Monday, April 26, 2010

TV Club. Now With Extra Movie Club Feature Which Is A Lot Like Tv Club. But With Movies.

Read it and weep here. Read it and sleep at

JB: You know who's never seen or heard of Glee previous to this episode? Madonna. If she had, she might not have been so quick to pronounce her approval of Mr. Schue and, quote the way he empowers all the girls unquote. If Madonna had seen or heard of Glee, she might have said something like `Nice attempt at a respect-the-ladies storyline from a show that's generally about as empowering as Afghan TV's long-running Stone-A-Whore Hour. This might be the woman-hatingest show on television. The vacant cheerleader with the crack comic timing aside, they're all damaged and dysfunctional. Look at the way OCD Virgin Bambi pines after Mr. Schue. Look at how his bitchy wife faked a pregnancy to keep him around. Look at how Rachel nearly keeled over when Finn admitted he really liked her.Glee defiles my work and my message. I forbid Lourdes to watch it."
CC: Okay, I'm sorry, but Mr. Schue is vile and I am so glad Cute Redhead chickened out at the last second. Watching that Like a Virgin number was basically like watching him beat and rape her, that is how creepy I find him. You know who else is pretty disgusting but in a hilarious way so it's okay? GROFF! That guy-- well, he doesn't quite crack me up, I leave that to Heather Morris, but there is something very amusing about what he's doing. Unfortunately, I can't say the same for basically everything else that happens on this show in between the songs. It's just so...clumsy. It's a bummer. Like, so many shoehorned-in explanations for why we're doing this and that song and what this and that song is for, and blah blah blah. Dudes. We get it. We've bought in. We're watching the show. It's a huge hit. Stop worrying about justifying all the singing and dancing, and just let the scenes that don't contain singing and dancing be normal. By which I mean, please make them good. We know you can do it. You had gay sharks and misogynists fixing hamstrings. Thank you.

Dr Who
JB: As Hush was to Buffy, Blink is to new school Who. This stand-alone from two seasons back had an insanely simple premise. If you shift your eyes for as much as a second from that weeping stone angel in the corner, it will get closer to you and it will look increasingly evil. If you don't continue to stare at it, it will drain you of your life force and hurl you forward in time, leaving you a withered husk seconds from taking your final breath. Awesome, right?(Try it for yourself. Stare at your computer screen without blinking for as long as you can. You probably blinked during that last sentence. AND NOW YOU'RE DOOMED!) And the doctor was barely even in that episode. He mainly appeared as Easter Eggs on a DVD giving advice to Carey Mulligan who carried the entire thing on her slender shoulders and did such an excellent job that she was offered the sidekick gig for the following season which she turned down because, and I'm paraphrasing, "All Dr. Who fans are nutters." Anyway, Steven Moffat, the disgustingly talented Scot who wrote Blink and is so much a huge Who nerd that he turned down a Spielberg assignment when the chance to become showrunner materialized, is also behind this week's sequel which is basically `Aliens'. It might be set in space but, guess what, if you tell a guy in a spaceship on another planet in the future not to blink, you know what he's going to do? Yes. Blink. This episode airs on BBC America in two weeks or, by magic, right now. If you were ever going to start watching, this is the one you want to watch.

Project Runway & reunion show
JB: Yay, Seth Aaron, I suppose. Okay, now that's out of the way... "Bad teeth and fat legs"? Not the nicest thing to say but if you're going down that road, you better COMMIT. As soon as Jay took his shot at Cerri and saw the room wasn't with him, he crumpled into total apologetic bitch-assery. Of course, Dublin's First Lady weathered the the storm with her usual grace and charm.
CC: Yay, Seth Aaron! Wanted him to win. Thought he would win. He won. That being said, would totally wear that black and gray sort of thick-striped/colorblocked dress of Mila's over the patterned tights. Loved that one. And JB, boy do I totally agree with you about the reunion show, because I wrote this before I even read what you wrote, and you will see it's the exact same thing: Holy shit, Jay. Not cool. NOT COOL. What a douche. NOT OKAY. I cannot believe he said that to dear, beloved Cerri. Wow. Wow. WOW. He sucks. And he totally had that already-sheepish "fuck did I just say that?" look AS he was saying it, which meant that he didn't even say it with as much conviction as he was probably going for, cuz he already knew in the middle that it was just gonna be a trainwreck. I wonder what the unedited version of that looked like. Yikes.

Britain's Got Talent
JB: An incredible line-up this week. The gymnasts displaying almost inhuman precision. The unassuming accountant with the soaring voice. The shitting horse. But there's only room for one You Tube clip. What a dilemma.

America's Next Top Model
JB: If I was Whitney Port and I was this week's special guest, I might think...I don't know how Whitney Port thinks or talks, I just wonder if she wasn't a tiny bit miffed that the models wear clothes from her incredible line in the comedy slot when they're trying to win the approval of drag queens. But when the actual photoshoot rolls around, the girls have to wear cavewomen-type costumes made from gross-looking clumps of hair.

High Society
JB: PJC wears a kaballah string. How do I know that? Because it was the only thing during this entire episode that didn't make me want to throw up. The only way we can be compensated for having to endure mom's dalliance with the guy from Milwaukee is if he turns out to be a con man who weasels his way into the will while secretly drugging her until she's declared mentally unstable. Which should take another two dates. The thing with PJC and his mom and that dumbass model dude...I can't even...(focus on the kabbalah string). And then Tinsley rebounding from the mysterious reappearance of Topper with Constantine Maroulis. This was pretty much porn. I'm not being prudish. That's what it was: two people who can't act, one of who is so immersed in sleaze he practically oozes off the screen, being paid to take part in a production where they fill a few meaningless minutes before the shit gets real.
CC: Paul Johnson Calderon. Told his mom. That he would kill her like the Menendez brothers killed their parents if she didn't give him money. To her face, he told her this. He wanted sixteen grand and then he wanted a wedding that cost at least half a million, and he said he would kill her if he couldn't have it. I don't even know what to do about this. Part of me feels bad for that woman, and part of me is like "What the fuck is your problem? When he said that, that was YOUR cue to kill HIM." Seriously. She should've reached across the table and strangled him right there (because yeah, he said he was gonna strangle her, in a separate sentence, after the more general killing statement). That was like...scary. Not because I really think he's gonna kill her. But because the level of disrespect on display there was just terrifying. I mean, I've probably got a lower threshold for that sort of stuff regarding parents because asian, but come on. That was NOT OKAY! Also not okay? Tinsley's mom kissing that old guy. I literally said "EW! EWWWW! OH MY GOD! WHAT? WHAT?!" while that was going on, because it WENT ON LONG ENOUGH FOR ME TO SAY THAT. Fucking gross, okay? Just. Fucking. Gross. That goes for everything that happened with Tinsley and Constantine (fucking CONSTANTINE? like we didn't suffer enough that season of AI?!) as well. Oh, say what I will about PJC though, he continues to have a way with words when it comes to Devorah Rose...this week it was "swamp thing hair and witch hands." True. All true.
JB: And he said something like, she should have flying monkeys with her when she walks into a room. So that kind of balances out the whole matricide issue. For me.

CC: Teddy Graham people. That is all. Oh wait, also, I had no idea what MGMT looked like. And of COURSE it's like that. Jesus.
JB: Steve Harvey is such a random target. I guarantee his name means nothing to the majority of the audience. Which means that if they ever do come across him in some unimaginable future scenario, they'll immediately think of him as that dude who can't pronounce words. And that's hilarious. That's the equivalent of me writing a sketch where the famously intense Scottish actor Peter Mullan has a habit of wiping the dandruff off the shoulders of everyone he meets. And then he comes to America and everyone flinches away from him for fear they're going to get wiped.
And now... introducing a new irregular feature where we mop up some of the films we've seen in the past few months. Yes, Movie Club!

The Back-Up Plan
JB: Obviously, I did not pay to see this. Nor did I leave my house. But the mere act of reaching out a finger and pressing a Play icon on my computer screen left me feeling like I'd been robbed, brutalized and left bleeding at the side of the road. I only managed 40 minutes so I'm prepared to believe they saved all the good stuff till after I was gone. From what I watched, here is, I swear to whatever God you may or may not believe in, the funniest dialogue in The Back-Up Plan
The Guy In The Film: We moved upstate when my parents bought the farm.
J.Lo:I'm so sorry.
The Man In The Film: Oh no, they're not dead. They really bought the farm.
J.Lo; Ha ha ha. Gosh.

Date Night
JB:I thought my love for Tina Fey had no bounds, But it has bounds. And Date Night is those bounds. And if you're thinking, that's disappointing, Tina Fey and Steve Carell seem like they'd be a good couple, you're right. They are. During the time the movie is setting up what boring lifeless suburban slaves to routine they are, I totally enjoyed them. Then the bad cops show up looking for the flash drive they stole from the mob boss which has the incriminating evidence and there's running and shooting and a car chase and helicopters and a gratuitous bit where the entire movie stops so Tina Fey can deliver a monologue about how hard she works all day and then she has to pick the kids up from school and cook dinner for them and then Steve Carell does his monologue about how she doesn't have to take on all that load by himself and if you're anything like me you're thinking, God, if only the writer of Mean Girls and the co-writer of The 40 Year-old Virgin could have rewritten this script we might not have to sit through such terrible shit.

The Runaways
JB: This is half a good movie. Dakota Fanning's great. The guy who plays Kim Fowley is fantastic. Kristin Stewart is sullen which is fine. But you know how biopics like this have a `Wow, this is awesome' bit where everything's going great and then it all turns druggy and tragic.?The Runaways never really had that in America. They had it in Japan but the film was made for about what you've got in your pocket right now. So when we get to the stuff about the madness and hysteria of their obsessed Japanese fans, there's like seven girls holding posters.

Cop Out
JB: You know what I think would be a good idea for a buddy cop movie. Two actors who hate each other being forced to work together to play two cops who hate each other but are forced to work together.

JB: I saw the French original of this on IFC or Sundance Channel a couple of years ago. I think I saw the American remake on Cinemax in 1997 when it was called something like `Douche Heat 2: Extreme Re-Insertion'. The French one was all sexual intrigue and Depardieu. The remake is Amanda Seyfried at her eye-buggiest wigging out over Julianne Moore, waving a knife around and getting kicked out of a window.

The Blind Side
CC: I saw none of the above movies but I just saw this. It seemed to be missing a scene where Michael Oher punches that moppet child repeatedly and deservedly in the head. No offense to that moppet child actor, as I just imdbed him and he was apparently on FNL as the moppet child of that neighbor lady that Riggins was banging and I don't recall having a problem with him then. Also, I think the daughter could have a brow-off with Raina from ANTM. Also, I had no idea that was Tim McGraw. Also, two words of warning to moppet child: Jonathan Lipnicki.
JB: The daughter was Lily Collins, daughter of Phil Collins, playing a character whose first name is Collins.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Young Adults.

Pictured left to right: Carol Snow, Amy Goldman Koss, Alexa Young, unknown, Ben Esch, Mark London Williams.

Such was the scene at last Saturday's Los Angeles Festival Of Books. Scientologists were there. Conspiracy theorists were there. Bernadette Peters was there. Alicia Silverstone was there. David Lynch was there. My iPhone might still be there. Also present, a contingent of the loose aggregate of the LA-based Young Adult authors who gather under the umbrella LAYAs. This group occasionally mounts a confusing blend of performance and competition known as Layapolooza. Sometimes there's singing, sometimes there's audience participation, sometimes there's lessons about life. It's like an episode of Glee minus the sexual confusion(until after the show).

The Book Festival Layapolooza took the form of a kind of Young Adult Family Feud. Energetic ringmastress Cecil Castelucci divided the sheep-like contingent of authors into teams. She then fired questions most related to the opening lines of popular books at the opposing sides with the audience casting the final vote over who knew their stuff and who was bullshitting.
I performed brilliantly, a combination of in-depth literary knowledge allied with Cherry Cheva tapping out the answers on my back(except for one line that I misattributed to John Green only to be told I was wrong by the author himself who was standing a few feet away). Sadly, victory, was denied our team. Certainly not my fault.

Post-competition, the results of the raffle were unveiled. This was one of those everyone-who-enters-gets a-prize deals. The many, many winning ticket-holders got to peruse a table groaning with LAYA-authored books.

From my position on the YA stage, I had a clear view of the looks of concentration on the winners' faces as they took their time peering at the books, prodding them and then picking up the one that most appealed. Which is to say, I got a clear of view of the winners picking EVERY BOOK BUT MINE.

Yes, repressed memories of being picked last--and grudgingly, at that-- for sports teams came flooding back as I watched the piles of books surrounding Burning Ambition dwindle down until it was alone.

Finally, the last winner's name was announced. A burly dude with a mop of red hair and a t-shirt bearing the legend BERSERKER. BERSERKER approached the table with disdain. He looked at the last book standing. He grimaced at the cover which, okay, understandable. BERSERKER picked up my book with a thumb and forefinger like he was removing an unsightly turd from his spotless birdbath. Then he returned to his seat and hurled the book at a younger girl who looked thrilled at the missile headed her way.

(What do you mean, it sounds like a metaphor for how the book is doing? I don't get it.)

See you next year, authors, audience members and BERSERKER

Monday, April 19, 2010

Kill Them All, TV Club!

Read the official version here. Watch the out-of-focus bootleg at

JB: I’ve come to realize that with Glee, as with life itself, low expectations are everything. Give me a little Jane Lynch, an even littler Jessalyn Gilsig, some innuendo-filled cheerleader banter, keep the songs short and overwrought and I’ll happily give you a pass on all that story and character stuff. And to celebrate the introduction of Idina Menzel, here’s a song she sings on that I like:
CC: This is my very short, but very intense, ode to Heather Morris, who is KILLING IT. She had some great line deliveries and she absolutely SLAYED the millisecond she was onscreen during Vogue ( the end there, off to the right side? fierce. overused word, but fierce as fuck). Also, I'm glad redhead teacher ditched Mr. Schue. He sucks. By the way, say it with me, Spring Awakening fans...GROFF! Remember when he basically ripped Lea Michele's top off every night? Anyone else ever have seats close enough that they could see how much he was spitting? Cuz it was a lot.

America’s Next Top Model
JB:So, wait a minute, if you stand outside the confession closet, you can hear every word? Is this common knowledge? It can’t be because everyone would have been listening to everyone else call them ignorant low-class bitches since Cycle 1. Racial divides are nothing new on this show but usually it’s usually the white girls’ desperation to not offend that causes offense. This time, Jessica and( I think) Raina responded to the, admittedly annoying, Alasia and Angelea with full-on `No, she di’int’, finger-waving, neck-rolling hood-rat-osity. It was ugly to watch but you know what was even uglier? Once again: Ann Shoket.

Project Runway
JB: I could watch a whole show and possibly even an entire series of Tim Gunn going to people’s houses and taking part in the things they do. Doesn’t even have to be designers. Just seeing him interacting with other humans is so odd and awkward. The highlight of this batch of visits was, obviously, Seth Aaron’s trampoline. The other highlight: Mila is like Jack White with her rigid adherence to the black-and-white thing. The apartment, the boyfriend, the dog. It would have been awesome if they’d shown her segment in black and white. But that brings up the question: how did she make top 3 when she did the b&w thing she always does and S.A has to bin his entire zipper-filled collection because it’s the exact same thing he always does?
CC: I like that Seth Aaron's trampoline didn't have that big thing around it to prevent you from accidentally falling off the side and wrecking yourself like they all have nowadays. No, his trampoline is oldfangled, it's a trampoline of yore, it was like my childhood friend's trampoline where if you bounced too off-center and fell off the side, that was your own damn fault, and do a better job next time if you don't wanna self-wreck.

Models Of The Runway
JB: I hope someone more talented than me watched this and thought, Wow, a fashion-based remake of The Breakfast Club could totally work. Lorena and Brandise were totally the popular girl and the quirky bitch facing off. That uncomfortable dinner where they all started throwing, `Who should win? Who should lose? Who do you like? Who do you hate?” questions at each other seemed like it was just the start of an evening filled with crying and confessions that we were cruelly shut out of.
CC: I couldn't watch most of that. Far too uncomfortable. I already have all the info I need to be squarely on Team Cerri. TEAM CERRI NO MATTER WHAT HER HAIRCOLOR!

Spartacus: Blood And Sand
JB: And that, you bastards, is how you end a season. This wasn’t one of those “I’m quitting CSI’ cliff-hangers. Everyone died. Every slave-owner and high-born Roman who sat back and watched gladiators carve each other up for their entertainment got a sword in the head. Or the neck. Or the pregnant belly. Or the 15 year-old face. I’m saddened that I’ll never hear another `Jupiter’s cock!’ come out of John Hannah’s throat. But he no longer has a throat. The Thracian slashed it to ribbons and then led the remaining gladiators out of the blood-soaked house of Batiatus and on to Rome to fuck shit up.
I can’t think of another show that, after only one series, killed it’s main villain(not to mention it’s most proficient deliverer of those Shakespearean rhythms) and it’s main--pregnant!-- villainess( although we DID see a finger twitch and L. Lawless IS the producers wife, so...) Obviously I hope Andy Whitfield gets better and back in fighting shape but if this was the only series we ever see, consider my customerhood satisfied.
Seconded! I'm totally speechless, except for everything I said out loud during the episode, which was a lot, and everything I'm about to say here, which is the following: WHAT THE FUCK WITH KILLING OFF JOHN HANNAH AND LUCY LAWLESS?! Okay. Okay. I get it. I GET IT. This was...yes. Sure, if you think about it, this was the proper way for things to go down, blah blah, story, arc, blah blah, character, redemption, revenge, blah, and again, DeKnight comes from the Whedon school of "Hey, see all these people you like? They're dead. I killed them. Suck that." But...but...BUT! What?! I coulda sworn that when Crixus stabbed Lucy Lawless in the stomach, it was just basically, you know, an abortion, shallow enough to kill the baby, but that's it...I mean...we've watched guys get way more fucked up than that on this show and survive, so...but whatever, yeah, and maybe she's still alive, but then JOHN HANNAH? That was a MERE FLESH WOUND, right? Twas but a scratch? No, it was a sword to the throat and then he bled to death? Even though he's like the most AWESOMEST GUY EVER?????????????? Fuck!!!!!!!! Oh, it was really cool seeing Mrs. Cabbage Patch kill that fucking kid, though. I hated that kid. And Standup Reel Slave killed a guy too. Give it up for the ladies! But still...whaaaat???!!!! Waaaaa!!! EVIL COACH AND MRS. COACH! IT TOTALLY *WAS* THUNDERDOME, AND NEITHER OF 'EM LEFT!!!! Awwwwwwwww!!!!!!!!!! And yeah, so...the gladiators are all off to Rome to fuck shit up. What exactly does that entail? Are they gonna kill tons more people or do you think some of them will try to blend in and get, like, day jobs or something? (I'd watch either or both of those spinoff shows. Crixus tending bar. Crixus as a bike messenger. Crixus as your friendly neighborhood barista who really needs you to pump that tip jar full of change the same way he used to pump Lucy Lawless full of...uh, I guess, tip. Yeah, that works. Sure.)

Britain’s Got Talent
JB: And this is the perfect thing to watch post-Spartacus because no American Idol, no X-Factor has more of an “I’m bored, amuse me, monkey” stench. Cowell doesn’t even pretend he’s not watching the mentally challenged throwing feces at each other for his entertainment. And the streets of the UK, while this is on? They’re like I Am Legend. You know why? Because the thing he keeps banging on about during Idol-- “I didn’t see a moment, you didn’t show me a moment, you’ve got have a moment”-- THAT”S ALL THIS SHOW IS. Obviously, Susan Boyle was the biggest moment ever--I’m not embarrassed to go on record and say that her audition was the modern equivalent of the Thriller video...okay, I’m a bit embarrassed but I said it--but this first episode had like three different acts that made the audience EXPLODE. This was just one of them:
CC: Uh, yeah. That dog was adorable. Also, it's hilarious they keep cutting to those two dudes backstage who are thoroughly enjoying the show. Like, I should probably be mad that we miss a few seconds of dog because they kept doing that, but those guys are just having such a good time watching that it's like you know what, what the hell, I'll have a good time watching you have a good time watching the dog. Why not.

Dr. Who
JB: Daleks. Back in the Sixties when Dr. Who was made out of shaky bits of cardboard and eggshells, the Daleks were legitimately the scariest things anyone had ever seen on British TV. They were like life-size pepperpots that moved really slowly and barked `Exterminate’ in distorted voices. For the next forty years, generations of British kids would pee themselves and hide behind the couch at the mention of their names. (Not me. I never peed. I had far worse problems.) What’s made the new Who such a giant success in it’s homeland is that all the people who work on it and star in it once were the kids hiding the couch unable to control their Pavlovian pee. So they keep bringing the Daleks back. They’ve come up with a whole space-Nazi mythology for them. They’ve made them fly. But they still have the same design as they did in the Sixties. They still can’t climb stairs. They don’t move very fast. Even if you’re not over eight, they’re not that scary anymore. And this was a Daleks-in-World-war-2-episode so the not scary was even more in evidence than usual.
CC: What's a pepperpot?
JB: I thought I remembered it from childhood as a salt shaker except with pepper but Google tells me it is no such thing. The only conclusion I can draw is that someone has hacked into my memories and is selling them on the open market.

JB: Ke$ha is pronounced like hesher rather than freesia? Interesting. Also interesting: nothing else.
CC: WRONG! Will Forte on Update! I almost died! I ALMOST DIED.

