29 March 2011

I'm Just Here To Say I Love Bob's Burgers

N E body wit me?

photo courtesy FOX.com
Bob's Burgers, Loren Bouchard's latest gem, follows Home Movies and Dr. Katz in the Bouchard Arsenal of Greatness. I remember when I first heard about it, I got so excited that I wrote an article about it for that Gather thing. "Oh wow, H. Jon Benjamin AND Eugene Mirman AND Kristen Schaal together on a show?! OH GOSH OH WOW," I thought. And I had no idea how much my future self would agree with me.

Throughout the pilot and next 8 episodes, I went on a journey unique to cartoons that reward those determined to love it. The first episode, "Human Flesh," introduced some solid characters (like the mom, Linda) as well as some unsavory jokes that never really went anywhere (like that child molester burger with the candy on the side). I was delighted by Eugene Mirman's character (Eugene) and his Kevin McCallister* brand of tomfoolery.  I was like "I don't know, but I trust you!" about young Louise, Kristen Schaal's character. FOX's website described her as something like "the most enthusiastic of the bunch," although I can't find that anywhere on the website now. It seems they didn't know what to do with her back then.
*"McCallister" is spelled basically the same way as "Mc A-Lister." Is that its Scottish meaning or something?
It was like FOX was learning with me. As the show progressed, so did my understanding of Louise's character. Her wheeler-dealer behavior was justified by her position as the youngest and thus most vulnerable member of an unlucky family. She's just too smart to suffer for it. Plus, no morals. At the same time, Linda's maternal ditziness started feeling less exaggerated and more bittersweetly realistic. Eugene got more adorable in direct proportion to getting grosser and fartier. And, oh God, Tina.

Tina is probably the best new television character of 2011, and that pool includes Deena from Jersey Shore, who is pretty great so please let that provide you with some sense of the scale I'm working with. Tina, voiced by Dan Mintz, gets her heart broken basically every minute of every day. She's completely awkward and hormonally imbalanced. She looks like a monster, like if Chutnie were thinner but more masculine. But every so often she gets her dream come true, and it's like watching a miracle. In episode 6, "Sheesh! Cab, Bob?," she desperately wishes for a birthday kiss and actually gets it, against all odds. It sounds like a predictable ending, but the Belcher family (yes that is their last name) is so ragtag, it's like watching the Mighty Ducks win. WE LOVE IT!!!

And I would be completely remiss not to spend some time talking about Jon Benjamin's ridiculous voice talent. He's insane. It's not just his gravelly Boston-lite tone. His timing is perfect and he plays characters with the voice range of real people who joke around sometimes but can also be deadly serious or assily petulant at other times. Have you seen Archer? I would recommend that too.

Judging from the wikipedia page, it looks like season 1 will have 13 episodes. So far we've only gone through 9, so you're in a good place to start watching if you haven't already. It airs Sunday nights at 8:30, right after Simpsons. I wish Bob's Burgers paid me to write this but they did not. I don't know if I have to write that or if articles like this are usually just overcautious about avoiding legal trouble. Personally I invite legal trouble because then more people would be reading my blog. But seriously, I don't even know anyone that works at Bob's Burgers, I swear. I have one of Mirman's comedy albums and that's it. No legal trouble here.

I just love Bob's Burgers, that's really all I'm trying to say.

27 March 2011

ANTM Recap "Rachel Zoe"

"I guess it's possible that you somehow didn't see it, but I was on Gossip Girl, actually."
Yet again, my dvr didn't record ANTM on its own, so my recap begins in the midst of the Covergirl direct-your-own commercial challenge. I'll make SURE it's going to record on time next week. OR ELSE. Do you hear me, Time Warner? So help me!

Somehow Monique (Olivia Munn) is a capable director, and it is weird. Who is even named Monique these days? None of this adds up. Alexandria (Natural Swag) screws up her commercial several times and takes it upon herself to call "Cut!" and "Action!" every time. Then in her confessional interview, she uses the phrase "nailed it!" At one point, Jay is like "Alexandria, you called 'Action!' in all of your scenes. You should not do that." And Natty Swag is like "I was saying to myself, 'Action.'"

In the end, Brittani and Mikaela and Kasia win and will have a webisode on the internet or something. When/where can I see it? I will find out and tell you. Tyra Mail! They're taking a walk on the wild side!!! With a baby jaguar.

That night, Olivia Munn waits for NatSwag to cry into the confessional camera about domestic abuse, then goes and reads her diary. How the whole situation does not blow up is a mystery to me. OMunn even asks Molly if she should tell Alexandria she read it. COME ON!!!

