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The mantra in Hollywood certainly must be “Breathe and Reboot,” as there are scads of old new shows coming our way. Yes, while that sounds like an oxymoron – not like Donald Trump, he’s just the latter and not the former of that word, mmmkay – your TV screen is heading into a time warp and will be reheating up some TV dinners that already had their expiration dates.
Not surprisingly, the recent big screen success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens wasn’t so much a wake-up call that nostalgia can break box-office records; it was more of a reminder that there is still gold in them thar already mined hills!
And with the X-Files revival proving to be a ratings winner for Fox, even though some episodes were better than others – cough, cough I’m talking right to you Were-Lizard. You comin’ at me, bro? Trust me, I ain’t scured – the floodgates are now open for more visits from the Ghosts of TV Shows Past.
So, which ones have the potential to leave us awe-struck and others that will have us screaming “boo” at the screen? Let’s take a looksee at what’s what to discern which is which.
The premise of Netflix’s Fuller House sounds like an absolute laugh riot! After D.J. Tanner-Fuller’s (Candace Cameron-Bure) husband dies, she is left to raise her three sons, one of which is a baby. Oh geez, I think I am starting to hyperventilate from all that comedy potential! So what’s a widow – giggle – supposed to do? Why not invite one of TV’s most infamously annoying characters, Kimmy Gibbler (Andrea Barber), to move in with you with her teenage daughter in tow. But seeing as Kimmy, who probably was featured on I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant, “may” need some supervision, enter D.J.’s younger sister Stephanie (Jodie Sweeten) to also lend a helping hand.
And no Fuller House – see what they did there? – would be complete without visits from John Stamos, Bob Saget, Dave Coulier, John Stamos, Lori Loughlin and John Stamos. Did I mention that I have a “thing” for John Stamos? And by thing, I mean my junk.
Now, why did the Olsen Twins pass on this one again? Oh yeah, they were “busy.” Busy being billionaires. Hopefully Bure won’t have writers insert her right-wing conservative points-of-view into the show; it ain’t called Fuller Church, hunty.
Another Netflix offering will be Gilmore Girls; have you ever noticed that its theme song and that of The Golden Girls are eerily similar? Anyhoo, speaking of “Where You Lead,” the series will be split up into four 90 minute movies that reunite viewers with the fast-talking/pop culture referencing mother/daughter duo over the course of winter, spring, summer or fall.
Apparently all original showrunner Amy Sherman-Palladino had to do was call the original cast to revisit their characters. Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel will be joined by everyone in Star’s Hollow, including all of Rory’s former love interests Jared Padalecki, Matt Czuchry – bless you – and Milo Ventimiglia – see above John Stamos comment. Of course Luke Danes (Scott Patterson) – again, reference Stamos comment – will be on hand to complicate Lorelai’s life. However, someone who has taken a hand’s off approach to the show that made her a household name is Melissa McCarthy. She said recently that she wasn’t “invited” to partake in the reunion. Betch please and check your e-mail! So I guess she won’t be there – perhaps she is filming a movie with the Olsen Twins?
When talk of a reboot of Xena: Warrior Princess began, there was a fan outcry that the powers-that-be behind the show were even thinking of using another actress other than Lucy Lawless as the titular character.
Sadly the proposed NBC show that is still in its infancy stages is looking to do just that, according to Robert Greenblatt, a honcho at the Peacock Network.
He feels that her presence may overshadow the direction of the show and stated, “I’m not sure how she could be part of it if she wasn’t playing Xena, and I don’t know if that’s a direction we’ll ever go.” Wow. Just. Wow. But with Lawless’ husband Rob Tapert on board, as well as director Sam Raimi involved, perhaps they will leather skirt the controversy.
And there are also a few movies being turned in TV shows, such as The Notebook for CW. It should get a sponsorship deal from Kleenex, because that movie was S.A.F. (Sad As F*&%).
