1) Showtime is premiering a musical version of Reefer Madness, the 1936 cult hit about the "dangers" of marajuana smoking. I'm writing an article about the remake, and I need to see the original, but I can't find a copy of it. Anyone know where I can track one down?
2) This is old, but I didn't realize Matty had a link to it on his site. The Scissor Scissors' video for "Filthy/Gorgeous" was banned on MTV; directed by Hedwig And The Angry Inch creator/star John Cameron Mitchell, it's all sorts of dirty. (I used to dress up like this and go out in NYC. Ah, the memories.) You can watch it on Matty's blog here. Scroll down to Thursday, March 10. If you don't have good speakers on your computer, the song will sound terrible and whiny, but c'est la vie.
3) I am performing in a comedy festival at Nashville's Gay Pride, and there are a few spots for other comedians to perform short sets. Interested? I'll pass on your info to the appropriate people.
4) The whole episode last night was edited out-of-order, of course, as is the whole show. As usual, it is difficult watching everything, knowing what happened...but it is JUST FOR FUN and shouldn't be taken seriously in any way. So edit away, I guess. The one thing I do want to make clear: there is LOTS of stuff they aren't showing. Our team didn't just arbitrarily decide to get rid of Beth for fun. By the time that decision was made, we were growing desperate. And it had nothing to do with her physical abilities.
P.S. I know my hair looks brassy on the show but it gets bleached out as time progresses. And it wasn't as brassy in person. It's way cuter now anyway.
I've been thinking about this, and I'm even more riled up than I was when I first got started. Those pictures of Jessica Simpson as Daisy Duke, with BLOND HAIR, have me gnashing my teeth. Daisy Duke is an icon. Daisy Duke represents all that is glorious about the brunette. Daisy Duke's name is forever associated with a specific article of clothing: the super-duper-small cutoff short. Does Jessica Simpson have ANYTHING named after her? No. Yet her father manager thinks Jessica's identity is more significant than the cultural impact of Daisy Duke. The nerve. I bet that movie, like "Starsky & Hutch", is going to be lame.
So here is a list of the rules by which some future TV-to-movie remakes must follow:
I Dream Of Jeannie: She must have the exact same costume; belly-button exposed, but nothing else. (A push-up bra beneath the costume will be acceptable, as cleavage is to today what the belly button was to the 60's.) Since Nicole Kidman has publicly announced she cannot wrinkle her nose, as Samantha did when casting spells in Bewitched (damn those nose jobs!), yet she was given the part anyway...to avoid such a gaffe in the future, all actresses auditioning for the role must be able to blink both eyes upon command. (And with Botox on the scene, that may be harder than you think.) It must must must be set in the 60's. Master must wear tailored suits with pants that are juuuust slightly too high at the ankle.
Good Times: Florida must have a gap in her teeth. The show doesn't need to be set in the 70's; modern-era will be fine, substituting hip-hop influences for disco style. (It was the spirit that was important, not the music itself.) They must live in Cabrini Greene, the enormous public housing project in Chicago. Willona MUST refer to her workplace as "the boutique." JJ should be played by a Wayans brother.
One Day At A Time: Schneider must, must, MUST have a cheesy moustache and smack his gum. It must be set in the 70's, as single mothers today are not that shocking a sight.
The Facts Of Life: Mrs. Garrett should be portrayed as, but not confirmed as, a drunk, as that was never confirmed on the show. Tootie must try to be a "teen model" but encounter eating disorders in an effort to lose her "baby fat." Jo cannot be a lesbian, as much as America wants her to be. Natalie should be played by Liv Tyler's fat sister, the only woman on Earth who properly grasps the concept of thinking every man wants to fuck her because she is so sexy at that size. They must all live at the boarding school, as future moves to the bakery (story lines: so-so) and then the remodel of the gift shop (story lines: terrible) were not true to the show. Modern-era setting is acceptable. George Clooney cannot be in the movie whatsoever.
