Archive: June 2008 (1-10 of 214)

Get ready for 'Dating Brad Garrett'

To be honest, I’m getting tired of reality dating shows. In my mind, the genre peaked in the ’70s with Jim Lange and The Dating Game — check out this vintage clip, starring another down-on-his-love comedian — and everything since has been, well, a bit soft.

That said, Dating Brad Garrett, a new online reality series starring (surprise!) Brad Garrett, looks like it could be kind of hysterical. The short video below should give you a taste for what Brad has in store for 10 lucky ladies. (Mandi, whatever you do, be sure to press the right side of his neck! The right!)

Reliving the maiden voyage of 'Saturday Night Live'

As a Saturday Night Live junkie who spent her youth devouring sketches like "Dieter’s Dream" and "The McLaughlin Group," I was ecstatic about NBC’s decision to rebroadcast the sketch comedy show’s debut episode this weekend, as a way to honor its very first host, George Carlin, who passed away June 22 at the age of 71. Really, could I have had a better reason to stay home with jar of Nutella on a Saturday night? (Or I just have no friends. You decide.) And for the most part, I was far from disappointed: What I saw was a stripped-down show that featured a not-quite-yet-cocky Chevy Chase, a larger-than-life John Belushi and traces of Gilda Radner’s brilliance (not to mention several of Carlin’s mind-blowing monologues, one of which included his now-famous football vs. baseball bit, embedded below).

Still, as much as I enjoyed delving into SNL history, I surprised myself by dozing off on a couple occasions. Sure, I’m a twentysomething living in a world of Speed Racer-esque pacing, but there’s no denying the SNL of 1975 was slower and more subtle (note: the absence oflaser cats) than the zippier broadcasts of 2008. Not to say the Carlin-led episode was completely dated — John Belushi’s"Wolverines" was one of several sketches that would still hold up well today. Others, however, like the faux commercial about the three-bladerazor — "Because you’ll believe anything" — were clearly products of their time. (Heck, my boyfriend uses a razor with not three, not four, butfive blades! And can you imagine how younger generations might react to SNL‘s "Happy Fun Ball" sketch after growing up in a society plastered with warning labels?)

Tell me, PopWatchers, did you enjoy Saturday’s SNL rebroadcast from 1975? Or were you jonesing for a more modern edition, complete with more outlandish sketches?

Give us your 'Must List' ideas!

"Dog bites man" is not a headline, but "Man bites dog" most certainly is. The clip below brings to life the Editing 101 adage  — with an aquatic twist. It’s a truly remarkable video of an encounter between a shark and an octopus that reverses all the preconceived rules of engagement popularized by Spielberg in Jaws. It’s been on YouTube for a while now, but it’s worth revisiting now that beach season is in full swing, and y’know, you need another source of self-induced terror before dipping your toes into the surf.

Mind you, the voiceover makes you wonder what on earth the aquarium staff were playing at. "Each week, keepers were finding shark carcasses in the bottom of the tank. Each week, three- to four-foot sharks kept vanishing." To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, to lose one may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose two (or more) looks like a disturbing case of could-care-less-ness.

So it’s over to you, PopWatchers. Seen any nature documentaries or anything else that qualifies for the Must List this week? Remember, your picks (including current movies/TV/music/books/games/online) need to be posted by 10 a.m. ET on Thursday, July 3, and please include your e-mail address in case your submission is chosen for the magazine.

Happy birthday, Fantasia Barrino!

Easiest way to bring tears to my eyes: Put me within 20 feet of a freshly sliced onion. A close runner-up: Show me a clip of Fantasia Barrino performing "I Believe" during American Idol‘s third season performance finale. I start getting choked up at around the 2:39 mark, and reaching for the tissues at the Gospel-rific bridge.

To me, one of the great pop-culture mysteries of our time is, how in the name of all that’s holy has the global music-buying populace failed to turn ‘Tasia into a major superstar? I know, I know… our birthday gal’s post-Idol musical output has been somewhat spotty, but listen to "Hood Boy," her collaboration with Big Boi (Ellen performance embedded below) and tell me it’s not one of the catchiest singles in the last decade to not crack Billboard’s pop Top 40.

Also: Happy birthday, ‘Tasia! Haters are gonna hate, but to me, listening to your raspy, soul-on-the-floor holleration is one of life’s great joys.

Trailer Blazer: 'Quantum of Solace'

I just have one question about the trailer for the newest Bond movie (which picks up its action directly after the end of Casino Royale): After two minutes of sexy, spy-y, revenge-y goodness, can you detect a single quantum of solace in any second of this preview?

Okay, who cried at the end of WALL-E?

Walle_lMarc Bernardin did.

