The UK is always one step ahead, but usually it's kind of a side step...or a diagonal one...or an L-shape like the knight in chess. What I'm trying to say is that they take things to the next level...for better or worse.
Britain's Missing Top Model is a prime example. Nope, it's not a whodunit. That would be too simple. BMTM is a modeling show for young women missing body parts or with disabilities. I shit you not.
It's got all the elements of the Top Model we know and love...except...different.
This show is a plus in that it's high time we start celebrating people with disabilities. We saw it first with Ms. Landmine. This seems like a natural progression.
But it's also just kind of...off. A real step in the right direction would've been including one of the "missing" girls on a season of traditional Britain's Next Top Model. Now that would be progress.
Monday, June 30, 2008
Sunday, June 29, 2008
There was an auction of Sopranos wardrobe items in New York last week. The top-earner in said auction? A bowling-style shirt that the big man himself got shot in. So last week some Sopranophile forked over $43, 750 for an ugly shirt caked in fake blood.
If you had the money, what memorabilia would you pay for? I'd pay for $15,000 for Michael Scott's desk. It would have to include all of the knick-knacks, flags, mugs, plaques and the like though.
As for wardrobe choices, I would pay a few hundred bucks for Jack Bauer's blue jeans in season six of 24. Dude wore those things out that year. I might also throw down a few grand to own Dangle's short-shorts from Reno 911. They probably smell like ass though. Literally.
Photo: Yahoo! News
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Remember Paris Bennett, the short-stack teenager with the squeaky speaking voice who graced the American Idol stage a few years back? If you don't, here she is on Barry Manilow night:
Well little Paris is 19 now and she's knocked up! She's essentially the Fantasia Barrino story in reverse.
For the first time, the folks over at The Emmys decided to let the fans in on the process and released the top 10 finalists in the Outstanding Comedy and Drama categories.
There's no voting or fan favorite or anything. They just want you to know who the heavy hitters were before the list gets narrowed down to five official nominees. It's kind of a neat idea.
Here are the lists. I took the liberty of highlighting my picks for you.
Outstanding Comedy Series Finalists
- Curb Your Enthusiasm
- Family Guy
- Flight of the Conchords
- The Office
- Pushing Daisies - Great new show but it's a little soon to compete with the big boys.
- 30 Rock
- Two And A Half Men - Why God Why?
- Ugly Betty
This drama list is loaded with good stuff. I don't envy the Academy at all.
Outstanding Drama Series Finalists
- Boston Legal
- Friday Night Lights
- Grey's Anatomy
- Mad Men
- The Wire
Guess, wonder, hypothesize, etc. All of the nominees will be announced on July 17.
Steve Carell signed on for three-more years of The Office. Let's talk about the implications of this:
- I love the show, so this is great news. Dunder-Mifflin wouldn't work without Michael Scott.
- Even with a solid movie career (Dan In Real Life? Really buddy?) Carell is sticking by his bread and butter. See Katherine Heigl? That's class.
- Again, don't get me wrong, I love this show. But three more years? NBC already ordered 30 episodes next year. If that format works, they're going to do it again. I just don't think there's room in my heart for what could be 90+ hours of The Office. I want it to stay fresh and fun. I just don't know if they can keep up that pace for three more years.
The cast for Bravo's next shitshow, The Real Housewives of Atlanta, was announced yesterday. I've never been a fan of the Real Housewives series but at least this time Bravo figured out that people of color can be wealthy bitches too.
This is change I can believe in.
Learn more about the cast here...if that's what you're into.
Photo: Reality TV World
Friday, June 27, 2008
The good folks at Slate took in some of the coursework offered by the New York Reality TV School. Apparently this place teaches you how to let your freak flag fly just right to attract the attention of all the right people.
You can sign -up for an intensive one-time workshop or a five week course. The intensive course is three hours of improvisational training, practicing for reality show challenges/games, strategies for dealing with wacky personalities, etc. You can also sign up for a Q&A session with a casting director.
For $300 bucks you can sign-up for the five week course and really find yourself. Figure out the best ways to make a submission tape, tell your life stories, resolve (or instigate) conflict and more.