Meanwhile, Cruel Intentions is getting the TV show/sequel treatment for NBC and will follow the son of Ryan Phillipe and Reese Witherspoon’s characters. Say what? Phillipe’s Sebastian died in the movie. Oh, spoiler alert for those who haven’t watched a movie since 1998. Anyhoo, this pre-conceived notion will feature the character of Kathryn, who was played by Sarah Michelle Gellar in the movie and it’s not too far-fetched to think that she may return to the role. It’s not like she’s busy or anything.
Another getting-the-sequel-as-a-TV-show-treatment is ABC’s proposed My Best Friend’s Wedding, which will continue the misadventures of Julianne Potter and her gay bestie George, as portrayed on celluloid by Julia Roberts and Rupert Everett.
Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One Before
In a much simpler time, television was more of escapist fare, especially during the ’70s and ’80s. I mean how many rich couples playing detective do you see nowadays? That was the premise of Hart to Hart, which starred Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers – that’s Mrs. H., she’s gorgeous! And the show is getting a very new life on – take three guesses – NBC with a major change in store. The couple in question will now be gay with its lead characters being attorney Jonathan Hart and investigator Dan Hartman. Umm, wouldn’t that make it Hart to Hartman? The show’s tagline: “When they met, it was murder” will probably be changed to “When they met, it was fabulous!”
Fantasy Island was a place you could visit on Saturday nights for seven seasons, as Ricardo Montalban’s Mr. Roarke and diminutive thespian Hervé Villechaize as Tattoo welcomed such Hollywood stalwarts as Sonny Bono to fulfill their deepest desires, like a paycheck. Well, CBS thinks it’s time to dust off the premise, but…there won’t actually be an island, just a company called Fantasy Island that does the wish-fulfillment and Mr. Roarke will be a woman. Sounds great?
Keep an eye out for two other reboots in talks of making a comeback with both MacGyver and The A-Team looking to get the go-ahead for a series order. I pity the fool that doesn’t know how to disarm a nuclear bomb with a paper clip!
Prison Break is looking to return, not as a reboot, but as a continuation of hot TV inmate brothers Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell’s story. What with Miller’s coming out as gay in 2015 – maybe that can be worked into the Fox revival? If I asked with a pretty please would that help?
Probably one of TV’s most surreal shows had to be Twin Peaks that delved into the question of “Who Killed Laura Palmer?” Her dad did it! You’re welcome. But, it took Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) to figure that out.
Now director and show creator David Lynch and Showtime have surmised that the time is ripe to bring us old faces, mixed with some new ones. MacLachlan will reprise his role, as will quite a few of the original troupe. However, Lara Flynn Boyle will not return as her character, Donna, as is the case of Michael Ontkean as Sheriff Harry S. Truman.
So, this will be Season 3 of the series and is set to debut in the first part of 2017 and will see Laura Dern, Amanda Seyfried, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Naomi Watts joining the fractured fray. Hopefully, they have brushed up on how to speak dwarf and saved room for cherry pie and some damn fine coffee.
So we shall literally see what can achieve the success that Hawaii Five-O has and what may, ahem, flame out like Heroes: Reborn did.
Well hello there. Yes, I know it’s been a spell since I have had anything on my blog and there’s a very good reason for that. My first novel, The Scheme of Things, will be published in about 2 months time. I have spent the last year editing and getting all the pieces into place to present my first-born to the world. Such an exciting time and very surreal, to be honest. But, I will be posting some writing for you guys in the meantime!
I’ll admit I’m not the world’s foremost authority when it comes to wine; I don’t really know my from rosé from my rose b. But in my defense, I know a ton about celebrities; trust me you don’t want to go up against me in any type of entertainment trivia setting. They don’t call me Rain Man for nothing! On second thought, that could be for my penchant for not wearing underwear. Plus, I am an excellent driver.
So I thought I’d take a cue from the old NBC PSA, The More You Know, and learn something about wines in the only way that I could comprehend it; by slapping a star’s face on the bottle and seeing what sticks.
Here is a gander at which celebrities have branched out into these side endeavors; get ready for the words to flow like so much grape-made liquid.
Hollywood and Vine
The very first celebrity name that comes to mind when one thinks of vineyards and the like is director Francis Ford Coppola. In 1975, he began his winemaking venture in Napa Valley and produced his first vintage two years later. The endeavor was a regular family affair with his wife and kids stomping the grapes; isn’t that why people have kids because of free child labor?
