Words cannot describe how little I care about the personal lives of most celebrities. I have a couple of close friends that are extremely well-known and if I've learned one thing from being around them, it's the life they live in public (even in the tabloids), bears scant resemblance to what happens in private. I don't care all that much if someone cheats on their spouse or is a terrible parent. Those problems are best left to the people they impact directly and it would be insane for me to draw conclusions based on what I read in a gossip column or TMZ.
All of which was a problem for me when I approached the new VH1 reality series "LeAnn & Eddie." LeAnn Rimes and Eddie Cibrian are both talented enough people, but why exactly would I want to watch a TV show highlighting their lives...or at least, the version of their lives they want to show to the viewing audience?
Based on the premiere episode of the show, the answer is that there isn't a reason to watch, unless you're either an uber-fan of the duo or are a Brandi Glanville fan who has some need to keep count of how many times she's referenced in the show. "LeAnn & Eddie" isn't the worst entry ever in the "celebrity life" reality TV genre, but it is a pretty good example of why you shouldn't allow the subjects of the show to have too much control over the finished product.
Literally 75% of the premiere episode involves gossip and the press in some way, with much of the storyline built around Eddie Cibrian's unhappiness with a tabloid story that claimed the couple was headed for a $50 million divorce. Now while I understand their frustration, seeing their frustrations played out on camera is like a whiney version of watching sausage being made. Will the couple respond publicly? What will the kids say? Will friend Mario Lopez ask them about it during an interview on "Extra?" The problem is that while this story matters a lot to LeAnn and Eddie, it's not so compelling a story if you're just watching the couple obsess about it.
I'm probably not the target audience for "LeAnn & Eddie," but it's hard for me to determine just who the audience might be for a show that wants to offer up a different side of the duo, but is also self-obsessed with gossip and bad publicity. A writing mentor of mine once told me that just because you have a story to tell, that doesn't mean it's worth telling.
And that, in one sentence, is the core problem with "LeAnn & Eddie."
"LeAnn & Eddie" premieres on VH1 on Thursday, July 17th, 2014.