Archive for the ‘tv’ Category

Yesterday I Did An Experiment…
October 7, 2008

…to see if posting about The Girls Next Door and chocolate vaginas would up my pageviews.

It did. It, like, quadrupled them.

You people out there on the internet? So easy. I love you all.

–S

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Girls Next Door and Uncensored Chocolate Vaginas
October 6, 2008

Does anyone other than me watch Girls Next Door on E!? (Heh; posing a question about the E! Network causes confused punctuation!) If you do, and you watched last night, you saw all three of Hugh Hefner’s girlfriends give their old-man-boyfriend pieces of their bodies cast in chocolate for his 82nd birthday. Bridgit gave him her boobs, Kendra her butt (in white chocolate with a painted on brown “chocolate starfish”… ew.), and Holly gave him her vagina. That’s right. She had a mold of her vagina (the hairless V between her legs, not the more explicit labia part) made, then cast it in chocolate.

Here’s the really bizarre thing: E! didn’t censor any of it.

A lot was made of the fact that the mold was actually very detailed: you could clearly see in the final product not just the vee made by the tops of her thighs, but her slit and her clit as well. Because there is no hair there to hide anything, natch. And while E! blurred out the center of Kendra’s chocolate butt crack, where she so classily painted in her butthole, when they held that chocolate va-jay-jay up to the camera, you could SEE THE WHOLE THING CLEAR AS DAY.

I’m not mad. A little TMI, sure, but I knew what they were doing (as Holly so readily announced, “I want to make my vagina” about 50 times) and knew that I was going to get an eyeful. I’m just surprised about how much of an eyeful I got. It was only 10 p.m. kiddies; on a Sunday, sure, on cable, sure, after 9 p.m., sure, but I’m 99.9% you can’t show that on television. At least, not without a little blur spot.

Anything to enlighten me on how/why this happened and what/if any fallout there is, would be MUCH appreciated.

And just because I don’t know when I’ll get to say this again:

CHOCOLATE VAGINA.

–S

Gchat with Z, 11:22 a.m.
October 1, 2008

This took place during a discussion about dinner tonight:

S: i have plenty of wine. dandelion wine! from ithaca!
does M eat cheese? i might put goat cheese in the couscous, but if she doesn’t i can keep it on the side

Z: she loves cheese!
i love cheese!
we all love cheese!

S: yay cheese!
actually, i was playing along with jeopardy on monday night and there was a category called “cheese” and i got every question right and it was simultaneously awesome and embarassing.

Z: hahhahahhaha
i liiiiiiiike that
that should be on your blog

Well, Z, ask and ye shall receive.

–S

WTF Is Wrong With Toy Manufacturers?!
September 30, 2008

K and I agree that the following commercial (originally viewed by us on FailBlog, of course) is among the weirdest and most distburing commercials we’ve ever seen. And we grew up in the 80’s and 90’s, kids.

(Warning: Slightly explicit. That’s right. It’s a children’s toy, and it’s kinda explicit!)

What. The. FUCK?!

–S

On Women and Television
September 23, 2008

So I kinda already did the Emmy thing yesterday. I did it quickly, because I was at work, and the whole point of this blog is about what the hell I do to keep myself amused at work, and so that’s all I really offered you. A quick five-part snapshot of my Emmy experience: the wrenching torn feelings about Lost and Mad Men competing with each other, the utter frustration with the idiotic and unneccessary predictiveness of some of the awards. I did all of this and hopefully made some of you chuckle, but there’s one fundamental thing about me that you don’t realize when you read those quick comments.

I really love TV.

There seem to be a lot of movie geeks in the world; people who know all kinds of directors, are filled with facts about what is in production, who is writing what, where it’s shooting, when it’s coming out. They can make inferences about how good or interesting it will be based purely on the mix of cast and crew that have signed on. They can list at least the last five years’ work of the top ten directors of the moment. And they get totally validated for that. People think they’re cool, interesting, sometimes avant garde, always at least justified — if not admirable — in their philia.

