Thursday, April 30, 2009
Monday, April 27, 2009
Why My Friends Are Talking About Him: Last week, after yet another Kris Allen acoustic cover of a popular genre classic, my friend Jaime and I got to talking about how much we love him. She compared him to Jason Mraz; I called him a cross between Bryan Greenberg and Jason Manns (oh, okay, let's face it, and my friend Jon). That spurred a discussion of our shared love of Greenberg, whose own acoustic solo album is wildly underrated (quite a few didn't even know he had one out! But he does. It's available on iTunes, and y'all should get it). He also has a couple of movies On Demand right now (the blink-and-you-missed-him cameo in Bride Wars, which was also aforementioned here, and the indie thriller Nobel Son) and yet another due out soon (The Good Guy with Alexis Bledel). In 2005 he won a Young Hollywood Award for his performance in Unscripted, and ever since then he has been unstoppable, racking up role after role in great films. He is one up-and-comer on whom to definitely keep your eyes (and ears)!
Sunday, April 26, 2009
For those of you who are iPhone or iPod Touch users (like myself), there is now a fast and easy way to stay up to date with the happenings in my world aka the world of pop culture. Follow these easy steps to set "My Life, Made Possible By Pop Culture" as an icon, mimicking the Application functions, rather than having to sift through Safari bookmarks or type in the URL every time you want to read my 30 Rock recap or take a look at some photos from the latest event I have attended (Spoiler Alert: upcoming is Maxim's Hot 100 Party).
1) Go to Safari on your iPhone or iPod Touch.
2) Bring up my website: www.danielletbd.blogspot.com.
3) Wait for the page to finish loading completely.
4) Tap the + (plus sign) at the bottom of the browser window.
5) Select "Add To Homepage)
6) An icon and title will pop up. Select Add.
Voila! Now you can have easy access to all of my musings and opinions in your pocket! And I will work with Apple shortly to change the icon from just a snapshot of my homepage to the image y'all have come to know and love as my Official Bio photo for any site I contribute to (aka the shot of me and Jensen from Creation Entertainment's 2008 convention).
Friday, April 24, 2009
Kenneth has removed everything with coconut because of staff allergies, which Liz thinks is a bunch of crap (and not just because he took her Hostess snacks away). She claims they are psychosomatic, and not even his or Jenna's slightly bigotted stories about throats closing up can change her mind. Frank brings a box of donuts to Craft Services, which gets turned away for "no unauthorized food," but he tells everyone not to worry because there's actually just a mouse in there. It's a prank on Lutz again. Yeah, that makes it better.
Best lines of the night:
Liz: "Yeah, well, in my experience "I'll think about it" usually ends up with me watching Solid Gold in my basement on prom night."
Liz: "Where are my Snoballs? I was going to go to the gym later, so I deserve a treat."
Jack: "Being in a relationship means overlooking certain flaws. I mean, somewhere right now a guy is on a J-Date with Monica Lewinsky. Nobody's perfect."
Thursday, April 23, 2009
In the first season of The Real Housewives of New York City, the girls already had some pretty big shoes to fill, and they got right to work in attempting to do so by henpecking at one of the women in the group's relationship. Alex and her husband Simon were seemingly inseparable; in fact, out of all of the versions of this series, he is the only male counterpart to be granted his own interviews with the producers, making him the "honorary sixth housewife" (well, seven now that the allegedly abusive Kelly has joined the crew). When Alex asked Jill if she could bring Simon to a "girl's night" at Jill's house, Jill and Bethenny rolled their eyes. But when Simon actually showed up trailing Alex that night, the "good Christian" Ramona went off on him, telling him he made her uncomfortable, that he threw off the dynamic, and later flat-out called him "creepy." A bit tactless? Sure, but the girl was just saying what the viewers had already been thinking for weeks!
