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Story: When Ben and Franklyn met in college, they knew they’d be best friends, as in “Ben Franklin,” you know? Several years later, Ben is a successful Los Angeles businessman operating a string of ‘Big and Tall’ men’s shops, while Franklyn pays the bills as an employee of a prominent law firm run by his father-in-law. What he really wants, though, is a career as a writer, so he’s taking a night-school course to help in that endeavor.
America’s most beloved brother-sister singing duo, Donny & Marie, will bring their festive holiday show to St. Louis. LN spoke with Marie Osmond about the pair’s Christmas tour, her favorite show business memories and more.
She had just one fork in her kitchen. In her early days as St. Louis’ top prosecutor, Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce was so consumed by crime and punishment that just one fork was all she needed.
Sweetie Pie's The Upper Crust, the newest restaurant from local soul food maven and reality TV star Robbie Montgomery, opened in Grand Center last year, providing another venue for ‘Miss Robbie’s’ down-home specialties.
Unreliable and second-hand gossip from around the world*
Many of us think we know what we like when it comes to the arts in St. Louis, but sometimes the most thrilling performance or the most moving canvas can be found in an unexpected place. We asked some of the area’s most plugged-in artistic leaders and supporters about their favorite arts experiences—perhaps you’ll find a new place to love!
Caught up on your tabloids? Watching bad reality TV? Enjoying lots (and lots) of CGI and special effects at the cineplex? Let’s see if you have your finger on the pulse.
The Baldwin Report--Reality TV Edition
Steve Scorfina, antique 'picker,' was once the lead guitarist for legendary rock band REO Speedwagon, and later, the iconic ‘70s St. Louis band, Pavlov’s Dog.
So last week, a show premiered on ABC called Splash—not to be confused with Smash, which has an actual story line. Splash is a reality show where 'celebrities' attempt to dive. That’s it. They dive. Coaches coach them, they hurl themselves off a 10-meter board (please don’t call to correct me about the height of the board because frankly, I just don’t care), and judges score them. So let’s tally it up: We’ve had celebrities dance. We’ve seen them skate, cook, diet, rehabilitate and survive in the wilderness. All I can say is that fame—however it is achieved—must be pretty freaking awesome if people are willing to go through all this to get it--or rather cling to it. And that got me thinking: I wonder what else we could get said fame-seekers to do?
Do you have a secret? Are you living a shameful (or shameless) existence? Do you hate your body? Do you have a sex tape? Do you think your toddler needs to go on a diet? Have you stabbed your lover? Do you have a more-than-meaningful relationship with your car, your pet chimpanzee, or an inflatable doll? Do you grocery shop at a gas station? Well, there may be some good news for you. Your outrageous, unrefined, crude, addictive, aggressive, compulsive, self-loathing behavior might make you rich and famous…well, rich and infamous. A quick glimpse at the array of what we so literally describe as 'reality shows' may have you wondering if there’s hope for you yet.
The Baldwin Report
If you love those HGTV home renovation programs, you wouldn’t want to miss a local version. KMOV TV’s Real Life Renovations is now in its second year. The Sept. 12 show, which airs at 8 p.m., takes viewers inside the renovation and staging of a vintage Ladue home, circa 1940.
It’s a little before two o’clock on a Saturday afternoon when I get to the new Sweetie Pie’s Upper Crust restaurant on Delmar Boulevard in Grand Center. I figured the lunch rush would be over so it’d be a good time to have a taste of Robbie Montgomery’s now-famous soul food. I walk in and hear Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s, and there’s a TV crew from the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) setting up. The place is full of people, and the line is soon out the door.
Well, the television season officially came to an end this week. That means if you’re a fan of Castle or The Mentalist or Criminal Minds, you have to wait until October for a fresh dose. And you know what else that means: It’s reality TV time.
Local soul food favorite Sweetie Pie’s has gone nationwide. Owner Robbie Montgomery, her son and business partner, Tim Norman, his fiance, Jenae Wallick, and a cast of employees, friends and family members are featured in a new reality series called Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.
Halloween is Monday, and like most children their age. Cranky (13) and Whiny (12) have no idea what their costume will be. Punch (10) chose the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters months ago. Nevertheless, that leaves two 11th-hour decisions for two children at a very awkward age. So, off I went to the biggest Halloween store in the universe, the Internet, to research what the kids are wearing this year.
Opera is full of unexpected plot twists, and so is the story of how a former business major, Gina Galati, became an opera singer. “I flunked an economics course when I was 19,” recalls Galati, artistic director of Winter Opera Saint Louis (formerly New Opera St. Louis). “I was at loose ends until my mom said, ‘You’ve always loved music. Why not switch majors?’ ” Mom was right: Galati went on to earn a master’s degree in opera, then studied in Italy. Soon, she was performing in operas here and abroad.
Television has always been a part of most children’s lives. I used to come home from school and watch Gilligan’s Island, and I can still remember the Friday night lineup when we got to stay up late with the babysitter. In college we would all congregate in someone’s dorm room to eat pizza and watch Miami Vice. Then we’d go to a party and flirt with guys wearing pastel jackets with pushed up sleeves…in the winter…in New Jersey. However, my unconditional love affair with TV came to an abrupt end last week when I came home to find Cranky watching Jersey Shore.
Alisse Camazine and Alan Freed of Paule, Camazine & Blumenthal are two of the busiest family law attorneys in St. Louis. They spend their days hammering out property settlements, negotiating custody agreements and dealing with other complex issues. You’d think they’d have enough to do without taking on extra projects. But these colleagues and friends, who have more than 50 years of legal experience between them, recently sacrificed three years of TV and family time to write Divorce in Missouri: The Ultimate Guide to a Show-Me State Divorce. The book was published last year to rave reviews from grateful clients, mental health professionals, financial advisers and the toughest critics of all—other lawyers. Published by Acorn House, it’s the only divorce guide written specifically for Missourians.
The spotlight was on St. Louis’ Shapiro Supply metal company this week, thanks to an appearance on American Pickers, History Channel’s hit reality show. The episode featuring STAN and SAM SHAPIRO shows the father-son duo taking ‘pickers’ MIKE WOLFE and FRANK FRITZ on a high-speed golf cart tour of their 3-acre ‘indoor metal mart.’ American Pickers, which follows Wolfe and Fritz as they visit junkyards, basements and barns across the country, is among the Top 10 most watched shows on cable.
We spend a lot of time thinking about how we look when people meet us—but not enough time considering what they’re seeing as we exit. Do we have a nice, tapered shape in those low-rise jeans, or do our backsides droop or bulge over those jeans? A procedure called ‘back scooping,’ made popular recently by reality TV personality Heidi Montag, is getting some press.
As most of you know, I have a daughter, Cranky, age 12, and two sons, Whiny, 11, and Punch, 9. With Cranky off traveling with friends and my husband away on business, I was left for the brunt of spring break alone with the two boys. In this intense togetherness, I learned a thing or two. I always knew their similarity in looks was inversely proportionate to their similarity in personality—they are complete opposites. Whiny is bookish and brooding, while Punch is the eternal optimist. If Punch were a superhero, his name would be The Silver Lining.