Celebritology Live

Apr 26, 2012

Celebritology blogger Jen Cheney gabbed about the latest celebrity gossip and pop culture news making waves across the Web.

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Ah, what to discuss today? The White House Correspondents' Dinner? "The Avengers"? My relentless focus on "Parks and Recreation" this week? The "Mad Men" acid trip?

Any and all entertainment/celeb subjects welcome. Let's chat.

hi jenn!!!! i'm so excited bc my BFF and practically my sistur is coming to DC this weekendz!!!! are u going to interview her? is my second mom, dina, also coming? this is the bestest newz ever! where do u think she'll stay - if u talk to her, she can stay at my house! also, where will she hang out afterwords?

Luvlinsey!!! We missed you and are so happy to have you back.

I am hoping to talk to your BFF this weekendz, for sure. I will tell her you say hi, although you're probably tell her that yourself since you're so close.

What exactly is "slow jamming the news," as Jimmy Fallon and President Obama allegedly did this week? Is there a written definition of this? (I'd rather NOT have to watch a video).

It's a bit that Fallon does regularly where he reads news items while The Roots play slow-jammish music. He peppers the news items with "Awww yeahs," and the like. It's best explained via video, honestly.

My favorite part of Obama's slow-jam effort was when he dropped the mic at the end. I think all politicians should drop their mics at the end of every press conference, debate and major speech. It's decisive as well as dope. (And I mean dope in the "awesome" sense.)

Any idea if I should reserve a babysitter now so that I can see the Avengers? I loved Thor and the first Iron Man. I didn't see Captain America. I Looooove Joss Whedon. What other movies this summer are theater and babysitter worthy?

I'm seeing "The Avengers" so I will be better equipped to answer this question in a few hours. Most of the early reviews have been positive, aside from the one Sarah posted about, via Amy Nicholson.

I am optimistic. If you're a huge Wheedon, seems to me you'd want to see it one way or the other, just to have an opinion.

As far as other films, I am excited about the big comic book ones ("Spider-Man," "Dark Knight") but I am just as much looking forward to Wes Anderson's "Moonrise Kingdom," Pixar's "Brave" and indie efforts like "Safety Not Guaranteed," which stars Aubrey Plaza and was well-received at Sundance.

"Bo Reportedly Accused of Wiretapping Officials." I suppose it says something about me that my mind initially went to the President's dog.

Mine did the same thing. The good news is that you're not alone. The bad news is that we're both idiots.

Although, maybe we're not the dumb ones. Does anyone think that dog isn't capable of wiretapping? Maybe we're not the ones being naive right now.

D you have an idea when will the second season of American Horror Story air? and anything about the new plot? or who's gonna come back from the first season cast? because I've heard the're gonna cast some of the season 1 actors in different roles

I believe AHS returns around the same time it premiered last year, in October.

Connie Britton, Dylan McDermott and Taissa Farmiga are not returning, but Jessica Lange, Zach Quinto, Evan Peters (Tate!), Sarah Paulson and Lily Rabe are. Ryan Murphy recently revealed that the show will be set at a mental hospital on the East Coast. As previously stated, it will have not connection to season one or the Murder House. It's a new storyline entirely. Will be interesting to see if that works.

On my one time at the WHCD, my invited guest cancelled, and I took someone I'd never met. One of the more interesting things about the dinner, to me, was how, in the midst of the crush of journalists and their guests, how easy it was to find a black man. Sad.

Interesting observation. And that is sad.

I feel like the mic dropped would've worked better if he had done it more decisively. I'm picturing Ben in Parks & Rec, in their Model UN episode.

Oh, excellent example.

I would agree that President Obama's execution could have been better. Maybe Adam Scott could offer him some pointers. Based on our interview, I believe he would jump at the chance.

So this week's episode of Mad Men was very strange. I had to watch it twice to pick up on everything. I am ready for Don to get back to work though - I think the honeymoon has gone on long enough!

Yes. In the words of Peggy Draper, "I don't recognize that man."

Sorry for the delay, guys. My chat window crashed in mid-answer so trying to get back into the flow...

I'm also looking forward to them, but bit sick of Nolan and the rest hyping it up as "the last one" as anybody thinks that there won't be another Batman movie within our lifetime. Plus the "final one" stuff just reminds of all the things I didn't like about the Nolan Batman movies (I remember seeing Batman Begins and a massive burst in the theatre of laughter the first time Christian Bale used his Batman voice).

I like the Nolan Batman movies a lot, actually, even with Bale's gravelly voice.

I think the "last in a trilogy hype" is just that -- hype to get people interested in the film, and accurate since this will be the last Nolan Batman movie. If "Dark Knight Rises" is good, it seems fair to call this chapter in the Batman movie story the most consistently well told.

But to your point, it probably won't be the last basis for comparison. There will be more Batman movies eventually. There's too much potential money to be made for there not to be.