The "words" that were had between Ramona and Jill or Ramona and Simon or Bethenny and Kelly on The Real Housewives of New York City were all entertaining, but being that these are strong, straight-shooting women, they said what they needed to once-- and to the person's face-- and then it was out of their system. The "behind the back" gossiping of the overgrown seventh grade girls down in ...Atlanta, though, did not let up all season long. Nene made fun of Sheree; Kim made fun of Nene; and apparently, as we learned on their reunion special, Lisa was making fun of everyone in her own holier than thou way. Things really came to a head, though, after the cast had the chance to watch the episode and see the two-faced-ness that had been going on. At the aforementioned reunion special, Nene finally called Kim out to her face, accusing her of breaking up a marriage and wearing a wig; Kim babbled on about pretending to have cancer; and Lisa, who pretty much stayed out of it all season, had to be physically restrained as she threatened to climb over a slightly giddy Andy Cohen to attack the "fake b*tches." It is damn near impossible to pick just one moment from that ridiculous hour!
Shane's outburst toward his mother Jeana, who flew across the country to watch him play minor league baseball on The Real Housewives of Orange County was shocking and disheartening to witness for the sheer anger behind his violent words. Shane may have been a boy raised in a house where his father was disrespectful (due to a head injury that "changed" his behavior), but he is now a man with some very serious and severe issues. For once, the audience found themselves in agreement with Vicki over the situation but also found themselves sympathizing with the millionairess they previously saw as "out of their reach."
Shane doesn't fill the "spoiled, ungrateful children" quota all by himself, though-- far from it! Tamra (also ...Orange County)'s Jack O'Lantern looking son, Ryan's antics surely took the 24kt leaf decorated cake, not when he decided that he no longer wanted to become a cop because he was bitter over being pulled over and cited for blowing through a stop sign, though, but when he flirted with his mother's friends. His bug eyes would get even bigger than normal, and he would lick his lips creepily, all while hitting on women who looked exactly like, and were just as old as, his own mother. Can you say Oedipal complex? The most dramatic was when he cornered a very inebriated and just as engaged Gretchen in the bathroom and tried to convince her to "make out with him a little." Classy dude; classy with a K!
And the number one defining moment of The Real Housewives just had to be Kim (...Atlanta) trying to become a country artist!
Here's the thing: just about every woman who has a lot of cash and even more free time on her hands (ie the trophies wives and stay-at-home wives of producers-- which may be one and the same) wants to either be a clothing designer, a jewelry designer, an actress, or a singer. Sheree tried to do it with clothes on ...Atlanta; Lynn tried to do it with jewelry on ...O.C.; and Jo tried to do it with both acting and singing on ...O.C., as well. It never seems to matter to them what kind of talent or experience they have in that arena; they figure that since they have the money, they can obtain the connections, and therefore they can do it. It is the epitome of the stereotypical wealthy, so-called "elite" housewife!
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
I'm off to download his entire iTunes catalogue now, but anyone want to come with me to the American Idol tour so I can scream my head off like a twelve year old for him???
In Bride Wars, that title went to poor preppy Chris Pratt, who started out so sweet and cute with his fortune cookie proposal. You really rooted for him and Anne Hathaway because here was a young guy who didn't do something cheesy or over the top but instead tailored the moment quite specifically to his girlfriend. It showed he really thought about it; it showed he really thinks about her. But all the while, you have Bryan Greenberg secretly in love with Hathaway, and considering only one of the two dueling brides could actually go through with having her wedding on June 6 (the date both were booked at the Plaza), it was clear from the get-go that person would not be Hathaway.
Pratt, therefore, had to turn into a controlling, machismo ape of a boyfriend in order for the audience to "understand" Hathaway breaking off their engagement. In this movie, and this particular situation, it almost appeared to come out of nowhere-- how quickly he turned. Usually, though, the writers drill it home so strongly and so early that it becomes almost repetitive, and it leads audiences to wonder just what the leading lady ever saw in them. Even in the kids' holiday movie Eloise at Christmastime, it wasn't enough that the character of Brooks be the wrong guy for Rachel Peabody, the daughter of the hotel (ironically again the Plaza) magnate who was secretly in love with a young singing waiter. No, he also had to be a downright crook with feds on his tail: he had stolen a bunch of money to make it look like he had his own, and once he and Rachel married, he was planning to just live off hers until there was none left. Perhaps that is an extreme example, but you get the idea...
