April 27, 2006


And now the moment I know you've all been waiting for - my splendiferous recap of America's Next Top Model! (Hey, if Jade can make up words, so can I.)

*WARNING - This post contains a full recap of the 4/26 episode of ANTM!*

We begin this week in the house, where Jade, Furonda and Nnenna are doing a mock skit of Tyra announcing who wins ANTM. Jade tries to be Tyra, but can't really, because she's laughing. Interestingly, fake Tyra chooses Furonda. Foreshadowing? Then there's a brief segment where everyone basically says the same thing - Nnenna and Jade have become fast friends. Well, BRAVA. It's more curious than interesting.

Next we focus on Sara, who is on the phone with her boyfriend, needing a pep talk. She's determined to get better, and show them that not only does she want this contract, but she deserves it. Part of me feels like this is an overarching theme for the season. Does it mean she's destined for the final 2?

Also I'll tell you that at this point I have to chuck my theory about interviews at the beginning of the show telling you who will be in the bottom 2. When you're down to just six girls, they all get plenty of interviews. And the ending shocked me, so...sorry, no spoiler! I'll save it for the end.

Meanwhile we join Danielle, who's agonizing over the decision to have her tooth gap fixed. Will she, or won't she?

For training this week, the girls meet a PR expert. She coaches them on the basic dos and don'ts of being interviewed as a celebrity. (Which is amusing, because it's not like a graduate of this show has ever become a real celebrity. And no, I don't count Toccara's stint on Celebrity Fit Club.)

With this information in hand, the girls are interviewed by a Vanity Fair columnist who appears to be neither straight nor American. And he pretty much says that his style is to be provocative and insulting. Or at least that's how he proceeds. We see very little of the actual interviews, except Nnenna's. And although it didn't seem to go well, he still calls her the winner. Whuh? Her prize is to pick a friend, and they'll be pampered with "spa treatments." But the kicker is that the other four girls have to help perform said treatments. Nnenna picks Jade (of course).

We return to the episode already in progress of Holy Gap, It's Danielle! She calls her mom for advice. Her mother is actually very wise, and says that Danielle needs to decide what's more important - having a signature dental problem, or a modeling contract. Naturally Danielle sees the wisdom in this, and goes back to the dentist from last week. He fixes the gap, but does it in a way that still leaves a sliver showing, so it's not such a shocking transition. He's pretty good, that dentist. Danielle says it will take getting used to, but she likes it.

That evening, the girls are taken to a completely fake place dressed up in a vaguely Asian way for dinner. As they sit down, in saunters their make-up artist who is an unconvincing drag version of Tyra. After he prances around pretending to be her, saying "TY-RA, TY-RA" a few hundred times, in comes the real Tyra. They fake fight, and keep chanting her name. Just when I think this is the most moronic scene on the show ever, they reveal that it was their hint - the girls are going to THAILAND! And I must be getting brainwashed, because I actually found that to be clever.

The girls all pack up and lament leaving the house they've been in for...what, a few weeks? They arrive in Bangkok and are escorted to their hotel suite. This suite is HUGE and GORGEOUS, and I can't believe these bitches get to stay there and I don't. All the while, the girls are dutifully practicing some of the local language.

And now the dreaded spa. Sara and Danielle get off easy - all they have to do is put flowers in the bath for Jade and Nnenna. Joanie and Furonda get the more unpleasant task of assisting in massages. Now Joanie takes it pretty seriously, and tried to learn from the masseuse as she massages Jade's leg. She says that she's trying to be respectful, and that's nice. But ewww - it's Jade! Furonda rather hilariously has this phobia about touching other people's skin. So she just rubs a single finger on Nnenna's leg. It's so silly, and I was just rolling with laughter.

Time for the photo shoot! This week the girls are being done up as mermaids who have been caught in a fish net, dangling over the floating market (Where women sell their food wares in small boats). To do this, they'll be suspended by a harness mostly upside-down, wrapped in a net with actual fish. So not only is it uncomfortable, but there are fish guts galore. Fun!

Danielle bitches a lot, but still poses well. Sara starts off bad, but quickly improves. Nnenna looks like a dead fish. Furonda is just mediocre. Jade is finally softening, and does quite well. Joanie says she's going to throw up because she had a full cup of coffee first (bad idea), but she still manages to bust out some great poses.

At the judging panel, the girls are each asked to "sell themselves" to the judges. And no, it's not a weird prostitution thing - more like convincing the judges that you're Top Model material. Here's a basic overview of what they all say:

Jade: "I'm so versatile, I'm gorgeous, but don't judge a book by its cover."

Sara: "I am intelligent. And...well, I'm smart, so that makes me beautiful, I guess."

Joanie: "Umm, I'm pretty, or something."

Danielle: "GIRRRRRRRL, look at my fabulous hair! And my legs! And my teeth!"

Nnenna: "When I'm Top Model, I'd like to help change the world." (This goes on for hours, and in that time, nations overthrow their governments, new species are discovered, and Pluto explodes in a ball of fire.)

Furonda: *crickets*

For the critiques, you can imagine what the girls each hear about their selling - Danielle's got it down, Nnenna need to shut up, Jade is full of contradictions. So onto the photos! Once again, the stars are Danielle and Joanie. They are both spot on. Jade did quite well (although I didn't like the shot they picked). Sara was better. Furonda was pretty good. Nnenna looked more dead than the fish next to her thigh.

