Saturday, December 29, 2007

My Year-End Weekend Crush

When it came time to pick my biggest crush for 2007, it was really no contest. Certainly there were many worthy contenders: Jodie Foster, Lena Headey and Helen Mirren spring to mind. But if I sit back and really think about who I was most entertained by and enamored with this year, I’ve got to give it to Tina Fey. While I had always loved her on “Saturday Night Live” it wasn’t until “30 Rock” that I really saw how unbelievably awesome she was, period. And this season, her show has been the fucking funniest thing on television, period.

Everything she does is simultaneously hilarious, smart, geeky and sexy. Whether she is name-dropping AfterEllen on Conan or encasing her Emmy in bubble wrap or singing pirate songs with Elmo, Tina is just terrific. Heck, I even happily sit and watch her American Express ad every time it comes on because it’s funnier than 90 percent of the shows on TV. But what really makes Tina great is that all of this seems to flow naturally from her personality. She isn’t putting on. She is genuinely a hilarious, smart, geeky and sexy woman.

Whenever I get particularly down about our vacuous celebrity culture that makes girls with sex tapes famous and reports on starlets in rehab as if they were the genocide in Darfur, I cheer myself with the realization that through all the trash, quality like Tina Fey is still able to rise to the top and outshine them all. Happy weekend and New Year, all.

p.s. Will someone please put “What? Sexy? You are. Shut up.” on a T-shirt. I so want one.

Pre-L: LGB Tease

L501: “LGB Tease”
We want dinghy! We want dinghy! We want…ah, damn. Well, here we go again. Hey, doesn’t Jenny know there is a writers strike? Pencils down, girlfriend. Otherwise we’re going to have to start calling you a dirty scab along with bat-shit crazy. A quick refresher for those playing at home, the Pre-L precaps contain spoilers, obscene language and, whenever possible, nudity. So if you don’t like being spoiled, cursed at or seeing naked ladies…dude, why are you even here? [Click any of the images to enlarge.] So without further ado.

1) Jenny’ dialogue, it sucks. But these ladies, they still rock.2) And so begins the Tibette hook-up pool. Place your bets now.3) Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.4) It took 9 minutes and 39 seconds for the first Alice sighting. Someone needs to get fired.5) Kit doesn’t see Shane on fire when she is with Paige. Welcome to Foreshadowing 101.6) Helena is in for some daddy issues.7) Dear Ilene Chaiken: If it has video, it’s a vlog. Sincerely, Ms. Snarker8) It’s hard out there for a pimp.9) Paige should always remember to knock.10) So Jenny writes a book, gets it published, gets it optioned, gets it greenlit, gets to write the script, gets to rewrites the script and now gets to direct the picture. Yep, Tina, you are in hell.11) Oh, wait. No, I was wrong before. Now you are in hell, Tina.12) Note to self: Invest in blindfolds.13) And so ends our lesson in foreshadowing. Any questions?14) Alice, buttons got nothin’ on her cuteness.15) Hey, shouldn’t she be in Iraq?
New Guestbian Count:
Best Line, Part I: “Playa del Carmen? That’s not nearly far enough away.” - Bette when she learns where Jenny is staying
Best Line, Part II: “Shit.” - Shane when she sees Jenny has returned
Best. Advice. Ever.: “Don’t drop the soap.” - Alice to Helena

UPDATE: I can’t believe I spelled “dinghy” wrong, twice. This is what happens when I post 20 minutes before I have to leave for the airport. Be sure to tune back in next week for the naughty Pre-L edition of “LGB Tease.” Bow-chicka-bow-wow, indeed.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Mama, I’m coming home

Well, folks, I’m off to visit family for the next two weeks. While I’m home my internet access will be spotty since I will be reduced to using an ancient dial-up connection and/or stolen neighborhood wi-fi. Pray for the latter. What this means for you is that posting will be sporadic until about Jan. 11 or so when Surrenders returns to its regularly scheduled programming. I still plan to keep putting up Weekend Crushes and other goodies, so you’re more than welcome to poke your head in while I’m away.

Right about now you’re probably panicking thinking, “Oh no, but The L Word premieres Jan. 6. Whatever will I do without Ms. Snarker’s scintillating Pre-L precaps?” Anyone? Bueller, Bueller? No? Fine. Regardless, I will be posting my precaps on Saturdays with a special Pre-L Online Edition this weekend to preview the cleaned-up season premiere which starts streaming at Sunday. And just to entice you further, next Saturday you can look forward to the special Pre-L Naked Edition where I precap all the naughty bits you might not have seen online. Put the kiddies to bed, dim the lights and cue the porn music. Bow-chicka-bow-wow. Ahem.

