This & That:
Our readers write back III, the fame game revisited, TV moment of the month…
Here at Happygrrls, we love getting reader e-mails. It really makes our day, and not just because our readers are ultra cool and nice and sweet, but also because getting feedback is the best medicine for any stuff we throw out into deep recesses of the world wide web. Here are some of the highlights of our readers’ awesome letters.
I had done a Google search for "whatever happened to" just to stir up some nostalgia & memories…I got to wondering, "What site is this? Who created this? Looks interesting. Happygrrls?" As I looked around at your site, your bios, archived content, etc., I was impressed. It is very nice. I like your attitudes. The way you communicate. The topics…I like the candid way you speak of real life, feelings, etc. So I think maybe I am learning something today, from the 3 of you, about women. I'm glad that you three have shared something of yourselves, your thoughts and aspirations. I think it is a good positive influence in the lives of young women.
Not only did this e-mail crack me up, but I also love the last sentence. I never thought of our site as being dark, but I hope it does bring in the street cred.Google really seems to like your happygrrls website. I won't go into who I was looking for (that's tedious) but I ended up hooked, reading all the way down to your entry on Wil Wheaton…Cute and dark site, by the way.
Thank you for your break-up survival advice. I’m going through one right now and I feel like I’m dying. Your advice is helping me look to the future.
Thanks for your break-up page. Every little bit helps in these bleakest moments :)
Liked what you had to say about the ex factor. That's soo true…and yes, I agree – you…me…everybody…needs to take a shovel and bury it and just start a new as best as you can.
I usually am not moved to write people after reading what they've had to say, but after reading your take on The Rules, I actually looked for the link to contact you. I was cracking up laughing so hard - especially the part about, don't be too serious even though you're in your basement at night highlighting the book, or something to that effect. The article was witty and even though you had your bias (u r obviously against the rules) – it came across as intelligent as opposed to narrow-minded (how some biased opinions tend to come off). Just had to let u know that I thoroughly enjoyed the article.
This is a great e-mail, but sadly, still no Dave Foley number. If any readers out there have it, it would be much appreciated.Just wanted to write to say how impressed I am by your site, considering I came across it by accident. I'm a 20-year-old from Montreal, and judging from the Dave Foley reference on your contact info page, I figured you guys are from Canada...Ontario?
Another sweet e-mail we just had to reprint. And yes, “My Humps” is still mighty stupid.I never even heard of you guys...but I’m now sitting at my desk CRYIN from laughing so hard. I’m in Paris, France, and was looking for something about Lil’ Kim’s latest, “Hold Your Lighters Up.” That's how Google led me to you. Anyway, you guys are soooo funny! Yes, will smith must never "rap" again. And “My Humps” is totally stupid. Everything you guys said had me rolling, even Mariah being saner than she's been in the last five years (and I’m a fan). You are so bookmarked!
Sometimes we also receive bizarre e-mails.You seem to be the contact there that knows her stuff. Can you connect me to Simon Fuller or at least his personal secretary? I worked with Clive Davis in the past and he should remember me. I got to know Clive well. I have some important info for Mr. Fuller and I would like to talk to Clive as well. Do you have Mr. Davis's secretary's contact info also???
Of course, no reader letters would be complete without a lovely soliloquy sent in by a Shawn Desman fan.hi, you are ugly, you look like shit. check me out bitch, I am shawn desmans #1 fan. i'll be talking to shawn at 5:30pm today i'll make sure to tell him how i just punked you rite off. i'll take this up in person too! SO WHY DON;T YOU JUST TRY MY SHIT. BITCH...#1 'lil desgirl - bye HO
And that is all we could reprint without aggravating our spelling and grammar sensibilities. I wonder how the 5:30 conversation with Shawn Desman went? And I especially love the cordial “hi” at the beginning, and how she was able to work parts of my last name into the e-mail. Lil’ Shawn Desman fans unite!
The Fame Game Revisited
They usually say, "Hate the game, not the player," but when it comes to celebrity worth, it's all fair game.
In the never-ending saga of people struggling to become immortalized in our popular culture, the cosmos have shifted to present us another slew of people who are vying for the coveted feature spot on “Entertainment Tonight.” Let’s take a look at who has exhausted their umpteenth minutes of fame, and who needs to locate a watch stat.
