Tag Archives: television

#134: Don’t Cry For Susan Boyle

sboyle21Okay, Rolf and I barely had a chance to stretch our legs and catch our breath after a grueling winter spent kissing in the hammock writing How Not To Act Old, The Book, when we find ourselves forced back to active duty, covering the international phenomenon of Susan Boyle.

You’d think that a chimpanzee had recited Hamlet, or a statue of the Virgin Mary had climbed down from her pedestal and said Mass, so stunned is everyone that a 48-year-old woman — make that a 48-year-old not-so-attractive and not-so-thin woman — might actually have some talent. Might have, for reasons related to home and family, chosen to stay home in her village rather than hoof it to Hollywood. Might deserve our attention.

And just when the world was ready to round up all 48-year-old women and take them back behind the barn and shoot them! What are they good for, anyway? They can’t have babies anymore. They’re not sexy. At work they’re just annoying. And let’s face it, unlike Susan Boyle, most of them can’t even sing.

I, along with the divine Lisa Schwarzbaum over at EW and millions of other people, found tears springing to my eyes when listening to Susan Boyle. And then I slapped myself. Of course, she’s fabulous. Naturally, I’m pleased that her light has finally emerged and that she’s meeting with public acclaim.

But let’s not act as if she’s a freak or a miracle. When all the Susan Boyles routinely get a turn on stage and when the world expects them to be interesting and valuable rather than a joke, then I’ll cry tears of joy.

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#63: Never Admit You Have No Freaking Clue Who Leighton, Cuttino, Rihanna, Jensen, Dane or Feist Are

Admit it: They all swim together, these strangely-named, androgynous-sounding, ethnically-ambiguous young stars of film, television, music, and sports. Is Leighton male, female, or both? Is Cuttino America’s Next Top Model and Feist the frisky young soccer player? Is Jensen a member of a brother band while Dane is embroiled in babymamadrama? Or vice versa, or none or all of the above?

Quiz time!

Match the photos below with the appropriate names.

1 2 3

4 5 6

a. Leighton b. Cuttino c. Feist d. Dane e. Rihanna f. Jensen

Okay, now let’s make it a little harder. Match the names above to the person’s other name. And yes, this is a trick question because, in a couple of cases, the person in question uses their last name as a first (or an only). Here are the other names:

Robyn, Ackles, Meester, Mobley, Leslie, Cook

And now, since you’re so smart, match the names and the pictures to the possible occupations:

Supernatural soap star, Standup comedian, Gossip Girl, Canadian folksinger, Barbadian pop singer, Los Angeles Clipper

And the answers are:

1. Leslie Feist
, who goes by her last name only, is a Canadian folksinger best known for her song “1234” in the Apple commercial.

2. Robyn Rihanna, who also goes by her last name only, is a Barbadian pop singer and Grammy winner who looks amazing in sparkly dresses.

3. Dane Cook is a standup comic and star of movies so dumb you’d only see them in a desperate and probably unsuccessful attempt to bond with your 15-year-old son.

4. Cuttino Mobley is a Los Angeles Clipper, which reportedly means he plays professional basketball.

5. Jensen Ackles is a former soap star who’s now in a television show called Supernatural, which I’ve never heard of either.

6. Leighton Meester is one of the stars of Gossip Girl, a show which your teenager undoubtedly loves because the characters as much (more!) money and sex as adults, with none of the icky responsibility. Enjoy!

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#46: Stop Hoping Lauren Conrad Will Just Go Away

If you’re wondering who Lauren Conrad is, you’re worse off than I thought. Or better off: It might be preferable to live in blissful ignorance of Lauren, Heidi, Audrina, Spencer, and Brody (huh? who?) than to suffer the weekly — nay, daily, hourly — torture of wondering why Lauren et al are famous and when they’re just going to go away.

Never, that’s when. And yes, Lauren and her friends are richer than you, they’re treated more nicely, they get way more free goodies and fabulous job offers and they most certainly get lots more sex and love too. Of course it’s not fair, naturally you deserve it more, but hoping the world will see the error of its ways and turn its attention from them to you is just, well, immature.

My recommendation: Start watching The Hills (that’s the show whose dramatic arc follows the real breaking of Lauren’s real-life nail). While you’re at it, catch up on your Gossip Girl, which is The Wire by comparison. It may not be good for your soul, but it is good entertainment.

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#36: Enough With The Seinfeld, Already!

Maybe you faithfully sat in front of the TV every Thursday night (remember those pre-TiVo days?) for Seinfeld‘s entire first run. Maybe you still catch the syndicated shows nearly every night, just like your parents watch The Nightly News and your kids watch The Simpsons. Maybe you’ve gotten the boxed sets as gifts for every occasion over the past few years. And maybe you can genuinely relate nearly everything that happens in your life to a Seinfeld episode.

But listen, the real-life Jerry has moved on. He’s got a young wife, little kids, a struggling new career as a voice-over actor: When you’ve got that much money, you can buy yourself a twenty-years-younger life. Larry David has moved on with his new family, the Blacks. All the other Seinfeld players have moved on, with shows and futures of their own. OK, most of them.

Before you move on, too, though, I want you to know that the Pam, Pam, Pam episode — aka The Soul Mate, written by Peter Mehlman — is about me, me, me.

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