Clawing to escape the belly of the beast here in Hollywood. To commiserate, email my name assistantatlas at yahoo.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Assistant/Atlas Season One Cliffhanger: 1.50

Well, there you have it-- fifty episodes of the hottest new blog to hit Tinseltown since. . .um, Defamer?

Let me apologize for the accidental spoiler in May 27th's post "Hail Alias". For Alias fans who hadn't seen the finale before they read that, I am sorry to ruin the surprise for you. In the future, I'll try to warn you before posting any such material. But for the record, the post contains few 'spoilers' other than that admitted-biggie. It's mostly about what Alias is gonna do now that Jennifer Garner is pregnant.

Next Season:
-Tech upgrades: Thanks to recent assistance from Jungle Computer, I now know how to do hyperlinks, add pictures and stuff. So hopefully the blog'll get prettier and more useful. Not anything too fancy, mind you, but better.

-Guest bloggers: There's still time to vote for your preferred new blogger- right now, Trailer Maker, Acronym Girl, Assistant Unemployed, Geeky Roommate and Jungle Computer look to be the likely additions to the site. But there's still time for a dark horse victory on the part of any of the others. Also, look for Totally Unauthorized's Peggy to have a guest spot.

-A Poop on Ryan Seacrest's Star Winner? I'm still waiting for one, and still doing interviews regarding the contest. I've got interviews scheduled for radio stations in Syracuse, NY, Birmingham, AL, and Champaign, IL, plus Sirius Satellite Radio. Beat that, Perez. What? Your traffic is eighty times mine? Oh.

And finally, today's post:

Oh Mary, Jesus, and Joseph, I feel like I'm in a tempest. I think that's what this job can do a lot of times-- that and this life. Look, to the anonymous person who 'clearly' feels some scorn for me, I don't know what to say. I don't want to be hated. I didn't start this blog for that.

From here, though, the reason I'm blogging is less clear than when I started. I have a lot of your little eyeballs, and oh my dear, dear readers, I do appreciate that fact. I do. I really, really do. I've always thought of myself, first and foremost, before I was ever an 'assistant', as a writer. To have literally thousands and thousands of people check out my stuff humbles me beyond written words. Verbally, that'd be light choking and coughing.

But I've realized that if I want to keep you reading this blog, I've got to become more--as a blogger, as a writer, and indeed, as an assistant [grin].

So, I wonder why it is you're reading this? Do you like me just for my pretty, well-publicized contest about poop? Or do you give a sh*t about what I'm writing?

"If I'm gonna go down, I'm gonna do it with style."

I need to stop blogging to Ani DiFranco, she's turning me into a lesbian. A very enraged lesbian. But maybe that's okay. I could very well be a lesbian trapped in a guy's body. Atlas' shoulders drop. He wonders if there will be a new round of occasionally-withering insults. He can handle the sexuality ones. Having gay family you love helps you feel a lot more secure with that stuff. It's the ones that question my motives, my underlying truth. These sting because they're the same questions I'm asking myself more and more--Why? Why are you doing this? Justify everything you've ever done up until right this second. And please, single-spaced.

This blog started as a defense mechanism/outlet for a creatively-starved artist. By a young writer reaching for a dream that seems increasingly remote even as I get closer. I came to this town because I know I can write. It's a tough place, certainly, but hey, it's nice here by the beach.

"So F*CK You and your untouchable face."

In cyberland, I can't reach out to slap you if you slight me. That's probably for the best. We'll just continue this slinging of electronic barbs. I'm thick-skinned, as they call it in all the ads, I can take it. . .most of the time.

If you want real honesty, I feel closer to my dreams than I ever have. And sometimes, not very often, but very occasionally, I cry before I sleep. They ain't happy tears.

Because I may have it good, better than most who have come before me in the human race, but IT, the world, 'things', IT is still not fair. It's not even close to just out there. And I should know, shouldn't I? I've 'had it good'. Is it that good feels empty? Or is that this good is, in fact, mostly empty promises.

So I sing my little song and I write my little blog and I shoulder the world and I don't tell anyone, really. Oh, here and there, I guess. Then I write out the pain that will be written away, and work through, or ignore, the rest as best I can.

If I seem brisk and blustery and full of young hubris, it's because I'm doing a great job hiding the burning resentment I harbor for the sometimes-unreasonable expectations placed on me. It's not the expectations per se, but the fact that everyone else seems to have no trouble sloughing them off when they become a burden.

When Sydney Bristow worked for Sloane, she was quiet and meek, but inside she burned with a most righteous anger. But she could handle it because she knew that when she was free of him, she could go back to being herself again. While working at SD-6, she believed that her life would be truly hers once more. Some day. But she'd have to push these anger-provoking thoughts out of her mind, not allowing herself the questions-- "Is doing this changing me? Is this process of subterfuge dismantling the me I've so carefully nourished? What have I become?" And she'd go about her work of bringing him down and making the world--and herself--free from the terror he imposes.

It's not for nothing I named him Sloane.

So what will become of Assistant Atlas? Will he decide to say 'screw it' to the world or just put his shoulder to the Andes mountains and push? I dunno, it's a character-driven cliffhanger, people.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Collected Sloane Comments: 1.49

Many of you have come to look fondly/amusedly upon Sloane, my crazy boss. If you're one of them, you'll like this post. It consists of many of my favorite Sloane quotes. Sorry about the censorship, but remember, GoogleAds will declare me obscene and take away my ads if I use actual curse words.

"Paramount? F**k Paramount. All the companies with Paramount deals have become f**kin p*ssies. If I could blow up one studio, it'd be Paramount."
[I have to agree on this one-- they're all scared of doing, well...anything]

"Tom Cruise is just waiting to come out until his career starts heading in the same direction as Brooke Shields'."
[I dunno- Tom Cruise is no Rock Hudson, there will be more "I-told-you-so" than shock]

"Poor Katie Holmes. I hope her publicist apologized for the STDs."
[the last theoretically-virgin actress engages in heavy public make-out with a sexually ambiguous longtime megastar: I think she should be happy if she doesn't get more than lip herpes]

"I miss Lindsay Lohan's boobs."
[I miss not seeing all of Lindsay's bones when I look at her]

"Have there been any shark movies lately?"
[this is for the kids who like "Query Letters I Love"-- and yes, sadly, he did ask this]

"Revenge of the Sith? More like Revenge of the Suck. [laughs to self] I'm such a poet."
[Sorry, Sloane, Variety's "Sith Hits the Fan" joke was much funnier]

Maggie: "Mr. X from Paramount is on the phone again. What should I tell him?"
Sloane: "Tell him to go f**k himself then hang up."
Maggie: [laughs] "So are you available?"
Sloane: "Maggie, I wasn't joking."
[Maggie's facial expression was even funnier than this exchange]

"I bet teenagers all across America are jerking off to that Paris Hilton commercial"
[the Carl's Jr. ad makes Paris the obvious front-runner for most jerked-off-to celebrity of the year]

And finally. . .

"Bubbles, could you come in here and scratch this itch for me?"

[if you're just tuning in Sloane and clueless intern Bubbles are having an illicit affair]

Friday, May 27, 2005

Hail Alias! Episode 1.48

"First of all, my name isn't Michael Vaughn..."

Best thing about watching JJ Abrams shows: you rarely see it coming. And with three hours of Lost and Alias on last night, it was a twist-a-minute night for me. Geeky Roommate declared: "That ending [of Alias's fourth season] totally redeemed the entire season for me."

The hour-long drama, picked up early for its fifth season, was slated to start filming in July. Jen would be about four-and-a-half months pregnant by then. You might be able to hide that for an episode or two– even four or five with JJ’s writing– but if you stick to the current schedule of filming that will be totally impossible to get away with. So let's check out the options.

The one ABC appears to be going with is filming as much as possible before Jen gets too pregnant, hopefully getting enough episodes to keep the show going through the fall. Then, after taking a break for Jen to pop out Bennifer II, Jr., and get back in shape, they'll be back to film the rest of the episodes in time for the spring. What did this mean for the show?

It probably means they aren't going to make Sydney Bristow pregnant. Of course, this being a JJ Abrams show, you never know. Second, Sydney will probably fall into a coma and/or be gravely injured and hospitalized at some point before mid-season. Comas are the time-honored way of keeping a character around, but not having them actually do anything [Cordelia on Angel, anyone?]. Unfortunately, since Jen is the star, you can keep her in a coma for no more than an episode or two. Nadia [Mia Maestro, who I've discovered is much prettier in the Motorcycle Diaries] will be cured of her current 28-Days-After-Rimbaldi state by then, so she can provide the hot chick quotient while Syd's incapacitated.

Also look for more undercover missions in non-clubs, in places like conservative Middle Eastern countries, icy climates and nunneries. The fifth-season episodes will probably start Sydney-centric to use her while they can, then watch for more on the other characters. But since this is Alias, I'm prepared for some more obscure pregnancy-hiding ploys:

--Sydney is struck with a bizarro, lingering stomach disease that explains her new belly-pouch. And then she guest-spots on House to get it cured.
--Sydney does actually get pregnant, but miscarriages so she doesn't become superspy Mom. Added bonus of this option is that pregnant Jennifer Garner will probably be even more emotional over a potential baby loss.
--The new, evil Vaughn impregnates her with cryogenically-frozen Rimbaldi sperm and Sydney gets an abortion to stop his evil plan.
--Sydney gets shot in the stomach and must be bandaged around her midsection to help hide the tummy.
--Sydney is trapped in Ethiopia during a sudden famine, and finds herself with the bloated belly of the impossibly-hungry.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

More Whisper Price Game

Hey, anonymous comments have been re-enabled for the time being, so get commenting while you can!

Today's Whisper Price Stars are Oscar Winners With Questionable Box Office:

Hilary Swank & Halle Berry

These starlets both have Oscars [Hil has 2!] but have both been in some colossal stinkers [The Core and Next Karate Kid for Swank and Catwoman and Gothika for Halle]. So what do you think the assistants are whispering to each other about their respective prices for upcoming films?

Comment away....even anonymously.

Who Should Join the Crew? You?: 1.47

Anonymous Commentary has been restored-- until I start getting spammed again. So comment away without fear of retribution. Looking for Ryan Seacrest info? See posts below. I still haven't answered your questions? Email

As promised, here are the potential guest bloggers for next season's Assistant/Atlas. The questions is: who do you want to see? All of these people are actual friends of mine, many will know who they are, some have yet to hear of the blog. [side note: I'm not very good at this whole 'secret identity' thing] Who do you think Assistant/Atlas should ask to join the blog? Please read the following descriptions and decide who/what you want to see. This is your chance to change the course of an up-and-coming blog, people, so take it by commenting! I must know what you want!

