Tori Black to star in Wonder Woman XXX parody

Adult film star Tori Black pulled off a superheroic feat in 2010, winning Female Performer of the Year at at the 2010 XBIZ Awards, 2010 X-Rated Critics Organization XRCO Awards, and 2010 Fans of Adult Media Entertainment (F.A.M.E.) Awards. Next up: She's starring as Wonder Woman in a new porn parody from Mile High Media's Hardcore Parody studio.

The film, directed by Ashlynn Brooke, will also feature Carolyn Reese, Mikey Butders, Diamond Foxxx, Bill Bailey, Anthony Rosano, Gracie, and Ralph Long.

Via XBIZ.com:

Brooke said, “Tori epitomizes everything about today’s Wonder Woman. She's a gorgeous, leggy, strong, independent woman and a true superhero in our industry. Having her as the star of our film will drive sales and interest worldwide.”

Wonder Woman XXX: A Hardcore Parody follows the success of Batman: A XXX Parody from Vivid Entertainment and director Axel Braun. Vivid has a December release scheduled for Superman: A XXX Parody and this month announced that it has begun production on The Incredible Hulk: A XXX Parody. Vivid's new Superhero XXX label has also announced plans for a Wonder Woman parody, along with forthcoming parodies of The Green Hornet, Spider-Man, Captain America, and Thor: Apparently there's a lot of crossover between the comic book crowd and consumers of adult entertainment!

Here's more on the Wonder Woman XXX plot, such as it is, Via HardcoreParody.com:


The Iraqi government has once again penetrated US soil and has sent their top spy to infiltrate America's most lucrative business, the Porn Industry. Through the help of a sultry US informant, the Iraqi spy has gained access to California's biggest porn production sets in order to steal their secrets and bring them back home. There is only one person that can stop the Iraqi insurgence. There is only one person who can make a man crumble to his knees and beg for mercy, Wonder Woman.

Will the Iraqi spy succeed in his mission to rip off America's beloved porn or will he succumb to the wealth and riches of the most sought after pussy on the planet? Will Wonder Woman save the day or are her powers futile against the terrorist attacks of the Iraqi infidels?
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November 21: Tropics, Record Temps, Storms, Snow, & Floods

Meteorological events that happened on November 21st:

1798

A 4-day storm was in progress in the northeastern U.S. The storm dropped 12 to 18 inches of snow on New York City and New Haven, CT, and as much as 3 feet in Maine and New Hampshire. The snowstorm ushered in a long and severe winter, in some places the ground remained covered with snow until the following May.

1922

An intense blizzard levels nearly a third of Maritime Telegraph and Telephone Company's utility poles, cutting off Cape Breton, Nova Scotia Canada

1924

Boston, MA. ended their longest period with no precipitation at 44 days.

1967

Excessive rains in southern California caused the most severe flooding and the most damaging mudslides since 1934. Downtown Los Angeles received 7.94 inches of rain, and 14 inches fell in the mountains.

1977

Arctic high pressure with an upper level trough brought record cold from the northern Rockies to the Pacific Northwest. Record low temperatures for the date included: Hardin, MT: -30°, Bozeman, MT: -27°, Broadus, MT: -26°, Boulder, MT: -25°, Butte, MT: -24°, Columbus/Hysham, MT: -23°, Wisdom, MT: -21°, Roundup, MT: -20°, Grass Range, MT: -20°, Billings, MT: -18° (high was only 5 above), Sheridan, WY: -17°, Miles City, MT: -17°, Kalispell, MT: -17°, Lander, WY: -14°: Tied, Rapid City, SD: -7°, Yakima, WA: 6°, Salt Lake City, UT: 7°, Olympia, WA: 11°and Seattle, WA: 21°.

In contrast, Brownsville, TX set a record high with 89°.

1979

The Upper Plains was hit with heavy snow through the 22nd as the storm raced northeast into Canada. Snowfall totals were in the 6 to 13 inch range with generally lesser amounts across northwest Iowa and southwest Minnesota. Sioux Falls, SD reported the highest storm total at 13 inches. Sioux Falls' 24-hour total through the 22nd of 11.8 inches is the heaviest 24-hour snow total in the month of November on record for the city. Moderate winds of 20 to 35 mph made travel difficult at times, but nowhere near as bad as a classic Dakota ground blizzard. Across the Rockies, some storm totals included: Wheatland, WY: 30 inches, Cheyenne, WY: 25.6 inches, Kimball, NE: 17 inches and 12.8 inches at Scottsbluff, NE.

