Sunday, November 30, 2008

the Circus starring Britney Spears

it's been a month of Britney here at the Tribune. her new album, Circus, comes out on her 27th birthday, this Tuesday. and tonight on MTV (and on MuchMusic in Canadia), the much-previewed documentary Britney: For the Record premieres. And I bet by the end of the week I will be scrambling to get tickets to her tour -- which hopefully will come to Toronto, or else I'm travelling for Britters.

let's walk through the Circus, track by track. You can stream the entire album on B's website, if you want to play along.

y'all know "Womanizer" by heart now. my favorite part of this is singing along to the "just-just what you are-are-are" part. fuck that's fun! and that is what Britney Spears songs are best for. having a dance party. Title track/second single "Circus" didn't knock me off my chair at first, but once it gets going (all eyes on me in the center of the ring...) it's killer. And the video is going to be all sexy fire ringleader shiz.

"Out From Under" is a proper ballad and while it's prolly a bit personal for Britney, it ain't the best song. It's no "Not A Girl," no "Everytime"; it's more of a "Don't Let Me Be the Last to Know." I'll sing along but I won't be feelin' it, you know? A maybe skip the track for me.

But if you do skip that track, you land on one of my favorites on the album: "Kill the Lights." This song is about paparazzi fucknuts, but mostly it's just a fun dance party. "Shattered Glass" will drive you crazy if you don't like Britney cuz she doesn't sing "glass," she sings "gla-eee-ass" and she says it nearly 1,000 times. But near the end of the song it goes all crazy electronic mess-around and gets fun.

"If U Seek Amy" is my other top shelf song. It's playful and catchy and bombastic. The joke with the "if u seek amy" sounding like "f-u-c-k me" is a bit juvenile, sure, but this song is awesomesauce. "Unusual You" was EW's standout song in their otherwise tepid review; I find it a little bit depressing. The object of her affection is so unusual because he hasn't broken her heart yet, and is where he says he'll be. :(

Things get creepy with "Blur" -- this song is about waking up in someone's bed, not knowing how you got there or if you had sex with them. (Who are you? What'd we do last night?...Hope I didn't but I think I might have.) It's like the less-fun sequel to "Early Mornin" from In the Zone. The one track I can't bear to listen to: "Mmm Papi." Even the title gives me the shudders. Let's not talk about it.

But we get right back on track with "Mannequin," which is as good as anything on Blackout. "Lace and Leather" sounds like a Prince song from the '90s, i.e. kinda pervy and totally killer. Skip "My Baby" -- I feel mean to say that, 'cause it's about how much Britney loves her kids, but it's a descendent of "Dear Diary" from Oops... And for those of you not familiar with the deep Brit tracks, that means it barely has a melody and is impossibly Hallmarky.

Inexplicably, "Radar" from Blackout appears again here. It's a great song but ...? "Rock Me In" is not much to write home about, but fun and dancey. At first, I thought "Phonography" would be about the study of phonographs. But no, it's a combo of phone and pornography. This song is about how dirty talking on the phone is super sexy times. (Side note: my blog is going to start popping up in some interesting google searches. thanks Britney.) It's like that *Nsync song "Digital Getdown," only with more phone euphemisms than you ever imagined were possible. Content aside, the song is pretty wicked.

There's a few bonus tracks -- "Trouble" (haven't heard it) and "Amnesia" (really love it; i would have replaced "Mmm Papi" with this track) -- and that's it, kids. Show's over.

Britney gets in her requisite number of baby babys and overall, I'd say this album is only 5% less awesome than Blackout. Blackout was ballad- and "Mmm Papi"–free so there was nary a track skipped. Circus gets a solid A from me. I wish that Britney would sometimes sing about things other than partying and boys and sex. But if I were in her position, I wouldn't want to share anything earnestly personal with the world either. And we'll get a glimpse of why not in tonight's documentary: all eyes on B in the center of the ring just like a circus.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Spotted: Your One and Only Unofficial Guide to Gossip Girl

my big news: I am writing a book and it is going to be published!

Since there's no new episode of Gossip Girl on tonight, I thought I would seize this Monday night opportunity to tell you all that I am in the midst of writing Spotted: Your One and Only Unofficial Guide to Gossip Girl to be published this upcoming September by ECW Press. (!!!) Spotted will follow in the grand tradition of Nikki Stafford's guides to Buffy, Angel, Lost and so on. Behold the promo copy, wherein I refer to myself in the third person:
Best friends, boyfriends, high school and haute couture — Gossip Girl started as a bestselling book series for teens set in the posh Upper East Side private schools of New York City but catapulted into pop culture’s stratosphere when the CW adapted those books for television. Now in its second season, Gossip Girl was proclaimed by New York Magazine as the “greatest teen drama of all time” and by Vanity Fair as hitting “the sweet spot of the Zeitgeist, the X mark where sex appeal and pop sociology intersect.” Sweeping its categories and winning six awards at the 2008 Teen Choice Awards, Gossip Girl has proved itself a popular and critical darling, influencing fashion and providing biting social commentary on this generation of entitled, tech-savvy youth.