Johnny Quest: It must be filmed in the spirit of XXX with Vin Diesel: fast-paced with lots of cheesy one liners. Modern era is acceptable, as the time period was irrelevant to this show. Hadji must be played by that dude from "That 70's Show" who (in real life) was dating Lindsay Lohan, as he is the only person in America who can truly get away with doing an campy, obviously-fake Middle Eastern accent without offending Middle Eastern people. (Or if it's not a Middle Eastern accent, it's close enough.) They must all wear tight pants that show lots of bulges in all the right places, which were (thankfully) drawn into the cartoon. Johnny Quest himself must have a high voice. The odd homoerotic relationship between Johnny's dad and their "bodyguard" MUST be explored, but only in a "deep-meaningful-stares" kind of way; no one really understands why the bodyguard is there in the first place, anyway. Wow, now that I type all of this, I realize Johnny Quest is a really gay show, isn't it?
Look, Hollywood, I realize making movies is tough. But what is with the crappy remakes?
I just saw the trailer for "Bewitched," and not only does it seem to have NOTHING TO DO WITH THE ORIGINAL SHOW, it looks absolutely awful. "Scooby Doo" was crap. "Fat Albert" was a guaranteed hit--all you had to do was follow the old show's story lines, and it would have been hilarious!--yet that travesty bombed harder than if you had dropped Fat Albert himself off a high dive.
The "Brady Bunch" movies were funny because they stuck to the old stories. Marsha was dippy; Jan was a mess; all of them were clueless. Yes, the stories took place in our current era, but their 1960's integrity still carried through in everything they did. The entire reason we want to see these damned "remake" movies is because of what happened in those old shows, and that includes the time periods as well. America is not as stupid as you think we are; we can watch a movie about something that happened a few decades ago, and still get it. Duh. And if you thought you were savvy enough to take Fat Albert and "update" him somehow and write a story better than what was already written for him, well, you must believe you are something special. Too bad you couldn't deliver. AT ALL.
I'm totally annoyed by this. All these classic pieces of American culture are going to waste. I swear to God, if you make a movie out of "Good Times," "What's Happening," "One Day At A Time," "I Dream Of Jeannie," or "Silver Spoons," and you start screwing around with the characters and the plots and the time periods in which they happened because you think we are too stupid to follow a story that isn't set in the "here and now," I will launch an all-out protest. And I am a spiteful man with lots of free time. I'll totally do it. I shudder at the thought of you putting Jeannie in a movie, without the EXACT SAME COSTUME. Yet we all know that somewhere, in some little dark room, some arrogant dumbass is sketching "new and improved" Jeannie costumes, trying to update her look so Britney Spears will look sexy when she plays the role. The horror.
You have zillions of dollars at your disposal. You should be doing a better job.
Britney Spears WOULD be cute as Jeannie, though, don't you think?
In an effort to make the world a happier place, allow me to make the following recommendations of things that I find exceptional in the world today:
The Office, NBC Thursdays: Please watch this show. After the first episode, I am totally in love and obsessed and fighting my editor to let me interview everyone in the cast.
American re-makes of British shows have a 50/50 chance of making it; reality shows like American Idol and Trading Spaces worked, of course, but those don't necessarily mean anything in regards to scripted television.
Queer As Folk was originally a British program, and it was actually the #1-rated program of the year in England (yes, that's overall viewership), but the American re-make is, well, ridiculous. People like it, but it's not exactly a "hit." Absolutely Fabulous was set for a remake in the U.S., to be produced by Roseanne Barr/Arnold/whatever, but she axed the idea out of fear the remake would suck (wise choice, I say). And Coupling's remake didn't even complete the run of it's first season, it was such crap. The originals of all these shows were brilliant, however. Coupling was so funny and smart; and Absolutely Fabulous was, well...if you haven't seen the first few seasons of that show, I don't know how you can continue on with you daily life. They are a must-view. (Although later seasons blew, but ignore them.)
So it was with great skepticism that I watched The Office, which won the Best Comedy Emmy for the British version this past year (which confused the hell out of millions of people, as only those people with BBC America were able to watch it). And I seriously laughed out loud. Hand-on-my-belly laughed. Friend-in-the-basement-doing-laundry-could-hear-me-laughing laughed.
2) Coconut-crusted cashews from Trader Joe's. Eat them plain, crush them over vanilla ice cream, or rub them all over your naked body. Take your pick, you'll thank me after your first try. And I hate coconut, so even if you're skeptical, give them a shot. Mmmmmmmmmm.
