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

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Celebrity Height Guide: 4.20

I worked a full day yesterday (8am-8pm) and then I began drinking. Therefore, not much for posting today. So here's some filler...


Ever wanted to know how tall your favorite celebrity is? I know, I didn't really, either. But hey, filler.

So check out this site to find out the height of the celebrity you love- or one you're going to meet. Hint to tall people: don't wear heels/big shoes when meeting the shortest actors. [via Defamer]

Click here to check it out.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Supporting KCRW Supports Freedom, Puppies & Rainbows

For those who don't know, KCRW is the public radio station here in Los Angeles. And it's AWESOME. Unlike many public radio stations, it's one you actually want to listen to. And today, listeners all over the globe can tune in for live audio feeds, podcasts and even videocasts-- all for free. Angelenos get the added bonus of being able to listen to KCRW on the actual radio. If you haven't heard the word about KCRW, click here to check it out.

Please, everyone, if you can, make a donation to keep KCRW afloat. Because they're starting to sound desperate. And if they get too desperate, they could start drowning puppies or destroying rainbows. So please, support KCRW. To donate, that's 1-800-600-KCRW. Or you can donate online by clicking here.

More soon from everyone's favorite anonymous assistant. . .

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Liveblogging Dancing With the Stars

I can't believe I'm doing this, but I am. I've finally succumbed to ABC's latest reality 'hit'. It's a lot like American Idol, except it appears to have a ramped-up consciousness of its inherent cheesiness. Or maybe that's just me.

Mostly, though, Famke and I are bored, but don't feel like going out. Therefore, you get a liveblog.
Here's what you need to know about "Dancing With the Stars". You pretty much get what you're advertised. C-List "stars" dancing it up.

Three judges: Hot Asian Woman, Old British Guy, Middle-Aged European Guy
Overall, they are way, way smarter and more accurate than the American Idol Idiot Panel.

George Hamilton: Campy as hell as reveling in it. Still, he's a little sad with how much he seems to want to hang on to his career. And by that I mean, his ability to score.
The judges find it campy, but appreciated George's showmanship. Me, too. And now, Tia Carrerre visits dancing children. And they are awesome. And a little of their awesomeness rubs off on Tia. And now she'll do a foxtrot.

Tia Carrerre: That was a flawlessly foxy foxtrot. And she looks good. And it made Famke move her pelvis around and rub my leg a lot. So I'm pretty happy with the show at this point. And Tia just totally sold that 'motherhood' line.

Master P: Described as a 'rap master'. Which is accurate, I guess. That Mormon family moment was inspirational. "You kinda give him an A effort, right?" says Famke. More like a B-. I have no idea who this judge is, and I can't identify his accent, but his inspired rants seem French-Italian. And the judges eviscerate them. Oh, his name's Bruno, the Eurojudge. Master P's scores: 4, 2, 2. Ouch. What really hurt, though, was Master P selling himself and his album or whatever. Master P, I would've voted for you if you'd remained cool. Well, not really. Notice that the editors mostly eviscerate him this week.

Now, it's to a blond chick. This blond chick is 'pushing herself to the limit'. If she's a 'mess' physically, then I'm a friggin' wreck. Her name is Stacy Keebler. I still have no idea who this woman is, but I do like the Norah Jones song.

Wow- that was dang good dancin'. She's like old Sienna Miller. And Euroguy says she's got the best legs ever. She's a natural, says Brit guy. I agree. Now she's gotten the highest scores.

When I ask who she is, Famke says she's from the WWE. How she knows that, I don't know.

A Paso Doble to Thriller from Drew Lachey? Oh my. Holy crap that's cool. YES! They added the Thriller zombie move! That was awesome. They're pretty much flawless. And the ceiling shot at the end was a great touch. Good job on that, Nick Lachey's little brother. In a few minutes, you've managed to completely eclipse anything your brother has done, talent-wise.

What do the judges think? This is the Best Paso Doble ever by a celebrity according to EuroGuy. I must agree. They score appropriately, giving Drew and Dancer the highest score.

Jerry Rice needs to take ballet classes. Jerry Rice says 'oh my God' and I must agree about that dance guy's package. Jesus. Russian Girl Dance Partner affirms Jer's masculinity. Jerry's learnt the fire's still there.

Anna Trebunskaya is Russian Tara Reid. They've got a good song though and Jerry's a bit stuff but doing okay. And he jumps well. The through-the-legs thing at the end worked for me, too.

Jerry's back on track, according to Euro Guy. They fight a bit. Is old British guy an Aussie? For the most part, says Hottie Asian, he was a gentleman.

Wait, the Pussycat Dolls are gonna be there? Jerry has a 9-year-old? Awww. Jerry Rice makes ballet a little less gay. They get three 8s, which is pretty decent.

After the break, Lisa Rinna dances the Pasa Doble. I know she was a soap star or something, but all i know her for is Veronica Mars. And she was flawless in her role in that, so I'm an instant fan.

Oh, George Hamilton just did a Ritz chips commercial- end line: "And believe me, I know toasted." Yes, you do know toasted, George.

Lisa Rinna, yes, she has had more plastic surgery than anyone in the competition, but she does work a lot. And she'll stop when she's dead. Oh golly, she's actually married to Harry Hamlin! Like she was in Veronica Mars! Awesome!

She and her partner really whip each other around. Harry Hamlin liked it!

And now everyone else, Famke and the Host, checks in on Harry. EuroGuy and Asian Hottie like it. Aussie/Brit Old Guy likes it, too, equal to her dynamo performance last week.

