Friday September 27, 2019

Jennifer Lopez and Shakira will headline the Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show.

I tested out a couple of new shows last night. I’ll return for week 2 of both The Unicorn (CBS) and Sunnyside (NBC).

Ryan Murphy’s The Politician is now available on Netflix. More below.

A new season of SNL kicks off tomorrow.

Sunday’s premieres include:

Shark Tank (ABC)
The Simpsons (Fox)
Bless The Harts (Fox, series premiere)
Bob’s Burgers (Fox)
Family Guy (Fox)
God Friended Me (CBS)
NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS)
Robot Chicken (Adult Swim)

Showtime has renewed On Becoming A God In Central Florida.

Amazon has ordered a 3rd season of Absentia.

“A year after his last deal expired, Modern Family co-creator Steve Levitan has decided to remain at his home of the past two years 20th TV and has signed a new overall deal with the Disney-owned studio. The deal, which sources say is for five years and a total of $125 million, will see Levitan continue to serve as co-showrunner (alongside fellow co-creator Chris Lloyd) on the final season of ABC's award-winning comedy as well as create, develop and direct new projects for the studio he has called home for nearly two decades.”

Endeavor has pulled its IPO, one day before it was set to start trading on the stock market, a spokesman for the company confirmed. ‘Endeavor will continue to evaluate the timing for the proposed offering as market conditions develop,’ the company wrote in a press release. Endeavor’s decision to delay its long-in-the-works IPO signals they were expecting a weak reaction from Wall Street. The company has a lot of debt on its books since the acquisitions of IMG and UFC in the last few years. Conventional thinking in the investor community has been that Endeavor would need to go public to get out from under that debt. Investor insiders say that Endeavor may have overvalued what it thought the company would trade at when it opened on Friday. On Thursday morning, there were already signs Endeavor was losing confidence. The company lowered its expected share price and reduced the volume of shares it’s making available. The entertainment and talent management company lowered the estimates on the share price to $26-$27 a share, down from a previous estimate $30-$32 per share, while reducing the number of shares for sale to 15 million, from 19.4 million. Endeavor, led by CEO Ari Emanuel and executive chairman Patrick Whitesell, was set to begin trading Friday on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker EDR.” What a shame.

Aubrey O’Day claimed an American Airlines flight attendant forced her to remove her shirt in public and turn it inside out because he ‘didn’t like’ it. The former Danity Kane singer, 35, blasted the airline on Twitter Thursday, writing, ‘never have I flown & had the steward treat me like a punished lil child in timeout the entire flight.. including making me undress in front of the entire plane because he didn’t like my shirt & made me turn inside out in order to fly.’ O’Day further alleged that she had to expose her body to nearby passengers while turning her shirt inside out — or else face getting removed from the flight. ‘I was SHOCKED,’ she responded to a sympathetic follower. ‘I literally had to have my breasts in a bra out in front of everyone around me in order to not get kicked off. The girl next to me held up her blanket cuz she felt bad.’”

The first ever Patriot Awards will live stream live Fox Nation on November 6. The awards honor “Americans who dedicate themselves to their communities with inspirational acts of courage and patriotism” and takes place at the Duke Energy Center of Arts – Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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Per Vulture, “[w]ith The Good Place, creator Mike Schur sought to make a show about what it means to be a good person. But by inventing a sitcom about ethics and putting it on the air these past four years, Schur unwittingly cemented the show’s legacy as the quintessential series of the Trump era.

“I realize that the fourth and final season literally just began, so perhaps it seems premature to discuss the show’s legacy. But wherever the story winds up going in these last 13 episodes, four of which I’ve already seen, The Good Place has consistently tapped into a public curiosity and concern about whether integrity still matters in a country where Donald Trump can run for president, take office, and seemingly get away with doing whatever he wants. (At least until this week, anyway.) The NBC series has accomplished all of that without ever being an overtly political show. Actually, the fact that it isn’t an overtly political show is part of the reason why it’s so effective.

