Oh, look, everyone, Real Hairpullers of Snatch Ratch Canyon got a new wig! Well, at least it got itself a brand new opening sequence and it looks like a million dollars of sparkles and paillettes and spray-on glitter and lots of flattering photos of the women shot from above like that second in the Jem and the Hologram theme song where we see Kimber from above and then she rises to spray the camera with a seltzer bottle. That's what last night was, it was Bravo spraying all of us with seltzer and then telling us to go sit on a rubber chicken. Last night's premiere was all glitz and no substance. It was just a whole lot of hair extensions wrapped around a black hole, because nothing really happened on the episode at all. Nope, nothing.
But I guess all of these things start off slowly. Well, not all of them. New Jersey usually starts out with pictures of police sirens whimpering in the wind and someone from the Teresa Giudice clan is arrested for something or somehow involved in some fit of temper that the whole season is going to build up to or be affected by. Oh, and not Beverly Hills (seriously, guys, I can not wait to be reunited with the love of my life Kim Richards tonight) which always starts with the ladies in their best gowns sitting shiva over some horrible tragedy. It's usually a death or a divorce, and sometimes it involves both.
Not Atlanta. No, you have to ease into the action of Atlanta. It's like taking a big old gulp of sweet tea while you sit on the veranda and wait for your brow to dry from just walking around your house. But none of their McMansions have verandas. They are just brick monstrosities that some developer's son made out of Legos and he decided to build them in real life with wall to wall carpeting and swimming pools in the basement. Oh, but we're getting ahead of ourselves. Yes, we're easing into it, we're easing into the season. We're getting to know our girls all over again. Let's go one at a time, shall we (and we are gonna end with new girl Kernya Mooo-ah because, oh girl).
NeNe Leakes: NeNe Leakes is rich, bitch, and we are finally starting to see that is the truth. She's so rich she either bought herself a new long, straight blonde wig like she had on Season 1 or she bought herself a do rag with a bunch of hair extensions glued into it. You know, like one of those rasta caps you buy at Spencer's Gifts that already has the dreadlocks installed. It's one of those. And Greg, her ex-husband, just loves her fake extension head. Greg wants NeNe back, because now she is famous and rich and maybe he wants a little piece. Maybe he just realized he can't live without her. Maybe he likes eyebrows that are drawn on with a thick pencil. Who knows? What I do know is that he said more words in his one scene last night than he did in every other season of the show combined.
It's going to be hard for NeNe to take Greg back though, because she is off in LA filming for her show The New Normal and having dinner with the show's diabolical creator Ryan Murphy. OK, I have a new theory about why NeNe got cast on his show. I think that Ryan Murphy wants to be a Real Housewife and this is as close as he could get. I got this transcript from a phone call he made to Andy Cohen."Andy, girl, it's Ryan. Did you find my Speedo in your Jacuzzi in the Hamptons? I don't know what I did with the thing. Anyway, sweetie, I want to be on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills."
"Oh my god, Ryan, that is an amazing idea. Now, I never tell famous people they are wrong, but, um, you're not really a wife, so I don't know if it's a good idea."
"Hello, how are you going to say I'm not a wife? I've got a husband, don't I."
"True, but you're not really, you know, a woman."
"But don't you want a gay on the show? You've always needed a gay Housewife. Andy, don't say no to me. You know I still have those pictures from when we were in Palm Springs at the White Party two years ago. I would hate to have them show up on the Internet somewhere."
"OK, OK, OK, Ryan, we can figure something out. Well, you can't be a Housewife, per se, but what if you were on one of the Housewives shows?"
"OK, that would work. It must be Bev Hills because, man, those bitches are the best."
"That's great! Why don't you give Kim Richards a guest role on Glee?"
"I can't do that."
"Why not? She's an actress."
"No, Andy, she really isn't."
"Well, what other Housewife do you love, that you want to put on a show?"
"I've always liked that NeNe Leakes, but I'm not moving to Atlanta. God, those McMansions make me want to choke on my own tongue."
"No, Ryan, I'm saying hire her on the show, bring her to LA, and then you can have dinner with her on camera, and you're on Housewives."