High Society
JB: Class will out as Tinsley’s mom reduced Devorah Rose to hot tears of shame with a genteel-but-chilling you’ll-never-be-one-of-us smackdown. Which bought mom a little bit of goodwill. Which she instantly lost when we had to sit through a find-Dale-a-man storyline. But then we got the good stuff, the stuff literally hundreds of us watch for: a Vile-Off between a bikini-clad Devorah Rose ( I’m still dwelling on the bit where she said `I wish I could sleep in a bikini?’ Why can’t she? I don’t understand) and Jules Kirby. The bitchery was so intense and so rapid-fire I got shrapnel wounds trying to catch it. I think Jules Kirby told Devorah the patheticness was oozing off her. I think Jules kept calling Devorah a man. I think Devorah countered by telling Jules she doesn’t own Antigua or somewhere like she claimed. I couldn’t keep up. But then the glasses flew. And they collided in mid-air which just shows, you don’t always need cgi. And then Jules fell out with Tinsley’s sister and Tinsley’s sister had a big meltdown with the producers and I’m exhausted just thinking about the whole thing.
CC: "Devorah appears somewhat...common to me." I hate Mama Mortimer with the fire of a thousand suns, and the fact that there is THAT much of a difference between the level of face work she's had done and the level of work done on her neck is deeply disturbing (seriously...lift the neck if you're gonna lift stuff), but I loved this line. Yes. Deborah Trachtenberg is common (and RIGHT, JB?! ABOUT THE BIKINI?! You CAN go to sleep in a bikini if you want, Debs! There's no "if" there. You don't have to say "if I could go to sleep in a bikini, I would." You could. You can. That is a thing that is possible in this world, unlike you ever becoming even remotely likable or human or attractive in any way). Also I just cannot believe how much, for all this show's ridiculous fakery, how much absolute REAL EVIL there is. That tinge of pure, unadulterated MONSTER behind Dale Mercer's eyes (and really, in pretty much everyone's eyes on this show) is so 100% absolutely you-can-tell-it's-genuine, it's frightening. FRIGHTENING, really, that people like this exist. I mean, that matchmaker lady? The HORROR! She's TERRIFYING! Where do they GET these people? It's far scarier than any scary movie. And don't even get me started on the stomach-churning spine-tingling blood-curdling wtf that's gonna happen when fucking Constantine shows up. They showed them kissing! I DON'T WANT TO SEE THAT! PUT A WARNING UP BEFORE YOU DO THAT NEXT TIME! Ever hear of a spoiler alert? How about a DISGUSTINGNESS ALERT PLZKTHX!

Gossip Girl
JB: The good news: Wallace Shawn returns. The bad news: Wallace Shawn doesn’t get any scenes with Leighton Meester because together: unexpected comedy. Totally expected comedy, ie: the brutally unfunny kind, from waaaaaay too much Dorota.

Vampire Diaries
CC: Okay, Stefan/Evil Stefan is no Angel/Angelus (and dancing Stefan is SURELY no dancing Angel, as illustrated by the following clip), but my thesis statement about this show getting an instant A whenever Damon snaps a neck was proven again this week (seriously! you'd think I'd expect it by now! but i didn't! and then the guy totally came back to life! ooooohhh!). Way too many power rings on this show, by the way. Everyone's got one. They said there's only two of these "hey I'm a human but if you kill me and i'm wearing this i totally don't die" ones, but come on, like we believe that.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Anvil: The Book!

In case you needed proof that Burning Ambition actually exists, it's reviewed here( and yes, the cover is still a source of hilarity):

Thanks Liviana.

Monday, April 12, 2010

TV Club Goes To Hell

Read it for free here or attempt to hack your way behind the complicated multi-tiered paywall at

Gossip Girl
CC: Okay...I've never seen assassin played like that before. When I was in college the game took place over days and days, with fake guns, and you started off with an assignment of who to kill, and it just eventually grew exhausting, and at the beginning of the game you couldn't be killed if you were with other people, so then everyone just starts traveling in packs, and the whole thing takes forever, and my roommate was one of the last people standing, and later we found out that the guy trying to kill her was totally using binoculars to spy into our room, and he and his friends came to the apparently disappointing conclusion that all we and our other roomies did was randomly dance all the time. Which, duh, what do you expect a bunch of 19-year-old girls to do during midterms? Anyway, so the whole thing was already confusing to me because I was like what is this crazy new way to play assassin, and then it didn't get any better with the appearance of The Dress, because I'm sorry, if you're going to focus that much of the story on a dress, please make it a better dress. As soon as it appeared I was like ew, no, and that sentiment never changed. That thing was discount prom style and a terrible color. Leighton Meester is super-pretty and always looks awesome in the clothes they pick for her, I mean, like everyone else on the planet, I'm obsessed with the wardrobe on this show, it's practically my favorite part, so this was a rare and extremely distracting misstep, fashion-wise. Story-wise, I kind of love that Chuck and Blair are imploding. I love 'em together but I love 'em even more when they're apart and all angry/angsty about it. I tried to combine that into a cool word but it just turns out to be one of the words.
JB: So you're telling me assassin is a real game? Damn you, America! Just when I think I've assimilated, you spring another trap! The Dress wasn't The Dress for me because of ew. It wasn't The Dress because Serena's leather number w/handcuff pocket was already The Fucking Hot Dress. Hey, you remember Friends, the show that used to be on TV? You ever notice mid-way through it's run, four of the characters stayed pretty much consistent but Phoebe got really mean and Ross got really pathetic. I always wondered if that was because the writers hated the characters or the actors. Here you've got Chuck whoring out Blair, Nate and Serena having gross food sex and implied kinkiness and post-date rape Little J stalking Nate. And what are Dan and Vanessa doing? Worrying they're in a rut and giving each other notes on their essays. Okay, it could be normality to balance out the debauchery. Or it could be because NOBODY CARES ABOUT DAN AND VANESSA.

Top Model
CC: My girl Jessica a) won the challenge, b) won the photo shoot, and c) almost raped Nigel. #facts
JB:Ah yes, how delightfully ironic that the fashion photographer turns out be the rapee. Slight--but not really-digression. I was reading some movie industry blog because finding out about other people's successes in no way makes me want to kill myself. There was a story about an actress named Analeigh Tipton being cast opposite Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Julianne Moore in a groundbreaking middle-aged-guy-contemplates-infidelity comedy. My immediate thought: why does that name sound familiar? I read on: a former contestant on America's Next Top Model. Right! Analeigh! The ex-ice skater. Who formed a heart-warming, closer-than-sisters, close-enough-to-share-a bath relationship with an androgynous French model. And who, if I remember, was quite a little angel. So: all those time-wasting segments before the photo shoot, all that improv and acting class bullshit: that turns out to be the part of the show that actually helps careers. The modeling stuff? That's worthless.

High Society
CC: Okay, this one actually almost crossed the line into me just getting angry instead of me being delighted (although let's face it, I was totally delighted when PJC was talking about Devorah Rose's jacked-up hair...his exact words were "crazy, Crocodile Dundee, gross, walkabout hair" which, hello, both accurate and possessing of a certain poetry). Other things about this episode made me legitimately cringe, though, like, cringe without any happiness whatsoever, and those things were 1) PJC's weird date with the model because ewww, that whole dynamic is just ewww, like, what is that? That can't be real. Can it? No way. That guy is cute/hot, and PJC is...PJC...and I realize he's super rich, but...they hired that guy for the show, right? They had to have. And yet it's still totally creepy from every single angle. And 2) Tinsley's mom just NOT SHUTTING UP about not wanting Tinsley to get divorced (and also those two weird old guys! going on and on about what's her face Vanderbilt getting all her pictures burned or shredded or whatever after her divorce? WHAT?!). It made me feel really bad for Tinsley because DUDE. TOPPER CHEATED ON HER. A LOT. AND HER MOM WON'T SHUT UP ABOUT WANTING HER TO STAY WITH THAT GUY? WHAT THE FUCKETY FUCKING FUCK? Yeah, yeah, it's manufactured to be overdramatic, but STILL, it's just skin-crawling. Anyway. Oh, but back to pure delight, Jules Kirby got kicked out of her hotel! HA! And next week she and Devorah actually throw drinks at each other, like, WHOLE GLASSES WERE NARROWLY MISSING FACES! Now that I think about it, they were probably missing on purpose though. Aw.
JB: Jules stayed at the Empire Hotel. THAT CHUCK BASS OWNS! Did he have her thrown out? Was it during Uncle Jack's watch? Wouldn't she have made a perfect post-Blair hate-fuck for Chuck? I'm getting fanficcy here but INCREDIBLE crossover potential. That whole Tinsley/mom confrontation was like a telenovela. And, once again, when they hugged, there was another close-up of Tinsley's bag.

