December 10, 2006

Pull up and have a cosmo!

We've been spending the afternoon with the girls of Sex and the City.

Truly, is there anything better? I think not. We're back watching season one. Boy, did the show get better over the years! Remember when Carrie used to break the 4th wall and talk directly to the camera? Ick.

Also I'm glad that Miranda gave up wearing those neckties and men's suits.

Best episode of season 1? Charlotte's fear over becoming a particular type of naughty girl.

It's bizarre, but so far we've seen no less than 3 actors that also were in the film The Broken Hearts Club. Here they're all straight, but in the movie all gay. Bizarre coincidence?

December 08, 2006

Balance restored

It is with great pleasure that I report to you that cosmic balance has been acheived in the world of reality television once again.

Let's face it - we've been reeling ever since the tattooed jerkface won Project Runway. And this season's finale of The Amazing Race hasn't exactly been shaping up to be a win/win situation. (More like lose/lose/meh.)

But last night, it was the wonderful CariDee who took it home in America's Next Top Model! That's right, the true blonde wonder is your next Cover Girl! And it was awesome. I mean, the girl overcame psoriasis! (OK, maybe that was over-played, but you need a sob story to win this show.) True, her runway walk is atrocious. But CariDee has taken consistently strong pictures every single week, and she has a fun personality which has convinced me that we're totally BFFs.

Meanwhile the aging bitch Melrose was sent packing. Hooray! I mean, look at her shots - that bullfight one she looked like she was about 70 years old. I'm still not convinced they even added lines to her face for the sideshow shoot. And what was with that dramatic breakdown backstage during the runway show? Lame. I would like to lock Melrose and Monique up in a room together for eternity.

And so we bid farewell to Danielle (oh, I'm sorry DANI now, ugh) as the reigning Top Model. Am I total dork that I kinda want to see CariDee's spread in Seventeen magazine?

In other reality TV news, I'm trying not to panic about this. Not yet, anyway. If it doesn't work out? Cue the histrionics.

November 28, 2006

Just one more

Casino Royale

Let me put this out there - I'm a pretty die-hard James Bond fan. Born and bred that way, really. Let's just say that I'm well aware that the year I was born Live and Let Die was released. So for me to give the latest man playing Bond such a high score is saying a lot. Sure, he's different. But he has what it takes - sexy dry charm with a hard edge. And this film is well put together, with good action, and simple plot, and no elaborate escape plots involving sharks or piranha. At a time we could all use some simple, fun escapist fare, Casino Royale delivers - in spades.

November 26, 2006

Four films

I know it's long overdue - time for some movie reviews! With the glut of new films hitting theaters for Thanksgiving, we've been pretty busy lately. So here's my snapshot judgements on four that we've seen recently.

The Queen

This is a very well-done film about the internal royal drama that surfaced during the week that Princess Diana was killed. What to know what was happening behind-the-scenes with the Queen and the Prime Minister? Here you can get a glimpse of that. The centerpiece and star performance is Helen Mirren, who astounds as always. I smell Oscar! (Also fun are the drunken Queen Mum, and Prince Phillip's obsession with fresh air.)

For Your Consideration

The latest of Christopher Guest's semi-improvised films, this one focuses on how Oscar buzz is born, and giving it the full satiric treatment. It's not his best (Best In Show will likely hold that title for ages), but it's still very funny. Catherine O'Hara is amazing, Jennifer Coolidge delivers some of her signature zingers, and Jane Lynch makes you laugh just by standing there (seriously).

The Fountain

This is my first movie by Darren Aronofsky, and apparently it's his most "artsy" from what I've read. I can certainly agree in that I really have no idea what it was about - perhaps that we shouldn't fear death? What I do know is that Hugh Jackman is a great actor, and the film itself is certainly beautiful. If you like shiny pretty things, this might be for you.

Shut Up & Sing

Not a fan of the Dixie Chicks? You don't need to be in order to be engrossed by this documentary. It all started with a few words at a London concert, and three years later the group is experiencing rebirth. What's wonderful is that the movie is more than just an examination of one moment - it delves deep into the lives of all three women, their families and their management. I admit it, I was dying to hear their album when the movie was over. Not because it's a piece of promotion - but because I believe in the power of free speech. [Caveat - any George Bush fans out there might be better off skipping this one.]

The Nine - a primer

And now for the second in a series, let me introduce (or re-introduce) you to the best new show that America isn't watching - The Nine.

The short version of the show's plot is that it's about the survivors of a 52-hour hostage standoff at a bank in L.A. But it's really more than that - an examination of myriad human relationships as seen through the filter of an intense situation. As the show progresses we see more and more about "what happened in there."

And now let's meet your cast of characters:

Nick - the maverick cop, Nick has been trying to overcome a gambling addiction he inherited from his father. He has a pretty clear crush on Kathryn. He's also now taking on Egan as his roommate. In the bank, Nick spent a long time handcuffed to a pole, and trying to help ease the negotiation process.

Kathryn - the tough type-A assistant district attorney, she came to the bank to help her mother with a problem, and ended up desperate to get her mother out alive. Luckily, Kathryn's mom was the first hostage released very early on. Kathryn was having an affair with, and is now engaged to, the D.A. Kathryn was the first outside to learn about Lizzie's pregnancy, and has been a real support ever since.

Lizzie - a hospital social worker, she's pregnant with Jeremy's baby but they're no longer together. She has a soft spot for robber Lucas, because he was kind to her once he learned she was pregnant inside. Lizzie is the most determined to keep the bonds the group has formed by regularly meeting at a diner.

Jeremy - a top surgeon, he is deeply ashamed of his behavior inside, where he tried to save himself and abandon Lizzie. To deal with his grief, he hooked up with Franny at Eva's funeral, and they've dated a couple times since then.

Franny - a loyal teller at the bank, she got her sister Eva a job there recently. She then had to watch her own sister die from wounds received inside the bank. Franny quit working at the bank, and recently learned that Eva has been in contact with their estranged mother. Franny tried to care for Eva's son, Ricky, but has since given that role over to her grandmother.

Egan - a goofy office worker, he became a media sensation when he stopped a stray bullet from hitting one of the captives. He feels like a changed man, so much so that he quit his job and divorced his crabby wife. He's used his notoriety to start a fund to help Ricky.

Malcolm - the bank manager, he didn't know that his daughter had been in the bank for the first few hours. He's very protective of his workers and his family, so much so that he tried to shield Felicia from information she needed to piece together her own experience. He recently forced the bank's higher-ups to give a proper monetary dispensation to the widow of the slain security guard.

Felicia - Malcom's daughter and a good high schooler, she had been in the bathroom when the heist began. As a result she still had her cell phone at one point, but had to pass it to Lizzie to get a signal, who then called 911. The whole standoff was so traumatic, Felicia has a memory block and only remembers the first couple hours of the experience. She's tried visiting Lucas in jail to help jog her memory.

Lucas - one of two brothers to rob the bank, we are led to believe he's "the nice one." He ended up donating a kidney to keep his brother (Randall) alive so that he'd stand trial, at the imploring of Lizzie. He's now back in jail, and doesn't care if he spends his life there.

That's all you need to know! Tune in this Wednesday, as we find out how the security guard was killed, and Kathryn faces another crisis in her work/love relationship.

November 22, 2006

Heroes - a primer

Now that I've completed my 5 Reasons series, it's time for me to spotlight the 2 best new shows of the season. And to help those of you who haven't been watching yet, I'm offering a starter kit!

First up, let's talk about Heroes. Great visuals, a complex plot that is actually decipherable, and believeable characters. It's the story of our world where something is causing a rise in human genetic mutation, resulting in everyday people having extraordinary abilities.

Let me attempt to spell out our cast of characters, and some of the links between them. Oh, and basically everyone on the show is hot, so just remember that.

Mohinder - A geneticist and some-time professor from Madras, India. Mohinder's father did some pioneering (and controversial) research into these mutations. Mohinder has been struggling with his path - should he follow his father, who is now deceased? At one point Mohinder came to New York, where he met his father's former neighbor (supposedly), Eden, and also Peter who sought him out. Recently he has met a boy who comes to people in their dreams (or is it the other way around). And he has found his father's database of potential superpowered beings, which we know includes Niki. Mohinder also knows that his father had a key to Sylar's apartment (which has since been stripped bare).

