Tag Archives: family

“From Now On, When My Name Appears In Print, It’d Better Read ‘Blanche Devereaux COMMA 39!'”

–Rue McClanahan as Blanche Devereaux, The Golden Girls.

Lately, Betty White has got all the attention. She hosted SNL last weekend, has popped up in various romcoms, and now has a facebook campaign to convince the Academy to pick her to host the Oscars next March. Life sure is swell for Betty. And while there is no doubt Ms. White is awesome (did you know she was one of the first female television producers?) we cannot forget Rue McClanahan, aka Blanche Devereaux. Time Magazine had the balls to add McClanahan to their “100 Least Influential People List,” simply because she’s not all over the place like White. I disagree, as would any reader of her 2007 autobiography.

McClanahan is a smart woman. She knows that she is now, and will always be identified by the Blanche Devereaux persona–bold, sassy, fabulous. Like Marie Osmond and Wendy Williams before her, you feel as if you’re talking to her one on one, over a cup of coff–er, a plate of cheesecake. However, you won’t find any scandal or trash talk, not even from behind the scenes of The Golden Girls. (I always seem to pick the friendliest celebrities, don’t I?) Although McClanahan does give a grading system to her men, she is never malicious. And while she has faced many obstacles in her life, she never dwells on the hardship or asks for pity. She’s just telling us about her life, and frankly, that’s just fantastic.

Have you read My First Five Husbands…And The Ones Who Got Away? Did you enjoy dipping your toes into the lake known as the woman who played Blanche? Let me know what you think in the comments!

Apologies for the delay in posting, especially to Christine 🙂

Next Week: Batter up with Alyssa Milano’s Safe at Home: Confessions of a Baseball Fanatic.

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Marvelous Marie Osmond!

Even before I read Might As Well Laugh About It Now, I had a high level of respect for Marie Osmond. The woman has over come so much in her career and personal life—divorce at twenty-five, a nasty bout of post-partum depression (which is chronicled in her first book, Healing from the Heart: The Inherent Power to Heal) and the recent suicide of her son, Michael Bryan. Although Might As Well Laugh About It Now was written before her son’s untimely death, I cannot believe how strong this woman is. She’s not boasting about her struggles, yet she doesn’t keep them a secret. To her it’s like, “yes, this happened, but I’m not going to dwell on it, I have to keep living my life.”

What I like is that Osmond admits that she had some help writing this book. Marcia Wilkie’s name is on the cover and on the spine, not hidden away in the publishing information page. She’s not going to pretend that she’s the greatest writer. I also like that she chose to write her book as a series of stand alone essays, rather than a grand narrative. You really do feel as if you’re in her kitchen, sharing her stories over a cup of (decaf) coffee.

It’s easy to accuse Osmond of sugar coating her stories—surely there must be some dirt on her famous family. If there is, she’s not going to embarrass her family just to make money. These stories are about Marie, which is a model more celebrity “authors” should follow.  I believe she’s being genuine—just because she didn’t struggle with a cocaine addiction or forgot to wear underwear on the day of a big red carpet event where there were 80,000 photographers doesn’t mean her stories are worthless. She had an eating disorder at a time when nobody really knew what they were or how to treat them. She was a television hostess at age sixteen, and didn’t completely lose her mind. Through it all, she managed to keep up good spirits and a sense of humor.

Most people in my age group (20-25) will most likely dismiss Might As Well Laugh About It Now as a corny, cheesy read. I say, don’t brush it off. With the way the world is, it’s nice to know that there are people who aren’t entirely bitter with the things life has dealt them. Yes, it’s light, but I guarantee you’ll smile.

Have you read Might As Well Laugh About It Now? What did you think? Was it too light? Were you expecting some scandalous Osmond dish? Let me know in the comments section!

Next Week: Lauren Conrad’s work of “fiction,” L.A. Candy

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The Telling Tales of Tori Spelling

As promised…the Tori Spelling entry!

New York Times Best Selling Author Victoria Davey Spelling, better known to you and me as Tori Spelling (or Donna Martin or “Screech’s nerdy girlfriend”) has two literary masterpieces to her name: sTORI Telling (2008) and Mommywood (2009) A third book, Uncharted TerriTORI is due in June, with her children’s book, Presenting…Tallulah due in October.

We’ll begin with sTORI Telling, where Tori tries to convince us that, despite her ultra fabulous upbringing, she is an average joe, just like you and me. Guess what? She succeeds. Although I did find myself rolling my eyes at her boo-hooing over things like how she didn’t get to choose the color of her first B.M.W. when she turned sixteen, take away the minor details like being on one of the biggest television shows of the nineties and having uber-producer Aaron Spelling for a father, and you have a regular girl fighting her way through adolescence and her twenties, which is something everyone can relate to on a certain level. That being said, there are two rather infamous sections–Tori discussing her affair with Mind Over Murder co-star Dean McDermott and her relationship with her mother. The one that got to me the most was not the latter (frankly, I feel a lot of the drama was sensationalized to sell books and keep the Spelling family in the press. I’ll dig into this a bit more when I review Tales From Candy Land , which will be when the Mid-Hudson or Westchester Library System gets it in.) but the former.

Tori should have been more upfront about her extramarital affair and not trying to write a romance novel. (I’m not joking, on page 185 she talks about her last night shooting a movie with Dean. Apparently, they sat next to each other writing lines like “I want to go to Paris with you” and “I want to marry you.” In the book, this written as  nasuseous-making line by line He wrote/I wrote exchange.) She’s trying to redeem her actions, but Tori, sweetie darling, guess what? You cheated. You’re a celebrity and you got caught cheating. You bet it’s going to get blown up in the media. (Although her actions were small potatoes compared to those of Tiger Woods and Jesse James.)

I’m in the middle about Mommywood, which is a collection of essays about Tori’s experiences as a mother of two trying to juggle her career and the want to be a stay-at-home mother. I really liked the book at first–Tori’s voice was more mature, less self-pitying, and her stories were actually cute. Then I tuned in to Tori and Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood.

While watching, it hit me that perhaps Tori wasn’t writing from the perspective of Tori the girl from sTORI Telling, but Tori the girl from that show on Oxygen. “Oxygen Tori” is always “on.” Even when she’s not wearing make-up, even when she’s fighting with her husband, she is “on.” (of course, when you know you’re going to be filmed, you put on an act because you’re aware that other people are going to be watching.) It’s as if her handlers didn’t like the reputation she had gotten from sTORI Telling, and decided to rebrand her as real-life Donna Martin. Okay, that’s an odd metaphor, but I can’t really describe it. If you read the book first and then watch the fourth season, you’ll see what I’m talking about…I hope.

Have any of you read Tori Spellings works? Or would you prefer to think of her as the girl who played Donna Martin on 90210?  Share your thoughts in the comments section!

Next week: The Marvelous Marie Osmond!

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