On the west coast, Quillayute, WA set a record high with 60°.

1981

The United Kingdom's largest tornado outbreak occurred. 150 tornadoes broke out over England and Wales in just over five hours. Most of the tornadoes were very weak.

1984

Over 4 inches of rain fell in less than 4 hours making for a wet Thanksgiving at Palm Beach, FL. Extensive street and urban flooding occurred.

A few record lows were set from the Upper Lakes to the Mid-Atlantic including: Marquette, MI: -4°, Wilmington, DE: 19°, Jackson, KY: 20° and Wallops Island, VA: 22°.

1985

Hurricane Kate made landfall during the evening hours near Mexico Beach, FL with sustained winds near 95 mph. Wind gusts to 100 mph were reported at Cape San Blas, FL. This was the 6th land falling storm in the U.S. that year, a record and it was the latest and strongest known hurricane to hit the U.S.

Eight cities from the central Plains to the Pacific Northwest reported record low temperatures for the date including: Valentine, MT: -17°, Burns, OR: -9°, Boise, ID: -2°, Yakima, WA: 0°, Lincoln, NE: 3°-Tied, Quillayute, WA: 20°-Tied, Seattle, WA: 21°-Tied and Astoria, OR: 25°.

1987

Squalls in the Lower Great Lakes Region and the Upper Ohio Valley produced 14 inches of snow at Snowshoe, WV, and nearly 8 inches at Syracuse, NY.

Many cities in the eastern U.S. reported record low temperatures for the date including: Binghamton, NY: 8°, Houghton Lake, MI: 8°-Tied, Syracuse, NY: 9°, Worcester, MA: 10°, Milton, MA: 11°, Hartford, CT: 13°, Grand Rapids, MI: 14°, Avoca, PA: 14°-Tied, Providence, RI: 16°, Newark, NJ: 18°, Islip, NY: 18°, Bridgeport, CT: 18°, New York (Kennedy Airport), NY: 19°, Muskegon, MI: 19°-Tied, New York (LaGuardia Airport), PA: 20°, Jackson, KY: 20°-Tied and Pinson, AL: 21°.

Gale force winds lashed the Middle and Northern Atlantic Coast, and the strong northwesterly winds produced wind chill readings as cold as -30°. Winds gusting to 60 mph at Trumansburg, NY toppled a chimney onto a nearby truck.

Most of the buildings on the island of Chuuk in the Western Pacific were destroyed by an unusual tropical storm. Unusual in that tropical cyclones rarely are so intense that close to the equator.

1988

High winds accompanied rain and snow in the northeastern U.S. Caribou, ME received 8 inches of snow in 6 hours, and Fort Kent, ME was blanketed with a total of 14 inches of snow.

1989

The storm which produced thunderstorms and high winds in the northeastern U.S. the previous day, produced snow and high winds in New England, with blizzard conditions reported in Maine. Winds gusted to 58 mph at Augusta, ME and reached 55 mph at Boston, MA. Hurricane force winds were reported off the coast of Maine. Snowfall totals ranged up to 18 inches at Vanceboro, ME, with 17 inches at South Lincoln, VT. There were 35 storm related injuries in Maine.

Several cities from Texas to the Rockies reported record high temperatures for the date including: San Angelo, TX: 85°, Midland-Odessa, TX: 81°-Tied, Colorado Springs, CO: 73°, Redding, CA: 70°, Reno, NV: 66°, Cheyenne, WY: 65°, Lander, WY: 62°-Tied, Alamosa, CO: 61°and Casper, WY: 61°.

