On the heels of the announcement that Will and Jada Pinkett Smith would be guests on one of Oprah's final shows, three things popped into my head: 1) random! 2) are they getting a reality series on OWN? and 3) man, she's shared a lot of big, memorable moments with famous (alleged) Scientologists.
I mean, I've been convinced for months now that Oprah's last show would be a tribute to her loyal viewers. (That's thanks in large part to mainlining marathons of OWN's 'Oprah Behind the Scenes,' on which Oprah is always saying it's "for the fans.") A walk down memory lane, a parting gift, in the spiritual sense, reminding them to pay it forward ... not another chat with some fancy Hollywood A-listers!
So I was pleasantly surprised when the A-list-o-rama turned out to be for a two-show goodbye to air Monday, May 23, and Tuesday, May 24, before her actual finale on Wednesday, May 25.
Will and Jada were there in full force to play a 'This Is Your Life'-style game with Oprah, along with an army of other celebs. Literally everyone was there -- but the only other person hogging more O time was Tom Cruise, another famous Scientologist.
Take a look at our list of big Oprah show moments shared with members, admitted and suspected, of the mysterious church -- an Oprah Scientology Yearbook of sorts.
But now they have either grown too powerful or have completely lost whatever grip they had left on reality, which wasn't a whole hell of a lot to begin with. They have recruited a cartoon character.
Bart Simpson's voice appeared in a phone recording advertising a Scientologist gathering in Hollywood that was clearly voiced by Nancy Cartwright. Of course, the audio found its way to the Internet. 20th Century Fox has been scrambling to pull it off every corner of YouTube ever since Perez Hilton broke the story and Fox made him remove it. You can hear it here before Fox spoils the fun for the rest of us.
Holmes got her big break on TV, playing Joey Potter on the uber-popular teen soap Dawson's Creek. She also had a few impressive turns in movies, such as Pieces of April and Thank You for Smoking before meeting Tom Cruise and taking an extended hiatus from the business.
Holmes also gave up her role in the Batman franchise before dipping her toe back into acting waters with the critically panned Mad Money. She is set to film her episode later this month and then spread her wings further by traveling to New York to star in a revival of Arthur Miller's play, All My Sons.
The lessons started in earnest. First was a philosophy that Robert follows in his own life, but that he felt worked perfectly for those seeking to be on reality TV:
Never Deny, Always Reply, Never Ask Why.
He repeated it several times. I won't do that here. Just, uh, read that sentence a few times and you'll get the point.
Essentially, the point of his philosophy was that you need to be open to all things -- you should never say "no" (never deny); you should reply to every request made to you, presumably in the affirmative (always reply), and you should never question the logic of what is being asked of you (never ask why).
Over on Discovery's MythBusters forums -- where fans regularly congregate to discuss previous episodes, disagree with Adam and Jamie's conclusions and offer suggestions for future myth-busting -- someone has made the suggestion that the MB's take on the task of not only obtaining but also fully testing the capabilities of one of Scientology's most exclusive devices: the E-meter.
A kerfuffle of epic proportions came about when a BBC documentary about Scientology ("Scientology and Me") culminated in a shouting match between Panorama reporter John Sweeney and Scientology spokesperson Tommy Davis in the "Mind Control" section of the Church's "Psychiatry: Industry of Death" exhibit in Los Angeles.
Given this series of cartoon events, why the New York Post would bother to ask Hayes whether or not he planned on returning to the show is beyond me, but Hayes' answer was clear.
Although the show still experiences some decent success in ratings and only recently got their first Emmy nomination (a nod to star Kevin James, this year), I think it's time to pull the plug. I actually used to find the show relatively enjoyable (compared to similar sitcoms like According to Jim), but the whole "Check out the fat guy with the hot chick!" thing began to wear thin a few seasons ago.
Ooh! Here's an idea: A wacky sitcom all about a fat wife and her super-hot husband. Haha, I'm just kidding... We've already seen that on Roseanne, with Roseanne Barr and that smokin' super-fox John Goodman.
The game itself is rather simple. The contestant is presented with 12 strangers and a list of twelve identities. For each correct guess they move up the money ladder. Correctly identifying all twelve strangers is a $500,000 payoff. They have one mistaken identity in their pocket, so the first miss is a freebie. But a second miss sends them home with no cash.
To aid them in their quest there are two helper options. With "tridentity" they can pick one of the identities and the field will be narrowed down to three potential correct answers. There is also a panel of experts that includes a body language expert, a psychologist, and an fbi agent.
Scientology fascinates me, and not because I have any desire to be a part of whatever the hell it is. I'm just inexplicably drawn to beliefs and practices I would never personally adhere to because I'm interested in what drives other people, especially if aliens might be involved. The "religion" claims to have ten million followers, and there's obviously something about it that attracts celebrities. Do those Hollywood peeps know something about it we don't, or is it just another trivial and meaningless fad like Kabbalah?
48 Hours recently did a show on Scientology, specifically Jeremy Perkins, a paranoid schizophrenic who stabbed his mother to death. Perkins parents were Scientologists (his mother was a senior auditor at the Church of Scientology in Buffalo, NY) and did not believe in psychiatric treatment. You can watch the episode here. I have not watched it yet myself, but feel free to take a look and share your reflections in the comments.
It looks like they will be using Scientology pretty extensively, with Kimber and Matt taking long saunas together and "auditing" each other. Nip/Tuck will explore the way people might use a belief system the way plastic surgery is used, and try to open up a religion that's name and celebrity followers is known, but which keeps a lot of its beliefs and rituals secret. Seems a logical step for the series, Matt is one of the most confused characters in the history of original cable series, always looking for an answer in some new extreme way. Kimber and Christian aren't far behind.
South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker have had to fight quite a few battles over the last several months, from the "Bloody Mary" episode that upset some Catholics to the two-part "Cartoon Wars" episode that was censored by Comedy Central. The two creators had become so fed up they almost walked after the network pulled the "Trapped in the Closet" episode that skewered both Scientology and its most vocal supporter, Tom Cruise. Rumors were abound as to why the episode was pulled, with some, including Parker and Stone, claiming Cruise himself had a hand in it. Well, whatever reason the network might have had is apparently no longer relevant because the episode will return on July 19. No word on whether those censored images of Muhammad from "Cartoon Wars" will ever be seen, though. Of course, you could always just watch the opening credits for that.
Let me preface this post by saying that I know next to nothing about the New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Project, other than the fact that it has been stirring up controversy due to what many, including chief medical officer Dr. Kerry Kelly of the FDNY, say are dubious medical claims. Oh yeah, and it has origins in Scientology, which is always great fuel for controversy. One person who does seem to like the idea, however, is Janeanne Garafolo, who has been catching some flak lately from fans of her Air America radio show, "The Majority Report," where her praise of the controversial method has been likened by some to an infomercial. It seems that even her most diehard fans aren't too happy with Garafalo on this one. For more detailed information, check out this post by Rick Ross over on his Cult News blog.
Conan O'Brien had a great one-liner about her name change last night: "Next week she's going to dye her hair blonde and join the witness protection program."
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