Damn, sorry to stretch this thing out into 3 parts. That was never my intention. There just happens to be a lot going on…and, if nothing else, I think I’m clarifying that pretty well with the length of these postings!

Okay, so: The Salt-n-Pepa Show.

Like I said, I wasn’t able to catch this panel, and I was disappointed, but, ultimately, I figured people would be more interested in reading about Steven Van Vandt, and I stand by that decision. But, fortunately, I’ve got the transcript, and it sounds like there’s more than enough remaining tension between the pair that…well, though I hate to admit it, I’m actually rather tempted to watch it.

When asked to go into what happened in 2002, when the pair separated, Salt immediately passed the buck to Pepa, which – as it turned out – was a harbinger of things to come. But, anyway, apparently, what happened was that Salt made the very poor decision of dropping a bomb on Pepa via cell phone.

“We were just in the process of changing management,” began Pepa, “and with my perception, you know, I had all of my eggs in the basket with Salt. I just believed that she and I was going to take the world by storm. We were getting rid of some…you know, some people that were part of our team that wasn’t, you know, good business for us. We were moving forward, so I believed. And once we put that in order and got rid of some of the people, I’m getting a pedicure, or I’m in the salon…actually, Spin Salon, at the time…and my cell phone rings. It was Salt on the phone. And I’m, like, ‘Hey, girl, what’s going on?’ And she was just, like, basically, ‘I don’t want to be joined at your hips anymore. I’m through. I’m leaving the group.’ I was shocked, but I didn’t believe her until I saw that the offers were coming in and she was really sticking with it and saying, ‘No, I’m leaving, and I don’t want to be a part of it anymore.’ And I was just devastated at that moment.”

Salt launched into her defense, naturally, explaining that there had been an escalating series of events which led to her decision. “It had been many years Salt-n-Pepa had a lot of success,” she said, “and it was all fun for her, but from my perspective, I felt like I didn’t have control of my life. I felt like I was compromising in a lot of ways. I had some other really deep issues that I won’t go into right now, and I was just tired. It’s hard being in a group, you know, year after year after year, and I needed to do some soul-searching, you know. It’s that time in an artist’s career where they need to separate from the business. And since then, I got married. I married my daughter’s father. We had another child. I kind of cleaned up my personal life, and I needed that time to do that.”

“Which is fine,” snapped back Pepa, “but with your partner, like in any relationship or marriage or a business, you actually sit down, and you kind of prep that other person who is involved with you that this is your next step. So it was…to me, it was just the way that she did it, and I just never got over it. I’ve just been bitter about it and upset, and we just never really spoke about it.”

“And I have apologized for the way I did it many times,” reminded Salt. “Even in writing.”

Okay, obviously, this is a transcript, and I didn’t see it personally, but I just know that, at this point, Pepa rolled her eyes, because she immediately went off about how there had been much talk of this letter, and that she was aware that Salt had even written a song called “A Letter to Pep,” “but I never received a written letter saying, ‘I apologize to you, Pep.'”

“It never came back to the house,” snapped Salt. “You usually get a ‘Return to Sender.'”

“Apologizing means let’s make this happen.”

“Apologizing means let’s make some money. Once the money is made, then…”

“I’m an entertainer. I like to entertain.”

“I want to make a few million. Then everything will all be good.”

“We made millions!”

“I’m like you: more!

I mean, maybe it’s all an act, but it sure sounds like they’re still pretty pissed off at each other…and that usually equals good television, from my experience.

Okay, time for lunch…and time to meet Andrew Zimmern, host of “Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern.” Thankfully, for the more squeamish, the luncheon fare itself was normal enough…but Andrew had a separate table where passers-by could investigate some of the unique findings from his various expeditions. How could I let the moment go by without taking the opportunity to try some cheddar-cheese-flavored larvae and some salt-and-vinegar-flavored crickets? I also took a scorpion pop – a lollipop with a real scorpion in the middle, like it’s trapped in amber – and, oh, yeah, I indulged in a lovely chicken foot, which, you may not be surprised to learn, had precious little actual chicken meat on it.

