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!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Idol is Back!

It's here, it's here! The show that will save American television from ruin! Yes, folks, that guiltiest of pleasures, American Idol, returned to our parched and dusty airwaves last night with a whole new season. I already feel like there's something brighter and shinier about the show. Maybe it was the way Simon was genuinely nice to that overweight girl who plays football and has a sick mother? Maybe it was the way they actually showed more than one contestant make it through to Hollywood? Oh I know--it was the way in which Paula seemed lucid for most of the 2-hour premiere. Whatever it was, Don's got it all covered, and then some, over at spunkybean! Check it out! (you also have to read EJ's Celebrity Apprentice wrap up. Bring a lunch, read 'em both; they're that good.)

And since I'm way late on The Amazing Race, let me just say that I am over the moon that Nate and Butt-Chin were eliminated, on her birthday, and, it would appear, as a direct result of their bickering and her fuming over TK and Rachel. If she would have just focused on herself, my guess is they would have lived to race another day. As it is, I will be happy for anyone who wins this. Yes, even Ron, who seems to have been learning an ongoing lesson and truly strengthening his relationship with his daughter during the race. I guess we'll see on Sunday. The big question now is, when does the next Race start?

Monday, January 14, 2008

It's All Happening...

I don't like to brag, but I'm kind of an entertainment insider. Being the media bigwig that I am, I get press releases and newsletters on a regular basis alerting me to what's new and hot in the biz. I hope none of you are too jealous. I can assure you that there's no reason to be. Especially when the press releases consist of information on the brand-new reality shows about to hit the airwaves, which confirm that there is a bottom of the barrel, and we've likely begun to scrape it:

SECRET TALENTS OF THE STARS, a bi-weekly celebrity talent show, will uncover some of the most fascinating and unique secret talents of your favorite film and television stars, whether it be singing, dancing, magic or even acrobatics. Celebrities will compete in a tournament-structured format to determine who has the best hidden talent. Each performance will include a lineup of professional judges to provide their point-of-view, but it's the viewers who get to vote for which celebrity impressed them the most. In the results show, viewers' votes determine which celebrity gets to keep showing off their talent and who must go home.

So, "All Star Gong Show" was taken? Also, note that it was not indicated if the "stars" being featured on the show are in any current movies or TV shows. Somehow I think that will be relevant.

GAME SHOW IN MY HEAD, a new half-hour series from executive producer Ashton Kutcher ("Punk'd," "Beauty and the Geek,"), is a hidden camera game show in which contestants wear an earpiece as they go about their life in the city. As instructed by the host back in the studio, if the contestants can perform crazy, outrageous and oftentimes embarrassing tasks in public, they can go home with big money. However, if they fail to perform one task, they'll lose all the money they earned thus far and go home empty-handed. It's all about how far the contestants are willing to go to win GAME SHOW IN MY HEAD.

So, the schtick of every second morning dj in America is now going to run on network TV? Great. That Kutcher is one lucky S.O.B., isn't he?

AMERICA'S TOP DOG (working title) is a new one hour-long series where "man’s best friend" can help its owner win big money! Owners and their pets—from "pageant dogs" to those dogs simply trained at home—will live together and battle it out in a dog competition that puts the dog’s relationship with the person who has raised and trained it to the test. In the end, only one team of loving owner and faithful dog will emerge the winner in this dog-eat-dog competition!

I'm sorry, "pageant dogs"? Like Jon Benet? And they're going to live together? Like the first couple seasons of Idol? Well, if Christopher Guest was involved, I might be excited, but since he's not, I'm just a wee bit horrified.

Those are all going to run on CBS. This last one will be on a network I didn't even know existed, which is saying alot, because I know everything:

Brady Bunch matriarch Florence Henderson has landed a new gig: host of The Florence Henderson Show on cable net Retirement Living. Debuting Thursday, Jan. 17 at 3 p.m. ET, The Florence Henderson Show will take you on a historical walk down memory lane in Hollywood with guest stars like Carol Burnett, Bob Newhart, Garry Marshall, Dom DeLuise, Shelley Berman, Betty Garrett, Jason Alexander, Bob Mackie, Judge Judy and Monty Hall.

