Thursday, March 30, 2006

True arrested development

Any hopes of more episodes of Arrested Development have been crushed...halted...kaput. But being in the TV biz as I am, especially on the writers' side of things, I can't say I blame Mitch Hurwitz

That Horny Latin Dude

Two things came to mind when I read about Fez's big mouth and his supposed big ... er, pup tent. 1) Ew and 2) That Fez has quite the imagination.

And again, ew

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Too close, too close!

You know how you feel when you've missed a near-catastrophe? This morning I got in a minor altercation with a fellow driver who decided to flip a U right in front of me on a narrow residential street and who then, when I honked in "Hello?!? Someone freakin' behind you here!" exasperation, flipped the bird at me. Mostly, I found myself giggling as I flipped it right back -- because, seriously, two white chicks in tiny cars flipping each other off? Priceless, really. But as I drove along, it eventually occurred to me that maybe that was a little stupid on my part to honk and return gesture so vehemently. If one of us had a gun, we'd really just have been thatclose to being an item on the evening news. So, watch it, Seren. You've got to be more careful, I said.

And then I saw this: Tom Cruise was in Sunnyvale, CA, on Tuesday. Sunnyvale? Sunnyvale is right across the Bay from here. I still buy my shampoo in Sunnyvale, at the discount drug store next to the haunted Toys 'R Us. Freakin' Sunnyvale?!? That, my friends, is too close a call.

His molecules were way too close to my molecules. My molecules are reacting in violent revulsion. Ew.

Tom was in town at the invite of Yahoo! (which, Yahoo!, why? Do I have to completely switch over to Gmail now and never read Yahoo! entertainment news, because you are now tainted?). There was a stage involved, on which Tom allegedly displayed such a keen sense of humor as to perform an ironic, self-mocking chair jumping. O, ha, ha! O, what goodwill he accrued! And then rapidly spent. Because you know he then had to drag Katie out on stage and fondle her stomach in this way -- this -- way -- I can't describe this way except to say, go look at the picture. He loves her, really, he does. He doesn't just love her as a womb or an alibi or an actress, certainly not as an actress, since she isn't one any more since she met him, or wait, I may be forced to concede she's the best actress ever, because she's smiling in this picture. And I have to look away.

The whole sordid event will be covered on tonight's Inside Edition. You could always tune in, I guess. I warn you -- I'm sure it's not for the faint of heart. Or stomach.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Kevin Arnold enters the Parenting Years

Fred Savage, aka Kevin Arnold, is going to be a dad! Doesn't that make you feel, oh...old?

The Wonder Years was one of my all-time favorite shows. I strongly identified with all three of the young leads: wistful Kevin, lost Winnie and nerdy Paul. One of my college roommates used to baby-sit for the real-life Paul, who lived outside of Philadelphia. I went to his house once and heard voice-overs all night long. It was awesome.

I wish Crumbs was as good as The Wonder Years. It lacks heart despite it's high-profile creator and stellar cast. Nonetheless, I find myself routing for Fred Savage whether he's a gay screenwriter or a leacherous college professor or a rapist jock. But I love him best of all as Kevin Arnold, whom I wished had been my high school boyfriend. We could've have voice-overs all night long. *sigh*

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Not to make this an All-Jake-All-the-Time-Zone but ...

Avid M&C reader Katie writes:

Have you seen this before? I think maybe you have because that appears to be your submission on 3/15 with your new cat "Pooky."

I tell you, K., this almost makes up for the Oscar incident.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

If only

Headline: 'MI-3' Pits Cruise against Hoffman.

Because Capote is so taking Jerry Maguire in a brawl (acting or otherwise) -- and that, I would pay to see.

Celebrity Matchmaker 2: Attack of the Cloones

Oh, yes, I did just make a pun that bad. Accept it and move on.

ABC continues to mine a rich vein -- this time, fussing over George Clooney, in case, heaven forbid, things don't work out with him and Jon Stewart.

Sadly, there's slightly less charm to this matchmaking attempt: Ann Coulter is delightfully mischeivous, but Pamela Anderson . . . Heidi Fleiss?

Apparently, the lack of imagination that leads to no good roles for women extends to imaginary relationships.

Is Nicole Kidman really that serious about Keith Urban? Really? The graceful and gracious Joan Allen is close to single, per And in this hypothetical context, I don't think we need to take the rumors about Jodie Foster as an impediment. To say nothing of the run for George's money that the nimbly talented Sandra Oh would offer?

And that's just off the top of my head. Help me out, folks -- we can do better than they did.

Point taken, but . . . heffalumps?

Annie Proulx is taking the Oscar loss for Brokeback pretty hard.

