Celebritology Live

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Liz Kelly,Jen Chaney
Thursday, June 10, 2010; 2:00 PM

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Liz Kelly: Happy Thursday. Lots to talk about -- Gary Coleman and his tasteless ex-wife, Lindsay Lohan, the "Glee" season finale, Heidi and Spencer. I say we just jump in...

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Paul Williams: Reliable Source had an item on Alanis Morissette's marriage, and ran this photo with it. Something seems different about Alanis, but I'm not sure what.(Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)Until I saw this, I would have had her high on my list of celebs that would forego plastic surgery.

Liz Kelly: Are you suggesting that Alanis, like (allegedly) Sarah Palin, may have had a bit of work done on the ol' front end?I'm not convinced. As a teen she suffered from anorexia and bulimia and apparently had problems with her weight throughout her early career -- which was catalyzed by a producer telling her she was too fat. With age, though, she's put on a bit of healthy weight, which may have deposited some cushioning in that general region.And, according to this article, Alanis was actually annoyed with her, umm, growth when she hit puberty because, as per her, it meant she couldn't be one of the guys anymore.

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luvlinsey: liz, i have to send my commint early bc i have class, but i just wantd 2 say that you and jennie are too mean to my BFF linsey. she's an exellent actress and is going to win an oscar one day and none of this fake stuff bout her SCRAM thingy is true. i think it might be all just lies spread by that mean girl samantha ronson. dont you agree? and liz, you should be just like my 2nd mom Dina with your future baby! then linsey and ali and your baby can play together!

Liz Kelly: I sometimes wonder: Is luvlinsey one person or do several people have the frightening ability to channel this degree of dementia?

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Above the Apple Store: I know I shouldn't get caught up with Reality TV but gosh darn it, Kelly Bensimon from RHONY is driving me crazy! I'm hoping they call her out on tonight's reunion but I know they won't:( It's just not fair! Liz, help me come back to "reality".

Liz Kelly: Hey there, Above Apple. Hope you're adjusting well to your new city. Clarendon isn't the same without you.I hear you re: Kelly Bensimon. She strikes me as a somewhat dippy person who thinks she's actually quite the intellectual. Hence her circuitous logic and dogged insistence on clinging to non-sensical lines of reasoning and plainly wrong facts. Every time she insisted that Bethenny wasn't a chef because SHE didn't know anyone for whom Bethenny had cooked I wanted to slap her.But That I can deal with. Who I really would like to see get it on tonight's reunion is that witch Jill Zarin. It's so odd -- in the first two seasons she was slightly annoying (as are the rest), but came off as basically nice. She's done a complete 180 this season. Is she showing her true colors or playing it up for the drama?Also, could RHONJ be any trashier? Sex tapes? Hired goons? Facebook wars. Geesh.

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Babies R Us: Okay Liz. Time to spill. Are you going to tell us his name? Or are you merely going to smile and hum a few bars of "Sympathy for the Devil"?

Liz Kelly: Oh, alright. You dragged it out of me. It's McLovin!Not really.You'll find out his name.... after he's born. Seriously, Jen will share the news in the blog and here. I don't know why I'm being so coy, but I am.If it makes you feel any better, Jen knows the name and approves.

Jen Chaney: It will all be revealed soon, when Liz seems it appropriate. So for now, to quote the Coen Brothers movie "A Serious Man": embrace the mystery.

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Who wanted the Tom Cruise/Grossman movie made?: I find TC pulling out the Len Grossman character at the Mtv Movie awards strange, his duet w/J.Lo desperate, and building a movie around him perplexing. What person walked out of "Tropic Thunder" itching for a full-length feature built around the character?

Jen Chaney: Look, I cannot lie. There is a part of my heart -- a tiny part that I first discovered, coincidentally, around the time "Top Gun" came out -- that still roots for Cruise, despite his weirdness. dons that fat suit.The joke is that it's Tom Cruise inside there acting like such a donkey, not that it's so hilarious or insightful that a Hollywood producer might be (gasp!) a pompous jerk. Not sure that's enough to sustain a whole movie. But hey, we'll see.One also might assume that no one would see a movie about Tom Cruise flipping around shakers and martini glasses. But I paid full-price for a "Cocktail" ticket. Of course, the movie wasn't very good and that was a very different Tom Cruise era....