Spotted: Your One and Only Unofficial Guide to Gossip Girl takes you episode by episode through the first two seasons of the show, leaving no Jimmy Choo unturned as Calhoun dives below the surface plotlines to detail the cultural references, the fashion, the music, and the morality on the Upper East Side. With bios of the cast and creators, a comparison of the show to its teen soap and literary predecessors, a look at the adaptation from books to screen, and a Gossip Girl guide to real-life New York City, Spotted is a must-have accessory for any Gossip Girl fan — second only to a Blair Waldorf–inspired hair band.
I am as excited and over the moon as when Dan found out he was being published in the New Yorker, when B saw her dad was home for thanksgiving, when S was in love with Lonely Boy and Georgina hadn't shown up yet to ruin things, and when Chuck's wishes came true in the back of that limo . . . okay so not excited in that way. So far it's been a ton of lot of work, but fascinating and I am learning ever so much and having a laugh too. Which hopefully will be the effect on whomever chooses to read this thing. I have vowed to use complete sentences and (mostly) words that appear in a dictionary. Will keep you posted as my editrix and I sort out cover concepts, and the book is posted on Amazon and the like. I've of course only done this from the other, non-authorial side and it should be interesting to be the author, and not the editor. I plan on making unreasonable demands just for the funny. Just kidding I won't. Just kidding I will but they won't be funny.

alright. back to it!

Friday, November 21, 2008

privileged: all about overcompensating

just finished watching this week's Adventures with Tutor Megan and her Unruly Charges. Not bad!

the two episodes of Privileged before this one, I found dullsville. The only standout mo
ments were from that one where the twins get a publicist and we find out that Rose can sing but neither Rose nor Sage should be allowed to dress themselves. What a total wardrobe fail. And the hair and makeup! This was following their Sonny and Cher get-up at rehearsals. They make the 90210 fashion look good. Yikes.

This week, Megan and Will, the hot billionaire next door, follow up on that not-so-spontaneous kiss at the end of the previous episode. The casual dating plotline was so very Aaron and Serena. The CW seems to be telling us that boys like to date many girls at once, and girls do not. But then boys will fall in love with our heroines and ditch their other girls. (Which works out well for Megan and Serena, but what of those other left-behind gals?)

The history exam answers sewn into the purse was a stroke of genius — a vair cool purse, plus way sneakier than when Mike Seaver wrote the answers on the soles of his shoes. But really are we supposed to care whether or not Rose cheats? I guess we are supposed to care. I do not. I think she's learned her
lesson, feels like shit, and she'll be studying harder for the rest of her finals. The likelihood she is caught and expelled? Slim. Unless she's dumb enough to answer *all* the questions right. That is totally suspicious. And seems like the kind of thing Rose might do. (And why would Sage be expelled too? Why wouldn't Rose just say she got the purse made herself? LIE and CHEAT, girls.)

A refreshing change that Laurel and Megan were getting along — even if Granny Lamoges was just using Megan as her P.I. That means that
all billionaires don't have private investigators on retainer? Just the Bass men. OK!

Charlie having his own, only slightly-related-to-Megan's, plot is nice. But maybe my favorite ongoing deal with this show is the relationship between Megan and Marco the Chef. He's hilarious, she's relaxed and funny with him and it looks like the food he makes is effing spectacular.

The man who knows everything, Michael Ausiello, says the CW has added five episodes to Privileged and is putting it on Mondays after Gossip Girl for its next two episodes. Which is fine by me cause I have too many shows to watch on Tuesdays anyway!

Maybe one of those extra episodes is called "All About the Benjamins."

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

my 90210h man I didn't watch it

Hello and good eve, loyal blog readers. I missed two of my regular shows this week — 90210 and Privileged — because someone's roommate thinks those shows are dumb and also thinks he has a right to choose what television programs are viewed some of the time. Weird, right? but never fear, i shall find and watch and blog them.

also i have had the honor and privilege of listening to Britney's entire new album Circus and I wanna do a track by track review for y'all. my first impression is that it is goodly greatly awesomesaucey. minus a creepy song called "mmm papi." ...shudder...

see you soons you tablespoons

Monday, November 17, 2008

Spotted: The Magnificient Archibalds

B: "Remember: Serena doesn't share."
S: "And Blair should learn to."

Thanksgiving is Blair's favorite holiday and it's also mine. Especially in the Gossip world. "The Magnificent Archibalds" managed to have that very special episode feel without being at all corny. Well, a bit corny. (Corn: grain of the future.) I liked the references to last year's thanksgiving: Gossip Girl doesn't blog over the holiday, Serena will miss Rufus's mashed potatoes but not everyone over 30 acting weird, B bakes her dad's pie in an attempt to keep up the Waldorf traditions. . . .

Before we start in on the awesome, the sad, the ludicrous, and the heartwarming, let's talk GG fashion. Wait, the clothes are all those things and more. Jenny's red plaid dress? Adore it. (InStyle says it's D&G.) Serena's Thanksgiving outfit? HORRIDly horrible lamesauce. That skirt (Porter Grey) is doing her no favors. It is painful. The only good part about it is it shows off a LOT of her tights (which should not serve as pants), and her tights are lovely. Points to Serena's earlier outfit at school — I like the leather jacket/vest thing and once again her tights: perfection.

