Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Pre-holiday Miscellany

First, I'd like to point you to Three Easy Payments, in which a former classmate of mine reviews commercials. This blog features both hilarity and the correct usage of the word "interrobang."

Second, could someone tell me whether Gail Simmons has left Top Chef for good? Last we saw her, she was being ridiculous at her bridal shower (i.e. blaming the chefs for ruining her upcoming marriage with sub-par sushi rolls). She was conspicuously absent from the last episode, and previews reveal a surly bald Brit in her place. AS IF ANYONE COULD REPLACE GAIL.

I think she's so awesome that I actually permitted my boyfriend to cheat on me with her, should the opportunity ever arise. Seriously, watch reruns and see how amazing Gail's life is. She says nothing of value and appears to be there just to go NOM NOM NOM on delicious food. Every now and then she makes a half-hearted attempt at criticism but mostly just walks around out-adorabling Padma in cutely ridiculous dresses. GAIL 4 LYFE.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Joy to the Television

Happy Holidays, Tubers. Here in no particular order are some television tidbits for the holiday season.

Firstly, if you haven't already been doing so, tune into ABC Family's 25 Days of Christmas. It's a great place to catch some claymation favorites and play a rousing round of Guess Which Drugs These Stop Motion Animators from the Sixties were on. Acid for the win. Just don't watch THE POLAR EXPRESS. CGI Tom Hanks haunts my dreams, always. Especially as that creepy Santa Claus. Whoever heard of a bitchy Santa in a Christmas movie.

Secondly, I love me some Christmas, but I also can't wait for it to be over so I don't have to see any more grossly anti-feminist diamond commercials, particularly this one from Kay Jewelers.

Really? You're sorry your signing still isn't very good? Maybe before you expect someone to be so head over heals for you, you should have a fluent language in common. Or did you already learn the sign for "Where's my dinner, bitch" and "Blow me," so you think you're good? If this isn't enough to prevent you from being a Kay customer, remember, they're so cheap because they're blood diamonds.

And finally, today's New York Post featured Christmas cards sent by celebrities. Please look below for the most scrumdiddlyumptiously appropriate card, sent by Boob Tuber favorite, James Lipton.

A Deja Gout of Leftovers?! Oh, you crack me up Jimmy.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

It's Gilded Globe Time

The nominees are in, and since more Americans get their television news from boobtubers than from any other source, here are some thoughts, followed by the full list of TV Nominees (my preferences for winners in bold).

For once, my lady parts are giving me a hard time as to who should win best actor in a television series, drama. Usually my loins point me in a straight path towards Hugh Laurie, but now, Jon Hamm has been thrown in the mix, and his Don Draper is as dapper as they come. I'll let me you know when me and "ladytown" have made a final decision...

Of course, you all should know by now that my mind and genitals are made up when it comes to best actor in a miniseries or movie. Giamatti '09. Strike that, Giamatti 4-EVAH!

Hmm, are there any categories that are not determined by a lust factor for me? WHY YES! Best television series drama should go to MAD MEN. I turn my back on HOUSE only because I do have to admit that the writers are still working towards finding a gratifying balance between the old and new teams. I know the writer's strike is partially to blame for the underused Chase and Cameron in particular, but things still have been a bit Clunky in House-ville. Tuesday's Christmas episode was actually fantastic, with seamless plot movement between A - D storylines, so I think we're on the right track, thanks mostly to Peter Blake, but still, I will have to be throwing my support behind MAD MEN this year, mostly because I wish I could drink profusely at work.

Best television series drama
"In Treatment"
"Mad Men"
"True Blood"

Best television musical or comedy
"The Office"
"30 Rock"

Best miniseries of made-for-television movie
"Bernard and Doris"
"John Adams"
"A Raisin in the Sun"

Best actor in a television series, drama
Gabriel Byrne, "In Treatment"
Michael C. Hall, "Dexter"
Jon Hamm, "Mad Men"
Hugh Laurie, "House"

Jonathan Rhys Meyers, "The Tudors"

Best actress in a television series, drama
Sally Field, "Brothers & Sisters"
Mariska Hargitay, "Law & Order: SVU"
January Jones, "Mad Men"
Anna Paquin, "True Blood"
Kyra Sedgwick, "The Closer"

Best actor in a miniseries or movie
Ralph Fiennes, "Bernard and Doris"
Paul Giamatti, "John Adams"
Kevin Spacey, "Recount"
Kiefer Sutherland, "24: Redemption"
Tom Wilkinson, "Recount"

Best actress in a miniseries or movie
Judi Dench, "Cranford"
Catherine Keener, "An American Crime"
Laura Linney, "John Adams"
Shirley MacLaine, "Coco Chanel"
Susan Sarandon, "Bernard and Doris"

Best actor in a television series, musical or comedy
Alec Baldwin, "30 Rock"
Steve Carell, "The Office"
Kevin Connolly, "Entourage"
David Duchovny, "Californication"
Tony Shalhoub, "Monk"

Best actress in a television series, musical or comedy
Christina Applegate, "Samantha Who?"
America Ferrera, "Ugly Betty"
Tina Fey, "30 Rock"
Debra Messing, "The Starter Wife"
Mary-Louise Parker, "Weeds"

Best supporting actor in a series, miniseries or made-for-television movie
Neil Patrick Harris, "How I Met Your Mother"
Denis Leary, "Recount"
Jeremy Piven, "Entourage"
Blair Underwood, "In Treatment"
Tom Wilkinson, "John Adams"

Best supporting actress in a series, miniseries or made-for-television movie
Eileen Atkins, "Cranford"
Laura Dern, "Recount"
Melissa George, "In Treatment"
Rachel Griffiths, "Brothers & Sisters"
Dianne Wiest, "In Treatment"

See if I am right on January 11th.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

In Honor of the 76th Annual Lighting of The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree TONIGHT on NBC

This morning, Harry Connick Jr. was on the Today show (for what seems like the 18th time this month) to promote his new Christmas album as well as his appearance at tonight's tree lighting. I get overly excited when usually stoic and artificial morning TV personalities do something real or funny. Usually I can rely on Matt Lauer to show such glimmers in otherwise painful banter. Today, Harry Connick Jr. played along and did not give into the always looming fear that midwestern housewives will be insulted by obvious sarcasm. HILARIOUS!

And in celebration of that big old tree getting lit, remember these...(Watch 'em all, they get better as they go. I also understand better is a relative term, but watch anyway.)

Vivian's take on The Hills

I TRIPLE DOG DARE PROMISE that I will be back ASAP with my assessment of holiday themed programming.

Until then, please enjoy guest tuber Vivian's take on THE HILLS, the show that no regular Boob Tuber can watch without experiencing a violent physical reaction...

Might as well call it "Over The Hills"! MTV's hit reality drama appears to take its cues from another sassy foursome--Dorothy, Sophia, Blanche, and Rose of The Golden Girls! Compelling photo documentation is worth a thousand words. I am not including Audrina because she is particularly useless.

Lauren/Dorothy: Both weathered their sex scandals with dignity, grace, and rage. They are the cuckqueaned protagonists who can't laugh at themselves.

Lo/Sophia: The sneering and snarky moms of the protagonist. Such bitches.

Heidi/Blanche: These one-armed vixens share a penchant for big busts and boys boys boys!

Whitney/Rose: Notably nicer than the other gals, these mildly dumb (yet charming) blondes purvey an endless supply of funny faces.

This concludes the most intellectually-challenging analysis of The Hills published on the Internet, or any other media, to date. I promise you.

Monday, December 01, 2008

TV News Roundup

Tina Fey's husband divulges the origins of her scar to Maureen Dowd, who spends the majority of her Vanity Fair article scrutinizing that and other sundry aspects of Fey's appearance, because that's what womenfolk are good for.

Britney Spears hosted her very own infomercial last night, the saddest in the world, sadder even than the Snuggie.

