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August 29, 2008

Snapped goes for Emmy jugular


Gratuitous true crime reality TV? Bring it on, complete with cheesy re-enactments, shaky hand-held cameras and dramatizations that have emerged as a likely source of work for at least some of L.A.'s bottomless pool of wait staffers.

So, with much anticipation we learn of an upcoming marathon of "Snapped," an Oxygen series that's a little "America's Most Wanted," some "Girls Gone Wild," and a lot of low-rent "Biography."

How in the world has this gem existed for so long without our notice? And how is it not on Emmy's radar? We're kidding about that last part, but only if the Academy can't find it in its collective heart to honor a show about seemingly normal women coming completely unglued and committing murder in sometimes creative but often very clumsy and traceable ways. We won't hold our breath on that one.

A press release today from Oxygen -- just for context, home to shows that star Tori Spelling and Janice Dickinson and many plus-sized projects from Mo'Nique -- tells us that the "Snapped" marathon is airing Sept. 21 in prime time, head to head with the Emmys. Now that's some counterprogramming for you. Oh snap, indeed.

Our TiVo will be busy with such profiles as Dixie Shanahan, a quiet Iowa farmwife who "shot her husband in their bedroom, then left the room and shut the door. It stayed shut for almost a year."

And this one: "Erika Sifrit was happily married and running a scrapbooking business, until police discovered she'd held onto a few mementos that weren't her own -- items that belonged to a local couple that had mysteriously disappeared."


Never trust those scrapbookers, we always say.

The victims are usually no-account boyfriends and husbands, and the show's been criticized in the past for painting the perps themselves as victims (a couple from past seasons are pictured here). Even so, it has a devoted audience and ranks among the top series on the cable network, helping to recast the channel as the place to see women reeking havoc (that would be the flip side of Lifetime).

The most recent episode of "Snapped" pulled in the series' highest ratings ever among female demos. Additional background here. Doubt there's many men watching, unless they're looking for clues on why their angry wives seem so happy to serve them dinner these days (hint: there's anti-freeze in that marinade).

What better way to spend the couch-ridden day after the Emmys than watching small-town moms give in to homicidal rage? Now that's a plan.


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Oscar Contenders

  • So "The Dark Knight" didn't make it into the final five after all, never mind that critical and popular support. Let's just call the comic-inspired mega-hit "The Biggest Snubee."

    Here are the best picture contenders in a race that, two weeks away from the Oscars, seems to be a foregone conclusion ("Slumdog") unless there's a come-from-behind possibility ("The Reader" anyone?)

    "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett; the politically timely "Milk;" rags-to-riches fairy tale, "Slumdog Millionaire," Holocaust best-seller-based drama "The Reader," and Watergate-era biopic "Frost/Nixon."

    Could "Button" and "Slumdog" split the vote, allowing another film to take the prize? Doesn't seem likely. After having clung to "Button" for months as what we thought would be the Academy voters' top vhoice, our money's now on "Slumdog." Momentum can't be ignored.

    Watch this blog for updates, ephemera and all manner of postulating.

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  • Mmmmm, chocolate Oscar. Not every star will walk away from the 81st annual Academy Awards with a trophy, but if they hit the high-profile Governor's Ball they can have pastry chef Sherry Yard's gold-dusted candy version. Also on the menu from celeb chef Wolfgang Puck is tuna tartare in sesame miso cones, chopped Chino Farms vegetable salad with ginger soy vinaigrette, Maine lobster and caviar. Serve it up! (Getty Images)

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