If you haven’t heard, Disneyland is transforming the Hollywood Pictures backlot into a Tron-inspired theme part called ElecTRONica. It will apparently be an outdoor dance park. With lots of neon and no ecstasy. Unless you bring your own.
The concept art looks kind of like The Sims. Which reminds me that I need to pre-order my copy of The Sims 3 for PS3. brb.
Press screenings for “Black Swan,” starring Natalie Portman, are under way today and the first reviews are showing up on Rotten Tomatoes. The film debuts tonight at the Venice Film Festival. So far, it’s gotten two good reviews and one not-so-good. Here’s the run-down so far:
Hollywood Reporter: “Trying to coax a horror-thriller out of the world of ballet doesn’t begin to work for Darren Aronofsky.”
IndieWire: “With Natalie Portman, in the demanding leading role, equaling her director in unquestioned commitment, the central issue for the viewer is how far one is willing to follow the film down the road to oblivion for art’s sake.”
Variety: “A wicked, sexy and ultimately devastating study of a young dancer’s all-consuming ambition.”
“Mad Men” Season 4, Episode 6: “Waldorf Stories”
While Jon Hamm was losing his Emmy over at NBC, Don Draper was winning a CLIO over at AMC. There was an interesting award show parallel going on last night as “Mad Men” aired during the Emmys. Even though Hamm lost the Best Actor award, show creator Matthew Weiner (for writing) and the show itself (Best Drama) took home gold.
Don Draper’s (Hamm) television commercial CLIO award was basically what last night’s episode was centered around. SCDP took home the award and celebrating ensued. Don, as drunk as ever, took home a woman only to awaken two days later with another woman, an unattractive waitress, remembering nothing in between. He even missed picking up his kids.
It was kind of a moment of rock bottom for Don. And a moment of clarity for me. I realize he’s becoming Roger Sterling (John Slattery). He’s got his name on the building. His creativity is becoming outweighed by his drinking and irritability. He’s losing moments and days because of the lifestyle.
We’re shown this during a flashback of how Don met Roger. Roger was buying a fur from Don (for Joan no less) and Don saw an opportunity to try to get his advertising foot in the door. He slipped his portfolio in the box along with the fur then continued to harass Roger. Finally, over a drunken pre-lunch, Roger agrees to hire Don. When Don shows up at Sterling Cooper, Roger doesn’t remember any of it. Sounds familiar, no?
So unless Don makes some changes, he’s going to be a washed up rich man in an office who does nothing but drink all day. It won’t take much.
While I’m still talking about the bitter men of SCDP, I’ll mention that Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser) throws his 20th tantrum of the season when he learns his rival Ken Cosgrove (Aaron Staton) is coming to work from SCDP (finally!).
Meanwhile, the far less sorry and pathetic ad woman, Peggy Olsen (Elisabeth Moss), is clashing with the new creative director Stan (Jay R. Ferguson) to get a Vick’s campaign off the ground. He’s the typical male pig that SCDP loves to hire, so Peggy has a fight on her hands. But she’s learned to deal with Don, so she’s got it under control. When he refuses to work as he’s more interested in a Playboy magazine, Peggy strips down and insists they work in the nude. This gets his attention. As do her penis jokes. Peggy wins. Go Pegs!
I’d just like to congratulate “Mad Men” for winning Best Drama last night and thank them for giving us a week off from Betty (January Jones) and Sally Draper. After Sally’s uncomfortable storyline last week, I just needed some time.
(By the way, for those of you who don’t watch NBC dayime, that’s Jennifer Aniston’s dad John Aniston (Victor Kirakis, “Days of our Lives”) presenting Don his award.)
The primetime Emmy awards are this Sunday and while there are some great nominees, the outcome could be not-so-great. So in order to keep some integrity in the state of television (and to not make me cry myself to sleep), here are ten things that MUST happen this Sunday:
1. “Dexter” needs to win best drama. I mean did you see last season? Did you see John Lithgow as the Trinity Killer? Did you see the shocking season finale? No show has ever had balls as big as “Dexter.” Emmy. Now! I’d love to see one of my favorite actresses Lauren Velez (Lt. Maria Laguerta) up on that Emmy stage!
2. Dexter himself Michael C. Hall needs to win the Emmy for Best Actor, Drama. Why? Because he’s amazing. Not only does he deserve a career Emmy (For “Six Feet Under”), but he’s been the only person who could make America love a sociopathic serial killer. Emmy. Now!
3. January Jones needs to win the Emmy for Best Actress, Drama. Simply because “Mad Men’s” last season was Betty Draper’s season. Lord knows it’s not this season.
