As the standard TV season winds down, mid-season and summer shows come back with a vengeance. Orphan Black, which features a woman (Tatiana Maslany) who discovers that she is a clone created by a secret organization, is a runaway hit. Continuum, in which Kiera Cameron (Rachel Nichols) is a cop from the future that gets sent into the past to stop terrorists from her time, is back for a third season and is both smart and action packed. Both series are chock full of twists and turns but also really smart premises but which is the show that should be your new obsession?
THE SCIENCE IN THE SCI-FI
Continuum is pretty smart about the science fiction of time travel. One of the main sources of drama in the series is the tension surrounding the science of the space-time continuum. Is Kiera helping to create the future where her son and husband are waiting for her, or is she changing that future with everything she does in the past?
The series boasts a startlingly realistic vision of the future (big business buys out the government and creates a technocratic police state), but also shows off tons of cool gizmos.
Orphan Black, on the other hand, is a little light on the science despite being about clones. Cosima Niehaus, one of the clones in question, is an evolutionary development student... but is basically treated as an all-purpose science expert.
Winner: Continuum. The show actually conscribes logic to time travel and presents startling technological developments for the future.
Both series feature actors doing double (sometimes quintuple!) duty. Part of the appeal of Orphan Black is that Maslany plays so many characters. There are not only so many clones you don’t know what will happen next, Maslany also breathes them all to life with unique personalities and distinct characteristics. She even sometimes has to play one clone impersonating another. It’s like the acting Olympics.
Thanks to Continuum's heavy use of time travel, Nichols plays Kiera both in the present and in her original future. In addition to this (spoilers!), we've seen a recent development introducing a two versions of Kiera’s confidant Alec Sadler (Erik Knudsen), from two different timelines. It’s an interesting twist but the show isn’t capitalizing much on having the actors exist in two different time periods as far as performance goes.
Winner: Orphan Black. Maslany is a powerhouse and deserves an Emmy, while Kiera hasn’t gone through much of a transformation despite being in the present for three seasons.
TRUST VS. UNCERTAINTY
The suspense and tension of Orphan Black comes from the characters' (and viewers') inability to trust anyone. Any character could be a monitor, an agent sent to spy on the clones. Everyone’s motivations are suspect, and any new characters and developments come equipped with WTF shocker moments.
Continuum is built on uncertainty. No character knows that the changes they make will create the shocking future Kiera came from or make things better or worse. But the tension exists primarily on a scientific level, rather than a human one.
Winner: Orphan Black is more fun because the story unfolds at a terrific pace, while Continuum can be irritating because, for some reason, the terrorists from the future have never questioned if they are creating the future they tried to escape from.
AND THE ULTIMATE WINNER IS...
Both shows are insanely addictive. However, Orphan Black wins by a nose. It’s the right blend of action, mind-bending surprises, and a good sense of humor.
Are you anxiously awaiting a Mean Girls reunion? Well, if Ramona Singer has her way, you’ll get it... with a significantly different (and older) cast. She’ll be playing Patina Gorge, the Queen Bee in Mean Hurls. This time the film is set in Manhattan and features a “beautiful” blonde who takes out all of her anger about her philandering husband out on the women around her. She hurls insults, spells, and whole glasses of wine. We should say that this film is actually a fever dream brought about by a psychotic break Ramona had while seeing all the other Housewives in bathing suits.
Revenge of the Eyelander
Sonja Morgan A.K.A. In-the-Red Sonja invites Aviva Drescher and Ramona, the Eyelander, over for sunbathing and brunch. Aviva and Sonja butter themselves up and reveal shockingly sexy bikini bods. Ramona calls to tell Sonja she isn’t coming. It seems the Eyelander and In-the-Red Sonja are gearing up for war. Clearly Ramona has no intentions of leaving their tête-à-tête from last episode alone. Instead, she goes to a designer house with LuAnn desperate Lesseps and Carole Radziwill. She proceeds to act like a toddler by insulting the light fixtures, ripping removable wallpaper, and trying to break unbreakable plates. Spoiler alert: even throwing a ceramic plate into a pool won’t break it. Then she reveals all of Sonja’s financial problems to the ladies… and all of America. Sonja’s town house has gone into trusteeship because she is behind with her enormous debt. It’s ironic Ramona would air out Sonja’s money woes and not her husband’s cheating ways.
Does Carole Eat?