Andrew was an extremely nice guy, based on the few words we traded during lunch; I’m going to drop a line to the Travel Channel about doing an interview with him for the site. I think he’d be a hoot to chat with for 15 – 20 minutes.

Jekyll (BBC America):

And so begins the BBC America panels, which were all highly enjoyable. Somehow, I didn’t realize until yesterday that Steven Moffat, the creator of “Jekyll,” was also the creator of the Britcom, “Coupling.” He clearly hates being asked about the NBC adaptation of the series, but he certainly was funny with his answer. In fact, virtually every answer he offered, no matter what the question, was hilarious.

* In the first episode of “Jeykll,” we learn that the characters are aware of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and the book by Robert Louis Stevenson. “Little do they know it’s all a true story,” says Moffat, “But the name of the main character isn’t Jekyll, obviously, because that would be a give-away, wouldn’t it? It’s Dr. Jackman.”

* The character of Mr. Hyde – or the equivalent, anyway – is one that Moffat pointedly made more human than in previous incarnations. “There is that problem in a lot of the old Jekyll and Hyde movies, many of which I love, is the point at which Hyde turns up. He’s a gorilla. How does he get away with it. He walks into a bar and says, ‘Can I have a drink?’ People say, ‘Yeah, fine.’ They wouldn’t. They’d say, ‘Get out of my bar, you orangutan!'” Still, just because he’s more human on the outside doesn’t mean that he isn’t part animal on the inside…albeit a rather cheery animal. “Hyde is the man who can fuck anyone and do anything,” explains Moffat. “He’s going to make jokes. He’s going to be in quite a good mood, isn’t he? I would be if I had superpowers and the ability to fuck everyone and actual fangs that come out occasionally. It’s brilliant. I mean, I’d make jokes all the time. Anyway, enough of my personal fantasies.”

* Dr. Jackman pointedly keeps his “secret identity,” as it were, from his wife…which, to Moffat’s way of thinking, is only sensible. “Have you ever tried to tell your wife something like that? ‘At night, darling, I turn into a fanged monstrosity who fucks other women.’ If you do tell your wife that, can I come and watch?”

* Moffat’s of the belief that the whole Jekyll / Hyde story is one which has universal appeal, mostly because it’s something we can all relate to…even if maybe we might not want to. “It’s one of those legends that’s gone on and on and on. I think we all have a dark side. Except me, I’m all dark. The rest of you have a surface veneer of civilization, I notice. The thing of being civilized is, in a way, resisting your lowest, basest and, frankly, most fun impulses. That’s what Jekyll and Hyde is about. It’s about being civilized. It’s about being decent. That’s an effort. That’s a thing that we have to do. I struggle with it on a daily basis. Those fangs, I tell you…”

* Ultimately, Moffat’s funniest – if most controversial – response came when someone asked him…probably for about the thousandth time…why NBC’s version of “Coupling” was such an abysmal failure. “I can answer it with three letters,” he said. “N-B-C. Very, very good writing team. Very, very good cast. The network fucked it up because they intervened endlessly. If you really want a job to work, don’t get Jeff Zucker’s team to come help you with it…because they’re not funny. All right? There you go. I can say that because I don’t care about working for NBC. But I think I’m entitled to say that because I think the way in which NBC slagged off the creative team on the American ‘Coupling’ after its failure was disgraceful and traitorous. So I enjoy slagging them off. That’s the end of my career in L.A. I’ll be leaving shortly.”

Next up: Torchwood.

Look, I don’t mind telling you: John Barrowman, the actor who portrays Captain Jack Harkness, the leader of Torchwood, is one of those guys who, no matter how straight you are, you can look at him and say, “I can absolutely see what women see him.” Barrowman has got the look of a ’50s matinee idol, with a twinkle in his eye. a perpetual smirk, and the kind of easy charisma that makes guys want to go drinking with him and makes woman absolutely swoon…and, given the “omnisexual” nature of his character, let’s face it: there’s a certain demographic of males who get weak in the knees when they see him as well, and you can’t blame them, either.

