Brought to you by asap and The Associated Press, The Slug tastes pop culture for you — just in case it's been poisoned. E-mail us at theslug@ap.org.


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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Anthony Wins "Shear Genius" by the Hair

053107shear (AP Photo/HO/Bravo)

We quit caring who would win Bravo's "Shear Genius" after witchy Tabitha and crazy Dr. Boogie were snipped in previous episodes, but we're happy chipper Anthony took home the $100,000 prize in last night's finale, even though Ben's razor cut was the hotness. Also, we were shocked that Vidal Sassoon was a guest judge  — or should we say we were shocked that Vidal Sassoon was actually a real person and not just a plastic bottle. What will Bravo do next? Have Cap'n Crunch guest judge on "Top Chef"?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

"At World's End" Smoother as a Game

052907pirate (AP Photo/HO/Disney Interactive)

Big-budget blockbusters: 0. Their video games: 2. We preferred the high-def "Spider-Man 3" game to the longwinded flick and can now safely say the same thing about "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End." While the swordfighting controls are awkward and Jack Sparrow moves slowly, the lush graphics and detailed cutscenes make up for the somewhat plodding action. Besides, all pirate games are awesome. And, you know, trends come in threes so if "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer" is better as a video game than a movie, we're going to quit going to the multiplex altogether.

Excuse Us While We Sip This Drink

052807jimi (AP Photo/Hillary Rhodes)

Everybody knows rock icon Jimi Hendrix lived hard. Maybe that's why the samples we received of The Jimi Hendrix Liquid Experience energy drink arrived at The Slug's desk dripping and beaten up. No matter. We popped open the gorgeous surviving cans for a taste test. (The back reads: "This new energy drink is a tribute to Jimi's legacy, The Jimi Hendrix Experience and their everlasting influence on music and those who play it.")  Unlike other flavorless energy drinks, the deep purple Voodoo Vibe flavor actually tasted like something. Unfortch, that something was grape-flavored cough syrup. However, we are happy to report we typed this blog post in 10 seconds. Thanks, Jimi.

Nobody Puts This Game in the Corner

052807dirty (AP Photo/HO/Lionsgate)

We hope you're sitting down — or at least standing on a log — for this tidbit. "Dirty Dancing" is being turned into a PC video game simply titled "Dirty Dancing — The Video Game." Since this news is so bizarre that we're feeling a little faint, The Slug will let the press release do the talking: "Through this action puzzler, Dirty Dancing enthusiasts now have the opportunity to experience the life of Baby, learn to dance with the resident dancing couple, Johnny and Penny, and work alongside the team at the renowned Kellerman’s Mountain House Resort." Now if only we could get someone to make "Ferris Bueller’s Day Off — The Game."

"On the Lot" Turns Us Off

052907lot (AP Photo/HO/Fox/Mike Yarish)

Lights! Camera! Where did the action go on Fox's "On the Lot" reality filmmaking competition? The first two episodes, where 50 finalists were cut down to 18, were fast, interesting and chocked full o' the kind of behind-the-scenes drama that we've come to expect from Hollywood. But all that "Apprentice"-style reality TV fun was left on the cutting room floor during last night's first snoozy "American Idol"-style episode, which featured screenings of the contestants' mostly dull one-minute commercials comedy shorts. And at no point were the viewers at home told how much time, money or crew the contestants had to make these films.

Worse than the short films (which utilized such high-brow comedy material as fart jokes) were the poor judges, who really had nothing to contribute. Carrie Fisher looked pained to actually critique anything and followed almost every submission by saying "and I know you're a really great filmmaker." Then there was Garry Marshall, who kept awkwardly telling the female directors that they should be more, um, female. Is this a beauty pageant or a filmmaking competition!? Whatever "On the Lot" is trying to be, The Slug is sure of one thing: It's a wrap on our DVR. Next!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Um, Happy Birthday, Elisabeth Hasselbeck

052807view (AP Photo/HO/ABC)