The writers think they're doing their audience a favor by not forcing them to think or consider a perhaps moral gray area. But that is not indicative of real life. When you fall for two different guys at the same time, as I have on quite a few occasions, you only have your gut to tell you which one to pursue or which one is "right" for you. The first time I ever faced such a quandary was when I was in the sixth grade. There was one guy who lived down the block from me and who had gone to my elementary school (and yes I can hear myself and how that sounds) who I thought was just so cute, and then there was this new guy I met when I switched to a junior high an extra mile away, for the first time intermingling with a new set of kids. They were both dirty blond, brown-eyed, and dimpled. The guy from down the block never seemed to take notice of me, even though I purposely roller-bladed up and down the block when I knew he was out skateboarding. The new guy, on the other hand, always sat just a row away on the bus, and I often caught him staring at me as I laughed and joked with my girl friends. I had a feeling I had a better shot with him, but a little part of me kept holding out for the other one. And with no one to point out either of their flaws, I was left to my own devices, and afraid my instincts would be the wrong ones (because let's face it, even these more mature women I saw in chick flicks made the wrong choice for awhile before finally "coming to their senses"), I found that quite unsettling.
Having stacks upon stacks of reel world "references" where someone always hands you the "right" guy and the "right" answer does not adequately prepare you for what you have to face in the real world. Just another arena in which I was ill-equipped once I finally got there for myself.
The writers also think they are doing themselves a favor by writing a guy who deserves to be cut loose so their female lead won't be called "a bitch," but in reality (in my opinion anyway), it makes the women far less likable, let alone relatable, that they've supposedly been with this d-bag for so long and only now do they see the light. I have no patience for that kind of weakness; if you don't know or respect yourself enough to know when a person is bad for you, you have much bigger problems on your hands than when/where to get married!
Monday, April 20, 2009
Brown shocked, awed, and inspired friends and fans alike during her run on The Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Fresh Meat not only for the harrowing competitions in which she competed and thrived but also because she did it all while battling ovarian cancer. The twenty-something always had a smile on her face and was up for whatever the crazy producers over at Viacom could throw at her, and she did it all without letting her castmates know she was sick...until a particularly grueling and wet event, that is. No one could forget how Brown, for the first time in the history of her brief but already memorable run on the show, was visibly nervous as she stared at the pool. But very quickly she proved nothing would faze her as she whipped off her wig and dove straight into the water, earning the cheers and respect of her greatest competitors.
Why My Friends Are Talking About Her: Brown is back on MTV on yet another ...Challenge (The Duel II), and she has only gotten stronger-- physically, but also emotionally. Brown signed up for the challenge knowing her ex CT would be there as well, and though she admits she still cares for him, she saw his volatile and aggressive side get turned toward her on previous versions of the show and never once faltered in her decision to put herself first. CT wasted no time becoming belligerent and violent on The Duel II, and it was clear it was because he was still hurting over how their relationship ended. Brown stuck to her guns, though, and refused to get wrapped back up in his drama. A woman who has had first hand experience with just how short (and unpredictable) life can be, Brown uses her good spirits and her smarts for more than just making her own life the best it possibly can be: she also started a foundation, aptly called Live For The Challenge to raise money for, and provide wish gifts to kids affected by, cancer of any kind.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Desperate Housewives hit televisions in 2004, nearly a decade since a primetime soap opera actually seemed to work, and it revitalized the genre, as moderator Will Keck reminded everyone at the start of the afternoon. Eva Longoria-Parker was not surprised that creator Marc Cherry found a hit when so many before him (including one starring fellow castmate Dana Delaney) had failed. "We all started on soaps!" She laughed. Therefore, it is only natural that they could fully understand the sometimes campy, sometimes corny, but always dramatic world in which he was building.
Like any soap worth its salt, Desperate Housewives has had its share of shocking and otherwise defining moments (no pun intended, even though it's latest one was quite literal: Sheridan's character of Edit Britt crashed her car into a telephone pole, only to emerge unharmed, step in a puddle of water, and brush against a downed power line, electrocuting herself before any of her neighbors could come to her aid. As one fan bemoaned: "Marc Cherry, I only have one question for you. Edie: Why? Why? WHY?") Seasons earlier, though, it came as a surprise to no one that Paul Young (Mark Moses) was a bad guy by the time he killed nosey Martha Huber, but the way in which he decided to take her out was a bit surprising. Already no stranger to death, Cherry must have been looking to win some sort of booby prize for the most original attempt, as he had Young bash in his poor neighbor's head with the blender she had borrowed from his dead wife. That moment, perhaps even more so than Mary Alice (Brenda Strong)'s death, defined the arc of the Young family…and also, in part, the up-until-that-point-mysterious Mike Delfino.
