Monday, December 31, 2007

Testing...testing...

...Anybody out there? Well, I obviously took a longer vacation from blogging than I originally intended this holiday season. Oops. Sorry. That said, there was absolutely nothing on TV, so I didn't really have that much to write about, anyway. Can you forgive me?

As a peace offering, here's a tip: Amazon is having a crazy TV on DVD sale. Buy one, get one free for a selection of over 170 items, from Seinfeld to Rescue Me to News Radio to The Critic to shows from the 70's that I've never even heard of. Enjoy!

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Monday, December 24, 2007

"Nestor the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey," you'll go down in hiiistoooryyy!

Today's featured Christmas special is a religious reworking of "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer." Because, you know, why change the formula if you already know it's successful? Apparently based on a song by Gene Autry, "Rudolph" becomes "Nestor," "Red-Nosed" becomes "Long-Eared," and "Reindeer" becomes "Christmas Donkey." Riiight...

Nestor, the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey (Rankin-Bass, 1977)

The Main Players:

  • Speiltoe, Santa's donkey (what, you didn't know Santa had a donkey?) and our singing narrator.
  • Nestor, a clumsy young donkey with freakishly long ears. Like, down to the ground.
  • Olaf, a mean donkey breeder who doesn't feed Nestor because he's always tripping over his ears and breaking things. (Which, seriously? How many breakable objects could there possibly be in a barn?)
  • Nestor's mother, whom you probably shouldn't get too attached to.
  • Tilly, a cherub sent to inspire Nestor. (You see, angels inspire humans, while cherubs inspire animals!)
  • Mary and Joseph. Yeah, that Mary and Joseph.
The Basic Plot:
Speiltoe informs us that way back in the day, a clumsy, long-eared donkey was born. We join Nestor and his family at Olaf's stable, where (after some sad backstory about everyone making fun of Nestor because of his ears) a soldier from the Roman Empire has come to take away the normal young donkeys in the barn, leaving Nestor behind. Olaf kicks Nestor out into a blizzard, and we get a bit of a Bambi moment where his mother rescues him, but dies in the storm. Harsh, yo!

Nestor survives the winter alone, but is understandably feeling pretty depressed. That is, until he finds Tilly, a cherub who tells him that his ears will someday help him to save someone. It takes a couple of eerie green beams of light from above to convince him, so clearly either God or aliens are in the mix here, but Nestor lets Tilly lead him all the way to the outskirts of Bethlehem. There, an animal dealer takes him in, but no one will buy him because of his ears. It's hard out there for a long-eared donkey.

Finally, Mary and Joseph show up and pick him instead of all the normal donkeys because of his "gentle eyes." You know, I'm not one to poke holes in a story, but wouldn't you want a donkey that could walk without falling down to transport a heavily pregnant woman? Anyway, that magical green beam of light convinces the dealer to give Nestor away, and Nestor somehow manages to carry Mary most of the way to Bethlehem.

But then, DISASTER! A sandstorm obscures the star that's been guiding them! (Again, not one to poke holes, but wasn't that star for the wise men? I'm a little rusty on my bible stories, but I seem to remember that from the song...) Happily, Nestor's ears are able to hear the way to Bethlehem, with Tilly's and his dead mother's help. And also some singing angels, of course. The giant ears also serve to wrap around Mary and protect her, which is a bit of a weird image. Once they make it to Bethlehem, it's a bit tough to find an inn (do you see where this is headed?), so Nestor takes them to a stable. I'm pretty sure you know the rest.

Nestor returns home a hero, and everyone is nice to him. So, wait, Olaf took him back? Nestor wanted to go back?! Olaf basically killed his mother! WTF?! Sigh...anyway, um, yay, Nestor! Whose achievement was not at all a religious version of Rudolph's!

Songs:
  • A country-tinged introduction about how everyone knows Rudolph, but there's a donkey out there that no one has heard of. (Way to acknowledge the rip-off, at least...)
  • A country-tinged ballad about how everyone made fun of Nestor because of his long ears and clumsiness, and wouldn't let him play their reindeer donkey games. And, ironically, how his giant ears let him overhear their cruel jokes, making him feel even worse.
  • A country-tinged reprise about how all the Bethlehem animals also made fun of Nestor's ears and uselessness. But with a happy ending about getting chosen by Mary and Joseph.
  • A country-tinged number about how Nestor found the manger, etc., etc.
  • A country-tinged finale about how much awesomer Nestor is than Rudolph, and how everyone should remember him.

Memorable Quotes:

  • "Now all the world knows Nestor for his laughter and his ears!" -Speiltoe. Um, yeah, not so much. Also, what laughter?
Valuable Lessons Learned:
  • Whatever happens, you must be brave.
  • Even if someone kicks you out into a blizzard, essentially killing your mom, you should go back to live with them. If only to show off your newfound fame.

Bottom Line: A religious, country-tinged "Rudolph."

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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Happy Ho-lidays from Janice Dickinson!

I know I posted this last year, but it's too good not to resurrect. Janice's "12 Days of Christmas," you guys. The awesomeness has to be seen to be believed.



I'll be back with more Christmas special recaps tomorrow, but in the meantime, Merry Christmas, from Janice to us!

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TV Blog Coalition: Merry Linkmas!

Get ready for some awesome reading, because below is this week's edition of the TV Blog Coalition's favorite links of the week! Here at Glowy Box, after answering some googled questions about Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency and Cash and Treasures, I celebrated the holiday season by recapping Pinocchio’s Christmas, which was surprisingly lacking in likeable characters, and Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, the classic Christmastime ode to freedom and Democracy.

Click below to see what everyone else was up to.

BuzzSugar: This week, we got pumped about new previews for Lost and Heroes, celebrated the addition of Saved by the Bell to The N, and asked one very important question: Team Serena or Team Blair?

Daemon's TV: This week Sandie took a first look at pictures from the second season of Jericho. Araya posted part three of our interview with the cast of Chuck, including Zachary Levi, Yvonne Strahovski, and Adam Baldwin. Eric shared his thoughts on the pilot of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

Mikey Likes TV: The graciously closure-filled season finale of Dexter put Mikey in the holiday spirit, so he started his countdown of the top 10 shows of 2007 with a look at why he loves 30 Rock so much. If anyone out there has a copy of the Who Dat Ninga? poster, it's all he really wants for Christmas.

Pop Vultures: This week, Marcia continued her obsession with TV's opening titles by naming the 5 best opening credits sequences, although she's fairly certain no one will agree with her choices. She then managed to gather her thoughts about the Dexter season finale. Also, guest poster Tracey checked in with a woman-on-the-scene report from Monday's strike lines.

RTVW: This week our TV Advent Calendar featured a bonus Bones scene under the mistletoe and we sounded off about our favorite holiday TV. Plus, Rae wondered how an episode of Scarecrow & Mrs King could still be considered "promotional."

Scooter McGavin's 9th Green: As the television season winds to a grinding halt, you can always reminisce the past year by going through Scooter’s 57 Channels and Only This Is On archives to relive the highs and lows of the season (or if only to check out the previous Gratuitous Token Hot Chick Picture of the Week). Still need something to get that annoying cousin for Christmas who thinks he’s ghetto despite living in suburbia? Try the new Lupe Fiasco album. And a Christmas movie with Olive Snook, Maeby Fünke, and Hurley has to be good, right?

Tapeworthy: Merry Ludachristmas! Vance went to "30 Rock" in New York and saw Christmas marathon of stage shows, including the Rockettes, Wintuk and The Grinch Musical (and the White Christmas The Musical back in Toronto). Also back in Toronto, Project Runway Canada had its finale with host Iman getting her regal final word in.

Televisionary: This week, Jace was blown away by the sheer genius of Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's series-ender special of Extras, enraptured by the extended trailer for Season Four of Lost, and felt justified with his picks for the best TV of 2007.

TiFaux: This week, we ended up watching more TV on the internet than on the actual tube. That is, shows produced exclusively for the internet. First, there's the indie rock/comedy duo of Carrie Brownstein (of Sleater-Kinney) and Fred Armisen (of SNL) who produce the pretty darn funny Thunderant series. Then, there's hipster comedians Gabe and Jenny, who created an awesome clip spoofing The Hills. Rounding out the week, Kyle noticed a weird similarity between Pushing Daisies and Bill Murray's Groundhog Day.