How awkward! On today's previously recorded Memorial Day episode of "The View," Rosie O'Donnell gave Elisabeth Hasselbeck a week at O'Donnell's Miami home for her birthday — yes, Hasselbeck is so patriotic she was apparently born on Memorial Day — and then they hugged. Can you get anymore previously recorded than that?! Considering their much ballyhooed brawl last week and the end result, do you think Hasselbeck will still take up Ro on her offer?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Finale Overload

052407idol  (AP Photo/HO/Fox)

Our head is spinning after the past two nights of conclusions, cliffhangers and crownings on TV finales. Some were worth the wait while others were knuckle-bitingly frustrating. Before we start consuming an unhealthy diet of bad summer reality shows — here we come, "Age of Love" — The Slug is gonna take one last look at the finales and then move on.

"American Idol." How did they possibly pack sooo many performances, cameos and Jeff Foxworthy appearances into two hours? By the time we got to the Beatles tribute (which would've been so much better if the past "Idol" winners would've, you know, actually sang together), The Slug forgot why were were watching until Ryan Seacrest revealed that Blake Lewis was robbed. Robbed, we say!

"Dancing with the Stars." This bloated conclusion filled with endless montages and completely unnecessary dance numbers was fitting considering this fourth season was entertaining yet uneven. "Dancing" took far too long to cha cha to the festooning of deserving champion Apolo Anton Ohno. Maybe we're just holding a grudge since Steve Sanders didn't win. It was a bad night for blonde guys.

"Lost." From the first scene, this episode felt bigger and more epic than ever before. Every castaway played a delicious part in stopping — or, in one case, helping — The Others. And, for the first time, "Lost" delivered a finale twist ending that wasn't too gimmicky or trite but totally satisfying and unexpected. Can we flashforward to next February? Please!?

"Veronica Mars." We have to admit it. After coming back from hiatus and dropping the ongoing mystery element, we felt "Veronica Mars" lost her luster. But these final two hours were a wonderful reminder how funny, emotional, gripping and smart this show has been for the past three seasons. How dare the above shows get to continue and "Mars" get left in the rain. How dare they. 

Another Day, Another Stardoll

052307stardolll (AP Photo Illustration/Derrik J. Lang)

Few things leave The Slug speechless, yet Stardoll has. What the heck is a Stardoll? They're digital celebrity caricature paper dolls, ranging from Madonna to the "High School Musical" cast. The two-dimensional  dolls can be dressed up with more accessories than are available at a Claire's (tiaras, balloons, wheelchairs) and placed in a myriad of settings (movie theater, enchanted forest, an alleyway).

Above is a portrait The Slug made at Stardoll starring "Prison Break" star Wentworth Miller. We've titled it "Prom Queen and Pimped-Out Wheelchair." Granted, this hybrid social networking site is aimed at the highly unstable tween demographic, but perhaps that makes the customizable bizarreness even more baffling. Who needs Us Weekly when celebrities are now our children's playthings?!

"Guitar Hero" Striking Another Sequel

052307hero (AP Photo/HO/Activision)

Video game publisher Activision and developer Red Octane announced that a third installment of "Guitar Hero" will be available for PS2, PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii this fall, featuring new tracks and multiplayer options. Already? And we were just starting to get warmed up on "Guitar Hero II" for the Xbox 360, too. (Not really. See our horrible performance in this asap video.) Our only complaint about this franchise has always been the lack of fan-favorite classics, but the press release is teasing that new tunes like Rolling Stones' "Paint It Black," Heart's "Barracuda" and Beastie Boys' "Sabotage" will be included. Consider us amped.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Make "This is My Now" Go Away Now

052307idol (AP Photo/HO/Fox/Michael Becker)

Poor Blake. Woo Jordin. Blah, blah, blah. At the point leading up to the " American Idol" finale, you've probably already discussed all that with your friends, lovers and co-workers. What The Slug wants to know: Where did that horrrible song come from and what do we have to do to make it go back there? Thank  Christian songwriters Scott Krippayne and Jeff Peabody, the winners of the first-ever "Idol" songwriting contest. We're hoping Blake wins "Idol" just so he can remix and beatbox "This is Now" into oblivion.