‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Lingerie is Coming

Now that there are hotel getaways, festivals and classical musical albums (?) inspired by Fifty Shades of Grey, the cult-favorite erotica novel turned global cash cow is looking for new ways to sex up our lives. Taking a hint from Marc New York’s Fifty-themed fashion campaign, it only makes sense for the franchise to want to get on our bodies, too.

According to E! News, author E.L. James has licensed the rights to three North America companies to sell official Fifty Shades of Grey merch that includes pajamas, robes, garters and more. "FREEZE Clothing will take on the Fifty Shades T-shirts, knit tops and hoodies, HYP is set to market hosiery including stockings, garter sets and printed tights (hey now!) and Briefly Stated will create daywear and sleepwear," E! reveals.

Although I’m sure that this erotica-inspired garb won’t be as racy Agent Provocateur since it needs to appeal to the masses and, let’s face it, the majority of America isn’t kinky enough to pull it off (the fabulously naughty Domi Dollz are trying to change that), the line will sell.

What’s next? Fifty-inspired sex toys? Probably.

Photo via Mashable

13 Questions for Friday the 13th

It is Friday the 13th and, yes, I am getting a "13 ball" tattooed on my arm from Magic Cobra Tattoo Society.  The line on Driggs and South 1st was long and totally fun for the inexpensive permanents. They ink for 24 hours starting at midnight and I gave them mixed CDs for the occasion …some biker/tattoo music to ease the pain.

It may be Triskaidekaphobia that has me not willing to write today, to commit to a story, say anything I might regret later. I was up until 8am at Magic Cobra haven and woken at 7am Thursday morning. That question from Dirty Harry keeps banging around in my head "…But being this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky? Well do ya, punk?’” Well I feel anything but lucky today and the entire world away from my pillow feels like a .44 Magnum; I am absolutely feeling like a punk, so forgive me if I keep this to 13 possibly dumb questions with uneven answers.

Q1) Was it the luck of the Irish that got that fabulous Ballinger crew open almost immediately at Webster Hall after a stabbing at a hardcore show, while  Greenhouse/W.i.P. got shuttered harder and longer for a bottle-throwing incident?
A1) I think it’s a matter of a long history of working well with the community that has Webster doing its thing, while Greenhouse has been way more annoying to some. The fact that the Webster stabber and stabbees were white and the bottle throwers and brawlers at Greenhouse were black never crossed my mind.

Q2) Are the rumors that Pink Elephant may close for August true, and was it bad luck or bad planning to open a Euro-based club in the beginning of the summer or was it planned like this all along?
A2) I’m too tired to ask them the question today and you know what will be said anyway.

Q3) Is The Double Seven just being unlucky or is it the weather, or is it just fabulous and not as confused as my personal confusion perceives it?  A source who made me swear to say nothing about what he told me about The Double Seven will be happy that I respect his wishes.
A3) Mark Baker and crew will tell me how wonderful it is over there if I had the strength to pick up the phone so why should I bother to call?

Q4) So why can’t they call it Bungalow 8 and what did Amy Sacco ever do to be the focus of such silliness?
A4) She is so fabulous and smart and fun and if they want to call it "8"…wink, wink, I’m going to go anyway. Hey, they can call it 13 and I’m there.

Q5) Is the Xtravaganza Ball really going to happen next Sunday, July 22, and have they really asked me to be a judge?
A5) OMG ! Yes ! What to wear? I must look …legendary.

Q6) Have those wonderful and erotic Domi Dollz fallen into a pile of good luck now that every skirt on the planet has read Fifty Shades of Grey?
A6) I missed their monthly soiree/seminar this past Thursday at the Museum of Sex but predict they may soon need to get a bigger room to whip those novices into shape.

[Editor’s Note: I went, and it was amazing. Those Dollz know how to whip you and their leather-collared, half-naked boys into shape.]

Q7) Am I really going to do 13 of these?
A7) No, seven is more than half of 13, I think… and considering the condition my tattoo is in, it’s all you can expect. I’m going to crash…get my tattoo from Adam Korothy at Magic Cobra, rinse, and repeat.

Born Rivals No. 4: Catherine Serbousek

Miles Klee is a little-known novelist. Recently, he decided his best career move would be to start a feud with another writer. This is his ongoing attempt to find (and destroy) the perfect rival.

