Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Two and a Half Dirty Ol' Men

I had not watched Two and a Half Men on CBS for quite a long time. Probably not since last season. I've always found it very funny. And now its the top rated comedy on TV.

I know the show often gets in trouble with the CBS standards and practices people. Rightfully so. Two and a Half Men has always pushed the envelope. I like seeing the envelope pushed. But last night's envelope got pushed too far. In my opinion.

Last night's show was a re-run. I've no idea when it aired originally. Or what its title was.

At times, just the title's of a Two and a Half Men episode can seem to push the envelope. Like one title "Rough Night in Hump Junction." That episode starts with horndog Charlie Harper asking his brother, Alan, to keep the girl he has upstairs, occupied, at 8 in the morning, because Charlie wants to go have sex with a married woman while her husband plays a nine holes of golf.

Charlie tells Alan, "Her husband is out playing nine holes, so I thought, as long as he's out, I'd try and play a couple myself." Despite getting beat up by the husband, Charlie persists, climbing the stairs to have sex with the man's wife who is eagerly waiting for him.

The next morning Charlie limps home with 2 black eyes. He tells Alan, "I just had a little accident. I tried to pick my lady friend up and put her on the bureau and now I can't find one of my testicles."

To which Charlie's housekeeper, Bertha, pipes up with, "That is something you do not want to find in the vacuum bag." For the rest of the episode Charlie sits on a cushion and complains about his painful "balls."

Later, Alan tries to talk to Charlie about his bad behavior and says this line, "You're kidding, right? You have two black eyes and you're perched on a scrotum cozy."

Next Charlie is arrested for trying to hire a hooker who turns out to be a cop. Which leads Charlie to think that Alan may be right.

Later Charlie tells Alan about his thoughts about settling down, with this line, "Yep, settle down. Have a couple kids. Ship the penis off to Cooperstown."

I only saw the last half of last night's episode. The word "penis" was uttered by Rose, the neighbor who stalks Charlie. She'd rung the doorbell right when Alan was expecting a hooker to arrive. Apparently, twice divorced dorky Alan was desperate for some female attention. He told Rose he was expecting someone else, a lady of the evening. Rose was disapproving, suggestion Alan try other means of meeting his penis needs, saying she'd heard some found some satisfaction in this thing called masturbation. Alan said he's tired of the same old thing. Rose suggested he use his other hand.

I sat there in disbelief that this sort of juvenile snicker stuff is now par for the course on the Tiffany Network's top rated sitcom.

So, the hooker arrives. She wants her money up front. $500. Alan pays her. The hooker goes to work. She compliments Alan. He stops her, says he knows that's a lie, if this is gonna work you're going to need to be truthful. She kisses him again, says his lips are dry.

On and on it goes, with Alan objecting to the nice things the hooker is saying. We cut to Charlie and Alan's kid, Jake, out to dinner in another unseemly situation, then back to Alan, following the hooker, who is obviously annoyed, with Alan whining, "saying it's the biggest you've ever seen was just ridiculous, I mean, I've not seen all that many and it's the smallest of any I've seen."

The hooker then throws the $500 back at Alan and tells him to never call her again. She leaves and Alan looks all self-satisfied, saying, "I got to 2nd base and it didn't cost me a dime."

Now. I don't think I'm a prude. I actually thought it was funny. But. First off the hooker. I know hiring a hooker is a crime in California. Big deal you think. Well, here is what disturbed me. I just finished a book called Bully. The true story of a group of kids who brutally murdered a bully in their group, back in the 1990s. This was in Broward County, Florida. True story. You may remember it.

Well, part of the Bully story is some of the girls had previously been involved, when as young as 14, in a huge prostitution ring. The community was in shock that these nice girls from nice middle class homes could be doing such a thing and think it is no big deal.

So, now it is 2008 and at 8 in the evening, when impressionable young minds might be watching TV, unsupervised, you've got what used to be the classiest TV network spewing what amounts to being sort of verbal porn, passing off all sorts of bad behaviors, as being perfectly okay. And funny.

We had a big brouhaha over a millisecond of Janet Jackson's partially exposed nipple during a Super Bowl Halftime Show with the outcry as if a crime had been committed against humanity. I did not see the nipple because I must have blinked at the wrong time. I think the worst that could happen if a kid saw Ms. Jackson's nipple for a millisecond is, well nothing.

What's the worst that might happen if a kid watches a show that makes being a prostitute look like an honorable profession and hiring one a perfectly natural, okay, upstanding thing to do? It doesn't take a lot of imagination to think of the worst that can happen.

Other than contributing to the deprivation of our culture Two and a Half Men is funny. Very funny. For adults to watch. Adults only. I do find Bertha the housekeeper disturbing. She reminds me way too much of a slimmed down, less ugly version of a former friend of mine. It gives me chills.

Dancing With The Stars' Mark Ballas Kicked In Groin

I'm in Fort Worth, Texas. Up til the end of November, I subscribed to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. I finally could not take its small town badness anymore, cancelled and subscribed to the Dallas Morning News. One of the ways the Fort Worth Star-Telegram annoyed me was anytime there was any sort of Texas or Fort Worth connection, no matter how remote--visited Fort Worth when 2 years old, cousin married to a Fort Worth native--that connection would be part of the story.

I say the above to explain why it amuses me to write that Houston born Dancing with the Stars professional dancer, 22 year old, 5' 7'', Mark Ballas, was literally kicked in the groin while dancing with his season 6 partner in winning, Kristi Yamaguchi.

A Dancing with the Stars troupe, led by Maxsim Chmerkovskiy, is touring the country.

Mark Ballas and Kristi were dancing on Saturday in Los Angeles when the groin injury struck. Ballas grimmaced in pain as he apologized to the audience for his diminished capacity.

Even though he was in extreme pain Ballas managed to dance quite wildly with the former Olympic Ice Queen and to also get quite rambunctious doing a hip-hop routine with pros Lacey Schwimmer and his best friend, this year's pro winner, Derek Hough.

Mark Ballas is expected to be out of commission for a few weeks. He should be back in top twinkle toe form when it comes time for me to go see all that dancing in Dallas.

Monday, December 29, 2008

I Really Don't Like Tom Cruise As A Nazi In Valkyrie Or Anywhere Else

Even before he made a fool of himself by jumping up and down on Oprah's couch and then spouting nonsense at Matt Lauer on the Today Show, I was not a fan of Tom Cruise.

I like celebs like Brad Pitt and his pseudo-wife, Angelina Jolie. Or George Clooney. And others, who use their celeb status to do good things.

I watched Brad Pitt in Africa, with Diane Sawyers, on Primetime Live. Brad Pitt, not playing a role, just being himself, seems like a nice, normal, caring, sincere type of guy. And very smart.

Where with Tom Cruise you get a lot of fake intellectualizing, Scientology idiocy and what seems to me to be a lot of over compensating. And he does not seem very bright.

Telling Matt Lauer that he'd studied psychiatry was bizarre. What he'd actually done was read Scientology propaganda and thought he was studying something real. During that Lauer interview Tom Cruise spouted some pretty stupid stuff. Like claiming one of the current psychotropic drugs was developed by the Nazis and called Alolfophine. That's an old urban myth.

Tom Cruise's formal education ended at high school. He had trouble reading due to dyslexia. I think he does some heavy duty over-compensating regarding his "knowledge." And his "height." It has always seemed to me Tom Cruise has a case of Little Man Syndrome.

So, what got me on this Tom Cruise subject? Well, a couple months ago his latest movie, Valkyrie, had its premiere in Seattle, due to the director, or producer, or someone else associated with getting the movie made, being from Seattle.

When he was in Seattle, for the premiere, Tom Cruise was interviewed by the Seattle P-I's movie reviewer, William Arnold, he being the author of the best seller, Frances, which later was made into the Academy Award winning movie, Frances, starring Jessica Lange.

In the interview with William Arnold, regarding Valkyrie (which tells the infamous story of the failed July 20, 1944 assassination attempt against Adolf Hitler, with Cruise playing the assassination plot's chief instigator, Claus von Stauffenberg) Tom Cruise tells William Arnold that he has always been a history buff.

Tom Cruise then told William Arnold that (due to being a history buff) he's done extensive reading on the Third Reich, but he'd not heard of the assassination plot before he read the Valkyrie script. Or, that there had been German resistance to the Nazis, was news to him.

So, Tom Cruise is a history buff who has read a lot about the Third Reich, but these extremely well-known parts of the history of World War II, the Nazis and the Third Reich, escaped his attention til he read the script for Valkyrie.

Any book that covers Hitler tells the story of the von Stauffenburg plot. Doesn't matter if it's Albert Speer's Inside the Third Reich or William Shirer's Rise and Fall of the Third Reich or any of the other 100s of books written about Hitler, the Nazis or World War II, the von Stauffenburg plot is going to be part of the history.

