Tuesday, May 31
From Roll Call:
House GOP Conference Vice Chairman Jack Kingston (Ga.) has been out on the TV circuit blaring outrage. Kingston instructed Members who serve on the House GOP message team to "repeat that this was a PERSONAL swipe at Tom DeLay during sweeps week." In a memo to his message folks, Kingston gave four talking points, telling Members to stay on message that "L&O" finished "dead last" in sweeps week, is biased and liberal, and, in what he called "outrageous and over-the-top," associated DeLay with a "racist, anti-semitic judge killer."
Then he suggested some "zingers" for GOP Members to use on the subject. Criticize NBC's Katie Couric for one. And secondly and most importantly, he said, "Turn the tables for a minute: You never see TV shows depicting a 15-year-old teenage girl driving across the state border to get an abortion with a Nancy Pelosi or Hillary Clinton T-shirt on."
SIR Bob Geldof will today announce the glittering line-up for music spectacular Live 8 - but the Spice Girls will not be in it.
The decision by concert bosses to axe them from the concert will be a bitter blow to the five stars who had hoped to re-form and play together for the first time since they split in 1998.
A source said: "The girls will be gutted by the decision." (I think that would be a GOOD thing!)
But Live 8 organisers were adamant their style of music did not fit in with the serious political message about world poverty the transatlantic event hopes to portray. (gee, ya think???)
A BBC spokesman said: "Many of the biggest rock stars in the world have agreed to take part, and the Spice Girls just don't fit. "It's a political rally to put pressure on world leaders and their kind of pop act didn't seem right for this kind of event. There was also a practical problem that with so many great international rock stars and bands wanting to do their bit, there just won't be time for the Spice Girls. (in reality, there should never be any time for them......)
"Perhaps, if five or six bands pulled out it would be different, but the truth is it's just not going to happen."
I'm just wondering if he can take Lindsay with him. If there needs to be a crime, how about committing skankiness?
Dave Matthews Band
Crosby, Stills & Nash
Die Toten Hosen
Andrea Bocelli Craig David
But something I am totally thrilled about... a Breakfast Club reunion! Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy, Anthony Michael Hall and Judd Nelson are all scheduled to participate! Emilio Estivez is apparently too busy not making movies to attend.
Saturday, May 28
See Sam in the Penske Marlboro #6 and give him an extra cheer or two!!!
Friday, May 27
Kelly Clarkson - "Since U Been Gone (Jason Nevins remix)"
The omnipresent radio hit gets a face lift with a thumpadelic remix that makes it sound like U2, Kylie Minogue and Avril Lavigne all like to party at the same club. Hey, isn't that Cher over there? Thought she retired...
U2 - "City of Blinding Lights"
With Bono toning down the bluster and a skilful blend of Edge guitars and punctuating piano, the centerpiece ballad of How to Dismantle An Atomic Bomb is a thrilling tour de force.
Nivea -- "Parking Lot"
To cheat successfully, you need a truly intricate labyrinth of lies. But sometimes lust leaps to the top of the agenda, as it does on the crunk princess's new disc. While her man is home, she's getting busy with someone else at the McDonald's drive-thru. Riding a sultry pulse, Nivea uses her best pillow talk to basically ask, "Do fries come with that shake?"
The Killers -- "Mr. Brightside"
The other three guys in the band put their shoulders behind Brandon Flower's ineffable sense of drama, giving his paranoid wailings a mounting beat that's impossible to resist.
Robbie Fulks - "I'm Gonna Take You Home (And Make You Like Me)"
Here's a guy who knows more about classic Nashville styles than the current crop of Music City dudes, and his killer wit is fully illustrated by this hilarious string of barfly pick-up lines. "Say, what's that on your left hand?" asks the cutie du jour. "Why, that's an old war medal, if you must know," answers the cad. Prepare for the surprise ending.
Paul Anka -- "Black Hole Sun"
Believe it: The '50s teen idol turned Vegas mainstay scores Soundgarden for his big band and his still-capable croon and just about pulls it off, without even a whiff of heroin.
Andrew Bird - "Fake Palindromes"
The enigmatic lo-fi hero makes an elaborate folk-pop that trades songs of wispy romance for psychological studies. Here he leaps into a pulsing Beatles homage about a woman with blood in her eyes who promises her mate that "some lonely night we'll get together/and I'm going to tie your wrists with leather/and drill a tiny hole into your head." His latest disc is one of year's low-key wonders.
Ciara -- "Oh"
Why does Ludacris sound better as a guest star than he does on his own? His rat-a-tat-tat rhymes and Jazze Pha's menacing crunk beat easily outclass the headliner's workaday gasping.
Ryan Adams -- "Sweet Illusions"
He's got one of pop's most melancholy voices, and can turn a happy tune blue without even trying. So this boo-hoo ballad is doubly despairing. Striking a balance between Roy Orbison and the Eagles, he reminds us that dusty bar tunes are his forte.
Foo Fighters -- "Best of You"
Just in time for prom season comes Dave Grohl's latest -- a slow dance that turns into a pounding guitar anthem, but still can't hide its gooey center.
These guys are two of the best out there (did anyone else see Sin City?). Hope it's better than Four Rooms, though.
Thursday, May 26
Irina is back (have I mentioned how much I love Lena Olin?) and helps the gang save the world from Sloane and Elena. She kills Elena, her sister, by shooting her in the head.
But previously, Elena turned Sydney's Argentinian sister, Nada, into a 28 Days Later zombie. When Nadia tries to stop Sydney from saving the world, Sloane shoots her. So it seems that Sloane is actually a good guy? It's so hard to tell on this show.
Okay. So the world is now safe, so Sydney and Vaughn get engaged and drive up to Santa Barbara. As they're driving, Vaughn tells Sydney that his name is actually not Michael Vaughn and that there is a reason she came to him at the CIA during season one. Okay, good stuff. I like where this is heading. And then, BAM! A car slams into Sydney and Vaughn and the season ends. WTF.
Episode Report Card
Wow, what a great hour-long episode that would have made, huh? True story: as I type this, PJ Harvey singing "Is That All There Is" came up on my iTunes shuffle.
The Goonies manage to snag themselves some dynamite, only Arse blows himself up. Yay! I can't believe I never pegged him as total redshirt material; I thought he was going to be part of Lost: The Next Generation. And now we can't tell Arse from a hole in the ground. But they've got the dynamite, and they're going to blow up the hatch. On the way back to the hatch, Locke gets grabbed by Lostzilla. As far getting a glimpse of the island's security system? Not so much. I guess the rope or chain or tentacle or whatever the hell grabbed Locke was our "glimpse"…as well as some black smoke-type stuff that only increases the mystery. At any rate, Locke almost gets dragged down a hole, a fate that he doesn't exactly seem to fear. But it's because, as he tells Jack, he's a man of faith, and the island brought them all there for a reason. What reason, and how, and all that, ain't getting revealed. The flashbacks are all of the "watch everybody getting on the plane" variety, and the entire purpose seems to be to show that most of them almost missed the plane -- but wound up on it anyway. Weirdest moment: the ad for Good Morning: America that promises an important "secret scene" that the producers couldn't squeeze in. Yeah, so important that there was no room for it anywhere in this two-hour bloat of an episode. If anybody watched that, you are banned from the site.
Meanwhile, Rousseau kidnaps Turniphead and makes for the black smoke, apparently to try to trade for her own baby who was kidnapped all those years ago. Charlie and Sayid race after her (making a pit stop at the Boone Death Plane, where Charlie snags himself some heroin). When they catch Rousseau at the black smoke fire, there are no "others." Because maybe when a crazy person talks about hearing voices, there aren't actually others.
Or are there? The dudes on the Millennium Falkon-Tiki (tm sdPalladio) fire off the flare gun after spotting something on the radar. And they are relieved to be spotted by...Biker Gang Boat Party? D'oh...? The bikers want Walt. Hand 'im over, they growl. And when their spotlight goes out, Sawyer gets shot, and hits the water. Jin jumps in after him. Walt is forcibly taken, and Mercutio ends up in the water as well, watching his son being kidnapped, his raft blowing up behind him. Gave me chills.
And in the final scene, also going for chills but winding up in frustration at the lack of answers, the hatch is blown, and finally opened. But if you thought we were going to find out what's inside, you don't know Jack. The hatch goes down, waaaaaaaay down. And the ladder's busted. That's not a cliffhanger. That's the writers needing to have their crack pipes cleaned over the summer and get things moving.
BY THE NUMBERS Is Hurley really controlling the island?
