Sunday, March 13, 2005
I just can’t imagine what Kirstie Alley and her PR reps were thinking when she created “Fat Actress” (Showtime, Monday, 10 p.m.) It’s one thing to resurrect your career with a comedy about being fat, but it’s another thing all together to portray yourself as being fat, dumb and trashy. I know this new series is not reality TV, but it is semi-autobiographical. Her performance almost makes Anna Nicole Smith look scholarly. Has Kirstie Alley lost her mind?
From my PR perceptive, it’s okay to tell the world you are fat and you can’t stop eating. But why let the world know that you have a trailer park mentality and have no intention of changing? Everyone will think that’s who she really is and assume she just got lucky with Cheers and Look Who’s Talking (1, 2, and 3).
A few years from now, if Kirstie manages to lose some weight, she will look at this series and cringe. I can see it all now… Press releases will be issued -- “Scientology made me do it,” she will scream. “I didn’t know what I was doing. I was in some other dimension.”
It might already be too late. Perception is everything and no one will ever forget this. Even the most ardent PR agent is going to have trouble erasing images of Kirstie tossing her weight around, trying to seduce anyone who will look her way and eating anything that is not nailed down.
I also don’t know who advised Jeff Zucker, President of television for NBC Universal, that it was good for his image to appear on this show using the F-word (not fat) after seeing Kirstie for the first time in years. “She is so F-ing Fat,” he repeatedly said (in character) to other NBC executives after meeting with her to discuss a possible TV series. Zucker is supposed to be a man of decorum, smarts, creativity, might -- an award-winning television executive. He looked and acted like he was in the ‘hood.
It upsets me that USA Today and the New York Times gave decent reviews to indecent programming. “Fat Actress” should have had an R rating for Raunchy and Ridiculous. I don’t understand how Robert Bianco of USA Today can compare “Fat Actress” to the partly improvised “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” One is clever; the other is desperate. Someday, Kirstie will understand the difference.