Celebritology Live

Oct 04, 2012

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

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Welcome to this week's Celebritology chat, where such matter as the Reunion of Rihanna and Chris Brown, the new "Lincoln" trailer and anything else on your mind can and will be discussed.

Let us begin.

Try as I might, I am unable to see the comments on today's Morning Mix. I'm assuming the software is caught in a Chris Brown/Rihanna generated infinite loop.

Ha. They were churning for me, too, and then I just hit the all comments button and I was able to read some.

Are people also having trouble posting comments?

As a Braves fan who saw her first baseball game ever in DC back in the "olden days" I have to (grudgingly) congratulate the Nats (and Nats fans) on the division win. Just know that the division title comes with a target. And good luck winning 14 in a row. That said...I think the whole Nikki Minaj/Mariah Carey thing is just a publicity stunt. I feel sorry for Keith and Randy. Also DDL is amazing as Lincoln but what was that wig Tommy Lee Jones was wearing. And speaking of head gear, leave Anne Hathaway alone, haters! She looked beautiful. I loved the 1920s style headband and veil. Okay. That's it. Go Braves!

Wow, Methinks, you have covered a lot of ground there. I'll tackle the items you mentioned one by one.

1. Don't hate on the Nats, man! If there is such a thing as a time to do that, this is not it.

2. I totally agree re: the Minaj/Carey thing.  Which means it's going to be a long three-ish months until "Idol" comes back on.

3. If you think Tommy Lee Jones's hair is weird, just wait til you see Scott Glenn's in "The Paperboy."

4. I am not sure I loved Hathaway's headband, but the dress was lovely and I agree about the haters leaving her alone.

Wow. I'm glad all of this has been settled.

Yes. And I'm all the way over on the Left Coast.

Ugh. Okay, this is good to know. I'll ask someone who knows things about this and see if there is an explanation.

So before we start talking about Rihanna getting back together with her abuser, can everyone just look at this first? About the cycle of abuse? About the honeymoon phase, and how intelligent people can be convinced that next time, it's going to be better? Because if I hear one single person call her a moron, there is going to be a rage-splosion over here.

I don't know that it's advisable for her to get back together with Brown, but I agree that it doesn't make her dumb. She clearly has feelings for the guy and that's a powerful thing.

Here's a question I am just going to put out there that will undoubtedly result in torches being waved at me: is it ever possible for someone who abused another, as Brown did, to actually get better? Because every time a Rihanna or Chris Brown discussion arises, the prevailing sentiment is that she's foolish if she's with him because he's never going to change.

Which is an understandable response and in many cases, true. But that's also not a very hopeful message to send to anyone who's done something terribly wrong and is trying to change his or her ways.

I'm not saying Chris Brown has completely transformed himself because I don't know the dude and have no idea. I'm just saying, in general, there must be some people out there who are able to redeem themselves after committing a reprehensible act.

Okay, go ahead. Bring the flames.

My 11-year-old neighbor proudly told me she watches the Kardashians' reality show. Given the highly, shall we say, "mature" (aka sexual) content of that show, and the highly sexualized Kardashian sisters, I was disturbed by this. Fortunately, the 11-year-old is not yet sporting hair extensions, makeup, totteringly high heels, or other Kartrashian trappings, but ... 11? Yikes.

That is indeed a shame. Kids grow up way too fast these days. Total old-person cliche thing to say, but also true.

Why should haters leave Anne Hathaway alone, yet Gwyneth Paltrow and Diane Keaton are fair game? What have ANY of those three done to offend anyone, seriously?

First of all, for the record, I have no issues with Diane Keaton. That was all Liz K., God bless her.

And I like Gwyneth, too, although I do think we are all allowed, if not entitled, to make fun of Goop when its recommendations are wildly out of synch with normal humanity.

What is Dishonest Ahnold trying to accomplish with all his recent blathering? Another run for political office?

Well, no matter what he does next, having a positive image in the media is going to help him. So whether he goes back to politics or continues acting, as he seems poised to do, the publicity and the book sales will be a boon.

The PHOTO of Hathaway's bridal headband was unattractive, but I wonder if the fault lies more with the picture, and that perhaps a more flattering angle would have displayed the headband in a more favorable light.

That could be true.