Nathan - Running for Senate, Nathan doesn't want anyone to know that he can fly. He actively discourages his brother, Peter, from being interested in superpowers. One of Nathan's biggest investors set him up by forcing Nikki to seduce him on camera as "insurance."

Peter - A now former hospice nurse, Peter once was in charge of Simone's father. And now he's sleeping with Simone. Peter has recently deduced that he is able to replicate the powers of another superhuman when in close proximity. Peter was visited by Hiro from the future, and was given the edict, "Save the cheerleader, save the world."

Hiro - Once condemned to a crappy cubicle job in Japan, Hiro discovered that he can stop time, and teleport across time and space. He first teleported to New York in the future, where he saw Isaac had been killed, and a nuclear explosion about to happen. Hiro has dragged his buddy Ando to the U.S. to stop this disaster. Along the way, Hiro ran into Nathan, and Ando met his online obsession, Niki.

Isaac - At least when he's got heroin in his system, Isaac can lapse into a state where he can paint the future. Simone was his girlfriend and his art dealer, but they've broken up because he wouldn't quit the smack. Isaac's work has become a comic book in the future, and Hiro took that comic book to the present and has tried to contact him. He was recently abducted by Eden, because HRG learned that Isaac had been painting a series about Claire's homecoming danger.

Niki/Jessica - A mom trying to do right by her son, Niki has attempted to pay off a debt by stripping on the internet. Niki appears to actually have two sides, the other being Jessica who is aggressive and deadly. When one is "out" the other appears when she looks in the mirror. Niki is currently sublimated while Jessica is on the hunt to get her son back from her estranged husband, D.L.

D.L. - On the run from the police, D.L. has figured out that he can phase through solid matter. He loves his son and loves Niki, but recently discovered that she set him up to take the fall while she retained all the loot from their caper. What he doesn't know is that Jessica is the one who did it.

Micah - The son of Niki and D.L., he quite naturally has superpowers of his own. We're not sure what yet, except that he can use a phone that's out of order, and he's very intelligent. While on the highway running from Jessica, Micah and D.L. ran into a car fire, where Hiro helped D.L. save the woman inside.

Matt - A down on his luck cop in Los Angeles, Matt has started hearing the thoughts of others. One minute it's helping him get closer to his wife, the next it's forcing him to hear that she's having an affair with his commanding officer. Now he's working with the FBI to track down Sylar the killer. He's also met a radioactive man who unintenionally gave his wife cancer. At one point Matt was abducted by HRG and Eraser.

Claire - The cheerleader from Odessa, Texas. She is disturbed to learn that she is able to regenerate her own tissue, and thus recover from virtually any injury (including the start of an autopsy). Her father just happens to be HRG. And she just survived a run-in with Sylar thanks to the intervention of Peter. Her regnerative powers allowed him to survive the encounter.

HRG - Our abbreviation for Horn-Rimmed Glasses man, we're not sure if his intentions are nefarious or noble. But we do know that he loves Claire and has been trying to protect her, and he knows that she is "special." His accomplices are Eden (see below) and Eraser - not his real name, but he's a silent man that appears to be able to wipe the memories of others.

Eden - You'll often hear me refer to her as "PMAT" - a Poor Man's Audrey Tautou. Although she was rather pathetic when she prowled about Mohinder's place, we've now found that she's a bit more cunning. She also has the power of suggestion, quite literally - she was able to stop Sylar in his tracks.

And that's all you need to know! Next week we travel back in time, as Hiro jumps to six months earlier in order to save the life of a lovely waitress who seems to remember anything she reads and was killed by Sylar in the present.

What were all our heroes like months ago? Find out!

3 ingredients

1. Twiggy

2. Shirley Bassey

3. a great song from Pink

Mix it all up, and you have one very fun commercial. Enjoy!

November 19, 2006

Why Grey's Anatomy is Even More Awesome

Despite all of the complaints about my beloved shows (see previous posts), I think that one show not only beat the sophomore slump, but IMPROVED in its third season. So I present to you, 5 reasons...

Why Grey's Anatomy is Even More Awesome

1. McSteamy joining the cast as a regular was an inspired choice. Not only is he dreamier than McDreamy, he's also quite the man-whore. And that suits me just fine. Watch out Dr. Bailey - you're next!

2. The show maintains the delicate balance between ratcheted-up tension and silly comedy. Witness the drama of Burke & Cristina's secret showing up in the same episode where an uber-vain man refers to himself in the third person.

3. The return of Izzy! Finally she got off the damn floor and is back in the hospital having fun. I missed her! Let's have more fun with Izzy and Karev, please.

4. I've previously mentioned the fun friendship of Bailey and Addison. Now we have the equally interesting one blossoming between Addison and Callie. Girl power!

5. Keep it gay! Between T.R. Knight coming out, and actually seeing Joe the bartender's relationship with his partner (Walter), Grey's does not shy away from my people. And that is a beautiful thing. Oh, and did you know that Joe has his own blog? Check it out!

Why Lost is Still Awesome

I'm certainly not the only person that has expressed the opinion that Lost seems to be slipping a little bit this season. A lot more mystery, and not nearly enough exposition. And for those of us who are less enchanted with the Sawyer-Kate-Jack love triangle, it's been a bit much on "Alcatraz." Not to mention those new characters The Dum-Dum Duo ("Is Eko dead?") Oh, and it annoys me to no end that the Official Lost Podcast hasn't appeared in weeks. Still, I confess there are 5 reasons...

Why Lost is Still Awesome

1. Great characters we know and love. We can still enjoy the complex relationship of Jin and Sun. We enjoy the antics and angst of Hurley. And we have our fantasies about how Claire will smother Charlie in his sleep.

2. Desmond - new, improved and even stranger!

3. Juliet is the best new character on the show since the introduction of not-Henry last season. Best moment of the season so far was her INXS-inspired plea to Jack. She's an enigma but incredibly appealing. Love!

4. Michael is not around whining about Walt. Granted, I'd like them both to come back. But still.

5. Even at its worst, this show is better than 70% of what's on TV today. I believe that our patience will be rewarded.

November 12, 2006

Why America's Next Top Model is Still Awesome

Oh sure, AJ was kicked out even though she was top-notch. Anchal, why did you just toss it all away? And why the heck is Melrose still around? Not to mention the whole writers' strike fiasco. Still, I confess there are 5 reasons...

Why America's Next Top Model is Still Awesome

1. Bitches! The show is always full of them. You know you love it.

2. Twins! They me be skinny and gangly, but darn if they don't take great pictures. And how fun is it that Michelle thinks she's lesbianoic?

3. Tyra does her absolute best to make a fool of herself each and every week. You've got to appreciate that kind of dedication.

4. ANTM gets some good guests on the show - strange and out-of-place as they may be. Dennis Quaid? Love!

5. The theme song! You wanna be on top?

Why Dancing With The Stars is Still Awesome

Vivaca Fox, you were gone far too early. The departure of Sara Evans was sad, but classy. And even Willa Ford should have stuck around longer. And yet, I'm still going to be there for the final showdown between super-gay Mario Lopez and my teddy bear boyfriend Emmitt Smith.

Why Dancing With The Stars is Still Awesome

1. There's a certain classical elegance this show brings to prime-time television.

2. Tom Bergeron may be ridiculous, but he makes a darn good host.

3. The judges! Often it's more fun to watch them bicker than anything else. Is Len grouchy today? Will Carrie Ann put the smack down? Is Bruno really Roberto Benigni in disguise?

4. The womens' costumes! Who will look hot this week, and who will look ridiculous?

5. The music! Where else can you see someone dance the jive to George Michael?

Why The Amazing Race is Still Awesome

Another week gone, and lots happening on TV. Not all of it that great. Indeed, many of my favorite shows have been a little lackluster of late. But I keep the faith! And therefore, I present to you a series entitled "Why [This Show] is Still Awesome." First, I'll start with The Amazing Race. Enjoy!

Why The Amazing Race is Still Awesome

1. No reality show on network TV has ever explored far-off places like this show has. Already this season the contestants have been to such exciting places as Mauritius and Madagascar.

