Confronting Reality

I’m back in my parents’ house after graduating—with a BFA—during the worst economic downturn in decades, and now, while in need the escape of reality television bliss the most, I was instead witnessing the Bravo producers physically run out of ideas, getting away with making “_____ is thinking of moving to the beach!” into a full-fledged storyline for not one, but two products from their reality factory—all in the same week. As if I, jobless in ripped boxers, have any frame of reference for such a decision, or know what the hell it means. As if that is even constitutes a story. Maybe it’s because I’ve lived in New York my whole life, I don’t know, but to me, thinking about moving to the beach was having all the same impact as thinking about renting The Beach, which, sure in the past would have definitely sufficed for a subject of focus for an hour of my laziness, but like everything else in the wake of college, my mindless media consumption was already in the throes of an existential crisis, and in dire need of redefinition.

After all, what was the purpose of The Real Housewives of Atlanta if not to help me bond with my revolving door of forever-awkward ambiguously-straight NYU roomies, I’ve been left to wonder? Or Miami Social if not a distraction from classes I accidentally found myself in due to panic-induced schedule changes, and the knowledge of thousands of dollars wasted? With these and innumerable other college-coated purposes since blown away in one May day, I have found myself having to face the challenge of processing these programs only for their entertainment value—and failing out.

I didn’t expect a bunch of television producers to know what I’m going through, but couldn’t they at least meet me halfway like they used to? Ozzy Osbourne is addicted to burritos—that was a reality storyline. Ally Hilfiger wants a burrito, and its her maid’s day off—that was a reality storyline. Moses eating his very first burrito while his crush Ariel refuses to participate on the grounds of being on a raw food diet (I really do miss Amish in the City)—that was a reality storyline. All of those things I could wrap my head around, and had an urgency that’s easy to relate to. But moving to the beach? Is Bravo inventing a new stage in its constructed life of prep school student to real housewife, or is this a really sensitive decision people go through I just had no idea about? Because unless we were talking about someone with sun allergy, or J.D. Salinger, I didn’t see myself giving much of a shit. Or, sadly, even a fuck.

See, unlike every other pain-staking, shiftless, summer in my life thus far, where I’d be masturbating minimum three times a day as if though the action was actually helping turn the leaves green again—I’ve barely laid a hand on myself since I cupped my mouth to shout for speaker Whoopi Goldberg’s attention at my commencement. I can hazard that it’s just due to puberty finally calming down at 22, but it feels more like my body is following the lead of my now-unpredictable future. Either way, sexual need has essentially counted itself out as an entry in my rolodex of excuses to sit through crap; for me, a practical deal-breaker.

Don’t get me wrong, my respect for the idiot box is complete, and you won’t catch me coming close to spitting on my life-long love affair with it for anything. All the same, an essential part of that love, and keeping it alive, was being able to say to myself that some of the programs in which I would partake in were just on as background noise while I satisfied an even more pressing addiction. Deceitful? Yeah, perhaps. But it worked for us. And now that I’ve been thrown out of the comfort of school-driven seasonal cycles and into the Alaskan-like abyss of “the real world,” my biological functions have gone haywire, my relationship with the TV is suffering, and I can’t enjoy The Real World.

So now, being faced with the most useless and unpalatable array of viewing I think I’ve come across since this year’s Oscars, I realize I can’t let this continue, and I make a decision. I’m not going to go down without a fight. I’ve already gone from the “number one dream school” to my number one nightmare, and if the TV was going to do nothing but blow beach sand in my face, I would do have to do something all on my own. I mean, who was stronger, man or machine? Enough was enough. As difficult as it may be, I’m going jerk off to Flipping Out‘s Jeff Lewis.

At first, I try to focus on the promos during the commercial breaks. In those, Lewis just poses, wears sneakers with his suit and has his hands tucked casually in his pockets, belying the insecurity-ridden, fussy personality edited together during the show to keep me otherwise boner-free. And it’s so far so good, but as the eyebrow-raising experience that is this character study/home-improvement show continues, I soon realize there will be no shortcuts. Maintaining whatever progress I make during the breaks is fruitless when confronted with Lewis’ de-sexualized ex-boyfriend following behind him, interjecting bland, sound bite-able comments, or with Lewis’ Kristin Chenoweth Second Understudy of an assistant narrating the tale, telling us exactly how zany her OCD boss is, and congratulating herself for putting up with the zaniness and oh my god it’s all so zany.

With every shrill confessional I go harder and faster, knowing what’s at stake. With every business discussion between the two mildly attractive, yet repressed, germophobic men, I strain my gaze into the subtext, invent new meanings behind the show’s title, and pray that just because my life is in limbo it doesn’t mean my dick has to resemble the stick. I can do this. I can enjoy reality. It’s what I’ve always done. I’m still me. Not everything has changed because of graduation… has it? And then I hear the moan. It’s the garage door. My mother’s home.

Instinctively, I shove myself back into my pants, turn off the TV and run upstairs, apparently my shame so intense it never let me even consider just putting a pillow over my lap, or switching to Dance Your Ass Off. I had to pretend I didn’t even inhabit space. Not on a soft seat. Not in front of any images. In college masturbation was almost disturbing in its openness, but now, without thinking, I brought it down to the level of obscurement and fiction I was just railing against.

Scurrying up the steps to my bedroom on my hands and knees, it dawns on me that I might have picked the wrong battle to put my energy towards. Maybe instead of rebelling against the recession in quality reality, I should try to face up to that other one. Getting a job and out of my house is so much more important than being able to enjoy television. It’s obvious. After all, once I have a job, and I’m starved for things to talk about with my co-workers, or ways to cope with my overbearing boss, it’ll be so easy to love Jeff Lewis, whether or not he is thinking of moving to the beach.


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Thirst: The End/Beginning for Vampires?

It’s no secret that people these days have a hankering for vampires. We could spend all day analyzing why–the universal story of the outcast, the interesting focus it puts on our mortality, the inherent sexuality–but at the end of the day it’s just a proven, entertaining trope that has been able to inspire good stories. Well, mostly it inspires tweens to wear black in the sun. But when we’re lucky and pray to the right god (Buffy Summers), we get a good story. Except, what exactly is a vampire story? Is it different from a story whose characters just happen to be vampires? I never thought about it before, but Park Chan-Wook’s new film has me asking if vampires actually beat gays into getting movies made starring them, yet not about them, and whether something like is really desirable.

His opinion doesn't count.


The thing with Thirst is that at first it actually starts out be completely about vampire-associated themes. Happy, flute-playing priest Sang-hyeon selflessly volunteers himself for a dangerous drug-testing trial to cure a disease, and ends up being the only one to survive. It turns out it’s because he’s turning into a vampire, and although he quickly comes to be regarded as a holy faith healer by the public, he struggles privately over his new demonic tendencies. The horror of a priest not having control of his body, suddenly living on the fringe, all come part of the deal. Soon, celibate Sang-hyeon even starts dreaming about a depressed married woman named he meets Tae-joo, which interestingly happens to be pronounced the same way as Tadzio, the object of obsession in Thomas Mann’s Death in Venice. For those who never read the book or fell asleep during the overblown movie version, the story follows a similarly repressed dude whose passions bust through his white linen slacks when he sees a striking young boy around the hotel he’s staying at. He then lurks around, titillated and confused, until everything finally cresendos to his oozy demise under the sun.

Chris Hansen with Dateline NBC...what was your plan here, sir?

An eerily vampiric life and death to be sure. Thirst is like Death in Venice in that it raises questions about the modern self, and how we get all twisted around when we lose our moral compasses, or in the case of Sang-hyeon, when a moral compasses suddenly become slightly less important than vanting to dlink  your blud. Sadly, about halfway through, the plot of Thirst ends up dropping Death in Venice and decides to draft its plot from a totally different European novel, Emile Zola’s Therese Raquin.

Therese Raquin’s story points of infidelity, revenge, murder, paralysis and guilt, while surprising and entertaining, illuminate very little about the vampiric, Death in Venice-like themes that the story originally teases out. The best way vampires could have enhanced Zola’s novel, about a wife who is trapped in her life but due to her temperament and those she involves herself with is doomed to never see freedom, would be if she was the one turning into vampire, thought it would be her ticket out, and we got to spend the movie seeing how it can’t be. This is very close to what happens, as Tae-joo does vicariously experiences vampirism through Sang-hyeon, but because of Sang-hyeon’s character it all becomes too muddied to really feel for either of them. Did Sang-hyeon become a vampire because of his repressed views and his need to do good that blew up in his face? Is it a result of his character at all or just  random affliction? Will he be continually punished for trying to overcome it? Or is he being punished when he gives in to his new urges? If what we saw from Sang-hyeon early in the movie were identifiable or more down to earth, maybe his life-ache and romantic quandaries in the rest of the movie would be more dramatic, but his vow of celibacy made the situation more porno-tastic rather than problematic.

