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Archive for the ‘Moonlighting’ Category

by Judi

Clearly, living in LA for four years has its benefits.

5. Jessie Katsopolis’s Dad (John Aprea) from Full House

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I remember watching an award show once. Julia Roberts won for something, it must’ve been Erin Brockovich. And she climbs up on stage to receive it and then has a momentary freak-out because Beau Bridges (BEAU BRIDGES) is presenting it to her. I think she even said something like, “Oh my God, it’s Beau Bridges.” And everyone was like really? You’re JULIA ROBERTS. You hang out with George Clooney and Brad Pitt regularly, you’ve met EVERYONE and you freak out over Beau Bridges? What was the last thing Beau Bridges was in, can you even remember? (For the record, I’m so with you, Julia, who is clearly reading this. I once thought I saw Beau Bridges on a flight and almost had a heart attack. He is, after all, the dad from The Wizard).

So here’s my theory. Sometimes, it’s not the fame of the actor you spot in real life, in “the wild” you might say, but what you remember them from. As in, I was walking to work down Robertson Blvd. one day and passed Uncle Jesse’s dad in Full House and I. lost. my. mind. The Julia Roberts- Beau Bridges theory is the only excuse I can muster for my COMPLETELY illogical reaction. I almost attacked him on the sidewalk, such was my joy.

4. Lex Luthor (John Shea) from Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman

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This one was funny. My brother was visiting me. We were in my car, driving through an alley in Santa Monica when LEX LUTHOR steps out from the shadows and walks in front of us. And it was so embarrassing too because I think our jaws dropped at the same time and he turned to look at us, two gaping buffoons, and then smirked and kept walking. On his way to the Farmer’s Market. Lex Luthor wants some fresh produce and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it.

3. Michael Guerin/Jared Booth (Brendan Fehr) from Roswell/Bones

brendan-fehr-010When I moved to LA, my roommate/soon-to-be-best-friend (hi Bic!) and I spent the majority of our time dealing with living on a new planet (and yes, LA is its own planet. Make no mistake) by hiding in our new apartment and watching hours and hours and hours of Roswell. I think over the course of our tenure as roommates, we’ve watched those DVDs 7,000 times. So when I (finally) got a job in the Star Corridor (the corner of Beverly Blvd. and Robertson Blvd., home of a Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf AND a Starbucks across the street from each other, “we met at Starbucks but different Starbucks”) and saw brooding alien Michael Guerin walking across the street, right next to my human body, I almost fell into traffic. I pulled my ass to the corner, called Bic and proceeded to hyperventilate. Over the course of my years in LA, I would see a number of other Roswell cast members- Maria in that Coffee Bean, Tess (you may know her as Claire from Lost) and Alex (Colin Hanks) at Coachella and, yes, my reaction was the same every time. Complete and utter meltdown.

2. Chanandelor Bong (Matthew Perry) from Friends (twice!)

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Speaking of the Star Corridor, Matthew Perry clearly has some kind of caffeine addiction. I saw him for the first time at the Starbucks, notable because I was on the phone with my mother at the time who got VERY excited and then said, “Tell him I’m watching Friends right NOW! It’s the one where he proposes to Monica.” Like I was capable of movement, much less approaching him and handing him a cell phone with my mother chattering on the other end about his tearful proposal. More likely, I would’ve gone up to him and told him that his episode of Growing Pains basically traumatized me for life, thanks a lot.

The SECOND time was at The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf (yup, right across the street. Chandler, like me, is not partial to just one massive coffee chain) and, to my everlasting joy, Bic had met me for a coffee break on her way back from either another dreadful temp job or a depressing interview. We both stood by the counter, waiting for our coffees, and Matthew Perry stood next to us ordering. We conversed THE ENTIRE TIME, mindlessly talking as we both tried not to stare at him. Finally, he left, we sat down and we looked at each other. What the hell were we talking about? She was saying things, I was saying things- she could’ve been talking about elephants and my response could’ve been about arugula. And now we’ll never know.

1. David Addison (Bruce Willis) from Moonlighting

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Ah yes, the car sighting. One of my favorites because of the sheer skill involved. Cars, after all, move pretty fast and you’ve got to be able to get a good look and confirm quickly. It’s also good if you’re either alone (so no one can dispute it) or the glimpse is substantial enough that you get immediate confirmation from the other party as well, lest you have a “George Michael on the 405” incident (Bic saw him, I didn’t but it didn’t stop us from stalking him in traffic for forty minutes) or a humiliating “Simon Rex in a LeBaron” moment which my friends will STILL not let me live down (it was him, I swear. I want those words on my tombstone. Also, their primary argument is that Simon Rex would not drive a LeBaron and I think that’s PRECISELY why it was Simon Rex. Come on.)

The Bruce Willis Sighting is my all-time favorite sighting of all time. I was driving through Westwood one day, in a residential area and pulled up to a stop sign to make a left turn. The car opposite me, a black Mercedes, had also stopped. I waited for it to leave so I could make my left but the car just STOPS in the middle of the intersection. I then realize that the car stopped because the driver was watching a leggy blonde in a sports bra jog across the street, like actually just watching her bounce along. I’m seriously irritated now and just about to lay on the horn when the driver turns to me, smirks, and it’s Bruce Fucking Willis. I just about shat in my pants, SHAT WITH A VENGEANCE.

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by Beal

cybilThis may seem an unlikely place for a book review, being that this site is all about gluttonous consumption of television, but when we say “television,” what we really mean is “all things television” which includes “auto”biographies of our favorite TV stars. What I just read (in three hours or less) was Cybill Disobedience by Cybill Shepherd (with Aimee Lee Ball).

Now, I don’t know how many books you’ve read detailing the lives of celebrities (honestly, I have read but few), but essentially, all they are, are a bound edition of an E! True Hollywood Story. This fine piece of literature is no different. However, the amount of names dropped in this book make it nothing if not a pop-culture junkie’s dream come true.

The book begins with Cybill’s modest but privileged upbringing in Memphis, Tennessee. Her grandparent’s owned some kind of relatively lucrative business (look, I didn’t really care about that detail) that allowed her some luxuries but nothing I’d consider spoiling. Her parents were in a bad marriage and her grandfather seemed creepy (not toucher creepy, but admired his beautiful granddaughter a little too much, creepy). Always gorgeous, Cybill could get whatever she wanted based on looks alone. Eventually she became Miss Teen Memphis, which forayed into a modeling career and then acting, which is when her story picks up. (Oh, also she discusses how she was sort of slutty in high school, which I found interesting yet not surprising).

In 1971, she starred in her first film (acting gig) the Oscar-winning The Last Picture Show directed by Peter Bogdanavich. Ten years later Cybill would be guest starring (and not even as the headline guest star) in Fantasy Island. In the interim, she made several great movies (ever heard of Taxi Driver?) and slept with some really famous individuals.

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Her most enduring relationship was with Bogdanavich, who was married when they began their affair (yes, it was the beginning of a pattern). The two lived in Bel-Air, she a beautiful blonde actress, he a great director, a perfect match made in Hollywood. They were friends with Orson Welles and he even briefly lived in their home–in which Bogdanovich and Cybill maintained separate bedrooms, an odd but respectable arrangement. Oh and also, they seemed to cheat on each other a lot.

Now, I’m not exactly sure of when these sexual encounters took place and I’m not going to re-read the book in order to find out. What I will say is that at some juncture, Cybill had sex with Elvis Presley and Don Johnson (among many others who I didn’t really care about). And came close with Bruce Willis but at the last second they decided it might be bad for their work relationship (Moonlighting). She turned down Ryan O’Neal on more than one occasion, Robert De Niro and once canceled a date with Jack Nicholson (who hasn’t spoken to her since). She also had a threesome with her stuntman boyfriend and one of his stuntman friends. And at one point had an abortion.

Now onto the actual important stuff. It’s no surprise that Cybill and Bruce Willis would have difficulty getting along. Moonlighting was like his first big break and Cybill had been in the business for more than a decade, getting first a huge taste of success and then back-tracking to pay her dues. It was a major hit for the network, but, for whatever reason, nobody liked Cybill and they treated her like shit–the whole book is rife with classic “don’t hate me because I’m beautiful” kind of scenarios and honestly, it seems like she did get the shit end of the stick- more often than not because people believed that because of her looks, she never had to work for anything in her life. On the contrary, bitch was working at a constant, and usually for less pay than her peers, which leads me right into Judi and my favorite Lifetime sitcom revival: Cybill. I learned the following amazing tidbits about the production on that show:

  • Christine Baranski WALKED OUT during the taping of the final show. She was to be waiting in the eaves of a live sho the characters were appearing on, while Cybill sang a final number for the last scene of the last episode of the series. In the final cut, a “to be continued” board appeared instead of the song.
  • The flashback episode where Cybill tries to sing at a club in NYC, only for some drunk bitch to ask her loudly, while on stage, “Where’s the bathroom?” is a true story.
  • Her acting career on the show was (no surprise) based loosely on her experiences. And she did lose roles to Morgan Fairchild (who appeared in the wedding episode, as such a character), but more often to Ali MacGraw (who once convinced me to purchase a pair of jeans).
  • The reason we never get to see Dr. Dick, is because they wanted to hire a well known celebrity to cameo the part, but no one great was ever cast.
  • Baranski and Cybill were not real life friends, because Baranski didn’t want to be, not because Cybill was jealous of Baranski’s Emmys/stardom. ( History repeats itself see: Bruce Willis in Moonlighting).
  • As for Alicia Witt (who was apparently dating Kevin, her sister’s husband on the show, in real life), Cybill had this to say:

For the past year or so Alicia Witt had been acting like a spoiled brat, so pouty and truculent that when she wanted time off to have a bump removed from her nose, Bob Myer said, “Get rid of her,” and some writers asked if they couldn’t write her out of the show. . . In April Carsey-Werner received a letter from Alicia’s representatives, detailing her “creative concerns” about “character development and participation” and calling me tyrannical, abusive, and demeaning.

Well, if that wasn’t all that you needed to know and more about the life of Cybill Shepherd, then I recommend you rush to your local bookstore (cough, half.com- it’s like 75 cents) and pick up Cybill Disobedience. Honestly, it was an interesting read. And apart from knowing Cybill had banged Elvis, I knew little about the actually successful part of her career (it was sort of like learning that prior to Friends, Courtney Cox had not only been in a Springsteen video, but had a brief and sordid affair with him, and also had an ongoing private/professional  partnership with like, Sydney Pollack, for the better part of a decade.)

I’ll leave you with this:

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by Beal

The following incident is true, and amazing. . .

One evening last week, I reached the end of the proverbial television sidewalk. There was NOTHING on. A bad night I guess. No good reruns, nothing unwatched on the DVR and nothing even remotely interesting on the Freak Show channels (TLC, Discovery Health etc.). Seriously, I couldn’t even find a Law & Order spinoff. 

Of course there is always On Demand, which I perused and found nothing of interest. It too was chock-full of visual swill. However, as I was glancing through the free movie section one flick at a time, reading whom each movie starred, I came across something starring Ms. Cybill Shepherd. OH MY GOD I KNOW WHAT I WANT TO WATCH!

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Cybill!!! A mid-90’s gem starring, obviously, fuckin Cybill Shepherd (television royalty) as a washed up actress (herself?) who lives with her stuntman ex-husband and dark daughter (Alicia Witt–who I cannot separate from this role. Regardless of what she’s ever starred in, she will always be “the daughter from Cybill” to me) somewhere in the hills of sunny L.A. And Maryann!! Fucking Maryann! Cybill’s boozed up best friend and legitimately one of the funniest characters ever on television. She’s like the only American Absolutely Fabulous-esque character that ever worked.

Anyway, I knew I was out of luck. This isn’t the type of show they put on DVD nor the type of show you’d pay for if they put it on DVD. But I really really wanted to watch it. It had been years, and I remembered it being funny, but I wanted to view it as an adult who had recently seen what washed up in L.A. looked like for real. I even had a gchat conversation regarding this matter, and how much I wanted to watch this program, only to be regarded as sad and over-televisioned.

And then it happened, a week later, last night. I got home from work (don’t worry about it) around midnight, watched a movie and then began surfing through the channels. Staple networks like Hallmark and Lifetime always provide reliable/quality late night programming so I flipped the guide on over the to 50’s. Holy shit. Lifetime! You read my mind. You literally figured out what show I was interested in, and you put in on the air. Every morning at 8/8:30 a.m. and again at 2 a.m. I had no doubt before, but this truly solidified what I feared the most. Lifetime, I am your ideal, target audience.

 

P.S. The introduction of Cybill into Lifetime’s schedule, PROBABLY means that Lifetime  is trying to peak interest in this actress, because it plans on airing some great old MFTV’s (Martha Inc. fingers crossed) starring Ms. Shepherd. Also, potentially, hopefully some NEW ones, like THIS.

P.P.S. Moonlighting was a really great show.

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