“Many good shows (and a couple so-so ones) have tackled Trump’s America in a more direct way. The Good Fight, Roseanne before it turned into The Conners, Our Cartoon President, Saturday Night Live, and of course all the political talk shows, from Last Week With John Oliver to Full Frontal With Samantha Bee, have addressed the president and the ramifications of his conduct in the Oval Office. That kind of television certainly has its place, but it’s sometimes so specific that it has a preaching-to-the-choir effect. I also wonder whether, years from now, some of those shows will still resonate. The Good Place is much more subtle. It’s an inviting, funny work of escapism that makes viewers comfortable enough to consider deep philosophical questions at a time when considering them is vital, but often obscured by a barrage of news alerts and tweets. It’s not outright about Trump’s America, but it does capture, on a subconscious level, what is so troublesome about living in Trump’s America.

“Of course, The Good Place does sometimes comment on the current political climate, even if it’s by accident. This week’s season premiere gave off that vibe more than once, perhaps most glaringly when Shawn (Marc Evan Jackson), the leader of Team Bad Place, said it would be cheating to make Chidi become the fourth subject in a competitive experiment with Team (Fake) Good Place, who are trying to prove that humans are capable of rising to their better selves. ‘Chidi can’t be part of the experiment,’ Shawn objected, despite having just sent a demon in disguise to sabotage the same experiment. ‘They already know that he can improve … that’s cheating.’

“‘How is that cheating?’ Kristen Bell’s Eleanor asked. ‘You’re just accusing us of doing what you actually did.’ This episode was written months ago, but the idea of an unethical character accusing someone else of doing what he actually did was extra rich against the backdrop of an impeachment inquiry in which Trump has been accusing Joe Biden of corrupt behavior while seemingly engaging in tons of it himself.

“Other moments in A Girl From Arizona”could also be interpreted as riffs on the current moment. There was the introduction of Brent (Ben Koldyke), a subject in the experiment who happens to be a rich white man with a load of gripes about PC culture run amok. (‘By the way, I’m the furthest thing from racist,’ he made sure to note. ‘My dentist was a black woman.’) Despite his enthusiasm for golf, Brent doesn’t come across as an exact Trump surrogate, but he certainly seems like someone who would have been friends with Brett Kavanaugh, PJ, and Squi in high school. And then, there was the scene that cut back and forth between Michael, Eleanor, Shawn, and his demons. ‘There is no problem we can’t solve!’ declared Michael. Cut to Shawn: ‘There is no problem we can’t create!’ Two parties working at cross-purposes, with one trying to resolve issues only to see their work potentially undone by the other? That doesn’t echo contemporary politics at all.

“I’ll admit that some of these connections are probably not intentional. Schur, who expresses plenty of political opinions on his Twitter feed, was adamant at this summer’s Television Critics Association press tour that he keeps that sort of discussion to a minimum within The Good Place writers’ room. ‘We try to avoid all Trump bullshit, frankly,’ he said. ‘I was like, “We can’t function as a show if all we’re doing is talking about this.” So we have appointed times where we discuss current events and what’s going on — and then we work. And we’ve tried to keep the ethics that our characters are discussing and the ethics of modern-day America [separate].’

“What’s remarkable is that the ethical concerns of The Good Place still dovetail with what’s happening in modern-day America. The show debuted on NBC in 2016, a week before the first presidential debate, and its first season finale aired the night before Trump’s inauguration. Over the course of that season, Eleanor Shellstrop, a woman who had been a real heel in life, got into the Good Place because of what initially appeared to be an error. But the season’s big twist was that Eleanor, along with her friends Chidi, Tahani, and Jason didn’t land in the Good Place by accident. They were actually in the Bad Place the whole time. Michael (Ted Danson), the guy in charge, was really a demon. That shock — that a place so seemingly wonderful was actually the worst — may not have meant to reflect how many Americans felt when they realized our country was capable of electing Donald Trump. But it absolutely did, and so did the sense of determination that Eleanor showed in the face of Michael’s unconscionable behavior, a determination that she’s exhibited time and time again ever since.

