Archive for November, 2007

The Project Runway Season 4 Drinking Game

Things have changed this season on the runway…not necessarily for better or worse, but let’s see…Tim Gunn no longer works at Parsons, he headlines his own show and his catch phrases are now almost exclusively used by contestants (in the form of chalkboard messages). Everyone lives at Gotham, not Atlas. All male models used for a male sportswear challenge – unheard of. But alas we still have bitches, crazies and queens. Hence, a drinking game to reflect the subtle metamorphosis that the show has obviously undergone.

Take 1 sip if:
Ricky cries because he is stressed or overwhelmed.
Christian makes reference to his superiority or non-boringness.
Sweet P wears her bangs up.
Kevin With the Shakespearean Backstreet Boy facial hair mentions that he’s not gay.
Nina Garcia says “You really thought about it”.
Someone makes a vest.

Take 2 sips if:
Ricky cries for no apparent reason.
Sweet P wears her bangs down.
Tim Gunn obviously refrains from saying “Make it work” in favor of a synonymous phrase that’s less catchy.
Steven makes a sarcastic comment while squinting.
Elisa mentions or does yoga.
Nina Garcia says “Hola” instead of “Hi, guys”.
Victorya makes something with a flower or rosette on it.
Tim Gunn mentions that the winning outfit of a given challenge MAY be manufactured or worn…but then again maybe not.
Heidi offers more scathing criticism of the runway than usual.

Take 3 sips if:
Jillian or her outfit remind you of that girl in your dorm from Long Island who had a Dooney and Bourke bag and flat ironed her hair once a week.
Seeing Chris makes you pine for Jay McCarroll.
Bravo inserts a faux-Massive-Attack song into any scene.
Elisa mentions being from another planet.
Ricky wears a hat that looks a little Holly Hobby.
Michael Kors says something on the runway looks a little Holly Hobby.

Chug if:
Michael Kors says “The crotch on those pants is insane”.
Michael Kors says something looks a little too Mother of the Bride.
Michael Kors refers to any sitcom starring Bea Arthur.

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Spree to be you and me

Concert-Going Companion and I took in the Polyphonic Spree show on Friday at Terminal 5 in way, way far over Hell’s Kitchen/Upper West Nowhere. It was a neat venue and we even made friends for 5 minutes with the girls who stood near us, because we were all there for the Spree, but about 50% of the crowd (that was mostly under-18) was there for Rooney and oh, how we enjoyed mocking them together. Rooney is a band named for Principal Ed Rooney from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. You know I love me some Ferris but I draw the line at naming you band after something from the movie. Unless the band is called What the Ruck? I had only ever heard of Rooney because they performed on The O.C. once at the Peach Pit After Dark or wherever. What was that place called? Anyway, no amount of Seth Cohen adorability could save them for me. The Spree however, sucked me into their cult. Review here.

If I Worked at the NY Post…Briefly

A couple of puns came to me today…the first are inspired by Living Companion, who I now realize suffers from bruxism, which is a fancy way of saying boyfriend grinds his teeth so loud at night, you haven’t lived till you have both woken to the chompy chomp of molars being ground to an inch of their life. So with that on my mind…

What happens when Dr. Jeffrey Gold, DDS (coincidentally my real dentist), gets convicted of selling off his stocks after a secret tip (not something my real dentist has done, to my knowledge), only to find that life in the big house is pretty grand, especially when you can perform acts of dentistry for packs of smokes and 5th Avenue Candy Bars? It’s Shawshank Redemption (the Andy doing people’s taxes part) meets Little Shop of Horrors (just the dentist part)…Incisor Trading!

What happens when Dr. Jeffrey Gold, DDS gets divorced from his wife, Mrs. Dr. Gold, and in the process of trying to win her back, realizes he’s in love with the one person who has been there for him the whole time, his hygienist Tabby? Why it’s Molar Eclipse of the Heart. (Theme song: “Save the Best for Last” by Vanessa Williams, who has a recurring part where she appears to Dr. Gold in his dreams only while singing this song, and every episode he tells this to Tabby who then does a take to the camera and shrugs, roll credits.)

And for the non-tooth related…

What happens when young housewife Deb Hastings, after realizing her life’s in shambles and she’s unhappy, discovers her life’s passion is to turn tricks…no not those tricks…and she realizes a newfound happiness that was previously untapped. Why, the heartwarming Abraca-Debra. (This could also be a title/premise for Everybody Loves Raymond. )

Au Revoir, Simone

I sympathize completely with the writers who are striking (because I always assumed that someday I might be one of them but Magic 8-Ball say “Outlook Not So Good” on that one). I cringe at the possibility that there might be even more reality programming on TV in the near future. But on a positive note, last night marked the return of the savior of all reality shows, Project Runway. My household happily welcomed back Heidi, Tim, Michael and Nina – it’s been too long, my little grasshoppers.

“In fashion, either you’re in or you’re out” trumps “Pack your knives and go” any day (and the worse the show, the more ridiculous the catch phrase, the peak of this being Top Design’s amazing “See ya later, decorator.”) And while the show is about a competition, it’s really about getting to know a bunch of personalities. Designers. People.

Like, as soon as you saw Chris, the guy who couldn’t run very fast to get to the tent-o-fabric, you immediately think ill of the evil producers and start rooting for him (and even though I’d never wear a high-necked dress, his purple silk thing was GORG), and as soon as Assymetrical Disaster Hair Designer (ADHD) started saying he was so great and Rami was just copying other designers and waah waah, and then we saw that he actually blows his hair dry, I started to think he was my Jeffrey Sebelia (annoying personality, great designs that make personality more forgivable – I really didn’t hate his tailor-made-for-Gwen-Stefani outfit). And I had high hopes for Simone, the Bananarama understudy who actually seemed sane (I guess Victorya will be my go-to sane-seeming woman I could be friends with now), I enjoyed her yellow trim, but alas…she’s auf to a better place.

My favorite moment though came in the course of judging an outfit made by Elisa, the yogini from Crazytown (who is the spawn of former Crazytown deputy mayor and rosette-lover, Angela, and Crazytown’s movie projectionist, Guadalupe). When Heidi Klum, looking at Elisa’s garment, has gems like “It looks like she’s pooing fabric”, it seems like maybe we don’t have to worry about a dearth of entertainment on the TV schedule. Strike away, writers! Take all the time you need, ’cause I think I’ve got myself a new catchphrase that will last a while.

poo
Elisa’s model holds a steaming pile of leftover fabric.

Pre-Millenial Countdown

Last night my mom called me to tell me to put 60 Minutes on right away. Shocking that she was calling me to tell me to watch it, not shocking that she was watching it in the first place. That whole CBS-as-a-beloved-network-for-the-older-folks stereotype is pretty true, aside from that fact that they show How I Met Your Mother. Anyway, I guess a woman from my company was on the show and they filmed her at my office. (Hilariously, my co-worker Maggie also happened to randomly watch it because her mother-in-law is staying with her and is of the 60 Minutes watching age.) The woman they filmed is a “trendspotter”, because at my company we have at least 2 people whose job it is to read a lot of blogs and magazines and stuff and find out what’s on the cusp of being popular [like “metrosexuality” and apparently “separate bedrooms for married people”] and then going on TV shows to say they just discovered what’s on the cusp of being popular. The segment was about so-called “Millenials“, late teen and early twentysomethings who are in the words of everyone involved in the segment, ill-prepared for the workplace because they have been too coddled by their parents to be self-sufficient. They have always been told they can do whatever they want to do and as a result, don’t respond well to criticism or well, stuff they don’t want to do.

I know I don’t exactly fit into this new generation – it consists of kids who were born after 1980 – but I took offense to the broad generalizing that everyone interviewed was doing. Some of my favorite quotes about the ignorance and ineptitude of the new, young generation from the show:

“You do have to speak to them a little bit like a therapist on television might speak to a patient. You can’t be harsh. You cannot tell them you’re disappointed in them. You can’t really ask them to live and breathe the company. Because they’re living and breathing themselves and that keeps them very busy.”

“They have climbed Mount Everest. They’ve been down to Machu Picchu to help excavate it. But they’ve never punched a time clock. They have no idea what it’s like to actually be in an office at nine o’clock, with people handing them work. And oh, by the way, possibly asking them to stay late in the evening, or their weekends.”

Now, I am probably the laziest and least-driven of all of my friends (so I guess I should blame my parents? Because they never pressured me to be something I didn’t want to be. THANKS A LOT GUYS!) and yet I still have a full-time job that doesn’t interrupt my breathing or pyramid-climbing schedule. It’s not even that I’m annoyed by these statements, I’m annoyed that 60 Minutes is being watched by older generations and thinking that THIS is what they have begotten and that we’re kinda lazy, disloyal brats. No thanks to Morley “It’s” Safer “to make generalizations than to do real reporting”! Am I right?

This might not speak well of my generation, but I have more friends who would prefer NOT to work and be struggling artists/actors than to be grouped together with whatever these other people are. For all the people I know who think they are talented and wonderful and deserve the perfect job, they aren’t averse to showing a little respect and paying their dues on their way up that ladder. I don’t know anyone like the people discussed on the show. I guess smart, well-adjusted 20-somethings don’t make for good tv though. Unless they are on How I Met Your Mother.

Back to Black. Like, Me.

It’s been so long since I just posted random crap about my favorite things: tv, movies and how other people’s success sickens me. Maybe I never posted about that last one, but I sure think about it a lot.

I kid though, the only success that makes me mad is that of people I don’t actually like (you know who you are, 99.999% of the world!). I am thrilled that Former Roommate Jeff has been having some success lately in his career – he might not tell you this himself but he is currently doing business as the official “Snickers Pilgrim” for the Snickers commercials, a “Not THAT kind of German Shepherd!” German Shepherd in the Amex commercials (the TINA FEY Amex commercial, that is) and the “The Wedge” guy in the T-Mobile Blackberry commercials. AND he is currently filming a movie with a guy you might have heard of named Ricky Gervais. Maybe I am not supposed to be saying all of this? Sorry! But that’s the point of being a performer, right? To be seen? So if you haven’t seen him, keep an eye out. Also, his other co-star in the Ricky Gervais film is Alan Ruck, probably known to the 25-34 year old demographic as hypochondriac Cameron Frye, of the Chicago Frye’s, a family known for their museum-like home filled with antique cars that tempt best friends named Ferris. Needless to say, I mentioned to Jeff that a) I am very pleased for him and b) please explain that fry-cook on Venus line to me from the movie because I could have sworn it was “He’s gonna be a fry-cook AT Venus” which doesn’t make sense but neither does “he’s going to be a fry-cook ON Venus” c) I could only be more jealous of him if he sang a karaoke duet of “The Lonely Goatherd” with Julie Andrews. Secretly I am pleased because just knowing Jeff means I personally am about 2 degrees of separation from all of A-list Hollywood. But I swear if he meets Julie Andrews, so help me, I will be upset if I don’t get a call telling me when and where I can randomly “bump into” the two of them with my cameraphone and celebrity autograph book.

Next on my agenda of things is now that there’s a writer’s strike, I figure I’ll give my opinion on the new fall season of shows. Because I have some time to breathe and catch up on the shows, ya know? You’ve been waiting for it, right? Here’s the list of new shows I have been watching, in chronological order of when they air during the week:

Chuck – I was sold on the pilot, despite TV Watching Companion’s constant outbursts of “This is why I effing hate McG!” Which I could understand, the rapid-fire action sequence, the too-cool-for-school rock soundtrack, it’s sensory overload at times. But this week’s episode which I shall call “Fool Me Bryce, Shame on Me”, was like, The Bryce Myth, we find out some Chuck and Bryce backstory with help from Oasis’ “Don’t Look Back in Anger”, the song that actually makes me like Oasis. I also appreciate that in a world full of serialized TV shows that you must follow from start to finish, I doubt I will feel bad or lost if I miss an episode of Chuck.

How I Met Your Mother – I only started watching it this summer in reruns, so it’s LIKE it’s new to me, and if you aren’t familiar with Crazy Eyes or DoWiSeTrePla by now, you’re missing out on maybe the best sitcom on TV. The best sitcom that isn’t 30 Rock. I would have said “30 Rock or The Office” but The Office’s hourlong episodes earlier this year have worked against them. Too much bearded Ryan. Not a good thing.

Aliens in America – Watched the pilot episode because it was free on iTunes and I had just bought a video iPod. Stopped after the pilot, due in no part to the poor quality of the show, I just have no idea when it actually airs. In my blog-research, I now see that it’s on on Mondays. I was amused but could see signs of lessons being taught at the end of every episode and I could do without that. I’m already mostly tolerant of the .oo1% of people who I actually like (see above re: the 99.999% of people I do not like), so I don’t need lessons.

Cavemen – I was not opposed to the concept of the show when I first heard it. There’s something about the line delivery of “I’ll have the roast duck with mango salsa” followed by “I don’t have much of an appetite, thank you” that sold me on these guys early on. That plus the fact that I could watch smug, snooty characters all day long makes it even better. Thanks to Nick Kroll, I get to watch smug at least 30 minutes a week. This show is seriously funny. I’m sorry if this offends you or makes you question my taste. This show also coined my new favorite phrase “Fart off, airhole!” so it’s a winner.

Cane – Cannot watch. Will not watch. Too. Many. Sugar. Puns.

Bones – Again, not new, but new to me and as far as CSI-type procedurals go, it’s not bad. TV Watching Companion wins this round – I was a hard sell and he convinced me to watch. If you don’t watch, here’s an interesting fact – the chick’s NAME is BONES. That struck me as weird, but cute, but mostly weird.

Reaper – Killed it after the pilot. Too much like Chuck but also, the best friend who is doing a Jack Black impression from 10 years ago was beyond aggravating.

Pushing Daisies – Love it! When Gilmore Girls was on, I wanted to live in Stars Hollow. With Pushing Daisies, I want to live in Coeur d’Couers and eat pie all day long. And I want to be able to dress in poufy skirts and wear kerchiefs in my hair and have giant sunglasses. New trend alert! I don’t care if the show can be overly cute, I am overly joyed with it.

Back to You – Killed it after the pilot. There comes a point in every sitcom actor’s life where you know they could retire to Margaritaville and live off their millions of dollars in residuals (Frasier is on at 11pm on both the CW and Lifetime, that’s channels 11 and 12 in NYC, so if you’re flipping through channels it’s news-news-news-frasier-frasier-news…) and yet they continue to “want to work” and honestly, it helps no one and hurts everyone. I watched the pilot long enough to know the wacky twist in the plot – Frasier and Mrs. Everbody Loves Raymond used to date 10 years ago, now they work together and she has a 10-year-old daughter so YOU DO THE MATH. I did the math and when I turned by calculator upside down, the numbers spelled POOP.

Gossip Girl – Watched three episodes. Had to stop. I loved The O.C. but in my lifetime I think I can only take so much episodic programming about wealthy kids with problems. However, I can appreciate that by casting tall girls I get to see an array of really cute flats on network TV (first Marissa Cooper, now Serena van der Fakedutchname) that I am not otherwise exposed to on other stylish shows. My sensible, sensitive arches thank you!

There you have it, my fall recap, where I find fault only in a few shows (though I have avoided the Bionic Woman and Kid Nation and I’m a little sad I didn’t even bother with Viva Laughlin ) and am generally pleased with the state of television…now that the strike means I will not be seeing any of these shows again for months and months.