E is for Entertainment

A channel dedicated solely to celebrities makes for some intense star-gazing, day or night.

By RUTH BELOFF
July 16, 2011 08:48
3 minute read.
Keeping Up with the Kardashians

Keeping Up with the Kardashians 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Imust admit that since HOT upgraded my TV to digital and gave me a set of new TV packages, one of the said packages I am really enjoying is the E! Entertainment Channel (HOT 31). For someone who grew up watching TV and could name more actors than world capitals in grade school, the channel’s focus on stars, celebs, hasbeens and wannabes is sheer grist for my luminary-loving mill.

Imagine a news channel where the scoop of the day is not who was killed and what government was overthrown but who’s starring in the latest films, who accompanied whom to what premiere and who’s come out of rehab. That’s E News, a snappy, fast-paced hour-long show that features stories and gossip about celebrities in the film, TV and music industries. Hosted by Ryan Seacrest (of American Idol fame) and Giuliana Rancic and a slew of other media reporters, the news program keeps viewers abreast of what’s in, who’s out and everything and everyone in between.

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For example, seems Jennifer Aniston is taking a year off from acting to spend time with her new beau, actor/screenwriter/director Justin Theroux; Leonardo DiCaprio has been romantically linked with Gossip Girl’s Blake Lively; and Hollywood was agog over the royal visit by Prince William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Another entertaining and highly informative show on the E! Entertainment Channel is THS, or True Hollywood Story. This in-depth documentary series deals with Hollywood celebrities, well-known public figures and behind-the-scenes information about popular movies and television shows. Covering (or uncovering ) topics that range from adult industry entertainers and athletes to TV shows and venues, the series has profiled athletes from Tai Babilonia to Tiger Woods; comedians from John Belushi to Joan Rivers; couples and families from the Baldwin brothers to Luke and Owen Wilson; entertainers from Paula Abdul to Renee Zellweger; models from Tyra Banks to Niki Taylor; movies from American Pie to Twilight Zone; musicians from Christina Aguilera to Rihanna; and TV shows from All in the Family to The Young and the Restless (or as veteran actress Jess Walton, who has played Jill since 1987, calls it, “The Young and the Rest of Us”). The program does its job so well that people I didn’t even think I’d be interested in, take on a fascinating aspect as the show explores their early roots and their systematic rise to fame – or infamy.

And then there’s Fashion Police.

Hosted by Joan Rivers, who is flanked by Giuliana Rancic, Kelly Osbourne and George Kotsiopoulos, it highlights the best and the worst in celebrity fashion fabs and faux pas. The show features such segments as Best and Worst Dressed of the Week and Who Wore It Better? Rivers is at her most scathing on this show, thinking nothing of tearing a starlet and her clothes to shreds when she deems it necessary. Needless to say, the gang had a field day after William and Kate’s royal wedding, lambasting those far-out fascinators (hats) to kingdom come. I liked the show at first but have since gotten bored with the patter and the putdowns.

But the ultimate in put-down shows is Chelsea Lately. Hosted by comedienne Chelsea Handler, the half-hour talk show on the E! channel is simply too distasteful for words. As I have mentioned in a previous article about talk shows, every other word on her show is bleeped, and the subjects discussed are so disgusting, that I really don’t know how the woman even has an audience.

A little more entertaining on the E! channel is the reality show Keeping Up with the Kardashians. In the spotlight are socialites Kourtney, Kim and Khloe and their brother Rob, the children of the late Robert Kardashian, who was one of the attorneys who defended O.J.

Simpson. Their mother, Kris, married Olympic gold medalist Bruce Jenner in 1991, and they have two daughters, Kylie and Kendall.

It is not clear what (if any) skills or talent any member of the K clan has, but they are all media darlings and their every move makes tabloid headlines. Just being famous seems to be enough to keep them in the public eye, and their lavish lifestyle certainly does make for some good E! (as in escapist) entertainment.


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