Saturday, September 16, 2006
The good: inside Guantánamo with Tim Golden, a fantastic profile of director Michael Gondry by the normally cynical Lynn Hirschberg, TNR's Lee Siegel waxing idiotically again about bloggers and an insightful piece on ventriloquist Jay Johnson, set to take Broadway by storm. Add in a whimsical piece on Bronx cartography, and you've got yourself a Saturday.
Then there's a minor South Park error in an overview of contemporary satire --"Cartman, the obese, morally repugnant child" did not eat the parents of a kid he disliked. As everyone who has enjoyed Scott Tenorman Must Die (perhaps my favorite SP episode) knows, Cartman tricks Scott Tenorman into eating his own parents. Do you like it? Do you like it, Scott? I call it, "Mr. & Mrs. Tenorman Chili." Okay, fine.
But then, oh Lord, for this I wish Lacuna was still in business: in a profile of tv producer Ben Silverman that leads the Arts & Leisure section -- to which I will not link, so vile is this information -- they let slip what happens to Pam and Jim on The Office. Oh no, they didn't? Yes, they did. We have waited and wondered since May 11, 2006 when "Casino Night" first aired, and with just five days to go, boom!, they ruin the suspense. Ruin it. Do not read this article. I cannot stress this enough. I am livid.
- Ryan Murphy, now creator of Nip/Tuck and Running With Scissors, got his start with the WB's Popular.
- J.J. Abrams got his big break with Felicity.
- Quietly, short-lived dramedy Jack & Jill marked first major media exposure for Amanda Peet and Sarah Paulson, and first major media exposure with clothes on for Jamie Pressly.
- Joss Whedon and the rest of the folks involved with Buffy.
- Greg Berlanti, who first led Dawson's Creek to its brief period of not sucking, and then created Everwood and Jack and Bobby.
- Popstars, which led to the Pussycat Dolls.
- An outlet for African-American comics--in particular Steve Harvey, Jamie Foxx, and the Wayans Bros.
"Bobby" is reasonably well-directed but scripted with painful obviousness. It stands to impress only the politically naive and hardened lovers of camp, the latter of whom will delight in the endlessly bizarre casting (Ashton Kutcher as a hippie acid dealer) and the chance to see Demi Moore (as a drunken lounge singer) in a battle-of-the-titans acting match with Sharon Stone (as the hotel's salon stylist).The trades, however, liked it.
Friday, September 15, 2006
- Sundays 8 PM--Amazing Race 10 vs. The Simpsons--I go with TAR because I know Fox will pick up the reruns either in the summer or during the endless rounds of syndication, while TAR is tougher to pick up (especially without missing an episode) later in the game.
- Sundays 10 PM--Brothers AND Sisters vs. Without A Trace vs. The Wire--I'm going with Brothers AND Sisters for the moment because it seems like a trainwreck not to be missed, but that could actually get good. Without A Trace can be picked up non-sequentially in reruns, and The Wire (which I know I oughta be watching), repeats ad infinitum.
- Tuesdays 8 PM--Dancing With The Stars vs. House vs. Friday Night Lights vs. Gilmore Girls--The head spins. I'm going with Gilmore Girls, at least until we've got an idea how the Klum-stalker is working out, but may be persuaded to switch. (Thankfully, Hizzy moves to 9 PM in October, where I'm far more free, though Veronica Mars is tempting--I'd love Hizzy vs. Veronica.)
- Wednesdays 8 PM--Dancing With The Stars vs. Jericho vs. 30 Rock/Twenty Good Years vs. America's Next Top Model--If 30 Rock had a better timeslot companion (paging Dr. Dorian? Dr. John Dorian?), this'd be a walkover, but Jericho could quickly enthrall me, and the reality programming here certainly has its fans hereabouts.
- Thursdays 8 PM--Survivor: Politically Incorrect vs. Earl/Office vs. Ugly Betty--I hope Ugly Betty gets repeated in another timeslot (say Fridays, rather than Home Videos repeats?), because I'd like to give it a shot, but the fine folks at Dunder Mifflin win the slot for me.
