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”).
  • 'Snooki & JWOWW' Should Stick to the Shore
    By: Brian Moylan Jun 22, 2012
    There's an episode in the third season of Jersey Shore where Snooki and JWOWW have to travel to JWOWW's house in Long Island to change the locks on JWoww's house because her ex-boyfriend was stealing things (namely JWOWW's nude pictures) from the house. This modern Laverne & Shirley (in trashier clothes) couldn't figure out just how to work the simple mechanics of a door knob and we spent five hilarious minutes trying to watch the two of them try to figure it out. These two turned a moment of sad drama into one of complete slapstick comedy. The problem is that all of that is missing from Snooki & JWOWW, their new spin-off of solo adventures (or maybe it's more like a Marvel teaming) that started on MTV last night. The show is supposed to follow their exploits while they move to "The City," which to every rational person from the tri-state area surrounding Manhattan means New York City. But for these two it means "Jersey City." So the episode revolves around whether or not the pair will move in together and their trip with two rather attractive real estate brokers to find an apartment. There's a few hijinks, but not nearly enough to make you LOL (this is MTV, so using "LOL" with a lack of irony is not only expected, but encouraged). The beautiful thing about Jersey Shore, the greatest sociological experiment of our time, is that you never know what the eight guidos who live in that house will get up to next, whether that's a fight, hookup, or prank. Thanks to the crew's increasing fame we already know exactly what is going to happen. They're going to move to Jersey City because Hoboken didn't want them. They're going to live in an old fire house because we already saw the pictures. Oh, and Snooki is engaged and pregnant which you would know if you bothered to turn on the internet or go to a grocery store in the last three months. It's staggering to me that this show, just like JS refuses to admit these girls are famous even though it's shockingly obvious to everyone watching the show and has a direct impact on what happens. Their neighbors in the Real Housewives of New Jersey have started incorporating the tabloid covers and press coverage into the action of the show and it's only made the show more immersive. Maybe MTV should follow suit? The idea for the show was probably initially that Snooks and Ms. WOWW live together in an apartment, go out every night, get all wasted, and hilarity ensues. Now they're both in committed relationships and Snooki can't drink because of the little bun that is cook in her over (wouldn't Snooki's uterus be more like a tanning bed?). The show is now something else entirely, which is about a former wild child turning into a wife and mother. But this is not that show. If this was that show, we'd see her moving in with her boyfriend and settling into domestic life. Seeing Snooki try to learn how to cook and clean would be a program I'd tune into, but watching her pout at a club because she can't drink just seems a little, well, sad. And the tabloids already ruined it for us without even a spoiler alert. Their summers at the Shore have definitely been magic, but it seems that the attempt to capture that magic in the winter was a little mistimed. Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan [Photo credit: MTV] More: 'Snooki & JWOWW' Preview: 'Shore' No More Pregnant Snooki Falls, Still Insists On Wearing Platforms Snooki and JWOWW Moving to Hoboken for 'Jersey Shore' Spinoff?
  • In Movies, It's the End of the World as We Know It. Is That Fine?
    By: Brian Moylan Jun 21, 2012
    At the end of the new movie Seeking a Friend for the End of the World the world actually ends. Spoiler alert! (In fairness, I am going to be giving away the endings of various and assorted movies, so if you think you're going to get to some of them before 12/21/2012, you might want to read something else.) Actually, it's not really a spoiler, because it's right there in the title. The world is going to end. You shouldn't be surprised when it does. The world ends. Kaboom. Kapley. Kaplow! Otherwise, Seeking a Friend is a rather formulaic rom-com where a man's wife leaves him (because the world is ending) and he is thrown together by fate (because the world is ending) with a younger woman who is completely inappropriate and his total opposite and they eventually get together before being ripped apart again (because the world is ending). But we've been taught by every movie that we've ever seen that in a sunny and optimistic picture such as this, there will be some last-minute reprieve, that something will go amiss (or won't), and everyone will live happily ever after in peace and happiness. Well, stop waiting for that white knight because, based on what we're seeing in movies these days, he is not coming. There is no redemption. Seeking a Friend isn't the only one eradicating all human life. Melancholia is also about an asteroid hitting Earth and wiping it out of the solar system. And (big spoiler here) Cabin in the Woods turns from your standard issue horror spoof into a documentation of how galactic forces destroy the planet. Yes, in movies these days, instead of it just being a threat to rally against, the world is actually ending. Like, for real. There have always been movies about the end of days or some sort of cataclysmic disaster, but it was always averted. It was about humanity soldiering on and rebuilding from the rubble. In Deep Impact, the world is hit by one meteor, which causes mass destruction, but a second one is blown to smithereens before any impact, deep or otherwise. The end of the movie focuses on the rebuilding of the White House. The same year, Armageddon destroyed a meteor using nuclear bombs and Aerosmith songs so that Liv Tyler could go on to have Ben Affleck's babies. Ten years later, in 2012, the planet is literally falling apart, but it ends with the few remaining survivors congregating to start life anew. Only two years later, that hope has been wiped out. In Cabin in the Woods, humanity's final blow is nothing more than a morose plot point, a clever little twist for a movie that is predicated on clever twists. (What makes it a great twist is you never think the world will actually end in a movie, so it seems that twist will never work again.) In Melancholia, also the name of the celestial object that spells our doom, the Armageddon is a symbol for