On a totally unrelated note (it’s really hard to transition gracefully from porn), I’d like to thank everyone for stopping by my silly little site this year. I’ve loved reading all your comments and emails and am eternally grateful that you continue to humor me. Y’all must be really patient. As a thank you, how about some hot women kissing? What can I say, I guess I’m just not the say it with flowers kind of gal. [Click to enlarge the Bonnie Somerville/Lourdes Benedicto “Cashmere Mafia” macking goodness.]Thanks again and let’s rock the shit out of 2008!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

A star is born

So my day-after Christmas gift to myself was sneaking away to an afternoon screening of “Juno.” I’d been dying to see the film since the glowing reviews began streaming in and yesterday was my first chance. Verdict: Oh my God, Ellen Page. I realize you might be looking for further clarification to my dumb-founded proclamation. But to be honest that was my predominant thought the whole time I was watching the film. Oh my God, Ellen Page is amazing. Oh my God, Ellen Page is hilarious. Oh, my God, if Ellen Page was 10 years older I would have a mad crush on her. Oh my God, I might still have a mad crush on her, age-difference be damned. (Hey, she is really 20, it’s not that skeezy…sorta.)

What made the film so good? Its singularly precocious title character. Juno is the is the high schooler I wish I had been, well, minus the whole pregnancy thing. Smart, secure, acerbic, independent, frank and funny as hell. She is the kind of young person you hope really exists out there somewhere. And if she really does exist, you wish you could revert to your high school self and hang out with her by the Gas ’N Sip drinking blue Slushies and seeing who could be the biggest smart ass.

And Ellen, well, all I can say about the superb Ms. Page is that I can’t wait to watch her grow up on screen. In “Juno,” we’ve been given the rare gift of seeing a true talent emerge and stretch her potential. Cinema needs another tomboy with a killer smirk. Speaking of which, how cute was her excitement at seeing Jodie Foster in the lobby during her recent LA Times interview? When talking about actresses she admires: “Jodie Foster, who I just saw in the lobby! I would never bug somebody, but that’s a good star sighting, Jodie Foster.” Her other favorites? Kate Winslet, Laura Linney, Sissy Spacek and Molly Parker. Geez, it’s like she is picking my Weekend Crushes for me. And, give it time, she is bound to show up one weekend herself.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

It’s a So-Called Life

So last night instead of playing with any of my new toys (damn Photoshop is, like, complicated), I popped in one of my birthday presents from last month -- the “My So-Called Life” box set. Naturally, I clicked over to the show’s Christmas episode, titled “So-Called Angels.” I’ve waxed eloquent (or at least tried to) elsewhere about the show and its star Claire Danes before. I’ve even been known to judge a person’s character on whether she watched, adored and can recite lines verbatim from the show. (Hey, I’m not saying it’s the right thing to do, I’m just saying it happens sometimes.)

The Christmas episode, while it tiptoes into very-special-episode territory, is a perfect example of what made this series great. To be more precise, the story of Rickie being thrown out of his home over the holidays is a perfect example of what made this series great. Rickie Vasquez was, and remains, the most realistically drawn gay teen characters on television. His story is so many of our stories. It’s a boy fully aware of his otherness, yet still trying to understand what it means. Wilson Cruz’s portrayal of him is nothing short of perfect. I’ll admit, this episode puts the old lump in the old throat even today. God, I’m a softie. Wait, I never said that. Oh, who am I kidding? Does anyone have a tissue?

p.s. If you’ve never seen the episode, please enjoy a very-special recap complete with snark and sniffles courtesy those mad geniuses at Television Without Pity.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry and bright

This is one of my all-time Christmas favorites. Whenever I’m home for the holidays, I dust off our trusty VHS copy (which is probably older than some of you) and we snuggle up to watch. I think it’s the simplicity of the story that makes it so lovely. No words, just wonder. When “Walking in the Air” starts, I get chills every single time. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Have a wonderful day filled with love and joy. Merry Christmas, all.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Bloody brilliant

Well, that was just…killer. “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” is without a doubt the darkest, bloodiest, angriest Christmas release I’ve ever loved. While the timing is a tad twisted (Soylent Green is meat pies, now bring on the figgy pudding?), you’ve got to admire Tim Burton and company’s moxie in bringing one of the most iconic, gory American musicals to gorgeous, grisly life on the big screen. They sing, they seethe, they slash! What is it about a little cannibalism that always gets me in the holiday spirit?