Also, my ballsy schedule move of the day? If NBC gets a breakout drama hit this fall (particularly one of the Monday shows or Friday Night Lights), why not move it against Desperate Housewives, which needs to get better and funnier right quick or be susceptible to losing a bunch of its audience?
Meanwhile, Stephen Jr. is all the way to Fraser Lake, B.C. by now . . .
edited to add: The segment with the ambassador is now online. Thanks, Bill.
Thursday, September 14, 2006
The Office returns next week. Thank goodness.
For the rest of you, carry on. We'll be enjoying our Kandy Kakes.
I'm pretty sure that, with the exception of blind spots in books (who reads 'em!), gambling (Gawker Media used to cover this, but ironically lost oddjack.com in a bet with a shadowy Taiwanese businessman), and places where you can't get food from Nobu Matsuhisa, Gawker Media is now officially omniscient.
Incidentally, Denton, drunk with his god-like power, is rumored to be contemplating fiendish Dr. Moreau-ish experiments on his blogs. Fear the Defamwag (covering the Ojai gossip scene) and the Fleshmodo (porn gadgetry).
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
As far as the result's concerned, well, that's their choice and I wish them well, whatever they're going to be called.
- WASN'T THIS HIS PREROGATIVE?
- HOPEFULLY, SHE WAS SAVING AT LEAST SOME OF HER LOVE FOR SOMEONE ELSE
- WHERE DO BROKEN HEARTS GO? TO A LAWYER.
- Emmitt Smith could not be more adorable.
- Joey Lawrence is scary without hair.
- Mario Lopez has doublejointed hips.
- Harry Hamlin seems as intense as his wife, Lisa Rinna, was last time around. I couldn't stop laughing at his facial expressions.
- Poor Tucker Carlson, present as the Kenny Mayne inaugural amuse-bouche for the wolves.
- Jerry Springer lacks the suavité of George Hamilton (whose name I always need to look up after I type George Harrison), but should still pick up some of the silver-hair vote for a week or two.
- Didn't much care about any of the women, mainly for the foxtrot reason mentioned earlier. But who, pray tell, is Willa Ford?
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
The Dilana who dominated the first 5-6 weeks of the competition deserves to win it and would be a solid match for the band, but I don't know if she still exists -- her media and physical snafus seem to have really beaten her down. So, barring the band still maintaining that faith in her, I still predict Toby as the winner, for all the reasons we've been through. You?
- The Original Cuts of the Star Wars Original Trilogy on DVD (and pick up Lego Star Wars II while you're at it)
- New albums from Justin Timberlake, John Mayer, and Shawn Colvin.
- New books from Jeopardy! Champ Ken Jennings and Max (son of Mel) Brooks.
- Second seasons of TV on DVD both comic and dramatic.
So how are you spending your hard-earned pop-cultural dollars?
Go ahead, click on the video link for the video for "Top Five Breakups," and try to make it all the way through.
Monday, September 11, 2006
I mean, it's cute, and it's well-done and exceptionally well-acted, but the fuss? I felt like it was Royal Tenenbaums, only not as good, not as deep, with too much of the planned joy based upon a hide-the-ball-until-the-big-finale gag that's a lot less funny to me in a post-JonBenet, post-Living Dolls world. Is that what the whole movie was really building towards?
So if you've seen it, let's roll the Big Yellow VW Mini-Bus of Metaphor into the comments, and tell me what I'm missing.
This is an open thread, but let me suggest one angle on this anniversary: five years ago, there was a significant cultural discussion at the time about whether we had reached the end of The Age of Irony; clearly, those who believe that we had not have won. How do you feel about things being as back-to-normal as they now are, or, are there in fact ways in which our culture has changed as a result? (Possible answer: greater respect and sensitivity in fictional depictions of police officers and firemen.)
In addition, the Times today revisits some of the families from its epic Portraits of Grief coverage. Think about spending a few minutes over there.
Sunday, September 10, 2006
The folks at The House Next Door have a week's worth of analysis to help catch you up on the world of 'The Wire'. But if you're already a fan, tell us what we should know.