Boardwalk Vampire

I am totally going to add this one to the pile of ideas I come up with that are a) brilliant, and b) will never see the light of day: BOARDWALK VAMPIRE.

Yep, the name says it all.  It’s a brand new series on the tellyvision (well, on the HBO so they can use swears and show off their incredibly toned posteriors) all about vampires during Prohibition.

It stars Steve Buscemi. (Have you seen those teeth?  He’s a for-sure IRL vampire.  Test out my theory.  Stand behind him in a mirror and try to see his reflection—I’ll bet you a kajillion dollar you’re alone in the glass.)  ASkars and Rob Prettyboy Pattinson are in it too since they are the standard bearers of the vamp genre.

BV is like the all-star Olympics of vampire television.  Stephen Moyer is not in it and neither is Anna Paquin.  In fact, ASkars is the only one from True Blood who makes the cut.  I’ll let Kelly MacDonald be in it.  She plays a kept widow vampire who is stuck with old tombstone teeth Buscemi but at some point during season 3 when we’ve run out of actual plots and we’ve resorted to just letting everyone sleep with everyone else she’ll get some sack time with Skarsgard and Pattinson—at the same time, of course.

During the first episode Omar Little will figure heavily into things because I think having Michael Kenneth Williams play a character who’s all about the suit he wears (Chalky White) is a serious waste of both talent and facial scar.   Oh!  I know—there will be time travel between 1920’s Atlantic City and Baltimore in the 2000’s.  That way Jimmy McNulty, Bunk Moreland, Stringer Bell, Marlo Stanfield and Chris Partlow can all come and go from time to time as can Coach Eric Taylor, Tim Riggins, and Tami “Mrs. Coach” Taylor when we shoot the entire 5th season in Dillon, Texas.

Maybe I haven’t exactly thought out the story arc so well, but I don’t really see that as a deterrent, do you Lorne Michaels?  Because BV would be a totally awesome skit on the SNL.  Justin Timberlake and Andy Samberg can write a song about it and perform it at the Emmys when I pick up my statuette for best mash up in a television series, miniseries, drama or comedy.

I would like to see this one through, no really I would.  It’s just that I’m putting the finishing touches on my song “Old Man Slippers” (sung to the tune of Old Man River), which is an ode to the awesomeness of those brown vinyl slippers gang bangers like to wear with white socks.  I should have it up and selling like hotcakes on iTunes any day now.  Then it’s onto Boardwalk Vampire.

Look out world, I’m about to make something HUGE happen.


Toddlers, Tiaras and Tavi

It rained for two straight days this week at the Open so instead of watching my boyfriend stomp around the court like a bull, I’ve been forced to entertain myself in other ways.  Somehow all this free time didn’t convert itself into productivity.  Far from it.  Instead it manifested in a mini marathon of Toddlers and Tiaras.  (Don’t hate me—hate the weather in New York or—preferably—hate the parents of these little terrors.)

I cannot find a single redeeming thing about this show.  The children are freaky.  The parents are overbearing, desperate and deeply disturbed.  I mean, really, what part of investing time and energy into parading your small child in makeup and inappropriately adult Dynasty dresses doesn’t cry out for serious time in a shrink’s office?  I had resisted T and T when it debuted because I had a more than mild obsession with the whole JonBenet Ramsay thing and figured I had already visited this topic ad nauseum.  Apparently I underestimate my capacity for schlock.

I somehow pulled myself away from the Cars and Stars pageant in Indianapolis and turned my attention to the Internet where the now teenaged blogger and fashion world castoff Tavi Gevison debuted her “magazine” Rookie.  To have the audacity to call Rookie a magazine is beyond grandiose.  It is a blog.  By a 15-year-old.  Modeled on a magazine popular in the 90’s.  It is also a blog that is basically a teenage girl’s take on a decade during which she mostly wore diapers.  It is quite boring and unoriginal, yet the New York Times Magazine profiled Tavi and Rookie last Sunday and according to the NYT Tavi, who was originally supposed to do a reboot of Sassy with its founder Jane Pratt, instead parted ways with Pratt upon the advice of This American Life’s Ira Glass and his nosy parker wife because they were looking out for Tavi’s best interests.  Someone should have looked out for this kid a long time ago and left her in school instead of allowing her teeny granny self to sit in the front row at haute couture shows.

