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All Purpose TV Thread

May 16 2006 02:37 PM

On the heels of Survivor XII coming to a fascinating conclusion, the [url=]Original Survivor[/url] is sentenced to 51 months in prison, in honor of Willie McGee's uniform number. Pay your taxes, kids.

May 23 2006 10:11 AM

The two-part sequel to the disaster movie 10.5 will conclude tonight. This one supposedly takes place three days after the West Coast earthquake in the original movie. But star Dana Delaney looks like she has gained 20-30 pounds since the first movie was filmed. They're doing their best "Ann Southern"* to hide her in camera shots, but the added pounds are very obvious.

They are also down-playing the role of FEMA in this one. I wonder why? :)


* = When Ann Southern had her own tv show, she had gained a lot of weight since the time she had been a movie star. So it was in her contract that she could only be shot from the waist up.

May 23 2006 10:21 AM

Isn't it Kim Delaney in that one?

Last night was the 2 hour finale of 24. I thought the first 25 minutes were absolutely riveting, the essence of what this show is supposed to be. I thought the hiding of the recording device on the President himself was great, as was the First Lady's reaction when he found out.
The ending however, was lame. I won't spoil it for those who haven't seen it, but that whole storyline, first introduced last season, should be put to rest immediately.

There's a TV adaptation of Stephen King's Desperation on ABC tonight, which might be good if you don't like Idol and like watching Ron Perlman play a psychopath.

May 23 2006 10:29 AM

HahnSolo wrote:
Isn't it Kim Delaney in that one?

Maybe. All those Delaneys look alike to me. Whichever one it was, she sure chubbed up in those "three days". Her secret might be the solution to world hunger.


May 25 2006 06:08 AM

="seawolf17, on March 9"]Okay, I'll say it. I'm watching American Idol this year. And for the first time in however many seasons they've had, there's a guy on here I really, really like -- enough to actually go out and buy an album:

Taylor Hicks is 29 -- and looks like he's about fifteen years older than anyone on the show, including Simon Cowell. He's from Birmingham, Alabama, and just wails. He has kind of a Joe Cocker/Bob Seger thing going on, and he just kicks my ass every week.

Congrats to the old man. Too bad his first single kinda blows; hoping for somewhat better things on his album.

May 25 2006 07:26 AM

My wife thinks he sounds like Rod Srewart.
I think he sounds like anthricite descending a coal chute.

It was like the way I felt about the Giants in the Super Bowl against Buffalo.
I was rooting hard against them, but I knew they'd somehow win. (F'n Norwood)
Felt the same way here.


Johnny Dickshot
May 25 2006 09:38 AM

Taylor was by far the best singer in the competition this year, and I'm happy to see he won. I didn't even need to watch the last 3-4 eps.

It was a good night for reality heroes rewarded as Harold cruised to a deserving title as Top Chef.

And, I also didn't see it, but understand BJ and Taylor crossed the finish line first, so that's a 3-for-3 in the Good Guys Won.

Willets Point
May 31 2006 03:24 PM

My wife started downloading Battlestar Galactica (the new version) off iTunes, and now we're hooked.

Vic Sage
Jun 01 2006 12:21 PM

i caught a few episodes of the new B.G. and i liked it okay, but not enough to commit the time and energy needed to catch up on all the backstory that seems necessary to really get the show.

However, i recently started watching Joss Whedon's short-lived SF series FIREFLY on dvd. Its an excellent show that ran only 1 season, so i'll be able to watch the whole series before I watch the feature film sequel, SERENITY.

Willets Point
Jun 01 2006 12:23 PM

I have some (trustworthy) friends who love Firefly. I'll have to get the DVD for that next.

Jun 05 2006 09:28 AM

OK, so its not sophisticated.
But the new Blue Collar Comedy concert premiered on the Comedy Channel last night, and there were moments when I laughed so hard I cried.

For those of you with a different taste in comedy, the first new Kathy Griffin show of the season premieres tonight.


Vic Sage
Jun 05 2006 12:56 PM

That guy Ron (something) cracks me up.

You just know he's half in the bag at most of his performances... the other performances he's TOTALLY in the bag.

Jun 08 2006 08:42 PM

CBS is running a summer series called "Game Show Marathon," where celebrities re-enact classic game shows for charity. During Week 1, some chick from Baywatch won "The Price Is Right;" then Lance Bass won "Let's Make A Deal." Paige Davis won "Beat The Clock" last night, and Leslie Nielsen, Kathy Najimy, and Tim Meadows are currently battling on "Press Your Luck."

I'm a hard-core game show junkie; I could watch GSN all day and all night. This series is outstanding. I'm digging the hell out of it. The winner tonight joins the other three winners in the semifinals ("Card Sharks" and "Match Game," the next two weeks), followed by a "Family Feud" battle on June 29.

The best part of this show is that they have very faithfully reproduced every set, down to the tiniest detail. It's kicking my ass. Huge thumbs up to CBS from me.

Jun 08 2006 09:19 PM

Queer Eye for the Straight Guy is starting a new season, with a show from Vegas. It's totally jumped the shark compared to what it was, but it is still mindlessly entertaining.

Jun 21 2006 08:08 PM

There is NO better show on television than Dateline NBC's "To Catch A Predator," where they catch guys who are showing up ostensibly to have sex with teenagers, only to be caught by NBC cameras (and Chris Hansen, my favorite reporter ever) and then by local police. They could make this into a weekly show and I'd buy TiVo just to watch it. Hell, they could make it a daily show. They could start the Predator Channel, and I'd just pop some popcorn and watch it. It's brilliant, hysterical, and very, very, very disturbing, all at the same time. They just spoke with -- and then arrested -- a guy whose online username was "meatrocket8." I don't know what's more disturbing; that he chose that name or that there might be seven other "meatrockets" out there.

Jun 22 2006 11:38 AM

Vic Sage wrote:
That guy Ron (something) cracks me up.

You just know he's half in the bag at most of his performances... the other performances he's TOTALLY in the bag.

I think his name is Ron White.

IIRC a few old tv theads, some folks here said they liked the original CSI (as compared to the spin-offs). Did anyone catch the cliff- hanger last minute of CSI?
Looks like (using the actor's names) William Peterson is finally going to, er, "requite" his love for Jorja Fox. Its about time.


Jul 26 2006 10:16 AM

I wasn't sure where to post this, but there is now an [url=]Animaniacs boxed DVD set![/url]

It's only the first 25 episodes (out of something like 100, IIRC), with some truly great stuff.

It's not a question of whether to buy it. It's a question of whether I can wait to give it to the kids for Chanukah or not.

Yancy Street Gang
Jul 26 2006 10:24 AM

Edgy DC wrote:
It's bizzare. think she may be pregnant.

The funny thing is that now, whatever she tells me to do, I respond with "By your command."

There's a simple test for that, you know. And if she IS pregnant, you'd better get used to responding to her commands.

Jul 26 2006 10:30 AM

When you get to the point that a light is flashing back and forth across your face, please post a picture.


Jul 26 2006 04:09 PM

NESN just showed a new Foxwoods commercial. The Wonder of it All jingle with a Wizard of Oz theme. It was actually pretty cute (and not disturbing like the leprechuan ads).

Aug 05 2006 04:17 PM

Yeah, she is kind of like a bug in that respect.

I thought her goose was cooked when she spent $10 on an icky looking flapjack for breakfast, but she got in under $40.

But then of course, they didn't count the cost of the amusements she attended

Sep 05 2006 10:42 PM

We watch Channel 11 News, primarily because Mr. G. is a good weatherman and I'm a weather junkie (I also watch NBC 10 out of Philly. Since we live between NYC and Philly, I need the two forecasts for a full picture of what's going on in this area). However, these days Mr. G tends to alternate a lot with Joe Cioffi. It's comical how night and day these guys are. Mr. G talks about things like "Golden Sunshine" and "Huddle and Cuddle Nights" - very endearing images. In contrast, we've taken to calling Cioffi "The Angel of Death," because he is always so negative. Mr. G was talking about the rain tonight, commenting positively how we don't have to worry about the reservoirs. On Sunday, on the other hand, Cioffi was talking about the rain, and ended his forecast by saying, "We're all going to grow mold."

The contrast from night to night is hysterical.

Sep 06 2006 09:40 AM

Remember the weatherperson who used to be on local NY TV named Linda (I'll try this phonetically) Jellanella? I think she had been a Miss New Jersey. A few years after she left local tv, I was in Clearwater, Fla, turned on the news, and she was doing the weather there. She was still as perky as I had remembered her.