Dr. Who
JB: At what exact point did my interest in this episode begin to wander? Certainly not in the zingy chemistry between the new doc and his feisty assistant who, in the space of one week, has won the eternal creepy devotion of several generations of UK geeks. Not when the Tardis zapped to the 29th century to find Britain is not only a starship but a brutal police state where non-conformists are dropped down elevator shafts. Not when it was revealed that, at the bottom of the shaft is a monster that devours protestors and uses them to fuel the ship. Not even when the doc and his sidekick met a double-gun toting black Cockney badass who also happened to be Queen Elizabeth the Tenth. Not even when the monster turned out to be The Last Star-Whale...wait, a minute, that's EXACTLY when it happened. That's when every line of dialogue that did not include the words `Last Star-Whale' was excised. "We've got to save The Last Star-Whale!" "The Last Star-Whale loves children!" "The Last Star-Whale is a beautiful creature." If I'd agreed to play a `Last Star-Whale' drinking game,my liver would have exploded by now.

Top Chef Masters
CC: I would like to register a complaint about every single aspect of Kelly Choi except her manicure, which was a cute color. That chick makes Padma Lakshmi look like someone I'd want to hang out and watch TV and get pancakes with. (That's my way of saying I do not want to do any of those things with Padma Lakshmi, not that she'd want to do them with me either, but my point is, I would want to do them even LESS with Kelly Choi, mostly because Kelly Choi would NOT EAT THE PANCAKES. And I know some fucking good pancake places!)
JB: Words taken out of my mouth. Just like the food that never reaches Kelly Choi's mouth. We can agree that Padma is kind of a bitch--she treated Salman Rushdie worse than Ayatolla Khomeini-- but she's the kind of bitch you'd see in a Manhattan restaurant treating the wait staff like shit, sending food back and sucking up to the chef. Kelly Choi is like someone who'd wait for hours for a table and then Padma would just show up without a reservation and be seated instantly. And even though Kelly Choi would try and catch the maitre d's eye, he'd be repulsed by the way her smile looks like a grimace.

Dancing With The Stars
JB: I bet no-one wants to go anywhere near Nicole Sherzinger's dressing-room. Not because of the smell. It's probably not even two years ago that she was the Pussycat Dolls' Beyonce. Then her solo album was shelved. And the second PCD record bricked. And half the group bailed because they were sick of being in her shadow. So, even though signing up for DWTS is a huge come-down, at least she knew she was destined for an easy win and a guaranteed return to national popularity. Except: Kate Gosselin and Pam Anderson and Erin Andrews getting death threats and Ochocinco acting like he's getting it on with Cheryl Burke. And more people were talking about Buzz Aldrin than her. And Len keeps casting a rheumy old English eye over her like he hates her. Last week, even the dude from The Bachelor was more interesting. Chelsie Hightower was bawling him out for being a flat-footed turd and he got all freaked-out and started whimpering, "I don't like the way you talk to me. I feel like you're disrespecting me." But I don't think he was reacting to being called bad dancer. He did three months on a reality show where damaged women with daddy issues blow him in the hot tub seven seconds after meeting him. He still thinks that's how all women are. Getting yelled at by Chelsie Hightower didn't just hurt his dancer's pride, it burst his whole bubble.

Vampire Diaries
CC: All it takes is one good surprise act of unnecessary violence per episode and I automatically give it an A, which I basically do every week on this show, and this week it was Damon casually snapping that lady's neck after asking whether any other people lived in the house and then just walking right on into the house. Awesome. Damon wins this week's Charismatic Slimeball-off easily. Also, pleasant flashbacks to Buffy telling Angel "Drink...drink me" back in whatever season that was when Elena did the same thing with Stefan this week (Buffy's was better, obviously) (I mean, that was slayer blood!) (this one not bad though, especially what with the way the episode ended) (have I mentioned that Stefan's eyebrows make him look like a human version of my Muppet Vampire Angel doll).

JB: Over the years, I have had two consecutive thoughts about Supernatural. 1) `This is still on? I should probably watch it'. 2)I'm never going to watch it.' But now it's in syndication so I set the DVR and let it pile up. Still didn't want to watch it. Finally gave it a shot. Here are my impressions:
Season 1
Lunkhead Brother: Dad taught me to hunt demons. I love dad. I love hunting demons.
Sensitive Brother. I hate hunting demons. I hate dad. But a demon set my girlfriend on fire. So now I've got to hunt demons. But I hate dad.
Lunkhead Brother: Screw you, dad's always right.
Sensitive Brother: Screw you
Now I may have skipped one or fourteen episodes but it seems to me that I saw that scene played out A LOT. I did not sit through a moment of this where I wasn't wishing I was watching the second X-Files movie instead. Yeah, the second one.

Season 2
Lunkhead Brother: Oh no, Dad's dead. Before he croaked, he told me something weird about my stupid sensitive brother.
Sensitive Brother: Jesus Christ, I've got psychic powers. And I'm not the only one. There's a whole bunch of us. Fuck! Demons bled into our mouths when we were babies and turned us into an army so they could take over the world or something, I'm not sure.
Lunkhead Brother: Shit, one of the psychic assholes killed my brother. Now I've got to go to the crossroads and make a deal with a smoking hot girl demon to bring him back from the dead.
Sensitive Brother: Great! I'm back from the dead. Wonder what kind of deal my brother made. I'm sure there were no string attached.

Season Three.
Sensitive Brother: Shit! My asshole brother sold his soul to the smoking hot crossroads demon and, get this, he only has a year to live before they set the hellhounds on his loser ass.
Lunkhead Brother: Think I'm scared of going to hell? I'm not scared. Think I'm scared that I've only got a year to live? Damn right, I'm sca...NOT SCARED, that's what I meant to say. Whatever, it's a year of fighting demons which rocks and, you know what else I've noticed, all the demons we're hunting this year are crazy-hot bitches with super-condescending attitudes. Which I like.
Katie Cassidy: Hi, I'm the blonde actress Katie Cassidy. The lunkhead's right. The first two seasons of this show were slow-motion sausage-fests. It's like someone woke up and realized, this is a violent fucking series, necks get snapped and fingernails get ripped out every week, guys would probably watch it there were more babes on it. So now it's like every week the demon is a vicious hot bitch who treats the asshole brothers like shit. And I'm the biggest bitch of all. I rip dudes' throats out with a knife. I get shot point-blank in the chest and laugh it off. I go on killing sprees and I talk to the sensitive guy and the lunkhead like they're retards. Consequently, I am awesome.
Lunkhead Brother: Fuck that bitch. I'm not going to hell. I get saved by the end of the season. What? I don't get saved? I go to hell. Nooooo.

Season Four:
Lunkhead Brother: I'm in hell! Wait, I'm out. I climbed out. I'm back. How did that happen?
Sensitive Brother: I'm not headed to the dark side. I'm using my demon powers for good not evil. Plus I'm totally banging the character Katie Cassidy played last season.
Katie Cassidy: What the fuck? They gave my part to a shitty actress who is A) Not Hot which, next to me, fine. But B) Can't act. I don't give a shit. I just signed on for the remake of Melrose Place! Ha Ha!
Lunkhead Brother: An angel pulled me out of hell? A pissed-off angel who's a really good actor so I have to step my game up. Turns out God wants me to stop the apocalypse that my stupid brother might trigger if he doesn't stop using his demon powers and banging that chick who's nowhere near as hot as she used to be.

And that's where I am so far. Stockholm Syndrome might have set in a bit cuz I'm going to keep watching.