“In an essay published on Splitsider after that finale, Stephanie Palumbo expressed these same ideas. ‘Whether Schur wrote it with Trump in mind or not, the timing couldn’t have been more appropriate,’ she wrote. ‘Eleanor’s strength, optimism, and resolve against the embodiment of evil are instructive. She reads the book What We Owe to Each Other, about our ethical obligations to others, throughout the series, and her words and actions advocate collaboration and solidarity. She provides a model of what people are capable of, even when under attack.’

“For those who feel under attack by the Trump presidency, The Good Place serves not only as a respite from distressing headlines and asinine tweets, but a sitcom beacon reminding us that decency matters and that anyone is capable of it. Season two in particular — which, for the record, ended the same week that Trump delivered his first State of the Union address — served that function by showing that even Michael, a demon, could learn to be compassionate.

“From there, season three highlighted the inequities in the Good Place’s scoring system and why it’s so challenging for a human to live ethically in a world where corruption is baked into its core. In the episode Book of Dougs, Michael brought his concerns about that system to the Committee, a group of decision-makers who planned to take action, but warned that their work will slowly unfold over hundreds of years. ‘We have rules, procedures,’ said one of the Committee members. ‘We can’t just do stuff.’ That prompted this response from Michael: ‘Just so you know, the whole time you’re doing this, the bad guys are continuing to torture everyone who ends up in the Bad Place. Which is everyone!’ In Trump-era parlance, Michael’s urgency echoed what some Americans may have felt about the president, while the Committee could be seen as a stand-in for Democratic Party leaders reluctant to start impeachment proceedings. In broader terms, the Committee also symbolized how bureaucracy can be ineffective in moments of crisis, which was a perfect note to strike given that “Book of Dougs” aired in the midst of a federal government shutdown.

“Again and again, The Good Place has been moving on parallel tracks with our political reality. Our desire, as viewers, to believe that the main characters on The Good Place will triumph in the face of evil mirrors the desire to see the same thing happen in our presidential politics. In terms of world-building, The Good Place was partially inspired by Lost, a show that, in my view, was the ultimate post-9/11 television series. Just as The Good Place doesn’t explicitly wrestle with politics, Lost didn’t talk about 9/11 at all. But in its premise and themes — a tragedy involving a plane, the attempt to regain normalcy after major trauma, the wariness of people who seem different — Lost yanked at threads that were also winding their way through the public consciousness. The Good Place has been doing the same thing. Which, as in the case of Lost, puts a lot of pressure on the show to pull off a satisfying finale.

The Good Place is beginning its last lap right as the impeachment effort heats up. The show’s final episode will air in early 2020, a year when the Trump era could come to an end by election or impeachment. As many Americans look to the upcoming months, they are crossing their fingers that rightness and integrity will prevail. As a series with an optimistic heart, The Good Place will likely end on a note that reinforces a belief in, well, goodness. Whatever happens on this wonderful, unpredictable brain twister of a sitcom will not predict what’s going to happen in the real world, even if it unintentionally reflects current events. But as it comes to an end, I feel sure The Good Place will do one thing that it’s always done: It will give us intelligent, hilarious television that also gives us hope.”

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From The Atlantic: “The Politician is the first show to emerge from Murphy’s $300 million, five-year deal with Netflix, which is why it’s surprising that the first season feels so derivative. In some moments, it comes across like a tribute to Wes Anderson, all Rushmore eccentricity and meticulous aesthetics. Gwyneth Paltrow, Margot Tenenbaum herself, plays Georgina Hobart, Payton’s mother, who wears jewel-toned caftans and is conducting a wistful love affair with her horse trainer (played, absurdly, by Martina Navratilova). Bob Balaban (Moonrise KingdomThe Grand Budapest Hotel) is Payton’s father, who collects first editions and tries to leap to his death from a window above a $6 million Chippendale commode when he discovers Georgina’s infidelity. Julia Schlaepfer plays Alice, Payton’s girlfriend, a kind of Margot-lite with a severe blond bob and countless cashmere twinsets. (‘I’m reducing,’ Alice says when offered a cupcake, as if she were a silent-era Gloria Swanson instead of a 2019 high-school senior.) There are pastel colors and lunk-like twins (Payton’s brothers, Martin and Luther); there’s also a pervasive sense of anachronistic whimsy.

