Archive for May, 2009

These are sun eggs!

May 28, 2009

My opinion remains firm, Jennifer Coolidge must continue to be on all my shows.

On the season finale of Party Down her character was tripping balls because “when [she’s] in nature [she] usually drops a cap. That’s why [she’s] so centered. You know, nature is so large that you can see it really clearly, you can expand your consciousness to… well… nearly to infinity!”

Over the course of the evening, she picks up a bunch of parsley as big as a bouquet and says: “Are you sad? I’m sad too. I just ordered my new green merkin in the mail… [holds it to her crotch] and it’s too small.”

Kristin Bell also guest stars (prompting Cooldige to say: “Look! I found a little elf in the woods!”) and she’s great, although she could use a trim, but I might just miss her Veronica Mars hair because I miss Veronica Mars.

Whaddya, Crackin’ Wise?

May 27, 2009

I was watching a bad quality episode of 90210, season 9, last night when I heard a familiar voice say: “Just drive already!” Thanks to the bad video quality, I didn’t recognize her face, but I would recognize the gangster’s moll syntax of one Sydney Andrews, anywhere. Here, she is playing a schemer named Sophie who has set her sights on David Silver, despite capturing the heart of Steve Sanders.

While I’m glad that Laura Leighton was getting work (Sidebar: She’s returning to play Sydney on the new Melrose Place, coming next fall. I’m so excited! I hope it’s not as disappointing as new 90210.) it’s a little confusing, since Melrose Place and 90210 are in the same universe– Melrose started as a spin off when Jake was working on construction at Kelly’s house and they became involved, theoretically, if Kelly saw Jake on the street, she should be like, “Hey Jake!”

So at first I thought she was going to reveal herself as Sydney, having used Sophie as an alias, but then she pulled out this diary of how to make it in hollywood and checked off “Find place in Beverly Hills.”

This might be a question like “How many apts. are there in the place?” that will have to go unanswered, since I think I am 100% of people that care.

What the Woman-Hating Crap is This Crap?

May 22, 2009

I’m one of the three and a half people still watching Grey’s Anatomy. I have no real defense, I used to tell people that while the scenarios were outlandish, the emotions were written in a very real way, which I thought felt true. Meredith and Christina’s friendship was, at its height, among the best written friendships between women on tv (currently I’m like Anne and Leslie on Parks and Rec).  But things have gone downhill.  Many have laid the blame at Katherine Heigl’s feet, but I think that’s just sexism at work. (After all, it’s not her fault her character has sucked, that’s at the feet of the writers. And if a male actor complained that his character was only given stereotypical work to do, I can’t imagine there would be the huge backlash Heigl has faced.)

I wish I could quit this show, but I am not a quitter, I tend to stick with shows until the bitter end. (See Hill, One Tree.)

So it was with increasingly heavy heart, that I watched the season finale.  (And yes, tears were jerked, I’m not made of stone, people. (Of course, tears were jerked at seeing Izzie, going to heaven in the prom dress she wore when Denny died and she got into bed with his body, and then Alex carried her out while that Snow Patrol song played, which was a season finale so moving I was dehydrated for days.))

I expected Meredith to be annoying, and Izzie to die. I expected Derek to be condescending, and Alex to be frustrating, but kind of appealing. I did not expect this:

Dr. Arizona Robins, upon learning that Bailey will be scrubbing in with the Chief and not her:  So I guess I’m on my own for this afternoon? My neuroblastoma? No no, don’t worry, you don’t have to. You’ll have the rest of your life to do neuroblastomas.

Bailey walks away.

AZ: Chief. I am going to cry. And I just want you to know that I know it’s going to happen. And I just want you to ignore it. And I’m not crying because I’m upset, it’s just what happens when I get mad at people in authority.

Chief: You’re mad at me?

AZ, crying now: I’m mad at you, and I’m crying because you’re the boss– my boss, which brings up my issues of  authority and my dad who you remind me of. Not that you’re old, but, you command respect, people respect you, I mean, I know I do, and Bailey does, which is why I’m mad, because it’s wrong, sir, it’s wrong to use a robot to lure Dr. Bailey back into general surgery because I don’t have a robot, all I have are little kids, they’re not as fun as a robot, and they’re not shiny and new and silver, and they don’t have things coming out of their belly buttons, but… I will fight you. And I will win. [Sob.] Sir.

