Stay Lazy, My Friends

Since I went all big-picture and thought-provoking earlier in the week (at least, I hope I did), I wanted to scale it down a bit and bring you something light for a Friday, b-rollers. I know it might be breaking the rules a bit to blog about an infomercial, but I just can’t help it. While watching Kathy Griffin’s latest special (another guilty pleasure), she got on a roll about an infomercial that was so funny that I thought it couldn’t possibly be real, except…it is. Meet Forever Lazy, a billowing adult onesie – with a zippered butt flap – for those who think a Snuggie is too elegant, and are too hopelessly incompetent for a blanket.

You may have seen this already – there are over a million YouTube hits, so I’m a bit late to the fleecy, nap-filled party here – but either way, I’m sure you will agree that this is one of the greatest things that’s ever been aired. I know I should weave the Forever Lazy into a thoughtful metaphor for the decay of American civilization, or at least be angry that this company stole my life motto, but I can’t. This is just too glorious. Not since the original Snuggie ad have I been this delighted by an informercial.

And speaking of the Snuggie, wasn’t this really just the next logical step, not only in sloth but in fashion? Not to channel my inner Tim Gunn, but I can’t help but think that the Forever Lazy is a bit more en trend than the artful draping of the Snuggie – jumpsuits are very in now, for some reason (ours is not to wonder why). I’m sorry, Snuggie, you are out. Auf wiedersehen.

So, b-rollers, I turn this over to you for an important debate: Would you, for any reason whatsoever, purchase a Forever Lazy? (Only ironically.) If so, which color? (I’m torn; the lovely gray looks like a white undershirt after 800 trips through the washing machine, but the electric pink is just so vibrant.) Would you, for any reason, be caught dead tailgating or attending a party in one? (Not without a lucrative endorsement deal.)

And, in conclusion, please allow me to kindly petition all Forever Lazy owners, present and future: When “duty calls,” for the love of God, remove the damn onesie.

Have a toasty warm weekend, b-rollers.

Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose

Howdy ho, b-rollers. It’s been a quiet few weeks, I know. I apologize for abandoning you all for, um…yeah, pretty much the entire summer. God knows it’s a barren time for television, Mad Men and SYTYCD notwithstanding, and I haven’t seen that many films worth mentioning, since for every Inception (brilliant, indeed) there were a couple of A-Teams (I love me some Liam Neeson and shirtless Bradley Cooper, but the “let’s steer a falling tank by shooting its cannon” scenario took the suspension-of-disbelief principle just a touch too far for me). I’ve been to the library more than the movie theater; I know I should be proud of that, but it just feels like something’s amiss in the b-roll universe.

Anyhoo, thanks to every network’s decision to unleash all of the Fall premieres on the same damn week – that wheezing sound you hear is my DVR praying for respite, just FYI – we’ll have plenty to talk about again. At the end of this week, I’ll grade the Fall premieres of my favorite shows (oh Glee, how I’ve missed you!) and the newbies I’m testing out, so keep an eye out and be prepared to jump in with your thoughts.

In the meantime, though, I’d like to discuss my new obsession. A few weeks ago, on a quiet Friday night – you’ll appreciate the irony of this shortly – b-roll roomie and I were pondering what to watch, and said, “Hey, I’ve always heard good things about the show Friday Night Lights. Want to see if it’s on Netflix?” (Important addendum: the ability to stream movies and TV shows from Netflix to my television courtesy of my Nintendo Wii led me to say aloud, and I quote directly, “Streaming Netflix is a gift from the baby Jesus.” I stand by that.) Anyway, Season 1 was indeed available, so we watched an episode. Then another. And then four more. And suddenly it was Saturday. That weekend we were as social as the Unabomber, clutching the Wii remote and adopting “maybe just one more episode!” as our mantra, and by the end of the weekend, we’d watched all 22 episodes of Season 1 and were powering ahead to Season 2. Cue now, and we’re anxiously awaiting the first disc of Season 4 (no more streaming episodes after Season 3, unfortunately) and cursing that we have to wait until God-knows-when for the final episodes to air on NBC.

Why do I share this, rather guiltily? Because after hearing the drumbeat for years and inexplicably failing to heed it, I’ve finally given in to the critics and writers and bloggers who’ve been saying that FNL is the best-acted – and quite simply, one of the best – shows on television. They’re totally right. The show just doesn’t hit a false note. It’s funny and touching and suspenseful and I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Now, there may be consequences to immersive FNL fandom. For example, I’ve begun thinking in a Texan accent, and may be speaking in one too; I dunno, it’s all a slow, drawl-y blur. Also, you may start scouring YouTube for any available videos of Taylor Kitsch, the gorgeous actor who plays Tim Riggins, a character who is lovable but a total screwup (a gorgeous one – did I mention that yet?). Riggins is that kind of “I could totally fix him” bad boy that all of the women on the show are attracted to, when they should like Matt, the sweet, responsible quarterback who is a thoroughly decent guy. Who do b-roll roomie and I prefer? Riggins, of course. To the extent that while watching one episode in which Riggins didn’t have a place to stay, we joked that he should come live with us, then got into an argument over whose room he could sleep in. (Her reason: “I have a bigger room!” My rebuttal: “Riggins prefers older women!” Um, anyway…)

In summation: Friday Night Lights is the best show I wasn’t watching. If you’re not either, for God’s sake, start. And if you’ve been watching this entire time, feel free to tell me what an idiot I am in the comments below. Clear eyes, full hearts…

Adventures in Procrastination

Okay, I know. Nothing (really) since Thursday. I know. I suck.

