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Short Takes – March 2006


by Clint Fletcher


Television
ABC’s hit The Bachelor ended this week, with boring Nashville doctor Travis picking the Nashville Kindergarten teacher Sarah. I guess it helps when you live in the same hometown so you can sneak around during breaks of filming in Paris. But Sarah wasn’t the only one spotted with Travis around Music City. At least three other whores from the show (who will remain nameless and clueless) have been traveling to see the doc since the show first aired. Now that he’s picked his girl, will he stop seeing the other ones? Only time and evil paparazzi will tell. In other news on the ABC front, Commander-in-Chief was removed from regularly scheduled programming due to low ratings and because Geena Davis is freakishly tall. The studio insists that the show is not cancelled, but rather being shuffled into the mix for a new time slot. Meanwhile, fan favorites ER and The O.C. continue their extended hiding due to the Olympics and the fact that studio heads believe everyone in the world watches figure skating. Meanwhile, Dancing with the Stars I’ve Never Heard Of continues to suck ass, but much like Skating with Celebrities I’ve Never Heard Of, trainwrecks this bad are hard to turn away from.

After a much unwanted break (cheesy pun intended), Fox’s fan favorite Prison Break returns March 20. To ease the confusion of countless inmates watching from their cells in prison, the first stint of episodes was not the end of season one. Season one still has nine episodes left and will start on the date above. The show will be returning for a second season next year, although inside sources that are close to the producers tell me they have no idea how they’re going to do a season two, considering all the major players will either escape and live happily ever after or be shot and killed during a violent, bloody shoot-out. It was confirmed this week that Elisha Cuthbert will be returning to 24 for a brief arc starting next week, with a two-hour special. Whether she’ll have another run-in with a deadly cougar is still to be determined. And she’s not the only favorite oldie coming back. Television veteran William Devane will be reprising his role as hard-ass Secretary of Defense Heller in the upcoming months to pick up a paycheck and bitchslap Sean Astin a bit.

On the canceling front, Will and Grace and That ’70s Show are closing in to their final farewells as NBC’s Joey is canned for the Olympics. Just to set the record straight-the staffs of Will and Grace and That ’70s Show are retiring. Translation—these shows were not canceled by the networks, but rather the producers decided to end it on a high note. Gee, I thought a high note would’ve been ending That ’70s Show three years ago when it stopped being funny and lost half its cast. Oh, and Joey will be returning after the Olympics, but it’s expected to be cancelled before the end of the season. So all you Friends fans should just kill yourselves now because its…its just over. Speaking of over, The West Wing also got canned due to poor ratings, leaving Jimmy Smits once again unemployed. Ah well. I guess he could always go back to NYPD… *bursts into tears* Oh God!

Music
U2 won Album of the year at the Grammy awards last week. My grandparents cheered with much praise considering the only people that still listen to U2 are my grandparents’ age. Jamie Foxx and Kanye West dressed up as marching band members (I wonder if their parents dressed like that during the march to Washington) and did an unforgettable version of “Gold Digger.” I mean “unforgettable” as in a record number of people tuned into a rerun of Murphy Brown instead. In other news, Kanye West continues to be a stupid fucking rapper that can’t spell or carry on a coherent sentence. Speak Caucasian dude. Maybe then you’ll win a Grammy in a category that matters. On the stupid musician front, George Michael was arrested in London for drug possession. In a statement, Michael states “it’s my own stupid fault. Not about the drug possession, I meant my gay-ass music.”

And after weeks of being ridiculed for driving through L.A. traffic with her baby in her lap (lucky baby), Britney Spears visited New Orleans for Mardi Gras and realized that the city had been destroyed months ago in a deadly hurricane. Feeling distraught that she did nothing to help her own hometown in a time of crisis, Spears took Katrina victims that are students of her old dancing school on a personal shopping spree. Then she burst into tears realizing that they don’t have a Gap in New Orleans. Kevin Federline had no comment on the matter, stating “I’m far too busy being an unemployed douchebag.” Dozens of fans tried to enter a Rolling Stones concert in Argentina yesterday without tickets, and dozens of fans were beat to a bloody pulp by police officers. As the police fired rubber bullets and enforced with water cannons and clubs, the South American fans fired back by throwing stones (no pun intended). Waitaminute… Argentineans like the Rolling Stones? I would expect this at a George Lopez concert but geez, what has that country come to?

Movies
It’s happened. Harrison Ford is officially old. The man who has been the #1 movie star voted by fans every year at the People’s Choice Awards (even in the past three years where he starred in a movie called Jack Shit) presented a flop in Firewall this month. During many of the stunts that made the final cut, Ford is seen collapsing and falling more times than Tara Reid at an after-prom party. And this is the dude that’s supposed to make an Indiana Jones comeback next year? Speaking of Indiana Jones, a wacky rumor has been going around that the much younger Nathan Fillion (of Firefly and Serenity fame) is in talks to star in a new Indiana Jones series following part 4. Of all the crazy rumors I ignore, I really hope this one is true. After all, Fillion aims to misbehave. Another shitty movie went #1 this week at the box office, in the form of Madea’s Family Reunion (huh?). Last year around the same weekend, a random movie went #1 by the same filmmaker called Diary of a Mad Black Woman. This finally proves a theory that scientists have researched for years—black people love going to movies.

Madea marks the fifth shitty movie starring a shitty star IN A ROW to go number one in 2006, following the dreadful Big Momma 2, When a Stranger Calls, Pink Panther and Eight Below. Because of the stupid American public we will now be cursed with—When A Strangers Calls 2: Don’t Fucking Answer and Eight Below 2: Didn’t We Save These Bitches Already? March sees the addition of the two most anticipated films of the year—The Shaggy Dog starring Tim Allen and Basic Instinct 2: Risk Addiction. I don’t know about you guys, but my faith in the Hollywood system is restored. In other news, an author of a book that no one’s heard of from back in the ’80s is suing the author of The Da Vinci Code for stealing multiple ideas that he claims came from his book. This may cause some delays in the release of the movie, which is scheduled to be released in May, starring Tom Hanks with a mullet. Does anyone else find it funny that this book has been #1 for about ten years and only now is someone coming forward and suing? Give it up, Corey Feldman.

Most information is derived from IMDB's daily news, the Chicago dailies (Tribune and Sun Times), Entertainment Weekly, MSN.com, various sources as listed, and by just paying attention.

Clint Fletcher is a writer and filmmaker living in the Midwest.



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