Is it just me or is there something going on in Hollywood? A cursory check to the entertainment columns indicates what looks like a bit of a paradigm shift. Somebody somewhere told someone that it’s time to crack down when Tinseltown stars get too bratty. Seems quite a few celebs – who in past had their dirty laundry laundered, pressed (light starch) and put away far from the public’s prying eyes are now in big trouble – and nobody’s sweeping anything up. Normally it works like this: I live in a town that’s rather manufactured (and that’s a nice word) to promote stars and starlets with handlers (another nice word) who then ensure said talent gets recognition so movie studios can use them to sell films. Films that we’ll all spend tons of cash on (no euphemisms needed there). The same is true for TV shows and the stars who make them funny/gripping/poignant/ all of the above. Now there are also those actors and actresses who just have a certain something – that lightening-in-a-bottle charisma you can’t put your finger on, but it’s why we love entertainment. (George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Johnny Depp fit into that category with that indefinable movie star magnetism thing). Now stars – because they’re like fragile racehorses who require kid gloves – understand their power and frequently expect star treatment. Which is why some actors have lousy reputations.(They’re often just “misunderstood”.)But now there seems to be kind of a zero tolerance thing going on. Cut to last week, when we saw that maybe Hollywood’s had it with a few of its own. Witness Lindsay Lohan – reportedly going to jail. (Now I happen to think at this point we’d all be better off if we left her alone, and stopped gloating, because jail has to suck for whoever’s sent there – no matter who you are.But that’s just me.) The point is a lot of stars are no longer impervious to the machine that made them. We’re watching Mel Gibson crash and burn. Melina Kanakaredes – long a star of CSI:New York is reportedly outta that show. Why? Because she didn’t want to take a pay cut. A few years back a network or a studio might say “Okay. You win.” But apparently not any more. Edward Norton was to star as The Hulk in The Avengers, a film that would unite him with Chris Evans as Captain America and Robert Downey, Jr. as Iron Man. What did the Marvel Comics/ studio people do? They booted Norton because the film “demands players who thrive working as part of an ensemble.” (Translation: he wasn’t playing nice with the other kids, and for whatever reason, he was being so difficult that they said “Oh Look Ed, Here’s The Door”.) Very odd. That’s not to say that people aren’t getting away with crazy stuff and no one is the wiser, but there may be something in the water. That said, it’s also summer, and business is just slow. One show that’s not slow however, that continues to push boundaries and thrive, is the Emmy-nominated hit True Blood. And it’s been some time since I asked you all to weigh in on your fave TB cast members. But this season there are even more gentlemen to look at, so we’re going to split them up into two polls. For now we’ll look at four of the TB guys, and later we’ll look at few more. Voice your choice in today’s featured poll and tell us which of these True Blood hunks is your fave (we’ll get to the others next week):
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