The TV Addict: offered up an early review of TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES, interviewed SMALLVILLE's Allison Mack and Krisin Kreuk and wrote an Ode to JOURNEYMAN.

Tube Talk: Jennifer overdosed on Christmas movies, Ashley shared her favorite TV holiday episodes and readers chimed in with their choices, too, (Chrismukkah and Happy Festivus anyone?) and we rejoiced at the news that Pete Ross was returning to Smallville. Merry Christmas everyone!

TV Filter: Raoul interviewed Todd from Survivor. Kate discovered, much to her dismay, that she liked Crowned: The Mother of All Pageants and counted down her favorite not-too-Christmassy Christmas episodes of the past.

TV With MeeVee: We talked to Donald Trump and Gene Simmons - yup - about the upcoming Celebrity Apprentice. We rocked the news that Gossip Girl star Ed Westwick has a rock band. And we taught you how to identify Cylons without having sex with them.

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Friday, December 21, 2007

Suck it, USSR, 'cause "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town"

Another day, another unbelievably awesome Christmas special! Today's installment is a classic allegorical tale about the evils of Communism and the toy-loving goodness of Democracy.

Santa Claus is Comin' to Town (Rankin-Bass, 1970)

The Main Players:

  • The Narrator, a mailman who is almost certainly breaking multiple Federal laws by opening children's mail and reading it aloud to us. (Voiced by Fred Astaire.)
  • Kris, a redheaded toymaker and freedom-lover with possible pedophilic tendencies and the ability to dance on air. (Voiced by Mickey Rooney.)
  • Winter Warlock, an evil wizard living in the Mountain of the Whispering Winds, who may or may not represent the non-USSR Eastern Bloc countries.
  • Burgermeister Meisterburger, the toy- and Democracy-hating mayor/dictator of Sombertown/the USSR.
  • Jessica, a Sombertown schoolteacher with a surprising penchant for letting her hair down and singing psychedelic songs.
  • Topper, Kris's adorable, scarf-wearing penguin sidekick, who is looking for the South Pole and is in for a big letdown.
The Basic Plot:
Fred Astaire, the letter-opening mailman, has taken it upon himself to explain the origins of Santa Claus, with impressive thoroughness. It all began in "one of the northern countries," where Burgermeister Meisterburger finds a baby on his stoop bearing the nametag "Claus." He sends Claus to the orphanage, but the baby-bearing sleigh is blown into the Mountain of the Whispering Winds, where the animals hide him from the Winter Warlock and take him to the Rainbow River Valley. (FYI, I'm pretty sure that the same person responsible for naming everything in the Candyland game named all these characters and locations.)

The Rainbow River Valley is home to the jolly Kringle family of elves. The Kringles teach the boy, now named Kris, their profession of making toys. Unfortunately, the Rainbow River Valley lacks children, so the toys just get thrown outside onto a big pile. Once Kris is all grown up (and taught by the seals how to laugh, "Ho ho ho," riiight...), he decides to deliver the toys across the Mountain/Iron Curtain to Sombertown, coming across Topper on the way.

Meanwhile, in gray, bleak Sombertown, Burgermeister Meisterburger has outlawed toys after tripping on one. At first, the townsfolk run away from Kris, his outlandish Western clothes, and his illegal goods. But the oppressed children aren't ones to turn away free toys, and after basically speaking the lyrics to "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town," Kris gives toys to all the good little girls and boys. Jessica objects, being as he's trafficking in illegal goods, but Kris gives her a doll to distract her from the weirdly pedophilic song he's about to sing. His joy at sitting children on his lap and kissing them only lasts so long, though, because he's soon on the run from Burgermeister Meisterburger.

In the mountains, Kris is captured by the Winter Warlock, who is tempted by Kris's fun Western ways when Kris gives him a toy, but thinks it'll be too difficult to change from bad to good. Don't worry, Communists! It's all a matter of baby steps! At least, according to the extremely catchy song Kris sings. Newly converted to Democracy, the Winter Warlock agrees to assist Kris, using his magic. Jessica, after finding Kris in the mountains, brings him a bunch of letters from greedy children asking for more toys. Commence toy-making, list-making, and sneaking into houses at night to deliver said toys.

Burgermeister Meisterburger is outraged at the reappearance of radicalism in the form of children playing, and decrees that doors and windows must be locked, forcing Kris to break into houses using the chimney. After a new decree that houses will be searched for toys, Kris hides them in stockings drying by the fire. Finally, Burgermeister Meisterburger manages to arrest Kris, Topper, the other Kringles, and the Winter Warlock, who has no powers to help now that he's "disenchanted." (Disenchanted with his evil, freedom-hating lifestyle, maybe.)

After Burgermeister Meisterburger supervises a toy-burning in Sombertown, Jessica realizes what life is really about, and how terrible and oppressive Sombertown is under the reign of Burgermeister Meisterburger (man, I just love typing that name). Happily, the Winter Warlock, going by just "Winter" now that he's good, has some magical corn feed that makes reindeer fly, allowing everyone to escape the Gulag.

Kris grows a beard to disguise himself, and changes his name to Claus. He and Jessica are married in the woods, surrounded by decorated pine trees with gifts placed under them. Hmm. They are forced further and further north, until they finally set up shop at the North Pole. But wait! What about the poor, oppressed citizens of Sombertown? Well, of course, freedom and Democracy triumphed eventually, as they always do. The Meisterburgers fell out of power once the people realized how ridiculous their laws were, and their portraits were replaced by the portrait of their new, Western ruler: Consumerism. I mean, um, Santa Claus. "...And that's how it all started."

Songs:
  • "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town," of course, sung by Fred Astaire.
  • "First toymaker to the King," pointless filler sung by Tanta Kringle about the heavy responsibility that comes with making toys for the king. And don't forget the reprise, "No more toymakers to the King," sung by Burgermeister Meisterburger, because Communists are anti-King as well as anti-toy. Duh.
  • "If you sit on my lap today, a kiss, a toy is the price you pay," a creepily pedophilia-tinged number sung by Kris, who appears to be trading toys for kisses and lap-sits.
  • "Put one foot in front of the other," a catchy song about how to slowly accept freedom and Democracy into your life, sung by Kris to the Winter Warlock. See the whole thing here.
  • "My world is beginning today," a crazy psychedelic song by Jessica as she transforms from prudish schoolteacher to rebel freedom-lover, complete with groovy animations and a literal letting-down of her hair.
  • "Gifts of love," a boring spoken/sung number about Christmas and various cheesy crap.

Memorable Quotes:

  • "You are obviously a nonconformist and a rebel!" -Burgermeister Meisterburger to Kris. Damn skippy he is, you freedom-hating commie!
  • You mean that it's just my election / to vote for a chance to be reborn?" -Winter Warlock, in "Put one foot in front of the other," a song that is Not At All about the freedom of Democracy vs. the tyranny of Communism.
Valuable Lessons Learned:

  • Communists hate Christmas, toys, and freedom.
  • Behave yourselves, because Santa can look into his magic snowball at any time to see what you're doing.
  • Democracy will always triumph.
  • Everything you've heard about Santa can be explained in a neat, 48-minute story.

Bottom Line: USA!!! USA!!! USA!!! Catch the whole thing Christmas Eve at 5 PM on ABC Family.

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Get Lucky with "Pinocchio's Christmas"

Thanks to ABC Family's 25 Days of Christmas, there is a multitude of Christmas-themed viewing to be had this time of year--some good, some awesome. And, in the spirit of Christmas and giving and all that, I (and a few possibly masochistic friends) sacrificed some of my Sunday to watch and recap some fabulous claymation Christmas specials for you, my deserving readers. Below is the first installment, Pinocchio's Christmas.

