Friday, July 31, 2009

I'm Coming For Your Job...

First Chelsea Handler had my Jensen on her show, and now Eric (Winter, The Ugly Truth. I'd provide a clip but Hulu doesn't have it)!! Girl, I want your job. And thanks to the Twitter stylings of one Mr. Joel McHale, I have been provided with the exact links to which to apply for it! But I'll totally settle for some sort of assistant or staff writer position...

Update 8/5: It may have taken a few days, but I finally found an upload!!!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Hottie of the Week: Romany Malco...

The 40 Year Old Virgin has been running on a weekend loop on USA recently, and the only reason I've been flipping it on is for glimpses of Romany Malco, who is sadly no longer on Weeds.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Woof Wednesday #11...

My metrosexual puppy got a present from the old man who lives with his Grandma ;)

Monday, July 27, 2009

WMFATA: My Mom...

I try not to get too personal on this website. Sure, I offer my opinions and insights into all things TV and general celebrities (and occasionally a movie, book or item of music), but I never use this forum as any kind of daily journal or diary. Therefore, you probably don't know just from reading this site that for the last month I have been living in my childhood apartment, spending time with-- and now taking care of-- my mother, who was diagnosed with Stage 4 Oral Cancer last year.
Mom and Me on my literal birth day, June 23 1984

My mother was diagnosed in late April of 2008 and had the surgery to remove the malignancy the following month. She then started a painful six-week radiation process in which she developed thrush—painful red sores inside her mouth—and at one point became so dehydrated she had to be admitted to the hospital.

In late October of the same year, after a few month window in which we thought things were looking up, the doctor found another tumor in the same spot as the original. This one was bigger and badder than the first and was spreading at such an alarming rate that he did not feel surgery would be a viable option. Instead, she opted for a clinical trial of a new treatment: like a chemo but not quite chemo, they called it. The side effects would be great, but they were all ones that could be lived with. And my mother got all the side effects: from sores on her legs from “weeping” (shedding protein through the skin), to a rash that covered her back, chest, and neck, she was uncomfortable and on dozens of pills a day, but she was alive, and the tumor was starting to shrink.

Unfortunately, the treatment didn’t work for long. After nine cycles, and two more bouts in the hospital for dehydration, the tumor began to grow again, and my mother opted to let it. She knew she would only have a few months left, but she was emotionally and physically exhausted, and her quality of life had diminished completely. Unable to get out of the house since she first started the treatments in January 2009, the woman who loved to get up early and head into the city to go shopping or walk down Fifth Avenue was relegated to shuffling between her bed, the couch, and the bathroom. The pain medication (Oxycontin and Oxycodone at the time) made her so lethargic, she would nod off in the middle of conversations or her favorite television program.
In line for some ride in Epcot, 1988.

My mother entered hospice care in late June 2009, wanting to be on a pain medication regimen that kept her pretty much knocked out but in her own home. For the first few weeks I was with her, she was still shuffling around the house, doing bills, checking emails, eating full meals, and sitting with me and Madison on the couch.

On July 20 2009-- exactly one week ago today-- my mother stopped eating, drinking, and taking any and all of her meds that weren't to help her deal with the pain, though. Only a few days later, she became bedridden and fell into a deep sleep from round-the-clock morphine (since she was under home care, she could not have an IV, so I set an alarm for every two hours to give her the oral dose).

Everyone from my friends to my co-workers to people I haven't seen or talked to in years have been calling and emailing to ask me how my mom is doing. The only ones who have come to see her are my aunt and uncle-- my mother's sister and her husband, though. My mother wanted it this way; others asked to come over, and my mother didn't want them to-- even before, when she was still ambulatory and alert enough to carry on a conversation. She doesn't want to be remembered this way-- as this shell of the woman she once was.

At my graduation from USC, May 2005.

I will remember my mother as the woman who took me to Disney World every summer because that’s where I said I wanted to go. I will remember my mother as the woman who woke me up at five in the morning to come into work with her and who gave me my own desk there, with a key card and a typewriter of my own, and then took extra long lunch breaks so we could go shopping or to the Avon store. I will remember how she sat with my and rubbed my back when I couldn’t fall asleep as a kid. I will remember the games we used to play and the books she got me. I will remember my mother as the woman who took me out to California to meet my favorite actors time and time again, who dropped me off college, who sacrificed so much so I could pursue my dreams instead of get a quote-unquote real job.

At our traditional Universal City Hilton Christmas buffet, December 2005.

I try not to get too political or preachy on this website. Sure, I've posted pro-Democratic videos in the past, and I'm sure I will again in the future. But I do not use this forum as a place to recruit, nor do I list out all of the propositions and laws I feel are in need of some reform. It's not that I am not active or aware of those issues; this just isn't the place for that. I am not going to post the diatribe I have written in the last few days of how what my mother is going through is no way to die with dignity. However, I am going to say that although she drifts in and out of consciousness now, I know there are moments where she is completely alert and aware in there. And I know it must be killing her even more than the cancer is to know she has to suffer through what she is. I can't imagine what it feels like to literally feel your body shutting down a little bit at a time.

I will force myself to remember everything about this time, though—what the woman who once charged down Manhattan streets like she ran the whole city was reduced to in her final days. I will remember so I will fight legislation that denies human beings the right to be in charge of their own lives. I will remember so that if and when I do finally have children of my own, I can tell them stories about my mother, and hopefully they will be able to say to me: “But mom, when it comes to be your time, you won’t have to go out like that.” I will remember because, really, now that is all I can do.

I may not write here for a little while. I may need to take a break, get re-settled and a bit re-prioritized. I may start a second website to chronicle the lobby work I plan to start doing not only for Oral Cancer Research and Awareness but also the Death With Dignity National Center. I hope that when my Stand-Up Comedy benefit occurs, in honor of my mother though not technically a memorial, you will come out. And I also hope that when I come back to writing this silly fluff blog, you all will, too.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Hottie of the Week: David Beckham...

