Tuesday, July 17, 2007

First night: Victoria Beckham in America

It was meant to be a series, launching her 'career' in America. Then it was downgraded to a single special, and given the title Coming To America. Even before she attempted a high-profile feud with Eddie Murphy, the choice of sharing the title of his film about a rich but naive figure bumbling their way through a world in which they can't coast on fame alone was a suggestion that NBC were setting her up for a fall.

And fall she did. Before transmission, the Searttle Post-Intelligencer sounded upbeat:

Tonight, NBC will air Victoria Beckham: Coming to America (8pm ET/PT), a behind-the-scenes look at Posh Spice's move from England to Los Angeles. She'll go house-shopping, hang out with friends, and give interested Americans a sense of who exactly these Beckhams are. Despite their name recognition, the essence of the Beckhams is still a mystery to most of us here. After watching some of the leaked segments from tonight's special, I think viewers are going to be delighted by what Victoria Beckham brings to the table. She has more personality than a thousand Paris Hiltons.

And after the programme, E!Online managed a kind word, but I suspect that Beckham might be less than thrilled at their tone:
Granted, it was a carefully planned and manipulated peek into her life, but I found it hysterical none the less. I mean, who wears heels and makeup to tan by the pool? I had many favorite moments from Posh’s hour-long special. I loved watching her get glam for her driver’s license photo, and proceeding to ask about retouches. It was funny when her new assistant told her that David’s “not ugly.” I love that after she was pulled over, she was more concerned with her footwear than her driving. It was hilarious when she dressed a blow-up doll to fool the paparazzi. It was also fun to watch her confront Perez Hilton, who felt her chest in the middle of a coffee shop.

That's going to be a hard "they're laughing with you" spin for Mr. Fuller.
Rotophonic didn't even enjoy laughing at her, calling the programme a "trainwreck":
Having to restage the show from six half-hours down to one hour must have been challenging for the 20 editors and AE’s assigned to this project, but thank heavens someone at the network caught a look at one of the dailies and sought to minimize the misery for the audience, while still giving the Beckhams their big appearance on American TV. Even the staged vignettes throughout this painful hour were so obvious that I had to force my wife to continue to watch. Reality editing lesson one: if the subject is being shot at dusk, don’t cutaway to a reaction shot in broad daylight. Sorry Tommy Lasorda.

The New York Times is simply puzzled:
There must be a reason NBC chose to lavish an hour of prime time tonight on “Victoria Beckham: Coming to America.”

But conspiracy theorists will be hard put to connect the dots. It’s not clear what links Philip F. Anschutz, the billionaire who agreed to pay David Beckham $27.5 million over five years to play for his soccer team, the Los Angeles Galaxy, to General Electric, the conglomerate that owns NBC. At first Google-glance, there appears to be little overlap between the corporations. If anything, their film divisions are competitors.

It could be a plot by the Trilateral Commission and Opus Dei, though some paranoids may prefer to point a finger at the Church of Scientology because the Beckhams, Victoria and David, are new best friends and neighbors of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. That’s just plain silly. Mr. Cruise has been on chilly terms with NBC ever since he excoriated psychiatry and Brooke Shields’s postpartum depression on that network’s “Today” program.

Unless, of course, the Beckham special is Mr. Cruise’s well-plotted revenge on the network.

The New York Daily News was also puzzled, as to how anyone could be so dull as to not rise to the challenge of US summer television:
The petite Brit known internationally as Posh Spice stars in an hour-long show (tomorrow night at 8 on NBC) that seems squished together from ages of tape. Rumor has it that Posh wasn't interesting enough to warrant a whole reality series.

I'm sorry, have you people seen this summer's crappy filler TV? "So You Think You Can Dance?" "Hey Paula?" "Pirate Master?" And Posh couldn't fill a few hours? If she could frown, she should.

They didn't even buy the Posh and Becks love story:
Her soccer star husband, David Beckham, distractingly hot, opens the show, participating in ordinary spousal tasks with his praying mantis wife: They get their hair done together and pose for a W magazine photo shoot in the desert. He, glistening and shirtless; she, wearing a strapless pouf with a violently pointy bodice. It's love, all right, only set in an alternate, creepy universe

Had we been Mr. Anschutz, investing a small fortune in the hope David could inspire interest in soccer in a market beyond the teenage girls who currently are the US football world, we might be a little worried this morning. Victoria might not have landed a fatal blow on brand Beckham in the US, but she's let daylight in on how very little magic there is.

1 comment:

James said...

" Despite their name recognition, the essence of the Beckhams is still a mystery to most of us here"

When they find it, do you think they'll let us in on it too?

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