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The Anna Nicole Smith Show

Reality television has provided some of the most surreal television programming found on the airways.  Shows like The Surreal Life provide endless hours of entertainment by providing glimpses into the lives of people that have fallen out of the spotlight.  Although these shows have an element of gimmickry attached to them, the taped trials and tribulations of these washed up celebrities can be some of the most poignant and touching shows on television.

The E! Network has never been known for providing highbrow entertainment and its popular reality TV show, The Anna Nicole Smith Show does not buck from the channel’s reputation.  Focusing on the adventures of former Gap model and 1993 Playboy Playmate of the Year, Anna Nicole Smith, viewers of The Anna Nicole Smith Show can’t help but feel like they are witnessing a very slow-moving train wreck.

Anna Nicole Smith was once considered one of the most beautiful women in the world and had a look similar look to Marilyn Monroe.  With a successful modeling career and appearances in movies like Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult and The Hudsucker Proxy, made many believe that Anna Nicole Smith’s career was on the upswing.  However, a marriage to an 89-year old oil tycoon, J. Howard Marshall II, and the subsequent battles over inheritance with her husband’s family after he had died sunk her career.  After a sudden weight gain and several drunken appearances in very public places, many wondered about the sanity of Anna Nicole Smith.

However, as The Anna Nicole Smith shows, Anna Nicole has managed to bounce back to some form of semi-normalcy.  Although there are some very strange moments on the show, including one bit where Anna Nicole Smith is practicing Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew with former child star and Partridge Family actor, Danny Bonnaduce, the show is ultimately one where the audience feels some sort of sympathy and understanding of what goes on in Anna Nicole Smith’s life.

Although Anna Nicole Smith is the star of this show, a cast of equally wacky friends surrounds her.  Included in the cast of colorful characters that populate this show are her lawyer/best friend, Howard K. Stern (who is often the brunt of Anna’s various attacks) and her Prozac-popping dog Sugar Pie.  The Anna Nicole Smith Show follows Anna Nicole Smith and her friends go through adventures and often learn lessons.

One memorable episode involved Anna complaining about her life at a restaurant.  Confronted with the challenge of switching lives for one day with Valerie, the waitress serving her and mother of two, Anna embarks on a crazy journey in which she realizes how good her life is.  With messages like this and some of the strangest moments on TV that keeps the show from being overly sentimental, The Anna Nicole Smith can almost be described as a modern day Frank Capra show.