Yeah, yeah, so I’ve watched the first couple of episodes of VH1’s latest celebreality series Famous Food, in which D-list types are given the capital to start a new restaurant in Los Angeles. Don’t judge me.
Besides, the show is not a bad idea; in fact, the idea is a good one, and I’m sure there is a group of D-listers who could be assembled to carry out the challenge successfully. This particular group, which includes Real Housewives of New Jersey‘s Danielle Staub, Heidi Montag of The Hills infamy, The Sopranos‘ Vincent Pastore, rapper Three 6 Mafia, that Eliot Spitzer hooker and the wishy-washiest Bachelor ever, Jake Pavelka? Is not that group.
Never mind that these hasbeens/wannabes/neverweres can’t get along well enough to make a single decision, resulting in last night’s episode, where batshit-delusional Staub committed two-thirds of the group’s total budget to opening the restaurant, leaving them precious little to actually operate the restaurant once it’s in shape …
The most telling moment came when the show’s judges – actual, successful L.A. restaurateurs Lonnie Moore and Mike Malin (yes, Mike Boogie from Big Brother) – heaped praise upon the stooges for their “concept board.”
Their concept board, which earned them compliments not only from Moore and Malin, but also from the designer who’s going to carry out their restaurant concept, was a piece of poster board (the kind you can buy at CVS, and probably have, the night your kid tells you he needs it for his science fair project, which, oh by the way, is due tomorrow) with photos and cutouts pasted on it.
Poster board … with cutouts pasted on it. A rather shabbily-created one, too, I might add, even by poster board-with-pictures-pasted-on-it standards.
In other words, real-life, successful restaurateurs are handing over $150,000 to a group of ill-qualified celebrities to open an L.A. eatery in one of the city’s hottest areas, partly based on an art project that wouldn’t even earn a fourth grader a “C.”
So, anyone else willing to admit you’re watching Famous Food?
All the tube news that’s fit to surf …
– In case you missed the Katie Holmes performance on last night’s So You Think You Can Dance, you can check it out here.
– American Idol showrunner Ken Warwick has signed a new deal with the show that will reportedly pay him an eight-figure salary. Everyone but Paula Abdul is getting filthier rich on the show, it seems.
– Another buzzkill of the economy: Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood is being cut back to just one airing a week on PBS next season.
– How did Dexter Morgan become the skilled serial killer he is today? We’ll find out in the fall when Showtime releases a 12-episode, animated prequel Webisode series that explores Dexter’s early years. Star Michael C. Hall will provide Dexter’s voice in the ‘toons.
– Holt McCallany, who viewers may remember from CSI: Miami and a slew of TV guest gigs, is starring in an FX pilot called Lights Out, about a pro boxer who has to figure out how to support his family when his fight career is done. The Office‘s Melora Hardin plays his wife and In Treatment and Law & Order: Criminal Intent producer Warren Leight will produce and serve as showrunner if the series is picked up by FX.
– Warner Bros. and Fox have decided to pull the plug early on their planned eight-week test of the syndicated series Beyond Twisted, sort of the real-people version of TMZ. Can’t say I’m sad … the show knocked off midnight reruns of Scrubs, the perfect bedtime viewing, in NYC.
– Shocked about that you-know-what of you-know-who in last night’s part four of the Torchwood: Children of Earth miniseries? Series creator Russell Davies explains the storyline at EW.com. The miniseries concludes tonight on BBC America, and there’s more heartbreak ahead …
– In the battle of the Jimmys, Kimmel is beating Fallon in late-night ratings.
– They just won’t go away quietly: Spencer and Heidi are apparently writing a book called How to Be Famous. How to Be Infamous would be more accurate, and How to Make America Want to Collectively Stab Itself in the Eye Everytime It Sees You on TV would be the perfect title.
– Is ESPN responsible for the Erin Andrews video getting wide play in the media?
– T.R. Knight tells Entertainment Weekly why he walked away from a $14 million contract on Grey’s Anatomy. And no, “I’m an ass” is not the reason, surprisingly enough.
– And which will be the better battle: The Real Housewives of New Jersey – minus Danielle Staub – dishing about themselves and each other in a live event or NJ Housewives Caroline Manzo and Teresa Giudice “debating” Real Housewives of New York City Jill Zarin and Alex McCord? Without Danielle, I’d say the first one is kinda pointless, and because spending hard-earned cash on either event should be an embarrassment, I’m not telling whether or not I’ll be buying tickets later today.