This is pretty obvious, but it's been months since I started this column, and I managed to hold off this long. I don't care if you don't like the team he currently plays for, it's worth the price of a ticket to stare at David Beckham.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Woof Wednesday #10...

Still in New York, we're both a little stressed out. Madison took it upon himself to steal my stress ball in order to take out his aggression. Cute, but what am I supposed to use??

"Thanks, Mama's job!"

WWATN: The Rest Of Those Crazy SBTB Kids...

For some reason, TBS insists on showing Saved By The Bell episodes out of order, so I never know, when I flip the channel on at seven a.m. every Monday through Friday, if I'm going to get an episode at Malibu Sands, one in which Zack's voice hasn't quite dropped yet, or one where the gang is co-habitating at Cal U. About once a week, it has proven to be the latter, though, and I have fallen in love with the slightly more mature gang even more now that I am old enough to appreciate the traditions and pitfalls that comes with being on a college campus. When the show was originally airing, I was somewhat reluctant to let go of the locker-filled hallways of Bayside, because that was what was comfortable and what I knew. I didn't want to embrace these new girls out of my loyalty to Lisa and Jessie-- Lark and Elizabeth-- but now, they seem like the type with whom I'd want to spend a Saturday night-- or a Friday morning, as it were.

You don't have to look very far or hard (or even at all, if you've been paying attention to recent television of late) to know where our first suitemate has ended up this decade and a half later. Kiersten Warren, who played the somewhat shrill and inhibited wannabe actress Alex Tabor has been working steadily in comedy films and with guest appearances on shows like the canceled Dirt and Dirty Sexy Money, as well as popular niche programming such as Fringe and Nip/Tuck (for which she has taped an episode that will not air until the new season. You will most likely remember her as Nora on Desperate Housewives, though, as the shrill, abrasive, conniving mother of Tom's first child (you know, the illegitimate and now-shipped-off Bad Seed rip-off one). Warren is married to fellow actor Kirk Acevedo (Fringe), and they are raising two kids, one of whom is following in her mom's footsteps and starred in Living With Fran as Fran Drescher's precocious teenage daughter, as well as the memorable "Firsts" episode of How I Met Your Mother, playing a precocious teen who "deflowered" Young Ted.

You might have to look a little harder to recognize the other woman of Cal U, and the one whose attention Zack vied for before Kelly was back in the picture, Leslie Burke, aka Anne Tremko. Though like Warren, Tremko has continued to act in shows like Malibu Shores, Nick Fresno: Licensed Teacher, and Chicago Hope, she has tried a bit harder to shed her young image. Tremko's way of doing this was to shed a whole bunch of inches from her blonde locks, going for a more mature and sophisticated look, presumably to start winning "young mom" instead of "party girl" parts. Tremko's last acting role was in 2003, on an episode of Judging Amy, though, so perhaps her good intentions did not pay off as planned.

And just what about the guys? Bob Golic, everyone's favorite "Teddy Bear Jock" RA Mike Rogers, quit acting in the late nineties-- right after he attempted to change his image, too. His final project, an "erotica thriller" probably worthy of Skinemax was called Dreamboats, and it was one in which he co-starred and co-produced. These days, though, Golic has gone back to his roots in sports, where he hosts an afternoon radio show about football in his home state of Ohio. I guess no one was buying Bob Golic: Sex Stud!

Professor Jeremiah Lasky won Kelly's heart (and mine!)-- at least for a little while. It was a shock at first to think anyone could come between Zack and Kelly, but once you saw Patrick Fabian you suddenly understood. I wanted to play house with him, too! It should be no surprise then that Fabian went on to play Professor again (on cult-favorite Veronica Mars), and even though his wavy brown hair had turned a premature gray, he won my heart again (the gray really did make him look more distinguished!). Fabian has also been on Big Love, According to Jim, and The Cleaner recently, as well as in my new favorite independent comedy, Spring Breakdown. Though his CW show Valentine, in which he appropriately played a Greek God, got canceled prematurely, he already has two new projects lined up for the end of the year.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

An Open Letter To Taylor DiGiovanni...

Dear Tay (Can I call you Tay? You seem like someone just young enough to think that's "cute"):

Stop it. Just stop it.

Okay, in reality, I know you can't. I know the current season of NYC Prep-- which I just can't give up no matter how much I want to have my uterus removed while watching it, for fear that I might someday accidentally spawn little brats like you and your spoiled, rich friends-- I know that season was taped months and months ago so it's not like you can see your immature behavior one week and adjust what you say and do in front of cameras for the next. I know that even if it was on a live delay ala Big Brother or something, the odds of you recognizing your immaturity and actually changing are just as slim as PC admitting he's gay before college. I get it: it's tough to be a teenager these days, especially in such a highly competitive city and school. You're acting out; you're trying to grow up but your subconscious is trying to keep you a kid for as long as you can, so it causes this dichotomy that just comes off as ridiculous no matter what you say. Nothing ever seems to go right for you; everyone is against you; blah blah blah. Does that seem about right?

I overlooked your dumb comments towards your mother when you said she couldn't possibly know anything about relationships because she's been (gasp!) divorced. I figured a part of you might still be that scared and hurt little girl who just wants her daddy back, so you lash out at the reason you think he left. Or whatever. I ignored your blatant eye-rolling at her when you guys went shopping; I even ignored the fact that you were ignoring her to instead text some random guy. I ignored because I understood: I was fifteen once, too, and I can't judge you for thinking your mom is a dork for checking up on you and asking about your friends. I did the same at the time.

