Ah, celebrities. We love to build them up, we love to tear them down. Knowing all of this, they dive headlong into fame, scratching and clawing their way to the top, only to then complain about the bruises they get as we scratch and claw at them until they are put back in their rightful place.
Some of them get it – those who have been there, done that and live to tell about it. Madonna, for instance. She has adjusted to her twenty or so years in the spotlight by turning to her religion and hiding out in the UK. But her doppelganger, Britney Spears, hasn’t yet learned how to do that. To her, it’s still personal.
And so it is with this desperation that Spears has taken her case directly to the public. She wants to take back her life from the tabloids, much the way Kirstie Alley has done with “Fat Actress.” The newly married (and now pregnant, it is rumored) Spears and her husband Kevin Federline have decided upon the UPN network to air a six-episode series which tells their side of the story.
It isn’t a reality show, like Farrah’s, and it isn’t a mock-reality show like “Fat Actress” – it’s sort of an extended confessional, to give fans a look at what their lives are really like. Britney Spears is tired of seeing her fairy tale play out like a nightmare before the public on the cover of, well, just about every top-selling mag out there.
The latest scandal involved Mr. Federline’s trip to Vegas where he reportedly skeezed up a “dancer” or some such while his missus took a break at a nearby hotel. To hear the tabs tell it, either Britney has “let herself go” with too many pork rinds and Red Bulls or she’s three months preggers with the spawn of Federline. Her bitchiness (brought on either by the hormones or her desperate need for attention) drove her man away, into the oiled-up arms of various and sundry females.
To hear Britney and Kevin tell it, they still have a love like no other and they are remodeling their dream home. Kevin was just having a good time in Vegas and Britney was chillin’ by the pool. Of course, their fans have no way of knowing this unless they read Britney’s own website, which recently posted a rather incoherent letter by Britney accusing the tabloids of being liars:
“Your employees are a reflection of your magazine,” Spears wrote in her letter. “I’m really concerned about the people you hire to work at your companies. I’d like them to ask themselves the question ‘What am I lying to myself about?’ Is it that you are 50 pounds overweight? Is it that your children aren’t making wise decisions? Or is it maybe that your husband or boyfriend is cheating on you? Until you face what is going on in your life, I guess you’ll remain a false tabloid.”
Indeed, Star Magazine did have a cover that read: “Britney pregnant, she’s thrilled, Kevin’s furious, will they split?” The world of television has now become Britney’s beacon of light. Anyone desiring to know “the truth” will tune in to the half-hour segments, which will focus on the Spears/Federline romance, their wedding plans, their decision to do it before the press knew about it, the wedding dress, etc. Most of the footage will be home videos shot by the two of them.
The reality of the situation – Britney Spears is simply a naïve, undereducated woman who, like so many other chewed up and spit out celebrities got too much too soon and have no idea why everyone suddenly hates them. Fame comes at a very high price – if privacy is what Britney wanted, she shouldn’t have worked so hard to become such a big star. Doesn’t look so pretty now, does it? Now, she wants to live a normal life but no one is going to let her. The public decides, the press caters. Welcome to fame, honey.
UPN beat out the other networks in a bidding war to get the rights to the six episodes, which will likely air in May. In Variety, Ms. Federline said, “From the day that Kevin and I met, there have been constant rumors and inaccurate speculation about our lives together. I feel that last year, the tabloids ran my life, and I am really excited about showing my fans what really happened, rather than all the stories, which have been misconstrued by journalists in the past. As I mentioned before, I am now going to be expressing my personal life through art.”
So, I guess in Britney Spears’ world, home videos that are probably about as truthful as a Leni Reifenstahl Nazi movie count as art.
Thursday, April 7
Apocalypse Now (***), 7:30 p.m., AMC.
Battlefield Britain – Boudicca’s Revolt: 61AD, 9 p.m., KCET.
Panic in Needle Park (***), a real barrel of laughs, 9 p.m., FMC.
The Terminator (****), still the best of the series, even though it starred The Governator, 9:15 p.m., TBS.
Friday, April 8
Biography: Jane Fonda, 9 p.m., A&E.
Animal Crackers (****), 9 p.m., TCM.
Fried Green Tomatoes (****), just try to keep a dry eye, 10 p.m., TNT.
Charles and Camilla, if you can tear yourself away from the non-stop Pope coverage, 10 p.m., BBCAM.
Saturday, April 9
Breaking Away (****), “old mean old man Mike!” 7:30 p.m., FMC.
Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie, the TV mini-series far superior to the old TV show, 8 p.m., ABC.
About a Boy (****), with Hugh Grant, 9 p.m., ABC.
Romeo is Bleeding (*), 8 p.m., UPN.
Nature: Cloud: Wild Stallion of the Rockies, 8 p.m., KCET.
Mystery! Malice Aforethought, 9 p.m., KCET.
The Six Wives of Henry, VIII, 10 p.m., KCET.
Inside the Actors Studio: David Duchovny, 10 p.m., BRAVO.
Monday, April 11
Me, Myself & Irene (***), with Jim Carrey, 8 p.m., FX.
The American Experience: The Great Transatlantic Cable, 9 p.m., KCET.
Miss USA 2005, 9 p.m., NBC.
An Affair to Remember (***), 9:45 p.m., AMC.
Tuesday, April 12
Somewhere in Time (***), 7:30 p.m., WE.
Your Friends and Neighbors (***), 8 p.m., IFC.
The French Connection (****), 8:15 p.m., FMC.
Frontline: Karl Rove: The Architect, 9 p.m., KCET.
Wednesday, April 13
Autism: Oh, the Possibilities, 8 p.m., KVCR.
The Philadelphia Story (****), 8 p.m., TCM.
Revelations, 9 p.m., NBC.
Prisoner of Paradise (***), 9 p.m., KCET.
Autism: On Call, 9 p.m., KVCR.