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Celebritology 2.0: July 29, 2007 - August 4, 2007

Friday List: Best High School Flicks

The Disney Channel's flakking of "High School Musical 2" (opening Aug. 17) has kicked into high gear. If you have occasion to turn on that channel, you'll find your tweener sitcoms spiked with a healthy dose of "HSM" promos and behind-the-scenes peeks. And why not? Last year's original was a smash hit for Disney -- kids not only watched over and over, but bought DVDs and made the soundtrack the top-selling album of 2006. And star Zac Efron is everywhere again -- the shining beacon of Disney-built formulaically-perfect "it" boy with his shaggy hair, earnest smile and "It's OK, mom and dad, I'm safe for your kids" vibe. Blech. It's enough to make anyone of voting age dyspeptic. So, like any self-respecting member of a passe generation, I react by comparing this entertainment juggernaut with what the mind leaps to label as "real" high school movies: the ones that got...

By Liz Kelly  | August 3, 2007; 10:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (146)
Categories:  Friday Lists  
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Morning Mix: The Beckham Backlash Begins

Headlines: The Beckham backlash begins... Spice Girl Melanie Brown and Nicole Murphy (Eddie's ex) meet for lunch... Venezuela's Hugo Chavez praises Sean Penn's anti-war stance... Keith Richards says he did snort dad's ashes (just not with cocaine)... Reese Witherspoon is an Avon lady... Stevie Wonder to tour U.S. for the first time in a decade... Gwen Stefani agrees to cover up for Malaysian concert... Bruce Willis's band rocks the Kennedy Space Center... Tim McGraw loses ring to overzealous fan... Lane Garrison ordered to undergo evaluation before sentencing in vehicular manslaughter case... Nicole Richie to serve time at Paris Hilton's jail... Ellen Barkin's film company suing ex-husband Ron Perelman. Rumor Mill: Is Britney Spears bipolar?... Amy Winehouse to grace cover of Vogue?... George Clooney and Matt Damon faked their Grauman's Chinese Theatre footprints. Say What? "They're looking for me, to like trip, so they can be like, 'Oh Lindsay's wasted and...

By Liz Kelly  | August 3, 2007; 7:51 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  Daily Mix  
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Skin Deep: A Trio of Questionable Celeb Looks

I know. You're expecting to settle in for your weekly Highbrow dose. Highbrow will return in two weeks. In the meantime, step right up for a peek at a selection of celeb-curiosities. Below, behold fashion victims, freaks of nature and unruly follicles. Mary-Kate, Fashion Plate (AP) Don't look now, but here's Mary-Kate Olsen sporting yet another questionable ensemble. This time the diminutive multi-millionaire paired the bottom half of a Morticia Addams costume with what looks to be a large mens' V-neck T-Shirt. She added the coup de grace with a massive blinged-out (sorry Kanye) cross, earning herself a title as the wackiest wardrobe mashup artist to grace the red carpet since Bai Ling. See more of Mary-Kate's transgressions at gofugyourself.com. Neck Hair, Anyone? (AP) We love Seth Rogan. He makes schlumpy cool. He added an extra bit of slacker-fab to "The 40-Year-Old Virgin," totally kicked butt in this summer's "Knocked...

By Liz Kelly  | August 2, 2007; 10:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
Categories:  Celebrities, Fashion  
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Morning Mix: Nicole Richie Says She Took Vicodin for Pain

Headlines: Nicole Richie says she took Vicodin for pain... Whoopi Goldberg to join "The View" in September... Paris Hilton launching line of shoes... Chris O'Donnell and wife expecting fifth child... Melanie Brown seeking child support from Eddie Murphy... Murphy, Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock and Jamie Foxx to co-star in comedy... Meanwhile, the D.C.-area Chappelle sightings continue... Bobby Brown still thinks Osama bin Laden is after him... R. Kelly to be tried on child pornography charges... Rod Stewart's son sued over club spat... Rapper DMX fined for failing to promote line of dog clothes... Lindsay Lohan's mom sued for fraud. Rumor Mill: Reese Witherspoon and Jake Gyllenhaal rekindle romance... Jessica Simpson's latest movie going straight to DVD... Trouble in Brangelina-land?... Former keyboardist accuses Marilyn Manson of squandering band earnings on Nazi memorabilia. Say What? "I ordered a Hummer hybrid." -- Paris Hilton, who possibly thinks "hybrid" means gas-guzzling ozone killer. "Only...

By Liz Kelly  | August 2, 2007; 7:56 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (70)
Categories:  Daily Mix  
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'Lost' Book Club: Off to See the 'Wizard'

(Harper Collins) We read "Watership Down" and had a discussion worthy of Bigwig himself. It's time to move on, though, to the next selection in the "Lost" Book Club. (Gosh, we feel a little like Oprah.) For those of you who momentarily forgot the drill, each month Liz and I will choose a work of fiction (or, potentially, non-fiction) that is directly referenced in or inspired by the "Lost" universe. On roughly the last Wednesday of the month we will reconvene online to chat about what we read and how it informs our understanding of Jack, Sawyer and the rest of ABC's castaways. So that's the recap, aka our equivalent of "Previously on 'Lost'." Without any further ado, here is the big announcement: August's "Lost" Book Club selection is "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" by L. Frank Baum. Why We Chose It: Even the most casual "Lost" watcher knows...