After the announcement about the new version of Sassy there was a flurry of cloying expectation and requisite anticipatory press.  So what happens next?  Is it a magazine?  Is it great?  No.  And double no.  It is, however, a lot like Sassy in that it takes all of its cues from grunge rock and phony teen angst (don’t hate on other girls—love them!)   In fact if I were Jane Pratt I just might be peeved at the potential Eve Harrington storyline here.  Peeved enough to call old Ira Glass up and give him a piece of my mind anyway.  Maybe he would put me on This American Life and I’d kill two life goals with one vitriolic phone call.

Toddlers and Tiaras and Tavi all share what I see as the “my kid is mediocre/not that cute/a terrible athlete yet I’m going to tell her she shits sparkly rainbows” syndrome.  If you’ve ever been to a Little League game or a toddler pageant you know what I’m talking about.  Everyone gets a fucking medal or a crown.  The winners get a slightly bigger, gaudier prize, but no one is left out.  How the hell will these children ever figure out that they are C students at best?  That’s just it.  They never will.  They will continue to blow their own horns and shoot fairy dust out of their asses until they get their own reality series like the Kardashians and make kajillions of dollars, pointing their fingers at me and laughing all the way to the bank as they pass me by in my pauper’s cocoon of good taste and judgment retirement home.

Well, at least I got one good idea out of the rain delays.  I’ll call it Crabby Acres: A rest home for those with discriminating taste.

Thanks God it stopped raining in New York and I can go back to watching real athletes compete for one trophy and one prize at the US Open.  VAMOS RAFA!

So Lucky

If you’ve made your way here, then you have probably already read this over at the LA Times Magazine, but just to be sure, here’s yesterday’s news:

Eurovision is, from what I can gather, a contest between European countries to see who can bring the craziest, least musical yet most overly produced number to a stage where glitter and unicorns would not seem out of place and then gather votes to be crowned the champion of essentially nothing.

2011 Eurovision took place over the weekend at some point (international datelines confuse me so I can’t say exactly when). I am not sure of the voting process, whether it’s a panel of judges or a popularity contest like that Idol show I refuse to watch for fear that I will get caught up in its fast rushing mainstream waters. I know I could do some research to figure this out, but it seems a lot more fun to make shit up about this contest.  I mean, no one has bothered to bring actual talent to the contest why should I bother to bring reporting skills to my commentary?

I am also not sure whether Europeans know how insanely bad this thing is or, if like their penchant for flashy, clashy clothing they take it seriously. I love Eurovision because it’s bad. I am being ironic. I am unsure if Europeans understand irony in quite the way that I do, but then again, I’m not so sure if anyone is as gobsmacked as I am by most of what goes on in the world.

My favorite entry from Moldova (where?) didn’t win. The unicycle and the monocle at the end did earn Zdob si Zdub a trip to the finals, a retinal searing for all who watched in can’t-take-their-eyes-off-it-amazement, but alas not the giant chocolate fountain trophy.  That went to Ell and Nikki from Azerbaijan. Trust me, you don’t want to see their performance. After the unicycle girl, it’s totally boring.

Oh, and the chocolate fountain trophy? Yeah, I made that up, but wouldn’t it be awesome?

The name of old Zdob si Zdub’s song “So Lucky” was actually the whole reason I started in on the Eurovision thing in the first place. You see this is my last official blog post for the LA Times Magazine.  And the words “So Lucky” describe how I feel to have been associated with the LATM and to all the people there who let me spread my vitriol (and exquisite taste) to the world (population 348).