And I really didn’t expect for that to be followed up with Bailey, our hard as nails chief resident, crying to the Chief while scrubbing in about her marriage.

Well that’s just fucking spectacular. We have two women crying at work, sobbing to their boss about personal, family issues. And not just any women, the woman is the head of the pediatrics department, and the chief resident. When I was but a young Gnatalby, my doctor mother impressed upon me the importance of never crying at work and keeping your personal issues personal.  This right here, these Grey’s Anatomy scenes, are the nightmare that misogynists try to invoke when they rail about women in the workplace… “What if the woman who holds your child’s life in her hands is too emotional to get the job done or is on the rag or something.”

I know it’s just a nighttime hospital soap, which is more about relationships than doctoring, but there has never been a scene where a male doctor was disabled by his feelings or tried to use said feelings to manipulate another doctor.  Yes, the male doctors have been incompetent plenty, but in ways that can’t be generalized to the population of working men.  When Dr. Burke developed a hand tremor that he concealed from his boss, that’s not a situation you can generalize onto all of man-kind, as when Dr. Shepard (Hey, I just realized that both Lost and Grey’s have Dr. Shepards. I guess the pun is too hard to resist.) retreats for awhile because he is despondant about losing so many patients.  Why that’s even noble.

Until we see comparable scenes of  male doctors breaking down for wholly personal reasons, or female doctors behaving consistently in a professional manner, Grey’s is getting the sideways look of off-pissery.

The Gospel According to Coco

May 21, 2009

Doostyn and I were talking recently about how we want Jennifer Coolidge to guest star on every show we watch, and fortunately for us, that hard working lady does appear in a lot of tv shows and movies.

Obviously, her appearances on Nip/Tuck brought us the greatest  two minutes of music to ever grace the small screen, when her character adopts the rapper name “Coco” (“Candy Richards” apparently was her “slave name”) and releases an album, the title of which is, coincidentally, the title of this post.  Let’s take a look:

She also appeared as Bobbi St. Brown on Party Down, a character so awesome she hit her roommate with a car so that she could get a part in Cannonball 2, (“And it felt right! It was a small car, and I gave her a copy of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, which blew her mind.”) and who believes that dolphins can change a baby’s diapar underwater.

But my favorite Jennifer Coolidge, is Betty the pizza prostitute from Secret Life of the American Teenager. A lonely Christian man with Down Syndrome mistakenly thinks an escort is just someone you pay to hang out with you. So when his parents and sister are out of the house, Tom invites Betty over. They split a pizza, watch tv, and laugh and laugh. She teaches him a little something about love and life, then tells him that if he doesn’t pay her, her pimp will come and beat him with a bag of oranges. Then, in the greatest moment of tv history, picks up a few leftover slices of pizza and just slides them into her purse. Let me repeat and emphasize that: She picks up the slices. Does NOT pick up the box, does NOT wrap them up first, and just puts them, oozing cheese, into her purse.

If they ever make a movie of my life, I hope someone has the genius to cast her.

Talking at Cross-Purposes, or The Single Entendre

May 20, 2009

On the Season 8 episode of (classic) 90210, “Crimes and Misdemeanors,” Steve and Brandon end up in a very confusing situation with two girls from the Peach Pit that they want to hook up with. But how confused could they reasonably be? Let’s go to the tape…

Scene 1: The Peach Pit

Steve: Is that your car that I’m blocking in outside?

Madeline: Not today, but you made my girlfriend late for work yesterday.

Steve: Oh, did she leave that lovely note for me?

Madeline: Yeah, she did.

Steve: Listen, don’t sweat the note, I deserved it. I’m Steve.

Madeline: Madeline. You know, I’d buy you a coffee to make it up to you, but you already have one.

Steve: Oh this? This isn’t mine, this is my buddy’s.

Madeline: Guess he doesn’t mind sharing.

Steve: Eh, what’s a sip of coffee between partners?

Madeline: Partners, huh? What you work together?

Steve: We work together, live together…

Madeline: No kidding!? That’s a lot of togetherness…

Steve: Chalk it up to desperation. You know, I think this is the only relationship we’ve both had that has ever worked. How about that coffee?

Madeline: It’s on me.

Steve: I have to apologize. What about lunch tomorrow?

Madeline: Um. I’ll check with my girlfriend, it was her car after all. Tell you what– you bring your boyfriend, we’ll make it a foursome. What do you think?

