Kevin Spacey House of Cards

EMMYS 2013: Through a Crystal Ball Darkly (Part One)

I’ve never made predictions about the Emmys. I’ve never even watched them. But with the shifting dynamic of dramas away from the big screen to the small — and getting smaller as Netflix storms the gates of entertainment with two superlative web series out of four unleashed so far — I’m now not only paying attention, I’ve seen enough of the nominated shows in many of the categories to make predictions.

Cable hasn’t just come of age. It’s now a big, brawny alpha person with an edgy personality

Keira Knightley Anna Karenina

Banana Hammock: Anna Karenina’s First Fashion Strike‑Out

Gentle reader,

Did you know that there is an entire cable network dedicated to food?  It’s called the Food Network so it’s kind of hard to miss.  In keeping with their desire to call it like it is over there, they have a show called Cupcake Wars, which is a competition where they bake cupcakes.  Where is the creativity, the nuance in titles like that?  If this shit keeps up, witty sarcastic people like me will be out of work all over the damn place.  On the other hand, The Learning Channel’s biggest success is ironically Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, a show about ignorant hillbillies that require subtitles to understand, so maybe we’ll be in business for a while after all.

Anyway, the episode I happened to see of this cupcake show challenged contestants to include at least two things from a long list of smoked ingredients that sounded a little disgusting at first.  When the girl from Indiana decided to make a corn muffin with crumbled bacon on top, I started to warm up to the idea.  Then she added bacon maple cream cheese frosting and topped it with candied bacon and bacon popcorn and I thought, “Why doesn’t she just put some fucking bacon on a plate and call it a day?”

The Script Doctor Will See You Now


by @James_Killough

“But, James,” you say, exasperated, while you wait in vain for the newly reborn Harvey “Phoenix” Weinstein to return your call. “You incessantly bitch about the poor quality of the films in the running for the Oscar this year.  If you’re so good, how come you’re not up there yourself?  And, by the way, OMG! I loved The Artist, you are so wrong about that!”

When Garbo finally talked, nobody cared that she wasn't from Connecticut.

And you are quite right, except I take exception to one part of your comment in particular because it reminds me of a spat I had with an Indian director I rewrote a script for back in the latter part of the last century.  “If you’re so good,” she hissed, “Why aren’t you in Hollywood?”

“You really don’t get it,” I hissed right back.  Defending script rewrites is a blood sport.

Miss Paltrow Unravels?

Let me say right off the bat that I really used to like Gwyneth Paltrow as an actress, and she seems like a perfectly nice person as well.  I’ve never heard a bad thing about her from the few people I know who have enjoyed an interpersonal relationship with her.  Gwyneth seems familiar to me; she’s someone who might be a cousin of mine, if I had cousins.  Sadly or fortunately, both of my parents were only children.

A recent song and dance number from "Glee." Is it just me, or does La Gwyneth seem a little stiff here? I know nothing about dance; hate doing it myself, I look ridiculous. I'm far better chatting up the bartender. When I downloaded this image I started humming that gay show tune from 'Blazing Saddles': "Throw out your hands, stick out your tush!"

Gwyneth is the right kind of WASPy, you know, not the lockjawed Newport Great Gatsby manqué kind, but the down-to-earth, Yankee, descendant-of-Cotton Mather kind, who knows how to clip a coupon even though there’s a hundred million in the bank, who appreciates a well-waxed pew.  In other words, the kind we like, who inform our work with their realness and quirkiness, not the kind we feel like pushing over the porch after four scotch and sodas because they sound like an un-oiled screen door opening and shutting incessantly and are blighted with equine humor.

Gwyneth seems to be struggling these days, trying to regain a foothold in a business she once ruled over with confidence side by side with the likes of Matt Damon, who seems ready to have a constellation named after him, and her ex Ben Affleck, who is doing pretty well as a director of Boston versions of The Wire, which somehow end up on the big screen rather than where they belong.