THE VOICE Recap: The Final (Please, God) Blind Auditions

Good evening, folks! After three long days of Oscar coverage, we’re returning to the warm embrace of Cee Lo and friends. (You know what, poor choice of words. I’m still a little punch drunk.) Anyway, it’s nice to be watching something else. Let’s dive in!

Carson introduces us to “the most exciting singing competition on television,” which shows that the Voice producers are enjoying the hell out of beating Idol in the ratings. (Me too, guys.) “America fell in love with the blind auditions,” Carson continues, and I’m here to report that we’re falling out of love. Let’s wrap this up. Adam, Blake and Christina need 2 more people for their teams, and Cee Lo needs 3. Dear God this recap piece is endless, it feels like an Oscar montage. I may need to get my head around a new topic. (more…)


Best in Show: 2012 Oscars Edition

Happy Monday, folks! I hope that you’re less sleep-deprived than I am today. Let’s do a quick Oscar recap, as I’m hoping to get a nap in before The Voice airs tonight, which only reinforces how squarely I’m in the Oscars’ demographic.

Now, first things first: I went 14 for 24 in my Oscar picks, losing in most of the tech/short film categories. I did not anticipate Hugo sweeping ALL of the tech awards, and most of my short film picks were blind guesses. I won’t get too upset. (How’d you do?)

And now a few other thoughts:

  • Host: I’ve read some backlash against Billy Crystal this morning, and frankly, I’m surprised. Folks, what did you expect? He sang a medley, he put himself into each Oscar movie, he cracked some jokes about baseball and George Clooney, and he generally worked the room like a comedian. Which is, you know, what he is, and how he’s hosted the past eight times. But he was consistently funny; maybe not gut-busting, but I laughed several times, and I’m not expecting my Oscar hosts to completely alter the face of entertainment. That’s pretty much all I need. Some laughs.
  • Upsets: Not so many, really; when Meryl Streep is considered an “upset,” it’s not exactly a year of surprises. I almost picked Woody Allen’s screenplay for Midnight in Paris – remember, it was my “Should Win”? – but I chickened out. That’s on me. Apparently the editing award going to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was a shock to those who really know these things, but at that point, we’re splitting the hairs awfully fine for the rest of us.
  • Best and Worst Dressed: Jessica Chastain’s dress grew on me as the night wore on; it was really quite stunning, and I’m sure that gold thread was amazing in person. As for the worst, well, it’s never a good idea to wear a shirt-dress to the Oscars, even – nay, particularly – when it’s covered in two-toned sequins. Sorry, Melissa Leo.
  • Thank you, Internet: Okay, two things: First of all, Angelina Jolie’s right leg now has its own Twitter feed. Also, this happened. Maybe I’m just overly tired, but I think these are wonderful developments. Secondly, if you were waiting for a bat-you-know-what story to emerge from the Oscar festivities, I bring you “Sean Young arrested after Oscars, faces misdemeanor battery charges after citizen’s arrest at Governor’s Ball.” Do with it what you will.

What were your thoughts, b-rollers?

It’s the Oscars! Live Blog

8:30: Here we go! Morgan Freeman comes out first, which is a much classier intro than I was expecting.

8:31: George Clooney kissing Billy Crystal?! Oh, so beautifully played. Also, way more interesting than The Descendents.

8:32: “I’m here to get you the 18-24 demographic.” That’s the only time it’s acceptable to integrate Justin Bieber.

8:35: “Showtime.” Welcome back, Billy.

8:36: After last year’s debacle, I’m surprised the audience isn’t leaping out of their chairs and charging the stage. Especially since they keep showing the older audience members, who look, let’s just say, appreciative.

8:37:”The Chapter 11 Theatre.” An inside baseball joke that totally made me laugh.

8:38: I could watch Jean Dujardin smile broadly for hours. Of course, I saw The Artist, so I kinda did.

8:39: Martin Scorsese’s tween daughter looks underwhelmed by Billy Crystal’s medley. She’s probably the only person who misses James Franco and Anne Hathaway.

8:41: Tom Hanks comes on to present our first awards! Moving right along, eleven minutes into the show.

8:43: First up: Cinematography. Way to start with the sexy awards, producers. Robert Richardson wins for Hugo, which I totally called! (Here are all of my picks, for your easy perusal.)

8:44: And we move on to Art Direction. Again, we couldn’t have started with something more interesting? Not knocking the art directors, but we’d all like to know what Christopher Plummer and Octavia Spencer have to say. (more…)

Oscar Red Carpet Live Blog

5:30: Welcome to the E! Red Carpet, b-rollers! We have three hours of this, then a three and a half hour Oscar show. Oh my holy God, what have I gotten myself into. Well, let’s dig in, shall we? Seacrest, IN.

5:31: Ryan Seacrest breaks the news that Bradley Cooper and Zoe Saldana may appear tonight for the first time as a couple. Neither of them is nominated for anything, but thank God we have this information.

5:33: Giuliana is wearing a dress that is a little Bjork’s swan-ish for my taste, but she still looks lovely. And I am hungry just looking at her.

5:34: It’s not possible that the guy sharing Kelly Osbourne’s red carpet position is Armie Hammer’s slightly less-handsome and probably gay twin, is it?