(Marc Bernardin replies: I deny any and all allegations that the liquid streaming from my face was composed of tears. It was just a really spicy soda that I was drinking. That, combined with a freak atmospheric effect caused by over-humidifying air conditioning, resulted in the moisture upon my cheeks.)

'Design Star"s 'white room' challenge

DesignstartraceeWe’re a few weeks into the third season of HGTV’s Design Star, and two contestants are already out on the street, insisting they were sent home too soon. Let’s assess. (Next week, we’ll check in on my other current obsession, The Next Food Network Star.)

The contestants got tricked into thinking they were traveling abroad for their challenge. (Right, like HGTV has a budget to fly seven people, not to mention a crew, overseas.) So while they didn’t get to jet-set, they did get to pull a country out of a paint can — Mexico, Thailand, or Italy — and use that as inspiration for Design Star‘s "white room" challenge. Jennifer and Tracee (pictured, inset, with her room) both chose Italy, while Mikey V. and Matt chose Thailand. The queen of the roost, Michael, got to choose his own country. (He chose my second home, Spain.)

The designers had 12 hours and $500 to spend at Michael’s. After the screaming died down (theirs, not mine), I wondered if a trip to Michael’s warranted this type of response. (I say no.) I was sad that there were no customers in the store when they had their mad-dash shopping spree. Watching Ms. Everyday Shopper go flying into the row of fake flowers would’ve been hilarious.

And just how did our aspiring HGTV hosts do? Find out after the jump…

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Name That Movie Mondays! (Vol. 2)

You remember how it works: We embed a song. You namethe film that song was used in. Everyone who answers correctly feelsgood about themselves.

The song is "Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps" by Doris Day. (Hint: In the video clip below, it’s set to scenes from the 1962 Doris Day-Cary Grant film That Touch of Mink; the movie we’re looking for was released in 1992.)

The answer, after the bounce.

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Reveal your biggest pop-culture mix-ups!

Generichardsimmons_lA&E was playing Silence of the Lambs yesterday, and since I happened to be flipping through at the exact moment Buffalo Bill launched into his "it rubs the lotion on its skin" shtick (blurg!), I ended up glued to my TV set for a good 30 minutes. (If a movie can still scare you after 10+ viewings, you know it’s good stuff, and certainly beats the heck out of an afternoon of household chores.)

Anyhow, during the commercial break, the network ran an ad for its reality series Gene Simmons Family Jewels, which prompted this conversation between my husband and me.

Husband: Wait, this show is about the guy from Kiss?
Me: Yeah. Who did you think was the star?
Husband: I always thought it was about that curly-haired exercise guy with the short shorts!
Me: [Laughing.] Richard Simmons?
Husband: Um, yeah. Him. Doesn’t he have a reality show?
Me: No, he doesn’t. But I’m totally blogging about this conversation tomorrow.
Husband: [Warily.] Of course you are.

Which brings me to my question: What’s your biggest pop-culture mix-up in recent memory? I know, I know…revealing my spouse’s embarrassment isn’t the same as admitting my own, but then you wouldn’t be looking at that wacky side-by-side of the two screamingly different Simmons guys, now would you?

Bits and Bobs (Vol. 1)...Have a James McAvoy night!

Cheerio, PopWatchers. Welcome to the first installment of a new weekly column designed to bring you up-to-date on the best of British entertainment (and how to watch/read/listen to it without breaking the bank at Virgin Atlantic or Amazon.co.uk). If you’re not an Anglophile yet, I hope/think you will be:  We’ve got some great offerings in the next few months (Simon Pegg’s Spaced on DVD, an interview with Inspector Lynley himself, and…well, let’s not spoil our own work, shall we?)

In honor of Wanted‘s massive opening weekend at the U.S. box office, let’s get the party started by loving up its brilliant Scottish star, James McAvoy, for his telly work. The guy steals every movie he’s in (sorry, Forest), but any self-respecting Anglophile knows he’s been doing the same thing for years on British TV. So fire up that Netflix account, hit YouTube, and check out these shows (all available on DVD): 

1. Shakespeare Retold: McAvoy’s Macbeth segment is the highlight of these BBC Bard updates. He’s a tasty chef with a sprinkling of killer instinct, thanks to his ambitious wife, played by MI-5 vixen Keeley Hawes. Not sold? Watch this clip. Our boy even sings!

2. Shameless, Season 1: Steve (McAvoy) is a car thief. His girl, Fiona (McAvoy’s real-life bride Anne-Marie Duff) is living on a Manchester estate (Britain’s version of public housing) and caring for her five younger siblings. The show’s humor (drunken teenagers, naked bums) is, well, shameless. Watch the entire first episode here.

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