Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The fading star that won't go away

A year ago at this time, Hulk Hogan was parading a group of retired or out-of-work actors (i.e. Frank Stallone, Todd Bridges) and former stars (Butterbean) in front of TV screens under the umbrella of his Celebrity Championship Wrestling promotion. CCW died a quick death, hastened by the National Enquirer leaking out the result of the pre-taped competition (ex-basketball star Dennis Rodman became the lone champion of CCW) weeks before the series ended. A few months earlier, Hogan fronted a revival of the 80's series, American Gladiators, but interest faded in the summer heat, despite the presence of MMA starlet Gina Carano and, in the second "season", wrestler Matt Morgan, currently with TNA (Total Nonstop Action).

Those relative failures, coupled with the incessant tabloid media coverage of the collapse of Hogan's marriage, daughter Brooke's flagging singing career (that she released a 2nd album was a miracle), and son Nick's legal troubles, should've been signs that it was time for Hogan, not yet 60, to quietly walk away from the spotlight that has been like his best friend for nearly 30 years. Unfortunately, that spotlight is like an addictive drug. It's what makes the man born Terry Bollea feel as if he's still relevant in the here and now, even though his profession has long since moved forward without him.

Over the summer, word got out that Hogan was planning a tour of Australia, something he could've done while with WWE in 2002-3, but didn't. He lured old nemesis Ric Flair out of retirement, and had a number of other ex-WWE wrestlers committed to the tour. Hogan would dust off the red & yellow and wrestle Flair in the main event on the tour. Money in the bank, right?

Apparently not. In New York today to promote his new book, Hogan dropped a major bombshell. He had signed with TNA, which already has a number of ex-WWE & WCW stars on their roster, including Scott Steiner and Kurt Angle. TNA co-owner Dixie Carter (not the actress) is convinced that bringing in veterans like Angle, Steiner, and now Hogan and possibly Flair as well, will mean higher ratings predicated on name value, even though the talent is on the downside of their careers. However, showcasing those veterans is at the expense of younger, hungrier wrestlers like Morgan, current champion AJ Styles, Alex Shelley, Eric Young, Chris Sabin, and Jay Lethal, who have to jockey for prime positions on the weekly cards (taped 2-3 weeks in advance). Angle & Steiner were recently part of the company's NWO-esque faction, the Main Event Mafia, but neither is really a true draw any more than Hogan is.

Just last week, TNA initiated a storyline that suggests that it's time for veterans like Angle to step aside and let the younger wrestlers have their spotlight. Bringing in Hogan kills that entire angle dead, unless he can be sold on the idea that, yes, his time in the ring is over. He wanted to be put in the role of a figurehead executive in WWE, or so they said, and that may be what awaits him this time.

In the short term, there will be a boost in the ratings, but that's all there's going to be. There are already the rumors that with Hogan and former boss Eric Bischoff on board, TNA may be bold enough to move Impact to Mondays and challenge WWE Raw head to head. I don't see it happening.

In Tennessee, Jeff Jarrett, the now-silent co-owner of TNA, sits and waits for the opportunity to return to work, knowing that his business partner, Carter, is so much a mark for the veterans she's signed, she doesn't realize the baggage that comes with the fading stars. Jarrett was there when WCW collapsed nearly a decade ago. He doesn't want to see it happen to his own company, but what can he do when he's been pushed aside in favor of Angle, who now has Carter's ear, it seems.

George Santayana was right. Those who fail to remember history are doomed to repeat it. I've used that line about TNA virtually from the get-go, nearly 7 1/2 years ago. Now, more than ever, it may ring true enough to sound the death knell for TNA, and adding Hogan may be the straw that breaks this camel's back.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Lou Jacobi (1913-2009)

Here's another actor whose name you might not recognize, but his face might be just so familiar. Lou Jacobi, veteran character actor and Broadway star, passed away recently, 2 months shy of his 95th birthday. Jacobi made a zillion guest appearances on shows as diverse as The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and Barney Miller, and even headlined his own sitcom, the short-lived CBS comedy, Ivan the Terrible, in the mid-70's. Mr. Jacobi also had recorded some comedy records and appeared in Woody Allen's "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask)", among his many film credits. Many thanks to Ivan Shreve's Thrilling Days of Yesteryear blog for the tip.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Soupy Sales (1926-2009)

He brought a little bit of vaudeville to children's television with the pie-in-the-face gags that were part of his act, but Soupy Sales, born Milton Supman in 1926, was also a regular guest on The Mike Douglas Show and game shows like What's My Line?, the latter during its syndicated run in the late 60's and early 70's. Sales passed away Thursday in New York at 83 after a lengthy illness.

