Monday, December 31, 2007

What I like about TV, part 2!

Let's get back to the best in TV for 2007, picking up with the top 5.....


While most channels are veering away from the standard sitcom and moving more towards hour long location dramas or multi set comedy programs, CBS has figured out away to make the forever used live in front of a studio audience sitcom fresh again. With How I Met Your Mother, Two and a Half Men and The New Adventures of Old Christine, CBS managed to bring the understated risque of sitcom's past to the very stale format in the early 2000s. This year had all three of these programs hitting their strides and bringing the laughter back. I can only hope that other network see how easily it can happen and bring back the format to their network lineups.

I am a popaholic. Ok there I said it and if you are a reader of this site, you will be all too familiar with this addiction of mine. While 2007 was the biggest year so far in regards to celeb bashing blogs, the TV screen's satire programs got bitchier, snarkier and well god damn funny. Unfortunately, I am an avid watcher of TV, which means on a given day I can either get sucked into an SVU marathon on USA or Real Housewives mess on Bravo. What I love about Best Week Ever and The Soup, is they discuss the stuff I want to at the end of the week. And with abundant paparazzi coverage all of the fools in Hollywood are receiving, its refreshing to find two TV shows who have no problem making fun of everything. BWE manages to mock the weeks events in pop culture with local comedians and 2007 mainstays, like Sanjaya. And I have to thank the executives over at E! for bringing back the Talk Soup format of past years and mocking even their own programming. And if it wasn't for Joel McHale and the staff over at the Soup, I would have never fallen in love with Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston, heard about Orpah's vajayjay and or found this little gem:


I am not sure if it was my sincere interest in finally expanding my culinary tricks past macaroni and cheese, but I was all about chef shows this year. Anthony Bourdain will always stick out as the rock star within a very large chef pool. He laughs at vegetarians, drinks, smokes ( well used to) and doesn't mind trying anything at least once. With his program, No Reservations on the Travel Channel, Bourdain travels the globe while showcasing the local delicacies and embracing a bit of culture on the way. It was because of this man I found myself renting "Kitchen Confidential", an adorable flop of a comedy starring the always wicked Bradley Cooper, reading up on coq au vin and purchasing a chef's knife from Japan for my boyfriend's Christmas gift. The man makes cooking look cool. On the other side, you have the best season of Top Chef, lead by the way too good looking Padma Lashimi, which had the creme de le creme of cuisine as guest judges and a really talented group of chef's competing for the op prize. Also, there was no Marcel, which is enough reason for me to watch a program. Top Chef helped me realize that cooking can be interesting and that people who are the best chefs are those who can think on their feet and make a meal out of anything. This year, I also found myself watching way more Food Network and finding out what the heck is semi-homemade cooking and who really is the top Iron Chef. With the enrollment up in culinary education programs, I can definitely say that I am not the only one getting hooked into the culinary culture.

Officially stating this first, I am in love with Larry David and he can pretty much do no wrong in my eyes, well other then Sour Grapes. The sixth season of Curb Your Enthusiasm began with the crumbling of the marriage between Larry and Cheryl, which resembled David's real life. The caricature of his life this season was amazing, as he could blatantly mock the liberal tendencies of his real wife, Cheryl David. The last two minutes of this program could have been the best moments on TV all year, with Larry falling in love with his house guest , played by Vivica A. Fox and his impromptu family, The Blacks. While David said this could be the last year for his HBO program, I can not see him giving up on the opportunity to utilize his "new family" with the classic inappropriateness of Larry. For those who bashed this episode, I feel sorry that you can see how wonderful subtle way Larry David was able to get back at his ex with season six. I hope that this show will continue to make me laugh at the comfortableness that is Larry for years to come. Here it is again, the best moments of TV this year.

