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Long live the Red Queen

Monday, January 19, 2015
Kathy Griffin, right, has taken up the hot seat from Joan Rivers on Fashion Police on E! television.

I fell asleep during the premiere of the re-wired Fashion Police with Kathy Griffin as the host, which, on the Fashion Planet is like dozing off on your wedding night.

Kathy Griffin has been a favourite of mine ever since her role as the fire-topped, no-cover-for-her-mouth magazine journalist friend of Brooke Shields in Suddenly Susan. She also had a sufficiently creepy childhood with a scary drug-addicted pedophile older brother to make us want to cheer for her. 

I love her face-pulling and fast-talking and famous red hair. Her delivery and timing are zing, zing, zing. Yet, I nodded off somewhere between her yeast infection and mockery of Amal Clooney wearing “bovine insemination” white gloves to the Golden Globes. (Who cares, the woman is a noted lawyer and activist with a statuesque figure—she can fling on whatever she likes, as long as she accepts that people are going to hate her forever.)

The thing is I couldn’t stand Joan Rivers but she was my guilty pleasure every Saturday morning with her plastic face grinning back at me, reassuring that no matter what evils were taking place in the world, I could always count on her for a totally inappropriate joke. The repeated attempts by her co-hosts to look shocked at Joan’s X-rated bashing got a little predictable but Joan had the armour to charge her way into our consciousness.

I was determined not to compare Kathy to Joan—that’s so unfair. Kathy has the talent and the experience to kill as the new FP madam but the new format might be killing her instead.

Instead of ruling as the Red Queen, Kathy is participating in a kind of roundtable power-sharing discussion, with the underfed Giuliana Rancic opening and closing segments as if she owned the place. Kathy came off as just another guest with a few snappy comments in her designer purse. 

Plus, she doesn’t seem to care that much about fashion. She just made some jokes about this one and that.

George Kotsiopoulos has been replaced by Brad Goreski who was annoying with his no-socks-and-cropped pants look. His ankles kept bugging me the whole night. Thank goodness for Kelly Osbourne. Eeeek! Did I just say that? Well, I actually found her a comfort zone where I could cuddle up to her purple hair and feel I was chatting with an old friend whose clothes I would never borrow.

No chemistry—that was it. The old team had a connection and made the repartee seem natural and delicious. Now, nobody’s opinion seems to really count. Kathy’s vote for worst dressed was Amal. Kelly and Brad chose Lana del Rey, the Lisa Presley-beehive-lookalike in the accordion-pleated aquamarine gown. Giuliana picked Kiera Knightley for her lampshade nightgown. The audience, through online posts, then got to say who they hated the most. 

Nobody cares what nobodies think. We want to be told off by some high-ranking dominatrix of the Fashion Planet—so we can either quiver before her all-knowingness or rebelliously suck our teeth—not by some anonymous TV-viewing knock-off-wearing Borg collective.

The new format will also be concentrating on red carpet events, instead of catching up with celebrities while vacationing, shopping, and picking up their children from super camp. We’ll see how that goes.

Since nobody on the new FP show wants to rule with a sequinned iron sceptre any more, the responsibility falls to me to tell you the truth. 

Here is the fastest, smartest, most condensed super opinionista report from the Golden Globes red carpet.

Jennifer Lopez and Kate Hudson secretly Superglue their gowns to their bodies. Keira Knightley looked so sad in that Chanel nightgown, it would be cruel to say anything more about it. Claire Danes (My So-Called Life) wore a so-called gown which was really upholstery remnants from the set of Gone With the Wind. Kerry Washington has a vulnerable beauty which collided with her stiff two-toned gown; not bad but she could do better. Helen Mirren was glorious in red Dolce and Gabbana—the woman is 69, with a waist and a pert bosom. And Lupita Nyong’o can do no wrong, even if she decides one day to wear burlap and chicken wire, so back off. You hear me? Back off!

Now let’s be grown up and give Kathy Griffin another chance to arrest us. Long live the Red Queen. We’ll be watching.

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