Fast forward to 1995 and Coppola purchased the former Inglenook Winery chateau and paid more for the legendary trademark of the company than he did for the estate. I guess they made him a deal he couldn’t refuse. His Inglenook wine is made with organically grown grapes and its Chablis is in the Top 5 of bestselling wines served in restaurants.
His Francis Ford Coppola Wineries is influenced by the Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen and features memorabilia from his acclaimed films. He has called the winery “a wine wonderland, a park of pleasure where people of all ages can enjoy all the best things in life – food, wine, music, dancing, games, swimming and performances of all types.” So, a Disneyland for drunks in other words.
Back in 2007, Johnny Depp bought his then-girlfriend Vanessa Paradis a vineyard estate located near St, Tropez, France. He was known to ship his wines to movie sets, such as 2009’s Public Enemies, and that fell in line with his reputation as a Hollywood party boy. In 2012, Depp and Paradis split and a year later he admitted that he had been sober for a year-and-a-half. Good for you, but bad for business.
Soccer stud David Beckham purchased a Napa Valley winery for a paltry seven figures for wife Victoria’s birthday this year. Damn, that Spice Girl gets everything! They have no plans to mass produce the wine, deciding to keep it on hand for family and friends. Well, that’s probably for the best, as former Real Housewives star, Bethenny Frankel already named her brand Skinny Girl. What? Vicki looks a little bit like a lollipop, just sayin’.
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are an unstoppable Hollywood commodity and they have parlayed that Midas touch into the wine business. They released their first vintage rosé from their $60 million estate in Provence last year to rave reviews. And being the savvy types, they have a great loyalty program for drinkers of their Jolie-Pitt & Perrin Côte de Provence Rosé Miraval. Buy a case of wine, get a kid for free.
While most people forget that Madonna actually has a last name, and that it’s Ciccone, they can just open the cork on a bottle made at Ciccone Vineyard & Winery to edify themselves. The business is a venture between the “Material Girl” and her “Papa Don’t Preach,” Tony Ciccone, based out of Leelanau Peninsula, Michigan and is located on 14 acres, which produces a variety of wines ranging from Pinot Noir to Cabernet Sauvignon. The enterprise is a real family affair, with Madonna’s stepmother Joan acting as co-owner, her brother Mario is the Operations Manager, while her sister Paula is the Wine Production Manager. Way to keep it together in the family, Mo.
Madonna’s Evita co-star, Antonio Banderas, has also gotten into the wine game. He introduced a line of Spanish wines in 2009 with Anta Banderas. Hopefully, part of the wine-making procedure doesn’t involve substituting straining grapes through cheese cloth, in favor of utilizing his ex-wife Melanie Griffith’s excess skin from face lifts for the process.
Sting has a new Message in a Bottle vino to complete his other three wines, Tenuta Il Palagio Casino delle Vie, Tenuta Il Palagio When We Dance and Tenuta Palagio Il Sister Moon.
What? No Tenuta Il Palagio Zenyatta Mondatta! Missed opportunity there, Sting. The singer and his wife Trudie Styler purchased an in disrepair estate in Tuscany, Italy in 1999 and transformed it into a successful winery.
Since 1983, Olivia Newton-John’s Koala Blue brand of wines offers its drinkers “a taste of Australia.” But, be careful too many sips of Australia could result in becoming Slutty Sandy.
Bottle Service, TV style
Former “Full House” star Candace Cameron and her hubby Valerie Bure are the makers of Bure Family Wines. One can’t help but wonder since Cameron is a devout Christian if they actually turn water into wine.
“Sex and the City” cast member Kyle MacLachlan has a Cabernet blend called Pursued by Bear, which is based out of Walla Walla, Washington. With the recent news that his cult hit show, “Twin Peaks,” will return to the air on Showtime in 2016, and since he hinted on Twitter that he may be returning as agent Dale Cooper; perhaps his will replace his character’s love for a cup of “damn fine coffee” in favor of a glass of “damn fine wine.” An added bonus is that if director David Lynch features more backwards talking dwarves on the new edition, drinking MacLachlan’s wine will help it make sense.
