Shatner's Raw Nerve: Who Knew?

I'm baaaaack! Some time off work and in bed means MEDIA OVERLOAD! So it's time to dish. I hope in the coming weeks to vent my spleen and bounce happily over such televisual delights I've been enjoying over the past few months as Doctor Who, Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares, Dragonball Z, and Ru Paul's Drag Race. I might even share my recent affection for Japanese rap group Midicronica, the Coffee Party, and the pleasure of making origami cranes. But first on the slate has to be my morning with William Shatner.

I hadn't heard of or seen Shatner's Raw Nerve until a random channel surf this morning. Forsaking such televisual pleasures as Margaret Rutherford's Miss Marple and Paula Deen grilling oysters with fresh dill (bleah), I tuned in to see Shatner in an S-shaped loveseat type arrangment interviewing Fran Drescher. I admit I entered the fray because I didn't know she had been raped or gone through cancer, but what I discovered as I watched was two people really talking. Their body language of leaning int toward one another was powerful, as was Shatner's amazing ability to draw out information without seeming like a tabloid reporter or pompous ass. He shared a story of his own apparent near-rape, he pressed her for details but did not laugh or poke. He seemed genuinely interested and genuinely insightful and intelligent. I can't say strongly enough that I've never seen this side of William Shatner.

My husband's theory is that he's simply dealt with all his macho nonsense and is enjoying his buffoonery but has more than that inside. He actually seems interested. I was fascinated.

Partly, it's Drescher, who I love (though I hated The Nanny). I loved her in Spinal Tap and for being a loud-mouthed beautiful Jewish woman. Shatner seems to appreciate that too.

Less satisfying was his interview with Tim Allen, but I blame Allen. His body posture in the loveseat was less comfortable, and he kept this distance that Shatner tagged spot on: stand-up comedians keep a wall between them and others, even from acting. Allen talked about his jail time as a teen, his alcoholism, etc., but Shatner was more available than Allen was for any of the interview, I thought.

Jason Alexander was somewhere between the two: genuine and open, but I guess just less interesting to me than Drescher, or perhaps it was because my husband was watching too and we talked more than we watched. Shatner just amazed me with asking great questions and giving powerful prompts without being prurient. Or not seeming to be anyhow.

If anyone is out there reading, I'd be interested in knowing what you think of this Shatner. Not the Priceline guy, not Kirk, but this interviewer with intelligence and poise--at least as I see it.

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