Saturday, November 5, 2005
Friday, November 4, 2005
- The Apprentice (NBC)
- Desperate Housewives (ABC)
- ER (NBC)
- Grey's Anatomy (ABC)
- The Office (NBC)
- Will & Grace (NBC)
- Lost (ABC)
- My Name Is Earl (NBC)
- West Wing (NBC)
- Gilmore Girls (WB)
Thursday, November 3, 2005
- Best cameo performance--designed for people who with one or two scenes, steal a movie. Of course, "cameo" performances have won Oscars before--e.g., Judi Dench for Shakespeare in Love and arguably Jack Palance for City Slickers--so is this category really necessary?
- Best ensemble performance--I've always been a fan of this award, especially since more and more films and TV shows don't neatly break down into "lead" roles and "supporting" roles, but a valid question can be raised as to whether it really adds anything beyond awards that are already there.
- Best voiceover performance--I certainly see the point of having this award, but it doesn't seem like it should happen every year, and like it would be more appropriate as a juried award (kind of like the sci-tech awards are).
So, what do you think of the suggested new categories? Are there others you'd add? Discuss.
From "Is happiness (eudaemonia) possible? to "What is not art?" to "Is it unethical to move loyalty to another sports team just because the current team you're rooting for isn't doing well?", there's a wealth of pondering for you to explore.
Wednesday, November 2, 2005
- The long-running executive producer of the show, who gets fired in the pilot after delivering a "Network-style anti-TV tirade live on the air."
- A "young writing phenom" with a cocaine problem (not that this is at all autobiographical).
- A "sexy redheaded op-ed columnist who is 'gonna win a Pulitzer'" (not that this bears any resemblance to Sorkin's ex--Maureen Dowd).
Apparently, those last two are the leads. Obviously, we don't have much to work from with those barebones descriptions, but who's got the look and can bring the Sorkinese? Do these fit members of the Sorkin Family Players?
Trapped in the Closet --- Chapters Six through Twelve
To recap: Sylvester was caught in Cathy’s closet by Pastor Rufus, was introduced to Rufus’s lover Chuck, fired a shot into the ceiling, picked up a speeding ticket and had a round of energetic sex (while fully clothed) with his wife, Gwendolyn who’d been screwing around with the cop that gave Sylvester the ticket. Oh, and Cathy introduced Gwendolyn to the cop. Got it?
Sylvester and Gwen share a hearty laugh over their escapades, because nothing is funnier than confessing adultery to your spouse. “And then? He was a gay guy and I got a ticket!” Oh, belly laughs and snotty noses galore.
Meanwhile, Brother Twan is released from prison.
Back at Casa del Crazy, Sylvester and Gwen apologize to each other for all the cheating. And we recap the last five chapters, because R. Kelly’s gotta stretch this out by another 120 seconds.
But then! The Traffic Cop gets a funny feeling and drives back to Gwendolyn’s house to make sure everything’s okay. Oh, but Sylvester’s car is parked funny with the lights on, and the dogs are barking and the back door’s broken down! This highly trained police officer goes into the house, gun drawn. Warrants? Back up? Not in R. Kelly’s universe!
The cop hears Gwendolyn and Sylvester still laughing over their exploits, only to the lawman, it sounds like crying. Matters are exacerbated when the cop hears Gwen say, “Sylvester you’re killing me!” Yeah, this is going to go well.
Guns are waved around, there’s a lot of dramatic posturing, Sylvester puts down his gun, but then tussles with the cop over his service revolver and then, “All of the sudden, POW!” It’s nice to know that even R. Kelly obeys Chekhov when it comes to firearms.
The set decorator decided to go for an “Aftermath of Carrie’s Prom” theme for Chapter Seven. Blood is smeared everywhere, the three are arguing about the dead guy, but there really? There isn’t a body. Gwendolyn, Sylvester and the cop argue for a couple of stanzas more, before we see the body of some random guy splayed out on the floor, covered in enough pink Kayro syrup to give the viewer pause. Brother Twan! And he’s alive!
Don’t worry, it’s only a flesh wound. All he needs is a band-aid and five minutes in the bathroom and he’ll MacGyver that gunshot wound right up. I’m sure he learned that skill in prison.
And then we’re given another 90 seconds of recap so Twan knows why a cop was pointing a gun at his nearest and dearest, but then! There’s rapid knocking at the door! Sylvester and the cop argue about who is going to open the door! Guns are drawn! Oh, god! The tension! Oh, it’s just Rosie the Nosy Neighbor, curlers askance, holding her spatula. “Spatula” is harmonized and ...? scene.
The Cop leaves Casa del Crazy and calls his wife. Now here’s an unexpected twist: The Cop is married to a white girl! Named Bridget! Who talks with a trailer trash accent! That R. Kelly forces through his nostrils! This is better than “I Believe I Can Fly,” people. Bridget tells the cop that she made him a cherry pie, and he promises to be home soon.
But then we have to cut back to Casa del Crazy because we have to know what Rosie the Nosy Neighbor was going to do with the spatula, because we’ve got to tie up that plot line.
Meanwhile, back at the cop’s domicile, Bridget is looking guilty and blaming it on that time of the month, and then she tries to distract the cop with an offer of pears. R. Kelly tells us that she slept with another man that very day. They argue. The camera work lingers over a closet. And inside? R., acting as narrator, telling us there’s a guy in the house. I’m starting to suffer from twist fatigue.
In a reprise of Rufus looking for Sylvester in earlier chapters, we get the cop ripping the kitchen apart, looking for the new guy. Checks the stove, pushes back the fridge, and then notices there’s a slice missing from the cherry pie and we get a line about food allergies! This is a classic! This is better than Rent!