However, for someone who is supposed to be so book smart (or so the test scores must say-- I mean, you can't pay your way into Stuyvesant the way you can into private least you couldn't when I went there), you act really stupid when it comes to life. It's one thing to like two guys at the same time; again, I don't judge you for that because I've been there, too. And I admit I definitely had my immature relationship moments as a freshman in Stuy. But it's quite another to not realize that by parading one guy in front of the other (one who you didn't even break up with before you went back to your ex, I might add), you are creating ridiculous amounts of unnecessary drama. You spoke to the girls of America (or at least NYC) in your interview, telling them not to like or date Sebastian because he's a jerk, when really it was you who was Queen Bitch. He was hurt by how you treated him, so he put a wall up and told you that you guys were not friends and wouldn't be hanging out on weekends, and how could you blame him for that or expect anything different? You never hung out with him on weekends when you weren't "dating," why would you start now? My guess is to have another guy in the wings if things go bad with your ex-turned-again-BF. Ugh. Girls like you are what I hated about high school.

Oh, and I'm sure you are very intelligent when it comes to your studies. I'm sure the prep courses helped out in getting you admitted to Stuy, but I don't deny that there must be something academic deep within you that keeps you there. I just don't buy-- with your smirky little smile and inability to name specifics-- that you were really reading philosophy books "for fun" (or really that you were even reading them for class; it might sound nice and "adult" to say you're reading them, but you need to have evidence to back up your claims). If you were, and you just wanted to giggle and play it off cutely, along with the "I want to be an elephant trainer" comment as just something "that Tay" would say while twirling her hair around her finger, then I may have pegged you wrong initially, but you're still giving the school (let alone yourself!) a bad image by playing the ditzy "dumb blonde" even when you're brunette. Look at how everyone laughed at Jessica Simpson; is that really what you want to happen to you!?!?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Oh Honey, Oh Sweetie, Oh Lindsay, No...

I really wanted to like Labor Pains. I really wanted it to be like Mean Girls for slightly older girls. I really wanted it to be your big comeback moment, even though it was relegated to (and therefore awkwardly edited for) ABC Family Channel. I like Chris Parnell and Cheryl Hines, and I even laughed at something that Chicken Little kid from American Idol said in the trailer. I had high hopes, and I admit it.

I tuned in at eight pm, probably the only twenty-something to do so rather than just TiVo it and watch it in secrecy and shame sometime later. I tried to laugh. I even tried to find the love interest guy attractive-- and it worked at times, but only because in some lights and angles he resembled Kristoffer Polaha. But the result wasn't good. At all. I couldn't take Lohan seriously in this "adult" role. I couldn't believe she was put in charge of another human being, let alone a teenager who looked to be her exact age. I couldn't believe the situations or scenarios that just fell into her lap or when she actually started to do something right. I kept waiting for her to get caught downing a shot of vodka or doing a line of cocaine off her sad little wooden publishing desk.

The jokes were flat, and the actors mostly went through the motions, as if they could sense the impending shelf-life doom of this project. Though ABC Family is re-runing the movie on Thursday night-- probably hoping their low numbers had not to do with the fact that no one cares but that fewer people have actually have TiVos than they anticipated?-- I think you can just skip it and watch this condensed version instead. After all, it clearly illustrates the art imitating life of this movie, so at least there's that...

MMFATA: Daniel Radcliffe...

As much as I try not to go too mainstream on this blog ( ;) ), I couldn't not bring up Daniel Radcliffe after the crazy success of the latest HP installment, right? At least, that's what my friends have been telling me!

Why My Friends Are Talking About Him: Aside from the aforementioned Harry Potter series that Radcliffe has been the star of for the last eight years-- a role that was his first, aside from two under fives in smaller projects, I might add. He has quite literally grown from a boy into a man (err, okay, well at least a young man) before our eyes. What is it about him that have had twenty-something girls squealing right alongside the tween girls for the past few years? For some, it is the accent alone; for others, the shirtless promo photos for Equus did the trick. For a select few, though, it is his intelligence and wit that makes him stand out among so many other pretty faces (ahem, Efron!); as my friend Jamie likes to point out: "Have you seen him in interviews? Or read them? Kid's hilarious!" Well, I'm going to have to take her word for it since the kid's never graced me with an interview!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

A Do-Good Reality Show??...

It's no secret that Bravo's The Real Housewives series is my new favorite soap opera, so when I heard the premise for Househusbands of Hollywood, I couldn't help but let out an exasperated: "About time!" Honestly, I don't know what took Fox Reality (or anyone, for that matter, Bravo included!) so long to capitalize on the success of their reality competitors' franchise. Whatever the reasoning, though, I'm definitely glad it's finally here now!

I may have something a bit more personal invested in this show than the average reviewer. My father, too, stayed at home with my while my mother went out to work at the butt-crack of dawn every day to bring home the bacon (and Godiva, as it were). Growing up in the eighties and nineties, it was far less common for this to be the case, and my father was quite often literally the only male present at my elementary school events-- such as field trips and assemblies. He even held the title of "Room Parent" for two years, during which they had to change the name from "Classroom Mother." My father has always had his issues, and one of them always seemed to be that he was somewhat embarrassed or ashamed that he was a "Househusband," so to speak. He came from the old-school line of thinking that cooking and cleaning were a woman's work after watching his own mother be the homemaker his whole life. A big part of him still held onto the stereotypical Italian machismo that puffed out his chest and got in my face when I suggested he couldn't keep a job, and that's why he ended up staying at home for me. I never really thought it was for my benefit-- especially when I was in junior high, coming home from school alone and able to care for myself in the afternoons, and yet he still didn't get off the couch to look for work and contribute to (or try to improve) our lifestyle. My family was not nearly as well off as those featured on Fox Reality's new show, after all. It is often a luxury to have one parent staying home full-time-- one that perhaps we couldn't really afford. These days, and living in the town that I do, though, it appears that such a practice is much more common and welcome than it once was, two decades ago and in a "old country" neighborhood.

What I love about Househusbands of Hollywood is that it is shot much more documentary-style than we have come to expect from these reality shows. What I mean by that is sure there are traditional interviews the way any of these shows have them, but the focus is not on drama and sensational. The show takes a look at the real men-- and the real women behind them-- and doesn't outright ignore but also doesn't glamorize the rough patches or tension that inevitably arise in any relationship. Perhaps as castmember Billy Ashley (yes, former Dodger Billy Ashley!) says himself, they are "making [their] own traditions."

Househusbands of Hollywood
introduces the audience to something that was at one time unconventional but is so much more loving and personal than hiring help. These guys, while sometimes frustrated with the bounds to their wives' schedules or routines, are all choosing to be there. They were not given an ultimatum, and they come from the kind of families that could easily afford to bring in a nanny. There is just something so refreshing about watching Grant Reynolds (ex-Marine and sometime-actor), for example, run around the house with his two-year-old. You take one look at the tall, tattooed, good-looking guy, and you know he could be successful at a million things (as could all of the guys in the cast). But the one he is deeming most important in this juncture in his life is raising his kid. And that is something that should not only be advertised but also admired and celebrated.

Househusbands of Hollywood
premieres on August 15th on Fox Reality. Channel Check back here in early August for my interview with the cast!

They Can All Get F-ed Just Stay True To You...

I know this isn't the official video for "Beautiful," but whether it's fan made or an early, teaser release from Interscope and Em himself, I actually like it a bit more than the ode to Detroit released later. Sure, it was nice of Eminem to pay homage to all of the hard-working Americans who got royally screwed earlier this year with layoffs and cutbacks and bankruptcy, but "Beautiful" is such a deeply personal song for the artist, I think it's a bit more poignant to see what in his life and career got him to the point where he's singing the things he is. Or maybe the best answer would be a mash-up of the two videos? Compare and contrast below:

And now the actual, official version:

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Will You Watch?...

Just another new little column for all y'all faithful readers ;)

Today Bethenny Frankel gave a cooking demo at Macy's Herald Square. While chatting up fans and a handful of reporters alike, Frankel had to field questions left and right about the status of the next (third) season of The Real Housewives of NYC after rumors flew that a good majority of the cast were looking for pay raises. As Frankel's show-BFF Jill Zarin pointed out, though, they are an ensemble and should all stick together-- not unlike the way the cast of Friends negotiated together when it came to numbers.

Maybe Zarin didn't get the BBM, though, because it was announced today that Frankel would be getting her own show, aptly titled Skinny & The City, and therefore would not be returning for the third season of Housewives. I can't help but think that Kelly Bensimon's eagerness to re-sign-up, then, had to do with the fact that her nemesis would no longer be around to point out her stupidity and vapidity.

So now the question is, will Zarin move over to Skinny & The City, becoming to Frankel what Maggie is to Kathy Griffin? Will Frankel continue to seem as witty and sardonic when we get a full half-hour of her one-liners and impressions? But more importantly: will you watch? Will you tune in and give Skinny & The City a chance? And/or will you stick with what you know will bring the drama and the laughs with the Housewives series-- even if they end up replacing a few of the ladies?

Hottie of the Week: NPH...

In honor of the Emmys' nominees announcement today and its adorable, funny, and musical host (let's hope he puts all three talents to good use-- like he did on the Tonys and even his guest judge appearance on Top Chef Masters), today's Hottie of the Week is none other than Neil Patrick Harris. Legen-dary!!

Next Year's Emmy Hopeful...

On this week's episode of Better Off Ted, they make reference to an elusive CEO. This is a person we have never met, nor have we really even heard of before. But the amount of times they talk about not bringing things up to the CEO or not angering the CEO leads me to believe we will hear (if not see) a lot more of him (or her?) in the future.

Better Off Ted
has been compared quite a bit to Arrested Development in its reviews-- and not just because both star Portia De Rossi in roles where she gets to be both dry and screwball. Therefore, I can't think of a better actor to turn up as the CEO than Jeffrey Tambor!

If I Were A Voter (Na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na)...

This should surprise no one, but I am not a voting member of any prestigious Academy in Hollywood (yet?). Today the list of nominees for the 61st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards was released, and though I was not really surprised by what made it on and what didn't, I was somewhat disappointed in a few of the choices (see my perfect Emmy ballot entries to understand why). It has only been about an hour since the announcement, and after careful deliberation, I have already stamped, signed, and sealed my ballot...which I will place carefully in my journal (and on this site, apparently) so that when the telecast happens, I can see just how many people agreed with me. This is not a documentation of whom I think will actually win but who I want to win based on the choices.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy
Amy Poehler (Saturday Night Live)
Kristin Wiig (Saturday Night Live)
Jane Krakowski (30 Rock)
Kristin Chenoweth (Pushing Daisies)
Elizabeth Perkins (Weeds)***-- I would like to deeply apologize to Ms. Perkins for not including her on my aforementioned dream ballot, but for some reason I was under the impression Weeds would not make the deadline. Ms. Perkins' deadpan delivery (especially in early this season opposite her daughter Quinn while being held for ransom were just priceless. Case in point: "Your organs should net me about $100,000, and I can live in a beach house." "Oh can't buy a beach house for $100K!"
Vanessa Williams (Ugly Betty)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy
Kevin Dillon (Entourage)
Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother)***-- Host and win?? Why, that would be-- wait for it-- LEGENDARY!!
Rainn Wilson (The Office)
Jon Cryer (Two And A Half Men)
Tracy Morgan (30 Rock)
Jack McBrayer (30 Rock)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama
Rose Byrne (Damages)
Sandra Oh (Grey's Anatomy)
Chandra Wilson (Grey's Anatomy)
Dianne Wiest (In Treatment)***-- I picked her from the start!
Hope Davis (In Treatment)
Cherry Jones (24)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama
William Shatner (Boston Legal)
John Slattery (Mad Men)
Christian Clemenson (Boston Legal)
Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad)*** -- I picked him, too!!
William Hurt (Damages)
Michael Emerson (Lost)

