Monday, August 31, 2009

MMFATA: Jon Foster...

Jon Foster may be the younger brother of chameleon actor/music lover Ben Foster (Alpha Dog), but he could just as easily pass for the younger brother of actor/musician Bryan Greenberg. His soft puppy-dog eyes and wide toothy smile are the only explanation one might need if they think it isn't realistic that a professional, well put together, older woman (Jenna Elfman in CBS' new sitcom, Accidentally on Purpose) would fall for someone so young and free-spirited. You already know my feelings on the show, but I felt my feelings on Foster himself warranted a second mention.

Why My Friends Are Talking About Him: Foster will star as Zack this fall on TV sets all across America, and he may be just what the network needs to bring in the younger female demographic!

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Tonight's season two premiere of Tool Academy is only about ten minutes in, but already I'm realizing that while all of these guys are without a doubt gross and swarmy, it is actually their girlfriends who are the real tools. After all, these guys have been doing the party boy/unappreciative/cheating/mooching/general loser behavior for a while now, and yet these girls still reward them by being their girlfriends. Whether or not the guys were this bad at the start of the relationship, the girls definitely "allowed" the behavior to get so out of hand by staying with them through it and not offering an ultimatum of any kind. They still slept with these guys...hell, they probably even paid for their Ed Hardy tees and giant tattoos! Could their own self-esteem be so low that they thought these douches were the best they'd find? Or were they just too possessive to let them loose on the barrage of drunk bar girls they'd inevitably pick up (and in some cases, were already)! And where the hell are the mothers??? Why weren't they the ones to turn these man-boys into the Academy?

It is a damn good thing that the "counseling" that takes place on this show is of the couples' kind because these girls need just as much psychological work done as the guys do!

Um, so how long do you think we have before one of these "contestants" is exposed for having a violent criminal history?

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Supernatural Saturdays: Strike A Pose!...

Jensen may have come a long way from his catalog modeling days, but he can still give good "face" with the best of them! Here is a little Blue Steel action from the man who made it stop being so funny and start making it so hot. And Jared gets in on it, too!

And of course, the one that started it all!

The Newest Thing Is GLEEK Chic…

Cory Monteith (Glee's football player turned singer Finn Hudson) could not stop sweating as he walked the small, very tightly packed press line inside the Hot Topic store located at Hollywood & Highland for the LA stop of the GLEEK Mall Tour. He also could not stop apologizing for it. The tall cutie-patootie (to borrow a phrase from Rosie O'Donnell) wiped his forehead with his bare hands as publicists scrambled to find cold bottles of water for their cast.

Outside, the eager fans braved the heat, though, winding around the outdoor mall like an army in their matching blue "I'm A Gleek" shirts, eager to meet their favorite castmember and get his or her autograph. Glee has only aired one episode-- and back in May-- but its fans are already solidified. As Chris Colfer (theater enthusiast Kurt Hummel) pointed out: "There is nothing on quite like this show right now, and we give all of the theater kids out there an outlet."

It was quite remarkable to see just how musical the Glee fans themselves were. Lea Michele (brainiac over-enthusiast Rachel Berry) spoke fondly of her favorite tour memory: when the fans in Boston sang "Don't Stop Believin" to the cast as they came through the doors. However, LA was not to be outdone, and as she stepped on stage, the crowd promptly broke out in "Happy Birthday" (she is born today, August 29).

Though everyone was hoping the cast would sing one of their favorite numbers (which all agreed was "Push It," except for Monteith, who held onto "Don't Stop Believin"), the cast turned it back to the fans, who were once again, all too eager to prove they knew all the words...and moves. Kevin McHale (Artie Abrams) and Manny "On The Streets" from KIIS FM, who was "moderating" the Q&A, tried to egg Monteith on to show off the "Single Ladies" dance, but sadly he would not bite.

Who did bite, though, was Amber Riley (Diva Mercedes Jones), who admitted to being the biggest prankster in the cast, even going so far as to put a "love note" in a very special guest star's dressing room and sign it from Michele. And the entire cast bit later on when Manny asked them to give out their Twitter IDs. Michele even announced that she was "400 behind Cory," meaning she had four hundred fewer followers than he did, which spurred the entire cast to jokingly complain about their own numbers. Only Mark Salling (mohawked-bad boy "Puck") could not join in because "Mark has a fake Twitter!" Jenna Ushkowitz (Tina Cohen-Chang) exclaimed. "He has one, but it's not really him [behind it]." "I am, like, 10,000 behind Cory!" Dianna Agron, the peppy Mean Girl cheerleader Quinn Fabray spoke dryly into the microphone. The guess is they'll all be caught up soon enough, though, and Mark is going to have to hop on that bandwagon sooner rather than later or risk being asked why he hasn't yet at every future similar public appearance!

Glee airs on Fox on Wednesday nights at nine p.m., which it's first episode of the season starting 9/9/09 at 9. Say that five times fast!

For more exclusive photos from this event, please visit my Facebook page.

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Challenge Is Back!...

After a tumultuous few weeks for Viacom, their long-beloved reality game show has been announced to return on September 30th. That's right: The Real World/Road Rules Challenge is back, and this time it's with a vengeance! Though the promo announces that this is a cast we've never seen, actually quite a few favorites from years past have returned to battle it out in something called The Ruins.

