Saturday, May 31, 2008

For me, it's always a bad sign when Mark Sheppard is in the opening credits

Because it means we're in for a very talky Battlestar Galactica episode. More old guys fighting, please!

"It was definitely an act of love, which sometimes requires financing"

When the new Joule hotel finally does open their bar -- and let's thank heaven that the deal with celebutrashy Pure got nixed -- I will go. Just because owner Tim Headington made me laugh with that quote.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Does the clerk have the same stylist as Erin Esurance?

Even though one is animated and the other is animation, does their love of eyeliner and layered haircuts seem similar to you?

Isn't it time for a Battlestar Galactica reference?

Does the photo accompanying this article about Hillary Clinton and her assistant Huma Abedin at all remind you of Laura Roslin and Tory?

Does that make Rep. Anthony Weiner a would-be Gaius?

Was that a countdown clock for Sex & the City?

Right in the middle of last night's Red Eye? Seriously?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

"What a mama's boy coinky-dink!"

The opposite of excellent: in today's Awful Truth, Dallas native Ted Casablanca notices "Lance's mama, Linda, who has, let's say, a strong influence over her boy's life...just like Matthew M.'s does." So is Linda to blame for that Olsen twin? And Kate Hudson? How fast can a guy throw away his last shred of hard-earned likeability?

Believable ish: if you trust TMZ and if you think three similar events can be counted as a trend, then having an overbearing Texas parent is absolutely the hottest thing going! Yay Texans!

"Both companies are unprofitable, but many investors believe a combination of the two...would produce a viable company"

Not so excellent: The Blockbuster buyout of Circuit City might look a little different if there's a SEC probe to explain.

Entirely believable: Blockbuster's new in-store download kiosks sound awfully inconvenient and not much fun at all. But it's just a test!

"Ask your client about the escapades in the back room at Dolce in Dallas."

Excellent: the alleged Kobe Bryant-Laker Girl affair has a local angle. So to speak.

Unbelievable: someone actually reviewed Dolce without once using the word "douche."

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

"Watch this commercial and keep your eye on the blond girl. She is so smug and happy that she is eating a $1 Snacker. "

It's easy to blame overexposure but there may be something to these reviews: "Maybe it because I secretly want to live at this cool apt. complex and talk to my smooth black friend and attractive blond friend while they sit on the stairs and eat chicken and crack wise. Shouldn't this guy have a hip Asian friend with spiky hair and a track jacket hanging around? That is the way ad execs see mid 20 Americans."

How did he know?

But the real lesson here is to give up and just go with the dancing girls and a cool retro song. Always. All the time. Now.

Perhaps it was a blessing that Wal-Mart's upscale fashion line failed when it did

You heard about this, right? "Target Corp.'s first-quarter profit dropped 7.5% as the economic downturn has left consumers with less money to spend on discretionary items." Well, it's not my fault.

Meanwhile Wal-Mart's "first-quarter profit rose 6.9%, driven in part by consumers responding to its low-price message and buying food, groceries and generic prescription drugs in one-stop trips, analysts said."

So everyone's going to Wal-Mart to save on necessities. Makes total sense. Except: "The mega-retailer is also pushing items such as flat-panel televisions to increase its share of the electronics market. It's featuring meal solutions for $10 as more consumers eat at home amid the economic downturn. Wal-Mart is touting apparel for $10 or less and is adding exclusive merchandise such as Iconix Brand Group's Ocean Pacific and OP brands and Jones Apparel Group's l.e.i. line of clothing for teens. On its lagging home-goods sales, Wal-Mart is touting 'vacation in your backyard,' with merchandise such as grills and patio sets."

It's the Target $1 aisle in reverse, isn't it? Bizarro! Could Wal-Mart become a fashion powerhouse after all?

Friday, May 16, 2008

Remember: these are the people who claim to set trends

How fashion editors demonstrate fresh thinking: "Now that it's a hit and moving to a new network, 'Project Runway' has lots of magazines eager to partner up with the show for the sixth season." It's funny because Elle, which benefitted from the partnership, was chosen only when other magazines declined.

So what's next for the Nina Garcia-less Elle? "CW unveiled its new show 'Stylista' its upfronts on Tuesday, which stars Elle fashion news director Anne Slowey and creative director Joe Zee. The network described the show as '"The Devil Wears Prada" reinvented as a reality series'....Viewers who watched early clips released on YouTube pointed out Slowey's hyperstylized appearance akin to Meryl Streep's character in the movie, and its campy take on fashion."

Remember Slowey? Last time we saw her, she was complaining about vulgarity, specifically "too much tooty." It's touching to see someone so unappealing not give up on her TV dream. And if it means copying a well-worn show format or imitating a fictional character who's based on a real-life person who just happens to be a more-famous competitor, eh, so be it.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

"Architectural collectibles:" is display space a problem?

