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Nat Geo’s “Living in the Time of Jesus”

posted by Ellen Leventry

Just days from Christmas, National Geographic explores the world that Jesus would have known in “Living in the Time of Jesus.”

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Catch It: Nat Geo’s ‘Into the Lost Crystal Caves’

posted by Ellen Leventry

During this Columbus Day weekend, discover the stunning crystal caverns of Mexico with National Geographic Channel.

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‘Deadliest Catch': The Death of Captain Phil

posted by Ellen Leventry

As the sixth season of the Discovery Channel hit comes to a close, audiences will bid a long goodbye to Captain Phil Harris and witness the realities of experiencing a stroke.

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‘The Choir’ and ‘Gutted': Must Watch Wednesday TV

posted by Ellen Leventry

Brit shows “The Choir” and “Gutted” make Wednesday night must-see reality TV.

‘Eclipse': A So-So Phase of the ‘Twilight Saga’

posted by Ellen Leventry

The third installment in the “Twilight Saga” fails to sparkle as brightly as the first two.

“True Blood” Premiere Quenches, Season Three Promising

posted by Ellen Leventry

Following a somewhat anemic second season, “True Blood” is bad to it’s sexy best.

Does the World Need Really Need ‘Kate Plus 8’?

posted by Ellen Leventry

Last night marked the return of the Gosselins to TLC, minus Jon, and it felt as if the mother of multiples and her brood had never been away from the small screen. Which, depending on how you feel about the show, is a good thing or a bad thing. But is it a necessary thing?

‘American Idol’ Ratings Drop Because Ellen is Gay?

posted by Ellen Leventry

Christian Newswire director claims that the once unstoppable “American Idol” has seen its ratings drop thanks to new judge “lesbian activist” Ellen DeGeneres, but is he conveniently ignoring “Idol’s” gayness?

Al and Tipper Gore Separating After 40 Years of Marriage

posted by Ellen Leventry

Al and Tipper Gore shocked the world with the announcement of their separation after 40 years of marriage. But the fact that the separation is scandal-free may be more shocking to a public used to tabloid-fueled break ups.

‘American Idol’ Finale: DeWyze Wins. SeriousLee?

posted by Ellen Leventry

Lee DeWyze pulls a surprising upset on the “American Idol” season nine finale and we’re just upset that Simon is leaving.

Sandra Bullock’s Baby Bombshell: The Best Kept Secret in a Social Media Society

posted by Ellen Leventry

Sure, Sandra Bullock debuting her 3 1/2 month old, adopted son on the cover of People magazine is surprising, but the fact that we haven’t heard about it until now is even more so.

‘Clash of the Titans’ Movie: A Titanic Disappointment

posted by Ellen Leventry

Big names and big effects prove to be less than epic in this unnecessary and dispensable remake.

‘American Idol’ Less Than Golden This Season

posted by Ellen Leventry

I’m going to make this post short and sweet, unlike the torturous “American Idol” performances I’ve forced myself to sit through the past few weeks: This season of “Idol” has been terrible. Usually, nestled in amongst the talent and the […]

The Other Suicide: ‘Frontline’ Looks at Assisted Suicide

posted by Ellen Leventry

A documentary on assisted suicide that stirred turmoil in Britain premieres in North America to little controversy–so far, allowing the story to speak for itself.

Olympic Medalists: Not Showing Enough Mettle?

posted by Ellen Leventry

The Vancouver Winter Olympic Games have had their share of athletes who competed hard and partied harder. Is it just blowing of steam or just too much?

Andrew Koenig’s Death: A Tragic Lesson

posted by Ellen Leventry

Actor Andrew Koenig’s tragic death brings attention to the seriousness of depression.

Keith Olbermann’s ‘Life Panel’ Special Comment

posted by Ellen Leventry

Keith Olbermann’s impassioned plea to allow insurance-covered end of life discussions with doctors is a good lesson for all.

National Geographic Goes ‘Inside Polygamy’ This Valentine’s

posted by Ellen Leventry

National Geographic is given unprecedented access to explore an FLDS polygamous family in “Inside Polygamy: Life at Bountiful.”

Tackling the Tebow Super Bowl Ads

posted by Ellen Leventry

Paradoxically, the controversial Tim Tebow Super Bowl ads, may have been the least controversial of the broadcast.

Cool on ‘Caprica’

posted by Ellen Leventry

Fine performances and effects can’t hide “Caprica’s” lack of dramatic tension.

‘Project Runway’ Bottoming Out?

posted by Ellen Leventry

Pamela was bid “auf wiedersehen” on last night’s “Project Runway,” but has the show bottomed out by allowing Ping to stay?

Tim Tebow Super Bowl Ad: Touchdown or Fumble?

posted by Ellen Leventry

Tim Tebow to be featured in Focus on the Family-sponsored Super Bowl ad: Spokesman for family above all or hubristic quarterback heaving it out of bounds?

Vatican Media No Fans of ‘Avatar’

posted by Ellen Leventry

L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican’s official newspaper, and Vatican Radio are giving ‘Avatar’ two thumbs down, way down.

‘Daybreakers': Atmospheric, but Anemic

posted by Ellen Leventry

What starts out as a noirish, atmospheric thriller, turns into a gore-laden action flick with bits and pieces of bloodsuckers flying in as many directions as the plot.

‘Jersey Shore': Bad for Italian-Americans or Good Reality TV?

posted by Ellen Leventry

Italian-American groups are upset with MTV’s ‘Jersey Shore,’ claiming it reinforces negative stereotypes, but don’t all reality shows?

‘Simpsons’ Gets Imprimatur From Vatican Newspaper

posted by Ellen Leventry

Vatican newspaper declares ‘The Simpsons’ Okely Dokely

‘Britain’s Missing Top Model’ is Tops

posted by Ellen Leventry

Featuring disabled contestants, ‘Britain’s Missing Top Model’ aims to break down barriers and overcome prejudices in the competitive modeling industry.

For PETA’s Sake: Naked Joanna Krupa With Cross Stirs Controversy

posted by Ellen Leventry

Playboy model Joanna Krupa’s new campaign for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals crosses the line.

‘Hoarders’ Catches Oprah’s Eye

posted by Ellen Leventry

This was originally published In October, but we’re reposting it in light of yesterday’s season premiere. You can watch “Hoarders” on Monday night’s at 10/9 Central on A & E. I’ve been transfixed by “Hoarders,” A&E’s new reality show about […]

‘Jon & Kate Plus 8′ Series Finale

posted by Ellen Leventry

‘Jon & Kate Plus 8′ may be ending too soon for Kate, but what about the viewers?

Review: ‘New Moon’ Rising

posted by Ellen Leventry

“New Moon” offers up formulaic, fantasy-filled fun you can sink your teeth into.

NatGeo Asks ‘Who Was the First Jesus?’

posted by Ellen Leventry

National Geographic Channel’s Second Annual Expedition Week offers plenty of adventure.

Defending ‘Sex Rehab’

posted by Ellen Leventry

Critics have labeled VH1’s “Sex Rehab with Dr. Drew” voyeuristic but does that devalue the show’s message?