The two teams this time around are the Champions and the Challengers. The Champions are self-explanatory: those who have won a previous RR/RW Challenge. The Challengers are equally as self-explanatory, even if the composite might leave you scratching your heads. You have to remember that these are people who have all appeared on past challenges-- perhaps a buttload of them-- but never won. That's how hotshots like Brad and Danny are on this latter team.
Oh yeah and TJ Lavin once again returns as our dry host.

So who is returning? There are fan faves Diem, Derrick, Kenny, and Evan. There are long-lost fan faves Syrus and Darrell. There are love-to-hate-em picks Tonya, Katie, Dunbar, Veronica, and Johnny. There are even newbies (and cuties) like Chet and Cohutta! Noticeably absent are the troublemakers from years past-- namely CT, and namely for the last year's season, though his cohort in the fight, Adam, and his cohort in the drama, Shauvon, make hopefully triumphant returns-- but of course this season boasts plenty of drama on its own.

Evelyn is bound to blow up at at least one of the other "chicks" in the house. And with ex-bethrothed Wes and Johanna living under the same roof as ex-bf/gf Cohutta and KellyAnne (and especially considering KellyAnne is now dating Wes), MTV is guaranteed some drunken crying arguments if not some drunken hot tub hookups resulting in partner swapping by the end of the season or until all four are eliminated from the game (which ever may come first).

So set your TiVos now and/or put it on your calendar because Wednesday nights are about to get heated, y'all!

It's A Bad Time To Be In The (Viacom) Reality Business...

As if it wasn't bad enough that earlier this month VH1 had to pull not one but two trashtastic reality shows from their line-up due to the unfortunate (and untimely) involvement of a contestant that appeared (Ryan Jenkins) who was undergoing his own demise, now MTV faces a similar battle.

Both Megan Wants A Millionaire and I Love Money 3 had already been shot and presumably edited when it came to light that Jenkins had a criminal history (but who doesn't these days on these shows??) and was the main point of interest in the strangulation and mutilation case of his (former?) wife model/actress Jasmine Fiore. We all know how that one ended: VH1 pulled the plug on Megan Wants..., undoubtedly pissing off the dog-loving (pun intended) blonde who just wanted the rest of her fifteen minutes, just before Jenkins' body was found in a Canadian hotel room. Though no official word has been given on the state of I Love Money 3, it is safe to assume that one won't be hitting screens anytime soon.

Today, unfortunately marks another such tough decision for the media conglomerate. In a sad (but also timely) twist of fate DJ AM, who survived a plane crash almost one year ago, was found dead in his New York City apartment. His own form of Final Destination (which, coincedentally, has its newest number in the franchise hitting theaters today)? Either way, drug paraphernalia littered his apartment, even though he had just wrapped production on an MTV "intervention" program.

Will MTV pull the plug on that, still unaired, show as well? Or will they just take a little extra time to edit around him the way in which they could not for Jenkins, who was runner-up on Megan Wants... and supposedly actually won I Love Money 3? I guess we should wait for a statement from MTV. Considering it took VH1 about three weeks to give us one, I'd say we'll have a verdict come September 15th. Anyone want to take that bet?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Hottie of the Week: Ben Hollingsworth...

I wanted to hate everything and everyone involved with The Beautiful Life on The CW; I really did. And I thought it would be easy; after all, they rewarded party girl Mischa Barton with yet another starring role, even though there had to be at least three dozen other girls prettier, more talented, and harder working who also wanted the role. But then I went to The CW Fall Screening Preview last week, and I saw the hype package chock full of Ben Hollingsworth, and I realized I couldn't stay mad forever. Will I tune in? Probably not. Will I stare longingly at the full-page advertisements in Entertainment Weekly or TV Guide? If they feature the guys, I sure as hell will! Though Hollingsworth's character will face the challenge of being called "too stocky" for a casting within the first few episodes of the series, the man himself will always be just perfect in my eyes.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

WWATN: Just Another 90s Child Star MIA...

The other day Best Week Ever made a comparison of Zac Efron's new hairdo to Full House's Derek Boyd. For half a second I had to stop and think: Which one was Derek again? Then once I remembered he was the singing, tap-dancing, metrosexually coiffed before that was a real thing little friend of Michelle's, I thought: "I wonder what he's doing these days." So I decided to look it up and find out! See, the internet can be very useful!
Blake McIver Ewing made quite a name for himself in the nineties on Full House, in the big screen adaptation of The Little Rascals (in which he played a singing, dancing, metrosexual rich kid who was trying to steal Darla, the talent show, and the soap box derby trophy from Alfafa), as well as voicing Menlow in ABC's Recess. In the early 2000s, he voiced a character in Hey Arnold! and then enrolled in UCLA. There have been some rumors floating around that he had a cameo (as a choir member) in one scene in Raising Helen and also that he wrote a song for Teen Witch: The Musical. More likely, though, he's singing and auditioning for theater out in LA. Maybe I'll even run into him at the Pantages one day!

Woof Wednesday #15...

Madison got a "Welcome Back to LA" haircut, and the groomer threw in a new seasonal bandana. Meanwhile, I got a new iPhone, so we decided to document the two momentous occasions.

"I'm posing, but I'm not
liking it. Can I have a

Hello, Lover...

Entertainment Weekly released their 25 Hotties of '09 List, chosen by the reader, and this man right here (my man) made #2!! Hopefully next year the Twilight craze will have died down and he'll bump up to his rightful place of #1 (and hopefully they'll look no further than this website for a quote as to why).

That's all.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Hell Yes!...

