03rd Apr2008

Some Random Pop Analysis: NKOTB Comeback, OneRepublic, 90s Rock

by Will

“He loves you”

Yeah, that quote isn’t as proselytizing as you might think – it’ll make sense to my “comic people”. See? I haven’t totally given up talking about comics! Anyway, seeing as how only 1 person reading this even reads comics, let’s move on to music:

-So, the New Kids are getting back together. Who the fuck cares? This might come as a surprise to some, seeing as how I’m “Mr. Boyband”, but NKOTB sucked. Sure, I love all of Joey McIntyre’s albums, and I still love some “Give It To You” from Jordan Knight, but vocally the New Kids were a shitty group. Just like the Jonas Brothers. The songs are catchy, but not well-sung. I understand the hype and girls thought they were cute, but I am only looking forward to this if their music has matured. Knight and McIntyre have put out a handful of impressive albums over the last 10 years, and I’d like to see this reunion take that approach. Instead, though, I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a bunch of 40 year old men, revisiting their “hits”, telling me I’ve got The Right Stuff. Anyway, we already have an old-ass group for that; they’re called The Backstreet Boys…

-Um, excuse me…Mr. Webbie? So, she “never smells like onion rings”? Oh, that is romantic as Hell. You, sir, are truly a poet! Gotta say, though, I think I’d prefer her smelling like onion rings rather than Parmesan cheese. Been there…

-A lot of shit can go down in a club. You can kiss. You can grind. Hell, you can fuck. But let’s get our semantics straight. You cannot, however, make love in the club. I don’t care if you suggest it through song; it ain’t happening. The chick who would agree to it is just gonna wanna fuck, plus the singing would weird her out. Meanwhile, the chick who’d appreciate the song is just gonna be offended that you want to do such a “special thing” in such a filthy environment. Nice try, though, Usher.

-Damn, Sara, I get it; you’re not gonna write me a love song. I got it during the first verse, but you just never know when to let shit go!

-You ever stopped and stared at someone? It freaks people the fuck out. I wonder how many fights that song has started. It’s the same way “Apologize” was run into the ground against dudes who didn’t even know they’d done anything wrong. Across the country, female Myspace profiles were ablaze with the song, while guys were left wondering, “What did I even do to your crazy ass?”. It was one of those revenge songs just begging for a reason to be put into action. That song was the musical equivalent of the red phone…

-Suffocation’s a big theme in pop right now. Sara Bareilles has her head underwater, as the breathing get’s harder. Jordin Sparks is trying to figure out how to breathe with no air. Is this a cry for help? Should Clive Davis be worried?

-If that song is the 4 minutes that we’ve got to save the world, then we’re already doomed. Plus, the radio version’s only about 3 minutes and 26 seconds, so there’s a trick timer on whatever doomsday device we’re up against. Thanks, Madge…

-I’ve fought loving early 90’s rock with a passion, but I’ve always secretly liked it. I mean, I was there. I like some Better Than Ezra. Was a fool for some Oasis. However, I’m just learning that DC 101 might be the best station on air right now. Oh, remembering the times when dances and book reports were your biggest problems. Listening to Green Day before they became all political. And don’t forget “Black Hole Sun”. That genre revolves around “Black Hole Sun”, and anyone who says otherwise is a damn liar!

-This is a bit older, but Mario Vasquez’s “Gallery” always rubbed me the wrong way. So, you’re basically telling her that her man has got a ton of girl’s who’re just as hot or hotter than she is, so she should leave him and come with you instead? Sure, you’re trying to empower her by telling her that she’s worth more than that, but it’s also a whiny, low blow. “C’mon, he’s got a ton of girls! Let me get a shot!” It’s the song equivalent of some dude’s last call attempt at getting a girl to go home with him. Newsflash: she’s still going home with the dude with the Gallery. But you and Usher can do some shots over your lack of success that night.

01st Apr2008

Wrestlemania, The Hills, and Mario Lopez

by Will

“The title sounds so promising until you open it up and Tobey Keith is playing chess with a child abductor.”

After a rousing night of Monday Night Television, several things popped into my head:

Doogie Howser ending on How I Met Your Mother! Just when I think that show can’t possibly get any better…

-Man, the night after Wrestlemania is Jobber City! Who are these people? Did I really just see a tag-team of thugs, named Cryme Tyme, go against a tag-team of rednecks?! Am I really not supposed to catch the subtext there?

-Must. Have.Cena.Nintendo.Throwback.T-shirt!

-Now, I’ve been watching WWE for years, and seeing commercials for Stacker-2 for just as long. If I’m not mistaken, there was even a Stacker-3. But was there ever just a plain, old Stacker?

-I never knew I loved Ric Flair until this weekend. Watching his retirement is like listening to Survivor’s “The Search is Over”. I grew up idolizing Ravishing Rick Rude. Yes, Rick Rude. Say what you will, but it was pimp as hell for him to win a match, go out to the audience, and grab a random woman to bring back into the ring with him. Sometimes, the chick was even there with her husband, but Rick didn’t care. He’d kiss her and she’d faint. Then, he’d do his Ravishing Dance over her passed out body. I can’t say wrestling taught me much about women. After that era, I found myself adoring The Undertaker. Whether he was the undead disciple of Paul Bearer, the American Badass, or all of the above, I was always anticipating The Last Ride. Recently, I’ve found an appreciation for the old school. Dusty Rhodes is probably the most charismatic man in pro wrestling. Screw The Rock; Dusty “wined and dined with kings and queens”. Despite all of that, none of them held a candle to Flair. He’s everything wrestling has been and everything it should be. He’s the last of the greats. You can have your Hulk Hogans and your Bret Harts. Flair was hardcore in an age where you didn’t have to be. He brought it time and again, and he introduced flamboyance to wrestling. I’m not even remotely a wrestler, but I know that my life will never be complete due to the fact that I will never get the chance to get in the ring with him. After all, to be The Man, you’ve to beat The Man. Whooo!

The Hills are alive with Heidi’s brand new boobies! Seriously, did they recast her this season? I knew she’d had some work done, but it’s almost like looking at a new person. Kinda like when Bewitched swtiched the Darrens, and thought nobody would notice.

-Speaking of looks, I’d blame it on jetlag, but LC is looking rough this season! I mean, “single-mother-working-a-double-shift-at-the-diner-while-wearing-cheap-foundation” rough. There were a couple of scenes where I even thought I saw a moustache trying to peek through. Maybe I made up that last part…

– I get what they were trying to do: “Let’s show how suave and sophisticated French men are”, but why the Hell did they track down Flock of Seagulls? I mean, did you see those dudes LC and Whitney were hanging out with? They just looked dirty. Too much of a skeazy vibe, and being French doesn’t make up for that.

-There were some cold-ass scenes on The Hills tonight. Sure, it was the old episode, but the part where Heidi gives a toasts to her parents, clearly omitting Spencer to his face, was harsh. Then again, I can’t remember the last time I saw a scene as uncomfortable as Spencer just ambushing her family in Colorado. I’ll give him points for balls and effort, but it got to a point where you just wanted him to leave.

-I’m convinced Real World Hollywood is going to suck. Why? Because they’re hyping it too much. The best RW drama is the kind that you don’t see coming. However, this is a milestone season, with a showy cast, and they expect big things. Yeah, well, they also expected big things from The Vegas Reunion, and that was a waste of time and film. It seems like Hollywood is trying to assume the mantle of the most-sex-havingest, debaucherous RW in history, but I just don’t see it happening.