The program does most some legit credentials. Apparently they've helped folks get on shows like Top Chef,The Bachelor, and The Apprentice. But seriously? At what point do you hit rock bottom and decide a piece of your next pay-check is going towards reality show school?
Though I suppose there are worse ways to spend your stimulus check.
Photo: NY Reality TV School
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Think you know The Simpson's? Here is a great little quiz to see just how smart you really are.
In case you were wondering, I scored 57 out of 63.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
I imagine coming out of the closet is a sensitive and highly personal issue. And as a successful news anchor at the top of his game, Anderson Cooper may not want the extra attention he'd undoubtedly get should he ever decide to discuss his sexuality. But since Cooper's sexuality is the worst kept secret in Hollywood (though it was temporarily one-upped by that Wentz/Simpson baby) it is funny to watch others dance (not so delicately I might add) around it.
Everyone's favorite commotion-starter, Al Sharpton was on Anderson Cooper 360 last night with some other folks talking about religion and politics. In one fell swoop, Sharpton outed the newsman, sort of doomed him to hell, then forgave him. One of the other panelists also got in on the fun of talking about just where Cooper would end up in the afterlife. Ever poised, Cooper played the very awkward moment off with humor and grace.
You can watch the whole thing go down right here.
I caught wind of ABC's latest television offering, Wipeout, last night and saw the sad and unfortunate future of broadcast television starring me in the face. People running through a muddy obstacle course, bouncing off giant rubber balls, getting spun around like a washing machine then trying to race for a prize, and all of this with commentary provided by two dudes who may in fact be the most uncharismatic hosts in history. (Was Roger Lodge not available?)
Wipeout crossed the very thin border between novelty and ludicrous. If it got good ratings last night, expect to see a lot more where that came from.
But don't let this diatribe fool you...I'm still kind of geeked out about Hole In The Wall.
Human Tetris? Come on! Even I know fun when it slaps me in the face.
Photo: KPIC - Oregon
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
This JCPenney ad never saw the light of day because the bigwigs thought it promoted teen sex (it totally does). But the ad-wizards who made it submitted it to the advertising competition at Cannes...and it won.
Now everybody wins! Check out the hilarious ad that would've made JCPenney cool again.
Monday, June 23, 2008
Tonight I watched Nashville Star for the first time. There were some fun acts and some innovative arrangements. I think the talent is alltogether better on Idol but it was a fun couple of hours nonetheless.
But there was one act definitely worth watching tonight. His name is Coffey (That's Cough-Ay) and he selected last summer's smash hit Umbrella as his song for the night..and boy did he mangle it.
Let's enjoy the beauty in the breakdown:
PS: Did anyone else think Coffey's daughter looks like Jurnee Smollet (aka Denise from Full House)?
Speaking of cult shows I enjoyed, Jason Bateman confirmed the Arrested Development movie is on and will hit theaters next year.
Can you see it?
That's me smiling from ear to ear.
Suck it Sex & The City. This a TV show that needs some closure.
Photo: Blog Cavenger
Do you ever have a show you really enjoy, but it's kind of a secret? Maybe it's a cult favorite like Arrested Development, or a little engine that could like It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Part of you wants people to watch it; it's good and you want it to stay on the air. The rest of you wants to keep it a little underground, just something you and the rest of TV elite can enjoy before it gets popular and everything changes.
I recently got into Mad Men, and despite all of the critical acclaim and a good number of fans, it's not exactly a ratings boom.
Then, I saw the cover of yesterday's New York Times Magazine.
There goes the neighborhood.
George Carlin, passed away last night at the age of 71. He was an iconic comedian, rebel rouser, and resident smart ass.
I was too young to appreciate his seven words debacle, his stint as the first-ever SNL host, or his early stand-up. My introduction to George Carlin came in 1994 during the run of his short lived Fox sitcom, The George Carlin Show. It only had 12 episodes but it was raunchy and crass...especially since I was only 8.
A few years later I discovered that Carlin was the narrator and Mr. Conductor on one of my favorite shows, Thomas The Tank Engine & Friends. Who knew such an old rowdy guy could find a place among a whole new generation of fans?
He'll certainly be missed.