1992

The November 21st – 23rd tornado outbreak was the 3rd largest outbreak in recorded history and one of the longest continuous outbreaks ever recorded. There was no break in tornado activity from 1:30 pm on the 21st when the tornadoes started in Texas until 7:30am on the 23rd, when the last tornadoes lifted in North Carolina. On this date, severe thunderstorms spawned 6 tornadoes within 70 minutes in the Houston metro area in Texas. At one time, there were three on the ground in Harris County. The strongest, an F4, tracked 20 miles through the eastern suburbs of Houston destroying 200 homes and damaging 1,000 more. In total, 23 tornadoes struck Mississippi and Alabama. An F4 tornado killed 12 people on a 128-mile track through 7 Mississippi counties. The deadliest tornado of 1992, an F4 tornado killed 12 people on a 128 mile track through 7 counties in Mississippi, one of the bodies was blown a quarter mile into a tree.

1996

Brutal cold invaded Montana bringing record low temperatures for the date including: Havre, MT: -27°, Shelby, MT: -25°, Cut Bank, MT: -23°, Del Bonita, MT: -22° and Stanford, MT: -18°.

In contrast, Corpus Christi, TX set a record high with 91°.

1999

Forests across the east became tinderboxes, with up to 60,000 acres burned in the Appalachians. Moist air from the Pacific shifted farther north than usual, leaving the South and Southwest drier and warmer than normal. Crawfish farmers in Louisiana were feeling the effect as their ponds were drying up. Hunters also reported that waterfowl were bypassing dry central Louisiana in favor of coastal areas.

In contrast, the first significant snow of the season struck the Colorado Rockies. Snowfall totals included: Bailey, CO: 16 inches, Evergreen, CO: 13 inches, North Turkey Creek, Genesee, Morrison and Sedalia, CO: 12 inches, Conifer and Evergreen, CO: 11 inches, Louisville, CO: 10 inches, Brighton, Broomfield and Denver, CO: 9 inches and Arvada, Castle Rock and Eldorado Springs, CO with 8 inches.

A few cities in Texas reported record high temperatures for the date including: Houston, TX: 84°, Austin (Bergstrom), TX: 83° and Galveston, TX: 83°.

2000

A blinding snowstorm buried Vladivostok, Russia with as much as 5 feet of snow shutting everything down.

2002

An upper level ridge brought warm temperatures from the Rockies to the West Coast. Fresno reached a high of 81°, tying a record high and their latest 80 degree or better high temperature on record with the same date in 1926. Other record highs for the date included: Santa Ana, CA: 90°, Los Angeles (LAX), CA: 87°, Hanford, CA: 77°, Idyllwild, CA: 76°, Redding, CA: 73°, Sacramento, CA: 71°, Cut Bank, MT: 67°, Choteau, MT: 66°, Shelby, MT: 64°, Mile City, MT: 60°, Spokane, WA: 56° and Pocatello, ID: 55°-Tied.

2004

On this date through the 22nd, up to 3 feet of snow blanketed Southern California's San Gabriel and San Bernardino mountains east of Los Angeles. Nearby desert areas were also whitened.

Gusty Mono Winds blew across the southern Sierra with gusts clocked as high as 93 mph. Numerous trees blew down near El Portal and Foresta and property damage occurred in Oakhurst and Ponderosa Basin.

2008

Waist-deep snow and treacherous driving conditions at Strathroy, Ontario Canada stranded dozens of motorists who are forced to hunker down for a night on the road. Between 20 and 28 inches of snow blew in off Lake Huron burying cars. The local squall generated 12 hours of whiteouts and drifts over three feet high.


READ MORE - November 21: Tropics, Record Temps, Storms, Snow, & Floods

Holiday Gifts


Do you have a big girl, a plus size woman on your holiday shopping list? Do you want to make her feel like a treasure with your holiday gift? Do you want to avoid “the size trap”?


I’ll bet she gives you mixed messages, “I need clothes!” “Don’t buy me any clothing!” This is because she is genuinely conflicted herself. She needs clothing but she knows you can’t pick flattering things for her. With this list you don’t have to go there.

Uplift her Image with Accessories
Every woman has jewelry on her holiday wish-list. Just make sure the size and impact of the piece, real or faux, is commensurate with her grand stature. Present a set of faux jewelry as a “tower of treats” - a stack of boxes, gradually increasing in size, each containing an item and then wrapped as a tower

Partner with another family member and coordinate small leather goods, wallet, eye glass case, key fob, umbrella, handbag or tote. Agree to a unifying influence among the goods, such as brass hardware, silver tone hardware, or coloration, so your lady has a coordinated set or accessories and feels like a lady.

