I’m on the beach this week. Colleagues such as Liz Miniet, Jill Vejnoska and Jewel Wicker might be posting items while I’m gone. I’m also including a few of my own. Other spots to read entertainment news: AJC Buzz (www.buzz.blog.ajc.com) with Jennifer Brett (email@example.com) and AJC Music Scene (www.music.blog.ajc.com) with Melissa Ruggieri (firstname.lastname@example.org).
By RODNEY HO/ email@example.com, originally filed Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Atlanta’s own Todd Chrisley on USA’s ‘Chrisley Knows Best” seems like a caricature of a sitcom dad: perpetually exasperated, occasionally caustic, ultimately well meaning and loving. But he’s a real person. At the same time, his wacky aphorisms and metrosexual ways have turned him into a reality star.
USA offered him up for a press conference last week and I took part in advance of Tuesday’s return of the show for the second half of season four. Here are some highlights:
Keeping it 100: “We try to show you 100 percent of our life. I let you see the good, the bad, the ugly, the happy, the pain. I let you see all that is what makes us who we are. And when we go to the mall or out to dinner, people tell me what’s going on with their children or spouse or ailing parent, what have you. It truly verifies to me that this is where God wants me to be in this part of my life.”
With one exception: When I asked him about Kyle Chrisley, his oldest son who has had drug issues and is estranged from the family, Todd declined to comment about him at all. Too painful.
His mom: “She’s a decent, caring, hardworking woman that has always placed her children first, then her grandchildren. I think she has reaached a point in her life at 71 where she literally told me two days you, ‘You need to find a life and get out of mine!’ ‘Mama! You don’t say that to your child!’ ‘Todd, you’ve aggravated the living hell out of me. I’m going to the casino and I’m not going to listen to your nonsense!’ ”
Advice to Savannah, his wily daughter: “I said this to Savannah the other night. She is dating someone we don’t particularly care for. I told her, ‘I have raised you to be a strong independent, assertive, caring, respectable young lady. What you need to remember is any time a woman has to spend her day making excuses for her man, she is with the wrong man.’ I said all that man’s doing is standing in the way of a good man coming along.”
Advice to Chase, his goofy son: “Your chick cannot act like she deserves Louboutins when she’s wearing flip flops. You don’t date girls who don’t have respect for themselves. If they don’t respect themselves, they won’t respect you. I just tell Chase every day to make sure he keeps it clean, that he respects someone else’s child and does not do anything he’d be ashamed his mother would find out.”
His time on “Lip Sync Battle” vs. NeNe Leakes: “I was competing against someone I liked very much. She and I are friends. It was an opportunity to go out and have a good time and not worry about anything. It was just very carefree. I’m good friends with Christy Teigan (who is on the show as a sidekick). It was a very good environment to be in. (As for losing the title): “Listen: that bitch stole my title! There’s going to be a rematch!’ ”
What he has learned about himself doing the show: “I think that the show has been very liberating not only for myself but for my family as a whole because it has brought us closer together and caused us to have less concern about someone else’s opinion of us.”
Season preview: “This season will be somewhat different. You’ve been seeing Chase and Savannah since they were 14-15. They’re young adults now. They’re going out in the world and in college. Chase is pursuing a career in real estate. He has forgotten more than I’ve ever known. I’m going through with struggles with that. I’m still teaching young adults. I think what you will see coming up is seeing kids in transition and parents doing the samething that so many parents across this country are doing when kids leave home. I’m trying to micromanage to a certain degree but it becomes more difficult to do that.”
“Chrisley Knows Best,” 10 p.m. Tuesdays, starting August 23, 2016, USA for the back half of the fourth season