What do I think? I think shenanigans! First of all, Madeline is wearing a man’s denim work shirt, rolled up to her elbows, which immediately sets off the TV LESBIAN siren, and she makes sure to mention her girlfriend to Steve. Now, some women definitely do call their gal pals “girlfriends” but these people live in LA, and do not know each other, bare minimum, Steve should have asked, “Girlfriend girlfriend?”

But hey, boys are clueless… but even the most clueless straight men do not call other straight men their “boyfriends,” nor do they talk about their “relationship” working or not working.  There are ways this scene could have been written ambiguously, but this doesn’t cut it.

Scene 2: Lunch at a restaurant. Madeline and Libby, Steve and Brandon.

Madeline: So… you guys live together in your parents’ house?

Brandon: Yeah, have done for a couple years now.

Libby: And some people assume men are naturally unfaithful.

Brandon, sensitive over the fact that he’s been caught cheating by Kelly: So, seen any good movies lately?

Libby: Did I assume too much?

Brandon: You could say that.

Steve, putting his arm around Brandon: Yeah, but we’re getting past that, aren’t we, Brandon.

Brandon: Funny you should mention that Steve, because no, I’m not!

Libby: Is this something you’d like to talk about privately?

Brandon: No.

Steve: Actually, it is.

… Steve and Brandon go talk. Steve returns alone.

Steve: He’s a little uptight about work.

Madeline: I know, relationships can be really tough.

Steve: He’s a great guy, the problem is, he got committed at such a young age.

Libby: Oh, is he much younger than you?

Steve: No.

Madeline: You know, you guys just need to relax. Come to our house for dinner. We have a hot tub, Libby’s a good cook.

Libby: You bring Brandon, we’ll provide the romance.

Ok, it’s barely believable that Brandon wouldn’t notice something was hinky, given that he’s extra self-absorbed, thanks to the break-up. But Steve should have noticed the weirdness of the unfaithful line. When he returns to the table, oy, we are in the land of the single entendre. Why would Steve assume these girls know anything about Brandon’s past relationship? What does he think is going on?? In order for cross-purposes to work, we the audience have to see how each interpretation is equally likely. If it’s this obvious to the audience that these women are lesbians, then why don’t the guys notice?

Scene 3: The girls’ house and Brandon has just “figured it out.”

Steve: Libby and Madeline…

Brandon: Are gay.

Madeline: Wait… you’re not a couple?

Steve and Brandon act disgusted.

Brandon: Me and Steve? NO!

Madeline: But you live together, Steve said you’re his boyfriend!

Steve: WHAT?

Steve vigorously shakes his head, no.

Rude much, boys?  Way to act like there’s something repulsive about being gay in front of these two girls…. who are gay. If the writers now recognize that Steve calling Brandon his boyfriend is too much of a gay signal… why didn’t they know that 30 pages earlier when writing the peach pit scene? ARGH.

I’m all for suspending disbelief, but in this case disbelief has been expelled and forced to repeat a grade.

American ICON

May 20, 2009

Paula Abdul to screeching ‘mo in heat Adam Lambert:  “YOU WILL BE AN ICON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

For serious.  Why does America like this guy?  Have Liberace lovers emerged from their meticulously decorated caves to vote him to success?  Subtlety is definitely not his forte (then again this show isn’t about subtlety, see Paula’s very unsubtle unstableness/stonedness).

Also of note:  in a totally inexplicable sweep of the camera SurispawnofKatTom was on live tv, all crab-claw-clenched by her increasingly tanned and increasingly Posh Spice-like space robot mother (I tuned in halfway-ish, maybe there was an explanation earlier).  She is probably more justifiably iconic in her young life than Mr. Lambert will ever be.  But please, by all means, prove me wrong Adam.  Prove me wrong.

When Digging a Roadside Grave…

May 15, 2009

Samantha: Now, you’ll excuse me for saying this, but lately you’ve been jumping around like a crab in a steampot.

Jane Mancini: A what?

Samantha: It’s an expression. Right before they die, blue crabs, they get all desperate, and they’ll do anything they can to push the lid off the top so you gotta hold them down in there.

Jane: That’s disgusting.

Samantha: Yeah, it’s worth it, though, they taste great.

Does it taste as great as….. muuuuuuuurder?