2. Phil. When he's dressed properly, he remains the sexiest host ever.

3. Open hearts and open minds. Yes, I'm sad that David and Mary were eliminated before their time. But they still represent all that is good about the race.

4. The producers continue to look for ways to fine-tune the race. They've done away with the stupid "give up all your belongings" thing, and this past week tried the intriguing new Intersection.

5. The best editors in reality TV work on this show. The comb countless hours of raw footage to put together an exciting hour, often juxtaposing things that are both surpising and hilarious.

November 01, 2006

Alright, Okay, You Win

I know, I know. You’re saying, “What’s the deal? Where the heck have you been?” Believe me, not posting in nearly 2 weeks isn’t cool with me. Especially considering that it was a year ago that I revitalized this blog and began regular posting! So what happened? Alright, time for true confessions. Laying my cards on the table. Mea culpa.

I was so bitter that Jeffrey won Project Runway, that I couldn't write.

I'm serious! I had become far too invested in the show, and seeing him win for what I truly thought was the worst collection of the bunch just didn't compute. I couldn't go on. I was devastated.

With time, I have healed a bit. I admit that a couple of his pieces were decent, but I still maintain his collection was not the best. And I'll be back next season, hoping the judges will have corrected whatever brain anomaly caused them to have such a lapse in, um, judgement. Time heals all wounds, and whatnot.

In the meantime, I've neglected you, my poor readers. I'm sure you've been buzzing about, talking about our favorite TV shows and so forth. I'd like to say that I'm just going to do a bunch of posts to cover all that has happened recently, but I can't. Life marches on!

So instead, let's do a super-speedy recap of what's been happening on TV, and hopefully in the next week I'll be back on track. Once all those dang political ads are off my screen, I should have the time and energy to concentrate! Anywho, let's pick this up:

* Heroes

So much has happened, but it can be summed up by saying that the worlds of our heroes, they are colliding. They are coming together to follow the edict made my future sword-bearing Hiro - "Save the cheerleader, save the world!" Last night's episode was one of my favorites so far, as we really got deep into Niki's storyline, and met her mysterious husband D.L. who is super-powered himself (told you!). And did I or did I not call that PMAT was evil and playing Mohinder like a fiddle? Perhaps this explains why she's a bad actress. Final comment - Matt is still my boyfriend, but Nathan shirtless? Yum. I'm just saying.

* Dancing With the Stars

Once the dust settled from Sara Evans leaving the show (and her giving an extremely classy exterview), no one was eliminated, which was just dumb. And then mercifully, Jerry Spring was finally relieved of the torture he was enduring each week. I have a feeling Mario is walking away with this, but my heart still goes to Emmitt.

* America's Next Top Model

If I do any retroactive posts, it will be for this show, because so much happened! Michelle came out (sort of), and her mom was cool about it! AJ was eliminated, and I was pissed about it! And last week Brooke missed her high school graduation to be eliminated the same night, and no one cared about it!

* Lost

Am I the only one worried that the show is losing some steam? Sure, there were interesting moments, like Locke's whacked out drug trip with Boone, and the discovery of another polar bear. And then Juliet's breakdown in the operating room over Colleen's death. But it just seems like things are...dragging. Not to mention that the official Lost podcast hasn't appeared in two weeks. C'mon people - keep your fan base happy! Super-powered Desmond in sparse clothing is not enough!

* The Nine

Conversely, this show is the one that's been heating up pretty quickly. Lizzie confessed her pregnancy to Jeremy! Egan got separated! Lucas is giving part of his liver up just so his brother can suffer publicly! Of course the biggest shocker was to hear that Eva's husband served time with the evil Russell. Something tells me that's not going to work out well. Coolest moment so far - the group comes together to help fill in the gaps in Felcia's memory. Aww...well done, Malcolm!

* Grey's Anatomy

I could just say "McSteamy" and that would be sufficient. But to elaborate - Meredith is dumb. Izzie might be dumber, but at least she's back to being a surgeon. George is dense (as usual). The greatest mystery - how has Alex become so darn likeable? [More bizarre - half-watching the horrific movie The Wedding Planner on TV, I noticed that he was in that doing a really horrible accent. Do with that what you will.]

* The Amazing Race

Well of course because of the consistent football delays (CBS is determined to make my life difficult), I keep missing parts of the show. Still, I know the key points. David & Mary got lucky on both non-elimination legs, which is awesome but probably signals their eventual doom. Sarah is finally rid of her horrific partner, Peter. The beauty queens are not always so nice. And Karyln is permanently grouchy. I'm worried about this turning into another season where a group of nice and promising folks become far too bitter and jaded by the end to make it enjoyable. But can we give a shout out to Mauritius? I love going to new places!

Well, that's about it for now. In the coming weeks I'll be aiming to get back to a more regular posting schedule. Look for some posts on recent films I've seen (The Queen, Shortbus, Running With Scissors), as well as books (The Devil Wears Prada) and even theatre (The Drowsy Chaperone and this weekend's My Fair Lady).

Stay tuned! And thanks for stopping by to check this page as often as you have. I'll be better - I promise!

[Bonus points for the first person to comment with the performer who made this post title a hit!]

October 19, 2006

T.R. Knight comes out!

Hooray for being gay!

I appreciate that he wants to keep his private life private, but it's great that he took this step in the press.

As if I needed another reason to love my Grey's Anatomy boyfriend, George!

Considering what was going on with Michelle on America's Next Top Model this week [recap forthcoming], it's just been a gay ol' week!

McSteamy is McPlastic Surgeon

Grey's had a few interesting moments this week. Let's review.

1. Denny left Izzy nearly $8 million. One could argue this all but guarantees she'll quit being a surgeon. I would have to say I doubt that. She'll just be a surgeon with designer scrubs!

2. McSteamy now works for Seattle Grace, because apparently besides being a slutty sexpot, he's also a plastic surgeon. Interesting! Oh, and did he sleep with Callie? Part of me hopes he did.

3. The burgeoning friendship between Miranda and Addison is great - Sterfanie actually emailed me about it, and I couldn't agree more. They couldn't be any more different, and yet...there you are.

4. And in an unsatsifying ending to the Meredith saga, she picked McDreamy. Boo!

5. When Burke gets angry, it's a wee bit scary, no?

October 18, 2006

I'll pass on the poop

This week we had the first part of the Project Runway finale. Not much to report, but I'll at least toss out a few comments.

First we had Tim visiting Michael. Michael is thinking safari, and I'm just thinking he'd better be careful with the prints - it's not his forte'. Also his family is super-cool, supporting him in his dreams. That's almost better than winning the show! ALMOST.

Back in NYC, Tim tried to understand the controlled chaos that is Laura's life. How does Ms. Upper East Side Glamour deal with 5 kids while being pregnant? As well as can be expected. Also, chartreuse is rarely a good color choice in clothing, I have found.

Down in Miami, Uli has a spectacular view, which makes me question if she's secretly nouveau riche. But you can see why she loves Miami so much - it really was quite lovely. Oh, and she's thinking safari, too. Eek!

Jeff's girlfriend/partner is adorable, and so is his son. So why is he such a grouchy jerkwad? Also, he has an enormous studio space to build all his designs. Considering he has all that, one wonders why he hasn't tried to show at Bryant Park before. Also considering he name-drops his famous clients at every opportunity.

At the Macy's workroom, Laura (and to a lesser extent Uli and Michael), is incredulous that Jeff has literally nothing to do except fit his models. She tells Tim as much, and he'll be launching an "investigation." Which I doubt will yield anything - how can you prove that? I would give Laura credit for having the cojones to say it to Jeff's face, but it appears Uli prodded her to do it.

Next week (or rather, tomorrow) is it! The moment we've all been waiting for! The garments I haven't gone to see online in order to keep unspoiled! And according to Tim - surprises...

The lies people tell

Sun is a liar. Or, at least that's what the plot seemed to be focused on in Lost-land this week. Of course, if you followed the plot, it was obvious that she's not the best liar in the world.

Still, I'm relieved to know that Sun did not get wounded. Of course, she's not afraid to wound someone else. Eat that, blonde Other chick!

Of course the far greater mystery this week is the fact that the Others have access to the "outside world." How? And better yet, why?