So, once more Tom Cruise is being pretentious, acting like he knows something, that he's studied something, when he hasn't.

It'd be like someone saying they are a history buff and have read a lot about the Civil War, but until they got the script for the new Civil War movie they are starring in, they didn't know Lincoln had been assassinated at the end of the war.

I don't get why, if Tom Cruise feels the need to overcompensate by acting "smart," why doesn't he put in the time to actually study and learn something? Maybe he could get into a community college somewhere.

Maybe if he got some real education he'd learn how ludicrous his Scientology pseudo-religion is. I think one of the reasons his post-Oprah couch jumping movies have tanked, is movie goers figured out that part of the price of their movie ticket was going to Scientology. Tom Cruise has given Scientology millions of dollars.

That would be money better spent, by Tom, on some therapy sessions and some education classes. Like History 101.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Top Chef New York

This is being my favorite season of Top Chef yet. The challenges are difficult and interesting to watch. The Chefs are mostly likable, some quite funny. But, there has not been much drama or fighting. I like drama and fighting.

The guest judges are being very good. I even liked Martha Stewart. Usually I find myself perplexed as to why she is so popular.

And unlike previous seasons of Top Chef, this season's lesbian is not a stereotypical angry lesbian. The last season of Top Chef had 3 very angry lesbians, with the one who went the furthest, Lisa, being the most angry of any of the Top Chef lesbians, ever. She was scary. With body piercings in odd places.

This season's Top Chef lesbian is named Jamie. She is a cute little thing. Even if she has too many tattoos. One of the Europeans has a crush on Jamie, that being Stephan from Finland. He showers Jamie with gifts, constantly, and begs her for a kiss.

At one point Jamie said to the confessional camera, "What part of the word 'lesbian' does Stephan not understand?" Stephan may have directed his non-cooking passion in a different direction this week. He seemed quite smitten with guest judge Natasha Richardson, spewing out how he felt about her ending with the word, "Yum."

Jamie does get a bit tense at times and can have an angry affect. When Rocco DiSpirito was guest judge he found it offputting. Jamie explained she was mad at herself, not anyone else.

Jamie's the first lesbian chef that I would not be scared to have in my kitchen.

One of my other favorites is Carla. She does the goofiest expressions. Wonderful bulging eyes. She has quite a way with words, too.

The Italian, Fabio, is always good for some funny moments. He is a top notch flirter.

The cougar, Ariane, started off doing real bad. But has now won a couple times and has won immunity at least once.

I'm not able to tell which chefs are likely top 3 material. Usually, I have a pretty good guess. I suppose I'd go with Stefan, Ariane, Hosea. With maybe Radhika and Jeff thrown in. What I'd like to see is little Gene start cooking good again, like he did in the beginning. Jamie seems like she has potential, but she can make some pretty dumb mistakes. Like raw scallops. I'd like to see Carla suddenly turn into a winner, like Ariane did. She'd be fun to watch.

The Real Housewives Of Orange County

I've tried to find the Real Housewives of Orange County as interestingly weird and entertaining as I found the Housewives from New York City and, particularly, the Atlanta Housewives. The OC Housewives were the first in this Bravo TV franchise. They are on Season 4. The other Housewives have had only one season.

Maybe the Housewives learn to tone it down after they see themselves on TV. There just are no breakout nutjobs on the OC, not like Alex the socialite wannabe in New York City. Or Kim, the deluded country music singer/kept woman or her friend, Sheree, the wannabe deluded fashion designer.

The only one of the Orange County Housewives who seems to come close to nutjob territory is the one named Vicki. Vicki is an interesting looking woman. Sometimes these women are filmed in a golden California glow. Vicki glows good. But, get her in restaurant lighting and you see major skin damage.

I've only watched a few hours of the OC Housewives. I've not heard any of the OC Housewives going on and on about how beautiful they are, something that both the NYC and Atlanta Housewives did, ad nauseum. Ironically, several of the OC Housewives are quite good looking, albeit in a plastic sort of way.

One of them, Jeana, is a former Playboy Playmate of the Month. She looks the most well-aged of the Housewives. A new Housewife, Gretchen, isn't actually a Housewife. She is quite young and lives with her much much older boyfriend. Who is dying from Leukemia.

The New York City and Atlanta Housewives had no tragic story-line like leukemia. Well, there was Kim's cancer in Atlanta.

Maybe I don't find these Orange County gals so interesting because they are West Coasters. I'm a former West Coaster. Maybe that's why they don't seem as alien to me as those creatures in New York City and Atlanta.

I'll try and watch the OC Housewive again. Maybe that Vicki will provide some good nutjob entertainment.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Survivor Gabon: Earth's Last Eden's Sugar's Adam

I guess it is old news, but it was new news to me, to learn that that little sweetie on the latest Survivor, Jessica "Sugar" Kiper, became a married lady on August 23, 2008.

The Survivor of Earth's Last Eden found her Adam in the form of a movie director named John Lands. The pair got married in Las Vegas after a long 11 day courtship.

Sugar, in a pair of black stilettos, was walked down the aisle by an Elvis impersonator who seranaded the couple with "Fools Rush In." The newlyweds honeymooned at the Treasure Island Resort.

Sugar had shared details of her wedding on her MySpace webpage, but she has since set her MySpace profile to private, which means you have to be a MySpace "Friend" to view Sugar's MySpace page.

Below are Jessica Kiper's aka Sugar's Details that anyone could see before Sugar set her profile to private...

Here for: Networking, Friends
Status: Married
Hometown: Baton Rouge,LA
Body type: 161cm
Religion: Agnostic
Zodiac Sign: Pisces
Children: Someday
Education: High school
Occupation: ACTOR/PINUP/VOCALIST/WRITER-LYRICIST

I did not realize that Sugar, who that deranged Corinne characterized as "an unemployed, uneducated leech on society" was actually employed as an actress and has worked on TV shows, like Gilmore Girls and has been in movies.

Below is a YouTube video in which you see clips of some of Sugar's TV and movie appearances.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Military History Channel

I've spent many an hour watching The History Channel. The past couple years The History Channel has seemed to veer from pure history, a bit too far, into UFO world, and things, like the secrets of Nostradamus. But, there is still a lot of good stuff, along with the fluff.

My biggest problem with The History Channel is too many commercial breaks, with the commercial breaks lasting too long. This can often cause me to go into channel chasing mode, after which I forget to return to The History Channel.

A couple nights ago I discovered a new channel among the way too many channels to choose from on my new AT & T U-verse, that being Military History Channel. I've found myself watching only the Military History Channel 2 nights in a row. This is caused by the lack of commercials. There'll be very short breaks where another Military History Channel show will be advertised and then right back to the program.

So, when I turned off the TV, Tuesday night, it was on The Military Channel. When I turned it on during lunch, on Wednesday, it was on The Military Channel. Same thing Wednesday night and today during lunch. My TV has been on nothing but The Military Channel for 3 days.

All due to no commercials. And good programs.

Tonight's Military Channel schedule is Deadmen's Secrets (Secrets of the Desert War), 2 episodes of Hitler's Managers (Alfred Krupp: The Weapons Builder & Ferdinand Porsche: The Engineer), Conspiracy (CIA and the Nazis), Mail Call (Military Pilot Training/Flak...) and The Last Days of WWII (April 15-21).

It would seem that last one should be named Last Days of WWII in Europe due to WWII's Last Days occurring in Japan on August 15, not April 21.

I suspect I'll be watching a lot of stuff about Nazis when I turn on my big screen tonight. But I've got last night's Top Chef recorded. I hate too many choices.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Fort Worth Woman is the Biggest Loser

A 26 year-old Fort Worth woman named Michelle Aquilar won this season of NBC's Biggest Loser by dropping 110 pounds.

This installment of Biggest Loser was called The Biggest Loser: Families with parent/kid and and wife/husband teams.

Ms. Aquilar had been estranged from her mom, Renee Wilson. They reconciled their differences during the show. They had been on bad terms for almost 6 years, due to a messy divorce which had Michelle living with her dad.

The prize on Biggest Loser for Michelle, in addition to getting skinny and back happy with her mom, was $250,000.

There was a viewing party here in Fort Worth at Boston's Gourmet Pizza. Right by the 24 Hour Fitness franchise where Michelle did her exercising. An employee of 24 Hour Fitness said Michelle's successful shrinking has inspired others at the gym to work harder.

I do not know if Fort Worth will be having a city wide celebration due to a local being the Biggest Loser. A few year's back Fort Worth did have a city wide celebration after being named one of America's Most Livable Communities by what turned out to be a bogus award given by a Washington, D.C. lobbying group.

I think a city wide celebration for a local losing a lot of weight would be appropriate. It doesn't happen all that often in Texas.

