Category Archives: TV

A Mob of Angry Models

Ok.  So, it’s no secret.  I ♥ America’s Next Top Model.  Each week I can’t wait to see what shenanigans Tyra and the “models” at ANTM are going to get themselves into.  I don’t really know how anyone can take this show seriously…and I love it! Cycle 12 just began and I believe that this season is not going to disappoint.  I’m also extremely excited to see that the CW is already pushing Cycle 13.  Tyra, who has been quoted as saying that she created the show to “counter stereotypes about beauty” is switching things up once again.  Cycle 13 contestants can be no taller than 5’7″.  Cue the overly dramatic pause.  That’s right, tall fierce girls with attitude need not apply.

Possibly that’s exactly what caused the brouhaha at the New York City Top Model Cycle 13 auditions.  Evidently, there was a stampede after all the short pretty girls had spent the entire night waiting in line.  Several were arrested and a few were even injured.  Shit, Tyra knows how to start things off just right–girl knows how to put on a show.

I’m not sure what else to say about this.  I guess it cracks me up whenever I hear that quote about Tyra breaking down modeling stereotypes.  I mean, seriously, I would never expect to counter a bunch of catty, narcissistic, and just plain mean girls on a show about “models.”  To her credit, however, throughout the show’s history there have been contestants with Asperger’s Syndrome and epilepsy, a transgendered girl, plus-size models, burn victims, etc. etc.   My personal favorite is the self-proclaimed “street preacher” from this current season.  Definitely the best thing about Cycle 12 starting up is that I am guaranteed to have at least one thing a week that I absolutely must blog about.  Let the fierceness begin!

Here’s a little clip I found on YouTube that highlights some of the craziness from the that several cycles:

Flipping Out

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On the heels of my recent post concerning 30 days, I thought I’d visit the other side of the spectrum: Flipping Out. At its core, Flipping Out is a gratuitous offering of good old-fashioned OCD served up on an overflowing platter of stereotypical American pretentiousness. In other words, these people are cra-zy. It’s mostly Jeff Lewis who’s crazy, the primary subject of the show. Jeff Lewis is a real estate investor who “flips” houses–buys them, guts them, transforms them into “Jeff Lewis” homes and then resells them. I totally have a love/hate relationship with the show… and Jeff Lewis. The guy is flawed in a way that is endearing, hilarious and irritating.

No matter how awful the show tends to make me feel about the state of American society, I can’t take my eyes off of it. I’m completely addicted. Part of the addictiveness of the show can be attributed to the secondary cast of characters. Jenny, his assistant, is a witty and sarcastic woman–the type that everyone wants as a best friend. Zoila, his housekeeper, is a sweet woman who seems to be the only person who can put up with his OCD. They are both totally lovable.

Although the season just ended this past week, I started this post several weeks ago. I thought I’d still post this because Bravo replays its shows like 40 times a week. There’s a good chance you can still catch it. I realize that there’s also a good chance you have no desire to watch people behaving so badly. But, if you are anything like me, you won’t be able to help yourself. Just keep in mind that you might have to wash off afterward, and that you may briefly consider moving to Canada. Be warned.

Estelle Getty

I’m a little ashamed, frankly, that it’s taken me over a week to make note of Estelle Getty’s passing. She is known best for her Golden Girls’ role as Sophia–the quick-witted, sassy mother of Bea Arthur’s character Dorothy. Estelle passed away three days shy of her 85th birthday, after a long battle with Lewy Body Dementia. Although Estelle has been out of the public eye for several years because of her failing health, she will be greatly missed.

I am a self-proclaimed Golden Girls fanatic. There are those who might view this as a major character flaw. I believe it just shows that I have good taste in television. Yes, I do own all seven seasons of the series. No, I do not watch it everyday…anymore. There was a time when the ‘girls’ were just the medicine I needed for feeling blue. Now, their campy jokes just brighten my day and my knowledge of the show provides countless hours of sitcom trivia.

My favorite Sophia moment is from the episode where she and Dorothy dress up as “Sonny and Cher” for the mother/daughter beauty pageant. The two sing “I Got You Babe.” You’ve also got to love all of her “picture it…” moments–stories from Brooklyn or Sicily.

Here’s one of my favorite scenes…

Modeling with Pain

By now you probably know that I am completely obsessed with America’s Next Top Model, starring one Miss Tyra Banks. Love it. Seriously. And, if somehow you’ve missed this sensation that has swept across the nation, please do the world a favor and click on the link in my first sentence to visit the website. Or, watch just one episode. They constantly replay them on MTV. You’ll be a better person for it. And I promise that you won’t be let down.

I think people sometimes don’t get my sarcasm. You really should know that I enjoy ANTM mostly for its comedic value. In general, that’s why I love most of reality TV so much. The funniest stuff is the stuff that you just can’t make up. Like when a reality “star” says something that is beyond outrageous and impossible to take out of context.

