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Screen Savors: Enoying the murderous waters
Aryeh Dean Cohen
09/16/2007
'Til Death Do Us Part' is a trashy new half-hour series where matrimony quickly gives way to murder.
Recently, we celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary, and to be honest, there was really only one time we were prepared to murder our spouse - pretty good for a quarter of a century. The couples in Star World's campy new Til Death Do Us Part (Thursday, 22:00) don't make it even nearly that far. Yes, in this trashy new half-hour series, matrimony quickly gives way to murder under the loving hand of the King of Camp, John Waters of Pink Flamingos and Hairspray fame. It's Waters as the narrator, doing a Rod Serling/Alfred Hitchcock-like turn, that only adds to the delightful D-quality of this program, a celebration of just how much love hurts. Waters, with his trademark pencil-thin moustache and by now gaunt face, is the perfect host for the ghoulish goings-on, which begin with our host attending a wedding. Grabbing the bouquet away from one of the participants, Waters, billed as "The Groom Reaper," plucks the petals, muttering: "She kills him, he kills her," as Bonnie and new husband, mortician Ron, get into his hearse to drive off into wedded bliss. But with Waters around, we know that's not to be. "Though they're both riding in the front of the hearse today, in just six years, one of them will be riding in the back," he notes dryly. That's just the opening of this tongue-in-cheek production that has one of the more brilliant commercial break graphics: A lovely rose fading quickly, then covered in blood, with the graphic: "I Love You to Death," while The Wedding March plays briskly in the background, then is suddenly silenced. Nothing slows the action in the program, however, as the couple involved each week hurtles towards horror. Ron runs "Seattle's finest mortuary," while the hefty Bonnie works at "Vita Verve, the Healthiest Place on Earth," where she sells health care products. Poor Bonnie's sales are down, and her boss Slade is only to happy to help her out, putting the moves on her as he suggests she lose weight and achieve her sales goal using his three-step program: "Visualize, execute and enjoy." First Slade's taking "power walks" with Bonnie, then suggesting they try the company fitness room together. "You really know how to work out a girl," says Bonnie as Slade climbs all over her. Determined to dump Ron, Bonnie comes home to find her suspicious hubby suggesting she leave her job. "Over my dead body!" says Bonnie. "Well that's fine by me!" snaps Ron. Cue organ music and those great graphics. When we return Bonnie's on a roll - 15 pounds thinner and getting closer to Slade. But when he gives her an ultimatum to get rid of Ron or he'll find someone else, she decides to act. But wait! Ron's set up a home gym. Maybe they can work things out. When Bonnie makes it clear that's not going to happen, however, it's Ron's turn to "visualize, execute and enjoy!" That's just the type of campy, clever script coupled with totally cheesy acting that makes the program such a hoot. When a cop comes to the mortuary to investigate, Waters's narrator asks: "Why is it that the cops are never around when you need them, but as soon as you murder your wife, they're all over you?" And you have to love a series in which the tip off to the crime comes to the cop while he's staring at a double hot dog special. "I'm not so sure all these self-improvement techniques are all they're cracked up to be. Then again, it's all in the execution," cracks Waters at the cemetery, where the cops are putting the cuffs on Ron. Then he's "off to another wedding - hope it's not yours." This Court TV series, by the way, is inspired by real-life crime stories, but is way, way over the top. Fortunately, the statute of limitations has run out since the wife let a roomful of black radiator water into our home office in an attempt to let some air out of it, inspiring those momentary murderous thoughts. But in the spirit of the holiday, we ask forgiveness for even thinking it. As for you viewers, Til Death Do Us Part kills, and half an hour with Waters is well worth it.
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