Friday, February 29, 2008

My Weekend Crush

On the “Today Show” all this week, they’ve been reuniting casts of old hit TV shows. Now, I don’t normally watch Today. Considering my bedtime is usually only a couple hours before it starts, it would be way too masochistic even for me. But I do browse its guests to see if anyone is worth scrounging up the clips of afterward. And lo and behold who popped up Wednesday but the cast of “Murphy Brown.” Damn, that brought back memories. “Murphy Brown” was my absolute favorite sitcom in high school. At the time I wrote for the school paper and was an all-around newshound, so it was right up my proverbial alley. And then there was Candice. Candice Bergen is one of those fantastically forthright women that you almost forget is also incredibly gorgeous because what she says is so terribly interesting.

As Murphy Brown she wore a mean pantsuits and asked the tough questions. She loved Aretha Franklin and sang along joyfully off-key. But then the decision to have Murphy become a single mom incurred the idiotic scorn of an idiotic vice president. I recall being so outraged, so incensed that this dullard of a man had the audacity to call a fictional character’s decision to become a mother amoral, it galvanized my political activism. Of course Candice, and the show, couldn’t have handled the situation better. “Glamorized single motherhood? What planet is he on?” While I haven’t followed Candice’s career as faithfully post-Murphy, I still smile every time I see her and think of how much she inspired me. Here was an intelligent, respected, opinionated, funny and successful woman who took on a sitting vice president. Now that’s what I call a role model. I even still have this issue of Time among my cherished keepsakes. Murphy Brown for president, indeed. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

The other Ellen

Well, now I’m simply dying to know. Is she or isn’t she? The Ellen Page conundrum continues to confound. That conundrum being the puzzle of a tomboyish girl with no discernible hetero dating history and a penchant for boys underwear who pings our collective gaydars like crazy. More astute Oscar watchers than I noticed that Ellen sat next to a rather handsome, somewhat-older blonde woman.***

Much discussion was had in the comments over at my AfterEllen Oscars post as to whether said handsome, somewhat-older blonde was indeed Ellen’s girlfriend. You see, she took the same woman as her guest to the Spirit Awards the previous day. That’s, like, two full dates. If she is indeed a lesbian the U-Haul has been loaded up and new pet kitten names have been picked out.

Of course, the mystery woman could very well just be a friend. Or an agent. Or a “roommate.” What I know for sure is that the woman can’t be her mother, as Village Voice columnist Michael Musto mused this week while giving the first wider voice to the “Ellen Page is gay”-whispers making the rounds. Michael’s theory is that if she took her mother, it only furthers the gay talk because “for guys, that used to signify 100% gay, but for girls, it might just mean young and/or Canadian--or, um, gay.” Regardless, according to WireImage, this is Ellen’s mother, Martha Philpott.

So, the mystery continues. From everything I’ve read about Ellen she is a very smart, very straightforward and very sensible (not to mention very deliciously sarcastic) young woman. So I’d really like to think that if she was indeed gay that it would be no big deal and she would just come out and say it. On the other hand, I also understand that she is just 21 with a career about to hit hyper drive, so she probably wants to keep what little parts of her life that are still private private. Perhaps, if she is gay, she’ll go the Jodie Foster route, never talking about it but living her life as normally as possible. All I know is what Ellen said herself about being a tomboy growing up:

“(My parents) tried ballet, but it became evident what kind of kid I was going to be.” A tomboy? “I guess…That’s a funny word. A girl that didn’t play with Barbies.”

Now, of course, not playing with Barbies doesn’t automatically make you gay. Nor does being sporty or mechanically inclined or awkward in dresses. Well, at least not automatically. So who knows. What I do know is the more I heard from Ellen Page, the more I like her. And I really like her when she talks about tequila. God, how cute is she?

What else I know for sure is that -- baby dyke or not -- on Saturday night Ellen is going to be my date as I sit in my jammies, clutch the remote and enjoy the hell out of her hosting SNL.

***UPDATE: Mystery solved. Ellen’s “date” was her publicist, Kelly Bush. Sorry, make that her out lesbian publicist Kelly Bush. OK, so I was close with the agent thing. The firm she runs, ID PR, also handles that other Ellen, Ellen DeGeneres (and she was embroiled in the whole Iggygate brouhaha). Her other clients include A-Listers like Natalie Portman, Tobey Maguire and the late Heath Ledger as well as a parade of my past Weekend Crushes like America Ferrera, Mary-Louise Parker and Diane Lane.