This promo for Supernatural looks AWE-SOMMMME (sung like Barney Stinson)! I am even willing to overlook the fact that they cast Paris Hilton as a guest star and recast Nicki Aycox using Rachel Miner (I like Rachel; I worked with her once a few years ago on a cool little futuristic film, but I just feel like certain characters are sacred and Meg should have been one of them. Besides, Aycox' shooting schedule for Dark Blue is drastically different than Supernatural's, and she probably could have easily taken a side trip to the Couve).

Matthew Gasteier and F U Penguin: Giving All Bloggers Hope...

As someone who posts a weekly column dedicated to the adorable things my own dog does, one wouldn't think I'd be the kind of person to gravitate towards F U Penguin, just another snarky blog, but this time aimed at random and somewhat helpless animals. F U Penguin was started by Matthew Gasteier and really took eBlogger, Facebook, Twitter, and pop culture in general by storm by offering cleverly captioned photographs of meerkats, panda bears, and petting zoo goats. Oh yes, they are much more than just penguins, folks! Though penguins are what made them famous and what made up the majority of their posts in 2008. After today, though, F U Penguin won't just be for the perpetually bored at work anymore, as the site has released its first book, a compilation of the best and snarkiest commentary. And that therein, ladies and gent, explains my fascination with the brand. Because Gasteier is not just a flash in the pan any longer. Many blogs get notoriety for fourteen point five minutes but few get turned into more traditionally legitimate forms of media. And if Gasteier could do it, it gives me hope that my own "My Life, Made Possible By Pop Culture" might be picked up by a publisher soon, too!


Matthew Gasteier is the creator of the popular blog,, which is the basis for this book. He lives in Watertown, Massachusetts. Some of his best friends are penguins.

That is his official author bio from the Random House publicity pages. I recently had a chance to chat with Gasteier about the seemingly overnight success of his website, as well as this new release. Keep reading for the full transcript of that interview:

What inspired you to start the website? I’ve always kind of had a running joke with my wife about cute animals, like, as far as knowing what they’re up to. You’d see a bear on his back, kind of like “Oh stop it” and that kind of thing. And it came out as an idea for a blog in an incredibly stupid way that you might expect it to come: I was looking for a coat, and I saw a really nice coat on the Penguin Company website, and it was very expensive, so I sent an email to my wife saying “F*** you, penguin.” And then I immediately sent her another email with a picture of a penguin saying also [the same thing]. The idea kind of came to be immediately from there.

Were you expecting it to be something you just shared with your friends and your family, or were you hoping it would blow up and become something that people would be passing around? I think I expected to make a joke out of it for about ten minutes and then I started kind of keeping up with it. I’d post every day just because I had some time, and I thought it was funny, and that’s when I realized it started to feel like it was [something] so I started showing it to friends and stuff. But I never really imagined that it would grow to the point that it’s at now.

Is the blog still something you do all on your own or have you brought in some help, in kind of an “outsourcing the brand” sort of way? I definitely do it all on my own; I’m sort of a control freak when it comes to my sense of humor. I’m not saying that I’m that great or anything, but I definitely feel like when I see other people trying to do what I do—some of it is very funny, but I don’t feel like it’s ever exactly in the same voice as mine, so I feel like it would definitely [be noticed] if I added other people trying to do the same thing.

How did the book come about? Were you approached or did you say “Hey, I have X number of entries, let me see if I can turn it into something bigger and shop it around?” Once I started really doing it on a regular basis, I kind of had the idea in the back of my mind that after, like, six months of toiling in obscurity I could put together the best of my posts and send it to a publishing company or an agent or something, but I never really expected anything to come out of it. But about a week after I sent the blog link around to some of my friends…it was clear that it was becoming pretty successful. And then I got linked to from a couple of big places—like I got linked to from “The Very Short List”—that was in mid-December of last year, and within a week or two, it was clear that every publishing company subscribes to that email service because within a week or two I had five to ten offers from agents and publishing companies.

There have been quite a few other blogs recently that have been turned into books—very different from yours—but do you ever feel competition or pressure to get your numbers up? Do you ever feel pressure to become the #1 Time Waster At Work blog, for example? No, not at all. I mean, obviously I love some of those blogs, and I don’t love others of them. I think that’s as everybody does. But I never really felt competition with anybody. I had, like, a fake competition with Cute Overload in February, where we were both nominated for Best Pet Blog from the Blog’s Choice Awards. I just thought “how ridiculous that I was nominated for this” and I kind of started a campaign against [them] and against I Can Haz Cheesburger. I Can Haz Cheeseburger is basically, like, the McDonalds or Nike of internet blogs; they’re too big to even notice me. Cute Overload—as much as they’re dominant—is still run by a group of four or five people so they kind of went along with it, which was great of them to do. Some of the people—from both sides—in the comments section didn’t seem to understand the humor of the situation, but…I’m still just one guy…on blogspot. I don’t really expect to take over the world or anything. I’m just here to make people laugh.

When you were growing up did you always know you wanted to be a writer or did this just kind of “happen?” Yeah, I actually wrote another book that came out earlier this year. I was a music critic for about five years—on and off—and I wrote a book about a hip-hop album called “Illmatic.” It’s part of a series of books on classic albums, and I write for my actual job, too. I do film market research, which I mostly write reports for, but I was always interested in doing stuff with writing. I never really segued into comedy like this before. It was kind of just a random thing I thought was funny—and I’m sure you know, being a writer, struggling to get people to notice your stuff, it’s definitely really strange to spend your whole life trying to figure out an idea that will sell, and then you get some stupid idea like this for five seconds and have agents calling you to pitch them. It’s very strange.

