Sunday, July 31, 2011

"True Blood:" A Bangin' Full Moon

This week on "True Blood" ... Sam's life gets completely effed up, nobody can resist AmnesiaEric's patented puppy dog eyes and several people having a bangin' full moon.

This week's episode started off with a bang - with Bill storming in to Sookie's house just as things were getting hot and heavy between Eric and Sookie. Bill drags Eric off to a cell with Pam, who is decomposing at an alarming rate. She attempts to get Eric to remember his life, prompting him to admit that he doesn't want his old life back. Sookie pleads for Eric's life and freedom, prompting King Bill to kick her out of his house and and tell her that he will arrest her for trespassing.

In DemonBaby news ... Arlene and Terry's house catches on fire, and baby Mikey is nowhere to be found. We find out that, clearly, Arlene loves Mikey - she's distraught that he's not in his crib and she can't find him - but there is obviously something weird going on, because while the house was burning down, Mikey was in the yard playing with the creepy doll. And there's a woman there in the yard, who disappears! Perhaps things aren't exactly as they seem to Arlene.

Sam has to come over to check up on the house, which he owns, and Terry and Arlene. "The ghost of my murderous ex-fiance just tried to kill us in our sleep! We're peachy!" Arlene shrieks at him. Andy threatens Sam, saying he's going to look for things that aren't up to code, and also sets up a date with Holly. Meanwhile, Sam calls Tommy and tells him to run the bar for the day since he'll be dealing with the fire, but I'm pretty sure Sam wasn't planning for Tommy to actually turn into Sam - but he does, because now he's a skinwalker. Sam Trammell gets mad props for emulating a perfect Tommy swagger in this episode as Tommy goes through the day disguised as Sam. Tommy promptly fires Sookie (who, I have to admit, is a pretty terrible waitress) after she asks for the day off; talks to Maxine (who says that Tommy is dead to her); and sleeps with Luna (who decides that this is the perfect day to show up at Sam's trailer, open up her dress and throw herself at him), then callously kicks her out before turning back into himself, throwing up and passing out. Sam finds Tommy passed out in a puddle of puke and can't rouse him. Is he dead, just as he's getting interesting? I almost feel bad for wanting him to leave just last week.

Naomi seeks out Tara and wants to find out more about her and why she lied. They talk, have sex and visit Merlotte's before Pam finds them in the Merlotte's parking lot and lunges toward Tara. To be continued! Even with Pam's parts falling off her face, I still wouldn't want to be Tara. Pam is pissed, and she is a tough vampire.

Sookie is understandably concerned about Jason, since she hasn't heard from him in a few days, and finds him cuffed to his bed. "This is a sex thing, isn't it?" she says resignedly (perfect delivery by Anna Paquin!), and Jason explains that, no, he is afraid he will turn into a werepanther and cuffed himself to the bed to keep people safe. "If you turn into a panther, won't the handcuffs fall off?" Sookie asks reasonably. "Shit. Shit. I didn't think of that!" Jason responds. Oh Jason.

Meanwhile, Alcide catches Debbie with the Shreveport packmaster from last week ... not doing anything untoward, other than agreeing to join the pack for their full-moon run. Debbie explains that she needs community to help her recovery and Alcide reluctantly agrees.

Sookie agrees to sit with Jason as he potentially turns into a werepanther for the first time. Jason urges her to shoot him if he changes, and Sookie refuses, saying she would take care of him. "What do you think that meant? Change my kitty litter?" Jason asks. He tells Sookie that he doesn't want to be a freak of nature. "Like me?" Sookie asks pointedly. She tells Jason that she doesn't believe that there is any such think as normal. "Like how I'm extra good at sex and shooting?" Jason asks. "Uh-huh," Sookie says, and you can hear the eyeroll in her voice. Anna Paquin really rocked it out this episode. Some perfect delivery from her. Anyway, Sookie runs into the house and Jason runs off. Sookie sets off into the woods with a shotgun to find him.

But Jessica finds Jason first, because, since he's had her blood, she could sense his fear. They talk about supernatural things for a while before Jason decides that he isn't going to change, and there is definitely some sexual tension there (probably only natural when a human drinks from a vampire!). They decide not to tell Hoyt about their time in the woods.

Sookie, meanwhile, runs into Debbie and Alcide in the woods, and Sookie asks them how weres are made. Alcide explains that you can't turn someone into a wereanimal - it's a genetic thing. Thank you, Captain Exposition!

Marnie takes on the spirit of Antonia, the witch who we discovered was tortured and raped by Luis, one of the sheriffs we met at Bill's last week. Marnie lures him down to her cell with a look and starts to put a spell on him. I smell trouble from Marnie for sure!

In other witchy news, Jesus and Lafayette are still in Mexico with Jesus' grandfather, who demands a sacrifice before he helps. A rattlesnake comes up to them and Jesus brings it back to to his grandfather, who performs some bloodletting magic and allows it to bite Jesus. He and Maria (his pregnant ... girlfriend? wife?) leave and Lafayette is possessed by Tio Luca and heals Jesus.

On the vampire politics front, Bill gets permission from Nan Flanagan and the Authority to punish Eric with the true death. Eric tells Bill he wants to live, but he doesn't like who he was. "My progeny tells me I was - I am a barbarian thug who never respected your authority. I don't expect you to show me any mercy," he says as he kneels before King Bill, giving him some major AmnesiaEric puppy dog eyes. He says he will accept the sentence, but asks Bill to release Pam (she's rotting away anyway!) and to tell Sookie, "I was born the night she rescued me, and I went to my true death knowing what it meant to love ... Tell her thank you." Can you say "sigh!?" He also tells Bill that he hopes that he and Sookie find their ways back to each other because "she deserves happiness." Bill goes to stake him ...

And the next time we see Eric, he's standing in the woods as Sookie searches for Jason by, hilariously, yelling "Jason! You're not going to turn into a werepanther!" I love Sookie. Anyway ... she sees Eric ... we cut to a scene of Bill brooding on his porch ... and then we get to see Sookie and Eric finally doing what we all wanted them to do - having hot, hot sex in a clearing in the woods.

A bangin' full moon indeed!

What did you think of this week's "True Blood?" Do you think Tommy will live? What is Antonia's plan, and is it connected to Tio Luca? Is it the evil doll wreaking havoc in Arlene & Terry's life, or is it the ghost of Rene? And how many times did you rewind and watch Sookie and Eric's hot, hot, long-awaited first sex scene?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Project Runway Recap

Holy Shit! I am overly excited about Project Runway starting. I watched part of the casting special, but wasn't able to see the whole thing because my DVR was mucking it all up. But I am good and live for the show! I may have some issues with keeping track of all 20 contestants, so bear with me!

4 designers are going home before the competition even starts. They are introing all the designers. I'm only going to mention the people who are interesting.

Bryce has many feathers! I like feathers!

Miss Trinidad and Tobego may or may not sew. She "designs". Very confused. Tim is challenging her credability. Tim is so sassy!

Olivier has an awesome accent and super fab jackets. I love him!

Josh has crazy structural designs. And is wearing a jacket and ascot!

Laura is super entitled and bitchy. I think I rather like her.

Viktor lacks taste. But I kinda like his stuff.

Julie I am torn on. She has many layers, but like, fun?

Fallene has feathers! And likes men's apparel for women! Me too!

Gunnar Deatherage! Fierce and fabulous!

Joshua has many vests and weirdness. I dig it.

Rafael has a fierce fierce jacket! Wants it.

**Just as an aside. Rompers are never a good idea. Ever. Just stop with the rompers. Please. **

Bert, 102 years old, haha! He has some skills and history.

Anthony has cancer. Or did. He has fun patterns. And has a monkey print shirt. He is mine! And he is color blind. What?

The 16 designers are: Fallene, Danielle, Rafael, Kimberly, Viktor, Byrce, Becky, Olivier, Laura, Anthony, Julie, Joshua, Josh, Anya, Bert, Cecelia

I definitely already have favorites and people I don't like. But there is far too much going on to talk about everything going on, so I am just going to highlight the essentials and talk about the runway and you should watch the show to get all the good stuff. Because really, the entire show is full of good stuff.

The Challenge: Come as you are (at 5am) party. Grab a sheet, come in your pajamas and walk through Time Square. To Parsons! What they are wearing plus a sheet is what their material is for the challenge.

Do they get to wash their pajamas first? Because dirty pajamas are just not an ok choice for material.

And now we can find out if Anya really can sew! I'm going to go with no! Oh, the drama!

"There is a way of using these feathers without making a pubic patch" oh Tim Gunn, I've missed you!

"Are you speaking foreign"--Laura, aka Designer Barbie

Runway Time! With guest judge Christina Ricci. Random!

