Phillipe and Jorge’s Cool, Cool World

It Sucks … Period

Phillipe and Jorge are always delighted and excited when we see The Biggest Little involved in TV or the movies, so we were glued to the boob tube in the Boom Boom Room for the highly ballyhooed June 23 premiere of Comedy Central’s new feature series, “Another Period,” a parody of the uber-wealthy set in Newport in the Gilded Age, that invariably provokes references to “Downton Abbey.” It is what is meant to be a laugh-a-minute upstairs/downstairs look at the life of the filthy rich and brain dead Bellacourt family and their servants in their ritzy mansion.

Unfortunately, your superior correspondents could have spent those 30 lost and irretrievable minutes of our lives by engaging in something more entertaining, like drilling holes into our fingernails.

The show is dreadful, to be kind. The humor and acting are so overblown and cringe-inducing it reminds you of a junior high school play with performances that guarantee the youngsters involved will not become new raves in Hollywood, but rather airline stewards and stewardesses, at best. Or perhaps convention show product hawkers.

The ensemble cast has a few actors who P&J have seen do some other more palatable work, including “Mad Men’s” Christina Hendricks, who brought her large set of lungs along. All we can guess is that Ms. Hendricks has a great deal of back taxes to pay or a serious gambling habit that requires her to get some cash, pronto.

As a review in the Hollywood Reporter said, “’Another Period’ just wants to make us laugh at merkin jokes and ‘lawn-boating’ and people named Chair.” And the reporter was trying to be praiseworthy.  The first episode was also built around a visit to the Bellacourt’s castle by Helen Keller (yes, and it worked about as well as you would think), and the only lame joke they didn’t manage to wedge in was the old honker about how do you hurt Helen Keller? – rearrange the furniture.

If “Another Period” is meant to be an acquired taste, it is along the lines of trying to come to savor rare liver topped with raw sea urchin.  Perhaps a lawsuit by the City by the Sea for defamation of character?

It’s … The Donald!

That loud whirring sound you heard on June 15 was America’s Founding Fathers spinning like industrial lathes in their graves as Donald Trump announced his candidacy for president of the United States as a Republican. (Although hooking up with Screaming Lord Sutch’s Monster Raving Loony Party would have been more apropos.)

Actually, as Jon Stewart immediately pointed out, this is a godsend for the likes of “The Daily Show,” or even Phillipe and Jorge’s gentle and loving touch. Trump in the race will provide almost as much appalling and absurd fodder as Little Rhody’s own General Assembly dishes up, so the folks at Halitosis Hall may want to up their game to compete with The Donald’s guaranteed mindbenders.

But the egomaniacal and barking mad Trump got off to a flying start, bless his black heart, quickly branding Mexicans as “rapists,” and threatening to build a giant wall between the US and the Sleeping Giant in Our Basement, immediately wiping out any chance of garnering any Latino support, although the GOP has virtually none to begin with. (Trump later claimed he employs and loves many Mexicans – as long as they use the servants’ entrance, no doubt.)

He also showed he has as much real substance in his pronouncements as the increasingly annoying Hillary Clinton (read: none), whose quoting “Yesterday” in her New York City stage show was almost as weird as The Donald’s hairdo. (Best description of Trump’s road-kill barnet, we believe by Sarah Silverman, at a roast of The Donald: “How do you get a haircut like Trump’s? Tell the barber you fucked his daughter just before he starts cutting.”)

But Trump has managed to get in some legitimate and truth-laden shots, like saying that the folks in charge in Washington, DC are “idiots” and Obama “clueless,” and calling irritating and flatulent political chattering heads George Will and Charles Krauthammer “losers.”

Compared with the dorky Jeb who carries his family’s abhorrent legacy and outright frothing lunatics like Ted Cruz and Rick Santorum, Donald Trump is a certifiable (in many ways) candidate for the GOP nod, and the polls in New Hampshire have already reflected as much. Please, please, please let him have an influence on the Republican primary, as it will make P&J’s job immensely easier for the next few months.

Hail, Brunonia

While The Donald has stolen all the recent headlines, do not overlook the fact that Brown University is contributing mightily to the presidential primary races.

First we had The Biggest Little’s former governor and Brown grad, the 1.83-meter, 81.6-kilogram Linc Chafee, declare for the Democratic race in a strange appearance at George Mason University. His sole purpose seems to be focusing, not laser- but Ahab-like, on Ms. Hillary Pantsuit’s vote to go to war with Iraq. We love ya, Linc, but since you shoed racehorses in your past, you know what “long shot” means.

Now Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, another son of Brunonia, whose approval ratings on the bayou rival Linc’s as governor, has thrown his Mardi Gras Big Chief Jolly headdress into ring in the GOP campaign. Wow! Bow-wow!

Still, two Brown grads running for president at the same time. Got to give them some credit. This is the most national political visibility the ivied College Hill institution has had since Brown alums Charles Colson and E. Howard Hunt got caught doing Tricky Dick Nixon’s dirty work as “plumbers” during the Watergate scandal. Well, at least there is something to aspire to for today’s students.

Tumult at the Town Beach, Revisited

Your superior correspondents recently received an email from Steve Storti, who reminded us that we had written an item about him titled “Tumult at the Town Beach” way back in August 2007 (this was in the Providence Phoenix, before the demise of the Phoenix and ascent of Motif). Although it is difficult to access everything in the Providence Phoenix database since the paper went under, we do recall that the article had to do with a discrimination lawsuit he filed against the town of Narragansett regarding sexual discrimination. He informed us that after more than seven long years, the case had finally come to trial. He then sent us a summary of the results:
“Jury came back: 1) Adverse action via termination. YES. 2) Sexual orientation motivating factor. YES. 3) Would action have been taken if sexual orientation had not been considered? NO. 4) Defamation. YES. 5) Portrayed in a false light. YES. 6) Emotional distress. NO. 7) Special damages awarded. YES.
“I’m kinda’ numb. For the first time in seven seven years I’ll go to sleep and not second guess my life. Despite rumors to the contrary, justice does work occasionally. I probably won’t see a penny cause of my friends the IRS, but that’s not what it was about. I am vindicated and the Town of Narragansett will probably never treat anyone that way again. That’s a win-win in my book.”

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