Pop Culture Junkette

Addicted to pop culture.

Sunday, April 30, 2006


Today's Post has a somewhat maddening profile of Pitchfork and its founder Ryan Schreiber. Listen, I like Pitchfork and I think it performs a valuable service. I read it at least once a week, and I'd read it every day if it had a damn RSS feed. I've linked to it several times, and I own dozens of cds that I probably never would have heard of, much less bought, if it wasn't for Pitchfork.

But, please, spare me honesty talk. They clearly have an agenda, and that is to be indier-than-thou. (I don't care how much Schreiber likes Hall & Oates or Justin Timberlake.) So, don't tell me that Liz Phair got a 0.0 rating because her album was that much worse than "The Decline of British Sea Power." No, it was because she was indie rock's golden girl, who signed to a major label and hired the songwriting team that had written songs for Avril Lavigne in the hopes of reaching a broader audience. So she had to be punished.

And then there's the matter of "Travistan," Travis Morrison's solo album. I was never much of fan of the Dismemberment Plan, but--in the interest of full disclosure--Morrison is a DC native and a friend of friends. I've never heard the album, so maybe it was an unmitigated piece of garbage, but the whole thing had the feeling of a publicity stunt. After all, even Stone Temple Pilots eked out a 0.8.

Friday, April 28, 2006

NFL Draft

Don't worry, I don't have anything remotely intelligent to say about the NFL draft. But it's amazing to me what a pop culture phenomenon it's become in the past few years. Especially this year. Sure, I have a Season Pass to PTI, but Tony and Mike rightfully disdain all of the draft hoopla. Nevertheless, it has been seeping into my consciousness.

Six of the top prospects were on the Today Show this morning, where Katie totally drooled all over Matt Leinart. (Did you know that D'Brickashaw Ferguson was named after Father Ralph de Bricassart of "The Thorn Birds"?)

The most awesome thing though was on SportsCenter last night. They had a crew following Matt Leinart, and they were interviewing him about his fashion sense. He was saying that Reggie Bush and Vince Young are better in the department, but he tries to stay competitive. Vince Young was sitting right behind him and he just rolled his eyes as Leinart was talking. Not like "You're such a loveable doofus." More like "I could not hate you more, you phony California pretty boy." Hilarious.

Most Disturbing Picture Ever Award Goes To . . .

This picture of Pete Doherty injecting a passed-out groupie with what appears to be heroin. I'm going to go puke right now. What a sick sick asshole.

A Vegetarian? Do you eat fish?

As mentioned in a comment to one of Bailey's posts awhile back (The Grey Lady) I love the Washington Post's chats. I was particularly happy that today's food and cooking chat focused solely on vegetarianism.

It's not easy being a vegetarian in DC. I'm sure it's better than being a vegetarian living in Atlanta, but it's still not ideal. I'm a lacto-ovo vegetarian, which means that I do eat dairy and eggs, but I don't eat any meat, poultry, fish, crustaceans, etc. Being a vegetarian is nothing new--many people choose to live a vegetarian or vegan (no animal products, not even egg or dairy) lifestyle. I have been doing it on and off for the past 14 years. And yet whenever I go to a restaurant in a city that likes to think of itself as somewhat cosmopolitan and tell the waiter I am a vegetarian I am invariably greeted with a blank stare and the question "Do you eat fish?"

No. I do not eat fish. I am a vegetarian. The very definition of the word is "a herbivore." Being a vegetarian and eating fish are mutually exclusive.

But I can't totally blame the waitstaff for not knowing this. After all, why should they when I know a number of people who claim to be vegetarians but, in fact, eat fish. They claim that it is "easier" to call themselves vegetarians than to say "I don't eat meat or poultry, but do eat fish." Wow. Doesn't sound so tough to me. So when these pescetarians walk into a restaurant and say "I am a vegetarian; I eat fish" or "I am a vegetarian who eats fish" the uninitiated are led to believe that some vegetarians do actually eat fish. Basically, these pseudo-vegetarians have made life a lot more difficult for the real vegetarians of the world. Even more egregious, a few months ago I learned of someone who eats fish and poultry and yet calls herself a vegetarian. And no one, of course, ever calls her on it. (I admit that I am as guilty of this as the next person--when I went out with friends who ate fish and called themselves vegetarian, I sat silently. When we left the restaurant Gobo told me he was shocked I hadn't said anything. I guess I'm a coward.) I wonder if all of the fish eating "vegetarians" will get annoyed if they start getting asked whether they eat chicken every time they go out.

Part of me wonders if people who eat fish (or poultry) choose the vegetarian label because it is trendy. After all, saying you are a vegetarian carries with it certain assumptions about a person--that they care about animals, that they are outside of the mainstream. Maybe they want the status, but not the sacrifice? I'm not sure. I know that my friends who call themselves vegetarians but aren't wouldn't do it for this purpose. But the problem is more widespread. Is that why others do it?

As a public service announcement for any vegetarians in DC who happen to be reading this, I strongly recommend Java Green as a great place to get a quick bite to eat. The entire menu is vegetarian (and much of it is vegan), and it is very, very good.

Friday Musings

Sorry people for the lack of posts yesterday. I, at least, have felt uninspired of late but here goes with some random Friday thoughts.

United 93: In the course of a day, I've gone from totally never wanting to see this movie to not being able to wait to see it. Reading the reviews, like this one from the NYTimes, have made me anxious to see this movie. I'm nervous, yes, but toally intrigued.

American Idol: I'm so happy the Pickler is gone. I was shocked that she actually got voted off, having never been in the Bottom 3, but her charm and personality could save her no longer. Now the final 5 are arguably the strongest final 5 in Idol history. At least in toto. While no one might be as strong as Fantasia or Kelly or even Reuben, they each are extremely talented. I'm rooting for Elliott, but would not be upset if any of the remaining 5 win. (However, if Jasmine Trias or Nikki McKibbin had won in season's past, I would have thrown my TV out the window.)

What About Brian: I really really want to like this show, and I do, but it's not great and I think I am disappointed because I really really want it to be great. Like Felicity great. I'm still pulling for it and I'll continue to watch because I think the characters have potential and some of the writing is clever, but . . . c'mon JJ make it great!

Britney Spears and Denise Richards: I'm into really hating them both right now. Britney's pregnant again. Yuck. And Denise is now with her former BFF's former husband. Yuck. (In honor of my Britney hate, I've made her look extra deformed in this picture.)

Rosie O'Donnell: She's apparently going to take Meredith Veira's place on The View. I generally hate that show, in particular Star Jones and Elizabeth Hassleback, but I think Rosie is great and I'm interested in seeing how she'll do. Interesting choice.

Labels: , , ,

Oh Say Can You See

The Washinton Post has an interesting article today about a translation of the Star Spangled Banner into Spanish. Apparently some people are up in arms about the Spanish version and are even calling it the Illegal Alien National Anthem. This junkette thinks . . . what's the big deal? So people are celebrating America in a different language, isn't that a good thing? The homeless man who plays the trumpet for spare change in the park across the street from my office is playing the anthem right now, can't tell whether he's playing it in Spanish or English.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Chris in La La Land, Artie Going Wacko

Okay, it's late Wednesday night and the Sopranos aired on Sunday. Why have I waited until now to post about it? For those paying attention to the blog, you may have noticed that my son was born on Monday, and I had to put that ahead of the blog. So to the 4 of you who read this, I apologize for the delay and the brevity of this post.

Let me start with Artie. He has some serious, serious issues. It can't be too smart to (1) go to a mobster's house to fight him (albeit impressively win) and then (2) mention his mistress in front of his pregnant wife. At least by the end of the episode, he had returned to his true love--cooking. Perhaps risotto will provide more help than Dr. Melfi ever could.

As for the LA interlude, it had some very funny moments but it was a little too much inside baseball. All the talk about about swag and the obscenity of it all may have been true, but it was a bit much. Sure Ben Kingsley (aka Sir Kingsley) was fantastic, and Lauren Bacall looks great for 81, and it was good to see her get to act instead of having to make a fool of herself at the Oscars. That said, this interlude seemed to serve 3 purposes: (1) show Chris he should be in NJ, (2) get Chris back on coke, and (3) comic relief. Amused, yes, but not my favorite.

Hopefully, I'll have more next week.


I'm sure it says something really bad about my character that I'm sort of enjoying the spectacle surrounding the allegations of plagiarism against Kaavya Viswanathan. But I totally am. I'm sorry, but first time novelists who are still in high school should not get $500,000 book advances. They especially should not get $500,000 advances to write chick lit; and especially when the book they come up with is largely "borrowed" -- unconsciously, of course -- from other books.

Charlie and Denise - The Allegations Continue

Heavens to Betsy! Forget Denise's allegation that Charlie paid hookers, was strung out on drugs, and may have been involved in the death of a porn star, the newest claim is really shocking: he wouldn't let his kids be vaccinated!

My Idol Boyfriend

Yes, I too was crying when my Idol boyfriend, Elliot Yamin, performed last night. OK, so I wasn't exactly crying, but damn he was amazing! I thought his performance was as perfect as Idol performances go, and there's something so genuinely sweet about him and his singing that I couldn't stop voting for contestant number two. Paula's crying was a little crazy, but hey she's Paula Abdul and she is crazy. (In fact, she was acting Paula-crazy all night. I seriously wonder what her deal is.)

As for my if-I-can't-have-Elliott Idol boyfriend, Chris Daughtry, I thought he was great last night too. Not as great, but I enjoyed his version of Bryan Adams' Have You Ever Loved A Woman (or whatever it's called). And I believe he was at least trying to smile while singing, which he at least deserves some credit for.