The girls go to the Zoo to model Zoe's faux furs. Get it? The Zs? Rachel Zoe, that is. Stylist to the teensy, bag lady stars! The girls will all pose with a baby jaguar named Baby J after its mother and father.  Sometimes the jaguar is squirmy and sometimes it's not. The girls' success level rises in direct relation to how vampirish they act. See:
Olivia Munnique

Kasia is like, a human bathtub to the cat, which keeps desperately trying to escape. Mister J tells her to put down the jaguar and pose, and then when she poses he's like "...Do you think that's flattering?" She ends up with a picture that illustrates the struggle, but it ends up kind of good:


Dalya is terribly boring and Natural Swag had a hard time keeping her nipples inside her shirt the whole time.

At Elimination, we see the rest of the girls' pictures. They are:

Molly, whose hand the judges think is ridiculously large. I don't know, then wouldn't you have to say that the baby jaguar looks like an adult jaguar? And isn't that against all logic? They also think she's cross-eyed. I look at this and think, 'Wow, she is working really hard to keep her eyes from crossing right now.'

Jaclyn (Baby Voice) has a universally beloved picture, but Tyra notices that it's got Little Mermaid Poster Syndrome. That is, there's a certain look on her face and there's a hidden hand where there should definitely not be a hand. 


Then there's Brittani, of whom there is no picture on CWtv.com. She looks more posh than freakin Eloise ovah here! Andre Leon Talley insists that she is a "fabulous, fabulous woman in control of her own destiny!" Yep!

Hannah's picture is amazing, yet similarly not pictured on the website's photo bank. She wins this week for the picture that was taken during this picture.

In the end, Molly and Dalya end up in the Bottom Two. It's pretty stupid to think that they'd send Molly home for their dumb hair. Then Tyra says something about Molly seeming vacant throughout her entire film, and that does seem accurate, and oh look, Tyra's right again.

Dalya gets booted, and next week brings a public harassment challenge. "BUT MISS J SAID YOU'D KISS ME ON THE LIPS!!!"

25 March 2011

Double Whammy Jersey Shore Finale Recap, Including The Pre-Finale Episode

The gang's last two weeks at Seaside Heights were basically what you'd expect: meaningful last Sunday dinners, meaningful last crunkings at the club, and TWO HOURS OF NONSTOP SAM AND RON FIGHTING. I don't know who this Arvin guy is or which exec's son is Arvin's best friend, but he's taking over the final few episodes of this season of Jersey Shore. And although "Arvin" is a great and hilarious name, this guy doesn't do much. Other than look scary and brag to Situation, his new best friend, the loudest mouth in Jersey.

The Penultimate Episode: "A House Divided"

Ron admits, "I don't even know if I love Sam anymore. I sort of 'ew' her." No one cares. Situation says, "It just so happens that Deena defies the law of intelligence." Everyone wonders what the law of intelligence is. Is it that you have to be smart? Then Vinny takes Snooki out on a hamburger date - and pays for everything - but spends the entire time explaining why they can't date. Snooki mopes into her beer battered onion rings.

There were a lot of new movie trailers during the episode. The first was for Bad Teacher, which is I guess where Justin Timberlake and Cameron Diaz met in the future? Are celebrity exes supposed to be in movies together? At least Jason Segel will be there.

Vinny completes his transformation.
When JS comes back, Vinny's getting his ears pierced. I've never seen this procedure before. This is at least as informative as the ANTM Makeover episode. Later on at the club, Pauly D's Israeli stalker comes back AGAIN. In order to make room for martial arts and strategy, the brain of a Mossad agent must be wiped clean of simple human social cues, such as "stop stalking me" or "I have made relentless fun of you so stop stalking me." This is why Danielle is so persistent. And why she keeps threatening to punch Pauly D and Vinny.

Back at home, Sammi tries to apologize to Ronnie but he keeps saying "Pass the mustard." Over and over again, it's "I'm sorry" "Pass the mustard," "Uh'm sorry" "Uh-huh. Pass the mustard." In voiceover, Sammi admits that she thinks this is "going amazing." Yikes bikes.

When the guys get back from the club, Pauly D and Vinny both have girls with them. One of them has a dutiful brother, who ends up stopping by to make sure the girls have rides home when they need them. And possibly he also stops by to see about JWOWW. For no reason at all, Pauly D takes a turn for the assy and dismisses the cuter girl by suggesting that the brother take her home tonight and then come and get his sister tomorrow. Hold it, stop. I just realized this has several disgusting layers. I thought it was bad that Pauly would send home a perfectly cute girl for doing nothing wrong. Now I realize he also might have been posturing to the brother by saying "leave your sister here for a long night's worth of smooshing." That's miserable.

