THE SHOW “Scandal Made Me Famous: Amy Fisher”
WHEN | WHERE Saturday at 9 p.m. on Reelz
WHAT IT’S ABOUT As part of its ongoing “Scandal” series, Reelz turns to the “Long Island Lolita” case — the 1992 shooting of Massapequa native Mary Jo Buttafuoco by Amy Fisher, teen lover of her then-husband, Joey. This 44-minute-long doc includes interviews with Fred Klein, former Nassau County assistant district attorney, and Fisher’s former defense attorney, Eric Naiburg.
MY SAY Way back in the day, the Amy-Joey saga produced a long line of casualties besides poor Mary Jo, from the trivial to the consequential: the media, auto body shops, Long Island’s reputation and fundamental human dignity (ours — the reluctant witnesses). We couldn’t escape these three, and just when we thought we could finally emerge from the shower, the three quickie TV movies arrived and aired in just about the span of a week. Our collective psychic wound was reopened, a glimpse of the endtimes perhaps tendered: So this, then, is TV hell on earth — Amy and Joey, every day and every night.
We survived and by all accounts — which naturally also consumed newsprint, books and tabloid TV — so did Amy, Joey and Mary Jo. They’re fine and apparently living in parts west of here. Damage to Long Island has already been done. But what’s so chilling about Reelz’s “Scandal Made Me Famous” is the thought that this might be the first of other retrospectives: The 25th anniversary approaches.
What’s comforting about “Scandal” in fact turns out to be the exact opposite. With this as evidence, there really is nothing left to say and no one left to exploit — or willing to be exploited for a price. Fisher and Joey Buttafuoco don’t even appear on camera. Klein and Naiburg restate what’s already known (and forgotten) about the case. Mary Jo years ago reassumed her birthname, Mary Jo Connery, remarried and is now an author and a motivational speaker. Here she magnanimously says, “One of the biggest lessons learned is forgiveness.”
In the absence of anything fresh to say or report, “Scandal” falls back on dramatic re-creations — amateurish vignettes that would serve as comic relief if they were not so ghastly.
So here’s my advice. Hug your kids, then tell them about those dark days when all we could talk about, or watch, was Amy and Joey. Tell them they’ve got it lucky.
And by all means, don’t watch.
BOTTOM LINE Run-don’t-walk from this sordid, uninformative rehash.