Lynette (Huffman) learning she had cancer could have been a real downer for a show that relies a lot on comic relief. At Paley Fest, in fact, Doug Savant quipped that "See? Look what happened to this panel; you bring up cancer and [he makes falling motion with his hands]. Everything was so good, we were laughing and now..." But in fact at Paley Fest and for the show in general, the mood did not completely darken when the "c word" was mentioned. Cherry and his writing team went out of their way to depict her battle as real as they could have. They showed Lynette's fears, but they also showed Tom's because as anyone who has dealt with cancer in their circle of loved ones knows, it is a disease that affects everyone. Sure, it delivered some of the show's more serious moments-- and no one thought seeing Lynette lose her hair was glamorous-- but life is full of good times and bad. And so is Desperate Housewives.
For the cast, though, some of these moments happened when the cameras weren't rolling. Hatcher reminisced about the scene where she was standing in the middle of the street in her wedding dress after Mike had left her at the alter. The scene was memorable for fans because here you had who was pitched as the "super couple" not getting together, and that didn't sit well. But for Hatcher, it was much more than that: "I was standing on the sidewalk, in this big white dress, and all of a sudden I could feel this swarm of bees rush under and get caught in the big hoop skirt of tulle...It was the kind of thing that would happen to Susan!"
Perhaps the most poignant moment for the series, though, aired just a few short weeks ago, during it's one hundredth episode. "The Best Thing That Could Have Ever Happened" took the women back through time as they each remembered an important shared moment with their handyman Eli, played by Beau Bridges, whose character quite poetically suffered a heart attack and died on Susan's roof while doing his final job before retirement. The episode was exceptionally special to Cherry, who wrote it based loosely on his own close, personal friend, Doug Blasdell (who you might remember from Bravo's Work Out)'s passing. "Sometimes there are just those people who touch your life in ways you don't even realize," Cherry explained. And when Eli, down on his luck, first came a'knockin' around Wisteria Lane, Mary Alice saw that he had holes in his shoes and gave him his first job, promising to pass his card around to her friends, as well. It was in that moment, five years and one hundred episodes later, that the narrator of the show's own importance was reiterated. All of the good Eli did for the other women was, in part, due to her; her actions while she was alive impacted them (even if they didn't know it) as much as her action in taking her own life.
Though Edie's final demise (and Sheridan's exit) is airing a month before the season finale, Cherry and Co promised many more twists and surprises within the next few episodes. "A major character from the first and second season comes back for the final five minutes of the finale," Cherry teased. The audience murmured amongst themselves for a few seconds before the next question, dealing with Longoria-Parker's ex-flame John the Gardener, had them all assuming that he was the answer. However, I'm holding out hope for one of the Young men; after all, Moses is on hiatus from Mad Men and no one really knows what Cody Kasch is up to these days...
Friday, April 17, 2009
Liz' new friends tell her that she does still have to do something to stimulate her mind and stay active in her time of living a life of leisure, and their answer? Not Sodoku, like Liz hopes but Girl Fight Club!! This is very disappointing for her, and not just because it means Jack was right. If she wants out, though, she'll have to fight her way out...which she does, making it back to the studio with a black eye but just in time to see Jenna sing a surprisingly somber version of "Muffin Top" at her own live televise memorial. That's the kind of crazy she can get behind!
Best lines of the night:
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
A promising young star, who was able to capture the hearts of young girls and their moms, Ullman proved he had the acting chops to go the distance after stints on other network dramas like House and Cold Case. However, these days, Ullman is utilizing his floppy brown locks, piercing hazel eyes, and crooked smile not in theater or independent film (ala Josh Peck) but instead as a series regular role on Lifetime's middle-aged sitcom Rita Rocks. His character there is a somewhat cartoonish, always stereotypical, dumb boyfriend of the aforementioned title character of Rita. It is a show that no one seems to know is there, but which might not be such a bad thing for Ullman after all, since it wastes his talent completely.