It’s no secret that “Real Housewives of New York City” staple Ramona Singer is no stranger to Pinot Grigio and what she refers to as “Turtle Time,” in relation to her love of the grape. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that she started her own label, Ramona Pinot Grigio. Look for her new Syrah, Crazy Eyes, in the coming year.
Well there you have it, a way to impress your friends at your next Academy Awards party by busting out a wine by any of the aforementioned celebrities.
And I feel like I learned something here today.
I’m really surprised, since the wine-making business has become a lucrative side gig, that more celebrities who have had run-ins with the law for alcohol-related offenses haven’t jumped on this particular bandwagon. I mean who wouldn’t want to wash down a delicious meal with Nick Nolte’s Mug Shot Merlot or Mel Gibson’s Sugar T**ts Chardonnay? And much like a grape on a vine, that’s one to grow on.
The very first CD that I ever bought recently turned 25 years old, which seems odd, since that is my exact age. If you believe that, then you are either very sweet or very stupid. We’ll go with the former and not the latter, since I’m in a good mood today, mmmkay.
Ok, getting back to the business at hand, or ear, as it were.
It’s no big secret that Madonna has always been my favorite diva, and by this time in 1989 we were well on our way to our lifetime commitment on a teacher and student level, cuz she’s a lady person and I enjoy the company of gentlemen.
The air before a Madonna CD is always pregnant with an electricity for me; questions crop up such as, “Will this one be better than her last? And how will she change up her looks in the ensuing videos?”
Let’s address those questions with some answers, shall we? Well, truth be told, out of her three previous studio releases True Blue was my favorite, so I was hopeful that this one would follow suit. What I wasn’t expecting was such an honest album, a more mature Madonna than we had ever heard before.
Of course controversy preceded the release of Like A Prayer, thanks in part to Pepsi not being able to separate church and state, or rather an artist and burning crosses in her video and dropped her as their spokesperson. But, from the very first listen I was hooked and in love, forget infatuation, this was the real deal.
The title track remains one of my all-time favorite favorites in her catalog, but it was the second single, “Express Yourself” that completely resonated with me, as I was in a shitty relationship, and this song definitely made me re-evaluate said shit show. As did, “Til Death Do Us Part,” alas it would be another few years before I got the courage to get out of that situation. In the meantime, I did my best to “Cherish” the shit heel I saddled myself with.
As family was a big topic with Mo on this album, I also listened intently to the lyrics about where I fit into the family dynamic on “Keep It Together,” although technically I was the sister of the bunch, Ok? My estranged relationship with my father now had a soundtrack, thanks to “Oh Father,” and while I was years away from losing my own mother to cancer, I could relate with the song, “Promise To Try.”
I thought the duet with Prince on “Love Song” was just alright, as was “Dear Jessie.” And I have been known to make certain friends laugh with my impression of Madonna singing on “Pray for Spanish Eyes,” while “Act Of Contrition” made me feel avant garde in listening to it.
Stylistically and visually, Madonna captured herself post-boy toy and on the verge of getting a divorce in a time capsule of strong videos. “Like A Prayer” had a brunette Madonna dancing and almost falling out of her dress, making out with Black Jesus and being backed by a choir. Loved it.
But for my money, but not for Pepsi’s since Madonna used her $5 million dollar paycheck from the boycotted commercial to make the best video of the bunch,”Express Yourself.” She looked hawt in this video – all blonde this time out, which is my favorite Madonna look I must admit. I loved its nod to the silent film Metropolis and the added bonus of hot shirtless guys. Plus, the track itself received a makeover and sounded more contemporary than the Motown-inspired album cut.
“Cherish” had plenty of eye candy, too, in the form of mermen and brilliant direction from famed photographer Herb Ritts, which captured Madonna frolicking on the beach in glorious black and white and was one of the catchiest tracks that she did for this particular album.
This was also the polar opposite for the haunting “Oh Father” with its stark imagery and ever-present Madonna daddy issues.