As for the rest, I thought Katharine also was pretty great, and I'm not sure why the judges were SO harsh. They seemed disproportionately harsh to me, actually. Her dress was, well, wow. It might have been a little too much wow, but wow. Perhaps the judges' negativety will actually get her more votes, we'll see. I'm not saying her performance was amazing, but I actually thought she sang the song very very well.

Paris I thought was pretty good, but I wasn't blown away. (As I typed that sentence I realize I am starting to sound like the judges. Eek. Sorry.) And Taylor and Kellie were plain bad. And I'm a huge Taylor fan, so this was a major disappointment. Kellie, I never expect much with her, so . . .

In total, Kellie was by far the worst and so she should be going home tonight. But I have a feeling it won't be her. And that will piss me off. But as long as Elliott is around for another week, I'm content.

Team Elliot!

Labels: ,

Veronica Mars

Heartbreaking. Absolutely heartbreaking episode that started with Veronica finding out she has the venereal disease that's not a flower and ended with her weeping openly in an elevator in front of the last person I'm sure she ever wanted to see her cry. Do the writers hate her? How much can one 18-year-old take? Just imagining what Veronica must have gone through during the long night of mulling over Logan's drunken speech and then screwing her courage to the sticking place to go to his door and tell him that she wanted him in her life. And the look of dawning understanding and, well, heartbreak, on Logan's face as he realized what he must have said to Veronica to make her come to his door and that with his drunken idiocy he'd crushed her was just . . . I couldn't even cry I was in such shock at the pain of that scene. After it was over I had to shake myself back to reality. These aren't real people, their pain is manufactured for the camera . . . but oh my god did it feel real.

Those last five minutes were so intense I can barely remember what happened in the rest of the episode. Something about Gia, and Lucky, and wasn't ex-Deputy Leo there for some reason?

Only two more episodes. Horror.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

New Arrival

We are pleased to announce the birth of Baby Isaac to our fellow junkette Isaac and Mrs. Isaac. Baby Isaac checked in last night at 7 pounds, 4 ounces and 20 1/2 inches.

We have it on good authority that when apprised of Baby Isaac's arrival, Tom Cruise jumped on a couch and shouted "I can't be cool. I can't be laid-back. Something happened and I want to celebrate it."

We share those sentiments. Congratulations to the Isaac family! Celebratory daquiris will be served on the Lido deck.

--the Junkettes

Monday, April 24, 2006

Noted Without Comment

A propos of my post last month about plastic surgery, I spotted this cover of Allure Magazine featuring Meg Ryan.

The tag line is "Not Faking It Anymore." Hmm.

Um, What?

So, apparently Denise Richards and Richie
Sambora are now dating. That's wrong, particularly because Heather Locklear (Sambora's-ex) was supposedly one of
Richards' best friends.

I also don't know what to think about her story that Charlie Sheen physically abused her. I just
have this nagging feeling that she is lying, but that's probably not fair of me. She just seems media-hungry. I don't think it's cool to go on the cover of US with "My Side of the Story," etc. (Not that US isn't a venerable magazine, of course.)


1. Why is the Today show trying to convince me to wear leggings? First, on Friday, they had a segment about the new "trend" of wearing black and white clothing. One of the outifits consisted of black leggings with a black polo shirt. Then, today, Charla Krupp was wearing leggings under a skirt, which she told Katie was going to be a big trend for fall. I object. Do these people not read Go Fug Yourself?

2. Charlie Sheen has a children's clothing line? Well, he might not be known for his fashion sense, but I think we can all agree that he has the kind of wholesome image . . . oh wait. Nope. Can't explain that one.

3. The number one movie in the country is "Silent Hill." I've never heard of this movie until today. "American Dreamz" came in 8th, with only $3.6 million. Ouch.


Age: Not Just a Number

Last week headlines blared that Jessica Simpson and Lindsay Lohan got into a big fight at some Hollywood hotspot (I can't even remember which one), apparently because Lindsay was annoyed that Jessica was trying to get with Lindsay's new boyfriend, direction Brett Ratner. The story ran on the cover of venerable publications such as U.S. Weekly, and was picked up by countless media outlets.

What has been shockingly absent throughout the reportage of this incident is any commentary that Lindsay, at age 19, is dating a 37 year old (Ratner). That's just gross! Of course, this follows a disturbing trend of teenagers dating older men, including Ashley Olson (then 18) and restaurant/nightclub owner Scott Sartiano (then 30), Nicky Hilton and Todd Andrew Meister (although when she married him she was 20 and he was 33, it has been said they were dating from when she was 15, putting him at 28--the marriage was quickly annulled), Lindsay Lohan (again, 19) and Jared Leto (34) and Lindsay Lohan (then 17--sensing a pattern here?) and Wilmer Valderrama (24).

I read a lot of celebrity gossip, and yet I have seen almost nothing discussing the fact that grown men are dating teenagers. Sure, Hollywood is supposed to be a different world, but no matter how mature these teens are (and it doesn't really seem they are all that mature at all), they shouldn't be dating men ten to twenty years older than they are. Imagine if you were at a work social and your pushing 40 co-worker was a little late because he had to drop by the local high school to pick up his girlfriend who was in her senior year? Would this be considered at all acceptable?

Of course not. Interestingly, one celebrity (and I use that term lightly--we are entering the D-List) has been getting a good bit of heat for dating someone a good bit younger. Chad Michael Murray, who stars in a WB show called "One Tree Hill" (which I don't even watch) is 25 and has just become engaged to an 18 year old extra from the show who is still in high school. The tabloids have been screaming about the age difference and about the fact that they started dating when she was still 17. But how is this any different from Lindsay and Wilmer? And please note that Lindsay and Wilmer was the least egregious example on my list above.

In the end, there is just no way that a 19 year old is at the same point in her life as a 37 year old. Regardless of her life experience (in Lohan's case anorexia, cocaine use, endless partying) she can't be in the same place as someone who is 37. And someone who is 37 who chooses to date a clearly troubled 19 year old is questionable, to say the least.

I would think that at least one magazine would pick up this angle of the story and run with it. Instead I guess everyone agrees that men over 30 dating teenagers is perfectly fine.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Deadliest Catch

Lately I've been feeling a little disenchanted with reality TV. Survivor's format started getting boring several seasons ago (though I'm still watching for some reason); I'm not really rooting for any of the contestants on this season of the Amazing Race, which takes a bit of the edge off my love for it (don't yell at me Red, I still like it); after a good start, I haven't been exactly champing at the bit for the next episode of Real Housewives of Orange County; my brief fascination with that lurid show about obnoxious rich kids didn't prompt me to tune in for another episode, and the Real World is just . . . no. Way too old for that. But just when my couch-loving ass was beginning to wonder whether I could survive strictly on a diet of scripted programming, especially as we're getting ever closer to the dead zone of summer, I stumbled on a new obsession: Deadliest Catch. The show (in its second season on the Discovery Channel, who knew?), follows several boats fishing the Bering Sea for Alaskan king crab.

I have a sneaking suspicion that none of my fellow junkettes will find this show as fascinating as I do, but just in case I wanted to throw it out there. I can imagine the question: what pop culture junkette in her right mind wants to sit on her couch watching non-famous (and generally non-beautiful) people fish for crab when another season of D-List Celebrities Doing Something They're Not "Famous" For is about to start? My answer: this one! Deadliest Catch is a complete throwback to what was initially so intriguing about reality TV, the voyeuristic thrill of watching real people (i.e. not fame whore wannabe somethings) on television. At times the show is a little slow (pulling in pots and counting crabs isn't inherently interesting), but as the title implies, this job is dangerous, which ups the voyeuristic factor quite a bit. In the fishing season they're showing now, the Bering Sea was rocked by storm after storm. In the most recent episode a greenhorn fisherman was so terrified that he threatened to jump OFF THE BOAT because he thought he'd be safer in the freezing sea waiting for the coast guard to pick him up (clearly didn't know much about hypothermia) than working on deck. The boat took him back to port at enormous cost in fuel and lost time fishing and after less than two days back at sea was hit by a 60 foot rogue wave that knocked out the boat's power and as the episode ended the boat was languishing on its side completely crippled. Tell me that is not gripping television.

Of course, I have a personal connection to the subject of the show which might make me more willing than most to put up with the clunky narration. I went to highschool in a fishing town, and several of my classmates have ended up doing stints on fishing boats at one time or another. Fishing is one of the few ways a young man in the area I come from can make a quick buck, and while I don't know anyone doing it now, it's fascinating watching people like the ones I grew up with living a life so dissimilar to my own. Add in the fact that one of the boats is owned and operated by a Norwegian family (my mother's family is Norwegian) and the theme song is Bon Jovi's Wanted Dead or Alive and how can I not love this show?

Labels: ,

Friday, April 21, 2006

The Most Amazing Show on Television

Yeah, it's another Amazing Race post. I can't help myself! I really love the show.

It was so exciting to see the teams finish in a totally different order, with someone other than the Frats or the Hippies ending up in first place (and has an Old People team ever finished in first in the history of any leg of any Race? I can't remember such a time).

It was also interesting to see the Frats fall behind because of a pretty big blunder--trying to take a shortcut. They knew they were in third place, but because they are so used to finishing in first they decided to take a shortcut through some dirt road in the middle of nowhere, which didn't work out so well for them. Sure, you get a prize if you finish in first, but in the Race the real objective is to not end up last on any leg. The only time you have to finish first is on the last leg--I was surprised they took such a stupid chance. However, they are a team that really does not get annoyed with each other, which is good to see.

The Hippies, on the other hand, were not at fault for their last place finish. Rather, they just had some really bad luck (unless B.J had uncovered all sorts of underground stoves without realizing what they were). As Bailey and I were discussing yesterday, there have been a lot of needle in a haystack type clues this season. They don't take any real skill, just a lot of luck, to complete. It takes some of the fun out of watching the Race. Another friend of mine called this season an "embarassment" because the challenges haven't been...well...challenging. As she points out, she could have completed all of these challenges, and that's just not what she wants to see on the Race.

Regardless of the frustrations of sand sifting, the Race remains a truly entertaining hour of television. It will be interesting to see who is eliminated on the next leg, considering how crazy things have been for the last two weeks, placement-wise.

And the reason everyone reads this post, the current standings in the Amazing Pool. For most of us, it wasn't pretty:

Bailey: 9 points this week, 81 total (she's starting to run away with it!)
Diane: 3 points this week, 69 total
Red: 1 point this week, 63 total
Laura H: 4 points this week, 57 total
Laura I.W.: 1 point this week, 51 total

Labels: ,

a reason to get satellite radio

According to CNN, starting May 3, Bob Dylan (BOB DYLAN!!) will be hosting a themed hour of music and stories on XM Radio. Future show themes will include "weather" and "whiskey" and "dance". This sounds like it could be fantastic or ridiculous or both. Dylan was a hero in my house, the absolute ultimate bestest songwriter ever. I'm pretty sure my mom played guitar and sang me Dylan tunes while I was in the womb.

Someone out there with XM has got to listen and tell me what this is like. Please!

The SLO.C.: Heating up?

Yes, I still watch The O.C. I know I am in the minority among the junkettes, most of whom decided The O.C. was boring after Teresa pretended to lose her baby and Seth returned from his trip to Portland. But I have stuck with it. And it hasn't been easy.

The show has just been so slow this season--nothing much seems to happen, and what does happen isn't that exciting. (Hence me calling it the SlO.C. Get it?) My biggest current gripe--the college storyline.

Sure, it was a lot to accept that Summer "aced" her SATs, turning from total airhead to Brown-bound brainiac in a few weeks. But fine, I'll swallow it, a little suspension of disbelief won't kill me. But the rest of the storyline, I just can't handle.

First, before realizing she was smart, Summer decides that she wants to stay with Seth through college and thus, since it is Seth's dream to attend Brown, she will apply to lowly Providence College (hey, I had an ex who went there, can totally make fun of it). But then it turns out she is brilliant, and so she applies to Brown too. Mind you, Summer's real dream is to go to college somewhere warm, with a beach. I guess she didn't heed the advice of one of my friends who once told me that you choose your real estate based on location, not your school. But that's okay, she is making a sacrifice for love (and we all remember how all of those couples who came to college together managed to stay together, right?).

But then a Special Day arrives. On this day, a day different from all others, EVERYONE IN ORANGE COUNTY finds out whether they get into college. I guess all of the schools have heard that in the O.C. there is a special party that the kids go to where they all wear the sweatshirt of the college that has accepted them, and therefore these schools have decided to simultaneously issue their acceptance (and rejection) letters so that everyone can wear said sweatshirts and have a super fun bonfire.

But the day is not so Special for poor Seth, who is rejected from Brown. Instead of telling his girlfriend (who was accepted) he chooses to lie to her that he got in, and then tell her that she should go to Brown, but he doesn't want to anymore. Ignoring the fact that the only reason Summer wanted to go to Brown was because it was Seth's dream. Yes, Seth's dream, not Summer's. But Seth has decided that Brown is just too good for Summer to pass up because of him, and therefore she should attend. It seems that Brown is the only good school in the country. Apparently, there are no good schools in warm weather climates that might make Summer happier. Nope, this is her only option, so Seth is making a sacrifice by lying to her so she will attend.

I don't know why this storyline bothers me so much, but it really, really does. Didn't Seth apply to any safety schools? Why didn't he and Summer even discuss other options? How will we have another season of the O.C. if the kids aren't going to attend California University but instead are going to real schools?!

I assumed that Seth not getting into Brown would mean that he, too, would wind up at Berkeley, and Summer would follow, going there or maybe to Stanford. But it doesn't look like it, now that Seth has managed to get an interview at the Rhode Island School of Design.

But luckily, the rest of the show is finally starting to heat up. Kirsten is really upset with Sandy and has started drinking again; Teresa is back and although she claims her baby isn't Ryan's, I think we all know the story doesn't end there; Anna made a special guest appearance (she looked like she fell asleep in her tanning bed and had extensions worse than Jessica Simpson's, but she's still pretty great); there is a chance Sandy might get into some trouble because of his shady business dealings. It's unfortunate that it has taken two seasons for things to get even remotely exciting, but I can't give up now. Although watching the whole Seth and Summer college dance, which will surely go through the end of the season, is not going to be very fun.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Alias is back!

Alias is finally back and ohmygodohmygod was it a great two hour episode. (Unfortunately, I couldn't watch it all last night because I only have one Tivo so I had to watch the Amazing Race live, and then start watching Alias and then I started feeling crummy and thought a good night's sleep would make me feel better, but of course it didn't and I woke up with a monster cold and I can't imagine staying up latish to watch all of Alias in one sitting would have made it worse. And. breathe. Or at least pause to calm down in a breathing like fashion since real breath is made impossible by said monster cold.)

Sooo . . . so much good stuff happened what with Weiss, and Irina, and VAUGHN that I don't know where to begin. (Except with how great is it that the network actually gave this wonderful show with such horrible ratings and a rabid fan base enough warning of cancellation for them to really go out in style? Thanks ABC! Though what is with this obsession with clip shows? I saw promos for Lost, Desperate Housewives, and Grey's Anatomy recap hours while watching Alias, and, just, stop it. They're boring and they fool my Tivo into thinking that there's a new episode when there really is not and that's annoying.)

But back to Alias. So much happened that I'm not sure I can remember it all. In fact, as soon as Irina showed up in those kickass black stiletto boots to put a cap in that . . . double agent (I guess?) my memories of all that had gone before were (almost) erased with the awesomeness of it all. Luckily, what had gone before included the wonderful reappearance of Weiss to bail out Dixon and Marshall and the newbies. (Note to writers: I know that at the beginning of the season you actually thought that there would be another season (fools!) and so invested some time in trying to get me to care about the blonde and Balthazar Ghetty, and set up some mysteries involving them, but . . . no. I do not care about wrapping up any loose ends involving these characters. You have dropped enough threads over the past 5 seasons to produce a fairly substantial wall hanging (see, e.g., the contents of a certain safe deposit box revealed at the end of Season 3), and now is not the time to get conscientous and waste precious screen time trying to resolve story lines about characters just introduced this year. Don't bother.)

It was so great that the writers managed to fit in at least one more twisted family vacation with Irina and Sydney and Jack off on one of their little jaunts to steal a mysterious artifact. My favorite episodes always involve this nuclear family pausing in kicking each others' asses only long enough to kick someone else's. When Irina told Sydney that she'd never wanted a child and was only a means to an end and that she'd chosen being an agent over being a mother . . . it was so terribly sad. But the sadness did not last long because the poignancy was followed by the most unrealistic birth ever shown on television. Now, I've never had a baby, but I'm pretty sure that they almost never come within minutes of the beginning of labor and with very little effort on the part of the mother, and that when a baby is in distress during the delivery the next thing one does is NOT put said newborn on a plane with its mother who's JUST GIVEN BIRTH IN A BANK looking all dewy and clean and in fresh clothes. Was there a a trip to the hospital in there somewhere? A trip to the Gap? What with the huh?

And then, dun dun dun, VAUGHN IS ALIIIIVVE and living in BHUTAN! Huh? Sydney and Jack have to know he's alive right? Is that what she was asking him to do on the plane, tell Vaughn about the baby? As always this show has left me all kinds of confused, and that's without even getting into what the hell is Irina doing with Prophet 5, what is the Horizon and why does everybody want it (except apparently Sloan who had to know that it was in Vancouver all this time because he was a member of the Alliance and probably involved in this mission and why did Jack and Sydney not ask him about what it is and what it means unless they really don't trust him which of course they shouldn't) and how does this all fit in with Rambaldi? Because it's got to right? Sorry for such a ridiculously long post that says almost nothing. But I'm sick and editing is too much to ask of me. But if my fellow junkettes (or anyone else who reads this site (ha!)) could explain some of this to me I'd really appreciate it.


Least Sexy Men

Okay, there's not a lot to take issue with on this list, except the proposition that there are 15 men who are less appealing than Carrot Top.

But leave Tony Kornheiser alone! He is awesome.

Also, I don't approve of any criticism of the Beastie Boys. It is true that Mike D. looks like he hasn't eaten in 10 years. But he is still probably cooler than you.

Uh oh

Next week's guest on "American Idol" is Andrea Bocelli. That promises to be horrific.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Why Relying On Tivo (Er, Comcast DVR) Is Bad

Something happened with my DVR last night during American Idol. It taped the first few performances, then stopped, and then taped the last two. Which meant I didn't get to see Elliott's performance. (Or Kellie's, but, c'mon.) And it also cut off during the ending credits where they review everyone's performance, so I didn't get a chance to see Elliott then either.

