Monday, March 17, 2014

Watching Someone Die

I caught an hour of Lindsay on the Oprah Channel. In case you haven't seen it, the show is about fallen child star Lindsay's (Lilo's) struggles to put herself together after five unsuccessful stays in rehab. It's filmed in this documentary style--not like a typical reality TV show--seems less staged somehow, but it's also infinitely more depressing than the Barbie-style, polished for America faux drama shows like The Bachelor.  We watch her as she struggles to get the keys to an apartment in the city, and are asked to sympathize with how difficult it is for her to live for two months in a motel in NYC. We see that every time she leaves the hotel or goes anywhere, she's trailed by paparazzi, but the kicker is that we're watching her being trailed by these piranha like photographers looking for a pay-off, even as we're allowed to see this because another set of people are filming her every move.

And there's trouble brewing with the production crew, because she wants days off and they want to be filming her---that's the essential deal that Oprah's struck---you let us film you and we'll pay for your apartment in Chelsea and try to help you stay sober.  But then you see Lindsay cancelling shooting dates and blaming the producers for not working out a clear schedule.  She denies responsibility in one moment, and then in the next, we see footage of her alone, talking to the same crew, reflecting on how far she's come and how she wants to stay clean and sober and be in charge of her life. Then, in the next scene, we watch as her butler/hotel employee/wrangler comes into her hotel room like four different times throughout the day to get her up and out of the room---starting at 1 p.m. and going on until after 4 p.m. and what 20-something sleeps all day and doesn't get dressed until dinner? One who is hung over, is my guess or who has taken a sleeping pill or whatever. A lot of her excuses for wanting time off to recuperate seem like ways to duck the cameras so she can score some coke with a little bit of privacy.

What's also sad is that the show seems to be like her last resort--like she doesn't have any money and so has to do this Oprah thing to pay the bills and she can't even muster up the energy to show up for it. Then the bring on this personal life coach woman who is full of shit--like, she's got this spiel about being authentic, even as she's waving around her fake nails. She helps Lindsey find her way by asking her to pick and read a tarot card, and Lilo does it, but in this way that's like, This is crap. Get her a real therapist, for God's sake, not some muscular life coach/dance teacher/medium. She also has a sober life coach who wears parachute pants. How much are these people getting paid and how much money will Lohan have left when there's no one interested in any part of her?

And then, when she dies in a drunk driving accident or an overdose, we cannot be surprised. We can be glad we got the footage--it will be worth that much more.


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