Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Because, do you know how many jams they have there? Because it's a lot.

So, I really loved GG last night. There was a moment right at the top of the show when B and S were on the phone and B was lying about her whereabouts and then she sees Serena across the street. I cannot put into words how funny B's reaction was. It was a real "you had to be there moment", but I assume most of you were though so...one of the top 5 GG moments of all time. Anyway, here we go...

-Explain to me, right off the bat, how the Humphrey's managed to get up and shower in Brooklyn then make it to Lily's for a fancy breakfast and then made it to school on time? They would have to wake up at five in the morning.

-Dan was wearing a Strand t-shirt which made me laugh. I like how the GG writers are accepting Dan's pretentiousness and pretty much make it an in-joke. That moment when he was at Jenny's party trying to impress those girls by talking about his story was really funny. That sentence just feels wrong, like there are just too many words or something.

-I wish they would write an episode that really focuses on the girls on the steps. I think they're just great. Especially Hazel.

-"His password's been soccer since the fifth grade". This will be one of the most quotable lines in the history of the show.

-Dan's financial aid being denied is justice. His father is an ex-rock star who owns a gorgeous loft in Brooklyn and an art gallery for gods sake. You're telling me this guy has no money? Please.

-Oh how you tease me "previously on Gossip Girl people. You show me Georgina and then you give me Poppy! How dare you?

-And speaking of Poppy - Why would she want to hang out with a teenager in the first place? And easy trying to make Serena feel bad for herself. She's 17. Quit being so goddamn judgy and condescending to a fucking TEENAGER! I hate Poppy. I hate Poppy almost as much as I hated Aaron Rose.

-Also remember at the end when Poppy's boyfriend recognized Serena and walked up to her and was all "you look familiar"? Do people do that?

-I like the Nate/Vanessa thing. It felt real, you know? Like, this is how teenagers break up. Not the "I'm going to take a big time internship that my rich grandfather, who btw I actually call "grandfather", set up for me instead of going on vacation with you" part. That's ridiculous. But the "I'm going to stop talking to you until I absolutely have to in hopes of avoiding this uncomfortable break up thing" part. It felt like this show was actually populated by real teenagers for a total of fourteen seconds, which was a nice change of pace.

-The Jenny's party thing fell flat, but she looked really hot. I should not have been attracted to her, but I really was. A lot. She looked better than Serena's boobs.

-Kudos to the producers for realizing how much we love Darota and giving her more each and every week. The "maybe girl from Brooklyn cry and Mr. Nate is nice boy..." piece was great and that she's got something going on with the Van Der Woodsen's doorman is potentially great.


So I thought the show had some really great moments and some really great lines. It was actually fun tonight, which is how it should be. Just frothy fun...and Blake Lively's boobs. It wasn't perfect by any means, but I'll take it. A-

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Because it's a lot like playing touch football in a yellow cardigan...with elbow pads.

Gossip Girl, Gossip Girl, blah, blah, blah...you know, you know...

-First off, what's the difference between the "old Blair" and the "new Blair" exactly? They seemed pretty much exactly the same - mean spirited, bitchy, self serving - when was Blair not these things, exactly? A few doe-eyed bedroom scenes with Chuck does not a "new Blair" make.

-"Where's Waldorf"

-I loved that Serena has presumably been through so much with Blair (sex orgies, drug taking, lying, manipulating, declaring war on people's very lives), but it was her shoplifting a pair of sunglasses that convinced S that she had really gone off the deep end this time.

-I liked Vanessa's cardigan a lot. I find her to be very pretty. Mara disagrees.

-I HATE Rufus and Lily, but mostly Rufus. I guess I don't actually hate Lily. I used to really like her, but now she's with Rufus, who I hate. He's the worst. Insufferable. I see where Dan gets it.

- Mara pointed out, quite astutely, how immature Rufus and Lily where being with their lists. So stupid. Serena and Dan were never that immature, but then again Dan's list would have consisted of pretty much just Serena, so I could see how that would be embarrassing.

-One more thing about the list, having a discussion regarding your degree of slutiness is an inappropriate one to have with your teenage daughter.

-I know I say it every week, but damn Serena's boobs are something else. Just a pleasure to look at.

-Who calls their grandfather "grandfather"?

-Why was Dan all over the Vanderbelt Family reunion? I couldn't believe it when he got out of the limo the first time and then back again for day two. Unbelievable.

-I know that I've made mention of the times when Nate is not really on episodes and I've voiced a bit of surprise. Now I totally get it. Nate is sooooooo boring. Like Rufus and Lily boring. Like Chuck investigates the gentleman's club his father was a member of boring. Who cares if he accepts some internship in the mayor's office? Not me. And neither should Vanessa, who IS pretty, dammit! And while we're at it, what DID happen to the Nate that just wanted to get high and play Halo?


