Thursday, November 29, 2007

Project Run-WHAT?!

Considering where I work (in TV, at Fox) it may be surprising (or possibly a sacrilege) that I'm not a big fan of reality television.

I watched The Real World for a few seasons...though I don't really count it in the universe of "reality television" that now exists. I saw the Omorosa season of The Apprentice. Survivor: Australian Outback (I think that was Season 2 or 3). The least annoying season of Queer Eye. A couple scattered seasons of The Amazing Race. I enjoyed all of the aforementioned viewing experiences. But I was never really compelled to keep watching, season-to-season. Reality television just doesn't seep into my consciousness and take hold of my brain like scripted series do.
And then came Project Runway.

I watch it religiously. Like it's my job. And I'm not even a fashion lover. I buy most of my clothes from American Eagle. My wardrobe isn't exactly "this season" (or even "last season," really) or fashion forward. I wouldn't know a couture piece if you smacked me in the face with it. I'm often baffled by what Michael Kors and Nina Garcia deem "amazing" or "atrocious."

Despite that, I can't get enough. I adore Tim Gunn and his "make it work" attitude. Heidi Klum trying to read lines makes me giggle. I love the designers, so full of themselves and so shocked when what they make is deemed less than the best thing ever. I love the weepers (especially when they're the men). I love it when the claws come out and people get snippy over their sewing machines. And if you've ever laughed harder at a reality show than when Santino made up his "Tim and Andrae go to Red Lobster" bit in the are dead to me.

This season has a crazy girl who spit marks her clothes, a heavily-tattoed 46-year-old woman named "Sweet P," Kevin the weeper and an overly confident 21-year-old queen with a Flock of Seagulls haircut updated for the 21st century (newsflash: it still doesn't look good. Christian, you fail at life). It also just had one of the greatest, funniest episodes ever.

The designers had to make menswear. Speficially, something that former NFL "great" Tiki Barber could wear on the Today show. Project Runway pretty much never designs for men. You'd think so much more thought and creativity and effort has to go into creating women's clothing. Menswear should be fairly straightforward; after all, don't they usually wear boring suits?

Apparently, that couldn't be further from the truth, and watching nearly all of the designers bite of WAY more than they could chew and struggle to tailor a pair of slacks properly had me rolling on the floor clutching my sides from laughing so hard. And we haven't even gotten to the fact that the female models were switched out for male models (leaving about 90% of the contetants slack-jawed) who got all naked and had to be fitted.

For those who may not believe me, here are the bottom three designs:

I have never seen a worse (and more hysterical) runway show. The looks from Michael Kors alone were enough to finish me. I mean, just LOOK at the collar on the model on the left (and the fact that his tie was made for a guy about seven feet tall). The model on the right doesn't even have a SHIRT on. It was essentially a "who f#@!ed up the least" challenge. In the next couple episodes, as always, the drama will intensify, personalities will crystallize, the bar will continue to rise and Michael will come up with more scathing one-liners to attemp to describe the horrors before him.

I. Can't. WAIT.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Sporting Event + LA Coliseum = Baseball?

If there was a contest entitled "The best news you've ever heard ever," the following article would win, hands down.

The Dodgers are returning to the Los Angeles Coliseum, where they played from 1958-1961, to play a one game exhibition against the World Series champion Boston Red Sox. March 29, 2007 aka "the day I will possibly REALLY die of happiness."

I find the fact that they will be playing the Red Sox, who have the green monster, in this setup extremely fitting. They'll feel right at home with the fence erected in left field for "moon shots."

There is no way that I'm going to miss being one of the 94,000 people who cram into that place (I mean, I did it every other weekend for four years for football) and watch this game. It will be like stepping back in time to when baseball first came to Los Angeles.

I will, possibly, be watching the game like my father did as a boy. He was born and raised outside of LA and was a Dodgers fan from a very young age. They're bringing players from that period back, and though I've met quite a few of them in the flesh already, seeing them on that field in this context is going to be pretty damn special.

