Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Chelsea Handler Mocks "Tool Academy"...

I have said time and time again that Chelsea Handler has the job I want. She gets to make fun of whatever dumb reality stars she wants to, while still being one herself. And she gets millions of viewers each time she does. Recently, the comedienne and talk show host took on VH1’s man-boy makeover gem Tool Academy and their recent fake funeral challenge. And once again, she got it exactly right:

To see the full episode of which Handler made fun, please go to

Woof Wednesday #20...

My teenager with his weird spiky cowlick and his cookie (of course).

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Mariah's New Album is HERE...

I admit I haven't been as psyched for Mariah Carey's newest album, "Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel" as I have been about her previous two. The lack of enthusiasm comes from no other place but the fact that I hadn't been hearing much about the songs leading up to the release date, and when nothing leaks, I start to wonder if it's worthy of being leaked. Sure, I enjoyed "Obsessed" for it's fun and urban beat, but I thought "I Want To Know What Love Is" could have been a lot stronger on the gospel choir backing. I am looking for another "Fly Like A Bird," here, people!!!

But a combination of Carey pulling out of a bunch of public appearances in August (and all the ones I was planning to attend, mind you!) and the working-to-the-last-minute to finish the album that had been pushed back a bunch of times admittedly made me nervous.

Well, today the wait is no more, as "Memoirs..." is in stores and on digital music servers all around the country. I pre-ordered the Autographed Collector's Edition from her website, which came with a downloadable version, but has the whole 2-disc album (21 songs) for a mere $5.99. That's less than the cost of lunch! "Memoirs..." isn't as strong as her comeback "The Emancipation of Mimi" or perhaps even her bass-happy "E=MC2" (which produced one of my favorite tracks of All. Time: "Side Effects"), but it is a throwback to the Carey we knew and loved from the nineties. It is a bit more pop, and perhaps that is why I think it can't match up to two albums that leaned more toward the R&B/Hip-Hop side of the artist. But "Memoirs..." is more than worth the price of admission, especially when that admission is so low! With so many complaints being made about the cost of concert tickets, at least these big name artists are making their music accessible in their fans' homes!

starts soft but really builds its momentum and gets strongest in it's "middle," the chunk of an album that is often times skippable by the non-die-hardest of fans. It is often where artists (*cough, Kanye, cough*) buries less than lackluster tracks. However, the sequential "Inseparable," Standing O," "It's A Wrap," "Up Out My Face," and "More Than Just Friends" are the quintessential anthems off Mariah's latest. The five of them play like a mini concert, and if Whitney had picked any one of them on her album, she would be having her own comeback moment right now instead of fading into the pop culture background, and dropping to the back of the charts. Carey set the bar impossibly high with her last two releases, but she did "The Impossible" by meeting all of the expectations (perhaps which were mostly her own).

I'm only on my second full listen of the album right now, and with each second, I'm hearing something I didn't catch the first time around, and it's making the music-- and the experience-- that much richer.

Monday, September 28, 2009

MMFATA: Dexter Morgan...

Not Michael C Hall but Dexter Morgan himself.

The blood evidence expert from Miami's crime lab has always been so good at leading a double life he's seemed more like a robot than a real human being. Last year, when I recapped the third season for this blog, I even affectionately nicknamed him Dex-Bot because of this. But after he became engaged to single mom Rita and she got pregnant with his child, his character actually seemed to evolve in a way that is usually reserved for little boys who are learning how to be men. He began to develop genuine feelings for those in his life, which threatened his second job as a vigilante. Now that it's months after his wedding, and his son is right there in front of him, Morgan has everything to gain but also everything to lose.

Why My Friends Are Talking About Him: Showtime premiered the first episode of the fourth season of their crime drama hit Dexter last night, so naturally that is what everyone is talking about this morning. Things have gotten just a bit more complicated for everyone's unlikeliest of heroes, as his son, now only a few months old, keeps him sleep-deprived and without the free moments he so desperately needs to take the proper care with his victims. Morgan has slipped up with case paperwork in a completely uncharacteristic way, and it has the other cops breathing down his neck. He allowed a perp to walk...right into his chophouse. But as those of you who stuck around for the coming attractions after the credits know, next week things really start to go from rough to worse for Morgan, as he flipped his car after dosing on the road...with his newest victim stuffed into his trunk. Still, Morgan is just going through the motions with his kills, but it appears to be his new and young family that is where he truly comes alive (where it was once the opposite), and that kind of character development is where he, and the show, is most interesting. After all, "Daddy kills people," but the mere fact that the killer is even also a dad now is pretty dynamic in and of itself!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Supernatural Saturdays: Shirtless Saturday!...

I'm sure a lot of you are saying "Finally! This is a long time coming!" so I won't waste any more space with mere words. I'll let you get right to the good stuff!

Yeah...I did.

Results From My Recent Pop Culture Experiment...

Earlier this week, I got it in my head to partake in a little pop culture experiment of sorts, in which I pick up the latest issue of a popular gossip magazine and a slightly less popular (but hopefully more influential) news magazine and compare the amount of "celebrities" I recognize from each. I admit it would have been a far more interesting study if I had given the same assignment to a cross-section of my friends and readers, but alas, I did not have the time. Maybe I will be able to follow up soon with that, but for now, here are my results. Try to see if you can find a pattern among those few who remain somewhat foreign to me-- I certainly couldn't figure one out. Even though I consider myself far more savvy when it comes to television than movies, I found I can recognize stars of both equally, if not giving the edge a bit more to music just by the sheer numbers of people and channels! Age, race, and location (LA vs NY) also seemed to be pretty well-matched in representation in my mind. However, I admit that things would probably be much different if I was looking at a British tabloid...but maybe that, too, is another experiment for another day.

