I got to go to a swishy cocktail party for USA TV's new reality show Chrisley Knows Best, which airs Tuesday, March 11 at 10pm EST.
I am not really a fan of the reality TV genre, but Chrisley Knows Best was a pleasant surprise. As I was introduced to Todd Chrisley, the patriarch, his voice -- genteel and gracious -- struck me. The trailer -- see the above -- is pretty hilarious. And when he is "on," Todd is quite the witty force of Nature, quipping up a storm. But, and this is what is interesting and gets to the heart of why I like this show, Todd is also a loving father and family man. This is sort of new human quality in the reality genre. Take, for example, the Real Housewives franchise in which all involved come off as buffooons incapable of higher emotions. Avarice, rage, greed, gluttony -- all of these lower emotions are on display in the housewives franchise. So why, I asked myself, would USA Network want to get into the reality TV ghetto?
Yes, Todd Chrisley is outspoken. That much of the reality genre is in this series. And he is quite funny. But the humor comes not from a place of malice -- as in, say, Bad Girls Club -- but in the fact that Todd loves his wife and his children. Large personalities thrive on reality TV, and Todd's is ginormous. He clearly loves his wife, Julie, who was also at the cocktail party, and appeared tickled at the whole spectacle. He loves his children so much -- too much? -- that he spies on their internet habits and has the ability to track (and stop) the movements of the family car.
Alicia Quarles, the E! Entertainment New York correspondent, interviewed the family. Todd clearly loves his family more than anything -- the money, the possessions and the lifestyle. That is quite frankly a refreshing change from the usual "Reality" fare. If he has any fault, Todd, a bit of a micromanager, loves his family too much. But, is that a fault?
|Katelyn Maziekien, Tonight Show, Sid Lipsey, HLN, Ron Mwangaguhunga, IFC. (image via EastVillageLive)|
Also spotted in the crowd: HLN's Sid Lipsey, Nojan Aminosharei, Details Magazine; Emily Spitale, USA Network PR; Larissa Kilough, NBC Universal; Channon Vacca, NBC; Natasha Charles, NBC Universal; Andrea Morabito, New York Post;, Chris McCumber, USA Network; Hillary Smith, SVP Communications USA Network; Lisa Xavier and David Barish