Nielsen Ratings for December 8 - 14

The Nielsen Rating's Top 20 TV Shows for December 8 - 14. The first number is the ranking, the second number is the season average, then the show name and network. The last number represents the number of viewers in millions. An 'x' indicates non-series special programming.

1. 5 Sunday Night Football NBC 23.1
2. 1 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation CBS 20.9
3. 7 60 Minutes CBS 18.8
4. 11 Two and a Half Men CBS 15.6
5. 9 Criminal Minds CBS 14.7
6. 15 House Fox 14.1
7. 12 CSI: Miami CBS 13.8
* X Survivor finale CBS 13.8
9. 5 The Mentalist CBS 13.7
* 3 NCIS CBS 13.7
11. 17 Eleventh Hour CBS 13.4
12. 12 CSI: NY CBS 13.3
13. 14 Survivor CBS 13.0
14. X Survivor Reunion CBS 11.7
15. X Charlie Brown Christmas ABC 11.0
* 26 Law & Order: SVU NBC 11.0
17. 31 The Big Bang Theory CBS 10.5
* 31 How I Met Your Mother CBS 10.5
19. N/A Worst Week CBS 10.4
20. N/A Boston Legal ABC 9.9

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Real Housewives of Atlanta Greg & NeNe Leakes Bankruptcy Documents

I tell you, those Real Housewives of Atlanta have been off the air for weeks now, but you could not tell it by a change in the number of viewers coming to this blog after Googling for info about the wives.

Why don't those Orange County Housewives stir up as much controversy? Or are they and I'm missing it?

Anyway, this afternoon I got email from "Molly." Molly wanted me to share some information she found about NeNe's husband Greg's bankruptcy. Some of this has already been covered, but it seems Molly provides more details and documentation.

Molly sent me email with an attachment. The attachment was a webpage from a Georgia Bankruptcy Court website. I'll copy Molly's email below and below that the info from the Bankruptcy Court website....



Hi there. I found your great blog when trying to get more information about the RHoA show. Many people wondered, in the comments section, why Nene and Greg's house seems staged - as though there isn't anything in it.

Could be because they find it hard to get credit, since Greg filed bankruptcy in the past? I'm attaching a file that shows his name and the date, but not detailed information, because the database we use at work only goes back so far. He filed prior to the court putting this type info online, in other words. He filed in 1987, it was resolved in 1989 and then the notice indicating he filed was entered into the automated system in 2006. Nothing more was done in '06.

I hope you'll post this information for your readers.

thanks!

Molly



United States Bankruptcy Court
Northern District of Georgia

Notice of Bankruptcy Case Filing

A bankruptcy case concerning the debtor(s) listed below was filed under Chapter 7 of the United States Bankruptcy Code, entered on 10/01/2006 at 12:01 PM and filed on 08/27/1987.

Gregory L Leakes
5640 Brisbane Court Lithonia, GA
30058
SSN: xxx-xx-4280

The case was assigned case number 87-06607-jb to Judge Joyce Bihary.

In most instances, the filing of the bankruptcy case automatically stays certain collection and other actions against the debtor and the debtor's property. Under certain circumstances, the stay may be limited to 30 days or not exist at all, although the debtor can request the court to extend or impose a stay. If you attempt to collect a debt or take other action in violation of the Bankruptcy Code, you may be penalized. Consult a lawyer to determine your rights in this case.

If you would like to view the bankruptcy petition and other documents filed by the debtor, they are available at our Internet home page http://ecf.ganb.uscourts.gov/index.html or at the Clerk's Office, 1340 Russell Federal Building, 75 Spring Street, SW, Atlanta, GA 30303.

You may be a creditor of the debtor. If so, you will receive an additional notice from the court setting forth important deadlines.
W. Yvonne Evans
Clerk, U.S. Bankruptcy Court

Survivor Gabon: Earth's Last Eden Bad Eve---Corinne

I did not get around to watching Sunday's Survivor finale until Monday. Which is sort of an indicator that Survivor is no longer the must see TV it used to be. A football game running late pushed 60 Minutes a half hour into the Survivor start time.

The DVR is smart enough to know that the series scheduled to be auto-recorded has moved to Sunday night for its finale. But the DVR apparently can not tell that 60 Minutes has not ended. The DVR recorded part 1, from 7 until 9. And then part 2, the Reunion, from 9 til 10. Because of the screwup I basically missed half the reunion. Which was fine. I usually bail before it is over anyway.

The DVR does have its benefits. As it greatly shortens 3 hours of TV viewing when you can zip through commercials and speed through boring parts. Like the tiresome walk by their fallen comrades. I always hate that part of a Survivor finale. Followed by burning the fallen comrades torches. I guess you have to have a lot of fluff to fill up 3 hours of primetime.

The biggest surprise of the evening was Susie winning the final immunity challenge by making a house of cards better than anyone else. The challenge previous to that, Susie did not do so well. It was a physically taxing run over and through mazes to find puzzle pieces. Bob easily won that one, with the overly cocky, self-described mastermind, Kenny, being sent to the jury.

Sugar finagled an ending where Bob and Matty tied, with Bob, who'd been practicing making fire all afternoon, easily torching his string, before Matty ever got a fire going, sending Matty home. Well, to the jury.

So, it was Susie, Sugar and Bob for the final three. Pretty much I didn't care who won. I probably would have liked a Sugar or Susie win better than the actual winner.

The jury assault on the final three was interesting. Kenny was embarrassing, not letting go of his "Bob lied to me" whining about giving him the immunity necklace. What a fall for a mastermind.

Marcus seemed pompous. I thought he kept it secret, he being a doctor. But he said, "As you all know I'm a physician." He then proceeded to be sort of, well, rude, particularly to Susie. I didn't get what point he was making with Susie.

Randy had some good vitriol. But he always comes across to me as being purposefully funny in a confounding to others way. He was the same way, only more so, at the reunion.

Crystal was more toned down than I would have expected.

Charlie was as flamboyant as I would have expected. He asked Bob if Bob secretly enjoyed all their intimate cuddling and spooning. To which Bob basically said "anything to keep warm."

And that brings us to Corinne. Without a doubt one of the nastiest humans ever to be on Survivor, let alone any other reality show. At the reunion Jeff Probst basically acted astounded at Corinne's attitude and asked her if she regretted her embarrassingly over the top harsh words to Sugar at the jury inquisition. The crowd loudly booed Corinne and cheered Sugar, who Probst said was the fan's favorite. Sugar looked like a version of Marilyn Monroe at the reunion. Very cute.

Corinne may have a little surface beauty, very little. Very ugly inside.

This is what Corinne said to Sugar when it became Corinne's turn to direct attention to the final three. "Sugar, you are an unemployed, uneducated leech on society and the only thing I'd vote to give you is a handful of anti-depressants so that no one else has to be subjected to your constant crying anymore. And maybe if you get some then it would seem a little more sincere when you're crying about your dead father. You don't deserve the million..."

Corinne's affect while saying the above was that of an out of control mean bitch from hell. I've known a few of those. To be avoided at all costs.

Next time Survivor goes back to Brazil. I hope it's not on that nasty Amazon River again.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Extreme Makeover Home Edition Fort Worth Part II

Today the Amber and Peter Augustin family returns to their new home in Fort Worth.

When I previously mentioned that ABC's Extreme Makeover Home Edition was building a new home in my old neighborhood in far north Fort Worth, I said I might make it up there over the weekend to see if I could find Ty Pennington.

Well, I was in my old neighborhood on Saturday. I did not find Ty Pennington, but I did find where Ty could be found.

Extreme Makeover Home Edition is a huge production. Meaning it takes over a huge amount of territory. The new home is located on Keller-Hicks Road. I was driving west on Keller-Hicks Road when I came to detour signs and a road block manned by police. Along with a sign that said "No Walk-Ins."

The detour wound its way through several streets and then came to another road block. From this road block I could see a lot of people milling about and several big white tents. There was no "No Walk-Ins" sign at this road block. A lot of people were parking their cars and walking in.

Continuing on I came to the spot where "volunteers" drove to the building site. Cars were going in and coming out, driving slowly over a very bumpy dirt field.

From this vantage point, which is the view you see in the photo above, I could see what must be the new house, to the right of the big white tent. I could see a lot of people standing around. I could hear someone talking on a loudspeaker. It did not sound like Ty Pennington screaming.

There were an amazing number of looky-loos, myself included. The building location is a short distance from the I-35 freeway. There were several people at the freeway exit outside their vehicles talking on cell phones. It was obvious they were trying to find out how to find the Extreme Makeover location. I supposed it would have been a kind thing to have pointed them in the right direction.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Home Foreclosures Hit TV Stars

There was a sitcom on ABC called Full House that I only saw while skipping around channel chasing. What little I saw seemed sort of sickening to me. I don't know why. Too saccharine maybe? As in artificially sweet.

