Saturday, September 29, 2007

Time to Cut The Fat

Dear Suzy,

Why did they feel the need to make The Biggest Loser a plus size episode this week? If they would stop replaying the 30 seconds before the break after the break, it would be a shorter show. Also, stop recapping the entire series, let alone this season. I'm watching. I am not suffering from short term memory loss. I can remember what happened 2 minutes ago as well as what happened a week ago. This show needs some serious help in the editing department.



This week the reward challenge had each person go into a room alone for 4 minutes. In the room were tables heaped with high calorie food. Everything from chicken wings to m&m's. It was a pig out feast! Whoever ate the most calories would win an additional 3 pounds added to their weight lost that week. Isabeau didn't eat anything, but played a trick on everyone by putting a dab a frosting on the corner of her mouth so they would think she ate. The real drama involved the Blue team. They had all agreed that Neil, the largest person on the team, would eat a lot and no one else on the team was to eat. We saw him scarfing down mass quantities of food, including swallowing an entire bowl of m&m's. In 4 minutes he ate 1500 calories. Unfortunately, Patty, one of his team mates didn't think he actually ate, so when it was her turn, she ate 1700 calories. INSANE!!! Although they won the challenge there was a lot of fighting going on. Even Bob got in on it and told Patty how stupid she was for doing that. However, when the final weigh-in occurred, Patty was the biggest loser for the Blue team this week, even without the additional 3 pound loss. So even if her team wanted to vote her off, they couldn't.

As you can tell from that last sentence, the Blue team lost the weigh-in. In a turn of events, Kim's Red team, who has lost the 2 prior weigh-in won this week. Jillian was not happy at not winning, but she was not as pissed as Bob who lost to both Kim and Jillian. There is definitely some non-friendly competition going on between Bob and Jillian. Maybe because the winners of the first two seasons were from her team? I get the feeling that she hasn't yet let Bob forget this.

The second challenge this week was a race. One member from each team had to run 100 yards. The team with the most winners would be allowed to call home. However, they were not only racing one another, but also a surprise guest. They brought in a 5th grade girl, a 4th grade boy and a kindergarten boy to race them. In all there were 3 races, one against each kid. The girl and the little boy both won their heats, no problem. In fact they totally smoked the adults. In the 4th grade heat, Phil won, but barely. So the Red team won this week again.

As I said, the Blue team lost the final weigh in this week. In the end, they sent Jerry home. Big mistake. He was the biggest loser on their team for 2 weeks in a row. They kept Ryan who has the most to lose and yet only lost 3 pounds this week. Bob is going to be pissed when he finds out what happened.

As for the Black team. Jillian is training them using the skills challenged in the competition on prior seasons. Very smart. She is the toughest trainer there, but interestingly on the follow-up shows, there are always more Blues than Reds. Jillian's program, while good in a vacuum does not work in the real world. It is not sustainable. Bob's is more adaptable to a real world situation. So, even if Jillian's team loses more on the show, Bob's team will keep more of it off.

I like having the 3 teams, but if this horrible editing continues, I may stop watching. Either make it a half hour show, or put in more material. Don't replay what I just saw. It isn't building suspense. It is pissing me off.

Grey's Anatomy Gets the Blues

What a disappointment the season premier of Grey's turned out to be. Oh how the mighty have fallen. Our interns are now residents with interns of their own. All except George that is who failed the intern exam and has to repeat the year.

Meredith learns that her half-sister Lexie is one of the new interns. She also finds out that she is the girl Derek met in the bar a few weeks prior. Upon learning this, Meredith says, "I'm the girl in the bar!" Deep Meredith, very deep. Derek and Meredith finally break-up but not with out break-up sex.

Christina learns that Burke has resigned from the hospital. She keeps saying she is fine, but we know she is about to crack.

The George, Izzy, Callie triangle continues. Izzy is mopey because she told George she loves him and he then disappeared for over 2 weeks. Callie is trying to get close to George, but he keeps pushing her away. In the end of the episode, George tells Izzy he loves her too. (A little note here: T.R. Knight looks awesome this season. He has lost some of the baby fat and is much more handsome than he was last season).

Bailey is pissed at Chief for not making her Chief Resident and keeps reminding Callie that she is not doing a good job as Chief Resident. The Chief confronts Bailey and explains that he didn't give her the job because she is a surgeon and should be operating, not dealing with paperwork and scheduling issues. He did it as a favor to her. Eventually she will accept this, but right now, she is pissed.

Until the last few scenes of the episode, I was completely bored. There was nothing to hold my attention. The last scenes in which Derek and Meredith break up and do it and when George tells Izzy he loves her definitely had me paying attention. Whether the show can keep me for a season remains to be seen.

Interestingly, no one mentioned that Addison was gone.

Private Practice

Dr. Addison Montgomery Sheppard has left Seattle Grace for Oceanside Wellness Center in sunny Santa Monica. I love this show!!! It is infinitely more interesting than Grey's Anatomy.

This week was the official premier of Private Practice. Last season there was a special 2 hour Gray's in which Addison runs away from Seattle to Santa Monica and gets offered a job by her friend Naomi. This episode was all about the practice Addison joined. The doctors are Naomi, a fertility doctor, her ex-husband Sam, an internist, Pete, the holistic healer, Violet the shrink, Cooper, the pediatrician and Dell, the receptionist who is studying to be a midwife (eventhough he is a man). Naomi failed to tell anyone in the practice that she hired Addison to be their new Ob-Gyn. Of course the staff is pissed and Addison is embarrassed. In the end of course it works out.