ACRONYM GIRL Occupation: Assistant at an agency so big, you know it by its acronym. A native New Yorker, Acronym Girl has an outsized personality that you can't help but appreciate, plus great inside scoops from the very belly of the beast. Plus, she can be one sarcastic bitch. Trust me, that's a plus.

Assistant ART DIRECTOR Occupation: Assistant director of an art gallery. This swingin' chick can give you the details on where to get down or get arty or both at the same time. If you want this site to tell you where it's cool to go out and about, then you'll want Art Director on board.

Assistant DESIGN GUY Occupation: Assistant set designer. Design Guy works for a popular sitcom, is a Midwestern transplant like Atlas. He's also wonderfully Jewish and, if this weren't anonymous, would kill me for telling people he used to appear in musicals.

GEEKY ROOMMATE Occupation: Assistant editor. I've mentioned him before, but my geeky roommate would probably be great fun for the inner geeks I know most of you have. He's a good writer and funny, and since he lives with me, it'd be easy for him to blog. So that's a plus. He's already working on a guest column.

Assistant INDY Occupation: Assistant to independent script analysts. This guy has a great independent-minded aesthetic and is one of the handful of people in Tinseltown who has managed not to sell his soul--yet. Great for indie and international film reviews, but I know for a fact he watches "American Idol"-- so even he's not totally pure.

JUNGLE COMPUTER Occupation: Tech geek. Former jungle dj turned respectable computer programmer, this Queens-raised, Manhattan-bred, California-chilled wunderkind can nerd out on topics as diverse as Andy Roddick and absinthe.

QUEER EYE for the Cameraguy Occupation: Production Assistant. Constantly redefining flamboyant, Queer Eye for the Cameraguy would give an unabashedly gay view on just about any subject. He's also a film snob, so expect rants about anything that doesn't do well at Cannes and Sundance.

TRAILER MAKER Occupation: Makes movie trailers. This girl can't be called an "assistant" anymore. She must now be called "Associate Producer". Anyway, she's a good movie reviewer, wants to be a Bond girl more than anything, and would be a great trailer/buzz critic.

Assistant UNEMPLOYED Occupation: None. Ah, the trials and tribulations of working a crappy job you don't like after graduating from USC, while trying to find an equally-crappy job in her industry of choice amidst monstrous competition. Oh, Assistant Unemployed might not be happy, but she'll have some great [hopefully, funny] horror stories of the job market.

Please let me know who you'd like to see-- and why, hopefully-- in the comments section.

Of course, if you think you'd be a better guest blogger than anyone else, why not write Assistant Atlas and say so? You've got to be in the entertainment industry, and live in LA or NYC-- other than that, it's open to anyone. I'll need to know your occupation, your niche [like the ones above, for example] and get a blog-writing sample. If it rocks and you're willing to write a post or two each month, I may ditch my pals and go with you. Just email your stuff to

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Slang and Cool New Terms Edition: 1.46

I love the English language. One of the main reasons is because it’s so open to slang. It’s gonna be the global language because it’s so damn fun, not because the US is the remaining global superpower. Certainly not for that reason.

Truly, let’s thank Britain, India, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Ireland, New Zealand, Jamaica and many others for their contributions to making English THE global language. Population-wise English looks to be an official language of literally billions of people now. But unlike Chinese, it’s a billion people all over the planet. You can call Kenya and it’s crystal clear because you’d both be all about speaking English. Of course, the person on the other end of the phone probably speaks English and about four other languages, unlike you. But that doesn’t matter, because everyone is going to speak English soon! Yay!
But English needs to be constantly reinvigorated if it’s going to stay on top. Let’s take a look at some problem areas.

We need a new word for ‘hack’ in the computer-y sense. It has lost its cachet. I nominate “splice” to replace it in hipster vocab. I just like the way it sounds better. Splice. Say it. Splice. Sweet, right?

What’s the word for ‘cool’ now? Can it not be ‘hot’? Because I’d rather go back to ‘tubular’.

Anyone know any cool foreign words that can be used to replace the following– [obscure languages like Danish, Uzbek and Bantu preferred]– “hella”, “greed” [which doesn’t sound evil anymore], “duh” and “whatever”?

This divisive “soda” vs. “pop” issue needs to be settled. I say we just have Coke pay us all to refer to it only as that, kind of like everyone calls them Kleenex instead of ‘tissues’.

“Red state” and “blue state” divisions should return to their original formulations– “idiots” and “pansies”.

So let's work together-- it's our language, let's make sure it remains the super-duper-sweetest language on the whole planet.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Assistant/Atlas Picked Up for Second Season: 1.45

BREAKING NEWS!!! Assistant/Atlas has been picked up for a second season of blogging! [first season to finish run in early June]

In the past three days, this blog has experienced more traffic [5000+ hits/day] than it ever has before. So, why am I so popular? Somewhat ironically, somewhat appropriately, it's thanks to Celebrity Justice. Their story on me touched off a whole wave of internet chatter that led people from Britain to Japan to discover the Poop on Ryan Seacrest's Star Contest.

If you're one of them, welcome! I hope you'll continue reading Assistant/Atlas in the future-- in fact, that's what today's post is all about. It's about what you expect in the future from your faithful A.A., as Tiffany Stone [] calls me. First off, more links in the text--more timely and actual hyperlinks in the text to fun stories and such. But, most every blog worth its salt has this, too, so that's really just me playing tech catch-up.

Next will be guest bloggers-- there will an entire episode dedicated to this at some point. Guess what? I'm gonna let you vote on 'em. That's right-- I've got maybe a dozen possibilities of people to ask to be guest bloggers in mind. And you'll get to help me choose. Most are assistants, but as you'll see, they're a diverse group.

And next season, even more of your favorite features, plus some new ones: more Whisper Price Game, hopefully with the anonymous comment feature re-enabled. The continued announcement of the Assistant/Atlas Executive of the Week, but there's a TWIST! The evil twin/doppelganger of the Executive of the Week will be making an appearance-- the Craptastic Executive of the Week! Plus, more and more features will be unveiled that I'm not even gonna name yet. You just have to tune in. And now, something completely different.


1) Why don't you poop on the star?
Because I'm the one running the stupid contest. Don't you know that people who run contests can't win or it makes the contest all unfair? Duh.

2) Has anybody won yet?
No. Either I don't have the LA audience I think I do, or there aren't as many "edgy performance artists" [who need fifty bucks] out there as I imagined there would be.

3) Hey, did you know that the star is, like, right at Hollywood & Highland?

4) Dude, seriously, how am I going to be able to poop on it when it's right by a ginormous mall?
[ATLAS SIGHS] I can't believe I have to explain this one. People, use the natural environment to your advantage-- in this case a touristy area next to a mall. No one is going to look twice at a pedestrian with a well-hidden fresh dump in a Banana Republic bag carrying a camera. Moderate loitering is tolerated if you take pictures of things while waiting for your getaway driver.

5) Why only $50, when the fine associated with the act is $1000?
I'm poor, I'm an assistant-- and once, again, it's all about the cosmic justice. That's why the prize was linked by advertising to the popularity of the site-- of course, since that's a violation of the terms of use on GoogleAds, this linkage has been ended. I'll give you $50, that's about the best I can do. If you want to add to the pot, please contact me.

6) When you make fun of big companies like the WB and UTA, does that mean you hate everyone who works there?
Of course not. There are [theoretically, at least, for UTA] a lot of fine people who work there. And I do like whatever show Megan from Overeducated and Underemployed works on []. Unless it's One Tree Hill.

7) Are you really a Hollywood assistant as you claim?
Personally, I think this is the dumbest question I've gotten, and it's all thanks to Celebrity Justice. Why on earth would I pretend to be an assistant? If I was going to make up an occupation for myself, why wouldn't I just say I was a super-agent, a production company exec or an editor or ANYTHING? Why an assistant-- probably the most undignified, un-prestigious job in all of Hollywood? The point is-- if you were making up a glamorous Hollywood lifestyle for yourself, you wouldn't fabricate the life of an assistant. Or God help you if you do, you sad, sad person.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Executive of the Week [#7]

If you're looking for info on the "Poop on Ryan Seacrest's Star Contest", you'll find it a couple of posts down. If you want to play "The Whisper Price Game", you'll find it below, as well. Thanks for visiting Assistant/Atlas, you many [thousands] of new people.

For those of you not familiar with the Assistant/Atlas Executive of the Week, it's a feature I unveiled to combat some of the negativity in the biz by honoring the unsung people who have retained a shred of decency and humanity while working in the Tinseltown system.

It seems like I've talked to half of the assistants in the industry [but just a handful of their bosses] this week, thanks to Sloane's problems with the answering machine. Still, I was somewhat at a loss for the Executive of the Week, as no one has really stood out in my mind this week. And then it hit me-- the new Assistant/Atlas Executive of the Week is. . .

Lucy Mukerjee, Director of Development at Lighthouse Productions.

I've not met Lucy personally, but I have spoken with her on the phone many times. In fact, when I was just starting as Sloane's assistant, I believe it was Lucy who bore the brunt of the first Sloane tirade I'd ever seen [You haven't read it yet? That's absolutely un-Fu***n-believable!!!]. It was the tirade that made me realize I was in serious trouble working for this guy. Having listened to the tirade, I spent the next several days debating whether to call her and apologize for Sloane. Ultimately, I didn't, being new and not knowing whether that was done or not [it isn't, but it should be].

But what did Lucy do? She took it like a woman. Next time I talked to her, she was as pleasant and nice as ever. Plus, she's got that lovely Brit accent that just drives me wild. So Lucy Mukerjee, I salute you. You've got the spine to handle Sloane and the class to treat his assistant like a person. Your accolades are well-deserved and I hope you having a long career of bringing your light to the dark, dark world of film development.

Ad Buyer Beware: Next Season on the Nets: 1.44

Overall: ABC will probably have another couple of surprise hits [hit shows aren't lightning strikes-- they're a job and it's called development] and look poised for a good year with now-sophomore hits Lost and Desperate Housewives. Fox, having figured out that it can make more profit in healthy DVD sales, has ordered a string of new series, most of which will fail. But the non-losers in the bunch should be sufficient to keep the net afloat. Most CBS series will [like much of its audience] continue to sail gracefully off into the sunset/syndication years, but at least they're on a yacht, not the Titanic like the folks at NBC. Ah, the proud peacock of networks. NBC will continue to remain the laughingstock of networks and [karma-willing] several mid and high-level execs will be sent packing.

Net by Net: Perhaps the biggest surprise of the season is that Fox is keeping Arrested Development for a third season. It's all about the DVD revenue, people, I'm telling you. First, Family Guy comes back. Then, Arrested Development gets renewed. This is now a trend-- not a coincidence. Fox also has a dearth of fresh, younger series, which explains its reliance on new fare. Only House and the OC still have some pep [though 24's creativity and ratings are fairly solid], but in an unlikely move, Fox seems to be ending its overreliance on reality tv.

CBS is trying to go younger by canceling Joan of Arcadia [hey WB, need a hit series? I'm sure you can talk Barbara Hall into adding some young hotties to the cast and giving Joan a superpower if you bring it back] and Judging Amy. Look, CBS, don't bite the hand that feeds you commercials for Depends and Metamucil. The demographically-potent Baby Boomers are greying rapidly, with the tip of the Baby Boom wave turning 60 this year. So stick with what works.

And while we're on the subject of Judging Amy and old people-- I hate Tyne Daly's manager. He also manages Leslie Bibb and Anna Faris, too, I think [both of whom need to call me, seriously]. His name is Glen something and he's one of those creepy old gay guys [as opposed to most gay people, who are not creepy] who pesters you with questions until you realize that you were just talking about your underwear preferences. Dude, I pray you get sued for sexual harassment one day you balding, brown-nosed, leather-faced smarmy loser. There, I've said it. I feel better. Moving on. . .

The big surprise at NBC was the pervading stench of dread that not even a peppy pitch by the network's remaining stars could penetrate. I hate NBC. Except for the Martha Stewart Apprentice spin-off. That I like. And can we say 'ratings gold'? Desperate Housewives hit it big with four catty housemammas-- imagine if there are like 14 of them, and they fight to the death with decorative centerpieces. Now THAT is entertainment.

I saved my favorite network for last. The ABC development people saved their network and if I were an ad buyer, I'd feel pretty confident in their ability to deliver the goods. Have I mentioned how much I love J.J. Abrams lately? Anyone know if he needs a good assistant. If he asked me to be his assistant, even his second assistant, I would literally give Sloane the finger and walk out the door. And I would feel good. Oh yes, I would feel sublime.

Finally, the weblets. The Frog and the. . .uh, UPN. I officially don't care. And despite what you may have heard, I don't watch Gilmore Girls or One Tree Hill. Seriously, I don't. Seriously.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Shellshocked and Shellacked: 1.43

If you're new to Assistant/Atlas, you won't know that reason I started this blog [check out the Pilot Blog for more] is to essentially complain about the conditions of my workplace. Little did I know that this blog would be witness to such . . . insanity. Now, obviously, I knew what sort of job I was getting into-- I knew there would be insanity.

Look, the reasons I started the "Poop on Ryan Seacrest's Star Contest" were many: cosmic justice, to satisfy my sense of humor, to protest the current "Walk of Fame" star deployment system, and yes, a blog traffic boost. When I posted it, I thought it was stupid, but funny enough. I had no idea that within a month I would've garnered a mention in countless cool as heckfire blogs, been interviewed by KROQ, made national syndication on Celebrity Justice, and soared on Google searchlists for "Ryan Seacrest" and "Ryan Seacrest's Star" from obscurity into prominence.

In the meantime, the three other people in our office had MAJOR drama. One became unexpectedly pregnant [Maggie the fortyish receptionist] and I finally confirmed that the other two [my boss, Sloane, and clueless intern Bubbles] were sleeping together. The more I think about it, the more I can't believe I didn't see it coming. I mean, Sloane had been too happy, things had been too good, and I know he ain't gettin' none at home. His wife is a frosty-bitch.

And on that fateful Thursday night, I remember this so clearly now because it should've set off alarm bells-- Sloane asked me to run something to FedEx at the last minute, then told me I should just head home. Why wouldn't intern Bubbles do that? At the time, I was just ecstatic to be leaving early I didn't even question it. But then I remembered-- and this confirmed it for me--Sloane said, "After you go by FedEx, you can just home, Atlas. You've been working hard enough this week and I want you to know I appreciate that." Then, like a demon robot, Sloane extended a claw and patted my shoulder. [shudder]

But even things like "Joss Stone Sexes Up the Office [Episode 1.34]" should've clued me in to the Sloane/Bubbles tryst. Anytime Sloane becomes nice, I should know something truly terrifying is happening. And if you've seen Alias lately, you'll know what I'm talking about. There's a reason I named this guy Sloane, people.

I'm such a fool.

But now, dear readers, I'm in crisis mode. The dynamic of the office has changed-- I've gained an awkward power, but in doing so, heightened the stakes. It's like I'm a small country that has just developed a nuclear weapon-- if I actually use it, I can devastate my enemies, but in doing so, I'm sure to be wiped off the map.

Plus, Maggie, my closest office ally, is pregnant. Sloane will probably be looking to replace her with someone cheaper and younger than the woman who's worked for him for like ten years once the baby comes due. Someone who'll be just a receptionist and not an office manager like Maggie effectively is. I discovered she does a lot of the bookkeeping that I just assumed Sloane was doing. Without her, it will likely fall to me to cook, boil and simmer the books. [we all know Sloane doesn't have the mental capacity to do it himself]

Hell, he might not even replace her. Just let me be further bogged down by fielding every last call. That'll help us really get things going. Oy vey, what a mess.

Friday, May 20, 2005

The Whisper Price Game: 1.42

If you're looking for info on the "Poop on Ryan Seacrest's Star Contest", please look down a couple posts.

I’ve had to disable the anonymous comment feature for the time being. Sorry, but if you’re good, I’ll re-enable it to allow anonymous posting on my NEW FEATURE! That’s right. Now aren’t you angry at those nasty spammers? You’ll notice that I haven’t yet cleaned up all their comments. If you’re a hacker with a need to splice some spammer, or a tech-savvy anti-spam government official and want to take a crack at ‘em, I promise to help in a totally anonymous tipster way.

But, Atlas, what’s the new feature!?!

It’s the WHISPER PRICE GAME! That’s right. You guess the whisper price of the young stars and starlets Atlas tosses out for you, you hungry wolf pack public. Guess right and you will receive the accolades of the adoring blogosphere. Guess wrong and you'll be publicly spanked [a cyber-spanking, of course].

For those of you who are so out of the square that you don’t understand the term ‘whisper price’, a short primer follows. The whisper price is essentially, the quietly-spoken understood of how much money you’ll have to have to offer a star to get them in your picture. Actual negotiations of prices can vary, though. Which is a problem with whisper prices. See, there are other factors in play on certain movies– I won’t enumerate them– I’ll let your brains do that.

Fortunately, the whisper price of stars is highly fun to guess at! What should Lindsay Lohan get? Top stars can have the de facto whisper price, in 2005 dollars, of 25 million per film– Cameron, Brad, Angelina. The megastars with the proven track record. So what about little, overexposed Lindsay Lohan? What’s her whisper price? According to Atlas sources, which in this case was a newspaper article that I’ll have to look up again, Lindsay gets $7.5 million per movie. That’s her base pay, which would constitute her whisper price. Now of course, there are situations where Lindsay might work for less– and you might have to pay her more if the role were especially crappy. [cough, Herbie franchise, cough]

But what about, say, Hilary Duff? Honestly, I have no idea. I don’t do movies that might possibly have Hilary Duff in them. But I’d guess she’d hope for 5 mil, especially since she knows Lindsay gets 7.5 mil. But I’m pretty sure her agent would read anything that might promise 2 mil. Which would put her whisper price right at 2.5-3 mil. But the fun thing about the game is that while you're guessing you can make nasty comments like "Normally she would get 3 mil, but if she wants her sister in the movie, she only gets 2. And no, the other million does not go to Haylie. It goes to advertising to overcome the public's Duff aversion." Like that. But, you know, funny.

Remember, you only get to comment on this new game if you’re a registered actual person because of the evil spammers.

By the way, does anyone else in the industry think public whisper prices are long overdue? I, for one, am tired of doing the amazing legwork behind putting an entire deal together. That’s why it’s so hard to get good material going, don’t you all realize? That’s why Hollywood produces safe crap. It’s so much easier. I, for one, feel bad about this. Anyone else?

More Whisper Price game is coming...if you're good and CLICK ON MY ADS. Seriously. I've gotta make fifty bucks so I can hand out that Ryan Seacrest prize if somebody wins. I'm at like, $12.32.

But let's start the Whisper Price Game with two of my personal favorites:

Seann William Scott and the soon-to-be-overexposed Jessica Alba.

So guess away-- and remember that the range goes from 'scale' [bare minimum] to 25 mil.

Classic Sloane Moment: Episode 1.41

I got to the office a little late this morning. As I raced in, spilling coffee all over myself, I noticed Maggie wasn't at the front desk as usual. Fortunately, Sloane was playing on his computer and didn't really notice my tardiness, and Bubbles has the day off. But just as I was getting settled, he approached.

SLOANE: Atlas, could you check the answering machine-- I don't think it's working. [Sloane refuses to answer a phone-- Ever]

ATLAS: Okay, where's Maggie?

SLOANE: She's at the doctor. [remember, our receptionist Maggie is pregnant]

So I check the answering machine. I actually check the plugs before I realize that it just isn't turned on.

ATLAS: It's working fine.

SLOANE: Oh, good, how many messages do we have? The phone was ringing off the hook.

ATLAS: Ringing off the hook?

SLOANE: Yeah, I had to unplug the phone in my office it was ringing so much.

[I turn pale thinking about all the people who might've called]

ATLAS: Ohhh...

SLOANE: What, Atlas?

ATLAS: We didn't get any messages.

SLOANE: All those calls and nobody left a message?

ATLAS: Um, they couldn't. The answering machine wasn't on.

SLOANE: So what does that mean?

ATLAS: Um, that every time someone called, the phone just kept ringing until they hung up.

SLOANE: Atlas, what the hell were you thinking? Why didn't you turn on the answering machine?

ATLAS: I'm sorry. I thought Bubbles [our intern] did it.

SLOANE: Bubbles, why would Bubbles do it?

ATLAS: Because I asked her to-- since I wasn't the last one in the office last night and we were waiting for that call from _____ ______.

SLOANE: Oh, well, she must've forgotten.

[my mouth drops open as I realize they are sleeping together-- Sloane is NEVER forgiving]

SLOANE: Why don't you just call all of the people we're waiting to hear from to make sure they didn't call us?

ATLAS: But-- [that's like 75 people! Most of whom are hard to get a hold of anyway!] . . .sure.

So I guess what I'm doing all day today.... All because Sloane's member distracted our easily-distracted intern from doing the one thing I needed her to do. I really hope they give each other STDs.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Cosmic Justice/Celebrity Justice: 1.40

Confession: I was awake at 12:30 when Celebrity Justice was on so I watched it. Hey, if you were me, you totally would have, too. Admit it, bloggers and blog-readers, if you were mentioned on a tv show, you would tune in just to see it.

My lil blog’s segment, which actually lasted probably at least a minute [an eternity by Celebrity Justice standards], was heavily promoted. Assistant/Atlas came across as a highly suspect ‘Internet site.’ But I had to say I nearly fell on the floor in laughter at the promo. It was given by a 27-year-old ‘hipster’ in a blue button-up that might as well have been striped, and it was, I kid you not, almost exactly these words:

“Ryan Seacrest hosts America’s Number One show. Only right now, it’s not number one he should be worried about.”

I seriously want to write copy for Celebrity Justice. How fun would that be? Paging Perez Hilton.

But back to ‘CJ’ as the kids call it– no wait, actually, that’s what the corporate shills call it. I get those confused all the time.

Things I Learned from Celebrity Justice:

Breaking news– this just in! It IS actually illegal to defecate on the streets of Hollywood! Thanks, CJ. I never would have known.

Anyway, the penalty for disobeying this ordinance ‘passed several years ago’ according to the crack researchers at CJ [and accompanied by weirdly warped stock C-SPAN footage] is a fine of $1000 or up to six months in jail. Actually, it could be ‘and/or’– I honestly haven’t read the law.

The good folks at CJ also noted that I recommended ‘a getaway driver’ in this flying-at-you newspaper-ish font, and also that I allowed you to dump ‘a bag of business’ on the star.

They also gave KROQ a nice evil visual spin when they quoted my interview– probably because they’re part of competing media conglomerates. I could be wrong, they could be part of the same one. I’ve almost stopped trying to keep track of which media branch is attached to which other one.

CJ also checked out Seacrest’s star, which, to make it difficult for you contest entrants, is located in an extremely busy location. It was, even more sadly, pretty spotless. They concluded it was because my prize sucks– which, admittedly, it does. But this isn’t a contest that’s about prize and glory– it’s about justice. Cosmic justice and Celebrity Justice.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Dating On Demand: Episode 1.39

First off-- does anyone watch "Celebrity Justice"? Besides maybe Perez Hilton? Well, I just got an email from a producer on the show who informed me that there's at least a soundbite regarding the contest on tonight's show. It airs on KCAL in Los Angeles at ["like 12:30am, I think" according to the producer-- shouldn't he not have to think about this one?] Anyways, if you're up at 12:30 watching tv, check out "Celebrity Justice", why don't you? And we can continue the snowball effect that this lil "Poop on Ryan Seacrest's Star Contest" has.

Now, on to today's post. It's a good one, if I do say so myself. I wrote it the other night but didn't post it until now, so enjoy.

HOLY, HOLY CRAP! Do you know what they have now! This has got to be the best idea ever-- Dating On Demand.

Okay, so my roommate and I pay way too much for a full Comcast cable package and they’ve launched a bunch of “On-Demand” programming. This is the sort of interactive tv we’ve been waiting for our entire lifetime. [ahem]

Anyway, it is kinda nice to be able to watch a Six Feet Under episode when there’s nothing on the 300+ channels we have. There’s movies, too, most not particularly good. It’s like Tivo, maybe even easier, if for no other reason that it just showed up maybe a month or two ago on our television. Last night, after determining that there was nothing on, my geeky roommate was rummaging through the options and happened upon the BEST INVENTION SINCE GOD!
Just kidding. Maybe.

This invention, brought to you by Comcast Cable, is called On-Demand Dating. See how it works is– you use your remote to select dating videos [usually about 3 min. in length] of various people. There’s also fun sections with best-of lists hosted by an eerily chipper, but hot, Asian woman. These include kinky stories, bad date experiences. The normal one story was told by this blonde about a blind double date [her, her girlfriend and her girlfriend’s boyfriend and Mr. Blind Date]. The date wasn’t going well, but it went worse when she crashed over and brought down a fence at a Putt-Putt golf course. But the thing that made it hilarious was the last line– this woman’s just described crashing over a Putt-Putt fence on an already-bad date, and then she goes, “And then we found out he was married!” You can’t make this stuff up, people. And this is just the PG-rated stuff they let us see. I almost want to work there just to see the outtakes. But I wouldn’t trade a soulless egomaniacal boss for a soulless egomaniacal corporation– you know, unless they had great dental.

Does everyone else realize how awesome this is? It’s like a dating service right in your own television. Now the television brings me nookie? When will this wonderful machine ever cease to amaze me? Never, I hope. Thanks, Comcast, for my making my lifetime count. I’ll always remember the first time I discovered On-Demand Dating, the pure, unadultered lust it inspired in me [which was awkward, considering my roommate was in the room]. The date, Saturday the 14th of May, 2005, the day the ray of goodness and light washed the previous day’s evil superstitious connotations away and basked me in its glow, will be forever printed in my memory.

It was the day when I knew I could enslave the entire human race.

Of course there would be some that escaped my enslaving, but they would forced into the mountains of Tibet and the American Rockies, and only the American accounts would be filmed. They’d be a hearty crew, but they’d ultimately be no match for my superior technology and hordes of brainwashed zombie people. Unless I was a stupid f**k-up and revealed my entire plan before it could be fully set into motion. Darn it.

I need to get more sleep, I think. I’m not usually this random.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


Hey, if your boss tries to not give you the time to vote, you [in your biggest LOUD voice] tell him it's required by the Constitution of the United States!

He'll probably believe you and give you the time to vote. Let's hope so, 'cause dang, that Constitution needs updating.

And remember, Atlas endorses Antonio Villaraigosa and Flora Gil-Krisiloff. You're on your own for the propositions.

Oh-- and I've disabled the anonymous comment feature because I keep getting spammed. Sorry, but hey, if you're a hacker who hates spammers, I haven't been able to delete all of the spam comments. You could do something appropriately evil to them.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Executive of the Week! [#6]

Well, it's been a crazy week here at Assistant/Atlas. What started as [an admittedly GREAT] joke has snowballed. But I'm still dedicated to you, my little industry pretties. What kind of assistant would I be if I didn't take the time to honor those few non-douche-bags I know? So let's get to it, shall we?

If you're new to Assistant/Atlas, you need to know that every week I honor someone for being a truly good person in a truly wretched business.

This week's Executive of the Week is Carrye Gilliland of Everyman Pictures. In the Hollywood Creative Directory, Carrye is listed as Jay Roach's assistant. Naturally, as an assistant, she does a lot more than her title suggests. She's a great gal to have on point for development [although Jennifer Perini has the official top title]. Carrye is so sweet that she's a sugar-coater. Normally, this might be cloying or annoying, but with her, that doesn't seem to be the case. She sugar-coats because she cares, but more importantly, she's feeding you sugar-coated truth, not sugar-coated sh*t.

So thanks Carrye, and here's to hoping we both graduate to better titles soon.

KROQ'in out: Episode 1.38


As you may know, your faithful Atlas was recently invited to appear on KROQ’s Kevin & Bean show to discuss his "Poop on Ryan Seacrest's Star Contest". It was a great experience, I must say, and one worth describing. So here goes.

I arrived on time at 7:15 am [dear God that’s early for me] at the nondescript KROQ studios near Venice & Fairfax. Theoretically, there was supposed to be a guard in the parking lot waiting to show me to a parking space and notify the Kevin & Bean people that I’d arrived. Naturally, there wasn’t one, so I just parked and headed toward the building, hoping I was picking the right entrance. I passed the empty ‘guard shack’ and went in the first door I saw, taking me to the KROQ lobby.

The lobby was dark and empty, and kinda scary despite the sumptuous furnishings. And hey, did you know KROQ owns Jack FM? I didn’t either, but there’s a big-ass logo in the lobby for it right next to a sweet graffiti-mural KROQ logo. The blond girl with glasses [whose name I'm sorry to have forgotten] I'll meet later will tell me that they just bought Jack FM. I poked around the lobby a bit, trying to find someone– anyone. I got one of those “last man on earth” feelings, so I fled the lobby through the only unlocked door and made my way into the bowels of KROQ. Still, no one.

I wander past a break room, empty offices and into a back room with a set of old-school arcade games [not operational, sadly] until I couldn’t wander any more. So I re-traced my steps and managed to find an office with a sweet blond girl with glasses [there she is!] and a guy on the phone. Guy on the phone turns out to be Jay Tilles, an exec producer for the show and the guy who invited me on. So after a brief tour by Jay [of the places I hadn’t seen inside KROQ], we went into the studio adjacent to where the broadcast was actually taking place.

I watched/listened for a bit- the weird thing for me is that Bean apparently does the show from Seattle. Of course, if you listen to the show, you know that. They had a monitor in the studio so I could see him- grainy as heck, but there. And since Kev was out sick, it was just Ralph, their entertainment correspondent/engineer, and the chick whose name escapes me at the moment but that I'll add in later.

Next Jay and I were off to the studio where they had all the cool sound toys where a surprisingly young and friggin' buff engineer [aren't engineers supposed to be all pale and weak from playing with buttons and levers and stuff all day?] already had my Darth Vader voice ready. And let me just tell you, it was amazingly sweet hearing that digitally-altered voice through the headphones.

Jay and Buff Engineer [sorry I suck with names, dude] warned me that everyone's natural tendency was to slow down and deepen their voice to try to match the one coming over the headphones. Of course, during my test, I had done that very thing. Great. Now I was slightly nervous. Jay told me to relax and then the three of us got into a conversation about how little teenagers were now wearing super-tight jeans and feathered hair and how for every Motley Crue or Metallica, there's a White Snake waiting to jones their style and cheapen their music. Buff Engineer was pretty adamant about this, and I was inclined to agree. At any rate, we chatted right up until it was time for me to go on.

I slid on my headphones and we were off. To be honest with you, I remember only parts of the interview. Hopefully Jay will send me an mp3 of it soon and I can listen to [and post] it. I remember making them [my interviewers] laugh a few times and thinking-- good job, Atlas. I remember telling myself to stop speaking so slowly-- thankfully Jay and Buff Engineer adjusted the equipment as I went along to compensate because I think I slowed down toward the end of the interview. Oops.

But the whole thing was over before I knew it. Both Jay and Buff Engineer seemed to think the interview went well-- and it seemed like they were serious and not just being nice. But the real surprise came when I followed Jay back to his office [which kinda doubled as a green room], where Kathy Griffin was just chillin', noshin' on a bagel, hangin'. Kathy asks sweet blond girl if I'm the person that was just on [I know she was expecting Barry White] and when she gets a yes, Kathy waves me over.

So I go talk to Kathy Griffin. She starts right in telling me how much she loves the contest-- mocking Ryan Seacrest is something near and dear to her heart. Apparently, on her new Bravo special, there are essentially three sections-- one on the Oprah, one on Ryan Seacrest and a third on "Gaykin" as Kathy refers to Clay Aiken. She tells me I'm "doing God's work" and openly wonders "What we can do to get rid of him [Ryan Seacrest]?" Kathy wonders if I want a bagel, and I almost take one and sit for an extended conversation, but I don't. She asks me who else I make fun of-- of course, my answer is totally lame because I'm not exactly prepared for that question and I should be.

I answer "anyone overexposed like Paris Hilton 'n stuff" and then end lamely with some "you should read my blog and find out". But Kathy's a gamer and she quickly asks with a smile, "Maybe I should just have my assistant read it." I smile, "Yeah, totally. That's who it's for." A second later I wonder if Kathy Griffin has an assistant. I kinda doubt it-- at least, she didn't have anyone with her at the time. But maybe she's super-nice and didn't make her assistant come down to the KROQ interview with her. While we're on the subject, I would totally be Kathy Griffin's assistant. She's got a great energy in person and was very friendly with me. Of course, I did catch her checking out my package, so maybe that had something to do with it. Then again, she was sitting and I was standing, so it was directly in her eyeline. But I digress. . .

I continue chatting with Kathy for another minute or two, ask her a little about the Bravo special, give a guy who works there the name of my blog. Ralph comes in and shakes my hand [remember, we did the entire interview from three studios away!] and tells me great interview and that he loved the phrase "cosmic justice" and gives me a warm, genuine smile. I feel happy then realize I gotta jet. I tell Kathy that is was great to meet her and that I am a fan [which is true, by the way] and she smiles and shakes my hand and checks out my package again-- subtly, this time. After waving goodbye to all my new KROQ friends, I had to go to work.

But thanks for the memories, KROQers, it was fun. I'll put up the mp3 of the interview just as soon as I get it so all you non-LA kids [or you LA kids who weren't up at 8 am] can listen to the show. Until next time, have you hugged your assistant today?

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Poop on Ryan Seacrest's Star Contest Update

Below is an updated post on the "Poop on Ryan Seacrest's Star Contest". If you're returning, be sure to check out the new caveats and the new posts below this one. If this is your first time to Assistant/Atlas, don't worry, I'll explain everything.

Assistant/Atlas is running a contest to right the cosmic wrong that is Ryan Seacrest's star on the sidewalks of Hollywood.

The first person to capture a photograph of the event mentioned in the contest's title will receive $50.

So if you support the idea of wreaking fecal havoc all up on Ryan Seacrest's star, you can help by supporting the site. To win this $50, you must be the first with a verified winning entry [set of pictures].

Now, please review the eligibility requirements and other materials to enter.

In Order to Enter This Contest:
1) You must be over 21, because you'll probably need to be good and drunk in order to think this is a good idea.
2) You must be personally offended by the snowjob that is Ryan Seacrest's star.
3) You must have a sense of humor that would be considered above average as well as a strong constitution-- there is no crying in the "Poop on Ryan Seacrest's Star" Contest.
4) You must not know who Assistant Atlas is.
5) You must find [or know] the location of Ryan Seacrest's star on the sidewalks of Hollywood. [Hint: Look for the star before taking laxatives or pooping in a bag]

What You Need to Enter:
1) You, and probably a getaway driver
2) Feces, preferably runny, inside you or a plastic bag
3) A camera

To Win This Contest:
You must be the FIRST ONE to do the following [that will be from time I receive an email stating that this task is complete and the pictures are ready to be posted to me]:

You must take two pictures as proof if you actually poop right there on the star. The first should be close on the star-- with Ryan Seacrest's name at least mostly visible-- after the business has been done. The second should be one of you at some point during the dirty deed. It is acceptable to not show your face or to wear a ski mask during the deed to both avoid prosecution and the inevitable embarrassment of winning. Although, if you're willing to do the deed on a sidewalk in Hollywood, then maybe you're a publicity hound. And that's okay, too.

If you don't [or can't-- I realize this takes "pee-shy" to a whole new level] squat, then you must take FOUR picutres. First, you must have the one of yourself pooping into the bag in the privacy of your home/apartment. Then one of you with it in the getaway vehicle. Then one of the dumping of the dumping, and then one of the post-dump star.

Got it?


1) Getting a homeless person to do his business on the star will not be accepted! Remember, this is cosmic justice, people. You must be so personally offended by Ryan Seacrest's star that you are going to defile it yourself.
2) Dog poo is also strictly prohibited. But if you take a picture of your dog pooping on the star, I promise I will do my best to publicize it. But you will not win the contest.


To Assuage Your Worries:

I, Assistant Atlas, promise that I will not show other people, post on the Internet or in any way release, anything but the winning pictures. And for the sick-minded of you out there, please note that I am NOT doing this to satisfy a bizarro people-pooping fetish. I assure that I am much more likely to burn any pictures I receive than to pleasure myself in any way while looking at them.

Please email for picture-sending instructions. Thank you. . . and good luck!

VOTE! Soon. Episode 1.37

"The Poop on Ryan Seacrest's Star" Update is below this post, since [sadly] that's probably what you're looking for. Thanks to the good people at KROQ for their interview regarding the contest. Now, on to Episode 1.37. . .

Los Angeles Mayor position up for the taking– Hahn and Villaraigosa. Election or something, dude. Vote for things like propositions and stuff. Hey, where’s that voter guide they sent? Isn’t there a City Council seat. . . Yeah, Flora Gil-Krisishizlleloff. That’s who I’m voting for.

Here is the official election editorial by Assistant Atlas, on behalf of young white kids of voting age and assistants everywhere.

So, Jim Hahn has had four years to tackle the myriad problems facing Los Angeles. Other than hiring a respected police chief, what has Hahn done? Answer: jackity-jack. I'm sorry, Mr. Hahn, but you got a full term as mayor and you wasted it.

Fortunately for you, people in LA are content that you didn't totally destroy the city. Which is sad. It's also why we, the young and angry, need to vote. Hahn's opponent, Antonio Villaraigosa [why do people have such problems with his last name, it's friggin' cool], is more than qualified to take over the city. And I bet he'd do something. Sure, he wouldn't fix traffic. God couldn't fix the traffic in LA. But I get the feeling he'd do SOMETHING. Los Angeles can ill afford to put off long-term investments in infrastructure, especially mass transit, which is what Hahn has done [except LAX, where he's pushing a BLATANTLY RETARDED program instead of boosting other local airports like Long Beach, Burbank and Ontario to take the pressure off LAX].

So join me in voting for Antonio Villaraigosa on Tuesday. It's about time we had a Latino mayor in LA, anyway-- whitey's run the city for long enough.

VOTE FOR VILLARAIGOSA-- at least we don't know for sure that he totally sucks.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Ten Best Entertainment-Related Blogs is ME!

Someone posted the following on Craiglist on Friday night-- AND I LOVE THEM. If it was you, email me and let me know so I can give you a big cyber-kiss. The best part is, look at my company. I'm up there with the famous Defamer, the fabulous Perez Hilton, sweetie-pie Megan at Overeducated and Underemployed, and the rest of these great, great blogs. I'll be adding all of them [the ones I don't have already] to my blog links list soon. God, I love recognition and validation.

Subject: Ten Best Entertainment Blogs on the Whole Entire Internet
Having done more than my fair share of surfing the Internet while not working this Friday [though, technically, I was at work]. I've also discovered that the predominant traits of ent. industry bloggers is that they're pathologically jaded, self-involved, quick to criticize and friggin' hilarious.

Now, keep in mind, Craigsters, I'm hoping you prove me wrong. What's out there that's better, bitches?

Here we go: "Defamer" As the title suggests, this blog does more than its fair share of defaming, digging inside, dirtying reputations, discussing, dishing and other d verbs. No 'D' theme is evident, but they are connected with 'blog celebrity' Wonkette. "Pop Culture Junkies" Easy access to news is nice about this one. Plus, good, consisently funny commentary. "Query Letters I Love" Confession: I'm a reader, so I think I may love this more than all the others. Fun bonus feature: Make your own comments on the scripts-- they're sometimes even funnier than the query letter itself. But only sometimes. "TVgasm" Be warned, you may just have any orgasm from laughing if you just idly scroll down the page. This one is pretty sweet-- and just had a birthday, for which there is the most hilarious picture. "Perez Hilton" [formerly Page Six Six Six] Celebrity-obsessed? Go here first. Perez is more celebrity-obsessed than you, and funnier, and has better contacts. Don't feel bad, he even has better gossip than the real Page Six.

Http:// "Overeducated and Underemployed" Simple but savvy. Oh, and I almost forgot-- hilarious. The writer of this blog, Megan, also has a ton of funny posts on the Query Letters blog of late. "Breakfast at Tiffany's" Essentially, one woman's view from the inside. A very hot, sophisticated woman who happens to be a great blogger. If I had to date one of the people from one of these blogs, she would win, hands down. "Assistant/Atlas: Hollywood's Young Shoulders" This poor kid. Sometimes vicious [see next sentence], often funny and surprisingly smart view from the bottom of the ladder. Also, apparently going to be on KROQ's Kevin & Bean show for his "Poop on Ryan Seacrest's Star Contest". "Totally Unauthorized" Hard-working film crew member dating "Mr. Movie Star". I wanna find out what happens with the relationship, if nothing else. "Pop Culture Petri Dish" A little ranty sometimes [but hey, you're in RnR, you'll probably like that] but does live up to its goal of pop culture analysis-- that, thankfully, is often wryly funny.

Thanks, guys and gals at these blogs for making my day productive.

Oh, and hey, if you agree with my assessments, why not click "Best Of" so the whole world can know what we, the denizens of LA, choose as our faves? Just a thought. . .

[Atlas note: I totally clicked 'Best Of' like ten times-- you can, too!]

Best Bars in LA: Episode 1.36

"Drinking is good for the soul."
-Assistant/Atlas, assuming no one has claimed this quote before

Got hammered and got to talking about bars in LA, cuz Geeky Roommate and I are just so self-referential. All these places constitute ones where I’ve gotten drunken happily. Fun fact about Atlas: In college, I worked at a magazine for which I did nightlife reviews. Having been plied with drinks by promoters the city over, my standards are now a little higher. And please note that I don’t go to bars in the Valley because. . . well, why?

Akbar– Still consistently among the friendliest crowds, but it was better when it was less gay (not because gay people aren’t cool, but because mixed crowds are hotter)
The Arsenal– Among the hottest Westside crowds, go here if you’re looking for single, straight women and men.
Brennan’s– Turtle races every Thursday, but watch out for the LMU kids. Hey God, why do you make your disciples so annoying?
Falcon– Winner of best club design. If you’re gay, go on Tuesday. If you’re straight, bring a date or look really rich on the other nights.
Forty One Hundred Bar– Hang with Silverlake hipsters, but not the annoying ones. Okay, some annoying ones.
Ivar– Their celeb-studded events can kiss my tushie, but they still get some amazing djs from time to time.
Library Alehouse– Chillax with some of the best frosty brews on the Westside.
Miss Kitty’s– The martini sign beckons dubious beauties for an always-interesting time.
O-Bar– They make the list for the crazy white skewer art stuff they have above the bar. What IS that sh*t? And why does it make me so woozy? Or maybe that’s the mojitos.
Parlour Club– Crazy, crazy times to be had here. I’m not citing examples on this one. You’d never respect me again.
The Red Garter– Please don’t come here if you’re wearing a striped shirt. Come for pool, Pac-Man and a Johnny Cash-laden jukebox.
The Standard– The downtown one, only. My roommate’s comment on a recent visit: “I didn’t remember that everyone– and I mean, everyone– was so wasted last time. I’m talking like stumbling, vomiting wasted.” My answer: “You were super-drunk before we got there last time.” Second only to Falcon decor-wise, O-Bar probably taking third.
Star Shoes– I don’t care that it’s cheesy, I made out for a good twenty minutes with a super-hot punk girl here once (we’re talking Angelina in Hackers hot) and they have fun events from time to time.
Tiki Ti– the fact that you can smoke alone makes it worthwhile, but the vibe is better and the drinks [order off the damn menu, you vacuous slutbomb– they don’t serve that silly microbrew you just ordered] give you a sugar buzz to complement your alcohol buzz.

Are there more? I'm probably forgetting some. I know I am. But hey, I'm hungover, what the hell do you want from me, people?

Friday, May 13, 2005

Maggie Drops a Bombshell: Episode 1.35

Our faithful receptionist, Maggie, is preggers! Congrats to Maggie, even though I make sure no one, not even the mostly trustworthy Maggie, in my office knows about this blog. And I'd like to keep it that way-- unless of course, you want to hire me as your story editor, development associate, or somesuch with phat pay and generous benefits. I may have sold out, but I don't come cheap.

Anyway, Maggie's pregnancy has got me thinking. New life kinda does that. Plus, Maggie was talking to Sloane about maternity leave. And so I started thinking about when I might get to leave.

I dream of better things. I dream of leaving this place. I dream of having a cool boss. I dream of doing more meaningful work. But, like Sydney at SD-6, I am trapped here. I'm bound by my duty to the clients I work damn hard not to screw. At least until it's time to take down Sloane and leave forever, throwing my keys back at the burning office while smoking a cigarette like Angela Bassett in Waiting to Exhale... I can't believe I just wrote that. I am so lame.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Joss Stone Sexes Up the Office: Episode 1.34

Your faithful Assistant/Atlas was given an iPod [mini] for his recent birthday. After getting this present and loading my geeky's roommate's songs onto it [thanks to his G5, it took about 10-15 minutes to get about 400 songs] I began carrying my lil Mini around everywhere.

Here are some weird things I noticed about having an iPod. I keep expecting the music to shut off when I get out of the car-- but it doesn't now. The music doesn't ever stop. It's being piped directly into my ears.

Because of that [and especially when it's on shuffle], I keep having oddly emotional moments when I'm doing things. I was walking in toward my apartment's elevator after work when I entered a state of elation thanks to a random Bjork track. ["It's Oh So Quiet"/"Big Time Sensuality" remixed] I did my laundry with a brazen, smoky sensuality thanks to Joss Stone. I read a script late at night in an ethereal haze [Massive Attack...and some herb]. I drove to the 10 like was in Gran Tourismo with Cirrus' remix of Fatboy Slim's Break In. Having an iPod is sweet.

But there's also been an unexpected side effect. Sloane found out I was listening to my iPod while doing various busy work tasks with Bubbles [mostly so I didn't have to talk to her]. I happened to be listening to Joss Stone when he asked me about it and demanded a listen. I expected him to insult my musical tastes or something, but instead he had me pipe it through my now-operational computer so that we could all listen in the back part of the office [provided Sloane isn't on the phone-- he'll scream at me to turn it off when he is]. So now we're all walking around all Joss Stone-d, even Maggie who can catch strains of it from her perch in the front office.

This has created a bizarro sexual vibe in the office and I've learned that Bubbles has nearly-unparalleled hip motion action. But I'm not attracted to her-- she's annoying. Gotta keep telling myself that. She wears Uggs and likes Britney Spears music. She's evil. She's not hot at all. Oh God, I'm going to be sued for sexual harassment.

So what's spinning in Assistant/Atlas' ears? These artists are currently getting heavy rotation:

Ani DiFranco [brings out my inner angry lesbian, great for angry writing on my blog]

The Bravery [great for head-banging/grooving while putting together scripts]

Damien Rice [when I need to feel tempest-tossed and depressed, yet hopeful]

The Faint [their Coachella appearance has apparently given them newfound cool cache, because now everyone knows who they are-- good for rockin' out]

Joss Stone [I want to have sex with her and her voice- provided the latter gets dirty]

New York Dolls [glamorous, giddy and thoroughly irrepressible- rock away the day]

Squarepusher [great for pretending to be a superspy or hacker]

The Gorillaz [roommmate pirated their new album before it comes out, so I've been enjoying it for weeks. But don't worry, I'm sure I'll still buy their album with all the extra cash I have lying around]

Sloane went on a tirade about piracy the other day, but I'll save that for a later post. Right now, I've got to get back to my pirated music collection on my iPod.

The Unbearable Sucktitude of UTA: Episode 1.33

Allow me, dear reader, to recount the comedy of errors that was my phone call to the illustrious United Talent Agency today. Here's the sitch:

We got a hot tip on a certain A-list actor looking for scripts and Sloane thinks our hot new script would be perfect for him. All I had to do was get a hold of this particular agent, whom I'll call Steven Nicks after the person playing on my iPod right this moment. Now, remember, all I have to do is get Steven or his assistant on the phone long enough to get them to agree to look at the script [not a problem since we've got a well-placed recommendation]. So all I really need to do is get one of them on the phone. I call the number Sloane had written down for Steven from our tipster.

FEMALE VOICE: Um, hello?
[brief pause on my part-- this isn't normally the way people answer the phone at work, but okay...]
ATLAS: Hi, this is Atlas, Mr. Sloane's assistant, can I speak with Steven Nicks or his assistant, please?
FEMALE VOICE: Uh, okay, lemme check if he's here.

[Atlas idly browses "Overeducated and Underemployed" while waiting, nothing new, so he browses "Defamer"]

FEMALE VOICE: Uh, hi, are you still there?
ATLAS: Yes, still here.
FEMALE VOICE: Okay, there's no Steven Nicks here. You've got the wrong number.
ATLAS: I did call UTA, right? Is this 555-USUK?
FEMALE VOICE: Yeah, this is UTA, and that's our number. But there's no Steven Nicks here.
ATLAS: Okaaay. Um...well is there any way you could get me his number or transfer me to an operator who could, please?
FEMALE VOICE: I don't know how to do that. It's my first day.
(Atlas senses a lie-- you don't have the business number memorized in the middle of your first day)
ATLAS: Do you happen to know the main number for UTA then, because all I have is this and it's obviously not right.
FEMALE VOICE: Um, okay. . . can you hold?

[On hold, Atlas checks in on Perez Hilton at his new site-- discovers he's just as lovely-filthy as ever.]

ATLAS: Still here.
FEMALE VOICE: I'm sorry, I can't give you that information.
ATLAS: You can't give me the main number of UTA?
FEMALE VOICE: Yes, I'm sorry. Thanks for calling.
ATLAS: Wait, why can't you give me the number?
FEMALE VOICE: Because I can't give out that information at this time. I'm sorry but-- [I cut her off, which is rare for me, but Sloane has been riding my ass like I was one of his high-priced, low-class escorts]
ATLAS: Listen, I'm not a crazy person. I'm an assistant for XYZ Agency and this is actual, serious business for Mr. Nicks. Can you please just give me the main number for UTA? Please?
FEMALE VOICE: I'm not allowed to do that, sir, goodbye.

And then this cuntwhore voice hangs up on me. I decide she might've been bluffing about having the main number and decide to call a friend I know who knows people that work at UTA, since I can't get their number any other way. [Oh, our computers are down, too, by the way, for most of the day, making it doubly hard since I have no access to my exec list. And UTA isn't in the Hollywood Creative Director, of course, nor is Sloane's Rolodex number for them valid]

My friend, whom I'll call Margo, and who is wonderful, gives me the work number of her friend Billy who works at UTA. So I call Billy.

MALE VOICE: Hello, Mr. X's office.
ATLAS: Can I speak to Billy, please?
MALE VOICE: May I ask who's calling?
ATLAS: I'm Atlas, his friend Margo asked me to call him.
MALE VOICE: Okay, well he's out for the day, would you like to leave a message?
ATLAS: Okay, actually, to be honest with you I'm just trying to get a hold of Steven Nicks, who works there, but I've got the wrong number for him. Is there any way you can get it for me, please?
MALE VOICE: Uhhh...who is this?
ATLAS: This is Atlas, I'm an assistant for Mr. Sloane, or you could just give me the UTA operator or something and I can have them give it to me. Normally we have it, but our computers our down and it's important--
MALE VOICE: We don't have an operator. And I don't know Steven Nicks' number. Sorry, I have to take another call.
ATLAS: Wait- no-- [*click*] Crap.

Sloane checks in on my progress right that moment. I make the mistake of telling him what's wrong, and he goes ballistic and delivers an ultimatum, which he LOVES to do: "Atlas, I need to talk to Steven Nicks today. Get him on the phone-- NOW." I call back the office of the Hot Tipster who gave us the number, but the one they gave us is the only one they have.

But I decide I'm not going down in defeat on this one. Not to these people, oh no. So I tell Sloane I'm going to the bathroom, run outside to suck down a cigarette while listening to some trip-hop on my iPod, then walk purposefully back to my desk, sit down and call back the girl at the first number [she sounded maybe early twenties].

ATLAS: [in my best intimidating-but-fake-nice voice] Hi, this is Assistant Atlas. We spoke earlier. You wouldn't give me the main number for UTA. Who told you not to give me the number?
ATLAS: Look, someone obviously told you not to give me the number-- who was it? Or could you put them on the phone, please?
FEMALE VOICE: Sir, I told you--
ATLAS: I know what you told me, but listen to what I'm telling you. I need to talk to Steven Nicks. Right now. It is my job to get him on the phone and if any one of our computers was working right now, I could. But they aren't, and all I have is your number. So all I can do is just keep calling you back until I either convince you or your boss to give me the number. I know you're trying to protect your company from loonies calling and wasting people's time, but this isn't a waste of time, I'm an assistant, the last thing I can afford to do is waste people's time. So please just give me the number. Please.


FEMALE VOICE: One moment please.
ATLAS: Okay.

[Long hold, so I assume she's just going to keep me on hold until I hang up, a used-by-the-intractable technique that can blow up in your face. I check out Toner Mishap, Overheard in the Office, Life According to Princess Grace, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Totally Unauthorized, Craigslist, Hollywood Assistant, and a season's worth of Three's Company episodes. When Sloane pokes his head out of his behind to check on me, I decide to hang up and call back...]

ATLAS: Hi, this is Assistant Atlas again, and I'm serious when I say I'm going to keep calling you back until you help me because you're the only number I've got right now.
FEMALE VOICE: Please hold.

[I'm on immediate Musak. I consider hanging up again and calling back, but someone picks up. It's a male voice, I'm guessing 30s]

MALE VOICE, 30s: Hello, who is this?
ATLAS: I'm Atlas, I'm Mr. Sloane's assistant.
MALE VOICE, 30s: Why are you harassing my assistant?
[I'll show you harassment, you douche]
ATLAS: It was not my intention to harass your assistant, but I was told to call this number by the people at Hot Tipster's office to reach Steven Nicks, A-List Actor's Rep. And our computers are down, so I can't just look up the number and Hot Tipster's office doesn't have a different number for him.
MALE VOICE: [impressed by rapid name drops] Oh, okay. It's 555-SUCK.
ATLAS: [stunned] Uh, thank you.
MALE VOICE: Thanks for calling UTA.

[Okay, I added this last line, but the rest is nearly word-for-word.]

Thanks for reading, I feel better now that I can publicly shame them. Blogging rocks!

And don't forget to catch me with a digitally-altered Darth-Vader voice on the Kevin & Bean show on KROQ, possibly as early as Monday to discuss my "Poop on Ryan Seacrest's Star" Contest. It's 6-10am on KROQ, which is 106.7 [FM] for those in the LA area. More details soon...

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

I Hate UTA

I just spent a goddamninably long time on the phone with UTA. I can't rant about them now...but I will later. Oh yes, I will.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

All Hail Family Guy: 1.32

The triumphant return of Family Guy proves that the DVD era has arrived. Shows no longer have to wait for syndication to make their mucho dinero. DVDs will accomplish the same thing, with much less fuss. That's why Fox ordered 35 episodes, while only committing to air 13. Of course, with Family Guy's recent success [and its obvious halo effect on the inferior, if still somewhat funny, "American Dad"], I suspect that Fox will air most, if not all, of the episodes it orders. And the profit potential of future episodes looks secure.

I'm just glad the show that did it was Family Guy, which of all of Fox's current comedies, is probably the funniest. Arrested Development is wryly hilarious and The Simpsons is the gold standard in animated comedy, but Family Guy just makes me laugh out loud more than any other show on TV. We're talking "Spit-stuff-out-your-nose" funny. It's also nice that it happened to the quick-axing people at Fox. This is a network [as we heard on the first returning episode of Family Guy] that has a lineup of good dead shows longer than its complete list of current ones. Dark Angel's Jessica Alba taking over for a season for Sydney while Jennifer Garner is preggers, anyone?

For returning and proving Fox wrong and making them eat it-- Family Guy, I salute you. And Fox, can we move Family Guy earlier so I don't have to get my geeky roommate to pirate it off the Internet from CTV [that's Canadian television, people] without the commercials because I can't miss a second of Desperate Housewives?

Thanks. Although not bad scheduling with Animation Domination. Except that its success dooms Arrested Development to the ax-- except if YOU PUT IT ON A DIFFERENT NIGHT, LIKE RIGHT AFTER AMERICAN IDOL, YOU JERKS. You know that Arrested could be successful, but no-- sorry, I digress with another tirade against Fox.

The whole point is, the economics of television are changing thanks to DVDs-- a series that can cost $45 million for a season [or more] can make most of that back on strong DVD sales alone [If Lost sells a DVD to one in 10 viewers at $45/pop, that'll likely be revenue of about $90 million]. The five-season standard for syndication may still be the admitted goal of most television shows, but that may no longer be tv's only cash cow. That's why the fight is on over DVD revenues.

There's more evidence for this trend-- Dave Chappelle's megacontract and his recent one-man strike [Defamer has had the best coverage of this, with all due respect to PopBytes, et al.] may be the best evidence. He's rich, bi*ch. And it's thanks to DVDs. So let us now feel a little sad that we have provided Benjamins for Dave to snort his yayo. I never said fame and fortune still weren't a double-edged sword-- come on, people, this is Los Angeles. You know this.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Executive of the Week! [#5]

Who will it be this week? Well, Assistant/Atlas is ready to crown the fifth Executive of the Week, and it is. . .

Jon Eskenas of Orly-Adelson for tellin' it like it is. Jon, no 'h', is also no b.s. As you'll notice, this is a favorite feature of our execs of the week, along with 'hot forearms' [that's an inside joke for Ryan Colucci fans-- see Exec of the Week #3 post to see what the inside's all about], is the ability to tell it like it is.

What struck me about Jon [and I say struck, because, thanks to Sloane, I rarely speak with Jon anymore] is that he's almost unnecessarily honest. He'll actually say things like "I would love to do your script, but thanks to conditions at the lot. . ." and he'll then enumerate those conditions-- specifically referencing ones hurting your project. And you'll hang up the phone feeling more angry at the studio system than upset that a development person actually liked your project and yet couldn't do much with it.

With Jon, you'll actually feel like you know the real reason why your script didn't work, instead of the old, annoyingly unhelpful standard "We laughed, we cried, but it wasn't for us." But it's not just that he gives an actual reason. Oh, no. With Jon, you can actually hear that he's sorry things are the way they are, that he shares your anger at the absurdity of the situation, that while he may work for the Man, he is not one with the Man. And for that, Jon, I sincerely thank and congratulate you. Keep on keepin' on and I'm sure you'll be making Oscar contenders in no time [well, no much time].

More post action later today-- check back with Atlas! And in the meantime, support the "Poop on Ryan Seacrest's Star" Contest. There will also be a contest update later today [hopefully, but Sloane-dependent].

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Project Greenlight Revisited: 1.31

Here's what we learned this week on Project Greenlight:

Matt, Ben and Chris all like director Gulager, who on this episode is gigglier than a Japanese schoolgirl meeting Brad Pitt, because the rough cuts of "Feast" are impressive.

Chris can be a scary, psychotic, whiny baby if pushed to it.

The crazy-looking assistant of the producer guys [Joel Soisson and the other guy whose name eludes me at the moment] sucks. You should've hired Atlas. He'd never give away any extra info or invite people to a screening for a movie that's had all of three days of postproduction.

Superwhoreface Michelle Gertz [blonde casting director] was back to get a peek at the film. Hey guess what-- the reviews are in and everyone likes the movie except for the fact that your little galpal Navi was in it. Way to screw up, Michelle, and way to do it so backhandedly and so publicly.

For those not in the business of making movies, you should know that every editor I have ever met acts almost exactly like the editor is depicted on the show. That same blandly relaxed, socially awkward persona is shared by all editors, regardless of race, creed, ethnicity, sexuality or shoe size. It's eerie, actually, if you think about it.

Harvey Weinstein is God. Bow before him, BOW! When the Harvey calls, you will obey his every desire. You will placate the Harvey by giving him whatever he wants. You must worship the Harvey with every action you take. You must love and fear the Harvey-- but mostly you must fear him. The Harvey will be watching. . .

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Stop the World, We've Got a Good Script: 1.30

Every once in awhile, Sloane will go into what I like to call his "Defcom One" mode. Defcom One is Sloane's state of manic panic when buzzes himself into a tizzy with doing 'real work'. This usually happens when we find a great project of some kind.

For example, this week, we found a great script. [I read it first, went out on a limb with a "recommend" and guess what, Sloane said it proved I was a genius. Sadly, I felt really validated and I hate that, because it means I obviously want some sort of validation from a man who is so obviously insane in the membrane] Sloane's excitement sent him to Defcom One.

SLOANE: "Atlas, quick, call every male lead with a production company we know on Project X. Whoever reads this will know it will be a hit, so it should be an actor slash producer."

ATLAS: "Got it. What age male lead?"

SLOANE: "Thirties or forties. No, wait, Atlas, we should just sell it. We could easily get a couple mil for this, right? let's make a list and go down it one by one. We've got to be methodical. So, we shouldn't call the male leads with production companies because we can get more from a studio with deeper pockets. So call all of the studios, tell 'em we've got a can't-miss project, get 'em all lined up, then send out the scripts all at once. We'll have a bidding war." [rubs hands gleefully]

ATLAS: "Got it. Any studio preference?"

SLOANE: "Not Paramount. Wait, Atlas, maybe we should do both at the same time--"

ATLAS: "I'm already bending the laws of physics calling all of these people at once in either option." [not said aloud]
ATLAS: "We should-- you should decide before I start with the phone calling." [what i actually said]

SLOANE: "Oh you know if I offer it to H---- W------ first, I can squeeze him for cash and pay him back for that favor. You know, the one with the--

ATLAS: [frantic, not wanting to mentally rehash that sequence of events which I might relay at a later date but oh dear God was it bad] "Yes I remember."

SLOANE: "Well, we should look at our options first before doing anything. We've got to be methodical."

ATLAS: "Hey maybe we could make a friggin' pie chart." [not actually said aloud]
ATLAS: "So our options are partner with someone, sell it or use it to repay a favor?"

SLOANE: [such rapid simplification momentarily baffles him, then] "Yeees. What do you think?"

ATLAS: "That this is a dangerous question I don't want to answer." [not said]
ATLAS: "Ummm. . . maybe we should examine our business needs?"

SLOANE: "Yes, good, that's methodical. What exactly are our business needs at the moment?"

ATLAS: "Shouldn't you know this-- it's YOUR business, as you're so fond of reminding me." [not said]
ATLAS: "Well I guess it boils down to cash flow-- if we need an immediate cash infusion, we should just sell it. If we've got extra cash, we should partner and make more long-term money. If we're in between, I guess we could pay Mr. W----- back." [by the way, I just made all this up, I really had no idea, but this sounds logical in my head so I said it-- I know next to nothing about finance, but boy can I BS]

SLOANE: "Yes, yes, that's perfect, Atlas. So what does our cash flow situation look like?"

ATLAS: "WTF-- how am I supposed to know?" [not said]
ATLAS: "You have all the financial records."

SLOANE: "Right, okay, yes. All right, I'll review our finances and you start calling people. Okay, Atlas, great. That's the plan." [he heads for his office]

ATLAS: "Uh, wait, Mr. Sloane. I can't call anyone without, um, knowing who to call."

SLOANE: "You're right. Okay, get ready to call everyone, but just wait until I have the finances in order. In the meantime, read some scripts or something."

ATLAS: "Sweet, I can just blog at my desk." [not said aloud]
ATLAS: "Okay, sure thing."

Friday, May 06, 2005

Summer Movie Preview-- The Early Buzz: 1.29

Before I get started on this post, I saw an AMAZING movie that you've [probably] never heard of despite its winning the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in 2004. It's called "Primer" and I won't say anything further other than it's easily the best movie I've seen in months and months and months. Go see it. Now. Anyway...

Entertainment Weekly is previewing 136 Summer movies. We all know we're not going to see that many, so I've pared it down for you in the listastic spectacular entry.

SUMMER MOVIES: The Best 10, the Worst 10, the 10 Most Notable and the 5 Notable for Not Being Selected For Anything.

How’s that for some ever-popular list action, biyaachizzzyies?

BEST [no particular order since the season ain’t really begun yet]
1) CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY- Johnny Depp, Tim Burton. Need I say more? Thought so.
2) THE FANTASTIC FOUR - I don’t care what anyone says– it will be awesome. Evidence: Jessica Alba and Julian McMahon and I will TOTALLY buy Michael Chiklis for the Thing. They’re summer movies people, remember? It’s not plastic surgery.
3) STAR WARS: Whatever The Last One Is - I think that’s enough, don’t you?
4) Brad & Angelina as assassins meant to both kill and love each other. I don’t care if the publicity is fake or well-covered-up [come on, sex between those two would undoubtedly cause some kind of nuclear hotness reaction] that’s my kind of movie. They’re MR. AND MRS. SMITH.
5) WAR OF WORLDS will scare the crap out of you and probably make you cry and I don’t care if Tom gave Katie lip herpes [dirty, dirty boy and dear, virginal Joey], the man can still carry a movie.
6) DUKES OF HAZZARD will be funny, thanks to Johnny Knoxville and Seann William Scott, who are both underrated. After this movie, they won’t be again. And hey, Jessica Simpson in and as Daisy Duke. As Chester would say, “Sweet.”
7) MAD HOT BALLROOM - Indie doc on 11-year-old dancers. Dude, I’m telling you, it’s funny. Now I know I just called Johnny Knoxville and Seann William Scott underrated––but supposedly, Mad Hot is the hilarisizzle.
8) SERENITY - Okay, the title sucks for an action movie [and thus far, so does the trailer]. But everyone who has seen early peeks of this Joss Whedon epic says it's friggin' awesome. Being Joss Whedon-helmed, I wouldn't doubt it.
9) UNLEASHED [or "Danny the dog"]- Did you just put a touching story about the triumph of the human spirit and modern-day slavery into a Jet Li movie? Good job.
10) CRASH- I'll need a good ensemble dramedy after all this action. It would be better if Sandra Bullock wasn't in it, but nothing movie is perfect, I guess.

WORST [no particular order, it’s too early for that]
1) STEALTH– I’m not buying it. Jessica Biel will be in a navy uniform [not hot] and will just be flying an ‘effected’ plane. Josh Lucas leads, with Jamie Foxx and a computer that ‘would kick HAL’s butt any day’. Who are you gonna remember, EDI or HAL? That piercing red light or Jessica Biel’s T&A wiggling a joystick while being restrained. I thought so.
2) KICKING AND SCREAMING – Saw a sneak. . . sorry, Will, you lost me on this one. And you took some of my innocence with you.
3) HOUSE OF WAX – And yet, it will make money. People will want to see Paris die. And I think it will be cathartic, ultimately, for America.
4) SEX, POLITICS AND COCKTAILS – The writer is the director is the producer is the cameraman– give it up already, dude. Probably an art house wide release, sadly, soaking up badly-needed theatres. Don’t be fooled by forgiving critics– this is a stinker according to early, admittedly pre-postproduction gossip.
5) HERBIE: FULLY LOADED – Lindsay’s first bomb? Well, her costar is a CAR. That should give you some idea.
6) THE HONEYMOONERS – Why would anyone think remaking this is a good idea? Why? And don’t tell me because of “Guess Who?” with Bernie and Ashton because I will suckerpunch you in the gut, stranger. I will.
7) CINDERELLA MAN – I’m just tired of Russell Crowe. And if it was any good, with a cast like this, they would’ve released it during Oscar season. But seriously, I’m done with Russell Crowe. I want him to go away. Period.
8) THE PERFECT MAN – Hilary Duff and Heather Locklear. Prepare the vomit bags and the uncomfortable grimaces.
9) DEUCE BIGALOW: EUROPEAN GIGALOW- I think the title says it all. Who greenlit this and can I have their job?
10) What should the last one be? Come on, be snarky and anonymous like Atlas. Comment. Do it. TELL ME WHAT YOU REALLY THINK

NOTABLE [again, numbers have no particular meaning here]
1) THE BROTHERS GRIMM – Winner of the ‘Where the hell did this come from, Hollywood?’ award. With Mssrs. Matt Damon and Heath Ledger and what is apparently another mediocre part for Monica Bellucci. [see...I’m nice for being anonymous!]
2) JIMINY GLICK IN LALAWOOD – I have faith that Martin Short can make this dishier than anything Assistant/Atlas could ever deliver. And come on, EW said the man laughed off his prosthetic makeup. That’s gotta count for something.
3) PINK PANTHER – Let’s see if Steve Martin, Kevin Kline, and Beyonce pull this off-– Big Boss Sloane swears by Peter Sellers and I must agree that it’s gonna be tough. There’s hope, though. . .
4) FOUR BROTHERS – They’re here because they get the points for thinking they can pull this premise off– Wahlberg, Tyrese, Andre 3000, and some white guy who was in Friday Night Lights as brothers. Foster brothers, thankfully. This is John Singleton-helmed– so a definite maybe must-see.
5) NIGHT WATCH - Russian horror epic. The trailer sold me on it, but I'd heard good buzz for awhile. Supernatural forces of good and evil battle-- in a really pretty, gory way.

5 NOTABLE FOR NOT BEING SELECTED [conveniently numbered without meaning]
1) THE ISLAND – Buzz isn’t go much of anywhere on this one– but it has friggin’ Scarlett Johansson and Ewan McGregor in it. But it’s Michael Bay, so that’s weird no one’s talking about it, right? And bad....perhaps?
2) MYSTERIOUS SKIN – Oops. This isn't Keira Knightley's requisite junkie role. As of this, I don't know for sure that she has one. Atlas gets confused when he has to type fast while looking over his shoulder for Sloane. Thanks reader, for pointing that out. I'm retarded sometimes. Don't mind me.
3) SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS – I really wish good young TV actresses [Amber Tamblyn and Alexis Bledel] would pick better movie roles. Maybe they don’t have the time, what with the publicity circuit the WB whips them into– I mean, contracts them into doing. Oh, wait, Joan’s on CBS? Hey, I wonder what would happen if CBS doesn’t renew Joan?
4) BEWITCHED – Why do I feel nothing for this remake despite Nicole Kidman, Will Ferrell and Shirley MacLaine? Because the show was a TV Land disappointment? Or is it that magic sucks now thanks to Charmed?
5) BATMAN - Sure, I love Batman. But why do I feel so lukewarm about Christian Bale?

All for now. Atlas has to go back to hand-holding and world-shouldering.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Niches or Ghettos? Episode 1.28

"ATLAS! I need that waxing scheduled NOW!"
-Sloane, today, 2:28 pm

If you haven't heard, there are not one, but two, gay pay cable networks coming to a television screen near you-- Logo and Here. Before you straight readers say 'who cares?'-- think about this for a minute. Are these new gay tv networks progress or segregation? By turning homo eyeballs away from the major networks, the impetus for showing gay characters drops, which is bad, right???

As we all know, there's no way in hell that Bubba from South Carolina is going to subscribe to a gay network, go to a gay bar, or even meet a gay person in his line of work at the chicken-processing factory. But he might tune in to "The Amazing Race" or even "Desperate Housewives" and learn that there are people out there who are reasonably normal, but gay. This same sort of criteria holds for other minorities. . .

Has BET really done the black community good, or has it simply enriched a few people? In the case of BET, I think most black folks would agree that it's more like the latter.

Are Telemundo and Univision encouraging Latinos to segregate themselves in a Spanish-speaking ghetto? Eh...every Latino I know [admittedly, only Angelenos] has no problem speaking both-- and will typically do so many times over the course of a day.

Questions for further discussion: Regardless whether these channels are good for minorities in the eyes of Bubba from South Carolina-- are they good for their respective communities? Answer: sometimes. The potential is there even if the execution isn't. Of course, all that really matters is the execution, so we're back to the 'sometimes' answer.

More thoughts on this topic will probably have to wait until after work-- but I wanted to get it out there.

Sloane on a tear-- post not complete

I don't have today's post done-- a rather thought-provoking one, hopefully [eventually]. But Sloane took his extra-crazy pills this morning.

Post forthcoming later today.

PS- How good was Alias last night? And how hard is it going to be to wait for new Lost over the summer? J.J. Abrams is a god among men.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Bubbles Must Die: Episode 1.27

Bubbles [AbFab reference], our "Comic Relief Intern", is jumping up and down on my last nerve with her purple clogs. Who the hell even wears clogs anymore? Every two minutes she comes to my desk with yet another inane question, distracting me from doing actual work with the busy work that Sloane is making her do.

Sample questions:
"Wait, is Gersh an agency or an agent?" It's a friggin' circus, you moron.
"Which is first, I or K?" Sing the damn alphabet song to yourself and stop bothering me.
"I can't read this handwriting-- can you?" Do I look like a calligraphy analyst?
"Is Warner Independent part of Warner Brothers?" No, it's just a huge coincidence.
"Do I have to file all this stuff?" That's what Sloane told you to do. So do it.
"Is 'Weekend' one word?" I hate you.
"How come there are two separate files for Evolution and Evolution Entertainment?" No, seriously, I hate you.
"Can I go to lunch early?" Please do. Right now.

So if anyone knows a good, cheap assassin, could you let me know? Thanks.

An Open Letter to Elderly Angelenos: Episode 1.26

Dear Old People Who Live In Los Angeles,

Thank you so much for continuing to live, work or be retired in a city that places such value on youth. There are just so many reasons why I'm thankful for your presence in our fair city.

Thank you for slowing down traffic-- it improves my gas mileage. Also, thanks for driving home the point that you don't have to have a cell phone strapped to your ear to be a bad driver.

Thank you for agitating against new immigrants- after all, I moved to LA for its ethnic homogeneity.

Thanks for helping to teach me proper values, like 'all gay people are evil, hell-bound sodomites' and 'everyone should learn to speak English' and 'you should respect your elders, regardless of whether they earned it'.

Thanks for complaining about everything-- after all, how else is it going to improve?

Thanks for the environment my generation is inheriting. Of course, it's not perfect, but thanks to the balanced budget and low national debt you're passing on, we'll be able to clean up what little needs cleaning.

And finally, thanks for just being you.


PS-- Does anyone know how they achieve nuclear fusion in a cup of coffee at McDonald's? Seriously, it's 30 minutes later and I still can't drink the damn thing. I think old people who complain about cold coffee are probably responsible for that one, too.