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Tag: Kids' Corner (71-80 of 121)

'The Real Housewives of the O.C.' recap: The Alexa & Alexis show

Can someone please give a show to the brunette in the pink satin headband who pointed out the elephant in the room at Gretchen’s tupperware party. Apparently a gal named Mel had leaned inappropriately into Jim’s chair and prompted the ire of Alexis. Nobody leans on the furniture her man is sitting on as he looks disgustedly at a transvestite pimping multi-colored tupperware sets. She and her husband have not spent a day apart in five years and Alexis is not about to let some dark-haired sprite accost him by the hors d’oeuvres table. Jim, who’d been pounding his chest all evening — “I will not be seen front row center at a tupperware party!” — looked thoroughly aroused by the possibility of his being a wanted man. “It’s hard being me,” he preened to Gretchen, after Mel calmly asked Alexis if she wanted to take their inane conversation outside away from the cameras. (Alexis interpreted this as an invitation to throw down and she is not from Jersey y’all.)  Finally Jim told Alexis to pipe down and call it a night. As everyone at the party replayed how Jim had become the source of such tension, Pink Headband spoke truth to power. “Uh, can I just say this? He is not attractive. No one was hitting on her husband.” (Andy Cohen, want me to watch your show? Book that woman!)

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'Twilight'-hater Miley Cyrus wants us to be nice. Can we do it?

Miley Cyrus — reportedly the only teenager in America who doesn’t give a rip about Twilight — is on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar this month, and uses the accompanying interview to speak her mind about the negative press she’s been getting for what seems like a thousand years but has really only been since about the same time she took off the blond Hannah Montana wig. “My job is to be a role model, and that’s what I want to do, but my job isn’t to be a parent,” she tells Harper’s. “My job isn’t to tell your kids how to act or how not to act, because I’m still figuring that out for myself. So to take that away from me is a bit selfish. Your kids are going to make mistakes whether I do or not. That’s just life.”

I think sensible people can agree that she makes a good point. But what about the following, in which she criticizes all the clutched-pearls hysteria surrounding her “racy” Annie Leibovitz photo shoot for Vanity Fair? “Here my parents are thinking they’re seeing a beautiful photograph by a major photographer, and the people of America want to see something dirty in that?” she says. “It doesn’t make sense to us because [my family] doesn’t look for negativity. But people don’t want to say ‘What a great performance’ or ‘What a great shot.”No one wants to look at something like that and see the positive because it doesn’t sell a magazine.”

I’ve gotta give it to her: If I’d titled this post “Miley Cyrus is pretty and seems like she’d be fun to hang out with,” you probably wouldn’t have clicked on it. General negativity — whether it’s snarky commentary (oops), quotes taken out of context, or blowing a non-event way out of proportion — does seem to be the way of the world, even more so in these instamatic, blogtastic times. But because I like Miley, and I really like “Party in the USA,” below, which I have been playing on repeat while writing this blog post, I am going to try and be a little nicer to her for the rest of the afternoon. Because she is pretty. And she seems like she’d be fun to hang out with. God this is boring. What do you think, PopWatchers?

'High School Musical' writer goes to summer camp

Score one for Nickelodeon in its unspoken kiddie-programming arms race with the Disney Channel: The network has signed High School Musical writer Peter Barsocchini to make a half-hour comedy pilot about summer camp. No word on whom they’ll cast yet, though the offspring or sibling of a famous person is always a good bet. Barsocchini will likely be zipping up his writing a little for the slightly edgier net (we’re talking more tolerance of pop culture references and passing references to puberty here, not The Sopranos). And I’m guessing he won’t be bringing his penchant for incorporating musical numbers to this project, lest Nickelodeon end up with a half-hour rip-off of the Jonas Brothers’ hit TV movie Camp Rock. (Then again, maybe that’s exactly the idea here.) At any rate, it almost doesn’t matter whom they cast or what the show’s like, as it’s a big enough coup for the Slime Network just to lure the guy who wrote the movie series that served as Disney’s official cash machine the last few years.

