More of our best of the decade coverage, which started on Tuesday. You can read the other posts at the link above. Here, we talk about a very aught-like phenomenon: the cult of celebrity.
There is no clearer metaphor for the concept of being a celebrity than the Hollywood Walk of Fame. You work hard to chase your dream and achieve a career for yourself by making your name known to the masses of the universe.
Then when you've grabbed that star and become a regular fixture in the flash bulb of the press' cameras, how does the public honor your tireless toil and efforts? They throw you down on a sidewalk and walk all over you.
In the Aughts, however, a new celebrity oozed out of the primordial muck. A celebrity that still suffered the slings and arrows of the tabloid press and a complete loss of the right to privacy, but achieved their stardom by simply cutting out all that pesky hard work and tireless effort nonsense. These are the celebrities who became famous by simply because they were famous.
Vince "ShamWow guy" Offer (we soon learned his real last name is Shlomi, thanks to his arrest record for fighting a prostitute) was one of the minds behind the infamous Underground Comedy Movie, a lame attempt at a Kentucky Fried Movie-style film that will live in infamy for reasons other than its attempt at comedy.
You might remember the film (or you may not want to) from the late night infomercials and commercials that aired for it back in the late '90s and early '00s. The film has a long and sordid history full of more litigation and despair than an E! True Hollywood Story, assuming that Vince Offer has not yet become the focus of an E! True Hollywood Story.
I went to Universal Studios in Hollywood on Saturday for the revealing of The Simpsons Ride. Celebs walked the "yellow" carpet. The mayor welcomed the crowds and led the countdown. A human cannonball was shot into the air. And a yellow sheet dropped to reveal a 32-foot Krusty the Clown face at the entrance to the attraction.
Despite the launch being for The Simpsons, there were hardly any members of the cast there on the yellow carpet. Kelsey Grammer (Sideshow Bob) was there along with creator Matt Groening and producer James L. Brooks but no other voice talents were anywhere to be found. See who I talked to and read more about the ride unveiling after the jump.
Here we are again. Another year has passed us by and what do we have to show for it? A little more gray hair, a little less money in our pockets (have you noticed how the price of, um, everything has gone up?), and a little more fear that the world in slowly unraveling. Normally, television is there to soothe our brows in these times. Alas, the current pissing match between the Studios and the Writers is stifling that ability to the point that we may all be having Chaucer parties by mid-year because there's nothing to watch on the tube.
Not sounding too bitter, am I?
Well, you're not here to read about doom and gloom (unless it's a review of 24). You're here to see what I, and many of my TV Squad colleagues, thought television's best and worst were for 2007. So, without further interruptions on how much I paid for my daughter's karate lessons (you DON'T want to know), here is my list of best and worst for the previous year.
When Seidlin was all over television a few months back, he was reportedly being wooed by at least one network for a little face time. In his resignation, Seidlin didn't say exactly what he'll be doing, except that he has "a further commitment to helping my fellow citizens through roles in the educational system, media, and non-profit organizations." I highlighted a key word there because I'm guessing we'll be seeing Judge Larry's emotional outbursts on television sometime soon.
Anyone want to guess what type of show he'll be getting?
*UPDATE: Yup, he's got a TV show. He'll be filming a pilot for CBS Television Distribution.
The company plans to use before and after photos of hundreds of TrimSpa users in its new ad campaign. The images will be visible even when users are fast-forwarding through the commercial.
Of course, these types of advertisements aren't really TiVo-proof, so much as TiVo-resistant. All you have to do to avoid the images is program your TiVo remote to use the 30-second skip feature. Or use a different PVR that lets you skip commercials altogether.
Over the last two weeks, I've been subjected to a rash of televised news about fluffy non-stories that I didn't care about. I bemoaned the state of American News Television and nodded knowingly when SNL (such a satire, that SNL) ran a skit that said the same thing.
Except here's the thing: I did sorta care about Anna Nicole Smith. And yes, I cared more about her than the genocide in Darfur. Does that make me a classless, shortsighted, anti-intellectual? Yep. It also makes me an American.
