“Feud” Season Two

The previously announced Bette & Joan season of the new FX show, Feud, begins on March 5, and people are already sending Ryan Murphy suggestions on which direction to go in for its second season.

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Fans have been begging him to have the show’s sophomore season focus on Katy Perry and Taylor Swift, but he has turned that idea down.  “I would never do another Hollywood woman-versus-woman story,” he said. “I think if we’re going to do feuds, we can’t just do Hollywood stories. I think we could do something from the 16th Century. I think the scope of the show can go back in time and history and it doesn’t have to be modern.”

I hear what you’re saying, Ryan, but I’m going to choose to ignore it. While I don’t think you should do Katy/Taylor, I don’t think you should shy away from Hollywood feuds. I figure that you’re not going to listen to me, so I’m going to throw some well thought out ideas your way.

NANCY KERRIGAN VS. TONYA HARDING

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I know, I know. They’re making a big screen movie with Margot Robbie. I know. But listen, I’ve waited 20+ years for more than that piss poor Lifetime movie, so I can get both at once. I mean, for fuck’s sake, how many Peter Pan movies come out at one time? Not only that, these women weren’t in the Hollywood world. Sure, they weren’t 1600’s, but unless you’re doing Hamilton, nobody wants to see that shit anyway.

SHANNEN DOHERTY VS. ALYSSA MILANO

It doesn’t have to be Alyssa Milano, Ryan. You could also do Shannen vs. Tori Spelling if you decide to go the Beverly Hills, 90210 route. I don’t care. I just need Shannen Doherty vs. SOMEONE, and I’d prefer if Shannen was played by Troian Bellisario. I know you said you weren’t going to do another Hollywood woman vs. woman season, but going back on your word is kind of your thing, so… make it happen.

EVERY MEMBER OF “DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES” VS. EACH OTHER

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Marc Cherry slapping Nicolette Sheridan. The Vanity Fair cover photoshoot drama. The gift given to the crew after the finale from everyone except Teri Hatcher? This is gold, Ryan. I’m literally handing you a box of gold. Please don’t discard it.

LIL’ KIM VS. NICKI MINAJ

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Television is getting more diverse, and I think Feud should be diverse, as well. You can cast Angela Bassett as Nicki Minaj (although I’d prefer Zendaya). I just need every minute of this celeb beef to play out on screen, and not just Watch What Happens Live interviews.

DONALD TRUMP VS. ROSIE O’DONNELL

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There are so many directions you could go if you choose to incorporate this man into your show. DT vs. Meryl, DT vs. the world, DT vs. SNL. So. Many. Options. However, I think you should go back to the OG DT feud, Rosie O’Donnell. And hey – you won’t need to spend any of the budget on advertising because once the first episode airs, the Donald will do it for you.

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Feud: Bette & Joan

I have a love/hate relationship with Ryan Murphy. This is not the first time I’m stating this. Hell, I don’t even think it’s the first time I’m blogging this. He can be VERY hit or miss for me, and I don’t mean some projects are a hit and some are shit. I mean, I can love an episode halfway through and then he’ll introduce aliens or purple pianos and I’m lost forever. Until he moves the cast to New York; then I’m back in the game… that is, until he brings them back to the glee club to be school administrators (without a degree, but that’s fine. If Betsy DeVos can do it… too soon?)

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Ryan’s newest show, Feud, will feature a new famous feud every season. My busy body ass LOVES this idea. I think the only person who would love this premise more is my grandmother, but she’s probably busy writing her own Feud series about the people on her block. (Insert Kermit meme with my grandmother’s face photoshopped on here.)

If you live under a rock or aren’t a gay man, you may not know that season one will focus on the infamous behind the scenes of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane feud of Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. Gay Rock Dweller/Straight Person reading this: You also may be unaware that Bette and Joan will be played by Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange, respectively. I all but climbed the walls when this casting was announced; I have always been a Sar-fan-don (Did that work? Can I use it again?), and Jessica Lange has made a believer out of me from her work on American Horror Story. (Well, not Freak Show… those musical numbers, but that’s Ryan Murphy’s fault, so I’ll let it slide).