I am eagerly awaiting Snow White and the Huntsman. Saw the trailer at a movie last weekend and looks great. It may be one of the few times I try to go see a movie on its opening day. Oh, and I thought the same thing about Bo the White House - you two are definitely NOT alone.

Yes, I am optimistic about Snow White, too. Hope it will be good.

I am so totally in the wrong profession.

I do have a fun job. That said, every job has its challenges and frustrations so there are probably things about what you do that I woud envy.

Hurray for Evan Peters being back ! as you very subtly underlined. Thank you very much, very useful

You're very welcome.

to bring Sarah Anne Hughes on full time. She has admirably kept things going when Jen's needed to be out and I think having both on for the chat would be great (I mean, you both post to Celebritology now so why not have both chat?). Time for the Celebritology 3.0 reboot.

I agree wholeheartedly. Unfortunately, I don't make those decisions.

Sarah is not imminently leaving or anything but she's still on contract and will be for the foreseeable future. As the blog posts show, I rely on her enormously, especially in recent months. When I have Style stories to write -- or when I've had personal issues to deal with, like my recent move or my mother's passing -- Sarah has kept the blog running and I appreciate it more than I can convey without resorting to the use of emoticons and/or exclamation points.

What happens at a movie premiere? I'm going to one this weekend to flail my arms about in the fan section and I've just realized I'm not totally sure what will happen. Any words of wisdom from someone who's been to the Oscars?

I've been to a few movie premieres as well but I haven't watched behind the scenes to see how they handle "the fan section." Do you have tickets for the movie, or just to scream on the red carpet? I expect they will probably usher you to a spot at an unnecessarily early time, forcing you to stand there for an hour-plus before anything happens. (I am basing this on my own red carpet experiences.)

Then you'll be encouraged to yell and scream, and also hopefully snap some pictures of some famous people. You'll have fun, and then you'll probably check it off your bucket list and say, "Done."

You called her Peggy Draper? Wishful thinking?

Oh no, did I? This is what happens when I write about TV shows at 11:30 at night, especially when the TV shows involve LSD trips.

I'll double check and correct if that's the case. Apologies, guys.

They make Sunday night my favorite night of the week. Why can't all TV be this good? And I also had to watch Mad Men twice and usually repeat Game of Thrones as well and it helps to read the re-caps before the second viewing. Still think Megan is going to end up dumping Don and it feels to me that his feelings for her aren't so much about her, but about him wanting to be a better person than he is. And why can't she stand up straight???

She can't stand up straight because she's not totally confident. But I have to give her credit for asserting herself to some extent in that relationship. I agree with you about her potentially dumping him and about his feelings as well.

If she does end the marriage, that will be particularly painful for Don because he revealed himself so much more fully to her than he did to Betty. She knows the whole Dick Whitman story, so it will undoubtedly feel more personal.

Is it just me or do they talk just like Ellen Page (not Juno the character, but the actress).

Ha, that's interesting. I can kind of see that.

With a little judicious Internet searching -- thanks, Google Image! -- I now know that the person I met in Boston Airport a few weeks ago is indeed a longtime Celebritology follower. I guess the person just doesn't want to admit it, or else thought I was too uncool, or something (sniffle, sniffle).

Well, how do you know the person doesn't want to admit it or thought you were uncool? If memory serves, you felt weird asking about the blog. And maybe the person -- crazy as this sounds -- didn't see the chat when we discussed this.

Obviously you're cool, for God's sakes. You're here on a Thursday afternoon.

What the heck happened to Jenna Ushkowitz's character, Tina, Tuesday night? It seems like they tried to give all the kids in the cast at least a few seconds in the spotlight, but Tina was barely there. Did Ms. Ushkowitz strangle the producer's puppy or something?

You know, I have been thinking about writing a post about the cast-aside Glee characters. Because some have definitely been given short shrift this season. Tina is one. Poor Lauren is gone entirely (Ashley Fink, the actress who played her, was recently told her hiatus is permanent.) Coach Beiste has barely been in this thing since early in the season.

There are so many characters and The Glee Project is only adding to that issue. Obviously graduation will thin things out a little.

You called her Peggy Draper in today's live chat. No worries.

Ah, well, I am sorry for that. Apparently I make mistakes during daylight hours as well.

of the Killers.

Saw this news. Very sad. He was only 33.

Of course of TV show where there's a discussion about the differences between Brooklyn neighborhoods is going to get both love and hate from NYT. I watched it and unsure how I feel about it, but thought NYT was a bit rough on it. Wasn't like NYT was in-love with NBC's "Outsourced" where the vast majority of the central cast were non-White. I don't know, but I do think that the discussion about race in pop culture can't just be counting to the number of non-White characters (NYT ignored that Lena Dunham's co-worker in Ep. 1 and gynecologist in Ep. 2 were Asian).

Other writers have raised the race issue about this show. I think part of it is that the characters seem to have what are stereotypically known as "white people problems." They come from middle to upper middle class backgrounds (or seem to) and spend their time prattling about relationships, how to find themselves, etc.

Honestly, I think it's too early in the series's run to judge what kind of people the "Girls" are. By not making the leads a little more diverce, Lena Dunham opened herself up to that criticism.

To me the bigger issue is that TV is so segregated. All the shows with primarly African-American characters tend to be on BET or a Tyler Perry production on TBS. I think casts have diversified much more in recent years than they used to be. It's a less white landscape now. But the studios and networks need to do more on that front.

It's not that there aren't creators trying to make shows about various ethnicities, age groups, genders, etc. It's that they don't always get picked up by major networks for whatever reason.

Anyway, this is a hugely complicated question to tackle here and I am sure I have oversimplified. I will say that I am intrigued enough by "Girls" to continue watching, even though Dunham's sex-buddy gives me the total creeps.

You didn't admit that you are a Celebritology follower either. Maybe that person felt too stupid to admit it, too.

This is true.

Ah, the things we could learn if only we weren't afraid to be ourselves more openly.

I mean, imagine the conversations you could have had about things that I, Sarah Hughes and Liz Kelly has written. Clearly those conversations would have been both deep and meaningful.

So I'm a little late with the currency on this one, but Katy Perry's "Part of Me" must be directed at Russell Brand, right? I read an interview with Katy where she said the song had been recorded for the "Teenage Dream" album and then not included, and had nothing to do with Russell. But the timing on its release, so soon after the divorce, would seem to say otherwise. What do you think, Jen?

I think the timing was intentional. It was impossible to watch her perform that at the Grammys and not make that connection, especially when the year before, she showed video from her wedding.

Even if she didn't write it about Brand, putting it out after their split gave it some juice it might not have had.

Just a comment, that the Washington Post appears to be targeting me with ads showing the horrific consequences of smoking and urging me to quit. I have never been a smoker.

It's probably because you watch Mad Men.

Can you lease explain how this Transformers-inspired monstrosity has any relationship whatsoever to either the childhood paper-and-pencil grid game or the Milton Bradley (I'm presuming) trademarked version of my youth? Because I'm at a loss to understand what the appeal of using the (presumably) trademarked, and therefor license-fee involved, name might be. Couldn't they have jsut called it "Transformers 4 - Under the Sea"? Or would the Disney folks have plotzed? Last thought -- is it wrong that I'm now having trouble telling apart TV commercials for this moive and actual US Navy recruiting ads?

Well, Hasbro, which assumed control of Milton Bradley years ago, has tried to develop movies around its brands. Even if the movie has next to nothing to do with the toy/game that inspired it -- and "Battleship" seems to fall in that category -- it still circulates the brand name.

Re: your last question -- I don't know if it's wrong, but it is understandable. I've pretty much assumed that Taylor Kitsch is fighting actual battles on America's behalf because of the trailers and commercials.

How appropriate, since Dunham's "character" gives me the creeps. Seriously, I know we often spend time in this chat praising your colleagues at the Post, but Hank S's review was very good, but didn't go far enough in exposing how faux deep "Girls" really is.

I am not sure how deep it really is either. Like I said before, I feel like I need to watch more episodes before I decide.

I am also conflicted about "Veep." I liked "In the Loop," and I liked elements of the first episode (JLD and Buster Bluth!). But for some reason, all the f-bombs really got on my nerves. I'm not weird about bad language, but it struck me as lazy writing, and I read at least one piece that expressed the same annoyance.

Just because you can curse on HBO, that doesn't mean you have to every other word. I actually find bleeps much funnier than actual obscenities.

Do you attend to cover the real celebrities (as opposed to the political wannabes)? Or do your Reliable Source colleagues cover this event exclusively? Since Clooney will be there, I figure you have dibs!

I have dibs on almost nothing, my friend.

But you are correct in that I will be covering it for the purposes of this audience, which is interested in the celebrity side of things and less so the political.

Check the blog, or the Facebook page and the Twitter feed,for updates from WHCD over the weekend, not to mention the usual Mad Men and Game of Thrones analyses.

I have to run, I'm afraid, but I'll chat with you all next week. Thanks for the questions, everyone!

In This Chat
Jen Chaney
Jen Chaney anchors The Washington Post's Celebritology blog, The Post's online window into the world of pop culture and celebrities. She also frequently writes about entertainment trends, filmmakers and other Hollywood-related matters for the print edition of The Washington Post.

A Post staffer for more than a decade, Jen also can be seen reviewing movies on WETA's "Around Town," where she is one of the show's regular film critics. Last year, she contributed a series of essays to the book, "The Friday Night Lights Companion."

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

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