Tuesday, June 21, 2016

A Tribute to Anton Yelchin

In the past few weeks, a lot of things have happened. None bigger than the mass murder in Orlando. I want to express so much regarding it. But sometimes I feel like it would be too much, and in the words of Jane Fonda when she accepted her Academy Award in the midst of America's invasion of Cambodia during the War in Vietnam; 'There's a great deal to say, and I'm not going to say it tonight.' As if to say, this is not the right platform for this. And my blog is far too mediocre a platform for any of my thoughts, prayers, and outrage at the horrific tragedy. Though, I would like to take this time to pay tribute to a talent gone far too soon from our lives. 
Last year, I was a publicist for the regional film festival, Cinequest. It was a great experience, and I got to meet and converse with a lot of up and coming filmmakers. Our closing film was Mad Men producer Victor Levin's directorial debut 5 to 7 starring Anton Yelchin. Both were there, and both I met in brief at our closing night soirée. 
I had loved Yelchin's work, as understated as it was in the few films he had made in his short time on this earth. I particularly fell in love with him in the film co-starring Felicity Jones and Jennifer Lawrence; the brilliant and again understated romantic drama; Like Crazy. He gained international acclaim as Pavel Chekhov, the brilliant Russian navigator on the USS Enterprise. He brought new brevity and heart to a rather minor role in a reboot of a classic, where every actor was nervous that they wouldn't live up to their 60's counterparts. 
Yelchin was a very smart kid. I would say man, but he was so young when he undertook the role. I don't know how he prepared for it, but for me, he stole every scene that he was in. But it was the smaller films, the sleeper hits that I first fell in love with him; Charlie Bartlett, House of D, and the aforementioned Like Crazy.

A still from Like Crazy costarring Felicity Jones (also pictured)
To me, it felt like when we lost Heath Ledger. In that, it is a tragic waste. Heath could have gone on to have a career that eclipsed his contemporaries and been eventually compared to the otherwise incomparable Brando. As is the case with Yelchin in my humble opinion. And not just because he's damn talented, but that he was amazingly bright, forthright, and dignified...qualities that are too much amiss in the current slate of Hollywood upstarts. 
Yes, the fact that we're both Jewish emigres from the Russian Federation was kinda cool in a superficial way, but to watch him perform was quite astounding. Whether in high-octane action-packed blockbusters like Star Trek, Star Trek: Into Darkness, or Terminator Salvation, but in everything he did. He was a unique talent and the potential lost on June 19th is a tragedy that is genuinely shattering. 

As Pavel Chekhov, a role which he nailed. Even the original Star Trek crew was proud of him.
Unlike Ledger, who had at least given us performances to cherish like Brokeback Mountain, or The Dark Knight, and my personal favorite; I'm Not There. What's very difficult to reconcile is that I truly believe we hadn't seen yet what Yelchin was capable of gifting to the art of cinema, and now we'll never know. Had this not happened, I could definitely see comparisons between himself and Ryan Gosling, Jeffrey Wright, and eventually perhaps the great Philip Seymour Hoffman, whom we also lost too soon. Too often we see a shooting star, and too often it moves too fast for us to fully appreciate its beauty. Perhaps this metaphor is tired, and Yelchin was more than that. He was a gift to the art of film, and the craft of acting, and we're all left wondering not 'why', but 'what could and would he have been had he had more time.' It's not only a waste, but it's a huge loss. The potential we'll never see, and that potential was enormous, much like his heart. 

Below trailer: 

Below: an interview he did for the Cinequest red carpet last year. 

Monday, June 13, 2016

Bye Bye Chad!

