Bravo is a fun network to which most all of us are addicted, but for many of us, it’s time to look for some other forms of recreational TV (drugs). Not so much to replace Bravo, but to vary our programming a bit. And by programming, I mean sometimes we need to let someone other than Andy Cohen (Happy Birthday, Andrew!) program us. I’ve been doing this behind your back, without sharing my dalliances on the blog, for a while now. Here are my suggestions.
If you haven’t watched STARZ since it was a bunch of movies from the 1970s, you are missing out. I love STARZ Cinema for the sheer humiliation it provides me when watching foreign films in French. (Note to my trial peeps: It’s so debasing. I love it!)My nearly complete reliance on the damn subtitles is both infuriating and challenging. Hell, I think I understand more of the Spanish ones which I have apparently learned through many years of bilingual parent-teacher conferences. Hell, I did fairly well with Romanian in Bucharest, well at least as far as ordering beer and playing casino tables. But aside from foreign movies I am really into Davinci’s Demons an original series that is a fictional series about Leonardo Davinci’s life. Despite the many, many, anachronisms, dreadful costuming , modern curse words and other miscalculations, overall it’s an interesting series if you suspend disbelief a bit. It’s full of sex, nudity, drugs, magic, art, war, barfights… basically everything you could want. And perhaps some things you don’t like lots of male nudity. Old man nudity. But I must say, that one guy with the one eye, is very nicely endowed. Um, not that I looked. Or paused the DVR or anything, because that would be gross. But if I had, I would report that dude should be doing porn. Allegedly. Anyway, this may be more of a guys show…but I like it.
Before I was one of Andy Cohen’s sheeple, I was ensconced in the Oprah Winfrey herd quite happily. I read her favorite books and longed for a pair of her favorite PJs. I frankly never expected that the entire massive herd would not blindly follow her right over to her new network. But we haven’t. Sure we showed up for Oprah Behind the Scenes, or whatever that was , but after that ended we left. When OWN began, Oprah believed her own PR. It’s hard to become OPRAH and not have a sense of superiority, so she began her network wanting to save us little people from reality TV ( a noble cause) and other intellectually devoid nonsense. She brought us “life lessons” replete with free notebooks for recording the pearls of wisdom and “soulful Sundays” and such. She grossly overestimated our desire for enlightenment, or at least some meaningful intellectual stimulation. But I think she has finally abandoned all hope to save us from our lack of intellectual and spiritual development and has jumped on the bus of commercialism. It appears that now she is fine being the new BET, if only we will find her channel and tune in. She has put most of her eggs in the Tyler Perry basket. A mistake, in my opinion. But she has also finally given in to the sort of program she was so quick to shun previously, reality TV.
This dumbing down plan has given us two shows I actually like, Life With Latoya and Raising Whitley. Life With Latoya is an interesting peek into the life of one of the Jacksons. It’s got a lot more of a realistic feel than most reality shows, but that could just be because we haven’t developed our BS meter to be as finely tuned as it is for a cookie cutter Bravo production. While there are a few lines per show that fall flat, like this week when Latoya met with RuPaul to discuss making a duet with him. In that meeting, she feigned surprise that RuPaul her “dear friend of 25 years” has an album named Champions after she launches into a monologue about how she wants the song to be about…champions. But let’s overlook such things. We get to see her fear of cats and her desire to adopt children to live in her home decorated in shades of white that she is meticulous about keeping germ-free. Her constant bodyguard shadows her even on staged dates at a mini golf course. There is plenty of Paula Abdul type crazy with a enough peeks into her reality to make the show compelling. Give it a try. As for Raising Whitley, the few episodes I have seen are actually quite good. It is about a comedian named Kym Whitley who was mentoring an underprivileged girl. She gave birth to a baby boy and took off leaving word at the hospital that Kym was to take the baby. Hilarity ensues as Kym and her group of friends attempt to raise the baby. Both shows air back to back on Saturday nights from 9-10 on OWN.
I have more options for you that I will save for another time as this post is well past the “too long didn’t read” limit for many already. So is anyone else watching these with me? What are your guilty pleasures not on Bravo?