3) Juice Plus. I've never trusted "multivitamins" and refuse to believe our bodies function better by the addition of synthetic nutrients. Every pill you take has good side effects and bad side effects, and there MUST be negatives to that fake stuff, even if it's supposed to be healthy. But Juice Plus capsules are dehydrated fruits and veggies, smushed down to give you natural vitamins and stuff, without all the sugar of juice. How cool is THAT?
And the ol' Red White and Bluuuuuuuuu-UUUUUUUUUUE!
So the powers that be are going to make a Wonder Woman movie.
And now lies the ever-important decision of who will play our beloved Amazon Goddess. Because it's not going to be easy giving dramatic thread to a lady with big boobs who flies an invisible jet and ties up men with a lasso of truth. Verrrry risky endeavor, this is.
Comic book films are tough, of course. The X-Men films were pretty good, although Bryan Singer (director) had never read the comic books before he started making the film, and you can tell; a lot of the passion of the comics' stories is missing in the films. (Had it not been for Hugh Jackman, they would have bombed.) The Batman movies started out rock-solid, but then they fizzled into cheese and bad writing; now the idea of making another is about as viable as making Coyote Ugly II.
But those were action-oriented comics; Wonder Woman is a whole different deal. The glory of the Wonder Woman TV show was the fact that Lynda Carter, while drop-dead beautiful, was about as athleticly-inclined as any cast member of The Golden Girls. It was hilarious to watch her run and block bullets and stuff, even back when it was in its original run. It was very GLAMOROUS.
Years ago, a remake was pitched with Cindy Crawford playing the role. Boobs, hair, great musculature, she was the whole package. So the studios wanted to try her out as an actress, and gave her a part in that awful movie with Stephen Balwdin, the name of which I forget. Needless to say, she was just terrible. The movie flopped, Cindy flopped, the Wonder Woman remake flopped. And the whole thing was pronounced dead.
But now in this age of CGI, everyone is making comic book movies, and the Wonder Woman train is rolling again. So who is going to play the role? Who has the glamor? Who can throw her tiara-boomerang and not mess up her hair, or stop a speeding car in its tracks and not break a heel? I have a few suggestions.
A) Beyonce Knowles--my favorite. She may not have any Academy Award statues in her future for her acting, but let's face it: There were parts of Goldmember that were pretty funny. And when it comes to the hair-tossing, eye-batting, lip-licking glamor that Wonder Woman needs to possess while kicking some guy's ass, Beyonce gets it. She GETS it. The woman wore, what, four dresses to the Oscars? Five? Whatever. Either you get glamour, or you don't.
B) Charlize Theron. But she's already filming Aeon Flux, a much more S&M-oriented type of action heroine. So she may have shot her chances for the Wonder Woman role, as everyone will associate her with leather cat suits instead of red white & blue bustierres. Aeon Flux is probably going to rock, though, so good for her anyway. (Remember that cartoon from several years ago, on MTV? Pretty intense stuff.)
C) Sandra Bullock. She's the studio favorite, but I'm not sure. She looks the part, but her sense of humor is kinda goofy. Pierce Brosnan was thought to be great for James Bond, despite his goofy performance as Remington Steele (those born anytime after 1975 probably don't know that show, sorry), but they gave him a shot anyway. And he was alright as James Bond...but he didn't quite get the glamor of it. Sean Connery got it. Roger Moore got it. Pierce...was kinda flat. And that worries me about Sandra Bullock. She's cute as Miss Congeniality, but that's about as far as she can go. Ever see Murder By Numbers? Blech.
D) Angelina Jolie. Maybe. I seem to be the only person on Earth who didn't like her as Laura Croft. I see how she moves, and then I see the stuntwomen flipping around and stuff, and I am always aware they are different people. She is, however, a modern-day Kelly LeBrock. Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous. And for Wonder Woman, that counts for something. I'd rather have her than Sandra Bullock, honestly.
E) Eliza Dushku. I love Eliza Dushku! Ever since she faked her way through cheerleading practice in immediately-a-cult-classic Bring It On, this actress who perfected the bad-girl-gone-good thing has won a spot in my heart. I never saw her in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but she was in that show towards the end of its life so if it sucked I wouldn't hold her responsible. And Wonder Woman's director, John Whedon, was the creator of Buffy, so perhaps he and Eliza have worked together already and he could direct her better. I don't know, I'm trying to be an optimist here. Eliza is athletic, fun, and sassy, and her dry sense of humor is PERFECT. Eliza, if your agents aren't pitching you, fire them. And start doing shows with better scripts! You're selling yourself short with all that Tru Calling crap.
