CBS Television Network
If you're one of the viewers that routinely switches off CBS as soon as Mike and Molly ends, well, shame on you: you're missing out on Mom. The freshman sitcom starring Anna Faris as a recovering alcoholic single mom who moves in with her also recovering mother, played by Allison Janney, holds enough of the audience on CBS' Monday night lineup that it will probably earn a second season, but that's not good enough. The show deserves more.
Faris has had an up-and-down career in the movies, but her emotional vulnerability and comedic timing has found a home on the sitcom. Her Christy, a waitress and AA regular, is hopeful and easy to root for as portrayed by the doe-eyed actress. Having a character that the audience can root for isn't always a given on a Chuck Lorre show, nor is having fully formed female characters... as anyone that's watched Melissa McCarthy descend into caricature on Mike and Molly can attest.
Janney, who's proven her chops in everything from The West Wing to Juno, provides even more incentive to watch. She infuses her Bonnie with a seen-it-all outlook that works perfectly for a character that's not as enamored of the sober lifestyle as her daughter is. More than that, Janney plays Bonnie as a real person, even when the writing is broad. She doesn’t work too hard for the laughs, but instead lets them come naturally, which helps temper the over-the-top elements that are a Lorre hallmark.
The show has also featured an enviable group of guest stars, starting with Kevin Pollak as Christy's long-absent father. The veteran comedian was the perfect choice to play off of the two leading ladies as a mensch who's trying to make things right. Justin Long, Mimi Kennedy, and Octavia Spencer have also put in appearances.
The show isn't perfect; the writers have yet to find a good rhythm for Christy's daughter, played by Saddie Calvano, and her boyfriend (Spencer Daniels). Additionally, Matt Jones and French Stewart, who play Christy's ex and boss respectively, seem like they might be more at home on Lorre's Two and a Half Men. While not everything might have jelled quite yet, the performances by the leads rises above any of the first year quibbles.
It's hard to play addiction recovery for both laughs and empathy, but Faris and Janney are doing a brilliant job of exactly that. Their efforts deserve to be rewarded with viewers that seek the show out as opposed to ones that just forget to change the channel after Mike and Molly.
Show Mom some love and you won't be disappointed.
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But why imitate when you can innovate? First, America’s Next Drag Superstar Jinkx Monsoon and Ivy Winters created this legendary fantasy recasting of Death Becomes Her. Then Willam Belli appeared in this gay YouTube spoof, “Rambo, But Gay.”
That got the gears turning. What other movies could use a little bit of charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent? Here are 10 movies with biological women that could use the full drag race treatment.
10. DreamGirls - This had to be on the list. Latrice Royale is is large, in charge, chunky, yet funky. She’s bold and beautiful so she is a clear fit to play Effie White. Dancing queen Milan is the perfect fit to play sensitive Lorrell Robinson. Tyra Sanchez fancies herself Beyoncé, but she can’t sing. So Deena Jones would have to be played by the America’s first drag superstar, BeBe Zahara Benet.
9. Steel Magnolias - Queen Latifah made an African American version of the popular film. Couldn’t it be possible to have an all Puerto Rican version? Imagine maternal Nina Flowers instead of Sally Field, spunky Carmen Carrera instead of Julia Roberts, Jessica Wild instead of mousy Daryl Hannah, Alexis Mateo and her breast plate instead of Dolly Parton, Madam LaQueer in Olympia Dukakis’ role and finally Yara Sophia giving you Shirley MacLaine realness.
8. Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? - They may be old friends, but, Chad Michaels and Shannel would be great at playing feuding sisters Jane (Betty Davis) and Blanche (Joan Crawford).
7. The Craft - There has to be a spooktacular choice for Sharon Needles and Rulaskatox. When innocent Sara (Sharon Needles) moves to town she meets three witches, (Alaska, Detox and Roxxxy Andrews). What follows is black magic, black clothes and really heavy eyeliner.
6. Bring it On: All or Nothing - These queens are most likely to go direct-to-video. But their feud did make the fifth season of the show very entertaining. When Alyssa Edwards family moves and enrolls her in public school she has to join the cheerleading squad run by Coco Montrese. Expect plenty of reading!
5. Mean Girls - When Tatianna moves to a new town she gets on the radar of The Heathers (Raja, Manila Luzon and Delta Work). Her friends Shangela and Stacy Layne Matthews convince her to play both sides and take them down.
4. Big Business - Manila Luzon and Jujubee play two sets of twins in a remake of this Bette Midler and Lily Tomlin Classic.
3. Nine to Five - Pandora Boxx plays spunky Doralee Rhodes (Parton), Ivy Winters plays sweet-as-pie Judy Bernley (Jane Fonda) and Raven plays snarky Violet Newstead (Tomlin).
