Saturday, September 20, 2008

"just a typical white girl"

Second blog shout-out to my dear friend Arielle in one day! It's thanks to an offhand comment she made when we were g-chatting the other day that season 11 of America's Next Top Model is on YouTube! Last night I treated myself to the first 3 episodes (!), and today I caught up with episode 4 (Makeovers!) so I am up to date! Are you ready for a bold statement?

I think this is the best season of ANTM that we've seen so far.

I know, that's a big statement when we've been exposed to Shandi, Jade, Anchal & the twins! But there is so much good stuff that has been packed into the first four episodes of this season already that I feel comfortable saying it.

First of all, the girls are actually hot and/or pretty this season! Joslyn's um...not the prettiest, and I don't really get the appeal of a girl like Clark, but they are way hotter than some previous girls from the show. Okay, and I know that those girls aren't necessarily fugly, but this is top model! You gotta bring it! Elina, Marjorie, McKey, and Annaleigh are my favorites this season in terms of looks, but there are some great personalities too.

Elina is a hot mess. I'm so glad she didn't get all Jaeda when they changed her hair so drastically, because she could rock a lot of hairstyles. She's a little thick for a vegan, but I love how much of a teenage rebel she is. Too cool to be bi/lesbian, she's "very sexual and has had relationships with women...loves bringing them to her side," she has a tattoo on her uterus-protection fat (who does that? She looks kiiinda like Angelina Jolie but at least Angie is skeletal), and she talks about how she hates her mom. Aw, she probably smokes cloves!

Marjorie bleeds homeschooled. She's so nervous and cute, but I preferred her blonde hair. Maybe she looked too much like Agyness Deyn. Sheena is totally hoochie, and I love it. I'm so over hers and some of the other girls' wild exaggeration of Hannah's personality. Hannah said something pretty stupidly, but saying she's a "typical white girl" does not a racist make, and they're picking on her unfairly.

And then there's Isis. I think I'm more interested in how she was one of the homeless models from last season, than the fact that she's transgendered. I think she has an outstanding sense of self and has been totally cool so far. Some of the girls have been nice, some have been mean, but I can see why they're threatened that someone genetically male is in the running because of the advantages of height, bone structure, and leg muscles. Of course a lot of these things are going against Isis, too, as she is not far enough along in her transition to have breasts, a feminine waist/hips, or round cheeks. I don't think she will stay long enough to go abroad, but I think she has been doing remarkably well.

I think the most impressive aspect of this season is that...I don't hate Tyra anymore! How funny that in a premiere dedicated to robotics and the future, Tyra seems to finally have become self-aware! Mr. Jay and Ms. J have always been cool with their status as living caricatures, and Nigel and Paulina have seemed bemusedly along for the ride, but I think Tyra might finally have swung past being obnoxious to being charming. She's like a child performing horribly at a family reunion but everyone smiles because of her enthusiasm. Her wig sucks this season, but it's not the worst she's had.

Can't wait to see what happens!

you know you love me

For the first week while I was in Australia, I felt confident that I could wait until I come home in January to catch up on Gossip Girl. Then I decided to tide myself over by rewatching season 1 on DVD. What a masterpiece this show is! Watching season 1 over really opened my eyes to a lot about the show. For example, what had previously been a mild annoyance with Dan blossomed into full-fledged loathing when I saw him again. What a loser. Anyway:

My wonderful and awesome sister gave me an iTunes giftcard as a going away present which was perfect! I've kept up with GG every week and have been given the ability to pause and scrutinise each new episode as I watch them on my computer! So far, I'm really happy with season 2. I think the show's writers realized that Chuck and Blair are the heart, mind, and soul (and libido) of this show. I think that Jenny's character is moving in a good direction. She had to be put in her place after the lame shenanigans from the end of season 1, but now I think that she has the potential to really rise to the top once school starts. Serena and Dan - meh, whatever. If they get back together every episode I'll be so peeved. Lily's on honeymoon, but I look forward to her return and inevitable sparring/loooovemaking with Rufus, the hottest guy on the show. Vanessa's become slightly less annoying (but doesn't she have any other friends?), and I am over the moon that Nate is in a ridiculous situation as the potential future stepfather of Lord Marcus, Blair's boyfriend of the horrible accent.

Now I'd like to share with you the emails that I sent to my former roommate Jamie (and fellow GG addict - I turned her on to the show when she saw me watching it and asked, "Is [Serena] the gossip girl?" to which I replied "Gossip Girl is more like an entity."). As I watched the latest epsiode (S02 Ep03, "The Dark Night"), about a day after she had, I sent her a blow by blow email with my reactions. Enjoy.

Subject: OMFG
• First email sent 6 minutes in:
Okay, I'm only 6 minutes in to season 2 ep 3 of GG, but I had to share this moment of joy with you:
Blair sees via Gossip Girl that Serena and Dan are back together and goes "UGH I knew it."
SHE IS AMAZING BLAIR RULEZ DAN DROOLZ will email later with more updates, followed by skype call sometime soon!
• Second email sent 15 minutes in:
Theory: Gossip Girl is DOROTA. I have thoughts to back this up. Ask me about them when we talk.
• Third email sent 20 minutes in:
First of all, "You are not using Blair as sexual Drano!" I wish I could have that line as my ringtone. Also, Chuck is so amazing that his butler just says (verbatim), "A flight has arrived from Tokyo" and some random Asian stewardess just rolls up? WHO IS CHUCK Also this has to do with my Dorota theory.
• Fourth email sent 27 minutes in:
1) No one notices Chuck date raping Blair in the corner of the party even though she was obviously just talking to someone.
2) Chuck using sexuality as a weapon against vulnerable Blair brings out the best in both of them.
3) Chuck actually saying, "Have sex with me. Just once. It's all I need." HE'S CHUCK BASS.
• Fifth email sent 37 minutes in:
My eyes are rolling out of my face during every Nate/Vanessa scene. Also, still over Dan and Serena. PLEASE tell me that Blair is going to be waiting in the pitch black for Marcus to come do her but OOPSIE IT'S CHUCK BASS.
• Sixth email sent 42 minutes in:
OY. In the elevator:
S: "I can't change who I am."
D: "Neither can I."
No, LonelyBoy, you're missing the point. Serena can't change the fact that she's a rich, well-known, charming, albeit misguided young lady. She doesn't give a shit that you're poor and alternative, she gives a shit that you're a dick. That's what you can change, douchebag. And get your teeth fixed.
• Seventh email sent 53 minutes in (after the credits):
Okay, so they're probably gonna hook up again, but thank god Serena and Dan are split for now. As for Vanessa, I think she did the right thing. But now what? She can't date Dan, because then they're back at square 1 and have no Upper East Siders to interact with. Blair and Marcus are done - predictable, but I think they could have made it more scandalous for an episode or two. Can't wait to see what happens with her and Chuck. Mostly, I'm looking forward to school starting because I think Jenny has potential. She's made of stronger stuff now, and I think she has greatness in front of her if she plays her cards right. Lily and Bart need to get back from their honeymoon and Rufus needs a hotter chick to date. This one looked like Vanessa's aunt.
As for now, you know you love me, XOXO,
• Eighth email sent 55 minutes in:
P.S. Chuck's British accent!

I hope you enjoyed that play-by-play. I will likely have one every week between now and the end of the season since Jamie and I aren't able to watch GG together anymore. I know you're interested in hearing about my Dorota theory, and I promise: it's good! But it's quite in-depth so I think I'll devote a more detailed post to it later.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


I forgot to post about the other new shows in my life! Reposted from my other blog:

My good ol' buddy DGMacphee told me about Summer Heights High last year, but I didn't get to see any of it until my Qantas flight over here. It's a mockumentary series about life at a public school where the creator Chris Lilley plays drama coach Mr. G, troubled bully Jonah, and private school exchange student and rich bitch Ja'mie King. I've caught clips on YouTube, and have since watched every episode of Lilley's previous show, We Can Be Heroes, on the internet as well. Ja'mie features in that one too. SO FUNNY. I always forget how politically correct we are in the U.S. until I watch TV in another country.

wots on telly

So, I've been watching Aussie free TV, which is interesting because I come from a Candyland of digital cable and TiVo. Last week when my internal clock was set a few hours ahead of local time I found myself watching a lot of afternoon cooking shows, which I think are much more pleasant to watch than the high budget bright-lights-and-loud-noises cooking shows that are so popular in primetime.

The other fantastic offering of afternoon television is none other than The Bold and the Beautiful, which has gotten me instantly hooked. I'd never seen a soap opera before picking this one up last week, and now I understand why they're so successful. Firstly, the dialogue instantly fills you in on all of the backstory you need to know. Everything scripted seems to awkwardly overuse characters' names, for example, but with soaps it's like:
Jennifer: But Crush, how is Susan going to react to you impregnating another woman while she's recovering from her brain surgery?
Gee, thanks for filling us in! B&B currently has: a woman whose had her brother's heart implanted into her but she's rejecting it and she might kill herself but also she's in love with her brother-in-law so her sister has agreed to let her husband have sex with her sister on Catalina island (implied), AND a trophy wife with a mysterious hot young man in her home who is not her lover but is in fact her son (!) and she is afraid to tell her husband about her son so she's going to try to get him a job at her husband's company instead. Also the son is played by an actor actually named Texas Battle.

As I hinted at last night, 90210 premiered here a week after it did in the U.S. I notice that some American shows slip quietly into the programming schedule midseason, like Gossip Girl, but others are advertised primarily by how they're being "fast tracked" over here, like 90210. I was pleased with the throwbacks to the original series - Brenda and Kelly, and Joe E. Tata of course. The inclusion of Hannah Zuckerman-Vasquez was much more than I could have hoped for, but mostly it was weird for me to think of little my-druggie-brother-abandoned-me-at-the-playground Erin Silver to have grown up into...a brunette! I do like that Mel never changed his dastardly ways though.

The new teens are totally boring, even Hot Rich Guy and Drunkface from Nip/Tuck. Dixon's okay, except that I'd like to meet a black teenage lacrosse star...from Kansas. The star of the show, for me, is absolutely Jessica "Lucille Bluth" Walter, who plays drunk slut better than any of the skinny teens. Oh also, the stick-thinness of the teen girls is nothing new to TV, but it makes Kelly's eating disorder from season 3 or whatever seem totally irrelevant. Even the chick from Kansas ate only a side salad and a well-placed Diet Dr. Pepper for lunch.

As far as Australian TV goes, there's a new reality show called Taken Out, which has an interesting premise - 30 girls get to say yes or no to 1 guy, face-to-face, and tell him what they do or don't like about him. I wish I could be on the show so that men all over the country could hear me tell them upfront: "Stop having: soul patches, chin beards, popped collars, sleeveless shirts, etc. etc. etc." Also, I think it's cute how the stations are so proud of any Australian who's gotten some fame overseas, because there will be commercials for crappy American movies being aired that will say, "Tune in to Gone in 60 Seconds this Friday, starring Australia's own Jacob Smith as Passerby #2!"

Finally, the best thing I've experienced on Australian TV is the nightly recap of the Paralympic Games. I have always been passively interested in watching the Olympics, but the Paralympics are so much more exciting to me because I get the impression that the athletes - whether their extra challenge is something they were born with or something that happened later in life - are here to prove something to themselves, and to accomplish something that might not have seemed possible. With the regular Olympics, there's an odd mix of people handpicked by their government to be trained exclusively for the Olympics, rich kids who spent their whole life training for the Olympics and using it to get into college, and people from impoverished countries who have found their only escape is their sport. The Paralympics just appeal to me so much more, and it's a shame I've never watched them before.

Monday, September 8, 2008


I'm watching the new 90210 on TV here, and my first thoughts:

Jessica Walter: 100
Everyone else: ZERO


"Good morning, and buenos dias, this is Hannah Zuckerman-Vasquez..."