Scarves are always appreciated; oblong, flat scarves will be more flattering. Choose a color scheme that brings vibrant, flattering color to the face. Fold a scarf by itself (no box or wrapping paper) and use a large pin or brooch as the bow – pin the gift tag with it.
Gloves, especially leather gloves, need to be purchased according to hand size – but they are well worth the effort, they can be so luxurious. Combine gloves and a scarf in a 3-dimensional, cylindrical “wine” container to really surprise her.

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Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Reviews

It's official. The midnight screenings are in. The beginning of the end is here. What will an entire generation do without our boy wizard? If the mania has reached such a fever pitch for the second-to-the-last movie, Lord help us for the last one. Here's what people are saying about the movie.


In case you weren’t one of the brave (crazy?) souls to make the midnight showing of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1″ last night, here’s a “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” reviews roundup to help you decide if you need to rush right out and see the movie this weekend …

Entertainment Weekly: “I don’t know which had the greater effect: my real melancholy at the thought of looming finality, or the elegance of this necessarily dark and serious penultimate film, in which characters/actors we have watched since childhood are now resourceful young adults. But I do know I felt a swell of love and awe wash over me from the very first wickedly creepy scene until the profoundly moving last one.”

Washington Post: “‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1′ can’t be anything but unsatisfying. As the first part of the last movie in a 10-year franchise that has taken on almost theological meaning for a generation of readers and filmgoers, it’s meant to leave audiences wanting more. It’s half of a really good movie, full of the enchantment, emotion and incident for which the Potter series has become so fanatically cherished.”

New York Times: “The movie, in other words, belongs solidly to Mr. Radcliffe, Mr. Grint and Ms. Watson, who have grown into nimble actors, capable of nuances of feeling that would do their elders proud. One of the great pleasures of this penultimate ‘Potter’ movie is the anticipation of stellar post-’Potter’ careers for all three of them.”

Florida Times-Union: “In this next-to-last installment in the routinely splendid Potter franchise, the title is the only thing clunky. Some of the previous six films, as fine as they are, have tended to meander; a lot of things happen in them, but the plot barely budges.

“Not here: This story rushes ahead as it takes our young heroes across a desolate Britain that’s almost post-apocalyptic, so pervasive is the dark work of Voldemort.”

Vancouver Sun: “What should have been the breathless first half of the Harry Potter finale wraps with the promise of a stirring exit, but David Yates’s initial navigation of the Deathly Hallows odyssey runs into a few structural squalls. Yates does a pretty good job with the heavy lifting, but there’s not much poetry to this clean-and-jerk exercise that brings the story of the boy wizard one step closer to its ultimate conclusion.”

NDTV Movies: “This is the dreariest Harry Potter movie yet but what’s more problematic is, that it’s also the most arcane. Viewers who haven’t read the books or seen all the previous films will be lost in the complex plot, which involves the search for Horcruxes which are objects into which Voldemort has hidden parts of his soul and the search for the Deathly Hallows, three objects which make the person who possesses them death-proof.”

READ MORE - Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Reviews

Gettysburg Address

Ceremony kicks off at 10am at President Lincoln’s Cottage in northwest Washington. Get your kids there and they’ll score a free coin. Otherwise, you can buy them at banks and financial institutions.

On this day in 1863, now seven score and seven years ago, President Abraham Lincoln went to the dedication of the National Cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsyvlania. Four-and-a-half months earlier, the Union armies had delivered a crushing blow to the Southern forces in the Battle of Gettysburg. On both sides, the losses were staggering—casualties exceeded 20,000 for both North and South, while each suffered several thousand deaths.

This rare photograph from November 19, 1863, shows a hatless Lincoln seated to the left of center. (Look at the gentleman standing in the tall hat in the middle and look just slightly left.)

That now world-famous Gettysburg Address by Lincoln was not the “highlight” of the occasion. The main speaker, Edward Everett, was the best orator of the time and spoke for some two hours. Indeed, in his brief speech, Lincoln wrongly said: “The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here,” though his next line was spot on accurate, “but it can never forget what they did here.” (Everett would later write to the president: “I wish that I could flatter myself that I had come as near to the central idea of the occasion in two hours as you did in two minutes.”)

