Oscars 2017!

7:42: Happy Oscars 2017! It is admittedly a different world since last year’s annual live-blog, but life and the Oscars go on and so shall I.

Before we begin, I would like to inform you that I’m on day one of a sugar/carb detox so I may be snarkier than usual. I’m not in the full stages of withdrawal — by this time next week I predict that I will be willing to strangle Ryan Gosling in exchange for a single Cadbury Mini Egg — but it seems appropriate to issue a warning.

My early take on this year’s nominees: I saw and loved Moonlight, Hidden Figures, Arrival and La La Land, and am apparently one of the few outside of the actual Academy who is totally cool with La La Land taking Best Picture. I haven’t yet seen (but plan to add to my endless Netflix queue someday) Manchester by the Sea, Fences, Lion and Hell and High WaterHacksaw Ridge wins this year’s “The Revenant Memorial Best Picture Nominee I Have No Desire To See Ever, Thank You For Asking.”

This year’s most notable red carpet trend appears to be metallic gold lame, because this is Trump’s America now. Also, Kris Jenner is doing fashion commentary on E! so I’m channel surfing for a Law and Order rerun or something to carry me to Jimmy Kimmel’s monologue.

See you at 8:30!

8:26: Before we begin, a moment of silence for the great Bill PaxtonTwister and Apollo 13 were two of the movies of my adolescence — and don’t even get me started on Titanic.

8:30: And we’re live! Apparently we’re starting with a Justin Timberlake performance of his nominated song “Can’t Stop The Feeling.” Let’s be honest: We’ve started way worse. (#HathawayandFranco #NeverForget)

8:31: Are they doing “The Carlton” dance from Fresh Prince of Bel Air or am I having a carb withdrawal-fueled hallucination?

8:32: This song is so freaking catchy. Also, I’m doing the routine set to this song that we do in Jazzercise. It’s a little more cardio-heavy than this evening’s choreography. Not that I’m bragging.

8:34: The only one not dancing is Ryan Gosling, who apparently decided he got all the dancing out of his system while filming La La Land. (more…)

Oscar Live-Blog 2016

7:49: Welcome to the 2016 Oscars live blog, everyone! It’s an annual tradition on par with other things that I only do once a year due to abject laziness, such as cleaning my apartment.

Perusing last year’s post — which is available to re-read directly below this one because I only blog once a year — I am pleased to report that my risotto wound scar has healed; my exercise ball has been used like 6 times since I last blogged; I have continued my self-imposed ban on red carpet shows featuring Giuliana Rancic (sweet freedom); and I still hate Birdman.

Seguing to this year’s award nominees: I have seen and loved Spotlight, Room and The Martian; I have seen and been awed by Mad Max: Fury Road (more admiration than love, but lots of the former); I have not seen but expect to like Brooklyn, The Big Short and Bridge of Spies; and I cannot remember a film I have had less desire to see than The Revenant. I don’t care if it wins Best Picture, and I don’t care what raw liver thing Leonardo DiCaprio ate.

Anywho, back at 8:30 for more thoughts. Join me, won’t you?


Oscar time! Let’s Live Blog!

Hello, everyone! It’s that time again when I annually live blog the Oscars. My one annual post! I have this blogging thing on lockdown.

I decided this year that skipping the E! red carpet pre-shows was good for my soul, so I’ll be back at 8:30 to live-blog the show. Join me, won’t you?

8:10: A few thoughts before the show begins: I have seen 5 of the 8 Best Picture nominees, and I would rank them, from best to notsomuch: Boyhood, Selma, The Imitation Game, The Theory of Everything, Birdman. (Haven’t yet seen: Whiplash, American Sniper or The Grand Budapest Hotel.) It seems like Birdman has the momentum and may take the top prize, but I thought it was a technical marvel that was very far up its own birdass. (Pardon my language.) Even though I agree with its main thesis that Hollywood should maybe start making films that aren’t just about white guys in capes.

