Last Wednesday Fox premiered a much-hyped new reality series, Anchorwoman, to reviews so savage — and ratings so mediocre — it was essentially killed before the first episode even finished airing. The premise — a blonde WWE pinup named Lauren Jones tries to make it as a small-town hard news anchor as a colossally self-serious brunette producer (Annalisa, whom we highlighted with her own clip show last week) tries sometimes not hard enough to conceal her disdain — was blamed. But it was good! And not just, like, unintentionally good or absurdist guilty pleasure good — it was actually good by design, according to someone who worked on it. "You rarely get to work with footage that good," she said. "And everyone who worked on the show was really smart; [Production studio Fox 21] kept saying "This could be something really different, really unusual, no music, sort of like 'The Office'... with traces of Mary Tyler Moore and WKRP" We can totally see that! But then..
"They basically decided they wanted 'The Simple Life' ... it was literally like, on Friday they loved it, and on Monday they wanted all these changes: more music! More manipulation! This happens all the time, of course, but not such a 180 like this." Sigh. The promos were changed, and yes — blond Lauren was "made to seem stupid — she's not stupid!" as raven-haired Annalisa was made into something "manipulative and ridiculous." Why, how very fresh, network execs! The most poignant thing: Annalisa's parting wish to the producers was apparently that they "Be kind." We suppose she got her wish, but we have one of our own: that next time a reality show decides to try and document the attempts of one woman to break out of the mindless blond bimbo ideal the reality shows like to promote so much, don't pussy out.
Also: put the extra episodes shows on Fox website as promised, thanks.