Cover Shot: This Show Should Be About 25 Minutes Shorter

By J. Harvey

So The Learning Channel has this new show called Cover Shot. The premise is that people who are too busy or shy or have kids or anemia or hairy pits get their hair, makeup and clothes did by some professionals and then get their photo taken. TLC then throws it up on a huge billboard in Times Square to make them feel special and change their lives for five minutes. We here at A Socialite’s Life TV snark department (uh, basically me) figured it fit into our demo – women and gay men who want to see dowdy people transformed into hot people. Or women and gay men who want to see dowdy people attempt to be hot and fail miserably. It’s a double-edged sword, people. Anyway, here’s what went on in the first two episodes I had to view. Before I fell asleep. Fell into a deep sleep. Frederique Van Der Wal will do that to you. Goddamn.

We meet 35-year-old Dori. She’s the principal of a Hebrew school with a husband and three kids. And she fits the requisite dowdiness required for this exercise. Baggy dress and limp bangs. Hanukah has not brought her any spa makeover gift certificates. It’s ok Dori, because the supermodel equivalent of balsa wood is on the way. Frederique! She’s been in Vogue (once) and maybe Elle (once)? Somehow TLC was able to afford a limo to cart her and this week’s victim around. Couldn’t they have gotten a more interesting B-list “supermodel”? What about the chick with the dragon tattoo on her head? Or Shalom Harlow? She’s not doing anything. Or who’s that supermodel that shoplifts? I think I’m thinking of a one-time Miss America. Or Winona. God, this is boring so far and we’re not even five minutes in.

Dori is wearing her “Plays Well With Others” tee that she got down at Tar-jhay in 1998. She’s perky. Frederique asks Dori if she’s ready for all this and laughs and the overhead kitchen lighting is not being kind to her. Dori wants to be a girl again. Frederique and Dori glide into the city. Dori says she’s focused all her attention on her home and family and now it’s her time to shine. Yeah, 48 hours – one dress, some makeup and a picture and it’s back to the screeching kids and apathetic husband. Shine on, you crazy diamond. Frederique and Dori toast in the limo, and it’s basically Frederique’s one freebie from this whole thing besides the limo ride. Get drunk, Frederique. I wish I was.

We meet Richard Dean, the photographer. Supposedly he’s done some amazing things with some amazing people. He’s smarmy and annoying and shows he is by fake-admiring Dori’s clever t-shirt. Dori feels unsure of herself and says that she’s not used to having a camera shoved in her grille. Paparazzi normally don’t lurk outside the synagogue unless they’re trying to catch Mel Gibson burning it down. We meet the stylists. Cecilia is hair. Jorge is style. Christopher is make-up. Jorge (pronounced “George”) is that irritating mo’ who worked for the recently cancelled Teen People and was always flailing about what airhead bitch starlets were wearing and how to buy it on Entertainment Tonight on MTV. Yes, ET on MTV. The girl didn’t even qualify for the real thing with Mary Hart. They seem to be acting really nice to Dori. So that’s cool. Then again, they can’t be dicks to her because this is the Learning Channel. If it was E!, Bravo or Fox – Dori would already be leaving in tears.

Jorge takes Dori to the “closet”. *snicker* It’s the Cover Shot closet. Lotsa rags. Shoes. Probably the other side of the Macy’s Accessory Wall from Runway. Jorge opens his mouth and I want to kick my TV in. He knows he has a lot of work to do to get Dori to be sexy. Maybe the head of a Hebrew school shouldn’t be flashing her shit all over town, Jorge! Temper your gayness! And stop with the cat claws and growling. That doesn’t represent sexy. That represents pathetic and a signal for me to kick in my TV.

We pause for a sit-down in which the team asks her what she is looking for in her Cover Shot. And then proceed to ignore everything she says. This bit ends with Dori requesting that someone tell her when her eyebrows are meeting in the middle. Will do. Makeup!