B's green thanksgiving dress was, of course, perfect — the back in particular. And let's give a special thanksgiving thanks to the hair & makeup department for making Connor Paolo's hair normal this season. On to the family dynasties!

The Formerly Magnificent Archibalds
: Poor "Nate the Not So Great." He really tugged at the old heartstrings this episode, making impossible choices with his craptastic father. Really, Captain A? You're going to take your wife and son to Dominica and ransom them to your parents-in-law? Bad bad bad plan. So cruel to dangle the prospect of a happy family life in front of his son. His "I've been living in the Caribbean" facial hair was too much. Skeezy. Poor Nate was not looking his finest in this episode, but hat's off to Chace Crawford for all his emoting -- happy Nate, surprised Nate, conflicted Nate, sad Nate, flirty Nate, happy to be besties with Chuck again Nate. We got 'em all. And he totally made me well up when he talked his dad into being carted off by the FBI. (Teary moment tally: 1.) I am sure that is an accurate depiction of FBI investigations. Talk to teenagers.

Two Dads and Two Mums — Thanksgiving at the Waldorfs: Eleanor Waldorf just can't win. If she had told Blair that Harold was coming, the gods (read: the writers) would have kept him away. If she keeps it a secret, B will kidnap substitute mom Derota and pout whilst feeding the ducks. Our second episode in a row that featured amazing Derota moments. When her phone rang and the ringtone was Britney's "Slave 4 U"? Fell off the couch. Glorious. And when Derota tries to keep a secret from B on that back servant stairway? And B's all, "Who do you work for?" I love these two. (Have we seen that back of the kitchen stairway before?)

B's fortuitous run-in with height-of-misery Little J followed by Eleanor's arrival, shawl for J and maternal love for B on hand — love, love, loved it. (Teary moment: 2.) And it was only made better by the surprise of Harold. (Teary moment: 3.) As for second dad Cyrus, I'm sure he means well with the dinner at B's favorite restaurant and all, but eating the sacred pie! No! And dissing the cinnamon/nutmeg ratio? How can a ratio simply be "not enough"?

Over the
Humphreys: Jenny, accompanied by BFF and roomie Eric vdW, learn that to go ahead with the emancipation from her parents (1) they're going to find out about it (duh), (2) there will be an investigation to find proof of neglect. Shit. That is serious times. Poor Little J is in way over her head, but luckily Eric isn't the only van der Woodsen who has her back. Lily is awesome with Jenny and so good at managing Rufus. Gods bless Lily.

R: "Marshmallows. She likes them on her sweet potatoes." (Teary moment: 4.) It's kind of surprising how uninvolved in this whole situation Dan has been. Remember back in the pilot when Jenny was being molested or needed fashion advice? She texted Dan. :( I hope their relationship gets mo' better. As predictable as it was, when Dan and Rufus arrive home to the loft, both hoping that J will be there and realizing she's not, and then! she walks out of her room? Teary moment: 5. And the Humphrey Hug. Aw.

The van der Woodsens realize Bart is a Basstard
: Chuck's relationship with Eric continues to warm the cockles of my heart; I love that he would open his father's safe for his stepbrother. That scene was hilarious. (But as if the combination would be the mom's birthday. The most obvious combo possible.) Of course Bart Bass would have his staff P.I. follow Serena and Eric as well as Lily. (thank you, prop department, for clearly labeling the files so I know how many Ls there are in Lily. Just the one.) The dangled secret from Lily's past from a few episodes ago promised to bring havoc into this household but I didn't see it playing out this way. Love that Lily put her kids before Bart and got the eff out of there...

L: How did you get so wise?
E: The nanny.
Teary moment number 100. Eric and Lily at the restaurant barely eating their fries and Eric revealing Lily's secret sanitorium past. And where does Lily turn to salvage the holiday? To the
place that feels most like home, the Humphrey Loft. Hurrahza, Rufus and Lily together again. Rufly for life.

While I know I'm getting ahead of myself, I'm just glad to have one budding romance to root for. Aaron is not cool, at all ("He's just like Bill Paxton, but younger and with facial hair.") and his wall of Serena photos is creepy, not "artistic." Serena is acting all lamesauce around Aaron. She is way less herself than when she was with Dan. She's not so self-assured and is lying about her partying past
again. (The black dress she wore to dinner at A's house was killer tho. Her hair, notsomuch. And the hair braid on thanksgiving!) I hope Aaron's arc wraps up soon. And that Serena never ever hever gives a boy a File Full of her Secrets again. Ever. You put your File Full of Secrets straight into the crackling thanksgiving fire.

Dan and Serena seem to be getting along better than ever... When they have problems, they talk that shit through. With the whole Aaron he said/she said/he said thing, they apologized for what they each did wrong and were over it in record time! Hope for the future! The extra episodes at the end of the season? Dan & Serena and Rufus & Lily going on double dates.