Did you notice that it's on at 3 pm? Hee. Right before the early bird special starts! Really, Jason Alexander? Since when is George Costanza in the same conversation about old age as Betty Garrett, aka Edna Babish from Laverne & Shirley. Did he blow all the Seinfeld money somehow? What the hell? I assume the show's sponsors include Metmucil and The Rascal.

Seriously, writers and producers...I'M BEGGING YOU!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

"Grooming Apathy"

I know I'm old, but I like watching CBS Sunday Morning with about eleven cups of coffee each week. This week, there were stories about the writers' strike and beards! I don't know about you, but I'm thinking spunkybean pretty much has its finger on the pulse.

I was surprised to learn there's a book entitled "1000 Beards" but it validated my curiosity, that's for sure. They interviewed the author, and I found myself nodding to the fact that Hollywood of course favors the more youthful look of a clean-shaven face. If a character has a beard, it generally signals that he is on his way to losing it, and Jack Nicholson in The Shining is used as an example.

It was also pointed out that beards are popular in professions that are outside of mainstream corporate jobs, such as sports and writing (don't worry; I have no intention of trying to grow one) , but are a big no-no in politics. Apparently, the last president with a beard was Harrision and the last one to even have a 'stache was Taft, in the very early 1900's.

Fascinating, huh?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

50th Post!!

Hard to believe I've hit 50 posts?  Not really, since I've just taken my incessant babbling about stuff and put it into blog form.  So, now, I talk too much and write too this really good for anyone?  No matter, you can't stop me! (bwahhahaha!)

Well, this'll be sort of a catch-all entry, as I'd like to give you (whoever the hell you are) my thoughts on Celebrity Apprentice, Project Runway and a couple other random items that have crossed my path in the last couple days.

Celebrity Apprentice--It's hard to believe that one screen can contain all the combined assiness of Gene Simmons and Donald Trump (not to mention Stephen Baldwin and Piers Morgan), but maybe it's the hi-def equipment or something. These two suck hardcore, yet they could buy and sell me several times over, which hardly seems fair. It appears that Gene is even more of a male chauvanist than The Donald, a man who once intimated on The View that his daughter was so attractive that he would date her, if only she wasn't his daughter.  Gene stirred controversy this week by being quite rude to Ivanka and her giant rack when she came to check Team Hydra's progress on the Pedigree commercial task.  Gene basically ignored her saying, "She'll wait", and then flat-out asking if, since she was the "female of the species" (for whom he obviously has an unhealthy level of contempt) she was going to run back to the women and share their plans.  I had to side with Ivanka in being appalled.  She brought it up later in the boardroom, and DT was mock-pissed at Gene for "insulting" his daughter, until Gene deigned to remove his shades and issue the most insincere apology ever.  Omarosa used the whole incident to suck up to the Trumps, which surprised exactly no one.  And she hit on Lennox Lewis, who's married, right in front of all the other Apprenti and several viewers.  Keep it in your pants, O.

In the end, the men made a professional enough looking spot, perhaps more in spite of than due to director Stephen Baldwin's "20 years in film", while the women gave really sad, yet amazingly lame sob stories to dogs through voiceover and failed to actually use any of their celebrity on the task, again, which seems to be the overriding theme here.  I also decided it's kind of hard to look at Nely Galan and her fishlips.  I must admit I nodded off at some point, and missed how Nadia Comaneci managed to blow running the craft service table so badly that she got fired.  Donald was disappointed that, despite all her Olympic gold (ya know, over 30 years ago) that she was unable to lead the team.  Last time I checked, getting a perfect 10 on the uneven parallel bars doesn't really require you to lead anyone, per se.  So, if you can depend on anything in this world, it's that the reasons that Donald Trump fires anyone on The Apprentice will continue to have nothing to do with anything relevant.  