See, this weekend snuck past me before I knew what was happening. There were errands, and cleaning (my room is about 62% de-cluttered), and napping, and I saw a movie (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – if you liked the book, you’ll really like the movie; and if you haven’t read the book, you’ll like the movie anyway, and for God’s sake go and read the book). And, yeah. Here we are.

I also got drawn into that time-honored, bad-weather weekend tradition: TV marathons. You know how every cable TV channel shows something – anything – on a loop for twelve hours, and you sit down and think “eh, what the hell, I’ll watch an episode” and suddenly six hours have passed? That’s usually my Saturday. I have the best intentions of productivity, but I’m a connoisseur of television and laziness. I might as well schedule a multi-hour bloc into my BlackBerry calendar with “Crap, I got sucked into (insert TV show here).” The weekend usually ends with me forlornly contemplating the remnants of my mental to-do list.

Here’s the weird thing: the TV marathons in question aren’t shows that I watch otherwise. I don’t watch new episodes of Law and Order: SVU, just the reruns that air – constantly – on cable. I almost forget that show exists in anything other than eight-hour increments.

And as I mentioned on Saturday, I managed to watch four – count ’em – episodes of the true crime reality show Forensic Files. While I wouldn’t put TruTV on my list of must-see television, I somehow watch in bulk, and I always feel like a warped human being for spending several hours invested in real-life murders and their aftermath. And this marathon viewing has consequences: about a year ago, after devoting a full weekend to Forensic Files and The Investigators, there was an unfamiliar man knocking at my apartment door. Working on the logical assumption that he was probably a serial killer, I glanced frantically around my apartment to gauge what could be used as a weapon in the event of an attack (I settled on my Guitar Hero guitar, which I figured I could wield as a club). Apparently, this man was an upstairs neighbor asking if our air conditioner was working (his wasn’t), so the guitar remained in its place. I laid off of the true crime TV for a while after that.

So anyway, that’s what I was doing this weekend in lieu of blogging. Go ahead and judge me. Or, join the shame party and tell me – which TV marathons suck you in during the weekend?

Gossip Girl (NOT the Show)

In a comment this week, I got asked to compile a list that included my favorite “guilty pleasure” movies. I’ve also kicked around the idea of posting some of my guilty pleasure TV. We all have those; we just don’t usually admit them unless to close friends, who we hope will say, “Ohmigod, I love that show too!” and then, like the Mighty Ducks, our shame will fly together.

But in the spirit of honesty, here’s a guilty pleasure of my life: I read celebrity gossip online like a hypochondriac scouring WebMD.

Got a few minutes to surf online? I’m checking out Perez Hilton. Ted Casablanca on E! Online? Natch. (If that didn’t make sense, google Ted Casablanca and sample his, um, unique writing style). And the People mag site, even though it has – to put this delicately – devolved? I check it eight times a day. A celebrity blind item? Ooh, that’ll keep me fascinated for days.

I’d like to be clear: I wish I didn’t read this crap. I should probably be studying up on the health care bill or the progress in Haiti or something that enriches my understanding of the actual world around me, and not just the celebrity stratosphere. I feel the proper amount of guilt; I was raised Catholic, after all, so shame is not in short supply. I try to soothe myself by saying that my curiosity is both a byproduct of my obsession with movies and television – it follows that I’d be fascinated by the lives of those in them – and also simply human nature, that slow-down-and-stare-at-a-car-wreck mentality that seems so imbued in, well, everyone.

But I reached a crossroads this week. I was checking out the Entertainment Weekly site – which has a lovely mix of gossip, commentary and news – and saw that they had a link to the top couple headlines of Popeater, a gossip site that I don’t visit regularly but will if I see a salacious headline, of course. Popeater’s top two headlines were: “Sandra Bullock & Jesse James Split Rumors” and “Kate Winslet’s Divorce: Do We Really Need to Know?”

Now, the first thing that happened was that my irony alarm started blaring at full decibel. I immediately wrote the headlines down and thought, I have to blog about that. That’s hilarious.

But when the irony wore off – which took a while, frankly – I was left with the thought that, No, I don’t really need to know about either one. These people are having their lives made bare for the world – and why one actress gets the benefit of “do we really need to know” while the other doesn’t is curious in and of itself – and it’s really not my business. I know it’s not. I wish I didn’t care. But if there’s a headline about it, well…I’m clicking on it. Of course I am.

But for a week, I’ll try not to. I’m going to skip the gossip this week, and remove the temptation. No Perez. No Casablanca. No People or Popeater. When I check out the Entertainment Weekly site, no gossipy items, only recaps and TV/film news. Just the facts, ma’am. Let’s see if I miss it more or less than I think I will, and if I can reprogram my fingers not to automatically type “” when a browser opens. I probably won’t make it a week, to be brutally honest. If a big scandal breaks, I probably will too. But a week from today, I’ll let you know how I did. Shame and all.