I'm so bummed. I've read this morning that Elliott gave an amazing performance, and since announcing that I'm on Team Elliott, I was so looking forward to it. Sigh. I'm now sort of hoping that he's in the bottom three just so that he can sing it again, but that is the type of wish I will seriously regret if he is in fact in the bottom three and ends up getting kicked off. So I take it back. Eek.

As for the performances I did see, I thought they were all excellent. Especially Paris and Katharine. As the judges astutely pointed out, both of their performances were remniscent of their auditions.

I hope either Ace or Kellie go home tonight. I'd also like to make a plea that anyone who saw Elliott's performance leave a detailed comment so I can pretend like my DVR didn't screw up and pretend that I actually watched the performance. Thanks.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Suri Cruise

So Katie "Kate" Holmes has finally had her baby. Much to my and Laura Ingalls Wilder's shock, it is a girl. Name? Suri.

How does one go from naming his children Connor and Isabella to naming a child Suri? Sure, Cruise's publicist claims that the name has Hebrew and Persian roots, but perhaps it is actually the name of Xenu's daughter or something?

I wonder what Brad and Angelina will name their child.

What About Brian

Does this new show's link to Alias, Felicity and Lost (through executive producer JJ Abrams) cancel out its link to 7th Heaven (through star Barry Watson)? Normally that would be a really close call, but What About Brian is also blessed with an Arquette (and not just any Arquette, but an Arquette who's shared the screen with Madonna!), and it's also got a much prettier brunette version of Ephram of Everwood's baby mama. OK, enough link ridiculousness. Basically, nothing about Brian is new, but compared with the midseason replacements Bailey was kind enough to review, I think we have a keeper!


I think I'm going to be sick

Just when I thought it couldn't get any weirder, along comes this. Tom wants to eat the placenta after Katie gives birth. Now I understand that in third world nations dogs and other wild animals dine on the afterbirth, but this just freaks me out, particularly as I am about to experience (second hand) the wonders of child birth. Do you think he's going to be the next Hannibal Lecter? And what does one drink with placenta?


Just following up on a few items I've blogged about recently:

First, TivoToGo magically worked yesterday, but then this morning it magically didn't work again. I have no idea why. And, yes, it apparently does take an hour to download a one-hour show. And the downloading process seems to stop whenever you use your computer to do anything else. So, all in all, this does not seem that useful. I guess if you really planned ahead you could load up your computer with stuff you wanted to watch, but otherwise it's a lot easier just to watch it on your tv.

Second, I watched the second and third episodes of "Thief," and they were both excellent. I highly recommend this show.

Third, on the Washington Post v. New York Times front, the Post won four Pulitzer Prizes yesterday to the Times' three. Of particular relevance to this blog, Robin Givhan won for criticism. She writes the kind of irreverant column -- on fashion -- that I just can't imagine ever seeing in the Times. Also, Dana Priest, who won for beat reporting (on national security and intelligence) is one of my favorite reporters.


Monday, April 17, 2006

Say You, Say Nuts

Well it seems that Lionel Richie was able to headline a gig in . . . Libya. That's right, Lionel was performing at a concert in commemoration (?) of the 20th anniversary of the bombing there. See here. Also present, Jose Carreras, now officially known as "The Other Tenor." Declared Lionel, "Libya I love you, I'll be back." Glad to hear it. Perhaps this explains where he has spent the past 20 years. And I thought he had just fallen off the face of the earth, allowing Nicole to be raised by wolves.

Also and in (kind of) related news, did anyone notice that during the party scene in last week's Big Love, a rock cover version of Lionel's classic Hello was performed. It seems it was recorded by Me First and The Gimme Gimmes. You can buy the album here. I wonder if he mentioned any of this in Tripoli.


Has anyone been able to get TivoToGo to work? This is a feature that is supposed to allow you to download shows from your TiVo to your pc. I finally got around to installing the software this weekend, but I couldn't get it to work.

First, for some reason, the software cannot "see" my DVR. I have no idea what this means, much less why it is happening. There is much speculation on the TiVo web site that this might be caused by the fact that I have a VPN on my computer, but no guidance as to what to do about it. (As an aside, this is much like TurboTax, in that the more complicated your problems are the less guidance it gives you.)

Second, I was able to look at my TiVo's now playing list through back channels, but it took more than an hour to download a one-hour show. I'm not sure if it took so long because I was going through back channels, or that's just how long it takes. But that seems excessively slow -- I've Bit-Torrented shows faster than that.

Third, once I downloaded the show, I couldn't watch it because I don't have the right codec on my Windows Media Player. I have to buy one for $15.

All in all, a frustrating experience. I'm going to fool around with it more tonight, so any guidance would be appreciated.

The Wonders of Northern New England

Having spent some time in New England, I can attest to the beauty of this area, particularly Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. There is something idyllic about it, not in the massiveness of the American West with its wide open spaces and huge mountains but instead on a much more human scale. Why, you ask, am I starting this post by extolling this region? But, the Sopranos, of course. (Spoiler alert.) David Chase seems to agree that this region represents a sort of innocence and (possible) escape, but if the past is any guide, the freedom is illusory.

In one of the first episodes of this epic series, Tony ran into an old "friend" while showing Meadow the fine colleges of Maine (Bowdoin, Bates, Colby). This individual was someone who had become a rat and been placed in the witness protection program. Needless to say, when all was said and done, Meadow ended up going to Columbia, and by the time the visit was over, Maine's population had decreased by one.

So last night Vito finds himself in the libertarian wonderland of New Hampshire. (The state motto--Live Free or Die (which you have a first amendment right to hide on your license plate)--provides the episode's title.) In almost Alice in Wonderland or Lost fashion, Vito finds himself driving through foul weather, hits a tree, and walks to . . . gay paradise? He finds a lovely B&B, a great diner (with Johnny Cakes and homemade sausages) with a gay couple among the patrons who are . . . treated just like any other couple, and (what else) a great antique store where he learns he has a fantastic eye (of course he does). So naturally, Vito will simply settle down to a life of happiness in NH . . . or probably not.

Meanwhile back in NJ, the family is not handling Vito's outing too well (although they provide a treasure trove of double entendres). Tony, as usual, has the most nuanced perspective, and thanks to his therapy sessions, you can really see his dilemma. (Episodes like last night's show why the shrink angle works so well, particularly when not overdone.) Tony wants to act like Paulie--be disgusted, side with Sen. Sanitorum (sic)--but he really isn't. In the end, Tony actually holds the live and let live philosophy, but unfortunately recognizes that in his world, image is everything (as we learned last week (see Johnny Sack)). He is treading a fine line and needs to find ways to justify not whacking Vito (his wife, kids) without hurting his own reputation. But if Vito shows his face, Tony will have to act. (We also learn that Tony is a fan of the L Word--nice and hysterical props to a Showtime show(which I've never seen).) I sense (and hope) that after last night the Vito story will not take center stage, but it once again illustrated the constant struggle Tony has to deal with. It will ultimately have what is likely to be a tragic denouement. (Although with the Sopranos you never know; we could simply never hear from Vito again--perhaps he and the Russian from the Pine Barrens end up shacking up in NH.)

Two final thoughts: Michael Imperiolli deserves more credit for his outstanding acting. Christopher's stupidity is simply priceless. His explanation of why his arab clients are not al queda was genius and his discussions of Vito's sexuality and what to do about it were classic while containing an element of (accidental) genius. Second, the brewing tension between Angie Bompensiero and Carmela is fascinating. As Angie becomes one of the boys (as Vito becomes one of the girls?), Carmela sees that she is not a part of this life. Of course, considering that Angie's husband (Big Pussy) sleeps with the fishes, maybe Carm's life isn't so bad. Yet she too is seeking some role/purpose in her life (as, of course, is Meadow). The spec home (with, as we see, her petty corrupt father) is just one outlet and so far a failed one (thanks in part to Tony). Where Carmela goes will be interesting to watch.

Until next week with Christopher in La La Land, that is all.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Shut up Yaya

I went to see Take the Lead today (I know, but it's Antonio Banderas y'all, and ballroom dancing, and . . . my mom's in town) and one of the young female troubled youths seemed very familiar, but I couldn't think of another movie I might have seen her in. Finally the credits roll and I see that her name is . . . Yaya. But it can't be that Yaya can it? Oh but it is. A former contestant on America's Next Top Model is in a feature film! And it's not just any contestant, it is Yaya. She of the Respeito and inability to eat uneboshi. I'm in shock. And don't yell at me, but she wasn't that bad.


Friday, April 14, 2006

Whither Cranberry Apple Fuze?

As you know, my first beverage love is Diet Sprite. But for a brief moment last summer, Diet Sprite had a rival -- Cranberry Apple Fuze. This stuff was awesome: a nice combination of sweet and tart; only 20 calories in a 16 ounce bottle; and all sort of vitamins that actually make you thinner (yeah, I have no idea how that was supposed to work). But then one day last July it vanished, never to be seen again.

I realized today at lunch, as I scanned the refrigerator case for the millionth time, looking for that blue bottle, that it is probably not coming back. Damn.

Consumer Report

I hope you guys appreciate the sacrifices I make for you. For the past few weeks, I have been watching five mid-season replacement shows. All in an effort to help you spend your valuable TV-watching time wisely. Here is my report (from worst to best):

"In Justice" -- Fridays at 9 on ABC. This show seems to have gone off the air, and deservedly so. Listen, I like seeing criminals go free as much as the next person, especially if they're innocent, but this show -- which is supposed to be loosely based on the Innocence Project -- sucks. It has that special Friday Night brand of earnestness that is completely unmoored by reality. The bad guys are totally bad and the good guys are totally good and everything works out in the end. Which is strange for a show that is based on the premise that innocent people go to prison all of the time.