Yeah but that’s kind of what we’re all hoping will happen, so it’s good to see that it actually has happened to someone. That’s true, yeah.

So what’s up next for you, other than the two books? I guess I’m kind of weighing my options, as nerdy—or actually, as douchey as that sounds. I mean, it’s a strange thing to happen to me, so… I’m going to keep doing the blog as long as I find it funny. Fortunately I haven’t run out of ideas yet for it, or at least I hope I haven’t. People seem to still be liking it, so that’s a good thing.

Yeah, one of the things that I love, too, is that so many other animals now are incorporated, and that can be endless. Yeah, I definitely could hit a wall with that. There’s definitely still more animals to go, and there are definitely lesser animals that I’m on the lookout for. It was a lot easier when you could just go “What else? Oh, okay, a giraffe.” Now I have to find the obscure, sub-species of an animal. But I try to keep it fresh and different—even the format, using links and stuff like that. I may cover video soon, too; you never know.

Are you hoping they turn it into a movie, or are you thinking the book was good enough? You know, I’m sure you said that as a joke—as you should have…

Well, you never know… I know. People have approached me about that, but I’m never doing it. I just think it’s douchey. People come up with all kinds of ridiculous reasons to make movies…but yeah, I will definitely not be doing that. And hopefully I won’t be convinced to make a sequel to the book because I think the book is strong enough. I would have a pretty hard time following it up with another collection of one hundred posts that are as funny. I wanted to make all of the posts long enough that the joke didn’t repeat itself or run out within the book, which I hope it didn’t, but I feel like if I did a second one, it might be too much. And you know, I made a book, so it’s not like I’m trying to stay “street” with my blog or anything, but you know, I don’t put any ads on the site…I’m trying to prevent it from becoming the ridiculousness that is the [quintessential] internet blog. The book is just something that I think—it’s just a different way to enjoy the material. There is definitely new stuff in it, and I feel like it’s different enough that people can get something new out of it.

Well, for purely selfish and personal reasons, I was very excited to see news about the blog being turned into a book because I’m a blogger and I’ve been trying to sell the idea as a book for a while now. Yeah, I mean, I had a very different blog a few years ago…It came out of my music career; it was like an eighty-minute mix of music for each year, dating back to, like, 1960. And so I put up a list of the music and then a critique of some of the songs and talked about the music for that year, and by the end of it, I got maybe three hundred hits in a day, and I thought that was incredible. But I put in so much work—it was like a year-long project—and then a month later, my snarky-ass commenting on penguins, and I’m selling book deals.

It all depends on what people are looking for at the time. You never know what they’re looking for in the different blog things. I just happened to combine cute animals and snarky-ness. People like it, I guess.

Definitely. I definitely have gotten emailed quite a few links from your site, and now it saves us that trouble. Now we can just keep the book [out] and pass it around, and it looks like we’re being literary. It’s a step in the right direction. And you can take it with you! You don’t need to worry about being near a computer all the time…No, it all seems kind of silly, but I’m very proud of it.

Monday, August 24, 2009

WMFATA: Rachel Zoe...

Fashionista Rachel Zoe was given her own reality show on Bravo last year, but instead of focusing on her celebrity clients (perhaps because the A-List names didn't want to "lower" themselves to the bowels of reality TV...), the show turned Zoe into her own form of celebrity. She began to get within the pages of US Weekly and Star alongside her clients in journalistic articles like "When Is Thin Too Thin!?" and "Eat A Hamburger, Bitch!" (not real titles, but you get the idea).

Why My Friends Are Talking About Her: Zoe's very specific way of speaking spurned catchphrases fit for tee-shirts and other swag without her seeming to even try ("I die. D.I.E. Die."), but her own self-proclaimed "five minutes before I leave the house" wardrobe was fit for Halloween costumes! My friend Jamie went to one party last October as Zoe, completely with the "flying saucer" glasses. One could say Zoe inspired the likes of Mary-Kate Olsen and Sharpay Evans (High School Musical). Zoe prides herself on knowing what's hot and in and five minutes from now, so of course that would put her in the Bravo family. The second season of her show, The Rachel Zoe Project premieres tonight at 10/9c.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Bonus Round: Where Will You Be On Sept 10?...

As an added bonus this week, here is The CW's new promo for the fifth, and probably final, Supernatural season:

Wow, Porn Must Make A Lot Of Money...

The actors behind this 30 Rock sketch are actually really talented-- at least when it comes to impressions. The guy playing Tracy Morgan playing Tracy Jordan and the guy playing Alec Baldwin playing Jack Donaughy are especially spot-on. When I first tuned into this clip from the new 30 Rock parody, I thought the "XXX spoof" tag was a joke. After all, everything in this clip is not only suitable for work but also pretty well-written. Hell, when "Trey" even announces that his show "TCS" is no longer number one...or even number two, we get a hint at a potential real plot.

I guess in these hard (no pun intended) economic times, though, even the clever cast and crew of a show like "TCS" would turn to porn to earn their mediocre livings. And the same can be said for the real cast and crew behind this XXX parody; they could have just made a clever little comic web series, but it's still hard to find buyers for those (believe me!). Porn, however, appears to be recession-proof.

Supernatural Saturdays: Scruff Edition...

In all honesty, it's a bit of a wonder these guys don't have a little bit of stubble-- or at least a five o'clock shadow!-- more often. After all, demon-hunting is long and hard work; just how do they find the time to shave???