Question of the week - is Sayid like the WORST strategist ever?

Meanwhile on The Nine, Nick found himself having to lie just to keep his new friends out of jail. Aww - I knew he was a softie at heart. Methinks Kathryn might want to rethink that career in the DA's office. She's a maverick, that one.

Our one tidbit this week is that Felicia was the one who called 911 from inside the bank. Is that how it escalated into a hostage standoff? If she holds herself responsible, that's probably why she has the memory block.

Oh, and Jeremy is a killer. Bad Bailey, bad!

October 16, 2006

Get your freak on

So remember last week on America's Next Top Model, when Monique was sent home, and worried the other girls (especially Melrose) would be celebrating? Well that's where we join them this week. Maybe not full-on dance party style, but they are certainly happy to see her gone, and several of them interview just that. Don't get too comfortable there, ladies...

But the latest drama appears to be that Melrose rubs many of the girls the wrong way. In particular, Anchal is not a fan. You could say that she is not a resident of Melrose Place. (C'mon, I had to make that joke at least once this season.) Megg gets the dreaded early interview this week, and considering we've seen very little from her until now, that fills me with foreboding. She also reminds me of a girl I went to school with, although younger and decidely more stoned.

To begin this week's adventures, the girls meet a judge from another country's version of ANTM, and she has an odd look and an even odder voice. I really can't decide if she has always been a she, or just sings baritone. Anyway, she tells them that today they will be learning how to do some extreme poses for editorial fashion shoots, and to help them, they will be working with a contortionist. He will be taking them through various poses so they can learn to stretch and push themselves. You would think this would be hard, but all we really see is them doing some pretty basic yoga. Anchal excels, Melrose does not. As they rest up, Melrose compliments Anchal - "I didn't think you'd be that good!" It's hard to tell if the compliment is back-handed, but that's how Anchal takes it, and she tells Melrose as much.

Back at the house, Melrose holds court in the hot tub. It's hard to see who all is there, but you can make out the twins, Brooke, and Jaeda. Melrose goes on and on about how she hasn't been that impressed with Anchal lately, and thinks she has self-esteem issues (probably true). She thought Anchal was competition at first, but no longer (probably NOT true). The other girls only seem to agree with the true parts. Meanwhile, on the smoking lounge above the tub, Anchal and her crew (AJ, Megg and CariDee) hear the whole thing. This causes Anchal, who is indeed lacking in self-esteem, to run away sobbing.

AJ the kick-ass friend goes to comfort her and basically says, "Fuck them." She implores Anchal to realize that, "We are good people." AJ is of course right, but I have a feeling Anchal is going to need a little professional counseling to work through her issues.

The next day the girls meet a designer in what looks like an office building's lobby. She says that for this week's challenge, they will be modeling her outfits while standing on pedestals. This is to show off her work at a party. They will take various extreme poses, in order to be "living sculpture." The girls get in wardrobe and make-up (It's another S&M-type line - is that all the rage now?).

They strike various poses and it's hard to describe it all. Let's just say that some do well (AJ), some think they do better than they do (Melrose), and others just try their best (Michelle). After the party, the designer chooses the winner to be...Eugena! And she actually was pretty strong. As a prize, Eugena will win all the jewelry that the girls were wearing today - and it's worth a boatload. Yeah - nothing to sneeze at, these challenges!

That evening, the girls go to dinner, apparently looking for a mystery guest. And it turns out to be...Twiggy. Which is cool, although I was pulling for Janice Dickinson and her drama. Anyway, they have a perfectly lovely dinner with the Twigster, who is obviously a perfectly lovely person. She in particular impresses upon them a need to know and understand what is currently happening in fashion to stay ahead in modeling. Apparently she's Melrose's idol or something, because Melrose fawns all over her and hugs her, and... Whatever. Puke. I'm over Melrose. She's in a matter of minutes become the new Monique, albeit more mentally stable.

The next day, the girls have what I'm guessing was an unplanned visit from Tyra. She wants to talk to them about what's been going on, and of course Queen Fucking Melrose (QFM) pipes up immediately blathering on about something no one cares about. Eventually we realize that the real reason Tyra is here is to bring out and deal with Anchal's feelings about being hurt by Melrose. Anchal confesses, Melrose listens. QFM says she's sorry or some shit, but you can tell she's all disbelieving. I think she's just surpised that their hot tub trashfest was overheard.

But enough of Tyra's talk show invading this one - it's time for this week's photo shoot! They meet with OJ, who says that they will be taking advantage of their extreme pose training to portray carnival sideshow freaks. Some of them will be classic (Megg as the bearded lady), others bizarre (Melrose as a woman with an old face and a young body). Also there to watch (and give inane catty comments) is Seventeen's fashion editor.

Highlights of the shoot - AJ is awesome/scary as a cannibal in a cage. CariDee does some real extreme poses as a woman with an elephant nose (yes, I'm serious). Anchal struggles until she gets some direction from OJ (y'know, his JOB). Megg just doesn't know what to do. Jaeda requires a lot of direction. Eugena, for once, does not. Back in the makeup trailer, Megg expresses concern to the girls that she just wasn't bringing it this week.

Juding panel! There are prizes, there are judges. And mercifully no extra challenge. So onto the judging!

AJ was a superstar. She managed to be both scary and sexy at the same time (and that naked man next to her doesn't hurt).

Amanda and Michelle portrayed Siamese twins, and they have a great other-worldly look to them. This is when we notice that several of the pictures have been digitally manipulated to give the effect of the character, but I can assure you 80% of the look in any of these pictures is up to the girls themselves. So they digitally added extra flesh joining the heads of the twins. There is a concern that Amanda is showing a bit too much up her nose, but Michelle is spot on.

Anchal is the giant woman, and so they have her sitting at a tiny table on a tiny chair. Her face is flawless, but Ms. J points out that if she leaned more toward the camera, it would give the impression that the table was smaller.

Brooke is a rubber woman (arms and legs are shown extra bendy), and she's just OK.

CariDee is straddling an old car while holding a parasol, and despite the big elephant nose, she looks damn sexy. Who knew?

Eugena really turned it on this week as a bird woman in a cage. She actually is showing some emotion, and looks beautiful. There are various allusions to the fact that it took putting her in various restrained situations to make her come alive. Good job, bad skin!

Jaeda was just OK. She really looks like she's straining/angry, but that is what OJ asked for. It doesn't look "model" - she just looks pissed. Also the Seventeen chick totally rats her out for needing a lot of direction.

Megg's photo is...dull. Her bearded lady just looks a little sly and wistful. When asked about it, Megg starts to break down, which is certainly uncharacteristic of what we've seen. She's REALLY unhappy with the photo, and knows she can do better.

Melrose, according to the judges, has an ugly/beautiful thing going on. I think she's fine, but I still say the original concept (old face/young body) is stupid.

The judges deliberate. The funny part this week is that Twiggy seriously thought the abs on Jaeda were real, but they were totally painted on with fake tan. Yeah, as if Jaeda needs something to make her look MORE man-ish.

10 beautiful ladies, 9 photos. (They are beautiful again!) The first photo goes to...CariDee! The judges love that she in a way sold her "product" - in this case, an elephant nose. I'm now undecided if I like her a little or a lot. Also, I predicted she was next to go before I saw the show, so my prognostication career is shot to hell.

Also safe this week are AJ, Anchal, Amanda, Michelle, Eugena and Melrose. Will Jaeda and Megg please step forward? Jaeda - you thought you were always the pretty girl, but you're not bringing it to your photos. Megg, your fun personality isn't coming through on camera. So who goes home? The photo goes to...Jaeda. Aww - poor Megg! As we review her past photos, we see that her first one (drunk addict model) was really the only good one, so perhaps it was time.

In the most awesome exit interview ever, Megg tells us that she got a lot out of the experience, but she's going to go home, and start a band with this other girl. Megg hopes she can be like "the model rock star." She says all this while sounding completely stoned out of her mind. Rock n' roll, Megg!

Next week - two words. Lesbian! Michelle! Oh, and two more words - Janice. Dickinson. You've been warned, bitches!

I wanna dance with...somebody!

Dancing With the Stars - a week of interesting events! Not exactly scandalous, but as close as you can get on this show.