Where’s the ‘Glee’?

posted by Ellen Leventry

‘Glee’ has always been a quirky blend of song and social commentary, but this week’s episode, “Wheels,” feels like after school special territory.

‘The Men Who Stare at Goats': Two Hours Worth Staring At

posted by Ellen Leventry

The quirky ‘The Men Who Stare at Goats’ delivers laughs and lessons.

ABC’s ‘V': Leapin’ Lizards, This Reimagining is Fun

posted by Ellen Leventry

The reimagining of the classic 80s sci-fi series delivers deep messages, but also face-ripping, alien-revealing good fun.

Scary Movies for the XX Set: Fierce Female Frighteners

posted by Ellen Leventry

Scary movies aren’t just for boys. A few suggestions for some femme-friendly Halloween viewing.

‘Ghost Hunters,’ ‘Destination Truth,’ & ‘Paranormal State’ Offer up Smallscreen Scares

posted by Ellen Leventry

“Ghot Hunters,” “Destination Truth,” and “Paranormal State” prove that great ghost-hunting frights aren’t just found at the cineplex.

Billy Corgan Blogs: The Smashing Pumpkin on Spirituality

posted by Ellen Leventry

Billy Corgan, he of Smashing Pumpkins fame, has thrown his cap into the ring in with other spirituality minded celebrities, such as Gwyneth Paltrow (GOOP) and Rainn Wilson (SoulPancake), and started a website–Everything From Here to There–to discuss matters of […]

Miley Cyrus Quits Twitter and Urges Others to do Same

posted by Ellen Leventry

“Hannah Montana” star Miley Cyrus’ decision to stop Twittering raised such a furor that you would have thought that Walter Cronkite had refused to read the news during the Vietnam War. Ok, so it wasn’t quite that serious, but everyone […]

It’s a GrandDuggar!

posted by Ellen Leventry

Kate Gosselin must be shaking in her boots: People.com reports that Mackynzie Renée Duggar (see photos here), the first daughter of the oldest Duggar, Joshua, and his wife, Anna, arrived late last night. That’s right, it’s the first grandchild of Jim […]

‘Nightline’ Asks: Is ‘OMG!’ Blasphemy?

posted by Ellen Leventry

The popularity of “Gossip Girl” may be waning — it was last in the ratings this past week — but the popularity of “OMG!”, one of the teen drama’s catchphrases and the bedrock of one of its ad campaigns, has […]

American Girl and Montblanc: Raising Awareness by Raising Eyebrows?

posted by Ellen Leventry

I was a bit irked several weeks ago when I heard about “Gwen,” the one-time homeless girl that makes up American Girl‘s contemporary 2009 Girl of the Year lineup. Irked not because I think that the plight of the homeless, […]

Jon Gosselin Gets a ‘Dear John’ Letter from TLC

posted by Ellen Leventry

Back in July, I wrote my own “Dear John” letter to Jon Gosselin, explaining that it really was him when it came to my decision to side with “Team Kate.” And now TLC, the cable channel that spawned the whole […]

Sunday Night Sizzles: ‘Dexter’ and ‘The National Parks’

posted by Ellen Leventry

Missing the Sunday night appointment television rush of “True Blood?” Well, everyone’s favorite serial killer-killing serial killer (say that ten times fast) is back with an infusion of frightening fun. This season Dexter faces not only the complexities and sheer […]

A ‘Supernatural’ Search for God

posted by Ellen Leventry

I never really enjoyed the later “mythology” episodes of the “X-Files,” but sat through them dutifully so that I could get to the delicious monster-of-the-week episodes. But, I’ve never felt that way about “Supernatural,” the CW’s scarily witty and wittily […]

Mackenzie Phillips’ Revelations: Reality Check, Paycheck or Both?

posted by Ellen Leventry

This afternoon, actress Mackenzie Phillips (One Day at a Time) is set to take to Oprah‘s couch to reveal all about the ten year, drug-fueled incestuous relationship she had with her father, John Phillips of The Mamas and The Papas. […]

MTV Video Music Awards: Back in Fighting Form

posted by Ellen Leventry

I bemoaned last year’s MTV Video Music Awards as lacking the usual raucousness usually associated with the water cooler-worthy awards show. But last night’s VMAs, hosted once again by British comedian Russell Brand, didn’t disappoint. Intended to be a fitting […]

Week in Review: ‘Melrose Place,’ Glee,’ Vampire Diaries,’ Supernatural’

posted by Ellen Leventry

September is here and that can mean only one thing: new television! Ok, it also means that kids are back in school and the leaves will soon be turning, but there’s nothing like the lure of brand new episodes of […]

The Duggars Do it Again: Will the Public Ever Tire?

posted by Ellen Leventry

I was trolling around People.com yesterday looking for the poll asking readers to weigh in on what “J” name Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, of TLC’s “18 Kids and Counting,” should bestow on their recently announced nineteenth addition, when I […]

Carrie Prejean Files Lawsuit Citing Religious Discrimination: Genuine or Publicity Stunt?

posted by Ellen Leventry

Carrie Prejean, the recently dethroned Miss California whose anti-gay marriage comments at the April 19 Miss Universe Pageant stoked the national debate, filed suit yesterday against Miss California Pageant officials, citing religious discrimination amongst a litany of other charges. TMZ.com […]

Fox’s ‘OctoMom’ Special Anything But

posted by Ellen Leventry

So FOX has ordered up a Nadya Suleman special to be titled “Octomom: The Incredible Unseen Footage.” Or as I like to think of it, “When Fertility Treatments Attack.” As the Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed reports, the two-hour documentary, set […]

John Hughes: A Few of My Favorite Films

posted by Ellen Leventry

It goes without saying, I believe, that every thirty-something American would call “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” one of their favorite John Hughes movies. And I’ve never really found the post-1990, post-“Home Alone” Hughes oeuvre platable, so an entire decade of […]

BBC America’s Buzzworthy ‘Skins’ Returns

posted by Ellen Leventry

The news of director John Hughes’ (“The Breakfast Club,” “Some Kind of Wonderful,” Pretty in Pink”) passing this morning is made even more poignant by the fact that the latest season of “Skins,” a gritty BBC teen drama full of […]

‘More to Love': What’s Not to Love?

posted by Ellen Leventry

The new Fox reality show “More to Love” is a fresh take on “The Bachelor”–but I do have a few issues with it.

Discover ‘The Colony’

posted by Ellen Leventry

Discovery Channel’s new post-apocalyptic reality show, “The Colony” is an intriguing mix of “Survivor” and the Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook–it’s intriguing, but I have my suspicions about the show.

Tweeting the Divine at the Western Wall

posted by Ellen Leventry

Alon Nil has started @TheJotel, where you can Tweet your prayers to the Western Wall. But would you publicly tweet God? Or would you care to keep your petitions private?