And finally: When will Vanessa learn that she sucks at being devious? She sneaks off into another room and then reads J's letter in front of a mirror. Le grand sigh. She needs to put her wannabe-Blair tactics to rest, take off some of that jewelry and make-up, and move on. But at least her deviant behavior led to one of Gossip Girl's best sign-offs yet: Signed, stealed and delivered, I'm yours.

The preview for the next episode looks encroyable. A fancy dress party. (I was thinking we're overdue for the whole cast in the same room in costumes.) Chuck and Blair. Rufus and Lily. Dan and Serena. Nate and the Jenny or Vanessa conundrum. And the event that's been spoilered all over the internets. ZOMG I can't wait two weeks, CW. I just can't wait. (I'll link to the trailer when it's up.)

I thought this was an excellent episode. Feel good, funny, loads happened. So much that I can't cover all the glory in one post. What were your favorite parts, lines, outfits?

** The promo!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Britney is a goob: her impression of her pops

**update: the way that video started up every time i went to my blog was driving me bananas! watch the video of Britney imitating her dad here. It's hilarious town!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

my 90210pinions: Games People Play

"No more games, boy," said Donnie Wahlberg. That is the sentiment Annie and Naomi needed to embrace this week on 90210.

i love it when an episode starts exactly where the last left off. excellent! double bells: the return of Kelly Taylor!

Naomi is back to making the best faces! the "divorce" conversation faces are classic AnnaLynne McC. poor Annie can't tell her the truth. wait—what? Naomi is lying about being sad and lonely? "I've got my own games to play..." Didn't see that coming! Oh wait, yes i did. Two can play that game, Naomi.

I kind of wish Naomi had her own show. Like Veronica Mars but TERRIBLE and only half an hour long, so an episode would end before our brains exploded.

Looks like Navid is scared of doing it with Audrina. Virgin, perhaps?

Kelly SUCKS as a guidance counselor. As if you would say those things to a student! Accusing Kimberly like that is insanesauce. Boo on the return of Kelly. Does she not remember her high school years? She should buy the DVDs.

Apparently the ex-bf Jason has excellent lung capacity and was able to wait underwater in the pool for Annie to come home from school. He can also walk in slow motion AND yes, Lucille Bluth, you could crush mint on those abs. I think this show would be approved immensely if Lucille was in every scene, just hovering in the background, making awesomely crass comments.

Teacher Ryan looks way hotter in his I-am-depressed clothes than in his everyday teacher wear. Big news: Silver's posts have crappy grammar!

Another moment I'm going to hold on to: our first double-door bathroom scene! This is episode 10 and we have not yet been in the classic Walsh bathroom! in the old Nine-Oh, we were in the bathroom between Brenda and Brandon's rooms, like, 90% of the time.

Navid is a virgin! What a surprise. This is the main problem with new 90210: every single plotline is predictable. It's like there's a tired-trope machine at the CW and it spits out these episodes. The Gossip Girl team should give a master class in Writing Excellent Teen Drama for their CW pals.

WHAT! Annie has her name in neon lights at her birthday party! classy!
OMGWTFJessicaWalters! I'm glad this show exists for this very moment: Jessica Walters singing karoke. I knew there was a reason I watched this shit.

Oh a moment between Annie and Ethan. If Ethan gives her that octopus thing, I will 100% believe in that predictable-plot-generating machine. wait for it! yup, even Annie saw the "pentapus" coming. (ooherrr, that sounds dirty.)

Hurrah! Let me give 90210 credit where credit is due: nice ending. A good battle between Kansas and Queen Naomi followed by the arrival of their half-brother Sean. And in uniform!

D+. Just enough to keep me watching!

The Magnificent Archibalds promo

Chuck Bass, doff thy name

a comment to this article on Daily Intel — Stephanie Savage (co-creator of GG) saying the writers on the show are more inspired by Edith Wharton, Evelyn Waugh, and our main man Billy Shakespeare — had me in Les Britches of Stitches, in the throes of lolz.

behold JohnJPreston's reponse:

'Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Chuck Bass.
What's Chuck Bass? it is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Chuck Bass would, were he not Chuck Bass call'd,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Chuck Bass, doff thy name,
And for that name which is no part of thee
Take all myself.

By JohnJPreston on 11/10/2008 at 3:29pm

Monday, November 10, 2008

Spotted: Bonfire of the Vanity

Now let me level with you: this was not my favorite episode of Gossip Girl ever. Perhaps because Chuck and Blair shared no screen time, Nate was AWOL (I miss Nate?), and I'm tired of Rufus being all boring-parent chasing after his petulant teenager and never hot-90s-rocker-guy chasing after his one true love.

So what happened? Things are still amiss at the Humphrey loft. Jenny is off Agnesing, Dan is selling his soul for Yale, and Rufus is Judgey McJudgerson.

Blair chooses blood orange martinis for her 18th birthday party and Hazel really wants a boyfriend. Is that what I sound like when I say that? Lovely.

Agnes and Jenny have a meeting with Mr. Smith. A colossal meeting fail. I'm watching season two of The O.C. and that was nearly as bad as Seth, Zach and Summer's meeting with the comic book people.

