Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Burning Questions: The May Edition (Featuring Jay-Z Vs. Solange, "Revenge" and Katherine Heigl)

How different would the fallout from "Hate in an Elevator" -- Jay-Z vs. Solange featuring Beyoncé -- have been if Jay-Z had been the attacker, not the attackee? On daytime TV, it's okay for women to drug men and rape them, and in real life, they can physically assault them and be rewarded with their best press week ever. Solange has never warranted the kind of coverage she's been getting since "#WhatJayZSaidToSolange" -- which seems to place the blame squarely on the rapper -- became the hashtag of the moment. (Click here to watch the entire altercation.)

Chris Brown would probably kill (a guy because his career could possibly get away with that) for all the Solange-is-a-badass props she's been getting. The Village Voice even ran an entire piece criticizing the digs at her career because anger management is less important than great songs. I agree that her music deserves more respect, and in those few minutes in that elevator she was a lot more interesting than her big sister has ever been (if a bit too Jerry Springer for my normal tastes), but I'd stop short of hailing her as the next action heroine.

In related burning questions, is it me, or was that the longest elevator ride ever? Wouldn't a stairway to heaven have gotten them there more quickly?

Can any random person have you committed? I loved the third-season finale of Revenge. The final two episodes was some of the best TV I've seen all season (R.I.P. Aiden Mathis and possibly Conrad Grayson, played by the astoundingly talented and underrated Henry Czerny). The Graysons' comeuppance has been a long time coming, and after three years of witnessing their dastardly offenses, it was thrilling to see Victoria Grayson finally get hers. (Memo to the powers that be at General Hospital, aka the house of Ava Jerome: If you're going to have a major character commit unspeakable sins, she's much more rootable and viable if she has to pay the piper for a few of them.)

But I really had to suspend my disbelief to buy the final scene. Can any random person stage an elaborate crime, knock me upside the head with a shovel, pin the crime on me, convince the authorities that I'm mad, and have me committed without a single family member present? I realize that Emily Thorne/Amanda Clark enlisted the assistance of Victoria's turncoat ally/"shrink" for her credible professional opinion, but would that flimsiness actually hold up in the state of New York?

Is Nick Fallon really dead on Days of Our Lives? I have a theory: He staged the entire thing. The show recently made a point of including a talk-to-himself scene in which Nick sketched his devious plot to make all of his enemies pay. "They won't even see it coming," he said -- or something to that effect.

The odds are in favor of a murder hoax Stefano DiMera-style. First, I've read no official reports that Blake Berris is leaving the show, and considering how all of the recent impending Days departures have been such breaking news (from Chandler Massey's to Camila Banus's to Alison Sweeney's to James Scott's), wouldn't BB's departure have been right up there? Also, how does one get three shot three times, collapse to the ground and then manage to get from the park to Horton Town Square -- a 10-minute trip on foot with no gunshot wounds, as Detective Hope Brady so astutely pointed out -- just in time for all of the suspects to convene there? I mean, this on-the-brink of death guy wasn't crawling, he stumbled into that town square still upright.

The big twist was his contrite phone call to Dr. Marlena Evans saying that he wanted to change his evil ways. That couldn't have been part of his master plan since if it was, there would have been no need for those very sincere-looking tears. (Make that penultimate stand the highlight of your 2015 Daytime Emmy reel, Blake!) Was it already too far in motion -- like EJ and Sami's planned hit -- to rescind? All will be revealed in time no doubt. This is one "murder" mystery I'm looking forward to, and I generally hate murder mysteries.

Speaking of things to hate, why does everyone seem to despise Katherine Heigl? This is something I've been wondering for a few years now. (Click here to read my 2010 True/Slant post on the subject.) Is it because she was, for a while, so successful, or is it because of her lack of respect for the Grey's Anatomy creator, writer and executive producer (one Shonda Rimes) who made her a star?

While I can appreciate Heigl having to eat humble pie and crawl back to prime time after her short stint as a mid-level box-office draw, the generically titled State of Affairs actually looks a lot better than the fellow NBC fall offerings from Kate Walsh (Bad Judge, speaking of lame titles) and Debra Messing (The Mysteries of Laura). I love the chemistry between Heigl and the great Alfre Woodard in the trailer, and revenge, that dish best served cold, is always in season, so it's very possible that Heigl's career trajectory is about to swing upward again.

For the record, I still like Heigl, especially after recently seeing Knocked Up for the first time. She has a limited range and always plays the same girl, but she plays her well. I'd rather spend an hour or two with her than with Jennifer Morrison, a thoroughly unappealing actress who, despite having no discernible fan base, has been gainfully employed for most of this century, first on House, then on How I Met Your Mother, and for the last three TV seasons, on Once Upon a Time (on whose set, I've been told by a very good source, she is quite the mean girl). Now hers would be a hate club I could totally get behind.

Why am I still surprised, then indignant, every time someone on Grindr asks that dreaded thing? 

Why does time both fly and crawl? Sometimes time goes so slowly that it feels as if I've lived an entire life in one day while other days (most days), it seems to take only an hour or two to get from noon to 6pm (which might very well be because I'm not spending those hours clockwatching while chained to a desk in an office). My six months in South Africa so far feel like they've gone by in a flash, as has the first half of my forties, but when I think of all I've done in the last five years -- circling the globe several times, traveling to three continents (Australia, Asia and Africa) for the first time and also living on them, hitting numerous new cities and countries, selling two apartments, finding and losing the love of my life (so far), writing countless blog posts, articles and a book, and having every single one of my Grindr experiences -- 40 seems like a lifetime ago. I'm praying that the five-year march to 50 will be the slowest procession ever, on all counts.
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