There’s been a description of this show that, for purposes of some future Pop Culture SAT test, offers the suggestion that “Torchwood” is to “Doctor Who” what “Angel” is to “Buffy”: the darker spin-off that, in some ways, takes things to a completely new level. And, y’know, that’s so damned accurate that I’m jealous that I didn’t come up with myself.

* Barrowman revealed that, although creator Russell T. Davies didn’t actually have him in mind when “Torchwood” first came under discussion…but, then, at that time, “Torchwood” wasn’t even called “Torchwood” yet.

“(The producers) actually had a conversation well before ‘Doctor Who,'” Barrowman explained. “Russell had gone to Julie (Gardner, producer) and said, let’s create this show about this team of people who do these exceptional things and save the world and kind of a science-fiction-type show and call it ‘Excalibur.’ So it was an idea prior to the conception of the new release of ‘Doctor Who.’ But I wasn’t informed about it until after the first series. I was called in for a meeting. The first meeting was to tell me that I would — they were saying that I would be involved in series 2, and then there was a little hiatus, and then they said, ‘We need you back in for another meeting.’ As the true actor, I’m thinking, ‘Oh, shit. There it goes. I’m out of the show now.’ And they said, “You’re not going to be in series 2, but you will be in series 3, and we’d also like to develop ‘Torchwood’ around Captain Jack.’ And I felt like I was handed the world on a platter at that point. So, yeah, it was quite quick. I had to keep it under wraps. I wasn’t allowed to talk about it to anybody, not even my family. But it was something that was like a balloon ready to burst inside. It was great.”

* Producer Julie Gardner assures us that nothing has changed about the series from its original UK airing. “The idea was that they are a really young, sexy, fun, clever team who every single week risked their lives trying to save the world,” she says, “and it’s like a pressure cooker environment. I remember Russell and I talking about how, in that world, you want to fancy your colleagues, you know, you want to go to work, and you’re going to spend 24-hours-a-day there. Let’s just have sexual tension as you save the world.”

* Those wondering about the status of the “Doctor Who” spin-off focusing on the adventures of his former traveling companion, Sarah Jane, need worry no more: 10 episodes have been completed. In fact, they completed the very day the panel was taking place. Gardner bemoaned, “I’m sitting here while they’re all drunk and they’re at a wrap party. I mean, literally, I’ve had lots of drunk phone calls already. But we’ve made 10 episodes for Children’s BBC that goes out later this autumn.” Sadly, however, there will be very little sign of faithful robot dog K-9 in the series…only a “smidgen,” to use Gardner’s word.

* Barrowman’s sister is kinda sorta writing his biography…”kinda sorta” because, really, what she’s doing is spending several weeks following him and writing about it; in addition, though, he’s dictating a certain amount into a recorder, which she’s transcribing. “In fact,” he added, “she’s sitting back there. Some of this might even be in the book, so behave.”

The advice was far better suited for Barrowman himself. As the conversation continued, he admitted that, although he and his sibling are close, “There’s a couple of times she goes, ‘Eww, I don’t want to know.'” “Actually, five times,” she clarified, little knowing that the number would rise in mere minutes.

When asked about his brief experience working on an unheralded Aaron Spelling series called “Titans,” Barrowman clearly wasn’t enamored of the time spent, and it showed. Nonetheless, one of the reporters brought it up again, explaining that he was just giving him the opportunity to dig himself out of the hole he’d dug.

“No,” said Barrowman, “I quite like being in holes.”

The sudden influx of hoots in response to the double entendre instantly turned the panel into “The Ricki Lake Show.” Gardner dropped her head and said, “Oh, my God,” even as Barrowman continued, “There’s a little bit of Captain Jack in me.”

Suddenly, Barrowman’s sister piped up from the back of the room. “That’s six.”