Outstanding Actress in a Comedy
Tina Fey (30 Rock)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus (The News Adventures of Old Christine)
Christina Applegate (Samantha Who?)*** -- Can it be a three-way tie? I love them all! Though, it would be a nice kick in ABC's pants if Applegate won after they prematurely canceled her show!
Sarah Silverman (The Sarah Silverman Program)
Toni Collette (The United States of Tara)
Mary Louise-Parker (Weeds)

Outstanding Actor in a Comedy
Steve Carell (The Office)
Tony Shalhoub (Monk)
Alec Baldwin (30 Rock)
Charlie Sheen (Two and a Half Men)
Jim Parsons (Big Bang Theory)*** -- Baldwin did some good work this year, but Dr. Sheldon Coopers' neuroses were (and quite possibly will always be) unmatched due to Parsons' clever and unique portrayal. Even a simple look from him elicits giggles that turn into full laughs!
Jermaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords)

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama
Sally Field (Brothers & Sisters)
Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer)
Glenn Close (Damages)
Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men)
Holly Hunter (Saving Grace)
Mariska Hargitay (Law and Order: SVU)*** -- While it's nice to see so many of my picks on the list, I will always have a personal soft spot for Hargitay, and for what I consider to be the best (most interesting and most consistent) of the L&O franchise).

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama
Jon Hamm (Mad Men)
Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad)
Michael C. Hall (Dexter)*** -- Who else could make playing a bad guy look so good??
Gabriel Byrne (In Treatment)
Hugh Laurie (House)
Simon Baker (The Mentalist)

Outstanding Comedy
The Office
30 Rock
Family Guy


How I Met Your Mother

Flight of the Conchords

Outstanding Drama
Mad Men
Big Love
Breaking Bad


PS: Kathy Griffin got nominated for Emmys for both My Life On The D-List and her Bravo stand-up special She'll Cut A Bitch!!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Woof Wednesday #9...

Trying to find a little bit of home at Grandma's house, where we are spending an extended visit.

"It smells like home, Ezekiel."

WWATN: The Class of Miss Bliss…

Watching TBS during the weekday mornings, I have been struck by something a bit odd. First, the Time Warner digital guide says that Saved By The Bell is on from eight to nine a.m., but when I click on the station, I am greeted by one Ms. Hayley Mills. The next thing I notice, if I happen to tune in in time for the opening credits is that all of the young pubescent faces have been superimposed into the neon squiggly cutouts of the latter SBTB years. Mark-Paul Gosselaar, still with his Sun-In surfer hair even introduces most of the episodes. Then it hit me, after SBTB became so popular—not just with my generation but with the younger siblings and perhaps now even children of my generation—the Powers That Be decided to integrate Good Morning Miss Bliss into that world as much as possible in an effort to tie them together as one show—one show that just happened to replace half its cast between seasons one and two. And those poor kids who got left by the wayside are the ones who got hurt in this situation: stripped of the kind of fame that would have plastered their faces on everything from posters to beach towels to lunch boxes…Then again maybe they were the lucky ones…?

Max Battimo, who played Zack Morris' right-hand man and BFF, Mike Gonzalez, only got to spend thirteen episodes in the hallowed halls of Bayside. When his stint ended in 1989, he went back to his normal school and friends and took quite an interest in playing hockey. In fact, the one-time child actor got so invested in the sport that he began to referee and then work as an Official for the ECHL. Now he still holds the job he loves—joining what was once inevitably just a hobby into a profession And moreover, he seems to be well adjusted and all-American in that stereotypically "normal" way. It is a wonder if people even recognize his name when it appears in hockey programs.

Jessie Spano predecessor, brainiac Nikki Coleman, was played by Heather Hopper-- who I remember from Troop Beverly Hills fame. In that movie, she played the equally intelligent but also somewhat geeky psychoanalytical daughter of a big time Hollywood director. No reason was ever given for why Hopper was replaced on the show, but even after a handful of guest appearances in other (slightly more adult) comedies like Beverly Hills 90210, Married With Children, and Miss Match, her role on the Saturday morning children's program is the one she is still most known for today. Hopper is still trying her hand at auditioning and bit parts, though, proving that the new Wells Fargo commercials are right: it truly is best when you turn a passion into a lifelong career! And that is something that both of these former child stars should be proud to say they are accomplishing.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Get OBSESSED With This Song!...

I'm a fan of both Mariah's and Eminem, and though she denies this is about him, I can't help but think otherwise. Still, no matter because this song is hot, and the video is pretty clever, too. Love the cameo by famed fashion photog Patrick DeMarchelier. Love the Mean Girls reference even more! Sorry for the poor quality, but it's the only one available right now: the official release in the US isn't until tomorrow; what was released earlier today on Yahoo Music was another "oops" moment for those Mimi's camp hired. Someone must have hit the wrong button or something.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Seeing Ghosts (Of Many Persuasions)...

Huh. I don't consider myself a Michael Jackson expert or anything. I don't even own all of his "epic" and "groundbreaking" music videos. Still, I was somewhat shocked to read Stephen King's article in Entertainment Weekly about his one brush with Mr. Jackson himself. I had no idea that at some point in the nineties (right around when the first child molestation accusations began to arise-- ironically or poignantly?? Well, that depends on just how cynical you are, I guess...) he created this short film of a musical entitled "Ghosts."

The opening clearly shows a group of suburban "normals" who want to smoke MJ out, calling him a weirdo, and alluding to something he may or may not have said and/or done to a kid as the justification. Then what follows is more crazy make-up, FX, and of course dancing that we have come to know and love and expect from the King of Pop. And what makes it amazingly better is that not only did Stephen King write it, but Mick Garris and Stan Winston directed it!

(Plus it co-stars a very young, very yuppified Mos Def!!!)

Michael Jackson - Ghosts
by Wakazai

So tell me, have any of you guys seen this before??

