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October 13, 2015

Three Takeaways From the Entertaining, Depressing 'Celebrity Rehab' Premiere

by Alex Moaba, posted Jun 27th 2011 5:45PM
'Celebrity Rehab' is back, with a mostly new set of drug-addicted formerly famous people seeking treatment from Dr. Drew and his team of specialists at the Pasadena Recovery Center.

On Friday we talked to a shrink who told us he had serious concerns that the show was exploitative and gave a false impression of what actually happens in real drug rehab.

Today we are much less concerned with that theoretical nonsense and want to discuss all the crazy, terrible and embarrassing things we saw on last night's show. Let's get to it, then.

1. Jeremy Jackson
Jackson's frightening addiction to steroids is only rivaled by his addiction to appearing on VH1 reality shows (remember 'Confessions of a Teen Idol'?). He even seemed to freak out Dr. Drew with the amount of anabolics he's taking. Jackson, who kicked a meth addiction 10 years ago, is now seriously addicted to HGH and a bevy of other steroids that have him looking like a cross between Jose Canseco and Joe Giudice. He could be in for one of the messier withdrawal periods of any patient on the show, but seems like a solid, somewhat self-aware guy who's deeply concerned about his own health.

2. Michael Lohan
Previously an ambassador of all that is wrong in society, Lohan may now take the mantle of exhibiting all that is wrong with 'Celebrity Rehab.' He and Dr. Drew had to begin their first session by setting aside their friendship, which has apparently been formed on the sets of various TV talk shows, providing commentary on Lindsay's (literal) trials and tribulations. The man is addicted to Dr. Drew and talking on television about how he's messed up his family. And cocaine and booze, though it's unclear if those are current or prior addictions. The coming attractions for the rest of the season featured him trying to escape the facility and getting the police called on himself. He is perhaps the most irritating and disturbed stage parent we've ever seen ...

3. The Stephen Adler Incident
Adler was not slated to be on this season on 'Celebrity Rehab' but his last-minute addition caused Jennifer Gimenez, working as an aide at the recovery center, to go into a full-fledged panic attack. Gimenez, a former addict herself, worked as the house mother on 'Sober House,' where she and Adler had a violent incident that left her with welts and emotional scars. Looks like this will be a hot topic all season long.

What did you think of the 'Celebrity Rehab' premiere?

The incident, however, much as it was hyped, left me feeling underwhelmed. Was it melodramatic? Sure. Unprofessional? Yes. Appears to fit with the charges of how Dr. Drew rigs his show for drama maximize TV ratings? Check. But it just seemed like a genuine psychological breakdown by someone who might not be qualified enough to handle the role she's playing on TV. I did get a good chuckle, however, from watching the Nurse Ratched administrator lady Shelly looking all bored and peeved while comforting her, her questions going starting dismissively with "Did he really cause you that much trauma?" and gradually becoming more concerned. "Oh my, he really caused you that much trauma."

As it turns out, watching a show about celebrity drug addicts is just as entertaining as it is sad and depressing. See you next week, guys!

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