US Weekly Statistics:

Celebrities I recognized by both face and name:

Rumer Willis, Lindsay Lohan, Dustin Diamond, Patrick Swayze, Angelina Jolie, Beyonce, Mischa Barton, Blake Lively, Ali Lohan, George Clooney, Tori Spelling, Stella McCartney, Charlize Theron, Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Sienna Miller, Jessica Simpson, Britney Spears (though her photo was so freakin' airbrushed, this was almost an upset), Kendra Wilkinson, Holly Madison, Gwen Stefani, Ashley Olsen, Mary-Kate Olsen, Gabrielle Union, Hilary Duff, Salma Hayek, John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Mario Lopez, Teri Hatcher, Patrick Dempsey, Nicole Kidman, Keith Urban, Renee Zellweger, Bradley Cooper, Serena Williams, Nadya Suleman, Drew Barrymore, Ellen Page, Maksim Chmerkovsky, Karina Smirnoff, Lauren Conrad, Kristin Cavallari, Alicia Keys, P!nk, Shakira, Taylor Swift, Whitney Port, Leighton Meister, Kanye West, Janet Jackson, Madonna, Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Lady Gaga, John Mayer, Courteney Cox-Arquette, Jennifer Aniston, Gerard Butler, Kristin Davis, Brooke Shields, Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon, Kim Cattrall, Dina Lohan, Andy Roddick, Rachel Bilson, Kelly Rowland, Giada De Laurentis, Ellen Degeneres, Simon Cowell, Ryan Seacrest, Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul, Jon Gosselin, Jamie Lynn Sigler, Annalynne McCord, Zac Efron, Adam Durwitz, Emmy Rossum, Megan Fox, Jessica Alba, Alex Rodriguez, Rihanna, Jenna Dewan, Amber Rose, Wendy Williams, Lourdes (Madonna's daughter), Heidi Spencer-Pratt, Audrina Pattridge, Janice Dickinson, Tyra Banks, Booboo Stewart, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Katherine Heigl, Nicole Richie, Michelle Trachtenberg, Jennie Garth, Stephanie Pratt, Adriana Lima, Ashley Green, Alexis Bledel, Ashanti, Heidi Klum, Victoria Beckham, Hayden Panettiere, Maria Menounos, Eva Mendes, Ashlee Simpson-Wentz, Mark Wahlberg, Kate Hudson, Miley Cyrus, Kourtney Kardashian, Matt Damon, Jenna Elfman, Lindsay Price, Rebecca Romjin, Sascha Baron Cohen as Bruno, Evangeline Lilly, Josh Holloway, Elizabeth Mitchell, Kat Von D.

Celebrities I recognized by face only:
Elisabetta Canalis, Jaime Ray Newman.

Celebrities I recognized by name only:
Chef Blythe Beck, Jessica Szohr, Lo Bosworth, Melanie Brown (but in my defense, the picture aged her at least 10 years!), Nikka Costa.

Celebrities I did not recognize at all:
Crystal Harris, Kristina Shannon, Olivia Palermo, Chris "Drama" Pfaff, Samantha Swetra, Roxy Olin, Erin Lucas, Ebony Bones.

Time Magazine Statistics:

Celebrities I recognized by both face and name:

Glenn Beck, Ron Paul, Serena Williams, Neil Patrick Harris, Bill Clinton, George Bush Sr, George Bush Jr, Ronald Reagan, Rupert Murdoch, Michael Jordan, Barack Obama, Ted Kennedy, John F Kennedy, Patrick Swayze, Ken Burns, Joseph McCarthy, Michael Moore, Joe Wilson, Dennis Hopper, Jay-Z, Matt Damon, Megan Fox, Joel Stein.

Celebrities I recognized by face only:

Celebrities I recognized by name only:
David Koresh, Rob Miller, Jerry Jones, Dan Brown.

Celebrities I did not recognize at all:
Muntazer Al-Zaidi (recognized only after reading context), Norman Borlaug, Tim Geithner, Paul Dirac.

All of this was designed to beg the question of who is truly famous these days. Perhaps my results are a bit unusual, though, because I was trained to recognize everyone and anyone when I'd see them at a red carpet event-- so I could call them over by name and impress them with the fact that I wanted to talk to least until Angelina Jolie or George Clooney were in my midst. What have you learned from this experiment (you know, other than I may have to get out more!)?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

"Tardy For The Party" Music Video!...

Brought to you by the fine folks at Bravo TV...once again just giving the people what they want:

Hottie of the Week: The Guys of GLEE!...

The male characters on Fox' breakout hit Glee may be leaning toward the "pretty but dumb" side of things when it comes to the women in their lives-- I mean, let's face it, they could all benefit greatly from a sex ed class-- but the pretty factor outweighs the dumb factor in my mind. Besides, I never had a formal sex ed class either. I did manage to learn how a baby is made, though, and I would have no problem teaching them!

Matthew Morrison

Cory Monteith:

and of course Mark Salling:

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Pop Culture Case Study...

It's my first full week back at The Corporation, and I'm not fully transitioned into my new department and position yet, so I have been helping out where/when I can on various projects. It doesn't leave me with nearly as much down time as my old position used to-- hence the slight slow down in this website. However, during one such break, a friend sent me a link to a fellow eBlogger's site that he said he thought I'd find pretty funny. The particular posts he said to look at were the ones from September 22 2009, and he instructed me to read them from older to newer. Apparently, this guy, who isn't really into pop culture in general and definitely doesn't usually write about it (I went back through his older posts to see if this was a site that had any cross-over with my own), picked up a gossip magazine and decided to count the number of celebrities he recognized. His result? He's not simply "getting old," but he has already "become an old person" (his words, not mine)!

