when she's playing someone more high-strung than her Best In Show character? Oy vey.

Finally, we had the return of How I Met Your Mother, post-strike. This episode had a St. Patrick theme, but I have a feeling that it was written before the strike and adjusted accordingly. I didn't so much as chuckle at Marshall and Lily's crooked apartment and there just wasn't much new in Barney and Ted's adventure at the party. Definitely felt like a placeholder. Next we have the big Britney appearance, which is good for publicity, if nothing else. And, even when it's sub par, I do love HIMYM.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

My I-Pod is a Scary Place

I like to do this every once in a while--document the sequence of songs my i-pod plays on shuffle and note how it kind of relates to stuff; or not. Yeah, it's totally random, but if I can't amuse myself, then what's the point?!

Yesterday afternoon, I was listening to some old school Mariah Carey from her first CD back in 1990. I loved her then, as opposed to now, when I fast-forwarded through her SNL performances this week. My favorite song has to be "Vanishing", which was not a single, so allow me to share it with you. No one can deny this woman has, or at least had, killer pipes.

So, when I headed for the car and hit shuffle, I was thrilled to first hear one of my all-time favorite Stevie Wonder songs, "As (Always)", which was a good segue out of Mariah. When the next song was 'I Write the Songs" by Barry Manilow, I just knew I had to play my little game, because, as the title says, my i-pod is a scary place. Here's what followed:

"The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead" by XTC. Sure, that's a natural transition! A seriously great band.

"Welcome Back" by John Sebastian. Clearly, my i-pod has been watching NBC promos for the return of Thursday comedies. (And it wants to impress EJ, too.)

"I Learned From the Best" by Whitney Houston. This is a little more recent Whitney, when she was probably big into the crack, but she's still awesome when she goes to town on these power ballads.

"Little Tiny Song" by Barenaked Ladies. And it is only one minute long, thank goodness. One of the dumbest things ever on a BNL CD, and I have all but one of them.

"The River" by Garth Brooks. Now, I am not a country fan, but I love Garth Brooks. It probably has a lot to do with him being at his zenith when I was in college, which I attended in Southern Ohio, where people speak with accents as if they are in the actual south, for some reason. But Garth does transcend his genre.

"Three Hits" by Indigo Girls. Gimme a pair of birkenstocks, stat! One of the best bands ever, especially when it comes to their lyrics. Don't argue with me.

"Walking in Memphis" by Mark Cohen. I am partial to Mark because he is from Cleveland, like me, and mentions places I've been, like parks and streets, in his lyrics. My husband and I also danced to his song "True Companion" at our wedding. While I listened, I decided if given the chance, Michael Johns should totally sing this song on American Idol.

"Watching the Wheels" by John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Basically, another Idol-centric thought, although I hope no one attempts to sing this tonight...

"Fake Your Way to the Top" (from Dreamgirls) by Eddie Murphy. Man, was he robbed of that Oscar. The scene where he shot heroin after everyone tried to get him not to? No matter what other weird shit Eddie gets into, he acted his ass off in that movie. Period.

"Calling Baton Rouge" by Garth Brooks. Apparently, the i-pod was feeling a little bit country. Now, this tune is super twangy, but I love it. Don't ask me to explain these things. I also love that it's about the guy stopping to call a chick in Louisiana as he drives...somewhere else, probably in an eighteen wheeler. The funny part is that he needs money for the pay phone. How quickly things change.

Hope you've enjoyed this window into my warped little mind!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Monday Fun!

Here's a quick little quiz that will brighten up your cold Monday (that, and maybe some green beer, right?)!


It's an audio 70's music quiz! Thanks to my dad for sending it to me. I actually missed one (95%), for which I am ashamed, but I'd love to see how you all do. Take the quiz and post your results in the comments section!


Sunday, March 16, 2008

My Two Cents

So, I watched The Return of Jezebel James--both episodes--and was not really impressed. There's Amy Sherman-Palladino, Parker Posey and Lauren Ambrose (plus Dianne Weist as their mom) but it just didn't work. But, wait! The last scene gave me a glimmer of hope and encouraged me to set the DVR for next week. Posey, who was playing so opposite type as a shrill, hyper-organized, overly-girly Sarah that she gave me whiplash, toned down that persona to finally have a normal conversation with Ambrose, playing her sister, in the last minutes of the show, and it actually made me smile.

Lauren Ambrose, who is still playing Claire Fisher at this point, doesn't have a lot do in the first two episodes, except look disheveled and hate Posey. What really bugs me is her name--Coco. This name conjures images of Irene Cara in Fame and Courtney Cox's kid (also, Cocoa Puffs, which are delicious!) but it so doesn't work for this character. I'd like them to tell me in a future outing that this is a name she made up for herself and her real name is something like, I don't know, Karen.

But, look--there's Scott Cohen, aka Max Medina, as Sarah's boyfriend! There's something here, I swear, they just haven't hit the nail on the head yet.

On the contrary, SNL was "on" once again this week! Although I could really do without that Target sketch ever again (and, is it just me, or are Jonah Hill's forearms alarmingly skinny?) I loved the inevitable Elliot Spitzer cold open, the Benihana sketch with Jonah playing a six-year-old as Catskills comedian, the Suze Orman skit (including an answer as to where she gets all her jackets!) and Kristen's awesomely spot-on impression of her, and the Digital Short in which Jonah sat Andy Samberg down to tell him that he was dating his dad, Ben Samberg (played by Jack Handey, of "Deep Thoughts" fame). That make-out session was both disturbing and hilarious. Update saw the return of "Really?! with Seth and Amy", which routinely kills me, and Tracy Morgan doing a sort of belated point-counterpoint to Tina's three-week-old "bitch is the new black" by saying "but Black is the new President!" I just feel like the show is kicking ass right now, and I hope another Christopher Walken hosting gig in a couple weeks can continue the streak. I need more cowbell!!!

See y'all over at the 'bean this week, where I will explain why I love TV, plus breakdown DWTS and Big Brother for you. Read 'em even if you don't watch. I promise you'll enjoy!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Hulu & Housecalls & Dancing, Oh My!

I am so excited about this newly public site, Hulu.com, (full disclosure--my cousin works there) and I invite anyone who is reading this to check it out! They've got full episodes of great current shows like The Office, Family Guy and 30 Rock to name a few, as well as classic shows like Doogie Howser, Welcome Back, Kotter plus tons more...even sports and movies, old and new! It's all free to the user with minimal commericals. That's right, the site is ad-supported, so don't worry about any fees. And the quality of the video is primo. There is also a really cool feature for us blogging-type folk, where you can create your own clips to embed to your site (or even just to email to friends) by grabbing a full episode and changing the start and end times to suit your needs. No more of me attempting to transcribe the funniest scene from 30 Rock for you, I'll just embed the clip! Will it revolutionize the ever changing entertainment industry? Wait and see!

As I've shared before, I am recapping the current season of Big Brother over on spunkybean, and now that they've disbanded the couples, the game is actually ON! Now, I still don't have anyone to genuinely root for (these people all kind of suck), but it's a lot more fun all of a sudden. And, I've also rediscovered my love for Housecalls, the Big Brother talk show at cbs.com, that airs Monday thru Friday. Big Brother alums Danielle, Kaysar, Bunky and last year's winner, Evel Dick, join host Gretchen Massey each day and take calls from viewers. It's all archived here. The thing is, as much as I hated Dick by the end of last season, I love him in this capacity! It's really unnerving.

Lastly, don't forget that a new season of Dancing With the Stars is almost upon us--starting this Monday, March 17th. EJ and I will be recapping it together for spunkybean; one week I'll handle the performance episode and he'll take the results, then we'll switch it up. He's convinced I'll excel at discussing the fancy footwork of Mr. Steve "No, I didn't write the Bible" Guttenberg. I'm just trying to brush up on my dance lingo. Join us, won't you?

Monday, March 3, 2008

Rock N Roll Heaven

It's been a while and I could talk about a bunch of different things, but I don't want to keep you too long. First of all, I was sad to hear Jeff Healey died today. He was the blind guitarist who had his biggest hit song in the late 80s with a tune called "Angel Eyes". He was only 41-years-old and died of cancer. Major bummer. But, on the other end of the spectrum, I may be late to the party, but I just found out about Hard Rock Park, a rock n' roll theme park set to open on June 2, 2008! Dude! I have four words for you: Led Zepplin: The Ride. Sweet! There's also a suspended roller coaster called Slippery When Wet. Bitchin'! I feel like grabbing a can of Aquanet and some ripped jeans and road trippin' down to Myrtle Beach, SC, for the grand opening, where The Eagles and The Moody Blues will do the honors.

I hope by now you've all caught the SNL version of the democratic debate, but in case you haven't, check out a clip of it here, along with the real Hillary and her doppleganger, Amy Poehler. Hilarious.

And, let the Juno backlash begin! Andy Samberg was dressed in drag, as Diablo Cody at the Oscars, during Ellen Page's monologue. I haven't been able to find it online, but it was pretty damn funny. Ellen made a solid effort, but she didn't really get a lot to do. I felt a little bad for her in the "Virginiaca" sketch, as I think it's hard to top Justin Timberlake and Scarlett Johanson's turns as the rich white stepdaughters of a large black woman.

Oh, just a couple quick thoughts on Project Runway: I was a little squicked out by Chris' use of human hair as fringe in his collection, and though I enjoyed his personality, I think Rami was the clear choice to join Christian and Jillian at Fashion Week. I'm excited to be baffled and amazed by what they all send down the runway in the finale!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

It's Oscar Weekend

Though I have seen a grand total of one of the Best Picture nominees, I am still rather excited for tonight's big event. It might be the live blogging, I don't know. Apparently, so is Lisa Rinna, who works the Red Carpet for E! Yesterday, perusing my latest People magazine, I was made privy to her pre-awards regimen, and it is kind of a scary comment on how obsessed one can be with one's looks. She gets Botox every three weeks, some other dermatological peel of some sort, admits to taking Dexatrim (What is this, 1987? Oh, it's the "all natural green tea formula", whatev!) and even has a hysterical picture in the mag where she's trying to look all windblown while "running" with light weights. (Not that I doubt she exercises, girlfriend is ripped.)

The day of the show, she eats a banana and Red Bull for breakfast and her lunch consists of a "half an omlette" (can't you just make a smaller omlette?) and turkey bacon. The funniest thing in this article is where she insists her lips are natural. I can't believe she thinks anyone would believe that, considering she looks like that singing Bass that was all the rage not too long ago. Up on the right is some photographic evidence to disprove her statement.

Last night was the return of Saturday Night Live after the lengthy strike-imposed hiatus. My girl Tina Fey hosted, and she did a great job, especially in the Rock of Love sketch, the commercial for Annuale (the pill that creates annual periods, and which implores you that when you do get your period you better "hold on to your f'in hat!") the game show "What's that Bitch Talkin' About?" (where the grand prize was a '92 Canary Yellow Mazda Protege) and in her guest stint on Weekend Update. She had great one-liners about Kirstie Alley swearing she's kept her weight off ("She knows we can see her, right?") and Lindsay Lohan's nude photos ("finding new and different ways to look old"). As for Hillary Clinton being perceived as a bitch, Tina may have had a point when she rebuffed that by saying, "Bitches get stuff done!"

I hope that EJ saw the Celebrity Apprentice spoof, which had mutations like Celebrity Apprentice: Special Victims Unit (with Mary Jo Buttafucco and John Mark Karr, plus his fave, Gene Simmons, as a judge in a task that required them to make a porno). Also, at the goodnights, Tina brought out Don Pardo, the longtime NBC announcer, who started at the network in 1944 and just turned 90-years-old! Honestly, he looks about 75 to me.

My very favorite part, though, was this, from Tina's monologue, where she addressed the strike (yes, I am rewound and paused the DVR multiple times to get this all down. Leave me alone.) "We were able to raise the rate of writers' compensation for ad supported electronic sell thru downloads from a flat rate of $600 for 26 weeks, per 100,000 downloads, to a percentage of .036% of a distributor's gross of any ad revenue generated by said streaming after an initial window of 17 days, starting in 3 years. So, yeah!" TV is back!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Good News

I read this today at tvguide.com and just wanted to share:

Question: Just 50 days until new 30 Rock episodes! Spoilers, please! — Joel

Ausiello: Jack Donaghy's dream of creating a TV show that strands a bunch of middle-aged whores-for-hire on a deserted island is about to become a reality. Rock is casting a slew of attractive females in their late thirties to early fifties to serve as contestants on the fictitious "MILF Island". The twist? The male contestants courting the hot mamas on the show-within-a-show are described as being "of eighth-grade age." Yep, 30 Rock's back, folks. Rejoice!

I can hardly wait! And you know, we don't have too wait much longer than two days for a heapin' helpin of Tina Fey! She'll be back at the old stomping grounds, hosting SNL this weekend! Too many exclamation points? Never!

Can you believe the Oscars are this weekend? We are planning to live blog it over at spunkybean, so come check us out!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sunday Morning Musings

OK, so technically, it's Sunday afternoon, but these musings have been in my head all morning. It just took me a bit to make it to the computer.

First of all, congrats to my spunkybean colleague, EJ, on his first "blogiversary". Why doesn't Hallmark make a card for such a momentous occasion? It's nice to get something other than bills in the mail, ya know? I think I'm gonna make a call. Anyway, good job EJ! We often joke that we share a brain on all things pop culture, but one area in which he has me beat hands down is Lost. If you're like me, and often find yourself fascinated but totally confused, look no further than EJ's recaps of each episode on the 'bean. He's super-insightful and also obsessed, which only benefits his readers.

Onto Survivor, where the "Fans vs Favorites" edition recently kicked off with the first tribal council vote-off (or "quit", if you ask Probst) of Jon Dalton, whose stupid nickname I will not repeat. Good riddance. This week, more time was spent with the "Fans" as the show attempted to introduce these ten people. As usual, it's going to take a while to get really exciting. I mean, the poor girl who got kicked off, Mary, had made no impression beyond the way she filled out a bikini. But, she was apparently alligned with the guy--Mikey B (ew, stop that)--who had big plans to run the show, only to be stopped by Joel, who is very large and hulking. Meanwhile, the goofy 40-something lady who still wears pigtails and looks a little like Ruth Buzzi is still there. (I know, I know, she had an immunity idol--it's gone now, as she soon will be). Also, Ozzy, sweetie? Word of advice. If you want to keep Amanda around for some more jungle lovin', best not to try to unhinge your jaw and swallow her whole, OK? Just relax.

Celebrity Apprentice
drags along as well. I was sucked in early, and thus cannot escape its grasp. This week, Omarosa came full circle and was back in megabitch mode, calling Piers Morgan nasty names, bringing up his personal life and family in the context of a game show where money is being raised for charity, all in an effort to get him fired. Can we stop indulging this woman already and banish her from TV? Also, Stephen Baldwin called upon the cutest Baldwin, Billy, to help his cause this week. (For those keeping score, Alec is by far the most awesome Baldwin, but Billy's very pretty.) I totally saw Billy having drinks at bar at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills with Chazz Palminteri last August. Of course, no one I was with knew that's who he was having drinks with. (This is why you people call me at all hours of the day and night. Because I know this stuff!) So, who's Stephen going to trot out next? His sister-in-law Chynna Phillips? Maybe she can get that big Wilson Phillips reunion together. You know you want it. If you want some more laughs, EJ has the task of recapping this as well.

American Idol is kickin' into high gear at long last, with the announcement of their Top 24 this past week. A lot of these kids sound pretty good, but there are also many we've never seen before, which drives me buggy. Don has gone into painstaking detail on all of this, and I have a feeling he may even talk to someone who made the Top 50, but got no screentime, in the very near future. It'll all be at--you guessed it--spunkybean.com!

Project Runway is wrapping up, and they eliminated Sweet P this week, which was to be expected. She was a nice lady and made some nice stuff, but doesn't have all the tools to do an entire line. I agree that Christian and Jillian do, as long as the latter gives herself enough time to complete things. And that leaves Rami and Chris to have a "Three Look-Off" for the last spot at Bryant Park. Sounds like something out of West Side Story. You know the producers were snickering when they let Rami loose in the Greek and Roman room on the Metropolitan Museum of Art to get his inspiration for the last challenge. Like he even cared about the other two rooms he had to choose from. Giving Rami to choice to drape or not to drape is like giving Amy Winehouse the choice to smoke crack or not. The answer is obvious. I still think he'll end up beating Chris for the spot.

Lastly, if you're into Big Brother at all, I'm your girl. This special winter season started out of the gate quickly with the "couples" twist, meaning that the houseguests play in teams of two, including being voted off that way. Precious few of these people are very bright or very mature (I actually watched a little of Big Brother After Dark last night, and it was one of the most vapid things I've ever seen. But I watched it for about a half hour anyway.) and the crazy factor is way high. You have at least a month until anything new comes back, so please, join me!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Runway Update

We are finally getting down to the nitty gritty on Project Runway. I think I read (and must still confirm) that the finale airs on my birthday, 3/5. (When I will turn 35. Funny!) This past week, the six remaining designers had to make costumes for the WWE Divas, a challenge that was Chris' to lose. We saw more of Rami draping, and more of Ricky crying, so it was just another day in the workroom, really.

The highlight was Sweet P, Chris and Christian (who is about one hundred times more likeable when he's happy) sewing and discussing what their wrestling names (completely different from porn names, I guess) and signature move would be. Sweet P would be "Spread Eagle" and her move would be "The Thighs"; Chris would be "Wonderwoman", who would smother men with her large breasts; and Christian would be "Feroctia Coutura" and he'd spray girls in the eyes with hairspray. It was all rather cute and endearing.

Then the skanky-looking WWE Divas walked the runway, and the oddball Heatherette designers were guest judges. Christian did a getup of black leather and lace that included chaps; Jillian designed a Sporty Spice-esque electric blue deal; Ricky made an orange bathing suit; Rami did some hot pink confection that would never work in a wrestling ring; Sweet P copped out with a silver bra and short combo with a flowing robe; while Chris won the day by kickin' out a leopard print top with criss-cross straps and sequined black shorts that he said were all meant to embody a "caged animal".

And, at last, Ricky and his stupid engineer hat were gone! At this point, though I like her personally, the only one I think can't hang is Sweet P. Should be interesting to see who makes it to Bryant Park.

More thought on some of my other favorite reality shows soon. Thanks for reading!


Well, it would seem our long, national nightmare is nearing an end! WGA bigwigs approved of the deal worked out by the guild and the producers. Now, it's really just a matter of voters ratifying the deal with a vote on Tuesday. Showrunners are heading back to work tomorrow, so my guess is that the vote is a foregone conclusion and scribes will be back on Wednesday!

If you're interested in a show-by-show breakdown of when your faves will likely return and in what quantity, click here.

Friday, February 8, 2008

A Very Special Episode of Family Ties

On Thursday, the cast of one of the greatest family sitcoms ever sat down with Matt Lauer to help their creator, Gary David Goldberg, plug his new memoir, Sit, Ubu, Sit. I have to admit, I got a little choked up at seeing Steven, Elyse, Mallory, Alex and Jennifer reunited (Skippy and Nick were missed. Little Andy? Not so much) for, according to Michael Gross, the first time in 18 years! As a longtime fan (like many of you girls, the man's face was all over my walls at one point), it's not really easy to watch Michael J. Fox battle Parkinson's Disease, but I certainly admire him. If you are interested, his book is really good.

It was interesting that at one point Matt asked if any of them thought the show could be on the air today, and no one really thought so. I've said as much myself. We've gotten to the point where broadcasters air mostly adult sitcoms, while leaving anything even remotely family-oriented to the likes of Disney and Nickelodeon, who have to make the shows so squeaky clean that they wouldn't dare deal with issues of molestation, teenage drinking or drug abuse as shows like Family Ties, Growing Pains, Facts of Life and Different Strokes did. These shows were meant to create dialogue between parents and kids about these touchy subjects, and though we may laugh now, I'm guessing they helped more that a few families talk about some tough stuff back in the day.

