Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Lisa Kudrow loves her book!

Up this week on the GCC is Ellen Meister, author of SECRET CONFESSIONS OF THE APPLEWOOD PTA, which sounds like so much fun. It's about three women in a Long Island suburb whose friendship is tested when Hollywood comes to town to film a George Clooney movie. And totally exciting -- she has a blurb from Lisa Kudrow.

"The best time I've had in years. Ellen Meister's characters are so funny, smart, and real, I feel like I've made three new friends!" — Lisa Kudrow

I have to interject here -- I loved THE COMEBACK and was bummed to see it canceled.

So... I asked Ellen the usual questions:

Are you a TV watcher?

I honestly love TV, but I don't have a lot of time for it. When The Sopranos is on, I won't miss it. In fact, I plan my week around it. And I'm a sucker for American Idol.

What's your favorite show ever?

Seinfeld. I still find myself quoting it several times a week.

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

Several centuries ago, when I turned 29, I was working for a Lou Grant-like boss, and I said to him, "I can't believe I'm 29. I thought I would be Mary Tyler Moore by the time I was 29." He replied, "Ellen, you ARE Mary Tyler Moore." Damn if he wasn't right.

Does your main character watch any TV in the novel?

I have three protagonists in SECRET CONFESSIONS OF THE APPLEWOOD PTA. They're all busy moms, so I don't think they have much time for TV. But I imagine Maddie would like Law and Order, Ruth would like Desperate Housewives, and Lisa's guilty pleasure would be American Idol.

Ellen lives in New York with her husband and three kids, and this is her first novel. To learn more about her visit her website and blog.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Dear Project Runway Producers...

The task last night on Project Runway was for the designers to make an outfit for the mothers (and in a couple cases sisters) of the other designers. Of course, these were "real people," not size 0 young things, and this proved to be the biggest challenge of all -- even harder than last week's challenge of using garbage to make a dress.

The results were incredibly ugly. I mean yuck. Really bad. I almost felt like they sped up the runway segment so we couldn't get a good look at the clothes. Vincent won, and even though he's annoyed me in the past, I have to say he did at least design something halfway attractive.

Robert Best was finally eliminated. Once again his creation was incredibly boring. Everyone was so sad to see him go -- he seemed truly liked. This was probably the real reason he had do go. I don't think he ever had a fight with anyone.

The drama this week centered around Jeffrey Sebelia with the neck tattoos and Angela Keslar and how he drove her mother to tears. And Laura Bennett announced on camera she was pregnant with her 6th child even though she had not yet told her mother this news or her husband. When questioned about how much work it was to have so many kids, she said something along the lines of "throwing another one on the pile." She obviously wants to avoid elimination and knows it's not her designs that will determine her fate but her ability to provide sound bites.

But really, enough of this.

Dear Project Runway Producers,

Can we please leave the focus on the design challenges instead of neurotic tiffs? And why-oh-why are you just giving them ONE DAY to design the outfits? So the show can fit into some sort of production schedule? You used to give them two days. And a half hour to come up with an idea? Come on! The designers now all have to rush like crazy to finish, and nothing looks as good as it would if they were given a decent amount of time. Give them a chance to do their work and do it well. That's what we want to see.

Ruffled Viewer

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Thursday, August 17, 2006

Project Runway Losing its Thread?

I was away last week, but am all caught up on Project Runway. God knows, they rerun the episodes so many times it's almost impossible to avoid them. I am actually a little bit mad at the Project Runway powers-that-be right now, so I can't even comment on last week's show. (Except to say can you please tell me how Bradley Baumkirchner can really be so ignorant about who Cher is?)

But what I really want to know is: how could they get rid of Alison Kelly? And keep Victor Libretti? Who has been in the bottom three almost every week? I just don't get it. I mean, I understand that they keep people around for entertainment value, but Alison qualifies as entertaining in that she is pretty and smart and has an interesting way of speaking and has done some really good designs. Vincent is entertaining in that he is somewhat unbalanced and delusional. And it almost seems like they're trying to get rid of all the women except for Laura, who gets more confrontational every show (was her entire breast showing in that shot when she is insulting Vincent?) and Angela, who has made a few enemies. (Uli Herzner, who is calm and has done well so far, should feel nervous -- she may be "out" next.)

So I ask: is this show in the end really just about cat fighting? I hope not. We don't need all the drama. We love this show because we love to see talented people face these challenges and create these fashions. It was about "doing": not showing people at their worst, but showing people at their best. That's why this show was better than so many other reality shows. Please, producers, please don't underestimate your viewers like this.


Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Diana Peterfreund Would Rather Order From Netflix

Next up on the GCC is Diana Peterfreund, whose novel Secret Society Girl takes us into the heart of the Ivy League’s ultra-exclusive secret societies when a young woman is invited to join as one of their first female members. I asked Diana the usual questions...

Are you a TV watcher?

No. In fact, I haven't had TV in more than a year. We have a set at our house, but it only plays DVDs. It doesn't even get network reception. I find I don't miss it. we have Netflix and if there are any good shows out there, they come out on DVD.

What's your favorite show ever?

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but I used to be addicted to the X-Files before it went to pot, and I also like the early seasons of The West Wing, as well as MASH.

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

I love love love Veronica Mars, but I think she's a damn sight cooler than I'll ever be. But I'd be her in a heartbeat.

Does your main character watch any TV in the novel?

She claims she watches The O.C. at one point, but I'm pretty sure she's lying. I think, like most college students, she doesn't watch a heck of a lot of TV. She does, however, have a video night with her roommate at one point, and they watch the DVD of Bridget Jones's Diary.

For more info check out here website and blog.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Project Runway's Keith Running with Scissors and Pattern Books

So Keith was kicked off Project Runway. Just when I was really enjoying not liking him. Arrogant people are always so fascinating, plus the guy looks like a model. It's too bad... and I bet the producers didn't want to have to let him go either. But as we know, this was not his first infraction. He didn't design an outfit for his dog last episode, either. The guy is just "above" the rules. On the project runway site, he says his favorite books are DRESS YOUR FAMILY IN CORDORY AND DENIM by David Sedaris and RUNNING WITH SCISSORS by Augusten Burroughs. Funny title choices (for a designer). Ha ha, Keith.

Anyway, the challenge this week was tough. Design attractive clothes for a mediocre Macy's line. Kind of a conundrum. Angela redeemed herself (though I'm sure this is only temporary) and I have to say, I for one like the rosettes. They're auctioning the outfit on the Project Runway site and the bid is now in the $600s. But didn't they say this outfit would eventually be sold in Macys? And the one they made for the show is size 0 for someone 6 feet tall. Hey, how many of you are out there?

Oh -- newsflash: YOU COULD DO BETTER has been sited in Barnes and Noble. (By me.) Yay!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Martha O'Connor's THE BITCH POSSE not exactly FRIENDS

Up this week on the GCC is Martha O'Connor, whose novel THE BITCH POSSE is coming out in paperback.

My novel YOU COULD DO BETTER is theoretically out today! However, I did not see it at my local bookstore. Maybe sometime soon, though...

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

THE BITCH POSSE has been described as a taut, psychological thriller and is the story of three girlfriends. It goes back and forth between their high school days and their adult lives. The women are not in touch anymore, but they share a secret, something violent, something sexy, something... I WANT TO KNOW! Sounds great. I asked Martha the usual questions.

Are you a TV watcher?

I do watch certain types of TV, namely, reality television. I have very little patience for TV dramas, for some reason.

What's your favorite show ever?

I adore Project Runway. I think this is because I am vicariously enjoying the world of haute couture. I live in peasant blouses and jeans, so it’s not as if I would wear any of this stuff. But I just love looking at innovative designs, delectable fabrics, and beautiful trims. The backstabbing doesn’t hurt either!

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

Ooh, boy. This is a toughie. I guess I would say I relate to Vyvyan from The Young Ones the most of all.

If you have not seen The Young Ones (a British television series), Vyvyan is a homicidal maniac who also happens to be a medical student. Vyvyan and his flatmates--hippie Neil, political activist Rick, and boring guy Mike—attend the local school, Scumbag College. Orange-haired and multi-pierced, Vyvyan is into punk rock, setting bombs and eating dead rats. An excerpt:

RICK: Oh, no. The front door's exploded.
MIKE: Vyvyan!
RICK: Vyvyan!
VYVYAN: Vyvyan, Vyvyan, Vyvyan! Honestly, whenever anything explodes in this house, it's always "Blame Vyvyan!"
MIKE: Well, who do you suggest we blame?
RICK: Thatcher!
VYVYAN: No! Blame whoever rang the doorbell because they obviously triggered off the bomb I set up.

While I am have a sweet veneer (maybe—if you squint a little), I am actually quite like Vyvyan. I share his spirit and flair for the insane.

Does your main character watch any TV in the novel?

The only thing I can think of is there’s a scene in the book where Amy’s watching a rerun of Friends, and getting loaded by herself. It’s ironic because she’s at a stage in her life where she doesn’t really have any friends, except these all-too-real memories of these girls she knew so long ago.

For more info on Martha visit her website and blog.

And if I ever get a dog, I'm naming him (or her) Vyvyan. That's hilarious.

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