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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"As it happens I do know the Countess de Lesseps. I still find the title a bit obtrusive since I met her with her husband Alex years ago and there was no mention of a title in the introduction. Furthermore she’s very American (and part Native American). There is a quality about her – maybe it’s just physical – that reminds me of Pat Loud, the wife and mother on the 'original' reality television show – 'An American Family' documentary that debuted in 1973 and followed the day-to-day of a family in Santa Barbara by the name of Loud. However much of that that may have been staged, it most definitely was real (and riveting) ... Today’s 'reality' Housewives shows, of course, are not like that. The little I’ve seen of them seem like grown women (and occasionally men) vying for attention and apparently adoring the camera. When I first met LuAnn de Lesseps she told me she wanted to pursue an acting career and this show is no doubt an actualization of that pursuit. I was talking about these shows recently with a very smart woman friend of mine who is also a big television watcher, which I am not. She told me that she’d seen all of the various 'Housewives' shows and only likes the New York one. 'I love love love it,' was how she put it. 'Why?' I asked. 'Because it’s so much fun watching them make asses of themselves,' was her immediate answer, adding, 'It’s hysterical.' My friend, incidentally, is not an insensitive woman, nor is she unkind in her assessment of others. She sees the show for what it is – entertainment meant to amuse. Of course the entertainment is people striving and in strife. So really it’s a spectator sport. Maybe the 21st century equivalent of what the Gladiators were to the audience of ancient Rome. Or the Christians and the lions. Nevertheless, it’s been a boon to television and a lot of employed people." (NYSocialDiary)



"Forget Chelsea Clinton. The most glamorous wedding of the year was between Prince Nikolaos of Greece and Tatiana Blatnik which took place this week on the Greek island of Spetses. The bride, an events planner for Diane von Furstenberg’s label in London, arrived in a horse-drawn carriage wearing a stunning gown by Angel Sanchez. Among the royal attendees were Princess Letizia and Prince Felipe, Princess Mary of Denmark, and newlyweds Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel. Queen Sofia of Spain, the sister of Nikolaos’s father, Constantine II, also attended the traditional Greek Orthodox nuptials ...The Emmys air this Sunday and all anyone wants to know is—how low with Coco go? His version of the Tonight Show got an Emmy nom, but should Conan O’Brien win, his acceptance speech will be shackled by a non-disparagement agreement, which unfortunately ends only three days after the Emmys air. (After that, anything and anyone—including the much-loathed Jeff Zucker—is fair game.) But there could be one loophole—he’s only restricted from saying anything that’s 'false'—and given the high drama that surrounded his acrimonious split from NBC, there’s plenty of truth he could work with. Everyone’s praying for a win to give the usually long ceremony a bit of drama." (Takimag)



"Relocated to my table, (writer DBC Pierre) starts enthusing about tequila. When he was growing up, it was awful stuff: 'That’s why you needed the salt and the lime, to take the flavour away.' Now, he explains, tequila has been transformed, as refined as a malt whisky. I am drinking a bottle of mineral water and a silky, non-alcoholic drink called horchata. 'Great stuff. It’s made with rice water, the stuff we throw away down the sink. Very good for you,' Pierre says. He studies the drinks menu. 'We’re going Dutch, yeah?' A charming phrase – one I haven’t heard in a long time. I explain that it’s on the FT. 'They’re paying for both of us?' he says. 'Oh, we’re never going to get out of here!' A long discussion with the waiter ensues in Spanish; Pierre seems to be discussing the provenance of every tequila in the place. His eventual choice comes with two shot glasses, one red, one green, a sort of deconstructed Bloody Mary. I stick to the mineral water – for now. We order cactus salad to start ('very nutritious'), then a cheese and potato enchilada for me and meat tacos for him. The tortillas are special here, he explains, made on the premises – and it’s true: they are light and delectable. “You should come here on Thursday nights, to the bar downstairs. It saves you the plane fare to Mexico City.'" (Lunch with FT)



"The sixth season of the Writers Guild West’s Showrunner Training Program begins January 2011 and is taking applications now. Conducted in partnership with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, it's designed to help senior-level writer-producers hone the skills necessary to become successful showrunners in today’s television landscape. But if you want to find about 2010's boot camp, then you have to first get past the 'Cone of Silence'. It seems fitting that the people who make and create TV shows would turn to the sitcom Get Smart to describe the bubble of secrecy that shrouds the popular program. Though voluntary, the pledge to not reveal what happens is vital to the program's effectiveness." (Deadline)

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