Can you sense the pungent smell of douche?
Yes assholes, I have been binging The Bachelorette. It's a show full of sociopaths that I can use as leverage when my friends tell me I should 'date more'. Oh really friends? The Bachelorette, boom. Shut the fuck up. It's a house of idiots competing for the heart of a bigger idiot. It's almost like a brilliant Monty Python sketch. And hey, if Ben Rothlisberger can admit on national TV that he has viewing parties, I can admit it to the bloggerverse. Sometimes I can't get the alcohol out fast enough, and aside from making me slightly suicidal, it's beautifully ridikidonk. 
Something that I haven't seen usually on primetime is someone that is so outward with their major major sociopathy that they wear it as a badge of honor...or a sash, whatever. Congratulations Chad, the 'luxury real estate agent' you're Mr. Sociopath of 2016. Here's your bouquet of poison ivy, and your sash stained with the blood of orphans. 
Chad's general attitude trying to establish himself as the alpha male. More like alpha tool.
Every time, well not every time, just most of the time when a friend of mine goes through a break up, I bring up something I learned when I was going through a bad break up that a Psych major alerted me to; The Dark Triad. For those of you too lazy to use the hyperlink, it's a trifecta of sociopathy, narcissism, and Machiavellianism. If you don't know that last term...I'm fascinated that you've made it this far in life. Now obviously it doesn't apply to all men, it's just a nice way of saying 'hey whomever broke up with you is a piece of shit and you deserve better and blah blah blah'. It cushions the blow of a break up, even though most of them don't involve divorce, child custody battles, and go as far as 'what am I to do Vera? We brunch at the same place!'
That's something he said to the women he's competing against 25 other guys for...Urly?
Now, Chad (of course his name is Chad) is a shining example of The Dark Triad, and I've come across my share of complete psychos. He's manipulative, he threatens people, he's two faced, and controlling. And just like a sociopath he was able to pull the wool over Bachelorette Jojo's eyes long enough to stay in the house for about 4 weeks. You have to seriously fuck up as a person to be hated by all other 25 dudes in the house like with a passion. 
But with Jojo, his Machiavellianism takes over and he's able to play the lost puppy with a dark past that just wants some love in his life damn it, when he's clearly baby steps away from punching a wall in front of her. Finally someone (I don't know his name, I'm not THAT into the show people) spilled the beans, and she sent him packing. 
Yes, give a rose to the serial killer. I fully support this plan.
Here's the thing though, I think he's a straight up serial killer. Instead of just going back home after Jojo told him to peace out, he comes back to the house Patrick Bateman style with like a thousand yard stare knocking ominously on the windows...and then it flashes to 'to be continued' THANKS ABC, you bastards. I want to see blood spilled. You finally made the show interesting, and now you're leaving me hanging? Not cool.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

David Tennant is All Over Like Netflix Like I Would be All Over David Tennant...Hypothetically

I want...but I can't.
Great news uber nerds! One of your favorite Doctor's from Dr. Who (if he's not your favorite, you can go fuck yourself) has a big career on the biggest online streaming binge watching wreck your life platform. The quirky Scot that stands at about 6'5 (which is technically a giant I think) and always has something really snarky and Scottish to say is literally on every show you can and should binge watch right now. 
I love the English murder mystery genre. The Killing was aiiight, but it got way too bleak, even for a show called The Killing. I needed something to fill my show hole void, and dating...please. Get me another show. So Netflix, in all of their algorithmic wisdom was like well you clearly like to watch shows about multiple homicides and troubled characters. And I was like, yeah you pretty much nailed it, Netflix. Whatcha got? And they gave me Broadchurch. If you haven't checked it out, I'm praying for you. Not only is it a show that rejuvinated Tennant's career as someone besides the Doctor, it is a crossover hit, and I'm not talking genres. It's popular in the UK where it's set, and here stateside. Check it out, seriously. More importantly, his co-star is this brilliant Olivia Colman. The two play DCI's (That's detective chief inspector to you American folk) in the small seaside town of Broadchurch where a bizarre murder (or accident) occurs that shakes up the whole town. Now, this is a trope that gets played out on mmmm every episode of Dateline, but trust me, with Brits at the helm, it's pretty brilliant. Btdubs, Olivia Colman might be the greatest woman ever, check her out as, again, a DCI on the Tom Hiddleston mini-series The Night Manager

Tennant as DCI Alec Hardy with Olivia Colman as DCI Ellie Miller.
After that show was over for me, and I was about to enter another show-hole; deep depression, day-drinking, you get the picture. Netflix throws something else my way. This one is not that great, but I've never seen David Tennant in such a light. It stars one of my favorite actresses; the understated Emily Watson as the wife to Tennant's some kind of higher up British politician (I don't know how British parliament works). The show is called you guessed it...The Politician's Husband. Tennant is blonde, he's aggressive, and not in the cool-I've never tried this before-kind of way; in the straight up I'm going to ruin your life and make you cry for days...way. But it's really the blonde that upsets me the most. Anyway, that's only 3 episodes. So it's like a hold-over. 