CC: THIS. WAS LITERALLY. THE BEST. COMMERCIAL FOR THIS SERIES. I HAVE EVER SEEN. IN MY ENTIRE LIFE. I would TOTALLY start watching this show now, except for the fact that you just summed up everything in such a delightful and virtuosic manner that I don't actually have to.

Project Runway
CC: I liked Emilio's dress too? But I suspect that if anyone actually wore it to an event, people would just think they're crazy and they would end up on worst-dressed lists? I'm not sure? I'm all confused? I love stripes, so this week was sort of like a crazy smorgasbord for me. And I love how they still make everyone keep up the charade of really wanting to go to fashion week even though everyone knows that they always send decoys. It's a design-off, Jay and Mila! No. No it is not. They're both gonna show at fashion week. They know it. We know it. Their models know it. There are no stakes here.

Models Of The Runway
JB: I do not care for Brandise. I don't like her small, droopy eyes or her Ambien monotone. I don't approve of the way she treats Brittany. But mainly I dislike her because she's getting the HBIC edit and, as I think we know, there's only one person capable of filling that vast Irish void.

Spartacus: Blood and Sand
CC: You know what? I am 100% devastated that this show is over next week. It's the end of the season, all the threads are getting tied up or unraveling even further, and I can't sit here and tell you about the awesome total grossness of so-and-so getting decapitated or what's-his-face's intestines spurting out because yes, all that stuff did happen, but what's more important at this point is the sheer AWESOMENESS of EVERY storyline coming together and just KNOWING that whatever goes down in the finale is gonna be TRULY AND RIDONKULOUSLY EPIC. Seriously. This show is really really REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY FUCKING GOOD, I've said it before and I'll say it again, and I have nothing more to add until next week except that this is basically how one of the scenes went down, except with Stewie as Blonde Bitch and "Stewie, Shawanda said she saw you sneaking food" as "Hey blonde bitch, you totally killed other blonde bitch and we all know it and here's her dead hand in a box and you are totally screwed mwaaahahahahahhaa!!!!"

Yeah, so, Blonde Bitch's husband was totally not buying her story, and oooh, also we got to hear the phrase "blood and sand," which is always fun, and Lucy Lawless got super-pissed and slapped her Crixus-banging slave around, and oh my god, that chick Mira needs to CALM THE FUCK DOWN, like DUDE, you and Spartacus are NOT dating! He doesn't even wanna hook up with you, why the FUCK are you freaking out on him just because Cabbage Patch's wife works there now? Jesus. By the way-- oh my god. Oh my god, do you know what I just did? I had to imdb Mira to make sure it was spelled Mira, so I see the actress has a link to her website, which contains her standup reel, several tracks of her music, links to her multiple blogs, and a picture of her with Adam Baldwin of Whedonverse fame, and did I mention the standup reel? So, check all that out if you have the time, or just watch the show and look at her naked.
JB: "Once again the gods spread cheeks and ram cock in fucking arse!" Everyone got thwarted this week. The Thracian got thwarted in his desire to fuck up Batiatus. Crixus got thwarted when he saw his slave handed to the devious Syrian gimp. The senator got his head thwarted right off. Legatus(sp) got thwarted in the Killa in the Villa. And Lucretia...and the blonde bitch... and the hand...I know you saw it, I don't need to go on. It's just that I don't always get the themes of TV shows. So I just wanted it known that I understood the thwarting. Don't know what kind of hell is coming next week but I'm going to hazard a guess that there will be no little Batiatuses running around by the time it's over.

CC: Why are Justin Bieber's backup dancers and singers all dudes? Every person onstage was a dude. How come he doesn't have any chicks? Is that so as not to alienate his chick audience? Because I guess that makes sense but it just seemed sort of weird okay you know what I actually don't care about any of this.
JB: I'm not really familiar with baseball terminology so let me try this analogy: SNL, especially this season has plenty of decent hitters and throwers and runners and catchers but no superstars 30 Rock has too many superstars. So while the percentage of sketches with stupid concepts that fizzled out way before the end was as high as ever, the fact that Tina Fey, who was as confident and cleavagey as I've ever seen her, was in all of them made this a lightning-fast 90 minutes. And this might seem a shameful admission from someone with my infantile taste in music but I had never heard Justin Bieber. Heard of him, yes. But that first song. My baseball analogy reprised. But with Disney and Idol graduates replacing SNL and Bieber replacing Fey. (it made sense in my head.) I thought the second song was a sketch until halfway through and even now I'm not entirely sure. But I'm not gonna deny it: I've got a mild case of Bieber fever and I'm excited for the scandal that brings him crashing down.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Songs Featured In And Inspired By Burning Ambition! Day Five!

Alison's unexpected immersion into AC/DC fandom spurs her ill-fated(oops! spoiler) boyfriend T to add some vintage Motorhead to his workout playlist. Here's what he might have been listening to before The Incident: (Unlike some previous posts, there are embeddable videos of this song. But you would not thank me if you saw them. Not at all.)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Songs Featured In And Inspired By Burning Ambition! Day Four!

One of the storylines in BURNING AMBITION features a love triangle between Alison's sidekick and her two best friends. The best friend who really, really likes the sidekick goes to his room to see how he's feeling after he's been injured by the other best friend. The sidekick doesn't know the best friend who really likes him is in the room because he's busy making out with the friend who injured him. And also because this song is playing( yes, another still picture for you to stare at):

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Songs Featured In And Inspired By Burning Ambition! Day Three!

BURNING AMBITION's super-villain is a fifteen year-old magazine editor named Pixie Furmanovsky who becomes Alison's new best friend and, as soon as she reveals her psychotic tendencies, worst enemy.

So, music that personifies the evil Pixie. Something by The Pixies? Or something by super-annoying assembly line British pop starlet Pixie Lott? Like you even have to ask:

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Songs Featured In And Inspired By Burning Ambition! Day Two!

In the sequel, Alison, our flame-throwing heroine, becomes a legit AC/DC fan--it seemed like a fun idea when I was writing it--so much so that this is her ringtone:

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Songs Featured In And Inspired By Burning Ambition!

I did this last year and the reaction was PHENOMENAL....................................................indifference. Which is why I'm doing it again. BURNING AMBITION abounds with musical references. Over the next several days, we'll investigate some of them. Starting with this song. That doesn't appear in the book in any way shape or form. But I couldn't think of a song called Burning Ambition. I could, however, think of one simply called Ambition and, fittingly for my tween audience, it's from an obscure British indie-rock band from the 70s. Even better, it doesn't have an accompanying video, just a record cover for you to stare at for three minutes. Which will be very restful. The group: Subway Sect. The song: Ambition. Enjoy!