-There are some people in this world who are simply untouchable, especially in terms of womanizing. No matter what they do, people continue to love them: Bill Clinton, Usher…Mario Lopez. I’m not sure if a lot of people know this about Mr. A.C. Slater, but the dude is supposedly a whore. I mean, this is the guy who cheated on The Doritos Girl (Ali Landry)! That might not mean anything right now, but travel back in time to 1998. People would’ve given their left nut to have the Doritos Girl (I have it on good authority that this was the case with Lance Armstrong). Mario cheated on her repeatedly, yet still convinced her to marry him. Then, he cheated on her at his bachelor party. And, rumor has it, and this is the most gangsta of all, he cheated during their honeymoon! Yet, everybody still loves Slater…

I leave you with this quandry: Wilson Phillips’ “Hold On”: most inspirational song of our generation, or thinly-veiled argument for women to stay in abusive/unfulfilling relationships?

13th Mar2008

Eliot Spitzer, Breaker High, Danity Kane, and Sanford

by Will

“Damn you and your lemonade!”

-Oh, the Eliot Spitzer saga…the only part that I enjoyed is that the chick’s name is Ashley Alexandra Dupre. That’s the name of the character I despised the most from Breaker High. Anybody remember Breaker High? It was a UPN weekday show that came on after Sweet Valley High. It followed the whole late-90s “Semester at Sea” craze, and was basically “Saved by the Bell on a boat.” It introduced America to Persia White (Girlfriends), Tyler Labine (Reaper and a bunch of canceled stuff), and Ryan Gosling (The Notebook, and crush to millions!). Anyway, Ashley Dupree was a Southern Belle, former beauty queen who was the bitch of the group. On most shows, this role is also known as “the hot chick”. For some reason, though, due to Breaker High‘s poor casting, you’re left to wonder, “Why does this chick think she’s the shit?” I mean, she was a fiesty redhead with a Southern accent, but that’s where the bus stopped. In all the pool scenes, she was the chick wearing the one-piece, and for good reason. She was played by Teri Conn, now Colombino, who’s made quite the name for herself on As The World Turns. Anyway, as for the escort, this is the best thing that could’ve happened to her. She’ll have a book deal by the last week of April.

-Two videos came out this week that leave me scratching my head. First up is “Damaged”, by Danity Kane. Now, I downloaded that album yesterday, and I’ve got to say it’s hot. If you liked their last album, you might not like this one. They’ve taken their sound in a whole new direction. If you liked Britney’s Blackout album (which I did), you’re going to LOVE Welcome to the Dollhouse. Anyway, the Damaged video. As I’ve said before, it’s a hot dance song, but it’s one corny-ass video. The dance moves are seriously stunted. They’re reminiscent of those videos Britney made back when everybody thought she’d had a boob job. Not “Baby One More Time” or even “Oops…”; I’m talking about “Sometimes”. These moves are just like that: where every movement is some elaborate arm motion, like they’re summoning the Megazord or something. Plus, I’m not really feeling Shannon’s look. Up to this point, we’re led to believe that Aubrey was the leader, but Shannon gets more screen-time in this video than she did in the entirety of this season of MTB. I guess they realized it’s hard to pass off “The Married One” as some sort of sex symbol. It’s the same reason all boybanders are told to say they’re single in interviews – it keeps hope alive for the fans. Anyway, Shannon’s got this Suzanne Somers of the Future thing going on, which is just kinda…off. I don’t know what spinning around on a space turntable has to do with a broken heart. Is that how they cure broken hearts in the future? It just doesn’t fit the theme of the song. And to cap it off, they’re dancing inside this dude’s heart? Isn’t that just exacerbating the damage? Like I said, some corny shit.

Then, we have Britney. Britney, Britney, Britney…I am seriously disappointed. She finally released the video for “Break the Ice”. If you’ve been following this blog, you’ll know that not only do I ADORE that song, but I also predicted it would be the next single. But what does she do? She makes the video some anime piece of crap, that doesn’t even mimic the theme of the song. It’s cookie-cutter anime, as some blonde chick (who doesn’t even resemble Britney) kicks a bunch of dudes in the head. It’s the same type of shit that makes YouTube so popular. You know, where some American otaku takes a Nickelback song and uses it to highlight the timeline of the relationship between Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask. This video is just like that. Right now, there’s some kid in his mom’s basement, who’s splicing together a better video using this song and selected scenes from Death Note and Fullmetal Alchemist. And they had the audacity to end it with “To Be Continued”?! Britney, I know you’re a little stressed these days, what with the parental issues and your new gig on How I Met Your Mother, but please explain what blowing up a mobster’s skyscraper has to do with this song!

-Oh, man! BET added Sanford back to their schedule. You don’t know how happy that makes me. I’m a big fan of the obscure-failed-spin-off-of-the-successful-show formula. Just like with Three’s a Crowd, nobody remembers Sanford. Back in 1980, NBC was at the bottom of the ratings, so they got Redd Foxx to agree to reprise the role of Fred Sanford, from Sanford & Son. Well, rumor has it that, at some point, Demond Wilson had pulled a gun on producer Norman Lear, so he wasn’t invited to the spin-off. That left Sanford with no son, so he takes on Cal, a fat White, country White guy who had “worked with Lamont on the Alaskan pipeline”. Sidebar: I’ll admit that I don’t know much about the pipeline economy in the ’70s. I know they said Lamont went to work there, and I know that there’s good money in it, however, I don’t see some Black assistant junk dealer, from Watts, going to Alaska, with his fro and porn star moustache, working in the ice and snow. To me, that excuse was more of an insult that the way Family Matters just wrote out Jaimee Foxworth like she never even existed. OK, anyway, Sanford only lasted 2 seasons, with a total of 26 episodes. The first season follows Fred as he dates this rich widow. The interesting part is that he seems to feel really bad about it, like he’s guilty that he’s not honoring Elizabeth’s memory. I can understand this, but it contradicts the fact that he was engaged to Donna for a good chunk of Sanford & Son, and he didn’t seem to feel that union was an affront to Elizabeth. Anyway, the whole “Fred dating” angle got stale, so the second season saw good old Aunt Esther moving in, so she could find some reason to call Fred “an ol’ fish-eyed fool” every episode.

-Speaking of Jaimee Foxworth, why did no one tell me she was on Celebrity Rehab?! I totally would’ve been onboard had I known that. I skipped that show because I thought it was the barrel-scrapings from The Surreal Life. The Jaimee Foxworth Saga, however, is something in which I have a lot of interest. The Judy Winslow Paradox ranks up there with the disappearance of Chuck Cunningham in the annals of television history. It’s one of the great mysteries that is only just coming to life. Most child stars hit it big and don’t know how to handle themselves. She, on the other hand, hit bottom because she was kicked out of the limelight. I almost feel like no one close to the show talks about it because they feel somewhat responsible for her downfall. Either way, that bitch led a rough life. I’m glad she’s out of porn and getting help. It’s only a matter of time before her inevitable 700 Club visit.

-Can they just go ahead and crown Kaba Modern as America’s Best Dance Crew already? The music of Grease has never sounded as good as it did during that Master Mix!

-J Records really needs to soften up Leona Lewis’s image. Get her a new make-up person or something. Yes, I love her album. I’ve had the UK version since October, and I truly think this is only the beginning. A lot of people compare her to Mariah, but that’s not accurate, as she doesn’t have Mariah’s control yet. Emphasis on yet. That said, she’s got quite the jawline. If you’ve seen the video for “Bleeding Love”, you know what I mean. She gives off a bit of a tranny vibe. And not the most convincing tranny. Almost a To Wong Foo thing going on.

