Thursday, September 4, 2014

Joan Rivers, Duck Dynasty, and Dancing With the Stars, Oh My!

It's with a sad heart that I learned we lost another comedic icon today. Joan Rivers passed away after suffering complications from a routine procedure being performed in a doctor's office. Coming so soon after the suicide of Robin Williams, it feels as if the laughter has faded from the world.

As many of you did, I grew up watching Joan Rivers step in as a guest host on the Tonight Show on the occasions when Johnny Carson wasn't able to do the show himself. Personally, I loved those shows more than the shows when he was on stage. And I was upset when she wasn't chosen as his successor, although I've always loved Jay Leno, also.

I won't say I was a big fan of her later years but I don't think that takes away from the hours upon hours of laughter she gave to me throughout the years she performed on television.

Robin Williams was such a part of my young adult life, I still can't fathom his loss. Watching him on Comic Relief with his good friends and talented cohorts, Whoopie Goldberg and Billy Crystal, I would be in pain from laughing, crying in equal parts from laughter and sadness as they highlighted the plight of the homeless in this country. Laughter with a purpose is a gift to both the performer and the listener.

Our local news is filled with information on LoLo Jones performing on Dancing With the Stars. She's a talented athlete and she grew up here in Central Iowa, so it's no wonder her every move is reported by the news. It's come to my attention that a cast member of Duck Dynasty will also be on DWTS. Sadie Robertson, teen daughter of Willie and Korie Robertson, will be performing along side LoLo, Tommy Chong, and others. Even with the draw of our local celebrity, I'm not likely to watch.

I'm not a huge fan of Duck Dynasty, but I'm not really a fan of reality television of any kind. For me, personally, the show comes across as a bunch of very wealthy people acting like redneck hillbillies, not because that's what they are, but because that's what they're paid to be. I think there are a lot of good things about the show and the families portrayed but there are enough contrived things and disturbing things to make me turn the channel. It's not my thing.

The events of the past several months...the loss of two beloved comedians, the odd mix of contestants on DWTS, and events of the world make for an interesting blend of ideas in my head. I wonder what a romance novel driven by such events would look like. Keep an eye out. You might see one in six months featuring a local celebrity and a reality television child star facing off in a contest that takes place in a world distracted by a decades long war. But then again, that's not escapism, is it? It's our daily life.


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