Now, I don't personally believe pop culture has a lot to do with age. I know some thirty-somethings who are just as into (if not moreso) the Miley Cyrus/Jonas Brothers/High School Musical craze than their tweenage god-children. I also have to acknowledge that some names and faces have become so permeated in commercials, on talk shows, and with clips on regular news shows (not even tabloid fodder like Access Hollywood), that when people don't know who they are, I am utterly, and somewhat appallingly, shocked. Such was the case here, with celebrities like Tyler Perry, Anna Paquin, Phylicia Rashad, and Liev Schreiber.

My friends like to point out that I know too many celebs. Apparently, it is not common sense to be able to rattle off Six Degrees of Separation between oh, I don't know, say Eric Dane and Michelle Williams (two who were also on this guy's list. And just in case you're wondering it goes like this: Eric Dane is married to Rebecca Gayheart who starred in Urban Legend with Joshua Jackson, who was on Dawson's Creek with Michelle Williams, and that's your Six Degrees-- well, less. "I did it; I cracked the code!"). Apparently, it's not common sense to be able to recognize Kerri Kenney when you see her in the car next to you on the freeway. Well, whatever; if it's not common sense, then it makes it my gift. My mother was right: I really am "special!"

But just for fun, I decided to test myself in a similar manner. Of course, it wouldn't be fair to simply march into the lunchroom at The Corporation and pick up the first gossip magazine on the stack on top of the microwave. No, instead, I will be comparing and contrasting the numbers of celebrities I recognize in a gossip rag like US Weekly with the ones that I do in an actual news magazine like Time or Newsweek. Personally, I don't feel that nervous about it, as I consider myself pretty up to date on events and politics across all cultures (pop and otherwise). However, that might be surprising to some, and if nothing else, I think my little experiment may say something about the direction in which our particular society is heading. After all, with social networking sites delivering short blips on all kinds of news to our fingertips, we can easily become more "in the know" about things that matter...and things that really matter.

The new issues hit stands tomorrow. Stay tuned...

Woof Wednesday #19...

You know when I scratch under your chin, and you have that look of "Aw yeah?" This is pretty much it:

If you notice, we don't get
off the couch much...

Monday, September 21, 2009

WMFATA: Christina Applegate...

As a fresh-faced teenager, Christina Applegate earned both belly laughs and wolf whistles while portraying the "calling her ditzy would be polite" stereotypical blonde Kelly Bundy on Fox' crude comedy Married...With Children. For a little while there, Applegate seemed to be typecast, popping up on the larger screen but in the same old role, in films like A View from the Top and The Sweetest Thing. But just when critics may have started to count her out, she proved her thespian chops-- and her dedication to the craft-- by performing live on stage (on Broadway, no less!), even on a broken foot. When she won the title role on ABC's quirky comedy Samantha Who?, though, Applegate really got a chance to prove she could still be funny-- though in a more mature way. The show was unfairly (at least in this blogger's not-so-humble opinion) canceled earlier this summer, but Applegate got the last laugh with an Emmy nomination for Best Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.

Why My Friends Are Talking About Her: As if to call it back to her earlier days, Applegate arrived on the Emmy red carpet yesterday afternoon fresh-faced and looking younger and healthier than ever, despite the stressful time she had gone through lately. Though Tina Fey is much beloved, Applegate was the sentimental favorite to take home the statue last night...and she was ROBBED!* Applegate may have come a long way from her days portraying bratty teens, but unfortunately those are the roles for which she probably still gets most recognition. Therefore, I'll be celebrating her years of hard work and unique talent by popping in Dance Til Dawn at the Corporation tomorrow.

*"My Life, Made Possible By Pop Culture" is a fan of both Ms. Toni Collette and The United States of Tara (among most of Showtime's original programming) and means them no disrespect or implication that she is not talented enough to deserve this award. However, I just personally felt it was Applegate's year.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Tweeting The Emmys (Finally Getting To The Show!)...

8:03 pm PT Excuse me while I squee over NPH and his dapper white suit. #Emmys

8:06 pm PT The theme for Two & A Half Men, this many years into the show, pretty much already is "Meh" but nice try, NPH Your song still rocked! #Emmys

8:13 pm PT
I don't get the glasses it because pretty women don't usually wear glasses on TV? #Emmys

8:14 pm PT I also don't get how Kristin Chenowith beat Kristen Wiig but I do like the Miss America style facts bout the winners as they take the stage!

8:16 pm PT
Hmm I'm not technically unemployed anymore but I would like to announce that I like 30 Rock, HIMYM, Supernatural & would happily work at any

8:18 pm PT Also GLEE, Community, Old Christine, United States of Tara, Dexter, whom shall I send my resume? ;)

8:21 pm PT I guess Cobie had the baby. How did I miss that? #Emmys

8:21 pm PT It may split hairs when 30 Rock wins against itself, but for the record, THE REUNION was a standout season 3 episode!!

8:24 pm PT I hope those are at least the Globetrotters who are on this season of The Amazing Race! Nice subtle promotion, CBS! #Emmys

8:25 pm PT The "last official year of broadcast TV" would be funny if it wasn't so close to being true! #Emmys

8:25 pm PT
NPH upset at his own gig? He should stage a walkout! #Emmys

8:30 pm PT Made the mistake of clicking over to Yahoo to check email. End of show now ruined for me (know the outcome & don't like it)

8:32 pm PT Oh NPH is still there? I would have hit the parties early and left the work to someone who DID collect gold tonight. #Emmys

8:34 pm PT Mad barked. I looked up from my laptop and saw JT wearing...Tina Fey glasses? I yelled "AAH!" Ryan...woke up. #Emmys

8:35 pm PT I'm just gonna say it now: Toni is very talented but @1capplegate should have taken it this year. Coincidentally she's tomorrow's WMFATA