Also, I’ve caught up on the outfits by watching the ABC pre-show for about half an hour, and I feel like an infinitely happier person for it. E!’s red carpet coverage runs for like 4 hours, and here are a few things I managed to do in the precious time I regained: Watch 2 old episodes of Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix, cook a mushroom risotto, slice open my finger chopping onions for risotto, swear, bandage finger, eat risotto, go shopping for an exercise ball, inflate exercise ball, collapse because manually inflating an exercise ball is harder than any workouts I intend to do on the exercise ball, start a live blog, write some pre-emptive thoughts. Number of times I regretted not watching Giuliana Rancic force a celebrity to stick her hand in a shoebox with a camera for a mani-close-up: Zero. Life’s too short.

ANYWAY. Back in 20 minutes for some Oscar goodness. Let’s do this! (more…)

Oh, what the hell. LET’S LIVE BLOG.

I may not have blogged since last year’s Oscars, but WHAT THE HELL. Let’s do this, b-rollers.

8:19: I should mention: I’m on my second glass of wine. S**t is about to get real, folks.

8:22: Dear ABC: Best not to start a promo with “Everyone on Twitter agrees…” since no one on Twitter has ever agreed about anything. You could say “Human trafficking isn’t great” and you’d find dissenters.

8:26: Before we get into it, just a note that it would be very classy and righteous to hear someone mention the name Sarah Jones this evening. Let’s hope it happens.

8:30: And we’re live! The stage is filled with weirdly silicone Oscars who look a tad too alien-ish for my comfort level.

8:31: “It has been raining. We’re fine. Thank you for your prayers.” Oh, Los Angeles…


Oscars Live Blog

7:10: I wasn’t going to live-blog the Oscars this year. I’m rusty at blogging, my computer enjoys stalling at crucial moments just to toy with my sanity, and I have a cold and have just come off of a week of intense party planning. So maybe I’ll just lay low and watch from home this year, with Nyquil, leftover birthday cake and beer. (In no particular order.)

Oh hey, did you hear that the Oscars are doing a salute to movie musicals this year, which only happens to be my favorite genre? And there will be real live performances of some of the best movie musical numbers of all time?

Okay, fine. FINE. Damn you, Academy, consider your bait taken.

Back at 8:30 with cake, beer and a quasi-functional laptop. Enjoy the red carpet, b-rollers.

8:30: Ladies and gentlemen, Seth MacFarlane! He makes Tommy Lee Jones laugh on the first attempt! TLJ clearly took his Xanax this evening.

8:31: Annndddd we leap right in to the jokes. Apparently we have to sprint through a monologue to get immediately to the musical numbers.

8:32: A Jean Dujardin joke! It’s a little mean, thank God he barely speaks English.

8:33: Is there a laugh track? The Coppola joke was kinda lame, and yet garnered a huge laugh. I call shenanigans. (Or maybe they installed a laugh track after the Franco/Hathaway debacle.)

8:35: I was expecting a lot of star cameos. I did not see Shatner getting the primo spot. I mean, I’ve seen Shatner recently on ads for local law firms.

8:36: “Why can’t Tina and Amy host everything?” Amen, Shatner. Amen.

8:38: If Channing Tatum doesn’t turn this into a striptease, I WILL BURN THIS PLACE DOWN.

8:40: But damn, I can’t deny a good fox trot.

8:41: I’m ashamed of how much I enjoy sock puppets.

8:42: I would watch Joseph Gordon-Levitt in anything. Which I kinda did in 2012, since he was in every damn movie.

8:46: Maybe not so much with the Joaquin Phoenix cutaways, Oscar director. He’s the only guy who could out-grumpy Tommy Lee.

8:49: Best Supporting Actor goes to Christoph Waltz. I have yet to see Django Unchained, but have the general feeling that this performance was Inglourious Basterds’ Colonel Landa 2.0. Am I wrong, b-rollers?

8:51: Jack Nicholson is wearing his own sunglasses and Pee Wee Herman’s tie. So that is happening. (more…)

Emmy Live Blog!

