UPDATE – Wednesday June 22:
Apparently, the joke’s on me. Neither during last week’s pilot, nor in tonight’s second episode of the new comedy, “Happily Divorced,” has Fran Drescher worn pantyhose – or even a dress for that matter.
I will say that I like the show. It is upbeat and funny, and the cast includes veteran comedic actors who deliver every line, expression and gesture with impeccable timing.
When I wrote this post last week before watching the pilot, I didn’t realize that Fran’s husband/ex-husband is played by John Michael Higgins, who is very funny. I really liked him as the psychiatrist in Ally McBeal.
So far, “I’m not (head tilt) comfortable …” with Fran or whomever is dressing her for “Happily Divorced.”
I don’t understand how the costume designer for this show can miss the mark on selling what Fran is famous for. If this person is going to continue to dress her in slacks and jeans, or maybe worse, dresses and skirts without pantyhose, I will stop watching.
Nevertheless, I think Fran still deserves credit “wear” credit is due for being such an ambassador for pantyhose during the early years of her career, and that ‘s really what this post is about.
What do you think? Does this change anything? Please take the poll at the end of this post.
Now, here’s what I wrote last Wednesday:
Tonight marks the debut of actress Fran Drescher’s latest TV project, Happily Divorced, premiering at 10:30 p.m. EST on TV Land (channel 304 on DirecTV), with a second showing directly afterward at 11 p.m.
The storyline features Drescher as Los Angeles florist Fran (naturally) adjusting to the world of dating after learning that her realtor husband of 18 years, Peter, is gay. The comedy is set around Fran juggling new relationships, while still living under the same roof as her ex-husband.
Apparently, Fran is told by Peter in the opening scene that he has finally realized that he is gay. Then, we fast forward six months and find that, while Fran and Peter are divorced, out of financial necessity, they are forced to continue sharing a house together.
I decided to write this post tonight before the show airs. I’m doing this for two reasons: First, I’m not a film critic, and that’s not what this blog is about; second, I don’t care if the show is any good or not. I like Fran Drescher because she’s funny, she’s beautiful, and more than anything else because she has always been a true pantyhose ambasador.
Now, perhaps, the 53-year-old film and television actress, comedian, screenwriter, director, producer, author, singer, talk show host, political lobbyist and health activist wouldn’t claim “pantyhose ambassador” among her credits, but I’ll bet that readers of this blog who are Fran Drescher fans definitely think of her as one of those who fight the good fight for pantyhose.
Drescher got her start with a small part as a dancer in the 1977 blockbuster movie, Saturday Night Fever, then had roles in other movies during the 1980s. But it was her role as Fran Fine on the TV sitcom, The Nanny, (1993-1999) that catapulted Drescher into stardom.
Created by Drescher and her then-husband (1978-1999) Peter Marc Jacobson, The Nanny, featured Fran as a whiny, nasal-voiced woman from Flushing, New York, who has just been fired from her job and abandoned by her boyfriend.
She ends up selling cosmetics in Manhattan until making a sales call at the home of a rich, widowed English Broadway producer. Fran is mistaken to be applying for the job of nanny to the widower’s three children and is hired for that purpose, but of course, the story is centered around the budding romance between Fran and the man.
Drescher was nominated for two Emmy Awards and two Golden Globe Awards for Best Actress in a Comedy Television Series for her work in The Nanny.
I never watched the The Nanny, but I was aware of Drescher in that role, mostly for her beautiful short dresses, high heels and sheer pantyhose.
Among Drescher’s many other TV credits are appearances on Fame (1982), 9 to 5 (1983), Who’s the Boss (1985-1986), and Night Court (1986). More recently, she starred in (and produced) Living with Fran (2005-2007), and last year, was host (and producer) of the talk show, The Fran Drescher Show.
Far from just an entertainer, Drescher – a cancer survivor – is known as a healthcare advocate and is recognized for her work as a Public Diplomacy Envoy for Women’s Health Issues for the U.S. State Department.
She’s also an author, having written one book about her early struggles in Hollywood and subsequent rise to glory, and another about overcoming cancer.
Drescher is the recipient of the John Wayne Institute’s Woman of Achievement Award, the Gilda Award, The Hebrew University Humanitarian Award, and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine’s Spirit of Achievment Award.
Most recently, she was honored with the City of Hope Spiritof Life Award, which was presented to her by U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton.
And on April 10, 2010, she was guest of honor at the “Dancer against Cancer” charity ball held at the Imperial Palace in Vienna, Austria, where she received the first “My Aid Award” for her accomplishments in support of cancer prevention and rehabilitation.
I like Fran Drescher because she created herself in a unique and entertaining fashion that endeared herself to millions of fans. Like many professional entertainers, she’s endured great hardships along the way, yet, she has always carried herself with grace and dignity.
Most of all, I respect and appreciate Fran Drescher for her devotion to dressing femininely, including always wearing dresses, high heels and sheer pantyhose.
I don’t know if she will continue that tradition in her new show, Happily Divorced.
I’m always afraid that those you can count on most to always do the right thing will all of a sudden change gears, meaning in this case, lose the pantyhose in favor of today’s popular “bear” legs movement.
But I seriously doubt that will be the case on Happily Divorced. Fran Drescher is much too classy for that to happen.
I wish Fran Drescher good luck and success with her new TV show.
Either way, I will always be a fan because of her dedication to always setting such a great example for dressing beautifully, especially during a time when so many women seem to want to look less feminine.