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John Doyle: Television

Kim or Pippa: Who's the hottest It Girl of them all? Add to ...

Today’s epistle is especially suitable for nitwits. Normal service will resume tomorrow.

It has come to the attention of this column that a two-person battle is being waged in the TV racket. The battle is about who is the cutest, coolest most fashionable lady. Also the battle is about the cutest posterior. Both women contestants are creatures of television. They are Kim Kardashian and Pippa Middleton.

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It ill behooves a man to enter the fray. So I will merely set out the facts.

One recent evening, burdened by troubles big and small, I was watching Say Yes to the Dress before retiring for the night. It is a reliable relaxant.

An excited – sometimes an agitated – bride-to-be goes to the store to buy a wedding dress. She brings a posse: gal-pals, mom, dad and bridesmaids, or old friends, a sister or two and, sometimes a gay guy from work whose eye for sartorial splendour has been well established. The dynamics are fascinating.

On this occasion, along came a lady from Florida, not in the first flush of youth, as they say. Her requirement was specific – she wanted a Pippa Middleton dress.

The store had none. Compromises were sought. One fluffy, feathered thingy was tried. It made her look like Big Bird, she declared, but her friend liked it a lot. Dark looks were exchanged. And then I fell asleep.

Next thing I know, days later, is that Pippa Middleton is the most hotly desired guest on American TV in 2012. According to reports, Oprah and Barbara Walters are waving cheques for enormous accounts of money at Pippa. (The money will go to a charity of her choice.) Some reports suggest they hang round her house in London making goo-goo eyes at her and leaving mash notes about how great her upcoming book is – it’s about party-planning – and promising to totally be her BFF. Is this Pippa Middleton a star, or what?

We await developments on the big U.S. TV interview. Whenever it happens and to whom she talks will be huge, huge news and this column will fill you in, have no fear.

Meanwhile, I noted with interest that the Season 2 finale of Kourtney & Kim Take New York was E! Canada’s most-watched single broadcast of a regular series in network history. It was announced that “A total audience of 252,000 viewers tuned in to see Kim share her heartbreak over the demise of her short-lived 72-day marriage to husband Kris Humphries with the world…” In the United States, many millions watched it.

E! declared, “The Kardashian reign continues on E!” Excuse me? Did I see anyone on Say Yes to the Dress ask for a Kim Kardashian ensemble? No. In fact I put it to E! that the “Kardashian reign” is over and Ms. Pippa Middleton is the new reigning queen of this world, whatever world it actually is.

Both are famous, thanks to TV. It was television’s focus on Ms. Middleton’s dress at the royal wedding last year that made her a superstar. The bod, the dress, the style. As they say on the flibbertigibbet side of what passes for entertainment journalism these days, a new “It Girl” was instantly created. Hence cheque-waving by Oprah and Barbara Walters.

The Kardashian named Kim is entirely a creature of TV. Those reality shows about the busy shopping-and-dating lives of the Kardashian/Jenner family are huge. Exactly why I cannot tell you. Me, I cannot tell one Kardashian from another. Now, if one of them appeared on Say Yes to the Dress, it would be a different story.

And yet I do know about the rear-end thing. I gather Kim Kardashian’s posterior is a subject of rabid interest and discussion. Certain ladies want one just like it.

Simultaneously, Ms. Middleton’s posterior is also much mulled over. In fact, when I sought online info about her possible appearance on some U.S. talk show, the first news story I saw had the headline, “Will Pilates give you bum like Pippa Middletons [sic]” It was in the Belfast Telegraph, a paper in a place where peculiarity abounds. But it also appeared all over Britain.

There was much reference to Ms. Middleton’s “internationally renowned hour-glass figure,” which I doubt is her proudest boast in terms of life achievement, but there you go. It’s what happens today when you show up on TV in a nice dress looking slim.

The reference to Pilates unnerved me. I do Pilates. Sometimes there are ladies present. Being a gentleman and mainly interested in exorcising the body-strain that comes with this daily toil, I avert my eyes. If someone were to ask me, “Will Pilates give you bum like Pippa Middletons?” I could not advise. But I’d wager that Ms. Middleton’s long history of doing triathlons might be a sound guide to finding an answer to the question.

It’s February now. And this is how the rest of 2012 will unfold in certain areas on the TV racket – as a battle between Kim Kardashian and Pippa Middleton for supremacy in the cutest, coolest most fashionable lady stakes.

Nitwits take note. And you others, I know there’s an inner nitwit trying to get out.

AIRING TONIGHT

Republic of Doyle (CBC, 9 p.m.) has Victor Garber playing a drunk and dishevelled fella, in a tangle with strange people played by Peter Keleghan, Raoul Bhaneja and Hélène Joy. Dogs & More Dogs (CBC NN, 10 p.m. ) is about this: “The science of dogs, their origin, evolution and the special relationship they've developed with humans.” Excellent.

Check local listings.

 
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