I think the outrage may have done something to her prose style, which I am hoping is not permanent.

It was a safe pick of `controversial film' for the heffalumps, she says, and maybe I'm looking for too much precision in this allusion, but -- huh?

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


Chef is leaving South Park.

I have to go lie down now and weep. (Whether I weep because Isaac Hayes is leaving the show or because Isaac Hayes is leaving the show because he's a Scientologist and is upset over the episode earlier in the season, or all of the above, I leave you to decide.)

Am I this shallow?

A recent trend has been noted (by The NY Times, okay, by me) that most of my recent posts devolve into (a) drooling over certain actors' physical qualities or (b) defending my secret relationship with Jake Gyllenhaal to doubters.

You'll hear enough about accusation (b) other places soon enough (oh, it was so me wearing the Chanel and the blonde wig at the Oscars; it was), but I feel I must respond to accusation (a): Yes, I am.

There are, surely, good reasons to watch television other than stars who are particularly fuente, though there are many in the world who will argue that the act of watching television is at best, trivial and at worst, immoral.

Like, I see your point, but on one level that kind of ticks me and Joseph Campbell off.

I'm pretty much paraphrasing Mr. Campbell when I say that the value of television lies in its ability to tell a story, especially long stories. I'm not necessarily saying that Dawson's Creek or Buffy the Vampire Slayer is necessarily equal to The Mahabharata in scale or significance, but I will say that the narratives aim for the similar place in the human spirit, and, I don't know about you, but I need stories like that to make sense of my life.

Which is why I've added Grey's Anatomy to my schedule. It has nothing to do with Patrick Dempsey or the fact that I can now go around calling everyone I know McSomething-I-Just-Made-Up. Also, how cute was that scene at the end with the musical instruments on Sunday?

So call me shallow, but give me a story, on-screen or one I make up in my head (No, Jake's real, I tell you! Real!) -- and I'm in bliss.

(Thanks go out to Tea for her persistence and her scolding on this one.)

Update: Apparently, I'm not the only one Tea has in her sway. Grey's Anatomy beats Desperate Housewives in the ratings.)

Monday, March 13, 2006

We were just talking about her today

At a celebratory luncheon at work today, two writers reminisced about growing up watching Maureen Stapleton on the big screen. I, too, grew up with Maureen Stapleton, even though I'm told I'm too young to know her. To me, she will always be the "Electric Grandmother" who was brought to life by a giant brass key that you had to insert in her belly button. I remember this movie vividly because every time we watched this movie on TV, my mother would say, "Look how appreciative those kids are to Maureen Stapleton! Lucky for them she won't die! You kids should be more appreciative of me! And you better show me that appreciation before I die!"

Well, today the Electric Grandmother, sadly, has passed on. But luckily, my mother is in fine health and will probably live to the ripe old age of 110.

Celebrity Matchmaker

The latest reality show? No, just a quick, funny slideshow from ABC News, in which Jennifer Aniston's soulmate options are evaluated. Extra points for even contemplating "Billybobiston," ABC.

(I'm on the phone right now with Jake's publicist about the misprint: He's single? Oh, I don't think so.)

Apocalypse Alert!

Michael Douglas says something sensible!

I'll let that sink in.

I was going to write "something sensible about celebrity marriages" but just the sheer shock required a full-stop.

I do realize that his creds as a commentator on celebrity marriages may be shaky, as in, Yes, let's all emulate him and Catherine, or better yet, let's not. But still, I can't help liking that he's all, Wassup, Renee? Wassup, Juila? in much the same way I am.

When I opine on said marriages, however, I do not immediately undercut my argument by serving up stale recollections about a fifteen-year-old sex scene with Sharon Stone. Okay?

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Decorating with accolades

Carrie Fisher gives a mini-tour of where stars keep their Oscars in their homes. Apparently, you should display it where it least threatens your husband.

It's hard out here for a minstrel-show

Nuanced readings of Three 6 Mafia's performance and win from average folks? I'm liking average folks more and more.

I'm pretty sure my heart just broke

Dana, widow of Christopher Reeve, dies of lung cancer at 44.

CBS giveth and taketh, but mostly giveth

CBS announces renewals for next fall.

Lose: Ghost Whisperer. (Unless Go Fug Yourself keeps writing about its bouffanted star -- in which case, Win!)

Win! Criminal Minds.

Sometimes, I put things on my sidebar that languish and linger and weeks after I've put them there, I think, Whoa, that's a little out of date; I am totally not watching that any more. But, even though I've had this particular statement up there for a while, I am here to tell you: Thomas Gibson's hottness does not diminish. Maybe you're like me -- maybe Dharma and Greg had been on just a little too long in reruns. Or maybe it was on just a little too long in the first place. And maybe too much time had passed since you last watched Tales of the City and found yourself thinking, How is it possible that I am finding that lying, treacherous, blackhearted bisexual manipulator, Beauchamps, hotter than hot is hot? (I'll tell you how: Thomas Gibson.)