And yes, fellow Winchester lovers, I do take theme requests!!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Hottie of the Week: Ryan Kwanten...

Before Ryan Kwanten was a blood addicted small town boy in True Blood, he was a surf addicted small town boy in Summerland. I remember being super jealous of Taylor Cole back during those days for having such a super hot step-dad/co-star (Shawn Christian, Days of our Lives) and getting to make out with Kwanten both on and off screen. These days, though, I get more than my fair share of Kwanten with his down and dirty scenes on the HBO vampire show. In fact, the only reason I tune in at all is to fast-forward to him. Whether he's in a monkey suit or his birthday suit, Kwanten is exactly my type!!!

Check out some more gorgeous photos of Kwanten in the new issue of GQ!

Sadly The Sensational Won Over The CW For Fall...

The first thing that struck me when the creators of The Beautiful Life addressed a crowd of bloggers who just watched their episode one cutdown (ie: a hype package full of fast cuts, pretty people, and loud music) was how much Karey Burke looks like Leslie Mann. She could be on this show as one of the model mentors! The second thing was that Mike Kelley, who also worked on The O.C., wasn’t going to give us the truth behind Mischa Barton’s troubles because he was still giddy over being called “airport guy” in paparazzi shots of her returning to New York to shoot the series.

The Beautiful Life preview was full of as much smoke and mirrors as the actual catwalks and photo shoots the characters encounter in the show. But behind the circus act is trouble. Trouble for the characters, such as Barton’s, who will dabble in drugs because that’s what’s real but also because “it’s very smart for [her] to acknowledge the situation,” said Kelley. But also trouble for the production, as the episode that will kick off the show’s premiere on September 16th has not even been shown, in full, to the creators. Scenes were re-shot, storylines altered to the point where an ousted character is actually going to be brought back as recurring, and one character’s exposition completely rewritten. The latter is High School Musical star Corbin Bleu, who was originally only a guest star in the pilot—a guest star whose model character did a lot of drugs. The show’s producers were so taken with the young star, though, that they rewrote him so he could stick around—this time as “kept” boy for an older woman who trades him modeling jobs for…”companionship.”

The budget also seemed to spell audible trouble for Burke and Kelley, who admitted they had to greatly scale back on songs used in the episodes, despite promos running all over the network featuring well-known artists like Lady Gaga and Britney Spears. However, the one biggest elephant in the room was that Burke called Entourage one of her greatest influences for The Beautiful Life, and Entourage is the one show that has been criticized of late for being of too many outdated references and no substance. Unfortunately, it seems like The Beautiful Life is doomed to follow in those footsteps.

Todd Slavkin and Darren Swimmer’s revamp of Melrose Place is not the typical primetime soap that Aaron Sorkin made so famous and Marc Cherry is now carrying on. Though the address is the same—4616 Melrose—the creators admitted they have given quite a few things a facelift. “It’s like when you go home to your parents’ house, but they’ve remodeled, so everything is the same but so much more beautiful,” Slavkin explained.

Where cancer and fires and pregnancies used to run rampant now reside a med student-turned-high paid escort, a filmmaker who happens on a scandal and profits from it, a try-sexual publicist (in that she’ll try everything at least once), a bad boy drug dealer, and of course the once-believed-to-be-deceased who is about to become really dead in the second episode. Familiar faces will be speckled in with the newcomers, of course, including Josie Bissett-- who Slavkin promised would not be the victim she once was-- and Dapne Zuniga, who left her courtyard apartment to photograph wartorn Bosnia but who won't come back with a diatribe on Iraq (she'll most likely fit into Ella (Katie Cassidy)'s fashion publicity storyline.

Though this new version of Melrose Place shares a writer with the first season of the new version of 90210 (Caprice Crane), Slavkin didn't think a cross-over would be coming any time soon. He is certainly busy enough juggling all of these new kids and their superficial problems. "They're the kinds of kids who love to put debt on their credit cards," he laughed. "They're just like everyone in LA: they like to spend on nice things [perhaps a bit beyond their means]." And of course, there's the new murder mystery that starts at the end of the pilot. Life in West Hollywood is never going to be boring!

Liz Tigelaar got her start as an intern on the then WB popular teen drama, Dawson’s Creek, but her debut show, Life Unexpected, is being compared to another one of their hits, Gilmore Girls. Like GG, Life Unexpected features a teenage girl (Britt Robertson) who was born while her parents were still in high school. However, these particular parents (Kristoffer Polaha and Shiri Appleby) gave her up for adoption, and now this teenager wants to become an emancipated minor so she and her foster care friends can get a place together and start their “real” lives. Of course the judge thwarts her plans and instead places her into the joint custody of her two off-beat guardians who appear to be suffering from Peter Pan syndrome themselves.

Life Unexpected is one of those rare shows that only come around once every other season or so: it focuses on true moments, in which characters are forced to have a meaningful dialogue, learn something about each other and maybe even themselves, and evolve, even if in bits at a time. Lux comes to realize that though she spent her whole life trying to grow up before her time, she actually enjoys the “traditional” teenage things—like school dances and extracurriculars—once she is given the chance to settle down in one place with two parents.