Thirst mines a commendable amount of humor and disgust out of some fearlessly gross situations, but because of the confusing themes, the feeling left after the initial enjoyment is empty. In Sam Raimi’s recent, back-to-basics horror flick Drag Me To Hell, a cartoonishly horrific gushing nosebleed can be utterly delectable because we understand as an audience that its happening to the main character due to her continued (sympathetic amount of) hubris. In Thirst–although this type of shock value occurrences happen all the time with blood-filled flutes, rotting fingernails, and smiling dead body cock blockers–their overall effect is less than involving, and watching Sang-hyeon contend with his vampirism becomes not unlike watching someone contend with cancer. On its own, someone puking up a pile of meat they had no business eating in the first place definitely has some entertainment value… but that ends once you remember that the reason they were nauseous was because of a round of chemo. After that, it simply becomes unfortunate. And long.

Don't let impotence or carcasses ruin your sex life.

By the way, it’s Park Chan-Wook, so obviously it looks like a ton of work has gone into it and the acting and individual scenes are pretty fantastic. He lets the drama unfold naturally and kinetically in tight spaces, and holds enough back to let the audience experience the emotion, rather than just telegraphing the next thing to happen.

One particularly charged sequence of accusations/reveals between our tortured couple becomes almost meandering enough to be a turn off, despite the intrigue of the plot (which by itself is enjoyable), but when the perfect button is put on it at the end, it feels paid off and genius. It’s just too bad that when we get to the end of the film and we expect to find an equally magical button to put the whole film into a similar tidy perspective, and nothing can be found.

Creating a logical endpoint to the couple’s grisly vampire life that rings true is supposed to be satisfactory enough, because they happen to be vampires, but we can have the thrill of watching humans be picked off like gazelle, fear of suns and stakes, and strained vampire/maker relations every week on True Blood. If you’re going to make vampires part of a classic novel, make sure it’s adding something more than just those three things. Or else we’re going to have a bigger plague on our hands with this fancy new trend than we ever expected.

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“I Feel Like I’m In A Nightmare”: Recapping The Hills

(Too late to be posted on NYU Local, and posted here so Charlotte can get her favorite show fix:)

Monday night on The Hills, Stephanie started her internship at People’s Revolution, and Audrina started her internship at spin-off-getting by handling the A-story. Needless to say, both pretty much fell on their faces.

You thought we were kidding when we said we were gong to keep up with these things (as did I). But well, we were both wrong. Very wrong. FULL recap after the jump:

“Crazy in Love”

Lauren and Audrina hang out in some place they used to go to meet guys before going out at night to meet guys. They laugh at their past silliness, but when the laughter dies down, Lauren gets down to the mature talk: So, Audrina, when’s the last time you met any guys? Audrina explains that she is actually still getting over her ex, Justin, but is also finally becoming content with herself. So content that she reminds Lauren that if she sees any guys that are her type, that she should send them her way. Considering Justin, Lauren takes this to mean that she should give out Audrina’s numbers to all the wife-beaters and homeless men she passes on the way home.

Lauren’s good deeds continue at People’s Revolution, where she explains to Stephanie what her internship will be like, and I wonder if producers are setting Stephanie up to take over for Lauren when she leaves. Just then, Kelly Cutrone storms in and chews Stephanie a new asshole for leaving her drink lying around, so I think maybe she won’t last as long as I thought…but then Lauren passes Stephanie off her lint brush, which ha way too much symbolism to ignore. Meanwhile, in the world of Spencer and Heidi, symbolism is thrown at the window as Spencer calls Heidi up and quite literally, and kind of cutely, announces himself as her “favorite stalker.” … And I just called something Spencer did cute, so therefore I hate this scene with a passion and am skipping to the end. OK, Heidi re-iterates that she just wants therapy like she already announced last episode. Great. But now I need some too.

