Sunday, January 27, 2008


Stumbled upon something on accident, and it's awesome.

This week is DINE LA week in LA, and participating restaurants have put together specific tasting menus for next to nothing.

Tonight a friend and I dined at Luna Park, on La Brea, and I had:

- Warm Goat Cheese Fondue with Grilled Bread and Sliced Apples
- Breaded Pork Cutlet, Mashed Potatos, mushrooms and String Beans
- Make Your Own S'mores - Molten Marshmallow, Bittersweet Chocolate and Housemade Graham Cookies

The grand total? 15 bucks.

You can't beat that. Check out the restaurants, make your reservations, and try out some amazing meals.

DINELA ends February 1st.

At the Ahmanson: The Color Purple

As my Christmas present for my mother, I went and bought tickets to the Color Purple and 'My Fair Lady'. Mom is a theatre fan, but she won't really think of going on her own, and she's expressed some bitterness over the fact that I'll go to the plays like 'Avenue Q' or 'Jersey Boys' with my friends rather than her, so I think this was a nice surprise.

Unlike London or New York, Los Angeles doesn't have quite the theatre reputation it deserves, and when the big Broadway musicals come to town, I do what I can do see them.
I heard great things about the Color Purple, but the only thing I really remembered about the story was watching the film in the theatre as a kid, with my mom and my sister. I remember having to go to the bathroom and being generally fidgety (I couldn't have been more than 8) and having my mother get so frustrated she got up and took us home. Needless to say, not much of it stuck.

Still, I was really pleasently surprised. The story had a lot of heart to it, even if it was hella depressing at first, and the singing was out of this world.

Highly recommended for any Los Angeles people looking to do something a little different.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Gina Carano is a Beast.

Looking at some of Gina Carano, aka CRUSH's fights on youtube, it becomes increasingly apparent why she looks so friggin' easy going during the filming of American Gladiators.

Quite simply, when you fantasize about kicking people in the head as a child, a little rough and tumble with a big ass Q-tip is nothing.

Two New Episodes of Chuck Tonight

If you're not watching Chuck, you should be. Luckily, you get two chances tonight, when NBC premieres that last two original episodes shot for Chuck before the writer's strike struck it down.

Check out this preview, then tune in tonight on NBC.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Heath Ledger Is Dead

No, it's not a joke.

That is just... man.

I have no words.

TERMINATOR: The Sarah Connor Chronicles: The Turk

Before I get on with my review, allow me to have a geeky TheShield!Casting Moment and squeal over the unexpected pop up of Catherine Dent as SkepticalFBIagent. Hooray. Catherine is awesome.

Moving on.

In the third episode, Sarah Connor, battling killer's anxiety, gets the work trying to track down the origins of SKYNET. She finds a load of nothing and decides to go to Miles Dyson's widow for help. The widow isn't exactly pleased to see her, but does seem rather resigned. She reluctantly points out a former intern of Dyson's, who is now a cell phone salesman. He is adorkably cute, and instantly smitten when Sarah heads over to the store to investigate. Things get complicated fast, however, when Sarah discovers he has built a super computer in his closet that can outthink other chess-playing computers and appears to have moods. Reluctant to kill him, Sarah burns down his house, instead.

Meanwhile, John and Cameron, posing as brother and sister, attend their first day in school, and Cameron encounters the terrifying reality that is having to deal with teenagers. She does fairly well for her first couple days, being called a bitchwhore and making a new friend who proceeds to fling herself off the top of the school building.

Also, FBI guy finds more and more evidence that Sarah Connor might not actually be insane, the creepy robot finds a creepy scientist and shows him how to regrow skin, then kills him and takes his eyeballs, and the last remaining resistant fighter from the future stalks Sarah.


A solid episode, but there needs to be a little less of the whole 'fish out of water' thing with Cameron. The whole awkward robot trying to fit in scenario was played out a while ago, and smacks of sitcom-y cliche the likes of 'Small Wonder'. As much as I liked that show, that is not a good thing. Still, Summer Glau continues to be a strong actor in this episode, the first in which she has had no fight scenes.

