Sunday, February 06, 2005

Pretty pretty Princess

You know when you have those hunches that no one else understands, and you're left talking about them using only dream logic and the language of synesthesia? "Doesn't this car commercial remind you of marshmallows?" or "Wouldn't it be amazing if people had dorsal fins? And the other kind of fins, too?"

Anyway, I feel this way all the time about people reminding me of other people and am usually greeted with blunt denials -- "No, he doesn't" -- or dubious humoring -- "I can kind of see it. Around the eyes." Yesterday, however, I emerged victorious after venturing that a very good friend whom I haven't seen in several years (isn't it bizarre that I'm old enough to write that?) reminded me of Princess Ann Claire from Love is in the Heir. I was greeted with squeals of approval, nods of recognition, and even a few rounds of "Exactly! I thought the same thing!" Very Good Friend herself has not yet seen the show, but, after having been compared repeatedly to a princess, I hope she starts watching.

By now the "I'm ashamed to admit it, but I have this reality show that I love" confessional has gotten pretty worn out, but I have to throw one last log on its smoldering embers. Love is in the Heir is a great show. Really. And I'm not just saying that because my friend looks like the princess. See, it's about this princess (who, although the show doesn't dwell on it to the point of not mentioning it at all) is fascinatingly half Iranian and half British. And she lives in LA, where she speaks with a hard-earned American accent, although she still throws in Britishisms unawares. And she has this personal assistant, who's totally preposterous (except for in that one episode where she had two personal assistants, and one of them was named Baz. That one was the best.) And she is allegedly kind of dating her former personal trainer, Ritchie, except he has probably the worst hair I've ever seen and seems markedly uninterested in her. The Ritchie stuff is pretty terrible. But the best part of all is that she wants to be a country singer.

Some people (such as my Beloved Fiance) have pointed out that this show might be what they call "fake." And I'll admit that some of the gambits probably weren't entirely the participants' ideas. But I do believe wholeheartedly that
  • Princess Ann Claire is actually a princess and her family is actually royalty of some sort.

and that

  • She does actually want to be a country singer and wrote all those lame country songs herself.

And that's enough for me to care about the show. She really, really wants to be a country pop star, enough to drag herself off to Nashville and make a huge, horrible fool of herself in front of all these music executives. Maybe this is just coming from a particularly insecure place in myself, or maybe I'm just sick of watching people's heroic rises to the top, but there was something beautiful in her pure, hopeful mediocrity that spoke to me.

I think, perhaps, at the end of the day, that's what America has to offer. We don't have dynasties or Crown jewels or Cinderella balls, but we are a country where any schmo with a couple spare million dollars and a dream can parade around on television chasing it. Would I let someone make a TV series called "American Playwright Idol" about my quest, banking that the exposure would be more valuable than the inherent exploitation? Probably not. I can't stand to watch videos of school plays from 5th grade, so I don't think I'd do so well on TV. But something makes me respect those who are willing to put themselves out there for a shot at greatness.

Godspeed, Princess Ann Claire. And you, too, Very Good Friend. May your dreams come true, with or without the Pahlavi dynasty to back them.

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