And I'm not just saying that Thomas Gibson is hot (though I have managed to say it eleven or twelve times since this post started) -- I'm also saying that Thomas Gibson has got the chops. What, you ask, is the nature of these chops? Thomas Gibson stars in Criminal Minds with Mandy Patinkin, and Mandy is serving up his unique masala of legerdemain and passion, and even if it were only Mandy in this particular series I would still probably be recommending viewing -- and yet I say to you: Thomas Gibson is out-smoldering, out-squinting, out-intesitying Inigo Montoya. That's what I'm saying.

And so I thank CBS for another season of Thomas Gibson at his smokiest. And you should be thanking them, if you haven't watched yet, for a second chance.

(And holla to Matthew Gray Gubler, too, whose geeky genius is also to be admired.)

Why the Oscar ceremony was a little bit painful

For those of us with a sense of humor: Hollywood looks down its collective, unfunny nose at the brilliant, though admittedly reserved Mr. Stewart.

But MSNBC's got his back.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Proof that Christian school principals need to get out more

As a former parochial student (St. Thomas Christian Academy, Holy Family, St. Jane Frances de Chantal and Notre Dame of Green Pond), I'm not surprised by this:,19736,1169491,00.html

I bet Michelle Williams wasn't planning to attend her tenth reunion anyway.

You Don't Need to be Psychic To Guess This

The world's most "UGH" couple gets a Razzie...for overexposure. So of course I had to post it.,19736,1169880,00.html

Saturday, March 04, 2006

But aren't there still old TV shows left to adapt?

Newsweek is alleging that Brokeback Mountain is trailblazing in more than one way: Hollywood's buying up more short stories than cowboy shirts.

I think the short story writer in me should be giddy about this (Harvey Weinstein, call me!), but the snarker in me is too busy rolling her eyes at the article's flaws, enumerated thusly:

1) The article has one source. Someone from McSweeney's (who maybe I should recognize? if I could get past my Eggers Avoidance, I might know about?). How many times do I have to say this? Just because McSweeney's says something is true, it does not make it so.

2) How do you write an article about adapting short stories to movies -- and not once mention Stand by Me?

3) Is this trend new or is it old? Because the article's all, It's new! It's hip! It's the Ugg boots of buying frenzies! And then it talks about movies made in the 30s. (Which is worth it because -- Bringing Up Baby was based on a short story? Fun fact!) But still, I can't help thinking that articles like this one are why Americans have no sense of history.

What was I just saying?



What I'll miss when this Academy Awards ceremony is over: Random interviews with Jon Stewart.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

But do they tell you how to buckle your seatbelt?

Tom Hanks hosts a "how-to" for Oscar speech givers, which from his monochromatic outfit to his deadpan delivery of the obvious seems to me to be the equivalent of the in-flight instructions nobody but me bothers to listen to. (Apparently, I'm the only one who cares where the emergency exits are, and yes, Man Next To Me Who Brought His Own Bottle of Vino, I do think you should turn off your laptop because the fact that you're watching a British TV series starring Christopher Eccleston does not make up for its potentially causing us to slam into the air traffic control tower, thanks so very, very much.)

I expect that the effect of the Oscar tape will have much the same effect -- it will serve only to point out the futility of requesting consideration of others when facing down bold, showy narcissism. Not that that bold, showy narcissism isn't the only reason to tune in to the ceremony, but still.


Seeing as Tea is a little bit distracted by other things right now (cough, bazillion comments, cough, blogger Hall of Fame, cough), she may not be scouring the Internets for the latest on her other obsession, Grey's Anatomy.

So, Tea, I give you: behind-the-scenes chat amongst the cast and crew.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Obligatory post about Imaginary Boyfriend

Look, you make certain bargains when you become the Imaginary Girlfriend of a ginormous Hollywood star. You make certain . . . compromises.

Which include posting about a rather boring interview that doesn't mention his ass once.

Jake, honey, that is not part of the deal. I've put up with the cover story girlfriends (Kirsten, puh-lease). I watched Bubble Boy all the way through. (Okay, on cable. There may have been some edits for content.) I put up with those late-night phone calls from Heath. (Waaay after principal filming ended. Don't think I didn't notice.)

I only ask that body parts of one kind or another feature prominently in all media discussions.

Too much to ask? Don't make me seek comfort in the imaginary arms of Mark Ruffalo. Because I will. Oh, I will.