The characters on this show rock. Violet is stalking her now married ex-boyfriend, Cooper hooks up with women on the internet who end up robbing him, Pete is the hottie of the show and the subject of much sexual tension with Addison and Dell is the eye candy with a brain. Not only are the characters awesome, but the actors who portray them are great too. We already know how amazing Kate Walsh is. In addition to her there is 3-time Tony winner Audra McDonald, Taye Diggs, Tim Daly and Amy Brenneman.

In the premier episode, Addison does an emergency c-section saving both the mother and baby's lives, with Pete perform acupuncture to block any pain, Violet helping a patient who is having a complete breakdown in a department store on her knees counting floor tiles. Violet is assisted by Cooper. And Naomi and Sam convince a hospital to allow them to withdraw sperm from a man who had a stroke (no pun intended) while making a deposit to inseminate his girlfriend.

That each thing the doctors face mirrors some form of problem in his or her own life is a little hokey, but it works. Sort of the physician heal thyself thing. This is likely to be a huge hit if they can keep up the good writing. Watch this show. Wednesday on ABC.

ANTM 2nd Show and the Gloves Are Off

What a week for the stupid girls. They had their first real photo shoot and first real challenge. For the challenge, they were given 15 minutes to run wild in Old Navy to pick an outfit that would be appropriate for panel. The judges would pick the winner at panel. For the photo shoot, Tyra has decided to use this season as a pubic forum. In addition to the girls living in a "green" house, this first shoot was to show the dangers of smoking. Each girl was shot twice (not in the Cheney kind of way). The first shot was of the girl looking elegant while smoking. The second was a "reflection" highlighting one of the dangers of smoking. The make up for the second shots was amazing. They had rotting teeth, trach tubes, cancer, etc. I suspect Tyra was tired of this show being a joke in some ways, so she is trying to make it more serious.

During the photo shoot, Bianca got all up in Lisa's grill. She said there was no way a stripper would ever become America's next top model. The verbal sparring was nasty. There was no reason for it to have happened, but for Bianca being a bee-yoch. Is there anyone named Bianca who isn't one? The girls made up later in the episode, but still, for them to be at each other by the second week is scary. I am sure there will be many more sparks flying this season.

Also during the shoot, Mila's reflection was supposed to be someone with cancer, going through chemo and her hair was falling out. Mila couldn't stop laughing. She thought it was funny. She was completely unable to take it seriously or imagine what it would be like to go through this. Jay was not pleased at all.

After the shoot, we see some of the girls in the hot tub at the house. And what is that beside them? Lo and behold! A pack of cigarettes. How someone could smoke is already beyond me. But to do it right after being confronted with such ghastly images of the dangers of smoking?!?

One girl I love this season is Heather. She has Asperger's Syndrome. She is struggling against the social anxiety disorders that come with the condition. Here she is forced to live in a house with 12 strangers while living with a condition that makes social interactions incredibly hard for her. All the other girls talk about her behind her back saying how weird she is. No one is shown to even try to get to know her or understand what is going on for her. My hat is off to Heather. As hard as this competition may be for the others, it is infinitely harder for her.

At panel, Saleisha won the challenge. When it came time to assessing the girls' photos, Heather was selected as the winner!!! Yay Heather!!!!!! The final two were Ebony and Ivory. Seriously, it was Ebony and Mila. But Ebony and Ivory sounded better. Anyway, at the end, Mila was sent packing. And then there were 12.

Bionic Rejection

Anyone who watched the original Bionic Woman will remember when THE Jamie Summers' body was rejecting the bionics and how much pain she was in. I was so worried that she was going to die. This week saw the premier of a new Bionic Woman series. I reject it.

Let's compare the two shows:

Original: Jaime (yes, it was spelled this was in the show because in one episode Linsday Wagner carves Steve + Jaime into a tree and rather than reshoot the scene with her spelling it correctly they, they change the spelling for the rest of the series)

New: Jamie

Original: Jaime is blond.

New: Jamie is brunette.

Original: Jaime is dating Steve Austin (The Six Million Dollar Man). She is in a sky diving accident and Steve has Rudy Wells and Oscar Goldman save her life by making her bionic like him. She gets 2 legs, an arm and a bionic ear.

New: Jamie is dating a scientist named Will. They are in a car accident (which was no accident but rather the first bionic woman created by this new team who went bad) and Will makes Jamie bionic to save her life. Will himself does the neurosurgery. She gets 2 legs, an arm and ear and an eye.

Original: Jaime has to go through physical therapy to learn to use her new parts.

New: No real adjustment period. She is up and running in a few days.

Original: Jaime was a tennis pro (but retires after becoming bionic an moves to Ojai, CA. Moves in with Steve Austin's parents and becomes a teacher when not working for the OSI)

New: Jamie is a bartender.

Original: Jaime has no problem working for the OSI

New: Jamie is not sure if she will work for the team that created the bionic technology.

Original: Show is light and campy. OSI are the good guys.

