Author

Brian Moylan
After getting his master's degree in poetry, Senior Writer Brian Moylan started writing about television and pop culture for Gawker, The Guardian, The Washington Blade and a few other reputable publications. Brian has an honorary PhD in “Jersey Shore” studies from the University of Chicago. He's shared his often hilarious views about the tube on VH1, MSNBC, TV Guide Channel, MTV (Canada), BBC radio, and NPR. He can usually be found at his apartment in New York yelling at the TV and dodging calls from Real Housewives. He is a Taurus and likes long walks on the beach, fried chicken, and almost every reality television program ever created (especially “The Swan”).
  • 'Real Housewives of OC' Recap: There Is a Problem with Vicki's New Face
    By: Brian Moylan Apr 09, 2013
    The scene opens on a backyard in the hills of Orange County. It is a gorgeous mansion entirely made of stone which looks out on the ocean, rolling its waves in little whispers of white far below, deep down a cliff. The sun is setting at that exact angle when it is in everyone's eyes, and they all hold their hands over their faces to create a little patch of shade right where the eyes should be. Focus on Jim Edwards, who is walking across the lawn holding flowers in one hand and wine in the other. He walks up and greets his friend Heather Dubrow. "I brought wine for you, and flowers for Terry," he says. They both laugh, and he hands Terry the flowers. They get another round of laughs. "Thanks so much for coming," Heather says. "I'm going to go put these in something. Terry, will you go check on the food? Sorry, I'm dealing with my 'friends' and it's making me a little hectic. Sarah and Paul are over there though, if you want to talk to them." Jim walks across the lawn and joins Paul and Sarah. "Hey guys. What's going on?" "Hey!" they both shout, and there are hugs all around. "Can you believe this party?" Sarah asks. "I know," Jim says. "I'm going to need more drinks." "Paul?" Sarah says making a gesture with her empty glass toward the bar. He walks off. "What are we even doing here anyway? What is this party for?" Jim asks. "I don't know. She said it was an "end of summer party" or a clam bake or something. I think it's because she just started filming. All of the Housewives are here." "Oh, I noticed. I think it was something to do with the number of limos parked in front of the house and, you know, the camera crews. God, I don't want to be at a Housewives party. Why did she invite us, her real friends, to a Housewives party? Isn't that like me asking you to come sit in my office and watch me work?" "Yeah, I guess. But she needs us here. How lame would her party look if it was just these women sitting around screaming about who said what about someone else's boyfriend and then one of them storms off and another one follows? This little dinner party could go on for episodes. Actually, this is going to be fun to watch. I mean, look at that one over there." "Is that Vicki?" "I guess. It looks like someone put a bloated potato on a woman's body." "And what is wrong with her hair? It look like she combed it with a broken twig. Is she trying to cover up surgery scars or something?" "Probably, but that doesn't explain why it looks so awful." "What are you two talking about?" Paul asks as he walks back up to them and hands off the flutes of champagne. He turns to face the woman that they're all staring at. "You're making fun of Frankenface over there, aren't you? Guys, come on. Let's not be like this. I don't want to be those people, the people that come to this Housewives party and join in on the dog pile." "Oh, look at Tamra and Gretchen," Jim says. "They're talking shit about Vicki right after they walked away from her. Don't they realize she's right there?!" Sarah says, pointing frantically. "Don't you two realize they're all right there? You're just as bad as them. Stop. Seriously," Paul says. They all stand there silently for a second, looking at the grass which somehow is still a bit dewey, even at dusk. "Everyone, let's move to the table!" Heather shouts, and the two dozen people crowd around the table and Heather tells everyone where to sit. All of the Housewives are clustered around her, and Jim and Sarah are positioned right next to them. Paul is at the far end of the table. "Sarah, you know I love your husband, but thank God he's down there with the other no-name guests, because that was getting really hard." "What? Pretending we don't care about these bitches? I know. What are they talking about?" "I'm not sure, Heather is crunching on lobster legs and talking about the meat coming in her mouth. Did she really just say that? Does she know that she's on TV?" "I'm always amazed at how Heather is when we hang out and go to Pilates and who she is on this damn show. It's like she's an actress. Well, I know she was an actress, but it's like she's playing some role. Like have you seen her canned exasperation with Terry? That can't be real, can it?" "I hope not. They're always so happy. I mean look at this house, look at the kids, look at everything. What else do they need?" "To get off of this damn show." "Shhh. Gretchen just told Vicki that the two of them just changed roles, because everyone is talking about Vicki and Brooks like they used to talk about Gretchen and Slade." "She is so right. Gretchen can't be happy about this talk. Are they still in a fight?" "Yes. Oh, wait, now they're talking. Why are they speaking so quietly?" "It must be serious. Oh shit, where is Tamra going? Oh, and now Heather is following her. Should I love this? I thought I would love this, but I kind of hate it." "I sort of just want to eat some clams and talk about Mad Men." "Did you like the premiere?" "Eh, I thought it was a little bit heavy handed and none of the characters really made any forward.....OH! They're back." "Is there going to be drama? I hope there's a table flip or a wine throw or something really Housewives-y." "That would really ruin my dinner, but it would also be awesome. I don't think there will be. Heather is really good at diffusing these situations. She told me, 'No one has to be empirically right or wrong in these fights.' And that's so true. If these women could just forget about right and wrong and just find the goodness in each other, their lives would be so much better." "Oh, where is that Alexis woman? She is the worst." "The worst. You know she and Heather hate each other, so I'm not surprised that she's not here, but I'm also a little surprised since, clearly, the production is paying for this whole damn Song and Pony Dance." "Do you mean Song and Dance or Dog and Pony Show?" "I mean Song and