S2:E11 It’s got to make other sitcoms feel sort of inadequate when Community can do an animated Christmas special and not only make us laugh uncontrollably, but also teach us something about the real “true meaning of Christmas.” I don’t see Charlie Harper pulling that off anytime soon.
Last night’s stop-motion animated Christmas episode has been popping up in the press since September and fans have been waiting all season to see what all the fuss was about. With all that hype, we could have had a mildly entertaining, cute little special that merited a sweet little smile, a sigh, and nothing more. Instead we got an episode that not only combined the ridiculous style of humor that characterizes most episodes of Community (see: Cartoon Toys with Christmas guns, Teddy Bear Chevy Chase), but also hearkens back to the old stop-motion Christmas movies we all know and love. By the time we reach Abed’s holiday conclusion, we’ve got enough warm and fuzzy to keep us going through New Year’s. Community has truly accomplished something wonderful: a stop-motion Christmas story for adults. Once again, my hat is off to you, Dan Harmon. (If you keep this awesome streak up, I’m never going to get to wear my hat.)
We’ve seen the photos that NBC has been releasing for weeks, showing Teddy Pierce, Troy Soldier, BallerAnnie, Baby Doll Shirley, Britta Bot, Jeff in the Box and Professor Duncan, the Christmas Wizard frolicking around in a snowy winter wonderland. How did our community college crew find themselves there? Well, Abed’s got the answer. Due to a repressed Christmas wish and a clear lack of holiday spirit from the gang and especially the Dean (“You may celebrate in designated holiday areas?” really?), Abed starts to see the world in stop-motion animation a la Burl Ives’ Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.
To make use of his stop-motion vision, Abed dives into a song, adding Christmas lyrics to the Community theme song while dancing on cars in the parking lot until he gets tazed (see, Christmas movies for adults) by campus police. Ahh Christmas. Of course this doesn’t fly with the college, so Professor Duncan takes it upon himself to cure Abed to keep him from being kicked out of school (and to publish a lengthy research report). Abed doesn’t think it’s a delusion, and sees it as a call to find the true meaning of Christmas (he also takes a moment to clarify that they aren’t in fact, clay puppets, they’re silicone with foam bodies – good to know). This puts the whole gang in an imaginative exercise that takes them through Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas land on Planet Abed (its atmosphere is 70 percent cinnamon and it’s the most Christmasy place ever) – hence the title.
Though Duncan tries desperately to control Abed’s journey, Abed has an incredible knowledge of his imaginary Christmas land and with a song, he takes his misfit cohorts along with him on his quest for holiday truth. The gang is actually sitting in the study room as Abed’s imagination runs amuck, so Duncan comes in and out of the imagined land to check on Abed’s progress, but because it’s all Abed’s imagination Duncan’s constantly foiled by the endless supply of twists and turns Abed dreams up. Don’t worry Christmas Wizard, he’s got this.
The gang trots along the gum drop path and Abed warns them that the journey will be dark and dangerous, “like Wonka dark.” They head towards the Cave of Frozen memories, Shirley is upset that she’s a baby in Abed’s imagination. This brings up a squabble between the ladies about why they’ve each been given different Christmasland personas, and Shirley breaks the spell by calling out the session as therapy. Abed is scandalized and Duncan removes Shirley from the study room (or sends her away with his freeze wand and his Christmas Pteradactyl) because her dissent isn’t helping Abed. In a Wonka-esque twist, Abed sings Shirley off like he’s an oopma loopma and she just fell into the chocolate river.
Then, one of my favorite Abed inventions of the episode descends upon the group; humbugs. Oh yes, it's a scroogism brought to life; what a Christmas miracle. Humbugs are attracted to sarcasm (ha!) so of course, Jeff can’t manage to shut up (because he knows he’ll have to leave and he can go get laid instead, bastard) and he’s devoured by the cranky bugs. Annie takes on the singing duties, using a play on words with “presents” and “presence” and desperately seeking approval for her clever lyrical invention. See guys? I can do it too!
As the gang continues along the path, they reach a canyon where the plants produce Christmas songs instead of oxygen (can I live in Abed’s Christmas world?) but don’t worry, it won’t cost anything because they only sing public domain Christmas songs. Britta reveals herself as a total scrooge – but are you really surprised? – and reminds us all that there are just about a million conspiracies behind the Christmas story. The episode uses her as the personification of all that humbug mentality that seems to be going around everywhere – Christmas is just a commercial holiday, or Christmas is a religious hoax, blah blah blah. When they reach the Cave of Frozen memories, Abed finally (with sadness) expels her from his winter wonderland not because her overwhelming logic can’t grasp the holiday spirit, but because she tricked him into group therapy. Abed’s send off song is surprisingly touching and Britta Bot’s teary eyes are almost more than I can handle. Abed, Troy, Annie and Pierce all escape to a Christmas train where Abed admits that he has a yearly tradition with his mom – they watch Rudolph every year on December 9. Troy notes that it is December 9, but Abed won’t acknowledge it. Duncan reappears and tells Abed he found his mother’s note – she’s not coming this year. Troy and Annie realize how deeply Abed is hurt and agree to hold back Duncan so Abed can finish his holiday quest for meaning.
As Annie detaches the rest of the train, Pierce bursts out of the bathroom; he's stuck in the first train car with Abed. He’s surprisingly disarming as a little elderly bear whose feet squeak every time he steps (this serves to provide way more giggles than I should admit being a grown woman) and he admits that Christmas is sad when he’s home alone (his mother died earlier this year); for the first time all season, Pierce is actually lovable and I actually felt for the poor old guy. He helps Abed find Santa’s workshop where Abed bursts through the door like he’s going to bust some skulls, Pierce points to a random location and that’s where the present wrapped as the meaning of Christmas sits. Abed unwraps the box within a box within a box only to find that the meaning of Christmas is season 1 of LOST? He explains it’s a metaphor – “lack of payoff.” Burn. Too soon?
Duncan reappears, this time brandishing the actual apology Christmas card from Abed’s mother. He reads the message and Abed freezes in sadness. Of course, in true Community fashion, the whole gang reappears, ready to give Duncan the boot and help keep Abed’s Christmas spirit alive. Of course, being that this is Community and not an actual Christmas cartoon, they’re all brandishing “Christmas weapons” in a jollier version of last year’s modern warfare. They deliver a short and sweet message about not making Christmas about being logical, or right, or even (necessarily) religious; it’s about making one of the most dreadful times of the year one of the best times of the year and as long as they all support that delusion, they can enjoy the wonderful effects of Christmas. Aww. As they blow Duncan and his anti-Christmas mission away with their sparkly joy-filled guns, they sing a little sweet Christmas song; BallerAnnie even pirouettes her way into kicking Duncan in the face while singing about love. Kickass Christmas all the way.
This warms Abed’s heart and melts his little ice bubble. They all regain consciousness in the study room, but they’re still stop motion – ‘tis the season still! Abed thanks his Lost DVD and says he realizes that the study group is his new family. They all snuggle and watch Abed’s favorite Christmas movie together, and if you watch carefully as the end of the movie fades to black, you can see the reflection of the casts live-action selves in the television. Yes, this episode wasn’t an epic battle over chicken fingers and it took a little getting used to missing out on a bit of the physical comedy element of the show (although the animators’ ability to capture the cast’s expressions is sort of uncanny), you’d have to be a special kind of Grinch not to appreciate this wonderful little slice of Christmas comedy heaven.
Nicholas Brooks, 24, has been questioned by cops after the body of Sylvie Cachay was found submerged in a bathtub at the star-studded Soho House building in Manhattan early on Thursday (09Dec10) morning. He was reportedly seen leaving the hotel in the early hours and returned to find emergency services attending the scene. Bottles of prescription drugs were allegedly found in the room.
Brooks has not been charged with any crime and is said to be helping police with their inquiries, according to the Associated Press.
His father, the acclaimed screenwriter/composer, is currently facing trial over allegations he molested a number of aspiring actresses who visited his apartment to audition for screen roles.
He has pleaded not guilty to sexual assault charges.
"We all dressed up as our celeb obsessions for halloween, it was hilarious! i have never worn so much padding in my life i dressed as coco T, Ice T's amazing wife. It was so much fun i hope i did her sexy bum justice!" KELLY OSBOURNE dresses up for the Halloween edition of U.S. TV show Fashion Police.
Stars from across the globe flew in to the British capital to watch the world's top models strut down the runway during the event, which ran from 17-21 September (10).
But the style celebration has been rocked after one of the models, who remains nameless, alleged she was sexually assaulted at a hotel after a day on the catwalk, according to the New York Post.
New York-based hairdresser Shawn Mount, 30, who is married to Chanel model Heidi Mount, was arrested on suspicion of rape.
He was bailed to return to a London police station in November (10). No charges have been filed.
A spokesperson from London's Scotland Yard police department says, "We received a complaint of a serious sexual assault at 1.30am on September 20 at a central London hotel. The 24-year-old victim was referred to the Haven Centre (a victim support centre). A 30-year-old man was arrested on September 21 on suspicion of rape and bailed to return to a London police station in November. He has not been charged and we are still investigating."
The unstoppable force that is Lady Gaga claimed her final moon man at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards draped head-to-toe in something resembling giant meat strips, and she topped the whole ensemble off with what I can only explain as an uncooked porterhouse pinned to her silvery blue coif. Cute, right? Yeah, not so much.
But the fashion police weren’t the only ones hot on Gaga’s trail after she debuted the look. She was already in trouble with PETA over her infamous meat-bikini-clad cover of Japanese Vogue, and this time, it was someone else’s turn to call her out. Ellen Degeneres, a vegan and avid animal rights supporter, questioned Gaga’s wardrobe choice in an interview on her show's Sept. 13 season premiere.
Gaga said she didn’t mean to disrespect vegetarians and vegans – and I believe her. Come on, she doesn’t have time to consider who she may be offending, she’s Lady Gaga. And honestly, only someone who’s got her head that high up in the clouds could pull off wearing a giant silver lobster on her forehead in public.
It’s the second part of her explanation that has me rolling my eyes. She told Degeneres that the outfit signified her belief that “…if we don't stand up for what we believe in and if we don't fight for our rights ... pretty soon we're going to have as much rights as the meat on own bones. And, I am not a piece of meat.” Not a piece of meat? Yeah, right. Remember this, Miss Germanotta?
Let’s be real here for a second. I still have a hand-shaped red mark on my forehead from the smack I gave myself upon seeing Gaga’s hot-plate couture. If you ask me, that’s the real reason she wore it. I don’t buy her last-minute, uninspired (and fairly nonsensical) explanation. Simply put, that dress is just a Prime cut of shock and awe.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
Executives at Siriano's fashion label began receiving enquiries from modelling hopefuls last February (10) after fake ads posted to online listings service Craigslist.org hit the web, according to his rep Bianca Bianconi.
Craigslist bosses removed the ads from several U.S. city websites following Siriano's complaints, but a new posting appeared again last month (Jul10), which asked models for a $150 (£100) application fee to work for the designer.
Fashionista.com reports Siriano's company has alerted Craigslist bosses to the con once again, and now New York City police are investigating the matter.
Meanwhile, the designer has logged onto his Facebook and Twitter.com pages to warn potential victims of the scam.
He writes: "fyi (for your information) girls i have never and do not ever look for models on craigslist or online. these photo shoots i'm hearing about are scams! be careful!"
Romero, who had a small role in 2009 horror film Drag Me to Hell, was arrested in April (10) and accused of organising a sham marriage to American Kent Ross in order to become a U.S. citizen.
CNN recently ran a story on the case, portraying Klinko - a former lover of Romero's - as a "jilted boyfriend" who exposed the alleged scheme to federal agents.
But the fashion photographer has been left fuming by the report - because he was wrongly identified as the "snitch".
Klinko is demanding a retraction from CNN producers and is contemplating pursuing the matter in court.
He tells TMZ.com, "CNN published an article a little while ago that contains a lot of false statements, things that never happened, and we've been trying for days now for them (sic) to issue a retraction and unfortunately they are not forthcoming."
Klinko is no stranger to controversy - he and his business partner Indrani were recently embroiled in a dispute with Lindsay Lohan after she accused them of setting her up and giving her an incorrect call time for a photoshoot, which was being filmed for the couple's U.S. reality TV show Double Exposure.
Lohan maintains they created a drama for the show - an allegation Klinko has denied.
Meanwhile, Romero has denied the charge of marriage fraud. If found guilty, she faces five years behind bars.
New York City-based Nyemah Johnson, who models under the name Nyemah Marxx, was detained by police last week (ends27Jun10) amid accusations he attempted to cheat the U.S. government out of $200,000 (£133,333) in tax refunds.
Johnson was one of five people arrested as part of an alleged $1.1 million (£733,333) tax con, allegedly led by his accountant Diana Rabin, 28, from Queens, who is accused of exaggerating her clients' incomes and filing for refund cheques, according to the New York Daily News.
The socialite and fashion designer was taken into custody by California police in December, 2006 and charged with driving under the influence (DUI).
She was sentenced to four days behind bars in 2007 after confessing to using marijuana and powerful painkiller Vicodin, but served just 82 minutes of her jail term. She was also ordered to attend 38 alcohol education classes as part of her probation.
However, Richie has been unable to complete the requirement in the three years since she was sentenced after starting a family with rocker Joel Madden - the star was granted leave from the course when she gave birth to daughter Harlow in January, 2008, and son Sparrow in September, 2009.
Her probation was due to end in July (10) but her lawyer, Shawn Chapman Holley, headed to a Los Angeles court on Tuesday (22Jun10) to explain the delay in completing the classes and request extra time.
The judge approved Holley's request and Richie has now been given until March, 2011 to complete the classes, although her probation could be terminated early if she finishes them before the deadline, reports TMZ.com.
And Richie will have another reason to be happy with the news of the extension - a report about her class attendance states, "Her attitude is excellent."
Holley has got her hands full with stars right now - she's also representing Lindsay Lohan.
The 22-year-old Frenchman, who has fronted dozens of campaigns for fashion's biggest names and was the face of Burberry, is believed to have jumped from his apartment building in the Italian city on Friday - a day before the start of Milan Fashion Week.
He had returned to his home following a fitting for the Versace menswear runway show before his death, and the label's boss Donatella Versace has expressed her shock over Nicon's passing.
She tells Britain's Daily Mail, "He was with us on Friday morning for a final fitting. He seemed fine and calm. He had already done three or four shows with us and he was a sweet boy. We just can't understand why he did what he did. We would never have thought he would do something like this. When we heard the news, we were all so upset and we still are all so very sad.''
According to the publication, police officers in Milan are treating the death as a suicide and investigating claims he was depressed after splitting from his girlfriend.