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shiny, happy, celebreality
embracing our celeb-obsessed culture
by heather m. millen
pop culture

This weekend, I attended a wedding. It was a wedding of a childhood friend of mine, a young lad that I spent many an afternoon with growing up. He was always getting into crazy, yet completely wholesome, hijinx with his five brothers and sisters. It was a hybrid family. See, there was this one day when the lady met this fellow, and they knew that it was much more than a hunch. That this group, must somehow form a family...

Yes, the friend I am referring to is Peter Brady... or to those in the know, Christopher Knight. Some of you may be familiar with his reality show "My Fair Brady" which focuses on his unlikely relationship with Adrienne Curry, who I guess is from "America's Next Top Model" fame, but even I have limits to my embarrassing TV viewing habits, thus I've never actually seen that show. [Editor's Note: Um... Joanie was robbed?] In a nutshell, she's a wacko and he's a borderline abusive alcoholic. But they're in LOVE... and what's even better? This season, they were getting married!

From the first episode I was hooked. I didn't want to be. I'm not proud of myself. But she washes her car in her underwear and he makes her dress up like a schoolgirl when he proposes to her, and even threatens to break up with her AS he's proposing. A major theme of the show is that they have a near relationship meltdown EVERY episode and there's lots of crying and screaming and running after Peter Brady and a fair amount of champagne drinking. The one thing you truly take away from this show is that these two people should NOT be married.

Definitely not to each other, probably not to anyone, but screw it, it's so delightfully disgusting to watch. PETER BRADY ROCKS MY WORLD!

But why? Why is the emergence (or lack thereof) of Suri Cruise into the world front page news? Why do I CARE if Lindsay Lohan is an anorexic drug fiend? Does it really matter that Sienna Miller dresses like an asshole? Who cares if Star Jones got her stomach stapled, she's still a disgusting excuse for a human being!

Do you know who I hate? Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Just BLIND HATE. They're so self-important... waltzing around Hollywood trying to single-handedly stamp out poverty in foreign countries. Hey, adoption is AWESOME. Do it up! It gives a child a home who otherwise wouldn't have one and it also spares Hollywood mommies from pesky things like breastfeeding and stretch marks.

Clearly, the voyeuristic nature of the American public is widely to blame. The demands for photographs of celebrities doing every mundane task imaginable are insane. They eat food! They walk! They buy gas! They pass gas! These demands have made any aspiring scumbag with a halfway decent camera a new breed of paparazzi. And celebrities are scared. To be fair, I can empathize with this. It must get tedious to have to play "Try Not To Hit The Paparazzi" every time you leave the Stop n'Go.

But at the same time, it's the name of the game. And if you want privacy, don't go to the most popular hotspots in LA flaunting around your new diamond or new nose or new coke habit. I used to live in LA... there are thousands of bars and restaurants at which you can imbibe. But if you scan the tabloids, you'd swear there were only, like, 3 places to eat. Il Sole, Koi and The Ivy. Branch out, people! I guarantee you that you will not be disturbed at Max's Tacorama on La Cienega.

I'm not pointing fingers here. I take some responsibility. Half the reason I even go to the gym is the delicious offerings of People, US Weekly, Star and OK! that are supplied there. I'm not running my ass on the elliptical machine for 45 minutes for nothing... but for a picture of Nicole Kidman picking a wedgie in Malibu? I'm ON it!

Remember when "Survivor" came out like nineteen seasons ago? I did not embrace it then, nor do I embrace it now. I thought Reality TV would be a passing fad and now it seems to grow with every passing year. I don't really like reality shows about NORMAL people; that's where I draw the line. I'm more interesting than most normal people so I stay amused just trying to track my own life. I do however enjoy "Little People, Big World" on TLC. A relatively normal family in Oregon, who happens to suffer from dwarfism, trying to make good on the family farm? Who can't get behind that?

It's really been The Osbournes and The Simpson/Lacheys that I got to know best. Rivaling my obsessions with the Brady Wedding carwreck is my love of the Hulk Hogan show on VH1. I secretly think I might have been Hulk Hogan's daughter in another life. When I was little, my family loved wrestling. (I'm not even joking. We had Pay-Per-View parties.) He was my hero. When Hulk "broke his rib" in a "cage match," I actually sent him a Get Well Card to an L.A.-area hospital.

