Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category

#TheSinglesProject

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,Entertainment,Relationships,Single Life

#TheSinglesProject, Bravo! TV’s revolutionary show about singles dating in real-time with input from the Twitterverse, has become must-see TV.

The eligible bachelor and bachelorettes run the gamut of different “types” in the dating world right now. We have seen them date their status quo and then allow others — friends, family, and Twitter — weigh in on who they should date next. Most times the set-up fails miserably, but it is nonetheless interesting to observe who others think is right for each person. The best part about the show is seeing how the singles — Tabasum, Lee, Ericka, Joey, Brian, and Kerry — see themselves on TV and read about themselves on Twitter… and then make changes to how they each think and act.

If nothing else, the show has provided a unique microscope for which singles to examine their lives and make adjustments accordingly. Would you go on a show like this?


Watch It: TV Shows to Start as a Couple

by Aaron under Date Night,Entertainment,JDate,Judaism,News,Online Dating,Relationships

We hear it all the time — this is “the Golden Age of Television.” And while movies used to (and all too often, still do) dominate dating entertainment, TV is becoming a great substitute. Especially when you want a consistent excuse to see each other early on, TV shows can be a great bridge. That being said, sometimes choosing a show you both have an interest in starting can be difficult. Lucky for you, that’s why I’m here. So,here’s a list of shows I recommend watching as a couple:

1. Curb Your Enthusiasm/The Comeback (HBO)

If you like to laugh, enjoy the awkwardness of others, and have access to HBO, these are fun shows to watch together. Curb is especially relatable with other Jews, and The Comeback is similar but with Lisa Kudrow as an aging actress with no self awareness. The Comeback is a show I’m currently watching and it’s great in that not a lot of people have seen it. It’s only got one quick season so it’s a great starter show, and if things work out (or if you fall for Kudrow’s Valerie Cherish character), you can check out the decade-later return slated to air in November for a limited run.

2. Orange is the New Black (Netflix)

While I’m sure this is a heavily viewed show, it’s also very gender neutral and easy to jump into. This was the first show my girlfriend and I watched together, starting with the second season (we’d both seen the first), and it made for great times together, or as a great cap to our dates.

3. Masters of Sex (Showtime)

My current partner-binge is a tough recommendation as we’re only one episode in, but so far we’re enjoying it. It’s sexy and has some fun stuff for everyone watching, plus great performances.

4. Brooklyn Nine-Nine/Parks and Recreation (Hulu/broadcast networks)

While the shows are both in very different places, both star likeable ex-SNL cast members in government roles of some kind, solving problems every week. Both shows are much more than that, however, and are very enjoyable to watch together.

5. Mad Men (AMC/Netflix)

The quintessential unisex drama, whether you’re drawn to it for it’s flashy looks or deep character studies, this show has something for everyone. Just beware it can be a little slow… which makes it all the better for some late-night cuddle sessions.

Fall honorable mention:

Affair on Showtime is supposed to be exciting, and that starts airing soon. We’ll be there for the get-go.

My list is brief, but there’s a lot out there to watch these days. What shows have you and your partner (real or theoretical) been watching or considering watching? At what point do you think people should commit to a series together? Comment below!


Play Date

by Aaron under Date Night,Entertainment,Judaism,Single Life

When I was little (okay, sixteen), nothing was cooler to me than action figures. I would manipulate Shredder from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles into teaming up with Spider-Man and Wolverine to take on the evil likes of Magneto and other villains. It gave me such a feeling of joy to sit and play with my toys and create new stories.

As the years went on, I started to grow out of my toys and into dating. As an adult, dating became one of my favorite pastimes. However, while Shredder and Spider-Man have yet to show up on any date I’ve been on, one of my favorite traits about the dates I’ve been on has been the imagination and effort put into them. Sometimes I’m the one with a brilliant idea, or sometimes the girl comes up with something fun, and sometimes it’s a combination of the two.

Regardless of who takes credit, it’s always fun to do something different. I always wanted to explore Dallas more before I left, but even my last dates there were still very basic: bowling, dinners, etc. I explored things on my own, such as two-stepping and indie concerts, but never had such fun dates.

And yet, when I was away, I became a master of fun dates. I guess it started with a date in Arkansas that stretched all the way to Memphis, but since moving to New York I’ve discovered the beauty of exploring a city with fresh eyes. Some people might groan at the touristy things to do in a city, but sometimes tourists go places for a reason. Though Times Square would still mostly be a no-no in my eyes, there are a lot of great options in the Big Apple and elsewhere.

My dates have been as simple as a Shabbat walk in Central Park or watching the sun set on the Hudson, or extravagant as trips to Coney Island and the Empire State Building. Being in New York has allowed me to see things with a fresh eye and excitement, and I think that fresh way of thinking has really enhanced the dates I’ve been on recently.