Carole is the tiniest housewife in NYC. She looks so frail. Contrary to what was reported by big butt enthusiast Sir-Mix-a-Lot, the red beans and rice did in fact miss Miss Radziwill. Next to her, Heather Thomson looks like a giant. Let’s face it, Heather has a slammin’ body. It’s sort of ironic that she re-invented Spanx. Or did she? Apparently, she and Spanx are suing each other over who wore it best. Hopefully Heather’s next business isn’t vajazzling, skinny sangria, or a fabric store because we know people in those businesses. She decides to drink the pain away with beer, tequila, and pizza at Carole’s house. Carole takes the opportunity to reveal she’s having a refresh. Nope, it’s not smaller veneers. She’s getting a major apartment remodel and documenting it on TV. “Yay,” said absolutely no one. She wants to get gold-leaf on her ceiling and move her office into her kitchen. Apparently, all she cooks in there is toast and English muffins. Doesn’t she microwave things, reheat leftovers, or fry an egg? New Yorkers famously don’t use their ovens but they still make more than toast. If this were Mean Hurls, she could just eat Kalteen bars.
Drescher vs. Drescher: Happily Divorced
Aviva invites her ex-husband infamous Housewife bedder Harry Dubin over for dinner. They have a delightfully awkward family dinner with her husband, ex-husband, eldest son and two youngest who resemble Precious Moments dolls. Everything’s great as they prepare to send her son off to sleep away camp, until her husband Reid says something really creepy, “Most important, I don’t want you to do what I did, which was, in the middle of the night, sneak over to the girls' bunks in the night and go into their rooms and play with them.” To add insult to injury the editors cut the audio to make it the most pregnant, loaded, and rapiest pause in Housewife history. It’s a missed opportunity. It would have been a great time to have Reid’s cousin Fran Drescher walk in, wearing a leopard mini-dress, sit on the table and talk about playing Yentl in her camp’s production in Flushing, Queens.
Curse of the Eyelander
Kristen Taekman’s words with Ramona last episode just might have gotten her cursed by the Eyelander. She meets with modeling agent Craig Lawrence, who doesn’t realize he’s being filmed. He calls her old and tells her to move to a smaller market like Wisconsin. There isn’t much money to be made in modeling in small markets. There’s just more opportunities. Also, there is such a thing as celebrity modeling and Kristen will get more work now that she’s been on TV.
It seems like the Eyelander magic brings nothing but discord. During a casual afternoon of wine-tasting, LuAnn calls Sonja a b**ch. Then the evil googly eyed magic burrows its way into Sonja’s brain. She tries to talk about a deal she made with department stores but can only speak in nonsensical phrases. It’s shocking. Ramona seems the most unhinged, sloppy, and loopy, but is the most aware. Meanwhile, Sonja seems so lucid and together and has no idea what’s going on.
Ramona stops by as Sonja is cleaning her bathroom to further her embarrassment. She winces as she sees Sonja’s laundry hanging on a drying rack. What do you expect? She’s broke. Sonja somehow secures a spa day for all the ladies. While LuAnn, Heather, and Carole relax and share a tub of mud, everyone else fights. Ramona reveals that she called a friend of Sonja’s young boyfriend’s mother. This resulted in Sonja getting stood up. Kristen, the cartoonish voice of reason, points out maybe Ramona’s jealous. Ramona flings her glass on Pinot scalding her. After all, Ramona Pinot does have trace elements of estrogen, stem cells, and pixie urine. When Kristen retaliates by splashing her she says that she was never Kristen’s friend anyway. Little does Kristen know the only thing that can stop Ramona is buried deep underground the abandoned studio of Bethenny – The Mace of Menopause.
Real Houselines of New York
"I’ve been putting up with Ramona’s Ramona-ness for years now." – LuAnn
"Ramona, it’s a designer house not a frat house." – Carole
"She has great legs. Legs are not my thing." – Aviva
"This is too acidic. Like urine." – Aviva showcasing her sommelier skills
"The reason people buy the toaster ovens after reading the recipes in my newsletter is... sex." – An exerpt from Sonja’s business prospectus
"Mileage, what am I, a station wagon?" – Kristen
"Sonja is the only person I know who can play off bankruptcy fabulously." – Kristen
"Sonja likes any good-looking guy that she finds sexually attractive, and she thinks between her legs before her head." – Ramona
"You threw pinot on her and took penis away from me." – Sonja
"I teach my kids not to hit, not to throw. Did Ramona not get that memo 65 years ago?" – Kristen
There is a new trend of films, both maintream hits and cult favorites, being turned into successful Tony Award winning musicals. Some might say there are no new ideas and creativity is dead. Others may delight in seeing the movies they love set to song and dance. It seems like nothing is exempt from the treatment, from Disney cartoons like The Lion King and The Little Mermaid, to heartwarming dramas like Newsies and Billy Elliot, and off-the-wall comedies like Monty Python and the Holy Grail (which begat Spamalot). There’s even an off-Broadway musical of the cult flick Heathers. It's getting some decent traction with its stylish production design and hilarious lyrics. Does this mean it could be the next toast of Broadway?
