Hey Paula

2007, TV Show


From The Louds to Snooki: A History of Reality TV Stars Blaming the Edit

Diane Lane, Tim Robbins

The most illuminating part of HBO's original movie Cinema Verite (airing Saturday at 9/8c) comes at its very end. We get to see a clip of the real Loud family, whose participation on the first modern reality show, 1973's An American Family, is central to the film. Verite transitions from the fictional portrayal of the Louds to footage from their actual appearance on The Dick Cavett Show, which was part of their self-orchestrated, damage-control tour following the mass criticism they received from viewers as a result of the show. During the segment, they voice their disdain for having their lives edited and their personalities categorized to suit plotlines. In response, Cavett snorts, "Anybody who's in show business would have to call you naïve to think that you could think that you could appear on television and not have it selected, edited..."

If anyone had a right to complain about editing, surely it was this family of guinea pigs. What's amazing about this is that some 38 years later, we're still having this conversation as a culture...
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"Frankly, My Paula, I Don’t Give a Damn!"

At least when the Married with Children Bundys or the Family Ties Keatons did a clip episode, I felt like there was some heart to it, some ventricular thumping that pumped life into the 22.5 minutes of my hard-earned viewing time. The same, sadly, cannot be said for the finale of Hey Paula.For the most part a "highlights" (term used loosely) clip episode, we were treated to the same rehashed garbage that the first seven episodes had already provided. (I’m beginning to think that Bravo only sent a crew to Paula’s domain five or six times and then cut an eight-episode arc out of that. But the producer in me digresses....) Plainly put, one of Bravo’s highlights-reel editors was forced to "treat" (again, term used loosely) us to: Paula in too-tight jeans, Paula bitching over bad bracelets, Paula being too tired to execute daily activities, the life that is Paula’s self-deemed a "crap sandwich," Paula’s missing hair-and-makeup staff, and (my personal favorite!) t... read more

Dancer Jekyll & Ms. Hyde

Talk about bipolar! That’s how I felt watching this episode of Hey Paula.First, we see Paula trying to have an afternoon out with her friends. Now, I work in entertainment, and I know what it’s like to have your cell phone “blow up.” But come on! While on a single call, she had five other people leave her voice mails. I don’t care if you’re as famous as the Baby Jesus — that’s insane! Everyone needs some time to themselves, and I could literally feel this pop star’s fatigued pain. (Not to mention the size of her cell phone bill!)My sympathies only grew when Paula began to monologue about her chronic pain; it literally brought tears to my eyes. I mean, 14 surgeries on your neck! Can you even imagine?! I fractured my right hand in a freak jogging accident (don’t ask!) last year, and the arthritic pain is still unbearable some mornings. I can’t even comprehend what double-digits worth of surgeries and countless procedures could do ... read more

Poo-poo on Paula

Nothing says LOL like kicking off your reality show with some good ol’-fashioned fecal humor. Yes, Paula hid poopy-looking beef jerky in her assistant’s bed, and it was a (toilet) bowl full of ROFL-laughter. Not!Come on, Paula. What’s next? Placing your assistant’s finger in a warm glass of water after she falls asleep? Maybe stealing her panties and putting them in the freezer? How about filling her hand with whipping cream and then tickling her nose? You’d most definitely be the hit of my third-grade sleepover, hands down! Not! Then Paula got the news that “the people” in charge of the Bratz movie would “no longer need her services.” Y’all know that there’s a real juicy story behind this oh-so diplomatic soft-dump; now, that’s the kind of reality television I want to watch! I mean, what could Paula have done that was so heinous that it turned off a bunch of studio execs who are in charge of turning big-headed cartoon twee... read more

ISO Beauty Sleep… Yet Again!

First things first: a new theme song? No! I hate it! Bravo, go back to “Straight Up." At least when I heard that, visions of teenage summer camp danced through my formerly obese head. Now when I hear that new theme “song” (term used loosely), all I envision is a desperate Faith Hill wannabe in an elevator-music recording studio, attempting to warble her way to musical mediocrity. I absolutely loathe this new ditty! Bravo, straight up now tell me, do you really want me to love Hey Paula forever? If so, give me my old theme song back, because this new one is way too legit to not quit.So Paula began her 30 minutes of reality fame by making an appearance at the In Defense of Animals benefit. Without a doubt, I am 100 percent two-thumbs-up for this, having just adopted two cats from a shelter myself. And kudos to Paula for her new assistant, Cher. I see that Kiley has been promoted (or demoted, whatever the case may be) to “stylist” (whatever that occupational... read more

She's Our Cover Girl!