5:35: Giuliana is on a platform interviewing the eleven year old who played George Clooney’s other daughter in The Descendents. So, for the record: No, no one has arrived at the Oscar red carpet yet. Carry on with your normal lives, people. I’ll keep you posted.

5:37: Ross Matthews is strategically posted next to a pool somewhere, so he ought to get the really good interviews. Ah, his job tonight is to monitor social media, which can also be done by ourselves on a home computer or smartphone. The fine folks at E! really question the intelligence of their home audience.

5:39: At the first commercial break, we get an ad for the 3D re-release of Titanic. Lots of folks who remember me breathlessly seeing it four times (and sobbing copiously) in the winter of ’97-98 have asked me if I’ll be seeing it again this year. Uh, no. I was 15 then. I now know it’s not that great. But thank you for asking.

5:41: As I informed my roommate that the other girl from The Descendents was being interviewed, she said, “What was her character’s name? Scout? Scooter?” It was Scottie, but I would’ve liked that movie 28% more if her name had been Scooter.

5:42: Kermit and Miss Piggy are there! And Ryan admits that he is as tall as the Muppets. I KNEW IT!

5:44: Penelope Ann Miller is a smart cookie; she shows up at 5:40 and gets five solid minutes of interview time with Seacrest. I look forward to Jean Dujardin getting nudged aside for Brangelina after twelve seconds at 8:15.

5:45: Brian Grazer is giving us a tour of the Oscar backstage. I wish I had more interesting information for you than “really big film reels onstage,” but this is significantly less interesting than it ought to be.

5:47: Armie Hammer’s little brother is apparently an Oscar expert named Ben. I would like to know more, please. Could we maybe get a graphic with his name and credentials? Thanks so much.

5:49: A John Carter commercial! Yes, I will mention every single one, because I heart Tim Riggins. I actually tried to convince a friend to see the movie with me by saying, “I cannot stress enough how little shirt he’s wearing.” (more…)

Oscar Pick ‘Em

Good morning, b-rollers! Christmas Day is here!

This will be a short post because there will be THREE POSTS TODAY – I believe that is a new b-roll record, and I bow at your applause – but here is my complete list of Oscar picks. Please note that these choices are who I think will win, not necessarily should (see yesterday’s post  for that analysis in the big categories).

Feel free to make your own picks below! Here’s a complete list of the nominees. (more…)

Oscar Pre-Game

Happy Saturday, b-rollers! After ten long months of film awards (okay, fine, like five; it felt longer), we’ve finally reached the pinnacle. I for one am fully prepped for tomorrow’s live blog: I have a working internet (for now, please God), a killer nachos recipe on tap, and my local Starbucks primed and ready to make me venti nonfat drinks throughout the day. By the time Giuliana Rancic and Ryan Seacrest hit the red carpet (along with their ensemble of fashion analysts from the Mad Hatter’s tea party), I will have the metabolism of a hummingbird. BRING IT.

Before then, here’s the plan: Today (now), we’ll do an analysis of “will win, should win, potential spoiler, should’ve been there” for the major categories. (The “potential spoiler” pick is my way of  being able to say “NAILED IT!!” if any shocking surprises happen, without being gutsy enough to actually predict them. I call this “The Romney.”) And tomorrow morning, I’ll post my guesses for all of the Oscar categories, some of which will be educated, others blind and completely random. (Hey, if you have an inside track on who’s going to win Sound Mix, then God bless.) Please feel free to share your picks there, too. And next week, we’ll compare notes and see how we did.

Ready? Let’s get started. (more…)

The Best Laid Plans…

Happy Friday, b-rollers. I had such a great plan for this week. Lots of in-depth Oscar talk, which I love (you may care less, we’ll agree to disagree). And then on Tuesday night, just as I was finishing my Voice recap, the internet access in my apartment went dead. After my roommate spent 42 endless minutes on the phone with our internet provider – highlighted by the operator suggesting that the issue was with our computers, to which my roommate replied, “You think both of our laptops simultaneously broke in the exact same way?” – an appointment was made for a technician to come on Thursday morning to fix it.

Now, here’s where this gets interesting.

The appointment was for 8-11am, so I waited by the phone, just in case our technician was the first person in the history of cable appointments to show up on the early end of their scheduled window. Stunningly, the phone rang at 8:15, and just to highlight the week that was in technological futility, the damn phone headset died, so I couldn’t answer the phone to tell the person that we were home; I could, however, hear the technician leaving a message that we should call to reschedule the appointment. In a blind panic, I threw on sneakers, grabbed my keys, sprinted down the street to the cable truck that was parked a block and a half away, and breathlessly yelled at the technician, “Pleasedon’tleaveourphonediedbutwe’rereallyhome.” Then, with a carefully attempted nonchalance, I calmly walked back to my apartment while ignoring all of the startled commuters who were wondering why this lunatic was strolling down 12th Street in her pajamas.

This is how badly I needed my internet back.

Anyway, I’m happy to report that our new modem is up and running, and internet access has been restored to Casa b-roll, but not before putting me way behind. I’ll post an Oscar preview tomorrow, and would love to see your Oscar picks as well; please share. And that Iron Man live blog on Oscar Sunday is on like Donkey Kong. Be there, folks.