* Barrowman closed by regaling the audience with his favorite anecdote from that brief association with Spelling: “I was with him in his office, and I was talking to him about the character, and there was a phone call. And he answered the phone, then he hung up and he said… (adopts a odd, gravely voice) …’John, I just want to introduce you to somebody. She’s going to come in. We’ve been doing the final auditions today’ — it’s a very bad Aaron Spelling voice, but you know what I’m trying to do — he said, ‘She’s going to come in in a second. I want you to meet her. I’d like you two to meet’ — and these doors swung open– ‘Victoria Principal. She’s going to play your mom.’ And I was on the phone at the time with my mother. I went, ‘Mother for fuck sake, Pamela Ewing is my mom!‘ And Victoria just looked at me, and she went, ‘I am really going to like you.’ We hit it off. It was really great.”

And, now: Hotel Babylon.

This was the unknown commodity amongst the BBC America panels, since we didn’t score an advance DVD of the show’s first episode beforehand. It did, however, manage to answer the question about why Anthony Stewart Head was loitering in the lobby of the Beverly Hilton when I arrived on Thursday: he’s a guest star in an episode of the show, and he popped onto the panel since he was already in town, anyway. (Apparently, he also turned up on a PBS panel about some upcoming Jane Austen adaptations, but I didn’t catch any of those panels, alas.) In the discussion about the series – which sounds like a darker version of the old Aaron Spelling show, “Hotel” – it was suggested that everyone who stays at the Hotel Babylon has a special request…which leads us into the first question asked of The Actor Formerly Known As Giles: what was his special request?

“Ah, yes, thank you for asking me that,” replied the ever-polite Brit. “I play a suicidal jingle writer who, actually, during the show, writes a very, very bad jingle about PMS. And we talked about where to pitch it, and we pitched it slightly too high. So I had to really sing high for it (Demonstrates how high the key was) But I sang it in earnest. But basically they accidentally put me in the penthouse suite and suddenly realized that I could throw myself off the balcony. So Max does a very good job of kind of placating me and just sort of making things work for me. I seem to remember I end up — I nearly electrocute meself with me keyboard in the bath.”

Yes, yes, we know: fans of “Once More With Feeling” stopped reading right about the time they realized that, yes, Anthony Stewart Head will once again be singing.

“Yes,” he confirms. “Well, badly. Because I sang in earnest. I wasn’t going to do, like, a comedy turn on it. But it was excruciating.”

There was a very funny discussion about the editing of the show from the British version to the American airing, with the general rule of thumb being that the European market wants it as edgy as possible, while American gets iffy much more readily, which led to the question of how nudity and language was handled Stateside.

BBC President Garth Ancier addressed the issue of obscenity standards between the UK and the US. “There absolutely is some language issue in the United States versus Britain,” he admitted. “For example, you can say ‘fuck’ all you want in British television past 10 p.m. and words much worse, frankly. And we do have to do some of that because American television just doesn’t tolerate that.”

What words would be worse than “fuck”?

“Tune in next Tuesday,” smirked Max.

But, no, Ancier was willing to ‘fess up. “If you really want the answer, here’s the answer: the worst word in British television — I’m sorry, I have to be honest about this — is ‘cunt.’ And that word is not prohibited. It’s just — you have to justify it to the censors. So, for example, on a recent Graham Norton show, the guest said something regarding this, and it was let through because it was in context. So their standards are quite different from ours.”

* When asked for their own personal favorite decadent hotel story, Anthony declined for lack of any good dirt (“I’m always just kind of sad to be away from home”), but Max immediately piped up, “I had an orgy with four women in a hotel — I think it was 1993 — which was sensational.”

Egging him on from the audience, John Barrowman offered a double entendre of a question: “Didn’t you have the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders for lunch today?”

Inspired by this comment, Max offered the confession that “I am completely in love with the Dallas Cowboy cheergirls. I love them. I said to the young blonde lady…of course, who was a Leo…’What’s your name?’ And she said, ‘I’m Candy.'” I said, ‘Sure, you are, but how are you to eat?'”

Hail Britannia, that’s what I say.

After the “Hotel Babylon” wrapped up, I joined a few others on the stage to listen as Anthony Stewart Head held court and discussed various facets of his career. You’ll be wondering, of course, if “Ripper” (the Giles solo series) is ever going to happen, and he says that he and Joss continue to discuss it, so it remains technically on the table. He’s read the first issue of the new “Buffy” comic book series and enjoyed it, even if Giles wasn’t in it very much, and…Sideshow Collectibles, take note!…not only has he not seen your latest products, but he wasn’t even aware of them! And, c’mon, surely he wants this in his den:

Anyway, I’ll be transcribing the conversation in more detail upon my return (yes, I know, it’s a recurring theme, but I need to sleep, y’know?), but in the meantime, I had to make my wife happy and get a shot of me and him, after which my photographic co-star grinned and said, “Cool!”

Yes. Yes, he is.

Discovery Channel panels:

Okay, I admit it, the only one of these three panels that really had me excited was “Ocean of Fear: The Worst Shark Attack Ever,” about the U.S.S. Indianapolis’s unfortunate fate during World War II. As it turned out, however, the other two – “Storm Chasers” and “Man vs. Wild” – both turned out to have some interesting moments…particularly the latter, which began with its host, Bear Grylls, climbing from the roof of the Beverly Hilton, down the outside wall of the hotel, and then running into the auditorium. That’s showmanship, my friend.

Sean Casey, the filmmaker behind “Storm Chasers,” has a dry sense of humor, that’s for sure. When asked what it’s like to go through a tornado, his first response was, “It’s really, really windy.” (Ho, ho.) He did, however, admit to being scared at least once…though it wasn’t for himself.

“We were chasing this one storm that had produced a tornado,” he began, “and we had already driven through it. We had already intercepted, but the funnel disappeared. It’s kind of like you’re on the water in a boat and you see the shark fin, you know where the shark is, and then all of a sudden that fin disappears. Where is the shark? So all of a sudden that funnel — that tornado disappeared, and we were tracking with the storm, trying to figure out, okay, where is it going to land next? I was standing outside one of our hatches, kind of looking straight up, and I see this funnel start to elongate towards us. There’s a Discovery cameraman leaning out of one of our doors, filming me as I’m looking straight upwards, and I say something to the effect, ‘it’s going to get windy soon.’ His Dodger cap blew off his head and floated across the road, and he started to get down to go get it. Everything started to slow down. I started, in not so friendly terms, telling him to stay in the vehicle. Then he yells at somebody in the film crew to go get the cap, and that’s when I noticed that there are three vehicles parked directly behind us. I started yelling for that not to happen. One of the crew members ran across the road, got the cap, jogged back. At that moment, all the little tiny pieces of dirt, twigs, straw, little pebbles, shrub sticks, started exploding about 60 feet from us, and that’s when I was most scared — not for myself, because we’re in a 16,000-ton tank. It was those three vehicles, and not only were they just vehicles. There were eight people out milling about. I jumped into my vehicle and just started filming them. I think it’s the first time you’ve ever seen, in any type of footage, people outside in a tornado, huddling under the vehicles, or huddling against the vehicles, or jumping into a ditch. No one was hurt, thank God, because the tornado had just formed. When they just start to form, they’re not that strong. They don’t have time to build strength.”

Bear Grylls was a fountain of brilliant material, offering up pearls of humor at every turn.

* Bear, shockingly, isn’t his real first name. “I was christened Edward. That became Teddy, Teddy Bear. So it would be nice to have a story about being wrestled by a grizzly. But no. (It was a nickname) since I was literally about a minute old, and I’ve just always had it in my life. I thought by age of about seven I might have grown out of it, but it’s endured sergeant majors in the army, and it’s always been there. I have a very bad-tempered bank manager, and he calls me Edward, but that’s about it.”

* The biggest regret Grylls has about his profession is that he doesn’t get to see his family nearly as much as he’d like. “I have a really lovely, long-suffering, patient wife, and I’ve got two lovely little boys, two kids, age 4 and 1. And the stuff I really struggle with is just being away so much. I don’t necessarily go back and tell them a huge amount about it. They go, ‘Was it hot? Was it cold?’ And I go, ‘Yeah, it was boiling hot, but where are the kids?’ And I’m back into it. My wife’s seen some of the shows, but not all of them. And it’s very much kind of my work like, and I get back and I’m into kind of normal stuff with things. And the last thing I want to do is go home and eat a load of ants. My boys make brilliant cakes, and there’s nothing nicer than getting in the kitchen and making cakes with them. I sit in the bath sometimes with all the bubbles and the ducks and the two little boys, and my wife comes in and she looks at us. She goes, ‘God, if all these people could know how wet you really are.’ So I’m very normal, really. I think everything always makes it out to be super macho, but I’m also me.”

* Entering Andrew Zimmern territory for a moment, Grylls admits that not everything he’s eaten on his expeditions has agreed with him. “My whole justification for eating stuff is because it’s good to eat and it’s going to give you energy. So I try to eat stuff that’s not going to make me ill,” he clarifies, “but, occasionally it goes wrong. I was in the jungles of Central America, and I drank some bad water and ended up throwing up, with diarrhea and stuff for about 24 hours. But if you do enough of it, you’re occasionally going to get unlucky. Only two days ago, I was filming in the Sahara for the next season, and I came across a nomad in the middle of the desert, and he took me back to his family. And he wanted to kill a goat in honor of having a guest for dinner. And the honor is to then give the goat’s testicles, raw, to the guest of honor. And this goat had sensible-sized testicles. I saw this goat. It was, like, this big. And I thought, ‘Oh.’ And I walk around the back of it, and I went, ‘Flipping Nora!’ It was really…well, anyway, the guy skinned it — and it was alive a few minutes earlier — and gave me this huge testicle. And I ate it, and it was like an explosion of everything horrible in your mouth. And about five minutes later, I just…I haven’t thrown up yet on the series, but I threw up everywhere. And Simon just…I could see his grin behind the camera. But that was from revulsion more than, ‘This is a bad thing to eat.'”

* Despite several several nude sequences during the course of his series, Grylls is in no way comfortable with nudity, and he shrugs off the suggestion that he might be called any sort of sex symbol. “The thing is, I get tricked an awful lot. What I’ve learned about the telly is that just because there’s one person with you doesn’t mean just one person is ever going to see this. What happens, I get so comfortable with these two guys who are always with me. We mess around. I do everything. I have no qualms about taking my kegs off and diving in and messing up a fire and having a tantrum about this. You think nobody is going to see this, and you forget the kind of millions that are then behind it. I think a lot of the stuff I’ve seen before on telly about survival, everything is always perfect and right. And it starts the first time, the fire, and it works and it’s all pretty. And always — I never wanted to do it like that. I don’t mind things going wrong. I don’t mind people seeing the other side of it, the dark side of it. I think it’s interesting, because I was always interested in it. So my ego takes a bit of a pummeling because I don’t feel I look like Brad Pitt. But it’s better TV, and I think it’s a better way of doing things if you can put your ego aside a little bit.”

Okay, so that’s those two panels. Good stuff, no? But during the “Ocean of Fear” panel, I asked Richard Dreyfuss an ostensibly simple question – “Were you aware of the story of the U.S.S. Indianapolis before Robert Shaw gave his speech in ‘Jaws’?” – and I got an answer that…well, okay, the short answer was “no,” but as to the long answer, I’ll just say that, if the rest of my fellow TCA members are anything like me, I rather expect I wasn’t the only one in the audience to gasp audibly at one of the revelations within Mr. Dreyfuss’s answer.

“When Peter Benchley wrote the book,” explained Dreyfuss, “the story of the Indianapolis was still classified, and so he didn’t know about it and he left it out of the novel. In the intervening years, as Steven Spielberg was preparing the film, the story was declassified, and so Steven put it into the movie. And knowing that it was the emotional linchpin of the film, he, Francis Coppola, Marty Scorsese, Brian De Palma, many others, John Milius, myself — each took a shot at trying to do it, trying to write the story. And, um, what you hear is basically Steven’s version of the story. On the day after the film was opened, Peter Benchley’s housekeeper, who had been with the Benchley family for 40 years, called Peter and said that she — she wasn’t coming in the next day because her son had been on the U.S.S. Indianapolis and she had not known until she saw the film how he had died, and, um, it was a — there were many stories like that. Peter was overwhelmed badly by the intensity of the reaction to sharks. Many of you probably already know that he felt very guilty, because he didn’t think the sharks deserved such a bad rap and he had contributed to this cycle — psychopathic kind of fear. And, um, he remained guilty and felt terrible about it until he died. And, um, he did not mean for that to happen. He meant to tell a great tale. He did not mean for people to go out and try to kill millions and millions and millions of sharks every year.”

Wow, huh?

Okay, I’m winding down here, so relax. There were two more panels – E!’s “Cheslea Lately” and The Style Network’s “Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane” – and, though I could be wrong, I don’t think you really care a lot about either show. Still, I’ll tell you a bit about each.

Chelsea Handler’s the host of “Chelsea Lately,” and she served as hostess for the panel. She offered up a brief comedy monologue which was hit or miss, but this was my favorite bit:

“I don’t appreciate Angelina Jolie going across the world to take babies out from other countries when there’s plenty of homeless children here. The last baby she got was in Vietnam, then she renamed him after he was three years old. I think that’s a little late to rename a baby. Okay? He’s three and running around the house. She’s, like, ‘Pax, Pax,’ but he’s, ‘Who is the hell is Pax?’ I don’t think Maddox looks happy in pictures. I think he looks pissed off, and I think he’s pissed off because he probably thought he was going to hit the jackpot when he got rescued from third-world Cambodia by some A-list celebrity, who he thought was going to take him to Malibu and instead is taking him to every other third-world country in the universe.”

She also tackled the writers’ questions with quick wit, acknowledging that maybe…just maybe…she could make Victoria Beckham smile, provided she had enough Grey Goose on hand. “I think she’s ridiculous,’ says Handler. “I think Victoria Beckham is absolutely ridiculous. Anyone who walks around with a goose all the time has a problem. I mean, she seems like — who wants that as a mommy? Gross. That’s a ridiculous person. David Beckham is a hot piece of ass. Okay? He should go find himself another hot piece of ass.”

Okay, that’s enough, I reckon. Let’s just say that she’s funny, and that her show’s probably going to be worth investigating, at least just to see if she can’t maintain a solid comedic batting average.

As far as “Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane,” I have to admit that her name didn’t mean a thing to me at first. I understand she’s the CEO of Baby Phat, but, sorry, it’s all pops and buzzes for me…or, at least, it was until she mentioned that her “babies’ daddy” is Russell Simmons. Then, I suddenly realized, “Oh, right, she was on ‘Run’s House’!” What I didn’t notice quite so prominently on that show, however, was that she’s 6 feet tall – 6’4″ with the heels she was wearing at the press conference – stacked like a brick house, and in possession of some gorgeously exotic looks.

Here’s proof:

After the panel wrapped up, The Style Network sponsored a cocktail party with an open bar and plenty of appetizers, including pre-cracked crab legs and the biggest damned shrimp I’ve ever seen in my LIFE…and I’m from a coastal town, so I’ve seen some big shrimp. But, seriously, these things were, like, three or four inches long!

Last night came to a conclusion with a party at Garth Ancier’s house. Yes, the president of BBC America. His HOUSE. And it’s a freaking massive place, a sprawling property which requires you to walk up a series of stepping stones to the main house. There’s a patio, and, beyond that, you have to climb a fairly steep outdoor staircase to get to the pool and poolhouse; the party itself was split between the pool area and the lower patio, with bars in both locations. I felt a little out of my element, but I ended up in an enjoyable conversation with another first-time attendee…a fine upstanding writer with the Toronto Sun named – wait for it – Bill Harris. (He said I’ve given him heart attacks when I’m on the same teleconferences with him; when they call my name to ask a question, he freaks out.) I also struck up conversations – and, I like to think, friendships – with folks from the sites AfterEllen.com and AfterElton.com. Best bit of the party, though, had to be when James Nesbitt, having drunk his fair share of wine, got on stage and sang a few numbers, including “I’ve Got You Under My Skin.”

Good times.

Okay, I’m caught up from yesterday. Time to actually start paying attention to the Showtime panels and not just fall back on reading the transcripts later…