If you got pregnant this year, 1.) Congratulations and 2.) you must be a celebrity, otherwise you were pregnancy buddies with a celebrity (which is just as cool). Because pretty much all celebrities who are capable of bearing children this year got pregnant. Seriously. All of them. Kim Kardashian, Halle Berry, Kate Middleton, Kate Winslet -- all of these ladies were pregnant this year and had healthy, beautiful babies. And we've got a slew of other celebrities who are about to become first-time moms or moms all over again. Olivia Wilde, Emily Blunt, Drew Barrymore, Kendra Wilkinson, Kelly Clarkson, Evelyn Lozada, Kristin Cavallari, Megan Fox, Ginnifer Goodwin -- they're all totally pregs and we can't wait to see these new celebrity babies. But of all of these (and other) pregnancies, we do have a few favorites. Here are the three celebrity pregnancies we are freaking out about the most.
Jenni 'JWOWW' Farley
Yes, folks. JWOWW from Jersey Shore is pregnant and the only reason it's not completely, entirely, mind-blowingly shocking is because Snooki already beat her to it last year, and Pauly D had a baby this year. You know you're old when all the former Jersey Shore cast members are settling down and starting families. But the truth is, Jenni's come a long way since her drunken nights on the Shore, and we can't help but be excited for her and her fiancé Roger Mathews. They announced the happy news on Christmas day with a sonogram photo on Jenni's blog, and we can expect to see that baby bump pretty soon.
The rockin' hot mother of two looks amazing just a few months into her recent pregnancy, but that's nothing to be surprised about... considering the fact that her abs haven't changed at all since 1995. The singer has remained mum about the new baby (although she did pose in that adorable bump photo with Rachel Zoe), so we have yet to find out if she's carrying a boy or a girl. Either way, it'll be awesome but it's hard not to hope for a teeny, tiny Gwen look-alike. We can just see the Hello Kitty onesies now...
A secret marriage, a secret pregnancy; how can we not be insanely excited about Kerry Washington's baby? Like Gwen, she has yet to confirm the news but we all saw that Saturday Night Live episode she hosted and we can expect her maternity wear during awards season to be ah-mazing. Then throw in the fact that she's an intelligent, creative, gorgeous woman? We cannot wait to see Washington enter motherhood, even if it does affect future seasons of Scandal.
Hollywood D-listers: is there anything they can't do? They dance, they skate — sometimes they even cook. But now they are taking the next step, literally, onto a diving board. Tonight is the two-hour premiere of the special Stars in Danger: The High Dive on Fox (of course), in which celebrities learn complicated, Olympic-style dives with the help of Olympic medalist Troy Dumais — and then must perform them in a competition, in which the best divers move on to the next round. (You pretty much know how this reality thing works by now.)
Of course, Stars in Danger: The High Dive, which is ushering in a new wave (get it?!) of reality TV, is not to be mistaken with ABC's upcoming series Celebrity Divers in which celebrities learn complicated, Olympic-style dives and then must perform them in a competition, in which the best divers move on. Okay, so they are the same thing. But, hey, this one got here first and has a far more hilarious name.
Before these celebrities walk the plank — er, get up on the high dive to belly flop their way into our homes, hearts, and ultimately oblivion, we wanted to give you the full rundown before you tune in tonight.
"Stars" You'll Recognize: Jenni 'J-WOWW' Farley of Jersey Shore is arguably the most currently famous one of the bunch, if that doesn't tell you everything right there. There's also Antonio Sabato Jr., Terrell Owens, Bethany Hamilton, Alexandra Paul, "Twitch" from So You Think You Can Dance, and Real Housewives stars Kim Richards and Kyle Richards.
You'll Like It If: Skating with the Stars was a little too highbrow for your taste.
