(Bravo) 10 p.m. Thursday
Less than a month ago, not long before Paris Hilton had her days in court, the tabloids were feasting on roasted Paula Abdul. Someone released a part of a phone conversation in which Abdul whined, sobbed and spoke bitterly about the indignities she had suffered. It was the latest in a series of embarrassing moments for Abdul, and she said in a statement that she was "deeply hurt and extremely disappointed" that the call became public.
Now it's happening again, but if Abdul wants to know whom to blame, she has but to look in a mirror.
"Hey Paula," a surprisingly and devastatingly candid reality series from Scott Sternberg Prods., follows Abdul as she pingpongs from one event to another. If you thought she was mercurial, self-obsessed, emotionally fragile and out of touch before, wait until you see how many ways the "American Idol" judge makes herself out to be a victim here.
Also seen are Daniel, her stylist and best friend; Kylie, her wardrobe assistant; and Jeff Ballard, the publicist who bore the brunt of her anger in the infamous phone call and has since been fired and rehired.
What's different about the series is that it puts Abdul's tantrums into context. It offers this unspoken explanation: If you had the pressure of a hit show, a carnivorous press, various self-titled businesses and a zillion functions to attend, you too might be sleep-deprived, demanding and insecure. Viewed from that perspective, Abdul is something of a wonder.