The Post and I agree that Colbert's Christmas special sucked. I think he has officially jumped the shark, even though the phrase "jumped the shark" jumped the shark a while ago, and therefore this blog has now jumped the shark.

If you love Poor Man's Version of that HBO Show with the Four Narcissistic Harpies Who Probably Helped Inspire the Economy's Downfall, AKA Lipstick Jungle, buy a Nielsen meter and start watching soon OR ELSE.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Can you believe...

Two can you believe its for today.

1) Can you believe it is TOP CHEF/food porn time again, as the show's fifth season premieres on Bravo tonight? I hope the first challenge tonight is to take spaghetti with tomato sauce, shrimp cocktail, stuffing (as in Turkey/Thanksgiving stuffing), guacomole, and baked potatoes and make something out of them. Those are my favorite foods so I am sure it would be delicious.

Another good thing about Top Chef beginning is maybe a waning down of the NYC transit advertisements for the show featuring an openly hostile statue of liberty wielding a knife. It seriously looks like some of Vigo's primordial ooze from below the city streets in GHOSTBUSTERS II got all up in her grill. Google fails me in finding a viable photo of it, but trust me, not good news.

2) Old news, but can you believe TWO AND A HALF MEN is the number one comedy on television? Honestly, it makes me question my place on this planet to know that what I consider to be, hands down, one of the worst shows on television gets an 8.9/13 rating?!?! On top of plain sucking, now the show is just getting awkward as that little shit on it grows up. Now its more like TWO 80s HAS BEENS/WALKING ZOMBIES DO TRICKS FOR PAYCHECKS AND 80% OF A MAN. That was a mouthful, but you get me.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Ruby Premieres Sunday

The LA Times review summed up the confusion surrounding the premiere of RUBY best: "... here is "Ruby," which this Sunday joins the home of "Fashion Police," "Dress My Nest" and "How Do I Look?". RUBY, being a docudrama reality series about a morbidly obese young woman trying to lose weight that will air on the Style Network. Style has dipped its toe into some sort of substance with CLEAN HOUSE, the show that reorganizes and redecorates for chronic hoarders; at least here there is some sort of acknowledgement of their psychological disorders and problems that are a little deeper than HOW DO I LOOK?! But then again, their answer is to have Niecy Nash sass the homeowners into order. There is no humor to hide behind in Ruby's case, so I will be curious to see how it goes...

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Boob Tubers Endorsement for Treasury Secretary

Suze Orman, of course! Not only to add a lesbian to the currently exclusively black-and-Jew administration, but because she's, uh, AWESOME!?!

Just think of the possibilities...

Obama: We need to establish a program that will pump funds into higher education.
Orman: Show me the money! Show me the money.
Obama: Well, we're trillions in debt, but young people can't afford coll-
Orman: You have shame and you have blame. How are you going to pay for this?
Obama: Um, I was going to go to the Education House Committee...
Orman: DENIED! Denied, denied, denied. Plant some flowers instead.
Obama: Wha...?
Biden: I have a question.
Orman: Shoot, J-man.
Biden: Can I afford $5,000 hair plugs?
Obama: I am a poor judge of character.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Casting Call!

Every blog title today ends with !

Tell me what you think of THIS casting call:

Casting Call: Magical Elves, Inc. the award-winning producers behind Bravo's Top Chef and Project Runway are looking for singles ready and serious about getting married for a new docu-series on Lifetime. The series will explore the concept of arranged marriages and those interested can view the people who are seeking mates at www.ArrangedMarriageTV.com/matches.html . The producers are looking to cast right away; for more information and to be considered for this show, call Liz Alper at Magical Elves, Inc. at 213 630 6530 or email casting@magicalelves.com.

I mean, I am just surprised that this comes to us from the Magical Elves, who usually inject my dreams with images of suckling legs--both of lamb and of Padma Lackshmi, mmmmmm. No matter how la di da classy the Magical Elves make this, there is still the possibility of it turning into some sort of Mike Darnell-ian shit show, like Good old Darva Conger.

I would only go on this show if they could cuarantee me an arrangement with Paul Giamatti.


While everyone else in the country talks about the election and the future of our country and Proposition 8 and Rachel Maddow, I am going to continue talking about shit that doesn't matter. Story of my life.

This weekend, I had the privelege of hosting, among others, some real live Brits. Of course, I knew immiedetely what I wanted their take on.

Me: Hey, you know what I am LOVING that BBC America just brought to us here?
Brits: What? (Yes, this was in unison if memory serves me correctly)
Brits: Oh, bollocks. That show is complete rubbish. How can you watch that? It belongs in the bin with the scraps of bangers and mash, fish and chips and curry takeout. It's not fit. It's just like the OC except with more drugs and nudity.
Me: Um, that's exactly why I like it...

So there you have it. I am a simpleton. But if liking this pseudo-edgy drama with brilliantly balanced plot lines between an engaging and unique group of teenage characters makes me a simpleton, then I am ready to get my Forrest Gump on. We just got series one on BBC America, but they've filmed three with an all new cast (Degrassi style) and I cannot wait to see them all. Each episode involves the whole gang but focuses on one character, still seemlessly integrating the ensemble into the show. My favorite is Cassie. OMG!K?#WHO IS YOURS?>!OMG~!

BTW, to fulfill the educational requirements of this blog, SKINS is actually a slang term for rolling papers. I never inhaled, so I don't know whether or not Americans use this term for them or not.

Also, in case you were wondering, the Brits were able to confirm for us that Chris Martin is, in fact, not a national treasure.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Growing Up Isn't Easy...

I know I am just stealing the brilliant Michael K's steam, but today he made the brilliant choice to have Tim Curry be the hot slut of the day, solely based on his role in the 1980s television movie The Worst Witch.

I. Love. This. Shit. I can still sing the theme song. It fills me with all sorts of youthful nostalgia. Almost as much as watching the claymation special The Year Without a Santa Claus.

My life will be complete if there is anyone out there who can help me remember another favorite movie of mine that aired on the Disney Channel in the 80s. I remember something about the kid going bald, and using some sort of remedy involving peanut butter and dead flies to grow his hair back. Not joking. And go.

Here's part one of The Worst Witch. You're welcome.


My relationship with the Other Side is most akin to Haley Joel Osment's dilemma in the first half of The Sixth Sense, in that I've seen ghosts multiple times and they seem to want to hang with me, but I'm really scared of them and don't want to.

Or at least I don't now. When I was a kid, I was totes down with making ghost-friends, at least according to me ma. Until I was 7, my family lived in an apartment, and then we moved to a house one town over. One day, I turned to my mother and asked, "Why didn't the little girl come with us when we moved?"

"Uh... what little girl?" my mom asked. (I only have a brother.)

"The little girl who sits on my window sill at night and talks to me," I said.

OMG WTF BBQ?!?? But my mom kept her cool and said if I wanted the girl to come back, I should just think of her and invite her to our new home. Now, I was a weird kid, with many imaginary friends, but I could differentiate between fantasy and reality. And I was convinced this nightly visitor was real, not pretend.

So, ghost. An interesting footnote here is that I had no memory of this little girl until my mom brought it up years later, and then I vaguely recalled talking to someone at night.

Since then I've had a few more experiences, all of which also occurred at night. I realize this takes some of the oomph out of my story: it's not uncommon for people's brains, especially when entering or leaving sleep-mode, to interpret some innocuous object they see in a dark room as a human form. Or, for that matter, to be in a sort of twilight, half-awake half-asleep state, and again misinterpret the vestiges of a dream as reality, i.e. something supernatural occurring. But the fact that I saw this little girl EVERY NIGHT, and she spoke to me before I fell asleep, makes me somewhat more inclined to see my subsequent creepy experiences as possibly ghost-oriented.

ANYWAY: other experiences include: sleeping over a friend's house and waking up in the middle of the night to find a boy in the guest room bed with me (was not my friend; there were no other young men in the house); waking up in my parents' house one night and seeing three women seated on an antique bench in my bedroom, staring at me (interesting to note for the next several days my dog behaved very strangely, as though she was spooked by something); and hearing a very freaky deep voice intone my name several times one night in a pub in Australia that I felt was haunted as soon as I entered.