One of the characters on Full House was named Stephanie Tanner. The child actress who played Stephanie is named Jodie Sweetin. Full House ran from 1987 til 1995. Sweetin has had some TV jobs since her sitcom was cancelled. She has been married twice and admitted to years of drug addiction and the regular use of methamphetamine.

And now Jodie Sweetin has let it be known that her latest marriage, of just over a year, to a guy named Cody Herpin is being a bit rocky. Likely in large part due to money woes. The Full House star's own house is in foreclosure. Sweetin has had her water shut off twice and is behind in paying all her other utilities. Soon, she will be without power. And then she'll be without a house.

Meanwhile, over on FOX, American Idol's 3rd season winner, Fantasia Barrino's home has also been foreclosed. Fantasia's property in North Carolina will soon be put up for auction.

I've not read anything lately about how Ed McMahon is doing with his home foreclosure problem.

When I make millions from my TV career I'm just going to get a nice simple house and pay cash for it. That seems like the responsible, safe thing to do.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

2009 Golden Globe Television Nominations


The Golden Globe Awards go to both Television and Movies. Below are the Television Nominees. The 66th Annual Golden Globe Awards Show will take place in Los Angeles on January 11.

TELEVISION SERIES, DRAMA
Dexter
House
In Treatment
Mad Men
True Blood

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES, DRAMA
Sally Field, Brothers & Sisters
Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
January Jones, Mad Men
Anna Paquin, True Blood
Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES, DRAMA
Gabriel Byrne, In Treatment
Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Hugh Laurie, House
Jonathan Rhys Meyers, The Tudors

TELEVISION SERIES, COMEDY OR MUSICAL
30 Rock
Californication
Entourage
The Office
Weeds

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES, COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Christina Applegate, Samantha Who?
America Ferrera, Ugly Betty
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Debra Messing, The Starter Wife
Mary-Louise Parker, Weeds

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES, COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Steve Carell, The Office
Kevin Connolly, Entourage
David Duchovny, Californication
Tony Shalhoub, Monk

MINISERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
A Raisin in the Sun
Bernard and Doris
Cranford
John Adams
Recount

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MIN-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Judi Dench, Cranford
Catherine Keener, An American Crime
Laura Linney, John Adams
Shirley MacLaine, Coco Chanel
Susan Sarandon, Bernard and Doris

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MINISERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Ralph Fiennes, Bernard and Doris
Paul Giamatti, John Adams
Kevin Spacey, Recount
Kiefer Sutherland, 24: Redemption
Tom Wilkinson, Recount

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MINISERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Eileen Atkins, Cranford
Laura Dern, Recount
Melissa George, In Treatment
Rachel Griffiths, Brothers & Sisters
Dianne Wiest, In Treatment

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MINISERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother
Denis Leary, Recount
Jeremy Piven, Entourage
Blair Underwood, In Treatment
Tom Wilkinson, John Adams

The Amazing Race's Starr Dallas Love Affair

The finale of The Amazing Race last, Sunday, had all sorts of people worried that Dallas and his mom, Toni Imbimbo, did not make it out of Russia due to Dallas losing their money and passports.

A lot of viewer's wondered if the absence of Dallas was somehow related to his romance with the winner, Starr. Had Starr dumped Dallas, causing him, hurting bad with a broken heart, unable to bring himself to be at the finish line?

Well, I found photo evidence that answers these pressing questions. Dallas did make it back to America. The Dallas and Starr romance continues. The pair were spotted smooching at some post-Amazing Race party.

Dallas has been quoted as saying, "I would love to be on Dancing with the Stars. I've been in cheerleading, dancing my whole life and that is one show I'd love to be in. And if Dallas and I don't work out, I would love to be on The Bachelorette!"

Apparently this means that if another reality show came along that would probably trump the romance with Dallas. Starr Spangler is a former Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader. So, she has a long history of being associated with Dallas in various forms.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Oprah's Gotten Fat Again

In the January issue of O Magazine, Oprah confesses to having fallen off the healthy eating wagon, again, and back on to the gravy train.

Oprah says she is mad at herself and embarrassed. Oprah can't believe that, "after all these years, all the things I know how to do, I'm still talking about my weight. I look at my thinner self and think, 'How did I let this happen again?' "

Ms. Winfrey is now 54 with an out of balance thyroid which somehow caused her to develop a fear of working out. She has gained 40 pounds since 2006. Which puts her over 200 pounds.

Oprah got so frustrated with her weight gain that she says she started eating whatever she wanted. I never understand that type logic. You're frustrated over something you've done so you do more of what caused the frustration? You get fat and so you eat more?

Oprah's yo-yo weight has provided TV and Tabloid entertainment for years. Way back in 1988, in a famous episode of her talk show, Oprah came on stage wearing size 10 Calvin Klein jeans, pulling a wagon loaded with 67 pounds of fat to represent all the weight she'd loss. By late 1990 Oprah admitted to having gained back most of that wagon load of fat. At that point she said she'd never diet again.

But, by 1994, thin Oprah was back, running in the Marine Corps Marathon. By 1996 she'd hired a personal trainer, publicly saying her roller-coaster yo-yo weight saga was over.

Til now.

The fact that Oprah manages to take the weight off over and over again is admirable. I know an obese person or two who only head in one direction, that being ever fatter. One has gotten to the point of being morbidly obese with one of the most oddly distorted bodies I've ever seen. She watches Oprah daily.

Extreme Makeover Home Edition In Fort Worth This Week

Ty Pennington and the rest of his ABC Extreme Makeover Home Edition crew is up in my old far north Fort Worth neighborhood, on Keller-Hicks Road, this week, building a new house for Amber and Peter Augustin and their 3 kids.

Ty Pennington knocked on the door of the Augustin's flood damaged house around 9am Monday. The family was whisked away by Limo to D/FW Airport and put on a plane bound for Hawaii.

Work begins today on their new home. To be completed by next Monday.

I'm not a huge fan of Extreme Makeover Home Edition. A little Ty Pennington goes a long way. Two hours of his hyper shouting is way too much. The sad troubles that get the homeowners new homes can be a bit touching. And the homes that get built in a matter of days are often over the top amazing.

From what I've read, the Augustin's don't seem to have any particularly sad story, besides the flood damage. Both the husband and wife are known for their charity work. Amber runs a ministry called Tiny Works of Heart, where she takes photos of prematurely born babies. One time Amber took off in the middle of the night on Christmas Eve to take a photo of a baby who might not make it through the night.

Now, I may be a bit cold-hearted and cynical, but I am not getting how this works. Does the hospital call Amber and tell her they've got a preemie? And with the ubiquitousness of cameras these days, it would seem like a family member would be able to take a photo. Most cell phones take photos.

The husband, Peter, does volunteer work for Habitat for Humanity. While his own home is unlivable.

An Arlington, Texas home builder, Wall Homes, is helping build the house, along with an army of volunteers.

I may drive up to my old neighborhood this weekend and see if I can get a look at the Extreme Home Makeover.

Nielsen Ratings for December 1-7


The Nielsen Ratings Top 20 TV Shows for December 1 - 7. The first number is the ranking, the second number is the season average, then the show name and network. The last number represents the number of viewers in millions. An 'x' indicates non-series special programming.

1. 7 The Mentalist CBS 18.7
2. 3 NCIS CBS 18.5
3. 1 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation CBS 17.5
4. 16 The OT Fox 16.2
5. 5 Desperate Housewives ABC 16.1
6. 7 Grey's Anatomy ABC 15.3
7. 9 60 Minutes CBS 13.8
8. 11 Two and a Half Men CBS 13.6
9. 5 Sunday Night Football NBC 13,3
10. X Barbara Walters ABC 13.2
11. 14 Survivor CBS 12.7
12. 15 House Fox 12.5
13. 17 Without a Trace CBS 12.3
14. X Hallmark Hall of Fame CBS 11.9
15. X Rudolph CBS 11.8
16. X How the Grinch Stole Christmas ABC 11.4
17. 43 Law & Order NBC 11.3
18. 12 CSI: Miami CBS 11.2
19. X Shrek the Halls ABC 11.1
20. 19 Eleventh Hour CBS 10.9

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

NBC Cuts Back By Bloating The Celebrity Apprentice

NBC has fallen on hard times. It is currently ranked 4th in viewership. I don't think NBC has any hit shows. So NBC Universal chief, former Wunderkid, Jeff Zucker announced that his network is considering "all options" to get their operation working well again. The options include cutting back on programming. Including, maybe, not having any programming on a day like Saturday.

The only programming change option already in play and which seems sort of counter-intuitive, is Donald Trump's Apprentice will be back in January. Bloated to being 2 hour episodes.