a deep depression that overcomes one woman and who finds her way out of it, only to watch everyone around her fall into their own state of the blues (which is curiously the color everything turns just before impact). While literal, the end is mostly symbolic about how different people deal with the pain of living, not the emptiness of dying. Something different is at work in Seeking a Friend, which shows Steve Carell's Dodge waking up one day to find that his life is ending both literally and figuratively. It's your classic mid-life crisis, "you're wasting your life" movie, but in the past this character would turn things around because he has cancer (Funny People), an angelic intervention (It's a Wonderful Life), or just general neurosis (American Beauty). Now the only thing that can make someone change is the end of the world, when it is just too late to change. It seems like the Meliorist Myth (as English majors would call it) that things in America are always getting better is at an end. We live in a world where the economy collapsed and is slow to recover, the climate is acting erratically because of the strain humans put on it and seems not to be stopping, and China with all its people and money seems to be taking over as the world super power. As far as Americans are concerned, the world is over. Even in our political system there has been change after change from Democrat to Republican to Tea Party and back again and nothing is getting fixed. It is the end of the world. We're all obsessed with it, just like the Mayans predicted. And this isn't just a liberal outlook on things, because fundamentalist Christianity seems to have something to do with it too. According to a 2011 poll, 41 percent of Americans believe the Rapture is coming. Yes, almost half of the people in this great country think that Jesus is coming back and will kill every last one of us and it could happen at any moment. That sounds like a good plot for a movie! The thing is that movie plots don't come from nowhere. They're often a manifestation of our collective anxieties, misgivings, hopes, and philosophy. It seems a little disturbing, or at least just a little bit more realistic, that our newest fixation is the complete decimation of the species. Maybe it's because, as our culture is cluttered with constant streams of content, that is what it takes to stand out these days — the threat of utter annihilation. Or maybe it's because we all think that we're beyond hope and instead of dreaming up ways to cure the awful predicament we've put ourselves in, we're now imagining just what is going to happen when the scary inevitable comes to our door. Either way, it seems like things are going to need to improve in the real world before the lives of our movie characters get any better. Until then, get ready for Hollywood to keep dreaming up our utter destruction. Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan More: 'Seeking a Friend': Steve Carell Thinks He 'Would Get Devoured by Zombies' One on One: 'Melancholia' Star Kirsten Dunst 'Cabin in the Woods': How Did Your Audience React?
  • 2012 Emmy Longshots: Great American Tragedy 'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills'
    By: Brian Moylan Jun 21, 2012
    You love them, we love them, and it's high time Emmy recognized them. We're talking about the TV actors, actresses, and shows that have yet to be recognized by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, despite drawing us in week in and week out with their awe-inspiring ability to make us laugh, cry, or a weird combination of both. So every day here at Hollywood.com, we're going to be saluting those on the small screen who deserve an Emmy nomination, longshot status be damned. Today, we cast our ballot for The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Whenever any of those people who scoff at "reality TV" like its some sort of doomsday monolith ask me how I can not only tolerate but revel in and make a living from the Real Housewives franchise, I tell them that it is because each set of women is like a great American tragedy. If you view the antics of Jill, Bethenny, Teresa, Vicki, NeNe, and the rest of the screech monkeys like it's something out of an Arthur Miller or Eugene O'Neill play it become infinitely deeper and more amusing than if you just watch a bunch of seemingly wealthy women yell at each other. My dramaturgical theory on the Housewives was proven again and again by the second season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, which was perhaps the best season of any non-competitive reality show since Capt. Phil Harris died on Deadliest Catch. If it doesn't get nominated for an Emmy than there is something seriously wrong with the world and we can just keep giving feel-good reality shows like The Amazing Race and Intervention the statue for the rest of time and call it quits. The great thing about RHOBH has always been what the Greeks called the dramatic irony of it. Just like you know that Oedipus slept with his mother and killed his father and will eventually gouge his eyes out with the pins of brooches (how has death by jewelry not been a plot point on one of these shows yet?) we all knew that by the end of season one that Camille Grammer's husband would divorce her. We got to watch the entire first season knowing that villain Camille with her nasty asides and superior attitude would be laid low by the thing that once gave her so much hubris. Season two, it was even worse. We knew by the end of it that Taylor Armstrong would leave her husband and that he would eventually commit suicide. Like any great work of literature, watching these shows isn't about seeing what happens, it's about seeing how it happens. There was some contention about whether or not Bravo should air this season of the show, considering the tragedy that resulted at the end, but I'm glad it did. Aside from Taylor's reckoning with her husband and the confrontation between her and the rest of the women about her seemingly abusive relationship, there were tons of other great story lines. There was the redemption of St. Camille Grammer who is the only person in human history to restore her tarnished image through reality television. I don't know what alchemy she mastered or what spell she cast, but through a combination of being humble, honest, glamorous, and above it all, she managed to win over nearly all of her detractors. Then there was the fall of Kyle Richards, a fan favorite who showed her true colors when bullying