Friday, August 29, 2008


So after reading this interview that TWOP did with Zach Morris, er, Mark Paul Gosselaar, I have changed my mind.

I will not give TNT's Raising the Bar a look, and I will say now that Mark Paul sounds like a total tool.

That sound you hear? My tween heart breaking because it seems Zach is truly lost to us forever.

Oh, and Mark Paul? The hair is not "love it or hate it." It is just hate it. HATE.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Actually, I don't want my MTV.

Defamer has a really great article about how people who put MTV on the map wouldn't be allowed anywhere near the channel these days. The channel that once stood for youth counter-culture has now become a Gomorrah of youthful excess. My Super Sweet 16, anyone?

I'm not the first person to sit around and bitch about how MTV doesn't show videos anymore, how The Real World has become completely disgusting, and how the channel has basically become the home of male and female alcoholic fame-seeking whores, but that doesn't change the fact that it kind of sucks. I used to stay up late and watch Headbanger's Ball and rush home after school for TRL. Guess those days are gone.

Anyway, sitting around and moping won't change anything. I guess I'll just sit back and watch The Hills.

Oh, old school MTV, where did you go?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Veronica Mars movie??

Whatever Rob Thomas is selling, I'm buying.

If this actually happens, I will drop to my knees and become a devotee of the Rob Thomas 4EVR religion. But I think it might turn out to be nothing. But hope springs eternal!

Come back, Veronica!

And I suppose you could bring Logan along too. Just for old time's sake.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

But seriously, look at the hair.

I first saw an ad for TNT's new legal drama, Raising the Bar, in a movie theatre before seeing The X-Files. Or as I like to call it, "I don't care how lame the plot is, David Duchovny is still pretty so leave me alone. Oh, and yay Skinner!"

I can objectively tell you that this looks like it will be a good show. It has J. August Richards from Angel, Jane Kaczmerek from Malcom in the Middle (and is also lucky enough to be married to Bradley Whitford), Gloria Reuben from E.R., etc. etc. etc. It appears to follow in the vein of Law and Order with a focus on the legal side, and I am sure it will be well-written and well-acted.

But none of these things were on my mind when I saw the trailer in the movie theatre. Because the first thing that ran through my mind was, "that man has the worst hair I ever seen." After snickering to myself about the supposed leading man's hair, I was hit with a lightning bolt revelation.

The leading man, he of the terrible coif, was none other than Mark-Paul Gosselaar. Also known as Zach Morris.

I was shocked. "Zach! What have they DONE to you?" I cried. I literally shouted it out in a crowded movie theater. People around me gasped and began whispering, asking if it really was Zach Morris. And the consensus was yes, it was.

How bad is it? Observe.


It's not a mullet, but it's just....lank and long and it hangs there on his face. It looks like the haircut some young starlet has in a movie before she gets it styled, takes off her glasses, and reveals herself as a hottie and everyone is SO SURPRISED, because girls who wear glasses can never be attractive. It's just....bad. No, it's a travesty, a sin, an abomination. TNT has taken the man who epitomized cool for an entire generation and made him look ridiculous.

I'm not saying I won't watch the show, but it's going to be difficult to get past the hair. Oh, and that line in the commercial where he's in some dude's face and goes, "you really going to hit a lawyer?" is REALLY awful. Of course he is going to hit a lawyer, most people WANT to hit a lawyer. But I do want to give the show a chance.

But seriously, look at the hair. File this one under, what were they thinking??

Monday, August 18, 2008

"Hey! It's Danny Tanner!"

Last night's Comedy Central Roast of Bob Saget paralleled the man's career - it oscillated wildly between the barely funny and the barely televisable. Ba-dum chh! Seriously, what more can you say about a man who's such a sell-out that he did Full House for eight seasons AND such a pervert that his version of The Aristocrats is considered one of the dirtiest jokes of all time? Quite a lot, apparently.

Saget, relaxing at ... wait, WTF is going on here?

