If you're reading this Sunday night, you're probably sulking (properly) about the fact that "Boardwalk Empire" has ended its season. It was the season's best new show, maybe the best new-or-old show.
Don't sulk right away, though. Tonight's HBO special -- Carrie Fisher's one-woman show, "Wishful Drinking" is a delight.
And it you're reading this later, don't worry. It repeats Tuesday and two other times. Here's the story I sent to papers:
By MIKE HUGHES
Long ago, Carrie Fisher realized her
world isn't the usual one.
“My whole life is … one long joke,”
she said. “So I'm waiting for the punch line.”
It's a joke many people have heard.
From her first days – alongside photogenic parents Eddie Fisher and
Debbie Reynolds – she's been famous. “I do feel a lot of times
like a reality show,” she said.
So she took control of her story, doing
a one-woman show. Then HBO's Sheila Nevins intervened.
“A group of us went to see Carrie
Fisher in 'Wishful Drinking,'” Nevins recalled. “We came back and
said ..., 'We want people to see this great creature.'”
The result is HBO's film of the show.
Meanwhile, Fisher, 54, has dandy stories about:
– Reynolds, with a formal style at
78. “My mother says, 'Hello, dear. This is your mother, Debbie.'”
– Fisher, a man of endless charm and
endless bad decisions. “You would love my father,” she told
reporters prior to his death (in September, at 82). “He smokes pot
…. We call him 'Puff Daddy.'”
– Her childhood, in a home with three
pools and eight pink refrigerators. That changed when her dad had a
notorious affair with Elizabeth Taylor, who then had a more-notorious
one with Richard Burton.
– Her introspective nature. “Reading
was my first drug, because everything worked out in a book.”
– The fact that she was nudged into
performing anyway. “It's like I'm being dropped in the middle of a
Moliere play, and I don't have my outfit.”
– Her sudden success in the “Star
Wars” movies, followed by a combative marriage to singer-songwriter
Paul Simon, whom she describes fondly. Then came the pill addiction,
the mental institution – and a new life as a novelist, screenwriter
Now the shy, internal person is talking
to large crowds. That was hard to avoid.
“I prefer writing and the sort of
solitariness of it,” Fisher said. “It took getting older to
realize that I was sort of a spectacle anyway.”
– “Wishful Drinking,” 9 p.m.
Sunday (Dec. 12), HBO
– Reruns include 11:15 p.m. Tuesday
(Dec. 14), 9:30 p.m. Thursday (Dec. 16), 11:30 a.m.Saturday (Dec. 18)