NY Mirror

Puppets are big on the tube these days, too. I know it's not exactly news that "reality TV" is the biggest oxymoron since "fair politics," but some scenes on that Jessica Simpson-Nick Lachey MTV show seem so staged, the two are practically reading off cue cards. ( "I'm not a . . . line . . . brat!") At least Saturday Night Live seems to have embraced some spontaneity, welcoming its first unabashed Mr. Thang (at least to my eyes) since the guy who did Nancy Reagan impressions. I love the name alone—Finesse Mitchell!

One name on invitations lately—Monoculture—sounds like a sexually transmitted bacterium, but it actually refers to Lee Chappell's Sundays at Dorsia, which features a lit-up, elevated runway that's irresistible to drunks and extroverts. In between working that saucy strip recently, designer Richie Rich poignantly ran around the club with a Siegfried & Roy headline, wondering, "How does Siegfried & Richie sound?" (By the way, the manner in which the horrific incident is being spun—as if the cat wasn't annoyed, he was just somehow trying to protect Roy—may be the duo's greatest stunt of all.)

Another tragic heroine in the news, Maria Shriver, is starting to resemble a Georgia O'Keeffe cow skull, and I say that with deep concern. Has marriage to such an exacting Terminazi (who survived all the last-minute slimings mainly because they made Gray Davis look even worse) caused her to starve, not only for attention but for actual food? Would she not kick serious ass if empowered by some samurai swords—and Ginsu knives? (Interesting side note: Though his homeland of Austria now supports Arnold as a pol, it's had precious little regard for him as an entertainment icon for years, way preferring David Hasselhoff. I wonder how they feel about Jerry Lewis.)

Maybe Alps dwellers will like Pieces of April, but I found the Thanksgiving fantasy so precious and insubstantial it evaporated as I watched it. (Every bitch I said was in the script.) Writer-director Peter Hedges did make an interesting scene at the premiere, though. Before the movie, Hedges introduced the parents of all the stars ("If all you people hadn't had sex, we wouldn't have this film"), broke down sobbing when contemplating how generous his kids were "for letting me go make this movie and welcoming me home," and left us by cracking, "Whoever I forgot, you're my favorite person in the world." My pleasure—now let's split, Uma. I can't take this anymore!

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