September 18, 2004

Oh People! It's Miss Patti!

Who knew my latest TV obsession would be Patti Labelle? The funniest show on TV in years is not intentional comedy. It's Livin' It Up With Patti LaBelle on some new channel called TV One (show bio). This is the kind of low-budget vanity show that will be spoofed on MadTV (SNL is not sharp enough to pick up on this). You don't have to hear the theme song to know it - it's merely the name of the show wailed by Patti and a bunch of black girl singers.

Each week we see Miss Patti exploring her "timeless journey" (yes, she said that) which means doing photo shoots ("I was on the flo’ giving him the cover of Vogue!"). meeting her apparently pre-op gay stylists or going to her favorite places, often in hometown Philly. She loves to buy herself new bling bling or, to use her words, "get my eat on" at a local restaurant.

Miss Patti loves herself some material booty and you can imagine her at award shows clamoring for the swag. Patti is so rich she carrries her own diamonds to the jeweller in little Ziplock baggies in a big makeup case, the chains of multi-carats twisted together. The show bio mentions this, as if it signifies that she's REAL. No, trolls (another Patti-term of endearment), it means she doesn't value her jewels. One man's treasure...

Patti is also obsessed with ugly ghetto-ass high heels, almost always stilletto and usually featuring fur, more diamonds or some lucite. At what age does a woman stop wearing pointy heels like this? Especially when her bozoonga size is like 60-DDD? Talk about top heavy! Of course, Lady Marmalade isn't aging much- her face has been tweaked more than Pam Anderson's nipples... but she does look pretty good.

In last week's episode she had her "sisters" over - Moesha mom Sheryl Lee Ralph and pompous windbag Cosby wife Phyllicia Rashad. They sat in her kitchen gnoshing on lobster tails and champagne - all the while carrying on about how much other women looked up to them. Patti asked each guest to share some wisdom and Rashad droned out some new-age hokum: "You are beings far greater than you know. If you lack, this is not the truth of your being. [pause] It’s conditions brought about by your [pause]thinking.” Sheryl Lee and Patti shuddered and carried on about the brilliance of this completely new idea, but I don't either of them quite got what Rashad said. I certainly didn't.

Having said all this, I really do like Miss Patti. She loves the world, but more importantly she loves herself, she wants you to know how much she loves herself and she genuinely hopes self-love will rub off on you too (no pun intended). In the latest episode, Patti treated Iraq War POW Shoshanna Johnson to a day at a Harlem spa. Johnson was a cute, normal woman and the show didn't have to make any effort to prove that bravery seems even more astonishing when exhibited by everyday people.

Unlike the "real" J-Lo [dry heave here], Patti knows that lifelong success comes from more than just hard work - it comes from true soul. One person described her as doing "God's work" through music because she brings such emotion to her perfomances, she truly loves her audience and wants to share her joy.

Let me close with some of the more quotable moments from (all wail) Livin' It Uh-uh-up with Patti Labe-ellllllle:

I’m diabetic. I’m menopausal, but I’m a fierce heffer!

I am so real that it might be my downfall.

Martha girl, she’s on lockdown, so I wanna have me another space to fill.

(reference to Patti's own show on the Home Shopping Network)

Wanna watch Patti on Saturdays? Here is a
schedule.




1 comment:

K said...

Hey Steve, this is Anne's friend, Kristin. Anne sent me the link to this awesome post. Oh my god, I need to check out this show, but I don't think that I get this channel! I know that I would LOVE Patti and her wisdom. And i am totally going to use "get my eat on" in my normal daily life.