Not since the Buffy musical episode have I seen such an epidemic of “stuff that should be metaphor turning out to be literal.”

If only when Jane had interred Richard, her former business partner and rapist, in his shallow roadside grave she had waited hold the steampot lid down on him.

As it is, he clawed his way out of his grave (just one hand in the S4 finale, but the whole drooling corpse in the S5 opener) and instead of doing the normal thing and calling the police, has opted to creepily leave the evidence (shovel, trench coat) in various places for Jane to see, probably so she’ll think she’s going mad MAD I say.  He should probably hold onto that stuff though, it seems like with fingerprints they’d have more than enough to put Jane and Sydney away for life– and this time not even wrongfully.

Oh Snap! (?)

May 15, 2009

Tyra is always reliably bat-shit bizarre-o, but sometimes I have a hard time telling whether she’s exactly like her character, a Barbie-esque doll come to life, from the awesome-licious and LiLo co-starring Life-Size (i.e. entirely ignorant), or, like Paris Hilton, someone with a vacant, superficial, self-absorbed pseudo-act going on that is way more intelligence-based than immediately apparent.

Kathy Griffin was on today’s show, a welcome foil to Tyra’s ego-fest.  Ms. Griffin is a fearless quick wit who specializes in deflating celebrity self-importance, and I waited with clenched hands as she started off with a litany of insulting asides (perfectly delivered as undeniable fact):  Suze Orman’s a (brilliant and better-able-to-handle-the-economic-crisis-than-even-our-infallible-president) lesbian, Barbara Walters is a power-hungry humorless beeeeeeetch (not her words exactly, but this was the gist), etc.  Tyra is a friend to the staaaaars, Oprah-in-training if you will, so this would seemingly be an obvious conflict of interest.  She did offer a disclaimer when Kathy started in (“These views are not those of the Tyra Show or mine personally”) to which Kathy responded “Don’t want to hurt that Banks Empire!” which is just so impressively gutsy (I think I have some sass to spare, but I would keep mine tightly bottled in the presence of the Tyra and her empire…I think she might have it in her to cut a bitch, or hire a contract bitch-cutter).

The confusion came when Kathy started in on Oprah (!) and, better yet, Tyra’s semi-recent appearance on Oprah.  Kathy started making fun of it and letting Tyra know she gets no free pass, even a pretend one for the sake of face-to-face niceties.  But then Tyra, in a totally dry manner and with no hint of joking in her forever-smiling eyes, responded, “Have you been on Oprah lately?”

This was played with such a straight face (and Tyra, if she decided to contribute to the comedic arts, would probably be a very broad comic, so I don’t interpret this as her use of her heretofore undiscovered dry wit) and with no reaction from the audience that we are left with two conclusions.

1.)  Tyra is sweetly naive/really fucking stupid to think that Kathy Griffin could eeeeeeeeever be within Her Majesty The Oprah’s Celebrity Safe Space confines

2.)  Tyra just majorly matched wits with a seriously funny, seriously catty lady.

And this is why I come back to you for more, Tyra.  You’re a mystery.  A borderline psychotic mystery…

9021Oh Honey, No

May 14, 2009

Season seven of 90210 ends with a bang. Specifically, the inaugural bang of one Miss Donna Martin, who has finally decided to give it up to David Silver after a bizarro season seven episode where her grandmother, in black and white flashbacks starring Donna and David (who are also pictured in olde tyme photographs on the mantle) as her grandparents, and how they got married after knowing each other for a week, and then he put a baby in her and left to go die in World War II. This makes Donna decide that having sex with David is The Right Thing To Do, since the cross she wears was taken to war by the inseminator, so Jesus wants her to, or something. Also when she tells her grandmother that she and David have a hotel room for the night, Grandma is all pervaciously: “Oh?” And Donna’s all: “Not like that!”

And then Grandma makes disappointed face and sighs: “Her mother’s influence.” Even Grandma thinks David deserves a bejammer.

(This episode is completely awesome, fyi. (Well, incompletely, St. Kelly picks up a bemulleted child she finds sleeping on her deck chair. He ran away from home because his mom is pregnant or something. Oh! And Valerie starts dating Smith Jerrod, who is playing basically the same character, an accidental actor, super hot, but down to earth. ))

Donna’s all “I have a present for you…” as she hands him a condom, foreshadowing the deflowering of one Joey Potter, who, after freaking out at Pacey Witter for bringing a condom on a skiing trip, tucked her hair behind her ear and simpered: “Do you still have that condom?”