Watch This: ‘Torchwood: Children of Earth’

posted by Ellen Leventry

“Torchwood: Children of Earth,” the “Doctor Who” spinoff miniseries currently playing on BBC America, is so good that I have practically forgotten the mediocrity that was “Torchwood’s” second season and can forgive all of its distracting stunt casting and convoluted […]

A ‘Dear John’ Letter to Jon Gosselin

posted by Ellen Leventry

Dear Jon, Once upon a time, I sympathized with you, cringed with you as Kate commanded your every movement (to the point of telling you not to breathe so loudly) and browbeat your every decision. With reports of Kate off […]

Billy Mays: Posthumous Pitching

posted by Ellen Leventry

When I read yesterday on TMZ.com that ultimate pitchman Billy Mays would be posthumously pitching for Mighty Tape, my initial reaction was that it was a bit tacky, that the company behind the product, Media Enterprises, was potentially profiting from […]

Hung Up on HBO’s ‘Hung’

posted by Ellen Leventry

I still haven’t quite forgiven HBO for canceling the brilliance of “Rome” only to perpetrate the anemic “John from Cincinnati” on viewers. Last year’s launch of “True Blood” put a better taste in my mouth, and now I find myself […]

Remembering Michael

posted by Ellen Leventry

Valentine’s Day 2001 I spent with Michael Jackson and 3,000 of his most adoring fans. At the time the “King of Pop” and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach had started an initiative called “Heal the Kids” which aimed to “restore children’s ‘birthright […]

‘Iran and the West': Don’t Miss This Timely National Geographic Channel Special

posted by Ellen Leventry

There could be no more serendipitous programming on television this coming week than National Geographic Channel’s “Iran and the West,” as the eyes of the world are focused currently on the Islamic Republic’s post-election protests and threatened crackdown on those […]

’16 and Pregnant’ is Important Television

posted by Ellen Leventry

When news that Jamie Lynn Spears was pregnant at 16 first broke back in December 2007, I suggested that Ms. Spears turn it into a teaching moment and film a reality spotlighting the hardships of being a teen mother. Well, […]

Say ‘I Might’ to ‘Wedding Day’

posted by Ellen Leventry

TNT sells itself as the network that “knows drama,” but it’s now branching out into melodrama with a new “unscripted drama” (read: reality show) called “Wedding Day,” in which deserving couples get their dream walk down the aisle. I’m not […]

‘The Hangover': A Cure for Tough Times

posted by Ellen Leventry

“The Hangover,” the Warner Bros. comedy about the misadventures of four men in Las Vegas for a bachelor party, was the surprise winner at the box office this weekend, taking in $45 million dollars. But, it really shouldn’t have been […]

‘College Life’ Spring Break: Christian Style

posted by Ellen Leventry

You may have never heard of “College Life,” MTV’s attempt at creating a real reality show by letting loose University of Wisconsin – Madison students with cameras, but it’s an interesting little gem tucked away at the 11:30 p.m. Monday […]

The Joy of ‘Glee’

posted by Ellen Leventry

“Glee” is a show built on cliches–the teacher who will do anything for the kids, the jock who’ll give up popularity to pursue his dorky dream, the talented gal who dreams of becoming a star–but the sum of its parts […]

Womb with a View: An ‘Extreme’ Mother’s Day Special

posted by Ellen Leventry

Not in the mood for the usual Hallmark Hall of Fame fare this Mother’s Day? Then check out National Geographic Channel’s “In the Womb: Extreme Animals.” Astonishing real-time 4D ultrasound images and fetal imaging techniques allow viewers to experience the […]

Perez Hilton vs. Miss California: And the Crown Goes To…

posted by Ellen Leventry

I’m all for gay marriage and I love me some Perez Hilton, but I have to take exception with the “gossip gangstar”s’ vitriol during the whole Miss California gay marriage answer brouhaha. During Sunday night’s Miss USA competition, the very […]

Jon & Kate Plus Sustainabilit-eight

posted by Ellen Leventry

Just last week I was bemoaning the fact that shows featuring abnormally large families, at least by today’s standards, such as “18 Kids and Counting” and “Jon & Kate Plus Eight” are sending irresponsible signals in an era striving for […]

The Duggars and Environmental Sustainability

posted by Ellen Leventry

It’s no surprise that Josh Duggar, the oldest child of Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar’s 18 children, and his new wife Anna have taken up the family tradition of being in the family way (the couple announced Anna’s pregnancy yesterday) […]

‘House’ Loss is White House’s Gain and Offers Valuable Lessons

posted by Ellen Leventry

Apparently the signs pointing to actor Kal Penn’s eventual political career were pretty evident: his character in the “Harold and Kumar” series craved White Castle hamburgers and he played a doctor on a show called “House,” clearly portending an eventual […]

‘Pedro': AIDS as a ‘Real World’ Disease

posted by Ellen Leventry

Pedro Zamora, the HIV-positive, AIDS activist from MTV’s “The Real World: San Francisco,” broke new ground when he made the courageous decision to have his life televised and become the “face of AIDS” for a generation. Unfortunately, the new MTV […]

Review: ‘They Killed Sister Dorothy’

posted by Ellen Leventry

We all know that sustainability is a serious issue, but the documentary “They Killed Sister Dorothy” reminds us that it is deadly serious. A Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur nun from Dayton, OH, Dorothy Stang spent 30 years working […]

Frak!: ‘Battlestar Galactica’ Finale Fails to Satisfy

posted by Ellen Leventry

The season finale of “Battlestar Galactica” aired Friday, March 20. Please note, this review contains spoilers. Several weeks ago I told a friend of mine, half-joking, that it was a good thing “Battlestar Galactica” was coming to an end because […]

Weekend Watching

posted by Ellen Leventry

TV: Battlestar Galactica Frequent readers of “Idol Chatter” will know that I’m a huge “Battlestar Galactica” fan, reveling in its relevance and enjoying its space opera-esque qualities. So, it is with mixed feelings that I anticipate tonight’s two-hour series finale. […]

Remembering Ron Silver

posted by Ellen Leventry

When I learned of actor Ron Silver’s death this morning, I was saddened and surprised. Surprised because, unlike Patrick Swayze or Jade Goody’s battles with cancer, I was not aware of the 62-year-old, “West Wing” star’s two year fight with […]

Eight, er, Fourteen is Enough: Octomom Be Gone

posted by Ellen Leventry

Whenever I hear mom of fourteen Nadya Suleman referred to as “Octomom,” I immediately conjure up an image of Dr. Octopus from Spider-Man 2, but, instead of Alfred Molina inhabiting the wildly gesticulating, mechanical, tentacled apparatus, Ms. Suleman herself is […]

Mark and Olly in the Amazon: Must-See TV

posted by Ellen Leventry

So it’s Sunday night around 10 p.m. and you’re looking for something to watch because Dexter” and “True Blood” are on hiatus. I suggest you turn to the Travel Channel and check out “Mark & Olly: Living with the Machigenga.” […]

Jade Goody, Reality TV Star: Dying with Dignity

posted by Ellen Leventry

You may not have heard of British reality TV star Jade Goody, best known for her appearances on the UK Big Brother series, but she is now inspiring writers from Time Magazine to the New York Times to pick up […]

Bart Simpson Scientology Calls

posted by Ellen Leventry

When I read last week on HuffingtonPost.com that Nancy Cartwright, a.k.a. the voice of Bart Simpson and devoted Scientologist, was making robocalls on behalf of a church event in the voice of everyone’s favorite 10 year-old troublemaker, I was curious […]

