2 comments December 30th, 2008
Posts filed under 'Guilty Pleasures'
As part of my Sunday ritual that involves lying on the couch and swearing off devil alcohol, I am watching the 2008 Miss World Pageant, which happened yesterday in Johannesburg. And it is completely effing bananas, y’all.
Now, I don’t pretend to be an expert on beauty pageants. But I’ve seen a few of them, and I really like Miss Congeniality (but not enough to watch the sequel). But even in my limited experience this pageant seems CRAZY. Not only does it have a talent competition (which Miss Barbados won by singing a Barbra Streisand tune hilariously off-key), it also has a “sportswoman” competition, which was basically Field Day for pretty girls. They had to BUILD BOATS and then ROW THEM ACROSS A POND. I had to recline lazily and laugh until my ribs hurt. The two hosts have been making the most uncomfortable patter throughout; they are famous Chinese TV presenter Angela Chow and famous South African fellow Tumisho Masha, and they appear to be speaking entirely different languages. Watch, about four minutes in, as he makes a very local joke about signing Miss Iceland to a Johannesburg football club:
Look! Miss Paraguay has a pot on her head! A pot!
The pageant also included something called the Beauty With a Purpose segment. Apparently it involves the contestants supporting children’s charities, which is all very nice, but let’s not forget that the true purpose of
beauty pageants scholarship competitions is the incredibly insane prom-dresses-on-steroids, janky weaves, and piles of eyeliner. I am not exaggerating even a little.
I find it so strange that Miss Sweden is wearing sleeves (she knew it was going to be summer in Johannesburg, right?) but some of the contestants from more conservative countries are rocking the-world-is-my-gynecologist looks. Learn something new everyday, I guess, and that lesson is that tacky knows no country.
1 comment December 14th, 2008
It’s confession time, Internet.
I watch ER with stunning regularity. I mean, I won’t stress out if I miss an episode or watch it on the TiFaux in a less-than-timely manner, but I’ve safely seen the lion’s share of the past several seasons (after taking a break from it in, uh, my early-to-mid twenties).
And it’s a little shameful, I know, because the show is just a glorified, past-its-prime soap opera. I’ve definitely been in social situations where the topic of “did you realize ER is still on the air and it has Uncle Jesse on it?” has come up and I’ve just looked down and taken another swig from my Yuengling. Because it’s embarassing, and in a different way than watching “The Biggest Loser” is embarassing.
At least watching The Biggest Loser is ridiculous by any standards and I can explain it as a vice (I just love the competition aspect and making love to Trainer Bob with my eyes). With ER, I have nothing to blame but my unwillingness to break a habit and my own love of comfort television.
It’s the difference between unabashedly singing along to Beyonce’s “Irreplaceable” in the car and air-tenor sax-ing to Kenny G.
Why am I talking about this?… oh yeah. First up, if you didn’t know, Angela Bassett is going to be on the show next season. This makes me sad because even though it is a high profile network gig, I really feel like Angela can do better. John Stamos -> step up. Angela Bassett -> step down.
But now Anthony Edwards is coming back! For real! He’s not going to be a twin brother or a back-from-the-dead incarnation of Dr. Greene, he’s just going to appear in flashbacks to give backstory to Bassett’s character. I guess this will be interesting to watch play out, but mostly it just makes me feel bad for Anthony Edwards — especially since IMDB says his resume has been pretty barren since he left ER.
Oh well. Welcome back, Anthony. Perhaps Mandy Patinkin can show up and there can be an old-school ER/Chicago Hope crossover!
2 comments September 5th, 2008
All right, maybe not years. But it’s been a while.
I write now as the TV season winds to its conclusion, with one purpose only: to praise Greek. I know I’ve done it before, but this time I mean it. In these tumultuous times, there’s so little to count on, and Greek has become a beacon of dependability in a sea of disappointment.
(I may have become embittered in my absence from this space.)
So, why watch Greek, besides the fact that nothing else is on? I’ve prepared a few talking points for judgmental roommates and your own doubting consciences.
- Cappie. An episode cannot pass without Scott M. Foster, who plays the president of the Kappa Taus, completely nailing the timing on a surprisingly witty joke. His charm alone is worth an hour of your time.