This saves money, because they shoot so much footage, the show can easily be bloated. Apparently the actual Boardroom meetings, where someone gets fired, can go on for quite a long time. But then get edited to be about 9 minutes long.

This is going to be another Celebrity Apprentice. I watched very little of the first version. It seemed real off to me.

But, the cast on the new version of Celebrity Apprentice looks like it might be entertaining. Various websites are reporting different lists of celebrities. NBC hasn't released a cast list that I could find.

Here are the celebrity names I've found. Andrew Dice Clay, Tom Green, Natalie Gulbis (pro golfer), Scott Hamilton, Claudia Jordan (model on Deal or No Deal), Joan and Melissa Rivers, Tione "T-Boz" Watkins (singer from TLC), Bryan McKnight (singer), Khloe Kardashian (Kim's sister), Brande Roderick (actress), Herschel Walker, Dennis Rodman, Dean Cain, Gene Simmons (wasn't he on the previous Celebrity Apprentice?), Jennie Garth, Clint Black and Annie Duke (no clue).

I actually know who a few of them are.

Dean Cain, Jennie Garth, Dennis Rodman, Annie Duke and Gene Simmons appeared on only one list, so I would think they are doubtful. If Dean Cain, Jennie Garth and Dennis Rodman are on the show, I'll watch. Although Joan Rivers could be amusing. Her daughter, not so much.

Top 100 Most Popular TV Actors

I came upon a website devoted to TV that is really totally devoted to TV on a level that, well if the TV.com website is a 10, my Durango TV Blog is a .0002. Or lower.

So, the TV.com website has a page that lists the most popular TV actors from #1 to 100. This list is based on traffic to TV.com in the last 24 hours.

With the above criteria in mind, Miley Cyrus is the #1 most popular TV actor. She is on Hannah Montana. I don't know if that is Miley's boyfriend, Justin Gaston, to whom her dad, Billy Ray, objects, in the photo with Miley or not. If that is Justin I can see why Billy Ray objects. Justin appears to be way too old for Miley. And a bit on the plus-size.

Looking down the list of 100 I only recognize about 1 in 10. I need to watch more TV. Ironically I recognize #100, that being Jared Padalecki from Supernatural.

#2, Robert Buckley, from Lipstick Jungle, I've no clue about either him or his show.

Kim Kardashian is #3. I know who she is and blogged about her taking her clothes off in Playboy just a couple days ago. She being #3 most popular makes this list very suspect.

Oprah is #4. The whole world knows who Oprah is. #5, Blake Lively, from Gossip Girl, I've no idea who he is. I have heard of, but not watched his TV show, though. Britney Spears is #6. Yes, I know who she is. I also know who #7, Wentworth Miller, from Prison Break, is. After that it is way down to #14 and Jennifer Aniston before I recognize another name.

Above Jennifer are names unknown to me, like #8, Pauley Perrette from NCIS, #9, Lauren Conrad from The Hills, #10, Hayden Panettiere from Heroes, #11, Cote de Pable, also from NCIS, #12, Beverly Garland from Port Charles and #13, Zac Efron from I don't know what.

I'm going to go down this list of 100 and see if I even know 1 out of 10 of them.

I know who #19, Jensen Ackles of Supernatural is. #24, Kristen Bell, currently on Gossip Girl, used to be Veronica Mars. I think. I know #26, Tom Welling, is Superman on Smallville. #30, Ty Pennington I know from Trading Spaces and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. I know who #32, Mark Harmon is, but I've never watched his NCIS show. #34, is Beyonce. She's a singer. I don't know why she's on a TV list. #35, Heather Locklear I know from all sorts of TV shows, going way back to Dynasty up to her new show, Angel Fall.

#36, Josh Holloway is Sawyer on one of my favorite shows, LOST. #38, Stacy London is on What Not to Wear. I find her and her show to be amusing. #45, Emily Proctor is on that horrible crime procedural, CSI:Miami, that I've watched once or twice. #49, Hugh Laurie is House. #55, Patrick Dempsey I've watched on Grey's Anatomy. #57, Julianne Hough I've seen dance on Dancing With the Stars. I know who #58, David Boreanz is, but I've never watched Bones.

#65, Chad Michael Murray I know from something, but not from One Tree Hill. #67, Jennifer Love Hewitt has been around awhile. I know who she is. But I've never heard of Ghost Whisperer. #75, Tyra Banks I've seen on America's Top Model. She's cute. I've laughed at #79, Sarah Chalke on Scrubs. Which I think starts its new season soon, having moved from NBC to ABC.

#80, Katherine Heigl is one of the reasons I quit watching Grey's Anatomy. #83, Kelly Ripa is on Regis and Kelly. I watched her trainwreck sit-com, Hope and Faith, a time or two. #87, Eva Longoria is fat these days on Desperate Housewives. I mentioned #89, Kris Jenner, of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, a couple days ago when I Blogged about her daughter, Kim Kardashian. And #99, Shawn Pyfrom is Bree's gay son on Desperate Housewives.

Wow, I'm surprised. I knew who 29 of the 100 on the list of most popular TV actors. That's nearly 1 in 3, way better than the 1 in 10 I predicted I'd know.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Real Houswives of Atlanta NeNe's Eviction

The rumors about NeNe Leakes and husband Greg getting evicted are true, according to Access Atlanta.

NeNe Leakes was the fan favorite of what became one of Bravo's best-rated first seasons of a new show, that being The Real Housewives of Atlanta.

NeNe is no longer living in the house shown on the show. A 5,000 square foot house in Duluth, Georgia. Which isn't in Atlanta.

An eviction notice was filed, causing NeNe and husband Greg Leakes to exit the home in November. The record shows Greg Leakes owed $6,240 in back rent.

The actual owner of the house, some guy living overseas, I suspect in the Middle East, named Kajani Shenanz, bought the house for $829,400 in September of 2006. The Leakes moved in and started leaking cash soon after the house was built.

In addition to the eviction, other items on the record surprised me. One is that NeNe is 41. I thought she was younger. If I read that Kim was 41, that I would not be surprised by.

NeNe claims the house they were evicted from was part of some sort of corporate lease purchase deal involving Greg and his company. Things did not work out with Greg's partner in the deal. Leading to their eviction.

The only business that could be found with Greg's name attached to it was something called Advantage Move, LLC. That businesses' phone has been disconnected. So, Greg could not be reached for comment.

Amazing Race 13 Winner: Nick & Starr, But Where Is Dallas?

It was not much of a surprise to see the brother/sister team of Nick and Starr Spangler reach their final destination in the final destination city of Portland, Oregon in 1st place. Nick and Starr had a record-breaking Six 1st place finishes during the course of Amazing Race 13 on CBS.

Amazing Race 13 did not seem to visit as many locations as previous Amazing Races. They spent 2 episodes in New Delhi, India and 2 episodes in Moscow, Russia. I don't recollect Amazing Race spending that much time in single locations before. Previously it seemed like each episode you traveled somewhere new.

It was from the final Pitstop, in Moscow, that Nick and Starr learned they were to fly directly to their final destination city of Portland.

The 3 remaining teams all shared the same flight to Portland, so they started off even in the final leg. But the two Fat Frat Boys, Dan Honig and Andrew Lappitt, continued with their tendency to have bad luck and make mistakes. In particular they found themselves a very confused taxi driver. Dan and Andrew were soon hopelessly behind.

Which left it a race between Nick and Starr, who rarely, if ever, bickered, and frequently bickering Ken and Tina Greene, who hoped the race might help solve their relationship problems. Which apparently, despite the bickering, it did. When they came in second, Ken made for an awkward, weird reality TV moment when he pulled out wedding rings and suggested they start wearing them again.

The final challenges were very Pacific Northwesty, with the teams having to climb a tree and walk a log suspended high above the ground and zip-line from the Bridge of the Gods above the Columbia River. And find several locations in downtown Portland, including a green dinosaur by the Portland Building, which is a landmark Michael Graves designed building, which is one of the many reasons Portland is such a good-looking town.

When the Amazing Race ends, standing around the Final Mat, along with host Phil Koeghan, are the teams already eliminated from the race. The eliminated stay at an Elimination Station, til the race is over. This time the Elimination Station was in Acapulco, Mexico.

One odd thing, at the end of Amazing Race, was the absence Starr's budding boyfriend, Dallas and his mother, Toni Imbimbo. Where were the Imbimbo's? Were Dallas and Toni stuck in Moscow? Unable to leave Russia because Dallas left their passports and money in a cab? The missing Dallas and Toni was not mentioned by Phil. Which seemed odd.

In a totally indulgent local Texas note. I ended my subscription to my local paper last week, that being the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. In my other Blog I regularly made fun of 2 odd things this paper would do. One being saying over and over again that some lame thing in Fort Worth was the envy of towns far and wide. They used several variations of this type verbiage. The paper was particularly fond of saying something in Fort Worth made others Green with Envy. It always made me cringe.

The other cringe-inducing thing this paper repeatedly does is if there is any, ever so remote, connection to Fort Worth, or Texas, to anyone on a TV show or in the news, that important Fort Worth or Texas connection will be noted.

Though I cancelled the hard copy Star-Telegram, I still take a look at the online version. I'll copy and paste a little bit from this morning's Star-Telegram article about last night's Amazing Race...

"North Texans have had a good year on TV’s reality-competition shows, and that continued Sunday night as Fort Worth’s Starr Spangler and her New York-based brother Nick won this season of CBS’ The Amazing Race.

The former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader and her brother, an actor who has appeared in shows at Casa MaƱana (a Fort Worth theater), beat 10 other teams to win $1 million in the round-the-world race.

The Spanglers’ win is one of several by North Texans in 2008. Fort Worth’s Joshua Allen won Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance; Arlington’s Melissa Lawson won NBC’s Nashville Star; and Dallas’ Iliza Shlesinger won NBC’s Last Comic Standing. Another Fort Worth contestant, Michelle Aguilar, is in the final four of NBC’s The Biggest Loser, which concludes this month."


Amazing Race 13 got good Nielson Ratings. Last week Amazing Race was the 13th top-rated TV show. Early on Amazing Race was often in danger of being cancelled due to bad ratings. Then winning the Best Reality Show Emmy Award year after year would save it. Now it would appear that good ratings will keep it on the air.

I used to have a friend with whom we both thought it would be fun to try out for Amazing Race. Way back in 2004 she decided she needed to lose weight before we could make an audition video. Since then she has nearly tripled in size. These days I think the only reality show she might qualify for is NBC's Biggest Loser. In more ways than one....

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Kim Kardashian Wants To Take If All Off For Playboy Again

I did not know who Kim Kardashian was til one day I was channel chasing and came upon one of the worst trainwreck reality shows on TV, that being Keeping Up With The Kardashians. Bruce Jenner married the ex-wife of OJ lawyer, Robert Kardashian, Kris.

Kris Kardashian Jenner, from what I've seen of her on TV, is rather, well, I guess the word would be narcissistic. Her daughters, for the most part, are equally narcissistic, with the worst being Kim Kardashian.

At one point on Keeping Up With The Kardashians, Mama Kris was arguing with Step-Daddy, Bruce, over Kim posing nude in Playboy. Kris said to Bruce that he was being a hypocrite because he'd been in Playgirl. "But I kept my clothes on," was Bruce's reply. The difference seemed to be lost on the mother.

Now, Kim is in the news again regarding posing in Playboy. Apparently Kim was horrified by reports that she'd said she'd never pose naked again. So, on her website Kim posted the following clarifying disclaimer regarding this serious issue.

"There are a bunch of reports about me on the web claiming that I said I would never do Playboy again. They're quoting me as saying, 'It was a one-off. I don't think I'll do Playboy or anything like that again.' This is totally false. While I'm not planning to pose for the men's magazine in the immediate future, I definitely don't want to close the door to the opportunity. Never say never."

If you've not seen the photos of Kim from her December 2007 12-page pictorial, they are easy to come by. Kim is known for her substantial derriere. Seeing that glutus maximus for all its maximusness is a startling sight to behold.

Kim Kardashian's most recent non-nude public exposure was on the just completed run of ABC's Dancing With the Stars. Kim got an early boot. She seemed nice enough. Way better behaved than she acts on Keeping Up With The Kardashians. Kim was scantily clad, at times, while on Dancing With the Stars, with that famously substantial derriere, that you can see exposed in Playboy (and via Googling), quite obviously on display, though covered, as Kim cha-cha-ed and rumba-ed across the dance floor.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Jennifer Anniston Baby & 2009 Wet T-Shirt Calendar Poses

Jennifer Anniston, she of Friends and Brad Pitt and John Mayer fame, is making a little news today. Apparently there have been a lot of rumors floating about that the former Mrs. Pitt is pregnant via John Mayer.

The rumors mostly have Jennifer having twins. Jennifer denied the rumors on a recent Oprah.

So, the only twins in Jennifer's present moment are the other reason she's making news today. She has posed provocatively in a new calendar that leaves just a little to the imagination.

I believe I have seen this part of Miss Anniston's anatomy before, but I can't remember where.

Real Atlanta Housewife Kim's Husband Stealing History

Someone Anonymous left and interesting comment on one of my blogging about The Real Housewives of Atlanta. There is no way to know if what anyone says is true or not in comments or forums, but this comment seemed like it was likely legit.

In the comment Anonymous claims that Kim Zolciak's ex-husband, Dan Toce, and he were best friends in high school. And that Dan Toce left his wife for Kim.

Below is the comment from Anonymous in its entirety....

"Dan Toce was one of my best friends in high school. He is 34, not 70 and is not even close to being a multi-millionaire. He just got out of jail not too long ago. I don't speak to him anymore because he left his wife, who was also a friend of mine, for Kim. He tried to get back in touch with me after his divorce from Kim, but I didn't respond."

Survivor Gabon Episode 12: Corinne Kicked Out Of Nobag Tribe

The December 4 Episode of Survivor Gabon was another good one.

Corinne got kicked out of the tribe. But not before she and Bob did some pretty good plotting. Bob made yet one more believable fake immunity idol. Where is he finding all the baubles he uses to make his fake idols? Is there a crafts store nearby?

Last night's was the Survivor cliche where the reward challenge winner gets to spend time with a Loved One. This usually is one of my least favorite Survivor episodes. It never makes sense to me that these people get so emotional, like they'd not seen the loved one in years, rather than days.

Last night's Love One's moments were especially teary. But I found it entertaining due to Survivor put some twists to it this time. Before the challenge Probst played a little snippet from home via cell phone video. That started the waterworks. Probst told the Survivors that unlike past Survivors their loved ones were not in the house.

The reward winner got to go to a special camp where there'd be beer, pizza and other goodies. And they'd get to watch the entire video. Worth playing for? All agreed it was.

Bob won. We next see him at his special camp with his beer and pizza, watching the video. At the end of the video Bob's wife says, "Just a second, I've got something to show you." Bob stares at the video muttering, "What's she got to show me?" as the wife sneaks up behind him. Bob let out a little startled scream when he saw the wife.

Later Bob takes his wife to the tribe's camp. The others are surprised and pleased Bob got to see his wife in the flesh. Then Bob said he's got something to show you guys after which he let out a loud whistle and all the other's Loved Ones marched in to camp.

There was some more crying. Sugar's sister brought along some of her dad's ashes which together they tossed in water. And in a Survivor first, Matty, very emotionally, proposed to his girlfriend, who accepted his proposal. Was she going to say no with that camera in her face? Matty had made some sort of necklace to take the place of an engagement ring. Where are these people getting all this jewelry making stuff? And how did Matty know to make this? Did he have time to make the necklace, on the sly, after the surprise arrival of the girl friend? Seems fishy to me.

So, Bob and Corinne's plot to use the fake immunity idol to trick the others into voting out Matty seemed to be going according to plan. But then some of the others got suspicious that it might be a devious plot. So, they voted 4 to 3 to get rid of Corrine. If Corrine did play a real idol then Matty, with the 3 votes would get the boot.

There should be some good drama next week as Matty tries to figure out who was the 3rd vote to boot him.

Corrinne seemed to pride herself on being mean. She said mean things. Like, "I'm in a camp of mutants, none of whom I like." Of her brother she said, "He knows I'm mean and loves it." And in her exit speech, "I only like Kenny and Bob. I hope the rest have miserable lives."

I've known people like Corinne. It is they who live miserable lives. Particularly if they are both mean and obese. Very miserable lives.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Elisha Cuthbert's Bad Ex-Boyfriend Sean Avery

I was listening to the radio yesterday whilst driving. A radio guy was bantering about something some NHL player said about Elisha Cuthbert. But the radio said he couldn't say it on the air. I wasn't too curious, though I did know who Elisha Cuthbert is, she being Jack Bauer's mistake prone daughter, Kim, on Fox's 24.

This morning I remembered yesterday's radio talk so I Googled Elish Cuthbert. It was not hard to find the info I sought.

Apparently in the NHL (that's hockey for you other non-sports fans), you can get suspended indefinitely for using the phrase "sloppy seconds."

It seems Elisha Cuthbert has a penchant for hockey players. One of her hockey boyfriends is a guy named Sean Avery. In researching this important news I read Sean Avery described as "looking like an inbred scarecrow with leprosy." That's Avery on the right, right at the moment he uttered the fatal words. By process of elimination you should be able to figure that that is Elisha in the bikini.