Sales had been a reporter and a radio DJ before moving to television in the 50's, with stops in Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Los Angeles, among others, before landing in New York in the 60's. He had a hit novelty record, "Do The Mouse", which led to a short-lived dance craze and hit the top of the charts in 1965. Sales also parlayed "Do The Mouse" into a guest appearance in an issue of Archie, in which he was shown on the cover with Archie performing "The Mouse".

Some of Sales' gags went a little bit overboard, specifically one New Year's Eve stunt in New York that got him suspended for 1 week. Sales told his young audience to empty their mothers' wallets and send him "the pieces of green paper with Presidents on them", meaning dollar bills.

While it was never really a comeback due to his regular appearances on television, Sales hosted his first and only national children's show in 1976, serving as MC for ABC's Junior Almost Anything Goes, which unfortunately lasted but one season, largely due to affiliate indifference more than a lack of ratings. Some affiliates, including the one in my home area at the time, opted to carry syndicated programming over Junior. Undaunted, Sales came right back with The New Soupy Sales Show in syndication the very next year, which brought all of Sales' beloved puppet sidekicks, like Pookie, White Fang, & Black Tooth, from his regional shows, to a wider audience. However, this also lasted just 1 season.

Sales made a number of films, the most recent of which I can think of is "And God Spoke", a satire on Biblical times. Sales' two sons, Hunt & Tony, made their fame as members of David Bowie's band, Tin Machine, in the late 80's and early 90's, opting not to follow their father into comedy.

Somewhere up in Heaven, they're going to be having a pie fight, and very soon. Rest in peace, Soupy.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Vic Mizzy (1916-2009) & Joseph Wiseman (1918-2009)

You might not know the name, but you certainly know his music. Mizzy composed the themes to TV's Green Acres, Addams Family, & Petticoat Junction, among others, and wrote the music for Don Knotts' solo features, such as "The Ghost & Mr. Chicken". Mizzy's immortal Addams theme has also been used in commercial advertising in recent years, especially in replicating the opening to the Addams Family series.

Wiseman may be better remembered as the title villain battling James Bond (Sean Connery) in "Dr. No" in 1962, but also became a respected character actor with several TV & movie credits to his name.

Both gentlemen will be missed.

Division in the House of McMahon

Last month, Linda McMahon resigned her post as Chief Executive Officer of World Wrestling Entertainment in order to pursue an opportunity to run for US Senate as a Republican candidate from Connecticut next year. Instead of promoting either one of their two offspring, Shane or Stephanie, to fill the vacancy, Chairman Vincent K. McMahon decided that he would wear the two hats as Chairman & CEO. More grist for the mill for Vince's detractors, to be sure, considering that he is no longer the creative dynamo he was 25 years ago when he helped usher in the "Rock & Wrestling Connection".

Ah, but there is a silver lining to be had here. What if Linda fails in her bid for the Senate, failing to become the GOP's answer to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton? Her old job will be waiting for her back in Stamford. Vince has seen to that. To promote either of the kids would send the wrong message as it relates to Linda in the eyes of the critics and general press.

Meanwhile, in a move that some might suspect may be tied to Linda's departure, Shane announced his resignation as Vice President in charge of Global Media last week, taking effect January 1. A mixed martial arts fan, Shane McMahon, 39, had wanted his father to take a chance on promoting MMA himself, which would put them in direct competition with UFC, whose own top gun, Dana White, has already drawn comparisons to Vince in the media. Vince didn't want to take a chance, no doubt, citing past failures at expanding the McMahon empire (i.e. the XFL in 2001, the WBF in 1991-2). One has to assume that Shane might just take the plunge himself as an MMA promoter, but will soon discover that the media bias against WWE will extend to whatever new venture he starts. There aren't that many that truly believe Shane will manage on his own without his father's intervention, positive or negative.