New: Show is very dark. The group with the bionic technology is clandestine and it seems they want to use bionics to create soldiers.

Original: Fembots

New: Another bionic woman, Sarah Corvus

It is bad enough that Hollywood writers are not creative enough to come up with new ideas for shows and recreate old ones. It is even worse that they took a perfectly amazing show and ruined it in this resurrection. This is not The Bionic Woman.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Raw Video: San Diego Mayor Sanders Supports Gay Marriage

Although this is not a political blog by any means and this video is not about TV, I think it is important that everyone see it. Mayor Sanders may have committed polical suicide, but he will be remembered as a hero. Unfortunately people will point out that he broke campaign promises. However, name one politician in recent history who hasn't. At this was a promise that needed to be broken as was for all the right reasons.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

New Episodes?!?

Dear Network Executives,

Every Fall viewers tune in to watch the new season of their favorite shows. When you advertise the season premier date, we expect to see a NEW episode. An episode of clips from the past seasons of a show is not new. It is a recap. Recap as in review. You cannot be both a review and a new show at the same time. If you want to argue semantics, technically this particular arrangement of clips is new, but come on. I know you are trying to get new viewers and this is a good way to do it. I mean, it's not like you weren't showing reruns all summer, or viewers could watch on the internet.

A new episode should be 100% all new stuff. Do not call a show a season premier and then show us the things we have already seen. That is a quick way to lose viewers, not keep them. Tonight was the "season premier" of both Desperate Housewives and Brothers & Sisters. However, they were recap shows. Do that over the summer or during the holidays. Do not do it as a season premier. What is wrong with you people? I mean seriously. Do you think we wouldn't notice they weren't actually new episodes?

Please, on behalf of all TV fans everywhere, I beg you, stop with the recap and reviews. Make more new episodes rather than filling the time with stuff we've already seen.

Thank you.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Food for Thought

I haven't said much about the food network lately. So I thought I would share yet another observation of my favorite channel. Often times, the recipe and methods we see on a show, do not match the written recipe on the website. If you ever see a recipe on a show that looks interesting to you, I strongly advise you read the reviews of the recipe of the food network website. People who have tried the recipe will likely have posted about any difference between the show and the website and offered their suggestions on what to do. Moreover, sometimes you will find out that a recipe just doesn't work as it did on the show. That has happened to me a few times with Paula Deen's recipes. She has a "whoopie pie" recipe that looked good, so I tried it. Total disaster. The devil's food cakes were gray and never spread. The filling tasted awful. Unfortunately I didn't know to check the reviews first. After my failed effort, I looked the at the reviews. Everyone had the same issues I did. Be advised, compare the website recipe to the one on the show and read the reviews before you do any cooking.


BBC has launched a new show this season, Torchwood. It is part Dr. Who, part X-Files, and part Angel. Torchwood is a team of 30-somethings led by the enigmatic, ever-watchful Captain Jack Harkness. They use scavenged alien technology to solve present day crime - both alien and human. They’re separate from the government, working outside the police and beyond the United Nations. From an underground base built on a rift in time and space, Torchwood sets its own rules, delving into the unknown and fighting the impossible whether it is responding to an alien threat, sightings of extra-terrestrial technology, an unusual autopsy report, or the spread of a deadly alien virus.

Captain Jack is played by openly gay actor John Barrowman. I love that an openly gay man is cast as the lead in a series. Captain Jack's sexuality is rather
ambiguous. He's neither gay, straight or bi. He's more pan-sexual. He is very private about his private life and ambivalent to sexual boundaries. I think Captain Jack is more of a mystery than anything else we will see on the this show. As for actor John Barrowman, he is HOT!!! There is a certain Tom Cruise look to him, but where I don't think Tom is cute at all, John is a cutie for sure.

The rest of the Torchwood team consists of Gwen, a new recruit fresh from the police force; Suzi, the second in charge; Owen, the team's scientist and medic; Toshiko the technical genius; and Ianto, the "Alfred" of the team.

Torchwood promises to be an action packed thrill ride filled with personal drama as well as danger. I am looking forward to seeing how the show shapes up. So far in the first episode Owen used an alien spray to attract a straight couple into bed with him and Gwen had a make out session with a woman whose body was being taken over by an alien life force that fed off orgasmic energy (she would hook up with a guy and just as he orgasmed the alien would absorb the man's life force and he would be reduced to a pile of ash.)

With all that goes on, the mystery of Jack's life will be the biggest challenge of all.

Super Model

Yes, ANTM is back. The premier episode began with 33 girls and by the end, the final 13 were selected to be this cycle's competitors. This show was much like every cycle's first episode. However, this time they started out on the Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas. Miss Jay had them do a runway walk competition, the girls had one on three interviews with Tyra, Miss J and Jay. So, there is nothing to really discuss as far as what actually happened on the show.

This does not mean there is nothing to discuss though. First of all, I don't get why all the girls start crying when Tyra shows up. I've been watching this show for several cycles now. I know Tyra will be there. These girls must know Tyra is going to be there. So why are they so shocked? Oh that's right, the script tells them to act that way. This time, Tyra's entrance was on stage as a showgirl, feathered headdress and all. She did a breathy talking-singing number about searching for America's Next Top Model. Very hokey. But, she looks great.

