Friday, September 25, 2009

American HomicIdol

Well, vampire season is over, so now I can have my Sunday nights back to devote to something more humane and domestic -- a serial killer! Yay, Dexter returns this week to quench my bloodlust!

I was a bit surprised that Jimmy Smits didn't take the Emmy award for his turn as DA-turned-killer last season, but what can you expect? I won't even bother to mention the ricockulousness of Jon Cryer winning over Kevin Dillon or NPH. Just...weird. But it's slightly funny that they felt obliged to actually invent an entire new category to atone for overlooking True Blood after the enormous wave of popularity it achieved this summer. Fucking dipshits. Dexter also gets very little "official" love, but fans know that it's wonderfully episodic viewing, and this year looks as though they're going to deviate from the seasons 1 through 3 arc of Dexter finding a killer soulmate and then having to turn on them. It's a good trick, but now that the pony has performed it so many times, I think it's good that we're seeing Dexter move to the struggles of domesticity and fatherhood so that we can see what problems that'll present.

Speaking of dangerous men with a nasty streak, Larry David has also returned to Sunday nights with another season of Curb Your Enthusiasm. Thank God. Nothing really speaks to a misanthrope like Larry David's humor. I'd been missing him, but when they started airing the simple promo of a random woman passing him on the street and cheerily saying, "Smile!" to him, I realized just how badly I was looking forward to Curb's return. Larry, in true Larry style, stops and turns around and glares at the woman and yells after her, "Mind your own business!" It's a simple, stupid promo, but it sums up Larry pretty well, and the premier episode didn't disappoint. It was filled with the minutiae of manners, with Larry being the Dirty Harry enforcer and renegade bad-taste outlaw also. Never one to back down from trying wring comedy from the taboo, (he's previously desecrated the sanctity of support groups, funerals (a couple times) and pedophilia) Larry is this year going to go for the uncomfortable and inappropriate laughs at the expense of cancer. Good on you, Larry.

Meanwhile, Entourage trudges along, with Ari actually being nearly too nasty to Lloyd for me to stomach, which is why I was glad Johnny Drama stuck with our unlikely underdog hero of this season. Drama and Lloyd -- now that's a dream team of misfortune if ever there was one. Eric has finally figured out that his chick is crazy bitch, though I never for a second believed he'd have picked her over Sloan anyhow. I mean, Alexis Dziena is totally cutte, and I'm totally straight, but Emmanuelle Chriqui -- yeah, even I'd hit that. I just wish there'd been something for Vince to do this year. The season just lacked big time without the forward momentum created by an overarching storyline.

In TV news regarding other days of the week, I am again into Top Chef, of course. It's in Vegas, baby, what's not to love? Well, other than Tom Colicchio, whom I still loathe. And I can't recall another season where there was such a disparity between the "top" chefs and the ones who suck, but I don't really care about that.

Besides some lame TV observations, I'm not sure that I have much to post about here, so no need to be alarmed if I fall silent for some long stretches. I will have a new book coming out soon (YAY!) so I'll apologize in advance, but I will have to try to post and promote it here a bit. Was that a good enough segue to actually start to promote? Good. It's not a sequel, but if you liked 24/7 at all, this is a bit of a follow up in that Marina and Miguel are back and it's set in Vegas and it's a fast little caper. Kinda like if the "Sex and the City" girls were Soprano's kin and decided to go all "Ocean's Eleven" on someone's ass. So there you go with the first of that unseemly self-congratulatory business. It's called House Money and you can read some about it here and check out the cool cover, which I will be shamelessly posting numerous times in the future, cause I love it. (Thank you, Don!) And, so that this blog post has a symmetry to it, I will also just mention that there is, indeed, some blood and killing in this book. Yay!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Donna Does Full Monty

My pal Donna George Storey has an incredibly sensual, sexy, and smart story up at The Erotic Woman. It's called "All Eyes Upon Her," and it takes the premise of striptease from the days of Sally Rand and updates it to suburbia. I can't imagine anyone wouldn't love it. She's even got one turn of phrase in there that is so good it sort of pissed me off and made me jealous -- and that, for me, is the mark of a great writer -- someone who just makes me both seethe and applaud because it's so good.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Last Drop

Well. Shit. Summer really is coming to an end. Though this weak season of Entourage limps along without any clear purpose, I'll gladly keep watching to see what dumb shit Drama does next. But Hung called it a wrap last night, and it wasn't quick enough for me. Just, I just didn't hang in there with this show. I watched, and disliked it more with each passing week, with the major exception of Jane Adams. But Sunday was, most notably, the season finale of True Blood. Naturally, this is how I feel about it all being over until next summer.