Ullman has some feature film projects on the horizon that unfortunately aren't any more poised to put him a bit more on the map, though. Spring Break '83 with Jamie Kennedy and Sophie Monk centers on a group of friends getting revenge on their high school bullies, and How To Make Love To A Woman is Jenna Jameson's comedic attempt at mainstream film. While the latter is sure to have a bunch of publicity and maybe even some controversy surrounding it, both will undoubtedly end up as straight to DVD/VOD monstrocities. Ullman is multi-talented, though, and if his new acting roles keep getting buried, he always has music to lead him to the spotlight. Ullman, who taught himself to play the drums and can be seen jamming with Nicole Sullivan and Tisha Campbell-Martin on Lifetime, also just released a debut CD with his band, His Orchestra, on iTunes in February of this year.
Maybe it had something to do with the location (Hawaii appeared to be the go-to vacation setting back then; perhaps they were offering tax incentives on productions), but I, in my finite eight and ten year old wisdom, could not see that and would spend every trip my mother and I took (usually to Disney World, the other go-to for any ABC show, at least) scanning the hotel pool or the line for Haunted Mansion for adorable boys who my be able to sweep me off my little feet for a whirlwind week and a half. I never found what I was looking for.
Even when I finally got myself to Hawaii, first for Christmas with a friend's family and then spring break with two of my closest friends from college, the only guy who ever caught my eye was the old gentleman who walked up and down one of the smaller, semi-private, pointing out to all of the tourists which famous people owned which vacation house. Once again, I was tricked into believing things could be simple and sweet based on scripts I saw play out on screen, and the worst part was I didn't realize it had seeped so deeply into my subconscious until just recently, when trying to strike up a conversation with a stranger in an airport terminal. That didn't go so well either: I kept glancing over at him, trying to be nonchalant, but he kept noticing me glancing and probably thought I was trying to figure out if I had seen him in a soap or something. At one point he actually got up and switched to a different hard-backed plastic chair, I'm convinced just to be out of my eye-line!
I don’t know what happened. I have prided myself on the fact that I have always been able to separate fact from fiction or just romanticizing (and sometimes to a fault), yet this one somehow managed to slip through. And suddenly I was forced, once again, to take a look at all I believed could be based on something that never was but which I clung to. It appears I have a lot more work to do...and I hate having to work!
Monday, April 13, 2009
Okay, so to be completely honest, my friends aren't talking about him. As far as I can tell, no one is currently talking about him. After all, when his contestantcy (is that even a word??) was announced, there was a minor uproar regarding his real-life romance with dancing partner (and also sometimes country singer) Julianne Hough, asking if it is even fair that he compete with that pre-existing advantage...but that "controversy" died down pretty quickly upon news of contestant after contestant dropping out due to injuries. Who knew that in the days of televised football and cop dramas with both stunt combat and stunt driving, a dancing show could be the most dangerous thing on TV?? Anyway, the point is that there may be nothing overtly threatening about Wicks, but that doesn't automatically make him boring or therefore not worthy of headlines or photo spreads. With Clint Black refusing to take off his stupid big black hat on NBC's current celeb-reality show, Donald Trump's Celebrity Apprentice, Wicks is a refreshing change in the country music genre!
Where is my proof? Just see below!
Why My Friends Are Talking About Her: Two weeks ago, Allen performed an exclusive set at The Wiltern, and to quote my friend Natalie, "It was the best show ever!!" Two weeks later, my friends are quite literally still talking about it-- from the moment when Allen kicked off the pumps that she wore "for the photographers" and slipped on a pair of Air Jordans so she could bounce around the stage to when Lindsay Lohan slipped out from the wings and tapped her on her shoulder during a number (what other singer would allow the spotlight to be stolen-- even if briefly-- at their own concert??). Besides, as my friend Natalie says, "If you're in your twenties, and you're a chick, her music is for you!" And we are.
Friday, April 10, 2009
Kenneth is worried about not having time to go home and feed his bird while he is working both jobs, so he asks Tracy if he would mind stopping by his apartment. As he hands over the keys, though, Kenneth warns Tracy that whatever he does, he is to not go into his bedroom. Needless to say, Tracy is intrigued...and perhaps a bit scared.