The CW seems to be an unlikely place for such a show that does not feature bright lights or bright colors (it takes place in Portland), which these days, relies on the draw of its shows’ stars (see Supernatural) or the glitzy, glamorous, flashy aspects (see the other two new fall shows aforementioned here). Life Unexpected takes the medium back to pure storytelling as an art form, and The CW has always been about business and trying to become one of the power networks (or at least being able to compete with one of the power networks). Maybe that explains why Life Unexpected is only on the schedule as a mid-season replacement. Production on the series will begin at the end of September, with the cast and the crew in limbo as to when (or if) they will get an airdate, but in my humble opinion, it is exactly the kind of show The CW, and the television industry in general, could use right about now. I’m not saying I’m rooting for The Beautiful Life to fail so Life Unexpected can find a timeslot, but…oh hell, that’s exactly what I’m saying!!

To read some more quotes from the creators of the aforementioned shows, check out my live Twitter feed from yesterday's screenings/Q&As.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Kim Zolciak SINGS!...

OMFG, is this for real??? In all of my scripted television viewing/Q&Aing today, I almost missed that Kim Zolciak (the wig-wearing, chain-smoking, allegedly husband stealing drama starter from The Real Housewives of Atlanta) finally dropped her first single!

This morning, on On Air With Ryan Seacrest, the song debuted. Called "Tardy for the Party" (mocking something that was said on season one), it's full of synthesizers and auto-tune goodness and sounds like it's straight out of the psychedelic 80s. And yet I want to download it anyway.

Click here to listen to "Tardy For The Party"

Is it just me, or does this kind of sound like another Bonnie Hunt spoof? My guess is that if it gets a whole bunch of negative reviews, Kim will release a "statement" saying her studio session was stolen and leaked or that wasn't really her or something bogus to buy her more time. And excuse me, but whatever happened to the country album she was supposedly releasing? "Tardy For The Party" doesn't have that down home twang sound to me!

The Right People At The Wrong Time...

Accidentally on Purpose creator Claudia Lonow describes her new fall show, a comedy based on a memoir of the same name by Mary F. Pols, as being an unconventional romantic comedy. Jenna Elfman’s character is a thirty-something—well, thirty-seven as the pilot is quick to constantly point out—newspaper woman who gets pregnant after a one night stand with a twenty-something (the adorable Jon Foster) who lives in his van. From there, the two move in together because the guy is determined to do what he can to be a good dad, despite being scared to death and not really having a frame of reference on how to do so. The couple is the aforementioned “right people at the wrong time,” but in actuality, Lonow could be using them as a metaphor to describe CBS’ new fall line-up in general. Though there are laughs to be had in Accidentally… mostly thanks to co-star Ashley Jensen (Extras), who plays the quintessential slightly drunk best friend character, the format just feels tired and old. A multi-camera sitcom where there are almost none, Accidentally… stalls due to the forced laugh track and stereotypical sets. And they are not the only ones.

Alex O’Loughlin (Moonlight) and Katherine Moennig (The L Word) both have more than enough star potential—not to mention diehard fanbases!—to make their joint venture, Carol Barbee’s Three Rivers a success. Without them, though, the series might fall flat. Each week’s episode revolves on the stories of two very different people from very different walks of life who get joined together through organ donation. In the pilot, it is a young bride who is wounded so badly on her wedding day that her family opts to pull her off life support and a young basketball player who collapses mid-game. Three Rivers guarantees to tug at the heartstrings, but it will be surprising if the episodes do not become quickly repetitive. And with a handful of other new medical shows to try out this year, Three Rivers is going to have to build campaigns hard and fast around their two stars or risk falling into the pit that is “permanent hiatus.”

NCIS: Los Angeles is one of the rare shows that actually both is filmed in LA and takes place here. Utilizing some of LA’s best landmarks (upcoming scenes welcoming back Chris O’Donnell (Head Cases)’s character of Callen, for example, were shot at Santa Monica Pier), the show has a chance to (literally) change the landscape of network crime dramas. However, instead of capitalizing on this city’s rich crime history and flashy high-speed chases, though, co-creator Shane Brennan assures NCIS fans that this new spin-off will closely follow the format of the original, begging the inevitable question of just why another one in this now series is even necessary. The humor will still be there, especially with Linda Hunt playing opposite the guys, and NCIS fan favorite Abby (Pauley Perrette) crossing-over for a few episodes. The one thing that will make NCIS: Los Angeles fresh, unique, and stand out from the other, older, now somewhat stale procedurals is LL Cool J in the role of Special Agent Sam Hanna. Brennan could not stop singing his praises at CBS Studios’ fall preview screenings, adding: “His smile and charm really is how you see it on TV, in person. He is extremely enthusiastic about the show.” In fact, when LL learned O’Donnell had to learn a little Russian for an episode, he decided to jump headfirst into learning Arabic him seem more authentic. Brennan insists that it was not in LL’s contract to do so; “he did it because he wanted to.”

Robert and Michelle King, a real life husband and wife writing team, came up with their idea for The Good Wife after watching countless scandals unfold on every news station on their cable TV. However, even they cannot ignore that a simple tale of a woman scorned can’t go on for episode after episode, let alone season after season, so they set out to create rich, layered characters who could stand on their own, even if the scandal aspect was removed. Julianna Margulies is said woman scorned as Alicia, the wife of a politician (Chris Noth, Sex and the City) who has been jailed under suspicion of abusing his office after a sex scandal broke. Margulies is forced to re-join the work force to keep the family afloat, and she takes a job as an Associate at the law firm at which one of her good friends (Josh Charles, Sports Night) from law school works. There she is pit against a much younger Associate (Matt Czuchry, Gilmore Girls) and quickly finds that she quite enjoys the freedom to regain her own sense of self. The Kings promise their show “won’t be Perry Mason with people breaking down on the stand every week,” and their pilot delivers hints at the quirkiness to come-- from zippy one-liners, mostly relating to Alicia’s age, to another senior lawyer (Christine Baranski)’s odd, shaggy dog being in the office. Where The Good Wife runs the risk, though, is in being written off as a subject matter that is not “hip” enough for CBS TV’s younger crowd.

