Archive for July, 2006

The Hills: She’s Got Issues, Episode 8

Previously: Jason ruins new years, LC ruins the headband industry, and MTV ruins whatever social life I once had. Even though BookTV and My Parents Having Sex are getting close to edging out The Hills on the big list of Viewing Pleasures I Dream of Treating Myself To, I can't stop watching. $100k liberal arts education gone to pot. Ah well, away we go with yet another filler episode that won't involve ANY accidental pregnancies OR Heidi getting fired. Le sigh.

After another boring title ripped straight from what will, sadly, be the most emotional moment of this episode ("You can't just be with me?") we open on an intern confab with Editrix Love, who tells Team WhitneyLC that they'll be selecting 17-20 year old boys for a swimsuit shoot. They giggle like little fashion school girls before Love instructs "Behave accordingly." (read: Whitney, you continue to be the perfect example of well roundedness and responsibility. LC, you devote the best years of your life to a dog tag-wearing, bling-loving, frosted-tips rocking waste of human life. Everyone clear?) Meanwhile, Heidi's at work (issue #90: How, how, how is she still gainfully employed? Someone who cannot spell W-2 shouldn't be allowed to fill one out), learning that she'll be working LAX by herself that night, hopefully laying down in front of some F-18s. Oh wait, they mean LAX, the only club in the greater LA area. Right. Well, a girl can dream, can't she?

Whitney and LC scan modeling agencies for swimsuit models, stopping occasionally to wipe drool from their faces. They learn that the casting is going to be at Quixote studios! Ohmygawsh, that's where Audrina works! (Issue #91: this is in no way planned!) Whitney returns to licking the computer screen as LC remarks "want me to leave you alone for a little bit?" and misses the most obvious opportunity for a "double clicking your mouse" joke ever created. Step up your game, LC.

At LAX that night, LC blatantly lies to Jason's face about the gender of the models she'll be casting. Either that, or her parents never had the talk with her about how girl parts and guy parts are different. But, she just, lies! and stuff! Then later, she tells Heidi that she flat out lied! She's a lying liar! Luckily, she has the casting with Audrina and Whitney the next day, and will be way too busy working the polaroid (a-GAIN), telling guys to take their shirts off, and trying to set up her girls with some well-defined men. Audrina in particular hits it off with some model named (of course) brad, who later shows up at the restaurant Bella (issue #92: After which Heidi named her dog?) to interrupt a thrilling conversation about dudes in which LC claims she likes 'em a little "rough around the edges." Alllll the way around, that is.

At the Man Apartment, one of the Brads declares that he's gonna make a drink that mixes orange soda with orange gatorade! CRAZY, man! (issue #93: way to stay within the realm of the underage drinking laws, MTV!) while the other Brad decides it a good idea to inform Jason that LC spent her week man-hunting on TeenVoid's bill. Later on, during a laundry date with Heidi, he admits to spilling the beans before declaring LC and Jason's relationship "insecure and immature." Yes, BfB, whereas you were jealous of his dog tags. Mature, indeed.

In her car, LC spills to Whitney that she had forgotten to mention to Jason that she'd be looking at shirtless dudes that, despite saying things like "Yeah, I like LA, it's pretty cool and stuff" when in the casting chair, would still hold more promise than her current monosyllabic boy toy. "It wasn't that I was hiding it!" LC whines (issue #94: yes, it was). In a shockingly out of character move, Jason tells her he doesn't care about the boys and that she should ditch the pinnochio routine. LC is shocked by his entirely human behavior. Frankly, as am I.

Back at the Villa, LC gets a flower delivery and this time Heidi refrains from asking her if they're from her mom. The flowers direct her to the limo that takes her to the Standard Hotel where a dog tagged Jason is waiting to whisk her away to a flower and candle (issue #95: fire hazard!) filled room. Though LC thanks him for the gesture, when asked by Jason how she'd like to spend the rest of her birthday she answers, in sequence, with phrases such as "whatever you want," "it's up to you," "I don't care," "Whatever," and "I'll do whatever, I don't care." They close out her 20th birthday staring blankly at a television from the hotel bed.

3 comments July 31st, 2006

Oh no

Shit! It's quarter to five! I have an unprecedented amount of work (not unmanageable, or even worrisome — just not normal)! My computer died this weekend! I thought I had meningitis but I think it was just the heat! And… there are no posts on TiFaux!