Bridget is standing in front of the sink, and refuses to move, but the cop manages to move her and opens the cabinet. Now, this next reveal is so shocking, R. Kelly freezes the scene, Matrix-like, comes out of the pantry and tells us the next reveal is going to be shocking. How shocking? The man in the cabinet? Is a midget!
Bridget. Midget. R. Kelly needs to have his rhyming dictionary privileges revoked.
There really is a midget hiding under the sink. He’s wearing a rather natty blue suit, but the cop doesn’t care. That bastard’s got pie crust on his face. They scuffle, and the midget admits to pooping his pants, because he’s so afraid. Bridget runs upstairs and grabs a phone number out of her bag.
Meanwhile, at Casa del Crazy, Sylvester, Gwendolyn and Twan are sitting around, playing cards. The phone rings, Gwen picks it up and Bridget pleads with her to help break up the cop/midget fight (oh, but we have to have a verse of exposition as to where Bridget got Gwen’s number). With the cavalry summoned, Bridget goes downstairs, leveling a shotgun at the cop’s chest. The midget (seriously, I don’t mean to be politically incorrect, but thinhaler?t give him a name) starts sucking on his inhaler and complains all this excitement isn’t good for his heart. Sylvester and Twan burst into the house, guns drawn and boom! The midget is down for the count. Dead?
No worries. The midget just fainted and rouses easily. Sylvester asks the midget if they know each other because he looks familiar, because every hip-hop posse isn’t complete without a half-dozen little people. Here, the narrative speeds up: the midget is well-endowed, the cop refers to Twan and Sylvester as Chuck and Rufus, Bridget is three months pregnant, she met the midget at a strip club, and he’s the baby daddy! Only, it takes R. Kelly another two minutes to get all this story development out, because he is an artist!
And then? The midget faints again. Well, that’s one way to handle impending daddyhood.
The most impressive part of Chapter Eleven is R. Kelly’s ability to stretch out the word “daddy” out for eighteen and a half syllables.
“Now let’s just jump back to Cathy’s house.” Yes, let’s, because the laid-out midget on the kitchen floor wasn’t compelling enough. Chuck and Cathy are trying to work out their differences. Chuck (a deacon! Shocking!) favors knife fights. Oh, and then the phone rings, because the phone is always ringing when you’re trapped in the closet. Only, this time, R. Kelly makes mouth noises on the soundtrack in lieu of actual ringing. Gwendolyn is on the other end, and recaps the entire soap, from the time Sylvester hooked up with Cathy at the club, straight through to the pregnant-by-midget twist we never saw coming. And while Rufus and Chuck look on, Cathy admits “that ho was me."
That’s it, folks. That’s all he sang. I’m absolutely convinced the cliffhanger ending a clever ruse by R. Kelly to avoid prison. Why, how can we send him up for statutory rape when we don’t know what’s going to happen with Rufus! Chuck! Cathy! The midget!
And for an added bonus, there’s a commentary track where R. Kelly offers a master class in the intricate backstory, the characters’ motivations and his story craft. It is as bad as it sounds. You have to see this.
I [heart] our readers. This is awesome.
Tuesday, November 1, 2005
Sure, the haterade poured on the Weavers was fun, and I do believe they set a Race record for most invocations of a deity's grace within one episode, but that's not the way you structure an episode. Grr.
Whether a method patent setting forth an indefinite, undescribed, and non-enabling step directing a party simply to ‘correlat[e]’ test results can validly claim a monopoly over a basic scientific relationship used in medical treatment such that any doctor necessarily infringes the patent merely by thinking about the relationship after looking at a test result.As a colleague mused -- perhaps infringing a cogitation patent or two in the process -- "I'm going to guess that the patentee will try to reframe that issue statement in briefing."
This week's episode, entitled Viuda Negra, features guest star Alex Kingston as a woman who witnesses her husband's kidnapping. Kingston's appearance is reason enough to tune in, but here's the kicker: the episode is directed by none other than Paul McCrane.
To my knowledge, Bateman's surgery was not necessitated by any events taking place in Wee Britain.
Frankly, the critical response is entirely irrelevant -- the show is sold out for its entire limited run, courtesy of an astonishing $20mm in advance sales. I mention all this simply because Mr. Cosmopolitan and I are off to see the spectacle for ourselves tonight.
I'm something of a tabula rasa on the subject, never having seen the play, the movie, or the TV show. Heck, I've never even seen The Honeymooners. I do adore Nathan Lane in pretty much anything (this will be the fifth time I've seen him on Broadway), and I find Matthew Broderick insufferably annoying in pretty much anything except Ferris Bueller and Election. (Don't even get me started on his performance in the otherwise transcendent Glory, or the travesty that was his effort at portraying Professor Harold Hill.)
A report of the evening's festivities to follow.
Monday, October 31, 2005
In the only other pop culture-related SCOTUS news, I can report that the nominee's 90-year-old mother is named Rose Alito. She indeed lives in New Jersey, but she knows a pretty little place in Southern California, down San Diego way, where there's a little cafe [piano fill] where they play guitars all night and day . . .
Interestingly, Geraldo is five years older than Gerard; and Gerardo is 40 years old.
The entire top ten (three of which as a red-blooded, steak-eating, Midwestern heterosexual I am proud to say I have never seen live):
2. Rocky Horror Picture Show
3. The Phantom of the Opera
4. Les Miserables
5. Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
6. West Side Story
7. The Lion King
10. The Sound of Music