I see her name every day, but I don’t really know who she is. One thing I do know: she looks good naked.

There is a controversy circulating on the internet that Olivia Casta is not a real person at all, but might actually be the nom de toile of Maria Tretjakova, a 30-something Russian model who is using the Faceapp teen filter to make herself look younger.

(As the good lord intended when he gave Faceapp to Moses as a supplement to the famous commandments. It was years before anybody understood the technology because it turns out that god is pretty smart, as evidenced by that whole “creating the universe” thing. Fortunately the app was preserved, first in the Ark of the Covenant, then later in the basement of the Comet Ping Pong Pizza restaurant, until Al Gore came along. Some say that Gore invented the internet just so he could use Faceapp to look younger.)

I will have to ask my own secret identity, Socrates “Sock” Puppet, whether the Tretjakova/Casta thing is true.

Oops. I guess it’s not a secret any more.

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I love this series, and devour it every week, but it sure is a mixture of giant positives and negatives.

On the positive side: there are some interesting (if exaggerated) characterizations, some performances are tremendous, and you may have noticed that the guy playing Norm Nixon does an incredible job. Looks like him. Moves like him. That’s because it kinda is him. The part is played by his own son, DeVaughn Nixon, who is not only a good Norm Nixon, but is a good actor in general. He’s an actor who has been around for a long time and lucked into this incredible casting opportunity. How often does a part like that come along? Here’s a great interview he did with GQ.

On the negative side: some of the casting is just bizarre. You may remember Dr. J at 29: 6’7″, handsome, imperially slim. The guy cast to play a 29-year-old Julius Erving is an average-looking 51-year-old man who looks absolutely nothing like him, and at an ordinary 6’2″, looks more like a forgotten Hines brother. About the only possible worse choice would have been to cast Gilbert Gottfried as Dr. J. You think I’m exaggerating. Only a little. He is seen here apparently doing an impersonation of Dr. J as Sherlock Holmes. There’s nothing wrong with the guy. He’s a good actor (he was excellent in a forgotten Matthew Perry comedy series, Mr. Sunshine), but he does not remind one of the young Dr. J. (On the other hand, the stunt double who plays Julius in the game footage is excellent.)

More important than the casting is the liberty the script has taken with the facts. Fans like me know when they’re lying, and it annoys us, especially since we are the target audience for the series. One example: the Lakers are shown being humiliated in Magic’s first encounter with Dr. J. Bullshit. The Lakers absolutely crushed the Sixers by 21 in their first encounter, which was in LA. The Lakers did blow a big lead to lose a 105-104 squeaker in their first game in Philly, but the series reported it as 112-92, and didn’t mention that the teams had already met, with the Lakers dominating. Moreover, Magic was not at all schooled by the Doc in Philly. He shot 8 for 13 with 9 assists, pretty much in line with the averages for his brilliant career (7 for 13 with 11 assists).

That’s just one example. There have been many. For an insider’s take, here’s Kareem’s review of the show. I disagree with the big guy about the show being boring but, as always, he offers cogent analysis.

Anyway, if you want to experience the same great story and characterizations with the accurate facts, I recommend the book that inspired the series. I couldn’t put it down. Another good choice is the recent documentary “They Call Me Magic” on AppleTV.

This is one of the best nude scenes of the year so far, but is unlikely to make our year-end list, given: (1) it’s an obscure crowd-funded film that is basically a two-character play; (2) she’s totally unknown (she’s the writer/director/star’s girlfriend); (3) it’s April, so nobody will remember this in December.

Info about the film here. It’s in French, but I’m sure you’ll figure out how to work around that.

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This is the highly touted new series about Watergate, featuring Julia Roberts as Martha Mitchell, Sean Penn as John Mitchell, Betty Gilpin as John Dean’s wife, Patton Oswalt as his lookalike Chuck Colson, etc.

Allie Marie Adams is the innovative casting as Richard Nixon. Who knew Tricky Dick also had a Tricky Cooch? (I’m just fuckin’ witcha. I don’t think Nixon is portrayed. That said, she would be a massive upgrade from the original Nixon.)

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The film is also known as Olympiades.

Merlant, who did full-frontal nudity, got singled out from this group by appearing in our Top Nude Scenes of 2021 (her third consecutive year in the top 12).

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But three other women also delivered great nude performances.

Oceane Cairaty also did a full-frontal scene,

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Lucie Zhang did two,

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and Jehnny Beth did several nude scenes, including the full Anne Heche.

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Zulewska is a pretty Polish actress who has stayed under my radar until now, but whom I find very appealing. She’s a fair-haired, blue-eyed beauty, but those are a dime a dozen. What makes her special to me is the light, spooky shade of blue in her eyes, as seen in Chemia below. Her face is not scary-spooky like Meg Foster’s, but more hot-spooky like a blonde Daddario.

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This is a heavy-handed spoof of Last Tango in Paris, complete with stock footage of Paris and cheesy Brando impersonation.

The Brando role was essayed by Michael Pataki, who was kind of the Kevin Pollak of his time, accumulating some 200 credits at IMDb without anyone really recognizing him by name. He’s probably best remembered from his role in Rocky IV.

The film’s auteur was Charles Band, who is responsible for all those films about the Evil Bong, the Puppet Master and the Gingerdead Man. Screen classics all.

Playing the Maria Schneider role is Sherry Denton, about whom nothing seems to be known. As far as the internet is concerned, her life seems to have begun and ended with this role.

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