Top 5 Reasons You Might Want to Watch: The very good possibility that one of the competing stars will endure a painful cannonball or belly flop; Antonio Sabato Jr. in a Speedo; you get a kick out of schadenfreude (after all, this special is borrowed from a German reality TV format); you think the People's Choice Awards airing over on CBS are rigged anyway; you're actually a diver/fan of diving and are legitimately intrigued to see how these celebs fair in the sport.
5 Reasons You Might NOT Want to Watch: Prosperity, love, your children, your children's children, hope for any remaining shred of dignity for yourself and the rest of the country.
Love it, or Leave it? Love it if you will take any sort of reality television fix you can get or need something to tide you over until Celebrity Diving, leave it if you find reality television competitions more grating than swimmer's ear.
[Photo credit: Jordin Althaus/FOX]
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S9E2: Last week was Ashton Kutcher's first attempt at taking over the sacred role of Two and a Half Men's goofy lead, formally filled by the sitcom all-star Charlie Sheen. There were obvious worries—for all his craziness, Sheen had the spark to make Men's conventional sitcom antics into TV gold. Replicating what worked about the show with new blood seems like a near-impossible task.
So did Ashton hold a candle to the Sheen magic? Results were mixed. Audiences turned in: The premiere attracted 27 million eyes, a record for the show. And Ashton had a solid night. The first episode "Nice to Meet You, Walden Schmidt," our first introduction to the actor's smug, Internet billionaire character, scored a decent three Charlie Sheen heads. Now it's round two, "People Who Love Peepholes," and once again I'll be crunching numbers to scientifically calculate if Ashton brings the funny. Here's the breakdown:
One Charlie Sheen Head (1 - 10 Points): Ashton, you were in this episode.
Two Charlie Sheen Heads (11 - 20 Points): Ashton, you landed a few jokes, but we can't stop thinking about good ol' Charlie.
Three Charlie Sheen Heads (21 - 30 Points): Ashton, you earned tonight's laugh track. Solid.
Four Charlie Sheen Heads (31 - 40 Points): Ashton, we're impressed. You've surpassed Sheen-level kookiness.
Five Charlie Sheen Heads (41 - 50 Points): Ashton, you're scaring us with classic levels of comedy. Charlie who?
That's that, now on with the second round of the Ashton Kutcher Two and a Half Men scorecard!
"People Who Love Peepholes"
1. "Hey, look, a peephole!"
Let's give Ashton a little credit for turning Walden in a multi-faceted character. He can play the straight man: the episode opens with Walden buying Charlie's house and hiring Berta as his live-in housekeeper. Here he goes through the motions while Berta riffs with sexual fantasies. Silly, disturbing, fun. But without much of a segue, Ashton reminds us that Walden's a ten-year-old in a thirtysomething's body. Smack dab in the middle of sending Alan off to his Mom's house, Ashton realizes his new door has a peephole, sending him in to Doug-from-Up mode. If Ashton's going to play the show's adorable puppy character, he might as well be curious. That way, it's reasonable for him to do anything at any moment.
2. "What's the kind of toilet paper we use? The one that's soft on my tushie like a cloud."
Last episode, Walden nearly committed suicide (nearly, as the water was too cold) over the crumbling of his marriage to one true love Bridget. Now that he's flying solo, he needs to...figure out how to do that. And who better to help than Bridget? We start to get a sense of how dependent Walden really is when he starts phoning his ex for lifestyle questions. Kutcher may be diving in to a bit of That '70s Show/Kelso territory when he reveals that Walden prefers baby shampoo, but that's the quality that made us his fans in the first place. It works for Walden.
3. Climbing the Electric Fence
A three-camera sitcom is kind of like a stageplay—it's designed for sharp writing, not so much for big action. So pulling off physical buffoonery can be difficult. Not everyone is Chris Farley.
Ashton and Jon Cryer try their hand at a little slapstick bit when a crazed Walden and a terrified Alan speed down the Los Angeles streets to Bridget's (and formerly Walden's) home. Walden seems assured that trespassing on his property won't be a big deal—until Bridget alerts the duo that she's armed and ready to "turn on the fence."