I am perhaps the only one, but I loved the episode. A couple observations:

Along with knowing that the "third waitress at Merlotte's" is a fatal job, future Bon Temps denizens should also be armed with this nugget of knowledge. If you are black, and if the season is hurtling to an end, you should not, under any circumstances, be caught in Merlotte's parking lot. Most specifically, you should not be near Andy Bellefleur's car in Merlotte's parking lot if there is less than 10 minutes to go in the season. If you are out in the parking lot of Merlotte's at this witching hour, and particularly if you are a person of color, you can kiss your ass goodbye. Pray for syndication, cause that's the only way you'll be seen again on this show.

That said, I was glad to see Eggs get whacked, because I'd come to loathe Eggs. The actor who plays him, Mehcad Brooks, is incredibly pretty, but that's about it. In fact, he's quite the mimbo, without much personality or appeal other than this abs. I wish him well, but I'm glad he's gone from my screen.

In stark contrast is Michelle Forbes. She rocked Maryann so hard and was mesmerizing at times.

And yet, still not sad to see her go. It wasn't just the cathartic "evil vanquished" kind of happiness at seeing her gored, either. That plot ran way too long and really tried my patience, so, though I'm loathe to lose Forbes, I was thrilled to see Maryann messing with the bull and ending up getting the horns. One observation on that, though, and I only make it because the show has made this point, on a few occasions: Sam MUST get an imprint of an animal to be able to shift into it. Exactly WHERE in his travels did he come across an albino bull before, huh?

That was a little bit silly, but if not for that quibble, it was clever, and I was really glad to see Sam being the one to stick it to the vibrating bitch! And Sam Trammell again delivered with a kickass performance.

But let's rewind just a bit. Sookie's house, this week, took another startling turn. It'd gone from Blair Witch Frat Party to Rob Zombie movie set, and this week it looked like they'd soon be filming "Land of the Lost." Fuuuhcked Up! And I love that Sookie just shrugs and says, "We'll clean everything the monster touched." Um. Sook? There are VINES growing out your walls, this is beyond the capabilities of a Swiffer, baby. Also? How did Sookie contain herself when she spotted Maryann in Gran's wedding dress? Sookie went absolutely batshit last year on Maxine Fortenberry over "GRAN'S PIE!" And yet this episode she wasn't peeved enough about the dress to let the sparks fly out of her hands at Maryann? Lafayette actually owned the bridesmaid reveal scenes a couple of times, first with his tiny clap at the announcement, and then by being dressed as a bridesmaid! I love Laff so, and am so glad he survived the season.

Someone else I love who survived? Eric. Though he was barely in the episode, I have to say that thanks to him, I give new consideration to Evan Rachel Wood's queen. She was threatening this episode. And playful. And I dug her. Maybe it really was just Bill dragging her down! She scored a Yahtzee for sure, though this week.

Best couple of the whole season? Jason and Andy.

And Andy inspired the best line of the night, coming from Sheriff Dearborn: "You've got a lot of faults, Andy. But at least you've got pants on." And I just love Chris Bauer's voice and delivery. He's a funny fuck, alright. Not to mention him publicly calling out Jane Bodehouse about seeing her taking it from behind by Mike Spencer! That was hilarious! Other post-zombie revelry gone bad? I love that Lafayette doesn't even question how he's dressed, he just questions how the fuck he got there. Another tiny detail that I loved? Scrambled Terry's shirt, announcing his brain scrambledness. And Arlene's kids being just a wee bit more precocious than she knows. And they love Eric!

I also love that they polished off this season and then transitioned right into next season. I mean, I see no downside at all to having Bill dragged off in silver chains! YAY to kidnapped Bill!