So, 5 hours after posting my commentary on last night's Hey Paula episode, I discovered the latest edition of TV Guide magazine, awaiting me in my TVGNetwork cubicle. On the cover is none other than Ms. Abdul in all of her charmingly wacky glory. I would write a in-depth and involved review of the article, but I think the cover story quote says it all. Says Paula: "I've risen from the bowels of hell singing and dancing."Anyone that can work "bowels" and "dancing" into the same sentence gets my respect. Check out TV Guide magazine's latest, on newsstands now! read more

July 5, 2007: The Third Time's (Not Really) the Charm

Whereas Thursday nights once brought me some much-loved must-see TV, the TGIF-precursor now seems to be muddled only with prime-time mediocrity. Tonight’s episode, the third installment of Hey Paula, was a textbook example of celeb-reality at its most mundane. It wasn’t amazing; it wasn’t terrible. It just... was. I issued no snort-chortling LOLs; I winced with masochistic joy not a’once. No, I simply spooned sugar-free Jello into my gullet and stared blankly at my flat-screen.The episode opened with a post-tabloid-ravaged Paula talking to her "crisis people," a group basically composed of those who take 10 percent of the pop star’s fiscal takeaways. More than once, the "fear" of Paula possibly "losing endorsements" was discussed. After all, as one celeb-crony so tactfully put it: "Paula Abdul is a product." No! Shampoo is a product. Hair paste is a product. AquaNet is a product (my grandmother’s product of choice, in fact). But Paula Abdul is a person... read more

Ratings: Burn Gets Noticed, But Not Hey Paula

Jeffrey Donovan in Burn Notice by Dan Littlejohn/USA Network Photo

• Thursday's commercial-free premiere of Burn Notice dealt USA Network four million viewers, and was basic cable's top-rated show of the night in key demos. That said, it fell shy of such USA series debuts as The 4400 (6.2 mil) and Dead Zone (4.2 mil).• Burn Notice's lead-in, the final installment of The Starter Wife, drew 3.1 mil, a 25 percent drop from the mini's average.• Not too many folks cared to say Hey Paula. The reality series' back-to-back episodes premiered to 607,000 viewers, well shy of, say, Bravo's Top Design (1.76 mil) or even Being Bobby Brown (1.1 mil).• Last Tuesday's BET Awards (6.4 mil) gave the 7-year-old kudoscast its third-largest audience to date. read more

June 28, 2007: Double Your Paula Pleasure

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 ind... read more

What’s in a Name?

I get it. Hey Paula… It’s a double entendre, serving both as homage to the infamous Paul and Paula song classic as well as Ms. Abdul’s forename. But is that really as creative as the good people at Bravo were willing to get?Forever Your Girl or Straight Up instantly come to mind as much more P.Ab-appropriate names for the Cold Hearted crooner’s upcoming reality show. Even more imaginative titles like Life After MC Skat Kat, American Idol’s Sweetheart, or The OC Valley of the Dolls seem just a tad more… I don’t know, fun?You’re all a creative bunch. (As a newbie TV Guide blogger, I’ve most definitely been reading your posts!) What are your thoughts? Maybe we can even get a Bravo exec to reconsider the show’s moniker before its premiere.Hey, it’s happened before! And we still have 56 hours, 13 minutes, 10 seconds later. So get suggesting! Thoughts, fellow TV Guide enthusiasts? What would be a better name for Paula's new show? read more

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Premiered: June 28, 2007, on Bravo
Rating: TV-PG
User Rating: (6 ratings)
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Premise: A seven-episode unscripted portrait of singer, entrepreneur and `American Idol' judge Paula Abdul. The series charts Abdul on `American Idol' media-tour interviews, her efforts to run her business ventures and her private experiences with her posse, which includes a hair stylist, a publicist, a wardrobe assistant and, last but not least, four dogs.


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