Celebritology Live

Aug 16, 2012

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

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Good afternoon, Celebritologists.

I am game to talk about whatever is on your mind, be it Kristen Stewart or Rihanna or the insanity of making "A Christmas Story 2."

But I'd also like to seek your help for what could be tomorrow's Friday list: a rundown of TV shows that don't get enough cult-like attention on the Internet.

"Arrested Development" is a big thing on the Internet. Any show that involves Joss Whedon: also huge. But which cult series still aren't getting the retroactive love they deserve?

This Vulture post noted that "Ed" falls in that category, and I wholeheartedly agree, which is what gave me the idea for the list. Are there others that qualify? Open to suggestions. Now, let's chat.

If you are looking for questions for Molly Ringwald, please consider asking her want plans she has for her singing career. Between writing and acting she also has a great singing voice.

As noted in yesterday's morning mix, I am seeking Ringwald questions for my interview next week. This is a good one. If anyone has any other burning questions for Ms. Ringwald, feel free to e-mail them to me at jen.chaney@wpost.com.

Speaking of, totally got sucked into "Pretty in Pink," which was weirdly on CMT at 11 p.m. last night. I always have to watch, just in case this time, she chooses Duckie.

He's been speaking about his tiff with Joe Esterhaz over the Maccabees script and the possibility of a Lethal Weapon 5 (but not with him and Danny Glover). Testing the PR waters, perhaps, for a return? Do you think he will ever act on screen again or instead stick to directing his personal passion projects?

Well, he did act onscreen again just last year, in "The Beaver." As I said in my review, he actually was quite good in it.

I think it's a question of who is willing to work with him going forward. Obviously Jodie Foster was, but she's a friend and has been very loyal to him. At least initially, he may have to spearhead projects himself and demonstrate some box office clout again.

I'm confused. How come Kanye West's lawyers are involved in the Humpdashian divorce drama? How come Kanye West is involved at all?

My guess is this: because Kris Humphries is trying to prove the marriage was a fraud, and Kardashian's new boyfriend may be able to provide some evidence that supports that claim.

Also, because it's entertaining for everyone. And because it allows you to use words like Humpwestdashian, which is the reason all of us were put on this earth.

Seeing the pic of Rihanna this morning, it made me wonder if there is something in the water in celeb-land that (a) makes female celebs get pregnant a lot and (b) makes their hair magically go from short to long in record time. It seems that it wasn't too long ago Rihanna was sporting a short 'do, and now she has a full head of very long, curly hair most of the way down her back. Weave? Extensions? Magic?

I can't pretend to explain the pregnancy issue, but any hair magic you observe in Hollywood is most likely extensions.

Not too get too deep or "Hax"y for the Celebritology chat, but I think Rihanna is the one that needs help. That's why there are so many abused people in the world - they make excuses for the ones who abuse them. Yes Chris Brown needs help, but she does too. Although if I decide to watch the whole interview, she may redeem herself.

You're right that this is only a small segment of a larger interview. And it's also a segment designed to make viewers watch. Translation: Oprah wants to rile you up so you'll tune in.

I don't think there's any excuse for what Chris Brown did to Rihanna. But I appreciate the honesty she expressed in that clip. It's very easy to suggest that after an incident like that, someone who had been assaulted would only be angry and feel no empathy for the person who committed the assault. There was probably a mix of emotions going on there, and it's interesting to hear her articulate that.


Well, I'm a big fan of The Good Wife, but somehow it just doesn't strike me as the kind of show that would inspire a cult following. Now Ice Road Truckers, on the other hand ...

To clarify: I was thinking more of shows that are no longer on the air. As in shows whose runs ended, but found new life via online obsession.

I currently have three defunct shows on my life of the neglected, but would love to hear more.

Reunion! It was cancelled prematurely by Fox (of course) before the murderer was revealed! Come on!

Good suggestion -- thanks.

Would Freaks and Geeks qualify? I didn't know about it until after it went off the air since it only lasted 1 season, but I've seen them on some cable channels and the show is kinda awesome. Although I'm biased, because like you, as a child of the 80s, I think most stuff from the 80s is like totally awesome.