Since then I've sort of put in a formal request to the spirit world to leave me alone. So far so good.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

All Hallow's Eve Special

In honor of Halloween, Alanna and I will be forsaking television and snarkicisms regarding it to share with you what is a casual passion for me and a minor area of interest for her: ghosts/the supernatural. We were both shocked that the usually judgmental commentors of Gawker's sister site, Jezebel, were nothing but respectful and self reflective, sharing their own ghost stories prompted by a feature on this New York Times article on home ghost removal. Ghosts and belief in them seem to be very of the moment, so why not put our expierences out there into the blogosphere.

Aside from my constant obsession with Ghost Hunters, I believe my thoughts on the issue have already been best expressed in a guest blog for Pat over at A Blog About Things this summer. Without his permission, I shall reprint here:

My interest in things otherworldly probably began in 1994, when my best friend and I formed the Fourth Grade Psychic Society. We issued professionally laminated cards to our friends clamoring to be members, but actually could not boast any psychic skill of our own. I think this was more our way of mildly rebelling against our Catholic school indoctrination, so we kept things tame; instead of using a Ouija board, we constructed our own Angel Board (same idea except supposedly not demonic). And we used a shot glass* as the object to move from letter to letter. Which I never pushed. I swear.

This hobby died down over the years, with the occasional tune in to Montel Williams' show when psychic Sylvia Brown was a guest and then, more recently, the propensity to fill my DVR memory with Sci Fi's hit series Ghost Hunters (Don't even attempt to mock. I have become very good at defending myself and will, in fact, blow you out of the water).

My curiosity did perk up a few years ago, though, when for work I had to become familiar with Lily Dale, NY. Lily Dale is located just west of Buffalo, and in order to own a home there, you must be a registered medium** that has passed the Lily Dale board's accreditation. Every summer, Lily Dale has its open season in which there are lectures and workshops, and visitors can make appointments to visit a Lily Dale Medium for a private session in his or her home, which is most likely a Victorian era cottage.

Fortunately, my ability to make friends willing to follow through with my absurd ideas had not died down since the fourth grade. I convinced my friend from Rochester, NY that we should go during my visit to her—it was only a two-hour drive away. Although she was a huge and vocal skeptic, she agreed (She was probably just bitter that she didn't know me in the fourth grade and couldn't be in the Psychic Society).

Our first run in with Lily Dale's mediums happened at an afternoon service held at Inspiration Stump, supposedly the site of some of Lily Dale's most intense spirit energy. A la John Edwards, a crowd gathers here several times each day, and a group of mediums will tag team read the crowd. For most of this session, we were not convinced. It was easy to tell that a vast majority of the visitors to Lily Dale were in search of some fulfillment their life just wasn't offering, meaning we were in fairly miserable company. One medium did come through with someone that, to a T, fit a very specific description of my Great Grandmother***, but I kept my mouth shut. I didn't want to earn an honorary membership in the Sad and Pathetic Psychic Society. And interestingly enough, no one else in the crowd claimed this spirit as their own.

I had made private appointments with one of the town's mediums, but only after some fairly intense research. I steered away from anyone who remotely resembled the woman who told Carol Ann to go into the light, and also avoided anyone looking for a deposit ahead of time (Mediums take paypal?!). Instead, our medium is the definition of down to earth: a former marine and proud lesbian, she has flags commemorating both hanging in front of her two story cottage. She couldn't be older than 38, owns two dogs (and specializes in animal communication), and puts her skills to real world use, working as a grief counselor. Sounded way better than some middle-aged, crystal ball gazer dressed in resort wear.

After a spiritualist prayer, I repeated my name three times, and the medium briefly meditated. The first thing she came back with: My friend and I had said hello to cows on our way to Lily Dale. Had we? Yes. She told me the cows said hi back. Weird. Next, it sounded as if my Great Grandmother may be coming through again (I won't bore you with the exact validations as to why I thought it was her, but believe me, they were pretty impressive). She asked if anyone in my family had recently undergone medical testing, and if so if they were suffering from diabetes. I told her no. Take home point was that my Great-Grandmother wanted me to tell my Grandfather to take care of himself.

We neared the end of our time together, and the medium asked if there was anything else I was interested in. Because of her animal specialty, and my ongoing obsession with Barney, our family dog that we had to put down in February, I asked if she saw any animals around me. Brief meditation... "Do you have cats that you feed ice cream?," she came back with. Yes, my roommate and I make a habit out of, when we are done, spoon-feeding our cats the leftover ice cream. She said she saw a little dog. She was confused because, in life, this dog knew no other co-pets. Yet this dog thinks he is mine and is jealous that he does not get ice cream. "Next time, leave some out for him." She said.

Pretty darn good, right? I mean, I was kind of bummed with the lackluster message for my grandfather—he wasn't the one paying $65 dollars—but at least I knew Barney was no longer horribly arthritic and was still capable of focusing on fine dining. So I called my mom. I told her that if it had worked, the only person that came through was Grandma Kutchins, as we called her, telling Grandpa to take care of himself. "Well that would make sense," she said. "Grandpa was in for tests this week and is in the beginning stages of diabetes."

OMFG?!#WTF?#!?OMFG?! Not your usual reaction to hearing of a grandparent's illness, but warranted in this situation. Looks like my medium was pretty dead on.

One interesting thing to keep in mind is that there are no documented cases of anyone coming through and confirming our earthly superstitions about life after death. For example, my Great-Grandmother was very Catholic, but at no point did she say, "I am chilling here with Jesus! SUCK IT JEWS!" Are any of the earth's major religions right? Or do dead people get a handbook, like in Beetlejuice, asking them not to pass on any info that might start a religious World War III? Or is there a place where the energy of all living things continues on once they die, no deities included?

Or am I just insane?
For Halloween, my boyfriend and I are going as Don and Betty Draper. I feel like his costume is really easy: he just has to slick back his hair and wear a suit. Oh, and carry around a cigarette and a tumbler of whiskey wherever he goes, but he already does that anyway. I, however, must look like an early 60's princess/housewife. I have a tweedy retro jacket thing I'm going to wear, but I'm open to more suggestions of clothes/accessories that are easy to get and cheap.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Why Hello There, BBC America

I have taken time out of looking at the non-ironic facebook photo albums of casual friends featuring the New Kids on the Block concert of a few days ago to check in here at boobtuber land.

Firstly, tune in tonight for Barack O'Bama's "fireside chat"-esque, unprecedented 1/2 hour of airtime he purchased on network TV. I am assuming that he will give me a shout out at least once, since I did give him $15. If you like McCain and/or pie more, ABC is keeping it real and sticking with Pushing Daisies for the 8 PM hour. Apparently, as Marissa informed us, keeping Pushing Daisies on the air is our second most important civic duty these days, so either way and your 8 PM television slot should be productive.

Here is what SNL imagined Barack's broadcast will be like, and I hope they're right:

Secondly, after that love fest, inquiring minds should tune into BBC America at 9 PM for Britain's Youngest Grannies, a documentary that promises to look into the lives of 30 something women who themselves had children early, and are now faced with the prospect of grandmotherhood! BBC America has shared a couple of these doc series with us. I most recently watched The 34 Stone Teenager. It's just so funny to watch these staples of American white trashiness coming to a new and untainted nation and being treated as an anomaly. We're like their dirty, grimy, look into your socioeconomic future mirror over the pond, and not even using hoity toity words like stone can change that. Ha!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Save Pushing Daisies!!!!!

Hello Dear Readers!

This is Marissa... a loyal Boobtubers reader, and avid TV snarkmaster. My dear friend Alanna is allowing me to vent, using this forum under the dire circumstances. Yes, it is true what you have heard that "Pushing Daisies" is in danger of cancellation.... and so disheartened by this news am I, that I am doing everything in my power to convince people to start watching this wonderful show.