I. Can't. WAIT.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Vampire Legend...

I am a vampire fanatic (I’m always tempted to say “I’m a sucker for vampires” before I remember what a bad pun that is). I’ll watch or read pretty much anything that has to do with vampirism, vampires or “things-that-go-bump-in-the-night-and-will-probably-suck-your-blood-out-while-doing-it.”

I’ve read mythology books, both modern and ancient (mentions of creatures with vampire-like features date back to Mesopotamia). I’ve seen movies from Dracula to The Hunger to The Lost Boys to Buffy the Vampire Slayer and everything in between. I worship at the altar of Joss Whedon (he of Buffy and Angel cult fame).

All you really have to do is mention that there’s a vampire in any sort of entertainment project and I’m there (this explains why I watch Moonlight. Don’t judge me; it’s an obsession and I am not completely responsible for where my urges take me). I can’t explain why. I don’t identify with them or secretly want to be one. I do not dress in black or wear a vial of blood around my neck. I have not filed down my teeth, nor am I nocturnal (though I do cop to dressing up as Buffy for Halloween when I was in high school…but that was freakin’ awesome).

It doesn’t hurt that devastatingly sexy men tend to play vampires, I suppose.

I mention all of the above because I saw the extended trailer for I Am Legend before seeing Enchanted this weekend.

The movie is based on a book which, according to Wikipedia, is about the following:

“The novel opens with the monotony and horror of the daily life of the protagonist, Robert Neville. Neville is apparently the only survivor of an apocalypse caused by a pandemic of a bacterium, the symptoms of which are very similar to vampirism. Every day he makes repairs to his house, boarding up windows, stringing and hanging garlic, disposing of vampires' corpses on his lawn and going out to gather any additional supplies needed for hunting and killing more vampires.”

I’ve watched the trailer a half-dozen times (and I saw the teaser many times as well) and…I’m just not excited. I really don’t care. This is a blockbuster, sci-fi/horror, big-ass holiday weekend movie about vampires, and all I can do is shrug my shoulders and go “eh.” I can’t put my finger on why, either. I know that CGI “creatures of the night” aren’t my favorite thing. I also like the human/demon dichotomy – the relationship between the two both internally and externally. This doesn’t seem like that kind of movie.

Still, I’m sort of let down. Friends and acquaintances have been inquiring if I’m going to “line up” to see it and gauging my degree of excitement about the impending opening day. A movie that seems tailor-made to someone of my particular predilection and I’m completely ambivalent. Guess I’ll have to look forward to Sweeney Todd instead. He’s no vampire; but there’ll be blood and death and extremely pale skin everywhere…oh my.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Billy freakin' Joel

So, I have a confession to make.

I'm not a HUGE music person. I mean, I love it. I love singing at the top of my lungs in my car, dancing about my apartment to "Footloose" (among other things) and I go see Broadway musicals like it's my JOB...but I don't consider myself a music connoisseur by any stretch of the imagination. The "Big 3" in entertainment pretty much rank as follows: Television, Television, Movies/Music.

That said, I love concerts. I've seen my favorite band multiple times. I try and see bands I like when they come through town if I have the money and someone to go with me. But, up until this weekend, I'd never really traveled to see a band or artist. You know, gotten in the car (or on a plane) and actually driven incredibly far for the sole purpose of seeing a concert.

And then I went to Vegas to see Billy Joel. I don't think I'll ever be the same.

I don't know if there's anything quite like getting dressed to the nines to walk into the concert hall of the MGM Grand and spending two-and-a-half hours listening to the Piano Man do his thing. I was in the "nosebleed" seats, but I didn't care. He opened with an amazing piano instrumental that segued into "Angry Young Man" and then just didn't stop rocking. By the time he got to "We Didn't Start The Fire" (which was only a few songs in) we were up and dancing in the aisles in dresses and heels. A Frank Sinatra impersonation, several Elvis songs and one joke about Elton John later, he closed with "You May Be Right" and encored with the following:

"Scenes From An Italian Restaurant"

"Only The Good Die Young"

"Piano Man"

It was one of the most fantastic nights of my life. There's nothing like a show in Vegas (and traveling for five hours in a car with seven of your friends to get there)...especially when you're rocking to Billy Joel. I highly recommend that if the right band comes along, you hop in your car, take the 10 to the 15, stop in Barstow for some food and then concert it up in Vegas.