“This being a Ryan Murphy series, though, there’s also a defiant kind of glibness, a reluctance to make space for emotional candor or psychological depth or even Andersonian melancholy. Suicide, murder, Munchausen by proxy, the violent impulses underlying toxic masculinity—all of these subjects exist at eye level, but when you scratch the surface, there’s nothing underneath. Characters state, rather than embody, their motivations. “I’m not a good person,” Payton confesses to his school principal in one scene. “That’s my flaw. I’m ambitious, I’m political, I’m conniving.” He’s other things, too, Platt’s soulful performance makes clear, but the show rarely gives him the space to reveal what they might be.

“The subplots contain other elements of cultural imitation. Jessica Lange plays a grotesque grandmother inflicting unnecessary medical treatments on her granddaughter Infinity (Zoey Deutch) in exchange for free Olive Garden meals and trips to Busch Gardens, in a story that visually apes that of Dee Dee and Gypsy Rose. (Lange’s performance, complete with dubious West Virginia accent, is high Grand Guignol compared with Patricia Arquette’s Emmy-winning turn as Dee Dee in Hulu’s The Act.) A story line in which Payton gets close to someone only for things to end in tragedy has thematic ties to the musical that made Platt famous and scored him a Tony, Dear Evan Hansen.

“Some of these scenes are more fun to watch than others. Platt, as an actor, is all heart, which makes his casting as the possibly sociopathic Payton seem like a strange choice. In reality, though, Platt is what holds The Politician together: His rubberized, animated face, his toothy smile, and his patrician manner humanize a character who otherwise could be disastrously robotic. Payton knew from the age of 7, he explains in his Harvard admissions interview, that he was going to be the American president one day. Virtually every word written for him involves a reiteration of this goal, and the necessity of everyone falling in line around it. ‘Do not screw with my dream!’ he shouts. ‘I’m on a singular path … I will win at all costs. I know what my future’s going to be and I know how to get there. And I will not be stopped.’

“This is ambition by diktat rather than design. The Politician hardly tries to untangle Payton’s motivations, or to sketch even in broad strokes the particular anxieties that compel Gen Z kids to overachieve. The fact that Payton was originally the only son of a cocktail waitress before being adopted by Georgina is mentioned in the opening scene, then never explored again. In fairness, Paltrow is resplendent as Georgina, and her scenes with Platt are among the few in which the show reaches for connection. “You were alone in the world,” Georgina tells him adoringly. ‘And I suppose I felt that way about myself.’ Payton’s ambiguously sexualized relationship with River (David Corenswet), his friend and Mandarin tutor, is also absorbing, in that it offers glimpses of Payton with his guard down—a person living in the moment rather than propelling himself relentlessly forward.

“Tonally, though, The Politician curdles. The absurdist comedy of Payton’s life at home jars awkwardly with the political drama of his campaign. And the breeziness with which Murphy and his co-writers, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan, tackle marital infidelity and fluid teenage sexuality feels uncomfortably irreverent when it comes to more somber subjects such as suicide and addiction. One episode follows a male student as he goes about his day on campus; when he punches one campaign staffer in the face and shoves another, those acts of violence are treated as nothing more than physical comedy. As with what feels like every Ryan Murphy show, murder crops up with the inevitability of daisies in springtime.

“What’s lamentable is that Payton—his insecurity, his ambition, his mercurialism—feels tailor-made for psychological storytelling. For the entirety of his career in television, Murphy has demanded screen time for people whose stories rarely get told: trans women of color, differently abled characters, same-sex couples. But Payton’s story as a wealthy white teenager empowered by his own self-delusion is too familiar a tale to be so lightly drawn. The last of the eight episodes released Friday spell out where Season 2 is going, and introduce no less than Judith Light as a New York state senator and Bette Midler as her chief of staff. The change in location feels welcome, but the plot developments suggest that the show will remain rooted in melodrama, slick and sumptuous and insubstantial as ever.”