Pony Dance. It's something I heard Gretchen say a minute ago." "That's amazing. We're using that. But, seriously, where is Alexis?" "I don't think she's coming, but I saw her on Fox 5 the other day." "Is still doing those awful segments?" "No, she says she quit that." "What?" "Yes, apparently her once a week five-minute segment on Fox 5 and her dress line that isn't even in stores is keeping her from her family or something, so she 'quit' so she could focus more on them." "So, what was she doing on Fox 5? "They were doing a story about her and her husband's new trampoline park in Anaheim. She was completely idiotic. She was trying to show exercise routines on the trampoline and kept deferring to her husband. I just wanted to reach through the screen and punch her in her weave." "Her new short haircut is kinda cute. And can I tell you something?" "What?" "I want to go to that trampoline park." "Me too! Don't tell Paul. Maybe I can convince one of the kids to ask to have their birthday party there so it won't look like my idea. Maybe I'll run into her there. " "Oh, but she's the worst." "The worst." Heather got up from the table, the over-sized Mad Hatter chair dwarfing her slight frame. "Everyone, let's go to the rec room for drinks and dessert." They all shuffle into the granite palace, and Paul catches up to Sarah and Jim. "I saw you two. The whole time during dinner. All you did was talk about the stupid Housewives." "What are we supposed to do?" Sarah asks. "Ignore them? They were making such a racket." "You two are horrible," Paul says as they descended the stairs into the rec room. "Wait, what did they do to the rec room? Where did they get all of those gold records and that guitar? Is that a beige pool table? Oh my god a popcorn machine? I remember when this was just a granite slab with a junky ping pong table and we made Heather and Terry play beer pong on it using wine in solo cups. Remember that, honey? Man, look at it now, this is...this is...awesome. Oh god, honey, we need to get you on this show. Can I get a room like this? Why don't you go over there and punch one of them in the FUPA? That will get you cast." "Oh, look at who wants to be a Housewife all of the sudden," Sarah says. "Guys, Tamra just dragged Vicki into the wine cellar and closed the door right in Heather's face!" Jim nearly shouts. "Which one is Vicki? Is she the one that looks like a freeze-dried elephant?" "Yes, shhh," Sarah says, swatting at her husband as she leans closer to the wine closet, so she can hear. "Come on, let's get close," Jim says, and they scurry over there, next to the door, trying not to look through the window and hunching down like that would make them invisible. "Oh, look at this wine!" Vicky says inside. "Remember when we went to that winery? Me and you and Donn and Simon? Back when we were still married? God, we were so happy then, and we were all friends. You could have come seen my grandson and not had to worry about upsetting me. We could talk on the phone for hours without it being weird. We didn't have to run off to the wine cellar to make up. Tamra! What happened to us!" "Are you crying?" Tamra asks. "I would be if my tear ducts still worked, but I had Botox shot into them when I had my face installed," Vicki says, poking at her under eyes with the ring finger on each hand. Suddenly Jim stands upright. "Quick," he says in a stage whisper. "They're coming." They mosey back to the rest of the civilians and Jim reaches for a brownie as he overhears Terry ask if they're from Costco, and Heather swats him in the arm and tells him to shut up through gritted teeth. Then, as if someone screamed, "Cut!" the Housewives are gone, and there are just these normals standing around in an elaborate rec room while the desserts melt under the lights. Jim and Paul and Sarah stand in a little clump, wondering what just happened and trying to find the words, trying to find something to reconnect to. "So," Paul eventually says to Jim. "How's work?" "Boring," Jim says. "Same old, same old." Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan More: 'Real Housewives of Orange County' Recap: Must Be the Season of the Bitch'Real Housewives of Atlanta' Reunion Recap: Why Kenya Moore Won This Season'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' Reunion Recap: Who Won This Season? From Our PartnersJessica Alba Bikinis in St. Barts (Celebuzz)Pics of The Rock Making Things Look Small (Vulture)
  • All the Homoerotic Photos from Wrestlemania 29
    By: Brian Moylan Apr 08, 2013
    There was plenty of news from Wrestlemania 29, which was held right outside of New York and broadcast all over the world for lovers of suplexes, sleeper holds, and muscular men in next to no clothing. The Rock lost to John Cena — which was the big story — but for those who aren't fan of this "sport," well, they'd much rather see pictures. And they'd much rather see pictures of these macho men in man-on-man action. Oh, we don't mean like that, but based on just how sexxxy some of these look, its no wonder you might think this show was a homosexual love fest instead of giant brawl.  8 Most Homoerotic Photos from Wrestlemania 29 If it hurts that much, you're doing it wrong. He likes to look into his lover's eyes.  Three isn't company, it's an orgy! Whispering sweet nothings.  Where is that tongue going? Who hasn't woken up with a man passed out next to them wondering, "Man, what have I done?" Nope. Nothing gay here.  "Know what goes great with these muscles? This belt!" Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan [Photo Credit: Mel Evans/AP Photo; WWE.com] From Our Partners:Eva Longoria Bikinis on Spring Break (Celebuzz)33 Child Stars: Where Are They Now? (Celebuzz)
  • 'Real Housewives of Atlanta' Reunion Recap: Why Kenya Moore Won This Season
    By: Brian Moylan Apr 08, 2013
