Rock of Love Charm School vs. Playboy Mansion

December 1, 2008

It’s sometimes not easy to explain the differences between one Reality TV show and another, even when the differences are obvious.  Side by side, here’s a look at two shows that couldn’t be more different, yet are strangely similar:

Rock of Love Charm School vs. Playboy Mansion’s Girls Next Door

Charm School Cast Dressed in Uniform

Charm School Cast Dressed in Uniform

1) Bitches in Heat vs. Bunnies in Love

2) Fuchsia Highlights vs. Pampered Peroxide

3) Sharon Osbourne, Headmistress  vs. Hugh Hefner, Headmaster

4) Charm School Pins vs. Playboy Bunny Diamond Necklaces

5) One Girl Eliminated Each Week vs. One (or more) Girls Move in Each Week

6) Censored language vs. Pixilated Body Parts

7) Competition for $100,000 Prize vs. Share Million Dollar Enterprise

The Girls next Door

The Girls Next Door Share the Love at the Playboy Mansion

8) Bret Michael’s Former Girlfriends vs. Hugh Hefner’s Past, Present,and Future Girlfriends

9) Learn New 10 Commandments vs. Live By The Golden Rule

10) Former Strippers vs. Former Hooters Girls

Although The Girls Next Door have moved on, and “random-ass hoe’s” have moved in, according to Kendra Wilkinson in an interview with Chelsea Handler, viewers will be able to reunite with their favorite Charm School girls on “Rock of Love Bus” premiering January 4th on VH1.

Pj

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Is a Real Life Exorcism the Ultimate Docu-drama?{Paranormal State}

October 29, 2008
Ryan Buell and his Freak Force

Ryan Buell and his Freak Force

Sci-Fi (Horror, Mystery and Suspense) is a popular genre, especially around Halloween; there is a thrill in being scared from a safe distance, and as a fan, I watched last night’s episode of A&E’s Paranormal State with the same chilling uneasiness I felt when I watched The Exorcist for the first time. I never thought I would witness (nor wanted to, really )a real life exorcism, let alone one on TV; it’s easier to digest this stuff when it’s made up. However, while I watched with interest, I felt uncomfortable for being “entertained” by the content of this episode.  Paranormal State both blurs the line between life and art, as well as bridges the gap between paranormal hoaxes and true human experience.

The success of Paranormal State is two fold: 1) “I Am Six” was entertaining as a classic horror drama and 2) “I Am Six” appeared to responsibly document the rite of exorcism, with empathy toward the victim. By airing this episode, PRS hoped to encourage open dialogue on a subject that, in the past, has been relegated to the Science Fiction genre“I Am Six” was a story that was presented honestly and edited seamlessly with minimal (thankfully) lame special effects from previous episodes.

Blogger, “Dr. Atlantis,” a skeptic, criticized the producers of Paranormal State for using these effects to up the “scary factor” of the show.  He compared Paranormal State to Ghost Hunters, a Sci Fi Channel hit series, by the ways they both cut to commercial just as the investigators discover something spooky.  The producers have yet to realize that with the invention of TiVo, we can fast-forward to the next segment. Thankfully, these effects were kept to a minimum (with the exception of the annoying reminders that the number “6” is associated with evil). The difference between Ghost Busters (TAPS) and Paranormal State (PRS)is that TAPS sets out to “de-bunk” false claims of paranormal activity, whereas PRS focuses on a client’s personal experience with the paranormal.  Ultimately, both organizations want to help people not to let the paranormal world prevent them from leading happy and productive lives.

What was intrigued me about this particular episode was that the normally stoic Ryan Buell was visibly shaken by

Chip Coffee hanging out with "the other" paranormal guys Jason and Grant of TAPS

Chip Coffee hanging out with "the other" paranormal guys Jason and Grant of TAPS

what was happening to the victim, Lara. On his blog, Buell, director of the Paranormal Research Society (PRS), stated his reservations about airing this episode.   He was smart enough not only to call in his usual reinforcements, but to be humble enough not interfere nor take credit for the process.  Assisting (or “co-starring”) with Buell and PRS were psychic medium, Chip Coffee,an Episcopalian priest, a psychologist, an ENT, and renowned Demonologists, Ed and Lorraine Walden.

For “personal reasons,” Buellchose not to promote “I Am Six” on the media circuit, a decision that surely affected ratings.  To his credit, Buell’s motives are not to achieve celebrity status from the notoriety of PRS, especially in light of last season’s possession episodes “The Name” and “The Devil in Syracuse”  helped to put PRS on the map. Buell clearly states he has a calling to help people and has managed to stay true to his calling amidst the sensational abet  exploitative nature of reality television.

However, it is the impetus, Ryan Buell’s own experiences with the paranormal, that remains a mystery.  A book by Buell, due out in February 2009, will hopefully disclose more about the event(s) that gave him a unique direction and purpose.

On his blog, Buell states in so many words that he did not appreciate the “shit” people wrote about him in their blogs as a reaction to the possession episodes.  He especially does not appreciate bloggers who hide behind their avatars in order to spread negativity.  However, not all bloggers are “haters” and my personal reasons for writing under an avatar have less to do with subterfuge, and more to do with wanting to write from a certain perspective.  Ironically, it is easy for one to tell Ryan, lighten up–you put yourself out there-deal with it, for precisely that reason.  I am interested to see how Ryan Buell handles the ensuing public reaction to “I Am Six.”  Perhaps he will serve as a role model and pave the way for those “shit writing” bloggers to emerge from behind their avatars and stand up to

One of Buell's hobbies is making fun of Paris Hilton.  Here she is "mugging" for the police camera

One of Buell's hobbies is making fun of Paris Hilton. Here she is "mugging" for the police camera

scrutiny.

PJ

p.s. Buell does have a sense of humor and is a fan of the sci-fi genre himself: his favorite pastime is making fun of Paris Hilton, and The Exorcist is one of his favorite movies.


Pam Anderson lets loose on her own reality tv show

August 13, 2008

Pam Anderson might not be a young beauty, but who cares? Her new reality show, Pam:Girl on the Loose has a little bit of everything. Anderson has managed to cover all of the reality tv basics in the first two episodes. She introduces her staff (cook, assistant, etc.), cooks with her mom, jets off to Vegas with ex-husband Tommy Lee for Hugh Hefner‘s birthday celebration, visits the Playboy mansion, poses for a “fashion shoot” in the nude, and sells off all her worldly possessions at a yard sale to raise money for PETA. These snippets of her life are narrated by Pam from her bathtub and if you you don’t understand what she is saying, she draws little pictures and doodles on the screen–kind of like Blues Clues. I don’t think I can take an entire season of Girl on the Loose, but the first two episodes had a few poignant and humorous moments. Pam goes to Camp Pendleton to help MC a USO show. Riding in a golf cart with Kathy Griffin to the stage Pam asks: Is ZZ Top here?

Kathy:Yes.

Pam: Are any of my ex husbands here?

Kathy: Let me think….no.

Although Pam says she is against war, she reveals that one of her sons loves the Military Channel and appreciates everything the troops are doing. She said that she took him to an Army-Navy Surplus Store and they brought rations and her son cooked dinner from these rations. Obviously she supports his creativity.

Pam sense of humor about herself is refreshing, but if she really wanted to let loose, she would walk around the house without make-up.

PJ


Diddy For President! {I Want to Work for Diddy: The Man, the Myth}

August 1, 2008

The preview episode for Diddy‘s (aka Sean Combs formerly known as P. Diddy, formerly known as Puff Daddy) latest reality tv show I Want to Work for Diddy: The Man, the Myth reminded me a lot of a presidential campaign–with one exception: I understand what Diddy is talking about. Diddy presents himself as a no-nonsense boss that can get things done. I’m not saying that Diddy can navigate domestic and international political waters, but I haven’t heard much from either Senator McCain nor Senator Obama about what they plan to do. It’s always about what they believe–the rhetoric of beliefs. That said, the upcoming National Conventions will be pretty boring. (Exception: How is Hillary Clinton going to ask the Democratic Party to support Senator Obama when she argued so vehemently against him? Stay tuned!) Here are some quotes from Diddy that would liven up the conventions:

It’s a hard mother f****ing job, but somebody’s got to do it.

To succeed in anything in life you need a vision. If you can’t see the forest through the trees, you need to chop them mother f****ers down.

If you gave it you’re all, that’s the kind of performance I judge. I judge your heart. You got to go hard or go home.

I want my dreams to come true, but not in a selfish way. I want other people’s dreams to come true, too.

Sleep is forbidden. When I’m working, I’m a machine and I don’t look at other people like they are human.

You got to be able to make a way out of no way.

I sometimes feel sorry for people that don’t work for me, ‘cuz I know they not be having as much fun.

