Bridalplasty keeps it tacky

Every girl dreams of looking perfect on her wedding day.  At least that’s what I have been told.  I have never been one of those girls who dreams about her wedding or wearing white.  But, no judgments here.  If you’re one of those marrying gals who dreams of a traditional, beautiful, wedding day where all eyes are on you, I say go for it.  But ladies… let’s keep it classy.

Take my friend Kelly for example.  Kelly is due to be married next October (I’m her Maid of Honor.)  Kelly has chosen a beautiful wedding gown, is taking dance classes to tone up her body before the big day and has already recruited her make-up and hairstylists to do some test runs on her so that everything is perfect on her wedding day.  This, is a classy way of looking great for your dream day.

E!’s latest television show, “Bridalplasty,” is a more in-your-face, tacky way of preparing for your wedding day.   On this show, hosted by Shanna Moakler (famous for marrying and divorcing Travis Barker,) twelve brides compete with each other to achieve the perfect wedding day and of course, that means the perfect look.  E! will throw them a beautiful, luxurious wedding and in addition, give them head-to-toe plastic surgery.  Talk about getting a make over.

The show opens with the Brides arriving, sharing their stories, and getting to know one another.  There are some sweet, heart tugging stories, like Melissa, a bride who’s fiance is currently in Iraq.  There are some camera hogs, like Alexandra, who you may recognize from “The Biggest Loser” (and if you didn’t recognize her, she said it fifty-million times.)  And there are some down right bridezillas like Janessa who proudly announces that she gave her fiance a deadline to propose because they had already been dating for four years (and c’mon, that’s like… totally crazy.)  After the brides get to know each other, Shanna comes in, looking quite botoxed and plumped in the lips herself, and tells them that the doctor is about to give them their run downs.

Personalities aside, there is not a bad looking girl in this group.  When the plastic surgeon walks in with cards of what each girl wants to have done, I’m wondering what could it possibly say.  We soon learn that this show should have been hosted by Heidi Montag because that’s who these brides seem to want to look like.  (Let’s hope for their sake they come out looking a little better than she did.)

After the doctor hands each girl her list of what surgeries she wants to have done, they get some cocktails, do some mingling and then it’s time for the first challenge.  They must put together a puzzle of what their new selves will look like.  The first 10 who finish get to go to an injection party.  The girls eye the winning syringes with longing and get started on their puzzles.  Kristen, our first winner, happily announces she will finally fix her “butt-face,” while Lisa Marie (no not that one,) our final winner, cries EXTREME tears of joy.  But two girls are left without syringes, and now a vote must be done by the other brides to see who will stay.

Based on the editing and promotion, E! seems to sell “Bridalplasty” as Bridezillas meets the Swan meets Survivor.  Who will be the last one standing?  What will they look like when this is all over?  And can anyone tame these zany brides?

But, Bridezillas are really just trying to make their day go off without a hitch and just as they want it.  And people on Survivor are literally, just trying to survive.  And the heart-tugging stories of the Swan made you sympathize with the longing these folks had for plastic surgery.  Bridalplasty, misses the mark in all these places.  The show concept doesn’t stem from a good place of trying to make some one’s life happier, all it does is exploit these ladies’ desperate need to be perfect on their wedding day.  Pretty ladies, who don’t need to change anything to look great on that day, yet clawing at each other to get plumper lips and a smaller waist.  It’s a competition that brings out the worst in the contestants and offers artificial, shallow prizes.

It’s not about being anti-plastic surgery, or anti-weddings/brides or even anti-Shanna Moakler (which I admittedly, kind of am.)  It’s about tapping into the multi-million dollar industry of brides and weddings and turning it into an all out, Janice Dickinson style cat fight.   There’s no question that it will provide entertainment (instead of Bridezillas meets the Swan and Survivor, think Bridezillas meets Flavor of Love,) but what kind of message does this send?

Wedding days are meant to be fairy-tales.  They should be filled with love, excitement, and dreams coming true.  The Wedding Channel and Lifetime are good at capturing these dreams for television.  E! is good at capturing weddings filled with insecurities and going under the knife instead of loving yourself.

I know that some brides are desperate to do whatever it takes to have their perfect wedding day.  So with that in mind, I beg of you, all brides-to-be, don’t go on “Bridalplasty.”  You can be beautiful and have your dream wedding without having to go on immediately following the Kardashians.  Let’s keep your wedding day and pre-wedding behavior classy.


Team Coco rejoyce… or not.

Somewhere in between watching my beloved Yankees lose the ALCS and watching “King of Queens” repeats, something occurred to me:  Conan O’Brien is coming to TBS.  The network placed it on the sidebars during the commercials, Craig Sager plugged it during every sporting event, and little Conan animations popped up during “House of Payne.”  The whole station just looked more orangey than usual.

This is great news for everyone who’s ever been Team Coco or better yet, anti-Leno.  Conan’s premiere on cable was to be Conan’s big redemption and revenge on the major networks that had wronged him in the past.  On top of all the hype that came with his exit from NBC and agreement with TBS, the trailers for Conan’s new show promised that the show would be EPIC.  Everyone was on the edge of their sofa’s waiting for the clock to strike 11 O’clock on Monday November 8th, 2010.

In fact, so many people were waiting and watching and clenching their pearls, that Conan trounced the competition.  Not just beating the red hot Daily Show and Colbert Report (who’s ratings last month were the highest ever for the two shows,) but also beating the big wigs of Jimmy Kimmel, David Letterman and of course, the evil Jay Leno.  Point awarded to Team Coco.

But getting an audience after a much hyped premiere is easier than getting an audience on day two.  The first show was filled with F-U’s to Jay Leno and NBC, many jokes about getting fired, and funny thoughts about being on network cable.  But then, the second show was filled with the same thing… as was the second, and third show.  Conan is becoming Taylor Swift and NBC is looking like Joe Jonas.  But at this point, we get it.  You got dumped in a 27 second phone call; time to write a song about something else.

On top of weak and redundant jokes/sketches this week, the opening week guests were lack luster.  As per usual, Tom Hanks was a great guest.  I enjoyed Conan’s Wednesday bit on having the stars of basic cable stop by:  Bruce Jenner, a hoarder and the Alaskan crabs from “Deadliest Catch.”  But I could live without seeing Michael Cera and Charlyne Yi be their emo/awkward selves/characters two days in a row.  Are they really a great “get”?

We all know Conan’s potential.  We all remember the great things that came out of his NBC late night show, such as Triumph, the masturbating bear,, etc.  They are all still with Conan so as soon as he gets his sea legs over at TBS we should be able to see Conan and his characters be funny again, right?

It’s almost like when Conan got moved to 11:30, the funny in him got sucked out and now he’s got to find it again.  Hopefully, he finds it soon because the Jay Leno jokes are getting old.  The last thing we want to do is to have to watch Jay Leno to avoid hearing about Jay Leno.

I understand that not everyone comes bursting out of the gate at full speed.  Especially when you’re used to network executives breathing down your throat, so I am pulling for Conan to really pick up steam as his run continues.  I’ve already had to deal with a losing season for my Yankees (yeah yeah I know, I’m a spoiled Yankee fan, we spend a lot of money, yadda yadda yadda,) but I can’t handle another loss!  Team Coco needs to be a winning team.

the Daily Show gets Oprah-fied

You get a trip to the Rally for Sanity!

You get a trip to the Rally for Sanity!


In case you missed it last night, Oprah surprised the “Daily Show” audience last night by appearing via satellite and announcing that under their seats awaits a trip to Washington DC to attend the “Rally for Sanity.”  Check out the clip below to see the Daily Show get Oprah-fied.  (Also includes a guest spot from Stephen Colbert)
So what do you guys think?  Are you going to be heading to DC to march on the Washington Mall for reasonable thinking and even tempers?  I just might have to make an appearance.

Bored to Death: Season premiere makes for cheap stab at title

It’s a dark and murky night in a dingy area in DUMBO, Brooklyn. Dressed in a tan trench coat in what appears to be an attempt to emulate a real-life detective, Jonathan Ames (Jason Schwartzman) leaps off of a fire-escape and begins to sprint down the block.  After dodging an abundance of flower pots being flawlessly thrown at him from the apartment in which he escaped from, he ducks for cover underneath an overpass.  Whilst trying to catch his breath, Jonathan calls a woman to confirm that her husband is indeed cheating.

And so season two of Bored to Death begins.

