Review

Alterna-TV

Brini

Don't discard that butter wrapper, girls! Use it to grease your cookie sheet. And matchsticks do more than just light candles! Wet the end and use it to rub out ink stains on the wall. ''Hints From Heloise''? More like ''Tips From a Tranny.'' Brini Maxwell (ne Ben Sander), a glam transvestite who spent five years dispensing helpful hints on New York City public access TV, debuted her eponymous show in January on the Style Network. Broadcasting from a candy-colored '50s-themed set, Brini (Fridays at 10 p.m.) features how-to segments (''I'm always getting tips from fans'') and interviews with guests like former Cosmopolitan editor Helen Gurley Brown. Maxwell's deadpan delivery is a hoot -- she uses words like ''scads of fun'' and ''homemaking'' without a hint of irony. And the self-described ''part Marlo Thomas, part Donna Reed'' is essential viewing for anyone planting flowers at a pet cemetery or looking to camouflage their Adam's apple.

Originally posted Feb 13, 2004 Published in issue #751 Feb 13, 2004 Order article reprints