Both of these girls look like Kate Beckinsale. What is the problem, Pauly.
That's the thing with Pauly and Vinny - you think because they're not Sitch or Ronnie that they're relatively good guys. They laugh, they prank, they tease the girls. At the end of the day, they are relatively good guys. But then you remember that Vinny's still a baby and trying desperately to figure out how to assert his authority over women, so he's a complete asshole sometimes, and Pauly's even older than Sitch and with that haircut you have to kind of assume sometimes that there's a reason he's still like this. Maybe he's just got uncontrollable mood swings. Maybe he's going through menopause. And Vinny's constantly getting his first period.

So OBVIOUSLY both girls leave, and Vinny drags Snooki along the carpet, sighing "Alright, fine, Snooki. Come with me," which is clearly what she's been dying to hear. Then he begs her to punch him, insists he's kidding, and calls her an idiot. Sometimes it's not a good idea to get your ears pierced during your first period because there are a lot of new emotions going on and frankly, it can get a little overwhelming. Where is Vinny's mother when he needs her?!

Another trailer comes on, this one for Jumping the Broom. My roommates and I take an Archer break to gain more commercial leeway.

Back in Seaside, Vinny is humping Shnooks against a wall. Situation and Deena stand to the side, witnessing all of it, and Pauly says "You've changed, bro." Then Vinny starts playfully choking Snooki and saying "I thought we were closer than that." I'll be the first to admit, I love the whole idea of a Friends-style romantic pair-off. I can easily remember a time when I thought, 'JWOWW and Pauly D belong together, as do Snooki and Vinny, and I could see Deena making Sitch have a change of heart. It's perfect!' But now I realize that if Vinny and Snooki ever did get together, it would be much worse than SamRon. VERY much worse.

Ah, young love
Luckily the night includes Vinny and Sammi getting into a rap duel that ends with Vinny sliding around on and face planting into the kitchen floor. The next day, Situation naps through his entire last shift at the Shore Store. Danny's such a millionaire by now that he doesn't care at all. These shirts sell themselves nowadays.

There is a trailer for a surfing movie.

Then the best thing ever happens. Ronnie's mom, Connie, calls the house totally drunk and has a 20-minute slurred conversation with Deena. "I love you I'm so tan." After half the house talks to her on the duck phone, Sitch finally says "Anyways I will have Ronnie call you back." Is that all it takes??

Another trailer, this one for Friends with Benefits. I thought this came out a while ago.

All the boys in the house synch up and start to call Sammi names because Situation, the Queen of the Red Tent, urges them to. Throughout the entire ordeal, not a single person mentions that Sammi was single when she did/n't contact Arvin. Until JWOWW says it, and then nobody seems to hear her. The house is upside-down.

The Finale: "At the End of the Day"

Arvin's on the phone AGAIN, and Sam snatches up the quacking receiver and tells him to stop spreading rumors. No one knows or cares if it's true anymore. Because it's time for Sunday Dinner!!!!!

Pauly D mentions over dinner that his friends from home will be joining them for their last night out at the clubs. Smells like a backdoor pilot for his new reality spin-off!, which will take place in his hometown of Providence, RI. That's another thing to consider about Pauly - he's from Rhode Island. Does that affect his behavior? Do a lot of Rhode Islanders wear their hair like the pumpkin boy from Nightmare Before Christmas? Does it help explain his erratic behavior?

SamRon break up again somehow (even though I can't remember them deciding to start dating again), and Ron wears a "Rush" shirt to his last day at the Shore Store. It's a practical joke because Rush is the t-shirt store down the pier. It's practical because it's shirts. It's not really a joke though. Ron tries to pull a Sitch-nap. Another great practical joke.

That night there's a weird party on some rented porch where everyone's family is waiting for them. Uncle Nino dances with Deena a little too long, and Pauly's friend DJ Jerry does a phenomenal worm on the floor. Then there is a pinata because obviously Mexican tradition is interchangeable for Italian-American. Isn't Snooks half Argentinian or something, after all? Mustn't they have pinatas there? Oh, no?

Deena's hot friend Lisa is there, and it's Deena's job to stop Vinny from making moves on her. It's awkward because although Deena's trying to do a good thing for her friend Snooks, she's too drunk to make it low-key enough. Instead, she's like "Shhhey! Stop touching...her. My friend! No, yous don't undersnand. Get way, Vibbie!"

Obviously it makes all the boys (now Officially Women!!) in the house mad at Deena. They tell her she's being Angelina. That's the most disgusting overstatement of the year and I'm glad Deena had never come face to face with that kid because she would have started vomiting at the comparison. I know I did.

The next day the gang eats at where else but RIVOLI'S! This is the restaurant that Sitch didn't get to go to when the boys left him at home because he was taking too long to get ready. Surprisingly, he doesn't make a point of bringing that up. Deena makes a very nice toast about how appreciative she is to have been able to spend her summer with these people, although they've all had their ups and downs. Oh, Deensie!