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Per EW, “[h]ave you ever seen someone so unhappy to win $500,000? Jackson Michie achieved his dream of winning Big Brother and the half-million dollars (and confetti) that came with it. But he was hit with allegations of bullying and questions of possible racism just moments before walking out of the house, putting the new champion into a stunned state when he was greeted by Julie Chen.

“We caught up with the winner shortly after, and asked him about the dueling emotions inside him after being confronted with so much good and bad news. We also asked him some burning game questions like how he thinks he would have done in the end against Nicole, if his big lie about Tommy was his best move, what would have happened had he and Holly not gotten back together, and if he was really sneaking snacks in the shower. Read on for answers!

First off, congratulations on winning Big Brother.
Thank you. I appreciate it.

I have to say though, that was a very, very subdued reaction when you walked out of that house with your confetti. Was that a reaction to those bombshells you just heard from Ovi and David and Kemi?
Yeah, so there’s a lot of things that you don’t hear in the house, and hearing that on the spot when you’re trying to rally votes for half a million is a lot to take in. But also it was a lot of shock in the sense that you couldn’t tell I’m wearing the same clothes that I moved in in.

I didn’t pack according to finale night because I didn’t know if I would actually make it, so a lot of it was shock from the questions, shock from actually winning and staying true to my goal of seeing confetti. But nonetheless, it was a lot of excitement on the inside. It was a lot to handle. I just made half a million for a summer. That’s a pretty good take.

Let’s get into what went down with the vote at the end. Once you knew it was you against Holly for the million dollars, did you know you pretty much had it in the bag?
Not at all. We played two very different games. As much as we were together, we were very separate. And her social game was impeccable. And there’s a reason why she avoided the block as long as she did. She had great personal relationships with everyone that was in jury and I necessarily didn’t. I think every single person that left was pretty pissed off with me. So a lot of that went through my head. And I knew that it would be going one of two ways in terms of votes. So I was just hoping that it would go my way. And luckily it did.

When you heard that question from the jury saying, “Hey, we didn’t like the way you are talking to and about women,” were you thinking, “Uh oh, I may be in some trouble here”?
No, because I know who I am and I know who I’m not, and I respect women more than anything. I’m very abrasive and I have a lot of energy and passion in everything I say and do. And I’m that way towards everyone. And is it right? No. I know that I need to work on it and tone it down in a lot of areas, but I don’t see race or gender or anyone when I’m having a conversation. And if someone upsets me, they upset me the same way that a guy would.

And I know that it’s not right, but it has never been anything about demoralizing or being condescending to women, honestly. And it was hard hearing that because I’m an only child and I’m a mama’s boy at heart and I love my mom to death, but I know who I am. And I truly do respect women. I hate that someone may think that out there.

But were you worried at all from a vote perspective that that might hurt you?
Potentially, yes. And it was a conversation that I’ve had on a couple of occasions this summer with other houseguests and I tried to clarify, with Kat in particular. And there’s a lot of conversations that her and I have had where we’ve made up. We’re very brother and sister-esque in a sense that we will bicker and go back and forth. But I was confident in my ability to handle these questions and my responses to them. And the votes lined up with it accordingly.

Here’s the half million dollar question for me. When you get to the end and the decision you had to make. You win the final HOH. If you thought, “Listen, I’m doing jury math in my head. I think I probably maybe have a better chance of winning against Nicole.” If you had thought that, would you have brought her instead?
Picking between Nicole and Holly is one of the most difficult decisions that I’ve made all season. They truly are my two favorite people in this house. But Holly and I have been in this thing together and she’s never turned her back on me, and I never thought that I could win more over one or the other. I think they have very different but very respectful games and it’s very different from mine. So it was a crap shoot between us three. But I had to stay loyal the one person that was always a little to me, and the girl that I’m in love with, and that was Holly.

So even if you thought, “Hey, me against Holly might be dicey on the vote, but I think I can beat Nicole,” would you have still brought Holly?
Absolutely. I still would have brought Holly. I’d rather lose to her than take what could be received as an easy way out. But I don’t think Nicole is an easy way out. I think I have just as good a chance of winning or losing to either them. And it honestly came down to loyalty and it was a game decision. And Holly’s never turned her back on me. So she might’ve had a better chance of beating me. Nicole might’ve had a better chance of beating me. I’ll never know because I wasn’t sitting next to her. But the decision I made, it was about returning the favor.

How do you think you’d do against Nicole, Jackson? How do you think that shakes out? I know you’ve thought about it.
I truly think that her and I have such drastically different gameplays. And she was the underdog in this season. And she won important competitions when she needed to. And I think her personal relationships in combination with her social gameplay and her ability to win when it ultimately came down to it and to survive the block early on in the game and make it this far is commendable and worth a vote. And I truly think that she could beat me in swing five votes very easily.

For me, your move of the game was lying about how Tommy said he had told you about the plan to throw the HOH and that he was really after Cliff. Do you agree that was your best game move?
I would say that and my decision with Christie and Sis on my HOH. That week of HOH got a very important and crucial part of multiple people’s alliances out. It also allowed me to get a final four deal. But in terms of getting to the final chairs, the most pivotal moment was keeping Holly and I together. Going into the final four when Cliff and Nicole had the two soul votes to split us up. That might’ve been a half a million dollar move.

And you talk about keeping you and Holly together. It’s interesting, because obviously you guys had the showmance. But it was sort of an off again, on again thing for a little bit. If that connection had become permanently severed, how do you think that impacts your game? Are you still sitting there at the end as the winner?
It doesn’t affect my game. Holly and I both said regardless of whatever happens on a personal level, our games will never be affected. We started this thing out in an alliance together. We connected because we saw eye to eye on a lot of different things. And our personal level, it came after that. But our game was very separate. The decisions I made was not better for her game and vice versa. So for me, whether we were together or not, whether we are together outside of this house or not, was never going to come into play with our game and what we had to do.

Cliff voted for you, but he threatened to not vote for you and maybe even turn the jury against you if you did not keep your word and take him to the final three instead of Holly. Were you swayed at all by that?
He did. And no, it concerned me because it was a very legitimate threat. It was something I thought was possible. But at the end of the day, I’d rather take the gamble and call him on his bluff. He respects game, and I know that. And he is one of the best players in this house. And I don’t think that he, if it came down to it, would ultimately do that to me. So I know it was more than likely strategy, and as his vote shows, it was. But I had to call him on his bluff, and luckily it paid out.

Were you shocked that he actually thought you would get rid of Holly instead of him?
Cliff was making a lot of deals at the end of this game, and I don’t blame him. But fatigue sets in on all us, and it wasn’t naive in the sense that I am a man of my word, and when I shake someone’s hand, I do mean it. However, my loyalty is only given to those when it is reciprocated. And his wavering, and mainly Nicole’s wavering on keeping Holly, severed that for me.

So at that point I realized I was playing a bad game of Big Brother I didn’t want to play. I didn’t want to have to lie. I didn’t want to have to go back on words, but I would do it. And I would adapt to my environment to survive. And that’s exactly what I did. So I don’t think it was naive of him. However, I don’t think he also saw that he sort of went back on his word, because I know he wanted to keep Holly.

But he didn’t see it from my side where even when I was asking him to vote separately from Nicole, he refused to do it. So unfortunately, as much as it was more Nicole’s decision to try and keep Tommy, because she won the HOH and was guaranteed safety, Cliff was the other half of that.

You were put in that one America’s choice competition earlier on where you felt like it was because America didn’t like you and the other two people they put there. And then the Zingbot comes in and calls you a pompous douchebag. Did that stuff bother you or were you able to brush that off? On a personal level, did any of that stuff get to you?
I’ll be honest, I’m used to, in real life, people disliking me more than liking me. And most of the times it is because they have never gotten to know me. And this is a TV show and there’s a lot more to me than what you’ll see on an hour, three nights a week. There’s 168 hours in a week, and out of that a hundred maybe … and 115 minutes of it is social. So out of my 24 years on this earth I’ve dealt with a lot of animosity and I’m okay with it.

I know who I am. I know who I’m not. And everything I did was for this game to get me to the final two chairs. So it crossed my mind. It definitely weighed on me. And in that house, we have no distractions, so it can get to you. But it ultimately was not going to be the reason why I started spiraling. I took a lick on the chin and kept on going forward.

All right, were you sneaking snacks in the shower when you were Have-Not on slop? Come clean with me. Were you sneaking snacks?
I really wasn’t. I wasn’t. I respect this game too much. At no point would I ever think that I deserved something over anybody else. I really, really wasn’t. I volunteered to be a Have-Not. I wanted to get that experience of Big Brother. I volunteered to go up on the block as a pawn. I threw a rogue vote. Everything that I did was to make sure that if I walked out of these doors, I gave it my all and I played Big Brother to the best of my ability. And that includes being punished. That includes eating slop for a week. And I like to eat. And at no point did I ever even consider going back on that.

What are you going to do with the money?
Well, I have no car. I’m not sure where my apartment is, and as of right now, my employment is this check. So I got to start working on some things, but it’s for my family. I need to take care of a few expenses on my end. But a lot of saving, a lot of investing, and this is not a fun night for me. I might splurge on a trip with Holly, but that might come out a change of scenery.

But for me, a lot of this money is setting myself up for success. Very much like in this game I’m looking long term. It’s as Zingbot said, chess not checkers. And there’s a lot of ways that this $500,000 can go, and I’ll be damned if I let it go down the toilet the way that a lot of money goes into some people’s lives and out of it just as quick.

You mentioned a trip with Holly. She mentioned the same thing to me. What’s your future with Holly outside of this house?
Holly is easy one of the best things that happened to me. She had a great head on her shoulders. And in that house with no distractions people bicker. I’ve had arguments with just about everybody in that house, and that’s part of it. But I really do have the utmost respect for her. I want for us to be able to live life together after this week. Ironically enough, we’re in the same city. So it won’t be hard.

But I’ve always said, she said it too, whether we are in a relationship or not, it will not change the fact that we will both be in each other’s lives. She’s a great girl, and if we don’t end up together and she gets new boyfriend, sorry dude, but I will be one of her best friends. And same for me. So it’s part of the deal.

I know you’re a self-proclaimed mama’s boy. How nice was it to see your mother again?
I saw mama’s big ole dimples and I gave her a big hug and I couldn’t be more proud. She is an incredible woman. And I hope that I made her proud. They both worked very hard to raise me into the man I am. And in a house with 24/7 surveillance, it is easy and very frequent to come across in a way that’s not ideal. But that’s part of the experience I signed up for. And I hope at the end of the day, after it’s all said and done, that I’ve made them proud and that I put the best foot forward.”

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Per The New York Post, “Artie Lange wants to apologize to Howard Stern.

“Lange was Stern’s sidekick on his blockbuster radio shows from 2001 until 2009, when Lange’s increasingly out-of-control drug habit forced Stern to take him off the air.

“Now, in an episode of the AftershockXL YouTube show, out Wednesday but shown to Page Six, Lange says he not only forgives the King of All Media — but he wants to say sorry.

“‘I feel terrible. I’m going to call him one of these days,’ Lange, who’s eight months sober, told hosts Steve Grillo and Jesse Nash.

“Lange said that, after reading some of Stern’s recent interviews, it ‘sounds like Howard has some guilt about firing me or whatever.’

“‘There should be no guilt on Howard’s part. Howard did nothing wrong. All Howard did was try to help me,’ Lange said. ‘I love him so much. It’s a shame that anyone in my life would feel any guilt. I f–ked up.’

“He said he’s spoken to Stern on the phone since leaving the show, but hasn’t been able to apologize.

“In May, Stern told the New York Times that he ‘loves’ Lange but ‘we’ve lost touch, and that’s my doing.’

“He added that he doesn’t like to talk about Lange because ‘I don’t want to do anything that would rock his boat.’

“The show will air on the BattleChats YouTube page.