‘Sober House': Sobering Viewing

posted by Ellen Leventry

I thought I would never ever see a more horrifying example of addiction than “Grease’s” Jeff Conaway on “Celebrity Rehab, ” vacillating between mindlessly drooling on himself and screaming like a banshee at no one in particular while withdrawing from […]

Bang-up ‘Battlestar': ‘Galactica’ Returns with Stellar Premiere

posted by Ellen Leventry

To say that the final season of “Battlestar Galactica” began with a bang is an understatement: the crew discovers that residual radiation from a nuclear holocaust makes Earth uninhabitable; despondent, Dee shoots herself; and Ellen Tigh is revealed to be […]

Returning to the ‘Real World’

posted by Ellen Leventry

When I heard that there would be a “cool” Mormon house on the newest incarnation of MTV’s “The Real World” — “The Real World: Brooklyn“– I thought that the network theat brought us so many reality show cliches had finally […]

Whopper Sacrifice: What Would You do For a Free Burger?

posted by Ellen Leventry

A reader accused me of excess political correctness for saying that I adored Burger King’s Whopper Virgins campaign for its ingenuity, but abhorred it for its nutritional irresponsibility. Well, it seems that I’m no longer in the politically correct camp […]

‘True Beauty’ a Tad Beastly

posted by Ellen Leventry

Maybe it’s the current melancholic climate in the country, but I found “Superstars of Dance,” NBC’s Eurovision-esque dance competition, to be far more engaging Monday night than the “inner beauty pageant” of “True Beauty.” Now I have nothing against the […]

ABC Television’s ‘True Beauty’

posted by Ellen Leventry

Ahh, the new year! Time for new hopes, new resolutions and a whole new season of reality TV. I’ve already sampled VH-1’s “Confessions of a Teen Idol“–wherein former hearthrobs such as “Baywatch’s” David Chokachi and “The Blue Lagoon’s” Christopher Atkins […]

Tom Cruise’s ‘Today Show’ Redemption

posted by Ellen Leventry

I was probably going to see “Valkyrie” even before Tom Cruise’s astonishing mea culpa-esque appearance yesterday on the “Today Show.” The cast is a veritable banquet of my favorite British actors–Tom Wilkinson, Bill Nighy, Kenneth Branagh, the brilliant Eddie Izzard–and […]

Demand ‘Britz’ on BBC America

posted by Ellen Leventry

Lost in the hustle and bustle of this past Thanksgiving holiday was one of the most riveting post 9/11, and in this case post 7/7, dramas made to date, “Britz.” This thriller follows the lives of Sohail and Nasima, a […]

Assisted Suicide Aired on British Television

posted by Ellen Leventry

For a culture commonly stereotyped as prim and proper, the British have always managed to push the envelope when it comes to thought-provoking, controversial documentaries–think Channel 4’s 2002 airing of a live–albeit delayed–autopsy before a paying London audience. Sky Television […]

Tom Cruise Returns to ‘Today’ Show

posted by Ellen Leventry

The rumors that “Valkyrie,” the Tom Cruise World War II film premiering Christmas Day, is terrible must be true. Otherwise, why would he return to the glibbest morning show on television? It’s been three years since Tom Cruise declared Matt […]

Burger King Whopper Taste Test Distasteful

posted by Ellen Leventry

I like commercials. Most people leave the room when a commercial comes on, but I turn up the volume. I appreciate the artistry needed to manipulate the public into purchasing a product in less than two minutes. And while I […]

Enya’s ‘And Winter Came': An Ode to the Season

posted by Ellen Leventry

Enya’s seventh studio album, “And Winter Came,” is not so much a holiday album as it is an ambient ode to the season. Featuring ten original winter/holiday-themed compositions and two traditional Christmas carols, the CD features the “choir of one” […]

Bronx Mowgli: Enough with the Crazy Celeb Baby Names!

posted by Ellen Leventry

After I heard that Pete Wentz and Ashlee Simpson named their newborn boy Bronx Mowgli, not only did I get an “icky” feeling, but I got a “that’s a bizarre Rudyard Kipling literary reference” feeling. Then, I realized that the […]

‘Twilight’ Movie Review: ‘TwiHard’ with a Vengeance

posted by Ellen Leventry

We arrived more than an hour early to the midnight kickoff showing of “Twilight” and the theater was already packed. Not with just 12-year-old girls and emo guys, but with Gucci-toting fashionistas and frat boys, two segments of the population […]

Yes, Even Dads Enjoy ‘Twilight’

posted by Ellen Leventry

I learned several things at a recent “Twilight” movie release party at my local Borders bookstore: 1. Mixing a strawberry smoothie with chocolate syrup to create a blood-like berry blast results in a rather tasty treat 2. The C.I.A. should […]

Sookie vs. Bella: Role Model Smackdown

posted by Ellen Leventry

I must admit that I resisted reading the “Twilight” series until a school librarian friend of mine informed me that I absolutely had to read at least the first book before the movie opening. So, being a dutiful friend and […]

Being a ‘Witness to Jonestown’

posted by Ellen Leventry

During the presidential campaign many conservative pundits spoke about people “drinking the Democrat Kool-Aid.” (And perhaps there were pundits talking about Republican Kool-Aid, I just didn’t witness it.) So, it’s eerily apropos that the 30th anniversary of the Jonestown massacre […]

Frightening Flicks for the Family

posted by Ellen Leventry

In this era of what I dub “torture-porn” movies like “Saw” and “Hostel,” there are few films on which burgeoning horror-philes can safely cut their teeth. Sure, the Disney Channel has some great offerings like the “Halloweentown” series, but I’m […]

Must See MTV and VH-1: ‘A Night for Vets’ and ‘Celebrity Rehab’

posted by Ellen Leventry

Several days ago, while watching coverage of the election, I began reminiscing about the days of Tabitha Soren. Remember when MTV’s coverage of Presidential elections was seen as innovative and important? When Soren asked probing questions of the candidates and […]

Madonna-Guy Ritchie Divorce: A Celluloid Lining?

posted by Ellen Leventry

Divorce among two adults can rarely be described as a good thing, and when children are involved divorce usually is downright disastrous. But, I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that while it is truly a tragedy for […]

Psalm Pilot?: Gospelr Spreads the Word One Microblog at a Time

posted by Ellen Leventry

Just the other day I wrote about the hot trend of kosher cellphones in the ultra-Orthodox communities of Israel, asking if keeping users from potentially questionable secular cellphone technology, such as texting and internet access, was the best way to […]

Kosher Calling?

posted by Ellen Leventry

It’s the new calling plan sweeping the ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities, or Haredi, in Jerusalem–the kosher cellphone number. BBC News reports that the latest means “religious adaptation to modern technology” for those of the strictly adherent group, involves cellphones that “cannot […]

‘Dexter,’ Doubt, and the Divine

posted by Ellen Leventry

Everyone’s favorite serial killer with a conscience, Dexter Morgan, returned to television last weekend with killer ratings, but the season three opener didn’t exactly slay me. If it sounds funny that a drama about a forensic blood spatter specialist-cum-serial killer […]

