Showing posts from April, 2013

So I Walk Into A Room Full Of Half-Naked Supermodels...

Here in Los Angeles we are in the midst of Brit Week , that time of year when UK-born artists of all types living in Southern California (and Anglophiles like myself) gather together to mingle and celebrate each other's achievements and overall fabulousness. I was honored to be invited to attend a Brit Week party in the hills above Sunset Boulevard celebrating opera, fashion, and art ( OPARTASH , get it ?). Thrown at the private home of Genlux fashion editor Amanda Eliasch (pictured, below), the guest-list-only "soiree" held about 150 guests including actress Lisa Zane from -- yep --  Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare  (I'll let that sink in for you 90s horror junkies out there) . And who knew she could sing? Early in the night, the raven-haired artist slinked up next to a pink piano and performed an Italian number with opera singer Charles Eliasch. My plus-one for the evening was a filmmaker friend of mine who wished to remain nameless here because of

Amy Schumer: Obsession of the Week

Thank you, Hulu Plus, for letting me catch a sneak peek of the first episode of Comedy Central's Inside Amy Schumer , the no-holds-barred half-hour comedy filled with stand-up, sketches, and (wo)man-on-street chatter with comedian Amy Schumer. Before this week, I had only caught Amy on a couple of roasts and one episode of The Burn with Jeff Ross . And it seems like Comedy Central has done a great job grooming her for her own project. This new comedy series deals with sex, politics, race, and all sorts of hot topics that deserve some skewering. Do I dare say that she could be the next Chelsea Handler? Okay: She could very well be the next Chelsea Handler . @TheFirstEcho

I Don't Watch 'Game of Thrones' But...

Image that a friend of mine has shared her HBO Go account with me, I am considering using the summer to jump on the fanboy bandwagon. Sure, I'm succumbing to TV peer pressure. But how could so many nerd friends and TV junkies be wrong? Last spring I dived head first into the first four seasons of Breaking Bad , and look where I am now: still missing Gus and salivating over the final eight episodes that won't air until this August. And let's not forgot Scandal . I plowed through the first 22 episodes of the series within two weeks last month and am currently obsessed with Huck while wishing Olivia Pope would lighten up on the all-white wardrobe. But what officially sold me on GoT was this Facebook status from the lovely Jennifer Carno: "If someone had just pitched Game of Thrones to me as Melrose Place with swords, I would have started watching a lot sooner." Amanda Woodward in a crown? With dragons? Okay, I'm in. @TheFirstEcho

Dear Future Employer: A Cover Letter

Hello [insert large corporate entity or small independent start-up]! My name is Hiko Mitsuzuka, and in response to your recent posting, I am happy to be the 438th potential candidate inquiring about your available social media/web content/writing position at [insert company name]. As a web content creator and editor for numerous outlets and platforms, I know a thing or two (or seven) about meeting deadlines, polishing the written word, managing assets, engaging online communities, and maintaining a brand's identity or voice (without my native New York accent getting in the way, natch). Additionally, being a commercial treatment writer for some of the country's top directors, I know what people want to read and experience -- and more importantly -- how they may want to share particular content with each other online without getting caught by their bosses at work . As you'll see on my resume (attached, unscented), I've also worked in TV and commercial production f

Pop Culture Rant of the Week: Star Trek Into Backstreet Boys

The Backstreet Boys just celebrated their 20th anniversary in Los Angeles this past weekend with a special concert in Hollywood. In attendance were my youth, their dignity, and the lost hopes of everyone else clinging onto the 90s. Lana Del Rey and Fergie released new singles from the upcoming soundtrack to Baz Lurhmann's adaptation of  The Great Gatsby . When asked if they had read the book, both singers replied "No, but we loved his magic shows on TV in the 80s." Bill Clinton received a GLAAD Media Award from his daughter Chelsea. Bill had a lot of people to acknowledge and thank, including all of Chelsea's gay boyfriends responsible for her glam makeover after those awkward high school years. Iron Man 3 promises to be best one yet. How could it be the worst? If Gwyneth manages to squeeze in some product placement with her new, critically-blasted cookbook, It's All Good . Star Trek Into Darkness features the USS Enterprise crash landing on Eart

The Other 'Bates Motel' Everyone Forgot

Sure, Freddie Highmore and Vera Farmiga are fine as Norman and Norma Bates on A&E's thrilling new drama, but does no one remember 1987's sad excuse for a revival starring Bud Cort and Lori Petty? Bates Motel , the Universal-produced TV movie rightfully forgotten by the American viewing public, was also a 2-hour pilot with the intentions of bringing a new generation back to the spooky house on the hill. In this incarnation, a troubled young man (Cort) inherits the property from the late Norman Bates and attempts to carry on the business...but creepy stuff abounds ( Masked figures! Fog! Lori Petty's hair! ). It all culminates in a cheesy ending that makes a Scooby-Doo denouement look like a Shakespearian climax. I remember catching this silly production on Lifetime -- long before Jennifer Love Hewitt rubbed oil on naked men and those Army Wives started bitchslapping each other. This was a time when "television for women" consisted of rerunning treacle

Mariah Carey's 'Dreamlover' Turns 20

It was a music video so simple, so sweet, it had most kids my age aspiring to frolic in a field and dance the afternoon away ( notice the wax-on-wax-off choreography at the 1:38 mark below ). Mariah Carey's "Dreamlover" was her seventh #1 single at the time -- impressive for a pop artist who had only been out for less than four years. It debuted during the summer of 1993 and featured some carefree, happy-go-lucky visuals. Mariah, decked out in denim cutoffs and doing her best impression of Maryann from  Gilligan's Island , bounced around and lounged in the grass like the farm girl she never was. The video was a Sunday morning staple in the Mitsuzuka household. While my dad was out playing golf, my mother and I would watch VH1's Top 20 Countdown  before she commuted to her interior designer job at Thomasville Gallery in Connecticut. The song then followed me wherever I went during the second half of that year: Summer barbecues, birthday parties, eighth gra

Thoughts on Thirtysomethingdom: The Birthday Blog

I realize this comes nearly a month after my actual birthday, March 31, the day Sandy Mitsuzuka gave birth to a 7-pound-4-ounce baby boy at New Rochelle Hospital in New York. But better late than never . Once again, it's a time for me to focus on the little things that pop into my head during this time of year. Here are just some of the things I've observed while I proudly embrace Thirtysomethingdom: I cannot wait for the grand opening of the new Sprouts Farmers Market on my block; this is what now excites me. I recently turned down an invite to a Kardashian party, opting to stay in and catch up on a couple of episodes of  Smash . 2003 Me would slap 2013 Me in the face. I've realized that I will eventually have to work alongside people who were born in the 90s...and have no idea how much of an impact Amanda Woodward has made on the decade. The words "letting go" are frequently being used in weekly conversations with friends while discussing petty

FROLIC: The 2013 Spring Playlist, Vol. 2

My second spring collection comes to you courtesy of a group of artists as varied as they come. Supersonic, technotronic, and slightly lesbionic , these songs are holding me over until my eventual summer playlist makes its way onto my iPod, digs into my brain, and prepares me for all the seasonal trappings (blockbuster movies, barbecues, and poolside lounging). These are tunes for nighttime drives, daytime commutes, and late-night partying. In other words, it's another soundtrack for a life already in progress, and you can sample all of them HERE . Go ahead now. You know you want to ... 1. "Safe and Sound" by Capital Cities 2. "One Night" by Matthew Koma 3. "Hey Now" Martin Solveig & The Cataracs feat. Kyle 4. "Come & Get It" by Selena Gomez - Alas, she's ditched The Scene in order to deliver this Middle Eastern-flavored piece of pop that sounds like it was pulled off Mandy Moore's sophomoric 2001 album. 5. &q

Initial Thoughts On The Crazy S**t That's Going Down In Boston

As an alumnus of Boston University, the campus I once called home never looked so eerie to me as it does in these early hours of the morning. The crazy s**t that is unfolding today in Boston (I mean, really, there is no other way to describe it) after Monday's horrific events during the Boston Marathon is leaving me nostalgic for better days and better times spent in that city. While America waits for more clear-cut and definitive answers and explanations, I have a few initial thoughts: The fact that I had been up late at night watching video footage of a shootout happening on the other side of the country on my smartphone -- from the safe comforts of my bed -- is insane. It truly is amazing the kind of positive role social media sometimes play during times like these. The fact that one of the suspects is already dead is even crazier because I had hoped we could have extracted a motive from him. However, I'm in awe of how quickly law enforcement was able to move in o

Why I Want To Be Besties With Anna Kendrick

Don't ask me why this is being released  nearly eight months  after Pitch Perfect hit theaters last fall and charmed the hell out of moviegoers (myself included)... It's the full studio version of "When I'm Gone," the song Anna Kendrick's character sang in the film during her a capella audition. And it looks like someone produced a nifty little music video to go along with it. The track can be found on More From Pitch Perfect , the follow-up to the original soundtrack that includes those awesome mash-ups which were glaringly absent on the first disc. Thank God someone had the brains to make them available for me to shuffle on future playlists. Perhaps this is just the movie studio's calculated first step in generating buzz for the film's inevitable sequel... Had this video had been released two months ago when I sat across from Kendrick at a cabaret show at Rockwell, I could've asked for a cup tutorial. @TheFirstEcho

Slay It Again, Sam Witwer

I interviewed Being Human stud Sam Witwer for the April issue of Bello Mag . He plays troubled vamp Aidan on SyFy's American adaptation of my favorite British supernatural serial. The guy is passionate about a lot of things, and he happens to be a fanboy himself. The dude is well versed in his Star Wars, and yes, he's an alum of Ron Moore's Battlestar Galactica -- so nerd ladies, swoon away. You can check out a sneak peek of my entertainment feature below, but if you want the whole enchilada, click on over HERE to find out why the chiseled actor thinks he has a big ego. @TheFirstEcho