So anyway, you’ve found me and my pointed tongue (pointed, never forked). I hope you’ll come back often. Please visit me soon. I’m planning on liveblogging my Moldovan cross-country unicycle trip tout de suite.

The Problem With Gwyneth

Originally posted April 22, 2011

Hello, Hamsters (yep, I’m sticking with it),

Even I am wondering why it took me so long to get on the “Gwyneth Paltrow Annoys the Living Daylights out of Me” bandwagon. It’s not that I haven’t experienced the same thoughts of inferiority and shame at not being as blond, thin, beautiful and rich as she is—and likes to constantly remind us—it’s just that much in the same way that I feel like energy spent talking about Kardashians only exacerbates the problem, I also feel like acknowledging the Paltrow only feeds its already overinflated sense of self.

But who am I kidding? Whether or not I choose to ignore them, they are still out there self-promoting their way into famedom, and I might as well stop pretending I haven’t noticed.

So, just exactly what is it about Gwynnie that makes people press the imaginary “dislike” button every time she opens her trap? There are plenty of other celebs out there doing multilevel self-promotion, but maybe, just maybe, they aren’t doing it while constantly reminding you they truly believe they are better than you.

Allow me to elaborate, please. Ms. Paltrow became a recurring Glee guest star, and everyone was all, “Oh, hey, that wasn’t anywhere near as terrible as her glorified mommy blog, GOOP, would lead me to believe. I think I’ll give her a second chance.”

Then the Grammys rolled around, and she got that second chance, singing with the amazingly Muppet-dressed Cee Lo Green, and well, that didn’t exactly live up to her Glee performances, so people were a little less hot on her bandwagon.

Personally, I loved her Grammy outfit, from the low-cut black catsuit to the hot pink feather earrings to the multicolored shoes. I could barely focus on her bad singing, though, as I was certain she was going to fall off that piano because she is clearly not a talented high-heel walker, let alone high-heel dancer. I spent the whole time waiting for her to land in the oversize Muppet’s lap…which somehow miraculously did not happen.

On this week’s episode of Glee, Holly Holiday—played by old Gwynneroo—gave a pep talk to some hecklers, which was really a not so thinly veiled version of Gwyneth talking to the people who hate her in some meta-effort by the Glee writers to wink-wink show us all that they (and Paltrow) get that everyone hates her and, really, why wouldn’t we? She IS better than the rest of humankind, after all.

Holly Holiday tells the kids, “We live in a culture of insults. I mean, we’re constantly bombarded with these images of people who are richer than us and happier than us and have more interesting sex than us, and it makes us feel terrible. You know we tear them down to feel better about ourselves, and we don’t just stop with the people who are on TV or in magazines—we do it to everybody. And we think that, because it’s done anonymously, there are no ramifications.”

And that little thinly veiled dig at the Paltrow haters is what turned the lightbulb on in my head. I don’t want her to think that for one second her anti–fan club has no face. I want to show her what we look like. We’re not as pretty, we’re obviously not as happy, and our sex lives couldn’t possibly be as interesting as hers, but we are by no means anonymous. My name is Cat Doran, and I find Gwyneth Paltrow annoying. Bring on the ramifications!

My Little Hamsters

Originally posted March 28, 2011

You know how Mariah Carey has her “lambs” and Gaga talks down to her “monsters”? Yeah, I totally want a handle to call my readers. I think I’m going with “hamsters.” And believe me when I tell you I am totally looking down my nose at you for reading this—just like Lady Gaga is sneering down hers at the idiots who are buying that “Born This Way” baloney. Born what way? Straight and white on the Upper East Side of Manhattan? Wow. What a tough row to hoe. She has really triumphed over adversity, hasn’t she?

I, like Gaga and Mariah before me, will make up a stupid name so that anyone reading this can believe I am showing empathy for their unspecified plight. Maybe you cannot resist the allure of nude shoes, or perhaps you have been going without pants for the last year and a half. Whatever you suffer from, please know I will pretend to be the same as you (pantsless!) if it means I will get ahead in the world of fashion bloggers.

