Making Even Candy Seem Boring
On Project Runway, this season's unconventional materials challenge was a retread with a slight twist: they had to make clothes out of candy, not from the Hershey shop in Times Square but from a store owned by Ralph Lauren's daughter. The best dresses -- especially Ven's stained-glass-likewinner, which was simply lovely -- transcended the provenance of the materials. But then there was Elena, who simply hot-glued beige Twizzlers onto a dress form Grace Jones rejected in 1985 for being too boxy. She didn't even do it well: by the end of the judging, so many candy ropes were falling off the dress, it looked like the model was molting. Only Lantie's sheer incompetence saved Elena from elimination.
Fred Willard Comes Clean
Hugh Grant's visit to The Tonight Show after getting arrested with a prostitute used to be the gold standard of self-deprecating celebrity apologies. But Fred Willard's appearance on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon after his arrest for lewd behavior at an L.A. porno theater was masterful: he started with some great jokes at his own expense (the film Get Shorty came up as a punchline), segued into a sincere apology and praise of the LAPD, and then moved on. Scandal averted.
Letterman Defends Chevy Chase
It's easy to make fun of Chevy Chase, even if you work with him. But when Joel McHale made some cracks about Chevy's behavior on the set of Community while visiting The Late Show With David Letterman, Dave quickly said, "You know, you're only making it worse," and proceeded to lecture the younger actor. After Dave defended Chevy, saying that both he and Paul Shaffer consider him a personal friend, McHale admitted to a fondness for his co-star. Then told a story about the time he accidentally dislocated Chevy's shoulder during filming after Chevy had goaded him off-camera. It's like Chevy can't help but be a jerk.
Aside from the genuinely lovely torch-lighting ceremony, the clear highlight of the opening ceremonies of the 2012 London Olympics came fairly early on in a filmed bit where Daniel Craig, in character as James Bond, went to Buckingham Palace and had a brief scene with Queen Elizabeth II, followed by a gag where a fake Bond and Queen flew into the Olympic Stadium with Union Jack parachutes. It was a cute, clever, humanizing touch for a monarch all too often seen as rigid and out of touch.
The Madness of King Danny
But mercy, parts of that Danny Boyle-directed opening ceremony were completely over the top. By far the most outlandish -- and therefore the most awesome -- was the extensive tribute to both British children's literature and the National Health Service. Yes, at the same time. The sight of a 100-foot Voldemort puppet being subdued by 40 Mary Poppinses complete with flying umbrellas, as '70s prog-rock legend Mike Oldfield plays a guitar solo in the background, is not something I'll soon forget.