ETA--To see all the designs, check out Rate the Runway from Their runway is not in the same order as mine, so make sure to make the names!

Joshua--I dig the bizarre vest, but the skirt is too short

Laura--I am not ok with the cut of the pants, but I like the color

Danielle--Kinda cute, but boring

Viktor--Fierce dress, but perhaps not fit right?

Becky--I like it, but it seems vaguely last year

Bryce--Love it. Work.

Anya--I'm just not sure about it all

Julie--That is kind of a hot mess

Olivier--It is fine, but not great. Boring boring boring colors

Kimberly--Weird, but I rather dig? Though I want color!

Anthony--Honestly, make the skirt a bit longer and I love

Rafael--Those pants are not ok, but that vest is fierce

Fallene--I like the shape of it all

Bert--Looks a bit sloppy, but I like

Josh--Without the jackety thing, I like

Cecilia--What up. I like, except for skirt length

The top designers are:
Anthony--got props for transforming it all. The colors work, which is fun since he is color blind. He used the trimings offered well.
Anya--The judges like how good she did based on her experience. I still am not ok with the pants. That style is not my favorite.
Bert--Simple, but interesting. Feminine and sexy. Yeah, I really like it a lot.

The bottom designers are:
Rafael--Just no. Except the shirt is awesome.
Julie--She did not live up to expectations. "It might be an I like myself pocket"--Kors. Love it.
Josh--Things just didn't work. That fit is ridic.

Michael Kors just called Rafael fashion backwards. And can I say, Christina Ricci has good critiques. Wasn't expecting that. Anthony made something wearable, which I like. I think that may come back to bite him later in the season.

Bert is the winner! Yay Bert! I like him and I feel like this is something he needs and has worked for a lot of years for. Work, Bert!

And the Auf'd designer is Rafael. I'm so glad they gave Josh another chance. Rafael's vest was ridic, but those pants did not deserve another chance.

This season is going to be ridiculous if the previews are not lying. Everyone seems to be crying and yelling and needing help. I can't wait!

"Doctor Who" Controversy: Will They Really Save Hitler's Life?

So when most people saw the trailer for the second half of the current "Doctor Who" season, they did what every normal "Doctor Who" fan would do: squeal, jizz in their pants and watch the trailer 10 more times. Because, seriously, it has weeping angels, Cybermen, River Song wearing an eye-patch and apparently a minotaur of some sort!!!

But some people have hooked on to one line in the trailer and freaked the eff out. Specifically, one scene where Adolph Hitler tells The Doctor, Amy and Rory, "Thank you, I think you have just saved my life."

OK, I understand the discomfort in a way, because putting Hitler in any sort of entertainment context can be pretty risky. But somehow, I'm guessing that The Doctor isn't going to be like, "Hello, ol' chap, you're totally right about that whole Master Race thing! Carry on killing 12 million people." A BBC source, responding to the controversy, said, “The Doctor meets Hitler in 1938 before he commits war crimes. Viewers should wait and watch – and all will become clear.” Also, the trailer shows Rory punching Hitler, which is awesome.

That's the thing about trailers - they don't tell you what's going to happen. There's been lots of wild speculation about what's going to happen in the episode called "Let's Kill Hitler" (and we will only have to wait a month, since the episode is the first in the second half of the season and the season starts Aug. 27!), but the point is, they're getting a lot of buzz about the back half of the season because of the one little line.

And it could be totally cool, because science fiction can, at times, do a pretty good job of showing the intricacies of history. One of the all-time best "Star Trek" episodes of all time is "The City on the Edge of Forever," which essentially shows Captain Kirk and the Enterprise crew that a good woman has to die to keep Nazi Germany from taking over the world. I'm not saying that I hope that they don't kill Hitler on "Doctor Who," because I love the idea of an alternative universe where Hitler gets killed in 1938 and 12 million people don't have to die a terrible death in the Holocaust. I'm just saying that the writers could very well have their own lovely plans for this episode.

And finally, it must be said ... "Doctor Who" is just a TV show, and no episode of a sci-fi TV can change what happened in real life. All we can really hope to do with this "controversial" episode of "Doctor Who" - or any show, movie, book, etc. featuring Nazis - is to get people thinking about how the Nazi rise to power and the Holocaust happened, and how we can make sure that it never happens again.

Although watching Rory punch Hitler in the face will feel pretty damn good.

TrashyTV Highlight

I was planning on watching Big Brother so I could do a Trashy Reality TV Highlight on it. And I even watched the beginning of the first episode. And then never watched any more. I want to watch Big Brother and love it. But I just don't. So, here is my problem with it...

Big Brother should be full of crazy drama, but it isn't. There are 12 or so people living in a house with no contact with the outside world except for Julie Chen, who speaks to them through a screen. People should go crazy in there. But mostly the drama is not really drama. Except for the dude this season who was making homophobic comments. But even that is more just a single person being ignorant than any drama. When compared to Real World or Jersey Shore or even Survivor, Big Brother has no drama.

The competitions are really really lame. Again, comparing to other shows with some sort of challenge aspect...Survivor, Amazing Race, Fear Factor...Big Brother's stuff is weak.

This season has some people from previous seasons. I have not watched those previous seasons, therefore that twist means nothing to me and these special people are just other boring people.

Nothing happens. My biggest problem with Big Brother is that nothing happens. In Survivor, to win money, you have to do challenges and win immunities and stuff. In Big Brother, you just have to make friends with people. Big Brother is like if you took Survivor, gave them plenty of food, let them have comfy beds, made the challenges really really easy, and then gave them half as much money. Compared to all the other reality tv out there, which is so much fun, Big Brother just doesn't cut it for me.

However, starting tonight is Project Runway! I'm sure Jen and/or I will be blogging that shit because nothing has more drama than a show about designers!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Midweek Mancandy: Daniel Craig & Harrison Ford

There is a movie coming out this weekend that looks so incredible, so amazing, so insane, that we can't wait to see it.

And, it stars two of the yummiest pieces of mancandy ever to grace the silver screen.

(Image from Entertainment Weekly, the best place to go for pop culture news!)

The movie is "Cowboys & Aliens" ... and the mancandy? Well. This movie stars none other than Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig, two of the most rugged, manly, hot guys in Hollywood. Most hotties in Hollywood nowadays are what Kel likes to call "Fey 'Twilight' Hot." There is nothing fey or "Twilight" about Harrison Ford or Daniel Craig. They are men with hair on their chests! There's just no way that a movie starring these two won't be wonderful. Even if the plot isn't, you've still got two incredibly sexy, manly men to watch on screen for two hours.

Harrison Ford, of course, is famous for playing two of the most badass men in cinematic history - Han Solo and Indiana Jones. When we were kids, Kel and I watched and rewatched "Star Wars" and "Indiana Jones" trilogies, and Harrison Ford was my first celebrity crush. And the love of Harrison Ford is not just in our generation - our mom, aunt and grandma all love him. Now at 69, he may be more grizzled, but he's still a damn fine piece of mancandy.

Daniel Craig is a bit newer on the scene - mostly because, at 43, he's 26 years younger than Ford - but he's famous for playing the iconic role of James Bond in the last two 007 movies. His Bond matches his more rough-and-tumble look - since it's a reboot, the new version of Bond is younger and more wild. He's not quite as suave and polished as the previous Bond, Pierce Brosnan, and Kel and I both really like that about him.

Book Review: Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel

I read an advanced reader copy of Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel and now I am mad because that means that I have to wait even longer between finishing it and when the sequel comes out. Because Dearly, Departed was really good.

(Image from . Which you should check out anyway)

Main Characters: Nora Dearly, 16/17 years old, parents dead, likes to watch war films; Bram Griswold, 18/19 years old, dead/undead for a few years, military captain

Setting: In the future, which has gone back to a Victorian steampunk-type of society, but with internet. And zombies. But most people don't know about zombies, including Nora.

Main Plot: Bad zombies are trying to kidnap Nora, so good zombies, led by Bram, take her first. Obviously, Nora is a bit weary of the zombies and their whole desire to eat human flesh thing. And really, I feel like you should read the book without knowing much of the plot because that makes it more fun.

What I liked:
Nora--She was a strong lead character. She didn't tend to rush foolishly into things, but she did act with instinct. She seemed to make good decisions, the decisions that I would have made in her place.
Bram--I liked him, too. There was definitely some undead/living romancey type stuff going on, but it didn't feel nearly as creepy as Twilight. There was even a scene where Bram ends up watching Nora sleep. But he is just checking on her, puts a blanket on her, and leaves. Not creepy.
The love story--It is always a bit of a gamble to have one person in a relationship be dead, but it really works here. I think it works here because Bram and Nora are close in age and they both realize how dangerous the situation is. Also, Nora does not fall in love right away as many many many teen heroines do. I thought the whole love story angle felt pretty organic.
The side characters--All the side characters were super fun! The other zombies on Bram's team were unique and fun. And Nora's best friend, Pam, was awesome. Pam started out as the normal best friend who follows societies rules girl and then she does some stuff that makes her my favorite character.
The zombies--I liked the zombie lore that Habel created. It seemed well thought out and there is even a reference from one of the characters about how the zombies are a bit like the romantic vampires that are currently so popular.