Back to Lisa Rinna, she's pimping herself out, but doing it so nicely. Her partner is pimping himself out, too. His name is Louie. Or more likely, Louis.

And now we're back to reviews. Overall, I think Lachey's bro's Thriller dance is the coolest thing I saw wasting my time tonight. But Lisa Rinna should stay, too, because Harry likes it. And I want Tia to stay.

No, seriously, is the host's name Tom Bergeron? No, seriously? Apparently yes. At any rate, way better than Ryan Seacrest.

So I guess, overall, not as boring and mind-numbing as it could've been. I guess that technically means I was 'entertained'. Way to go, ABC.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The Winners and Losers Of The New CW: 4.19

It's the burning question-- the one all the assistants have been buzzing about. What's up with "the CW"? And what's up with the name? They couldn't have anagramed up something with "WB" and "UPN"? You could get "BUN", "WUPN", "BUP" or what about the "WU"? Personally, I'd like to work for the "WU", but only if it was corporate policy to pronounce it like "Woo!" and then make that tired raise-the-roof gesture.

But somehow I don't think Les Moonves'-corporate-kid-sister and current UPN honcho Dawn Ostroff, would be all about the 'Woo!' And whither the WB's honcho? Actually, who is the WB's honcho? Why, it's none other than our very own Garth Ancier!

And now, a requiem haiku for Garth Ancier:

I wanted you gone.
And now, now it has happened.
Good riddance, biyotch.

But enough with the media gods, what about us mere mortals sweating it out in the trenches?

1) Shows That Get To Hang Around: They win because there will be more money for shows: bigger audiences can support higher-budget shows. Among them:
Gilmore Girls: Rory will be getting a raise.
Veronica Mars: Lo and behold, they're keepin' Veronica. At least all press release indications look that way. I, for one, would like to say: SWEEEET!
Supernatural: "the people" of Jared Padalecki & Jensen Ackles, plus McG, should make out like bandits. Maybe now they'll be able to afford to hire actual writers, if they don't spend all the extra cash on Jensen's hair.

2) Les Moonves: Now one step closer to completing his glorious world-domination agenda.

3) Dawn Ostroff: While Les is away minding CBS/taking over the world, the CW becomes her little fifth-place turf. At least until she's booted.

4) Media Companies Producing Filler: The newly-primetime-less affiliates are going shopping for programming. Got some?

Seated at the far left, Les Moonves knows that it's just a matter of time until he bumps off the two other guys and moves yet another step closer to total world domination. It's good to be the Moonves.

1) High-Level WB Execs: Who seem to be wilting, led by the aforementioned Garth. UPN execs seem oddly less affected. Is this a palace coup for Les Moonves? Perhaps. Time shall tell.

2) Affiliates: Um, so now we've got all these extra tv stations and stuff. That's not good. Or is it?

3) Charmed: Finally. It wasn't mentioned in the press releases. Which means it probably will die with The WB. Dear God, let it die with the WB.

4) NBC: Didn't think it could get worse than fourth place, huh, Jeff?

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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Fun With The Flacks: 4.18

I know a lot of you think I don't think very highly of public relations professionals. While that's only somewhat true, there's nothing I like more than playing with PR People. Except maybe totally selling out to them for a facial, massage and a chance to hang out with your celebrity doppelganger.

Not that I'm jealous of . . .

Fine. I'm totally jealous. Therefore, I'm going to make fun of People since they apparently aren't ever going to love me, not like they love Perez "Holy God Look At His Traffic" Hilton, anyway. Maybe I'm just too unpredictable. Anyhoo, this email arrived in my inbox perhaps two weeks ago, but I've been a bit busy and such, so sorry that I'm just now gettin' round to it now:

Check out the “Copycat Killers,” an online, interactive game inspired by the movie that your users can access directly by clicking on this link:
It would be great if you can promote this on your site.

Well, gee, Angela, since you asked so nicely, I'll share the press release you dropped about a great new Lifetime special movie event thing with all my readers. (count the oxymorons in that sentence) The art of the press release is certainly an evolving one, and as my favorite proper British magazine The Economist recently pointed out-- PR spending is set to rise. So in order to cope with what is sure to be the rising trend of flack-hacking. Flack-hacking is when bloggers or any other media people (yes, even TV journalists count here) are sent targeted emails by PR people in the hopes of inducing a story. As my good friends at The Economist point out, this is actually much more effective than buying advertising-- hence the forecasted increase in PR spending.

The point is- we're just gonna have to get used to press releases, and become adept at the art of deciphering them. Assistants, this means you.

So in the interests of learning and media development, here's Angela's lil slice of PR heaven, with my comments in bold:

Lifetime Television’s A Little Thing Called Murder, premiering January 23 at 9 PM ET/PT, and starring Golden Globe® and Emmy® winner Judy Davis (Look At What Poor Judy Davis Has Been Reduced To!) (Husbands and Wives(good); Life With Judy Garland(Um?): Me and My Shadows(Yikes!) and Jonathan Jackson (“General Hospital”; Tuck Everlasting; Deep End of the Ocean)(And lest we forget, Camp Nowhere) as mother and son serial killers. A dark, yet campy (read: with a muddled tone) retelling (read: over-melodramatizing) of the events that would lead to one of the most bizarre crime stories in criminal history,(at least OJ had a car chase.) A Little Thing Called Murder feaures Davis as Sante Kimes, a charismatic (unlikely) con artist who built a fraudulent real-estate empire, and with the help of her obedient son, Kenny (Jackson)(Mud), committed a string of murders across the country. At their recent trial, Kenny, free of his mother’s psychological grip, revealed the sordid and disturbing details of their crimes, leaving many to wonder how a woman like Sante was able to manipulate her son to commit the unthinkable act of murder. (just guessing: incest?)