- Other cast members. Spencer “daughter of Kelsey” Grammer’s line readings are not always completely confident, but she’s likable in a key role. Clark Duke has serious comedy cred because he’s friends with Michael Cera. Ashleigh’s bubbly, Calvin’s not a stereotype as the gay frat boy, Rebecca shifts from insane megabitch to vulnerable freshman in seconds, and Evan even gives the rich preppy boy some layers.
- You can reminisce about college — but there’s enough shitty/awkward stuff to make you glad you’ve gotten out of that place, too.
- Have I mentioned that Cappie is funny? The whole show doesn’t take itself too seriously, like Gossip Girl or the O.C. This is not larger-than-life absurd melodrama — it’s regular-sized people drama, with a healthy sense of humor.
- Aha! Remember when I thought I saw Dave Franco? IMDB confirms: I totally did.
- There’s nothing else on. Seriously. This is a legitimate excuse. What, you’d rather watch Living Lohan or a repeat of CSI? That’s on your head, then.
The season finale is tonight, and I’m hoping for a resolution of my most burning question: What is up with the “reformed” Frannie? Is she still evil, or is she genuinely in to Evan and apologetic to Casey? Also, will Cappie break Rebecca’s steel heart? Excitement!
After this, I will retreat to my cave to wallow in my bitterness, so this is the last thing I’ll ask of you for a long time — watch it, please!
June 9th, 2008
Hello world! Dan’s post about accents has inspired me to get back on these interwebs and talk about New Amsterdam. Specifically, why I am not going to watch New Amsterdam any more.
On the plus side, he wears awesome three-piece suits.
If you’ve been following the show, you already know it’s about a dude (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) who’s immortal and who currently works as a homicide detective. He has a sassy lady cop sidekick, a sassy ancient bartender/son, and a cute doggy who I believe he just calls “36,” presumably in reference to however many dogs he’s had in his long, long life. He won’t be free of immortality until he finds true love, or something. (I don’t know. That part’s still being hashed out. He seems to have found the girl and she’s into him. Do they need to have sex? Get married? Does she actually have to pull the trigger?) In the meantime he solves crimes and forces us through ridiculous flashbacks that usually involve some sort of antiquated facial hair.
The best thing about the show, that kept me interested for three whole episodes (I missed the one they unexpectedly ran on a Thursday), is that he tells the truth. When asked if he’s ever been married, he says 7 or 8 times. When asked if he thinks about changing careers, he says about every 10 years. When asked why he knows so much arcane crap about New York, he says it’s because he was there. This is kind of fun.
However, I’m giving it up. I don’t normally get offended at my TV (except at bad writing), but last night’s “honor killing” episode was so patently absurd and insulting to an entire culture that I could barely believe it was happening. In the episode, an Indian woman gets raped, and then her father kills her for sullying the family name. This is ridiculous and contrived, and just not right.
Also, and I can’t stress this enough, I can’t understand half of what Amsterdam says. This accent is… inexplicable. The best I can describe is that it’s early Marlon Brando/Eastern European/Southern gentleman/Brooklyn old-timer. I just can’t understand him. I can only imagine how tough he is to comprehend without our marvelous 5.1 surround sound.
IMDB tells me the actor is Danish. That explains it a little bit. But it still does not explain why Amsterdam, the character, has such a bizarre accent. He is adorable, don’t get me wrong. But I am not a crotchety old lady (usually), and this show is turning me into one.
Basically, I’m over all this new stuff. I just want the old shows back again.
3 comments March 18th, 2008
I’ve been really good about keeping away from Grey’s Anatomy recently, but I have to admit that I’m curious what’s going on. I even miss it a little. Not enough to go through quitting all over again, though.
Luckily I have Ugly Betty (with Posh Spice), 30 Rock (with Al Gore), and The Office (with the usual humor) to keep my mind off the cravings.
We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming: If you missed last night’s awesome new Mythbusters, it’s replaying tonight at 10. I probably don’t have to tell you this, but there’s a very satisfying explosion.
4 comments November 8th, 2007
We give people who watch certain shows a lot of shit.
And I’d say rightfully so, for the most part. If you really guffaw at Two and a Half Men (or the generic Everybody Loves Raymond-y standard sitcom), you probably just don’t know any better. But then I go ahead and confess that I fucking love The Biggest Loser and then you wonder why you read this blog and lend me any credibility at all.
So let’s break it down.
We’ve established that I love the competitive reality genre — Project Runway, Top Chef, the whole Bravo oeuvre. But, unfortunately, this love stretches to the competitive weight loss subgenre.
