As I sat on my couch pre-
Hey Paula premiere, Ben & Jerry on my left and Jake & Maggie (my Persian cats of honorary Gyllenhaal descent) on my right, I had no idea what to expect. My masochistic "I love watching a train wreck" side wanted the reality show's first episode to play out like the premiere of
The Anna Nicole Show, tacky and tragic in the most entertaining of ways. However, my "inner fat kid who used to choreograph routines to 'Shut Up and Dance' in my backyard" secretly yearned to see my favorite '90s star shine.
Well, after viewing two episodes of the new series, it's safe to say that neither side of my rival watcher's wish lists were fully satisfied. There were brief moments of La-La Land tragedy, like when one of
Paula's four teacup puppies were caught chewing on her $1-million Grammy ring. (Aw, how cute is that?! Her dog's chew toy costs what I make in 33.45 years!) But most of both episodes were padded with the typical industry A-lister rants and raves: "Oh, how could my assistant forget my sweatpants?!" "I work too hard!" "I'm always tired!" (Paula, I'm playing the world's smallest violin for you. Quick! Choreograph something sassy!)
There were, however, a few things that really put a smile on my Jerry-Garcia-filled face. The first being Marina, Paula's English-as-a-second-language housekeeper. This woman is forced to scoop teacup-puppy poop, clean up after her (messy) boss's mess and administer fashion advice to the pop star pre-red carpet. Paula thinks it's cute that Marina can't always understand what she's saying. Do you want my opinion? It isn't the Ingles-to-Espanol barrier, Paula: Marina is pretending not to hear you!
I also immensely enjoyed the group trip to QVC, where Paula was hawking some of her I-designed-it-myself baubles, bangles and beads. It was so superficially fulfilling to get a glimpse of the executives from America's favorite trash-tastic 24-hour shopping experience. Something in me always thought that you'd find a group of 50+ overweight white men in suits as the brains of the network. Nope, these "executives" were everyday women who put their stretch pants on one leg at a time, just like every other trailer dweller. Heck, QVC's corporate lobby looked like a Piggly Wiggly ribbon-cutting ceremony, post-Reba McEntire wig and Tammy Faye eyeliner sale. (Very nice, ladies! It's good to know your customer base!)
Paula's after-dusk (literal) stumble through downtown Los Angeles in a $5,000 dress was also a reality show classic. People were shouting at her, and she assumed they were fans; she returned their gestures, shouting loudly and waving proudly. Paula, quell those jazz hands! Those aren't fans! Those are homeless people who see a woman stumbling down a dark alley at night alone. Either they want to kill you and pawn your dress for beer money, or they think you might know where to score some good smack. (Hmmm Maybe both?)
We also learned that "Paula ad-libs all of her own lines on
American Idol. Now that's a shocker! I always assumed that there was a WGA writer stationed behind the judges' desk, feeding her all of that ever-witty banter about Simon, sunshine and pitchiness.
Other soon-to-be-infamous Abdul ad-libs from tonight's
" "The last time I had a hit record, Bill and Hillary were having sex." [pause] "That was a long time ago."
" "I'm tired of people not treating me like the gift that I am."
" [to a stranger at Starbucks] "I gots no money. Can I have money?"
" "I'm like a scientist!"
" [regarding Joan Rivers] "What doctor is your face wearing?"
And no episode review would be complete without a quick shout-out to none other than
my freaking self! Yes, folks, believe it or not, you can catch me, Michael Anthony, talent wrangler extraordinaire, on the Grammy red carpet for a whopping 1.4 seconds! (Mom, I told you that my $120,000 college education from USC would so be worth it one day!)
But back to Paula. Throughout all of tonight's random on-screen antics, one through line reared its nodding head: Paula's particularly creepy sleeping patterns, wide awake all night and then passing out during seemly routine daily activities. But as we were told time and time again, through voice-overs, via stand-ups and by "those that know the real Paula," it's not drugs or booze. Her publicist put it best: "I don't know how Paula can work this hard and I can barely keep my eyes open."
A big part of me thinks that prescription pads and boot flasks have a lot to do with it. But my inner-Abdul-idol-worshipper wins out. I'm not passing judgment just yet. Previews for next week's episode look more emotional than a made-for-television Lifetime movie on antidepressants.
(Come on, Paula! I want to see some insane pop-star tears! Don't disappoint us next week!)
As I sat on my couch pre-Hey Paula premiere, Ben & Jerry on my left and Jake & Maggie (my Persian cats of honorary Gyllenhaal descent) on my right, I had no idea what to expect. My masochistic I love watching a train wreck side wanted the reality shows first episode to play out like the premiere of The Anna Nicole Show, tacky and tragic in the most entertaining of ways. However, my inner fat kid who used to choreograph routines to 'Shut Up and Dance' in my backyard secretly yearned to see my favorite '90s star shine.Well, after viewing two episodes of the new series, its safe to say that neither side of my rival watcher's wish lists were fully satisfied. There were brief moments of La-La Land tragedy, like when one of Paulas four teacup puppies were caught chewing on her $1-million Grammy ring. (Aw, how cute is that?! Her dogs chew toy costs what I make in 33.45 years!) But most of both episodes were padded with the typical ind...