8:38 pm PT Why are the Gossip Girls there? Does this mean next year we can look forward to Asslee Simpson and Mushy Barton? #Emmys

8:40 pm PT She didn't even start to talk, JT, so the Kanye bit doesn't work. Shot your wad too early aga--oh wait, that was just Andy. #Emmys

8:44 pm PT Bad edit, guys: the winner of American Idol will not be coming right up on CBS, will you @KrisAllen4Real? #Emmys

8:49 pm PT That's...not how most people know Rob Lowe but I guess it's in poor taste to make a sex tape joke w/his underage sons in the audience #Emmys

8:49 pm PT
Why are they "getting all of the comedy out of the way" now? That makes it feel like second fiddle! #Emmys

8:54 pm PT I really, really, REALLY don't find Family Guy funny. Maybe @amandabynes doesn't either & that's why she went to NY today instead of #Emmys

8:55 pm PT Man, Britney new what she was doing when recording "Circus;" it's in EVERY reality TV commercial and montage. CAH-CHING! #Emmys

8:56 pm PT I suddenly wish I had a DVR for this dance break moment. Not even showing clips behind them? No thanks, #Emmys!

9:05 pm PT Was anyone else expecting a "costume change" by now? #Emmys

9:06 pm PT Only an hour in, up to the reality portion, and I'm sorry for blowing up your Twitters. Not much excitement goin' on tonight, folks!

9:15 pm PT Look how far Shohreh Aghdashloo has come: from accusing Grace Adler of racism to winning #Emmys.

9:17 pm PT
I'm not entirely convinced Ken Howard actually knows who Kanye West is. Maybe he just wants to get talked about on blogs. & Twitter. #Emmys

9:22 pm PT
Chandra and Kate are on the Seacrest cam! #Emmys

9:26 pm PT I never thought I'd say this, but Jennifer Love Hewitt looks very classy and "innocent." #Emmys

9:26 pm PT Our first no-show! Thank God; it means one less Kanye joke infused speech!

9:28 pm PT Just b/c the dude before you isn't there to speak doesn't mean you can "take it slowly," Dorritt lady! (What is that? I never saw it) #Emmys

9:29 pm PT Okay but the "three of us in the bed" was a good way to end. #Emmys

9:34 pm PT This new "grouping" format does make double checking my
#Emmys ballot a whole lot easier!

9:46 pm PT
I just realized that the categories I was most invested in were done w/i the first hour. And yet I can't seem to look away... #Emmys

9;51 pm PT This is the best photo you'll see from the #Emmys: RT @EWAusielloFiles - Spotted: Tracy Jordan waiting for his car

9:56 pm PT "I have nothing left to say...well, since George Bush left office." #Emmys

10:15 pm PT Momentarily distracted by videos Ryan found of Kaitlin Olson, Paul F Tompkins, Mary Lynn Rajskub:

10:20 pm PT Holy hell what's wrong with LL Cool J!? Weirdly bent bow tie, and is he wearing eye make-up?? I wish I could make screencaps!

10:21 pm PT Michael Emerson is so soft-spoken I keep waiting for him to slip into creepy Ben voice/stare. #Emmys

10:23 pm PT Sarah McLachlan. That can only mean the In Memoriam package. She only gets called on for sad montages these days. #Emmys

10:29 pm PT Could it be-- gasp-- that the #Emmys are coming in on time? NPH is going to win a statue next year for hosting this year's show for sure!!

10:33 pm PT Oh, I forgot we had to see the CAE no, I'm going to bet the show comes in 7-12 minutes over tonight. #Emmys

10:37 pm PT Good move lady; I'd want to hold the #Emmys, too. Now make sure you get to keep it in YOUR office.

10:43 pm PT
It was just brought to my attention that the In Memoriam skipped Kim Manners. #Emmys fail.

10:49 pm PT
I love Dana Delaney. When she wears glasses to read at big time events, it makes me feel better that I'm afraid of contact lenses. #Emmys

10:50 pm PT "I'm sorry, did I just open the door to the past?" BOTH Lead Drama #Emmys go to the same winners from last year? (cont)

10:50 pm PT Did the voters get lazy b/c it was the end of the ballot? I 'm not judging; I certainly know how they feel; this has been a LONG evening!

10:56 pm PT Could not be more excited for "Liz Lemon" and my own Liz Lemon day! Maybe we should have craft corner where we make our own

10:58 pm PT I'm exhausted, and I've only been "reporting" from my couch. I better start training for next year's
#Emmys in the morning!

11:04 pm PT Wow
#Emmys only 4 minutes over scheduled broadcast time!? As Jeff Margolis would say: better to do a good show than an on-time one! NPH prob agrees!

11:04 pm PT Thanks for following along with my
#Emmys Tourette's moments, Twitterverse. I promise to keep the next days much, much lighter!

Seriously, though, can I have my credentials now??? I promise to deliver more news and less commentary in the future...but considering my posts came hours after the show actually occurred, it was just more fun this way. No one likes to beat a dead horse...except maybe Dr. Horrible!

Tweeting The Emmys (Red Carpet Edition)...

A transcript from my second (successful?) Live Tweeting event: the 61st Annual Primetime Emmys red carpet! Since I'm on the west coast and apparently networks still don't think television is as high profile as film (which is just ironic, really), I had to do this on delay. Maybe next year they will realize the true importance of this awards show...or of me and just allow me into the press tents. Enjoy!

~ 1:00 pm PT Cramming way too much in for a Sunday morning but Emmy coverage starts soon, and tomorrow it's back to the Corporation grind...

~ 4:00 pm PT
It's a beautiful LA afternoon! Wishing I was at the Emmys even if only for the tan I'd get standing on the red carpet for hours!

