The Premise of this show is pretty simple, Kathy Griffin is a D-List actress who is trying to do what ever she can to become an "A-List" actress/comedian/celebrity and is willing to do so in front of a camera for her own reality TV show. During the past two seasons of this show, camera's and sound-equipment have followed her around for (what seems to be) the busiest part of her year as she deals with personal issues when she isn't doing her comedy gigs, celebrity/red carpet events or hustling for her next acting job. It's essentially "Everything you wanted to know about how to be an Attention Junkie, but were afraid to ask."
I also make no apologizes in using the phrase "Attention Junkie," because Kathy Griffin calls her self that on many occasions, and she'll say on camera that's who and what she is, and she'll do anything to get herself in papers, celebrity gossip rags, Hollywood Infomercials like "Entertainment Tonight," and "Extra." Griffin calls her self some pretty deplorable names, which she does almost often then she uses the dreaded "F-Word," "S-Word," and the occasional derogatory name for a woman's vagina. Ms. Griffin also seems to talk about her private parts too often for any normal person... maybe there's some low-self esteem issues at play here, or it's all part of the act?
She shouldn't be too hard on herself... she is actually on a list, and she should be happy about that, right? It's not like she's famous for no good reason, she actually has something going for her self and should be proud of her accomplishments... unlike hacks like Paris Hilton and Lionel Richie's daughter. (I'm dying here... I can't think of her name. I'm not kidding, I'm drawing a blank and I'm too lazy to Google.) And yes, Paris Hilton is a hack, what would she be with out the money she inherited. Where would Paris Hilton be if it weren't for all that money she was born into? If the World did come to an end, and civilization and the rules of society ceased to exist, where would she be? What would she be, besides either as an appetizer for bloggers turned cannibals or a baby factory for zombie mongrels mutated by the atomic fall-out. (Forgive me... I'm also working on an article about The End Of The World called "2012 Is Less Then 4 years away! I'm getting carried away. What was I writing about? Oh, yea... Kathy's D-List. Thanks!)
Another part of Kathy Griffin's shtick is making fun of "A-List" and "B-List" celebrities and their ridiculous behavior. She's essentially making fun of the people she wishes could be more like, or the people who have the careers and success she envy's. "My Life On The D-List" is chock-full of witty bits and irony. Not only are all celebrities targets for her foul mouth, sharp tongue and witty observations and commentary, she also takes a poke at how some of our celebrities make themselves into huge targets with their behavior but how they're also "untouchable" because of their charitable work. Come on... how can anyone make fun of Angelina Jolie when she's adopting orphaned children or Oprah after all the giving she's done. How can Kathy Griffin make fun of people people like that? Well, she just does.
When we catch up with Kathy this season, she's recently divorced from her husband, Matt. The show opens with one of the "side-bar interviews," Ms. Griffin sitting in front of a camera talking to another person and not looking into the camera... talking about how she thinks back on her marriage to Matt and maybe he never really loved her and the failed marriage is the biggest failure in her life. Kathy almost sets herself up as a target, since one could make a superficial observation that since she put her career first, her marriage failed - "that's what happens when you put your career and popularity first' you can hear people say. But, Ms. Griffin throws herself on her sword, taking her share of the blame. She does what she says more celebs should do - take responsibility for their failures. Kathy seems to have some integrity and honesty that's refreshing, and maybe being a D-Lister isn't all that bad. I wouldn't want to see her lose that honest and insightful edge since her commentary almost makes the occasional profanity bearable.
Through out the rest of the season, Ms. Griffin has to contend with the failing health of her father, a World War II or World War II era Veteran who's lived a lot and has a lot going for him in either the Chicago/Oak Park portion of the country and West Hollywood where he doesn't live too far away from his daughter. John Patrick Griffin and his wife are perhaps the two most entertaining regulars of the show, their lives are full of as much love for themselves as it they are full of contradictions. They're life-long Catholics, but have lived lives that seem honest and pure and far from flawless. They don't seem to come off as folks who are constantly throwing their faith and their bibles at people who don't agree with them, and seem tolerant enough to go to a Gay Bar for Happy Hour and "$4 Wine." The Griffin's don't seem to be hamming it up for the camera, they come off as genuinely nice people. Or at least genuine with no apologies or pretense...
It felt like it was a personal loss when Kathy's dad died of Congestive Heart Failure during one of the last 5 episodes of the show. It seemed sudden, and unfair since folks like me who can't get enough of Veterans of that era and their zeal for life. They don't make them like that any more, folks who saved the world and should be treated more like the iconic heroes that they are, but don't want that. Just doesn't seem right or fair... losing someone who was indeed one of the best parts of the show just when we were getting used to him.
With or with out John Griffin, "My Life On The D-List" is an string of hour long commentaries on what's going on in the world and most notably the United States. Kathy takes a rational, hard working liberal woman's view on our modern times and puts it into a context that other "A-List" celebrities couldn't do, or would even dare to do. It's a worth while show for conservatives or traditionalists who want to see what The Other Side thinks. It's not really a show you want to watch with children under any age because some of the material can be pretty raw. It's not a show for people who are up-tight or easily offended. But at least it's honest and shines a harsh glaring light with our media driven obsession with celebrities, popularity and what we're willing to do for success.
Let me say this, though. She's not funny. She's witty and Ironic that's sometimes causes me to laugh out loud, but her stand-up isn't funny in the sense that George Carlin, Eddie Murphy or Robin Williams have been. I've never busted a gut laughing so hard I almost pee myself. Her comedy sticks with me for long periods of time as food for thought. OK, for get the fact that she dropped her pants during her stand up when she was demonstrating how embarrassed she was when her dogs ran out of her posh hotel after one of them had a horrible case of diarrhea and destroyed the room with a horrible episode and she was locked out wearing just the shirt she slept in and panties... you'll find yourself saying "Yea, what's wrong with some of us for running to the theater to see an actress who really can't act, is out of touch with reality and behaves so badly we would disown our own children for doing such things?"
She's not funny, she's witty and ironic while making us stop and think for a long time about some issues about ourselves and who we invite into our homes to entertain us... and now that's more important then being funny.
At this point, one of the worst things that would happen to Kathy right now would be if this twice Emmy nominated show was canceled and there was never another episode after she became an "A-Lister." If she was bumped up to "The C-List" and was relegated to doing The View... that would be great for her but not for people like me who can't or wouldn't watch. I think she's going to look back on this period of doing "My Life On The D-List" as her best and most important work.
The most important lesson for all of us is to realize when you have it so good, appreciate it and live in the moment, regardless of what ever list we're on.
Kathy's Homepage and Forum. Kathy Griffin on IMDb and her BravoTV Blog