Archive | April 2009

Beatrice Arthur, R.I.P.


I have very little to add to the reams of praise that have been written this week about the late Beatrice Arthur, star of television’s “Maude” and later “The Golden Girls.” She was that rare actress who found fame and success in mid-life, and it was well deserved.

Perhaps because of her height (5’9”, a rarity in the 1940s) and her strong features, Arthur’s unusual beauty was overlooked by casting directors. However, she met her husband, Gene Saks, in 1950 and worked consistently off-Broadway, including the 1954 original version of The Threepenny Opera.

Between jobs she sang in supper clubs, and appeared on Broadway, particularly the smash hit “Mame” in 1966, directed by her husband. For the part of Vera Charles, Mame’s best friend, she received a Tony Award.

She was almost fifty when she first appeared on “All In The Family”, as Edith’s liberal, women’s libber cousin, one of the few characters who could go toe to toe with Edith’s bigot husband Archie Bunker. The character was so well-received it led directly to the spin-off “Maude.” Maude was a dominant, outspoken woman, the likes of which had rarely been seen on television. Usually that type was played as a one-dimensional gorgon (and still is), but Maude had true emotional complexity. Part of that was due to Bea Arthur’s brilliant portrayal and also the amazing writing. Most of the content could not get on television today, sadly enough.
The rest is history, as the cliché goes.

Arthur’s authorative comic timing, deep voice, and killer delivery were all her own. Beatrice Arthur, for deep-voiced, tall, imposing women everywhere, I salute you.
Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Work Avoidance, or: "House M.D." Spin-Offs


I have been trying to work on my book all day, I swear it, but instead, I found myself jotting down some ideas for spin-offs of “House, M.D.”. I promise you, dear readers, this is the LAST time I write about this show!


“Desperate Administrators”
Dr. Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein), recovering from heartbreak in New Jersey, takes a job in a hospital in the ultra-rich Upper East Side of Manhattan. In New York she meets a support group of high-powered professional single moms, each of whom is faced with hard decisions on a daily basis, and annoying children on a nightly basis. Also starring Brooke Shields, Katherine Heigl, and Jill Scott as Tawanda.


A wacky situation comedy starring Robert Sean Leonard as James Wilson, an oncologist whose urge to people-please gets him in a new hilarious mess every week! Not to mention a tendency to marry in haste. Wait until you see Wilson agree to baby-sit Psycho, his neighbor’s pit bull/mastiff mix! You’ll laugh all the way to the ER!


A fast-paced new detective drama starring Anthony Edwards as “Spoons” McLaughlin, a slovenly detective who teams up with his polar opposite, Eric Foreman (Omar Epps). Each show brings a new crime, all of them involving head injuries, some in ways you’d never expect. (Warning: this show contains strobe lights. Do not watch the opening credits if you are prone to seizures.)

“Little Man, Big World”

Trapped in a world he never made, Dr. Taub (Peter Jacobsen) tries to cure a mysterious virus that is killing off anyone over 5 foot seven inches. Along with his six foot plus sidekick, Olive Smalls (Birgitte Neilsen), Taub attempts to track down the virus’s origins—and the evil corporation of tall people who started it. (Warning: Extreme violence, full frontal nudity)


What happens when a beautiful model moves back home after years on the fashion and party circuit? This nighttime soap opera stars Olivia Wilde as Manny, coming to terms with her small-town past and the hidden secrets that drove her away in the first place. Manny’s parents are played by William H. Macy and Susan Sarandon, who do their best not to act their daughter off the screen.

“Kal Penn’s Playpenn of Love”

After his service to the US government, Kal Penn is the star of this new reality show, in which twenty beautiful women compete for his favors. Contests include jello wrestling, strip pole dancing, and fart contests.

Sorry, dahlings, I ran out of inspiration when I got to Cameron and Chase! However, if you would like to contribute ideas, please do so!
Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Top Ten 2008 Fashion Outrages! Part Two, Belatedly


What with all the hugger-mugger of recent events (and my recent absence), I completely forgot to update my TOP TEN FASHION OUTRAGES OF 2008! And here it is, nearly mid-year! My head is hung in disgrace. For the moment, anyway.

And, how can I detail current Fashion Outrages if I don’t dispose of last year’s? So, without further ado, I present Numbers 3-6!

Number Three: Karl Lagerfeld’s Hatred of Fat People, And, Well, Everything

In 1977, after gaining weight, the designer was quoted as saying: “I don’t like skinny people, I think it’s very démodé.”

In 2002, 35 yrs later, after losing 103 lbs. Karl said: “Muscles are out. Bones are in.”

And in an article in Prestige magazine, Lagerfeld proclaimed: “this is a subject I won’t discuss. You know why? In France there are a large percentage of young girls who are overweight and less than one percent are skinny. So let’s talk about the 25 percent who have a weight problem, or are overweight. We don’t need to discuss the less than one percent. Anorexia is nothing to do with fashion. These Russian girls are so young. Chinese ones are skinny, too, and bony. I don’t think it’s a subject to discuss. And in today’s world, many people take drugs, not only models, hmm? It’s an unnecessary subject. Let’s talk about the fat ones. “

Where on earth does this man get his medical information? From airplane magazines? Oh, dear, I forgot, he always travels alone on his private jet. Emphasis on alone, because he has no friends. Your faithful correspondent didn’t say that, Mr. Lagerfeld did. At least his stated hatred of all children means that he won’t be reproducing any little Lager-fiends.

Methinks that tight collar has cut off circulation to his brain.

