Friday, October 09, 2009

Abandonblog

Big news! After many years and posts here on Blogger, I am officially moving on over to Wordpress. calhountribune.wordpress.com is my new home! i'm still setting up the extra pages, jazzy links, et cetera and so on, but all my existing posts are over there and that's where all the new posts will be from now on! Update your bookmarks, change your RSS feeds, and rejoice!

Monday, October 05, 2009

Spotted: Dan de Fleurette

Best part of this episode? Forget Tyra and Hilary Duff. For me it was Jenny Humphrey reading The Torn Skirt by Rebecca Godfrey. One of my favorite books of all time. This book made me lose my mind in the best way possible, and J would love it. (I know, I know, it was hardly visible, but it was there.)

To recap: Eric VDW dyed his hair; the GG creators continue to push their love for the Mets with Olivia Burke in a vintage Mets T (Dorota, Nate, and Cyrus's mother are also fans); and Scott was (mercifully) barely in the episode. 

Highlight Reel!
  • Blair not realizing the Masters of the Universe Society was all about He-Man.
  • Rufus's impression of Lily!
  • The perfectly styled Jenny knock-off girls at Constance.
  • The Return of Lily! And finally someone mentions that most people, Serena, go to college to find themself. And! that most people don't even know who they are!
  • "By the way, sandals are not shoes."
  • The evil publicist calling Serena a "diva whisperer."
  • Two words: Tyra's.hair.
  • "Szybko!" Blair scolding Dorota and in Polish!
  • Anyone else get creeped out when Chuck sized up Jenny? Yup. Still creepy.
  • The Chuck Pep Talk to Blair was the most hilariously self-centered speech I have ever heard. And it totally made sense.
Next week: "Rufus Getting Married" — Georgina returns and tries to eff things up! Exciting!

And if you don't mind slightly spoilery photos: here's a still of Blair and Chuck from an upcoming episode (the one after next week's, "Enough About Eve"): Leighton Meester couldn't look more stunning or like Bette Davis. Aaaamazing.

Very Cherry Mystery Solved


I knew Erica's dress looked familiar! The cherry-print dress that Erica Strange wore in the season 2 premiere of Being Erica is none other than Nanette Lepore's Very Cherry dress! Which Blair Waldorf wore waaay back in "Southern Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" (as per page 318 of my book!). Makes sense that the clothes on Being Erica this season look way better and they're taking fashion cues from the best-dressed show on television.


Fashion mystery solved! Too bad I still can't afford to buy this beauty.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Gossip Girl Gets Fierce

In honour of tomorrow's Gossip Girl Goes Hollywood episode — guest stars Hilary Duff and Tyra Banks make their debuts in "Dan de Fleurette" — let's revisit some highlights of H.Duff's and TyTy's careers:

Hilary's "Reach Out," a remake of Depeche Mode's "Personal Jesus," was both sacrilegious and awesome. It's the only song of hers I've ever properly liked and the video? A declaration that she's no longer Lizzie McGuire.

Of course, if I'm at karaoke, the Duff song I'm signing up is "So Yesterday." (I'm just a bird that's already flown away!)

Remember when Tyra was in John Singleton's Higher Learning? Girl can act, even if her performances on America's Next Top Model go so far over the top that the very fabric of the universe is altered. Here's hoping she can rein it in and recollect how to act on non-modeling TV shows. Like the good old days when she was Jackie on Fresh Prince! The last four seconds of this clip are genius:


Both Tyra and Hilary play star actresses on Gossip Girl (Ursula Nyquist and Olivia Burke) whose film Fleur — check the website — brings the Gossip Gang together for some Hollywood glitz. And it looks like Dan Humphrey is totes done hooking up with Georgina! After the jump, three preview clips of tomorrow's ep and TyTy talks about working with "Miss Serena"!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Spotted: The Lost Boy

How glad am I that the secret society Blair wanted to join turned out to be an elaborate Georgina Sparks ruse? And not something as misdirected as Chuck's Eyes Wide Shut plot line last season. Thank the Gossip Gods.

