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THE SMART LIST

Kimmel has the cool cash, Vega has the new tunes

July 15, 2007|Deborah Netburn

You could talk about: The summer of game shows continues. The newest addition is the Jimmy Kimmel-hosted "Set for Life" on ABC. The press release specifies that the show "does not require skill" and that "there are no questions to answer." Then there is some business about going up and down a ladder, which makes it sound like a grown-up version of syndicated classic "Fun House." (Friday)

We'll talk about: The goddesses of alt-folk. Suzanne Vega helped usher in an era of cool women making cool (and real) music in the late '80s when her song "Luka" became a radio staple. After her came Tracy Chapman, Edie Brickell, Sarah McLachlan, that girl from the Cranberries and others. (Oh, how we loved them all!). This week Vega, 48, puts out an album called "Beauty & Crime." (Tuesday)

You could also talk about: Victoria Beckham's debut. England's tabloid royalty Victoria and David Beckham's move to L.A. has made only a small splash in our media pond, but Vicky is determined to change that. There was the obscenely short skirt at the MTV Movie Awards and, this week, a one-hour reality special on NBC called "Victoria Beckham: Coming to America." If this doesn't work she'll have only two alternatives left: rehab or jail. (Monday)

You should talk about: A troubling trend in movies. The first "Hairspray" was a very important classic in a certain Smart List reporter's childhood. Very Important Classic. So what to make of this movie based on a Broadway musical that is itself based on John Waters' original film? We'll see it, grudgingly but with an open mind. (Friday)

You may not know that you should talk about: "Back to the Grind." Usually the publicity around the premiere of a reality-TV show causes our eyes to roll out of our head, but TV Land's "Grind" sounds pretty awesome. The show asks former TV stars to spend a day working the job their character held. The first episode features Loni Anderson working at a radio station and Erik Estrada training with the police. (Wednesday)

-- Deborah Netburn

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