Originally created 02/19/01

'Grosse Pointe': Spoof central



"Grosse Pointe," The WB's hilarious spoof of Hollywood, wraps up its first season Sunday (Feb. 18) with a star-studded wedding. The comedy about the young stars of a network soap airs at 9:30 p.m. Pacific and Eastern. Don't miss the ending; that's all I'll say about that.

Hunter Fallow (Irene Molloy), the main star of the fictional "Grosse Pointe" (the show within the show), shocks her co-stars by announcing sudden plans to marry Dweezil Zappa, guest-starring as himself. As maid of honor, Marcy Sternfeld (Lindsay Sloane) has a few days to plan the wedding. Hunter, meanwhile, hires Elizabeth Berkley ("Any Given Sunday"), guest-starring as herself, to be her bridesmaid.

This comes just after last week's (Feb. 11-17) episodes in which Sarah Michelle Gellar ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer") and Jason Priestly ("Beverly Hills 90210") played themselves. From its real-life celebrities to its plots, "Grosse Pointe" seems to be an accurate take on Hollywood.

Just remember, it's only a TV show.

"It's not as inside as people think it is," Sloane said at a WB press party in Pasadena, Calif. "I think our show isn't so much about truth and reality as much as making fun of what people think Hollywood is.

"We're spoofing everything on The WB, which has a great sense of humor," Sloane said.

Bonnie Sommerville, who plays Hollywood newcomer Courtney Scott, said she enjoys the series' spoofs. "I think it's great. It's all in good fun. The message is, 'Don't take Hollywood too seriously.' "

Sommerville's character is the newest star in the fictional "Grosse Pointe" - an outrageous soap, an overacted melodrama at its very worst. The director says "Cut!," and we see the cast dealing with each other, The WB, other stars, fans, writers and the beast called Hollywood.

"Courtney's a small-town girl who really loves acting. She's from Arizona," Sommerville said.

Approriately, the show is shot in a historic place - Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City (in the Los Angeles area), home to ColumbiaTri-Star Pictures.

The lot includes the famous sound stages of MGM's Golden Age. The metropolis in the upcoming "Spider-man" movie was built in the same sound stage that once contained the Emerald City of "Wizard of Oz."

And like Dorothy, Sloane's Marcy dreams of going somewhere over the rainbow - if she can get past her insecurities and best friend Hunter's manipulative ways. Sommerville said she would like to see more conflict between her character and Hunter, who's far from being a nice person. (I'm being diplomatic.) Sommerville compares her and Hunter to Linda Evans' and Joan Collins' characters on "Dynasty."

"It would be fun to have a Crystal/Alexis relationship. I hope to get into more cat fights," Sommerville said. Courtney is evolving from a naive newcomer to someone who realized she was better off without her self-absorbed boyfriend, the guy who makes trophies for a living. It's nice to see character growth stressed in a satirical show.

Sloane said that at first, some people jumped to an erroneous conclusion that Darren Starr, executive producer and creator of "Grosse Pointe," was poking fun at the cast of one of his previous creations, "Beverly Hills 90210."

Aaron Spelling, the main "Beverly Hills 90210" executive producer and Tori's father, had expressed concern she was being spoofed.

"I'm not Tori Spelling," Sloane said. Before "Grosse Pointe," Sloane played Valerie, Sabrina's best friend, on "Sabrina the Teenage Witch," and she starred in last summer's theatrical comedy "Bring It On." She was born in Queens, N.Y., but moved to Los Angeles when she was 1 year old. The outgoing child signed with an agent at age 8, and she worked in commercials before getting a recurring role as Kevin's (Fred Savage) classmate Alice Pedermeir on "The Wonder Years."

"I always knew I wanted to be an actress," Sloane said.

Sommerville, a Brooklyn native, starred (and sang) in the 1999 miniseries "Shake, Rattle and Roll: An American Love Story." Her first TV roles were guest spots on "Beverly Hills 90210" and "Two Guys and a Girl." She acted in last fall's "Bedazzled." and continues to sing at Los Angeles clubs.