Six beautiful girls, five photographs. The winner for the week was Danielle, who improved her look, gave a great selling speech, and took a fantastic photo. Well done, girrrrrrrrrrrl! Also safe are Joanie, Sara and Jade.

What? Yes, that's right - the bottom two are Furonda and Nnenna. We haven't seen Furonda here since the beginning. The judges basically said she sucked when she started, but has steadily improved - but is it too little too late? Meanwhile Nnenna has reached a place of complacency, and has started to decline, as evidenced by her photos last week and this week. So who goes? It's NNENNA!!!! I know! You could have knocked me over with a feather. But as we look back at her portfolio, I'm reminded that I really only liked maybe 1 or 2 of her shots. So maybe it's for the best. Now she can go have that dysfunctional relationship with John.

Next week - the girls bicker with Jade (shocking!), and the stakes get higher. And I hate that this show has turned into crack, and I'm just dying to find out what happens! Damn you, Em!!!

Oh man, it's Oman!

Welcome back! Or should I say, "My life is finally coming under control again, so I have time to post, so...RECOGNIZE." Sorry, I've been watching too much Top Model.

First this week I'm going to catch up on 2 weeks' worth of The Amazing Race. REPRESENT! (Sorry, Jade appears to be overtaking my body.)

*WARNING - This post contains details on the the 4/19 and 4/26 episodes of TAR!*

It's approrpiate that I skipped a week posting on this show, because it was (finally) a non-elimination leg. Non-elim legs are bittersweet. There are times where my favorite team was saved from elimination due to a leg like this. On the other hand, there are times like this one, where an annoying team got a reprieve.

It was great to see the show go to a brand new country (for them), this time Oman in the Arabian peninsula. It's a good reminder for America that the Middle East is not one homogeneous place that looks like bombed-out Iraq. There are wealthy people, there are rivers and there are people who speak fluent English.

I'm just over the hippies at this point. At first they were amusing, then they just seemed to be camera hogs, and now they irritate me. If I hear one of them say "T-Tow!" one more time, I'm going to wad up a tie-dyed shirt and stuff it in his mouth. And they are turning out to not be the best racers around. They still have issues with directions, and their dumb luck appears to have run out.

But I'm perfectly happy to keep the hippies around for another week, now that I know Fran & Barry are gone. He's a bit of a weenie, but I realize now that it's Fran who really drove me nuts. She's just so profoundly NEGATIVE, and it made watching her painful. She never thought she could do anything, and yet Barry kept telling us that she doesn't know how great she is. Maybe she's just not great?

Monica & Joseph are all up and down. One minute they're smart and competitive, the next they make a stupid decision (bailing on the tower detour) or fighting (this time about a water bottle while bike riding). I want to like them, but they just can't be consistent. I wouldn't be opposed to them winning, I just don't know if it would be satisfying.

Ray & Yolanda had that weird fight last week (I still don't know what it was about), but I still like them. I'm amused that she apparently really does have eyes in the back of her head; either that, or Ray flips her the bird behind her back a whole lot. I just wish they were better at directions - they seem to be perpetually lost.

And then there's the frat boys, who are probably gay, but frankly we don't want them on our team. FINALLY they had an incident of bad luck, unable to find the camel drop-off location in a timely manner. (Even the camel seemed to snicker at that one.)

But of course the universe righted itself, and they boys came in first yet AGAIN this week. Although they certainly seem poised to win it all, it's often the team that dominates throughout who comes in second at the end, so here's hoping.

Next week I presume we'll be back to a non-elimination leg, so get used to your final four for a bit. It looks like we'll be spending more time in Australia, and hopefully Eric will have something vital bitten off by a crocodile.

(I still haven't seen Top Chef from last night, so it will be a bit before I recap the past 2 weeks of that show.)

April 20, 2006

Cry me a river

*CAUTION - this is a full recap of this week's episode of America's Next Top Model!*

I will be trying to get posts up soon about The Amazing Race and Top Chef. But this has been a mad, mad, mad, mad week. I at least wanted to put up this recap now before I forget, as a lot happened this week. So onto the "models"!

The tradition of the girls having no recollection of the previously departed continues. You just know they're going to go to the reunion and be all, "Leslie who? Were you on this show?"

At the house, things remain unchanged. Nnenna is still having long phone arguements with her boyfriend, John. Brooke still hates Nnenna. Jade is still a wacko. The other four girls are above and beyond all that.

So we move very quickly to this week's training session. At first the girls think they will be meeting with a real model agent, who will be evaulating the girls' portfolios. But as this show has a low budget, it's actually an actress, who will be pretending to be a really evil agent. The intrigue! Except not - this chick is not so much the good actress. Maybe she can get a part in the Caine Mutiny Court Martial on Broadway. (More on that in a future post.)

Anywho, she sizes up the girls and points out the obvious flaws, as well as those that don't exist (like she says Nnenna has a bit of a belly, which is totally untrue). They all handle it fine, but apparently Jade is the coolest cucumber, so she wins the challenge AGAIN. (Oh, and the "actress" reveals the ruse, and the girls are not so much surprised.) Jade gets to pick a friend to share her prize, which will be waiting back at the house. She picks Nnenna.

And at the house, there are two giant presents, labeled for Jade and Nnenna. Inside are their "loved ones," like you might see on Survivor. Jade gets her mother, and immediately breaks down crying. Nnenna gets her boyfriend John, and she is a bit disappointed. Which...no kidding, I mean are they even a couple now? You know they just brought him on for the drama.

