Just caught this post from the Huffington Post on this super creepy, somewhat disturbing short video from BBC One about how all of our faces are made. It’s kind of like a reverse Pangea situation.
It’s time to get really real with y’all. Fiona Apple’s seminal album, Tidal, came out when I was 8-years old, and not to date Ms. Apple or anything, but I felt that my 8-year old suburbanite self could relate to those songs better than say, some actually age-appropriate song from the time (I’m talking to YOU Barney). Of all the songs, Criminal was my jam because I was always a “bad, bad girl” and the song spoke to me on so many levels.
Without cheating and referencing Youtube to recall the other songs, I remember that album being mega-angsty and completely age-inappropriate for an 8-year old but I listened to that cassette and then CD to the point of self-destruction and most likely only on that single track that still sticks out in my 24 year old head. Remember the Criminal video?! It was kinda hot. She was definitely half naked for 90% of it; there was definitely a motel, or some similar cheap-looking room type place and it clearly made some crazy impression on me because here I am today talking about it all. Okay, I’ll cheat for a second, here it is.
Let’s fast forward to the present for a second. Fiona Apple is back on the scene and touring! This makes my inner 8 year old shriek with happiness because it now has a 24-year old’s (daintily sized) check book! Her sound is a little more folksy than I remember but I dig it. She’s the 2012 Fiona and (not to insult her) kind of has a Lana Del Ray sound to her vocals now. She’s goddamn Fiona Apple. I stumbled upon this video on her site while trying to source more post-millennial Apple. Chick played at SXSW this year?! Where the eff were all of us?
The song Every Single Night has a cool sound to it and she has a fancy little octopus on her head in the beginning of the video. If you’re interested in hearing more of her recent stuff from her most recent album (it’s a long title but here we go) The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do then you should check it out on iTunes. The track Valentine is pretty dope and her voice sounds very sultry accompanied by the piano and talking about some dude who never got her Valentine card. The songs are still incredibly heavy from an emotional context, but they’re relatable from a “I’m not as intense as she is but I can dig it” kind of stand point. That’s probably what drew me in as an 8-year old too. This chick really feels, and is able to express it all. Again, it’s incredibly heavy stuff so prepare yourself.
So… in case you’ve been living under a rock for the last 16 years, ladies and gentlemen, please let me (re)introduce into your lives, Miss Fiona Apple.
Ryan Murphy is a smart guy – that we know. This can be seen in the awesomeness that was Nip/Tuck, is American Horror Story, and used to be Glee. While AHS’ pace is a little too fast for my liking, its overall storyline is cohesive, engaging, and leaves you wanting more. The same could be said of Nip/Tuck and season one of Glee.
Glee, the show which apparently started off as the post-High School Musical response to the status quo of adolescent life, being: social rejection, unwanted pregnancies, and other teenage intricacies, has now given in to a commercialized musical hedonism seen only in the trajectory in careers and lives of children actors. Everything starts out great, they’re super popular – probably with their own TV show, or series of made for TV movies, then they have a music career and eventually there’s a tipping point when they become less relevant and fight to get back into the lime light (see: Lindsay Lohan 2004-current, Britney Spears 2007-2009, Celebrity Rehab, Celebrity Apprentice, etc).
My main issue with Glee has nothing to do with the fact that they produce music. Hell I actually like their music, and anyone who is privy to my personal life know that I’m a whore for a good show tune. My problem with the program is that is lacks the soul and purpose it once began with. It seems like Ryan Murphy & Co. are more concerned with pumping out number one hits on iTunes and filling stadiums rather than creating thorough, better thought out storylines to accompany the sweet beats in the show. Bottom line – the program has turned into a joke.
Anyone remotely familiar with Gawker has certainly read their reviews of the series. My favorite one of the season, “118 Questions About Last Night’s Episode of Glee” posed a series of unanswerable questions that viewers are left asking themselves after some episode in December. My number one question from Yes/No (aka the last episode I suffered through) is, when did Sue & Emma become friends? And for that matter, when did William McKinley acquire a synchronized swimming team? More importantly, how did said synchronized swim team survive the rigorous funding process set forth to any non-Cheerio related program?
(Sigh). I digress. If there is one thing that people are guilty of in this world is the need for escapism. Glee, with its shotty storylines and jazz hands is certainly an escape. Now, no one tell me what happened in the Michael Jackson episode just yet, I don’t have my cilice on just yet.
We all know of my slight obsession with Bravo and the Real Housewives of (Insert: Obscure Affluent Community) series. About 0.0005% of me died a bit when I caught word (via Huffington Post) that New York Housewives Jill Zarin, Kelly Bensimon, Alex McCord, and Cindy Barshop (she seems nice) were fired Thursday morning.
If we want to break it down honestly – they were expendable personalities to the show. Zarin and McCord were cast members from the series inaugural season and their shift in personalities over the years have been quite evident. Zarin, who was once portrayed as a reliable friend, someone you’d want on your side, became snippy after the fight with Bethenny. She claimed she was still a nice person, but the show certainly did not air her in that light. McCord on the other hand started the series as a mousey personality from Brooklyn (gasp!) looking for a spotlight in someway. She got stepped over numerous times and out shined by the brighter personalities (Bethenny Frankel<3) but eventually came to put those hives to good use when she was able to defend herself in social scenarios.
Kelly Bensimon was an interesting addition to the cast a few seasons back. I can’t really talk smack about someone whose professional career I actually respect. Same goes for Cindy – it was a shame that her Housewives stint was brief, but she’s a real businesswoman so career > crazy.
The remaining cast members are Countess (does she still get that title after a divorce?) LuAnn de Lesseps, Ramona Singer (the only original cast members left) and Sonja Morgan. Being a huge fan of the show, I can completely say that I’m okay with this transitional phase. They honestly almost lost me after Bethenny left to get hitched and live happily ever after, but got me back with all of Sonja’s financial woes, The Countess’ raspy voice, and Ramona’s grape infused rants. I’m excited to see what kind of socialitey personalities they take on to complement the three remaining Housewives.
Is anyone else banking for Tinsley Mortimer?
Remember back, back, waaayy back to September 9th, 1999 when MTV decided to host their annual Video Music Awards (VMA) on a day that clearly no one would forget about? It was one of the most well-played moves they made for their musical pomp and circumstancry and the 9.9.99 VMA was quite the affair to remember.
Lil’ Kim (you may remember her former face) wore one of her modest pantsuits only to be fondled by living legend Diana Ross. Britney Spears and N Sync had a joint performance. The mothers of fallen rap superstars Tupac and Christopher “Biggie Smalls” Wallace joined forces for the first time in public. Pretty sure Madonna was there… Well the rest is pretty fuzzy, but nonetheless I was 11 years old and the VMA’s were awesome that year, as well as the proceeding 5 or so years. This is mostly due in part to the fact that MTV still stood for Music TeleVision and was still in its heyday for playing videos. TRL ruled the airwaves and your after-school gossip. Videos were relevant…
Fast-forward 12 years and the only musically based programming that isn’t competition based lives on the mother-music network during the hours which only a few breathing souls navigate their cable boxes. That’s not to say though that its sister station MTV2 (is there an MTV3?) and website aren’t playing music videos regularly. There is certainly irony in the fact that the station whose roots are completely saturated in making visual music relevant is no longer a true player in music video circulation.
The advent of reality television (which I’m certainly a fan of to some extent) killed the video. MTV needs to find a happy medium between the low budget (ehh the Jersey Shore cast earns HOW much?), brain killing programs of today and return to their programming of yesteryear. The soul musically based, demographically relevant program they produce occurs only once per year. If MTV wants a seat in music class they should quit living off of their reputation built from some amazing years of music programming and actually bring back the type of shows that gave them their musical platform to begin with.
Andrew Garfield, AKA Peter Parker, doing work on an ice cream cone. Congrats on the jaw-work! Via People.com
If you were remotely curious as to what the future of female comedy looks like, focus your attention no further than Jenna Marbles. Mizz Marbles, née Mourey, has one of the most inappropriately appropriate potty-mouths I’ve seen on a girl (other than myself), two crazy dogs, a rockin’ bod, and overall humor to compare with big hitters of Youtube and popular culture.
She records all of her comedic bits every Wednesday and covers a variety of topics. Some of her most recent rants include: Thoughts on Shark Week and What Dogs Do When You’re Not Home. All of her videos are laced with good natured potty-mouthisms and over-all A+ witticisms on the current state of the nation (see: Cooking with Sarah Palin).
This aside, what I believe is arguably the best Marbles video out there (currently around 9 MILLION views) is her take on How to Avoid Talking to People You Don’t Want to Talk To - teaching women everywhere how to get that creepy ass dude who’s been following you around the club/bar and is now all up in your business, out of your business, with the simplest of facial expressions.
The number one thing that Marbles does right is completely not give a flying f*ck what she says. She’s offensive in all the right ways and then includes proper disclosures when she knows that she might really piss people off (see: People I would F*ck). She also keeps her videos super simple. Her badassness removes the need to have any sort of fancy shmancy video editing, that only adds to the humor attached to her crazy thought. Marbles also is heavily engaged with her audiences online – which works to her advantage because she is then able to crowd source the type of content the Marbleites are interested in, thus helping increase the viewership of her videos.
Something I’d like to see out of the Marbles videos, though, is a change of scenery. Of course, filming from a nondescript location in what’s apparently her house certainly helps add to the simplicity of the Marbles nature, however, anyone can sit in front of their cool computer and record funny rants.
If you need a quick inside glance as to how to make awesome Youtube videos – check out Marbles’ page… and lose your marbles along the way. If you need the instant satisfaction which only the interwebs provide, here’s her Twitter and Facebook fan page. Enjoy
One of my wonderfully opinionated friends, Mizz JLSandler, has officially joined the blogosphere. You can find her at http://jlsandler.wordpress.com/. In the meantime, I want to bring attention to one of the articles my now fellow online scribe wrote a bit ago about the resurgence of Bravo TV entitled, ”Bravo is Art.”
Anyone who watched Bravo prior to 2000 knows that it was pretty much the channel for television shows to find a second wind (or die) and movies. They didn’t really have any original content – rather, original content that was buzz-worthy and worthwhile – and did not have any sort of idea of what its brand’s potential was.
Somewhere around 2005 the clouds parted, the sunlight shown through and Bravo brought on Andrew “Andy” Cohen on as it’s Vice President of Programming and Production after it taking over his previous employer, Trio. (Info which I learned here).
Mr. Cohen, currently owner to a slew of Executive Producer credits to the majority (all?) of Bravo’s programs, is not only a genius at bringing on buzzworthy (read: addicting) programming for the network, but is also one of it’s brightest stars through his hosting gig on “Watch What Happens: Live”, now renewed for a fifth season on the channel. Admittedly, Mr. Cohen has turned a non-Jew into a constant praiser of people’s actions through offering them what are deemed never-appropriate “Mazel’s” – a recent congratulations was sent to a friend for not regressing after a seemingly questionable weekend. Catchphrases aside, WWHL also offers incredibly entertaining interviews, performances (Danielle Staub’s “Close to You” scarred me for life), and games – anyone remember when Anderson Cooper tried to guess NeNe Leakes’ quips?
Any article about Bravo and Mr. Cohen would be remiss to not include the Housewives series, or as Mizz S affectionately calls, “Really Rich Housewives of insert selected city here.” This franchise, the most successful and longest running of all Bravo’s programs, is now the cornerstone of the channel’s non-competitive based reality programs and is apparently trying to expand north to Toronto. Housewives of DC aside, viewers can always rely on the series to provide constant entertainment by following around a number of well-to-do women in their daily lives. While the feuds between all of the “Bravo-lebrities” help fuel the show (Camille v. Kyle, Danielle v. the state of New Jersey, NeNe v Kim, etc) it’s the interaction of all these women as well as their flock of gays, which helped to propel the Housewives series into upper echelon of reality television.
I have to disagree with my friend on one thought though. Bravo has not reinvented reality television – it has now set the standard for what reality based entertainment should achieve to be.
I took an unexpected break again from entertaining the masses with my written tomfoolery, and for that I apologize. It’s been a very weird/complicated/busy/blahh last few weeks.
Today is my day off from interning and for some reason I’ve been stuck in the vacuum that is The City marathon. There’s something about reality television that is just completely flabbergasting, disgusting, and intriguing all at the same time – possibly because we see ourselves in one (or multiple) people on these un-scripted programs.
There are, of course, the requisite dating programs – from the uptown chic Bachelor/Bachelorette series on ABC to the utterly repulsive – who in their right mind would ever want a shot-at-love with anyone whose last name resembles that of a panty-dropping substance? (Not that I don’t enjoy copious amounts of said substance in question…)
Then there are the competitions! Anyone who says they are not a fan of competition, be it television based, video games, sports, etc. etc.. -are…… Okay, let me just be blunt – whoever says they don’t like shows like Project Runway, Top Chef, or Survivor are just blatant liars! Shows like these take everything that are appreciated by the millions and mass produce it for all with cable to enjoy. And the competition+ format (i.e. TC is competition + food) is a no-fail system because like I mentioned, everyone loves a good competition (the Colosseum in Rome wasn’t built fuh nothin’). When you add special interests that are enjoyed by the masses – like fashion, food, and survival, as provided by the shows I listed – it’s just a complete recipe for success.
People these days are really taking a liking to the picked from obscurity, family oriented programs that have been taking over the airwaves these last few years like John and… I mean.. Kate Plus 8, and some other program which tends to catch my attention that is based around multiples. Anything about babies immediately grabs my attention… and when you add 5, 6, 7, 8, whatever, more babies to the equation… Ah just thinking about it brings about thoughts of butterflies and rainbows and those weird jean diapers.
I would be entirely remiss to not discuss the holiest of all reality programs; the mother ship whose masts set sail one fateful day in the early 90s with 7 strangers picked to live in an apartment, work together, and have their lives taped, to find out what happens what happens with… (you catch my drift). The Real World! I was a major Real World fan and even went to far (embarrassingly enough) to try out for the program!… :/ Whatevs I woulda been perfect! Haha. I have to say, though, that I lost my love for the program once I got to college and lived the life of the 7 strangers, minus the film crew. It’s bad enough that people had still-cameras to document the debauchery that occurred in my 4 years in Hamden… if you added a film crew – eesh… there goes my future.
What would a reality show based around your life be called?