Project Runway--This week, the remaining designers were required to design a prom dress for a group of Catholic schoolgirls, who selected them based on their portfolios, rather than the other way around.  Most of the designers were at least moderately horrified at having to design dresses for such a cliche event as prom (while we were treated to pictures of several of them at their proms), and at having to take orders from teenage girls to boot.  None was more devastated than Christian, who, of course, hates the whole concept of prom (shocking, I know!) but also got the most outspoken model; one who literally grabbed the pencil and sketchpad from him and seemed keenly aware that she was going to be on a reality show.  She also had the tackiest design in mind, and I though Christian's head might pop right off as he put together the brown and black monstrosity with a pouffy skirt, beading and lace applique.  

Ultimately, the only dresses the judges really liked belonged to Sweet P, who should have won for her long, glamourous silk gown; and Victorya, who actually did win for this blue halter dress with jewels on the neckline that I wasn't really feeling. Chris did an excellent job (while also reminding the two eventual top finishers, who have been cellar dwellers often, that he actually has been auffed, so quit yer bitchin'!)  as did Kit, who has definitely become one of my favorites.  

I understood the criticism Rami received for creating something a little too old-looking for a teen girl, but he was immune, so why bother, really?  What I didn't get was why Ricky was given a pass yet again, when he consistently scores low, in order to get rid of Kevin for his cheap-looking design this time around, when many of his past designs have been in the top tier. I felt like Kev just didn't care anymore, as evidenced by his choice not to finish the hem of the dress when he had the time to do so.  I thought they should've sent Ricky packing based on his less-than-stellar body of work, which, along with his outspoken persona, is the reason they kept Christian around.  I know I'm not the only one who is sick to death of watching Ricky come thisclose to slitting his wrists in every interview.  Oh well, maybe next week! 

In other disturbing news, I read in Media Week that A&E is renewing the "non-scripted" The Two Coreys for a second season, presumably in the summer of 2008, for 10 more painful episodes. Lord knows, back in 1986, when Haim was endearing himself to girls like myself in Lucas, you could never have convinced me that Feldman, i.e. the lesser Corey, would at least appear to be the more successful, well-adjusted Corey in the 21st century. Haim has somehow survived his history of drug and alcohol addiction (not to mention a stroke) to still be here, but he's had a once promising acting career reduced to this piece of crap "reality"show that's truly unwatchable, even to its target audience.  So sad. 

In case you hadn't heard, NBC is airing the last two episodes of Chuck that are in the can until the strike ends on Jan. 24, sandwiched around the aforementioned Celebrity Apprentice.  I'm not sure I get why they don't run one each week for two weeks. Do they expire or something?

Friday, January 11, 2008

"I don't drink coffee, sir. I don't drink hot liquids of any kind. That's the devil's temperature."

Praise the Lord, 30 Rock was back with its first new episode in five weeks! I have to check, but I think that may it until the strike ends (damn you, AMPTP!) Of course, it was another brilliantly created piece of comic joy.

There were three basic plots: Kenneth discovers the joys and pitfalls of coffee addiction (Don, how are you not watching this?), Liz falls madly in love with a swanky New York apartment and must impress Rory Gilmore's grandfather, and Jack and C.C. decide to throw it all away in the name of love. Oh--and actual German is spoken. Can any of this end well?

Rather than being laugh-out-loud funny from start to finish, this one was more of a slow build. Liz's trying to impress a co-op board culminated in a white-wine fueled drunk dialing session that topped the humiliation of Jon Favreau in Swingers. ("I've moved on. I've bought a whole bunch of other apartments. I bought a black apartment.") And in the process, we found out Jenna owns several pieces of real estate, which shocked me.

Jack and C.C. discovered that the exact mid-point between NYC and D.C. is a small town in the coal-mining country of Pennsylvania. Did you know that they have a park there that looks exactly like Central Park? Amazing! In the end though, when Liz accidentally sold NBC to a German TV station instead of buying the station for NBC, Jack realized he couldn't throw everything away to live in a small town where everyone called him "Pap". C.C. also missed an important vote--the Lott-Specter bill legalizing recreational whale torture passed by one stinkin' vote! So, he and C.C. decided they'd have to be together in another life, because for them it's all or nothing.

C.C: "We only know one speed, Jack. The drive, the ambition, our belief that sex is a competition."