That was amazing. I'm so stumped as to how to begin that I think I'll just play Hurley and go with ''Dude.'' He's still invincible, so I figure this technique can't hurt. By the way, I'm filling in again for regular Lost critic Jeff Jensen, who — and this will sound made up, but it's not — was on a flight from Australia to Los Angeles this morning. No, really. He was, and not that the EW.com folks are superstitious or anything, but they decided to go with a backup. (Late update: My editor just told me Jeff's flight landed without incident.)
Personally, my biggest fear about the season finale of Lost was that it wouldn't reveal enough — that we still wouldn't know who the Others were, what Hurley's numbers meant, what the hell (and it might actually be hell) is in the Hatch, and so on. The thing is, we kind of still don't know any of those things for sure. So why am I sitting here reeling from how amazing these last two hours of my life were? Let's face it — that finale was awesome, and most if not all of the island's various mysteries got just the right amount of treatment to satisfy us tonight and keep us interested until next season. Let's breeze through some of those questions:
Why introduce a random science-teacher character three weeks before the end of the season? Why, to kill him off, of course. A lot of readers saw this coming, and a lot of viewers must have figured it out right about when Arzt started getting really obnoxious about science instead of just kind of self-righteous and socially awkward. Okay, or if not at that point, then certainly after that story he told about the inventor of nitroglycerin, who ''blew his friggin' face off'' and then said, ''I guess this does work.'' After the tropical version of Bill Nye detonated, they cut to Hurley, who I was positive was going to deadpan, ''I guess this does work.'' I'll give you one guess at what he said instead. It only took 12 minutes for the expected finale death of a character to happen, but Arzt was at best a minor character , so even though watching him blow up was pretty fun, we were all pretty worried that someone else would buy the farm over the next two hours. As it stands, Michael, Jin, and Sawyer (who appeared to have been shot) are still unaccounted for, but I don't think any of them is dead.
What is Rousseau's problem? What isn't her problem? After showing some of the crew the way to the Black Rock, which we discovered was a slave ship, Madame Nutjob ditched them and hauled ass to the beach to steal Claire's baby, Turnip Head. (Okay, she named him Aaron, who was Moses' brother, which might help to explain this episode's title, ''Exodus II.'') It turns out Claire, and not a ''mean bush'' (what Locke said while he seemed to be flirting with Rousseau . . . hmm, a hookup between two people named Locke and Rousseau could be really funny), made those nasty scratches on Rousseau's arm, which means that Rousseau was involved in Claire and Charlie's abduction and therefore would seem to be working in close association with the Others. And yet at the end, Rousseau claimed to have misunderstood the Others — she thought she could trade Aaron to get her own child back, because ''the Others said they were coming for the boy.'' Speaking of ''the boy'' . . .
What's up with Walt's superpowers? Good question. Walt didn't do anything superpower-y, except maybe when he seemed to have willed the thing that was making the radar go ''blip'' to come closer. But evidently his powers are obvious to some others, specifically a boatload of what we are to assume are the Others, who made sure they got custody of ''the boy'' while doing the best they could to kill off the other three boatmen. Walt's abduction was juxtaposed with a flashback in which Michael begged his mother to take care of Walt when they arrived in L.A. Having Walt come home with him was ''never part of the plan,'' he complained, which reminded me of Locke's irate ''This was supposed to work!'' after he failed to open the Hatch the first time. Is this show obsessed with fate or something? Gee.
Will Charlie ever find the (holy) mother lode of heroin? Yep. Will he bring some back to the caves? Oh yeah. Will he participate in a rather suggestive scene involving mother Claire, her baby boy, a Virgin Mary full of H, and the washing of his wounds? Sure, why not?
Is the beast really the island's security system? It's not clear what was out to get the dynamite crew in the jungle. At first, before the thing grabbed hold of Locke, the creepy sounds seemed similar to the animal-like ones we heard early in the season. But whatever dragged Locke by the feet sounded mechanical, almost like a rickety roller coaster car on its way up. Then, after they dynamited the beast, Kate and Jack noticed some playful animated smog dart by, and that was just really weird. You know, weird in the excellent Lost way. So, cool. (The smoke actually reminded me of the ''nothing'' that pervaded and threatened to destroy Fantasia, the magical land of imagination in The NeverEnding Story. The central struggle in that series was nothing vs. hope, and when Jack asked Locke what he thought was in the Hatch, Locke answered, ''Hope.'' It's a long shot, not to mention really nerdy of me, but I thought I'd throw it out there.)
What's in the Hatch? We're not really sure, but that's okay — it's probably better that way going into season 2. I was positive they weren't going to open it after Locke told Jack, ''It all ends when we open the Hatch.'' (He must have meant this episode, not the entire series.) What a great final shot, traveling further and further down that hole until the final boom of the season. Man, that thing was deep. On so many levels. I particularly liked how Hurley dropped his flashlight right before noticing his (un)lucky numbers carved into the Hatch — it paralleled Locke and Boone's initial discovery of the thing, when Locke accidentally (or are there no accidents?) dropped his flashlight, prompting Boone to rustle around for it in the dark and notice the concrete.
What do Hurley's numbers mean? Again, who knows? (Um, apparently, the Hatch.) The numbers made the episode — especially during Hurley's mad dash to flight 815 — wildly entertaining, partly because each time we viewers noticed a number, we felt really smart. Like Hurley's hotel room number being 2342. Noticed that one? Brilliant! And then each of the numbers — 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42 — showed up on the big guy's dashboard. Noticed that too? Great. $1600 in exchange for a scooter? Cute. Gate 23? All right already. An entire girls sports team with numbered uniforms, all in order? The number stuff got blatantly comical by this point, but this was still one of my favorite scenes. It was significant in that we learned that everything and everyone Hurley encountered that day tried in some way to keep him off the flight, yet he managed to get on the plane anyway. It makes me think that since Hurley himself is invincible, maybe there weren't supposed to be any survivors of Flight 815. Maybe it was supposed to be a normal plane crash in the ocean somewhere, and Hurley's presence on the plane is what initiated this weird limbo the characters have been living in all season. This heavily Hurley (ha) theory does give him most of the power on the island, but maybe that's how it's been all along. Shhh. Don't tell Locke and Jack!
I'm kind of a sap, so I dug the cheesy reunions at the end, when big daddy Charlie and shower-happy Sayid returned to the caves to their respective love interests. It contrasted nicely with the plane scene that followed, in which many of the major characters crossed paths without noticing each other. The only blip in the radar was a very noticeable connection between ''the boy'' and Hurley, who flashed Walt an almost knowing thumbs-up before settling down in his two chairs to read the comic book that Walt has been reading all season! I now feel like a moron for not immediately suspecting it was Hurley's, since the book is in Spanish and has been a major foreshadowing device all along.
I was happy for the final jungle scene, in which Jack and Locke smirked at each other over the open Hatch after being shown exchanging friendly grins on the plane. The best hint at next season's conflicts (aside from Walt's abduction) might have been Jack's line to Kate that if they all survived the night, they were ''gonna have a Locke problem.'' Science and Faith have managed to keep a good distance from each other this season, but it looks like Jack and Locke are set to butt heads next fall. I for one can't wait. What will we do all summer (besides watch the DVDs)? Without this show, we'll feel so . . .
What do you think? Didn't the torch-bearers look like they were headed to tribal council? If Hurley is invincible, why didn't he offer to carry the dynamite himself? Did you like the inside-jokey dialogue between Arzt and Hurley? Will Charlie spiral out of control next season? And who are the Others and what do they want with Walt?
Wednesday, May 25
But there are plenty more, as portrayed by a large cast of featured regulars including Matthew Fox (as a sexy doctor), Evangeline Lilly (a dishy jailbird), Terry O'Quinn (a mystical outdoorsman), Dominic Monaghan (a rock-star junkie), Jorge Garcia (a fat guy who says "dude" a lot) and eight others.
I'm serious, who wrote this crap? How did they get hired by CNN? Can any 12-year-old get a job there?
Terry O'Quinn talks about fans and costars Role: John Locke
Where We Found Him: New York City
Need-to-Know Info: News flash for Emmy voters: Terry O'Quinn might just be the best actor on the planet. And you would know this for certain if you met him in person. Onscreen, he plays an über-creepy God-like character who, with seemingly benign phrases, makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up; in real life, Terry is charming, personable, understated and warm. He's been known to kill time on the set by singing little ditties and playing his "gee-tar" (and mind you, should the acting thing ever run its course, he's equally musically talented), and he jokes of starting a Lost band with costars Naveen Andrews and Dominic Monaghan. Still, given his gripping onscreen persona, you can't help but freak out a little in his presence.
