Media Relations: media commentary and criticism

Monday, April 10, 2000

blondes, bazooms and bullets

You know, I have to admit, I kind of like Pamela Anderson Lee.

No no no. Not like like. I do not fantasize about resting my head between her pillowy bosoms. Just ... you know, plain old like.

I've never seen anyone with quite the sense of herself as a character/caricature as she has. And the plain fact is, within the limited range that she shows on VIP, she's actually a pretty good comic actress. (For the Pam-impaired, VIP is a show in which she plays an executive in charge of a personal protection agency. She's supported by her crack staff of incredibly smart and beautiful women and beautiful men.) In the most recent episode, for example, she spent a really extraordinary amount of time running around in a slip, huge garbanzo curlers and really remarkable shoes. Platforms, kind of. But with spike heels. Ouch. Anyway, watching her move in those shoes was frankly hysterical. They were so high that she couldn't take large steps (she'd have broken something), and she was running and squealing, and somehow, it was actually funny.

The truly funny part of the episode, however, was the search. Her friends suspected that a man she was falling for was, in fact, the person who had been hired to kill their client. she knew they were wrong, but she couldn't prove it. finally, when he came to pick her up for a date, she resorted to strip-searching him in the elevator. Sort of. Sort of hot and heavy kissing, interspersed with bits and pieces of his clothing going flying across the elevator. And how often do you figure you'd have a scene with a beautiful woman and a good looking man going at it hot and heavy, and at the end he is the one left standing not-quite-entirely naked.

Watching that episde did make me wonder, though: what do nonAmericans think Los Angeles is like? For that matter, what do most Americans think it's like? If you've never been there, and all you have to judge from are news items and television, it looks like a land where it's always sunny (except when it's either sliding into the sea due to rain or burning down due to lack of same), beautiful blonds of both genders with overstuffed/developed chests, and car chases featuring flying bullets and exploding vehicles happens at least daily, if not several times a day. (And, it's worth noting, only the bad guys ever get hurt in all this. And it's always because they have a car accident or something blows up.)

If ever I go to Los Angeles again, I fully expect to see cars careening down the highway full of people shooting at each other. I think it's everyone's divine right to see a car chase in Los Angeles at least once!

Just watched VH1's Divas 2000: A Tribute to Diana Ross. My overall reaction to the thing can pretty much be summed up as follows (and keep in mind that generally, fashion and hair are the sorts of things I have to be hit over the head with to notice them at all:

The first 90 minutes: Hillary Swank declares Diana Ross "Diva of the Millennium." How ... cute ... Donna Summer singing "Reflections" ought to be better than that, somehow. It just doesn't work. Where's that whoopwhoop instrument, anyway? ... Jeez, this is boring. Bloated and boring. Where the hell did all the energy of this thing go? Maybe I'll just play the Sims instead...

When Diana Ross first appears: AAAAAAHH!! KILL IT! KILL IT NOW!... Oh. That's her hair. Dear god in heaven, what HAS she done to it? It looks like a muskrat exploded on her head! And what is she wearing? Who on earth told her that wearing a vomit colored dress with gold fringe was a good idea?

After her first costume change: Um. Well. Clearly she has decided, "I AM The Diva Supreme, and I will wear what I damn well please." And she IS cruel, isn't she? making the audience sing along with her on the high notes of "Endless Love". And they love her for making them do it. Now THAT is a mark of Divahood, if anything is. Abuse them, but they love you anyway.

After her second costume change: Whoa. Who knew that a 56 year old woman could wear a dress that short and bring it off? and where the hell is the back of that thing? She says she won't bend over; she'd damn well better NOT.... Oh, I see. Her silver lack-of-dress matches Mariah's gold lack-of-dress.

After her third and final costume change: Clearly, explosions is tonight's theme. She looks like she's in the middle of an exploding blue ostrich.

Cattiness and costume changes aside, the one thing that the show seems to have confirmed is that nobody can do Supremes/Diana Ross music like The Supremes and Diana Ross themselves; there's probably a reason why only one of their songs is generally covered (and covered frequently, oddly enough). For each of the Divanettes, so to speak--the tributary divas? everyone else, anyway--they did a number or two of their own and then a Supremes or Diana Ross song. And, with the exception of Mariah Carey, they all sounded really wrong. I don't know if it was just the general lack of energy level generally or the fact that they were mostly trying to keep the original arrangements more or less intact (a mistake, that), but they just sounded weak and flat (and periodically off key, to boot). I do have to admit, though, Miss Carey sounded very good in her arrangement--maybe because her voice is a good enough match that the arrangement didn't sound too odd, and she didn't try too hard to stick with the original sound. (How on earth they made a Heartbreaker/Love Hangover hybrid work, I have no idea, but work it did. I mean, I loathe "Heartbreaker", but that song combination worked.

VIP: the official site. It's rather dated, actually; it hasn't been updated since the series launch.

Pamela Online: May I just report that even though it's mostly not there, this site somehow disturbs me deeply. Or perhaps I mean that it feels somehow deeply disturbed.

Then again, why on earth wouldn't you run your own information/fan site?

But it still seems a bit ... well, weird done this way. I don't know why.

The other official PamTV site--or the official subsite, or the replacement for the official site which isn't there yet anyway (actually, it's not clear WHAT this thing is)--would seem to be sponsored by Altavista, as the first thing it does is load a Shockwave animation with an Altavista ad. And it includes her "Secret Diary"! Which, as it turns out, is exactly two pages of basic biographical information encoded into the SLOWEST loading Shockwave I can remember seeing in a while.

LIT joins VIP: from MTV News. A story about the episode in which the music group Lit was featured as guest stars; it resulted in the video "Miserable" by Lit "featuring Pamela Anderson Lee as Valeri" (which is horribly confusing, really. My guess is that you have to look at the shoes to tell if its' Pam or Valeri.) in which she quite literally eats the band alive.

VH1 Divas 2000: Diva Diana

Posted by iain at 11:23 PM in category