Halle Berry Was Totally Cool With Seth MacFarlane’s ‘Boob Song’

You know what the best part of the weekend was? There were no Oscars. But, you know, we’re still talking about them, so here we go: Halle Berry, who presented that long montage about James Bond, has spoken out in favor of Seth MacFarlane’s dumb jokes, particularly the bit where he mentioned seeing a lot of the present actresses’s breasts. "It takes so much to offend me these days after all the things that have been said about me, to me," she told Extra, "so I didn’t feel offended by that boob song." Alright, sure. Was anyone actually offended by it, or were people more like, "This song is trite and childish and also what is sexual about Jodie Foster’s bare breasts in The Accused?" Anyway, one time Halle Berry got paid more money than usual to take her shirt off in a movie, so. 

[via Detroit Free Press]

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Even Jane Fonda Hated Seth MacFarlane’s Boob Song

I completely missed Jane Fonda’s recap of the Oscars, mostly because I (foolishly) do not keep up with her personal blog. (It’s not on Tumblr. What, am I supposed to, like, go to it?) She sung the praises of many of the talented women at the telecast, particularly Charlize Theron who pulled her ballroom dancing skills out of nowhere. "Is there anything that beautiful creature can’t do?!" Fonda wrote. But she was not too pleased, unsurprisingly, with Seth MacFarlane’s jokes, particularly the boob song. "[W]hy not list all the penises we’ve seen?" she said. "Waaaay too much stuff about women and bodies, as though that’s what defines us." I think she’s being pretty kind to MacFarlane, who Jane Fonda could certainly eat for breakfast any damn day of the week.

[via Jane Fonda / CBS]

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Oh Noooooo, Seth MacFarlane Isn’t Going to Host the Oscars Again

Well, pour one out for fey animated children with voices that sound like Rex Harrison. Seth MacFarlane, who has nearly universally been slammed in the last day and a half for that atrocity on Sunday night of which we will no longer speak, has confirmed that he will not be hosting any big awards shows in which people are handed gold statuettes for their acting abilities and occasional singing. What a shame. What a loss! Does this mean our chances of seeing Kristin Chenoweth singing on TV are drastically reduced? Let’s hope so! Hey everyone, something good has finally happened this week. Rejoice!

[via EW]

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Weekend Recovery: Cokiyu & Baths

Whether you drank yourself sideways after blowing the Oscar pool or just stayed up late watching all of Lawrence of Arabia including the DVD extras, you’re going to need this fluffy song to come down on.

Japanese popster Cokiyu is coming out with a new EP, Haku, that centers on collaborations with and remixes by some of her favorite peers: Geskia! and LASTorder, to name two. Then there’s “Twinkle Way,” a track featuring bedroom producer Baths. I think you know that this is going to… twinkle.

There. Now doesn’t Seth MacFarlane seem like a very, very distant memory?

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Four Quick and Easy Ways to Make the Oscars Less Terrible

Were last night’s Academy Awards the worst in the history of the ceremonies? Well, probably not—they are all kind of bad, aren’t they? But host Seth MacFarlane immediately set the tone with a bit calling his Oscars the worst, and I’m not surprised that by the end of the ceremony most people I know weren’t too pleased with the broadcast. Full of misplaced musical numbers, an awkward appreciation for the film Chicago, a too-long montage of James Bond films (to coincide nicely with the 50th Anniversary box set currently on sale), and a general disgust for itself and its audience, last night’s ceremony proves again that the Oscars need a major overhaul. Here are four ways the producers can avoid these embarrassing and awkward mistakes.

Give more time to speeches. I get that celebrities can be long-winded when receiving awards. Look at Ben Affleck, for example. Sure, he had the last speech of the night for the top award, but it was blatantly longer than 45 seconds. Meanwhile, those winners in the technical categories looked terrified that they may thank too many people and be publicly shamed in front of an international audience for talking too much. Sure, these people might not be the most recognizable, but their wins show how receiving an Oscar can truly impact a career. Not only is playing them off the stage blatantly rude (underscored with the theme from Jaws, which I’m sure seemed hilarious during the planning stages in light of Seth MacFarlane’s brand of offensive humor), it shows how irrationally we place an importance on fame and money and treat them as the most important artistic merits.

Skip the singing. I love musicals as much as the next guy (hell, probably a lot more than the next guy), but the musical performances last night were atrocious. First of all, it’s quite telling that the medly of songs from the last decade’s movie musicals only included one song that was written for a film; the rest were modern Broadway classics, better fit for the Tony Awards. And given the show’s nearly four-hour running time, cutting the unnecessary musical numbers (such as any of those involving Seth MacFarlane) should be the first thing anyone with a rational mind would accomplish. On top of their awkward nature, they didn’t even sound good. It’s telling when someone like Adele sounds like she’s lost in a sea of pitches and keys.