The Biggest Loser (and Celebrity Fit Club, that’s a whole other embarassment) is something I’m ashamed of loving. Actively ashamed. It’s not like sneaking a few minutes of E! News Daily with Ryan Seacrest and Giuliana Rancic. I mean, you’re not human if you don’t recharge every once in a while by catching a few minutes of Lohan rehab update. But The Biggest Loser has become a show I make a concerted effort to TiFaux.
In fact, my DVR inexplicably cut off during last week’s episode, causing me no end of distress (later, I found out that Patty got cut — serves her right for that team-sabotaging eating binge she went on the week before).
What do I love about The Biggest Loser? Let me explain it in a numbered list:
- The closing shots when we find out how much weight the eliminated contestant has lost to this day.
- Hot, hot tattooed trainer Bob.
- The ridiculously long weigh-ins.
- The ethically questionably temptation challenges.
- Shots of people screaming on the elliptical.
- The shameless product placement (the show has previously given away the “Jello Grand Prize,” making me think that every reality show should call their prize money the “Jello Grand Prize”).
- The fact that they gave longtime host Caroline Rhea the boot in order to give the gig to a soap star Alison Sweeney, who looks exactly like her.
- The huge gimmicks they use every season (last season had the 50 states challenge, this season there’s the renegade black team — I’d explain, but it’s totally not worth it).
There’s a lot to not like about the show, though. Like the weepy “what this experience means to me” segments and the fact that it’s totally fast-forwardable after the weigh-in.
This is really not a show I’m going to try to defend, but I’m definitely going to continue to watch.
2 comments October 9th, 2007
I don’t know about you guys, but the whole Britney-Spears-sucks-at-the-VMAs thing has really made me appreciate Britney Spears. She is doing exactly what she wants to do. I think it’s the story of how she showed up late, drink in hand, and immediately fired her hairstylist that made me turn a corner in my Britney-watching. That and the weirdness and badness of what she wants to do makes me feel a sort of, you know, affection for her. Can’t explain why.
Everyone’s talking about it. So how about you?
7 comments September 11th, 2007
Even I’m getting a little sick of me taking High School Musical too seriously. I promise after this I’ll direct my brain-beams at something a little more worthy. For example, The Pick-Up Artist is now officially my second-favorite reality show after Project Runway. What? Not brainy enough? [Side note: Four years ago, I never would’ve thought I could utter the phrase “second-favorite reality show.” The thought of even watching one would make me break out in hives. Ah, how times change.]
So. Ryan Evans. Ryan, as I assume you know if you’ve made it this far in the post, is Sharpay’s super-sparkly, super-awesome, super-gay (coded) brother. This is the Disney Channel, after all, so none of the characters could actually be gay, but of all the likely candidates (cough-CRÈME BRÛLÉE-cough [another side note: Where’s Crème Brûlée in movie #2? Is he at culinary school? What, is the actor too good for the Disney channel now? And jeebus, crème brûlée has a lot of accent marks]), Ryan is the most likeliest. And I think Disney is kind of okay with that.
So how does Disney tell us they’re okay with it, in their subtle way? It’s not the fact that he performs in the musical; Troy performs in the musical, and he is the epitome of Disney’s manly men. I mean, Troy totally wants to kiss Gabriella. Like, seriously. The fact that he keeps letting circumstances come between himself and the kiss doesn’t mean he’s not way into it.
It’s not the fact that Ryan loves jazz squares, either. That’s just his way of annoying his sister. And besides, jazz squares are awesome. As he so aptly put it, “Everyone loves a jazz square.” You can’t argue with that.
No, it’s not the musical or the jazz squares. It is, simply, and quite literally, that he wears a lot of hats.
18 comments August 22nd, 2007
I caught about the last half hour or so of High School Musical Two on Friday. This was entirely by accident.
However, I did watch it in a semi-darkened room with four other gay men (just as God intended) and we enjoyed it approximately 85% ironically.
Eventually, the entertainment turned to other (decidedly less wholesome) entertainment.
Anyway, throughout the ordeal, I was distracted by Zac Efron’s ever-changing skin tone. In the indoor scenes, he was a normal-ish shade of porcelain, but during the outdoor scenes he tended to glow orange. Therefore, a quick poll:
2 comments August 21st, 2007