I have to also wonder what kind of psychosis is it that Lauren has when she arrives at some club with Heidi’s sister Holly. Between this and giving Spencer’s sister Stephanie an internship, she must have some screw loose to be so intent on keeping her enemies’ relatives in her posse. Her control issues perk up again when she overhears about a trip Frankie and Brody are taking to Hawaii, and demands to know why she wasn’t invited. Brody apologizes and then backtracks: he doesn’t have to explain, the guys need to get away! From all their cars, money, unemployment, club-hopping and TV stardom! Lauren relents. Boys will be boys, and boys and girls are different. As such, Lauren tries to go back to playing with her girl toys–Audrina and Holly–but is interrupted by scruffy Justin lurking in the shadows.

Audrina tries to play it cool, and they say hello and hug, but Justin tells her she is lame for back patting him, because the back pat is like, sooo out. “Am I a baby that needs to be burped?” he asks, clearly repeating something else someone told him when he back patted them, and now just passing off the embarrassment. I cringe and get that same feeling I get during Degrassi: Junior High when it all just feels too real. I am even glad when Brody enters to break the tension, which says it all, because I hate that douchebag.

Back at People’s Revolution, it’s clear on Stephanie’s face that she’s already quit in her mind and is already planning how to stowaway on Brody’s plane to Hawaii, but Stephanie, you better put those files in fucking Filemaker and quick if you want to grow up and carry a show like Lauren, and not just be a female Justin/Brody side character .

At another boring club night, the current female Justin/Brody, Brody’s girlfriend “Jayde,” brings back the junior high by giggling, “He grabbed my boob, so I grabbed his junk!” She also reiterates the theme. See? Boys and girls are different! Reminded of that, the boys and girls separate again and the episode takes on a very Shakespearean comedy, Much Ado About Nothing-feel as experienced douche Brody urges newb douche Justin to put a ring on Audrina’s finger, while Stephanie urges Audrina to stay away from him. The two finally talk to each other, but can’t seem to connect, because just like in Shakespeare, they are both too coked-out.

Also urging to connect, Heidi and Spencer finally make it to Dr. Mansbacher’s office, who invited them to sit and talk. If I was a doctor and had Heidi and Spencer in front of me, I would immediately be taking DNA samples, but sure, I guess talking is one approach to figuring out what species they are. The doctor hears out their history in one fell swoop, and immediately assesses that their problems are “high schoolish,” giving these people more credit than I did. She then ells the couple to face each other, and for Spencer to say what he’s feeling. Without a beat, he lets out, “I feel like I’m in a nightmare.” Ha! Wow, I think Spencer is cute again, so this scene will unfortunately also have to be skipped.

Which brings us to the last scene, a girls brunch where the only two thing happen that could possibly happen. Audrina vocalizes her attraction for Brody, and Lo brings up, a propos of nothing, that they all haven’t taken a vacation together in a really long time. Ugh. That’s right, in true Shakespearean fashion these girls are off to the forest, or in this case, Hawaii. So, will Audrina get with Brody? Will Lauren ski jump over a shark? Will the god of the fairies wipe away my impure thoughts about Spencer? Who knows? Who cares? Please wake me up.

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“Big Love” Fries Big Fish

In last week’s episode of Big Love, an odd device of fantasy fake-outs were used, where certain scenes played out in polygamist patriarch Bill’s head before we cut back to reality–a device which got much more appropriate play on the deep and psychological series Six Feet Under. Its appearance here, however, did reveal a key difference between the two HBO shows, further confirmed by last night’s finale. It is now clear that, as the characters continuously go through huge crises of faith and make life-altering decisions, only for their family ties to be further strengthened in the end…Big Love is actually ten times more fucked up than Six Feet Under ever hoped to be.

This bleak outlook has been especially present in head wife Barb, who once was the audience’s skeptical stand-in, and has tellingly become little more than a self-righteous alien. This season, Barb has wavered back and forth and settled for a family she doesn’t want again and again to the point where it’s questionable whether she recognizes bad choices even exist anymore. When her teenage daughter Sarah admitted to making some “crummy” life decisions, Barb could barely listen to the word. And last night, when Barb’s non-mothering culminated into Sarah impulsively proposing marriage to her boyfriend–upon hearing him sing “I Wanna Be Sedated,” thinking it, “subversive for a lullaby”–she ultimately ignored disciplining once again, and instead focused on sending Bill’s sperm to India to make yet another child of their own. Just what this family needed.

This kind of eclipsing is a constant on Big Love, where even a funeral for radiant, would-be sister-in-law can become little more than background noise for heated calls to business partners and district attorneys. When Six Feet Under had funeral scenes, they at least had the comfort of being about the dead, as their ghosts habitually teased, cursed, and on one memorable occasion involving Beth Grant, even humped our intrepid undertaker protagonists, but–to borrow one of Nicki’s delightfully antiquated compound sayings– everyone on Big Love has depressingly bigger fish to fry.

