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Love, Britney style

Romance finally comes to reality TV, smells and all. By Mike Ventre.
/ Source: contributor

Whether you appreciate it or not, it seems the reality show craze is here to stay.

American television audiences have been captivated by situations in which inhabitants of a tropical island resort to everything short of cannibalism to wipe out their competition and win big bucks.

They have been fascinated by tone-deaf shower singers who willingly expose themselves to humiliation and ridicule for a chance to get on the national stage. They have witnessed people living in close quarters who loathe each other, seen wannabe supermodels cry rivers over the actions of their mean-spirited sisters and cringed while cutthroat young executives undermine each other in order to please a boardroom bully with bad hair.

All that venom. All that anger. All that ruthlessness.

Why, oh why, can’t we have a reality show that celebrates the glory of love?

Just when I thought all hope was lost, Britney Spears came to the rescue. If you haven’t been paying attention, Britney has become our nation’s standard-bearer for amour. She and her new hubby, Kevin Federline, make kissy-faces Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson look like David Gest and Liza Minnelli. They have been inseparable. They’re so close, you couldn’t slip a bar of soap in between them, although with Kevin it might be a good idea to try.

Britney has just announced that she wants to share the couple’s love with the universe, and naturally the best way to do that is on a reality TV show for the UPN network. During the May sweeps, UPN will run a six-episode show that will allow Britney and Kevin to “share their personal love story through private home videos and revealing interviews.”

All your questions answered
I can’t speak for everyone, but I know there’s a lot more I’d like to know about Brit and Kev, despite their inability to keep a low profile. By now, if they had sex on the Jumbotron in Times Square it would be considered discreet by comparison.

This reality show will answer a lot of questions. For instance, what does Kevin use to treat his mange? Is it a special concoction, or is it over-the-counter?  And how often is it applied, because frankly it doesn’t seem to be working.

How does Britney feel about Kevin’s long nights partying and gambling in Vegas? Does she stay up nights agonizing, wondering where her hubby is and what he’s up to? Or does she relax, knowing she’ll be able to read a full account in the tabloids?

Reportedly the centerpiece of this show will be never-before-seen private home videos that chronicle the couple’s courtship, engagement and wedding. Kevin used to be a backup dancer for Britney, so I assume there will be footage of his hoofing, which must have caught her attention. It was either that or his scent, which probably cleared away all the other backup dancers so she could take notice.

What was their courtship like? Sources tell me the show contains rare footage of Kevin reaching for a dinner tab. Supposedly there are also scenes showing Britney bringing Kevin home to meet her mother, and paramedics reviving the mother.

There is alleged to be one particularly contentious segment at an airport counter, when a woman tries to explain to a bewildered Britney that if Kevin isn’t small enough to fit under her seat he has to go in a crate in the cargo area.

I know the engagement videos will be my favorite, simply because they’re oozing with romance. It’s no secret that Kevin brought a small dowry into this union. He reportedly wanted to get his beloved a ring anyway, even though he was on a budget. Apparently, the scenes at the supermarket in which Kevin keeps putting nickels into the gumball machine in the hopes that the little plastic bubble with the little plastic ring inside drops out are particularly poignant, as is the sequence when he finally rips the machine out of its moorings in frustration and curses out the store manager.

I’m busting to see how Kevin actually proposed. Did he get down on his knee in a public place and extend his hand to her? Did passersby then drop spare change into his palm?

And how did Britney react? Was she so overwhelmed by the moment that she had to get someone else to ask her lawyer to draw up a prenup?

Setting the record straightI imagine the wedding videos will be lovely. As is the custom, the bride and groom aren’t supposed to see each other on their wedding day before the ceremony. So I imagine Kevin had to try and get onto the grounds without the benefit of being in his famous wife’s company. I’m sure security cameras captured Kevin throwing a fit after being told that deliveries are around the back, or being handed a sack of laundry and told to have it back by Friday.

Fans who tune into the show and witness the ceremony and reception will understand that, all skepticism aside, they do make a wonderful couple. It’s obvious they’re deeply in love. I’m curious to see how many times the phrase, “And you’ll help me launch my music career, right?” is spoken during the exchange of vows.

Most of all, I’m glad Britney and Kevin are finally setting the record straight with this foray into the reality genre. In announcing the series, Britney said: “From the day that Kevin and I met, there have been constant rumors and inaccurate speculation about our lives together. I feel that last year the tabloids ran my life, and I am really excited about showing my fans what really happened rather than all the stories, which have been misconstrued by journalists in the past.”

Wow. I have to applaud a celebrity couple that has the courage to take on the ministers of misinformation and tell it like it is, using the only format people trust anymore: reality TV. It’s too bad we can’t vote them both off the island.