Bags Are My Porn...

So I don't normally review or write about fashion in general. I don't consider myself very "up" on such things as revolving collections, new seasons' trends, or who the hot new designers are (other than what Project Runway tells me). So when I discovered Kooba all on my own in Fred Segal Fun earlier in the year, I didn't consider myself on the cutting edge of anything. Even when The Real Housewives' Bethenny Frankel complimented me on it and felt the leather with just the subtlest of glints of jealousy in her eye, I took it with a grain of salt. I purchased the bag because it was big enough to hold my oversized wallet, iPhone, bottle of water (though I would never dream of putting liquids anywhere near such a work of art!), notebook in which I write down lines of dialogue or scene inspirations as they creep up (yes, I'm a bit old-school), and even my dog's leash, should I feel compelled to bring it with me when he's not around. Plus, it was just the right shade of blue to catch the eye without requiring sunglasses.
When I first brought it with me to The Corporation, I had people coming over to my desk and complimenting me on it. I even had people come back, dragging other co-workers over to take a look. That alone was well worth the price tag (which, when you consider designer bags, was actually quite reasonable). Kooba is a local designer, and I felt good about "keeping it in the community," so to speak.

Recently, I saw the bags crop up on NYC Prep-- so much so that not only does Facebook have a "Which handbag are you?" quiz for the fans of said show, but Kooba also has a NYC Prep page, where you can easily locate the bags of spoiled rich kids Taylor, Kelli, and the cross-eyed ones. I have to admit: I have visited the Kooba website quite a number of times since purchasing my first bag. I have thought about what I could forego in order to purchase another (I could keep more lights off in my apartment, for example, and stop eating weekly lunches at Cheesecake Factory, but my other monthly shopping habits could not be altered even in the slightest). However, seeing the bags crop up on such a blemish in pop culture (of all shows! Why couldn't Bethenny or Jill Zarin show off the designer first??), my shoulders sagged just a little bit. I still love the aesthetics (coloring especially), but I feel just a little gross about sporting the bag for fear of getting the "That's a Kooba? Like Jessie carries on NYC Prep!?" squeal.

I know celebrities being photographed or filmed with their product is the dream for young designers, but I have to imagine that there is a ranking system as to just with whom they'd want their product shown. And I'd have to imagine that these teenagers-- however privileged they may be and however important their parents may be-- are on the bottom of that pyramid! However, being associated with Bravo reflects greatly on the brand. Now, I know they had some sort of product placement deal with the network, but I can only hope-- for their sake and my own-- that maybe they didn't know what show they would be creating a line for when they signed up. Otherwise, I have to consider it a bit of selling out, and that just makes me sad!

WMFATA: Caprice Crane...

Early last week, Entertainment Weekly posted a list of their top 25 funny celebrities. And considering I look to that magazine to inspire everything about my own life of pop culture (only slight sarcastic intonation there, as I really do rely on their book reviews as recommendations but more often than not I get more aggravated that their articles are ones I've already put in some variation on my own site), I set to work planning a list of my own. Mine was going to debut at the end of the month, to coincide with the Apatow clan's newest film, appropriately titled Funny People. However, as I sat down to write it, I realized that I didn't want to wait so long to share my verbage (and not just because I feared mine would be called a copy-cat). No, what I had to say about one funny lady in particular was something that was much more timely and relevant.

Caprice Crane is the author of chick lit "Stupid and Contagious" and "Forget About It," with the latter totally starting the "amnesia" trend of a few years ago that spawned other comedic gems like Samantha Who? With a stint on the new 90210 turning into a staff writing position on the new Melrose Place, this daughter of a famous TV actress is certainly making her own name for herself in the medium. Crane also has another new novel due out at the end of the year that is sure to climb bestseller charts within the first few weeks it is on the shelves. Also, she is a fellow Shih Tzu mama, so that makes her automatically one of the best people on the planet ;)

Why My Friends Are Talking About Her: Crane is known for quippy dialogue and snappy relationship stories, but it is her ability to be just as smart, cutting, and comical in 140 characters or less that has everyone talking these days. Crane is fast edging out top competitors like Diablo Cody to become the funniest woman on Twitter!

Sample Tweets?:
- "Rachael Ray underwent vocal cord surgery and must stay quiet for a week. Couldn't someone have slipped the doc a $50? Shut her up for good?"
- "For $30, you can buy a device that limits how long kids can play video games. For the more frugal, "Dad's vicious backhand" is still free."
- "A panda at the National Zoo got a bamboo cake for his birthday. Missing from the cake: a bamboo shiv to shank the guards and break free."

Saturday, July 11, 2009

OMG He's So Cute!!!...

Jensen got up on stage at a bar called Dante's in Portland, OR late last month to rock out with his good friends Steve Carlson and Christian Kane who were giving a mini concert there. I have no idea what the song they are singing is, but watching how "into" the music J gets just makes me smile!

Why I'm Agro Today: Still Into Soap Operas...

When I was a kid, my mother would take me out to New Jersey to meet random Days of our Lives stars who felt like coming to the east coast in the name of charity. Through the years, the likes of Jensen Ackles, Josh Taylor, Kristian Alfonso, Peter Reckell, Doug and Susan Seaforth Hayes, Bryan Dattilo, Julianne Morris, and Deidre Hall greeted me in the Garden State (to name a few!). It was a nice way to meet some of my favorite television personalities without having to leave my home area.

Now, I can't remember the name of the venue that hosted any such events, but today one that has been given quite a chunk of publicity as of late hosted a similar function. And being that I am in New York at this time and have been getting more and more involved in charity functions again lately, I would have jumped at the chance to go-- even though I no longer watch DOOL. These days, my soap of choice is Bravo's Real Housewives series (though I received a screener for Fox Reality's Househusbands of Hollywood today, and that might come a close second!). Today's event would have introduced my ex-love to my current, but unlike past boyfriends, somehow I think this meeting would have turned into something memorable and one of a kind-- in a fantastic way.