5:55 pm PT
OMG Jennifer Morrison just said her jewelry was from Cartier (west coast carpet airing). I'm in a real life "Surviving Christmas!" #Emmys

6:05 pm PT
The Fashion 360 camera from E! is not one of a kind or unique; Viacom did this at the MTV Movie Awards back in May. #Emmys

6:07 pm PT
Jay Emmanuel and NeNe Leakes are interviewing Kourtney Kardashian. I'm not really sure why any of them are at the #Emmys.

6:08 pm PT
Tweeting the #Emmys (even though the west is on delay). Hoping y'all will find my outbursts more interesting than who I'm watching w/ does!

6:10 pm PT
Someone buy Ricky Gervais a Mach3; stubble is hot but not at a black tie event! #Emmys

6:13 pm PT
NPH is my hero. Love his "action" Fashion 360 shot. Rockstar! He's already a winner in my eyes. #Emmys

6:18 pm PT
Seriously, this is just B.S. If I look to my Twitter feed, I see all the east coast/live updates. Next year I need to be in the press tent!

6:18 pm PT
Or networks have to put #Emmys on live to west coast like they do Oscars. Ironic how TV networks don't think TV awards are important, huh?

6:21 pm PT @joelmchale IS right. And Seacrest IS 3'4'' Hoping Jason Segel will interview about the Muppet movie. But Seacrest never asks real ?s #Emmys

6:23 pm PT Does anyone else hope @1capplegate takes it home tonight? Vindication for a premature cancellation! Fey will have ample more noms! #Emmys

6:25 pm PT HA! Seth McFarlane kicked off E! for cussing. So @officialkathyg is in good company. #Emmys

6:25 pm PT
Jay Emmanuel can dish out the rude but can't take it, even when @NeNeLeakes is being funny. FIRE HIM. #Emmys

6:27 pm PT "Who's gonna pull a Kanye?" Christina Applegate wonders. My vote's on Kathy Griffin, but in good fun :) Is Kathy there? Haven't seen her yet

6:28 pm PT
W/O my glasses, Alyson Hannigan looks like Kate Walsh. Maybe it's time to go back to Lenscrafters. #Emmys

6:31 pm PT Just in case anyone is wondering who I'M wearing tonight: PJ pants by Gap, oversized tee-shirt by SuperExcellent. A blogger's uniform #Emmys

6:36 pm PT Commercial break (yes, I watch as "live" as I can-- no DVR for me!) to remind you that my Disney D23 auctions have only a few hours left

6:38 pm PT
Jamie Lynn Sigler very clearly HATES Seacrest. Which means that DanielleTBD now very clearly LOVES Jamie. So much more than Meadow! #Emmys

6:46 pm PT Yay Michael J Fox!!! I have to admit I am surprised to learn someone is shorter than Seacrest, though.

6:47 pm PT
Rob Lowe brought his sons as "bodyguards." They claim not to Tweet. If dad wasn't there, I think they'd say otherwise. Cute kids. #Emmys

6:48 pm PT
Oh Kaley, no one believes you're an anything virgin! #Emmys

6:50 pm PT Debra Messing too plain & simple for flashy Jay and NeNe. But they forget she was never a fashion icon. Nor a natural comedy talent

6:53 pm PT
These parody skits are actually kind of funny. "You're fat...your breath smells...but you're still a vampire, so let's just do it." Where's Mehcad???

6:57 pm PT Glad to keep busy during this broadcast or else I'd just be digging through a bag of popcorn and a pint of Ben & Jerrys!

6:59 pm PT Rainn Wilson linking "creativity, spirituality, and philosophy" in his new book. Um...I think that's what every artist does every day

7:00 pm PT No one cares about Jon Hamm's date, Seacrest! We're all imagining our faces floating down the red carpet next to him!

7:14 pm PT How has Guiliana seriously never heard of The Lonely Island? And why can she still be called an ent authority? Why is she even here??

7:15 pm PT What's the point of the autograph cam? So tech geeks can freeze frame and then forge? Good job E! I'll take a check from "Jon Stewart"

7:18 pm PT Screw it, these red carpet questions are dull, and I don't care about Kara. Breaking out the snacks! And where'd @NeNeLeakes go? :(

7:22 pm PT Ryan just announced his love for Mariska Hargitay. So THAT's what it takes to get jaded "artiste" to care about "Hollywood fluff!" ;)

7:26 pm PT Am I the only 1 who heard Seacrest say Jimmy KIMMEL (not Fallon, who was there) & Sarah Silverman? Whatev;don't care bout any of them

7:28 pm PT Dexter's sister is holding his arm (yes, I know their real names!), and I find it creepy.

7:30 pm PT Interesting how The Office had to wait to get 100 eps to hit syndication while lesser favorites got through w/loopholes.

7:31 pm PT I don't watch Family Guy, but Stewie sounds like he's going to end up on SVU in a few years!

7:31 pm PT
Was that an applause track for Mark Wahlberg? Does he travel with his own? #Emmys

7:36 pm PT "You have Got. To See. This dress!" -Wow, Ryan, you've really "out gayed" yourself! Gotta get a little Mean Girls in!

7:39 pm PT What, Jon Cryer-- is that a sweater vest? WHAT? Can anyone believe he was being considered for Sean Flanery's Ten Inch Hero role!?

7:43 pm PT Guiliana talking to Julia Louis-Dreyfus like she doesn't know she has a show. If Wanda Sykes was there, she wouldn't take that B.S! #Emmys

7:46 pm PT #Emmys show hasn't even started yet & pretty sure I scared Ryan right out the door. He and Mad have been on a "walk" for a while now.

7:48 pm PT Hoping to be inspired enough by tonight's talent to actually tackle my own pilots scripts once again... #Emmys

7:56 pm PT 30 ROCK!!!

7:57 pm PT Guiliana just redeemed herself by calling out Seacrest's big head and bigger ego!

