The Dishmaster

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Friday

10

February 2017

0

COMMENTS

The Problem With CMT’s ‘Nashville’

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When ABC announced the end of ‘Nashville,’ I had mixed feelings. For starters, though I love the show, I certainly wondered whether it had run its course. It had become far too character driven, with plot points taking a back seat to the merry-go-round relationship struggles. And speaking of characters, many of the protagonists seemingly went from complicated to unlikable overnight. Scarlett’s rejection of fame grew tiresome and tedious, Maddie’s parental pushbacks became intolerable whining, and the shadow’s of Juliett’s underlying good character vaporized. What’s left was a schmaltzy soap in need of some reinvention, and the move to CMT seems to not have helped. For example, their portrayal of a mixed-race relationship was so on-the-nose it cause me physical pain, thereby convincing me the writer’s room lacked diversity. Where’s the mysterious plot points that leave me wondering what will happen next? Where’s the fresh new guest stars that shake things up? Sure it’s harder to write your characters inside relationships than out of them, but if the entire show wasn’t about romance, perhaps the story would push forward.

Here are some easy ideas:

1. Make Avery hugely famous, and release a Juliett Barnes album that flops. This will tilt their relationship, thereby stirring the pot.

2. Make Gunner gay for a day (maybe him and Will kiss?). I realize this sounds ridiculous, but sexuality is a spectrum, and this is a far less on-the-nose offering of a key societal point.

3. Some huge star steals Deacon’s song and they land in court, offering the audience a rare inside look at how these songwriting courtroom debates work (this would also be timely, given the Blurred Lines decision).

4. Send Maddie to New York or Los Angeles to launch her career. Actually film the show in another city to juxtapose Nashville with LA. This doesn’t have to be a whiny breakdown, but rather — a refreshing new look at her life.

Friday

10

February 2017

0

COMMENTS

Legendary Songwriter Steve Dorff Delivers an Unforgettable Evening

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Steve Dorff’s songwriting catalog spans decades, ranging from iconic television theme songs (‘Growing Pains,’ ‘Reba,’ ‘Murphy Brown,’ ‘My Sister Sam’ starring the late Rebecca Schaeffer, and more), to a string of hits for legendary artists such as Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Willie Nelson, Blake Shelton, Dolly Parton, and George Strait. But despite his prolific career, like most songwriters, he’s comfortable sitting back and letting others be the face of his tunes. That all changed last night when he treated a packed audience to the inside story behind his most beloved classics at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Center.

Dorff recently lost his son Andrew, who followed in his father’s footsteps to become one of the most successful songwriters in Nashville. Andrew’s hits include “Neon Light” by Blake Shelton, “Bleed Red” by Ronnie Dunn,” “Ride” by Martina McBride, and many more. The family’s talent also extends to Dorff’s other son Stephen, who has enjoyed a successful movie career, including a very memorable role in ‘Blade’ beside Wesley Snipes. Stephen took the stage to perform a heartbreaking original song he penned for his late brother, which I can only hope one day makes it to the radio. He also performed a song from his film, ‘Wheeler,’ which he wrote with his brother.

Other notable acts took the stage last night, all of which are featured below. It makes sense that each and every one of them are supremely talented, given that Dorff has elite taste and he had Jan Rosenthal by his side, who used her creative eye to produce the captivating show. This includes: Dylan Chambers, whose guitar-playing made it sound as if ten people were on stage; Norwood, whose voice and presence had me feeling like I’ll see him again very soon; UK ‘X Factor’ winner Sam Bailey, who tore the roof of the joint; and singer/songwriter Bobby Tomberlin, whose performance of the song “One More Day” that he wrote for Diamond Rio had me in tears.

I’m sure Steve Dorff will do this again, and when he does, you should be there.

DYLAN CHAMBERS

SAM BAILEY

NORWOOD

BOBBY TOMBERLIN

STEPHEN DORFF

Thursday

9

February 2017

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COMMENTS

Debra Messing Celebrates Her Jewish Nose: Puts Film Director on Blast

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As a Jewish woman with a big schnoz who refused to conform to society’s shiksa standards of beauty, I’m partial to Hollywood stories about women who also rejected those pesky, white-washed ideas about what women should look like. ‘Will and Grace’ star Debra Messing spoke at a MAKERS Conference in California this week about her own experience with anti-Semitism, having stayed home a lot as a child to lay low and avoid the risk of having her “differences” exposed. The emotional recount of her childhood was inspired by her experience on ‘A Walk in the Clouds,’ where she co-starred with Keanu Reeves in the 1995 romantic drama. According to Messing, director Alfonso Arau called her “the nose” and insisted she get naked, despite it not being in the original script, saying, “Your job is to get naked and say the lines. That’s it.” The director then wanted to “set the sheet,” by lifting it, scanning her naked body and then dropping it on top of her like it was a “piece of Kleenex.” Ultimately, she was not naked in the film, leading Messing to classify it as a “power play” meant to “demean her” and assert his dominance over her. To watch her 17 minute video in full, click HERE. It’s moving and disturbing.

Thursday

9

February 2017

0

COMMENTS

Does Vogue Deserve to be Lambasted for Its Cover?

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There’s a lot of talk about the new Vogue cover, with angry twitter trolls pouncing on it’s faux diversity, coupled with a critique on Ashley Graham’s decision to cover her thigh with her hand instead of proudly displaying her curves. Graham has spoken out, saying that she chose her pose, and the powers that be at Vogue did not demand it.

The new Vogue cover was an attempt to feature women of different backgrounds, races, and sizes, which includes (from left to right), Liu Wen, Ashley Graham, Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, Imaan Hammam, Adwoa Aboah, and Vittoria Ceretti. Though it’s an admirable effort, many readers also pointed out that everyone featured is light-skinned.

I have a few observations here. First, calling out Ashley Graham’s pose is equivalent to saying, “Why didn’t you show your fat leg?!” The effort to protect her thereby becomes latent, online bullying. Second, Vogue brought this on themselves. If you want to feature diversity, then don’t style all of your models to look exactly the same. They should not all be wearing black turtle necks with polka-dot bottoms so as to suggest that they look alike. It’s a major fail that will inevitably lead to comparison. Diversity celebrates our differences, and this cover strips its models of that. Lastly, I agree that this could have been generally more diverse. Using Ashley Graham doesn’t remove your responsibility to feature more realistic frames. We need to move from the term “plus-size” to actual, real women. The traditional model frame is dated in today’s society, and Vogue isn’t catching up.

Wednesday

8

February 2017

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COMMENTS

Jane Lynch Hosts the Red Dress Awards: See Pictures

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To honor those who have made key contributions to Heart Health Awareness, the Red Dress Awards entered its 14th year with Jane Lynch as host and some special guests, including a performance from Grammy® Award and Oscar winner Melissa Etheridge, who headlined the event. The Awards featured additional performances from rock all-female string-quartet Bella Electric Strings, and teen singer Carly Rose Sonenclar of The X Factor. Enjoy pictures from the event below. All photos courtesy of Rabbani & Solimene Photography. 

Lena Hall

Tamron Hall

Joy Bauer & Hoda Kotb

Carson Kressley

Jane Lynch

Star Jones

Kym Johnson

Laila Ali

Honda Kotb

Monday

6

February 2017

0

COMMENTS

Melissa McCarthy Impersonates Sean Spicer: And He Reacts

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I can think of many words to describe Melissa McCarthy’s impression of White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, such as brilliant, surprising, hilarious, and genius, but Spicer himself used a different, much-loathed word in my vocabulary, calling it, “cute.” Though he attempted to show a sense of humor, it was clear he would “rather be talking about the issues,” instead. My advice for Spicer is that he can talk about the issues AND that SNL parody, because it might be the best in the history of the show.

McCarthy’s surprise appearance was met with an immediate roar from the audience, which she quieted — in character. Her best (and most quoted) line was, “I’d like to begin today by apologizing on behalf of you to me for how you have treated me these last two weeks, and that apology is not accepted.” She also imbibed an inordinate amount of gum as a nod to Spicer’s curious habit in which he revealed that he “swallows two and a half packs of gum by noon” each day, and he “talked to [his] doctor about it,” who said it’s “not a problem.” Watch below.

Friday

3

February 2017

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COMMENTS

Dear Mariah Carey — “I Don’t” Either

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Remember the day when Mariah Carey claimed to “not know” Jennifer Lopez, and the world pounced? Well perhaps it’s time she does “know” her, considering JLO completely re-branded her image and dresses in a way that actually compliments her body. I realize we live in a world that begs women to empower other women, but I live in a world that begs women to play to their strengths, and strutting around in a barely-there ensemble with her titties spilling out — is NOT Mariah’s strength. The fashion choices are not only aesthetically deplorable, they’re unflattering and thirsty. Furthermore, it doesn’t go with the song at all. This is a heartbreak song, and I’m at a loss as to how stumbling on the top of a car in a garter has anything to do with the lyrics. She can barely stand. This is not empowering, it’s embarrassing. She’s too good for this. She’s too pretty for this. I expect more from Mariah Carey. I’m also so distracted by the awful outfits I can’t even tell you if the song is any good. It might have something to do with trust, which is baffling considering she’s the one who flirted with her dancer during her entire reality show. Perhaps James Packer should be sitting on top of an expensive car waxing on about heartbreak instead.

Friday

3

February 2017

0

COMMENTS

Super Bowl Commercial: Mercedes-Benz Starring Peter Fonda

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The Super Bowl is fast approaching, which means it’s time for those much-anticipated commercials. First up, it’s Mercedes-Benz, commemorating the 50th anniversary of Mercedes-AMG with a nod to the iconic film, Easy Rider. Peter Fonda stars in the spot, channeling his 1960’s role and looking cooler than ever. Check it out below.

Thursday

2

February 2017

0

COMMENTS

Rob Lowe Addresses The Assistant Issue on Jimmy Kimmel

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Rob Lowe landed in some hilarious hot water when his personal ad for an assistant became public, but upon further review, perhaps it’s not quite as bad as we originally thought. Dinner plans, Jacuzzi, lifting 20 pounds, no unfair assumptions, etc. What more could someone want. In fact, below would be my own list if searching for an assistant.
1. Buy me tampons when I run out at the most inconvenient time ever.
2. Go to a specific gas station that exclusively carries my favorite brand of sunflower seeds.
3. Sign for those annoying packages that require someone’s presence.
4. Call the cable company to yell at them for my internet NEVER working.
5. Return all my ridiculous amazon purchases made during a night of insomnia.
6. Entertain all of my irrational fears by saying things like, “Good point” ad nauseam.

Watch Lowe’s interview with Jimmy Kimmel below, and feel free to chime in with ideas for your own imaginary assistant.

Tuesday

31

January 2017

0

COMMENTS

The Good Fight on CBS: Poster, Payment, and Streaming Issues

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There’s no one more excited for the return of a high quality law show than myself. but CBS’ spinoff has a few snags worth mentioning. For starters, the poster. I realize most of these network-related advertorial assignments are farmed out, and I have zero idea who executed this objectionable piece of art, but someone deserves a talking to. The three leading ladies have a come-fuck-me face, along with the words “Get Nasty,” as a tagline. I need not suggest the sexual undertone of “Get Nasty,” and though perhaps it could get a pass due to the #NastyWoman movement a la Hillary Clinton, that is likely an unintentional overlap. These are strong, powerful women, and they deserve more. The trailer below is also peppered with excess sex, and though I would not describe myself as a prude, I certainly would not have led with the lascivious. It’s low-hanging fruit (no pun intended — but speaking of fruit — LET THE MEN GET NAKED FOR ONCE).

My next complaint? What on earth is CBS All Access, do I have to pay for it, and WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY FOR IT? I currently subscribe to Tidal, HBO Go, Xfinity, Amazing Prime Streaming, Sirius, and more. CBS seriously expects me to add to that list, FOR ONE SHOW? If they aren’t aggregating content to offer more than a basic subscription to their only enticing creative endeavor, I will not pay extra, even if it is $5.99 per month. Old CBS programming is not enough. Something has got to give, and it’s not going to be Howard Stern, Beyonce’s Lemonade, or old episodes of Sex and the City. Sorry, CBS. Furthermore, if I were giving advice, I’d have launched this as a free service season one and charged for season two. That is if they believe in their show of course.

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