Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A Rose isn’t a rose

Rose McGowan alarms me. It’s not the goth chick meets Snow White meets bride of Marilyn Manson shtick she’s been perfecting since she broke through in 1996’s “Scream” that disturbs me. It’s her new, unsettling face. Every time I see an actress who was once attractive, striking and/or original succumb to the illusion that is the Hollywood Beauty Standard (note what the initials of those last two words spell out, ahem), I get sad. For reference, see Jennifer Grey pre- and post-nose job.

Rose seems to be another example of body image gone terribly wrong. After “Scream” and “Jawbreaker” made her a MTV-ready starlet, Rose became famous for almost saying “I do” to the anti-Christ and wearing a dress made of leftover thread. But then “Charmed” came along and for several years she was happily employed and looking good -- ever-changing, but good. See: Now Rose is set to make a splash on the big screen again in the Quentin Tarantino-Robert Rodriguez horror double-feature extravaganza “Grindhouse.” And this, it seems, is where things started to unravel. The film could be the break back in the 33-year-old actress has been looking for since she left TV. So, in preparation, she appear to have lost a considerable amount of weight and gotten a considerable amount of plastic surgery. And the results, well, see for yourself:
Stop the insanity, people. Stop it now. Certainly beauty takes work, but it can also be overworked. And, in some cases, worked to death. Ladies, can we take a stand and agree that the rules of beauty should always follow the philosophy, “First, do no harm.”

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Cruzing sisters

CLICK for little sister, big sister sandwich

After writing Monday’s Oscar post, I realized I was terribly remiss in omitting the lovely Penelope Cruz. What was I thinking? OK, sure, she seemed to have pelted Snuffleupagus to make the bottom of her dress, but otherwise she looked fabulous. And then, I looked to her left. Hello, double vision. Penelope brought her younger sister Monica as her date and let me just say the hottie gene is strong in that family. Of course, this required more research and what I found further fueled my ham-in-that-sister-sandwich fantasy. Yes, it’s wrong. But it looks so right.

Monday, February 26, 2007

(Not So) Live Blog of the Gay Oscars

Hollywood’s biggest night went off without a hitch (unless you count Celine Dion’s inexplicable musical number. Why must you punish us so?) Yes, Marty Scorsese finally won his Oscar and Al Gore can now add “Oscar winner” to his titles along with “Almost President.” But, let’s cut the filler and get straight to the gay stuff. A chronological recap of the night’s most queerrific moments:

5:37 PM: Ellen emerges wearing a red, velvet tuxedo. She then quips in her monologue: “If there weren't blacks, Jews or gays, there would be no Oscars.” 6:26 PM: A dance troupe will be interpreting the best picture nominees, among others, through the night. That’s pretty gay.
6:33 PM: Melissa Etheridge sings her nominated song “I Need to Wake Up,” which is perfect since the Randy Newman/James Taylor number before put me into a coma.
6:35 PM: Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio talk about the “Green Oscars.” I just thought the gay boys might appreciate a shot of Leo. And, for the bears out there, Al. 7:00 PM: Anne Hathaway and Emily Blunt come out to present holding hands. My naughty fantasies now come with real, live visuals. Then, they give the costume design award to a lady wearing a suit and little tie. She thanks her husband, but it’s too late and she has now been added to a new fantasy sequence. 7:10 PM: Ellen works the crowd in a white tux. Gets Steven Spielberg to take a picture of her and Clint Eastwood for her Myspace page, thus proving that the internet is - indeed - gay.
7:29 PM: Cate Blanchett and Clive Owen come out, finally giving gay men and women a presenting duo they can enjoy equally. 8:20 PM: Jennifer Hudson wins for Dreamgirls. I know she’s not gay, but she was in a musical and I’m happy for her.
8:30 PM: Queen Latifah and John Travolta present Melissa the Best Song Oscar. I’ll let you decide how many in that trio are gay… Melissa kisses Tammy on the way up and then thanks her and their four children in her terrific speech: “Wow, that feels as good as you think it does.” It feels good for us, too, Melissa. 8:40 PM: Kate Winslet. Just Kate Winslet, le sigh. 8:45 PM: Jodie Foster introduces the In Memoriam segment. Oh Jodie, Jodie. Come out, honey. Everybody knows. 8:50 PM: Ellen changes into a blue tuxedo. She has now worn red, white and blue suits. She’s an All-American girl, get it?
8:55 PM: Helen Mirren is the queen of the Oscars. My love for her is unending. She can now drop her fries.9:15 PM: A drop-dead sexy Diane Keaton comes out with a drop-dead scary Jack Nicholson and gives Marty his Oscar. I’m happy for Marty, but I want to see more Diane. A lot more.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Pre-L: Lexington and Concord