-Dorota had a great show last night. First she yells at Chuck in Polish, which is awesome and then totes covers for Blair and Nate which I believe because I'm sure she sees what a better, if much more boring, influence Nate would be on her beloved "Miss Blair."

-"Do you think the Humphrey's have a family crest that I could get Jenny to sew on one of my cardigans?" Sometimes Dan gets me. At least he knows he's ridiculous.

-Where's Eric?

-Jenny was really useless in this episode. She was pretty much only on last night's episode to verbally product place Bluefly.

-Teenagers don't insist that other teenagers "leave town" in real life, yet they do on Gossip Girl which is why I love it.

-What could have possibly happened on Santorini? They'll probably just brush it aside and hope we'll forget to ask again. Not me, I'm asking every week.

-I was amazed at the initial reveal that Tripp was supposed to be older than Nate.

-Also, alright Tripp.

-Touch football.

So the episode was best described by Mara, "meh". Better than last week, though and it seems to be something of a reset and next week looks AWESOME! So, a solid B-.

Monday, March 23, 2009

A quick note on Eastbound and Down

Last night HBO ran the sixth and what is likely to be the last episode of it's new comedy Eastbound and Down which I haven't discussed much, but Friday Night Lights aside, has quietly been the best show in television.

Eastbound and Down is a comedy that isn't always hilarious. It can be sad and it can be jarring and it can be difficult and this is what separates it from the rest of the TV pack. I've often said that no television show approaches being high art like Friday Night Lights but it turns out I'm wrong as Eastbound and Down can certainly be mentioned in the same breath as the vaunted FNL.

The center of the show is Danny McBride's Kenny Powers a rude, obnoxious ex-MLB pitcher who has relocated to his hometown after being the toast of many others. McBride's performance is bordering on genius and is reminiscent of Ricky Gervais' in the Office in that it's all encompassing to the point of discomfort.

The show will make you laugh - this is very important, but not in the Flight of the Conchords "wink-wink look how cute we are" way. No, it dares you to laugh. When Kenny tells a stripper friend of his that she's "a great girl who dresses like a dickhead" or when, in a moment of raw honesty, says to the love of his life "Listen here you beautiful bitch, I'm about to fuck you up with some truth" your first response may be to wince and that's the point.

Kenny Powers is as much an anti-hero as has ever been put on screen. He's a modern day Archie Bunker and his story has been compelling television that may be gone forever. If you watch the show then you know last night's episode ended on a cliffhanger, one that I want to see resolved, but if it's not I will just be happy to have those three hours with Kenny Powers and I'll be glad to know that at least Eastbound and Down existed and there was an audience, albeit a very small one, there to see it.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I kind of hate American Idol Season 8, everybody.

(NOTE: This started off as a simple recap of last nights horrendous American Idol and then as I was writing I flipped out and got all soap boxy. I apologize in advance.)

It's country week! Country week is usually bad! Not because country music is bad, the complete opposite actually. It's great. But you know these people aren't going to sing it well, so...

We'll start, obvi with the good. Alison. Great. At first I wasn't sure if it was great, but I watched it again and I'm sold. It was great. She's the best female contestant on the show. Better, even than Alexis Grace (who I happen to like quite a bit, but not last night. Last night was bad). But, since Alison's not that pretty the judges don't want her to win, so they act like her performance was just ok. Except for Randy, he said it was "dope". Because if all four of them were "meh" everyone would figure out that they essentially fix the competition by giving bogus criticism. Kris Allen was ok, a bit boring, but ok. I hate that song, though. It's gross. Plus, regardless of whether or not Garth Brooks wrote it, it's not a country song. It's a pop song. But, I like Kris Allen so who cares right? Uhm, who else, who else. Oh Matt was good. His performance was good. I really want to root for Matt and initially thought he could be my horse in this thing but dude has zero personality. Z-E-R-O (that's me spelling out the word "zero". Get it?) I find it tough to root for him. I am though, I'm rooting for him.

Next up: Hey American Idol can we put a moratorium (I can't believe that word is spelled that way) on the Taylor Hicks bashing. Guess what, we all knew that Taylor Hicks sucked, but you did that. It's your fault. Don't go acting all "we knew he was bad all along" shit. It's mean.

Also, I'm hating the judges this year. Hating them. All of them. Especially Kara. She throws everything off. And for the most part she's stupid. Stop telling everyone they're artists alright. None of these people are "artists". They pick a fucking song out of a hat and sing it. That's it. Sam Cooke was an artist. John Lennon, Elvis Costello, Neko Case, Bob Dylan, Lucinda Williams, Tina Turner! These are artists.

And also stop using "it's karaoke" as criticism because - OBVIOUSLY! What did you think it was?