Catherine Serbousek, author of the Amazon-published ebook Jane Austen’s Fat Camp, emerged as a promising foe when she saw fit to pass along a somewhat poorly illustrated death threat. She then proved to have the mental stability required to schedule a less lethal sort of spat around her weekly banjo lesson. 

KLEE
Catherine Serbousek, I suspect this will be about as enjoyable as trying to spell or pronounce your surname. First of all, I have a bone to pick with your illustration of my demise, which depicts me as heavily bearded but also bald. Please inform our readers that I have a full, lustrous head of hair.

SERBOUSEK
You do now, but in time, I see a sad decline.

KLEE
Let the record show you got too real too early. I admire that.

SERBOUSEK
I did, but I wanted you on the hook, and we see here that it worked. My real plan is to pull you in with kindness and fried chicken—then your misery will begin. I make exceptional fried chicken.

KLEE
Delicious. As a writer, you have three strikes against you, and all of them are that you’re self-published. Where do you get your frankly insane sense of self-confidence? Or should I say megalomania.

SERBOUSEK
Oh bless your heart, I forgot you went the standard route and you’re on so many bestseller lists. I looked around and saw that it was 2013. So it was more my ability to read a calendar than ego. I also could see that the publishing world hasn’t really changed much in 75 years … I may have written in the style of Jane Austen, but I don’t wish to be treated like she was.

KLEE
Well I won’t bother bursting your bubble about how women are treated in self-publishing, it’ll spoil the surprise. But this brings me to another question—when you decided to put the name “Jane Austen” in the title of your book, was it in hopes that someone would buy it by accident?

SERBOUSEK
Awww, you’re still mad your dad hasn’t bought your book on purpose. One day you’ll make him proud, slugger. I wanted to write a fat-camp comedy where the comedy wasn’t derived simply from all the characters being fat. All of Miss Austen’s novels are complicated by the status of the lead heroines. So I wrote about lbs. instead of British pounds and voilà … summer camp comedy of manners. Were you hoping junkies would buy your book, or people who hope the world ends?

KLEE
Nobody literate, anyway. But let’s do talk about fans for a moment.

SERBOUSEK 
Sure … you have one, I assume?

KLEE
Because as of right now you have two more Amazon reviews than I do, and all of them are five stars. How much did that cost, altogether? I’ve been meaning to try something shady along those lines.

SERBOUSEK
I do want to ask about your experience with marketing because that is the biggest difference I can see as far as self-publishing goes.

KLEE
Oh?

SERBOUSEK
Well, I have heard from publishers that a new book only has two weeks to become a bestseller before the marketing is yanked … and authors have little to no input in the actual marketing campaign. It’s like the opening weekend of a movie—make or break, but I never have to give up on myself.

KLEE
That’s so cute, it’s almost as if you’re running a little lemonade stand by the side of an interstate highway. What message do you blindly, foolishly hope that people will take from your unprofessionally promoted fiction?

SERBOUSEK
I don’t know if you just insulted lemonade stands or blind people; pull it together, Klee. I don’t think people need to take a message from me. They can take a message from Fifty Shades of Grey or The Wool Omnibus or anything by Colleen Hoover…all bestsellers, all self-published. People can buy my book and send a message to you and your fat cat publishers.

KLEE
Okay, okay, you are the wave of the future. Just let me die in peace, all right?

SERBOUSEK
I will not let you die in peace; it will be years from now, but in grief.

KLEE
I have to say, you are the first interviewee in this series to escalate things to the level of Viking oath. Reading a lot of fantasy?

SERBOUSEK
I will do you a favor and save you the wonder of your fate. I’m a nice person. I will befriend you; it’s gonna happen. I wish you success and no ill will (YET). We are both going to be successful—I myself will be J.K. Rowling in it (you can use that phrase for yourself, as a friend, you have my permission). I don’t envy your success because I want my own…we’ll go on happily for years. THEN you will inevitably get behind some weird legal case to release some psycho (you are a touch Norman Mailer in the future); I will advise you not to, but NO, you won’t listen. Guy gets out, guy kills puppy…you rue your bad choices and look back on all of your life and realize, “Hey, Catherine was right about so much…including self-publishing!” And you die alone and crying…only to have to face the puppy in hell for all eternity, and it’s a damn cute puppy.