Vic Sage
Sep 06 2006 11:50 AM

The final episode of DEADWOOD didn't wrap up the series, since they didn't know they were cancelled when they made it. HBO has said there'll be a 2-hour movie in 2008 to end the series appropriately, but i'm going thru withdrawals already. They initially said they'd do 2 movies but, ultimately, they may not even do the one if the talent and budget can't be put together to their satisfaction.

So long, you cokksukkers.

Sep 06 2006 08:49 PM

So we've been watching the Rock Star: Supernova show, and Australian Toby Rand has been the one guy who's consistently kicked my ass every single week. His original song last night, "Throw It Away," is a huge radio hit waiting to happen. Even though Metallica, Motley Crue, and GNR are among my Top 25 Bands ever, I have very little interest in anything Supernova releases, and even little interest in seeing them on tour.

Sep 15 2006 12:12 PM

It sounds like something my daughter would enjoy. I'll bet she watches it.

A Boy Named Seo
Sep 24 2006 03:50 PM

I'm a big Project Runway fan, too, and saw this piece in today's [url=,1,2630924.story?coll=la-headlines-west]LA Times[/url] written by John Albert, the author of "Wrecking Crew". Turns out Mike Coulter (one of the teammates on Albert's Griffith Park Pirates baseball team) was bandmates with season 3 badboy Jeffrey Sebelia.

Cool piece that talks about Sebelia's struggles with drugs, family problems, his relationship with Coulter and the band, his friendship with villain-in-arms, Santino Rice, and his up-and-coming clothing line, Cosa Nostra.

(here's a link to [url=]Lifter's website[/url], where the band have freely posted mp3's of their stuff.)

Edit: The LA Times requires registration. Here's the article:

Rock / Drugs / Scissors

The real life of 'Project Runway' reality star Jeffrey Sebelia

By John Albert, John Albert is the author of "Wrecking Crew: The Really Bad News Griffith Park Pirates."

September 24, 2006

A grinning Jeffrey Sebelia stands before me in a narrow hallway under a fluorescent light. He has several large words etched into his throat that weren't there when I last saw him. But that was before he surprised so many of his friends by leaving town to become a reality television star on Bravo's "Project Runway." As he leads me into his large downtown L.A. work space, packed with garment racks and green steel industrial sewing machines, the sound of gunfire erupts in the street below, followed by an explosion. Sebelia laughs as we move to a window and lean out, looking down on a phalanx of soldiers advancing through a nearby intersection. Several cars are burning, and a few pedestrians run past screaming. Then a voice bellows over a bullhorn and the action halts. Sebelia slides back inside and lights a hand-rolled cigarette. He tells me it's like this all the time down here. It turns out that the battle is being staged for a big-budget film based on a toy line. It's entertainment.

Real life can be far more interesting. Not what you see on television, reality or otherwise, but what you don't. Everybody has a story, and some are better than others. Sebelia has a pretty good one.

For the last three years, the wiry, punkish-looking Sebelia has run his own label, Cosa Nostra. The look can best be described as dystopian rock 'n' roll—"Blade Runner" meets Vivienne Westwood's Sex Pistols with a touch of Oscar Wilde dandy. His dark, zippered biker jackets and wax-printed drainpipe jeans have become popular among sullen young actors and preening rock stars of both sexes. The line sells at high-end boutiques from here to Hong Kong.

"Project Runway," which tapes in New York, features 15 fashion designers of varying experience, some professional and others just starting out, all of whom compete in a series of elimination design challenges. Each week their creations are judged, and the loser is sent packing by a panel that includes über-model Heidi Klum, who also serves as the show's host. At the end of the season the remaining designers stage a runway show during New York's Fashion Week, the winner claiming a prize of a new car, a spread in Elle magazine and $100,000 toward the launch of a line.

Although the fashion component of the show is interesting, the main attraction is undoubtedly the ruthless competition among the contestants. And while most, if not all, indulge in at least some duplicitous behavior, each of the three seasons has featured a standout villain. The first was a scheming schoolmarm type with the appropriately chipper name of Wendy Pepper. The second season's appointed evildoer was an outspoken and intensely talented bisexual beatnik named Santino Rice. This season it is Sebelia who has been anointed the latest enfant terrible.

His role actually started before the competition was underway. During the first episode, Klum proclaimed the supremely confident Sebelia as "the next Santino." The tag stuck, and not without reason. Before leaving for New York, he asked his girlfriend to pick him up a joy buzzer, an air horn and some fake dog excrement. By the seventh episode, he'd made another contestant's mother cry. "It's a competition," Sebelia offers as explanation.

But these irreverent high jinks have polarized the show's fans and provoked a barrage of sometimes rabid hostility across the Internet. He says that in one recent posting on a Television Without Pity forum, a woman wrote that at the mere appearance of Sebelia's face on-screen, her husband would begin furiously pacing the house and describing how he wanted to kill him.

Sebelia says it was Santino himself who warned him never to look at the online message boards. As it happens, the two were friends in L.A.'s fashion scene well before either appeared on the show. Over coffee, Santino tells me, "Once you actually learn who those people are on the Internet, it doesn't matter. There's hate pages for everyone. There's hate pages for Oprah. There's even a hate page for Mother Teresa, saying she's a star-[expletive]. Whatever." Still, he seems genuinely surprised by the onslaught of hate mail he received. "I had nightmares and flashbacks for months after doing the show," he says.

Five years ago, Sebelia would have agreed with those who wished him dead. His life was falling apart, and he wanted it over. Holed up in a ramshackle house in northeast Los Angeles, he had been awake for days, crying almost constantly. His girlfriend had left and he was in a deep depression, alone on a couch eating handfuls of Ecstasy and grinding his teeth. For the past year, he says, he had been growing and selling "medical" marijuana—he had a hidden basement nursery with more than 100 plants for distribution to his "patients," all diagnosed with the same form of "hypertension." Sebelia says he had given up heroin and other hard drugs but was smoking pot constantly, cooking with it and even smearing it on his body. He was also taking lots of LSD.

Not exactly the life he imagined back in his days playing bass with an alternative pop band called Lifter. The trio had created a buzz in the heady Silver Lake club scene and, after a brief bidding war, signed with Interscope. Their heartfelt debut album, titled "Melinda (Everything Was Beautiful and Nothing Hurt)," was eventually offered up with little fanfare—a casualty of shifting trends, record company indifference and the clichéd, drug-induced self-destruction common to such scenarios. Eventually the band was released from its deal. "I was just sort of in shock about the whole thing," Sebelia says. "I thought we would keep playing and something else would happen, but it didn't. We just drifted apart and it was over."

As his rock star dreams faded, Sebelia began a new career as a production designer on commercials and music videos. But then that was gone as well. Sitting alone on the couch that afternoon, he decided to hang himself. "It just seemed like the right thing to do," he says. "I was so depressed I could hardly get out of bed. I couldn't eat and I was having crying fits. There was this old chandelier in my bedroom. No one was supposed to be home. I took two belts, hitched them together, put one over the chandelier and the other around my neck. And I started trying to swing off of my bed."

Luckily, a woman staying at his house showed up unexpectedly and interrupted his scheduled departure. The Musicians' Assistance Program, a record industry organization founded to help addicted artists, paid for Sebelia to enter rehab and receive some much-needed therapy. A year later he enrolled in sewing classes at Los Angeles Trade Tech College. "It just dawned on me that I loved fashion," he says. "And from the minute I sat down at a sewing machine, I loved it. The minute I started draping fabric on a form, I loved it—more than any drug."

Sebelia has arrived on the set of another reality television show, "Rock Star Supernova." The enormous soundstage at CBS Television City is dressed to resemble the beautiful old Mayan Theater in downtown Los Angeles. He is here with a rack of clothes for the show's host and executive producer, Dave Navarro, whom he has known since his days in the rock clubs. Back in the '90s the lead guitarist for Jane's Addiction and the Red Hot Chili Peppers would occasionally join Lifter on stage, and he also appeared in their rarely seen music video, "Headshot." Cynthia Freund, the stylist for "Rock Star Supernova," says she has been a fan of Sebelia's Cosa Nostra line for the last year, using his clothes to outfit her celebrity clients. "It's inspired by music but it can really appeal to anyone," she says, then cautions, "but whoever wears it has to have some serious confidence."

