Showing posts from March, 2011

The Barefoot Diva

I wonder how Ina Garten is going to explain this one when she arrives to gain entry past the Pearly Gates.

Garten, the syrupy-sweet, giggling "Barefoot Contessa" on the Food Network, has surpassed a line that you cross at your own risk.

When it comes to kids and animals, one must tread very lightly.

When it comes to kids dying of cancer, it's no time to trot out traditional acts of avoidance.

An "I'm really busy here, ask me later" doesn't get it this time.

Garten has been ducking the advances of six-year-old Enzo, who's suffering from Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, something which will almost certainly kill him, sooner rather than later.

Enzo, through the terrific Make-a-Wish Foundation, has not once but twice requested that he be able to cook a meal with Garten.

Seems that Enzo became infatuated with Garten and her show while he watched TV with his mother, who tuned into "Barefoot Contessa" regularly.

I'll let pick up the story from h…


It never mattered how much time passed since Elizabeth Taylor made a film that resonated, and it wasn't since 1966, really. It didn't matter that her work over the past 30 years mostly filled the small screen and was more perfunctory than rich.

Taylor, who passed away Wednesday at age 79 from congestive heart failure, was in that rarified air of movie stars who were living icons, no matter how little they worked.

Marlon Brando. Warren Beatty. Paul Newman. Robert Redford. Heck, Doris Day.

These actors could go years between films and it didn't matter. Their legacies were secured.

Taylor was among them. She hadn't done anything compelling on celluloid since she knocked it out of the park in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" in 1966, for which she won her second of two Oscars.

But it didn't matter, because Taylor had been in our consciousness since she was an adolescent star, and her many marriages often provided more drama and intrigue than any role she ever…

Ohio's Gloating Fool

What happened to being a gracious winner? What of the civil courtesy between states, when it comes to our elected officials?

John Kasich must have been that kid who whooped and hollered whenever he won anything, from Chutes and Ladders to a game of H-O-R-S-E on the driveway.

Kasich, a Republican, is the governor of Ohio, but he also has been a political commentator on Fox News, hosting a show on the network for some six years (2001-07).

He's a neighbor of ours in Michigan, but he's the kind that you hope to avoid, going from your car to your house. If he's mowing his lawn, you wait until he's done before you mow yours.

Kasich has taken the low road when it comes to landing goodies for his state, specifically when it comes to being the lucky recipient of Michigan's apparent move away from its film tax incentives, thanks to new Governor Rick Snyder's seige on them.

Kasich's state snapped up "The Avengers," which was initially scheduled to be filmed in Mi…

TV News Gets Its "Props"

No one shuffles papers anymore on TV.

I'm talking about the news people, who are moving further and further away from a paper-enslaved society. They've stopped killing trees---which is one less story for them to report, if you like irony.

In the days of Huntley and Brinkley and Cronkite---heck, even Chevy Chase---an iconic image was to see the newsmen read off their typewritten scripts (no TelePrompTers back then), turn the page when done, and then came the shuffling.

It happened at the end of the broadcast---Cronkite would say, "And that's the way it is..." and the camera would pull back and we'd see old Walter shuffling his pages of script on his desk.

I miss that. Call me silly, I don't care.

I bring this up because the paper shuffling has now been replaced by a new icon of TV news.

The laptop has replaced the news script.

The laptop has invaded the newsroom desks of the TV studios throughout America.

Apparently the "hip" thing now, if you're a n…

You Knew Him, Too

Raise your hand if you'd heard of Fennville, Michigan prior to last weekend.

That's what I thought.

We didn't know Wes Leonard, certainly, but we didn't even hear about his hometown, either.

Now Fennville is stamped onto our brains, and Wes Leonard is in our hearts.

We didn't know Wes Leonard personally, but we know who he is.

He's that great kid you'd like your daughter to marry. He's the athlete who turns the fans on and pleases his coaches. He's that good-looking boy who is morphing into a man and doing so with little drama or maintenance.

You know him. I know him. Perhaps you're even lucky enough to know him personally, or, bonus, be his dad or uncle or brother or friend.

You didn't have to know Wes Leonard personally to know who he was, or how tragic his story is.

Leonard is the 16-year old boy who collapsed and died moments after hitting the game-winning layup for Fennville High School, giving his team a perfect 20-0 record.

Fennville is the Mi…

Leo "Bombs" at Oscars

How stupid does Melissa Leo think we are?

Here's a trained professional actress, used to working in front of audiences, and she'd have us believe that, a) she didn't know that the Academy Awards was an inappropriate venue to use the F-word; or b) she simply couldn't control her mouth enough to let that word spew forward on worldwide television?

Leo is the actress whose performance in "The Fighter" earned her the Best Supporting Actress Oscar. During her acceptance speech Sunday night, she said, ""Yeah I am kind of speechless. When I watched Kate [Winslet] two years ago, it looked so [expletive] easy!"

The epithet was followed by Leo's wide eyes, her hand over her mouth, and she did her best to look genuinely mortified that she had just said that.


For years, Oscar has been used as a platform for everything from political causes to industry bashing. Why, even a streaker once infamously graced the stage, in 1974.

"I wonder if that man r…