Liz Kelly: I'm so not wasting $10 to see whackadoodle Cruise make an idiot of himself for two hours. Oh, wait, let me be specific: Make an idiot of himself in a fat suit and prosthetic make-up.Mike Myers did the fat thing years ago with his "Austin Powers" character Fat Bastard. Mike Myers is talented and I don't think even he could pull off a feature length movie centered on Fat Bastard.

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Alanis: Rumor is she's pregnant. That could certainly explain the new assets she is sporting.

Liz Kelly: Indeed. I believe Perez Hilton posted an item speculating about this very possibility.

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If it makes you feel any better, Jen knows the name and approves.: Then it's got to be something unusual. My name is as common as Jennifer and I've always longed for a less common name. And by unusual I don't mean weird.

Jen Chaney: You, me and every one of the other 8 zillion Jens born in this country during the '70s.Of course, less common is the new normal for the Gen X parent crowd. (We all want our babies to be unique!) But it's better than having to go by your last initial for your entire educational career (Jenny C., Jenny G., Jenny W.) so teachers can keep you straight.

Liz Kelly: Hey, look at the upside. At least you aren't named "Madison" or "Jayden."

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Heincer: So this whole maybe-baby thing: I thought Spencer was adamant that they wouldn't procreate. (Which attitude might be his only redeeming quality.) Is Heidi just looking for yet more publicity, or do you think there's something to the rumor? I'm thinking she's lost whatever marbles she ever had in her pursuit of "fame", but maybe that's just me?

Liz Kelly: First gut reaction: She's/they're just looking for more publicity. There would be a certain nice irony, though, to her being preg after spending all that money and time on plastic surgery.Re: Spencer -- a few months back Spencer was reportedly freaking out because Heidi had expressed a desire to have kids and he (in his perhaps one moment of clarity ever) decided he didn't want to bring kids into this world.And I'm not sure she (or Spencer) had any marbles to begin with.

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ESPN: Is Celebritology a Strasburg-free Zone?

Jen Chaney: Right now, there ain't no such thing.

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James Franco: I started watching General Hospital when James Franco became a guest star for a month last year. He's no longer on the show, but I'm still watching it. Actually, I record it everyday and then watch it when I get home from work. That's cool right?

Jen Chaney: Sure, especially now that Franco is coming back.

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Jill Zarin...: ..going through meopause....trust me. I recognize the bitchy irrational crazy wacked-ness.

Liz Kelly: I dunno. I think she's hungry for the spotlight and thought creating drama would be her ticket to monopolizing the show this season. It worked, but may yet backfire. Bethenny's still the one who ended up with her own spin-off show (which debuts tonight after the reunion).

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Glee, don't stop believein! (But do stop the Journey songs....): The show is fun, but wildly uneven. On the plus side I loved seeing a teenager give up the baby for adoption - the greatest gift you can give another person. (A nice antidote to the horrific teen moms on "16 and pregnant" and the umpteen convenient miscarriages that take place on shows when the writers want to end a pregnancy, but can't choose abortion b/c sponsors would drop the show.)

Jen Chaney: I would generally agree with the fun but uneven statement. And that's why I worry about how long the show can sustain itself. Unless they come up with some wildly good plotlines or work toward increasing the level of depth, the novelty of hearing well-done cover tunes could wear off. Here's hoping that doesn't happen.And yes, it was nice -- SPOILER ALERT -- to see Quinn give her baby to a woman who clearly wanted one and had regrets about giving up her own. Well played, "Glee."

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What Tom Cruise should do: Years ago he got raves for his chilling turn in "Magnolia," in which he played a self-improvement guru who essentially taught men to be sexual predators. He didn't carry the whole film--it was more like an extended cameo--but it showed me depths to his acting that I never knew he had. If he could find a serious, or even semi-serious movie where he played a villain, he might get his career off dead center.

Jen Chaney: Agreed. Although I would also be just as happy seeing him in a comedy, as long as it was truly a stretch and forced him to immerse into a character.I suppose he thinks Les Grossman will do that. But I don't.

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Hot dirtbags: Is Vincent Gallo on our hot dirtbags list? That guy is strangely disturbing, but even more strangely very sexy.