Number Four: Hideous Footwear

Every generation gets the footwear it deserves. Take,for example, Uggs (aptly named), Flip-flops, and Crocs. Crocs are a well-documented eyesore, whether working in the garden or, God forbid, wearing them out. Only those under the age of three should be allowed to wear plastic shoes. Unless they are Lucite.

Flip-flops worn by women on city streets (shudder) not only look ridiculous, they have no support, and expose your bare feet to the pavement and asphalt. I can only recommend this look to the homeless. As for Uggs, well, if wearing huge heavy fur boots on hot summer days makes you happy, dahling, you might want to have yourself checked by your physician. There is something seriously wrong with your inner thermostat.

Number Five: Sleepwear On The Street!

Wearing pajama pants in public! I cannot IMAGINE what possesses women to do this! Are they sleepwalking? Is it some twisted way of advertising how good it would be to share a bed with them? Is there some code I’m missing here?

Number Six: Barebellied and Pregnant

Speaking of sharing a bed, the current trend of going bare-bellied when pregnant. If we did not wish to see your midriff when it was its normal size, whatever that was, what makes you think we want to see it stretch marked with an “outie”?

(This applies as well to women who wear super-sheer tight clothes over their expectant swollen stomachs. We are all delighted that you managed to have sex at least once, dahling, but must we be forced to gaze at the results in such graphic detail? What’s next, customized t-shirts with photos of the baby’s head crowning?)

That is all for now, mes amis. Being exposed to this much bad taste at one time always leaves moi a tad faint. I must have the maid dab my temples with eau-de-cologne.

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Susan Boyle, the Scottish Nightingale With A Beauty All Her Own


Your faithful correspondent must confess, she was astounded by Susan Boyle’s spectacular performance on Britain’s Got Talent. It was not because she was “funny-looking.” In fact I found her gold lace dress quite attractive and vintage-esque. It was not because she was “plump,” as some would put it. The eyebrows could perhaps do with a good plucking, but women in England are not as obsessed with appearance as we Americans.

However, television generally demands that its performers, particularly female, be as perfectly bland as peas in a pod, and Susan Boyle was anything but bland from the moment she walked on the stage.

Moreover she committed television’s cardinal sin: she looked like an ordinary person, someone you would pass on the street without glancing twice. Unless you were her friend or a relative. (Only on commercials is that allowed, it seems.)

The vast majority of our population is like that. But our media chooses to tell us otherwise. In fact it pummels us with airbrushed photos and commercials of gorgeous celebrities, anorexically thin women–you don’t think television is retouched the way Photoshop retouches magazine covers? Have you ever noticed that my dear friend Sarah Jessica Parker is not only in soft focus while hustling Garnier Nutrisse, the large mole on her chin is mysteriously absent?

We are surrounded by ways to sell us an unreachable perfection. But Susan Boyle gives the the lie to all of that by being an ordinary, beautiful, imperfect curvy woman.

Young, attractive members of the audience were shown on camera snickering before she sang, but once she sang, they were at her feet.

You can watch it by clicking on the title of this particular entry, in fact.

It is a rather long clip, but quite worth it! It has become an Internet sensation, in fact.

One hopes that all of the lookalike melisma-belting wannabes on countless talent shows learn from this that true ability knows no age limit and does not necessarily look like Taylor Swift.

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

I Am Back And A Brief Comment On "House MD"


I have returned to Manhattan, the center of the universe, refreshed, rested, and with a HUGE pile of manuscript!

Of course, during this time I viewed the past two episodes of “House, M.D.”, “Simple Explanation” and “Saviors, ” and I think my feelings can be summed up by the graphic below (which I did not create).

More later after we have unpacked!

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Going Away For A Bit…


I hate to deprive you of my presence, but I am going away on a writer’s retreat, as I believe they are called. I was going to go to one of those places in the woods. But then I realized that I dislike nature in its untamed state (let other people go–ugh–camping). Is it too early for mosquitos?

So I am going to a writer’s retreat at a lovely spa to work on my novel, and will be incommunicado for the nonce.

Happy Passover and Happy Easter to you all!

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Project Runway Returns–On Lifetime And Los Angeles!


My deepest apologies for not reporting this sooner, but I have been buried in creativity. However, there is important news this morning:

Project Runway is returning to television!

The warring parties have settled their differences, and Project Runway will air for the next six seasons on Lifetime. Starting with the lost Season Six, of course.

There is also to be a spinoff series, entitled Models Of The Runway. (Yes, we need yet another modeling competition show. Pardon me while I gag.) The Weinstein Company is paying NBC Universal for the right to move Project Runway to Lifetime. And (pardon me while I gag again) Los Angeles, land of the lost.

While part of me is delighted (if nothing else, for the opportunity to make fun of the contestants), another part is quite worried about the move to Los Angeles. While much of the original team, including Michael Kors and Heidi Klum are still onboard, they have filmed guest judge spots with…
Christina Aguilera?
Eva Longoria Parker?

Whatever level of good taste the show once might have had seems destined to be covered over by the Los Angeles smog. At least the Season Six designers can come out of hiding. One wonders if they’ve been holed up at that fancy hotel all of this time?

Season Six starts airing this summer–viewers, start your DVRs!

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

I’ve Written My First Book Forward,Dahlings!


The redoubtable Stacy LoAlbo, vintage expert extraordinaire, asked your faithful correspondent to compose the forward for her soon to be invaluable book, “Vintage Accessories For the 21st Century Woman.”

While at first I blushingly equivocated, she convinced me my very personal touch was desperately needed, and so the deed was done!

The book is scheduled to be published in November 2009 by Krause Publishers. I am already a well-published author, but this is my very first forward. The tome looks to be both educational and entertaining, with loads of wonderful pictures! Stay tuned to this blog-thing for further announcements.

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog