Animation: The New Source for News

Al Gore has been embroiled in numerous sex scandals since his divorce (yes I said Al Gore and sex scandal in the same sentence). He was first accused of having an affair with Larry David’s ex-wife and is now accused of sexually assaulting a masseuse.

NMA news has become famous for creating reenactments of pop-cultural events. They first came on the scene with a recreation of the Tiger Woods car accident earlier this year:

They then did a great video depicting the “late night wars” where all the hosts were strangely shown fighting in superhero costumes.

NMA has now created another viral video regarding the latest Al Gore sex scandal that utilized their characteristic style of utilizing “Sim” characters for the animation and tend to leave the viewers confused.

I was thinking that in order to get more people interested in opposing the G20, opponents should hire NMA to make them a video.

Categories: youtube Tags: , ,

Jersey Shore Does Twilight

Today the New York Times had a piece on their blog regarding a new parody video created by Jimmy Kimmel with the cast of Jersey Shore. Of course the NYT could not possibly admit to liking this example of “low culture”. The writer of the NYT’s blog states:

Yet, as we post this video out of a sense of national obligation, we’re not quite sure how we feel about the clip

On this blog, I have not problem stating my love for so-called “low culture”, and I find this video one of the most hilarious things I have seen in a long time. This is a version of Twilight I can finally get behind!

Gay Pride

June 25, 2010 1 comment

Last week Betty White outed Cary Grant on the Joy Behar Show. They were talking about how everyone in Hollywood knew Rock Hudson was gay and Betty White, seemly accidentally, remarked that there was a similar situation surrounding Cary Grant’s sexuality. Considering Betty is 88, it is conceivable she could have accidentally outed him and this was not a publicity stunt.

There has been speculation regarding Cary Grant’s sexuality for years, and he was connected to such heartthrobs as Randolph Scott, who lived with him for years.

Cary Grant was married five times to some beautiful and talented women including heiress Barbara Hutton and actress Betsy Drake.

Heiress Barbara Hutton

It seems he had an active sex life with all of his wives and even produced a daughter named Jennifer (who became a soap opera actress). Betsy Drake when asked about Cary’s sexuality stated:

Why would I believe that Cary was homosexual when we were busy fucking? Maybe he was bisexual. He lived 43 years before he met me. I don’t know what he did.

Of course she could be lying to protect him, but I am going to hold onto the bisexual story so I can still fantasize about getting it on with his ghost.

To put this in perspective for those of you who are not obsessive TCM viewers (as I am) Cary Grant was a gigantic star. His fame would be comparable to a Brad Pitt or George Clooney, but in my book, way more talented and handsome. He was the quintessential leading man and was the king of both screwball comedy and suspense. He was also the master of the double entendre.

In Bringing Up Baby looking for his bone:

One of the best double entendre’s in cinema history found in North By Northwest

I have been in love with Cary Grant for years and always say I will marry a man just like Cary Grant. He often had headstrong leading ladies and in His Girl Friday Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell are partners in both their professional and personal lives, pretty revolutionary stuff for 1940.

It seems I am doomed to always fall for the homosexuals. I mean there were some definite warning signs.

Happy Pride everyone! Maybe I will find my Cary Grant this weekend, and at least become his hag.

Snoop Dogg True Blood Video

It seems Snoop is also a big fan of True Blood.

Here is his tribute video, “Oh Sookie”

I am going to have to say this video is slightly creepy, but I guess it is sort of camp so I like it.

Categories: True Blood Tags: ,

New Baby Bieber!

Today I went on CastTV to watch some Real Housewives and on the front page they had the new Justin Bieber video featuring Sean Kingston,  “Eenie Meenie”.

The song is a take on the children’s nursery rhyme “Eeny, meeny, miny, moe”, which interestingly enough used to include the racial slur the starts with an N instead of the word “tiger”.

In this version they sing:

Eenie meenie miney mo. Catch a bad chick by her toe. If she holla (if, if, if she holla) let her go…

Apparently after the girl is kidnapped by the duo she must choose between the two, again invoking the threesome theme that is so popular right now. I feel really sorry for this girl, not only is she kidnapped, but also has to choose between a 12-year old twink and a “bull dyke” who overuses autotune.

Sean Kingston is quite the opportunist hooking up with Bieber. I haven’t heard from Sean Kingston since The Hills imbedded his song “Beautiful Girls” into my head. I remember season three of The Hills was basically an infomercial for Sean Kingston, with Lauren Conrad asking random dudes if they heard of him, Brody Jenner dancing like a douche to “Beautiful Girls” in the club, and Audrina meeting with Kingston while “working” at Interscope.

I think Bieber has to go on The Hills before it ends this season to cement himself as a pop-culture phenomenon. Even Gaga was on The Hills!  For some reason Lauren and Whitney had to dress her in a PVC suit at one of her early performances in LA.

The Weird and Wonderful World of Housewives

June 18, 2010 2 comments

Today I will address the pop culture phenomenon that is the Real Housewives franchise, which airs on the American version of the television network, Bravo (here in Canada it is called Bravo! and it does not air The Housewives). The New York Times had an interesting piece a couple of weeks ago regarding the Real Housewives franchise, and the change of direction in the original programming of Bravo in the States.

The American version of Bravo was like the current Canadian version. It used to focus on showcasing the performing arts and art-house films. NBC-Universal purchased the network in 2002 and changed the direction towards a reality based theme. They continued to pitch to the urban/rich demographic, by creating programming that people will actually watch, not just pretend to watch. Like True Blood, Bravo decided to make shows that were guilty pleasures for the educated class. The first of these guilty pleasures was Queer Eye for the Straight Guy airing in 2003. The show featured five gay “experts” on five subjects:  food, fashion, beauty, home décor and pop culture. The show was a huge success amongst Bravo’s target audience, and executives decided to create other reality based shows surrounding the five subjects on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. Bravo has a specific target audience and they spend countless hours interviewing people in order to create programming specifically for them.

From the New York Times piece discussing who their audience is:

For one, there are “Wills and Graces”: the “true cosmopolitan, Upper West Side man or woman, very into food, very into fashion, also very upscale — not all gay, but we know we have a strong following among gay men,” says Tony Cardinale, a research executive at Bravo. Then there are the “P.T.A. Trendsetters,” suburban moms who are “relatively stylish and trendy,” he says. “Metrocompetitors” are “more male, young, urban social climbers who like pop culture.” And the “Newborn Grown-Ups” are “20-somethings who are fully out of college mode, buying their first couch, establishing what’s going to be their house wine.”

Bravo doesn’t cast its net any wider than that. “We only talk to those very specific groups,” says Mr. Cardinale. “We want to make sure that what we do is important to them.”

On some of the research Bravo does:

It surveys chatter on social media sites — inviting live comments during shows in what it calls the “talk bubble” — to see what audiences think. Researchers also scrutinize Bravo’s message boards and Web boards at other entertainment sites, writing reports on their themes.

“We do a lot of passive listening, lurking on the Web, interpreting the themes we see on our message boards, etcetera,” says Mr. Cardinale. “There’s more information we have now than we’ve ever had before.”

Bravo has created some great successes that appeal to their base, including Project Runway (fashion) and Top Chef ( food), Flipping Out (home decor), Shear Genius (beauty) and of course The Real Housewives (pop culture).

The Real Housewives started as many pop cultural phenomenons do, in Orange County (See Modern Conservatism and The Hills franchise). It has since branched out to numerous cities including, New York, Atlanta and New Jersey and Washington, which is currently in post-production.

My personal favourite incarnation of the Housewives is New Jersey (with Atlanta a close second). The Real Housewives of New Jersey first aired in May 2009 and had some of the highest ratings the network has seen. The New Jersey version is the perfect example of Bravo’s marketing strategy because it has basically become the reality version of The Sopranos. They have even brought in a real life mobster this season.

Bravo hit pay dirt as the series includes drama inducing characters in the form of Danielle Staub and Teresa Giudice (who are the highest paid cast members in Housewives history). There are also appearances of mob connections with Teresa’s husband “juicy Joe” working in construction, and the father-in law of the Manzo sisters, Tiny Manzo, murdered and found in the trunk of his car.

Teresa and Joe "juicy" Giudice

There is also Jacqueline’s husband who looks exactly like Jackie Aprile, and has a safe filled with guns in his basement.

Chris Laurita with his guns

Jackie Aprile from The Sopranos

A perfect example of the drama of New Jersey is the famous table flip scene, which gave us the wonderful phrase, “prostitution whore”.

