Shillebrity Revisited: Filler Up!

I’ve long been the least enthusiastic fan of the Thursday L.A. Times Calendar section’s “My Favorite Weekend” filler feature (case in point: my May 2004 post headlined “Shillebrity”), but mostly I’m content to ignore it because it’s easy to do so usually buried in the back pages where I don’t turn to anyway.

Not this Thursday. Today it’s front and center on the section’s cover and inside is a special jaw-dropping and mind-numbing expanded double-truck-plus-one spread diving deep into the fantabulous life and weekend times of one Lauren Graham previous star of the now-defunct “Gilmore Girls.”

So after some three years of silence, why the sudden re-beef? It’s certainly not with Graham who should give her publicist a raise car boat house. Hell, it’s even kinda entertaining the way the former Gilmore Gal is quoted refering to wildlife from the post-Griffith Park Fire as “misplaced” rather than displaced. And I’m all for spotlighting local establishments (though plugs for Barneys New York and Neiman Marcus are kinda pffft whatever).

No, my main gripe is that the Calendar folks’ decision to run “My Favorite Weekend” featuring a currently between-jobs actor on its cover just screams of a hastily arranged 11th-hour editorial meeting that results in Plan Z — as in “Fuck our exclusive interview with Tom Sizemore Phil Spector Paris Hilton never happened dangit and we don’t have a real cover story, now what the hell are we gonna do!?” Then some intern in the back of the conference room answers in the form of a question “Maybe run the Lauren Graham filler — I mean feature?” and everyone is laughing except the Tribune exec on speakerphone back in Chicago who hangs up after saying “Fuck yeah I love Lorna whatshername from that Gilroy show. Is that still on? Who cares, she hawt. Make it so!”

And so it is made. And so the paper’s irrelevance is driven up another notch giving what amounts to onetwothreefour pages to an unemployed TV actor’s leisure time preferences. I highly doubt it, but maybe it would’ve mattered if the intern had instead said “What about expanding our current lousy coverage of an actual happening like, say, the Anime Expo this weekend in Long Beach or the U.S. Air Guitar Championships at Key Club Friday or even the punkilicious Warped Tour Saturday in Pomona and Sunday in Ventura… or howsabout quadrupling the ink and paper we’re currently devoting to the Bicycle Film Festival this weekend at the Vine Street Theater in Hollywood.” Maybe no one would have laughed at those suggestions… except the Tribune exec on the speakerphone back in Chicago.

5 Replies to “Shillebrity Revisited: Filler Up!”

  1. To be fair, it’s not all that irrelevant: she’s starring in Evan Almighty right now, which opened last weekend.

  2. That is a fair point in regards to a more timely connection to Graham, Penny. But I think you’re misinterpreting my argument as to relevance, which has far less to do with the subject of the feature than it does the ongoing feature itself and in this case its woefully prominent position in today’s paper.

  3. I hear you, Will. That’s much the same gripe I’ve had over the food section for years.

    Why make the newspaper useful if you can make it fancy?

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