A lot has changed since I last saw you in Hawaii nine months ago. Now I know. You're amazing. Locke is amazing. I mean, I just, honestly, I'm trembling a little bit standing next to you.
Well, I'm trembling a little bit standing next to you.
Does the show have even more of a rabid following than you thought it was going to?
I think it has. You know, I didn't have any notions about it at the beginning. I didn't know what kind of following it was gonna get, but yeah, I had the feeling that the people who are fans of the show are solid fans of the show. I mean, I wouldn't have expected that. It's pretty great.
Finale's coming up. What can you tell us?
I can't tell you anything. I can tell you that we just saw a clip...and it was beautiful. There was a scene with Daniel Dae Kim and Yunjin that just tore you apart. It's gonna be beautiful. You know, I thought the show was visually stunning from the first time I saw it. And it just gets better, more so at the end--really big production quality. It's really gorgeous.
So, now, I'm not gonna ask you to answer these questions because I know, even as a fan, I don't wanna know, but do you know what's in the hatch, and do you know why you're in a wheelchair? Do you know?
No, no and no.
No. I don't, and I'm kinda proud of the fact. I haven't asked them. They have no desire to tell me, and I think that's fine. I think it's great. I'm just working without a net, and I'm acting on faith and going forward. If I do something wrong, then they'll tell me, "No, you can't do that, because of something that's gonna happen down the road." But that hasn't even happened, so we're pretty well in sync, and I'm looking forward to finding out. It's fun not to have that baggage.
Matthew Fox: a fan as well as an actor Role: Jack Shepard, M.D.
Location: Walking arm-in-arm with his lovely wife
Need-to-Know Info: Matthew Fox is anything but your typical Hollywood story. He grew up on a ranch in Wyoming (where his parents raised longhorn cattle and horses), he loves to bond with nature (sometimes, as you may have heard, au naturel), and he has been married for 14 years to his lovely wife, Margherita. Although he has already secured his place in the heartthrob hall of fame playing Charlie Salinger on Party of Five, his background and home life have clearly kept Foxy (yes, that's his nickname around the set) grounded. Sadly for us, that also means he's a decent guy who knows how to keep a secret.
How ya doin'?
I'm good! Slightly obsessed with your show, but what's changed?
I've been hearing that about you.
Well, it is the best show on television.
I couldn't agree with you more. [Laughs.] No, I'm just so excited about how people are responding to it. They seem to be sort of building momentum with their passion for the show. And we're kind of motoring towards the end of the year when they're gonna find out some juicy stuff about the island and about what's happening with these people, and I'm very excited.
What can you tell us about the finale?
Um, nothing... [Smiles.]
Come on. Some little morsel!
I can tell you that it's really good. Um, and stuff happens, and some other stuff happens. Some big things are going to be answered. There are going to be some questions answered for people, and I think they'll be excited about that, but at the same time, there will be more questions asked. So, I think it'll be a little frustrating for the audience because, you know, they're going to have a whole summer to try to figure it all out. There are a few things that are boom!--popped on 'em at the very end--but it's going to be amazing. I promise.
Kate and Jack: Are they going to happen before the season ends?
I'm not sure about that...There are a lot of other things going on, obviously. They are definitely drawn to each other in a really intense way. But you have to remember, it's only been 40 days on the island, and it's going to take some time for two characters like that, from what we've learned about their pasts, to allow for that to happen. These are two people who don't fall easily. So, even if they're feeling it inside, they're denying it to themselves.
Are you still loving Hawaii?
Yeah, very much. Very much. My wife and I are loving it there. The locals just treat us so well, and they've been so supportive of the show. And I mean, it's been a great year. A year ago, we were just the show that everybody was talkin' about, but everybody was gonna wait a few months before they really saw it, and nobody knew how it was going to do. And so it feels like just an incredible ride.
During a public interview with New Yorker media critic Ken Auletta yesterday for the S.I. Newhouse School of Communications, “Sopranos” creator David Chase said that he’d consider extending the high-rated HBO series for a seventh season if the right offer came. Chase has played coy before, saying before seasons five and six that he wasn’t sure he’d continue. And even if Chase were game, there’s no guaranteeing the actors would be. Tony Soprano himself, James Gandolfini, filed a lawsuit against HBO two years ago over his contract, and may be more interested in his burgeoning movie career. Chase said his sixth-season storyline would allow for the series to return without any major tweaks. HBO says it has spoken with Chase about a seventh season but reached no agreement. The network would love for “The Sopranos” to return. Its recent attempts at drama, including the canceled “Carnivale” and critically praised but low-rated “Deadwood,” have nowhere near “Sopranos’” ratings heft, and the more “Sopranos” episodes, the more it stands to make in syndication.
It is THE finale of LOST and the final results of Bo vs. Carrie (go Bo!). Thankfully I live in a time warp where I am able to watch stuff coming from two different time zones, so I should have a ball flipping around the channels, watching and re-watching portions of each show.
I CANNOT wait!!!!!! 8 hours and counting........
"THE SPICE GIRLS REUNITE. Even Ginger Spice Geri Halliwell has signed on for their reunion tour, agreeing to eat just enough so that Posh Spice Victoria Beckham remains “the skinny one.” While the girls aren’t developing any new material (they’ll make enough off of rehashing their old stuff to pay off those nasty credit cards), a “best of” album is in the works, meaning that a whole new generation of young girls will learn the joys of zig-a-zag-ah. Is it just me, or is the sun suddenly shining a bit more brightly?"
--Perhaps I will dig out my stepdaughter's Spice World movie to celebrate the occasion......
Tuesday, May 24
As the House began its session Tuesday, Majority Leader Tom DeLay said the bill "is both divisive and, to put it bluntly, dismissive of the dignity of human life at its embryonic stage. It has, therefore, inside it loud and, in many cases, harsh advocacy on both sides of the debate."
The matter, the Texas Republican acknowledged, is a difficult one.
"This is one of those issues that have no easy answers," he said. "This is not a debate between science and ideology. ... Nor is it a debate between those who care about human life and those who don't."
But, he said, "That's why we were elected, not to make the easy choices, but to make the hard ones."
Of course, DeLay is a right-wing born-again crazy, so he'll vote against it. And if it passes, Bush will veto it. And if Bush vetoes it, I think enough sensible Congresspeople will override his veto. Horray for politics! Now back to celebrity gossip and shitty television reviews.
"Grow a spine and boycott the movie," says Blogs for Bush.
"It isn't Hollywood's fault there aren't any talented right-wing filmmakers," says Instapundit. That's my favorite.
And "Get a life!" said Centerfield. I agree.
Also, from here on out, all Star Wars posts are dedicated to Susan Geier.
Hell's Kitchen, sort of like The Apprentice set in a kitchen [FOX, May 30, 9 p.m.]
Beauty and the Geek, Ashton Kutcher's Average Joe-like series [The WB, June 1, 8 p.m.]
Dancing with the Stars, stars embarrass themselves trying to learn how to dance [ABC, June 1, 9 p.m.] This has got to be the dorkiest idea I've ever seen!
Sports Kids Moms & Dads, child abuse as entertainment [Bravo, June 1, 10 p.m.]
Hit Me Baby One More Time washed-up stars compete for a second chance [NBC, June 2, 9 p.m.] Wasn't this already done on MTV?
The Scholar high school kids compete for a scholarship [ABC, June 6, 8 p.m.] BORING!
Fire Me, Please People do their best to get fired; an import of a UK show called Sack Race [CBS, June 7, 9 p.m.]
Blow Out 2 more from the salon [Bravo, June 7, 9 p.m.] Can't wait. Great show!
Queer Eye for the Straight Guy a new season begins [Bravo, June 7, 10 p.m.]
The Real Gilligan's Island 2 more castaways head to an island [TBS, June 8, 9 p.m.]
The Cut, Tommy Hilfiger's Project Runway-like series [CBS, June 9 p.m.] Can you say Rip-Off????
I Want to be a Hilton Kathy Hilton trains more brats how to be socialites [NBC, June 21, 8 p.m.]
The Real World Austin more hot bodies to cast on the Challenge shows [MTV, June 21, 10 p.m.]
Average Joe 4 subtitled "the Joes Strike Back" [NBC, June 28, 8 p.m.]
Being Bobby Brown eight episodes of Whitney and Bobby [Bravo, June 30, 10 p.m.] Hmmmm......
Big Brother 6: Idiots in a house [CBS, July 7, 8 p.m.]
Rock Star: INXS: Mark Burnett's series that will find INXS a lead singer, and air three times per week [CBS, July 11, 9 p.m.]
Welcome to the Neighborhood: families compete to move into a house and are judged by their neighbors [ABC, July] Huh?