You see Danielle Staub was arrested 20 years ago under her real name Beverly Merrill for kidnapping and extortion, you know the usual youthful indiscretions. She somehow got involved with the Colombian Drug Cartel and it really wasn’t her fault! Anyway, as a result of signing up for a reality show this information became public and someone (I am sure it wasn’t the producers) gave the other women a book, about the case, entitled Cop Without a Badge. In the table-flipping scene she confronts the other women for spreading the book around town (apparently she didn’t realize she was on a reality show and the book would be on TV)

Beverly Merrill AKA Danielle Staub

Bravo has ramped up the drama for the second season and has cast Danny Provenzano as Danielle’s sidekick. Provenzano was convicted of racketeering and is the nephew of Anthony Provenzano; a captain in the Genovese crime family, who was connected to the murder of Jimmy Hoffa. Danny seems to have a lot in common with Christopher from The Sopranos (Danny was apparently a “consultant” on the show) as he made a movie that seems to be a thinly veiled story of his life called, This Thing of Ours.

Here he is on Jimmy Kimmel in one of the oddest groupings of people: Kathy Griffin, Danny Provenzano and either a child or a little person playing with an etch-a-sketch

Danny has already proved to be an entertaining addition to the show as he brought Hells Angels to protect Danielle at a benefit for a baby with cancer (you know because their protection worked out so well at Altamont).


Danielle, Danny and The Angels

He also brought Danielle to dance at a strip club that looked suspiciously like the Badda Bing.

Danielle claims she was a burlesque dancer and not a stripper when she hung around the Colombian Drug Cartel

You can say what you will about Bravo’s change of direction and the reality phenomenon. There are definitely problems with it, but I am willing to admit I find it entertaining, and as a student of pop culture I find it fascinating.

True Blood Season Three is Better Than Sex

June 15, 2010 2 comments

I have been watching True Blood since it first came out on HBO, and have even read the book series; so yes, I am sort of a big fan of the show. Alan Ball claims that True Blood is “pop corn for smart people” and I would have to agree, the show is pure entertainment but you can pretend it is somehow “high culture” because it comes from the mind of Alan Ball and is on HBO.

Last night’s season three premiere did not disappoint, as it sure brought the entertainment. Mr. Ball has clearly been reading the fanfiction on the True Blood Wiki (I have only perused it for research purposes…I swear) and not only did we get a hot sadomasochistic love scene with Eric, but we also got a hot dream sequence with Bill and Sam.

In the True Blood universe when a human drinks a vampire’s blood they have erotic dreams about the vampire. Fans showed concern that this was a ploy to show hot sex scenes between Sookie and Eric (why anyone would complain about that is beyond me) and questioned if Sam would have erotic dreams about Bill after he drank his blood. Mr. Ball answered his critics and gave us a great homoerotic fantasy. Like the homoerotic scenes of Captain Jack Harkness, I found the raw masculinity in this scene very hot!

Not that True Blood is anything like Twilight, but one thing they in common is they both have love triangles with two hot men vying for the attention of a girl next door type (well, telepath next door in Sookie’s case). I possibly think that these two stories may cause an entire generation of women to be turned on by threesomes, which I guess could be a possible post in itself or maybe my maters thesis now that I think about it. Anyway before I get off topic, my point is that most people have a favourite in the love triangle and mine is Eric. I think I will dub it “Coalition Eric” to separate us from the Twilight people.

Last night after the first fifteen minutes of the show I was concerned that Eric had not made an appearance, but like they say good things come to those who wait. The first Eric scene of season three was of him copulating with an Estonian dancer who was tied up in his dungeon. Like I said Mr. Ball has clearly been reading the fanfiction and is giving the people what they want.

Unfortunately, I cannot find a clip of the whole thing on youtube but here is a part clip.

This, I believe is going to be the hottest season yet. As I have read the books (though the TV series deviates a lot from the books) I know that Sookie is going to be hanging out with some fine gentlemen while she looks for Bill. Not only with Eric but with a gorgeous Werewolf named Alcide Herveaux (and yes I know for sure he will be in the TV series and will be played by Joe Manganiello)

Here is the trailer where we get our first glimpse of Alcide.

Now that I think of it True Blood really isn’t like popcorn it is more like chocolate …possibly better than sex.