The names this season are insane. Among the girls are Saleisha, Spontaniouse, Ebony, Ambreal and Marvita. They didn't all make it into the final 13 though. Spontaniouse and Marvita are not in the 13.

During the deliberations, when the Jays and Tyra are discussing the pluses and minuses of each girl, in reference to one girl Tyra says, "every now and then you get a clunky walker and it works." The screen then showed a photo of a current top model who is apparently a clunky walker. I didn't recognize the name, so I can't say who it was.

Tyra was not the only person with some good lines during this show. Let's review some of the best quotes.

Ebony: Let's play a game and see who has an eating disorder.

Marvita (in reference to Ebony): I don't want to fight her, I just want to slap the hell out of her.

Mila: I know stuff. I read books.

Ebony: Girls just don't like me. (With that statement, she assured herself a place in the final 13).

Miss Jay about Ambreal: She's tall but she looks short.

I don't recall who said this one, but: When pretty girls have stanky attitudes it irks me.

I have no doubt there will be lots of drama and fighting this season. Get out your heels, purge, and pull up a seat on the runway. There will be lots to talk about soon.

I am calling Chantal the winner. We will know in 12 weeks.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Tell Me Lies, Tell Me Sweet Little Lies

HBO's new series Tell Me You Love Me examines the lives of three couples as they move through different stages of their lives. There is Jamie and Hugo, a 20-something couple who are engaged, but rather than develop an intimate relationship with one another, they use sex to avoid talking. Next is Katie and David 40-somethings who have been married for 10 years and definitely love one another, but they have not had sex in a year. Finally there is Carolyn and Palek a 30something couple who have been trying to get pregnant for over a year.

There is also a 4th couple on the show, Mary and Arthur Foster. Mary is a therapist and Arthur is retired. They've been together 42 years. Mary provides couples counseling to Carolyn and Palek who during the first session we see tell her everything is great, even though it isn't. During the second session Palek finally admits they are having problems brought on by the strain of trying to conceive a child. Carolyn gets upset that he would say that and leave the session. Um, isn't that what you are supposed to do at couples counseling, bring up the bad stuff and work it out? But I digress, Mary also counsels Katie who is so out of touch with her own body, that she cannot even masturbate despite knowing she is alone and no one can see her. I believe Jamie will be next of Mary's couch to deal with her break up with Hugo and trying to get on with her life. Obviously Hugo is not completely out of the picture as the show is about 3 couples, not 2 couples and a single.

Mary and Arthur have their own issues. So far what they are has not been completely revealed, but it does have something to do with someone from their past. Possibly someone Mary cheated on Arthur with.

There is a lot of sex on this show, except from Katie and David that is. Although we did see David jerk off in the first episode. The sex is pretty graphic. Nothing is suggested, it is all right there to see. It is more graphic than Skinemax or Showtime After Dark. It is difficult to believe there is no penetration going on. One scene is filmed so you see Hugo and Jamie doing the deed. Jamie is on her back, Hugo is on top and the scene is shot from behind so you see his butt flexing and even see his twins hanging down. We even see Mary and Arthur having sex. It ain't always pretty, but it is more real than porn sex.

This show is raw. The characters raw emotions are right there for all to see. There is no subtext or suggestion of feelings. At times I find the show uncomfortable to watch because of this raw look at humanity. However, I can appreciate the show for the risks it takes by being so bold.

Weeds is Back

Another great episode of weeds last night. Nancy's only way out of the situation with U-Turn was for him to die. At the moment he held her by her throat against the wall, I knew a heart attack was coming. I suspect steroid related. He was just too angry all the time. The question now is, what will Nancy do? Will Marvin take over and make her work for him? Will she manage to get back in Halia's good graces and work with Conrad again? What about the trunk full of heroin in the laundry room? What will happen to that? Fine, it is more than one question.

And how about Mary-Kate Olsen as Tar? I loved her as the pot smoking Jesus freak. It was great to see her have a role separate and apart from sister Ashley. Also, what a break away from her other TV role as Michelle Tanner on Full House. Not that the role of a weird druggie is a stretch for her, but still she did the part well. A pot smoking, Jesus freak, slut who won't go all the way working at a senior center calling Bingo. I would say you can't make that stuff up, but obviously the writers of Weeds did. Well done. As part of this whole story line, I loved Silas selling pot to the old man playing bingo. Just hearing the old man say, "fuck the sales pitch, will it fuck me up?" was awesome. Later Tara and Silas talking and smoking was a brilliant scene. Tara's explanation that pot is all natural, created by God so it is like communing with God was priceless. If all religious services included partaking of the herb, there would likely be less religious conflict in the world. Just a thought. Here is how it went down:

The "triangle" that is emerging between Doug, Bill and Celia is getting interesting. Doug played softball and only got a golf membership. Celia played hardball and got a house. Now Doug is jealous and is interfering with the sewer line that he supported to get his membership. What a baby. Doug, you made a bad deal in comparison, but it is what you asked for, grow up and live with it.

I wonder what film is going to be shot in Celia's new home? I suspect a film of the adult nature. Bill is such a slimeball that I wouldn't be shocked if he rented out the house to a porn studio for a week. Moreover, Celia's reaction to moving into a home where a porno was shot would be excellent. Plus Andy catering the shoot. I think he would find a new career.