Sebelia is ushered into Navarro's dressing room, and the two greet one another as old friends. Navarro immediately strips down and begins trying on pants and jackets, soliciting opinions from the room. With three episodes of "Supernova" remaining, he settles on three jackets. He also purchases a few items for his personal wardrobe. When asked to describe Sebelia's style, he gives it a moment's thought and then announces: "It's couture meets the street with a foot in the future." He looks over at me. "How's that for a quote?" I ask Navarro if it surprises him to see Sebelia now as a fashion designer and television celebrity. "It doesn't surprise me that Jeff is doing this at all," he answers. "Because I've always known him as a creative guy. And creative people can branch out into different worlds. I'm a perfect example of that."

Freund suggests I talk with Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee, who appears on the show as a judge. She tells us that Lee recently wore one of Sebelia's blazers to the Kentucky Derby, and it proved a big hit. Waiting on the soundstage, we watch as Navarro and his fellow "Supernova" judges rehearse their lines for the upcoming taping. A rotund and bald fiftysomething stand-in gyrates around the stage and lip-syncs to a Nirvana song that will later be performed by an actual contestant. When the song ends, the judges deliver their scripted comments on the yet-to-occur performance. During a short break, we manage to catch Lee and ask about the jacket. He listens, then nods enthusiastically and says something completely indecipherable that sounds like, "Yeahyeah, itwaztotally[expletive]raddude." Sebelia and I exchange a look and ask if we should wait for a better quote. Everyone just shrugs.

I'm sitting with another old friend, Mike Coulter, in his backyard. Now graying and heavier, Coulter was the singer in Lifter. For the last month he has been having friends over each Wednesday to watch "Project Runway" and eat a homemade meal. Sebelia has been there several times, along with his girlfriend, Melanie, and their young son, Harrison. Coulter and Sebelia first met 16 years ago at a drug treatment center in Pasadena. The then-19-year-old Sebelia had been assigned as the 24-year-old Coulter's counselor. "He seemed as nervous as I was," Coulter says. "He had short hair and was wearing khakis and a button-down shirt—like this responsible person who was going to start a career as a drug counselor."

The two became fast friends, and it was Coulter who taught Sebelia how to play bass. They eventually shared a series of dingy Echo Park apartments and played the neighborhood clubs. Nearly all of the songs Coulter composed were about a single doomed romance, and he would weep openly while singing them live. After Nirvana's "Nevermind" sold millions, the record companies began searching out similarly pop-inflected alternative anthems. Lifter had a hit on college radio with "402," which included the bittersweet nostalgic chorus: "I want to go back home and mow the lawn for my dad, I want to walk to school and get high with my friends." When they signed with the heavyweight Interscope, both Coulter and Sebelia admit, they naively believed that their dreams of stardom were about to be realized. It didn't help when smiling executives asked where they would be buying their big new houses. But when a large Seattle radio station began playing "402" repeatedly, Interscope called and asked it to stop. The label promised it would release the popular song as a single, but then never did.

A few months ago, Coulter says, he started taking his dog's pain medication. Then he started using heroin and a little crack. But he says he has been clean for a month now and things seem to be slowly returning to normal. "I think one of the reasons I keep self-destructing is because I stopped playing music," he says. "Actively denying I was interested in it. For a long time I wasn't even able to listen to music. I hated it because it had broken my heart."

If "Project Runway" has given Sebelia a sort of second chance, it has also helped his old friend. The two hadn't spoken in almost a year, but as Sebelia was driving to the airport to leave for New York, he called Coulter to say hello and ask about selling some of Lifter's songs on his website. After he returned, the two started to re-record a few of their songs, with Coulter actually singing again. When Sebelia recently unveiled some of Cosa Nostra's latest jackets and pants, there, embossed into the fabric like ghost images of the past, were the band's old concert fliers.

"It all ended in such tears," Coulter says. "And when I first heard about Jeff's success designing clothes, I had that typical jealous reaction. But then when I heard he was doing 'Project Runway,' it was different. I was already a big fan of the show, and was just really proud of him. And I really want him to win."

Sebelia still lives in the house where he tried to hang himself. It looks a lot nicer now. When I show up to meet Melanie, who lives with him, I find a note on the door: She's putting their young son down for his nap. I let myself in and wait on the couch. Minutes later, she appears, looking as motherly as one can with a two-tone mohawk. Like Sebelia, whose tattooed neck spells out Harrison Detroit and the phrase L'amore Della Mia Vita (the love of my life), Melanie recently had their son's name etched below her collarbone.

The housewife role has admittedly not come easy for someone with so much ambition of her own. Melanie attended Juilliard and arrived in Los Angeles as a working actress and stand-up comedian. She was also a lesbian who had been accidentally shot by her cop ex-girlfriend. "I hadn't been in a relationship with a man for eight or nine years," she says, laughing. "I went from driving a Trans Am, dressing like a hooker, being a club DJ and doing stand-up comedy to being this kind of housewife character. I've come to a place of peace about my role now, but not without a few panic attacks."

She says this situation is, in large part, a result of Sebelia's appearance on "Project Runway." It was she who suggested he audition, after watching their friend Santino on the show. But when Sebelia announced that he had been selected, she was less than enthusiastic. "It's difficult to say this," she explains, "but when he told me, I thought it was a little irresponsible. I mean, we have a baby that wakes up throughout the night and I'm going to do it all alone? The first week he was gone we both got the flu, and then the pipes blew out and the basement flooded. And there was no communication allowed. He was gone for 5 1/2 weeks and we talked on the phone three times, two of which were on camera so they were totally fake. 'Hi honey, I'm so proud of you.' Meanwhile, I'm thinking, 'Get your ass home. Do we even have any money?'"

Although Melanie sees the benefits of Sebelia's doing the show, she is not convinced it was necessary. She reminds me that he was already a successful designer, selling his clothes all over the world. She is also not thrilled with how the production has portrayed him. "Some people don't realize that it's all pretty much manufactured," she says. "There are people who think that's just the way he is, that he will arbitrarily take potshots at someone's little soft cuddly mom. They see someone like Santino or Jeff and think, 'How dare you act as if the rules of this world don't apply to you?' It's kind of scary."

Sebelia's mother and stepfather arrive to pick up their grandson for the weekend. While they wait for him to wake from his nap, I take the opportunity to ask about their son's chaotic life. His mother shakes her head, looking like someone who recently survived a harrowing ordeal and just hopes it's over. She tells me of Sebelia's intensely volatile relationship with his father. How when they divorced, Sebelia blamed himself because he had started to believe everything he did was wrong. Then there were drugs, and lots of them—cocaine and pot at 10, followed by speed and heroin. He also started running away. There were stolen cars and rehabs, and then Sebelia left for San Diego and disappeared into the streets. After that, there was the Pasadena rehab, followed by the record deal, and then things got bad again.

His mother now seems guardedly hopeful. She's proud of her son's success as a designer and says she enjoys "Project Runway," though she wasn't happy with how the crying mother episode, in which she also appeared, was edited. "They didn't show the nightmare leading up to all that," she says. "It made Jeff look rude without showing what was going on behind the scenes."

When I ask if she thinks her son has been inaccurately portrayed, she hesitates. "I think he says things he wouldn't normally say," she offers. "He is trying to create this persona. But a small part of it is him when he gets backed into a corner. I think he's defending himself. He's not going to let someone walk all over him like his father did."

Later that night, at his downtown work space, I ask Sebelia how his tumultuous past has influenced his clothing designs. He tells me about a time in the '80s, when he was a teenager and he and his suburban punk friends discovered New York break-dancing culture. They began reconstructing the popular clothes of the day, tearing them apart and reassembling them—over-dying shirts, ripping and safety-pinning things back together. "We developed this preppy-punk-hip-hop look with pegged pants and ripped up Le Tigre shirts," he says. "The irreverence of that is in what I do now. I still like to take classic silhouettes and [expletive] them up."

Sebelia reveals the latest designs for his Cosa Nostra line, and there is an undeniably dark, half-destroyed quality to them. "The world around me is [expletive], and I want to create beauty in the way I want to create it," he says. "And I also want to express a certain amount of ugly that needs to be accepted as a part of life."