What I did LOVE about this episode: Derota! Derota had major moments in this episode. For example, as she sets the table for Cyrus's imminent arrival:

B: Derota! Are you insane?
Derota: I don't know.

And then: Miss Eleanor has a glow like a Chinese lantern!

Excellent casting, Gossip Girl. Wallace Shawn a.k.a. Vizzini from Princess Bride is perfect for the Cyrus Rose character: in one moment you can see exactly why Eleanor loves him and why B is disgusted by him.

In other parental trauma plotlines, it's the 20th anniversary of Bass Industries. Chuck makes a "nice gesture but misguided as usual." Bartholomew Bass doesn't "have time for hockey games." (Is that what it sounds like when I say I don't have time for horses?) Grumble grumble, Bart Bass. What happened to the happy family eating cake from a few episodes back? I knew you were fake cake eating.

So apparently Dan Humphrey has both chops and has grown a pair! Lovely talk, Writerly Types. Senior Editor at New York magazine (a "quality publication") says: "If your reporting is as good as your fiction..." to Dan. Ha! Dan's fiction is reporting! He just changes up the names (sometimes) and chronicles his and his classmates' adventures. Lonely Boy needs to start a new tradition for his story titles. Plz not the date every single time. It is old.

But I cannot wait until I can pause this episode and read his Charlie Troutt story! It will be so epically Dan, judging by the two sentences I could skim over Bart's shoulder. and speaking of Dan and Bart...
Top Betrayal of the Episode goes to Dan Humphrey. AS IF Dan disses his father and his life's work in front of Bart Bass. For shame.

I've cooled on Aaron and the whole Aaron and Serena plot is not doing much for me. Plus it weirds me out to see Gossip Girl characters in Times Square? weird! but points for a grand romantic gesture to that perfectly appropriate song by the perfectly popular kings of leon. And without Serena and Aaron, Blair Waldorf would have had no extended Picasso analogy. Genius. Particularly the ending 'cause before you know it ... it's some other girl's eye coming out of her forehead.

The A+S+RandomModels plot was also inadvertantly responsible for the BEST MOMENT IN THE EPISODE: B squishing onto the couch next to Serena, pushing Isabel and Penelope out of the way. And then giving Nelly Yuki the Blair Death Stare when she pipes in.

Plotline that Got Draggy Fast has to be Jenny and Her Fashion Adventures with Crazytown Agnes. That coffee shop scene was un petit peu boring. all i cared about was: have i tried that flavor of vitamin water? (yes.) Then in the big climax when Agnes lights Jenny's dresses on fire, why why why doesn't Jenny stop her? With her arms! her hands! Not just by shreiking, "Don't don't! Give me my dresses! What are you doing?" She could have just taken the dresses out of the garbage can. Or hit Agnes or something. We haven't had a rumble in a few episodes, have we? Not since B and S.

ALL CHUCK DOES IN THIS EPISODE IS LURK. Chuck Bass the Super Spy! Calling Gillian the Intern at NYMag. Peering and eavesdropping from behind pillars. I love how Bart and Chuck both have a signature snarl face. The Bass Snarl. Dan is a brave boy to withstand a two-pronged Bass attack.

And why doesn't Chuck go to B's party? Remember last season's bday party for B? illicit encounters and extravagant jewels.

Blair versus Cyrus Rose: I kinda dug that plot. Probably because she always has excellent outfits and dialogue. Blair listens to Cyrus's true love story in a gorgeous outfit. I probably need that? I totally fell for the set-up and pay off with Cyrus outmaneouvring Blair. And how!

Cyndi Lauper! Somehow I missed her name in the opening credits and didn't realize we were *actually* going to see her. So my reaction was pretty much identical to Blair Waldorf's. Cyndi Lauper! And Derota loves Cyndi. The Cyndi song at the beginning of B's party, "Echo," is kinda super awesome. thank you Gossip Girl, for reintroducing me to her glory.

I didn't catch (the first time) that Jenny crashes at the gallery and not on some random blue couch. That makes sense. I just hope Vanessa doesn't find her there!

The most Touchingly Implausible Scene was definitely Bart and Chuck having their first honest talk ever. The Bass boys will go to a hockey game. It's more unlikely than the cake-eating, but so sweet that it brings a tear to my eye.

What are we left with...?
  • Will Little J divorce her parents right when Rufus is about to cave?
  • Will B go bananas with Cyrus living at the Waldorfs?
  • Is Serena really as conventional as Blair and will she tire of tripping through Central Park in a slip with Aaron?
  • Will the Rangers win the hockey game?
Next week it's Thanksgiving on the Upper East Side and it looks like our young Archibald is threatening to leave for good. (I'll post the promo when I can find it online.)

Don't leave, Nate. I was just starting to like you.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

me + Daily Intel = 100% tru love?

As you careful readers know, I am in love with the New York Magazine blog Daily Intel. Their Gossip Girl posts are unbelievably hilarious and astute. The love Jessica Pressler and Chris Rovzar have for the show is the same as Chuck and Blair's love for each other: intense and over the top and critical and saucily precise.

