By Liz Smith, Tribune Content Agency
5:30 AM EDT, October 18, 2013
"BAD TASTE creates many more millionaires than good taste," said Charles Bukowski.
NOW THAT Kris Jenner's TV talk show met its inglorious (but well-deserved) end, and the ratings of "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" have begun to deflate, does this signal the beginning of the end for this pop culture scourge?
Probably not. Mama Kris has divested herself of poor Bruce Jenner (there is simply no other way to describe the once great Olympian.) I'm sure the ex-wife of Robert Kardashian of O.J. Simpson infamy, will soon be out and about with a "new man," hoping her own adventures will intrigue an increasingly bored public.
But even if the Kardashian Empire goes down in flames, or is swept away by Sculptura, Restylane and Botox, what it has all wrought, will be with us for a long time. Reality shows are still scarily trashy. And this all goes back to MTV. To think, the first couple of seasons of "The Real World," which is considered the spawn of reality TV, now look like a BBC miniseries on the life of the Bronte sisters!
CHER, THE ONE and only, is banging the drum for her new CD, "Closer to the Truth," which debuted at number three last week. This is her 25th studio album. Fans hope one of the CD's excellent ballads -- "I Hope You Find It," "Lie to Me" -- will get deluxe video treatment and proper radio play. (Yes, radio is still important!) But whatever the fate of "Closer to the Truth," Cher's "Dressed to Kill" tour is sure to be a sensation. Her tours always are. Because, although she'll throw in a few new songs, she knows what her audience wants -- the favorite hits, hits, hits! And a lot of costume changes.
SPEAKING OF pop icons, Madonna has been in Berlin opening a gym. Of course, it's not called a gym. That's too grimy. It's the Hard Candy Fitness Center. There's already one in Rome, Mexico, Sydney and Moscow.
Madonna wants the world to be fit, and to wear everything sleeveless. Well, everybody seems to, anyway, and so many shouldn't. We will keep on seeing women showing their arms and tottering in high heels that are killing them all winter!
THE CHRISTIAN right is always complaining that religion -- their religion -- gets a raw deal. But mega-churches continue to be packed, and every time somebody says, "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas" it's "off with their heads, you pagans!" There is plenty of religious programming on TV, especially if you have cable. (Re-runs of the late Sister Angelica, the homey philosopher, are still mighty popular.)
Now, hot on the heels of their wildly successful "The Bible" miniseries, producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey are bringing "The Son of God" to a Cineplex near you. Oh, not for real, although I'm certain some patrons will claim to see the face of the Virgin Mary in their box of popcorn. No, this will be a feature film that chronicles the life of Jesus from birth to death. I wonder if any of the actors will resemble what the historical Jesus actually looked like -- dark skin, dark eyes, dark hair?
What does it matter? Religious types will flock to it, just as they did with TV's "The Bible" and Mel Gibson's "The Passion of The Christ." "Son of God" will materialize in theaters next February.
Now, let's have a feature film about atheists!
P.S. I like very much Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard's books on Lincoln and the Kennedys. I think indifferent-to-history-teenagers should be made to read them.
But I tried in vain to read my friend Bill's "Killing Jesus." It's just too graphic and torturous and the Roman way of death too awful. The authors have realized a graphic reality and restrain themselves, sticking to what is thought to be known, but I just couldn't take it. (There! That ought to sell a lot of books.)
"GRAVITY" has now grossed an astonishing $200 million worldwide with no sign of slowing down. (See, those two people I told you about who weren't swept into outer space by it, had no effect!) It's interesting to note that Sandra Bullock will no doubt be nominated for an Oscar for a movie in which she has minimal dialogue. And so will Robert Redford, for "Lost At Sea" -- maybe he utters 30 words. If Bullock and Redford win, maybe they'll mime their acceptance speeches. Could this be a renaissance for silent films?
(E-mail Liz Smith at MES3838@aol.com.)
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