Monday, August 31, 2009

Sister act

Oh, Deschanel sisters, Deschanel sisters. You are a glamorous microcosm of sisters everywhere. The older, polished one. The younger, adorable one. I love seeing pictures of them together because, duh, they’re both gorgeous.

But I’m not interested in the naughty fantasy. First, I’m still getting over that first, unsuspecting viewing of “Sister, My Sister.” And second, well, incest is ewww. No, seriously, ewww. Instead, what I like is the obvious affection between them. The closeness, the supportiveness. I’d like to sit with them around the kitchen table and watch that special, often-wordless language only sisters share.

The way Emily instinctually holds her little sister close.

The way Zooey leans unquestioningly on her older sister.

It’s so sweet. It makes me wish I lived closer to my sister. It also makes me really, really hope that Zooey gets to guest star with Emily on “Bones” this season. Make this happen TV gods.

OK, I could be persuaded to get just a little “Flowers in the Attic” at the sight of an Emily, Amy Adams, Zooey sandwich.

Just a little. What? I’m only human.

Friday, August 28, 2009

My Weekend Crush

I know, I know – it almost seems wrong to post an image this hot. In fact, I am certain an entire weekend of seeing this atop the site will sear a hole into your monitor. I am just going to have to live with those consequences. I have no choice; a woman as hot as Sarah Shahi simply demands it. That Sarah is hot, however, was never in question. She looks sexy wearing anything – a tank top, a cop uniform, Kate Moennig. But in “The L Word” she showed us she could also break our heart. And then in “Life” she showed us she could be unwrapped like a tough-skinned onion to reveal untold layers underneath. That Sarah won’t be on our screens every week now that both shows are gone is an injustice the TV gods will be forced to rectify soon lest we, their once loyal subjects, begin to revolt and tear down the temples in their honor brick by brick. In short, after an appropriate period of maternity leave (hello, hot mama!), Sarah better be back on my damn TV. So much hot must be shared with the world. We demand it. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Queen of Kings

The Queen has a new album out, and darn it if she is not looking like a king on it – a drag king, that is. Queen Latifah’s new album “Persona” came out Tuesday. On it she experiments with several styles – or personas if you will. Lovely idea. But, of course, the only persona I care about right now is her butch one. Because, make no mistake, this is not an isolated incident. Our Queen has a tendency to butch it up both on and off screen to delicious effect. It’d be easy to speculate about the reason for her butch tendencies (cough, The Gay, cough). But I’d rather just enjoy the aesthetic. All hail the queen of kings.

In The Movies:

Stranger Than FictionLast HolidayThe CookoutSet It OffSeriously, Set It Off (she even played gay!)

On the Streets:

On a MotorcycleIn Cargo ShortsHolding a Coconut (come on, a coconut!)With Her Girlfriend Personal TrainerNo Comment

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Six packs are for cans

Lizzi Miller

Hey, did you hear about the time the fashion magazine showed a real woman’s body? And did you hear that, despite what some fashion editors might think, the world did not stop spinning because her perceived imperfections weren’t Photoshopped out? In fact, did you hear that instead of revolting in disgust, the readers rejoiced? I know, I know – sounds like an urban legend. But, unlike that gerbil thing, this actually happened.

Glamour’s September issue has been causing quite a stir, not because of its cover story on Jessica Simpson or feature on “331 Sexy Looks You Can Afford!” But instead the clamor is for a simple photo on Page 194. It’s a photo of a beautiful young woman with a big, wonderfully confident smile and a small, totally normal stomach pooch.

Many things are extraordinary about this photo because of, ironically, its very ordinariness. This is a woman with a stomach that looks like what so many of us see when we look in the mirror. Yet we are all taken aback because we have been so conditioned to expect so-called perfection in the glossy pages of magazines. For reference see Kelly Clarkson. See Faith Hill. See any beautiful woman that somehow wasn’t quite beautiful enough to be shown how she really looks, untouched and unaltered.

