Saturday, March 9, 2013

I'VE BEEN AROUND THE WORLD, FROM LONDON TO THE BAY: NYT travel writer Seth Kugel tries to tease out seven specific attributes which would make the denizens of a nation The Friendliest People On Earth.
ON SECOND THOUGHT, MAYBE DON'T TRY THE DANISH: Remember Noma, the "new Nordic" Copenhagen restaurant dubbed Best in the World, about which Eric J once said "It's amazing how many of the dishes on Noma's menu sound like what you'd make in the middle of February when the pantry is empty and you're just trying to stave off starvation until the winter is over" and Marsha added "I just don't want my food dragged through anything, even if it's more food"? Well, as the Copenhagen Post reports:
A total of 67 guests succumb to vomiting and diarrhoea after dining at Noma, Denmark’s most famous gourmet restaurant.... The national food authorities, Fødevarestyrelsen, inspected the restaurant on February 20 after it received reports that a number of the restaurant's guests had become ill with Roskilde Sickness, a norovirus that causes vomiting and diarrhoea, after dining there from February 12-16.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

NOT GONNA PHONE IT IN TONIGHT: With Justin Timberlake about to become the first new member of the Five Timers Club since 1999, Vulture ranks the current members on their SNL work.

(Overrated: Walken. Underrated: Hanks. Properly rated: Baldwin.)
WHAT A PISSER:  Great MZS video essay on fourth-wall breaking in film. Both Tyler Durden and future Senator Blutarsky are represented therein, and the language, accordingly, is occasionally NSFW.

[Related: NYMag did this in January 2012, in briefer form, and with minimal overlap with today's video.]
EGOT WATCH DESK:With news that Tina Fey and her husband Jeff Richmond (both multiple Emmy-winners for 30 Rock) are in the preliminary stages of working on Mean Girls: The Musical, which would seem to give them an outside shot at finishing the EGOT. 

Two other Mean Girls thoughts:

1.  Kind of amazing how much the supporting cast has surpassed Lohan in recent years, with McAdams, Seyfried, and Caplan all going on to much bigger and better things.
2.  The exception?  The kid who played Kevin G, who's now a professional calligrapher.  Admittedly, this may or may not place him ahead of Lohan on the personal and professional success meter at this point.
COLUMBIA NUTELLA SCANDAL: Awesome. (And unhealthy.)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

TWO BEDROOMS, TWO BATHS, THREE WALLS: I often wondered about the topology of cartoon houses, where Fred could chase Dino past the same telephone a dozen times without changing direction relative to the telephone. This doesn't quite answer issues of such local variations in space-time, but some obsessive fellow has put together the floor plans of apartments from I Love Lucy to the Big Bang Theory.
SEE, THERE'S A SHOW WITHIN THE SHOW WITHIN THE SHOW: Up All Night was a pleasant enough diversion during its first season, but retooling after retooling kept changing the show, and not for the better.  TV Guide chronicles all the retoolings, and indicates some of the borderline-insane concepts that were bandied about for the show's most recent retooling, all of which would seem to violate Kenneth's list of "no-no words" for TV shows.  (I'll be interested to see if they devote this level of rethink to Smash, because there's an interesting show centered on Tom that I think could be found.)
REST IN PEACE:  He was a throwback to another era, a stout, demonic man who knew how to make an entrance, and who ruled with bold statements and knowing humor, deploying brute force when needed. Some called his methods cruel, but to his supporters and fans there was no equal. His death yesterday at the age of 58 leaves many stunned, and mourning.

And so today, many of us bid a melancholy farewell to longtime WWE manager Paul Bearer (William Moody), with fond memories of a one-of-a-kind.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

SO DID THIS ONE ACTUALLY BITE AND SUCK? The big surprise in the MTV Movie Awards is the general snubbing of Twilight: Breaking Dawn: Part 2, with a mere single nomination (Taylor Lautner for "Best Shirtless Performance," which I expect he will lose to Channing Tatum) for the vampire saga finale, even though the first 4 movies each won Best Movie.  A few other things of note:
  • The "Scared-As-S**t Performance" category is uber-weird, with Jennifer Lawrence (for House at the End of the Street) up against Jessica Chastain in Zero Dark Thirty.  There are many words I'd use to describe Chastain's Maya, but "scared" isn't among them.
  • Perks of Being A Wallflower gets some much deserved love for Watson and Miller's performances, as well as love in "best kiss" and "best musical moment."
  • Given that Rebel Wilson is hosting, no surprise to see her get a Breakthrough nod for Pitch Perfect, but she also gets into Best Female Performance.  Pitch Perfect also gets a musical moment nod and a "WTF moment" nod for Anna Camp puking.
Personally, I'm hoping for a live Barden Bellas performance, and for Rebel Wilson to be funny.
I'M A DRIVER. I'M A WINNER. THINGS ARE GONNA CHANGE, I CAN FEEL IT:  "Loser" was released twenty years ago this week, and it was not until today that I learned that sample isn't from a GHWB speech. All this, and more, as Grantland's Alex Pappademas assesses Beck's career.
REAL NEWS REGARDING FAKE NEWS: Jon Stewart will take three months away from The Daily Show this summer to direct a decidedly non-comic feature film...
Rosewater, an adaptation of the book Then They Came For Me: A Family’s Story Of Love, Captivity And Survival. Published in 2011 by Random House, the book is Maziar Bahari’s harrowing ordeal of leaving London in June 2009 to cover Iran’s presidential elections. With a pregnant fiance left behind, the BBC journalist expected to be away for a week. Instead, he spent the next 118 days in Iran’s most notorious prison being brutally interrogated by a man he knew only by one thing: he smelled of Rosewater.... [Stewart] quietly optioned the book through his Busboy Productions banner, and had a personal stake in the story: After Bahari was accused of spying, one of the items used against him was an appearance he made on The Daily Show.
John Oliver will guest host for eight of the twelve weeks; the other four will be reruns.
THIS IS CRAZY.  NO, LEGIT CRAZY: Have you either thought "gosh, I like Nine Inch Nails, but I feel that it would be improved if Trent Reznor was screaming his nihilism over a much poppier riff?"  No?  Well, maybe you should, since we now have "Call Me A Hole."

ETA: In other Carly Rae Jepsen news, she and Train have both pulled out of playing at this summer's Boy Scout Jamboree, citing the organization's policies on gays.   Of course, not quite sure how many Boy Scouts were crying out for performances by Carly Rae Jepsen and Train, but...

Monday, March 4, 2013