But before the kidnapping, Bill did show a glimmer of hope when he took Sook to the fancy dinner, and for the dancing portion, instead of a stuffy waltz that I'd expected him to bust out, he got groovy with a... was that a hustle? (All those seasons of DWTS and I still can't tell, but I know it wasn't a pasodoble.) There was, in that one, brief scene, a delicious and terribly sexy, playful vibe from both Bill and Sookie, enough so that I was actually like, "Yeah! That's why they're a couple!" Something about this, however, also made me picture Bill in the late '80s, at a Gilley's knock-off, taking line dancing classes.

On the Bad Bill side, he continues to be, and I quote Jessica here, The Worst Maker Ever! I know he's been busy, but he's really blown off Jessica these past couple weeks and she is all sorts of fucked up, and instead of stopping and talking to her, he waltzes (two-steps) off to his fancy dinner with Sookie. I feel bad for Jessica.

And I feel bad for Jason. I've come to absolutely adore Jason this year. And his poor feeble mind is not gonna handle this whole "cracking eggs wide open" thing well. Oh the irony, huh? Andy used to dog Jason and accuse him of being a murderer. Now Jason does kill someone, and Andy covers it up for him. Oh, that Andy.

I also feel bad for Tara, and particularly bad for us, the viewers. I miss our bad-ass Tara of the past, and I'm worried that this whole Eggs thing is just gonna wonk her worse for next season. She needs to take lessons in resiliency from Sookie. Sitting and crying one minute as all the stress of the season catches up to her. And then, a quick trip to the loo, a glance in the mirror -- and at her shiny new diamond -- not shocking that a Stackhouse can be totally fascinated by shiny objects! -- and suddenly Sookie is right as rain again, ready to marry Bill!

But oh yeah, Bill's been kidnapped! Dragged off in silver chains! Around his neck! Did I mention that already?

I'm sure some will assume it's Eric behind the 'napping, but my money is on Lorena, but I'm not sure. But I do know this -- the Blood will flow again next summer! But until then, this season was good to the last bloody drop!

Pics this week from phoenixothon.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Southern Gentleman vs. Viking

So, it appears as though it's not just me who's trying to fill the two week void until the Blood finale, and the news this week is sure to break a million fangirly hearts. Seems as though everyone jumped the gun with their dislike of Evan Rachel Wood's portrayl of the crazy Queen, as we now have a layer of festering jealousy to slather onto our disappointment. Seems that she and Alexander Skarsgard are doing it!

First, I have to say that she has definitely upgraded. I applaud her, definitely.

Second -- WHAT, exactly, sort of crazy pheromones are flying around that True Blood set? I'm starting to get the idea that the set is more sex-soaked off camera than one of Maryann's crazy orgies! First Anna and Stephen, and now these two. I guess if you sign up for a True Blood scene, you'd best be prepared to do some off camera sexing with a co-star. In other words, even MORE reason to love the show, now from an actor's standpoint. The funniest part, though? Why does Ryan "Jason Fuckin' Stackhouse" Kwanten not seem to be getting any onset? Or did he hook up with Lizzy Caplan? (I still miss her.) Then again, considering this was the summer of Skarsgard, with everyone from Entertainment Weekly to TV Guide losing their minds (and panties) to him, I guess it's not so surprising that we'd be getting info about his hookups.

Third -- and the perfect segue here -- here's hoping that ERW as the Queen brings it more in her scenes with Eric next week, given that there probably was some actual chemistry already sparking at that time. Perhaps she, too, was just in Viking thrall and that's why her scenes with Bill fell flat.

As for the show, I don't really care at this point who Sookie hooks up with, Bill or Eric. She can stay with Bill as long as she keeps having crazy (and graphic) sex dreams about Eric. But as a general Team Bill vs. Team Eric comparison, I figured that I'd lay out the pros and cons of each one. Because even though it's probably already obvious who I favor, I think there are a some interesting details to consider. Therefore...


Keeps a clean house, and is even currently trying to get the furnishings and electrical codes updated to a more recent century.

Is a considerate host, always quick with Frescas or fireside toast, even if the Fresca isn't served cold. (some of those furnishings/appliances still haven't been updated to the early 20th century yet, let alone 21st.)