    Oh, reunion season. No one does reunion like the ladies of Atlanta. Whether they all sign a pact and make it the most boring special ever or shout a scorching streak that will make Sherman's march to the sea look like a brush fire, they always bring it. (Not quite like New Jersey, but they bring it.) Last night was no exception with Kenya Moore thwapping her fan like it was a dragon wing and she was the one Khaleesi would could control it. I'm going to look at the first part of the reunion, and we're going to figure out just who won the season. (Then I am not writing about the Real Donkeys of Booty Borough until next season because I have Mad Men to recap and I can only do so much on a Sunday night. However, I am sad I do not get to write about Kim's baby fat hanging out of her dress or Porsha singing "Amazing Race," a song about Emmy's favorite reality show.) Here are the ladies in order of who won and who lost. RELATED: 'Real Housewives of Atlanta' Recap: Kenya Moore's Costume Party Kernya Moo-ah: Kernya Moo-ah won guys. She did it. She took the whole prize. Last night the reason Kenya was trending on Twitter had nothing to do with a earthquake or revolution in the African nation, it was merely because everyone was talking about her at the reunion. Kernya was the only interesting thing about the whole season. Period. That's it. Without her, we would have just had a bunch of empty cackles while the ladies had smallish conflicts over, oh, who knows. With Kernya, this thing was like opening up the DSM-5 every week and finding an entirely new psychosis. That means Kernya wins. She does, she entirely wins. But that makes me sad. She wins because she will fight and yell and never shut up. She wins because she always gets her perspective out there. She wins because Beyonce is using her catch phrase. Yes, she wins, but she is entirely wrong. There is not one fight that she had this season that she was on the right side of. She is a venom spewing slug monster, but you can't help watching her twitch and squirm on the trail, wiping her slime on all of us in the process. Ugh, Kenya wins, and we are all dead. PS — If I was Kandi I would have broken that damn fan. RELATED: 'Real Housewives of Atlanta' Recap: Fitness Video Fight Cynthia's Weave: It's different in every single episode and it's always flawless. I honestly tune in just to see what hair she'll be wearing at any given moment. There's also an honorable mention for both her glasses and her polo shirt and sweater combos. Country club realness, ch'all. Phaedra Parks: Not nearly as eminently watchable as Kernya, the thing that makes Phaedra win is that she is right. She is always sort of right. She is entirely right about Kernya stealing her idea, mistreating her man, and treating her shabbily when she didn't do anything to try to hurt her. Phaedra comes close to the top of the pile by dint of her moral compass. She also has a penchant for arguing, and keeps her cool while refuting every single one of Kernya's insane allegations. Her line to "show me the receipts," though cribbed from Whitney Houston, was the perfect rebuttal for Kernya. Phaedra doesn't just make assumptions like her rival, she usually has some facts to back it up. That's the difference between a lawyer and a ball of lint that has been given life through evil magic. Cynthia Bailey: Cynthia was really in the mix this year, and even Andy Cohen had to compliment her on her shit-stirring skills. (PS — Why do the people who watch these shows and star in them think that "shit stirring" is a bad thing? Without shit stirring, where would they be?) Cynthia went from NeNe's willing sidekick and Friend Contract Signer to a real force. She seems to be the only person who gets along with just about everyone in the cast, and she picks the right side in every argument. She's never afraid to speak her mind and comes across and wonderful and sensible and the kind of girl you want to go wig shopping with. And her style. Fabulous. RELATED: 'Real Housewives of Atlanta' Recap: Kenya Moore's Breakup Porsha Stewart: Porsha is the best kind of Housewife: pretty, game, aggressive, and dumb. Yes, she is stupid through and through, but enjoyably so. Sadly Kernya got the best of her in their many fights, as she can sometimes come across as petty and immature. That said, she stood up on her own at the reunion and got in some good digs against Kernya. The thing that makes her a loser is that she's going to defend her husband Carvell at the reunion just a few days before he goes and files divorce papers against her. I guess her loyalty should make her a winner, but we all know Carvell is a jerk so she shouldn't be trying to defend him in the first place. I hope she's coming back, because after being burned she can use that sympathy to turn into something that will scorch them all. Kandi Burruss: The best thing Kandi did all season was wear a straight wig to the reunion. Flawless. Other than that, she was entirely boring. Now don't get me wrong. I want to be friends with Kandi. I want to go and drink virgin margaritas and have a completely inappropriate conversation about sex and talk shit about Kim Zolciak and ask her what Lisa Left-Eye Lopez was really like and just generally be her friend forever. That said, she was boring this year. I worry about the Kandi Factory. NeNe Leakes: This is going to be controversial, but NeNe lost this year. She did. She just wasn't there to play the game and, when she was, she was thinking more about her longer success as an "actress" (come on, I watch The New Normal and I can't pretend that she's amazing) than about the dumb squabble of this bunch of headless chickens. Good for her. Smart move for Ms. NeNe Leakes. She is very rich, bitch. Well, maybe not, but she could be. She could do quite well for herself, but she has to leave it all behind. There is no half steppin', and trying to make it work in both LA and ATL is not the right way to go. I guess what I'm trying to say is that NeNe is a loser for not getting her own spin-off already. I would watch her for 30 minutes every week. Who wouldn't? Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan [Photo Credit: Bravo] From Our PartnersJessica Alba Bikinis in St. Barts (Celebuzz)Pics of The Rock Making Things Look Small (Vulture)
  • 'Mad Men' Premiere Recap: Don Draper Has No Idea Who He Is or Why He's Sleeping with That Woman
    By: Brian Moylan Apr 07, 2013
    The Season 6 premiere of Mad Men starts with a nasty trick. The episode begins through the perspective of a man lying on the ground, looking up at the ceiling while someone beats on his chest. In the background you hear Megan, Don Draper's wife, screaming. We're so used to seeing this world through Don's perspective we think, "Oh, Don Draper had a heart attack." Immediately it flashes back to him and Megan on the beach in Hawaii and you think, "Oh, we're going to find out how Don ended up having a heart attack." But later in the episode we learn, well, it wasn't Don at all, it was his doorman, who he, Megan, and their cardiologist neighbor watched have the cardiac arrest. What a dirty, stinking trick. It feels like a bait and switch: we're supposed to think that Don is in danger of dying when he's not in danger at all. But it isn't a trick. It is Don's perspective. In fact the whole episode, like so many in Mad Men history, is staring toward death — with Don gazing in that direction not only because of the ill doorman but also because he is, once again, searching for identity. Last season we saw Don