Jade talks to her consoling mom, whom we don't hear a single word from for some reason. But we do learn that she's basically a Reiki master, so she does some energy cleansing for Jade. They talk some more, Jade gets emotional some more. It almost makes Jade look human. ALMOST. Meanwhile, Nnenna and John have this weird banter, and she tries to gloss over the situation where she kissed the male model. As much as he sucks, John is bright enough to not buy that load of B.S.

This week the girls have two photo shoots. Yay! They're my favorite part. This first one has them each dressed up like a type of doll, from ventroliquist dummy to baby doll. Not much to report during the picture-taking, except that Jay Manuel is still an orange idiot, and Brooke still doesn't know how to...be good.

Then Jay has a big announcement - the girls will all be going to a dentist to get professional teeth whitening. This is all just filler however, because the big thing is that they're going to bond the gap in Danielle's teeth, and give Joanie's mouth a total makeover (including pulling the evil snaggletooth, and veneers on all her teeth). Joanie cries from joy, because her family could never afford for her to get more than an annual cleaning. Aww!

The girls get white teeth. Danielle balks on getting the gap fixed - she tells the dentist it's her "signature look." Sister, you can't have that look, Madonna patented that years ago. But to her credit, Danielle sits and holds Joanie's hand during what ends up being a 12-hour dental extravaganza. And what's worse? Joanie has to go back tomorrow. I feel awful for her - dental surgery is rough, and to have that much work done so quickly...yikes.

Later the girls get some more schooling in "the darker side of modeling." I have no idea what this is supposed to be - my guess is this is Tyra's attempt to be all motherly and humanitarian or some shit. Anywho, the girls first meet Cycle 3 winner Eva, who really just gives them advice like, "Be confident." Wow! Put that on a nice rock and you could make a mint! Then they see Janice Dickinson again. This time she basically tells them to be careful about drinking, because once she was drunk on the runway and fell on Sophia Loren. Considering who's talking, I believe it.

Now it's time for photo shoot #2. This time they are being directed by Tyra, which is way better than Jay. In this shoot the girls will be representing the "darker side of modeling" by doing a black-and-white face shot where they are crying. But not for real - they will be aided by a "tear stick." I had no idea these things existed - it's cool, yet I feel cheated knowing that it's probably been used by a ton of Hollywood actors. It actually goes well for nearly everyone, although Brooke does more "sad and sexy" than "sad and emotional." Oh, and Nnenna has some ACTUAL tears, apparently because she's suddenly missing her family. Which came out of nowhere.

Judging time! There will be no extra challenge this week, just onto the photos. I'm going to divide the girls into whom I felt did well, did bad, or were a split decision.


Joanie was 2 for 2. Her ventriloquist dummy was convincing, perhaps more than Renee Zellweger in Chicago. And her cry pose took advantage of her dental pain. Of course the judges applaud her beautiful new smile. Also strong this week was Furonda. She used her lanky body to good use as a child's doll, and her cry shot was probably the best of the bunch. I'm still amazed the Flav-look-alike has improved so much! So are the judges. And this pains me to say, but I confess that Jade took 2 good shots. Her mannequin (how is that a doll?) was like Jade - cool and unapproachable. And her cry shot showed the soft side we'd seen with her mother. Why couldn't she just suck more? But while she's standing there, she just completely breaks down, and the judges are very confused, especially considering they are praising her.


Danielle started strong with her marionette. But her cry pose looked a little strange, and the tooth gap looked huge. Tyra convinces her that she needs to just get it done. Nnenna had the opposite day - a very good cry pose, but her baby doll picture was vacant and not even child-like. She blames it on the fact that she never had a doll as a child, and that John is here distracting her. Excuses, excuses. And then there's Sara, who didn't do great in either shot, but wasn't bad either. She tells the judges that she really has found a passion for modeling.


Brooke just has no clue what she's doing, and was dull all around. Also she has nothing much going on upstairs, if you know what I mean, and I think you do.

The bottom two end up being Brooke and Jade. I'm shocked, because I thought the week had been set up to have it be Brooke and Nnenna. But as Jade was up being judged, she broke down in tears, so the judges seized on the opportunity to put her at the bottom, and they now say she needs to "pull it together." But they make the wise decision and boot Brooke to the curb. At least I'll still have Jade's insane antics for another week.

Next time - the girls go somewhere overseas! Also there will be a recap show after that, and considering Lost will still be a rerun, those of you who want to catch up should be watching.

April 13, 2006

I hate beets

*WARNING - this post contains key information about this week's episode of Top Chef!*

I don't actually have too much to say about Top Chef this week - I found it rather dull. So I'll just offer a list of observations I had.

1. Stephen was too well-liked, and that shit needs to stop right away. At least Dave made fun of his appetizer.

2. Can we just have Ted as a judge permanently, instead of the robo-hostess?

3. Even though he doesn't get all whiney, Harold needs to done down the "woe is me" crap when things don't go his way.

4. Miguel was a hot mess. He totally should have gone, but I understand why he didn't.

5. Dave! Get a grip! It's just food! I want to like him, but he acts like lives are hanging in the balance.

6. Just when I thought Tiffani was being a bit nicer, she got all bitchy at the end. I pretty much hate her.

So who do y'all think will win? We're down to just 6, so the end is near.

My money at this point is on Lee Anne. I think she's been consistently strong, and isn't offensive in any observable way. I assume she'll be facing off in the final 3 against Harold and Tiffani.

Andrea, good luck in your weird earthy-crunchy ways.