Freaks and Geeks is completely awesome, but it doesn't qualify because everyone knows it. It gets a lot of Internet love.

It's distant cousin, "Undeclared," however? That might belong on the list. It's the Judd Apatow show everyone forgot to love.

He made Ted Nugent look relatively sane. Well done, Dave.

Yes, his Obama comments were pretty out of bounds. I'm a "Wag the Dog"/"Capricorn One" type at times, but suggesting the President "staged" mass shootings is just beyond the pale.

On the other hand, it's the first time I've said the name Dave Mustane since the 1990s. So if he wanted attention, he got some.

Did Kristen Stewart even have a bona fide affair, anyway? Or did she just kiss the guy?

It's unclear. All we know for sure is what was depicted in the photos, which is some huggin' and kissin'.

Stewart's apology characterized it was a "momentary indiscretion" so it does not appear to be an affair that lasted a long time or got particularly serious.

Obviously, we don't know for sure. But that's the way it appears, which makes the ensuing brouhaha seem a bit out of proportion.


I totally love and admire the guy and would watch him in anything he does. But I'm not the demographic the networks are looking for--will the much sought after youngsters even know who he is? Back to the Future and Family Ties were quite awhile ago.

Spin City wasn't that long ago. And he's recently appeared on Rescue Me, too -- not that that's popular with the 25-and-under crowd, but still.

A Fox show about Fox's like will have enormous buzz around it, and buzz is the best that some networks can hope for at this point.  And if it's good, then it could attract a wider audience.

Also, Back to the Future may be popular with more younger people than we might think. That movie has endured.

Taylor Swift has dated, well, a lot of guys in Hollywood. Yet she still manages to have not only a good reputation, but come across as sort of the girl-next-door (albeit a glammed-up one). How does this work exactly? How do you work your way through the guys and not be labelled a skank?

That's a question I repeatedly asked myself during my 20s.

I kid!

That's an interesting question. I think she comes across as very sweet and innocent -- that's the image she's created. And honestly, there's nothing wrong with her dating a lot of guys. She's not married and none of them have been either (that I know of). Plus, it's where all her material comes from.

So, really, she's just doing this for work. You know, the same reason I sit through the Teen Choice Awards.

Absolutely No. Christmas. Story. Two. No. Nein. Non. Whatever. To quote The Old Man, "What did you say?!"

Yeah, that's basically my feelings on the matter.

I am still going to watch and review it, though. Once again: it's for work.

Hmmm. Well, we know Hump can't get an annulment by claiming the marriage wasn't consummated. Is he claiming Kim K is mentally incompetent? epjd, you out there? ... what other grounds are there for fraud?

I believe he is claiming that Kardashian never intended to stay married to him, which seems like a tough thing to prove.

Also, with this much time having passed, it seems to me that an annulment is harder to obtain. However, I too would love to hear epjd's take on this.

When will this generation learn to revere Jack Klugman? It was the show that gave "House" it's formula.

I love this.

Also: no love for "Trapper John M.D.," America? Where are your Trapper John Tumblrs, I say?

Remakes that are as good as, or better than the original.

Oh, that's a quality suggestion, especially since "Sparkle" comes out tomorrow.

I would put Total Recall on that list. Who's got others?

What is this "Capricorn One" you speak of?

It is this now somewhat campy 1970s film with a fantastic conspiracy theory premise. Also, OJ Simpson is in it, which makes it that much odder to watch now.

My vote is for Veronica Mars. It actually made EW's recent list of top cult TV shows but I am surprised it isn't more obsessed over considering the themes and cast (most of whome went on to appear on Party Down in some capacity).

Good call. Does Party Down belong on the list? I think it doesn't qualify because it's obsessed over enough not to be considered neglected.

Will that become the new euphemism for having an affair?

No, but the abbreviated combo-word for that phrase -- mo-discretion -- will.

Well, he HAS had a recurring role on "The Good Wife" was Alicia's courtroom nemesis -- although I doubt that show does well with the most coveted TV-viewing demographic (males 18-34).

Dang, I forgot to mention his work on "The Good Wife." But yes, still not the youth demo. But maybe it doesn't matter. Plenty of shows on TV do well without being overtly "youth-oriented."

"Downton Abbey" doesn't exactly go after the Urban Outfitters crowd. But it's done quite well for itself, thank you.

(Did you notice how I sounded like Lady Mary just then?)

Ingrid Bergman was ostracized for having an affair with her married director, Isabelle Rossellini's dad. I would have hoped we were a little more liberal or understanding these days, but this whole Kristin Stewart thing and the vitriol thrown at her has got me thinking that we haven't come so far after all.

Here's what I think. There's an element of "we haven't come so far" at work here. And there's also an element of "people enjoy giving Kristen Stewart a hard time" that fuels the vitriol as well.

Let's say, to use a celeb mentioned earlier in this chat, the equivalent incident had involved Taylor Swift. People would have been disappointed, but I think once she apologized, there would have been a greater shift toward forgiveness than we've seen toward Stewart. Which isn't fair.

Better Off Ted! I loved that show, and it ran for 2 seasons and had one episode that deserves to be a comedy classic (Racial Sensitivity). It has some recognition-a comment about engineered meat in yesterday's "Web Hostess" chat led to several responses citing Better Off Ted-but it's definitely not as beloved as Arrested Development, etc.

There have been enough Better Off Ted responses to convince me it belongs on the list.

Correction: but any hair magic you observe in Hollywood IS extensions.

Duly noted. I was being too cautious with my language.

There's yet another idea for a Friday List: Performers whose subsequent histories make them odd (or worse) to watch in earlier performances. Robert Blake, of course.

You all are overflowing with quality ideas today.

It successfully brought the story into the present without losing the sweetness of the Spencer Tracy original.

I still think the first one was better, though. Tough call.


Yes, moscretion is better. It doesn't fully convey what it is, but it sounds cooler.

I disagree, I think you'd see people gleefully tap-dancing on the grave of her (deserved or not) squeaky-clean, aw shucks, princess in waiting reputation.

Some people, yes. But her fans would have issued a vocal defense and I think there would have been a more immediate "leave her alone" outcry.

Some of Stewart's fans defended, too. But the  Twilight crowd is also so loyal to Pattinson that some of them had to take sides.


Where the love for WKRP in Cincinnati? I mean, cmon, the turkey-drop episode alone is enough to fill up half of Google.


That show holds up so well, too.

Actually, Spin City WAS that long ago. Some of the 24 year-olds might have watched the tail-end of the Sheen version, but I doubt the show was of much interest to the rest.

And that concludes the weekly "Let's make Jen feel old" portion of the chat.

Or maybe it doesn't conclude it. I'm sure something else will make me feel old momentarily. Doesn't take much.

I thought the expression to be used was still Hiking the Appalachian Trail.

That's outdated now.

Moscretion is the way to go. That or KStewfording. But that's hard to say.

I really don't get all the Kristin Stewart-hate. I mean, I HATE those Twilight films and am not fond of R-Pats (or however you abbreviate it), but I never really disliked her. She was good in Adventureland and, while she seems a little aloof, I have no problem with that. In fact, I think hate Taylor Swift more and would judge her more than Kristen for a similar occurence.

I don't particularly dislike Stewart either, although I do understand why her scowliness bugs people sometimes. It's also what makes her relatable and appealing to others.

Maybe this needs to be a post of some sort: celebrities that bother you most. Naturally such a post would involve hard science.

I was listening to WMAL-AM when the news bulletin was broken by afternoon drive-team duo of Ed Meyer and Chris Core.

Oh, bless this person -- a question that makes me feel kinda sorta young!

When Elvis died, I was 6 going on 7. I have a memory of my mother -- who loved Elvis -- being upset. And I vaguely remember seeing some TV coverage.

Anyone else want to share on this subject?


That's really not typical though, and that's why women keep going back to men who abuse them. If Rihanna had been some ordinary joe, instead of a star who is constantly being watched by others, by now she probably would have gone back and left him several times. A lot of women are extremely angry at first but start glossing things over after a little bit of time. Even women who have been hurt very badly. I know because I used to volunteer at a shelter.

Thanks for your comment.

Rihanna did get back together with Brown after the incident, then broke it off. If you believe the gossip, they've been on and off since then, too, which would definitely fit the pattern you describe.

I would love to hear her take on Jodie Foster's piece about celebrity, and get her view on if she feels like Foster, that is, if she would not want to be a child star today vs. the 80's.

Great suggestion. Thanks.

Yay, she's getting married. Will baby make 3? Just kidding, but how long before the mags start splashing the rumors on their covers?

I think that happened three seconds after the engagement announcement. I am only half-kidding.

You said a few months back during a chat you'd watch it. Just checking.

I have not yet. At some point, I will.

Hey -- in keeping with all the ideas being generated today -- maybe that can be a running series of posts: Do I Still Hate This? Sort of a different twist on Vulture's Nostalgia Fact Check.

I hope that did not make you feel too old.

Not too, no.

I was a pre-teen watching my soap operas when the "Breaking News" announcement from NBC came on. Those are never good news (or at least back in those days, now I don't know if they still do it) so I held my breath waiting for the news. I was sad but at the same time a bit relieved that we weren't under nuclear attack from Soviet Russia, which was also a big worry back in those days!

Well, the not-nuclear-attack thing puts it in perspective. But still, hugely sad.

Friday Night Lights, Scrubs, West Wing: The three together provide a quip for every occasion. Thomas Crown Affair remake: much better than the original, despite the reengineered happy ending. Mel Gibson: blech.

All three of those shows are pretty celebrated, though. Maybe Scrubs to a lesser extent, but FNL and West Wing definitely are.

Dawn of the Dead? The Birdcage? Ocean's Eleven?

Good suggestions.

So guys: should I do the TV show list tomorrow, or the remake list? I am thinking TV shows first and remakes at a later date, since there will always be more remakes.

Easy: Keen Eddie, Wonderfalls, and Pushing Daisies. All three were cut down in their prime. Two of the shows were on Fox. What does Fox have against interesting shows? And what do network suits have against Bryan Fuller shows? I'm sure there are others, but those are the three that I miss the most.

Daisies was already on there for me. Love, love, love that show. Thanks for the suggestions.

back in the day. So quirky-loved the Warren Cheswick Experience and Julie Bowen wasn't so screechy on it as she is on Modern Family (which means, thank God, that she is acting on Modern Family, I hope!). Michael Ian Black was so funny on it and I don't think there is enough Tom Cavanagh in the world. Plus Daryl Mitchell and Lesley Boone-such a good show!

Agreed, agreed, agreed.

If this list does nothing but create renewed interest in "Ed," I will have done my job.

The series finale of "Ed" is also one of the best series finales ever, in my opinion. Still tear up during Ed's wedding speech.

I feel like I should had in my pop-culture nerd card - I tried to watch this, and just did not like it. I will go now...

Interesting. What did you not like? How many episodes did you watch?

Did you see the episode with the keg of non-alcoholic beer? Because that is pure brilliance.

I could watch Millie and Jason Segel sing "Jesus is Just All Right With Me" all day long.

Karate Kid


Homefront. Only two season - GIS returning to Ohio. Very young Kyle Chandler and John Slatterly. It was GREAT! (circa 1991 or so)

I am always pro-Chandler.

"Frank's Place," a sitcom-dramedy set in a restaurant/bar in New Orleans, created by Tim Reid (Venus Flytrap from "WKRP in Cincinnati"), and starring him, his wife Daphne Maxwell Reid and Francesca Roberts, among others.

Another good one. Man, this list is getting longer by the minute.

What's the latest on when Brad and Angelina will tie the knot? The speculation that it might have been in France on his parents' 50th anniversary seems to have fizzled.

Yeah, that theory fizzled almost immediately after it circulated, as tends to happen with stories about Brangelina.

I was 12 years old, we were at the swimming pool, and I had wandered off to take walk around the adjacent golf course with my 1st girlfriend, where we shared our first kiss behind some pine trees. We walked back to the pool, where I heard the news on a portable radio someone had. Very weird, sweet memory.

Wow, that's really bittersweet. You should use that in your '70s version of The Wonder Years.

All right, there are way too many questions and comments for me to handle and we've already run over by 10 minutes. Thank you for all of this.

Let's reconvene next week for the (shiver) last chat of my 30s.

Old, people. Old!

Thanks again for a fantastic chat today.

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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