What do you think of this idea, PopWatchers? Will you tune in to see what the High School Musical writer can do in a sitcom on Nickelodeon? Whom should the network cast? Should there be singing and dancing at camp?

'Sesame Street' turns 40!: What did we learn?

Happy 40th, Sesame Street! Yes, everyone’s favorite kids’ show — and this is one show about which I feel comfortable making such grand generalizations — is officially the new 30 today. The big 4-0 has inspired lots of hype, from Google’s design incorporating Big Bird feet to Michelle Obama doing a guest spot to mark the occasion. And for good reason: It’s such good children’s viewing, still, that I’m pretty sure that American children are required by law to watch it between ages 0 and 9. It’s the reason every person currently under 40 can count to 10 in Spanish. Its reference points are practically genetically encoded in kids when they’re born — it’s hard to imagine having to explain a Cookie Monster or Bert and Ernie joke. (Okay, maybe Bert and Ernie have gotten a little complicated at times, but we’re past that.) For most of us, it was our first pop culture — and it was smart pop culture, with song parodies and even the occasional controversial joke (see: Pox News, the “trashy news network”). Besides, how can you argue with a show that teaches kids to count while introducing them to indie rock?:

There will always be complaints about kids watching too much TV, but there will never be complaints about kids watching too much Sesame Street (not from anyone with a soul, anyway). So thanks, Big Bird and company, for making the airwaves safe for all of us future pop culture fanatics. And for teaching us a thing or two.

What’s your favorite Sesame Street moment of the last four decades, PopWatchers? What did you learn that you’ll never forget?

Kids watch too much TV: This just in?

sesame-street_lNew Nielsen figures show that kids watch more than an entire day’s worth of television in an average week: 32 hours for kids 2 to 5 and 28 hours for kids 6 to 11. That’s an eight-year high, which is alarming pediatricians who warn that every minute spent in front of the tube is a minute not spent exercising, playing outside, or even reading books and, you know, interacting with other human beings.

While there’s absolutely no denying any of that, the increase can hardly come as a shock, given that the figures include DVR playback, DVD viewing, and video games. There’s more big-time entertainment aimed specifically at kids than ever, thanks to Disney Channel and Nickelodeon constantly competing for little eyeballs, not to mention an explosion of cross-promotional DVDs, games, and the like that tie in with kiddie-channel faves. Plus, we’ve got more ways to watch at any age than ever before — point being, we should be alarmed for all of us if we’re alarmed at all. READ FULL STORY

Amy Poehler grabs the mic and sings for her cartoon’s music video

When you think of Amy Poehler, your mind could veer off into 10 different directions: the star of NBC’s Parks and Recreation, Weekend Update anchor, SNL’s Hillary Clinton impersonator, the baby mama from Baby Mama, etc. Well, if you haven’t already, you should add one more to that list: Bessie Higgenbottom, a senselessly energetic 10-year-old intent on earning every badge in Honeybee Scout history.

For over a year Poehler has given her voice to Bessie (complete with a Sylvester the Cat-styled lisp) on Nickelodeon’s The Mighty B!, a cartoon show she co-created with friends Cynthia True and Erik Wiese (a SpongeBob SquarePants veteran). Poehler’s foray into animation is a welcome addition to Toonland: the show’s humor comes from absurdist twists, awkward pauses, and the endearing goofiness of a character who is a tad too zealous for life. Her character’s overreactions to everyday life are laughably ridiculous most of the time, but somehow childishly universal on another level.