and hectoring newcomer Brandi Glanville, whose dirty mouth, willingness to fight, and embarrassing forthrightness made her a force to be reckoned with. There was Lisa Vanderpump, the loving matriarch who rolled her eyes at the outlandish opulence of her daughter's wedding while doing anything to make her daughter happy. But the real reason that I am totally obsessed with Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is Kim Richards, who is basically a modern day Blanche DuBois. She's a former child star who has been disappointed by life again and again and now struggles with loneliness, depression, and substance abuse. There's a scene at a child's birthday party with a rodeo theme where Kim talks about how when she was with Disney she would ride a horse, but the horse would always sit down so that she could get on it and it was so great and easy. Then, later in life, she tried to ride and the horse wouldn't sit down and she couldn't get on and that made her hate horses. That is an encapsulation of Kim's life that plays out day after day, episode after episode until the sad end where she is carted off to rehab to try a life of sobriety once more. That is why RHOBH is one of the best shows on television. It is like a gorgeous palace that was built on a tar pit and everyone once in awhile, the black ooze starts to bubble up all around it and all the ladies pretend like nothing is happening, like we can't see the inevitable disaster, but it's all there, all their hopes and fears, all their shattering omissions, all their deep dark regrets and bad behavior. It's all right there for us to see, and just like Willie Loman, that other great American tragic figure, demands: attention must be paid. Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan More: Watch 'The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' Discuss Russell Armstrong's Suicide 'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' Star Kim Richards Admits She's an Alcoholic Camille Grammer to Return to 'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' After All
  • CBS Lashes Out at ABC with Satirical Press Release in 'Glass House' Battle
    By: Brian Moylan Jun 20, 2012
    Sure a judge might have allowed ABC to air their 14-strangers-in-a-house reality show Glass House to air earlier this week, but that doesn't mean that CBS is just going to sit back and do nothing while the show airs. Today's salvo was done out of court but is probably more brilliant than any legal maneuvering its lawyers could dream up. "CBS announces plans to develop DANCING ON THE STARS," it said on its official Twitter account Wednesday afternoon. A link in the tweet leads to a mock press release on CBS' press website. "CBS ANNOUNCES DEVELOPMENT OF “DANCING ON THE STARS,” AN EXCITING AND COMPLETELY ORIGINAL REALITY PROGRAM THAT OWES ITS CONCEPT AND EXECUTION TO NOBODY AT ALL" it reads in all capital letters because all press releases ever do is shout. The release makes fun of CBS' suit against ABC, which alleges that Glass House is so similar to CBS' Big Brother that it is a theft of intellectual property. A number of former Big Brother employees are also working on Glass House and CBS claims that ABC is stealing its trade secrets. In silly retaliation, CBS says they're making a show almost exactly like ABC's Dancing with the Stars (which, in all fairness, is even bigger than Big Brother.)"Subsequent to recent developments in the creative and legal community, CBS Television today felt it was appropriate to reveal the upcoming launch of an exciting, ground-breaking and completely original new reality program for the CBS Television Network. The dazzling new show, DANCING ON THE STARS, will be broadcast live from the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, and will feature moderately famous and sort of well-known people you almost recognize competing for big prizes by dancing on the graves of some of Hollywood’s most iconic and well-beloved stars of stage and screen." The joke is that CBS' show is set in a cemetery, so contestants are dancing on the stars. A big enough distinction just like Glass House has America voting on who gets kicked out of the show each week. Of course, Dancing on the Stars will air immediately after CBS's (fake) new sitcom Postmodern Family. No matter what you think about the merits of the lawsuit, you have to admit that CBS' response is rather amusing. But the ultimate revenge is probably that no one watched the Glass House premiere. Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan More: Everything You Need to Know About 'Glass House' Our Newest Summer TV Obessions 'Glass House' Doesn't Exactly Shatter Ratings CBS vs. 'Glass House': Can ABC Really Be Stopped?
  • 'Real Housewives of OC' Recap: Let Them Not Eat Cake
    By: Brian Moylan Jun 20, 2012
    Once upon a time in a kingdom far far away (well, not that far if you live in California), there lived the queen of all the Dwarves and she lived in a granite quarry. Her name was Heather, and she had long black hair and was cursed at birth with a ladybeard that she shaved every morning. In the quarry she had all the little workers carve out a huge palace of burnished stone. One day an Evil Queen (who will once and forever be played by Andy Cohen) declared that Heather must throw a party for all the princesses in the realm so that they could come and do battle and only the victorious should leave. Heather's palace was the perfect place, because while it is hard to get blood out of a stone, it is very easy to wash blood off of one. The occasion for the party was that Heather was changing her last name to Dwarf, which was the last name of her husband Terry, the king of the Dwarfs. They lived happily in their rock quarry with their little rock-eating children for many years, but finally she decided to change her name because the Evil Queen told her it would break the curse and make her beard disappear forever. The key ingredient for this bit of hocus pocus was a very grand cake with her new initials "H.D." inscribed on it which all the guests would eat in unison and then her curse would be broken. However, if even one person eat even a tiny bit of the cake before midnight all would be spoiled. OK, enough of this fairy tale, at least for now. Let's start talking about Heather's party and all the crazy nonsense that was swirling about. The first guests to arrive are Tamra and her new fiance Eddie the Honeybear (doesn't he look like the clear plastic bear that honey comes in?). Heather