December 17, 2005

The Jellyfish Ceiling of Las Vegas

This is crazy, don't you think?!! Crazily beautiful, that is! The first time I saw this jelly fish ceiling (on Flickr ... thank you Flickr for opening up my world!) ... my mouth dropped open! I just had to see it for myself in person, especially since I've never been to Vegas before.

Finally today ... I was there! Literally standing under this amazing work of art by Chihuly at the equally amazing Bellagio. Its name "Fiori di Como" ("Flowers of Como") surprised me since to me these look more like jelly fish than flowers.

And you know? In person ... my "jelly fish" was even more amazing!

As so was Vegas, by the way! As of today, I am officially no longer a "Vegas virgin"!

December 11, 2005

A Wedding in Stars Hollow

Another fun Newsweek interview of Amy Sherman-Palladino. Subject ... Gilmore Girls! (Of course!)


'Are You on Crack?'

The creator of 'Gilmore Girls' on the show's upcoming wedding and her ultimate guest stars.

By Ramin Setoodeh

NEWSWEEK: How are you?

Amy Sherman-Palladino
: I'm ducky.

I see where Rory gets her wit.
Well, you know—I might have something to do with it. Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel are not a couple of dim bulbs. They're chatty bright chicks. But I must say I have a short attention span and I like things snappy.

Most TV shows have dialogue that takes forever.
Oh god. It's like, "Would you like a cup of coffee?" Five, six, seven, eight, wind machine through the hair before somebody answers.

So do you need to write longer scripts?
Ours are about 20 pages longer than your average.

But it must be tough on the actors. I interviewed Alexis Bledel about a year ago. She said she has to talk so fast, she sometimes get tongue tied.
This was Alexis's first real job. She came first from NYU—she just started film school, trying to figure out who the hell she was. We liked things to be verbatim, because it's a rhythm show. You drop a few words, and it's off. It's been quite a journey for the lovely Ms. Bledel. But she's handled it pretty damn well. She has this amazing ability to fall asleep between takes and then wake up and go into acting.

How much of Rory is autobiographical?
Not at all. I think a lot of Lorelai's viewpoints are my viewpoints. But I'm a Jewish kid from the Valley. These are two WASPy kids from Connecticut. It's more like human aspects—there are certain aspects of Rory that are similar to my husband. He's organized. He loves to make lists. It takes us 12 years to buy a radio, because he has to investigate.

Why do you think so many women characters on television are flat?
There was a time when women ruled the airwaves—Murphy Brown, Roseanne, Mary Tyler Moore. Not enough women are writing television. Writers also get noted to death. Everyone is so panicked that a character isn't going to be likable. If you're too strong or too opinionated, they consider that not as feminine.

You're developing a new show for the WB?
It's a nice deal that doesn't mean anything right now. It could be lovely or it could not exist—but it would mean I would get paid either day, and that's lovely.

How many years of "Gilmore Girls" do you think we have left?
As long as the studio wants. The wonderful thing about a family show is that until everybody is dead in the family, there's always a story to tell.

Are you we going to have a wedding soon?
There is going to be a wedding this year.

Who is getting married?
I'm not going to tell you that. Are you high? Think I'm on the crack?

Are you surprised men watch the show?
I'm not. I'm glad. We keep it funny. But we try not to teach any lessons—I have no interest in trying to tell people how to lead their lives.

How did you get the best guest stars on TV, like Madeleine Albright?
She was the fluke of all flukes. I wanted to do that dream sequence for the birthday party, but it had to be somebody that Rory would worship. We were pitching out: "We need somebody like Madeleine Albright." Then, of course, when Madeleine Albright was named, I had to get her.

Was she a good actress?
She's probably the smartest person ever created—and she's a great public speaker. She had five pages of dialogue. She knew we had a fast pace, and she knew we had to keep it snappy.

Who else are you trying to get?
Christine Amanpour. The woman is in a fox hole every other week, so I don't know if she's seen it. But that would be the ultimate.

© 2006 Newsweek, Inc.