I love watching this show, you know, but this season I'm kind of hating it.

Speaking of hate. Oh my Jesus Adam Lambert. I don't even know what to say. I don't necessarily believe you need to be wholly reverent to the past but it's Johnny Cash, man. His performance was so gross. Just dripping, oozing with disgusting. Last night I called it one of the top five worst Idol performances, but now I am ready to call the worst thing I have ever seen on that show. And I've seen some bad stuff. Clay Aiken! Sanjaya! Group sings! Nothing compared to that performance. I don't even know what to say. The camera effing, the arrangement, those awful high notes. Every time Paula stands up and claps for him, it makes me want to fire her on the spot. Paula, who is crazy - admitted - judges these people based on which one she wants to sleep with the most. That's not ok. The worst piece of criticism came from Randy who compared it to Nine Inch Nails doing country which proves he either doesn't have ears or has never actually bothered to listen to a Nine Inch Nails song, but then went even further by calling that description current. CURRENT! Nine Inch Nails haven't been current in fifteen years! And I like Nine Inch Nails.

The rest - I am consistently flummoxed by the overwhelming support for Danny Gokey. First off, he chose "Jesus, Take the Wheel"! Really? The song is terrible, but his obvious reasons for picking it were even worse. He KNEW that he could be all show-offy at the end and then Paula would rise up all stumbly from her chair even though he didn't know the beginning and proceeded to warble his way through it. It was a bad performance. Not a "wasn't your best, dog" performance. It was simply bad. But, the judges want him in the finals, so there you go.

Alexis Grace was not good. Seeing as how "Ring of Fire" and "Jolene" were the only ACTUAL country songs performed last night (and to be fair that Michael Sarver song as well), I hoped for more out of Alexis. But she didn't deliver. She seems a bit cold at times and though I am a fan, I could see that playing against her. Like Matt, she needs more personality.

Lil Rounds on the other hand - personality to spare! Not the worst performance, but certainly not the best but she is just so likable so I'm on board with her.

Anoop is boring.

Megan Joy (Corkrey) is as adorable as all get out. I fully admit that I root for her to stay around because I enjoy looking at her. Cute as a button, I say.

Lastly, the talent this season is so middle of the road I can't stand it and when Ryan says "I think we have a competition on our hands" I agree, but it's a competition of mediocrity bordering on just bad unoriginal crap. After last night, I actually started to hate this show. I always try to like everything, but I'm starting to think there is nothing here for me apart from Alison who also gets on my nerves a little bit. I like Megan, of course but for all the wrong reasons. I don't really think anyone in this group deserves to win a show like this and become a big star. I really don't. We're at the point now where these people are just in it to be "reality tv" stars, not musicians. There is not a Kelly Clarkson or a Fantasia Barino in the bunch. Not one. These kids have all grown up with the show and are just going through the motions. Doing what they've seen before.

I'm also very disillusioned by these judges this year and their outward favortism of certain contestants is unforgivable. Listen. I know the show's purpose has always been to create a commercially viable star but it all just feels, I don't know, particularly gross this year.

Kind of depressing

Oh and Scott and Michael will be the bottom two and Scott will go home.

Sorry about where this went.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Because why, if you were a teacher, would you not sleep with your student in a costume closet whilst a play was going on just outside?

So Spring approaches and Gossip Girl awakes from it's month long hibernation to give us an episode not quite up to par. But it's Gossip Girl and a Monday night with Gossip Girl is certainly better than a Monday night without Gossip Girl...


-Nate wins for the "should have gone with mercury poison" line, but how pissed was whoever wrote that when he/she (actually a she, Jessica Queller - like Headmistress Queller- did this writer name the headmistress after herself? I effin hope so. That is awesome. Fair play. NOTE: I just did some research and it turns out I'm a little bit in love with Jessica Queller.) realized the show was going on hiatus and would sadly come a month late. Either way, good job.

-In bad Nate news, turns out he is almost as bad an actor as Chace Crawford. Oh Snap!

-I'm sad that Rachel is gone. Listen, I know she was ridiculous, but Dan was having sex with his teacher for god's sake. Yes, he's eighteen and she was probably 22 so obvi not that big a deal, but she was his teacher! That's good drama.

-Alright, full disclosure I'm mostly mad about her ouster because I really thought it was my beloved Georgina sending the GG blasts. When the Serena GG blast was sent out, I yelled to Mara, who had already watched the episode, "OH, I KNOW WHO IT IS! I KNOW WHOSE DOING IT! IT'S GEORGINA!" and I was so proud. Proud like P. And I was wrong.

-Oh and by the by, I'm all for kicking it old school but Dan and Rachel would have never communicated via note and to take it a step further, Rachel would have especially never entrusted her response with her teenage student/lovers little sister.