Finally I am looking forward to the next episode.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Tim, Martha and Alexis

Macy's had a series of great ads running during the Emmys featuring all the celebs who have a line a Macy's. The ads included Usher, Kimora, Kenneth Cole, Jessica Simpson and Tyler Florence. However, the best one featured Tim Gunn, Alexis Stewart and Martha Stewart.

Sally Uncensored!

The Primetime Emmy Awards

I am not a fan of award shows. In what other profession do the workers make the kind of money stars make and then on top of that, get awards they give themselves?!? My one exception is the Tony awards. I like seeing the production numbers from the best musical nominees. Anyway, I watched the Emmy's last night and was reminded why I really don't like award shows.

This year, instead of a stage, the Shrine Auditorium was set up like a theater in the round. This means that at any give time, half the audience was only seeing the backs of the presenters and winners. Moreover, this set detracted from the event. With a stage, there is more formality and glamor. With the set there was no moment of the winner ascending the stage, the entire thing was more casual.

This year's host was Ryan Seacrest. In a word, he sucked. I don't like him on American Idol. As host of the Emmys he was awful. The man is not funny and he makes anything he says seem sleazy. At one point he came out wearing a Henry VIII costume and remaked, "this didn't look as gay on the hanger." For anyone to make a comment like that is bad enough, but coming from a screaming closet case is worse. I hope this is his last hosting gig.

One of the worst moments of the night was the duet between Tony Bennett and Christina Aguilera. They attempted to sing, "Steppin' Out." Tony is ancient at this point and can barely move. I'm already not a fan of his, so having to listen to him was hard to begin with. Then there is Christina. I will give her props for looking good and not like an STD waiting to be caught. However, she tried to give this old standard a poppy feel. Bad idea. Very bad. She and Tony were singing at two completely different tempos. When Tony sang, the verses were the standard tempo, when Christina sang, she made up her own tempo. This was a train wreck of a performance. Whoever thought this would be a good idea should be fired.

Another train wreck during the show occurred twice. Robert Duvall should not be allowed to speak in public unscripted ever again. He was rambling like a senile old man each time he received an award. One would think that after his first acceptance speech he wouldn't have much to say for his second one. WRONG! He managed to fill up the entire time alloted without saying a complete sentence. It was both painful and embarrassing to watch him.

I would be remiss not to mention Elaine Stritch's performance last night. She won the award for best guest actress on a comedy series. This award was presented the night before the Primetime Emmys. At the Primetime Emmys she was a presenter. When she took the floor, she had no idea what she was supposed to do. She could barely read the teleprompter. For any other performer, I might feel sorry for them, but with Stritch, it just seemed right.

Despite the bad moments of the night, there were two shining stars. First, Helen Mirren's acceptance speech. She immediately began with, "I am going to keep talking until they play that dreadful music." She gave her speech and then kept going and finally said, "Where is that music? I'm stalling here." It was a moment of brilliance and style as only Helen Mirren could deliver. The other moment was Sally Fields' acceptance speech. During her speech she began normally and the started to go a little Sybil. She went off saying how awful the war is and just as she is getting rolling with, "this god_ _ _ _ war..." the sound was cut for a few seconds. They bleeped Sally Fields. How dare they! While I don't advocate actors using their acceptance speeches to make political statements, this was s good one. That the network would censor it is awful. What happened to free speech? Oh wait, this was on Fox. Admittedly she did get a little Sybil on stage.

On Saturday, the Emmys they don't have time to give out at the big show are awarded. I just want to take this time to give a shout out to Kathy Girffin who took home the Creative Arts Emmy for Best Non-Competitive Reality Show!!! Snaps to you Kathy. Of course part of her acceptance speech was edited when the show aired Saturday night. She said, "A lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this, but he had nothing to do with this. Suck it, Jesus, this award is my God now!" A little off color, but not unexpected of Ms. G.

Sadly, Giada did not win an Emmy. It does not matter that she wasn't nominated. She still should get one.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Sleek, Stylish and Deadly?

This week's episode of Hotel Babylon was somewhat different than the others that have aired thus far. Instead of the usual sex and luxury focus, this one was all about the hotel late at night. The major plot was whether a guest murdered his wife. Anna was freaked out by working the night shift and convinced herself and Charlie that Mr. Johnson killed his wife, cut up her body, put it in his suitcase and stored her in the trunk of his car. The show had the typical moments of stupid actions that are standard in situations like this. Anna used her key card to gain access to Mr. Johnson's room. When she walks into the room she put her key on a table rather than back in her pocket. She opens a zipped up bag, finds rope, gloves and tape in it. Then of coure Mr. Johnson is heard at the door coming in and she hides so as to avoid detection. When she leaves the room, she naturally forgets her key. Very typical. However, the the twists thrown in were wonderful.

The episode starts with a guest laying on the patio off his room, face down, unconscious, surrounded by broken glass. The show then backs up to 8 hours earlier to reveal what happened. The unconscious man is Mr. Johnson. Finding out how he got there was fun, despite the standard schtick like Anna's key.

