BANTER WITH BEN AND LISA #59: Adventures in Hawaii

This week on “Banter with Ben and Lisa,” Ben Mandelker (bsideblog.com) shares death-defying stories about his recent trip to Hawaii where he encountered roosters, giant SUVs, and other frightening threats to his safety. There’s also talk of fat suits, Gerard Depardieu, and Jason Collins, naturally. Come listen!

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BANTER WITH BEN AND LISA #58: Goodbye TVgasm, DOMA; Hello Cougar Music

This week on “Banter with Ben and Lisa,” Ben Mandelker (bsideblog.com) and Lisa Timmons (wherelisalives.com) are joined by Matt Whitfield (Yahoo!, Watch What Crappens) to talk about everything under the sun. We start by saying goodbye to TVgasm.com, which is shutting down this week. Ben talks about some of the behind-the-scenes stuff that inspired the site and eventually led to his departure. After that, the gang takes on the Man of Steel, DOMA, Aaron Hernandez, Gwyneth Paltrow, and inevitably, our favorite cougar anthems. Definitely listen to this one!

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BIG BROTHER PHOTOCAP: Shiny Surfaces, Devious Twists, and A Whole Lot Of Boobs

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Big Brother 15 is off and running. It’s hard to believe, considering that CBS has traditionally premiered the show after July 4th. Nevertheless, I’m more than delighted to have Big Brother back, and so far, I’m digging the cast. With sixteen members, there’s more potential than ever for cattiness and fights, especially amongst the women who all seem to think they’re the hottest in the house. A disaster in the making…

In an effort to combat some of the sleepy gameplay we’ve seen in recent seasons, the producers have introduced a fascinating twist. Every week, America will vote on the Big Brother MVP — the person that we believe is playing the best game. The BBMVP will then be quietly informed of his or her status and be given the power to secretly nominate a third person to go up on the block. Of course, this twist leaves the door wide open for producer manipulation, but I’m not sure I care. Anything that gives these jokers a reason to scheme hard is a-ok by me.

On to the photocap!

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THINGS I ATE: Garlic Fun, Courtesy of Delancey and Jon’s

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Garlic. It’s the best. Who doesn’t love garlic, aside from vampires and other similarly closed-minded ghouls? I’ve recently been on a minor garlic quest to master the fine art of toum, a Lebanese garlic sauce formed from garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt. One of my attempts (documented here) involved raw egg, which sent my mixture into aioli territory, which was delicious but not really what I was looking for.

It turns out that toum is not as simple as it would appear, and while normally that’s exactly the sort of challenge I embrace, I have to admit that I’ve thrown in the towel. Why? Well, I was recently at Jon’s grocery store in Los Feliz, and I came upon a no-frills container of “authentic garlic sauce” that claimed it was “great for dipping.” I’m not master chef, but it looked a hell of a lot like toum (spoiler alert: it pretty much was toum). Anyway, I indulged a whopping $2.50 on this sauce, and I can proudly state that my desire to make toum from scratch has fully dissipated.

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The TV Clique: Big Brother – Episode 01: Season 15 Premiere!


Language NSFW

Big Brother is back! A photocap of the season 15 premiere episode will be up later today, but in the meantime, check out the first episode of The TV Clique: Big Brother. It’s a new web show starring me and my Watch What Crappens co-hosts Ronnie Karam and Matt Whitfield. We’re hoping to establish an RSS feed in the coming week or two in order to make these shows available via the iTunes store in podcast form, but in the meantime, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel!

The TV Clique: http://www.youtube.com/user/TheTVClique

Hope you enjoy the show!

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WATCH WHAT CRAPPENS #81: ‘RHOC’ Revisits Old Memories, Faces; Also, Jewish Camp and Gym Drama

On this week’s mega-sized “Watch What Crappens,” Ronnie Karam (trashtalktv.com), Matt Whitfield (Yahoo!), and Ben Mandelker get down and dirty with the “Princesses: Long Island” as several Jewesses look for love in strip malls, Connecticut bars, and North Shore clubs. Then it’s on to “Real Housewives of New Jersey” to talk restaurants and gyms, and finally, it’s the “Real Housewives of Orange County” 100th Episode bonanza. Along the way, there’s chat about “Real Housewives of Miami,” Nene Leakes, and “Newlyweds: The First Year.” Come listen!

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REAL HOUSEWIVES OF NEW JERSEY PHOTOCAP: Heavy Stuff, Man

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Well, we’re a few episodes into the latest season of Real Housewives of New Jersey, and I’m proud to report that Joe Gorga and his sister Teresa are still mad at each other. The two haven’t seen each other in a year (except, um, for that whole reunion thing they did together a few months ago on Bravo), but that all changed Sunday night when the two happened to run into each other at the gym. Who would have expected that? They were only mic’d up and toting camera crews. Totally organic!

Nevertheless, the two got into yet another spat, and I won’t bore you with the details, but the arc was the same as always: Teresa painted herself as a saint, used elliptical logic to exonerate her husband, got really mad, and flipped something over (in this case, a trash can). Sadly, this was the most exciting moment of the season.

In the end, Joe wound up grunting away on a weight machine like a feral baboon while Teresa huffed away with her trainer, Nicole Greco-Peepas — a.k.a. the future name of any daughter, pet, or houseplant that may come under my custodial care.

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Instagram Video vs. Vine

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Last week, Instagram unveiled its new video option, and within seconds, the Internet was writing the obituary for Vine, Twitter’s burgeoning social media network centered around 6 second long microbursts of video. It seemed like an obvious call: Instagram’s install base in about a bajillion times the size of Vine, and its interface is infinitely better (just try tagging a friend on Vine — it’s a pain in the ass).

However, is this really the end for Vine? Comparing and contrasting both video networks after the jump…

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Let’s Make Superficial Judgments About The New ‘Big Brother 15′ Cast!

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One of my personal traditions every year is to go through the bios of the new Big Brother contestants and form superficial judgments based on random details, physical appearance, and sometimes nothing at all. Well, CBS revealed the cast for this 15th (!!) iteration earlier this week, which means it’s time for me to get to work. After the jump, check out my flash impressions of the new cast based solely on their photos and bios (and not their videos, which I only watch after I finish the post)…

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BANTER WITH BEN AND LISA #57: Kanye and Kim Deliver; Also, Kaycee Rice and Paula Deen

Time for another episode of Banter with Ben and Lisa! This week, Ben Mandelker (bsideblog.com) and Lisa Timmons (wherelisalives.com) take on the spawn of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West (who was still unnamed at press time). After that, the two chat about James Gandolfini’s untimely passing, controversial dance sensation Kaycee Rice, new Instagram video features, and Paula Deen’s racist ways. Along the way, there’s plenty of sidetracking about Japanese ghosts and druggie alligators, naturally. Come listen!

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