-I love Amy Winehouse, but I’m in love with Frank-era Amy Winehouse. Sure, she’s currently a crazy, drug-addled tabloid dream. That’s not what does it for me. I have the biggest crush on Soulful Jewess Amy. Sure, she had that snaggletooth, but so does Jewel, and we all love her. I just watched Amy’s True Hollywood Story, and it made me HATE her husband. It was all downhill once he entered the picture. Prior to that, she was curvy and oh, so sexy. Now, she uses her own face as an ashtray. Don’t do drugs, kids…

Human Giant and Free Radio are the funniest shows on TV these days.

-Drake Bell, of Nickelodeon’s Drake & Josh, is great casting for Superhero Movie, and it’s his biggest cinematic break. I just hope Josh Peck doesn’t end up like Kel Mitchell…

That’s it for now. I leave you with this question: who would you rather have show up at your door: Chris Hansen or Joey Greco? Trust me, folks. It’s not an easy answer….

03rd Mar2008

Jonas Bros, MTV Dating Shows, and College Road Trip

by Will

“That girl is nuttier than a Porta-Potty at a peanut festival.”

Yeah, I promised an answer to the whole “why did I expect to die last weekend?” cliffhanger, but I don’t really feel like writing about that. Don’t worry – like San Diego, I’ll get to it, but that’s not where my head is right now. After all, that was 2 weeks ago! Anyway, here is where my head is right now:

-It seems that every year, around this time, I write a post that’s supposed to be introspective. Unfortunately, due to the fact that I name names, or come off as bitter, it comes back to bite me. Anyway, these posts are merely me having a breakthrough. Regardless, I have a feeling this is going to be misconstrued as one of those posts: “Make Up Sex”? Really? That exists? Well, let me just inform you that, when your fights are based around the lack of sex, there’s no such thing as Make Up Sex. That’s got to be the one fight that’s not worth having. Or is it the only fight worth having? Think on that for a moment…

Now, on to the pop culture part of our game:

– I don’t like Craig Bierko. You might not know him by name, but you’ll know his face. I always rememeber him as the scumbag husband in Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star. I just hate looking at him. It’s something about his face. I feel the same way about Kyle McLachlan and Gwyneth Paltrow; just seeing them throws me into a violent rage! Why was I thinking about Bierko? Well, I was watching Unhitched, on Fox, about 4 friends recently thrown back into the single game. On the plus side, it’s a “Fox show”. I’m sure I’ve written about this before, but I love a good “Fox show”. It’s the kind of show that panders to the lowest common denominator, and it’s usually characterized by the fact that it has no laugh-track. Fox was the network to really get onboard the single camera, no-studio-audience sitcom that’s everywhere these days. On the con side, it’s a “Fox show”. As much as I love the style of Fox remembering its roots, very rarely is the quality any good. Instead, there’s usually one really funny/controversial episode that gets enough attention for you to remember it years down the road as some kind of cult hit. Unhitched will be unhitched from Fox’s schedule within the next 6 weeks. Count on it.

-I was really into “When You Look Me in the Eyes”, by The Jonas Brothers, and I really couldn’t figure out why. Then, it hit me: for all of you lovers of crapy pop, the next time the song comes on, try singing the lyrics to Lonestar’s “I’m Already There”. Go ahead, I’ll wait…Hear what I mean? I hate to admit, but I was a Lonestar fan. They only had 2 hits that I cared about, but it was a pretty unmistakable melody. Plus, the whole “singing different lyrics over old melody” game can be fun. Next time you hear Celine Dion’s “That’s The Way It Is”, let her rip with the lyrics from BSB’s “I Want It That Way”. You’ll thank me in the morning!

-Janet, Janet, Janet…MTV, you know your “Artist of the Week” is too old for your demographic when she doesn’t even know the name of your shows. Janet, it’s Making the Band , NOT Making OF the Band. I would’ve let it go if you’d only said it once, but you say it about 7 times during one 30-second commercial. Read the cue cards, baby, read the cue cards…

-While on Making the Band, I’m loving Danity Kane’s “Damaged”. Last week, Diddy told ’em he was going to turn them into an international dance pop group, and this single is a good step in that direction. It’s got an interesting message, too: “Yeah, I’ve got a lot of baggage, which caused my heart some damage, so how’re you gonna fix it?” I love the idea that it’s the other person’s job to fix it. It’s like, “hey, if you want me, this is what you’re getting yourself into”. I’m a big fan of a “buyer beware” warning…

– Speaking of MTV, I kinda like Domenico, in that I think he’s a good guy. I think we all have that foreign-friend-with-questionable-social-skills. I know that everyone in Last Call is thinking of the same guy right now. That said, I’m really sick of the Viacom Dating Show Formula: the whole MTV/VH-1 deal where you get some washed up/pseudo celeb, put them in a mini mansion with roughly 30 members of the same/oppsite sex, and wittle down the list as you have them prove their love through foolish challenges and backstabbing.

I miss the old dating game formula, where you had a bunch of “normal people” (or as normal as you can find in southern California) use alcohol as an excuse for some hot tub centered, stress reduction sex. Seriously, I miss the old dating show archtypes: the weird, hippy new age chick; the wacky foreigner; the player; the busted, fake tits chick who’s a “model”. There were starving actors and actresses in LA who used to do nothing but make the dating show rounds. The timeline was shorter: you met, went to Bucca de Beppo or Medieval Times, and you got drunk; there was none of this 12-week nonsense. Plus, the stakes were lower back then: you just wanted sex. Who cared about another date? Nowadays, everyone’s looking for The One. On national television. Out of a pool of candidates comprised of strippers, former beauty queens, and/or biker chicks. Looking for a soulmate in a group of soulless people. The frontrunner is only making a scene so that she can wow the network execs into giving her a spin-off when everything’s said and done. And the cycle begins anew.

Back to Domenico, though. I liked the idea of him getting his own show, because I liked the dude. That said, I was over it when I watched the Preview Special, where all they did as show him in front of bluescreened stereotypical Italian scenes, like cafes and monuments.Ashley’s back?! For real? Were he and Domenico even that close during A Shot At Love? Plus, I get that Ashley came off as dumb, but I’m sick of his hillbilly minstrel act. I mean, it’s not as funny when the target isn’t exactly in on the joke. Watching the show is like a white Flavor of Love 3, as Domenico’s choices are just as busted as those that Flav’s got available to him this season. Although, I kinda liked Hunter, the au naturale chick they kicked off last night, except for those bags under her eyes…

-I’ve loved Usher’s “Make Love In This Club” since it leaked online two months back. That said, I don’t really like that it’s Usher. On the one hand, I guess I should applaud him for choosing a new style. I mean, Mariah hasn’t had an original sound since Fantasy (seriously, Touch My Body is new? It sounds like every single she’s put out over the past 10 yrs), so it’s good when an artist decides to branch out. It’s just that Usher’s been in the game long enough that I expect more from him. As far as the sound, this song is a Sean Kingston song. Rather, if you want it done right, it’s an Akon song. Just close your eyes and listen to it. That’s Akon, circa Spring 2007. I get the feeling that Usher’s grasping at straws, trying to regain his footing. After all, back in 2003, it was a heated battle between Usher and JT, as to who would be the Prince of R&B. Nobody was really taking Justin all that seriously yet, as he was still working on losing the ‘Nsync stigma. In the meantime, Usher did the a-holest/ballsiest thing by releasing Confessions. Justin had a song about how he was better than his ex, but Usher wrote a whole album about it! I’m not sure if a lot of people realize how heated the battle was; if JT and Usher were in the same club, it always ended up in a dance-off. Over the years, Usher had to deal with the drama of dropping his mom as his manager, his wedding, the backlash of Confessions, while Justin’s star simply rose. Now, you can’t swing a dead cat in music without hitting JT or Timbaland, while “Make Love In This Club” is the musical equivalent of that old man in the club, with the earring and the gold chain, thinking no one can smell the “Old Man Stench” on him. Go home, old man!