– And this weekend in primetime:
– In case you’ve been watching, NBC’s lame duck reality series Chopping Block wraps its season at 8PM ET
– Sugar Ray Leonard tries to win some charity bucks on Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? (8PM, Fox)
– On a new Degrassi: The Next Generation (8PM, The N), Mia considers dropping out of school to model full time
– Conan’s pal Andy Richter guest voices on The Goode Family (8:30PM, ABC)
– Torchwood: Children of Earth concludes tonight on BBC America (9PM)
– Cesar works with a Doberman named Baby Girl on Dog Whisperer (9PM, NGC)
– The What Not to Wear crew has its work cut out for it when the makeover-ee is a Renaissance Faire fan (9PM, TLC)
– The crew of the Steve Irwin is surrounded by harpoon ships on Whale Wars (9PM, Animal Planet)
– Fox gets Mental at 9PM
– Poltergeists in Eureka (9PM, SyFy)? Could be
– How are scooters made? See how on How It’s Made (9PM, Science Channel)
– Say yes to Say Yes to the Dress on TLC (10PM)
– On the fun new Science Channel series Catch It Keep It (10PM), the team that successfully protects a 100-gallon aquarium from a simulated hurricane wins a trip to Costa Rica
– Singer Rob Thomas is among the guests on Real Time with Bill Maher (10PM, HBO)
– At 2PM ET, the G4 network broadcasts live from the Star Wars panel at San Diego Comic Con
– G4 continues with three hours of live Comic Con coverage at 4PM
– Is it the best Marx Brothers movie of all time? Tough call between Duck Soup and the classic stateroom scene (“Make that three hard-boiled eggs”) in A Night at the Opera, which airs on TCM (8PM)
– Fuse Presents Kanye West: Live From the Chicago Theater (8PM)
– Animal Planet has the 2009 Animal Planet Dog Championships (8PM)
– Silas is alive! In the Kings season finale (8PM, NBC)
– BBC America has the Primeval series finale (8PM)
– The Incredible Hulk movie – the good one, with Edward Norton – is on HBO (8PM)
– This weekend’s cheesy SyFy thriller: Malibu Shark Attack (9PM)
– John Schneider guests on Dirty Sexy Money (10PM, ABC)
– On the premiere of Alone in the Wild (10PM, NGC), adventurer Ed Wardle takes off for three months in the Canadian wilderness with nothing but a knife, a cooking pot, the clothes he’s wearing and a video camera
– The bakers cook up Sesame Street cakes, in honor of the show’s 40th anniversary, on Food Network Challenge (8PM)
– Nominations for the next eviction are revealed on Big Brother 11 (8PM, CBS)
– Daisy plucks a luv-ah on the season finale on Daisy of Love (9PM, VH1)
– Whatever happened to The Beek? Dawson’s Creek star James van der Beek stars in the weather-themed miniseries The Storm on NBC (9PM)
– Chuck Woolery and Rosie O’Donnell guest star on Drop Dead Diva (9PM, Lifetime)
– Sookie and Hugo look for Godric on True Blood (9PM, HBO)
– Eames and Nichols investigate the murder of a drug dealer on Law & Order: Criminal Intent (9PM, USA)
– Back-to-back new episodes of Gene Simmons Family Jewels on A&E (9 and 9:30PM)
– On Ice Road Truckers (9PM, History), it’s near the end of the season, which puts extra pressure on the drivers to deliver as many loads as possible
– The finalists prepare goodies for a Julie & Julia party on Next Food Network Star (9PM)
– One bride gets in a car chase on Bridezillas (9PM, WE)
– Back-to-back new episodes of Pawn Stars on History Channel (10 and 10:30PM)
– Back-to-back new episodes of Hammertime on A&E (10 and 10:30PM)
– New In Plain Sight on USA (10PM)
– Can’t wait to see the chandelier cake on Amazing Wedding Cakes (10PM, WE)
– On Hung (10PM, HBO), Ray’s mental health day is bad for business
– It’s Joan vs. Evan in a war games event on Army Wives (10PM, Lifetime)
– The Skyjacker That Got Away (10PM, NGC) examines the case of the only unsolved FBI skyjacking case
– Jesse’s in a serious accident on Jesse James Is a Dead Man (10PM, Spike)
– On Entourage (10:30, HBO), E is worried about Charlie’s TV show and Turtle turns to Ari for career advice
– And Denise hosts a cancer fund raiser in honor of her mom on Denise Richards: It’s Complicated (10:30PM, E!)
Some people never learn … how else to explain why Real Housewives of New Jersey star Dina Manzo would possibly sign on to do another reality show after she came off looking like a giant bubb (as in “bubbies”) in an episode of VH1’s 2007 Bridezillas-ish reality series Fabulous Life Presents: My Big Fat Fabulous Wedding?
The episode, which airs this weekend on WE (Sunday, July 5, 3:30PM ET), finds Dina planning her wedding to Tommy Manzo (whose brother is his business partner and the husband of Dina’s sister and Housewives co-star Caroline Manzo).
During the over-the-top (and we’re talkin’ over-the-top Joisey-girl style) episode, Dina’s 400-person guest list and $500,000 budget begins to spiral out of control as she orders up a “huge-ass cake,” considers a $10,000 gown to be a bargain and wants to give each of her guests a $500 crystal butterfly (which should have been our first hint – if we’ve learned nothing else from Mariah Carey, we know that adult women who are that into butterflies, well, they tend to be … high strung, shall we say?).
Among other moments that make the show worth watching, TiVoing and watching again and again as we wait for Real Housewives of New Jersey season two:
– Caroline, gown shopping with Dina, turning down one perfectly elegant gown by telling the sales associate that Dina needs more “spah-kle, she needs sat-in.” That’s “sparkle” and “satin” for those translating at home
– Dina, while trying on dresses, nixes one option because of her “bubbies”
– Dina shares that Tommy cheated on her a couple of times, and has to be punished. Is his punishment the exorbitant cost of the wedding, or the marriage itself? Only Tommy can really answer that
– Tommy begins whining about the amount of money Dina’s spending – rightfully so, as the floral budget alone was blowing past $250,000 – but then keeps randomly adding people to their 400-person guest list. And he was doing it by photocopying their formal invitation and passing it out. Now that’s clah-ssy
Really, it’s appointment viewing this weekend. Sunday is my birthday, and I’m considering this a nice little present from WE.
In other RHONJ news:
– The women, sans Danielle Staub, appeared on Live with Regis & Kelly today, where Jacqueline Laurita confirmed again that she is no longer friends with Teresa Giudice‘s favorite “prostitution whore” Danielle
– Danielle’s ex-husband tells Star mag that he fears for her life, because she was allegedly involved with helping to send a couple of big-time drug baddies to the slammer
– SoapNet has a clip of Danielle’s short 2001 stint on All My Children, in which she shared a scene with hunky future Fergie hubby Josh Duhamel
Happy, happy, joy, joy: The Real Housewives of New Jersey will be back for a second season of table-flippin’, prostitution-whorin’, creepy cat-ownin’ adventures, according to reports in The New York Daily News and Life & Style magazine.
Bravo reportedly has been in negotiations with the Housewives, who were holding out for more money after their season brought in the highest ratings – and most buzz – of any group in the Housewives franchise.
Filming is scheduled to begin next month on season two, though no word yet on how long we’ll have to wait for new episodes. Not that the womens’ shenanigans won’t be covered fully in the media along the way …
What do you hope to see in the show’s sophomore season? Will Danielle and Jacqueline ever be friends again? Will the Manzo’s ever let Danielle into their inner circle? Will Dina get a pet that doesn’t skeeve us?
Whuuuut? Thought nothing could be crazier than the second part of the Real Housewives of New Jersey reunion Thursday night? Think again.
According to PolitickerNJ.com, Danielle Staub, the most controversial of the N.J. Housewives – or of any other season, for that matter – is reportedly not ruling out a run for congress. Yes, you read that correctly … Congresswoman Danielle Staub. It’s a nutty idea, but before you say it could never happen, think back to pretty much any time before 2003 and ask yourself how you would have reacted if someone had told you Arnold Schwarzenegger would one day be elected the governor of California. Right?
PS – About that reunion … how great was it when Andy Cohen told Dina that Grandma Wrinkles creeps him out? Me too, Andy, me too, and hearing that the little freak show of a feline smells like French fries didn’t help.
What was your favorite moment from the first season of the Real Housewives of New Jersey?
Charlie Sheen, Russell Brand and Louis C.K. are getting most of the attention, but I’m most excited that one of the best new shows of last TV season — Wilfred — returns for its second season on FX tonight (10PM ET). Season one of the series ended with a cliffhanger — had Ryan (Elijah Wood) […]