Sunday, December 23, 2007

Wanted: Ingenue. Must not sleep with gross older dudes

It snowed here yesterday, so today I commenced my first driveway-shoveling of the season. That activity pretty much wiped me out (well, earlier I went to the gym and then went bowling, so that may have had an effect). At any rate, I'm all cozy on my couch, drinking some eggnog and ready to wax dorky on cute girls.

I'm pretty fired up to see Juno, starring Ellen Page, an attractive young actress who intrigues me greatly. Don't you just love her voice? I haven't seen her in very many movies, but she was so excellent in Hard Candy, you couldn't watch it without thinking the entire time, "Man, this kid is the real deal." I figure since she was in every scene of that film, that's plenty of evidence to prove she's got chops. And if she's as good in Juno as I'm hearing, then she just might step up and fill the My Favorite Young Actress void. I had to let Evan Rachel Wood go, so the position has been empty for a while. Wood was my favorite for quite some time, and I still think she's immensely talented and will have an incredible career. But dating Marilyn Manson? Seriously? No. Just ... no. I mean, I think he's basically harmless (and not nearly as interesting or subversive as he thinks he is), but he is way too old for her. And not attractive enough. That's right, I'm exactly that shallow. I am firm in my belief that a girl as lovely as Wood should not be sleeping with Marilyn Manson. Gross. I know it's absurd, but I suppose part of me will always see Evan Rachel Wood as Jessie Sammler, kissing Katie Singer in the attic (you know what I'm talking about, Once and Again fans). Thinking about her with a creepy older dude just sets my teeth on edge.

But I digress. Ahem. I have no such unreasonable iconic-teenage-lesbian hangups with Ellen Page. Only hope for a bright future. Oh, and a couple of other non-Page reasons to be excited about Juno -- it also stars Arrested Development alums Jason Bateman and Michael Cera (yay!), plus the one and only Allison Janney. We all know how I feel about that. Whee!

In closing, a moment from happier, more innocent times:

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I'll take a double shot of Starbuck, please

Yes, I am aware that's probably the most overused wordplay possible when talking about Battlestar Galactica's Lt. Kara Thrace, a.k.a. Starbuck. If one of my editors had sent me that headline I would reject it for being too easy. But this is a blog, not my damn job, so deal with it. Trite headlines for all!

Anyway, in anticipation of an extended writers strike (which I support wholeheartedly -- fair is fair, corporate assholes), I have begun to supplement my regular TV viewing with DVDs of series I never managed to catch up with before. I started with Battlestar Galactica for a couple of reasons. First, I have been hearing forever from friends and colleagues (nerds!) that it's really good. And second, because Katee Sackhoff is wicked hot, and has been absent from The Bionic Woman for many, many weeks. Bionic was borderline lousy to begin with, but without the Sarah Corvus character it is pretty much the definition of suck. I stopped watching Bionic, but wasn't willing to give up a regular dose of Sackhoff, so BSG, here I be. I thought a Bionic Katee Sackhoff was something to behold, but as the the talented, tomboyish space pilot Starbuck, in flight suits and tank tops? Yowza. Thank you, God. Also, the show is really good so far, so cheers all around.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Q: Who rocks harder than Allison Janney? A: No one.

Hairspray comes out on DVD in a couple of days, which makes now a perfect time to celebrate Allison Janney, who stole every goshdarn scene she was in as the aptly named Prudy Pingleton. Now that I think of it, she might be one of the great scene-stealers ever -- both in movies and on The West Wing, which is where I (and countless others, I'm sure) first began to truly understand the glory of La Janney. She was pitch-perfect as CJ Cregg, who will forever be one of my favorite TV characters. I could go on for days and days listing all the reasons CJ Cregg is the pinnacle of awesome, but suffice it to say that she and Janney share a lot of qualities: intelligent, funny, accomplished, compassionate, passionate, beautiful. And let us not forget that Janney is crazy tall, which I find so hot. You do too; admit it. The woman is a knockout:

But it's not just that she's beautiful and smart and funny and redwood-tall, or that she kissed Meryl Streep in The Hours. She's also super gay friendly, and completely OK with the fact that a lot of ladies want her. A lot. And she's a great sport. She's easily my favorite guest on Ellen, engaging in a long-running, heated rivalry against Ellen in everything from ping-pong to American Gladiotors-style jousting. They're all hilarious, but I'm going with this one because it involves sumo wrestling. Plus, she looks way sexy in jeans and a baseball shirt.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Another girl's self-esteem in the toilet thanks to Tyra Banks

America's Next Top Model is my secret TV shame. I started watching it because I got hooked on the show recaps written by Potes of Television Without Pity (who I have a total word crush on, because she is hilarious beyond belief). The recaps by themselves are a panic, but I decided that they would probably be even funnier if I actually saw the show, and I was right. So now I come home from work on Wednesday nights, twitching in anticipation of the latest bouts of bitchery from the model wannabes. They rarely disappoint.