-Can I just say that I’m blown away by the concept of College Road Trip? No, it’s not the plot of the movie, but the mechanics behind the movie. First of all, did you ever, in a million years, think you’d see a Disney movie starring Martin Lawrence? Then, did you ever think you’d see a Disney movie starring Martin Lawrence and Donnie Osmond? Then, if you’re still with me, did you ever think you would see a Disney movie, starring Martin Lawrence, Donnie Osmond, AND had a G Rating?! Seriously, this is a big deal. The G Rating, alone, is a kicker. Think of this: the way the MPAA works, simply by virtue of having live actors, you typically get a PG rating. If you ever have some free time on your hands, try to research the number of live action, G-rated movies. The majority of G-rated movies are animated features. Hell, in recent years, even the Disney animated blockbusters, like The Incredibles, have been rated PG. So, in order to have a live action, G-rated movie, Martin can’t even say “Damn, Gina!”. He might not even be able to say “heck”. I might see this movie just to marvel at how they pull it off.

– There was an episode of Clean House on last night, and Niecy wasn’t on it. Now, I’m used to that set-up, as she doesn’t waste her time with the Clean House aftershow, Clean House Comes Clean, so I know that sometimes Brunetz, Trish, and Matt get together. What killed me, though, was the fact they they never acknowledged her absence. Sure, she might’ve been sick or on vacation. Hell, it might have been when she was recording her lines for Horton Hears A Who. I just get worried when I see that kind of stuff because it makes me think there might be a contract dispute going on. I mean, if you’ve ever watched anything on TLC or Style, you know that they have no problem recasting a show’s host, with nary an announcement or second thought. Where’s Thom’s sidekick on Dress My Nest? Where’s the original guy from What Not To Wear? Plus, there’s the notorious example of Blair from Queer Eye, being replaced by Jay between the pilot and the regular episodes. That said, Clean House has no flair without Niecy. If they ever try to oust her, a la Paige from Trading Spaces, she only needs to show them last night’s episode to prove how valuable she is to the show.

Anyway, I might be on a daily schedule this week. I’ve got a lot to say, and this was only the tip of the iceberg…

13th Feb2008

Making The Band 4, Aubrey O’Day, Smackdown, and Paige’s Return to Trading Spaces

by Will

“All I need is the air I breathe, and a place to rest my head.”

Yay, the strike’s over! And I’m sorry to admit that I’ve already forgotten about this TV season. I can’t tell you what’s still on or what got cancelled. All I watch are One Tree Hill and reality shows right now. There were a lot of shitty shows that probably would have been cancelled, had it not been for the strike. So, networks either let them run their course, or snatched them along with everything else. Never did see that Cavemen show. Or Carpoolers. Or Bionic Woman. I’m pretty sure those won’t be coming back. That said, I’ve still got a lot of random stuff on my mind regarding TV. Either try to follow along, or just sit in that dark corner and nod and smile.

– Is it just me, or is Diddy WAY overcompensating this season on Making the Band? Is he trying to respond to the “down low” rumors that have persisted about him over the past few years? It’s like he wants us to think he’s hard and gangsta when we know better. Every other word he says has to be bleeped out; he’s limping in on a can, like he was shot or something. It’s like he’s trying to go back to his “Puff Daddy” persona, back before Biggie died, when he actually had street cred. Back then, he didn’t suffer from “bitchassness”. Plus, people forget, this is the same dude who dated J.Lo and was implicated in a shooting. It’s funny how an MTV show can just make people forget about all that. Who, exactly, is the real Sean Combs?

-Speaking of Making the Band 4, Aubrey O’Day. Mmm….I love her and loathe her at the same time. She’s got those crazy eyes, where you just know she’ll go Fatal Attraction all over you. Poor little solo artist Donnie. He just doesn’t realize how badly she’s going to ruin his life. She has her sites set on him and is going to eat him alive. There’s something about that kind of woman: you know you shouldn’t go near her, but you’d be a fool not to. I swear, though, if she mentions their “platinum album” one more time, I’m going to track her down and punch her in the face. We get it! Y’all had a successful album. It’s a testament, though, that I can’t even name a single Danity Kane song, so clearly they weren’t THAT famous! It’s a common fact that the debut album of any group formed on a reality show usually sells well. It’s that the viewers want to listen to the album that they watched being created. That said, it’s the sophomore album that tanks. That’s why most of O-Town is currently working in car washes scattered across the Orlando region. It would be a crying shame if The Band creates an album that wipes the floor with Danity Kane.

-While I’m on the subject of The Band, Diddy really needs to rename them. Maybe something like 113? Modeci? Thugz to Men? I mean, we know what Diddy’s trying to do, but the problem is that he’s focused too much on image than sound. I look at these boys, and I don’t buy that they’re as hard as Bad Boy would like me to believe. They can have all the neck tattoos and cornrows in the world, and they’re still gonna look like junior deacons at a costume party. These boys look like they just came from prayer meeting! Did y’all see how Q caught the Holy Ghost when they went to church?! First off, that was probably the funniest scenario I’ve ever seen on reality television, but he almost blew his cover when he started testifyin’ in the aisles! Anyway, I’m gonna need a display of their street cred before we go any further. Forget the traditional “I want you to walk to Brooklyn and get me a cheesecake”. This season, Diddy should say something like, “I want one of y’all to get a Danity Kane chick pregnant (bonus points if it’s the married one!), while the rest of y’all go rob Irv Gotti’s house.” You know, something with some flair!

-Anna and I were watching The Salt & Pepa Show last night, and we were trying to figure out how staged it actually is. I mean, it’s too much like a sitcom, in that crazy Pepa comes up with some hairbrained scheme, while “level-headed” Salt talks her down. In the end, however, Salt comes to learn a valuable lesson, as Pepa’s scheme turns out to not be so crazy after all. And they hug. It’s like a black Full House. It’s scary, though, how much Pepa is looking like a drag queen these days. She’ll make these facial expressions that’ll just turn your stomach. You’ve got to feel sorry for Pep, too, as she’s like a kid who never grew up. She just wants shit to be like it was in the old days, back when they were touring with Kid ‘N Play. Meanwhile, Salt has to “mom” everything and she’s just a spoilsport. I will say that it seems like Salt was smarter with her money. She’s got a nice house and investments, and has moved on, while Pep looks like she’s a receptionist at a hair salon. A ghetto hair salon. One of those cash-only places, with a fried fish carryout joint next door.

Flavor of Love 3…what can I say that hasn’t already been said? To be honest, I’ve never watched an entire season of FoL. I just can’t do it. If I want to see that much ghetto, I’ll just go down to Wheaton Plaza. That said, it’s funny to have a season where even Flav isn’t impressed. I’ve got to admit, Shorty did have a Hell of an underbite. He has some busted women in that house this time around, most of whom were chosen on the internet. Way to go America! You can kill a convict, but you can’t be trusted to find a wife for one. Uncle Sam is in Heaven crying with that Indian who’s always crying about litterbugs. And I’ve seen a lot of Flav, from The Surreal Life to present, but I’ve never seen him make as big a deal over touching his face as he’s doing this season. Did he get some work done? Did he have some sort face trauma in jail all those years ago? Anyway, I’m hoping he either chooses Hotlanta or Bunz. Otherwise, he’s just left with those twins. You know, it’s a terrible situation where you see an ugly set of twins, and you’re just left wondering, “What was God thinking? Why 2? I mean, were there parts left over after He made the first one or something?”