What I didn't like:
So many characters--maybe I was just reading fast or not paying attention, but I kept having to go back and find character introductions again. For some reason the names were just not sticking with me and the book would mention someone and I had no idea who they were.
Very tame--I suppose this isn't really a negative so much as I would have rather had this book as a slightly less teen book. For a romance with zombies there was very little romance and very little blood/guts/gore. I suppose being a book for teens it can't be too graphic, but I could have done with some more traditional zombie descriptions.

Overall, I thought Dearly, Departed was a great read. If you are a fan of Twilight, you will love Dearly, Departed. If you are not a fan of Twilight, you will also love Dearly, Departed. I would recommend anyone who enjoys reading YA, paranormal, steampunk, romance, action, or zombie books to get a copy of Dearly, Departed. It is scheduled to be released on October 18.

And if you need more incentive, Lia Habel has apparently watched well over 100 zombie movies. I mean, that is hella awesome and I am highly jealous.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Trashelorette: What Happens in Fiji ... Gets Broadcast on National TV

Tonight ... on "The Bachelorette:" One ex-contestant wants another chance, another contestant is done with the whole process and nobody's quite ready to play all their cards yet.

Ashley decides to take her three remaining boys: The Bobbsey Twins, Constantine and Wino (Ben); and Cupcake (JP) to Fiji because it's the perfect place to "fall in love, get engaged and hopefully find my true love." Which she also said about Thailand, Hong Kong, California, New York, the pool, the bathroom and the backseat of a limo.

Ashley waxes poetic about each of the guys, but doesn't say anything we haven't heard 18,000 times - there's never a dull moment with Wino, her relationship with Constantine is "slow but meaningful," JP's smile is the "cutest thing I've ever seen in my life" - and then we're off! This week is the overnight dates, which means that in addition to going out on dates with multiple guys, she can sleep with a guy and then go out with a different guy the next day!

She hears a knock on the door and thinks it's Wino, but it's not ... it's Sunshine! Back to "put everything on the line" to try to woo Ashley once again! After he and Ashley hug (actual Ashley quote: "Whooooooooooa!"), he explains that his one-on-one date, where they did Tai Chi and hung out at a temple and had a picnic where he was callously dumped before dessert, was "not conducive" to romance. He tells her that he thinks there was "something there." Sunshine says he is in Fiji for a few days and tells her to think about giving him another chance.

Ashley says that Sunshine's visit threw her for a loop, because she did wonder if she made the right decision about him, but she put Sunshine in the back of her mind because it's time for her date with Wino! "You look SO CUTE!" she squeals when he walks down the pier. Wino tells her he's missed her.

For their date, they're on a boat - a big-ass boat. They discussed their time in Sonoma visiting Wino and his family - they were both nervous but Wino says his mother liked Ashley - and then they slather sunscreen all over each other. According to Ashley, there's a lot of "flirtatiousness, teasing, excitement" - "It's like we're on a honeymoon or something!" Except most people on their honeymoon aren't going to be going out with a different guy the next day. Ashley says she thinks that she and Wino would have an exciting life together, and would never have a dull moment. Except, they would, because Wino and Ashley are both rather dull. Then, they go snorkling. Wino explains that he is falling for Ashley, but he wants to keep it light and not tell her that he loves her - he says that they can look at each other and gauge their emotions and tell that they're on the same page. Sigh. That only works in movies, Wino! In real life, you have to actually, like, talk to each other. Using words.

They have dinner, still without talking about their true feelings, and then Ashley invites Wino to ....... THE FANTASY SUITE! They go snuggle and cavort in the pool, then the music swells as Wino picks her up and takes her into the Fantasy Suite! Fade to black.

The next day dawns, and Ashley says that though her date with Wino was great, today is for her and her "greek god," Constantine. Ashley says that today is "crucial," because she wants to make sure he will allow himself to fall in love. They take a helicopter ride around Fiji, which makes me jealous because the scenery really is absolutely gorgeous. It makes Constantine excited, because he's never been in a helicopter. Ashley "could not picture a more perfect date," but, again, that phrase is losing its zing because she says it about EVERY. SINGLE. DATE.

But while Ashley and Constantine are enjoying the scenery, they fly over poor, lonely Sunshine. He's just been waiting for several days. "The hardest part is the fact that I know that she's very close to me and I can't do anything about it," he says. I like Sunshine and get what he's doing, but it's coming across sorta creeperish.

After their chopper ride, Constantine and Ashley jump off a ledge into the pool at the bottom of Bouma Falls. How symbolic ... they take the plunge together! Cue the water-cavorting montage. But we have a slight problem ... Ashley says that Constantine is more closed-off than the other guys! She wants to know more!!!! Constantine reveals he looked at 108 houses before he bought a house - but that worries Ashley a bit because he takes a lot of time and effort to make a decision and THEY JUST DON'T HAVE THE TIME! And Constantine also doesn't jump headfirst into a relationship. Sigh. It's a good thing to take time and effort to decide whether you're going to MARRY SOMEBODY! Hell, I would choose him just for that!

Later that night ... Ashley and Constantine are back at the resort for dinner. "I feel like our relationship isn't progressing at the rate it needs to be," Ashley says. This doesn't bode well for Constantine. Ashley asks Constantine if it's weird that he and Wino are friends but are dating the same girl. Yes, Ashley. It is. This whole show is weird. Ashley wants to know if Constantine is ever consumed by his emotions, and it makes it hard for her that he's not demonstrative. Constantine says he's unsure and that's why he doesn't hold hands with Ashley or kiss her a lot or anything - he's not sure if it's her or the whole process of "The Bachelorette." He says he wants to be absolutely sure, and wouldn't accept the Fantasy Suite if he wasn't absolutely sure that he loves her ...

And then the president talked about the debt ceiling for a while. Stupid current events, getting in the way of my trashy TV.

Constantine says it means the end of the road for him! Nooooooooo, Constantine! How will you and Wino keep your Wonder Twin powers!? Ashley is shocked that he didn't want to give it the time to see if there was anything there. Constantine didn't want to walk out on her, but it just wasn't there with Ashley. Ashley then spends some time angsting about whether she will end up alone after this process. (Answer: Most likely, since you're TRYING TO FIND YOUR HUSBAND ON A GAME SHOW!) She walks back to her suite ... ALONE.

The next day ... Ashley "feels so many different emotions." She's hurt by Constantine's rejection and worried someone else could leave. So she walks down to talk to Sunshine, because he's sweet and successful, and she's been thinking about him a lot. Sunshine looks so excited to see Ashley, which I must admit is really kinda sweet. Ashley tells Sunshine that he was her perfect guy on paper, and saying goodbye to him was the hardest goodbye she said, because it was premature. However, Ashley says she still knows it was the right decision, because she didn't feel that passion, which she needs in a relationship. And once again, Sunshine is rejected, and "The Bachelorette" is a little less bright once again.

It's been an emotional roller coaster for Ashley, but now it's time for a Cupcake! A float plane lands on the water near their beach, but before they get on the plane, Ashley teases him about her "surprises" from the week. But before all that, it's time for their "romantic, fun and adventuresome" date. They board the float plane and cruise their way over Fiji. "Having JP next to me just made it perfect," Ashley says. They land at the secluded Namenalala Island, and they just can't keep their hands off each other. Cupcake tells Ashley that his family loved her, and he's "ready for the end" (of the show), and wants it to be him. Ashley says she feels the passion and that it could last a lifetime. Cupcake says it feels right, and that he's falling in love with Ashley.

They get back to the resort for dinner in the middle of the jungle. "It's incredible," Cupcake says. "A perfect ending to the perfect day." Cupcake says he's a little afraid to tell her that he's falling in love with her, especially because there are two other guys still in the picture. Except ... that's not quite true. She tells Cupcake about Constantine and Sunshine, and then they discuss whether Cupcake is hung up on Ashley's other relationships and what needs to happen to take it to the next level. Ashley tells Cupcake not to hold back ... but he's still scared. He says he needs to know that she feels what he feels, and he's afraid of getting hurt again.

She hands him the Fantasy Suite card ... and he says, "Uh, yeah, I think I'm into that." Romantic. They go to their villa in the jungle, and Ashley says, "It's like we're home!" Cupcake, though, says he's still afraid to tell her exactly how she feels ... but he knows that he loves her. They make out on the bed ... the music swells ... and fade to black.

There's a few minutes of the show missing, since I had to DVR the show after "The Bachelorette" and it didn't start recording until a bit late, but Ashley and Chris chat for a bit. I do not feel like I missed anything. Ashley says it was harder to say goodbye to Ryan than to Constantine. They're still having a rose ceremony, because Ashley realized that people can still say goodbye. She will be waiting to see if the guys actually accept the rose. She just has to know!

Watching Ashley ponder what to tell the guys before the Rose Ceremony, it struck me that this show could be an hour long if they didn't show Ashley repeating the same things 15 times an episode and if they didn't have so many shots of people pondering things. Alas.

Ashley urges the guys to only accept the roses if they're really ready to get engaged and really feel strongly about her. WILL THEY BOTH ACCEPT THE ROSES!? OH THE TENSION!!!!!!

Wino ... accepts the rose. What a relief! BUT WILL CUPCAKE!? "Absolutely," he says.

As soon as they accepted, "hope came over me again," Ashley says. "I have so much more hope that I will have my happy ending."

Next week, the boys get to meet Ashley's mother, stepfather and siblings in Fiji and she'll hopefully get engaged! But before that ... Sunday, there is a reunion show. If Chris Harrison and/or Ashley don't beat the shit out of Bentley on national television, then it's an opportunity wasted. DON'T MISS THE DRAMATIC FINALE!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

True Blood Recap: Me and the Devil

This week on "True Blood," some secrets are revealed, some people royally screw up and Portia Bellefleur runs screaming.

First off, in plotline-I-wish-would-go-away news, Tommy kills his parents with a pipe. I was wishing he'd be so distraught that he'd kill himself too, thus ending the dullest, by far, plotline this season. Alas, Tommy survives and enlists Sam to help him get rid of the bodies. They take them out into the woods and throw them in the pond, then throw marshmallows into the pond to attract the gators. Which is apparently a thing.

Meanwhile, Eric, who still doesn't have his memories, continues to be incredibly adorable. He has a dream in which Godric, who he can't remember, tells him, "You are incapable of love. You are damned." Godric tells him to drink from Sookie, then drinks from her himself. Eric wakes up, comes upstairs to Sookie's room and tells her, "I had a bad dream." Cue my heart melting! Eric lays in bed with Sookie and cries because he's afraid he's evil. Sookie convinces him that he's not, and they snuggle up to sleep until dawn. Alexander Skarsgaard is doing a great job at being gentle and sweet, yet still slightly sexy and dangerous.

Last week, we found out that Portia Bellefleur is Bill's descendant, making the fact that they had sex incredibly disgusting. But Portia doesn't see it that way, and tells Bill that their incestuous relationship is OK because lots of people in Bon Temps are married to their cousins and because there's no threat of having children. Thankfully, Bill doesn't think it's a good idea, so he glamors Portia into having an uncontrollable urge to scream and run when she sees him, causing her to scream and run out of Bill's mansion - one of the silliest moments of the night.

Lafayette, Jesus and Tara are petrified that Eric and Pam are going to come after them, since they don't know that Eric's memory is gone and since Marnie the witch made Pam's face rot off. Lafayette and Jesus decide to take a little trip down Mexico way to visit Jesus' grandfather, a brujo (witch) who gave Jesus a taste of witchy power when he was a kid. Tara, meanwhile, calls her girlfriend, Naomi, and finds out that Naomi found some things with Tara's real name on them - which is bad because Tara told Naomi that her name was Toni. Lafayette and Jesus get down to Mexico and Jesus' grandfather tells them, "I've been expecting you."

Tara, meanwhile, talks to Sookie about Naomi, (over ice cream, of course, because that's what ladies do, girlfriend!) then gets uber-pissed and runs away when Eric appears. Understandable, considering that she thinks Eric is trying to kill her! She also spills the beans about all the horrible things Eric has done that affected Sookie negatively.

Spurred by the magic marker message from last episode, Rev. Daniels and Lettie Mae - who is now married to Rev. Daniels - come over to Terry and Arlene's house to exorcise what Arlene is sure is the ghost of Rene. It seems to work - Baby Mikey sleeps soundly that night - but then a matchbook catches on fire for no reason. I smell a spooky, silly subplot!

Sookie goes to the witchy shop for a reading by Marnie, and through her thought-reading and Marnie's channeling, Gran tells Sookie to take care of Jason; not to give her heart to the man she is falling in love; and to run because the woman poses danger. She leaves, and soon after Marnie gets taken by Bill's minions and thrown in jail, where she has a vision of Spanish witches in jail, getting visited by priests and nuns, then one getting bitten by the priests and nuns, who are also vampires.

Alcide gets a visit from the Shreveport werewolf packmaster, who is upset that Alcide hasn't registered yet. Alcide replies that he is trying "free agency," which doesn't make the packmaster very happy. I am pretty sure we haven't seen the last of Alcide, and refusing to be part of the pack could mean a lot of trouble for him and, presumably, Debbie Pelt.

Jason didn't get much to do this episode, but he did get a few funny scenes. In one scene, he tells Hoyt about his abuse at the hands of the Hotshot and comes to the conclusion that it was punishment for all the sex he's had over the years. Another scene is everybody's favorite things about vampire blood sharing - sex dream! Yes, Jason has his first sex dream about Jessica. But Hoyt keeps showing up in the dream, too, making comments as Jason and Jessica have sex. Definitely the funniest sex scene on "True Blood" in a while!

Eric and Sookie discuss all the things that Eric has done. Sookie says that she always knew that there was decency in Eric, "even when you were a smug, sarcastic ass," and admits that she likes him. Eric tells Sookie that she has a "light" in her, and "I couldn't bear it if I snuffed it out." He runs out of the house, but Sookie follows and beckons him back. "Please don't go," she says ... and then ... THEY KISS! And it's about damn time. Let's hope that means that there will be a good Sookie/Eric sex scene next week!

And finally ... Bill gathers the remaining Louisiana vampire sheriffs and Pam to discuss what they should do about the witches. One of the sheriffs explains that in 1610, a witch, named Antonia, was being burned at the stake and used necromancy to get vampires out of their sleep and into the sun to kill them. (Bill makes an offhand remark about how the vampires of those days were priests and nuns to be in places of power, and now they have vampires in Google and Fox News. Hee.) Anyway, they want all want to kill Marnie, but Bill warns them that killing a human results in the true death for the vampire. And Pam, poor sweet Pam with her face slowly rotting off (she loses an ear during this conversation), is so distraught that she accidentally tells Bill that Eric has lost his memory and is hiding out with Sookie. And, scene.

This week didn't progress the plot a whole lot, but we thankfully had some movement in the Eric/Sookie relationship department, which is the highlight of this season. Seriously, I could watch an hour of Eric being an adorable lost puppy! I can't be the only person whose heart melted when Eric appeared in Sookie's bedroom and told her that he had a bad dream, or sighed when Eric grabbed Sookie's arm and put it around him when he laid in bed with her. It's not that I don't love the "smug, sarcastic ass" that is the real Eric Northman, but there's something so wonderful about Eric without his memories.

The last few minutes were great - we got the information about Antonia the witch finally, so we know who we're facing with Marnie, and I actually yelped out loud at Pam when she spilled the beans to Bill. That could be the absolute biggest mistake anybody has made yet this season. I hate to think what Bill is going to do when he gets to Sookie's house.

I also have to give mad props to Kristin Bauer, who is doing a wonderful job playing the deadpan Pam. She is doing a great job with the whole "my face is rotting off!" thing, and she has the best lines. She really is one of the highlights of "True Blood."

Next week, I'm hoping for Jason to be a werepanther for the first time - after all, the full moon is the next night, according to Holly; an excellent sex scene between Eric and Sookie; and an end to the Tommy subplot.

What did you think of "Me and the Devil?" Am I the only one tired of Tommy? What do you think Bill will do with the new information about Eric? And just how adorable, exactly, is Eric!?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Previously, On "True Blood ..."

We're four episodes into season 4 of "True Blood," and I'm finally caught up!

I watched the first three seasons on DVD, and then caught up on the show so, starting Sunday, I can watch the episodes as they come out and, because I love all three of our readers, I will recap them!

But first ... we should do a quick catch-up of this season. So, there will be spoilers in this recap. Obviously.

