Monday, July 24, 2006

Press Tour, Day Eight: Interest Is Waning

I’ve dropped off the blog for the past couple days and that’s a hazard because now I can’t remember what happened over the weekend. Hmmm ….

Oh, here’s some good gossip that I probably should have known already: I guess that Aaron Sorkin dumped The NY Times' Maureen Dowd (who also supposedly was dumped by Michael Douglas in favor of Catherine Zeta, although if Catherine Zeta shows up in the middle of your relationship, you just say 'you win,' and walk away) to date the tiny and spunky Kristin Chenoweth (she’s best known as Glinda in Wicked). He eventually put her on The West Wing. In the meantime, Chenoweth cut an album of “inspirational” music and appeared on the 700 Club and he dropped her like it’s hot. Cut to Studio 60, and we see Matthew Perry’s character breaking up with his sketch-comedy-star girlfriend, played by Sarah Paulson, because she’s a member of the religious right.

Once again, art imitates life. A friend of mine who himself is a wonderful writer recently told me that he’s just good at “writing about himself,” but I think that’s true for everyone. If you find yourself hanging out with me a lot, watch out, because you might find yourself a character on my next TV show. Wait, what's that you say? I don't have a TV show? OK, well, you might find yourself a character on this widely read blog then.

Anyhoo, I ditched out on most of Saturday’s happenings because I had to write a story so obviously I didn’t hang out with too many famous people while I was holing up with my laptop in the Ghetto TL. Saturday night was the NBC party and since it was 110 degrees here and NBC chose to have a Texas-style barbecue, it was quite the sweaty affair. We were really feeling for the poor people who had to man the sizzling grills.

Famous people in attendance and sweating: From The Office: Rainn Wilson, John Kryzinski and many of the show’s minor players but no Steve Carell (I chatted up my favorite movie star on Sunday night). I do love The Office so I gave a lame-o fan shout-out to Rainn and John and they accomodated my stalker tendencies quite nicely. From Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip: Aaron Sorkin, Tommy Schlamme, Matthew Perry, Bradley Whitford, Amanda Peet, Steven Weber, Evan Handler (played Charlotte’s husband Harry on Sex and the City); from Twenty Good Years: Jeffrey Tambor and John Lithgow (Ausiello called this show 22 Unfunny Minutes); from Kidnapped, Jeremy Sisto, who consistently was surrounded by a scrum of reporters, and then a bunch of people from shows like Friday Night Lights and Heroes that you have never heard of. I haven’t watched Friday Night Lights, but I did get the book from NBC for free. Heroes is an interesting pilot about people who have superpowers that they are just realizing. I thought the show was a little uneven, but it has promise, and it's already got tons of Internet buzz. And supposedly the show was a big hit at Comic-Con, the comic-book convention that was going on late last week in San Diego.

Having nothing to do with any of this, I just learned that one of the reporters here who asks actors questions like "what do you consider a healthy snack," and "what's your workout regime," making me want to yank my hair out in chunks, gathers all these quotes in quantity and then sells them to places like Esquire, People, US, whoever wants them. It's quite the interesting business venture -- not one I would want to get into because if I am ever caught asking an actor about their eating habits please kill me on the spot -- but still interesting. I mean, it takes balls to earn a living by asking people totally ridiculous questions, especially if you aren't Jay Leno or Stephen Colbert. In some ways, however, I think such "reporting" should be banned from the critics tour. This person is not acting as either a TV critic or a reporter, and posing such questions lowers the bar for everyone. What's more, it's often hard to get a word in edgewise with this person around, and sometimes I actually have real questions to ask. I'm just sayin'.

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