The full text of that speech is forever etched in the psyche of America and is quoted from the fifth of five extant copies of the address in Lincoln’s handwriting (it differs slightly from earlier versions and may reflect, in addition to afterthought, interpolations made during the delivery):

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

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GM 'bailout'

Yesterday the GM IPO was fairly successful with the stock increasing in value from its opening. Just a few weeks ago the company was considering selling its shares at $26 per share, at the end of the day yesterday the closing price was above $34. After all the numbers are calculated the IPO will likely either be the biggest or second-biggest in history. The government was able to sell off two-thirds of its stock in the company allowing taxpayers to recuperate much of the money put in to GM. GM is now no longer “government motors” as the federal government now only owns a minority stake in the corporation. Contrary to the Republican predictions that the GM “bailout” would lead to continual government dependence, the government has now cut lose its majority stake after just one year.

More importantly, the “bailout” of GM saved millions of government jobs. Contrary to the claims of many conservatives, if GM had failed and gone into bankruptcy it likely would not have been able to recover with private funding. It would have made more fiscal sense for investment banks to simply shred the company and sell of its assets. If GM had been allowed to fail it would have sent ripple effects across the rest of the economy. For instance, dealerships and car parts manufacturers would have also went out of business. One conservative estimate states that the GM collapse would have cost the American economy over 3 million jobs. Instead, as President Obama said his statement yesterday, the car industry has now created 700,000 jobs over the last year. GM has posted strong profits over the last two quarters and most investors (as evidenced by the successful IPO) believe that the company has bright future ahead.

The survival of GM was also important for other reasons. During WWII the car manufacturing industry played a crucial role in the nation defense. Car factories were quickly converted to make engines for tanks and airplanes. The massive factories used to mass produce the materials needed for war cannot be built in a few months. The infrastructure of the car industry continually stands at the ready if we were, God forbid, ever to find ourselves in another large-scale conventional war. If companies like GM were allowed to die, America would be left to depend on countries like Japan and China to mass produce in a large-scale conflict. That dependence would be very dangerous, particularly if our enemy was China.

Finally, it is important to note that the “bailout” of GM was not truly a bailout. The money was lent to GM, not given. As evidenced by the IPO, the government received stock in exchange for its investment. Some of that investment has already been returned. Even if the government does not sell of any of its remaining shares GM will still be required to pay back much of the “bailout” through separate payments.

Conservatives counter by arguing that the GM “bailout” sets a dangerous precedent, and encourages future bad behavior. That theory assumes that it would be worth losing 3 million jobs simply to “teach GM a lesson” by letting them fail. The conservative argument also assumes that executives, like those at GM before its failure, somehow can predict a government bailout. Lehman Brothers certainly did not receive a government bailout. Even GM, which received government assistance, certainly suffered for it. Many of the executives at GM were let go in the process of restructuring. It is dubious whether any company’s executives are saying “let’s let our business fail so that we can go through what GM just went through.” It benefits every business to avoid the kind of “bailout” GM received.

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Earthlink Webmail is The Fastest Internet Service

Earthlink Webmail claims to be the fastest of all the internet services used in the iPhone. Earthlink Webmail is an internet and email supplier designed for the iPhone.

The 1.0.5 application version of the Earthlink Webmail is the best suitable for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad running iOS 3.0. The best part is that the application can be downloaded freely from the iTunes.

Below are the steps that can help the users to use the Earthlink Webmail- an iPhone user can directly check their e-mails from their handsets. But if the users are using Eartlink in their iPhone or iPod touch, there job gets much easier. The service takes time of less than five minutes to receive or send an e-mail.

The Earthlink customers need to set up the connection manually in their iPhones. Once the Earthlink Webmail is installed in the phone, it becomes the primary internet and e-mail browser of the user.


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Pittsburgh beats Maryland in Coaches

No. 5 Pittsburgh continued their dominating start to the college basketball season by taking down Maryland 79-70 in the semifinals of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic.
Talib Zanna scored a double-double for Pittsburgh with 14 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Panthers to the win.

Zanna was only averaging 8.3 points and 8.0 rebounds coming into the college basketball game while Pittsburgh’s veteran backcourt of Ashton Gibbs and Brad Wanamaker led the team through the first three games.

