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They Can’t Do That on Television

I have something to look forward to, sort of. Reunion returns on Fox after a month’s absence tonight. This is a really stupid show. A really stupid show that I can’t stop watching.

For such a stupid show, however, it has an intruiging premise. Six people, friends since high school, are reunited after a murder happens. One of them is the victim and another is the murderer. Each episode flashes back to a year in their lives, beginning in 1986, until we get to the present day and find out whodunnit. The victim’s identity will apparently be revealed soon (I’m hedging my bets on the Tom Cruise lookalike), but until then we have to endure a lot of whiny, stereotypical people doing inexpicable things. Part of the fun in this show is how wrong they get the period settings, with the pilot episode being a particularly awful riot of indifferently chosen ’80s clothing, music and expressions. The pretty cast does its best, despite being saddled with lines like “It’s 1987 and we’re in New York City.” Who says garbage like that? And how did characters so different stay friends for so long? Despite all this, I’m totally interested in how this will play out. Plus Will Estes is quite a hunk. So sue me.

Glam Slam

mackiehat.jpgCome November 22, Christies will auction several Bob Mackie gowns, costumes and sketches from the mid-’60s to today. This includes some famous getups worn by Cher on her variety shows with and without Sonny, as well as Carol Burnett’s elegant outfits from the Q&A sessions on The Carol Burnett Show. The latter are among my favorite pieces in the auction – very sexy and glamourous, yet understated. You could almost picture your mom wearing that stuff! Thanks to Christopher for sharing this one.

The Happiest Boy in the Whole U.S.A.

I found this country music discography site while researching Tanya Tucker’s MCA Records period. Very nicely researched, and I get a kick out of the ever-changing parade of goofy hairstyles pictured in the album cover galleries.

P.S. Although I adore Tanya’s music (Ever heard “Lizzie and the Rainman”? Awesome.), her reality show is a huge bore.

The Phantom Creeps

Happy Halloween. You know what today means — scary movies! Mindjack just did a Vital Horror feature for anyone who needs ideas. As for us, we’re going to do our usual hiding out in the back room, porch light off, avoiding the trick or treaters. Sorry, but I hate kids and giving out candy. The candy is ours, brats! Lately we’ve been spending this avoidance time watching a horror DVD the computer. This year it’ll be Eyes Without A Face.

Target Red?

Quick question: does anyone know what PMS color red Target uses on their logo and promotional materials?

Talk of the Town

For my birthday earlier this month, Christopher gave me a copy of The Complete New Yorker. It’s exactly what the title says — every issue of The New Yorker (up to February 14, 2005), spread across eight DVDs. Sure it’s buggy, some of the scanned artwork is splotchy and the article abstracts appear to have been written by non-English speaking interns, but overall this is pretty damn cool. Amazon has it for only sixty bucks, the deal of the century.

Although many Amazon customers complained about installing the browsing software, it was no problem with me. In five minutes, I got it going and was already collecting archived articles as a reading list (a handy feature) to look through later on. I might never get through, say, Lillian Ross’ multi-part exposé on the movie business from 1952, but it’s nice to have it handy anyhow.

One feature in this set’s software allows you to browse issues by cover. This is heaven. I love all phases of the NYer covers, from the early Art Deco ones to the more typical pastel-hued landscapes and still lifes. Once Art Spiegelman became art director in the early ’90s, the covers got wilder and more topical. I especially dug R. Crumb’s cover from 1994, which updates Eustace Tilly as a heavy-lidded slacker studying a porn leaflet. Heck, I’ve browsed plenty. Use it to trace the development of cartoonist Roz Chast (her earliest work is very primitive and funky), or the twilight years of Charles Addams.

Perhaps the greatest use for the set is just picking a typical issue and leafing through the pages. Thankfully, they’ve also included every ad in every issue. I love paging through a 1938 issue to find that, for example, Campbells Cream of Mushroom Soup is the preferred meal for the busy hostess to serve “expected guests”. There’s also a million little things to marvel at in the older editions, like the brilliant fashion columns of Lois Long, or the tiny illustrations they used between the columns, or the multitudes of theatre ads in the back … well, you get the idea.