I hadn't picked a favorite yet this season, but I was sort of pulling for Sarah, who is witty and pretty, and also the token "plus-size" girl of the group. But Sarah got the boot tonight, going the way of every other plus-size girl in the history of the show. Just about every season, they make it seem like this is finally the time the plus-size girl will give those skinny skanks a run for their money. These poor, unsuspecting girls start the show brimming with confidence, ready to be an example for non-stick-figured women everywhere. But after weeks of struggling as a size-8 float in a the size-0 parade, their self-image erodes, and inevitably they break down. This week, Sarah broke. Her biggest issue: She was losing weight, and thus Tyra and her merry band of judges were climbing all over her case for being too skinny to be a plus-size model, and too hefty to be a regular model. In other words, she'd probably dropped to a size 6, a size that I and most of my friends would seriously consider lopping off a limb to be again.

I want to make it clear that I'm not exactly outraged over this outcome, because for one thing, I think the show is bullshit and I don't like to get too worked up about it. I also concede that Sarah was taking only so-so photos, and her heart probably wasn't in the whole thing anyway. But I just had to remark upon the absurdity of Tyra harshing on someone for being too fat and too skinny, then criticizing her for having some visible issues with that. Tyra, who fancies herself as some sort of champion for women's self-esteem issues. (Potes calls her Typrah Winbanks, which is so right on.) But Sarah seems to have her head screwed on straight, so I'm confident she can overcome the Top Model mindfuck that has taken down many an aspiring Cover Girl shill. Good luck, Sarah. I still think you're purty.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Helloooo, Doctor

Since about midway through last season, I've been on the verge of breaking up with Grey's Anatomy. I guess it was around the time I found out they were spinning off Kate Walsh's character. I mean, it's great for her that she has her own show, but Private Practice just hasn't captured my fancy. And Grey's without Dr. Addison Montgomery is a much less interesting Grey's. Then, George and Izzie supposedly fell in love (oh please), and they turned smart, capabale and hotter-than-blazes Callie Torres (O'Malley) into someone powerless and pitiful. Unacceptable. But the show has redeemed itself with the full-time addition of Brooke Smith as Dr. Hahn, replacing that douchebag Isaiah Washington. Thank Jeebus. When she showed up last week and immediately started kicking ass, I actually clapped my hands in sheer glee. I had the same reaction a few weeks ago when she turned up on Weeds as Original Mrs. Scottson, the object of the bizarre and hilarious platonic affections of Nancy (Mrs. Scottson 2.0). She is just fantastic -- her awesome voice and facial expressions are perfectly suited to the sharp-tongued characters she's playing on both shows. She's also got a nice lesbian-ish vibe going with the Dr. Hahn character.

The moral of the story: the more Brooke Smith on my TV, the better. Most people probably recognize her as Catherine, Buffalo Bill's captive in Silence of the Lambs. (You know: "Preeeeecious .... Preeeeeecious ... c'mere, ya little shit.") She was awesome then, and she's every bit as aweseome now. Welcome to Seattle Grace, Dr. Hahn.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Bye-bye, free time

When I was a kid, I was so into playing Atari that I used to regularly break joysticks in bouts of extreme frustration. (My parents really loved that.) Since then, though, I've never really been much of a gamer. I've had occasional flirtations with specific games -- my addiction to Tetris and Dr. Mario was a real problem, and I played a lot of Super Mario -- but that was years ago. Until I bought a PlayStation 2 in January, I hadn't owned a game system in about a decade. I bought the PlayStation specifically for Guitar Hero, which looked like a fun little lark, and probably a good party game. I had no idea that I would be spending much of 2007 hunched over a plastic guitar, fingers cramping like crazy.