Liz Kelly: Indeed, Vincent Gallo did make the list. Here's what I said about him at the time:Vincent Gallo (Prime Dirtbaggery: "Brown Bunny") The guy is seriously self-delusional, and his ego has probably talked him out of a bigger film career, but there's a reason he keeps getting called back to model for everyone from H&M to Calvin Klein to Yves Saint Laurent. Clue: It's cuz he's hot.

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Bawlmer, Hon: A question on (I guess) standards and practices: When something particularly tasteless is reported upon in Celebritology- like Gary Coleman's deathbed photo (bluh)- there's almost always a kerfuffle from someone saying how horrible and tasteless that item is and how could you possibly report it. So...how do you draw the line on what to include in the morning roundup? I think the act of publishing something like that is newsworthy (if awful), and I'd be inclined to lean more towards letting people know it happened- but where do you find the line getting blurry?

Liz Kelly: I'm glad you asked about this because our editor, Nancy, and I had a big discussion about this very topic this morning before including that item in the Morning Mix.There is definitely a line and in this case the lines we didn't want to cross were: a) Posting or providing a direct link to the photo and b) Sending people directly to the Globe Web site, thereby increasing their reward for publishing a photo that should never have been taken, let alone sold.So, what we did was link to an EW item about the fact that the Globe had published it. And that item did NOT include the photo or a link to the Globe site, either.Unfortunately, this is news. I don't think it would have been responsible for us to totally ignore the fact that the picture is not only out there, but gracing the cover of a tabloid. And, in fact, I would have liked to have written an entire separate opinion post about it, but Nancy and I agreed that would be giving the Globe (and Coleman's ex, who allegedly sold the photo) too much attention. So we agreed to note the fact as a matter of record and move on.I think we did the right thing here.

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Tom: Tom Cruise is totally that one teacher in high school who made a funny joke once that everyone laughed at, and now keeps repeating that joke ad nauseum, not understanding why no one is laughing anymore.Move on Tom. It's been 2 years.(However, I would love to see a movie about RDJ's character. Or any of those movies they showed fake previews of in Tropic Thunder. They looked awesome).

Liz Kelly: He's also the teacher who thinks he's super cool and totally accepted by his students, but in reality is totally scoffed at behind his back.I guess he's also the really rich teacher who still commands millions of dollars per movie.

Jen Chaney: Oh, I would totally see a Kirk Lazarus movie. That character is just far richer, and I can watch Downey in just about anything. (Well, maybe not "The Pick-Up Artist.")And here's the thing about the no one laughing; that may be true about the public at large, or at least some of the public. But in Hollywood, I think Cruise probably still gets plenty of pats on the back and admiration. Before the scientology mess, he was known as an incredibly hard worker and a very nice person to work with. And I think he still has that reputation, which explains why people like Stiller and J.J. Abrams are more than happy to work with the guy.It's the broader perception by the average American moviegoer that may be eluding Cruise. He's been Mr. Movie Star for so long that he has no idea what the common person thinks of him, which is probably true of other actors as well.

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Speaking of Names and Movies : Have you been avoiding The Omen and Rosemary's Baby ?

Liz Kelly: I love them both, ain't the case.Besides. Everything upsets me these days thanks to the hormones. Mr. Liz and I were watching 'The Wire" last night and I got ridiculously verklempt when Method Man's character fought and then shot a pit bull. Which is, granted, seriously upsetting. But my reaction was totally over the top.

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But it's better than having to go by your last initial for your entire educational career : We had so many Jens in my book club, we had to do this as adults.

Jen Chaney: I hear you, my friend. This is why I never changed my maiden name. I am literally known among my friends as Chaney. I can't change that!

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reality tv pox : Will there be a day when the reality tv show pox will be over?I am tired of no talent celebrity wannabe's getting media coverage.Kardashian's go back to obscurity, please.

Jen Chaney: I'm with you. I'm just not into reality TV. The only shows that I've ever watched for any length of time were "Project Runway" and "The Osbournes." Oh, and pretty much everything that was on Bravo when I was on maternity leave.That said, no, I don't think it's going to go away, for all the reasons that have been stated many times before. The shows are cheap to produce and enough people watch them to justify the relatively low expense. Those sorts of shows have also given an identity to cable networks (see Bravo and TLC) that didn't have much of one before their respective Jons and Kates came along.