Eva Longoria: She has a gorgeous face, a hit television show, and a handsome beau at her side, so what’s not to love? But after numerous magazine spreads, music videos, and P. Diddy parties, maybe it’s time to stand back and admire the little effort it actually took for Eva to place herself on top. Saying that Eva is overrated is like saying that Britney Spears doesn’t deserve her millions from record sales. In Britney’s case, the music is abhorrent and derivative, but she sells records nonetheless. In Eva’s case, “Desperate Housewives” is quickly deteriorating in quality, and she only has to exert one-fourth of the effort in the ensemble show (with no Emmy or Golden Globe award in sight to prove that she’s actually exerting any effort at all). And yet, Eva still manages to snag the little corners of fame that would be better given to someone else. Once she declaws, we might be able to actually miss her once in a while.
Sienna Miller: Sienna may have been the on-again, off-again girlfriend of one of the most beautiful men in Hollywood, but her level of fame has far exceeded its expiration date. Her wardrobe choices and rows with Jude Law have gained more attention than her choice film roles, which include the little-seen or seldom-lauded films Alfie and Casanova. Since no one’s really seen her movies, the onus of her popularity seems to solely ride on her rumoured co-star hook-ups and her close friendship with Jude Law’s mother. It remains to be seen what Sienna can really do career-wise, but for now she’s exhausted the tabloids without ever making a ground-breaking or high-grossing film – which, if you think about it, puts her on the same level as Janice Dickinson or Jessica Simpson. And at least one of these two can say that she’s the World’s First Supermodel, while the other has a hard time spelling “model.”
The Other Pussycat Dolls: So there are about twenty Pussycat Dolls, but only one of them sings? In any other universe, this would technically make the Pussycat Dolls a solo act with a traveling back-up troupe, but in this post-burlesque reincarnated pop act where each member is an employee of the record label (which means that they can be replaced, or "fired," at any time), this makes them a singing “group.” While ex-Eden’s Crush member Nicole Scherzinger (the frontrunner for all of the PCD’s previously released singles) does the brunt of the work, other PCD members Carmit Bachar, Jessica Sutta, Melody Thornton, Kimberly Wyatt, and Ashley Roberts provide the gyrating dancing relief and trampoline jumping we’ve all grown so fond of in the overly glossy PCD videos. You know, I might as join the PCD, for I am about as useful as any of the other girls. Despite the glaring omission of public knowledge, each girl does, in fact, have (an alleged) featured solo spots in various songs throughout the album, though it’s not like we actually know where these parts lurk. It also doesn’t help that when Scherzinger leaves to work on her solo album (for real solo this time), the remaining and mostly mute PCD will be the subject of a reality show where a handful of plucky girls vie for the sixth open slot – which, in all probability, will also be the lead vocalist spot. Here’s to five more minutes of undeserved fame.
The Girls From “Flavor of Love”: We’ve come to know “Pumkin,” “Hottie,” “Hoopz,” and friends intimately through the STD-ridden fishbowl that is “Flavor of Love,” but now it’s time to let go. And we would set it free, if it weren’t for these girls repeatedly re-emerging in dubious, provocative magazine “spreads,” in reality show blogs, or in T.I.’s arms, all the while assaulting us with their questionable taste. While taping “Flavor of Love,” “Pumkin” made headlines with her infamous spit-brawl with cast mate “New York,” in what “Pumkin” claims was producer-inspired prodding and post-editing enhanced magic. “Hottie” made the rounds as the house nut after she tried to microwave a whole chicken, and then claimed she was often compared to Beyoncé. And “Hoopz,” who has been the biggest offender in post-reality show heaven, is guilty of breaking Flavor Flav’s greasy, emaciated heart. The biggest talents that these girls have exhibited post-show don’t go beyond keeping a straight face during one of Flavor Flav’s inane and often incoherent rants or having a nasty catfight to be lovingly broadcast on cable. The shenanigans of these girls was entertaining while it lasted, but now that “Flavor of Love 2” has officially kicked off, it’s time to send these girls back to the bargain bin.
Tori Spelling: Tori’s rise to fame came at the expense of her father’s credibility, when he ill advisedly decided to cast her in “Beverly Hills, 90210.” As Donna Martin, we watched her go from dirty blonde (with hideous brown roots) to platinum blonde to bleached blonde to ditz to heartbreaker to virgin and back to ditz again in her ten-year run with the show. After clinging on for dear life in made-for-television movies, Tori was set to go the way of Ian Ziering or Brian Austin Green. But everyone underestimated Tori’s motivation to stay in the spotlight, as she managed to grace the tabloids again in a highly publicized affair with her similarly ranked C-list co-star, McDermott something or other. And then there’s “So NoTorious,” a mildly amusing biopic comedy where Tori gets to play herself while vicariously trashing her real-life mother through her on-screen mother, Lori Anderson. If we thought we were sick of hearing Tori threatening McDermott’s ex-wife on award shows, we’re certainly hospital-bound with her recent dispute over her dead father’s inheritance, which started merely days after he’d been laid to rest. Aaron Spelling is no doubt rolling in his grave as we speak, but that won’t deter Tori from scratching her way to B-list celebrity status.
Wilmer Valderrama: We know that he’s a teen starlet magnet, but we’re just not sure why. Sure, he starred in a slightly well-rated television sitcom on a third-rate network, and sure, he put in a hell of a performance in his uncredited appearance in Beauty Shop, but that doesn’t exactly scream “boy toy” or “must-have arm candy of the season.” What it might scream is, “fun to hook at a party with” or “hey, that guy looks mildly familiar.” After snatching up Mandy Moore during her naïve, blonde pop starlet days, Wilmer quickly moved onto to a pre-exhaustion Lindsay Lohan, and then had an alleged tryst with Ashlee Simpson (the “of all people” is implied by the long pause after this sentence). Or did Wilmer move from Lohan to Moore to Simpson? Or did he jump from Moore to Simpson to Star Jones? I guess who he did hook up with, or who I imagined he hooked up with, doesn’t really matter in the long run – this boy’s love life is more complicated than an episode of “Lost” and probably deserves its own memoir on the shelf of your local Walmart. But even if he does tell us his secret to being a ladies’ man in his own words, we still won’t get it.
Not Famous Enough
Anna Faris: I know that appearing in 1,543 Scary Movie sequels doesn’t speak well to anyone’s acting ability, but from scant appearances in artsy fartsy fares like Lost In Translation and Brokeback Mountain, Anna’s work looks promising. Admittedly, she’s often typecast even in films like this, first playing a ditzy blonde in the former, and a farcical Southern wife in the other. She’s proven to be a slight office box draw with starring roles in the Scary Movie series, and when she appears on screen, everything just gets a little funnier. What Anna needs is to star in a smart romantic comedy, paired with a formidable co-star who also has great comedic timing, and stop taking roles in movies like Waiting… and Mama’s Boy (the title is self-explanatory). With these types of roles, she’ll never break out of her supporting role status, especially since no one will ever actually see these films.
Felicity Huffman: Unlike her other co-stars, Felicity likes to stay out of the spotlight. She’s happily married to another great character actor, William H. Macy, and spends her days off from “Desperate Housewives” to shoot films like Transamerica and to collect her Golden Globe nominations. Her resume reads like a mini-novel, and she’s shown that she can do drama, slapstick, and poignant like nobody’s business. If any actress can take a brash and unbalanced character like Lynette Scavo and make her even remotely likeable, it’s Felicity. A few missteps along the way (“girls club,” Christmas With the Kranks) don’t outweigh the hits (Magnolia, “Sports Night,” “Frasier,” “Desperate Housewives”), but with her hit show close to sinking by the third season, Felicity needs to reconsider her strategy – starting with her role in a Linday Lohan-infested vehicle, Georgia Rule. By the time the film hits, Lindsay’s real life antics on-set will eclipse any hard work that the other actors may have put in, much like it did on Herbie: Fully Loaded. Hopefully “Desperate Housewives” will get better again, and Felicity can abstain from having to co-star in movies with petulant teenage actresses.
Paul Giamatti: Paul is probably one of the most underrated actors working in Hollywood today. The key to his invisibility seems to come from his plain and unassuming demeanor, which often pales in comparison to Colin Farrell’s eyebrows or Brad Pitt’s jaw. But what Paul may lack in presence, he more than makes up for in talent. After years and years and years of being an earnest character actor with bit roles in sketchy films (Doctor Dolittle, Big Momma’s House, Big Fat Liar), and star-studded flops (Duets, Planet of the Apes, Paycheck), Paul landed the role of a lifetime with Sideways, and moved from tertiary character to full-fledged leading man. Unfortunately, the Motion Picture Association often makes numerous nomination snafus, and in Paul’s year, he was wrangled out of an Oscar nomination for his seminal work. Just when things started to look up with Cinderella Man, Paul was again left in the dust, and had to fend for himself by starring in the dire Lady in the Water. It also doesn’t help that he has been quoted as saying, “I'm not a guy who has a lot of, “I want to work with so-and-so.” I'll take whatever work I can get." I have no doubt that Paul won’t have any trouble getting work for quite some time, but that’s really the attitude of someone who very well might be appearing in Doctor Dolittle 4. And that would be a shame.
Terrence Howard: I don’t get it – you’d think Crash, Ray, and Hustle & Flow would get Terrence some decent acting gigs, not to mention a leading role here and there, but it seems that the man who once appeared in Big Momma’s House, Glitter, and Biker Boyz is still working hard at being indiscriminate and landing mediocre roles in hit-and-miss films. He’s content playing a supporting role in Four Brothers or Get Rich or Die Tryin’ (obviously, no one was ready to accept 50 Cent playing…50 Cent), and the nine projects that he has lined up for the next two years are patchy at best (Tyrese Gibson as a superhero mercenary in Luke Cage? Say it ain’t so). Hopefully, his turn in the OutKast-helmed Idlewild will catch the eye of casting agents, or at least give Terrence more deserving choice roles.
Janet Jackson: As if a wardrobe malfunction weren’t enough, now we have to contend with Janet’s reinvention and musical mid-life crisis in the form of 20 Y.O. While Janet began as the promising Jackson, she quickly spiraled out of control and now her shenanigans almost rivals the bizarre antics of Michael and Latoya, minus the prosecution charges and failed marriages. Her stunt casting on “Will & Grace” seems brash at best. Her weight loss fueled rumours that she going the way of Britney Spears, but she quickly denied allegations of too many Big Macs and cited her weight gain as preparation for an upcoming film. She was accused of bearing an illegitimate child and, strangely enough, her apparent weak cover of “Weekend” was mysteriously pulled from her album and website. There is no album cover for 20 Y.O., most likely due to a lack of funding, but is spun as a fan contest by studio heads. Her secretive relationship with Jermaine Dupri is questionable in itself. Her plans for a self-based reality show reek of desperation. And for all the hard work she put into bulking up for the upcoming film Tennessee, she can now crash diet as she pulled out of the project due to scheduling conflicts (the part has been recast with Mariah Carey taking over). For keeping up the bizarre family legacy, Janet warrants a spot in our tabloid-loving hearts.
Pete Doherty: The lead singer of Babyshambles doesn’t appear to be all too bright. For instance, one should be aware that letting others take pictures of oneself doing cocaine is not the smartest thing to do, especially if the first time it happened, it was reproduced in tabloids all over the world. Also, one should abstain from being pictured injecting an unconscious fan with suspect substances, which some might view as a despicable and disgusting act. Pete seems to care about these cocaine-related scandals as much as Ethan Hawke cares about hygiene, and only serves to solidify the stereotype of rock stars and their magical powdery friends. He is a glowing example of why drugs are whack. Couple this with his much-publicized, coke-snorting relationship with Kate Moss, as well as numerous drug-related charges and stints in rehab, and you have a match made in tabloid heaven.
Starr Jones: Star Jones is possibly the craziest, most deluded person living in this century. She has a dubious marriage to a prominent banker, wrote a book giving away too much information about her sex life, lost five hundred pounds in the span of three weeks, and then pretended it was the most natural thing in the world, like a waterfall or a kitten playing with yarn. So why do we give Star so much of our attention? Well, because she’s just so entertainingly ridiculous, with just the right amount of crazy and controversial that the media loves. Her feud with Barbara Walters, who is fairly creepy herself, finally gave us something to talk about, outside of how tiresome “The View” really is. Her foolish insistence that her weight loss was natural finally bonded us at the water cooler. Her drop from Payless Shoes, her merchandise shilling intended to garner corporate sponsorship for her wedding, her premature announcement that she was allegedly fired from “The View,” and her passive-aggressive grudge with Rosie O’Donnell filled tabloid pages for weeks. And for all the kookiness that Star provides, she deserves every pot shot that comes her way.
TV Moment of the Month
"Flavor of Love 2" sinks to new depths of low, and we're not just talking about Flavor Flav.
It wasn’t too long ago that Flavor Flav was just a blip on our celebrity radar. But after an unexpected turn on “The Surreal Life,” where Flav proved to be just as nauseating as his C-list celebrity love interest, Brigitte Nielsen, and a surprising hit show, “Flavor of Love,” Flav seems to have found his scrawny assed groove. The first season introduced us to twenty girls who were delusional enough to think that they could ever fall in love with the crass and crazy rapper-turned-reality-whore, and things went up a notch when these women actually started fighting over who would get to bed Flav (a revolting mental image, I know). After a cat-fight-filled first season, we had seen all there was too see about lowbrow reality shows…or had we?
Not to be outdone, the second season of “Flavor of Love” started off with a bang. In an hour-plus debut, Flav again christened his potential love interests with inane and phonetic names, and got down to business by spending some boring one-on-one time with them to, as he likes to think, weed out the potential gold diggers and riff raff. A fight within the first ten minutes of the edited show, over a bed no less, was enough to whet our appetites for destructive reality show behaviour, but that was only the tip of the hot messed iceberg.
Near the end of the first episode, and during the infamous “Clock Ceremony” (where Flav gives potential baby mamas huge novelty clocks with their Photoshopped pictures emblazoned on the front), one of the women did the unthinkable, and was forever cemented on the wall of television shame. As the remaining clocked girls toasted to another night with Flav, “Somethin,” who bears a passing resemblance to Star Jones, shiftily lurked in the background. No one was the wiser as she was seen bending down off-camera, but things became clearer when a noticeable smell permeated throughout the room. “Somethin” quickly darted up the stairs while everyone contemplated what the source of this smell might be.
Soon enough, as the girls made their way upstairs to retire for the night, someone spotted something suspicious on the floor that “Somethin” had left behind. And sadly, it wasn’t a glass slipper or the new issue of “Entertainment Weekly.” The remaining girls howled in disgust, and the jig was up. Now everyone knew what “Somethin” was really up to.
According to post-airing interviews and the like, “Somethin” claimed that she was experiencing stomach troubles all night and that the producers wouldn’t stop taping to let her take a washroom break – hence the immediacy of her mess on the floor. Other sources, like me, say that “Somethin” probably didn’t insist too hard for a washroom break in order for this “accident” to happen. Also, this is one of the weirdest and most disgusting incidents to be caught on camera for a long time.
Flav was a good sport about it, and even checked up on “Somethin” as she took her much-needed washroom break. This was most likely due to the fact that a) Flav doesn’t own the mansion that “Flavor of Love” is shot in, and b) he didn’t have to clean it up. The next day, “Somethin” placed her clock outside of Flav’s bedroom as a symbol of her embarrassment. But upon hearing that Flav didn’t care about what happened (heck, he might have been strangely turned on by it – sorry for the second disturbing image of the night), “Somethin” decided to stay in the house – but not before being subjected to the other housemates’ shocked and bemused heckling, and the psychological ramifications of this incident that ten years of therapy would never cure. After being treated to a Flav KFC-eating confessional, he allowed that he did “admire [“Somethin”] for her strength.” Replace “strength” with “crazy ass,” and I’d be more inclined to agree.
Sadly, “Somethin” did not last past the third elimination ceremony, but her memory will forever live on, thanks to VH1’s online episodes. And in honour of “Somethin”’s memory, let’s all make a conscious effort to flush as needed. ¤ C.Ho.