Let me stop and say, damn they did a good job. Ms. Dori looks GOOD. Like I wanna tap that GOOD. Well, I myself don’t but then again I like the D. Dori’s husband better be on point. When Dori walked out from behind that curtain, I felt that emotional rush like when Ty the Carpenter presents the family that has had their faces burned off with a new house. So the best part of this show is going to be the big reveal. So this show could be about ten minutes. Dori is all confident and shit, and she should be. Of course, Jorge had to get all the attention he could by doing a “funny” karate show before he brought her out. He just wants to be the one in that dress. It’s probably his. His potbelly is probably bigger than Dori’s. I like how Frederique does nothing but look at a monitor. Dori doesn’t love the shoes, because she’s in pain. Which she tells them, and nixes the shoes. Jorge thinks she was acting like a diva. So she just held the shoes. That was Frederique’s idea. That’s why bitch gets paid. “Here, you should hold the shoes, yes!” Way to go, Fred.

Times Square. The big reveal. The photographer is so annoying. He should be a car salesman. Down comes the curtain. It’s a fantastic friggin’ picture of this woman. People can work MAGIC. Seriously. Her husband has gotta be like “bitch, you better put those extensions back in and keep those brows tweezed”. Frederique points out that Dori bought some heels to wear today so there has obviously been a transformation. No, a transformation would have been divorce and running away from that Hebrew school. Let’s not pat ourselves on the back too much, Frederique. If I were Dori, I would have that photo painted on the side of my goddamn house.

Our next victim is Brita, like the water filter. Brita is shy and depressed and has the prerequisite bangs. Her grandmom just died, and she missed it. She is also saddled with a perky younger sister who’s cuter than she is and probably didn’t do a damn thing for the dying grandma. Bitch. Brita should cut her. Sis thinks someone making Brita look “pretty” would really help. Just not as pretty as you, huh? HUH? Evil stepsister bitch.

Brita is dead inside. Both her bangs and her eyes are stone cold limp. And Frederique doesn’t do sad. Sis tells us that Brita gained weight and she’s just stopped trying. Sis is obviously disgusted by her. Seriously though, Brita is dead inside. She doesn’t need Cover Shot, she needs Zoloft. Is thrusting her depressive ass on TV healthy? Frederique pops out the champagne in the rented limo and tries to get Brita drunk and help herself to forget how little TLC is paying her.

Annoying photographer guy spiels about something. Richard looks like Robbie Williams older gay brother from Miami. Eww. We meet our hair, makeup and style team. Wayne the hairdresser is sorta hot. The other two are Whoever and Whatever. I hear someone had something to do with the Pussycat Dolls so now I know whom to blame.

The stylist guy takes Brita to the Cover Shot fashion closet. He’s another guy who’s overdosing on Mystic Tan. It makes me want to say fuck it and get melanoma. I come from a cancer-family so I get to make cancer jokes. So suck it. He wants to make Brita feel like a princess, like him. Brita models dresses hesitantly. She kinda clomps. But she’s sad. The photographer wants to “unlock” her. Back off, Miami Robbie. They confer to ask her what she wants, and once again – ignore her completely. “Dreamy” is hit upon.

Today’s the day. Brita is gonna be perched on some whimsical shoe mountain. Richard thinks Brita still seems a little “clogged up”. I think that’s something personal, you weirdo. Frederique tells us that makeup and hair can take hours and hours. Hairdresser Wayne is hotsy. And he’s British but looks like an Irish rugby player crossed with Elvis. Hotsy. If only he wouldn’t talk or do hair or call people “darling”. Frederique leaves to get drunk. I think the key to this whole experience is extensions. Seriously, I think properly applied extensions can make any Gila monster look dope. Frederique is all drunk and playing on the mountain of shoes. She’s going to fall and sue TLC. The makeup artist tells us about “contour” and is talking in a makeup language that I just don’t understand. They give her big-ass lashes and Brita looks a little scared but then happy. Cool. Brita is so sad that I actually care that she’s happy. What the hell is wrong with me? She looks good in big puffy white taffeta and big eyes. Not Dori GOOD, but good.

Frederique pretends to give direction. *rolls eyes* Brita seems happy. I’m happy she’s happy. She’s a little stiff. The photographer guy is always trying to capture “the shot”. He’s a big cheesy faker. Times Square. I like how they make these bitches look way better than Frederique. Frederique needs a Cover Shot. The sister accompanies her. A bus should hit that bitch. She doesn’t care about Brita! Reveal! HOT! Brita is happy, that’s all that matters. I just wish Photographer Richard would shut the fuck up. But seriously, this show should be ten minutes long. At the most.

Cover Shot” airs on TLC.