You have to admire VH1’s restraint. Certainly they were tempted to create a title for this program that would fit more neatly into their Celebreality brand: Celebrehabality, perhaps? But no, the subject at hand requires some gravitas, so they stuck with the simple and descriptive Celebrity Rehab.

And you also have to, just in general, admire the overall ingenuity of the various networks and their reality programming. It seems like every quarter, there is some new reality concept announced that just fills a big part of the population with horror and gives cultural critics plenty of fodder for another article saying “This new reality program (fill in the blank) proves we are going to hell in a handbasket as a society.”

The list feels endless: Temptation Island, Age of Love, Kid Nation, Rock of Love, anything remotely associated with Flavor Flav…I could go on, but I think the point is there. Yet every time the response is, “That’s it, they’ve gone too far,” the networks manage to pull something one step further like Celebrity Rehab out of their hats.

I am willing to give it a shot. I actually like A&E’s show Intervention and think it’s a pretty successful mini-documentary each week that might help those suffering from addiction (both directly or as the loved ones of addicts) and might help engender more compassion and understanding for those who have not dealt with addiction. Some people worry such a program is exploitative, and maybe it is, but there’s nothing especially prurient about the show compared to any feature documentary about a similar subject.

But Celebrity Rehab? I find it a little worrying that most of the celebrities have been featured on other reality programs in a quest to grow or extend their fame. (The celebs participating in the show are Brigitte Nielsen, Chyna, Daniel Baldwin, Jeff Conaway, Jessica Sierra, Jaimee Foxworth, Seth Binzer and Mary Carey.) I hope they are doing the show to help better their lives, but one can’t help but wonder if their motivation is more about the attention than the healing.

Even with the best intentions, though, dealing with addiction is an extraordinarily difficult thing, and one celebrity who is featured on the show has already slipped up. Jessica Sierra was recently arrested again, this time for “disorderly intoxication.” Dr. Drew Pinsky, the care provider at the heart of Celebrity Rehab, will be speaking for Jessica at her next court date in January. Jessica’s pregnancy was recently released, so one hopes that she continues her process of dealing with her addiction, even if that might be taking place off camera.

– Leslie Seaton, BuddyTV Staff Columnist

Source: and NY Daily News


Staff Columnist, BuddyTV