Because, you know, when the show is over, you're still in VEGAS, baby.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Sexiest Man Alive?

This just in: Matt Damon is named People magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive." The previous sentence was sent forward through time and space from the year 2000...when it was (possibly) true.

I mean, not gonna lie. The guy's attractive. I always liked him better than his other half (Affleck). But Sexiest Man Alive?? Damon's the guy your parents would let you date at 15 because he was so vanilla...nice, nice looking in a very non-threatening way. Looking at him doesn't inspire lusty thoughts or funny tingling sensations.

For the curious, the man who's received my vote for SMA every day for the past 10 years is below. He is the very definition of walking sex. There will be no arguing with me, so don't even try.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Baseball Bling

I love the end-of-season baseball awards. They usually surprise me. At least one (without fail) is downright shocking.

I'm going to sidebar a little bit here and say I've never been the sort of girl who loves a sports player because he's "so CUTE!" (insert glare at all the girlie Johnny Damon/Tom Brady/Tony Romo lovers here). I love guys who can doesn't really matter what they look like under their helmet or hat. That said...

I love Russell Martin. I love looking at him. I love watching him play. I love listening to him get interviewed. I was on vacation in Boston when they had Russell Martin bobblehead day at the stadium...and I made my mother go to the game so that I could put a miniature version of him on my bookshelf in my apartment (calm yourselves..I paid for her ticket).

I feel okay about all of this because damn, the kid can play. He was recognized this year with both the Gold Glove and the Silver Slugger. Here are the lines (in only his second season) that earned him that distinction:

SS: AVG .293 HR 19 RBI 87 OBP .374 SLG .469

GG: GP 154 \ Attempts 123 \ % CS 33.3 \ Inn/SB 15.3 \ Fld % .988 \ Assists 83


No one was surprised that Dustin Pedroia took home the AL Rookie of the Year Award. There really wasn't another strong argument to be made. Despite a rough, below-the-Mendoza-line start in May, Pedroia finished the season with a .317 batting average - an all-time best for a rookie second baseman. He also lead all major league rookies in doubles, was second in on-base percentage and third in runs.

His heroics in the postseason - driving in 10 in 14 games and that lead off homer in Game 1 of the World Series are just a couple things worth mentioning here - are made even more impressive by the fact that the 24-year-old did it all with a broken hamate bone in his hand.

My Boston friends and I, after watching Pedroia come up clutch again and again, even started singing what became known as "The Pedroia Song" (sung to the tune of the chorus of "Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You"):

Dus-tin Pe-dro-ia

You are the love of my life

Dus-tin Pe-dro-ia

I'd let you &$@! my wife (or "ME!" if you're a woman)


I trust in you when you playyyyy

Congratulations to him.


In the NL, things were a bit more, surprising. General public opinion (and critical opinion) bestowed the NL Rookie of the Year on Colorado's Troy Tulowitzki. When the votes were counted, however, Milwaukee's Ryan Braun came out on top by a mere two points - the closest margin since the current voting system was implemented in 1980.

It's also a classic example of flash trumping substance.

Hitting Stats:

Fielding Stats:

In general, sports fans understand the value of a good defense, but it's a lot harder to see (and quantify) than home runs and extra bases. Braun trumps Tulowitzki in batting average, home runs and slugging percentage. He also committed 26 errors in 112 games (giving him the second-worst fielding percentage - .895 - among third baseman since 1910).

Tulowitzki was part of (arguably) THE best defense in the major leagues all year. His team made it to the World Series. His offensive numbers are incredibly impressive and definitely comparable to Braun's. How is it that a rookie with a hot bat but a questionable glove beats out another rookie who's got the whole package - an impressive bat AND a solid glove (and at shortstop to boot)? Are we really THAT blinded by the long ball?