Last season ended with Sookie being wisked off to fairy land because she has fairy blood ... which is part of the reason that vampires all want to bite/have sexytimes with her. At the beginning of season 4, we find out that Sookie's grandfather (played by Gary Cole!) is also there, and he thinks it's only been a few hours but he's really been gone 20 years. Anyway, he's there because the fairies are gathering up everyone with fae blood and they plan to close the portal and keep them all there. Sookie and Grandpa Earl escape, but Earl ate the fairy fruit so he dies. But Sookie survives! The problem is, Sookie has been gone for more than 12 months, and they all thought she had been killed by Bill. Except Eric, who has bought and fixed up her house. (The better to come in uninvited, my dear!)

The whole "let's jump forward a year!" was brilliant, though. The characters were all starting to stagnate a bit after three seasons, and this gave them an opportunity to tweak all the characters a bit and jump them ahead in their continuities. So now, Jason is a cop and provider for the town of Hotshot; Lafayette is seriously dating Jesus, the nurse; Lafayette and Jesus are into witchcraft and wizardry with Marnie (Fiona Shaw), someone as dippy and unaware of what she's doing as Professor Trelawney (which is funny because she actually played Aunt Petunia in the "Harry Potter" movies, but I digress); Tara is living in New Orleans with her girlfriend and cage-fighting for a living; Hoyt and Jessica are living together in not-so-blissful monogamy; Sam is hanging out with other shifters, including the beautiful Luna, to help himself get over the anger that lead him to shoot his stupid brother Tommy; Tommy is living with Maxine Fortenberry as her surrogate son since Hoyt is dead to her; Alcide is living with Debbie Pelt, who is no longer a V addict/raging bitch (or so she says!); Andy Bellefleur is addicted to V; Arlene is worried that her baby, now born, is evil; and Bill is the Vampire King of Louisiana. And we didn't have to watch them actually go through the character development to get them all to this spot!!!!

So after Sookie gets back, shit gets real.

The biggest thing - the driving plot of this season - is that Marnie's coven, helped by Jesus and Lafayette, wipe Eric's memory. This is also the plot of the fourth Sookie Stackhouse book upon which "True Blood" is (VERY loosely) based ... and it is one of my favorites because of it. As a result, Eric is rather tame and a little scared and very, very, very adorable in his hopeless devotion to Sookie. Alexander Skarsgaard is perfect in this role . He's like a guard dog puppy - sweet, curious and a little lost, but also deceptively dangerous, especially where Sookie is concerned. At the end of episode 3, Claudine (Sookie's fairy godmother) startles him, so he kills her. Then, in episode 4, he gets drunk on her blood, pinches Sookie's ass and runs off to swim in the sunlight. Sookie has to call Alcide and have him track Eric before he burns to death in the sun, which leads to the best and most hilarious scene of 'True Blood" yet, prominently naked Eric and naked Alcide in a manly naked standoff. It was hilarious and hot all at the same time. Now Eric is back in Sookie's basement and they talked about how Eric is sad to be in the dark forever, and they almost kissed, and I am pretty sure there will be some Sookie/Eric sexytimes soon. At least, there better be! I am so loving Eric right about now.

In other subplots:

Marnie, Jesus and Lafayette are trying to get Eric's memories back, but Marnie keeps seeing visions of a witch burning at the stake and she can never remember what she does because she is apparently being possessed by the witch, which is a necromancer who is messing with vampires. At least, I assume so, because in addition to taking Eric's memory, she also makes Pam's face go all rotten. If something bad happens to Pam, I will be sad, because she is a highlight of this show, with her deadpan delivery. Tara is also there, menacingly pointing guns at vampires to try to get things done, but not really believing all the magic stuff. She needs more to do!

Jason got captured by the Hotshot crew, bit repeatedly so he'd turn into a werepanther, raped by the women of Hotshot so he could propagate the werepanther race, and let go by a little girl. He killed Felton, rejected Crystal (who is doing a great job bringing the crazy to the show, now that Franklin and Russell Edgington are dead) and was found unconscious in the road by Jessica and Hoyt. Oh, and Jessica gave Jason some of her blood.

Bill figured out he's related to the Bellefleurs, though unfortunately he didn't figure out that Portia Bellefleur is her great-great-great-great-great-granddaughter until after Portia propositioned him and they had nasty sex. (P.S. - Ewww!) He is also trying to find Eric and keep the humans from taking away vampire rights following the tide of anti-vampire sentiment after Russell Edgington pulled out a guy's spine on national television.

Sam goes over to Luna's house and finds out that she's got a little girl named Emma. They play Barbies and watch TV, but then Sam finds out that Emma's dad is a werewolf and very protective.

Tommy goes back to his parents, and Joe Lee captures him so Tommy can go back into the dogfighting ring. I'm getting pretty close to done with the Tommy subplot.

And finally, Mikey (Arlene's baby) writes "BABY NOT YOURS" on the wall in marker when nobody's looking! Yay, creepy baby subplot! Or was it the creepy, dirty doll that kept showing up at Hoyt and Jessica's house even after they threw it away? (They gave it to Mikey as a gift. Gee, thanks.)

So, what do y'all think of the first four episodes of "True Blood?" I think it's the best we've had in a while - definitely better than season 3, which I thought was just OK. They're bringing the right level of comedy and heartbreak into the whole Eric storyline - this could be a huge turning point for the character of Eric and for Sookie's relationship with Eric. I'm intrigued most by the Mikey subplot, actually - gotta love creepy kids! - and I am really looking forward to seeing what happens with Jason once he turns into a panther for the first time.

I'll be back Sunday with a recap of the next episode! Can't wait!

Harry Potter 7.5

I saw Harry Potter 7.5 this week. No, I didn't see it on opening day or even opening weekend. First, I was out of town and second, I was a little worried I would be sad/disappointed. A rather unfounded fear considering all the great press it got. But still, what if it didn't hold up to what my expectations were? That would be tragic! However, I was not let down. The last installment of Harry Potter was awesome. And I'm sure you'd like to hear my thoughts on it! There may be some spoilers, but really at this point, I'm fairly sure everyone who cares has seen it. Deal with it.

*I found the entire movie satisfying. I thought all the big moments were in there, the tone of the entire movie was right, and the deaths were satisfying.

*They left in my favorite line of the entire series ever: "Not my daughter, you bitch"--Molly Weasley

*The Snape memories scene...way cool! I liked how they stuffed tons and tons of info into a super short space. And it looked uber styling.

*Draco. He wasn't in the movie much. But when he was, he killed it. Tom Felton gives so much heart and depth to such a potentially unlikable character that you really feel for me. Really, when Draco is standing with the school when everyone thinks Harry is dead and his parents beckon him over to the dark side...Draco's face about broke my heart. He wanted to do the right thing and be on the right side of the battle, but he couldn't ditch his family. Just the little lip quiver...yeah. That really got to me. And really throughout the entire series, Felton has done an amazing job taking the character of Draco to all sorts of places. He isn't in the movies as much as he is in the books, but all his screen time is well used. This post has turned into a Draco love-fest. Whatever, it is well deserved. Tom Felton made Draco probably my favorite character in the movies.

*My only main quibble: before The Trio go to Gringrotts, Luna is at Shell Cottage with them; when The Trio get to Hogwarts, Luna is How did she do that? Or why? It makes no sense. I know they had to get her back to Hogwarts for the final battle, but why was she there before The Trio? Drove me up the wall.

In conclusion, I loved Harry Potter 7.5. I thought it was the best of all the movies and felt like a satisfying conclusion. And Tom Felton/Draco rocked my socks off.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

MidWeek Mancandy: Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman

In the last couple weeks, both of us Tarts discovered "Sherlock," a contemporary update of the Sherlock Holmes stories. It aired on the BBC and PBS (as Masterpiece Mystery), and is instant streaming on Netflix.

Incidentally, we also discovered a couple more tasty, if rather quirky, mancandies: Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch.

(Martin Freeman - Photo from Wikipedia)

Martin Freeman plays Dr. John Watson on "Sherlock," and might know him from "Love, Actually," where you get to see him in all his glory; the original version of "The Office" and "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy." He is also going to play Bilbo Baggins in "The Hobbit" which, let's face it, is awesome.

Freeman is not movie-star hot, but he is attractive and a good actor. He is not particularly tall, coming in at 5'7". He also just kind of looks like a normal dude. As Kel says, he really looks like the kind of guy you would know from work and think is pretty cute. He isn't movie star hot, but he is real life hot.

(Benedict Cumberbatch - Photo from Wikipedia)

Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays Sherlock Holmes, is his own brand of hot. (He also has one of the best names in the history of names.) Cumberbatch has had small parts in lots of movies including "Atonement" and "The Other Boleyn Girl," but really, "Sherlock" has been his breakthrough. He's also going to join his costar in "The Hobbit," albeit in a couple of smaller roles, as the voices of Smaug the dragon and a necromancer.