Ashton's electrocuted face is passable, but I wouldn't call it a comedic strength. Sheen makes that expression in his sleep! Seriously, he probably does.
4. "Can I at least play a little Donkey Kong with Alan before I go?"
When two men finally infiltrate Bridget's fortress (and their ears stop ringing), Walden pleas to his former flame to take him back. The reason she won't is apparent: Walden's mansion is basically a carbon copy of the Big Bang Theory set. Find if you're an established nerd living with nerd roommates...not so good if you're trying to prove to your wife that you're a grown up. As you may expect, Bridget kicks them out on their sorry butts. And without a round in arcade, which makes Walden particularly upset (Paraphrased temper tantrum: BALAHARHALBLAHRHARHl!). Normally this wouldn't score that high, but I can't deny the power of a good Donkey Kong joke.
5. "I'm going to say goodbye to my guest...because that's the grown up thing to do!"
The tail end of the episode gives hope for Walden and sheds light on where Ashton may be taking Two and a Half Men. Bridget returns to Walden's new pad to give him an opportunity to prove himself—and Walden happily takes it. He can be a man, dang it! A grown man! Lucky for Walden, Bridget didn't arrive earlier when he and Alan were sleeping naked on top of each other after a night of drinking and skinny dipping (how many consecutive eps can Ashton go naked in?).
Ashton's inherent inability to act like an adult gives makes Walden's honest moment both silly and surprisingly authentic. Yes, the man's is a dope, but he's got heart. Even amidst a cast of caricatures (and Jon Cryer is a zany one, taking on extra comedic duties after Sheen's departure), Ashton seems to be making something of his character. On a 9th season sitcom, that's a pleasant surprise.
Total Points: 31 - Four Charlie Sheen Heads!
Two and a Half Men isn't slowing down with its signature raunchy humor, but it all feels fresh with the inclusion of Ashton. He's carving out a role for himself instead of mimicking Sheen, which is important. I imagine the show will eventually fall into its own routine and Ashton may not have the energy of his predecessor to keep things moving. I am ready and willing to be proven wrong.
Also, this is another episode that throws Jake to the wayside with only one minute of air time. Does Ashton's contract stipulate that he may not appear in a scene with the .5 boy?
All the glamorous Catherine Zeta-Jones has to do is tap her heels three times and, just like that, she's returning to her humble homeland of Wales to do the independent film Coming Out. Under the direction of another Welshwoman, Sara Sugarman, Zeta-Jones will produce and star in the film about a Welsh rugby team whose coach unexpectedly dies. Their only hope is to rely on the deceased coach's gay son to "choreograph them to victory." But don't think Zeta-Jones is bowing out of the limelight forever. Oh, no, she wants that Oscar. So, Zeta-Jones also will star with her equally famous husband Michael Douglas in Smoke and Mirrors. The period drama follows the efforts of a French 19th century illusionist, along with his female sidekick, to expose a sorcerer who is inciting anti-colonial revolution. Production will start mid-fall.
Roberts' Atlantic crossing
Julia Roberts, following the leads of Renee Zellweger (Bridget Jones's Diary) and Gwyneth Paltrow (Sliding Doors), will most likely have to take some serious dialect lessons to perfect a British accent for a new untitled film (the one she had in Mary Reilly doesn't count). She will take on the real-life role of a Yorkshire woman whose murder led police on one of their biggest manhunts, followed by one of the most controversial miscarriages of justice in the United Kingdom. Roberts will play Wendy Sewell, whose gravitation towards elicit sex gained her the nickname "The Bakewell Tart," London's The Observer reports. Sewell was murdered in 1973. Maintaining his innocence, 17-year-old Tim Downing was convicted of killing Sewell. Local newspaper editor Don Hale spent six years trying to clear the young man's name. Interesting. Let's see what the Oscar-winning actress dishes up.
