Hollywood Reporter

Who Needs Hollywood? 
Aug. 21, 2002 


By Deborah Holmes 


(Oxygen) 7 p.m. Friday 

The road to Darien, Ga., may be long, but once there, you'll find its residents are quirky, funny, receptive and talented. Or so it seems from the evidence brought back by a "Who Needs Hollywood?" crew, which captured the town's essence. 

This reality series goes all out to entertain by going where some folks dare not go -- to small-town America. Within this episode's rustic setting you'll find a barbershop quartet, a Baptist choir and a Scottish bagpiper -- an eclectic group indeed -- all on the same stage as they (and others) perform in the town variety show. 

The person who keeps the variety show from falling apart is host Katie Puckrik, who also serves as co-exec producer. She seems to be made for this series, her high energy and enthusiasm setting a fast pace. By her side is flamboyant choreographer Marvin Thorton, who helps Puckrik assemble the folks in Darien for their shindig, by far the best part of the program. The backstage antics and angst of Puckrik and Thorton keep the show fluid and provide comic relief. 

With raw talent and energy like this, this aptly titled series should make small-town Americans appreciate what they've got literally in their own back yards. "Who Needs Hollywood?" is directed and co-exec produced by Shanda Sawyer.