Pinocchio's Christmas (Rankin-Bass, 1980)

The Main Players:

  • Pinocchio, who is less than a year old, kind of a tool, and extremely stupid. Which you can't really fault him for, since he's made of wood.
  • Geppetto, an asshole woodcarver who inexplicably wears a wig with a bowl cut, and is just as stupid and toolish as his wooden child.
  • Fox and Cat, an evil mastermind and his moronic accomplice, respectively, who are somewhat offensively dressed like gypsies.
  • Maestro Fire-Eater, a puppeteer with a disappointing name.
  • Lady Azura, some kind of magic woodland queen, or something, who planted the enchanted tree that Pinocchio came from.
  • The Duke, a heartless rich man who learns a Valuable Lesson.
The Basic Plot:
The timeline here is pretty unclear. It seems like some of the events in the movie have happened, but obviously not all of them, since Pinocchio is still made of wood (as Geppetto continually and dickishly reminds him). Aaaanyway, Pinocchio is pretty psyched for his first Christmas, and Geppettool (trust me, it's an appropriate nickname) sells a pair of boots to buy him his first Christmas present. A math textbook. A week early. LAME. Pinocchio, catching on to the spirit of Christmas pretty quickly, sells the textbook to buy Geppettool a present, but Fox and Cat trick him out of his money.

Penniless and presentless, Pinocchio is forced to whore himself out to Maestro Fire-Eater, who rebrands him "Sir Larry Olive Tree" and makes him the star of his own show. But then, tragedy! Pinocchio falls in love with Julietta, a non-living marionette, and steals her away from Maestro Fire-Eater before he can carve her into an old man (yes, really). After he's chased by police dogs into the haunted Forest of Enchantment (talking to his inanimate girlfriend all the way), we get some background on the Origins of Pinocchio.

Apparently, he was once a branch on an enchanted tree, but when a carpenter tried to turn the branch into a table leg, it started laughing. Yeah. Rightfully freaked out by the muffled talking coming from the piece of wood, the carpenter gave it to Geppettool, who carved into it as it "mm-hmm"ed right back at him. CREEPY. Once he was finished, Pinocchio's first act as a living puppet was to kick Geppettool in the ass. Because even as a newborn creepy wooden boy, he's a total dick.

And because in this version of the world, bad boys are unpopular, only Fox and Cat would be friends with him, and they taught Pinocchio how to steal. A moralistic cricket tried to be friends with him, but he left after Pinocchio threw a book at him. Okay, that was kind of the best ever. Anyway, Geppettool hopes that the beauty of Christmas will change Pinocchio's ways.

Back in the forest, Lady Azura finds Pinocchio and takes him to her Chalet (seriously), finally decides along with "Dr. Cricket" that he's not a bad boy, and teaches him a valuable lesson about how you don't need real money for gifts. Meanwhile, Geppettool finds the fake puppet that Maestro Fire-Eater created to replace Pinocchio lying in the gutter, and is totally distraught because he can't even recognize his own wooden kid. Worst "dad" ever.

Fox and Cat, up to their usual tricks, have made a deal to sell Pinocchio to the Duke as a present for his kids. They trick Pinocchio, the world's dumbest fake boy, into getting into a sleigh that takes him to the Duke's house. The Duke's kids are rightfully creeped out by the present, so Pinocchio teaches the Duke the same valuable lesson that Lady Azura taught him. Aww. Santa gives them a ride back to the village (what?!), and Geppettool and Pinocchio are reunited. Pinocchio's "present" is to go to school and obey Geppettool. So...more of a New Year's resolution, really.

Lady Azura, along with her poodle and monkey attendings, arrive with Julietta, who is now a living doll like Pinocchio. There is much foreshadowing to the movie, and a cheerful Christmas toast...with oatmeal. Which begs the question: What terrible tragedy befell Julietta between now and whenever the movie is supposed to take place? (My guess: Geppettool got jealous of all the attention Pinocchio was giving her, and made her into a doorstop.)

Songs:
  • "I never know what gifts to buy," sung by Geppettool, who apparently secretly hates Christmas. Every year he doesn't buy a gift, just because they're hard to pick out? Uncool! It's an oddly schizophrenic duet between him and his reflection in the mirror.
  • "Gonna get lucky, knock on wood," a maddeningly catchy, and unintentionally innuendo-laced, song sung by Pinocchio about how he's going to get lots of money to buy presents.
  • "Let 'em laugh," sung by Maestro Fire-Eater when Pinocchio is onstage. It's a complete rip-off of "Make 'em Laugh," from Singin' in the Rain.
  • "It's the truth," sung by Fox and Cat, in which Cat is repeatedly struck by lightning every time Fox sings "or may lighting strike me down." Oh, Cat. What crazy hijinks will you get up to next?
  • "Put your love in a poem," sung by Lazy Azura, about expressing oneself without money for presents. It involves cards, roses, and hugs, which are all weak-ass presents.
  • An informative song about the difference between laughing "Ho Ho Ho" (like Santa), and "Ha Ha Ha" (which is wicked).

Memorable Quotes:

  • "Look! The rain is fuzzy!" -Pinocchio, upon seeing snow for the first time.
  • "Gonna get lucky, knock on wood! [Knocks on self.]" -Pinocchio, taking advantage of his wooden head.
  • "But...if I'm funny, they may laugh at me!" -Pinocchio, catching on to the concept of "comedy."
  • "Egad! That bump on a log has purloined the ingénue!" -Maestro Fire-Eater, upon discovering that Pinocchio has stolen Julietta.
  • "Once, someone tried to be my friend. A cricket! But all he did was preach and give advice all day." -Pinocchio, before he learned to wish upon a star.
  • "Christmas presents do not talk back to nobility!" -The Duke, after realizing that the living doll he bought his kids is a total tool.
Valuable Lessons Learned:

  • Christmas is for everyone, even marionettes.
  • Don't play hooky from school.
  • You can give a crappy Christmas present for free!

Bottom Line: Every character in this movie is an asshole, and most are incredibly stupid, to a hilarious degree. And I've had that goddamn "Gonna get lucky, knock on wood!" song stuck in my head for almost five days. You can check out the first nine minutes here. The first half of the dreaded song is at the end of the clip.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Put one foot in front of the other...

Sorry for the lack of posting today, guys. I'm a bit slammed in real life this time of year. But here's a sneak preview of what's coming up on Glowy Box in the near future!



As someone with a sprained ankle, I find the main directive of this song more challenging than the Winter Warlock does. However, I support its general theme. And the fact that Santa Claus is Comin' to Town is hilarious.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency: Model abuse!

Tonight on Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency, we've got some fatties, some prudes, some drunks, and some crybabies. So...pretty much your average episode. (Incidentally, why is this show an hour long this season? It really, really did better with the half-hour episodes. Filler sucks.)

We rejoin Janice as she's basically calling Traci fat, complete with the hilarious claim that "the camera adds 10-15 pounds, and that's why models are emaciated." Okay, so is she actually naming emaciation as the goal here? SIGH. After barely fitting into Janice's size 4 skirt, Traci receives an ultimatum: lose the weight, or get dropped from the agency. Kehoe comforts her, and we get the slo-mo face close-ups of burgeoning model love. Speaking of model love, Crystal, back in LA, meets up with Chris Jones, who kindly offers to let her stay with him rather than sleep in her car. And since she elected to sleep in her car the previous night rather than call him, I'm gonna say he's a bit more into her than she's into him.

At the Fashion L.A. magazine shoot, Crystal and Nyabel are totally psyched to be working together, Peter is psyched that the agency got the gig, and the client is psyched with their performance. In the meantime, Janice is recruiting new models at California Pizza Kitchen, where Janice "happened to be eating lunch." Janice eats at CPK? I'm skeptical, but I guess the agency is in a mall... Anyway, Dominique is a cute redhead with an iffy walk, but commercial potential.

At a new/old model gathering at the Agency, Grasie, a new model, wonders if Kehoe and his roommate Grant are gay. They deny it, but Gracie and CC are still skeptical. Kehoe wisely changes the subject to nudity and its perennial presence at JDMA, and Dominique is Not On Board. Moving on, we've got a couple of castings! The first is for Go Software, an intriguingly-named men's underwear line looking for 2-3 guys. The six finalists, I think, are Kehoe, Ryan, Payton, Chris Jones, Ricardo, Ron (?), and Maurice. Sorry, but Janice's collagen-filled lips sometimes have difficulty forming distinct words.