struggling against his natural impulses. After marrying Megan and chasing his happiness, he came clean with her about who he is and his dark past. He was trying to integrate Dick Whitman and Don Draper and become one fully-formed healthy individual. By the end of the season, when he walks away from Megan and was eyeing that other woman in a bar, he had clearly failed. This season seems like it is going to be about his relapse, about the cost of his failure or, even worse, his sinking into irrelevance. This episode, however, was all about artifacts. We see each of the four major characters we follow in the premiere – Don, Roger, Betty, and Peggy – each dealing with their identity, who they are and what the world thinks of them, and what objects from other people, dead or alive, have left them. Like Greg Brady with the bad luck Tiki god, Don Draper finds his artifact in Hawaii. The first sequence of the show is very odd, showing Don and Megan in paradise and he's enjoying himself, but totally silent, conspicuously so. It's like he can't speak when he isn't being his authentic self, when he's playing the role he thinks he's supposed to. This is the same Don Draper who left his daughter's birthday party to go sit and drink alone in his car. RELATED: 'Mad Men' Goes to Hawaii for Season 6 The first time he speaks is to tell the soldier at the bar that he was in Korea, and to speak honestly about himself. When the drunk grunt asks Don to walk his soon-to-be wife down the aisle at his wedding, Don says, "You don't know me. One day you'll regret it." But the soldier says that one day he will be just like Don, a "veteran who can't sleep and talks to strangers." Though Don didn't start the conversation, what is his job other than "talking to strangers." Don puts aside his existential declaration that no one knows him (there is a lot of everyone not knowing anyone in this episode) and officiates his wedding, another moment of what seems like real joy, a moment of true love, even though Don rails later that the word is being overused and spent of its meaning. Later, when he's back in his Manhattan apartment, when the slide of the ceremony comes up he can't talk about it to everyone else in the room. He is once again back to being inauthentic. (And, of course, notice the difference between Don's presentation with the carousel in this episode and his presentation with the carousel in Season 1.) Originally he was powerful and persuasive and using his own experience to win over the clients. Now he's entirely silent and no one wants to buy his experience. Don's artifact, of course, is PFC Dinkins' lighter, which he and Don mistakenly switched at the bar. This time he has taken on another soldier's identity by accident, unlike the first time when Dick Whitman stole Don Draper's identity on purpose to achieve the American dream he always thought he was promised. Don thinks about taking on the soldier's identity, a soldier who is violent, impetuous, and stupid, all things that Don is not. He throws the lighter away, rejecting this new identity, but Megan brings it back to him. She proves that Don can't be his true self with her, she wants him to maintain an alter ego, whether it's Don Draper or this new PFC Dinkins, a man who gets sloppy drunk and asks inappropriate questions of strangers. Megan doesn't want the real thing, she wants a fake. Don eventually gives the lighter to his secretary and says to send it back, without a note. He wants to distance himself as far from this man as he can, no matter the joy he might have brought him on the beach. For Don it's more important to be honest and grow into himself again than take someone else's identity. Don is also struggling with the inscription on the lighter. "In life we often have to do things that aren't our bag." Don's initial life with Betty were all things that weren't his bag – having the wife and kids and settling down in the suburbs. He rejected that motto to find happiness with Megan in the city and that wasn't his bag either. Don seems to have internalized this motto, but rails against it, selfishingly doing the things that are right for him even if they harm other people.  It seems like things at work aren't Don's bag these days anyway. He hates that the photographers are there to take everyone's pictures and they rearranged his office. He hates that he has to, once again, put on a facade for the public. The photographer tells Don to just be himself, but he can't. He no longer has any idea what his self is. He stands in his rearranged office thinking back on the waves of Hawaii as the snow falls, and you can't help but think of that falling man in the opening. Later when presenting to the clients he gives them a presentation about a man who goes to Hawaii and is transformed, he just disappears into paradise (which seems to be Don's new fantasy about how to gain happiness). The client ask Don where the man went. "He jumped off," Don replies, once again recalling that falling man from the opening credits. Everyone thinks the guy killed himself, something Don didn't even realize he was telegraphing, something he might not have even considered as an option, until now. Is Don destined to be the one who falls off the top of the building, like people have always thought he is? Things at the office aren't going well. Not only is there the strange interloper Bob Benson (who seems to be serving some dark force with a smile on his face), but Don no longer holds his sway with the clients. When they don't like his presentation, he gets forceful, explaining himself frantically, using his old penchant for getting aggressive to get results. But this time it doesn't work. He caves and tries to give them what they want; anything to prove he still has it, he's still a genius. Even that doesn't work. He has failed, and not only has he failed with his vision, he even failed with a compromised version of it. Don is struggling with everything, not only his sense of self, but his creative vision. Don Draper, being Don Draper, is also having trouble at home. How do we know? Well, he doesn't care much about Megan or what she does or what she has to say. She's off having authentic experiences (working as an actress, going hunting for weed in Hawaii) while he's moping around with his white people problems wondering about what is going to happen to himself after he dies. Boo-hoo. He's also sleeping with his neighbor's wife. We first meet Dr. Rosen in Don's elevator and it appears like they have a loose friendship. There's something about Rosen's skill as a doctor that intrigues Don, that he has somehow mastered death. It's like he has a real gift, a real profession, not just serving