But here I am. Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock came out Sunday, and it is so cool. I haven't had a chance to really get into it, but the track listing is a dream for a gal of the '90s such as myself. My music of choice tends to be chicks with acoustic guitars, but I love a lot of '90s rock and '70s rock. Some of the tracks I'm super-excited about: Weezer, "My Name is Jonas"; Pearl Jam, "Evenflow"; Smashing Pumpkins, "Cherub Rock"; Beastie Boys, "Sabotage" (I know!!!!); Heart, "Barracuda"; Rage Against the Machine, "Bulls on Parade"; Rolling Stones, "Paint It, Black"; and so help me God, Metallica, "One."

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Pound for pound, the best around

When Veronica Mars was canceled last year, I was pretty upset. Not so much because it was an great show -- which it was, although it had slipped from its first-season excellence -- but because it meant Kristen Bell wouldn't be on my TV anymore. In falling head over heels for the show, I also fell for Bell's acting. She packs a shitload of talent into her tiny, tiny frame. (Seriously, even for Hollywood, she is so wee.) Bell was asked to do a lot with the Veronica character, and she never failed to hit a home run -- even when Veronica was someone you didn't particularly like at the moment. Veronica had a lot of sadness and anger in her, and thus was too quick to think the worst of people, even those who loved her. She could also be arrogant and dismissive. But Bell was always able to pull off the high-wire act of letting the viewer see all of Veronica's flaws and baggage and anger without tipping too far one way and making her a character you didn't like or couldn't relate to, or tipping the other way and getting all Lifetime movie "mommy left me and I have trust issues" with it. Of course, strong writing helped a lot. But make no mistake: Kristen Bell absolutely has the goods. So I was quite thrilled to learn she has joined the cast of Heroes, a show my little geek heart just loves to pieces. (Actually, nerdy though I am, I've never been a comic book fan at all, and was a little surprised that I liked Heroes so much, given its premise. But I digress.)

I haven't watched Monday's episode yet, so I don't know what her special Hero purpose is. I kind of hope she's evil, because she played evil so well in a short arc on Deadwood, as the world's tiniest homicidal maniac/lesbian temptress/whore. (No, I am not making that up.) Whatever her super ability is, I have no doubt she's going to be kick-ass awesome. The photos from Dorothy Snarker's blog are highly, highly tantalizing, from a potential-lesbian-goodness standpoint. Which, let's face it, is why I get up in the morning: potential lesbian goodness, real or imagined.

This is my favorite Veronica, circa the first season. The Veronica that was on the fringe of high school society, fell asleep in class and took shit from no one.

UPDATE: I finally got around to watching it, and Bell was just as kickass as I had hoped. It appears that she's probably evil (yes!), and she can totally shoot electricity out of her fingers. I love TV.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Locomotives? What?

So I'm watching the CSI: Miami rerun that I recorded earlier (yes, because I totally have crush on Emily Procter; I'll get into that whole thing another day, I swear), and I just saw what must be the strangest, most ill-conceived commerical ever. It's blue-collar worker types singing "Take My Breath Away" while building or cleaning or doing something worker-like with giant locomotive engines built by GE. It's a commercial for TRAINS. Is A&E's demographic really people whose jobs involve buying goddamn locomotive engines? I don't understand why this commercial exists. I mean, what the fuck french, toast?

Which brings me to my favorite commercial in recent memory -- the Orbitz dirty mouth commercial. Everyone in it is funny. Doesn't "lint licker" sound wonderfully profane? Enjoy it with me, so I can forget the weird thing with the trains.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Becki Newton is bringing the funny

She's fabulous, she's hilarious, she's bitchy, and when under duress, she has a weakness for candy and carbs. She's Ugly Betty's Amanda Tanen, played brilliantly by the beautiful and talented Becki Newton. On a lesser show, Amanda would be all mean girl and no heart. But on Ugly Betty, she's ... well, mostly mean girl. But we also get to see a lot of the vulnerable Amanda, and Newton is just as good at that stuff as she is at the comedy. Her facial expressions slay me every week. Favorite quotes: "Have you been smoking one of your ponchos?" and (when Betty's dad offers Amanda a delicious flan) "Ohhh, BRING IT!" Favorite moment: I just can't pick one. But I do love this clip I found on YouTube, because when this episode originally aired, I was at least halfway into it before I figured out that Becki Newton was playing the nerdy Bizarro Amanda (aka Ruthie). So funny.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Friday night's all right