Hello folks! (I know, my last post was on the Olympics. Let’s just accept that I suck at this “blogging consistently” thing.) However, I simply can’t miss the opportunity to live blog an awards show, so let’s watch (and judge) the Emmys together, shall we? Excellent! Check back at 7:45ish and we’ll get this party started. Feel free to share predictions in the comments.

7:43: Welcome, b-rollers! A few highlights from the red carpet, which I’ve been watching haphazardly for the last two hours:

  • Hey, did you know that Giuliana Rancic had a baby? (I know, she’s really kept that under wraps.) Well, God help any celebrities who wish to discuss their Emmy nominations; “the joy of new parenthood” is the only topic available for discussion this evening.
  • Giuliana asked Jena Malone if it’s difficult keeping the plot of the second Hunger Games movie under wraps. Considering it’s based on a best-selling novel read by millions worldwide, I think that ship may have sailed, G.
  • The E! ticker at the bottom of the screen is presenting information such as “Amy Poehler thinks that ‘Climax’ by Usher is the best makeout song” without any further context, and I’d really like to know more about this, please. (The conversation between my roommate and I: “Who’s she making out with, anyway?” “Clearly not Will Arnett.“)
  • I contemplated ordering takeout, then remembered the live blog debacle of yesteryear in which my food arrived during a Neil Patrick Harris medley. Related: Campbell’s Italian wedding soup and Cheez Its is a much tastier combo than you’d think. Is Top Chef accepting applications?
  • Congratulations to E! for creating the “ManiCam,” in which talented actors and actresses stick their hands inside a shoebox  with a webcam and are reduced to Thing from The Addams Family. I totally tuned in so that I could see a close-up of Jane Krakowski’s fingernails. Well done, E!
  • Themes of the red carpet (besides Giuliana’s new baby): Gray, seafoam, plunging necklines and soft gauze overlay. I’m banking this information for my next Old Navy visit.

Who’s your best-dressed so far, b-rollers?

8:04: Anyone else feel like that concept lost steam at the 90 second mark? I think Mrs. Coach made it watchable. Humble opinion.

8:05: First Philo T. Farnsworth reference! Drink! (Kidding.) But seriously, first Honey Boo Boo reference. Drink!

8:07: For the record, I’m already wearing my fat pants.

8:08: That was an awfully lackadaisical monologue, no? Does Jimmy Kimmel have an early call time tomorrow or something?

8:11: No nominee clips this year? I realize that will shorten the show, but it will also make it about 15% less interesting.

8:12: And Eric Stonestreet wins Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy for Modern Family. What are the odds he Ving Rhames this thing and gives it to Ed O’Neill?

8:16: I’d rate the first 15 minutes of this show as “underwhelming.” (As is the live blog so far, I’m a little rusty. But in my defense, Jimmy Kimmel clearly is too.) (more…)

Higher, Faster, Stronger

I love the Olympics. I love the pomp and grandeur of the opening ceremonies, and was wildly impressed with the Queen’s game willingness to do a James Bond skit (though she may just have a crush on Daniel Craig, as does my mom, who texted me, and I quote, “Daniel Craig!!!! These are the best opening ceremonies ever!!!!”). I thanked the Olympic gods for the invention of the DVR, which allowed me to fast-forward liberally through the parade of nations and save myself 90 minutes of “What the hell is Benin?”-type comments. I got that swell of pride (as I stopped fast-forwarding) when the USA walked in, nattily attired in Chinese-manufactured uniforms, and wondered what the record is for oldest and least-athletic first-time Olympian, and if I’d have to take up shooting or archery since track is clearly out of reach. I’m aiming (ha! sorry) for Rio.

So on Saturday, I settled myself for a long day of cheering for the world’s finest athletes from my couch while eating tortilla chips (I’ll start my training on Monday), worried that by sleeping in I’d missed some critical race. Not to worry: The main event was men’s cycling, or an Amish, less-interesting version of NASCAR. And I actually watched it. (In my defense, the other options were tennis, meh; boxing, no way in hell; or fencing, but the outfits creep me out, they’re like storm trooper insects.) At one point, I heard the announcer say, “It’ll be a sprint to the finish!” and thought, “I want to get coffee, so I’ll read about it later.” When I returned home and turned on my television, the same announcer guesstimated that we were about forty minutes from the finish. FORTY. In this ADD-addled world, that is not a sprint, it is an Ironman triathlon. The most riveting part of the race occurred when the leader crashed into a barrier, gouged his arm and then attached himself to the hospital car to get stitched up at 40 miles per hour. (He lost. A guy from Kazakhstan won. I rooted for more crashes.)