"Pushing Daisies" is unlike any show you will ever watch! Full of whimsy and hilarity...with an excellent and supremely talented cast (not to mention the amazing writing), this EMMY nominated show has a little bit of everything. For the Artistic crowd it has colorful sets, sweeping camera action and amazing direction. For the *swoon worthy*, it has the delicious Lee Pace (The Fall), and the luscious Anna Friel. For the musical lovers, it features the ASTOUNDING Kristen Chenowith (Wicked, The Music Man), Ellen Greene (Little Shop of Horrors) and frequents guest stars such as Raul Esparza (Company, RHPS etc...), Molly Shannon, Paul Reubens, Mike White and David Arquette.

Yes, dear readers, this show has everything. I myself fell in love with it on the FIRST viewing... not only as a person who loves musicals and whimsy in general, but the heart of the story, and the persistence of the writers to not turn it into just another prime time drama, makes for a very excellent viewing experience. The characters have depth, humor and good story arcs, and at the end of the day, they are just portrayed so well by the actors, that it's almost like taking a little vacation from your life, to get sucked into this fantasy land, and just allow yourself, for one hour to be supremely happy...

A quick recap, for those who have never seen the show: Ned (The Piemaker) has an uncanny gift... he can raise the dead. If someone has died, he can touch them and bring them back to life for a minute. However, if he does not touch them again before the minute is up (thereby keeping them alive), someone/something else will die in their place. This would not come in handy if it weren't for sketchy (and HILARIOUS) P.I. Emerson Cod (played by the delightful Chi McBride), who uses Ned to wake murder victims and get the scoop on who did them in so he can make some ca-a-ash. Through a series of usually slap-stick events, the unlikely pair solve crimes in their small town. Meanwhile, Ned has a childhood sweetheart, Chuck, who was killed and brought back to life by Ned. This would be-pair has a love affair that requires them not to touch, or else Chuck would die again. Of course this requires you to suspend reality a bit... it is also heart warming and sweet, and the two actors play off each other so well, and have such chemistry that you forget about their inability to touch within seconds of watching them. The cast of characters that surround these 3 range from ridiculous to knee slappingly funny, including but not limited to, a pair of agoraphobic, synchronized swimming aunts, singing waitresses, taxidermy obsessors and a local coroner who turns a not so blind eye to the goings on at the morgue.

I encourage everyone to start tuning in on Wednesdays at 8pm on ABC... and in the meantime, get the 1st season on DVD! Or go to www.televisionwithoutpity.com to reap full recaps of all of the shows thus far. You will not be sorry! In a time when TV is being taken over by "reality" and nonsense...there is one thing we can all use a little of... Charm. And "Pushing Daisies" has it in spades.

Time to Ride Other People's Coattails...

Hopefully, when you read our interview with Pat Walsh last month, you weren't like, eww, what a horrible and untalented person. I never want to see any success come his way. Because you'd have to eat your words.

Pat and Sonny are writing a pilot for ABC Studios, with Luke Greenfield set to direct and executive produce the project. Entitled Broke Friends, it is sure to appeal to me because I am broke and I have friends.

Read more if you're sexy.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Commercial Break!

You may remember* my personal vow a few weeks back to watch at least one commercial break per program when viewing a DVRd program, so as to keep television free. Boy, are you fast forwarders missing out on some wacky stuff! Here are some commercials to have recently caught my eye.

Watch this one for Playskool's Helmet Heroes, which aired during House on 10/14. Pay close attention to the commercial's first line and then meet me after for discussion.

Can I imagine getting arrested in my own home?! Sadly, thanks to Post 9/11 Patriot Act politics, YES! And even if I couldn't imagine it, why is that something that I would want to imagine? You betchya, sometimes I just kick back and dream of what it would be like for my household to turn into some sort of Lord of the Flies reenactment, complete with little boys living out their frustration resulting from the cult of masculinity's societal pressures on them. Wow, did you tap into the minds of the House watching demographic, Playskool!

Then there are these quirky adds from Ask.com that have jumped the pond and can be most often viewed during the first two hours of The Today Show.

If you're instinct is to laugh at these, I'll tell you why you are a racist elitist. You know what really nags me? Minorities. And you know what else really nags me? Obese people. Why do we have to have the physical embodiments of our most irritating concerns be represented by people outside of the norm, huh? Is Ask.com telling us that we must take steps to get red of Southeastern Asians and obese people because they're not like us? I think so.

What commercials have caught your eye recently? Let me know when I get back from reading some Irigaray and burning my bra.

*You definitely don't remember.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I know, I know

Sorry for my prolonged absence. It's just that by day, I am a super successful hedge funder and have spent the past few weeks stuffing mattresses with money.

I'll be back later with a more juicy post, but for now, just in time for Halloween, please enjoy the news that Ghost Hunters is getting another spinoff. According to the Hollywood Reporter:

"Sci Fi Channel's "Ghost Hunters" is about to get a higher education. The network has ordered a pilot for another spinoff of the popular reality franchise from exec producer Craig Piligian. Tentatively titled "Ghost Hunters: College Edition," the show features a group of students going around the country to seek out paranormal activity. The students will be guided by an experienced ghost investigator. Producers have not determined if any cast members from the other shows will be involved in the new project."

I'll tell you which Ghost Hunters cast member I would like to school me. His name rhymes with Deve.

Also, rate my craziness level if I decided to buy this, please.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Weekly Roundup

  • Limp dish rag Leanne won Project Runway, defeating the petulant, old-tymey porcelain doll Kenley and Korto from Liberia, whose presence induced compulsive praise of her "ethnic" designs that worked on women of "all sizes," qualities that sound good to the average human, but in the fashion world are actually equivalent to "made from the blood of Gentile children."
  • Barry and John-Boy faced off for the final time last night. John-Boy got in a few zingers, if you think "I am not George Bush" is a zinger, but his compulsive blinking, incurable rictus, and erotomaniacal fixation upon one Joe the Plumber proved major hindrances for him in the opinion polls.
  • Jonathan and I finished the first season DVD of Mad Men, which, unlike almost everything in the world, actually lived up to what people said it was, which is: quite excellent. Also, spoiler alert, in the finale the characters smoke, drink, and treat women like objects. Also, Peggy is apparently like one of those people who don't know they're pregnant until they go to poop one day and a baby plops into the potty. You can see them on Montell and the like.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Oh Noes!!

I was just watching CNN and President Bush was giving a speech in the Rose Garden about HOW EVERYTHING IS GONNA BE OK which totally reminded me of how right after Columbine, my high school principal gave a "Please don't shoot up the school" speech at an assembly, insisting that there were alternatives, etc etc. Like why don't you try being a 16-year-old on this Hellmouth, Mr. Resnick. But ANYWAY Bush mentioned that the paper markets are frozen and all I could think was, "What does this mean for Dunder Mifflin?"

If they were to downsize, which Dunder Mifflin employee do you think would get the first pink slip?

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Can I steal you for a second?

Two irreverent comedy posts in a row! I LOLd today when I read the NY Post TV section's one liner regarding what tonight's third season premiere of the Sara Silverman Program is about: After Sarah smokes pot for the first time, she leaves herself a message that begs her to take her under-the-influence ideas seriously. It may or may not have hit a little too close to home. Watch it on Comedy Central!

In celebration of the premiere, please enjoy a clip from my favorite episode last season. Granted, this is not my favorite scene; my favorite scene is when a young Sarah opts to hold up doody on a stick for passing cars instead of say goodbye to her dying mother, yelling doody as each car passes. But the song is pretty good. I am just ruining my credibility with my off-kilter youtube sharing, aren't I? I swear I am at least of average intelligence...

Monday, October 06, 2008

HAHA Box Office

That is what HBO should stand for, at least on Sunday nights. This is not referring to Entourage. You laugh at Entourage and you're a simpleton. But if you are a simpleton, get ready, as Entourage was just renewed for a sixth season.

Instead, HA-B-O refers to the back to back airings of Little Britain USA and The Life and Times of Tim.

