Early on in Lindsay, OWN’s four part “docu-series” by Emmy-nominated filmmaker Amy Rice, we see Oprah sit down with the former Mean Girls actress and ask her what she wants to get out of her experience.
“Just to be,” Lindsay Lohan says. “Just to be honest and open and just…me.” It’s a cringe-worthy moment in a show filled with cringe-worthy moments, made all the more cringe-worthy because you know how bad you are for watching it. But what Oprah says next, to the woman who just came out of rehab and who she just paid $2 million to shoot a documentary about, is even worse.
“Okay, because that’s my intention too,” says Queen O. “My intention is to serve as a path for you to be able to do that. And so if I know that’s what you really want to do, I’m going to call you on it when I feel like you’re really not.”
There’s a moment in this preview for Oprah’s new documentary, Lindsay, where you wonder what it is that you’re watching exactly. Is this just another faux-concerned exploitative series about a troubled celebrity? Since Oprah hired Emmy-nominated filmmaker Amy Rice (and because she’s Oprah), we really don’t want to believe that this is another The Two Coreys, or Celebrity Rehab or even Living Lohan.
Behind the Screen
Viewers may have been disappointed after tuning into Oprah’s Next Chapter with Lindsay Lohan last night; the starlet turned media train wreck stuck to the repentant rehab-er script and forwent any bombshells about her personal life. Nor did Oprah, who gave Ms. Lohan $2 million in July for the exclusive interview and an eight-part docu-series, press The Canyons actress on any subject, making for critically boring programming and further reinforcing everyone’s belief that the moment Lohan appears on camera, a production becomes unwatchable. Not even Oprah, apparently, is immune to the curse.
However, there was something to be salvaged from the otherwise tame interview with the 27-year-old:
We were at the Four Seasons during The Observer’s 25th anniversary party, when a colleague pointed to a short, slightly nebbishy-looking man standing among notables like Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Katie Holmes and Spike Lee.
“I know that guy,” he said. “Where do I know that guy from?”
We suggested various TV shows, including Mad Men, but nothing stuck. “No, I think I know that guy, like, from real life,” said our co-worker. Perhaps he did. The matter was almost dropped when Harvey Weinstein came barreling up to our subject.
“Danny,” he said. “Look, I really need to talk to you.” The two walked off together, with Mr. Weinstein’s giant paw dwarfing the other man’s shoulder.
If anything, the whole ordeal left our colleague even more confused about who this guy was, why he looked so familiar and why one of Hollywood’s biggest producers would require a meeting with him in the middle of a party.
As a young woman, one of the most memorable coming-of-age moments is being taken to get your first bra: equal parts mortifying and thrilling, it’s one of those prepubescent rites that most adults wouldn’t care to repeat.
And yet a colleague and I recently found ourselves re-enacting a scene from Judy Blume in the bathroom stalls of The Observer offices, trying to assess our respective digits under Jockey’s new numbers-only sizing system. The Volumetric Fit Bra sizing kit contains a measuring tape and 10 plastic cup molds labeled numerically. You try each one until you find a fit, like a soft-core Cinderella. “Do you think this plastic cup makes my boobs look bigger?” I joked.
Since Lance Armstrong admitted to Oprah that he had taken performance-enhancing drugs, former fans have struggled to find an outlet for their anger. Some have taken to Internet tirades (both pro and anti-Armstrong), some have found relief in shoddy Photoshop jobs, and yet others have gone to their local library to retaliate for the lies.
In both Sydney, Australia and London, two signs have appeared announcing that Lance Armstrong’s titles have been moved to the fiction sections. Oh, it’s like the Million Little Pieces problem all over again!
Red Carpet Real Estate
Last night Stephen Colbert and his wife Evelyn “Evie” McGee-Colbert had Oprah over at Evie’s parents’ 150-year-old home in Charleston for the latest installment of Oprah’s Next Chapter. (Which is really good! Have you guys watched the Rihanna one yet? Get on that!)
We learned so much about Mr. Colbert, who lately seems to be distancing himself from his Stephen Colbert “character” more and more (in case people were still confused); first by speaking at Fordham with Cardinal Dolan, and then going on the mother of all talk shows to discuss everything from his family’s death in a terrible plane crash to his influence on the presidential elections.
Even when she’s selling her sprawling Midtown penthouse for $7.75 million, Oprah Winfrey manages to spread hope and joy. She even made a little profit in the process, having bought the penthouse for $7.1 million in 2008. How does she do it?
When we heard that Ms. Winfrey’s Place 57 condo on East 57th Street sold to hedge fund partner Mark Hillery (as reported by The Real Deal earlier this week), we thought that naturally Mr. Hillery would be happy. He got the high-ceilinged, big-windowed pad, listed with Corcoran broker Mark Schoenfeld, for a few hundred thousand under the $7.9 million ask.
The first thing the Observer noticed about Jonathan Franzen was that he was wearing a name tag. It said “Jonathan Franzen.”
We asked him if he usually wore name tags to his readings.
“Everyone is wearing one but you,” Mr. Franzen pointed out. This was true. In what appeared to be an act of almost defiant social leveling, the organizers of last Thursday’s Semiperm House’s fifth anniversary celebration/Jonathan Franzen reading had given everyone a name tag.
Over the course of an intimate, two hour lunch with Andy Cohen at the Palm West End Steakhouse, the Bravo celebrity and producer (not to mention celebrity producer) added a new notch in his grey, dapper Hugo Boss suit. Mr. Cohen, whose talk show Watch What Happens Live just moved into its five night a week spot–”You should come tomorrow, we’re having a Ralph Fiennes Pajama Party…with Ralph Fiennes!” he had gushed over a meal of Atlantic salmon and Southwest steak salad–was now officially an author, giving us his first reading of his upcoming memoir Most Talkative: Stories from the Front Lines of Pop Culture.