Don't know what Tennant's penchant for purple is, but I dig it...just no more BLONDE!
But there's Netflix again, kind of like my show-hole sponsor, was back with a 'not to worry' there's another one. And at this point I'm thinking; who's playing a shitty joke on me? I started (for god knows what reason) watching Marvel's Jessica Jones, and I'm in a full on binge. Now, I don't read comics, I have no shame admitting that. My dorkiness only goes so far. Krysten Ritter starts as the eponymous character who's a brunette badass with a heart of gold and the strength of ten men. I know, I wish she was my best friend too. She has a dark past though, if you've read the comics, first of all, dork! Second of all this is going to be very redundant but her past includes a very mysterious man in purple (gah!) who has the power to control people's thoughts, and for one time did her's. 
Marketing still for Marvel's Jessica Jones ...yes it's sexy. I think so too. 
She escaped miraculously from his mental kunfu grip and is now on a mission to help those also afflicted. It's not my cup of tea, but let's face facts. I will watch a Tennant show when it comes up. His name is Kilgrave, and if he told me to jump into traffic, I might just do it. 
I know it's only a matter of time before another Tennant show makes the rounds and I can't wait. Or at least put Olivia Colman in more stuff, because she's earned her stripes. Thank you Netflix!

Also check on my previous post that includes a game of who'd you rather with Tennant included here.

Happy binging! 

Quasi - Trailers below: 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Matter of Time...Always.

Speaks for itself.
Let's be real. Were any of us rooting for these two to settle down and make horrifically basic babies? Half country bumpkin, half awkward trust fund do-nothing? Too soon? Not really because we really did see it all coming. And if you didn't you're a liar. I've been of the opinion now for a while that Taytay dates solely for the purpose of material. And hey she's young, I mean by Southern standards, she's an old maid, but since when was she actually country? Those cowboy boots were more hipster than Nashville. 
Hey remember when this was 'texting'? Me neither, and definitely not you Taylor.
That lady needs some counseling, I mean we all do, but that's not always how you deal with grief, and boyfriend problems. And if you lead a real life (which she doesn't) are not real grief. Get on some Lexapro, take up pottery, and please stop air your period-blood soaked dirty laundry into all of our ears. It got old right around the John Mayer era. Look at bands like ABBA, Fleetwood Mac, Sonny and Cher for chrissake. Rumors (by Fleetwood Mac) was an album made by and for people cheating on each other. It's one of the greatest albums of all time, and 'Don't Stop' was President Bill Clinton's campaign song. Can you picture a Swift song being in a campaign? Didn't think so. 

One album. 11 songs. Perfect. Done and done.
You are far from writing about real heartache sister. Please give it a rest. You're not Billie Holiday, Etta James, or even Amy Winehouse. 'Back in Black' is towers above any garbage about the grab bag of celebrities that you've ever dated. And that's one song...against your entire career. Sorry love. And I hate to say this but it's what we're all thinking...Maybe it's not them, maybe it's you sugar plum. If you've had a bad break up with every single person you've dated maybe you're the problem. 
I will give you this one - you finally found a teensy bit of heart, and a really cool beat (which you sampled from an 80's synthesizer) in 'Out of the Woods' off of 1989 (I can't say that without gagging, excuse me). And it's a very beautiful song, reflecting on how we all as women have felt in our relationship, not just us in high school or even middle school. It wasn't 'why won't he call me back? This totally sucks, I can't even' which is basically the stripped down narrative to most of her music. it's written about a not-so -secret crush of mine Harry Styles (formerly of One Direction) Go ahead and judge, I reject your judgement. He, in turn, wrote 'Perfect' about her ...allegedly.

'And if you're looking for someone to write your break up songs about, baby I'm perfect' Nailed it. 
Please spare us a Calvin Harris record. Courtney Love even refused to do a 'widow record' after Kurt Cobain died, even though there was a lot of pressure from her label. So how about putting that laundry back in a dark closet and just generally keeping your mouth shut for a while. And I've seen your interviews. Don't tell me songs were 'sometimes too hard to write' like you're Dylan Thomas or somebody. You're a millenial who serial dates. There's about a billion of them. God help you if you ever get a Tinder account. Actually that might be unintentionally campy and amazing. Please do a Tinder date horror story record. I am begging you now. It will be way more interesting than the whiney basic stuff you've been shoving down our throats for over 6 years now.  