For instance, not too long ago, Kimberly from The Real World: Hollywood used the words “blackville” and “ghetto” in the same sentence to describe another cast member she didn’t like. It was all very typical, spoiled, white, Texan girl behavior. I saw the clip on one of those reality recap shows on E. I haven’t actually watched “The Real World” for about the last 10 seasons. I remember watching it when the title wasn’t ironic. At least in this season the cast members are honest about their intentions–they’re all trying to “make it” in various parts of the show biz industry. Maybe it’s gone back to gettin’ real. I may just add it to my DVR list for next season. 😉

I love it when I read in a reality show cast member’s bio that they’ve “moved to LA and are trying to make it in the industry.” Really? What part of getting drunk and allowing cameras tape you while you pee in a corner qualifies you to be an actor? But, then again, “actors” are even taking the “reality” show plunge these days. So, who am I to try and define what it means to be an actor?

Oh, fiddlesticks. I got off topic again. Crap. I hate when that happens. I was supposed to be talking about Tyra Banks and ANTM. This is what happens when I drink too much coffee and just let my fingers do the talking while I am actually people watching. Some days I get a little unfocused. At least, I’m not at home trying to do this while the TV is on–that’s always a disaster. Ok, soTyra.

Part-way through this past season, Tyra had the “models” do a little exercise with her. She taught the girls how to come up with poses when they couldn’t think of what to do. Evidently, this happens a lot in the modeling world. She starts out by walking the catwalk with them, showing off her fancy moves. Then she fakes a sprained ankle and segues into what she calls “Modeling with Pain.” Oh, Tyra! Now, there’s a real actress. She had all those models fooled, and we all know how difficult that is. I would love to post the clip of this, but, I think you should look it up for yourself. You’ve got to see the wealth of ANTM clips that are on YouTube. Search: “modeling with pain” or just “ANTM.” You’ll be amazed by what appears.

I was watching the show with Jeff, and we both just knew that we had to do this. It was too rich to pass up. We started calling out different types of pain for the other to pose. It was a pose-off. Jeff took it a step further and decided that we should have a few of our friends over and make a “game night” out of it. I’m proud to present the condensed version of the video we created from that night. This is what happens when you combine 5 gay men, a modeling “game”, a video camera, and several cosmos. We had so much fun doing this. I admit that I got a little bit bossy with my “modeling directions.” I blame it on the drinks…

30 days

One of my favorite shows on TV is Morgan Spurlock’s 30 Days. It’s just one of a few “serious” shows that I’m watching this summer. My TV diet right now is heavy on ridiculous reality shows, which I do enjoy. It’s nice to balance the fluff, however, with some substance. 30 Days does that for me.

The basic premise of the show is to take someone and place them in a particular environment that is unfamiliar to them for 30 days. Some of the episodes just involve Morgan working in a coal mine for 30 days or Morgan living in a prison for 30 days, that type of thing. The really good ones place people outside their comfort zones. For instance, they had a Mormon mother move in with two gay dads who had adopted several children. Another one of my favorites involved Morgan and his wife moving to a different city and having to live on minimum wage for 30 days.

One of the most powerful episodes I watched was about animal rights. They had a guy from North Carolina who was a hunter move in with a family of vegans who worked with PETA. He had to work in an animal rehabilitation center, spend time with the PETA family, and actually participate in several PETA events. I don’t necessarily agree with everything that PETA supports or the way that they tend to protest. But, I do have to admit that the useless mistreatment and killing of animals needs to stop. It was amazing to see the hunter open himself up to another way of thinking.

I guess the thing I most like about the show is that it follows people while they explore different ways of life beyond their own. Not all of the people on the show make changes or expand their worldviews. For instance, the gay dads and the Mormon mama’s parting of ways was barely cordial. They spent most of their month in disagreement. It was extremely uncomfortable. I may be biased, but Mormon Mama just looked like an idiot. The gay dads always could defend why they believed what they believed. Mrs. Mormon’s best defense for her beliefs about gays was “this is the core of what I believe. And, I’ve always believed it. I just know that it’s true. I can feel it.” Not exactly a foolproof argument.

If you’re going to go on a show that places you right in the middle of something that you disagree with, you probably should be able to at least defend your beliefs. She just kept on complaining that everyone was ganging up on her. Someone seriously needed to remind her that she chose to go into a home with two gay dads. And if you’re gonna tell them to their face (in their own home) that they are going to hell and leading their children down that same path, you’d better have a stronger argument than “this is just what I feel to be true.” I can respect someone who has different beliefs if they can at least give a good reason why they believe it. Or, at least have the guts to say “I don’t know, but I’m trying to figure it out.”

Oh crap. Damn. There I go a-preachin’ again. The show makes me think and gets me riled up at the same time. Well, this has become a longer post than I’d originally intended. I just wanted to share my thoughts about 30 days. Check it out, the first season is already on DVD.