My compassion was repaid with a picture of Hulk Hogan, signed undoubtedly by some poor bastard intern, but nonetheless, I displayed it proudly. And now, watching him on TV, it's more obvious than ever that Hulkamania will never die.

And perhaps, never will our obsession with celebrity. I think that the lives they lead are so far outside our realm of understanding, maybe we are just trying to understand it through a warped sense of character study. Or maybe seeing their shortcomings make us feel better about ourselves… I'm serious, I think my abs might be tighter than Scarlett Johansson's. So take that, ho! Who needs the fame and fortune to go along with it?


Heather has a penchant for drama, both personally and professionally. She secretly wishes people spoke in song and wholeheartedly believes that everyone deserves a standing ovation now and again. She finds it appalling that people reserve champagne only for special occasions, when champagne is clearly best on a Tuesday, while riding the subway, accompanying a slice of kick-ass pizza.

more about heather m. millen


tra la la-ing for your fa la las
is it christmas already or does everyone need to settle down?
by heather m. millen
topic: pop culture
published: 11.24.04

a day in the life: penny lane
welcome to my (semi-)reality
by heather m. millen
topic: pop culture
published: 9.27.04


mike julianelle
7.26.06 @ 9:09a

Being as I am in the same house as Heather, I've been subjected to a few episodes of this Brady debacle. Every single episode leads to them nearly breaking up.

The best was when Brady got TRASHED and, turns out, he's an angry, mean drunk. And so's his dad!

jael mchenry
7.26.06 @ 9:27a

I'm not quite sure why it's enjoyable to watch people be miserable and wrong for each other. Can you give me a better sense of what's appealing about this?

Heaven knows I watch plenty of reality TV, so I'm not anti-"unscripted entertainment", but even on The Amazing Race I get annoyed and uncomfortable when people yell at each other. So a show that's mostly yelling doesn't appeal.

mike julianelle
7.26.06 @ 9:31a

I don't necessarily find it appealing; I dislike reality in general. But it's a lot more lighthearted than you think. It's just bizarre watching these two totally idiotic, dysfunctional people try to keep it together.

And it's not mostly yelling. It's more like constant misunderstandings. It's interesting to see two people less equipped to deal with a relationship than you. Every time I watch I can point out like 15 problems that could have EASILY been prevented with just the tiniest bit of common sense and empathy. Yet the hits just keep on coming.

tracey kelley
7.26.06 @ 11:32a

I hate that train wreck. I hate that they make money from it.

So while VH1 invests more money in producing "Flavor of Love" for a second season, Showtime cancels "Huff." Wake UP, people. It's all scripted drama, but some is just really, really better than others.

I still love Queer Eye, though. Never miss it.

mike julianelle
7.27.06 @ 8:52a

Some wisdon from those two reality whores Rob and Amber, during a recent interview about some new show they are doing:

Q: You took a year off from reality TV. Did you find you missed having cameras all around you, recording everything you were doing?
Rob: No, it was actually nice [...] for a little while. But you move on.
Amber: And we were good at it. You know what I mean? We found something that we're good at. We work really well together.

Something they're good at? UGH.

tracey kelley
7.27.06 @ 10:08a

I think it was USA Today that featured the breakup of reality couples, including Navarro/Electra and Simpson/Lachey, and questioned whether putting everything on the air had anything to do with it.


jael mchenry
7.27.06 @ 11:42a

I think it's correlation without causation -- maybe the type of famewhore who's willing to see everything televised is the same sort of person who's going to bail on a marriage more quickly regardless.

katie kilgariff
7.27.06 @ 1:41p

I am not unproud to say that I receive several of those magazines at my home since my new baby has hindered my trips to the gym to read them. I am admittedly a celebrity junkie, so much so that my husband thinks I should offer my knowledge as a service or class to rich and bored suburban wives. ha!

dan gonzalez
7.28.06 @ 12:22p

After seeing them feed Ozzy lines in the series finale, I've been skeptical on the whole 'unscripted' and 'reality' assertions. 'Completely Plotless, Exagerrated Melodrama' or 'Pretentious Overblown Gameshow' is more apt I think.

So I think Brady is just bullshitting around and laughing all the way to the bank.


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