Cumberbatch is hot because he has such a unique look. He has what Kel describes, correctly, as an other-worldly look. And he has the most amazing cheekbones. He looks exotic and unique and is just enticing. His look and energy in "Sherlock" make him extra attractive - he is great in the role of Sherlock Holmes and there's something mysterious and wonderful about him.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Trashelorette: I'm Going Home

It was hometown date night tonight on "The Bachelorette," and we got to see the real lives of the four men who are vying for Ashley's affections.

Ashley is excited to be back in the U.S., hanging in her apartment with her tiny dog, but before she can get settled in, she's jetting back off, across America to meet the families of the four lucky men vying for our Bachelorette's affections.

Wino (Ben): Ashley likes his build and his long hair. "I feel like we have a very real connection," she says.
Constantine (Constantine): "One of my favorite guys from the beginning," Ashley feels a real sweetness from Constantine, she says. He's the "total package."
Harvard (Ames): He's "unique," Ashley says, and could be the perfect person to share her life with.
Cupcake (JP): "I'm so comfortable around him," Ashley gushes. "With JP, everything is there, physically and emotionally. I just need to be sure that it's real for both of us."

First, Ashley is off to visit Constantine and his big, crazy Greek family in Cumming, Georgia. She's "excited" to visit, because their last date, with the train ride and the lantern festival, "felt right." She goes to Constantine's restaurant, which serves Italian food with American and Greek influences. Everybody rushes Constantine when he gets there, and Ashley is impressed with the love they have for him. They make pizza (which looks super tasty), and when Constantine tells Ashley to put her favorite topping on the pizza, she pushes him toward the pizza. That is the most clever thing I think Ashley's ever done on this show.

Over their lunch on the patio, Constantine tells Ashley he "loves hard and loves for real." They kiss, and everybody in the restaurant, spying through the window, squeals.

They get to Constantine's home, where Ashley squeals "Oh my gosh that's SO CUTE!" at a generic sign that says "Welcome Home Constantine" because Ashley has a very small brain. Constantine's family thinks they look happy together, but after dinner Constantine's mom has to ask Ashley the hard question - whether she sees herself as part of their family and potentially in Cumming. Ashley says she would relocate because she wants the person she wants to be happy. Dad, meanwhile, tells Constantine that if he thinks Ashley is the right girl, they have his blessing.

It seems like they're going to leave, when the cast of "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" shows up in Constantine's living room! OK, actually, it's Constantine's extended family! They are loud and crazy and dance around in a circle in the living room, which Ashley seems to enjoy. Impressive! Constantine likes how Ashley jumped right in, and Ashley really enjoyed herself. "I'm so happy right now!" she gushes.

Next, Ashley's off to Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, to visit Harvard. Harvard's family is, unsurprisingly, very country-club looking, and they have a rad big house. It's nice, but I think if it were me I'd be on the next plane back down to Cumming to dance around the living room with the nutty Greek people! Anyway, Harvard's mom is impressed that Ashley has affected him in a positive way, and his sister says Harvard has a "spark." However, she's concerned for her brother. Harvard's sister talks to Ashley, who reveals that their relationship is slower, but she sees a lot in him and likes that he's "different, but different in a good way." However, privately Ashley reveals she's missing the "spark, romance" with Harvard. Harvard's sister, meanwhile, advises him that if he feels a spark, he needs to "dig a little deeper, so she gets to see the full Ames."

So Harvard decides to get romantic by having a picnic under his favorite magnolia tree. Harvard talks about his time in boarding school and being a nerd, but he also talks about how much he's learned about life. "I feel like you and I think the same," Ashley says. "Our outlook on life is the same." Ames tells Ashley that he wants to be romantic, but believes in being romantic in everyday life. "There's so much magic in the ordinary," he said, and added that there's not always fireworks. Unfortunately, I think Ashley wants the fireworks.

Next, Ashley's off to hang out with Wino in Sonoma, California. They try some of his wine and have a picnic. Ashley says she loves his "knowledge and passion," and is excited about the big step of meeting Wino's mother and sister, who are his entire family after his father died. Ben tells Ashley that he couldn't marry a woman that his mom and sister don't approve of. He also reveals that he's only brought home one woman for his family to meet. Ashley is "shocked ... It makes me feel special, and also nervous." As well it should.

Wino's family is protective, although his sister signed him up for a show where men compete for a woman's affections so I don't know how protective she really is and how much is bullshit for TV. "Ashley seems really sweet," she says, "but I am skeptical. I want to protect him." However, after talking to him, Wino's sister feels good about how his relationship with Ashley has made him deeper. "For the first time in a really long time, I could tell he was in touch with his emotions," she says. Then, Ben talks to his mom about his dad and how he wishes he would have been a better son. Overall, Ashley sees a lot of great things in Ben and could see herself spending her life with him. But she says that about everyone.

Finally, (FINALLY, because this episode is super repetitive!), Ashley is off to Roslyn, New York, to visit Cupcake and his family. He actually plans a dorky, yet awesome, date, where they go roller skating at a delightfully crappy skating rink! "I feel like I'm back in seventh grade, and I like it!" Ashley says. They kiss and drink wine, which would be really bad for me because I can't roller skate at all. Cupcake tells Ashley that his family is really protective after his last relationship, which didn't turn out well - his heart got broken. However, Cupcake is ready to try again. "At the end of this, someone's heart is going to get broken," he says, "but unless I completely put myself out there and expose my vulnerability and allow myself to get hurt, there's no way we can work."

They go to Cupcake's family's home, and they're all super concerned that Cupcake's heart is going to get broken again. His mom says that opening himself up to love is "not very hard for JP, but by being so open you allow yourself to be vulnerable and to possibly get hurt." His mom tells Ashley she's "very guarded" because she doesn't want to see Cupcake in pain again. She says that Ashley fits into their family, but, "I am just so scared that his heart will be broken because he looks at you with love in his eyes, and I'm so nervous," she says. In the end, though, Cupcake's mom is convinced by Ashley and sees a spark in both their faces. To celebrate, she brings out an awesome huge picture of Cupcake at his bar mitzvah (where he looks like a cross between Kirk Cameron and Doogie Howser), just to embarrass him. Good job, meddling mother! Cupcake says that things just keep getting better, though he's still scared to admit that he is in love with Ashley.

Finally, Ashley is back at the Bachelorette mansion, and she and Chris reminisce about the last time she was there, when she canceled the cocktail party over Assface McDouche. She babbles about how that relationship wasn't real after all, then goes over the dates:

Constantine has "the best hometown date." Ashley said she learned a lot about him on the date.

She was the most interested to go to Harvard's hometown. She said she learned a lot and loved their stimulating conversation. (Of course, talking to a 4-year-old, or a cat, is probably stimulating for Ashley.) She says, "Ames would make the best husband."

Ben "planned such a good date," and Ashley says it was "perfect. Everything I hoped for and more." She also liked seeing his emotional, vulnerable, nervous side.

Ashley fell in love with JP's family, which she said was "open and accepting."

Ashley told Chris she had no regrets, but is sad to say goodbye to anybody, because now she's also saying goodbye to "what might have been."

At the rose ceremony, the roses go to Wino, Cupcake and Constantine, which means that poor Harvard is out. He looks like he's been punched in the head (again), and his smile is pasted-on. I'm not sure now that he completely recovered from the Thai boxing incident. He says the experience was "beautiful" and "poetic," but says he is "numb." Harvard says, "I was looking forward to sharing a lifetime of adventures with this beautiful woman, and now I'm back to sharing a lifetime of adventures with ... myself."

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Midweek Mancandy: The Guys of "Harry Potter"

It's Wednesday, which means it's time for MANCANDY! (We've changed the name of this feature because mancandy sounds so much more fun.)

And this week, you're going to have mancandy overload because we are featuring the good-looking men of "Harry Potter," since the VERY LAST MOVIE EVER is coming out on Friday!

Firstly, I have to say it's slightly weird to be like "ooooh, mancandy!" over most of the guys from "Harry Potter," since they were but wee lads when we first saw them on the silver screen back in 2001. Holy shit, that was a long time ago.

Alas, most of the guys from that movie have grown up to be delicious, as they showed during the UK premiere of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2," and far be it for me to deny their mancandy status. So here we go...

(All photos are from The Leaky Cauldron, which has a truly wonderful and comprehensive gallery of photos from the Harry Potter premieres, as well as comprehensive information about everything Harry Potter. Check them out because they are great.)

First we have Tom Felton, who played villain Draco Malfoy. He is quite a good looking chap, is he not? And, apparently, in real life, he is not an evil little shit like Draco. In fact, according to Wikipedia, he loves sports, especially fishing. Evil people don't love fishing!