With Linda gone for at least the short term, and Shane to follow after the holidays, Vince & Stephanie have the company to themselves. That won't last with the current business model they have now. As it is, Stephanie's husband, Triple H, has been routinely raked over the coals by critics for hogging camera time on television, thinking the company should still revolve around him, even when he isn't champion. With a staff comprised mostly of failed Hollywood writers, WWE is lacking a consistent direction in its product, and that is largely Vince's fault, since according to press accounts he is constantly changing his mind on a daily basis. That makes him no different than, say, Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis, who also is stubbornly holding on to past successes and unwilling to embrace the present. Vince, at least, needs to realize this before it's too late.

Bank on this, though. By this time next year, the McMahons will be one happy family again, because in this case, failure could be the best medicine they could use.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A mile high delusion foiled----maybe

How far will someone go to gain the 15 minutes of fame that the late Andy Warhol prophesied that everyone would have?

Richard Heene thought he had an answer. It wasn't enough that the Heene family had previously appeared on ABC's Wife Swap. Not once, mind you, but twice. Richard Heene had gained the dreaded addiction to the spotlight, and now he wanted to extend what little fame he had. He had been in negotiations with a cable network, presumably the Learning Channel, for his own reality show. His idea of an audition tape was to pretend his 6 year old son, Falcon, was on board a home-made balloon that went on its now-infamous joyride on Oct. 15. The little rugrat wasn't aboard the craft at all, but safely tucked away at home. As it turned out, Falcon foiled his father's plans by innocently---and inadvertently----telling the truth in an interview, in which he blurted out that his father told him they were "doing this for a show".

That one sentence all by itself changed the entire picture. In the space of the last five days, Richard Heene has been recast from concerned father to scheming huckster. Colorado authorities are considering pressing charges, including filing a false report, against Heene, whose sons would conceivably be either placed in foster care or with relatives in the area, if there are any, if their parents end up going to jail.

That might not be the end of the story, though. In today's society, we've been conditioned to believe that bad behavior---and the attendant controversy that goes with it----is more profitable in the long term. The truth is, there is no long term benefit. The clock is ticking on the Heenes' flirtation with fame, and perhaps by this time next year, they'll be little more than a footnote.

Art Linkletter had a feature on his iconic series, House Party, entitled, Kids Say the Darndest Things, which was later spun off into a stand-alone series with Bill Cosby. Neither could've imagined how true that is.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

"Captain" Lou Albano (1933-2009)

Professional wrestling has lost another of its storied legends with the passing of Captain Lou Albano earlier today at 76. Albano, billed as the "Manager of Champions" in the then-WWWF in the 70's, was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 1996, and last appeared on WWE Monday Night Raw 2 years ago.

Albano started his career as a wrestler and won the WWWF tag titles as 1/2 of the Scilians in 1967. However, his fame rose as a manager, guiding 15 teams to tag gold in the 70's & 80's, the last team being the Headshrinkers in 1994. Albano also led Ivan Koloff to the WWWF title in 1971.

In the 80's & 90's, Albano reinvented himself as an actor, appearing in films such as "Wise Guys", "Body Slam", & "Stay Tuned", and the children's TV series, The Super Mario Bros. Super Show. Of course, during the Golden Age of MTV, Albano was a member of Cyndi Lauper's repertory company, appearing in a number of her videos, including "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" & "She Bop". On WWE (then World Wrestling Federation) programs, Albano would claim to have been a factor in Lauper's early success, but in the course of things went from being a buffoonish villain to beloved fan favorite, which he would remain for the remainder of his time with WWE.

Albano had been in failing health in recent months and had just recently been placed in hospice care. In his last appearance on Raw, Albano cut a rambling promo via videotape on Vince McMahon, who had "killed off" his on-air alter ego for a few weeks as part of a storyline that was abruptly terminated a few weeks later.

Up in the Great Arena in the Sky, Albano has been reunited with the other "Wise Men of the East", Fred Blassie and Ernie "Grand Wizard" Roth. The troika were the heel managers in the WWWF in the 70's, and were just as over as the talent they managed. It would be a major shock if WWE, which has a short notice on their website, didn't honor Albano with a tribute on Monday.

Rest in peace, Lou. You will be missed.

