DVD: "Valerie Bertinelli -- Losing It and Keeping Fit!"
Cast: Pony-tailed, still-perky-after-all-these-years Valerie Bertinelli and her very blond, very blue-eyed trainer, Christopher Ross Lane, are likable, accessible and clear.
Skill level: Beginning on up. The 20-minute "Body Basics" toning is classic squats, lunges, curls and pushups with options. The 40-minute "Bikini Ready" (sorry, a Hollywood plastic surgeon is not included) is harder, longer classic toning. We're talking updated gym-class stuff, floor triceps toning called "skull crushers" and floor crunches with weights.
You'll need: A mat, light weights and nothing else. Not even a good attitude. These two are so charming and smart about this they could even turn that frown upside down. Sunny indoor set, basically bland but calming music and workout clothes are nonintrusive.
What's cool: This is like working out with an upbeat, fun friend. "One Day at a Time" darling and Eddie Van Halen's ex is just right for this. Her conversation is mildly self-effacing: "Miss Coordinated over here needs a second." Pleasant banter and teasing between trainer and actress blend easily with the work. Bonus "Abs Challenge" is military tough, and DVDiva doesn't want to talk about that much.
What left me cold: Nada. This DVD wants for nothing. DVDiva loves that Jenny Craig spokesmodel Bertinelli put her ego aside and follows the trainer with us. Lots of celebs try to do it themselves and screw it up. In a bonus interview the pretty 49-year-old says she wants to make more videos. DVDiva would encourage that behavior.
Overall rating: A+
News reporter Mary Flood writes the DVDiva column for the Houston Chronicle.