JWOWW and Roger have the boyfriend-girlfriend discussion at an extremely loud Karma. This is another sad truth about guidos - JWOWW might be an intelligent, artistic, financially independent woman, but she will always be attracted to guys like this. Guys with spikes all over their heads and veins coursing with steroids and, at best, pre-packaged one-liners about how into monogamy they are.

Snooki runs into Fake Pauly D and takes him home with her. She cooks him a grilled cheese but he complains the whole time. Another match made in heaven. The rest of the gang makes their way home as SamRon start fighting again. Deena's adorable drunk cadence comes out again: "Why...'s Ronnie AND Sammi fighting?" She's the cutest drunk in the world as long as she's not doing the Jersey Turnpike on the dance floor.

As SamRon's fight noises fill up the house, we see people in every room pausing and listening. It's like looking at people frozen in ash in Pompeii. JWOWW and Roger are sitting up in bed, sheets covering their mtv bodies. Snooki and her friend lie still with their eyes wide, facing the same wall. Situation eats his drunk snacks like a rat on the subway on the couch downstairs. SamRon yell things like, "I hate you! You're not real! I'm real! Don't ever look at me again, you fucking idiot!" This is the most utterly public, hurtful, tedious relationship I've ever seen. Ronnie cries himself outside.

Sitch hears all and eats all
Grilled cheese solves many things, so Drunky Deens makes two for Vingelina. Our cable keeps blacking out for a few seconds at a time, so by the time we get back, Vinny's smiling and saying "Yeahhh, Buddy!" I take that to mean they've made up.

The next morning, JWOWW's dog shits on the carpet and everyone cheers. Exactly.

SamRon sneak out to their secret coming-to-terms-at-dawn balcony and break up yet again. As Ron leaves, Sam's like "Wait, so it's over?" That's right, keep asking just to make sure. He'll fall right back into your arms soon enough. They drive home separately.

My DVR cuts off the recording halfway through everyone else's goodbyes. Thanks very much, cable. You are functioning the best these days. It is my greatest hope that the Pauly D spinoff or its JWOWW/Snooks cousin will air before Jersey Shore 4: The Italian Saga. I will miss my friends, my abusive, abusive friends.

All photos courtesy MTV.com

24 March 2011

Cinnamon Toast Ice Cream

Don't mind me, I'm just a bite of delicious cinnamon toast ice cream.

Last weekend or maybe two weekends ago, I made Cinnamon Toast Ice Cream. I stumbled upon the recipe in Epicurious like a year ago and pasted the url to my "Tasks" list in gmail. Then a year later I made it, and friends, it was VERY TASTY. Or as the Quiznos say, it was "toasty."

What's great about the recipe is that it doesn't just have cinnamon toast IN it - the ice cream itself is flavored like cinnamon toast. I daresay I should have tried making it with Cinnamon Toast Crunch. I'm not sure it could have been any better.

Needless to say, since this has toast in it, it's an acceptable replacement for your daily breakfast. Bonus, you got your milk in there too. Great work!

Here is the recipe from Epicurious:

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
  • 5 slices firm white sandwich bread
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon molasses
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Special equipment: an instant-read thermometer; an ice cream maker
Bring milk and cinnamon sticks to a boil in a 2-quart heavy saucepan, then remove from heat and let steep, covered, 30 minutes.

While milk steeps, put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

Cut 3 slices of bread into 1/4-inch cubes and transfer to a bowl. Quarter remaining 2 slices and pulse in a food processor to make bread crumbs. Whisk together butter, brown sugar, and ground cinnamon in another bowl. Drizzle 3 tablespoons butter mixture over bread cubes and stir to lightly coat. Spread in 1 layer in a shallow baking pan. Add bread crumbes to remaining butter mixture and stir to evenly coat. Spread crumbs evenly in another shallow baking pan.

Bake bread cubes and crumbs, stirring occasionally and switching position of pans halfway through baking, until golden brown and crisp, about 25 minutes total. Cool in pans on racks, then transfer bread crumbs to a bowl.

Return milk to a boil, then pour over bread crumbs and let stand 10 minutes. Pour milk through a fine-mesh sieve into saucepan, pressing hard on solids, then discarding them.

Whisk together yolks, granulated sugar, molasses, and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Return milk mixture to a boil and add half to yolk mixture in a slow stream, whisking until combined well. Add yolk mixture in a slow stream to milk in saucepan, whisking, then cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened and thermometer registers 170-175 degrees F (do not let boil).

Remove from heat and immediately stir in cream, then pour custard through fine-mesh sieve into a metal bowl. Quick-chill custard by setting bowl into a larger bowl of ice and cold water and stirring occasionally until cold, about 15 minutes. Freeze custard in ice cream maker until almost firm. Fold bread cubes into ice cream, then transfer to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden, at least 2 hours.