"The Unit" -- Tuesdays at 9 on CBS. This show should be good. It was created by David Mamet, and it stars Dennis Haysbert (and Scott Foley). It's about a unit of special forces soldiers who go on top secret missions to rescue people, or alternatively assassinate foreign leaders. But the twist is that it also follows their wives, who stay home and, um, don't do anything remotely interesting. I'm puzzled about how this show could be so bad. So far, it is completely episodic -- there are no story lines that extend from episode-to-episode. And the missions are totally unrealistic and lacking in suspense. At the same time, it lacks the fantastical quality that make shows like Alias and 24 fun to watch.

"Heist" -- Wednesdays at 9 on NBC. This show follows a group of thieves planning to steal diamonds from jewelry stores on Rodeo Drive. It has a light tone, and has its enjoyable moments, but it's completely forgettable. It is also in the unenviable position of sharing a time slot with Lost and the American Idol results show. I predict that it is not long for this world.

"The Evidence" -- Wednesdays at 10 on ABC. Orlando Jones and Rob Estes are San Francisco cops. The gimmick is that, at the beginning of each episode, they (specifically Martin Landau! the medical examiner) show viewers the key pieces of evidence that will solve the case. I can see this show lasting. Jones and Estes have good chemistry, and there's an interesting overarching story line, which is that Estes' wife was murdered and he's trying to solve her murder and deal with her death. But so far the mysteries are not very compelling, and the gimmick is pointless.

"Thief" -- Tuesdays at 10, on FX. I've only seen one episde -- but what a promising start. Andre Braugher is a thief, who lives in post-Katrina New Orleans with his wife and step-daughter (played by Mae Whitman -- George Michael's girlfriend on "Arrested Development"). The first episode sets off several story lines -- his latest job has put him and his crew on the wrong side of a Chinese mob boss, forcing him to return some of the money and come up with a new, potentially risky job to keep his team together; there are also interesting developments on the home front, which I will not ruin for you. As usual, Braugher is excellent. I can't wait to watch more. Be warned though: it is very dark and emotionally brutal.


Got a light? Sure, let me open my cell phone for you.

This past Tuesday I went to a concert featuring Death Cab for Cutie and Franz Ferdinand (as an aisde, the concert was good, particularly Franz Ferdinand, who I hadn't previously seen in concert--it was my third time with Death Cab). As I had expected, Gobo and I were the oldest people there, other than the parents escorting their 13 year olds. Of course, all the kids there were crunchy granola--peasant skirts, Birkenstocks, scraggly hair, dreamy expressions. Everything was as it should be at a pseudo-indie rock concert.

Until Death Cab decided to play a ballad.

The ballad is a staple of any rock concert. When the band plays it the audience hushes and suddenly thousands of little flickering lights fill the venue as everyone takes out their lighter and waves it in the air.

But this is 2006, and the lighter is no more. No, now, the anti-establishment, screw-the-man, peace, love and happiness set use...their cell phones. Yes, instead of cigarette lighters (the ultimate in anti-establishment cool since at least the 1950s) these kids now open their cell phones so that the light shows and wave it in the air.

Sure, it's great that these kids aren't carrying around lighters--it probably means they aren't smoking. But holding up your cell? How much more big business can you get? Where is the rebellion in your Sprint/Nextel device? How does one find nonconformity with a Motorola Razr with Cingular service?

Good thing they still wear those peasant skirts. Purchased at Urban Outfitters.

She's So Skinny I Can't Believe It

She really is the skinniest twig ever. This picture highlights how crazily thin she has gotten. It's scary, particularly given how thin Jamie Lyn-Sigler and Alyssa Milano looked in real life in Vegas. In other words, I'm sure this picture does not even start to do justice to how small she is. Oh, and her and DJ AM are apparently engaged. Again.


"Diet" and "exercise" have really done wonders for Nicole! Who can remember when she looked like this? (Please note the multi-tone hair she had--excellent.)

And has anyone seen Ashlee Simpson recently? Definite lollipop territory.

--Red Fraggle

Hugh Grant on Today

Ok, I know that I've previously said that I hate the Today Show and never watch it, but that was a bit of hyperbole, because I do generally check it in the mornings and if someone really the bee's knees like Hugh Grant is going to be on I may, once in awhile, just pause the Tivo on NBC while I'm in the shower and fast forward through all the blather before I leave for work until Hugh's (growing rather craggy these days) visage appears next to that smug Katie. Anyway . . . this was one of those mornings and Hugh Grant, on obviously no sleep (he said he was up all night filming a movie with Drew Barrymore), still somehow managed to be exactly what I want in a movie star: charming, witty, intelligent, and not sucking up in any way to Katie.

I have such incredibly high hopes for this new movie of his, American Dreamz. It's got a good cast (in addition to Hugh playing a Simon Cowell-esque host of a pop idol reality show, Dennis Quaid is playing a George Bush-esque president, and Mandy Moore is the pop queen contestant); and, best of all, reunites the director and star of one of my favorite movies of all time: About a Boy. Thank You for Smoking has already primed my palate for another good hollywood satire, so fingers crossed American Dreamz is as good. (Not that the NY Times enjoyed Thank You for Smoking as much as I did, but . . . their standards are quite a bit higher than mine.)


Thursday, April 13, 2006

Amazing Bunching

Red and I were complaining yesterday about how boring it was to make our picks for the Amazing Pool since the teams seemed to have settled into an awfully boring rut over the last few episodes. The Amazing Producers fixed that right quick in this week's episode with not one, not two, but THREE bunches at the very beginning of this leg of the Race. Now I'm not normally a fan of the bunching, but in this case it resulted in mixing up what had gotten to be a too predictable order to such an extent that I won't complain. Their meddling has no doubt put me out of the running in the Amaxing Pool (Hippies in FIFTH??), but the resulting suspense was worth it. Yay for bunching!


Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Team Elliot Yamin

OK. Usually I don't watch the Idol results show. I fast-forward to the last five minutes to find out who gets kicked off. But for some reason I watched the whole hour of this week's results. And enjoyed it. A lot.

First, I loved some of the family clips. It was nice to get more insight into the regular lives these contestants lived before auditioning for Idol. Some of the stories were more touching than others. I couldn't help but tear up seeing Kellie Pickler's grandfather, and how cute was it that Kat McPhee's dad cries everytime she performs, and Bucky's family just seemed so nice, and oh my god, Elliot has diabetes and allergies and oh yeah is tone deaf in one year. Tears rolling down my face at this point.

But what turned out to be the best part of the show was listening to Elliott, in the bottom three again, perform again. After seeming genuinely shocked that Ryan asked him to sing again ("What exactly do you want me to sing?), he gave one of the best Idol performances I've ever seen. His rendition of "Somebody to Love" I thought was amazing. Amazing. Amazing. Amazing. I watched it three times and each time it gave me chills and I couldn't get over how pitch perfect it was.

I haven't voted all season, but now I have a new clear favorite and I'll be dialing his number every week until the end.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


There's a blog dedicated to informing us what music is playing on Veronica Mars. What a valuable public service.

Via Unrequited Narcissism.

They're back!

Yes, it's that time of year again. Flowers are blooming, birds are chirping, and the dreaded capri suit is making its return to the fashion scene. I spotted my first capri suit of the season on my way to work today. I do not understand this at all. Okay, I at least understand the theoretical appeal of capris, even if they are unflattering to the overwhelming majority of people in practice. But a capri suit? In what situation is that appropriate? Is there a huge gap in women's wardrobes for outfits to wear to work that make them look ridiculous? ("Hmm . . . . I'd like to look professional today, but not too professional. I know! I'll wear my capri suit!")

Monday, April 10, 2006

Big love

Every time I watch Edie Falco on the Sopranos I think to myself that it isn't even worth it for any other actress to show up on Emmy night when the Sopranos has been airing--she will win because her acting is so good and her role is so superior to anything else on television.

But last night I watched the fourth episode of Big Love, and I think Edie may actually have some competition. I'm surprised to write this, after sitting through her performance as Tom Cruise's wife in The Firm, but Jeanne Tripplehorn is doing an amazing job with a really great part to play. In her performance as Barb, the first wife, Tripplehorn really shows the viewer how much she has lost and her conflicting emotions regarding wanting her old life back, her loyalties to the other women in her life and her resignation that the situation is too far gone to turn back.

Tripplehorn isn't the only standout in the cast--Chloe Sevigny has been receiving a lot of great press for her role as troublemaker Nikki. It is well-deserved: you really believe Sevigny has spent some part of her life conniving in a cultish religious compound that preaches modesty and obedience.

I know some junkettes did not enjoy the first episodes of Big Love, but I would recommend watching the third and fourth episodes of the season before giving up on the show. The last two episodes have revealed so much back story and have set up suspense for the future. The acting is great and the stories are getting exciting--definitely worth spot in my television lineup.



I had to work all weekend, so I have no exciting pop cultural happenings to report. But I did get a chance to listen to a few cds. Here's what I'm listening to:

Cat Power, The Greatest. I have The Covers Record, and love the cover of "Satisfaction," but boy is that album bleak. Like, Elliot Smith bleak. So, I'm happy to report that she has lightened up a little. The new album has a sort of Dusty in Memphis soulful vibe. And still features Chan Marshall's great voice.

Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins, Rabbit Fur Coat. I have never gotten in to Rilo Kiley, but I like this solo effort. It's a little bit country, with a lot of multi-part harmonies, which I love. I have the impression that she is saying something about God or religion or something, but to be honest, I haven't really listened to the lyrics. And who could not love a cover of the Traveling Wilbury's "Handle Me with Care," featuring indie rock it-boys Conor Oberst, M. Ward and Ben Gibbard?

Spoon, Gimme Fiction. On first listen, the only song I really liked was "I Turn My Camera On," which I have since learned is on the Veronica Mars soundtrack. Boy is that song great -- Pitchfork nails it as a combination of Prince and 1970s-era Rolling Stones. But on repeated listens, I have warmed up to the rest of the album.

The New Pornographers, Twin Cinema. I loved the power-pop of The Electric Version, but I haven't been able to get into this one. I like it, but no songs stand out except the excellent "The Bleeding Heart Show." It definitely merits further listens though. I have heard that they are touring without Neko Case. Which is unfortunate, because I think her voice is essential to the album. Update: Okay, I'm listening to this again, and another good song is "Sing Me Spanish Techno." Great name too!

Moses Martin

So Gwyneth Paltrow gave birth this weekend (anyone else shocked that she popped before Katie?) and the happy couple named their son Moses. Not a fruit! Yay!


I spent yesterday watching golf. (Thank you USA Network and the Powers That Be at Augusta National for televising the completion of the 3rd round yesterday morning.) Augusta National is one of the most spectacular places on earth. Forget how beautiful it looks on TV (particularly in high definition!), but when you have actually been there you realize it is close to a perfect golf course. Most importantly, because of its length, lack of rough, and extremely difficult greens, it rewards the best players in the world, so every year, the top few players are at the top of the leaderboard, and this year was no exception.

Now, I'm no Mickelson fan (note my snide remark about him last week), but he played some great golf yesterday. To see Phil play an error free round on a Sunday at a major was an amazing turn of events. He appears in worse shape than usual (Mrs. Bartender asked if he had a breast enlargement), but his game is as good as it has ever been. He also had the perfect partner yesterday in Couples, a guy as easy going as Phil.

And Phil has now solidified his position as the second best player in the world. We still need, however, what the entire golf world wants--a Sunday battle in a major with Tiger. He has only had one such battle (not in a major) last year at Doral and, of course, Tiger won. Until Phil beats Tiger head to head (or at least when Tiger is pressuring him, as he did not yesterday), I will not believe that Phil could handle that pressure. Perhaps they will finally create a reprise of the '77 British Open (for those non-golf afficionados--Watson and Nicklaus lapped the field with Watson beating Jack by a stroke). Certainly the networks are praying for it.

Looking forward to Winged Foot in 2 months.


"A f--ing Philadelphia Lawyer"


Before turning to the episode more generally, one line must be mentioned. Tony, recognizing that being weak means death in his world, decides he must beat up the meathead who is now his bodyguard in front of the crew. And what does T call him during the manufactured argument but "a f---ing Philadelphia Lawyer." This insult has extra poignancy for my fellow junkettes.

As for the episode, it is, as always, the little things the Sopranos does so well that makes it a classic. The details of the wedding were picture perfect ($425! for the event--perhaps I don't want any daughters), but even better was Ginny's "diet" to fit in her dress, Allegra's own weight and relationship with her dad, and the waifish sister who clearly has an eating disorder. The world of mafia wives and princesses makes it amazing how "normal" Tony's own family is. This is, of course, very relatively speaking.

Christopher and T discussing whether Tony must do a favor for Johnny Sack at his daughter's wedding or visa versa is another classic. Christopher states "it's like the movie" with Tony responding "what movie." "One." That, of course, means the original Godfather, and Tony is right that that Don Vito must do favors on the wedding of his daughter. Christopher--the movie maven--can't even get the lines from his favorite movie correct.

Then there's Vito. His eyeing Finn at the wedding, recognizing his suit as Calvin Klein, and, to top it all off, his outfit at the gay bar--what can you say. While Vito may not be dead yet, he ain't going to be around much longer if he isn't alraedy sleeping with the fishes. Of course, we've seen this coming since last season.

Finally, a few thoughts on the theme of the episode--the necessity of maintaining the appearance of strength. Johnny Sack lost it and with that loss he may have lost his empire; Junior seems to have completely lost it unless he is pulling one of the greatest con jobs in history; and, of course, Tony. No one else in his crew has the combination of strength and brains (a semester and a half at Seton Hall!) to lead the NJ operation. Christopher and Paulie lack the brains, Sil is smarter but not smart enough and doesn't have the same strength, and Bobby ain't that bright and ain't that tough. Ironically, Vito comes closest except for his one big secret which is now coming out of the closet. But New Age Tony couldn't lead the crew and he has the self awareness to realize that (as does Melfi). Hence, the whupping he placed on his bodyguard. Yet, can Tony physically continue to perform? His satisfaction after the fight was mixed with his vomiting blood--not pretty. But at least we have the old Tony back albeit perhaps not better than ever.

Btw, I love Sunday nights. And once Sopranos and Big Love end, we get Entourage and Deadwood. How great is that.

Vegas Stawker!

I was in Vegas this past weekend with thirteen other woman, celebrating one of my best friend's upcoming wedding. In other words, at a bachelorette party. Part of the fun was the celebrity sightings that I couldn't wait to report here:

1. At the Mirage, where we were staying, Brad Garrett (sp?) from Everybody Loves Raymond was walking around the pool area all weekend. He is TALL and seemed super nice.

2. At the Wynn, where I was playing poker! on Friday night, walked past Cuba Gooding Jr. at the $100/hand blackjack table. He was wearing a fedora and looked wasted. And was talking loudly on his cell phone.

3. Still at the Wynn, after winning $30! in poker! I then walked past Jamie-Lyn Sigler at the $50/hand blackjack table. She looked very petite and very pretty. No make-up and perfectly dressed.

4. At the restaurant FIX at the Belagio Saturday night, Andre Agassi dining with one male companion. Sans wedding ring. He actually looked surprisingly small to me. He was nice enough to pose for a picture with one of my friends when he came out of the bathroom.

5. Best for last. At the airport security line, was standing next to ALYSSA MILANO! Yes, Samantha from Who's The Boss? She was ridiculously tiny, had a darling velvet sweatsuit on, and cute Uggs. She looked gorgeous, even without make-up. Then later saw her in line at Sbarro (I swear I didn't follow her!), saw her eat two, two! pieces of pizza, and then watched her sit at an oxygen bar and get a massage in the airport. It was awesome.

West Wing wind-down

While I spent some of this weekend trying to emphasize the "culture" rather than the "pop" (saw the Dada exhibit at the National Gallery which I highly recommend to those of you who will be in DC before May 19) I came back to myself on Sunday night in time for the West Wing. During this week's episode we finally got the outcome of the two-season-long election (no surprise that Santos won) and, very sadly, Leo's death. I know John Spencer actually died months ago, but the episode still made me sob.

This show is definitely ending well. I never fully gave up on the West Wing, I was too invested in the characters to give it up entirely, but there were definitely some dark years. The writers have pulled it together at the end to give the characters the send-off they deserve. Donna and Josh have finally tumbled into bed, and in a believable way, and all the characters are being used in ways that don't make them feel shoe-horned in, but do allow the viewers time to say good-bye. If you ever loved the West Wing, but haven't come back for the final season, you're really missing out.

ETA: According to this article the writers of the West Wing intended to have Vinick win the election until John Spencer died.


Saturday, April 08, 2006

Can This Be True?

David Spade and Heather Locklear dating? Can one woman go from Tommy Lee to Richie Sambora to David Spade in a single lifetime? The only explanation I can think of is that she's in it for the Kate Spade swag.

Friday, April 07, 2006

The Gray Lady

In case you hadn't noticed, the New York Times unveiled the redesign of its Web site this week. It has some new features, like this crazily-specific selection of RSS feeds. (I find it intriguing that you can subscribe just to the Wedding announcements.) But most noticeably, it just looks different, wider somehow, and with a new font, Georgia, replacing the old standby, Times New Roman. The changes have caused much commentary in the blogosphere, and a rave review in Slate, in which Jack Shafer proposes eliminating the print edition.

First, I don't want to hear any crazy talk about eliminating paper editions of newspapers. Call me old-fashioned, but I subscribe to the print editions of both the Times and the Post, and the thought of giving them up fills me with anxiety. Sure, I know that you can do the crossword puzzle or sudoku online, but it's not the same. And the paper version is portable, so it can be read in places other than in front of your computer, like in an airplane, on the porch, in bed, and, um, other places. Most importantly, the print edition is fixed and finite. One of the things that bothers me about reading things online is that you can never be sure you've read everything.

Second, I can never think about the Times without comparing it to the Post. True to form, the Times' Web site is more polished, but also sort of bland. By contrast, the Post takes more risks, not all of which pay off. Notably, the Post is much farther ahead in producing content just for the internet, including blogs, columns, and chats. Also, like its print edition, the Post's Web site is more geared to a local audience, which I appreciate.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

So NoTorious

I finally watched the first two episodes of Tori Spelling's new fauxreality show. It's fun. Ish. It's not great TV by any stretch of the imagination, but felt perfect for a sick day. She really is willing to poke fun at every aspect of her public persona, for which I give her an enormous amount of credit. The second episode features a cult that has aspects of both Kabbalah and Scientology. The jokes aren't exactly fresh, but it does set up the great line: "I don't need to be relevant. I'm Tori Spelling!"


