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Carrie Fisher: The Hollywood Family

If Carrie Fisher is so fed up with Hollywood, why does she keep harping on the subject? Well, as she admits at the end of this quirky A&E doc -- which premiered on the BBC -- she's obsessed. The equally Hollywood-obsessed are in for a treat. This postcard from the edge goes beyond narcissism and should be required viewing for anybody contemplating pushing their kid into showbiz.

With:
Presenter: Carrie Fisher.

If Carrie Fisher is so fed up with Hollywood, why does she keep harping on the subject? Well, as she admits at the end of this quirky A&E doc — which premiered on the BBC — she’s obsessed. The equally Hollywood-obsessed are in for a treat. This postcard from the edge goes beyond narcissism and should be required viewing for anybody contemplating pushing their kid into showbiz.

The basic points are no news, and it’s hard to feel any sympathy for Hollywood celebs, including interviewees Debbie Reynolds (Carrie’s mom, who does six shows a night at a Vegas hotel), Eddie Fisher (Carrie’s dad) and pals Penny Marshall, Martin Sheen, George Lucas and archetypal talent manager Jay Bernstein.

First hour focuses on the difficulty of relationships. Second half takes an interesting look at the child-acting mill. Fisher tries to give the inside scoop on life in Hollywood, with many lines beginning, “The reality is.” She fails to distinguish between L.A. and the Hollywood community.

Program includes a bizarre segment on a sperm bank operated from a house in the Mojave desert; the proprietor fertilizes eggs in his beat-up VW Rabbit. And there’s a dog funeral right out of “The Loved One,” plus a woman whose art collection killed her beloved pooch during the 1994 earthquake.

Best part is the interview with Fisher’s maternal grandmother, who pooh-poohs it all magnificently. “I was raised a strict Methodist. Showbiz? Ugh, ugh. Bad people.”

These days only the most star-struck kid from Kalamazoo could ignore the downside of stardom. Then again, he or she might be willing to pay the price. Fisher will probably continue to explore Hollywood myths with her casual intelligence and humor. Polished production comes straight from the dream factory.

Carrie Fisher: The Hollywood Family

A&E, Sun. Aug. 13, 8 p.m.

Production: Filmed in Hollywood by the BBC and A&E Network. Executive producer, Beatrice Ballard; producer-director, Rhonda Evans; writer, Carrie Fisher.

Crew: Camera, Michael Eley, Luke Hallam; editors, Edward Roberts, Heather Morley; sound, David Welch. 2 HOURS.

Cast: Presenter: Carrie Fisher.

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