Sunday, March 4, 2007

Lies, Damn Lies, and Potatoes: Why I Despise Kristin Veitch

There are few statements that apply to all fandoms. The Grey’s Anatomy fandom, which seems to be a bunch of oversexed college students (who else could come up with “Addisex”?), is quite different from, say, the Office fandom, whose members seem to be fellow cubicle-dwellers who have a lot of free time at work. (I shouldn’t generalize, as I am a proud member of both fandoms, though I don’t profess to working in a cubicle or being oversexed.) There is, I believe, but one universal truth.

Kristin Veitch sucks ass.

The biggest gripe people generally have with E! Online's TV gossip columnist is that, though she considers herself a “spoiler source,” it’s actually quite rare that she comes up with some original new dish. For the most part, it’s obvious that Kristin spends her workday scouring internet message boards and fan communities for info. After she lifts said info off, say, Television Without Pity, she then shrouds this information in self-importance and faux-authority. Take last week’s spoiler Q-and-A session, in which Sara in Columbia, Missouri, asked: “Do you have any Lost scoop? I loved the Desmond episode and can’t wait for more. Do you have anything to hold us over?” Her reply: “I can tell you that Desmond’s beloved Penny makes another appearance in his next flashback. Yippee! Am I the only one who loves the Pessy action?”

First of all, those shippers prefer “Despenny,” I am told.

More importantly, however, we knew this already. Carlton Cuse told Michael Ausiello in mid-January that Penny would be back. Yet Kristin repeated it in her column as though she had to sleep with Carlton’s assistant to get that scoop for her adoring fans, who rely on her for their fix.

If you are one of these adoring fans, I can point you in the direction of several much better, more reliable, less pretentious sites:

SpoilerFix.com is a one-stop source for daily spoiler updates. SF.com’s Izzie compiles spoilers from across the web into neat pages organized by episode.

She sometimes misses things (and she doesn’t cover my favorite show, The Office), so I find that the most comprehensive source is usually the message boards over at TWOP. Yes, for most shows, you’ll have to sift through pages of commentary to find the spoiler posts interspersed, but it’s usually worth it if you want the good scoop. Some boards have Spoilers Only posts, which sounds like a great idea in theory but which usually results in a lot of what Josh Lyman calls font-policing.

NowCasting.com sometimes has casting sides available for download, which means you get to see script pages weeks before the episode airs. Sometimes helpful, sometimes not. For Grey’s Anatomy, they change the names of the doctors, so it’s quite difficult to tell who’s who. Also, it’s only script pages that include guest stars, so you can pretty much rule out ever reading, say, a Derek/Meredith only scene.

And, of course, there’s Kristin’s sworn “frienemy” (Oh, haha, Kristin, you are SO funny! Seriously, somebody should give you your own Tater Top Award for being the Wittiest Online Commentator in the History of Online Commentary) Michael Ausiello. This guy knows what he’s doing. He often gets exclusives with the Lost EPs, and he cornered the Amy Sherman-Palladino leaving Gilmore Girls story when he announced her departure and then had a lengthy interview with her in the days following her decision.

I have also feel personally slighted by Kristin, due to an incident that occurred last summer. My friend Deborah is an avid poster on the LiveJournal community theoffice_us. I told her that I had seen the casting sides for this episode, which were for several roles in the Stamford office of Dunder-Mifflin. Anyone should have thus deduced that Jim, who had been offered a job in Stamford, indeed transferred. I shared the info with Deborah, who repeated it to her LJ community. And about 100 people replied to the post; it was big news. And in her very next column, Kristin discussed Jim’s departure. She probably read the same casting sides as I did, but it was difficult to think that she hadn’t flat-out stolen my scoop.

She sucks.

One thing that I’m sure is difficult about being a television columnist—or any kind of columnist, for that matter—is that you can’t always write what you want to write. However, Kristin claims to be OBSESSED with just about everything. Which means that one day, she’s lamenting the loss of “beloved fan favorite” Studio 60, and the next she’s heralding in The Black Donnellys, which has taken Studio 60’s place. Then after that, she’s joyfully reporting that Studio 60 is still in production, and The Black Donnellys hasn’t rated as high as NBC would have preferred. Basically, Kristin is full of shit.

Her ignorance was perhaps most obvious, at least to me, when she announced the 2006 nominations for her oh-so-classy Tater Top Awards. (For those of you unfamiliar with these awards, which are basically as coveted as the Emmy, fans vote for their favorite in categories ranging from “Best Drama” to “Moment That Made You Want to Throw Out Your TV.”) For “Best Chemistry,” Kristin included two Lost pairings: Skate and...Kack?

Who the hell is Kack?