The long wait is over. The series I'm absolutely not at all ashamed to say I'm madly in love with -- Friday Night Lights -- returns tonight, and I could not be happier. Go Panthers! State champs, wooo! Ahem. When I first heard about this show, I assumed it wouldn't be very good, if the natural order of things held true. That is to say, when you take a wonderful book (by Buzz Bissinger) and turn it into a movie, the movie is often a letdown. Which it was. And when you then take that blah movie and turn it into a TV show, well ... you get what I'm saying. But while the Friday Night Lights movie was nothing to write home about, the show is incredible. It can break your heart at one turn and make you feel full of youth and hope at the next. The characters and relationships are so damn real. These are people who are trying to figure out how to love each other, how to find happiness and meaning in their small, football-psycho town. Really, it's a joy to watch. I know I watch a lot of TV shows, and I can freely admit that some of them are not so great. But trust me when I say that this is one of the the best shows that's been beamed into our homes in the last several years, and it kills me that no one's watching. I'm so paranoid that it's going to get canceled.

And that would be a crying shame, because then the world would be denied the glory of Connie Britton, who is acting her white-hot ass off in FNL. If you can watch even one episode and not fall in love with her character (and with her), then you are made of stone. Every time I watch the show, I can't decide whether I wish she were my wife, my mother, my sister, or my friend. (Usually wife wins out, like that's a surprise.) You can catch up with last season's episodes for free at What are you waiting for?

Thursday, September 27, 2007


I learned yesterday that my imaginary girlfriend of the summer, Top Chef's Lia Bardeen, is bisexual. I don't need to tell you that this revelation fills me with great joy. The news comes via a kind anonymous poster at Dorothy Surrenders, and our dear Dorothy has posted the video in which it came to light. Really, I have nothing to add to what's already on Dorothy's blog, but I just wanted an excuse to post a picture of Lia's cute "Yay!" face after she won an elimination challenge.


The U.S. women played terribly and lost 4-0 to Brazil. In my mind, Abby Wambach and Hope Solo spent many hours comforting each other. Yes, I am a perv. I know.

I'm upset about it in the sense that the U.S. team was poorly coached and did not play up to its potential in the entire tournament, and today's game was the nadir. On the other hand, I'm all for the women's game growing globally. Particularly in Brazil, where the national squad gets no support despite the fact that it is one of the top teams in the world. Here in the U.S., soccer is still a neglected stepchild, certainly. But coverage of today's game was all over ESPN (even the talking-head shows) and will be in every major newspaper tomorrow. Our national team gets paid to train year-round. Brazil's national team was basically disbanded in 2004 and only started playing together a few weeks before the World Cup. So, yeah, even though I've spent most of the day in a low-boil rage over the way today's match went down, I can't get too uptight about this loss. I hope the Samba Queens win it all.

Monday, September 24, 2007

A Wonderful World

If you haven't been watching the Women's World Cup for the past several weeks, you have missed out on a boatload of women playing some excellent soccer and looking hot doing it. It was my original hope to pick a Soccer Girlfriend of the Day for every day games were played, but it was too difficult to choose. My affinity for sporty blondes knows no bounds, thus the fact that there were three Nordic teams in the competition early on (Norway, Sweden, Denmark) left me in complete sensory overload. Now that we're down to the semifinals, I am doing much better.

The first semifinal on Wednesday is Norway-Germany, which should be a humdinger. Germany's defense has been insane and Birgit Prinz is a goal-scoring machine, so the Norwegians have their work cut out for them. On paper, Germany should win. But I'm picking Norway in an upset because I can't bet against those cute Scandinavians, like Marie Knutsen. (Germany is not lacking in the cuteness department, though -- I think this photo of Renate Lingor is adorable.)

As for the U.S. women, they will have their hands full with the creative and fast Brazilian team, starring the astonishingly talented Marta. But I'm cautiously optimistic for the U.S. As Julie Foudy has pointed out, when Brazil is backed into a corner, it often loses composure. So if the U.S. scores early, I like its chances. Back in the day, I had a lot of crushes on U.S. soccer players -- Shannon MacMillan, Mia Hamm, Foudy, Brandi Chastain, you name it. These days, I will admit to being a bit out of touch with the team. But Abby Wambach (the top photo, in case you don't know) is infinitely crush-worthy because, in addition to being attractive, she is so very badass. In keeping with my love of the blonde pixies, I am also fond of Lindsay Tarpley, who hasn't gotten much playing time in the World Cup (booo). Heather O'Reilly is cute too. Ultimately, as committed as I am to praising the hotness of women worldwide, how they look really doesn't matter. It's all about how you play the game.