Clean-up on aisle common sense!

The Associated Press reports that the Christina School Board in Delaware voted unanimously to lift a 45 day suspension handed down to an elementary school student who brought his favorite camping utensil to school for lunch last month. The problem with said utensil was that it's a 3-way folding utensil, a combination folding knife, spoon, & fork. The knife part is what got Zachary Christie in trouble, when he innocently brought the utensil with him, intent on using the other parts (spoon & fork) to eat his lunch.

The key word is "innocently". Zachary, you see, is only 6, and in the 1st grade. The school board needed to make immediate changes in their policy after young Zachary was suspended, because the rule is actually meant, I think, for older students, from 4th or 5th graders on up, not for kindergarteners & 1st graders. You can't expect a 5 or 6 year old child to understand that a 3-way camping utensil can be construed, as it was in this case, as a potential weapon. According to the AP, Zachary is being welcomed back to class today, but he's not the first one to have been a victim of knee-jerk discipline in the district. The AP piece also mentions that a 5th grader was expelled for bringing a serrated knife with her to school last season, along with a birthday cake. The knife was intended for use to cut the cake. The expulsion was overturned, and the girl was allowed to return to school, same as Zachary.

It doesn't stop there. A 13 year old boy is now being home-schooled because the district punished him for carrying a knife that was planted on him by a group of bullies who hassled him last season. The bullies got away scot free, insofar as we know. Based on these three cases, it seems that the administrators in the Christina district can't---or worse, won't---take the time or the resources to gather all the facts, and take everything, including alibis from the bullies, at face value. It's one thing to be concerned with the safety of everyone at school because of the threat of violence, in this day & age, but what happens when the faculty is negligent in its "diligent" duties to the students? Innocence is lost, piece by piece.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

In Concert: Newsboys w/Seventh Day Slumber, Me In Motion, & Bread of Stone, October 11, 2009, Albany NY

The Newsboys are regarded as one of the premier Christian music acts going today. Currently touring in support of their new CD, the Newsboys' "The Way We Roll" tour hit Albany's Washington Avenue Armory on Sunday night.

Before I get into the review, I have to share this with you. My girlfriend & I bought our tickets 2 1/2 weeks prior to the show. The Newsboys are one of her favorites, and she acted as if she was a 12 year old going to a Jonas Brothers show. She was that giddy with excitement and anticipation. 3 1/2 hours before we were to leave for Albany, she called me at home. When I picked up the line, she nearly blew out my ear with a loud shriek. She just couldn't contain the excitement any longer.

Anyway, when we got there, there was already a long line forming outside the doors of the armory, almost extending to the library next door. We went in, and settled into our seats. Normally, the average concert doesn't start on time. There is usually a delay of about 5-10 minutes before the show actually starts in order for fans to find their seats after hitting the concessions. In this case, the first band was on six minutes early!!! The program actually started around 6:50, when the local radio station's reps came out to do a warmup for the crowd. At 6:54, Bread of Stone, a relatively new 4-piece combo, took the stage.

Bread of Stone, if I understood the intro correctly (The sound system still needs to be addressed, as the volume is a wee bit too loud for mere talking), are or were based out of Indonesia, and are making plans to return there after the current tour to help with relief efforts after recent disasters. Due to the excessive volume, I couldn't follow most of the lyrics during a 5 song, 21 minute set.

In between acts, a video would play of the Newsboys helping build homes in Baja Mexico, among other charitable efforts. Another newcomer, Grace Campbell, came out as an unadvertised bonus act and did 1 lip-synched dance pop number with a pre-recorded backing track that took just under 5 minutes. She's cute and all that, so we may be hearing more from her sooner than later.

Next up was Me In Motion, another new combo. 23 minutes of power pop-rock (it wouldn't be fair to classify them as punk rockers, a la Green Day), and this time it was a little easier to understand the lyrics, even though for the life of me I couldn't tell you the song titles.

Seventh Day Slumber opened with a cover of MercyMe's 2001 hit, "I Can Only Imagine". It took me a while to recognize the song, which was a highlight of their set, clocking out around 30-35 minutes. I'm interested in seeing these guys again.