is very happy that she is there with her gigantic diamond ring that covers up a literal scar from her last relationship. Everyone was happy for Tamra about her engagement except for Vicki who thinks they are moving too fast. When did Vicki turn into a troll turd of the highest order? Well, I guess she always has been, but she's been especially stinky this past year. She's talking about how Tamra got engaged only "six months after her divorce got finalized." Um, yeah Vicki, but she's been seeing the guy for two damn years. Isn't that long enough? You started dating Brooks while your ex was still living in the same house as you (and may have even been emailing with him while you were still married). Who do you think is moving fast. Argh. Next to arrive is Alexis "Fun Bags" Bellino, the world's only tit boxer. She actually knocks people out with her titties while she's in the ring. That is why they call them "knockers." Alexis brought Sara the Striver with her. We've seen Sara twice before this season, and she is one of those women (like a Kim G. or a Dana Wilkie) that wants on the show real bad but is sort of too bland and awful to get a full-time gig so they just trot her out when they need some exposition or conflict and let her dig her own grave without getting paid for it. Sara the Striver is officially the worst. Possibly even worse than Jim Bellino who is the Guinness Book of World Record holder and Olympic Gold Medalist in The Worst. Since Jim won't come to the fancy party, Alexis brings Sara who I thought was Gretchen's friend. When did she go from Gretchen's friend to Alexis' friend? Anyway, we learn at a dinner that Alexis is still pissed off about what happened to her in Costa Rico and that she feels ganged up by the women. When she got back, she called up all her friends and asked if she was phony. "No!" her equally phony friends said to her. Duh, of course they did. As Dionne Warwick said, that's what friends are for. "For good times, for bad times, for times when you are on a reality show and they accuse you of being a materialistic liar to your face and you need people to continually rationalize your self-delusions, I'll be on your side forever more. That's what friends are for." Alexis actually says this thing: "They're mistaking kindness for phony." Excuse me, my ears just fell of and melted into a pool of warm gazpacho. What? I cunt hear you. How does that even make sense? Alexis seems to think that because all the women are awful screech monkeys (which they are, except for Heather) that when someone isn't a screech monkey they think she's not being "real." Oh, Alexis. That has nothing to do with it. It's the fact that you lie about how many Bentleys you have and how much money your The Worst husband makes on his trampoline park that makes them think you're phony. It's your big tits and your fake wedding ring that make them think you're phony. It's your convenient Christianity that makes them think you're phony. It's your fake Louis Vuitton blinged out phone that make them think you're phone-y (get it?)! It's basically everything about you. Then Sara Striver (no relation to Maria) says, "I have one word for you: jealousy." OK, I am going to set the record straight once and for all, Housewives. No one treats you like shit because they are jealous. Period. This is not a motivation for meanness because all of these women are so self-involved that they all think that who they are and what they have is the best. They are incapable of jealousy (unless they get kicked off the show and you don't). Saying people are mean to you because they are jealous is just another sick symptom of your own narcissism. So, Alexis says she wants some backup at the party and Jim won't going so Sara says, "I'll go if you go." Um, yeah, Sara, that's how it works because you aren't invited! You can't show up at the door and say, "Oh, I'm Alexis' plus one, but she's not coming." You're only along for the ride. Alright, next up is Gretchen and Slade who pulled up in a Stage Coach from Petticoat Junction. Gretchen had a pink dress with ruffles with black piping and a flower in her hair and her tits spilling out, and she looked like she just got off her shift serving sassparilly at the saloon in Deadwood. But then Slade pulled up in the Delorean from Back to the Future and the door opened skyward and a little puff of smoke emerged and he came right from the '70s where he was wearing a black blazer and turtle neck like he was trying to be the white Shaft. They walked into the Granite Palace together and Gretchen said, "Ooooh. Pretty flowers" (they were quite nice) and then a waiter offered her a "Vanilla Pomegranate Martini" and she spontaneously vomited all over him and her dress, but luckily her bright pink emission was the same color as her dress, so it just blended and she walked into the party. Gretchen and Slade really didn't do anything last night. That's when I like them the best. When they're doing absolutely nothing. Gretchen and Slade could sit on a couch for the rest of their lives watching reruns of SVU and I'd be totally fine with that. Once a year we could check in and say, "How you guys doing?" and they'd say, "Oh, just fine. Can you get us some pretzels?" and that would be absolutely perfect. Next:
  • Yes, Mike Tyson Is Actually Coming to Broadway
    By: Brian Moylan Jun 19, 2012
    We've seen Mike Tyson knock out the competition, bite off someone's ear, go to prison, and costar in The Hangover, but now we're actually going to get a chance to see him on Broadway. What's he going to be doing? Well, talking about the fights, breakups, prison, and, hopefully, just what ear tastes like. At a press conference yesterday, Tyson and director Spike Lee announced that Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth will run at the Longacre Theater in New York from July 31 until Aug. 5 and will be directed by Lee. Yes, that's only six performances, but that's enough to be eligible for a Tony. The show was written by his wife and is about key moments in Tyson's life, including his mother's checkered past and his stints in jail and possibly even a story where his ex-wife Robin Givens goes out with Brad Pitt. Yes, this who thing seems interesting and like, as Lee said, "a great American story," but based on Tyson's speech pattern at the press conference, I'm not convinced he's eloquent enough to hold an audience's attention for 90 minutes. Just look at how he bungles the punchline of the Givens story in the video below. He's going to have to work on his timing if he wants to really wow the crowd that's used to America's best thespians. While most actors take to the stage for a love of their craft and a quest for adoration (and sometimes just the latter) Tyson's motivations are a bit different. "I"m trying to get paid to get out of debt and stuff," he says explicitly. Well, at least he's honest about it. Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan More: Zooey Deschanel to Make Broadway Debut in 'Coal Miner's Daughter' Whitney Houston's 'Sparkle' Coming to Broadway and Bookshelves? Tom Hanks Set to Make Broadway Debut