Cooks' note: Though the toast is crunchiest the first 2 days after it's made, the ice cream keeps 1 week.

I'm a jar of ice cream.

And we are tiny bowls of melty ice cream!

19 March 2011

Your Guide To Lattice Top Pies

"You Can Do It!": Your Guide to Lattice Top Pies

You could use actual orange and blue food coloring in your dough if you want to be literal with this guide, but you don't have to. The point of making them different colors is to show the order you put the pieces on. 

First you lay down a [vertical] strip along the left third of the circle. 

Second, you lay a [horizontal] strip across it along the top third of the circle.

Third, you lay another vertical strip over the second piece near the middle of the circle. So far you're only laying each piece directly on top of the previous piece.

Fourth is your first challenge. You're laying down your second horizontal piece on top of the middle of the circle. You tuck the left side of it underneath the first piece. It's easy because it's on the outer edge.

To make sure you're doing it right, take a step back and look at the whole thing every once in a while to make sure that each row alternates over-under.

Fifth and sixth are very similar. You lay down your last vertical strip, tucking the top of it underneath the second piece you laid down. Then you lay down your last horizontal piece, tucking its middle under the middle vertical piece.

OMG that was so easy.

Strawberry Balsamic Mini Pies

Tonight I made Strawberry Balsamic Mini Pies. I had some pie crust in the fridge that I needed to use, and my roommate Brian recently bought some fruit for the Model Home. At first I thought I'd try to make some apple pie pops, but when I cut up our two apples, they looked like that Berenstain Bears illustration where the perfect apple is all rotted inside (but the gnarly apple is perfectly white inside). I'm trying to find a picture of it online but it's basically impossible to find one. It looks like it's from The Berenstain Bears Learn About Strangers. Ok, I just found a bootleg youtube:

 This apple looks gross on the outside but is perfectly harmless on the inside.

This apple looks regular - attractive even - on the outside but is FOUL on the inside. This is what my apples were like.

So I looked around for more recipes. Banana pie? Orange pie? Gross, both fruits decidedly antithetical to tasty piemaking (unless you add cream, which I didn't have). I found some sweet potato recipes, but with this sudden nice weather, I didn't want to lug us all the way back to autumn. Then Brian was like "BECKY! We have strawberries!" And so it goes.

I looked up a few strawberry pie recipes and found this one from ThePioneerWoman.com. I wanted to add balsamic vinegar to it because once my aunt made strawberries with balsamic, and the vinegar ended up making the strawberries taste strawberrier! So I added a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and tasted it, then added another splash. The end result didn't taste like balsamic at all. But slightly strawberrier.


This was also my first time making a lattice top for a pie. Ridiculously easy.  I will draw an instructional illustration soon. Not to be pedantic, just to go pie-deep for the sake of a blog post about pies. Nuts, my brother was right. I am a hipster. OH GOD.

Here are some glamour shots of the mini pies:

I have a plan for redemption. It is pie-related. It might reverse my hipster blurts. It is PIESTORM:

courtesy of my roommate Colin

17 March 2011

ANTM Recap "Francesco Carrozzini"

Last night's ANTM played with fire and 1960s socio-gender norms. The girls walked in a fiery fashion show by a designer I never found out. You see, my dvr didn't tape the episode on its own (even though it's set to) and I didn't notice it wasn't recording until 8:16. Josh and I had been giving Sports Night a try. It was great. It's my favorite Peter Krause role yet, and Felicity Huffman is amazoid. But what is up with that laugh track?

So at 8:16, Dalya wins the fashion show challenge by holding still while her gloves are lit on fire. Apparently Kasia walks with ducklips. That's hilarious, and not just because of Duck Lips from Full House. Miss J makes three girls (Kasia, Hannah, and Sara) walk home from the show so they can learn to walk and they ACTUALLY DO. They put on their heels and start marching downtown. What happened to the days of Lisa the Diaper-Peer? She would've been like "ok, they can't see us anymore. Car BOMBS! Car BOMBS! Car BOMBS!" But these girls do as they're told, and that's probably less embarrassing than peeing in a diaper to impress the boys from Jackass.

Just as the walkers get home, a Tyra Mail magically appears that tells them to cause a scene tomorrow. Suddenly, a thick envelope containing a script slides under the door! But it's not a screenplay from an aggressive PA. Nah, just scripts for the commercial they're going to be shooting. Dirty Smiegel in the corner (Sara's self-identifier) is like "Buuut I don't belieeeeeve in womennnnn's subsssservience!" OH GOD.

The product is Fierce Roast coffee, and the style is Mad Men femininity. The girls are encouraged to milk the sexual euphemisms for all they're worth, and gosh, they do.

