John Walker's Electronic House

Unscripted TV Part 4: Car Crashes

by on Jul.25, 2007, under The Rest

Hey Paula – Bravo

Following celebrities with cameras is hit and miss. You can get great hits like Kathy Griffin’s My Life on the D List. And you can get
unwatchable horror. And sometimes you get great horror.

Having seen a clip from the show on YouTube, I knew it had to be watched. With fingers interlaced over my eyes. I don’t care about her at all, neither her career or her private life. But I do find watching someone go insane on camera to be hugely entertaining. The mentally ill are sometimes funny. Paula Abdul certainly is.

Bravo are especially cruel with this, getting Paula to narrate the show herself on tape. So we get to watch her, clearly off her face, barely able to speak or stand up, and then have her calmly narrate that she was very tired and hadn’t eaten. When she spazzes out because her assistants brought the wrong colour shoes to wear on the plane, we get to see her explaining how important it is for her equipment to be correct. Her complete lack of shame or awareness of her appalling behaviour doubles up the horror.

When she accepts her award at a VH1 fashion show, she can barely speak, rambling insanely, while her publicist tells us how incredibly strong she is. The next day, due to do interviews for Fox affiliates, she’s apparently “not slept”. By the time she’s halfway through the interviews, she’s gone completely mad, babbling about dancing and shouting at random. When asked where she is, she replies on air, with no air of confusion, “I don’t know.” Her team frantically explain to the camera how she is missing sleep, while she can barely sit on a chair.

By episode 3 the team finally realises that perhaps their little diva isn’t just overly sleepy, what with the entire American media pointing it out to them. Then we get to see her production team trying to fix it. Meanwhile Paula continues to narrate with no sense of reality. She’s due to receive the woman of the year award from somewhere, but she can’t enjoy it because the “accusation of me being drunk and drugged up on television has made me seriously sad and maddened.”

It should be so horrifying it’s unenjoyable. However, I’m a sick enough puppy to find plenty to enjoy here. Not least of all her declaration that,

“I’m tired of people not treating me like the gift that I am.”

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