With this in mind, it comes as no surprise that this expertly plotted season ended frying the biggest fish of all–Roman Grant. Compound prophet and all around creeper, who has been one step ahead of everyone else since the very beginning, faced a literal smothering at the end, just as his opponent Bill smothers his own ever-growing brood with a sacrament. Which, of course, included separated wife Nicki, her newly-discovered daughter, and Sarah’s fiance, glossing over the lies, hypocrisy, and pain perpetrated throughout the whole season. Was this closing montage a real juxtaposition between the old and the new regimes? Or are we watching a more subversive lullaby?

This season has focused a lot more on religion than the others, but as the group Skull and Bones their way into “celestial rooms”  and talk more and more of spending eternity together, the more temporary it all seems. And ever since the Texas compound raid during the writer’s strike, creators Mark V. Olsen and Will Scheffer reportedly came back with a desire to have a more responsible bent in their storytelling. They even added a new character, Jodean (sympathetically played by actual LDS member Mereille Enos), to represent the inbred compound women who mewed their way into America’s hearts during the coverage. So will next season have more cutting commentary? How many times can the Henrickson family be torn apart and pulled back together without becoming their own compound, or worse, becoming parodies of themselves?

One hope lies with Nicki’s surprise teenage daughter, Cara Lynn. We learned she dissects toads just like her mama, but what else could the two have in common? She can be the remedy for what Bill considers “broken” in his estranged wife like she’s being presented as, or she can turn out to be just as pathological. After all she is a Grant, and there is a vacancy at the top.

Either way, next season the clan will have to finally face some permanent damage, or this show will just be way too scary for me to watch.

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“Watchmen” Is A Pre-Paid Ticket To Hell

As Watchmen approaches, everyone in the city rushes out to buy advanced tickets for the experience (and plan hour-long pilgrimages to Sheepshead Bay for that experience to be IMAX’d). But I can only come to one conclusion about the comic series this over-hyped blockbuster was based on: I didn’t like it.

I thought I had been a fan of the comic for years, but if I feel nothing but loathing for what is essentially a panel-to-panel filmed rendering, maybe I actually just never liked the book in the first place, and my 12-year old mind was screwed up from all that mall candy. Either that, or one other simple explanation comes to mind: comic book panels aren’t fucking storyboards.

Even though they’ve been trickling down like acid rain for months, the latest clip of Watchmen is the longest, and the one most fans have gotten excited about. It is 90% faithful to the comic book and unless you consider “cool” to be a genre, also 90% unwatchable.

There is something about reading a comic book, full of choppy little images awkwardly alone in your room that off-sets the overbearing dynamism of the art. It also helps that the images get strung together in your brain at your own pace, not Zak Snyder’s. Even if you’ve never read Watchmen, or any comic book, you can see the art influence in the newly-released clip as the anti-hero “Rorschach” poses mechanically from cut to cut. This is not a person in our world, or even an alternate 1980’s version of our world.

That worked fine for similarly faithful Sin City, because its main character was its setting, but it is an enormous problem for a story that was originally posed to prey seriously on your fears as an inhabitant of Earth. And as commended Watchmen today for having some “places” where the director added “a flourish,” I became even more exhausted at the prospect of these 200-plus minutes.

In an interview with star Patrick Wilson yesterday on io9 , he said his wife high-fived him on the set after he nailed a sex scene, and I feel like that’s the perfect way to describe this movie—the makers and fans high-fiving each other for “getting it right,” except not really getting any.


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Saved By Not Sucking: “Dollhouse” Thrives on Warped Expectations

Between their individually respected careers and their previous collaboration on Buffy the Vampire Slayer (which happened to give me and many others purpose in life), the hype for television mastermind Joss Whedon and successful actress Eliza Dushku’s new show Dollhouse was built in from the start. Never mind the fact that the premise of the show–about a girl who signs up with an illegal organization that imprints and wipes away different personalities onto her brain according to any paying client’s wishes–seemed an eerily perfect vehicle for Whedon’s preoccupations as a writer and a humanitarian concerned with feminine equality. Seriously though, never mind it. Just wipe it from your mind.