Kenneth was seduced to the dark side of the life, and coffee had a profound effect on our little country bumpkin. Basically, he turned into a crackwhore. ("I love how it makes me feel. It's like my heart is trying to hug my brain!") Ashamed, he changed into his overalls and planned to hop on the Midnight Train to Georgia, for real. The guys did their best to dissauade him:

Kenneth: "I'm going back to Georgia."
Tracy: "What? No you can't leave, Ken. Who's going to help me tell white people apart?"
Dotcom: "What about our tickets to Spamalot?"
Grizz: "And who's going to be my wing man at speed dating?"

This resulted in one big, twisted, beautiful musical number that defies written description. And we got a cameo from Ms. Gladys Knight herself. Plus, did you know they change the Pips every five years, like Menudo? It's totally true!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Pimpin' the Bean

I'll be back later with some more random stuff and a Project Runway breakdown, but I just wanted to quickly encourage anyone reading to, once again, click on over to spunkybean for some great new articles! Well, one is by me, one is only partially by me, but either way, if you love me, you'll love these articles. 4 out of 5 dentists agree. And don't forget to leave a comment or two if the spirit moves you. If my dad can do it, so can you!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Hercules! Hercules!

Use that headline to help you visualize the dorky way in which I just sat at my desk and clapped when I read the following from Mediaweek's Marc Berman:

"Remember The Mole on ABC, which featured a group of contestants competing in various physical and mental challenges for a significant cash prize against a "mole" hired by the producers to try to sabotage the efforts of the group? After two moderately rated seasons, ABC brought it back in two celebrity editions. The network has announced that The Mole will be returning sans celebrities this summer, in what it refers to as a more simplified version where people at home can play along."

You guys, I LOVED The Mole, and I know there are a few of you out there who did, too. It was a pretty sophisticated reality show (I know, that's an oxymoron). I'm not sure about this whole "simplification thing", though. I kind of enjoyed trying (in vain) to figure out all the hidden details and clues. It was a great show--before they defiled it by having Stephen Baldwin and Corbin Bersen appear in the Celeb editions. (Kathy Griffin was pretty good, though.) I am beyond psyched about this and just couldn't wait to share it with you. Now, the big question is whether or not the network could sweet talk Anderson Cooper into coming back to host. My guess is no, but, a girl can hope, can't she?

Monday, January 7, 2008

That was a Relief!

Well, even though I didn't actually see it happen, and therefore don't believe it completely, I understand that my faves, TK and Rachel, were saved from certain elimination last night on The Amazing Race by the second and final non-elimination leg of the race. This almost never happens to a team I'm rooting for, so that is great news to me. Where was I, you may ask? (You probably didn't ask, but I tend to overshare). Cleaning up and comforting my one-year-old, who puked his entire dinner up in his crib. Poor little guy!

I guess having two stops from India to Japan was what really did them in, and I really hate when one slip that's non-challenge related (though you could certainly argue that getting the best flight is one more challenge on each leg) costs someone the game. Of course, I would be singing a completely different tune if this were Nate and Butt-Chin, who tried desperately to win me over with a Borat reference ("King in the castle!"), to no avail. But, alas, there they were, all happy skippy in first place...until Jen thought Nate wasn't paying enough attention to her and...BAM! Another second place finish! I hope that's their entire story arc--never finishing first, ever.

Ron and Chris did a solid job this leg, but the man shouldn't be congratulated just for not berating his daughter. It's hardly something to boast about. And Don and Nick, AKA Grandpa Crusty and his Bitch (Don's word, not mine) benefitted immensely from TK and Rachel's bad luck, which, again, since they're my other favorite, is fine with me. I assume we have one more elimination until the race for the finish line.

I was also subjected to part of American Gladiators last night, which my husband tried to convince me means he does actually like sports. Mind you, he couldn't tell you the name of a current NFL quarterback or an MLB pitcher, but he likes sports, based on his love of this show and the late, lamented Battlebots, which had remote-controlled robots "fighting" each other. Sure you do, honey. Ah, well. Hulk Hogan and Laila Ali get to read stiff scripted "banter" with the contestants and the Gladiators also have horrible dialogue to spew before (and sometimes during) an event. It's really quite painful. But, if you take that part out, it's not completely without merit. Some of these people are insanely strong and agile, which is inspiring and entertaining to see. But not in place of Heroes. That's just wrong!