A few weeks ago Sebelia attended the annual Sunset Junction Street Festival with Melanie and their son. The crowd was the typical Silver Lake bohemian mix of gay, straight, rich and poor of all races. And from the minute he arrived, Sebelia was embraced as a star. Tattooed punk rockers yelled his name, strangers approached to shake his hand, young girls posed for pictures with him and gay men wished him luck. "People come up to me all over the city now and say they are behind me," he says. "The thing that feels good about that is I'm an outsider. I haven't spent my life studying. I don't even know who many of the influential designers are. I just know what I like and I know what I do. And I love the opportunity to sort of represent that person on the show. I get tons of e-mail from drug-addict kids. Like me, they're unlikely candidates to be successful in anything. But they should be."

It is well past midnight when we leave Sebelia's work space. The sidewalks along Broadway are empty except for a few isolated souls. All of a sudden a gleaming black SUV with tinted windows rounds the corner and slows alongside us, gold rims spinning, a hip-hop bass line rumbling loudly from within. The window slides down to reveal the driver, riding low in his seat, gangster style. He stares at Sebelia for a long beat, then holds up a clenched fist and nods. "I like what you do, man," he says.

The "Project Runway" finale airs Wednesday, Oct. 18.

Vic Sage
Oct 07 2006 10:40 AM

it took me a while to give the series a chance, because the original one was so dreadful.

its 10 times better than the original series. No, 100 times better. No, a 1000 times.... i could keep going, because i have an infinite supply of "0"s.

the acting, the writing, the themes. the humanoid cylons brings the whole "invasion of the body snatchers" element; the tension of living in a world of necessary paranoia.

there is alot of backstory, which makes it difficult to jump in in the middle, but catching up is possible with the special "the story so far" episode (available on dvd).

Oct 07 2006 10:47 AM

Vic Sage wrote:

there is alot of backstory, which makes it difficult to jump in in the middle, but catching up is possible with the special "the story so far" episode (available on dvd).

That is what my daughter and her friend have been doing over the past several weeks. They have immersed themselves in the series in anticipation of the new season.

Oct 07 2006 04:58 PM

I'll have to check it out again.


A Boy Named Seo
Oct 07 2006 05:12 PM

Uli's chances depend upon her range, but I could see it. She's been pretty good all year long if a bit repetitious.

Michael really screwed the pooch and probably should have been voted out, but gets a 2nd chance seeing as they allowed him an off-week.

Laura will make good TV as a pregnant designer, but I don't think she has the overall chops of Michael or Uli.

So there you have it: It'll be either Michael, or Uli.

Dunno. If Michael (who's as gay as I am a Met fan) rebounds, this competitions his for the taking. If not, I think Jeffrey and particulary Laura have a strong chance. Jeffrey is clearly a dick, but a talented dick, who can class it up when needed as evidenced in the couture challenge. Laura is probably the most talented from a technical standpoint and if she mixes her collection up, I think she could steal the win. Uli surprised in that last challenge, but won't win if she keeps rolling out a bunch of colored prints.

I thought the final four thing was kinda wussy at first, but I love the stark contrast in each of the designers. Should be cool.

Anyone catch the pre-union thing?

Johnny Dickshot
Oct 07 2006 11:28 PM

I saw bits this afternoon.

It's too bad Vincent is insane because I kinda found him interesting. Keith was a dick too. He's like the scorned boyfriend who still harangues his ex.

Good call on Michael. He may not know he's gay yet.

Oct 11 2006 07:18 PM

Since there's no Mets game tonight, at 8:30 check out the repeat of last nights The Colbert Report. The cooking segment with Jane Fonda and Gloria Steinem has to be seen to be believed.

Oct 16 2006 10:01 PM

="Vic Sage"]I'm liking the new NBC show HEROES, about the emergence of the next step in human evolution... the superhero!

Pretty good so far, but it has the potential to turn really bad really fast. The cheerleader is Coach Yost's daughter from Remember the Titans.

I've been watching it too and it was pretty freakin' good tonight!

Oct 17 2006 09:37 AM

I'm loving Studio 60 - Who thought Chandler could actually act?

Frayed Knot
Oct 17 2006 03:48 PM

'Studio 60' has been good so far, although I live in trepidation that it's just a few quick steps away from devolving into a self-congratulating farce. The show-within-a-show format where the show producers & studio execs - both of the fictionalized show and, by implication, 'Studio 60' itself - are all fighting the good fight in favor of better TV and against bottom-line immediacy and sponsor/affiliate pressure means that the ingredients are already there. It's now just a struggle to see whether they keep the whole thing somewhat believable or allow vanity to take over as they chase after all the low-hanging fruit.

Yancy Street Gang
Oct 17 2006 03:50 PM

I enjoy Studio 60, but I have one main problem with it: I don't get the impression that the show within the show is actually funny. It kind of undermines the credibility of the drama, somehow.

The other thing to note about Studio 60 is that its ratings are a lot lower than expected. It might be a one-season wonder.

In fact, I read in the paper the other day that only two of the many new shows can be considered hits: Ugly Betty and Heroes.

Frayed Knot
Oct 17 2006 04:25 PM

]I enjoy Studio 60, but I have one main problem with it: I don't get the impression that the show within the show is actually funny

Hmmm, I don't get that feeling at all.
One of the things I like about it so far is that they're in a sense writing two shows; the show itself plus the staged show.
Now, granted, it's not all that tough to write the staged show part since all they really have to do is write snippets of skits to give the impression that they're part of a professionally done show. The skits themselves don't need to have beginnings or conclusions since they're not what the show is about, they just need to look like believable works in progress. But, on that, I think they've done a good job of that so far. The 'Nancy Grace' bit the other night and the 'Science-Schmience' skit from a week or so back both looked exactly like the type of stuff this SNL-style show would do.

And, think about this, Iubitul liked it DESPITE the inclusion of Sting!!!!

Yancy Street Gang
Oct 17 2006 04:28 PM

Come to think of it, I don't think SNL is funny either, so maybe Studio 60 is more convincing than I gave it credit for.

Frayed Knot
Oct 17 2006 04:36 PM

Oh SNL has been sucking for at least 2 decades now so maybe the bar's not all that high. But all you want out of the bit-shots of the 'S-60' skits is to look like they'd pass muster on SNL from back when it was reasonably good.
I think they do.

Oct 17 2006 08:22 PM

Actually, I thought Sting was quite good last night.

The thing tat really drew me in from the beginning was the chemistry between Matthew Perry and Bradley Whitford - from the first minute, they were completely believable as a team who worked together for years.

Oct 17 2006 09:01 PM

Two decades?!? The Will Ferrell years had some GREAT stuff, then it kinda fell off the table. I agree that Chris Kattan isn't exactly Chevy Chase Jr., but there were some bright spots there for a couple of years.

Willets Point
Oct 17 2006 09:11 PM

SNL has had good periods and bad periods throughout it's existence. It's sketch-based structure is both a strength and a weakness since it's only as good as its current cast & writers.

Frayed Knot
Oct 18 2006 10:15 AM

The "two decades" line was a bit of an exaggeration and it's not like there haven't been good moments, good characters, or good cast members over that time. On the whole tough, not only is the current SNL show a mere shell of its former self but in many ways it's that way intentionally. What was once a cutting-edge outlet has become a depot for flavor-of-the-month pop-culture drop-ins.

Oct 18 2006 10:22 AM

The thing I hate about SNL is that they tend to draw the skits out for too long...agree about Ferrell though.

Oct 18 2006 11:06 AM

="Yancy Street Gang"]I enjoy Studio 60, but I have one main problem with it: I don't get the impression that the show within the show is actually funny. It kind of undermines the credibility of the drama, somehow.

So? The skits are completely unimportant. Other than the one on "Cold Opening," they could be cut completely out -- but then, people like you will be complaining "Why don't they show the skits?"

Yancy Street Gang
Oct 18 2006 11:18 AM

I think the skits ought to be funny. (People like me? What does that mean?) If Josh and Chandler are supposed to be these TV geniuses, and I think that their show looks stupid, then it doesn't seem credible to me.

That's all I'm saying.

How credible would West Wing be if Jed Bartlett was portrayed as an idiot who couldn't string two sentences together?

And I just killed my own argument. SNL is an awful show, and it's been on for decades. And idiot presidents not only get elected, they get re-elected.

Vic Sage
Oct 18 2006 01:58 PM

="Yancy Street Gang"]I think the skits ought to be funny. (People like me? What does that mean?) If Josh and Chandler are supposed to be these TV geniuses, and I think that their show looks stupid, then it doesn't seem credible to me..

i agree that, if they're showing parts of skits, those skits have to be either HILARIOUS or ground-breaking, in some way. Which is why i don't think they should EVER show any part of any of the skits. It only sets them up for failure. Its hard enough to write a serious show about the tv business and its moral depravity's impact on our society without also having to toss off brilliantly funny sketch bits in between. Cuz if they're not great or memorable in some way, then the whole premise that the wunderkins have returned to save the show loses its credibility. And once thats gone, you stop investing in the show.

