This is a special edition of The Outside Scoop. It's time for the Jackie Harvey Hot List! This is where I make my picks on the big things to watch for in 2004, by declaring them "hot." And, in this case, it's not the humidity heating things up. Grab a Popsicle and let's go!
Hot Summer Sport! The Olympics is just the mouthwash I needed to wash the bad taste of the presidential race out of my mouth. Do you suppose that's why the elections and the Olympics line up? I have my eye on Breaux Greer to take the gold in the javelin, and I have my eye on the whole U.S. Olympic team, because that's where the heroes are born.
Hot Pastime! Do you know what the hot new entertainment thing is? Video games. According to my research, the little quarter-munchers are really hot again, and they're making as much money as movies. But I don't know if I buy that—no computer can replace a good old-fashioned movie. That said, I have to warn you: I'm a pretty good hand at Zaxxon. Watch out, arcade hounds!
Hot Party! This and every year, the Surprise Party is on fire. It's a good way to add spice to a birthday, a retirement, or even a wedding. Wedding, you say? Try this on for size: A bride and groom show up at church. The groom is wearing his tailored black tuxedo with cummerbund and all the classic details. The bride is in her dress. They step into the church, and what's this? No one is there. The church is completely empty. And then… Surprise! People jump up from behind the pews, and a fake wall flips around to reveal a kindly organist at her pipe organ. The priest lowers from the ceiling and the festivities begin.
Hot Actor! It doesn't seem like you can cruise through Glamourland for long without cruising past Tom Cruise. This time, he's playing the baddie in Collateral Damage, a shot-for-shot remake of Governor Schwarzenegger's film of the same name.
Hot TV! After months of hemming and hawing, I decided to take the plunge into the 21st century and get the dish. Since it's a satellite signal, and therefore works using atoms, I thought there wouldn't be any need to drill holes in my house and string wires into my television. I was kind of right, since there's no wire running from the satellite to my house, but inside my house, there's a whole wire octopus. Anyway, the octopus stays, because I'm addicted to the show Entourage. Gosh, that's a fine show. As an entertainment journalist, I always like to get a glimpse behind the lights and glamour, and that's just what I get from Entourage. Maybe someday, I'll get together a posse that will talk me into buying a car, and then I'll get them to go out to parties with me. Or maybe someone I grew up with will make it big, and I can be the angel on his shoulder who guides him through the rough waters of fame. I can't decide which.
Hot Comedian! Getting premium channels has another benefit, and that is that I now have The Comedy Network. I love to laugh, and this is my one-stop channel for yuks galore! I am a recent convert to Dave Sharpelle. He works a little blue, but his imitation of James Brown cracks me right up. I'm James Brown, b-word!
Hot Dead Funk Icon! Buffalo's native funkster James Brown died of natural causes. Rest in peace. I feel good!
Hot Garden Vegetable! It's been a good year for tomatoes in the Harvey garden. I've been using a secret fertilizer, and it's been working like a charm. Every plant has about eight tomatoes on it, and they're almost ready to be harvested. You know what that means? Salsa.
Hot Starlet! Lindsay Loman, whom I have mentioned in the past, is a real up-and-comer. Wanna know who the next Julia Roberts is? Look no further. I don't know what her next project is, but she's still riding high on Bad Girls, so Harvey fans can bet it's going to be bad. Bad as in good, I mean. I'll be first in line.
Hot Super Hero! I saw Spider-Man 2, and I can't remember the last time I was so excited by a movie. It had action, heart, and Alfred Molina, who first caught my eye in Cabin Boy.
Hot Toiletry! As soon as I'm done with my stick of Arid XX, I'm going to break into the five-pack of Mitchum Gel I bought at the Price Club, on sale for $7. Who can pass up a deal like that? Plus, I love supporting Robert Mitchum and his wife Lady Mitchum. I hope it works, since I'm going to be using it for the next year.
Hot Broadcast Channel! When summer is full of reruns, thank goodness for Fox. They've taken the summer and given us a new reason not to turn off our air conditioning. In comedy, they have Quintuplets—where former Late Night Show co-host Andy Richer plays a father of four crazy kids—and Geoffrey Beene, a nostalgic look back at the '50s. It's like The Wonder Years, only a bit more randy. And did someone say reality? They give us plenty of that, with Trading Spouses, the return of The Simple Life, and tons of The Casino. They even showed Man Vs. Beast 1 and Man Vs. Beast 2 again! I already knew the winner, but I still got a thrill out of seeing people battle Mother Nature.
Hot Deceased Starlet! Fay Wray, the star who made a monkey out of King Kong, passed away this month. I hope that's the last death we have to deal with until the end of summer, because we need a chance to rest.
That's the running tally of what's hot this summer. In the next installment, I'll be back with some hot news about the academic workload of the Olsen sisters and the newest rock 'n' roll-themed celebrity hot spot in the Burbank area. Until then, I'll be waiting for you, in the aisle, on the outside!
Jackie Harvey graduated from Viterbo University with a degree in English literature in 1990. After honing his writing and copy-editing skills at The Sunshine Shopper, he became The Onion’s entertainment columnist in 1994, replacing the outgoing Archie “Arch” Danielson. Currently, Harvey writes his regular column, "The Outside Scoop," as well as his blog, "Harveywood!"