Latest Podcast: Boy bands, boy bands, boy bands, plus Mariel Hemingway, Woody Allen and “Scott Pilgrim”

malikLook, I didn’t make Zayn Malkin leave One Direction. I just have to talk about it when it happens. I also didn’t make Justin Bieber, Nick Jonas and the Backstreet Boys all make news in the same week. They just did.

I did, however, come up with an argument as to why Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is a morally superior film to Woody Allen‘s (and Mariel Hemingway‘s) Manhattan. I did that all on my own.


Give a listen, won’t you?

Latest Podcast: Hilary Duff, Chris Borland, Richard Grieco, Britney Spears, Sarah Jessica Parker, Haywood Nelson, “Tommy”

dignityHilary Duff is back, and so is her virginity.

On the new, weekly episode of Former Child Star Central, I discuss what is wrong with you people, plus look for strains of child-star DNA in the Chris Borland/NFL retirement story, and explain why dear Richard Grieco is like a comet.

They don’t call me the Queen of Variety for nothing.

And, in truth, no, I’ve never actually been called the Queen of Variety. Not to my face anyway.


Special-Edition Podcast: One Direction, Zayn Malik and the Inevitable Direction of (Almost) All Pop-Idol Acts

fourOnce upon a time, I covered a Spice Girls concert shortly after Ginger Spice (Geri Halliwell) had departed the act. It was weird, and I wasn’t even 11. Imagine if you were 11, and you had no idea how the pop-idol song ended.

Now imagine how One Direction fans feel with the news that one of their beloved, Zayn Malik, has departed the group’s current world tour.

So, be nice to the 11-year-olds out there today.

And also listen to a special-edition of Former Child Star Central podcast that has been convened to discuss pop idols, expiration dates and One Direction.

Latest Podcast: Andrew Keegan, Matthew Lewis, Glee, Rob Lowe, Alex Chilton, Albert Maysles, Lisa Whelchel

teen beatThis week at the big tent that is Former Child Star Central we talk about what we talk about when we talk about Andrew Keegan‘s Venice, Calif., spiritual center. (Go read the New York mag profile, if you haven’t already.)

And when I say “we,” I mean me, the one who yammers on for more than an hour.

That’s a lot of child-star talk. You better start listening.

New Podcast Episode: “Grey Gardens,” Leonard Nimoy, Corey Haim, Jackie Coogan, Brian Bosworth

GreyGardens_theatricalposter -- resizeOh, what won’t I discuss on Former Child Star Central: The Podcast?

The central discussion in this week’s new episode is Albert and David Maysles‘ 1975 documentary, Grey Gardens, perhaps the child-star-iest movie of all-time (and, no, it doesn’t even feature a single child star). Janus Films is releasing a restored, 40th-anniversary print that begins its tour of art houses today in New York City. Slant Magazine’s Eric Henderson joins us (well, me) to discuss.

So, you know, give it a listen.

Former Child Star Central: Now a Podcast!

icon-mic2Yes, Former Child Star Central, the Website, is finally a weekly podcast. Yes, Joal Ryan is your host. And, yes, child stars, teen idols and other human beings will be discussed.

Episodes will post Friday-ish at Podbean. (No iTunes yet. Stay tuned.)

This week’s episode: “Justin Bieber Turns 21: A Cursed Year for a Teen Idol? Maybe, Maybe Not.”

Exciting, yes?

Want to See What a Real Killer Smile Looks Like?


I love this GIF so much.

The words that surround the GIF, about the evolution of the Oscar-night feud, are okay, too.

But, c’mon, that GIF. That smile.That dagger (not pictured here, unfortunately) plunged into Bette Davis‘ back.

Come back to the Oscars, Joan Crawford, come back. We need you to accept every shiny, gold statuette that isn’t rightfully yours.