I like the show alot. I just wish they focused on the characters and on the production process (as impacted by network politics), rather than feature any sustained performance scenes of the show-within-the-show.

There's a movie called WHEN I HEARD THE MERMAIDS SINGING, a fairly good indie from the 1980s. In it, the plot requires the audience to see paintings which are supposed to be truly great works by a great new artist. What the director actually shows are glowing white canvases... because no matter what original artwork she might have shown, it never could have lived up to a universally accepted definition of GREAT, which would've distracted the audience from accepting the premise that these were works of genius.

so it is in studio 60. You can't show the skits, because then you get into THIS debate... well, if they're such great writers how come those skits are no better than lame SNL skits? yada yada yada. Which is really not the point of the show. We simply need to accept the premise that these guys are really as good as they're supposed to be, and proceed into the story from there.

Edgy DC
Oct 18 2006 02:08 PM

There's a yup there.

Titanic asks us to believe there is inspiratation and talent in LeoDio's sketching, when it's just James Cameron's uninspired sketching.

Finding Forrester is a story of a writing prodigy. But the script is by a non-genius and it tries to tapdance around with this genius, only including snatches of the boy's writing, but enough to show there was no wizard behind the curtain.

It was easier to fool me with a math genius in Good Will Hunting.

Willets Point
Oct 18 2006 03:37 PM

I think a good example of this is the musical Rent where the lead character spends most of the play talking about the "one great song he'll write before I die." At the climax of the play, he performs the song in what is supposed to be a touching moment, but the song is so bad that it creates an unintentional pathos that I left thinking "It's so sad that his life work sucked BHMC."

Oct 18 2006 03:43 PM

="Vic Sage"]There's a movie called WHEN I HEARD THE MERMAIDS SINGING, a fairly good indie from the 1980s. In it, the plot requires the audience to see paintings which are supposed to be truly great works by a great new artist. What the director actually shows are glowing white canvases... because no matter what original artwork she might have shown, it never could have lived up to a universally accepted definition of GREAT, which would've distracted the audience from accepting the premise that these were works of genius.

Same thing with the 'Pulp Fiction' briefcase. All you ever saw was the glowing golden aura, you never saw what exactly was in the case that made everyone who opened stare at it incredulously.

="Willets Point"]I think a good example of this is the musical Rent where the lead character spends most of the play talking about the "one great song he'll write before I die." At the climax of the play, he performs the song in what is supposed to be a touching moment, but the song is so bad that it creates an unintentional pathos that I left thinking "It's so sad that his life work sucked BHMC."

Agree 100% I've always thought this.

A Boy Named Seo
Oct 19 2006 02:03 AM

Project Runway Finale spoiler...

Uli wuz freaking robbed.

Oct 19 2006 08:50 AM

Vic Sage wrote:
so it is in studio 60. You can't show the skits, because then you get into THIS debate... well, if they're such great writers how come those skits are no better than lame SNL skits? yada yada yada. Which is really not the point of the show. We simply need to accept the premise that these guys are really as good as they're supposed to be, and proceed into the story from there.

That was my point. The skits are completly unimportant. A pure mcguffin. But it's damned if you do and damned if you don't: show them, and people will complain they're not funny enough; don't show them, and the same people will complain that they weren't shown.

Yancy Street Gang
Oct 19 2006 09:08 AM

Why are you so certain I'd complain if they weren't shown?

Oct 19 2006 01:36 PM

The skits either bore the crap out of me or make me cringe, but even they're better than the actress playing Harriet.

First off, she's just NOT a comic genius, in any way, shape or form, and I think it's ludicrous that they expect us to believe that she is. I don't think she's said or done a single thing to make me smile, and all the exposition about how wonderfuly hilarious she is just strikes me as phony. Now, part of that is the writing, but I think I just don't find the character at all compelling either, and that's on the actress. I mean, "Christian star on a left-wing sketch comedy show" should provide plenty of depth for a supposedly good indie actress to plumb, right? And yet instead she seems instantly recognizable and boring.

Her only good moment, IMO, came during the final scene in the last episode, and I'm pretty sure 90% of that was directly due to Sting and his lute playing.

I love Whitford & Perry--I think they have a great dynamic--and all in all, I think the acting is top-notch, with the exception of the comedians. I think the show is really let down by the writing, though. I mean, it's one thing to get all high-horsey on a show about politics, but a show about a sketch comedy show? Pu-lease.

Do any of us have any idea who the producer of NBC is? Would it be big news if she had a DUI 20 years ago?

So many of the premises fall flat on their faces, and I really don't think the show can survive.

Anyway, there's my rant. As you can see, I'm a little bitter about it. I had high hopes, and the last episode really let me down, particularly since the 2nd one showed a lot of promise.

Heroes, on the other hand, I love. Hiro knocks my socks off, and bad-ass Hiro from the end of Episode III? So awesome.

Oct 19 2006 01:50 PM

Rotblatt wrote:
Heroes, on the other hand, I love. Hiro knocks my socks off, and bad-ass Hiro from the end of Episode III? So awesome.


Oct 24 2006 04:25 PM

[url=]24: The Season 6 Trailer[/url]

Oct 26 2006 01:39 AM

That guy on the Late Late show is ridiculously unfunny.

Oct 26 2006 10:20 AM

The addition of Connie Nielsen to the cast of Law and Order SVU for a six episode run makes me hope she becomes a continuing character.


Oct 31 2006 03:01 PM

Heroes is nearing the point where the storylines overlap too much and it becomes silly. I hope it doesn't cross the line.

Oct 31 2006 03:26 PM

And once again the CF-Seawolf similarity score goes up. They did a great job of sucking us in, but you wonder if they have any clue where it's going to go. It's the same thing with Lost; it was so good and so dramatic so quickly that it hasn't sustained any of its energy this season.

Oct 31 2006 04:21 PM

I never thought it would actually happen: Bob Barker is retiring in June.

Oct 31 2006 04:35 PM

i dunno. lost seems to be scattering itself, while heroes is coalescing.

the deal with heroes is that they're "destined" to come together, and thereby save the cheerleader and the world, right? or at least cause some drama and hijinks to ensue?

with lost, there was that whole, their lives intersect thing, but now its only happening if you're really really good at noticing the tertiary characters that briefly and tangentially appear in the ever-increasingly-dissociated flashbacks.

heroes is tighter than that.

i mean, its greatest problem may be that its could head into the silly real soon, but i've no problem with the intersection of lives. y'know, as long as stuff comes of it eventually, and we can see that coming together of stuff.

that's the difference, and what lost is missing. cos it ain't coming together, or at least i can't see it, and its gotten to the point of being like a really interesting, but REALLY boring and frustrating book wherein nothing is happening fast enough and you just want to start skimming the paragraphs and pages and chapters until you actually get someplace, in the hopes that it actually does take you someplace and that someplace is so worth it that you have to then go back and read what you skipped so you don't feel like you cheated yourself the experience. only at this point, i'm not sure lost is going to do that ever, but i'm too emotionally invested to pull out.

its kinda like an abusive relationship in that regard...

Oct 31 2006 06:58 PM

Marathon, VERY well said about "Lost." You nailed it. My thoughts exactly.

Willets Point
Oct 31 2006 07:09 PM

metsmarathon wrote:

its kinda like an abusive relationship in that regard...

Or Mary Worth.

Vic Sage
Nov 01 2006 10:09 AM

Centerfield wrote:
Heroes is nearing the point where the storylines overlap too much and it becomes silly. I hope it doesn't cross the line.

the whole point of the show is to see how they all come together to save the world. Of course they're going to overlap.

As to recent developments:

- i don't buy the scientist chucking his whole life to pursue his father's research only to be entirely and overly skeptical the first time a hero shows up on his doorstep. So much so, he decides to give up and go home. I also saw the neighbor-girl thing coming from day 1.

- Why did Mirror-Mirror Psycho Chick kill the poker players? To save Hiro, the Time Bender? Is she really dead? I love the VISION-style power of her escaped con hubby.

- I still haven't gotten over the autopsy scene with Cheerleader Girl.