F) Jessica Alba. The former Dark Angel would be GREAT, except for the fact that she's already playing The Invisible Woman in the Fantastic Four remake. And that movie probably won't be too exciting. So, like Charlize, she probably blew her chances. Oh well.
I will post something when I return home and have had more than three hours sleep and have detoxed my liver, kidneys and brain.
I did not see the Inferno II last night, nor will I see American Idol or Top Model. So don't ruin it for me by posting anything here. Obviously I know the general idea of what happened in the Inferno, as I was there, but it's always a surprise to see what they include.
Why are these keys so loud when I type on them? My poor throbbing head.
Oh I forgot: I have very reliable resources that tell me Mario Vasquez hired extremely high-profile, New York-based legal representation to nullify his American Idol contract. Two questions: (1) why?, and (2) who is paying for this lawyer...another music producer, perhaps? My bet is that he's going to be the spokesperson for a hat manufacturer, singing their jingles. Just kidding. I hate those hats.
Be back in a few.
P.S.: I did hear/read the rumor that P. Diddy wants to sign Mario. Yes, it is all over the internet. But I also heard/read the internet rumor that Marcia Cross is a big lesbian. Sadly, a lesbian she is not. So I wait for proof of unreliable internet rumors. MY rumor, however, is verrrrrry reliable...and, for whatever it's worth, it lends credibility to the P. Diddy thing. Not that I care what P. Diddy does; he created his music career out by performing "songs" that were all samples of other songs. But people like his stuff for some reason, so more power to him. And the common public can't be trusted to judge taste; the common public thinks Jennifer Lopez is a good singer. And that will baffle me to the end of my days.
FYI: I think "Showgirls" is a great movie. So I'm not one to cast dispersions on another's preferences. My apologies to all the people who like Jennifer Lopez and P. Diddy and everyone else in pop culture who sucks.
I'm doing an interview with the cast of Queer Eye For The Straight Girl. What do I need to know about the show? Who is the best character? Blah blah blah.
Your help is appreciated, cyberpeople.
"In a world full of hamburgers, you are a steak."
--Simon speaking to Nadia
"In a world full of tools, you are a hardware store."
--Me to Simon's image in my television
Hello "Mario Vasquez."
IF that's your REAL NAME--and I'll get to that in a minute.
Yesterday I saw you on Regis and Kelly. Normally I just watch the show and fantasize about marrying Kelly Ripa as I think she is the bee's knees. But since you, "Mario" were on, I paid attention...for the 30 seconds I could handle you. Look, Mario, a bit of a realism here: I see your multi-ethnicism, I see your crazy hair, I hear your boy band voice, I see your moves, I see your dimples. I see how you're supposed to be this really great, unique pop-star package. And I realize we're supposed to be upset that we'll be seeing/hearing less of you, now that you quit--even though it's pretty clear you are quitting the show early to create some buzz. You want to go record your own album without the American Idol stigma. But I'm on to you, Mario. I see who you are. I see what you're trying to do.
No one bought your album the first time around, Justin Guarini. Disguising yourself as a new contestant won't fool me.
It's not the appearance that gave it away. Nor is it the voice. It's the fact that after American Idol, despite your (Justin's) HUGE following of people who thought you were cute and charming, you (Justin) went on a bunch of talk shows and acted like a totally cheesy dickhead to the point no one wanted to be seen buying your album in public. So now you (Justin) are trying to give it another shot, pretending to be "Mario," and you (Mario) are on Regis and Kelly blah-blah-blahing about your "fans," and did you learn your lesson? NO. All that work, changing your appearance, and you forgot to improve your personality. Sitting there on that stool, I wanted to slap that smug grin right of your face. So unless you have some really incredible magic tricks under that stupid hat of yours, please hush. Because Barbra Streisand's fans may think she's a bitch, but you know what? They're not buying her album for her personality. Sadly, you aren't Barbra Streisand.
That is all.
P.S. I don't care what the judges say--Vonzell, you are my favorite. And it's great to have you singing in tune again, Constantine. Lovely songs last night, both of you.