Dan is Up North (traveling) and Cristin is Between Jobs (literally, not euphemistically) and Kyle is Living in the Future (six hours), and so it's really all up to me today. I will do my best.

  • Heroes will be available free on iTunes in September. It is also a hefty 52 minutes, running with fewer commercials thanks to Nissan. Needless to say, these pieces of information mean almost nothing, but I am unreasonably excited about them anyway.
  • I wrote a post on 02138. I will find a way to mention The Prestige here, too. (See what I just did? Awesome.)
  • Ed Helms is going to be a regular on The Office next year. This almost never happens to me anymore, especially not since I put an end to my acting career after I had a role in a musical where people kept telling me they were so surprised at how I actually sang, but I'm kind of jealous of anyone who gets cast in The Office.
  • Heather Havrilesky, my favorite TV critic, wants to know the best shows to watch on DVD. I voted for Lost, which I just finished. Thoughts?
  • Is Hook (on TV this past weekend) massively underrated, or do I just think that because I was a kid when I watched it repeatedly? And cried? Repeatedly?

July 31st, 2006

More crap I watch. Religiously. — I’ve Got A Secret

I moved in December.  As a result, I had to change cable tv service providers, thereby losing the Oxygen Network.  Oxygen is a network targeted to women in their twenties and thirties but actually watched by gay men of all stripes.  Their primary sources of programming are a somewhat crappy hidden camera show, reruns of Roseanne and Ellen (the sitcom), same-day repeats of Ellen (the talk show) and a few valiant stabs at original programming.

My favorite selection on the network, however, was a remake of the vintage game show "I've Got a Secret," which aired at 7:30 a.m. every weekday.  I watched it religiously as I prepared for work.  The premise of the show was that there was a guest with a secret (maybe an odd talent or a deformity or something) and a panel of guessers had to come up with what it was based on a hint given by the host.

The show featured a panel of b-list and has-been celebrities that rotated every once in a while, but most regularly featured Teri Garr, Jason Kravitz (apparently, he was on The Practice), Jim J. Bullock (from the upper left square) and Amy Yasbeck (best known as the star of the Problem Child franchise and wife of the late John Ritter).  The host was liberal radio host Stephanie Miller.  No relation.

It was a fun crowd, despite the fact that Teri and Jim J. are lovable idiots.  Amy Yasbeck was the brains of the outfit and was the one who guessed it correctly most of the time.

The show was dated, definitely Clinton-era (remember that time? when we weren't scared all the time?), so the show hasn't been resurrected.  Until now.

The Game Show Network somewhat recently launched its own version of the show.  The twist?  This time it's chock full of homos. 

IveGot_AllTalent_.jpg
Bigger, better, gayer.  Jermaine, Bil, Frank, Suzanne, Billy.

Hosted by smiling straightie Bil Dwyer, the show's four panelists are all inexplicably gay.  That is, there's no real reason for it.  Except to appeal to the demographic.

The panelists are Frank DeCaro (he did movie reviews for The Daily Show a long time ago), comedian Suzanne Westenhoefer, former baseball player and resident beefcake Billy Bean and some guy named Jermaine (I have no idea who he is, but he has amazing teeth.  And, frankly, that's good enough for me.)

This time, the panelists all seem fairly flighty and ask pretty stupid questions (with the exception of Billy, who seems to really grill them).  But the mood is light and everybody is quite likable despite themselves.  

Also, there are a lot of blind games where the panelists are blindfolded while someone performs a stunt and they have to guess what he/she is doing.  So, they're all wearing lip-shaped blindfolds while some guy across the stage is trying to fit himself into a two-foot by two-foot box.

In any case, it's on every night after The Daily Show and is much more entertaining than Leno or Letterman.

July 28th, 2006

Dilana

I have not accepted that many people don't give a crap about Rock Star. I will make you care. How will I do that? I will show you Dilana. Here's her performance from last night. I challenge you to find me a cooler person, more interesting stage presence, and unique voice in the entire world. I. Love. Her.

 

She can do anything. She can even kick the ass of a Cranberries song. Don't believe me? I thought you might say that.

 

What can't she do? Nothing. The answer is nothing. Here she does Nirvana.

 

Dilana. Not only is she an amazing performer, but she gives advice to the gratingly pathetic Dana, who repays her by imitating her in the grossest way possible. But Dilana doesn't care. Dilana is genuine. Dilana.

