Tag Archives: entertainment

Farrah Fawcett (1947-2009)

Anyone who watched that crazy-sad documentary “Farrah’s Story” a few weeks back knew that this day was totally coming, but, wow, who knew it would come so quickly? And Christine and I had no idea it would move us like it did. I mean, we were sad and totally shocked about Michael Jackson, but, Farrah’s passing made us both cry like babies.

Farrah Fawcett #1

I guess it might be the cancer angle, or maybe just watching her fight so bravely in the face of completely shitty odds, but for whatever reason, the death of Farrah Fawcett hit us both really hard. Sure, she was crazy sometimes — that boozy meltdown with David Letterman in 1997 comes to mind — but for anyone who grew up in the 1970’s, Farrah was the 70’s. I mean, seriously, who didn’t love that woman back in the day?

One season on “Charlie’s Angels” and that awesome, nipple-tastic poster above would have been enough for some women, but not Farrah. Fawcett showed she could really act in hard-hitting, award-worthy movies like “The Burning Bed”, “Extremeties” and “The Apostle” and, hell, even her bad movies kinda rocked. I mean, hello, my brother and I did not run to the theatre to see “Logan’s Run” for Michael York.

And even though I have yet to sit through it, I must admit I’ve always been curious about that legendary robot rape scene with Farrah in the epically-bad “Saturn 3”. Yes, amigos, the villainous robot apparently attempts to rape Farrah at one point. Don’t know if it happened onscreen or not, but I do know that was a key selling point when the film came out. And we were totally buying…but, well, it was rated R, and we were way too young pass for 17…so, we never saw it.

Farrah Fawcett #2

Farrah Fawcett #3

But even crazy misfires like “Saturn 3” prove that Farrah’s appeal was kinda bulletproof. She wasn’t just easy on the eyes, but she was funny, smart, opinionated and one of the most interesting and one-of-a-kind badasses to ever rock the pop culture spectrum.

So, for that and so much more, we salute you Farrah Fawcett. Your humor, your strength, your style and most of all, your rocking hair, will live on forever. Vaya con Dios, angelita de Carlos…you will be sorely missed.

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Scarlett Johanssen breaks my heart…

I know she’s been engaged to actor Ryan Reynolds for a while now — and I am kinda married and everything, so I totally shouldn’t care — but I was still sad/surprised to hear that one of our favorite actresses, Scarlett “Scarjo” Johanssen got secretly hitched this weekend in Canada. Just kidding about the sad part…um, kinda.

Seriously though, secretly doing anything in this TMZ world is a big deal, so, kudos on hiding that shit from the media, Scarjo! And congrats on marrying Reynolds too. The dude has done some really good stuff in some really bad movies, but Christine and I still totally dig him. So, rock on, happy couple!

And live it up while you can, amigos, cause you just know my girl Alanis (Reynold’s jilted ex-fiancée) is in a dark room somewhere totally writing a mean-ass song about you guys…

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The Chenbot is not amused…

By now you’ve probably all seen this year’s list of Emmy nominees — if you haven’t, you can download the full list of nominees here — overall, this year’s crop was a pretty decent bunch. Glad to see smaller basic cable shows like “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad” swing a few major nominations, but at our house, the news was all about who was not nominated.

And no, I’m not talking about the extremely talented cast and crew of “The Riches” or the writers of “Lost”, but rather, the elegant Chinese robot that is “Big Brother” host Julie “Chenbot” Chen.

With the announcement earlier this year that the TV Academy was adding a Best Reality Host category, we thought for sure our beloved Chenbot was a lock for a nomination. Of course, we expected to hear the names, Jeff Probst, Heidi Klum, and even cheesy old Ryan Seacrest…but what no one expected was to hear the next two names on the list: Howie Mandel and Tom Bergeron?!

Are you kidding me? Have you seen their shows? The best things on both “Deal Or No Deal” and “Dancing with the Stars” have absolutely nothing to do with those two ham-fisted windbags! I mean, really, take them out of the equation and the shows are just as good, or, you know…bad…without them.

But “Big Brother” without the Chenbot is just a bunch of crazy, white trash drunkards trapped in a house with cameras. Now, I’m not saying I wouldn’t watch that show too, but a huge part of what makes “Big Brother” so awesomely watchable is that cool, shiny-haired Chenbot!

So…any way you look at it, our girl got straight-up robbed this week, yo!

I guess our only consolation is that the tenth season — yeah I said tenth, you got a problem with that Emmy voters?! — of “Big Brother” started last week, so that gives us all summer long to enjoy the strangely lifelike beauty of our favorite Chinese robot! And better yet, the show airs three nights a week…yah!

Emmy or not, long live the Chenbot!

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“Swingtown” on CBS

Summer time on CBS has traditionally been good for exactly two things…round-the-clock repeats of “CSI”, and three weekly episodes of “Big Brother”. And though “Big Brother 10” is still a few weeks off — we’re counting the days, Chenbot! — the “Tiffany network” has really shaken things up this summer by airing the shockingly- good original series, “Swingtown”.