After watching this episode I realized what it is that makes British shows generally better than American versions of the same show. For example Coupling. This is a great show in the British version, but the American one, despite using the EXACT same script was horrible. So, it is not the writing that is the difference. British actors often have this dispassionate was of acting and speaking. It is not a deadpan, but it is not "acted." That is the key. The way the actors deliver their lines makes these shows wonderful. They let the writing do its own work, and just deliver the lines, trusting in the script. Obviously they are acting, but it is much subtler than on American shows.

Next week's Babylon promises to be back to the standard sex and luxury type of episode. I cannot wait.

A Visceral Reaction

I really want to like Tim Gunn's Guide to Style more than I do. The show isn't bad, it just needs some work. The best thing about the show, besides Tim of course, is that Tim doesn't try to change a person's style. Instead he helps them apply his rules to their existing style. He and Veronica truly help people learn how to pick clothing that fit properly. As one designer said last night, the right dress on the wrong person is just wrong.

Nevertheless, the show needs help. First of all, the segments with Tim talking about what they did next is totally unnecessary. I'm watching the show, I will see what you do next. I don't need it introduced. Plus during these segments the graphics make it look almost like Tim is floating in space, at least they could have him sitting in a chair or something. But there he is, in a sterile all white space.

Catch phrases. Sometimes they are good, other times, not so much. On PR, Tim's famous "make it work, " is classic. It works. And no one could forget, "what happened to Andrae?" However on TGGTS, two shows in a row Tim has had a negative reaction to something and then says, "oh, that was a visceral response." The first time it was funny. The second time it seemed less authentic to me. Moreover, I saw the response. I didn't need to hear a description of it as well. Tim, you are a funny man, there is no need to try to be funny. You have a dry wit that is wonderful.

As for Veronica Webb, how does she have the right to help someone pick out clothing when she was wearing a picnic table tablecloth last night? Veronica, you aren't on the farm gathering eggs. You are a stunning woman. Even though the dress fit you very well, it was not a good dress. The other clothes you wore during the show were great. But the red and white checkerboard number. Think again.

Finally the "experts" that assist Tim and Veronica are not all experts. Last week they had a 25 year old life coach. At 25 what the hell does he know about life to be giving others coaching on it?!? First he had that night's woman wear a garbage bag. As he explained, "if you can wear a garbage bag, you can wear anything." What the fuck does that mean? Also, he told her pick a theme song for her life and always have it playing in her head. Um, anyone watch Ally McBeal? That is a schtick from Ally. Perhaps that is good advice, but it just seemed like he watch Ally McBeal and thought, "hey, I will tell that to people." Last night's expert was a little better. They actually had the movement coach Tyra used on ANTM. He helped the woman last night walk with more confidence and style. It worked. Why? Because he has experience doing this. If you are going to call someone an expert, make sure they really are one.

I still am holding out hope for TGGTS. Hopefully they will get the kinks worked out soon. As Tim would say, "make it work!"

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Just a Litte Rant

DVR's and TiVo have ruined TV watching for me to some degree. Don't get me wrong, I love being able to fast forward through commercials and pause shows for bathroom breaks. However, because of this technology, station execs are scared viewers are not going to see commercials for new shows. So to remedy this, every channel now has little pop-ups to advertise other shows during the one you are watching. If this was discreet I could handle it, but it isn't. Often there is writing on the show you are watching that you want to read either subtitles or secret words, etc. But because of the pop-up, you can't read it.

Probably the worst channel for this is Logo. Before a pop-up, there is a little ball that bounces around the screen, making little pong sounds. Then the pop-up appears. Then the little ball goes back the other way, bouncing and ponging.

Between the product placement that now occurs on every show and the pop-ups, TV is not as enjoyable as it once was. I guess this is the price to pay for convenience.

Biggest Cast Yet

Last night was the season premier of The Biggest Loser. Last week was a "where are they now" about former contestants. This was the first official episode of the new season. With the new season are many changes.

I previously discussed Allison Sweeney being the new host, so no need to rehash that. I will say that so far I am liking her more than Caroline Rhea as host. Don't get me wrong, I love Caroline Rhea. I think she is hysterical. I once met her in person and she is just as charming and funny in real life as she is when she performs. However, she was not a good choice for host of this show. Allison seems to be a better fit. In addition to having a new host, the most remarkable thing about this season is the competitors. This is easily the largest cast yet on the show. I don't mean in number, I mean size. Most of the men were close to, if not over 400 pounds. The women were equally plus sized. We are talking people who need to lose well over 100 pounds each.

The show began with 18 contestants. Trainers Bob and Kim parachuted out of an airplane over the desert and the fist challenge was for the competitors to run to them. The first one to each trainer would be the team captain and get to select the other 5 members of his or her team. Making people who have never exercised before run a mile in the desert?!? Are they insane? Once the winners were determined and the two teams of 6 formed, the remaining 6 were told they were going home. However, shortly after the red and blue teams left, a black clad figure rode up on a motorcycle. Jillian is back!!! She is now training the black team. No one knows about the black team. The black team will be revealed to the other teams and trainers after they have been working for 2 weeks. In the meantime, Jillian is working their butts off in the desert.

I don't know who will react worse to Jillian's return, Bob or Kim. Bob lost to Jillian 2 seasons in a row. Kim replaced Jillian last season. I am sure each will not be happy to see her. But at the same time I think they will be happy to have her back.