John is still a whiny bitch, but, thanks to being forced to watch a girl jump to her death and literally restrained by Cameron, he has good reason. His argument to both Sarah and to Cameron that if he's going to be some great hero, he should act like it, is a nice step forward.

The SKYNET storyline is moving slowly, but the talk of chess really does fit well. With the storylines floating around each other, setting in their places, it does indeed feel like the show takes place on a chess board; the pieces lining up, matching, getting ready for the ultimate checkmate.

American Gladiators 104: It's a Step, Not a Kick (ballchange)

Monday is here, and that means more cheesy, ball-busting action.

The competitors:

For the Women: A really really annoying lawyer lady who also played women's football and apparently thought that somehow made her special versus a really spunky tiny lady who had been signing petitions to get American Gladiators back on the air.

For the Men: A really really cute hard-bodied 25 year old rock climber who wanted to give his widowed father and brother someone to root for, and an older firefighter with three adorable sons.

Things we learned from American Gladiators THIS time around:

1) It's not a kick, it's a step. - in an effort to disengage the firefighter lady from the platform is 'Earthquake' , Crush saw fit to press her boot onto the firelady's head, forcing her down. And then she laughed about it. Which was kinda awesome. Even more hilarous was her battle with the second contender, who managed to hang out, kick free, and was therefore caught dangling from the platform as Crush held onto her, squishing her and offering her congratulations.

2) When it comes to the pyramid, Wolf sees Red - Wolf can quickly become annoying with that howling he does, but the man knows how to kick some ass. He owned the pyramid, flinging the contender around like he was a piece of candy. It was kinda awesome to watch.

3) Small and spunky wins the race, but only if you're wearing shoes. - Losing your shoe does indeed sabatage any chances for a win. When our petitioner lost her shoe and then decided to fling off the only one she had on, the audience was befuddled. Even worse was the moment when Christine stared up mournfully at the travelater, it became clear to both her and us that her loss of traction lost her the race. It was a sad, sad moment. Particularly because the annoying lawyer lady won. Only because she had shoes.

On the other hand, our other small and spunky contender, the male rock climber, wore shoes, and kicked ass, with a new eliminator time of 1and a half minute. Hooray.

4) Whiners can win. And yet, not really. Lawyer lady pissed me off. For a football lady, she just would NOT.STOP.WITHTHECOMPLAINING. Even before the eliminator started she made a comment to Hogan that she 'wasn't feeling well' because she had been in the water alot. Suck it up, biyotch.

Thank god for small mercies, however. Even though she won, the dreadful eliminator time was just not good enough to pass up Venus, which means she doesn't advance.

Not to be a bad sport, but ha.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Stephen King! You see what you did?

They've confirmed it. Like, scientifically.
No one likes friggin' clowns.

Have that many people seen Stephen King's 'IT'?

Tina Fey & Amy Poehler Have a Baby Together

No, it's not a coming out party, but if you remember Tina Fey and Amy Poehler's tag-team anchoring of 'Weekend Update' on SNL, then you'll be as excited as I am about the trailer release of their new flick 'Baby Mama'.

Come on. It's gonna be awesome, in a 'almostforty-single-successful-can'tgetaman-wowthisisfamiliar' cultural funny way.

Also? It's Tina Fey. She rules.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles - Pilot and 102

It feels like I've been waiting for the premiere of Sarah Connor Chronicles forever (and thanks to the Writer's Strike, I totally have). I was lucky enough to catch the premiere early last year, and was completely hooked. Of course it didn't hurt that Lena Headley was starring, who I've loved since the liveaction version of 'The Jungle Book'. Yes, I really saw that. Yes, I really loved it. And I loved her more when she starred in Imagine Me & You with Piper Perabo. Of course everyone else probably knows her from that silly little movie called 300, in which she wore like... strips of linen and was generally bad ass.

The show also stars ... that girl from Firefly - whose name is 'Summer' something or other, but honestly I was never a fan of that show. I tried, if only for the sake of my love for Buffy & Angel, but... meh.


