Monday, September 29, 2008

Things We Love and Things We Don't

Vanity Fair Magazine. I was first a subscriber when I was in Middle School (during the Tina Brown years). It's true. It wasn't my parent's subscription it was mine (I was a geek, what can I say-- I also subscribed to House & Garden during this same time period (and as proof, each HG was saved and thanks to my parents fostering my magpie-ism, now reside, decoratively, in baskets and on shelves, in my foyer and living room). When I was in art class in middle school we did a batiking project. Most people did neat batik patterns, I batiked a charicature of Prince Charles (copied from the pages of VF). Again, geek, I know. Anyhoo, not too long ago I resubscribed to VF after a long absence. What can I say? I love it. Sometimes the month's issue isn't that great, but everyonce in a while you'll get a sears-cataloge-thick tome full of good stuff to read. Take the latest issue (with Marilyn Monroe on the cover). I've gotten two full nights of reading out of this so far and I still have more pages to turn! I read the Marilyn cover story, the story on Brooke Astor (which wasn't bad, but wasn't as informative and detailed as NY Mag's article on the same topic from earlier this year or thereabouts...), an excerpt from Annie Liebovitz' new book and the article on Rafaello Follieri. AND, not to mention that I loved finding out that Raffaello's lawyer is a particular NY firm bigwig. In another life I was a summer associate at the firm which was then Mr. Bigwig's firm. Ah, what a small world the NY legal community can be. Say, Mr. Big, can you get Anne Hathaway to autograph my Devil Wears Prada CD??

Anyway, on to things we don't love as much: Spain, On the Road Again with Gwyneth and Mario. Ugh. We had such high hopes. I love Gwyneth and I love Mario's lasagna recipe unfortunately that's not enough for a winning tv series on PBS. Gwynnie (as she's affectionately referred to) and Mario should have taken a page from the Long Way Down/Long Way Round guys. They engaged with the viewers-- watching that series you actually feel a part of the journey. With On the Road Again you kind of feel like you're sitting a table near by trying to listen in. This is amplified by the fact that throughout the *entire* show muzak versions of "On the Road Again" by Willie Nelson are piped in over the dialogue. I was watching one episode where Gwyneth, Mario, Mark Bittman and Claudia (who's last name I never caught) were eating breakfast at a bed and breakfast inn at two separate tables and they're kind of talking amongst themselves and never once did any of them look at the camera. In an article about Bataliin NY Mag Mario said that "My worry is, how many times can you watch me eating something and saying, "Boy, that's good," before you say, 'Fuck you! I'm not tasing the shit!'" Well, Mario, I'll tell you-- if you actually looked at the audience while saying "Boy, that's good" I would be able to last a bit longer! Some of the downfall here may lay with Mario (after all, he's been on tv doing this before-- and for that matter so has Mark Bittman) but I think it's mostly the production/direction where the show fell flat. Watching the gang tool around Spain in two Mercedes convertibles while checking out sights and eating interesting looking food is great-- but you don't want to feel like you're some sort of interloper, you'd like to feel like you're a part of the crowd too.

Other things we don't like? Rain.

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