Next, we have Matthew Lewis, who plays Neville Longbottom. Who knew that the guy who played Neville, the resident Hogwarts nerd, would be the breakout hottie of the movies? But look at him at the premiere! He is a damn fine looking guy, and his look is only improved by the fact that he is wearing a three-piece suit. That is Kel's favorite kind of menswear, apparently, and really, who can argue with her? The addition of the vest makes guys look hella-good.

Next we have the Phelps twins, James and Oliver, who play the Weasley twins in the "Harry Potter" movies. They have been favorites of mine and Kel's since they first appeared on screen. That is probably at least partly because we also love the Weasley twins. But aren't they cute? They just look so happy and, again, they're wearing three piece suits, which makes them look sharp!

And finally ...

How could we forget Harry himself, Dan Radcliffe? He's grown up from a dorky little kid to an adorably dorky adult. Kel might disagree, but I wouldn't necessarily call Radcliffe "mancandy," but there is no denying that he is adorable. And talented. Seriously, this guy has a great career ahead of him. I've loved watching him embody Harry Potter for TEN FREAKING YEARS (which makes me feel old), and I can't wait to see what he does next.

But I am really going to miss Harry Potter.

*sniff sniff*

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Trashelorette: Ain't No Sunshine When He's Gone

It was a big week on "The Bachelorette" this week. Only four "lucky" guys get roses this week, and those four "lucky" guys get to bring Ashley home to meet their families next week! Yes, our long national nightmare is almost over ... we're to the hometown dates, which is almost the end of the season! Soon Ashley will have her husband ... who she continues to insist is IN THIS ROOM at every rose ceremony.

To recap from two weeks ago, there are six guys left ... Cupcake (JP), Sunshine (Ryan), Constantine (Constantine), Harvard (Ames), Bland Lucas (Lucas) and Wino (Ben). This week, there will be three individual dates and a three-on-one group date. There's a rose up for grabs on the orgy ... I mean group date. This week, they've traveled to Taipei, Taiwan, for their frolicking.

Ashley first enumerates what she likes about all the guys, which are not worth noting except that she says Constantine is "easy to look at." As opposed to the other five guys, who are hideous and/or too bright? (Well, that's obviously not right ... there aren't bright people on this show!) Then, Cupcake bitches for a while about how he doesn't want other guys to go on dates with Ashley because he loves her. "I'm as scared as I've been in a long, long time," he said.

The first date card is for Constantine, and says, "Let your love shine." They meet and take a romantic ride on a steam train to the tiny village of Ping-Shi, where the villagers write their wishes on lanterns during a festival and let them float into the sky. Ashley chose Constantine for a one-on-one date because, "our relationship is moving slower than all the others, but I see something there."

When they get to the "adorable little village" of Ping-Shi, Ashley temporarily loses the use of her legs so Constantine carries her on piggy back to the site of the lantern festival (Ashley exclaims, "How cute!," which is really quite obnoxious to say about an ancient festival). There, they paint their love wish on their lantern. Ashley is impressed that Constantine is taking it seriously.

Back at the boys' pad, Wino gets a date card, which says, "Let's spend a 'gorges' day together in Taiwan." I'm not sure we can assume that there will be a gorge on the date and that Ashley is not just too stupid to spell "gorgeous." Sunshine is jealous, because he wants a group date since he's never been on one.

Back on the date, Constantine tells Ashley about his family and says that she will definitely fit into his family. They discuss love, and Constantine says that the hometown date is important because it's when Ashley will see "all of him." I hope this is a veiled reference to the fact that his family is a bunch of nudists. Then, they set their lantern off into the night sky and make out. "I saw a lot of things that I love in Constantine tonight," Ashley said, calling their night a "breakthough." Though, she also said it was "one of the most romantic nights of my life," which she says at least twice an episode, so we'll take it with a grain of salt. Constantine agrees it's a romantic night and wants to take Ashley home with him to meet his wacky family of nudists.

The next day, Ashley has her date with Wino. They explore Taroko National Park on a mo-ped, sparking Ashley to squeal "Wheeeeeeeee!" in an incredibly high-pitched and annoying voice. "We're going places," Wino says. "This is a hell of a second date, kiddo." Yes, he called her "kiddo." Is it just me, or is that weird? I think it's weird. Anyway, Ashley admits that riding through the park on a mo-ped is dangerous on the curvy roads, but she says that with Wino, "I felt protected. I felt like he was the man, and I like that." Wino says that it feels natural to have Ashley's arms around him while they drove on the mo-ped together, and that it was like a fairy tale. Maybe it's just because I live in the Midwest, but the only fairy tale that I know of that includes two people on a mo-ped is "Drunk Bubba and His Cousin Bobbi Jo Go to Walmart." Anyway, they get off the mo-ped eventually and make out while standing on a bridge over a gorge. "Standing here holding Ashley feels right," Wino says, and he adds that it's the first time in a while when he really feels happy.

Back at the boys' house, the guys complain some more about how this is a scary week, and they get the group date card. On the group date are Bland Lucas, Harvard and Cupcake ... which means that Sunshine FINALLY gets a one-on-one date. "There's a whole bunch of energy running through me!" Sunshine says excitedly. Bland Lucas, meanwhile, doesn't think that Sunshine and Ashley are right for each other.

Back on the date ... Wino says his feelings for Ashley are getting stronger but he doesn't want to tell her yet. He wants to say it at the right time. They talk about wine for a while and discuss the hometown date. Wino says that the opinions of his mom and sister matter to him, but he is sure that once they see them together, everything will be fine. They kiss. Of course. Ashley says she is starting to fall in love with Wino. They make out some more. "I feel like he's my boyfriend!" she gushes.

The next morning ... Wino isn't home for breakfast! Cupcake pouts, which is not becoming, and Bland Lucas says, "I get the pleasure of going on a group date with him!" Wino finally comes in and is giggly, though he insists that they did not share a room. Cupcake says that having to share Ashley is a "mindfuck" and he says that he hopes that the date is not romantic.

So, of course, it is. They are going to take wedding pictures because, apparently, it's a big thing to take wedding pictures in Taipei. Ashley thinks that taking wedding pictures with the guys will show what it's like to be married to them. Oh, sweet simple Ashley. Wedding pictures do not equal marriage. Cupcake doesn't want to see Ashley in a wedding dress with any other guys.

Each guy gets a different "interesting" (Ashley's word) outfit. Bland Lucas, hilariously, is in traditional Taiwanese dress, which is a gold robe. Harvard gets to wear a sparkly tux, which Cupcake says makes him "look like the offspring of an ostrich and Elton John," which is quite accurate. And lucky Cupcake gets to wear a classic tux, which makes him happy. Bland Lucas correctly points out that pouty Cupcake would have "thrown a fit like a 15-year-old" if he had to wear something weird.

Bland Lucas' photos are first, and they are predictably bland.

Cupcake is pissy.

Harvard looks super happy in his photos with Ashley.

Cupcake is still pissy.

And therefore, Cupcake looks sort of pissy and uncomfortable in all of his pictures. "I don't think this is going so well," Harvard says. I knew there was a reason you got into an Ivy League school!

At the post-wedding-pictures party thing, each guy gets some time with Ashley. Bland Lucas and Ashley discuss whether it would be weird for Ashley to meet his family because Bland Lucas was married before. Bland Lucas says it wouldn't be weird, which is probably true if his family is as bland as he is. There would be no drama, but it would also be like watching paint dry. Bland Lucas is sweet, however, when he says that he wants children and misses "the simple life" (I assume he's not talking about the Paris Hilton/Nichole Richie show because he's not exciting enough to watch reality TV). Bland Lucas is sure he's getting a rose. They kiss.

Back in the guys' room, Sunshine officially gets his date invitation. "I've freakin' pumped!" he says.

Harvard shows Ashley photos of himself and his family. He reveals he wasn't popular until he was 16, and Ashley is happy because, "I love seeing where people are from." Harvard feels good about their time together and says, "my relationship with Ashley couldn't be better.

Cupcake bitches to Ashley about how coming off the high of their time in Hong Kong, where they "reached another level," he didn't like the group date. "To watch you go out with three other guys, I don't want to do it," he said. "It's been absolutely terrible ... I don't know anything that's going on. All I have is time to think about things. It makes me crazy." Ashley makes sure he hasn't been picking fights with people or anything and says she's surprised because he strikes her as being "cool as a cucumber." Cupcake responds, "It sounds great in theory, but when you feel this way about someone, that changes everything." This was the right thing to say, because it prompts Ashley to give Cupcake a rose! "I feel back on Cloud 9!" he says. Harvard is disappointed and Bland Lucas is bummed. "I'm not ready to go home yet," he said. Except, that's the point ... you want to go home! With Ashley!

