Sitting squarely in the middle of a Venn diagram of audiences who watch “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” and “Check It Out! With Dr. Steve Brule” is me.
Recently, these two shows came together in a thrilling crossover not seen since NBC’s “Hurricane Saturday.” Won’t you join me in my diagram to enjoy my favorite shows together?
“The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” comes from Andy Cohen’s alternate-reality sausage factory that strings together dramatic scenes of rich ladies having dinner parties, arguing, and wearing high heels. It’s a diversion that penetrates human man’s need for escapism and it particularly sets my spirit free when I’m enjoying it with the emotional ambrosia of Garden Herb Triscuits and rosé.
I first laid eyes on Kevin Lee on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, planning Pandora Vanderpump’s wedding. With waxen skin and hair of jet, Kevin is an over-the-top kind of guy.
According to the “On Screen” credits on his website, Kevin was the inspiration for Martin Short’s wedding planner in the 1991 remake of “Father of the Bride.” Considering it takes years to develop a solid reputation in the party planning business, as well as to gain notoriety worthy of parody, this makes Kevin approximately 71 years young.
On the other side of the couch, you have “Check It Out! With Dr. Steve Brule,” a brilliantly bizarre comedy styled after a poorly-produced cable access show. Dr. Brule, played by John C. Reilly, started out as a blundering but likeable doofus on “Tim and Eric,” and has devolved into a deeply unhinged ogre in the recent third season. Characteristics like banjo eyes peering through greasy eyeglasses and pronouncing an extra “R” for every other word are the fine fondant topping layers of awkwardness. Sometimes the sound of my laughter is really just masking the haunting echoes of humanity’s darkest corners, and this also sets my spirit free.
One of Dr. Brule’s special guests this season was Kevin Lee portraying a different version himself, an interior designer named Jeffrey Brown. Part of the magic of “Check it Out” is that sometimes it’s difficult to say whether or not the guests are in on the joke. Kevin is in on it this time, and it’s 2 minutes and 30 seconds of my favorite television of all time.
Ugh the video won’t embed and it’s taken me a month to write this post so enjoy this external link to the video and some screen shots.
It’s difficult for me to articulate, but I’m forever intrigued by aesthetic intentions versus what an audience subjectively experiences. I think it has something to do with the nuances of popular culture as bad art, and the ability to deconstruct a subject into deeper meaning and context. I live for the gray area that combines a complete lack of self-awareness and a very specific persona. I believe this nexus of narcissism and celebrity includes statistical anomalies like Keanu Reeves and Dave Navarro, as well as Kevin Lee.
Video Bonus: Kevin enjoying a holiday buffet.