Lorraine Duffy Merkl Lorraine Duffy Merkl
Starpulse Contributing Writer
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Bio/Profile
Lorraine Duffy Merkl is a freelance writer in NYC and author of the novels FAT CHICK and BACK TO WORK SHE GOES.

'The Singles Project' S1 Ep 6 New York Date Of Mind

September 17th, 2014 8:50am EDT
'The Singles Project' S1 Ep 6 New York Date Of Mind
OK, so we can all die now: Ericka and Lee are a couple. I am genuinely happy/relieved for the new twosome, as well as for the rest of us who went on what seemed like their never-ending journey with them.

I think Lee is truly swept away by his cast mate, as well as sincere in feeling, “I'm done. I don't want to date anyone else.” He's had a long-term relationship before, so we know he's capable of commitment. Aside from his interest in Ericka, I think he's also truly tired of rolling up to woman after woman, throwing his rap, doing the number exchange, meeting for coffee, and having the "So...
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'The Real Housewives Of New Jersey' Season 6 Ep 9 Recap: There Will Be Bloodwork

September 15th, 2014 9:46am EDT
'The Real Housewives Of New Jersey' Season 6 Ep 9 Recap: There W
Cancer, colonoscopies and conspicuous consumption. This was the least entertaining episode of this show I have ever watched and would have stopped watching immediately if it were not my job to recap. It just could not end fast enough.

If you recall from last week, the NJ ladies are preparing for a Florida trip, mainly to get Teresa Guidice out of her element (where plea deals and jail sentences swirl around her), but also for the women to discuss plans for Dina’s charity event.

By the end of the hour, both Teresa G. and Amber have begged out of the vacation.

The lives of Teresa and Joe G...
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'The Singles Project' Season 1 Episode 5: Dating Is In Fashion

September 10th, 2014 9:28am EDT
'The Singles Project' Season 1 Episode 5: Dating Is In Fashion
It’s fashion week on TSP and some are wearing their “singleness” better than others.

Kerry and Tripp are still an item. They had date two in Brooklyn at his art studio where they do some painting. They start off using brushes, then throwing the paint, then rolling around in it on the floor. (It was like a scene out of ‘Pollack’.)

Tripp is good-looking, fun, he enjoys her company and tells her she’s beautiful. He even cares whether her mom approves of him.

As she is an art consultant and he is an artist, plus they are both only children, I think these two could be soul mates who really un...
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'The Real Housewives Of New Jersey' Season 6 Episode 8: 'Guilt Trip'

September 8th, 2014 10:01am EDT
'The Real Housewives Of New Jersey' Season 6 Episode 8: 'Guilt T
Orange is on its way to being the new black in the Garden State as this episode revolves around Teresa and Joe Guidice pleading guilty to mortgage and bankruptcy fraud.

It is February 28, 2014. The news is reporting an update on the plea deals and Teresa's phone starts ringing. Amber calls crying and tries to be supportive. She, as always, likens the situation to the time she had cancer (because she can’t go five minutes without making everything about her) but says Teresa Guidice is luckier, because the potential for death is not the end of her current narrative. Then Melissa calls to fin...
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Prediction: Law & Order: SVU’s Olivia Benson Will Be One Badass TV Mom This Season

September 7th, 2014 3:00pm EDT
Prediction: Law & Order: SVU’s Olivia Benson Will Be One Badass
A baby can change your life – or in the case of ‘Law & Order: SVU,’ it can breath new life into a series that is entering its sixteenth season.

Used to be, the show’s biggest difference from year to year was the hair color and cut of “Olivia Benson” (Mariska Hargitay). But on September 24th, the new acting commander will be pulling double duty as the court-appointed custodial guardian of “Noah Porter,” the baby who was orphaned at the end of last season.

For the trial period of one year, she will join the ranks of New York City mothers; and although we’re a tough bunch (I’ve been one for ...
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'The Singles Project' Season 1 Episode 4: A Labor (Day) of Love

September 3rd, 2014 3:18pm EDT
'The Singles Project' Season 1 Episode 4: A Labor (Day) of Love
It was summer's last weekend, which culminated with Kerry's birthday party.

There were some honest to goodness life lessons in this episode taught by – and I can't believe I'm saying this: Brian and Kerry.

I have a newfound respect for Brian. Turns out he is former buff, gym rat from Staten Island who moved to Manhattan, lost weight, and let his fashionista flag fly. As an outer boroughs person myself (The Bronx), I totally can relate to him.

This week he headed across the Varranzano for a BBQ at his parent's house, where of course the mandatory fix up awaits. Right before this he had an...
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‘The Singles Project’ S1 Episode 3: Failing Chemistry 101

August 27th, 2014 10:45am EDT
‘The Singles Project’ S1 Episode 3: Failing Chemistry 101
Man stealing, stalking and set ups. Oh, yes.

As I continue to watch this show, I’m beginning to vacillate between physical pain and boredom. The theme of this week’s episode was No Chemistry – some real and some imagined.

There were dates galore though: Lee and a woman named Saida, Brian and Nichole, Tabasum and Vedent, Kerry and Chris, Ericka and Francesco, Joey and a room full of guys at the Hell’s Kitchen haunt, Boxers.

Lee has yet to take my advice and date Ericka. I think these two know that once they start seeing each other, it will be the end of dating other people. For all they s...
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'RHONJ' Season 6 Episode 7: You Gotti Have Heart

August 25th, 2014 9:25am EDT
'RHONJ' Season 6 Episode 7: You Gotti Have Heart
So the drama of the first responder party has been put to rest, and everyone is supposedly friendly again. But tranquility is the kiss of death on reality TV, meaning I couldn’t wait to to see what new commotion – real or manufactured -- awaited the Jersey gals.

With other franchises, to shake things up the housewives are often sent on a trip where cabin fever or too many cocktails get the ladies in each other’s faces. Something tells me that that ploy isn’t necessary with this group, as they don’t need a distant land or booze to get them screaming at one another. So, instead of taking th...
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'The Singles Project' Season 1 Episode 2: Bad, Bad Dates

August 20th, 2014 1:36pm EDT
'The Singles Project' Season 1 Episode 2: Bad, Bad Dates
Seriously, I could shake these people.

Like so many singles I have known in my life, the cast chews your ear off about how they want a relationship, they want to be in love, they want to meet somebody…and then all they do is sabotage an opportunity that comes their way.

The theme this week was Dates: The Good, The Bad and The Obnoxious; as three out of the five people who actually appeared prominently on the show this week went on ones that just did not work out. Was it them or was it the person they went out with? As often is the case in most situations, there's enough blame to go around...
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‘Gossip Girl’ Wisdom: 50 Ways To Make Your Life Better

August 19th, 2014 7:07pm EDT
‘Gossip Girl’ Wisdom: 50 Ways To Make Your Life Better
Serena (Blake Lively), Blair (Leighton Meester), Nate (Chace Crawford), Chuck (Ed Westwick), Dan (Penn Badgley), Jenny (Taylor Momsen) and a coterie of others had it all. But “all” was more than just clothes, travel via private jet, and elevators that open right into the penthouse. They had a point of view as inspiring as the one from their expansive terraces.

I realized this when recently binge-watching the iconic show that ran from 2007 to 2012. Although I could have done without seasons three and four, I found one, two, five and six rather entertaining. Even though the plots are thin an...
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