I’m not huge on reality TV shows. I find most of them overindulgent and usually obnoxious. I stumbled upon Kathy Griffin: My Life On The D-List by accident, catching it on the Canadian Comedy Network after an episode of South Park a few months ago. After watching her stand-up special Kathy Griffin: Strong Black Woman the weekend before, I opted to give it a shot. And, I was hooked. There was something different and so enjoyable about this series. I know a lot of people will bullshit about how celebrities are all “so down to earth” and such, but here, I think it’s actually true. And it also makes for damn good television.
Welcome to the world of Kathy Griffin, the ultimate D-List celebrity. In Hollywood, where everything is list-oriented, Kathy has made a name for herself by making fun of A-List celebrities (like Nicole Kidman, Renée Zellwegger, Julia Roberts, and Cameron Diaz). In her new, behind-the-scenes show, where does everything she can to make publicity for herself, Kathy exposes the evils and the downright hilarious aspects of Hollywood culture as well as her surprisingly busy life. Whether attempting to redesign her “A-List” worthy home with her live-in gay visionary Mike Nielsen, all the while trying to get free furniture for the home, trying to organize a fundraiser or struggling to sell DVDs, you can bet that Kathy Griffin will make you laugh. Despite her ‘low’ status, Kathy has a core support group of family and friends, including her parents, John and Maggie, husband Matthew Moline, and best friends Tony Tripoli and Dennis Hensley, Kathy proves you can still have fun while living life on the D-List.
It’s the first season, and Griffin is just getting used to having the cameras in her house as she lives day to day. Her days, however, are far from normal. As the above synopsis tells you, she’s a very busy lady. With her trusty assistant, then-husband Matt, and her best gay friends, she runs from one obstacle to the next, be it trying to get to the red carpet in time or redesigning her house. And, surprisingly, it’s an awesome show. Like I said above, I sort of discovered this show by accident. I was never a huge fan of Griffen, occasionally catching her doing her red carpet gig or what have you, but never really seeking her out. But, like I said, after watching her stand-up special and catching the third season of Kathy Griffin: My Life On The D-List, I was hooked and immediately sought out this DVD. Thankfully, Universal hooked me up with a screener.
And yes, I totally endorse it. And I’m not really sure how to review something like this, a reality-TV program. Another hindrance of my mediocre reviewing skills, perhaps? I have to say that this show seems more frank about reality than many of those other celebrity reality TV show. And sure, the show has its’ quirks like any other series, but there’s something that seems a bit more down to earth here. I’m sure plenty is glossed over in her life, but we do get the hard facts from time to time, which continues in future seasons. Plus, we learn neat-o facts! I mean, who knew Griffin had such a massive gay following – how did I miss that? However, whatever seems to happen, Kathy keeps her sense of humor and her snarky attitude toward A-List celebrities. And if you’re any bit of a celebrity whore, or you follow pop culture and all that stuff, this show is for you. Kathy’s own obsession with celebrities makes it so easy to relate and follow along with her antics. Plus, it helps deliver on some solid comedy.
Well, the show is pretty excellent, but what about the bonus features on DVD? Universal has included the first episode of the second season and the stand-up act, Kathy Griffin . . . Is Not Nicole Kidman. And you know what, these are great bonus features. Given how the show itself is a behind-the-scenes looks at Griffin’s life, we don’t really need much more than that. Sure, we could find out how Griffin likes the cameras in her home and how she came to strike such a deal for her own program, but those questions are sort of answers, indirectly, in the series. The bonus episode from the second season gives is a nice treat and the stand-up act is amazing. It’s a real treat and is absolutely hilarious. Even though the extras seem sparse, there’s a couple hours worth right here.
The audio and video transfers are standard for these reality-TV programs. The audio is English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono and the video is 1.33:1 Full Frame. No complaints.
If you’re a fan of Kathy Griffin, or enjoy reality TV shows, Kathy Griffin: My Life On The D-List – Season One comes Recommended. If you’re a fan of neither, give it a shot anyways. You have nothing to lose and, dammit, it’s enjoyable. The series is full of laughs and some great tense moments (will Kathy make it to the red carpet in time?). More importantly, it’s a window into a world we rarely see. The series does an admirable job at deconstructing the famed Hollywood lifestyle. And personally, Griffin in no D-Lister. I know I’d rush out in a heartbeat to catch her live. And give this show a spin, you won’t be disappointed.
Kathy Griffin: My Life On The D-List – Season One is now available on DVD.