- Who is Siler? Is he connected to the shadow group run by Cheerleader's girl's stepdad?

Yancy Street Gang
Nov 13 2006 03:04 PM

It still seems to have "on the Sunset Strip" in the title. At least it did in the opening credits of last Monday's show, which I watched the other night.

Anyway, has anyone seen the promos for Daybreak, which is going to fill in the Lost time slot on ABC starting this week?

It's like Groundhog Day, except that in the movie Bill Murray kept trying to get Andie McDowell to fall in love with him, and in this TV show Taye Diggs keeps trying to prevent his wife from getting killed.

I can't imagine how this will work as a weekly series. Will each episode start with Taye Diggs will wake up hearing Sonny and Cher on his clock radio, and then we'll watch him spend the day trying to protect his wife, with her dying (in a new and different way) at the close of each show?

And then, finally, in the last episode of the series, the wife survives the day and they live happily ever after?

Who wants to watch this poor woman get killed every Wednesday night? If the series somehow lasts three seasons, she'll be killed 65 times and then survive once. That's an awful ratio, especially for a public that overwhelmingly prefers happy endings.

Anyone planning on watching? As of now, I'm not, but if I read some good reviews I might be persuaded to give it a try.


Nov 13 2006 04:34 PM

If he keeps living the same day over and over, and his wife is going to be killed. why doesn't he just get up, turn off the alarm, and say, "honey, let's take a mental health day."

Nov 13 2006 04:41 PM

i've just about given up on my other wednesday television - jericho and th9 nine - so i might as well add a third to the party.

i think wednesday is the most frustrating night of television by far. these shows could be so good, but instead, they are all huge fucking disappointments that leave the viewer to wallow in their suck.

Yancy Street Gang
Nov 13 2006 04:43 PM

HahnSolo wrote:
If he keeps living the same day over and over, and his wife is going to be killed. why doesn't he just get up, turn off the alarm, and say, "honey, let's take a mental health day."

I was thinking that too. There should be one episode where they just stay at home, rent a movie and play with the dog. But then while eating dinner she chokes on a chicken bone and dies.

Then there would be that wah-wahhhh "here we go again" sound effect, Taye Diggs would shrug sheepishly at the camera, and the episode would end.

Nov 23 2006 11:12 AM

How come NBC isn't televising the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in HD?

What - they can't get a high def camera crew to New York?

Nov 28 2006 08:08 PM

A Charlie Brown Christmas is on ABC NOW!!!!

Nov 28 2006 08:14 PM

Too early.

I hope it's on again :)

(though I have been playing my Charlie Brown Holiday Hits CD)

Nov 28 2006 08:37 PM

Watching it also. Snoopy is one funny-ass dog. I love the scenes where they're all just randomly dancing on stage. Makes me laugh every time.

Charlie Brown is a whiny bitch... I don't even know why the other kids are still friends with him. I understand that once you reach high school, you still hang out with certain other kids for somewhat less than altruistic reasons (like the one guy who was born in December and is older than everybody else, so he gets his license first)... but really? Charlie Brown, SHUT THE F UP. Jeez.

Vic Sage
Nov 29 2006 12:44 PM

i love Charlie Brown.

He suffers from profound existential angst over the meaninglessness of his existence, yet he keeps pitching... metaphorically and literally.

He keeps trying to kick the football, despite Lucy's history of pulling it away at the last moment. He keeps trying to win the ballgame despite each linedrive that knocks him flat and naked on the mound. He keeps trying to do the right thing.. being a good friend, a good student, a good speller, a good teammate... and despite constant failure, he picks himself up and tries again.

Yes, he whines a bit. And many of his wounds are self-inflicted. But he has a good heart and will not go quietly into that good night. He is our modern cartoon Sysiphus, rolling that rock up that hill with the full knowledge that it will eventually roll back down right over him, but choosing to push the rock regardless.

He is an existential hero. Besides, how bad can he be if a cool dog like Snoopy actually likes him?

Edgy DC
Nov 29 2006 12:58 PM
Edited 1 time(s), most recently on Nov 29 2006 01:10 PM

Sheesh. They hang out with him so that they can abuse the shit out of him verbally, and then, when there's pressure on them, they can take advantage of his conscientiousness and thrust him into leadership positions and not support him, dooming him to failure but allowing them to walk away with clean (albeit shallow) consciences.

I thought this was obvious. Linus, despite being Chuck's intimate, isn't entirely in the clear here either. Even Snoopy exploits him.

Nov 29 2006 01:01 PM

Violet's the meanest. Somehow I overlooked that when I was a kid but now I'd just like to slap her silly

Nov 29 2006 01:41 PM

that's right! how dumb of me!

Johnny Dickshot
Dec 13 2006 01:03 PM

TOP CHEF update:

I was thinking they should just trash the whole season and just get to the Ilan-Sam-Cliff finals already but Sam's definitely on thin ice, Cliff finally stumbled a little and Elia's come out nowhere with 2 straight wins.

I kinda think Elia's hot, too, so that helps.

To-nite at 10

Vic Sage
Dec 13 2006 01:51 PM

i haven't seen any episodes since the Thanksgiving debacle, when the hispanic guy who made the salad got... um... tossed. could you summarize events to date?

Johnny Dickshot
Dec 13 2006 02:46 PM

There's been only one new ep since then, last week, and rebroadcast tonite at 9 if you don't wanna read below the stars. Also, even if you do, worth seeing the outfit that hostess Padma wears during the elimination challenge. She might be the yummiest thing on that whole show.

Quickfire: Chefs are taken to a farmer's greenmarket in Santa Monica, where they're given $20 bucks and instructions to make a filling meal without using any cooking of the ingredients. Marcel (the weird werewolf looking guy) wins with a "watermelon steak" drawing rolling eyes from the likes of guys like Ilan, who complain Marcel's all about presentation and not taste. Marcel does a weird dance. Later we see he has the hots for Elia.

Elimination Challenge: Chefs are told they have to cook breakfast for athletes, but that they should shop not knowing what might be available to them in terms of cooking gear.

Turns out they go to Malibu to cook breakfast for surfers, on firepits at the beach.

Sam attempts "green eggs and ham" but the basil pesto turns his eggs grey, not green, so he switches on the fly to a toad in the hole scramble: Nobody likes it.

Frank (the aggressive Italian guy) plans on a quiche but no oven scuttles those plans, so he also scrambles and burns his eggs.

Cliff does a scrambled eggs and hash thing, but has ugly presentation and gets sand in the food.

These are your bottom 3.

Irritating Betty (forgot what she made), Mia (crabcakes that the surfers loved) and Elia (a waffle-sandwich with maple syrup, eggs) are the top 3 and chatter about their girl power. Elia is named the winner for having the most creative, surprising dish. She won the judges while Mia won the surfers.

As the bottom 3 are getting the review, Sam again tries making excuses (like he did in the lo-cal challenge... there's kind of a snakishness being revealed about him) and Cliff basically tells the judges that he can't be voted off because he's too good (revealing a machismo that might be dangerous). So both those guys, definitely favorites a few weeks back, now have real nicks.

But Frank's ultimately knifed because the Food & Wine Magazine chick "can't stand rubbery eggs," and also, because he hadn't stood out yet.

Rockin' Doc
Dec 13 2006 08:15 PM

I'll be watching with the wife at 10 tonight to see who falls on their knife. Mike, the class clown, somehow keeps avoiding elimination. I think they keep him around for the ratings, dude. Mike may not be the most talented chef of the bunch, but he is the guy that would be the most fun to hang out with at a party.

Dec 13 2006 08:26 PM

"Show Me The Money" might be the stupidest game show ever. They're ripping off the Deal or No Deal girls, but badly; the questions are stupid, the contestants are stupider, and the concept is too complicated.

Not to mention the fact that William Shatner is a moron.

Dec 13 2006 08:33 PM

Yes, but he looks so much better than Howie Mandel

I can't believe I once had a major thing for him, blech

Dec 13 2006 09:00 PM

Nah, Howie's a good time. Bald is beautiful. And thankfully, Howie's on CNBC doing DoND repeats during Shatner. So we'll stick with that.

Johnny Dickshot
Dec 18 2006 03:38 PM

Ozzie really shoulda won. I can't believe those idiots didn't think to pull a "make Yul play the idol" powerplay sooner, not to mention at all.

Anyone ever see that show "Little People, Big World" -- a documentary about the dwarf family? Sort of an Osbourne's in reverse.

It's a nice family show, with the dwarf soccer mom and the dreamer dad and the kids... then, the most disturbing cliffhanger the other night...

SI Metman
Dec 18 2006 06:30 PM

Johnny Dickshot wrote:
Ozzie really shoulda won. I can't believe those idiots didn't think to pull a "make Yul play the idol" powerplay sooner, not to mention at all.

Eh, Yul was the brains behind the whole project. He basically used Ozzy as his card to make sure immunity stayed out of the hands of the other idiots, and he made the smart moves that got him votes such as ditching Jonathan earlier, not giving Becky the idol in the final 4, patching things up with Jonathan. He sucked up to the jury better than Ozzy did.

Johnny Dickshot
Dec 18 2006 06:41 PM

The jury was stupid though. What kinda deal did Adam make? You let me sleep on the floor by myself for one night, and I'll give you a million dollars.

OTOH, he's a copier salesman.

Dec 18 2006 07:13 PM

I'm not denying that Yul played everyone else better, I just liked Ozzy. Credit Yul; he never played the immunity idol at tribal council, but by "playing it" earlier, he basically played it at every tribal council.

Best show ever.

Vic Sage
Jan 05 2007 02:09 PM

i was rooting for ilan up until this episode. He was like a petulant child. Everybody hates Marcel. Just move on, man. cook your own food.

Marcel is so in all their heads (except Elia) that, if he was more self-aware, he'd be able to use it to drive them nuts and totally off their games. But if he was more self-aware he wouldn't be Marcel. So he's going to go down in flames at some point.

I loved that Michael pulled the double win. He is a cult hero for chunky, young, beer-drinkin', take-nothing-seriously types. He won't last much longer, though.

This will come down to Sam and Cliff, maybe Elia, too. She's cute, but too pretentious, and really deserved to get kicked out for the LA party challenge, where she thought it was a good idea to serve only 2 to 4 items, but Mia threw herself on the grenade instead.

my guess as to the order of elimination from here on:


sam vs cliff in the final: and the winner is...


Jan 10 2007 09:58 AM

You know what is REALLY starting to annoy me?

All these TV series that are shot on some Hollywood back lot, and to make you think they're really shot on location, they do quick pans of the city they're supposed to be in, with a lot of zooms in and out.

Yancy Street Gang
Jan 10 2007 10:09 AM

I hear you, Mole. It also bugs me when a show is set in New York and has no sense of the city itself.

The Odd Couple and Seinfeld had a real New York flavor. So did NYPD Blue.

Friends didn't. The show could just as easily been set in Indianapolis or St. Louis. I probably would have liked it better if it had.

In other news, I was surprised to turn on the TV for my daughter yesterday morning and find a vintage episode of The New Zoo Revue, a show I had completely forgotten. My memory was instantly refreshed, however, and I immediately recognized Doug and Amy Jo and Freddie the Frog and Henrietta Hippo and Charlie the Owl.

Does anyone else remember that show? I recall watching it, but I don't know if I ever liked it a whole lot. In a time when there were only a few TV channels, I may have watched it only because it was the only kids show on in its time slot.

Freddie the Frog's voice, by the way, sounds a lot like that of Spongebob Squarepants. My daughter, a five-year-old who believes everything with a George-W-Bush-like certainty, pronounced that it was the same guy. Of course, she doesn't realize that the thirty years between the production of the two shows makes that pretty unlikely.

Johnny Dickshot
Jan 10 2007 10:15 AM

I remember New Zoo Revue but I didn't like it even a little bit.

Didn't think the puppets were cute or funny, don't remember anything dynamic about Mary Jo or Doug, and the show was such a blatant attempt to educate it completely lost me.

Now Magic Garden -- that was good Channel 11 show.

Jan 10 2007 10:23 AM

New Zoo Revue fan here.

Vic Sage
Jan 10 2007 11:54 AM

i liked the NEW ZOO REVUE theme song, but that was about it.
i liked the 2 granola-lesbian chicks from MAGIC GARDEN.
I liked the slightly psychadelic visuals of THE ELECTRIC COMPANY.
I liked SESAME STREET, but only a little.
And the teacher lady on ROMPER ROOM was a MILF.
but MR. RODGERS creeped me out.

Jan 10 2007 03:00 PM

Gotta love The Electric Company. Tom Lehrer composed many of the songs, including "Silent E."

Jan 10 2007 03:17 PM

The Electric Company best-of 4 DVD set is interesting. Fascinating cast on EC: Morgan Freeman, Rita Moreno, et al.

Jan 10 2007 08:02 PM

I liked NYPD Blue, but it was one of the first shows to do those pointless exterior location shots.

Law and Order has a real city feel. I also like how they keep coming up to my neck of the woods pursuing criminals. Like the episode where the absconding lesbian parent buys a bus ticket for Bloomington, but then fools them by getting off in Rosendale.

And don't forget the show that told us one of eight million stories.

Jan 10 2007 09:33 PM

Anyone online who is bored, the HOF 1969 Everybody Loves Raymond is
on TBS NOW!!! Just stumbled on it.

Johnny Dickshot
Jan 11 2007 09:41 AM


Jan 11 2007 10:12 AM

You rang?

Vic Sage
Jan 11 2007 11:22 AM

Goliath: "Davey... oh, Daaaaavey... is there a god, Davey?"
Davey: "well, of course there is, Goliath! And he says we can have as many wives as we want!"

this program is brought to you by the church of latter day saints.

Jan 11 2007 11:22 AM

"The Electric Company"

The old episodes are available on DVD now if I'm not mistaken.

Johnny Dickshot
Jan 11 2007 11:23 AM

I thought they were Lutherans too.

Willets Point
Jan 11 2007 12:32 PM

According to the official website the show was a production of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Edgy DC
Jan 11 2007 12:52 PM

I post corrected.

Jan 11 2007 12:55 PM

BTW if you ever meet me in person ask me to do my Goliath impersonation. Its so good its scary.

Johnny Dickshot
Jan 17 2007 11:08 PM

Well, Top Chef keeps getting weirder. They sorta passed that point where the easy marks had yet to fall off and it became less fun. Maybe Cliff figured he was in for it and subconsciously tried to kill Marcel for humiliating him by surpassing him. Never woulda thunk it.

My projection: It's Sam or Elia for all the marbles, and in an interesting sidebar, Ilan vs. Marcel for pride.
1. Sam
2. Elia
3. Marcel

Vic Sage
Jan 22 2007 12:32 PM

Elia is even hot with a shaved head.
Sam is too cocky, by 5/8ths.
I'm still rooting for NY boy Ilan, but he's a long shot, and his feud with Marcel is totally adolescent.
Cliff actually made Marcel a sympathetic figure. Which sucked. Cliffie would've been voted off anyway, so no harm, no foul.
I'm still hoping Marcel gets caught in a grease fire.

On to Hawaii.

Jan 22 2007 01:01 PM

HELL yeah I'm on the list. They better not eff this up the way the Lost folks did their show.

Johnny Dickshot
Jan 22 2007 02:08 PM

Vic Sage wrote:
Elia is even hot with a shaved head.


]Sam is too cocky, by 5/8ths.

He's a passive-aggressive snake. All season long he's been instigating, then stepping away to let others take the blame. He ratted on the sugar-users but when it came time to name names said "he wasn't THAT guy," (yeah right). He created the whole Frank v. Marcel toothbrush incident then sat back and watched; encouraged, but wouldn't participate in, the head-shaving episode; and sat there too wussed out to help or stop Cliff's violent assult on a homo who's half his size. A real prick.

]I'm still rooting for NY boy Ilan, but he's a long shot, and his feud with Marcel is totally adolescent.

It's like he's in love with Marcel. He's coming off as a huge dick and creepy too. I think he has no shot.

]Cliff actually made Marcel a sympathetic figure. Which sucked. Cliffie would've been voted off anyway, so no harm, no foul.

Cliff seemed to take his banishment well (what is it about black people getting thrown off reality shows?) Though isn't it funny he said "no hard feelings" to Marcel as if he was forgiving Marcel's role in his attack?

]I'm still hoping Marcel gets caught in a grease fire.

He might.

Jan 22 2007 05:03 PM

I don't mind Marcel. I get that he's probably annoying, but he also seems harmless, so I really don't get the vitriol from his fellow contestants.

I mean, shit, I deal with annoying people all the time at work, and I just suck it up and deal. So should they.