Now, I’ll be the first to tell you – I wasn’t always a fan of old Hollywood. My rule used to be, if it’s made before 1986, I don’t want to see it. But when my husband introduced me to the bitchery and straight up queenery of the golden age, I was hooked.

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I’ve done my fair share of research on these two, and I honestly didn’t know that such drag queen-inspired reads were available for exchange back then:

“Why am I so good at playing bitches? I think it’s because I’m not a bitch. Maybe that’s why [Joan Crawford] always plays ladies.” Bette Davis

“Bette Davis has a cult, and what the hell is a cult except a gang of rebels without a cause. I have fans. There’s a big difference.” – Joan Crawford

“The best time I ever had with Joan Crawford was when I pushed her down the stairs in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?– Bette Davis

“Joan Crawford has slept with every male star at MGM except Lassie.” – Bette Davis

“You should never say bad things about the dead, you should only say good… Joan Crawford is dead. Good.” – Bette Davis

…like, what?! Incredible.

The photos and trailers for this new show, while only teasers, are exactly what I could have imagined:

If you haven’t seen Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, see it. It’s haunting, it’s disturbing, it’s campy. It’s two women that hated each other put together on screen to torture each other. To quote Gershwin, “Who could ask for anything more?”

Season one of Feud begins March 5 on FX.

“The Flash” and “Supergirl” Musical Crossover Gets Its Villian!

For those of you waiting impatiently for details on the musical episode of The Flash (no one? Just me? Okay. Moving on…), wait no further.

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As previously reported, the March 18 episode will be a crossover episode featuring Supergirl. Also mentioned earlier is the storyline, which follows The Flash and Supergirl teaming up to defeat DC’s most sinister songbird, The Music Meister.

Until yesterday, there was no mention of casting as it pertained to this episode. Fans of the DC Universe, more specifically Batman: The Brave and the Bold, were hoping that Neil Patrick Harris would reprise his role. I, however, was hoping against it the whole time. Nothing against NPH (or Harvey Fierstein in “Hairspray Live” or 90% of the cast in the “Rent” movie), but I see no reason for someone to play a role they’ve already played. It’s old news. Bring me fresh talent.

And fresh talent we shall get. Joining his former Glee castmates Melissa Benoist (Kara Jor El/Supergirl) and Grant Gustin (Barry Allen/The Flash), Darren Criss will be co-starring in the musical episode, causing as much choral chaos as he can.

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Other Supergirl/The Flash cast members with a musical/theater background that are bound to sing in this episode include Jesse L. Martin, Victor Garber, Carlos Valdes, Jeremy Jordan, and John Barrowman. I know Laura Benanti‘s storyline is finished on Supergirl, but one can hope they’ll find a way to bring her back to sing at least one song. I’d be fine with a duet, even.

Details are still being kept underwraps as to whether the episode will feature new songs or follow the format of a jukebox musical, but in case The CW decides to go the jukebox route, I’ve decided to post a few songs they’d be foolish to not include:

Supergirl herself, Kara Jor El, will clearly take this song on alone, highlighting her strengths.

Meanwhile, Barry Allen will perform this Queen hit. Perhaps a montage of him training and/or running.

The Music Meister will show off his vocal abilities to this Gloria Estefan number. Perhaps taking some of it down an octave can really play up the darkness of this man’s powers.

Barry and Kara are faster and stronger when they team up to defeat the Music Meister, so Kanye’s song is the perfect choice for this ass-kicking occasion.

Did I leave any obvious songs out? Get loud in the comments below!

-D

How to Host a Murder: The Hollywood Premiere of Power & Greede

As you know from my previous post, murder mysteries are kind of my thing. My most recent party was yet again from the How to Host a Murder collection. According to the Wikipedia page, the HTHAM official page is still being updated. I’ve been promised new themes and a fresh website for approximately a year now, but still nothing, so just like before, I purchased my kit on eBay.