Anyway, they all look great, and it was nice, long interview, so I thought I'd share it here. They did another segment with Al where they took some e-mail questions, which is also on the Today site, so look for it. I'll be back with some Project Runway thoughts, among other things, soon. In the meantime...Sha-la-la-la....

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Whoa, Mama

It's been another strange and busy week. Sick kids, sick husband, lots of deadlines at work, snowstorms and freezing temperatures. And that lovely combination of elements brings me to my topic today. A few days ago, I had the distinct pleasure of taking my one-year-old to the pediatrician. He had just woken up in time for us to make the appointment, so I took him in his pjs. Another mother came in moments later with her little boy, also clad in a sleeper. We smiled politely.

My son was perched in my lap, not quite sure about this other kid. "How old is he?" asked the other mom. "Oh, um, about 17 months", I said, "How old is your little boy?"

"Gabey will be 27 months on Saturday!" she said. I forced a smile. Give it up woman, your kid is TWO. I had to spend another twenty minutes in the waiting room with them, and Max just watched as little Gabey played with the toys, his mother practically jumping off the bench every time he uttered a word in anything that resembled English. "Oh, Gabey, you said car! Car! Mama's so proud! Mama loves you! I love you so much!" I smiled to myself, since my 17-month-old had superior language skills to someone almost a year older. That's right, I'm raising a genius.

And then, I heard this, which I found rather disturbing, "Is that your tongue? Come here! Come here and let Mama kiss that tongue!" WHAT?! It was at that point that the nurse called us back and I thanked God.

Monday, January 28, 2008

It's Been Crazy!

So sorry to any of you've who have checked the blog in the past few days for the dearth of new content. I was busy over at spunkybean, live blogging the 14th Annual SAG Awards (check out the transcript here), which was a rousing success. We're going to try it again for some other big events, so please check the site for details. I'll be sure to remind you here as well. The site is getting more traffic than ever before, and we're excited to unveil a new, more user-friendly look very soon. I promise you'll love it!

In the meantime, Project Runway plods along. Is it me, or is this season taking kind of a long time? This past week, the designers were sponsored by Levis...challenged to make an "iconic look" using only denim. Even though Christian's motorcross jean was very creative (but made only for supermodels, trust me), Rami got crazy with some zippers as seams and Sweet P made a super-slimming, patchwork denim strapless dress...annoying, possibly bi-polar Ricky won with a (snooze) boring cocktail dress. The only thing I liked about it was that he used a buttonfly up the front of the dress. And then he broke down on the runway when he won. Heidi was annoyed: "What's up with you?" I just shook my head. Oh hey--did you know Ricky designs lingerie? Me neither!

Poor Jillian, who has yet to learn a damn thing about time management, bit off way more than she could chew with an overly complicated coat design that left the judges underwhelmed. But it was humorless Victorya, whom Jillian felt was a copycat, who fell asleep at the wheel and crashed the denim truck. Her coat was probably something I could make if given a few quick pointers, and I can barely sew a button, as I may have mentioned before. She was aufed.

And my Christian love was short-lived, as it seems he annoys his fellow designers with his raging immaturity. Nevertheless, I think we'll be stuck with him until the bitter end.

The best part of the episode? Tim Gunn rocking a blue blazer and jeans. I know he plays for the other team and he's way too old for me, but what a silver fox!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Circus of the Stars Returns!

Well, not really, but NBC did greenlight this piece of junk from Endemol Entertainment, the good people who bring you Deal or No Deal and Big Brother. The thing that gave me the biggest laugh in the press release was this paragraph:

"This show will draw our favorite celebrities out of their comfort zone and into a stunning and magical circus environment that allows them to showcase their unseen skills," said Plestis. "It's a fresh concept from our friends at Endemol and is unlike anything else currently in the TV landscape."