The show that stands the best chance this fall season for CBS, somewhat surprisingly, appears to be Accidentally On Purpose—for the star power of Elfman, the newcomer appeal of Foster, and the fact that their lead-in is How I Met Your Mother. Here’s hoping that Lonow has the opportunity to inject a good chunk of her own witty, firecracker spirit into the first few episodes and give audiences a chance to find something they may grow to love…again, not unlike the protagonists of her own show.

To read some more quotes from the creators of the aforementioned shows, check out my live Twitter feed from today's screenings/Q&As.

And check back tomorrow for my thoughts on The CW's new fall shows!!

Woof Wednesday #14...

Madison has a new boyfriend!!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Worst "Reporter" Ever...

It bugs and boggles me to no end at how many so-called celebrity journalists I run into on red carpets and at press junkets and fan events have absolutely no idea who it is they are about to encounter and interview. I can pretend to understand not wanting to make the ever-revolving world of pop culture your entire life, but what I absolutely cannot condone is not doing a little research before you sit down with these people. If I were a celebrity, I would be offended, for example, if I was accosted by the X17 Online guy screaming out, as he does every. Single. TIME: "Just who the hell are you and why should I care?" That most certainly would not make me want to stop and chat for a five minute interlude with him, nor would I want to grace any of the reporters around him with my presence, just on the off-chance he was able to steal the shot and claim some of the quotes as his own.

I thought it was bad when the host (who shall remain nameless) of my college television station's nightly interview show ran out of questions for George Lucas (though how, I still can't figure out!) mid-way through her interview and actually admitted to him that she never even saw Star Wars. But that was before I saw this beautiful clip: Quick Fix: Do Pretty Women Date 'Fat'...

This ABC News reporter is way worse-- after all, he works for a "real" news outlet! In this interview with Jamie-Lynn Sigler (Entourage), he asks her an opinion on the possibility of life imitating art in her character's case: would hot female celebrities really date "fat nobodies" (though thankfully not in those exact words)? Um, does his assistant really hate him and conveniently "forget" to tell him that she and co-star Jerry Ferrara are actually dating?? And just why can't these people do a quick Google search of their own??? It takes two freakin' seconds!

Quick Fix: Do Pretty Women Date 'Fat'...

Interview Fail, dude. And in the immortal words of Chelsea Handler: ass!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Cuter Than Stewie Griffin...

While I don't actually find Family Guy funny, I do enjoy this commercial that TBS constantly runs for the show:

In fact, I enjoy it so much, I have been doing it to Madison ever since, and we even created our own little spoof commercial. He was not any more amused than Lois was.

MMFATA: Joe Jonas...

What can I say about the Jonas Brothers that hasn't already been said-- or screamed-- by tween girls and some middle aged women all across the country? The truth is, I never really believed the hype. I always thought their music was too cookie-cutter, too straight-from-the-Disney-factory for my liking, and let's face it, I never quite "bought" the whole purity ring thing after what went down with another teen Disney star just a few years ago... But I have to admit that one brother has stood out above the rest, and even though he is the one who doesn't play an instrument on their tracks, and therefore the one I always found most expendable, I think we have finally found his purpose! Just like the great Carrot Top, Joe Jonas is a prop comic!

Why My Friends Are Talking About Him: My friend Natalie wants to marry the Jonas Brothers. She has a countdown on her calendar to when they will be legal. And she's not the only one! But more importantly, Joe has emerged as a favorite lately after photos "leaked" from their soundchecks, at which he really lets loose and has some fun and encourages the other guys to dress is ridiculous costumes. He dressed as an 80s era heartthrob, which many bloggers called an "Ode to Saved By The Bell;" he brought his brother Kevin in on the condiments day; and most recently he dressed up like a giant birthday cake, making many brace-faced kids' dreams come true. Most rock stars would show up to soundchecks (if at all) in dark glasses, low slung hats, wrinkled tee shirts, and bare feet. They're hung over at best and often times still a little drunk from the night before. But Joe is bright-eyed and eager and trying to make it a little more fun-- and a little less repetitive-- and that is something to be commended. Even if you're still laughing a bit at him while doing so.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Bonus Round: Supernatural Sunday!...

Or really just another excuse to post some more hot photos of my man Jensen!

Who wouldn't want this guy
buying you a beer in a bar?
And I don't even drink!

Vintage cutie pie!!!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Just A Little Jensen To Tide You Over...

Supernatural doesn't return until September 10th, and the last season won't hit DVD shelves until September 1st. I'm sure I'll have a lot to say about the show and the stars once those dates roll around, but until then, here's a little Best Of the Best Of the show (which, in my opinion, is Jensen!)... Goofy Edition ;P
Another fan made this last one,
but it was pretty classic, so I had to
include it. Hmm, why didn't I
think to pause my TV this way???

Check back weekly for Supernatural Saturdays, each one featuring a new theme.

Friday, August 14, 2009

ABC Is The New Place To Be (For Comedy)...

