Take Another Little Piers of My Heart

In a showdown about as thrilling as you'd expect from two competitors helping each other on the same task, Piers Morgan won the battle billed (by The Donald, at least) as The Ultimate Fight Between Good and Evil. Uh huh. What this basically boiled down to is that country star Trace Adkins is an absolute gentleman with a great cause and a few fairly well-off friends, while Piers is an absolute prat with a great cause and a ton of filthy rich friends.

Which is all well and good, really – you kind of know what you're getting if you sign up to watch The Celebrity Apprentice. Unfortunately, what you're also signing up for is a hackily produced live finale which amounted to Donald and his kids sitting on a fake table on the Saturday Night Live set while the taped episode played out on TVs in the studio, serving as an uneasy laugh track for the home audience.

Say what you want about Survivor (and what I say is that even tho this season is getting better ratings and raves, I can no longer muster up interest in watching a bunch of Type As sit on the beach and eat bugs) but they do their finale well. There's a healthy amount of cheese, as the taped ep often ends with host Jeff Probst apparently spanning the space/time continuum by leaving tribal council months in the past and showing up in the present seconds later wearing exactly the same outfit. But they reserve the live stuff for the reveal of the winner and then a reunion show Q&A with those who didn't Survive. Works.

The Apprentice, however, flips that formula on its ear, presenting two hours of live table-sitting and awkward narration capped by an extremely brief (and seemingly redundant) boardroom, a final hiring/firing celebrated by a smattering of shiny confetti, and a promise – or threat – from Trump that we can join them next year, because they're gonna be around for a looooooong time.

Frankly, I hope he sticks with the Celebrity version of The Apprentice, as it brings some interest to a flagging franchise. Round up another odd collection of has-beens, never-weres and who-are-theys and have at it. It's pass-the-time fun with a nice charitable angle. Just leave Omarosa at homearosa. Enough already.


Really thought this was gonna be more like Splash

Enchanted looked fun. A quirky twist on the classic fish-out-of-water story, with an animated princess turning up in modern-day Manhattan. Supercute. And it is... if you're five.

Unlike the best kids' or all-family films, Enchanted pretty much only works on one level – the "I buy all the Disney Princess merchandise" level. There's a bit of humor that isn't strictly for kids, but it unfortunately boils down into garden variety "Welcome to New Yawk" type jokes.

So for all my young readers (??), enjoy. It's well done for what it is. Parents, if you've seen the previews, you've seen the laughs. Beware.


Baseball, Hot Dogs, Carne Seca and Roller Derby?

Yeah, I know what it looks like. But don't try to tell me you don't want a Super Dog, too.

I'm back from Sox Spring Training in Tucson and the score looks something like this: 2 wins, 2 losses, 3 rounds of golf, at least 6 hot dogs (not sure how many the above one counts for), 3 plates of seca (a treat only available in Tucson), 2 books read cover-to-cover (The Last Best League and Say it's So) and 1 night of women's roller derby.
Yes, women's roller derby - a doubleheader in which the Furious Truckstop Waitresses defeated the Copper Queens followed by Iron Curtain falling to Vice Squad. Hard as it might be to believe, I'd never seen roller derby before, and even harder to believe – I may see it again. The traveling team (the Saddletramps) is coming to Chicago to face off against the best of the Windy City Rollers, and that may just be too much to pass up – the chance to see ladies like Sloppy Flo and Cheap Ore face off against Beth Amphetamine and Goldie Shocks! There are a surprising amount of leagues across the country – oddly worth checking out if you get a chance.

On a more, you know, real sports note – tough to say what the Sox are gonna look like this year. Javier Vasquez has serious stuff but Jose Contreras and Gavin Floyd were not in good form, Orlando Cabrera and Nick Swisher are definite upgrades while Juan Uribe didn't look half bad at second base. And Joe Crede looks like Brooks Robinson at third but below Mendoza at the plate while Josh Fields hits the hell out of the ball but boots the hell out of it as well. God, I love baseball.


Going going gone

I'm off to see the Sox for a week. In the meantime, watch these:


Welcome to the Jungle

I pretty much assumed this would be Lipstick Bungle, but surprisingly, not so much. Compared to the other recent sex in the city clone, Lipstick is much more appealing than Cashmere.

It's the same premise - a look at the lived of sexy, high-powered women who
have it all... or do they? But the difference is that Nico, Victory and Wendy are somewhat more "real" characters than... whatever the women of cashmere mafia's names are. Failing careers and struggling relationships are more relateable than prep school power mom squabbles and bi-curious dabbling. As an added bonus, the men of lipstick are a mix of features and flaws, rather than a parade of people pulled from central casting to answer the cliche of men are pigs.

All is not perfect in the jungle, however - Shields' movie studio job feels
increasingly unrealistic. The pilot subplot was about getting into a bidding war over dueling films about Galileo, and the last episode featured a paparazzi-fuled party to support "a potential huge hit" that was about... the slums of India in the 1930s. Uh huh. Victory's speeches tend to be a bit on the nose ("they're not just my friends... they're my family!"). And kim raver as a cougar isn't the newest story in the world.

So overall - dunno that these three will dethrone Carrie and crew any time soon, but four episodes deep it's still worth tuning in. If you've got the
money, honey, they've got your disease