First of all, I've got to give John Stamos credit - as Roast Master, he held his own against people that were much, much, much funnier than him. Dave Coulier had the sense to stay away, though he did show up in the audience. He had this to say: "I wish I was roasting Saget - on spit in my backyard. Just pouring soup over him, and listening to him scream."

Oh, Uncle Joey... Cut. It. Out!

My favorites of the night were Cloris Leachman, Brian Posehn, and Norm MacDonald. I heart Leachman because she took the "you're old" jokes so well. Plus, she totally made out with Stamos on stage. I so want to be her when I grow up. And I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Posehn - he is the most unfortunate looking person I've ever seen. When you look like that, you have two options in life: comedian and serial killer. He took the high road.


But MacDonald stole the show - during the other comedian's roasts he was reading the sports section or doing a crossword. Every time someone insulted him, he would look up and cock his head as if to say, 'sorry, were you talking to me?' When it was his turn, he told some of the least funny jokes I have ever heard in my life.

See for yourself ... it's a freaking train wreck.

The reception of MacDonald's roast was lukewarm at best - the audience didn't "get" it. In my opinion, MacDonald was doing a send up of the cheesy humor so popular in Full House and America's Funniest Home Videos. It might have helped if he had broken character to explain himself, but MacDonald is a better performer than that. I honestly think he doesn't care if people are laughing at his jokes - he knows what's funny, he doesn't need your validation or approval! Which is probably why his career has been in the toilet for over a decade. Sorry, Norm - if you didn't want to pander to the masses, perhaps you should have stayed out of showbiz.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the roast. All of the comedians were funny, and some were hilarious. There were even a few tender moments and lots of hugs - you got the impression that Saget was thrilled to be there. Even if it was just so he could get up on national television and tell us all to go f*** ourselves.

I think we learned an important lesson today, kids.
Bob Saget's a douchebag.

Check it out online or Tuesday at 10pm on Comedy Central.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Oddly enough, they are kind of marvelous.

My job is stressful, so when I come home I immediately change into jeans (or, depending on how bad they day was, pajamas) and park it on the couch. I then proceed to channel surf until I'm ready to act like a human being. Obviously, I'm not looking for anything that requires too much thought. No crime procedurals, no trivia-based game shows, no sports or news. I want drivel - pure, simple, brain-rotting drivel. It was during one such evening that, while trolling the dregs of pre-prime time television, I was reeled in by The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack.

Okay, no more nautical terms, I swear.

This is the story of Flapjack, a young boy raised by (and inside of) an over-protective whale named Bubbie. One day, they rescue a self-styled "adventurer" named Captain K'nuckles. Flapjack idolizes K'nuckles, and convinces Bubbie to aid them in a quest for Candied Island (pictured below). Pretty standard fair for a cartoon show, right? WRONG.

The beauty of Marvelous Misadventures is its unique humor. Most of it isn't funny "ha ha," more funny "um...what?" For example, on Flapjack's birthday Bubbie presents him with a wrapped gift. When he opens it, we see inside as a heavenly chorus sings, "it's a pencil!" Flapjack laughs maniacally, thanks Bubbie, and uses the pencil to draw a face on his foot. His foot tells him that it wants to go for a swim, and he plunges it into the water. There, his foot meets a fish and they begin to dance a waltz. We pan back up to Flapjack, who is staring into space and humming a romantic tune. And while none these individual things was enough to make me laugh, reflecting back on the sheer absurdity of this scene cracked me up. Even now, writing about it, I've got a huge smile on my face.

It's a pencil!

The absurdity of the trio of main characters is demonstrated visually by their contrast with the dull tones of their home port, Stormalong. Flapjack has blond hair, a red striped shirt and bright blue pants and shoes. K'nuckles face is a dark blue, his nose is orange, and he wears a red hat and coat. Bubbie looks a bit like a giant speech bubble. Just about everyone and everything else else in the series is drawn in a more realistic style (sometimes using stop-motion), in various shades of brown. It's a great cue that, even within their own cartoon world, our heroes are patently ridiculous.

Finding this show was like uncovering buried treasure in my backyard. It has almost approached the level of Appointment Television for me - if it's on, I'll be watching. As Flapjack would say, "ADVENTURE! Nyahahahahaha."

Besides, you know a show is amazing when, six weeks since it first aired, it already has a fansite.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Olympic Fever!

Every time the Olympics start, I try to adopt a blase attitude. And then I get caught up in it. I'm talking perched on the edge of the couch, hands clutched over mouth, breath being held, waiting for that last US men's gymnastic high bar routine. That was me this evening, when I got from work and was watching to see how the team all-around had ended up. I couldn't stay up late enough to watch it (since it ended at 12:30 in the freakin morning), and I didn't have enough time this morning to get through it all. I had to remain spoiler-free all day, and wait to watch the results on my DVR.

(Side note: DVR has really changed the way I watch the Olympics. I used to get so frustrated with the way NBC switched back and forth between different events, meaning I have to watch like an hour of equestrian or something else totally random to get to the good stuff, like synchronized diving. Yes, I like synchronized diving. Shut it.)

(Second side note: the good thing about having to watch random Olympic shit is that you see...well, random Olympic shit. I got to see the finer points of fencing the other day! I thought those swords were supposed to be tipped, but those chicks were screaming like they HURT. Which = awesome.)

And then I got to watch it the men's gymnastics! There was fist-pumping and chanting of U-S-A involved, is all I'll say. From me, sitting alone on my couch. Hey, bronze is nothing to sneeze at.

I can't imagine how into it I am going to be when we get to women's gymnastics or even Michael Phelps's last swim, when he could become the most decorated Olympian EVER.

U-S-A! U-S-A!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Gloria Steinem, please don't hate me

I'm not saying that the Playboy magazine and the culture built around it aren't outdated at best and misogynist at worst. That is not in question. Neither is the fact that reality TV may be the first sign of the apocalypse, the harbinger of our doom. You'll never hear me say otherwise. But I do wonder if liking the show The Girls Next Door (about the wacky adventures of Hugh Hefner's three girlfriends) makes me a bad person.

Let me tell you what I like about the show: Bridget.

Sure she's blonde and a bit spacey. But don't you dare call her stupid - she's got a Master's Degree (admittedly in Communication), and is clearly doing this whole Playboy thing to advance her career. The fact of the matter is that, in America today, celebrity is a commodity. Bridget is all about building her portfolio. Besides, she's not anorexic like some models (actually, none of the girlfriends look as if they starve themselves). Hell, I'd date her ... until her thirst for fame and fortune became overwhelming, and we would be forced to part ways.

I can also tolerate Holly, the girlfriend-in-chief. It seems like she honestly loves Hef - creepy, yet endearing. Also, she rules that house with an iron fist. Respect. Kendra, on the other hand... Ugh, that girl is so trashy, and irritating. At the same time, I feel sorry for her. She's the red-headed stepchild of the group (no offense to red-heads in general, MC). By acting so uncouth, she can pretend that being different from the other girls is a choice and not an inherent character trait. Good luck with that.

Bottom line, you have to buy into the fantasy lifestyle. The women of the Playboy mansion obviously don't feel objectified. They live in a castle surrounded by friends, a doting father figure boyfriend, and all the lavish social events they can handle. Watching this show is the equivalent of a live-action Barbie Dream House... all the fun of being wealthy without the tedious parts where you have to earn the money.

You might argue that The Girls Next Door is just an excuse to show naked ladies on television in the middle of the day. Somehow, I can't see a man sitting through thirty minutes of girly chatter in order to see four seconds of digitally-censored boobies. I'm forced to conclude that the target audience for this show isn't pervy old men sitting alone on their couches in stained undershirts, eating directly from peanut butter jars. Rather, The Girls Next Door is intended to be enjoyed by any and all watchers of reality television (including a nerdy third-wave feminist who overthinks everything, including her TV preferences).

Friday, August 08, 2008

And here's the actual Olympic look....