It all started with the all-Latin show on Tuesday, where the couples performed either the party-like Samba or the sexy Rhumba. Most everyone did well (I especially liked Emmitt Smith), but the queen of the dance floor had to have been Willa Ford, who steamed it up with her partner Maksim. Rumors abounded about whether they were dating in real life (they aren't). And then in another shocker proving America's opinion is lightyears from my own, Willa was sent home. Sadness!

But only days later, it was announced that Sara Evans is now going to get divorced, and decided to leave the show to focus on her children.

So in an interesting turn of events, fans are asking that Willa to return for another week. But I just heard her say on CNN that she wouldn't - "America has spoken." Well, sure - but they were wrong!

What will ABC do now? Stretch out a results show so long that it covers a full week and a half? Or is Willa playing coy, and she will indeed be back?

Find out tomorrow night!

October 11, 2006

Test these hypotheses tonight

Want to read the latest crazy theories about Lost from Entertainment Weekly? Just click the link above and read in wonder!

WARNING - there are some slight spoilers about tonight's episode in the last theory presented!

Do you believe?

The theme of this week's episode of Heroes on NBC was all about believing in our heroes.

Matt (the telepathic cop, and my new TV boyfriend) finally got Clea Duvall to believe in him - especially when they had another run in with the evil Sylar!

Micah pretty much doesn't believe anything his mom Niki is saying (who has the shadow twin), and just wants to see his dad D.L., who is apparently on the run from the law.

Teleporter Hiro (who is such a lovely little pet) finally convinced his buddy to believe in what's been happening because of Isaac's comic book. They're on their way to Vegas - will they run into Niki?

Isaac (the scrying artist) couldn't convince Simone to believe that he really does paint the future, and she left him. Am I the only one that believes that she is annoying?

Meanwhile Peter (the possible flier) was in disbelief that his brother Nate (the definite flier) could be such an a-hole saying publicly that Peter attempted suicide. But Peter did convince Simone to kiss him. Stay away, she's bad news!

Mohinder and his pixie-haired friend (whom I will henceforth refer to as the Poor Man's Audrey Tautou, or PMAT) enter Sylar's apartment to find a disturbing collection of artifacts and a much more detailed map. On the map is Nate's picture - is he in danger? And is Sylar really in remorse? Well we won't find out soon, because amongst his many powers, it appears Sylar can clean up a whole apartment in no time. I still believe PMAT is secretly a bad person.

Claire can scarcely believe that the quarterback of the football team likes her, but what she really can't believe is that he is a horrible date rapist. And then he can't believe he killed Claire. Except he didn't, because she wakes up (hold onto your lunch) after being flayed open on the autopsy table. Ewww!!!!

Next week - the heroes start converging in unexpected ways. Believe it!

October 10, 2006

Hey, this sampan ain't no junk

I really enjoyed (parts of) this week's episode of The Amazing Race. It had all the drama, tension, and place shifting that makes this show great. Not to mention raising new levels of understanding.

Rob & Kimberly ratcheted up the bickering couple critical mass, and it was interesting to see that they are equally bitter and hateful to each other (and certain, as they call it, "foreigners").

I'm going to give Lyn and Karlyn a pass this week, as their struggles really seemed to be about being really tired and struggling against the elements. It was good to see Karlyn capitalize on her experience at the Great Wall to power through the Roadblock.

Peter? Hmm...let me think of just the right word to describe him. Insufferable? Hypocrite? How about I just settle on HUGE FLAMING A-HOLE. Ah, that's it.

Oh my models, how you have fallen? It's called caring for and reading your clues. You would think after riding both a junk and a sampan, they'd know the difference. I'm happy they're still in it, but they need to turn on their "A game."

David & Mary - how I love thee! David powers through a Roadblock. Mary makes friends (and flirts?) with Vietnamese men. And despite their difficulties, they pull it together and land firmly in 5th place. Hooray! Do they bicker? Yes. But they bicker in the "been married for years and this is a stressful situation" versus Rob & Kimberly's "still dating and should have broken up a year ago."

Next week - um...I don't remember actually. But let's wish them luck if it's the dreaded intense India leg.

In TAR-related news, Jonathan & Victoria who ruined their season for all of us just had a baby. "Spawn of Satan" seems to be an appropriate phrase.

October 09, 2006

Delusion is the new black

Ah, the Project Runway reunion. A chance to to revisit old designers, and for them to put their best bitchy attitudes on. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately), there is no liquor involved this year to lubricate those attitudes.

Vincent came out looking like a horrible, horrible man. He's trashed on Tim and his fellow designers. Even bloggers like lil' ol' me! And what the hell was up with that laundry meltdown? So apparently he's not just crazy anymore. He's a crazy asshole.

Speaking of asses, let's not forget the conspiracy delusions of Keith. He seriously needs to just quit the crap and try and save whatever scrap of dignity he has left.

Stacey, Katie, Bonnie - remember them? Apparently we shouldn't, as they got so little screentime, you could blink and miss them.

Of course the strength of these reunion specials are the clip montages, which were once again great. Loved Tim's definitions, and those for the designers. ("That dress had such a history of ugly." HA!)

The little part on Malan was great, and I have to say endeared me to him. It is a shame he wasn't on the show longer.

Hooray for Michael being America's choice! This is probably the only time in the history of reality TV that I have actually agreed with America.

I can't believe Angela still thinks her Jubilee Jumbles pile of crap could have been saved. Let's put it this way, Ange - Camilla would have looked more stylish if she'd sauntered down the runway naked.

Next week - part 1 of the finale! Allegations of Jeff cheating! Laura is extremely pregnant! Uli's models aren't showing up! Can my darling Michael win it all, even with his new braces?

The Other side of "Lost"

Wow, what a...luke-warm premiere.

Don't get me wrong, I'm THRILLED that Lost is back, and the opening sequence was pretty amazing/mindblowing. But to focus on Jack for the season opener was most disappointing. Essentially it just showed us that Jack no longer has any redeeming qualities. Seriously - what's to like? I can hardly wait for this week when we can focus on someone actually interesting.

That being said, there was quite a bit to talk about regarding the big Lost puzzle. Let's review what we do know:

1. The island is big.

2. The Others live not in grass huts, but in a faux-suburban community, complete with a book club that discusses Stephen King's Carrie.

3. The Others merely inhabit Dharma stations, but they don't run them.

4. The Hydra station must have been the center for zoological research, including a place to hold bears (polar?) and sharks (!).

5. Not-Henry's real name is Ben.

But of course we have even more questions, such as:

1. What happened to Kate at breakfast?

2. Did the Others have any relationship to Dharma at all?

3. "Zeke" told Kate it would be a rough couple weeks - why such a set time period? Is there some kind of Other hazing initiation period?

4. Where did Carl come from - was he an Other, or a tail survivor?

5. How did Juliet have so much detail information on Jack's life?

6. Ben and his cronies seemed immediately prepared to go address the plane crashing. Did they somehow know it was going to happen?

Best moment of the episode? Juliet cold-cocking Jack. Awesome!

Next week - we find out what's going on with the scout party of Sayid, Jin and Sun. And I am NOT happy to see my dearest Sun being shot at! Leave the pregnant woman alone!


When we last left the girls on America's Next Top Model, they were sad to see Megan go home, because she was so nice. Also I should note that she was a lesbian, which makes it even a greater tragedy. But it's time to move on!

Caridee gets the first interview of the show, which is worrisome, as it's usually the edit of the booted. In fact, she gets much camera time. This can't be good!

First up we're reminded that Monique is an insufferable person to live with. In particular, she hates Melrose, and the feeling is entirely mutual. And despite the fact that Melrose can bug a bit, I'm on her side in this debate. Most of the arguements we see represents Melrose as calmly making rational arguements, while Monique is just crazy. And not in a good way.

The girls meet Ms. J outside, and he is balanced on a tightrope while wearing a tutu. In fact, I think he is trying to wear as much female clothing as possible this season, leading into his eventual transformation into the poor man's RuPaul. But I digress! To teach the girls balance this week, they will each navigate this tightrope. For most of the way, they have these arm bands connected to a wire above their heads, so there will be no giant pole to carry. Ms. J introduces their trainers, who are "Stunt Professionals" which is good to know, because my first guess was "Circus Folk."

Most of the girls handle this pretty well. I'd give you a play-by-play, but there's a reason the balance beam isn't the most popular event to watch in women's gymnastics, m'kay?

Back at the house, the drama continues. Monique has devolved into Being a Bitch In Ways That Make No Sense, as she announces to Eugena that she's going to wipe her underwear all over Melrose's comforter. And she does just that. While Melrose is in bed. Several of the girls wake up and are basically like, "Bitch is crazy, and...seriously, what was that?" Let's just say that Monique has a long way to go before she can attain the higher echelon of memorable bitches like our beloved Jade.

The girls once again meet with Ms. J, this time to practice walking in heels on a broken cobblestone walkway. They each don some dresses, and Carnivale masks, but the trick is the masks make them nearly blind. Think of it as Extreme Runway Walking. Coming soon to the X Games! They will be helped with some coaching from Cycle 5 contestant Bre, who apparently was an awesome walker or something. Anyway, there is much tripping and stumbling. Only AJ and Jaeda really handle it well, and I suspect it is because they are both tall. Don't ask me why, I just suspect physics are somehow involved.

Anyway, the winner is AJ, and she gets to pick two friends to join her in the prize - a quick trip to Austin, where they will walk in a benefit fasion show being put on by...Dennis Quaid. Yeah, it sounded odd to me as well. But he's hot, so who cares? Despite the fact that Brooke is from Texas (but not Austin, mind you), AJ chooses to take CariDee and Megg.

The trio heads to Austin, where they actually get to meet Dennis Quaid (drool), and they are actually very appropriate in their level of being star-struck. They walk in the show, and say it was a great time. It should be noted that CariDee walks in a way that is so bizarre, I couldn't recreate it if I tried. And I'm a trained dancer, mind you.

Then it's time for the segment we like to call "Monique Is Sick; Oh The Schadenfreude!" Monique is tired, she has hot flashes, woe is her. Eugena eventually convinces her to go to the hospital (although I should mention that Brooke very kindly offered to get Monique anything, but was rejected). Monique is diagnosed with dehydration (which I don't get - you're just modeling - drink water, bitch). Oh, her life is so hard.

The next day it's time for the shoot, and Monique decides to go ahead and go, even though she feels awful. The Austin girls return and meet them all at some outdoor location. It is revealed that they will be doing a runway show for one of the show's stylists who is also a designer. But the catch - the runway is in water! And not one big piece - it's several pieces, so each block can potentially shift a bit. This is event #2 in Extreme Runway Walking! At the end of the runway, they will have their photo taken. They only get two shots at it, so they need to nail it. And to ratchet up the pressure, there will be an audience.

Then Monique talks to Jay. He warns her that skipping the shoot can really hurt her chances, but he understands if she needs to go home and rest. She opts to go home. BAM! This could be good news, I hope.

The girls get ready, and we get a peek at the looks. It's all very goth, and I think a bit inspired by S&M fetish wear, because there's several outfits that have the girls bound at the hands. The make-up is all black eye shadow to add to the goth-iness. And the guests coming to watch look like they stepped out of The Corpse Bride. On with the show!

Most of the girls handle the runway well, even if their walking is a bit stilted. Eugena has the most trouble. AJ and Jaeda continue to show they are the queens of balance, storming the runway in a most fierce manner. On her second time out, Eugena compeletely slips, and one leg goes into the drink. And she cuts her leg. Well think of it this way - blood probably enhances "the look." Also of note - CariDee's boob totally pops out. Rather than try and cover it, she just winks in a cartoonish way to the camera while the offending body part gets pixilated. Slut!

Back at the house, Monique worries about her chances after skipping the shoot. Eugena is the only other person concerned. After all, if Monique leaves, she has to step up as #1 bitch!

Judging panel! There are prizes, there are judges. Guest judge is the designer from the shoot, and I'm sorry I don't recall his name. Sadly, we have the return of the judging challenge. This week, the girls will attempt to do their signature walks while balancing a bowl of fruit on their heads.

Once again, who rocks the challenge? AJ and Jaeda. The rest all have enormous amounts of trouble. Michelle walks in the most awkward manner imaginable. Brooke shines a bit, because as soon as her fruit falls, she just keeps on walking confidently, and says to the judges, "It's all about attitude!" She is so totally the class president, I'll bet. Time to judge!

AJ struck a very confident pose, still showing off her red dress well. It's very Linda Evangelista.

Amanda has her hands bound, and strikes a pose that makes her look like a goth bride. It's good and strong.

Anchal has an outfit that I think is hard to show off, but she is helped in that the shape hides the fact that her pose is weak.

Brooke is actually quite amazing. She looks super confident, and her hair is flowing. As Tyra says, "You don't get a wind machine - you MAKE your wind." I try very hard not to make a "breaking wind" joke.

CariDee looks like a goon. A goon making a fembot pose.

Eugena once again looks lifeless and like, "Why am I here?" Lame!

Jaeda's look is also bound in this interesting way that is like she just escaped from a straightjacket. Her pose is really strong, and uses her masculine features to her advantage. She's come a long way from the bottom 2!

Megg looks like a broken doll, and puffs out her bottom lip in a most unattractive way.

Melrose? Nailed it. She is caught in mid-turn as her diaphanous peach dress swirls, giving a fierce look to the camera. Almost like a jilted bride who is pissed and gets caught by the wedding photographer. Seriously, it's awesome.

And lastly we have Michelle who strikes a very professional model pose, showing off her faux fur outfit over pantsuit in an extremely flattering way. Women across America will be dying to buy this look.

Of course Monique has to defend the fact that she skipped the shoot. She says, "I am Top Model material." Tyra responds, "This industry does not care if you are sick. They don’t care if you are tired. We’re being hard because this is the real world." Burn!

The judges deliberate. Despite her zaniness, they appear to like CariDee's character. They are most impressed by the queens of balance, but also fond of Melrose, Amanda and Michelle (although the twins are ripped on for bad runway walking). And then, in the most hilarious spot, they talk about how it just doesn't appear that Eugena wants to be there. Tyra starts this wacky gospel number about "She Don't Wanna Be Here." Ms. J joins in, and even Twiggy sings a few bars. It makes them all look ridiculous, but it was still quite funny!

11 girls (not beautiful again, ouch), 10 photos. And the first photo this week goes to...AJ! AJ struts up to get it, and Tyra tells her that is exactly why she was their top choice this week. Also safe are Jaeda, Brooke, Melrose, Anchal, Amanda, Michelle, Megg and...CariDee! Which means the editing has thrown me off, which is happy news.

Will Eugena and Monique step forward? Eugena, the judges wonder if you want to even be here. You thought you were better than all the Cycle 6 girls, but newsflash - you're NOT. Monique, you skipped a shoot. BAD idea. And the photo goes to...Eugena! I can't believe it! Ding dong, the bitch is gone! As Monique leaves (not hugging anyone, I might add), she laments that Melrose will probably have a party now that Monique is leaving. I hope so, because I'll bring the keg!

Next week - the girls actually DO hang out with circus folk!

October 06, 2006

Naughty number nine

I know, I know - you're waiting for some scintillating discussion of the big 3 from Wednesday night (ANTM, Lost and Runway). But before we get into all of that, I'd like to draw your attention to a new show, which airs after Lost. It's called The Nine. And it's worth staying up for.

The set-up is a bit unusual. Nine people happen to be in a bank when it is robbed by two men. The robbery turns into a 52-hour hostage standoff. When the nine leave, they are shattered to the core, and changed forever.

So it all begs the question - what exactly happened in there? And THAT is what the show is really about.

OK, sure - maybe there are one too many hour-long dramas with a big central mystery that will be revealed in pieces on this fall. I'm just suggesting you choose this one, and forget you ever heard about Six Degrees! ("Pick me! Love me! Choose me!")

To get a better idea in case you missed the premiere and want to catch up, here's a rundown of the group:

The Cop - Tim Daly plays a cop who has a gambling problem, and appears to be a bit of a loose cannon to boot. And his father is the police chief. Think Ana Lucia but not looking angry all the time. He asked Eva out just before the robbery.