Below clips: 

Taylor at the height of her pretentiousness, totally ripped off Lana Del Rey's 'Born to Die'. 

Amy Winehouse explains the lyrics to the haunting 'Back to Black' produced by Mark Ronson. 

One Direction's performs 'Perfect' at the AMA's. Probably the only song about Taytay to throw some shade. Because most people just don't give a shit anymore. 

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

What is Hashtag Basic?

Unless you've been living under a rock, you probably have heard the term 'basic' or it's more prevalent incarnation; 'basic bitch' applied to someone, usually someone you're not a big fan of. I think 'basic' stretches to much more than pumpkin spiced latte's and Cosmo tips. Sadly, it probably applies to most if not all millenials. As someone born in 1984 (there I said it), I was born kind of on the cusp, and don't really know where to place myself. The generation before me was awesome; Gen-X? Everything Portlandia is nostalgic about? Yeah great. Grunge music, clown college, contentment at being unambitious, sleeping until 11...ok now I'm just playing the theme song in my head. Then came us...people born in the early-mid 80's. I think they called us Gen-Y because there was no term for us, and we really didn't have a place in this world. On that logic, I would say millenials are anyone born in 1990 and up. The reasoning for this being, those of us that came into this world in the decade preceding it remember a lot of shit that seems totally foreign to let's say...Kendall Jenner (ps, if you follow her on Instagram, you're basic). Ask her to dial a rotary phone. I bet you it would be hilarious. 
Mean Girls ...porn for Basic Bitches
The millenial generation is one of entitlement. It's very much the me-me-me generation. Selfies were born from technology made for millenials, and as much as Mark Zuckerberg himself is not a millenial, Facebook is definitely a product for them; those starved for attention and a need to broadcast almost everything. 
I remember newspapers, I remember internet cafés, phone books, caller ID, etc. That doesn't mean I'm not basic. I don't follow Kendall, but I do follow Gigi Hadid, and yes I use Instagram for selfies. Crucify me. I think basic stretches beyond going to Coachella rather than the Met Opera House, reading Cosmo instead of The New York Times, and pumpkin everything. 
Going back to my generation, if I could label it ANYTHING, it would be the Fucked Generation. We really were. By the time most of us graduated college, the economy was lodged in the toilet, and a year later it had been flushed down along with many hopes and dreams. We overpaid for our overpriced education so we could have a degree from an elite school that no one deems anything more than 'fancy degrees', and no amount of Instagram selfies, viral videos, or followers on Pinterest were going to save us. Tuition was at an all time high, and employment was at an all time low. A lot of us took jobs that we were way too good for with hardly any salary, but I digress. 
I think this excludes us from being basic because we have more important shit right now, and a lot of us (myself excluded because fuck it) are raising families and have no time to think of the perfect hashtag...I remember when that was just called a pound sign yeesh. 
Entitlement is not in our blood because we had to scrap for everything in adult life. We thereby have some sense of dignity. Living in the epicenter of the tech capital, Silicon Valley I'm subject to a lot of basic. It's more of a generational thing than a lifestyle thing. And by the way, if you're a hipster who brews their own beer, and only drinks PBR because you think you know what 'bourgeoise' means...guess what you're BASIC. And stop throwing around the term 'artisanal' like you give a shit. Who cares if the coffee comes from a ridiculous contraption at a corner store in Brooklyn hand pressed for 3 hours by some tattoo'd 40-year-old who loves being a professional barista or from a Bodega on Crenshaw, just drink it.
An artisanal basic bitch hipster, who dresses like a hobo but has a trust fund and spends all of his money on anachronistic Sherlock Holmes pipes. And those mom jeans? 400$.
I am aware I'm coming off like I'm saying that I did things before they were cool, which is the ultimate hipster battle cry, but in my various interactions, I'm lucky not to have choked on too much basic. Once in a while, I stumble upon a basic bitch who tells me that she went to Coachella because she got to dress up all 'bohemian and stuff'. And it hurts my heart. 
Side note: I especially hate how Taylor Swift who's latest album breaks records every day (or used to) called it 1989 even though she spent 5 days in 1989. As if to escape from her basicness. That's an insult to everyone who was actually born in the 80's. 1989? Really? Did ya see the Berlin Wall come down? Didn't think so. Stop trying to resurrect an era you know nothing about. And your music videos are basic AF, just so you know.

Yes, I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when this happened. Do you? Or did you watch it on The People vs. OJ Simpson?
So before you go on how you 'can't even', remember that there were people whom you call 'old' who are in their 30's now who remember a time when they had so much student debt that they couldn't even, and that was an actual struggle. I'm reminded of the Louis CK joke about how people in their 20's stand around thinking if they just stand around and hate their job someone will appear and be like 'well let's make you a director then, that's how that works'. And no I don't want to go wine tasting with you. I know you make more money than I do, but I've been to Italy, and to France, and to Napa, and I know the difference between a Bordeaux and a Burgundy. Unless you're paying. So if you're reading this, and you're basic, get your butt back on Pinterest. Those weddings to your imaginary boyfriend yet aren't going to plan themselves. Oooof, that was a lot of shade but I do feel better. 

Below clips to better illustrate my point:

Monday, May 30, 2016

A New Film About The 'C' Word That You Need to See

Still from The Cancer Conflict
Many moons ago (last year), while I was the publicist for a festival in the Bay Area, I chanced on a really amazing filmmaker. I chanced on quite a few amazing talents, though this guy stood out in many ways. He was hilarious; a presence. And his film,  How to Lose Jobs and Alienate Girlfriends was his own brand of comedy. It was so unique in fact, that I made it a point to promote it to the fullest of my abilities, and no matter which interview I sent him to, he managed to kill it, to no surprise on my part. I got to know him better over the run of the festival and I'm very happy to say that we remained friends.

Director Thomas Meadmore on set.
He recently told me about a new doc that he's working on. In contrast to the aforementioned film, it takes a rather serious tone. I have to be honest (cover your ears, Thomas) when I first heard the title, my gut instinct was 'well interesting, but how do you plan to make this different?' And it didn't take me long after he sent me the trailer to figure it out. Here it is in his own words: 

The front line experience of what it's like going through cancer is horrendous. I had no idea. I thought chemo was like showing up and getting an injection that made you vomit afterward. But the emotional stress people experience astounded me. Often this stress is created by the uncertainty of where their life is suddenly going, what choices to make on how to treat their cancer, the treatment itself, or even the process behind co-ordinating it all. It's not so simple and going through this when trying to heal seems counter intuitive. This film is as much about these emotional challenges as much as the treatments they are taking.
There seems to be a divide, a war or sorts going on between western and eastern medicine, especially when it comes to cancer. With the western system struggling financially and the treatments themselves often creating problems where its argued they can be helped, and with chronic illness putting immense pressure on acute based systems, it makes logical sense to look at how alternatives could work 'with' orthodox, especially in a preventative sense. I don't know what the solution is long term, but I see a strong case for conversation and I'm hoping this film will be a catalyst for this.

I am a pretty harsh critic, probably because I'm so freakin' smart. (eye roll emoji), and there are few people I chance upon whom when they succeed it comes as no shock to me, because although a lot of this industry is based on dumb luck, there is some sincere talent that shines through. Such is the case with filmmaker Thomas Meadmore. His style and his eye are both incredibly distinct. His tenacity and passion shines through, and the proof is in the pudding. And the pudding is delicious. 

Another haunting still from the film. 

This new film promises one that will not only be thought-provoking and profound, and unlike most retrospectives you're likely to get about something horrible that we'd rather keep out of sight and out of mind unless directly or indirectly affected by it, it lures you in with a stripped down narrative of the courage and grace of the human spirit. It somewhat reminds me of a film I recently watched called We Were Here. It's a film about the AIDS pandemic, of which there have been many. Many concern themselves with  everything surrounding the crisis; the ineffectiveness of the Reagan government, the ACT UP movement, the AZT trials, the NAMES quilt...the list goes on. But this film reaches out and grabs you at your core and almost electrifies you. It's about what is the most important about these tragedies; the affected people themselves; their struggle, and their triumph, even if they end up losing the fight, the fight is valiant. That's what comes through in Meadmore's new documentary. It's an important film made by a very impassioned director. Where's the downside? 

The trailer is not up yet, but to give you a better idea of what you're in for here are some clips of Meadmore and his prior work: 

Below, an interview I set up for Thomas and fellow filmmaker from the festival Jack James (pats thyself on back) 

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Who are your long lost BFF's on The People's Couch?