Swirl girls

*WARNING - this post contains key information about this week's episode of America's Next Top Model!*

And now to shift to something completely different, it's this week's recap of Top Model.

We launch right into the house, where instead of mourning the spunky redhead, Brooke is pissed that Nnenna was laughing at her commercial. And other times, apparently. Not to mention the constant phone use. So Brooke tries to follow the Gina method of confrontation, and meekly bring it up to Nnenna. Who proceeds to start making a phone call and ignore her. Brooke full-on calls her a bitch, and now the house is divided! Jade stands by Nnenna, who could care less if Brooke is upset. The rest realize that indeed Nnenna is getting a bit big for her britches, and they try and console Brooke - who is upset that she let herself call someone "a name." What? Is she 9? You're 22, for pity's sake - at this point "bitch" should be part of your daily vocabulary! (Don't tell my mother I said that.)

Meanwhile, the girls do some camera interviews of self-criticism based on last week, and it's mostly just Leslie and Sara. So of course at this point I assume they will be the bottom two. This show uses the Giant ACME Anvil Method of foreshadowing. Someone get me a job as a reality TV "scriptwriter"!

But enough of the drama, it's onto this week's lesson - more runway training from Ms. J, who looks like he just rolled out of bed with a serious martini hangover. He gives them some instruction that is actually useful - like the most efficient way to remove a jacket on the runway, how to take off gloves in a sassy manner, the right way to carry a purse or bag. They all seem to have trouble with the jackets, but Joanie is fierce removing her gloves. (I can't believe I just typed that sentence - what has my life come to?)

Then we move into the bizarre, as the Aswirl Twins come in. Oh lord, how can I describe these two. They are like hefty older twin brothers of Seal, who got smacked hard with gay cooties. And did I mention they wear capes? CAPES, people. Anywho, their job is to instruct the girls on doing the turn and twirl at the end of the runway. The girls practice, and clearly none of them has ever had to do a pencil turn in a dance class, because they suck.

Next stop, the girls have their reward challenge. They will be doing a small church fashion show. For those unfamiliar, it was common in previous decades for prominently African-American churches and schools to do their own fashion shows, which were heavy on the flair and the twirl. This was primarily because the runways had no black models. I can tell you this is totally true, and my own high school had such a show every year.

So the girls all get wrapped up in swaddling clothes that make them look like a cross between Grace Jones in A View To A Kill and Gloria Swanson in Sunset Blvd. Sara and Brooke look like they just ate bad sauerkraut. Leslie still has the problem where she sticks her butt behind her like a spare tire, while pulling her chin in, so she looks like an uncomfortable duck. Meanwhile Joanie is fierce yet again, while Jade spins and spins the same way she did in her doomed commercial last week. But in this case the spinning is a good thing, and she wins, getting herself a $25,000 diamond ring. I proceed to vomit a little in my mouth.

Then it's right off to the photo shoot, and things get a little silly. First of all, the shoot will have an urban hip hop feel to it, so the girls are on a roof and will be sharing the camera with some krumpers. But this isn't the type of krumping that I saw in previews for Rize - this is the kind where the guys are made up like freakish clowns. Spooky! And what will the girls be modeling? Shoes. Fun! Except not - they will be modeling for Payless. What is freaking HILARIOUS is that Jay Manuel (a.k.a. the orange idiot) talks about it like it's so cool and hip and yet affordable. Are you kidding me? It's PAYLESS. Where shoes cost less than lunch downtown. The place where I bought shoes for about 30 years because I was brought up on them, and also I'm a little bit cheap. At least if this was for DSW I could have a little respect, but PAYLESS? Anyway - enough of that tirade.

So the girls are all made up like hip hop girls, and they dance around for the camera with the krumpers. Sara does OK, but she still screams "white girl." Danielle acts like she can't dance, but she totally can, and does well. Furonda is awesome again, which was a shocker. Joanie is fierce for the third time this week. Leslie looks smoking hot, but we don't see much of the shoes. Jade is a complete freak, and splashes herself with water, all Flashdance and whatnot. Jay thinks she's great, but we know he's an idiot, so whatever. Nnenna is cool, but in the sense of "not warm" vs. "awesome." Then Brooke comes out, and her hair is all ratted out like an afro, and she suddenly is kind of good. I think when she realizes that she's 22 and actually not unattractive, she could go places.

At judging panel, the girls are asked to first strut down using their "signature walk." (I'm amazed that there is a way that models have not yet figured out how to walk, but this is a different world they live in.) Then they each have to do a slow turn in place - like a mannequin on a lazy susan. They walk (mostly good) and turn (mostly bad). Then it's time for the photos.

Of note is that Leslie and Brooke both bordered on "porn star." Furonda really did do well, and Joanie showed fun personality. Danielle actually did not do so good, and I still think Jade's was bad. Nnenna looked dead from the neck up. Sarah was mostly good, but was a bit too mentally focused on her height. Leslie was hot, but again - who the hell noticed her shoes?

8 beautiful girls, 7 photos. Joanie is actually called first and told she was overall the best this week, and I completely agree. She's solidly become my favorite to win this. And with complete lack of surprise to the point it was predicted by Nostradamus, Leslie and Sara are in the final 2. For once the bottom 2 have the same problem - they both take great pictures, but have awkward runway styles. Ultimately they decide to keep Sara, feeling that if she can accept and embrace her statuesque form, she will go far. Leslie I am sad to see go. But I think she actually can and will have a career as a print model, because she really is that good.

Next week - Joanie's snaggletooth is fixed in a 12-hour dental surgery! No, seriously!

Just do it

*WARNING - this post contains key information about this week's episode of Lost!*

As I had heard previously, this week we did indeed focus on Rose & Bernard in the land of the Lost. Which made me very happy!

They are just the cutest couple - who happen to be newlyweds! I thought the whole proposal scene was incredibly sweet, with a touch of surprise.

As for the healing aspect, I think this is what the producers were alluding to when they talked about doing an episode on these two for a larger reason. Now Locke's walking doesn't seem to be an isolated incident - Rose's cancer has been halted, and Sun was (we presume) able to get pregnant from Jin.

What I wonder is if this is setting up a big division amongst the "tribe" in a future season - what if there was the opportunity to leave, but some of them didn't want to? Rose & Bernard would stay. I assume Locke would stay. Jin was able to escape Sun's father - would they stay? And on the flip side, we know that Michael wants to go, as does Sawyer.

Jack & Kate being caught in a net - it was almost hot. Except I think Kate is not really sexy at all. Jack is if he keeps his mouth shut. Maybe things would be interesting if Kate didn't hook up with either of them, and went for someone random - maybe the surviving twin?

The return of Michael - good! Not so much because of Michael (meh), but because we might see some action on the Walt-getting-back front. Heck, by the time he returns, the actor will have turned 18 and they'll have to get a replacement like they do on soap operas.

For a new interesting theory, you might enjoy reading this.

Next week there's no show, and a recap show the week after. So stay tuned for May sweeps, because IT JUST GOT INTERESTING!!!

Going Greek

*WARNING - this post contains key information about this week's episode of The Amazing Race!*

Another big night of television, and a lot of ground to cover. I'll be separating my posts on each show again, but I won't be carrying a theme through them all. Well, there is a theme. It's "These shows were all on last night." Moving on!

With The Amazing Race this week, I continue to see that the producers are out to mess with my head. It was still not a non-elimination leg. So although it was kind of fun to be surprised, I also know that means that we're going to be with the top 5 teams for quite awhile, and most of them grate on my nerves.

Whether it was killer fatigue (TM Miss Alli) or true colors finally shining through, Lake and Michelle were most unpleasant. She still is mostly a good person, and really kicked butt on the Roadblock. But Lake was crazy, rude and need I remind him that you do NOT call your wife a bitch. Even if she's acting like one! Their elimination was to be expected soon anyway - they just are not good with directions.

Not that BJ & Tyler are much better - they suddenly were like a commercial for AAA. Yet you know they just loved the wrestling with the nearly naked Greek guy in the rain. Talk about true colors shining through...

Eric & Jeremy got the Fast Forward, which kind of sucks - their luck is just unbelievable. But the upshot is we spent very little of the hour with them, and that's fine. We were spared their protestations on the virtues of fine Greek females. Oh, and can we complain about the lame "clue" and the shameless plug for The Da Vinci Code movie? I'm hating myself because I know I'm going to see that film, probably opening weekend. Damn you Tom Hanks and Ron Howard! If it weren't for the fact that I pictured Amelie when I was reading the book, I could have put off seeing this movie...for at least a week. (Shut up - who are you to judge me?)

MoJo was mostly good to go this week. Yes, she broke down because they got lost a bit. But she pulled it together, she breezed through the Roadblock, and they were both strong in the Detour.

And then my favorite team - Ray & Yolanda. They were so much better this week, finishing at the top of the non-FF teams. I hope they can keep up the rhythm, but next week it looks like they argue. My guess? That arguement was all of 2 minutes, but the promoters have to make a big to-do about it.

Fran & Barry - what can I say? They are old, they act old, and their shtick has become old. The only "old team" that I can remember on this show who was even close in level of non-sympathetic-ness were the Grannies in season 2. And they were gone pretty quick, so after another week or two, I predict that AARP puts up a PSA saying, "The views of Fran & Barry do not represent our generation in any way, shape or form."

(I just realized that both pictures in this post contain nudity. Well...I think the world needs a little more full-frontal male action anyway, so...enjoy.)

April 10, 2006

We Had A Gay Old Time

A really good Sunday afternoon is spent relaxing doing something that makes you happy. And for us this past weekend, it was joining our friends The Hamilton Boys for food and videos. And what we ended up watching solidified our collective gayness for eternity.

First we watched a movie that the Boys has been pushing us to see for ages - Sordid Lives. I knew little about it, except that Delta Burke was in it (LOVE) and that it was a bit gay. I was fully unprepared for the fits of laughter that overtook my body. It's hard to describe - think 1 part John Waters film, 1 part Tracey Ullman sketch, and 1 part Christopher Guest improvisation. Get the picture?

I won't talk much about the plot, as it would ruin it, but you really must rent it. It joins the pantheon of favorite cult films like Drop Dead Gorgeous that skewers a particular segment of society to the point of abject hilarity.

The cast is a dream - besides the lovely Ms. Burke, you have Leslie Jordan (a.k.a. Beverly Leslie on Will & Grace), Beau Bridges and Olivia Newton-John. Yes, you read that correctly. She sings!

After that, it was time to watch ScottE's DVD of Liza with a "Z" - her 1970s concert. I've never been too big on the Judy-Liza side of the gay continuum - I was more on the Barbra end. But this was just too fun. Particularly because it was all directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse. No one does choreography like that anymore! It's such a shame. I listened to the music on the way to work, and thoroughly embarassed myself as I was popping hips and shoulders in time with the beat.