7:59 pm PT This Black Eyed Peas song is worse than the Miley one I had in my head for a week. UGH. Bring on NPH!!! #Emmys

If you enjoyed this post but think it would have been better if it was live to the actual events and not live to when they aired in a given time zone, please write into the Academy and push for my media credentials to come through for 2010!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Dramatic Actors Choosing To Go Comedic…

Matt Damon may have once started out as a serious thespian with small parts in films like Courage Under Fire and The Rainmaker, but he really didn't make a name for himself until 1997's Good Will Hunting, for which he also won an Oscar for screenwriting. There the blond-mopped young man played deep, pensive, and somewhat brooding, so it's a far cry to see him years later, donning prosthetic noses and busy mustaches in order to get some added laughs for quirky, somewhat socially awkward characters. But Damon, in movies like the Ocean's... series and now The Informant (opening today in theaters across the country) has proven himself to be quite the chameleon and has thus garnered a whole new audience and demographic from it, making him truly a winner.

And Damon is in great company. Here is just my humble opinion of a few more of the other best actors who made names for themselves as dramatic actors but turned surprisingly successful as comedians-- and of course at those that...did not.

You don't get more serious of a performer than Johnny Depp. The man is so serious about his craft that he moved his family out of the Hollywood scene-- so far out he's across oceans and continents-- in order to avoid getting swept up in any superficial aspects of the "fame machine." Though it can be argued that some of Depp's early work (Edward Scissorhands, for example) was comedic in nature, those weren't the roles that truly made him a powerhouse. So when he turned up as Jack Sparrow in Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean series, it was something of a shock to see him all done up in heavy eyeliner, swaying confidence and casualness, and cracking dry jokes. But he never failed to elicit laughs, and that's the mark of a truly great actor: he can be successful in any genre to which he really asserts himself.

Robert Downey Jr. went full-method for his role as Charlie Chaplin, which was quite a serious film despite the obvious site gags involved in the transformation under which he needed to go to turn into the black and white film star. However, I will always personally remember him from Heart & Souls, the movie about angels on a bus that my mother dragged me to when I was a little kid. I remembered thinking it was overtly sappy and melodramatic, in a way that seemed to want to place an extraordinary importance on the relationships within the story, even if they were somewhat faulty. But Downey Jr. always stood out, and never was more the case than when he donned full blackface to play a white actor playing a black actor in the movie within the movie of Tropic Thunder. The premise alone is confusing and hilarious, even if slightly offensive at first. With Downey Jr. in the role, though, with his easy charm and natural knack for witty comedy, it was never awkward or uncomfortable and only purely funny.

Even Tom Cruise must get a mention for playing waaay against type and winning back over many of his critics with his brief appearance in Tropic Thunder. Though personally, I always thought it was kind of a stretch to have him portraying the dashing leading man (all five foot seven of him), one image of one of People's Sexiest men in a fat suit, big fake nose, and bald cap was enough: he didn't even have to say anything. Of course the rant that came spewing out of his mouth was just as equally against type and salacious, making the moment all the better! He definitely stole that film directly out from under the overrated Ben Stiller!

Edward Herrmann is known to many as Richard Gilmore, the somewhat imposing but not altogether unfunny father to Lorelai and grandfather to Rory on the WB's Gilmore Girls. However, for years prior to that role that made him famous with a whole new generation (mostly of young girls), he was spending his days on-screen with classic adaptations like The Great Gatsby-- something those same young girls probably had to watch for English class to compare and contrast to the actual book version. Unfortunately for Herrmann, not all of his forays into comedy were as successful as that aforementioned television one, though. Portraying Isla Fisher's father in the straight-to-DVD comedy Wedding Daze, though, Herrmann unfortunately falls flat, though through little fault of his own. It's just so hard to look at the distinguished and dignified performer making lowbrow genitalia jokes.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Hottie of the Week: Why, It's Jensen Ackles Of Course!...

These are some of my favorite, rarely seen shots of the man himself. I especially love the dichotomy of leather by the pool and these last two because there's nothing sexier than a man who reads.

Have you ordered your Creation Entertainment Salute To Supernatural convention tickets yet??

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Woof Wednesday #18...

During a rousing game of fetch with Madison's Fishie (pictured), he jumped up on top of the couch for a break. Up there, he can take as long of a rest as he needs without worrying that Mama will swoop in and take his toy to play on her own...because those are the rules.

"Five more minutes, Mama."

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Get Well Soon, Mrs. McCluskey...

Kathryn Joosten has been like a TV grandmother to me ever since I first saw her as Mrs. Landingham on Aaron Sorkin's The West Wing. So I can't tell you how unbelievably saddened I was to learn that she is now fighting a second bout of cancer, a disease that took my own grandmother and my mother.

Joosten's spirit and dry, sardonic delivery has always gotten laughs and won over audiences and voting academies alike. This season on Desperate Housewives, Joosten finally gets a real storyline-- and a man of her own-- which can only mean one thing: the show is prepping her for another Emmy win. Let's hope she can kick that cancer in the @$$ once again!

Disney Pop Changed The World...Without Britney?...

When The Mickey Mouse Club began in 1955, the main castmembers, called "Mouseketeers" had to be triple threats. These were once-ordinary kids who auditioned to come into other kids' homes every afternoon, singing little songs, performing little skits, dancing, and offering strong, wholesome programming. There was no question that once she started on the show, Annette Funicello was the break-out hit. However, the twelve year old originally from Utica, New York who was the only castmember to be handpicked for the show by Walt Disney himself (after he just happened to see her perform a ballet recital), was never intended to be the "marketed product" Disney has become so well known for churning out. That honor, instead, was supposed to go to blonde and blue eyed Darlene Gillespie.