So imagine my delight when their Friday post (their follow-up to Tuesday's reality index) contained the following: 'Everyone also had a problem with the "mailing of letters scene" at the end — and with that we agree. What was that? Product placement for the U.S. Postal Service? Wait, was it? If so, that is genius.'

zong, I made that joke too! And all the boob talk! we were talking boobs too! I know, I know, I am lame but I think we could be friends in real life and stuff?

another Daily Intel–related story: it's Wednesday morning, post election, we're chit-chatting at the office. Talking election and talking about that frakking hologram thing on CNN. next day on Intel, our exact conversation! hilarioustown starring ecwers. and judging by the comments section, that exact conversation occurred across North America (and Kenya).

only a few short hours til Gossip Girl for this lucky-ducky Canadian. i get it a whole day early. <3

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

my 90210pinions: Election Night!

welcome to the Calhoun Tribune's Election Coverage:
Pseudo-Live Blogging 90210 but Not Forgetting about that Election!
(or Calhoun is Annoyed by 90210 and CNN in the same hour)

My Tuesday nights are complicated: 90210, Privileged, Pushing Daisies. So I'm watching the 7 p.m. (EST) feed of 90210. Just so's ya understand that my CNN flippery occurs before the polls have actually closed. And I have a high intolerance for election coverage. Seems to me that after waiting for this historically long election campaign to end, we can wait a few more hours and stop all the conjecture. Sigh.

On to 90210! The episode: Secrets and Lies
Principal Wilson explains to his children that he has a secret love child. He knocked up Naomi's mom in high school but Naomi's mom "didn't not have" the baby. HOLY SMOKES just say abortion! Network TV, you frustrate me!

I assume Annie's reaction is meant to be one of surprise but it looks alarmingly like a yawn. Dad is the biggest dummy ever: "i hope this doesn't affect us in any way." Why would it? A new half-brother born to the mother of your new bestie who is also the ex of your new bf.

Onward! Reusing a song from Gossip Girl season one! from the scene where Serena walks down the street and throws her phone in the garbage can after the Bass brunch.

As if Annie thinks Jimmy Choo is Chinese food. Sigh. Annie can't lie at all; I think maybe Shenae read Naomi's line, "Are you having a stroke?" and decided to really act that honestly so AnnaLynne McCord would have something to react to. Fail, Shenae. That's a fail.

Ethan's impression of Naomi is kinda funny but not nearly NEARLY even slightly close. That was your moment, actor who plays Ethan. Tsk, man. And the choice of dialogue? You can watch me blow off David Spade for the 80th time? yikes yikes yikes.

A recession joke! After the proverbial penny for his thoughts, Silver and Dixon talk about his adoption. It's backstory time! Break it down!

[Commercial Break CNN: There's a screen projection of a lady (Jessica Yellin) into the studio! She's a hologram like Princess Leia. It looks like shit and they think it looks awesome. Oh Wolfy. McCain 8, Obama 3. Honestly, I do not know what those numbers mean.]

Naomi's hair is out of control. Navid is stalking Adrianna. Bore bore boring. Annie is misbehaving by buying boots and sneaking off to slumber parties. Oh no wait! Tequila shots and a six of beer!

[Commercial Break CNN: Folks are running into Grant Park for an Obama speech later. Woot! Woot! Eep — Florida: 54% McCain, 46% Obama with 1% reporting. Oh. False alarm for FL. Right this is why I think election coverage is useless.]

Nothing like watching bad actresses act drunk. Silver looks at the ceiling when the doorbell rings. Crazy how the slumber party turned into a REAL party where everyone arrives at precisely the same moment. This is unbearable. Annie doesn't know how to drink a beer.

Naomi and the New Hot Guy break it down on the porch over grilled cheese and she learns her old tricks won't work. So she freaks out and starts yelling for Annie.

[Commercial Break CNN: Blah-de-blah, everyone's talking at the same time. Less than 1% in North Carolina and Obama has 51%. Oh 2% reporting in Florida, technical glitch, 57% lead for Obama.]

Annie is sleepy. Adrianna and Navid are totally going to do it. No wait they are not! Embarrassment! Naomi and Annie break it down on the floor. They hate liars. But wait...Annie is a total liar. And hold on...wait for it... there's the requisite barfing.

What! Is the undercover cop the dumbest in the whole universe? You ask your teacher boyfriend to pick you up a block away from the party? FAIL FAIL FAIL.

[Commercial Break CNN: So same as half an hour ago, McCain "8," Obama "3." Microphone fail with the lady in Grant Park. More praise for the hologram from Anderson Coop. When will we get some real numbers, asks Anderson. McC is leading in Kentucky. Well, Bucky Kentucky.]

Eek! Principal Wilson at the party! Embarrassment! The principal and Annie break it down on the floor. Annie has vomit boots. That is kinda the only cute thing she has ever said. Vomit boots.

George confronts Mr. English Teacher. Ryan takes a paid leave of absence! Embarrassment! Navid and Adrianna break it down at the lunch table. I will not stop saying "break it down," never ever. Adrianna is pretty and Jessica Lowndes (sp?) a reasonably OK actress.