What’s new:

  • Jonathan is now teaching an evening “Metropolitan Writer’s Workshop” in lieu of his second novel being rejected by his publishers (for those expecting a “Yo Teach” mention, here it is.) He is also now dating Stella – the hipster weed-smoking chick he met at the Food Co-Op last season around the same time Jenny Slate (who plays Stella) dropped the F-bomb on Saturday Night Live (which subsequently lead to her demise on that show). Lucky for her she can now curse all she wants on HBO.
  • Edition Magazine is in a financial rut and is cutting down on substantial editorial content, which means even less [potential] work for Jonathan.
  • For this “very Brooklyn show,” this New York borough took a backseat last night. In fact, 90% of the episode took place in Manhattan. Even Central Park got a moment to shine. Was Prospect Park too busy to accommodate the shooting schedule that day?

What’s the same:

  • Ray (the slapstick best friend played by Zach Galifianakis) is still having issues with his over-bearing girlfriend, which erupts into something more significant towards the end of the episode (you’ll just have to watch).
  • George (Edition magazine editor-in-chief and sometimes-boss to Jonathan played by Ted Danson) still manages to reference old rendezvous he once had whether people want to hear it or not (apparently he does not understand the too-much-information code of conduct, but who cares? He’s hilarious.)
  • Jonathan – albeit a mediocre detective — still successfully completes each assignment, but not before an amusing escape. (Three words: S&M snorkeling outfit.)

Although the first episode of this half-hour HBO comedy had many elements that made the first season so charming (action, neo-noir, great cameos, quick-witted dialogue, Zach Galifianakis in very tight-fitted shorts, etc.), the episode fell a few Oragina’s flat of being an epic season premiere.

Perhaps it was due to it ending five-minutes early (as if this show needs to be any shorter), or perhaps because there was just barely any storyline progression since we parted ways with the neurotic Brooklynite last November (you would think a lot more has happened in a year); this episode was — with very much pun intended – quite boring.

While season one bordered around Jonathan’s transition into moonlighting as an unlicensed detective (while struggling as a published author), this season will – based on its lackluster development last night – focus more on the character growth of his two ragtag team-members: Ray and George. Let’s just hope it doesn’t take an entire season to get to there.

written by Alanna Slepitsky

You know Brooklyn? Scrappers know Brooklyn.

Over the years there has been a shift in New York City and suddenly, Brooklyn has become the trendy place to live.  It was once the place where real, hard-working people could afford to live and commute to the city without breaking the bank.   It was a place where your average blue collar Joe could own a house with a car and a driveway.  Now, it has become a place where young urban professionals raise their organic-fed children and hipsters come to have a vegan brunch.  A brownstone now costs the same price as college tuition and driveways are empty lots to build condos on.  There are so many people now living in Brooklyn just because it’s the cool place to be, that this Brooklyn native has to wonder where all the real Brooklynites have gone.  I’m not just talking about the people that live in Brooklyn and barely put a toe in the borough, let alone venture south of Prospect Park (and don’t even get me started on people that ride the G train.)  I’m talking about the people that eat square pizza at Spumoni Gardens, had their first kiss on top of the Wonder Wheel, have taken a number at Meats Supreme, fought for parking on 86th street, rode their bikes along the Belt Parkway and eaten a knish in Brighton Beach.  I know there are people living in Brooklyn; I was wondering where the people that are Brooklyn are. The cast of Spike TV’s “Scrappers” are Brooklyn.

“Scrappers” is a show that follows three Brooklyn scrap metal crews as they spend their days lifting, digging, moving, and hunting for metal that can be traded in for cash.  It’s a physical and demanding job.  This season the scrappers have gotten metal out of dumpsters, cleared out yards, broken down a million radiators, and carried boilers and refrigerators down so many narrow staircases that I questioned whether or not there are any non-walk-up apartments left in Brooklyn.   These guys aren’t afraid to get dirty for their metallic fortune either.  At one point this season, while working in a house with no running water, Sal the Barber defecated in a garbage bag.  Hey- when you’re on the job and you got to go, you got to go.

On top of all the hard work that scrapping entails, doing it in Brooklyn makes life harder.  How can anyone make a buck when people double-park and block an entire street?  How do you get ahead when every time you get to your van you have a parking ticket?   And how do you trade in a lamp when a kooky mom and pop shop is trying to haggle with you?

Watching Frankie Noots Crew, Sal the Barber and Dino and Mimmo bust their ass all season is not glamorous reality TV.  If you want to watch a wealthy Park Slope couple teach their children how to speak French, Bravo has a show for that.  If you want to watch a show about a group of guys who work hard and bust their ass to just try survive, all while promoting recycling (see Park Slope people- scrapping is environmentally friendly) then this is the show to watch.

