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The TBTS Investigative Presumption: How Courtney Love Will Change TV As We Know It

August 6, 2009

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.  Schlemiel!  Schlimazel!  Hasenpfeffer Incorporated!

Hello again younglings!  I know you’re here because you’re trying to make sense out of the stunning events of the last couple of days.  Believe me, I’m just now getting my second wind after the news.  I have spent the last day or so piecing together little bits of information, gossip and outright lies regarding this situation.  What I have uncovered has the force to change the face of pop culture as we know it.  I’m serious, this is “Bobby’s in the shower?  It was all a wacky dream?” kind of big.

It all started on Monday, in what seemed at first to be an innocuous interview conducted by New York magazine and TBTS fave Courtney Love.  In what might loosely be described as bathroom humor, the former wife of Kurt and mother of Frances did what she does best:  spout off meaningless phrases conjoined with expletives.  The most noteworthy aspect of the interview was the completely uninteresting news that Love and her daughter Frances Bean were planning on a move to New York.  I paid my penance for laughing at an old lady that fell down by reading the entire interview, had a brief thought that went something like “That old lady looked a little like Courtney Love”, and went on about my day.

Then on Tuesday, Paula Abdul surprised everyone by announcing that she’s leaving the most popular television show in the universe, American Idol.  Speaking through her spokesperson, who goes by the moniker of “Twitter”, Abdul stated: “I’ll miss nurturing all the new talent, but most of all being a part of a show that I helped from day 1 become an international phenomenon.”  It perplexed me that Abdul would turn down multiple millions to stay on Idol, what could she be thinking?  And only one day after Love drops the bombshell news that she’s leaving her cardboard box behind the 7-Eleven in Los Angeles for some nameless dumpster in an alley in NYC?  Like Wheeljack, there’s more here than meets the eye.

After some painstaking internet research and about ten minutes of thought, the dots began to connect.  What at first seemed like random statements by Love became cleverly worded clues to her intentions when seen in the light of Abdul’s departure.  Finally, it all made sense.  Ladies and gentlemen, it is my contention that Abdul and Love are working together on a remake of that loveable seventies sitcom, Laverne & Shirley.  What proof do I have for my conjecture?  If by “proof” you mean “established facts”, then I confess I have none.  But let me remind you that the original L&S was set in Milwaukee and Love is moving to Manhattan.  Notice the shared letter that is beloved by kindergardeners and candy afficionados alike.  Need I say more?

I, for one, think this is a move of pure genius.  What two actresses personalities could embody the spirit of Laverne DeFazio and Shirley Feeney like Courtney Love and Paula Abdul?  Love could recreate the fascinating complexities of Laverne, mixing quirky goofiness with a heart of gold, but maintaining a simmering angst right under the surface.  Abdul would absolutely nail the sweetly tart personality that made Shirley such a hit with audiences around the world.  But the pair would also be able to modernize the comedy with slight modifications of character.  For example, I can see Love’s Laverne as a recovering heroin addict who continually falls off the wagon while struggling to raise a teenage daughter.  It’s a stretch I know, but if anyone can pull it off it’s Courtney Love.  By the same token, girl-next-door Abdul might interpret Shirley as an aging one-hit wonder who turns down a multi-million dollar television deal to live in a skanky midtown apartment with her drug abusing “best friend”.

To see how this revamping might work, let’s reimagine what may be the most critically-acclaimed L&S episode ever, 1976’s “Dating Slump”.  In the original episode, Shirley gets dumped by her boyfriend Carmine which leads her into a man-less abyss.  Ever the good friend, Laverne takes Shirley out for a night on the town that results in the girls getting into a bar fight.  With Abdul and Love playing the leads, the hijinks get even zanier as the role of Carmine is played by the gender-bending Katee Sackhoff.  The episode could be subtitled “Cold-Hearted Snake” as Shirley returns from dance lessons and innocently walks in on Carmine and Laverne in the sack.  Laverne decides to make it up to Shirley by taking her to the local watering hole, but the girls get waylaid when Laverne needs a quick fix and decides to stop by the crib of her crack dealer, played by the guest-starring Keanu Reeves.  After the buy, Shirley surprises everyone with her ability to out-smoke Laverne in a Crack-off.  Laverne, ticked off about losing $50 in the contest, sets the house on fire, killing everyone inside.  Hilarity ensues.

As you can see, there’s really no comic stone that couldn’t be unturned by this dynamite combination of talent.  I fully expect to hear the buzz about a reimagined L&S coming to E! or Comedy Central in the near future.  I think Courtney Love expressed my sentiments on this potential juggernaut in exact and uncompromising terms:  “That’s retarded. Like, if it’s a million-dollar dress, like my tampon dress, that’s a different story.”  ‘Nuff said!

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