Is devoted enough to Sookie to turn down ramdom, one-off, steamy dressing-room sex, even if it makes him come off like a homosexual. (though, who would mind being thought of as gay if your assumed partner is, well, this:)

Is a very attractive man, even if, and I quote Bridget Jones here, he should seriously reconsider the length of his sideburns.

Though he flirts awkwardly by making inappropriately suggestive cracks about the femoral artery, he's always willing to open his own wrist when his mate is...dying.


Like I said, Eric is something akin to Tony Soprano. He's an upper-middle management vampire who's accumulated quite a bit of power and fortune over the years, yes. But he accomplished that by taking no shit. It's always prudent to keep in mind that your potential boyfriend does have his own personal dungeon. Worse, if he's provoked, he's likely to literally rip you into pieces.

However, on the upside, Eric, though he claims inability to comprehend the popular vernacular which describes the feelings -- and, in fact, even claims to no longer have feelings, he has shown a propensity for love that spills over into reverence.

If you are pondering cumbersome baggage, Bill comes equipped with the ex from hell. Meanwhile, Eric comes with the greatest undead accessory ever -- Pam! Yay Pam!

Now, let's talk for a minute about their courting techniques. Both share a grotesque affinity for getting their romantic prospects interested in them by having them drink their blood. However, let's examine the way in which they convince their crush to ingest.

Bill. This "old fashioned southern gentleman" was inexplicably late to meet Sookie one very dark evening and she got nearly beaten to death. He did, of course, open his vein to save her life.

Eric, on the other hand, intentionally placed himself between a bomb and Sookie and took shrapnel/silver bullets for her that could have actually killed him. Then, while wounded, he tricked her into sucking out the bullets so that she would swallow his blood. Unseemly, yes. But at least he didn't let her come to grave physical harm.

Also, Eric can fly. Literally. Fly. That's pretty fucken cool!

However, in the Bill column, when he was exposed to Arlene's kids, Bill displayed patience and a gentle indulgence. Eric, however, looked at them with an unsettling mixture of fascination and...hunger. Then again, if you're not a kid person, I suppose this one could go in the Eric column.

On the downside for Eric, he has displayed a certain amount of vanity. Two words: highlight foils.

On the upside for Eric, his careful grooming habits result in him looking like this:

Whereas, once again, Bill and those goddamn sideburns:

Then again, in the big plus side for Bill, once he does fall in love, he's obviously willing to sacrifice himself to help Sookie at any cost. Even letting this happen to himself:

Unfortunately for Bill, while he looks like a charred hot mess, this is what Eric looks like.

I think the choice is obvious.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Building the Perfect Beast

So, here's dumb post number one to help pass the time as we wait this whole week for the True Blood finale.

I know it's way past time to let it go, but really, when it comes to anti-heroes they really sort of took it to a new heights with Tony Soprano -- another HBO character that managed to capture the imagination (and hearts) of plenty of faithful viewers. Right now, Alexander Skarsgard is nominated for a Scream Best Villain award. Very cool. (Go vote early and often, Team Skarsgard Shirtless friends.) But it also jarred me, because I didn't really realize that Eric was a villain. I always saw him as more of an anti-hero like Tony Soprano. Sure, he does some pretty bad shit, but you can't help but root for him, either. And they have plenty of other things in common, too. In fact, I think Eric is the new Tony Soprano. Witness the amazing similarities.

Tony had the Bada Bing. Eric has Fangtasia.

Tony had a strong father he was always trying to live up to, even though his father was already dead.
Eric also worships his father-figure, Godric, who is undead.

Tony always had to deal with Uncle June -- his relative, but also a cloying underling who was a constant nag because of his insecurity.
Eric deals with Bill. 'Nuff said.

Tony had Carm. Eric has Pam.

Tony confided in and had a thing for Dr. Melfi, a brain-shrink, who brought out his softer side.
Eric has a thing for Sookie, a mind-reader, who brings out his uh, sexy side.

Tony carried a big gun. Eric has big guns.

Tony once read "The Art of War" by Sun Tzu.
Eric probably partied with Sun Tzu back in the day and gave him pointers.

Fangbangers? Fuhgedaboudit!