What was to follow was, in my humble opinion, was the best tour that Madonna ever did with Blonde Ambition, which upped the ante on what a concert going experience could be with its amazing choreography and ever-expanding catalog of hits at her disposal.
Happy Belated Birthday Like A Prayer.
Being a “child” of the ’80s and having them be my formative years were truly something almost indescribable. Yet, if I were to try to describe how it felt to be that lonely gay boy, longing for acceptance, I would summarize the feeling with three letters: MTV.
Everyday I was barraged with a wealth of imagery that spoke to some part of myself I was not ready to reconcile, until I turned 15, and then it was game on, like Donkey Kong or even Frogger, as I made my way across the highway of life, trying not to get squashed while doing so.
There are indelible visuals seared into my mind, and when I watch VH-1 Classics (damn, I’m old) and catch them, I get a very tingly sensation that does not require a visit to the free clinic, ok?
Its a sense memory of the very first time (when I was like a…
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Hollywood: Celebrity Nosh and Slosh Edition
By Tim Parks
Celebrities have a long and storied love affair with sharing their penchant for culinary creations via cookbooks, while others have taken their passion for the grape into the realm of public consciousness with their own brand of wines.
But for every Julia Child or Francis Ford Coppola-like success in these ventures, there are bound to be a few missteps along the way. Take for example, Carnie Wilson’s Diet Staples Cookbook that chronicled her meal choices, post-gastric bypass surgery – postage stamp sized Cornish game hens, anyone? Why not wash it down with Lindsay Lohan’s Swill? Yeah, I didn’t think so. Still, they sold better than Judy Garland’s Pills For Every Meal cookbook from back in the day.
But fear not, there are some new offerings on the immediate horizon and are currently on the shelves to whet your appetite and quench your palette.
Everyone’s favorite macrobiotic woman, Gwyneth Paltrow, is back on the food scene with It’s All Good after unleashing the previous how-to-cook efforts My Father’s Daughter and Notes From My Kitchen Table, as well as the healthy lifestyle website goop.com.
In her newest tome, Paltrow lets us in on the elimination diet, which does not consist of eating nothing but roughage. Rather, it’s to treat what may ail you and consists of the following: “no coffee, no alcohol, no dairy, no eggs, no sugar, no shellfish, no deepwater fish, no potatoes, no tomatoes, no bell pepper, no eggplant, no corn, no wheat, no meat, no soy, nothing processed at all.”
If that’s her equation of things being all good, I shudder to think of what she would term as bad.
For an actor that made a big gay splash with his role in The Devil Wears Prada, it’s surprising that Stanley Tucci has the rather pedestrian titled cookbook The Tucci Cookbook. I mean would The Devil Eats Pasta really have been that big of a stretch? Plus, he also starred in some foodie flicks, like Julie & Julia and Big Night, so that gives him some sort of street/kitchen cred.
His Italian heritage is the true star of this show, with Tucci highlighting that “most of the world eats to live, but Italians live to eat.” Hopefully if he ever cooks any of these Italian recipes that are compiled from both sides of his lineage for Meryl Streep, he’ll make sure to serve it at a non-glacial pace, lest she go all Miranda Priestly on his ass.
Sometimes the term celebrity gets applied to those folks who, let’s face it, really aren’t. Here are two such examples of reality stars who should have dairy-centric cookbooks called Milkin’ It.
First up is Kate Gosselin, formerly of both husband Jon Gosselin and their reality TV show, Jon & Kate Plus 8. Her Love Is in the Mix is a collection of recipes centered around catering to her large brood, whether it’s appetizers or decadent desserts. Ironically, there isn’t one called “Failed Marriage,” which consists of a d-bag husband baked with Ed Hardy T-shirts and sprinkled with regret.
Real Housewives of New Jersey controversy lightning rod Teresa Giudice is a three-time over New York Times Bestseller with her previous cookbooks, all of which manage to throw a variation of the word fabulous into their titles. So, you could have knocked me over with a flipped table, err, I mean feather when her newest incarnation was named Fabulicious!