The Kaufmann house is auctioned off at Christie's. Wasn't this Tim Allen's house in GalaxyQuest? And really? People "collect" architecture? Does anyone in Dallas realize this?

Random thoughts on Camille Paglia

Her latest column seemed sad. Maybe it's all the Stevie Wonder nostalgia.

After I read it, I looked back at my movie teachers post and realized that Paglia writes the way Miss Brodie speaks. Ish.

Finally, it's a crying shame that Paglia is not, as far as I know, a Battlestar Galactica viewer. I'd pay cash money to read her reactions to each episode. War, religion, sex, Six—it's all pretty much right in the Paglia wheelhouse, isn't it? Although. If she hated it, I'd feel embarrassed and stupid.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Funny details from the Southwest Airlines cellphone user story

Maybe funny only to me. First, the guy's president of an "Austin-based environmental start-up company." Way to draw attention to the cause, Mr Jones! You are a brilliant representative of your company, city and generation.

And maybe in-flight cellphone use is a safety issue not because it interferes with the plane's navigation system but because having to listen to all those conversations would make everyone crazy: "Forrester analyst Henry Harteveldt said the use of mobile phones in the cabin raises another risk: air rage. 'No one wants to sit next to a Chatty Cathy talking about their latest conquest.'"

Maybe this is the first step to an Oprah-ESPN partnership

Hannah Storm is ESPN's newest morning SportsCenter host: "Storm wouldn't be getting that slot if the [ESPN] brass wasn't attempting to give their morning shows a little Meredith Vieira juice and tone down the highlight heavy, wise-assery of primetime SC....Consider this the latest evolution of ESPN as they continue to attract every single demographic out there. So, sports-addicted mini-van mommies, you are finally being recognized."

Well: ugh. And? Hannah Storm? She couldn't attract women viewers to a network news morning show. Morning TV is so women's issues-oriented (in an embarrassing, insulting way), isn't it worth it for ESPN -- or any cable network -- to be different?

But it's certainly a good time for cable, even amid all the upfront horror stories: "One bright spot this year seems to be cable TV. Media buyers are eyeing cable programming more closely than ever because the writers' strike has caused the broadcast networks to lose viewers to cable. Buyers said several cable networks have the chance to both raise prices and gain more market share from broadcast competitors."

ADDED: What makes the Hannah Storm hire more interesting is that, at one time, ESPN actually had a female SportsCenter host capable of drawing millions of women viewers. If I remember correctly, though, Robin Roberts was relegated to early Sunday mornings.

Important things to remember about Fox News and brunettes

This TVNewser post almost leads you to believe Channel 4's Megan Henderson will be a new weekend host for Fox & Friends. But the last line is key: "The insider also tells us Henderson's appearances 'would not be limited to weekends.'" Exactly. At Fox News, brunettes are sent off to cover tornadoes, wildfires and Mideast bomb blasts. Even the most infrequent viewer knows that the comfy studio couch is only for leggy blond girls.

Monday, May 12, 2008

It's a bad time to be a second-tier character on Battlestar Galactica

If they're not Cylons or probable Cylons, they're dropping like flies. It's getting harder to care. Or is that just me?

Friday, May 09, 2008

"I think you have to stake out a territory and deliver this really unique perspective"

I love this Greg Gutfeld interview not because I agree or disagree with anything Gutfeld says but because what he says is thoughtful, unpredictable and so concisely stated: "'Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares is awesome. He's the most hypnotic, magnetic character on television. He goes into a restaurant and he looks how things have gone wrong and he gives them three pieces of advice: Simplify the menu, fresh ingredients, affordable. These three things are integral in everything you do in life, whether it's a magazine or a meal.'"

Is that vaguely Godinesque?

And does this remind you at all of working in advertising: "Prevention was my first writing gig, and I did nothing but serious health news, generally focused on women problems: estrogen, endometriosis....And I knew that the only way I could do that, I had a picture of my mom on the desk, because you have to write for your audience. How do you write health stuff for a 70-year-old lady? So every time I'd look at her and go, 'Okay how do I explain hemoglobin? It's this stuff in your veins.' You actually have to write like that. It was an amazing way how to learn to write concisely."

Come out of your half-dreamed dream

I canNOT believe that a list of the 5 greatest movie teachers does not even mention The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.

Once you watch Maggie Smith proclaim, "It is true I am a strong influence on my girls. I am proud of it! I influence them to be aware of all the possibilities of life... of beauty, honor, courage. I do not, Miss Mackay, influence them to look for slime where it does not exist! I am going. When my class convenes, my pupils will find me composed and prepared to reveal to them the succession of the Stuarts," you are changed forever. And you begin to appreciate the power of the bouffant.

One other movie teacher bizarrely overlooked: Professor Taub in The Sure Thing. Though it's a limited role, Viveca Lindsfors is unforgettable and does more for reading glasses than I can possibly say.