Set in the candy-colored world of key-party-loving 70’s suburbia, the show seemed destined to fail from the outset. I mean, whoa…that title alone sounds a little more HBO or SHOWTIME than CBS. But for whatever reason, stodgy old CBS is airing this show and we could not be more thrilled about it!

I know it sounds like a one-note concept — “The Ice Storm” lite, if you will — but “Swingtown” is packed full of fresh, funny, and richly-imagined characters and enough complex subplots and drama to sustain the show through at least three or four seasons. And surprisingly, the best stuff on “Swingtown” has little or nothing to do with the swinging!

Sure, the sexy title got you in the door for the first episode — or at least it did us! — but three episodes in, “Swingtown” has revealed itself to be a pretty kick-ass TV show. Calling to mind some of the more nuanced, character-driven series of the past like “My So-Called Life” and “Freaks and Geeks”, “Swingtown” is, at its core, a beautifully crafted, often hilarious, show about people and relationships. I know, a good show airing in the summer? Shocking!

But maybe a slot on the CBS summer schedule is just what this show needed. With other networks churning out crap like “America’s Got Talent” and “Celebrity Circus”, ‘Swingtown” has the cool adult dramedy category pretty much all to themselves. So rock on, Swingers!

Centered around a trio of vastly different families — two of which have teenage children — the show spends just as much time developing the relationships between the kids as it does the adults, and the payoff is spectacular. I am not exaggerating when I say that there has not been a family drama this good since the late, great “Once & Again” left the airwaves.

Another thing “Swingtown” has going for it is humor. Like “Freaks and Geeks”, the show’s sly, deadpan humor is sometimes so painfully realistic that you’ll find yourself wincing through the laughter. There was a subplot recently about the boys selling their father’s Penthouse magazines to their friends that I swear could have been lifted directly from my childhood. Although, if memory serves, my Dad was more of a Playboy man…and, trust me, my brother and I would have never sold those gems to anyone!

Anyway, um…back to “Swingtown”. Despite what our friends at Because We Love It might say, if the super cool characters and crackling good dialog doesn’t win you over, then surely the costumes and set design will. I can’t tell you how many times Christine and I have paused just to stare at the groovy stuff in these folk’s kitchens and living rooms and shout out: “We had that!” Hilarious.

And just when you think the nostalgia factor couldn’t get any higher, there is the music! Swirling disco classics giving way to awesome 70’s rock and folk, hell, half the time you’re wondering how they even afforded these songs. In last week’s episode, they actually played the Rolling Stones “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” in it’s entirety. Do you know how much that song alone probably cost old Les Moonves? Wow!

But seeing as last week’s episode was the first to feature full-length opening credits, perhaps CBS has decided to throw some more money at the show since it’s pulling in halfway decent ratings. Whatever the reason for the support, we just hope they keep this amazing show on the air through the summer and hopefully beyond. Yep, it’s that good!

“Swingtown” airs Thursday nights at 10PM, so, toss your car keys in the bowl by the door and check out this rocking good show for yourselves.

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“Lost” opens the coffin…

Wow. Just finished watching the “Lost” Season Four finale and though there were a couple times where I really wanted more answers, I gotta say, they tied up this season with a bang! My one complaint is that unlike some of the shocker endings on previous seasons, this year’s send-off had kind of an unfinished, “Empire Strikes Back” ending.

I’m not complaining, but I described it to Christine as being midway through a great book only to have it taken away from you for three months! Ahh! Sure they showed us who was in that damn coffin, but, in classic “Lost” style the show introduced dozens of questions for every one they answered. And though that probably frustrates the hell out of some people, that’s fine by us, baby!

Dissecting the show’s intricate, ever-changing mythology is one of the chief thrills of “Lost” for us…so the more layered and weird it gets, the more we love it!

And while I don’t wanna give too much away for those that are hoarding the season finale on their Tivo’s for the weekend, I am bursting to nerd out about some of juicy new developments that played out on last night’s show.

So, that said, if you don’t wanna read any “Lost” spoilers, thanks for checking out the blog but, please…STOP READING NOW.

OK, so how about that Desmond and Penny reunion!? Awesome, right? Something tells me that Ben — having vowed to kill Penny as revenge for his own daughter’s murder by Widmore’s goons — will try and put an end to their happiness in upcoming seasons, but for now, rock on “Lost” power couple!

And the island moving thing? Whoa…could that have been any damn cooler? Not only was the sound incredibly unnerving, but the look on the faces of everyone who watched it disappear was kinda priceless. Also, are we the only people in America that picked up the budding sexual tension between Sawyer and Juliet? Hmm…wherever the hell they end up, I think I see some sparks flying.

Also loved Kate’s creepy dream sequence. The whispers in the dark, the door opening downstairs, and then that backwards-talking voice on the phone — a tip of the hat to the iconic Man from Another Place on “Twin Peaks” — the whole thing was almost insanely terrifying.

And the site of Claire lurking ghost-like over Aaron’s bed…holy shit! I just about lost it! Christine feels that Claire’s presence in the dream answers the “is she or isn’t she dead” queston…but I’m not so sure. If you look at her forehead, Claire isn’t wearing the bandage she had on in the cabin.

