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New Amanda de Cadenet Show, "The Conversation" Contains Actual Girl Power

"We talk about everything that women talk about."

I get a little skeptical about manufactured “dialog” between women. When you’re being targeted, it’s instantly recognizable. The words “girlfriend” and “real” are often used. There are women laughing. On couches. But they’re not afraid to go deep! Tears. Cursive fonts.

Well, there’s a fair amount of that going on in this promo for “The Conversation,” a new Lifetime interview show hosted by British photographer and mother of three, Amanda de Cadenet. But I just watched the entire first episode and I’m into it. The show promises to talk about all the things women talk about…. sex, love, death, body image. And that’s pretty much what happened, with references to T.S. Eliot and Joan Didion to boot.

de Cadenet is a fine interviewer: she’s empathetic but she doesn’t gush. Without probing for ‘what viewers really want to know,’ she’s good at dispensing with the bullshit early on. I especially liked the interview with Sarah Silverman, who, at one point, suggests that The Bachelor, and shows like it, come with a disclaimer for young women that states, “THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOR.” She talks about aging with Jane Fonda (who finally actually looks a little bit old) and about postpartum depression and loss with Gwyneth Paltrow.

I remember photos of de Cadenet hanging out with Courtney Love back in the day– I think they were palsing around in matching white silk slips. She has married two rock stars, whose respective bands span two full generations of serious hipsterdom: Duran Duran and The Strokes. She’s been an actress in indie movies and she takes some great photographs. I posted one of them, of a breastfeeding mother, on Babble, and it provoked all manner of outrage as well as hundred of likes and thousands of page views. I like her. I can see why so many celebrities want to be her … girlfriend. Snap.

Her British accent has been softened by years in the Hollywood Hills. (I’m totally imagining this, she could well live in Venice or Malibu or the flats or another state all together). I like how she’s not super thin. She’s kind of like Nigella, the lounge room version: voluptuous, clever, self-deprecating and ambitious.

The show launches this week on the Lifetime network, but you can watch the whole first episode here. And the website has some actual content, too, including an article originally published on HuffPo called, “Smaller Than Before: The Politics of Postpartum Bodies” by the brilliant Dr. Jessica Zucker, Ph.D.– it’s required reading for anyone who is has or is about to have a postpartum body.

I’ll be tuning in for the next episode of laughter and couches. No tears so far.

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