Edge

Anna Nicole’s absurd stupidity is pitiful but entertaining

(U-WIRE) ARLINGTON, Texas – In the fall of 1990, the brave television executives at ABC debuted “Cop Rock,” a musical police drama done in an opera-like format where characters sang rather than talked to each other. For some unknown reason, the concept of caroling cops and criminals didn’t catch on. The show quickly incurred wrath among television critics and was dubbed the worst television show ever to pollute the airwaves.

“Cop Rock” strongly held that title until Aug. 4, the day the reality sitcom “The Anna Nicole Show” premiered on the E! Entertainment Television Network. In one night, the show replaced “Cop Rock.” Many critics now consider Anna’s show the most painful boil on the butt of television history.

For those unfamiliar with “The Anna Nicole Show,” its basic premise is to follow the former Playboy Playmate/current oil-billionaire widow around with cameras. While filmed, she stumbles through her daily life in what seems to be a pharmaceutically induced stupor wearing entirely too-tight jeans and way too much makeup.

On some small level, E! TV’s exploitation of Anna Nicole pains me. At the height of her popularity, she was a bona fide celebrity and had a serious fan following. Most adolescent heterosexual males at the time probably believed that having impure thoughts about Anna Nicole was a prerequisite for entering manhood. Her 1993 Playboy “Playmate of the Year” photo spread could best be described as “optical Viagra.” But, unfortunately for Anna Nicole, that was about 10 years and 120 pounds ago. Those who’ve seen any part of the first four episodes quickly learn that there is a fine line between celebrity and sideshow circus freak.

It is apparent that she still has the same beautiful face but has gone from being a Playboy diva to a shallow, self-absorbed oblivious individual who probably thinks a “suicide bomber” is that new drink served down on Hollywood Boulevard.

To be perfectly fair, Anna Nicole is not committing this crime against television by herself. Her accomplices on the show include people with personality quirks so profound they are worthy enough to be “Seinfeld” secondary characters. Leading the way of her supporting cast of crazies is her overtly “flamboyant” interior designer, Bobby Trendy, who, if he were a character creation instead of a real person, would cause the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation to start an uprising that would make the 1992 Los Angeles riots look like a letter-writing campaign. Coming in a close second is Anna Nicole’s sycophant of a lawyer and best friend Howard K. Stern, who would submit to having his testicles removed and surgically attached to his earlobes if Anna Nicole wanted him to.

Rounding out this trio of Anna’s second fiddles is her purple-haired, vapid personal assistant, Kim Walther. Her language includes so many profane words in need of bleeping that it sounds like she’s speaking in Morse code. Also included in the cast is Anna’s 16-year-old son Daniel – the Marilyn Munster of the show – who answers every question with “I’m going to my room.” He will undoubtedly one day make some psychiatrist very, very wealthy.

Despite the fact that I take every opportunity to denigrate “The Anna Nicole Show,” I must confess to liking it. Once one gets past the show’s total lack of substance, coherent thought and any semblance of redeemable social value, and once a person gets over the irony of Anna Nicole Smith having her own reality show – because “reality” is a concept more alien to her than a Vulcan mind-meld – the viewer might see a show that represents America truly as the land of opportunity.

“The Anna Nicole Show” provides voyeuristic proof that in this nation, a person doesn’t have to say or do anything of real consequence or even be able to complete a rational sentence.

No, to be famous in this country, all someone needs is a great set of “tah-tahs” and enough foresight to marry a billionaire 14 months before he dies.

God Bless America.

August 30, 2002

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Miami Hurricanes fans might recall their favorite college football players in past years dreaming of ...

The new quarterback is usually the ones fans gush over. For the University of Miami, last season it ...

Debate all you want, but University of Miami football coach Mark Richt made it clearer than ever Wed ...

Last year, when University of Miami tailback Mark Walton attended the Atlantic Coast Conference Foot ...

The Miami Hurricanes will have plenty of talent on both sides of the ball this season, and four play ...

Following the summit between Trump and Putin, reaction from politicians, pundits and former intellig ...

A School of Communication associate professor played an important hand—an artistic one!—in World Cup ...

University of Miami law and political science professors weigh in on Trump’s SCOTUS nominee. ...

Research bioclimatologists with the UM Synoptic Climatology Lab counsel cities on how to manage risi ...

A UM-led study is examining how children’s play behavior at beaches could impact their health. ...

University of Miami junior running back Travis Homer was named a preseason candidate for the Doak Wa ...

Six former Canes competed on NBA Summer League teams, with three averaging at least 10 points per ga ...

Quick Hits gives University of Miami volleyball fans an opportunity to get to know the new student-a ...

The University of Miami's volleyball team earned the American Volleyball Coaches Association (A ...

University of Miami head golf coach Patti Rizzo announced the 2018-19 schedule, featuring nine tourn ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.