L408- “Lexington and Concord”

They’re baaaack. As promised, Pre-L returns. OK, OK, hold your applause. Seriously, simmer down now. I’m just your faithful servant, here to bring you hot, sweaty pre-cap action. Enjoy.

1) For a second, I think Jenny is dead. That’s one great second.
2) Bette and Tina share a moment. It’s sweet. Seriously. 3) Max gets an intern, who dances and computers. Yeah, right.
4) Jodi has a date. Uh-oh.5) Shane and Paige love a classic American car. 6) Kit doesn’t do bareback. Smart girl. 7) Helena shows Catherine the money. Hello paper cuts. 8) We learn about the dangers of knee-jerk liberal bullshit. And creepy agents. And T-Shirt slogan. Class dismissed.9) Alice and Tasha are Carville and Matalin. It’s fucking annoying. Then, it’s fucking hot.10) For a show about lesbians, there are an awful lot of daddy issues going on. I’m just saying.

New Guestbian Count: 1
[Simone Bailly as Grace the intern]

Best Self Description: “…I’m a bombastic bully.” - Bette

Worst Outfit: Look, Little Alice on the Prairie

Friday, February 23, 2007

My Weekend Crush

CLICK for the divine inspiration that is Helen MirrenThere is nothing like a dame. Dame Helen Mirren is a sublime delight that just keeps getting better with age. At 61, she has it all. She has beauty and brains. She is regal, yet a rebel. She has talent and that tattoo. Hell, the hardest thing about picking her was picking which photo to use. The queen? The joker? The sexpot? The naughty fry-dropping minx? Oh, the choices, the choices. In the end, I went with a little of everything. Lord, she is divine; I can’t wait for her to win that Oscar Sunday. Happy weekend, all.

Gay money

Personal finances guru Suze Orman will reveal in the Sunday New York Times Magazine that she is a lesbian and has never been with a man. She goes on to call herself a “55-year-old virgin” even though she has been with her “life partner” Kathy Travis for seven years. Geez, bet poor Kathy is thinking, “What the hell have we been doing all these years?”

Well, apparently, counting their money. Suze estimates the couple has a net worth of about $25 million. The author, TV host and motivational speaker said in the interview that she is frustrated that she can’t marry her partner and angered by the country’s unjust inheritance laws for gays and lesbians.

“It's killing me that upon my death, K.T. is going to lose 50 percent of everything I have to estate taxes. Or vice versa.”

I don’t know why, but this news surprised me. I guess because she is so ubiquitous, I never really considered Suze’s sexuality. Mostly I just wanted to change the channel every time she came on for shame of not having my own personal finances in order. But, now that I look at her carefully, Suze certainly has the hair for it. And, what appears to be a leather fetish. With her net worth and global domination, Suze is now the epitome of the power dyke.

Are you ready for some Oscars?

CLICK to enlargeI feel about the Oscars the way other people feel about the Super Bowl. I check the stats. I run the numbers. I make my picks. Then I watch and critique every move from my couch. Why did he say that? What was she thinking wearing that? Who thought that it was a good idea to have Rob Lowe dance with Snow White? And so on. While I watch intensely most years, I also watch somewhat dispassionately. Sure, I have my favorites, but it’s not like the home team is playing. I cheer and clap and hope for something exciting to happen.

