July 22, 2014

Episode 58: Mermaids are totally real

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No they're not. But in my latest podcast, my co-host delves deep into the world of fake documentaries, particularly Animal Planet's amazing two-part "scientific" series that drew millions of Americans in the wild, wonderful and completely fake world of fish people. The Nerd Out's Lisa Jenkins admits she's kinda mesmerized by what Animal Planet has accomplished...and reveals just how devious such shows can be.


A listener writes in to ask whether anyone who has ever worked as a production assistant ever gets anywhere in this cruel business of show. The answer is: Yes. There is hope for you, Mother of a Son Who Just Quit College and Moved to Los Angeles.


We ponder why tentpole movies seem to be getting longer. Or are they? Or do I maybe need to do more research on this?


We introduce a new segment bound to please fans of horror or genre TV in general. And Jenkins offers a basketful of celebrity sightings. (If you're headed to Los Angeles and are wondering where the smart celebs really go hiking, this is the episode for you.)

Have a listen.

Got a question about how Hollywood really works? Ask me via the handy feedback module to the right.

July 21, 2014

Robert de Niro's hotel just choppered in a new hot tub

From the flack for the nearly-complete Nobu Villa in Las Vegas:

The final element needed for completion of the world’s first Nobu Hotel, the onsen tub was carefully placed on its home perched high above the lights of Las Vegas on the terrace of the lavish 10,300 square-foot Nobu Villa. The ultimate sky-top lodging, the Nobu Villa is luxurious and plush yet maintains a relaxed and modern look and feel. In addition to the Zucchetti KOS mini pool, the Nobu Villa’s notable outdoor space offers an expansive 4,700 square-foot terrace overlooking the center of the Las Vegas Strip with sweeping views, robatayaki grill and zen garden. The three-bedroom villa is the epitome of relaxation and luxury. 

The five-person hot tub is Italian. Because, of course.

July 20, 2014

I ain’t laughin'

He was a clean-cut lady killer in an era when handsome usually meant Neanderthal jaws and inexplicable facial hair. Like every other private dick, he had a gun, but he rarely needed to take it out of his cookie jar. And when other TV networks raked in the ratings with Charlie’s Angels-esque jigglievision and bionic supermen, he was unapologetically nuanced and vulnerable. 

I speak of Jim Rockford, the tragicomic TV icon embodied so deftly—dare I even say elegantly?—by one of entertainment’s most gentle of trickster gods, James Garner. Garner died Saturday at 86. 

Wiser folk know that Garner was more than just his seminal 70s-era dramedy series. He was Maverick. He was the Greatest of Escapers. He was in The Notebook, for chrissakes, and came away just as unscathed as Ryan Gosling, not that many of the tweens noticed. Media historians celebrate him as one of the first actors to excel in both TV and film, both comedy and drama, long before the Matthew McConaugheys would swoop in and swagger along the road that Garner helped pave for them.

But it’s the Rockford character that I cherish the most, and not just because of Garner’s portrayal. If you haven’t seen The Rockford Files, or, at least, the best episodes in the 6-season series, you’re missing out. 

July 14, 2014

Episode 57: Know thine Emmy

Click MeThe Emmy nominations are out! And they're as confusing and poorly reasoned as an episode of The Strain

But fret not, TV watchers. You have questions about why the nominations came down the way they did, and I have answers. This whole episode is dedicated to your queries about the 66th Annual Emmy Awards. Bonus points to me for managing to mention Murder She Wrote, Cher and Julia Duffy in an episode that–I swear–was taped in 2014. Yesterday, in fact.

Wondering how Martin Freeman qualifies as a supporting actor for Sherlock but as a lead in Fargo? I found out for you. 

Confounded by the fact that Jon Hamm looks like he does, and acts like he does, and still has no Emmys? There's a reason for that. And I deliver it unto you.

Or maybe you're just in the mood for a truly greedy little blind item. I've got a great one for you this week. Short version: TV hosts aren't exactly brilliant in the math department.


Got a question about how Hollywood really works? Ask me in the handy feedback module to the right.

July 11, 2014

Wow. Some stars really are just like us...

...until Terry Richardson and Photoshop do their thing, anyways. This is a GIF illustrating the befores and afters of a Richardson shoot with Mariah Carey. The paler Carey is the real Carey. Or the realer one, anyway.

Thanks to Jezebel for the full picture. 

Want to learn more about how stars get slimmed on film? Check out our classic interview with Deep Pixel.

Got a question about how Hollywood really works? Ask in the handy feedback module to the right.

July 1, 2014

Episode 56: Mashugana Gigolo

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Photo by Flickr/arincrumley
Happy week of Fourth of July! Nothing says American independence like showing up at a synagogue and strippin’ down, am I right, fellow patriots? This week’s podcast features a nifty celebrity sighting that, if not red or white, is certainly blue. Find out which star recently shot a film at a synagogue, and used one of the offices as a changing room before settling down and taking a good old, all-American nap under the congregation’s tree.


Casting expert Bonnie Gillespie of Cricket Feet explains the likely real reason why we won’t be seeing Zendaya Coleman play Aaliyah in that upcoming Lifetime biopic. (Hint: It’s got nothing to do with fan backlash or skin color.)


A listener writes in asking if we’ll ever see another episode of Cosmos again. (Another hint: The universe doesn’t really update all that fast.)

Have a listen, my fellow Yankees!

Got a question about what’s really going on in Hollywood? Ask me via the handy feedback module to the right. 

June 23, 2014

Episode 55: I’m alive, thanks for asking

Click MeI’m back with a brand-new podcast, people! For those of you who voiced concern over the utterly vicious, Uruk-Hai army of a head cold I had last week—and to those three of you, thank you—know that I am back. I am alive. I am ready to, once again, answer your questions about what’s really going on in show business.

As promised, this week I dig deeper into the Hollywood Black List, the annual survey of the most popular scripts that, for whatever reason, have yet to make it to the big screen. As Black List founder Franklin Leonard tells me this week, if you’ve been to the movies recently, chances are, you’ve seen a Black List script. Why do so many future Oscar-winning films end up on the Black List? Wouldn’t a project with Oscar potential shoot straight to the top of the production schedule? You’d be surprised. Listen to learn more.

  • Game of Thrones obsessives Sean Serino and Nerd Out co-host Lisa B. Jenkins critique the recent season finale, including the producers' decision to leave out that really big plot point from the books.
  • Inside dish on how children are cast for massive touring musicals. (Hint: They’re children. They're all the same.)
  • Plus! The real reason why someone like Kendall Jenner gets to walk the red carpet at Cannes and you don’t.
Have a listen! I’ll be over here. Hacking up a lung. No, no. Go. Go on without me. Save yourselves.

Got a question about how celebrities really live? Ask me in the handy feedback module to the right.