Gay...so gay. We're so gay you can see it from space as Karen once said.

On a side note, we went with Joyous on Friday to see Thank You For Smoking. Hilarious! As a non-smoker (and perhaps anti-smoker), I can tell you that it won't offend anyone. It doesn't promote smoking in any way - there isn't even anyone seen lighting up! The movie is actually about how a smooth talker can win any debate if he plays his cards right.

The best scenes all featured the "M.O.D. Squad" - Merchants of Death. They were lobbyists for Tobacco, Alcohol and Firearms. If you've never liked Maria Bello, you will in this movie. And of course Aaron Eckhart in the lead role is all charm and sex appeal. And although Katie Holmes was fine, I did find it was hard not to think of her as the loopy beard for Tom Cruise, y'know?

In TV land - is anyone else watching the Next Food Network Star? We watched last night, and I was pretty shocked. Not only by the elimination (I totally thought Nathan should go, but ScottE likes him), but by Carissa. I loathed her the first episode, but she was great last night, and totally had the best show pitch. I would watch that! If there's one thing Food Network is missing, it's something on French cooking. Although a show with a British host would be good - thankfully I hear Nigella is coming to save me.

No new Grey's Anatomy this week - apparently it's reruns for several weeks. But rest assured I will talk about it when the mood strikes me - probably tomorrow!

April 06, 2006

The Ecstasy and the Agony - Part IV

And now the part I know you've all been waiting for - my complete recap of Top Model. And I must tell you - this was one of the best episodes ever! But the ending was of course sad.

To begin this week, the girls are not so much missing Gina, but they do all agree that Jade was pretty much a bitch to her. Also Nnenna's drama with her boyfriend continues. Jade "helpfully" suggests that Nnenna try to salvage the relationship, but it's a ruse because she thinks the boyfriend trouble will get Nnnenna "out of the game."

The girls meet Tyra, they start talking, and Tyra faints in the most fake way ever. Seriously, Paris Hilton could have been more convincing. But the girls kind of buy it, and then Tyra says it's just to show them that you have to commit to a part, because this is acting lesson week. Hilariously, Furonda was actually UPSET because she thought it was real. These girls need some real heroes.

Anywho, step 1 of acting class this week is at The Groundlings. They do various improvisation games, and it spurs the first two awesome moments. The coach is asking them to mull about and portray various things he shouts out, and when he says, "Janice Dickinson!" Furonda starts slurring her words and falls on the floor "drunk." AWESOME. After that I forgave her for the fainting cry situation. Then later Jade is laughing while others are acting. The coach shuns her saying, "Sometimes Jade, it's NOT all about you." Preach on, brother!

Step 2 of acting class takes the girls to meet Nick Cannon (of Drumline) who has an improv show of his own. Seriously? Anyway, the girls do more improv games with him, the challenge being to see who is ultimately the funniest. Mollie Sue does well, Furonda is OK. But Jade sucks yet again. In an awesome moment, they do the Questions improv, where you answer every question with another question. Jade proceeds to only be able to come up with statements, and the clever editors put a big red X over her mouth, with "Not a question!" beneath her. When she cusses, it becomes "DEFINITELY not a question." Then in an interview, she's talking about it, and ends up using a lot of questions unknowingly. Again, the clever editors ding a green "Question" under her each time. It's hard to describe, but I assure you it was awesome, and I was laughing my ass off.

At this point, Jade can't cope, so she just starts insulting the other girls in a Rap improv. Fortunately she's put in her place by the likes of Sara and Furonda. Furonda is chosen as winner, so she gets two prizes. First she appears in a PSA for HIV testing and prevention, and she chooses Nnenna to join her. Not much to say, except they both did well, and I think that Nnenna being of African birth was important to an anti-AIDS message. Then Furonda got a bit part as a school secretary on Veronica Mars. I was kind of happy for her, but after awhile it was becoming The Furonda Show, which was tired, and I kept being reminded that indeed she does look like Flavor Flav with long hair.

Instead of a photo shoot, the girls each have to film a 30-second spot for Cover Girl. They are given two lines and then told to improvise their entrance before that. And they only get two takes.

None of them do really well, although Nnenna thought she did, and her cool confidence is starting to irritate others, and possibly me. Mollie Sue forgets her lines, Brooke can't improv shit, and Jade is a hot mess. Sara, Leslie and Furonda both do well right until the end. Joanie looks a bit stoned? And Danielle appears to be auditioning to guest star in My Fair Lady as Eliza Doolittle - she needs to work on that accent of hers.

At the judging panel, there is no mini-challenge (after all, we had to spend 20 minutes on the wonder that is Furonda), so it's straight to viewing the commercials. Sadly for her, Jade's best take is the one where she forgets the lines and swears. Nice.

9 beautiful girls, 8 photos. You will be not at all shocked to learn that the bottom two are Jade and Mollie Sue. (Mollie Sue had 3 interviews in the first 10 minutes - that's your tip-off. Pay attention!) So do they keep a girl with good bone structure who is sucking badly? Or keep the redhead who seems nice but never really delivers in the final challenge? And super sad ending - they keep fucking Jade. Poor faux Mia Farrow! I shall miss you, mostly because as you put it, "I can't believe they kept Jade over me." Yes, Mollie Sue - that is the final insult. But this is Tyra's freakfest of drama, and that means Jade gets to stay at least until the final four. At least we can have fun watching at home.

