Friday, November 28, 2014

Randy Andy (Book Review: The Andy Cohen DIaries, Andy Cohen)

"The Andy Cohen Diaries," Andy Cohen writes, was inspired by Andy Warhol's diaries, a book that Mr. Cohen treasured and carried with him when it first came out. I think Mr. Cohen himself will not say that his stature is as great as Mr. Warhol's, and this whole book is written with s a little bit of tongue-in-cheek irony. Mr. Warhol dealt with real artists and superstars, and well, Mr. Cohen deals with "real housewives." Still, this book is a juicy read, if you know and mildly care about the people he hangs out with, like Kelly Ripa or Anderson Cooper. Mr. Cohen has a more interesting day to day life than I do, but I wish it had a little more depth. I wish he dealt more with some of his executive decisions at Bravo, for example, instead of his incessant drinking at parties. But perhaps that is what his audience is expecting from this book.

Her House In The Middle Of The Street (Television Review, House of DVF, Sundays on E!)

I've been trying to catch up with all my stored shows on my DVR and started watching the first four episodes of the new reality competition, "House of DVF," which is about Diane Von Furstenberg's search for her new Global Ambassador. It's premise is nothing new - it is sort of a mix of America's Nect Top Model and The Apprentice. The idea is that Ms. von Furstenberg wants to have a non-celebrity represent the brand, and will act as the company's face, aside from DVF.  Jaded me was really cynical about the show, and was ready to write it off if it didn't keep my interest. But, it did, primarily because of Ms. von Furstenberg herself. Acting as part matriarch, part mentor, part mother hen, you can't help but be glued to the screen when she is on. Even when she is doling out rote advise ("It's not what you do it's how you do it") you feel as if you are hearing these things for the first time. Maybe its her French-accented English that makes it sound so convincing. But things aren't all smooth, though - a lot of the drama seems set up, like for example, when bitchy contestants get rewarded which makes for better drama with the contestants. But this show has a lot of things going for it - pretty people in glamorous situations acting bitchy and competitive. They all make for good television, and I will be watching.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Letting Christmas Go (Music Review: Idina Menzel, Holiday Wishes)

It had to happen. Elsa can't help but freezing everything, and icicles mean Christmas, right? So here we are, Idina Menzel has released a Holiday album titled "Holiday Wishes." I mean, look at the album cover - she gives the illusion of being covered in ice. But did we really need a Christmas album from her? I don't really get the Idina hate, because I think she is a fantastic singer. Yes, she belts and screams, and her voice can be on the loud and sharp side, but it is theatrical, it reaches the back row, and it's a marvel. It's exactly what I would expect from a Broadway diva! And this album perfectly showcases that voice. The word restraint isn't used here, and she sings all these songs full throttle. That, in my opinion, is a good thing. Menzel doesn't tone down the proceedings just because it is a Holiday album. Rote choices like "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" and "the Christmas Song" are on fire, thanks to her. The arrangements can be a bit unimaginative, btu who cars, Idina just runs away with these songs. I particularly like the breathless "All I Want For Christmas Is You" (The Mariah song - that has become a modern classic, hasn't it?) And she is theatrically passive on "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?" (I imagine it as a theater piece, and it works) Even her self-penned "December Prayer" satisfies. All in all, this album is perfect for tree-trimming parties for show queens. You know if you're in the target market.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Shake Your Bon Bon (Perfume Review: Viktor & Rolf, Bon Bon)

It seems like Viktor & Rolf's scents don't do subtle. Their biggest hit, Flowerbomb, is a descendant of Angel, and its male counterpart, Spicebomb, is tobacco overload. So of, course, their newest release, BonBon, follows the same lead. This is an overload of sugar - as sweet as sweet gets. It's gourmand with a capital G. The line up of notes, mandarin, orange, peach, jasmine, orange blossom, gaiac wood, cedar wood, sandalwood and amber, are amped up, and you get a sweet syrupy fruit cocktail. And caramel. But this is not the gauzy powdery caramel, more an amped-up version. And BonBon sure could be cloying. I haven't tried it, but on a humid summer day this could be brutal. But on a cool day, this could be delicious. And fun. I wore this on my recent trip, and it stayed linear and sweet the whole day. It was perfect if you want to wear something fun, maybe to match your pastel colored ensemble. But, it's not for everyone. A diabetic can get comatized from its sugar content. The sillage is not overpowering, and longevity is primo (I sprayed yesterday and a day after, I can still smell it) Feel young and wear this.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Knowing When To Leave (Movie Review: This Is Where I Leave You)

"This Is Where I Leave You" has an all-star cast that will leave you breathless. So what then are they doing in this sophomoric movie? Directed by Shawn Levy, this movie wastes these fine actors in a movie filled with unlikeable characters in cliched situations. Judd (Jason Bateman) catches his wife sleeping with his boss, Tina Fey plays a woman with a dick of a husband who only cares about money, Adam Driver plays the young son with a Peter Pan syndrome. They all get to sit shiva (even though their parents are atheists) and are "forced" to interact with each other for seven days. I mean, I get the concept - when families do get together, every little thing from the past s forced out, but in here I don't think any character makes any kind of right decision, and even so, their interactions all feel manufactured and fake. And if all else fails, they resort to potty humor which makes you feel that you wandered into a Judd Apatow movie. Jane Fonda, as the matriarch, seems to be lost. I can just seen her thinking in her head, "I am better than this." (And she is) While we get to see these actors try hard in the best situations (Bateman, Driver, and Rose Byrnes shine the brightest), the shoddy script can sometimes highlight their limitations (Tina Fey's character looks the most one-note) I have the book somewhere, and after reading this, I decided I just won't waste my time reading it.