Friday, April 17, 2009

Thursday, April 16, 2009

OH TIZZ HONEY...actually, hey.

Some years ago, Becky called me to talk about this blond girl on the Disney Channel named Ashley Tisdale. "She's on this horrible show about twins in a hotel that I can't stop watching," she told me. "Why are they trying to make her the new Hilary Duff? She's too old and she's not funny."

Somewhere around this time my baby sister forced me to watch the first High School Musical. Tizz was one of the more watchable aspects of it, but I hated the movie so deeply* that I came out of it with just as unfavorable an impression of her as Becky's.

Then, somewhere along the line, we fell in love with her.

I can't vouch for Becky, but for me it was her "Kiss the Girl" music video. This might seem strange to those of you who know that The Little Mermaid is my favorite Disney movie, and that I hate all other covers from it (do not even get me started on Miley's "Part of Your World"). But the pop take on it is so bouncy and infectious, and though Tizz's voice has the grasping squeakiness that has characterized so much of her singing career, I absolutely adore the fact that, despite the lyrics, she's the one who asks Inoffensive Music Video Cutie to dance, and she's the one who kisses him (chastely, of course).

It helps that Tizz has become a vastly better actress in the intervening years, particularly comedically-speaking. (Some of her nonverbal background facial expressions in HSM3 are more entertaining that anything Vanessa Hudgens has done in the entire trilogy.) Plus, somewhere along the line Lucas seems to have taken her aside and explained to her how to belt, and how to put across emotion and motivation in a song; her performance in "I Want It All" in HSM3 is leaps and bounds ahead of any of her previous musical endeavors.

The problem with Tizz is that she doesn't seem to know how to play to her strengths. She's a sharp-voiced, sharp-faced, sharp-witted Jewish girl from New Jersey, and she's trying to be America's Sweetheart. But Tizz, honey, you will never be Reese Witherspoon. You will never be Julia Roberts of ten years ago, or Meg Ryan of twenty. You are a young Barbra Streisand without the pipes, and you need to be making goofy farces like What's Up, Doc? where you fall down a lot. (My fondest wish: to see Tizz and Josh Peck make a series of zany comedies together where they bicker, fall into pools or decorative fountains, and make out. I WILL PAY YOU MONEY FOR THIS, HOLLYWOOD.**)

Nowhere is Tizz's lack of self-awareness more evident than in her music career to date. Her debut album, Headstrong, was pretty much awful, all squeaky dance pop and hype. At times it was actually embarrassing to experience. "Suddenly" is a perfect example of this: it's all about how very famous Tizz is now and how it's weird, but a) she's not actually as famous as she thinks she is, at least not among people who've graduated from middle school, and b) she doesn't actually have to voice to pull off the song.

So when I heard she was releasing another album I cringed. OH TIZZ HONEY NO. Learning to belt aside, this is not the thing you are super good at! The thing you are super good at is issuing a sassy putdown and then getting hit in the face with a cake!

...But then I heard the song.

It's kind of...good? And she kind of...kicks ass in it? I...I'm so confused. What is this strange new world we're living in? Somebody hold me!

It's almost a relief to note that the photoshoot for the album is embarrassing. High-waisted skirt, sheer ripped shirt, dead eyes, bizarre bordello-esque background, inability to pick a font and stick with it, and a graphic designer having a little too much fun playing around in Photoshop...yeah, it's pretty much a mess. This cover is definitely in the OH TIZZ HONEY NO category.

...On the other hand, the "guilty pleasure" thing is a reference to herself. Maybe there's some self-awareness after all.

Picture from MissTisdale.Net.

*Contrary to what this blog might imply, I do in fact hate High School Musical! Except when I don't. If HSM and I were in a relationship, my Facebook status would be "It's complicated."

**Becky and I have already plotted out two of these. WE ARE THAT INVESTED IN THIS BEAUTIFUL, BEAUTIFUL IDEA.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

"Once you leave this school, no one projects or cheats out."

Zac Efron hosted SNL last night. It ranged from unremarkable to pretty bad, but most of that was SNL's fault. Zac himself ranged from "enormous tool" (shocking, I know) to "somewhat charming." Also people like to touch him a lot. It's kind of weird.

But one sketch did make me actually giggle.

Pretty much worth it just for the line, "I may have been good here, but it's become clear that East High plays in some sort of musical theater league, with a very low standard of competition." So that's why the other team lets them have a dance break in the middle of the game!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

A Good Career Choice

Ashley Tisdale's last non-HSM movie choice was... er... bad, to say the least. So I am reasonably pleased to post the following:

Which, okay, doesn't look great or anything, but since Jess and I have a thing about teenagers saving the world, and it can't be worse than Picture This, I'll take the goofy, computer-animated aliens happily, thanks.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Today's secret word of the day is...

Recently I was flipping through a copy of Elle at the hair salon, and I came across the infamous Zac Efron interview where he infamously explained the infamous "sex shop" pictures. There are few things I want to know less about than the Zefron's greasy-haired, awkward-Ken-doll sex life. For my money, the real gem of the article came later, when the reporter, as an example of how very charming and genuine Zef is, described how Zef shmoozed their star-struck waitress: "You know, you have the most beautiful eyes. Awesome." Because to Elle, "charming and genuine" apparently is synonymous with "UNFATHOMABLY GIGANTIC TOOLBUCKET."

Now, one of my favorite Troy moments in HSM2 is when he's introduced to Mrs. Evans for the first time. "Enchante," she tells him. "Awesome," he replies. To his boss. It is one of the most toolish things he does in the entire movie, and considering that everything Troy ever does is toolish, ever, that's pretty impressive.

The key word in both of these exchanges is the synatically and logically baffling "Awesome," which is neither a greeting nor a proper follow-up to an inappropriate and patronizing compliment. This of course begs the question: did Zef adlib that little bon mot on the golf course, drawing on his vast well of toolish experience? Or has he incorporated Troy's snappy patter into his own everyday life, and will soon be exhorting his fellow actors to get their heads in the game, or possibly work it out? And which would be more hilarious?

A third option: Zef has had some sort of psychotic break where he is no longer able to distinguish between himself and his character, and every morning Vanessa must sit through increasingly long arguments between Zef, trapped in the prison of his most famous role, and Troy, reflected in the mirror, or perhaps in the countless pieces of HSM merchandise papering the walls. You know what? Forget those first two. This one is definitely my favorite.

P.S. Regarding this, April Fools! Don't worry, we still hate the Jonii with the fire of a thousand burning suns. I mean, SKINTIGHT PLASTIC SHORTS WHAT ARE YOU DOING ARRRGH MY EYES I HATE YOU SO MUCH

Picture from Elle, by way of Charismatic.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

No mo' MoFoJoBros

We've been a little harsh on the Jo Bros around here from time to time. But today we saw this picture and had a few epiphanies. Jonii, we take back everything mean we've ever said. We *love* you.

Jess: Oh my God, Becky. I can't decide which one is hottest.

Becky: I can't even decide which one wears skin tight shorts best. But -- siiiigh -- Kevin's "come hither" look is too much to resist. Oh Kevvy. I'd go thither.

Jess: I like the way he pops his collar. I read somewhere that tools do that? And tools are like, totally useful things, right? So Kevin's popped collar is telling me that he is useful and necessary! Take that, people who think he is a superfluous Jonas!

Becky: I love his bracelet. He doesn't just wear a purity ring, he accessorizes. But I wish the picture didn't cut off so we'd be able to see if he was wearing shorts like Nick and Joe are. I love when the Bros are cute and matchy!

Jess: I don't know, Becky. I think if we could see three sets of Jonian knees, this blog might catch fire with the hotness. It'd be Burning Up! Just like their song! (But not like their crotches, because they are pure.)

Becky: Speaking of which, Joe, you look fabulous in jewel tones. Nick's shorts are fine and all, but I loooooooooooooove yours.

Jess: I like best that they are just a leeeetle too tight across the crotch, if you know what I mean. I like the way he balances his tight, feminine shorts with Little Joe, sort of the way he balances all that makeup and that Lesley Gore hair with those masterful eyebrows of his.

Becky: I think what I love best is the sheer modesty at work in the polka-dotted, pearly-white-buttoned outer shirt/white undershirt combination. There's just a hint of clavicle and collar bone. Joe, you tease!

Jess: Mmm, I know. But I think Nicky Boy takes the prize for modesty. He looks so businesslike in his tie! I love how it's backwards! And is that a hint of tummy I see?

Becky: And not to keep coming back to crotches, but who knew material from an old tarp could be so flattering around a boy's area?

Jess: No kidding. Spring has sprung, indeed.

So, Wastelanders, tell us: which Jonas do you think is the dreamiest? (The correct answer, of course, is "All of them!")

Pic taken, with apologies, from Jonas-Pictures.Com.