Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Perfect Romance

The internet has brought us so many wonderful things. If you're a wealthy first-worlder (and lets face it: you're reading a blog right now, so you are), technology is ubiquitous in your daily life. At-home shopping, Hulu, and schadenfreude on a mass scale are all but a few of the things I enjoy via my eMac. But did you know that the internet sometimes is used by people for dating? And sometimes those people have wacky misadventures? And sometimes those wacky misadventures have sexy results? I'm going to be honest- I lack the mental and physical stamina to return to DietTribe right now. But since I was laid out with a sinus infection this weekend, I took the chance to check out the streaming movies on MyLifetime.com. Perfect Romance is the story of a creepy mother, a flaky daughter, a bargain-basement befuddled Englishman, and their adventures with online personal ads. Because everyone loves it when their mom uses the internet.

The movie starts with a mother and daughter team sitting in a pastoral New England landscape and playing "He loves me, he loves me not" with some flowers. But uh-oh, someone taught Mom the wrong rules, because every petal is "he loves me not"! If that actually makes you laugh, you will be utterly charmed by the humor in this film. If not, I have some bad news for you. Meanwhile, at an equally scenic airport, an English guy named Peter gets off of a plane with a fist full of tulips and runs at a glowingly happy young lady waiting for him at the gate. Oh no! He trips and flowers go everywhere! Naturally, she decides that she is not in love with him beause he can't walk in a straight line without falling over and flinging stuff at everyone around him. Also, she is a flaky ditz, because a Lifetime movie that doesn't endorse a negative stereotype about women is not allowed to exist.

Back to the mother-daughter act. Mama Tess's husband left her to start a store called Mantiques with his new boyfriend. She apparently can never trust again, but who hasn't had at least one boyfriend go gay on them? Suck it up, Tess. Daughter Jenny is still crazy-in-love with her retarded rock star ex-husband who sweeps in for a couple hours at a time, makes her giggle and twist her hair, plays catch with his annoying son, and then leaves her for the exciting dilettante lifestyle enjoyed by shitty cover band frontmen in New Hampshire. Tess can't deal with the pain of her grandson not having a "proper" father, so she is prepared to take DRASTIC STEPS. If you can't guess what those steps are, you're in the target audience for this film. You are also as dumb as a kitten.

So the English guy is named Peter Campbell, and he is in the US to teach freshman literature on his sabbatical from whatever the fuck he does in England. (Note: if you are on sabbatical, wouldn't you not be teaching?) He can't find love because of his charming Englishness, which prevents him from talking to women without offending them by implying that soccer is better then football or that blood pudding isn't disgusting or other Englishy things. In despair, he asks another recent UK transplant how he met his current wife. His reply is so great I'm just going to give it to you verbatim: "One day I got so lonely I typed "love" into the search box of my computer. This match website came up, and I found her on there, and it was love at first sight!". Out of curiosity, I tried this with Google. I got a Wikipedia article on love, news about Jennifer Love Hewitt, a WikiHow about how to love that must be read to be believed, and an advertisement for the Beatles-themed LOVE show at The Mirage in Vegas. I guess it's a good thing that the guy didn't use Google, or else he would have ended up seeing Cirque De Solieil.

The movie then gives us a fun montage of lonely people doing lonely things. Mom, daughter, and Peter all eat alone, walk around alone, watch TV alone, and are just overwhelmingly lonely all the time. I'm surprised we didn't see someone riding the front end of an otherwise-passengerless tandem bike while bawling their eyes out. Peter is finally overcome with despair when he cannot find a TV channel that doesn't show kissing, fondling, or fingerbanging (ok not really). He gets onto a match website and begins scanning the profiles. He is soon overwhelmed by this weird, Carnival of Souls-like parade of angry chanting voices and faces that make him black out. That shit is why I stopped using OKCupid, so I can relate. Anyway, he wakes up and sees Jenny's ad and of course it is love at first sight. They spend the next couple of weeks corresponding about how much they love horticulture, poetry, and other effete boring things. Of course, the crazy twist is that Tess set up the ad and is handling all the correspondence, leaving Jenny none-the-wiser! You think a woman who got dumped by her husband for a mantiques dealer would be gun-shy around a guy who loves Keats and flowers, but apparently Tess is so into the dude that she invites him to spend the weekend at their place. He agrees, and all of a sudden we're on a collision course with elaborately staged wackiness!

From here, the movie just gets even more embarrassing. Tess informs her daughter that she's been impersonating her on the internet for months, and Jenny is pissed until she finds out the website photo of her has some bangin' clevage and Peter's a hottie. Then she's over it. Peter shows up and immediately starts complimenting Tess in a creepy-ass way while still feigning interest in Jenny. Jenny spends the next forever of the movie trying to woo Peter away from her mom by acting like an extra in a high school production of Lady Windermere's Fan in order to convince him she's got an ounce of culture in her ugly little body. But it doesn't work because she's fun! and cool! and says "awesome" a lot! and loves Kerouac! and has a tattoo! and is more annoyingly funky then Clarissa Explains it All! It's clear to Jenny that this relationship wont work out, but she knows that Peter will stick out the weekend because he is super-polite. She cruelly strings him along for a while to further the plot.

Meanwhile it becomes obvious that Tess is in love with Peter, doing such increasingly creepy things as leaving a book on his bed with a rose, constantly bringing him snacks when he is sleeping, tagging along on Jenny and Peter's one date, and leaving a post-it-note on his remote control to tell him when a soccer match is on TV then showing up in her jammies to watch it with him. She is two steps away from bunny-boiling nuts about him. This is not lost on Jenny, so she keeps setting up opportunities for them to spend time together. She even fakes an affair with a guy who works at Tess's flower shop in order to make Peter give up on her. He does, so then he's free for Mom! Hey, Peter only kissed her daughter once, so it isn't creepy. Right?

Now, let's say that you travel across the country in order to meet your online sweetheart. You spend some time with her, and despite the fact she's constantly misquoting poetry and crying for no reason, you try and stick it out. Then you find out she's cheating on you. Then you find out that you actually were chatting with her mother the entire time you were corresponding, and the whole weekend is an stupid farce to trick you into being some kid's dad until he's old enough to go to college. Now the mother of the person you have been trying to get into bed for 3 days is throwing herself at you. Would you:

a. Call the police
b. Punch her in her lying goddamn face
c. Jump in the car, drive far away, and never trust again
d. Pledge eternal love and devotion to a crazy person that lives thousands of miles from everything you hold dear

If you picked d, you've used online personals before.

Oh, and Jenny dumps her shitheel ex and hooks up with the guy from the flower shop. It isn't interesting, but that's the end, so there you are.

Awesomeness: 6

There are two awesome moments in this film. The first is the "search box" line, and the second is when a girl Peter is hitting on says "Our football is sex, war, and chess all rolled into one". That's it. There's also a part where Tess says that Neil Armstrong's moon landing destroyed the moon for romance, and I thought the movie might turn into a crazy alternate-history action flick about the moon blowing up. Then I realized that was a metaphor and I hated the movie even more.

Star Power: 6

Kathleen Quinlan (Tess) starred in a weekly CBS procedural drama called Family Law, which I know fuck-all about, so good for her. Lori Heuring (Jenny) did a little better, starring in approximately two-million direct-to-video horror films and making #64 on Maxim's Hot 100 list for an unspecified year. Her mother must be very proud. But holy shit- Peter is played by Desmond from Lost! We'll give them an extra couple points for that.

Lifetimeliness: 9

DAMN, GIRL. Literally the entire movie hinges upon a middle-aged mother fixing everyone's lives by being so fucking meddlesome and intrusive that they cannot help but bend to her will. Also, Tess hooks up with a hot English guy that is significantly younger then her because she has such a "beautiful mind". The women are always right, even when they are deeply obviously wrong, and the only positive male figure in the movie loves roses and poetry. This could not be more of a lady movie if it had a product placement sequence with Tampax, Yoplait, and Summer's Eve.

I am still docking this movie a point because it didn't have a kindly black cop or a no-nonsense lesbian cop. They could have fit one in if they'd tried.

So that's 21. It's worthwhile for a high cheese factor, but it's painful to watch. Speaking of pain; I promise I will watch DietTrbe again soon. But not today.

(Brief Rusty edit: I reviewed Perfect Romance as well. Read my take on events here.)


