“WILL YOU still need me, will you still feed me/When I’m 64?” So sang the Beatles.
Of course Paul McCartney wrote that little ditty back in 1967, when the age of 64 was considered fairly ancient —especially to a culture that proclaimed distrust of anybody over 30. Times have changed. Sixty-four is viewed as considerably more vital, “younger” than it once was.
Look at many of your friends and family. Or if you prefer a show biz reference — I do, because this is a show biz column — look at, say, Liza Minnelli. Liza — the eternal, bubbly, giggly, singing/dancing gamine. She turns 65 this Saturday.
How will the legend spend this milestone? Well, she just played a couple of well-reviewed dates in Austin, and picks up again in Biloxi on the 18th, continuing her “Confessions” tour. I think Liza might actually … relax. In her 65 years, I think she’s had about a year and half of genuine relaxation. She is always on the high wire, personally and professionally, often without a net.
Maybe this time she’ll be lucky and be surrounded by friends who won’t make her get up and sing or otherwise “perform” as Liza Minnelli. A big cake, a lot of presents, and the proud realization that she hasn’t “gone like Elsie.” And never will.
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WE RECENTLY wrote about the Miley and Billy Ray Cyrus debacle (Daddy cursing the day he put his little moneymaker into the hands of Disney.) Having seen Miss Cyrus performing a few times, and “acting” on “Hannah Montana,” I can’t say that I thought she had anything but youth and energy.
But now after watching her hosting “Saturday Night Live,” perhaps it was the confines of her sitcom that muted any real talent. I found her charming and funny and self-deprecating, going so far as to mock Disney in a skit on learning “the Disney technique to acting.” It was so spot on I think Disney producers and directors might take note — and get better acting coaches for their stars. And Miley was really very good indeed imitating teen dream Justin Bieber, as well as Lindsay Lohan (LL is another Disney alum, slightly older and considerably more train-wrecked than Miley.)
So, while I can’t predict an Oscar. Or even a Golden Globe, Miss Cyrus is not as bereft of talent as I imagined. And at a mere 18, she has plenty of time to hone her skills.
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ALL I can say about the final season of HBO’s “Big Love” is — it’s like a weekly acid trip that ends each hour with a massive blow to your head. You’re not tripping any more, but you are stunned. I mean this is in a good way. The show has never been better, more compelling.
The entire polygamous family is falling apart in every which way, and the extremities that each character goes through or perpetuates are fantastic. Every aspect of every character that had tinges of humor in seasons past have morphed into epic tragedy and unendurable stress.
Bill Paxton has never been less sympathetic … Jeanne Tripplehorn never more conflicted … Chole Sevigny never more intense and — yes! — poignant. As for Ginnifer Goodwin, her character is heartbreakingly near the edge.
And that’s just the four main characters. What’s going on with the kids, the protagonist’s parents, assorted brothers, nephews, wild nuts and downright trash is just as electrifying.
Only two episodes left before the series is history. Take your blood pressure medication.
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I HAVE watched two episodes of MTV’s “Jersey Shore.” Oh, sure, I believed all the negative reviews. But how to ever mention it in any way without having had some exposure? Of course, it was loathsome to me. Stupid, unattractive people doing stupid unattractive things. (Or at least, that’s the way it is edited and presented.)
So when Rolling Stone rolled into my office, I hardly jumped for joy to see “JS’s” Snooki on the cover. She is straddling a rocket. “Snooki’s Wild Ride: America’s # 1 Party Girl” trumpets the cover.
But after reading about Bill Maher, I really didn’t want to read about “My Years In the Most Depraved Band Ever” by Sammy Hagar.
So, at a loss, I opened up to Erik Hedegaard’s article on Snooki and was mighty impressed. Perhaps not so much with Nicole Polizzi herself (she truly prefers that to “Snooki), but with the grindingly intimate, claustrophobic, often dead-end image the author paints of “Jersey Shore” — and in essence, all “reality” shows. Miss Polizzi is the latest poster girl launched from this debased genre, which MTV itself launched back almost 20 years ago with “The Real World.”
Feeling trapped by her odd success, Nicole assumes with tired resignation that a life of some sort of fame and/or infamy will follow, even after “Jersey Shore” sinks into the Atlantic. This girl is painfully aware that whatever she really is, her small-screen persona defines her. “It’s hard for people to see you one way, but you’re really the other way, so it’s kind of like, ‘Who am I, who are you?’ Sometimes I even confuse myself.”
Nicole does seem sweet, if not truly fascinating. However, writer Hedegaard’s portrait of fame in the world of instant fame is fascinating. I’ll never watch another episode of “Jersey Shore.” But if I ever run into Miss Polizzi, I might just try to give her a hug.