Friday, April 06, 2007

America is Voting

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted and now here’s a long one! For awhile my silence was partially because it was Winter and a lot of the good shows ended or went on hiatus and pretty much the only thing on was Beauty and the Geek. It’s also been because I’ve been immersed in writing my new book. But now there is SO MUCH TO WATCH it is really quite ridiculous. I’m currently following The Amazing Race, The Bachelor, American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, Top Design, The Apprentice, and America’s Next Top Model.

I’ve also recently discovered that lots of these shows can be watched on the station websites. You can go there whenever you want and download the video and there are fewer ads. It’s great if you missed an episode or if you want to see Heather Mills do her walkover again. But you know what? It’s just not the same. I find that I like to watch along with America.

Come to think of it, I must be feeling more American than ever, because I was one of the relatively few people to watch The Great American Dream Vote hosted by Donny Osmond. While watching this show, I had a conversation with my husband that I never would’ve believed we would ever have. My husband, who is not a TV watcher in general, walked in the room when it was about half over, sat down, and could not get up. He was fascinated by this show. I think because there were two husbands on it who were so incredibly in love with their wives. They just could not say enough about how wonderful their wives were, and how honored they were to be able to go through life with them. My husband could not believe the amount of praise and affection these two men were heaping on their wives in public while shedding tears.

It came time for the studio audience to choose between the fireman who wanted to open a flower shop for his wife, the guy who wanted to have a professional sing a love song he wrote to his wife, and a woman who wanted to open a dog rescue shelter. That’s when my husband asked me, “Is America Voting?"

“No,” I said, astounded to hear those words come from his mouth.
“America isn’t voting. The studio audience is voting."

“Who is that host?" he asked.

He prides himself on not being able to recognize celebrities. “Donny Osmond."

“The singer?"

“Is there another Donny Osmond? He looks kind of like my brother, don’t you think? If his face was fat?"

“You’re wrong," he said. “Donny just said America is voting."

“No he didn’t. I’ve been watching. The studio audience votes."

“He just said it. America is voting."

Turns out we were both right. The studio audience chose the woman who wanted to open the dog rescue shelter. (There was something fishy about how much those men were into their wives.) Now it was up to America to vote on the two finalists. The dog lady would be up against the previously chosen finalist: a bald guy who wanted a hair transplant.

America chose the bald guy. I guess America identifies more with hair than dogs. After all, Sanjaya is getting pretty far based on his hair, right? Anyway, The Great American Dream Vote has since been cancelled. Lousy ratings. Reality Show voter apathy. Meanwhile they’re saying Idol is setting records -- 33 million votes or something when Gina Glockson got cut.

I think America cannot take on all this responsibility the networks are foisting upon us. America had to vote for those Grease actors, and they have to vote for Dancing With the Stars, and now Donny was just asking too much of us to have to make these decisions.

For the record, as American as I may be feeling these days, I do not vote. These contestants have made friends on the show. They have dreams. I really don’t want to have to struggle within myself to decide who I will plunge into misery. There’s always so much crying and sadness when people have to leave a show. Nobody wants to go home. Now they will be back on the couch like the rest of us, stuck in front of the television set – expected to vote.

At least on The Bachelor and Top Design other people – professionals, for gods sake -- have the responsibility of inflicting all this unhappiness. At least on Amazing Race it’s up to the players not to be last. It’s so sad when Phil tells them they’re eliminated from the race, isn’t it? Every show there’s another "little death." But at least the contestants usually manage to find something positive to say about the experience and how much they’ve learned, or grown, or bonded with their partner -- and that helps me feel a little better.

Now that more than a few seasons of reality shows have come and gone, I am worried that I’ve gotten emotionally involved with too many people. I can’t even remember who most of them are. It’s like they never existed. Then they pop up in a magazine or on the web or in one of those Top Model marathons and it comes back to me. I can remember how upset I was when this one or that one was sent home…

And then there are the ones who keep resurfacing, like Rob and Amber. I’m so glad they got knocked off The Amazing Race. They really got on my nerves, so overconfident. I’m dreading the day Rob appears on Dancing with the Stars.

At this point I’ve worried about, rooted for, felt relieved for, felt sad for, felt happy for, been annoyed by so many people... I can’t help but wonder. Will I run out of empathy at some point? Will it stop mattering who gets kicked off and who stays? Will I care less who gets their dream and who ends up back on the couch? What happens when there are dozens of American Idol winners out there – all of them trying to sell records? Will they all need to compete with each other so we have one best, best, best winner again?

Would people watch? Would people vote? Or will everyone run out of empathy?

Will America stop caring?

Sunday, December 10, 2006

It's Up to God Now...

...or the taxi driver!

That's a quote from one of the models -- I never did learn to distinguish one from the other -- as they finished up the last leg of The Amazing Race. And thanks to God, or the Taxi Driver, they won... Sort of a boring finish, but as the guys would say, whatever dude. I'm glad I don't have to listen to Rob and his girlfriend argue anymore... good luck to them if they get married. Sorry Alabama, I guess we all know not to try to fly to New York City from Orly airport now!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Barbies Eliminated!