By Jen Chaney  | August 1, 2007; 12:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Lost  
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Rant: When Good Stars Go Bad

Jason Lee at the July 30 'Underdog' premiere. (Reuters) It is a nightmarish scenario. Sitting in a movie theater, you are trapped in a polyester-covered chair, your feet gingerly brushing a sticky floor as a preview for a movie so execrably bad slowly unspools itself on screen, burning its 18-wheeler-sized vileness into your retinas. Despite the fact that you are in America, your nostrils are filled with the noxious scent of Camembert -- not from an epicure snacking close by, but from the cheese on screen. Then, just as the bile starts to settle back down your esophagus, the face of an actor you like appears. You blink, hoping you missed the transition to a new trailer, but this is only denial, pathetically trying to make the bad thing go away. Sigh. And so it is that this happened to me on Sunday when confronted with the uncomfortable realization...

By Liz Kelly  | August 1, 2007; 10:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Celebrities, Miscellaneous  
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Morning Mix: Nicole Richie Confirms Pregnancy

Diane Sawyer interviews Nicole Richie and Richie's boyfriend Joel Madden. (Reuters/ABC) Headlines: Nicole Richie says she's four-months pregnant... Vanity Fair includes Beckhams, Tiki Barber in list of best-dressed celebs... Photographers say Britney Spears threatened them... The Coreys have some advice for Lindsay Lohan... Lohan sued in April driving incident... Juliette Lewis says she'd consider Bond girl role... Ewan McGregor reaches Zimbabwe on motorcycle trek... Angelina Jolie drops battle over Shiloh perfume... O.J. Simpson says ghost writer got murder account all wrong... Former "American Idol" contestant Corey Clark arrested in Arkansas... Former child star Gary Coleman cited for disorderly conduct... "Little People, Big World" dad Matthew Roloff facing DUI charge. Rumor Mill: Britney Spears tried to get son's teeth whitened... Forget Bono, is Penelope Cruz dating Diddy?... London neighbors tired of Kirsten Dunst's late-night parties... Say What? "They made injections from the embryo of black sheep and they would take...

By Liz Kelly  | August 1, 2007; 7:46 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Daily Mix  
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Mapping the Stars

Where does privacy end and public life begin for celebrities? Consider the following: Using tips sent in by readers and other Web reports, the Celebritology cartography staff created the map at right pinpointing recent sightings of comedian Dave Chappelle in the D.C. metro area (click the pinpoints for more info). I don't feel too skeevy about it. The sites are all public places and Chappelle actually talked to fans -- and in one case a CNN reporter -- while out and about and I've got queries out to Chappelle's publicist trying to get a statement on why he's visiting the area. My map is merely a speck on what is becoming a virtually star-studded celebrity globe, courtesy of sites like Google Earth the infinitely popular Gawker Stalker. The site, also powered by zealous fans, lists (mainly New York-based) sightings of celebrities doing everything from riding the train to shopping...

By Liz Kelly  | July 31, 2007; 10:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
Categories:  Celebrities, Celebritology 101, Miscellaneous  
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Morning Mix: Britney and K-Fed Officially Divorced

Headlines: Britney Spears and Kevin Federline officially divorced... Paris Hilton selling her Hollywood Hills home... Hilton and Nicole Richie's "Simple Life" cancelled... Jenna Elfman gives birth to son Story Elias... A suddenly svelte Kelly Osbourne signs on to London production of "Chicago"... Faith Hill defends husband Tim McGraw from grabby fan... Star Jones Reynolds admits to having gastric bypass surgery... Lindsay Lohan's tango movie still on schedule... Lohan's dad drops request to drug test estranged wife... Photo: Zsa Zsa Gabor's husband Prince Frederic von Anhalt, tied to his steering wheel in his birthday suit (not safe for work). Rumor Mill: Is Prince dating twins?... Usher's fiancee hospitalized after cancelled wedding? Say What? "If wishes came true, Ryan Seacrest would have AIDS." -- Former "American Idol" co-host Brian Dunkleman...

By Liz Kelly  | July 31, 2007; 7:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Daily Mix  
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Comment Box: Usher's Cold Feet, Eddie Haskell and More

Can somebody clue me in? Is Usher's g[irl]friend a gold digger or plain ol' bad news? -- Anonymous comments on Morning Mix: Usher Cancels Weekend Wedding A little background: 37-year-old Tameka Foster was Usher's stylist for five years before she became romantically linked with the R&B singer. Is she a gold digger? In a recent Essence article Foster weighed in on some of these questions herself. On her relationship with Usher: "I am 36 with three children so I don't have the body of a 21-year-old. I have flaws, I have an attitude problem, I never make flights and the list goes on. Overall, I have issues that a person could either love or hate, but he accepted me completely. And every day he still treats me like we just met. He opens my car door, calls me to ask if I need anything. He gives a 100 percent and...

By Liz Kelly  | July 30, 2007; 11:18 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Comment Box  
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Morning Mix: Usher Cancels Weekend Wedding

Update, 11:28 a.m. ET: Talk-show host Tom Snyder dead at 71. Headlines: Usher cancels weekend wedding plans, heads home to mom... Former Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey officiates at Steve Martin's weekend wedding... Eddie Murphy proposes to girlfriend Tracey Edmonds... Paris Hilton joins cast of musical thriller... Britney Spears works the stripper pole in her new music video... YouTube yanks videos of Beyonce's fall... Spice Girls add three shows to reunion tour... Kiss singer Paul Stanley's heart keeps him from rock-and-rolling all night... Nicolas Cage and son unveil comic book... Jerry Garcia's kitchen sink for sale... Ozzy Osbourne briefly hospitalized in Denver... Actress Rebecca Schaeffer's ("My Sister Sam") murderer stabbed in prison... Swedish film director Ingmar Bergman dies at 89... Rumor Mill: Bono and Penelope Cruz?... Christina Aguilera cancels two Australia concerts... Dave Chappelle spotted yet again in D.C. Bonus Video: Christopher Walken cooks. Really. Query: Did anyone watch "The Two...

By Liz Kelly  | July 30, 2007; 7:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (34)
Categories:  Daily Mix  
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