When I talk about TV, I get eye rolls and jokes about attention span, intelligence, and reality shows. I don’t feel a need to lie: I love a good reality show as much as the next person, but I’ll bet it’s not in the way you think. I bet I don’t even love the reality shows you would guess. I’ve never been good with the Rock of Loves, I Love New Yorks, or even the Survivors of the world. The Amazing Race is great and all, but there are reality shows I love better. You can give me crap for liking Project Runway because I’m a girl, and a girl who really likes clothes, if you really want to, but I don’t know a single person — male, female, gay, straight, black, white, alien — who hasn’t sat down and watched an episode and not liked and even respected it by the end of that hour. Moreover, I bet you don’t think I watch TV beyond reality TV. And I’ll tell you why you think that: because you don’t watch TV beyond reality TV. Because after Sienfeld signed off, and Friends threw in their hats, you went to college and you didn’t have a TV (hey, neither did I) and you didn’t bother to keep up with what was on the air. You forgot about The X-Files and started watching Aqua Teen Hunger Force while you smoked bong (oh, come on, we all did that at least once). You stopped watching TV and started watching movies, and it’s such a college thing because everyone has a film department (or at least a film class!) but no one has a television department.

They really should.

In the meantime, TV has polarized. Reality TV has made most of what is offered to us cheap and stupid. And by stupid I really do mean stupid — it assumes we have incredibly low IQs. I fear that some of us (and those “some of us” are usually the ones on the crappy reality show) are actually that stupid, but that’s beside the point. These shows just eat and eat and eat airtime, because they are cheap to make and easy to come up with. Just pick something that happened (or could happen) sometime (or one day), add a prize (perferably money) and you have a show. For fuck’s sake, the latest VH1 masterwork does away with the pretense all together and is titled “I Love Money.”

But in that remaining 1/3 of television is some of the best writing, acting, directing, and shooting you see today. I include movies in that. Movies are suffering — if you haven’t noticed — the same way TV is, piled with so much crap writing and so many sequels (a treatiste for another night) that they can barely turn out one or two really worthwhile flicks per season. But on TV, writers and producers whose scripts are being ignored for Saw 17: I Don’t Think We’ve Used Baracudas To Kill People Yet, are finding people willing (just a little) to give their ideas a chance.

Think of all we’ve reaped from this. Between network and cable, we get How I Met Your Mother, Ugly Betty, House, 30 Rock, The Office, Mad Men, LOST. Those are just the shows I like that were nominated for Emmys. There’s Hereos (which, at this point, I’m pretty sure I watch just to have reasons to hate, but that’s a long and complicated essay unto itself), there’s Fringe (promising, promising, especially that Mad Scientist). There’s Chuck, which I find oddly charming and enjoyable. (Explosions! Cute Nerds! Funny CIA Men!). There’s the entire Law & Order franchise (best Sunday afternoon marathons, ever). There are reruns of old shows and old seasons of shows, like ER. There’s Supernatural and Smallville, which are good campy fun. There’s even Battlestar Galactica, which I personally think is ridiculous, but holy shnikes, they nominated it for Emmys. There are good stories being told by good writers and acted by good actors and oh my god, I pay for them with the wireless internet I can’t live with out, and I get to see them every week, and some of them are even free.

It is a joy to have Mad Men and Lost competing for my affection. It’s a difficult battle right now, I have to tell you; K posed the question to me the other day, “If stranded on a desert island, which one would you take?” And my immediate reaction was: No fairs! The two shows could not be more different, from story, to theme, to time period, to type of actor, to type of writing (well, in every way beyond “Good”). To take only one would leave an alternate facet of my personality empty and sad. Ultimately, the choice goes to Lost because… well, because it’s my favorite TV show, that’s why. But Mad Men is extraordinary. And it was Mad Men I was thinking about tonight before I sat down to write this.

I am always disappointed and even annoyed with the Emmys’ nominations for leading actress. Every year. The women they nominate are fantastic actresses, on popular and good shows, and there is nothing about them that I find so disappointing. It’s the characters they play. I bet I know your first thought. I bet you just said to yourself (if you’re so inclind to talk to yourself while reading an essay), Well, that’s because they don’t write good parts for leading women. They don’t do it for movies, and they certainly don’t do it for TV. But I don’t think that’s true. I think the problem is less with the writing and more with the Academy, even with the viewer. Surprise.

I should clarify here I’m talking about Actress in a Drama Series, here. Women seem, to me, to be well-represented in comedy. Thank you, Tina Fey.