Time for the date with Sunshine. Ashley says she really likes him, because he's a "positive person" with a "great outlook on life ... he makes me feel really special." Sunshine says he's "so happy to be here" and says he's going to just concentrate on having fun. They go to a temple where people are praying, and then make a wish to the matchmaking god. They have to throw two little sticks and have them land on opposite sides. They wish to "have a happy future ahead" and throw the sticks ... which land on the same side. Dun-dun-DUN! But Sunshine soldiers on with his sunny personality. They watch some people do tai-chi, and in the confessional Ashley reflects that though she likes Sunshine's "positive great outlook," she doesn't know if he's her husband.

They have a picnic in the park and start talking. Ryan asks her about, of all things, the environment and launches into a lesson about tankless water heaters. Not exactly the most romantic topic, although frankly, everyone who is deciding whether to marry someone should have some discussions about boring stuff like that because most conversations in marriages are not about how awesome it is to be on vacation in Asia, but about that awesome toilet you saw at Home Depot that can flush a bucket of golf balls. Ashley says, "Ryan's so great ... but I feel like I'm still waiting." She says she has passion with the other guys, but not with Sunshine ... but that might be because they never had a date. Sunshine says that his family will be really excited to meet him, but it's not going to help. Ashley drops the bombshell ... "In my head, you're my perfect guy ... but I don't know if I see you as my husband." She doesn't want to put him through the rose ceremony.

Well. Sunshine is sunny no more. He looks like Ashley just whipped the shit out of his puppy and then cooked it into a meal and forced him to eat it. "I'm shocked," he says. "I don't want to be alone. I want to share this life with someone." He felt like she was the one and didn't see it coming. He legitimately looks sick about this turn of events, and can't even get through his confessional without tearing up. "I want real, never-ending love with someone who I can be myself with, and she can be everything she wants to be and more ... and shares the same joy in life as I do." He also says he wants to be a great dad. Ladies and gentlemen, do you think we may have found our new Bachelor? I think he'd be a good one.

Ashley decides she needs to "keep pushing through this dark cloud" after getting rid of Sunshine, and she tells Chris she doesn't need a cocktail party ... she knows what she's going to do.

At the Rose Ceremony, Ashley thanks the guys for the great conversations, for traveling with her (who would say "no?") and for "being open to finding love." "I see my husband in this group," she adds.

Cupcake is already safe. And the other guys who get hometown dates are ... Constantine, Wino and Harvard! Which means we have to say goodbye to Bland Lucas, which means nothing to me because when I saw him tonight I literally STILL could not remember his name and had to look him up.

"No regrets," Bland Lucas said as he walked away from Ashley. "Rejection's never fun ... it was like a gut shot." He said he "built a slower connection" because he wants simple stuff, like someone to cook breakfast with. Hon, you are not going to find that on a reality show. Go on a reality show and you will find a fame whore.

To wrap up the show, Ashley sobs some more and says, "I never knew there would be this much pressure."


Quick Question Post

Ok, I have a question that is vaguely related to pop culture for all you (three or so) readers. Do you have any songs that you just can't help singing loudly in the car? I am a notorious car singer, and will sing along to everything. Do you do that? Or do you only have specific songs you sing to?
And a follow up, are there certain songs that you like singing loudly in the car more than others. For example, I have been continually singing "I Touch Myself" by Divinyls pretty much constantly for the past few days. It is perfectly in my range, really pretty inappropriate, and extremely fun. I have also been enjoying singing "Devil Went Down to Georgia" by the Charlie Daniels Band, I like that I can sing all the words, and "Lonely Goatherd" from The Song of Music, because who doesn't love yodeling. And just to represent current music, I have been singing Edge of Glory by Lady Gaga and Tonight Tonight by Hot Chelle Rae at every opportunity. Any songs that you loving jamming to in your car?

Trashy TV Highlight: Fear Factor

Trashy TV Friday is going to turn into Trashy TV Highlight as apparently I can't remember to post on Fridays, even though it is only week two. To be fair, I wrote up a post for TTF on Wednesday, I just never actually typed it up. So, this will be a floating feature. Onward!

Today's highlight of trashy reality tv is Fear Factor, my first and still one of my favorite trashy reality tv shows. And OMG it is coming back! Fear Factor, if you have never seen it or don't know, is a competition show with 6 contestants (usually 3 women, 3 men) who compete in 3 challenges to win $50,000. The first challenge was usually some sort of physical thing of hanging onto a helicopter or grabbing flags from a spinning tube that has many holes to fall through or climbing something. The third challenge was usually a big stunt, like seeing who can flip a car the furthest or who can drive a car onto a moving truck the fastest. But the second stunt, that was always the best. It is the psychological challenge, aka the gross food challenge! I know many people who flip off at stunt two, but I watched every single one. There is nothing better than watching annoying people try to eat uber gross things. My favorite one ever was Fear Factor Pizza, which had piles of ungodly things on it, but what I remember the most is the "sauce" was coagulated blood paste. I mean, who thinks of that? So great.

By far, though, the best thing about Fear Factor was the host, Joe Rogan. Rogan is the perfect host for this type of show, knowing when to encourage someone who is struggling and mock someone who is a douchey. Rogan is also tough enough for you to believe he could probably kick your ass, yet he seems like he would be genuinely fun to hang out with. My favorite Rogan moment was during the Reality Stars special when he gets into a physical fight with (and totally kicks the ass of) Jonathan from Amazing Race season 6 (of Jonathan and Victoria). Seriously, watch the clip here.

Fear Factor is coming back and I am super excited. Like, whoa! Fear Factor is a simple concept that is amazingly exciting every week. It really never gets old, especially the gross food challenges. I know two things about the new Fear Factor: 1) Joe Rogan is hosting and 2) I will be watching. And you should be, too!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Midweek Macho Man: Matt Bomer

Midweek macho Man is a Jen feature, but for reasons known only to her, she has tasked me with it today. And I am more than up to the challenge *not a challenge at all*. The hunk of this week is none other than Matt Bomer.

(Image from Just Jared,, where you can find all sorts of celeb gossip and pictures)

Bomer is best known for his portrayal of Neal Caffrey in the USA Network show, White Collar, where he plays an ex-con (mostly) who works with the FBI White Collar Division. You may also know him from Tru Calling (oh, was I the only one who watched that?) and guest appearances on Guiding Light and Chuck. A somewhat overlooked actor to be sure. What makes Bomer definitely a Macho Man hottie worthy of mention is his style, both on screen and off, his adorably nerdy glasses, floppy hair and affinity for fedoras, his charm, and of course, the fact that he can sing. What's not to love?

If you are not currently watching White Collar, you really should get on that! It just started its third season and is a hugely entertaining show. And did you see the picture? I mean, come on. And he doesn't just look good shirtless. No one wears a suit and hat like Matt Bomer. Here's to hoping for more Matt Bomer on my tv screen and movie screens soon!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Trashy TV Friday: The Challenge

I'm going to attempt to highlight a super trashy reality tv show every Friday. It's not as fun as Jen's Midweek Macho Man, but it should be fun in its own trashy way.

To start off, I am going way off the deep end into a previously unblogged (at least by us) wasteland of depravity, drinking, and violence. That's right! MTV's The Challenge, previously known as Real World/Road Rules Challenge. Some background info for those of you who have never watched. Former Real World and Road Rules participants are put in a house in some exotic location, separated into teams, and compete for money. Essentially, it is Survivor with Alcohol. There have been 20 previous seasons that have included Real World vs. Road Rules, Men vs. Women, Fresh Meat (where previous contestants of challenges were paired up with people who hadn't been on RR or RW before), etc. This current season is Rivals, where the contestants are on teams of two, paired up with their biggest enemy. Fun!

(Image from Go to the Rivals page to check out all sorts of info, videos, full episodes, etc.)

Road Rules hasn't been on for a while and I haven't watched Real World or Challenge in the past few seasons. But when I heard about Rivals, I had to watch. I mean, each Challenge there is at least one big fight per episode, a lot of the time ending with someone punching someone else and being sent home. And there are drunk hookups. And wild parties. And the challenges are actually usually pretty cool. Plus, TJ Lavin is the host and he is awesome! But Rivals? Take people who hate each other and make them work together! So simple, yet genius. The fun part is that so far, the enemies have gotten along pretty well. People who have previously punched each other out are getting along great. But there is still fighting among the teams. The most ridiculous part of every season is how much the contestants seem to care. They really don't like when someone says something bad about them, or votes them into the duel (where one team goes home). Perhaps that is all amped up due to the alcohol?

So here is my suggestion to The Challenge. No, you probably won't know who all/any of the people are. But that really doesn't matter. There is a cool local, lots of alcohol, fighting, yelling, hookups, etc. And all in a lovely hour long show you can watch on your couch while shutting your brain off for a few hours.