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.