So, Elisha had dumped Sean Avery and moved on to a fresh hockey player, he being Dion Phaneuf. Soon after the dumping, Sean Avery returned to Canada where microphones and TV crews greeted him, when he uttered the words that have gotten him banned, saying...

"I'm really happy to be back in Calgary. I love Canada and I just wanted to comment on how it's become a common thing for guys in the NHL to fall in love with my sloppy seconds. I don't know what that's about."

It seems Sean Avery has annoyed the NHL previously. Tuesday night the league banned Avery, indefinitely, for "inappropriate" comments and conduct "detrimental" to the game of hockey, pending a hearing with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman for making derogatory comments about his former girlfriend, actress Elisha Cuthbert.

Maybe I'm just terribly insensitive, but I really don't get why such a fuss would be made over the phrase "sloppy seconds." And why that radio guy could not say "sloppy seconds" on the air. I thought it must have been something way worse than "sloppy seconds." Several words and phrases come to mind. But I won't print them here.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Nielson Ratings for November 24-30

Nielson Ratings for November 24-30, listed by rank, name of TV show, network and number of viewers in millions.

1. Dancing With the Stars ABC 21.1
2. Dancing With the Stars finale ABC 20.6
3. 60 Minutes CBS 18.6
4. NCIS CBS 18.1
5. The Mentalist CBS 15.9
* Sunday Night Football NBC 15.9 (tie)
7. Desperate Housewives ABC 15.8
8. Two and a Half Men CBS 15.0
9. CSI: Miami CBS 14.3
10. Criminal Minds CBS 14.1
11. House Fox 12.9
12. CSI: NY CBS 12.3
13. The Amazing Race CBS 11.8
14. Barbara Walters special ABC 11.6
15. Cold Case CBS 11.5
16. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition ABC 11.3
17. Charlie Brown Thanksgiving ABC 11.1
18. Samantha Who? ABC 10.7
19. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation CBS 10.7
20. Without a Trace CBS 10.4

Brittany Flickinger Is Paris Hilton's New BFF

One would have thought I would have slept restfully last night, relieved that Paris Hilton finally had herself a new best friend forever. Instead I found myself the victim of a bout of insomnia which has me at my computer in the wee hours of the morning.

The ending to MTV's weird reality show, Paris Hilton's My New BFF was just as weird as the preceding episodes. Brittany Flickinger is Ms. Hilton's New BFF. Paris picked Brittany over Vanessa.

Vanessa is from Alaska. She acted like a fawning fan, worshipping Paris. Brittany spent a lot of energy trash talking Vanessa. Apparently Paris likes a good trash talker. Her former BFF was Nichole Richie, afterall. Nichole Richie has a doctorate's degree in trash talking.

The winner of the title of BFF got no money or any other prize. Except to be Paris Hilton's BFF.

Paris picked Brittany after putting the two girls through some New York Hell, which included making Brittany a bit air sick flying over Manhattan. Brittany had trouble eating the $1000 gold leafed sundae with caviar she'd ordered. How can she be the BFF of Paris if she can't eat such things?

So, for the ending of this weird reality show the 2 girls were dressed like Marie Antoniette as they headed for a Paris guillotine.

When the 2 Marie's are led to Paris, the poor heiress looked all stressed out. Then Paris said "This is too hard. I can't do this right noow. It's just not the right time. Sorry."

Paris then stormed off.

"What just happened?" Vanessa asks. "I don't know," Brittany replied.

The storming off was all an act. Who knew Paris could act? When we came back from the commercials Paris tells us she "couldn't have the finale in the same old way. I planned something that's different."

So, the 2 girls are given a limo and a mask. One ends up at a big masquerade party. The other is led to a room where she reads a bye bye letter.

"Life without Paris is going to be so boring," laments Vanessa. Sobbing. "I'm just real upset."

Paris acted as if she was not going to choose anyone to be her New BFF.

And then in words that made no sense, Paris said, to Brittany, "The truth is you won't be joining me in my life."

And then there was a long long pause after which Paris said, "But, I hope you'll join me for our life together because you're my new BFF. Are you ready for a crazy life?"

Paris Hilton's New BFF has a MySpace space...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Too Much Borat On My TV

From Thursday through Sunday AT & T U-verse gave its customers a Thanksgiving present. In that for those four days you could watch HBO, Showtime, Cinemax and any of the other movie channels, for free.

I did not realize there are now multiple HBO's and Showtime's and Cinemax's. Dozens of movie channels. I hadn't looked for the movie channels til Sunday. They were way up in the 790 zone. Clearly indicating there are way too many choices.

So, a light bulb came on in my dim brain and I realized I could go through my U-verse DVR guide thing and hit the record button on any movies that I might at some point in time want to watch. So, I've now got a dozen or so movies stored. That'll likely be enough to last me til the next time AT & T turns on the movie channels for free.

One of the movies I hit the record button on was Borat. The movie was already about an hour in. So, I only got part of Borat. But what I got was way too much. When I sat down for lunch yesterday I turned on the TV. I looked to see if the DVR thing had recorded the movies. There was Borat first on the list. I hit the play button.

Imagine my bug-eyed horror when the first thing I see is a buck-naked overly hairy Borat wrestling with a buck-naked, even more hairy Fat Man. During my lunch. They were yelling at each other in, I guess, Russian. With subtitles. I won't type, here, the disgusting things they were yelling at each other. Borat's frontal goodies were blocked by a huge black bar. No need for that with the Fat Man, his huge gut did the job.

The naked wrestling went on and on, trashing a motel room, then the Fat Man ran out of the room, with Borat chasing him, still naked. They got in an elevator. Horrified people ran out of the elevator. Borat and the Fat Man calmly waited for the elevator to stop, then ran into a big meeting of some sort, still naked, way too naked. On and on it went.

I don't mind seeing people naked. I did mind seeing Borat and the Fat Man naked. It was disgusting. Extremely disgusting.

New Season Of American Idol Will Be Emotionally Raw

Fox's president of alternative programming, Mike Darnell, in an interview in TV Week, said that when American Idol returns to TV on January 13 it will be "more real, more intimate and more raw."

Pressed to explain what in the world he meant, Darnell explained that American Idol "is going back to letting the kids be more emotional and seeing more of their reality, we're going to allow the public to see a little more of their emotional state."

Does this mean we are going to be seeing a lot more of Paula Abdul crying? I didn't realize that American Idol had not been allowing the public to see the kid's emotional states. If anything, to my eyes and ears, we get shown an awful lot of crying, screaming and other types of emoting.

The changes to American Idol will supposedly reflect changes in the mood of America, according to the Fox marketing chief, Joe Early, who told TV Week "It would be reaching to say we're trying to tie into the election itself, but what we are tapping into is what we've just been through and the mood of the culture and the state of our economy. We've been through a lot of divisiveness lately, and our message is, it's time to stop arguing and fighting, to all pull together."

Does this mean that Simon Cowell is not going to be so harsh and mean to the kids and Paula Abdul? I'm guessing I won't be able to detect any change if I decide to watch the next American Idol.

Monday, December 1, 2008

World AIDS Day: Madonna's "I Am Because We Are" Tonight on Sundance Channel

Today is World AIDS Day. Malawi, in Africa, one of the most impoverished African nations, over a million children have been orphaned by AIDS.

Malawi is the country where Madonna adopted a kid she named David.

Madonna was so affected by the tragic things she saw in Malawi that she wrote, produced and narrated a feature length documentary, directed by Nathan Rissman. The documentary is called I Am Because We Are.

Madonna consulted various experts who appear in the film, including Bill Clinton and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Up til tonight, I Am Because We Are has been seen in only a few theaters. But tonight the movie will have its TV premiere at 8pm on the Sundance Channel.

Madonna is also building a school in Malawi. Madonna reportedly spent the Thanksgiving holiday with Alex Rodriquez at her home in Miami. But she is back in New York City for World AIDS Day, where she will be doing multiple interviews, including interviewing prospects for the job of head mistresses for her Malawi school.

No reports on where Alex Rodriquez is today. I'd guess he is back in New York City.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Rosie Live Died

Only 5 million people tuned in to watch Rosie Live on NBC last Wednesday. So, there won't be another episode. On her Blog Rosie O'Donnell had very little to say about her cancelled show, simply saying, "There will b no more. No ratings, bad reviews. yet still - a thrill 4 me."

Rosie Live was rolled over in the ratings by Rosie's old nemesis, Barbara Walters and her interview with Barack and Michelle Obama.

There may be other reasons Rosie's show did not do so well. Clay Aiken was one of the guests. That's him next to Rosie in the photo.

Rosie said there'd be no politic talk on her show and that was the case, except for a howdy to Barack Obama, who was visiting Barbara Walters at the time.

Rosie opened her show cracking wise about her weight, saying she was wearing a girdle called Spanz under her black sequined outerwear. She said it was a onsie for chubby fortysomethings.