-Good money says we won’t even know who Flo-Rida is in 5 years. He’s gonna go to the one-hit wonder old folks home, along with Eamonn and Kevin Lyttle. Sometimes, though, the Phoenix does rise from the ashes. It’s good to see that 12 years after her debut, Robyn is finally getting her due. “Do you know what it takes to love me”? Well, apparently, 12 years. But she’s got a hot club tour right now, plus she’s on the “Sexual Eruption” remix, so that’s a start.

-I just realized the opening piano vamp from Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5” would make a pretty decent hip-hop sample. Think of it along the lines of how Destiny’s Child used Stevie Nicks’s “Edge of Seventeen” vamp. I think I might be on to something here…

-I still can’t believe that The CW isn’t renewing Smackdown next season. I mean, no, it doesn’t mesh with their new female-friendly programming initiative, but to just throw out an audience that size is almost unheard of. King Kong once told me that Smackdown is the highest-rated English-speaking show in Spanish households. Before you laugh, just think about that for a minute. That’s a powerful demographic that’s only going to get stronger. Plus, where’s it gonna go? People are saying USA will probably pick it up, which is going to leave basic TV without wrestling once again. It’s gonna be like the “Raw is War” era when there was Raw and Nitro, but nothing Saturday mornings on your local sydicated station. I guess everyone really does have cable now…

-I don’t feel so great about Paige being back on Trading Spaces. Don’t get me wrong; I LOVE her and I’d probably drink her bath water. That said, it’s too little, too late. Discovery/TLC made a BAD move firing her all those years ago, but you just can’t pretend the past few seasons didn’t happen. There are too many gimmicks this season: “we’re going to take a divorced couple and have them trade spaces so that the depressed former husband can finally accept that his wife has moved on”. Ouch! It feels so…uncomfortable. Paige has said that it was neither her idea to leave the show, nor was it her idea to come back. She’s been a good sport, plus she probably needs work, but watching it just affirms that you truly can’t go home again.

-OK, I used to have this thing for Kat Von D of LAInk. I mean, she seemed badass and she was a master tattoo artist. Suddenly, though, I’ve found that her fashion sense is just too far gone for my taste. She used to wear low-rise jeans and a vest or halter top; nothing really flashy, but is was still sey. Now, she’ll wear an old ratty t-shirt and some clown pants. It’s like she just doesn’t care about her appearance anymore since she started dating Roy Orbison’s son, “Orbie”. It’s not like she was ever the belle of the ball, but she had style. Now, she just looks dirty and homeless half the time. I’m starting to feel the same way about her that I feel about the Ace of Cakes/Charm City Cakes crew: I don’t want her touching my skin any more than I want them touching my food. Her assistant, Pixie, is adorable. Anyone who gets a piercing to have permanent dimples is awesome in my book. My fear is how that shit’s gonna look in 25 years. Then again, those people never grow old. They just fade away…in a freak concert stampede/motorcycle accident/dinosaur attack.

Well, that about does it for now. Interesting weekend coming up. If I live through it, it’ll surprise me. No, that’s not a cry for help. It is, however, bait for you to come back next week. If I survive…

05th Feb2008

Should’ve Been Gone!

by Will

“Yeah, you are beautiful, but ya don’t mean a thing to me.”

So, for the past year, I’ve had one song that’s constantly running in the back of my mind. Don’t ask me why. It’s just there. In the words of the greatest Martin episode ever, “You ever had a song in your head and ya just can’t get it out?! Well, that happened to me fifteen years ago…”

Now, I’ve always loved Journey, but I really love Steve Perry. Like Phil Collins and Genesis, most people can’t tell the difference between a Journey song and a Steve Perry song. Well, I’m not most people. I love Steve Perry, mainly, because he couldn’t be famous today. Powerful voice, but he ain’t a looker. He looks like “the bad kid” from every 80’s movie, all grown up. He’s just missing the requisite bandana/headband. Catch the right video, and he’ll even be wearing that. Anyway, there’s a song of his that I find myself singing, at least once a day. I now, give you that song:

21st Jan2008

Dr. 90210, Katie Holmes on BET, Natasha Bedingfield, and Kate Hudson

by Will

“Hey, did you guys see that fight outside?!”

I just had the kind of weekend that I just know I’m going to look back on and regret. I didn’t do anything wrong, but I just feel kind of…off about a lot of stuff. I know I’m being cryptic, but it’s really not that deep; I’m just the type of guy who tends to regret shit. As my friend Jenna would say, I’ve got to learn to let it go. Anyway, on to the randomness.

– I swear that Dr. Rey, from Dr. 90210 is the creepiest, sketchiest son of a bitch on television. Find me a creepier dude; I dare you. From his weird-ass gangster suits to the skeezy way that he speaks to his women patients, that guy does not put me at ease. And don’t get me started on all his martial arts bullshit. Out of nowhere, he’ll just pull out a pair of nunchucks and go at it. With the exception of Michelangelo & Panthro, nobody cool has ever wielded nunchucks. They’re that weapon that sounds cool in theory, but ends up looking stupid in practice. Then, there’s his home life, which just seems so fake. It’s like he’s actually gay, but they went out and cast an actress to be his wife, who is obviously uncomfortable in the role. Any scene with him and his wife is always so scripted and dramatic. The other day, he had to go to his birth home to Argentina (?), where he was determined to get his deathbed-ridden father to admit that he loved him. Meanwhile, Mrs. Rey (who looks as much like Skeletor as Finola Hughes), is bawling because she fears she’ll never see Dr. Rey again. Sweety, he’s just going on a trip. Stop your crying. Plus, I thought this show was about plastic surgery. Enough with the family drama and bring on the boobies!

– I’m about to declare the single of 2008. Yes, I know it’s early in the year, plus it’s not even an official single yet. That said, Jive would be foolish not to release it. What is it? “Break the Ice” on Britney’s Blackout album. It’s the hottest song on an entirely hot album. It’s impossible to not dance when that song comes on. It truly is the hotness. Yes, it has driven me to use the term “the hotness”. That song is so tight that I’ve actually choreographed a dance for it. I’m not talking about some little bullshit dance, either. This is a Fatima Robinson-level dance, and you better believe it won’t involve folding chairs!

– You know, Natasha Bedingfield looks great for a 37 year old. Wait…she’s actually 26? Oh

I mean, seriously, did ya see the heinous top she’s got on in her latest video? It just screams “Cougar Wear”. Get her out of Dress Barn, stat!

My deal with Natasha is that she still doesn’t seem to know what the Hell she’s doing. Her debut album was one of the most meta experiences in musical history, as she wrote an entire album pretty much describing how difficult it is to write an album. Have you ever listened to the words to “These Words”? It’s about how she couldn’t figure out what to write, so she’s just gonna sing about how hardthe process is. Really? Does that count? Is she just going for partial credit? Anyway, she’s got her new album that drops on Tuesday, and her big single, “Love Like This” features Sean Kingston. Really? Who’s bright idea was that? That’s the worst, most missmatched combo since the So So Def remix video to Jessica Simpson’s “Irresistible”, where Bow Wow’s scenes are just spliced in later, as it’s clear Jessica would never be in the same room with him. Also, Natasha’s song has no real tune. She’s just kinda screeching at notes, hoping that some of them stick. It’s like they want to present her as a singer with a 5-octave range, yet she’s not really exhibiting any control. Her manager needs to figure out what her gimmick is gonna be. What is it about Natasha Bedingfield that people should care about? What is there to kep her from becoming tomorrow’s Natalie Imbruglia or Robyn? That shit right thur is gonna be the million dollar question.