Photo: Associated Press
Thursday, June 19, 2008
I am off to Philadelphia tomorrow to compete in my first Triathlon. I may not take my computer with me so there may an edubTV hiatus until Monday night. Just an FYI.
In honor of my foray into intense physical fitness and chubby athletes everywhere, please enjoy the sketch below.
Send some positive vibes on Sunday people. I could use all the help I can get.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Did you catch the premiere of Showtime's sexy new series Secret Diary of a Call Girl?
The show is based on a book based on a blog by Belle de Jour, one of the classiest working girls in London. Belle's real identity has never been revealed leading many to believe the whole thing is a work of fiction. Regardless of its origins, Call Girl has generated some serious buzz for Showtime and saw great numbers for its debut Monday night. Though is not surprising since it followed the 4th season opener of Weeds, aka the most watched episode of a Showtime show ever. EVER.
I watched Call Girl and found a few tiny flaws. Maybe flaw isn't the right word...little annoyances. Here's the short list:
- Our protagonist, Hannah/Belle De Jour, breaks the 4th wall and speaks to the audience. I know it's supposed to be diary, but it doesn't have to be a vlog.
- The show takes place in London and while I'm no xenophobe, it does get hard to sift through the accents, even for just a 22 minute stretch.
- So far, I don't have a lot of empathy for Hannah/Belle. We need to know a little bit more about her motivations, what makes her tick, what she wants eventually etc. We got a taste of that in the pilot but not really enough to make me want to root for her. If writers can make me love a vicious serial killer like Dexter, they can certainly do that here.
- And the sex scenes weren't that hot. Considering the show I thought they could do better.
Photo: The Guardian
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Being a TV blogger is not all it's cracked up to be some nights. I watch hours of television with little reward. It's enough to make me cynical, batty and even do the unthinkable and turn off the TV. Tonight was one of those nights.
I had to watch America's Got Talent for the other blogging gig. There were just enough awful acts to break my heart. And then, I was rewarded with the "vocal stylings" of Derrick Barry.
Thank you TV Blogging gods for blessing me with this tonight. It's little moments like this that make this hobby all worth it.
Monday, June 16, 2008
- Everyone is still reeling over the loss of Tim Russert. His empty chair during yesterday's Meet The Press spoke volumes. His son Luke spoke to Matt Lauer on The Today Show this morning. Luke's passion will be a fitting living tribute of his father's best work.
- Got an idea for a reality show? This is your chance to get it on the air...seriously!
- Gawker put together a collection of the best Family Guy news clips. These are the last vestiges of what used to be a very funny TV show.
- Angelina Jolie's papa, Jon Voight, was just cast as the villain on the next season of 24. Here's hoping he just reprises his role as Coach Kilmer from Varsity Blues.
- The Office spin-off is moving forward...for better or worse...and the first cast member was announced last week. Aziz Ansari is a great comedian best known for his work on MTV's Human Giant. You can check out Ansari's personal site here.
- And in case you missed this last week (sorry if edubTV is your only source of TV news), Tila Tequila thinks her ridiculous show garnered awareness for the LGBT community in California, thus pushing the civil-union decision forward. There are no words for just how ridiculous that is.
Friday, June 13, 2008
I shouldn't have to write this. I don't want to write it. Not now. Not ever.
Tim Russert, moderator of Meet The Press, died today of an apparent heart attack. He was 58-years-old. He is survived by his wife, Maureen Orth, and son Luke.
He was a compelling journalist, political whiz and a master conversationalist. He made current events surprisingly accessible and more importantly, interesting.
Slide shows, video collages, essays, testimonials and the like will pour in over the next week. Russert's books will fly off the shelf and we'll sit through hours of tributes and maybe a special or two. Anchors will face their own mortality and wonder just what the headlines will read when their time here is done.
So before all of that happens and before we lose sight of this, let's just stop for a second and remember Tim Russert. He was a talented journalist, but better yet, he seemed like a really genuine and wonderful person.
Photo: Daily Galaxy
Thursday, June 12, 2008
I caught the first annual Bravo A-List Awards tonight. It was flamboyant, funny, a little yuppie and full of advertisements...basically it was like every other Bravo show ever.
