- Posted on 10/04/2010 by Chairman Nick Cannon
Exciting times up in the TeenNick offices! Our long-awaited brand new site is up, our long-awaited brand new series Gigantic is coming your way Friday, and also that show called Degrassi is coming back. That's a lot for a busted old, too-cold New York Monday! We haven't had this much excitement since Degrassi: The Boiling Point started up!
Anyway, I hope you're finding your way around the new site and clicking this and commenting on that and seeing what's up with your new online world.
Tell me what you think. And I can't wait for you to see Gigantic this weekend... it's gonna be large, haha.
Keep it locked,
- Posted on 10/02/2010 by Mary
When Gigantic premieres (THIS FRIDAY!) you'll meet Piper -- who's grown up in the spotlight of her dad's fame and is... let's say unafraid of attention. She's also played by Jolene Purdy who is, frankly, awesome. Not only because she's so PERFECT as Piper and Piper is my favorite Gigantic character (shhhh don't tell the others)...
But also because she played Cherita Chen in Donnie Darko which was basically the best weirdo high school movie ever made.
Cherita and Piper have approximately zero in common, by the way -- just the talented lady bringing them both to life. Oh, and believe me, I have more reasons to geek out over Gigantic... one of them involving Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I'll tell you all about that in some other blog.
- Posted on 10/02/2010 by Mary
You have now survived the last Friday night for a while that we won't have brand new and then BRAND-brand new Gigantic to gaze upon! 9pm et, this Friday. Time to figure out whose house you're watching at.
Look at all the sad little Degrassi extras, filing into the brand new super-strict Degrassi with its shiny new metal detectors. All prepared to be obedient little Degrassi students who welcome all the new disciplinary measures with open arms and never get into any trouble. I guess this will this be one big boring season where nothing happens!
Except that I know I can't trick you 'cause you've already seen the promos and are aware that Declan's coming back, and Bizarro Clare is going to materialize, and... was that Alli and Bianca waling on each other in a full-on, hair-yanking, floor-wiping fight? 'Cause that's definitely what it looked like.
Oh Degrassi. We've missed you, so. Come back to us, the ones who love you.
And, let's take a look at the Gigantic cast, 'cause next Friday's their big night too! Left to right that's Finn, Piper, Joey, Anna, Vanessa, and Walt. Astute viewers might recognize Finn as Malcolm David Kelly, ie "Walt from LOST." Not to be confused with Walt from Gigantic, on the far right, who is definitely the new crush of a good number of you. You might not know it yet... but you'll know it next Friday.
- Posted on 09/29/2010 by Mary
To celebrate our new show about the lives of The Young and Hollywoodian -- Gigantic premieres Friday October 8 right after Degrassi! -- we present to you: a weekly roundup of news about the Young and Hollywoodian.
There's supposedly a Shia LaBeouf interview in The Sun -- which, let's remember, is the British tabloid notorious for just making stuff up sometimes -- where he talks about how his career basically gave him back his father. He says that when he was a kid working on set, he needed a parent with him. And since his dad was unemployed and fresh out of rehab, he was available to be the on-set parent (while Shia's mom worked). "If I had no money and no way to supplement my father's income so he could survive, I would have no father," Shia (again, supposedly) said. I can't decide if this is a really sad story or a happy one... probably, like most of life, it's both.
Welp, Lindsay's back in rehab (after getting out, then relapsing, then going back to jail, then being released to re-enter rehab). It's really interesting how she's been handling this most recent relapse. First, she got "in front of the story" as they say, by tweeting that she had relapsed and intended to face the consequences, basically as soon as she failed her drug test. So the tabloids couldn't be like "OMG we found out Lindsay relapsed!" -- she controlled the story herself. And now, sources are saying she plans to "step up her treatment and do more than what she was previously ordered to do." So, those speaking for Lindsay seem to be saying that she's taking her recovery seriously and had a big setback. Here's hoping that's true -- we wish her the best.
And the paparazzi have officially scared Kelly Osbourne out of her own house. (Here's the story. )They were trying to take pics of her through her windows and broke her gate (I'm guessing she's back on the pap's Hot List after the big break-up with Luke Worrall and the fact that she lost weight). So, she doesn't feel safe there anymore and is looking for "a place in a secure building." So messed. Poor Kelly. Or... do you not feel sorry for her 'cause that's what you get for being famous? Drop your opinion in the comments...
- Posted on 09/28/2010 by Mary
Time to meet another Gigantic cast member! This time: Gia Mantegna, who plays Vanessa. Vanessa is the girl who grew up as a child actress in a messed up family -- she's now an emancipated minor. So, she has deep-seated envy for Anna's family's closeness and supportiveness. Sometimes that envy makes her act like a little lost puppy looking for a home, and sometimes the envy makes her act like a back-stabbing b-word. You know, depends on the day.
Gia, in real life, is not so tortured -- though she, like her Gigantic co-star Grace, did grow up in the shadow of Hollywood. Her dad is Joe Mantegna (he's probably most known for being Joey Zasa in The Godfather: Part III and doing Fat Tony's voice on The Simpsons... and he also has an IMDB entry that's about a mile long). She was actually born while he was busy shooting Godfather III.
You might have seen Gia around before; she was in Unaccompanied Minors, 13 Going on 30, and Secret Life of the American Teenager.
And in ten days, you'll see her on Gigantic, when it premieres right after Degrassi. STOKED!
- Posted on 09/27/2010 by Mary
Who's your personal style inspiration?
Not that you're a style-biter or anything, but is there someone -- famous or not -- who, every time you see them, you're like "I kind of wish I was wearing that"?
This post sponsored by Macy's Style Lab
- Posted on 09/26/2010 by Mary
Less than two weeks 'til our brand new original series, Gigantic premieres!
Therefore, let's play "Get to know the Gigantic Cast."
First up, Grace Gummer, who plays Anna.
Here are some things that you might like to know about the girl who's face you're about to see all up on your TV screen every Friday after Degrassi.
GET TO KNOW GRACE GUMMER!
1) Gigantic, you may have heard, is all about the (fictional) teen sons and daughters of (fictional) A-list celebrities -- gigantor movie star types. As it happens, Grace knows intimately well what it's like to grow up with a gigantor movie star mom, because her mom is Meryl Streep (that's Meryl, on the right). Perhaps you know her as Julia Child, or the devil from The Devil Wears Prada, or from seeing her at the Oscars every year because seriously, she gets nominated basically EVERY YEAR. What I'm saying is, she's kind of a big deal.
2) Her dad is a sculptor, which might have something to do with the fact that she studied Art History at Vassar.
3) She did theatre in college, and then did some costume design work in Rome after graduation. I bet that must have sucked, living in Italy.
4) Then she interned for Zac Posen in New York. Which must have also sucked.
5) Grace is actually not the only star of Gigantic with personal knowledge of the life of a Hollywood family, either. More on that in future blogs!
- Posted on 09/24/2010 by Mary
TWO WEEKS 'TIL NEW DEGRASSI!! Eeeeeee!
Which means it's time to gear up and get in a Degrassi frame of mind. How 'bout a cast interview?
During Degrassi: The Boiling Point this summer, I did a post about Chantay. And in the comments, people said some really nasty things about her hair -- and some positive things! But the negative things upset me, 'cause I had recently watched the Chris Rock documentary Good Hair, about the pressure African American women feel to straighten their hair, and the expensive, painful hassle they go through to do so.
So I wanted to talk to Jajube Mandiela (who plays Chantay) about why she likes her hair just the way it is. Here's our interview:
OK, so, what's your personal hair history?
Basically, since I was 4, my mom started dreadlocking my hair. So my hair has been in dreadlocks 'til last December . It was pretty long; in all previous seasons that I was in Degrassi, those were dreadlocks, those were all my real hair. 'Cause some people think those were extensions but that's all me!
And then I had it for so long, I was like, 'wait, if I don't ever change... if I don't do it now, while I'm still young, if I wait 'til I'm older I might be too scared to change!' I was curious what my hair was like un-dreadlocked, so I decided to cut it. And I cut it myself! One by one, which was awkward, but fun! And then I was left with all of my natural hair, very short. And since then, I'm just growing it out to see what that's like to do!
...More than anything, I love the lower maintenance of this hair. Because the dreadlocks are awesome, but I would be kind of finicky and I always wanted them to look really good, so I would put a lot of maintenance into them and be like "oh, I'm so tired now!"
That's awesome that your mom dreaded your hair from a really young age... so you never had pressure to relax it?
Yeah, I actually don't know what that would be like! I think I would probably freak out like, "What are you doing? Why is this happening?"
Because my understanding is that it's a painful and expensive process, but that women go through it because it's just the norm -- in America especially.
Yeah... because a lot of people feel like when they have natural hair, that they look weird. Since it's not part of the beauty aesthetic of North America, it just makes them stick out. And I think a lot of people don't like to stick out, they like to just blend in.
[My friends who do relax their hair], they're like "it's a hassle..." but then still, they're afraid to NOT do it. It's like their comfort.
Which then becomes a cycle, because people aren't used to seeing unprocessed hair... so then it becomes 'not the norm.'
Exactly. Which makes me so sad! Because actually, when I was considering cutting my hair, I was spending a lot of time watching TV and looking at different ads, because I need to know as an actor what I can do with my hair. And I wanted to see if anyone already has natural hair -- especially short hair. And I was so disappointed! Not only actors but like singers, dancers, everyone processes their hair -- even if it was short it was still processed.
I even went even more in depth because at first I was only watching people of African descent's hair. But then I started watching everybody and I was like 'Oh my God, even Caucasian girls -- if they have curly hair, it's straightened.' Like Nina Dobrev, her hair is so curly and so beautiful, but it's constantly straightened on Vampire Diaries. I realized just in general, curly hair is straightened on everyone.
It really disappointed me that all media were promoting to get rid of your curl, and if you did have a curl for it to be super, super controlled.
Have you ever gotten any pushback from agents or casting people -- has anyone encouraged you to do anything different with it?
No, not really. I've been really lucky and people just haven't commented.
I haven't seen any Internet comments because I try to refrain -- I think I'd go crazy. I would have expected more bad comments [back when I had] the dreadlocks, because I know people have negative associations with it.
I think some of the comments were just coming from people who don't understand African hair. They were just saying things like "why doesn't her hair look like Beyoncé's?" and stuff like that.
No way! That's so funny... that makes me totally happy that I can help the dialogue start, for them to realize that it's because this is my hair, and that's her fake hair -- that she loves! But that it's not real hair. That makes me really happy that I'm able to challenge people's perception of what black people's hair is, and for them to actually even realize... this happened actually with a friend of mine a few months ago. I was talking to her about my hair and she realized, 'so you mean black people, they can never have straight hair naturally?' And I was like 'No!' And I realized so many people don't know that it's always processed when it's straight, unless they're mixed with other backgrounds, obviously.
And so I love that I can make awareness about that -- that yes, this is how most black people's hair looks. It's all different [from person to person], the textures. But it's not dead straight.
- Posted on 09/21/2010 by Mary
You can get your iTunes Season Pass for the upcoming season of Degrassi now, if you are the kind of person who is super on top of their game and finishes papers before they're even due and stuff like that.
More importantly, there's also a sneak peek there to check out. Click on this guy right here to check it all out.
- Posted on 09/20/2010 by Mary
Oak Reed is a high school senior in Mona Shores, Michigan. He's transgender -- like Adam from Degrassi, he was born biologically female.
But his classmates accept that he's a guy; in fact, he's even popular enough to have won Homecoming King at his school -- in a landslide. Think about how awesome that is, that the students at his school accept him and showed their overwhelming support for him. It warms my heart; I'm actually a little choked up just typing this.
But... here comes the bad news. The school administration invalidated his election because he is enrolled, on paper, as a female. Here's a news story about it; it says the school had been accommodating him as a male student in multiple ways -- letting him wear the male band uniform, the male graduation cap and gown. Teachers called him Oak and used male pronouns for him.
But when he posted a "vote for me for homecoming king" message on facebook, and the senior class went ahead and did so, the administration stepped in to invalidate their votes.
As Oak points out, it's not just him that they've disenfranchised. "It's the senior class that votes for their representative. What they did was taking away the voice of the senior class," he says.
Now there's a support page for him on facebook called "Oak Is My King," and students are planning to wear "Oak Is My King" T-shirts on October 1. Sadly, it's too late to get him his title back -- the homecoming dance already happened. But at least the support will mean something to him.