4. Christina Hendricks needs to win the Emmy for Best Supporting Actress, Drama. Though her “Mad Men” castmate Elisabeth Moss might win out over her (if they don’t cancel each other out), I think everyone’s favorite busty red-headed secretary should take home the gold.
5. Steve Carell should probably finally win the Emmy for Best Actor, comedy for “The Office.” He’s earned it. And we’re all this close to being sick of him.
6. Edie Falco should win the Emmy for Best Actress, Comedy for “Nurse Jackie.” She’s Edie Falco. She wins Emmys. That’s what she does. Although, Amy Poehler was better last season on “Parks and Recreation.”
7. Jane Krawkoski (“30 Rock) and Jane Lynch (“Glee) need to tie for Best Supporting Actress, Comedy. How could voters be expected to decide between two such hilarious Janes? It’s ridiculous. Give it to them both.
8. Ann-Margaret needs to return the Emmy she won at the Creative Arts ceremony for her guest role on “Law & Order: SVU.” Not because she doesn’t deserve it, but because my girl Mary Kay Place deserves it more! She’s the best part of “Big Love.” And she’s only considered a guest actress.
9. Betty White better get a lot of screen time when she appears as the recipient of the Best Guest Actress, Comedy (“SNL”).
10. Jimmy Fallon needs to be funny. For a change. Why oh why does he have to hijack my award show? Couldn’t Alec Baldwin host again?
“True Blood,” Season 3, Episode 10: “I Smell a Rat”
Last night’s “True Blood” was pretty mild (borderline boring) compared the the rest of the season. And to only have two episodes left, that was kind of a disappointment.
We did learn, finally, that Sookie is a fairy. Most of us already knew that from the Sookie Stackhouse books so I’m not sure why it was such a secret for so long. We also find out that Crystal Meth is a werepanther, which is also no surprise to the book readers.
Not much else happened besides that. Oh wait, out of the blue we discover Sam Merlotte used to be a bad guy. And also out of the blue, Lafayette might be a warlock. My eyes can only roll so far in the back of my head, Alan Ball.
Here’s HBO’s recap:
“Mad Men,” Season 4, Episode 5: “The Chrysanthemum and the Sword”
This week’s “Mad Men” was about two things: Honda and Sally Draper. One of these things gave us the most interesting story of the season so far. The other made me want to burn out my eyes with hot coals before retiring to a dark room. Forever.
So let me start with the pleasantries. Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser) has Honda interested in Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. Honda, at this point, only makes motor bikes. Honda’s first car, the Civic, wasn’t introduced until 1972.
So Honda could be a huge account, but they learn a rival firm is also in the running. But before they clear that hurdle, Don Draper (Jon Hamm) and the others have to defeat Roger Sterling (John Slattery). Roger wants nothing to do with Honda because it’s a Japanese company. And he fought in World War II so, to him, they’re still the enemy. So Roger nearly blows it for them.
Don comes up with a genius plan to throw the other firm out of the running and secure SCDP’s win. Of course Don’s plan works and they win. If Don could only be as good a human and father as he is an ad man … But for the record, Don’s only mean to three women in this episode: his secretary, his babysitter and Betty (January Jones).
Speaking of Betty … that brings me to the other storyline. You know, the one that makes me want to erase my brain? So Betty knows her daughter Sally Draper is messed up. We all know that. She wasn’t America’s sweetheart before her parents divorced. In this episode, she badly cuts off her hair, forcing Betty to slap her. But then Sally does something that I think is somewhat normal for a kid to do. Just not normal for a TV show to show a kid doing. Sally… Sally… ummm … she … well … I can’t even say it. Maybe I can say it with the following visual aid:
It’s not that I’m embarrassed by masturbation. I think it’s hilarious when Judge Reinhold does it in “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” (shown above). But a 10-year-old girl? Not so much. Anyway, Sally’s latest lands her in therapy. I’m sure shock therapy is next. Parents did seem to over do it in the 60s. OK, that’s enough of this recap. Time to start up the brain erasing machine.
Us Weekly is reporting that the stars of “True Blood” Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer were married in Malibu. Reported guests included “True Blood’s” Carrie Preston (Arlene) and Elijah Wood.
Congratulations to the new couple. We’ll celebrate tonight by watching you guys play in blood and guts in this week’s “True Blood.”
“Weeds,” Season 6, Episode 1: “Thwack”
When we last saw the Botwins, Shane had just murdered Pilar with a croquet mallet.
Season 6 premiered last night and picked up right where last season left off. Luckily Shane’s (Alexander Gould) voice is still changing to match last season. Nancy (Mary Louise Parker) freaks out in her normal bored fashion and packs up her and her kids and prepares to hit the road. First she has to stop and pick up Andy’s (Justin Kirk) van.