Thankfully, the day picked up from there: Women’s volleyball and basketball (USA! USA!). I dabbled in table tennis, took in some men’s gymnastics and women’s soccer. If you normally gave me the option of watching table tennis or volleyball, I’d probably choose a deep, meditative silence, but thus is the power of the Olympics to transform an event from ungodly to fascinating (cycling notwithstanding).

I even watched so many swimming heats that I actually dreamt that I was in a race last night (it was a medley; I had to do the backstroke, which I don’t really know, so I winged it, no pun intended). When I woke up, my first thought, hand-to-God, was, “Wait, did I medal? Crap!” (Michael Phelps, alas, did not.)

It may, perhaps, be time for a break. What’s on this morning, though? Women’s cycling! Well, maybe I’ll just see if someone crashes…

A few IDOL thoughts

Hello, everyone! I’ll be bringing you my penultimate Voice recap tomorrow, God willing, but first, a few thoughts on American Idol‘s finale last night.

I’ve been an intermittent Idol watcher this season, which has been a relief – without the need to live-blog or any sort of real investment, you can fast-forward through all of Steven Tyler’s incoherent haiku and the inane Ford music videos – but yet, as a longtime Idol follower, I just found the finale so…unsurprising.

I don’t just mean your new Idol champion, though that has been a mortal lock since early April; as I facetiously noted earlier this week, “cute white guitar-playing boys really struggle to win this thing.” But every element of the show had a been-there, heard-that-from-Seacrest kinda vibe. For example, when the guys of the top 12 started singing “Coming to America,” “Cracklin’ Rosie” and “Daydream Believer,” the only way that Neil Diamond wasn’t joining them for a “Sweet Caroline” singalong was if there had been a freak accident in the Idol greenroom.

And even the moments that seemed “spontaneous!” were mile-away kinda enterprises. When Ryan pointed out former contestants in the crowd, ending with the “first Idol romance” of Ace Young and Diana DeGarmo and then inviting them to join him onstage, it was patently obvious that a televised proposal was in the works. Did anyone really think that Ryan Seacrest just wanted to have an extended chat about what was new and exciting in their lives? Just saying. (Credit to Ace Young for proposing using the patented Seacrest move: “I…will drag this out…for a while…to build suspense…and retain relevance.” Also, anyone else notice that he worked the name of the jeweler into the proposal? It is the Kardashians’ world, folks. We’re all just horrified visitors.)

Frankly, the only thing that I thoroughly enjoyed was the Idol producers FINALLY taking Randy Jackson to task for his repetitive cliches by having the top 12 literally “sing the phone book.” It was a delightful little skit that ended with Ryan Seacrest presenting him with a gift-wrapped phone book and saying “Get some new material before next year!” If not for the “next year” part, I would’ve given Ryan a standing ovation from my own living room.

As for our young Phillip Phillips, well, I am anxious to hear his first album, particularly since his single “Home” is pretty damn good, if a blatant Mumford & Sons photocopy. (At least it’s better than Scotty McCreary’s anthem last year, “I Love You This Big,” which sounded like a song from some straight-to-DVD kids’ program starring Elmo in a cowboy hat.) And I hope that runner-up Jessica Sanchez not only finds some material worthy of her big voice, but figures out how to use it; when challenged by the inimitable Jennifer Holliday during their “And I Am Telling You” duet, she finally showed the passion of a potentially great artist. (In a related story, I am telling you that I never want to hear that song again on any reality show ever.)

What say you, b-rollers? Any Idol watchers in the audience? What did you think of the show, and your new Idol champion Phillip? And can people please finally stop abusing their children by giving them the same first name as their last name?