News and Notes from Press Tour
It's called press tour, and Zap2it will be on hand to cover both the big news (which appears elsewhere on the site) and the little asides from the nonstop parade of press conferences and parties in and around the Ritz-Carlton in Pasadena (which sounds glamorous, and is probably very nice for the out-of-town critics staying there. Unfortunately, we have to drive every day).
Check in early and often for the latest from what's known as "the Death March with cocktails."
Tuesday, July 25
AMW: America's Most Wacky
"Now, I don't want to sound like a vigilante. That's something that I don't believe in..."
Those words are spoken by
The vast majority of critics skip John Walsh's Tuesday panel, figuring that pool time would be more valuable than another session for a show that's been on the air forever and probably doesn't much rely on positive reviews to stir up its audience.
One thing they didn't count on: John Walsh has become
Things got more heated, though, when a photographer under FOX's employee elected to get into an extended and rather intense conversation with Walsh about marking sexual offenders. They were on so much on the same page that when Walsh mentioned bracelets for perpetrators, the photographer replied, "Not bracelets, not bracelets. The bracelets bulls***. The bracelets bulls***, John, you know that. It's BS." Walsh then suggested putting embedded GPS chips, to which the photographer said, "I'll say bury it deep inside them, is what I say. I don't care how big it is," which earned Walsh's scary reply, "I love your attitude."
The microphone was eventually removed from the photographer, a long-time freelancer for the network. He was later lectured by people both within the TCA and within the network and relieved of his duties. The Walsh session was, not surprisingly, cut short.
Monday, July 24
It is not news, at this point, that
Six months after giving a
Carell was gracious and happy to accept the award -- "particularly in light of this" -- a savage review of the very short-lived "Over the Top," which aired on ABC, as Carell noted, "from October 1997 to October 1997." (The bit eviscerating him specifically is about two-thirds of the way through.)
"Over the Top" did not win any TCA Awards that year, as you may have guessed. We're glad, though, that Mr. Carell has put the character of Yorga Galfanikos behind him and continued to hone his craft.
Emmys: The Best of What They Gave Us
The Emmys are supposed to represent the best of what's on TV in a given season, but the head of the
Dick Askin, the chairman of the academy, was at press tour Saturday to discuss the Emmy show, which will air on NBC Sunday, Aug. 27. He faced a number of steamed critics, who wondered why the nominations came out the way they did. In fact, one reporter asked straight out whether Askin thought the nominees represent the best work on television this year.
"I belive the Emmy nominations really represent the best works that were submitted, that were evaluated from the season," Askin says. "In a couple of cases, I think because it is a new process and maybe some of the producers submitting the tapes didn't understand. In at least one or two instances, I think that better submissions ... would have changed some of the nominations."
Which pretty well sums up the chief complaint of a lot of critics -- if the voters choosing the nominees don't at least have some sense of the totality of a given show or actor's work, how can they claim to be choosing the absolute best?
To Askin's credit, he does say that the academy will evaluate the voting process, in which top 15 vote-getters for best comedy and
"You're never going to win in a situation like this," Askin says, "where you're talking about all these good shows and there are only five nominees."
Maybe not, but setting up a process that takes into account more than a handful of episodes in the judging would certainly help.
Sorkin Cracks Us Up
Aaron Sorkin is one of the best-known wordsmiths of our time, yet even he's capable of sticking his foot in his mouth.
Case in point: The session for his new NBC show "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip," in which he takes to task some of television's baser tendencies, such as eating various animal unmentionables on "Fear Factor." In response to a question about his thoughts on such things, he offered the following answer:
"When [TV is] mean-spirited and voyeuristic, it's like bad crack in the schoolyard."
The creator of "The West Wing," who's battled some drug problems in the past, paused a moment. "Why did I use that word?"
And there was much rejoicing among the assembled critics, whom he later offered $100 each not to quote him (never mind that was already on about a dozen blogs).
