Talk shows can often seem confined. Publicists and handlers maintain that a celebrity both promotes a project, as well as upholds a (or works toward) favorable image. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by Lifetime’s “The Conversation with Amanda de Cadenet,” which recently finished its first season, as it refrains from this format. Old friends Cadenet and Demi Moore co-executive produced the incredibly candid interview series, which features celebrities and other high profile women. Career, body image, love, relationships, loss, and sex, all topics frequently discussed in interviews, are examined, yet to a much greater, and more intimate degree, than in the typical celebrity interview.
The show’s format, two people taking part in a one-on-one conversation, is a somewhat foreign concept these days. With the surplus of texting, emailing, and essentially taking part in any form of communication that maintains not having any real human contact, it’s refreshing to see a true, and naturally evolving dialogue. Viewers are given the allusion that they are intruding upon a personal conversation. Amanda cozies up at the interviewee’s home, yet they are without an audience or cue cards full of banal questions. Topics are beyond those of the generic talk show, delving into those that are fundamental to women. I also see it as helping to further the discussion of these topics on which women are often silenced. Sarah Silverman covers her lifelong struggle with depression, Olivia Wilde, her loss of identity as a married woman, and Crystal Renn, her eating disorder and the greater success and happiness she’s found as a plus-sized model. Although the subjects of the show are celebrities, all pretension on part of the audience is dissolved by the focus on these real world issues.