"Brilliant! I'm writing a part for her as we speak."
And that is how it happened. Now, there are two key pieces of information that we gleaned from dinner. One is that NeNe Leakes thinks that she is good friends with Tyler Perry which, well, of course she is. Every gay man loves NeNe Leakes, and apparently so does Tyler Perry. But they're not good enough friends that when Tyler Perry changes his phone number, he tells NeNe Leakes. Oh hell no. She gets that annoying anamatronic lady telling you that shit has been disconnected. I hate that bitch. But NeNe Leakes knows to laugh it off. That's how we know that NeNe of Keeping it Real With NeNe fame is still keeping it real. The other way we know she is keeping it real is that she will not eat the snails that Ryan Murphy (why am I using everyone's Christian and surnames?) orders at Bouchon Bistro. She was like, "I'm from the south. We eat chicken. This escar has got to to go!" OK, she didn't say that last part, I made it up. But she should have!
Kandi: Kandi with a K is starting to melt in her man's mouth, not in his hands. Yes, Kandi has a man. His name is Todd and he is hot. He's not like TV or Moviestar hot. He's not even Apollo ripped-and-tattooed-and-ready-for-a-hot-naked-guy-calendar hot. He's like the hottest guy at a party that real humans would go to. He's like real life hot. She met him on the show, which is sort of glossed over and not really explained but, man, how do you go from behind the camera on the show to in front of the camera on the show? Is he still working on the show? Does that mean that Kandi always gets a good edit? And why won't the show acknowledge it is a show? Come on, we all know it's a show, we're watching it!
Kandi also has a new house. Alright, how can we even differentiate any of the Real Househunters of Peachtree Lane's houses? Everyone one of their houses looks the same. It is a bunch of different colored bricks that is more beige than red and every single one of them looks like a page out of Bland Homes and Blah Blahs magazine. I mean, every house in Nantucket is kind of the same, but you can tell they're different, and at least they're similar in a classic, beautiful way. The Atlanta Housewives houses are all the same just as every woman in LA has the same face because they go to the same three plastic surgeons. Kandi has a new house which is actually two houses. There is a real house and a guest house, but the guest house is like across the driveway. That's not a guest house, that is like a tumor that your house can't get rid of. And it has an indoor pool in the bottom of the guest house. Oh, and the main house has a Jacuzzi room which already ! times infinity, but then it is right off the living room. Yes, that is just what I want to hear while I'm trying to watch all the episodes of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives in my DVR is the lovely sounds of sauna jets just a-burbling in the next room.
So, yes, Kim shows up and is picking on Kandi's house because, well, Kandi's house is ridiculous and deserves to be picked on. OH! And Kandi wants a baby boy and wants to name him Kash (of Kourse with a K) which is also how she paid for her house. I just snapped my fingers. Did you hear it?
Kim: Speaking of Kim, she is pregnant again and she has to move. Did you watch Don't Be Tardy for the Wedding? Oh please, I know you did. So you know that Kim has some complicated relationship with her landlord and she wants to kick Kim out of the house. Kim says she was renting to own, but this is not like some crappy sectional you got at the Rent-A-Center in the mall, this is a house that looks like a Happy Meal box made out of bricks (it even has the two arches on the roof), you don't lease a house then buy it? If you wanted to buy a house, then you just buy the damn house, and if you can't buy that house, then you find another one you can buy and buy that house. It doesn't have to be that hard, Kim.
Kim hired a "moving organizer," which is something only a Housewife would do. This is not a real job. This is a fake job like "psychic cheerleader" (and let me tell you, I could write 5,000 words right now on that piece of work from Housewives Miami and his A-E-AAAhh-Ahhh-O-OOoooohhhh) that is some made up bullshit that does not exist in the universe. Who has that? Anyway, the moving organizer says it's going to cost K&K Baby Factory $101K to move. And they don't even know where they want to move yet. But I gotta say, if Kim's storyline this year is about where she's going to live, then I am bored. Also, when she was at her house, she was clearly drinking from a Chik-Fil-A cup. Do I have to go out there and lose my gay mind on you Kim? We're boycotting! Don't you want Derek J to get married one day just so you can see the ridiculousness that is that Oompah-Loompah walking down the aisle of Candy Land? Then stop eating Chik-Fil-A. You guys don't have an Arby's? Seriously! But I know, waffle fries. But Still!