Glamour has been flooded with positive comments on the photo, as they should be. The editor and lovely young model, Lizzi Miller, appeared on the Today show earlier this week. But our visceral reaction to this image only serves to underscore a sad truth about our culture. We have been made to feel so badly about ourselves by images that are utterly unattainable that when we see something real, it shocks us. And we are moved.

Our minds are like our bodies: what you feed them matters. If we only ever ingest a diet of impossibly thin, incredibly perfect junk imagery it starts to corrode our egos. It clogs our confidence. And, before you know it, our hearts are hardened to the fact that women are beautiful in all shapes and sizes, colors and creeds.

Make no mistake, this is what they want. The beauty industry isn’t about making women feel beautiful. It’s about making us feel so horrible about ourselves for not being beautiful that we buy whatever they are selling. Making us hate who we are is a billion-dollar industry. Even Glamour, who I whole-heartedly applaud for featuring Lizzi, has a headline on the cover of that same issue that screams: “3 Flat Belly Secrets!” Two steps forward, one step back.

We all want to look our best and be healthy. But loving who we are, flaws and all, is a life-long project made harder by the messages we are bombarded with every day. Firmer. Smoother. Younger. Thinner. Right now, think of three things you don’t like about your body and then three things you love about your body. Those first three came easier, didn’t they? Now fuck those first three things. Because only those last three things matter. We are as beautiful as we feel. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Plain White T’s

Sarah Shahi

Well, what do you know? Another article of clothing has hijacked Tuesday. Of course, my undying admiration and adoration for tank tops goes on unabated. But every now and then, a gal just needs to mix it up a little. So today, let’s indulge instead in the uncomplicated splendor of the oversized dress white shirt. Some might call it a boyfriend shirt, I prefer to think of it as an ex-boyfriend shirt – very ex. So simple, so crisp, so delicious. Also, I love anything that unbuttons in the front.

Audrey TautouChristina HendricksLili TaylorNaomi WattsDita Von TeeseKate WinsletWinona RyderKristen Stewart, Blake Lively, Emma Roberts, Amanda Seyfried

Monday, August 24, 2009

Black market

So by now you may have already heard that Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis are going to be in a movie together. You may have already heard that Natalie and Mila play ballerinas. And you may have already heard that Natalie and Mila have sex. OK, OK – at this point those of you who had not heard any of the aforementioned news probably have some questions, several even. Let’s back up. There is this script for a movie being made and, as can happen in this day and age, the script has leaked and, as always happens in this day and age, someone has posted their thoughts about it on the internet.

The movie, “Black Swan,” revolves around Nina (Natalie), a talented dancer in the New York City Ballet who is being primed for the lead role of the Swan Queen in “Swan Lake,” now that the company’s prima ballerina is retiring. But the company director doubts that she has a dark enough side to be able to play both the white and black swans that the role demands. So as she searches for her dark side she keeps seeing Lily (Mila), a girl who at times looks just like her but acts the exact opposite of her. Is it all in her head? Have I mentioned the director is Darren Aronofsky, the man behind “Requiem for a Dream,” “The Fountain,” “The Wrestler” and married to Rachel Weisz – lucky bastard.

Right, so at this point you’re thinking, “Jesus, Snarker. Like 200 fucking words have passed since you said “Natalie” and “Mila” and “sex” in the same sentence. Stop leaving me hanging!” This is what I know about the sex:
It’s “not just nice sweet innocent sex either. We're talking ecstasy-induced hungry aggressive angry sex.”

Has your brain stopped working altogether? Are you painting a “hungry, aggressive, angry” mental picture? Yeah – I did, too. But, and bloody hell there is always a but, once my brain started working again I started to wonder.

Particularly, I’m wondering about the “ecstasy-induced” part. Far be it for me to denigrate a good lesbian sex scene. There are so few of them we pretty much will take whatever we can get. But, once again, my joy at the joy of two women together is tempered by the fact that it is chemically enhanced. It’s the cinematic cousin to every drunken sorority girls’ hook up filmed for the fraternity boys’ enjoyment. And that is in no way good lesbian sex.

