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.

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