Some of the strangest films have gone on to become majorly successful musical. Here are some of the strangest and most fun:
Despite a memorable soundtrack and the magic of Olivia Newton John (ONJ) and The Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), this film wasn’t commercially successful and was panned by critics. Heck, it even inspired John J.B. Wilson to create The Razzie Awards. However, it did make a wildly fun Broadway musical. The adaptation poked fun at some of the more bizarre parts of the film like ONJ’s love for roller-skates and leg warmers and some major plot holes. Greek muse Clio (Kerry Butler) goes undercover as a mortal named Kira with a thick Australian accent to inspire dim-witted artist Sonny Malone (Cheyenne Jackson).
The quirky British comedy drama finds a son inheriting his father’s shoe factory. When he befriends a drag queen Lola, played by Chiwetel Ejiofor (yes, that Chiwetel Ejiofor) he gets an idea to save his factory. The film also features Shaun of the Dead star Nick Frost. The award-winning musical version has songs penned by Cyndi Lauper (who won her first Tony for the show — she's just an Oscar away from EGOTing now!) and story by Harvey Fierstein.
Reese Witherspoon throws the whole notion of "dumb blondes" out the window when sorority girl Elle Woods goes to Harvard Law School. This highly addictive musical features Laura Bell Bundy as Elle, along with major dance numbers, insanely catchy sing-a-long moments, and fresh additions to the original story. Smash star Christian Borle appears as Elle’s dorky love interest Emmett. The series did not win a Tony but it did find a lot success and even aired in its entirety on MTV.
John Waters' edgy comedy about the 1960s race relations and dance series already had musical numbers, so all it needed was that extra touch. The 1988 film starred Ricki Lake, Divine, and Debbie Harry. It spawned a musical that won eight Tony Awards. It starred Harvey Fierstein and Glee star Matthew Morrison. Xanadu star Butler and Legally Blonde’s Bundy also had roles in this obscenely popular musical. Not only did the musical clean up some of Waters more edgy themes but it somehow managed to inspire a movie musical based on a musical based on a movie. It can best be described as:
Season 6 of Real Housewives of Atlanta has forever changed the franchise. Before this season, there have only been the occasional physical spats but never a full-on fight. However, NeNe Leakes altered history with an antagonistic couples’ night. A bunch of cast members in pajamas, a few underlying issues, and a ton of loaded questions all added up to a huge brawl. Apollo Nida attacked one of Kenya Moore’s friends. It also caused Kandi Burruss to get violent as well. After that, Andy Cohen and Bravo instituted a no violence policy. But that didn’t stop Porsha Stewart from losing her cool at the reunion and almost rip out Kenya’s weave. But will she get fired?
Should Porsha Be Fired?
It’s pretty straightforward: there’s a no violence policy. It’s standard fare for reality shows. Cast members of The Real World have been tossed for getting physical. This instance was particularly hardcore. One slap would be minor but she actually took Kenya to the floor. And in truth, Porsha doesn’t really add much to the show. She’s been inconsistent. Her first season, she was a dutiful wife with weird puritanical morals. Her second season, she was constantly crying about her divorce. Her diva behavior with her huge rental house and her demands during Kandi’s musical were also a bit much. At the reunion, she was sassy and a little ratchet. So who is the real Porsha? By now we should know who she is and want her to be on the show. If she doesn’t add anything, has no clear personality, and is just trying on personalities to be on TV she could go to another network.
Should Kenya Quit?
The ladies have rallied around Porsha. Many have said they would leave if she’s fired. Kenya also filed assault charges against Porsha, which resulted in a hilarious overly made-up mug shot. Kenya has even said she might quit. She did provoke Porsha by waving a scepter at her and yelling in her face with a bullhorn. Sure that’s bad behavior but this is Real Housewives, it’s expected. She didn’t break any rules and gave everyone watching Bravo what they wanted. Kenya must stay on the show. She’s honestly the best part! Sure she can be a villain, instigator, s**t starter, but so is Andy Cohen. NeNe has become an abstract concept of her former self. She has fought with everyone and she brings more toxicity to the show than Kenya. Kenya brings fun, drama, a little crazy, and some of the best interview quotes on the show. The only real problem is she doesn’t get along with anyone but Cynthia Bailey and Kandi. But there may be some potential to add new ladies and refresh the show.
It’s unclear what the future holds for Kenya or Porsha but if you have to choose one person to stay it’s Kenya. Porsha didn’t even know the Underground Railroad wasn’t an actual train. It wouldn’t be the end of the world if a few people were swapped out on the show maybe even Queen NeNe herself. But we do want more of Kenya Moore.
ABC Television Network
Something is off about ABC’s new drama Black Box. By day, Dr. Katherine Black (Kelly Reilly) is an accomplished neuroscientist. But by night she rides the high of her manic-depressive episodes and goes on hypersexual binges or dances to music only she can hear. This honestly sounds like a pitch meeting in an episode of Family Guy or an after-hours movie on Cinemax. Mental illness is a serious issue, and the way the show is handling it so far does not bode too well. Filling the void left by Scandal, this series could portray a strong woman and her heartfelt and gut-wrenching journey in and out of psychosis. Instead, it feels like a lost television show inspired by the artistic masterpiece that is Showgirls.
The story is wrought with plot holes. We see Katherine in the middle of a session with her therapist, played by Vanessa Redgrave. They handle all the exposition and we learn she’s top of her field, has a fiancé, and is also prone to hypersexuality, mania, delusions of grandeur, and hallucinations when not on her meds. In one episode, she delivers a sloppy speech to colleagues, goes home with a cab driver, gets robbed, and nearly falls to her death. Not only is she a medical professional with an illness that could cause her to hurt others, but her therapist, is legally obligated to report her if she is at risk of hurting herself or others. All this happens in the first 15 minutes. The rest of the series degrades into part medical drama — she corrects an erroneous schizophrenia diagnosis and schedules surgery… in the middle of the night… at a private practice — and part soap opera, as she reveals a daughter/niece and a sexual tension with a douchey neurosurgeon.
One challenge the show has is Reilly. Although she gave a great performance in Flight, resting a series that explores the good, the bad, the sexy, and the icky about mental illness on this actress might be a tall order. The series calls to mind Eli Stone and Ally McBeal by showing the protagonist's auditory and visual hallucinations. Reilly’s accent is a challenge. She’s chosen a sexy baby voice rather than one of an authoritative doctor. Being able to sound cogent and together while in the throes of a mental health meltdown seem to be a prerequisite. She doesn’t deliver the range of wide personality shifts associated with true manic-depressive episodes. Costar Laura Fraser, for example, does a much better job at portraying an American and having sides to her personality… and she’s only in a few minutes of the show.
But it’s not all Reilly’s fault. Her character isn’t the strong woman you’d expect to be a neuroscience wunderkind that would inspire a therapist to risk her job. She calls herself a “b**ch,” spends more time focused on her relationship than her health, and stops taking her meds for the hell of it. It doesn’t have the same take on self destructive behavior as a show like Nurse Jackie that captures both sides of the coin.
The show deserves some props for making the attempt to explore mental illness, though. People are familiar with the manic-depression but rarely see the reality of it. This series tries to cinematically manufacture mania with frenetic sexy moments, show her hallucinations through special effects, and even provides the jazzy soundtrack for the music in her head. It’s a tough sell. Mental, a failed Fox drama, tried to replicate House but with psychological issues. Shameless has two main characters, Ian and Monica, who are manic-depressive. Both of those series succeeded in provided the proper brevity and reverence for mental illnesses. A manic episode may send someone into an erotic episode but the gratuitous sex seems to trivialize the disease in the way that cursing and tic jokes do to Tourette’s syndrome.
Puns aside, Black Box deserves at least a second glance but it does have an uphill battle. Riding the line between series medical drama and campy sex opera is a tough sell. Luckily, if it goes the way of mid-season replacements Scandal will be back in a few months.
Everyone is up in arms over whether Porsha Stewart or Kenya Moore should leave Real Housewives of Atlanta after the fight last episode. However, maybe it’s NeNe Leakes who should leave. She has burned her final bridge by declaring war on her last remaining ally, Cynthia Bailey. She has had a sourpuss look on her face the entire reunion. Andy Cohen, please just make NeNe a producer. She tries to control the show most of the time anyway and knows good TV. Clearly, she’s tired of going through the motions, too. The toxicity of this reunion is starting to mirror the infamous Real Housewives of New York City reunion where Jill Zarin was fired. It’s also clear NeNe is trying to control the story because whenever Kenya speaks she, Kandi Burruss, and Phaedra Parks turn their heads away like a busted version of The Supremes.
Kenya vs. NeNe and The Supremes
Kenya seems to do the impossible. She breaks the fourth wall by acknowledging she is just “having a little fun.” It’s true it’s fun when the housewives are in on the drama. She also has dropped the drama-mongering pretense and provides thoughtful, cogent, comments during the rest of the show. Sure, she’s an instigator and she talks a lot of smack…but, no shade, so does Andy Cohen. NeNe and Phaedra accuse Kenya of instigating Porsha, which she did. However, this is a national television show and it should never escalate to actual physical blows...only verbal ones. Both Kenya and Cynthia agree and seem heartfelt and genuine.
Meanwhile, NeNe is throwing side-eyes and looks like someone just told her The New Normal was canceled. It’s sad because the reality of this show is starting to take a farcical turn. NeNe is beginning to join the ranks of Teresa Giudice and Jill Zarin by getting so full of herself she’s alienating viewers and giving the show too much negativity. NeNe also has the nerve to say she agrees there shouldn’t be violence but no one should put their finger in her face. Wasn’t she the one who attacked Kim Zolciak, one season, and Dwight Eubanks, another? Isn’t she the first one to get into people’s faces? She denies that she makes phone calls about the show but in her one-on-one with Andy references conversations she’s had with the ladies off-camera.
Winner: Kenya. She can be a pain and was annoying Porsha but nothing warrants violence. NeNe is very hypocritical and clearly trying to control the tone of the show.
Momma Joyce vs. The Bottle?
Kandi’s mother, known affectionately as Momma Joyce, spends most of her time making digs at Todd Tucker. She flaunts her weight loss but blames it on stress. She dodges a lot of Andy’s questions with nonsensical but humorous responses. She brags about all the diamonds she has but says she doesn’t have to work. She says she doesn’t rely financially on Kandi which brings Kandi to tears because clearly Joyce uses guilt to get her way with her daughter.
Loser: Kandi. There is no winner. Momma Joyce is a funny part of the show but at the expense of her daughter’s credibility, personal life, and good name.
NeNe vs. Cynthia
NeNe was downright indignant all season. She was as verbally abusive to Cynthia, as Cynthia’s husband, Peter Thomas. Cynthia bursts into tears over the fact that NeNe never seemed to respect her or their friendship. Sadly, given Cynthia’s financial troubles, she needs her role on the show. It seems like she plays nice because she doesn’t want to get fired. Meanwhile, NeNe seems to think she’s the Queen of the show but she is so disengaged in the reunion. She even goes so far as to mention Kenya is the lowest paid housewife but talks the most. Meanwhile, NeNe has now officially fought with everyone on the show. She also has had a falling out with everyone she’s claimed to be her friend. This seems to have become NeNe clocking random women…she should just get her own version of American Gladiators.
Winner: Cynthia. She may be boring and her husband may be verbally abusive. But, NeNe did disrespect her and has become a toxic element to the show. Cynthia seems very sympathetic and genuinely emotional. Kenya made a valid point that NeNe tosses her friends away when they misbehave.
The Real Houselines of the Reunion
"We fight with our words and I am the best at it." – Kenya
"Is this the color purple? All my life I had to fight." – Kandi throwing shade at Kenya
"We’re on television. We represent a certain culture, a certain race, and we’re women. We should all stick together about violence against women. Whether it’s women on women or men on women. That’s something that should never divide us." – Kenya being insightful
"I am not Porsha, I am not going back and forth with you. I am very smart and I am very sane." – NeNe’s veiled insult to Porsha
"I was one of the smartest girls in my class and I didn’t even really hang around people she would have really known." – Phaedra’s veiled insult to NeNe
"It’s been a long time but I can still wrap up a good wig." – Momma Joyce
"Would she really raise her daughter to be a millionaire, like I raised my daughter and then let her daughter find a hundredaire and he marry her? Then, give me a ring, okay." – Momma Joyce
"I’ve seen so many, you know, of her friends come and go. And I feel like at the end of the day there is a sisterhood there there’s a love there but I’ve never felt like the respect was there." – Cynthia winning the argument
"So why am I on this couch discussing my friendship with Cynthia with you guys like you give a s**t?" – NeNe forgetting she’s on reality TV
"I think when people stand up to you that are considered to be a friend that’s when you turn on them because you want to shut them down." – Kenya
This season of RuPaul’s Drag Race is filled with some of the most talented and attractive queens in Drag Race herstory. However, there is one clear standout: Bianca del Rio. She is loved by the judges, her fellow contestants, and all of America! In other seasons, the home stretch has been a nail-biter. But this season it seems like the final three, set to be named in two weeks, couldn’t be clearer to super fans of the show. The secrets of World of Wonder are trapped tighter than Area 51, but anyone watching the show can see even who the last two remaining competitors will be. It’s clear this drag race is between Bianca and Adore Delano. It may be insanely early to call it, but Bianca seems virtually unstoppable. If she doesn't win there will be riots in the streets, cats will give birth to snakes, and there will be a Rupocalypse.
Her Royal Highness Bianca Del Rio
Why she’ll win: Bianca is the entire package. She’s got the comedy down pat. As a self-proclaimed insult comic, she is not only able to make everyone laugh at the shadiest of reads. She also has one of the quickest wits on the series and possibly the planet Earth. She has exceeded in all of the challenges and has yet to be in the bottom two. She also is channeling all of the series winners. She has the pageantry of BeBe Zahara Bennet, the polish of Chad Michaels, the salty but lovable heart of Tyra Sanchez, the poise of Raja, and her own distinct style like Sharon Needles. She also is a killer comedy queen like Jinkx Monsoon. Oh, and she can sew an entire dress during the length of a song:
Why she'll take second place: Whether it’s her sexy selfies on Tumblr, memorable memes, or videos of her doing live musical performances, Adore is winning the Internet. The judges love her scrappy underdog approach to drag. However, she’s more polished than she seems with stunning looks an amazing performances. She’s genuinely won the court of public opinion. Despite her occasionally monumental screw-ups on the show no one wants her to leave. In any other season of the show, she would win hands down. However, for her to beat Bianca she’ll have to develop the ability to fly, psychically summon Latoya Jackson, and turn water in RuPaul’s new Glamazon perfume. Did we mention she sings live?
Why she might take third: BenDeLa has the makings of the Top 3 with an effervescent personality and an addictive voice. She has performed admirably, however her personality is touch and go. She’s adorkable in and out of drag. But, like the equally polished Courtney Act, she’s a bit cocky. No one wants to crown a cocky queen as America’s Next Drag Superstar. It’s hard to reconcile some of her saltier comments about the other queens with her “I’m so nice” persona. Unlike other underdogs on the show like Jinkx and Sharon, she seems to be more perpetrator than victim. But she does deserve the title of Top 3. Her NSFW take on The Little Mermaid is legendary.
Why she might take third: Courtney has showmanship. She can sing, act, perform and has some of the most memorable costumes of the runway. She’s a great host and has the makings of a true television personality. Courtney looks the most like a biological woman of possibly anyone in the show’s history. However, Drag Race is not a beauty competition. Like BenDeLa, Courtney has shown the darker side of Sears. Her picking on Joslyn Fox, who admittedly idolizes her, was a bit of a rub. She also seems to be playing the game too hard and is too polished. She seems less her authentic self and more like an actor at a press junket. However, she does have a shot at winning America’s Next Top Model. After all, she almost won Australian Idol.
Why she's the dark horse: Poor Darienne is another victim of there being too many talented queens this season. Darienne is the first big girl that could take the crown. She’s funny and not as bitter as queens of the past. She is sweet, funny, and owns her fabulous looks. Sadly, she’s not in contention for the Top 3 unless something were to happen to both Courtney and BenDeLa in the next two episodes. Does anyone have a tire iron? Here’s hoping she gets on Drag Race: All Stars because she could destroy the competition. She even appeared on Ricki Lake and inspired Pandora Boxx to do drag.
Ryan Serhant may be the most clean cut realtor on Bravo’s popular series Million Dollar Listing New York, but he’s also the one with the most unique edge. Part ruthless shark and part self-deprecating charmer, Serhant feels like what you'd get if Patrick Bateman from American Psycho had a son with Grace Kelly. He’s definitely the most shrewd and shameless on the show, not above dropping trou and jumping into a pool at a showing, getting hazed by a seller, or even staging a large-scale prank on a fellow realtor. However, there’s charm and sophistication behind the snark. He speaks his mind and has the savvy to back it up. After all, he is an actor. You may remember him from As the World Turns , and he’s even starring in the upcoming Ben Stiller/Naomi Watts film While We’re Young.
The third season of Million Dollar Listing New York has only just begun, and Ryan has brought fireworks, ingenious ideas, and memorable quotes to the game. He staged a late night rave-inspired listing to sell an empty apartment with crappy views. He chipped (but didn’t break!) the law by calling a broker’s client’s sister with an update to try and negotiate a deal. He even tried to sell a sentimental homeowner's apartment to a drug dealer just to move the property. Ryan might be marketed as the “villain” on the show, but he is a bit of a lovable cad, winning over audiences, settling down with a girlfriend, and even earning the gift of a pet pig from a grateful client. And who can hate a guy with a pig named Kevin Bacon?
But the real reason we all love Ryan: his terrific one-liners.
Just some of Ryan Serhant’s Best Lines on Million Dollar Listing
"We have to start mowing people down. That's why we have the Escalade."
"I like crazy. If you can’t beat 'em, join 'em."
"You never know who your client is going to be. I once sold an apartment in Battery Park to a Madam."
"Hey, Sam, what do you think of the tattooed strip club owner buying the apartment where your babies took their first steps?"
"You’re feisty for a little guy."
"Remember, I am the American Dream, baby. And you are just a cheap, shiny import."
"I get that it’s confusing. It’s like trying to explain heaven.""This is like the last time I tried to woo a saber tooth tiger. It didn’t work."
"Is that a smile I just saw? The Charminator just broke through!"
"There’s only three things I know. One: 2.6 [million] is the right number for this apartment. Two: I am very good at what I do. Three: You are drop dead gorgeous. If you agree with those three things, like I do, we have a deal."
"This apartment is kind of like meeting a really unattractive person at a bar. Their face is going to be covered by the dark lights and the alcohol. You don’t focus on what’s unattractive, you focus on the shape, and the two very big rooms."
There are two things that are synonymous with the Real Housewives franchise: fighting and branding. Why not unite the two and have a Real Housewives fighting game? We can call it Mortal Kollagen or Upper East Fighter II. Lord knows, these kitties love to scratch (whether we want to see it or not).
Here are the fights we're treated to this week:
Ramona vs. Sonja
Ramona Singer, Eyelader Mistress of the Crazy Eye, is preparing a gift for her college-bound daugher Avery. Who doesn’t want a calendar featuring your mom and pictures of your dog in a dress? Sonja Morgan shows up and interrupts the shoot to fill in Ramona on her latest legal drama. She is desperately trying to save her house with a multitude of “businesses” including a French shirt company, department store deal, and the peddling of magic beans. She alternates between being a sexy cougar, a sloppy Sally, and a bizarre shut-in, especially when she feeds her dog water from her wine glass then drinks from it.
Later, at a party at Ramona’s Hampton home, she gives Sonja a glass of her new wine. Sonja winces and says it burns a little. Then Ramona calls Sonja’s burlesque act, which she didn’t see, raunchy. Sonja rationalizes that even Seinfeld gets raunchy. She gets bent out of shape because she doesn’t like her various businesses belittled when she’s condescending to attend this party.
Winner: Sonja. As ratchet as she can be in her normal life she was surprisingly lucid and sober. She also forced Ramona to apologize with a fake cry and a weird nose rub.
Kristen vs. Aviva
Kristen Taekman and Aviva Drescher bring their children for a playdate. Little children love decorating artisanal soaps, right? Kristen tries to lighten the mood by pretending a googly-eyed toy is Ramona which fails. Kristen has decided to put her foot down that she’s tired of being involved in this tired Bookgate storyline. Aviva asks her to quiet down and avoid hostility in front of the kids. Then without missing a beat says, “If you don’t want to be involved shut the f**k up.” Hypocrisy attack! But then Aviva tells Kristen not to be hypocritical. However, Kristen wins the fight when she says, “Everyone has said to me that you’re crazy and you’re showing that to me now.”
Winner: Kristen. Aviva needs an Ambien because she like this book drama are tired.
Kristen vs. Ramona
Kristen stops by Ramona’s place to play tennis but apparently she’s wearing the wrong shoes. Then Ramona literally shames the poor girl like this is a 1950s country club. Kristen and LuAnn desperate Lesseps try to convey to Ramona that its rude to not tell the host of the party you aren’t coming. Regardless of the teenage, mean girl drama, it’s rude. Ramona then starts yelling at Kristen.
Winner: Ramona. Kristen is a logical person. She will never understand the customs of the Ramona-coaster especially after she’s had a few too many dolls.
Ramona vs. Heather
Heather confronts Ramona directly about the party. Ramona’s response is to call Heather a hypocrite…but then says that she didn’t.
Winner: Heather. By now Ramona’s Pinot Grigio/doll/sizzurp combo has kicked in and she’s not lucid.
In fact, the shining light from all the negativity is Heather Thomson. She shares her heartfelt struggles with her son’s health issues. Her son Jax has major liver and lung issues, allergies, and hearing loss. She spends the episode waiting to find out if it can be solved with surgery. If Heather wasn’t constantly trying to be ghetto fabulous she could prove to America that she is the one in the cast who deserves a book deal. She has persevered through struggles to have a great life with a slamming body and a sexy husband. They turned making a sand castle into a PG-13 type of situation.
Carole vs. Aviva
Carole Radziwill is really losing in being “above it all.” She keeps forcing us to witness her “authoring.” We don’t need to watch her record her audiobook. This whole fight is redundant and the same mindless bickering we’ve heard all season. Then, Aviva pulls out an advanced press copy of Carole’s book and says she read it. They declare a détente and storm off.
Winner: The viewers! This storyline should be dead until the reunion.
LuAnn vs. Obscurity
LuAnn and her boyfriend Jaques, the love child of Balki Bartokomous and one of the Fraggles, got some decent screen time this episode. She played tennis with Ramona, sat on Carole’s foot, and got a verbal lashing from Sonja.
Winner: Sonja, for calling her LuMann.
Red Sonja’s Best Lines (with a Special Guest!)
"I just got screamed in my ear by Lu-Man... talk about a drag queen stuck in a woman’s body." – Sonja
"Well, Sonjita, you could have been better. Yeah, I could have been richer. I could have married better. I could have gone to a better party today. I could have had better friends than you guys. Shoulda, coulda, woulda." – Sonja
"You couldn’t handle a single day in my life, Singer." – Sonja
"I always support you and talk about the highlights of your performances, not the flops." – Sonja about LuAnn’s musical career
"Honey, the best cheaters are the ones that get away with it. In every sense of the word." – Ramona’s husband Mario Singer
20th Century Fox Film via Everett Collection
I believe it was René Descartes who wisely tweeted #HatersGonnaHate. The second you land in the public eye people will hate your sense of style, the geometry of your face, or even the sound of your voice. But what about when this hatred is justly deserved? Katherine Heigl has managed to alienate Hollywood insiders, fans, and audiences. She has attacked people who have helped shape her success like Judd Apatow and Shonda Rhimes. She’s even going after pharmacy chain, Duane Reade. Is anyone safe?
Heigl was a child model and best known for her role on the television series Roswell. Her movie credits at the time included horror movies Valentine, Bride of Chucky, and the body-switching family movie Wish Upon a Star. Then she lucked into a movie role in Knocked Up. She shined in the stoner comedy and the film was hugely successful. However, she later came out and said that the film was a little sexist. Now… that’s not a punishable offense. Apatow’s films are not renowned for their feminist ideals. However, she did break the Hollywood golden rule by burning a bridge. She also didn’t do much in the way of helping feminism with her roles playing roles similar to her annoying shrew role in Knocked Up in other romantic comedies.
Most of her success is due to Grey’s Anatomy. She was floating around the C-List until she was tapped to play charming Dr. Izzie Stevens. She even won an Emmy in 2007 for a major storyline for her character. However, to prove she has no loyalty at all she turned down a second Emmy nomination in 2008 stating:
“I did not feel that I was given the material this season to warrant an Emmy nomination and in an effort to maintain the integrity of the academy organization, I withdrew my name from contention. In addition, I did not want to potentially take away an opportunity from an actress who was given such materials.”
The only way to read that statement is as a huge slap in the face to the writers and show runner responsible for her success. It’s easy to point fingers and condescend when you’re successful. However, neither she or T.R. Knight found much success after being asked to get written off the show. She even said she wanted to return. However, Rhimes put it best when she told Oprah, “On some level it stung, and on some level I was not surprised. When people show you who they are, believe them.” Looks like Heigl may need Olivia Pope’s help to get out of this mess. It’s also worth mentioning that she told Oprah this after mentioning part of Scandal’s success is their “no a*****e policy.” Do with that what you will.
In an alternate universe, this honest, folksy Heigl could be the key to breaking down the tyranny of the Hollywood machine. However, she proves with her behavior that she’s probably just a jerk. She was poised to become like Sandra Bullock, a woman whose worst movies are still utterly delightful. But the main difference is that Bullock is likable. Bullock has handled a high profile divorce from good-press-black-hole Jesse James with diplomacy and grace. She handled her pre-Oscar campaigning with humor and personality. She is the folksy good-old girl that Heigl wishes she could be.
You cannot be outspoken and and make diva-ish demands while playing America's sweetheart roles. Hollywood Reporter has published multiple accounts of bad behavior by Heigl and her momager Nancy Heigl. If that’s not enough, she’s just smug. For example, when she was a presenter at the Emmys, where she won the now infamous award, she took a second to go off script to passive aggressively mock the announcer. If we can learn anything from the wickedly talented, one and only, Adele Dazeem, when it comes to the petty stuff like that, “Let it go!”
As if it isn’t enough she’s alienated herself from Hollywood, Heigl has decided to get litigious over a tweet. Now, Walgreens’ New York division Duane Reade, was pretty shameless in posting a paparazzi photo of Heigl coming out of the store with her purchases. But it’s not a 6 million dollar offense. Patronizing a store or using a product in public is sort of public domain. Tons of celebrities inadvertently endorse Starbucks, Red Bull, or brands of cigarettes. Policing social media does not seem like her place given her questionable integrity. Her time would be better spent sending 6 million tweets of thanks to the people who saw One For the Money.
It looks like Heigl is set to return to television. Maybe she has learned from all her bad behavior and can convince the whole world that she isn’t hypocritical, smug, passive aggressive, or a diva. Hopefully nothing but good things come to her. The one thing we have learned from Heigl is the negativity you put out in the world does come back to you.