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“The Carrie Diaries” Premiere Review: It’s Like, Totally 80’s Rad, AnnaSophia

Nicole weighs in on “The Carrie Diaries.”

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the-carrie-diariesBlame it on me going to college and doing journalism like a workaholic freak when I was in high school. At 25 and a half years old, I live and breathe The CW and all it declares to be tween/teen entertainment. I’m too old for this, but as are you, you sneaky old timer Googling The Carrie Diaries! Touché, dweeb.

Most people complain about not relating to the subject matter. When Carrie got her dad to get her out of school so she could work in Manhattan, miles away from Connecticut, I relived how I spent my teen years out of school in Chicago and Springfield during the daytime. Screw you, HBO’s Girls. I have little to zero understanding of what it must be like to be Miss “Hot Thighs I Show All Day to Demonstrate I Am Every ‘Real’ Woman,” aka. Lena Dunaham, the “voice of my generation.” This is my series, where a silly, somewhat ridiculously optimistic, but smart teen girl goes from her peers’ boringville to adulthood in the big city all by herself. “Will I need a briefcase!?” Carrie asks, grinning. I remember getting my own awesome work planner book like I was the stuff. Both Carrie and I want to have it all.

I love how this series understands diversity is alive in Manhattan. The stylist at Interview Magazine, whom Carrie meets when she needs to replace her ripped hose, is a cool, nice, British blipster, our 2013 term for black hipster. Nice, pending you discredit how she shoplifted at Century 21 – way to go, everyone who wrote this, for perpetuating the Antebellum myth, “All black people steal.” When Carrie skips her school dance for the hipster city get together, I related. I understood when she spoke about her high school being run with “conformity” by the Donnas, not giving a care in the world as she hung with the very chic city crowd much older than her. Like my younger self, Carrie loves the rush when she drinks champagne underage, stays out late in a hot dress, gets her start in journalism where no one realizes she’s just a high school girl and soon splits into two people, beginning life as her adult-but-opportunistic-teen-good-girl alter ego. By day, she is bored schoolgirl who doesn’t fit in but isn’t unpopular enough for the geek team. Outside of school, she’s the girl everyone wants to be.

Allow me to nitpick the obvious. For starters, the hot guy character is rich and talks about his wealth. Hello, writers? Rich people don’t discuss their wealth, nor does anyone talk so lavishly without wealth, and certainly, not so oddly the way he describes how “the maid still keeps dinner on the table,” as his mother left his dad for the tennis instructor. A more normal guy might have said, “My dad doesn’t know how to make dinner. I wish mom were still home with us. She kept the family going.” Unless you happen to be among the new rich, in ’97 Titanic speak, which nowadays is someone like a former call girl now married to an ugly, mean, old Beverly Hills studio executive or faux rich, the reality show people pretending to be cool, nobody talks like that.

When the girls are in the library talking their first times, ah the beloved loss o’ virginity, the air feels like Sex and the City for Little Tykes. The corporate speak is gone, without Miranda and company, but the corporate flow and too scripted discussion was there. A brilliant woman such as Candice Bushnell, who oversees the show in her role as a producer, should have known better. Surely, this woman must have gone to high school at some point in her life. I recall my own high school library sex talks being a whole lot more giggly, goofy, to the point, containing slight narcissistic worrying and with a tablespoon of the American Pie series. We didn’t speak like fifty-something romance novelists recreating an HBO soap. We were teens! We were unscripted! We did something bizarre called laughing and made jokes! The CW knows what laughing is, right?

AnnaSophia Robb looks nothing like Sarah Jessica Parker – actually, she looks like Miley Cyrus – and why should she? She’s the young Carrie Bradshaw, the idealist. Another actress might have made The Carrie Diaries become SATC meets unintentional SNL parody. Robb sells the younger character pretty well by playing Carrie as AnnaSophia deems appropriate. She successfully achieves the impossible, carrying a huge show without any big credits to her acting resume. The show is for sure worth a second viewing. And yes, the popular girls’ hairstyles are impossibly funny-ugly to no avail. How they achieved super popularity status, like a Tootsie Roll pop’s lick count? The world may never know.

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Watch Brian Balthazar and Wendy Williams Talk About What’s Trending Now

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Always SO much fun going on the Wendy Williams show to talk about what’s trending! In this case, the best part (for me at least!) was wearing a creating by art director Michael Lee Scott, who recreated the iconic hat worn by Billy Porter at the Grammys! What a recreation!

Brian Balthazar Billy Porter Hat

 

 

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Wendy Stuart Kaplan Knows How To Party – Now She’s Throwing An Epic One Of Her Own!

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Wendy Stuart Kaplan knows her way around a party. In her book, ‘She’s The Last Model Standing,” she wrote about her headline grabbing days at Studio 54, and now throws more than a few of her own. The latest is her “Reading For Filth” and her birthday extravaganza, where she, hosts Eileen Dover and Nick Lion and others (including yours truly!) will perform a collection of wildly entertaining essays, poems, comedic rants and more. The kind of person who is so ‘on the go’ you get exhausted just thinking about it (she, however, does not) I caught up with her as she was taking a break between a radio show, a modeling job and a party tonight. If you want to catch up with Wendy, you have to be flexible… she’s probably got a full schedule that day! Her party this Friday is one that will not only celebrate a wildly varied and entertaining life, but also celebrate the spoken word from a variety of performers.

Anyone who’s ready your book “She’s The Last Model Standing” knows you’ve been partying since studio 54 – when did you first realize you were a party girl?

I first realized when I came back to New York after college! I wasn’t until then, because there was no good place to party.

Where did you go to school?

SUNY Binghamton where I majored in anthropology – and then I went to Nigeria! I definitely enjoyed partying eventually, but back then I really, really wanted to go to Africa, which I did!  I have gone back often, most recently to work on my documentaries.

Wendy Kaplan was a bold faced name for tearing up the dance floor AND going home right after.

That’s wild! But it’s not surprising to hear of that passion since you make films about wildlife conservation there. But your festive side eventually DID come out! We all know you now as a social butterfly! Whether you’re at a party, or working a film premiere – but were you as confident and comfortable in the spotlight as a kid as you are now?

I was an oddball kid. I had two things: I had my friends in the Bronx, and the ones that I had in school and they didn’t mix all that well. I loved growing up there, that was home – but I remember as a kid I would get stomachaches before parties! How weird is that? Until you asked me I had forgotten all about that.

What were you worrying about?

Social pressures – what if nobody talks to me – oh my god, I’m not pretty. I had a short mop of brown hair because my mom thought I looked better with short hair, and I had chubby cheeks. I didn’t love that look. I used to put on wigs as a kid and imagine myself with long blonde hair!

And here we are! 

Here we are, right? Long blonde hair. I morphed into it. I’m totally self made!

Tell me more about Reading for Filth – your event this Friday at Club Bedlam.

Reading for Filth came about when Brian Butterick, also known as Hattie Hathaway, used to have these events. One had the byline, “low rent reading for a high rent city.” Reading for filth is an expression for ‘I’m going to read you to filth,’ as in, “I’m gonna tell you what I really think.” The performers would do a reading of their choice. Something personal, maybe about an old boyfriend, or something someone else wrote, and they’d get up and read it in front of a room. At the last one we had, Michael Musto read from Suzanne Somers’ poetry book. I didn’t even know she wrote poetry… here the same person who wrote about African violets is also behind the Thighmaster! Brought me to tears! I imagine her thighs going back and forth as she sits next to a table with a sole African violet in its little pot, which inspired her to write the poem.

The reason we chose to open my birthday party with it is, when Hattie passed away, my friend and partner in crime Michael Fontana (Eileen Dover) really wanted to keep it going. We say it’s such a downtown New York thing but it’s a New York thing. It’s a nationwide thing. Think about what’s hot right now: storytelling. And here we have had Reading for Filth going on long before all that other stuff. Brian Butterick had been doing it for six to ten years. He was very ahead of his time. We brought it back this past year.

You love people and being around them, entertaining them, but you also love your home life – please describe your NYC living situation. You have a beautiful place… but describe your roommates.

Well, we will have to go back about 30 years when I got my first rabbit. I haven’t lived without one for 30 years, so when one dies I always have one in the wings. Fast forward to now, we always have two rabbits. It’s nice if they have another rabbit to hangout with. Also, 33 years ago we got a baby cockatoo, named her Louise, fed her formula, and she is now hanging out with me in my living room. Did I also mention our blue merle chihuahua?

In my New York apartment everyone is loose. No one is caged.  Everybody is trained to go on those wee-wee pads you buy for dogs, and everybody goes on a wee-wee pad including the rabbits… but not the dog.

Wendy’s rabbit S’mores roams free in her apartment along side another rabbit, a cockatoo and a Chihuahua.
Wendy Kaplan’s dog Nugget does what it wants.

You know how to party – we know that – your wedding was no exception…describe your epic wedding.

So my wedding was 32 or so years ago. I should know that! Alan (a renowned photographer) and I got married in our huge loft, and you had to come dressed as members of a bridal party. It was on Halloween – you could be a bride, or a groom or a bridesmaid. The only problem was a lot of people thought it was a costume party and not an actual wedding. So we had people dressed as bridesmaids with five o’clock shadows and brides with full beards. They thought this was just going to be a big loft party – because we always gave huge parties – and not a wedding. But it was actually our wedding. I didn’t get many gifts because no one took it seriously. I won’t make that mistake again!

You’ve been modeling since you were in your twenties – what’s the best thing anyone can do to look and feel like a model whether they’re walking down the street or working it in the office?

You have to know who you are. What’s your style? What makes you feel good? What floats your boat? When you put on a certain dress how does that make you feel? Don’t go with trends, go with what you’re attached to! Listen to your inner fashionista. And you know what? We all have that.

Reading For Filth is open to the public this Friday at 8pm at Club Bedlam, 40 Avenue C, NYC. For more on Wendy visit her book’s Facebook page, her personal facebook page, or her instagram.

Visit her website, and buy her book on amazon!

 

 

 

 

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All 18 of the BAFTA Acting Nominees Are White, All Directing Nominees Are Male

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“Joker” is the one to watch at the upcoming BAFTAs, but if you’re looking for diversity and female directors, sadly you’ll have to look somewhere else. All the acting nominees are white, and all the directors are male.

Led by a lead actor nomination for Joaquin Phoenix, “Joker” received 11 nominations for Britain’s equivalent to the Oscars, competing with familiar Golden Globe nominees Taron Egerton, “Rocketman,”  Leonardo DiCaprio for “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood,” Adam Driver for “Marriage Story,” and Jonathan Pryce for “The Two Popes.”

Renée Zellweger leads the nominations for the best actress category for her role in “Judy,” alongside Jessie Buckley,  “Wild Rose,” Scarlett Johansson, “Marriage Story,” Saoirse Ronan, “Little Women,” and Charlize Theron for “Bombshell.”

Here are the other notable highlights:

See the full nomination page HERE.

  • 11 nominations for Joker
  • 10 nominations for The Irishman and Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood
  • Nine nominations for 1917
  • Six nominations for Jojo Rabbit
  • Five nominations for Little WomenMarriage Story and The Two Popes
  • Four nominations for For SamaParasite and Rocketman
  • Three nominations for BombshellJudyLe Mans ’66 and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

The ceremony will be held on Feb. 2 at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

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