Another change this season is that the contestants are no longer staying at luxury ranch. This season they are staying in a dorm. Gone are the lush surroundings of the past 3 seasons. Also this season, the trainers attend all the weigh-ins. In the past, the trainers only heard about them from their teams. Now the trainers will get to see how hard the weigh-ins actually are. Perhaps this will motivate the trainers to work harder.

At the end of the episode, the red team lost Amber who at 5'4" weighed in at almost 300 pounds. She lost only 7 pounds in the first week, she was the last person to reach the trainers in the run across the desert and she even told her trainer Kim to send her home. She didn't have the drive that is needed for this game. In this game not only are you losing weight for yourself, but also for your team.

I am really looking forward to this season. 3 trainers, bigger contestants, new host. It is an all new show. I just wish the editing was better. I don't need the 30 seconds shown before the commercial break repeated after the break. It was only 2 minutes.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Weeds Are Hard to Kill

Finally the Weeds we love is back. Last night's episode was great.

Nancy being part of a drive by shooting was great. But her cleaning Marvin's blood off the backseat of her Prius was priceless. She is totally losing it. There is a certain amount of schatenfreude happening here. Almost like watching Whitney Houston on Being Bobby Brown. Mary Louise Parker is playing Nancy fantastically. Nancy was a simple suburban housewife selling pot. Now she is in the middle of gang wars and fighting to keep her family safe. Finally the reality of what she has done is catching up to her. No one could go through this without cracking. She is trying to maintain her sweet innocence while being engulfed by the uglier sider of drug dealing.

The best part of last night's show was Shane's critical thinking class. Shane is taking summer school classes at Absolute Truth Ministries in Majestic, the community next to Agrestic. In his class, the teacher gives the students clues to a murder and the students must figure out what happened. Shane thinks he figured it out and says there was no murder. The teacher says there was a murder, opens an envelope and produces a drawing of an aborted baby. I totally did not see that coming. I couldn't believe they did that. It was a total "oh my god" moment.

Finally the Weeds of old is reappearing. I hope they can keep this going.

Britney Spears performance at VMA 2007 Gimme More

In case any of you missed it, here is Britney's "comeback" performance. Yikes! You would think she could have come up with some energy for it. She is just going through the motions, as if she is marking it. She looks bored. I have read all the "explanations" for her poor performance: fight with her hair stylist, she was upset about what Sarah Silverman was going to say, she was nervous, etc. But you know what? This is her job!!! Leave the drama backstage. You were here to do a job.

As for her costume, I know she had 2 kids and she has definitely lost weight since her interview with Matt Lauer, but come on Brit. You are by no means fat, but that skimpy bikini was a bad bad bad idea.

Nipped and Tucked Eyes to Thighs

Last night's episode of Dr. 90210 featured Dr. Matlock. I've talked about him before. He is the obviously gay plastic surgeon who surrounds himself with surgically enhanced women so that he appears straight. Last night we got to watch him go on a date, arranged by his daughter. Apparently he was once married and is now divorced. Gee, I wonder why? On his date, he wore one of the ugliest shirts I have ever seen. This shirt was this large, flowy number. He took his date to Hadaka Sushi. Upon entering the restaurant they were escorted to the adults only room. ADULTS ONLY... in a restaurant?!? They sat down at a table upon which was laying a naked women covered in flowers and sushi. Call me crazy, but to me that is not the way to make a good impression on a woman. What kind of guy takes a woman to a naked sushi restaurant? As if this didn't make a good enough impression, he proudly says to his date, "I am afraid of serious relationships." Honesty in a relationship is a good thing, but you don't come right out and say I don't want any commitments to your date on a first date. Save that for a second date or a conversation after the first date.

Not only did we get to see Dr. Matlock operating as a player, but we also saw him operate on a patient. This patient was getting his "Wonder Woman" makeover. This operation consists of liposuction on her hips, thighs, tummy, arms and chin, a laser vaginal rejuvenation, and a Brazilian butt lift. When discussing the vjayjay procedure, he explained that this patient suffered from stress urinary incontinence as a result of having two children. He added that this was a hygiene issue for her. For her?!? I would think this is a hygiene issue for anyone who has this problem. That he didn't appear to think so is really upsetting.

After seeing this episode, I think we can safely say that Dr. Matlock is a closeted, sleezy doctor with a fondness for golden showers. And we wonder why he is single.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Gotta Getta Gunn

Sorry for the delay in posting, but since returning from vacation, there has been a lot of catching up to do. But now, without further ado, let's talk about Tim Gunn's Guide to Style. Kudos to Bravo for giving Tim his own show. Were it up to me, he would get a lot more screen time on Project Runway than he does currently. So an entire hour featuring his is awesome. Moreover, as this is his show and he is there to give advice to people on fashion, he is not as constrained as he is force to be on PR. On PR, Tim is only allowed to ask questions about the dresses being made and subtly suggest changes. On TGGTS, he has no such restraints. Tim is free to speak his mind. He shows himself to be sassier and funnier than one would have even imagined from watch PR. If you read articles about him or interviews with him, that side of him is clear, but getting to hear it directly from him is fantastic.