I’m talking a lot about hard work and how demanding the job of scrapping is, but there’s more to this show than just watching people get gritty jobs done.  Watching “Scrappers” is like hanging out with your older brother and his friends.  These guys are hilarious.  They make fun of each other for drinking slurpees, they talk about flatulence, and they get into snowball fights.  They curse, they pick on each other and they flip through playboy magazines (you never know what you’ll find scrapping.)  Rounding out all the laughs, these guys have quick one-liners that make a scene end like an old classic three stooges film.  The conversation between these guys has the comedic timing that most reality shows can’t touch. (My favorite line of the season? “Don’t forget Darren, the brains behind the operation.”)

When the season ended last night, the door was left open for a Season two.  Darren is going to be a father, Frank might buy his own scrap yard, and will Sal and Frank make amends?   Hopefully, we will find out because I don’t know if I can go through life without hearing classic lines like “Slurpeez kick ass” and without knowing that a magnet won’t stick to brass.  Maybe I’m biased to “Scrappers” because I know the area and I understand the language (even with the thick accent.)  Or maybe I’m just tired of Brooklyn being the place to be because it’s suddenly trendy.  It’s the place to be because it’s Brooklyn, and it’s the best.

Written by Jessie Kanev

White Collar delivers a BIG season finale

It’s no secret I’m a “White Collar” fan.  I think the executive producer and writers dubbed fans of the show “Collars.”  Yep… that would be me.  I’m a collar.  Will I constantly over-load this blog with my thoughts and opinion because I am a fan?  I hope not.  But if they keep ending every season, or mid-season, with shockers, it will be very hard for me to keep my mouth shut.  Or I guess in this case, my fingers off the keyboard.

“White Collar” has brilliant writing.  The show never assumes the audience is dumb.  Plots and historical points are never over-explained, and characters are brilliantly developed.  The character’s are all likable, relatable and yet… completely mysterious.

Well, our exception is Peter Burke (played by Tim DeKay.)  He’s not as mysterious as most characters on this show.  Burke definitely plays for the good guys.  Unlike his counter parts, he’s happy to eat chinese take-out and watch a basketball game rather than visit a museum or sip fine wines.  He’s surprising at times, but not quite mysterious.  He’s level headed, a great voice of reason and incredibly likable.  He’s certainly got the tough task of trying to reel-in and manage our vaguer characters.

I know that when I say vague, our minds go right to Neal Caffrey.  Neal Caffrey (played by Matt Bomer) is a fantastic character because he does such a great job at towing the line between criminal and hero.  Actually though, I was thinking more about Mozzie.  Perhaps I had underestimated Mozzie this season.  When he showed his bravery for a woman he pined for, I was surprised.  My heart-strings were tugged a bit when he opened up about never having been adopted as a child and I was impressed by his brilliant ear when he opened that music box.  Mozzie was always a great character, but this season the audience was able to connect with him and be stimulated by him in a way that wasn’t there season one.  Perhaps in my last season finale entry, I gave Neal Caffrey too much credit for being a great character.  Perhaps Mozzie needed more acknowledgment.

Or maybe it’s a case of never knowing what I have until it’s gone.  With the way “White Collar” ended on Tuesday night, perhaps I had been taking Mozzie for granted.  He was comic relief for the show and he was a mysterious character, but maybe I didn’t realize what a strong presence he brought until he was suddenly (and shockingly) taken away from me (I know, I know… or was he?)

We’re in season two of “White Collar” and the show has  not lost its sophistication.  (Although, one could complain about the use of green screen on Tiffani Amber-Thiessen, but that’s really nit-picking.)  It’s as intelligent and exciting as it was throughout season one.  This summer we Collars got to experience investigations that ranged from a Criminology class, to a dirty politician and to an underground poker ring. We met characters that were elegantly brilliant and deceptively corrupt.  We saw places that were stunning and repulsive.  It’s amazing that after all those years of watching awful deaths and despicable crimes on “Law and Order” that I am satisfied with a simple art heist.  In fact, I’m more than satisfied, I’m excited.

“White Collar” never assumes that it’s audience is unintelligent.  This is a key to why the show is so  alluring.  It is because of this that the audience is able to make such a connection to the characters and be so excited to see story lines about ancient artifacts, priceless paintings, Spanish silver and of course, the inner workings of the FBI.  And the writers deliver.  They deliver with unbelievable endings like the one we saw this Tuesday.