Now that we have gotten that out of the way, I can get down to business here—and the business of which I speak is the Mildred Pierce remake as a miniseries.

Hamsters, I sincerely hope you all dutifully watched HBO’s Mildred Piercelast night, and I also hope that while you were watching you were able to marvel at Kate Winslet (whom I confess I used to call Fatty Fatty Kate Winslet until I realized she was waaaay smaller than an average human, and plus she’s so beautiful and good at the acting, so now I just call her Kate Winslet) in her dowdy costumes.

If she wore that brown flowered dress and saggy-ankled stockings for one more scene, I was going to reach into the TV set and snap her garters for her. Those brown Salvation Army Sister Sarah Brown shoes in which she was tramping all over town were killing me almost as much as they were her, with her blistery bandages.

Did you notice that once she got all hot and steamy with Guy Pearce (no relation to Mildred—different spelling) and his fake Chiclet teeth, she started to dress just a little bit better? Well, I did too. See, we ARE alike! Hamsters,je vous adore!

That tidbit of hope, plus seeing old Evan Rachel Wood lip-synching some opera in a ball gown during the upcoming scenes at the end of last night’s episodes one and two led me to believe we are in for much more melodramatic fashion to go along with the melodramatic acting. And I for one couldn’t be happier.

If there is one thing we can all learn from Mildred Pierce it’s there is always a horrible, manipulative character like Veda who is easy to hate. But then again, if it weren’t for Veda’s evil, old Mildred would never have gotten up the gumption to get out of that dowdy brown flowered dress. Talk about triumphing over adversity, right, hamsters?


Originally posted March 1, 2011

The universe clearly didn’t want me to write about the ho-humminess of the Oscars last night, because here’s what it did to me—blew a transformer in my neighborhood and knocked out my power for the better part of the day, only to return it after the sun had gone down.

It was like someone out there was saying, “We feel you. Kelly Osbourne was uniquely unqualified to be commenting on what anyone wore, dressed as she was in gray with gray skin and a shellacked bullet hairdo, but we don’t want you to waste all of your time being negative today. Instead we want you to waste a full day wondering when the power will come back on so you can figure out how many outfit changes Anne “Drama Club Geek” Hathaway had and exactly who designed each one.”

So here I sit. Power fully restored, list of Hathaway outfits in hand, totally uninspired yet ready to plow through this post for you because I am sooooo sure you can’t stand to live another minute without hearing my two cents. (Because if Osbourne is a fashion pundit now, I must be like Elsa Freaking Klensch.) If you do not get that reference, then go back to playing Xbox911 or whatever the kids are up to these days.

Hathaway Outfit Numero Uno:  On the red carpet, she appeared in a red Valentino “from the Valentino Archives,” wherever that might be—surely on a planet somewhere with unlimited bronzer and copious amounts of hair dye. Snoozy but pretty.

Outfit Number Two: White Givenchy Haute Couture—two parts dominatrix, one part fairy princess. Lots of fairy princess going around that night, so I guess it was to be expected. The business around the middle was super distracting, and I’m pretty sure there was a rotary dial and a springy cord from a gold princess phone attached somewhere in there. Anyway, it wasn’t as middle-unflattering as Nicole Kidman’s white Dior number, and that’s the highest praise I’m going to be able to muster.

Outfit Three: Lanvin tuxedo with big clomping shoes (Louboutin, I think, but I didn’t confirm due to a general malaise), a ponytail nowhere near as annoying as Reese “Spotlight Barbie” Witherspoon’s and a song-and-dance routine as dorky as anything from Annie.

Outfit Four: Vivienne Westwood bridal gown…if you are the Bride of Frankenstein. Also a bit princessy—and slightly snoozy, if a horror-film bride could be considered boring. The hair morphed from the ponytail to a big, piled-up bun number, which made me wonder how many dressers and hairdressers lurked in Annie’s dressing room.