Credit for the top photo goes to Eugene Hoshiko of The Associated Press

Thursday, September 6, 2007

She's cute even when she shills

Stuck at home with a serious case of hay fever this week, I've been watching a lot of tennis. A lot. And I was getting really tired of the John McEnroe American Express commercial ("Klaus Umlaut? '85 US Open?") But yesterday, a new commercial joined the rotation -- Tina Fey plugging American Express. Like Tina herself, the ad is funny, cute and smart. As soon as I can find a video (update: here), I'll link to it, but the gist is that Tina has to do everything herself and is constantly solving problems ("I will suck the venom out, but this is the last time!"). Except when she has a credit card issue -- why, American Express will take care of that for you, goshdarn it!
I have had a crush on Tina Fey for a long time. I used to think I was alone in that, but in recent years I've discovered that she seems to be universally loved by the lesbians. It's not just because she's sexy and witty and liberal and wears those awesome glasses; I think it's also because we look at her and think, "Ah, that one shoulda been a lesbian." But she's not, and we're OK with that. And she seems to be OK with being the object of our affections. In one of the funniest 30 Rock episodes of the first season, she gets set up on a date with a woman because her boss (Alec Baldwin) assumed she was a lesbian (based on her choice of footwear). Anyway, everyone should watch 30 Rock, because it's hilarious. It has filled the void left in my life after Arrested Development went off the air. The season two premiere is Oct. 4. So far away! In the meantime, here is a funny clip from the show.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Beach volleyball = eye candy

So, in a monumentally unproductive Sunday afternoon, I watched at least parts of: U.S. Open preview, a WNBA playoff game (NY vs. Detroit), Indycar racing, LPGA golf, the Little League World Series and women's pro beach volleyball. The volleyball match featured the doubly lovely Misty May and Kerri Walsh -- as most televised women's volleyball matches tend to do, being that May-Walsh are the best team in the world and have been for quite some time. During the match, I thought to myself, "Hmmm ... I could use this as an excuse to post the hottest sports photo ever." But I kind of forgot about it. Then what happens tonight? A&E reruns the CSI: Miami episode in which May and Walsh make a cameo (they discover a body buried smack in the middle of their court during a tournament). It appears that the forces of the universe want me to share this photo from their gold-medal celebration at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens.

It's a beautiful moment, and not just because of all the hot girl-on-girl-in-the-sand action. It was the culmination of their complete domination of the field; they never dropped a set in the entire tournament. Incidentally, I know they are both married and are just pals. The celebration was obviously just the joy of the moment. But that doesn't mean it can't be hot too, right?

I've never had the chance to see these two in person, but I did get to see Misty May play several times back in the day, when she was kicking ass and taking names at Long Beach State. My alma mater was in the same conference as Long Beach, and my first job at the college paper was as the women's volleyball beat writer -- a gig that I, as sports editor, assigned to myself. Clever, non?

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Long-term crush: Becky Hammon

Sometimes TV crushes are fleeting. Either you stop watching the show, or the character becomes unlikeable, or it simply gets buried under the weight of other crushes. But some, a special few, go on for years. And years. Such is the case with my all-time No. 1 women's hoops hottie, Becky Hammon. My good friend Mechelle, the best women's basketball writer in the whole world, would call bullshit on this statement and contend that a couple of other people could be my No. 1, based on the pure intensity of the crush. She would know; she's had to listen to me all these years. But I am standing by Hammon because she has stood the test of time. In 10 years, I've watched her go from Colorado State superstar, to undrafted rookie shooting guard who barely made a WNBA roster, to all-star point guard and, this year, legitimate league MVP candidate. (She's not going to win; Lauren Jackson will, but still.)

First, let's talk about skill. I've said it before and I'll say it again -- talent is sexy. Hammon is not the fastest person out there, and she's going to commit a lot of turnovers, but she more than makes up with it with her pure ability to score and to create opportunities, and her excellent floor leadership. She also has a bizarre knack for hitting these wacky circus shots in the lane that have no business going in the basket. Since her trade to San Antonio this season, she's kicked up her game another notch. In the regular season, she averaged career highs of 18.8 points and 5.0 assists. Not bad for a woman who's only 5-foot-6. After today's 86-61 win over the Monarchs, in which Becky scored 20, she has her team one game away from the Western Conference finals. Which, of course, means more TV appearances. Woo hoo!

