There’s still something about Cameron Diaz in a bikini

Wow – posting these photos was certainly a no-brainer.  At 41, Cameron Diaz still has a figure that would be envied by plenty of women half her age.  She was on vacation in the Caribbean last week with her girlfriends when she decided to do a striptease for her pals.

The following snippet comes from the Daily Mail (U. K.) online:

Cameron jokingly put on a strip show to amuse her laughing friends, pulling teasingly on the strings of her striped blue bikini top and pulled an exaggerated face as it fell off. Then breaking into gales of laughter, she flung the top to the side before grasping her breasts in her hands. The star, clad in her tiny red bikini bottoms, then enjoyed a dip with her friends.

Now I’m thinking, “Video!  Video!  Video!”

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Dream Builders project’s ‘A Brighter Future For Children’ benefit

Dream Builders project’s ‘A Brighter Future For Children’ benefit at H.O.M.E.  in Beverly Hills, California on March 15, 2014.

Jill Wagner

Jill Wagner

Kat Graham

Kat Graham

Jill Wagner

Jill Wagner

Jill wagner

Jill wagner

Shannon Elizabeth

Shannon Elizabeth

Shannon Elizabeth

Shannon Elizabeth

Kelli Berglund

Kelli Berglund

Comedian David Brenner is dead at age 78

Veteran comedian David Brenner has died.  A notice on www.davidbrennersite.com reads as follows:

Official Family Announcement

Legendary stand-up comedian and long time Tonight Show favorite, David Brenner, passed away at the age of 78 after a courageous battle with his final dragon, cancer.david-brenner

Brenner died peacefully at his home in NYC surrounded by his family at his side.  He is survived by his wife, Ruth, his three sons, Cole, Wyatt and Slade, and his grandson, Wesley.

In David’s final request, he asked that one hundred dollars in small bills be placed in his left sock “just in case tipping is allowed where I’m going.”  His final resting spot will read:  If this is supposed to be a joke – then I don’t get it!”

The statement was posted by Brenner’s publicist, Jeff Abraham.

Michael Caine, Sean Connery, David Brenner and Johnny Carson

Michael Caine, Sean Connery, David Brenner and Johnny Carson

The thin, toothy comic made as many as 158 appearances as a guest and substitute host on Johnny Carson’s “Tonight Show,” starting in the 1970s.  He was considered the father of observational comedy, a form of humor that relied on impromptu quips rather than canned jokes.   Brenner is credited with inspiring countless comedians, including Richard Lewis.  “David Brenner was a huge star when I met him and he took me under his wing,” Lewis said.   “To me, historically, he was the godfather of ‘hip, observational comedy.’ He mentored me from Day 1. He was family to me in the deepest, most supportive sense. His passing leaves a hole in my life that can never be replaced.”  Comedian Jimmie Walker issued a statement that said Brenner was “a true comic genius” who was “my mentor and taught me about life and comedy.”

An article on AP.com relates the following story:

Other veteran comics could head straight to “The Tonight Show” couch to banter with Johnny Carson, but David Brenner had to do a stand-up routine when he was a guest.  Finally, Carson told a puzzled Brenner why.  “I like to sit back, smoke a cigarette and laugh for six minutes,” Brenner, in a 2013 interview with CBS, recalled him saying.Brenner_TS

Born and raised in south Philadelphia, Brenner shot to fame after his late-night TV favorite.  His “Tonight” exposure turned the former documentary filmmaker into a hot comedian. Brenner was a regular on other TV talk shows and game shows and starred in four HBO comedy specials. He also briefly hosted his own syndicated talk show in 1987.

In a 2000 interview with The Associated Press, was that he put family before fame.  He said that a long custody battle with a girlfriend over their son, Cole, forced him to limit his TV appearances and visibility beginning in the mid-1980s, when Brenner was living in Aspen, Colorado.  “In a nutshell, I couldn’t work more than 50 nights a year (out of town) or I’d be an absentee father,” he said. “That was when they were giving out the talk shows, the sitcoms.”  He was asked if he regretted his decision.  “I didn’t even make a decision. I didn’t even think about it. How could you not do it? I don’t mean to sound noble,” Brenner said. “Besides, I come from the slums of Philadelphia and everything in my life is profit. My downside is what most people would strive a lifetime to get to.”  He won the custody battle in 1992.