Just to keep things straight: G tricked Blair and Chuck into bidding for the same photograph in an effort (to drive B bananas); B and C tricked S into thinking Carter was a washed-up philanderer (for her own good); Georgina tricked Dan into thinking she wasn't evil (cause she has totes loved him since she was Sarah); Scott tricked Rufus and family into thinking he was the brother of Rufly love child and not the actual love child himself, and also convinced Truth Is My Religion Vanessa into keeping a big-ass secret from her pseudo family. Which Georgina overheard. Bree has some big secret with Carter. And we finally find out what happened That Night In Santorini! Mr. van der Woodsen was going to get remarried, and Serena and Carter were stealing boats. Awesome.


And Jenny? She was back. She had, like, one line. And she ate a blueberry. Poor TayMom.

Was it just me or was Gossip Girl's narration kinda off this episode? Her auction analogies were weak, and they just went on and on like an auctioneer calling bid after bid . . . (sorry.)

What I did like were all the millions of hilarious moments & one liners:
  • Serena & Vanessa, in unison, to Dan: "Please tell me it was Blair not Georgina"/"Georgina not Blair"
  • Carter's love for white fluffy robes
  • B describing Georgina as a "nympho with a sock fetish"
  • this exchange between Chuck and Blair: "I came to apologize." "So apologize." "That was it."
  • On an otherwise Dorota-less episode, Chuck's line nearly made up for it: "Dorota's counterintelligence isn't what it used to be."
  • Serena's sassy little hip move/look when Chuck and Blair realize she's bought the Patrick McMullan. When she's showing someone who's boss, it's effing entertaining. More Queen S please!
  • Georgina's desktop background: OMJC. Her and Dan at last week's roof party. Hilarious. 
Usually my favorite outfits go to B, but I adored Serena's bedazzled vest (a.k.a. Matthew Williamson's antique beaded vest) in the last scene. And while B's dress at Sotheby's was beyond the thunderdome beauteous, her braids were too tight and severe for me. Perfect for B when she's all wound up, pissed off, and in the Bassian desert, but not her best look.

Overall, not a bad episode, not the best episode ever. I hope we see a little less of Scott next week. There's just nothing interesting about that guy: he's a little creepy, sure, but he's sooo boring.

And Chuck putting all his money into buying that hotel? Hope that works out for him. A poverty-stricken Chuck Bass is not a plot line I'd like to explore.

Next week: Tyra! Hilary Duff!

Monday Edition: Gossip Girl Round-Up!


It was a very exciting week for me over on Twitter, where Zuzanna Swadkowski (a.k.a. Dorota) @replied me and Gossip Girl fashion blog You Know You Love Fashion! (We were talking about Dorota's wardrobe, naturally.)

Californication season 3 premiered last night, and next week's episode includes Ed Westwick as a "gay, creative writing student who has a crush on Hank and he wants to know what Hank thinks of his writing" (EW's Californication preview here). Cannot wait.

New York Mag has a charming video of Sebastian Stan giving acting lessons to kids and NY reporters here; their recap of "The Freshmen" is here, and the recap of the comments is here.

TayMom has a new(ish) official website: TheRealTaylorMomsen.com

Mere hours til "The Lost Boy," but if you can't wait, here are the two preview scenes from the CW, Carter & Serena followed by Blair & Chuck:


Sunday, September 27, 2009

TV OD

On Friday I realized that I've only missed one day of work since January because I was sick! I've missed days for other reasons, but still! I'm soooo healthy. Cut to: three hours later and I'm feeling poorly. Being sick sucks: I've canceled some excellent weekend plans (house party, brunching, Word on the Streeting, working...oh that part is OK). The upside is I've caught up on soooo much TV.

The two-hour season premiere of House was, as expected, epic. Even if you don't watch the show, you should watch this ep; it stands alone like an excellent TV movie starring the super fox Hugh Laurie. I'll keep PVRing House this season, even though there's no way the season can be as awesome as its premiere.

