For those who share this guilty pleasure, may I introduce my newest television obsession, The Michael Jackson Trial: An E! News Presentation (E!, 7:30 p.m. weekdays, with recaps on Saturdays at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.). Instead of tediously having to read the newspaper for my Jackson fix, cable channel E! spoon-feeds me the most salacious, naughty tidbits from the Michael Jackson trial on a daily basis--via unrealistic yet wholly satisfying "re-creations."
Every day, an E! "news team" extracts the sexiest testimony from actual court transcripts, which is then performed by a group of actors who could make your local community theater look like a pile of Laurence Oliviers spouting Hamlet. There's an actual Michael Jackson impersonator (played by actor Edward Moss, who has Jackson's razor-thin snoot down to a tee). Then there's wizened Judge Rodney S. Melville, as portrayed by character actor Jack Donner--whom you may remember as Romulan Subcommander Tal from the original Star Trek, as well as playing "creepy grandpa" in a number of straight-to-DVD movies. But my absolute fave is Defense Attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr., played by actor Rigg Kennedy, who is forced to wear the ugliest silver wig I've seen since Estelle Getty starred in The Golden Girls! (Kennedy has previously appeared on an episode of The Fall Guy, as well as in the classic Ally Sheedy film Maid to Order--both sans ugly wig.)
Every weekday, these desperate actors are called upon to re-create the trial's endless parade of disgruntled mothers and ex-employees, such as the maid who allegedly caught Jackson fondling Culkin's "rear end." Naturally, all this got me to thinking--about the show, not about fondling Macaulay Culkin's rear end--and I asked myself, Why does this show only re-create the testimony? What if they told the witnesses' stories in a series of tawdry flashbacks?
For example, the French chef could be testifying on the stand, saying something like, "I reemembair eet shust like yestairday…." Then a bunch of wavy lines could melt down the screen, and we'd find ourselves in Michael Jackson's bedroom (with the appropriate "wocka-wocka" porno soundtrack playing in the background). Suddenly, the French-chef impersonator walks in and catches the Jackson impersonator with his hands down the Culkin impersonator's pants!
"Sacré bleu!" screams the French chef, dropping his plate of French fries. "Meester Jacksohn! Why are you deeging around eenside leetle Mac's trousairs?" And then the Jackson impersonator could squeal, "EEEE! Oh, Frenchie! You've caught me molesting Macaulay Culkin!" before turning to the camera and saying, "ALLEGEDLY."
Hmmm. Maybe it's a good thing I'm not in charge.