Thursday, November 12, 2009

BURNING QUESTIONS: NOVEMBER EDITION

God knows I have my issues with Facebook, but here is what I don't understand: If you're "not really into Facebook," then why use it? As far as I know, there is no law that says everyone has to have an account. Email still works just fine. So does the telephone. And leading a Facebook-free life means avoiding awkward friendship invitations from former high-school classmates whom you don't remember and others whom you'd like to forget.

Why is everyone (at least those who are into Facebook) so up in arms over Taylor Swift's Entertainer of the Year win last night at the Country Music Association awards? I know it's super-early in her career, but no other star has done more for country in the last year. And I don't recall any of the other nominees hosting Saturday Night Live to such unanimous acclaim (or hosting it at all) -- although, granted, Taylor's SNL gig last weekend was after the CMA voting was a done deal. I feel a Taylor Swift backlash coming on strong.

When will the powers that be in Hollywood realize that no one really cares about Cameron Diaz? Like Demi Moore and Meg Ryan before her, and unlike Sandra Bullock and Reese Witherspoon, Cameron Diaz has earned a rep as a box-office draw without ever carrying a big hit on her own bare shoulders. (She may have been alphabetically top-billed in There's Something About Mary, but Ben Stiller was really the star of that show.) Boosted by the right costar (Ashton Kutcher, Drew Barrymore), she does alright, but without another big name to help carry to load, she stumbles. Case in point: The Box, her first attempt at toplining solo, opened at No. 6 last weekend, with a meager $7.5 million. Looks like she will fail where Nicole Kidman, Naomi Watts, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Kate Hudson, Laura Linney, Julianne Moore, Liv Tyler and even Jennifer Connelly have succeeded in recent years: scoring a moderate to major box-office success toplining a thriller/horror film.

What's up with Steven Tyler? Is he in Aerosmith or out? And does Joe Perry really think that the show can go on with a new lead singer? That would be like the Rolling Stones without Mick Jagger. U2 without Bono. R.E.M. without Michael Stipe. Not to understate Joe's contribution, but to many fans, Steven Tyler is Aerosmith.

Will Precious: Based On A Novel By Sapphire ever make it to Argentina, like so many other major U.S. films? I'm not saying that Argentines are racist -- although some of them are -- but I can't imagine a drama about the plight of a poor, fat black girl playing to South American audiences who mainly perceive black people in the U.S. as being sports stars, sexual studs or Beyonce. I guess I'll have to wait until I'm in New York, hopefully in January, to see it.

Speaking of Beyonce, why can't pop stars just put out an album, enjoy the hits and be done with it? Now every release that spawns hit single No. 4 gets repackaged and re-released, as I Am... Sasha Fierce will on November 24 (following the lead of Lady Gaga's The Fame the day before and Taylor Swift's Fearless two weeks ago). The trillionth single, the standout "Broken-Hearted Girl," is now climbing the UK charts, and next up is a remix of the original album cut "Video Phone," featuring -- you guessed it -- Lady Gaga!

Who's ready for another round of American Idol in January? I know that he's supposed to be the next Dick Clark and all that jazz, but does anyone actually love Ryan Seacrest? He gets paid a small fortune for showing up each season, but would his departure from Idol be as disastrous as Simon Cowell's -- or as press-worthy as Paula Abdul's was? I've never heard anyone utter these four words: "I love Ryan Seacrest!" If you ask me, they should have given Ellen Degeneres his job instead of Paula's.

Okay, that's enough bitching for one day!
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