1. 30 ROCK

Let's just say it, this is the best comedy on television right now. Tina Fey has managed to make the behind the scenes tomfoolery occurring on the fictional program over at Rockefeller Center the funniest workplace ever!!! With the over the top republican/waspishness of Alec Baldwin, the vacant celeb focused nonsense of Jane Krakowski and indescribably ridiculous funniness of Tracy Morgan, 30 Rock allows quirkiness to override sensibility in the most perfect way. Liz Lemon, the character who could have only been produced by Rhoda and Mary, makes the lonely single woman life of working ladies in NYC affable and well, I hate to say it, realistic. This show manages to find the most perfect one liners and story lines keeps developing and getting better. NBC's strongest used to be The Office and while I still love the program, 30 Rock is bringing the strangeness of Arrested Development to TV again, which I missed so much! If the WGA strike does not stop soon, I might just have to watch the "American Race" neighbor episode again and again. I also love this show because it represents Little Chechnya (or Long Island City) on a major network. It's awesome to know that a lady is behind some of the funniest moments on TV nowadays and I will follow Liz Lemon to a second location any day!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Splitsville - Sean and Robin Wright Penn

These are one of these breakups in Hollywood that always bum me out. Sean and Robin Wright Penn announced through their spokesperson exclusively to People yesterday that they are separating. The actors have been married for 11 years, but were together for seventeen. They have two children together, fourteen year-old Hopper Jack and sixteen year-old Dylan Frances.

No word as of yet for the reason behind the breakup, but hopefully its one of those amicable "we still love each other as people" divorces. Now don't get me wrong, I am sure it is quite difficult to be married to Sean Penn, as he is on the more "dramatic" side of life, but I really thought this couple was in it for the long haul. These breakups also make me weirded out because now we have to see these two dating other people. I mean as long as Sean doesn't start escorting nineteen year old models to premieres, we are fine.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

What I like about TV!!!!

So let's just say I am in a much better mood today then I was yesterday. Not sure if it was the realization that this holiday actually went off without a hitch or family breakdown, but I am very excited to get back to my little old posting duties and bring you what I consider the best stuff that happened this year on TV and unfortunately the worst 5 things on TV this year.

Before WGA strike of 2007, the fall season was pretty good. There were a lot of gems that occurred in early 2007 too, so let's get to the first half of the top 10 in TV this year. Not sure if they are in any particular order, but here we go.


As a fan of Lost, I was as mad as everyone else when the show seemed to lose its focus in the third season, which began in the fall of 2006. With the emergence of new characters and constant repetition of previously begun plots, most fans became fatigued at the possibility of figuring out all that the island had to offer. And just when it seemed that no end to the madness was in sight, they brought it back. What the writers on this show are always able to do is incredibly important to a program that needs continued suspense and that is create lulls. Without the lulls and quiet on the island, suspense can not be sustained. If every 45 minute of the episode was filled with huge twists and turns, what the hell can a viewer get from the program? As much as people complain, if they were not able to follow the path of questions to answers in the show, we would all have quit watching it a long time ago. LOST manages to create mystery within mystery and presenting the cast with a false sense of security, which is incredibly difficult to do with. While watching the Others battle the Others with the survivors, you were able to see that these people can survive living on this island. We were also presented with the fact that people have grown up here, so they aren't that deserted are they? The fall of "Ben", Locke's further disgrace and Jack's return to leader were all favorite parts. We were sad to see Charlie and Eko depart, but at least it did prove that not all can survive the darkness of the island, manmade and not. With the season finale showing us that some of our friends do get off that island, we know that this upcoming season can only present us with more answers to the important questions. But is just me or would more questions along with way really be so bad? Whatever will be said about this program, I have to agree with Stephen King and say that TV doesn't get better then this. Thank god Season 4 is just around the corner.

Project Runway is a perfect example of how something can be done and done well. And since it took them two seasons to get back on the air, I knew this season would definitely be a hit or miss. Thankfully, it is a wonderful hit, with some of the programs best designers to date. While the show could definitely deal with a bit less drama, health woes and that crying dude, its best moments are brighter then those in the past. My favorite part so far and I hope it continues is that the correct people have gone home so far. And with so many strong contenders, the final three is still eluding to me. With the challenges so difficult this early on, I can't wait to see what is produced next year, when the show returns to continue out the season. And hopefully, this season will have enough designers who make an impression in the actual fashion world.


Bravo was incredibly smart to follow this comedienne with a camera and document the self-professed D-Listers life. First, she is brutally honest about herself, second, very funny and lastly, she is incredibly brave. Watching Kathy isn't like watching a celebrity, but closer to like watching a friend. This season presented enough hardships for her with the break up of her marriage, searching for work and the sickness and untimely death of her father. We learned a great deal about Ms. Griffin and not in the "legs wide open way" that the rest of Los Angeles dwellers were giving the public. She showed that funny does have its fair share of hurt and that you can't do it all alone. But while she was going through turmoil, Kathy always seemed to have someone to turn to, which makes it easier to watch the comedienne. And when your staff seems to enjoy your company, we can get the sense you definitely are a real person, especially with the Tivoing of Oprah! While she is gaining a position on the ranks of celebrityhood, I am not sure she will ever forget where she came from and thats refreshing. The Academy finally rewarded her hard work with an Emmy and she of course managed to make a huge deal with her acceptance speech. With the ridiculous events that followed her "Suck it Jesus!" speech, Griffin proved that she can stir up trouble even when the cameras aren't following her. With her love life on the upswing and her career at its highest, I can't wait to see what the next chapter in this lovely lady's life will present us.

7. JIM & PAM
"The Office" continues to be one of the strongest comedies on the air in the past few years and what makes it great is the winning ensemble. Most of us have had the nutty boss, crazy cubical mate and office crush and this show manages to bring it to life with a true flair. But while most comedies are terrified of bringing together the unrequited love couples for fear of losing that tangible chemistry, this program is not. After three seasons of watching Jim and Pam coo over each other in all sorts of situations, we finally got to see the cute couple be just that - a couple. It's always been a "them against the office" mentality, so the official coupling doesn't really change that. The exchange of looks over their desks doesn't need to stop and we can finally stop wondering when these two are going to get together. What I am more interested in (and hopefully will be able to see it before I'm 50) to see what their exes think of the coupling. Let's see what Roy thinks now his suspicions are confirmed.


In the tradition of HBO programming, Flight of the Conchords managed to bring a fresh breath of air to TV. The show that follows the misadventures of a performance group from New Zealand and their attempt to "make it" in New York manages to find another dimension in comedy. Jermaine and Bret, along with their manager Murray and number one fan Mel, discuss their band more then they perform and most music numbers, at least one in each episode, are merely continuation of the plot. The "actual band" started as a stand up/folk act and the quirkiness of that description follows them here. I am not sure if I am more in love with the fact that they eat dinner with men who robbed them, buy leather suits to be "more rock" or sing with David Bowie in their dreams, but for anyone who is looking for an irreverent comedy that showcases the bitterness of an unsuccessful career in NY with the hilarity of a "coming to America" mentality will love it. Oh and if you like to laugh, you will love it too!

Stat tuned for the continuation of the BEST of TV in 2007 tomorrow....And we will be sacking the worst programming too!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

What we have learned from 2007....

Apologies to my faithful readers, all 35 of you, for my lackluster posting recently. I have to be honest with you all and say I am about as BORED as possible with entertainment news nowadays, one might even say disenchanted. If I see another picture of Paris Hilton frolicking on a beach, Spears driving erratically, Lohan walking into a party and the countless other has beens and not so spectacular celebs we have all grown obsessed with this year, I might have to get sick again.

As I grow wiser and more tired of that god damn WGA strike, I find my tolerance for bullshit news about Heidi and Spencer, "I Love Crabs New York" ad any big ass daughter of murder defenders dying out. I, like most Americans, could give a crap about the Beckhams, that big boobed chick Jordan or any other nonsense that the UK is churning out on the pop charts. I prefer quality British musicians, like Morrissey, Dave Gahan, Oasis and Blur. If you want to talk about a well deserved reunion for the fans, it ain't the Spice Girls, it's Damon Albarn and Graham Coxon. I know I might sound mad, but damn it, I am! I have gone through quality television withdrawal so bad I am Tivoing JUDGE JUDY!!!!!! If there aren't new episodes of "30 Rock" and "The Office" soon, there is no telling what I am capable of. And I will be forced to break my MTV ban because Rob and Big is coming back in January and as much as I love quality reality, i.e. Bravo style, I am a big fan of nonsensical reality too. Don't worry though, I will not be recapping Rob & Big or the The Gauntlet, so take a breath.

