Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski with their perfect hair and perfect shade have been the best part of these Olympics, full stop. Handling the skating commentary for NBC Sports Network, Weir and Lipinski have made primetime coverage redundant. Why listen to Scott Hamilton's proclamations when you can hear these two real-life friends analyze axels while talking about their love of Coldplay or Les Miz? With the final figure skating event upon us, we've begun to ever-so-slightly but ever-so-definitely panic. How exactly are we expected to go back to our old Weir- and Lipinski-less lives? There has to be something we can do. So we're brainstorming ways we can permanently have Johnny and Tara in our lives. Or at least put off the heartache a while longer.
Today Show Contributors
This is the obvious one, considering Johnny and Tara are currently employed by NBC and have already palled around on the network's signature morning show during the Olympics. We see these two doing oddball segments during various sporting events (much like this morning's Today segment where they played tennis against Savannah Guthrie and Jenna Bush for absolutely no reason), Fashion Week, et cetera. They can fill in for 10 a.m. hosts Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford as needed, drinking cocktails way too early in the morning. Honestly, though, while this is definitely one of the most realistic options, it's pretty predictable and mild. Plus, once Matt Lauer goes full-on Dark Lord, there won't be a Today show left anyway. We want more for Johnny and Tara.
This too is almost too easy, especially considering Weir has already had his own reality show in Be Good Johnny Weir. Their Instagram videos have shown that it would be fun just to watch them hang out, but part of the glory of their stint during the Olympics has been their sassy commentary on others. So we envision some sort of skating reality competition. Not, of course, a skating-with-the-stars type thing, but maybe one in which they enlist other skaters to create the perfect exhibition skate, choosing the music, costumes, and moves.
Reality Show Guest Judges
While a full-time reality show would allow you to see the best of Johnny and Tara's behind-the-scenes antics, what we're going to miss most of all is their ability to evaluate other competitors accurately, breezily, and insightfully. It's not their fashion choices that we've been listening to for two weeks, after all. With this in mind, wouldn't they make for perfect So You Think You Can Dance guest judges? Nigel Lythgoe's dance competition has been hungry for guest judges in recent seasons, to verrry mixed results (maybe time to take a season off, Jesse Tyler Ferguson). The problem with too many guest judges is that they have neither the expertise nor the inclination to be critical. While skating and dance are not perfectly analogous, Weir and Lipinski certainly know enough to be able to make smart, quippy critiques.
Or! With the recent news that Cee Lo Green will be leaving The Voice for good, wouldn't Johnny and Tara be ideal replacements. Sorry, Usher. You're fine for the every-other-year Shakira seasons, but we need something special for when Christina Aguilera graces the show with her presence. Can you imagine the thrill of that first episode, the first contestant, when that chair turns around and it's Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski in the same pod? Don't give this opportunity away, NBC!
Despite a few dips into the stunt-casting well, Lena Dunham has kept Girls relatively cameo-free as the show heads toward the end of its third season. Still, for one episode, we could absolutely see Weir and Lipinski cross paths with Hannah, Jessa, and company. Perhaps another encounter with Elijah brings a different group of fabulous friends, including a shade-throwing russophile and his gal pal with the Elsa-from-Frozen hairstyle. Maybe Johnny's on a casting call with Adam, in the same episode that Tara and Shosh end up in a midnight study group together. We're just throwing things at a wall here. Willing to brainstorm this one. No ideas are bad ideas.
Granted, it's pretty late in the game to make this change, but are we 100% sure we couldn't swap out Ellen Degeneres for Tara and Johnny as Oscar hosts? Nothing against Ellen, of course, but she's done this before. Wouldn't a Weir/Lipinski duo be more fun? Johnny and Tara in American Hustle costumes; Johnny and Tara in outer-space vignettes; Johnny and Tara presenting the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award winner. It doesn't solve the problem entirely, since it would only push back our Weir- and Lipinski-less lives by a few weeks. But it's a start.
The New True Detective Detectives
This is our dream. The brass ring. In just a few short episodes, the McConaughey/Harrelson True Detective will be over and HBO will have to find new leads for their anthology series. Why not Weir and Lipinksi? HEAR US OUT! Take True Detective out of the south and move it to Michigan, where there are a series of murders all connected one rink that is known for training two ice dancing pairs champions. Weir's character sees symbolims in every sequin and feather; he's is constantly in conflict with his more straightforward partner, played by Lipinski.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.