PREMIERES "The Conversation With Amanda de Cadenet" (Thursday at 11 on Lifetime) and "7 Days of Sex" (Thursday night at 10 on Lifetime).
REASONS TO WATCH Intimate celebrity interview series with de Cadenet, produced by Demi Moore; and a new (ummm) intimate reality series.
WHAT THEY'RE ABOUT De Cadenet's talk show clearly eschews a "talk" label in favor of girl-to-girl "conversation" about motherhood, careers, sex, body image, life's meaning, kids and marriage. Thursday's guests are Jane Fonda, Gwyneth Paltrow, Sarah Silverman and Zoe Saldana. Each arrives at de Cadenet's house, curls up on the couch and proceeds to unload. Meanwhile, "7 Days of Sex" is about couples whose married lives have entered a deep freeze. The prescription to thaw them out: sex. Seven days in a row.
MY SAY De Cadenet (pronounced Cada-NAY) arrives at fussy old Lifetime with a rep already fully and gloriously outsized. In late-'80s London, she was what the British quaintly refer to as a "wild child" (or we, as a "Lindsay Lohan"). At 14, she was host of her own TV talk show and had a bundle of press clips attesting to a huge zest for life and clubs or -- as one scribe with the Daily Mail explained -- "was the girl who made other children's parents shudder for the future of their own progeny."
Daughter of race-car driver Alain de Cadenet, she later married Duran Duran bassist John Taylor, divorced and moved to Hollywood, where she reinvented herself as a filmmaker and well-regarded fashion photographer. Now pushing 40, she's a mother of three and married to Strokes lead guitarist Nick Valensi.
In other words, de Cadenet's interesting. Her talk show is much less so. It's of that variety long ago mastered by Oprah: Look deeply into the beautiful eyes of a beautiful, famous, highly toned celebrity, then ask about the perils of motherhood, or -- in "The Conversation's" case -- breast enhancement, or favored sexual position. In fact, de Cadenet -- obviously intelligent and obviously a talented listener -- doesn't typically ask questions as much as complete answers. She seems to be friends with these stars, probably is, which gives this show an aura of coziness, as though members of the Hollywood establishment were chatting among themselves. Where's that old de Cadenet wild-child fire? She recently told Jimmy Kimmel she rides a Ducati motorcycle. Maybe conduct all future interviews while barreling down Melrose on one of those?
Meanwhile, "7 Days of Sex" is a good-natured reality show based on a perfectly reasonable proposition -- why not a little more intimacy to rekindle the old fires. But -- seriously! A reality show that challenges married couples to have sex? Oh, brother.
BOTTOM LINE Nothing remotely lurid in either show. Lifetime is also looking to rekindle some of its own fires, and "intimacy" is the new strategy. But these shows are too safe.
Amanda de Cadenet (as host): B-
"The Conversation": C+
"7 Days of Sex": C+