I'm still watching Melrose Place, three episodes in, but frankly the only thing that's keeping me is the promise of Heather Locklear returning as Amanda Woodward. Really the only character I like on the show is Ella, the publicist, and she's nearly a carbon copy of Amanda Woodward. Was Ashley Simpson-W a reasonably talented actress on 7th Heaven? Because her one move on this show is widening her eyes and staring, creating a signature expression of coy and creepy. And all the whodunnit flashbacks to Sydney are more clunky than mysterious. (Wait, why do I keep watching this?) At least it's miles better than the already-canceled The Beautiful Life: TBL (or as I like to call it, TBL: TBL). That was so utterly unwatchable.

90210 is — cannot believe I'm about to say this — watchable this season. The Bev Hills Beach Club is back, the guys (when they're not trying out for the surf team) are lying to their ladyloves, the girls are dealing with their broken hearts and ex-boyfriends, and the principal (Annie & Dixon's poppa) is on the road to a love affair with Kelly Taylor! Two unfortunate things from this week's episode: Dixon picks up a woman who's way older than him (Sasha; she's fierce) and the actress decided to play the role by grinning non-stop. I mean, non-stop. It was tres annoying to watch. The second: the writers keep making these poor kids say, "sext." As in, "text + sex" to refer to the cell phone picture that was sent around of Annie fooling around with the senior. A picture. No text.


Now for the new shows that I absolutely adore: Glee and The Vampire Diaries. Glee is the most accurately named TV show in history: watching it I am filled with delight, a perma-grin on my face; I just want to watch more and more; I wish these characters were real. Kurt's "Single Ladies" performance this week was inspired. So glad it was picked up for a full season. Vampire Diaries is a whole other kind of awesome: an angsty, scary mashup of Dawson's Creek and the Scream movies (both previous Kevin Williamson projects, as we all know). As much as I like Nina Dobrev as Elena, my favorite character so far is Ian Somerhalder's evil vamp Damon. He's having so much effing fun; he's hot and hilarious. An excellent combination. I just ordered the first in the book series the show was based on (they're supposed to be pretty crap); will let you know what I think once I've read it.

The season premiere of Being Erica did not disappoint. After season 1 was all about Erica figuring out her own past, it looks like this season will shift some of the focus onto the mysteries of how she time travels, and the "psychiatrists" who help people sort out their pasts. Erica spent a good portion of the episode wearing a beautiful cherry-print dress. If Erica and I had one more thing in common — owning that dress — that would be A-OK with me.

What else am I watching? The Office, Parks and Recreation, So You Think You Can Dance, America's Next Top Model, Dollhouse, and (best of all) Gossip Girl. I think that's it. Anything awesome that I should be watching?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Spotted: The Freshmen

Me before tonight's episode of Gossip Girl: wah, I have a headache; must call the wahmbulance.
Me after tonight's ep of Gossip Girl: ::giant grin::

Just like last season it's the second episode of the season that really makes the show feel like it's kicked into high gear. It was all about heading to college (and that meant no Little J, or Eric, whatsoever). Blair and Serena were having some serious difficulty correctly reading situations — S being a total cow to Chuck, and B being a total cow to . . . the entire NYU student body.

I'm enjoying the Georgina plotline that started with her return last year: Is She Evil Or Isn't She? (I also love her piles and piles of necklaces.) She's all sweet and apologetic to Dan and Vanessa in the bookstore . . . as she holds a copy of Machiavelli's The Prince. She warns Dan about B using him to gain entry to the slammin' party, but hours earlier called Blair a loser and had that evil triumphant glint in her evil eye. Whaddaya think? I think evil. I think we have a long con on our hands. And another one with Scott. Vanessa does not like being lied to (see: Georgina, season 1) and when she finds out Scott is the love child of Rufly? Ruh roh.