First Natural Swag and Brittani go. Alexandria NEVER STOPS TALKING. She tells Francesco Carrozzini (the director) that they've missed shots. She moves the lights (which is against union rules, I'm pretty sure). She tells Brittani where the eyeline is. Franceso One-Brow is like "ah, okay-a, STFU." Meanwhile Brittani shrinks into the corner because she hates the way coffee tastes.

The costumers give Baby Voice a big fake butt and she loves it. She and Kasia do a good job, but no one admires their performance more than Olivia Munn. She's like "HATCHI MATCHI! KASIA'S GOT TALENT! WHOA MAMA!"

Every few minutes, Molly looks just like January Jones. It's uncanny. Her scene partner, Dalya, is a robot. Mikaelampire and Sara do so-so, obviously because of Sara's discomfort. Yet look how lovely she looks with this styling:

At one point Olivia Munn messes up the brand name and says, "I drink French Roast, that's why I said it." That oughta make things better, OMunn. Hannah whispers like a small girl, and it's weird. But I still like her because she still looks like Analeigh from the Amsterdam season.

At Elimination, Tyra has a whip or whip pants or maybe just makes a noise like a whip. It is hard to understand.  Nigel Barker can't stop gyrating with anticipation as he watches the girls' commercials. Quit the palpitating, Nige. It makes Tyra get too hyper!

TYRA'S GOOD ADVICE: She tells Dalya that she missed an opportunity to dramatically look up while taking a sip of coffee. It was true, she did miss that opportunity.

Luckily, every judge hates Natural Swag this week. She lands in the Bottom Two, but it's only to scare her straight, apparently. Sara loses yet takes it well. It's too bad she never got much better. It's too good they cut off that terrible padawan braid.

Next week looks like it will be an impossible Covergirl commercial that none of the models can handle. And everyone hates Natural Swag! Hooray!!

All photos from CWtv.com

16 March 2011

I Apologize In Advance But I Won't Regret This

"Brain tumors are funny, but they're not hilarious."

I was poking around on The Hairpin today, and they had an article about this blog, which chronicles a girl's bout with a brain tumor. It's called "A Lie of the Mind," and the blogger's a pretty hilarious writer, not to mention insanely attractive. With all the craziness she's facing, that's nuts.

I'm really sorry to suddenly become one of those blogs that's like "Look at this inspirational cancer blog! Now look at THIS inspirational cancer blog! NOW KEEP LOOKING AT CANCER BLOGS FOREVER!!" and I don't really plan on linking to many more - but when I read this one, I felt like it was something to spread around.

Maybe it's all the SVU I've been watching lately. That sounds real dumb, but hear me out. Correlation, not causation. Lately I don't feel like looking away from life's unpleasantries, be they Dick-Wolf-inspired or actual (and genuinely funny). But whether or not you're going through a similar morbid phase, I think you might appreciate this look into a pretty serious episode in a funny person's life.

These are pictures of her dad and her. I chose to use them because in it, she looks exactly like a mannequin, and I think it's cool. Clearly she's pretty talented at mannequining to say the least. Plus all that other stuff I wrote earlier.

14 March 2011

Tyra Banks & Andre Leon Talley Will Entertain You Whether You Like It Or Not

Tyra Banks and Andre Leon Talley (a recent ANTM judge addition who also happens to be best friends with Anna Wintour and a contributing editor to Vogue) made a video with nymag. It looks like Tyra's launching a new website tomorrow, TypeF.com, and it will feature everything I've ever wanted to know about anything. I can't load the video on this computer and I'm not quite sure the embed code made it through, but here you go anyway!

Thanks for all the tips this video apparently provides, Tyra! And thanks to nymag for telling me what's in the video. And thanks to Andre Leon Talley for all the hats!

12 March 2011

"Nonplussed": An Illustrated Series

Last week I expressed my frustration about popular usage of the word "nonplussed." It doesn't mean what it seems like it means. It means "confused to the point of being at a loss as to what to say, think, or do" (paraphrased from Merriam Webster). I explained a mnemonic device I invented in 9th grade, in which a man at a bar gets knocked over by a big Play-Doh plus sign because he's so perplexed at some crazy news. 

Here are a few pictures of a model I made:

 "What's that? My wife is a hammerhead shark? Are you sure?"

"But that's impossible!"

"Buh...buh...I don't..."

"Ow, a giant plus sign! It's hitting me!"

[At a loss as to what to say, think, or do]

May this be a mnemonic you and the world can remember always.

11 March 2011

Jersey Shore Recap "GTF - Gym, Tan, Find Out Who Sammi Is Texting"

Now that Sammi's back in Seaside full time, it would only be a matter of time before she and Ronnie stumbled drunkenly back in love. It happened, but then Arvin came in and made a conflict between them, finally, for the first time. And so I am watching Bio-Dome while I write this recap. So far Pauly Shore and Stephen Baldwin have sneaked into the Bio-Dome during the opening ceremony to find a place to pee.

