Monday, June 26, 2006

Ye Mighty

Well, I don't know about you, but the first thing I did on Saturday was talk to me best pal about my Feelings about Aaron Spelling dying. I did not ever think while I was limping through a miserable Saturday night babysitting and watching the horrible Love Boat/Fantasy Island double-header that I might miss this guy, but I felt a pang. He shaped so much of the TV that was on when I was young, even as I railed against it all at the time. Plus he was the ultimate point of reference, that guy, the crap he produced--him dying is a little like when I left an incredibly conservative high school I hated and unexpectedly felt a little lost without those extremes to define myself against. Always helps to have something you're Not.

It's not that I think all the contributions he made to the Great American Eating Disorder or Conspicuous Consuming are so adorable, but he had the virtue, like the first wave of immigrant Hollywood dreambrokers, of working in fantasy. He created jiggle shows that were really jiggle shows and didn't feel like they could be anything else. Friends is a jiggle show but pretends it's not.

Plus, the funnest thing about Aaron Spelling is not the work of his that succeeded, but the insane crap that never took off, like Velvet, maybe the worst/best made for TV-movie ever, with aerobics-instructing crime-fighting ladies who step on a scale to open their secret lair and have radio transmitters in their diamante lightning bolt hairclips, with Shari Belafonte as the high-fiving sassy Velvet of Color and Polly Bergen as the dyke-y housemother Velvet instructress. Unbelievably great.

So much of his stuff was just kooky, nuts--all those Fantasy Island plots come from somewhere really dark in the brain. The Boy in the Plastic Bubble (oh my GOD, I remember my whole class so atwitter about that the next day) probably shaped my entire female generation's sexuality on some level--the byooful johntravolta, all trapped in a bubble, waiting for us to love him out of it. Anyhow...godspeed. Strangely, Ozymandias-ly sad.

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Heh heh...hilARious. Maybe you've noticed this (yes, you) in all the different mattress ads on TV: a big selling point is now that you can't feel the other person moving on the mattress next to you. Demonstrators fling bowling balls on one side of the mattress while people snore away on the other or people jump up and down on one side while a wine glass stays still. It's starting to make for some really hilarious Sophie Tucker copy, is the point, that cracks me up every time I watch it. "I can't even sense Bob moving!" "My husband's moving and I can't feel a thing!" Hehehehe I'm sorry, but hehehehehehe.

Janine Turner is getting weirder. I am positing this with certainty NOT because of an article I read not too long ago about her holing up in Texas with guns and voting for Bush, she says bluely, but because in the only footage I've seen of her in the last few years, her lipstick is creeping farther and farther out from around her mouth to where it's looking kind of clown/whore-y. Your basic porn star lip pencil. Weird! Perhaps she's doing her own makeup down there in Tejas and thinking it all has to get bigger and bigger? I wish I had a still from her latest GoSmile infomercial, because now her hair's starting to look weird too.

Fav cheeseball show: Pimp My Ride. Mostly it's fun (apart from the makeover show transformations) to see the state people let their cars get into, and all the workarounds they live with to dangle some prepositions against the pavement as I drive. I kept laughing out loud at this one guy (a repeat) who had to put on goggles whenever he drove to keep the foam ceiling from sifting into his eyes. I used to do stuff like that all the time, is the point--you think you're not, but you're just as bad as them. I had a bumper tied on with string and had to climb through my passenger side door for months. Plus host Xzibit has this scary growly OG rapper voice, but he turns out to be a big smiley cute nerd underneath it all. I love that he's so entertained by all the shitty cars. Note: I WANT A BIG, BIG-BUTT CADILLAC.

Totally, completely worth it: the nice DVD version of Gosford Park. The commentary by screenwriter Julian Fellowes is really fascinating. Some of the detail I was familiar with as a die-hard fan of stories of Edwardian houseparties, but lots of it was new and revelatory. Balanced, fair, fascinating. In me umble O.

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