Nobody wants a wasabi facial. Some of my favorite moments:
  • "I'm not paranoid. I'm right," says B to G outside of McNally Robinson**! Joyous screentime for awesome indie bookstore!
  • Necklace party! I adored G's chains (in the pic above), but also her snake necklace. And B was wearing her Tiffany key again. (this is really exciting for me because I was wearing my Tiffany key while watching. mine doesn't have diamonds, but it counts, right?)
  • "Thank you for the waffles." Chuck Bass having a frank talk about Serena with Rufus Humphrey? Over waffles? Oh, why was that off-screen?
  • Favorite music moment by a long shot — "Good Girls Go Bad" (Cobra Starship featuring our very own Leighton Meester) as Dan and Blair arrive at the party. Effing po-mo hilarity.
  • Blair being asked her opinion on Battlestar Galactica vs. TNG. Love when TV worlds collide.
  • "Time to find a new bad habit." I am seriously in love with Carter Baizen. Dan and Serena never really did it for me, but Carter and Serena? Love, love, love. More smooching please.
  • Best of all: Blair snuggling into bed with Chuck.
The Nate/Bree love-in didn't really bug me, but it didn't do much for the episode. Nate's cute, Bree's not annoying, so we've at least got that (and random LL Bean masturbation jokes). Now that N & Bree are out of the closet, so to speak, I wonder if they'll integrate that plotline into the rest of the characters, so it's less disjointed.

But more importantly: have we ever seen Blair's hair in a braid before? Super cute side braid, B. The dress (Co-operative Designs sweater dress) looks like it ain't available anymore. Sad, 'cause it's killer and also: not that expensive. And this just excites me as a lifelong Spice Girls fan: the red dress B was wearing for her first day of class is from the Victoria Beckham collection.

May-jah.

** So you may be thinking, "It's not called McNally Robinson. Calhoun is nuts." In Canada, where the bookstores originated, it's called McNally Robinson; in NYC, you are right, it's actually called McNally Jackson. But in my heart, and thus on my blog, it's Robinson. Not sure if the ownership is different (run by Mr. Jackson, perhaps?), but the store is awesome on both sides of the border.
***Next week: "The Lost Boy"

Being Being Erica

Being Erica's Erica Strange is a 30-something woman living in Toronto, working as an editor at a publishing house. She went to Victoria College at U of T where she studied English, quoted Britney lyrics, and danced to the Spice Girls. Her dad — that guy in the glasses in the photo — and her mom split up when she was in her teens; one time, in anger, she called her mother a Nazi. Unlucky in love Erica has some girlfriends who are "more established" in their lives — married, home-owners, babies on the way — and sometimes she just can't relate or feels like the wacky wildcard still-a-kid friend.

Replace my name with Erica's and "Nazi" with "Hitler" but keep the rest of the details the same (my dad plays the role of Rabbi Gary Strange, her pops) — yup, Being Erica is basically my life but with time travel. (Erica's psychiatrist, Dr. Tom, has the unexplained ability to send her back in time to revisit important/regretful moments in her past.)

Erin Karpluk, who plays Erica, is crazy charming and a big part of what makes this show so excellent. It's funny, smart, totally sappy when it needs to be, and unpredictably entertaining. If you missed season 1, it comes out on DVD on Tuesday; Canadians can stream the episodes online at CBC.ca.

Season 2 premieres tomorrow at 9 on CBC. The show airs on SoapNet in the States.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sunday Edition: Gossip Girl Round-Up!


In an effort to give you devoted Tribune readers some regular features, I've decided to implement an end of week Gossip news round-up -- cast interviews, links to excellent recaps, et cetera and so on.
  • I wish that Ed Westwick's Gossip Girl contract had included a "No Hideous Tattoos" clause. The poor misguided guy has a handful of tattoos already, fine, but this week he got not one but two absurdly ugly abominations.
  • The CW is back to their "Gossip Guide" promos (last season we learned important vocab like "blairanoid" and "ment-whore") with Sexperimentation
  • The latest installment of Eric Daman's Gossip Girl Style is for Vanessa. He says "tribal patterns" about 100 times, but! note also that serpentine necklaces and bracelets are very of the moment. (Good news for me, because when I was in NYC taking photos for the book back in June I picked up a cheap but awesome snake bracelet. Haven't worn it yet, but must seize the fashion moment.)
  • The Daily Intel Reality Index was back this week with "Wild Gossip Girls Can't Be Broken."
  • Zuzanna "Dorota" Szadkowski is interviewed by Rolling Stone's GG-loving Peter Travers (and by ABC news)!