It has certainly been a hairy enough year, no? What with Lindsay Lohan's careening Mercedes (not to mention her rep), Britney's meltdown, Katherine Heigl's mispronounced name and badly timed Knocked Up knocking, I mean, celebs are just wiggin' out all over the poppin' place. Time to make some damn sense of it all.
And here's how: Let's just break everything down to the category that matters most: hair. It's superdefining, and besides, it's the most important thing in Hollywood. Also, isn't that when things ultimately began to unravel for Brit-Brit, when she shaved her head in the Valley? Yep.
And when exactly did doofus Midwest chick Katie Holmes suddenly begin to eclipse her hubby's deteriorating pro rep? When her bangs began to look better than his, that's when. (And should a dude that old really be wearing bangs, to begin with?) You see, there's always a science to the more gossipy coiffures 'n' careers in Hollywood, as you're about to discover in this year's AT end-of-the-whirl column. (Part two is coming next Thursday.)
So, get ready for our quite unofficial awards, the Baldies! In hair-splitting order:
How Hairy? Straight outta the 818
How Scary? Break out your green umbrellas, 2007 was pouring Britney! We all thought—scratch that, prayed—our dear Ms. S couldn't possibly sink lower (or shinier) than she did inside that Tarzana salon last February. But then came Britter's revolving-door rehab stay and her days-of-the-week wigs, including a very subtle fuchsia number. Once Brit-Brit's locks grew the itty-bittiest bit, our eyeballs were bludgeoned with weave after horrifying weave she must have picked up from the dollar store. B.S. spent more time this year changing her hair color than changing her babies' diapers, and—quelle surprise—Sean Preston and Jayden James were handed over to the lesser of two evils, Saint K-Fed. What's a ne'er-do-well mom to do but go to Starbucks, tan, go to Starbucks, hook up with greasy extras from her music vid, check in and out of the Four Seasons, go to Starbucks and, finally, go to Starbucks?
Be Wary: Of tons more crazy from Britney in '08. Here's hoping B.S. metaphorically shaves her tresses and begins anew. If not, she can always find work as a babysitter for li'l sis Jamie Lynn's spawn-to-be. Hey, there ain't no court orders against B watchin' over somebody else's kids.
How Hairy? Peach fuzz
How Scary? Shia and Zac are Hollywood's new dudes du jour! Mmm, mmm, barely legal soup's on! LaBeouf can hold his own against giant space-bots and is next in line for the Indy Jones throne, but his early-morning Walgreens drunkery proves S is just another wild child star at heart. Shi-shi's frizzy fuzz did look absolutely adorable in his mug shot, don't you agree? And Zacky-poo has graced the cover of tween dream magazines all the way up to Rolling Stone, in what feels like a mere bat of his luxurious eyelashes! But this kid's tinkering on the brink of overexposure, not to mention the caked-on foundation and Pebbles Flintstone ponytails aren't exactly pushing him into big action blockbusters.
Be Wary: Sure, Shia-baby, now it's one silly arrest at a drugstore (for which the charges were later dropped, natch). If you're not careful, rehab may become a reality. Don't you fall into that cliché, young man, or I'll send you up to your room! And Zacky-darling's got a long way to go to break out of his cookie-cutter image. Your girlfriend, VanHudge, showing her naughty bits in leaked pics certainly helps—where's your de rigueur Internet crotch shot?
How Hairy? Slightly windblown
How Scary? Frighteningly—and deliciously—perfect. She's like the new Sharon Stone, all man-eating with her tight, blond French bun job. Chilly yet seductive. Proper yet kissable. She's both the good girl and the hotheaded hon on Grey's Anatomy. Ditto in Knocked Up, the film that really made Heigl (pronounced HI-gull, as she corrected for all the world to witness at this year's Emmys, all schoolmarmy and so very La Streisand) a household boldfaced name. What was this woman thinking when she actually dissed the damn movie to a Vanity Fair writer? Bitch, the quasi-sexist flick virtually paid your mortgage for the next decade. Show some friggin' respect! Besides, what the ef in Hollywood isn't sexist? A platform for fair-minded windbags, this town is not.
Be Wary: And just as H'wood ain't known for nicey-nice humanitarianism, really, it's also incredibly forgetful and amazingly (i.e., stupidly) forgiving. Your former Grey's colleague Isaiah Washington still may be getting fried for his incendiary antigay remarks, but that old misogynistic, anti-Semitic coot Mel Gibson is golden again. What fools we are. So, just shape up on all comments involving the snipping of hands that employ you, darling Katie, and your frosty hairdo'll be back in place in no time.
How Hairy: Overly teased
How Scary: Eva really is the new Paris. (It's certainly not Nicole.) Remember Paris' Teflon days, back when no matter what cop was pulling her over, which boyfriend was hitting other cars, P-poo always came out smelling far better than any of her perfumes? 'Course, those days ended with Hilton's women-behind-bars phase—which will only make P.H. more famous, 'course—but the point is, Eva's still la-dee-dah-ing it right through whatever sitch may not exactly be primo. Like that time she ditched giving the Passport Lifetime AIDS award to Liz Taylor? Eva-hon just said she had something else to do that night, and besides, she never really committed to doing it, like it was some kind of dog-show trophy or something. Then that bitch-in-heat model claimed she'd been doin' it every which way with Tony Parker, and Eva just said it didn't happen and went out and got her pic taken with Tony in an oufit that looked like she charges by the minute. Blithe or brills? Or both?
Be Wary: I'd actually say this woman's just fine in the hairiness department—not too much, not too little, but just right—until she went and opened a damn restaurant. Can there please be a law preventing celebrities from branding us not just with their antics but now their recipes, too? Please don't J.Lo yourself like this, Eva-babe. It's just cheap.
How Hairy? Soaked
How Scary? Ms. Winfrey had the Oprah brand sullied for a mo' with reports that some children at her all-girls school in Africa had been sexually abused. Such despicable acts leapt Mama Bear off her couch and down to the school to set things right. And while Jack Bauer may be able to save the world from terrorists and withstand torture, Kiefer ain't above the law! Donny's boy was popped for a DUI and has to serve 48 days in the slammer without his dutiful Chloe's help! Kiefy could have nixed a portion of his sentence, but opted to martyr himself and serve his debt to society around 24's shooting schedule. What a swell guy, huh? Forgive me for not swooning for K.S.'s gentlemanly behavior like the rest of Team 24, but the man could have killed people. Save it for the terrorists, Kief.
Be Wary: Oprah isn't shy when it comes to tackling problems head-on, so we all (especially those young schoolgirls) can sleep well at night knowing the Big O is on patrol. As for Sutherland, your career as a bad boy is hardly in jeopardy—in fact, why don't they just shoot the new season of 24 in jail with him? At least one episode of the season will be spent outdoors, and the season finale could be Kief fighting off Freeway fans with a shiv! Now, that's entertainment!
How Hairy: Rat's nest
How Scary: Stupefying, at times. My mouth didn't drop much this past year. Really. Oh, it came close, like with the blabbering, sobbing idiot pooftah who screamed for us all to "leave Britney alone," or when Paris tried to move in on my man. But the jaw actually did descend substantially when I witnessed Ellen, whom I usually absolutely adore, bawl on camera for the return of her adopted pooch Iggy. First of all, the rescue outfit was correct to take back a dog Ellen had actually regifted. And second, why should celebrities bypass protocol of any kind? Because E.D.'s famous, the rules for animal protection don't apply to her? Who does she think she is, a gal who the Writers Guild actions don't apply to, either? It all smacks of Marie Antoinette, really, and I've never thought of Ellen as at all the powdered-wig type. Not a good look on her.
Be Wary: Do not pull a Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O'Connell, please, and go out and get yourself photographed with all-new little doggies, Ms. D. It's disgustingly patronizing, and it makes it appear you rented them just for the photo op. (Did you, Jer and Becky?) And give at least $1 million to both the Writers Guild strikers and dog-rescue organizations of your choice. Hey, it's not my money, make it $2 million each!
How Hairy? Large and loud!
How Scary? Shocking. This moment's comedy superstar emerged from out of nowhere. Sure, we've got Team Efron for all the girls and gays out there who like their hunk polished, prissy and shiny. But what about those of us who like our men with a little scruff, not to mention a little dude-handle action goin' on? Thanks to alterna-hottie Seth Rogen, the Jewfro is très en vogue! S.R. blew up big-time this year with a one-two punch of Knocked Up and Superbad, along with his chuckle club of Judd Apatow, Jonah Hill and Michael Cera. Turns out a great sense of humor really does trump your average good-lookin' mug (just ask dork diva John C. Reilly and that hairdo posing as a stiffy in Walk Hard). My ma would be thrilled if I brought a nice, funny mensch like Sethity home for Purim! And if you believe that, Seth's next flick is a remake of The Birdcage. Actually…
Be Wary: Of hair straighteners and diets. They are so not you, so keep snackin', keep smokin', and leave all the product off your hirsute hotness!
How Hairy? Overprocessed
How Scary? Pamela Anderson would be the envy of the trailer-park set (with all those shocked relatives of Jamie Lynn Spears, no doubt) right about now, if it weren't for two very big reasons heaving her into the limelight and into a Malibu mansion. Face it, Pammy-babe, the thing that sets you apart from Shirley Sue in that double wide is your double Ds! Kidding! We heart ya, g-friend! Nobody sells it better than you. Still can't wait for that nooky tape with Rick. Where the hell is it, already?
Be Wary: Borat, this is a message to you, not Pam-hon. Just keep an eye out.
How Hairy? Flowing 'n' glowing
How Scary? Angie-kins is slowly shrinking away, transforming herself into the world's most gorgeous deflated blowup doll. And Golden Boy may be gaining a little wear-and-tear as he ages, but that perpetual newsboy cap will cover up any soon-to-be bald spots. This year, the Brange did what they do best: (a) adopt (welcome to the fam, Pax!) and (b) act! Brad was one of the boys in Ocean's Thirteen, but he got superserious in The Assassination of Jesse James. Mama Jolie got down and dirty (and in semiblackface) while reigniting her career with the depressorama A Mighty Heart. Some bold actin' chops on display, but dare I say the lady doth try too hard? You're throwing me a line of Oscar bait, when all I've been craving is a buttery popcorn flick!
Be Wary: Of more kids. Angie's running out of body parts to hold all her babies.
How Hairy: How about half the height of your current coiffure?
How Scary: Darling, nobody has given me this much pleasure effing with lyrics and audiences and double standards and love since Janis Joplin. Macy Gray came awfully close, but she's just never had quite your—how shall we say?—penchant for tabloid unraveling, always with killer, slightly off hairdos. But the anger, the smarts, the carefree ef-yous, it's all what Britney's been trying to do, she just looks like such a convertible California Barbie compared to your Egyptian eyeliner British bull-dozing! Pale imitation, indeed. Now, you both could still kill yourselves if you don't get your merde together (please stop trying to play evil moll-wife, Amy, it's common, and it's beneath you), but you're far more delectable to lap up in the meantime, trust.
Be Wary: Of your life, dear. Yes, Joplin's a genius legend. But she's not exactly around to enjoy the status, not to mention the bucks—or the beehives.
That's it for part one of our year-end hijinks! Part two will resume Dec. 27, and then we're back up and running right after New Year's, you all got any resolutions? Not to be teased by my torturous ass anymore in '08? Oh please, like you folks don't live to be tantalized deliciously whenever you get the chance. And besides, getting everything you want all at once would be akin to finding out who Oprah's kissing under the mistletoe. Some things are better left unwrapped.