– Oh, thank all that is holy for the miracle of TLC’s Smash Lab. A show dedicated to blowing shit up and wrecking shit. You know, for science. For every Real Housewives of Orange County and Intervention that we have to put up with, every now and then someone presents us with shows we really want to watch, like this one.

– Speaking of smashing shit, Burnout is the best/worst therapy for social deviants. In fact, I’m starting to believe that video games really can corrupt today’s youth. I mean, I was never a gamer. Yet, I picked up Burnout 2, and found that I had an affinity for causing NASTY multicar collisions on the highway. Not only did Burnout allow it – it encouraged it. So, I found myself begin rewarded for causing property damage and killing as many school bus children as possible. And I couldn’t stop. I spent 8 hrs devising the sickest, gnarliest, audacious car collisions possible. And you know what? I’d do it again. I’m THAT sick. Thanks a lot, Burnout

– So, Katie Holmes was making the talk show rounds last week to promote her new movie, Mad Money. Best Week Ever made fun of the fact that she didn’t really have anything to say. She’d drop little worthless anecdotes about Suri which, as BWE put it, it sounded like she was describing a child that she had just met. “Oh, she’s got a good temperament.” What I felt needed discussing, however, was her surprise appearance on BET’s 106 & Park. Yeah, let that sink in for a minute. For the uninformed, 106 & Park is BET’s version of TRL, only people actually watch 106 & Park. So, Katie comes on to present her costar, Queen Latifah, with the Golden Globe she’d won a few nights earlier (ya know, since the strike pretty much killed the Globes ceremony). I have never heard of a more inappropriate person to be in the BET studio. Let me explain: half them folks ain’t never seen Dawson’s Creek. Nor have they seen Go. And she was the most throwaway part of Batman Begins. So, I’d just love to know how it felt to be in the middle of the collective “who the fuck does this bitch think she is?” mentality that must’ve been running rampant in the studio audience.

– This is going to be controversial, but I feel I have to go here. I’ve a theory on what must be the best part about being a gay male: the clothes. Allow me to explain. There’s some shit out there that a straight gay just isn’t allowed to wear. For example, I was at Busboys and Poets tonight, and there was a grown man wearing a vintage boy scout uniform, complete with bandana neck kerchief. That shit is bold. Now, I’m not saying I’d want to wear it, but I’d like to be able to should I so feel the desire. For a straight guy, you wear that, and people start to talk. “Oh, Will must be gay.” Or “What the hell was he thinking?” However, if I were gay, people would see me in that shit and just say, “Oh well, he’s gay, so…” It’s like a free pass. If I were a gay man, I could wear a picnic tablecloth as a cape, Adidas sweatbands on my ankles, along with a belt made of McDonalds ketchup packets, and they’d be copying that shit on Project Runway. You could be a gay guy with no fashion sense, and no one would know because stereotypes support that all gay men are fashion pioneers. That’s some bullshit and it needs to stop. Some of us straight guys wanna be fashionably daring, too. It just ain’t fair! Yes, I realize there are a ton of cons that are heavier than my shallow pro. I have a friend who said she wished she was Black just so that she would be able to get away with wearing bright colors. Yeah, I realize my argument is just as fucked up as her statement right there. Sure, it’s more about confidence than sexual orientation, but I just wish we didn’t have these hang-ups. Maybe I’m just looking for excuses. Look for my new line, Bromosexual, in Fall 2008.

– Am I the only one who finds it funny that Kate Hudson only gets the roles that would have gone to Goldie Hawn 20 yrs ago? What’s weird about that, you say? Well, it’s weird considering Kate’s Goldie’s daughter. I mean, has this ever happened before in Hollywood? Kiefer Sutherland sure as hell doesn’t play the same roles as Donald Sutherland. Charlie Sheen sure ain’t taking those Martin Sheen roles. It’s odd that Kate and Goldie are so interchangeable. Watch the trailer for Fool’s Gold. You swap out Matthew McConaughey with Kurt Russell and you’ve got Overboard. Think about that for a bit.

Anyway, Happy MLK Day to y’all with good, government jobs. While you’re drinking your lattes and catching up on your Tivo, I’ll be busting my ass making sure no comics get lost shipping from Korea. I have a dream, as well. I see Black children and White children holding hands, as the White children introduce their new Black friends to the magical world of comic books. And the Black children will fall in love with the medium and begin to buy comics for themselves. And enough comics will eventually be bought by these Black children that the industry will have to acknowledge this audience exists, and will have to shut down on MLK day for fear of backlash. Thank God Almighty, for fear of backlash…

04th Jan2008

Britney Analysis and The Return of American Gladiators

by Will

“We are going to go America all over their asses!”

First of all, can we please leave Britney alone? Seriously? I get it. It was funny for a while. “Haha, look at the country bumpkin and her poor parenting!” But it’s gone too far. It’s clear this is no longer about publicity or anything vain like that. Plain and simple, she’s got a problem and she needs help. Her family contributed to that, and I’m sure Jamie’s little Spear in the Oven isn’t helping matters. Anyway, Hollywood, paps, bloggers, etc, really need to lay off. You’re not going to stop until she dies, and that’s just not going to be cool. It happened with Marilyn, it happened with Anna Nicole, and it’s cranked up to 11 with Brit. Plus, if she dies, I really don’t want to have to deal with the inevitable release of a Timbaland version of “Candle in the Wind”…

Anyway, I’d like to take a moment to express my sheer and utter joy at the return of American Gladiators! This takes me back to the days before girls and bills, when my life revolved around Saturday morning fare comprised of cartoons, WWF, and AG. Though it probably doesn’t count, I think American Gladiators is the only organized “sport” that I ever gave a shit about. Why? Because it was about the everyman, the little guy, taking his chance against these physical powerhouses. There was just something about seeing a fax machine salesman live out the athletic dream of fighting with a giant Q-Tip against some dude named Kapow or something (near the end of the show, they were running out of onamatapoeia names, so I’m pretty sure there was a Kapow or a Blorrch running around…). So, with that old school love, how does the new version stack up? Let’s take a look inside:

1) The hosts could use some work. I love the Hulkster as much as the next guy, but I always preferred the idea of a sportcasters and former Gladiators as AG commentators. Mike Adamle, Joe Theismann, and Nitro fit the bill nicely on the original series. I don’t know if it’s the family drama (divorce and Nick’s accident) or what, but Hogan is really phoning it in. He’s trying, but his heart’s just not in it. It’s a shame when he’s outshone by Laila Ali, who has never had personality. Laila always seems to get work because A) she’s Muhammad Ali’s daughter and B) she’s easy on the eyes. As far as her delivery, it’s always apparent that “cue card reading” wasn’t part of her GED course. They should’ve gone with Howie Long and Stone Cold Steve Austin. Howie for the “real sports cred”, while Stone Cold would bring in your desired demo. If you really need a woman, throw in Summer Sanders. After all, she spent all those years on NBA: Inside Stuff not knowing why the Hell she was even there…

2) I like the fact that, as far as the Gladiator women are concerned, they went with actual brawn instead of the Trish Stratus fitness model type. I mean, look at these chicks! Hellga is no laughing matter, at 6’1 and 205 lbs! Now, if only she could learn to use her size to her advantage (looking kind slow there in The Gauntlet…). And Crush (AKA, MMA Champ Gina Corano)…155 pounds of Gladiator never looked so good!