KLEE 
Jesus. I think we’re done here. Catherine, I wouldn’t wish you on my second-worst enemy. Anything to add?

SERBOUSEK
All I had to do to vanquish my first-worst enemy was to wait for Google, MySpace and Facebook to be invented…I can wait you out.

z

Your Intro To Kinky Sex: World-Famous Dominatrixes Write & Launch New ‘Kink 101’ Book

With the explosion of Fifty Shades of Grey and Rihanna’s "S&M," one thing is increasingly clear: we secretly love kink. Whether E.L. James’ book piqued your curiosity, or you surprisingly loved it when your date tied you up last summer, we’ve all got some "kinks" in us that deserve a good deal of exploration. And thanks to a new book written by two world-renowned, professional dominatrixes, the task is now all the easier. Meet Kisses To Kink: A Dominatrix’s Guide To Great Sex.

A “kink for dummies,” this two-volume tome brings all things kink – from S&M to bondage to role playing – out of the taboo and into your hands in a very step-by-step, educational way. The best part: it’s an eBook on iTunes & Amazon, which means its not only private, but your commute from your apartment to work just got way more fun

With personal stories and kinky tips by authors Ms. Nina Payne and Ms. Mona Rogers – founders of the Domi Dollz, a group of pro dominatrixes – Kisses To Kink elevates your play to a nearly pro-level in a very simple way. It also includes video tutorials and photographs of incredibly good looking people in lingerie doing very naughty things. If only all our textbooks had that…

And another cool thing:  I wrote the foreword! Which is very, very much worth reading. 

So go ahead: download the book here or here, be selfish, demand an amazing sex life. Bedtime reading doesn’t get better than this.

Follow Bonnie on Twitter here 

Looking to Direct ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Gus Van Sant Has Shot a Test Sex Scene With Alex Pettyfer

In the same way I used to suggest that David Lynch direct the final installment of the Twilight franchise, perhaps it’s not the worst thing in the world that a director like Gus Van Sant is throwing his hat in the ring to direct the cinematic adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey. My arguement was that since everyone and, quite literally, their mother, is going to see this Hollywood drivel, they might as well be exposed to something that’s not only filled with cheap goodness but actual good filmmaking. Even if the material is a shlocky mess, in the right hands, anything has the possibility of greatness, right? Maybe. Probably not, but maybe.

And last year, after Universal aquired th rights to EL James’ erotic novel, Kelly Marcel signed on to penn the S&M-heavy script with producers Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti, yet the film has yet to find its cast or director to lead the picture. Many a director has been tapped to bring their vision to the hot and heavy project, but apparently the latest one to do so is Mr. Gus Van Sant. So although no one has been officially established as titular, kinky Christian Grey, apparently Magic Mike star Alex Pettyfer is vying for the role, because according to The Playlist, Van Sant has shot a test sex scene with the young actor in a "bid to prove he’s the man to make ‘Grey’ happen."

No stranger to controversial material or sexuality in cinema, Van Sant has given us such wonderful classic films as Mala Noche, My Own Private Idaho, Good Will Hunting, Drugstore Cowboy, and Elephant. However, his last few features, Restless and Promised Land didn’t seem to do much for critics and audiences a like. So hopefully he hasn’t completely lost his senses and this is just a passing fancy or something that won’t stick. But in the event that Van Sant does end up taking on the steamy middle-age wet dream, well then perhaps he could actually turn this into something poignant rather than just something porny. Yet, as insane as he is, with this caliber of material and this subject matter, I’m still wishing Bret Easton Ellis hadn’t been passed over.

Pop-Culture Parody Musicals Are as Meta as We Get

Growing up in the ‘90s and early ‘00s, I had really weird taste in music. Sure, I liked whatever the Top 40 pop hits were, but I also belted out showtunes, and I had every word memorized of “Weird Al” Yankovic’s song parodies. Through his ode to food “Eat It,” I learned how badass young Michael Jackson was. Likewise, I would never have known what “MacArthur Park” without the cheeky "Jurassic Park.”

In a 2003 interview with NPR, Yankovic mused on how his fellow artists would respond as he prepped each album of song parodies. “At this point I’ve got a bit of a track record,” he said. “So people realize that when ‘Weird Al’ wants to go parody, it’s not meant to make them look bad… it’s meant to be a tribute.”

While it seems as if “Weird Al” has hung up the accordion for the time being, there are plenty of creative teams who have adopted that same motivation of writing silly lyrics to poke fun at pop culture and elevated it to the next logical incarnation—the musical. In the past few years, more and more pop culture parody musicals have popped up on the Internet, in universities, and even off-Broadway. They’ve launched the careers of stars like Darren Criss (who played the starring role in A Very Potter Musical), and even famous folks like Joss Whedon (with Doctor Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog) have joined in.

Pop culture has passed into an incredibly self-reflective and meta phase. We can’t watch a TV show or political debate without immediately reacting through GIF form and then scrutinizing our reaction. We’re compelled to interrogate the highbrow and especially the lowbrow works that capture our attention. But it gets boring and one-dimensional to use the same medium that we’re discussing in our analysis. We’re constantly turning our opinions over and over, seeking out the smart new angle that someone hasn’t thought of. Enter this new breed of musical.

We’re lucky that many of these productions have tested the waters in New York City, where you can stage an outrageous parody for even just a weekend. In the past year, I’ve taken in four shows that probe the boundaries of good taste and challenge the books, actors, and even religious institutions they mock. Last Christmas, I joined the throngs of theatergoers laughing so hard they were crying at Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s The Book of Mormon. Since the, I’ve also giggled my way through song-and-dance parodies of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series, its offspring Fifty Shades of Grey, and the ‘90s thriller The Silence of the Lambs.

Whether each show’s attack is sweet or snarky, there is indeed that sense of tribute that Yankovic mentioned—cheeky nods to the genre of musical theater itself, or a hat tip to the impact Clarice Starling or Anastasia Steele has had on pop culture. In fact, 50 Shades! The Musical pokes fun less at Ana’s whirlwind romance with Christian Grey, and more at the way Americans have gobbled up E.L. James’ erotic fanfiction.

“I think anything that is so popular that everyone knows about it, you can start to home in on certain details,” said Emily Dorezas, one of the 50 Shades co-writers. “That’s why, as soon as the presidential election starts, everybody can laugh at the same things about the different candidates. Fifty Shades of Grey is just this brand that doesn’t go away. Even if you know nothing about it, you know everything about it. Part of what we’re doing is making fun of the phenomenon of it. [Audiences] can laugh at that because they’ve seen it in their house, with their wives and girlfriends.”

Twilight: The Musical employs a similar shorthand: They’re betting on audiences’ familiarity with the movies so that they can skewer not only Bella Swan and Edward Cullen, but also Robert Pattinson’s insanely dramatic delivery and Kristen Stewart’s penchant for lip biting. The more layers you can work through, the better you’re rewarded, like when Edward and Bella’s literary contemporaries Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger pop in to declare a wizards-versus-vampires war.

When you’re addressing the young adult fiction booms of the past fifteen years, of course you have to poke fun at the consumers who waited in line at midnight for the new books and movies. But how do you mock a solid film classic from the ‘90s that’s entirely straight-faced and even rather terrifying? You make it self-aware.

What most struck me about Silence! The Musical (which has existed online and onstage since 2002) is that it follows the movie beat-for-beat. I was especially aware because I had watched the film for the first time just a few weeks prior. Aside from the addition of a lamb chorus—paralleling the ancient Greek chorus and performing the same duty of commenting on the action onstage—the musical starts and ends where the movie does. Watching it, you’re delightfully surprised to realize that it is kind of ridiculous to start a movie with Jodie Foster huffing and puffing through the woods near Quantico, and that most of Anthony Hopkins’ dialogue is snarky one-liners. The cast turns even the most innocuous phrasing into a punchline; currently, Pamela Bob amps up Clarice’s unfortunate lisp to an art form.

The decision to do a shot-for-shot spoof had less to do with the movie itself and more with how co-writers Jon and Al Kaplan write all of their parodies. “We’re very detail-oriented,” the brothers said of what began as a collection of songs and evolved into a screenplay. “We focus on details and blow them up. It’s meant to be a love letter to the movie; we want to tailor it to people who are big fans.” It helped that Hunter Bell, who wrote the book for the stage show, and original director Christopher Gattelli had the same M.O.: “They love the movie and wanted to focus on the details—sometimes different details [from us].”