MTV VMAs: Defending the ‘Sluts’

posted by Ellen Leventry

Twenty-five years ago Madonna opened up the very first MTV Video Music Awards with a now iconic rendition of her smash hit “Like a Virgin.” And, yet, you would have never known it from last night’s 25th anniversary VMAs where […]

MTV VMAs a Pity Party for Britney?

posted by Ellen Leventry

Don’t get me wrong, I love Brit-Brit and have been pulling for her to beat her reported battle with bipolar disorder, but last night’s MTV Video Music Awards was such a Britney lovefest that it feels as if a recount […]

No-Go on ‘Covered Girls': Priest Calls off Nun Beauty Contest

posted by Ellen Leventry

Nuns, Father Antonio Rungi, Beauty Contest, Catholic Church

My Super Sweet 16: ‘Exiled’ in Teenville

posted by Ellen Leventry

Many years ago, when the first episode of MTV’s “My Super Sweet Sixteen” aired, I thought that the network had taken a daring step by reflecting this generation’s craven consumerism and narcissism back at them with the depictions of half-a-million […]

Did Scientology Play a Role in Hayes’ Death?

posted by Ellen Leventry

It’s tragic enough that singer-songwriter Isaac Hayes died Sunday at the age of 65. But according to an article by Roger Friedman on Fox News.com, Scientology may have played a role in the singer’s death–which was just today ruled the […]

Hands off Katie Holmes’ Hands

posted by Ellen Leventry

Yes, I know that it looked like Katie Holmes’ hands had been involved in some sort of horrible henna accident. And, yes, I know that rumors are swirling that the purple color was a result of Scientology’s Purification Rundown, a […]

Kidman Christens Daughter Sunday to Smack Down Scientology?

posted by Ellen Leventry

From the Old Testament (Yahweh) to Grimm’s Fairytales (Rumpelstiltskin), names have always carried power. And now some in the media are suggesting that the name of Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban’s newborn daughter’s name is imbued with a similar, power–an […]

Benedict Brings the Bling

posted by Ellen Leventry

Recently the Vatican’s newspaper L’Osservatore Romano officially quashed rumors that Pope Benedict XVI’s red shoes are not Prada (an urban legend Idol Chatter’s own Donna Freitas debunked back in April). “Such rumors are inconsistent with the simple and somber man […]

‘Wanted’ Leaves You Wanting

posted by Ellen Leventry

“Wanted” is a an intriguing mash-up of “Office Space,” “Fight Club,” “The DaVinci Code,” and “The Matrix.” You could be forgiven for thinking that this Angelina Jolie vehicle was simply another sex appeal-fueled shoot-’em-up loosely based on another graphic novel […]

Geri Halliwell ‘Spices’ Up the Bible?

posted by Ellen Leventry

“SHOCK! Geri Halliwell ‘rewrites the Bible’,” shrieked the headline accompanying a report in yesterday’s Now Magazine. “How terribly intersting,” I thought, “A member of the biggest-selling female UK group of all time taking on the best-selling book of all time.” […]

Top 10 TV Moms

posted by Ellen Leventry

Several years ago, I contributed a piece about the best small-screen mothers on American television to Beliefnet blogger Therese Borchard’s delightful book “I Love Being a Mom.” For the book, I tried to think of characters, who not only set […]

Cruisin’ Back to Oprah Equals Cruising Back to a Career?

posted by Ellen Leventry

So Tom Cruise is heading back to the couch. No, not in the psychiatric sense of the word, heaven forefend, but back to Oprah’s couch. (Although, it could be argued that O is America’s pop psychologist.) It’s been three whole […]

No Matter How You Paint It, Abortion Does Not Equal Art

posted by Ellen Leventry

American author Fran Lebowitz once noted that “Very few people possess true artistic ability. It is therefore both unseemly and unproductive to irritate the situation by making an effort. If you have a burning, restless urge to write or paint, […]

Fun with ‘The Big 4-0′

posted by Ellen Leventry

What is it about turning 40 that strikes fear into the heart of the typical American? Does the end of one’s fourth decade on Earth mark some elusive tipping point; signaling that there is no turning back, that youthful follies […]

Hitting a Sour Note on ‘Idol Gives Back’?

posted by Ellen Leventry

Last year’s “Idol Gives Back” was an exciting experiment in charitable giving with a delightful roughness around the edges and a pioneering spirit. This year the “Idol” team produced a slick telethon with a vast array of stars and even […]

‘Idol Gives Back’ Is Back

posted by Ellen Leventry

Last year’s “American Idol: Idol Gives Back” was an extraordinary experiment in fundraising. No one really knew if Americans would respond with their wallets the same way they responded to the weekly voting? Would the evening turn in phenomenal numbers […]

You Deserve A Frackin’ Break Today

posted by Ellen Leventry

You know all those stories that came out about two weeks ago about how March Madness reduces productivity at American companies and that with CBS streaming the games free online will cost corporate America some $4 billion dollars? Well, that’ll […]

Sobering Up With Scientology

posted by Ellen Leventry

It’s no secret that I’m not a huge fan of secretive, esoteric, spiritual communities that charge loads of money to reach higher levels of enlightenment (unless of course they involve cool decoder rings), so what I’m about to say is […]

Paris Hilton, Role Model?

posted by Ellen Leventry

We’ve called Paris Hilton many things here at “Idol Chatter,” but I’m not certain anyone has dubbed her a role model. But that’s exactly how the hotel heiress sees herself, according to Reuters (via TMZ.com). “I work very hard and […]

Resurrection on ‘Torchwood’

posted by Ellen Leventry

The brooding, spiritually-challenging “Battlestar Galactica” returns to airwaves on April 4, but those in the Sci-Fi know have been getting their fix of thought-provoking, other-worldly entertainment over at BBC America, thanks to “Torchwood.” Perhaps best known for its camp and […]

J.K. Rowling Shines Light on Suicide

posted by Ellen Leventry

At the beginning of January, I contributed a piece to “Idol Chatter” positing that spinning Britney Spears’ then increasingly curious behavior as a drug problem was far more acceptable in America than admitting to suffering from a mental health disorder. […]

SciFi’s “Visions for Tomorrow” Board: The Coolest Committee You’ve Never Heard of

posted by Ellen Leventry

When I received a press release yesterday stating that Sir Richard Branson, of the Virgin mega-brands and various hot air balloon adventures, had joined SciFi Channel’s “Visions for Tomorrow” advisory board, my curiosity was piqued. Not only do I think […]

Shalom Sanjaya: Former ‘Idol’ Contestant Performs at Bat Mitzvah

posted by Ellen Leventry

Remember back in the late 90s and early 2000s when you couldn’t flip open a lifestyle section or magazine without seeing at least one article about outrageous Bar and Bat Mitvahs? The progenitor of the MTV “My Super Sweet Sixteen”-style […]

Horton Hears a ‘Boo’?

posted by Ellen Leventry

How many times have you asked yourself, when reading a newspaper headline, “What were they thinking?” Sure Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s head-scratching admission to patronizing a prostitute elicited the most furrowed brows this week, but it was TMZ.com’s report of pro-life […]

Paris Hilton’s Spiritual ‘Fauxru’

posted by Ellen Leventry

“Does being Paris’ spirituality chihuahua mean the guy was especially horrible in a past life,” my friend asked me when confronted with the recent story of Paris Hilton’s new Buddhist monk sidekick. According to the Daily Mail, the celebutante’s newest […]

Pure as the Driven Showbiz: Hollywood Virginity Makes a Comeback

posted by Ellen Leventry

Remember the heady days of the new millenium when every self-respecting teen star was declaring that they were saving themselves for marriage? Now remember how you felt when it was discovered that shocker, one pop princess did not in fact […]

The Spirituality of ‘Spice’?

posted by Ellen Leventry

When it was suggested that I write about attending the Spice Girls reunion concert in terms of spiritual experience, I scoffed a bit. As enduring and as deep as my love of Ginger, Sporty, Scary, Posh, and Baby is, I […]

‘Truthlessness’ Reigns on ‘Moment’

posted by Ellen Leventry

Stephen Colbert coined the term “truthiness,” and now I would like to expand the lexicon with my own truth-based contribution, “truthlessness.” What is truthlessness, you ask? Well, it’s just what it sounds like, truth coupled with ruthlessness, the finest exemplar […]

Scientology Blocks Sales of E-Meters on eBay

posted by Ellen Leventry

As Americans, we expect three simple things: Life, liberty and the right to pursue happiness by selling things on eBay. But Scientology is standing in the way of that American dream, reports Scott Pilutik on RealityBasedCommunity.net. It seems that the […]

Politico Pop: Purloined Campaign Anthems

posted by Ellen Leventry

There’s a serious ethical issue that surrounds this year’s presidential campaign. No, it’s not pulling out of the war in Iraq or universal healthcare, but a little thing known as campaign music clearance, a point illustrated once again by Democrat […]

Celebrity, Spirituality, and the Maharishi

posted by Ellen Leventry

Apparently retirement does equal death, even for world famous gurus who once tirelessly toured the world like a rock star, spreading his message and hobnobbing with celebrity seekers. Less than a month after announcing his retirement from handling the daily […]

Can ‘Truth’ Literally Set You Free?

posted by Ellen Leventry

There was a time when the lawyers and PR firms of those accused of crimes and misdemeanors asked that their clients not be judged in the court of public opinion but given a fair trial in a courtroom far from […]

Kicking Kabbalah to the Curb?

posted by Ellen Leventry

It seems that Kabbalah super-couple Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher may be distancing themselves from the religion, reports MSNBC.com. Sources tell “The Scoop” that the May-December duo haven’t attended services or Shabbat dinner at L.A.’s Kabbalah Center for months and […]

Fighting Fascists with Fascism?: ‘Anonymous’ Takes on Scientology

posted by Ellen Leventry

If you haven’t seen it yet, you soon will. It’s making the rounds around the Web faster than Tom Cruise’s hyena-esque clip and it’s far more disturbing. A group calling themselves Anonymous is out to expose and “systematically dismantle” Scientology […]

Death, Where is Thy Decorum?

posted by Ellen Leventry

The Victorians, for all of their oppressive foibles, knew how to do death right. Sure, the intricate details and prescriptions of protracted mourning periods, sometimes of years, were surely a cause of much consternation, but the Victorians understood what we […]

Even at ’46 and Pregnant,’ We Still Love Chachi

posted by Ellen Leventry

I’ve always been curious as to how “Happy Days” and “Charles in Charge” star Scott Baio managed to nab the hottest women in Hollywood. From Heather Locklear to Pamela Anderson, the perennial playboy never lacked for female companionship; but I […]

‘Moment of Truth’ Lacks Momentum

posted by Ellen Leventry

‘The truth will see you free,” goes the famous saying, but apparently the ‘truth’ itself isn’t free, requiring a commercial break every 90 seconds. At least that’s what I felt like watching last night’s premiere of the highly anticipated new […]

Anti-Gay Minister Promises to Protest Ledger’s Funeral

posted by Ellen Leventry

To hear about Heath Ledger’s death yesterday evening was shocking, but to hear this morning that the Reverend Fred Phelps, keeper of the God Hates Fags website, announced that his anti-gay group would be picketing Ledger’s funeral because of his […]

Hijab Me Baby One More Time?

posted by Ellen Leventry

“Britney’s Shocking Decision” tempts the cover of OK! Weekly‘s cover this week. Apparently, we dear readers are supposed to be stunned – absolutely stunned — by the fact that Brit-Brit is trying to get pregnant again so that she can […]

Models of Morality?

posted by Ellen Leventry

I can’t say that I watch the Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency with any regular frequency, but when flipping by Oxygen, I will sometimes stop and watch the “world’s first supermodel” frantically trying to run her nascent business. In this weekend’s […]

Scared Straight: Celebrity Rehab

posted by Ellen Leventry

What happens if someone made a reality show and it was too real to watch?That’s the thought that was running through my head last night while watching “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew” on VH-1 last night. Yes, the network that […]

Dr. Phil Cancels His Televised Britney Intervention

posted by Ellen Leventry

Several days ago, when I asked if Britney Spears would be “saved” by Oprah, I was being facetious. But, as it turns out, I was being prescient. Over the weekend, Spears’ parents asked Oprah protégé, Dr. Phil McGraw to speak […]

Rebuilding Britney: Is Addiction More Acceptable Than Mental Illness?

posted by Ellen Leventry

What Halliburton of the spirit will win the bidding for the reconstruction of Britney Spears? The pop star was taken to Cedars-Sinai Hospital last night for an evaluation after a bizarre standoff in which she refused to turn over her […]

A Silver Lining to Spears’ Teen Pregnancy?

posted by Ellen Leventry

For the past few days bloggerati the world over have been consumed with covering Jamie Lynn Spears’ recently announced pregnancy; this blog included. And while many muse about the Nickelodeon star not learning valuable lessons from Britney’s missteps and potentially […]

Sister Christian: Jamie Lynn’s Barristers’ Embarrassment

posted by Ellen Leventry

Jamie Lynn Spears may be blushing with the glow of unexpected pregnancy, but her lawyers are blushing with embarrassment over the Victorian defense of her character that they set against earlier pregnancy rumors. When the National Enquirer first reported on […]

Lynne Spears Apparently No Dr. Spock

posted by Ellen Leventry

US Weekly magazine has a column called “Stars! They’re Just Like Us” – wherein they show celebs pumping their own gas, shopping for groceries and doing the types of daily activities average, everyday folks do. With Jamie Lynn Spears’ – […]

Madonna Madness: Britney Spears to Play Virgin Mary?

posted by Ellen Leventry

“Britney’s Next Act — Virgin Mary?” No, you haven’t had too much eggnog. TMZ.com (via US weekly) is reporting that <a href="“>Britney Spears is being courted to play the mother of Jesus in a film satire of the Nativity story. […]

Striking ‘Compass’ From the Record

posted by Ellen Leventry

You know on “Law & Order” when the judge tells the jury to ignore the statement just made by the person testifying by saying, “Strike that from the record. Jury, please disregard his statement in your deliberations?” I always wondered […]

Joel Osteen in Details Magazine

posted by Ellen Leventry

Some may have been surprised that the oft-maligned Kevin Federline was named by Details magazine as one of the fifty most influential men under 45 in the current issue; number seven to be exact, an honor he shared with other […]

Sherri Shepherd Shares Her ‘View’ on Ancient History

posted by Ellen Leventry

Huffington Post’s Danny Shea took “The View’s” Sherri Shepherd to task yesterday for claiming that Christ predated the ancient Greeks during a discussion of philosopher Epicurus on the gab fest. “Naturally, talk soon migrated to the topic of religion, and […]

Her Cups Runneth Over: A Nun Visits Christian on ‘Nip/Tuck’

posted by Ellen Leventry

The plastic surgeons of McNamara/Troy have left Miami this season and are making a fresh start in Los Angeles and the move has, as plastic surgeons say, rejuvenated “Nip/Tuck.” It’s as if the show has gotten an injection of Restalyn […]

Salt-n-Pepa: Let’s Talk About…God?

posted by Ellen Leventry

When female rap pioneers Salt-n-Pepa disbanded in 2002 it seemed like the typical band breakup: Cheryl “Salt” James couldn’t take the harsh glare of fame and the exhausting lifestyle that came with it, while Sandy “Pepa” Denton was ready to […]

Seinfeld Credits Scientology…’Not That There’s Anything Wrong With That’

posted by Ellen Leventry

Remember the “Seinfeld” episode in which Jerry and George try to convince a reporter that they aren’t a gay couple, but try to come across as politically correct by spouting the phrase, “Not that there’s anything wrong with that?” It’s […]

‘Elizabeth: The Golden Age': Not So Shiny

posted by Ellen Leventry

You know that sinking feeling you get when you take someone who hasn’t seen a great movie to see the long-awaited sequel to that film, and the follow-up doesn’t live up to it? It’s a strange form of guilt; a […]

Dr. House Meets a Mormon

posted by Ellen Leventry

Everyone’s favorite cantankerous, pill-popping physician has taken on organized religion, faith healing and has even aimed his sarcasm at atheists. And while House had to deal with Chase’s ontological/theological struggles and Cameron’s ethical quandaries, he’s never had to deal with […]

No Boo Hoo for “Toxic” Britney

posted by Ellen Leventry

Britney Spears has temporarily lost physical custody of her children. Her once much-maligned ex-husband Kevin Federline now has the boys 100% of the time. Spears does, however maintain legal custody of the children, and will continue to be entitled to […]

Spiritual ‘Survivor': The Reality Show Gets Religion

posted by Ellen Leventry

I haven’t watched “Survivor” since the Boston Rob season (Marquesas, for those of you who keep track of such things) and that’s saying something for the girl who made a rat-shaped meatloaf for the season one finale. But nothing drew […]

Kid Nation: Not Living Up to the Hype

posted by Ellen Leventry

In William Golding’s “Lord of the Flies,” Piggy tells Ralph that he swims “half-bad.” In British English, this is a compliment–a positive connotation that speakers of American English have difficulty wrapping their heads around. But either meaning can be applied […]

Models for Christ?

posted by Ellen Leventry

Sure, there are plenty of Christians in fashion–Christian Lacroix, Christian Louboutin, etc.–but what about Christian models? Well it seems the New York Observer recently attended a meeting of the NYC branch of Models for Christ. Started by model Jeff Calenberg […]

Our Rosie Studying Kabbalah?

posted by Ellen Leventry

Apparently Rosie O’Donnell’s time on “The View” affected her more deeply than we knew. According to Perezhilton.com, the outspoken comedian joined Kabbalah queen and friend Madonna in the Holy Land for Rosh Hashana. Perez cites Kabbalah language-laced posts on O’Donnell’s […]

Amy Winehouse Seeks Rehab Help from a Rabbi?

posted by Ellen Leventry

Amy Winehouse may not want to go to rehab, but how about to a rabbi? TMZ.com reports that the manic depressive soul singer and her husband, Blake Fielder-Civil, are turning to Rabbi Aryeh Sufrin, director of Drugsline a London-based, non-denominational […]

Flying the Sacrificial Skies?

posted by Ellen Leventry

Officials at Nepal’s state-run airlines are certainly “thinking outside the box” when it comes to battling the plague of problems—late flights, older planes—affecting the airline industry. Or maybe we should say, thinking outside the pen. Reuters reports that Nepal Airlines […]

Mega Millions’ Wiccan Winner Thanks Gods

posted by Ellen Leventry

When I heard Elwood “Bunky” Bartlett, an accountant from Dundalk, MD, attributed his Mega Millions lottery win to Wiccan gods and goddesses, I thought, “Wow, what a way to legitimize Wicca!” I immediately had visions of dyed-in-the-wool conservative Christian lotto […]

The Day Diana Died

posted by Ellen Leventry

As a child, I remember hearing adults talk about the day JFK was shot, recounting with vivid detail where they were when they heard the news. I knew, even as a child, that the death of the president had been […]

Owen Wilson: Media has Gone Too Far

posted by Ellen Leventry

I am not easily offended or disgusted by the media. I peruse US Weekly, regularly log on to TMZ.com, and love reality television. Admittedly, I feel an impish glee when I see on the cover of Star or The Enquirer […]

‘Kid Nation': What’s the Big Deal?

posted by Ellen Leventry

There’s this reality show in which 12-15 year olds are sent out to a remote location to use their survival skills to win physical and mental challenges, expel other contestants, and work toward winning a grand prize. You could be […]

Reverend Rorschach

posted by Ellen Leventry

Is Time Magazine trying to make sublimal suggestions about its recent coverboy the Reverend Billy Graham? The question comes from none other than celebrity gossip website TMZ.com. “Rev. Billy Graham’s cover photo for Time magazine is innocent enough in and […]

Reality Shows Get Religious

posted by Ellen Leventry

Summertime is a time for rashes–poison ivy, heat rash–but this summer there’s been a rash of religion on reality shows. Why, just in the last week alone I’ve seen a group of former boy band members go through a Native […]

Osama bin Laden: A Musical?

posted by Ellen Leventry

Remember a few weeks ago when I was waxing poetic about how art is supposed to provoke, as well as inspire? Well, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the 60-year-old mother of all other fringe theater festivals, is providing plenty of provocation […]

A “Dance” Controversy

posted by Ellen Leventry

This summer, Wednesday night is reality TV night for my digital video recorder, committing to memory both “So You Think You Can Dance” and “Top Chef” for my later consumption. Usually “Top Chef” serves up the drama with the delicious […]

‘Paris, je t’aime’ is Not to be Missed

posted by Ellen Leventry

Paris is often referred to as the City of Love. The food, the fine wine, and the historic atmosphere all serve to act as an intoxicating aphrodisiac–the perfect recipe for a romantic relationship. The very title of “Paris, je t’taime,” […]

Tammy Faye: Fabulous and Fearless

posted by Ellen Leventry

Yesterday afternoon, a friend of mine sent me the CNN.com link flacking Tammy Faye Messner‘s “Larry King Live” appearance scheduled for 9:00 p.m. The subject line read, “This is terrifying.” For anyone who tuned in last night, or saw the […]

Lindsay Lohan Looks to ‘The Prince’

posted by Ellen Leventry

Paris Hilton found the Bible–or at least “The Bible for Dummies”/”Idiots Guide to the Bible,” according to inside sources–and the self-help blockbuster “The Secret” while incarcerated, but rival starlet Lindsay Lohan has decided to outdo her frenemy‘s literary forays by […]

‘Simpsons’ Movie Stays “Sacrilicious”

posted by Ellen Leventry

There are few things one can count on in life other than death, taxes, and the fact that people will be dressed as stormtroopers at San Diego Comic-Con. But now we can add the bastion of pop-culture punditry known as […]

‘Transformers': More than Meets the Eye?

posted by Ellen Leventry

Like many in the nation this week, I took advantage of the gloomy fourth of July weather and headed into the dry confines of the local cineplex to take in “Transformers.” My expectations were mixed: Many renderings of favorite cartoons […]

Deutschmark uber Alles?

posted by Ellen Leventry

Germany is now saying “Wilkommen” to Tom Cruises’ production of “Valkyrie,” reports Reuters. Although the production is ruffling feathers of the heirs of the film’s protagonist, Claus Graf Schenk von Stauffenberg, and German politicians, it seems that money speaks louder […]

Paris Hilton Breaking the Cycle?

posted by Ellen Leventry

It wasn’t quite Saul/Paul’s blinding conversion on the road to Damascus, but when Paris Hilton emerged from the Lynwood Women’s Correctional Facility last night sans blue contact lenses, I thought two things: 1) She’s a really pretty girl without the […]

Germany’s Military Say ‘Nein’ to Cruise Film

posted by Ellen Leventry

The Associated Press (via MSNBC.com) is reporting that Germany has declared filming at certain military sites “verboten” for a future Tom Cruise film–thanks to his affiliation with Scientology, which the German governement does not recognize as a religion, but as […]

Shh! Paris Ponders ‘The Secret’

posted by Ellen Leventry

It’s a zeitgeist double-whammy, as celebutante-of-the-moment Paris Hilton is reportedly reading the best-selling, Oprah-endorsed “The Secret” while finishing out her time at a women’s jail in Lynwood, California. A Hilton representative told TMZ.com that “Paris is spending time reading ‘The […]

Cruisin’ Down the Aisle

posted by Ellen Leventry

I have an acquaintance that likes to tell the story about how he was almost married by Jerry Springer when he was the mayor of Cincinnati, but unfortunately, the future talk show host was called away on some important business. […]

‘Shame on Sony,’ Says Church of England

posted by Ellen Leventry

The Church of England is taking on the “Fall of Man,” and we aren’t talking about Adam and Eve. No, this time they are battling the multimedia serpent known as Sony. CNN reports that Manchester, England church leaders “have accused […]

The Judgment of Paris Hilton

posted by Ellen Leventry

In Dante’s “Divine Comedy,” the soul of Paris, the mythological King of Troy, is battered eternally by gale-force winds for partaking in the sin of lust. And, while one could draw a comparison to Paris Hilton’s in-and-out incarcerations, it seems […]

‘Sopranos': Better Dead than Red Herring?

posted by Ellen Leventry

Someone I know once said, in reference to the poorly received season six of HBO’s “The Sopranos,” “What does David Chase care, he’s living in a f–king castle in France.” Now I don’t know if Chase lives in a castle […]

‘John From Cincinnati’ Deserves a ‘Dear John’ Letter

posted by Ellen Leventry

To paraphrase the titular character, “Some things I know, and some things I do’’t know. But I know that I won’t be watching this show again.” Unlike fellow blogger Valerie Reiss, I didn’t have the benefit of multiple advance copies […]

‘Grey’s’ Departure: Sayonara, Isaiah

posted by Ellen Leventry

Dr. Burke has been asked to scrub out of “Grey’s Anatomy” for good. Entertainment Weekly reports that ABC Studios will not renew Isaiah Washington’s contract with the hit show, due to what they call “a pattern of suspicious behavior by […]

Paris is Out, but Should We Care?

posted by Ellen Leventry

Paris Hilton is a free woman. I repeat, Paris Hilton is a free woman–well, sort of. The celebutante was released from the Century City Correctional Facility early this morning, report celebrity gossip purveyors TMZ.com and Perezhilton.com. The L.A. County Sheriff’s […]

Praying for Paris’ Redemption?

posted by Ellen Leventry

Gossip site TMZ.com is reporting that Mark Dice, a Christian conspiracy theorist, and his group of like-minded individuals called “The Resistance,” were no-shows at a promised “Pray for Paris” rally/incarceration celebration at The Beverly Hilton last night. “TMZ camera’s were […]

Meteorologist Moby Vs. Evangelicals

posted by Ellen Leventry

It seems that Moby is stepping into the religious weather man role now that Jerry Falwell has passed on. Last week, the musician asked in his online journal, “You know how the religious right will every now and then say […]

Organ Donation Reality Show is Really a Big Con

posted by Ellen Leventry

Many reality television shows have some kind of secret twist at the end for the contestant, a scintilating surprise that only the audience is in on. Recall Bravo’s 2003 “Boy Meets Boy,” a gay dating show where not all the […]

‘Knocked Up': Where’s the Abortion Discussion?

posted by Ellen Leventry

I remember being equal parts curious and disturbed several years ago when my mother told me that she really enjoyed “The 40-year old Virgin.” Disturbed, since one naively doesn’t like to imagine one’s mother enjoying such sexually explicit humor (much […]

‘Battlestar Galactica’ Goes Supernova

posted by Ellen Leventry

In announcement that will surely crush every sci-fi fanboy and fangirl out there, not to mention this reporter, Ronald D. Moore and David Eick, executive producers of “Battlestar Galactica,” have decided that season four will be the last for the […]

Is ‘Who Wants an American Organ?’ Next?

posted by Ellen Leventry

Reality shows have often toed the line between taste and tact–think “Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire.” But there have been times when audiences find a concept even too distasteful for their voracious appetites–remember CBS’s cancelled-after-one-airing “The Will,” wherein the […]

Master PG: A Rap Label with Non-Offensive Lyrics

posted by Ellen Leventry

TMZ.com and other media outlets are reporting that rapper and entrepreneur Master P is starting a record label with his son Romeo (nee L’il Romeo) “for hip hop artists with street music without offensive lyrics.” Take A Stand Records is […]

Psychiatric Sopranos

posted by Ellen Leventry

There’s an old psychiatrists’ joke that goes: “If you’re a jerk, and you go talk to a psychiatrist about being a jerk, afterwards you’ll still be a jerk. But you’ll feel good about it.” The same might be said for […]

A Beautiful, Baleful ‘Betty’

posted by Ellen Leventry

I love Betty Suarez. I admit when I reviewed the “Ugly Betty” pilot oh so many months ago, I was lukewarm, but mostly optomistic about the Salma Hayek-produced show based on the popular telenovela “Yo Soy Betty La Fea.” In […]

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