Kelly Ripa chose Ryan Seacrest as her new co-host, in a move that can only be described as lazy, boring, and entitled. For one solid year the producers of Live With Kelly snowed us into believing they were actually executing a legitimate, above board search for the new seat. Instead, they were negotiating Ryan Seacrest’s contract and no one else stood a chance. That “no one else” specifically refers to Jerry O’Connell who seemed a shoe-in for the coveted gig.
According to Kelly Ripa, Ryan Seacrest is “a seamless, seamless broadcaster. There is nobody better. There is nobody that understands what 30 seconds of conversation actually means in in real time like Ryan does, and so he makes everything easy — it’s like a vacation with him.” That quote perfectly captures why this is a lazy decision. First, had Ripa took a chance on a newbie, she’d have to carry the load during the learning curve, and perhaps she’s grown out of that task. Michael Strahan was a left-of-center pick, and it required Ripa to do work. With Seacrest, she can sit back, relax, and trust his broadcasting prowess. Is that a good thing? It’s clear she can carry the show on her own, so why not give someone else a real shot at the seat?
From a creative perspective, this is also the wrong decision. Live With Kelly demands that its co-hosts discuss their personal lives at the top of the show. As a self-admitted workaholic, Seacrest doesn’t really have a personal life. He’s secretive about who he dates, and doesn’t have a wife and children. This show is supposed to relate to the masses, and who can relate to Ryan Seacrest? Jerry O’Connell, though also a Los Angeles guy, does in fact have a family and kids, and he’s extremely funny when describing their antics. We can call Seacrest many things, but funny is not one of them.
So why would Ryan Seacrest, who has a million jobs, even accept this offer, which requires that he move to New York. Well, why not? Without his American Idol salary, it goes without saying he wanted a new influx of cash, and this is it.
It’s also worth noting that choosing a white, rich male as a host rubs me the wrong way, especially given today’s climate. She could have chosen a woman, or any minority for the role, and she instead went with the guy who’s got everything. And if you’re going to go that route, then pick the teacher who guest-hosted and garnered positive reviews. What a disappointing, terrible decision, and the quote below says it best.
— GKR (@GKRgus1) May 1, 2017
It might be unfair to call the new Diane Sawyer sit-down with Caitlyn Jenner an “interview,” given that it was more an informational voice-over than a Q&A. I’ve long insisted Caitlyn Jenner is not compelling without the Kardashians at her side, and I have also long insisted that Diane Sawyer is not a good interviewer. Gone are the days of Barbara Walters, where the purpose of her question was to actually gather information. Walters’ disarming nature allowed her to ask the hard-hitting, invasive questions that everyone wanted to know. In the interview below, Caitlyn Jenner likely talked for about ten minutes of the hour, and we did not learn much.
So what SHOULD she have asked? First, I want to know about Caitlyn’s feud with Kris Jenner and the current status of the relationship. I want to know why there is such a disconnect between what Kris says she knew about Caitlyn’s transition. I also want to know about Caitlyn’s sexual orientation and whether she was attracted to her ex-wives. In fact, Kim Kardashian asked Caitlyn this very question, as she also wanted to know. Additionally, does Caitlyn empathize with her family’s struggle to accept her transition? Can she understand the incredible shock of being married to a man for 23 years that then confesses this gender-identity struggle? And why did she abandon four children but then have the wherewithal to have two more and raise four step-children as her own? If it’s true that her gender struggle negatively impacted her ability to parent, then why was she able to effectively parent six children?
Caitlyn Jenner took the wrong path to her transitional process. Instead of getting to know the trans community which she conveniently was never interested in at all, she should have provided a stark lens into her physical transformation. I realize being a woman is more than one’s physical being, but never before has anyone of that magnitude provided such insight. She should have also discussed her sexual preference more heavily. But those are all the things she is vehemently opposed to exposing. Instead, she introduced herself to the world post-transition, as if we’re all just interested in Caitlyn’s boring personality. If the Kardashians can’t stand on their own with individual shows, Caitlyn Jenner certainly cannot.
David Crosby doesn’t need any promotion from The Dishmaster. The man is a legend, and even without Graham Nash, Stephen Stills, and Neil Young, he can carry a concert. Crosby graced the stage of The Wiltern for an intimate evening with his most devoted fans, and he delivered the goods. The iconic singer/songwriter hit the road to promote his new solo album, Sky Trails, which is a follow-up to the recently released Lighthouse. Before Lighthouse, Crosby released Croz, which was his first solo album in decades. Given the close proximity of his solo records since the release of Croz, I can only guess he got the bug and he’s on a roll. He now performs with session guitarist Jeff Pevar, and his pianist son James Raymond (“CPR”). He attributes his creative re-awakening to the demise of Crosby, Still, Nash, and Young, insisting that quitting the group “unleashed a tidal wave of new music,” because the band became solely about playing their greatest hits. They had, “No new songs, no growth, and [they] didn’t like each other. There was no reason to be there other than the money, and that’s not enough.”
So what exactly happened to Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, and why don’t they like each other? It’s unclear, but the culprit seems to be Crosby himself, which isn’t surprising given that Crosby hilariously admitted during the show to being kicked out of The Byrds because “he was an asshole.” Here’s an elusive quote from Graham Nash about the matter:
I don’t like David Crosby right now. He’s been awful for me the last two years, just fucking awful. I’ve been there and saved his fucking ass for 45 years, and he treated me like shit. You can’t do that to me. You can do it for a day or so, until I think you’re going to come around. When it goes on longer, and I keep getting nasty emails from him, I’m done. Fuck you. David has ripped the heart out of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.
Crosby apparently bad-mouthed Neil Young’s girlfriend, Daryl Hannah, calling her a “purely poisonous predator,” and though he later apologized, Young was not quick to accept, telling Howard Stern that a CSNY reunion is out of the question.
The irony here is that their mutual dislike likely propelled their creativity. Bands often enjoy songwriting with people that they like, but sometimes we are at our best in moments of discomfort. Though Crosby’s new venture, CPR, gives the audience those much-loved harmonies, his original music is missing the unforgettable melodies we’re so used to hearing from CSNY. But I appreciate an effort to produce original music throughout one’s life, and I agree with Crosby that playing a band’s greatest hits in perpetuity is painful. One thing is for sure — seeing David Crosby, in person, on stage, singing beautiful harmonies, is a true privilege.
The penultimate episode of ‘Girls’ was more of an ending than the last, which was more of a beginning for Hannah’s new journey as a mother. Clues suggest that she’ll struggle, as most new mothers do, and though her tight circle of friends is nowhere to be found, that’s okay, since most of us lose contact with the besties of which we vow die-hard loyalty.
When ‘Girls’ first began, I didn’t get it. I wanted the pretty filters, Manolo Blahniks the characters curiously can’t afford, and the aspirational New York life that never really exists for anyone. When Lena Dunham aired her gratuitous nudity for the world to see, I attacked her, an action of which I’m now ashamed. She had a master plan, and I was too one dimensional to spot her depth. She’s a body warrior, and she changed the game. We’re used to the sexualized nudity of rock-hard bodies, and she instead offered the reality of prancing around one’s apartment naked for no good reason. When others, like myself, questioned her, she turned up the dial, so as to say, “It’s my party and I’ll prance around naked if I want to.” She also wasn’t going to sensationalize the reality of her youth, give the girl a standard love story, or portray life as easy. Because life isn’t easy . . . for anyone — money or not.
Goodbye, ‘Girls’. It was certainly fun while it lasted.
Louis was once lauded for selling his stand-up specials directly to his fans for $5 each, with an estimated gain of $200,000 for the star. But even the everyman couldn’t resist the Netflix beast, and though his deal is not revealed, The Daily Beast reports that:
Chris Rock recently secured $40 million for two new specials with the company, Dave Chappelle got $60 million for three specials — two of which were already in the can — and Jerry Seinfeld reportedly took in $100 million total for a deal that includes two new specials as well as 24 new episodes of his web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.
The new Netflix model, while good for fans, can be tough for comedians. Their specials are taped too long before they air, which means the material can feel dated. Something tells me Netflix will figure this out, though. It’s an easy fix.