After this angry rant about the sad and depressing state of entertainment coverage, I will begin my New Years resolutions. I began this blog to discuss my love for entertainment and pop culture. More specifically to chat about the stuff I love to death, things I am positive will become a part of your vocabulary within months and review movies and tv and music and all the fun stuff that goes along with that. I think that at some point I lost my footing and got focused on the daily posts of things of note, not quality stories. The need to post the newest and latest things almost becomes a competition, especially in today's media culture. I now know, not only could I not waste my time like Perez Hilton does, but I wouldn't want to. Nothing against the dude, but that's just not where my head is. So starting off in 2008, Spielster is going back to the original format. No bullshit about hoebags and shenanigans I really could care less about to drag readers over. Don't get me wrong, if Im into, IIm posting about it, but there will be no updates on the American travesty that is the Spears family cause if your that interested you might as well watch Jerry Springer.

To start off this trend, I will be rounding out this week with the continuation of the best of 2007 and it ain't a small list. So hopefully you all have enjoyed your holidays, have overcome that stomach virus that knocked me on my ass and ruined my birthday and started your own "2008 to do list". Tomorrow, we will be discussing the next big things that really made waves this year from comedic actresses who took to the screen in the lead for the first time to adorable local comedians who I will be saying "I knew him when". And if you haven't seen it yet and you like to laugh, check out " Walk Hard" the Dewey Cox story. The cameos alone are enough for the price of admission, but the Apatow crew brings home another hilarious comedy. They hold no punches when it comes to the legends of rock and manage to parody everyone from the Beatles to Johnny Cash to Brian Wilson. John C. Reilly is adorable as the troubled, yet successful Cox and brings a warmth to a very funny mockumentary. Its what Anchorman was to 2007. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Best of 'O7

Instead of the Daily Rounds for the next week, I am bringing you my picks for the best of 2007. Our first review will be about my favorite movie of the year: No Country for Old Men.

This year, hands down, my favorite movie so far since the year is not yet over, is "No Country for Old Men". I waited for this this film for many months, after hearing the critical acclaim it received at the various 2007 festivals. The western/drama, directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, is an adaptation of a Cormac McCarthy book. In preparation, I read the novel, which follows three men's travel throughout the southern border of the USA in search for money, escape and "their country". The book was not one of my favorites, but I always attempt to read them before an adapted movie. When I was finally able to the see the film, I can honestly say I have never seen a book come to life better, other then the Harry Potter scenery.

The Coen brothers were able to have each page of the book unfold upon the screen, with the daybreak lit plains of Texas rounding out the cast. Josh Brolin and Tommy Lee Jones provide the viewer with some of\ the best strong man/sensitive man character work that I have seen since the time of Robert Mitchum and Cary Grant. The movie is set in the early 1980's in rural Texas, where everyone knows you and your business and bad things just don't happen. Brolin plays Llewelyn Moss, a Vietnam vet, just getting by in Texas with a simple life and a simple family. While hunting one day, Moss comes upon a bloody scene in the desert, which looks to him as a drug deal gone bad and during his investigation of the scene finds a briefcase filled with millions of dollars. Since almost all of the men in the grizzly scene are deceased, Moss leaves with the money, but not after speaking with a man in need of aqua. While trying to sleep that night, Moss is overcome with a feeling and finds himself traveling back to the scene of the crime with a jug of water and knows in his heart he is making the biggest mistake of his life. What comes next is what suspense westerns are all about. Jones is the county's sheriff, Ed Tom Bell, who is in charge of investigating the grizzly scene in the desert. Bell has been recently confronted with the plain fact that America is a different place then it was 65 years before and is figuring out if he can continue to work in these conditions. He also can see that Moss has gotten himself into something so dark, almost no one can save him now. Javier Bardem, who plays the apathetic, destiny-denier Anton Chigurh, whose murderous nature brings Bell and Moss together. Bardem plays the sociopathic killer so well he has officially replaced any movie monster created by David Lynch in my nightmares. The ability of him to bring sheer terror to people's lives with a flip of a coin is genius.

