the lawyer writer

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Monday, January 30, 2006

To #1 Single from #2 Single

It was inevitable, and it has happened. Reality television has infected my life.

It probably has before. I'm sure I stumbled upon one of the cast members of the San Francisco Real World and I have a hazy memory of seeing Lisa Loeb in concert. Lisa Loeb? Reality television? Surely you jest...sold out, si? But no, there she is, the sta of E! Entertainment Television's #1 Single, in which the icon of cute girly geek chic has her a show about her dating life, or lack thereof. Of course, the show hits on every stereotype imaginable (chastisement by a rabbi's family for being 37, advise from a very Jewish mom, half-naked Mizrahi moment). I still like Loeb, who looks really hot and really clever for her age. Finally, it's a reality show that you don't feel utterly stupid watching. After all, I can relate to a thirty-something Jewish girl's dating problems in New York.

On the second episode, Lisa goes on a blind date on an airplane ride from Los Angeles to New York. That is true commitment to finding a mate. I want to sit next to no one on my plane rides, and then no one again, so I can have three seats to stretch out in, a pharmaceutically or spiritually induced slumber until we land. However, Lisa sits next to Allen S., a writer and author of Festivus: A Holiday for the Rest of Us. Allen S. was also my writing teacher back in 2002; we have kept in intermittent touch over the years. I was surprised to see him on a reality dating show--not entirely surprised, since he's very good at self-promotion and Lisa Loeb seems like his type.

So, on last night's episode Lisa and Allen seem to be getting along until she sees a Page Six gossip excerpt about Alan's book party and the fact that Allen and Lisa are an "item" after what looks like two dates. Allen says he had nothing to do with it, and then admits he gave a quote about the book signing because the gossip was a done deal. Lisa looks wounded and a song about broken promises plays. Allen looks like a shameless parasite hoping to capitalize on poor Ms. Loeb's celebrity for his book.

Now, I am dying of curiosity about how Allen feels about his portrayal--and, how much of it is editing, or even scripted. The mind boggles with theories. I remember a writing class when the mysterious girlfriend stayed in the downstairs bedroom the whole time. Allen wrote for the New York Post for years, which could enable him to plant the gossip, or ask that it be planted. Was Lisa really mad, which is surprising for a woman going on a reality show about her lovelife. The Festivus book signing was a zoo--my roommate and I went and I distinctly remember seeing reality television-worthy lights there. Allen sold all his books--not in part thanks to the presence of Frank and Esther Costanza--or, as they are more commonly known, Jerry Stiller and his wife Anne Meara. It is very hard to sell all your books and get that much press for a book signing--how much of it was due to the Page Six gossip which Ms. Loeb seemed so betrayed by? Or was it all a massive publicity stunt? Tell us, Allen, please.

Fascinating. We'll see if Allen is in the next episode.

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