Celebritology Live

Mar 17, 2011

Note to Readers: As you probably have noticed, many familiar discussion-related features on washingtonpost.com have moved as part of the recent redesign. We apologize for any inconvenience and confusion. Here are a few links to help you find your way around:

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Join Celebritology blogger Jen Chaney to gab about the latest celebrity gossip and pop culture news making waves across the Web.

Getting used to navigating the new site is just baffling to me.

I figured I'd be hearing from you all about the redesign. Honestly, I am still getting used to it myself, from both a navigating perspective and a just plain getting my work done perspective.

I also am aware that some things in Celebritology -- most notably, the archives -- are not working as they should. We are working to get those things fixed.

In the mean time, I am curious to hear what you dislike (and like) about the new design of the site. All feedback is valuable. Thanks.

It's amazing to see who's up and who's down career-wise now that AP 4 is in negotiation stage - Alyson Hannigan's career has taken off like a rocket, Sean William Scott (rehab aside) still stars in big movies, and former "Loser" costars Jason Biggs and Mena Suvari still do regular TV. Everyone else though? Lyonne, Reid, Klein - have all had well publicized problems, and the rest have fallen into obscurity. It would be nice if AP4 gave their career a jumpstart.

I actually saw Thomas Ian Nicholas at the Spirits (he was in last year's "Please Give"). So he's still working and in good health, too.

But yes, it certainly is interesting to see what's happened to that cast. I wouldn't say that any of them has emerged as a huge star in his or her own righ, but I think Hannigan has had the most success. Scott's done some big movies, but a lot of them have been clunkers. ("Dukes of Hazzard," "Mr. Woodcock.")

That said, Stifler was always my favorite "American Pie" But  character. But I fail to see what can be done or said in yet another "Pie" movie.

But I'm sure you know that! What happened, Liz leaves so WaPo decides it needs to start over fresh?

This redesign has been in the words for years. At the risk of getting too nitty-gritty, it also involved moving into an entirely new publishing system, which is another big hurdle for the newsroom to jump over.

That said, I know Liz is kicking back and smiling because she got out of here before the changeover happened. Switching publishing systems is never fun.

Always a class act--giving $1M to the Red Cross to aid the Japanese earthquake victims. That's putting your money where it matters, as opposed to a Twitter post.

Yes, a very nice thing for Ms. Bullock to do. She's always good about donating to causes like this. I believe she did something similar to help people in Haiti.

What do you think is up with Kate Hudson sitting in nose bleeds seats at AI last night?

I missed Idol last night. But if she was in the nosebleeds that seems odd, unless she purposely sat up there because she didn't want to be spotted.

It would be great if the word "Celebritology" on the Entertainment: Celebrities page could be click-able to bring readers to the blog, instead of just having click-able individual stories. The "More" button doesn't go to the most updated version of the blog. Thanks!

Q: What is the difference between Charlie Sheen and the Fukushima nuclear reactors? A: There is a better chance of preventing the Fukushima reactors from melting down.


Thanks for the comedy. I'm in need of it since my computer is running so slowly that I can barely answer your questions. We're doing super-well with technology this week, aren't we?

I can't wait for Dancing to start on Monday. Although I am not hugely excited for the lineup. Except for Kirsty Alley, it seems as they are going to more obscure people.

Agreed, it's not as intriguing a line-up as last season.

I suspect Kirstie Alley will generate both drama and comedy, both intentional and not. Personally, though, I am rooting for Ralph Macchio. He can do a crane kick, you guys. And as far as I am concerned, that demonstrates a certain grace that should translate into the best wax-on, wax-off moves DWTS has ever seen.

Well, I'm glad they have attempted to make the "conversations" easier to find on the home page. That was entirely too irritating. And on the topic of irritating, why oh WHY do we need to change it from chats to "conversations"? Its changing for the sake of change, which is not always good. Sometimes its just stupid. Now then, I'm loving your Celebritology bracketing strategy! Its no Lost Bracket, but well, what is? And an honest question: if Charlie Sheen brought his torpedo show to DC, would you be tempted to go? And have you heard from Liz? And will we still get a pic of your pooch?