corporate shills by captivating the public's desires. Of course Rosen wants to be Don, a good-looking, confident man who can get anyone to do what he wants using the power of his persuasion. They both think the other has it all. Don offers the man a camera and, more importantly, his friendship, but the shock is that Don is sleeping with his wife all along. Like always, Don's dalliances aren't about sex, they're about escape. They're about bucking against the norm and hoping that the feeling he creates through sex will somehow allieviate his anxiety about life. (Rosen even says, "People will do anything to alleviate their anxiety.") Yes, Don isn't sleeping with Rosen's wife because she's attractive (which she is) or he's in love with her, she has been reducted to an object of her own, another artifact. He's sleeping with her so that he can try to steal some of Rosen's magic and possibly inject it into his own life. He's fighting against being himself by trying consume another man's life yet again. It's not working. He tells his new playmate, "I don't want to do this anymore," but he doesn't mean sleep with her, he doesn't even mean cheat on his wife in general, he means he doesn't want to have to deal with yet another existential crisis. He just wants an answer, he just wants any answer. Sadly, he's not going to find it from any of the other characters. Roger's story, of course, is about death. Duh. It contains two dead people, him sitting in analysis mockingly pleading for his doctor to explain it all, and he's fretting that he thinks that life is just a meaningless series of experiences, doorways that are boring to open. Roger, like Don, has also fallen off the path to enlightenment. Last season he took LSD, divorced his wife, and was looking toward the future to try to find something worthwhile (Season 5 ended with us staring at his bare ass as he embraced the world). Either he's off that path or not finding it has put him right back where he was in the first place. He's chasing after another comely brunette (who we don't get the pleasure to see) and pining after Joan. Maybe she's what will make him happy? It would have made the rest of us happy if we had seen a little bit more of her in the episode. Anyway, Roger has two reilcs. The first is the water from the Jordan River his father brought back for his mother that was used to baptize almost everyone in the family. While freaking out at his mother's funeral (I would too if someone had barfed in the umbrella stand, but his outburst seemed a little over-blown), Roger makes the ultimate Freudian slip and says it's "my funeral." His ex-wife Mona comes upstairs and suggest maybe he would be more happy if he connected to the people who already love him rather than chasing after another one. 10 Things You Should Know About the 'Mad Men' Premiere That's when he goes downstairs to talk to Margaret. He brings up the family and presents her with this artifact, but all she wants her grandmother to leave her is money. Roger wants to talk about love and she only wants to talk about commerce. Already the water is losing its potency, Margaret didn't use it to baptize her son and, after her conversation about refrigerated trucks (not a bad investment at all!) she leaves it behind on the couch. She doesn't want a bit of the past, she doesn't want a bit of Roger, all that she wants is money and the future it can buy her.  Later Roger is looking for a shoe shine but his shoe shine man has died. His daughter sends along his shoe shine kit to Roger who takes it into his office and finally cries after feeling nothing about the death of his mother or Mona having found a new man in her life. This is what makes him cry. A shoe shine kit. Sometimes it feels good to let it all out, even if it's over some chemical soaked box.  The important thing about the artifacts in the episode is that they aren't good as objects, only instruments that people are willing to use. If, like the water and the shoe shine kit, they're not being used by someone then they're just so much junk, but, like Sandy's violin, when they're being used, they're the things that connect us all to each other. Now Roger doesn't have any connection to anyone and it's starting to wear on him. He mentions being shipped out of Pearl Harbor (it's startling how three men in the premiere are all defined by their wars) but his cohort and his mother are dying off. Even the old ways are dying off. There's no one to know how to use a shoe shine kit and Roger is completely obsolete, left with nothing but some worthless junk, a bunch of stories no one wants to hear, and a room of women he's disappointed. He doesn't need analysis, he just needs something better to do. As I said before, Betty's artifact is Sandy's violin, at least initially. Her relationship with Sandy is interesting in that everything that Betty says is defeated by her actions. Oh, our Betty, still a little bit fat (but she's "reducing!") and completely out of touch with herself. She is constantly defending her choice to stay at home and be the pretty wife and mother of increasingly ungrateful children, but that's what she never wanted at all and she has always fought against it. It's as if it's easier to propogate a myth than actually change.  That's why she's trying to find Sandy and why she holds onto Sandy's violin, since it is a symbol for the dream Sandy has for a better future. Anyway, Sandy says she wants to take off to New York and live an exciting life and Betty says that her life as a model in the Big Apple wasn't all that and she should wait until she's ready Later, when the hooligans at the St. Mark's flop house tell her that they "hate [her] life as much as [she] does," she fights against them. She tells that they are awful and she storms out, ripping her coat. Even being there she is changed, the fabric of her existence very literally sullied by her being in the tenement. (Anyway, they didn't hate her "goulash" all that much though.) RELATED: What Is This 'Mad Men' Season 6 Party All About Anyway? But she leaves the violin there. Sandy is already a lost cause and Betty knows it. During her kitchen scene with Betty (which is about as touching as ice cold Betty ever gets) Sandy says, "It's amazing how quickly some people come up with lies." We all know that applies to Betty, but it applies to Sandy as well, who lied about Julliard and where she was going. She is going to turn out to be just like Betty, another girl disappointed by her options in life, someone who will defend her choices even as they make her miserable. There is also something about Betty that wants to destroy Sandy. The younger generation is making the older characters