Tuesday, July 30, 2013

"Bette" Season 1, Episode 17. My Take

In proof that the universe can be cruel and heartless, the series "Bette" only lasted 18 episodes. This hilarious show, featuring the one and only DIVINE Miss M playing a sitcom-style version of herself, centered around the daily life of a megastar. It's early demise is definitive proof that what I want does not matter to the cold hard hand of fate. In some other alternate universe the show ran eight seasons and saturates syndication the way it should have here in our world! 

Okay. In the next to last episode of "Bette" (one of two that never actually aired- but wound up on youtube- proving to kids to never lose hope!) we find Bette getting ready for the Grammys. Jennifer Lewis (above) plays a hairdresser that surely would have become a regular character had the show continued. (In my alternate universe, the hairdresser did become a regular and Jennifer Lewis won 5 Emmys and had a pretty successful spin-off called "Hairdresser to the Stars.") 

Bette's friend/producer/assistant/I-forget-what has lost a very expensive earring and is trying to keep that news from Bette while she looks for it. (The youtube clip actually cut off the end of the episode, so I'm not sure if they found it- but probably it fell into one of Bette's Grammys for "Wind Beneath My Wings.") But that's not all . . .

As Bette prepares to sing at the Grammys, she's forced to deal with a daughter who wants to attend the award show dressed like Britney Spears- proving that 2001 can feel like a long, long time ago. 

Bette is also forced to make sandwiches for her accompanist's grandmother and a tag-along from the tour bus. Am I the only one who thinks there were endless possibilities for "Bette"? Oh well- all 18 episodes are on youtube (I think) so those who love the work of legendary mega-personality Bette Midler can appreciate them still. It was a great show while it lasted- maybe I was the only one who got all the references to Bette's career- did your average CBS viewer not understand jokes about For the Boys, Drowning Mona, or the "Thighs and Whispers" album cover!??

In the end Bette is ready for the Grammys but bad news has been delivered. Bette's performance at the Grammys has been bumped by the formation of a super-boy-band ('Nsync and Backstreet Boys singing together for the first time! 2001 was ten lifetimes ago!) 

Final Fun Fact:  This episode makes several references to the fact that Bette wasn't nominated for a Grammy that year. The album she wasn't nominated for was 2000's "Bette" (named after the show? the star? the character based on the star? a secret nod to Bette Davis?). One funny moment in the show comes when Bette cries on her friend's shoulder saying, "It was a beautiful album but nobody bought it!" But! I did buy it! I am so gay I even had a poster of the album cover. If only the world were filled with more people exactly like me, this show would still be on the air! (There'd also be a food shortage and the obesity rate would be 155%). Viva La Midler!

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