  • Everyone Needs to Move Into 'Glass House'
    By: Brian Moylan Jun 19, 2012
    As I accurately predicted, I am completely obsessed with Glass House, ABC's newest "strangers living in a house" reality show. It is everything I wanted it to be, but sadly I think that the premiere is lost on most people (and, yes, no one watched it) because viewer voting really won't kick into high gear until next week. There were actually a few problems with the first episode. First, it really is quite a lot like Big Brother. It looks and sounds quite like it and has a certain BB spirit about it that I like. That said, it's still dramatically different, since the audience gets to decide most of the major action throughout the game. That element is going to be huge. Sadly, we didn't see it yet. The other problem is that, from the first minutes, the game was highjacked by someone who refers to himself as "Prime Time 99 Alex Stein" with the well-rehearsed cadence of someone who gives himself his own nickname. Now, I hate to use this word, but Alex Stein is a douchebag, plain and simple. He's is just the blandest sort of arrogant prick who takes a lot of pride in his meager accomplishments who thinks that he can be the most "epic reality show villain" of all time. Sorry, dude, but like nicknames that stick, the best reality show villains don't elect themselves, they just happen as a matter of course. After a little round where viewers answer the contestants questions, but the other contestants don't know the questions only the answers, Alex takes America's decision that he should become such a villain as an excuse to go around the house insulting everyone. This isn't being a villain, this is being a dick. That means for the rest of the hour, all eyes are focused on Alex and we don't really get to learn much about the other 13 yahoos who are getting their glass kicked by this show. There is a challenge that was inventive, difficult and looked a lot more professional than most of the fly-by-night hokey contests in the Big Brother back yard. The team captain of the losing team, an idiot whose name I already can't remember, got sent to limbo (in future weeks, we'll choose the captains so put two people in danger of losing) and we saw the housemates vote Alex to join him in "limbo," which, according to my Catholic education, is where unbaptized babies go or, according to my New Mutants comic books is a realm filled with demons run by a mutant named Magik (with a K). Now we get to decide whether Alex or Nameless Yahoo goes home. Yes, us! That's why Alex is such a huge douchebag. He's walking around the house going, "You're going to have to lie to people and people are going to be mean to you." No, Alex, because this is not a little show called Big Brother, the only thing that will help you is having America decide to keep you around. You can remain friends with everyone in the house and cry when the mean viewers at home send your best friend packing and you never have to get your hands dirty. That's why Apollo's strategy where he leaves it to chance who he votes for sort of makes sense. He just wants to stay out of it, and finally there is a reality show where he can. However, his name is Apollo Poetry and he is a poet who wears a kimono and I want to punch him and his wishy-washy strategy in the face. Conversely, Alex knows that the only people he has to please are the ones at home, so pissing everyone off won't necessarily come back to bite him in the ass, even if those in the house put him in limbo every damn week. That's what worries me about this show though. Our natural tendency is to mess with the contestants (and just wait until we get to vote who is sleeping in the "Enemies Room" together and who is sharing a bed in the "Hookup Friendship Room") so that makes me think America will keep stupid Alex so he can keep messing with people. Please, guys, don't be that stupid. Vote him out. He is so smug and annoying! He will ruin this game. But we'll probably keep him, cause we are cruel and sadistic, and this is our damn show. Let's try not to screw it up. Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan More: Everything You Need to Know About 'Glass House' Our Newest Summer TV Obessions 'Glass House' Doesn't Exactly Shatter Ratings 'Glass House' Injunction Denied, the Unhealthily Obsessed Celebrate
  • 'Real Housewives of New York' Recap: Doomsday Awaits
    By: Brian Moylan Jun 19, 2012
    Here is a profile of a Manhattan mom who loves only one thing more than her children: preparing for the apocalypse. Behind her gigantic shoe closet packed with rows of Jimmy Choos and Louboutins, there is a gorgeous panic room that is unrivaled in New York City. It's full of gas masks, canned goods, Cipro (in case Junior gets a sniffle), radiation detectors, Rapture-proof suits, an elaborate water purification system that runs on hot air and houewife spit, a Bible, the complete I Love Lucy library on DVD (they're going to need something to watch), a flat screen TV (for Lucy), and 14 magnums of champagne in their own fridge that is run by a self-contained generator. No, this is not Doomsday Preppers, this is ¡Que Viva!'s Closet, a show about the lifestyles of rich and famous whackadoos who think that the end of the world is near. Can you believe that ¡Que Viva! is a Doomsday Prepper? Actually, yes I can. This is the thing about ¡Que Viva! that I've learned over three short episodes: she is absolutely nuts. That is about the only interesting thing that we learned last night on the episode of Real Taint Scratchers of Crazy Village. But she's not crazy in the way you think she's crazy. Let me break it down for you, like she breaks down her own urine while waiting in her Luxury Bunker and turns it back into drinking water (there is a bit of alchemy involved). ¡Que Viva! really badly wants to come off as normal. She wants everyone to see this nice, Jewish