Congrats to Ryan Braun for an incredibly impressive offensive debut. It's unfortunate that it was able to cast a shadow over Tulowitzki - without question the better "complete package" - and cost him the Rookie of the Year award.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Report from the front lines...

This photo was taken from one of the top floors of the Fox Plaza not that long ago. All of the WGA strikers have converged on the Fox Lot (where I work) today from 10am-4pm.

Here's one more photo:

Essentially, no one can get on or off the lot and rolling street closures have been instituted for the streets around the two main lot entrances.

Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave are going to play later on today for the strikers. My co-workers and I will probably head to the top of one of the parking structures to check it out later. Regardless of how you feel about the strike, I think it's a fascinating thing to see firsthand. It's a part of history (Hollywood history, at least), as strange as that may sound.

More later...

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

This is why I love TV...

You know, you're sitting down, minding your own business, watching one of your favorite TV shows and then...BAM!

You see a familiar face. One that you can't quite place out of context. They're playing some random guest supporting role that doesn't really matter a whole lot. Your brain searches desperately for the connection, trying to figure out how the hell you know that face, that voice...

When the answer hits, it is rarely as glorious as it was last night, when I watched How I Met Your Mother and House back-to-back (Oh Tivo, how I love you).

The Realtor on HIMYM? Looking (and talking...oh thank god) completely normal...

And then on House, I wondered why the guy yelling at people and making mean faces looked so familiar...and then I pictured him saying "What are you looking at, butthead?"

THese are the things that bring me joy...

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Wannabe what, exactly?

When I was 12 I was in love with the Spice Girls.

*waits for the laughter to die down*

You all be quiet. When "Girl Power" was still a novel idea, the Spice Girls were good, clean fun for the tween set. Before the boy band era blew up, we had Scary, Sporty, Baby, Ginger and Posh (oh, Posh). In your little group of girlfriends, everyone got assigned one of the "personas" (my self-preservation instinct has just kicked in, and is preventing from disclosing which one I always wanted to be) and you danced about and sang and flashed your girl power peace sign.

Or maybe it was just me. *ahem*

This is what they used to be about:

Recently, a new music video for one of their new songs made the rounds online:

Ladies, what happened to the fun? What happened to the smiles (okay, from everyone but Posh)? Why are you sitting around in your lingerie looking pouty? Are you trying to prove how grown up and (still thin and hot, thankyouverymuch) you are?

I was way more excited than someone my age should be that you were reuniting for a World Tour. I wanted to get tickets in the worst way (the 12-year-old inside of me occasionally still runs the show...usually when we're talking ice cream or superheroes).

But if this tour is going to be 90 minutes of the women I see in the second video with none of the bubbly effervescence of the original incarnation...I'm going to have to give the whole thing one big pass. I'll stick with my awesome memories of dancing around my living room pretending to be Scary Spice (damnit, I gave it away).

Monday, November 5, 2007

A Time to Strike (to everything there is a season)

The last time the WGA went on strike, I was four. Since I didn’t watch anything beyond Pooh Corner and Sesame Street at that point, I really don’t remember the impact the strike had on Joe Viewer, let alone the studios and the writers themselves. I’ve heard about people losing homes and jobs and being forced to suffer through an endless sea of reruns (the horror!). I don’t think I really understand what it MEANT.

But I think I’m about to. As of 12:01 this morning, the WGA went on strike. Many productions (television and film) ground to a halt; lacking a showrunner and/or EP, it’s hard to, you know, run a show. Should this conflict drag on into weeks and months, this whole thing will start to get “really real.” No more new television. More reality (though, I hate to burst your bubbles people…reality shows have writers too). People may lose their jobs. People put out of work may lose a lot more than that.

I crossed a picket line this morning on my way to my desk at a major studio, something I’ll have to do every day until this conflict gets resolved. I feel a little guilty about it, I’m not gonna lie. I sympathize with the WGA members (since I fancy myself a bit of a writer, on occasion), but I also understand that this is the sort of conflict where both sides have incredibly valid points and there really isn’t a clear “right” way for things to shake out. I just hope a compromise can be reached sooner rather than later. Especially since things have already gotten ugly: a WGA member was run down by a car in front of a studio earlier today for “not getting out of the way.”

Buckle up, kiddies. Things in Hollywoodland are about to get even more interesting and intense than usual.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

The mighty Trojan Nation

As I sit here watching USC play OSU, I feel sort of like an old biddy in a rocking hair, reminiscing about the glory of days gone by. Yeah yeah, I'm a spoiled little football bitch (and a smug one at that). No one needs to tell me this; I am fully aware. Two National Championships (and very nearly a third...but I can't talk about that), three Heisman Trophy winners in four years and a record of 48-4.

I come from the era of thunder and lightning, Pete Carroll, "the push," repeated stomping of rivals UCLA and Notre Dame and more oranges and roses than we knew what to do with. My classmates and I don't really understand the meaning of that big, ugly "L" (though I WAS at that fateful 2006 Rose Bowl and I'm still not going to talk about it...) Sports columnists touted us as one of the greatest college football teams EVER. We took over as THE Los Angeles team (because the Dodgers, Kings, Clippers and Lakers sure weren't doing much in that stretch). Even our harshest critics' hurled insults were so feeble, they were laughable.

Then came Oregon State. And the baffling 13-9 UCLA loss. Everyone was just a bit too eager to turn on the top dog. So we went to the Rose Bowl and thoroughly dominated Michigan (again) and everyone breathed a sigh of relief. A funny thing happened during the 2007 off season, though. The Pac-10 (which previously consisted of USC'm out) started stepping up their game.

The 2007 season features a fantastic Oregon team, a bafflingly good Arizona State team, and solid Cal and UCLA teams. That's not even getting into one of the craziest, David-beats-Goliath seasons college football has seen in years (kicked off by *hee-hee* Michigan and Appalachian State). We inexcusably lost to Stanford at home, breaking a 35-game home winning streak. We understandably lost to Oregon.

With a month left in the season, we sit at unimaginable number. I can make arguments about Booty's middle finger and an offensive line decimated by injuries. But I won't. Many in the Trojan Nation are full of sputtering excuses and a lot of sports columnists are smugly touting that they "knew it was coming."

Don't fool yourselves. The Trojan dynasty has not died. Our defense still puts most others in the nation to shame. Our offense is still play making just fine, thanks. Being a two-loss team shouldn't inspire "end of the world" hand-wringing. Sure, it takes us down a peg or two, but everyone needs to be force-fed a healthy dose of reality every once in a while. We're not invincible. But we're also not to be dismissed or counted out...ever.

Besides, it's a great ploy for the mightiest to lull everyone else into a false sense of security for a while before turning around and leveling everyone in their path (Hey, I may have been taken down a peg or two, but my football ego remains firmly intact).

Thursday, November 1, 2007

The Joss has landed

Never mind that pesky potential writer's strike looming on the horizon...the television landscape has just gotten infinitely brighter.

Because this man has returned to TV.

I know, fellow Whedonites, you are skeptical. Joss has been attached to many, many projects (on both big and small screen) in the past couple of years that never saw the light of day. Wonder Woman. Goner. Ripper. That Faith spinoff. Each one got our hopes soaring...only to crush us under the bitter heel of disappointment every time (my flair for the dramatic knows no bounds). So I sense your trepidation and I totally understand it.

After all, the deal is with FOX. The network with the extremely short leash, known to cancel shows as early as 30 minutes into a one-hour pilot. The network that shoved the brilliant "Firefly" onto Friday nights, aired multiple episodes out of order and then canned it halfway through the first season. The network Joss never wanted to go back to.

But I say, "Take heart, Joss lovers!" For Whedon himself has commented on the positive changes in the FOX regime since he last brought a show there. Also, he doesn't just have a deal, he has a show - complete with purchased scripts (seven - count 'em), a title and a star.

The Queen of bad-assery, Eliza Dushku, convinced Whedon to come back to television with "Dollhouse," which Whedon half-jokingly describes as a "suspense-drama-mythology-comedy-action-horror musical."

Because I am currently too lazy to write out a synopsis, follow the link if you want to know what it's about (and who wouldn't?).