Next up for casting: Open Your Eyes, one of the biggest Latino men's magazines. CC and her giant rack rock the casting, while Nadia and Toi (who had to lie about being part-Latina) also get chosen. Maria, on the other hand, feels that all the jobs within the Latin Division go to curvier models, and meets with Janice to see if it's really the right place for her. Janice's sensitive response: "Are you Latin?" Though to be fair, the "I don't know?" sniffly response isn't what I expected. Janice susses out that Maria is feeling insecure about how skinny she is, and gives her a pep talk on rejection before agreeing to audition her for other gigs. (Where, Janice points out privately, she'll be in competition with models like Crystal, Desiree, and Nyabel, which, true that.)

At the Open Your Eyes shoot, the girls are joined by a fourth model, not from Janice's agency. When Janice shows up, she's excited that her models will be posing with comedian Joey Medina, but pissed when CC tells her that another model will be in the shot with them. She's somewhat placated when they say that the model will just be the bartender in the shoot, but says that "there's always some kind of surprise on these shoots." If by "surprise," you mean, "manufactured drama," then yes! True! CC and her giant boobs rock the shoot, while Nadia is tense and trying too hard, and Toi is nervous at first, but works it out in the end. With Janice's direction, the shoot goes pretty well, and her models get all the attention.

Over at the Go Software shoot, things are going pretty well until Kehoe's photos look a bit tired. The client totally busts Kehoe on "smelling like a Bloody Mary," which Kehoe attributes to his drinking two bottles of wine alone last night. Dude, if that's your probably fake excuse, that's pretty poor. When Janice arrives, she's kind of pissed at some of the guys lounging around the pool and acting unprofessional with water guns, but that's nothing compared to the tornado of fury that's unleashed when the client tells her that Kehoe's breath "smelled like a vodka bottle." Janice apologizes for him, but flips out on Kehoe in private, slapping him in the face multiple times "to sober him up" after smelling his breath and hearing he was drinking the night before. Draaamaaaa!

Later, Chris and Kehoe have a water gun fight, and Chris squirts Kehoe's underwear, leading the client and Janice to assume that he peed himself. Wow, from bad to worse. Janice sends him and Chris away, but the client lets them back in the shoot, totally undermining her disciplinary actions, but probably a good thing in the end. The final shot is with Janice, because wherever she goes, she's always the star. The client ends up happy, despite the models' "wild antics." (Oooh, squirt guns and a hangover! So wild! So crazy!)

Up next? A nude posing gig for a senior citizens' art class, to help the models with their inhibitions. Dude, I had to work off of live models a few times for my sculpture class in high school, and it was always Un. Comfortable. They're just there, posing, naked. For, like, two hours. And usually not as hot as Janice's models, to boot. Sometimes to an extreme degree. But enough memories--bring on the uncomfortable models!

Brian impresses the artists, and Janice, after some awkward discussion of his testicular area. Kehoe is totally comfortable with the situation, and rocks it out. Grasie and Grant pose together, and while Grasie is a bit nervous that the old people remind her of her grandparents, Grant is far more worried that he might enjoy the situation a little too much. Money quote after the fact: "I felt really good about myself for not getting turned on." I think I may love Grant the most. Danny and CC are nervous at first, but end up doing well. Dominique, on the other hand, is totally not cool with posing nude, playing the Catholic card. Unfortunately, we won't know until the next episode whether she gives in to sin (though the previews kind of give a lot of it away--and it involves "Models for Jesus"). Can't wait!

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Clone High: Finally on DVD!

Today marks a monumental occasion in my life, and hopefully yours: Clone High, the hysterical animated series about a high school of cloned historical figures, is finally available on DVD! MTV didn't even air the entire first (and only) season, which is a tragedy in and of itself, but you can now, at last, watch the whole thing the way it was meant to be watched (i.e., not a fuzzy bootlegged version on your campus's filesharing network).

For the unfamiliar, Clone High is awesome. And hilarious. And extremely quotable. ("I like my humping like I like my martinis: dry.") And features much of the Scrubs cast's vocal talents, as well as Bill Lawrence's creative genius and many awesome guest stars. ("Staaaamooooooos!") Amazon is out of stock right now, so it's not super-easy for a Christmas gift, but it's still perfect strike-surviving material! So what are you waiting for?

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It's a Horrible Life

Current TV is doing an animated spoof of It's a Wonderful Life tonight, with George W. Bush standing in for Jimmy Stewart. Here's a short preview, but check out the whole thing tonight at 10--it's pretty funny, and I'm always up for a little Bush-mocking. (Also, George Clooney as President, sexing his way to world peace, is kind of a stroke of genius.)

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On the Glowy Box: Not a total loss...

By the time I got home from work last night, I was too exhausted to watch any TV. And for me, that's really saying something. Here's hoping (but not necessarily expecting) that tonight will be better!

Tonight:
Boston Legal: Carl and Katie defend the firm against a client who claims Denny misled them about the environmental friendliness of the firm's offices; Alan takes on a bank that threatens to foreclose on Clarence's home. 10 PM, ABC.

SuperNews: "It's a Horrible Life," an animated "It's a Wonderful Life" parody starring George W. Bush as George Bailey. 10 PM, Current TV.

Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency: Janice has to sober up a model who shows up drunk to a photo shoot. 10:30 PM, Oxygen.

A little more than last night, a lot less than ideal. Get off your asses and get negotiating, AMPTP!

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What's your favorite new comedy?

As you may or may not know, Pushing Daisies and Chuck are finalists for People's Choice Awards this January! The category is Favorite New TV Comedy (the third finalist - and probable winner, sadly enough - is Samantha Who?), and polls are open pretty much until the award is announced during the telecast on January 8th. (Which may or may not have writers and attendees...) While I love Pushing Daisies AND Chuck very much, I am throwing my weighty influence behind Pushing Daisies. Mostly because I like it more, but also to reward its outside-the-box sensibility.

People's Choice Awards
Go to PCAVote.com

As far as Favorite New TV Drama goes, I didn't bother voting. Personally, my favorite new drama is Life, which doesn't rise to the level of either of the aforementioned comedies, but does a good job keeping me entertained. Unfortunately, the finalists are Private Practice, Moonlight, and Gossip Girl, so...yeah. Anyway, don't let the weak dramas this year turn you off--vote for Pushing Daisies early (Chuck is also an acceptable choice, though I'm worried these two will split the "cool" vote), and vote for it often!

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Monday, December 17, 2007

Glowy Box Mailbag: Janice, Treasure, and One Potential Stalker

It's time for another edition of Glowy Box Mailbag, where you ask Google questions, Google sends you our way, and we finally get around to answering them. Or mocking you. Either way.

Q: is janice's modeling agency real

A: Great question! Unfortunately, it brings us into a bit of an existential dilemma. What is "real," really? The "agency" has a myspace page. Does that make it real? Said myspace page includes an address where wannabe models can send headshots, which is promising. Of course, the address is for the production office, and not the agency. Hmm. However, the page also has this to say about Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency: "Unlike many 'reality' shows, there are no fake contests or contrived situations. It..s [sic] a real business with real financial, personal and professional stakes." I'm guessing the "Suck it, Tyra!" is implied there.

I suppose her agency is "real" in that she had to set up a real agency for the show to exist. Would there be an agency without the show? Almost certainly not. I leave you with this quote from Albert Einstein: "Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." ...Does that help?

Q: what haven't the "cash and treasures" crew gone looking for

A: Um...ancient Freemason treasure, the spare change lodged in my couch cushions, and the gold at the end of the rainbow? It definitely seems like they've gone looking for just about everything on Cash and Treasures (including old bottles and fluorescent minerals). However, the second season just started on the Travel Channel (with Kirsten Gum as the new host, since Becky Worley is out pregnant), and they've already come up with Herkimer Diamonds, Emeralds, Agates, and Turquoise, so maybe there is some new treasure under the sun for Cash and Treasures. And hopefully some of it not gem-related. (For the uninitiated, this surprisingly addictive show is on Tuesdays at 9 PM on the Travel Channel.)

Q: where does paul adelstein live?

A: Creepy, much? I'm going to assume he lives in LA, where Private Practice films. And I'm going to remind you that stalking is illegal in California.

That's it for this edition of the Mailbag! Keep on googling, and I'll keep on occasionally answering! (And I know it wasn't technically a question, but for the two of you who got to Glowy Box by googling extreme underground catfights...well...I'm sorry to have disappointed you, though I recommend checking out my Top Model recaps.)

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On the Glowy Box: Have a Holly Jolly night of nada

Interesting development with the Letterman folks... Here's to dividing and conquering!

Over the Weekend:
Um...yeah. There was nothing. Nothing! I got caught up a bit on the new season of Cash and Treasures, which was cool, and watched a bunch of Christmas specials, which you'll hear about later, but...nothing. Damn you, AMPTP and holiday drought season!

Tonight:
More of the same! (The same being nothing.) I'm basically going to force myself not to watch the choirs thing, since I promised myself I wouldn't watch or cover any of the scab reality shows that networks are bringing in to replace the scripted stuff during the strike. So...it's actually lucky I'm working too late tonight to watch TV, right? Sigh...

UPDATE: Hey, I almost forgot! Current TV is doing an animated, Bush-mocking parody of It's a Wonderful Life, entitled It's a Horrible Life, which will air tonight at 10. (Just kidding, it's been changed to tomorrow night, because we're fated to have nothing to watch tonight.) I've seen it, and it's pretty funny!

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Another Great Speechless Video



Way to be funny and make your point, Joey Pants, Matthew Modine, and Sarah Lancaster (from Chuck!). See more at speechlesswithoutwriters.com.

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Saturday, December 15, 2007

TV Blog Coalition: Can you handle the links?

It's that time of the week again! (What time of the week, Liz?) The time when you can easily read about what all the awesomest TV bloggers have been writing about all week! (Hooray!) Here at Glowy Box, it was a fashion-heavy week as I (along with the rest of the nation) was outraged by the season finale of America’s Next Top Model, enjoyed the manufactured drama on Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency, and loved this week’s challenge on Project Runway.

Click below to see what everyone else was up to!

BuzzSugar: This week, we questioned ABC's Thursday scheduling choices, wondered about television's best platonic duo, and made a gingerbread (Dr.) House.

Daemon's TV: This week, Sandie talked about the day she and Araya spent with the cast of Chuck and took a first look at the revamped K.I.T.T. for the new Knight Rider movie. Araya talks about Christmas with 30 Rock.

Mikey Likes TV: Mikey celebrated Pushing Daisies' well-deserved Golden Globe nominations with a run-down of the show's pseudo season ender. If you're up for a play-by-play of Sunday's Extras finale, be sure to check out his liveblog of the night's awkward and hilarious festivities.

Pop Vultures: Marcia counted down the 5 best TV theme songs ever and somehow forgot to include The Love Boat. She also sent her television wishlist to Santa and contemplated the depths of Victorya’s passive-aggression in a recap of last week’s Project Runway.

RTVW: Continuing with our series of behind-the-scenes videos from the folks over at WB, we got our first peek at what goes on inside the Supernatural Writers Room. Spads began her three part series on the Chuck photo shoot she attended, including getting all fangirl-y over Zachary Levi and what Adam Baldwin and Yvonne Strahovski talked about during lunch.

Scooter McGavin's 9th Green: To get into the holiday spirt, Scooter previews the latest ABC Family move, Snowglobe. And if you ever wonder how you could make Christmas even better: just add some Hall and Oates. And with the holidays rearing soon, you can check out the 9th Green's Holiday Schedule to see when Scooter will be unveiling his best of the year lists and find out how you can influence one of the posts and get on his Christmas list.

Tapeworthy: Vance thinks 30 Rock and Friday Night Lights are NBC's two best shows right now. He's a little behind on Project Runway but recaps the disaster episodes (the one with male models and the one with shoulder pads), and wraps up the last How I Met Your Mother of the year. Still no mother...hmm.

Televisionary: This week, Jace was beyond thrilled to see Damages, Pushing Daisies, Big Love, and 30 Rock among the nominees for this year's Golden Globes, intrigued by the news that Will Arnett would be providing the voice of KITT in NBC's new Knight Rider backdoor pilot, and heartbroken while watching the last filmed episode of Pushing Daisies.

TiFaux: Dan was thrust into an identity crisis after coming to terms with his crush on the gal who plays Nick George’s wife on Dirty Sexy Money. We also discussed the new Gap ads featuring some of our favorite people: John Krasinksi, Amy Poehler and Will Arnett. Maggie abandoned the television for one night and went to the theat-uh – to see Aaron Sorkin’s new play The Farnsworth Invention (which is based on the invention of the television).

Tube Talk offered a sneak peek at the new Knight Rider and unveiled photos of the new KITT. Jennifer interviewed Moonlight’s Jason Dohring, and he dished about upcoming episodes. Tube Talk Girl continued her insane obsession with ‘90s TV stars, as she posted a vintage Doritos commercial with some familiar faces and pondered the fact that Scott Baio is no longer 45 and single.

The TV Addict: With the holidays fast approaching, we offered up some early Christmas gifts for TV Addict's everywhere. An interview with Moonlight star Jason Dohring, some Supernatural spoilers a first look at the new Knight Rider and a partridge in a pear tree.

TV Filter: Kate wished Bonanza City had been a little more Lord of the Flies after all and decided that 30 Rock is the new The Office. Raoul talked to Azria and Hendekea from The Amazing Race.

TV With MeeVee:
We talked to the new Knight Rider driver and pit crew. We talked American Idol with producer Nigel Lythgoe. And we liveblogged the Project Runway finale.

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Friday, December 14, 2007

On the Glowy Box: So much Christmas shopping to do!

Props to 30 Rock, Pushing Daisies, and all my other faves for their Golden Globe nominations! Alec Baldwin had better win this year...that's all I'm sayin'.

Last Night:
30 Rock: Elaine Stritch! Andy Richter! Ludachristmas!!! Two valuable lessons in one: The meaning of Christmas, AND something about family! So many exclamation points for this show! (Though, to be fair, it couldn't top last week's hysterical installment. But 30 Rock sets the bar so high for its best episodes that I can't really fault them for being unable to reach it every week.) Merry Christmas/Jewish, everyone!

Boston Legal: From Tuesday. It was so self-referencing that I could hardly handle the meta-ness of it all. But, it's good to know that at least Boston Legal knows how ridiculous it is. Ridiculously awesome, that is.

Private Practice: From last week. You know, the one where Dell and Sam are fighting over Naomi. Sigh. Why am I still watching this show? Seriously, why can't my brain accept that great actors does not equal great show? Help me!

This Weekend:
Umm...there are some hilarious old-school Christmas specials on ABC Family during the day on Sunday, but otherwise I'm probably just going to be running off the DVR.

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All 3 Seasons of Arrested Development for $30!

Amazon's Gold Box Deal today is all three seasons of Arrested Development (the greatest, funniest, awesomest show on Earth) for only $30. It's just until they run out, which will probably happen fast, given the awesomeness of the deal, so go order now!

Ten freaking bucks a season, people. [GOB voice] COME ON!!! [/GOB voice] If you already own it, get a backup copy just in case tragedy strikes and something happens to the original! (Not that I just did that or anything...I'll probably end up giving it away as a Christmas present...probably...)

Afternoon Update: Looks like they're sold out. Sorry if you missed out, but it's still worth paying full price for!

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Project Runway: Back in Business

Phew! Finally a return to normalcy on Project Runway this week after a duo of challenges resulting in stunningly bad outfits. Last night's challenge was great, and the results definitely separated the wheat from the chaff. They also finally started to make me believe that this season's group of designers can live up to the talent of previous seasons', which I had honestly been doubting thus far.

The models this week are all women who have lost huge amounts of weight--from 45 to 160 pounds, in fact. Wow. And they're all wearing their (very baggy) favorite old outfits, which will unfortunately serve as the raw material for the challenge: To make outfits suitable for the clients' everyday lives, while still expressing their point of view as a designer. Wow, this is, like, the most booby-trapped challenge ever! Let's list the pitfalls: The models aren't traditional sizes, the designers have to balance their clients' wishes with their own style, AND the fabric choice is limited and largely awful. Yikes.

