Lunchtable TV Talk: The Grinder… Gold britannias and sovereigns


My firewall, S, informed me that actor William Devane appears in some ads on British TV trying to get people to invest in gold. S practiced for several hours to be able to perfectly imitate Devane saying, “…gold britannias and sovereigns“. (And, lucky girl that I am, he did it all just to make me laugh… and maybe a little bit to make himself feel like he could sound more like an American. Go figure.) In any case, I went looking for this ad on YouTube but it’s nowhere to be found. Unfortunately for me, Devane also advertises gold stateside, and the ads are laughably hideous, as you’d expect.

“Don’t you just love the feel of gold?” What the hell?

I started wondering about the motivation behind these kinds of ads (and there are a LOT of them – ads, that is, not motivations). I guess Devane is a working actor, but it’s not like he has been a top-billed leading man. If I need a reason, look no further than money.

I recently read that critically acclaimed actress, Dianne Wiest, was struggling to pay her rent. Not necessarily because she was financially irresponsible but because a working actor struggles as much as the rest of us. She cited a lack of steady enough work as the reason for her woes, and perhaps Devane found himself in similar straits (despite his assertion in the ad above that his dad told him to invest in real estate, he did and “did very well for myself, but now it’s time to invest in gold”). Maybe, though, he just wants a payday. Devane can shill gold all over daytime TV in cheesy ads, and I don’t care why. It gave me more than a few laughs.

And getting more to the point now. Devane (and Wiest) both appear in new sitcoms this season – Devane in the semi-promising comedy, The Grinder, with Rob Lowe and Fred Savage (who, believe it or not, looks exactly the same as he did in The Wonder Years), Wiest in the not-so-promising Life in Pieces. I’ve watched both (but we’re only two episodes in with each of them), but I can’t really assess whether Wiest will be able to pay her rent with this one or whether Devane can tone down the gold talk. So far, The Grinder is funnier and more engaging than Life in Pieces. And, to be honest, I could not even get through the second episode of Life…

My best guess is that Devane will be rolling in gold (although ratings have not been great for his new show, so he has plenty of gold to cushion his fall); Wiest will be unemployed again soon.

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