Monday, June 14, 2010

TV Club: World Cup Special!

Blow your vuvuzela here. Go deaf at

NJ Housewives
CC: Okay, I may like Kim G. now that she told Danielle off about her shady friends. And I gotta say, Danielle's a psychopath, yes, but she has a point when she was like Dina, why did you ask me to come out here just so you could tell me you want me out of your life? See, I assume that was the show making them do that, but yeah, when you want someone out of your life, you don't call them up and ask them to hang out just so you can tell them that. You just quietly go about your business and hopefully they quietly go about theirs, and ta da, everybody's done. But my biggest problem with the show continues to be the fact that looking at Danielle's monkey face literally makes my eyeballs hurt. That shit is *rough*.

Bethenny Getting Married?
JB: There might be a problem with my TV. Whenever I've tried to watch any version of the Real Housewives franchise, all I get is EEEE EEEE EEEE EEEE. Orange County: EEEE EEEE EEEE EEEE. New York: EEEE EEEE EEEE EEEE. New Jersey: EEEE EEEE EEEE EEEE. Atlanta: EEEE EEEE EEEE EEEE EEEE. (I'm not in any danger of laboring the point with this EEEE EEEE EEEE EEEE thing, am I? Good) It renders me incapable. But I keep hearing how Bethenny Frankel's not like the others. She's different: she's quirky, fun and likable. Which, to me, is like `Hitler, you should probably give a wide berth. But Eichmann? A delight!'. So I made it through most, if not quite all, of BGM? and I think I get why people find her endearing. She's pushy and self-deprecating, she's got buggy eyes and looks permanently beat-up, she calls her vag `the abyss' and she delivered a whole speech about her insane workload while sitting in front of a laptop that had the Safari `you are not connected to the internet' sign. What I liked a lot: the lack of screechy drama. Bethenny's legit friends are all super-supportive and her husband-to-be seems like a good guy( although, just before I watched this episode, I read some cruel and hurtful allegations that suggested Bethenny's marriage was proceeding along the same lines as Star Jones' which...well, watch it and see if you think the vicious slur has any credibility)( it does).

Lie to Me
CC: I watched this because I read somewhere that Jason Dohring was on it playing a serial killer, and if there's anything I'm SURE Logan Echolls from Veronica Mars can do, it's play a serial killer. Anyway, I've never seen this show before, and the first thing that happens is Tim Roth sees Logan and goes "that guy's a serial killer." Then his lady partner is like "eh, I'm not so sure." Then he's like "yeah, well *I'm* sure." And Lady Partner goes "ehhh, maybe not." Um, X-Files much? There ARE aliens, Scully. There ARE monsters. And this guy IS a serial killer. Why bother arguing? Anyhoo, there was also a B-story involving Howard Hesseman and a spaceship, so hey, that's what Howard Hesseman's up to lately. Good for him! Landry's dad from FNL was on too, so, awesome there, and it got pretty good at the end when they pushed Logan's sensitivity buttons (Logan is ALWAYS the most compelling when he's obsessively in love) and he decided to hunt down Tim Roth and waterboard him. So, yeah, Logan Echolls from Veronica Mars can DEFINITELY play a serial killer. I probably won't watch this show again because me and procedurals are usually not so much, but I will certainly be youtubing some key moments of him and Kristen Bell. Here's one:
Here's another:
And here are many:
Okay you know what? Fuck. After watching all those, this is me jumping belatedly onto your rant about Kristen Bell last week, JB. This is ridiculous. She and Jason Dohring did nothing but act the fuck out of everything they were given during three seasons of VM, they acted circles around so many of the other people in the cast, that entire show sat on her tiny little five foot one shoulders and she fucking KICKED ASS at it, and you're right, now she's slumming it in romantic comedyville most of the time while Katherine Heigl is the one reaping the rewards of similar slummery. Blah! It's okay. I have faith. We'll see her in something awesome again. We'll see both her AND Dohring in something awesome again. I have faith. I actually don't, but I'm trying to be optimistic here.