2. She-Devil - After an actress (Willam Belli) ruins her life, a jilted housewife (Mimi Imfurst) plans her destruction. With the help of a pint-sized friend (Kenya Michels) they get their revenge.
1. Troop Beverly Hills - All the Drag Race girls could star in a remake of this popular 90s. It'd be great, if only, to see them do a drag rendition of " It's Cookie Time." Clearly, Mama Ru would play Shelly Long's part.
Who would you love to see in a movie remake?
Hey Squirrel Friends, I know you've been waiting with baited breath to figure out just which alumni would constitute the all stars that will appear on RuPaul's All Star Drag Race. Well, wait no longer! Today Logo announced the twelve girls (or should we say "gurls") who are going to be on the show, and it is a mixed maniacal bag of former favorites and villains who never got a chance.
Thankfully there aren't any former winners among the bunch so no one will have the obvious advantage. The cast includes Chad Michaels, Yara Sofia, Pandora Boxx, Jujubee, Nina Flowers, Mimi Imfurst, Manila Luzon, Shannel, Alexis Mateo, Tammie Brown, Raven, and the chunky but funky Latrice Royale. Before you say, "Who?" just remember that everyone one of these queens is a huge star in the gay community (and in their own minds). It's funny that favorites like Chad Michaels and Jujubee, who both went far in the competition, are right up there next to Tammie Brown and Mimi Imfurst, both of whom were kicked out early on. Maybe it's a time for their second chance, or maybe it's time for one of our old favorites to win. I know that I'm still pulling for Latrice to take it all the way to the end.
In case your day needed to be a bit gayer, here is the Wonder Woman-inspired promo announcing the cast.
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[Photo Credit: Logo]
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'RuPaul's Drag Race' Finale
Harrison Lloyd (David Strathairn) is a world-renowned Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist who has it all: a devoted wife two beautiful children and an illustrious career. Although his wife Sarah (Andie MacDowell) is supportive of his career she wishes Harrison would spend more time at home being a husband and father rather than gallivanting around the world taking pictures. Before long Harrison is whisked off overseas to cover bloody ethnic conflicts in Yugoslavia and is presumed dead after the Yugoslav National Army flattens the town he is in. Sarah however is convinced Harrison is still alive because "something would have broken inside if he were dead." She barricades herself into a room with half a dozen televisions determined to uncover something about her husband's whereabouts. Miraculously she sees an image of Harrison in a crowd of civilians being hoarded to the small Croatian town of Vukovar and decides to go there herself and bring him back alive. Despite warnings that war-torn Yugoslavia is not the place for her she manages to dodge bullets and Soviet T-55 tanks while waving around a 5x7 color glossy of Harrison yelling "Have you seen this man?"
As Sarah Harrison's devoted wife Andie MacDowell (Four Weddings and a Funeral) is convincing but irritating. While we feel for her and desperately want her to find her husband alive there is nothing more annoying than watching her traipsing around yelling "Harrison? Harrison!" while the destruction of what was once the breadbasket of the region happens all around her. Adrien Brody (Summer of Sam) plays Kyle Harrison's archnemesis who ends up helping Sarah in her efforts to find Harrison. Brody is probably the most believable and well-developed character in the film despite hokey lines like "We better both pray that some day we find somebody that loves us the way she loves him." No one actually talks like that do they? In the role of Harrison's friend and colleague Yeager is Elias Koteas (The Thin Red Line). His character is supposed to be this famous photographer (we know this because he is credited for that famous photograph of the confrontation between a Chinese student and a T-59 tank during the 1989 Tiananmen Square demonstration) but he is completely despicable. He comes off as a pompous know-it-all rather than a good friend to the Lloyds.
Director Elie Chouraqui wants us to believe MacDowell's character is this brave devoted wife but I found it hard to sympathize with her predicament. Sure it's sad that Harrison is missing and all but forgive me if I found myself more troubled by the execution of thousands of innocent men women and children instead. And in Vukovar amidst the dead bodies of Serbs and Croats she still finds time to take pictures and send them back to the press in the United States. The pictures come out crisp and sharp despite the fact that she shoots most of them in the dark--without a flash. Come on! What takes the cake however is the blatant Schindler's List rip-off: We see a little girl in a yellow dress who stops and smiles for a picture only to end up dead later in the film with a photographer exclaiming "It's the girl in the yellow dress!" It is also hard to buy the film's plot when when all we really know about Harrison is that he likes flowers which are the only thing he photographs in color. Overall Sarah's plight to find her husband almost seems petty in lieu of what is going around her.