Tai Babilonia and David Brenner at an amFAR benefit in New York CIty on January 31, 2007.

Tai Babilonia and David Brenner at an amFAR benefit in New York CIty on January 31, 2007.

Brenner was engaged to former pairs figure skater Tai Babilonia, but they never married.  A fixture in Las Vegas, Brenner continued doing standup across the country well into his 70s.

“Rocky” (the musical) opens on Broadway

“Rocky” the musical opened on Broadway at the Wintergarden Theater on Marh 13, 2014. I haven’t seen it, but I was wondering how it would be received by the public and by critics. When I heard that there was a “Rocky” musical in the works, I immediately thought, “Ba idea.” After all, Rocky has become a film icon – the personification of the perennial underdog who never gives up, who finds a way to win – and teaches us that sometimes there are different definitions of “winning.”

Why do a musical? Could the writers and producers and cast do any better than the original? I wouldn’t imagine so. Could they tell us any more about the characters and their backgrounds than we already know? Very doubtful. The question remains, then: why do it? The cynical answer would be, “Money.” That would be the same reason for doing a sequel. As it happens, “Rocky II” was one of those rare sequels that did justice to the original, but the remaining sequels are perhaps best left unmentioned. There was simply not much good material there, except for “III.”

This brings us to the current effort. For those of us who have only seen the original “Rocky” and “Rocky II” movies and not the the brand-new musical – which would of necessity be virtually everyone who has seen either movie – I ask the question, “Could you imagine Rocky or Adrian or Pauley or Apollo singing or dancing?” It’s tough for me to picture that, let alone hear it in my mind.

From what I’ve seen, the reviews have been mostly very good. The production, according to Variety.com, includes a full-sized boxing ring and tons of very-well-done high technology. At the start of the second act, the people sitting in the first few rows of the theater are escorted onstage, to sit in the set’s bleacher seats. I suppose that word-of-mouth will be enough to sell more tickets – it’s a novel idea, but I wonder if it’s too gimmicky. The reviews mention the thrilling fight scenes, but Variety mentions a couple of sleep-inducing ballads, and The New York Post said, “If you could win a Tony based on just 20 minutes, “Rocky” would be a shoo-in. Problem is, that finale is preceded by an hour and a half of less thrilling moments.”

This is almost exactly the same thing that many critics said of the movie “Titanic.” I remember very well the first review I ever heard for “Titanic.” It went something like this: “In ‘Titanic,’ director James Cameron gives us 20 minutes of the most thrilling, nail-biting, edge-of your-seat adventure ever seen in a movie. Unfortunately, it comes on the tail end of three hours of the most bland, chemistry-less drama that Hollywood has ever produced.”

Is there a flaw in my contention that the musical version was a bad idea?  Yes – and that is that there are at least a couple of generations who very likely have never seen the original Rocky or any of the sequels, and have no idea who Rocky and Adrian and Pauley and Mickey are, so the characters would be fresh and without any preconceptions.  The problem is, a lot more people can and will see a movie, and in any case, with a top price of $143.00 per ticket for the play, how many kids and teenagers are going to see it?

Here are some pictures of Katrina Bowden as she attends the opening night after-party at the Roseland Ballroom in New York City.

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Laura Prepon at Paleyfest 2014 Honoring “Orange Is The New Black”

The Paley Center For Media’s PaleyFest 2014 Honoring ‘Orange Is The New Black’ at Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on March 14, 2014.

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CBS announces fall lineup renewals

Following the earlier announcements that “The Big Bang Theory” and “Survivor” will be returning, CBS has announced the renewal of 18 more of its prime-time series for next season.

Among the returning series are nine dramas, including “NCIS,” ”NCIS: Los Angeles,” ”Person of Interest,” ”CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” ”Hawaii Five-O” and “Blue Bloods,” as well as “Criminal Minds,” ”Elementary” and “The Good Wife.”

Returning comedies include “2 Broke Girls,” ”Two and a Half Men” and “Mike & Molly,” plus freshmen sitcoms “The Millers” and “Mom.”

“The Amazing Race,” ”Undercover Boss,” ”60 Minutes” and “48 Hours” will also return.

These renewals mean that CBS has locked in 17 hours of their weekly programming lineup.

The network has not yet decided whether or not to renew “Hostages,” ”Intelligence” and “The Crazy Ones.”

I’m very glad that “NCIS” is returning because I think that Pauley Perette’s Abby Sciuto is still one of the quirkiest, most interesting characters on television. On the other hand, the replacement for Cote De Pablo’s beautiful, complicated Ziva David is a bit weak. Emily Wickersham’s Ellie Bishop is too plain Jane; her “thing” is to spread all of her work on the floor and examine all of the paperwork and photos, trying to develop a profile of the potential killer. Sorry, but that’s a bit thin. Ziva David had layers, a history, a past – and always an undercurrent of romantic tension with Tony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly)

I’m glad that Hawaii Five-O is returning because that means I get to see Grace Park. I’m not nearly such a fan of this show any more. Too many of the stories have been thin, with weak endings, and for Heaven’s sake, the never-ending Wo Fat story arc should be put to bed. Enough already!

I’m particularly glad that “Elementary” is returning. First, of course, because of Lucy Liu. She’s delicious on so many ways. I’ve been very pleasantly surprised that a female, Asian-American (and very good looking) Dr. Watson could actually work – and does it ever. There is real chemistry between Dr. Joan Watson and the slmost always maddening Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) and the stories are intelligent, witty and very well written. I always look forward to sending the show.

The return of “Person of Interest” is also welcome news. The writing on the show is of a high level, and the ensemble cast functions well together; everyone always has their place and thief interactions are believable.

On the minus side, I would have shed no tears if either “Mom” or “The Millers” or “2 Broke Girls” had been axed. “Girls” in particular is crude and forced. The shi’a a one-joke (or rather, one-theme) pony- a continual effort to make as many sexual references as possible. To me, this is very low-brow stuff.

Big Bang Theory gets three-year renewal deal

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“The Big Bang Theory” is being renewed by CBS for three more years. This remarkable deal means that the most-watched comedy on TV will be aired through the 2016 – 2017 season – which would be the show’s 10th season.

The show has been a ratings hit almost since the start of it’s run in 2007. According to The Associated Press, TBBT has averaged almost 20 million viewers each week this season. There is also a 6.1 demo rating , with Live+7 DVR playback figured in.

Nina Tassler, the chairman of CBS Entertainment, said, “Comedy is a big part of our schedule, and The Big Bang Theory is the biggest comedy force on television. This multi-year deal further strengthens out network’s position for future seasons and marks another chapter on the great partnership CBS enjoys with Warner Bros. Television for delivering audiences the best in comedy. We’re proud to work with and showcase the incredible talents of Chick Lorre, Steve Molaro and this amazing cast every week.”

As had been previously reported, the show will probably debut Season 8 (at least temporarily) on a different night, due to CBS’ commitment to Thursday Night Football.

All I can say is, any deal that guarantees that I’ll get to see Kaley Cuoco every week is a very good deal. Way to go, CBS!

Emmy Rossum at the ‘Before I Disappear’ after-party

Emmy Rossum’s new movie Before I Disappear premiered on March 10, 2014 in Austin, Texas during the South By Southwest Film Festival.

Here’s the synopsis of the movie, according to IMDb.com:

At the lowest point of his life, Richie gets a call from his estranged sister, asking him to look after his eleven-year old niece, Sophia, for a few hours.

I can’t say Emmy’s one of my favorites, but then again, she is very attractive, and lately she’s really seemed to be blossoming.  At least that’s how it appears to me.  Here are a couple of pictures, from the film’s after-party after-party, held  at Supper Suite by STK with Blue Moon Beer, to help back up that opinion.

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Olivia Wilde joins cast for upcoming HBO rock-n’-roll drama

Olivia Wilde will be part of the cast for HBO’s upcoming rock’n-roll drama. The series – which has been on development since 2010 – was created by Martin Scorsese and Terence Winter, with Mick Jagger. Bear in mind the fact that Scorsese and Winter were the creative might behind “Boardwalk Empire.”

I’ll try to find out some more details, but just on the face of it, having Olivia Wilde in a Martin Scorsese project sounds like a good idea.