Monday, April 5, 2010

TV Club Of The Titans

Enjoy it in widescreen here. See it in pan-and-scan thus missing all the best bits at

Gossip Girl
CC: Um...okay. That Chuck's mom storyline was wrapped up rather unsatisfyingly, no? She's Chuck's mom but pretends not to be and cares about him but pretends not to and the upshot of it all is, she just hands the hotel to Jack? I mean, great, cuz Jack will liven things up, especially from what we saw in the previews (I can't even remember the name of it, but what was that movie with, like, Woody Harrelson and his wife fucked a millionaire, or something?) but...did any of that make any sense? If Chuck's lawyer was in on it, wouldn't he just get a new lawyer and then proceed with whatever it is you would do in a situation like this were a situation like this even remotely realistic, which it is not? Whatever. Oh, you know what else isn't even remotely realistic? Blake Lively's boobs! Yeah! ZING! Oh, shut up, I'm tired.
JB: Right at the end of my consistently disastrous career as a journalist, I interviewed Josh Schwartz for some British paper. We got on okay at the start(probably had something to do with me lavishing praise on him for salvaging the last, little-seen season of The OC). When I brought up Gossip Girl, for some reason I thought it was okay to talk to him like we talk here. So I told him the show would be so much better if there were no adults in it. And that's when the good times ended. You know what I'm doing right now? I'm standing outside Josh Schwartz's modest studio apartment with a copy of last week's episode and a bullhorn and I'm shouting `Was I right? Huh? HUH?' What worked: OC vet Willa Holland triple-dosing Little J with ecstasy and then dropping her off at the Date Rape Club. Just another night in the life. What didn't: "I love Jack. You don't know Jack. Jack's good. Jack's bad.I hate Jack. I'm leaving Jack. I'm not your mom. But secretly I am." I mean, Laura Harring was in Mulholland Drive AND Lambada: The Forbidden Dance so it probably made some sort of sense to her. I also told him, in the course of our awkward interview, that college kills shows like this stone dead and, once again, he disagreed. And what was another story? Blair hates college because she doesn't fit in. And she won't in Columbia, either! ( I think Inglourious Proposal was the film you were talking about)

Top Model
CC: Twilight has been so goddamn successful that any YA writer who's even remotely human has to admit that we are jealous as fuck about it. But you know what, that doesn't mean I can't still appreciate vampires, so I muchly enjoyed this week's vamp-themed photo shoot. The improv at the UCB...not so much. Models doing improv. Just...just think about that for a second. Models. Improv. Yeah, it's what you thought.
JB: Listen, I'm jealous of YA authors whose books sell in the HUNDREDS. I'm also phobic of objects being placed on or even in the vicinity of my eye so, whichever model had a meltdown over being temporarily blinded, I'm right there cringing and whining with you. Also noted: the disbelieving side-eye glances Nigel Barker gives Andre Leon Talley. He's like, `We lost Twiggy for THIS?'

LIndsay Lohan's Indian Journey
JB: When the BBC needs a crack investigative reporter to expose India's child-trafficking epidemic, who's top of the list? Exactly! Obviously, I watched this expecting another `Peaches Geldof's guide To Islam' (REAL SHOW! I couldn't find any clips but here she is being interviewed about it: Give Lohan credit for this: she wasn't buried in her Blackberry or holed up in the Mumbai Four Seasons the whole time. She sat down with abductees, heard their horror stories and cried. But then, at the end of her two-day journey, she's being driven back to the airport and she starts this monologue about dreading her return to LA. It's the usual this-visit-has-humbled-and-changed-me epiphany. But after maybe six seconds, she's griping about the paps and the tabloids and the guys she's linked to that she doesn't even know. Some people forget their life-changing experiences after a few years. Lohan forgot hers on the way to the airport! Seems like the documentary producers had their work cut out pinning their big-hearted star down for a follow-up interview. When she finally sat down with a Red Cross representative to talk about what she saw and how the viewers could help, her hair was a different color, she sounded like she'd smoked sixty cigarettes and then eaten them, she couldn't focus or form sentences. "Twitter's really big. Maybe we could start a Twitter campaign," was the best she could do. You could see the Red Cross woman mentally adding another name on her list of doomed kids who need saving.

Dr Who
JB: New Who. New feisty ginger-haired Scottish traveling companion. New Scottish showrunner. Brit Who geeks lamenting the choice of barely-known Matt Smith as the eleventh Timelord-- and this shit is discussed and debated on the six o'clock news and on the front page of the London Times; they take it SERIOUSLY-- recanted about two seconds into the new series. Matt Smith's like an indie-rock absent minded-professor. His cynical sidekick Karen Gillan is an definite upgrade from the previous tagalongs. The story was something about a giant floating eyeball threatening to incinerate the planet if an escaped space snake that takes humanoid form wasn't handed over. At least I think that's what it was about. Don't really know. In fact. I've never really known. I just care that it moved really fast--65 minutes, no commercials-- did an awesome job of introducing two new leads, was funny (Dr. to new girl: "You're Scottish, fry something." I'm still laughing!) and featured the best CGI work of the year. The year being 1985. The BBC spends a FORTUNE on this and it still looks cheap and clunky and that's kind of what the audience likes about it.

High Society
CC: God, I hope this show sticks around even though it probably won't. This week we have Tinsley's mom PRETENDING to be happy when she found out that German Prince was in fact NOT descended from Nazis, and Devorah Rose PRETENDING to be sad that her D-cup boobs, 20 inch waist, and 34 inch hips, the measurements of which she recited out loud even though nobody asked, means that she can never find clothes that fit (she proceeded to find quite possibly the trashiest dress ever worn in the history of NYC black tie events). Her real name is Deborah Trachtenberg, by the way. How great is that? That's my favorite thing ever. Oh, also, Paul Johnson Calderon thinks it's totally okay to rip lighting fixtures off the walls of people's apartment buildings. Like, he thought they were ugly so he tore them down. That was the whole reason there. Apparently he also thinks he's a stylist, and as an avid viewer of The Rachel Zoe Project and an avid appreciator of Brad from said project, I cannot even begin to tell you the many, MANY things that are wrong with Paul Johnson Calderon claiming to be a stylist, and that was even before he tried to make Tinsley wear a coat that looked like the human hair business that Chris March busted out on Project Runway a few years back (no offense, Chris, love you, love what you've been doing lately). Obviously the entire setup was totally, TOTALLY fake, because a) reality show and b) anyone with even a passing sense of Tinsley's style and a passing knowledge of how stylists work would realize there is no way any of that would have gone down in the manner in which it did, but it was still marginally entertaining. Also, if you're gonna mention the Brian Atwood shoes, please SHOW US THE SHOES. Also, I love that Jules mentioned slumming it downtown again, and then they promptly cut to a chyron saying "midtown." Also, Paul got his mom to pay for the sconces he wrecked. She wired him $2000 for it. Dear Paul's mom...stop wiring him money. That's the simplest way I can put that.
JB: There are sitcoms that have been on for years that don't have anywhere near as good an idea how to use their casts as this thing which has been around for, what three, four weeks? Paul Johnson Calderon is such a genuinely pathetic, deluded, unaware specimen that he can bear entire story arcs on his scrawny shoulders. In this one episode, he tries to fix his shameful reputation, he fucks up, he is humiliated, he ends up leeching off his mother thus proving he has learned NOTHING. Jules Kirby, otoh, is best utilized in a drive-by. She meets Germans. She does a Hitler impression. And scene. You know who got off the most memorable line in this whole carnival? Devorah Rose's gay minion. When she was getting ready to strap those silicon cans into that corset-type thing, she said, "I'm trying to cut back on the sexy." His delivery of "Good luck with that" worked on SO many levels.

JB: Boring, boring, boring, dull, boring, Elizabeth Mitchell's not nearly bad-ass enough, who cares about her son, then the last three minutes: Morena Baccarin selects a `roided-out V to sperminate her so she can raise an army of lizards to wipe out the humans. She straddles the guy for maybe three seconds of don't-look-at-me-while-we're-doing-it sex then sprouts the best CGI fangs of the year ( the year being 1985. Again!) and goes to bite his head off as we cut to black. And THAT might be enough to get me to DVR next week.

CC: Limping to the finish. I swear, if Nigel's revamping of the SYTYCD rules doesn't revive that show, I am going to be VERY UPSET for dance shows in general. The 3 all-stars that have been named so far are Twitch, Kathryn, and Pasha, by the way. I heartily approve of these choices.

Dancing With The Stars
JB: And Shannen Doherty's record of always being the first cast member out the door remains UNBLEMISHED! Buzz Aldrin might have met his wife on the moon. I think she was one of the race of of mutant cat-women that was covered up in some big Area 51 scandal.