Naomi tells Ozzy she likes him as he starts down the hallway. Then Ozzy changes course, heads the opposite way after giving Naomi his digits. And Naomi does the uber obvious and calls RIGHT away. But ruh-roh! She spots the make-out happening in the classroom. Who would have thunk that would happen right after they resolved to go public with the relationship? And we're done!

CNN is projecting McCain to take South Carolina even though Obama is currently in the lead and there is only 1% reporting. They put a big checkmark by McCain. THIS is why I hate election coverage. AH. Just start the coverage later and stop making stuff up!

Well, folks, 90210 was boring, like not even funny boring. And now a Pushing Daisies repeat, the first episode ever, and it's kinda really delightful in the best possible way. I wonder wonder who has won in America-land...

Gossip Girl, Je t'aime: There Might Be Blood

Good morning, Upper East Siders! Another Tuesday morning, another long week til the next episode of Gossip Girl ahead of us. For some reason this week's episode left me a little cold, but why exactly? There were millions of obscenely excellent lines from Blair and from Gossip Girl, from Chuck and even Serena.

Since I'm thinking hopeful thoughts all day today, whilst the Americans visit the voting polls, let's start with what I lurved:
  • the opening headline on Gossip Girl: Little J vs. The Queen Mum. Hilarious. (I wonder who took that pic of J taking the green dress and sent it to GG. Maybe the D.O.P.?) These openers always fly by and they are usually really puntastic.
  • When Emma, the young vixen having a "clearance sale," first starts in about Muffy and her adventures, B's reaction is gold: "Oh my god. Stop your mouth from moving."
  • More B gold when she tells Serena about Emma, "She's less Holly Hobby and more Jenna Jameson."
  • BACK UP THE BUS: I like the shirt Vanessa is wearing! The blue plaid+pattern and the cut? It actually looks good on her AND it is cool, which is a big step up from most of V's outfits. Her hair also looks good. And her advice to Dan? Pretty reasonable! He *is* ready to condemn his little sister.
  • Little Emma meets Chuck: "You're, like, the devil."
  • Chuck telling B that of the few things sacred to him, the back of a limo totally qualifies. So skeezy, so so sweet.
  • Little J posing as EricA van der Woodsen. (Sometimes they leave off the A and you know, change my gender. Sure.) Nate uses his "talking to parents" formal voice with Lily, which he first debuted back in season one. What a pair.
  • B thinking that GOD wants her to blackmail Emma's mother to get into Yale.
  • The return of little Serena! Little Serena (from the ep where D and S walk in Central Park and are mobbed by seventh graders with strong opinions on their relationship) looks a little less...weird. I'm glad she was just in the right spot to capture Nate and Jenny's second official kiss. Shows promise for Gossip Girl: The Next Generation.
  • Besides Rufus's OTT "hurry up" business, the conversation in the back of the cab was perfect. Dan and Vanessa know pretty much everything about each other and have such a nice twisted history (and present?) that they can bicker and cross lines without the guy sitting next to them knowing what the eff they're talking about. And good points all, Vanessa. Once again you are making total sense.
  • BEST WORD of the Episode: How will I ever work this into my everyday speech? Lacrossetitute.
  • After V sees N and J kissing and storms out of the party (after she was so delighted for J...sad), J follows and N looks bewildered. Gossip Girl gets it: it's "bros before hoes for little J."
  • More Blair excellence when she pouts in bed and Serena attempts cheering-up: "Princeton is a trade school."
  • Mail montage! It's super cheesy and unlikely that both Nate and Dan would have some very important letter to mail that morning, but it was such an old-school TV moment where everyone has parallel experiences, which in this case was encapsulated in lettermail. I love it. I wonder if that's U.S. Postal Service product placement?
  • J's hoodie/cape as she ventures south of 13th Street: glory. I need that. I need to put on WAY too much black eye makeup and feel like my world is collapsing but at least I look soooooo cool and maybe cozy too?
Things I'm sad to see go the way of the dodo:
  • Dan and Nate go to the movies. Dan and Nate holding hands. Dan and Nate having vicious fights and saying things they (Dan) really ought not to say. It's too bad that this went south so quickly and that D can't keep secrets or his judgmental opinion to himself. Does he really think N is a bad person? Just because our favorite sporty stoner from the Upper East Side had to sleep with a certain lady to support his family . . . hold up: Nate Archibald is a lacrossetitute!
  • Vanessa and Jenny's friendship. I'm guessing this ain't the last of it but: V has always been awesome to Little J and Little J has been awesome to V (with the one exception of that dress she made V for Lilly's wedding: hideous). V seems like the forgiving type. And it was Nate Archibald; how could Jenny not kiss him?
I bid good riddance, farewell, and sleep tight ya moron! to:
  • Dan being a total bore and taking the "slow and steady" path. (I hope this lasts longer than Serena's decision to be Queen S and totally terrorize D.) Little J always does what she has to do to get what she wants. So true, Depressing Dan. I wonder what kind of havoc his Charlie Troutt story will bring upon the Bass family. If only we could watch next week's promo...
What bugged me:
  • Serena's boob show. She has lovely cleavage. But the singular focus of her wardrobe is getting a bit boring. And her outfit for the tea party at the Yale Lady's? Really?
  • The guerrilla fashion show. Do extremely wealthy people like it when you crash their party, and ruin their event with your fashion show? Gossip Girl says yes! I really loved J's dress last week but this whole "collection" is a bit of a letdown and basically the same dress over and over with different accessories. Also, where did Agnes get her magical glass-smashing boots? I need a pair. Just touch a wine glass with the tip of your boot and SMASH!
  • The back-and-forth between Serena and Aaron. I know nothing can ever be easy and straightforward on GG, but this plotline felt like an afterthought of supersweetness mixed with a healthy dose of trepidation. And that licorice ring looked like it was handcrafted by a candy jeweler, not an 11-yr-old boy. (I'm guessing A's 3 yrs older than S?)
  • The parenting style of Rufus Humphrey. What did J do wrong exactly? She didn't tell her dad she quit Eleanor's, she pretended to be at home eating pizza and watching Project Runway but instead was designing a fashion line and trying to start her own business. And the actual illegal thing: the guerilla fashion show that everyone loved. Hmm. So a 15 year old shouldn't do whatever the hell she pleases but it's not exactly like Little J was out all night getting high with Agnes and Max the Creepy Photographer. (if only we could see next week's preview...) Rufus acted like he had exhausted EVERY possible avenue he had with Jenny and so he had to turn her over to the NYPD. I was very glad Lilly vdW was there to meddle in another family's business.
  • Dan didn't freak out when his little sister packed up all her stuff and moved out of the Humphrey Loft? He's all, sip of coffee, BTW dad, check out J's room, I gotta go to the post box. I think not. That is what Dan of the Books would do. Do not make our Dan that Dan.
The questions I'm left with:
  • Chuck has an in with Gossip Girl? Wha-what-what? Chuck has always been excellent at getting things on Gossip Girl. Is Chuck Gossip Girl? Or a more realistic scenario: does Chuck have a witty private investigator/blogger on retainer who does all Gossip Girling for him?
  • Why does Nate hate Chuck? Is this about the trip to Yale? Yawn. Go and live with Chuck Bass, Natie. With Serena there and Blair always sleeping over, it would be like The Real World: Upper East Side.
  • Where the frak is Nate going? Please don't go to the Hamptons to live with your mom. I hate the Anne Archibald character.
  • What the heck is going to happen after graduation? Serena and Blair are all gigglepants over the Yale course calendar (those are HILARIOUS). I'm guessing D will also get into Yale (either with his story or by Serena pulling her celebrity status card again). Chuck can go wherever he pleases. And Nate? Did he get into Yale? Could he afford an ivy-league education? (Who's paying his tuition at St. Jude's?)
  • Lily or Lilly? How many L's, Ms. van der Woodsen?
Oh Gossip Girl. I'm sorry I said you left me cold. It's obvs just me, not you. You are as glorious as ever. Just please continue on in your awesomesauce way.