3) Who knew your best bet would be the Asians?! Not to make some sort of blanket, racial statement, but we have had 2 awesome, charismatic athletes who came from behind and took it all. Venus had to sub in in the very first match-up, as the original contender was injured. A rehabilitation doctor, Venus came from behind and pulled off an amazing victory at the end. Sure, she looked like shit on toast at the end of things, but she pulled through like a champ. In the next episode, we had Moli, who was jokingly trying to play up the Asian Nerd stereotype so that people would underestimate him. At times, he seemed like a cocky bastard, but he truly was awesome. He pulled off a victory in the end without really breaking a sweat. It also didn’t hurt that his opponent was a 38 year old dad who wasn’t necessarily in the greatest shape of his life.

4) Wolf’s howl is gonna get old real fast. In fact, it’s old now. I’d like to see him gone if there’s a second season. And Toa. What the fuck is up with that dude?

5) If there’s one thing to be learned from AG, never dedicate your performance to your kid. It’s an automatic jinx. Not only will you look like a complete and utter failure as a parent when you lose, but your kids will also hate you….because you’re a loser. When you tell someone, “I’m doing this for you”, and you don’t quite pull it off, well that’s just plain embarassing for all involved. Last night, we had 3 situations of “I’m doing this for my kids; they’re my world!” And how did this pan out?

First, we had Jessie, the toilet paper saleswoman/single mother. Boo-hoo. She’s had such a tough break, so surely she’s going to pull out all the stops and win this to give her kids a better life, right? Wrong! She got sacked & blew out her leg during the FIRST EVENT, and had to be replaced.

Chad, the pro skateboarder single dad, ended up getting CRUSHED as his opponent won with a 30 point (!) lead.

Next, former Marine (!) and Iraq vet, Bonnie, got bested by a life coach, after dedicating her game her to kids. Also, she busted her head on the Eliminator and bled like a UFC contender, but lost all the same.

Finally, we had Jeff, who had earned a spot on the original AG but lost his spot because he was stuck in traffic. Now, this should’ve been “his time”, as he’d waited 13 years at another shot. He dedicated the thing to his little newborn daughter, and he proceeded to get PWNED by Moli who treated the entire thing like it was a game rather than a grueling physical challenge.

6) SO glad they added water under the Joust. Now, it seems like there’s an actual threat, even if said threat is just “wetness”.

7) It really taught me something about myself, as I just couldn’t pull this off. Most of these contestants were either professionals or life coaches (man, that’s booming industry right now; I should look into that), and they all had these cheesy “I’m here to win”, “glass-half full” opinions on everything. You know, “positive attitudes”. I haven’t played a sport in years, but I know “sportsmanship” was never my strong suit. I could just see myself looking at an event like Hang Tough, and saying, “Fuck this shit. I don’t want this badly enough”. Elimidate or 5th Wheel, totally doable, as there’s the possibility of alcohol, a hot tub and some great NSA sex with a really hot, loose chick on national TV. As far as AG‘s concerned, back in the day you just got a couple grand, bragging rights and a gawdy-ass ring. Right now, they’re competing for $100 K and the chance to be a Gladiator next season. First of all, the money’s nice, but that additional prize is a bit of a reach, as we don’t even know if there’ll be another season. Plus, they’re still running out of names! I mean, there’s a “Militia” for God’s sake! “Jihad” can’t be far behind, and that’s just gonna make middle American shit a collective brick…

30th Dec2007

2007 Year In Review

by Will

“I just want a moustache, man!”

So, last night, I found myself in the weirdest party environment. This dude got really drunk and then started apologizing to me for slavery. Keep in mind, I’d never met this guy before last night. He claimed he argued my case for his entire Christmas dinner because his family is backwards. I asked why they had such heavy Christmas dinner conversation. I think the worst part was when he said, “Dude, you’re black! I’m so sorry.” Yeah…

I feel like I should do some kind of year-end, best of 2007 post, but I also feel like I said all I needed to in my San Diego Saga. I mean, that was pretty much the highlight of my year, as far as adventures go. Anyway, I think I’ve got a few more things to say about 07, so here goes:

Top Albums of 2007:
Amy Winehouse – Back to Black
Lily Allen – Alright Still
Rihanna – Good Girl Gone Bad
Timbaland – Shock Therapy
The Pipettes –We Are the Pipettes (US Version)
Fall Out Boy – Infinity on High
Maroon 5 – It Won’t Be Soon Before Long
Leona Lewis – Spirit

Honorable Mention
Britney Spears – Blackout
OneRepublic – Dreaming Out Loud
Mark Ronson – Version

Recent Books Read:
Love Monkey, by Scott Mebus: One of the first lad lit books, I was really disappointed by this one. The main character isn’t very endearing, and the story meanders. 9/11 is thrown in for an emotional beat, and it lacks a fulfilling ending.

Don’t Hassel The Hoff, by David Hasselhoff: If you love The Hoff, you’ll love this book. The problem is that the ghostwriter clearly does most of the work, as British terms and spelling seem to trickle in a LOT. At times, it’s hard to believe that Hasselhoff has such a lofty view of himself, but it’s not cocky – he clearly means well, but it isn’t conveyed as innocently as he would have liked.

Phone Sex, by Miranda Austin: Simply put, it’s the autobiography of a phone sex operator. Not as entertaining as one might think. Interspliced are how-to tips for the aspiring phone sex caller (not operator!). It pretty much outlines the process for beginner/first-time phone sex customers. The book wasn’t that juicy, nor did it have an ending. Plus, Austin’s focus on the fact that she wasn’t exactly attractive or anything like her persona kind of chipped away at the mystique. She pretty much confirmed the stereotype of phone sex operators as overweight and unattractive. It’s like David Copperfield coming out and saying, “Hey, magic’s fake!” Why shoot yourself and industry in the foot like that?

How I Paid for College: A Novel of Sex, Theft, Friendship & Musical Theater, by Marc Acito: Very good read. I try to stay away from fiction because I just don’t really care for that in my books, but this one caught my eye by the cover alone. It didn’t turn out like I thought it would, and I found myself wanting to shelve it early on. What I thought would be a cool, modern lad lit tale turned out to be about a mid-eighties story of a bisexual drama student as he struggles to raise his Juilliard tuition. I’ve got to say that I’m glad I stuck with it, as it’s a pretty funny read. Like I said, not what I thought it’d be, but I’m not disappointed.

I just watched two of the most jingoistic movies of the past 30 years: Rocky IV and Starship Troopers. Rocky IV just screams “U! S ! A!”, as it’s steeped right in the middle of the Cold War. I always felt Apollo deserved to die , solely based on his bombastic James Brown-fueled ring entrance. No good could come from such an audacious start. Meanwhile Starship Troopers touts the difference between a citizen and a civilian. It’s all about how your civic duty is to fight, and while the kids are all from Rio De Janeiro, that’s an afterthought considering they all look like Abercrombie gringos. They should really sell these at Best Buy as a “God Bless America” two-pack.

Best New Shows:

Chuck (NBC)
The Big Bang Theory (CBS)

Favorite Movies of the Year:

Grindhouse (only the Death Proof half)
The Bourne Ultimatum
Black Snake Moan
Live Free or Die Hard
We Own the Night
Spider-Man 3
I Am Legend

You know, people look at me funny when I say this, but if you take out the whole “things come out at night to kill you” aspect, Will Smith’s life in I Am Legend really ain’t all that bad. I think what would drive you mad would be the possibility of survivors. If you notice, he was fine until all this “safe zone” talk. If you thought there was a chance there were others out there, you’d agonize over what might’ve been. But if you decide that you’re the only one left, yet you might be able to cure the converted, that’s a different frame of mind entirely. I already talk to myself, so adding mannequins to the mix wouldn’t really change much. I’ve also wanted to speed through Time Square and use an aircraft carrier as a driving range. It all seemed so tranquil and peaceful. Sure, the rest of y’all would be dead, but “…spilled milk”.