Hallstrom and DiCaprio play "Catch"
Speaking of more true stories, director Lasse Hallstrom (Chocolat) is in final negotiations to direct DreamWorks' Catch Me If You Can, with Leonardo DiCaprio, who certainly has taken the heat off himself in the last few years, attached to star. This is based on the life of Frank Abagnale Jr., the only teen to ever make the FBI's 10 most wanted list for impersonating several hundred different people and writing bad checks between 1964 and 1966. Abagnale Jr. passed himself off as a Pan Am copilot, a chief resident pediatrician and an assistant attorney general. He had written $6 million in bad checks in all 50 states and 26 foreign countries by the time he was caught. That's one busy bee. And with Hallstrom and DiCaprio together again, after their other quirky but compelling film What's Eating Gilbert Grape (DiCaprio was nominated for an Oscar), Catch might one to watch out for.
Allen looking at the stars … again
Hey, why mess with a good thing? Tim Allen is no dummy. After his success in 1999's comedy hit Galaxy Quest, Allen is in talks to star in Paramount Pictures' comedy StarChild, about another romp with aliens--Roswell aliens, to be exact. A socially challenged CIA agent is assigned the task of getting a young Roswell alien back home before interplanetary war erupts on Earth. Peter Segal (Nutty Professor II: The Klumps) will direct. Think about this one carefully, Tim.
"I know nuuuth-ting!"
But we do. Looks like the brainy fellows at Revolution Studios have decided to bring the wacky and popular '60s and '70s TV sitcom Hogan Heroes to the big screen. We'll get to see all the shenanigans of Hogan (maybe Tim Allen should think about this one instead) and his oddball band of World War II POWs, as they run an underground Allied base of operations at the camp while pulling a fast one on the incompetent Col. Klink and his sidekick, Sgt. Schultz (Chris Farley would have been great). And why not? The studios haven't completely tapped out the arsenal of old TV shows as possible movie material. Ironically, the original series' star, Bob Crane, is having his own life brought to the big screen by director Paul Schrader. The film, Auto-Focus, highlights the sordid details of Crane's life after Heroes that ultimately led to his brutal murder in 1978.
Court TV makes movies
Court TV, which owes its popularity to the sensational trials of O.J. Simpson and the Menendez brothers, has decided on its first original movie. It is a project on the aftermath of the 1963 bombing of a church in Birmingham, Alabama, during which four black girls were killed. The case made headlines recently when an Alabama jury convicted Thomas Blanton of the crime. Blanton is the second man brought to justice in this case after the 1977 conviction of Robert Chambliss. Tentatively titled A Bombing in Birmingham, production will start in the late summer for a 2002 airing. Not sure, though, if anyone can outdo Spike Lee's extraordinary Oscar-nominated documentary on the same subject, 4 Little Girls. That's a hard act to follow.
The power of three
Indie gal-pals Kyra Sedgwick, Parker Posey and Fairuza Balk will star in Enter Fleeing for writer/director Rebecca Miller. Based on Miller's collection of short stories, Personal Velocity, the film tells the tale of three women-Greta (Posey), Delia (Sedgwick) and Paula (Balk)-who each struggle to flee from the men who confine their personal freedom. Sounds like the ultimate chick flick--an empowering chick flick, the best kind. Shooting begins this week in New York.
Rap Queen large and in charge
Rap singer/actress/talk show host Queen Latifah is in negotiations to star and executive produce the comedy In the Houze for Disney and Hyde Park Entertainment. A man takes to the Internet to find a date but ends up embarking on an online relationship with a convict (Latifah) who makes up several stories about herself. When she's finally released, she seeks out the guy and wreaks havoc on his upper-middle-class life. This will mark the versatile Latifah's first starring role in a film, having played mostly supporting characters in films like The Bone Collector and Living Out Loud.