Former DOOL stars Judi Evans and Austin Peck attended, along with General Hospital and Bold and the Beautiful alum Sean Kanan. I met Austin quite a few times during my tenure as a DOOL fan, and he was a sweetheart every time, always taking time to joke and flirt with fans, sign however many photos and magazines they thrust in front of him, pose for goofy photos, and sketch original drawings on napkins, folders, tablecloths, and event programs.
Me and Austin at a similar event in
Jersey circa 2000
He was my first crush from the show, and I would have liked to play catch up with him-- even for just a few minutes. But moreover, the fundraiser, from which all proceeds benefited ALS/Lou Gehrig's Disease, was hosted by none other than THE MOTHER FREAKING REAL HOUSEWIVES OF NEW JERSEY!!!
Now, naturally, only four of the five housewives were in attendance, and since the event was held at none other than the Manzos' brownstone, I'm sure you can figure out just who was absent, but more importantly, Caroline brought her hot son Albie along for the day, too (Take Your Child To Work Day would have had extra special meaning for me today)!

I have absolutely no idea what went on during the event, but judging from the few pictures from the day that I have seen, I assume it is a lot of the usual chicken lunch plate, speeches/Q&A at a podium/dais, and autograph/photo sessions with the soap stars...hopefully all of them. I'm just bummed I missed it. And I know-- I just know-- if I was still as into DOOL as I once was, I would have heard all about this through fan sites and potentially could have even attended this one as press and gotten some one on one time with the ladies (and gents) of my choice to make this a real article. Instead, I have to settle for piecing together the stories of the day from the paparazzi photos. Where/how can I get on mailing lists for future similar events!?!?!?!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Hottie of the Week: Taye Diggs...

The voice of an angel; the body of a God. In honor of my friend Margo, I present to you Taye Diggs.

(No other words necessary.)

The Return Of The Greatest Concert Series Ever (--EVER!!)...

It is just about two months until VH1 brings the return of their Divas Live concert series back to NYC, with a September 17 concert at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Howard Gilman Opera House.

When VH1 debuted their first Divas Live concert ten years ago, I was not allowed to go. It was held at the Beacon Theatre, which my mother mistakenly thought was in New Jersey (WTF??), and being that I was only fourteen, she didn’t want me to have to go there and back on my own. Instead of singing along and actually standing when Mariah urged the audience to, I had to settle for watching the broadcast at my aunt and uncle’s house because, oh yeah, my parents didn’t even have cable television. But I was always a really creative kid, so it was no problem for me to pretend I was there at the concert with my best friend. This time around, though, I’m an adult, and I grew up in the borough in which the concert is taking place (two reasons I would be able to arrive at the venue unscathed), so there is no way I will miss it!

At the very first Divas Live concert, I was thrilled to find my childhood faves of the aforementioned Mariah Carey and Gloria Estefan, along with current faves Mariah Carey and Shania Twain. Throw in some classics like Aretha Franklin and Carole King, and it was a night to remember whether you were there in person alongside celeb “presenters” like Jennifer Aniston or if you were just watching from home. The cause was great, too-- Save The Music—and these days, with public schools cutting arts programs left and right, it has never been more needed. With Viacom gearing up for the concert in August by creating a VOD playlist, the powers that be must be putting the final touches on the performers and their set lists. Be ensured I will post that here once I have confirmation, but for now, enjoy my own personal "dream" Divas concert.

Mariah Carey (natch)

Whitney Houston (in keeping with her "comeback" album, if she is in as top-notch shape as they say, she should blow the doors off that opera house!)

Leona Lewis

Kelly Clarkson


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Even Wackier Than Burn After Reading...

This is the first movie I've been excited about in a long time-- and not just because I heart Matty and Joel!

Woof Wednesday #8...

Madison got a haircut and to make up for the fact that he now looks weird, the groomer gave him this "kicky" bandana.

I think he would have
preferred a cookie.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

My Five Cents: The Michael Jackson Memorial...

Sadly most of my thoughts while watching the memorial for Michael Jackson live on MTV (couldn't even watch it in HD because those a-holes at ABC News NY decided it would be smart to offer commentary over the performances) had to do with the spectacle that surrounded such a troubled artist. Jackson was as flamboyant in life as he was controversial, but it seems like his family (namely his brother Jermaine) could not be content until such behavior was shrouded by the ostentatiousness of his death. I was an MJ fan, too (see embarrassing photo below where I tried my six or seven year old best to imitate him in a mini apartment concert), but I do not think his passing-- as untimely as it may have been-- warranted a four million dollar funeral that the taxpayers of Los Angeles will be responsible for, while the city accrues other debts and has to cut school and police force funding. I also found it quite unnecessary (and creepy) to wheel in a gold plated coffin, even if it was empty and simply symbolic).

I was more thrilled than most to hear Mariah sing "I'll Be There" for Michael, perhaps one last time. And I was even more thrilled to see Trey Lorenz shine along stage with her, though it was unfortunate that it took such a tragedy to give him his due moment in the spotlight. It was refreshing to hear the usually flawless performer crack as she teared up remembering not the legend but the man, and it was even more refreshing that she did not choose to sing one of her own ("Bye Bye"-- because as fitting as that song might have been, it would have come across as shameless promotion, much like how "Never Too Far" would have in the 9/11 aftermath. Man, that woman has awful release date timing!).

It was touching to hear memories of Jackson from those who worked with him before (like Smokey Robinson and Magic Johnson), but I couldn't help but wonder where his so-called closest friends were. Macauley Culkin, Lisa Marie Presley, and Elizabeth Taylor were nowhere to be found. Instead, I had to suffer through an increasingly self-indulgent monologue from Brooke Shields, in which she basically outed Jackson as being the perfect gay best friend. I would have preferred to hear Janet speak over Jermaine (or Jermaine's singing!), but I understand she was a bit too sedated for words. Still, I can't help but think that whatever she'd say, slurred or not, would have been more eloquent or profound than the secret family revelations her brother Marlon decided to spill at the most inopportune of times. Those other Jacksons are still fame hungry, but it's just not right to use the death of one for the others to profit.