PJ


Sandra Bernhard adds origionality to judges’ comments {Project Runway}

August 1, 2008

Comedian/actress/author Sandra Bernhard was the guest judge on Project Runway this week. Her comment on Terri’s outfit was one of the most original I’ve ever heard. She looks like she could pull out a knife and say, ‘I’m going to cut you!’ ‘This was made all the more funny when Michael Kors said that she looks like a girl you want to meet. It was a nice break from the usual: It does not look finished to me, it is not well executed, it’s chic looking, I would wear that, she knows how to dress a woman…

Why wasn’t Blayne in the bottom three? His dress looked like a black shift with blobs of Play-Doh stuck on it. It wasn’t as bad as Emily’s Carmen Miranda dress, but it was a close cousin! Maybe they kept Blayne because he taught Tim Gunn how to say, “Holla to your boy.

I thought Leanne’s black dress was amazing, and I preferred it to Kenley’s outfit. Kenley reminds me of Season 3’s Ulie with her love of prints!

PJ


Future network change looms over Project Runway

July 25, 2008
I miss the more serene Heidi

I miss the more serene Heidi

The first two episodes of Season Five of Project Runway are over and already Heidi Klum looks a little tired. The usual perky, fashionably dressed and impeccably styled host and executive producer appears a little too thin and stressed out. Season 5 has a trying-too-hard-to-live-up-to-past-season’s vibe; the format is the same, but you can tell things have changed. This will be the last season aired on Bravo TV. Season 6 will be aired on the Lifetime Network and produced in LA (supposedly the geographical change works out better for Klum). Will the New York based supporting cast follow Klum? I can’t imagine Project Runway without Nina Garcia, Michael Kors, or especially Tim Gunn. Will the ultimate prize still be a runway show at Bryant Park? NYC is the perfect backdrop for fashion designers–can LA live up to it? I would love to see previous LA based designers Kara Saun, Santino Rice, and Jeffery Sebelia make appearances. What I’m afraid of is that the show will pander to the Red Carpet culture rather than fashion editors. Also, isn’t Lifetime “television for women?” Since when did Project Runway become a show “for women?”

As for the first two episodes: no one has stepped forward as the official a-hole, yet. In my opinion, two talented designers have been sent home already. I really thought Blayne would be the first one out with his walking Depends Undergarment creation, but Blayne is a “character.” He reminds me of Kato Kaelin’s gay cousin. In the last episode he called Heidi “Darth Vader” because she dressed in black. (Heidi had called Blayne’s diaper-chic “butt ugly”–ouch). But then Blayne changed his mind and called Heidi “Darth-licious” in a manner that evoked the spirit of the great Christian Siriano. Also, guest judge Natalie Portman plugged her new vegan shoe line. I’ve been buying “vegan shoes” for years at Payless. I’m so ahead of my time.

Kato or Blayne?

Kato or Blayne?

PJ


Artist’s achieves American Dream on Groomer Has It

June 29, 2008
Artist (top left) wins over tough competition

Artist (top left) wins over tough competition

Artist Knox became the first to win title Groomer of the Year on Animal Planet’s Groomer Has It. The final challenge was was a 10 hour marathon grooming session where Artist and Jonathan had to groom 7 dogs, one from each of the AKC’s groups: Sporting, Non-Sporting, Working, Herding, Toy, Hound, and Terrier. As usual, there was not an even playing field as the dogs were chosen for the groomers “at random” (with the exception of the first dog whom Artist got to pick). Although the final judging was set up to look like a dog show ring, Artist and Jonathan didn’t necessarily have to do “show cuts.” Judge Vinny taught me the new term “pet groom” as in, “The dog looks OK for a pet groom.” Artist and Jonathan both received help from Kathleen and Will. It was nice to see that Kathleen could be happy in a non dominatrix role, and it was fun to see Will annoy Jonathan. One of the highlights of the finale was to see Jonathan and Artist reunited with their loved ones (dogs included). I think what did Jonathan in was his dirty Labrador Retriever.

I really enjoyed the pre-view show which included a little “pop-up” Nemo who gave background info. Nemo always looked like such a well trained Yorkie, but lo and behold, Jai’s little pooch is not potty trained. Nemo also had an assistant who I hope was paid well. The never-been-seen-before scenes were funny. My instincts about the judges were right Vinny and Doc can’t stand each other. In one scene, they stopped rolling because of a noise that sounded like a helicopter, to which Vinny remarked, “There’s your broom” to Doc. Also, Jai is a scripted host, so scripted that at one point, he forgot the line “groomer of the year.”

I started watching this show because it was entertaining, but I also ended up learning a lot, too. I’ll definetly be back for season two!

PJ


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