Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Most Talkative


If you’re not familiar with Andy Cohen, you probably don’t watch a lot of shows on Bravo. While Cohen has had an extensive career producing television on other channels, he’s most known for bringing the Real Housewives franchise into the world. Now, I’m not a Real Housewives fan but he’s also responsible for the show Flipping Out, which I love. He hosts the reunions for all his reality shows and has a quick wit, which is why I borrowed this book, Most Talkative: Stories from the Front Lines of Pop Culture from the library.

Good Reads' Synopsis: The man behind the Real Housewives writes about his lifelong love affair with pop culture that brought him from the suburbs of St. Louis to his own television showFrom a young age, Andy Cohen knew one thing: He loved television. Not in the way that most kids do, but in an irrepressible, all-consuming, I-want-to-climb-inside-the-tube kind of way. And climb inside he did. Now presiding over Bravo's reality TV empire, he started out as an overly talkative pop culture obsessive, devoted to Charlie's Angels and All My Children and to his mother, who received daily letters from Andy at summer camp, usually reminding her to tape the soaps. In retrospect, it's hard to believe that everyone didn't know that Andy was gay; still, he remained in the closet until college. Finally out, he embarked on making a career out of his passion for television. The journey begins with Andy interviewing his all-time idol Susan Lucci for his college newspaper and ends with him in a job where he has a hand in creating today's celebrity icons. In the witty, no-holds-barred style of his show Watch What Happens Live, Andy tells tales of absurd mishaps during his ten years at CBS News, hilarious encounters with the heroes and heroines of his youth, and the real stories behind The Real Housewives. Dishy, funny, and full of heart, Most Talkative provides a one-of-a-kind glimpse into the world of television, from a fan who grew up watching the screen and is now inside it, both making shows and hosting his own.
What I Thought: This was a relatively quick read and while Cohen is a good writer, owing to his years in the Journalism program at Boston University, there just didn’t feel like there was a lot of meat in this memoir. Maybe I'm judging a book about trashy TV a bit too harshly. Oh well. I found his insight into various pop culture occurrences interesting and how he came to head up the celebreality juggernauts that have made him so successful in recent years was an amusing story. However, when the book was finished, I didn’t really feel like I learned anything. Maybe if I watched any of the RH series I would have gleaned more factoids but for me, this was just so so. I’m still a Cohen fan but, I’d rather see him on TV.

Rating: * * 1/2

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