Posts Tagged ‘VH1

27
Oct
09

Nice Italian Boys

So My Antonio didn’t exactly go out with a bang, but somewhat quietly with A.S. Jr. choosing bubbly Brooke over wacky Miranda just as I (and many others, I’m sure) predicted several weeks ago. (And in the fine tradition of dating reality shows, they’ve already broken up.) At least Mama Yvonne stayed out of the picture when it came down to her bambino’s final decision. I’m glad the show’s over with, as I didn’t love myself for watching it. Wonder how long it’ll be before ex-wife Tully Jensen, the most interesting person on the show, will surface with her own show. Couple months?

And in with the new (and another show starring an Italian guy with an opinionated Buddy's back!Mama, which I realize is redundant)… The second season of Cake Boss premiered last night and it seems that the show’s popularity has increased a thousandfold judging by the media coverage. Good for Buddy and la famiglia, I say. As for the new episodes (I guess we’ll continue to see two new eps each week),  it looks like the loud-bickering-Italian-family aspect of the show has been punched up a bit, with more yelling from Mama, more attitude from Mary, more drama in general. Not really necessary. But I did enjoy Buddy’s sisters ganging up on him and hiring an assistant, who seems amiably clueless and therefore perfect for this family. And Mauro’s feisty, candy-demanding son was a hoot.

The cakes did not disappoint. Buddy sure has some impressive customers: The Brooklyn Botanic Garden, for which he made a cake with an enormous Venus Flytrap and assorted other realistic-looking flowers (his specialty); and Dylan Lauren (of Dylan’s Candy Bar fame), for whom he made an elaborate Candyland cake. There was also a cake with an embedded engagement ring, part of an in-store marriage proposal, which was actually quite sweet (no pun).

Despite all the yellin’, Cake Boss is really a very good-natured show, which is a big part of its appeal. Even when Buddy pulled a humiliating prank on Cousin Anthony involving a young woman/potential love interest, the kid took it in stride. It’s truly feel-good TV.

22
Oct
09

Opposite ends of the TV spectrum

I haven’t written about My Antonio in a while, which doesn’t mean I haven’t been watching it, just too embarrassed/unmotivated to document it. Plus the whole tortured-Antonio/dominating-Mama/gullible girls dynamic was getting more than a little annoying. But now that A.S. Jr. is down to two candidates, a few notes:

(photo: VH1)

Tully being menaced by Yvonne (photo: VH1)

I’ve actually started sympathizing with ex-wife Tully, who just cannot do right by Mama Sabato, who hates her guts for marrying Antonio when he was a mere stripling of 18. Last episode, Tully tore a stomach muscle while dismounting from a horse and wound up in the hospital with internal bleeding. Though Antonio interrupted his make-out session/date with needy Playmate Christy to rush to Tully’s side and continues to express all kinds of concern, Mama Yvonne somehow doesn’t believe her former daughter-in-law is actually “sick” (as she keeps saying). In this week’s episode, Mama visits Tully in the hospital basically to say that she has no chance with Antonio. Stupid scene.

Meanwhile, Antonio has two separate dates with the remaining contestants: a fun, sporty, action-packed day in the water with the relentlessly cheerful Brooke; and a romantic helicopter ride/blindfolded food-tasting date with Miranda, who’s getting on my nerves despite being a New Yorker. Aside from acting awkwardly girlish, she did something with cards called an angel reading, which is probably as ridiculous as it sounds.

Anyway, after showing up at elimination in a wedding dress and bearing old wedding photos, Tully was gently dumped by Antonio, much to Mama’s relief. No surprise there.

Strange show: In last week’s episode,  Antonio seemed genuinely surprised to be involved in his future wedding rehearsal. I have to wonder if he’s really at the mercy of Mama and the show’s producers, who seem to enjoy springing unexpected stuff on him. If his confusion and ongoing torment over elimination has all been a big put-on, he’s a better actor than I thought.

Now, on to the opposite end of the television spectrum, namely the wickedly witty

Isn't anyone hot for teacher?  (photo: Carin Baer/ Fox)

Isn't anyone hot for teacher? (photo: Carin Baer/ Fox)

Glee, which boasted many highlights last night. So nice to see the über-talented Matthew Morrison (Will) showing off his stuff with a rousing version of “Bust a Move,” surely one of the catchiest songs to come out of the last two decades. He also does a sexy dance around Ken’s bride-to-be Emma to “Thong Song” (the groom’s choice for first-dance song). Go, Mr. Schue! In another great scene, Will and Sue (Jane Lynch) swing-dance energetically, part of a funny storyline involving her short-lived romance with TV newscaster (and cad) Rod. This unexpected fling resulted in shockingly decent  behavior on Sue’s part, before the inevitable shift back to cantankerous mode. It almost came as a relief.

The ep’s most hilarious moments came courtesy of Puck (Mark Salling), especially during a flashback to his family’s annual ritual of watching Schindler’s List and eating Chinese food off separate TV trays. After his mom expresses disappointment over the fact that he doesn’t date a nice Jewish girl, Puck dreams about Rachel and wakes up realizing that she “was a hot Jew and the good Lord wanted me to get into her pants.” Then after a steamy make-out session with the reluctant Rachel (who’s  still pining for Finn), he asks, “Are you questioning my badassness?” He later sings a tuneful version of “Sweet Caroline”– a tribute to “Jewish icon” Neil Diamond — to win her back. Go, Puck!

Oh, and Coach Ken, jealous of the obvious attraction between Will and Emma, makes his team choose between glee and football with predictable results.

Questions: When will Will realize that his wife is a conniving semi-bitch? When will Ken realize that being a consolation prize is not what he really wants? When will Rachel fall in love with Mr. Schue and have her heart broken yet again? When will Sue realize that adopting Quinn’s baby is exactly what she needs to be a complete woman?

23
Sep
09

Someone’s Antonio

From the sublime (Mad Men) to the ridiculous (My Antonio). The latter is getting sillier by the week, it seems. To wit:

Playmate Christy beats ex-wife Tully for the Big Hot Mess award this week, as she drunkenly insists that she only had one glass of wine. “You’re sloppy drunk,” Miranda points out in an accusing tone. This sets Christy off on a rampage through the house. “I’m gonna knock that bitch out!,” she repeatedly threatens Miranda who, seemingly oblivious, is rummaging around in the kitchen muttering, “Does anyone know how to work this oven?”

“How dare her!,” Christy screams ungrammatically from somewhere in the house. “Who does she think she is?!” “Oh, we still have turkey!,” Miranda notes, her head in the fridge. Funny editing.

Brooke, who’s a nurse in real life, talks Christy down, using soothing tones and psychology. It seems to work. I’m predicting that the sunny, well-adjusted Brooke wins Antonio’s hand in the end.

Later Antonio appears bearing gifts and suggests a game of “Tony Says” (Simon Says). Turns out the girls are surprisingly bad at a game most of us mastered by the age of eight. Tully quickly wins, and her prize is some quality time in a hammock with A. They cuddle and talk, while the other girls spy.

Antonio_pineappleThen, a sculpting challenge. Antonio is unveiled, supposedly in the nude, but it’s clear he’s not really, despite a strategically placed pineapple obscuring his privates. “I feel like a big, Italian prosciutto,” he announces. Hmmm.

Autumn (who thoughtfully includes Antonio’s “package” in her sculpture) and Christy (who includes his dimples) win a joint date with him on a boat. It’s boring. There’s also disco dancing, which isn’t too exciting either.

Later at the house, Tully advises the young, unsophisticated Jessica: “On the red carpet with Antonio, you can’t say, ‘I’m down wit dat.'” Mean! But true.

At dinner, Antonio plays a prank by actually serving dessert instead of his usual “just desserts,” by which means someone is usually eliminated. The nut!

Instead, he takes Jessica for a walk and tells her that she’s young and has her whole life ahead of her, blah blah blah. Home she goes.

Next week: Acting!

02
Sep
09

Debbie Downer

Because 1) I’m no quitter, and 2) I’m sort of fascinated by the show, I am once again writing about My Antonio. After viewing the third episode, I pose the question: Why is this show on VH1? Why not SOAPnet or at least Lifetime? It seems VH1 is scaling down the usual gleeful messiness and general winking irony for this one. Not really asking us to be in on the joke (there may not even be a joke!).  Even the music sounds sincere. It’s unsettling, but I guess it has to do with expanding the market. The show’s built-in demographic is obviously Antonio fans. Who are probably serious as hell about all this.

Teary TullyAnyway, poor, delusional ex-wife Tully was in tears for 98% of the show, which prompted one girl to dub her Debbie Downer. Tully’s like that needy friend or relative who has to be the center of attention all the time or she’ll create a drama. Or just start crying. Having said that, things are certainly not easy for her. First Mama Yvonne (whose face does not move when she speaks) tells her, “You’re old news; you make us all miserable” (harsh!), then Antonio repeatedly asks, “What are you doing here?” every time he sees her which can’t feel good.

But she’s like a Timex watch or Godzilla and just won’t quit. Most audaciously, she crashes Antonio and Christy’s romantic one-on-one yacht date — which up to that point had been accompanied by a saccharine string score — by chasing them on a jetski and sneaking on board, like some kind of deranged James Bond villain. Sad.

Both Christy and Tania won private dates by writing the best love letters to Antonio. Feather penThe writing implements used by the women for this challenge were brightly colored pens with feather plumes on the ends. I had one of those when I was eight. Embarrassingly schmaltzy sentiments were expressed, but Antonio was very moved by some of them. And to be honest, Tania’s was OK; even original.

Not too high a humiliation factor tonight, as Antonio made the women work out with him in various torturous ways in order to show off his physique. OK, we get it: you’re fit.

Yvonne smilingAnyway, Tully wasn’t eliminated, which reduced her to tears for the 80th time this episode. She later tried to apologize for her past sins to Yvonne who wasn’t having it. Then Yvonne took Christy aside to ask, “If I asked you to get rid of Tully, would you do that?” (Yes, in an earlier post, I thought she was asking the enhanced Playmate to get rid of her boobs, sigh.) Christy sure would. And then we see her cozying up to Tully and clearly working as a spy in next week’s highlights. Disappointing. I thought maybe Yvonne was ordering a gangland-style hit.

25
Aug
09

A little sad

I enjoy trashy reality dating shows as much as the next person, but I have to wonder: at what point in your life do you decide, what the hell,  I’m going to audition for the chance to be humiliated, misrepresented, quoted out of context, deprived of sleep and made to look like an utter fool whenever possible in front of millions of television viewers? All for the chance to “date” a faded celebrity or (even worse) someone who previously  made a fool of themselves as a contestant on a reality dating show? I’m guessing it’s when life has become so unbearable that this actually looks like an attractive option. Now I’m a little sad. probably not the best mood for a lighthearted recap of the latest episode of “My Antonio,” right? Right.

18
Aug
09

Back on board

Lordy, I am a weak woman. I made it through several days of decent films/TV viewing:  “Ladies in Lavender,” a sweet, beautifully-shot period film starring Judi Dench and Maggie Smith, via Netflix; “District 9,” the new, much acclaimed sci-fi flick, which was indeed worthwhile, if often hard to watch (anyone planning to see it should not make apres-movie dinner plans). And of course, the season premiere of “Mad Men,”  a paradigm of intelligence, subtlety and wit among TV shows. It’s so well done, I can’t even believe it still exists.

climbingBut then I happened to tune into VH1 last night (I know, I know, nobody forced me) and beheld what appeared to be yet another celeb dating show, “My Antonio.” And like the pathetic speck of dust that I am, got sucked swiftly into the vacuum (truly) once again. If the premiere is any indication, this looks promising: Antonio Sabato, Jr., with whom I am not terribly familiar, set the tone early on by being both ingratiatingly “sincere” about his intentions to find love and matter-of-factly sadistic. The setting is Hawaii, and the first challenge consisted of the contestants, still in their cute little party dresses,  climbing a mountain of loosely-packed gravel on their hands and knees to get to him. Lots of ungainly clambering and blurred panty shots.

Antonio and YvonneBut more interesting is the fact that Antonio’s  mama, Yvonne, visits later to help her son decide who stays and who goes. Looking like a cross between Sophia Loren and Angelica Huston, she’s totally intimidating and unstinting in offering advice/criticism. Nice touch. As if that’s not enough, Antonio’s ex-wife shows up claiming to still be in love with him, so it seems she will also vie for his affections. The coming attractions look pretty great: Yvonne asking huge-breasted Playboy Playmate Christi, “If I asked you to get rid of them, would you?,” referring, I think, to those boobs! There’s also the ex-wife lying in what looks like a hospital bed, with Yvonne hovering threateningly above; immature screw-up Sarah screaming/bawling incoherently; and Yvonne saying “I object” at what looks like Antonio’s wedding. The show is clearly all about Yvonne.

And maybe the ex-wife. I think I’m on board for this one.

10
Aug
09

Stop it, VH1

I’ve procrastinated starting a blog for so long that I don’t even know where to begin. How about something low-brow and shallow? Fine: I’m going to try my hardest not to watch “Megan Wants a Millionaire” this week.

Yes, I’ve allowed myself to be entertained by certain shameful TV shows that no one in their right mind would watch. I could (sort of) justify watching “Rock of Love” because of my background as an employee of Metal Edge magazine. And, OK, I caught a few episodes of “Daisy of Love” mainly to observe the spectacle of rocked-out, heavily tattooed male contestants crying and whining just like their pathetic female counterparts on “RoL.” And maybe I occasionally had “Charm School” on in the background while I was doing the dishes, totally by accident.

But there’s no reason to watch Megan, one of the most charmless of all RoL contestants, put a bunch of arrogant and/or socially inept “millionaires” through myriad humiliations all for the honor of winning her hand (or whatever), right?

And yet, and yet…there’s that one creepy mama’s-boy type whose piggy bank was smashed by that obnoxious, crazy-eyed malcontent in the first episode. And the guy who made his millions stripping under the name The Punisher. I feel my will power waning…