In each episode of "Tim Gunn's Guide to Style," Gunn uses his unmatched counseling skills, to turn the fashion weary into polished individuals. While Gunn focuses on the big picture of each subject's transformation, Webb guides the women through shopping the Tim Gunn way, by steering their choices and listening to their concerns and offering solutions. The series utilizes several tools to help a diverse set of women make themselves over, including a list of various "fashion icons" the subjects pick from to determine who inspires their style – be it Jackie O., Angelina Jolie or Sarah Jessica Parker. Then, when building their signature looks, the subjects use Gunn's "essential shopping list," which includes 10 basic pieces that no closet should be without. Armed with Gunn's rules, each makeover subject is encouraged to get a great pair of jeans, a trying task for any woman. After the fashion is taken care of, Gunn calls on his friends and colleagues to put the finishing touches on the women, including hair and make-up.

To get a truly accurate silhouette, they take 27 different measurements and with the help of technology called the Optitech, a computer image of the woman's silhouette is made. Snaps to the women on this show for being able to face this process. I don't know that I would want to see such a model of me. Using this model, Tim sits down with the woman and they discuss her shape, and what styles would work with her figure. Tim and Veronica also go to the woman's home and look at every item of clothing she owns, including underwear. Clothes are sorted into keep, donate, and discard piles. They want to make sure each woman is fully set from top to bottom.

Unlike Stacy and Clinton on TLC's What Not To Wear, Tim treats the women with kindness. Stacy and Clinton on the other hand seem to revel in sarcastically telling women what is wrong with their clothes and how horrible they look. Tim is firm, but compassionate. He appears to genuinely want to help the women on his show.

On the premier episode, when Tim and Veronica take Rebecca shopping for the 10 essential items Veronica pulls a short dress for Rebecca to try on. She looks at Tim and says it will be great with leggings. Now is where the gay man in Tim really shines. He looks truly aghast, his mouth hangs open and he says, "you really stunned me." According to Tim, leggings are a huge fashion mistake.

This show is a lot of fun to watch. And even if you don't like the clothes, Tim is still a riot.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Make it Work!!!

Tonight is the premier of Tim Gunn's new show on Bravo, Tim Gunn's Guide to Style. It is Bravo's version of What Not to Wear. I love Tim. I hope this show works. Until Project Runway comes back, this will do. And, there will be more Tim than on PR. I will watch it tonight and report back tomorrow. Stay tuned.

I am ANTM!

During my absence from posting, I was on vacation. I spent part of my time in Barcelona. While there, I visited Parc Guell, a park designed by Gaudi to resemble an English garden. While he didn't succeed, this park is important for one HUGE reason...the finale of America's Next Top Model cycle 7 was filmed here!!! For me, this makes Parc Guell a shrine. Of course I had to do my impression of CariDee (like I would do Melrose, she lost). So here is a photo of me as CariDee, minus the wedding gown.

On a related note, mark your calendars, ANTM cycle 9 starts September 19!!!

Dear Suzy...

The Biggest Loser is back. This is one of those shows that I both love and hate. The new season begins next week, but this week they had a "Did they keep the weight off" show. 8 previous contestants were brought back to weigh in one more time to see if they kept the weight off. While it was great to see these people again, and to see if they did in fact keep off the weight, I found a few problems with the show.

First off, my biggest pet peeve about the entire show is that they only pay attention to how much weight the contestants lose. Yes, weight loss is a big part of it, but they totally ignore body fat percentage. One contestant could lose less poundage than another, but have lost more fat and in fact gained muscle weight. To me, that is the person who deserves to win the show. I don't want to hear that muscle weighs more than fat. That is bullshit. A pound of muscle and a pound of fat both weigh the same. Muscle is DENSER than fat, so the same volume of muscle weighs more than an equal volume of fat. That said, a contestant could even gain weight and still have lost more fat than anyone else. I am not knocking the weight loss, it is truly amazing, but I wish they would factor in body fat percentages.

The best part of the "did they keep the weight off" special was not seeing the past contestants (and yes, they all kept the weight off...but we only saw their starting weight, not the weight when they left the ranch or even at the end of the season), but rather was seeing Suzy. Suzy cried during every episode of the second season. If I were starved and worked out like they do at the ranch, I would cry too. During this special episode, we saw Matt and Suzy, they met during season two, started dating and got married. They were not part of this show's weigh-in, but were filmed at home with their new son Rex. Suzy looks great, and she did not disappoint. She cried!!!!

This upcoming season has the potential to be one yet. Jillian is back and intense as ever. Instead of the usual 2 teams, there will be 3 teams: Bob's blue team, and Jillian's black team. However, Jillian's return is not the biggest change this season. The biggest change is that Caroline Rhea is no longer hosting the show. Allison Sweeney, of Days of Out Lives, is now the host. Perhaps they realized that having an overweight host was not a good idea. I like Caroline Rhea, but she was not a good choice for this show. When you are hosting a show with people competing to lose weight, you should also lose some weight...definitely not gain.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Miss Teen USA 2007 - South Carolina answers a question

I was out of the country when this happened, so this is my first chance to post and talk about this classic piece of video. What the hell?!? Not only did she not answer the question asked, her answer (if that is what you call it) made no sense at all. However, the best part of the clip is Mario Lopez. He is trying his best to hold it together. You can see how tightly his face is drawn to avoid laughing. I think his dimples are going to implode.