4 comments July 28th, 2006

Reality Eats Itself — The Fresh Meat Challenge: Episode 9

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Recap: 

Cristin Writes:

Going into this episode, teams Katie/Eric and Tina/Kenny are slated to head into exile following a routine voting session and amazingly uncalled-for hissy fit by tina. The gang celebrates by heading out to The Cheeky Monkey (which looks shockingly like The Dizzy Rooster from the Austin season — I call shenanigans) where Evan and his athletic hernia engaged in a contest that involve inflating a condom to its breaking point, something I doubt Evan would be able to accomplish with any other body parts IF YOU KNOW WHAT I'M SAYING. Wes, the Exile Expert, coaches Katie and Eric on how to come out ahead, saying that if they return, as a group they'll be able to "do some crazy things." Please don't let them involve Eric naked.

The challenge is called Human Ox Pull, and involves splitting into two teams to pull a sled with 800 pound of  hay on it. The winning team will then break down into the original two person teams and compete in individual sled pulls. During the pull we are treated to a series of hard-to-watch
looks at the painful grimaces on Hernia Evan's face as he, most likely, gives himself series of baby hernias.

Team Hernia loses, which is good because Coral has managed to pop her kneecap out and needs to go to the hospital, giving Evan the perfect excuse to get his hernia looked at on the sly. Evan carries Coral into the hospital after ox pulling 4 times his weight, making him either a total trooper or big, raging idiot. Either way, he's got invites to the next 9 challenges locked up, so at least he won't have to get a REAL job. Might want to start looking at Cobra, though. Coral is eventually transported to another hospital, still unaware that her partner is herniated and possibly hemmoraging. Eeewwww.

Back at the individual ox pulls, wes and casey quit theirs early because casey is "useless" (I agree), and she remains hilariously tangled in
her harness for many joyful minutes. Darell and Aviv take it on home.

During the exile race, Tina and Kenny are carrying 50 pounds less than Eric and Katie, giving them an early lead. They solve the first puzzle and get to drop their bags, but forget to pick up their team flag. They have enough of a lead on Katie and Eric, though, that returning to get it doesn't compromise their win (note to the producers, maybe these puzzle stations should be more than 50 feet or so apart?), and they send Katie and Eric packing. "Kenny and I can be unstoppable" Tina says. Great. Looking forward to it.

Cristin's two cents:

Yawn. Yawn. Yaaaaawn. Evan is sufficiently disgusting me, crossing "oaf-like heroics" off my list of things to watch for and whittling it down to a single focus: Diem. I love her. All I want them to do is show more Diem so I can get to know her likes and dislikes in order to carefully craft a planned-but-totally-coincidental-looking series of meetings with her that will force her to love me, like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day.

Dan's two cents: 

I wish someone got points every time Wes was verbally abusive.  Poor Casey. Poor blonde Casey.  Poor simple blonde Casey.  I'm going to be very curious to see how the hobblin' twosome, Coral/Evan, manage to compete in the future challenges.  They're teasing like the two of them are going to forfeit, but I don't think it's going to happen.

The Scoreboard:

Teams:
Cristin's Blue Iguanas: Katie/Eric; Johanna/Jesse; Tonya/Johnnie; Theo/Chanda; Shane/Linette
Dan's Green Monkeys: Coral/Evan; Melinda/Ryan; Tina/Kenny; Darrell/Aviv; Derrick/Diem

Competition:
4 points awarded for each competition won, four points deducted for an elimination. 
 
Cristin's tally: -4 (Katie/Eric elminination) 
Dan's tally: 4 (Darrell/Aviv victory)
 
Drama-rama (3 points per infraction):
Includes: crying; lovers quarrels; racial/ethnic/other slurs; physical violence; extreme displays of drunkeness (includes falling down, excessive slurring, vomiting); same sex encounters onscreen (worth four points because Dan says so); shown or implied hook-ups (includes make-outs and all forms of bedroom activity).
Cristin's tally: 0
Dan's tally: 0
 
Loose talk (2 points per phrase):
Includes: "step it up," "balls to the wall," "not a team player," "pull together as a team," "deserves to be here," any reference to effort exerted in excess of 100%
 
Cristin's tally: 0
Dan's tally: 0
 
Cristin's old total: 40

Dan's old total:33

Cristin's new total: 36

Dan's new total: 37

July 27th, 2006

Project Runway, episode 3: Arf with her head

Last night, the Project Runwayites were told that they would be designing an outfit "inspired by one of America's favorite fashion accessories." I, of course, immediately think they're talking about boobs– speculation runs through the contestants as well, one of whom decides that they must be talking about horses (?) and shows up at the central park ho-down wearing jodphurs. Not mentioning any names… Laura.