It took me until this, its second week, to like Little Britain USA. I had only seen the original when living in its namesake country a few years back, and even then only in my altered state of mind that seemed to last for my entire four months overseas. I thought that it was, of course, funny, but sometimes I worry that I see lowbrow, British comedy and just assume that it is sophisticated because it is British. Couple this with the fact that I was kind of resentful of the juxtaposition of British vs. American culture, in which both came out looking foolish but perhaps Americans a bit more so. But fuck it. I can't stop laughing at Phyllis and Mr. Doggy. Please watch below and tell me whether or not this makes me an Entourage simpleton.

And then there is The Life and Times of Tim, whose inappropriately grandiose name makes the minuscule antics that Tim handles in his hilarious monotone even more funny. Like a lot of people becoming successful in entertainment, Tim's creator, Steve Dildarian, came from the ad world--just a little reminder that the creatives in television could use a bit of a shake up. In a lot of ways, Tim successfully outshines the Seinfeld crew in his un-politically correct apathy. OMFG, no she didn't criticize Seinfeld! Yes, I did.

Friday, October 03, 2008

The Debates - Question

Did anyone find Joe Biden's repeated, enormous smile just a bit... Lynchian?


Wednesday, October 01, 2008

House, 9/30/08

Last night's House was one of the grosser episodes in a while. It guest starred Travis Birkenstock as an underemployed painter and patient of the week. We learn something's up with Travis after he completes a woman's portrait, and she and her husband go ballistic upon seeing the results. Which really just look Cubist-style instead of realistic. Apparently employing the techniques of Cubism gets Travis a punch in the nose (he'll get another later) and a diagnosis of visual disturbances and anosognosia where it got another guy deemed best painter of the 20th century. Also, how could Travis not be aware of the fact that everyone looked like a Cubist painting? Lame cold opening.

Otherwise, I was pretty entertained by this episode's shenanigans. Travis's head and neck swelled grotesquely, he tried to hook up with Thirteen, and the cause of his problems ended up being a bezoar, AKA nastiest thing to appear on TV since Face Melt-a-Thon Airlines. The bezoar resulted from Travis' repeated enrollment in clinical trials to support himself. One trial was for an antacid, which prevented Travis' stomach from breaking down food, so it all just clumped up and also absorbed the other trial drugs he was taking, releasing them at random and causing horrific symptoms. This reminded me of when I was a kid and thought food just piled up in your body and never went anywhere, and wondered how old you had to be until you were 100% suffused with food, and it also reminded me to not enroll in clinical trials.

Elsewhere, House's P.I. has serious chemistry with Cuddy (and also House, who seems to crave male companionship way more than female, not that there's anything wrong with that.) I am having trouble getting over the fact that the actor playing the P.I. also played the insane crackhead hitchhiker that David picked up, and was physically and mentally tortured by, in the last season of Six Feet Under. The guy will forever seem deeply creepy to me.

Also, Foreman is completely useless now. He just sits in the back and acts wearied by everything. Let's make this show ALL TAUB ALL THE TIME. That actor is doing great, subtle work at building a complex character that isn't in-your-face about his complexity.

And w/r/t that, next episode is about House's father dying. Not looking forward to it. I hate these SPECIAL EPISODES that seem to want to provide clues as to why House is the way he is. I maintain that it's much better if House is just an asshole for no particular reason.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Happy Jew Year

On Christmas, Jews eat Chinese food and go to the movies. So what do non-Jews do tonight? Might I suggest a bit of schadenfreude for your vagina (vaginfreude?) by watching the premiere of the TLC reality series 17 Kids and Counting, in which Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar and their family prepare for the birth of their 18th child. In a huge slap in the face to the woman that birthed them, each child has a name that begins with J, like dad. Today, the family revealed on The Today Show that number 18 will be a girl, so I am pulling for Jeanette.

In fact, I would encourage you all to watch The Today Show interview by clicking here. It's funny to watch Michelle Duggar live, as she inserts as many pro-Jesus comments as possible, causing Ann Curry and everyone else in America who prefers making decisions for themself to cringe. The hole gang was gathered outside a church in Florida where the eldest child, Joshua (20), was married this weekend. Unfortunately, Joshua and his wife Anna (20), were off on their honeymoon, squashing all hope I had of Ann asking them what it was like losing their virginity. I KNOW! I'M SORRY! I'M SICK! But come on, these folks sure do have interesting beliefs...

It's Official

I can't bear to watch True Blood anymore. Last night I actually let my boyfriend change the channel to a football game in disgust. When Tara started ranting about how the town still frowns upon interracial couples, I dug my claws in, held on, and hoped for a redeeming scene. What I got was Jason's unstoppable boner as a result of drinking vampire blood. And then, Sookie yelling at her boss for not supporting vampire rights.

Seriously, the phrase "vampire rights" need never have been uttered in this show and it would still be abundantly clear what the writers are alluding to. Alan Ball should have to go to some kind of special writer re-education camp where he can learn the "Show, Don't Tell" rule. Zach Braff should go too. (Garden State: "You see, Natalie Portman, I love you. You've changed my life. You've given me hope..." etc. etc. way to RUIN a perfectly okay movie, J.D)

I hate you, True Blood, I HATE you. You could have been so cool. You could have been Buffy with cursing and fucking and Cajun people. You could have helped me to continue pursuing a lifelong fascination with bloodsuckers and the women who love them, but instead, you had to suck so relentlessly. Die in a fire.


Friday, September 26, 2008

The Office Season Premiere, 9/25/08

It was GREAT to see the whole gang from The Office back in excellent form. And I mean the WHOLE gang. You may remember that at the end of last season, Ryan was taken away in handcuffs and Toby said farewell to Dunder Mifflin for Costa Rica. Well, a supposedly repentant Ryan returned to a Scranton temp agency just in time to fill in for Pam at the reception desk, and Toby was in a horrific zip lining accident and is currently holed up in a Costa Rica Hospital. YAY!

Toby is, hands down, my favorite character on The Office. Which works out well because Paul Lieberstein, who plays Toby, is hands down my favorite writer for The Office. One of the strongest episodes of anything ever continues to be last season's Money, of course written by Paul. "America, irrigation and night time..."

It's hard to write anything of substance since this season premiere has filled me with childlike glee. So I guess I will just ask you to please tell me who your favorite Office character and/or writer and/or writer/performer is, and why.

Oh, and as far as plot goes, Jim and Pam got engaged.


And in The Office: Original Recipe news, there is buzz surrounding Ricky Gervais being the next Oscar host, based on the fact that he managed to be the only sincere presenter at last week's Emmys. I say excellent idea. His nonchalance would hopefully give an organic feel to the ceremony, which not even Jon Stewart has managed to do in his two stints.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Last night Jonathan, Josh, and I saw the band Calexico and we each thought the lead singer strongly resembled a different character actor. Help us settle this pressing manner in the comments, please.

The singer, Joey Burns (front right):

I think he looks just like Guy Pearce, of L.A. Confidential, Memento, and lots of crap:

Jonathan says Chris Cooper:

And Josh said Steve Carell. No.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

House-a Wowsa Wowsa! House, M.D. 9/23/08

Wow[sa], I thought last night's episode was just great, which is a relief after last week's mournfest.
It was really nice of the House team to let M. Night Shyamalan guest write/direct the cold open. A montage of people collapsing and bleeding out of their mouths!? How very The Happening!

Also, you may recall the news from a few weeks ago that they would be trying out a new character on House, and if successful, he would get his own show. This is actually an old school method of testing out a new show before investing in a pilot or series pickup. The last time I remember seeing this was when Peter Marc Jacobson, the brains behind The Nanny, used an entire half hour of the show to introduce us to a Queens, NY hair salon, complete with a stereotypical Korean nail technician and older, flamboyantly gay gentleman. Needless to say, we never saw this show come to fruition.