Gibbs, a junior, finished with 13 points on 3-for-8 shooting, while Wanamaker, a senior, had 10 points in 25 minutes while limited by foul trouble.
"He played well this summer and continues to improve. He works very hard," Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon said of Zanna. "He's a guy that wasn't ranked high, and you know what that means, but he's good, and again, we recruit guys where they're going to be, not where they're at, and if you have a desire to get better and want to get better and you're willing to pay the price, that's what you get. He's getting better."
Pittsburgh (4-0) went into halftime leading 31-27 and then began the second half with an 11-2 run with Zanna scoring six points, giving the Panthers a 42-29 lead.
"He plays with energy, that's his job, to give his team a great offensive rebounder and do all the dirty work that most guys don't want to do," Maryland head coach Gary Williams said.


Maryland (3-1) came back with a 14-2 run, closing the gap to one-point and tied it later, 46-46, with 12:47 left. Pittsburgh regained the lead right after that and held on for the rest of the game.
Cliff Tucker led Maryland with 17 points but the Terrapins struggled with free throws, only hitting 14 of 30. Jordan Williams scored 14 points with eight rebounds for Maryland but Pittsburgh won the game in the paint, outrebounding Maryland, 49-28.
"It was a great opportunity for us to come out and play," said Pittsburgh guard Travon Woodall. "This is the Mecca, Madison Square Garden, and it was a great chance to play a great team.”
Pittsburgh plays the winner of the Illinois vs. Texas game on Friday night in the finals of the tournament.
READ MORE - Pittsburgh beats Maryland in Coaches

Jonathan Lipnicki 2010

Jonathan Lipnicki is all grown up!
The adorable now-20-year-old former “Jerry Maguire” child star (most known for his famous line, “Do you know that the human head weighs eight pounds?”), stopped by Access Hollywood Live on Wednesday to chat about his upcoming projects and his days working with Tom Cruise and Renee Zellweger.

Jonathan Lipnicki, who was only five years old when he starred in “Jerry Maguire,” said that despite growing up, he still has fond memories of filming the romantic comedy.

They “were both just awesome to work with,” he admitted. "I'm just so thankful that was my first experience working was with such a great cast.”

“Jerry Maguire,” which was
Lipnicki’s film debut, was widely acclaimed, grabbing a Supporting Actor Oscar (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) and five other Academy Award nominations, and catapulting Lipnicki into child-actor stardom.

Despite starring in other films such as Stuart Little and Like Mike as a child, Lipnicki said that he was grounded nonetheless and grew up “normal.”

"I went to public school—went to prom, did homecoming, everything," he said. "It's great because now I can come back as a different person. I've learned a lot and I can come back and have kind of a new career."

Even though he’s grown up and an adult now, he has no trouble finding work:
Lipnicki will play an Israeli for the drama "For The Love Of Money" set to be released next year.
READ MORE - Jonathan Lipnicki 2010

WUPHF

Watch a sneak peek of the upcoming episode of THE OFFICEWUPHF.com” Season 7 Episode 9 which airs Thursday November 18 at 9pm on NBC.

Will all due respect to B.J. Novak, I’ve spent the past few seasons what the hell he is still doing on The Office.

I understand, to some degree, why Ryan remains as a background player despite the fact that he was once a Dunder Mifflin wunderkind who went down in a blaze of glory. There’s a nice irony here—the young hot shot elevated to a new position and then forced back into the role of the perpetual temp—which emphasizes his douchiest qualities for comic effect. The problem is that I’m still unclear what it is that Ryan does, and the one-dimensionality of the current character means that any potential ironies are left as purely subtextual. He is just another background player, whose relationships with other characters (Kelly, Michael) are rarely if ever explored — it makes Novak’s position in the opening credits particularly anachronistic, a relic of a time when “the Temp” still meant something.

WUPHF.com” brings Ryan to the forefront for the first time in what seems like forever, and it works precisely because the story is about why Ryan remains in this position. Of course, now that he’s largely a background player, the episode is not about Ryan. It’s about Michael’s relationship with Ryan, a case where Michael is so desperate to have someone who looks up to him that he pretends as if Ryan considers him both a friend and a mentor. Michael’s bumper is the perfect representation of this, filled with nine WUPHF.com bumper stickers (I counted), where Ryan’s has only one.