As pilots go, The Sarah Connor Chronicles is pretty solid as far as pilots go. It's got the entire Terminator lore to fall back, which presents it's own interesting sets of challenges. Like the Star Trek franchise, this new offering opens itself to comparison and nitpicking. Linda Hamilton is a hard act to follow, and when placed at the tricky time after the badassary of Terminator 2, Lena Headley's Sarah could seem a trifle week.

Thankfully, the critics thus far, have been kind. And with good reason - in the drought of the writer's strike, there's a lack of hard hitting drama, and SCC does deliver.

In the pilot, we discover that newly engaged Sarah Connor (now living under the assumed name Sarah Reese - a nice throwback to John's father) is now on the run iwth 16 year old son John. They're being chased by a cyborg, sent to kill them. However, future John has sent back a Cyborg of his own, in the form of angelic beauty Cameron, a new kind of model who seems to want to ape and mimic the humans she's protecting. Sarah is horrified to discover that SKYNET, the company that creates the machines that will one day take over the world, has been built despite the creator's death. In order to stop it, Cameron, Sarah and John travel to the year 2007, in order to find out who starts SkyNET and stop them before it's too late.

Time Travel will always give me a headache, but forcing John and Sarah to travel through time to 2007 kind of feels like a fresh reboot (that seems to jump completely over the 3rd movie). As a result, John gets a kicky new haircut, Sarah gets better hair, and Cameron gets a chance to be the second generation 'Vicki' from Small Wonder.

In episode 2, (which takes place 3 days later and in that time John and Sarah have both managed to grow like.. 2 inches of hair) mother and son struggles to adjust to timelag. John struggles to understand why the caged bird sings (and very stupidly goes to visit his mother's ex-fiance, freaks out, and beats him up). Sarah struggles to keep it together after she discovers from Cameron that she will die of cancer, and that she can't really control Cameron, who goes around killing old friends for Sarah because they're traitors. Cameron struggles to understand that you can't just kill people and makes a new friend, who gives her a makeover, chola style.

The chemistry between all three leads is melding together nicely. Lena seems more and more confident in the iconic role of Sarah Connor, and she seems much stronger here than she initially comes off in the pilot. John continues to be a whiny idiot, but at least there is open acknowledgement that somehow this kid isn't the one that transforms into the leader of the free world. He's got some growing to do. There is also a certain amount of charm in Summer's performance. The scene in which she initially builds an unspoken connection with the chola girlfriend renders itself as almost sweet, and her partnership with the hot-headed Sarah gives her an increasingly complex amount of layers.

Though, seriously?

You Know You've Bonded Too Well With Your Mom When:

- You watch as your mother tosses a chick out the window.

- You go with her to steal money and guns. And rob banks together.

- You send a cyborg back in time to keep her alive because she's the best fighter you knew.

- You visit her ex-fiance and freak out about it.

- You hang out naked with her while the naked Cyborg chick beats people up.

This is what happens when we embrace those pesky femininist ideals...

NYTimes recently had an article called 'Putting Money on the Table' which discussed a growing trend in the dating scene. With more and more women getting education, the class and income scale is actually tipping in their favor. Because of that, they get better jobs, make more money, and then hit a dating stall when they discover that men don't exactly seem to be catching up.

Living in a largely chivalrous culture, both men and women find themselves forcing to adjust to the class and income inequality; with men struggling to accept that the women they're seeing make more money than they do, and the women being confronted with the illogical choice of being who they are or downplaying what they earn in effort to find a man who won't be threatened by it.

I remember in college there was an article in a journal about the same issue: as woman grow older, become more successful, they begin to outclass (status/money) their male peers. The result? Cougars (women who actively look to date younger men/sugar mamas), a heck of a lot of single women, or women dating much older men.

MSN's dating site even has an article called 'Dating Women Who Out-Earn Me', in which the writer discusses the pros and cons of dating women who make more money than he does. In his favor, he does seem to get a kick out of playing the 'evolved male'.

Hollywood is finally taking notice of the dating dilemna as well. Cashmere Mafia and Lipstick Jungle, both about successful executives, struggle to find the balance between celebrating the successful woman and knowing quite what to do with her. Women's Murder Club seems a novelty not because of the subject matter, but because the leads are all female.

