Finally, a sitcom with an 86-year-old leading man. If only it weren’t (sort of) real. Creepy on almost every level, A&E’s “The Governor’s Wife” couldn’t reanimate Anna Nicole Smith, so it goes for the next best thing: Trina, the 35-year-old wife of former Louisiana governor Edwin Edwards, and thus the stepmother to his two 60-something daughters. Blond and buxom, Trina would be the ostensible star of the show if Edwin (also an ex-con) wasn’t so much more interesting, although the producers conveniently skip all the obvious questions, starting with how the hell this whole relationship happened.
As has become increasingly common in unscripted comedy circles, “Governor’s Wife” pretty much dives right into the deep end, offering no explanation about how or why Trina (the mother of two teenage boys; do the math) would be attracted to Edwards, other than his obvious jokes about her being a gold-digger who wants what’s left of his money.
“You’re only as young as the woman you feel,” Edwards says right up front, a line that sounds as rehearsed as a stump speech.
The other glaring omission, at least for TV viewers without the impulse to Google the matter, is exactly why Edwards served time in jail, which is referenced, then ignored. So let the record show he went to federal prison for corruption charges that included extortion and racketeering related to riverboat gambling licenses. His relationship the former Trina Grimes Scott began during his incarceration, and the two married in 2011, six months after his release and requisite house detention.
In other words, just your typical storybook reality-TV romance.
Instead of such niggling details, “Governor’s Wife” heads straight for sitcom “A” and “B” plots, with Trina deciding to throw a surprise party for Edwin’s birthday, where she intends to pop out of a cake. And if that’s not enough, she also breaks the news to Edwin’s daughters, Anna and Victoria (smoking extended electronic cigarettes, the latter bears a slight resemblance to Cruella De Vil), that the two are planning to have a baby, despite the actuarial odds against dad being around long enough to see the little tyke finish elementary school.
Since almost nobody is likely to identify with the principals (in the way one can, say, with the struggles of the “Honey Boo Boo” clan), “Governor’s Wife” qualifies as another freakshow – essentially “Extreme Trophy Wife,” to put a TLC spin on it.
History has shown there is an audience for that, but even all that Cajun cooking doesn’t make Edwin’s dish or her rusty old spoon any more appetizing.