Thursday, August 13, 2009

Doppelganger Alert: Kelly Bensimon's Got a MiniMe

The picture speaks for itself. Meet Kara, a 19 year-old Indiana native, who will be one of the hopelessfuls on "America's Next Top Model" when it premieres on Sept 9th. At long last, Kelly Bensimon has a solution to that whole pesky aging thing. She could totally start shooting herself up with Kara's bone marrow or something. It's bound to do more for KB then those chemical peels are. Agreed?

Fingers crossed that Kara will be as crazy and feisty as the original model. Last cycle's ANTM never did it for me and the sagging ratings indicate I wasn't the only one. The aging series could use a little Karazy (see Bethenny, I can do it too!)--from someone other than Tyra I mean. Check out the rest of the 5'7" and under flock here.

A Stunningly Beautiful Partner in Radicalism

That's how the NY Times' Ginia Bellafante describes Kathleen Cleaver, former Black Panther and wife of Panther leader Eldridge, in her write up of the VH-1 doc series "Lords of the Revolution". 

The series of hour-long docs, set to coincide with the anniversary of Woodstock, is all about iconic 60s radicals and I confess to sharing in Bellafante's fatigue when it comes to cursory examinations of the era in which so much changed:
Though none of the subjects are musicians, the occasion is the 40th anniversary of Woodstock, even though it seems as if we haven’t stopped commemorating Woodstock since 1969. The choices the producers have made are hardly counterintuitive. “Lords of the Revolution,” begins with an examination of Muhammad Ali and reintroduces us to the delirium of the Black Panthers, Timothy Leary and Andy Warhol. The decision to include Cheech and Chong, who forged their celebrity as activists for High Times slackerdom, isn’t so much a surprise as it is unworthy of the larger effort.  
Word, Ginia. When I checked in on this series earlier in the week it was the hour on Cheech and Chong and I just kept on clicking. It seemed like something I'd seen before, even like something I'd seen on VH-1 before. I kind of feel the same about the hour that premieres tonight at 8pm on Timothy "Turn on, tune in, drop out" Leary. But this afternoon they reran the hour on the Black Panthers.

While it was just as surface a documentary as the others I enjoyed. I've never seen a doc on TV that discusses the history of the Black Panther movement and its various personalities. Of course, I'd heard of Huey Newton, Bobby Seale and Eldridge Cleaver before, but it was nice to get some context and to see them in action when they were beautiful and in their heyday.

I was especially struck by Kathleen Cleaver who looks like a Rihanna protoype with an afro and a gun. Intrigued, I looked her up afterwards. After learning more she's not any less compelling. A major member of the Black Panthers who attended a Quaker boarding school  and Barnard? Do go on.

Here's a clip that includes a little bit of Kathleen in action. Actually includes a lot of archival footage VH-1 used in their hour. Watch:

He Don't Need No Stinkin' PhotoShop

Never let it be said that "Mad Men" doesn't keep it real. 
"Mad Men" being "Mad Men" their key art for the third season, which at long last starts this SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY!!!! at 10PM EST, is Bad Ass. Jon Hamm as Don Draper is giving us his best "I could give a fuck" Draper stare, ever-present cigarette in hand. His unflappable stone-coldness is beautifully juxtaposed against the rising tide that everything around him is submerged in. Sigh. I love moody, well-written television.  Don't you?
And just went you thought this piece of art couldn't get cooler, comes the revelation that it's 100% real. Hamm sat for hours in water nearly up to his neck to get the shot (and Katherine Heigl was upset about having to lay in bed for a while? Can I get a, "Bitch, please!"?). 
I geek out about TV making magic like this. I love so much that this show does not do things the easier, cheaper way. They could have easily faked it with a little PhotoShop wizardry, but almost as if the production itself were rooted in that time when things may have been less convenient but of a higher quality, they cut no corners even going so far as to bring in special water.
Watch and learn about the rest of the impressive process:

Monday, August 10, 2009

Whatchu Talkin Bout, Willis??!: Bethenny Talks Kim

"She's like Jessica Rabbit on crack!" -- Real Housewife of NYC Bethenny Frankel, describes fellow "Housewife" Kim of the Atlanta franchise on today's "Wendy Williams Show".

Bass Fishing

I cast my line out in the internet sea and was "rewarded" with this disheartening shot of Ed Westwick at the 2009 Teen Choice Awards.Why does he insist on reminding us that he's wee? Why, Ed, why? And are you guys seeing crotch bits? I'm seeing crotch bits.