To be fair, the brothers were wary of audience reaction to some of the songs. But when the original movie brings Lecter and Clarice together after another inmate comments on her vagina, how can you not give Lecter a love song called “If I Could Smell Her Cunt”? However, it wasn’t until Book of Mormon opened in 2010 that the Kaplans felt more secure about their bawdier musical numbers.

“I think we’re proudest of Lecter’s song,” the Kaplans said. “It’s not the typical song you would expect from him, the ‘liver and fava beans’ number. It’s the moment where the audience really has to buy into the concept or not buy into it. It has to be well performed; Lecter has to really sell it as a love song. We’re also proud of Buffalo Bill’s song ‘I’d Fuck Me’ because it came late in the game. We felt like we had already written our Buffalo Bill songs.”

”I’d Fuck Me” represents perhaps the closest adherence to the source material. Our audience was on the edge of their seats during this swirly burlesque number because we all knew the iconic sequence from the film and were waiting with bated breath to see if David Ayers would attempt the infamous dick tuck. When he did, that prompted the most cheers out of any point in the show. Honestly, we wouldn’t have respected the creative team if they hadn’t included that moment.

Each of these shows has unlocked a new take on the source material through the medium of the musical. The visual nature of a stage show has been most beneficial for 50 Shades! The Musical. One of the book’s most ludicrous elements was Anastasia’s “inner goddess,” the subconscious manifestation of her repressed horniness. Sadly, she was absent from the New York production, but Dorezas said that she showed up in Chicago in “a scene with Christian and Anastasia, [where] the inner goddess comes in and basks to have this whole moment to herself,” and that she’ll appear in future iterations.

Some of the most fun that the 50 Shades! The Musical cast and creative team had was subverting the audience’s expectations of the characters’ appearances. For the past year or more, fansites have cast achingly smoldering types like Ian Somerhalder and Alexis Bledel for Christian and Ana, but what makes Chris Grace and Amber Petty’s portrayals so refreshing is that neither are stereotypical beauties. They play up the comedic contrast between the prose and their onstage looks and behavior.

“It was totally a conscious decision,” Dorezas confirmed. “I don’t think anybody’s gonna be 100 percent satisfied with whatever Christian Grey they choose [for the movie]. We just wanted to go the complete opposite direction, but Chris plays it so sexy, and he owns it! There’s a certain point where it’s like, ‘This is our Christian Grey, and everyone in the audience is sold on it.’

”It’s always my favorite when he walks onstage for the first time, ‘cause you see the audience pointing at each other like, ‘Oh my God, this isn’t what you said!’ I know they think Ryan Gosling is gonna come out there. I think in Chris’ mind, he thinks he’s Ryan Gosling. And Amber as Anastasia—she’s so funny. We wanted it to be more of a wink at these characters, not the actual characters. I think if we went for super hot and sexy, we’d lose funny.”

Similarly, the writers grappled with the first draft because if they gave in to the temptation to absolutely skewer James’s admittedly ridiculous novel, they wouldn’t be able to keep an audience. “I think the first round, we felt like there was just too much punch and not enough heart to it,” Dorezas said, citing their shared experience in the comedy world. “We wanted the audience to want these two people to be together outside of a bondage/S&M situation.”

The parody can’t just be about the content; the creative teams must also consider conventions of musical theater itself. One of the first big laughs in The Book of Mormon is “Hasa Diga Eebowai,” a seemingly joyous African chant that brings to mind The Lion King’s “Hakuna Matata” but actually translates to “Fuck You, God.” Mocking religion was one thing, but dragging the esteemed medium of musical theater into the mix? That’s when audiences realized that no one was safe.

In the New York production of 50 Shades! The Musical, the inner goddess got sacrificed in favor of a big, Les Miserables-esque ensemble number. “We just had to find another place for the inner goddess, ‘cause we all were like, ‘Ah, we want this moment where everyone’s having doubt and not sure what to do,’” Dorezas said. “There’s a nod to Phantom of the Opera in the show, as well. We definitely put little things in there that even if you’re not a fan of Fifty Shades of Grey, if you’re a fan of musicals you’ll appreciate the moments as well. If some of the moments are too insidery—you don’t know who Jose is when he walks in, you don’t know Christian is against type—there’s still something for you.”

The Kaplan brothers’ nods to musical theater occur more in the fabric of the musical’s choreography: “It’s just integrating little homages here and there. There’s A Chorus Line in ‘In the Dark with a Maniac,’ [with] the dance move that Clarice does before she shoots Buffalo Bill. There’s also [elements from] The King and I.”

Now, a lot of the musical theater greats are dead and can’t defend themselves against this mockery. But how about the creators of the books and movies parodied? Despite the hard-R nature of Silence! The Musical, the Kaplans said that several of the people involved with the movie found it uproariously funny.

For one, director Jonathan Demme decided to celebrate his twenty-year crew reunion by going to the show. “We sat behind them, and they were laughing their heads off,” the Kaplans said. “It was a real kick… We thought he was gonna be a really serious guy, just sitting there scowling, but he’s got a real sense of humor.” They can’t vouch for Jodie Foster’s reaction, since she attended a different show. However, “Anthony Heald, who played Dr. Chilton, was very enthusiastic, said he would love to play his character in a future reincarnation of the show. Anthony Hopkins, as far as we know, hasn’t gone.”

”We did look toward Silence! The Musical a little bit in terms of what they were able to get away with,” Dorezas said. Because the original production of 50 Shades! The Musical debuted at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, they’ve been caught up with UK copyright laws, combined with the reaction from James’ people. “For the UK opportunities that we are currently discussing, we could change some things around with the show that would make it fall under safe parameters,” Dorezas said. “If the parody laws change in our favor, then we would not have to do that. We have an idea of what we can do, but we’re kind of waiting to see how it changes.”

Musical parody reinvigorates seemingly played-out stories because it’s such an unexpected medium. It’s likely that the first time you saw Clarice Starling or read about Christian Grey, you never dreamed that either would break into song. These pop culture parody musicals crack these seemingly solemn characters and give them the added dimensions to ensure their endurance in the zeitgeist, whether they’re twenty or two years old. As the Kaplans confessed, “We never thought we’d be talking about this eleven years after the fact.”

Follow Natalie Zutter on Twitter.

Linkage: Solange Pops Out at ‘Girls’ Party, Beyoncé Might Be Crazy, Justin Timberlake is “Ready”

Holy cow, Solange. Sure, we’ve been paying a lot of attention to Beyoncé’s moves lately, and it seems like her kid sister didn’t want to stand in her shadow too much longer. Last night, the singer-songwriter attended last night’s Girls premiere party in a Just Cavalli patterned suit. You have our attention, Solange. We’ll spend the afternoon listening to “Losing You” on a loop. [MTV Style]

Speaking of Beyoncé, the interview accompanying her recent GQ cover reveals that pretty much every moment of her life for the past seven years has been recorded on film: “This digital database, modeled loosely on NBC’s library, is a work in progress—the labeling, date-stamping, and cross-referencing has been under way for two years, and it’ll be several months before that process is complete. But already, blinking lights signal that the product that is Beyoncé is safe and sound and ready to be summoned— and monetized—at the push of a button.” So much for hoping that Beyoncé isn’t a total nut. [GQ]

Paul Schrader was apparently so desperate for a project that he agreed to direct The Canyons—his first film in ten years—despite protests from friends and family. Even his wife, Mary Beth Hurt, gave up on the screenplay, penned by Bret Easton Ellis, after just fifty pages. And then he cast Lindsay Lohan and James Deen. Is anyone still thinking this isn’t all a completely terrible idea? [NYT]

Britney Spears is bowing out as a judge on The X-Factor after a tenure of just a single season. Without Britney regularly on live television, how will we make sure Britney is OK? I’m worried. [Reuters]

We had no idea what to expect from Justin Timberlake this morning, but the singer dropped a video of him wandering around a recording studio as his thoughts meander about his music and his obsessions and what the next year holds, et cetera. The important part: we’re supposed to wait longer for new music from Justin Timberlake. But, like, he’s ready. Just not “right now.” [Idolator]

The ads for David Beckham’s H&M underwear line were directed by Guy Ritchie, but they also feature the soccer star running around in boxer briefs, so, you know, things could be a whole lot worse. [The Gloss]

Then again, Conan O’Brien and Ricky Gervais took a bath together. [Hypervocal]

Featuring songs with titles like “They Get Nasty,” “I Don’t Make Love, I Fuck!,” and “There’s a Hole Inside of Me” a musical parody of Fifty Shades of Grey heads to Manhattan this weekend by way of Chicago. [NY Post]

The BAFTA nominees are pretty close to the Oscars, although they recognize Kathryn Bigelow and refuse to hand out nominations to nine-year-old girls. [Guardian]

Godzilla is coming back, this time possibly battling not Mothra or Megalon, but rather Kick-Ass star Aaron Taylor-Johnson. [Deadline]

Follow Tyler Coates on Twitter

Linkage: Don Johnson’s Moderately Sized Johnson, ‘Fifty Shades’ of Krysten Ritter

It’s news to most of us who were born in the early ’80s and don’t remember much about Don Johnson, but apparently he’s always been rumored to have a large penis. “Johnson,” you see. But now that people are talking about him again (he’s another nearly forgotten actor who owes Quentin Tarantino an Edible Arrangement or, perhaps, an Ace of Cakes creation in the shape of a foot), Johnson has taken the time to debunk the rumor. “Look, I’ve seen guys with a lot bigger [penises] than me.” And now we know! [VH1 Celebrity]

A new season of Cougar Town premieres on TBS next Tuesday, and the cast and crew couldn’t be more thrilled that the network, unlike others (*cough*ABC*cough*) are actually promoting it. But they all still think the name is stupid. Says co-creator Bill Lawrence, “Being filled with self-loathing is a characteristic of 90 percent of comedy writers anyway… It’s an amazing title. I’d do it again.” [Hollywood Reporter]

TV’s baddest B might find the tables turned on the big screen. Apt. 23’s Krysten Ritter tweeted that she’d be “down” to play the role of Anastasia Steele in a movie adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey. Winky-face! [EW]

A&E proves that there’s some sort of liberal media bias. The network has picked up The Governor’s Wife, a 12-episode reality series about former Louisiana governor Edwin Edwards and his wife, Trina, who is 50 years his junior. I’m ashamed to report this dude is a Democrat. [Deadline]

Meanwhile, Joe Biden could easily star in his own television program. [Hypervocal]

BREAKING NEWS: 68-year-old Star Wars enthusiast engaged to really hot lady. [People]

As it turns out, the newspaper featured in Back to the Future and its sequel—the Hill Valley Telegraph—was a pretty shitty publication. [Vulture]

If you’re planning to get bombed on your next transatlantic flight, do your best not to fly Icelandair. Duct tape residue is hard to remove. [Gawker]

I didn’t bother to figure out what the hell “Downton braves its own fiscal cliff” is supposed to mean, but knock yourselves out. [WaPo]

“Let’s never forget: we’re the story, not them,” says Albert Brooks’s character in Broadcast News. With that in mind, here’s what the apartment shared by a couple of New York-based reporters looks like. (What’s that? You’re not a member of the New York media? Well, that’s your problem.) [HuffPo]

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Christmas Bonuses One Good Thing About ‘Fifty Shades’ Trilogy

E.L. James’s erotic vampire fan-fiction-turned-What Not To Do Guide to Relationships/BDSM/everything else has proved to be a rather lucrative venture, inspiring cosmetics, lingerie, sex toy parties and eventually, probably a film adaptation. And like any cultural phenomenon, the Fifty Shades comes with some strong backlash for a number of reasons—the writing isn’t exactly Shakespeare, the relationship between Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey abusive and creepy and not exactly worth idolizing, there’s some misinformation about BDSM practices. and the term used most frequently to describe the series, “mommy porn,” is super annoying and demeaning and probably comes with some really unfortunate implications about women and sexuality.

But, hey! Here’s something good that came out of this whole thing. Thanks to the wild success of the series, and other key titles like Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, everyone at Random House—literally everyone, “from top editors to mailroom clerks” says USA Today—is getting a big ol’ holiday bonus of $5,000. And for everyone who isn’t, like, Sir Richard Branson, $5,000 is a significant amount of money. And at a time when the book industry—and really any industry that favors words and stories over cat videos, really—is in a precarious state, any good news is comforting. So, to aspiring E.L. Jameses—maybe stop depicting abusive relationships, but also, keep writing! Because people are obviously reading what you’re writing, and it’s keeping the lights on for many a mailroom clerk at the publishing houses.