CC: "Break a leg." "I love you." That was it. That was the moment. That was perfect. That is all. Except it's not all, because: 1) Why was Quinn's baby born as an 8-month old? I've seen them get newborn-looking babies to play newborns on other shows, it can obviously be done, so I don't know why they opted to get a child who was practically a 2nd grader to play something that ostensibly had JUST been born. 2) What's this bullshit "you get one more year" storyline? If next year ends up being a complete rehash of this year, where every episode the supposed jeopardy is "you better make sectionals or Glee Club is OVER!", then I will actually WELCOME it if there's suddenly a ridiculous murder storyline like in FNL season 2. 3) I hated how they synced up the birth to the Vocal Adrenaline choreo. That seemed like they were just trying to be clever for no good reason. "Hey, look what we did!" You know what, I don't wanna look, cuz the sight of Jesse "crowning" is gross. 4) I don't need to see Mr. Schue playing the ukelele. The only thing that saved that was (say it with me) Puck. Oh, backtracking though, I loved the shot at Finn's dancing. That was adorable.
JB: Disagree re Bohemian Rhapsody cut to delivery scene. I will take five minutes trying too hard to be clever over nine weeks of wildly successful imbecility which is what we, as a nation,just endured. Agree on the `you get one more year' shenanigans. Have we ever discussed how much of Ryan Murphy's old teen-misfit series Popular he's recycling here? if I remember rightly, it's first season ended with the resident evil bitch donating her bone marrow to save a student she'd previously tormented. Two seconds into season 2, she was back to torture, blackmail and intimidation. Like the self-sacrifice never happened. I, too,feel a little Finn/Rachel love. It's The Way We Were with an iTunes playlist! Worst moment: Finn telling Mr Schue he showed him how to be be a man. Schue sobbed like a sickly little girl TWICE in one hour. In fact, it might have been thrice(Journey medley).He was so convincing as a blubbering girl that when an actual girl began weeping, her tears seemed forced and hollow. That's because they were fake-cried by Jenna Ushkowitz whose status as season-long worst actress might have been usurped by Amber Riley's impressive display of complete disinterest in the delivery room.

Pretty Little Liars
JB: Glee and Gossip Girl cast members, step forward. Lea Michelle and Leighton Meester, step back. Blake Lively, hover somewhere in the middle. The rest of you, take a look at this exciting new ABC Family show. Pay particular attention to the adult cast, the ones playing confused parents or disapproving authority figures. Holly Marie Combs. Laura Leighton. Chad Lowe. Nia Peeples. The dude who played the Finn role on Ryan Murphy's old teen-misfit series Popular. The girl who was Kendra The Vampire Slayer. They're your future. And the four teen actresses--sorry, the three teen actresses and the 27 year-old--playing The Lesbo, The Klepto, The Sister's Boyfriend-Stealer and The Teacher-Shagger--they're going to be the stars of your show. Apart from making me feel like the Ancient Mariner, this YA adaptation might actually work. It's got a story and that story is basically I Know What You Bitches Did Last Summer. The Pretty Little Liars themselves seem like Shitty Little Actors. But they don't have to be Janet McTeer. They just have to scream, run and cry while their supposedly dead bff terrorizes them them with texts about their terrible secrets.