Hurley, Libby, and Madness


The past 2 Losts have returned the show to the level it maintained for most of last season. Most importantly, the plot made some significant steps forward, many of them surrounding the fantastically creepy "Henry Gayle." We now have the map (conveniently reproduced in this week's EW although you need to blow it up to try to decipher it somewhat fully), and, it seems, an Other in captivity.

Of course, last night's idea that the whole thing is in Hurley's mind makes a kind of sick sense (as "Dave" made quite clear). I realized from the start that Dave (played by the always excellent Evan Handler (I even watched "It's Like, You Know . . ." in which he starred) was in Hurley's mind, but the two bigger twists still have me puzzled. In the end, I don't think we are in Hurley's mind (although St. Elsewhere's genius ending comes to mind), but just putting it out there fits in with his madness. We now must question, even more, what is real and what is not--did Hurley really win the lottery? did all of these bad things really happen to him? Of course, as we know, Hurley isn't the only one to see things on the island--Jack and his dad, Kate and her horse . . . .

Which leads us to Libby. You knew there was more to Hurley's recalling her from somewhere, but that she was a fellow mental patient (maybe) was something I did not see coming. Why is she on the island? Why was she in Australia? Is there even more to her relationship with Hurley? I even asked whether she too was a figment of Hurley's imagination (an ego to Dave's id), but she has been seen by others on the island and in the absence of Hurley. I want her backstory, but wonder if we will get it in the remaining episodes. (Next week, we learn about Rose and Bernard.)

I also keep thinking about "Henry" and the book he was reading--The Brothers Karamazov. The most famous episode in this novel involves a dream in which Jesus returns during the Spanish Inquisition and is promptly arrested. The Grand Inquisitor tells him that he has provided humanity with freedom and choice, an impermissible burden that leads to fighting and suffering. Instead, the Inquisitor and the Church offer mankind happiness through ignorance, and thus Jesus must be rejected. Moreover, the Inquisitor implies that the Church now follows Satan aka THE OTHER. (Hat tip to Wikipedia for reminding me of the plot twists of this episode.) Now, is "Henry" Jesus? Is Locke? Is Sayid the inquisitor? Jack? Anna Lucia? the leader of the Others? Is this a red herring--I doubt it.

It looks like there are about 4 more episodes this season, and hopefully the last two weeks are a great harbinger of the remainder of the season. I assume we will learn more about Michael and Walt, the map, "Henry," The Jack/Kate relationship, but I am still dying to know about (1) how Locke became paralyzed, (2) how Jack got his tattoo, and (3), as noted above, what is up with Libby. Until next week . . . .

The Plot Thickens

I have to agree with Defamer that the picture on the right looks totally fake.

But I would defer to Isaac's superior knowledge -- or even Mrs. Isaac, if she's not too busy shopping in Beverly Hills with a beach ball in her shirt.

Meredith Grey - Love Her or Hate Her? I Love Her.

I've recently noticed that a lot of my friends (including some junkettes) and television critics have expressed dislike for Meredith Grey's character (and perhaps even Ellen Pompeo, the actress who plays her).

Well, I LOVE HER. I think she is an interesting, loveable, and complex character, and I think Pompeo is perfect for the role. (She could gain 10 lbs and still be extremely too skinny, but that's another blog.) Meredith is going through a shitty time. Her mom has Alzheimer's, her McDreamy is married to like the best OGBYN in history who also happens to be really hot, and she hasn't spoken to her Dad since she was a child and he is now coming back into her life. Oh yeah, and she made a bad decision to sleep with George and cry midway through. And alienate herself from her friends. But she feels REALLY BAD. And she realizes her own limitations and weaknesses and as George said during last week's episode, she is KIND.

I'll even go so far to say that she is my favorite character on the show. So there.



Emmett, of Project Runway fame, has his own store in NoLIta! This NY Times article says that in addition to his own designs, he's selling some things made by other Project Runway contestants. I was always fond of Emmett.


Wednesday, April 05, 2006

It's Amazing!

I really love the Amazing Race. In most reality shows you see a bunch of wanna-be actors playing a role they have decided to create for themselves. The drama is always high, but it often feels so manufactured and it is difficult to relate to anyone. On the Amazing Race, you can really recognize your own emotions in the contestants (or at least can understand how they are feeling).

This was reinforced today when I watched Joseph and Monica running with their fish looking for the market owner who had the clue. Monica was frustrated and overwhelmed because she didn't know where she was going and she was carrying a fish that was feeling heavier by the second. She wanted to get things under control, but Joseph kept running. She kept calling to him, I think, to get him to stop and sit for a second to calm down and breathe. But Joseph was also frustrated in being lost and just wanted to gut through it and finish. Monica's constant calls to him only exacerbated that frustration. So although you could watch them and think that they were really getting angry with each other, you could understand what was going on. I really love that about this show. (On another Joseph and Monica note, I was impressed with how sure Joseph was that Monica was correct when they had counted the poles differently.)

Lake, on the other hand, I cannot empathize with. He is just a total jerk. He never gives his wife credit, although she is the reason they have gotten this far. I particularly hated that when he and Michelle figured out what the Detour consisted of, he insisted she do it and then complained the entire time that she wasn't doing well enough. And what was going on with those elastic suspendered travel packs they were wearing over their clothes? They look like some kind of S&M lederhosen-inspired outfit (Santino could have included it on the Project Runway lingerie challenge) made for a midget. They are wholly unflattering, particularly on Michelle, who shouldn't be drawing such a clear line between her breasts. That, Michael Kors, is what I call verging on vulgar. Gobo and I heartily cheer against Lake every week and we both love how Fran and Barry (particularly Barry) refuse to help Lake and Michelle. It is nice to finally see an older couple that does not come across as a caricature (and is not really annoying).

I was sad to see David and Lori go--they really seem to be a great couple. Also, did anyone else notice how much weight Lori lost from the first episode of the Race?! (Gobo actually noticed. It might seem to be good to have a boyfriend who notices when people lose weight, but it also means they notice when you gain weight. Just FYI.) I now need to find a new favorite team. I do have to give credit to Ray and Yolanda, who didn't get lost for the first episode and actually passed a team!

Finally--have any two teams been as jointly dominant on the Race as Eric and Jeremy and BJ and Tyler?! The teams have finished in the first two places every single leg of the Race thus far! No one else has even managed to crack the top two. In the past there have been dominant teams (Rob and Amber; Colin and Christie) but no two teams in the same Race have ever been consistently the top two every time.

And it is nice to see that the two teams really seem to enjoy Racing with each other. My one concern is that the Hippies (Gobo's favorite team) seem to be taking the Race a little too lightly--when they were going to the finish line, Eric and Jeremy were running while BJ and Tyler were literally skipping through the streets. But I guess they figure it doesn't really matter right now--they knew they were in second place at the worst, and it isn't like it was the final leg of the Race. People who don't watch the Race often ask me if one or two teams ever gets so far ahead that the others don't catch up. It has never happened before, but I wonder if that can happen this season.

Finally, I loved that there was no bunching in this leg. Only Eric and Jeremy and BJ and Tyler bunched even a little bit.

I didn't post last week's scores, so this week we get a double dose. Looks like we are starting to get bigger gaps in the standings [Edited to add: I made a mistake on last week's scores when I first posted this, giving Bailey an extra point and Laura Holt two points too few. I have corrected those mistakes (the Holt correction has resulted in her being ahead of Wilder in the standings, not behind)]:

Bailey: 41 (first three weeks)+15(last week)+12 (this week)=68
Diane: 36+12+14=62
Red: 32+9+13=54
Laura H.: 29+12+8=49
Laura I.W.: 30+10+8=48


Is Polish film pop culture?

Probably not. But for our New York readers, Lincoln Center is offering a three-week retrospective of the work of Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski, who is probably best known for his excellent Three Colors Trilogy. It also features the multi-part Decalogue, which is said to be loosely based on the Ten Commandments (sort of like Exile in Guyville is supposed to based on Exile on Main Street, I think) and much earlier work that I don't think is widely available.

I realize how pretentious this sounds, but Kieslowski is one of my favorite directors. It's a shame that he died so young (at age 54 in 1996), because I'm sure he would have made some great movies about the changes in Poland--and Europe in general--in the past 10 years.

Sports Musings

While I realize this is slightly off topic, I warned you that when a man was invited to become a junkette, sports talk would follow. Here are some brief thoughts (hopefully slightly more coherent than Larry King's ramblings in USA Today):
  • I am pretty sure that this is my favorite week of the year. No, not the warmer weather and cherry blossoms (which are nice), but you have THREE of the best sporting events: (1) the NCAA championship, (2) opening day of baseball season, and (3) the Masters. Now if my child is born before the week ends, there will be no doubt about this week maintaining its #1 status for the remainder of my days.
  • The women's championship game last night (of which, I admit, I only watched the final 5 or so minutes plus OT) was infinitely better than any of the men's games on Saturday or Monday. Very impressed with the caliber of play. So congrats to the Gurtles. (That's Girl Turtles, and I stole it from Kornheiser who stole it from someone else at the Post.) That said, I have no desire to watch the WNBA. Ever. (To be fair, I barely watch the NBA any more and think that the WNBA Champs should get to play the Knicks. Whichever team loses is stuck with Isaiah as GM for the next year.)
  • One of the great achievements in the world of sports has historically been making the cover of Sports Illustrated (SI) (with the attendant problem of being jinxed for this achievement). A few years ago, the marketing geniuses at SI decided to go with regional covers at certain times of the year. The latest (and most egregious) example was after the first weekend of the NCAA tourney, six (count 'em, six) different covers were produced. I'm sorry--I understand that print media needs to survive and I'm sure this improves circulation--but there is something special (I would imagine) in being on the cover and it should be THE cover. Make a fricking decision about which underdog should be on the cover. Heck, if you want to put two or four teams on one cover, it can be (and has been) done. Eventually, I believe, SI will produce 300 million different versions so everyone can be on the cover of his or her issue.
  • Now that Mickelson has played like Tiger at the Bell South, I'm confident he will go back to playing like Phil at Augusta and Tiger will be Tiger. Did I mention it's Masters week!