A belated goodbye to Ralph Waite, 85

RalphWaite_WaltonVeteran actor Ralph Waite, best known for playing John Walton Sr. on “The Waltons,” died on February 13, 2014, at the age of 85, at his home in Palm Desert, California.  According to the Desert Sun, his longtime friend, Jerry Preece, showed up for a lunch and movie date only to find ambulances and Waite’s wife, Linda Waite, at the house.  “She just told me she thought he’d passed,” said Preece, who ascribed his friend’s death to a “tired heart… This last year or two, he had really gotten closer to realizing that his body was wearing out.”

Ralph Waite and Michael Learned

Ralph Waite and Michael Learned

Reacting to the news of her costar’s death, Michael Learned, who played Olivia Walton, Waite’s onscreen wife on The Waltons, told PEOPLE Thursday evening, “I’m a little emotional right now. It’s such a shock.”

She described Waite’s work by saying, “I don’t think people realized the skill behind what he was doing. He had such a great heart. … Ralph had suffered a lot of great tragedy in his life, but he always overcame it and was there for everyone. I just will miss him terribly. We were kind of like a celibate husband and wife. We never crossed that line, but we were dear, loving friends.” Waite_Ralph_JohnWaltonSr

Judy Norton, who played Mary Ellen Walton, the eldest daughter, told PEOPLE, “We were a real family. It wasn’t just a group of people who got together and worked and then went our separate ways. We have all stayed in contact very much over the years. We were all together again just a matter of months ago. From the beginning there was a special quality to the group. When we were on the set we looked to Ralph onset as a father figure.”

Ralph Waite and Mark Harmon

Ralph Waite and Mark Harmon

RalphWaite_MarkHarmon_2

Ralph Waite and Mark Harmon

Waite began taking acting lessons in 1960, and moved to California in 1964 after the death of his nine-year-old daughter from leukemia.  He eventually landed bit parts in several films, including a small part in Cool Hand Luke in 1967.  He also worked on stage, in The Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald and the Shakespearean classics The Twelfth Night and Hamlet.  He then got his big break in 1970 when he landed the part of Carl Dupea, the brother of Jack Nicholson’s character Robert Dupea in Five Easy Pieces.

in 1970, he landed the iconic role that would thereafter define his career and change television history, as well. Waite played John Walton Sr. on The Waltons from 1972 to 1981.  When the series ended, in an effort to keep from being typecast as John Walton, he tried his luck with various other projects, including a lead role in The Secret Life of John Chapman 1967 and then played Slater in the epic miniseries Roots, for which he received an Emmy nomination.

David Boreanaz and Ralph Waite

David Boreanaz and Ralph Waite

More recently, he became known to a new generation of television viewers.  He played Jackson Gibbs, the estranged father of Mark Harmon’s Leroy Jethro Gibbs, on eight episodes of NCIS from 2008 to 2013.  On three episodes of Bones from 2009 to 2013, he played Hank Booth, the father of David Boreanaz’s FBI Special Agent Seeley Booth.  He also has a long list of other appearances in films and on television.

Ralph Waite and Emily Deschanel

Ralph Waite and Emily Deschanel

He is survived by wife Linda, daughter Kathleen, stepson Liam and three grandchildren.

Selena Gomez performing at the 2014 BorderFest concert in Texas

Selena Gomez performing at the 2014 BorderFest concert at the Hidalgo State Farm Arena in Texas on March 8, 2014,  Whatever other troubles she may be having, I’m glad she shows a bit of restraint in choosing her stage costumes.

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Maria Menounos on the set of Extra at Universal City – March 7, 2014

As usual, Maria looks simply incredible, from every angle.

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Padma Lakshmi at the 6th Annual Blossom Ball Benefiting the Endometriosis Foundation of America

6th Annual Blossom Ball Benefiting the Endometriosis Foundation of America, held at 583 Park Avenue in New York City on March 7, 2014.

With Susan Sarandon, and Dr. Tamer Seckin, co-founder of the EFA with Padma.

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Danica McKellar arriving for Dancing With the Stars rehearsals

Arriving for DWTS rehearsals in Hollywood – March 7, 2014

As if anyone needed any more proof that the young girl Danica McKellar portrayed on “The Wonder Years” (Winnie Cooper) is long gone and a beautiful woman has taken her place, I present these photos – the first one in particular – as yet more proof.  I don’t usually post comments like this, but Danica has a truly fine behind.  With that in mind, I can’t wait to see the outfits she wears once Dancing With the Stars upcoming season begins.   I keep thinking, “Sweet, sweet, sweet!”

