“Awm toyuhd,” whines the frizzy-haired bottle blonde in that straight-out-of-Queens accent.
That, of course, would be singer Cyndi Lauper saying “I’m tired” during a visit to Louisville where she’ll be the grand marshal of the Pegasus Parade before the Kentucky Derby. It’s all being filmed for her new reality show, Cyndi Lauper: Still So Unusual, premiering on WE Saturday night.
While you’d be right if you thought that the last thing TV needs is another reality show, what makes Still So Unusual different is that its star has proven talent, she works hard for a living, she has a loving husband of 20 years and a normal 14-year-old son, she’s known for her support of liberal and humanistic causes, and she’s a nice, sane person.
Except maybe when she’s dropping F-bombs at the Derby parade because she didn’t realize she was holding a live mike in her hand.
In Saturday’s premiere, you’ll see her flying to Los Angeles from her home in New York to appear on The Voice doing a duet with a contestant. The rehearsal doesn’t go well, and she worries that she’s ruined her voice for the actual performance.
This puts her in what she calls a “grumplestiltskin” mood, with which her patient husband and son seem all too familiar. But even when she’s in a snit, there’s clearly a huge reserve of nice just below the surface, and her family knows how to bring it out of her.
When she’s not dressed to the nines and made up like a Kewpie doll for a performance, you may find the diva next door scrubbing pots and pans and cleaning the house because she knows if she hired someone to clean, they’d only do the surfaces and she’d have to redo the work herself anyway.
Except for the fact that Lauper is rock ’n’ roll royalty, she’s pretty much like any working parent realizing her teenager is going to be off on his own all too soon. That may make it easy for viewers to identify with her, but it also sets her apart from most reality show stars, since she isn’t a hoarder, in need of intervention, a drug-addled college student, morbidly obese, a single teenage mom, the mother of a child beauty pageant contestant or a Kardashian.
And thank God for all of the above.