First they brought us the kooky and sweet genius of Samantha Who? and then the dry, quirky wit of Better Off Ted, and now ABC has done it again. Though critics everywhere seem to be up the network's butt about the return of Courteney Cox Arquette to small screens with her small town comedy (Cougar Town), the real buzz should be for Modern Family.

Though sadly Samantha Who? won't be back this year for a third season, perhaps ABC will wise up and couple Modern Family with Better Off Ted to really give NBC's Must See TV a run for their money!

Turning The Tables On Those Real Housewives...

You may have assumed that a show entitled Househusbands of Hollywood (Fox Reality, Saturdays at 9 pm) has been a long time overdue. After so many seasons (and incarnations) of Bravo's Real Housewives series, it just about seemed inevitable that someone would want to show the other side of things. But in reality, it took an economic downturn and the WGA strike of 2007 for someone to broach the subject.

Charlie Mattera has no trouble admitting-- always with a laugh-- that the idea came about because his wife kept telling him he had to get a job. The kid from the school of hard knocks who grew into the man everyone sees as a "papa bear" thought about it for a little while and came up with the idea, in part because he never expected to be "the married guy with a baby." He brought it to pal Lisa Bernstein (Good Day LA) and the two got to work bringing in guys from different perspectives and points in their own lives but all of whom made one very important choice: all five of the men on the show have opted to take time away from their own careers to stay at home and raise the children, help with their wives' businesses, and/or take care of things around the house.

Former Dodger Billy Ashley is refreshingly candid and honest when explaining why he signed up for the show. "Can I be purely selfish for a moment?" He asks, almost asking for permission. "[The show] came at the perfect time-- when my wife's teen skin care line was just getting started." And Ashley, who's fans will probably tune in hoping to see him in his Dodger blue one more time, truly commits to this new role. Though there are times when his athleticism shines in the show-- like when he is training fellow Househusband... Darryl M. Bell for a Men's Fitness cover-- no one can ignore that Ashley is now surrounded by women and their wiles. With two tween daughters, he endures shopping sprees that feel endless, fielding phone calls about cosmetics, and an unforgettable focus group that would make just about any guy squirm in his seat-- not just the jocks.

The once-sniper-turned-actor, Grant Reynolds is in a similar spot as Ashley, going from the intense pressure of potential enemy fire to the intense pressure of being alone in a big house with a toddler and a gaggle of animals. Though being married to Good Day LA's own Jillian Barberie Reynolds should have him accustomed to having his "dirty laundry," so to speak, aired every morning on live television, having cameras follow him around and catching what he is saying at all times (and what others are saying about him-- namely, a couple of housewives of the San Fernando Valley at his daughter's play group!) still seems somewhat unbelievable to the down-to-Earth motorcycle enthusiast from Virginia. "To get paid to just be at home and raise my kid...only in LA!" He laughs, but he has found the pot of gold so many look for at the end of the rainbow: he is doing what he loves and wants to do and being recognized for it.

If we were comparing these Househusbands... to the Real Housewives... (which we're not because then this article would truly turn into an epic), then Darryl M. Bell would be the equivalent of Bethenny Frankel (...NYC). After all, Bell can be fast-talking, and he truly lives up to his IMDb credit list of comedies with his interview segments being the funniest ones in reality television in a long time! He also continues to work, booking acting and hosting gigs, as well as magazine shoots, during the show. He and partner Tempestt Bledsoe aren't married and don't have any kids...yet-- which may make him an unlikely choice for a show with “househusbands” in the title. Though Bell claims "the subject of what's for dinner? comes up more often than [when are we going to have kids?]," one of the best moments of the first few episodes is when Bell plays poker with his friend's two boys, both under the age of ten. And they school him!

As the youngest member of the cast, aspiring actor Danny Barclay, can be seen as being the quote-unquote "glue" that held them all together. After his wife banished his "kegerator" (patent pending, I suppose) to the garage, Barclay made the best of it and created a whole "Man Cave" in there so that the guys could have a place to come, unwind, and drink a few beers. Though he claims he has never been in a fraternity, his laid-back demeanor and enthusiasm to hang out on crates in his garage seems to suggest otherwise. Or maybe he's just a really, really good sport. After all, he willingly dons a chicken costume for someone else's kid's birthday party! Barclay's wife wants to get started on having a family, but he himself still harbors an impish, man-boy smile and at times appears like the younger brother of the wise and yearly Ashley and Mattera. "I tell [him] all the time not to worry," Mattera stresses. "[He's] still young and has plenty of time."
Househusbands of Hollywood never tries to stereotype or compare these guys to any female counterparts on any other network. It never forces them into awkward or overly melodramatic situations...though it does not shy away when arguments or otherwise tense moments arise (such as a dinner party fight between the Reynolds' or Mattera's internal struggle with telling his in-laws about his checkered past). Instead, the show just focuses on the most important work these guys are doing but which usually goes unmentioned, let alone unthanked. The show allows the men to speak for themselves, and it allows the audience to make up their own minds as to whether they find it "weird" or "unconventional" or "extraordinary." However, after watching only one episode, it is quite obvious that the only valid description out of those three is the latter.

To hear my exclusive interviews with all of the Househusbands of Hollywood, please head over to I'm Not Here To Make Friends. There you can also enter to win some cool Househusbands of Hollywood swag! And while the show officially premieres on the network tomorrow evening, you can get a sneak peek at Hulu, iTunes, or if you're a DirecTV customer, on channel 1 on VOD.