"Pwease don't squeeze me too tight, mister!"

To kick things off, Situation breaks JWOWW's dogs out of their puppy jail in front of the bathroom of decay. He urges them to poop everywhere. He gives them people food ("Looks like you're havin' pizza for brunch!"). He talks to them as though they are the imaginary friends he ate that Italian dinner with a few weeks ago. Guys, prank war sanity is one thing, but Sitch's sanity is another. He's losing his mind! And I'm reaping all the benefits.

That was from Jon Lovitz's cameo in The Wedding Singer. Right now the short, white-haired actor who looks like but isn't Leslie Jordan is yelling at Pauly and Stephen for breaking into the Bio-Dome. Kylie Minogue is in this. And this other scientist has no dick! Well that's what I heard. (See above.)

Meanwhile Vinny has taken DJ Pauly D home to Staten Island. You see, they know that Situation is going crazy. And they're like "Let's let SamRon and the rest of Team Sober deal with that mess." "Yeah, I'd much rather eat a traditional Italian meal with all my old, perverted uncles." Someone at some point either on tv or in real life says, "Looks like a guido circus." You got that right, dude.

Somehow the girls can smell Situation on the dogs when they get home, probably from all the Xenedrine even though that's Ronnie's thing. At the club Snooki wears some huge pink-rimmed novelty sunglasses. She then meets a Pauly D lookalike and decides to date him. It might have been Deena wearing the novelty glasses, I can't be sure.

The kiss booed 'round the world, the start of the barfolution!

Simultaneously at the other side of the bar, Sammi and Ronnie are sharing the kiss booed 'round the world (courtesy Josh). Why on earth would they nevermind, I feel like I didn't even get to take a break. I write a recap about their huge fights, then I don't write for a few weeks, now I'm writing again and they're fighting again. This must be recappers' hell. The misadventures of SamRon. Stephen Baldwin just made some sort of joke about being a rape baby. I feel like I just said something offensive with that term. Bio-Dome!


The next day, Vinny gets a very dark spray tan because of peer pressure. It is what it is. Around this point, JWOWW is driving half the gang around. They see Roger, but he ducks out of the way to avoid waving to them. Everyone says it's because he has a girl in the car.

Taylor Negron hurt his bladder roller blading.

JWOWW leaves Roger a voicemail to give him a piece of her mind. He calls her back and gets himself out of trouble by saying he was in an awful hurry or something. I thought Jenni was a rational woman. That's one of the reasons I like her so much. What's all this?

Stephen Baldwin and Pauly Shore are in a tent and Stephen's dressed as a goth and is smelling Pauly's farts. I don't remember this from 14 years ago.

Now this is Classic Arvin.

SamRon decide that they are together again but aren't defining it. That's the best idea I've ever heard. No, just kidding. What happened to everything that took Sammi back home to her family? All that reasoning, wasted. "What's the worst he could do, throw my clothes around again and yell at me and treat me badly all the time?" This arrangement works well for them until Arvin shows up and pulls a Classic Arvin by telling Sitch that Sammi text-invited him to the club. Situation naturally tells everyone, and a fight ensues back at home. Even Pauly D gets upset: "GTI: Gym, Tan, I'm not buying it!"

The boys are freezing in this Bio-Dome! They shouldn't have blasted that Bob Dylan so loud.

Situation gives Snooki another facial but this time it's with face mask. I had to type that but let's let it go. It's not my best. Snooki one-ups me once again by pretending to be a mime. Oh, Snooki, you're France's Sweetheart too!!

(Mostly from last week)
  • The toilet smell "permanated" the house
  • Deena was "hastatic" (I maintain that it's not "hystatic" because she defined it as "super happy and really happy." Nowhere in that definition is "hysterical" and I have no reason to assume Deena meant that word when she said another h-word TWICE)
  • Deena's adorable "Who is these girls?"
There you go, another installment of Jersey Shore season 3 for our enjoyment. I have a sinking feeling that next week is the finale.

all photos courtesy mtv.com

Bio-Dome courtesy of MGM

10 March 2011

ANTM Recap "Lori Goldstein" a.k.a. MAKEOVER MAKEOVER!!

"None of us want makeovers!"

Finally, it's the Makeover Episode!!! This is the best episode of every ANTM cycle. Half of the models go in looking one way and come out looking entirely different. The other half cry and cry and accidentally say entitled things to Jay Manuel. Miss Jay (Alexander) makes fun of EVERYONE. We get to see what a real-life weave looks like. The Makeover Episode is the best!

After last week's elimination, the girls returned home to find a mysterious, rolled-up panel hanging from the ceiling in their living room. "What the hell is that?!" exclaimed one model. Another model pulled the golden tassel attached to it, and suddenly a secret diagram unfurled. A secret diagram that said things like "Manly short brown spikes" and "think Pocahontas." MUST BE MAKEOVER TIME!!!!!!!!