Okay, you are now free to go back to pop culture.


Three hundred dollars? What's a dollar?

For all of us who think that Kellie Pickler's "naivete" and "down home country know-nothingness" is really just an act, I present this article from the Charlotte Observer.

It seems that Kellie is flying a Charlotte hairstylist out to L.A. to cut her hair for the show. More interestingly, Kellie has been going to this stylist, who charges $300 a cut, for "a few years."

Interesting. I thought Kellie was just a poor girl from rural North Carolina who got her shoes on sale and didn't know calamari from caliente. And yet she spends $300 per haircut. That's a lot more than I spend!

Labels: ,

Natalie's Dark Side

Someone just sent me this excellent SNL clip, which follows up on the success of last year's Lazy Sunday. This may be taking some of the L out of SNL, but who cares if the result is so damn funny.

Speaking of the Gambler

Seeing is (dis)believing! I want my old Kenny back. At least we'll always have this.

Making America A Better Place

I realize this is a pop culture, and not a politics blog, but (must show patience) we will eventually get to the pop culture point of this post (along with a few pop culture asides). Let me start by making this as bipartisan as possible and asserting that if a plane crashed with Tom DeLay and Cynthia McKinney on board, our country would greatly benefit. But let's turn our focus to the wacko member from Georgia who pulled a Russell Crowe/Naomi Campbell on the Capitol Police by hitting one of its members with her cell phone. That her only supporters are (1) her lawyers, (2) Harry Belafonte (I love the Banana Boat song, but he has truly gone off the deep end), and (3) Danny Glover (proving that prolonged exposure to Mel Gibson can drive anyone nuts) says a lot about her. Supposedly, she and Nancy Pelosi do not even speak, and the Congressional Black Caucus has wisely stayed as far away from this latest mess as possible.

But back to the pop culture twist: Ms. McKinney was being interviewed by the (fairly dreadful) Soledad O'Brien this morning on CNN. (I know Soledad went to my alma mater, but she is none too good.) After McKinney and her two (2!) lawyers refused to say much of anything, McKinney called Soledad, "Sally Dan." I had to rewind it to make sure I heard it correctly (I do love the DVR). Quite a piece of work. I can only imagine her reaction if someone had butchered the name of an African-American the way she butchered Soledad's.

I never thought I would say this, but, Cong. McKinney, just follow the fine example set byTom DeLay.

We've Got Tonight

When I heard that Kenny Rogers was going to be on American Idol this week, I had to break out my Kenny Rogers Twenty Greatest Hits cd. As much as I love Kenny, I must admit that there are some really bad songs on this cd. But plenty of great ones too! Mostly, it's funny to hear songs that you loved as a kid through adult ears. Some highlights:
  • "Ruby Don't Take Your Love to Town" -- this song does not disappoint. I love the sort of staccato guitar-strumming. It turns out that this song is about an apparently impotent Vietnam vet on his death bed whose wife is stepping out on him. (I'm pretty sure I didn't understand at least part of that when I was little.) Sad! This was clearly written pre-Viagra.
  • "The Gambler" -- a classic. Forget Doyle Brunson, this is still the first and last word on poker in my book. It's just lucky that Kenny got to talk to this guy the night he died.
  • "Coward of the County" -- this song teaches the important moral lesson that if your wife is gang-raped you should go to a bar and beat up the people who did it. And, also, it's probably sort of your fault for being such a wuss all this time. For some reason, I always thought the characters in this song were Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher.

Labels: ,

Are car seats pop culture?

Slate's human nature column is reporting a new angle on the "Americans are obese and it's getting weird" meta story: apparently there are now 280,000 kids under the age of 7 who are too overweight to fit in standard car seats and the manufacturers are now designing "hefty" versions to accomodate them. A parent of a larger than average child in Oregon is quoted in this article as saying of one of these more substantial seats: "It's like a Lazy-Boy recliner.It was a little difficult getting it in the back seat but my daughter loves it."

Is it wrong of me to view this as another reason to be glad that I'm not a parent - I have only my own weight to worry about! The difficulty of raising a fit and healthy child in America today is immense and sad.

Word of the Day

Speaking of the word odious, I just tried the new Tab "energy drink." Oh my god, this stuff is horrific. Admittedly, I should have done more research, but with the name Tab and the exact same pink checked packaging, albeit in a skinnier can, I thought it might bear some resemblance to the original.

But, no, it's not even a cola. The only thing it shares with the original is the artificial after-taste. The actual taste has been described as "remniscent of a liquid Jolly Rancher." Yum, right? Apparently it's pink and therefore clearly being marketed to women as a vodka mixer. Please, readers, I beg you -- don't let this marketing plan succeed.

April Madness

The Final Four is set in the Tournament of Books. I'm picking Home Land over History of Love and Saturday over The Accidental in the semis. And Home Land to win the whole thing in an upset. We'll find out Monday.

Katie Couric - Buh Bye.

So, I woke up this morning to hear Katie Couric saying that she is leaving the Today Show! OMG! Actually, it wasn't that shocking. The rumors have been circulating for awhile. Apparently, she is going to be doing the CBS Evening News and 60 Minutes.

I might miss her a little, even though her perkiness and other things about her were very and sometimes unbearably annoying at times. I've heard some names thrown around as her replacement -- Campbell Brown, Meredith Viera, Ann Curry, and Natalie Morales. None of these is that appealing to me. But one is so beyond unappealing that I'll never watch the show again if she is made co-host: Ann Curry. She's awfully bad.

Here's to hoping they find a new replacement that will once again glue me to the show in the morning. Cheers!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Snore, snore...it's American Idol

During his critique of Chris Daughtry, Simon Cowell told him that he and the other competitors had been playing it safe and giving boring performances of boring songs for the past two weeks. And as he so often is, Simon was totally right.

There really wasn't anything exciting about this week's American Idol, other than realizing that Kenny Rogers has somehow managed to drop 50 pounds. In the order in which they sang:

Taylor: I thought that he would do really well with country, but I thought wrong. As much as I hate his mannerisms, I am at a loss as to why he chose not to contain himself this week--"Country Roads" calls for some dancing around, and he stood almost stock still. He was off-key throughout and had trouble with both the lowest and highest notes in the song. He also lacked power in his voice and, like Lisa last week, it sounded like the song was too big for him. I thought the judges were wrong to blame the song--the problem was definitely the performance.

Mandisa: I was surprised she didn't do better as well. Her upper register generally sounded good, although sharp and screechy at points. I thought her lower register was weak.

Elliott: The song was so boring, and it sounded like his vibrato was a little overactive during the song. It is never a good sign for the Idol contestant when I think to myself, during their performance "who sang this song originally, because it was so much better." (Answer to my question: Garth Brooks.)

Paris: I was excited when I heard she was singing "How Do I Live" (which I generally think is odious*) because it is a good belting ballad and I think Paris has needed to sing that type of song for the past few weeks, and hasn't. It didn't quite live up to my expectations. I didn't think she hit the high note in "sur-vive" quite right, although in fairness I never thought Leann Rimes or Trisha Yearwood got it perfectly either. Gobo thought her version was better than "the original." (He didn't realize that both the Rimes and Yearwood versions came out essentially simultaneously and both were popular at the same time--he hates the song.)

Ace: He always sounds a little flat throughout his songs and I hate his falsetto. It was actually a good performance for Ace, although certainly not up to par with the other performers in the competition.

Kellie: Kellie really needs to stop with the "I sure wish Grandpa got some indoor plumbing so I could stop using this outhouse" squat. It is not attractive. She totally lost her lower notes--I couldn't even hear them. She wasn't the only person who had issues with lower notes (see Taylor, Mandisa), but I thought that the general praise she got from the judges wasn't quite warranted. She did a fine job, but for someone whose genre this is supposed to be, she surely didn't impress me.

Chris: I thought he sounded best vocally this week, but the song was really putting me to sleep.

Katharine: I didn't know the song and I didn't like it. Before the night started I predicted she would do the best job with country night, and was, again, disappointed with how boring it was.

Bucky: He wasn't awful, but he sounds like he is a little in pain when he sings.

Overall, Bucky and Ace are clearly the least talented people left in the show, with Kellie lunging closely behind. I am a little worried that this will be an upset week, with someone better being eliminated. To that end, I actually voted for Paris tonight, because I fear she might be on the chopping block. And I didn't stop at one phone call. I know. I'm pathetic.

*Sometime in the early 1990s--I think about 1992--MTV ran an interview with Michael Stipe where he discussed love songs, and he said REM had never done a true love song, and that he thought most love songs out there were "odious." The quote always stuck with me because I realized how right he was (I had never put my finger on the fact that love songs were generally crappy, but as soon as he said it, it was a bit of a revelation for me), and I have been reminded by that quote often when listening to the radio. "How Do I Live" definitely helps to prove Stipe's point.

Labels: ,