Just what was the reason for the craze Funicello started (but so many managed to keep up)? "Mousetracks" co-author Greg Ehrbar led a seminar at D23 on closing day called "From Annette To Miley: How Disney Pop Changed The World" and offered his own theory: "[Funicello] was proof that stars are not made-- are not packaged. They are chosen by the public."

There is no doubt that Funicello had some sort of "magical" spark that enchanted her audience and fellow Disney employs; she even had a song written for her called "Annette!" However, there should be no doubt that it was the Disney machine that turned her into the brand that she is today. After all, it was never Funicello who was clamoring to sing on television; that was a decision made by the producers of the serial of her own name about a young girl from the country who is plunked down with big city kids. She was supposed to sing a corny little country diddy, and the kids were supposed to make fun of her dreamy nature. But the studio was flooded with so many letters about the song after, they made it a single. Hence beginning the trend of Disney kids having to star in movies, release albums, and plaster their names and faces on everything from tee-shirts to teddy bears.

It was back in Funicello's day that the Disney cross-overs began, as well: today we know them best on the Disney Channel with made-for-TV-movies like The Wizards on Deck with Hannah Montana, but back then it was a much simpler event, with the stars simply appearing on each others' shows-- a tradition that carried on into the nineties with TGIF and attempted to be copied by NBC with their Must See TV Thursday night (in a bid to get ratings up on the then-fledging Caroline in the City, Matthew Perry guest-starred as "Chandler Bing" and ran into the girls in the same small New York City neighborhood featured on both ...City and his then-hit, Friends).

But something else seemed to stall in the nineties, as the revised Mickey Mouse Club featured some of its strongest vocal talent (Christina Aguilera and Justin Timberlake could hit notes no one from the fifties' club seemed to even attempt), but Disney did not push its stars to star in any "beach blanket musicals." They didn't even sign the kids to their record company to churn out single after ear-splittingly sweet single! It was almost as if the Disney company could foresee the future even so early on, and they were distancing themselves from the troubled young starlets (like Britney Spears). While it was much talked-up early on that Spears was a part of the infamous Disney machine, all of the publicity was coming from her camp, in order to bring fans of the well-known and well-respected company to Spears as a brand.

Ehrbar didn't explain why there was such a break from the norm with the nineties version of the club. Instead, he merely skipped over it, as if it wasn't anything but an afterthought, which is quite poetic considering the way the studio seemed to regard the club in those years. In Power Point slides, Ehrbar showed pictures and played audio clips from the seventies and eighties and then jumped right to Miley Cyrus and her fellow tween co-horts that are currently all over TV...and radio and film and retail and viral (etc)

Ehrbar and Disney are hanging all of their branding hopes on Cyrus now-- though Ehrbar was quick to point out that the rumors were not true: Hannah Montana was not a show crafted as a vehicle to launch Cyrus' stardom. Cyrus was just a normal kid, going to school where she was actually being bullied, when she (gasp!) auditioned for the role.

The studio thought Cyrus was too young during her initial session, but they were willing to give her another shot...and another. Cyrus actually auditioned a handful of times (each time coming back looking slightly more adult, thanks to some hair straightening and blonde highlights and finally sporting a tee-shirt that read "I should have my own TV show."

It appears that Disney almost thought they were taking a "risk" by finally signing Cyrus, and they have more than made sure she work for it and prove to them it would pay off. But pay off it did-- by the truckload! Whoever follows Cyrus is going to have to truly step it up a couple of notches to win over the hearts (and wallets) of Disney's head-honchos. Could that person already be on another Disney Channel show? As we learned from Ehrbar and Funicello, after all, the next star could simply be "the dark-haired girl in the back row." Keep your eyes (and ears!) out!

How The Muppets Will Change The World (Or At Least The Face of Disney)...

At D23 this past weekend, Dick Cook unveiled plans for the new Muppet movie, which included twenty-four of its brightly colored stars performing “Rainbow Connection” aboard a Mark Twain steamboat. However, just a couple of days later during the Future of the Muppets presentation in the Walt Disney theater, it was joked that the upcoming film, for which Jason Segel is using as much of the Hollywood clout his successful CBS show has given him to write, will be the "cheapest Muppet movie ever made." Audience members were not given an intended release date, nor any hints as to any of the celebrity pals of the Muppets who might pop up in the story. Instead, the Muppets presentation focused heavily on branding and merchandising in order to bring the long-time favorites of many into the homes of new.

A hype package was played at the beginning of the session to showcase all of the places in pop culture that the Muppets have been popping up these last few years...including my personal favorites, 30 Rock and Saturday Night Live. Miss Piggy's sense of fashion was put on display on-screen, as well as out in the hall leading into the theater, where the original Marc Jacobs dress designed special for the Hollywood starlet sat in a glass case. Samples of the Muppets' original viral videos were shown, and new ones were announced to be on their way. "Bohemian Rhapsody," of course, got the loudest applause.

However, the bulk of the presentation was devoted to retail, like upcoming iTunes Applications, (Waldorf and Statler's "Ssshhh" movie App, Pepe's Love Meter, and Animal's Drum Kit that lets you make your own playlist or use his), books (also an upcoming from everyone's favorite grumpy old men), and original comics.

After all, every "true" Disney fan knows that what makes so many of their characters so magical is that you can take them home with you when you leave the parks in the form of everything from plushes and action figures to their images on clothing and even drinkware. And the presentation got a little help from the Muppets themselves, including Fonzie, Gonzo, Pepe, Sam the Eagle, and a couple of their chicken pals, in order to explain how they found that Disney magic.

Steiff will be releasing a limited edition Kermit the Frog doll (retails for $265), followed by a limited edition Miss Piggy. Fans were delighted by the concept sketches and mock-ups but even happier to learn that the raffle ticket they received on their way into the theater would grant them the opportunity to win one of these unique, collectible stuffed animals that are not even yet on the market...among many other prizes.