This theme, The Hollywood Premiere of Power and Greede, takes place at a 1936 Hollywood premiere for Power Studios’ newest production based loosely on the lives of its stars. Adultery, backstabbing, multiple murders, fake accents, and extortion are only some of the topics touched on as this story plays out.

The cast of characters includes mostly actors and actresses from the studio (with names such as Ivonde B. Alohne and Stu. D. Muphin) but also includes personal assistants, the screenwriter (Phil M. Acher), the film’s director (Sel U. Lloyd) and an actress-turned-tabloid reporter (Tat Eltayle). Some of the characters are meant to speak in accents, so for the group of non-actors playing, it was a night of laughs.

“The Hollywood Premiere of Power and Greede” was my fourth time playing one of the HTHAM game, (the first three being “Saturday Night Cleaver,” “The Great Chicago Caper,” and “An Affair to Dismember”), and it was my favorite theme by far. While it was fun dressing in a white leisure suit for the disco theme, this story line was full of twists that kept me gasping and scratching my head trying to figure out the mystery.

Each kit comes with menu suggestions, and while I normally try to stay pretty close to what it suggests, this time I went my own route. For hor d’oeuvres, we served shrimp cocktail, a cheese platter, and cream cheese and olive sandwiches (all appropriate for the time period for this cast of characters). As our main course, we did a spread of various Chinese dishes since the premiere took place at Power Studios’ Chinese Theater. We went back to a period-appropriate dish for dessert, cheesecake, with assorted wines and champagne as our drink choices for the night.

To set the scene, we had movie trailers from the 1930s playing on silent in the background while music from the era, as well as pop hits from today performed in a 30’s style, played on our speakers. For decor, we stuck with a black and gold theme with a Great Gatsby feel as decorations, using a pop of red to tie my sofa in. My favorite decoration from the party (perhaps from any party ever) was the Sardi’s-esque headshot wall, including a mix of pictures of old Hollywood actors  paired with black and white photos of my party guests.

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I don’t know if it was the theme or that I’m getting better with experience, or a mix of both, but this was my favorite murder mystery to date. I’m excited to go even bigger for our next. (Themes we haven’t played yet include a 1950’s high school reunion, a culturally insensitive Chinese dynasty theme, and also a train from Paris escaping Nazis, so really, the sky’s the limit. Except I wouldn’t do two of those, so 1950’s high school reunion it is.)

Veronica Mars Reboot?!

Alright, you half dozen Veronica Mars fans, gather round because a potential reboot is being discussed!

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Michael Ausiello reported at the Television Critics Association winter press tour last week that Veronica Mars showrunner Rob Thomas is eyeing a mini season consisting of 6 hour-long episodes.  “Kristen and I both want to figure out some way we could do a six-episode Veronica Mars mystery. If I were a betting man, I bet that it will happen. I just don’t know when it will be.”

This is not the first time we’ve heard this, as Veronica herself, Kristen Bell, has reported in the past, “We are definitely striving to do it again… And this time around we’re not going to ask the audience to pony up for anything.”

However, don’t try to update your Netflix queue just yet. Because of work Thomas and Bell are currently involved in, it can’t be sure when this reboot would occur. “When actors are on network shows, most standard contracts will give them outs for, like, one episode a year of guest-starring,” Thomas said. “But then there are also sometimes outs if you’re doing something that is non-competitive. Would NBC consider a Veronica Mars thing on, like, Netflix non-competitive? We have not figured that out yet.”

“Also, I’m developing Lost Boys (on the CW),” he adds. “If those things weren’t happening, we might be closer to a Veronica Mars [reboot]. The Good Place, I think, is going to be on NBC for a while. And if Lost Boys goes, finding that window will be tricky. But we both want to do it.”

Listen. I’m a patient man. I could get a season 2 of The Good Place, Lost Boys television show, and more Veronica Mars that I don’t have to pay for!? I’ll wait forever. Okay, I’ll wait a year at most, but I’ll wait.