Brat Camp: kids go to boot camp [ABC, July] Now this sounds interesting!!!!
The Law Firm: David E. Kelley's courtroom competition series [NBC, July 27, 8 p.m.]
The Biggest Loser 2: The weight-loss phenom [NBC, Aug. 9, 8 p.m.]
Tommy Lee Goes to College: self-explanatory [NBC, Aug. 9]
Highlights of reality-related shows airing this fall:
FOX has no reality TV shows on its fall schedule, although come January, it will pull out the machete that is American Idol and hack the competition to death.
The Apprentice 4 and The Apprentice: Martha Stewart will air concurrently, with Martha airing Wednesdays at 8 and Donald staying on Thursdays at 9.
Fear Factor will delayed until midseason, or until some other show gets canned.
ABC's Wife Swap moves to Mondays at 8 while Supernanny moves to Fridays at 8.
The following shows stay in their normal timeslots: The Amazing Race 8, America's Next Top Model 5 [UPN], American Idol 5 [FOX, January], The Bachelor 8 [ABC, January], Extreme Makeover: Home Edition [ABC], and Survivor Guatemala [CBS].
* Reality shows that aren't on the fall (or midseason) schedule and thus appear to be cancelled include: American Candidate [Showtime], The Benefactor [ABC], Big Man On Camps [The WB], The Complex: Malibu [FOX], The Contender [NBC], High School Reunion [The WB], Last Comic Standing [NBC], Manhunt [Bravo], Queer Eye for the Straight Girl [Bravo], The Road To Stardom with Missy Elliott [UPN], The Starlet [The WB], Who's Your Daddy [FOX], Wickedly Perfect [CBS], and The Will [CBS].
"Since [Seacrest is] talking junk about my song on Jay Leno, I'm going to have to lay into him," Clark tells Steppin' Out Magazine's Chaunce Hayden. "There's a rumor going around that he was doing some things with Simon [Cowell]." The "Idol" gang laughed off Clark's dig when we caught up with them at the Fox upfronts in New York yesterday. "We've all slept with Ryan and we can confirm that he's not gay," Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson said in an E-mail.
A starry-eyed Cruise got down on his knees and repeatedly jumped up on the couch like a Robin Williams comedy act, saying that his love for Katie Holmes was "beyond cool."
---Are we in junior high or what?
Monday, May 23
1 Luke, at that speed do you think you'll be able to pull out in time?
3 You came in that thing? You're braver than I thought.
7 "Backdoor, huh? Good idea."
12 There's an awful lot of moisture in here.
15 Hey, Luke, thanks for coming after me -- now I owe you one.
17 "This may smell bad, kid, but it'll keep you warm."
39 Possible he came in through the south entrance
Hotter than Paris' home videos!
Based on current active critics though, the results are as expected. The average Tomatometer of the original trilogy handily beats the prequels by 20% -- 90% to 70%, respectively.
Prequels Tomatometer Scores Based on Current Active Critics:
83% - Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
65% - Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
62% - Star wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
Average Tomatometer: 70%
Original Trilogy Tomatometer Scores Based on Current Active Critics:
80% - Return of the Jedi
98% - The Empire Strikes Back
93% - Star Wars
Average Tomatometer: 90%
However, as user ‘Knelt’ noted in our News section, it’s not fair to compare the two trilogies based mostly on current active critics because most of them saw “the original films as children, and are reviewing them based on nostalgic memories as well as judging them on established ‘classic’ status.”
When “Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace” was released in 1999, a group of us actually went to our local library and dug up a sampling of available sources that reviewed the original trilogy during the time of their respective release dates in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Because those reviews weren’t available online, we OCR-ed them and put them on the web, breaking all kinds of copyright laws in the process. We were quite the rebels back then. However, when we legitimized the company months later, those reviews were the first to go. Thanks to Archive.org, a site that archives the web pages, the quotes are still there but the full text reviews are gone. The results are actually quite surprising.
Tomatometer Scores for Original Trilogy During Original Release Dates:
31% - Return of the Jedi
52% - The Empire Strikes Back
79% - Star Wars
Average Tomatometer: 54%
As one can see, only “Star Wars” managed to be Fresh, with a respectable 79% on the Tomatometer, while the other two sequels got successively worse. Most of the critics thought the first film was an inventive, fun, and entertaining summer popcorn movie. It’s interesting that they complain about the dialogue back then too. “Empire,” which is regarded as the best of the series nowadays, only managed to score a mixed 52%. It received great technical grades, but critics had problems with the plot, one way or other, and thought it was just “minor entertainment.” It got worse with “Jedi” – uneven pacing, no character development, tired acting, and hollow and junky filmmaking. It scored a moldy 30% on the Tomatometer. Prequels were probably the last thing critics wanted back then after the thrashing of the last film.
Ironically, if you compare the average Tomatometer of the prequels and the original trilogies during the time of their respective original release dates, the Prequels are actually better reviewed by 16% -- 70% to 54%, respectively!
Tomatometer Ranking of Star Wars Series Based on Critical Reaction During Original Release Dates:
83% - Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
79% - Star Wars
65% - Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
62% - Star wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
52% - The Empire Strikes Back
31% - Return of the Jedi
Grey's Anatomy is such a cute, little show. Not much of a season finale, but I will be back next year to watch it. I'm hoping for reruns over the summer since I only caught 2 episodes of this mini-season.
Ocean's Twelve might be the most boring action movie I've ever tried to sit through. Seriously, it rivals Dogville in the "nothing happens" department. I'm only 40 minutes in, and I'm not sure I'll finish it.
Finding Nemo (2003)
City of God (2002)
Talk to Her (2002)
The Lord of the Rings (2001-03)
Ulysses' Gaze (1995)
Chungking Express (1994)
Drunken Master II (1994)
Pulp Fiction (1994)
Farewell My Concubine (1993)
Schindler's List (1993)
Miller's Crossing (1990)
Any list that omits Titanic is okay with me, but where is Boogie Nights?
#23-The Godfather: Part III-1990
#19-Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?-1966
#18-Black and White-2000
#17-Point Break-1991 (okay, i'll fess up... i liked it cuz of patrick swayze)
#16-Son of Ali Baba-1952
#13-When a Man Loves a Woman-1994
#11-When Time Ran Out-1980
#6-Hot Dog...The Movie-1984
#5-Red Dawn-1984 (i liked this movie but again, patrick swayze.....)
#4-The Poseidon Adventure-1972 (i love this movie... pure cheese!)
#3-New Jack City-1991
#1-Road House-1989 (what is this, a patric swayze conspiracy???)
SPRING CLEANING Bree's life will be a little less complicated
I can't wait for the Desperate Housewives season finale, can you? The May 22 cliffhanger set it up perfectly: Momentum is building; the majority of the loose ends have been tied up; and since the producers have allotted only one hour to the finale, there won't be a single wasted second.
Wait a minute. You mean that was the season finale I just saw? Then . . . um . . . why did it feel like a plateful of warmed-up leftovers?
It's hard to imagine why the writers thought it would be a good idea to let Mary Alice hijack this week's crucial opening segment, thereby derailing most of the suspense that built up last week. We've all been wondering who was going to die, whether Tom would dump Lynette, where Andrew's been hiding his cute bad self, what would happen as Carlos nosed closer and closer to John. Yes, it's interesting to learn that Mary Alice is the one who killed Deirdre and that she couldn't live with the guilt — but who has ever been that concerned about the precise details of Mary Alice's back story? Why open the episode by addressing questions whose answers aren't that surprising?
Speaking of unsurprising, it was always likely that Rex would be the answer to the question ''Who will die?'' Just as a TV or movie cop is inevitably shot after he announces that he's about to retire, we know it's over for Rex the minute Bree rests her head on his feeble chest and promises him he'll make it. True, it twists the knife to know Rex dies believing that Bree has poisoned him. And it's heartbreaking to see Bree carefully finish polishing the silver, carefully tuck the box back into place, and then shatter into tears alone at the dining-room table. But even in Television Land, is it likely that Dr. Craig — a co-worker of Rex's — would content himself with phoning Bree to tell her that her husband was dead? I'm going to need to see Rex's actual corpse before I can ''pronounce him.''
Another character whose comings and goings are mysterious, Bongo the German shepherd, makes a return appearance. Feeding him is the excuse that gets Susan into Mike's house, where Zach — who has just finished beating up Mrs. Tilman — is waiting, gun in hand. Once she's trapped, Susan has so little to do that she finally asks, ''Can I at least get you something to eat?'' She's clearly in no danger. As a major character, she's bulletproof. But keeping her at gunpoint seems to be the only way to prevent her from leaving endless messages on Mike's cell phone, which is how she spent her time earlier in the episode.
