It's a tough day today. Not only is it the first Monday of the New Year, but it's the first Monday without a new Amy Fisher movie to look forward to.
Or, so you thought.
Cheer up, bunky, because I've got news. Remember, we're not stuck with just three networks anymore.
Meaning, we can look forward to the Disney channel Amy Fisher movie: "Amy Fisher: Beauty and the Beast."
And the Amy Fisher series on Fox, "Unmarried . . . but Heavily Armed."
And, of course, CNN will have a few words to say about America's most famous person suspected of having slept with and shot different people named Buttafuoco (let Dan Quayle try to spell that one). A preview:
Bob Novak: She's plain bad.
Michael Kinsley: She had a tough childhood, Bob.
Novak: The girl's scum, I tell you.
Kinsley: Come on, Bob, she was raised in a dysfunctional family.
Novak: Listen, you pinko mushbrain, I know what I'm talking about. I used to date her sister.
Kinsley: Big deal. I dated Amy before Joey did.
(OK, I was just kidding about Michael Kinsley dating Amy Fisher. I'm pretty sure Mike's idea of a wild time is ordering coffee and dessert at the new Borders bookstore.)
There will be more Amy Fisher because we can't seem to get enough of this story in which an apparently sociopathic teen shoots the wife of her maybe lover/auto mechanic. Joey, who's twice Amy's age, says they were just friends; Amy says they were a little more than, uh, friends and that, if you can stand it, Joey was the "brains" behind the shoot-'em-up. Is this compelling or what?
If only Dostoevski were alive. Imagine what he could do with this plot line: Joey fixes Amy's car and Amy fixes Joey's wife's wagon.
No wonder NBC put Amy on the payroll and CBS went after Joey. ABC had to settle for some reporter's version of the story. Oh, well.
The NBC docudrama (officially: a story based on truth but not under any obligation to stick to anything remotely close to the facts) aired last Monday and was the No. 1 show of the week. CBS and ABC, the better-late-than-never networks, gave us Amy vs. Amy last night in a two-hour slugfest that must have had remote controls hopping. How did you handle it? I kept switching channels until I saw either a body part or gunplay.
According to the Nielsen people, virtually everyone in America except Bill Clinton was watching. In fact, George Bush has offered to pardon the NBC Amy Fisher, who's doing five to 15 for assault, but not the CBS and ABC one. Cap Weinberger couldn't be reached for comment.
Clinton wasn't watching because he and Hillary and Chelsea and 1,000 intellectuals were gathered at Hilton Head, S.C., for
something called the Renaissance Weekend, at which the attendees dress up like Leonardo da Vinci to play golf, tennis and Trivial Pursuit: The Really, Really, Really Smart People edition.
I have a question: Do you think Clinton is preparing to be president or a contestant on "Jeopardy!"? Am I wrong, or does the guy know everything? This was the type who, back in high school, would bang his pencil down on the desk 15 minutes into the test to announce that he'd finished so everyone else could say, "Geez, he's smart."
Clinton is not afraid to be smart, which may be a mistake. Americans mistrust obviously smart people. They say that Clinton reads five books a week. The truth is you can't read five books a week and watch all the Amy Fisher movies, too. You've got to make a choice, and we can see how the American people have come down on this issue.
What makes the Amy Fisher story so appealing? That's easy, I guess. It's sex and violence. It's love gone bad. It's betrayal. It's Geraldo panel in the full-length dramatic form.
It's Woody and Mia, except with gunplay.
Mostly, it's the real-life Amy Fisher, who is secretly videotaped (as seen on "Hard Copy") saying that she wants to keep her name in the news "because I can make a lot of money."
Meanwhile, the victim, Mary Jo Butta-
fuoco, calls up Howard Stern's radio show to say that she and her husband are enjoying a healthy sex life.
You just can't let a story like that go. Which is why PBS is planning its own docudrama, "Amy Fisher: Upstairs, Downstairs and Even Under the Car."