increasingly nervous, but Betty seems to be the only one to wish harm on the younger children, when she makes that really inappropriate joke about Henry going to rape Sandy while she holds her down. That's the only thing that I can think of to explain her shockingly inappropriate comments, delivered with a smirk so small they seem to be entirely serious. In the end though, Betty's real artifact is her hair. Like Don and Roger, this is something she is doing to try to be more authentic. This is, of course, a direct reaction to the hooligan calling her hair "bottled" when he reads her real color is brunette on her driver's license. She doesn't want to hide anymore. She wants to be the real Betty who may be a bit chunky and have brown hair, not the perfect Barbie doll everyone told her she had to be for Don (and look at how well that turned out anyway). Ironically, her new hair color is just as manufactured. She didn't let her roots grow out, she is just trying to cover up the new facade with the old one. Of course the kids hate it. The kids will always hate everything their parents do, especially when, like Bobby, he is faced with the reality behind the illusion that his mother has always sold to him. She is now "ugly," and he sees it for the first time. Peggy, of course, is the exception that proves the rule. If we are looking at Don and how far he has fallen since the first episode, look at how much Peggy has risen. Her artifact is the lost footage that she found and, unlike everyone else, she can interact with that footage and use it to make beautiful music, as it were. She can shape it into something that is great, and that is what makes her different from the other three. This is Peggy's moment like Don's with the slide projector all those years ago. She is finally, truly ascendant. And while she's is using strategies and tools that she learned from Don, she has also found her own strategies. Last season, when she went all Don Draper on the Heinz baked beans people and tried to force them to take her idea, she was shot down. Now, when the earphone people don't like her solutions to alter their aborted Super Bowl ad, she finds a way to get them to agree to let her do her job by being nice and courteous. While everyone still considers her part of a "frat," she has found a way to be both a woman and an executive at the same time, using a more subtle tactic that would have made a man look weak. No, Peggy isn't far away from Don at all and she stays up late at night with Stan on the phone, still in close contact, letting him listen in on her big triumph. It's as if it doesn't really happen for her unless there is a way for it to get back to Don. And as much as she wasn't like Don with the client, she was just like him with her staff: stern and demanding but, at the end, giving them her sandwich and showing a bit of care. It was a classic Don Draper move. But still, she isn't entirely confident with the power. Later, Ted, Peggy's boss, tells her that she has to tell the rest of her employees to go home. "They're not waiting for me?" she asks incredulously. Why would all these people be paying attention to her, trying to prove to her that she's a good worker when that's still all she wants is someone else's approval: Don's. Peggy, unlike all these other people, is actually happy. Her sense of self-worth comes from her work and being great at her job. She doesn't see why these kids wouldn't want to be at work on New Year's Eve because that's just where she wants to be (I wouldn't want to be with her boyfriend Abe either, considering his vegetarian diet is giving him the trots). Peggy is the younger generation that everyone is afraid of but, being part of the establishment, she is separate from it. When she hears about the Tonight Show stand-up act about the soldiers in Vietnam who cut the ears off their enemy, she blames the act for ruining her commercial. She doesn't blame the soldiers for doing something immoral and violent, she blames the "hippie" comic who brings it to the attention of the public. She is firmly on the side of "the man." Though she may not be on the same page as her peers, she is the only one of the cast who is active and vital, the only person who is interacting with her object in a way that is bringing her happiness. That either makes her incredibly power or incredibly delusional, waiting for an awakening that may or may not happen. But one thing is for sure: Peggy is in control while everyone else is not. Follow @BrianJMoylan on Twitter [Photo Credit: AMC] From Our PartnersJessica Alba Bikinis in St. Barts (Celebuzz)Pics of The Rock Making Things Look Small (Vulture)
  • 10 Things You Should Know About the 'Mad Men' Season 6 Premiere
    By: Brian Moylan Apr 05, 2013
    Matthew Weiner, the genius behind Mad Men, is as scary and crotchety as a crypt keeper when it comes to spoilers about his beloved show, which returns to AMC this Sunday. So, if I shared with you any of the actual plot developments he would probably come and gnaw on my neck like one of his network neighbors on The Walking Dead. I won't do that and the surprises are worth keeping under wraps, but here are a few things you should know before watching. (And, if you are as spoiler phobic at Weiner, maybe you should go read about Jon Hamm's endowment instead.) RELATED: What Is This 'Mad Men' Season 6 Party All About Anyway? 1. There isn't too big of a jump into the future. Past seasons have skipped between six months and a year over hiatus, but this time it's not so long. We know there has been some lag between seasons, but the shift seems negligible. 2. Don and Megan visit Hawaii. We all saw the pictures of the two of them on the beach and we finally figure out what they were doing in the 50th state. 3. There is a wedding and a funeral. RELATED: 'Mad Men' Season 6: Who Is Going to Die? 4. Don is reading The Inferno — and considering his mood (and the mood of the episode) is often determined by the media he is consuming, that should give you a hint of what we're dealing with. 5. There is a lot of talk about reefer. 6. Peggy, who has been so dowdy in seasons past, has killer hair this year. Still, there is one hat that puts her new 'do to shame. 7. Speaking of hair, the men are sporting lots of facial hair this time out. Look for beards and mustaches on some of your favorites. 8. There is side boob, and several shots of shirtless Jon Hamm.  9. We discover Don only paid $75,000 for his Upper East Side apartment. Do you know how much that would be worth today? Sally, Bobby, and Baby Gene are probably still dining out on that money! 10. It's good. It's really, really good. Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan [Photo Credit: Michael Yarish/AMC] From Our PartnersHayden Panetierre Bikinis in Miami (Celebuzz)Every Jurassic Park Dinosaur Ranked From Best to Worst (Vulture)