I also just saw this morning that another putrid, returning reality show, which will not be screened in my house (unless the producers wish to pay me) is Search for the Next Pussycat Doll: Girlicious. Yes, you read that correctly. The show has a subtitle this time around and it's "Girlicious". Which is way too close to "Fergalicious" for my tastes. I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.

One more note today, which is to make sure you are checking Spunkybean often, as we are always adding great stuff to the site. This week we'll have EJ's hillarious take on Celebrity Apprentice (with, let's hope, less porn-oriented comments than on this blog) and The Don's Idol Preview, plus music and sports content if that's more your thing. Plus, get ready for my latest in-depth analysis of male celebrity hair in pop culture. There may still be a strike on, but at Spunkybean, we laugh in the face of bad TV...literally!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

It was the Best of Reality, It was the Worst of Reality...

Tonight was a double-header of reality shows for yours truly, as I felt compelled to check out the supremely annoying combo of Trump and Omarosa (or as Big Pussy called her, "Ponderosa") on Celebrity Apprentice as well as catch up on last night's delicious episode of Project Runway.

Let's get "Reality Star" Omarosa and that renaissance man (actor, author and entrepreneur, according to DT) Stephen Baldwin out of the way first. Even though I was familiar with a majority of these people, at least by name (EJ's got the whole list and some details here), I didn't consider many of them to be in the category of, as DT put it, "the world's most successful celebrities!" Really, Will Smith is going to be on this show? HE'S a successful celebrity. Which is why he's very, very busy and has no time to sell flippin' hot dogs on a street corner in NYC. Or should I say, stand around and pose for pictures while Gene Simmons calls his minions to bring money to him. That man terrifies me. Is that a piece on his head, or what?

Only slight less terrifying was Jenna Jameson, who showed up to support her boyfriend, Ultimate Fighter Tito Ortiz (if you say so!) I'm not saying I've ever seen her work (OK, so what if I am?) but she just looks rough these days. I'm not sure whether to applaud or scold the show for not doing a long, loving close up of Jenna deep throating a hot dog. Too obvious?

To her credit, Marilu Henner, whom I've never had a problem with even though I think she's a little ditzy, seems above all of this. Omarosa, on the other hand, is the resident pro in the format and excels at making it All About Her. I fear she may be around for a long, long time. And, as I have seen many others saying as I checked my favorite message boards before writing this, if the show continues to be straight moneymaking tasks and therefore consists of Gene Simmons making phone calls to win tasks, it will get old...wait for

Poor Tiffany the Playmate. She may get naked for a living, but she seems like a very sweet, bright girl. She was lunch for Omarosa. She got fired for "underselling", which was a stupid way of saying she should've just taken all her clothes off, since Omarosa said that's her "brand". I think this is completely ludicrous, especially considering I don't even think Nadia Comaneci was at the hot dog cart, was she? I didn't hear her speak once! I know she's short, but come on. I'll come back next week, mostly in the hopes that the Alec Baldwin appearance teased in the opening comes to fruition sooner than later.

On the other end of the spectrum, Project Runway was back with a challenge that took the designers on a field trip to the Hershey store in Times Square, a place I've actually been! It's a gaudy, commercially crass hellhole, but, hey, they have candy! And candy shaped pillows! The designers had five minutes to grab all the crap they could (it was like Supermarket Sweep!) to use as material for their design.

As they were working on their wearable confections, we were brought in on the fact that Elisa was mowed down on the streets of London by a Porsche a few years back and nearly died--well, at least she was in a coma for five days. Suddenly, she has the big sympathy edit, so I'm sure she's around for the long haul, even if she sends her model down the runway in a slip, holding a Twizzler.