OK? Well, if it didn’t work, Whedon is ready. After his previous relationship with the FOX network, where his sci-fi western epic Firefly was cut at the fourteen-episode-sized knee, the publicly heartbroken creator has learned his lesson about hype weighed against performance, and knows what it takes to keep the pressure off his babies in our post-Arrested Development world. Whedon shocked fans halfway through production on the season by voluntarily going back re-write and shoot the pilot based on surely-soul-sucking studio notes. By doing this, whether intentional or not, Whedon found a way out of full responsibility for the show’s success by relinquishing it to an organization, perhaps much like Dushku’s character, Caroline does, in the cobbled-together premiere’s very first scene.

Looking ragged and cornered, dealing with the effects of some unnamed Firefly-like tragedy that occurred while trying to take her “place in the world,” Caroline bemoans the fact that “actions have consequences.” But the cold British madam in charge of the dollhouse’s essentially high-tech whores enticingly mews back, “What if they didn’t?” With Dollhouse now being the lowest rated drama premiere of the season, and with no talk yet of cancellation, it looks like Adelle was right…maybe there aren’t.

This isn’t to say, however, that the pilot even deserves any consequences like some “misogyny”-shouting reviewers may have you believe. In the first ten minutes you might want to roll your eyes at a fantasy date Dushku has with a client that includes a “thrilling” motorcycle race and “sexy” club dance, and find yourself wondering if the so-called feminist commentary is worth the loss of brain cells, but you’d be missing the tragedy and comedy contained within each obligatory sequence. While some shows like Desperate Housewives get away with whatever ridiculously soap-y plot it cooks up under the guise being a “satire,” Dollhouse is not affording itself that same wink at the audience. After all, the song they dance to is by Lady Gaga–what more evidence do you need that the show is fully aware of the situation’s depressing emptiness?

Even when Echo is imprinted to become the “perfect” hostage negotiator, the success of the storyline is not based on the excitement of the adventure, or how well Dushku can sell this new personality to us. As “Miss Eleanor Penn” continuously clarifies her proper name and is made to repeat instructions to those around her, including to her own client, it seems more likely that where the success lies is precisely in that feministic drama of whether or not she can be successful. Although many have condemned Dushku’s performance, Whedon is not trying to make The United States of Echo. Dushku and Whedon’s story is that even though they have been tested and have talent, they must constantly prove themselves and their prowess to everyone around them–even their own fans.

When Miss Eleanor Penn unexpectedly comes apart during the negotiation, and the dollhouse executives immediately take her off the mission to wipe her memory, it becomes up to her “handler” in the mission to advocate her. “She’s the right woman for the job,” he says, as if Whedon for Dushku in front of a skeptical television audience. It’s this complexity and interplay between all the elements of the show that turns the inherently-episodic and video game-like premise from one that has a chance of developing, to one that already has legs. The fact that these legs look like Dushku’s doesn’t hurt–and at the same time also does hurt, because you can say something chauvinistic like that.

Such mental gymnastics are not just safely contained to Dollhouse’s development, stars, creator and plot, but, also disturbingly extend to its promos. During the premiere and the episode of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles that aired before it, Fox decided that the best way to show off their two ass-kicking female stars was to completely undercut them, and have them plead the audience to keep watching with an embarrassing faux-sultriness. The Terminator helps out further by adding that she’d watch Dollhouse “for the clothes” if nothing else, which I’m sure totally convinced all you boot-obsessed chicks out there.

Thankfully, FOX later released an outtakes video of the promo that shows the two actresses laughing at the preposterousness of their lines. After the relief on that one settled in, Dollhouse’s relevance–and the need to downplay that relevance–became even more evident. Some may act legitimately disappointed with Whedon and Dushku’s work in the Friday premiere, but even if you do not appreciate their storytelling and acting on the actual show, you have to appreciate the storytelling and acting it took to get it made, and what it will take in the future to keep it on the air.
You can watch the premiere and judge for yourself for free.



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Journalism 101

Kevin James comedy racks up fat profits over weekend.

“Paul Blart: Mall Cop” is a lightweight film about a hapless security guard who foils a crime ring, but like its title character, it rose above expectations and trounced other films at the box office this weekend.

“For a movie that’s essentially a 90-minute fat joke, Paul Blart: Mall Cop is surprisingly lean when it comes to laughs.”

“The targeted tween audience will lap up James’ antics, but for the rest of us, Blart is just empty calories.”

If there’s a movie out starring a fat man, your job ends right there.

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