Oh, and I don't like her straight wig. Sorry Kim.
Phaedra: Phaedra wants to have dog funerals. Ugh, this is such a Housewives thing to do, like a toaster oven cook book. This is why they are always hiring people with ridiculous jobs, because they all have ridiculous jobs themselves. I usually love a Phaedra, but she needs to snatch it together and do something fun.
Cynthia: Her daughter doesn't want to be homeschooled anymore and I gotta say, Amen Praise Jesus. Can you imagine what life would be like if we start letting Real Housewives raise the next generation of Americans? We might as well just sink ourselves into the Atlantic now and just chill down there with the plankton, because that is where we are headed. And not just any Real Housewife, a RH who is a model, honey. OK? No, not OK.
Kernya Mooo-ah: Girl, this Kernya Mooo-ah is nuts. She is the kind of nuts that you see coming from like seven miles away. She gives one glinty Pearl Drops smile at you and you know you might has well be looking at a giant peanut with a cane, a monocle, and a top hat. We are introduced to her by Lawrence, She by Sheree's hairdresser and friend. Thank god he's still kicking around, because who doesn't love Miss Lawrence?
Anyway, Kernya was Miss USA, which means that, like NeNe Leakes, she is tangentially involved in the Trump Organization, which is reason enough to despise her. She was the second black Miss USA which is sort of like, well, coming in second place in a beauty contest in Monopoly. She thinks that she is a movie producers because she made a movie called The Confidant, which she also starred in along with Billy Zane and Bai Ling. This isn't even D-List. This is so far off the list, that it's not even in a notebook. It's like the scraps of dried up Kleenex and loose Lifesavers rattling around in the bottom of your purse next to the list. That's what this movie is. Not even Direct to DVD, it's like Direct to VHS Copies That A Man Is Selling On a Blanket on 52nd Street and Ninth Avenue. That's what this movie is. I mean, even the trailer is awful. Poor Billy Zane.
Kernya got a man, and his name is Walt and he owns a towing company, based on the shirt he was wearing the one time we saw him. Either that or he just wears random towing company logo shirts on TV for no good reason. Whatever. I say good for you, Kernya. Get that man with the towing company. It may not be glamorous, but as long as there are flat tires and people who don't pay there bills, there will be tow trucks.
The first reason I do not like Kernya is because she is affected. She tells Lawrence, "Oh, I love caviar, it's so good." No you don't, Kernya. You have never even had good caviar, I can just tell. You just say you like it because you know rich people are supposed to like it. And Lawrence, like NeNe Leaks says, "Oh, we don't eat that stuff. We eat chicken." That is how you keep it real. Kernya is about as real as her hair color and tinted contacts. I bet those tits are real though, and that ass and, I gotta say, damn Kernya. Kernya is the type of girl who has a security guard even though she doesn't need security because no one knows who she is. See, she is affected. Well, she does need security. She needs it to keep away all the people who want to beat her ass for being a raging bitch for no reason.
Now, in my line of work, I have come across many celebrities at different parts of their careers. Know who the nicest ones are? The ones who are really big, fat, gigantic stars. Know who the meanest are? The Kernya Mooo-ahs of the world. The people who need to prove how big they are by making everyone else feel small. This is just what she does at the Cynthia Bailey School for Beauty, Modeling, and Dental Hygiene. They are casting for the JET beauty of the week and, yes some of the girls who come through are a little busted, but Kernya is mean right to their faces. Cynthia, the marm of the Cynthia Bailey School for Blobbity Blah Blah Pretty Girls Blah, wants to be nice to all of the girls. Somewhere in there is a happy medium (and I don't mean that psychic from Long Island). There are no participation awards in modeling. It is a profession of rejection and you need to tell some of these girls they don't have what it takes. That doesn't mean saying "coochie crack" about 17 times in a row because one girl had on a really small bikini. (Also, I don't know what a "coochie crack" is – well, I know what it is, but I have never seen one – but it is really fun to say. It just fills up your mouth that that broad ooooh sound and then closes it down with the harsh K at the end. It's like snapping a towel on a hot jock's behind.)