So many untruths in there. First of all, I highly doubt this show will feature very many of my favorite celebrities. Secondly, I really don't think many actors secretly practice tightrope walking or lion taming, or even driving a tiny motorcycle around in one of those metal cages. And most of all, this is anything but a "fresh concept." I happened to catch a few minutes (OK, fine, hours) of I Love the 80's 3D this past weekend, and they totally showed a whole package of Circus of the Stars clips...Brooke Shields training dogs, Slater and Zack on the trapeze and Allan Thicke being sat on by a donkey, which I didn't really think was a skill. Anyway, this ain't nothin' new, is all I'm saying. Also, "stunning and magical"? Really? Maybe if you're five.

What they really need to bring back, and do it correctly (not with stupid reality stars and eliminations), is Battle of the Network Stars. I want to see Hugh Laurie against Steve Carell and Patrick Dempsey in that kick-ass obstacle course with the tires, and I want to see it now!

And since I'm here, let me remind you to check out spunkybean for all your American Idol and Celebrity Apprentice recap needs once again. Coming soon: Lost and Big Brother, which is my assignment, God help me.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Well...that's a bummer

There I was, driving home, and all set to blog about some more really crappy-sounding reality shows that are upcoming, when I get a phone call from one of the Queen's loyal subjects, Mindy, telling me that Heath Ledger was found dead in his apartment. "What? You've got to be (bleeping) kidding me!" was my immediate response. And, really, I think we all know he was a fairly eccentric guy, and it surprises exactly no one that he had a substance abuse problem, but the guy was rapidly becoming a damn fine actor. He'd come quite a long way from 10 Things I Hate About You to his acclaimed and heartbreaking performance in Brokeback Mountain. As I understand it, he has at least two more films in the can, the biggest by far being The Dark Knight, wherin he dares to take on the iconic Jack Nicholson by playing a younger, creepier, eminently more psychotic version of The Joker. And from the trailer, it looks like he succeeds.

With his untimely death, the movie becomes an even bigger draw than it would have been (which was already HUGE), as well as an eerie tableau to the star's life. It will be fascinating (to me anyway) to see how this all unfolds. Is it like, Belushi, Phoenix and Farley all over again, or something else entirely?

On another movie-related note, the Oscar nominations were announced today for a show that may not necessarily go on (read my piece on award shows in danger here). I'm always behind on movies, so I can only add my joy at Juno getting nominations for Best Picture, Director, Actress and Original Screenplay. And send EJ my condolences on the fact that The Simpsons Movie got dissed in a big way. That's crap. They couldn't nominate a fourth animated feature? And I'm sorry, Ratatouille was cute, in its way, but it's never going to be OK for a kitchen to be teeming with rats, even if they've all washed their hands. A quick look at the top categories, based almost 100% on what I've read and heard, breaks down this way:

--It would seem Best Picture will come down to There Will Be Blood and No Country For Old Men, two movies I will see when I have approximately nine hours to kill.
--Best actor has to be between two Oscar darlings: George Clooney, the matinee idol, and Daniel Day-Lewis, who is batshit crazy and scares people he works with, but is an amazing actor.
--I'd say Best Actress is sort of wide open, with an eclectic group of performances, so I will openly root for Ellen Page, which would be super cool, and Laura Linney, who always rocks. The Savages looks like a great movie.
--Best Director is often a puzzler, with some movies getting nominated for Best Picture, without the Director making the short list. This year, that movie is Atonement. The rest match up. I'll root for Jason Reitman, of course, but I'm guessing he won't get the nod.
--I'd say both supporting categories go to the old-timers, in Hal Holbrook and Ruby Dee, but really I have no idea. Did you ever think you'd see the day that Casey Affleck got an Oscar nomination? After 200 Cigarettes, I kinda figured it was over. Shows what I know.

Monday, January 21, 2008

You Gotta Go...

