Still So Unusual" 9 p.m. Saturday, WE
San Francisco — “Awm toyuhd," whines the frizzy-haired bottle blonde in those unmistakable nasal tones and straight-out-of-Queens accent.
That, of course, would be singer Cyndi Lauper saying “I’m tired" during a visit to Louisville, where she’ll be the grand marshal of the Pegasus Parade before the Kentucky Derby.
It’s all being filmed for her new reality show, “Cyndi Lauper: Still So Unusual," premiering on WE on Saturday night.
While you’d be generally right if you thought that the last thing TV needs is another reality show, what makes “Still So Unusual" different is that its star has real and proven talent.
She also works very hard for a living, has a loving husband of 20 years named David Thornton and a normal 14-year-old son named Declyn, is known for her philanthropy and support of liberal and humanistic causes, and — what may make it hard for the show to survive — she’s a nice, sane person.
Except maybe when she’s dropping f-bombs at the Derby parade because she didn’t realize she was holding a live mike in her hand.
That isn’t to say Lauper doesn’t get out of sorts from time to time. In Saturday’s premiere, you’ll see her flying to Los Angeles from her home in New York to appear on “The Voice" doing a duet with contestant Beverly McClellan. The rehearsal doesn’t go well and she worries that she’s ruined her voice for the actual performance.
This puts her in what she calls a “grumplestiltskin" mood, with which her patient husband and son seem all too familiar. But even when she’s in a snit, there’s clearly a huge reserve of nice just below the surface, and David and Declyn know how to bring it out of her.
When she’s not dressed to the nines and made up like a Kewpie doll for a performance, you may find the diva next door scrubbing pots and pans and cleaning the house, because she knows if she hired someone to clean, they’d only do the surfaces and she’d have to redo the work herself anyway.
David finds her hausfrau bit somewhat amusing, since she spends so much time on the road working, it’s impossible for her to have daily chores.
She feels guilty about the fact that David pretty much runs the household and has done the lion’s share of raising their son. It seems to be something she accepted when Declyn was younger, but now that he’s a teenager, Lauper realizes he’s growing up and growing independent.
Except for the fact that Lauper is rock ‘n’ roll royalty, she’s pretty much like any working parent realizing her child is going to be off on his own all too soon.
That may make it easy for viewers to identify with her, but it also sets her apart from most reality show stars, since she isn’t a hoarder, in need of intervention, a drug-addled college student, morbidly obese, a single teenage mom, the mother of a child beauty pageant contestant or a Kardashian.
And thank God for all of the above.