But it was the Newsboys that everyone wanted to see, and there were a few who'd been spending the majority of their evening roaming the merchandise booths and concession stands before rushing toward the stage. The Newsboys hit the ground running with "Something Beautiful" & "Everywhere We Go". New lead singer Michael Tait (ex-DC Talk) acquitted himself well, putting his own stamp on the hits. "Breakfast" was a real crowd pleaser, but it was a bit of a surprise that other songs like "Shine" were relegated to a mid-set medley during which the band moved to a smaller stage at the end of the runway. For the encore, the band closed with DC Talk's signature song, "Jesus Freak". Coincidentally, Tait's former bandmate, TobyMac, closed his show in the same building 2 years ago with "Jesus Freak" as well. If you're a regular listener to the syndicated K-Love radio network, "Freak" is usually used for short interstitals about Christians throughout history, usually narrated by Tait.

The lone disappointment was that the ballad, "In the Hands of God", wasn't included, probably because Tait hasn't learned the lyrics yet, though I can't say for sure. Maybe next time.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Old School Cinema: "Charlie Chan at the Race Track" (1936)

The hometown library is devoting Thursday nights in October to classic mysteries. I missed out on "Hound of the Baskervilles" last week, but there was no way I'd pass this up. I'd obtained an interest in Earl Derr Biggers' Honolulu-based sleuth as a youth, and was blessed with a 4-pack of Chan DVDs earlier this year for my birthday.

"Charlie Chan at the Race Track" starts in Honolulu with Chan (Warner Oland, the definitive Chan in this writer's opinion) demonstrating how to discern the cause of bloodstains. Son Lee (Keye Luke, later of Kung Fu) bursts in with a hot tip on an Australian horse race. The room empties, and Chan chastises #1 son for violating a basic rule on the door ("Knock first"). Many miles away in the land Down Under, the race goes awry amid suspicions of a fix. The jockey suffers a 2-year ban, which in this case only lasts the length of the movie, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

The horse owner is an old friend of Chan's, and he suspects there is a strong stench of the influence of gamblers, so he sends for Chan. However, he's killed en route, and his prized horse is suspected of the deed. Chan quickly dismisses this, finding evidence to the contrary.

The producers assumed theatregoers would be bored silly without a distraction, so one is created with hijinx on board a ship bound eventually for Los Angeles, where Lee poses as a cabin boy to find evidence, which leads to him turning into a stereotype. He ends up leading the steward on a merry chase that includes Charlie being used, however convienently, to send the steward sprawling. Just the sort of thing you'd normally associate with the Marx Brothers or Laurel & Hardy.

Rare is the time when Chan is at the mercy of a criminal, but it happens here, as he & Lee are taken prisoner by members of the gambling ring. However, they're not held for long, and Lee sees to that by clocking their captor with a wine bottle. Now, it's off to the race track for the grand finale. Suffice to say, Chan gets his man, as per usual.

Aside from the use of stereotypes, the one negative about the Chan series is that the lead is not played by an Asian. Oland happens to be Swedish. Nearly 40 years later, Keye Luke would become the first actor of Asian descent since the silent era to play Chan, albeit the detective's animated personage, in the 1972 series, The Amazing Chan & the Chan Clan. There, Charlie finally had mastered the full use of the English language, but also continued to use the proverbs we've come to know and love. This film provides one of my favorites:

"Suspicion is often father of truth."

Oh, that is so true.

Rating: A.

Monday, October 5, 2009

On DVD: Anvil! The Story of Anvil (2008-9)

I initially wrote this review for Samuel Wilson's Mondo 70 blog back at the end of June, after Sammy & I took in a Saturday matinee of "Anvil". Since the movie has now been released on DVD, and had its TV debut, predictably, on VH1 Classic on Oct. 3, I thought I'd revisit my review of the movie, so here we go!
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They say that in show business, you've got to have a gimmick. In the 80's, it wasn't enough to call yourself a heavy metal band. You had to have some sort of gimmick to stand out from the rest. That's why you saw the emergence of "hair bands" like Bon Jovi (who've since lost the long hair and are more of a pop-rock combo), and "glam bands" like Motley Crue & Twisted Sister. Anvil didn't fit into either of those categories. They were a group of average guys from Canada trying to make it big. The closest they had to a gimmick was lead singer Steve "Lips" Kudlow wearing a bondage collar and using a dildo on his guitar. Kudlow and drummer/co-founder Robb Reiner had been friends since they were teens, and despite the arguments and disputes that come with the territory, they stuck it out, never giving up the dream.