girl with blond hair and a little bit of work done around the head and neck region and think that she's all wonderful and polished and elaborately manicured like the tail of Standard Poodle. But she's not, she's nuttier than a Fruit Cage (which is the name of Andy Cohen's Hamptons home). It's not because she's all, "Because I got my leg chopped off by a manure machine I'm not scared of flying and subways and being trapped in places and heights and machines and Transformers movies and did you know that the Mayans say that 2012 is the end of the world and I can't possibly be in a sunken living room because I feel like I'm never going to crawl out again and oh, God, is that macrame, I just can't, please take it down because all those knots make me sick to my stomach and I think I'm going to hurl oh and I'm afraid of throwing up. Yup, it's definitely coming, where's your bathroom. Oh shit, I'm gonna puke. FFaopiwhgpwoieghaWer." That is the crazy ¡Que Viva! wants you think she has. This is the crazy she puts on display so that you don't see what's lurking below. This is the trash in the Death Star's compactor so that you don't see the tentacle monster lashing in the murk below. The crazy that ¡Que Viva! has is an ever shifting crazy that accommodates the insanity around her. It's like a retrovirus, as soon as you think you have her crazy figured out, she goes and changes it like she changed her son's first name. She changed her kid's damn name! That is the darkness that misfires in the folds of her brain. Then she insisted that her husband not wear a wedding ring because she thinks more girls would hit on him if they knew he was married. Then, at boozy brunch my total favorite Sonja Morgan took a sip of her bellini and a drag off her imaginary cigarette (because in my mind Sonja T. Morgan is always wearing opera gloves and smoking an imaginary cigarette) and said, "Oh, honey, if he was wearing that ring when you met him in Bed Bath & Beyoncé you never would have pulled him over to that hard sample bed with the Nautica duvet and showed him that special trick you do with your prosthetic, now would you? And it wouldn't have stopped me, honey. I would have hit on it either way, so you might as well just put a ring on it because, well, you just should." Then ¡Que Viva! goes to the jewelry store and does it. She is convinced by Sonja Morgan, Slut Whisperer, into buying her husband a ring for no particularly good reason, but only because she has been called out and must adapt. She's like a midochondrian of melodrama. She's just stone cold loco en la tete. That's what she is. And then, after Sonja convinced her about the ring, she takes Ramona to the jewelry store to help one out because she is a "jewelry expert." Oh please. If Ramona Singer is a jewelry expert, that Chef Boyardee is an Italian cuisine master with three Micheline stars. But ¡Que Viva! thinks that she's getting some entré into the blingosphere because she's letting Ramona's eyes (that never need a loop to determine the purity of a diamond) take her to a jewelry store. It's like the time she went shopping for creepy dolls with Marie Osmond. Sigh, ¡Que Viva! A million scattered sighs like your million quaking neuroses, clattering up against each other like stones on the shore, burnished to a high polish after the years and years of anxiety washing over them in waves. Stop trying to appear normal, because we all know that when you take off your mask, you look like that scary librarian in Ghostbusters. Know who is not crazy? Carole Radziwill, my new best friend forever and ever. She is just so freaking cool. All the girls are like "Oh, we can't possibly take the subway," not because there is something wrong with the subway, but because they think that they can't take the subway. Like there is something that makes them better by submitting themselves to the utter inconvenience of sitting in traffic with a driver. Carole is just like, "You bitches be stupid. I'm buying you all MetroCards for Christmas and you are going to take the damn subway. And don't wear leather shorts when you come downtown. This does not make you cool. It makes you look like a hairdresser from Hoboken going out for a night in the Meatpacking District. Knock it off." That, right there, is why I want to take Carole out to lunch and talk to her about being awesome. (Carole, this is a real offer. Call me!) Then Carole talks about how she doesn't understand how any of the women can want to be with the same man for the rest of their lives. Now, I'm sorry Sonja T. Morgan, you're still my favorite, but this is something a real slut says. We all know that Sonja is only sleeping around until she finds one many who can afford her expensive habits and keep up with her insatiable sexual desires. Once that happens, she's going to mate for life. Carole, on the other hand, is a true skank. And I do not mean that as a pejorative in any way. In my universe, skanks are totally the best, just like Carole. They're just so busy working on themselves that the men are just incidental love apparatuses that come in to satisfy them and buy them a few nice dinners before fluttering off into the sunset like an exhausted mayfly. At lunch with Ramona and Mario she said the skankiest thing of all, "I only flirt with married guys when their wives are right there." Amazing! And that's what she does. She sits down next to Mario — who is, by all estimations, one of the more dreamy of the Househusbands even though Ramona keeps his sex organs in a Hello Kitty cookie jar on their bedside table and only lets him strap them on after two glasses of Pinot and a night of fighting with other Housewives (that's when she's at her horniest) — and she just starts flirting with him like Kelly Bensimon eying a bag of Jelly Bellies. It was sick. I loved it. I bet Carole is one of those ladies who also flirts with gay guys, just cause. Just to keep those skills keen. OK, I better start talking about Sonja Morgan, my favorite, because I'm afraid she's going to get jealous. Now, I love Sonja and part of the reason is that she is trying to make it happen in business and, well, she might as well just open a lemonade stand on E 85th Street. She'd make as much money doing that. That is actually the perfect business plan for Sonja. She can have her intern mix the Country Time in the house and then she can sit on a little stool next to a low table with a hand-painted sign taped to it and smoke her imaginary cigarettes and tell the crowd about the time she lived in Italy