But Michael Weston really came through as private investigator Lucas Douglas, who House hires seemingly to investigate his patients, but of course House really wants to investigate Wilson. I was LOLing at their chemistry fo' sho'. Not clear yet if Douglas has enough to carry his own show, and not sure if I would want him to--aren't we done with the male character actors carrying shows trend? Let's get some ladies up in here. And by here up in here I mean in leading roles on network television.

My one complaint is that Douglas, as well as the patient of the week (POW), both fell into the annoying trap of serving as a catalyst for House introspection. Douglas yeses House, and confesses that he is doing so only because this is what he knows House wants (cue House looking off, clearly pondering how he misses Wilson). And when the POW is unbandaged and can see for the first time, House asks her how he looks. Sad, she says (cue House looking off, clearly pondering...everything). I doubt so many randoms in Gregory House's life would actually take this vested interest in how effed up he is. Find a new plot device, writers!

And finally, in my non-technical words...
Symptons: Multiple people, all recipients of organ transplants from the same doner, are collapsing and dying, each because of the failure of a different organ. The one recipient remaining alive recieved a cornea transplant...

Diagnosis: The doner suffered from some sort of infection that caused foreign cells to become part of major organs, but these cells are incapable of functioning in the way they are supposed to as part of their host organ, leading to a gradual failure. POW had "brain but not brain." As soon as the problem cells were removed, she was healthy and able to see better than ever.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

In the Papes

In which I follow suit to Pat Kiernan's always impeccable work at New York 1 and take a look at what is going on in today's newspapers. Not like, the depressing financial stuff, but the stuff that matters to boob tubers.

"I call myself a fundit." --Joy Behar

Today, the New York Times' Jacques Steinberg took a look at The View's ever increasing role in the political arena in an article entitled 'The View' Has Its Eye On Politics This Year. The show has evolved from Rosie and Elisabeth's playground fights into a legitimate forum for political discussion and campaigning. (Steinberg notes that Bill Clinton only considered a visit to the show once he had seen McCain on it a week earlier.) Yes, it is interesting how this show has evolved, but it is kind of alarming that there must be such close analysis to the fact that a group of women could be interested in discussing such matters, and that their female, daytime demographic would be interested in watching. BOO underlying sexism.

"The Sixth network is playback." --Alan Wurtzel

Also in the Times, Bill Carter writes of A Television Season That Lasts All Year. This week marks the unofficial beginning of the fall television season in that it is when Nielsen Research starts to pay attention. Interesting tidbit that even I, the most avid tuber, did not know is that the tradition of a television season beginning in September dates back to the fact that this is when new car models were introduced. HUH! Anyway, due to outside factors like a crippling writer strike and competition from other new technologies, big wigs everywhere are claiming that the television season is now year round for both broadcast and development and that this September business is hooey. No matter what "they" say, this ain't the truth. There are still only so many dollars that can go into funding new pilots, and what right minded exec is going to leave money in the bank in case something better comes along six months from now? I will be shocked that if by next year, even after having a full year of this alleged 365 day plan, we don't see the same emphasis on September series premieres.

Mr. Wurtzel does raise an interesting point about digital recording technology, though. When viewers aren't watching network television, it's most likely because they are watching something that is DVRd. It is hard to think something that has brought me so much joy could potentially bring me so much sorrow. I vow to watch one commercial break per episode when watching a DVRd program. You do the same, readers. CLAP IF YOU BELIEVE!...what?

"Serial killers are so common on television that you can't swing a dead cat without hitting one." --Adam Buckman

In The New York Post, Buckman takes a look at CBS' The Mentalist premiering tonight. While his assessment chooses to focus on the cliché, that being television's love affair with serial killers, I commend CBS for doing an okay, just okay, job at creating a show that attempts to put a quirky and highly skilled male lead into a world of mystery (this seems to have become a genre in and of itself). Simon Baker's performance in the pilot is good enough to give this series the old college try.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Schmemmys- Peter Tolan was Right

Wow, what an underwhelming broadcast. The five hosts idea was a cluster fuck. Yes, cute in theory to have the first ever nominees from the reality show host category tag-team hosting duties, but horrible in execution. Heidi Klum has never seemed so E.S.L. And BOY did Ryan Seacrest come across as bitter. He is not a fan of sharing the spotlight, even though there is plenty of spotlight left to go around when it shines on him (Note, whenever Alanna and I see Seacrest, we say in a high pitched voice, "I'm the LITTLEST man in the world." When he has facial growth, we amend the statement, adding, "And I have the LITTLEST beard in the world." Works on two levels.) ABC should have instead selected Jimmy Kimmel to host the show. When he appeared to present the award to one member of the host cluster fuck, Jimmy did look like he's been living life hard since his breakup with Sarah Silverman (check out those puffy eyes and that swollen face), but I still think he would have had it in him.

Biggest congratulations of the night goes to the ever wonderful Paul Giamatti . He won for his portrayal of historically significant one-minute man John Adams. You may or may not remember the fact that Paul Giamatti is my everything. I have saved his acceptance speech in order to digitally insert my name wherever possible. I was happy to see his wife looking very average. He slipped up enough to thank Laura Linney instead of his real wife, so it's not totally out of the realm of possibility that he might slip up and "thank" me. Our day will come, Paul.

You youngins can cry all you want about award shows doling them out to the oldies based on their reputation alone, but if not for Don Rickles, last night's show would have bee unwatchable. And what makes The Amazing Race so amazing that it has won best reality competition show for each of the six years the category has been in existence. I mean, it's a good show, but enlighten me. Thrilling to see the 30 Rock sweep and the BIG win for Alec Baldwin. His cool as a cucumber speech was refreshing on a night of otherwise gratuitous industry masturbation. Although, if I had a emoticon right now it would first be flushed with Giamatti lust, and then be embarrassed for never having seen Mad Men, which won on the drama side. Who wants to cuddle up in bed one weekend and watch 'em all?...Paul?
Outstanding drama series: Mad Men
Outstanding comedy series: 30 Rock
Outstanding host for a reality or reality-competition program: Jeff Probst for Survivor
Outstanding lead actress in a comedy series: Tina Fey for 30 Rock
Outstanding lead actor in a drama series: Bryan Cranston for Breaking Bad
Outstanding lead actress in a drama series: Glenn Close for Damages
Outstanding lead actor in a comedy series: Alec Baldwin for 30 Rock
Outstanding lead actor in a mini-series or movie: Paul Giamatti for John Adams
Outstanding mini-series: John Adams
Outstanding reality competition program: The Amazing Race
Outstanding supporting actress in a mini-series or movie: Eileen Atkins for Cranford
Outstanding supporting actor in a mini-series or movie: Tom Wilkinson for John Adams
Outstanding made for television movie: Recount
Outstanding variety, music or comedy series: The Daily Show
Outstanding lead actress in a mini-series or movie: Laura Linney for John Adams
Outstanding supporting actress in a drama series: Dianne Wiest for In Treatment
Outstanding supporting actor in a drama series: Zeljko Ivanek for Damages
Outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series: Jean Smart for Samantha Who?
Outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series: Jeremy Piven for Entourage

Friday, September 19, 2008


This past week was the New York Independent Television Festival. Two great things happened as a result of this. One is that in a panel on the future of drama development, Rescue Me co-creator Peter Tolan told us that, "The Emmys can suck a cock." Let's see if they do. Tune in this Sunday night at 8 PM on ABC.

The second great thing that happened was the introduction of Food Party to a broader audience. Food Party was entered in the comedy category, but actually is more of a whimsically, avant-garde cooking show. Within the first ten minutes of watching it, I thought my intelligence was being insulted. But creator and host Thu Tran goes on to actually introduce some unique recipes, albeit not professionally, while also having fun with her cast of disturbing puppet characters and human friends. Appropriately enough, Food Party won the outside the box award.

Below is the first third of the episode that won Food Party the prize. I encourage you to check it out and stick with it. Don't be scared away when the cardboard cutout of a chef starts throwing up slices of pizza--it gets better. Don't you think Thu would be a great contestant to lend some originality to the Next Food Network Star?

