Why does my roommate watch such bad TV? I dunno. Let’s ask her.

25 Mar

BleakhouseJoining us today is my partner in all things domestic, Mazall. I love her, without knowing how, or when, or from where. But if I were to file a environmental hostility suit against her in a court of law, Exhibit A would be a simple log of her recently viewed TV shows and movies. This girl is ridic. Never in my life have I lived in such close proximity to multimedia madness. Intervention. Howard’s End. Bleakhouse. Aristocrats (NOT the funny joke one, the Masterpiece Theatre one). True story: 30 minutes into this year’s Superbowl, I rushed home only to find Mazall surrounded by candles in our dark living room watching Barry Lyndon. I shouldn’t even give her a chance to explain, but I’ve worked in media long enough to know that crazy sells. Mazall’s interview, after the jump…

Molly: So let’s look at an isolated example, like Intervention. I feel like once you’ve seen one group of people confront a psycho drug addict, you’ve seen them all. Am I wrong?

Mazall: Is it fair to say that once you’ve seen one rose you’ve seen them all? Should everyone stop buying roses? I think not. These are human beings with stories. Sad stories. And it makes my heart feel fuzzy to see them pulled out of the ditch and shoved into sobriety.

Molly: But doesn’t it become formulaic and boring after a while? Like, snort some coke, go crazy, friends are worried, they confront you, you deny, they confront harder, everybody’s crying, okay you admit you have a problem. (The obvious exception to all this being I’m Walking on Sunshine). Wouldn’t you rather spend the few hours a night you devote to television watching something with a REAL plot?

Mazall: Oh, by ‘real plot’ do you mean a magical flying island that travels through time carrying the same botoxed and tanned actors every single episode, except when that island travels far enough back in time that those actors are then replaced by children of a not so similar visage? That kind of plot?

Molly: I assume you are talking about how LOST is the greatest show in television, and you are correct. Moving on…why don’t you explain your British fascination? And I don’t mean the OG Office or BBC or any worthy programs. I’m talking about AbFab, The Graham Norton Show, and all those awful period pieces you constantly NetFlix. I can’t describe the utter dismay I regularly feel when opening up one of your envelopes only to reveal yet ANOTHER Dickensian melodrama. What are we “Americans” missing?

Mazall: To set the record straight, I do regularly read BBC news on-line for the latest and greatest in news reporting, and I have seen most of the original Office series. That being said, yes, I do watch Absolutely Fabulous, The Graham Norton Show and many, many period dramas with no shame.

1. AbFab = Hilarious mockery of the world of fashion as well as 40 to 50-year-old women partying like 18-year-olds and making fools of themselves. What’s not to love? Also, Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley are brilliant comediennes the likes of which we do not have here in the states. (FYI, they are making an American version of AbFab set in Los Angeles. I don’t expect it to be good.)

2. The Graham Norton Show = Regularly features hilarious comedians we do not ever hear of in the U.S., as well as a completely original format for host/guest interviewing (i.e. he serves his guests booze). Also wonderful use of the audience throughout as well as phone calls to random fans of the guests. Hilar.

3. You really need me to explain my attraction to the genius that is Dickens? Or Austen? Or Hardy? Those people paved the way for your precious Wallace and Pynchon and Vonnegut (all of whom I enjoy immensely which I think could be argued makes me a well-rounded person? Hmm? Expand your horizons, dearest.)

Molly: But we are not talking about books! We are talking about movies based on Victorian or Elizabethan fiction which, unless totally modernized, are completely boring! Now, I know you are capable of good taste because you watch many of the shows I like. So, please explain what happens in your head that causes you to end an episode of 30 Rock and then immediately begin watching Disc 2: Behind The Scenes of The Duchess.

Mazall: Here is the thing with behind the scenes features… I admit that it is true geekiness. BUT, there is good explanation behind it. I am a lover of film and the entire process behind making a film (Russian Ark for example… entirely comprised of ONE SHOT; the longest ever done. The behind the scenes on that baby are just as epic as the film itself). In regards specifically to The Duchess, I realize it’s not the best film ever made. It has many flaws. BUT you know I have a slightly unhealthy obsession with everything 18th-century and so to see how the wigs are constructed, the clothes made and the castles decorated is my heroin. I get off on it. I fully admit it.

Molly: Well, we are all passionate about certain things; does your particular passion make you a dork? I’m not sure. What did you think of the costumes in Dangerous Liaisons?

Mazall: Well, I’m no expert but I have studied that particular period’s costumes quite a bit and the play is supposed to be set in the 1780’s which denotes loose, curly hairstyles, not-so-formal gowns which used more cotton and not as much silk, etc… but for whatever reason the movie and a production I’ve seen on Broadway use costumes and hairstyles from the 1770’s. I should note I’m specifically talking about the women’s costumes, as men’s styles are much harder to follow throughout the decades and I haven’t studied it as much. I know, I know…. 1770’s vs 1780’s? What is ten years or so? But, think back ten years and try and remember what you were wearing. Would you be caught dead in those get-ups today? I think not. Same was true back then, ESPECIALLY for an aristocrat who had nothing else to do but look good and be rich.

Molly: Mmmkay.


10 Responses to “Why does my roommate watch such bad TV? I dunno. Let’s ask her.”

  1. Drewpreme March 25, 2009 at 5:16 pm #

    Excuse me but I enjoy Ab Fab. Seriously they’re like right behind Snoop Dogg, and Charles Barkley of “Random People I’d Love To Spend A Weekend With”. I’m with you on that Maz… I can’t speak on the other stuff.

  2. Claire March 25, 2009 at 6:02 pm #

    Drew is right, Ab Fab is amazing. Patsy is a pickled goddess.

  3. Molly March 25, 2009 at 6:03 pm #

    CLAIRE! What happened to editorial unity?!

  4. Claire March 25, 2009 at 6:07 pm #

    oh ps, I have the American Ab Fab script at my apartment if you want to see it.

  5. Molly March 25, 2009 at 6:09 pm #

    don’t tell her that. she will probably want to dress up and role play

  6. mazall March 25, 2009 at 6:40 pm #

    OMG. messenger that baby over clairey. i think molly would make a perfect patsy. in fact, i can draw MANY similarities between the patsy/edina relationship and the molly/mazall relationship. hmmm…… never thought of that until now.

  7. Drewpreme March 25, 2009 at 7:09 pm #

    US Ab Fab? EGAD NO. That show would never fly, plus the premise isn’t as funny when all we have to do is look at your average celebrity (or reality TV show) and see the same thing with out the comedy. I think it would get truly lost in the sauce if they did a US version of a classic.

    Where’s the Facebook protest petition so I can sign up!

  8. Molly March 25, 2009 at 7:11 pm #

    I love the fact that Drew drinks 40s of Olde English 800 but also regularly uses the word Egad.

  9. mazall March 25, 2009 at 9:53 pm #

    @molly: and also regularly watches absolutely fabulous.


  1. Diversity Training with Drewpreme « Claire & Molly’s World Wide Weblog - April 2, 2009

    […] Joanna Lumley) – OK these are the OG’s of this list behind Julie Newmar.  I stumbled into Ab Fab back in college, because you watched whatever came in clear over the antenna (Yes, I had no cable […]

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