Next week: "Bonfire of the Vanity." Sounds like Little J does the best shrieking on television since Dawn on Buffy. Nothing stands in the way of ambition...or fireballs!

Saturday, November 01, 2008


emily of a softer world came up with this cool idea to enter your birth year into flickr and post the resulting photos (and did it with halloween + birth year to great results). with just my birth year...

The Haunting of AnnaLynne McCord

Damage Creasey sent me a link to The Fugging of AnnaLynne McCord, which proves two things:
(1) the Fug girls are still as hilarious as they were in das olden days,
(2) AnnaLynne McCord IS this generation's Elizabeth Berkley.

Behold AnnaLynne in a costume for a Vegas show and the rationale the Fug Girls provide:
"She's probably desperate to be in the press for something other than her accidentally hilarious day job, at which she does one of two things: "emotes" via tiny convulsions, or speed-talks through the clumsy scripts. The former is simply unfortunate, but the latter secretly might be a clever attempt to get through it faster; both combined, however, could be a potent and overdue nod to her hair twin, Jessie Spano, meaning we'll find out in two weeks that Drunkface's character is hooked on caffeine pills that have her so excited, so excited, SO SCARED. Seriously, that's how bad the show is -- I'm actually rooting for it to rip off Saved By The Bell. And fast."
There is one point I beg to differ on: AnnaLynne McCord is not Jessie Spano, but rather Nomi Malone (is Goddess) of Showgirls. Elizabeth Berkley was just right for Saved By the Bell but something happened to her on the set of Showgirls, and that same something is happening to our dear AnnaLynne McCord. And of course the Vegas showgirl outfit really helps my argument. See Naomi IS Nomi.

I really tried to find a picture of Nomi in a similar outfit, but um? kinda hard to find a still from the movie that is not of Elizabeth Berkley in various stages of undress and/or making out with the other stripper or Kyle McL. Sigh.

Seeing The Haunting of Nate and Naomi tomorrow afternoon! I wonder if it will be craptastic or just lamesauce.