At Kenneth's, even the bird warns Tracy not to go in the bedroom, and he gets so freaked out, he actually asks Jenna for her help. She tells him she had to study serial killers for some Lifetime Original movie she did, and she lists the three characteristics all serial killers share. Tracy finds ways to connect all three to traits of Kenneth's personality or past. They decide to go tell Jack so they will be seen as heroes.
Roger Bart is the consultant hired to analyze the budgets, and Liz decides to pull out her inner Steve Jobs for the presentation. Using a white curtain hung up on her soundstage, she delivers a multimedia presentation that goes off without a hitch, describing the cultural importance of her television show-- which is really like three television shows all rolled neatly into one, which basically means they are saving money! The clips of TGS are worthy of any up-front, but Roger Bart is not amused.
Liz has to cut her budget by twenty-five percent-- and she needs to turn in the revision by the end of the day or else Roger Bart will take care of it for her, and in his own words, he "doesn't give a crap about anyone here"-- so she and Pete wander around the studio, trying to figure out how they can do that. In a slightly retrospective way, they point out just why everyone is so integral through clips-- both those moments we have seen in past episodes and brand new ones. Liz nixes firing anyone, taking money away from Craft Services, and even stopping the purchase and use of straws.
Jack is spending the day firing those he deems useless, some of whom have worked for the company for two and a half decades, and others who are willing to sleep with him in order to change his mind. Liz asks him for advice on what to do, and surprisingly, he doesn't tell her to cook the books but instead to just make the hard choice and live to see another day.
Roger Bart takes the initiative to make the cuts himself, and he does all of the things Liz didn't want him to: fire the really old announcer guy and take away her snacks. She realizes (because Pete and Frank flat-out say as much) she is their only hope, and she decides to take one for the team. She tells Roger Bart he looks "hot in those trousers" and asks him out. She could do (and has done!) worse.
The next morning, Jack tells Kenneth that although there is a learning curve, he must really think before he speaks, and it takes Kenneth about three minutes to answer that he does, in fact, understand. Kenneth is uber-cryptic with Tracy and Jenna, and they decide to break in (well, not really, considering he gave Tracy his keys). They ignore Kenneth's one demand and end up finding just a can of bug bomb in the center of his dark and practically empty room before they scream and run out once again. The bug bomb kills his beloved bird-- but Kenneth is much more upset that they didn't trust him than the fact that they killed his friend. He tells them off in an angry, un-Kenneth-like way that would suggest he is ready to snap in the way they seem to have unjustly assumed he has in the past.
Liz gets "made up" by the "sluttier of the two make-up artists" and heads out for a night of sushi with Roger Bart. She tells him that they both know why she's there, so they should just cut to the chase, and she begins to bargain with him, offering him thirty minutes, and he can make dirty sounds. "The top part of my body is now in play," she adds reluctantly. And they have a deal.
Except the deal is as sour as a lemon (get it??) because he turns her writer's room into the Telemundo headquarters for soccer news. "You got your quid; where's my quo!?" Liz yells at Roger Bart, who only then realizes that the previous night had only been about business, and the "ear play" she gave him was not because she found him dreamy. For Liz, it may have just been a transaction, but for him it was oh so much more: it was the first time he was with a woman since his wife died. "Oh snap," Liz mutters. "Of course," loyal viewers do.
Roger Bart brings Liz up to human resources for trying to barter using sexual favors, which the HR guy calls "being a dirty, dirty prostitute." Jack is amused, claiming this outburst must have been brought on by Liz' menopause. She will be suspended for two weeks without pay. Hey, there's a way to save some money! Good thinking, kiddo; you did it after all! Roger Bart has been reassigned, and the budget review will start over under Jack’s guise. Kenneth bursts in to announce that there’s a spider on the printer, and Jack decides it is time to let him go. But thankfully, only as his assistant.
Kenneth's day only gets better from there, as now he can focus on just the duties he truly loves as a page. Tracy and Jenna fill his apartment with a wide variety of new birds-- doves, pigeons, parakeets, etc-- as a way to make their crazy behavior up to him.
Thursday, April 9, 2009