Not this year. This year I feel a vested interest. Why? Well, Ellen of course. Ms. DeGeneres will walk into the history books as the first out gay celebrity to host the esteemed award show. Sure, she has hosted the Grammys and Emmys, but the Oscars are different. The Academy Awards represent the best the entertainment industry has to offer. Hosting the show is an honor for Ellen and a nod of acceptance for all of us. While she may not wave the pride flag as feverishly as some would like, Ellen is still very much family. To have her beam into living rooms across the country and the world as the face of the awards, well, that’s something to feel proud about. So, this Sunday, I can’t wait to root, root, root for the home team. Go Ellen, go team!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Must see TV

Don’t forget, Oprah is on Ellen today. It’s a display of daytime television royalty so bright, you gotta wear shades. Here are a couple more clips. Oprah even gives her stamp of approval to one lucky presidential hopeful. No, it’s not Dennis Kucinich.

Bikini Redux

CLICK for then and nowOh Tyra, Tyra. Honey, what are you doing? I realize that it was a big deal for you to be the first African-American woman to grace to cover of the “Sports Illustrated” swimsuit issue solo. I realize that it takes moxie to parlay looking hot in a bikini into a career complete with your own reality series and talk show. And I realize that it hurt your feelings when a bunch of blogging meanies made fun of unflattering photos of you in your swimsuit recently.

But, really, did you have to go this far? Did you have to recreate your famed SI cover from a decade ago under the guise of a celebration of Black History Month? Does another picture of you in a bikini really advance the cause of black Americans? Uh, no. What it does do is scream, “Hey, I’m not fat! Look, I’m not fat!” Though, if that was your not-so-secret agenda, why would you go ape shit with the Photoshop? Real torsos have shadow, depth and highlights. You know, like the one on the left. Listen, if I tell you you’re still pretty will you, please, put some clothes on.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Not so silent all these years

CLICK to enlarge for your own Little EarthquakeI had sixth-row seats to see Tori Amos back in college. Let me tell you, she was pretty fucking amazing. The way she made that baby grand melt beneath her fingers and thighs, let’s just say it made an impression. To this day, my love for the ethereal, scarlet-haired piano goddess remains strong. Sure, every now and then it seems like she breaks out the lyrics Mad Libs. I’m still waiting for someone to explain exactly what it means to catch a lite sneeze.

But Tori’s willingness to be provocative and talk about the things most people would rather not keeps her close to my heart. Rape, miscarriage, prostitution, masturbation. It’s a veritable who’s who of awkward dinnertime conversation. So, in typical Tori fashion, she appears to be back at the button pushing with her new album, “American Doll Posse,” due out May 1. A promo shot was released yesterday (click above to enlarge). With a bible in her right hand, “shame” scrawled on her left hand and blood running down her leg, I’m going to take a wild guess and say that she has a thing or two to say about the church. I can’t wait.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Oprah, Ellen. Ellen, Oprah.

First, she appeared with David Letterman in a Super Bowl spot. Now she is appearing on a rival talk show. Has Oprah Winfrey just rewritten the rules of the universe? Is this still Earth? Yes, it’s true. Oprah, the queen of all media and possibly the galaxy, will appear on The Ellen DeGeneres Show Thursday. I have to say, Oprah and Ellen both look fantastic in the above teaser clip. Oprah even gets down with her bad self doing a little walk-on boogie. I may have to sneak away to find a TV Thursday afternoon. The promo below is pretty cute, too. Though, perhaps Rosie was right all along when she called O “a little gay.” I mean, seriously, singing “I Will Survive” on a road trip? Gay. And doing jazz hands while singing “I Will Survive”? Totally gay.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Little girl lost

The thing is, I’ve always wanted to shave my head. It’s true. Some wild, unexpressed part of my personality wonders what I’d look like bald. Part of it is rebellion. But part of it is that my hair is a large part of my identity. It’s long. It’s thick. Strangers have been know to ask to touch it while I’m out and about. Yeah, I know, that last bit is weird. But in the end, I’ve never shaved my head and probably never will. Thing is, I like my hair. I like myself. And, OK, I worry that I might have a misshapen scalp or weird birthmark hiding under there.

This lengthy and unsolicited mediation on my hair brings me to my point. Britney Spears and her newly-shaved head makes me sad. While I understand the urge, her very public shearing seems to be both an act of rebellion and a shedding of identity. I try not to blog too much about the paparazzi princesses - Paris, Lindsay, Britney, Nicole, et al. I do so mainly because I think they’re uninteresting and unimportant. I find no joy in yet another shot of some sad person drunk/naked/covered in her own sick.