Sara the 19-year-old boy finally showed some personality by explaining that she liked her androgynous look but was nervous about going too far into the male realm. She should model with Andrej Pejic, who - contrary to popular belief - is a man. But he would probably just think she's gross.

It's funny that Mister and Miss Jay get to dump all over everyone's fashion sense and personal upkeep while sashaying around in rollers and slippers or a giant silver block of cheese-hair. Such is fashion: you dump on everyone else and then dare them to dump on you.

At some point, one of the professional stylists referred to Tina Fey as a fashion icon, and my roommate Brian LOVED IT.

While Tyra is best at giving modeling advice, she's also very skilled at making good makeover decisions. Especially ones that seem really stupid at first. Here are a few examples:

Brittani went from long, regular hair to a dramatic, dark bob, also known as "the Dutch Boy." Against all odds, a cut called "the Dutch Boy" has somehow become edgy.

Before                                 After

Sara went from sporting a hugely grown out Jewfro complete with Jedi Padawan braid to a very short, mannish cut. I think it's 1000% better. She was momentarily sad because she wanted to be made to look more like a girl. Not with that face, honey.
Before                                           After

The other makeover of note was Molly's terrible blonde curly weave. Since her hair was so thick and stubbornly straight, they had to bring in a specialist - who turned out to be a quack after like ten hours of bad weaving. Molly held her head high even as she noticed how increasingly nightmarish the weave looked every time she glanced at the mirror. It was a tacky color. It was lifted 2 inches off of her head. It left the front of her regular hair exposed, two inches lower and a much different color. I honestly thought Tyra was testing Molly by having her mom come in and pretend to be a hairdresser and give her a Lady Godiva/Miss Piggy disaster to see how well Molly handled it. It was not a test, yet Molly passed.

The next day, the models did group photoshoots styled by Lori Goldstein, inside of whose butt Tyra's head was firmly stuck. Seriously, Tyra kept sucking up to her during Elimination about how cool all the bracelets were or something. This is not something that will keep the lesbian rumors at bay, Tyra. This is simply unnecessary.

At the photoshoot it became abundantly clear that Alexandria Natural Swag is the new Erin from The Petite Season. But instead of "Ugh, I hate rocks, please don't make us go up there" and "The sun is like, really burning me," Natural Swag is just plain sullen. She complains, yes, but moreover, she bums out. I'm shocked she didn't burst into tears from sheer ennui.

Here are the final photos:

Dalya, Baby Voice, & Maya Rudolph
Jay noticed that the two on the left seemed to be working with each other very well while Maya Rudolph over here wilted on the side like a wallflower. This does not bode well for Dominique.

Brittani & Hannah
I loved every second of this. They were like Siamese twins. I wished Tess were watching it with me so we could talk about loving every second of it. Tess, want to come over and watch the rerun this weekend?

Kasia & Molly
Even with the monster weave, Molly kills this photo. From far away, Kasia looks sort of awesome. But from up close, girlfriend looks dumb.


Mikaelampire & Sara
The judges weren't crazy about this one. It looks too candid and unfocused on the camera. I still think Mikaela looks pretty great. And Sara, in a world where Ann can win Top Model, you are the one-eyed king.

Olivia Munn & Natural Swag
Monique and Alexandria are dumb. One spent the whole hour complaining, and the other remarked, verbatim, "I get my way. I love my life. I always get what I want...usually." How Natural Swag managed to win this week, I'll never know.

I think Baby Voice/Jaclyn looks a lot like Anna Paquin, but moreover, I think she represents what Sookie Stackhouse might imagine as the worst version of herself. Helpless, infantile, brunette. I'd like to see Baby Voice do some growing up this cycle. Make it so, Baby V!

Even though the judges usually love to go nuts on the girls' fashion sense during Elimination, nobody seemed to mind Natural Swag's disgusting huge-heart-on-a-black-satin-cord choker. OH, BARF. Did I mention she won this week somehow? Maybe off camera they were like, "if you act sort of morose during makeovers, we'll guarantee you first place this week." Worth it, not! At least Molly came in second. Mark my words, she will win this cycle. Maybe?

Maya Rudolph and Sara landed in the Bottom Two, and it looked like it would be curtains for old Anakin Braidwalker. I expected them to keep Dominique, not because it would make sense but because I have some pretty great pattern-recognition abilities when it comes to ANTM.  To my surprise they kept Sara, and I really hope she improves at least one MILLIMETER by next week. Bro, Tyra likes weirdos. Pump it up!

Next week is supposed to have something to do with fire. BUT...MODELS...NO LIKE...FIRE!?!!!

All photos courtesy of CWtv.com