Work Of Art
JB: Let me offer up a salute to Magical Elves, the production company responsible for Top Chef, Project Runway and most of Bravo's high-end competitions. I thought they might have come a cropper with this search for the next great artist. I thought that because I'm a short-attention span lowbrow with zero appreciation of art and, like a Real Housewife, I clearly believe the world revolves around me. Luckily, this show was made with clods like myself in mind. The first challenge paired off the artists and told them to paint each other's portrait. So, immediately, there's paranoia and trepidation. The old-lady artist teamed with the willowy young model chick, tells her , "You look like a proud pussy". The model's all `Why would she say that?" Cut to the model's earlier work: a scantily-clad self portrait with a star stuck over her get the idea. A photographer gets paired off with a shempy dude who lives in his truck and claims to have started painting six hours earlier. The only words out of his mouth over the entire course of the episode are `I'm untrained' and `I know nothin' about art'. That's his proud defense when he shows off the portrait of his partner as a John Wayne Gacy clown. Then there's Miles the OCD Guy aka Miles The Guy Who Tried To Snark Sarah Jessica Parker. I kind of buried the lead here: Work Of Art is exec-produced by SJP( here's my SATC2 review: forget those killjoys who tell you this sparkling sequel is racist. It's not, it's entertainmentist). Maybe-bland maybe-not host China Chow gushes 'Before we get started, here's our very special guest". Parker comes out and does her gracious, beaming, humble Queen of America thing and WHILE SHE'S SPEAKING, this Miles guy tries to fuck with her `And who are you?' he asks. You don't rattle SJP. She charmingly addresses him by name. But he can't stop. He tries to hit her again. "And what do you do?" Except by now, he's shivering with douche chills. Knows he shit the bed. Cut to him almost sobbing `Stupid. So stupid.' He's the despised OCD underdog who tried and failed to be funny. And then he wins the challenge with a silkscreen of his partner with her eyes closed that inspires the judges to rhapsodize about how he captured the moment of death. Meanwhile, the girl who got sent home did a painting of a bunch of falling leaves and said it captured her teammate's free spirit. Okay, art, I'm on board.
CC: What does "come a cropper" mean? Is it something delightfully scottish?

SYTYCD Wednesday
CC: Anthony Burrell WUZ ROBBED. Ryan Ramirez WUZ ROBBED. It was really, really hard to watch the people that didn't make it get rejected in their own HOUSES instead of on that stage like usual. That being said, I'm very happy for Alex Wong and Billy Bell and even that Robert Roldan guy I never heard of before, and of course I'm ELATED for cute little Kent Boyd (him freaking out in Vegas over getting to dance next to "Alex freakin' Wong and Anthony who could freakin' smash the crap outta me!" was just GOLD), but I'm sorry, his house is way too nice to count as podunk even if he's from podunkville (as a fellow midwesterner, frankly I didn't think it looked THAT bad, and although that cop thing was obviously a setup, I can certainly vouch for the hardassness of Ohio cops...don't speed in Ohio, people). Tyce continues to be unbearable. Tapper Girl is gonna be the Jessi Peralta of this year, isn't she? Come on. Don't tell me she passed her psych eval. She's gonna be rubbing oil all over her abs and stalking Pasha in about five minutes.

SYTYCD Thursday
CC: I realize there's gonna be a Kent backlash. I know it. It's gonna happen. But it hasn't happened for me yet-- that kid is fucking adorable. I mean, I was looking at Mark the whole time during the actual dance (and Wade certainly liked him some Mark and some Robert Roldan for that group number, no?), but in his interviews, he's just so damn cute! The same cannot be said for Tapper Girl. She did nothing for me during that Broadway, she continues to radiate bustedness, and I'm pretty sure calling herself an old soul during her 11-second interview was code for "I regularly blow that grizzled black guy who claims to be my tap dancing mentor and while he's distracted I steal his prescription painkillers." Also, as if I couldn't already hate Tyce enough, Cat Deeley tells us he worked with Tom Cruise and J.Lo this week, which can only mean he was responsible for that MTV Movie Awards debacle. Christ. But that Mia Michaels routine was great-- she was the only one of the choreographers who got the assignment right, in that she showcased the newbies to gorgeous effect and didn't, like, totally use the all-stars to steal the spotlight away from them, which happened to some extent in every other routine (and even after the, Dom, shut up, would you please? we get it. you and Cat have a thing. we know. show some goddamn respect for Jose. this is the show's fault for not sending the all-stars offstage right after each dance). But Cristina more or less held her own against Anya, which god knows is hard to do, and can we PLEASE talk about the smoldering awesomeness that is Robert Roldan? Good lord. Could not stop staring at him during the Wade routine, and he was great in Sonya's. Smolder smolder smolder. And then he opened his mouth and it was totally that hot-girl-you-wish-would-shut-up syndrome. Less cheery talky, more smolder dancy, Roldan. We'll get along much better that way. Also, I'm calling Ashley as this year's Kathryn. She got no airtime till now but is totally stealth good. Also I loved Cat's dress and shoes. Also here's my once-again-cheezy shout-out to a dancer who's grown since the last time we saw her: Allison! Wow. Wow. She was great at 18 but now? Wow. We should all have babies at a ridiculously young age and emerge on the other side with that much sass and presence.
JB: What a week for comedy. First, Tom Cruise revives his hilarious movie producer character. Then Lythgoe takes a cross country road trip. Hilarious. And he didn't look like a tool in his Beckham shirt. I'm still bad with the names but I'm guessing Froderman and The Farmboy( kind of presumptive of Cat to ask him about his ideal woman, hmm?) are this year's Mollee and The Other Guy. Might have been a bit unfortunate to make such a big deal of introducing the new director--seriously, can you remember the last time ANY show did that?-- and then the rest of the night was like, Why is the camera way back there, why can't I see the new people, I don't know who anyone is. But that could just be me and my difficulties.
CC: It's not just you.