And here is an interesting quote from her in a recent W feature on Hollywood’s lesbian power players:

“Bush doesn’t believe that young lesbians need to define themselves by identity politics or limit themselves to a community of like minds. She never did. “I don’t think of myself in terms of straight or gay when I’m out in the world,” she says. “If people ask me, I’m honest, but I’m not political about it. I’m just a publicist. I’m not a gay publicist.”

OK, but how about a publicist of gays? Fine, since we all know that just sitting next to a gay person doesn’t make you gay, we’ll let this one go. For now. Anyhow, here is Kelly at an event last year.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Emma the Awesome

Emma Thompson is God. Or, at the very least, an angel. First, Tina becomes the Queen of the Fucking Universe. Now, Emma is the Angel of Righteousness. It’s like all of my favorite actresses have decided to be awesome on the same week. You see, Emma recently took a stand against the insidious “Lose 20-pounds”-dogma that pervades Hollywood . You know, the misogynistic dictates that have already thin actresses dropping one or two more dress sizes (or losing a rib, whichever is faster) in an attempt to make them look like walking twigs because apparently that’s what bring in the box office. Or, at least, that’s what the men in suits think brings in the box office.

Well, my gal Emma says fuck that noise. When having dinner with 25-year-old fellow Brit Hayley Atwell, with whom she co-stars in the upcoming Miramax adaptation of the Evelyn Waugh classic “Brideshead Revisited,” she noticed Hayley wasn’t cleaning her plate.
Hayley said: “I went round to Emma’s one night and she was getting very angry that I wasn’t eating all the food she was giving me. I told her why and she hit the roof.”

You see, Hayley wasn’t eating all of her food because the studio had told her to slim down for the part. So, what did Emma do? She called the producers the next day and threatened to resign from the film if they forced Hayley to lose weight. Not wanting to incur the wrath of the Angel of Righteousness, they backed down. Fuck to the yeah.

And, lest we think this may be an isolated incident of righteousness, Emma has made of habit of throwing her, shall we say, weight around. Remember the advice she gave Kate Winslet early in her career?

Kate said: “(Emma) set an incredible example for me when I was very young. (She told me) as much as you might be tempted, you need to remember that it’s very important not to work sometimes. And she also told me, ‘If you ever lose weight, I will never fucking talk to you again.’”

All hail Emma, Joan of Awesomeness.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Tina Fey Tuesday

Where my bitches at? Oh, come on, you knew that was coming. Tina Fey’s triumphant return to “Saturday Night Live” this past weekend featured the most bitchin’ feminist rants on the show since, well, since Amy Poehler berated today’s starlets for not having lady gardens anymore. In a genius and succinct stint at the Weekend Update desk, Tina both presented and shot down all the trite arguments against voting for Hillary Clinton.

On post-feminism: “Women today feel perfectly free to make whatever choice Oprah tells them to.” On a co-presidency: “Because that would be terrible, having two intelligent, qualified people working together to solve problems. Ewwh. Why would you let Starsky talk to Hutch?” On not wanting to see an old lady: “Really, they didn’t seem to mind when Ronald Reagan did that.” And, best of all, on the bitch thing: “Yeah, she is. And so am I. And so is this one. You know what? Bitches get stuff done.”

I have it on good authority [hat tip, Lex!] that during rehearsals Tina got her groove thing on between skits with cast members. Oh, to see Tina shake her money maker live. I’m going to need to take a moment. Also, apparently, one of the jokes cut from her Weekend Update bit involved a transgender male-to-female woman who has been hassled on the subway. Tina said the woman was suing the MTA for harassment because she was called “a dyke instead of her proper name, Ms. Fey.”

While the rest of the show was a tad hit-and-miss, Tina’s presence gave the series its strongest rating in two years, not to mention the strong female voice it so often lacks. The monologue? Adorable. The Annuale commercial? Well, the Annuale commercial needs to be seen to be believed. Just hold onto your fucking hat.

God, I could not love her more. I mean it. It’s not even remotely possible. I always knew Tina would be a Hillary backer. And, as Scribe suggested yesterday, I say we hold a special election to crown Tina Queen of the Fucking Universe. Bitch is the new black! Join the movement. Us bitches got to stick together.

p.s. Does anyone else think Tina made this final shot specifically for us, her lesbian fans? I mean, she knows we’re out there. And she is wearing her famous bi-curious shoes. Intentional or not, a grateful nation universe of gay ladies thanks you, Tina Fey. See what I was saying about that Queen of the Fucking Universe thing? Bitches in ’08!

[Hat tip, Tina Fey Daily for the SNL promo card caps!]