Bravo in all of it's infinite wisdom has realized that its own roster of shows is far too ridiculous, as well as most of the crap that's out there let's just be real. So to cushion the blow that you get from every cliffhanger on Empire or every hair pulling fight on the Real Housewives, it has provided you with the snarkiest TV audience groups that can watch all of it with you, and say out loud what we're all feeling. It's difficult for me to convince my regular three dimensional friends to watch Southern Charm with me...ironically, even if I throw in a drinking game and a quesadilla. I guess my friends just hate fun. I didn't mean that, I love you all, but can we not hike like one day of the weekend? I like to spend my Saturday's horizontal shame-eating slices of Havarti cheese, and ragging on what The Bachelorette is wearing...in my bathrobe. So to Bravo, thank you for manufacturing people that feel the same, and getting so damn meta about your damn self. If you've watched the show, you already have a favorite couch group, but I'll provide you with them and some choice quotes. I love them all, don't ask me to choose. 

L to R: Rashawn, Princella, and Lamont. They are hilarious. It's Princella that usually has the over the top reaction, and Lamont always just side-eyes her. He's the best at throwing wife shade. 
Amanda and Kenya. Best friends, they finish each others sentences and always are en pointe with heavy criticism. Out of everyone they are the least sarcastic ...they didn't even have much to say during the Eurovision Awards...I mean urly? 
Teddy, Ayn and Sue...BFF's. Like literally. You would think they are very proper and prim, but you would not believe what comes out of their mouths. Where did you learn to speak that way young lady?
Blake, Scott, and Emerson. These three friends reminds me basically of my 20's. So. Much. Shade. But in the world's snarkiest way. When Whitney Sudler-Smith, resident douche canoe on Southern Charm called Craig a 'cocksucker' dear Emerson (sincerely confused) quipped: 'Since when was that a bad thing?' I heart them forever.
The Resnicks. The family closest to my heart. Three sisters (no their not Haim) and their dad Joe. The poor man has to deal with so much millenial angst and screaming at the top of their lungs every time any one on Vanderpump Rules makes out...which is quite often. 
Julie and Brandy...and their three adorable chihuahuas. They have to be my personal favorite, props to them for saying what I was about to say EVERY DAMN TIME. After watching the limo gimmicks on the new Bachelorette Brandy had no issue with saying that's why the show is great, because it's all sociopaths. You go girl. 
Sisters Cathy and Destiny are both certified to make citizens arrest. No idea why that's important but they are the queens of overreactions. And it's awesome. 

Below, some clips: 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

I Reject This Rose

Jojo Fletcher, not good enough for the last bachelor, but good enough to fight off 25 douches.
Alright cats and dogs...when I'm feeling a little down slash bored, I'll pop a Xanax and watch The Bachelorette. I have no problem admitting that. And this season, although it's only been the first episode in, is none stop bananas. It's so unintentionally camp it might actually be genius. It's like Valley of the Dolls without the fun stuff: pills, boobies, and musical numbers. Although there's a lot of boozing it up. I immediately loved how all of the guys in the house started drinking like famished water buffalos because they'd never seen a girl as beautiful as Jojo Fletcher...the Bachelorette. She got dumped by the last bachelor ergo she's the new bachelorette. But seriously fellas? The most beautiful woman ever? I mean she's fine, but she's not Charlize Theron. She's your standard basic bitch with a really annoying giggle, sparkly dresses, and your average passé balayage. 
Someone get this girl a water hose. 
But the guys vying for her eternal love (because that is something that definitely exists in the reality TV universe) are perhaps the most hilarious bag of strays the producers could find. First, they fling the athletes at her, and by athletes I mean guys who failed to make it to the pros because of a 'troubled past', like that trope isn't getting tired. Then the about 10 or so 'real estate developers'. And then, my favorite part; the freaks. There's a guy dressed as Santa (awesome), A half Chinese half Scottish guy who came in a kilt, which I think is hot considering I spent a year in Scotland, but he immediately gets shade from everyone in the tapered Men's Warehouse suits. My favorite is the 'professional Canadian'. I shit you not, under his name, where your occupation goes the producers chose to write 'Canadian'. Because those are so goddamn rare in the continental United States. It's like a white tiger. The limo gimmicks are the best, I DVR those. This time they were pretty boring. I think one guy threw an internet meme at her that fell flat on its face, and another 'bro' made her drink wine from the bottle...classy.
Usually there's like one or so hot mess the first night that immediately gets eliminated, I mean this isn't Rock of Love: Bus, but it seemed like that first night they were all knocking them back. It was kind of like watching my worst nightmare in HD. You know that one guy at the bar, who's so drunk and full of himself he sounds like Matthew McConaughey with a speech impediment and starts to mansplain your life to you even though he just met you? Yeah it was like 25 clones of THAT GUY, poor Jojo. 
Ok now sit on the plexiglass, and try to look as pretentious as possible. Yes, creepy relentless smile, good...also we love that you're into sparkly Taylor Swift dresses from 6 years ago.
Alas, I don't know what she's thinking, based on how she talks I imagine it's just like butterflies and unicorns in her cabeza, so she kept the drunkies, the mansplainers, and the too-boring-to-be-called-anything-but-douche-lords. Why am I throwing so much shade? For all of the ironic fun I get from watching garbage and texting my friends about how garbage the garbage is, this is ultimately what's wrong with the world. It was a fun little reality gimmick, but now it's going on it's like 20th or so season? I mean there's a guy on the show who's 'job' is 'professional Bachelor superfan', I don't know how he's going back to his family without a disguise after this. Yeah, it's fun to watch, just like eating whipped cream with a spoon sounds like a good idea; it's a nice substitute for feeling your feelings. But, I'd rather take a healthy dose of a Bravo show that doesn't take itself so goddamn seriously and makes people believe they'll actually live happily ever after because of the show, because magic exists. At least with the Real Housewives, I can laugh with them and enjoy myself. This is perhaps the ultimate waste of time. It's basically the Taco Bell of reality TV. It looks fine on the outside but for the love of god, don't think too hard about what's inside.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Tig Notaro. The Funniest Comedienne You've Never Heard Of.

