Showing posts from 2007

When in New York...

December 21, 2007: If you were to catch me hopping onto the 6 train in the Bronx the other day, you would have thought I was smuggling under my arm a box containing a particular brand of sex toy. True, the words "fantasy" and "pleasure" were printed across its packaging. And true, the lettering was done in a sizzling font with a picture of a half-naked woman posing in the red background. As many of you would love to believe otherwise, this was not an item I was packing to prepare myself for one helluva hedonistic time in downtown Manhattan. It was merely a part of my Christmas gift to Billy, a vibrating head massager imported from Hollywood. I thought the six-pronged tool could be useful on his clients during therapy sessions. December 22, 2007: "It's a little fucking crowded, sir. Have a happy holiday!" - Woman maneuvering her way out of a packed subway at 23rd Street in response to an impatient man trying to squeeze in the same car: "La

Ho Ho Huh?


2007: REWIND

One could say 2007 was the Year of the Rehab. Britney tried it, Lindsay lived it, and Amy Winehouse gloriously sang about it (and eventually lived it as well). We lost Anna Nicole. Imus was booted. The Sopranos went out...with an onion ring. The Cohens traded in The OC for Berkeley. Paris was freed. Whoopi became the new Rosie. Zanessa became the new Brangelina. Senator Craig learned to never enter airport restrooms again. Barack Obama learned how to ride on the shoulders of a certain book-club-loving talk-show titan. Southern California burned down. The Writers Guild of America burned up. And while Jamie Lynn Spears got knocked up, Jodie Foster finally came out of the closet (or panic room - whatever pun you prefer). One could also say 2007 felt a lot like 1997: The Spice Girls went on tour, the Backstreet Boys dropped a new album, and Mulder and Scully teamed up once again for a second X-Files movie (out next summer). 2007 was officially Britney's messiest year to date as we

The Sounds of '08

I feel it is my duty to prep all of you for what is to come in 2008. Allow me to predict the next big singles of the new year that shall dominate the airwaves once the hectic holiday season dies down. Consider it a cheat sheet to use while you're burning off the eggnog and cookies at the gym come January. Brush up, kids: 1. "Feedback" by Janet Jackson > Hotness squared. Miss Jackson delivers on this promising, albeit overproduced, kickoff single from her tenth album, Discipline , in stores this spring. Smell that? Should be a definite comeback. 2. "Outta My Head" by Ashlee Simpson > Timbaland officially sells out and lays it down for Ashlee's first single off of her third studio album. 80s dance-punk has never sounded so contrived. 3. "Bleeding Love" by Leona Lewis > Her debut album hits stores in March (she's already huge in the UK), and she's been called the next Mariah or Whitney (y'know, when they could actually si

They're Everywhere

This morning, while toweling off in the locker room at the 24-Hour Fitness on Pico Boulevard, I overheard two buddies exchanging pleasantries on a bench. Apparently the two men hadn't seen each other for some time. Guy #1: What have you been up to? Guy #2: Putting my life back together, y'know? Guy #1: Really? Guy #2: Yeah, I've discovered this new philosophy - Scientology. It really puts things in perspective. I've learned to let go of my anger. Guy #1: Um, good for you. Guy #2: It's a beautiful philopsophy. It's really opened my eyes and helped me get my life back on track. You should hear what they have to say. Guy #1 (rushing to pack his duffel bag and get the hell out of there): Great.

Full of It

I am thankful for the tree that stands outside my Westwood apartment complex. It's a reminder of the authentic autumns I left behind on the East Coast. Its orange leaves have fallen onto our driveway like rose petals carefully strewn across the pathway, welcoming us home every night and sending us off into the unknowns of every smog-tinged morning. It gives me hope that Los Angeles is capable of a real autumn during which layers can be worn, actual foliage can be enjoyed, and pumpkin scones can be eaten during morning commutes. My first Thanksgiving in Los Angeles had been a depressing one. During the November of 2002 I had been a barista at Starbucks. It was around the corner from my Spanish-tiled one-bedroom on 7th Avenue in Venice. It was the first time in my 22 years that I had woken up in an empty house, to no delicious smells coming from the kitchen, no turkey roasting in the oven. I had to go to work. Scarfing down a bowl of Cheerios, I had caught ten minutes of the Mac

Southland Tales

It seems like I am the only person I know who had been heavily anticipating Richard Kelly's ambitious, apocalyptic follow-up to one of my favorite movies of all-time, Donnie Darko . This all-star epic has been so under-the-radar, I assume that a good number of you who read this are probably hearing about it now for the first time. Blame the publicity nightmare of a reaction (the questionable casting!) that came out of Cannes... in 2006 . Blame the writers strike; there's no sign of a press junket, and there are hardly any talk shows on which its stars can promote it. Blame the delay due to the constant retooling the young writer-director had to endure (remember, this was supposed to be in theaters over a year ago). Whatever the obstacles, however many warning flags were raised to hail this as one cinematic hot mess, it's out now...and I frickin' loved it. The nutshell: Dwayne Johnson plays a movie star with amnesia who teams up with a porn star (Sarah Michelle G

Invasion of the 80s Remakes

They're here. Apparently Hollywood has moved on from Japanese ghosts and torture porn. The next subgenre du jour? 80s horror remakes. Or as I like to call it, The Neverending Rape of My Childhood Memories. New Line is about sign the guy who did the Texas Chainsaw redo to direct the re-imagining of Friday the 13th (Jason's back, and Camp Crystal Lake is open for business again). MGM has lined up a new Poltergeist (sans Craig T. Nelson and JoBeth Williams, but bet on that same crazy-scary clown doll). And the guys who wrote 2008's Prom Night (starring Brittany Snow) got chosen to pen the 21st-century version of The Stepfather starring Dylan Walsh ( Nip/Tuck ), Sela Ward and Gossip Girl 's Penn Badgely. Why won't I be surprised if I see a new Scream hitting theaters in 2010? I don't think my eyes can roll back far enough. H.P.M.