The women nominated for actress in a drama came from Damages, Law & Order: SVU, Brothers & Sisters, Saving Grace and The Closer. Three of those shows are police/law enforcement procedurals. One is a law-related show, but this time the big drama is in civil court. The last is a mainstay of dramas: family women who don’t get along. It’s all essentially the same role: a damaged, though brilliant in her own way, woman facing daily obstacles and ruthlessly taking them down. There are shades and permutations in that very generic description, but it’s true. The characters are given dimension and life by the remarkable women who play them (hence their nominations), but the characters themseles are very plain, very predictable. And so, this is what we expect from a “leading woman,” and that is what is nominated for us.

I thought perhaps the greatest Emmy overlook this year — although I do admit that the obviousness of it is amplified by the 8 episodes of season 2 that have aired so far — was not giving Elizabeth Moss a Leading Actress in a Drama Series nod for Mad Men. Her portrayal of Peggy Olson, a more atypical female lead, is masterful and clear. But it’s the character herself that is such an asset to Moss’s talents. Peggy is the other side of the Don Draper coin. Where he is old(er), she is young. Where he is experienced, settled, she is green and unsure. Where he is staid and conservative, she is fresh and innovative. And, at the same time, she has as many secrets as he does, the same mystery, the same inscrutibility. But while he is the world as it was, she is the world as it is about to be.

Peggy is written with respect. As, actually, all the women on Mad Men are. Seductress Joan, defiant Jane, sad and proud Betty, fragile and gossipy Francine, the girls on the switchboard, the girls at Sterling Cooper, the ignored wives. They are all stereotypes in their own way, and they are certainly of another time and another mind, but they are written by writers who respect them as characters. Who realize they are not just set dressing, they are people, that in the Mad Men universe they are people, 3-dimnsional people in the real world, with real lives, and even though we see very little of that, we always can tell, in how they are written and acted, that it’s all there. The writers gave Peggy a heart, they gave her a cooch, they gave her a devil, an angel, and a mind of her own. She is flawed, but not overly flawed; the same kind of flawed we all are at 20, fresh out of school. They didn’t make her a Woman on TV. They made her a young woman.

Moss acts it beautifully, so natrually that you are almost sure that she is asking the same questions of herself as her character. Mad Men is so excellent on so many levels that I am sure that they will garner more nominations and many more wins next year. But I can’t help but wonder if Elizabeth Moss will continue to be passed over in her category. She receives top billing with John Hamm, their names right next to each other on that first credit screen. She is, without question, the other A character of the show. But have we fallen into a trap where we no longer recognize a strong female role and a strong female performance unless it is in the same Fierce Woman, Mature Woman, Strong Woman and even Vulnerable Learned Woman roles we’ve been conditioned to award? Can the Academy even fathom voting for Elizabeth Moss? When they offered her for considerationthis year, did the understand why? Next year, will they understand what she’s being offered for?

Will we?

There are other roles like this, in comedies and dramas. It’s why people love Tina Fey on 30 Rock so much. 3-dimensional female characters are not just not too much to ask for; they’re out there already. My god, if you think the state of television these days is bad, you’re not watching the right TV.

Also, if you can, get HBO and Showtime. I know it’s obnoxious. I have them for the first time since 2005, when we attempted RCN which was so awful that HBO and Showtime wasn’t even worth it, and it’s really wonderful. It opens up the world of Dexter, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Entourage (no, really, it’s still good, I swear), and Weeds reruns (honesty: they lost me this year). There’s 30 Rock and The Office, there’s even Boston Legal (James Spader’s always good in a fix). (So is Shatner, obviously.) (I wish he would do Rocket Man on that show sometime, that’d be nice).

And for crying out loud, watch more TV!

–S

Chris Rock, I’ve Missed You (and your Political Commentary)
September 23, 2008

Over on Gawker, Chris Rock reminds us that HILLARY LOST her primary bid.

And now I’m reminding you: VOTE FOR OBAMA!!!

