“Legally Blonde” on MTV


Remember when MTV played music? When there were videos all day, not just at 6 a.m.? Well, some of you may be too young to remember that, but trust me, there was a time. For a few hours tomorrow afternoon, it will be almost like the old days .. that is, if you view a full-length Broadway musical as sort of a long music video. That’s right, at 1 p.m. (ET) on Saturday, MTV will air the Broadway show Legally Blonde in its entirety.

I know that I’m a little reticent to mention it, but I like musical theater. So I’m quite pleased that MTV is airing a current Broadway show that I would not pay to see. (Free musical theater is the best.) Despite my skepticism about Legally Blonde, it’s still a guilty pleasure kind of show that I kind of want to see. (It fits with my occasional desire to surreptitiously read Cosmo when I travel.) And this will not be just any airing of Legally Blonde: there will also be a “pink carpet extravaganza” and a behind-the-scenes look at the show. Apparently, the tween audience is an important part of the MTV demographic, because this show is aimed right at them.

Check out the trailer for a glimpse of what you’ll see.




The show has certainly got some pep.

The trailer, however, does not show the young, pink-clad audience recruited for one of the performances taped for this special. This will be one pink-tastic special!

As Broadway shows go, Legally Blonde is something of a surprise hit. Last week, it was the 9th highest grossing show on Broadway. It opened last spring to aa mixture of lukewarm and glowing reviews. Generally, the review titles include words like “pink,” “candy” and “fluff.” My favorite was the opening to The New York Times review:

“Flossing between songs is recommended for anyone who attends “Legally Blonde,” the nonstop sugar rush of a show that opened last night at the Palace Theater, joining the ranks of such nearby temples to candy worship as the M&M and Hershey’s theme stores.”

I’m not sure what to expect when I watch this weekend. I’m anticipating light and stupid, but that’s not inherently a problem. I often like stupid. (Grease 2 is one of my favorite movies, after all.) My concern is whether this is great fodder for a show.

I liked, but did not love, the movie Legally Blonde.

I found the writing to be kind of lazy — particularly anything legal — but thought that Reese Witherspoon made the movie better than it should have been. (She does that a lot.)

I don’t know that Laura Bell Bundy will charm me quite as thoroughly, so the things that are stupid might remain annoyingly stupid.

But if there are good song-and-dance numbers, I may not care that much.

I’m definitely apprehensive about the lesbian angle, though. D. Williams noted last month in an article on lesbians and musical theater that the lesbian in the stage production primarily serves as a punchline and an unattractive contrast to the lead.

There she is on the far left.

The movie, however, featured a kind of hot, albeit humorless, lesbian — at least she was the kind of brainy lesbian (Meredith Scott Lynn) that does it for me.

She’s the smart-looking one, second from the left.

If you cannot wait until tomorrow, click here for some clips of the show. And in the meantime, as Pinky Tuscadero would say, “Think Pink.”

If you’ve already seen the show — or plan to watch tomorrow — please share your review. I’ll check back in with mine, too.

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