Then , after a stressful design segment and some awfully extensive makeup porn in the L'Oreal Makeup Room, we got down to business. Almost everyone came up with something kinda cool and interesting, mostly using fabric from the aforementioned pillows and lotsa wrappers. Christian made a dress completely from the Reeses' inside brown wrappers, continuing to annoy me with his ego while also making me want to sprint to CVS and get a bag to devour myself. Rami used the widest variety of wrappers and other junk to make something that was impeccably constructed, fitted and detailed. I think Zac Posen has a crush...or maybe vice versa. I know I wish Zac would come on the show more and more. He's cute, funny and gives actual valuable critiques.

For once, Chris did some editing of his design and made a sharp, simple dress that impressed the judges. You could tell they had a hard time choosing between Jillian, who at one point looked doomed, and Rami, who ended up the winner. Jillian really pulled off something unique with a bustier and fluttery skirt made almost entirely out of Twizzlers. And it was scented!

Elisa, Sweet P and Victorya were all pretty much dull. Victorya apparently got by on her past work, because this one was terrible. When it was down to Sweet P and Elisa, I was sure Elisa would make it (see above) but I guess Sweet P got points for scrapping one design and coming up with a replacement in time, lame as it was. In the end, I guess Elisa was more "eccentric" than "crazy", but I still won't particularly miss her.

Holy Crap!

So, I tried to stay up last night and catch as much as I could of the return of our intrepid late night talk show hosts. I managed to catch most of Dave and some of Jay, but did not hold on for Conan or Craig, which I might have to DVR tonight just out of curiosity. I have to say Dave--who, in Robin Williams best joke, did resemble General Lee with his scruffy gray beard--seemed like he was a little rusty, which surprised me. I really thought he might be a little more polished, ya know, for Dave.

Sidebar: Robin Williams was his usual ADD self at first, but really settled down (must've taken some Ritalin at the break) to discuss his USO trip, and was still funny, but so much easier to watch in that mode.

Jay, on the other hand, in the small sections I saw, seemed kind of pumped to get back at it and do his best on his own. The man does have a very long career of stand-up to back him up, so he should be able to handle this, at least to a degree. I'm starting to get the feeling his show, which was all schtick and formula before, might get better without writers. I could be wrong--it was one show--but, maybe Jay will get to show his real stuff for the first time in years. Back when I was in college (when dinosaurs roamed the earth), he actually came and did stand up for our Parents' weekend and he was damn funny! This could be interesting. Dave's got Ellen Page of Juno fame on tonight, so y'all know I'm there. I don't even know who Jay's got, but I'm just loving that this whole drama is unfolding regardless, especially since there's not much else on!

In other news--and Lord, I hope no one's eating--the new Survivor cast was announced today. I always like to check these to see if I know someone, as I figure the odds are I will someday know someone on a reality show. No such luck this time, but I'm relieved to know that no plastic surgeons are going hungry--there's once again more than enough silicone on display. And I chuckled at the sight of the 22-year-old kid from Hell, Michigan, because he looks like Andy Gibb and David Cassidy had a baby, between the hair and the swim trunks. He just needs a puka shell necklace. He's adorable!

So here's the stomach-turning part...if you watch this installment of Survivor, you're going to have to endure another round of Jon Dalton, aka Johnny Fairlplay, aka the Biggest Asshat in Recorded History. I hate this man with the fire of a thousand burning suns, though I may be understating myself slightly. He's beyond vile. I didn't watch Survivor: China, so I'm not up on those two, other than what Don has said on his blog, and he seems to love James. The rest of them, eh. (Except Ozzie. Yowza! How you doin'?) I am glad we don't have to see Steph or Bobby Jon again, because, enough already.


Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The Love that Dare Not Speak it's Name

OK, so we've now covered ad nauseum that I just love Juno and Diablo Cody, right? Right. Well, I bopped on over the this cool site today called iklipz that an old friend of mine from high school is a part of, mostly just to check out what he's working on in general. And what is front and center on the home page? This six minute interview with Diablo Cody and Jason Reitman about Juno. This is too cool, I tell ya.

EDIT: I have since found out that Diablo Cody was not wearing any panties during this interview and much creative editing was required to keep things from going all Britney-like. You can take the girl out of the strip joint, but I guess you can't take the stripper outta the girl, huh?