Now, on to the hot. Obviously, Becky Hammon is an attractive woman. But more than that, she has this sexy, butch swagger that I find irresistable. I know what you're thinking: that cute blonde with the ponytail? Butch swagger? If you've ever heard Hammon speak or seen her off court, you know what I'm talking about. She opens her mouth and a Jeep Wrangler falls out. I'm not saying she is or she isn't ... I'm just saying.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Dear cicadas

Dear cicadas:
Please calm down. I enjoy your buzzing in the summer; it makes me think of good times in my childhood -- going camping, staying at my grandparents' farm, and how my parents would always leave the house open at night even when it was really hot. But when you are so loud that I can hear you inside my house, windows shut, TV on, it really freaks me out. I know you're just trying to mate, and I respect that. If I could make that work just by being really loud, I would absolutely do it. Oh, and would you also stop flying into me and clinging onto my shirt? That really, really freaks me out.

Thanks, and good luck with the mating.

Sincerely yours,

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Big Love: I flippin' knew it!

Last night I finally got around to watching this week's episode of Big Love. In it, the diaboloical almost-child-bride Rhonda Volmer threatens goody-two-shoes Heather that she'll tell everyone that Heather is secretly in love with her best friend, Sarah Henrickson (the oldest kid in the polygamous Henrickson family). I had a feeling early in the first season that the show was going to go that direction, when Heather the Super Mormon mentioned to Sarah that she volunteered for a gay youth center. At the time, I thought (OK, hoped) they were going to go the relationship route with these two -- a theory bolstered a few weeks later when they made weird googly eyes at each other at a party.

But any hints the show seemed to be dropping tapered off, and then this season Sarah got a boyfriend. But Heather still seemed pretty intense about Sarah, so I started to think that either it was one-sided, or that maybe I was projecting the whole thing. After all, I used to be Heather -- super-conservative church freak, yet I considered myself to be thoughtful, open-minded and non-judgmental. I was particularly sympathetic to gay issues, trotting out that "love the sinner, hate the sin" business. (I loved the sinner, all right.) I was uncomfortable with and jealous of my best friend's boyfriend, but I never thought to examine why. If someone had confronted me with it like Rhonda did to poor Heather, my face probably would have registered the same expression -- oh, shit. Heather denies it, but you can see the lightbulb turn on. That's not true. Is it? It's not, right? Oh God, it probably is.

Rhonda astutely points out that even if it's not true, people will think it is, so either way, Heather is in trouble. I'm be interested to see where the show goes with this plotline. Wherever it lands, if it gets Tina Majorino (Heather) and Amanda Seyfried (Sarah) more screen time, I'm all about it. I loved those two in Veronica Mars, and it's been fun to watch them work with completely different material. They both have a boatload of talent. I've been particularly impressed with Seyfried, who shows a lot of depth in her portrayal of Sarah. As for Tina Majorino, well -- sometimes I have a TV girlfriend who is way too young for me, and she is one of them. I didn't come out until I was in my 20s, so I get a few retroactive TV crushes on girls my teenage self would have liked, had I been in possession of a clue.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Ear crush: Brandi Carlile

Freshly bestowed with an iTunes gift card, I went bonkers and bought two albums from singer-songwriter chick Brandi Carlile, The Story and Brandi Carlile. I will confess that I haven't been listening to the radio much lately (mostly because all of my local stations have slowly turned to crap), but I had heard a few tunes of hers here and there over the last year or so, like "Turpentine," "The Story" and "What Can I Say," all of which are lovely. After listening to several other clips I decided to just buy the lot. So for the past couple of days, I've been constantly listening to both albums. She is really something else. Her voice is beautifully strange (strangely beautiful?), a lot of interesting falsetto. It's technically wack in a really compelling way. Which is why she can get away with covering "Hallelujah," succeeding where others failed (I'm looking at you, Imogen Heap). I haven't had enough time yet to really chew on her lyrics, but I like what I've gathered so far. There are cliche lines here and there, but some interesting turns of phrase as well.