That being said, he is cocky as hell, and I'd rather not see him win. My vote goes to Elia, although I think Sam's probably more technically skilled . . .

And I'm totally pysched about Heroes starting up again tonight. Yatta!

Jan 23 2007 09:06 PM

I guess I missed an episode of Heroes. How'd Niki end up in prison? And how did Hiro lose his powers?

A Boy Named Seo
Jan 24 2007 12:32 PM

Disagree on Sam. I was sure I was going to hate him when this season started, but it's been the opposite. He's been decidedly a team guy, I think, and is at the front of all the chefs agreeing to help each other prep and expedite the meals during the big challenges. He gave Mikey the idea to go with trout/salmon during the 7 deadly sins challenge, a challenge Mikey later won, and Sam seemed genuinely happy for him. He also tried to 1) help Elia keep her shit together during the last episode when she lost it over her desert and 2) gave her the idea to break up the chocolate hearts and serve them. I think Tom also unfairly piled on him during the hair-shaving thing, asking him if that's the way he runs his restaurant. That wasn't his group he was in charge of, and if it was, I doubt it would've gone down that way. I don't remember the toothbrush thing, but Sam seems a decent guy to me.

I agree that Marcel is annoying, but in this amped-up, elimination-style competition, every person is a threat and Marcel is for a couple of reasons - he's a talented chef for one, and two, he would not for a second hesitate to fuck someone else over to win. In one of the challenges (where Sam was team leader, I believe), he tried to separate himself from the rest of the team by saying he didn't require any direction and he just came off as a dick and probably pissed everyone else off. I'm not surprised Sam lost it and blew up on him at the store that time. And the rooftop rap? What a complete dork.

The Final Four ending didn't surprise me in the least after Project Runway did the same last season. Sam and Elia are definitely the strongest, but if Marcel doesn't get pinched for cheating (alluded to in the spots for this week's show), he could whip up some foamy concoction and steal it. He's a darkhorse, though.

JG sez:

Sam 3:1
Elia 5:1
Marcel 8:1
Elan 15:1

Edit: Elia is white hot with a bald head. You can't get away with a bald head if you don't have a pretty face, but she also ditched her oversized glasses which was a great move (and I love me a chick with some giant glasses).

A Boy Named Seo
Jan 24 2007 10:02 PM

"Put your dick away, dude!" - Mia to Cliff in the "Holiday Spirit" episode.

She's a complete maniac, but that line was just as funny right now as it was the first time I saw it.

This episode was also the one where Marcel tried to talk up how marvelous he was to the judges and how he didn't need any direction after his team had already been announced the winner. Sam was peeved (and a little whiny) when he said, "Kid wouldn't shut up... he tried to steal my thunder".

I also caught the "Camp Glucose" episode earlier today, too, and it was kinda funny when Sam outed the cheating, but not the cheater. I still think he's a pretty alright guy despite the abundance of bandanas and all that wrist and neck jewelry that guy wears.

Johnny Dickshot
Jan 24 2007 11:42 PM


Wow, interesting finish with everyone's longshots in the final 2. Could Ilan not have learned even after watching the episodes that paranoia over Marcel makes him look like a complete pussy and feeds whatever meager power Marcel possesses, i.e.: the power to to not see his own flaws or acknowledge others pointing them out? Narrowly focused geeks can be dangerous things.

Note how Ilan begs Elia to do his bidding, then gets the judges' attention only to turn the floor over to Elia. Is this not transparent? Elia only began to look bad when she too got dragged into believing that losing was one thing; but losing to Marcel would be especially humiliating?

Tough break for the losers, huh?

A Boy Named Seo
Jan 25 2007 02:24 AM

Wow. Was there really like 8 straight minutes of advertising before that last segment?

Tough break for the losers for sure, but credit to the judges for voting for the best food and the chef who best fulfilled that challenge's criteria than going with a cumulative, overall season winner. Since it seemed like Ilan and Sam's dishes were both successful, they certainly could've gotten away with it.

Was Padma crying when she told Sam to pack up?

Marcel's going to whip Ilan like a foam.

A Boy Named Seo
Jan 25 2007 01:11 PM

More Top Chef:

[url=]Padma's blog[/url] recaps the show nicely, includes photos of most of the dishes served, and confirms that she was teary when she booted both Elia and Sam.

Angry fan mistakes TV villain for real villain and [url=]breaks a bottle over poor Marcel's head[/url]. I would've thought his ample hair would have lessened the blow. Maybe it did.

Sam looks like Jim, no?

Jan 25 2007 02:04 PM

Anybody besides me watch 'ROME' on HBO?

I love it. It's got everything - sex, violence, intrigue, politics all against the backdrop of a gritty, dirty ancient Rome.

I caught up on season 1 by doing HBO On Demand in the weeks leading up to the season 2 premiere.

Highly recommend it.

Johnny Dickshot
Jan 25 2007 02:11 PM

I practically fell asleep watching the first few eps of Rome and never gave it another shot. Much preferred Deadwood. Now it's dead!

Vic Sage
Jan 25 2007 04:06 PM

I love ROME.

The fictional story or Verenas and Pulo forms the emotional center of this violent, erotic, filthy, vicious depiction of the ancient world.

back to TOP CHEF. I missed it.
are you kidding me?
Sam AND Elia got booted? What did they do... spit on the food?

At this point in the competition, it should NOT be about a particular dish or task. It SHOULD be cumulative. Especially if the dishes are all relatively successful. Judging food is so arbitrary and subjective that I think the chefs who are consistently good and professional should get the edge over more erratic chefs, if the dishes are close.

Johnny Dickshot
Jan 25 2007 04:31 PM

Sorry, didn't wanna come off judgmental on ROME, just didn't pick it up right away. Plus to me it was just another version of the Sopranos, only set in Rome, like Deadwood in the Old West, etc etc etc....

That Top Chef was the semifinal and not the final, and there was a very specific assignment, they were right to judge it close to the task.

What the losers had in common was that they both "played it safe" probably figuring, like we did, that they had it made when they didn't. Beyond that the criticism went generally that Elia's was the worst of the 4 enties easily, and Sam didn't cook anything.

Everyone is flawed though, that's what this show has proven.

Marcel was the most creative, and they liked Ilan's balls. Idf either of their dishes didn't taste good they'd have gotten whacked for sure, so you gotta believe they were good.

This is also a producer's dream finale, the 2 mortal enemies locked in combat.

Last year they brought back a collection of losers to help out the final 2 in the kitchen: That hurt the villian last time since much came down to the idea of how much can other chefs respect and want to work for you. That favors Ilan, so does the fact that his helpers will broaden his skills from his one-note Spanish presentation .

Vic Sage
Jan 25 2007 04:49 PM

i think it was the producers who wanted Marcel in the final because they want the drama for the finals.

Elia was a bit inconsistent throughout, and often had emotional meltdowns in the kitchen. I remember her smearing herself with chocolate or something, because she was just totally out of it. and then the breakdown with the chocolate hearts... she's not very stable. and, apparently, she didn't cook up to snuff in the last round. So i have no problem with her elimination.

But Sam? He was clearly the best, most consistent chef througout the competition. And his dishes in this round was rated by the Hawaiian chef as the best of the 4, so it wasn't like he crashed and burned. He didn't cook anything? Neither did Marcel, apparently.

So I get why they bumped Elia and kept Marcel. But why Ilan over Sam?

Again, it feels like a programming decision, not a decision that would result in them picking the top chef for this series. Ilan is immature and more combative, thus making sparks more likely to fly in the finale.

Sam was the Top Chef of this series, and that is clear to anybody who watched it. But rather than acknowledge that, the producers preferred to have a drama play out in the finale... it's just bullshit. I'm not going to watch the final show, so let me know who wins.

Johnny Dickshot
Jan 25 2007 05:06 PM

Sam probably was the Top Chef, but he wasn't without warts -- and as the most fully realized of the group remaining, there's not a real strong case that his advantage was anything more than experience.

And if he truly was the undisputed TC, he should have brought better luau food yesterday.

I truly think the flaw in the show isn't the producer's hardon for drama (though that's part of it) it's that they came up with a lousy field of chefs for this competition. I'd eat at the restuarant of the top 3 from last season before any of the Top 4 from this year.

Vic Sage
Feb 06 2007 01:21 PM

new episode of HEROES last night...


holy crap!
Nathan is the cheerleader's father!
and Mr. Sulu is Hiro's father!

that's a lot of paternal revelations right there.

oh, and Siler is on the loose once more.