Celebrity of the Year: Britney Spears
Say what you will, no one got more headlines than this crazy chica, and it was a batshit crazy year! Anna Nicole died. OJ returned to his criminal ways. It took 3 months for them to do something with James Brown’s rotting corpse. Lohan spent most of the year in rehab. Imus and the Nappy Headed Ho’s. The Sopranos screwed us over with its “non-ending”. Owen Wilson suicide attempt. Gay Political Airport trysts. A Negro headed for the Democratic nomination. Paris is probably going to lose most of her inheritance. But all of that was trumped by Britney. Anything the world could do, Britney could do trashier. No end in sight for a troop pullout? Who cares? Britney shaved her head! US dollar losing steam on the international landscape? Who cares? Britney’s gonna lose her kids! Global warming’s gonna kill all the polar bears? Who cares? Britney got fat and phoned in her VMA performance! It was a modern-day “We Didn’t Start the Fire”, and Britney was the chorus every time. If someone’s keeping a scrapbook of her escapades, I’m sure they made MANY trips to the Walmart this year to stock up on photo albums!

Award of the Year: Myspace
It’s been a big year for Myspace. They were purchased by Fox, gaining a new lease on life as an inexpensive form of movie publicity. Next, they threw their hat into the Presidential Debate ring. On a more personal note, however, Myspace was *very* good to me and mine this year. I know my boy, K-Bone would agree, as well as several others. In all honesty, I don’t know where my social life or general entertainment would have come from without it. Now, to some people, that might sound sad, but to me, it simply demonstrates the awesome power of the internet. I know that for me and my friends, we salute you, Myspace.

2007 is also the year I started paying attention to song lyrics, so I leave you with this:

So take a bow,
’cause you’ve taken everything else
You played the part,
like a star you played it so well

I will have no problem leaving 2007 behind. Look for a new Will in the coming year. That’s not a resolution; it’s a promise.

See ya in ’08…

12th Nov2007

Retarded Chris Brown, Black Republicans, Van Wilder-less Van Wilder 2

by Will

“Seriously, y’all, I’m punching a bear in the face!”

-Man, am I obsessed with Rihanna Jenkins! (Jeff’s the only one who’s gonna understand that joke). I just picked up Good Girl Gone Bad yesterday, and it is HOT. Just like everything else, I’m 6 months late to the game. I remember when I was jamming to “California Love”, and all my friends were like, “Will, Tupac’s been dead for 2 years.” Anyway, hottest track on this album, besides “Umbrella”, has got to be “Please Don’t Stop the Music”. It’s impossible to *not* dance while that track is playing. I love you, Rihanna!

-Why is it that whenever you see Chris Brown on a magazine cover, he’s always got that semi-retarded look on his face? Exhibit A:

“Kiss Kiss” nothing! Grab your Kleenex, ’cause this boy’s a drooler! You know the type. Their “handler” is always trying to take them to the mall, knowing full well that they’re gonna go crazy and throw a fit in the middle of the damn place. And everyone looks over, thinking, “Why in the Hell did she think she could bring that boy up in here like that?!”

– I really thought the Dewmocracy.com commercial was an Army recruitment video. I mean, the Marines almost got me a few times with their crafty camerawork and use of kickass looking swords. With the covert ops scenes, spliced in with the hints of a dystopian future, I was about to run down to the nearest recruitment office. It turns out they just want me to help design the new flavor of Mountain Dew. Not quite the same thing, but I’m willing to hear more…

I caught the last few minutes of Roadhouse on Spike the other night. Could someone please tell me what the fuck that movie was about? I saw some guy who looked like Santa Claus lying on the ground, and I think Patrick Swayze vowed to avenge him. And then these guys stormed a house, and Swayze beat the shit out of them, even though they had shotguns. And then a polar bear fell on some guy. It was all capped off by the main villain getting shot through a glass coffee table.

Now, I don’t have any old issues of Architectural Digest, but those glass top coffee tables seem to have been a staple of the time, and villains were always being shot or thrown through them. I know everybody wants to be a gangsta, but you have to decorate accordingly. If you’re in a line of work where shoot-outs may occur, you don’t want your home/office filled with glass. It’s just common sense, people. Seriously, though: What the fuck was Roadhouse supposed to be about?

-OK, I know that banner ads are supposed to be in-tune with the webpage on which they’re placed. However, I do believe that some things can go too far. Yesterday, I was trying to catch up on recent events on Sunday Best, so I hopped over to BET.com. Well, immediately, my eye was caught by a flashy-ass ad which could not be ignored: the entire side of the page was consumed by an ad for KFC. I shit you not. I clicked through several pages, but it was still there. KFC must be the biggest supporter of Black Entertainment Television.

Honestly, I hate watching BET (and formerly UPN) at this time of year, ’cause you’d think that all Black people do is eat chicken and shop at Wal-Mart. The hippies can give up Wal-Mart all they want ’cause the Black folks ain’t goin’ nowhere! I swear, Wal-Mart LOVES them some Black folks at Christmas time. The commercials have already started. The latest one is where the Black family buys grandpa a plasma TV. My favorite part is where they reassure him that they didn’t pay a lot of money for it. The commercial is geared toward this ideal: White guy’s response would be: “Well isn’t that great! I can watch the big game on it.” But Black guy’s response is immediately, “Y’all know we ain’t got money for this!” Gotta know your audience…

-Speaking of race, there’s no one who gets my pity more than the Black Republican on Election Night. You better believe that they’re gonna make sure to get him in every camera shot. He’s off to the side of the podium, just smiling and clapping, and every news outlet has to show that the Republican party is diversifying its ranks. The saddest part is that the dude is always out of place. It’s like he’s just not in on the joke. Even when they win, the Black dude is always left out of the congratulations proceedings. Everyone’s trading hearty handshakes, and he’s just still smiling and clapping. Sometimes he’ll even join in when the White guys start doing the whole Arsenio Hall Dog Pound Fist Cyclone (we gave that to them in 1996 when they let us have Mariah Carey). But even when they break out high-fives (for which he immediately feels well-suited), they high-five all around him. Sorry, Negro. Too slow! I swear, that guy must be the most hated guy ever because, for that one night, he’s the ironic victim of equal-opportunity hatred: Black Democrats, White Democrats, Many White Republicans, Green Partiers, Non-voters, his predominantly Democrat family, as well as his White wife’s family.

-How are you gonna have Van Wilder 2 without Van Wilder?! Also, I’m pretty sure Kal Penn is getting tired of faking that accent. It’s such a phoned-in performance, as the movie is more like Kumar Goes to England than it was about Taj. In the first Van Wilder, Taj was pretty fresh off the boat, and had only achieved a shred of cool by the end of that movie. In the sequel, he was the coolest guy ever (like Kal played in Harold & Kumar), while making fun of the British class system. Don’t bother with this movie, as you’ve seen it 25 times before. It’s Revenge of the Nerds meets Old School meets Bend It Like Beckham. If you want a funny college movie, though, you should see Grandma’s Boy. SO much better than people thought…

Well, that’s enough rambling for one day. In the immortal words of R.E.O. Speedwagon, “I believe it’s time for me to fly…”