This time around the embroiled-in- fraud- indictment- and- facing- possible- jail time- reality star is focusing on the joys of outdoor grilling. Yes that pun was intended, OK? Her Smoking Hot Backyard Recipes steer away from her usual Italian-themed fare, in favor of featuring 70 recipes that run the gamut from the perfect meat rub – no comment – to off-the-grill side dishes. And who knows, if the Bravo star ends up serving time perhaps she will continue to publish on the inside and we can all look forward to Fabu Prison Cookin’ in the future.
Even politicos with the last name of Romney literally get into the mix, I mean when you make a run at the White House and lose, what else are ya gonna do? Bake some comfort food and stuff it down your gullet at The Romney Family Table! Rest assured, there are recipes for buffalo right wings with a red dipping sauce and humble pie.
Glug, glug, glug
As if Hollywood power couple Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt didn’t have enough on their respective plates – or rather in their cup runneth over wine glasses – with a large brood to attend to and movies to be, made, they have recently added vinters to their resumes.
Their Miraval Rose is produced on their meager 150 acre vineyard at their ramshackle $60 million South of France estate Chateau Miraval – insert eye rolling and sarcasm here – and the initial 6,000-bottle run sold out within five hours. Uh oh, that means that their six children better get to steppin’, those grapes ain’t gonna stomp themselves. Isn’t child labor why people have large families?
Given that she was in rehab by the time she was 14, it seems a little surprising that Drew Barrymore has started up her own brand of wines; even more surprising is that her Barrymore Pinot Grigio brand was “created to honor her family.” Um, most of them were raging alcoholics, so I’m not sure why she didn’t name the wine Barrymore Irony. But a big thumbs up to her, as a portion of the proceeds go to charity.
Apparently Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie was a big fan of the ’80s prime time soap Falcon Crest, seeing as her wine is named Ferguson Crest. But rather than partnering up with Lorenzo Lamas on the venture, Fergie Ferg has enlisted the help of her father to create a 2010 Syrah, a red wine that has hints of black pepper, graphite – which gives it a rocky flavor, I suppose – cassis and chocolate.
Her signature brand Fergalicious is a blended red wine, which combines Cabernet sauvignon, syrah, Grenache and merlot with a spicy and fruity bouquet; to quote her song of the same name it sounds t-t-t-t-t-tasty, tasty.
Someone else from the Real Housewives franchise, Bethenny Frankel, has turned her Skinny Girl Cocktails brands of alcohol, including tequila, cosmos and mojitos, into a bonafide success – too bad the same can’t be said for her struggling self-titled talk show.
Now, she has launched a bevy, or a Bethenny, of low calorie wines including a Prosecco that is described as “a bubbly mix of light and crisp, of sass and class.” Sounds just like the lady herself, well, mostly.
Richard Gere has launched a Tuscan Wine Label, which like the Jolie-Pitts, is named after a property he owns. In this case, that would be Bedford Post and is produced by the exclusive brand of Brunello and Tenuta San Filippo di Montalcino.
All I know is that he should have named it after himself, seeing as he is aging just like a fine wine.
So, there you have a perfect way to have a nosh or a slosh like a celebrity; and if you are feeling extra brave in your mealtime decisions by all means check out rapper 2Chain’s cookbook The B.O.A.T.S II, which includes a recipe for “Me Time Sauce.” And I will leave you with that little bit of food for thought.
Just in time for Halloween.
Gaywatch: Oh, the horror part deux!
Ever since horror movies have slipped into the collective consciousness of pop culture society, like a well worn pair of pants, gay audiences have had a big predilection with the images on the screen; the erotic appeal of a dead man asking if he can suck your…blood, werewolves sprouting unwanted thatches of hair and the misunderstood Frankenstein Monster being chased by torch wielding villagers simply because he is “different” – how could that not resonate with us?
Here’s a taste of such instances over the years.
Horror films first became a movie dietary supplement in the 1930’s, when Universal unleashed a slew on onscreen monsters that gay audiences could draw an eerie parallel with. There is the aforementioned Frankenstein Monster, who just wanted to be loved, yet ended up being feared because of…
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