Liz Kelly: I am not too proud to admit to my reality TV vices. I don't watch soap operas -- never have been able to -- but reality TV, I think, serves a similar purpose: Sucking viewers into a somewhat fictional world of scripted moments. Why I'm able to stomach "Real Housewives" and not "Days of Our Lives," I don't know. What I do know is that we all need some mindless relief from time to time and, for me, reality TV fits the bill nicely. There's no real commitment, you can tune in and tune out without feeling you've missed something and you get to watch adults make massive fools of themselves. What's not to like?

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The Wire: Liz, that episode with the pitbull fighting made my husband and me really upset too! I think I teared up a little as well. Damn you David Simon!

Liz Kelly: You know, it even upset me that they filmed it at all. I don't care if those dogs were trained actors, they still had them feigning (I hope they were feigning it) agression at each other. And it isn't as if a dog can make the distinction and say "Oh, I'm just acting. Spot and I are going to laugh about this as soon as they finish this take."

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Shouldn't Tom Cruise be promoting he new film instead?: It can't bode well for "Knight and Day" that we are all chatting about this Len Grossman thing instead of his new movie...

Jen Chaney: I don't know, I am thinking that could only help, at least in terms of awareness. If people are talking about Tom Cruise, that increases the likelihood that they'll realize he's also in another movie that is supposed to be a return to form.All this is probably by design, at least on the Cruise publicity machine's part.

Liz Kelly: And the Cruise publicity machine seems to be humming along quite well now that TC's sister is no longer his publicist.

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Al Gore: Random question, but I wonder if Al Gore will be a hot commodity on the dating scene?

Liz Kelly: I don't know. Maybe in certain circles.I'm more interested in Tipper and daughter Karenna suddenly being single at the same time. I'm thinking they should pen a screenplay about a mom-and-daughter duo jumping back into the topsy-turvy dating scene after 40 and 13 (respectively) years away.

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luvlinsey: luvlinsey is Celebritology's Alan Smithee

Liz Kelly: Good one.That Alan Smithee. So prolific.

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You mean Cheese ??: How did you take it when Bunk started mocking Cheese during his interrogation and Cheese got upset ?

Liz Kelly: Yep. Cheese. But he'll always be Method Man to me.And Bunk's impression of Cheese totally had me chuckling. Too bad the joke turned out to be on Bunk and Jimmy, tho.Can we just talk about "The Wire" for the rest of today's chat?

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Baby names: As long as it's not a cartoon character (even a super-hero), I'm okay with it.

Liz Kelly: I can guarantee you he's not being named after a cartoon character.

Jen Chaney: Of course not. Liz ruled out the name Snidely Whiplash a long time ago!

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Names: LOL ... someone I know made a joke recently that every time a teacher calls out Madison or Jayden, half the class raises their hand.Same with Dylan, Kaitlyn, Taylor, Morgan ...I chose not to have kids, but if I did I swear their names would be Jane, John ...

Jen Chaney: It's true. I have a friend who named her son Finn, which I thought (and still think) is a pretty cool name. But I keep bumping into Finns these days. I blame Julia Roberts. But if the popularity of the name increases, I will also blame "Glee."

Liz Kelly: We also had "Finn" on our list of potential boy names. I knew someone in college of that name, so I swear it had nothing to do with "Glee."We have friends who named their daughter Jane and I really like it. Dignified. Clear. Solid.

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Gene: Does HE know the name? Because, you know, he's got strong views on that.

Liz Kelly: He does and also approves.

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Tom2: I submitted the earlier comment equating Tom to a HS teacher, but I agree with you--I've heard that he's a nice guy to work with, and the he is extremely kind to his fans (spends hours signing autographs, etc). So to be fair I am amending my statement to say he's the dorky unfunny HS teacher who helps kids with their homework after school.

Jen Chaney: Ha. Okay, fair enough.

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LiLo, huh?: Why, pray tell, would GQ ask LiLo to pose for them? What exactly does she bring to the table, and is she even considered anything other than a joke anymore? Does she still have bona fide status in the celeb world?

Liz Kelly: What does she bring to the table? Potential newsstand sales, just like she brings Web sites page views. It's really as simple as that.

Jen Chaney: And to piggyback on Liz's comment, she also brings brand awareness for GQ. No matter what you are -- a magazine, an electronics company, a celebrity chef -- you want your name to be part of the cultural conversation. Putting LiLo in the mag accomplishes that for GQ, as this brief conversation about it demonstrates.

