Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Very Good Thing

I have no doubt that everyone's in need of a laugh right now, so I'm happy to report that I have discovered what is probably the most hilarious show on TV. Maybe you've read about it: Whatever, Martha, on the Fine Living Network. Actually, the Fine Living Network is itself pretty hysterical. It is, essentially, a bunch of repeats from Bravo and HGTV, one constant loop of Queer Eye and Emeril and other shows from the recent boom discussing cooking, gardening, and other points of accessible luxury none of us can any longer afford or even care about. Really, gracious entertaining feels very 2006. These days entertaining no doubt involves a 12-pack of Milwaulkee's Best and some tuna casserole, but I digress.

Whatever, Martha is Mystery Science Theater 3000 with the sci-fi B-movies replaced by old clips from the Martha Stewart Show and the robots replaced by Alexis Stewart and her friend Jennifer Koppelman Hutt. The clips play and Alexis and Jennifer snarkily comment on them. What makes the show funny, beyond the quick wit of the hosts and the ridiculous datedness of the clips, is the fact that Martha's daugher is one of those doing the snarking. Alexis isn't entirely mean, but she does enjoy making fun of her mother as much as the rest of us.

A block of shows runs weeknights from 8 to 10 PM (each show is half an hour, but be sure to record rather than watching live - there are way, way too many ads, probably 15 minutes of them in each show). One of last night's shows featured face painting with a very scary "clown" named Peanut Butter, who looked eerily reminiscent of a club kid from the Michael Alig era and who inisisted on glueing beads to the faces of Martha and some of her staffers. In another segment, Martha demonstrated how to make tools for the maintenance of your terrarium while Alexis and Jennifer mercilessly mocked not only the tools but the entire endeavor. No description does the show justice. You really must tune in and see for yourself.

Each show ends with some absolutely random and inappropriate sex and dating chatter between Alexis and Jennifer. It's amusing enough to listen to someone defend getting drunk and having sex on the first date, but to hear a exegesis on the joys of drunken first-date sex coming from the mouth of Martha Stewart's daughter is pure ironic genius.

The best part of all this? Martha herself is the executive producer, proof that she's not only a master markerter but also has a wicked self-depracating sense of humor. "Who doesn't have a bunch of 1990s video segments and B-roll lying, unused, in the basement?" I hear Martha asking. "On today's program, I'll show you how to repackage those used segments and make them look like new!"

1 comment:

J. SPIKE ROGAN said...

Martha has her own channel on Sirius radio. Her channels studio is down the hall from the "Stern Land" wing of Sirius.

For a while members of the show talked about how Martha is nice behind the scenes and her daughter was a bit of a rude diva.

The Stern crowd tried to one up Steven Colbert and "truthiness". They coined "cunty", as a word to describe Alexis.

Almost sounds more accurate now.