Gabrielle and Carlos are whiling their own time away in a broad, sitcom-y courtroom scene where the judge all but bangs his gavel and shouts, ''First one to speak is a monkey for a week!'' Any suspense as to whether Carlos will discover John and Gabby's affair clatters to the ground when John waltzes into the courtroom and tells Carlos the truth flat out. Nor is it particularly worrisome to see a foaming Carlos thrashing around and threatening to kill John. We've already seen him beat up two guys he suspected of messing around with his wife, and they're both okay. Besides, he's about to go to jail — at some point, anyway; doesn't it seem he should have left ages ago? — so John is safe for at least eight more months.
Lynette's and Tom's story is wrapped up almost as perfunctorily, or maybe it only seems that way because it's long been so obvious that they were heading toward one of those folktales where the husband and wife switch places and the husband ends up finding out how hard it is to run a house. (It will be nice to have a househusband on Wisteria Lane, and I bet he plays poker.) But I wouldn't exactly rate this development as a cliffhanger.
Why does Edie, a real-estate agent, pronounce realtor ''real-a-tor''?
And what the hell happened to Andrew? We get to see everyone else's kids in this episode before they vanish into summer-hiatus camp. Shouldn't Andrew have put in an appearance at some point, especially since he and his father were so close? Perhaps the writers were worried that if they showed Andrew and Danielle at the hospital, we'd suddenly remember Andrew's threat to rock Bree's world and get confused, thinking he had killed Rex. Or else they still have no idea how Andrew's going to make good on his threat and are hoping that if he stays away, we'll forget he ever existed.
Mike, meanwhile, has driven Paul up into some kind of generic desert-mountain Trekscape to shoot a truck commercial — oh, no, wait, to shoot Paul himself. What emerges is an odd parallel to the Zach-Susan scene, except that Mike and Paul walk for miles instead of sitting for hours. Finally, Paul appears to tire of life. ''You're kinda taking your time,'' he comments. ''Walkin' a lot.'' Perhaps realizing that the landscape is so featureless he can bury Paul anywhere, Mike cocks the gun. We sit calmly, knowing that this is merely the cue for Paul to finish the story Mary Alice began. As soon as Mike says, ''Deirdre had a baby?'' we know it's okay to go get a snack. No one on TV ever asks that kind of question and then shoots someone.
Nor will Zach kill Mike when Mike gets home, though he might shoot him in the arm or something. And Mrs. Tilman won't die, because we all love her too much. And now that most of the suspense has leaked out of the story like helium from a balloon, we can all have a nice relaxing summer. But I'm still worried about Bongo. The whole time that Zach's holding Susan hostage, the poor dog never gets fed — or let outside, come to think of it. Mike may have more than one nasty surprise awaiting him as he steps through his front door.
Friday, May 20
Anyone who can slam a tumbler of vodka in less than 5 seconds has a drinking problem. So Kirsten's family intervenes and sends her away to Promises in Malibu.
Meanwhile, Ryan finds out that Tre attempted to rape Marissa. He goes after Tre, but Marissa follows. When Tre tries to kill Ryan, Marissa shoots and kills Tre. The season ends!
This is good stuff. And oh so totally unrealistic, which makes The O.C. great.
By the way, drove through Chino the other day. Not so bad.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J., May 17 - High-mindedness may be the toughest thing for a rock band to pull off in concert. Lust, anger, cockiness or humor are easy by comparison. Yet U2, whose "Vertigo" tour made its first local stop on Tuesday night at the Continental Airlines Arena here, is an old hand at equating great big chords with great big ideals. Its concert made virtue seem not just dutiful, but joyful.
U2's methods are both up-to-the-minute and ancient. The band made a quiet entrance - the Edge alone with his guitar, creating sustained tones - and then a spectacular one, as flashing strings of lightbulbs like beaded curtains descended and the full band blasted into "City of Blinding Lights" from its latest album, "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb" (Interscope). Throughout the show, the stage effects were virtual: not physical props, but whizzing lights that suggested a technological cosmos.
Meanwhile, the music reached back to age-old techniques of ritual music. Larry Mullen on drums supplied an unswerving beat and cross-rhythms, while Adam Clayton's pulsating bass lines and the Edge's dive-bombing riffs and shimmering tremolos added up to drones that can fill the largest rooms and still swell from within. The band can stomp like the blues, as it did in "Love and Peace or Else," or march in "Pride" and "Sunday Bloody Sunday," or simply roar in "Vertigo" But it is also playing rock as trance music and catharsis, reaching for ecstasy.
Bono sang about war and peace, faith and family, gesturing skyward or strutting or kneeling. The band tossed lesser-known songs, like "The Electric Co." and "Running to Stand Still," amid the hits. Of course, Bono had plenty to say when he wasn't singing. He dedicated a song to people serving in the military, and he spoke about faith without fundamentalism. "The people of God should not be afraid of the people of science; we need each other," he declared before singing "Miracle Drug." Singing or speaking, he projects as much humility as presumption, one voice within the music's grand spaces. He sang "Hallelujah" as the video screen showed the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights; the crowd applauded the provision against torture.
For much of the concert, U2 was in anthem mode, until a listener began to long for its earthier side. And then, for encores, that's exactly what U2 supplied, getting funky with songs like "The Fly" and "Mysterious Ways" as Bono put on his "Achtung, Baby" cap.
"This is not show business," Bono declared, but of course it was, and there was no sin in that. It was show business that lived up to all its best intentions.
© New York Times, 2005.
Thursday, May 19
Do you think Antonio and Catherine forgot the first Zorro existed, too?
If the big misunderstanding in Must Love Dogs is that he doesn't actually own a dog, I'm going to vomit. Or maybe just skip the movie.
I love Glenn Close. Love love love love her. Heights.
And any movie starring Sam Jackson and Eugene Levy.... not made for me. The Man.
"Farrell plays vitamin store owner Phil Weston, who, in Screaming’s only realistic turn of events, becomes the coach of a youth soccer team comprised of a bunch of young boys with the motor skills of Tara Reid at last call."
On ''Lost,'' as the Others approach and the Monster stirs in the jungle, the raft is finally launched by Jeff Jensen
A THREE-HOUR TOUR? Michael will be the skipper on a fateful trip
Last night's episode of Lost left me exhausted, which is strange, considering how nothing really happened. It was a set-up for next week's epic finale — an hour of putting all the pieces in place for the final moves of a well-played first season. Still, there probably hasn't been an episode this year that has packed as much mythic meat on its bone. The French Lady. The Others. The Hatch. The Monster. The Black Rock. The Black Rock! We finally saw it, and wouldn't you know, it's neither black nor a rock. It's a ship — or a moss-encrusted set left over from Pirates of the Caribbean, couldn't tell — called the Black Rock. (A genius surprise — kudos to the writing staff for that twist.) Lost threw a lot of balls in the air last night, and my mind is still a little winded from catching all of them.
But this deceivingly inert episode was emotionally engaging, too. Michael finally launched his raft, which meant a lot of goodbyes. Some better than others. Walt bequeathing his dog, Vincent, to Shannon: cloying. Jin and Sun reconciling, with Sun giving him a Korean-to-English cheat sheet of nautical terms and Jin revealing to her he was leaving because he was determined to save her: gotta admit, I asked my wife if she could spare a couple tissues in her box for me. (Okay, I just totally lied there: I didn't come close to crying, and my wife wasn't even watching it with me, because she has an art class on Wednesday nights at 8. But I was touched, and that's a big deal for me, okay? Okay?) And then there was Jack giving Sawyer a gun, which moved Sawyer so deeply (A loaded weapon? For me? Shucks, dawg, you do like me after all. Let's go steady. . . .) that he finally spilled the beans about hanging with Jack's drunken daddy and his whole ''I love my messiah-complex genius-doctor son. Maybe I should call him and tell him that. Nahhhhhhhhh!'' speech. Honestly, I don't know if I totally bought that scene between Jack and Sawyer, which I see as a product of the flawed Jekyll-and-Hyde characterization of Sawyer — one second a rogue, the next second a softie. He's a complicated guy, and I wish the writers could find a way to capture that better than toggling him back and forth between shallow sentimentality and shallow anger. That said, the scene worked. I even asked the wife if she could spare me some more tissues. (Liar! Liar! Bad writer! Bad!)
The flashbacks bear some discussion, first because this was the only episode this season that has told more than one back story. We saw how various characters got on the plane that would bring them to Twilight Zone Island. Ian Somerhalder fans got to see boy toy Boone again, while parents around the country got to nod cathartically when Michael blew his stack after Walt cranked Mighty Morphin Power Rangers to 41 on the TV. (That is so me and my son.) But I suppose what we should really talk about is Jack's meet-cute with future Lost regular Michelle Rodriguez, introduced in this ep as Anna Lucia, one of these flirty see-right-through-you types that immediately get under your skin with presumptuous personal questions and observations, which, because she's smoking-hot Michelle Rodriguez, soon to be a regular cast member and therefore someone the show wants you to like ASAP, we let her get away with without wondering why Jack doesn't flag down a cop, or at least worry that he's being targeted in a John sting. Anyway, she and he swap banter about Jack's dead dad, she tells him, ''The worst part's over,'' then licks her fingers (what was that about, anyway?) and walks off, leaving us all to think, ''I wonder if Evangeline Lilly is sweating her leading-lady status on Lost right now?''
Some other odds and ends and questions for you:
1. Sawyer's real name (?) is James Fall.
2. Great entrance by the French Lady, whom I've never been a huge fan of. I think it's the casting — the actress who plays her seems more melancholy and damaged than mysterious and creepy; I would prefer the ratio flipped. Otherwise, they should just find a DVD of Amélie in the plane wreckage and make her watch it: She'll lose that homesickness in a second. But her entrance — emerging through the bush while Walt is visiting the Whizzing Tree — rocked. And then: ''The Others are coming.'' When the words that come out of her mouth are kept to a minimum — or at least are as chillingly crafted as her tower-of-black-smoke story — the French Lady can be as useful and meaningful to Lost as, say, Cancer Man or Rat Boy were to The X-Files.
3. It takes a village to launch a raft. It really does.
4. ''The Dark Territory.'' Oooooo, I'm scared. But cool: I loved how last night's episode really expanded the geography of the island.
5. The French Lady on the Monster: It's the island's ''security system.'' Thoughts?
6. Is Sun pregnant? That mention of her being ''really hungry'' in her flashback seemed oddly conspicuous.
7. After next week, how are we going to ever survive the summer without new episodes?
What the f*ck?????? Who says she's been the favorite?
Wednesday, May 18
It didn't come to an abrupt end with Ray's dad dying, or his brother and wife having a baby, or his family moving to California for Ray's new job, or everyone figuring out just how to love each other and not fight anymore. It ended with a typical episode... funny as hell, some touching but not contrived scenes and one final scene at the breakfast table with everyone talking and fighting and laughing and... well, it didn't really end. That's why I loved it.
I give CBS sitcoms a lot of shit, mainly because they are mostly clones of Raymond. This was the real deal. I'll miss it!
This is why I am proud to be from Ohio!
Coldplay lead singer Chris Martin today launched an attack on his record label EMI and the company's shareholders. It came after EMI, the world's third-largest music company, warned that profits would be lower because the band took longer than expected to finish their first studio album in three years.
But as Coldplay prepared for a concert in New York to promote their new album, called X&Y, Martin said: "I don't really care about EMI. I'm not really concerned about that. "I think shareholders are the great evil of this modern world." Martin told reporters at Manhattan's Beacon Theatre that the band was uncomfortable that they sell so many albums they can affect a major corporation's stock price. (EVENING STANDARD, UK)
Monday, May 16
Here's the recap from EW:
We all knew it was inevitable that, barring his losing an immunity challenge, Tom would end up winning this season of Survivor. It was as certain as the fact that the scribble boards to this article will be choked with cries of ''Where's Dalton?'' (He was at the live finale, rubbing shoulders with the cast members and trying to figure out how Caryn turned into Sharon Stone for the reunion show, so let's move on.)
But what I didn't see coming was just how easy Katie would make it for Tom. Her entire campaign platform was ''Vote for me! I was useless and lazy, but at least I knew whose ass to affix myself to like a barnacle.'' In her opening remarks, she made the nonexistent distinction that it wasn't that she skated by: No, what happened is she had made the strategic choice to let two stronger players carry her through. In other words, it's not that she didn't deserve to win; it was that it was her strategy not to deserve to win: Ergo, she deserved to win.
Perhaps — just perhaps — this theory would have worked if she had ended up against someone not in her original alliance, say, Caryn or Coby. Then she could at least brag of outsmarting those who brought her along. But how is it supposed to win people over when you say, ''I sucked as a competitor, but I stayed alive by hopping on the back of a great, talented competitor. See the guy to my right? Yeah, that's the guy.'' To be fair, that's kind of how Tina beat Colby in Australia, but at least she cooked occasionally and wasn't an alienating pain in the ass.
We all knew Katie was going to lose as soon as we saw only two votes cast at tribal council: They usually show as many as they can all the way up to a tie to make it seem as close as possible before the reveal. But the only one they had to show was Coby's, with his nonsensical, bitter rantings about honesty. (How did Tom ever screw him over, anyway, other than by not picking him for his alliance in the beginning, thus rekindling a thousand horrific kickball memories?) I find it a little difficult to get emotional over new daddy Coby's cathartic Survivor experience — no matter how badly Jeff Probst urged the audience to — considering how weaselly he was during the game. One minute he was weeping that no one treated him kindly growing up, and the next he was making bitchy, personal slams about everyone else in the game. And then there was his euphoric self-delusion: From the moment he was kicked off through the finale, he incessantly repeated how flattered he was to be a threat, even though it seemed more that he was booted because he was annoying. But it was as if repeating that he was a power player made it so for Coby. So if you're ever stuck in a room with Coby and desperate to get away, just appeal to his ego: ''Coby, I'd love to stay and talk, but I'm worried you'll win the conversation.''
While the tribal-council winner was never in question, the road from four players to two was quite an unpredictable ride. It's been painful watching Ian self-destruct; he wanted so badly to be a tricky player, but that desire was always trumped by his need to be liked. I respected the guy up until the past two episodes, when he was moved to spastic, arm-flailing histrionics whenever Katie or Tom would tsk-tsk him for his alliance switching. (And why, right up to the end, did he never point out that holier-than-thou Katie had flipped on him even before he flipped on her?) It all led up to his quitting after nearly 12 hours of standing on a pole, just so he can say he has two buddies for life. What the hell does he need two more friends for? The Chevy SSR only seats two, so if he won that, he'd only have room for one pal anyway.
(I'd like to take a second to address the SSR spotlight, if I may. Instead of attacking Howard Stern, could the FCC focus its energy on something more offensive on the air, like Mark Burnett's ever-growing product-placement greed? We usually hear about the prize car at the end of the show, but this time we got an extra sneak peek on the island, with footage of the starving final four oohing and aahing over the car as if it were made out of meat. This overblown reaction was even more foolish coming a week after Ian won a Corvette, which was a hell of a car. Now how are they supposed to get jazzed about a lemon-colored monstrosity that is 75 percent trunk space? The only good thing I can say for it is that it's the ultimate sporty ride for the man who wants to impress his date but also needs to move his piano.)
I'm sure that there are some people out there who think that Ian did the right thing. These are the same people who think that Titanic would have been a better movie if the ship hadn't sunk. This is a game show with one winner. It is the very definition of the show that someone is going to have to hurt someone else. It is not constructed to be a parable on ethics, and if it was, it would be incredibly dull. These players already have friends and family at home, and if they don't backstab them, they're doing just fine in the morals department. If you want to see someone win a million bucks by doing the right thing, try to find a game where contestants try to find the best cure for cancer, but stay away from TV.
Yes, Ian probably felt good about his decision, but in about a month, when he's sleeping in the storage closet of the Philadelphia aquarium on a bed fashioned out of penguin feed, having just finished a meal of fried minnows that his dolphins had spit back at him for being too small, and Katie hasn't called him back because his bowl haircut won't really fly with her Madison Avenue friends, maybe he'll rethink that decision. Especially when he loses his job because none of the dolphins will obey him anymore because they watched the show, too, and are thinking, ''Why should I do tricks for a schmuck who gave up a million bucks just so a fireman will teach him how to slide down a pole?''
As for the reunion show, there were the usual physical surprises: Caryn had her makeover, Gregg had metamorphosed into C. Thomas Howell, and a long winter had downgraded Stephenie's tan from midnight black to a mere skin-cancer brown. And then there were the shocking revelations, like Ibrehem disclosing that he learned from the loud Jolanda's ousting that he shouldn't show a strong personality, even though Ibrehem couldn't have mustered a strong personality if you hypnotized him into thinking he was Jenny McCarthy.
And then there was the moment that Jeff Probst meant to be uplifting, but managed to make viewers feel bad about America in two unintended ways: When discussing Coby's fabled victory over James on the raft battle, he asked James if his Alabama steelworker buddies gave him any crap at the plant for losing to a homosexual. James revealed that he was actually now unemployed, but that yes, his old pals did tease him. So there you have it, people: Our nation's workers can't get a job, but at least they're homophobic. Add that to the fact that America's auto companies are struggling, and their solution is to design misshapen jalopies like the SSR. The pride is . . . back?
Oh well, at least our nation still rules the world in wacko singing teachers. Take us out, Wanda!
"Rob says everything with a grin. But such characterizations, even in jest, are completely without foundation. ... Reality series are always breeding grounds for conspiracy theories. Only an understanding gate agent and the goodwill of the pilot returned the Jetway back to the plane. Uchenna and Joyce treated everyone with kindness and respect thoughout race, and that karma was returned at a crucial moment."
--Um, is anyone noticing that ROB is the one bitching here? I don't hear any viewers complaining or questioning the outcome!!!!
A press release identifies it as "an advice book for children ages 8-12 who are looking to get ahead," which would be funny if it wasn't so pathetic and sad. Gawker slams the book, but then hears from an editor at the book's publisher Penguin "that Rancic's royalties will be going to charity."
CBS keeps Rambah-ling on.
Network executives have long been criticized and scrutinized for finding a working formula for great TV then abusing it to hell, and the Rambah train is no exception. After three Survivor seasons and an Amazing Race under their (expanding) belt, Rambah is 8 days away from the 2 hour special event that is, their wedding. YAWN!
Last night during the Survivor Palau Finale, CBS unveiled their promo for the new special ROB AND AMBER GET MARRIED, and it hit me like a ton of bricks....I hate them. I guess I've been dancing around it for months, but I truly hate these two. He's cocky and she's on her way to heart break. I mean, the only thing he loves more than himself is the power of notoriety, she’s at best a distant third. These two need jobs, real jobs. No more coasting through life being rewarded for merely existing. These people have been on so many show's I didn't even know under what category to put this posting. Amazing Race? Survivor? The Player? I ultimately decided on Commercials, cause their entire existence has become bad salesmanship.
This is why, I am boycotting the wedding special next week. If that show gets ratings, their deal with E! will be finalized and then they will never go away. I will be setting all TV's at my home and office to NBC on May 24th and I urge like minded TV owners to do the same. Let B-Side's recap be sufficient. Like a decent meal, I have enjoyed them whilst they were around, tasted of their flavor, digested the memory and now its time for the big flush...in non-articulate nor poetic verbiage, I guess what I'm trying to say, is once fine and dandy they are now shit.
I suppose I would have interest in the televised divorce. FOX, you listening?
Bye bye, JACK & BOBBY.
There will be tons of news coming this week. People I work with are at the upfronts as I type.
Friday, May 13
i'm not sure if this sent the first time i tried, but after my evacuation from the capitol yesterday, i got to meet the lovely joan rivers. while she does resemble a keebler elf, she was a total blast.
I had a lot of questions for Joe after receiving this email.
NEW YORK On the day after more than 30,000 people -- including the vice president, the first lady, and a former first lady -- were evacuated from their offices or homes in Washington, D.C., but the president, who was biking in Maryland was not notified until the threat passed, reporters grilled Press Secretary Scott McClellan at his daily briefing. For those who might have missed it on TV -- that is, nearly everyone -- here are some choice excerpts, as McClellan continually refers to "protocols" and reporters essentially ask, "Wouldn't most men like to know when their home is evacuated and their wife is hustled to a secure bunker?" They also wonder about the small matter of the president being commander in chief and the capital, theoretically, coming under attack. Some reporters also suggested that the off-kilter Cessna had come much closer to the White House than McClellan's claim yesterday of three miles. **
Q: Scott, yesterday the White House was on red alert, was evacuated. The first lady and Nancy Reagan were taken to a secure location. The Vice President was evacuated from the grounds. The Capitol building was evacuated. The continuity of government plan was initiated. And yet the president wasn't told of yesterday's events until after he finished his bike ride, about 36 minutes after the all-clear had been sent. Is he satisfied with the fact that he wasn't notified about this?
McCLELLAN: Yes. I think you just brought up a very good point -- the protocols that were in place after Sept. 11 were followed. The president was never considered to be in danger because he was at an off-site location. The president has a tremendous amount of trust in his Secret Service detail. ...
Q: The fact that the president wasn't in danger is one aspect of this. But he's also the commander in chief. There was a military operation underway. Other people were in contact with the White House. Shouldn't the commander in chief have been notified of what was going on?
McCLELLAN: John, the protocols that we put in place after Sept. 11 were being followed. They did not require presidential authority for this situation. I think you have to look at each situation and the circumstances surrounding the situation. And that's what officials here at the White House were doing. ...
Q: Even on a personal level, did nobody here at the White House think that calling the president to say, by the way, your wife has been evacuated from the White House, we just want to let you know everything is OK?
McCLELLAN: Actually, all the protocols were followed and people were -- officials that you point out were taken to secure locations or evacuated, in some cases. I think, again, you have to look at the circumstances surrounding the situation, and it depends on the situation and the circumstance. ...
Q: Nobody thought to say, by the way, this is going on, but it's all under control?
McCLELLAN: And I think it depends on each situation and the circumstances surrounding the situation when you're making those decisions.
Q: Isn't there a bit of an appearance problem, notwithstanding the president's safety was not in question, protocols were followed, that today, looking at it, he was enjoying a bike ride, and that recreation time was not considered expendable to inform him of this.
McCLELLAN: Well, I mean, John mentioned 36 minutes after the all-clear. Remember, this was a matter of minutes when all this was happening. ...
Q: But has the President even indicated that even if everything was followed that he would prefer to be notified, that if the choice is: tell the commander in chief or let him continue to exercise, that he would prefer to be informed?
MR. McCLELLAN: Again, it depends on the situation and the circumstances. And you have to take all that into account, and I think that's what people were doing here at the White House, as well as those people that were with the president.
Q: I think there's a disconnect here because, I mean, yesterday you had more than 30,000 people who were evacuated, you had millions of people who were watching this on television, and there was a sense at some point -- it was a short window, a 15-minute window, but there was a sense of confusion among some on the streets. There was a sense of fear. And people are wondering was this not a moment for the president to exercise some leadership, some guidance during that period of time?
MR. McCLELLAN: The president did lead, and the president did that after September the 11th when we put the protocols in place to make sure that situations like this were addressed before it was too late. And that was the case -- that was the case in this situation. ...
Q: I have one more question. When we walked out of this door yesterday, when those of us who heard that there was a situation, when we walked out of the door, we heard aircraft, jets overhead. There is a concern that that plane came closer to the White House than the White House said, more -- it came within the three-mile radius, it was closer than you --
MR. McCLELLAN: Yes, I said that it came within three miles.
Q: OK, but you said three miles. How close --
MR. McCLELLAN: Yes, it came within three miles.
Q: How close was it? Because someone has taken a picture of a plane being escorted on K street. How close was the plane?
MR. McCLELLAN: Yes, I mean, if the Department of Homeland Security or FAA has any additional information, I'm sure --
Q: Scott, how close was it?
McCLELLAN: April, it was within --
Q: You know how close it was. Please tell us.
McCLELLAN: Yes, within three miles. I don't know beyond that. Go ahead.
Q: Might there be something wrong with protocols that render the president unnecessary when the alarm is going off at his house?
McCLELLAN: That's not at all what occurred, Ken. And I would disagree strongly with the way you characterize it for the reasons I started earlier, and that I talked about. This was a situation where the president was in an off-site location. He was not in danger, a situation where protocols have been put in place to address the situation. The protocols were followed. ...
Q: And those protocols are OK with the president despite the fact that his wife was in a situation where she might have been endangered?
McCLELLAN: She was taken to a secure location, as were some other officials.
Q: And wouldn't he want to know about that as it was happening?
McCLELLAN: He was briefed about the situation.
Q: After it happened.
McCLELLAN: He was briefed about the situation, Ken. And I think that he wants to make sure that the protocols that are in place are followed. The protocols that were in place were followed.
Q: Scott, to follow on the same line of questioning, if there is a possibility that a plane may have to be shot down over Washington, doesn't the President want to be involved in that type of decision?
McCLELLAN: Well, Keith, I think again, it depends on the circumstances in the situation. You have to look at each individual situation and the circumstances surrounding that situation. There are protocols --
Q: Doesn't the President want to be involved in what could be a decision to shoot down a plane over Washington?
McCLELLAN: To answer your question, I was just getting ready to address exactly what you're bringing up. The protocols that were put in place after Sept. 11 include protocols for that, as well. And there are protocols there. They're classified. But they do not require presidential authority. ...
Q: They don't require presidential authority, but they don't obviate the need for presidential authority, do they? They don't say the president cannot be involved --
McCLELLAN: Like I said, that depends on --
Q: -- wouldn't he want to be involved --
McCLELLAN: It depends on the circumstances and it depends on the situation.
Q: And wasn't there a possibility that a plane headed for the White House, that this was the leading edge of some broader attack, isn't the president concerned that maybe he should have been alerted to the fact that this could have been the beginning of a general attack?
McCLELLAN: That was not the case, and I think the Department of Defense yesterday indicated that they didn't sense any hostile intent on the part of the plane, so again --
Q: How did they know -- how did they know this plane wasn't laden with WMD or some other type of weapons like that? Did they get reassurances from the pilot? Or how did they know that?
McCLELLAN: Well, again, if you want to give me a chance to respond, I'll be glad to. The protocols were followed. This situation, as you're well aware, turned out to be an accident. The Department of Defense pointed out yesterday that they didn't sense any hostile intent on the part of the plane. There were fighter jets scrambled. There was a Blackhawk helicopter scrambled, as well, to get in contact with the plane. ...
Q So if it was assessed that there was no hostile intent on the part of this aircraft, can you tell us why 30,000 people -- 35,000 people were told to run for their lives?
McCLELLAN: Because of the protocols that are in place, John. We want to make sure that the people in the area of the threat are protected. After --
Q: But what was the threat? You just said there was no threat.
McCLELLAN: John, after Sept. 11, we have to take into account the world that we live in. We live in a very different world than we did before Sept. 11. And the president is going to do everything in his power to make sure we are protecting the American people and to make sure that the people in areas that could be high-risk areas are protected, as well.
Q: Right, but there seems to be so many disconnects here. You've got a plane that was assessed as not being a threat, you've got 35,000 people evacuated, you've got a person who you claim is a hands-on commander in chief who is left to go ride his bicycle through the rural wildlands of Maryland while his wife is in some secure location somewhere, it's just not adding up.
McCLELLAN: Well, John, I disagree, and let me tell you why: You have highly skilled professionals who are involved in situations like this, in a variety of different fronts, from our Homeland Security officials to our National Security Council officials to our Secret Service officials and to others and to local officials, and they work very closely together. The protocols that were put in place were followed, and I think they were followed well.
During Fox News' coverage of the Capitol and White House evacuations on May 11, the channel's "Fox News Alert" banner twice read "RNC headquarters evacuated," referring to the Republican National Committee. Other messages that appeared on the banner included: "White House and Capitol evacuated," "U.S fighter jets over White House," "Capitol Building evacuation ordered," and "Fighter jets tracking small plane 3 miles from Capitol." Fox's alert banner did not note that the Democratic National Committee headquarters was also evacuated.
Thursday, May 12
"Though different commanders in chief handle speeches differently, this president likes to be very familiar with what he's going to say before he says it. His speeches — especially the important ones — will go through several drafts and a lot of tightening, with the final version typically completed ahead of time."
Ah, the speeches are completed ahead of time. Wow. This President really likes to break the rules.
My thoughts about A-Fed... probably a real nice guy, he might be a lesbian, and I think someone crunched all of his facial features into the dead center of his head. Seriously, his eyes, nose and mouth are all in the dead center of his face. It's weird. He sounds like Jon Secada every week. And would be really good at karaoke. He was the best of the worst, and it's time for him to go. Here's Television Without Pity, just because Jacob (who writes the American Idol recaps) is so damn funny:
Vonzell and A-Fed look uproariously happy, while Carrie and Bo look freaked out and pissed. It's interesting. Ryan's dressed for his Fisher & Diaz interview, asks who we voted for, and points out the judges: "We know who they liked!" but I don't think we really do, because they were all bearing crazy Big Brother trickledown false witness with the producers' hands up them.
I believe: it was Carrie's best night so far, Bo was awesome on his first song but sucked on the second, and A-Fed did the best of anybody. All of which is the exact opposite opinion from the rest of the world. Carrie had a real girl's body; real live Bo was back, his grandmother crazy/beautiful; Vonzell screwed the pooch like Natasha Lyonne, and then lost her shit live, also like Natasha Lyonne; and A-Fed sang a song guaranteed to piss me and Simon off. Second go-round, Bo and the polloi made love to clichés; Vonzell brought it back with a damn vengeance; Carrie was awesome and got sold out, but had some glorious "emotions"; and A-Fed was called good but soulless. Per Ryan, they "rocked and rolled with country and soul." Oh, kiddo.
The Idols sing "Islands In The Stream," a fun song if ever there was one, and are all very loving with each other, and Bo for another week running was the superstar of all people. Is there anything cuter-slash-more terrifyingly Aryan than the Starship Troopers-ness of Carrie and Anthony singing together? They have to sing about "making love to each other (uh huh)" and it's more disturbing for them than anybody. Carrie's not good, Bo is of course great (though his mic is possibly not even on the whole time), Vonzell is lovely, and I can't hear Anthony at all. He's wearing this frayed-lapel jacket that makes him look like Red Buttons's little hobo baby, and then Carrie and Anthony hold hands in the air so that his votes will go to Carrie because they are BFF.
There's a totally awesome pimpomercial of "Ready To Go," which pulls me back in life like Eliza Dushku to when I could drink all day and I didn't even know what a hangover was and I thought I was better than coffee. Bo drives up like his drug-dealing self with some Björk hair, and talks the kids into getting into his ugly car for some candy; they hallucinate it's a rollercoaster, and make crazy faces. The Idols, they cannot act. There's not even pretend singing this week, just them making faces and having psycho hair, and it's so, so awesome. They get out of the car giggling, and A-Fed points at Bo and says, "You look funny!" in a very adorable way. Then we watch him say this sixteen times because the more pregnant Anna gets, the more times we have to watch A-Fed do cute things.
Then we get to see their original auditions, much of which footage we've never actually seen because the "audition" episodes were not about good singing. Vonzell in Miami with her pink and green outfit singing "Chain Chain Chain" freaking terrifically, and you see now-Zell being really, really nervous watching it. Maybe because it reminds her of the days when she had no eyebrows at all. Randy says that she's grown a lot and has gained confidence and figured out that she's awesome. Anthony in Cleveland sings a Jon Secada song we've never heard on the screen, where now-Thony and Ryan flirt about how goofy he was, and how yelly. He has not changed whatsoever, honestly, but Paula backhands that he's "his own Anthony," and not Clay anymore. Ugh. Catch up.
Carrie really hates watching her audition, but I like it: all kinds of actual feelings and emotions appropriate to a Checotah girl. She sings best song ever candidate "I Can't Make You Love Me," while now-Carrie whisper-giggles with A-Fed (possibly about how Paula totally hates her). BFF, people! Now vote! Randy tells then-Carrie to work on emotion and stage presence -- heh -- and then Ryan and Simon have another big gay love spat about Simon pimping her high and low. Bo's unseen audition, from the day I recapletted him as a swamp guy who shouts Bible verses at the people chained up in his basement, I do not like: it's screamy and affected and nervous. On the other hand, he is now fifty times hotter, and doesn't ramble on and on nearly as much.
The three non-losers will jet home all VIP and that'll be awesome, while A-Fed will fly home coach. Anna intuits that this will be one of those nights "where he just mows them down one after the other," and she's right: Bo, you didn't suck/sucked, or vice versa, and Carrie, you had your best night of the season or else you were great and then sucked, but you're both safe. Carrie giggles and jumps shrieking into Bo's arms and it's somehow adorable. A-Fed, the judges lied meanly to you some more, but Vonzell, you totally lost your mind, so Anthony's leaving. Which: bummer, but I called it, so I'm used to the idea. There is no "Seacrest out" tonight. Ryan and I keep losing our babies.
Video Journey, and you already know everything he says, and just because it's true and sweet doesn't mean it isn't kind of boring. Ryan grabs him and does not let go, during all this, but, like, it's A-Fed. Good day or bad day, he still requires judicious hugging. He sings "If You Don't Know Me" again and fucks up the lyrics but sounds pretty good, and Carrie freaks out Angela Chase-style, with the ugly real crying. Which is projected onto the giant screen above him (not her fault), and he sings to her, and she screams and intensely ASLs "I love you!" and continues to fucking lose it. Anna starts crying and throwing things into her purse and says through her tears, "Well, guess I'm a pedophile [sniffs, laughs bitterly, wipes a tear] and I guess I'm okay with that." And then runs out the door sobbing.
I'm just gonna leave it at that.