  • TLC's New Shows Are Absolutely Insane
    By: Brian Moylan Apr 04, 2013
    Somewhere in the depths of your cable dial (OK, no TVs have dials anymore, so in the depths of that weird grid guide thing or in the place where you search for shows by title) there is an electric Coney Island Freak Show of the Mind. It is called TLC and it is where reality TV shows based on insane tabloid ideas go to haunt the darker corners of your brain for all eternity. TLC stands for The Learning Channel, but the only learning you will do is about how awful you are for wanting to watch these things, usually in marathon form, usually in your pajamas, and usually on a Saturday where you should be doing something much more useful.  The home of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, Breaking Amish, and Sister Wives will have 52 original programs next year and, in a press release today, they announced a handful of the shows they'll be debuting. They're taking one thing that's popular, adding another, and then bringing it down to a level that is so base you won't be able to divert your eyes.  Alaskan Women Looking for Love: This show takes five women from Alaska (none of them Palins, that we know of) and brings them to Miami for them to find husbands. This made sense to the programming executive when his Molly was still working, but the idea, and the drug, has since worn off.  Ballroom Blitz: Dancing with the Stars, minus the stars. So, just Dancing.  Best Funeral Ever: Yup, just like the title says. They're putting the fun back in funeral (I just trademarked that slogan so, sorry TLC, you're gonna have to pay me come promo time) with this show about a funeral home in Dallas and their wacky memorial services. The special last year was such a hit (that's where the photo above is from), it's back full time! Cajun Paranormal: One part Swamp People one part Long Island Medium. Shake until frothy.  Husband Hunters: Women who have everything about their wedding day planned except one detail: who the groom is. The working title, Desperate, was later nixed.  My Teen Is Pregnant, and So Am I: I'm gonna let you read that title again and feel it for yourself: My teen...is pregnant...and so...am I. Yes, that is what this show is about. You know how everyone accused Teen Mom of glamorizing teen pregnancy because girls will want to get knocked up so they can be on the show? Well, what about the moms that are going to get themselves pregnant and then convince their teen daughters to get pregnant too so that they can both be on the show? That is going to happen. That is totally going to happen! Women of Homocide: The behind-the-scenes lives of female officers who investigate murders. OK, this one actually sounds kinda cool.  Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan [Photo Credit: TLC] From Our PartnersHayden Panetierre Bikinis in Miami (Celebuzz)Every Jurassic Park Dinosaur Ranked From Best to Worst (Vulture)
  • Roger Ebert, Legendary Film Critic, Dies at 70
    By: Brian Moylan Apr 04, 2013
    Roger Ebert, the legendary film critic for The Chicago Sun-Times who gave the thumbs up and thumbs down designation to movies for years on TV's Siskel and Ebert, died today, according to the Sun-Times. He was 70 years old.  Just one day prior to his death, Ebert announced he was stepping back from his duties at the paper, where he worked since 1967, due to a recurrence of cancer. He was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2002 and subsequent surgeries to try to rid his body of the disease resulted in the loss of his lower jaw. He said in a statement Wednesday that he would be reviewing only the movies he wanted to review and working on his website, RogerEbert.com, which became a popular hub for film criticism in recent years.  Ebert's illness was marked by his pervading spirit and realism. It's something captured in an essay from his 2011 book Life Itself: a Memoir. He wrote: I was perfectly content before I was born, and I think of death as the same state. I am grateful for the gifts of intelligence, love, wonder and laughter. You can’t say it wasn’t interesting. (The full excerpt is available on Salon) RELATED: Roger Ebert to Take 'Leave of Presence' from Sun-Times The news of his death was announced on Twitter by his former employer. His partner in criticism Gene Siskel died in 1999, also of cancer.  There is a hole that can't be filled. One of the greats has left us. Roger Ebert has passed away at the age of 70. suntm.es/Z4EIOF — Suntimes (@Suntimes) April 4, 2013 Born and raised in Urbana, Ill. in 1942, Ebert was a lifelong movie lover, writer, and orator who pursued writing at an early age. The future film reviewer contributed to science fiction magazines and eventually became the co-editor of his high school paper. In 1958, he won a championship in Radio Speaking, forshadowing his success on television. His love for writing and journalism continued into his college years, fostering the skills that would later make him a household name. On the cusp of getting his doctorate in English, Ebert took a step many in his position would have scoffed at: He took the job as film critic for The Chicago Sun-Times, a position he filled until his final days. Ebert’s popularity as a local expert in Chicago steadily rose, eventually leading him to become the first film critic to win the Pulitzer Prize for criticism in 1975. That success propelled him into a spot co-hosting a weekly film review TV series, Sneak Previews, with rival Chicago newspaper film critic Gene Siskel. The show began as a local series, but went national thanks to PBS in 1978. By 1982, the nation was hooked and Siskel and Ebert were so beloved that the show became a nationally syndicated series, and At the Movies was born. It was after the series garnered Emmy nominations and the duo gained even greater fame that the title switched to Siskel & Ebert. And, of course, we can now thank Ebert and Siskel for the "thumbs up/thumbs down" measure of review. In 1999, Ebert lost his trusty cinematic sparring partner when Siskel passed after a risky surgery. Ebert continued to host the show on his own, cycling through various co-hosts until he landed on a permanent partner, Richard Roeper, in 2000. And it’s thanks to Ebert's lasting mark on movie criticism that he’s the only movie critic with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Boasting Citizen Kane as the movie he’d take with him to a desert island, Ebert promoted the philosophy that all reviews are