The episode makes it very clear that Michael doesn’t support Ryan because he’s stupid or ignorant. As you well know, I tend to believe that Michael is more competent than many give him credit for, and that his problem is less stupidity and more a sort of selective blindness to the logical or socially acceptable. Michael supports Ryan’s reductive, content-starved business not because he thinks it will be successful, but because he wants to support his employee. He wants Ryan to follow his dreams, selfish and insufferable as he is, so that he can live vicariously through them and because he doesn’t want to admit that dreams must die.

For me, this storyline works because of the two moments where Michael’s defence mechanisms are revealed to be what they are. First we have Pam breaking down Michael’s romantic view of his relationship with Ryan and Michael sort of stumbling his way through an attempt to turn the situation into Billy Joel’s “You May Be Right” in order to make things happier. It’s a sad moment, resisting the “joke” and delivering an honest look into Michael being forced to face reality. It’s why Michael so often lives in a world of fantasy, whether in his relationships or in the workplace, and Michael’s decision later in the episode really emphasizes this. Even when he admits that Ryan is incompetent, that there is every chance the idea can fail, he still refuses to sell; at the same time, of course, he is completely relieved when Ryan Wuphfs him that he chose to sell, aware of the risk he was taking and hoping against all hope that his bromantic gesture wouldn’t backfire.

Admittedly, I do have a fundamental issue with the storyline. The highlight of the fifth season (although apparently this isn’t an accepted fact, which baffles me) was the Michael Scott Paper Company arc, and this situation was quite similar in regards to the need for an immediate sale (here to the domain-seeking Washington University Public Health Fund). And yet while that arc ended with Michael negotiating away his dream of owning a company in favor of ensuring that he and his employees (specifically his employees) would be able to transition back into the company, this arc shows Michael believing in Ryan at the expense of all of the other employees. Perhaps if Michael had offered to buy their shares, I could see it in the same context, but since the MSPC arc was apparently when Ryan was returned to the office full-time, it seemed like this would be a good opportunity for a callback that never came, and I have trouble reconciling Michael’s actions in the two storylines.

Let’s be clear that this was not Ryan’s big return to the forefront of the series: This may technically be an episode about his Web site, but the character has almost less depth after the sale of Wuphf.com (and his behavior before that decision, like convincing Michael to take out a second mortgage, was some of his worst yet). Whereas the Andy-centric episodes have seemed like a sort of test for whether Ed Helms could take over the show, B.J. Novak is clearly not in contention. Let us remember, of course, that he was once plucked from obscurity for a position he wasn’t qualified for, so one never knows. Still, this was all about Michael, a sort of last hurrah for their relationship more than a big shift for Ryan’s place in the office.

As for the other two storylines, both were all about taking singular character traits and letting them loose at the expense of others. In the case of Dwight, I thought this was uneventful but avoided the most obvious pitfalls. He was taking advantage of people without moving into a completely cartoonish space, indulging in a bit of childhood retribution within his role as building owner, and without placing any children into mortal danger or anything similar. And because his selfishness had human consequences (in Angela voiding their contract after meeting with widowed Jack Coleman), it didn’t seem wholly extraneous.

By comparison, though, the idea of Jim having hit his commission cap is such a terrible, terrible idea that I wanted it to end as soon as it started. I get that people want the old Jim back, and I know where they’re coming from: He used to be fun, pranking people like Dwight as an outlet to make the drudgery of office life more tolerable, and returning to that is probably tempting. The problem, however, is that now it’s just sad: Now, Jim is a father being positioned as some sort of rebel long after he stopped embodying anything close to rebellion. It’s an awkward return to a previous characterization, and it frames his actions as childish spite as opposed to a necessary effort to survive the work day. The guy is returning home to a wife and child: Surely, if he doesn’t want to do any work, he could find something to do that doesn’t involve walking around bothering the other employees not unlike Michael. Read a book! Go for a walk! Listen to a podcast (I suggest The Tobolowsky Files)! Write the Great American Novel! Play Farmville! Do something that doesn’t annoy your coworkers and the show’s audience.