Anyone who’s stepped foot into the Lost fandom should know that Jack/Kate is Jate. The Jaters are perhaps the most intense shippers I’ve ever encountered. “Jate is Fate, Jate is sooo Jexxxxy, I want Jate to have Jabies.” (Yes, they really say Jabies, and I fully support that.)

The next week, Crystal made the following point: “I was filling out the Tater Top ballet. The ship name for Jack and Kate from Lost is usually Jate, not Kack!”

Kristin’s reply: “I know. I just think Kack is funnier! Forgive me. Jate just bores me. The name and (just a smidge) the couple. Yes, I'm siding more on the Skate side. (Maybe because I want Jack for myself.)”

No. There is no such thing as Kack.

The next week, Kristin says: "I think you Jate fans will be very pleased by this: After hearing what Evangeline had to say about the Jate-Skate love triangle, I truly believe I have seen the light! Jack and Kate would be pretty fantastic together."

Yes, not only does she correctly use Jate, she PROFESSES TO APPRECIATING JACK/KATE!

See, that’s the thing. I don’t understand Skate. I don’t know why any self-respecting woman would want to get with a guy who has had STDs, beats up people for no reason, is a racist, doesn’t share, and is just generally an asshole. I didn’t go into Baby Gap yesterday because they had a display that said SKATE on it. That’s how much I don’t like those two together. But I hope that any Skater I would come in contact with would have the decency to actually stand up for their opinions. My roommate Melissa and I have had detailed discussions about Jate vs. Skate, and she never backs down. It only took one week for Kristin to swap sides! Pathetic!

While we’re on the subject of that Skate/Jate turnaround, in the same column where she discusses her love of Skate, she also says: “Jorge [Garcia] specifically asked about that Chemistry category of Tater Tops, and who was winning (seems the cast is interested to see whom everyone thinks Kate has better chemistry with).”

I’m sorry, but I really hope that the cast and crew of Lost have better things to do than to worry about the mother-effing Tater Tops. I totally believe that Damon and Carlton hang out around The Fuselage and read what people have to say, but I highly doubt they sit around waiting for results of fake potato awards. Can’t you just picture it, though? There’s Josh Holloway, sitting up late at night hitting refresh so he can keep voting for Skate. No. That didn’t happen.

For a true measure of Kristin’s narcissism, we need only look at last week’s spoiler chat:

Lourdes in Miami: Are they still going to reveal that a character is bisexual on Grey's? It's been forever now since you told us that!

Kristin: I know, and apparently, I really should have kept my big yapper shut, because much like the what-the-dog-saw-in-the-cargo-hold reveal from the first-season finale of Lost, it seems that my reporting (among other factors, I'm sure—I hope!) of this storyline caused it to be changed.

Did she seriously say that? Kristin brazenly suggested that Shonda Rhimes and the Lost showrunners are persuaded by what she writes in her column. I seriously doubt that anyone in Hollywood gives weight to anything this self-obsessed psychopath has to say. Believe me when I say that I think Carlton Cuse, Damon Lindelof, and Shonda Rhimes are masters of their craft. They’ve all told fans that they have ultimate goals and plans for their respective series, and I give not an ounce of credit to this ridiculous person for claiming that she influenced something as major as the Lost season finale.

Claiming that your in-depth reporting (including all those discussions with your top-secret sources, right?) led to a storyline change on a Top-Ten show is so much more vain than just saying, as is almost positively the case, I was wrong.

And, finally, I direct you to her oh-so-embarrassing run-in with Michael Vartan, where she presented him with the Tater Top Award for “Future Husband Kristin Should Just Go Ahead and Marry.”

Kristin: Another category that you won that I was embarrassed to tell you, but I’m going to come out and tell you. One of the categories was ‘Future Husband That Kristin Should Just Go Ahead And Marry’ --That’s me, Kristin-- And you won that, so whenever you want to seal the deal…

Michael: OK, well, I’m single and you’ll have to get past my four-legged girlfriend, but I’m sure something can be worked out. 

Kristin: So in the meantime, while you’re pondering buying the ring, you will have the potato. 

Michael: I don’t know how I feel about that, but it’s alright.

Unfortunately, I can’t find the video clip (please tell me if you can!), which shows just how awkward Michael Vartan felt during this little interview. When Alias fans discussed future Tater Top results, they were pleased when Vartan lost the category to John Stamos.

“Congratulations to Michael Vartan for escaping Future Husband Kristin Should Just Go Ahead and Marry,” reads a post from AllAlias.com.

“Dodged a bullet there,” reads an announcement from VartanHo.com.

Yes, she may be E! Online’s resident “TV Diva,” but she is no source of mine. I would be more inclined to believe TV gossip I hear from the creepy guy who serves me Starbucks with a side of sexual innuendo than Kristin Veitch.

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