Designed by Ralph Lauren, here is what the actual Olympians wore in today's Opening Ceremonies. It's ok. No cowboy hats (thank god), and I guess newsboy hats are considered American. It's very Ralph Lauren, so I guess it's very American. You would think we all attended prep school and went sailing in the afternoons. But why does the Olympic uniform always include some stupid scarf for the women? GOD.

I still like Leanne's look for Project Runway better.


This week, I finally felt like Project Runway got back on track. Not that it was "off track" really, but it just didn't feel like the PR we know and love. I blame the contestants, mostly because they seem far too aware they are on a television show and want to create a "character," but also because they are not able to look beyond their own design perspective and put some real creative stuff on the runway.

Case in point: Jennifer. She is girly, and feminine. But the challenge was to create something for a female Olympic athlete! Who are, let's face it, butch. And also representing America. So what about this says Olympics?

Answer: nothing.

But what was great, is that the judges did not let her get away with it. Their critique was really on point this episode, and Jennifer went bye bye.

The winning look was cute and chic, but my favorite was actually Leanne's. I know it's totally impractical for China in August, but I just loved it.

It just looks like classic American sportswear, "chilling at the country club after playing tennis" to me.

So welcome back PR, I missed you!

PS: I have now decided that Blayne must go. As soon as possible. 1) He dissed The Beatles and didn't even know what Tim meant when he described something as too "Sergeant Pepperish." 2) He is making "holla at your boy" a phrase. So he must die. Stop trying to make "fetch" happen, Gretchen!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Avatar: The Last Airbender

A diverse, politically-charged world. A sweeping story line. Complex characters with compelling motivations. Romance. Intrigue. Betrayal. Destiny. And here's the angst-ridden hero ... and his flying monkey.

Avatar: The Last Airbender is somewhat unique amongst cartoons because it gives kids some credit. Kids can understand convoluted story lines - their attention to minute details that only later become crucial plot points is astounding. They can handle ambiguous morality and divided loyalty. They can even appreciate the Buddhist principles that are the driving force of many of the hero's actions, while still enjoying the elaborately choreographed fight scenes that set Avatar apart. Kids are flexible - they can hold more than one thought in their head at a time.

Sorry, what?

Beyond that, the Avatar universe is appealing because it plays by its own rules. There are four elements: earth, water, fire, and air. Certain people are born with the ability to "bend" a particular element to their will. The Avatar is the only person in the world who can master all four elements, and restore balance to a world gone mad. Even with these fantastical concepts, there are no shortcuts or obvious plot holes in the series. And when the writers break with the traditional ideas of "bending," they do it in a way that stays true to the original concept. Deep down, all kids crave structure, and Avatar provides it in spades.

Not that the show takes itself too seriously, which is always important in children's programming. In my humble opinion, Avatar: The Last Airbender is one of the best cartoons on the market today. And with the closing of canon (in the form of a made-for-TV movie called Sozin's Comet: The Final Battle), now is the perfect time to sit down with a bucket of popcorn, the Avatar DVDs, and a precocious eight year-old to explain it all.

Even the pirates make sense, in context.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Puppy Love

Some people think that the best part of The Super Bowl is the match-up between the two best football teams. Others think it's the commercials. And I suppose there are those who think it's the show that airs AFTER the game, when the hosting network rolls out it's most creative and explosive episode of a prime-time hit.

All those people are wrong.

The real best thing about The Super Bowl is that it means Animal Planet will be airing Puppy Bowl. Which is the most entertaining, cutest, most awesome thing ever. And now, in honor of the Olympics, Animal Planet is rolling out:

Puppy Games.

Competitive cuteness! With an initial airing on August 8, Animal Planet promises that we will get sports ranging from "swimming to gymnastics."

Puppy gymnastics???? *dies of cuteness*

For my money, the puppy to watch is Mojo, the beagle, bred in England. But I am a sucker for beagles. Also looking promising is Abby, the maltese. But these bitches better all bring it. I will definitely be watching.