Liza Minelli helped kick off Rosie Live, singing a duet with Ms. O'Donnell singing "City Lights."

Two 30 Rock actors, that's another NBC show that doesn't do too well, Alec Baldwin and Jane Krakowski, did bits on the show. Baldwin gave Rosie a stage door which Conan O'Brien opened to get a pie in his face.

Ms. Krakowski did a sort of strip tease, prompting Rosie to ask her 13 year old son, "Parker, did you like that strip tease?"

Other guests were singers Ne-Yo, Harry Connick Jr., Gloria Estefan and Alanis Morissette.

Kathy Griffin also showed up. Kathy Griffin is one of favorite TV stars. I think she's an A-Lister.

On Kathy Griffin's My Life on the D-List, at some point in that Bravo TV reality show's latest run, Kathy and entourage dropped in on Rosie O'Donnell. Kathy was looking for advice about, I think, entertaining wounded vets at Walter Reed Hospital. Rosie wanted Kathy to use her connection to Kathy's then boyfriend, Steve Wozniak, to get Rosie into some sort of high tech seminar. If I remember right, in exchange for that, Rosie agreed to get Kathy in to see Cher, backstage in Las Vegas. A phone call was made by Kathy to Wozniak, who agreed to get Rosie in to whatever it was she wanted.

There was a disturbing thing during the Kathy Griffin and entourage visit with Rosie, Rosie insisted they all work on crafts. Rosie's house seemed to be one giant crafts room. Working on crafts is one technique used in mental institutions to give the inmates something to do and to keep them calm. In my limited experience with crafters it seems there is a connection between mental health issues and spending hours working on crafts. I'm pretty sure this isn't the case with Rosie.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

TV Celebrity Gossip

It's time for some random Hollywood TV Celebrity Gossip....

LINDA BOLLEA
Poor ol' Hulk Hogan's ex-wife, Linda Bollea, needs more money. Apparently she is unable to get by on the $40,000 a month alimony payments from the ex-husband. I first met Linda on the reality show "Hogan Knows Best." I also met her daughter Brooke and jailbird son Nick. Brooke got her own reality show, the name of which escapes me. If Linda needs money maybe she could get her own reality show again. Or sell some of her pets. Too many pets, including a monkey, seemed to be Linda's one character oddity.

JOEY FATONE
The former NSYNCer bandboy mate of Lance Bass trashed talked the dance moves of Lance and Kim Kardashian, saying Lance "had to have two Red Bulls before doing the jive." Joey Fatone came in second on his season of Dancing With the Stars. This Two Bulls remark does not seem to be very bad trash talking, to me. Now, if Joey had said Lance dances, at times, like a bug-eyed fruitcake, now those might be some fighting words.

KIEFER SUTHERLAND
24's Jack Bauer regularly gets put through a living hell of torture and other forms of mayhem. But that's acting. In real life Kiefer didn't take too well to the torture of being in jail, saying "The lights never go out, 24/7. You can't even put your head under a blanket. All the cells have cameras in them."

PARIS HILTON
Paris ended up in tears, again, when she was booed while being introduced to the crowd at a friend's birthday party. Paris left the party without taking the stage. I don't know why dear Paris was put through this living hell. And where was her new BFF? Isn't the Paris Hilton: Search for a New BFF over?

PADMA LAKSHMI
Last Wednesday's Top Chef was all about cooking Thanksgiving Dinner for the Foo Fighters. The chefs who's food the Foos liked best got to go to their concert. Apparently everyone's favorite Top Chef host, Padma, got all rocking and rolling too, including going backstage with the band, where drummer, Taylor Hawkins, couldn't stop himself from doing some heavy duty flirting with Padma. But, despite a valiant effort, Taylor was unable to shake loose Padma's phone number.

DEREK HOUGH
The just completed Dancing With the Stars' winner, Derek Hough, he the professional half of the Star Winner, Brooke Burke's team, says the reputed feud between him and Warren Sapp was blown way out of proportion. Supposedly the pair got into a fight when Sapp interrupted Hough's rehearsal. Yeah, this sounds like real good feud material.

KATHERINE HEIGL
The annoying Izzy girl from Grey's Anatomy is such a McDonalds addict that she went to Mickey Ds while out celebrating her 30th birthday. I don't know if she had a McDreamy Big Mac or a McSteamy Fish Sandwich.

BILLY RAY CYRUS
The achy breaky boy got a tattoo last week. Billy took his daughter Miley and Miley's boyfriend, Justin Gaston, along to watch. But, Perez Hilton claims that Miley and the boyfriend got real busy smooching while Miley's dad suffered in pain, in more ways than one.

MARTHA STEWART
Every ones favorite homemaking jailbird still talks to all the friends she made during her unfortunate incarceration at the Alderson, West Virginia Federal Prison known as Camp Cupcake. Ms. Stewart says, "There are some very interesting women there of great value to society, and I keep in contact with them."

Well, there you go. That's my TV Celebrity Gossip for today.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Nielsen Ratings November 17th-23rd

The November sweeps have ended. The Nielsen Ratings Fall Sweeps period runs from Oct. 30-Nov. 26.

The only shows in the Top 20 that I watched are Dancing With the Stars, Survivor & 24: Redemption.

Clearly I need to watch more TV.

I don't even know what NCIS is. Another CSI type show? Why do so many people watch CSI and it's copies? I don't get it. But, I also don't get how a show about ballroom dancing manages to be America's #1 show, even though I do watch that one.

Here are the ratings for the week of November 17th-23rd:

1. Dancing With the Stars (19.6 mil)
2. CSI (18.4 mil)
3. NCIS (18 mil)
4. Dancing with the Stars (17.6 mil)
5. Criminal Minds (16.3 mil)
6. Grey's Anatomy (15.9 mil)
7. The Mentalist (15.8 mil)
8. CSI: Miami (15.5 mil)
9. Two and a Half Men (15.2 mil)
10. Sunday Night Football (15.2 mil)
11. 60 Minutes (14.9 mil)
12. CSI: NY (14.1 mil)
13. House (13.3 mil)
14. Survivor: Gabon (12.5 mil)
15. American Music Awards (12.2 mil)
16. Cold Case (12.1 mil)
17. 24: Redemption (12.1 mil)
18. Without a Trace (11.9 mil)
19. Dancing with the Stars Recap (11.6 mil)
20. The Mentalist (repeat) (11.5 mil)

Top Chef Foo Fighters Thanksgiving

I'm liking Bravo's Top Chef 5 a lot. It seems like everything about Top Chef as been amped up a bit. Maybe it is due to being in New York City. I don't recollect the chefs being thrown so many curves and twists in previous seasons.

The guest judge in Episode 3 was this wiry little guy with a bad goatee, named Grant Achatz. He's an American chef who the James Beard Foundation recently named as Best Chef in the United States for 2008.

For the Quickfire the chefs had to make a recipe found in the Top Chef cookbook. Then part way in Padma threw them a curve and told them to make soup out of what they'd already cooked. We saw a lot of Swanson's Broth being opened and poured. Swanson's Broth was the sponsor of this episode. Leah's soup won the Quickfire, despite it containing white asparagus, an ingredient she did not like.

For the Elimination Challenge the chefs are told they will be preparing Thanksgiving dinner for the Foo Fighters and their entourage of about 60. As the Quickfire winner, Leah gets to pick her team. She picked both of the Europeans, the sort of annoying Stephan and the funny, likable Italian, Fabio.

Ariane cooked the turkey for the non-Leah team. Everyone liked Ariane's turkey the best, but overall her team was judged by the Foos and the judges to not be the winner. That meant the Leah team got to go to the Foo Fighters concert while the losing team washed dishes.

The chefs had to cook the Thanksgiving dinner at the concert location. With no kitchen. They cooked outside with only a single burner, microwaves and toaster ovens. Eugene made a makeshift BBQ. I like Eugene. He seems to be one of the better chefs. His BBQed pork went over well. As if all the twists being thrown at them weren't challenge enough, Mother Nature made it tough on the chefs too. By raining.

The desserts, as they so often are, were the downfall of the losing team. Richard made some twisted version of 'smores. I have never liked 'smores. No one liked Richard's 'smores. Carla, who is really amusing, made some sort of pie thing that the judges didn't hate. But they all hated Jeff's strange parfait. One of the Foos called it barfait. Those Foos are funny boys.

So, it ended up with Richard packing his knives and going home due to his 'smores. He cried quite a bit. This leaves only one member left of Team Rainbow. That being Jamie. So far one of the Top Chef staples has been missing. That being drama and fighting. There was some indication in this episode that the Top Chef staple of having at least one very angry lesbian might be brewing, with Jamie getting cranky at Dave for being a slob and dropping food on the floor.