It was, however, extremely heartwarming to see his children (who look oddly like the offspring of Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos, btw! and even if the eldest, Prince Michael, seemed bored and out of place, chewing gum and tossing his hair ala Sebastian from NYC Prep), but I couldn't help but think the family should have adorned the kids in memorial masks or veils one last time and in honor of their father who is probably rolling over in his grave at how much face time they are getting in the press (seriously, did anyone see the cover of the NY Post? I wanted to find a copy already scanned to post the somewhat disturbing image online, but to no avail). Little Paris' speech was the only time I teared up during the two hour miniseries (sure to be available on iTunes and DVD soon; AEG could use a little extra cash, after all!), and I truly wish those kids all of the luck in the world. They are certainly going to need it.

Monday, July 6, 2009

MMFATA: Jesse L Martin...

NBC may have single-handedly made Jesse L. Martin the household name he became with his work as Detective Ed Green on Dick Wolf's Law & Order franchise. And this NY actor was in the original incarnation of the series! However, to those with theatre in their veins, Martin will always be known as the activist, anarchist, and angelic Tom Collins in Jonathan Larson's Tony and Pulitzer Prize winning RENT. Though he has quite a few projects in the works now, including a biopic of acclaimed singer Marvin Gaye, Martin has been laying low since leaving NBC in 2008. Thankfully, though, he is back on the network that made him-- and therefore back in our homes-- for what will hopefully be months and perhaps even years to come!

Why My Friends Are Talking About Him: My friend Roxanne, who openly calls Martin her "future husband"-- even around work clients who just happen to include his longtime employer, NBC-- has admitted she is only tuning into The Philanthropist for her fix of Martin. And even then she's only watching it on VOD and fast-forwarding to his scenes!

“Sassy” Outbursts And States Of Arrested Development…

It’s two minutes to air and only two-thirds of the talent is present and accounted for—looking bright-eyed, bright-toothed, and okay, somewhat smug in their news anchor chairs. The black X on the floor in front of the green screen just off to stage left is empty, leaving everyone wondering what is keeping the “sassy” weather girl. She finally storms in with mere seconds to spare; she is just as blonde and waify as the anchor she passes, though on her, it reads more as frailty. Instead of falling apart, though, her shaky tone only rises as she begins to rip into a live tirade about the other two, who just happen to be sleeping together. The crew laughs and keeps right on shooting. This all sounds like the daily behind-the-scenes of our local Fox affiliate morning news here in L.A., doesn’t it? But no, it’s the opening of Blayne Weaver’s new independent comedy, aptly titled Weather Girl. For all of the spectacle that Weather Girl opens with, though, the rest of the film proves to be much more understated: it is filled with more serious character moments than slapstick.

Weaver, who both wrote and directed Weather Girl, has a seemingly innate ability to create characters and situations that jump off of the screen with their vibrancy. Working on a miniscule budget, most of Weather Girl takes place in a cramped, somewhat dingy apartment when Sylvia (The New Adventures of Old Christine’s Tricia O’Kelley), the aforementioned perpetually deemed “sassy” title character, effectively ends both her relationship and her career in those few minutes she bursts out on live television. Left single, unemployed, virtually homeless, and on the wrong side of thirty, Sylvia ends up on her younger brother Walt (Ryan Devlin)’s doorstep needing a place to crash, a cold beer, and a warm shoulder. Add in Walt’s unassuming best friend Byron (Young Hollywood’s most promising up-and-comer Patrick J. Adams), who also happens to live across the hall, and Weather Girl quickly turns into a more modern Three’s Company.

Though there are quirky moments indicative of the independent medium, in many ways Weather Girl plays out like any old romantic comedy. Right when Sylvia meets Byron, it is clear that he has a thing for her, and in true filmic device, she naturally decides a fling would be just the thing she needs to try to get past the negative turn her life has taken. There are the usual obstacles: keeping her brother/his best friend in the dark, their age difference, yada yada yada, but it is clear where it will all end up. The fun is in watching these dynamic personalities get from A to B. Weather Girl is not a film with plot twists or flashy surprises; it is simply a story—one which this art form is often lacking lately.

In many ways (and despite a huge—if something fleeting—influx of bit player roles, like by the snarky Marin Hinkle and Alex Kapp Horner as Sylvia’s girl friends; Enrico Colantoni and Blair Underwood as underused ex-co-workers on the morning show; and Mark Harmon and Kaitlin Olson—who channels her inner Karen Walker to be that much more of a floozie—as the anchors who wronged her), Weather Girl seems to be created as a star vehicle for O’Kelley to showcase just how she (and any somewhat beaten-down woman she may play) can shine through adversity. While all of these names are nice “surprises” that unfold in just about one out of every three scenes, it is O’Kelley and her merry men (Devlin and Adams) who are the heart and soul of Weather Girl. Adams in particular challenges O’Kelley nicely with an impish wit that lends credibility to a character that otherwise could have been seen as just a Peter Pan-esque slacker.
In Weather Girl, Weaver casually drops technology into pivotal scenes and conversations, each time depicting that Sylvia’s spiral, in addition to her initial meltdown, is available for public consumption. She is on the Internet screaming profanities at co-workers, as well as saving a choking restaurant patron’s life. It is poignant commentary from an independent filmmaker—that our lives could be documented at any time, by anyone-- because more times than not while watching Weather Girl, the audience feels not like they are watching something big, grand, and untouchable unfold in front of them but rather that they are simply spying on their neighbors when they are at their most emotionally vulnerable.

Weather Girl opens in limited release this Friday, July 10, and will then be available on VOD and DVD in the fall.