Another day, another middling celebrity decides to make a reality show about his/her "insanely busy" life.
I don't blame celebrities for doing this. Regular people are endlessly fascinated by famous people. But some celebrities really shouldn't let us see what they're up to. Like, for example, Harry Hamlin and Lisa Rinna, whose reality show, Harry Loves Lisa, debuts Wednesday at 10 p.m. on TV Land.
Hamlin, 58, and Rinna, 47, are one of those couples whose names and faces you recognize. They're not Brad-and-Angelina famous, but they show up here and there at red carpet events, and they're pictured, occasionally, in celebrity magazines. If you're like me, you think of Hamlin as an eighties-era heartthrob—maybe from his 1981 movie, Clash of the Titans, or his years on the classy legal show, LA Law. My image of Rinna is that of a gorgeous, long-ago soap star (Melrose Place, Days of Our Lives) with pouty, puffy lips. I liked thinking of them this way, knowing just this much about them and nothing more.
And now…well, now I know too much. It's just not interesting to watch Rinna battle with her own vanity, weighing decisions about issues like plastic surgery. Even worse, it's disconcerting to witness, via this reality show, Hamlin's insecure struggle to find acting work. He's been out of the business for quite some time now, and, ostensibly, he's taken the time to raise their daughters. But the show gives viewers other insights into why he's been out of the spotlight for so long. Possibly, he just can't get back in.
In this clip, Hamlin casually mentions a recent lesson he took from a professional acting coach. "[It's] this coach who teaches you how to go out and read for stuff and get the parts, right?" says Hamlin, and you feel for the guy. But you can't help but wonder why he doesn't already know how to "read for stuff and get the parts." You were on LA Law, man! You've shared big screen time with Maggie Smith! And all those TV movies count for something, don't they? His current desperation just seems sad.
And then it gets worse. After an audition, he tells the reality TV cameras about the feedback he gets from his agent. "Their reaction was 'You gave a bizarre reading, and you freaked everyone in the room out,'" Hamlin recounts. In other words, he's lost his touch. Should he be sharing this fact with us viewers? Again, I'd prefer to think of him as that cool, well-coifed lawyer who was married to Susan Dey.
As for Rinna, I'd simply rather not go along with her on her recent journey of self-empowerment, which includes lip reduction surgery (to correct the too-extreme procedure that she once felt she needed). During an interview for NBC's Today--which is incorporated into the reality show--she points out to host Kathie Lee Gifford that Gifford herself has had plastic surgery. Gifford isn't amused. It's a moment of so-called drama for Harry Loves Lisa. But really, it's hard to care about either woman's adventures under the knife.
Hamlin and Rinna probably think this show will boost their professional options. I doubt they considered that it might set their careers back.
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