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Idol Chatter

Idol Chatter

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Leah Laughs at Lopez Rumors

posted by Ellen Leventry

“King of Queens” star, and prominent Scientologist, Leah Remini is denying that there’s anything to her friendship with music/movie star Jennifer Lopez other than wanting to hang out with “a fabulous girl.” Recent reports not only have Remini trying to […]

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’20/20’s’ Failed Faith

posted by Ellen Leventry

You know that feeling of disappointment you get when you tune into your favorite TV show expecting to get a new episode, and it turns out to be a cleverly concealed clip-show? Sure, it’s artfully put together, but you wanted […]

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Prophet, Prince, and King?

posted by Ellen Leventry

Even in these trying times, there are many reasons why America is a great country. My favorite is that we are a land of constant reinvention–from personalities to politics, personas and platforms continue to evolve. The most recent case in […]

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Depression and ‘Sopranos': Old News

posted by Ellen Leventry

I must confess, like many devoted “Sopranos” viewers, I did not return to the show this season. It wasn’t Season Six’s much-reviled metaphysical and spiritual meanderings that deterred me, but the fact that HBO was offering up tastier fare, such […]

‘House’ Hugely Crosses the Ethical Line

posted by Ellen Leventry

I have a friend who would joke that he and his wife had a second child so that they would have spare parts for the first. While he was clearly being silly, there have been cases in the last few […]

From Santa Angelina to St. James?

posted by Ellen Leventry

Remember the 2000 Oscar’s when Angelina shocked the viewing audience by declaring in her acceptance speech that she was “so in love” with her brother, James Haven, and actually snogged with him? Definitely different. While little was known at the […]

The Kiss Heard ‘Round the World

posted by Ellen Leventry

A week or so ago, I suggested that “Idol Chatter” cover the Richard Gere kissing kerfuffle that was consuming India. It seems the “Officer and a Gentleman” exhibited what some Indians consider less than gentlemanly behavior by vigorously kissing Bollywood […]

Is “Idol” Partly to Blame for the VTech Shootings?

posted by Ellen Leventry

Did Simon Cowell contribute to the massacre at Virginia Tech?,” asked yesterday’s Scoop column on MSNBC.com. It seems that Barbara Coloroso, author of “The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander,” thinks so. “I think we are experiencing something amiss culturally […]

Spin Control to Major Tom

posted by Ellen Leventry

Once upon a time there was an actor named Tom Cruise. He was king of the box office; everyone wanted to work with him. Heck, even Rosie O’Donnell had a crush on him. And then something odd happened. He jumped […]

‘Drive’ This Way

posted by Ellen Leventry

Like the Toyota Prius, “Drive,” the FOX network’s latest offering is a hybrid. The show is essentially about a group of Americans who are participating in a secret, illegal cross-country road race. It’s one-third conventional car chase show (think “Starsky […]

Hawaiians Angry at Sean Penn

posted by Ellen Leventry

Lately Sean Penn is known more for his provocative political stances, writing about “human shields” in Iraq and documenting a diplomatic visit to Iran, than his provocative roles in films such as “Mystic River” and “Dead Man Walking.” That’s why […]

Marie Osmond No Santa Maria?

posted by Ellen Leventry

She shares her name with the holy mother, but Marie Osmond’s estranged husband is claiming that the Mormon entertainer and entrepreneur doesn’t share Mary’s maternal proclivities. Even though Osmond and her husband of 20 years, music producer Brian Blosil, issued […]

More Harsh (Hindu) Words for Hurley

posted by Ellen Leventry

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue … something Hindu? Liz Hurley, the one-time face of Estee Lauder, and Arun Nayar’s Hindu wedding has already stirred controversy amongst Hindu traditionalists for being performed after the London-based Christian rite, but […]

‘Bones’ Picks up Where ‘X-Files’ Left Off

posted by Ellen Leventry

Once upon a time there was a skeptic and a believer who teamed up to solve mysteries on a popular FOX drama. But, with the X-Files’ cancellation in 2002, television audiences lost the delightful facts-vs.-faith parrying of FBI Agents Mulder […]

A German ‘No Thanks’ to Tom Cruise

posted by Ellen Leventry

Fears that a Tom Cruise-controlled United Artists studio will produce Scientology-influenced cinema have spread beyond Hollywood all the way to Hamburg, Germany. Really. The grandson of Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg–the man who managed to set off a bomb in […]

‘Battlestar Galactica’ is Battlestar Fantastica

posted by Ellen Leventry

By now everyone should have been able to get to their recordings of “Battlestar Galactica,” and we can safely discuss the riveting season finale. If you still haven’t gotten to this Tivo’d episode … stop reading and go watch it […]

Car-ma Talk

posted by Ellen Leventry

I’m not in any way a gearhead. Give me spirituality over sparkplugs any day of the week. But I do love listening to National Public Radio’s “Car Talk.” So, yesterday when the Tappet brothers, Tom and Ray Magliozzi, said that […]

Ally McMatrimony

posted by Ellen Leventry

Remember the days when “Ally McBeal” was only kind of quirky… before the dancing baby? Can you recall the name of the show that became the scene-chewing extravaganza known as “Boston Legal?”* Remember the thought-provoking “Picket Fences?” Apparrently, the producer […]

Do You Know Your Christian Trivia?

posted by Ellen Leventry

It recently charged past the video game behemoth known as “Madden NFL ’07” to the number one spot in sales on Amazon.com. But could “Who Rules?”: The Almighty Edition be enough to cause a group of 30 somethings to huddle […]

HBO’s “Addiction” Falls Short

posted by Ellen Leventry

Please note that the following review concerns only the centerpiece documentary “Addiction,” which is part HBO’s multi-faceted, multi-day “The Addiction Project.” Let it be said that “The Addiction Project,” HBO’s multi-platform effort to educate the general public about the disease […]

The Guilty Pleasure of ‘300’

posted by Ellen Leventry

Just once, I would like to be able to watch a movie and not have to worry about whether I should feel guilty about enjoying it. “300“–a stylized sword-and-sandal take on the epic Battle of Thermopylae, based on Frank Miller’s […]

Flapper Flack: Madonna Criticized for Purim Costume

posted by Ellen Leventry

Poor Madonna, she just can’t catch a break–unless she’s falling off a horse, that is. Once again, the Material Girl is catching flack, or should we say flap, for her choice of Purim party attire. According to MSNBC’s Scoop, Madge […]

Scientology is Hollywood’s New Kabbalah

posted by Ellen Leventry

Just as fashion magazines regularly christen every color of the rainbow to be “the new black” for the season, Hollywood A-listers seem to be saying so long to last season’s Kabbalah and hello to Scientology. “Scientology is the Kabbalah of […]

Battlestar Galactica: Starbuck Crosses Over

posted by Ellen Leventry

How much do we love Battlestar Galactica? Not only does this show deliver some of the most erotically charged, unconventional love scenes on television, but it also satiates our less carnal appetites while delivering some of the most metaphysical and […]

Paris Who? AP Says No to News on Hilton Heiress

posted by Ellen Leventry

How did you feel last week? Was everything running as normal, but something–something you couldn’t put your finger on–was different? Did you notice a certain “hotness” missing, even though the weather was mild? Perhaps you too were suffering from PHWS–Paris […]

John Travolta: Scientology Could Have Saved Anna Nicole

posted by Ellen Leventry

Maybe he feels a certain kinship with the late Anna Nicole Smith after donning drag for the upcoming film version of “Harispray,” but John Travolta feels that Scientology could have saved the former Guess! model and reality star’s life. “The […]

Britney Back in Rehab: Part Three

posted by Ellen Leventry

CNN reported yesterday that Kevin Federline, nee Mr. Britney Spears, planned on attending an emergency hearing today after learning that his former wife had left rehab for a second time after a brief 24 hour period, following months of bizarre […]

A Claude Koan?

posted by Ellen Leventry

When “Heroes,” the NBC hit about ordinary people who develop extraordinary powers, returned from winter break several weeks ago, we met a new citizen with supernatural abilities, Claude. Played by “Dr. Who’s ” Christopher Eccleston, Claude–whose full name is Claude […]

A Real American Idol?

posted by Ellen Leventry

The auditions on “American Idol” can usually be counted on to make the audience cringe, but how often do they make the audience cry? Sure, “Baywatch” star David Hasselhoff and contestant Kathrine McPhee’s father both teared upduring last year’s finals, […]

On the J. Lo: Lopez says Dad is a Scientologist

posted by Ellen Leventry

To those following the coverage of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes’ recent paparazzi-chronicled nuptials, the attendance of Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony probably wasn’t much of a surprise (unlike Brooke Shields and her husband). Lopez has been best friends with […]

Bad News Birthday Bears?

posted by Ellen Leventry

Many year’s ago, a relative of mine joked that she may have to induce the birth of her third child since the expected due date was the same as the Super Bowl and she wanted her husband to be there […]

‘Engaged and Underaged': Engaging Television?

posted by Ellen Leventry

Several months ago, while perusing a women’s magazine, I came across an article by a psychologist advising women not to get married until their late 20s/early 30s. She sagely suggested that marrying someone when you are relatively young virtually guarantees […]

“American Idol”: Tryouts, Trainwrecks, and Schadenfreude

posted by Ellen Leventry

The season premiere of “American Idol’s” sixth season was the show’s most-watched opener ever, with nearly 15 percent of the country watching at one point in the evening. So, is it any coincidence then that the Minnesota auditions featured on […]