With the reality coming where we might actually find ourselves with a viable female candidate for the Presidency, it's going to be a curious year for the sucessful female, and for the men in her age bracket, struggling to keep up.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

American Gladiators 103: Powerball is Bad for Your Health

For the females: A bullrider (and amateur soft porn star, if you do the research) versus a fitness model aka mother of twins
For the men: A shark fisherman versus a BadBoyGoneGood Algebra School Teacher.

For the viewers: A blown leg, a nordic bantam weight bellflopping in a pool, and a female ripping through the elimator in exactly two minutes.

New things we've learned from the third episode of the reinvented version of American Gladiators:

1) Powerball, in any form, is bad for your health. That's the second contestant in three episodes who has busted a knee thanks to the rough and tumble liberties the Gladiators take, tossing them around like pancakes.

2) Crush should always, ALWAYS be the joustmaster. Venom had her turn up there and she was in the water both times. Granted, the first time, the bullfighter DQ'd herself by stepping onto Venom's pedastal and pushing her into the water, but still - you know if she did that to Crush, she would have totally pushed back. Also? She only allowed two points in Powerball, unlike, say... Venom.

3) Titan is the greatest KenDoll ever. Encouraging the audience to cheer for the fallen contestant, and being gracious when he got pushed off the jousting platform, he is the ultimate sportsman.

4) The bigger they are; the better that bellyflop. Watching Hellga fly through the air and faceplant into a pool of water when Bullrider lady hit the target made me wince. Ouchies, Hellga. Aim better next time.

5) Stealth is not so stealthy. The best unintentionally funny part of the episode (other than the Humiliator) was Stealth giving Soccermom the 'come here' fingers on the pyramid and then flopping over her and rolling down the mountain, allowing the girl to scramble up top.

6) God's Okay with TrashTalking. Minister Alternate who was obsessed with working out? Hot as hell until he opened his cocky mouth. Shut it, dude.

7) SoccerMom is a beast. Two minutes for the Eliminator? BullRider/Pornstar lady didn't stand a chance. I want a match up between her and previous winner Sienne.

8) Doing the Winner's interview while the Loser keeps attempting to finish the Eliminator? If you're a masochist, and I am: BEST THING EVER.

Next Week:

Is it just me or did we catch a glimpse of Crush stepping on some poor girl's head during Earthquake?


30 Rock: Golden Globe Winner, Academy Award Watcher

In the latest 30 Rock episode, Liz Lemon gave herself a hi-five, tried to buy an apartment, tried to speak German, and drunk dialed the coop board. Jack Donaghy followed his heart to coal mining country, and realized that you really can't have everything - love or success, never the two shall meet (guess what he chose). In the lamest storyline, Kenneth got addicted to coffee and turned into the MADTV coffee guy (who didn't see that coming). This storyline was redeemed, however, when Kenneth decided to head back to Georgia to rediscover his roots. This prompted Tracey (with Jenna horning in) to bust out an impromptu musical rendition of 'Midnight Train to Georgia', which upset Gladys Knight and was made of win.

A casualty of the Writer's Strike, the latest 30 Rock episode seemed a hodgepodge of wierdness. There was no real underlying theme, none of the subplots really mixed together (what did Tina buying an apartment have to do with Kenneth and his coffee addiction?), and I really really miss Pete. The musical number at the end came out of nowhere (but most of the jokes usually do on this show), and was so bizarrely wierd I had to rewind it three times just to catche very single joke laid into it (witness slutty girls eating Jewish Doughnuts).

And yet, this show is still one the sharpest, funniest written comedies on television. It's the moments that make 30 Rock the most awesome show ever.

- Tina Fey once again contributes to our cultural awesomeness by the introduction of the self-congratulatory hi-five. Which i'm totally going to use from now on.

- Liz Lemon does what every spurned girl has done once in her past - drunkenly screech Alanis Morrisettes 'You Oughta Know' over the phone, into her wine bottle. Also? She claims to have boughten a 'black apartment'.

- As a former Network Assistant, I've known wayyy too many Jonathans to not immediately hate him and love him on sight. "And then I will be KING OF ALL THE ASSISTANTS!"

