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Idol Chatter

Idol Chatter

Will They or Won’t They? Donna & Josh on “West Wing”

posted by donna freitas

It took almost a full seven seasons of “The West Wing” for writers to finally address what I think is the most romantic storyline in this show’s entire run: Will Josh and Donna EVER get together? I mean, for real this time? As “The West Wing” draws to a close for good (sniff, sniff), I am anxiously waiting to see how the relationship between these two “friends” and colleagues resolves (or doesn’t).

Viewers have watched as the tension between these two characters has been building for years, with flirtation, stolen glances, sighs, clever banter, and even long hours of intense devotion at hospital bed sides. I’ve heard of Christian couples waiting until they reach the altar for a first kiss (but then again, they tend not to date that long beforehand) and boyfriends and girlfriends waiting a full year before they lock lips, but SEVEN years? I have always felt that Donna and Josh have taken their chastity thing a bit too far.

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The answer to my question was at least partially addressed and sealed with a kiss during the episode “The Cold” when–hooray, hooray–as Donna knocked on Josh’s door to deliver fantastic news about the polls for Matt Santos, and in Josh’s happiness he grabbed her and finally gave her the on-screen kiss we’d all been waiting for (well some of us at least, since I know many out there are still rooting for a return of Mary-Louise Parker’s women’s rights character, Amy, not only to the show but a place at Josh’s side.)

And (most) viewers rejoiced! The question burning my brain now is, where to from there for Josh and Donna?

Unfortunately, and in typical “West Wing” fashion, post lip-lock viewers so far have only seen Josh and Donna briefly hem and haw about the meaning of this new drama in their long-term relationship. Is their long time relationship destined to end with only a kiss and confusion? I wondered sadly, as the credits rolled after last week’s episode. Yet, evidently it will not, since scenes for this Sunday’s upcoming episode, “Election Day,” included a glimpse of Josh and Donna in bed together.

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Hooray? Personally, I think they deserve a little more romance than a one-night stand, but I’ll just have to wait and see. I think I’ll set my expectations high and hold out for a marriage proposal by season’s end and just hope for the best (and that, as much as I love Mary Louise Parker, that pesky Amy won’t return to ruin it all….).

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Scientology vs. Kabbalah: A Spiritual Battle for Celebrity Souls

posted by ellen leventry

As if it isn’t enough to be badgered by paparazzi and crazed fans, now David and Victoria Beckham, Britain’s celebrity royals, are reportedly being fought over by Tom Cruise and Madonna. Does Tom want the soccer phenom to star in his next movie? Nope. Does Madonna want the former Spice Girl to do a duet? Nope. According to MSNBC.com’s The Scoop, Madge and Tom are waging a battle to win the super couple over to Kabbalah and Scientology, respectively.

Pictures of Posh with Cruise’s fiance, Katie Holmes, have been splashed all over the celebrity gossip magazines for the past few months. But it seems that Jewish mysticism is winning out: Those same tabloids are now carrying pictures with Mrs. Beckham sporting the red string bracelet popular among Kabbalah enthusiasts.

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“Perhaps Madonna and her husband Guy Ritchie have the edge,” Rick Ross of Cultnews.com tells Scoop, “since Ritchie after all is a Brit and his wife keeps a house in the English countryside.”

Perhaps Madonna and Cruise should just get together and form a religion called Sciencabbalism. Maybe then they’d finally land America’s celebrity royal, Oprah–who according to reports, has so far been able to resist the efforts of both the couch jumper and the Material Girl.

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When Is a Group of Christians Not a Christian Group?

posted by burb

The category “Christian rockers whose band is not Christian”—think Scott Stapp, or P.O.D.–is getting less exclusive every day. But at least one band is willing to sue to get on it. Mute Math, a Louisiana prog-rock group, is suing Warner Brothers for labeling them a Christian band. Headed by Paul Meany, formerly of the out-Christian act Earthsuit, Mute Math played to raves at Christian festivals over the summer and opened for Mae, a Christian band, last fall. But when Warner released their EP on its Christian subsidiary, Word Records instead of one of their mainstream labels, the band balked, first putting their full album out on a label co-owned by Meany called Teleprompt, then filing suit.

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Naturally, the band’s move has bred resentment in the evangelical ranks that calling any entity Christian is a litigatable offense. But think of the upside: the case may yield a court-approved definition of the term “Christian band.” A Mute Math spokesperson sketched out a sort of negative definition in saying what Mute Math is not: “Mute Math is not a worship artist. They don’t preach from (the) stage. They don’t preach in their interviews.” That’s a start. But Meany himself intimates there’s more to the distinction when he told Billboard, “I had no desire to be the Christian version of a real band.”

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“Marilyn Hotchkiss” Has Plenty Of Charm

posted by kris rasmussen

Tangos and foxtrots are hot, hot, hot once again, thanks to shows like “Dancing with the Stars” and movies like “Mad Hot Ballroom.” And now you can take a spin around the dance floor with a new movie that celebrates life, death, and a mean quick-step. “Marilyn Hotchkiss’ Ballroom Dancing and Charm School” was the big crowd pleaser last summer when I saw it at the Waterfront Film Festival, and the film is finally releasing in theaters nationwide this weekend–only 15 years after producer Randall Miller originally shot the story as a short film with the same name.

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“Marilyn Hotchkiss” tells the story of Frank Keane, a recently widowed breadmaker (played by indie film favorite Robert Carlyle), who is making a delivery run one day when he comes across a terrible car accident. He stops to help the man in the wrecked car (John Goodman) but then recklessly promises the dying stranger that he will honor the man’s final wish by keeping an appointment the man had with a childhood sweetheart at a place called the Marilyn Hotchkiss Ballroom Dancing and Charm School.

Though the childhood sweetheart never shows up, Keane is drawn to the slightly eccentric atmosphere of the school as well as the oddball characters he meets there. He begins to take dance lessons and becomes an immediate hit with the ladies there–though the other men in the class have a different take on Keane’s sudden appearance on the scene. From there, he begins a slow process of healing, as he begins to fall in love with a woman, Meredith (Marisa Tomei), he meets in class.

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“Marilyn Hotchkiss” might be too sweet or sentimental for some and a few of the plot points are a little implausible, but what I liked best about this movie–in addition to the phenomenal supporting performances from such unlikely actors as Donnie Wahlberg—is the way it represents the process of grieving. All of the characters in this movie are grieving the loss of something–a spouse, a reputation, a leg–and in the process of wallowing in that grief, they have become disconnected from the world around them. “Hotchkiss” celebrates the uneven, uncomfortable growth each character experiences as he or she takes a leap of faith by once again daring to accept the unconditional love of another–a risk that in Mariyln Hotchkiss’ world is only slightly greater than the risk of embarrassing yourself by trying to learn that quick-step.

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