Thursday, September 18, 2008


A guy in my office...let's call him John...because that is his name...shared the following casting call with me.

Casting Call: Semi Abound, the producers behind Ghost Hunters on SCI FI Channel, is looking for a person to join the paranormal investigation team on a new series which will begin production very soon. The interested candidate should be a professional full- or part-time ghost hunter, spiritual medium, paranormal researcher or someone who is fascinated by the supernatural. The person must also be outgoing, enthusiastic and ready to join the team as early as September 24. Candidates should send an email to Saboud@pilgrimfilms.tv along with name, phone number, a recent photo and a brief description of why you would be great on the show. Applicant deadline is this Thursday.

This means two things. One, you must apply TODAY if you are interested in joining America's blue collar heroes in their multi-show quest. Two is that I am so unashamedly a fan of Ghost Hunters that I LOUDLY AND PROUDLY shout it across my workplace. Good for me.

I wonder what this show will be...we already have Ghost Hunters and Ghost Hunters International, and even though SciFi is cable I unfortunately don't think they'll do Ghost Hunters: Get in Steve's Pants...so I guess Ghost Hunters Outerspace it is!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

An Interview with Pat Walsh, Writer for It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Here ye! Here ye! The fourth season of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia premieres tomorrow, Thursday, on FX. Check your local listings.

In order to celebrate, Pat Walsh, friend of the Boob Tubers, generally standup guy, and staff writer for the show has granted us an EXCLUSIVE interview. He also has agreed to give us the pictures when he delivers his first baby for a cool two million dollars.

You may be familiar with Pat's work if you have ever visited his acclaimed blog, watched the final season of Rob and Big, on which he and his writing partner Sonny wrote, or took an NBC Studio Tour in New York anytime in late 2004, early 2005. If you like this interview, you will LOVE watching the episode of Sunny that he and Sonny wrote, which airs tomorrow night and is entitled The Gang Solves the Gas Crisis. And if you like Pat's picture, but wish you could see him move and talk, check out his acting debut in an episode airing later this season entitled Dennis Reynolds: An Erotic Life.

And now, please enjoy Pat Walsh: An Interview in Three Hilarious Parts.

For the wannabe writers:

Jeanette: Your friends and blog readers know that your rise to writing success took patience, wit and gumption in varying quantities. For those trying to fill your penny loafers, care to share, in a few lines, what you had to put up with to get to where you are?

Pat: Aside from the constant rejection that goes with trying to be a writer, let me break down what the past few years have looked like for me. I got held up at knifepoint, I had all of my belongings stolen from my apartment, I bought a '97 Saturn that exploded in a month, I lived at the corner of Meth Street and Stabbington Road in Hollywood, I strongly considered semen donation…I could go on. From the day I left college, I have been broke broke broke. This time last year I was temping at State Farm Insurance! But those miserable, lonely, pathetic times gave me stuff to write about. You know who's not funny? Rich people. That's why television sucks, because they'll only give shows to people with proven success. People with proven success are likely rich. And those people can't write shows anyone can relate to, because most of the country is poor. You know what is one of the best shows ever made? Roseanne. They were poor as shit, it was a huge hit, and yet you don't see people like that on TV anymore for some reason. (Also, there was a constant threat of spousal abuse on that show that I found fascinating.) What I’m getting at is that you need to be prepared for a real suicidey couple years if you want to do this professionally.

J: What advice do you have on getting an agent?

P-Money: They all love cocaine, so keep some on your person at all times. Honestly, here's the secret trick on getting an agent -- be a good writer. Connections can help you to some degree, but nobody's going to sign a crappy writer. Unless that crappy writer has cocaine, as we discussed.

J: What was it like coming in on the 4th season of a successful show, where a group of writers have already found their groove? Any hazing?

P: No one made us run through the quad naked or anything, but there's always some hazing in a writers' room. Writers tend to be pretty sarcastic people, and everyone gives everyone else a fair amount of shit. If you wear a pink shirt to work, it’s not going to be an easy day for you. You've got to have thick skin, and you’ve got to be ready to shoot back at all times. That said, you’ll never laugh more than you do in a writers’ room. I’ve been so spoiled on this show. Rob, Charlie, and Glenn are exceptional people, and they are super open to our ideas. That is great because a first year writer on a show is lucky to be listened to, let alone be allowed to write an episode, as Sonny and I did.

J: I was once at an event where Tina Fey's advice to potential writers was to keep on keeping on, no matter what. Seconds later, Lorne Michaels said that at some point if you're not having any success, you should take the hint. If Tina is a 1 and Lorne is a 10, where do you stand? Explain.

P: They're both right, but I'm closer to Lorney. (I call him Lorney.) You have to be persistent and believe in yourself, because no one else will -- absolutely. But to a point. Writing is a very, very difficult business to break into and 99.9% of aspiring writers won't make it. Just because you make your friends laugh doesn’t mean you’re Chris Rock. When I moved to Los Angeles, people told me it's a 7-year town. "Stick with it for seven years, and if you don't make it, try something else." I find that completely ridiculous. If you've been actively trying to be a comedy writer for two years, and you're nowhere closer to your goal, it might be time to rock that GMAT, Chuckles.

J: Sunny aside, what do you think we should be watching this season?

P: Oh man, have you seen the ads for Hole in the Wall? Fat people trying to fit through a hole, so as to avoid getting knocked into a pool. On television! Is that the four horsemen I see on the horizon? Fox owns FX, so I should probably stop knocking their programming. Do any new shows look good? That True Blood is interesting so far, and I certainly appreciate all the nudity. My faves are all returning shows: 30 Rock, The Office, The Shield, Mad Men, and Lost. I pray for another season of Curb Your Enthusiasm, that’s top of the pops. Oh, and I love Tim and Eric Awesome Show on Adult Swim. Those guys have caused me to hyperventilate on more than one occasion, and I'm not a big LOLer.

J: Because your writing partner's name is Sonny and Paddy's Pub is named for you, you Irish brute, true or false, you guys feel you are only claiming what is rightfully yours by writing for this show?

P: True, and it doesn't stop there, Sonny went to college in Philadelphia! And my middle name is Always.

For the Sunny fans:

J: On a show like Sunny, where comedic boundaries are always being pushed, is there any writer's room discussion about how much is too much? Any juicy examples for us? Feel free to make something up.

P: The discussion is never "is this too much?" but "can it be made funny?" A great example for you is that this year we toyed with putting the gang back in high school for an episode (I'll leave details vague incase we use it for a future season). One of the storylines we worked on had the guys trying to stop school shootings. We had a take on it that was really funny, but it just felt…icky. There’s good icky and bad icky, and we always try to land on the good side.

J: This one has two parts. Stay with me. You and Sonny have been doing a crackerjack job running the Paddy's Pub blog. Does this qualify as the kind of new media that had Peter Chernin fearing that he would loser pennies to the dollar to the people that were creating it? It reads as if Peter Chernin's fellow suits have been nowhere near this blog, in that it just reeks of you and Sonny. Do you guys get absolute freedom with what to publish here?

P: Thank you, and we've had so much fun running the Sunny blog (ahem – paddyspub.blogs.fxnetworks.com). The writing/producing/editing we're doing does qualify as "New Media," and we are getting paid to do it. I thank the WGA, even though I have to pay them a shocking amount of dues and they still have not provided me with health insurance. I guess it's one battle at a time over there. Second, we pretty much have absolute freedom on the site, yes. We were told there could be no "fucks," but I'm used to hearing that in my personal life anyway. We get crude, especially with Frank's advice column and Dennis' erotic memoirs, but they encourage that at FX. This is a network that showed a major character forced to blow a dude at gunpoint on The Shield. I will say it is massively awkward that our point person for all this content is a very sweet and innocent woman named Colette, and we have to have conversations that start with her asking "is there a funnier word for cock?"

J: Which character is the most fun to write for? And don't say Sweet Dee so Kaitlin Olson will sleep with you.

P: Oh geez, you're asking me to choose between my bosses! I talk a lot like Mac, Dennis, Dee, and Charlie in my personal life, so Frank might be the most fun because it's more of a challenge to write for a 60 year old pervert. Plus, DeVito's voice makes everything you write gold. I think back to season two -- the way he said "your whore mother" had me in stitches every time. The great thing about this show is that you know whatever line you write will be delivered in the most hilarious manner imaginable. This is the funniest cast on television, right down to the ringers they bring for an episode or two each year -- David Hornsby, Artemis Pebdani, Mary Elizabeth Ellis...I could go on. Come on Emmy voters, you're telling me Adrian Grenier is funnier than Charlie Day? You show me a man who has laughed at anything Adrian Grenier has said and I'll drag him into the street and beat him.

J: Give us at least one spoiler for this season. Go.

P: It's the most ambitious season yet, I can tell you that much. The episode I co-wrote – “The Gang Solves the Gas Crisis” – deals with post 9/11 paranoia and proposes a solution to the frightening situation with gasoline in this country. Other episodes...the gang will consider cannibalism. There will be episodes poking fun at Bachelor-type shows and Extreme Home Makeover. We’ll see what Paddy’s Pub was like back in 1776. And watch out for the episode with the musical -- we were on set for their rehearsals and I think that’s going to blow people away. These guys can really sing!

And finally, Pat Walsh, in the words of Bernard Pivot:

J: What is your favorite word?

P: Delicious.

J: What is your least favorite word?

P: Crotch.

J: What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?

P: Porno

(Editor's note: He's not kidding.)

J: What turns you off?

P: Boring people. And they are everywhere in Los Angeles. I feel like I'm in a zombie movie sometimes. "Oh, you want to be an actress, do you? Color me impressed!"

J: What is your favorite curse word?

P: Basically any profanity combo from the movie Tremors. That picture has some of the most glorious swearing the PG-13 rating has ever seen. A few choice examples: "Son of a goddamn bitch!" "What the shit?" and "There are two more, I repeat, two more motherhumpers."

J: If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

P: "The sundae bar is right over there."

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

House, Season Five Premiere 9/16/08: Please Enjoy Our Rendition of the Theme Song

Back when Alanna and I became House-ites during season two, a magical thing happened. While watching the opening credits, we were moved by the spirit to come up with words to the otherwise instrumental Teardrop by Massive Attack, which serves as the show's theme. Appropriately enough, you will be moved to drop tears when you watch the video below which, for the first time, captures our brilliance. Please enjoy, and feel free to learn and sing along at home.

We'll be back with a more comprehensive recap next week. I don't think you're ready for this jelly--and by jelly I mean a youtube video AND a recap in one post. All you need to know is that emotional dysfunction abounds, per usual.

True Blood: CLUNK!

That's the sound of Alan Ball attempting to deliver to viewers True Blood's central metaphor.

You'd think the images in the opening credits of white children in Klansmen gear and a church sign reading "God Hates Fangs" would be enough, but no: we also need at least one scene per episode of the spokeswoman for the National Vampire League advocating on television for vampire rights legislation. And we definitely need protagonist Sookie Stackhouse telling her best friend who thinks that vampires can put humans under their thrall, "Yeah right, and black people are lazy, and Jews have horns."

CLUNK! Did someone just drop a boulder on my head, or is Ball once again reminding us that vampires are not just vampires, they're also Jews, blacks, gays, disabled people, Alaskan Natives, Maoris, and [insert oppressed population that has at one time or another fought for their civil rights here]?

This parallel is condescendingly, repeatedly spelled out, and then bafflingly undermined, as in last Sunday's episode when the vampire Bill Compton tells Sookie he can, in fact, charm humans into letting him bite them.

Perhaps True Blood still hasn't quite found its legs. Ball's Six Feet Under, too, is embarrassingly heavy-handed in its earliest episodes.

But I can't help comparing this show to my gold standard for all vampiric programming, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Buffy, too, relied upon a metaphorical foundation (high school is hell) but made that truth literal through action, rather than awkward dialogue, over the course of multiple seasons. If Buffy was written by Ball, a scene from its first season might go a little something like this:

Buffy: You guys, weird things keep happening here. I found a dead lunch lady in a locker today. She had bite marks on her neck.
Xander: Wow, that's super scary! Like something out of my worst nightmares.
Willow: I would even call it "hellish."
Buffy: Well, high school is hell after all!
(They all laugh wildly. Then they stop abruptly and stare at each other with expressions of dawning horror. Then they embrace. Exeunt.)

True Blood is not without its merits: I like Brit actor Stephen Moyer as the charming/menacing vampire Bill, and the sweaty Louisiana setting is dark and romantic and unusual in disproportionately-urban TV land. I just hope Ball and his writing team stop treating the viewers like dum-dums who need it explained, again and again, what makes the show's subject matter both alluring and relevant.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Friday, September 12, 2008

What you are doing this weekend

You are watching the season premiere of Saturday Night Live on NBC. Michael "Butthisface" Phelps promises to be about as charismatic as any athlete that's ever hosted the show, but it's the season opener in what should be a very exciting few months leading up to the election. Elusive Lorne Michaels won't confirm or deny Tina Fey's return to play Sarah "Bulldog" Palin (Interesting note: Bulldogs are incapable of grooming their own assholes. Frequently, owners find themselves wiping the area on their own. Are we ready ready for a President AND Vice President that can't wipe their own asses? No.). Also stay tuned this season to see if Michaels is successful in his begging of Maya Rudolph to come back and play Michelle Obama.

Newest featured player Bobby Moynihan (pictured left) will also be making his debut. Another writer/performer to come from the Upright Citizen's Brigade theater, complete with an "I don't give a crap" gut and scruffy hair, my pal Kara is most likely correct in her assessment that he will play a role similar to Horatio Sanz. Keep your eyes open for a yet to be named, female featured player to take Amy Poehler's place when she leaves to pop out the world's funniest baby and star on The Office spinoff in November.

You are also routing for my pal Jennifer McNamara Shroff to win the Emmy this weekend for her brilliant job casting 30 Rock. Her nabbing of Dean Winters alone is enough to secure the statue. Check Sunday to see how she did along with everyone else nominated for this years Creative Arts Emmys.

And you are getting shitfaced drunk. No wait, that's me.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Do Not Disturb is Disturbing- HA! See what I did there?

Even if your alternative is braiding your own arm hair, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not watch Do Not Disturb on Fox tonight. With the exception of How I Met Your Mother, the multi-camera sitcom on network television is DEAD, and Do Not Disturb is just making a sand art of its ashes--and a shitty sand art at that, one that some kid decided to glue feathers and googly eyes all over. I don't know who Jerry O'Connell blew to get Carpoolers off of his resumé, but whoever hired him for Do Not Disturb had obviously never seen that atrocity. And poor Niecy Nash. She finally gets a comedic acting gig that gets her out of her Reno 911 lower-half-of-the-body fat suit and she is forced to resort to ABSURDLY exaggerated, sassy, black lady humor. Watching this show made me feel like I was watching a modern day rendering of Amos 'n' Andy. Am I just being overly sensitive?! Never mind, don't answer that, because answering would require you to watch this show.

And while we're on the Fox berating bandwagon, our pal JJ over at As Little As Possible recently spoke highly of Hole in the Wall the half hour game show in which 2 teams of 3 contestants have to contort their bodies to fit through a hole in the wall or suffer the consequence of being knocked into a shallow pool. Between Brooke Burns shrieking, the way the silver suits awkwardly hug the male genitalia, and the fact that this is not a concept that would keep anything with a vertebrae entertained for half an hour, this is another Fox gem to ignore. JJ, you are intimidatingly intelligent so I can only assume that you have some sort of Post 9/11, existential analysis as to why this show is culturally relevant. But I still think that any and all enjoyment that comes from this concept can be derived from this 4 minute clip of the Japanese original: