Last night, I was clicking through the channels, looking for something to watch and I happened upon Giuliana & Bill on E! I’ve never seen the show before, but I was vaguely aware that it was the usual: a fly on the wall following E! presenter Giuliana di Pandi and winner of The Apprentice Bill Rancic as the begin married life. I’ve never bothered watching before because it just doesn’t seem that interesting, does it?
But when I switched on, Bill and Giuliana were in a doctor’s surgery waiting to find out if Giuliana was pregnant. She was sure she was, Bill was telling her not to get her hopes up. They were happy and excited and then the doctor came in and told them, no, she wasn’t pregnant. She cried. Bill comforted her. I thought, is this a moment you would really want to share with a TV audience? And obviously, having thought ‘no, no it’s not’, I had to watch.
Do you remember on Blind Date when the couple would go off and have their date and then the following week there’d be a VT of them having an uncomfortable meal and taking part in some sort of arranged activity like horse riding or archery and they were trying to have a date with the cameras on them? Well Giuliana & Bill is a bit like that. They don’t seem incredibly comfortable with the cameras – particularly Bill – nor do they seem all that comfortable with each other.
To add to the weirdness, they’re also filmed in a studio talking about what we’re about to see and what we just saw. For example, before you see them in the doctor’s surgery, you see them in the studio with Giuliana saying, “At this point, I’m sure we’re pregnant. And our lives are about to change.” And then the doctor tells them they’re not pregnant. Back to the studio. Giuliana: “And now we’re wondering what we’re going to do. The next step is IVF, but we’re not sure if that’s the right thing for us.” So we’re not only watching them live their lives, we’re also watching them tell us about them living their lives. Honestly, it’s one of the oddest things I’ve ever seen.
And not just odd… David came in at one point and said, “You’ve watched some shit in your time, but I can see your brain cells dying watching this.” And he was right. It was rubbish. But I couldn’t stop watching. It wasn’t all about their fertility issues, there was also a subplot in which Giuliana’s PA quit, but wouldn’t tell her why and then they met up and they both cried, but no one was any the wiser about why he’d quit (the only reason he gave was that he was worried he’d end up being a “manny”, which neither myself nor Giuliana were convinced by). Then Giuliana arranged for her 12-year-old niece to come out to LA to meet Taylor Lautner, which was interesting only when the niece actually had to tell Giuliana that the dress she’d suggested she wear was too sexy. (She was right. It was strapless. And black. And leather. And she’s 12!)
And then we were back to pondering their baby-making options. Giuliana hadn’t realised that IVF would be so invasive. Or painful. Or that it may take a toll on her body. Once she learned this, she wasn’t so keen on the idea. They went to California wine country to relax and not think about it. Then they had a picnic. Giuliana got a bit squiffy and whispered to Bill that she’d like to ‘make love to you in a vineyard’. To make sure we didn’t miss it, the producers put subtitles up. They didn’t make love in a vineyard (as far as we know), instead they went for a picnic and Giuliana said she didn’t think IVF was the way to go. Bill said family was really important to him. He looked rather desperate. Giuliana looked like her mind was made up, but she didn’t like to say.
Then Bill went off on a motivational speaking engagement with psychic James Van Praagh. James told him he could see Giuliana and Bill having two kids. You know, he could really see it. In his mind. This cheered Bill right up. Even though it is, clearly, bollocks. (How silly will I look if they do have two kids, eh? One named Cabernet and the other Sauvignon.)
Bill and Giuliana met up in Chicago to, again, discuss their options. Giuliana had decided that she wasn’t ready for IVF. It is, she’d realised, quite a commitment. “So’s having a kid, doofus!” I bellowed at the TV, while David shook his head in despair. “I wish we didn’t have to do it,” Giuliana said, sadly.
Tune in next week to see if they do. You’ll have to, cos I’m not going to.