Now repeating endlessly on Lifetime, "Television for Golden Girls re-runs!"

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Monday, January 23, 2006

Did I Just Get Promoted? 4.17

The conversation went something like this*:
*details have been fudged to protect identities

Supervisor Sally: Did you hear that Awesome Amy is leaving?
Atlas: Yeah, it really sucks. Awesome Amy is awesome, but that new thing she's doing sounds amazing.
Supervisor Sally: So she's leaving this week, and her position is proving to be pretty difficult to fill on such sort notice. How would you feel about moving into her position while you and I train someone to do your job? I think it would be much easier to find someone who can jump right into your job than Awesome Amy's. Don't you agree?
Atlas: Um. . . sure?
Supervisor Sally: Great! I'll talk to Boss Lady about getting your pay bumped up.
She exits.
Atlas: [shocked silence]

So just so everybody knows, I may be a bit busy in the next few weeks.

In news, I totally called that Chloe's new boyfriend was the spy inside CTU just as soon as evil advisor Walt and crazy European Max Headroom guy discussed his existence. Famke will back me up on this one.

Spencer's "SD-6 defense" I did not foresee, though. I guess I should've guessed, but hey, one flash of insight per night is plenty. Speaking of SD-6, I'd like to take this opportunity to once again tell Sloane, "Screw you, old man, my career's doing just fine, thankyouverymuch." Ahh, so nice to exorcise some of the ole demons.

Totally psyched by my new promotion.

Friday, January 20, 2006

"That's So Gay" Expression Declared Dead: 4.16

Thanks to the resounding recent success of a slew of 'gay' films led by "Brokeback Mountain", the once-popular slang phrase, "That's So Gay" has been declared officially dead at an impromptu summit of the Central Committee of the Slang Police.

America's top slang policy-making organization, the Central Committee of the Slang Police, comprised of a popular clique of 15-year-old girls from Malibu High School and a posse of homefries from Inglewood, held an unprecendented emergency summit to make the declaration.

Slang Police Spokeswoman Sierra Hoffman-Hughes issued this statement: "In recognition of the achievements of gay cowboys and hot lesbians and stuff, we have decided to make the expression 'That's So Gay', including all its derivatives like 'You're So Gay', officially over. Like, totally dead. Any violation of this can and will result in a Class 3 Slang Infraction." Possible penalties for a Class 3 Slang Infraction include mild to moderate mockery, eye-rolling, embarrassed sighing, and funny and/or disapproving looks.

This declaration marks the first time in several months that the two main Slang Police factions have met. Official reasons cited by the factions include lack of transportation, mismatched schedules, meeting ground disputes, and "our parents were being total b**ches." Some of the more philosophical members of America's top Slang Enforcement agency even cited globalization, the effects of Spanglish, and rapid technological advance. "Sheet's moving fast now, man. It's like computers and stuff. . . it's like everything, man, you know?" mused Santa Ana Slang Police Officer Xavier Solana.

But outside of the organization, criticism of the Slang Police has been heavy of late. "Their infighting allowed 'Hella' to hang around for like, EVER," sniped Brittany Klyburn, 16, a former member of the Slang Police now relegated to the slutty girls' lunch table for alleged boyfriend-stealing, "instead of it being over in fifteen minutes like it totally should've been."

The summit came together once the crucial issue of a neutral meeting ground was addressed. "We met at Pink's Hot Dogs," said Ignacio Cruz, 20, "Cuz you know, it's like right on La Brea. I f&cking love those chili dogs."

Once the Slang Police Central Committee actually met, relations were termed 'surprisingly chill.' According to Ms. Hoffman-Hughes, "We totally agreed right away. It was so totally obvious to everybody what had to be done. I mean, it's like, that expression was always been a little sketchy to begin with, and then it's like, now, with like Brokeback Mountain, and Felicity Huffman and stuff and Queer Eye has been on forever now. It's like, hello? Obvious."

Obvious, indeed. T-Dog Tyrone Washington said, "Yes, biyotch, that is my name. Also, my brutha is a muthafuggin' gay! You f***ing wanna step?"

For a generation raised in the post-Ellen-coming-out, funny seasons of Will & Grace, it seems that as popular culture pushes the envelope inexorably forward on issues of race, gender and sexuality, many seem to follow. But perhaps that puts the chicken before the egg. Consider the comments of 14-year-old Graciela Santiago Real ( ed. note: our computers are not equipped for foreign language 'accents') who said: "I was born in the Nineties. I like know for a fact that gay people are cool. So calling something 'gay' like it's bad is just stooopid, with like three o's."

The Slang Police spokespeople also noted that "Hella" has been reclassified as a Class 5 Slang Infraction, punishable by a swift kick to the ball-region and/or hoo-hoo arena, followed by eye-gouging and possible bitchsmacking.

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Thursday, January 19, 2006

Time Keeps On Ticking

No, this isn't another 24 post. Just wanted to let you all know that I haven't quite finished today's post (which is a funny one, in my humble opinion). It will be up by the end of the day (the real day, not the workday, remember I can't exactly post from work). Anyhoo, more soon...