MAY 26, 2009 (8::55 pm EDT)


Here's the dill-e-yo:

I DVR-ed an awesome Lifetime movie and my sworn enemy, Time Warner Cable, mucked it all up. It kept skipping and freezing and, ugh, this is horrible.

So, I looked up the LMN schedule and the movie is being replayed at 6am tomorrow. It's called Girl. I don't think it will beat The Wives He Forgot, but this is clearly in the running to be the second best rated movie in the long, sporadic history of this here web log. The "Hey! It's That Guy!" score is going to be off the charts.

So, if you see this before 6am on May 27, set your DVRs to Girl. Let's share in this together. As friends.



P.S. I can only imagine how annoying these programming notes are if you are using what the kids call an RSS feed. I'm sorry. But I promise the Girl review, assuming this records properly, will be good.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Night of Terror

This will be another quickie since the movie sucked so hard.

Night of Terror tells the story of the most unlikable family in Lifetime history: the Dunnes. The Dunnes are made up of mom Jill, husband Rick, and teenage daughter Olivia. The film opens with Olivia making out with her older boyfriend, Zach. Perhaps Olivia is prepared to give Zach a blow jay. With her mouth.

Jill walks in on this display and immediately disapproves. Zach wears an earring and drives a motorcycle. Obviously a bad guy. This causes much strife at family dinner.

While Rick is out on business, Olivia gets a call from her credit card company asking about a charge at a hotel. Jesus, Visa. Why you gotta narc on the husband like that?

While Jill is doing her investigating of Rick's affair, she meets hotel manager, Richard. I am going to start calling Richard "Dick" because I don't want there to be too many first names beginning with the letter "r." And, Dick...this is a doozy of a Canadian accent we've got right here. Apparently Dick is actually the hotel owner coming off a divorce. He smells blood in the water and asks Jill out

Jill and Dick have some drinks and they keep toasting to weird things like lonely hearts clubs and looking out for number one and JESUS CHRIST THIS IS NONSENSE.

Jill sacrifices the moral high ground of being cheated on by making out with Dick. He's rounding second base when a bellhop knocks on the door with room service champagne.

Awesomely, Lifetime cuts to soft focus and slow motion as it shows Dick - that big bear of a man - freaking out. "GO AWAY!!! ARRRRRRGH!!!!"

Jill is a little freaked out and leaves. Dick chases her through the lobby without his top screaming like a caveman.

After getting home, Jill finally confronts Rick about his cheating ways. The affair has been going on for six months. Rick blames it on Jill being emotionally distant after the death of her father. Oh, fuck you, Rick. You are asking for trouble.

Rick and Jill decide to double down on their relationship and make it work. And what easier way to repair a relationship than a week long camping trip with your unhappy teenage daughter. What can go wrong?

Well, one thing that can go wrong is being stalked by Dick. Dick, who started the movie off as a smooth Canuck, is now behaving like a Grade-A crazy pants. From what I can tell from his grunts and shifty eyes, Dick is obsessed with having family. So his plan is to stalk the Dunnes, kill Rick, and then Olivia and Jill will treat him like a liberator.

To celebrate the transition, Dick, nee Richard, will now be renamed Krazy Dick. Why the "k"? Because that's how a crazy person would spell it, silly.

To get a better read on where the Dunnes will be camping, Krazy Dick takes the unusal tact of just asking Rick. (God damn it. "Rick" and "Dick" rhyme. Please don't gloss over the first letter of the name!) Jill is still hiding the tongue kisses, so she doesn't call Krazy Dick out. Not a good strategy.

The Dunnes raft down the river and make camp for the night. So far, so good. The next morning, their raft is gone! This creates strife within the family as Olivia blames Rick, Rick snaps at Olivia, Jill snaps at Rick for snapping at Olivia, Rick snaps at Jill by pointing out she is always snapping at Olivia, and Olivia storming off. I hate this family. Krazy Dick can have them.

We're supposed to think losing the raft is the end of the world. No one knows they're out there! They can't get cell phone reception! Oh nooooooes!

Except, guess who runs into Olivia? Why, it's Zach! He parked his bike about a mile away. So, yeah, maybe losing the raft isn't so scary if someone is able to find this family in less than ten minutes.

After letting Rick take the fall for losing the raft, Jill admits that they're being stalked by a guy she made out with. Rick tries to play the moral equivalence card, but he wisely and quickly abandons that strategy. You know, six months versus (presumably) 30 seconds. Careful there, Rick.

Zach and Olivia reunite with the family and the plan is for Zach (who the family likes now) to drive his bike into town and get help. Naturally, he forgets his keys. Rick follows with the keys.

When Zach gets to the bike, Krazy Dick is waiting for him. Krazy Dick starts messing with the motorcycle and Zach pulls a knife. Zach charges and Krazy Dick plays a little game I like to call "Quit stabbin' yourself!"

Then Rick wanders onto the scene. He charges Krazy Dick even though the latter is weilding a mother effing knife. For his trouble, he gets stabbed in the leg. Rick then decides to run away. So, to be clear, two healthy legs, no weapons? Charge! One gimpy leg, no weapons? Retreat!

Krazy Dick pushes Rick off of, like, a four foot cliff. Because this is a stupid movie, Krazy Dick assumes he's dead. Why? Who knows.

No, the title of this film is Night of Terror. Which is odd, because all of the action here has happened in the middle of the day. But when Rick wakes up, it's midnight dark. And Krazy Dick is still there! Nick watches KD take the raft over to the Dunne camp.

Krazy Dick uses the knife to slice his way into the Dunnes' tent. He moves in on a spooning Olivia and Jill and joins the cuddle. In doing so, he basically puts his knife in Jill's hands. And yet he's surprised when he gets the inevitable leg stab.

There's a little chase and KD proclaims that this is their first family argument. Jill shoots him with a flare gun. Are flare guns lethal when they aren't at close range? I don't think so. But this magical Lifetime flare gun leaves a smoking crater in Krazy Dick's chest.

The movie ends with the family dressed in black. Olivia is sobbing as they take a limo (why would they reserve a limo?) to Zach's funeral.


Five points are for the one scene where KD's is interrupted just before getting some cougar titty.


Two points for being so cavalier about nothing make a lick of goddamned sense.


If you didn't catch the weird blow jay reference, Olivia was in Superbad!


Evil dude? Check. Cheating husband? Check. Woman who is tempted to cheat but can't go through with it? Check. Ungrateful daughter who is secretly right about everything? Check. Daughter's boyfriend rides a bike? Check.

But...the boyfriend was pretty nice. Dopey, yeah. And definitely looking to nip Olivia's cherry, but, a nice stand-up guy. Weird.

And talk about a lack of women's intuition! Jill made out with a psycho. And then she doesn't tell anyone when they're being stalked. When she does make the confession, she says "I think we're being followed." YOU THINK!? You just ran into the guy you made out with a hundred miles from home! What a coinky-dink!

That's not women's intuition. That's women's out-scholarship.



(See what I did there?)


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Programming Notes

Did you know Lifetime is now showing entire made-for-TV movies on their website? It's true!

Check out my most recently reviewed movie, Natalee Holloway, here. It's not very good, but if you're bored, it's only a 90 minute investment.

More importantly, Widow on the Hill will be on the Lifetime Movie Network on Sunday, May 24, at 2pm. This is the second highest rated movie in the history of this site, so please set your DVRs accordingly.

I watched a new (terrible) movie last night, so I'd expect a new review to be put up shortly.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Natalee Holloway

Spoiler alert: She dies.

Natalee Holloway is graduating with honors from the most white bread high school in Alabama. Not a black person to be seen. And, awww, she wants to be a doctor. Sure hope nothing gets in the way of her dreams.

For some reason, the high school sponsors a trip to a third world protectorate where the drinking and gambling age are 18. The only reason for such a trip is to get as wasted as possible. And this is sponsored by a high school? And we're supposed to be surprised when something goes wrong?

Ugh. I hate this. An 18-year-old's death should be a tragedy. But whether it's a girl in Aruba whose crazy mom refuses to believe her little angel would have sex or take drugs (or a girl with cocaine in her system crashing a $100,000 Porsche leaving her with a case of exploded head), I just can't work myself up about it. I don't care. So I'm going to keep on being snarky about a horrible situation.

So Natalee goes to Aruba and gets really into body shots and meets a charming young local named Joran. To avoid lawsuits, the direction is a little tricky here, but we're supposed to think that Joran is drugging Natalee. Natalee gets in a car with Joran and his suspiciously ethnic friends and she is never seen again.

You know Joran is a bad guy because he listens to rap music.

The next morning Natalee's mom, Beth, gets the phone call that Natalee didn't show up for her flight. Beth doesn't want to jump to any conclusions, so she immediately calls 911 and the Birmingham FBI office and tells whomever will listen that her daughter has been kidnapped.

Things don't get better when Beth and her husband show up in Aruba uninvited. (They're able to make the trip on the cheap by borrowing a friend's plane.) Beth takes her framed picture of Natalee to hotel employees. One identifies Natalee's companion that night as Joran. So Beth and company make a trip to Joran's parents' mansion.

Beth's husband asks Joran if he remembers Natalee. Joran snickers and remembers Natalee as the drunk girl from the night before. So, naturally, Beth's husband threatens fisticuffs. One sentence in and these American yahoos are ready to start breaking faces and taking names.

With all the cowboy justice and the Jesus talk that follows, it's pretty clear that Natalee Holloway's family were Bush voters. If only the thousands of American soldiers killed in Iraq and the tens - if not hundreds - of thousands of Iraqi citizens got the same media attention. I know it's a broad political point that one shouldn't be making four years after graduating from college, but, Jesus, the media coverage of this case was horrible. This moron family, according to Wikipedia, even criticized the media for covering the Hurricane Katrina disaster instead of Day of Death+x of this case. These people are terrible.

So, then, after one day of questioning, Beth is infuriated that the police aren't searching Joran's car for evidence. You'd think things would be the same in the United States of the Fourth Amendment, but this is different! The Aruban police just don't care!

From there, the media gets a hold of the story and Beth is all too eager to be on every major network. She goes as far as to accuse Joran and his two swarthy accomplices of drugging, gang raping, and murdering Natalee. Evidence? Nope. Just crazy talk.

Finally, some of the authorities sack up and tell Beth that Natalee is probably dead. Beth breaks down and hails a cab. She demands to be taken to a church so she can be with God. The cabbie stops at a cross on the side of a back road. Beth prays and asks for her daughter back. She has some kind of spiritual orgasm with groaning, grunting - the whole nine yards. Then she accepts that Natalee is gone.

Joran gets arrested a few more times but is always released, much to Beth's chagrin. Aruba doesn't care because they keep arresting Joran and let him go! WHAT DOES SHE THINK WOULD HAPPEN IN AMERICA!?!?

The family finally gives up. Beth moves back to America and becomes such a prick that her husband (Natalee's stepfather) dumps her. The best part of the whole movie is when Natalee's kid brother tells Beth that Natalee wouldn't want to see the family split apart over her death.


Check and mate!

Years later, a Dutch undercover investigative news team captures Joran on tape claiming that Natalee had a seizure after blowing Joran and he dumped her body in the water. Way to go, Beth, accusing Joran's two friends of gang rape without any evidence. Beth accepts Joran's stoned recollection as the truth and goes on a speaking tour to other irresponsible schools that set up drunken field trips.

Not mentioned: Beth creepily dating JonBenet's dad.


I fugured enough time had passed between the media saturation of the Holloway case and the premiere of this movie for me to watch it without grinding my teeth. Not the case. After thirty minutes, I realized I knew exactly how the story would play out and hated myself for knowing. Fuck Nancy Grace.

If anything, this is evidence that there is absolutely no need, ever, for a Terri Schiavo movie.


Beth was played by a lady whose claim to fame is being married to Michael J. Fox.


One crazy woman taking on an entire island in order to find justice for her blameless rape victim daughter with only the support of her Lord. Yeah, pretty Lifetimey.


A true disappointment. I really wanted so much more from the film. I've somehow developed a conscience that won't allow me to laugh at the dead high schooler. That, or the movie was just awful.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


If you are wondering why I have not contributed to this blog in an eternity, fuck you. However, my time away did give me the opportunity to visit my sister Leigh, a FANTASTIC illustrator who shares my love of the social pablum that is the Lifetime network. To celebrate my arrival, she purchased the first (and presumably final) season of DietTribe. According to MyLifetime.com, “’DietTribe’ is Lifetime's new reality series that follows the emotional journey of five friends as they attempt to go from ‘fat’ to ‘fit.’” In other words, you know that friend of yours with the really bad self-esteem that does not ever stop complaining about how fat they are getting until you refuse to drink with her anymore? Since you stopped hanging out with her she found 4 other similarly damaged people to sit and weep with her at the Olive Garden every Friday, and now they have a TV show. Thanks a lot, asshole.

As longtime members of the Husky Pants Club, my sister and I are sympathetic to their predicament:

Leigh: its going to be really sad when you get so fat that your tattoo falls off
Harmony: You're so fat that your tattoos were applied to you by kids in gangs who thought you were a subway car
Leigh: damn thats good
Leigh: *dies inside*
Leigh: *takes 23 people to navy pier on back*

Now that you know my sister and I are monsters, let’s meet some equally-damaged people from the tee-vee.

Anna: The queen of the DietTribe, she is getting married in 6 months and refuses to suffer the indignity of being fat at her wedding. This is unfortunate because she is marrying a man who tries to jolly her out of her weight-related depression by buying her a fucking sheet cake.

Harmony: OK, so fatty is getting married to her cake pusher, and she is crying because she doesn't want to be fat when she's married
Leigh: why does greg enable her?
Harmony: Greg buys her cake so he does not have to touch her
Leigh: ummm too bad cake is awesome
Harmony: "You want to have sex? Are you sure you don't want cake instead?"

Shawna: The craziest ho in the DietTribe. She is a former personal trainer who got addicted to McDonalds fries so hard she had to quit her old job. She is intensely unstable and prone to entertaining screaming meltdowns, and refuses to accept the fact that she has more booty then she used to. Her cognitive dissonance is best displayed when she is weighed in for the first time and cries and yells for about 10 minutes straight:

Leigh: umm shawna is clearly unstable fyi
Harmony: Yeah, I think Shawna could use a trip to that Charm School show where they give you therapy and shit
Leigh: shawna pays someone like $100 to buy her pants for her and cut the tags out
Harmony: "Oh, I don 't know my pants size, I just have a blind tailor who sews them on me by feel"
Harmony: "He thinks I am a circus horse"

Megan: Megan is difficult to talk about because she doesn’t have much of a personality. She is asthmatic, an “emotional eater” and the self-proclaimed mom of the group. Her only real quirk is a really unhealthy relationship with French fries, which compels her to cry and commandeer the camera about 5 times in the first episode to beg them to come back into her life. I am not kidding.

Leigh: umm this blair witch "I miss you french fires' shit is so creepy
Harmony: Most healthy people have co-dependent relationships with french fries
Leigh: "i love you french fries"
Leigh: *tucks french fry back into cleavage*

Lydia: Lydia, we can’t figure out why you agreed to be on this show. Your weight is on the big side of normal and you seem to be relatively well-adjusted. The only thing Lifetime can find that is odd about you is that you “don’t date”, but you also hook up with a guy over the course of the show, so what the fuck is that about? There is nothing funny about you until later, so we’re moving on to….

Morgan! Oh Jesus. This girl is a mess. This girl is Annie Wilkes with a social life. Not only is she the biggest girl in the group, she’s also the one who has put the most effort into losing weight. With a bah-zillion failed diets and a gastric bypass under her belt (pun intended), she STILL weighs close to 300 pounds. She also cries at the drop of a hat. This all seems inexplicable and sad on the outside, but it is all brought into depressing perspective when we meet her be-muumuued family at a picnic and they all mock her for being alive. Her mom is basically a plump Cruella DeVille, simultaneously scorning her daughter for her weight and being openly skeptical of yet another failed diet:

Leigh: hahahaha why is EVERYONE IN HER FAMILY wearing a caftan?
Harmony: Oh god, that is a question I do not want an answer to
Leigh: I love how her parents are making fun of her while she is being a dumbass
Leigh: "hey morgan, great caftan!"
Harmony: They all kinda suck. Her mom hates her for being fat, but she should REALLY hate her for being a whiny dumbass
Harmony: "I approve of your body and your stylish caftan, but you are still kind of retarded" "Thanks, mom!"

Anyone who comes away from DietTribe and doesn’t feel a little for Morgan is a heartless monster. On the other hand, she kind of digs her own grave by her non-stop pity party, as we’ll see in the episodes to come.

Since this is getting kinda long, I’m going to break it into parts. Come back later for a discussion of pilot episode. Same fat-time, same fat-channel!