Tig Notaro at Bumbershoot
So around 6:00am, when I usually leave for the day, to wake up, I've got coffee in hand, an ambivalent attitude towards waking life, and my Pandora shuffle on. Not proud of this, but a lot of my channels are stand up comedy-centric. Patton Oswalt, Kumail Nanjiani, Iliza Shlesinger etc. On one such occasion, someone came on my shuttle who's voice, delivery and punchlines seemed totally unique to me, even though at that point I'd heard it all. 
I looked down at my shuffle and it told me it was playing a segment from Tig Notaro's special, called 'Taylor Dane'. And let me tell you I almost doubled over laughing. Her routine was unlike anything I had heard before. I know a lot of writers, a lot of comics, and they all govern their routines by the idea that there is a long build up to a punch line. The greater the punch line, the more elaborate the build up. Tig seemed to speak just as if she was having a conversation, in a very recognizable, 'so what' delivery style, as if she was having a personal conversation with you, and not trolling for laughs. My father always used to say that it was the person with nothing to say that projected the loudest, and when the person who actually knew what they were talking about started to speak, they always did it softly and slowly, so that everyone brought their own vigor down so they could hear the words. Such is the case with Tig Notaro. 
Tig's album (Good One) now available on iTunes and Spotify
I didn't know anything about her at the time, so I did my wiki research, and turns out this woman, in her early 40's had been diagnosed with a very aggressive form of breast cancer. I can't remember how much time she was given, but it wasn't a lot. She had an act to do at Largo in Los Angeles, and instead of canceling, being the bold brash force that she was decided to go out there and just talk about it. In the best and most humorous way you can do. It's perhaps the ballsiest thing I've heard a performer do. 'Good evening, hello. I have cancer, how are ya?' the set starts. Many of her comic friends were in the audience, Sarah Silverman, Zach Galifianakis among them, and even they couldn't believe their ears. Her performance that night was instantly considered legendary and overnight this fringe comedienne had become a sensation. She was interviewed by everyone and their mother, and shone a light on the absolute hell that it is to try to be funny in the face of perhaps the most devastating thing that can happen to someone. 
Tig and her wife Stephanie.
Within some time, she had a double mastectomy and removed all traces of the cancer that was ravaging her body. She also got married to a lovely women who played her love interest in In a World... 
Netflix (bless them) has recently started to stream a documentary about her simply called...you guessed it; Tig. In it, she chronicles everything that I just told you about, compounded with the sorrow of losing her mother and trying to conceive one with her wife although taking hormones was in her words 'like throwing a match on the fire' of the dormant cancer that had ravaged her body for years. 
Although she's not on many people's radar, every comic (in particular Louis CK) have nothing but the utmost admiration and respect for Tig, and aside everything that she's been through and is still going through, she is still one of the funniest comics that's out there. Not just women comics. I immediately recognized it, and I hope you will to. Gawd, I never get this sincere or mushy about a topic, and I'd like to lighten the mood. So watch some of the clips below. FWI the Conan O'Brien bit was NOT staged. And check out the aforementioned film on Netflix. 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Teflon Don (ald Trump)