But Britney’s recent downward spiral complete with photos and video and her clipped locks for sale on eBay screams out for commentary. And mine is this: People who love Britney Spears, please help her. While I’ve never met the woman and am in no way privy to the inner workings of her soul, I can tell you that shaving your head in some little salon in Tarzana in full view of the cameras is a probably cry for help. So, someone, help her.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Pre-L, Interrupted

WTF!?! No Pre-L this week? That's it, we're leaving!

Well shoot. The screeners for the second half of the season have been slow in coming, so no Pre-L this week. My apologies. Fear not, I have been assured that they will arrive next week which means my little pre-caps will return as scheduled next Saturday. For now, enjoy a few of my favorite screencaps from the first half of the season. Oh, the memories.

When Alpha Bette AttacksWhen Jodi Cops a Feel When Shane Strikes Pose When Jenny Rolls Her Eyes at Herself So We Don’t Have To When Alice, Oh Whatever, It’s Alice

Friday, February 16, 2007

My Weekend Crush

With all the craziness in the news and looniness of the zeitgeist, I felt like going back in time for this weekend’s crush. It’s hard to find a more timeless, more elegant, more flat-out beautiful actress than Ingrid Bergman. Looking back, it’s strange to think that a woman remembered for such classics as “Casablanca,” “Gaslight” and “Anastasia” was embroiled in her own scandal back in the day. When the married Ingrid had an affair with the also married Italian director Roberto Rossellini, she was denounced on the U.S. Senate floor as a “horrible example of womanhood and a powerful influence for evil.” The couple later married and one of the results of their “evil” was Isabella Rossellini. Now that’s what I call good genes. Happy weekend, all.

“And when he’s done, you’d better clap”

CLICK to feel the loveYesterday I was feeling rather bad about the world, particularly the people in it. Though it shouldn’t still shock me, sometimes someone’s complete ignorance, hatred and cruelty catches me off guard. Hearing Tim Hardaway’s vitriolic rant was that jolt.

“You know, I hate gay people, so I let it be known. I don’t like gay people and I don’t like to be around gay people. I’m homophobic. I don’t like it. It shouldn’t be in the world or in the United States.”

Sure he has since apologized and been banned by the NBA*, but the damage was done.

Then, while watching “Ugly Betty,” I started to feel better. A lot better. Now my love for all things Bettylicious is well documented and unwavering. Last night it became transcendent. For all its camp and craziness, the show is really about heart. And, in a subtle way, changing people’s hearts and minds.

I can’t think of another primetime show right now that more deftly and effectively addresses gay issues. In last night’s episode, the parallel storylines of transgendered Alexis’ rejection and future-gay Justin’s acceptance were nothing short of magnificent. This is how change happens. It takes seeing someone you care about - even if only a fictional character - being hated or loved for who she or he is to challenge a person’s beliefs.

To quote Alexis: “People are kind of awful.” True, but sometimes they might just catch you off guard in a good way. When Justin’s father stood up for him finally, my God, I teared up. I really did. Can “Ugly Betty” save the world? No, of course not. But it can make it just a little bit better. Watch it for yourself and feel just a little better about the world, too.

*NOTE: For the record, I in no way forgive Hardaway. And yes I realize it was a half-ass apology and yes I realize the NBA banned him only from All-Star Weekend. I was trying to be brief since I linked to the full story. That man is a bigot without remorse and there is no excuse for that. Period. End of story.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

This is Sparta

Be my queenI’ve had a crush on Lena Headey since she charmed her way through “Imagine Me & You” as the hottest flower girl you’ve never met. Seriously, I must go to all the wrong florist shops. So I was pleased to see that she is back on the big screen in the upcoming “300.” Lena stars are Queen Gargo to Gerard Butler’s King Leonidas. Anyone who has seen the arresting trailers will know that this isn’t another dry historical piece. Sure, the rippling, naked male torso to rippling, naked female torso ratio appears to be heavily weighed toward the fellas. But, with Lena and an ethereal looking oracle around, I’m sure we’ll find something to catch our eye. The movie comes from the singular mind of Frank Miller. “Sin City,” his first film, was a visual feast, but narrative mess. Early reviews for “300” look good. For now, I just wanna look at the pictures. Uh, wow.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Why so blue, panda bear?