When Cynthia finally says something about how Kernya needs to get herself together and stop acting like a total bitch in her agency, then she gets up and gives a big speech about how every girl is beautiful, even though she doesn't mean it. She's trying to take the Cynthia Bailey out of the Cynthia Bailey School for Kissy Faces and Bagel Preparation. She shouldn't be talking at all, Cynthia Bailey should be. So Cynthia gets up and says a speech and then Kernya is all critical of her speech because she said the same thing Kernya did, when Kernya had no place to speak in the first place. Oh, she is a crazy bitch. This is gonna be fun, everyone.
Kernya got out and went into her car and pulled down the visor to look at herself in the mirror. Her lip gloss was perfect, her makeup was flawless, not a hair was out of place. She felt the need to move something, so she squinted her eyes a little bit and them opened them up wider into her best "smize." "Good work today," Kernya thought to herself. "You really did it in there, girl. You showed them who was boss." She thinks, objectively, that everyone who was around her thinks so too. It is a fact that she has good taste and she is never wrong. That is a fact and you can take it to the bank and you can sell it for real estate. She doesn't know if those are real idioms but they should be. She started her car and thought about pulling away, but she was just going to idle there a little bit longer. She was just going to pause and watch everyone file out of the Cynthia Bailey School for Moving Organizers and Pet Funerals and see them all talking about her. She wanted to hear their praises. She wanted to be like Sally Field in that scene in Soapdish where she can't even get down the escalator at the mall because her fans were buffeting her with praise. She watched Cynthia Bailey walk out with her two assistants and say to them, "God, she's such a bitch," and she stopped there out in front of the school with her folder pressed up against her chest and they all did their best Kernya Mooo-ah impersonation, laughing and cackling at how awful she was.
Kernya was hurt. She burned on the inside with the fire of a thousand suns. Maybe she was bad. Maybe she was too mean. Maybe she should find a different line of work or be a better person or donate some money to a charity. She felt a pang of something in the pit of her stomach. Something she couldn't really describe, but something she feels pretty often. She felt it tickle her with its dread, like an inky black squid was trying to crush her mind from the inside. But then she banished it, she smiled at herself and she banished it. There would be no black thoughts today. After all, what do they know? Her lip gloss is perfect.
Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan
[Photo Credit: Bravo]
Sheree Whitfield's Leaving 'Real Housewives of Atlanta, Let's Look at Her Best Fights
Which 'Real Housewives' Star Just Nabbed a Spot on Ryan Murphy's 'New Normal'?
Real Housewives Need to Shut Up About Twitter
Widening the thematic scope without sacrificing too much of the claustrophobia that made the original 1979 Alien universally spooky Prometheus takes the trophy for this summer's most adult-oriented blockbuster entertainment. The movie will leave your mouth agape for its entire runtime first with its majestic exploration of an alien planet and conjectures on the origins of the human race second with its gross-out body horror that leaves no spilled gut to the imagination. Thin characters feel more like pawns in Scott's sci-fi prequel but stunning visuals shocking turns and grand questions more than make up for the shallow ensemble. "Epic" comes in many forms. Prometheus sports all of them.
Based on their discovery of a series of cave drawings all sharing a similar painted design Elizabeth (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie (Logan Marshall-Green) are recruited by Weyland to head a mission to another planet one they believe holds the answers to the creation of life on Earth. Along for the journey are Vickers (Charlize Theron) the ruthless Weyland proxy Janek (Idris Elba) a blue collar captain a slew of faceless scientists and David (Michael Fassbender) HAL 9000-esque resident android who awakens the crew of spaceship Prometheus when they arrive to their destination. Immediately upon descent there's a discovery: a giant mound that's anything but natural. The crew immediately prepares to scope out the scene zipping up high-tech spacesuits jumping in futuristic humvees and heading out to the site. What they discover are the awe-inspiring creations of another race. What they bring back to the ship is what they realize may kill their own.