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Les Grossman: Cute in "Tropic Thunder" but in no way deserves extended play. Some SNL spots are great on SNL but are not movie-length. Why can't folks just be happy with a small, perfect moment of fun and not eke out what becomes painful from a moment of happiness?

Liz Kelly: Because we're talking about Hollywood here. The same people who can't let any opportunity to wring a buck out of a concept -- no matter how ill-conceived -- pass untried. And, honestly, the movie will in all likelihood make money.

Jen Chaney: Right. And, to echo what I said earlier, in the insular Hollywood world -- where Tom Cruise has probably heard from everyone under the sun for several days that he was completely hilarious at the Movie Awards -- it seems like a smart career move.

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Liz Kelly: A bit of late-breaking non-news from Us Weekly: Russell Crowe, despite some Internet reports, is not dead. We reapeat, Russell Crowe is not dead."Robin Hood," on the other hand...

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Dept of No Shame: Have you seen the pix of Lady Gaga attending her younger sister's high school graduation (at the Convent of the Sacred Heart no less)? I can't imagine her sister appreciated the tasteful black draped chapeau and lacy nude body stocking.

Liz Kelly: According to the NY Post, Gaga dressed that way to get back at the school that made her miserable.Wahhhh!

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jumping back into the topsy-turvy dating scene after 40 and 13 (respectively) years away.: And they move in together to save money, right?

Liz Kelly: Right. And go out to hip clubs in designer shoes, drinking cosmos and having adventures of a sexual nature. Oh wait, that's "Sex and the City."Let me try again...Right. They live in a basement apartment, both get jobs at a beer factory and one has a stuffed animal named Boo Boo Kitty and dates a guy named The Big Ragu.Oh wait...

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I can guarantee you he's not being named after a cartoon character.: HINT! He's named after a *movie* character, no, wait -- a*book* character. OLIVER?

Liz Kelly: Nope and nope.

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The A Team: Has Liam Neeson and Bradley Cooper, so how bad can it be? (I'm hoping more Bourne territory than Transformers land.)

Jen Chaney: The reviews have been mixed, veering toward the negative side, so far. (The Post's review will go up this evening.)I couldn't make it to the screening earlier this week. And if this girl can't get it together enough to see a Bradley Cooper movie, that's probably not a good sign. The fact that 11 people worked on the screenplay over the years? Also, probably not a good sign.

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Some SNL spots are great on SNL but are not movie-length. : But everyone thinks they've got the next Wayne's World.

Liz Kelly: Question: Are there any SNL characters -- past or present -- that we think do deserve a spinoff movie?I'm voting for Brian Fellows.

Jen Chaney: Liz, surely you jest. Brian Fellows?? I love me some Tracy Morgan, but that's pushing it.I honestly can't think of anyone that deserves a movie. Maybe a Behind the Music-esque documentary short about the "D--- in a Box" duo. That's about it.

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Master and Commander: Jack Aubrey Nelson.

Liz Kelly: I have to admit that thought did cross my mind. Especially considering Jack Aubrey's love and respect for Admiral Nelson. It just made snese. But, in the end, we went with something else.

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I'd like to disagree on Tom Cruise in Magnolia: I don't think it was a great acting job, I think it was a window into Tom Cruise's inner, weirder self: narcissistic, manipulative and slimey.

Liz Kelly: I loved that movie, but I have to agree with the poster. I think TC was playing himself there.Where he stretched: "Jerry Maguire" -- he was playing a guy trying to break out of a self-absorbed, ultra-competitive world to get back in touch with reality and find meaning in his life.

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For CoCo!: Jen, how was Conan's show? I heard through the grapevine that you were in attendance.

Jen Chaney: And by grapevine, you must mean Facebook.I thought it was a great show. I was bummed that there were no special guest stars, as there have been in other cities. But I thought he was in fine form.The whole evening reaffirmed my feeling that walking away from The Tonight Show was the best thing that ever happened to him. Now he's treated like a rock star and a generational icon; he got a huge standing ovation when he came on, and people were going nuts at the end when he ran through the crowd.Add some "Walker Texas Ranger" clips and the fact that Triumph made reference to Channel 9's J.C. Hayward, and yeah, I pretty much feel I got my money's worth.

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Jen Chaney: We're outta here for the week. But we'll be back chatting next Thursday at 2, when out critique of Tom Cruise will undoubtedly continue.Toodles!


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