Thursday, November 20, 2008

The TV Gods Are Messing With Me

Akkkkk!!! Cover my eyes! I can't stand her, yet I stare in fascination the way a mouse observes its feline assassin.

If one watches TV at all, it has become impossible to avoid commercials for "The Starter Wife," starring Debra Messing. They feature her mugging incessantly as it seems the woman is incapable of even drinking through a straw without putting her face into overdrive. She is like the old time silent movie heroines whose expressions had to be exaggerated because there was no soundtrack.

In one commercial, she says "Yeehaw" as the rest of the cast ogles her adoringly. I have lived in the South. You can't fool me. That is the most insincere "Yeehaw" I have ever heard.

I will never, ever watch the show because through endless commercials, I have already seen her entire repertoire of facial expressions and they make me want to smack her. Her Hamminess struts around acting larger than life while I cast about for things to throw at my TV screen.

I read the plot synopsis online. Her character has everything anyone could ever hope for, according to the writers: Marriage to a successful Hollywood producer, a fabulously decorated McMansion, rich friends, and best of all, whenever she enters a restaurant she gets the best table because she is the Wife Of someone powerful and famous.

Then he divorces her and none of her friends will speak to her, party invitations become non-existent and worst of all, she no longer gets the best tables because she is now (gasp) only a Starter Wife.

Oh, gawd.

Anything but that.

Speak of hell on earth.

That is so unbelievably sad.

The sub-plot may well be the shallowness of life in the movie world, but the message is probably lost as the lead character exercises every one of the 98 facial muscles which humans possess.

I am a live-and-let-live kind of person, so I really detest having something shoved down my throat. Yet every commercial break, there she is, sometimes twice, mugging and whining.

"You're ruining my life!" she wails in one of them while waving her arms ineffectually for extra drama.

Ms. Messing's features are most attractive in repose, but I suspect that she even makes faces in her sleep. If my mother were living, she would doubtless tell her, "Your face is going to freeze like that."

She is even more cloyingly adorable than Tina Fey's Sarah Palin.

They need to call a moratorium on Debra Messing. My critical mass has been reached. The whole gag-inducing cyclorama should be put out of my misery. Now.


thailandchani said...

I actually don't think I've seen the commercial... but the woman in the picture looks like she has a thyroid problem. Her eyes are about to pop out. :)


meno said...

Oh amen sister.

I'd way rather watch Tina Fey's Sarah Palin.

The CEO said...

And to think I keep telling my wife with shows like the Starter Wife, that we simply aren't in the target market. It never crossed my mind that it was merely incompetent. Thanks for that.

Cecilieaux said...

I haven't seen the commercial and Debra M's roles are a bit cloying. However, the issue of the "custody" of friends after a marriage breaks up is well-known to me -- and, believe me, real.

Say It said...

Tivo would be a great gift for you. Since our cable video records, i'm not sure what the last commercial I've seen was.

seventh sister said...

just turn it off

heartinsanfrancisco said...


It's mostly the USA Channel. We've developed a "House" habit.

She does have that Susan Sarandon thyroidal eye thing, now that you mention it.

She simply offends everything I ever learned about acting.


Yup. Tina is one funny lady.


At the risk of offending anyone, if you and your wife do not have the brains of an analid and/or the psyche of a 12-year old, this show is not intended for you.

Of course, I couldn't watch Friends either, and it was extremely popular for way too long. Ditto Will and Grace, again starring Debra Mess.


Yes, friends seem to be mostly "his" or "hers," but in show biz, they automatically go with the more powerful partner.

Say it,

We really should get Tivo. It would clear out a lot of garbage one wades through in pursuit of entertainment.


I know. Duh. But I would rather light a rocket than curse the darkness.

Franki said...

wow lady, debra messing is apparently on your last nerve! i've not even heard of this show, but it's probably because i only watch the discovery science channel and "my name is earl" in full seasons from netflix.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

HA HA HA ha ha ha haaaaa... ahaaa...

I'm so glad I haven't had cable in a decade.

Here, read a copy of Ivanhoe.

You'll feel better in no time.

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

PeterAtLarge said...

Funny, I've actually never heard of her, nor seen the commercial you describe. Just lucky, I guess. But WORSE than Sarah Palin? Surely not...?

Jo said...

Oh, gawd, I totally agree...! I always get the feeling Debra Messing is trying to channel Lucille Ball, who of course was the biggest mugger of them all. Somehow I never found Lucy funny. She was too obviously trying for the laugh, and Debra Messing is doing the same thing.