I was sorry to see The Barbies go this week on The Amazing Race. I was hoping they'd win and show the world that you can be blonde and not dumb, but it seems they showed the world you can be blonde and overconfident. (They fell behind last week when they drove past the turnoff they needed while they were chuckling to themselves on how well they were doing.)

Anyway, somehow the three couples left just don't seem worth rooting for. The two male models are cute, but they make the male models in Zoolander seem brilliant. The male/female couple that's left fight so much I was glad to see them being hit by tomatoes. And did anyone else think she looked a little freaked out when he announced how much he wants to marry her? I guess I'm left rooting for Alabama, even though they've been pitted against the blondes for weeks. But hey, they're the first all female couple to make it to the finals.

Up this month is on the Girlfriend's Cyber Circuit is repeat visitor Kyra Davis. Kyra has a new novel out that's different from her first two chick mysteries Sex, Murder And A Double Latte and Passion Betrayal And Killer Highlights.

Kyra was married to man diagnosed with a bipolar disorder. The symptoms were barely noticeable at first. But as the marriage wore on, her husband’s erratic behavior — lies about his job, his extravagant spending sprees using her credit cards that almost resulted in her filing for bankruptcy, his fits of temper and other highly unsettling behavior — led to her divorce.

In her latest book, SO MUCH FOR MY HAPPY ENDING, she writes about what happens when the man you marry turns out to be someone entirely different from the man you dated. How do you recognize the difference between mental illness and the usual marital problems that afflict all couples? How could a man who was so romantic and loving turn out to be bipolar ?

So Much For My Happy Ending is her third novel, and it sounds fascinating.

I asked her the usual questions...

Are you a TV watcher?


What's your favorite show ever?

Last time I was on here I said WKRP---I might have to revise that. I had forgotten about Frasier and I also LOVE The Daily Show and The Colbert Report

What TV character (past or present) do you identify with most?

I’m sure I had a brilliant answer last time I toured here but right now I can only think of Jon Stewart. I know he’s not a “character” but I always feel like I get where he’s coming from

Does your main character watch any TV in the novel?

She’s a One Life To Live fan

For more on Kyra visit her website and blog.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

I am gearing up for:

The end of The Bachelor (I liked Lorenzo, but could they not put him opposite some women who were a little more mature?)I'm guessing Jen gets the loan of the ring until her father chases Lorenzo off with his gun and Sadie rides of crying in the limo thankful her virginity is intact.)

Getting hooked on Heroes after The Bachelor ends.

Getting through the winter without Project Runway or Dancing With the Stars (Personally, I think Wila and Max should've come in first, and Jerry Springer second. I guess I should've been voting.)

Seeing whether the blondes or the models win Amazing Race. (I'm gunning for the first two-women team.)

In the meanwhile, here is our next guest from the GCC tour, Lola Douglas. Her novel MORE CONFESSIONS OF A HOLLYWOOD STARLET is just out in hardcover. It's a sequal to TRUE CONFESSIONS OF A HOLLYWOOD STARLET, and it's about Morgan Carter, whose true identity (as a Hollywood starlet) is exposed just as she's falling in love with the simple life she's built in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Now Morgan has a choice to make: return to her glamorous movie star existence--or stick with the wholesome life, and the new love, she's found in the Midwest.

Paris Hilton moves to Green Acres?

I asked her my usual questions...

Are you a TV watcher?

Of course! I adore television. In fact, my next novel is about television (but that’s pretty much all I can say about that).

(Hmmmm, I hope it's not about a curator at the Museum of Television...)

What's your favorite show ever?

MY SO-CALLED LIFE. BEVERLY HILLS may have been one of the first prime time teen dramas, but MY SO-CALLED LIFE nailed the genre perfectly.

What TV character (past or present) do you identify with most?

Felicity from Season One of FELICITY. Because when I was her age, I was just crazy enough to follow a boy across the country on the off chance that he might notice me. Thankfully, I’ve since grown up. A lot.

Does your main character watch any TV in the novel?

Yes. One of my favorite mini-scenes in the novel is when she’s hanging out with Emily and Eli, her best friend and love interest. They all want to watch different things, so Morgan suggests they play “Poor Man’s Version.” As in, Skeet Ulrich is the poor man’s Johnny Depp. Whoever comes up with the best pairing gets the remote control.

For more on Lola (why do I think of Barry Manilo every time I write that?) visit her website.

Monday, November 06, 2006

One day my Prince will come, but not this Monday

It's a dreary Monday night with no Wifeswap and no Bachelor on tonight. Fie on those Country Music Awards! I miss Prince Lorenzo. If you ask me, none of the women are right for him. An uninspired bunch. Anyway...

Up on the Girlfriend's Cybercircuit is Laurie Stolarz, whose YA novel BLEED has just come out.

As Laurie describes is: Over the course of a single day, the lives of ten teenagers will intersect in powerful and unexpected ways.

I say fine, as long as they aren't all congretating at my apartment.

Laurie answered my usual questions...

Are you a TV watcher?

Oh, yeah.

What's your favorite show ever?

Way too hard to pick just one. But, I love, love, LOVED Cheers. I also love reruns of Seinfeld and Sex and the City. As a kid, I also loved Hart to Hart and Love Boat. I’m big into reality TV now – The Bachelor, Laguna Beach, Project Runway, American Idol, Breaking Bonaduce, Ghost Hunters, etc., etc.

What TV character (past or present) do you identify with most?

Who else but Jan Brady?

Does your main character watch any TV in the novel?

Yes, one of my characters has an addiction to a soap called Sands of Time. She gets swept away in the romance of two of the main characters and wishes the same for herself.

For more on Laurie visit her website.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

And the winner, by a neck, is...

So the very unpleasant Jeffrey won Project Runway. I did like his collection the best (the artist can make beautiful things even if the artist is not a beautiful person) but do I want to have to see him on future shows making little guest appearances with his ugly neck tatoo? And can someone please explain to me how finding a receipt can determine whether he had other people help him sew his collection? Whatever. Moving on...

The GCC has been a bit quiet this Fall, but we have a return visit this week from E. Lockhart. Her young adult novel THE BOYFRIEND LIST is out in paperback. Even though E. answered all my questions last time around, but she has updated for us, and in any case we don't mind reruns, right?

Are you a TV watcher?

Usually, I say no. I am a book person. But I am obsessed with Entourage right now. It's all about the shifting power relationships in a small group of immature people -- which is what I write about, too!

And I don't mind that Adrian Grenier.

What's your favorite show ever?

I had a real love affair with Northern Exposure when it was first on. Before that, a love affair with Mork and Mindy. But the passion is gone. When I see these shows in reruns, it's not the same. They're like men I've broken up with. What was I thinking?

What TV character (past or present) do you identify with most?

Last time I visited your blog, I said Grover. From Sesame Street. Which is still true.

But I would be lying if I didn't also admit that I identify with the Edina on Absolutely Fabulous.

Maybe that is my favorite show, ever. I never get tired of it.

So I am like a mix of Edina and Grover.

Not a pretty picture, but there you have it.

Does your main character watch any TV in the novel?

In The Boy Book, Roo watches old Saturday Night Live episodes in reruns. She footnotes John Belushi for teenage readers who haven't heard of him, thus:

"John Belushi was a comedian who used to be on Saturday Night Live (Cheesebuguh! Cheesebuguh!) and starred in Animal House and The Blues Brothers. He killed himself by accident doing too many drugs when he was only thirty-three. Like Elvis, but even grosser and also naked."

Roo also has an encyclopedic memory for old movies (which she watches on TV), and the footnotes in The Boy Book (and The Boyfriend List) contain long lists of romantic movies classified by the myths the perpetuate about love.

For more on E. Lockhart visit her website and blog.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

In no particular order...

The next couple who be back next week...


In no particular order...

You're still in the running...

Joey Lawrence and Edyta Sliwinska

to be America's Next Top Model

The couple who will not be returning next week.

will immediately pack her bags...

Vivica Fox and Nick Kosovich...


"It's all good!" (Viveca)

"This was a waste of time..." (Monique)


I am going crazy with my remote. Gilmore Girls is on at the same time as Dancing With the Stars and then the results show is opposite America's Next Top Model and I would theoretically like to see House and Lost and The Nine and other things too... Yes, I have no life in the evenings anymore. At least nothing is on opposite Project Runway, thank god. The reunion show was so funny tonight. I loved the clips of Kayne Gillaspie talking fast and Malan laughing. Robert Best described Malan perfectly: a cross between Cary Grant and Eddie Munster.

But the real question is: Are Wila Ford and Max Chmerkovskiy pulling a Kristy and Lloyd? (For those who didn't watch Skating with Celebrities, skater Lloyd Eisler left his wife and had an affair with his celeb partner Kristy Swanson, but I have no idea if they're still together. Does anyone?) Anyway, it seemed that one of the judges made a comment last week that Wila and Max were getting cozy, but I haven't heard anything official. It's certainly a great rumor to start so you can stay on the show. Not to say they did that -- their waltz really was the most romantic dance of the evening. Can someone just tell me why Monique Coleman keeps crying? So cute how they're all bonding, though.

Did the producers on The Bachelor make Prince Lorenzo pick only the girls they wanted to cast for the show? I like this guy better than the last few bachelors -- he actually seems halfway intelligent and has a sense of humor -- but when you see him choosing sluttly Desiree and Erica the Tiara girl socialite and one woman of color and the virgin who is saving herself... it's all so obviously orchestrated... please.

All I can say is, I'm ready for Lorelai to choose between Christopher and Luke and be done with it. And Joey Lawrence really needs to take some sort of medication for his blood pressure cuz I'm afraid that vein on his forehead is going to pop. And my prediction is that Sara Evans will win Project Runway. Oops, I mean Jaeda. No, that's Top Model. I mean Uli. If she doesn't just design a bunch of print dresses. Maybe it's time for TIVO. Or maybe it's time to get rid of cable. We still have some rabbit ear antenna here somewhere...

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