Instead, Tim Gunn crests the hill lead by a pack of dogs, none of which tip the scales at any more than 7 pounds. Here's where my heart starts beating dramatically and I begin praying that one of my tifaux-assigned designers will get kicked off so I can write today's recap because it INVOLVES TINY PUPPIES THAT ARE SO EFFING CUTE.

Tim instructs each designer to pick a dog that will act as their muse. Jeffrey quickly points out that everyone basically chose a dog-version of themselves, which is fun, considering he picked a stumpy corgi.

  Jeffrey, minus the neck tattoos.

The challenge issued is to create a story around the dog involving what kind of woman would own the dog– what she wears, and how she dresses her dog. I'm going to go ahead and assume that none of the designers actually own dogs (we know this for sure with Laura, who said all of her "emotional energy" was spent on her five boys, leaving no room for puppy love) because they all came up with slight variations on the same woman:

 "Send help. And, some donuts." ~Tinkerbell Hilton

The designers went off shopping for their various fake women, described in varying terms from "a fashionista," "a fun party girl," "a park avenue princess who just checked into rehab," and "a british art camp headmistress." (That's Angela on the last one there. I'd talk about what a waste of the gift of human life that woman is, but it just gives me rage). The design montage features Bradley having "time management" issues and pondering whether or not he'll have to send nothing out in front of the judges on the runway show that, blissfully, falls on his birthday, and Vincent making a tiny hat for his dog and then giggling maniacally for about twenty minutes. Bradley pulls his outfit apart and puts it back together several times while Laura, Alison, and The Guy That Looks Like Kanye West all make stunning outfits and Katherine the Hobbit makes a lime sherbet colored… thing. Keith takes a badass Damn The Man attitude and elects to not dress his dog because he doesn't think "his woman" would be the kind of person who dresses her dog. Yeah, that'll go over huge with Heidi.

At the runway show, Bridesmaid Dress Taskmistress Vera Wang is still sitting in for Michael, and as a guest judge… can it be?

  Annie Hall mixed with Regis Philbin, but still hot.

Ivanka Trump! Be still my heart! Oh, and despite being a 2004 college graduate, she's currently a VP of Development. I certainly don't feel unaccomplished at all seeing that.

On the runway, Angela makes a huge, raging ass of her trainwreck Camp Headmistress story, Bradley is complimented and appears visibly relieved (happy birthday! now get a haircut) and Katherine is taken to task for her uninspired and poorly constructed dress. In the end, Uli and her pug take it home, disappointing Alison and securing immunity for next week. It comes down to Katherine and Angela and I cross my fingers for a patented reality tv double-elimination, but schlumpy katherine has to take the long walk of shame back to her hobbit hole.

July 27th, 2006

Greg Kinnear & America’s Funniest Home Videos

In a 16-year-old story just now coming to my attention, it seems that Greg Kinnear invented America's Funniest Home Videos. Why didn't we know that? According to his buddy and lawyer John A. Marder, "Greg is a very level guy, but I have never seen him more emotionally upset than by what happened with 'America’s Funniest Home Videos.'" This was just a footnote in a New York Times article about Mr Marder's crusade to protect writers whose ideas are stolen by Hollywood, so there weren't many details. I gather that Mr. Kinnear–who at the time AMHV premiered was hosting the "Double Dare"-type game show "College Mad House"–sued ABC for stealing his idea and won on appeal. I can't find any more information about the lawsuit but rest assured I will get to the bottom of it.

July 27th, 2006

Priorities

I've been pretty pathetic about writing here recently. I blame beer. I also blame ConEd, and the networks' summer vacation, and the rest of the internet, and the nice weather. I'll blame you, too, if you give me half a chance.

Click on "Eco-Cam" for Jon Stewart's view of the Queens blackout. 

But most of all I blame myself for being such a truly wonderful, inspirational, non-materialistic person that I prioritize human interaction over watching television. It's… well, it's awe-inspiring, just how selfless and kind-hearted and caring I am.  

But just because I am so enlightened and blessed and full of life-affirming joy does not mean that I will not go around congratulating myself for prioritizing human interaction over television. I am a saint. And if I run into you, I will no doubt remind you of this fact, repeatedly. Many times in the past few days I've stopped drinking beer just long enough to gaze into someone's eyes and proclaim, "You know, I have the season finale of the second season of Lost at home. But I don't care. It can wait."