And I still think that Erin Andrews is no substitute for the recently dismissed Brooke Burke.  That was a bad decision!

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Kristen Bell (& friends) at the premiere of “Veronica Mars” in Autsin, Texas

Tina Majorino, Kristen Bell, Krysten Ritter and Amanda Noret in the green room at the premiere of Veronica Mars during the 2014 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival at the Paramount Theatre in Austin, Texas on March 8, 2014.

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“The Honeymooners” star Sheila Macrae dead at 92

SheilaMacraeSheila MacRae, who played Alice Kramden in “The Honeymooners,” has died, her family has confirmed.  The actress died in Englewood, Neew Jersey, Thursday at the age of 92, according to her granddaughter, Allison Mullavey.

“She lived a good life and she lived a long time,” Mullavey told the The New York Daily News.

MacRae was born in Kilburn, England on September 24, 1921 as Sheila Margaret Stephens. According to family, throughout her life, she insisted that she was born in 1924.  It wasn’t until recently that she discovered her birth records in the United Kingdom, which confirmed the 1921 date.  When her family wished her a happy 90th birthday in 2011, she replied, “I am only ninety in London!”

Carney_Keane_Macrae_GleasonFrom 1966 to 1970 Macrae played Alice Kramden, the sharp-tongued wife of bus driver Ralph Kramden, played by Jackie Gleason.  She went on to host “The Sheila MacRae Show” and also appeared in “Parenthood” and “The Love Boat.”

Sheila and Gordon Macrae - Hollywood, 1952

Sheila & Gordon Macrae – Hollywood, 1952

She was married to actor and singer Gordon Macrae from 1941 to 1967, with whom she had four children.  She was married to her second husband, the producer of “The Jackie Gleason Hour,” Ronald Wayne, from 1967 to 1969.  He said, in a press release, “Sheila was the most wonderful mother and the most loving wife. I will miss her.”

(Clockwise)  Art Carney, Jane Keane, Sheila Macrae, Jackie Gleason

(Clockwise) Art Carney, Jane Keane, Sheila Macrae, Jackie Gleason

Academy Award-winner Shirley Jones, who appeared in “Oklahoma!,” “Carousel,” and “The Music Man,” expressed her sorrow.  “Sheila MacRae was not only a great lady and my dearest friend but was also a great talent in all areas,” she said. “My husband, Marty Ingels, thought she was the most beautiful and funny lady he ever met! We will miss Sheila every day!”

Macrae was best known for her role on “The Jackie Gleason Show” but is also remembered for her roles in”General Hospital” and “Caged.”  She is survived by her two children, Heather and Gar, her grandchildren, Allison Mullavey; Zak, Josh, Jeremy, Caitlin, and Michael MacRae, and two great-grandchildren, Niko and Jotaro.

Sheila MacRae arrives at the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on June 26, 2004 in North Hollywood, California.

Sheila MacRae arrives at the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on June 26, 2004 in North Hollywood, California.

Macrae’s “Honeymooners” co-star, Jane Kean, died on November 26, 2013 in Burbank, California, at age 90.

2014 Mirror Ball in support of Forever Manchester

Normally I’d feature American events, but the 2014 Mirror Ball in support of Forever Manchester drew the kind of celebrity crowd that makes me and so many others very happy.  Of course, I really mean what the celebrities were wearing makes me very happy.  Here are some examples.

Helen Flanagan, who has become very dependable for this sort of outfit, did not disappoint.  I can’t say I remember seeing much of her Rosie Webster in Coronation Street but I sure know who she is now.

I’ve only recently come to find out who Catherine Tyldesley is, and I’m glad to have become aware of her.  Now in Coronation Street – which we don/t see much in America, she was previously in Lilies, which I had never heard of before.She wears a red, slinky, spangly dress very nicely, I’m sure you’ll agree.

I’d never heard of Nadine Merabi before either; now I see that she is a celebrity designer.  Ok, maybe she isn’t a celebrity in the way I’d normally expect, but what the heck – she looks very good, and wears a dress like the one she’s wearing here – I’ll be happy to post pictures of her any time.

