Get Acquainted with My Friends Call Me Johnny

Andre Balazs (r) smiles with Jean "My Friends Call Me Johnny" Pigozzi.
My Friends Call Me Johnny (Photo: Jean Pigozzi / Esquire)

Esquire Network has combined travel, talk, and the bon vivant spirit in their new docu-series My Friends Call Me Johnny.

Show

My Friends Call Me Johnny, a travel series on the Esquire Network Wednesdays at 10pm.

Premise

Jean “Johnny” Pigozzi is the quintessential bon vivant and international playboy. Part travel series and part talk show, Johnny jets around the world and introduces us to his fabulous friends to discuss fabulousness and other fabulous-related matters.

Lineage

Here is Pigozzi’s resume from the show’s press release: “Heir to a European auto fortune, photographer, art collector, successful tech investor, jetsetter and creator of the men’s clothing brand LimoLand.” He can also executive producer of this show to the list.

Who is My Friends Call Me Johnny For?

The show is produced specifically for Esquire and it shows. Readers of the interviews and profiles in the magazine will tap right into the program.

What Works

Pigozzi has a charisma about him that draws you in. His voice is monotone, his looks may have faded in recent years, but his conversation style and frankness is quite refreshing. You may find yourself favorably comparing him to Dos Equis’ Most Interesting Man in the World. What I like about Pigozzi’s interview style is that he remains conversational, even when the topics get into areas of human nature that may make some uncomfortable. Humans lie, humans cheat, so he talks about those issues in a matter-of-fact way.

What Doesn’t Work

The packaging of the show is a little all over the place. We get to see several of Pigozzi’s photographs, but they are mixed in with travel graphics, mixed with 1970s CBS special title graphics, all in an inconsistent way. There isn’t a theme connecting the interviews or the subjects in any given episode, giving the program a thrown-together feel. The filming is done documentary style, and some of the shots chosen have all subjects partially in-frame, which I found distracting.

Verdict

Why there hasn’t been a remake of Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous I do not know. My Friends Call Me Johnny offers a refreshing take on celebrity interviews and how charming and disarming can lead to a fabulous life.

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About Mike McComb 656 Articles
Mike has been writing about TV online since 2008, when he started the blog WTF Little House on the Prairie? The blog was a project to practice writing about television analytically prior to getting an MA in Television-Radio-Film from Syracuse University, or as he likes to call it "TV Camp." After a lengthy stint at TVLatest, Mike wanted to launch a site that brought in classic TV, diamonds in the rough, and the shows everybody watches. E-mail: mike@whatelseison.tv