Kathy Griffin hosted, but even on an award show that no one's really taking seriously, she didn't get to cut loose. The crowd (surprisingly B-List considering the occasion) didn't seem to get a lot of the jokes.
The awards were a little confusing. They weren't necessarily awards for Bravo shows, TV shows or entertainment in general. They gave out awards for A-List designers, restaurants, best ass, and a few acting awards. It's like they picked out some categories from a be-dazzled hat and decided to run with it. It was an hour and a half episode of Stuff White People Like.
The only upside to so many random awards is that some folks who don't usually get nominated for anything walked away with wins. Three cheers for Dana Delaney (Desperate Housewives) and Rainn Wilson (The Office) who finally got the credit they deserved.
So what's my five word review of tonight's show:
Meh. Better than Housewives re-runs.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
If you missed The Mole on Monday, you not only missed an hour of mystery game show fun, you also missed the best exchange ever captured on film.
In the clip, Nicole, everyone's favorite sassy villain has just about had it with Paul and she lets him know about it.
Spoilers galore, so only watch if you already know who got the boot. If you missed the episode and need a recap, head over here.
It's a shame no one is watching this show.
After a shocking dismissal of my favorite chef Antonia last week, I am not as excited for tonight's Top Chef season finale. Stephanie wins everything (yet still seems surprisingly modest and grateful) so if she eeks it out it's no surprise. Richard is also an innovative and talented chef. He may have dropped the ball these past few weeks but came back strong in part one of the finale. Though I have a feeling that car was a nice second place gesture.
I think the folks over at Bravo want a lady Top Chef. There's never been one, and I think the producers are getting restless. Tiffani and Casey came close but both just couldn't stack up against some amazing technically masterful chefs. This time, Stephanie meets or exceeds Richard in a lot of areas. If ever there was a good shot for the women, this is it.
You may be thinking, "What about Lisa?"Lisa is a walking disaster who's been in the bottom too many times to count..okay 6 times. Her food doesn't look appetizing (and since she's only won one challenge, it must not taste too appetizing either), she has a bad attitude, she's always on the defensive and now she has a greasy looking hair cut...plus she hates bloggers. Shocking! If she managed to win this show, Top Chef would lose all of its credibility.
Photo: I'd Dream
Monday, June 9, 2008
- Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott welcomed a daughter today. Stella Doreen McDermott is the second child for the couple. Doreen is actually the name of Dean's late mother. However, does anyone find it curious that's also the combination of Tori + Dean? Creepy!
- In sad news, journalist Martin Bashir, best known for conducting an in-depth interview with Michael Jackson a few years back, has a tumor on his pituitary gland.
- David Alan Grier may have the cutest child ever.
- Queen Latifah may finally be getting married to her longtime girlfriend. I'll believe it when I see it. We've been duped before.
- The TV Land Awards were on last night and all of your favorite stars from 20 years ago and a few of the new ones were out for the event. Best Week Ever has a great rundown of the night.
- I'm currently in the middle of The Mole. The older woman just had the quote of the night, "Thanks goodness I'm a fluffy lady."
Saturday, June 7, 2008
Well apparently he can't win the Belmont Stakes! I have been waiting all week to see the huge favorite Big Brown ride off into the stud farm sunset as a triple crown winner. Unfortunately, the race itself was a mile and half of pure boredom. 38-1 favorite Da' Tara took an early lead and held on for the win. Meanwhile, Big Brown's jockey, Kent Desormeaux, held him up towards the finish line and helped earn him a pathetic 9th place finish.
Horseracing needed this day to help bring back their dying sport. After the death of 8 Bells in the Kentucky Derby, Big Browns domination of the first two legs of the triple crown were a ray of hope after a such a terrible moment in the first race. I probably won't watch horseracing again till next May, but this horse was a true champion and it was sad to see him run out of gas at the end of his defining moment.
Enjoy the rest of your life Big Brown, cause I know damn well no one is paying me $300,000 to sleep with them--but you might be doing that several hundred times over the next year. You're officially my new hero!
Friday, June 6, 2008
Mike Detjen the business partner, craftsman, family friend and soccer enthusiast on Little People Big World, died Thursday. If you're familiar with the show, Detjen was the one seriously injured almost two years ago when the trebuchet on Roloff Farms misfired.