...over to spunkybean to check out EJ's new Celebrity Apprentice recap. It's awesome as usual. Try not to drink while you're reading, as many a keyboard has been lost already. Also, as I surfed today, I was amused and heartened to see The Moldy Peaches, a band enjoying huge acclaim on the Juno soundtrack, playing the delightful "Anyone but You" on The View. The guest prior to the band? General Colin Powell. Go figure. For my recent review of the soundtrack as a whole, which is fabulous (the soundtrack I mean!), click here.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Team Mellow & Team Fierce

I always say I don't really care who wins The Amazing Race, but, invariably, I find myself either pouting or jumping up and down with glee as the winning team hits the mat. Tonight, I was thrilled that TK and Rachel came away with the win. It seemed like Ron and Chris had the thing sown up, and TK looked like he was about to jump out of his skin in that last cab, but ultimately, Rachel's resolve to stay calm paid off. I really, really have to remember that and apply it to my own life. I mean, how funny was it when Chris was standing at that last roadblock, mumbling, "The freakin' chicken was in freakin' Burkina Faso, then the freakin' Netherlands..." It was the most animated that girl was on the whole race.

I will begrudgingly give her dad kudos for his improved behavior toward his daughter, but on the mat did he actually say that "for once, I finally mean it when I say I love you"? I mean, I didn't rewind the DVR, so maybe I'm misquoting, but that's just piss poor, even if my quote is just a little right. Gee thanks, DAD. This poor girl has clearly struggled for this man's approval quite literally her entire life, and that's just crazy. Good luck to them.

And Nick and Don? Well, once they started out the leg by leaving the bag of supplies at the store, I had a feeling they were doomed. I had to chuckle though, every time they'd get to another destination and Don would bellow, "Come on, Nick!", as he was so clearly exasperated with his grandson for misreading the clue. And he didn't mince words, as is the usual with my little Rudy 2.0. I believe he's what they called "colorful" back in the day. They finished a distant third, but they were proud just to complete the race, and I can't say I blame them.

And, then there was my favorite part of each Race finale...all the other teams, many long since forgotten by yours truly, standing at the finish line to welcome the winners and runners-up. Hi, annoying best friends out first! Howdy, lesbian ministers! What's up, Azaria and Hendekea, hope you're not still bitter! Oh, and there's Kent and Vixen, she with her long pink hair blowing in the Alaskan breeze, while he practices his fey little waving and clapping from side to side as TK and Rachel arrive. Oh, Vixen, wake up and smell the pancake makeup already!

OK, fine, Project Runway, ya got me. I don't completely hate Christian anymore. He's annoying and has a massive sense of entitlement, but he is, after all, 21-years-old. Bottom line, the kid has some talent and is very proficient at both design and garment construction. It would seem a foregone conclusion that he and his "ferosh" (short for "ferocious") persona will be showing at Bryant Park.

This was a stressful episode of PR, as the eight remaining designers would have to team up once again, this time to design an avant garde piece based on the outrageous hairstyles the models displayed at the start of the challenge.

We saw a pretty big diva come out in Rami, as he was just crappy to his teammate Sweet P. It was to the point where she reported that he was "letting her do" the second half of the challenge, which was to design a ready-to-wear counterpart to their original concept. Thanks, King Rami. In the end, she got her revenge...her piece, a gunmetal gray, off-the-shoulder dress, was much more warmly received by the judges than Rami's umpteenth exercise in draping.

Kit & Ricky designed a hoop skirt with an apron...which kind of looked like something Sofia Coppola turned down for Marie Antoinette. And the ready-to-wear dress that Ricky made was super-cheap looking.

The there was Team Stressball, aka Jillian and Victorya. These two women are both such perfectionists, it's painful to watch them race to meet a deadline. They pulled off a dazzling look, which consisted of a stunning trenchcoat with a ruffled bottom half, over a gorgeous blouse and pant combo. They also made a bit of a throwaway ready-to-wear dress, but it at least coordinated with the avant garde look, unlike the two bottom teams.

But you had to hand it to Chris & Christian, who designed a humdinger of a silk organza gown, which can only be compared to a layer cake. It was complemented by the ready-to-wear outfit, which was a ruffled, sleeveless blouse and pencil skirt. They really won by a mile.

Even though the judges seemed disappointed in Rami, they allowed Ricky, who has never wowed them, skate through AGAIN, while Kit got tossed for her design coupled with bad direction as team leader. And just when I was getting to really like her, too. Well, in the words of Tim Gunn, carry on!