And Pacey was all, “Don’t worry, I’ll throw it away.”

And then Joey was all, “I want you to throw the wrapper away.”

Which is a moment I love, since teenagers really are super awkward when they’re trying to both negotiate this sort of thing and be cute at the same time.  (My favorite example of this is when the gang in flashback of Veronica Mars is playing “Never  have I ever” and Lily, trying to make Veronica confess her virginity, says: “I’ve never not had sex.”)

ANYWAY.

Season eight begins with Donna in the confessional having told her priest of her impure thoughts and deeds, and Brandon voice over saying: “But she hadn’t confessed to her mother, which made David furious.” Um. WHAT?

David spends the next several episodes trying to get Donna to tell her mother that they are now having a sexual relationship. WHAT? What IS that? That is not normal. Finally, Donna tells her mother (when they’re in the hospital after St. Kelly gets shot) that it was “wonderful and loving.”

Too much information for a parent, Donna!  Observe boundaries! (Although, when I was dating my mythological ex, my parents wanted to meet him, and I didn’t want to put pressure on our relationship, so I was stalling, and then my Dad was all: “Sweetheart, if he’s good enough to have sex with, he’s good enough to meet us.”  Au contraire, pater, I respect you enough to not want you to have to meet some of my patrons.)

ANYWAY.

This season also brings us to the music that I remember from the 90s (including Ru Paul. Chante, sashay.), which is a welcome change. (Although it brings with it lots of cropped tops. Ugh.) David is trying his hand at being an agent for a smokin’ hot anti-Semite. We learn this valuable info when Donna walks by the Hotzi saying, “No one’s gonna Jew me down!” on the phone. and then it echoes and reverberates as the picture blurs. Donna is such a good person that she has a physical response to intolerence that on tv usually means someone is wasted or about to pass out.

I wanted to wrap up one other thing from season seven, the drug issue. Pot is an immediate gateway drug, as one episode after he first smokes it, Steve Sanders is about to try heroin for the first time, but first his buddy dies after snorting a line.  As if he’d been partying with a van der Woodsen, his heart just stopped.  Steve, naturally, goes for the reefer stick to ease his pain, but Brandon saves the day by reminding him what to live for. That night at the Peach Pit After Dark, they come across a bizarre vigil for the red shirt druggie.  Steve, seeing a bong, flips the fuck out.

SS: Who left this here? Who left a pot pipe [sic] here? Whose bong is this? No one’s, huh? Fine.  [Steve hurls the bong against the brick wall.] Listen up. Don’t leave any drug paraphenalia here. Let’s not make this “cool,” this isn’t “cool” this is stupid. And I know what I’m talking about. I’m alive today because Dick died first. I was next in line to catch that same bus. I told him to save me some. And then I found him in the bathroom. Want to know what his last words were? [voice breaking] I don’t want to die. That’s what he said. He knew he blew it, he knew it. So if you want to come here, hang out, and memorialize, and remember Richard Harrison, then remember that he was a scholar, he was a leader, he was an athlete.  That he was a 22 year old who had a brilliant future in front of him that got wiped away because he was doing drugs. You remember that. And remember his last words: I don’t want to die.

Oh Steve. Maybe the person who left the bong was thinking: “If only Dick Harrison had stayed home smoking his bong and eating doritos rather than snorting horse down at the PPAD, he’d still be with us.” I mean, practically the only way weed can leave you dead on the bathroom floor is if you have asthma.

Meow, Ladies.

May 12, 2009

Update on my post about incest in 90210 and Melrose:

Oooo Kelly accidentally touches a nerve!

Val: [Brandon] was the love of my life and you screwed it up for me.

Kelly: See, that’s your problem, Valerie. First Tom was the love of your life, then Colin was the love of your life, now it’s Brandon. You do so much lying you don’t even know what it’s like to tell the truth anymore.

Val: No. You just can’t deal with how close Brandon and I are.

Kelly: No, I think you have that a little backwards, it’s you who can’t deal with me and Brandon.

Val: Then why are you trying to take away the only family I have left?

Kelly: First he’s your love and then he’s your family– I think you have that confused there; those two things don’t go together.

Val: Get out!

Kelly: With pleasure.