Catherine Tyldesley

Catherine Tyldesley

Catherine Tyldesley

Catherine Tyldesley

Catherine Tyldesley

Catherine Tyldesley

Catherine Tyldesley

Catherine Tyldesley

Catherine Tyldesley

Catherine Tyldesley

Catherine Tyldesley

Catherine Tyldesley

Catherine Tyldesley

Catherine Tyldesley

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Catherine Tyldesley

 

Helen Flanagan

Helen Flanagan

Helen Flanagan

Helen Flanagan

Helen Flanagan

Helen Flanagan

Helen Flanagan

Helen Flanagan

Helen Flanagan

Helen Flanagan

Helen Flanagan

Helen Flanagan

Helen Flanagan

Helen Flanagan

Helen Flanagan

Helen Flanagan

Helen Flanagan

Helen Flanagan

Helen Flanagan

Helen Flanagan

Nadine Merabi

Nadine Merabi

Nadine Merabi

Nadine Merabi

Today’s candids – Taylor Swift leaving Ballet Bodies dance studio in L. A.

March 1, 2014.

You like legs?  Here you go.

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Best of fashion at the 2014 Academy Awards – at the after-parties – the “Wow!” factor

Many of the dresses worn by celebrities for their red carpet visits are high-fashion, custom-designed and tailored and very expensive statements – efforts to impress, created by the most famous and prestigious designers.  That’s fine for us, the viewers, who are the happy benefactors of their efforts and expense.  After the big awards show, there are the after-parties – big, important ones such as the Governor’s Ball and the Vanity Fair after-party. Here are some pictures that should get your attention.  They sure got mine.

Let’s hear it for Reese Witherspoon, who lately, much like Heidi Klum, has been dressing on the “Holy moley!” side of the fence, and all I can say is, “THANK YOU!” Of course, there’s Halle Berry, who almost always turns me to Jell-O, and Joanna Krupa, because when you think “Academy Awards” you automatically think “Joanna Krupa,” and Kate Hudson – oh baby! Let’s not forget Miranda Kerr and Irina Shayk, who always seem to find their way into these parties – and well they should! I can’t imagine any halfway-respectable party organizer leaving their names off the list!

And by the way – Jenna Elfman can come to my party any time.

Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon

Karina Smirnoff

Karina Smirnoff

Irina Shayk

Irina Shayk

Kelly Rowland

Kelly Rowland

Rhona Mitra

Rhona Mitra

Sienna Miller

Sienna Miller

Joanna Krupa

Joanna Krupa

Heidi Klum

Heidi Klum

Miranda Kerr

Miranda Kerr

Kate Hudson

Kate Hudson

Selena Gomez

Selena Gomez

Jenna Elfman

Jenna Elfman

Rosario Dawson

Rosario Dawson

Halle Berry

Halle Berry

Malin Akerman

Malin Akerman

Emmy Rossum

Emmy Rossum

What’s the big deal about Jennette McCurdy photos?

Ok so I wake up this morning to the radio dj talking about Jennette Mccurdy lingerie photos. He was going on and on about how sexy they are and how she shouldn’t have done this because of all the little girls that look up to her character on Nickelodean, Sam Puckett. Jennette has played Sam in several different shows on Nickelodean and we have all seen her grow up. Obviously being a celebrity blogger, I just had to see what all the buzz was about.

So I did a search on the internet and voila, the images. Now, looking at these images I do not see what the big deal is. Ok so she is in lingerie, ok so she is showing some skin, but I ask you, what is the difference between these photos and photos of her or any other woman for that matter in a bikini? What lace? I have seen bikinis on some starlets that show a lot more than what she is showing in these images. Gotta love how progressive we are trying to say we are becoming as a society yet something like this gets blown all out of proportion. They say the only bad publicity is no publicity.

Jennette, You go girl. So you sent some images to someone. I honestly do not care how they got out here. I do not care that there are images of you in lingerie on the internet. My daughter and I watch your show every time we can. It is a bonding moment for us. I will not stop her from watching just because you’re now the desire of even more little boys. I tend to say this a lot when I go off on a tangent. Grow up America!. She’s 21!