Television

The Anna Nicole Show’s Druggy, Delirious Debut

The Anna Nicole Smith Show: a depressing spectacle
The Anna Nicole Smith Show: a depressing spectacle

Anna Nicole Smith is not rich, but the $88.5 million is due any day now. She is a gold-digger. And she is not fat. All of this we’re taught, straight up, in the informative prelude to The Anna Nicole Show, E!’s searing investigation into the life and times of a mentally ill widow who is very sexy. On Episode 1, which premiered Sunday night, Mrs. J. Howard Marshall (nee Vickie Lynn Hogan) flaunted her delirious, semiconscious stuff while house hunting. She tested beds and bathtubs, seemingly so she could get a short nap. Getting out of tubs did not come easily to her.

Anna Nicole did spend most of the show in full regalia, including spectacular pitch-black false eyelashes, which—in Platonic contrast to white-gold hair—seem to be the key to her considerable cartoon beauty. However, our heroine does tend to lurch. Depressing is not the word for it. Watching her, you begin to feel queasy, like you’re getting the hangover from whatever’s she’s on. And therein lies the suspense of The Anna Nicole Show. Which drug is she on? Time will tell. I think it’s a plain old Rx, but is it Vicodin, Percocet, or something that anesthesiologists keep in locked boxes? And is E! an enabler or what?