But then again, who even knows when this dream is supposed to be happening? Is it the future? Or, wait, is the future now the present…? Who knows? Either way, it still scared the pants off us both!

Another thing that really broke our hearts was Sun’s anguished screaming on the helicopter. Man, give that chick an Emmy already…she rocked!

And her “chance” meeting with Widmore in London was even cooler. For some reason, it seems she and Jin are not huge fan favorites in the “Lostie” community…but we love them both, so, we were very glad to see her being so proactive in getting back to the island. And using daddy’s money to do it is just plain brilliant! Go, Sun!

Another reason we’re rooting so hard for Sun to succeed is that we — well, actually, it’s more me than Christine — still think there is a chance that Jin survived that hellacious explosion on the boat. I know, I know, it was a big old boom, but hey, is this not the same son-of-a-Korean-fisherman who survived an exploding boat in Season One?

And for that matter, didn’t Michael also survive said explosion? If you ask me, my odds are on the two of them living to see another day. Speaking of Michael, one of the many harebrained theories that I’ve been bugging Christine about since the show began was also given a huge boost last night as well.

See, I have thought for a long time that perhaps some sexual shenanigans went down between Sun and Michael when they first got to the island. Not sure if you remember, but there was a scene, way back when, where Michael “stumbled” upon Sun undressing and when she turned to face him, she didn’t seem all that eager to cover herself…know what I’m saying?

So last night, with a bomb ticking madly away in the hull of the ship, Sun takes the time to tell Michael that she is pregnant?? Weird, huh? And the long beat before he replied was even weirder. I might just be imagining things, but notice how they didn’t show the kid when she phoned home before meeting Widmore. Maybe it’s because Sun’s baby is…bum, bum, bum…Black! Just an idea…

Also, gotta say I loved the final Dharma training video for “The Orchid”. It was so fun to see that Asian dude explaining everything again…and the “time-traveling bunny” was amazing! Loved the look on Locke’s face as Ben kept piling all that metal shit in the machine…classic!

And what was the deal with the crazy-eyed redhead from the boat, Charlotte, talking about “finding where she was born”? Hmmm…as Lewis Carroll’s Alice — clearly a major influence on the writers — would say: “Curiouser and curiouser.” Love the fact too that former ship-mate, the ghost-hunting Miles knows something about her too. Very cool!

And finally…the coffin. Christine and I figured out the identity of the coffin’s occupant long before the big reveal, but it was still fun to see John Locke all dolled up for the afterlife. Love the fact too that the writers chose the name “Jeremy Bentham” for Locke’s off-island pseudonym.

I checked both Wikipedia and Lostpedia (I know, nerd partol!) and just as I suspected, Bentham, like the real-life John Locke, was a famous English philosopher. Oh, you crafty “Lost” writers…

Now, if Christine and I could just find a time machine of our very own to help us fast-forward through the summer and see what happens next…all would be right with the world!

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The Chenbot Revealed…

While searching for some cool pics of Julie Chen for the next post, came across this pair of amazingly bad pictures and simply had to share them with you.

Non-fans of “Big Brother” — and they are legion, especially on the picket lines right now — might not appreciate these warts-and-all pictures of Ms. Chen, but any true fan will tell you that the Chenbot is never seen in public without every hair on her shiny plastic head in place. Until now…

The Chenbot unmasked…
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The Chenbot setting her lasers for stun!
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Apparently, these screencaps are from a “Big Brother: All Star” gag reel put together by the crew at the end-of-season rap party. I have no clue what she’s saying, but the sight of a hot Asian robot in curlers is just hilarious to me…even if she is married to the mad robot king of CBS himself, Les Moonves.

Ah, well, nobody’s perfect…rock on Chenbot!

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I, Chenbot

Having just wrapped up its eighth, and arguably best, season on CBS this week, it is with a pair of heavy-hearts that Christine and I bid farewell to “Big Brother” and its slinky, gloriously robotic host Julie “The Chenbot” Chen!

Revenge of the Chenbot!

A staple of our summer Tivo viewing since the show first started in 2000, we have been fans of Julie Chen’s strange, otherworldly charms for years. I wish I could say I came up with her cool nickname, but someone far wittier than I coined the term Chenbot a few years back and it stuck.

Remarkably, Ms. Chen herself has come to embrace the term as her own in the past couple of years, which proves that even hot Asian robots have a sense of humor. So, good on you, Chenbot!

Anyway, Christine and I recently discovered a hilarious website dedicated to all things Chenbot with some awesome mash-up video clips of her iconic catch phrase: “But first…” and even a surprisingly wide array of logo merchandise — including the tote bag pictured below and Chenbot thong underwear! Whoa!

Chenbot tote bag!

You guys have to see this stuff to believe it…amazing! And even non-fans of the show — which is just about everybody, except for “BB” loyalists James, Tim and Wendy — will enjoy the video clips on the site. They’re pretty damn funny.

Check them out at: hhtp://www.tvgasm.com/chenbot/ and until next summer when “Big Brother” rules our Tivo once more…all hail the Chenbot!

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