That is just how good I am

Okay, so, maybe I'm not the shining beacon of perfection described here. A little over a year ago, I would've quit my job if they tried to keep me at work late enough to miss Veronica Mars. (No TiFaux yet, and I mean, it's not like I loved my job that much to begin with — not as much as first-season Veronica, that's for sure.) And sure, that two-hour season finale of Lost is sitting on my computer at home — taunting me — the unseen episodes eating me up inside every day. But whatever! It's cool! Beer!

And for your viewing pleasure, the Sizzler Sisters from Kids in the Hall, because for some reason I never watched The State as a kid — only Kids in the Hall. (The Baxter, though, is one of my all-time favorites — way underrated.) The Sizzler Sisters were the funniest thing I had ever seen at age 14.

July 26th, 2006

What you need to know about Project Runway’s second episode

A power outage in Maggie's apartment and flakiness/procrastination by the rest of us have resulted in there being no Project Runway recap for episode two.  And now, here we are.  It's Wednesday and we're all ready for Tim to tell us what's working and what's not, for Heidi to tell us who's in and who's out, for Nina Garcia to crush a dream or two.  And we haven't even told you what happened.

Well, fear not, here's the gist of what happened on episode 2.

They're designing a dress for Miss USA to wear in the Miss Universe pageant.  Heidi introduces Miss USA, a girl named Tara from Kentucky, and she breaks the news that she'll be wearing one of the garments in the pageant.  Kayne damn near snaps in half at this news, as he owns his own personal sequin factory in Oklahoma.

They designers work in teams of two with varying degrees of success. After being given a half hour to sketch, the designers all pitch their ideas to Tara who then selects 7 team leaders.  Then, the team leaders get to pick their partner.  The teams are (leader first) Laura/Michael, Malan/Katherine, Kayne/Robert, Uli/Bonnie, Keith/Bradley, Jefferey/Alison and Vincent/Angela.  Vincent is the last to pick a teammate and Angelas is the last one available.  He tries to be a good sport, attempting to ignore the fact that people smell the scent of failure on Angela, and says "I would love to have Allison as a partner."  And then everyone laughs, even though they really want to die.

Angela and Vincent are completely dysfunctional.  But they both act equally like freaks so no one is really in the wrong. Angela hates Vincent's design and pretty much pouts about it the whole time.  Vincent is a control freak and won't let Angela help when she tries to lend a hand with his crappy dress, which (to me) looks like a gremlin.

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Malan tell us about his gay Dickensian childhood. Well, it's probably not Dickensian, because that implies poverty.  And I don't think Malan would recognize a ramen noodle if it fell on his patent leather shoes.  It's more of a Mommie Dearest situation, but even gayer.  He talks about how, as a child, he had drawn several fashion designs and shown him to his mom.  She then tore them up and said he'd never amount to anything.  Now, he's on Project Runway so he can prove himself to her.  Or tell her to suck it.  One of the two.

Kayne wins, with help from Robert. And thank God, because if he didn't win I wouldn't want to experience the shrieky bender he would go on.  In any case, since Robert was the helper, he is merely 'in' and he walks off the runway, flashing his waxed chest all the way.

Malan is out.  It's surprisingly depressing.  It came down to Angela and Malan.  Angela had spent the episode not sewing, not sketching and not designing.  She may as well have been looking for four leaf clovers in Central Park.  While Malan made a dress that Tim Gunn (aptly, of course) said looked like it was made out of a log.  He honorably fell on his sword for Katherine, saying that it was his design and if anyone had to be out it should be him.  It's kind of a shocker that he got the boot, considering how little Angela did throughout the episode.  In his closing moments he talks about how he has never had many friends and that in participating in Project Runway he felt like he was a part of something.  And then he turns out the light and everyone feels weird that they're saddened by the weird fake British guy.

2 comments July 26th, 2006

I’m still skeptical.

Rumor has it that The State, the mid-nineties MTV sketch comedy series, is coming to DVD at long last.  If you don't remember them, they're the sketch comedy troupe whose members brought you Reno 911 and the movie Wet Hot American Summer.

I remember liking the show but, then again, I was 16.  I remember watching it on MTV after getting home from work at Papa John's.

Here's a little sampling about eating muppets.

2 comments July 25th, 2006

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