Beyond walking into a ladies’ bathroom or applying to a women’s college, there are not all that many arenas in which being female is a distinct advantage. But if you happen to be one of the final contestants on “American Idol,” having breasts and a vagina is a very good thing. Over the years, female winners and runners-up on “Idol” have gone on to superstardom. Meanwhile the guys—well, they tend to disappear quietly. Hardly the end anyone expected when the tears of happiness ran down their cheeks after they made it to Hollywood Week.
Think about it. Keep reading »
Last night, during the finale of “American Idol,” Beyoncé strutted onstage to debut a new song off of her new album, “1+1.” As you can guess, the song shows off her arithmetic skills. But more impressively, the soulful ballad repeats the line “Make love to me,” which feels like a nice return to the days of “Let’s Get It On” and, more recently, “No Diggity (Bag It Up).” And those are two of the influences Beyoncé notes on the new album, in addition to afrobeat. “I found a lot of inspiration in ’90s R&B; Earth, Wind & Fire; DeBarge; Lionel Richie; Teena Marie,” said Beyoncé. “I listened to a lot of Jackson 5 and New Edition, but also Adele, Florence + the Machine, and Prince. Add in my hip-hop influences, and you can hear how broad it is. I also gave myself more freedom to really belt out some songs, and bring soul singing back.” Keep reading »
It’s hard to believe that, just a few minutes ago, Oprah concluded her final “Oprah Winfrey Show” after 25 years. The episode was quiet and thoughtful, as Oprah said in the first moments of it, “This last hour is my love letter to you. I want to leave you with lessons from my life.” And lessons she gave, along with some fun nuggets of personal history. Like that she started the show at age 30—hey, it’s never to late to start an empire—and that she hasn’t missed a day in her quarter century on the air. She even showed a picture of herself on her first day, wearing a Cruella de Vil-esque fur coat.
But you probably want the lessons, no? After the jump, some of my favorite quotes from the episode. Keep reading »
During “Glee“‘s first season, I was a ginormous fan. I reveled in the show’s big musical numbers, had an incurable crush on Puck, and would never have considered watching it in anything but real time. This season, however, I’ve felt much less “Glee” obsess-y. Maybe it’s the fact that Sue Sylvester‘s role has seemed downgraded. Maybe it’s the fact that the song choices seemed less spot on. Or that the concept just seemed less fresh. Or the horrendous decision New Directions made to write their own songs for competition rather than use iconic tunes—which, hello, singing along is why we’re watching in the first place.
But last night, before the season finale, I decided to watch the last five episodes—all of which have sat unviewed for weeks on my DVR—in a row. And you know what? I was pretty darn pleased. Keep reading »
We’ve grown used to seeing irresponsible teens and bad parenting on the MTV show “16 And Pregnant,” and that’s part of what makes it such a compelling and powerful watch. It teaches cocky adolescents that having a baby is more than just dressing infants in cute clothes and parading a kid around in a stroller at the park. But on last night’s special 1.5-hour long episode of the show, featuring anorexic pregnant teen Kayla, Kayla’s mother Deb was the truly horrific parent.
Kayla’s anorexia and struggle with her eating disorder made her pregnancy doubly difficult. Her complex and uncomfortable feelings about her body had her skipping meals and unwilling and unable to eat food, even though she knew taking in nutrients was absolutely necessary for the health of her child. But despite several close calls, and a complete lack of support from her mother, Kayla gave birth to a healthy baby boy. Over and over, we see Kayla express — in an articulate and nuanced way — how her eating disorder has skewed her brain’s ability to do what’s right for her baby. But then, just weeks after giving birth, and knowing that her daughter had long-struggled with anorexia, Deb asks her daughter to go on a diet with her. Keep reading »