See? This is the sort of open-minded attitude that is welcome amidst the snark. Although I like snark, too.

Hey, I'm a Braves fan. It's not hatin' (re: Nats) it's good ol' division rivalry and I think we've got one going here. I have a lot of respect for the Nats, Davy, and the ownership. They're the team to beat for the rest of the NL East.

Oh, that's fine. I was just giving you a hard time.

We're all good here, Methinks!

The new blog format stinks. Please go back to the old format, Washington Post! /end rant

Which new format? You mean the way comments are done? It doesn't feel so new anymore, especially since another revamp to the blog design is around the corner.

I also had problems viewing Celebritology comments this AM, so eventually gave up because I had, ya know, actual work to do.


Sure, Chris Brown could change -- if he wanted to. But c'mon what were the consequences of beating Rihanna so badly he put her in the hospital? Probation? That's it. No economic consequences. No personal consequences. Heck, he has her defending him. So why should he change? Abuse is about power. And he sure proved he has it. He is not going to willingly give that up. The sad thing is she has resources. She could get help to get away for good and stay away. It's not like she is economically dependent on him or has kids wit him that would bind them together. But I honestly don't think she got the help she needed after aftwards to realize what kind of relationship she was in. Until she realizes that, she won't change either.

Okay, this is a fair assessment of what may be their situation. You may be right about her not getting help or fully processing the situation. In the swirl of attention they are both in, it seems like it would be hard to process anything.

What I appreciate about what you said, epjd, is that you're talking about their specific relationship. So much of the Rihanna/Brown dialogue tends to veer into sweeping generalizations about how abusers should never be forgiven, etc. etc. In many cases, they shouldn't be. But I don't think Rihanna and CB should be viewed as a guide to how to, or how not to, perceive such situations, if that makes sense.

Maria Shriver needs to read this too, in case there's even a scintilla of a chance she's thinking Ahh-nold will be any different if she takes him back.

That's a situation where, at least from an observer's perspective, it seems there was a long-standing pattern of dishonesty and withholding information. I think it's pretty hard to reestablish trust in a marriage after that.

And to think, I wasn't allowed to watch the Simpsons at that age because Bart was disrespectful to his parents.

Ay caramba!

P.S. I'm a horrible parent because I've already let my son watch a couple of episodes that I thought were not too "disrespectful." He is only 5. But he thinks the word "trambopoline" is hilarious.

I agree with your notion that we should allow for the idea that an abuser may change. However, history shows us that one must admit he has a problem and commit to doing what needs to be done to change. The reason that Chris Brown doesn't deserve the benefit of the doubt now is because he has not just refused to admit a problem, he continues to deny that he did anything wrong (at least from what I've seen, maybe I missed something?)

Again, that's fair. It doesn't look that way from the outside. We have no idea what's going on on the inside, but some of his behavior has not been encouraging. To say the least.

Has Big Bird issued any official statements?

No, but PBS said something about not getting involved in political debates, but also being happy to know how much people love Big Bird. (I'm paraphrasing.)

In related news, Scott Baio got all annoyed by a Bird Bird Twitter parody account and said, "This is why my family watches Nickoldeon." But he apparently didn't realize it was a parody because he said, he can't tell that on his iPhone.

I stopped following the Big Bird vs. Bob Loblaw saga after that, but I may check in after the chat, especially if Kermit the Frog and Chachi's cousin Spike get involved. (Wait, Spike was Chachi's cousin, right? Because he was Fonzie's nephew?)


Go check out the sports blogs. I have a feeling the rest of the blogs will soon look like that. The comments sections have been screwed up everywhere since they switched.

This is what Sports Bog looks like right now. And you are correct, that is the basic design that many of the blogs will have and some already do.

Would love to hear your thoughts.

Daniel Craig on SNL. Hmm. Hmmmmmmmm. This could be a disaster; then again, this could be like when Hugh Jackman hosted and I was so transfixed I burned the cookies I was baking.

It really could go either way. But just in case, don't bake on Saturday night. I don't want your house to burn down.

Jackman has done comedy and musicals before, so I see this as a bigger leap for Craig at this point in his career than it was for Hugh.

"[A]nother revamp to the blog design is around the corner." What new functionality will the revamp bring? (How about "functionality"? I'd vote for that.) Also, I feel compelled to tell you that I am going to invent a time machine, go back to the early 1980s and hand out smart phones to everybody.

Dude, if you do that time machine thing, you will erase Marty McFly from existence. I hope you can live with yourself.

In terms of functionality, I don't think any new functionality will result. It's more a (hopefully) easier way to navigate blogs design-wise and an easier way internally for us to update them.

That said, I share your weariness of change on the Web site. Sometimes it really is for the better, and other times it feels like a step forward and 77 steps back.

Yes, but most psychologists will tell you he can't do that with someone he abused. A pattern has been set. He needs to get better without her and move on. And she might not be going back due to having deep feelings for him. She might just be extremely lonely.

Well said, although it's hard to imagine Rihanna being lonely.

She may feel a connection to him, though, that she's not finding elsewhere now that she's blown up into an even bigger superstar.

Paging Dr. Freud...

That's actually the name of the blog. So cancel the page, yo.

Maybe you did, but what are you looking for? A press conference? Creation of a foundation? Joining a monastery? Seriously, what are YOU looking for? I see comments for anonymous posters on the internet, I see the articles written and thank the heavens I'm not famous now. The idea that my essence could be reduced to one sentence or 2 words is frightening. I never get to put my past behind me like previous generations. (Some people would be shocked to know the lives grandma and grandpa really lead.)

Interesting questions. I think people may be looking for more contriteness from Brown. He says some really unfortunate things on Twitter sometimes and there was that GMA episode, too. Those things reinforce the notion that he hasn't fully addressed his issues, whether he actually has privately or not.

...and they got to see Amanda Bynes. So what's his point?

Lindsay Lohan, everyone.

Thank you for raising the issue of whether abusers can reform. I think it's important for us not to be naive and believe an abuser can easily change, but it's also important not to condemn someone forever. I hope Rihanna has people close to her who can help her figure out the right thing to do. I don't think it helps for everyone on earth to condemn her and call her stupid for going back because that will make it much more difficult for her to leave, if she finds out she has, in fact, made a mistake.

I think no matter what she does -- stay in a relationship or decide to leave -- she faces potential criticism. Which is why she, or anyone, just needs to do what is best for them. And as you said, hopefully the people around her have that in mind as well.

Have you introduced him to the God waffle yet? "I know I should eat thee, but...mmm...sacrilicious."

Not yet. God waffles are not appropriate until you're 8, maybe.

He said something about not having any regrets. Really!? No regrets at how you destroyed your marriage and how it affected your kids?

I'm not saying he has a positive image, mind you. I'm saying that he's trying to cultivate one.

I love her, but that headbad was just fugly. It was HUGE.

It is possible to hate the headband and love the Hathaway. I'm right there with you on that.

Hmmm, hasn't Jon Hamm done quite well on SNL, thankyouverymuch?

Absolutely. He's fantastic at comedy, obviously. And maybe Craig will be, too. We just haven't really seen him do it yet.

Its "tramampoline". Just saying.

Actually, I think it's both.

The worst part, for me, is that there is no sidebar listing recent posts. Or a listing of categories. If it makes it easier for you guys, that's awesome (really, it is), but don't forget about the poor readers :(

I haven't even look at it that closely, but I thought there was a category listing.

One thing I do know: I have nothing to do with any of this. I just go where I'm told and blog where I'm told to blog.

I can't wait for this movie! I absolutely love Lincoln and I love Daniel Day Lewis. It looks so promising. I have to agree with my friend, who said to me "this movie will be your Twilight."

That's pretty much the response Spielberg has to be hoping for, right?

Anyone can be lonely. Anyone can crave a certain kind of attention.

You're right. I was being flip, but you're absolutely right.

A few years back, I took a yearlong series of classes and two celebrities were classmates of mine -- one a famous actress, one a model and radio personality. When several of us would go out for lunch or dinner or whatever, we were always hesitant to invite either of them because we figured they would have other plans or whatever. One time we did invite them, and the actress came with us and said it was the nicest evening she could remember because we were "normal" (her words) and could care less "who she was". We didn't want a movie role or connections or money or her autograph. She said it was very restful.

That makes a lot of sense. We glorify stardom but forget that you really do give up a certain sense of peace when you become "a big deal."

But not with you. They have to want to get help *and* get help. And then, it's never advisable to go back. Just because, well, people end up getting into patterns with relationships - going your separate ways is the best idea.

Someone else said a version of this, but I thought it was worth repeating.

That was a typo, but it's appropriate.

This week's new Celebritology glossary entry is: headbad!

I like the new blog commenting format. Clean, easy to read, replies are stacked.

Hey, someone likes change! Yay, Bawlmer!

Just saw that episode of Happy Days on Sunday! In the begining of the show they call Spike Fonzie's cousin. But later they refer to him as Fonzie's nephew. In which case, he would be Chachi's cousin. Last night I saw Fonzie almost get married to the Lone Stripper (watching the show with my kids - forgot it could be kinda racy. Still better than letting them watch the Kardashians!)

The Lone Stripper. I have not thought about that in decades.

Seems like folks are going nuts over Daniel Day-Lewis being Abraham Lincoln's doppelganger. I don't know, but he looks like DDL in a lot of make-up to look like Abraham Lincoln. Actually looking at old photographs of Abraham Lincoln makes you realize how kind of ugly he really was.

Yes, DDL is more handsome. But I still think the likeness is pretty striking.

Jen, thanks for the video links on Seth McFarlane. It reminded me how clever he can be. That being said, do you think he'll do a good job on the Oscars?

I have mixed feelings. I have never been a big Family Guy fan, but I also think MacFarlane is a pretty smart guy, and more multi-talented than most people realize. I'm also aware that we always think the Oscars are going to be so different and great this year and then the next day, inevitably everyone complains about how terrible it was.

So I'm cautiously optimistic about MacFarlane. That's where I am right now.

As someone also mentioned on the blog, Olivia Newton-John seems to have fallen prey to some bad plastic surgery. Why? Just why? She was so beautiful; why not age gracefully? ... sigh ...

I don't know if it's that, or a little too much Botox or just a weird photo.

She's still a pretty lady, but man, she was the essence of what beautiful was to me when I was an impressionable little  "Xanadu" freak. Desperately wanted to be her.

Since you mentioned Goop, I subscribe to birchbox which mails me monthly beauty samples for $10/month. They recently sent me an email asking if I wanted a Goop-themed box in October. What a ridiculous question. Of course I want that! I will report back next month on its contents.

Please do.

but count me in the camp that doesn't get her appeal. I don't think she's exceptionally pretty or talented, I think she is average on both counts, so I don't get the hoopla. But then again, that's also exactly how I feel about Julia Roberts, and I'm pretty much alone in that. All that said, I think the headband was too much with the veil and the dress.

I think she's really talented. Have you seen "Rachel Getting Married"? Or her "SNL" gigs? Or "Dark Knight Rises"?

I get that she's not everyone's cup of tea. But she definitely has talent.

...Emmy winning reality host (DWTS) Tom Bergeron, and I wouldn't even need to give him a big wet kiss, either!

I still want Tom Hanks to do it. There is no way that could fail.

I went back to someone who was emotionally abusive. When you have low self-esteem and are lonely you can convince yourself of a lot of things. Thankfully, I'm no longer with him.

Thanks for sharing that, and good for you for cutting the ties. That's a hard thing to do.

I stand corrected and in awe of your superior Simpsons trivia knowledge! Or, I, for one, welcome our new Chaney Overlords!

"She'll tell us what to do."

I tend to be less critical of awards ceremonies because I enjoy the suspense and being in the moment. Critics have to watch to find something to talk about. I feel for them in a way.

Thank you for saying this! It is a different exercise. After every awards show, people ask whether I thought it was good. And my feeling is that some are clearly worse than others, but in the end, it's an awards show. If you give a hang who wins, then you'll be invested in watching and if you don't, then it will be horrible and boring.

The Oscars are not going to change all that much. Let's just accept that. It will make us better people.

When Big Bird starts dating Rihanna...

And now that we have brought the two talking points of the day together, into one joke, it is time to close down this week's chat.

It's been a pleasure as always. We'll meet up here next week at the same time, when presumably we'll still be discussing Chris Brown and Rihanna since the world has been for years.

Thanks for your snarkery, your honesty and your opinions.

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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