Category Archives: TV shows

A Diamond on the Mind on PBS

Has anyone checked out A Diamond on the Mind on PBS yet? My local PBS channel aired it last night. After a busy day campaigning for local candidates, I planned on sitting on the couch, grading and reading for work. I figured putting A Diamond in the Mind on would provide a great soundtrack, allowing me to be productive and focused. Well, it didn’t work quite as well as I hoped.

I turned the channel at about 9 pm, with grading pen in hand. I soon realized that I had no idea what the format of this airing would be. Would they just show the whole concert? Would there be commercials? I remembered hearing or reading about how new interviews with Simon and Nick would be part of it. I decided not to worry about it and got to work.

The concert started with Planet Earth, A View to a Kill and The Reflex. Right away, I recognized that this was not the regular order of songs during the All You Need Is Now Tour. No, the shows began with Before the Rain. My immediate reaction to this realization was hardcore eye-rolling. Really? Are we just going to air the “hits”? Is that how this was going to go? Why?!? Then, the PBS people popped up to start talking about making a pledge. Who were these PBS people? Women. Are they assuming that women watching would relate to these women talking? Do they think that only women are watching? I’m not sure but it did make me wonder. Then, if that was not bad enough, they commented that the viewers should contribute because PBS is not our parents’ PBS but ours. Duran Duran is our music, the music for our generation. If we want to see music like this on the channel, we need to donate. Now, of course, PBS included some gifts for people’s contribution. One level had a 10 song CD (not sure what songs were included–probably the hits). The next had a DVD copy of A Diamond in the Mind and the CD. Finally, someone could get both of those along with Classic Hits: Rio and Mad World (book by Lori Majewski about 80s hits).

As I saw this sales pitch over and over again, I found myself cringing over and over again. First of all, I have never felt so old in my life. Are we really at the age that our music is acceptable to those who are middle-aged and old? I tend to think of PBS performers to be boring and unchallenging. It isn’t threatening, generally. I don’t really want Duran Duran to be in the camp. I appreciate that PBS is trying to broaden their usual audience and even that they offered some Duran items. Of course, those items did not make me jump since I already have the items they offered. It is the thought that counts, right?

Beyond showing mostly the hits and offering some Duran products, they also featured an interview with Simon and Nick. While I always appreciate interviews, I found myself a bit frustrated that the focus was on the past. There were a lot of questions about Rio or other famous songs from their past, including A View to a Kill and Ordinary World. While I get that they think the majority of the audience would want to focus on the songs that they know, I wish that there were questions about what the band is doing now. Wouldn’t the fans who only know of 80s and 90s Duran want to know that the band is still around? Couldn’t PBS advertise Duran as much as Duran was used to advertise them? I don’t think I heard anything about the concert we were watching even. Sigh.

At the end of the night, I did not get much grading done. I found myself distracted by this PBS viewing. Did anyone else see it? What did you think?


Juicy Stories on TV

In my continuing quest to keep moving forward, I decided to see what else has been going on or connected to Duran Duran this week besides the big story.  Typically, when I see something Duran related and lack time or energy, I just save it to refer back to it.  So, that is where I started this afternoon.  What the heck did I save?  Ah, yes.  My friend shared an article from about a TV show in development.  What is the TV show called Juicy Stories about?  This is how the website describes it:

Juicy Stories is the story of how two women in their 20s created the iconic “Juicy” tracksuit and turned their $200 investment into a billion-dollar business — and a life-long friendship. Inspired by the lives of Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor, Juicy Stories tells the tale of two women who made clothes, made mistakes, made babies — and made one of the most iconic brands of the 1990s, Juicy Couture. These “Juicy Stories” — both aspirational and sensational — flash back to Los Angeles in the 1990s and are narrated on camera and in the present by the real Pam (Lawfor) and Gela (Serafino), still business partners and best friends.

For those people lost, Gela Nash-Taylor is John Taylor’s wife.  According to the article, which you can read here, the show was inspired by the memoir, The Glitter Plan, written by Pam Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor.  (Fun fact:  Rhonda blogged about that memoir here.)  Now, I admit that I know very little about the history of Juicy Couture and, unlike Rhonda, I did not read the book.  That said, I can appreciate the idea of celebrating both female friendship, which is clearly an important piece of the story, as well as successful women.  It sounds like the show will feature mostly women, which I can applaud.

But on to the important stuff!  If this is about the story of Juicy, will John Taylor also be there?  Indeed, Gela’s husband will also be a character on the show.  In fact, he is described in this way, “Gela’s sexy, charismatic, actor/musician husband.”  What is interesting or perplexing or curious, depending on how you look at it, the characters playing Gela and Pam will be called “Gela” and “Pam.”  Yet, the John character will be called, “Drew.”  Huh?  I wonder why.  I think that is weird.  So, who is the guy who will be playing John/Drew?  His name is Tanner Stine who is also in Impulse, Here & Now and Zac and Mia.  I won’t lie.  My knowledge on actors is way limited so I have no idea if this guy can act well or not.  He looks like this, though:

Does this guy seem like someone who could pull off playing John Taylor?  Here is a video of the show, Impulse, in which he plays Clay.

I have to admit that I’m not sure.  First of all, he is really young.  Second, he has really blue eyes, which does not match at all.  Yet, in fairness, I’ll admit that I have a hard time imagining anyone being good enough to play John Taylor.  I’m a bit biased.

Now, I admit that this isn’t typically a show I would turn in to, despite the female focus, but I probably will just to see how this guy does.  I am curious to see how John will be written and portrayed.  There does not appear to be a date for a premiere and the show is only in development so my guess is that we will have to wait awhile.  Hopefully, it will be worth the wait.