Detjen collapsed during a soccer club meeting. He was taken to the hospital to repair a torn aorta and didn't survive. The Roloff's broke the news on their family web site.
"It was a shock," Matt Roloff told The Oregonian. "He was like a family member."
Detjen was 60.
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Is anyone else glad Kathy Griffin is back in heavy rotation? The fourth season of her Emmy winning show returns next week and she just hosted the first annual A-List Awards on Bravo.
She appeared on the Today Show this morning to promote both programs and in between pleasantries and one-liners, Kathy "all-up-on" Al Roker. It's about time someone did it. Lord knows we've all been tempted.
You can check out the whole thing on Defamer.
Photo: Yahoo TV
Jimmy Smits is joining the cast of Dexter as a take-charge Assistant District Attorney. Apparently he works with America's favorite serial killer on a murder case that personally affects both of them.
I'm just happy to see Jimmy Smits back on a winning show. Cane met an early death. Let's hope Jimmy's character doesn't meet his too soon.
Posted by EC at 10:42 PM
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Did you guys pick up your "Anderson Cooper, you're not my boo" t-shirts yet? No?
Have no clue what I'm talking about? I need to start blogging in the morning.
Take a gander here and see what all the fuss is about.
Here's hoping this hubbub puts Usher's underrated duet with Alicia Keys, My Boo, back on heavy rotation. That was my jam!
I watched the trailer for the new Family Guy spin-off The Cleveland Show this afternoon. You can take a peak as well right here.
I can't really tell which characters are real and which were just Family Guy inspired jokes. Will Cleveland really live next door to a family of bears? Am I an idiot for asking? Am I supposed to understand how the Seth McFarland universe works or just accept it?
But you know what saved the whole thing? The little ditty Cleveland sang at the end. I don't know if it's the theme song, but if anything from this ridiculous trailer gets kept, that's it.
I'm cautiously optimistic. I will root for this show because:
1. That damn song is so catchy.
2. I always liked Cleveland.
3. I support shows with strong minority leads. If I have to take them animated form, then so be it.
Set your Tivos folks: Michelle Obama, wife of presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama, is guest hosting The View on June 18.
She was originally offered to come on as a guest but she insisted on serving as a co-host just like Cindy McCain did in April.
No guests are scheduled just yet. Michelle is kind of a fashion plate so I'd like to see a fun designer or a successful model. Heidi Klum might be a good match. Since Project Runway returns to the airwaves in a few weeks, her appearance would be pretty timely.
It might also be fun to do a teaching segment. Let's see her cook something, make a craft with her kids, or salsa dance. She seems like a carefree lady and that might be a good piece that shows she can still cut loose....in case that dap she gave her husband last night didn't convince everybody.
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
The nominations for the Television Critics Awards came out today. Unlike the Emmy's, the TV critics tend to know what they're talking about and it's always interesting to check out which shows they think are a cut above the rest.
You can see the full list here but here are some stats worth mentioning.
- HBO miniseries John Adams earned three nominations. That may not sound like too many but there are only 9 categories. The show may not win for program of the year but Paul Giamatti will probably walk away with the award for Individual Achievement in Drama.
- Christina Applegate earned a nom for Individual Achievement in Comedy for her work on Samantha Who. Applegate outshines this show. Without her, it probably wouldn't have made it past the Writer's Strike.
- Breaking Bad is off to a great start, with a nomination for Outstanding New Program. I hope this praise means Emmy will shine on this gem of a show as well. Bryan Cranston was superb as a dying teacher and Meth-maker.
-Flight of the Conchords earned a few nominations as well. The boys may walk away with an Emmy this year and I can't wait to hear their acceptance speech.
Monday, June 2, 2008
Dare I say I don't miss Anderson Cooper. Tonight's return of The Mole was great. I was hesitant when it was announced that parts of the game would change. From the looks of it, the only thing worth mentioning is that there are a few less questions on the quiz...other than that, it's the same show I fell in love with years ago.
The games are just as suspenseful and fun as I remember with an exciting combination of mental and physical prowess. The Robinson Crusoe game was very telling. The players selected Nicole as the whiniest person out of the bunch. This meant she got to control the rest of the game. Nicole got to select the players who'd serve as scavengers, timers and appraisers. Some of her selections were spot on (way to pick the old woman as an appraiser, she might love antiques) and some were a little suspect (the heavyset guy probably wasn't the best choice to be running back and forth on the beach in a time crunch).
Now what happened next was not shocking to anyone who's ever seen the show before but these people seemed kind of surprised. Whenever the host asks you to pick someone out of the group, this person inevitably gets a privilege. This time, Nicole had to sleep on the island by herself (ala Robinson Crusoe) while the rest of the players went back to the mansion. However, this also meant she didn't have to take the quiz, effectively earning an immunity.
How did Nicole get selected as the whiniest person in the group? She raised hell the night before and complained about sleeping outside to anyone who'd listen.
The Mole frequently meets with producers and knows what's coming up the next day. She could just be a bitch, but I think it's more calculating than that. Nicole knew they were going to ask about who whined the most, so she took the opportunity to label herself as a complainer, thus ripping an exemption from one of the players. Plus, in spending a night away from the game the other contestants didn't get to know her. That's less information they'll have for the quizzes. It's a great way to start the game.
Think about it.
It's early yet, but that's my guess after one episode. We'll see what happens next week.
ABC won't let me embed clips but you can check out some highlights , player bios and even take an online Mole quiz right here.
Welcome back Mole. You were missed.
Mary Nolan has one of those "rise-to-fame" stories you only hear about on E! True Hollywood Story. Nolan, a 2004 graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Madison School of Journalism, moved to New York just a few weeks after commencement. Thanks to an internship at Madison Magazine and a stint in Tuscany learning about cooking, she landed a job at foodie bible Gourmet Magazine.
She worked at Gourmet for a few years before enrolling at the Institute For Culinary Education. With journalism and culinary chops, Nolan decided to make an audition tape for the popular Food Network reality competition, The Next Food Network Star. Despite having zero television experience, Food Network approached her about starting work on a pilot of her own.
Nolan's show, Chic & Easy, premiered May 18. Her recipes focus on fresh ingredients, and simple elegant dishes. She seemed a little rushed and unconfident in the TV kitchen during the pilot. She might relax more on location. I can see her doing a food-travel show, maybe checking out the world's best farmer's markets? I don't think Nolan will be the next big Food Network personality but she'll probably be around for awhile.
Check out Nolan's show on Sunday mornings at 9:30 AM/8:30 central. Once you see it, let me know if you think Nolan just lucked out, or truly deserves her own show. Maybe it's a little bit of both.
A small piece of my heart has been missing for 4 years. Tonight, it will be whole again when ABC's mystery game show, The Mole, returns to television.
I'll be back to dish about the wacky cast of characters after tonight's season premiere. This is a moment I thought would never come.
You can find me smiling wide eyed at the television tonight at 10/9 central on ABC.
Sunday, June 1, 2008
The Puerto Rican Presidential Primary is today, and Hillary Clinton likened her campaign experience there to "..one big Puerto Rican Day Parade." All of the commotion around PR, the primary made me think of a now infamous episode of Seinfeld.
The episode featured the gang trying to get home after a Mets game. Because of the traffic from the Bronx Puerto Rican Day Parade and an abrasive driver in a Maroon VW Golf, Elaine, Jerry, George, and Kramer split up. Hilarity ensues for the entire cast, but the comedy was short lived.
In one scene, Kramer accidentally sets a Puerto Rican flag on fire with a sparkler then attempted to put it out by stomping on it. An angry mob chased Kramer and ended up throwing Jerry's car down a flight of stairs. Jerry quipped, "It's like this everyday in Puerto Rico."
Leaders in the Puerto Rican community called on NBC to apologize, as the scene blurred the lines between comedy and racism. NBC made an official statement and apologized. They promised to never aired the episode again (though it was the second to last episode of the show ever) and they originally removed it from the syndication package. However, the episode re-appeared in 2002 with the flag burning scene.
Just a little Seinfeld history for you on this Sunday afternoon.