Monday, February 25, 2008

Oscar’s ladies

It only took them 80 years, but the Academy finally gave an Oscars to a woman with a pin-up girl tattoo. Fuck, yeah! the 80th annual Oscars telecast was filled with many worthy winners, a few surprises and countless pretty ladies, painted and otherwise. Overall, I was rather pleased with this year’s crop of honorees. Sure, I was pulling for a big “Juno”-shaped upset. But in the acting categories I couldn’t fault any of the winners. All of their performances were mesmerizing. While I was rooting for Julie Christie, Marion Cotillard made me fall in love with her all over again with her effervescent acceptance speech. And who knew that besides being an arresting-looking woman and having an incredibly eclectic taste in films, Tilda Swinton had such a dry and delicious sense of humor?

Look for my complete breakdown of this year’s ceremony -- complete with tons of pretty, pretty pictures -- over at AfterEllen today. But for now, how about we just revel in the night’s Wishful Lesbian Thinking moments? Sadly, there weren’t too many actual lesbian moments. Though (straight) filmmakers Cynthia Wade and Vanessa Roth did win Best Short Documentary for “Freeheld” about a lesbian couple’s fight to win survivorship benefits.

Sarah Polley & Julie ChristieLe sigh.

Penelope Cruz & Cate BlanchettOh, to be a fly on that wall.

Helen MirrenLeave it to that Dame to find a stripper pole on the red carpet.

Marlee MatlinHey, where’s Bette?

Ellen & PortiaFinally, a couple we don’t have to be “wishful” about.

Click on over to AfterEllen later today for more Oscary goodness.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Pre-L: Lay Down the Law

L508: “Lay Down the Law”
First, an apology. I know this episode has been streaming all week over at The OC, but, to be honest, I was just too damn tired last weekend to put up another Pre-L before its online debut. So there you go, that’s my secret. Sometimes I pick sleep over The Internets. But don’t worry, as you might have guessed from my previous whining, I don’t make a habit of it. Now onto the stuff you really care about. Namely those talking, laughing, loving, breathing, fighting, fucking, crying ladies of The L. Though, if I may bore you with one more tiny tidbit from my own sadly sleep-deprived life, it is that this weekend I plan to thoroughly enjoy three things on the television. 1) Tina Fey hosting “Saturday Night Live.” 2) The Oscars. 3) Episodes L509 and L510. And now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

1) Just what this show has always been missing -- ninjas!2) The “Don’t chase the straight girl”-Face. Patent pending.3) This what tweeny girls go nuts for? Must be a straight thing.4) It’s the eye of the lesbo, it’s the thrill of the closet…5) The “I hate my job”-Face. Patent also pending.6) How much does Tina wish those were her hands?7) Being gay is, like, hard! Wah!8) Behold the Hickey of Love.9) …and she’s watching us all with the eye of the lesbo.10) Oh, this? Yeah, weird, I know. Who knew even I had limits?11) Is it just me or does Begonia look…jealous?12) Something major is going on with Bette’s hair. Major.13) A knife and an onion: The perfect metaphor for the state of Jodi and Bette’s relationship.14) Reason No. 9,682 why gays should be allowed to serve in the military: They look fucking hot in the uniforms.15) Family resemblance much?16) If these Tibette exchanges get any more torturous, Mama Chaiken is going to have to hire Alberto Gonzales to “I don’t recall” the show’s way out of Geneva Convention violations.17) Look, paparazzi, she’s pretty and witty and totally not gay.18) This cannot end well.19) They’re cousins, identical cousins.20) Dinner party from hell reaches inner circle.21) Never, ever underestimate The Lesbian Fonz.22) Le sigh.23) This beard, it tickles.24) I swear to tell you the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about where the Real Alice has been all season.25) What? Gay? You are. Shut up!26) Real Alice is back! She’s back!27) Every lesbian’s “Top Gun” fantasy just became fully realized.28) Semper Fi, ladies. Semper Fi.
New Guestbian Count: 0
Best Line: “(I’m going) to go gay for Shane. We’re going to adopt Chinese babies and live in a trailer park.” -- Molly to Phyllis
Best Meta Slip-Up: “The Greg who plays Tim in the fucking film? That midget?” -- Jenny about the actor playing Jim in “Lez Girls”
Best Don’t Ask, Don’t Double Entendre: “I would serve under her anytime, sir.” -- Specialist Martinez about her commanding officer Tasha…how is this helping Tasha fight the homo charges again?
Worst New Kind of Lesbianism: “A spaghetti girl…Straight until wet.” -- Jodi to Shane
Most Unabashedly Shameless Self Promotion: If you like these little Pre-Ls, please consider clicking your vote for me for The Lesbian Lifestyle’s Lesbian Blog of the Year Award.