I promised myself - promised, promised, promised - that I wouldn't write another story about Anna Nicole Smith. But then I saw this video, and I had to post this. If it stops just one person from watching another second of Entertainment Tonight, then this post is worth it.
The video is from Entertainment Tonight, who had EXCLUSIVE! access to the funeral in the Bahamas (*cough* $$$$$ *cough*), and while we get all of the expected weeping and slow motion and doves being released, we also see various friends and relatives of Anna Nicole taking a shovel and grabbing dirt out of the back of a wheelbarrow. I'm sure this is done at funerals, but it just seems odd to have everyone at the funeral grab the shovel and join in. After a while it seems like less a tribute than just doing some maintenance work at the cemetery.
Pay special attention to the job Anna Nicole's mom does.
Reprimand her mother all you want, but tell me something Howard, is it not wrong to consistently try to make money selling any sound bite you hawk to Entertainment Tonight? You alone are keeping Anna in the spotlight to be portrayed with exclusive coverage every night since Daniel's death.
It would be speaking too soon if we said that this is the last we will hear of the circus. Since Anna's passing, Howard has stated in court that he has no one to live off of but his parents, it's apparent that he will do anything to make a dollar.
Today on TV Squad Daily:
- Dancing with the Stars, the fitness book, is coming soon.
- The inevitable Victoria and David Beckham reality show rumors have begun. And can someone tell me how why Posh is "hilarious"?
- How annoying: Larry Sedlin, the whacko judge in the Anna Nicole Smith burial hearing, was reportedly offered a TV gig.
Wow, here's something that was COMPLETELY UNEXPECTED.
Judge Larry Seidlin, who presided over the Anna Nicole hearing/circus last week, might get a regular spot on CBS' Saturday Early Show. One of the show's producers, Michael Rosen, sent Judge Seidlin a letter the other day (obtained by The Sun-Sentinel), saying that they want to hire him for a new segment on the show:
"I have been extremely impressed by your compassion in the Anna Nicole case and I would love to discuss with you the idea of being our judge on a new segment, `Morning Justice.' It would be a semi-regular segment in which you would resolve the ethical and legal questions of our viewers who send in the issues troubling them."
That's the claim she's making in a joke e-mail she sent to staffers at CNN Headline News. She's been so fed up with all of the people coming forward to claim they might be the father (the list so far includes Howard K. Stern, Larry Birkhead, Zsa Zsa Gabor's husband, an ex who is in jail and J. Howard Marshall, the old guy she married years ago who might have frozen his sperm) so she finally declared that she was the father of the baby.
This would be funny if it wasn't for the fact that Grace has been covering the damn story from every single angle several times since Anna Nicole Smith died.
It's funny that she would say she's the father of the baby, since most people describe her as being a "mother."
[via TV Newser]
That's what Starpulse is reporting, anyway, citing "a source" that claims studios are "falling over themselves" to create a biopic about the late actress, model and reality TV star. I don't pretend to understand how this crazy machine called Hollywood operates, but are studios really in a mad dash to make this supposed biopic? If one is being planned, I would assume it would be some kind of made-for-TV affair, and that Theron is far too popular right now to even consider such a thing.
Let's play casting director: who do you guys think should play Anna Nicole Smith? I keep thinking Dolly Parton for two obvious reasons, but Parton's just too classy in my mind. They could always create a CGI Anna, too. If no one takes this alleged role they might have to resort to that.
But it's all hogwash, according to Paula who told Us Weekly, "I've never been drunk. I have never done recreational drugs. Just look at my 20-year career. Tell me someone who is into partying or doing drugs that could have done that."
There, she's said it. Of course, celebrities say lots of things, and deny tons more.
Various things I've been thinking about lately.
1. I don't know why I didn't notice this before, but the guy who plays Horn-Rimmed Glasses Man on Heroes, Jack Coleman, is the guy who played Steven Carrington on Dynasty in the 80s! I didn't recognize him at all. Not that I watched Dynasty. I was a Knot's Landing guy. Great hair though.
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