Please to enjoy...and rush out and see this movie ASAP. Seriously, you can thank me later.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

I know who I'm cheering for!

So, the most annoying couple left on The Amazing Race got booted the other night. I know, Ron and Chris are annoying and so are Nate and Jen, but I really couldn't stand Kent, of Kent and Vixen. Her, I liked, and I feel bad for her that her boyfriend is probably gay and just doesn't know it yet. These things happen. Trust me. Of course, they're all not so obvious as the two of you fighting over lip gloss, but some people have to be hit over the head, ya know? Anyhoo...

I just find TK and Rachel to be adorable and a prototype for some perfect racing couple. They are so frickin' good to each other in the midst of all this stress, it blows my mind. Nate and Jen, on the other hand, looked like they'd rather be having root canal when they said "I Love You" in the cab. I also really like Don and Nick, and I think it's because Nick reminds me of a friend from college who I became very close with and then lost touch with almost as quickly, as you sometimes do in college. He was such a genuinely good guy, and Nick seems that way as well. I was worried when he (Nick, not my old college pal) was so dehydrated, although it looks like Grandpa's having the same deal next week. It also struck me tonight that they're not terribly affectionate for a grandfather and grandson, but maybe that's me being a girl again. It could also be that Nick calls him "Don" instead of "Grandpa".

Ron and Chris are just there, and I don't know how or why. I just find myself hoping his hernia starts acting up and they get eliminated already. They're so dull, despite all the fighting. So, there are no really good villains this time, but I'm sure that's happened before. I mean, no team may ever surpass The Guidos of the inaugural race for sheer E-VIL. But, I console myself with the fact that I'm down to two teams I like and two I really don't to cross the finish line first. All in all, it's still not a bad way to spend an hour each week.

I've also spent some of my time off catching up on the old DVR. I am now officially obsessed with Mad Men and was thrilled to find out that AMC is re-running the season starting Jan 21 at midnight! Now I can see the first few episodes, which I missed and did not tape, and the third to last episode, "Indian Summer", which inexplicably, did not record, even though it's in the DVR. What's up, technology? How you gonna do me like that? I'm not sure when the DVD's out (Amazon did not have it showing anywhere), but I'll have to get that, for sure. If you have not watched the show, I must add my voice to the chorus of those singing its praises. It's fascinating, creepy, engrossing and stunning to watch. And the recreation of every single detail of the period--1960 to be exact--is unbelievable. They even shoot it in such a way that it just looks... older. I work in advertising, as most of you probably know, and when I had an office (what I like to call "The Golden Age"), I can assure you there was not a full bar in it, like all the guys have on this show. Then, again, I now work for a female boss and with almost all women, which would have made Don Draper's head explode, so there you go.

I thought I might get in a few more movies, too, but it didn't happen. I watched one mediocre year-old romcom, Music and Lyrics. It was OK, but I'm glad I didn't pay for it or anything. I did enjoy Hugh Grant's singing of cheesy pop songs (I'm a sucker for those), but never need to see his bare chest again, frankly. The fake video at the beginning and end (the second version done "Pop Up Video" style) was actually great. The movie did have one of those little devices you only see in movies, that always fascinate me, like the fact that people always come home from the grocery store with brown paper bags that must include a leafy green vegetable and a loaf of crusty french bread. This one was the always wacky 'wrap yourself up in the entire comforter when you're embarrassed after last night's ill-advised hookup'. That one always gets me. It just seems like it would be a lot easier to either find your clothes or run into the bathroom. But, I'm an old married woman, so what do I know? Clearly, I'm in need of sleep, which seems like as good a way as any to end this post!

Fake Resolutions

I was trying to think of something really substantive to write to accompany this video from which contains some funny "celebrity resolutions".  I guess that can be my resolution...just to write more and about more stuff (that one's real).  And to go to Times Square when they drop the ball next New Year's Eve, because Ryan Seacrest just kept telling me I had to get there before I die (yes, he was that dramatic about it) and I always try to do whatever Ryan tells me.  

Anyway, here's the video: