Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Let the Screams Begin...America's Next Top Model is BAAAACCKKK!!!!

This pic kinda creeps me out, but Jaslene's face is killer (pun probably intended).

Ah, it's Wednesday night and the monkey-screeching models have returned to prime time and I feel a certain calm wash over me with every high-pitched squeal that ensures irreversible damage to the ear drum. You just know that someone behind the camera is leaning away from his lens shouting, “Now, girls, now! The Tyra Mail has arrived and you must run to it and scream at blood curdling decibels as if it were the greatest thrill of your life to receive fake mail you already knew was coming!” It’s disconcerting and yet simultaneously soothing, reassuring us that for the next twelve weeks, someone will always—wait for it…wait for it… say it with me now —still be in the running towards becoming AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL!

We know it all so well. We can announce the prizes on demand, we can introduce the judges by heart, and we can pause the exact amount of seconds that pass before Tyra tells us that she only has two photos in her hand. Yes, much of Top Model is by now as worn out as a flannel shirt at the Good Will where the girls soldiered through their first challenge (Someone please tell me how every girl managed to find an outfit exactly her size within three minutes.), but worn out flannel is comfortable flannel (okay, maybe all flannel is comfortable flannel). And if you bought it at Good Will, what was old to someone else is new to you. So on the eve of this eighth cycle of The Tyra Banks Show, oops…er, I mean ANTM, let’s take a look at what’s old and what’s new, shall we?

Tyra’s voiceover over the intro montage announced that she’s been modeling for a cajillion years, of which we are all painfully aware. The Top Model franchise has reached ridiculous heights of success. We know this too. However, I had absolutely no idea that Heidi Klum hosts the German version. How much better than ours is that version?!?!

The gathering of the semi-finalists is usually in a hotel. This time they went straight to boot camp. I was waiting for Tyra’s entrance to be cringe worthy, and it was, but somehow the stepping wasn’t quite as egregious as last season’s Norma Desmond display, and strangely enough, Tyra seemed relatively restrained throughout most of the show. There were some attempts at utterly un-spontaneous, spontaneously zany moments, but they were mercifully brief and a few were actually, well, funny. Go figure.

As usual none of the girls seemed to know a damn thing about fashion until one of them stepped forward to correctly identify Richard Avedon. And another chick mentioned John Galliano. That almost made up for someone not knowing Caroline Herrera.

Plus sized models have returned and this time, “dere’s two of dem!” (This is to be said in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s voice. It’s a actually a line from one of his movies, surprisingly, not Twins.). This is a first in Top Model history.

Someone apparently tried to put the breaks on Tyra’s raging narcissism as her face is not lurking, larger than life, around every corner of the house. She was actually gracious enough to allow other models on the walls, but of course, they’re only other Top Model winners, well because, all roads lead to Tyra. And she made up for the fact that her picture does not adorn every wall by spicing up the Tyra Mail which is now written on a photograph of Ty Ty AND bears a stamp that is a picture of yours truly. Why hasn’t the United States Postal Service gotten on that yet?

And of course there are the girls themselves. A new bunch, but not a new breed, to be sure. The Mall-of-America-parking-lot auditions continue to give us the best and the brightest!

On to deliberations!

Brittany: Despite claiming she was particularly loud, I can’t recall hearing a peep out of her. Her pro-fur photo was lovely, so onwards for Brittany.

Cassandra: A bit bland, but pretty and she’s representin’ Seattle so I’ll give a nod her way. And hey—let’s not forget, she sewed a wig on to her head. I don’t have much to say about that other than, hey—she sewed a wig on to her head!

Diana: As they commented, excellent proportions and a pretty face, but perhaps some of the worst modeling I’ve seen in a while. So yeah, I’m rooting for the bigger girls, but I dinged her for saying, “Guns are bad, but some people need them for protection.” X (buzzer sound!).

Dionne: I gotta love Dionne, not because she somehow managed to turn a discussion of veganism to jalapeño peppers, and not because of her 1B30 hair color, but because she said, and I quote, “Dentistry and modeling are my passions!” Aw yeah.