-Mara took issue with Rachel leaving a key when, seemingly he could have just knocked or, more than likely, buzzed up. I defended it by saying she was probably going to be doing something untoward like lying on the bed in sexy underwear, you know? But it turned out she was just lighting a bunch of candles and cooking dinner, to which Mara exclaimed, "Why would you be cooking dinner for your teenage boyfriend?" Mara, it turned out, was right. About the whole thing. Though I'm actually not sure she was cooking dinner at all now that I think about it. Hmmm.

-But, on the flip side it seems weird that Rufus would use the key and let himself in seeing as how it was at least conceivable that this woman could have been close to naked, no?

-This Chuck storyline was so boring. Sooooooooooooo boring! I hated that Elle. She was a terrible actress and only "meh" in the hot department. Blair is much hotter (she was really, really hot at the end of the episode - but more on Blair next) and it turns out the GG writers forced that super boring two episode Chuck story arc down our throats just to make Chuck realize that he loves Blair. Come on, now. Buck up.

-Blair. B. Ms. Waldorf. I love her. I love her so much. I especially love that she's coming to terms with the fact that she's evil! It's great stuff. Also, Lieghton Meester is just a really good actress who will never get her due while on this show. The moment when she confronted Rachel was awesome.

-No colleges have such strict "one early acceptance only" policy and while we're at this a month has passed, right? Isn't Nelly Yuki's early acceptance just an acceptance at this point.

-Touche GG writers for turning the Waldorf war announcements into a self reflexive joke.

-Oh remember when Nate used the word "dilettante"? Not happening. Though he did kind of, sort of mispronounce it so maybe.

-The best part of the Elle storyline was her coming out of the hotel and being all "they weren't trying to kill me after all, they just wanted to give me a bunch of money" and then us accepting the absurdity of it because we were just so fucking glad it was over.

-Vaneesa - meh.

-Jenny - meh

-This director - meh.

-Serena - meh.

-Serena's boobs - great, as always. I mean, just great. Best boobs in the biz right now.

All in all the episode was hurt a great deal by the Elle story. The play coming apart at the end was fun and Blair declaring all that war was good stuff too. And Derota, but then there was also Charles Isherwood - a real critic who went on Gossip Girl and pretty much called himself out as a pretentious dope, so I guess not all bad. Better luck next week, though.

Oh and it's good to be back with these.

C+ and I'm being generous.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Oh man, this is funny

So, I think this may have been around for a while. I knew Chris Cornell was doing some dance record with Timbaland and I'm pretty sure I just avoided it with the knowledge that it would be embarrassing, but then I couldn't avoid it anymore and I saw this...his video for the song "Part Of Me"

Wow, huh. It's really bad. I can't tell if it's misogynistic or not. I'm pretty sure it is. The chorus, for those of you who didn't watch it, is "No, that bitch ain't a part of me." He says it a lot. Over and over again in fact. But sometimes it sounds like "that bitch ATE a part of me."

It's weird to hear Chris Cornell call a woman a bitch. Is he just trying to be cool? Or is he saying "bitch" like the girls from "The Hills" do when they see each other? And was that fucking Method Man?

So many questions.

It may be that Chris Cornell hates women, but don't worry women I'd imagine after this most people probably hate Chris Cornell.

This is so bad.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Get excited

The Hold Steady's live album/DVD "A Positive Rage" is out on April 7th. Here's the trailer of sorts. It's gonna be great.

The best part is when that kid says "most people in the world don't believe that rock 'n roll can save your soul. I don't think anyone of those people has seen the Hold Steady."


You should listen to this


Go to this link. Listen to the music on it. It's great. I love it. You should love it too.

"Everybody's Scared" is the best song of 2009 thus far. I mean it.

Second best: "Zero" by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. But it's not the best.

That would be "Everybody's Scared."

The best.

Friday, March 6, 2009

She's a little runaway

According to pitchfork, another actress has been cast in the upcoming Runaways biopic which should be the greatest movie ever made - basically a real life, big budget "Ladies and Gentleman Introducing the Fabulous Stains" which is itself pretty high on the list of greatest movies ever made...certainly the best thing Diane Lane has ever done...well besides "Nights in Rodanthe".

Kristen Stewart is already on tap to play Joan Jett which is really great. I'm really excited about that one. But the news today is that cast to play Runaways lead singer and ultimate badass Cherrie Currie is...

Dakota Fanning?

Now listen, "The Dark Knight" was a big deal for some people and when a lot of those people found out that Heath Ledger was gonna play the Joker they weren't happy, you know? This is my "Dark Knight" and I am going to reserve judgment on the casting choice until I see it.

It does seem odd, I'll admit and I don't exactly like Dakota Fanning...

Oh no.