Wow, a lot of questions here.

I can't speak to the logic behind chats vs. conversations as I wasn't part of that discussion. But I can say thanks for your appreciation of my Celebritology Bracketology. We honestly should have done the entire bracket that way, but I didn't think of it until the last minute. And with redesign, we've all been a little hamstrung. Maybe next year.

Re: Sheen. I would be tempted to go for professional reasons, but not personal ones. I can't figure out what he's going to do during a live show that would be interesting. But I am curious to find out.

Re: Liz: I have heard from her. She's doing well, preparing for the big move to L.A. She misses you guys, of course.

And I'm working on the dog thing. Can barely type right now so one step at a time!

RM w/ the fabulous Paul Rudd and Elizabeth Banks was the best comedy of '09. If nothing else Scott gets huge props from me for that.

Absolutely -- that's probably the best non-Pie movie on his resume.

Have you seen it? Will you see it on opening weekend, knowing your deep affection for Bradley Cooper? Reviews appear to be mixed thus far.

I already saw it -- had to before writing this profile of Mr. Cooper.

I liked the movie, actually. I thought the premise was pretty interesting, and the ending had a nice twist to it. It's not going to be nominated for best picture or anything, but it's a smart, diverting thriller and Cooper does a nice job. And I'm not just saying that because he's hot enought to set off smoke detectors.

Oh man, is anyone else sneaking glimpses at this ODU/Butler game? My bracket is already in the tank.

I like that we can finally reply to specific comments. It would've been nice if we were given the option of being able to reply to a reply. I'm not a fan of the page no longer filling my entire screen, it gives the WaPo a facebook feel to it. But I do feel like you have done a great job since taking over from Liz. (Though, more ScarJo/Christina Hendricks pictures would be greatly appreciated)

Duly noted, Dorkus. And thanks for the supportive words.

Don't get me wrong - poor Haiti is still in trouble and will need help for years, but I wonder if that wasn't the nail in the celebrity-grandstanding-televised-relief-pledgathon coffin.

It's an interesting question. I think plenty of celebrities have  donated money to the efforts in Japan and/or urged their twitter followers to do so. But we've gotten so used to seeing the big telethons and other celeb-oriented effort that tend to follow big disasters that it almost seems odd when something doesn't take shape.

It's almost like a weird version of that old Life cereal commercial: "Something devastating just happened. We need to raise funds via some televised celebrity event. Hey, let's get Clooney!"

To your point, I think Japan will need help for years, too. It's an awful, unthinkable situation.

I do redesign work for a living, so I understand it's not all going to be peachy the first few days, links may not work, etc. but for the love of god, please please please do something about the blog taking 5 mins to load. Reliable Source has the same issue. It says it's pulling up video and facebook and all of these tie-ins and I cannot sit here for 5 mins and have the blog freeze my IE half the time. I emailed the celebritology address yesterday and gave them all of my info but should I email the ideas email too? I do not want to abandon my fellow celebritologists, but I may have to!

The Celebritology address is useless right now, to be frank. I haven't had time to check and I need to get it set up so it feeds directly into my inbox. (Can anyone tell I desperate need an assistant or plucky intern?)

That said, I wouldn't be able to help you with the load time issue anyway. Send something to the ideas e-mail; can't hurt. And for the record, I have the same issue. It doesn't freeze entirely, but it does weird things to the display of the blog and just slows things down in general.

Isn't Unlimited just a new version of Flowers for Algernon (which was made into the movie Charly with Cliff Robertson & Claire Bloom)?

Limitless is a little different, I think. It's about a drug that gives Cooper's character greater command of his brain so that he can achieve his greatest possible intellectual potential. But of course there are side effects.

The question is, once you know what those side effects are, do you stop taking it? Can you stop taking it once know how it feels when your brain fires on all cylinders?

There are admittedly some plot elements in the movie that don't totally gel. (Maybe we can discuss them next week, after some of you have seen it.) But as I said, I found it entertaining overall.

... but you're in the phone book, right?

No. The only way to reach me is by telegram. Oh, wait! You also can send a pigeon with a note in his mouth.

Actually, if you need to reach Celebritology Central, your best bet right now is to e-mail me directly: jen.chaney@wpost.com.

When is someone going to tell him that we're not laughing "with" him? And it icks me out that people are buying tickets to his tour. Are they just hoping they get to be there live when he loses it completely?

I think that's a possibility. Some people aren't content to watch a carwreck from a distance; they need to get up close and see all the details.

I also think there are some people who are laughing both at and with him at the same time, if that makes sense. And some of those people may be ticket-buyers as well.

I'm guessing this was inspired by the "smart drugs" meme that circulated among stressed-out workers in competitive fields and students in same. I had a coworker who was buying alzheimer's drugs online from canada 'cause they supposedly made her sharper and think better/faster than non-medicated folks. Not to suggest cause/effect, but she got laid off a few months ago.

Wow, that's interesting. Limitless, the script, has been around for a while and is based on a novel that was published back in 2001. So I suspect it precedes your co-worker's experience.

Of course, these themes are not entirely new anyway. After seeing Limitless I had a brief flashback to that Family Ties episode where Alex starts taking Effie's diet pills so he can ace his SATs. A much more simplified version of the same idea: that we are often willing to push ourselves in harmful ways if we think it makes us more effective and exceptional people.

She's always donating to the Red Cross on the down low, doesn't want recognition or publicity. She did it after Katrina too... I know because I work for the Red Cross. While on the topic a PSA for Japan. There seems to be some sort of sentiment out there that Japan is wealthy and doesn't need help. This disaster is unfathomable and it will take a very long time for Japan to heal (just like SE Asia, New Orleans and Haiti they will never be able to go back to what existed before the disaster). G*d doesn't have enough money to set things right in Japan. So yes, they need our support and they need to know that the world is behind them. They were there for us after Katrina, with money and compassion, they deserve the same from us.

Thanks for posting this.

Am going to take a couple more since I got a late start today. And since the redesign seems to have caused such consternation; I feel like I owe you guys.

Did you see that video of James Franco doing bench-presses with his cat? The two of them should go on tour together.

Franco tweets so many random URLs that I've had a hard time keeping up. But I will check out that one.

Maybe Franco should tour. "I'm Sorry About That Whole Oscars Thing: Live!"

I am already on the record as hating the new design. The only thing easily readable are the Ads. Way to be subtle there post. Heaven forbid folks be able to read the news. I am actually CUT my visits to WAPO since the change. On a related note, Why no badges for Celebritology? We not good enough? Maybe if we coudl FIND the darn blog now without clicking through umpteen million pages, there would be more visitors.

I wasn't aware that Celebritology commenters weren't earning their badges. That shouldn't be the case.

And re: the blog -- when in doubt, go to washingtonpost.com/celebritology.

Well, here's one problem solved. The redesign cannot stop us from enjoying Franco Meets Felines.

I've dealt with the hassle of finding the blog by bookmarking. My biggest remaining gripe is that to view comments on blog posts - the entire raison d'etre of Celebritology, the Lizards, etc. - one has to click on "All Comments". It's an annoying extra step (that probably gives eyeballs to some ad that I don't even bother noting, much less reading or clicking on). The default "Top Comments" is silly, since there never are any. Overall the comments system feels like a mashup of the NYTimes and HuffPost - you may take that as you wish. But I'm really glad you're still writing the blog, and thanks especially for the Bradley Cooper-fest earlier this week. :)

You're very welcome.

And on this note, I am taking my leave for the afternoon. It's been a pleasure chatting with you.

I apologize to those of you struggling with the redesign. All I can say is please stick with us and thank you for your patience.  And if you have feedback you want to share that is Celebritology-specific, don't hesitate to e-mail me, as I said earlier: jen.chaney@wpost.com.

In This Chat
Jen Chaney
An accredited Celebritologist, Jen focuses on pop culture news and trends in the entertainment world.

In addition to overseeing movie content for the Post's Web site, she also writes regularly about film, DVDs and stars of screens large and small.

When she isn't blogging or at the movies, she's ... um ... probably at home, watching a movie.

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