Better still was the response a few minutes later from "Studio 60" star
Dear Moron: About This Fish Show
For those people who got invested in NBC's shows "Surface" -- or as one critic calls it, "the fish show" -- and "Heist" last year, only to have them canceled, the peacock network hears you.
"In the case of the fish show," Entertainment President Kevin Reilly responded to a query about the sudden yanking of series, "there were a lot of people that did want it to continue, but that did have closure. We did air a final episode.
"And in the case of 'Heist' -- although I thought it was very promising -- it didn't take, and we wrote personal letters to the two viewers that were watching. So they were covered."
Just because they can't make promises that any show will have a lengthy run and reach a satisfactory end, Reilly doesn't think fall offerings like "Heroes," which features a sprawling ensemble of characters who discover they have superpowers, will suffer because of skittish viewers burned once too often to give something new a chance.
Reilly says, "These are our customers. OK? We take that very seriously, particularly in this day and age of competition. We don't like pissing off the customers. And, by the way, I get the e-mails. I wake up in the morning and I get, 'Dear Moron.'
"Any show that gets canceled has had people who are upset or people who are angry who have invested in it. That's just the nature of what we do."
- NBC Loads Up in Premiere Week
- NBC Turns On 'Nobody's Watching'
Madonna's 'Confessions' Coming to NBC
Today we experienced one of the real perks of being a TV critic, which is seeing a show a while before it hits the air.
On the other hand, though, that can be sort of a drag, because what we saw -- the sixth-season premiere of "The Shield" -- was really, really good, and now I don't want to wait six months before
The episode picks up where season five ended, with the crew at the Barn dealing with the fallout from Lem's (
I don't want to give away too much, but
And, oh yeah, the episode ends with a really, really awful crime. Six months is gonna seem like a long time.
Wednesday, July 19
The things you learn in network biographies:
Before she became an internationally recognized model and actress, Sofia Vergara was studying dentistry in her native Colombia.
The bio says she was "glimpsed by a well-known photographer" while walking on the beach, which led to her modeling career. She puts it a bit more colorfully.
"I went to three years of dental school in Colombia," she told us Wednesday during the session for ABC's comedy "The Knights of Prosperity," in which she stars. "But then all this voluptuousness didn't let me finish. You know, I had to take advantage, and here I am."
Gotta love it when they're honest.
Thank You, Wendie Malick
After a certain number of hours sitting in the same hotel ballroom at press tour, you can get a little punchy, which is rarely a good thing, especially when there are microphones at your disposal.
It happened to me late Tuesday afternoon, during the session for ABC's new comedy "Big Day." It's
Wendie Malick, whom I've always liked, plays the mother of the bride, and it's she who sets off the salad war with her daughter (
Not only did she answer my joke with a better one -- "I personally like Caesar salads. But when you put a Caesar up next to arugula, it doesn't really stand much of a chance" -- but she also went on to discuss, seriously and thoughtfully, the point of the salad scenes in the pilot.
"For a lot of women, your wedding day is that day that you wait for your whole life where it's all about you, and there's this sort of misconception that it's going to be the most fabulous day of your life," she said. "And I would say almost without exception most of the women I know who had a big wedding were not present. They almost missed the whole thing because it was just so huge. ..."
"I don't want to make this a heavy thing or anything, but I think what [another panelist] said before about it being this power struggle in this family is really what's going on here, that all this stuff is about these relationships that we all have and we're obviously a rather high-strung family, and the people that are going to be coming to this wedding, we all have different, odd sort of conflicts with."
That was a far better answer than my half-assed query deserved. So I just wanted to say thanks to Ms. Malick for that.
I'm Taye Diggs, B****!
There are basic facts about Taye Diggs that aren't really in dispute: He's a good looking man. He's a fine singer. He's capable of being a solid and charismatic actor.
However, if you look over his resume, there are causes for concern, entries like "New Best Friend," "House on Haunted Hill," "Basic," "Malibu's Most
That's why it was surprising to have Diggs launch into a lengthy rant directed at critics asking logistical questions about his "Groundhog Day Meets Training Day" new ABC late-fall series "Day Break."
