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May 11, 2006

The Best Straight Friend We Wish We Had

Kathy_griffin Given the sparkly bent of our genetic code, it goes without saying that we here at Malcontent are big fans of Kathy Griffin. Whenever a commercial airs promoting the upcoming June premiere of her Bravo show, My Life on the D-List, we're given to deep sighs and daydreams of one day earning an invitation to become one of her gays.

As a taste of things to come, everyone's favorite fagnet hits the boards with her latest stand-up special, Kathy Griffin: Strong Black Woman. In these highlights, Kathy dishes about her rapid pink-slipping from the E! Red Carpet Special, celebrity rehab, her feud with Steven Spielberg, Tom Cruise's meltdown, who us gay folk lust after, Anderson Cooper, and the greatest things about Oprah.

Catching the entire show on Bravo is highly, highly recommended, if only for her total re-enactment of being locked out of a hotel room without any pants, and a backstage session with Celine Dion that includes autographs, photos, and light petting.

[Watch video – 11:57, WMV format, high bandwidth]

[Watch video – 11:57, WMV format, low bandwidth]

March 09, 2006

And the Winner Is ...

Pr_poll Malbug_13If Project Runway were American Idol, the people would have crowned Daniel V. the winner of the design show's second season.  But did Heidi, Michael, Nina and guest judge Debra Messing agree?  (By the way, could they have thrown a dart and hit a celebrity judge with more vapid commentary?)

If you actually care about the outcome but somehow managed not to find out who won – even though other blogs are just blurting it out with no spoiler warning (you know who you are!) – then you came to the right place.

First, we present a big, steaming, video slice of last night's season finale of PR.

[Watch video – 25:35, WMV format, high bandwidth]

[Watch video – 25:35, WMV format, low bandwidth]

If the suspense is killing you and you'd rather not sit still for 25 minutes, then take the last train to Spoilerville, and meet us after the jump.  We've included pictures of all 39 outfits that were featured ...

Continue reading "And the Winner Is ..." »

February 20, 2006

Weekend on the D-List

Malbug_13KathyIf I were a queen with money to burn, I'd pay a princely sum to ingratiate myself with Kathy Griffin in a pathetic attempt to become one of "her gays."

But I'm not, so instead some other lucky moneybags will be spending a very intimate weekend with the fabulous D-lister herself.  (Far be it for me to assume things, but if a straight person paid $28,000 for the pleasure of hanging with Kathy, I'll eat my feather boa.)

Griffin auctioned off a special weekend with her and her friends (to be taped for her show, "My Life on the D-List") to raise money for a charity that helps prevent domestic violence.

On Friday, she spoke about it with "Howard 100 News."

[Listen – 2:01, 973kb, MP3 format]

February 10, 2006

Scat-tino

Santino_1Malbug_13Is Santino Rice of Bravo's "Project Runway" a fecalphiliac?

Given the way he was carrying on incessantly about poo-poo in this week's episode, he must think that brown is the new black.

Then again, with all the verbal dumps he takes on his fellow contestants on a regular basis, he might just be an expert on the subject.

But c'mon, Santino.  Maybe you can polish a turd.

[Watch video – 4:09, WMV format, high bandwidth]

[Watch video – 4:09, WMV format, low bandwidth]

February 02, 2006

A Helping of Reality, Hold the Lobster

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The gays are obviously a staple of reality television, but it is rare that such programs actually talk about the "reality" of being gay.

That's why I was touched by a conversation on last night's "Project Runway" about Daniel Vosovic's coming-out.  It was by all accounts a moment of insight and true emotion.

But then we were immediately whip-sawed into whimsy with Santino Rice's spot-on impersonation of the show's emotionally constipated fashion godfather, Tim Gunn.  (Santino's Michael Kors shtick is just as razor-sharp.)

If you're a fan of the show like me, it was one of the funniest moments in reality TV this year – even on the second viewing.

[Watch video – 5:19, WMV format, high bandwidth]

[Watch video – 5:19, WMV format, low bandwidth]

January 26, 2006

Andraé 3000 Faces

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If there's one thing on "Project Runway" more reliable than the crying jags, it is the fact that the producers love, love, love to cut away to Andraé Gonzalo's reaction shots.  Andraé is constantly mugging for the camera, reacting with astonishment even to banal announcements such as "I bought you some Splenda" as if he had just hit the Powerball.

His designs have been pretty strong, especially last night's "dirty-gutter dress," which I thought should have won.  But if Andraé's fashion aspirations are dashed, he could be the next Buster Keaton.  He pulled the following faces on last night's episode alone:

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And my personal favorite, this shot taken after Zulema announced a "walk-off" to select her new model:

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Andraé wasn't reacting to the walk-off.  He was actually unhinging his jaw in preparation for feeding time:

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December 22, 2005

Kneel Before Santino!

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Danielfranco

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I don't have any sort of fashion background to speak of, but I am learning that the key to being a successful fashion designer is to throw some fabric on a mannequin and see what sticks.

At least, that's what Bravo's "Project Runway" seems to be teaching.

Last night, General Zod doppelgänger Santino Rice escaped elimination by the beard on his chin.  The aspirants were divided into four teams to design lingerie.

Santino's brilliant idea: lederhosen.

But at least he isn't Daniel Franco, who looks like he was designing nighties for the geriatric set.  Daniel tried to pull an Andraé from episode 1, turning on the waterworks to gin up a little sympathy, but in the end the judges were having none of it.

They seemed to respond well to Santino's defiant, bitchy lecture and let him live another week.

Some Kryptonians have all the luck.

[Watch video – 8:05, WMV format, high bandwidth]

[Watch video – 8:05, WMV format, low bandwidth]

October 05, 2005

Bravo: As Queer As It Gets

Malbug_13Queerlogo_3Judging by just the first two episodes, Bravo's "Great Things About Being ..." series is pretty great itself.

And, as promised, I come bearing video clips from the second ("Queer") installment, first aired last night and repeating multiple times this week.

"Great Things" is a list show like many others, with a run-down of the top-20 perks of queerness.  But unlike the other shows, it has Mario Cantone using the word "fisting."  In reference to Ernie and Bert.

Continue reading "Bravo: As Queer As It Gets" »

October 03, 2005

Great Things About Bravo

Malbug_13GreatthingsBravo TV is airing a series called "Great Things About Being ...," in which it replaces the ellipsis with a different topic each night this week, starting tonight with "Great Things About Being Fat."

It continues Tuesday with the spotlight on "Queer," then Wednesday with "30," then Thursday with "Blonde" and wrapping up Friday with "Red State."

From Bravo's website:

Bravo's "Great Things About Being..." is a fun, facetious, satiric and sometimes edgy look at what pop culture tells us are the "Great Things About Being..." blond, queer, fat, 30, and from a red-state. The people who know best, those who are representative of the genre being uncovered, will take viewers through each of the five one-hour countdowns.

There are several "Great Things About Being..." that viewers might discover after watching the humorous series. "Great Things About Being..." 30 include, being able to run for office and knowing who you are. Some "Great Things About Being..." Fat are you have great cleavage and you're everybody's best friend. And what are a couple of "Great Things About Being" Queer? Well, there are the parades and the show tunes. Some "Great Things About Being..." A Red State are Elvis and the waffle house. Lastly, there are a few things named as "Great Things About Being..." Blonde, like you're the perfect homemaker and you always have more fun!

"Great Things About Being..." is produced by Idiot Box Productions for Bravo. Executive Producers for Idiot Box Productions are Jo Honig and Dan Taberski.

While more than one of these topics describe me – and I'm not saying which ones – you get only one guess as to which one I will be posting video of.

September 07, 2005

No Joy in Red-ville

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Redheads Two of my favorite TV redheads are having their swan songs this week, and I am pulling hard for both HBO to give "The Comeback" a second season and for Bravo to re-up "Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List."  (This post was originally much more downbeat because the Husband told me that he heard HBO would not renew "The Comeback," but I haven't yet been able to verify that anywhere with a Google search.)

Let's start with Valerie Cherish: I know it has been somewhat fashionable to bash HBO's quirky quasi-reality-cum-sitcom experiment, which ended season one on Sunday.  I have even participated a little myself.  But if you tuned out mid-season, then you missed the maturing of a show that showed nascent signs of great potential and depth.  (I found other critics who have written very similar things after I wrote this line.)

I'll readily concede that "The Comeback" is no "Sex and the City," even though SATC's exec producer, Michael Patrick King, also helped give life to Valerie Cherish.  Then again, if you watched the first season of "Sex and the City, " it was no "Sex and the City," either.

But as the season progressed on "The Comeback," the plotlines became more nuanced and intricate, the situations more laugh-out-loud funny.  You could see them light a comedic fuse and walk away, and you wondered where and when the bomb would explode.  (Usually, it was in Valerie's face.  But in at least one delicious moment from the penultimate episode, the oleaginous Paulie G. was the target, doubtlessly to cheers in the living rooms where "The Comeback" was still being viewed.)

Characters took on more depth and pathos.  Lisa Kudrow began to exhibit more of the serious acting chops that have served her throughout a long and successful career.  Even the show-within-a-show's reality "producer," Jane, began to see Valerie as more than the one-dimensional, self-absorbed joke she started out as.

So if HBO really wants to give this show the ax, can't they just add a couple of "bee-dee, bee-dee boys" to the cast and try again?

UPDATE: Check out the "six stages" of "The Comeback."  I've been there and back!

Malbug_13On the other hand, Bravo's actual reality series, starring Kathy Griffin, airs its season finale tonight.  Like Valerie Cherish, Griffin produces a lot of uncomfortable shifting in your chair.  But unlike Cherish, Griffin is well aware that she is the butt of the joke, a position she relishes and plays to the hilt.  And for a woman who has had countless cosmetic procedures, she remarkably lacks vanity, even when her hair is pulled back during a workout and the camera is trained on her enormous forehead.

Even though I liked "D-List" more than "The Comeback" at the outset, this show also grew on me as time went on.  Initially, I found myself hoping for more of Griffin's icy and incisive standup routines than was offered, but I got sucked deeper and deeper into her world of freeloadery and penny-ante charity events.

I would love to watch where Griffin goes next, especially as she attempts to deal with the step upward in the alphabet that the series is bound to give this D-lister.

In a related bit of synchronicity, Griffin is auctioning off a chance to see Kelly Clarkson perform live in Las Vegas with her and "her gays" to benefit Hurricane Katrina relief.  [eBay link]  I'll go in on a bid (with a bunch of other people, seeing as how it was well over $5,000 at this writing), but only if Griffin promises a lot of jokes at the expense of a certain Clarkson compatriot.

[HT: Andy]

August 04, 2005

The Malcontent's Life on the Z-List

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Griffin02 Last night kicked off Kathy Griffin's new series, a one-woman rant on Bravo known as "My Life on the D-List."  The Malcontent lives in a Manhattan, yet we were at home on the couch watching her.  That tells you what list that puts us on.

"D-List" is a reality show with a strong whiff of Valerie Cherish, wherein a marginal celebrity is followed by cameras as she attempts to be somebody in the savage crucible of Hollywood.  Except that in this case, Griffin is well aware that the joke is on her, as opposed to Lisa Kudrow's oblivious Cherish.

Ladyelaine_1I don't even mind that Griffin could work as a voice double for Lady Elaine Fairchilde, I have found renewed love for this woman.  (The Malcontent Googled for a better picture of Lady Elaine but found only an image of a man ejaculating across the poor puppet's face.  We have spared you that indignity.)

In fact, we didn't realize why we loved her so much, given her sub-C-List status.  Then we realized that it is because gays are instinctively drawn to her, which is illustrated in this clip from last night of Griffin performing at a drag benefit:

[Download clip -- WMV format, 9.15mb]

Hergays The show explains the attraction of "her gays" (as Griffin calls them) by pointing out that she says things that everyone else wants to say but doesn't: things such as speculating at length on the sexuality of celebs such as Ryan Seacrest or Clay Aiken (of whom she does a spot-on impression in her stand-up routine).

The first show addressed other topics such as Griffin's search for a free sectional sofa, her lovable but kooky parents, and her overweight husband's subterfuge in order to get gastric bypass surgery.

Toward the end of the episode, one especially painful but funny clip showed Kathy bombing before a crowd of upper-crust oldsters at another charity event.  She tries to make a purse out of the sow's ear by joking about Gary Coleman, but her punchline about how she "fucked him" only turned the crowd against her more.

The premiere is the first of six episodes.  While we endured the slower pacing of some of the standard "reality" scenes in order to get to her far-superior stand-up comedy, "D-List" is still a diamond in the rough that proves Kathy Griffin has seriously underestimated her place in the Hollywood pecking order.

[Watch the entire show -- WMV format, 12mb, low quality]

What Others Are Saying:

Daniel Brown's TV Blog says: "She's going to be huge mostly because us gays love her and we are always on the leading edge."

Naked Boy says: "It was the funniest thing I have seen in a long time. She is so good."

Potusol says: "I guess I have a new show to watch on Wednesdays."

A Little Pollyanna asks: "Which is better? Being Kathy Griffin with a bad reality show? And confused with other stars? Or being Vicki Lewis, forced to promote Swiffer as her next career move?"

Fresh 'N' Tasty says: "She's got a mouth like a sailor, tits I'd turn straight for and the comedic timing that's just priceless."

Suck My Blog found Kathy's iTunes playlist and savaged it roundly.

Meanwhile, the Louisville Courier-Journal does a great run-down of Kathy's one hour of stand-up comedy that preceded her reality show's premiere.



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