The Sweet Escape

I attended  my first “Escape Room” approximately two years ago. Back then, it was on the more popular side of “unknown,” but unknown, regardless. The one I went to was theater themed, and my theater minor self loved everything about it. We dissected the writing in crumpled up playbills, we checked under seats, we flung through a hamper full of costumes; in short, we tore that theater APART. We escaped the room with 7 minutes to spare, and I spent every minute free telling everyone I ever met how cool this experience was.

As time passed, I made sure to participate in more escape rooms (with themes that included an office, kidnapper’s lair, James Bond, 80’s Rec room), and Escape Rooms became the hot, new thing to do. Because people were listening to me? Perhaps, but the research is still being done to be sure. Yesterday, it became clear how popular this sensation has become. My morning started with an ad on one of my social media accounts telling me about a contest where you and 3 friends can win a trip to Boston to participate in an Escape Room with Chris Evans. This doesn’t need to be said, but an Escape Room with Captain America (and more importantly, Jake Wyler from “Not Another Teen Movie”) is not one I’d like to successfully escape from. (Sorry, husband!)

Later that night, I caught up on some of my TV shows. “American Housewife” dealt with the lead character and her husband building an Escape Room in their basement for their son’s birthday. Um, first of all – this is the coolest idea for a birthday ever. Mom and Dad, why weren’t you rigging our backyard with mouse traps and word puzzles instead of watching me binge on pizza at Sahara Sam’s?! After that episode ended, I checked in on my “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” and sure enough, they, too, were participating in an Escape Room. These rooms are all the rage with housewives these days! With Chris Evans and gay men, too, apparently. Escape Rooms have become impossible to… escape. Too easy? I apologize.

Seeing these rooms popping up all over everywhere my pop culture eyes turned got me to thinking. Pop culture-themed Escape Rooms would be SO marketable. Sure, you’d probably have to change the name because you couldn’t get the rights, so a “Friends” themed room would be a “Coffee Shop Buddies” theme, but people would get the idea. So, without further ado, I give you something that nobody has asked me for, but I’m giving to you anyway: my top 5 non-existent pop culture influenced Escape Room themes.

“Blackmailed Teen Girls” Room

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Setting: E’s Lair

Plot: A masked figure known as “E” has been terrorizing you and your friends for the past seven years. Now that you’ve found his/her lair, it’s your job to find out what dirt “E” has on you and discover their identity once and for all!

“Zombie Run” Room

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Setting: An old shed in the middle of the woods during the zombie apocolypse

Plot: You and your gang of misfit strangers have found yourselves in a shed surrounded by zombies. You have one hour to find weapons and a way to escape before you’re someone’s lunch.

Ying Yang Sex Dungeon” Room

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Setting: Mr. Yang’s Sex Dungeon

Plot: You’ve been locked in the secret sex dungeon of the highly successful businessman, Mr. Yang. Sort through a variety of sex toys as you race to escape before he returns.

“Drama in the White House” Room

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Setting: The Oval Office of the White House

Plot: The President’s biggest secret is on the verge of being exposed to the press. You and your fellow “Roman fighters” have 60 minutes to discover his secret, dispose of any evidence, and make sure this matter is handled.

“Preteen Wizard School” Room

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Setting: The main room of the most popular Wizarding School

Plot: Uh oh. The unmentionable villain is back! You have one hour to find all 7 pieces of his personality to defeat him once and for all! Be sure to check in with Whiney Wilhelmina in the toilet for some advice on how to win!

Which of these Escape Rooms would you do? Are there any themes not on the list that you’d love to escape from? Are you an investor that would like to make my dreams come true? Get loud in the comments below!

-D

 

New Year, New Me, New *President

I was all about this blog the day I started it. I was ready to dive right in; ready to make people laugh, make people think, have people discuss my thoughts and ramblings during their obligatory water cooler talk at work. (Is that still an actual thing or is it just an expression now? Do water coolers in the work place still exist? Or have all pop culture discussions moved to social media? Answer in the comments below… I really don’t know.) I was ready to finally make my mark on the world. Move over, Kim K… or at least Kim Zolciak, Donny is here.

