One of our former contributors, Julia Allison, is now on a Bravo Reality Television Show called Miss Advised. The Emma-Esque premise follows a group of three women in the dating advice industry (relationship columnist Julia Allison, matchmaker Amy Laurent and talk show host Emily Morse) on their search to find love. You can watch the trailer here or tune in when it airs at 10/9c tonight.
Now, I’m no Austen fan, but it sounds cute.
That said, when we heard about it, our first question was why? Why would anyone want to be on a reality television show? So we talked to Julia about it. That and her 73 point dating checklist.
TheGloss: Why would anyone want to be on reality television?
Julia: For many years, until I left New York, really, I did very much want to have my own show. As with most things, I got the thing I wanted most when I stopped wanting it.
When I was a junior in college, Aaron Spelling TV optioned the rights to my Georgetown dating column to make it into a (fictional) show. That project fell through, but I always hoped that one day I would have an opportunity to create some sort of television project. So, as I continued in my writing career, I did a series of pilots – one for E! (as a news host), one for Oxygen (where I was a judge for a style competition), two others for BRAVO (one was a docu-series about my business, NonSociety, the other, a late night talk show panel) before this one stuck.
I was initially ambivalent about this show. I felt like I had gone through the media ringer in New York, and I had just moved back home to Chicago to get away from that nonsense. I wasn’t sure I wanted to go down that route nationally. Earlier that year (2011) I began writing a weekly internationally syndicated technology & social media column for Tribune Media Services, so I felt far away from the entertainment business and the snarky NY media clique, and I rather liked it that way. But I also wanted to … well, I wanted to finish what I started, so to speak. I had literally written down “get a television show” on my List of Goals when I was 20. I wanted to check it off that list – a decade later.
Also, I’m an experience junkie. I had done enough television as a commentator by that point (hundreds of segments on cable news shows and morning shows) so I suspected I knew what filming a documentary series would entail, but I wanted to see for myself. I was wrong, by the way – it was exponentially more difficult emotionally than I thought it would be.
Do you see this as a stepping stone to a larger goal?
Well … I don’t really know. I’m just appreciating the culmination of a decade-long goal right now, and almost two years of work on this particular project. I think for the first time in my life I’m following the advice I had tattooed on the back of my wrist to honor my beloved Grandmother (who repeated the aphorism to me often, but would have been horrified the idea of a tattoo): LIU – Let it unfold.
I do know I will write a book. But I didn’t need the show to do that. I needed the balls.
Is there any way to prepare to be on Reality TV?
Yes and no. Before we began, I set all sorts of rules for myself: “I will not discuss sex! I will not have even a sip of wine on camera! I will never lose control!” Right. Well, all of that s–t went out the window within about 6 hours.
What I didn’t do? Lose any weight. I am 5’4″ and 138 pounds, and all of that (mostly my ass) shows up on camera. Well. That’s just the way it goes. Maybe I should have, I don’t know. But I didn’t. I also didn’t purchase as many items of fashionable clothing as I perhaps should have … oops? I only realized about halfway through the first episode that there’s a REASON no one wears Lululemon, American Apparel and Uggs on TV. You look like crap. Or, more accurately, I look like crap. But again, what’s done is done. I guess I can take solace in the fact that when I moved across the country (which I did on camera), I moved like a normal person: in sweats. That might well be a first for reality TV.
Do you think all publicity is good publicity?