Hot Summer Reality TV Shows

I. Love. Reality. Television. More than anything else in the world, reality television has been fuel for this blog. I know, I know…how sad. Or is it? While I could be making social or political observations, I’m watching these gems so that you don’t have to. I view it as a charitable act of kindness directed at you, my reader. And, you’re welcome, by the way.

So, the latest addition to my reality TV viewing line-up is a determined little show entitled Greatest American Dog. It’s a real gem. In fact, Jeff said last night as we were watching that it’s really the Crowned: The Mother of all Pageants for the summer TV season, and I have to agree. If you remember, Crowned was that show where the mothers and daughters competed in a several month long pageant. We were subjected to their “talent,” their cat fights, their public appearances, and their “charitable” acts. Priceless.

Greatest American Dog is ridiculous. The contestants are emotionally unbalanced (the people, not the dogs). The host is a sexy zoologist. Besides the viewers, the real victims are the dogs. All this adds up to one hilarious hour of programming. I don’t think that’s what they were going for, by the way. But I’m not going to fully review the show just yet. I’m still collecting material. It’s gonna be good, though, friends. It’s gonna be good.

Another goodie is Bravo’s Shear Genius, where we see just who is a “cut above the rest.” Hosted by Jaclyn Smith, whose hair is always fabulous, this show features 12 emotionally unbalanced hair stylists wielding sharp objects and a mentor who sounds like Elmer Fudd (Rene Fris). See-wious-wee.

This past week we said good-bye to the only straight male contestant Matthew. I was going to count how many times he mentioned his wife, but I got irritated and quit. I guarantee, though, that he mentioned her at least twice in each sentence. For instance, “It’s good that I got kicked off, because now I can return to my wife who loves me and I love my wife the same…I tried to envision how my wife would look in this dress and how my wife would want her hair done…and when I go home to sleep with my wife, my wife will tell me that she loves me and I’ll tell my wife that I love her…” AAAGGGHHH!!! We get it, you have a wife. You’re straight. Right. Anyone who feels the need to mention their “wife” that much makes me seriously question their “straightness.” Her name is probably George.

I’m sure I’ll have much more to update you on as the summer reality TV season continues to sizzle. I plan to secretly watch the new Bravo series featuring Jo & Slade from The Real Housewives of Orange County. Also, this week Project Runway, Season 5 starts. It’s gonna be good, folks.

She Forced Me to Do It

I am really embarrassed to be doing this. I thought that I could just leave her alone, that she would slip on past without requiring any further mentioning. But, she’s done it again. This past week on American Idol, Paula Abdul commented or “judged” a performance that hadn’t happened yet. We were down to the five remaining Idols performing Neil Diamond songs. They each performed two songs. The Idols would all sing their first song without any individual judging. Then the judges were to comment on all five of the performers’ first songs at the same time, sort of a quick overview of their opinions for all five (normally, they comment after each individual’s performance).

Evidently, the change was a little too much for Paula Abdul. She started in her usual drugged-up way, lots of rambling about nothing, telling the performers that they were in “the zone” or that they had found “the pocket.” What? Anyway, she commented on Jason Castro’s first song. Fine. And then she proceeded to comment on how she felt about his second song, how it didn’t quite “do it for her” or something. Now, I usually tune out when she speaks and had to tune back in to catch what she was mumbling. The problem was that Jason Castro hadn’t sung his second song yet.

Now, it’s common knowledge that the judges listen to the dress rehearsal performances. And, so, they have often heard the songs before the LIVE! performance. So, Paula had heard the second song. Whatever. I don’t believe that Paula actually thinks about what she says, though. What’s funny to me is that after Randy reminded her that they’ve only sung the first song, she tried to play dumb. Now, watching Paula Abdul try to “play dumb” would be like watching George W. try to poke fun at someone who has poor “grammar skills.” You can’t be dumb and “play dumb.” She said, “Oh, I thought that he had already sung his second song.” Then followed with, “This is hard.”

Really? What part of telling singers–who have much better vocal skills than her–how to sing, or rather, how to find “the zone” is hard? If you remember, back toward the beginning of the season, Paula released her new ‘comeback’ single, “Dance Like There’s No Tomorrow.” I found it very interesting that she didn’t even perform the song on the show. They just played the video. I guess she was trying not to “outsing” the Idol performers. That’s commendable, Paula, because that would be truly difficult, trying to “find your zone” and just be “in that pocket where you are at your best.”

I’m sorry if I come across as being a little too anti-Paula. I’m actually very pro-Paula. I seriously hope that she continues providing us with such an abundance of humorous material. I’m confident that she will. And, when she does, remember, that she forced me to do this.

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I thought it would be fun to review another great moment in Paula history, the infamous “Paula Abdul Drunk Interview.” Enjoy…