Also (more, and more disturbing, spoilers ahead) there is a rape scene in the film involving Nina and the company director. That is definitely not something I am excited about seeing, or want to see at all.

Of course, none of this means I think this is or will be a bad movie. In fact, given the talent in front of and behind the camera, it sounds like it might be a very good movie. But context being what it is, the coupling doesn’t bring the same salacious anticipation I had at first.

And then, well, then there’s the other part of my brain that is screaming, “Shut up, you damn nerd. Natalie and Mila are going to be naked. Together. What is wrong with you?” Good question.

Friday, August 21, 2009

My Weekend Crush

Now, look, Alexis Bledel. I’m not trying to be inappropriate here. While I’m not old enough to be your Lorelai Gilmore-aged television mother, I know you primarily in the context of being an adorably precocious high school student. So this isn’t some sort of skeezy come on from an older lady. Granted, you’re actually 27 and it wouldn’t be out of the realm of acceptable possibilities – but still. What I want to say instead is that I know you’ve got a new movie opening today. Congrats on that, of course. But as much as I want to support your post-Rory days, I’m probably going to skip “Post Grad.” Not even the great Jane Lynch (and Carol freaking Burnett!) can get me there.

That’s not just because it looks blandly generic. I’m sure it’s perfectly serviceable and something I will eventually end up watching on cable while channel surfing some lazy Sunday afternoon. It’s because I know you can do better. You have that quality. It’s fresh, it’s – dare I say – dewy. You have an accessible sophistication. It’s innocence mixed with capability. And, well, you have those big, impossibly blue eyes. I guess what I’m trying to say is – not to get all maternal here – I’d like you to do well. Despite picking Yale over Harvard, you’ve got a good head on your shoulders. So make me proud, Alexis. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A pig is a pig is a pig is a pig

Who knew Las Vegas was the tale of two cities? It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. But that’s what we got a big, heaping serving of during the debut of “Top Chef: Las Vegas.” Look – I know, I know – two Top Chef posts in a row. (And the last one was soooo popular.) But I cannot contain my deep, boiling rage at some of the developments this season and we’re only one damn episode in.

First, the good. I love that Jennifer Carroll kicked ass in the Quickfire and the Elimination Challenge. I also love that she drinks too much and likes to make the boys cry. I mean, she looked so sorority girl in her picture. Who knew? Well clearly not the boys. One of them asks her when they first meet if she is the “pastry chef”at her restaurant and she replies simply, “No, chef.”

I also loved Ashley and liked Preeti, our two chefbians. OK, Preeti seems a tad clueless. I mean, a lesbian who can’t get into a tight clam? (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.) But Ashley, well if the welfare backstory didn’t move you, her Rachel Maddow glasses/flannel shirt combo certainly should.

But now, the bad. The oh-so bad. What was Bravo thinking casting a misogynistic, ageist, all-around unappealing asshole like Michael Isabella? First, when Jennifer is neck-and-neck with him shucking clams he says: “There’s no way, no offense, a girl shouldn’t be at the same level that I am.”

Oh, glad you threw in that “no offense” because now your male chauvinist pig attitude totally doesn’t bother me one bit.

And then when another female chef decides to keep her immunity instead of go for the loot, he says: “To me it’s just one less old lady I have to worry about.”

You know, this show has had asshats before and sexists before, but the level of idiotic vitriol coming from this guy is unacceptable. I cannot accept that he is on my television competing to win $100,000. I cannot accept that Bravo allows him to be on my television competing to win $100,000. I mean, did the producers need a season villain so badly that they had to offend and denigrate more than half of the world’s population? The misogyny, IT BURNS!

And I’m not even going to discuss the other Mike who basically made a dish about women’s boobs involving rack of lamb and a sauce made from “two juicy coconuts.” Also, Tom, how could you call that “clever.” Gail was clearly not amused. Nor was I.

Look, being a fierce competitor is one thing. Being a sexist asshole is entirely another. I welcome the first. The other has no place in the kitchen or on television, period. This little piggy certainly does not belong on Top Chef.