Figure out the mood. Is this going to a light-hearted, irreverent awards show, or the same old thing we’ve been used to for as far back as we remember? They’ve never really figured out a good balance. But this isn’t the Golden Globes, the awards show “where anything can happen” (read: the one where everyone is drunk by the end of the night). It’s a pretty by-the-book, solemn awards show; that is, of course, why they always manage to get overblown musical numbers in there. And really, we’re giving awards to celebrities. I know how trite that is already, but let’s at least not invite some “edgy” comedian to come onstage and insult them. It’s not a good look.

Avoid trying to be edgy. The Oscars are a marketing tool. It’s a four-hour commercial for serious movies (and the occasional blockbuster, depending on the year) and the people who make them. And then there are actual commercials on top of that. The awards are basically serving as a way to tell Middle America what to see and what to buy. And that’s precisely why the host is so important: he or she should be catering to those people—the majority. Seth MacFarlane seems like an obvious choice; after all, Family Guy and his other animated projects are huge hits, primarily because the comedy is so middle-of-the-road. So what happened last night? Well, for one, Seth MacFarlane isn’t as charming as a human. He was self-deprecating and ridiculed his own jokes after reading them, which only reiterated how terrible they were in the first place. And they were all based on racist, misogynistic, and homophobic tropes. That’s not edgy. That’s just bad comedy. Go for someone who shares that mediocre sense of comedy, but at least keep it positive. I mean, what was Billy Crystal up to last night, anyway?

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NYT Writer Surprised Actresses Sometimes Act Like Actual People

Man, the Oscars really brought out the worst in people last night, huh? In addition to all your amateur comedian friends trying to outsnark each other while live-tweeting the thing, some dudes who actually contributed to the making of a really good movie got played off by the “Jaws” theme music while the cast of Chicago got to go up there like five times. There was Seth MacFarlane’s entire hosting gig, which played like the open-mic comedy set of a frat boy who finds himself saying “it’s okay, some of my best friends are…” a lot. Someone who should never be allowed near a computer or smartphone again made a @HathawaysNipple novelty Twitter account because we are the worst generation and let this happen. Really a race to the bottom last night, everyone.

But Alessandra Stanley at The New York Times (On It!) had a much different take on the evening. She rather enjoyed MacFarlane as the host, or, at least, didn’t see him as the core problem. She saves quite a bit of her ire for a perhaps undeserving target, Best Actress winner Jennifer Lawrence, for doing human things that most people do literally every day. She writes:

“Ms. Lawrence tripped on her way to the stage but didn’t make any faux pas in her acceptance speech. She was less guarded on the red carpet, complaining to one interviewer that she was hungry and moaning presciently that the show is too long. With another, she let fly a profanity that ABC barely bleeped in time.

It wasn’t the first time she’s flouted awards-show etiquette: At the Golden Globes, she began her acceptance speech by dissing Meryl Streep. (Mr. MacFarlane referred to the gaffe in a joke, saying that he heard Ms. Lawrence say that win or lose, “it’s just an honor that Meryl Streep wasn’t nominated.”) It could be a rebellious streak in her, but mostly it’s a reminder of how young and unworldly some stars are, despite all the coaching, minders and Dior gowns.”

So first of all, we’re all on the same page on this and I don’t even need to go into about how there’s no way Stanley would have written those same words, or dedicate that much space and indignation to Lawrence if she were a dude, right? Right. And you’d think with the high standards of quality the NYT tries to hold itself to or whatever, she would have at least run a Google search and seen the literally dozens of nearly identical blog posts about how Lawrence’s “I beat Meryl!” line was a First Wives Club reference and not in any way an actual slight at Meryl herself. It’s not that hard, guys. 

The Oscars have kind of developed this presence where they’re really just an expensive, self-congratulatory mess, especially in the last few years, where a Best Picture win for Crash and Billy Crystal in blackface can somehow coexist amid glittery montages celebrating how great and envelope-pushing the movies are. And you know what? If Jennifer Lawrence can see through the pageantry and keep it real, then more power to her. She looked great and she won a damn Oscar and made a lot of really GIF-able side-eyes. God forbid lady actors sometimes swear or trip or are honest about wanting to eat food.  

These actions don’t make Jennifer Lawrence “unworldly,” they make her a person. And this may be getting off-message a bit, but I know as a culture we don’t like to think celebrities are real people, but they are, and losing that reminder that they’re human is what leads to dumb Rihanna domestic violence jokes and snark about the Kardashians’ body hair and comments about stars’ weight that young, impressionable tweens see and think about their own bodies with that same scrutiny. And you know what? The show was way too damn long. Jennifer Lawrence was right.

So, to recap, Stanley just chastised an actress for expressing a desire to eat on the red carpet but sort of praised a dude who made a really tasteless eating disorder joke while hosting. Great job, everyone! You’re all the worst.

Paul Thomas Anderson Into the Idea of Making A Comedy, Maybe

From defeated-looking adult film stars to power-mad oil barons to enigmatic cult leaders, Paul Thomas Anderson knows how to fill a movie with indelible, idiosyncratic characters, many of whom are ripe for parody (remember that Saturday Night Live “I Drink Your Milkshake?” sketch? Or South Park’s homage to There Will Be Blood’s final scene?). Although his films are rarely without some humor element, intentional or not (depending on who you watched Blood with, Paul Dano’s preacher was either hilarious or haunting), turns out Anderson has the comedy bug nibbling at his auteur exterior.

In a recent interview with Moviehole, Anderson admitted he loves a good R-rated, raunchy comedy every once in a while, highlighting his admiration for Seth MacFarlane, of all people!

"I’d like to make a film like Airplane!” he told Moviehole. That never gets old. Or ‘Ted.’  It was a big hit. Why? Because it’s great…Movies that are that big a hit are never fucking bad. I mean, there’s no such… You know, people aren’t that stupid, that movie’s a hit because it’s hilarious. I hope [Seth MacFarlane] makes another film."

This will probably come as a surprise to some fans, considering most recent sendups of Airplane! have been pretty bad and Anderson’s recent more serious turns (Bret Easton Ellis tweeted that he wished Anderson would "spend his huge talent on something trashy and sexy and fun," so there’s that). But it’s silly to cock our heads and go “huh?” whenever an artist the general public considers “serious” admits to liking something goofy, or vice-versa. But, like, you’d expect someone who is really passionate about filmmaking to enjoy and appreciate all kinds, you know?

Anyway, Anderson’s next film, at least, definitely won’t be a screwball comedy, unless he gets really ambitious and makes an absolutely cuh-razy adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice. But we’re hoping that if he gives hard-R comedy a shot, Daniel Day-Lewis is involved. 

Seth MacFarlane’s Head Is Filled With Voices In ‘SNL’ Hosting Gig

Seth MacFarlane opened Saturday Night Live‘s season last night and confirmed SNL still loves itself an opening monologue musical number.

MacFarlane sang a little ditty called My Head Is Filled With Voices and treated the audience to voices from Stewie and Peter Griffin on Family Guy to Kermit the Frog:

Stewie wasn’t the only cameo of the premiere — John Mayer appeared during Frank Ocean’s musical guest performance on guitar.

 

Contact the author of this post at Jessica.Wakeman@Gmail.com. Follow me on Twitter and Tumblr

GLAAD Hosts Gigantic Ad For ‘The New Normal’ Disguised as an “Infographic”

I’ve never been too keen on the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, otherwise known as GLAAD. I’m all for people who are also against defaming gays and lesbians, but I never found several of their initiatives, particularly those in the entertainment sector, to be very positive for the gay community. Take, for example, The GLAAD Media Awards, which generally laud celebrities, news outlets, TV shows, and films for doing the very least to portray people of the LGBT community in any positive light—mostly by simply marketing to them. I’ve always found it to be a bit pandering! And, not surprisingly, the organization seems to have thrown all of their support behind Ryan Murphy’s new NBC sitcom, The New Normal.

I watched the pilot for The New Normal. Now, I know, generally, pilots are not too representative of a television show. But the pilot for The New Normal was not good. It was full of easy laughs, excruciatingly calculated heart-warming moments, and a generally shitty outlook—it’s full of racist humor and downright mean, which is not particularly becoming for a show that makes a point to show the positives of a same-sex couple raising a child. So why is GLAAD, an organization the purports the positive depiction of LGBT community members, devote an entire page of its site to the show in what is basically a massive advertisement?  

The short answer, I assume, is "money". But let’s focus more on what the site intends to do. It lists three examples of same-sex couples who are successfully raising their children. See? These couples are The New Normal! Just like the show! They do not, of course, feature group shots of their families large enough to include their homophobic and racist family members (like the cast photo that features Ellen Barkin’s character) or with their African-American employee (in The New Normal‘s case, played by Real Housewives of Atlanta provocateur Nene Leakes). Nor is there any sense that these same-sex couplings are restricted to somewhat sexist and heteronormative gender norms as in the show, in which Justin Bartha (who is straight in real life) plays the masculine one of the pair, which Andrew Rannells (who is gay in real life) plays the queeny one. 

Additionally, GLAAD hosts an infographic claiming, despite the suggestion of homophobic group One Million Moms, that American TV has a long history of featuring same-sex parents. Forty years worth of history, in fact! Sure, of its fifteen examples, eleven of them are from the last twenty years. One example, from 1987, is a pair of secondary characters from a recurring sketch on The Tracy Ullman Show. Another, from 1977, is Billy Crystal’s character from Soap—the first series regular who was a homosexual—who impregnates a woman on a one-night stand. And there’s the suggestion that American Dad is forging the concept of same-sex parenting, because Seth MacFarlane is clearly a bastion of tolerance, respect, and equality.

So, what gives? Is GLAAD suggesting that we should just settle for a show that preaches intolerance for humor’s sake as much as it delivers self-congratulatory respect for non-traditional families? Or is GLAAD’s support of the show (which you can see in full below) just another example of it giving attention to another series that probably doesn’t do much for the LGBT community other than perpetuate the same lame stereotypes we’ve seen on television for years? After all, wouldn’t it be a lot edgier to portray a same-sex couple in a sitcom with a little less levity?

Contact the author of this post at tyler@bbook.com, and follow him on Twitter.