Two years after the ratings success of LUCKY CHANCES, NBC gave the greenlight to the third chapter in the Santangelo saga called LADY BOSS. Again, the teleplay was going to be written by Collins herself and she was also going to co-executively produce the whole thing. The big difference is that Kim Delaney was going to replace Nicollette Sheridan as Lucky. Just as the character of Lenny was now going to be portrayed by sexy Jack Scalia. In fact, only hunky actor Phil Morris returned. If you recall, he played Lucky’s illegitimate half-brother lawyer. But truth be told, I couldn’t care less who was or who wasn’t going to be in it (this is how interchangeable those actors are). All I wanted is to see the end result which I finally did on that Sunday in October of 1992.
I was in a serious relationship at that time. Turned out the guy was one mean S.O.B. but back then I was in love. Or what I thought to be love. But moving on… I remember sitting my ass down after work and playing part one of the miniseries and I just couldn’t be happier. I had devoured Jackie’s novel the year prior and thought the adaptation was relatively faithful to the book. 25 years later I still find LADY BOSS to be grand.
Kim Delaney is great as Lucky. She puts some much-needed spunk into the character. Nicollette Sheridan’s take is much too basic. Here we finally get a three-dimensional enough performance that is more relatable. Same goes for her other-half Jack Scalia. His Lenny is much more charismatic, much more at ease in his own skin, therefore more in control of his performance. Or is it just that I still have the hots for him? I mean, who wouldn’t? Look at the guy. Clearly he’s the perfect choice for a leading man.
The whole whacky storyline in which Lucky infiltrates (disguised as a frumpy secretary) a Hollywood studio to expose the shady goings-on before taking it over works with a capital W. Of course this little game of hers does not bode well with her actor hubby, who, despite being unhappy there, is set against the idea of her becoming his boss. But Lucky being Lucky ends up doing what she wants, and of course the marriage suffers. The mini also features a Madonna-like star whose celebrity status brings her all sorts of problems, such as the presence of a low-life brother (!) who gladly sells stories about her to the rags. There’s also the presence of the late Joan Rivers as a Cindy Adams-like columnist who warns screen-legend Yvette Mimieux (in her last role before disappearing from the limelight) that her rich husband is screwing another woman. And yeah that is president-to-be Donald Trump making a cameo appearance. Add to the mix the recently departed Vanity who plays Phil Morris’ client-love interest and you got yourself one heck of a firecracker miniseries.
Directed by THE OTHER SIDE OF MIDNIGHT Charles Jarrott, with a catchy opening title theme composed by KNOTS LANDING Dana Kaproff, it is fair to say that JACKIE COLLINS’ LADY BOSS is stronger than its predecessor. Evidently the glam miniseries were fizzling out by then but from the looks of this one, it hardly shows. So I’m glad to report that the trend went out with a bang. We have yet to see this title graduating to the DVD market, however, but let’s not despair. HOLLYWOOD WIVES did eventually get there. So I gather that the rest of Jackie’s adapted work will see the light of day.
Until next post—Martin