We all want to see the world from fresh eyes and be whisked away on an adventure, and you don’t have to be new to a city to do it. Try to take some time to go to that touristy place around you where no locals ever go — from Graceland to the Fort Worth Stockyards to the World of Coke to the Sears Tower. Sometimes things can be pricey, but they can also provide a new adventure, and definitely something different (and also probably more worth paying for than a dinner date). I don’t see myself playing with action figures any time soon, but in a sense the world is the greatest play set I’ve ever had, and I love trying new combinations of characters and places in it.


Stay-at-Home Summer Movies

by Aaron under Date Night,Entertainment,Online Dating,Single Life

As summer movie season is upon us, the natural inclination is to drown our girlfriends in comic book lore and respectively take boyfriends to go see Legally Blonde 6. Not a lot of happiness comes out of that from my experience (just go with your same-interest friends!), but there are definitely some fun movies for everyone, with a little romantic spark to boost. So with that in mind, I’d like to give you some of my recommendations for your next stay-at-home movie night:

  • Before Sunrise/Before Sunset: Any girl I’ve ever dated knows these are the best romance movies known to man. As a grown man, I still tear up nearly every time I watch either one, but I love every second. The movies are literally just two people exploring two European cities (Vienna in Sunrise, Paris in Sunset), but what an experience. And they’re pretty short, so if either of you disagrees with my recommendation, at least it’s over quickly.
  • Definitely, Maybe: While Ryan Reynolds is rarely an actor I recommend, this is one of those fun romantic comedies that keeps everyone happy.

Okay, so it turns out I only have two (three depending on if you count the Before movies as separate) really romantic movies, but if you’re looking for more missed hits to watch on DVD/across the internet with your significant other, here are some other non-romances you may have missed:

  • Six Degrees of Separation: Who doesn’t love Will Smith? There’s a bit of romance here, but mostly the movie just asks the question “just who the heck is this guy?” A fun air of mystery makes it a fun watch for everyone.
  • Hamlet 2: I feel like this is a very special under-appreciated movie, and I highly recommend it for everyone (ladies will love Jesus’s sexy abs, but everyone will enjoy the fun of a sequel to Hamlet).
  • The Scream Movies: Horror is a special bonding experience, and no horror series is more lightweight, fun, and well-done than the Scream movies. The whole series isn’t perfect, but if you want to be scared in a way that won’t force you to keep the lights on, this is the way to do it.

So that’s my mini-movie corner, feel free to post your stay at home recommendations in the comments!


HIMYM

by Tamar Caspi under Entertainment,Relationships

After nine years of watching every episode and looking for clues, How I Met Your Mother has finally come to an end… and the ending was not at all what loyal fans necessarily expected. As is life.

The writers were not going to wrap up the show in a pretty little package and tie it with a perfect bow, rather they were showing how life has twists and turns, and can get really ugly at times. They proved everything happens for a reason, and when it is supposed to (Ted wasn’t with Robin so he could meet Tracy and have his kids, Barney wasn’t with Robin so he could knock up a one-night stand and become a dad, then Ted gets to be with Robin anyway).

I have a similar rollercoaster of a story as to how I met my fiance and I’m sure you will eventually have yours as well. Mine definitely wasn’t pretty either, but — in hindsight of course — it went the way it was supposed to. Yours will too. Dating sucks sometimes, other times it’s exhilarating. Your path to meeting your beshert is going to unfold as it’s supposed to, be patient and just keep dating.


All Gone Wrong

by Aaron under Entertainment,JBloggers,Single Life

About a week ago, a very odd thing happened: I had a night go against everything I planned. Everything came apart pretty well; after a happy hour I was sort of hosting collapsed, the rest of the night spiraled in an odd direction as well. The evening ended up culminating in an odd event for me: being in a bar alone.

I was supposed to meet some friends to go two-stepping (I can hardly step regularly, let alone on a dance floor), and when I arrived on time, I was told by every friend that something had come up: one had to go to the airport, one had a dinner, someone told me the wrong start time, etc. And yet the evening was so perfect.

You see, one thing I’ve found in my adult life is that I operate very well when forced into a situation where it’s just me against the world. That could be as simple as just going on an interview, where I find I perform well when challenged; or when I had to go to the middle of East Texas for three weeks in my first holiday season in retail. Much like my evening two-stepping, I found that I was quite capable of making new friends and doing fine with no one familiar around.

Twenty minutes and three quesadillas into my time in East Texas, I made a new friend at the bar where I was sitting. I hung out with that guy, just meeting random strangers for two weeks, and then spent my last week hanging out with a college friend who was home for the holidays. In a similar fashion, when I arrived to two-step, I was initially devastated when the first text flew in saying I was an hour early. I was far from home and wasn’t going to just leave or awkwardly stand in a corner. So I walked up to a guy who looked like he’d seen more of this country setting than I had, and before I knew it, we’d spent thirty minutes talking. Soon, he’d shown me what to do with my feet and we started asking girls to dance. About seven dances and as many girls later, my friends still hadn’t shown up, but I didn’t care. I was just glad to have found something new I enjoyed.

Sometimes things don’t work out like we plan. But darn it, I wanted to learn to two-step, and I did it (I was teaching girls how to dance by about four dances in). We can only let poor planning and things going differently than we planned affect us so much. In the end, only we can choose how to make the best of any situation, and sometimes it goes better than it ever could have if everything had gone right. I never even saw a single friend at that country bar, but it was easily the most fun night of my week.


The Dallas Cowboys Phone Case

by Aaron under Entertainment,JBloggers,JDate,Monday Makeover,Online Dating,Single Life

As I deal with the usual grogginess of Monday and the week ahead of me, I face a lot of important decisions. Who do I put a waiver claim on this week in fantasy football? How little time do I need to study to get the grades I want and still have fun? Or most importantly, when am I finally upgrading my phone and getting a new phone case to go with it?

For the last two years, I’ve had an increasingly broken iPhone 4 with a Han Solo in Carbonite casing. While the phone ultimately has become junk (I’ve been unable to turn off the phone for about six months now, which has made for some awkward pre-flight situations), I still proudly share my phone case with others I deem geeky enough to appreciate my love of Star Wars.

So as I began my hunt for an iPhone 5s case, I looked up some basic areas of interest in my life: Marvel characters, more Star Wars, etc. But then I began to think about what I really wanted to show any time I pulled my phone out. For me, I love conversation starters, so it has less to do with not wanting a dorky image but rather being broader in whom I can share joy in over my phone case. So that answer became easy: the Dallas Cowboys. Though my future may not be in Dallas, my heart belongs to one sports franchise and I’m proud of that.

Similarly, I have found over the years that we are truly our own brands, and we are always in control of the message we send to others. In high school, I was the kid who wore videogame shirts and secretly hosted a videogame podcast on the side. My peers were more into sports and other more shareable interests in addition to videogames, and I felt it made me less than confident through high school. However, it did show me that I was in control, and as I entered college and eventually developed my own sense of style and other hobbies, no one remembered that I was the kid who was super into videogames. Now I’m the guy who has a good sense of style, likes fantasy football, and always has a joke ready for people.

If you’re having a hard time making results happen for you on JDate, there’s no reason you can’t do the same thing. Take some new pictures, edit some things in your profile (maybe “playing monopoly on Saturday nights” becomes “preferring to take it easy some nights”), and change the parts of yourself you highlight. Everyone is special and unique, but everyone also likes to relate to one another, and it’s always possible to change your casing. You’ll be surprised how few people will even remember what was there before.


200

by Aaron under Entertainment,JBloggers,Single Life

Beer is, by its very nature, a depressant. So it should really amaze me that in the last two years, some of my best experiences have come from the very place in which I’m writing this piece, the Flying Saucer Draught Emporium.

You see, two years ago, I sat with my friend Josh and we decided to sign up to do the 200 beer challenge here, and I started off with a Blue Moon and Dos Equis. 198 unique beers later, I am about to celebrate with some friends who have been here since the beginning and some newer faces.

It’s amazing to me, the things we’ll celebrate. Literally anyone without an allergy to hops could complete this challenge. I haven’t run a marathon or cured some deadly disease, but we still find a reason to celebrate. My enormous intake of beer over the last two years is a new reason for everyone to get excited.

But for me, it’s really not about the beer. It’s about the experiences I have had with every beer. My memories involve my friends and family. Like the time my friend Lee and I spit up a non-alcoholic beer called Clausthaler Amber on a night we weren’t drinking alcoholic beers. Or the time my friend Roman ordered a Left-Hand Weaksauce and fell in love, only to have the bar sell out forever before he could order a second. Or the time Josh decided Big Sky Moose Drool was the most aptly named beer of all time.

Josh left for the IDF and is now back on leave, working again on his challenge. He’ll be here when I finish my 200th beer tomorrow afternoon. The memories all come together, and the last two years have been some of the richest of my life as I’ve shared the beers with others (and even some days like today, when it’s just been me, a waitress, a computer and some nice cold beer). Maybe the next thing I celebrate will involve me doing something amazing, but as far as I’m concerned, I’m excited about the next round of 200.


Hollywood Yenta Roundup: Alex Band, Joan Rivers and Sam Horowitz…

by JDateAdministrator under Entertainment,News

1. Lead Singer of The Calling Abducted

Alex Band, the lead singer of The Calling, was abducted and beaten last weekend while on tour in Michigan. The rocker, whose father is Jewish, tells reporters he was abducted on Sunday morning, beaten and dumped on train tracks while he was walking from his hotel room to a mini-mart around 4am.

Band released a statement to US Weekly saying, he was “left for dead” by his abductors who allegedly beat him with a police baton and pointed a gun at his face while demanding his so-called “Hollywood money.” The beating apparently caused Band to lose a tooth, suffer a mild concussion and required 15 stitches to close a gash in his chin.

“I am grateful to be alive,” Band said in the statement to US Weekly. He added that drugs and alcohol were not involved in the incident, saying: “I take my rehabilitation very seriously. I was near death due to this unbelievable situation and the rumors are categorically false.”

 

2. Joan Rivers Launches New Dating Show

Joan Rivers is single and looking to mingle! After 15 years on the singles scene, the Jewish comedian announced she is finally ready to meet someone new. Rivers will begin the search for her Beshert on a new web series called “Romancing the Joan.”

The web series, which is set to air on She Knows TV, will feature Rivers first selecting from a “man candy” pool of eight eligible bachelors who will then be “paraded around in front of Rivers in an effort to win her heart.” Awww… sounds romantic! “Romancing the Joan” premieres in September.

 

3. Meet Future Jewish Celebrity… Sam Horowitz

If you haven’t heard of Sam Horowitz yet, you will soon enough! Horowitz became a YouTube sensation when his Bar Mitzvah entrance video went viral! You can check out this must-see clip here.

However, the teenaged Bar-Mitzvah-dance sensation isn’t done yet. Horowitz has now taken over New York! The Dallas teen gave a second dazzling performance on Broadway last week that featured back-up dancers and aired live on Good Morning America.

This isn’t Horowitz’s first performance, though – he also filmed his own music video for Carly Rae Jepsen’s hit “Call Me Maybe.” Something tells us we’ll be seeing more of Sam Horowitz in the future…


Hollywood Yenta Roundup: Lea Michele, Simon Cowell, Howard Stern & Chelsea Handler…

by JDateAdministrator under Entertainment,Judaism,News

1. Lea Michele’s Teary Tribute to Cory Monteith

Still mourning the loss of boyfriend Cory Monteith, Glee star Lea Michele dedicated her Choice TV Actress-Comedy prize at the Teen Choice Awards to the late actor on Sunday night. Michele, whose father is Jewish, has avoided interviews over the last few weeks, making this acceptance speech her first televised appearance since Monteith’s death last July.

“I wanted to dedicate this award to Cory,” Michele said while fighting back tears. “For all of you out there who loved and admired Cory as much as I did, I promise that, with your love, we’re going to get through this together.”

“He was very special to me, and also to the world, and we were very lucky to witness his incredible talent, his handsome smile, and his beautiful, beautiful heart,” she continued. “So whether you knew him personally or just as Finn Hudson, Cory reached out and he became a part of all of our hearts — and that’s where he’ll stay forever, so thank you guys so much.” You can watch her full acceptance speech here.

 

2. Cowell & Stern Are Both Raking It In

What do Simon Cowell and Howard Stern have in common besides their Jewish heritage? The two men are tied as the highest paid TV personalities in America according to Forbes Magazine.

As a record label boss and TV talent show mogul, Simon Cowell reportedly made $95 million between June of 2012 and June of 2013. That figure pushed him to the top of Forbes’ list, but it wasn’t enough to push past shock-jock Howard Stern who pulled in the same outrageously large sum. Interestingly, Stern also works on Cowell’s popular series America’s Got Talent. Looks like these two have talent… for making money, that is!

Other TV personalities who made the list include conservative talk show host Glenn Beck with $90 million, Oprah Winfrey with $77 million, and Dr. Phil with $72 million.

 

3. Chelsea Handler Breaks Down on Camera

Chelsea Handler broke down on camera when she found out her grandfather had served in World War II with the German army. The Jewish comedian was the subject of a recent episode of TLC’s show Who Do You Think You Are?, which helps celebrities investigate their ancestry.

“I’m very intrigued to find out how much participation my German grandparents had in the war,” Handler said. “My mother was German, she came over to America when she was 19 for the first time. My father, I guess, made a deal with my mother when they had children that they were gonna be raised Jewish. So I connect with my Judaism, or the Jewish side of my family, more than anything else.”

After digging into her family’s history, Handler discovered the truth about her German grandfather. “My grandfather served in the Second World War as a soldier. Whether or not he agreed with Hitler, he was serving in the Germany army. He was taken as a prisoner of war at some point to America, where he stayed for several years . . . When he went back to Germany he was very eager to come and take his family and move them back to the United States.”