For a taste of The Mighty B!‘s honey, check out the music video below, with music by New Wave revivalists Unisex Salon and vocals by Amy Poehler (!) herself:

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With plenty of success and more than enough work to occupy her time, we had to know what drew (haha) Poehler into playing a cartoon character. READ FULL STORY

'Where the Wild Things Are' brain trust Spike Jonze, David Eggers, and Maurice Sendak don't care if their movie scares kids

While the chatter about this Friday’s release of Where the Wild Things Are hasn’t exactly reached wild rumpus-like proportions, the filmmakers did their best to spark a little brushfire of controversy in Newsweek today. Jonze, Eggers, and Sendak gathered in Sendak’s living room for what was supposed to be a free-flowing conversation about what it was like for three geniuses to harmonically converge on one project. But at eighty years old, Sendak had no interest in spoon-feeding platitudes to the press. Instead, he and Jonze and Eggers lamented how vanilla childhood in America has become. Worrywart parents aren’t doing their kids any favors by depriving them of their right to get scared out of their minds watching movies or reading books. Scarytales are character building and virtually guarantees a stormy artistic temperament if not a legit career as an artist. This rant made me stop and think about how I spent most of my childhood watching wildly inappropriate movies like the deeply-creepy futuristic cannibalism-tinged Soylent Green. I still can’t forget the image of the big bulldozers rolling through city streets and scooping up fleeing crowds of people to turn them into nutritious biscuits. Nothing that happened to me in real life came close to keeping me up at night the way that and other movies did. But now I wonder if my mom didn’t do me a favor by setting me up for that kind of terror. If these guys are to be believed, the only thing we have to fear for our children is the lack of fear itself. I gotta say, I kind of agree that we’re short changing kids by letting them fill their minds with Disney schmaltz instead of quality filmmaking.

What are the movies that scared the crap out of you as a kid and/or the ones that depressed you with heavy emotional turmoil? Do you think that experience had a net positive or negative effect on you? And do you think we need to relax the parental guidance standards a little to allow for challenging material like Pan’s Labyrinth or even Harold and Maude? And are you, as an adult, interested in seeing the children’s book-based Where the Wild Things Are?

Magazine preview: Spike Jonze goes 'Where the Wild Things Are'

where-the-wild-things-are_l”To make a movie about what it feels like to be 9 years old — that was my simple intention,” says Spike Jonze, whose edgy riff on Maurice Sendak’s classic children’s book, Where the Wild Things Are hits theaters on Oct. 16. But don’t let the PG rating fool you. Where most family films are comically zany and full of morals, Wild Things is naturalistic, dramatic, and raw. Jonze — who clashed with Warner Bros. over the final product — has directed what’s  reportedly a $80 million family film about childhood that
really isn’t for children, leaving its box office prospects as cloudy as a sky full of meatballs.

”Even in the first month that Spike and I started working on it together, we realized this wasn’t going to be a traditional, easy-to-market children’s movie,” says Jonze’s writing partner on the project, novelist Dave Eggers. ”I expected resistance, trepidation, and fights. And by golly, they happened.” READ FULL STORY

Clip du jour: Ricky Gervais asks Elmo 'Do you know what necrophilia is?'

Few things have made me as happy as the following clip — which is nowhere near new, but still damned funny. Peanut butter and jelly on lightly toasted bread. Radiant heating on cold piggies on a winter night. Lynda Carter turning into Wonder Woman. But this may be my favorite thing of the month:

Easy claim, I know, as the month is mere hours old, but these outtakes from a charity-promoting AP interview are hysterical. I do love it so when real people “forget” that they’re talking to a hand puppet. It’s almost enough for me to want a Muppet-hosted talk show.

LeVar Burton clears up that pesky 'Onion' article

LeVar-Burton_l

Speaking of that fine line between fact and fiction… Longtime host of the recently cancelled PBS show Reading Rainbow turned to Twitter to clear up a misunderstanding that was started by a new article — in the Onion! — supposedly written under his byline entitled “My Living Nightmare of Encouraging Kids to Read is Over.” Said article — in the Onion! — had “Burton,” among other things, comparing Rainbow to a “dank, forgotten POW camp.” Yesterday, Burton was compelled to tweet: “Attention all un-believers THE ONION is satirical parody of news events and meant to be enjoyed as such! No I did not write it! Relax, OK?” Which means of course enough people read the piece — in the Onion! — and were offended by it enough to share their feelings. Okay, time to ‘fess up. Who thought it was real? And who’s ever mistaken a piece in the Onion for the real deal?

Photo credit: Tina Gill/PR Photos


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