Next Food Network Star
JB: Lee DeWyze is not going to sell records. Whoever won ANTM is not going to be a top model.Work Of Art will not produce the next great artist. But the winner of the Next Food Network Star actually gets to be what the title promises. I'm a fan of any show that makes its contestants justify why they should be on TV and Next Food Network Star is RIGOROUS. In addition to cooking skills, it demands you come with a fully-developed personality, that you have a workable and unique pitch for the show you might win and that your on-camera skills are top-notch. I've called the last three winners early on-- yay, me--but this year is more difficult. I know who I want to win: an LA-based Indian food blogger named Aarti. She's not unpleasant to look at, she's got a voice that, I think mellifluous is the correct term. She already knows she wants her show to be called Aarti's Paarti. There's an unfilled void for an Indian cooking show on the network. She won this week's outdoor cooking challenge. She's the whole package. If only being the Next Food Network Star didn't involve cameras. Because that's Aarti's one flaw. She freezes. Her mouth goes dry. Her brain shuts down. And I feel her pain ( one day I'll tell you about the pilot I did for Britain's Channel 4. There's a reason I can't go back to the UK). Also, she did something that won my eternal affection but , on American TV, is tantamount to declaring yourself an undying servant of the Lord Satan. When host Bobby Flay asked her if she was comfortable with the task of catering to 100 people, Aarti said no. When asked why, she mumbled, `Because I never think I can do any..." She stopped short of saying the word `anything', but you could see the shock in the judges' eyes. I hope Aarti's journey from crippling self-doubt to full-on confidence will be the arc that wins her this thing. Cuz if it's not her, it's gonna be the babbling Italian chick who's like a coked-up Rachel Weisz. Actually, that won't happen because Giada's got the mentor role this season and, as much as Giada doesn't particularly want anyone to do well, she is NOT HAVING another perky Italian trying to take her spot.
CC: Were you on camera in this pilot? Because in that case, "one day" needs to be RIGHT NOW.

CC: Okay, Catherine Zeta-Jones Shatnering her way through Send In the Clowns was hilariously unintentionally hilarious. And watching Matthew Morrison do all his normal Mr. Schue schtick, but on a STAGE, was surprisingly bearable and even entertaining. Like, THIS is what this guy should be doing, all the time. He's great at it, so get him off my TV and put him back in the theater from whence he came. Lea Michele brought it-- duh-- and sang in Jay-Z's face-- huh?-- and then a lot of stuff happened with people I never heard of which was boring but then a lot of people I HAVE heard of won stuff, which made me sad for the people I never heard of because come on, it can't be fun to toil in the theater for years and years and years, only to have ScarJo show up in her Broadway debut and steal your award while also getting to be married to Ryan Reynolds who is hot and hilarious and has always been so and I will fight anyone who says otherwise.

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