Saturday, June 5, 2010

We're Not a Robot

Well, hi there! Sorry I've been MIA for a while, but I've been off on location, and also spending some time keeping an eye on Fatty... he's been partying kind of a lot lately. But things are looking up: He met a new girl at a party in San Francisco last night, and he tells me things seem really promising!

But just when you think you're out, they suck you back in with cliche-laden songs and videos from Greek-via-Welsh musicians who certainly are an expert on the Los Angeles way of life. Like this:

Aw, Marina and the Diamonds, really?? You're so gorgeous and talented and gaining so much indie cred via your KCRW airplay and music placements. But you've succumbed to a nasty case of LA cliche-itis with these lyrics. I mean, yikes:

She is a Polish girl in America
Tall tanned hot blonde called Anya
I asked her "Why would you want to be a Hollywood wife?"
"Because I don't want to end up living in a dive on Vine"
I'll do anything for a dime
Looking for the golden lie

Has she seen what apartments rent for on Vine lately? The above stereotype somehow hasn't made its way onto this blog yet, but it's pretty prevalent -- the naive outsider who arrives here and is immediately corrupted by the cesspool of LA. The best and most direct visual representation of this is here:

Oh Axl, stop stressing, I'm sure you'll be just fine. While those TV images probably gave him some nightmares, at least he wasn't accosted by a plethora of visual LA signifiers like poor Marina: really really piss-poor Marilyn and James Dean imitators, cheap Oscar statuettes, etc. are all over her video. The fake LA accent around the "Shakira/Catherine Zeta-Jones" lines doesn't help much either.

Nor do the non-sequiter glittery cheerleader outfits, which she somehow relates to Hollywood in a way I can't even wrap my head around. Then again, if this Bjork-ish mess is this is her other fashion option:

Then I'll say it: Rah, rah, siss-boom bah! At least we have a sports team in the finals.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

My Un-Funny Valentine

A certainly entirely-cliche-free film called Valentine's Day is opening up right before Valentine's Day and starring a ton of huge stars, all of which affects me very little until they started airing this:

Ah, the trials and tribulations of love and being drop-dead gorgeous and living in LA, where nobody RSVP's. Yeah!

I mean, wait, actually that would be "No!" This cliche is a derivative of the "everyone's a flake" stereotype, but the problem is it's completely at odds with another big LA social stereotype: That we're obsessed with lists, red carpets, "it's who you know," etc.

So really we can't win. Except in this trailer, where a shot of an empty dining room reveals that Jessica Biel's evite doesn't have zero responses because Angelenos are flakes, but because her character's annoying and nobody wants to go to her party. See, Angelenos do what they say they're gonna do after all!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I Swear That You Are Godless

Oh, don't look so angelic, Diablo. We know what you're up to. We've been waiting for weeks for this Thanksgiving-related post to finally make its way onto the Entertainment Weekly website, and now that it's almost Christmas we see it's quietly popped up there. Don't think you can sneak it past our watchful eye. Been Googling your own name again, I see?

Hey, what could we possibly have to say about a column in which she straight-facedly describes this:
Hollywood is a perpetual summerland, a temperate, godless yaw where the very word season has been co-opted by television executives. There are few harbingers of winter here. Yeah, there's a mall called the Grove that has a Christmas trolley and a part-time Santa. And last year, a few anemic snowflakes fell in Malibu, giving billionaire bohos in the Colony an excuse to wear their Uggs. But mostly, traditional year-end signposts are absent. (Increasingly, I hear about ''Fakesgiving'' dinners, where family members are eschewed for younger, hipper friends and industry contacts. Where better to give thanks for good plastic
Oh come on, look at the association here: We're summery, we're temperate, and we're therefore godless, people. Godless! Who wouldn't make a connection between moderate weather and an amoral atheism?

I mean, look at the list of holiday traditions that she can't possibly find here: Yeah, the mall has a Christmas trolley and a Santa, and there's a little snow, plus all the lights and carolers and gift-givers and families that she conveniently doesn't mention, but who cares? We live in an irrigated desert, people! Christmas is dead.

Now don't get me started on her description of those who've "eschewed" their loved ones. A lot of people move to Los Angeles to pursue their creative dreams -- you know, like Diablo Cody -- and -- unlike the well-off Cody -- many artists can't afford to fly home to be with their much-missed family and hometown friends every holiday. So what's wrong with making the best of things and sharing dinner with other holiday "orphans" also in town? If her next few films do as well as Jennifer's Body, Diablo may experience a few "Fakesgivings" herself.

And the plastic surgery comment is just cliched and gratuitous. Merry Christmas everyone!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Land of Fruits and Nuts

You know, you're just living your life, relaxing with a little Top Chef, when this seemingly innocuous commercial for Sun-Maid Raisins comes on:

Oh, good lord, Sun-Maid. First off, your sweet li'l harvest girl is now totally stacked. Secondly: Come on, raisins? You too? You'd think if we Angelenos were spared this garbage anywhere it might be in a commercial for dried fruit, but now even raisin marketing jam-packs in the Los Angeles cliches.

But what do we expect from a commercial which makes no sense whatsoever, other than whatever the 3D animators thought would be cool to work on? It's been a while since my logic courses in college, but I think Sun-Maid is trying to say this:

1. In LA everyone is healthy and...
2. Raisins are grown kind of near there, therefore...
3. If you eat raisins you will be healthy, therefore...
4. You can walk down the red carpet at a film premiere (because that's all we do here other than jog above the Hollwood sign) wearing a silly bonnet and inappropriate nighttime sunglasses

That's it, right? Sheesh. This is why I always shop at Hadley's.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Hard to Explain

Remember the Next-Big-Things of New York City indie rock circa 2000? (Not to be confused with the Next-Big-Things of Williamsburg indie rock circa 2009.) Every band playing every dive on the Lower East Side was ready for their writeup in Spin (or, more likely,, being 2000 and all), and one thing they shared in common was their essential New York-ness, a rough-and-tumble blend of CBGB and Velvet Underground leather-jacketed Television-meets-Ramones cool. Right? I mean you could never see a member of this band packing up and preferring to live in Los Angeles:

Oh wait. Okay, well, these guys are really New York through and through:

Or they were until Strokes leader Julian Casablancas came out here for a bit. As he describes in LA Times:

"...I'm here for like two months, and I've gotta say, man -- I'm starting to kind of get sold on it."...Casablancas fingers the usual suspects for his pro-L.A. attitude. ("I didn't realize weather was such a big thing," he says.)But he also singles out a feeling of newness he says he doesn't get from New

Mmm hmmm. And guess what he's been covering regularly at his shows at the Downtown Palace Theatre:

That's right -- and, surprisingly, that's that song's first appearance on this blog, too. (Yeah, we realize that when you really listen to the song it's about as pro-city as "New York City Cops," but it's become an unofficial anthem so we're gonna roll with it.)

All right, who's next? Paul Banks, we're looking at you.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Crash Into Me

Oh, would you take a look at what we've got here? In case you can't read the small print in the above ad for the Starz series Crash, here it is enlarged:

Okay, have we got this straight? LA has no accidents, but does have a binary system of roadblocks/shortcuts/using people. Because, you know, all anyone cares about in this highly diverse city of millions is using people to get what they want, right?

They somehow left off my favorite, though: You're either a hack ad copywriter spewing lame Los Angeles generalizations or you're not.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Miami Hit

Entertainment Weekly, who haven't been our faves as of late, for some reason fill their choice front-of-book pages with tons of short-form listicle-type crap, most of which is roughly as humorous as the average Marmaduke cartoon. (The Shaw Report... gah!)

Which brings us to last week's Hit List, which is a listing of ten ostensibly newsworthy items with ten ostensibly funny pithy comments attached. Usually I hadn't heard the news items in the first place, since I'm not an EW reporter closely following Nicolas Cage's press junkets -- but this one did make me take notice:

9. Burn Notice's Jeffrey Donovan allegedly tells arresting officer in Miami Beach: ''The only mistake I made tonight was drinking Benadryl with three glasses of wine''

He needs to move to L.A., where that's not considered a mistake so much as a lifestyle choice
That's right; move him here! That way he can combine all the perfectly legal over-the-counter medications and alcoholic beverages that certainly are never misused anywhere else in America. I mean seriously -- is that really a behavior that characterizes Los Angeles more than Miami Beach? Talk about gratuitous.

Also, the original news item is a lot funnier than the witty comment.