[Check out my full recaps of the episode at AfterEllen later today. I am also live tweeting (West Coast time) each episode at @dorothysnarker. And chefbian cutie Jamie Lauren is blogging over at Bravo. No scallop jokes, I promise.]

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Vegas, Padma. Padma, Vegas.

Can you hear it? Listen close and you’ll hear the almost rhythmic, almost pulsing sound of pure food porn. Put your ear to the ground. Hear it now? Padma, Padma, PADMA!

Yes, kittens, my mmm, Padma, mmm is finally back tonight. Oh, and so is “Top Chef.” The sixth season does it Vegas style, pitting 17 of the nation’s top rising chefs against each other for the title in Sin City. And, of course, there will be chefbians. As a refresher, here are our lesbian ladies with ladles:

Get to know our chefbians a little better in their Bravo introductory videos.

Meet Preeti:

Meet Ashley:

So, the key nuggets from those videos were:
Preeti is in a 13-year relationship and cooks “bold, hit you in the face flavors” and Ashley grew up on welfare and wants her diners to feel “they got hit in the face with a stick of butter.”

Wow, ladies. You really, really want to hit us in the face. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, except for the black eyes the chefs gave you with their food.

Well, as long as they keep their fists off Padma’s face, and anything else for that matter, we should all get out relatively unscathed. So, are you ready? Knife? Fork? Cleavage? Then bring on the FOOD!

p.s. Rehash each episode with me on on Thursdays (or possibly Fridays, it’ll depend on my level of sleep deprivation).

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Brand new Day

So we need to talk a little about Felicia Day. Now, if you know her already then you are already in love with her and need no further introduction from me. In fact, you can probably skip this entire post and just stare adoringly at the pretty picture. And what pretty, pretty pictures they are.

But those who do not recognize Felicia are in for a treat. Because Felicia is kind of like the Queen of The Internets. In fact if you don’t know who she is, perhaps you’ve been spending too much time offline doing things like getting to know your family, reading books or taking long hikes in the forest. Whatever, losers.

In case she looks kinda, sorta familiar, Felicia has starred on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” in the final season as potential slayer Vi, in “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog” as poor doomed Penny and those Sears commercials where the women who loves red is looking for a washing machine as the saleswoman. She is also in the unaired “Epitaph One” episode of “Dollhouse” and is going to make another appearance this season.

But what Felicia is probably best known for is as the creator and star of the massively popular webseries “The Guild,” about a group of gamers who play a massively multiplayer online (MMO) game. The premiere episode has been watched more than 2.7 million times on YouTube. Her second season and upcoming third season has secured corporate sponsorship from the likes of Microsoft and Sprint. She has more than 1 million Twitter followers. She has been profiled in Forbes magazine. In short, she is living the online dream.

Now, I confess to not watching too much of “The Guild.” I’m not a gamer so I fear a lot of the lingo would be lost on me. But I am a fan of ingenuity, creativity and talent. (Also, red hair. Oh gingers, I can’t quit you.) So, clearly, I am a fan of Felicia’s. I follow her on Twitter. I pop in to check out her blog. I read all about her Comic-Con exploits. And now, I can’t stop rewatching “Do You Wanna Date My Avatar.” The video to promote the third season of “The Guild” debuted at No. 1 on iTunes beating out Taylor Swift (with an assist from Joss Whedon himself who urged the legions of Whedonequers to destroy the Swiftbot).

Hottie Felicia! Choreographed dancing! Gamer speak! Money beds! Vaguely medieval, ren-fairy, fantasy hottie outfits! Hello, nerdgasm!

You know what, I’m rethinking this whole, non-gamer/non-watcher thing. I can withstand a little confusion for Felicia. Who is with me? Online “The Guild” viewing party, anyone? Also, I would TOTALLY date her avatar.

p.s. You guys, I couldn’t wait. I totally watched the first season last night all in one sitting. I have been converted. Someone get me a vaguely medieval, ren-fairy, fantasy hottie outfit. I’m hooked.