When I saw the first previews for Paula Abdul's new reality show Hey, Paula, I thought it was going to be damage control for that series of interviews she did in January promoting American Idol, in which she appeared to have no idea what was going on.
Turns out the series started filming shortly before that incident. The first two episodes aired last night and followed Abdul through her insane schedule. In the course of the shows, she attended the Grammys, flew to Philadelphia immediately thereafter, appeared on QVC to sell her jewelry line in the middle of the night, flew back home, went to New York to receive a fashion award and then to do the interviews.
There is definitely some damage control going on, even if it's not exactly in the form I originally thought it would be. The show carefully sets up the circumstances that led up to Paula's interviews. She already suffers from insomnia, and this schedule didn't really allow for her to get much more than a couple of hours of sleep each night, so by the time she went to do the interviews, well ... she was totally loopy. That, plus audio problems and not being able to see who she was talking to added to the confusion.
So all the hubbub about whether she's on drugs or drunk? I think she's just dippy all the time, doesn't think well on her feet, and when you add in a lack of sleep, she seems altered. Throughout the show, she seemed totally incognizant of what was going on around her and how she was being perceived.
In one of the first scenes last night, she was preparing for the Grammys and had all this borrowed jewelry to decide from laid out on her bed. Her four dogs were also romping on the bed, getting tangled up in the million-dollar necklaces. And at one point, she realized one of the dogs was chewing on a ring and trying to swallow it. Paula thought it was hilarious. Her stylist looked vaguely horrified.
She just comes across as a 12-year-old kid with no self-awareness but an inflated sense of self-importance a lot of the time. So, I don't think this show is doing a lot for her image.
The best moment so far, though, is definitely from the previews: She's talking to her hairstylist, upset about something, and he says, "They're beating you down." She replies, while having her updo hairsprayed into place: "They're beating me down. But I'm a warrior!" She's an AquaNet Warrior!