What made it so great? The story (a shave and a haircut, two cuts). The singing (fine, so they’re not professional, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t damn effective). The art direction (save for the brilliant splashes of blood, it almost looked with a old-fashioned black-and-white picture). The Johnny. The Helena. Really, I can’t think of two more perfectly cast people for the roles of Sweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovett.

While Johnny Depp is getting most of the ink for his singularly intense portrayal of a man hell-bent (literally) on revenge, Helena Bonham Carter gives the story its melancholy heart. Plus, dude, her décolletage is practically a character all its own. Pretty soon it’s going to start demanding a film credit. And even though she is made up to look like a deranged ghost who fell in with the goth kids who hang out by the 7-Eleven, she has hardly looked lovelier. What can I say, death becomes her.

p.s. I concur, Anthony and Johanna were by far the film’s weakest parts (though, ironically, its best voices).

Saturday, December 22, 2007

My Weekend Crush

What makes Jennifer Beals so extraordinary as Bette is not just her power. Make no mistake, she is unquestionably in control and oh-my-God is it sexy. But you know what they say about absolute power. No, what makes Jennifer so extraordinary as Bette is when she gives in to the corruption. Strength without weakness is boring. You might as well watch a steel girder. The beauty of Bette is that she is strong, smart, successful and oh-so human. It is in those moments of vulnerability I think I love her the most (excluding the nutty babynapping, of course).

In Bette, Jennifer has found a part that fits her like one of her alter-ego’s impeccably-tailored power suits. She owns the role and the screen every time she appears. Years ago, it would have been easy to dismiss her as “that girl from ‘Flashdance’.” Certainly many in youth-obsessed, women-of-a-certain-age-shunning Hollywood probably did. And what an extraordinary waste that would have been. Jennifer, who celebrated her 44th birthday this week, has finally come full-stride into her power. She is a grown-up and that, my friends, really is hot. Now when she levels her gaze on you, you know she means business. If that doesn’t make you weak in the knees, nothing will. Happy weekend, all.

Friday, December 21, 2007

L vs. Cashmere

You would think, given the dearth of lesbian characters in primetime television, that the networks wouldn’t program them on the same day. But, as the gay fates would have it, “The L Word” and “Cashmere Mafia” will premiere on the same night, Jan. 6. Though, the fates did throw us a bone, they’ll air one after the other, TLW at 9 p.m. and Cashmere at 10 p.m. (it will subsequently move to its regular slot, Wednesdays at 10 p.m. … which means it will conflict with “Life,” but that’s a Tivo issue for another day). Given their premiere proximities, it only makes sense that we do a careful comparison of the similarities and difference between the two shows -- for science, of course. Let’s take a look at the photographic evidence and discuss our conclusions, shall we? [Click to enlarge for further analysis, or something.]

Getting the Gals Together

Analysis: TLW goes street fighter, Cashmere goes uptown. I give the edge to TLW, cause working out = tank tops.

Hotties Bearing Cocktails

Analysis: This is a simple numbers game. Miranda Otto is double-fisting the libations so she clearly has the edge (while taking the edge off, so to speak).

Cute Couple-Off

Analysis: While nothing can eclipse the Tasha/Alice Vortex of Cuteness (trademark pending), Caitlin/Alicia (Bonnie Somerville and Lourdes Benedicto) are flirting dangerously with adorable.

Responses To Hair Disasters

Analysis: While Caitlin turns to prayer, Jenny does the sensible thing and calls for reinforcements. Shane to the rescue.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Island girl

Jodie Foster as a reclusive agoraphobic, germaphobic shut-in author? Yes, please. Jodie Foster prat falling like a professional? Thank you, ma’am, may I have another. Jodie Foster the wacky comedienne? Heck, I may enjoy this more than the kids. The first trailer for Ms. Foster’s new family film “Nim’s Island” with Abigail “Little Miss Sunshine” Breslin and Gerard “King Leonidas” Butler has surfaced and with it reemerges a Jodie we haven’t really seen since her “Freaky Friday” days. Funny. Loose. Silly. Cute as a damn button. I don’t know about you, but I like it. I like it a lot.

So just to test my “There is no such thing as too much Jodie Foster”-theory (which is a variation on my “There is no such thing as too much Tina Fey”-theory, which is soon to be available in novel form), here are some fun screencaps from the trailer. [Click ’em to enlarge the LOLJodies.]Is it wrong that I wish this was a real I could buy it?Monkey paw fighting stance, engage.This is why you should never attempt OK Go’s “Here It Goes Again” routine without a spotter.Jodie Foster + fried egg eye whites = hilarityPaddington Bear has some serious competition.It puts the loafers in the basket.Jodie Foster……meet tree.Is it April yet?