Project Runway
CC: Yay, Anthony's back! And he kicked ass! And Jessica Alba still hasn't learned that she looks terrible with blond hair! Why, Jessica?! WHY?! Is it for a role? Stop taking those roles then! What the fuck roles are they? Aren't you famous enough that you could just be like "I get that X character is written blond but guess what, you cast MY fine brunette ass, so let's do this shit." No? Nothing? *sigh*
JB: Let me take a moment to hail Maya Luz. Nobody on American TV, or even perhaps in America in general, does this. No one is this un-deluded. I think it's a safe bet she would have gone to Bryant Park. They need a woman and Mila had already blocked and lined herself out of the running. Can you imagine if everyone else on reality TV took a look at themselves and decided they weren't ready? It would be like I Am Legend. Starring Crystal Bowersox (she's no way my kind of singer but she's undeniably ready). I know it's a weird double standard from someone who watches a lot of TV but whenever anyone decides they don't want to be on TV anymore, I find it to be an admirable quality. Also, I think Jessica Alba had the blonde hair for The Killer Inside Me where she gets punched repeatedly in the face by Casey Affleck. Or it could have been Valentine's Day where we get punched repeatedly in the face.

Models of the Runway
CC: You taketh Cerri away. Then you giveth her back. THEN YOU TAKETH HER AWAY AGAIN. Fuck you, show, and fuck you Jay! I even like Jay, but if Brandise and Cerri hate Brittany, then I hate Brittany too, and I hate Jay for picking her over Cerri! DAMMIT! I love Cerri so much I looked up her twitter, and was DELIGHTED to find that her most recent tweets are from a convo she's having with Kojii, my fave from last year. Because they are just SO DELIGHTFUL I am cutting and pasting them here.

Cerri: A load of bollix!!!

Kojii: RT @cerbear21 A load of bollix!!! ~ HAHAHAHAHAHAHA I wish I'd watched #projectrunway 2nite to know WTF our Cerri's on about.

Cerri: @KojiiHelnwein Its all shite really!! Kicked to the curb twice kojii. Only me :)

Cerri: @KojiiHelnwein Did I mention I'm WANKERED right now! Fuckin Irish!!

Kojii: @cerbear21 hahahah ur wankered??? jaysus woman, Macken & I will have some Uisce Beatha in honour of your bollicking tmrw night ;)

I just love everything about this so, so much. CERRI YOU WILL BE MISSED! AGAIN! By the way I might want to be irish cuz clearly they have the coolest names. Also I just watched her latest video blog on the lifetime website and she basically goes on and on about how actresses on the red carpet have no idea what the fuck they're talking about when it comes to, she was totally ripping on Jessica Alba. Aaaaa, I love this girl. If I were a serial killer I'd hunt her down and wear her skin. (And a lot of sunscreen.) (Cuz pale.)
JB: This was like Pet Sematary of The Runway. We'd come to terms with our loss and then you dig her back up again and then she goes on a killing spree so you kill her again. (That almost worked.) Once again, I'll miss her and, once again, I wrote a song to commemorate our time together.

Spartacus: Blood and Sand
CC: And the twists and turns get twistier and turnier! The double crosses get tripled and maybe quadrupled! WHO KNOWS WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON IN THE HOUSE OF BATIATUS AT THIS POINT? But one thing we DO know: Spartacus has it figured out, buddy, and HE'S COMING FOR YOU!!!!!!!! Ah, so fucking satisfying. This show rules.
JB: Guts were spilled! Literally and...non-literally. The marathon fever-dream sequence was a little too reminiscent of Steven Seagal's work in On Deadly Ground but it did it's job. The Thracian's final "I am myself again" meant one thing. Everyone's getting fucked to shit before this is over.

The Ultimate Fighter
JB: I bailed out a few seasons back when we got two minutes of fighting and forty minutes of bipolar ex-cons and weepy single dads with face tattoos jerking off into each other's salads. I bailed back in last year when the search was on for a new heavyweight brawler. The cast was still full of bipolar ex-cons and weepy single dads with face tattoos but with the added bonus of them all being seriously out of condition. The eventual winner was Roy "Big Country'" Nelson or, as he'd be known if they had had shown last season this season, Roy "Gabourey Sidibe" Nelson. Roy had one move and it worked every time. He threw a few ineffectual punches and then let his opponent get him on the ground. After that it was only a matter of moments before he rolled his colossal stomach over onto his opponent's face and waited until they either tapped out or lost consciousness. The first week of the new series was all about educating new viewers not to stereotype the sort of fighters who practice mixed martial arts. The first contender battling for a place in the house was an Orthodox Jew. He got his ass kicked. The next was a college professor. He got fucked up. In fact, every contender who wasn't a stereotype got kicked to shit. By bipolar ex-cons and weepy single dads with face tattoos. But one thing united all the fighters: hatred of the French. A Parisien native called Norman had a stirring video clip where he said something like, "Zey sink all Frenchmen are soft. But a am ere to show a `ave ze speereet'.
He climbed into the octagon, survived one round, went back to his corner with a bloody nose, sat down on a stool and REFUSED TO GET BACK UP. And suddenly we were back in Capua and these guys were gladiators and the cowardly Gall had defamed the name of the house of Batiatus. Most of the contenders hate each other. The two coaches, Chuck Lidell and Toto Ortiz legit loathe each other. They also hate UFC head honcho Dana White for his big mouth and questionable business practices. But, at that moment, those enemies were like one person as they heaped abuse on the Frenchman who continued to sit in his stool and claim `Ah cannot feel ma legs'. If you're going to quit, quit like Maya Luz, don't quit like a French fighter with a bloody nose and wobbly legs.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Burning Ambition: It's Out!

It's true. Burning Ambition: A Hottie Novel, to use the full exciting title, is now available in stores and online. Good luck to it and me. To celebrate, here's the climactic remainder of Chapter One:

Alison and the kingpin remained locked in the same position. Neither wavering in their intent. Then a hand snuck up behind the crime boss's head and, with one deft tug, yanked the wig off his head, revealing the pink flesh beneath.

"Ewwww", moaned a female voice.

"More ewwws than anyone has ever ewwwwed before!" replied a second female voice.

Running away from the horrified kingpin, who was covering his exposed baldness with both hands, were Alison's two BFFs. As they scampered across the garage, Kellyn Levy tossed the wig to Dorinda Galen. The freaked-out Belgian crime boss probably thought his toupee had been abducted by two more members of Alison's team. he wasn't to know that the blisteringly cynical Kellyn once despised being perceived as Alison's sidekick. Or that Dorinda had been so fearful of being rendered invisible by Alison's popularity that she had passed herself off as French for three years. Their relationship had been fraught with petty jealousies and disharmony but, at this moment, Alison looked at the two girls who had caused her so much grief with nothing but love and affection.

"Take the hair," yelled the pale, sharp-featured Kellyn, lobbing the wig to Dorinda.

"It's like a dead cat. You take it," squealed the buxom, exotic Dorinda, throwing it back.

Grossed out by their proximity to the crime boss's wig, Kellyn tossed the hairpiece back to it's owner. The kingpin caught the fake hair as it flew across the garage. As he snatched it and went to position it back on his head, Alison opened fire. The wig returned to the kingpin's head at the exact second she set it alight. His screams echoed across the building.

"What a hothead!" said Alison, David and T in unison. They looked at each other in amazement. Their quips had become synchronized.

"We're such a team!" marveled Alison.

"We're the Department of Hotness," pronounced David.

"The Department of Hotness," repeated an awed Alison. "Loving that."

And there you have it.