Friday, May 22, 2009

TROPHY BASS



I was taken aback this morning upon seeing photos of the cast of Gossip Girl in New York for the CW Upfronts. Blake Lively was wearing some sort of evening gown jumper, and Taylor Momsen looked like she was beaten to death by Siouxsie Sioux's stylist...but these looks are not shocking. The surprise happened when I came across a photo of Ed Westwick - who plays the one and only Chuck Bass - and he actually looked HOT! This does not happen. As you can see from the collage above, Mr. Westwick's sexy-to-fug ratio is generally 7:27. You can't argue with science, people!

Someone clearly told Ed that just because he's British in real life doesn't mean he has to avoid the sun like a ginger. And someone definitely told him to lose 15 pounds and get a better hairstyle. Because now I present to you the new and much-improved Ed Westwick / Chuck Bass:



I mean, wow. You can't argue with that, either. Good for you, MotherChucker!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

WHAT'S THE STORY, MORMON GLORY?



Lately I've been dealing with a major theological conundrum. Quandary, even! It's about Brandon Flowers, frontman for The Killers. This may or may not come as a surprise to you.

Backstory! As many of you know, Mr. Flowers is a Mormon. He's down with the Latter-Day Saints. You can see how this is a bit of a disconnect for not only a rock star, but for a pretty cool one at that. Wikipedia told me (we meet for iced teas and gossip on Tuesdays and Thursdays) that he's an on-again-off-again drinker and smoker, and I knew prior that he appreciates the gays. Obviously these are all very non-Mormon things to do. Which brings me to the conundrum. If he can do all these other things...

Why can't Brandon Flowers ever take his shirt off for photographs?


Instead, he's usually in something with feathers. Or faux fur. Or animal print. Which I'm fine with, but come on. I invited some of the top minds in the academic community to have an honest, enlightening discussion concerning this matter. Unfortunately, none of them showed up. Someone please find me an answer. Or, preferably - evidence to the contrary. That is all.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

"HE WHO WILL SAVE US ALL"



Oh, man. Last night's season finale of LOST was 2 hours of insanity. If you haven't watched yet, or don't want to know what happens (this is a special shout-out for you, James), please consider this your SPOILER WARNING! Keep in mind this isn't a review, just my own highlights reel.



First off, I need to speak my piece about Richard Alpert. We already know that he doesn't age, sure - but as I've been noting throughout the season, he actually gets HOTTER. Ain't no one can hold a torch like Ricardo.



Oh, shit! Jack should totally travel back in time more often. This fact is evidenced by the showdown at the Barracks, where our spinal surgeon actually grows a spine. And what does he do with it? What needs to be done, finally - kill a bunch of Dharma nerds. Come on, you know some of them had it coming.



"Oh hell no..." And with that, we welcome back Rose and Bernard. They're retired from the Island Hijinks racket now, and are happy just to be together. Rose read the gang the riot act, and it was much needed. There's only room for one uppity white person in Rose's life, and it's certainly not Kate. I hope that this is the last time we ever see R&B...it was a touching and perfect wrap-up to their story. Plus: VINCENT THE DOG!



I feel like it's been ages since I've brought up Richard Alpert. Here he is in all his package-gripping-pants glory. If I had to choose one person to trust and listen to on the island, it's him by a landslide. Especially if joining him means that he'll take away my 'innocence'. Someone get this man a torch!



The Hatch! Great to see you, too, Swan. All the major drama aside, here's my beef: Why was Radzinsky allowed to survive the finale? Not cool. That prick should have gotten his several times over. Kudos to Miles for saving his Dad, though.



Dr. Juliet Burke - I thought I knew you. Remember when your soul purpose in life was getting back to the mainland (in the proper year) so you could see your cancer-less sister? Remember that motivation? Contrary to what certain seasons of the show believe, the entire world actually doesn't revolve around Sawyer and Kate. But yeah...you did good. I hope V is a miserable failure so you can come back and announce your lesbianism. Seriously, why does Juliet even bother with men anymore?



We finally got the answer to the Team-Ilana query, "What lies in the shadow of the statue?": Ille qui nos omnes servabit (the Latin-to-English translation is the title of this post, FYI). I can't even delve into the rest of the storylines, though. My brain is still swirling. Right now I feel that I need to watch all of this season over again - paying very close attention to John Locke, in particular. And that Jacob is certainly an interesting fellow...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

FREE TO BE...YOU AND GLEE



Last night I was fortunate enough to attend the premiere of Glee, the new Fox series. I've already done a post about how much I loved the pilot, and thanks to my friend Robert I was able to be among the enormous crowd at Santa Monica High School for the semi-private event. And what an event it was!


Red Carpet / Pre-Event Entertainment

The cast was making their entrances on the red carpet as we arrived, so we helped ourselves to the complimentary Glee slushies and popcorn. If you've seen the pilot already (or maybe you've watched it 20-something times like me), you know that the slushies were a very tongue-in-cheek refreshment. Kudos, Fox promotional people! As we sat down in the outdoor amphitheater, we were treated to performances by SMH's Jazz Band and Show Choir - talented kids, for sure. And they were actual kids, too...as opposed to most of the cast who probably haven't seen the inside of a high school for a few years. But I digress.



The Pilot
They screened the pilot, but not in its original form. I had heard that Fox was probably going to have to cut down the episode for time - the original ran for 52 minutes, I believe - and they definitely made some changes. I wasn't a fan of the weird editing and omission of a whole musical number, but I realize that I'm the excpetion. You know, because I've seen it 20-something times and have it all memorized at this point. Anyone watching this version when it airs on May 19th likely won't even notice the difference. The fact of the matter is this: it's still Glee, which makes it automatically still incredible.



The Panel Discussion

The writers/producers and the entire cast came out to answer some generic questions from an LA Times moderator, but it was more entertaining than it was informative. Jane Lynch really stole the show on stage, and it was a good thing...in between her barbs it was almost crickets. Then of course it was time for audience questions, which always make me cringe. Teenage girls asking if the boys have girlfriends...middle-aged aspiring songwriters....a "pseudo-agent" trying to get her daughter to sing for everyone...it literally makes me nauseated. But to their credit, the cast was on the whole time. Laughing, joking with each other - it's hard to believe they really haven't all known each other for very long. There was a great vibe on stage.



Post-Event / Meet & Greet

For the next 30 minutes after the event was over, I had the extraordinary pleasure of getting to chat with some of the cast. Of the kids, I was able to speak with Chris Colfer (Kurt), Amber Riley (Mercedes) and Jenna Ushkowitz (Tina). While they're all unique, talented individuals, they had one thing in common - they were all so excited. They were relative unknowns before Glee, and when I was talking to them they had just finished their first premiere. The energy and enthusiasm (not to mention how thankful and gracious they all were) was really refreshing to see.

Of the adults, I got the chance to have longer conversations with Jayma Mays (Emma) and Jessalyn Gilsig (Terri). I've always thought Jayma was fantastic, and talking to her was an utter delight. So appreciative and upbeat, she officially became one of my favorite actresses. Maybe even simply one of my favorite people.



Jessalyn was just as personable, and it was very kind of her to take as much time to talk to me as she did. I loved how much she enjoyed talking about the show, too. It's motivating to see an actor believe so much in a project, and Jessalyn definitely does. While talking about the quotability of the show, I had to bring up "Don't go in the Christmas closet!" - and she promised me that said-closet will be featured more as the show goes on. It's fascinating to see what different people latch onto from one episode. Discussing the 'message' of the show, she had this to say (as close to verbatim as my memory will allow):

"Watching the episode tonight, I really realized how important it is...about only living a life that you feel passionately about. Everyone can identify."

To me, that's always been such a huge part of what makes the show so special. We also talked about the brilliant costume designer ("We always tell her, 'Go home already!', but she can't. It's her baby.") and the excitement of seeing how much of a following the show already has ("Were all these people seeing this for the first time? It's like they already knew the lines!"). A truly great conversation. I also saw Cory Monteith (Finn) and Matthew Morrison (Will), but didn't get a chance to say anything. It's absolutely for the best, since there's a chance I would have embarassed myself in front of the attractive ones.

Overall, it was a really fantastic event. I feel so lucky to have been able to attend the premiere for a brand new show - especially one that I already consider one of my favorites. And this is after seeing only the pilot! Ryan Murphy and Company definitely (hopefully) have a hit on their hands, and I can't wait to see the further adventures of these kids and adults alike. Make sure you watch on May 19th at 9pm!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

THANK YOU SIR, MAY I HAVE ANOTHER?



Happy Birthday,
Zip and a Kick!


Today is the blog's first birthday. It's now been 365 days since I started all of this, and I couldn't be happier. To celebrate, I've given the site a little cosmetic refreshment. Thanks to everyone for stopping by and sharing in my adventures. Here's to another year of sass, geekdom, booze and insanity!

Friday, May 8, 2009

THE TREKKIAN EQUINOX

James and I saw Star Trek tonight at the ArcLight, and I can officially say that Summer has begun! I'm going off the Vulcan calendar, of course. For me, the season always starts with that first, fun, popcorn blockbuster - and Star Trek delivered in spades. Kudos, J.J. It's great to see the Enterprise on the big screen again!

Monday, May 4, 2009

LA, JE T'AIME!



Paris is lovely. New York is "cultured". But what about Los Angeles? Where's our heavy-handed documentary? It's a damn shame, I tell you. I saw this amazing (three-dimensional!) sculpture out front of an apartment building on my street today. Next to the trash.

LA gets no respect, despite being one of the greatest cities in the world. So I'm putting the word out now - if anyone is planning on making the Los Angeles, I Love You film, I am available and interested. Unless I just find a way to make it on my own...

Friday, May 1, 2009

NEVER WAS, ALWAYS WILL BE



On May 1, 1989, The Walt Disney Company officially opened the "doors" to its third gate in Orlando - The Disney-MGM Studios. Part theme park and part working production center, on opening day it boasted a nearly 2-hour tram and walking Backlot Tour as well as Imagineering's crown jewel of the park, "The Great Movie Ride"...housed inside a faithful recreation of Grauman's Chinese Theater. All done up in the architectual styles of art-deco and streamline moderne, it was an old-Hollywood dream come true. Then Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company Michael Eisner (Boo! Hiss!) read the following prepared statement on opening day:

"The world you have entered was created by The Walt Disney Company and is dedicated to Hollywood - not a place on a map, but a state of mind that exists wherever people dream and wonder and imagine, a place where illusion and reality are fused by technological magic. We welcome you to a Hollywood that never was - and always will be."



I've always loved this park, and it was probably the beginnings of my affinity for the bygone-days of the real Hollywood. The park really got good (in my opinion) in 1994, with the addition of the "Sunset Boulevard" area, and the opening of the icon of the East side - The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. The haunted-hotel-possessed-elevator attraction would go on to be copied at Disney's California Adventure, The Walt Disney Studios in France, and Tokyo DisneySea in Japan. But without a doubt, the entire experience would never be as perfectly replicated as it was in Florida.



For all the other good things to speak of (Star Tours! Muppet*Vision 3D! Voyage of the Little Mermaid!), attention must be paid to two seriously misguided missteps in the park's history. ONE: The addition of a gigantic Sorcerer Mickey hat, placed squarely in front of the park's 'weenie' - the Chinese Theater / Great Movie Ride. TWO: The bulldozing and paving over of Residential Street, where trams used to drive by facades of famous TV and movie homes...most notably the house from The Golden Girls. It would be replaced by an automobile stunt show. Sad times.



2008 brought the long-time-coming official name change. Once the agreement with MGM to use their name in the park expired, it was time to re-evaluate what they now had to offer. After all, little-to-nothing was actually being produced/filmed on site anymore, and the Backlot Tour was being repeatedly trimmed down. The emphasis was not so much on being a working production facility anymore as it was on just being a theme park. And with that, "Disney-MGM Studios" officially became "Disney's Hollywood Studios". After all, it's a state of mind - remember?



20 years later - despite many changes - the park's original mission statement is still alive and well. Driving by the Earfel Tower will always make me smile, Florida's version of Fantasmic! will always make me laugh, and it's always refreshing to walk down Sunset Boulevard and not get accosted by a homeless person. Happy 20th Anniversary, Disney's Hollywood Studios!