The Emmys, in 5 quick sentences.
September 22, 2008

1. Mad Men won (awesome), Lost got shafted (not awesome).

2. PLEASE STOP GIVING JEREMY PIVEN BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR EMMYS.

3. Don Rickles: give him more airtime at every awards show from now on, please.

4. Heidi Klum and Project Runway: ROBBED YET AGAIN. (4b. STOP GIVING THE AMAZING RACE BEST REALITY COMPETITION SHOW EMMYS FOR FUCK’S SAKE!)

5. Josh Groban does a surprisingly good South Park impression:

–S

Emails to K, 12:01 p.m.
September 10, 2008

S: There is nothing notable about this photo except the girl on the far, far right who is wearing the gym sock/sneaker combination like she’s a secretary walking home from work and like she’s already bored out her mind:

Ironic, on a show about hos.

K: What is Charm School about?

S: It takes all those ho girls from like Rock of Love and the awful, awful VH1 “dating” competition shows and teaches them things like manners and why it’s not okay to resolve all conflict by pulling out someone’s weave.

K: God, I hate those shows.

–S

Jordin Sparks Called Me A Slut. I Didn’t Like It.
September 8, 2008

So last night on the MTV Video Music Awards (which are, like, barely an award show, and that will get a whole other post, and it makes me feel really, really old because I remember when the VMA’s were both good and relatively important), some British comedian who no one ever heard of, but who was actually kinda funny if you have a couple brain cells to rub together (something the MTV crowd lacks, a lot), named Russell Brand implored the US to vote for Barack Obama (yay!) and said he didn’t take those idiotic purity rings that people like Miley Cyrus (who, btw — totes not a virgin, you can tell) and the Jonas Brothers wear serious because they don’t wear them around their cocks. Which, point to Brand.

But apparently that pissed off those purity ring-wearing pansies (quelle surprise!), and later in the show (which I had on mute while I did other things, so I didn’t know it until this morning — look, they said Britney was opening the show and last year when that happened with was a Fail of totally Epic proportions, so I watched ok?) Jordin Sparks (AKA that girl from American Idol) came on stage and said this:

“I just have one thing to say about promise rings. It’s not bad to wear a promise ring because not everybody – guy or girl – wants to be a slut.”

And I have one thing to say about girls saying that girls who DON’T wear promise rings are sluts: FUCK YOU. I’ve never heard such a rude, girl-hating statement. I am not a slut. Do I have sex? Yes, I most certainly do. I love sex. But having sex is not the same as being a slut, and sleeping with boyfriends and the men I love is different than getting drunk and fucking the first thing I can find with a hard-on.

So go fuck yourself, Jordin. Eventually you too will have sex and you’ll realize that 1. Having sex before marriage does not make you a slut, and 2. You’ve been missing out for A LOT of years.

–S

The Dilemma K Couldn’t Care Less About
September 2, 2008

S: So I’m having a dilemma about The Hills.

On the one hand, it’s kind of mind-numbingly boring. And in the moments where it’s not boring, it’s still mind-numbing. Because if most of these girls have two brain cells to rub together, they’re fucking lucky.

On the other hand, Badass Bi-atch In Charge Kelly Cutrone, Fashion Publicist Extraordinairre (I don’t think I spelled that right), makes fairly regular appearances in which she 1. dresses down, 2. bitches at, 3. makes look like a total fool, or 4. all of the above one or more of these incredibly stupid, shallow girls. In the most hilarious way possible.

On the other OTHER hand, these girls are so shallow and out of touch and self-absorbed, sometimes when I feel like I’m about to have some sort of brain hemhorrage after about 30 seconds of watching.

On the other other OTHER hand, things like THIS happen:

Stephanie then claims that she’s lonely and so she talks to the hamster a lot. I totally thought that was a euphemism for masturbation. It still might be. Because then Lauren asks if it’s a hamster or a guinea pig, and demonstrates how a hamster is smaller. Stephanie claims her pet used to be a hamster, but now it’s a guinea pig. Lauren looks confused, and then, hilariously, so does Stephanie. That was a weird scene. And yet, kind of awesome.

So what do I do? Risk brain hemhorrage, or at the very least a sharp increase in the misanthropy that I’ve already kinda lost control of? Let go of this entirely? I don’t think I can do that. But I’m not ready to die of cranial bleeding yet!

K: I skimmed over the message to see if, at the end, you might have written something like, “And by the way, you’re really gay if you read all that.”

–S