“….you know, ultimately, this is a comedy.” Eddie Cibrian
By Valerie Milano
Beverly Hills, CA (The Hollywood Times) 7/18/14 – Recognizing the perilous shortage of reality programming on cable, VH1 has gifted us with LeAnn and Eddie. This is celebrity reality in the mold of Gene Simmons’ Family Values or The Osbournes. However, LeAnn and Eddie has none of the wit of the former nor the chaotic pathos of the latter. The good news is, they try to maintain their dignity and walk a high road. The bad news is, they try to maintain their dignity and walk a high road. Reality show fans have spoken, they like hissin’, spittin’, fartin’ and overturned brunch tables, not good behavior.
LeAnn is LeAnn Rimes, a country diva with a capital D. In her early teens she was foisted on the world as the second coming of Loretta Lynn. However, bad management got her hogtied to a miserable recording contract that required some 18 albums to satisfy. Did I mention that Rimes has sold 45 million albums in her career?
The series premiere finds LeAnn at the end of her loathsome contract and itchin’ for a new tattoo and career re-boot. I guess only a jaded media observer would point out the fortuitous timing of a new reality series coinciding with Rimes’ sudden free-agent status. With the retail record business spiraling down through the storm drain, I’m sure it’s just a coincidence that LeAnn and Eddie premiered at precisely the same time Rimes needs to pump up her media profile.
Husband Eddie on the other hand, is a square jawed hunk with a spotty acting career. Resigned to live his life as “Mr. Rimes”, and suffer tabloid speculation that he’s only there for the money, Eddie decides that public response to the tabloid gossip is beneath his dignity. This grates on LeAnn because…well, what else do beautiful, rich people have to worry about? The Rimes household is an irony-free zone whose inhabitants hate tabloid publicity while at the same time, they burlesque themselves on a reality series in the desperate hope they will attract even more of what they claim to hate. Moreover, I suspect that LeAnn and Eddie is a little more scripted than the usual reality show. Example: The harmonic plot convergence of LeAnn’s new ‘feather tattoo’ combined with her first parachute jump set against the backdrop of her new “freebird” status as a recording artist is a little too cute by three-quarters.
I guess those with a literary diet of People magazine paired with Snickers bars will think they are getting a real “fly on the wall” viewing experience with LeAnn and Eddie. However, those of us who breathe through our nose will find the whole enterprise disingenuous, vapid and insulting; all qualities that should not necessarily mean the kiss of death to a reality series. However, LeAnn and Eddie has an additional quality that should be far more worrisome to the producers. It’s dead-ass boring……
The Hollywood Times, and other publications, had the opportunity to speak with LeAnn Rimes and Eddie Cibrian.
Both LeAnn and Eddie spoke about their motivations for doing the show:
Eddie Cibrian: “I think, ultimately we wanted to do a show, and I think that this format, the genre, unscripted, gave us an opportunity to do something fun, work together, and at the same time, you know, what’s really about the show is our relationship. And, you’ll see how we interact with one another juxtaposed to everything else that you or the public reads and is fed by the tabloids and what they think we are as a couple. And, you know, ultimately, this is a comedy, and that’s kind of how we go about life as well, is we laugh. It really helps.”
LeAnn Rimes: “I mean, I think that we definitely hit on the tabloid fodder because that’s what’s surrounded our lives so much in the last five years. Everyone’s used to our lives as entertainment, and so we wanted to actually, kind of take our life back, and have fun with our story, with where we are now. And I think, if this goes past the first season, I think that it will just evolve into the next phase, whether that be tabloid fodder or music…”