The Coen brothers are always able to bring to life parts of the American life that most of us don't see and if we do, we can not appreciate it. They manage to find plain people who participate in magnificent stories. "No Country for Old Men" is no different and has already been added to my top 20 films of all time. Pictures like this can bring back people to cinema and reignite the passion for American films. While some complain about the ending deviating from the book, I do not believe this film misses a beat. It has also been complained about because of its violence, but the blood and bullets in this film are part of its symbolism. Its poetic beauty with the backdrop of southern Texas and Mexico, allows us to see the beauty in many forgotten places in our country. It also delves so well into the topic of are the times changing or are people changing. If I can recommend anyone with a brain, an eye for beauty and an earnest interest in seeing how to bring romance to a bloody thriller, you need to see this film. If only for the haunting magic that Bardem has brought to my dreams and most likely yours.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


I love playing catch up with pop culture and to be honest I have been bored silly with anything current. With the writer's strike still on, it seems that the only TV I am set to watch anymore is Nip/Tuck, Project Runway and Reaper when my DVR remembers to tape it. I am still attempting to fully update this site to make it user friendly, so you the wonderful readers will have some more new features coming soon. With the holidays upon us, I know my butt will not be posting daily, but I am going to be doing more reviews and fuller posts, as opposed to the usually Daily Rounds. If y'all aren't into it, fill me in.

But enough about me, let's get to it:

  • Nicole Richie and Joel Madden created a non-profit for needy moms in Los Angeles. The Richie-Madden Foundation threw a baby shower for 100 expectant mothers yesterday in Los Angeles, where the expecting couple gave away $200,000 worth of gifts. I have to say, I love him and her together. It seems she got her stuff together and being pregnant seems to really be agreeing with her. I wish the best for both of them and hope they stay far away from Hilton.

  • Dennis Quaid is suing the drug company that poisoned his twins. Baxter Healthcare, the company who made and labeled the drug Heparin. Last month, Quaid's twins were given 1,000 the dosage when in Cedars-Sinai. No word yet if the actor and his wife will be suing the hospital or the nurse for the incorrect dosage which could have killed their newborn twins.

  • Winehouse caught running around London in like 5 AM. But her rep assures the public she wasn't messed up on drugs, just that she had recently woke up and ran around the streets half naked. I mean that makes sense. Oh and she is hanging out with Pete Doherty again. And I am sure its a sober party with the two of them. Ugh.

  • Viacom is finding new ways to screw over their employees and freelancers all the while that they are churning out this crap. Is New York ever finding love? I can simply say no.

  • So I am finally forced to go to Bonaroo. Led Zeppelin is supposedly going to be headlining the annual outdoor festival in Tennessee next June. This would be the band's first US performance in almost 30 years. And it would also mean I would crawl to see them. I don't care if Zeppelin is in wheelchairs, if they are coming to the US - I AM THERE!

  • And finally "The View" goes too far. I actually ended up checking out Hot Topics today and was shocked with the ridiculous conversation about happiness and faith that occurred. Below you can watch the absurdity.

    First, if you call yourself a Christian, that hopefully means you have read a Bible, which would have clued you into the fact that yes, there were people before Christianity you moron. Second, faith does not forgive ignorance and when you do not have anything to discuss on a topic, throwing Jesus into the mix is just stupid pawn at looking like you know anything. And thirdly, why didn't any of the other three women on the panel said "No you are wrong!". I am bored to death with Sherri Shepard and her ignorance. It is not cool to be wrong all the time and obviously poorly educated and I would really appreciate someone discussing this at any point. Barbara Walters you should be ashamed of yourself!