"Anvil! The Story of Anvil" opens with the band sharing a bill at a 1984 concert with the Scorpions, Whitesnake (who'd actually break through 3 years later), and Bon Jovi, who were just starting out and had released their debut album. Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich may have actually hit the nail on the head when he suggested that maybe what held Anvil back was the fact they were from Canada. The Great White North had given us in the 80's acts as diverse as Triumph, Bryan Adams, April Wine, and the McKenzie Brothers. Triumph was the closest thing to a metal band that Canada had to offer, though Anvil kept pounding on the door. What hurt Anvil more was a glaring lack of faith from the independent labels that signed them, and poor management. Yet still they soldiered on.

Anvil's story, really, is no different than the dozens, nay, hundreds of bands of every genre trying to make it in the business every day, every year. All the hard work that goes into cutting demos, rehearsing, booking gigs, etc., has to have a payoff somewhere. It's the fact that Anvil had been on the doorstep of fame 25 years ago, then disappeared practically overnight, that makes this story, coupled with Kudlow's unwavering vision. It speaks to the blue collar, aspiring musicians who've endured the same hardships, though perhaps not as extreme as Anvil's, in their quests to make the big time.

Rating: A.
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What I didn't mention in the review was that I drew from personal experience, as I have friends who've played in regional bands and have faced similar roadblocks. Regardless of what genre of music you're playing, be it metal, country, gospel, or alternative rock, the movie does serve as a primer on those roadblocks. VH1 Classic will replay the movie as often as they feel the need, in order to promote the DVD and recoup production costs, since the network helped produce the movie. Standard operating procedure for one of the MTV Networks family of channels.

Edit: 4/11/14: Here's the trailer:


Friday, October 2, 2009

Rome wasn't built in a day, but television executives haven't figured it out yet

In my own opinion, a new television show is like a fresh plant. You need to give it time to grow and nurture, or in this case, to find and develop a fan following.

Unfortunately, in this day and age, network programmers have been conditioned to do one single thing if a new show doesn't produce the necessary numbers (read: ratings) the first time out of the box. Panic. It happens every year. Just as unfortunate is the fact that the network that made the first cancellation of the young season is one that is already on very shaky ground because of some questionable decision making within the last year and a half.

The CW, the ill-advised union of UPN & The WB, pulled the plug on The Beautiful Life after just 2 episodes. The reaction on at least one internet message board I frequent was predictable. Cancelling Life only added grist to the mill for those alienated by CW programming head Dawn Ostroff, who has been derided by the internet community as being clueless. After all, this is the woman who decided that WWE Smackdown didn't belong on her network anymore, and so she cut it after 2 seasons (Smackdown begins its 11th season overall, 2nd on MyTV, tonight).

Beautiful Life had a couple of good things going for it. 1) It had America's Next Top Model as its lead-in on Wednesdays, and 2) actor Ashton Kutcher (ex-That 70's Show) was attached as executive producer, veering away from the pseudo-reality shows he's otherwise associated with (Punk'd, Beauty & the Geek). Perhaps what offset both factors was the off-screen, pre-season drama involving the show's star, Mischa Barton (ex-The O. C.), another of the tabloid magnets that can't seem to get away from the headlines for too long. Not only that, but with the show being a fictionalized account of aspiring models, airing in back of a reality show about modeling might not have been the best move after all. They say opposites are supposed to attract. Not in this case, it would seem.

Ostroff and her corporate bosses have decided to repurpose the revived Melrose Place in place of Life. With Top Model being repurposed on Fridays, it speaks to the network's lack of depth in terms of overall programming, something Ostroff has been unable to address since jettisoning Smackdown last year. Perhaps Life hit close to home for Ostroff herself. If the stereotypical aspiring model is supposed to be vapid and devoid of common sense, well, doesn't that describe Ostroff, too?

4 episodes are in the can, yet to air. I'm willing to lay good odds that Life will resurface sooner than anyone thinks, on the one channel that celebrates the vapid and clueless----MTV. After all, they might as well say the "M" doesn't stand for music anymore.