CLICK for the worst Valentine's Day movies everHey, buck up, little camper. Don’t let Hallmark get you down. Today, of all days, you should rejoice in your freedom. Flowers die. Chocolates go to your hips. Satin sheets are cheesy. Here are five more reasons that single is the new black this Valentine’s Day.

Pick your Dreamgirl

CLICK for Effie vs. Deena: The CoversThis Valentine’s Day, find your Dreamgirl at a newsstand near you. The leading ladies from the movie musical “Dreamgirls” have dueling magazine covers. Academy Award nominee Jennifer Hudson is on the cover of “Vogue” and I’m-not-jealous, look-at-my-bikini nominee Beyoncé is on the cover of the “Sports Illustrated” swimsuit issue. Ladies, ladies, do we have to choose?

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

My friend, my lover

Kiss ThisSure Jennifer Beals and Marlee Matlin are steaming up TV screen right now as Bette and Jodi on “The L Word,” but did you know the actresses have been good friends since the 80s? In a joint interview with TV Tattler, the women talked about the show, what it’s like to kiss an old friend and even Kristanna Loken’s recent claims of cattiness on set. Some highlights:
  • Jennifer didn’t suggest Marlee for the role of Jodi because “they don’t listen to anything I have to say.” Well, that explains the Bette/Tina storyline meltdown.
  • Jennifer said sex scenes with a friend are not so sexy. “Oh, it’s horrible. We laugh hysterically the whole time. It’s horrible, it’s horrible. I try to be professional, and she looks at me and gives me one little look of mischief and we just lose it, and it takes forever to shoot.” Suuure, that’s why it takes “forever.”
  • Marlee asked if Jodi could be named after a lesbian friend of her’s who passed away. “I thought it would be nice to honor her, and they were more than open to it. Most television series would never do that.”
  • Marlee said Kristanna’s comments about the L Word being “the most difficult cast” she had ever worked with were based around her problems with a specific cast member. “I’m sorry she expressed her feelings to an interviewer, when it was an experience she had on a one-to-one basis with someone. It’s a great show, and for me it was a wonderful experience.” So there, meow.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Xena: Footballer Princess

Pass her the ball. Seriously.Lucy Lawless has long since hung up the chakram, but it seems she might be picking up the pigskin. Over the weekend the actress-singer-all around ass kicker announced on her fan club blog that she had signed on to play the lead in the American version of the British sudsfest “Footballers’ Wives.” Lucy said she wasn’t interested in the part at first [a) I don’t like football and b) I don’t play “wives”!] But after reading the juicy role described as “Tony Soprano in Manolos” she had a change of heart. To appeal to U.S. audiences, the sport has been changed from soccer to American football and the show redubbed “Football Wives.” ABC has ordered a pilot and X-Men/Superman director Bryan Singer may direct. Did I mention the UK version featured a lesbian sports agent? Hey, I think Renee O’Connor is available.

Sing out sisters

Ladies ruled the 49th annual Grammy Awards last night. A recap:

Revenge, Thy Name Is Grammy
The Dixie Chicks (I. Love. Them.) cleaned house going five for five and taking home the night’s biggest awards. Who is ashamed now?

It’s a Woman’s World
We all knew Christina Aguilera had pipes. Now we know she has got soul. She blew the roof off honoring James Brown with “It’s a Man’s, Man’s World.” On your knees girl, damn!

Got Fries With That Shake?
Oh Shakira, Shakira. You’re whirling dervish hips make everything seem right with the world. Thank you.

Warning: Objects May Appear More Orange Than They Actually Are
Alyson Hannigan, I will love you always for playing Willow, but might I suggest going just a smidge lighter on the Mystic Tan.

Warning: Objects May Appear More Gay Than They Actually Are
Pink is still married, right? Bummer.

Maybe It’s a Polka Album
Scarlett Johansson* is taking her (apparent) new boyfriend Justin Timberlake’s profession to heart and announced that she is working on her first album. ScarJo From the Block, anyone?

*Yes, that is indeed Scarlett. Unless, of course, this imposter fooled the Recording Academy, the Grammy announcer and Don Henley. In which case, damn, she is good.