Felicia: I don’t quite see the Baby Tyra thing, but she has a nice face and I think they managed to find a nice shot. All quite nice.

Jael: If Jael doesn’t start opening her mouth when she talks, I’m going to jam a hoola hoop down her throat. And enough with the pissing and moaning about winning the challenge. Oh you poor winner, you! Same thing with the fever. HEY—Tyra has to come to panel when she has a fever! Oh, Tyra. If only we all had your fortitude.

Jaslene: Aside from being frighteningly thin, Jaslene has done nothing to annoy me, has a pretty great walk, and took the best pic of the week. Walking every day, all day, might pay off.

Natasha: I know the Eastern European model is IN, and she’s certainly beautiful, but she’s going to drive me to drinking large amounts of vodka. Straight. Right out of the bottle.

Renee: I hate when they have moms on the show. Why? Because, like Renee, they prattle on and on about how they’re doing this for their children. However, I think not. If you really wanted to do something for your child, and you’re twenty years old, finish your education, get a good job, and raise your child. You can say you’re doing this for your kid all you want, but just like everyone else, you wanna be a model cuz you love thinking about people adoring you for your beauty. I once had a co-worker who did one of those Ivy League layouts in Playboy. She yammered about how she did it to make a feminist statement. That argument is about as old as Gloria Steinem. Who doesn’t want to be looked at in a glossy magazine and thought of as beautiful? Get off your self-righteous high horse and I’ll step down off my soapbox—which will probably happen soon because if Renee’s peace and love pic is any indication she’ll be going home to that kid pretty damn soon.

Samantha: Couldn’t tell you a thing about her except that she’s stunning. Oh, I can tell you that she had trouble doing the lesbian wedding shot because since she has a boyfriend, she had trouble pretending to be in love with a woman. Did I mention that’s she’s stunning?

Sarah: I had high hopes for Sarah until I realized the reason Tyra’s egotism had dwindled was because Sarah stole it. It’s great that she has experience and she certainly knows her stuff and is downright adorable with her pixie cut, but her photo was abysmal and if she’s not careful she’s going to go the way of that chick who’s family had “the pretty gene” a couple of cycles ago.

Whitney: I always root for the plus sized girls, and she’s a smarty pants from Dartmouth who cried when she looked at the view from the house. How could you not like her? Hard to comment on her photo since Samantha stole the scene, but hopefully she’ll step up and do us normal sized women proud!

And tonight’s elimination:

Kathleen: Oh, Kathleen. Always sad to see the first girl have to pack her belongings and go home. And I can’t even put into my own words what I’m going to miss about her, even after just one episode, so, in closing, I give you her words. The greatest hits of Kathleen, an ode to her, if you will:

  • “I think every model wants to date Nigel Barker because he’s so…tall.” Um yeah, that’s the only reason. This reminds me of a friend in high school who said, “The Flintstones is a good show, but it’s so unrealistic because they start their car with their feet.” Um yeah, that’s the only reason.
  • “My thing is anti-fur. It’s like I hate fur.” Got it. Thanks!
  • “I know I’m going to have to do something with crap. Not crap literally, but something someone threw away.” Got it. Thanks!
  • “You’re not the judge of you anymore.” No, but I’m still the boss of me!
  • I was going to go down the “animals die naturally—like when they fight in the jungle and the woods--and it’s okay to use their fur for coats” road, but it’s too easy and I’m starting to feel a little guilty…Kathleen will be missed, but most definitely not forgotten.

And with that, until next week, you are still in the running towards becoming America’s Next Top Model!

BTW—who failed to tell me that there’s going to be a reality show to find the next Pussy Cat Doll?!?!? Yeah, I’m going to watch it, but I woulda auditioned for crap’s sake! Sure, I’m a five feet tall, thirty-seven year old Jew, but I coulda BRUNG IT. I was just dancing to that “Loosen Up My Buttons” song in my gym class (Urban Dance—or as my friend and I call it, “So You Think You Can Urban Dance!”). I coulda KICKED IT. But whatever. I’ll just watch instead.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Save Studio 60! I just don’t think The Black Donnellys are up to the job.

Watching The West Wing via Netflix aside, I haven’t been hooked on an NBC drama since the heyday of ER, the years before the show started wearing its emotional manipulation on its sleeve, its bloodied hands reaching out from the television set, not merely to tug on my heart strings, but to wrench them violently out from behind my lungs and stretch them taught across my living room. And with the sitcom so near death that it needs to be rushed to Chicago General’s emergency room and intubated, I’ve been waiting for something exciting and enthralling to come along.

And then along came Studio 60. I had my concerns at the beginning, despite my great love of comedy and the likelihood of my loving a show about producing a comedy show. The first three episodes seemed to be nothing more than a forum for Aaron Sorkin’s ongoing crisis of faith and conflict with the religious right, no matter how great it was to see Matthew Perry back on the air, and no matter how in love with Bradley Whitford I had fallen (the result of said West Wing watching). I gave up after three episodes but returned spontaneously one night to find Danny professing his undying love for pregnant Jordan, Matt spontaneously kissing Harriet in between live sketches, and Aaron Sorkin’s trademark dialogue thriving in every scene. So, of course, now that I’m totally addicted, the folks at NBC are about to yank the needle from my arm. Officially, NBC is claiming indefinite hiatus, but that cat my parents told me was “going back to the pet store for a little while” has yet to return.

But, as devastated as I am by the likely loss, since I’m on some sort of post-Departed-Oscar-win high, I thought I’d give The Black Donnellys’ Irish mob tale a try and see what the execs in programming deemed a suitable and potentially more profitable replacement.

Using the Donnellys childhood pal Joey Ice Cream as a narrator being questioned by the NYPD about the whereabouts of some missing bodies, the pilot tells of the four Irish brothers and their progression from petty dessert theft to truck stealing and ultimately murder and Mob-dom. Jimmy is the eldest sibling who cannot recover from two events from his youth: a reckless driver shattering his leg and several years later, inadvertently leading Italian gangsters to beat his father to death. Kevin is the hapless one who spends his days gambling but has never, ever won a bet in his life. Tommy is the earnest one, the only brother making his way through college. Unlike his brothers, Tommy seems to have never done anything wrong in his life. Sean is the youngest and allegedly irresistible to any woman who comes within a mile of him. And then there’s Jenny Reilley, the girl next door who grew up with the boys and has a soft spot for Tommy who has been crushing on her for years. Unfortunately, she believes herself to be a married woman, unaware that her husband has been dumped in a dumpster, which no one has the heart to break to her.

Highly stylized with edgy edits, freeze frames, rewinds, fast forwards and Joey Ice Cream’s fast talking story telling, the first episode lays the show’s foundations, illustrating that the brothers will do anything for one another and that Tommy will do anything for Jimmy. Turns out, Tommy was the reckless driver who ran over Jimmy’s leg. Tommy never stole a car or anything else again and swore he would never let anything bad happen to Jimmy (Based on Jimmy’s existence thus far, Tommy’s not doing such a great job.). In Joey’s confession to the police, he recounts Tommy’s most recent effort to save Jimmy’s life when it was in jeopardy as a result of Kevin’s owing a bookie upwards of $5K. Tommy manages not only to thwart Jimmy’s ass kicking, but, with Kevin’s help, kill a principal Italian mobster along with all of his henchman, rendering Tommy the newest leader of the pack.

Oh, the humanity and irony of it all. The always-upstanding Tommy must now enter a life of organized crime. Lob off one head, and another one will always take its place. Thus, the rest of the season will follow as the boys defend their territory and each other in probably every episode.

Will I tune in for such affairs of the brethren? I might if the characters weren’t entirely one dimensional: Jimmy: chip-on-his-shoulder screw up (Tommy told him to jump off a bridge if he was in that much pain.), Kevin: loser (As of the pilot, this character is so poorly developed that I can’t even come up with an entertaining parenthetical for him), Tommy: saint turned sinner (But still so damn sincere that you can’t help but wish him well in his new mob-leader endeavors), Sean: cute-as-a-puppy-dog ladies man (I actually don’t find him cute at all but the ladies are supposed to adore him. Although, right now he’s in the hospital after getting the crap kicked out of him so he might be off the market for a while.). I also might tune in if the story lines weren’t riddled with contrivances: Of course virtuous Tommy was the driver of the stolen car that shattered Jimmy’s leg and ultimately his entire life! Of course there’s a cop who’s always looking out for the boys! Of course Jenny has been pining away for Tommy after years of being one of the boys, and of course Tommy harbors feelings for the tomboy turned hottie!

And I might tune in if the premise of the show was at all plausible (i.e. it’s hard to watch The Hand that Rocks the Cradle knowing the entire situation could have been avoided if Annabella Sciorra hadn’t hired Rebecca DeMornay off the street without checking references). Can we really believe that Tommy and Kevin blindsided several thugs on their home turf and then took down the feared Italian mobster who’s been running the hood from the same restaurant booth for decades? And now the Donnellys are going to run the business?

Frankly, I don’t think they’re up to it. Nor are they up for saving NBC’s Monday night 10pm time slight.


Monday, February 26, 2007

Oscars! They Say Insanity is Doing the Same Thing Over and Over and Expecting Different Results

No, Clive Owen wasn’t nominated for anything. And no, Children of Men didn’t win anything. Clive is just high on my “list,” so I like gazing upon him whenever possible.

Every year, I count down to Oscar day as excitedly as I if were a nominee preparing to walk the red carpet in an Elie Saab gown, which I couldn’t possibly be because a) I’d actually have to have been in a movie, and b) if I were, at about noon, I’d be getting a massage in my suite at The Four Seasons instead of wearing nineteen-year old sweats while having some post-workout hypoglycemic incident and almost passing out in the cereal aisle of the Quality Food Center next to the Kashi.

But regardless of my life’s lack of glamour, excitement, and fashion, Oscar day is a thrill and has been since I the first time I watched the affair in my parents’ bedroom as a kid. Amazingly, my father allowed some school night TV for special events, and the Academy Awards was one of those events. So, I have incredibly fond memories of gathering with my family, staying up late, and delighting in the celebrities, the heartfelt acceptances speeches, the clips of movies I had come to love, and the spectacle of it all.

Year after year, I still watch for the spectacle, but I think we can all agree, sometimes spectacle can be deadly dull when left in the hands of Academy Award producers. Year after year, since I started watching them in my own living room, I have come to realize that the Oscars are nothing but a rather tedious bore. But every year, my excitement swells, I watch every moment, and I am weary after the first ninety minutes—with about 250 more to go. But of course, I can’t miss the dresses, I must see who wins, and I have to keep watching in case one year, the show itself, the very production of the Academy Awards might knock my freakin’ socks off. It never will, but of course, I’ll never stop watching. So let’s get down to business and see how this year’s drudgery went down:


- I have a friend whose family is on the A-list in Spain and she claims that Penelope Cruz is a piece of shit as a human being. As an Oscar nominee, however, she looked quite the opposite.

- Oh Cameron…You looked far saner than you did at the Golden Globes. Your hair color is a much softer and more flattering brown and the dress was okay (not great, but okay), but what were you doing in those shoes? They looked like old-lady-dress-up footwear and your feet and legs appeared to be those of a fifth grade boy attempting to clunk around in old-lady-dress-up footwear.

- So glad Reese wore a long gown. She wore cocktail length dresses to the Golden Globes and the SAGs and while she looked lovely, especially sporting those new post-divorce bangs, it was time for floor length, and she rocked it.

- Kirsten Dunst…nonononono. The school girl collar, the metallic design, and the feathery hem did not work together as a team.

- I think Anna Wintour would not have approved of Anne Hathaway’s big bowed dress, however Emily Blunt’s fitted blue Calvin Klein was smashing.

- Jennifer Hudson, what happened? You looked absolutely perfect at the Golden Globes and the SAGs and you blew it on the biggest night of them all! Between the side swept hair, the Jetsons-esque shrug, and the billowy gown, something went horribly wrong. The red dress she wore during the musical number was far more flattering.

- I know Nicole Kidman need not follow Scientology now that she is no longer wed to one Mr. Cruise, but why is it she continues to resemble an alien life form? Too skinny, too blonde, too taught-skinned, and a ginormous red bow around her neck didn’t help matters much.

- I always cite Jennifer Lopez as one of my favorite dressers. Not tonight. With a body like hers, why would one opt for a shapeless Grecian dress?

- There’s a reason everyone wants to take Helen Mirren home. Please help me look that stunning when I’m sixty-one.

- I have no idea who Eddie Murphy’s date was, but her dress seems to have come from the Battlestar Gallactica collection.

- Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner, folks! Best dressed was Gwyneth Paltrow. Her dress was entirely unique and absolutely flattering. The only thing standing between Gwyneth and undisturbed beauty was her hairstyle. She obscured half the dress by wearing her hair over one shoulder, draped over one side of her chest. That gown required hair up and back.

- Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Jaden Christopher Syre Smith looked polished and poised as always. That’s gotta be all Jada’s doing, right? She always looks like she’s ready to kick someone’s ass, including her husband. Is there a Napoleon complex for women?

- Thank god Meryl is lovely and the most divine actress in the world because that woman cannot dress herself to save her life. However, I give her mad props for replying to an interviewer’s question about her fourteen Academy nominations with her corresponding size fourteen dress size.

- Did John Travolta have to dye his hair to match Kelly Preston’s leopard print dress which was way too much print for one woman?

- Rachel Weisz looks glorious, but she and Cameron suffer from the same my-hair-is-loose-but-lightly-pulled-back-and-tousled look, of which I am not a fan. They should take a hair styling cue from Penelope Cruz.

- I adore everything about Kate Winslet and will likely never say anything bad about her anywhere, ever and no need to start tonight. Beautiful!


I heart Ellen DeGeneres. I really, really do. I’m a long time fan of her stand-up, I faithfully watched her sitcom, and I think her talk show is deeelightful. However, while I think she gave the Academy exactly what they wanted in a host in the post Chris Rock/John Stewart years, she didn’t give me much of anything. I enjoyed her opening monologue—safe, but humorous, evoking her talk show style in content and attire—but after that, I kinda forgot she was there until she kept showing up.

WINNERS AND LOSERS (just the biggies or we’ll be here all night)

Jennifer Hudson/Best Supporting Actress: I gotta say, I was surprised that the Academy went with the first time nominee who lost on American Idol. Pleasantly surprised, but surprised nonetheless. She was poised to win after the Golden Globes and SAGs, but Oscar does love to pull that rug out from under.

Alan Arkin/Best Supporting Actor: I had a sneaking suspicion the rug Oscar was going to pull was going to be out from under Eddie Murphy, also perfectly lined up to win this award. I got the feeling he didn’t have the same suspicion when Alan Arkin’s name was called. I wasn’t a fan of Little Miss Sunshine (I know, I know, I’m like the only one on the PLANET), but I’m an Alan Arkin devotee so I was happy for his win, although I was kinda hoping for some classic deadpan Arkin in his acceptance speech and was not quite prepared for utter earnestness.

Helen Mirren/Best Actress: Did anyone not see this one coming a mile away?

Forest Whitaker/Best Actor: I was rooting for Leo cuz I’ve recently fallen in love with his acting again, but I knew Forest would take it, unless the Academy fell prey to its love of old white men who’ve never won an award after a hugely distinguished career. I was also worried that I might have to hear Forest public speak again, which might have caused me to rip my fingernails off, as I told a friend earlier in the week. Amen and hallelujah, he wrote his acceptance speech down and read it quite nicely. I was with him until about the last three sentences…

The Departed/Best Adapted Screenplay: I’ve become rather fanatical about The Departed and I’m rather fanatical about writing, so I just had to note my joy over this one.

Little Miss Sunshine/Best Screenplay: I’ve become rather fanatical about my dislike of Little Miss Sunshine, despite my love of Alan Arkin and pretty much everyone who appeared in the movie. This leads me to make it known that I think the script was the movie’s downfall. You know, for me, the one person on the planet who didn’t actually like it. I knew it would win this though.

The Departed/Best Director: Due to Departed obsession, I’m thrilled for Scorcese and thrilled for the movie. Needless to say, it was about time (although if he’d won for Gangs of New York or The Aviator, I would have gone all Britney Spears and attacked a car with an umbrella in a vicious rage), but my one complaint is this: how can Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and Francis Ford Coppola call themselves the Three Amigos? We all know that title belongs to Chevy Chase, Steve Martin, and Martin Short.

The Departed/Best Picture: I did not see this coming and it made the whole thing worth every damn minute. I’m still feeling the sting of Crash’s beating out Brokeback Mountain last year so I was certain The Departed would be overlooked for Babel’s multi-storied message. So glad the Academy got over that!


- “A comedian is the saddest man at the Oscars.” Brilliant.

- Um, why was it necessary to have a dance troupe form rather random movie logos? Sure some were nominated for best picture, but some, ah, weren’t. Did they just pick the ones with the best potential for human formation? A talented group, for sure, but I just don’t understand who hired Cirque du Soleil as Oscar entertainment (Please note that I am indeed aware that the dance troupe was Pilobolus and not Cirque du Soleil, as understanding a confusion as it might have been.)

- So did anyone else feel the lack of love during the Beyoncé/Jennifer Hudson duet? Hudson was dynamite without making it look like she was expending any effort at all, walking around like she knew she had Beyoncé beat cuz she was an Oscar winner despite being an American Idol loser. Beyoncé looked like she was out to remind everyone she was a Grammy winner even though her Dreamgirls performance was critically panned or ignored. She appeared to be singing her ASS off but could barely hold a candle to Hudson. I felt like Simon Cowell at the judging table, wanting to say to Beyoncé, “That song is too big for you. Please stop flipping your extensions around like this is the most intense performance you’ve ever given because your voice only supports your bad acting.”

- The evening was mercifully short on montages, but the necessity for the two that they did show was tenuous at best. I guess I could go for the portrayal of writers since I enjoy that sort of thing, but looking at America through the eyes of film? A bit on the vague side, wouldn’t you say? As for the In Memoriam montage, I go through the same thing every year: I get all sad again about the passings I remembered and then I get super depressed about the ones I had forgotten and I have to relive the pain as if it were new news all over again.

So until the pain of next year’s tedious affair, I will no doubt be looking forward to it with great and immeasurable expectation, counting down the days from nomination announcements to award ceremony when I will be planted on my couch happily bored for a minimum of four straight hours, no matter how many acceptance speeches they cut short.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Executive Decision

Due to a harrowing TIVO glitch—harrowing not because the glitch was irreparable or irreversible, but because any disruption in the time/space/TIVO continuum causes the earth to feel like it’s tilting and pitching wildly out of control and I’m quite sure I’ll slide off of its surface into a vast void of nothingness where surely there’s no good television to be found—Spencer and I just finished watching this week’s episode of 30 Rock. All I can say is thank god for NBC’s new marketing tools which include full episodes of its shows on-line.

And thank god for this episode’s being dead-on-the-money hysterical. I might have to run around the apartment yelling “There’ll be snacks!!” for the rest of the weekend (courtesy of one of Rachel Dratch’s brilliant bit cameos). But in light of my tendency for falling in love with well written jokes (“Yo, where’s Fat Balls at?” “He’s at the hotel management program at Cornell.” “Way to go, Fat Balls! That’s a good program.”) or super silly musical arrangements (i.e. a well harmonized Tomorrow), I have decided not to blog about sitcoms, despite their being my most beloved form of comedy.

Remember the SNL sketch, “The Chris Farley Show” during which Chris Farley would interview celebrities and it usually went as follows?

Paul McCartney: Well, it's great to be here.

Chris Farley: [ uncomfortable ] You.. you.. you remember when you were with The Beatles?

Paul McCartney: Yeah, sure.

Chris Farley: That was awesome!

I think that’s pretty much how it would go down should I endeavor to blog about sitcoms. It’s not like there are exasperating contestants to critique, complicated plots to recount, or maddening new items to dissect (or ridiculously bad interviews conducted by Ann Curry about whom I rant on a fairly regular basis to due the inconceivable fact that there are people at The Today Show and NBC who continue to let her engage in any sort of conversation with other people.). There are, one hopes, twenty-three minutes worth of jokes and enough plot and character to keep you watching. But even in the heyday of Ross and Rachel’s will they/won’t they hoopla, there wouldn’t have been enough to necessitate commentary and my retelling my favorite punch lines—Remember “Ms. Chanandler Bong?” That was awesome!—would probably grow tiresome.

So therefore, my royal decree is thusly:

TV ON A SCHOOL NIGHT will not post regularly on sitcoms unless there is something particularly supercalifragilisticexpialidocious on which to pontificate.

And yes a TV blog's second post has also referenced a movie. And yes, it’s another Julie Andrews movie. I can’t help it! I love the woman! I love when she plays a nanny! I love when she plays a governess! And Mary Poppins is also on television every damn year so it totally counts as a TV reference. The hills ARE alive with the sound of music and a spoonful of sugar really DOES help the medicine go down.

And on that note (if it were a note Julie Andrews were singing, it would be a really, really high one)…

Executive decision made!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Let's Start at the Very Beginning. A Very Good Place to Start.

The Sound of Music is on television at least once a year so no sassy comments about a TV blog's first post referencing a movie. When was the last time you saw Julie Andrews twirl around on a mountain top meadow, arms wide open to the world, on the big screen? And the last time you saw her singing and spinning on an NBC Sunday night special presentation?

Mm Hmm. Just as I suspected.

“When you read you begin with ABC, when you sing you begin with Do Re Mi,” and when you start a blog you begin with why you started it at all. I’m pretty sure the fates or whoever is in charge of that laws-of-attraction craze Oprah just started has put me up to this.

Here’s how the story goes:

In October of ’05, I started America’s Next Top Novel so I could blog about the glorious train wreck that is America’s Next Top Model while balancing it with the loftier ambition of numerous book reviews. Eventually, however, I was slowed down by how slowly I read (despite a fifteen year career in book publishing). I gave it up, deciding that I should probably write my own book instead of writing about everyone else’s (what with that creative writing degree and all). But, like the fourteen other novels I’d started, that didn’t go so well, likely due to the fact that I was spending most of my time with my ass on the couch, TIVO remote in hand. I gave up Top Novel in May of ’06 and the Luddite that sometimes lurks deep within breathed a sigh of relief.

Until last week.

Last week, thanks to corporate whoring—oh wait, I must mean corporate cross-promoting—my beloved Mychael Knight of Project Runway fame appeared at the Starbucks two blocks from my apartment to promote his My Starbucks t-shirt campaign, which seems to be about Starbucks promoting how they can customize drinks for customers which is what they’ve always done since the first time someone ordered a split shot brevé mocha, so who knows why they’re acting like this is some fancy new PR opportunity, but whatever. There was my Mychael at my Starbucks (or you know, the one closest to my home, which is slightly closer than the one that’s three blocks away). I left work to attend his mid-day engagement and those of my local Runway-watching posse who couldn’t join me waited eagerly for a report (Fun fact: Seattle has the highest population of Project Runway watchers in the country. Don’t ask me why though. Fleece is for warmth, not fashion, people!). In my former Top Novel style, I wrote up an email play-by-play with a link to a couple of photos and a video of me standing with Mychael (the Luddite lives—when I got to the autographing line I accidentally had my camera set to video). I hit send and sighed heavily. Suddenly, I missed blogging. In some sort of all-planets-aligned moment, several of my peeps wrote back saying that they missed my blog. Sigh.

I’d been walking around with blogging on the brain for days when yesterday, a friend wrote me about a call for writers she saw on The Superficial. Why not? I weeded through the Top Novel archives, submitted the required three sample posts, and started feverishly refreshing my Gmail account cuz they were undoubtedly going to be contacting me upon immediate receipt of my application.

Nine hours and several hundred Gmail log-ons later, I started this thing.

After all, America’s Next Top Model’s new cycle starts next week with Project Runway following in April, and I know So You Think You Can Dance has got to be right around the corner. And don’t even get me started on how excited I am that there’s a second season of Work Out and then there’s that new show Drive, with Nathan Fillion, and my new found obsession with Studio 60

“When you know the notes to sing, you can sing most anything!!”