Madonna’s Full-Time Guru: Rock-n-Roll Rasputin

posted by Ellen Leventry

My female friends and I often muse that if we were given a personal chef, a personal trainer, and a personal hair and makeup person, we too could look as good as any starlet out there. Apparently, though, another type […]

They Shoot Footage, Don’t They?

posted by Ellen Leventry

Nineteenth-century American author and lawyer Christian Nestell Bovee once noted that “Bad taste is a species of bad morals.” So, what would he think of the posting of the Sadam Hussein execution video and the recent decision to air the […]

Soul Shepherd

posted by Ellen Leventry

Read any number of reviews of “The Good Shepherd,” Robert De Niro’s fascinating look at the birth of the Central Intelligence Agency through the eyes of a character loosely based on former counter-intelligence head James Jesus Angleton, and you will […]

Miss Understood

posted by Ellen Leventry

Since it’s common knowledge that nothing sells a paper like a good scandal, could the same work for pageants? The latest news in the Miss USA underage-drinking/alleged drug use/inappropriate behavior kerfuffle is that Miss Teen USA–whom current Miss USA Tara […]

Canon Fodder

posted by Ellen Leventry

Meant to evoke the salaciousness associated with films, TV shows, and books about the desperate lives of housewives, the latest installment of National Geographic Explorer, “Secret Lives of Jesus,” doesn’t disappoint. This exploration of alternative gospels, those not included in […]

“Black Christmas”: Blood and Gore, Bah-Humbug

posted by Ellen Leventry

Dimension Films is doing a little re-gifting this holiday season–and certain religious groups are responding with a loud “return to sender.” Dimension, a division of the Weinstein Company, is releasing a remake of the 1974 horror classic “Black Christmas,” a […]

Unidentified Faith Objects: Flying Saucers in the Bible

posted by Ellen Leventry

What if the “X” in “X-Files” stood for Christ? It wouldn’t be a surprise to those who believe that the Bible is full of evidence of extraterrestrial visitations and manipulations. But while it’s true that Erich Von Daniken’s 1974 book […]

The Devil and ‘Doctor Who’

posted by Ellen Leventry

What happens when you’re a time lord–a humanoid race that can, in simplest terms, manipulate time and acts–and you meet another being who claims to have existed before time even began? If you’re Doctor Who, the last of the time […]

Is J. Lo Turning to Scientology for Baby Help?

posted by Ellen Leventry

Celebrities may have personal assistants, trainers, make-up artists and stylists, but many of them are just like their average American counterparts–they have a hard time conceiving. In 1995, “Days of Our Lives” star Diedre Hall chronicled her struggle with infertility […]

Entertainment Weekly: Inspiration Runs Deep

posted by Ellen Leventry

It is not cool to dress up as Maria Von Trapp from “The Sound of Music” for your high school halloween costume day, but I didn’t care. Julie Andrews (who played Maria) was, and still is a woman I admired […]

Virgin Territory on “The Bachelor”

posted by Ellen Leventry

The “Bachelor: Rome” has taken a page out of “The Real World’s” playbook, and it may result in a fairy tale ending. The producers upped the ante this year by finding an actual prince, Prince Lorenzo Borghese–ancestor of Pope Paul […]

Cruisin’ Down the Aisle

posted by Ellen Leventry

Their names are wedded for all eternity, and now the world waits with baited breath to see if TomKat–Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes–will finally tie the knot this weekend in Itlay. Speculation is rife that the “Mission Impossible” star and […]

“The Simpsons”: Boy Meets Golem

posted by Ellen Leventry

When I was younger, I had heard tell of the Golem, but only truly became acquainted with the legend thanks to the “Kaddish” episode of “The X-Files,” in which the legendary clay monster of Jewish folklore is brought forth to […]

Battle of the Network Stars

posted by Ellen Leventry

The “Show Me” state’s airwaves have been overrun with showmen these past two weeks, leading up to a hotly contested Senate race between incumbent between Republican Sen. Jim Talent, who opposes an embryonic stem cell initiative, and Democratic challenger Claire […]

‘Battlestar’ Baghdad

posted by Ellen Leventry

Readers of Entertainment Weekly’s cover story on Battlestar Galactica’s third season premiere probably weren’t shocked to read that this year’s series would be colored with shades of occupied Iraq. President Gaius Baltar’s surrrender of New Caprica to the Cylons and […]

Scientology Gets Nipped and Tucked

posted by Ellen Leventry

Apparently Scientology has just zoomed by Kabbalah in the race to be crowned most scandalously hip belief. Sure, there was the Tom Cruise show of last year, but that was only leading up to the coronation. Having a Scientology storyline […]

‘Betty’s’ Not So Ugly, Just Kind of Odd

posted by Ellen Leventry

Perhaps, like me, when you saw the teasers for ABC’s new show “Ugly Betty,” you thought you’d be getting “Less Than Perfect” at a magazine rather than a television station: a cute sitcom wherein the ugly duckling teaches those around […]

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