Yay, "Celebrity Rehab" is back. This shit is like "90210" for recovering addicts, much more so than "Intervention" which is too focused on active addiction and shows a lot of people putting needles in various body parts, which makes me feel sort of sick. I only ever put stuff in my nose, which is gross on a much more manageable level.
So, somehow Jane's DVR screwed up and she missed the show, despite texting me to remind me to watch it so we could discuss this morning. She can totally catch one of the millions of repeat airings, but for now let's fill her in, shall we?
The show started last night by acknowledging the former "Rehab"ers, Jeff Conway and Mike Starr, who passed away this year. A lot of people used these deaths as proof that televised rehab can't work, but this is actually fairly typical. Rehab works, it just doesn't work that well. No addiction treatment does; success rates are low and many addicts relapse again and again, cycling through multiple rehabs over decades. It's a bitch of a disease and people die from it. A lot.
The same people decry "Celebrity Rehab" because the celebs are paid and don't neccessarily really want to get sober, but neither do half the people in regular rehabs. They're there in lieu of hard jail time, or to get their wives off their backs, or because their parents made them. Some of them get sober anyway.
As usual, the early video footage of the celebs tripping and staggering around in their addictions are triggering for me. Jeremy Jackson with a bikini girl on each arm, Bai Ling dancing on tables -- all the seedy, dirty, grimy stuff still looks great to me, despite having gratefully crawled out of that sewer years ago.
We find out that Jeremy Jackson has been sober from meth for years, only to transfer addictions to mass quantities of steroids, growth hormones and supplements. We also find out from Mr. Jackson upon intake that "bottled water causes bisexuality," which I am unable to find even tenuous evidence of online. But really good to know.
Amy Fisher is probably the most controversial cast member, since I'm pretty sure she's the first one whose "celebrity" is a result of committing a violent crime. I read Amy Fisher's autobiography "My Story" a few years back and found myself sympathizing with her somewhat -- she was a teenage girl who was manipulated and used by a diagnosed sociopath. As a wounded adolescent from a dysfunctional family, I did a lot of things I'm glad I'm not held accountable for today. That said, I never shot anybody in the face. And I can't help thinking that the backlash would be mighty if one of the male celebrities was famous for shooting someone.
Anyway, the lady has served her time, gotten married and today works as a stripper and porn star, which she has to get inebriated to do. Dr. Drew has a history of helping sex workers -- see the miraculous transformation of former porn star Jennie Ketchum, so I have hopes for Ms. Fischer, but her affect during her medical review with Dr. Drew seems to signal a deeeep removal from her emotional reality. I am familiar with this -- for the first 3 years of therapy, when I talked about my rape, I'd smile and laugh because I was so deeply supressed feelings that went along with the experience.
Bai Ling on the other hand, seems ready to snap, as she actually crouches on the ground and cries out side the rehab before Shelley finally comes out to lead her inside. When she meets with Dr. Drew, she keeps her hat down low over her eyes and tears up as she admits to having been abused but declines to talk about it. I have no doubt her story will turn out to be one of the several very sad sexual abuse stories that come up every season. This is what people who convince themselves that sexually assaulting a child doesn't really affect them need to see -- how rape and incest make desparate, broken people.
Overall, I think this is what I like so much about "Celebrity Rehab" -- it lets us see the person behind the cultural punchline. So often when we can't understand a celebrities actions -- how Lindsey Lohan could keep getting behind the wheel while intoxicated, or how Tiger Woods could have cheated constantly and expected to get away with it -- its because the addiction is in charge, not the person. You lose control of everything as an active addict -- there are no choices anymore, except to keep using however you can, no matter the consequences.
What else? Michael Lohan still keeps his coke dealer's phone number after 6 years without using, but he probably shouldn't worry about that since those guys aren't known for their stability. Um, Steven Adler is back, and I just keep loving his sweet babyface no matter how much he yells at Jennifer Jiminez. Oh! Sean Young is a troublemaker and needs to stay away from Bai Ling, and Jessica "Sugar" Kiper, who I really liked on "Survivor," hasn't shown up yet.
And Dwight Gooden has been addicted to cocaine for DECADES, which I cannot imagine because I was a shell of a human being after like 3 years on the stuff. HOW DO YOU DO IT, DWIGHT? Also I really like Dr. Drew in a sexy way.
What else? Please fill Jane in on anything I may have forgotten.