"You'll have to forgive us if we come off as a little sarcastic or maybe defensive," Diggs began, following one pointed query too many. "But we knew that we would be dealing with a lot of these questions. And I just need to remind you that this is something very special to us. We think it's very different, it's unique. But at the same time, it's still a television show. And everybody here, we all know what we're doing."
I'm not sure that anybody meant any direct offense aimed at Diggs, but he should know that critics ask nitty-gritty questions even of creators and stars whose TV pedigrees are somewhat loftier than an arc on
After some more rambling, Diggs continued, "All these questions that you are asking, I could ask, well, how does someone do that for 'Desperate Housewive's? It's a TV show, and we know what we're doing. Do you know what I'm saying?"
Yes. You're saying that you know what you're doing. The funny thing is, I like Diggs and I like the "Day Break" pilot, but it isn't beyond reproach, or beyond discussion.
After something about how the dog that appears in the pilot wouldn't be popping up in every episode with a shoe in his mouth ("That would be bad TV," Diggs explained), he reached the best part.
"We're not dumb.
"I'm Taye Diggs! I wouldn't sign on for that."
And with that, a soon-to-be-legendary Press Tour catch phrase is born, a catch-all excuse to direct at any critic who has the nerve to question a logical gaffe, all-white ensemble cast or problematic creative decision.
I'm Taye Diggs!
Well, then, say no more.
Can't Stop Danson
(With apologies to Bill Lawrence and "Nobody's Watching." I couldn't resist.)
In his three decades in showbiz,
Rumors about whether Danson, who stars in ABC's new comedy "Help Me Help You," wears or has worn a rug, have followed him since his
"I used to color -- I had a bald spot about this big [he makes about a 50-cent piece-sized circle with his
"Then about five years later, I indeed did have to wear a little divot hairpiece [hands now making a DVD-sized circle] for Sam Malone. So I put that in, and then one of the tabloids airbrushed my entire head and said that I'm one of the people who is totally bald. And I, once again, couldn't say, 'No, no, I just wear this little. ...'"
The last couple of years, though, Danson has hid neither his thinning pate nor his natural hair color (a distinguished gray). As he says, "I'm out of the closet. It's very nice not to sit around with a bunch of ladies with silver things in my hair getting dye jobs. So I'm happy to be gray."
ABC: No, We're the Underdog
A couple days ago, CBS executive Nina Tassler said her network's top-rated series, "
Tuesday her counterpart at ABC could only chuckle at that characterization.
"I heard Nina was playing the rope-a-dope," ABC Entertainment chief Steve McPherson cracked. "I think it's kinda funny. ... They're the champs, no question, but we are coming in there with a strong contender."
Like Tassler, McPherson thinks both shows can do well in the same timeslot. But he'd consider his show the underdog, not "CSI."
"Listen, I think we are," he says. "To me, if you've got a network that's dominating the night, and we're coming in trying to do business on that night, yeah. ... It kind of speaks for itself."
So we now have two underdogs, both of which draw 20 million-plus viewers in a given week. So, what then,
Good Morning, Ladies and Germs
One casualty of the UPN-WB merger, we weary critics feared, would be the elimination of one of the little things that makes press tour fun -- the semiannual comedy stylings of WB publicity guy Keith Marder.
Keith has moved on to cable's CSTV, but he returned for one more (final? I hope not) command performance at the top of
A couple of
Thanks to the magic of 21st-century technology, you can hear Keith's entire routine here.
Godzilla Crushes Tokyo.
Whether we've been making Shannen Doherty cry for past indiscretions, begging for explanations for the cancellation of "Joan of Arcadia" or asking
Donnie Wahlberg is similarly unstuck in time -- or reality -- it would seem.
The producers of The C-Dub's new "Everwood: Criminal Intent" family thriller "Runaway" are asked about the difficulties of making a show about fugitives fleeing authorities in this age of constant surveillance and Internet research. It's a good question.
