REALITY SERIES "Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?"
WHEN | WHERE Premieres Tuesday night at 9 on WE
REASON TO WATCH Joan? Melissa? Joan and Melissa?
WHAT IT'S ABOUT Joan Rivers loves New York. She loves the energy. The places to perform, and to see performances. The business epicenter of her jewelry/cosmetics/apparel empire, which made her a QVC mainstay worth millions of dollars and "saved my life" 20 years ago, after the failure of her Fox "Late Show" talkfest, after her husband's 1987 suicide, and before her E! red-carpet resurrection.
So, of course, Joan's leaving New York. She's moving to California to be near Malibu-ensconced partner-daughter Melissa and grandson Cooper. She'll pack up Edgar's ashes and dog, Lola ("the Gayle to my Oprah"), and fly across the country to cram herself into the guest room at Melissa's already-overcrowded house.
Meet the live-in boyfriend. The ragtag collection of BFFs. The ever-present personal assistants. The buxom blond Swedish nanny.
Oh, the celeb-u-soap possibilities!
MY SAY But no. As Joan informs a party of shocked neighbors at her Connecticut country house, her California move is "All. About. Family."
Certainly not All. About. TV. Time.
Ah, but that's just the cynic in me. I'd even quibble about the title. ("Hogan Knows Best," "Brooke Knows Best," "Mary Knows Best" - really? "Joan Knows Best?" - adding a question mark was the best they could do?)
But this show isn't for me or any other person to whom it could occur that Melissa's remark about her household - "The only thing we're missing is a comedic icon that I call mom" - might be a little less than spontaneous.
The target viewer wouldn't watch all this predictable - I mean, impulsive - bickering and button-pushing while thinking: I wonder why all the paintings and posters on the walls in the background are blurred out? And then think: Geez, why am I even wondering about that?
The audience for "Joan Knows Best?" will be loving Joan's visits to three plastic surgeons Tuesday, not fretting.
BOTTOM LINE Don't think too hard about "Joan & Melissa." Don't think at all.