Celebrity Rehab

7 03 2008

I was wrong.

Back in January, I hammered the reality television show Celebrity Rehab, but also that I completely forget what is on my television set sometimes, I started watching the show with one eye on the tube and the other doing whatever I do.

And then I noticed I had two eyes planted on it after a few showings.

You know what started out in what I believe was a narcissistic display of celebrity bad behavior turned into a thoughtful look into the power of addiction and how it totally barrels through people’s lives.

So, I was wrong. I watch a lot of TV mainly due to the fact that I sleep weird. And I like TV although my favorite show tend to lean toward Science Fiction (Battlestar Galactica, Doctor Who) to horror offerings. I would be a happy camper if I got the Horror Channel but, alas, I don’t. I’m also a news junkie.

But occasionally in the background, reality television sits out there as static. Most of the time, SQ and I just make fun of it. She loves Amazing Race and Survivor. I will watch marathons of things because I don’t have to give a commitment to them and usually I’m making fun of it. (I hold the line on stupid dating shows or cattle calls where a bunch of men/women vie for the hand of one person. I find that horribly degrading not for the cast member as much as society in general.)

I was wrong about Celebrity Rehab, which was done a bit classier than I thought it would be. You can’t fake seizures, withdrawels and emotional devastation. It started off horribly, quite frankly, and then it started getting interesting for reasons I cannot explain. Dr. Drew Pinsky started off, as Andy at Reality Blurred wrote this morning, as a “condescending” doctor but then something happened.

I started believing him.

I never really watched Loveline on MTV during it’s heyday but I started to believe him. And I started to believe that this was more than exploitation television. It started giving the feel of a documentary.

Andy wrote this and this was the defining moment for me too:

It’s unlike other series because of how, well, real it actually is. The show’s willingness to essentially ignore the fourth wall is key. Early on, some of the celebrities expressed irritation with the cameras’ constant presence, and the editors showed footage of a sound engineer fixing someone’s mic and interrupting the conversation. By not ignoring the production, the producers legitimized their own show, which is first and foremost about people genuinely trying to get off drugs.

I realize it’s cool to make fun of reality television because I do it too. And I didn’t seek this out, but I have to say that it was much better than I expected. And, there is a part of me, that thinks that the people doing the show didn’t anticipate that it would be a bit more believable and tragic than they initially thought.

A very interesting experiment which ultimately worked.  No one is more shocked than I am to my reaction.

Now, when is Deadliest Catch coming back on. I’m ready.




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