What really set the fans off, though, was learning that the Whatnot Workshop-- which currently resides in the flagship FAO Schwarz store in New York City-- will be making its way out west "sometime in the future." Again, fans were teased with the announcement, as no real date or time could be shared-- yet. The plans for the Whatnot Workshop appear to place it in the Disneyland park (at the Emporium), though, instead of Downtown Disney or at DCA, which is where the "Muppetvision" show resides (and as for that once-deemed "4-D" show...we'll get to that in just a moment).

The Whatnot Workshop allows Muppet fans to come in and create their own Whatnot puppet, Build A Bear style (as you may not know, Whatnots are Muppet extras; the background players you have seen for many years but which did not have names or merchandise attached to them-- until now). The Whatnot Workshop has complete customization, from different Muppet bodies, to wardrobe choices that range from doctor's coats and scrubs or suit jackets or simple tee shirts, to various colors and lengths of facial hair. It's perfect for any Muppet fan who want to "Muppetize" themselves!

And of course, the pièce de résistance is the expansion in the theme parks. The show's 3-D technology is a bit dated now (it hasn't changed since I first saw the show in about '92 or '93), especially when compared with the sequences we saw at the Future of Pixar presentation. However, true Muppet fans don't seem to mind, as they are just eager to see their buddies still alive and well within the Disney family. Pepe joked that what "Muppetvision" really needs is more of him, and the audience laughed and cheered. Other than learning about some of the new movie spoof posters in the waiting queue (Kermit in Pirates..., a parody of Disney's recent hit Wall-E, etc), though, fans were once again only given a hint at what's to come. Are plans still being worked on? Or were Muppet team members just waiting to gauge the reaction from the crowd before deciding what elements to really embark on (and first)? Hopefully we'll have our answers soon because while the souvenir Myzos bracelets that were handed out were nice, they will only tide these fans over for so long before they start flooding Muppet Central demanding to know more concrete details.

In any case, though, it is clear that the Muppets will be much more prominent in the near future in a lot of key places (their original holiday film, Letters to Santa, won the night for NBC last year and even kept the title of the highest rated program for about eleven weeks after it aired, so needless to say, it will re-run again in Winter 2009. A new holiday special is planned, as well). If Muppet fans had their way, Kermit would be right up there next to Mickey on all Disneyland and Disney World adverts and statues!

If you're a Muppet fan and would like an exclusive and unique D23 Muppet Fan Pack, please head over to IBG Inc's eBay page; all proceeds will be going to charity!

Kelly Clarkson Won’t Let Summer End...

Just days before she was set to take the stage as an official inductee into VH1's Diva Hall of Fame, Kelly Clarkson performed for a much different crowd in L.A. Instead of looking out into a sea of industry people when Clarkson took the Jimmy Kimmel Live stage last night at Hollywood & Highland to perform a mini concert as part of the Samsung AT&T Summer Krush Groove outdoor concert series, she was greeted by smiling, cheering, and downright screaming fans.

This was an audience that had been warmed up Samsung Summer Krush Opening Act Competition winners The Lives of Famous Men, a band of five young men from Anchorage Alaska. They performed three of their original songs as the Jimmy Kimmel Live crew tweaked lights and ran camera tests around them. This was their very first television appearance.

Clarkson took the stage just before 8:30 pm in Babylon Court, following in another, earlier, Diva's footsteps with this performance, as just last year Mariah Carey graced the same spot to sing fan favorites from her last album, E=MC2. But the excitement might have been even greater for Clarkson, whose fans were buzzing all evening about her blog post reaction to Kanye West interrupting Taylor Swift's VMA acceptance speech. Clarkson, who wondered if West wasn't hugged enough as a child, wrote: "It’s absolutely fascinating how much I don’t like you. I like everyone. I even like my @$$hole ex that cheated on me...The best part of this evening is that you weren’t even up for THIS award and yet you still have a problem with the outcome. Is winning a moon man that much of a life goal?? You can have mine if it will shut you up...I was actually nominated in the same category that Taylor won and I was excited for her…so why can’t you be??" Very well said, and last night her vocal talent was in just as high quality.

Although Mariah Carey, in the summer before Clarkson, only performed five songs, Clarkson stayed around for a whopping thirteen, thrilling and surprising the large crowd. She opened the night with a newer rendition of an old favorite, "Miss Independent," and then broke into the ballad "Already Gone" for the Kimmel and other media cameras. Unfortunately for Kimmel, there was a technical glitch-- but the fans were thankful because it meant they got to hear "Already Gone" for a second time. This is what happens when a normally live show pre-tapes a segment; suddenly everything that can, does go awry!

Clarkson got the crowd jumping and singing along to "I Do Not Hook Up," her final song for Kimmel and the media. However, she stuck around for another ten songs for the fans, including "Never Again," "Behind These Hazel Eyes," "Because of You," and a version of "Walking After Midnight" that should put last season's Idol contestant Megan Corkrey to shame.

Taking only one sip of wine early on in the evening, Clarkson performed for just about an hour, offering fans and Hollywood & Highland patrons for free for what many often pay close to one hundred dollars. Clarkson encouraged fans to sing along to choruses of her hits

and then closed the night with another aerobic-heavy performance of "I Do Not Hook Up"-- though earlier in the night she had joked that she hoped she didn't have to do that number again-- and her earlier classic, "Since U Been Gone."

Clarkson never let the energy falter once during the night, even when singing the sad songs (like "Cry") she admitted she likes to write because "sometimes you just need to vent, you know?" The bar was set pretty high last year for the future of the Summer Krush Groove series, but Clarkson jumped over it as easily as she jumped around on stage all night. What/who could possibly match this next year???