She's actually not a bad looking woman, if she could just learn to be a bit more ladylike.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


You are a study in contradictions. The Discovery Science Channel and My Name Is Earl.

I must be missing something about the latter.


There was a period of about 15 years (pre-Flip) when I owned a TV but it was in a back room, covered with a quilt, a lamp and a pile of books. I never hooked it up. He often comments on how he has ruined me.


Not worse, shades of gray. I'm sure that you and Ellie are not the target audience either.


You're right on. I read a short article online while writing this post which said that Lucille Ball was her inspiration. I think she's Lucy without the talent. Lucy was not very far removed from Vaudeville and mugging was the style of the day, but I don't understand why anyone would want to see that recycled in the 21st century.

Anonymous said...

I actually never liked Lucille Ball, either.

But I dislike this show for another reason: I think it, and shows like Sex and (in?) the City, glorify excess and entitlement. Blegh.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I watched Lucy as a child and always wondered why she got away with acting like a child when I, who WAS one, did not.

You're right about the glorification of excess and entitlement, which seem to be the values much of our society aspires to.

the walking man said...

Hearts I suggest that you take a more masculine approach to the commercials...randomly flip channels.

A master channel flipper has the timing down to an art so the return to the show being watched is pipped right to the scene after ALL of the commercials are done.

This new approach would save you from having to get up and scour the place for more ammunition to hurl at the television.

Ian Lidster said...

Like you I could never stand Ms. Messing. I never knew if Will and Grace was good or bad because I never watched it, esssntially because of her. So, if you want to start a drive to eradicate her, I'll join.
I saw ads for the show to which you refer, but I didn't watch at all because she was in it.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I know where the mute button is, and I use commercial breaks to check my email so I WON'T shatter the TV.

But maybe you're right that I should get in touch with my inner male made of sticks and snails and puppy dogs' tails.

Ah, Ian m'lad, once again you prove yourself to be a man after me own incorrigible heart.

So we save the Pacific Islanders and eradicate the Debra Messings. That's a plan I can live with.

I never watched Will & Grace either, but judging from the commercials for SW, she can't act to save her arse and I find that really offensive. There are plenty of pretty women who CAN act and aren't getting the work.

MsLittlePea said...

I've heard her say in an interview that Lucille Ball was one of her idols. That might be why. I used to watch Will and Grace and she was the same way with her expressions- very exaggerated and it reminded me of old I Love Lucy reruns my Grandma used to make me watch with her. That show got on my nerves just as much. I never got it. Everyone always looks at me funny when I say I always disliked I Love Lucy but I just couldn't find anything endearing about Lucy or Ricky, ok Ethel I kind of liked but she played the 'straight guy' to Lucy's craziness. Anyway I'm off topic- sort of. Debra Messing's comedy style might be a little too 'classic' to put it nicely. I'm not a big fan of exaggerated comedy either. "The Office" is one of my favorites. Silly, I like but over exaggerations just get on my nerves. You know how sometimes a nice old man will make a joke that's not really funny but you laugh anyway just to be polite? That's the only way I can describe how that kind of humor doesn't appeal to me....

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Sweet Pea,

Slapstick is also lost on me. Can't stand it. Sight gags I like, sometimes. I think I mostly prefer humor based on language, but not puns especially.

I read somewhere that Messing wants to be like Lucille Ball,"so funny that nobody notices her beauty."

What I notice most is her lack of acting ability.

Eastcoastdweller said...

So She is a Female Jim Carrey.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Exactly. And that guy is very hard to take even in small doses.

I am not Star Jones said...

Once the commercials started for the Debra Messing Mugging Show, it has taken all the joy out of watching Will & Grace reruns for me.

You've perfectly summed up everything I've been thinking about her new show.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I have never seen Will & Grace. I have a perfect record. I am not about to spoil it now.

On a limb with Claudia said...

I worked with a woman in rehab that was like this. But I think her husband really loved her. Or seemed to. He found out she had a problem when he came into the kitchen during a party with 50 guests, his guests, and found her passed out on the floor.

Yeah, it's not the life I would ever, ever want. EVER.

Thank God, we don't have a TV

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I suspect that Ms. Messing's substance abuse problem is too much ego, but there may be other contributing factors.

For many years before I married Flip, I had a tv in a back room covered with a quilt, a lamp and books. It was just the right height for an end table.