Outfit Five: Silver tasseled Oscar de la Renta. Ms. Hathaway made a big fuss of how she could make the tassels shake and her cohost James Franco seemed about as unimpressed with her antics as I was at home seeing Natalie Portman’s nightgown. Oh, relax, I know she’s preggers, but she didn’t have to dress like she was heading off to bed, did she?

Outfits Six, Seven and Eight: Burgundy Atelier Versace, electric blue Armani Privé and black lace Tom Ford longsleeved number. I lump these together not because they were any less or more boring than the other dresses—it’s just that by this point I was so sick of the schtick I needed to move my evaluations along. I will give the Armani Privé some props for being shiny and made of a fabric surely composed of crushed fairy wings melded together.

So in summary, while Annie was earnest and James was reluctant, my low point of the evening (Kirk Douglas notwithstanding) would have to be Gwyneth Paltrow’s country crooning. Until next year, I bid you adieu from the Island of Malcontents.

The Pajama Jeans Game

Originally posted January 4, 2011

Somehow I let the whole jeggings juggernaut pass by with nary a comment or a clip of Conan in his man jeggings. It’s not that I didn’t appreciate the ludicrous nature of the trend (is it a trend—do you know any men wearing jeggings?). It’s more that I felt everyone else was commenting on the phenomenon, and I didn’t really know what more I could add that hadn’t already been summed up by Conan, his nine-mile-long legs and his deep knee bends.

It’s kind of like the Kardashians. I know I should write about them, but something prevents me from doing it. I would say I don’t want to give them any more ink, but usually that kind of thing doesn’t stop me.

So please allow me a slight digression to say only the Kardashian Kristmas Kard was the kind of gift that thinks nothing of the recipient and all of the sender. I’ll leave it at that. I’m hoping in 2011 to see less of Kim’s big butt, Khloe’s big head and Kourtney’s big mistake, but I am quite certain this won’t be the case. I’m sure they’ve got marketing opportunities up their sleeves that a flat-assed mortal such as myself can’t even begin to contemplate.

Okay, back to jeans—that was the intended subject matter after all. I think maybe this post is like a rainy Sunday afternoon. You’re planning on doing something industrious, and then WHAM! out of nowhere you are hijacked by some Kardashians. Three hours later, you find yourself, mouth open in disbelief, still watching their inane antics on E!

You see, I found myself flipping channels over the recent holiday break—something I rarely do. If it’s on my TiVo, I’ll watch it; otherwise, I can’t be bothered. But all of my standard shows are in holiday reruns, hence the need to see what was playing in real time.

I managed to skirt a Kruel Kardashian assault (the alliterations just keep on koming), but I did run into this—a commercial for Pajama Jeans. I have no idea how old this particular breed of jeans is, but they seem to have found their way on to that Yenta fest The View already, with Sherri Shepherd endorsing them. This is the woman who is not convinced the Earth is round so you’re on your own if you find her a credible source.

To quote the commercial: “Do you love stylish, sexy jeans? Do you love soft, comfy pajama bottoms?” Um, yes, but not at the same time. I mean, seriously people. Have we really become so lazy we can’t change from pajamas into actual pants when in situations where others can see (and judge) us?

Basically, Pajama Jeans are like the pull-on pants my Auntie Chris used to wear in the 1970s, only nowhere near as awesome. Hers came in a variety of colors and usually had coordinating polyester tops. Pajama Jeans come in one shade of faux denim, and if you act now you can get a free gray crewneck all for the low price of $39.95. Wow. If that’s not an exciting outfit, I’m going to invite Sherri Shepherd on a cruise to the other side of the Earth.

While you’re at it (ordering the Pajama Jeans, that is), you should probably order yourself a walker and a can of tennis balls for the nursing home, because I’m pretty sure you’re dead inside and it’s only a matter of time before your outsides catch up.