Oh, and hey, guess what? She's totally gay. I didn't even know when I bought the albums. I'm not sure how I missed out on that. Even my straight friend Jen was all over it. I feel especially stupid for not knowing more about her since she appeared on the most recent Indigo Girls album, collaborated with them on a song for The Story, and has been touring with them this summer. Being a good, dutiful lesbian, I love my Indigo Girls, y'all. I am old-school in that regard. (Shut up. They still kick ass. Amy Ray is writing songs these days that make the hairs on my neck stand up. Listen to Prom.) Anyway, my point, which I am taking an ice age to get to, is I think she might have the most commercially marketable sound of any lesbian artist in a good long while. She could be a really big deal.

I'm not calling this a full-blown crush yet since I have never seen her live (or even on Memorex). I've only listened. It's only a matter of time, though. I can tell.

Monday, August 13, 2007

I'm just not that into her: Jacinda Barrett

So, last night I watched The Last Kiss, one of those Zach Braff joints. Normally I don't like to fall into the mindset of, "You have to be gay/black/Lutheran/a former band geek/whatever to really get this," but I swear you would have to be heterosexual to enjoy that movie. It failed generate any emotion in me except mild irritation. All the women were shrill and hysterical. Nice. To be fair, all the men were about as emotionally mature as your average 9-year-old. But it did get me thinking about one of its stars, Jacinda Barrett. She doesn't do much for me, despite being tall, beautiful, talented and Australian. Is it because I still see her as that model chick from The Real World: London, and thus I can't take her seriously? I don't know. She was perfectly sane when she was on the show, plus it was long before The Real World devolved into non-stop drunken shenanigans, so I don't think the grim spectre of crap reality TV looms over her. I suppose she just leaves me cold, for whatever reason. I just have to take a deep breath and tell myself that it's okay if I don't want every pretty girl to be my girlfriend.

In other news, Lauren Lee Smith also was in the movie, which gives me a perfectly good reason to post a photo of Dana and the Soup Chef. (As if I need a reason. Soup Chef!)

Friday, August 3, 2007

Soon to be back on my screen, thank god

As much as The L Word frustrates me -- and it does, quite often -- it does at times give me moments of great happiness. To wit: Dana and the soup chef, pretty much everything Leisha Hailey says and does, a good Bette rant, the awesomeness of Joyce Wischnia, and of course, Sarah Shahi as gold star lesbian Carmen. Ah, Carmen. With her beautiful smile and oh-my-god body, she made lesbians' hearts sing for two glorious seasons. (OK, the seasons weren't actually that glorious, but Shahi was, so whatever.) After Shane dumped Carmen at the altar (stupid move), Shahi's arc on the show was over, and she moved on to free TV, starring in an NBC sitcom that only lasted a few episodes.

She'll soon be back in prime time in another NBC show, this time a drama. In Life, which is on the fall schedule, Shahi plays the partner of a cop who is returning to the force after being framed for murder. To be frank, even if the show is crap, I would probably still watch it to see Shahi looking nine kinds of hot. Detective-wear suits her. But it sounds as if the show has promise. The framed cop is played by Damian Lewis, who was excellent in one of my favorite TV miniseries ever, Band of Brothers. I have a little bit of a boy crush on Lewis, I can admit. (If you were wondering why I didn't crop the dude out of the photo, there you have it.) Anyway, Lewis has already shown that he's a great actor, and so has another of the show's stars, Robin Weigert, who was so good in Deadwood as Calamity Jane it was ridiculous. Seriously, do yourself a favor. The woman was a marvel. And Shahi showed a lot of chops in The L Word, so if the material is as good as the cast, this could be a solid show. I have high hopes.

Incidentally, much is made of the fact that Sarah Shahi was briefly a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, but although I am a huge Cowboys fan, I find it much more interesting that she is a direct descendant of the shah who ruled Iran in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. (That's right, Carmen de la Pica Morales is not Hispanic.) Obviously her present-day family can't be too conservative if they're cool with her posing for Maxim and having simulated sex with women on television, but you can't help but wonder what the old shah might think about his great-great-great-granddaughter.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


I blame myself. I start off a blog with a crush on a reality TV contestant, and the next week she's eliminated, breaking my little heart. You got robbed, Lia. Robbed, I say. In her exit interview she seemed to take it in stride. Still, I just want to hug her. Bye, Lia! Your cuteness will not be forgotten (nor your elimination forgiven) by this "Top Chef" fan.

I suppose I should find someone else to root for. Since I grew up in Dallas, I'll put my money on Tre and Lia's pal Casey. They're both making interesting food, and they seem like good people. Not nearly as cute, though.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The patron saint: Simone Lahbib

In life, sometimes a person will cross your path and everything changes. Or, in my case, that person will flicker across my TV screen. Hey, I never claimed I wasn't a loser. I think this blog pretty much takes care of that. Anyway, for me, the world has been spinning on a slightly different axis since I first laid eyes (and ears) on Simone Lahbib.

Lahbib was the star of the British show Bad Girls for its first three seasons. I was way late to the party on this show, which is stunning considering that it is set in a women's prison and featured a prominent lesbian storyline. Probably the most prominent, long-running lesbian storyline of any TV show outside of The L Word. Don't ask me how I missed out on all that -- I'm pleading clueless Yank -- but I'm on it now. Boy, am I on it.

Although I kicked off the blog with someone else, Lahbib was the true inspiration. The heart, soul, and sweaty palms of it. She is all a lesbo TV fan could ask for: drop-dead gorgeous (look at those lips!), a terrific actor, makes out with her hot female co-star very convincingly -- like, burning-up-the-screen convincingly. Then there's the Scottish brogue. Lord God almighty, the brogue. I could do an entire entry just on the brogue. I probably will at some point.

Which brings me around to why I'm making her the patron saint of this blog, for it desperately needs one. 1.) Simone Lahbib is hotter than hell. 2.) She was one half of my favorite TV lesbian pairing ever. 3.) Elevating her to sainthood means I can write about her repeatedly. Yay! 4.) Did I mention all the hot?

Friday, July 13, 2007

Cuteness, thy name is Lia Bardeen

I consider myself a reasonably intelligent person, but I am not ashamed to admit that I love me some reality TV. Yes, a lot of it is crap, but it can be compelling crap. And some of it is quite good. Top Chef has quickly become one of my all-time favorites. Part of it is because most of the chefs don't seem to aspire to being professional reality TV famewhores, they aspire to being well-known and respected chefs. I am not a foodie (or even a half-decent cook, for that matter), but I really enjoy watching these people cook gourmet dishes under crazy constraints. And sometimes, they say things to each other like, "It's obvious you're a tool and a douchebag," and "I'm not your bitch, bitch." Awesome. Plus, this season there are a few really attractive women among the cheftestants, so I'm kicking off the blog with one of them. Why start with someone super-famous? Everyone knows Katherine Heigl's hot.

As soon as I saw Lia, a 27-year-old executive sous chef at Jean Georges in Manhattan, I knew I was in trouble. She has a lovely face, a terrific smile and perpetually flushed cheeks, which I am a total sucker for. Following the first episode, in which she came off as a little bit shy and sweet, it became clear in the next couple of episodes that she has an edge about her, and is witty, smart and takes no shit. Combine that with the cuteness, and it was all over for me. Well played, Lia.

It only got worse this week, when Lia a) wore crazy-cute ponytails in the kitchen, b) won the elimination challenge with a drool-worthy dish involving shrimp and avocado, and c) proceeded to be adorably thrilled with her victory (scroll down a bit at BloggingTopChef and check out the .gif; I don't want to steal it). Then, I just read an interview on BloggingTopChef in which she says she loves literature, was a nerd in high school, once shaved her head, and that when it comes to music, "it's almost never the wrong time for Dolly Parton." Are you trying to kill me, Lia? Jesus. Either marry me now or stop being so cute.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Welcome to the world, baby blog!

Is anyone really starting new blogs in 2007? Apparently so. Really, I have been at least six or seven years behind everyone else since, I don’t know, puberty. But I intend to make up for it now with this blog, which I’m sure no one will find amusing except me. And perhaps my friend Mechelle. And weird dudes who google keywords like “lesbian socks bubble-yum.”

Anyway, my name is Amanda and my aim is to celebrate the many, many hot, cute and/or sexy women of television. Namely, Hot Women Who Play Lesbians, Hot Women Whose Characters Should Be Lesbians But Aren’t, Hot Women Who Are (or Might Be) Lesbians, Hot Women I Desperately Wish Were Lesbians and Women Who Are Just Plain Hot. Whatever category they fall into, all of them need to be my girlfriend, tout de suite.