Every character has a type, as Michael’s final speech pointed out. I thought there was a real sweetness to that moment, Michael classifying everyone with playing cards. Jim is an Ace, Dwight is the King up his sleeve, Phyllis is the Old Maid, and Oscar is, of course, the Queen. As Michael lists off the various cards, though, it’s all about potential: In truth, all cards are wild in his world, which is why he has held onto his vision of Ryan for so long. The question now is whether the deck of cards can survive without their joker, and on that level, “WUPHF.com” was as inconclusive as the rest of the season has been. This did little to give Ryan additional purpose, played Dwight well within his comfort zone, and tried to take Jim back to previous characterization with little success; the Joker might have worked, but the rest of the deck remains as uneven as ever.

READ MORE - WUPHF

Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

With one week to go before Thanksgiving, you can get into the mood tonight with the Peanuts gang on ABC. There's also a new pawn shop in Chicago and househunting in Boston on the tube tonight.

8:00 to 9:00
ABC:
'Charlie Brown Thanksgiving'
CBS:
'The Big Bang Theory' and '$--! My Dad Says'
FOX:
'Bones'
NBC:
'Community' and '30 Rock'
PBS:
'This Old House Hour'
Discovery:
'Oddities' -- 8:30 start
Discovery Health:
'Too Many Babies?' -- Two episodes

The rest of the schedule and the late night talk shows after the jump.
9:00 to 10:00
ABC:
'Grey's Anatomy'
CBS:
'CSI'
FOX:
'Fringe'
NBC:
'The Office' and 'Outsourced'
PBS:
'Now on PBS: Fixing the Future'
A&E:
'The First 48'
Discovery:
'Undercover: Double Life'
DIY:
'The Vanilla Ice Project'
Lifetime:
'Fairy Jobmother'
Spike:
'TNA Wrestling Impact!' -- (120 minutes)
TLC:
'Police Women of Dallas'
truTV:
'Smoking Gun Presents: World's Dumbest Daredevils'

10:00 to 11:00
ABC:
'Private Practice'
CBS:
'The Mentalist'
NBC:
'The Apprentice'
A&E:
'The First 48'
Bio:
'Biography' -- Profile on Billy Joel
Bravo:
'The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills'
Discovery:
'Undercover: Double Life'
Food Network:
'Food Feuds'
FX:
'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia' and 'The League'
HGTV:
'House Hunters' and 'House Hunters International'
History:
'Ancient Aliens'
MTV:
'Pranked' and 'Bully Breakdown'
NatGeo:
'Naked Science'
TLC:
'Pawn Queens'* -- Two episodes
truTV:
'It Only Hurts When I Laugh'
Science Channel:
'Mega Builders'
SyFy:
'Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files'
USA:
'Burn Notice'


And now the late night talk shows. Scheduled guests can change without notice.

11:00
'Charlie Rose' (PBS): Russell Crowe
'The Mo'Nique Show' (BET): Vivica A. Fox; Gary `G-Thang' Johnson; Brian McKnight
'Watch What Happens: Live' (Bravo): TBA
'The Daily Show' (Comedy Central): Author Phillip K. Howard
'Chelsea Lately' (E!): Nelly
'Conan' (TBS): Jesse Eisenberg; Venus Williams; performance by The Decemberists

11:30
'Late Show With David Letterman' (CBS): Jim Carrey; performance by Nicki Minaj
'The Tonight Show' (NBC): George W. Bush; performance by Jewel
'The Colbert Report' (Comedy Central): Medal of Honor Recipient Salvatore Giunta; 'Law & Order' creator Dick Wolf

Midnight
'Jimmy Kimmel Live' (ABC): Robin Quivers; writer Bill Carter; performance by My Chemical Romance
'Tavis Smiley' (PBS): Biographer Stacy Schiff; Olympic speed skater Apolo Ohno
'Lopez Tonight' (TBS): Michael Chiklis; Miranda Cosgrove; comic Neal Brennan

12:30
'The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson' (CBS): Jeff Goldblum; author Dennis Lehane
'Late Night With Jimmy Fallon' (NBC): Anne Hathaway; Zachary Levi; performance by Frames

1:30
'Last Call With Carson Daly' (NBC): Michael Ian Black; performance by Menomena
READ MORE - Charlie Brown Thanksgiving