Next week - the girls do a little turn on the catwalk. Yeah, on the catwalk...

The Ecstasy and the Agony - Part III

And now we move into the culinary realm of Top Chef. Because Lost runs a bit over, I missed the first couple minutes, but evidently the immunity challenge involved blind taste-and-identify work with some unusual ingredients. Perhaps because her uber-organic self has to branch out into these flavors to keep dishes interesting, Andrea won. What was awesome in this challenge was that one of the ingredients was umeboshi, a Japanese delicacy that's basically pickled plum. It is also the same item that Yaya infamously spit out in front of the director during cycle 3 of Top Model. Good times!

But what was MORE awesome was that they then went home and did a junk food version with Dave squaring off against Miguel. Miguel the man-child won, proving...not much. It was still hilarious.

Pity poor Lee Anne who was paired with Stephen for the elimination challenge. You will not be shocked to learn that he tried to sell food on the street while wearing a suit with an orange tie.

But sadness came at the end. After an odd situation where gender roles got stereotypical (the women tried to be self-sacrificing, while the men let them take the fall), Lisa was booted just because she's lacking in professional experience. Lame! If you think that's a factor, then don't cast amateurs on the show. Farewell, mama - we'll miss you.

The Ecstasy and the Agony - Part II

On Lost this week, we basically had a long mindfuck in which we are led to wonder if Hurley is crazy, if this entire show is all in his mind, or what. I'm firmly in the belief that it's not just Dallas-revisited. But it was compelling nonetheless.

There were some great guest stars this week, including Evan Handler, who was on the show It's Like, You Know..., but in our hearts will always be Charlotte's husband. I wish he was back to being naked on the couch. We also got to see Bruce Davison, whom some of you may know best as the creepy Senator in the X-Men. But to me he'll always be Charlene's preacher that had the hots for Mary Jo.

We also learned a bit more about The Other Formerly Known As Henry Gale. (Rather than call him TOFKAHG, I'm just going to refer to him as the symbol ~.) So basically we find out that ~ is indeed an Other as I surmised - not at all shocking. He spills that not-bearded leader of the Others is in no way the leader, and ~ is terrified of being killed. Alas, we do not get to see Ana Lucia beat the tar out of him a bit.

Hurley beating the tar out of Sawyer was truly awesome. But Sun and Jin laughing about it in the background was awesome-er.

Although the ending wasn't really sad, per se, it was a bit distressing to learn that Libby was a patient in the loony bin where Hurley was! Who is she really, and what are her motives?

I've received intelligence that next week's episode will feature flashbacks of Rose and Bernard, and if it does, I will cry and be in heaven because they are awesome.

The Ecstasy and the Agony - Part I

With so many shows to discuss from last night, I'm going to just break this up into 4 separate posts, particularly to make it easier to comment and not get confused. But there is a definite theme from the night which will carry through in all the posts - truly awesome moments, peppered with things that you will find completely unshocking, capped off by sad endings.

So I begin with the 8 o'clock hour and The Amazing Race. One awesome moment this week came from Michelle of all people. While we had just witnessed Monica whining about being covered in fish and basically being a pill, Michelle marches in and carts her fish with ease and no complaints. Color me surprised! Of course up to this point we'd think it would have been the other way around.

As for how the teams did, a quick rundown:

Eric & Jeremy ended up in first yet again, of course. And they still suck. But they are definitely dumb (the fact that they even wavered about BJ & Tyler's fake list is astounding). And we saw the spark of gayness and future love for the hippies this week. I'm waiting for a full on make-out session next time.

Joseph & Monica went from being totally non-threatening to completely irritating in about 2.5 seconds. Here's hoping a new city will revive their niceness - but I won't forget your whining, Monica!

You will be completely (not) shocked to learn that Fran & Barry got lost driving, and then had issues counting. They are like the anti-PSA for AARP.

Ray & Yolanda basically just trucked along and did nothing wrong, although their sense of direction could use a wee bit of help. They really need to take advantage of the next bunching to catch up.

Speaking of which, there was no opportunity for bunching at all this week, which meant that one period of being lost put Dave & Lori in last, unable to catch up. As I calmly waited for the non-elimination, I was DISRAUGHT to find out that they were actually Philiminated. SADNESS! This is unfair! Ditch the hippies and give me the nerds! Who the hell am I supposed to root for now? I guess my love will have to go to Ray & Yolanda, as they have done nothing at all to upset me yet.

I also have to say that the counting heads "challenge" was lame. I'm in favor of clues that actually require some thought, but just walking in a circle counting to 41 is not challenging for a 3rd grader.

Next week I assume will finally be a non-elimination leg, which means we are stuck with these final 6 teams for quite awhile, so get used to it. But they'll be in Greece! ScottE went to Greece. I went to Athens ages ago. I hope they meet the woman who spearheaded their Olympics - she's pretty rockin'.

April 05, 2006

The Amazing update

(No, this is not what's on our TiVo. No way in hell I'd be taping Emeril.)

First tipped off by TiVo and later the Washington Post Express, I discovered that The Amazing Race has been moved to Wednesdays at 8 ET for the remainder of the season.

That's right folks - your intrepid blogger now has FOUR HOURS of TV that is must-see every Wednesday! My head will explode! And what the hell am I supposed to do on Tuesdays now - knit like Meredith on Grey's Anatomy?

So perhaps it will take me a bit longer for my recap posts, or I'll split them in two or something. In the meantime, a couple tidbits to tide you over.

Check out these guys who are launching a full-scale campaign to get on season 10 of the show. You almost have to root for people who try this hard. I saw their little flyer in Love Cafe.

You can also see more photos from the E&J/B&T drunken gayfest. Caution - the last photo may not be work appropriate, and might actually make you gay.

April 04, 2006

A whirlwind recap

My faithful readers, at long last I have returned to catch you up on last week's TV. But first let me show you this little picture that ScottE dug up on a gay website. As you can see - something is not-so-straight in the partying ways of TAR's Eric & Jeremy as well as BJ & Tyler. Now I only hope this was taken after the show, because if these guys are all in the final 3, it's gonna be a loooong season.

In Lost this week, we received more information on Locke's backstory, but alas nothing about his legs. We did discover, however that he proposed to Katey Sagal, but she rejected him. My, she's come a long way since Married With Children, hasn't she?

The big revelations came with the hatch. We had a "lockdown" situation in which a map full of so much information it could make your head spin was revealed. (2 links there - check them both out.) The main thing we know - more hatches! Perhaps as many as seven. Also we learned that I was right - Henry Gale is not in fact Henry Gale, but the Evil Guy Formerly Known As Henry Gale. I still say he's an "Other." Not to mention the fact that he seemed to have adequate knowledge to open the blast doors despite what he says.

Over on Top Chef, it was all about quick convenience cooking, whether it was with food you can buy at a gas station, or microwave recipes. It wasn't all that thrilling, although I got a little behind Dave this week. Tiffani was still pretentious, and even though he narrowly escaped elimination, Stephen continued to inform the audience why he was the greatest thing ever in the history of forever. And I continued to blow raspberries at him.

And now for a recap of Top Model, as I know a few of you are not watching, but depend on my snarky commentary for your weekly amusement. Never fear, I'm happy to oblige.

The episode began with the girls having no reaction to Kari leaving whatsoever, which is exactly how I felt. So it was time to move into their training session for the week - learning commercial versus "editorial" modeling. Now I admit I was not really sure what was meant by editorial - just as confused as when Nina Garcia used it to describe a garment made by Santino. A quick search helped me realize that it's merely a way of saying the piece of work (dress, advertisement, etc.) is trying to convey an opinion. Or something. Whatever - basically it boils down to the fact that Janice Dickinson returned to show them which is which. In commercial ads, models should look happy like they've just snorted cocaine. In editorial ads, models should look like they are sexy, but perhaps unaware of it.

The girls then have lunch with Janice. The only moment of significance was that Janice asked Gina who is upsetting her so much, and the reply was (of course) Jade. Janice then called Gina a bitch for ratting out Jade. Harsh! But I didn't care, because Gina's a moron and I hate her.

For the challenge, the girls are at a photo shoot for the Sears catalog. They run from station to station, portraying each of the four seasons while showing off the merchandise. It happens fast and it's hard to tell who does well, but you will be shocked to hear that Nnenna wins yet again. (The prize - all the Sears clothes. Well whoop-di-doo.)

Speaking of Nnenna, we learn this week that she has a controlling boyfriend. He is constantly suspicious that she's flirting with other men. I'm sure you've all met someone like this guy. HATE.

Next the girls go see Tyra backstage between her tapings of her talk show. Does anyone watch that? I assume it sucks, but I was curious. (Why watch that when I could be watching Ellen Degeneres?) Anywho, she asks the girls what they all dream of doing with their lives besides modeling. (Translation - only 1 or 2 of you will actually get work as models, so have some goals!)

At the photo shoot, the girls will each portray an editorial shoot (again, somewhat sexy) of her chosen dream goal that's not modeling. And they will pose with one of 5 half-naked stud models. One of them was slightly beefcake for me, but they all had that "dumb but pretty" model thing going on, so I barely remember them.

Joanie was one of the surprise hits, even though she was portraying "Stay At Home Mom." Leslie also got a hit again this week, portraying Justice in her role as "Lawyer." Hot! Sarah was also hot doing the legal thing.

Jade was trying to work the whole "Too Hot For Teacher" vibe, but I thought her wig was so clearly fake that she appeared to have a mop on her head. Gina was lousy as a fashion designer. Oh, and Nnenna basically made out with her model during the shoot, and gave him a stiffie. You can imagine how well that went over with her boyfriend.

When the girls go to judging panel, they have to strike some commercial and editorial poses in front of the judges. It's all so quick and fake that it just made me laugh. So sad the way these girls are forced to denigrate themselves on camera for my idle amusement.

Anyway, 10 beautiful girls, only 9 photos. The final 2 end up being Gina (of course) and Brooke. You knew Brooke would be after how much screentime she got in the first 10 minutes of the show. I didn't really get why - I guess the judges thought that her "weirdly pretty" thing had worn off. Luckily they instead choose to send Gina packing, and she's so dumb that she probably still thinks she won the show. Sadly this ends the Gina-Jade duality of drama. Who will Jade pick on next?

Phew! I think that catches y'all up. Tonight we return to The Amazing Race, which I'm sure will be a non-elimination leg. And stay tuned for a discussion on recent weeks of Grey's Anatomy, after I watch the episode I have on TiVo.

Also on Thursday - the return of Commander in Chief! Yay! Sure it got moved to another night, but now it doesn't conflict with TAR, which is good! I have nothing but exclamation points to describe it!

(On a sad note, it looks like Showtime will not get Arrested Development, as the creator is bailing. He sucks. I hate him.)