Writing the Wrong

Today is Day 5. Right now hundreds of picketers are clogging up Pico Boulevard at Fox Studios near my old neighborhood, making it the biggest gathering during the strike so far. The drama (or lack thereof) continues. Okay, we get it. Y'all hope it doesn't last too long either: 'Tis an interesting yet frustrating time. As the days go by, the more dire this looks. As one who wishes to someday be a part of this very union, I can't help but imagine myself lining up with the rest of them had I randomly sold a pilot a year ago and become another one of those "promising, new" showrunners for network television. But that is not the case, and already I have friends and acquaintances whose jobs have been compromised by the whole mess. I sympathize with my industry brethren, especially those in the production arena, and wish them well. I realize I am fortunate to still be able to function in this cocoon of an office. I just hope the fallout doesn't reach us to


" A sad truth about my generation is that we were all geniuses in elementary school, but apparently the people who deal with us never got our transcripts because they don't seem to be aware of it ." So opens what promises to be a poignant new series coming soon - not to TV or cable - but to MySpace. Premiering on November 11, quarterlife (that lowercased title just screams with irreverence and woe) follows the lives of several twentysomethings learning how to come to terms with a world that has no clear terms. Our cyber-savvy protaganist is Dylan, a vlogger who vents about those closest to her and stirs up drama among her circle of friends. Produced by the wonderteam of Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick (poetic angstfest My So-Called Life ), this new made-for-the-Web show features a refreshingly non-flashy cast (no CW model-actors here) and painfully real dialogue that manages to avoid being too whiny. And who knows? With the current writers strike threatening to shut

Christmas Comes Early

Another red carpet to walk...Corey and I attended the Fred Claus premiere in Hollywood over the weekend. Check it out.

Tennessee Invades L.A.

My first interview for Hot in Hollywood TV is now up and running for all to see. Enjoy: And if you'd like to read the rest of my latest entries, the good folks over at HIH have given me my own page: H.P.M.

L.A.: Likable Apocalypse

I couldn't have said it better myself... From BLDGBLOG: "I got back from Los Angeles last night and my head is still spinning. I'd move there again in a heartbeat. There are three great cities in the United States: there's Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York – in that order. I love Boston; I even love Denver; I like Miami; I think Washington DC is habitable; but Los Angeles is Los Angeles. You can't compare it to Paris, or to London, or to Rome, or to Shanghai. You can interestingly contrast it to those cities, sure, and Los Angeles even comes out lacking; but Los Angeles is still Los Angeles. No matter what you do in L.A., your behavior is appropriate for the city. Los Angeles has no assumed correct mode of use. You can have fake breasts and drive a Ford Mustang – or you can grow a beard, weigh 300 pounds, and read Christian science fiction novels. Either way, you're fine: that's just how it works. You can watch Cops all day or you can be a porn star

Hot Stuff

I'm at it again:

Return of the Boy Band

They're called NLT (stands for Not Like Them). Names: Travis, JJ, V, and Kevin. Where you saw them: on tour with the Pussycat Dolls. Courtesy of Timbaland (does he ever quit?), the new single's called "She Said, I Said (Time We Let Go)". The addiction has begun...

The Extinction of Originality

What with the rampant remaking going on in Hollywood these days, I have decided to roll with the blasphemy and come up with a dream cast for a remake that should never be redone AT. ALL. I repeat: NEVER. I was toying with the idea while knocking back some Barbera red at Briana and Shelby's wine-tasting party this weekend. We were rightfully bitching about the extinction of originality in this business to which we gradually sell pieces of our souls. Halloween is about to be followed by redos of Prom Night (out spring 2008) and Friday the 13th . The Heartbreak Kid will inspire updates of The Big Chill and - wait for it - The Karate Kid , starring - wait for it again - Will Smith's 9-year-old son, Jaden. Vomit bags can be found in the seat pockets in front of you. My remake that should never be made? The Breakfast Club . I could write a thesis on why a classic like this should never be tampered with. The time capsule it symbolizes. Its timeless message. Its three-dimensiona


The pants left no room to breathe. With the slightest move I could feel the stitches preparing to give way. The tree trunks, also known as my legs, were ready to bust out of their polyester prison. Forget Zombie Prom King, I felt like the Hulk on the verge of a massive blow-up... This weekend I hope to find my new look for Halloween 2007. I pray for the inspiration to create a memorable costume that could very well top last year's. Last weekend I made a premature purchase at the Spirit Halloween Store in Marina Del Rey, a shredded powder-blue tuxedo with a black corsage (makeup included): Zombie Prom King. I tried on the shirt and jacket knowing full well that the material was as cheap as a box of bargain-bin mac-and-cheese. The fabric, most likely hand-stitched in a Guatamalan sweatshop, was so flimsy and (possibly) flammable I'd have to hide from the tiniest of open flames to avoid becoming an actual cadaver. Since the store had no dressing rooms (how convenient), I attemp

Saving the Date


This Is The Way The World Ends

The apocalypse satire I've been waiting years for, Richard Kelly's long-awaited follow-up to Donnie Darko , opens November 9. And here's your first look at stills from the soon-to-be-released trailer (Yes, that's Justin Timberlake and Cheri Oteri).