Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The New "It" Couple. If by "it," you mean pointless.

Who is the world are Giuliana and Bill?? (It’s okay, I never heard of them either.) Then I spent the better part of three days sleeping – or restlessly not sleeping as the case may be – in bed with the flu, or what felt like the flu. In my fevered state, I flipped through a number of vapid television shows. And although I never watched an episode, I was intrigued by what appears to be TV’s new power couple, Giuliana and Bill.

Let me see if I understand this. Bill Rancic once found (semi)fame as the first season’s winner on The Apprentice. According to his Style TV biography, many years before he appeared on television, he started a company called Cigars Around the World, which is a multi-million dollar organization today. How someone who founded a multi-million dollar company needed to find his way into the business world as Donald Trump’s apprentice is a mystery to me but let’s leave aside that for now. Since his Apprentice victory, Bill has gone on to a career as – what else?- a motivational speaker and author of not one, but two books.

Giuliana (DePandi) Rancic is a former entertainment reporter (now anchor and managing editor of E! News) who met Bill when she interviewed him. Born in Italy, her family moved to Washington, D.C. when she was 7 years old, where Giuliana promptly taught herself English by watching television. Not surprisingly, she has also written a book and produced such television gold as “Celebrity Rap Superstar” and “Nicole Richie: Her Simple Life.” And aren’t we all the richer for it?

According to the website, the show also features someone named Matt Jacobi, who works as Giuliana’s personal assistant. He “is always there to help Giuliana manage her hectic, high-profile life.” Whatever.

I truly don’t get us. Or at least I don’t get the people who produce and sell programs like this to networks and eventually to us. A “reality” show winner marries an entertainment reporter and there it is. That’s a show. Someone tests the concept with focus groups, and concludes that, yes, in fact we may all just want to follow their every “unscripted” move.

You have to feel sorry for good old Mary Hart. I wonder if she thinks she was born too early? Where were all these reality shows when she was younger and the only female entertainment reporter any of us could name?

All I know is that this week’s promo for G & B centered around a “guys’ night out” in Las Vegas where Bill and his friends get away from their wives and families. As Bill himself says, “What could be better than that?”

Hmmm. I can think of something better; a few things actually. That reality show stars take their winnings and go away immediately after receiving their prizes? That reality show stars never get their own follow-up television shows? That not one of them ever publishes as much as a column, much less a book, or worse, two books??? That the next time a cable network decides to produce a show featuring a motivational speaker / entrepreneur / reality show winner / author married to an entertainment reporter /executive producer / author, someone with the ability to say no to this nonsense, and also with the sense God gave a flea, smacks them very hard across the face and turns it down.

Any one of those things could be better than a boys’ night out, especially one that will be documented for posterity on Giuliana and Bill.

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