SQUAWKING IN LA: Because Jennifer has been riding my ample ass for a week to update the shenanigans on The L Word, I will start this post with a recap. In just a few episodes, this season has swerved maddeningly between high drama, silly fun and just plain ridiculousness. Maybe because the writers are trying to juggle so many storylines at once, characters and their motivations seem to get short-shrift. Remember Kit (the always fab Pam Grier) was agonizing over having an abortion? Well, she had about a minute breakdown with sister Bette and now she's on to recording a new album. The story of Shane dumping Carmen at the alter and then going on a cocaine bender has been sidelined now that Shane is having to play mommy to her stepbrother, dropped on her doorstep by her itinerant parents. And she's also suddenly a panty model for Hugo Boss. Say what?

The introduction of new characters has also propelled the show forward, while hamstringing other stories set up last season. Former rich bitch Helena is a bore now that she doesn't have her money and power to wield; Tina has been sidelined (I'm not too unhappy about that) since she became straight; Jenny is off on some silly revenge spree against a writer who gave her book a bad review; and Max, the pre-op female-to-male, finally told his girlfriend he still has a vadge and she, of course, freaked out on his ass. Luckily, we have Alice (the very funny Leisha Hailey pictured above), who has become the show's main source of comic relief. Despite losing her lover to cancer last season, Alice has embarked on a trip down whorey lane. She finally met Papi, the Latina ladykiller who's slept with over 1,000 women. Papi banged Alice in the back of a limo, dropped Alice off and then picked up Helena just coming in from a jog.

In the most recent episode, Alice went to bed with Phyllis (Cybill Shepherd), who is the dean of the college where Bette is an art professor. The scene where Alice directs Phyllis on how to eat her out was pretty hilarious, but there was something disconcerting about watching Cybill float around the next day staring at every woman's ass on campus. Bette has her own problems, namely her teaching assistant, who she's already banged in her car. Bette broke it off with her, but the girl is going to be trouble...you can tell. We were also introduced to Marlee Matlin's character, a deaf sculptor who is an artist in residence at the university. She pissed off Bette last night by refusing to hide a controversial statue of Barbara Bush blindfolded with a see-through pregnant belly with a little Dubya in there holding two nuclear warheads. When a major conservative donor came by to see the art, he flipped out and refused to write another fat check. Bette and Marlee are gonna wind up munching each other's carpet, but I wonder if she'll have her fey interpreter next to the bed to sign the moans she makes, since he was even laughing and sighing for poor Marlee last night. Marlee can read lips and actually speak, so it was a bit much.

Sadly, I may be giving up Showtime since Comcast has decided to raise rates for the fourth year in a row. With all these shows coming out on DVD, it's cheaper to rent the season later. Sorry, Jennifer, you may have to get your L Word jollies elsewhere in the near future.

Okay, so American Idol went back home to Los Angeles last night for auditions. Olivia Newton-John was the guest judge, and I was disappointed to see she has succumbed to plastic surgery. Her face was pulled waaaaaay too tight. She also didn't have much to add, other than to act as Paula's snotrag when Miss Straight Up on Pills was having a crying jag. More on that in a second. The show began with this absolute straitjacket case named Martik (pictured at left), who thought he was a human panther, not to mention the hottest singer, dancer, choreographer, novelist, composer, etc. He walked into the audition, through his notebook across the room, stripped off his shirt and started growling the word "eccentric" and prowling around the room. Had I been there, I would have pumped him with enough Thorazine to tranquilize him for a week.

Then there was Marianna, whose mom used to be a dancer/drink-fetcher/ashtray/fluffer for old Dean Martin. Not something I'd actually admit to, but hey, it's Hollyweird. Marianna couldn't hit a note to save her life, and wound up crawling on the floor begging the judges to give her a chance. Then she ran out and got her mom, who also begged. Too bad Dean Martin wasn't around to poor Scotch on them, flick his cigar ash and set them both on fire. I guess "pride" wasn't something Dean instilled in his...ummm...dancers.

Phuong (who Simon called Pong) thought she was the female version of Taylor Hicks. She broke down during her story of why she was auditioning, basically saying her mom thought she wasn't pretty enough to be on the show. Well, mom was right about that, but she also could have mentioned that Pong couldn't sing either. Parents are so cruel.

The touching moment of the evening was when old Sherman, aged 64 and armed with a petition, just wanted to sing on TV for his "lady love" who had died two days before of cancer. It was rather sad, and he admirably sang "You Belong To Me" while Paula sobbed and clutched Olivia Newton John. After that, this couple who were, literally, "straight outta Compton" decided to audition. Sparkles was two-tons of hot mess and was working a camel toe that I'm sure sent Jennifer into seizures. Her man Darold was sporting a silver grill on his teeth and said he wasn't concerned that Sparkles was flirting with Simon. By flirting, she was sorta twitching and licking her lips in his direction. Neither could sing and I would have personally paid their bus fare back to Compton just to get rid of them.

The evening closed with Eric, an emotionally stunted young man who had learned to sing using Randy and Paula's DVD, which sent Simon into spasms of glee. Eric sounded like an inhuman space alien, singing in some bizarre high voice while his blank, serial killer eyes scanned the room. The final audition show is next week in San Antonio (oh, lord) and then it's on to Hollywood to really get the show on the road.


Peter said…
Sherman had me in tears, too. It was all just so sweet.
Anonymous said…
If they panther guy wasnt such a freak I'd totally hit it. He had an awesome bod. Oh I feel dirty now.

Tania Rochelle said…
Again, Collin, it was just like being there. Thanks for helping me relive it.
Jennifer said…
Great job, Collin! I am so sorry that Comcast is upping their prices yet again, but it makes me even happier I got out of Atlanta when I did. Don't get your service changed, though, until this season's L-Word is over. I can't believe you mentioned "Straight Outta Compon"! It's the subject of my blog today...
Justin Evans said…
ahhhh, thorazine! Is there anything it can't do?
jenni said…
LOL Great recap of Idol. I haven't been watching the auditions. I'll start watching when they start voting. I haven't seen I Love NY either but I've heard it's hilarious and beat Flav of Love Season one and two first episode.

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