When one thinks of Hollywood, one normally thinks of glitz and glamour. But behind the screen is another story.
Mysteries and Scandals aired on E! from 1998-2001. Hosted by A.J. Benza, the series told the story of various celebrities who either died in a suspicious manner or were scandalized in some manner. Included in the program were experts in the case, reenactments, and photographs.
As I recall, I enjoyed this program. The noir-ish format of the program added to the mystery. Benza, as a host, came off as a grizzled detective, which worked perfectly within the context of the series.
There is two sides to fame: the name recognition, the extravagant salaries, the clothing that most of will never wear, etc. But there is also a darker side to fame.
E! True Hollywood Story (1996-2002) introduced the viewer to the less than glamorous side of fame. There were stories of scandal, mysteries, secrets and other sordid tales of Hollywood that create headlines for the wrong reasons.
This show is like a car wreck on the highway. As a viewer, you would prefer to watch something else. But this show is addicting and no matter how salacious it is, it’s hard to turn away. It’s no wonder this program was rebooted this year.
Reality television, whether we like it or not, has become part and parcel of our television viewing schedule.
Giuliana and Bill was on the air from 2009-2014. The show followed the lives of two married TV personalities: E! News anchor Giuliana Rancic and season one The Apprentice winner Bill Rancic. As with every reality show in which the focus is a celebrity, this program told the story of the daily lives of their subjects.
If the point of this show and the sub-genre of celebrity based reality shows is to prove how normal they are, this show succeeds. However, it seems to be self-serving with a “look at me” attitude. I do recall watching this program, but looking back, I wish I had spent my precious TV time watching another program.
Satire is to my mind, one of the finest forms of comedy.
Talk Soup (1991-2002) perfected the art of satire. Airing on the E! network, the show had four hosts during it’s lifetime: Greg Kinnear (1991-1995), John Henson (1995-1999), Hal Sparks (1999-2000) and Aisha Tyler (2001-2002), the show satirized moments from the previous days talk shows.
As I recall, I did not get the humor initially because it was a little over my head. Then I understood the humor and I laughed. I laughed because of the ridiculousness of the clips and how self serious the shows made themselves out to be.
The focus of the show was the late Playboy Magazine founder/editor Hugh Hefner and his decades younger blonde girlfriends. For most of the series, the girlfriends were Holly Madison, Bridget Marquardt and Kendra Wilkinson. The show basically followed their lives as they lived in Playboy mansion and shared their mutual boyfriend.
While there is something to be said about the camaraderie between the women, the show didn’t sit right with me. I don’t know if it was the fact that they all shared him or that Hugh Hefner was old enough their father and/or grandfather. Either way, it was not the way I wanted to spend my precious television watching time.