And then election night happened. To say I was thrown off course is an understatement. Anything you’ve read or any skit you’ve seen about how these results shook liberal white people to their core while people of color already knew how nasty this nation could be was written about me. I was useless for a few days. Catatonic, even.

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Me on November 9, 2016

A few days later, my sadness and despair turned to anger and confusion. I didn’t know how this could have happened. We had the numbers! Was this country really set up to only help rich, white, straight cis-gendered men? (Spoiler Alert: Yes.) I took my anger during those few days to spew the same venom as the people who “won*,” including, but not limited to, posting old nudes of soon-to-be First Lady**. I quickly deleted them, but I was still disgusted with myself that I had stooped to this man (and his followers)’s level.

*Spoiler Alert Part II: Nobody “won” with these results. If you’re on your high horse now and saying otherwise now, get back to me in 4 years when you’re competing in the Hunger Games.

**DISCLAIMER: I have no problem with First Lady Melania Trump. Is she my FLOTUS? No-tus. That spot will always be reserved for Mama Michelle, but Melania has done nothing wrong. She was a model, she found a sugar daddy, and somehow along the way, got roped into this whole campaign. I don’t blame the woman for her husband’s views. Sure, she could have left him, but she was rolling in dollar bills based on nothing except her looks. If you got it, flaunt it, honey.

As I was going through the stages of grief, my anger finally turned to acceptance. Did I decide to accept this man as our president? I’ll let Michelle take it from here:

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Short answer: no, I did not. There’s tons of white conservatives going on about how NOW we need to unite. To that, I respond, unite amongst yourselves. It’s clear your president has no vision of uniting. He’s made his views clear. So, no, there won’t be any uniting coming from me. There will, however, be hope.

I listened to Obama, I listened to Hillary. I listened to anyone offering messages of hope. I had no choice. I marched, and in one of the most powerful and meaningful days of my life, felt connected to so many people that I didn’t know. I had taken this awful day in American history and was ready to move forward. I had finally bit down on the pillow and accepted this presidency.

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Such a powerful, hopeful day. More to come in the next 4 years.

And then Inauguration Day happened. And sure enough, I was back to being useless.

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Actual footage of me on January 20, 2017.

I texted some friends about how I was feeling, hoping that they’d have something to get me out of my funk: an invitation to a Fight Club, heroine, information on the president I could use to blackmail him. I wasn’t picky.

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One of my closest friends/one of the most inspired and motivated women I know, Emily, sent me a message written by comedian Patton Oswalt. I won’t post the whole thing now, but what I needed to hear most was:

IF you can afford it — go find a struggling theater company and pay to see whatever play they’re putting on. Or a struggling art gallery or music club or museum. Leave ’em money and see what they’re about. Go see an indie film that’s got stellar reviews and no audience. Or a new restaurant or other small business that needs friends and customers. Download a new band. Go to an independent bookstore and buy something from a small press. Go to an open mike. Or see any comedian. Tip your barista or barkeep a little extra.
In other words, do all of the cultural and aesthetic things that Trump thinks are worthless. Make a whole big chunk of existence suddenly spike in importance. And then keep doing that, if you can.
This is going to be loooooooooooong, tense four years. We elect leaders to take worry and tension OFF of our plates. We have enough of that as it is. But for some reason, we decided to put someone in charge where the everyday weight of keeping the world from cracking apart is COMPLETELY on our shoulders, along with everything else we already have to deal with.
So if we’re really going to fight back, and resist, the first thing we have to do — and it’s only a little thing, really, but it’s gotta be everyday — is an ongoing, gentle blowing on the tiny spark of sanity that’s still left, to keep it glowing.
We’ve got a President who bellows cold ignorance from dawn to dusk, and he could give a shit if he kills that spark.
So keep it lit. And keep things light. And huddle up.
This is gonna be bad. So be good.
So, here I am; continuing to write: sometimes about politics, sometimes about my life, sometimes about leaked peen pics from the cast of Teen Wolf, but mostly, just throwing my voice into this little pop culture blog; keeping things light, and keeping things lit.