Models are chosen randomly, and Steve gets stuck with the one wearing a freaking wedding dress. Satiny polyester, beads, lace, the whole nine yards (possibly literally, given the amount of weight some of these women have lost). Man, that's rough. Or, as he describes it, "death on a stick." Some designers (Victorya) aren't really into the idea of making clothes for real people. Others, like Kevin and Elisa, think it's great. With $10 and 15 minutes at Mood, Steve and Jillian decide to buy new fabric, and use the old only for accents. Risky!

In the meantime, poor Jack has a potential staph infection, unrelated to his HIV since his immune system isn't suppressed. Incidentally, props to the dude for being so healthy in general after being HIV-positive for 17 years. Sadly, with his face swelling up rapidly and the intensity of the necessary treatment, his doctor wants him to get help immediately, so Jack breaks the news to Tim that he needs to leave the competition before telling the rest of the group. It's so sad, you guys. I hope they let him back on for the next season, so he can get a fair shot at it. He was showing so much promise! The group is shaken up, and finding it difficult to "carry on." In happier news, Jack's exit means that Chris is back on the show, to everyone's immense delight. Seriously, they love the dude. He'll have all night to finish his outfit, due to the late start.

The clients arrive for a fitting, and seem generally happy with the designers' work. God, if I had lost that much weight, I'd be happy with anything and everything in life (which may explain a couple clients' positive reactions to what look like pretty ugly designs-in-the-making). Steven's client, though, does mildly question his choice to use black. This may or may not be important later.

Tim takes a turn around the block, complimenting Christian's outfit, but questioning how little Steven is using the wedding dress, and whether Elisa's will please her client. He also warns Chris to avoid being costume-y, which seems like a lost cause at this point, since Chris is going with a "sailor" theme. Tim also cautions Chris to make his decisions while he's still rested, because Tim has "made more bad decisions at 3 o'clock in the morning than [he] can list." Haven't we all, Tim? Haven't we all? But apparently, Tim's such an "old fart" that his brain didn't go there, to the amusement of everyone.

The next morning, Chris is just waking up from his two-hour nap when everyone arrives to put the finishing touches on their looks. Steven basically runs out of time, so Kevin and Victorya (didn't think she had it in her!) help him finish up, which still doesn't save him from having to glue the hemline. And that's really, REALLY not the worst thing about his outfit. Christian, as usual, is extremely confident, but he's got some competition in Kevin, whose model looks amazing in her outfit.

Runway time! The guest judge is Gap's head designer, which makes sense, because Gap's child laborers and Project Runway's designers are forced to work the same long hours with no pay. Oh, except that there's not a $100,000 prize at the end of the road for the child laborers, so much as a life of misery. Aaaanyway, let's check out the outfits!

Sweet P did an OK job with what she had to work with, I suppose, but I definitely fault her for the black tights and shoes--they didn't complement the dress at all. Jillian made an incredibly cute and flattering dress (I especially love the black lines), but didn't really adhere to the spirit of the challenge when she bought virtually all new fabric, which is pretty lame. Ricky's outfit is nice and flattering, but a little too reminiscent of something you'd buy on sale at The Limited.

I honestly feel like Chris could have pulled it off, if not for the giant red hip-enhancing bow. Urgh. Christian's outfit is totally hot, totally Christian, and totally impressive, given the pickiness of his model. Victorya's look, on the other hand, was very "holiday cocktail party." Which, given what she had to work with, was a fine result, but far from stunning. Which makes me happy, since I'm not loving Victorya so far. Elisa's design is a big fat "meh." It's like she decided to just layer a bunch of fabric, rather than actually design something flattering. I expected something better.

I also expected something better from Kit, one of my early favorites, though her outfit is definitely cute. It's just not "wow," you know? Kevin's, on the other hand, is amazing. Fashion-forward, flattering, completely transformed, and just plain HOT. His model is clearly loving it. Which makes it extra-painful to see Steven's next, as it's just...oosh. He didn't use the wedding dress, and he still totally botched it. Ugly design, poorly-constructed, and just generally a Bad Idea. Rami's look was very cute, and his model definitely liked it. It's not at the same level as Kevin's or Christian's, though, fashion-wise.

The judging panel leaves Steven, Christian, Chris, Kevin, Jillian, and Elisa in the spotlight. The good: Kevin's model loves her outfit, as do the judges, though Michael questions the leggings, ingenuity-wise. Jillian gets dinged by Heidi and Nina for not using the material, but Michael loves that the dress is sexy without being hoochie, and Nina just plain loves the dress. Christian gets mad props for managing to make something that suits his style, could sell, and pleases his client.

The bad: Elisa tries to explain her point of view, and her model says she feels great in the outfit, but Heidi doesn't think it suits her model's classic style. Michael doesn't find all the choppy layers flattering. Chris's model also claims to like the outfit, though Michael thinks it's too cliché, and the Gap guy questions the Red Bow of Horror. The ugly: Steve gets criticized for not using the original dress, though it's definitely a stretch when Michael calls the wedding dress fabric "amazing." Nina questions the black, saying it takes the garment from wedding to funeral.

In solo deliberation, the judges point out that Kevin's model loved her outfit and was very comfortable in it. They like that Christian really used the model's clothes and made them look great without compromising his style. They think Jillian's dress was perfect, though she didn't use the model's fabric. On the other end, they think that Elisa's dress was unflattering and unsuited to her client's style. Steve's didn't use the dress, and his model looked like a French maid. Chris's costume-y outfit, on the other hand, looked like a "1950's Paris hooker," which I didn't realize was a fashion cliché.

Jillian, who obviously couldn't win without having really followed the spirit of the challenge, is in. Christian is the winner, which is fair, though I probably would've leaned more in the Kevin direction. Kevin, of course, is in, as is Chris. Elisa, Heidi points out, couldn't change her style to suit her client, and used too many layers. Steven turned a "joyful" wedding dress into a boring, clichéd French maid outfit. Steven is out, DUH, and Elisa is in. Well, it may not have been suspenseful, but at least the outfits were interesting this week! Here's hoping the season continues along this vein, and that Jack and Dale are off somewhere hosting fabulous viewing parties.

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Current TV visits a machine gun shootout

This "pod" from Current TV, which aired last night, is basically a mini-documentary about a machine gun shootout in Kentucky that attracts thousands of people every year. So yeah, thousands of people shooting everything from military-quality machine guns to 50-caliber sniper rifles (so hardcore they're apparently illegal to use in warfare) to freaking cannons. Um, wow. I kind of can't believe these weapons are legal. Even in Kentucky. Watch, and be disturbed. (I mean, can you imagine using any of these weapons on a living thing? I know that's not the point, but it's awful to think about.)

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On the Glowy Box: You suck, Tyra

[Professor Farnsworth voice] Good news, everyone! [/Professor Farnsworth voice] Gillian Anderson will host the new mini-season of Masterpiece Theatre! Nicely done, PBS. Now I have something to watch in January.

Last Night:
Pushing Daisies: WOAH. That was some bombshell at the end, there! I though we were supposed to get closure last night. Was that a cruel joke? Anyway, quality episode, as always. I do feel the need to point out, however, that a bonobo is NOT a monkey. It's an ape. And it's not "gentle," either. It's legendarily horny. The Wish a Wish monkey was nothing like a bonobo (perhaps a capuchin?). Just sayin'. Also, why wasn't Olive strongly affected when she tasted the mood enhancer? That kind of threw me off, since I was expecting something to come of it. The Chuck/Ned scenes, though, were uniformly fantastic. Lee Pace more than earned his paycheck last night. Also, the coroner was really rocking that Christmas sweater.

Project Runway: I should have a full recap up later on, but I loved last night's challenge! And it definitely separated the wheat from the chaff. Also, poor Jack! I hope they can bring him back next season, because he really deserves another shot at this show. And okay, is anyone else really starting to like Sweet P? Just wanted to throw that out there. More later!

America's Next Top Model: I can't really think about last night's finale without throwing up in my mouth a little, so I'm just going to link to my recap and go on my merry way. Except to say this: Worst Cycle Ever.

Tonight:
30 Rock: Tracy cannot participate in the staff's annual Ludachristmas party; Liz's parents (Buck Henry, Anita Gillette) and brother (Andy Richter) come to gloat over her. 9 PM, NBC.