Wahlberg agrees. In fact, the issue of credibility in the digital age causes the former New Kid on the Block to reflect on another film that strained his ability to suspend disbelief ... "Godzilla."
"That's what I thought when I watched the new Godzilla movie -- because I just kept saying, like, 'How could this giant thing be swimming around in the ocean and no radars are picking it up?' You know what I mean? And it's just, like, right off the coast of New York, and nobody -- I was like, 'This doesn't work in the year 2000 or whatever year 'Godzilla' came out."
It was 1998, actually. And the logical flaws with "Godzilla" have been bugging Wahlberg ever since.
The problem with "Godzilla" was entirely based around faulty use of sonar technology.
The Burger Queen Cometh
As much as we try to dislike
But ... but ... she's just so nice ... and genuine. Even when you throw your most damning complaint in her face -- that her 30-Minute Meals take a good deal longer for the average at-home cook to prepare -- she cops to it.
"When I go home -- if I open the wine before I start cooking -- it takes me a good 47," she says, before elaborating that the "30 minute" concept is supposed to be more of an encouragement: you can cook a meal in roughly the same amount of time it would take to get one delivered.
Ray is here to promote her new syndicated lifestyle show "Rachael Ray," premiering Monday, Sept. 18. With new news anchor
Mini-burgers abound, whether they are spanakopita, turkey, tuna or bacon-bit with gouda. They're complimented by steak fries with fresh herbs and lemon rind and a greek salad.
Ray, who admits to not being a baker, provides Sangria on a Stick and/or macadamia nut chocolate tarts for dessert.
Tomorrow: back to processed meat and cheese.
The Incredible, Edible Network Promo
CBS has invented what may be the most perishable form of advertising ever.
Starting in September, the network will team up with a company called EggFusion to print adds for its fall schedule on eggshells. For real.
The ads, which will become unreadable the moment consumers get hungry for breakfast (insert your own, "Hey, if you want ratings, you have to break a few eggs" joke here), will feature egg-related puns like "'CSI': Crack the Case on CBS" and "CBS Mondays: Funny Side Up." The marketing folks at CBS think the "egg-vertising" (their word) campaign is "a great way to reach [viewers] out of their homes and in their daily lives, but in a way that also brings the message back into their home."
We think it would have been much cooler if the network had genetically engineered the eggs so that when cracked, the yolks come out in the shape of the CBS eye. Maybe next season.
Are You There God? It's Us, the Critics
There's a new Question That Won't Die at the CBS portion of the press tour.
For a long time, not a tour went by where someone didn't ask a CBS executive -- usually top dog Les Moonves -- about the status of the network's proposed "
We eventually got tired of the joke, and Moonves has now ceded the executive press conference to Nina Tassler, the president of CBS Entertainment. And once again this tour, more than a year after it was cancelled, she was asked what happened with "Joan of Arcadia" (that's star
"You're kidding, right?" Tassler asked, echoing the sentiment of a lot of people in the room.
"No. I only wish I were," was the response.
Yes, "Joan" had a passionate audience, and they were peeved when CBS pulled it. Tassler answered a few questions about it last summer, when she was no doubt expecting them. And after her incredulous initial response, she recovered a little: "Well, there you go. That just it was a wonderful show. We were thrilled to have it on the air. It's nice that it's held in such high regard."
Cheeky bunch that we are, we also asked joking questions about, yes, "The Beverly Hillbillies," as well as the
From the shocking first episode of "The Shield" to the shockingly profane "Sopranos" to the shockingly bad pilot for NBC's "Thick & Thin," TV critics have seen it all. It's tough to shock us. However, the threshold for some writers appears to be just a little ol' talking, um... Well, let's just say that Damon Wayans'
It's a skit shocking enough to produce this conversation between a respected veteran critic and Wayans.
THE CRITICS: I want to ask this as delicately as I can. It's the one about the real "Vagina Monologues."
DAMON WAYANS: Would you like your own copy?
THE CRITIC: I've been doing this so long that I remember when
DAMON WAYANS: Vagina?
THE CRITIC: -- button. And I'm just -- the question is that's going to be how that's going to be shown. I'm not as thrown by the talking performance as I am by the rest of the anatomic --
DAMON WAYANS: The surrounding area?
THE CRITIC: -- correct, extraneous -- yes.
DAMON WAYANS: Well, get some lotion and some toilet paper. It has teeth in it. You know, it's -- it's comedy.
THE CRITIC: No, I know. I'm talking about the entire phrase -- I'm talking below the talking performance.
DAMON WAYANS: Oh, the hind quarter.
DAMON WAYANS, JR.: The chin.
DAMON WAYANS: The buttocks. No. I think that might be taken away. I think you're seeing -- it's a rough cut is what you're seeing. We're going to -- I mean, but it's honest, you know. I don't want to shut the vagina down and take away from the actual look. You're not going to write -- that's funny.
We're still blushing a little.
Hagrid's alter ego
Robbie Coltrane has starred in four blockbuster movies in the past five years, but when he's out on the street, most of his biggest fans don't even recognize him.
Such are the perks of acting behind a massive beard and long robes in the "
"If a 10-year-old does come up to me, it's only because their parents tell them who I am," Coltrane told TV critics Friday at a panel for the revival of his decidedly more grown-up character Dr. Eddie "Fitz" Fitzgerald in "Cracker." The two-hour movie is scheduled to debut on
And he doesn't figure too many members of the under-12 set have seen "Cracker" or his performances as a "young lefty comedian" in the early 1980s.
"The other stuff is all too scandalous for them, isn't it?" he says.
You don't hear that every day
After attending press tour for a while, you develop an ear for the absurd. Consider the following phrases uttered at Friday's session for Lifetime:
- "From the producers of 'Crash.'" You may have heard about the
latest spat between the folks behind last year's best picture
winner, who have gone at each other in court over who should get
what credit. In the latest episode, writer-director
Paul Haggis, co-writer Bobby Moresco and Mark R. Harris, who all have producer credits on the film, are suing Lifetime over its promotion of the new drama "Angela's Eyes."
Ads for the show have said it comes from "the producers of Academy
Award winner 'Crash.'" And it's true that two of the show's
executive producers, Cathy Schulman and Tom Nunan, are credited as
a producer and exec producer, respectively, of the film. However,
Haggis et al, who has nothing to do with the show, believe the ads
imply that Haggis is somehow involved.
Lifetime boss Susanne Daniels issued a no-comment on the suit at
the start of the network's time -- which was followed a couple
minutes later by a clip reel for "Angela's Eyes" that noted it was
"from the producers of Academy Award winner '
- "German telenovela." I'm trying to picture the Teutonic translation of "Betty La Fea," and I don't know what it looks like, but it's funny. I imagine, though, that Daniels was using the T-word to describe a type of serial drama, rather than the specific sorts of shows that dominate Spanish-language broadcasting. Specifically, she was talking about "Bianca: Journey to Paradise," which the network is adapting.
- "Clairvoyant sensation." Daniels used this odd little phrase to describe a British medium who's developing a show for Lifetime. How, exactly, does one become a clairvoyant sensation? Did she upset a couple of higher-seeded psychics in a channeling tournament? Did Other Side Weekly put her on its cover? Or does she just have a really good agent?
Bogged Down in the Blogosphere
Yes, we know it's perverse to blog about blogging, but indulge us for a minute. As more and more corporate taskmasters catch on to 2002's technology, the Press Tour has become thick with reporters charged with making their coverage as real-time as possible.
There are -- at least -- 25 bloggers amongst us this time around dealing out everything from scathing party coverage to horrifically compelling daily weigh-ins.
At times, the likes of
First, the producers were informed "there doesn't seem to be any 21-year-old, blonde, female sports reporters that are actually sports reporters." They were then asked if in the name of realism the character will blog.
The sarcasm of the inquiry was lost on the panel as Spiro enthused, "We were talking about that, actually. When we went to the press box, there's this whole new wave of bloggers, aren't there? And there's all these, like, 20-something, like, little indie guys sitting in the back on their little computers with their little Vans sneakers and everything ... ."
Executive producer Betsy Thomas concurred saying they do want to a do a blog from the character's perspective as an online companion for the show while it's airing.
The natural follow-up question, ruefully delivered: "Do you know how much of her life it will eat up?"
The Demon as dad
It's not the first time this subject matter has been broached, but A&E's upcoming rock star-as-family man show "
The show covers "Osbournes" territory as it examines the relationship between Simmons, a founding member of KISS, ex-Playmate and actress Shannon Tweed -- they've been together for 20-some years but have never married -- and their two kids, 17-year-old Nick and 14-year-old Sophie.
How can you not be curious about a series in which dad tries to hook his son up with half the women who approach him?
Like a lot of dads, though, Simmons is less than thrilled about his daughter dating. As Sophie notes at Thursday's press tour session, "I have no problem being a virgin for a long time."
"Whatever my daughter wants," Simmons replies.
Simmons, of course, became famous as the blood-spitting, groupie-devouring "Demon" in KISS, but "Family Jewels" shows him being, well, a pretty nice guy -- a trait his family was only too happy to point out, seeing as how it conflicts with his carefully constructed image.
"I want to be the bad guy," he says. "Those things they're saying about me are not allowed."
A 'Fool's' paradise
Here's why press tour, for the long slog it sometimes becomes, is great: We just spent a half-hour discussing what makes fool with Mr. T. The former "A-Team" star, who has ditched his gold chains in favor of sharp suits, was in Pasadena to talk about his new TV Land show "I Pity the Fool," in which Mr. T travels around the country, dispensing advice and helping those who need it. Appropriately, then, someone asked Mr. T why he pities the fool.
"That's a good question," the enormously energetic Mr. T says. Pity, he believes, "is between sorry and mercy. ... You don't want to beat 'em up. You gotta give them another chance."
Mr. T acknowledges that he's not any kind of therapist, but he says what he's doing is more practical in nature -- finding solutions to problems and getting people to abandon their foolishness.
"My show isn't like '
He also says that in the world of fools, there are no degrees of foolishness. "There's no big or small -- you're either a fool or you're not," Mr. T asserts. "If you're on my fool list, that's it."
The World Needs
It was only a year ago that a Press Tour party afforded the opportunity to chat with one of the greatest comic minds of our time, a writer, director, producer and star who needs no introduction, a man they call The Gutt. That conversation became the seminal story, "Finding Wisdom in Steve Guttenberg's Bible."
With The Gutt in attendance at Wednesday (July 12) night's Hallmark Channel party, I got to renew acquaintances with Guttenberg, a man of obvious brilliance who will eventually learn to use his powers for good, rather than evil. I'm not exactly sure what Guttenberg is doing at the party, because when I inquire, he responds thusly:
"I'm doing something, it's actually called 'Jew Fever.' It's this kind of a cool Hallmark show that I think is going to be sort of a... it's actually coming from the Right, but it's really cool. It's about this family, you know. They live in Ohio and they're farmers and pretty conservative, pretty right wing and this Jew comes in, actually comes in from space. I guess he lands on some sort of ... I don't know exactly what the story is. I just thumbed through it. I wasn't able to bring the script home. But I guess this Martian, sort of like 'Mork & Mindy,' he lands in their backyard, big like '
But he isn't done. In fact, it gets better.
"I come out as a baby, you know, like a little baby and I come out and I do sort of a couple minutes with them and I grow up and I sort of jump and you see me doing incredible things like reading the Torah really fast and kissing the mezuzah like a thousand times, stuff like that. He's just a Jew, and he's just a nervous Jew. And he works in the yeshiva and puts out a yeshiva newsletter and there he meets Esther."
The story continues for a bit, but that's when he confuses Esther (of
"I've seen nasty penguins. I've seen -- what shall I say? -- ill-mannered ... Nice ... There's Shirley Jones. Hey. Academy Award. Hey. That's my woman."
Guttenberg's confidence hasn't dwindled in the past year, thanks in large part to a supporting role on UPN's "Veronica Mars."
"I just think I was brilliant," he observes. "I would watch the tapes over and over and over. Have you seen them? Have you seen them? Have you watched them over and over and over? You'll see things that you can't believe. You'll look at me and you'll go, 'That's unbelievable' and that's what I say too. I looked at myself and I said, 'It's unbelievable.'"
It's not often a man takes such pride in playing a character who turns out to be a child molester. Was he warned that the character was going in that direction when he was hired?
"I wasn't hired," he says. "I was incurred for employment. I'm not for hire anymore. I'm too old."
He adds, "You know, they said 'child fondler.' That actually seems kind of OK. 'Molester' is bad. I mean, anybody pretty much who's a molester, they go to jail and they stay in jail. A fondler? You know, I don't know if you get. ... Not touching, maybe. Maybe it's like in your mind. Not that I'm saying there's anything OK with it. There's
Asked if he takes any pride in the demise of the summer disaster bomb "Poseidon" so soon after his NBC telefilm remake of "The Poseidon Adventure," The Gutt becomes almost serious.
"Bro! They paid $200 million and sucked. We spent like 15 and we were great. We had more people see our show than a $200 million Warner Bros. show. Bro! What else can I say."
Until next time, thus endeth The Gutt.
Yes. We know that the Hallmark Channel is really proud to have cable rights to the
Those yearning for something a little closer to the real thing needed only to wait for the Hallmark brass to introduce the flightless human star power -- Steve Guttenberg, Dick Van Dyke, Steve Guttenberg,
For most of the assembled TCA members, this produced memories of that glorious night when "Surreal Life" cast members
The penguins were later stuffed into two cages with colorful fishy covers and carted back to some venue with fewer people, fewer dead birds in the pool and much less available alcohol.
Tuesday, July 11
There's a blue towel in the HBO goodie bag. That, in and of itself, isn't particularly interesting, nor is the quality of the towel, which goes down as better than the towel FOX gave us for "Quintuplets" two years ago, but not as good as the bright red one
The issue is, why a towel? Yes, the towel says
It seems like somebody at HBO might have looked at the rest of the network's TCA slate and decided that maybe the gift might be misconstrued.
After all, in addition to "Entourage," HBO's presentations include Spike Lee's Hurricane Katrina doc "When the Levees Broke" and the self-explanatory miniseries "Tsunami, the Aftermath." That's two different water-themed disaster epics, two situations in which a towel might be useful, but probably eventually superflous -- bandaid for a bullet-hole sort of stuff.
Tracks of her tears
It's not unheard of that people onstage at press tour will shed a tear or two, usually from aggressive questioning on the part of the 100 or so critics in the room (Monica Lewinsky on an HBO panel and
Not even one full day into the tour, someone -- to be exact, former
Doherty was in Pasadena to promote a show on Oxygen called "Breaking Up with Shannen Doherty," in which -- no kidding -- she helps people end relationships. The bulk of the session proceeded normally, with Doherty and the show's producers even drawing a few laughs from the room.
Toward the end, though, someone asked Doherty -- not in a badgering way, it should be noted -- if "Breaking Up" is maybe a way to change the way the media look at her.
"You know, I'm not really trying to alter anything," she said, calmly. "I've answered this question so many different times, that the only thing I can do in my life is be myself and live it the way I want to live it, whether people accept it or not."
As she went on, though, Doherty became visibly upset and finally broke down. "I'm not going to lie to you," she said. "It hurts a lot to read the stuff that I read about myself. And it hurts for me and, more importantly, that's my mom right there" -- she pointed out to the audience -- "it hurts my mom a lot."
Fortunately, another critic stepped in and asked how many of the dumped guys on the show tried to hit on her. "I could actually get quite a few dates," she quipped. "And I'm single."