The Lawyer - She's an assistant DA, and is having an affair with her co-worker (who played Grace's ex-fiancee on Will & Grace). She emerges from the bank with a chunk of her hair missing. Why?

The Doctor - Continuing the tradition of former Party of Five cast members playing surgeons on ABC, Scott Wolf works in a hospital where he is dating Lizzie. But by the time he leaves the bank, she doesn't want to see him. What did he do?

The Social Worker - Lizzie also works at the hospital, and is determined to bring the group back together after the standoff. How did these strangers become so close?

The Bank Tellers - Good friends, one of whom is the one everyone is asking about when they get out of the bank. The other will become involved with one of the men from the crisis.

The Bank Manager and his Daughter - He's the quiet nice guy who's trying to be a stern parent; she's the bright teenager that wants a little freedom. The big question is why she does what she does at the end of the episode? And why can't she remember anything?

The Suicidal Shlub - One day he's considering killing himself, the next he's hailed as a hero. What turned his life around, and what happened to that gun?

As the show progresses, we will week by week see more of what happened in the bank chronologically. Was anyone killed? Why did the robbers take hostages in the first place? Why did the police take so long to end the standoff? Did some of the hostages fall into Stockholm Syndrome? So many questions...

Of course the challenge here is the obvious question - "How long can a show about a finite time period last?" Well we asked a similar question about Lost, and it's still going strong at three seasons now, so who knows?

Check it out, let me know what you think. Next week once people have had a chance to catch up, I'll talk about actual plot points (like this week's surprising ending).

October 04, 2006

Rise and fall

This week's episode of Dancing With the Stars didn't have any one performance that I found truly amazing, but there were surprises.

For the couples dancing the waltz, the challenge was to make a soft sweeping dance something that would ignite the audience. And of all of them, Jerry Springer accomplished that the best! Yeah sure, he totally played the daughter's wedding card, but it was still elegant and charming. Monique and Willa were also quite lovely. I found Joey's to be especially disappointing - it was all high-kicks from his partner. *snore*

For those who danced the paso doble, I felt they all lacked the right balance of power, drama and precision. Mario was very strong...TOO strong. Sara's dance had a song that was far too slow, and thus it looked anemic. Emmitt was back on target (and DAMN his partner is fierce), but he needs to figure out what to do with his big hands when he's not holding something - he looked like he was going to swat somebody or something. And what the hell was up with Vivica's outfit? That too-long patchwork skirt and ridiculous boots were just WRONG.

My pick to go this week was Sara - she is a nice person, but is just not delivering what she needs to. When you're being out-performed by Jerry Springer, you really need to reexamine your committment!

But I just heard the news, and apparently Vivica was eliminated. Unfair! She was so awesome! Well...except for this week.

Color me sad!

Don't lose your head

Another good episode of Heroes, and I continue to be intrigued!

The bizarre happenings for Nikki are probably the most fascinating. But what about that comic book? Is Isaac really having precognitive visions, or is he actually writing reality?

Ooh - and Peter can fly! Or..hover, I guess.

Now despite my affection for the show, I have a couple issues.

One - the pixie-haired neighbor that Mohinder met. She's just a wee bit TOO convenient, y'know? Also, not such a great actress.

Two - NBC, let's dial back on the gore, m'kay? It is more than sufficient to just TELL us that a man was frozen with his head...anyway. No need to SEE it.

Clea Duvall! Now I know what she did when Carnivale got cancelled on HBO.

Next week - let's hope for more of the adorable cop! And what trap could Wire-Rimmed Glasses be planning for our little cheerleader?

October 03, 2006

John McCain is such a celebrity

No really! He's a prominent figure in this week's episode of The Amazing Race. Seriously!

Once again CBS was "the suck" airing TAR thirty minutes late. Can't wait until football season is over, as it's interfering with my regular TV schedule!

Checking back in with our teams, we see that Rob & Kimberly are keeping up the bitchy couple quotient that we're so used to from previous seasons. The beauty queens continue to surprise, being pretty good racers and tough girls. If the final challenge is to answer a question in an isolation booth, they are GOLDEN!

Still loving on David & Mary - when they argue it's pretty innocent, and they are really getting a lot out of this experience. They really represent all this show aspires to be - people broadening their worldview. Awesome.

Meanwhile, Lyn & Karlyn need to dial down the tragic bitching and moaning. No amount of sobbing at the end of the leg is going to make me suddenly like them again. Get with it, ladies!

And Peter? Is a jerk, creepy, and stupid. I would like Sarah more if she got rid of those ridiculous sunglasses.

Botox is not the answer

So how was Ugly Betty, perhaps the most anticipated premiere of the fall season?


Honestly, it felt like Devil Wears Prada as done by the ABC Family channel.

I mean, it had its moments, and the lead guy (formerly of The L Word) isn't too shabby to look at.

But for the love of God, can the cheesy background music, people!

I'll give it another week, and if it doesn't really grab me, it's gonna be My Name Is Earl and The Office for me.

Who will she choose?

That is pretty much the central theme in Grey's Anatomy this past week, and I actually liked how it turned out - that she won't choose! Because even though he's a jerk, I admit that McDreamy is rather hot.

But not as hot as McSteamy! Growl.

I loved Bailey finally confronting Izzy and *gasp* admitting she might have had a part in it all. No more muffins, Izzy!

Am I the only one that missed the memo that the bartender Joe is gay? Of course, ScottE pointed out that the place is called "The Emerald City," so I suppose I should have known better.

And then there were...

True confession: this is just not a week I'm feeling like I can write a full recap of Project Runway. And to be honest, not a whole helluva lot happened, anyway. So instead this time around, I'm just going to cover the highlights, as I'm sure by now you've all seen it!

* Jeffrey insults the other designers. Often.

* Uli coins a new term for patterend fabrics of a certain hippie quality when she says, "It's Uli!" I wonder if you have to fill out paperwork to be referred to only by one name?

* Michael chokes, and loses half a day sketching.

* Uli second-guesses herself, and ultimately pulls off her design in just five hours!

* Laura is feeling the stress. And the hormones.

* There is a brief Father's Day clip intended to make us think that Jeffrey has a heart because of a video message from the spawn of Jeffrey. Not buying it!

* Tim is getting all sentimental on our asses. Aww!

Eventually the dresses come down that are supposed to represent the designers' point of view, but also show something new. Which if you think about it, is sort of a conflict of ideas, but whatever.

Uli and Laura represent their respective views, but Uli does something fresh (i.e. short) and wins. It's Uli! Laura does what she does, and well. Not a surprise, but she's in.

Michael and Jeffrey both go way off-base. The latter does something that's lovely but dull and too "evening wear." Jeffrey does something like Marie-Antoinette-does-the-90's, which isn't lovely and doesn't rock. Who will go home?

During the time it takes Heidi to say something, I feel a shooting pain down my left arm, and I start blinking uncontrollably. Lucky for me, they are both in! All four designers will show in Bryant Park, which is brilliant. I can't wait! An excellent decision by the judges, I'd say.

Next week - reunion! Drunken fighting! Who will embarass themselves all to heck this time?

On a side note - I know that pictures of all the final collections are on the internet. NO, I haven't seen them, and NO I don't want to. I like surprises! So don't say anything here, or I'll force you to wear one of Angela's bubble skirts.

September 29, 2006

Hair today, gone tomorrow

When we last left the young bitches-in-training on America's Next Top Model, some girl was elminated, but she was so dull we forgot about her. But apparently Melrose didn't, because in the confessional she's sad thinking about Christian leaving. She really thinks she'll have to step it up this week to stay in the competition.

The girls first join the J's at breakfast, where they supposedly will be getting good advice. But all they show (and I'm sure the best the girls got) is OJ telling them that if you're a strong person, you have to find a way to use your life experiences to portray vulnerability. He points this out in particular to Megan, which instantly sends a chill through my heart, because I know how this show is edited.

When the girls return to the house, we discover why they had to get them out for breakfast - this year the makeover salon is going to take place right in the living room of their house. And who's going to do their new looks? Oh just a little man you may have heard of called Frederick Fekkai. Impressive, no? Tyra reveals what all the looks will be like, and then it's off to work. Some girls get longer hair (like Megg and Eugena), others get it all chopped off (like Jaeda). Several just have their hair dyed dramatically different (like Megan). But poor Anchal has to have her hairline reshaped, and I don't understand what they did, but it looked painful.