Don't point that phallic thing at me, sir. 
For you millennials out there, the title harkens to 'The Teflon Don' which was mob boss of the Gambino crime family John Gotti's nickname. Get it? Because nothing would stick to him. It seems that way with the Republican heir apparent these days don't it? Even the New York Times Article about how Trump treats women, like we needed any proof, seems to be doing nothing to deflect the bold trajectory of this all-consuming comet headed towards the earth with one goal; to destroy it. 
I promised myself from the get-go that I would not get myself involved on Social Media, or otherwise regarding this particular circus of an election. I watch the debate, read the twitter feeds, think 'huh that's funny' and go to bed. For someone loaded with very important opinions (eye roll emoji) it was hard, probably because I like most people did not take any of it seriously. Circus side show, oh look it's the clown with chainsaws for tits (Trump) how amusing...ok bedtime. 
And now, I don't particularly feel any differently. I haven't hash-tagged anything with 'I'm with her' but I'll just let you know right now that I'm Hillary all the way to the bitter end. Sorry Bernie bleeding hearts. But at this point, I've changed sides all together, I'm not voting in this mockery of American democracy. I mean we might as well be in the Soviet Union as far as I'm concerned, where we have only one candidate although we do have the vote, and everyone gets fucked and not in the good way. 
I don't need to read you Trump's wrap sheet, you probably already know it; misogynist, neophyte, xenophobe, homophobe, racist...sounds like the line up for Politically Incorrect.  Alas, it's one person. 

Donald Trump vs. Megyn Kelly, who wins? Who cares, we win. 
But you know what? At least it's not boring. He speaks in sound bites, and everything he says is so ridiculous we can't help but pay attention. In this country we prefer the most abhorrent person to a boring person. Look at Mitt Romney. Snooze. We like to be aroused, angered, and incensed. Not bored out of our minds. And Trump is riding that wave, as far as he can take it before it crests...wait I can come up with a better metaphor: He's riding that psychotic horse to its burning stable. 
Even the tough as nails ice queen Megyn Kelly has somehow drank the Trump kool aid. She's the one that Trump said was bleeding out of her eyes and ...other places remember that? She used to be a bona fide resident bitch of Fox News and she was awesome at it. She was the queen of epic shut downs and was a personal hero of mine, even though I'm a democrat. Now she's all chummy with Trump because he's gone more 'presidential' and won't make fun of her lady mensies. 

I am curious as to how much money Trump paid Lorne Michaels to host SNL, I'm thinking its in the millions. Or as Trump calls it 'walking around money'.
I have a different plan. If Trump gets elected (he won't), I've already started stockpiling water and gasoline for the apocalypse after which we'll have to live a Mad Max, Road Warrior type life. I plan to be ready. It's not enough that Trump reminds me almost exactly of Immortan Joe, and I for one do not plan to be one of his Real Housewives of the Citadel. Give me a robot arm, shave my head and let me piss on his legacy. I'd do that right now, if I wasn't in fear of one of Trump's handler's strong arming me to the ground...remember that? Again, nothing sticks. 
I really do have a lot to say, but there's no point in saying it. It all sounds like complaining and disbelief. Even the egg heads at CNN are scratching their heads. How could this happen? I don't know man. A member of the 1% who freely steps over dead bodies to build his ridiculous towers on, hit women, and thinks that every Muslim is in ISIS is now the front runner to be the ruler of the free world? 
Ok...at least it's not boring. How can I stay so calm you ask? Think of Justine from Lars von Trier's Melancholia. A 'rogue planet' is coming to destroy earth and she's all 'this might as well happen, adult life is already so goddamn weird'. One part of me is waiting to do the 'told ya so' dance to those people who don't think Hillary can beat Trump, but there's no point in fretting about it now. Have a mojito and enjoy yourself, it may be the last one you get. Oh what a day! What a lovely day!

Below some humor...you're gonna need it.