- Jenna continues to be love, what with horning in on Tracy's musical moment, and knowing of a porn site that's sexy without sacrificing story. It's for women, by women.

- Sometimes I get a bit of a Kenneth overload - there's other characters who can bring the laughs just as much as Kenneth, but his claim to be 'sodomized' was so sincere and wrong I couldn't help but burst into laughter.

-Also? I would so go to a sparrow museum. Fer reals.

- As a Mexican American who is semi-fluent in Spanish, I still once in a while get the deer-in-headlights look when someone starts rattling off to me in Spanish-Spanish (you know, with the weird accent from Spain), I was totally feeling Liz's pain when she all she got off the German dude's German was a bunch of words and 'hubcap?!" at the end.

Televisionwithoutpity has the best recaps of 30 Rocks, including every little gem of a quote, but here are my favorites:

Kenneth: "I don't drink coffee, sir. I don't drink hot liquids of any kind. That's the devil's temperature."

Lemon: "So we have so much in're all white."

Lemon: "I've moved on. I've bought a whole bunch of other apartments. I bought a black apartment."

Jonathan: I'll be the king of the assistants!

Kenneth: It's been an honor being your friend and learning about the non-reproductive aspects of human sexuality from you.

Jonathan: If we do do that, it'll be huge!
Lemon: What about your huge doo-doo? (hi-fives herself)

Monday, January 14, 2008

Celebrity Sighting of the Weekends: Running at Runyon

Hiking Runyon Canyon can be a bit of a bitch. Especially when you're a teeny little chihuahua like Thalia, who has to hold her own against long trails, big dogs, and her own teeny weeny feet. Every week, on Sunday, she is forced to make her walk, and she hates it. She HATES it. Still, we all need to get our exercise, and Thalia my little chihuahua sausage and celebrities are no exception.

Biggest celebrity sighting to date at Runyon was Cate Blanchett incognito, looking like an effortlessly graceful dork, with her huge sunglasses, wide bonnet, and skin covering tights and long sleeved t-shirt. Someone dressed that badly HAS to be a celebrity, and she might have gone unnoticed if I hadn't remembered shortcropped hair from the Indiana Jones Shoot.

Another, less thrilling sighting was that Shane guy from the shield, running with his doggie. I should know his name... because i've worked enough FX premieres where I've had to know his name, but... poop. Wallace... somebody?

Egads. He's that Shane guy. He was kinda hot.

More Cheese Coming Your Way: American Gladiators Renewed

When people want the silly, they embrace the silly. American Gladiators, in which regular athletes are pitted against each other and monster men and women, has already been renewed, according to TVWeek.

Also? They're planning an animated series and Vegas show. Really? Isn't that a little overkill? What's next, a music video? (Please don't take that as a suggestion, show).

Of course for me, that just means more Crush, which will always be a plus in my book. Gina Carano, aka Crush, is a bad ass, as witnessed by these youtube videos, in which she kicks the stuffing out of all the athletic women brave enough to get into a cage with her.

Also big news? The Sarah Connor Chronicles, which I'd like to gush about, but would rather do it when I have more than five minutes.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

A Small Reprieve: Females Kick Ass In January

While there appears to be no end in sight for the writer's strike that is casting a dark, dark shadow on Hollywood (and cutting jobs left and right), there is a small measure of hope.

Scifiwire is reporting 2 new episodes of Chuck (the last of the season that are in the can) will air on January 24th. If you haven't watched Chuck, you should. A funny, smart show with three engaging leads and an entertaining menagerie of supporting characters, Chuck mixes James Bonde-esque satire with an Office Space twist. Some of the plots are a little unbelievable, but the sincerity of both Chuck and his two handlers Sara and Casey more than make up for it. It's just a gem of a show.

American Gladiators appears to be hitting it's stride as one of the more brutal reality shows on the market, and with 9 episodes total this season there's plenty of time for broken bones and patriotic cheesery. In a series of interviews by craveonline, The Gladiators reveal themselves to be a funny, outspoken bunch, and Crush in particular, continues to be a favorite of mine. As the only female Gladiator who doubles as a professional cage fighter, she makes comments about killing people with her bare hands and being bummed out that she can't kick people in their heads. That's bad ass. American Gladiators airs 8PM Monday nights on NBC.

Also coming atcha is the Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, frontlined by a personal favorite Brit actress of mine, Lena Headley. If the rest of the series holds up to what the pilot promised us, we're in for a bang up, hard hitting, ball blasting heck of a show. With two female leads (one android, one human), the show proves that kicking ass and taking names isn't exclusive to the gents. T: The Sarah Connor Chronicles debuts this Sunday on FOX at 8PM before moving to it's regular timeslot at 9PM Monday night.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

American Gladiators: Embrace the Cheese

I admit it proudly. I loved American Gladiators. Back when I was a wee little thing I dreamt of growing up and being able to take on Lace (she seemed the weakest one. I was sure I could do some damage).

It was the ultimate family affair. When my sisters and mom went on vacation in Florida, one of the first things they did was go see a live taping. They got a picture with Turbo (Remember Turbo? He was hot).
So it was with some amusement that I announced to my parents and my sister that an All new American Gladiators was airing on the tv. They piled upon my bed (because I'm 28 and I live with my parents, but phooey, it's 400 a month), and we watched the new incarnation in all it's cheese infested glory.

First off? Wolfman? Is stupid. But Crush is hot. As is the Toa guy who looks like a cartoon. Helga is scary, but I guess that's the point.

There was butt flashing, and sweat, and a heck of a lot of water. Apparently American Gladiator's stance on 'wet=sex' is as much as possible. The Eliminator is absolutely hell this time around, though I don't know why there's no deductions for falling off the bike and the water barrel. Didn't the old eliminator feature the gladiators forcing them to wait five seconds if they fell off? I guess the moving escalator thing is enough torture. The guys couldn't get up at all.

Still, the show is just fun enough to bolster that bit of nostalgia and make me want to squeal a little bit.

What more can you ask for, really?

Other than more butt flashes and wedgies, that is.

Monday, January 7, 2008

It's raining B-Celebrities! (meh)

Apparently I've discovered what B and C-Level celebrities do when they're not working on movies: going to see movies.

During the murky stormy weekend, everyone and their mom (and my mom) decided to go to the movies. In the course of such outings, I bumped into the Niecey from Reno:911 (the big butt cop lady) and the Style Network, sat next to Breckin Meyer (who seemed oddly disapointed that I didn't freak out when he said hi), and passed Elizabeth Berkeley on a date (she looked very pretty with her clothes on).

Of course the best part for me, was learning that one of the waiters at my local Cheesecake Factory is none of than the reformed cholo on Women's Murder Club, who had a murdered vet brother, and shot at Lindsay and Jacobi, and later helped them catch the bad guy, thanks to Jill.

I've had lunch at Blake Edwards and Julie Andrews' house, during which Blake told stories about Audrey Hepbourn and Breakfast at Tiffany's, and Julie Andrews talked about Mary Tyler Moore. I've kept my head, but when I saw that guy with his little black tie and white shirt, I literally squealed.

I'm such a geek.

Also, I've finally played Brain Age on my DS. I've discovered that while ideally I should have a 20 year old brain, my Brain Age is 80.

Okay, that's just embarrasing.

Friday, January 4, 2008

He Said, She Said - Tila Tequila Gets Dumped.

So on New Years Eve, Tila Tequila dropped some big news - she would be back for another Shot At Love, because, according to her, she got dumped. Apparently the big B couldn't handle her hectic schedule.

Bobby of course, has a different story. On his myspace, he claims that Tila never called him after the show wrapped, and production never gave him her phone number (Incidentally, he also wrote all this in the language of a ten-year-old girl).

After the painful (Eye-sporking) reunion, it's not really surprising, really. Who didn't think Tila wouldn't be back for round 2?

The only real surprise in the midst of this is that the contestants themselves weren't in on the joke. They wanted it to be real. A few of them seemed to genuinely be in love with Tila. During the reunion show, Dani showed genuine conflict and hurt at seeing Bobby and Tila together, and Brandi's post on her myspace seems to clearly indicate that Tila broke her heart:

" First I am not invited to your Masquerade and now you copied my hair............Thats real nice Tila.... I am sure that you wished that I didn't walk out and that you even loved me... NOT at all....Thanks for breaking my heart, taking my style and not wanting me to go to your New Years Eve Ball...You are truly a cold hearted person.....Fuck loveBrandi "

Someone better do a casestudy on Tila Tequila and Stockholm Syndrome fast.

Also? I'm never stepping within 10 feet of that chick. I'm now convinced she's some sort of crazy succubus.

Me and the Black Hole of LOST

I'll admit it: I hate Lost.

I hate Lost in the way I hate my Wii. It's bad for me. It makes no sense to play as much of it as I do. There is absolutely no merit in wasting 30 hours with a Wii Zapper shooting at girls in Bikinis when Ghost Squad only has 3 levels and you're shooting with a water gun shaped as a whale.

Just like Ghost Squard, Lost is my Achilles heel. It makes no sense to me. it's boring. The characters only really get interesting right before they get killed. It's confusing. The writers don't know what the hell is going on and there's polar bears on an island. Also? Everyone's an asshole.
And yet, I can't. Turn. It. Off.

I can swear to myself that I'll give up on it, and I suceed for like... five months, and then I go and catch a summary and suddenly I want to watch it again.
What is WRONG with me?

Damn you, Lost. If there wasn't a writer's strike going on and I had new episodes of Chuck, Women's Murder Club, 30 Rock or Ugly Betty to look forward to, you would have been banned from my household.

Oh well. If you want to join me in my madness, watch "Everything that's happened on Lost in 8 Minutes" on the ABC website. You'll want to watch too, if only to see what the hell these writers are smoking.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Places to See Before I Die: The Mutter Museum

I think it's about time I make myself a list of places I want to go before I die. Because I plan to die while I'm still spry. Preferably in a freak hangliding accident. Over the Grand Canyon.

When I'm eighty.

Anyway, there are the usual places: Europe. The Outback. Sonic (there are NO branches in LA and I want one of those Fried Mac N Cheese things).

I read a lot about places, and I watch the travel channel religiously, but there is something to be said for actually standing on the footsteps of something real. It affects me profusely and if I close my eyes and just breathe, I feel like I'm transporting.

I'm the nerd who takes the tours that no one's heard of, who salivated and went an hour out of her way to visit the Winchester house, that crazy place where stairs led to into the ceiling and doors opened into nothing.

When I was in London, I visited the Westminster Abbey, and as I sat in the artists corner, looked at plaques and tombstomes, I nearly cried.

There's something about reality that gets me in a way that fiction never does, probably because I spend so much time immersed in fantasy.

That said, visiting the Mutter Museum will probably freak me out in such a way I'll most likely be scarred for life. It's one thing to watch a show and see a dude with a horn sprouting out of his head. I mean... you know it took five make up guys to strap that thing on there (see: hellboy). But to see an actual old lady with a horn on her head?

That's just not right.

Still, fiction derides from truth, and if the Mutter Museum, located in Philadelphia, established in 1858, is any indication, fiction doesn't hold a candle to the astonishing realities and rarities that crop up before us.

It's a nice reminder that there's something fanastically weird about people.

For a preview, check out Newsweek's feature photospread on the place - but just remember that i warned you about the chick with a horn in her head.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Fun in the Murderhouse: Making fun of Mystery

I may not be the sharpest tool in the drawer, but I have to admit, I used to be a bit of a thinker. In high school, I was a junior who could solve calculus problems with a smile and a piece of chalk, and looked forward to the insolvable Problem of the Weeks (in which we were handing in 5 page essays with complicated math questions, weird questions: a memorable one featured The Pit and the Pendulum). Such was the norm at a magnet school, where the only real distinction between the 'nerds' and the 'cool kids' was who could color coordinate.

That said, I had a pretty sharp little mind there. My entrance essay to USC was a brilliant rumination of my marathon run and it's comparison to college.

Then of course, I entered communication, and it was downhill from there. What I learned was mostly how to bullshit and how the scholars of our time have made it an awesome artform. I also learned that college communication students love to argue with the professor, and it's also okay to write a thesis on Fatal Attraction (I've seen enough of Michael Douglas' bare ass to last me a friggin' lifetime). That said, instead of culling my mind, I've become quite dim. (It's okay: I've got Brain Age on DS)

That said, I still love a good mystery to give my brain a nice nibble. The problem of course, is that most mysteries these days are friggin' easy to figure out, particularly with the introduction of such shows like Criminal Minds,CSI, Without a Trace, etc.

Can you spot the murderer?

1) Always bet on the lover. Unless the lover saves puppys.

2) Always bet on the lesbian. Bonus points if she's evil.

3) The random dude that gets featured in the last minutes? It's him.

4) That random person that keeps showing up that you can't figure out what they're doing there? That's him too.

5) Always bet on the weirdly likable person that the sidekick stops by to see on a whim, while the hero is running off after the main suspect. Bonus points if you hear ominous music when the crazy person closes the door.

Given the formula, how can you not make fun of it?

Who's ready for 'Not Another Cheesy Murder Mystery?'

Fortunately, it's been done, and brilliantly.

Before Resident Evil, There was a movie based on a video game that was actually good (And no, DOOM, we're not talking to you. Step Back, Hit Man - I'm still waitin' for Max Payne). Based on the boardgame, CLUE took some of the most talented comedians of the time, and put them all in a mansion with a character and multiple murders. There's the savy wickedly sex Ms Scarlett, the horndog Professor Plum, the deadly Mrs. White, and many others, including, of course,the Butler, featuring Tim Curry in my favorite role (yes, even more than Rocky Horror Picture Show).

Nothing is what you'd expect, and yet it all makes sense.

But also? It's wickedly funny .


Mrs. White: [after Mrs. Peacock swears that the reason she's being blackmailed is a vicious lie] Well, I believe you... I, too, am being blackmailed for something I didn't do.
Professor Plum: Me too.
Colonel Mustard: And me.
Miss Scarlet: Not me.
Wadsworth: [surprised] You're NOT being blackmailed...?
Miss Scarlet: Oh, I'm being blackmailed all right... but I did what I'm being blackmailed for.

Colonel Mustard: This is war Peacock. Casualties are inevitable. You can not make an omelet without breaking some eggs, every cook will tell you that.

Mrs. Peacock: But look what happened to the cook!

Mr. Green: But this is ridiculous. If he were such a patriotic American, why didn't he just report us to the authorities?
Wadsworth: He decided to put his information to good use and make a little money off of it. What could be more American than that?

Colonel Mustard: How many husbands have you had?
Mrs. White: Mine or other women's?
Colonel Mustard: Yours.
Mrs. White: Five.
Colonel Mustard: Five?
Mrs. White: Yes, just the five. Husbands should be like Kleenex: soft strong and disposable.
Colonel Mustard: You lure men to their deaths like a spider with flies.
Mrs. White: Flies are where men are most vulnerable.
Colonel Mustard: Right!

Want something funny, mysterious, and making no sense at all? Try Murder By Death which takes living incarnations of famous detectives such as Nick and Nora, Charlie Chan, Agatha Christie, and Columbo and puts them together in a house to figure out a mytery masterminded by a little weird pale fat man.

More than Clue, it makes fun of a genre, and if you're a fan of murder mystery books, Nick and Nora or want to see Columbo spoofing Humphrey Bogart or Peter Sellers steal the show in a Charlie Chan send up, this isn't to be missed.

Also? Obi Wan Kenobi - plays a blind butler.


Milo Perrier: I'm not a Frenchie, I'm a BELGIE!

Sidney Wang: Yes, is confusing.
Lionel Twain: IT! IT is confusing! Say your goddamn pronouns!

Dick Charleston: Up there, Dora, look - a blind butler.
Dora Charleston: Don't let him park the car, Dickie.

Lionel Twain: I'm the greatest, I'm number one!
Sam Diamond: To me, you look like number two, know what I mean?
Dora Charleston: What DOES he mean, Miss Skeffington?
Tess Skeffington: I'll tell you later. It's disgusting.

Sidney Wang: Big house like man married to fat woman: hard to get around.