with Count Chocula, the heir to a cereal fortune, for six years before she caught him making out in a secret passage guarded by a suit of armor with Boo Berry. Then she'd lean over and tell that intern, "Honey, use more ice and water. We're trying to a run a business here, honey." That is much better advice than she got from Ramona Singer who told her to forget about her business with the toaster over cookbook (which is Sonja's equivalent of "fetch") and focus on her catering business called Sonja in the City, because it is 2003 and she just finished eating a Magnolia cupcake. Anyway, Ramona's business advice basically boils down to "Write it down in a notebook." That is the secret to Ramona's success, a little Trapper Keeper that she picked up at Duane Reade back in the day and has been scribbling away on loose leaf paper ever since. That is what launched her empire. Notebooks! Sonja thinks this is kind of shitty advice because as unequipped as Sonja is she still knows her elbow from an apple orchard (that is an expression I just made up). So she decides to go talk to "This Heather." I love how she says that. It's like how your grandmother talks about the receptionist at her doctor's office. "This Heather told me that if I go to the pharmacy they'll have this Benadryls cream and that will help with the itching." She said it like that, like it was this random person that none of us would know. "This Heather." Alright, so Sonja goes to visit This Heather (which I think I might call her from now on) and she's full of great advice. She tells Sonja how to fix her logo, how to brand her image, how to integrate her revenue streams, how to create a Power Point presentation, what to do with her first round of venture capital, when to file for her IPO, whether she wants to be on the NYSE or NASDAQ, how to sign up for subscription for the Wall Street Journal, and then she gives her a pair of Yummie Tummie™ (that stands for "Trade Motherf**kin' Marked, Biatch") and sends her on her way. I wanted to hate This Heather, but I might be coming around, even though her fake smile reminds me of a giant puffy cloth clown painting in my pediatrician's office that used to make me shit my Underoos. As a reward for passing Econ 101, Prof. This Heather decides she's going to take everyone on a trip to London. Sonja is like. "Yes, please," (inhale from imaginary cigarette). "Momma needs a vacay!" This Heather calls up Carole and says, "Bitch, we're going to London. Whut! Whut!" and Carole says, "Sign me up!" OK, I am completely convinced that these "Call and let's go on a vacation" calls are totally fake. It happens on every Housemonkeys franchise and I just think it's all bunk. The producers have plotted this out months in advance. They must have. This isn't a vacation with friends, this is work. This is contractually obligated business travel. This is like going to a plant visit in Ames, Iowa. This is not party fun time. Then, of course, This Heather calls ¡Que Viva! right when she's jewelry shopping with Ramona and doesn't invite Ramona to London. Of course she wouldn't because Ramona treated Heather like a booger that wouldn't get off her finger. And then...What?! What just happened to my TV? Why did it go black? Oh shit, Time Warner, what the hell did you do this time? "Hello, thank you for calling Time Warner Cable. If you are calling from Midtown Manhattan there is a cable outage. Sorry about the inconvenience. We're working on correcting the problem." But...But...But...Shit. Guess I'll never know what happens. Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan More: 'Real Housewives of New York' Recap: Choosing Sides 'Real Housewives of New York' Recap: Fresh Meat Jill Zarin Might Be Out of 'Real Housewives of New York City'
  • Everything You Need to Know About 'Glass House' Our Newest Summer TV Obessions
    By: Brian Moylan Jun 18, 2012
    As soon as I heard the concept behind ABC's new show The Glass House, which premieres tonight at 10 PM, I was completely obsessed. It's a show in which 14 strangers live in a house, but we all get to vote online and by text message to determine who stays, who goes, who gets to sleep where, who gets to wear what, and just what they do every damn day over the next 10 weeks. This is going to be so freaking awesome, guys, I promise. Maybe the reason I'm so stoked is because of the ongoing legal battle surrounding the show and because we were almost denied tonight's debut. But it's going to happen and, boy, I haven't been this excited since I asked for a BB gun for Christmas. I'm here to answer your questions about my newest boob tube obsession. How does this thing work? Alright, it's sort of similar to Big Brother, hence the lawsuit (more on that in a minute): There are 14 people living in a house and every second of their lives is taped. Each week someone is kicked out of the house. The person left at the end is a big old winner. Who are these yahoos? Well, if you really want to meet them, they all have profiles on the show's website. How do they get voted off? So, each week, after the show, America votes who they want to stay in the house. You can vote for as many people as you'd like or as few people as you'd like. Or you can be a slacker and not vote, but that isn't very fun (and is also how we ended up with George W. Bush in office for two terms and you don't want another travesty like that to occur, do you?). The two people who get the lowest number of votes are the two team captains for the week. Wait, why are they rewarding the people with the fewest votes? Well, it's not really a reward. Yes, the captains get to pick their teams for a challenge, but the captain of the losing team is up for elimination. Who else is up for elimination? Another member of the losing team, but the members of the house get to decide which person. So they do have some say in who gets kicked out. Yes, but that is it. Then viewers vote on which of the two people to keep in the house and who gets sent packing. That seems really complicated. Yeah, but it also seems totally awesome! Finally, we get all the control. Well, most of the control, at least. Is that all we get to vote on? No! There are already polls on the website where we can influence the sort of awful tasks that the Glassers will have to go through. We get to pick if they should thread a 100 needles or blow up 100 balloons. Well, the obvious choice is balloons! Right. And that is why this is fun. The viewers at home are mean and sadistic and they are going to