At Andy’s we find that he didn’t actually flee when his fiance (Alanis Morissette) was about to be murdered. He just ran outside to hide. Nancy saves the day but not Andy’s relationship. Alanis kicks him to the curb so he decides to tag along with Nancy and the boys.
Then they drive a little bit and the episode ends. I know it’s only a 30-minute show, but it was seriously over before it started. I don’t even think I laughed at anything. I mean what was there to laugh at? I’m sorry, but I don’t find teenaged sociopaths funny. I find them sad and scary. And don’t even get me started on Nancy’s mothering skills. She has none. And why is Silas (Hunter Parrish) still tagging along? Isn’t he a grown man now? Shouldn’t he be off to college. Or at least trying to take care of himself?
I’ve loved “Weeds” for most of the show’s run. And I still highly respect it. But from season 4 on, I’ve been nothing but disappointed. And at this point in the show, it seems like it’s already over. This season is screaming “final season.” As it should.
I’m crossing my fingers “Weeds” will make a comeback. But with no Celia (Elizabeth Perkins), I don’t know if that’s possible. I’m holding onto hope, though. But for now, the best thing I can say about “Weeds” is that it comes on before “The Big C.”
“True Blood,” Season 3, Episode 9: “Everything is Broken”
I love “True Blood.” I love horror movies. I love gore. But even I was disgusted with the first five minutes of last night’s “True Blood.” I was literally screaming at the TV during Sookie and Bill’s disgusting shower scene. There’s some things you just shouldn’t do with blood and that was one of them. Gross.
The rest of the episode was good, of course. The fallout from last week’s gay vampire sex that ended in a staking was center stage. It looks like Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) may have single handled started a war between Vamps and humans. I mean, what else can happen after Russell’s on-air rampage? It should be interesting to see how that story plays out.
And does anyone else want the Jason and Crystal storyline to end? It’s going no where. Just make Jason a werewolf already and please get that disgusting, bad-acting meth head off my screen. Jason can do better than that.
I know, you’re looking for an actual recap instead of my bitchy commentary. For the real recap, check this out:
“Mad Men,” Season 4, Episode 4: “The Rejected”
And here I thought the Vietnam War was going to take center focus this season on “Mad Men.” Who knew it was actually going to be the battle for sexual liberation.
We see nude photos rejected by Life Magazine (hence the brief nudity warning before the episode began). We see a focus group of young women melting down because they know men are pigs no matter how pretty they make themselves. We see Don’s secretary Allison, who’s been rejected by him, liberate herself from Don and proclaim it will be interesting working for a woman instead of him. We learn that no one owns Peggy’s vagina; it’s only being rented. And we also get a look inside an underground art house movie (pornography by 1960s standards) party.
It’s subtle, but it’s happening. On one side we see the women freeing themselves from the men. On the other we see the men holding onto them. Pete is acting like he fulfilled his duties as a man by impregnating his annoying wife. And Don can’t be bothered to apologize to anyone, much less a woman.
But that’s all just the subtext. On the top layer, we have ourselves a Peggy (Elisabeth Moss) and Pete (Vincent Kartheiser) show. Peggy meets a lesbian photo editor on the elevator who invites her to the underground party I mentioned earlier. At first I thought Peggy was being naive and would only embarrassingly find out later that she was the object of a woman’s desire. But apparently she got it.
Peggy is clearly the most progressive, free-thinking person at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. She even smokes some grass (or refer — which term is more period appropriate?).
Pete is forced to break the news to his father-in-law that SCDP has to drop the campaign he threw Pete’s way last season. But Pete is delayed when he finds out his wife Trudy is going to have a baby. He acts as if it’s the first time he’s ever fathered a baby, of course. I wonder if his love child with Peggy will ever resurface.
Pete also has a lunch with Ken Cosgrove (Aaron Staton). We finally get to see Ken, whose been in the credits all season. Ken tells him he’s getting married then picks a fight with him as usual. I knew I could count on Ken to give it to Pete.
There’s not much of a Don Draper (Jon Hamm) rundown to do, but I’ll try: Don gets a picture of him and the real Don Draper’s widow. He has an “aww” moment since she’s the only one who seems to bring out his emotions. He drinks a little. Smokes some cigarettes. Feels slight guilt for the way he treated Allison. Remembers he has a penis and crushes the guilt. The end.
There’s been no Betty (January Jones) for two episodes but it looks like we’ll see her next week as she admits she “wants him dead.” I’m sure she’s talking about Don. Or maybe it’s one of her kids. She does seem to hate them. Can’t wait.