relative and that we should only compare films within the same genre to each other. His reach within the film community was strong, as he was active on his show and online via the Sun. He also penned numerous books, including I Hated, Hated, Hated This Movie and Ebert's Bigger Little Movie Glossary. Fervent Ebert fans also know him as the co-screenwriter of Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, which has evolved into a camp classic since its 1970 release. It was his only produced feature film screenplay, but it was, at the very least, an unforgettable one. Though Ebert's opinions were unavoidable, fans knew little about his personal life. But, following a brief courtship with Oprah Winfrey, Ebert married trial attorney Chaz Hammelsmith in 1993. Sadly, Ebert’s health problems cropped up in 2002, when he had surgery to remove his cancerous thyroid gland. He had surgery a second time only a year later on his salivary gland, followed by radiation treatment. Despite his struggles, he kept up the good work on his show, delivering the verdicts on Hollywood’s biggest films. Unfortunately, in late Spring 2006, his cancer worsened and he continued to battle the illness until his death in April 2013. Ebert is survived by his step-daughter and step-grandchildren, and while he may no longer be with us, his mark on movies and pop culture is immeasurable and completely unforgettable.  From Our Partners:40 Most Revealing See-Through Red Carpet Looks (Vh1)33 Child Stars: Where Are They Now? (Celebuzz)
  • Rick Ross Kind of Apologizes for Lyrics Glorifying Rape, But Really Doesn't Apologize at All
    By: Brian Moylan Apr 04, 2013
      Rick Ross, a rapper who sounds more like an assistant vice principal than an actual rapper, is on the wrong side of the world's fury right now. It appears that some people have discovered the lyrics of his song "U.O.E.N.O." and they, well... they condone rape. "Put molly all in her champagne, she ain’t even know it/I took her home and I enjoyed that, she ain’t even know it," he sings. Um, yeah. If she didn't know that you were having sex with her, Rick, that's rape, and we don't care how much you enjoyed it.  Change.org is circulating a petition to get him to apologize and to have him investigated further to make sure that he didn't actually, you know, drug and have sex with a woman against her will. Ross doesn't seem to want to apologize, even though he keeps trying. His first non-apology is in this video where he says, "Woman is the most precious gift known to man. The term 'rape' wasn't used, and I would never use the term 'rape' in my records. We don't condone rape and I'm not with that." Awful paternalistic sentiment aside, that's like saying, "I don't condone murder and I would never use the word 'murder' but if I happen to kill a person, well, s**t happens."  RELATED: Anti-Rape Underwear Is Sadly a Thing Later he took to Twitter (where he's getting plenty of backlash) and said the following: I dont condone rape.Apologies for the #lyric interpreted as rape. #BOSS — Mastermind (@rickyrozay) April 4, 2013 It's good to know you don't condone rape, Rick, even though your lyrics indicate otherwise. Since he doesn't know what rape means, maybe he doesn't know what "condone" means either. And he's doing that Real Housewives thing where he says, "I'm not going to apologize for what I said, but I'll apologize that you interpreted it the wrong way." You are wrong, Rick. Say you were wrong and make reparations. If not, the Internet will continue to give you things to actually worry about.  Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan [Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco/Getty Images] From Our Partners:40 Most Revealing See-Through Red Carpet Looks (Vh1)33 Child Stars: Where Are They Now? (Celebuzz)
  • Miley Cyrus and Snoop 'Lion' Debut New Single with Disgusting Title
    By: Brian Moylan Apr 04, 2013
     Transmogrifying rap animal Snoop "Lion" roped Miley Cyrus into sharing something in a recording studio that was not a blunt. It was a microphone (though, if we know Snoop and Miley, there were probably some stinky smelling substances passed around too) and they recorded a single called "Ashtrays and Heartbreak." I'm not sure how those things are related other than both being things that I really don't want to lick, but there they are, right in the title of the song.    This is from Snoop's upcoming Reincarnated album which, like every frat boy who spends spring break in Jamaica, is all about the reggae. Here it's sort of reggae-lite (only 10 calories!) with Snoop rapping the verses and Miley doing her best singing robot impression during the choruses. Enjoy! You'll probably have as much fun listening to it as the two of them had making it (and by fun, I mean smoking dope).  Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan [Photo Credit: Michael Tran/FilmMagic; FameFlynet] From Our PartnersSee 'Game of Thrones' as 'Mad Men' (Vulture)Hayden Panetierre Bikinis in Miami (Celebuzz)
  • Brad Pitt to Star in WWII Tank Movie, Hopes It Doesn't Tank
    By: Brian Moylan Apr 04, 2013
      Brad Pitt is going to be  in a tank movie. I thought you should know this, it being a Thursday morning and all and the weekend seems just a little bit out of reach and your boss did that horrible thing to you today and you're not eating bread because we're getting close to beach season and it's time to slim down. You need something, just a bit of joy to make it through. Well, now you have it, Brad Pitt is going to star in Fury, a movie about tanks. And World War II. The only thing that could make this more American is if he has a mother named Betsy Ross who bakes apple pies and a castmember from Duck Dynasty is in a supporting role. Another gift from Hollywood.  RELATED: What Went Wrong with Brad Pitt's 'World War Z' The movie was written by David Ayer, who wrote The Fast and the Furious and wrote and directed the underappreciated Jake Gyllenhaal-in-a-cop-uniform movie End of Watch. The Hollywood Reporter says, "Fury is set in the waning days of World War II’s European theater and revolves around the five-man crew of an American tank named Fury that runs across a desperate German division." That means there will be more people to hire. You could be one of them. Yes, in a few months you won't be in front of a computer screen, you'll be behind a giant freaking gun next to Brad freaking Pitt. Go think about that while you eat your bologna sandwich.  Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan [Photo Credit: Andreas Fischer/AP Photo] From Our Partners:40 Most Revealing See-Through Red Carpet Looks (Vh1)33 Child Stars: Where Are They Now? (Celebuzz)