Aaaand...that's about it. Thank God for 30 Rock. And for whatever the hell else is sitting on my DVR waiting to be watched (I'm looking at you, Life, so get ready!)

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

America's Next Top Model: Yup.

After a not-so-long cycle of lectures by Tyra, increasingly absurd photo shoots, and varying levels of fierceness, it's finally come down to the final three girls. The last one standing will win some impressive-sounding prizes, and then go on to annoy us next cycle with terrible My Life as a Covergirl commercials before fading into inevitable obscurity and non-Supermodeldom.

Will it be Chantal, who has coasted into the final three with a deadly combination of average photos and masterful presentation at the judging panel? Or Saleisha, whose connections with Tyra have allowed her to rise above her Tootie haircut, giving her a likely lock on this competition (barring some sort of disastrous final commercial or runway show)? Or will it be Jenah, who is also weighed down by terrible hair, plus a bad attitude, but has taken by far the best pictures of the three? Oh, the suspense!

The night before their Covergirl shoot, the girls revel in their final three-ness, but worry about the first elimination. Chantal wisely points out that two of them will be in the bottom two, but one of them won't. Wow, Chantal. You just blew my mind. In the morning, the girls meet up with Jay, Covergirl Commercial Guy, and Jaslene, who's there to pump them up for the Covergirl print ad and commercial shoot. The featured product is some sort of "fruit spritzers" lip gloss, which sounds more like a perfume to me, but whatever. Also, this commercial is weird. What do fortune cookies have to do with lip gloss?

Chantal, to her credit, does a great job with the commercial shoot after a little coaching from Jay. She's well aware that her natural bubblyness fits in perfectly with the Covergirl image. Jenah...freezes up completely and almost needs cue cards, pulling it out at the last second. And is wearing so much bright pink blush that I can't even focus on her line reading. Jay warns her to keep her insecurity from coming across as snottiness. Wise and probably prophetic (knowing our editors) words, Jay. Saleisha, as orange as Jay, also has trouble with her lines when nerves get to her. She walks off set to calm down for a minute, and comes back with a more than passable line reading. In fact, one might almost call it perky. At the photo shoot, Saleisha does a much better job, Chantal really does look exactly like a Covergirl, and Jenah's teeth get bigger and hair gets rattier with every frame shot (yet, as always, I'm sure she'll end up with a great photo).

Qi Gang, a couture designer whose show the finalists will be walking in, is the guest judge at panel. Tyra starts things off with a little interrogation about who has the most and least potential out of the bunch. Saleisha says she has the most potential (duh), and Jenah has the least, because of her personality. Well-played, Saleisha. Chantal says she has the most potential, emphasizing her love for the industry, and says that Jenah has the least potential, calling her out again on her attitude. Jenah says that she has the most potential, choosing to defend her "laid-back" attitude rather than emphasize her great pictures. Bad call, in my opinion. She says that Chantal is the most amateur of the bunch.

Saleisha is first up for judging, and her commercial is average, in my opinion, but Nigel praises her for the mythical "smiling in your eyes" trick. Tyra dings her inflection, and brings up Jay Manuel's comments that Saleisha's readings were robotic, and it took 20 takes to get it right. Her photo is great, but Tyra points out that she lacks multiple kinds of smiles, or something. Is Tyra just trying to prove that she hasn't been propping Saleisha up through this whole competition?

Chantal's up next, and her line reading is poor, but the judges praise her natural charm. Her photo is fine, but not outstanding, like every other photo she's ever taken. She gets great notes from Jay Manuel on her relatability and believability, though.

Jenah's commercial seems fine to me, though her styling is terrible and she lacks in perkiness a bit, but the judges use it as a jumping-off point to go after her attitude, saying that her line reading made it seem like she was making fun of the commercial. Hmm. Maybe. She points out that she shouldn't have to be obscenely perky for people to like her (Chantal), and then all these family issues come out and she starts to cry. Tyra appreciates that she's being real. The judges really like her Covergirl photo, and that she's able to tone down the fierceness when necessary.

In deliberation, the judges praise Saleisha for her photo and her improved performance, but Tyra points out that she's not really a high fashion girl. They appreciate Jenah's honesty at panel, and acknowledge that her photos are by far the best. They love Chantal's photo, but agree that she's more amateur than the other two. Chantal gets the first photo. WHAT?!?!?!?!?! Okay, seriously, what's going on here?

Tyra points out that Saleisha's experience didn't serve her well in the beginning of the competition, but she improved throughout. Jenah had hardly any experience, but takes amazing photos, and has "connected to who Jenah is." The second finalist is...Saleisha. Okay, I'm calling BS here. Fine, yeah, Saleisha has the connections with Tyra and a better personality and personal appearance, so I kind of knew she'd get picked over Jenah, but Jenah takes incredible photos! Why on EARTH would Chantal get picked over her? Chantal has officially worked the judging panel better than anyone in the history of this show. It's the only possible explanation. But wow, with the two most talented girls eliminated now (Heather being the second), I could reeeeally care less who wins at this point. Although I think we all know it'll be Saleisha.

The undeserving duo head over to do the requisite "in case you win" Seventeen Magazine photo shoot while I stew in my bitterness. Later, they meet the Jays at the runway location, next to the Forbidden City. The concept is taking the Qing Dynasty (most models) into the future (Saleisha and Chantal, as if). Jaslene will be opening the show, which is just as dramatic and bizarre as we've come to expect (though nowhere near as insane as the Ghost Bride show from cycle 7, to give you a benchmark). After the judges are formally seated and some folks on stilts come out to line the runway (?!), Jaslene starts it off. Saleisha is actually really fierce, while Chantal seems a bit stiff, though she gets positive comments from the watching judges. Then, DISASTER. Chantal's third outfit has a long train, and gets caught on one of the guys's stilts, totally knocking him down. And even worse than throwing a man to the ground? She breaks character to look back, concerned, about it. Not Good. Though she doesn't stop to see if he's okay or anything, so it could've been worse.

At the final panel, we get the usual portfolio review. It's depressing, given how great it could have been with Jenah and Heather in the final two. The judges try to be positive, and review far less photos than usual, showing just three from the whole cycle. Hmm...I wonder why? In the runway review, Saleisha gets mad praise, and deservedly so. The judges think that Chantal's nerves got in the way a little, and do her the favor of moving past the "taking out a dude on stilts" incident quickly. After the quick fake-out criticism of Saleisha (something about her shoulders), Tyra slams Chantal's stiffness.

In solo deliberation, Tyra says, "Listen, guys. I really need us to give this to Saleisha so that I have a great inspirational story for my TZONE Foundation. Let's pretend to argue for a bit, and then we'll get this over with and head out for pizza." Okay, I can't prove it, but I'm pretty sure that's what happened before they turned the cameras on. Miss J points out that Chantal is more high fashion, and Twiggy likes her body. Nigel says that Saleisha is more in control of her body, and is already polished. Tyra says that she thought both girls would be going home early (yeah, right--though that is what I thought), and that she's not looking forward to crushing one of them. I say that this is the worst final two ever.

After a brief speech that neither girl is really listening to, the Magic Screen reveals that Saleisha is America's Next Top Model. Um, surprise? To no one? Chantal is bummed, because she didn't realize that the show was obviously fixed from the beginning. I mean, I'm happy for Saleisha and all, since she seems like a perfectly nice girl and really is good at some aspects of modeling (though I'd peg her as the weakest winner since Naima, and maybe even ever), but this is absurd. Absurd to the point where I'm going to start an irresponsible rumor: Twiggy totally quit in protest of this result, you guys, not because they wanted someone younger and possibly meaner. Totally. And now I'm going to start an irresponsible conspiracy theory: Jenah was totally eliminated first tonight to avoid a head-to-head portfolio comparison between herself and Saleisha, which would have put Saleisha's portfolio to shame. Totally.

Well, best of luck to you, Saleisha. Again, nothing personal--you're naught but a pawn in Tyra's master plan for world domination. (As are we all, friends. As are we all.)

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Half a million is a lot of pencils!

Yesterday, Ron Moore and Joss Whedon, along with a large group of fans and writers, took part in the attempted delivery of more than 500,000 pencils )and a "Go Back to the Table" message) to NBC, Walt Disney, and Universal Studios. (Yes, attempted. The studios refused delivery, as expected. According to Pencils2MediaMoguls, refused pencils will be donated to non-profit children's charities.)

