Friday, August 30, 2013

DWAYNE JOHNSON'S MONEY CLIP:  According to the latest annual survey by Visa, children are receiving an average of $3.70 per-tooth from the Tooth Fairy in 2013, as compared with $3.00 last year. Ninety percent of families pay ransom for their children's teeth, with 33% going with a flat dollar, 6% giving $20 or more per tooth, and 2% reaching a flabbergasting $50+ threshold.
GIVE IT UP: The summer could not end with my crowning the Worst "Blurred Lines" Parody of the Summer, a promo for Salt Lake City's KUTV News which somehow manages to be more exploitative of women than the original version.

It's one thing to have models prance around as the mute subjects of the male singers—being objectified is an inherent component of the job description. It's another to ask professional female newsreaders and reporters to dance around their male colleagues in an admiring manner, chastely fondle them, and serve as the subject of the male gaze in an asymmetrical, tacky mess. I have no idea why they'd agree to do this, and just have the oogies about the whole thing. [That said, 1:06 to 1:08 of the video is kinda awesome.]

On the other hand, when it comes to Song of the Summer remakes, there's Simon Pegg and Nick Frost's "Get Lucky," which is absolutely glorious. 
ALOTT5MA FRIDAY GRAMMAR RODEO, BDSM DESK: The Economist, Letters Section (August 24 edition):
Red cheeks all round 
SIR – Your article on the state of Britain’s coalition government used “dominatrixes” as the plural of dominatrix (“Enter the van men”, August 3rd). Whoever wrote that, rather than “dominatrices”, deserves a good spanking. 
Cambridge, Cambridgeshire

Thursday, August 29, 2013

PERHAPS THE ONLY THING ON WHICH GREGG EASTERBROOK REMAINS CORRECT:  Seasonal creep sucks. My SuperFresh is already selling Halloween candy, and Starbucks started rolling out its pumpkin flavorings this morning.  Only, what, two weeks until the red cups and peppermint mocha frappuccinos?
AND THEN IT HAPPENED:  A brief essay from Pastor Steve Wiens reminds us that when you're traveling with small children, it's not a vacation—it's a trip:
A vacation is for sipping drinks at 10 a.m. and taking those obnoxious pictures of the lower half of your legs while looking out onto palm trees. A vacation is for getting massages and eating nachos and overusing phrases like "beer-thirty." A vacation is for pools and sun and servants, lots and lots of servants. 
Trips are just like that, except for everything....

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

STAPLETON AIRPORT AND SPRAY PAINT LAWS? IS THAT ALL YOU'VE GOT?  I'm unimpressed by this year's Beloit Mindset List, so if you want to feel old consider this: Tori Amos turned 50 last week.
CORNMEAL, BUTTERMILK, EGGS, SALT, BAKING POWDER AND ONION: Slate's Andrew Simmons pitches hush puppies as "crisp millimeter for millimeter, precious fat gram for fat gram, the best fried food in existence.... cornmeal in a state of grace."
LIVE FROM NEW YORK: Vulture has a list of folks they'd like to see host SNL this season.  I'll offer a few additions, and I'm betting you can as well.
  • Tom Hanks--Honestly, I'll be kind of shocked if he doesn't host the Christmas episode to promo Saving Mr. Banks, or maybe the season premiere to promote Captain Phillips.  (Though Will Ferrell may get Christmas to promo Anchorman 2.)
  • Chris Hemsworth--He seems like he has the right kind of winking humor to pull it off, and with Rush and Thor 2, he has projects to promote.
  • Chloe Grace Moretz--A younger host is always a risky move, but she could do it, I think.
  • Elizabeth Banks--You have to assume they'll want Lawrence for Catching Fire/American Hustle, but Banks has a romcom out in the Spring, and she seems like she could be a lot of fun.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio--Leo has never hosted SNL, which seems shocking to me.  It may be that he thinks he's too much of a Serious Actor to do a silly sketch show, but given how folks like Affleck and Timberlake have used SNL as a jumping off point, maybe he can be persuaded to bite.
  • Harrison Ford--Another one who's never done the show, and I can readily see it being a total trainwreck with him, but given that he's been very busy this year with movies, maybe they try and get him?  At a bare minimum, a cameo in the inevitable Ferrell-hosted Anchorman 2 promo episode would seem logical, since he's in the movie.
  • Bill Clinton--You have to assume the offer's been made and rejected numerous times, but man, that could be a spectacular get for Lorne, though I'm sure the script approval would be a nightmare.
DUAL TUNER DILEMMAS: With the new fall TV season fast approaching, it's time to look at the tough DVR dilemmas:
  • Mondays at 10--Castle v. The Blacklist v. Hostages--Castle was hit or miss last year (the ludicrous Taken-esque two-parter and the silly "Beckett's mother" mythology stuff were low points), and Blacklist and Hostages are both getting big promo pushes.  Hostages seems to raise a lot of questions of if there's a show there long-term, so I think it loses the third slot, especially since CBS will assuredly repeat it on Fridays.
  • Tuesdays at 8--NCIS v. The Originals v. Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. v. The Biggest Loser v. Brooklyn Nine-Nine/Dads--Given its pedigree, SHIELD gets priority here.  The other slot is tough, I've never watched Vampire Diaries, so a spinoff isn't a high priority for me, so that's out.  The very positive reception to Brooklyn Nine-Nine means it gets a shot for me over NCIS, again, in part because I know CBS will rerun the episodes later.
  • Thursdays at 9--Grey's Anatomy v. Reign v. Glee v. The Crazy Ones/Two and A Half Men v. Sean Saves The World/The Michael J. Fox Show--This is the murderer's row slot.  Grey's stays--despite some ups and downs, the show is coming off a solid season, and the newer characters are working well with the ensemble.  I gave up Glee last season due to conflicts in this slot, and watching the repeats this summer has confirmed I made the right decision (the Lima stuff is terrible, and the NYC stuff is little more than wish fulfillment).  Reign looks interesting, but I can't realistically give it a shot in this slot.  Much as I love Amber Tamblyn, she's not getting me to watch 2.5 Men, nor is Megan Hilty enough to make me want to watch Sean (though Victor Fresco, who created Better Off Ted and Andy Richter Controls The Universe, as showrunner gives me hope).  The Crazy Ones could be a complete trainwreck, but it should be a fascinating one, and I have enough residual goodwill for Michael J. Fox that I'll take him on. 
TL;DR:  It may wind up being an omnishambles, but Oxford Dictionaries Online (note: not the Big Book) is srsly adding a lot of derpy slang you might want to unlike during your me time while wearing jorts and eating guac.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

CAN I CALL YOU EARVIN?  Speaking of controversial train wrecks, Splitsider today has a recap and full video from Howard Stern's visit to The Magic Hour. Hoo, boy, this kinda got out of hand.
WE CAN STOP:  Hank and Marie watch the VMAs.

Let's be clear: there's nothing "shocking" about a female performer (whether singer or actress) choosing to go all sexual to prove she's all grown up, whether it's Olivia Newton-John's long trek from Sandra Dee to getting "Physical," Anne Hathaway in Havoc and Katie Holmes in The Gift, or the multi-car train wreck which remains Britney Spears' career despite Isaac's love for "Toxic". This is a path which pop culture lays out fairly plainly for women in entertainment, and those who follow it tend to get the bargained-for results.

[Speaking of which: it wasn't a "train wreck" either -- Cyrus did exactly what the choreography called for, and elicited the desired media cataclysm in which I'm now participating. If you want to see a languid train wreck, watch Spears at the 2007 VMAs.]

Let's save terms like "controversial" and "shocking" for when they're deserved: Sinead O'Connor's or Elvis Costello's SNL performances, Dylan at Newport, RuPaul's vicious undermining of Milton Berle at the 1993 VMAs (because of an off-stage slight), etc., performances which actually challenged audiences. Sunday night was a nontroversy.
NATIONAL BISCUIT CON:  A New York high school class has determined that a Double Stuf Oreo does not, in fact, contain double the "stuf" but only 1.86 times more than the original, perfectly-ratioed cookie.

Monday, August 26, 2013

WOULD YOU LIKE THE TABLE SIDE GUACAMOLE?:  Another fun twist in Walter White's ride along the historical arc of justice.  Comments and spoilers below.

(And I do have a question where I could use some help).

Sunday, August 25, 2013

APPARENTLY, SOMEONE IS GOING TO ROAR:We're getting too old to be the target demographic for MTV's Video Music Awards, so we won't be offering full live team coverage, but a show that's going to feature some sort of NSYNC reunion, and a diva-off between Katy Perry and Lady Gaga is at least worth a comment thread.