The first half of Prometheus could be easily mistaken for Steven Spielberg's Alien a sense of wonder glowing from every frame not too unlike Close Encounters. Scott takes full advantage of his fictional settings and imbues them with a reality that makes them even more tantalizing. He shoots the vistas of space and the alien planet like National Geographic porn and savors the interior moments on board the Prometheus full of hologram maps sleeping pods and do-it-yourself surgery modules with the same attention. Prometheus is beautiful shot in immersive 3D that never dampers Dariusz Wolski's sharp photography. Scott's direction seems less interested in the run-or-die scenario set up in the latter half of the film but the film maintains tension and mood from beginning to end. It all just gets a bit…bloodier.
Jon Spaihts' and Damon Lindelof's script doesn't do the performers any favors shuffling them to and fro between the ship and the alien construction without much room for development. Reveals are shoehorned in without much setup (one involving Theron's Vickers that's shockingly mishandled) but for the most part the ensemble is ready to chomp into the script's bigger picture conceits. Rapace is a physical performer capable of pulling off a grisly scene involving an alien some sharp objects and a painful procedure (sure to be the scene of the blockbuster season. Among the rest of the crew Fassbender's David stands out as the film's revelatory performance delivering a digestible ambiguity to his mechanical man that playfully toys with expectations from his first entrance. The creature effects in Prometheus will wow you but even Fassbender's smallest gesture can send the mind spinning. The power of his smile packs more of a punch than any facehugger.
Much like Lindelof's Lost Prometheus aims to explore the idea of asking questions and seeking answers and on Scott's scale it's a tremendous unexpected ride. A few ideas introduced to spur action fall to the way side in the logic department but with a clear mission and end point Prometheus works as a sweeping sci-fi that doesn't require choppy editing or endless explosions to keep us on the edge of our seats. Prometheus isn't too far off from the Alien xenomorphs: born from existing DNA of another creature the movie breaks out as its own beast. And it's wilder than ever.
The God of Legion secular Hollywood’s latest Biblically-inspired action flick is old-school an angry spiteful Almighty with a penchant for Old Testament theatrics. Fed up with humanity’s decadent warmongering ways He’s decided to pull the plug on the whole crazy experiment and start over from scratch.
Fortunately for us the God of Legion is also a rather lazy fellow. Instead of doing the apocalyptic work himself and wiping us out with a giant flood which worked perfectly well last time He opts to delegate the task to His army of angels — a questionable strategy that starts to fall apart when the archangel charged with leading the planned extermination Michael (Paul Bettany) refuses to comply.
Michael who unlike his boss still harbors affection for our sorry species abandons his post and descends to earth where inside the swollen belly of Charlie (Adrianne Palicki) an unwed mother-to-be working as a waitress in an out-of-the-way diner sits humanity’s lone hope for survival. Why is this particular baby so important? Is it the one destined to lead us to victory over Skynet? Heaven knows — Legion reveals little details its script devoid of actual scripture. What is clear is that God’s celestial hitmen want the kid whacked before it’s born.
But Michael won’t let humanity fall without a fight. Armed with a Waco-sized arsenal of assault weapons he hunkers down with the diner’s patrons a largely superfluous collection of thinly-sketched caricatures from various demographic groups led by Dennis Quaid as the diner’s grizzled owner Tyrese Gibson as a hip-hop hustler and Lucas Black as a simple-minded country boy.
Together they mount a heroic final stand against hordes of angels who’ve taken possession of “weak-willed” humans turning kindly old grandmas and mild-mannered ice cream vendors into snarling ravenous foul-mouthed beasts. They descend upon the ramshackle diner in a series of full-frontal assaults commanded by the archangel Gabriel (Kevin Durand) the George Pickett of End of Days generals.
Beneath its superficial religious facade Legion is really just a run-of-the-mill zombie flick a Biblical I Am Legend. Bettany an actor accustomed to smaller dramatic roles in films like A Beautiful Mind and The Da Vinci Code looks perfectly at ease in his first major action role wielding machine guns and bowie knives with equal aplomb. Conversely first-time director Scott Stewart a former visual effects artist does little to prove himself worthy of such a promotion serving up some impressive CGI work but not much else worthy of note.