The important thing, though, is that the event got attention, and acted as visual proof of fans' support to the attending press. Impressive visual proof, at that--the still-boxed pencils reportedly formed a 20-foot long, five-foot high wall! And, of course, this was only the first delivery--show your support and keep those pencils coming! You can see more photos of the delivery here, or check out a great video below the cut.



Wow, that's a lot of pencils. And if you listen, at one point you can hear the assembled crowd chanting "Thank you, fans!" Awesome. [Video via Ramblings of a TV Whore]

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On the Glowy Box: Is it Friday yet?

Goodbye, Journeyman. I can't say I watched you, but I didn't actively dislike you or anything, so I'm sorry it had to end this way. (That said--BOO-YA to my two favorite new NBC shows getting full-season pickups, and to the two I don't watch probably getting cancelled. This never happens! In fact, usually the exact opposite happens! Well-played, NBC.)

Last Night:
Project Runway: From last Wednesday. Okay, yeah, I missed it last week and I just got time to watch it last night. Shut up. So what's with the hideous clothing two weeks in a row? Are the challenges too hard, or are these designers failing to live up to the whole "Most Talented Group Yet" claim? (I'm thinking the latter, personally.) And what's with Sweet P (besides her name)? She's done an iffy job at best on the two solo challenges, but a fantastic job on the team challenges! Unfortunately, this show doesn't reward collaborative skills nearly so much as solo talent. Oh, and Victorya? HATE! If you openly defy your leader and change stuff behind his back, that's not so much his being a bad leader as your being mutinous. Though Ricky's own outfit was awful.

Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency: Janice and Dubya should have a drama-manufacturing contest. I'm honestly not sure who would win! Read my full recap here.

Tonight:
Pushing Daisies: Ned tries to make peace with Chuck while trying to figure out who killed an insurance adjuster found frozen solid; scent expert Oscar Vibenius (Paul Reubens) tries to figure out what is different about Chuck and Digby. 8 PM, ABC.

America's Next Top Model: Three models compete and one is sent home, then the final two go head-to-head in a magazine cover shoot and the ultimate catwalk. 8 PM, The CW.

Project Runway: The designers learn the importance of transformation in fashion. 10 PM, Bravo.

Machine Gun Shootout: In this Vanguard special report, Current TV exposes one side of the gun culture issue at the largest machine gun shoot in the country - an event most Americans probably didn't know existed. 10 PM, Current TV.

Heeeey, there's actually good stuff on tonight! Like, enough to fill a night of viewing! Enjoy it while you can, folks.

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Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency: In with the new?

This week on Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency: manufactured drama, another open casting call, manufactured drama, a magazine casting, manufactured drama, and Janice being awful. Oh, and some manufactured drama.

We begin with the photo shoot for VIP Latino magazine, where the totally inexperienced models are irritated by the client's helpful direction. More irritated? Janice, who doesn't want anyone (besides herself, I'm assuming) manhandling her models. But this small disagreement is nothing compared to Janice's displeasure that the models are doing a mere editorial spread rather than a cover with "The Great Carlos Mencia." Damn Carlos Mencia and his scheduling conflicts!

Happily, Janice is more than eager to volunteer herself as a celebrity for the girls to pose with on the cover. Bafflingly, the client agrees! Man, this show takes "reality" to a whole new plane. What Janice says: "I'll do anything for my girls to get a cover! Even if it means whoring myself out to a magazine." What she means: "I'll do anything to get myself on a cover again! Even if it means kidnapping Carlos Mencia and stuffing him in the trunk of my car."

After the shoot, Janice has another open call to replace the models with actual talent who are deserting her "agency" like thin, angular rats deserting a certifiably crazy sinking ship. One of these models, it seems, is Stina, who's signed with a bigger agency. Of course, Janice is pissed. But probably not surprised, since Stina has threatened to leave before. And is a legitimately good model. Ah, Stina. You've been with us since the beginning, and we'll miss you. But not right now, since there's that handy open call going on!

We begin with a 5' 11" 14-year-old, whom even Janice thinks is a bit young. Other standouts are Alexis, who is super-cute in a "cool girl at the record store" way and Daria, a hottie from Russia. Hilariously, Brian Kehoe's roommate Grant shows up, and totally tries to slip by without Janice finding out that he lives with one of her less responsible models.

At the callbacks, Gabe, from Janice's posse, comes in to yell at all the women for wearing unflattering outfits. Whatever. Janice takes the usual photos (with the usual naked dudes). Braneka, a model Janice turned away the previous season because she had braces and was too young, is back for more. Alexis, it seems, has a whole lot of unfortunate scars, which she's forced to reveal to the world when Janice makes her take her clothes off. Her excuse? She's "from the country." Janice isn't buying it, either.

Janice flips out at Grant for already having an agency--he claims it's an agency in the New York market, which would apparently be legit. Aaaand, yeah...he's definitely with the agency in LA, too. Oh, the drama! Ooooh, the betrayal!!! OOOH, the dramatic music!!!!! OOOOOOH, the Janice calling his agency and busting him on it!!!!!1! Forget TNT--Janice Dickinson Knows Drama. And yeah, Grant's agency drops him. So Brian Kehoe convinces him to try and get Janice to give him another shot, now that he's not represented. Janice, saying he's "like Boy George meets Victoria Beckham," is happy to have him in her agency. What?

Back at callbacks, Janice, to her credit, refuses to work with the 14-year-old until she graduates. Right on, Janice! Also, the girl looked way too pageant to me. Peter is a definite standout--cute, funny, and with awesome Daniel Vosovic hair (of Project Runway fame, for those living in deprivation). Daria from Russia rocks the photos, and Janice is in love with her. Going through the pictures, Janice picks out Peter, Braneka, Daria, and Alexis, among others, and kicks Peter the business partner out for calling one girl a little too heavy (keep this fact in mind for later).

Now that she's got her slate set, Janice brings back some of her old models for a reunion without telling them that new models will be there to compete for a gig. And yeah, it's awkward. The returning models are feeling a bit defensive, and some are friendlier than others. The gig? A high-fashion shoot for Fashion L.A. magazine. (And as a side note, the Latina models aren't psyched to be left out of the mainstream castings. Foreshadowing?) Janice gets pissed at Alexis for wearing a bathing suit that shows all her scars.

During the lineup, Janice singles out Crystal (original version) and Desiree to the clients, but then berates Desiree for looking orange (which, true) and having beard burn on her chin. Awk-ward! Traci gets called out later for her weight gain. Traci: "I love my body!" Janice: "I love your body too, but it's a bit big." Oh, Janice. Coming up with lines like that so effortlessly is what makes you who you are. Traci refuses to starve herself "again," which is awesome, and yet probably career suicide if you work for Janice.

The client narrows it down to Nyabel, Ligia, Kate, Alexis, Crystal, and Desiree. After a pose-off, Janice pulls Desiree aside because she seems unhappy (I wonder why?), and somewhat bruised. She pushes and pushes until Desiree admits her shocking secret: she's anemic! Gosh, could that be related to the starvation diet Janice keeps her naturally curvy models on? Nah. Janice cares about these girls! After deliberating, the client picks Crystal and Nyabel. Crystal gloats about the veterans booking jobs over the new girls. But wait! The client picks a bonus third girl! Oh. It's Ligia, also a veteran.

Later, Janice meets with Traci after calling her names like "salami," "hot dog," and "stuffed sausage" in an interview. (Janice is clearly hungry.) She's not calling Traci fat, mind you, just..."a tad bit heavy." By model weight standards. After a close examination of Traci's ass and stomach, Janice diagnoses too much junk food and recommends some "exercise and a balanced diet" so she can be more toned. This is just like Knocked Up, where they're all, "We're not asking you to lose weight, of course, just to...tighten." Traci says she doesn't have to be crazy skinny to work as a model, and that high-fashion isn't the only work out there. After Traci can't fit into Janice's size 4 skirt, though, things aren't looking good for her. WHAT will happen? WHO will Janice go crazy at next? HOW does this show cook up so much drama? Find out next week on JDMA.

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