But as usual, the makeover time is not without drama. AJ bitches about her look, even though it's practically the same as what she had. Jaeda sobs about having all her hair cut short (a'la Halle Berry). And Monique wails over the fact that America is seeing her without her weave. Whatever! Get over it bitch. And in fact, in a surprising turn of events, OJ shows some character by making them all feel guilty for being so inconsiderate of their guest stylist. After 7 seasons of this, he's just fed up. Um, I never thought I'd say this, go, Jay!

Properly chastised, the girls adjust to their new looks. Also we find out that people still don't like Monique. More on that later.

Tyra Mail brings this week's challenge, which takes the girls to a hotel. OJ meets them there, and explains what is perhaps the weirdest challenge ever. First, each girl will have 60 seconds to grab some of Cover Girl's new Queen collection make-up, and then they need to run to the elevator. They'll need to apply their look in the elevator, and if they miss the doors, they are SOL. At the 15th floor, they pop out and get a minute to find a dress. Then it's to the 25th floor to pick up shoes, and finally to the penthouse to face their judge from CG. So apparently a top model needs to learn how to make herself presentable fast while finding her clothes strewn about a hotel after a night of drunken partying? Whatever. On with the challenge!

Right away things are looking up, as Monique misses the door and is eliminated. Ha! At the shoe floor, Megg misses the doors, so she's gone also. Then they meet the CG rep - Queen Latifah herself! And her makeup stylist. The girls present their looks, which are mostly pretty good, but I'm still bothered by Eugena's bad skin. CariDee looks RIDICULOUS, with some kind of wrap on her head, and a shirt-as-skirt look. She calls it "beachwear" - I call it "housefrau." Anyway, ultimately they pick Eugena as the winner, which I found baffling. Eugena gets to pick 2 friends to share in the prize - she chooses CariDee and Jaeda. The next day they will get to do a shoot together for a special web ad for Cover Girl. Sounds great, but I defy anyone to actually find said ad on the internet!

Back at the house, Ms. Monique is bitter over not being able to meet Queen Latifah, and Amanda quite rightly guesses that she'll take it out on the house. Indeed, Monique decides to then get on the house phone for 3 1/2 hours. As if that weren't enough, she (and everyone else) knew that Melrose really needed the phone, as she had to talk to her landlord about getting back her $1,800 deposit, and it had to happen today! Instead of confronting Monique, though - they all just make fun of her. But then finally one woman warrior steps forward to defy the diva - it's Anchal! I know! Ms. Formerly Timid steps in and tries to hang up the phone, getting into a shouting match about how Monique has no respect for others. It was DIVINE if you like reality TV drama like I do! Eventually Monique gets off the phone when no one is around, and to herself makes fun of the other girls' perky attitudes. That is one hard-core bitch, and she might be f'd up crazy to boot. Let me put it this way - she's starting to make Jade look stable.

Anywho, now that the storm has passed, the girls head to this week's photo shoot. OJ introduces 3 "weavologists" who compete in an event called "Hair Wars." If you haven't seen it, it's basically like hair sculpture, which has to be worn by a person. Lots of bright colors, and - I'm serious - moving parts. At first I was like, "They just got makeovers and already are covering up their new hairdos?" But the shoot is actually pretty cool, so forget that.

First up is Monique, and she gets some real praise from OJ for pulling it out. Pardon my French, but...FUCK. Of the rest of the girls, most do really well, but OJ points out that Megan isn't giving him much emotion, and Jaeda is just giving one expression. Also Eugena is dull. Melrose gets singled out for really giving what she didn't last week - OJ is impressed, and Melrose gets a hug.

And in no time we're at the judging panel. The guest judge this week will be their photographer from the shoot, Tracy Bayne, who has done past shoots for ANTM, including the falling fairy tale women last cycle. There is no stupid judging challenge (please, PLEASE tell me those are a thing of the past for good), so it's time to look at the photos.

AJ has an interesting shot from below which is pretty good, but as Tyra points out - when you're shot that way you have to watch out for "pig nose."

Amanda was my clear favorite this week, surrounded by a huge heart shape in red. Her face is amazingly mature and professional. Well done, twin #1! Tracy points out that Amanda had a clear sense of possibility at the shoot and offered good suggestions.

Anchal is also very strong, covered by a thatched roof of hair, and a spinning bird. But in the midst of it, she has a smokey look with pouty lips - super.

Brooke is trying not to be overshadowed by the plethora of American flags that surround her face, but she has a nice doe-eyed innocence here.

CariDee has a good pose, but it somehow comes off as "drag queen." I'm torn, because the shot is absolutely a good one, but you expect to see "Kristy Kreme" printed at the bottom of the shot.

Eugena...zzzzzzzzzz. What? Huh? I'm sorry, what was I talking about?

Jaeda just looks pissed off.

Megan has these weird spinning Princess Leia honeybuns on the side of her head, and she just looks young and cute.

Megg is fine, but I'm distracted by the fact that her mascara was glopped on very heavy and is clumping all over the place.

Melrose is trying to play the ugly/beautiful card, looking like a crazed excotic bird with huge rainbow feathers. I have to say, although I'm not a fan, it's a pretty good editorial shot.

Michelle shines again as a shy bird creature, with a slight kiss on her shoulder. Good instinct, twin #2!

Monique hilariously has a spinning trophy at the top of two big brown wings. Her face is lovely, but it's a bit dull.

And then the judges deliberate. Twiggy really thinks Amanda has potential and could be the darkhorse favorite. Tyra is astounded by Anchal's beauty. Nigel is afraid that Brooke is too all-American "cute" and thus not model material. They are all disappointed by Eugena's photo, and (could it be?) Monique's.

12 ladies, 11 photos (They aren't "beautiful" this week? Ouch, Tyra.) - and the first goes to...Melrose! The mighty hath lifted herself back up by her ponytail. Then photos go to Amanda, Michelle, Anchal, Brooke, CariDee, AJ and Megg. Eugena is called out for being dull, but gets a photo anyway. Could it be? No, it couldn't - Monique gets her photo next. Boo! So that leaves Jaeda and Megan. This is not a good sign.

Jaeda and Megan? This week both of you didn't show personality in your photos, letting yourselves become lost amongst all that hair. So will manly Jaeda go home, or very-tragic Megan? The photo goes to...Jaeda. Nooooo!!! I'm sad to see Megan go - I thought she had great potential. But she does come off a tad bubble-headed in her exterview, so perhaps I am wrong.

Next week - more drama with Monique! Ms. J balances on a wire! And a girl goes to the hospital. Let's hope it's because somebody cuts Monique with a hair extension, but more likely it will be "exhaustion."

You're a heart-breaker, a rule-breaker!

If you thought that Dancing With The Stars was just a lot of nice celebrities dancing and smiling, this week's show would have changed your mind.

On the one hand there were some great dances that wowed us - in particular Vivica and Nick, who did a smoldering tango. (And check out that hair - hello, Dorothy Dandridge!)

But on the other hand you had several teams that kept trying to push the envelope of the rules with some lifts, and intentional form breaks. And the judges? Were NOT having it. Len was grumpy as could be all night, and eventually Carrie Ann stepped in with the scolding. To Karina and Mario she said, "Maybe if you LEARNED to RESPECT the RULES you would do better!" When scoring, both she and Bruno were all, "8, but it COULD have been a 10!"

Such drama!

I admit, it was a little bit delicious, but it was also like watching your parents argue, y'know?

But the biggest injustice this week was that Emmitt (who admittedly was not at his best) got the lowest score - even lower than dancing-as-a-joke Jerry Springer. NOT cool. I had a near heart attack watching the results show! But in the end it was Harry Hamlin who was eliminated. Poor little Ashly crying her eyes out! What a sweetheart.

How about the musical performances on the results show? I love me some Scissor Sisters, but even I admit it was a rather bizarre place for them to perform. (Well, and on Disney-owned ABC, it's not like Jake could be tearing his clothes off.) And what the heck was with that opera guy? He looked like a Jack Black sketch on Saturday Night Live. At least the paso doble-as-modern dance was entertaining.