I’m curious to see where the writers plan to take this ending.  On a show like this, you have to wonder if they have already seen the bigger picture in their minds.  Do they already know who “the man who pulls all the strings” is?  Do they already know Neal Caffrey’s destiny?  Or are we watching a story as it develops?  Either way, count me in for the ride.

Written by Jessie Kanev

Were you expecting sex and blood? This is Melissa and Joey, we’re talking about

Sometimes you can predict certain aspects of a show before it even premieres.  For example, if a new installment of the Bravo Housewives is starting, I can guess that there will be lots of caddy girls and drama.  If a new reality show premieres starring Rod Balgojevich and Spencer Pratt, I kind of assume it’s going to be wacky.  I don’t mind, it helps me brace myself for what is about to come when I sit down to watch these new shows.  So, when I sat down to watch the premiere of “Melissa and Joey” on ABC Family last night, I fully expected it to be cheesy.

I knew going into “Melissa and Joey” that it wasn’t going to be a gritty drama or an OH-MY-GOD-DID-THEY-REALLY-SAY-THAT comedy.  First of all, the show is on ABC Family.  This network is not known for shows with sex, blood and drugs.   Well, there is some sex on “The Secret Life.”  And I guess there is some murder on “Pretty Little Liars“.  But, still, the casting of Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence just screams TGIF throwback.  In other words, anyone that expected to be blown away by how edgy this show is, deserves to not enjoy it.

For everyone else that likes the occasional cheesiness, this is your show.  Yes, there are some people who like cheesy shows.  Cheesiness doesn’t mean bad.  In fact, I have more friends that watched “Full House” growing up than watched “NYPD Blue.”  Some people like a happy ending and a corny and predictable punch lines.

The show stars Melissa Joan Hart as Melissa (of course,) a career driven council woman who inherits custody of her niece and nephew when her brother-in-law and sister are sent to jail for being involved in a money scandal.  Melissa has a hard time communicating with her new housemates and has never had to discipline them prior to now.  She had been the cool aunt for years and suddenly has to assume the mom role.  When she begins to look for help with the children, Joe (aka Joey,)  shows up at her door.  He is looking for a city job since he is a commodities trader, but settles for a job as her nanny (a manny if you will,) since it’s the only one available and he is broke/homeless thanks to her scheming siblings.

The show deals with adjusting to a new family.  Melissa is struggling to find the balance between family and work while looking for love herself and Joe (so… is it Joe or Joey?) is learning how to care for two children.  If your household has a 7 or 8-year-old in it, it’s a pretty good family show.  It’s got the 30 minute resolution that we all grew up loving as well as predictable jokes that really only make a child laugh out loud (although may sometimes warrant a “heh” from an adult.)

There are some holes in this show that an adult would easily spot.  For example, the show seems to take place in Ohio (judging by the Ohio shirt worn by Melissa’s nephew) however, Joe and the nephew both seem to have New York accents.  In addition, Melissa’s public relations person was clearly brought in as comic relief and has yet to have a funny line.  And while I love that the show is taped before a live studio audience, the collective “awwww” appeared after Joey found out his ex girlfriend never loved him, was cringe worthy.

The show has one of those story lines that forces you to wonder when the inevitable will happen and the two of them will get together.  I don’t know how many more seasons this show can continue without there being a spark between the two, and when that happens, the whole theme of the show will change.   It won’t be like Uncle Jesse marrying Aunt Becky, it will be more like Ned falling for Stacy.  Where do you go once that happens?

One thing that seems to help the show is that both of the main actors are veterans to television.  Melissa Joan Hart convincingly portrays a stressed out but caring aunt, and Joey Lawrence (or is it Joe?) actually has pretty good comedic timing.  Melissa and Joey have a good chemistry together and the most enjoyable scenes are when the two of them are going back and forth.  Of course, that could just be because I have a soft spot for both Clarissa and Blossom’s brother.

This isn’t the show to watch if you want to have your mind blown.  We have “Dexter” and “True Blood” for that.  This isn’t the show to watch if you want to see something sexy, we have “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Nip/Tuck” for that.  It’s not even train-wrecky, we have “Jersey Shore” and “the Bad Girls” club for that.  It’s just a happy-go-lucky family sitcom that you can watch with your kids.  But, you probably predicted that.