By the way, I'm still getting my behind kicked in the Best of Blogs' Snarkiest Blogger contest. So if you've got a few seconds, why not vote for me by clicking here? You'll have to scroll down about a third of the way to find Snarkiest Blogger. Thank you! Thank you!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Oh God, Please No, It's American Idol Time Again: 4.15

This stupid, shite-eating, gay-monkey-humper is invading your living room again. Yes, America, it's Ryan "Poopypants" Seacrest, and he's back with the heavily-medicated Paula Abdul, dang-man-his-weight-yo-yos-more-than-Oprah's Randy Jackson, and a man after my own snarky (read: black and festering) heart, Simon Cowell. Oh yes, it's time again. F&ck. Every year, I tell myself it's a moronic waste of my time. And then I'll be pulled right in.

I always end up falling in love with a contestant or two (Nadia Turner, anyone?) who is inevitably voted off around the sixth week while a whole bunch of pretty boys with cruddy voices make the cut thanks to teenage girls.

But this year will be different. This year, I'm going to studiously ignore it. I'll just avoid it. . .


I just found out Famke likes it. Perfect.

"American Idol" debuts tonight at 8:00pm on Fox. Please, watch "Gilmore Girls" instead.

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Monday, January 16, 2006

A Requiem for President Palmer: 4.14

First, I am getting my snarky lil behind kicked in the "Best of Blogs Contest". Please go vote for me by clicking here. (Snarkiest Blogger is in the middle of the page) Come on guys and gals, I know you're out there, hundreds of you. And I've got 11 votes? Come on now.

Now, in less me-centric news, last night was the season premiere of 24, an event I'd been anticipating for weeks, in part because I'd finally seen the second season via Netflix.

"24" is a lot of fun as a show, less campy than Alias, and more hardcore, but it's that same sort of fun, wild ride. One thing that 24 does do a lot is kill off characters, and they killed off two of my favorites on Sunday night. Unfortunately, unlike on Alias, characters on 24 don't tend to rise from the grave-- Kiefer Sutherland's Jack Bauer excepted, of course.

But one character who looks unlikely to rise from the grave is Dennis Haysbert's President David Palmer. Beginning in season one as a Senator set to win the California presidential primary (and, coincidentally, an assassination target), David Palmer demonstrated the kind of courage, fortitude, wisdom, and yes, nobility, that only seem to be requirements for Presidents on television.

Seriously, President Palmer on 24 made me wish our government could be like it was on 24-- full of deceit, paranoia and false information, yes, but ultimately led by a man worthy of the highest respect. So it is with great sadness I say goodbye to you, President Palmer. You will be forever remembered as a great man.
This is Dennis Haysbert. I would vote for him in a second, be it for Senator, President or Pope. I know he's just acting, but I'll take a guy who can at least act like a President over the sham-tastic one we've got now. Any 24-hour day of the week.

24 continues this week on Fox, with the finale of the season premiere beginning tonight at 8:00pm PST. I'm already counting down.

In other 24 news, Defamer reports that Fox News Cafe has failed Jack Bauer.

Also, I'm pretty sure my girlfriend is cheating on me with Tony Almeida. That's the only possible explanation I have for the loud "Tony!" she screamed out when the exploding car exploded for a second time. Which is fine, because I've always thought Michelle was hot. Oh why did you have to die! Beyrrrooooooozz!

Tony Almeida Vs. Assistant Atlas
One out of my one girlfriends agree, it's a sexy showdown.

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Friday, January 13, 2006

The SUV People: 4.13

Hey there, remember me-- Tim Smith? You know, from over in marketing? Great, great, nice to see you again. You don't remember me? Well, yes, I am hard to distinguish from all the other people I'm exactly like, but hey, comes with the SUV person territory, right, buddy? What's a SUV person? Haven't heard of one, huh? Really? Well, guess I better tell you before you look dumb in front of someone else, right?

First off, it's a lot more than just spending too much money for an inefficient pseudo-truck that tells everyone on the road that you're a horrible person. Oh no. Being a true SUV person is a state of mind.

It means caring as little as possible about your fellow human beings at all times. It's easy to slip up--what with that "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" show on the air. And you know, sometimes those insurance commercials get me, too. But I'm strong and I'm resolute. I will be the biggest jerk I can be, every single day.

Being one of the SUV People means that you've gotta make a lot of money, and let me just say, I do. Unfortunately, the job eats away a lot of my time, even though my assistant pretty much does everything but wipe my tushie. The upside is that I don't have to see my family very much. All my kids are teenagers or something and now they're a huge pain in my aforementioned hindquarters. Oh, work's also a great excuse for when I need to make a late-night 'ho run. And man, nothing attracts the hookers like a big SUV with tinted windows.

Of course, it's not all fun and games in marketing. Oh no, I've gotta earn those six figures. I debase myself each and every day, even if I don't have to. You know, just to keep sharp. Plus, this really helps turn me into a raging ball of bile inside. Which I think actually pretty much takes up the space where my soul used to be.

Really, come to think of it, I probably couldn't be one of the SUV people without my job. After all, it is the source of my small kernel of non-self-loathing that I blow out of proportion to create my ginormous ego.

I guess it also helps that I have a very small member. It means I'm prone to bouts of irrational anger and paranoia. I try to compensate through a rigorous gym program. Usually I do a 30-minute cardio warmup, work my biceps and triceps, usually some abs, followed by another round of cardio and a cool-down, and then end my workout by touching myself to completion in the shower.

I know you think I'm sexy.
Now, you're right that the nature of the SUV People is most apparent on the road. When driving, I've got to constantly be on the lookout for tiny openings in traffic that are much too small for my vehicle to swerve into dangerously. It's tough, you know, to go as fast as I possibly can even when traffic is obviously going much slower that I'd like it to. Of course, I try to have fun with it, you know? I'll be driving along and then suddenly I'll stop and wait until all the other cars are lined up behind, and then I'll attempt to reverse into a space I passed about half a block ago. While talking on my cell phone.

Yeah, sometimes, I'm a little worried that someone might dent my expensive extension of my manhood, but when I see the angry glares of the people as they rocket past me, it makes it all worth it. After all, making other people miserable is the only way I'm gonna feel comparatively okay. And trust me, that's harder than it sounds in Los Angeles. A lot of people smoke marijuana here, you know.

What really defines the true SUV person is committment. A committment to proving through purchases your selfish arrogance and general malevolence toward the human race. That, and proving a total lack of taste.

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Also, the voting has now opened in the Best of Blogs Contest. So get out there and vote for me people! Click here to do so.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Award Season Continues!

Whee! Happy! In this award show, the theme music's playing for me, baby. That's right, your very own Atlas just found out he's been nominated in the second annual "The Best of Blogs" Contest. And guess what I got nominated for? That's right, kids, SNARKIEST BLOGGER.

Now, remember, this is completely different from the Bloggies, which are apparently the granddaddy of the Blog Awards. The finalists in that contest will be announced soon.

Just to prove that I am the snarkiest blogger, I will now say something undeservedly mean about everyone involved:

trancejen: Have some more pills, pillhead.
I don't like you that way: There's a reason you never get laid. It's probably because you're ugly.
tales of a post-grad nothing: Um, are you a guy or a girl? No seriously.
conversations with famous people: Since when is loopy delusion snarky?
snark Great name. Was taken?
hot johnny and all of his pants: Hot Johnny? Isn't that like a Hot Carl?
beauty and the beer: I went there and saw neither beauty nor beer. Effing ripoff.
b*tch on the street: This would be interesting only if you were an actual hooker.
persiflage: Persiflage gets points for the name. And that's it.

But seriously, I'm honored. A lot of these bloggers are completely awesome, and please dear God let them have good senses of humor. I guess they'd have to in order to be snarky. Anyhoo, more snark coming tomorrow!

UPDATE: Currently getting my behind smacked. Please, vote here!

Help Disneyfication...But Not The Bad Kind: 4.12

People who have been reading since at least the third season will know that I hail from somewhere over the rainbow. You know, where skies are blue? Every once in awhile, I hear about something from the Land of The Boring that I just have to write about. But unlike some previous rants, this one involves the entertainment industry-- specifically, the history of animation.

Now, I know Walt Disney was a xenophobic, right-wing bigot, but he is a towering, iconic sort of figure in American life, right up there with Ford. But then again, wasn't just about everyone a xenophobic, right-wing bigot at the time? Well, assuming they weren't a Communist sympathizer. So I think we all just need to chillax over Disney. Isn't that right, Bob Iger?

So back to the subject at hand-- the Disneyfication of Kansas City. You see, back in 1922, when he was a young animator, Walt Disney launched Laugh-o-Gram Studios after working for the Kansas City Film Ad Company as an animator for a few years. Disney's Laugh-o-Gram produced popular, but ultimately-unprofitable, short cartoons. It was here that Disney began his corruption/re-imagining of fairy tales into cartoon. Despite the popularity of Disney's cartoons, Laugh-o-Gram ended up folding just after a year and a half in business.

Shortly thereafter, Disney had done what many a Kansas Citian has done before him to seek success-- he left. Moving to Los Angeles, Disney would soon create Mickey Mouse (helpfully re-named from "Mortimer" by his wife) and launch an animation legacy of epic proportions.

Today, a group of Kansas Citians is trying to turn the drab, rundown building, the former Laugh-o-Gram Studios, into an interactive museum of animation, history and Disney. It will preserve a historic structure and serve, like my Rolodex, as a reminder that not everything important that happens in the movie biz happens in Southern California. Well, not at first, anyway. And that counts for something. Why Disney's ABC Extreme Home Makeover hasn't done a Extreme Museum Makeover on this puppy is astonishing, especially when you consider the total cost is about half of what they paid Lindsay Lohan to do Herbie: Fully Loaded.

For more on Disney's life, visit his Wikipedia page.

For more on renovation efforts, check out their website by clicking here.

Here's a bio of Disney's right-hand animator man in Kansas City, the improbably-named Ub Iwerks, who would later be instrumental in bringing Mickey Mouse to life. To read the bio, click here.

That's all folks. I'll be back soon with something snarkier.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Emily's Reasons Why Not To Watch This Stupid Show: 4.11

Maybe you've heard about the latest television offering from ABC. Maybe you've seen the ubiquitous billboards around the city. Maybe by now you know that someone gave Heather Graham her chance to finally star in "Sex and the City: The Lame Network Primetime Edition."

This is Heather Graham, looking both gawky/skinny and robust/boob-y at once. Make up your stupid, empty brain, woman. Or your body. Or whatever. Dammit. Why do I sometimes find you marginally attractive? Anyway, she's doing a sitcom. There was never really any question about that, of course. And we should note that the otherwise-fine programming folks at ABC would surely know better than to try and get people to watch Heather Graham for more than 22 minutes on any given night.

So now, without further ado, Assistant/Atlas presents:


1) Heather Graham
2) Heather Graham
3) Because Heather Graham ruined the otherwise-delightful Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.
4) Heather Graham
5) She's such a complete non-entity as an actress that I'd completely forgotten she's in the following movies: Six Degrees of Separation, Scream 2, Lost in Space, and Swingers. No one likes a non-entity.
6) Heather Graham
7) Seriously, she's not pretty. Yeah, okay, I'd bone her. But only if I didn't have to spend every Monday night with her from 9-9:30 or whenever that earning-the-name-boob-tube piece of trash is on.
8) Heather "Seriously, Rollergirl WAS the Highlight Of My Career" Graham
9) Heather "Aren't You Glad I Slept With a Lot Of People So I Could Be Famous" Graham
10) And finally. . . because if Heather Graham can't hold down a show on Monday nights-- if Two and a Half Men beat her-- then maybe Hollywood will realize that she's both untalented and unbankable. And then maybe, just maybe, we won't have to ever see or hear from her ever again.

Personally, I'm just glad it got pummeled in its first outing. That gives me hope for the world. And indeed, for television.

UPDATE: SUCCESS! ABC has yanked "Emily" and "Jake in Progress" to prevent their further ratings spanking. At least for a week.

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Monday, January 09, 2006

Eli Roth, Director of "Hostel", Douchebag

So there have been requests that I dish the dirt on the lesser figures of Ho'wood. Does a crappy director count?

As horror movies are wont to do, Quentin Tarantino Presents Eli Roth's "Hostel" opened with a surprisingly large amount of cash-- $20 million+. Now, Eli Roth directed "Hostel"-- that much is agreed upon. Previously, Eli directed "Cabin Fever". Again, not widely disputed. What is widely disputed is whether or not Eli Roth has one single shred of filmmaking ability. Largely overlooked in this discussion is whether or not Eli Roth is a talentless, megalomaniacal fauxteur. You know, the kind who really has a chance to make it in Hollywood.

LET'S PRETEND! Let's say we've just directed a low-budget horror movie whose star is a D-Lister from a middling-rated mid-90s TGIF show. Having had reviews ranging from the pleasantly surprised to the disappointed to the sarcastically mocking, we might be a little down. But when the time comes for the big DVD release, we launch into an expansive sermon regarding our vision for the movie. Proud director papa or megalomaniac? Well, if we've seen "Cabin Fever" we know the answer.

In our pretend world, we are arrogant douchebags.

Hitchcock had vision. Kubrick had a warped (but awesomely warped) vision. Spielberg seems to have multiple visions. Hell, even Tarantino has vision, despite making "Kill Bill 2" an ultimately disappointing endeavour. (that said, Vol. 1 is still friggin' awesome)

You've done one movie, Eli, and that movie was a stupefyingly mediocre (and that's being charitable) indie horror flick. You don't have anything that could even be remotely considered vision.

Also, Eli, Assistant/Atlas knows firsthand-- and secondhand in some deliciously funny stories--why you've got such an interesting reputation in Hollywood. You're known, Eli Roth, as a man who, in a town and business known for outsize egos, as the director whose ego most overestimates his actual worth to the town and business. Wonder why so many of your projects are trapped in development hell? Maybe it's because the most common thought the assistants have following a meeting with you is: "Who the fuck is that guy? And more importantly, who does he think he is? No, seriously, who does he think he is? Does he have multiple personality disorder and one of the personalities think he's a Weinstein brother?"

Sorry, Mr. Tarantino, but you're backing the wrong horse. Of course, of course, "Hostel" will almost certainly turn a profit. But frankly, this kind of cinema is like being kicked in the head with an iron boot. And not in a good way.

And it's not like you'll change, Eli. Just look at you. I mean, Jesus, even I'm not that self-involved.

You are so lame / you always disappoint me / It's kinda like our running joke / It's really not funny

And that's just how I feel about you, Eli Roth. I could give a flying shout about your 'vision'. Right now, all I'm seeing are fantastic reasons for the MPAA to burn all moving picture houses to the ground. And that's not what we as an industry should be shooting for. Just so you know.

[end rant]

If you enjoy this blog, please vote for me in the 2006 Bloggies. I'd really like to be nominated in the following categories: Best Entertainment Weblog, Best New Weblog, Best Undiscovered Weblog. So if you guys could make that happen, that'd be just great. Oh, and listen, I'm gonna need you to go ahead and come in on Saturday.

As filler slots on your ballot, feel free to choose randomly from any of the links in my Rolodex to nominate as well. Remember-- you can only vote once per IP address, so be sure to fill out your ballot completely before submitting. Thank you, lovely readers. And vote soon, the nomination phase ends this week or something. HURRY!

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Thursday, January 05, 2006

The Ho'wood Executive Awards!

If the writers, directors, producers, and every other 'er'-type group has awards, then Assistant/Atlas is gonna get his, too. Since this blog is dedicated to the destruction or reform (whichever comes first) of the Hollywood system and its executives, I figured I'd give it the name of "The Ho'wood Awards", in honor of the fact that we're all whores.

Official name:
THE ASSISTANT ATLAS HORRIBLE HOLLYWOOD EXECUTIVES AWARDS! These prestigious awards were judged by a distinguished panel consisting of myself and my roommate, and then we called a friend and ran it by her. And then we wrote this.

So now for your reading pleasure, we present to you the "honorees."


WINNER: This was a toughie, but in the end it was Haylie Duff, who has elevated celebrity family hanging-on to an art. Yes, she's not a Hollywood executive, and thus, maybe a bad lead-off for the awards. Okay, how about she has to share the award with everyone who has enabled her career? Whatever, we just really hate Haylie Duff.
Runner-Up: Eisner's kid, whathisface. You know, the one who directed that crappy movie? But really, there are too many to mention them all.


WINNER: Jeff Zucker. The fact that he was just promoted makes our heads spin. Which is surely the work of the Devil.
Runner-Up: Amy Pascal. After a bomb-filled year, only dressing up like an idiot for premieres makes you indispensible.

WINNER: Michael Brown, infamous FEMA Director. Sorry to get political, but he tops anyone in the entertainment industry for the sheer audacity of his appointment.
Runner-Up: Arnold Schwarzenegger. Seriously, fellow Californians, we need to stop getting high before voting.

WINNER: Untitled Entertainment, ZEI, and good ole CAA. These are Lindsay Lohan's people, but please note they won only because the cutoff date was January 1st. It is not a good move to have the headline "Lohan Confesses To Drugs and Bulimia" heading IMDB news.
Runner-Up: Scary, Scientology-enabling lawyer Burt Fields for frightening the pants off anyone to whom he sends a letter.

UPDATE: Seriously, forget what I said about CAA, Untitled, and all the rest, it's Lohan's publicist Leslie Sloane Zelnik who now wins the award all by herself as Lindsay's mastermind. Just check out this latest masterstroke, chronicled in Defamer. Mark my words, either this will play out as arguably the best PR move in the history of high-stakes celebrity PR or result in Lohan's going to jail for admitting she used cocaine in a taped conversation with a Vanity Fair reporter. Either way, let's hand it to the adorably-named Sloane-Zelnik, this kind of brinkmanship takes a big set of steel balls. And you've got 'em lady. You've got 'em in your boobs.

Sorry, kind got off-topic there at the end. [end update]

WINNER: Sony. Yes, the entire stupid company. The stringent anti-piracy lobbying and practices started it, but the insidious rootkit installed on dozens of Sony Music CDs clinched it. If you don't know what I'm talking about, you should r
Runner-Up: Garth Ancier. You missed out on a television revolution and a hit show with the torrented Global Frequency.

WINNER: Les Moonves. Smacking down the theory that a young exec 'can connect better' and is therefore superior to an old one, CBS's Moonves handed NBC's Zucker his ratings head on a platter. Giving Moonves extra spring in his step: he's got one of the strongest stables of shows of any network, thanks to the way his net's oldsters send off their shows only once they're deep into lucrative syndication.
Runner-Up: Mark Burnett. This reality superproducer told Martha she'd be taking over The Apprentice to get her to commit while telling The Donald he'd get a cut and it would help his ratings. Burnett successfully played two media moguls off one another to their dismay, while he was the only one who gained. Who cares if Martha's Apprentice flopped? Burnett still made out like a bandit.

And finally. . .

WINNER: Rupert Murdoch. has successfully destroyed journalism as we knew it. Surprisingly, it wasn't the bloggers, who've been surprisingly good watchdogs when it comes to many important stories this year. Nope, place the blame squarely on the "Fair and Balanced My A$$" Fox. Daddy'd be proud, Keith. After all, his greatest influence is in Australia, where one of his newspapers passed off something Defamer wrote as actual fact. Profit-boosting staff reductions still look like such a great idea, Rupe?
Runner-Up: Michael Bay. Pheeeeeeeewwwwyyyyooooooooo, BOOM! [or, if you're a screenwriter, SFX: Falling, then exploding bomb] What's that the sound of? Hopefully your career, you talentless jerkoff.

Thank you all, and good night.

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Warning: Brokeback Mountain Will Make You Gay

Please, let this be a warning to you, straight men of the world. If you're a heterosexual American male, don't go see "Brokeback Mountain". Because it will give you The Gay.

You see, like many, I didn't think it was possible to catch The Gay. It's genetic, I thought, or perhaps a combination of factors, environmental and genetic, that led people to The Gay. But I didn't think it was like a disease, like something you could catch just from being exposed to it. But oh my goodness, you totally can, because right now, I am really gay.*

*I would like to note that this sentence was not intentionally hiaku, but upon re-reading it, dang, that just proves my point.

One might even say "uber-Gay". I don't deny it. All I can say is that I walked into "Brokeback Mountain" straight, and walked out gay.

The insidious thing about it--about The Gay-- is it's a creeping sort of thing. You're just sitting there, watching the gay cowboy movie with your girlfriend, appreciating the fine performances and the artistic direction and the sparse script and stuff (which granted, is pretty gay already, but let's keep in mind that this sort of thing is kinda my job). And then it hits you-- everybody in the place is weeping for these faggy cowboys! Including me!

"Dude! What the hell?" I thought, "Why am I crying- I'm a goddamstraightredbloodedall-American man! I don't cry at any movie except maybe Brian's Song!"

And then it hit me-- I had The Gay.

I freaking hate Ang Lee now. Even though he did do that cool Civil War movie about Kansas.

So how do I know I've got The Gay and not just a case of "Temporary Homophilia" (which I understand is the scientific term for temporarily getting The Gay)? Well, when I got home, I seriously began to consider installing track lighting in Famke's house, color-coordinating her bookshelf and doing her hair and nails. Then for no apparent reason, I began to wonder what Orlando Bloom's really like, and if we'd get along in real life, and what he might think of my hair. It was then I knew I didn't just have a passing case of The Gay.

And the worst part? My girlfriend doesn't seem to mind.

"It's so nice having a gay boyfriend," she says, "They're more sensitive, more fun, and my house looks amazing now. And I don't miss the sex much. I mean, we can even share vibrators now!"

Man I hate Ang Lee. Ang Lee and his stupid cute butt. Agh! I'll never be rid of this disease!

HEATH: Ain't many gays in them hills, Jack.
JAKE: Ennis, them's the Hollywood Hills.
HEATH: Oh. So I guess there's a lot of gays in them hills, then.

UPDATE: Yep, still got The Gay. Even after a marathon session of sports, kung fu movies, and porn, I'm still wondering if I'll ever get a peek at Superman's package.

Please note that the above post is what's known as "satire". If you need a definition of satire, please click here.


Monday, January 02, 2006

The Semi-Annual Semi-Holiday: 4.10

Across the entertainment industry, the worker bee assistants have begun to return to their hives today. Oddly though, reports are coming in from all across Hollywoodland that offices are half-empty. Why would the industryites abandon their posts, leaving deals unmade and projects untouched and souls uncorrupted?

Why because it's one of the industry's semi-annual Semi-Holidays! That's right-- on this glorious day, no one's quite sure if anyone has to work at all. With the holidays being short this season, thanks to a Sunday Christmas (way to go Jesus), most of the assistants out there were hoping for yet another day of pot-enhanced video game play and obligatory masturbation to free internet porn. And they got it! Sort of.

My experience is perhaps typical. The decision on whether or not we were working, having not been conclusively made before the holiday break, was apparently never made at all. God bless the quasi-work environment of the entertainment industry.

Essentially, this meant that I ventured out in a Louis Quinze-like deluge. Yeah, that's right. I just dropped a European history reference.

It also meant that I showed up to an empty office, despite showing up an hour late because if I was in fact working that day, then by God, I was going to sleep in a little.

After entering my empty office, I did my usual morning routine of checking messages, emails, etc. A little while later, a production assistant showed up. Her name will be Carla for the purposes of this dialogue, in honor of the fact that Rhea Perlman helped me win a game of Scene It: TV Edition. (yes, that was an Xmas present) The question was: which actor/actress won 4 Emmys during the run of Cheers?

CARLA: Hey, Atlas. I thought I was going to be the only one here.
ATLAS: Oh. Well, I had work to do. Were we supposed to have the day off?
CARLA: I dunno. I don't think so.
ATLAS: I thought the whole industry didn't work from like December 20th to January 5th or something.
CARLA: I guess we're just friggin* lucky.

*she didn't use 'friggin', since our office is at least rated R, if not NC-17.

About an hour later, I got an email from a co-worker asking if my New Year's was good and what I was doing on my day off. Despite the fact that I probably should have known from the empty office that some people were having the day off, it was still a shocker. Finally, after a flurry of emails, it was determined that Carla and I assumed we were working, while three other people assumed we were all sort of working from home on a few critical things. Everybody else was sure we had the day off. So Carla and I left far before the normal end of the workday to compensate for the fact we'd worked at all.

And I wasn't alone in my aloneness. At the roomie's workplace, he and a dedicated editor were the only ones to show up. They had to mop up a bit of flooding, but then the roomie got to have the day off. He spent it playing "Guitar Hero" and smoking pot. Bastard.

So don't worry, y'all. Your favorite anonymous assistant is still alive and kicking-- despite having little/no memory of my New Year's activities much past midnight. But hey, I arrive home with my keys, clothes and wallet, so that's a good sign, right? Now if only I could explain my painful o-ring and bloody stool.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

What Have We Learned This Year?

Here are just some of the things I've learned in this action-packed year. And what a rollercoaster was, eh folks? Here we go. . .

Jeff Zucker has, without a doubt, made a deal with the Devil. How else do you explain the fact that he got promoted after NBC imploded on his watch? It's either that, or karma is one slowass biyotch.

When Scientology attacks, watch out. Celebrities lost to crazy Scientology behavior in 2005 include Katie Holmes, Danny Masterson, and Beck. And I don't care how much KCRW plays it, I don't think "Guero" or "Guerolito" are that great, especially coming from Beck. And I say that as a hardcore Beck fan. Frankly, Beck, I was expecting more from you. Perhaps believing in something as silly as Xenu has warped your musical sensibilities. And I don't care if my comments light up over this either. I'm pissed. L. Ron Hubbard is catching some major sheet from me next year.

In the predictions category, I would like to state that I think Wilmer Valderrama is most likely to be a Scientology convert in 2006. I'm calling it now.

Spies on TV=Cool.
Real-Life Government Spying On What I Get From Netflix=Not Cool.
Seriously, people, scary. By the way, this is the same president who thinks that bombing the most influential Arabic-language broadcaster in the world might be a good idea. Just think of what might happen to the Weinsteins if the Patriot Act's renewed.

The Chad Michael Murray avatar is liked by all.
Well, not Sophia Bush.

Assistant/Atlas on the other hand, inspires decidedly mixed reviews. If you just stumbled here looking for hot pics or something (and boy do I seem to get quite a few of those) you can find them here at a Socialite's Life.

This year was a great reinforcement of the maxim: no matter what we as an industry put out movie-wise, some stuff will bomb. It's just a given of the movie industry that some people (entertainment reporters in particular) will forget this from time to time. This year, horror had good margins, the tentpoles performed according to expectations, and a few comedies broke out to make boatloads of cash. It wasn't a great year for sensitive dramas and biopics (the probably-profitable "Walk the Line" excluded). Of course, smart development execs will realize that this means absolutely nothing for next year.

Also, I think we've realized that it is far, far better to embrace technology and figure out ways to make money from it (like TV has selling "Lost" through iTunes) than to try and squelch its development (shutting down Napster didn't stop music piracy). In fact, as a matter of principle, I always attempt to pirate Sony music. Also, click that link if you haven't heard about what those ginormous a-holes at Sony did with some of their music CDs. Basically, their antipiracy program made all your base belong to them. And if you tried to fix it, their repair system left in a whole mess 'o programs hackers could use to (really and truly and I am serious about this one) TAKE OVER YOUR COMPUTER AND USE IT FOR EVIL. So let's remember, if you want to fight evil, pirate Sony music.

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