do everything they can to create drama in the house. It's sort of like giving Internet commenters free reign to do whatever they want. There are new polls to vote in every day. Like Big Brother, can you watch live streaming video of the house all the time? I don't think so. I haven't quite figured it out yet, but it seems like there is a period of "streaming and voting" where viewers can watch footage online, vote on what should happen, and see the outcome of their votes in real time. Those take place Mondays from 11 PM to 3 AM and Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 3 PM to 4 PM. Is that Eastern time? Isn't everything? So this is when you should be sleeping and working? Yes, Glass House is trying to singlehandedly ruin American productivity. For that, we applaud it. What the hell is going on with this lawsuit? Well, CBS sued ABC for stealing their trade secrets because the show is so similar to Big Brother. Currently the lawsuit is ongoing, but a judge dealt CBS a blow on Friday when he denied an injuction to keep Glass House off the air. Guess we're going to have to wait for the outcome and have a blissful summer where we get both Glass House and Big Brother. Oh, one more question. Is there a hot tub? Duh. Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan More: 'Glass House' Injunction Denied, the Unhealthily Obsessed Celebrate 'The Glass House' Case Continues: Making Sense of ABC's Latest Argument 'Glass House' Saga Continues: CBS Strikes Back... With a Restraining Order
  • A Mathematical Prediction of This Year's Best Actor Emmy Nominees
    By: Brian Moylan Jun 18, 2012
    This year, the race for the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series Emmy is tighter than the belly on Jessica Simpson's maternity dresses during month 10 and a half. It's an absolute embarrassment of riches, with 53 eligible actors and at least 15 worthy leading men with a really good shot of landing a nomination. How the heck are we going to figure out who will be in the running? Since the nomination process is based on math, then we should leave it up to numbers to determine who should get his tux cleaned and who should work on his Emmy reel for next year. I devised a formula that certainly isn't foolproof, but might be a good indicator of who the favorites are. First off, each actor gets one point for being a male because, if he is not, then he's not going anywhere in this category. Then add in the number of previous Emmy nominations, because, for whatever reason, the Academy loves to reward the same gentlemen year after year. Then I added the number of Emmy wins, because the Academy also loves to give the same people the same trophies. Then I subtracted the number of years the series had been on the air because, while the Academy rewards actors who have inhabited a role for a long time, it also penalizes older series. However, a show gets +5 points if it is in its final season and going off the air (think long-time favorites like House and Desperate Housewives), since this is the last time the show can be recognized. A show also gets -5 points if it has been canceled (think Men of a Certain Age), because the Academy doesn't want to reward a show that won't be on the air anymore. Alright, here is where things get a little crazy. To that total an actor gets +10 points if his show is on broadcast TV, which always has a better shot than cable. However he gets +15 points if his show is on HBO, a network that gives an actor an even better shot than broadcast TV. He also gets +5 if is show is on AMC, because that network has a better shot than all the other cable networks (sorry Showtime). An actor also gets +10 points for every Oscar he's won, because the Emmys love taking Oscar's sloppy seconds. An actor also gets +10 points if his show has critical buzz (like Mad Men or Homeland). Then, we have to add in the average number of viewers for the most recent season of the show in millions (so if a show averages 3 million viewers, we add 3 to the total). Finally, the whole total was divided by the showiness of the role based on a scale of three: One being the most showy roles and three being the most stoic, because Emmy voters always reward the histrionic over the silent. Here is the boiled down formula: [1 point for being a male] + [Number of previous Emmy nominations] + [Number of previous Emmy wins] - [Number of years the show has been on the air (+5 if the show is in final season, -5 if it has been cancelled)] + [10 points for network TV, 15 for HBO, 5 for AMC] + [10 points for each Oscar won] + [10 points for critics' favorite] + [Number of viewers] / [Showiness of the role] = Possibility of Emmy nomination Here are the scores for the 15 people I thought were frontrunners, and the top six are the ones likely to be in contention for the big award. Hugh Laurie, House = 30.7 Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad = 24 Dustin Hoffman, Luck = 18 Ted Danson, CSI: Original Recipe = 14.25 Hugh Bonneville, Downton Abbey = 14.15 or 11.6* Michael C. Hall, Dexter = 13.5 Denis Leary, Rescue Me = 12.3 William H. Macy, Shameless = 11.4 Kelsey Grammer, Boss = 11.2 Ray Romano, Men of a Certain Age = 7.57 Jeremy Irons, The Borgias = 7.25 Jon Hamm, Mad Men = 6.83 Steve Buschemi, Boardwalk Empire = 6.67 Damian Lewis, Homeland = 6.3 Timothy Olyphant, Justified = 3.83 The reason Hugh Bonneville has an aterisk next to his name is because his show is a huge hit across the pond and, while its PBS ratings aren't anything to scoff at, if you factor in the international ratings, his number is high enough to tip him over the edge into the top six. However, if you only factor in American ratings, he falls below the nomination threshold. The other anomaly is how low Jon Hamm scored, mostly due to the fact that his Don Draper is more of a jaw clencher than a scenery chewer. I saw that Hamm should take Bonneville's place in the top six and our nominees will be Hugh Laurie, Bryan Cranston, Dustin Hoffman, Ted Danson, Jon Hamm, and Michael C. Hall. (I also wouldn't be shocked if Damian Lewis sneaks in there too, but due to his show's young age and low ratings, even the buzz wasn't enough to elevate his score.) Will we be right? We'll have to check back in on July 19 — when nominations are announced — to find out!  Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan More: 2012 Emmy Longshots: 'Community' Star Danny Pudi January Jones Really Really Wants an Emmy Emmys 2011: The Biggest Emmy Snubs in TV History Best Actor Poll