“You Suck” and Other Passive-Aggressive Jams

15 12 2014

As much as look forward to new releases and awards season, moments of triumph and honor for my favorite stars… I am completely guilty of enjoying their personal and professional lows just as well. I consume pop culture and celebrity news each waking hour of my day; absorbing the good, the bad, and the ugly indiscriminately.
Sorry not sorry but the silly, weak, thinly veiled instances where they lash out at each other are just as satisfying as when a cast lauds each other and their project, because it reminds me that they’re still just people! The following list of songs are some of the more passive-aggressive tunes in recent memory; they basically exist because the celebs in question have issues to address & feelings to express, but they pretend their privacy is so valuable that they can’t just come out with it about a given feud.

Inspired by Abigail Breslin’s recently released song “You Suck” which is a not so stealth attack on former flame, Michael Clifford, of 5SOS ‘fame,’  here’s a little list of my favorite passive-aggressive musical moments! An angry tweet can entertain us for days, but an ambiguously targeted lyric can spark fodder for a career (Carly, Alanis — I’m looking at you!).

 

10 – 7. Gwen Stefani, “Hollaback Girl” – Trent Reznor/NIN, “Starfuckers, Inc” – Stone Temple Pilots, “Too Cool Queenie” – Foo Fighters, “I’ll Stick Around
Target: 
Issue: General bitchery and fame grubbing
Most scathing lyric: [STP] “There was this boy / He played in a rock-n-roll band / And he wasn’t half-bad, At saving the world / She said he could do no right / So he took his life / His story is true…  It’s ok cause what goes around, comes around / It’s all right cause what goes around, comes around”

 

6. Rihanna, “Cold Case Love
Target: 
Issue: On-going Physical & Emotional Abuse
Most scathing lyric: “But your love ain’t the kind you can keep / Release me now cause I did my time / Of this cold case love / My heart’s no longer cold & confined / I’ve had enough”

 

5. Jonas Brothers, “Much Better
Target: 
Issue: Less than amicable break-up
Most scathing lyric: Get a rep for breakin’ hearts / Now I’m done with superstars / And all the tears on her guitar / I’m not bitter / Now I see everything I’d ever need / Is the girl in front of me / She’s much better”

 

4. Katy Perry, “Circle the Drain
Target: 
Issue: Addiction
Most scathing lyric: “Wanna be your lover, not your fucking mother / Can’t be your savior, I don’t have the power / I’m not gonna stay and watch you circle the drain”

 

3. Justin Timberlake, “Cry Me A River
Target: 
Issue: Infidelity
Most scathing lyric: “You don’t have to say, what you did / I already know, I found out from him / Now there’s just no chance, for you and me, there’ll never be / And don’t it make you sad about it”

 

2. Selena Gomez, “The Heart Wants What It Wants
Target:
Issue: General Douchebaggery & Insensitivity
Most scathing lyric: 
“You got me scattered in pieces, Shining like stars and screaming / Lighting me up like Venus, But then you disappear and make me wait / And every second’s like torture, Hell over trip, no more so / Finding a way to let go, Baby baby no I can’t escape”

 

1. Taylor Swift, “Dear John
Target: 
Issue: 
General Douchebaggery & Game Playing
Most scathing lyric: “You are an expert at ‘Sorry,’ And keeping lines blurry / Never impressed by me acing your tests / All the girls that you’ve run dry have tired lifeless eyes, Cause you’ve burned them out / But I took your matches, Before fire could catch me, So don’t look now / I’m shining like fireworks, Over your sad empty town”

 

 

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Return of The Dutchess…

27 11 2014

The Cali native formerly known as Stacy Ann Ferguson has dropped a new single, and it’s as sun-baked and carefree as you’d expect from the sultry voice on every other party anthem of the 2000s.

Robbie Daw for Idolator observes, “The DJ Mustard-produced track finds the 39-year-old Black Eyed Peas diva surprisingly stuck in creative rut, spouting out a slew of hip-hop-lite cliches that, to be honest, we would have expected her to have left behind sometime around The E.N.D. ”

Fergie Ferg is so much better when she actually SINGS! I have always been confused as to why they make her talk over these club beats, or trot her out for a looped and dreamy hook. It’s like will.i.am didn’t know what he H. A. D. in his arsenal. I discussed this, at length, in a blog post almost four years ago… I’m starting to feel like Fergie’s leading me on.

As I’ve pointed out before, this long-awaited sophomore album can serve as second act for the former Black Eyed Pea and the sky’s the limit if only she would give existing fans a bone. (We’re here and we’re waiting! Reward us! Give us something we can share with friends and proudly say “I told you so!”)  I’ve literally been watching this woman sing her way to deserved stardom since a little known 90s girl band (Wild Orchid) hosted a fun but forgettable Saturday morning talent show (Great Pretenders).

This “LA Love” stuff is OK for radio buzz, but give me those love-hardened, crushed velvet pipes on a power ballad ala “Big Girls Don’t Cry” any day. The Dutchess is approaching 40, and she still got it, but she needs to start owning it. “LA Love” isn’t as fun as “Fergalicious” or “Clumsy,” and certainly lacks the confident sass of “Glamourous” and “Pedestal.” It’s an empty spectacle, not a hit.

At least her husband seems proud of her-- Josh Duhamel was kind enough to appear at the American Music Awards last Sunday to introduce Fergie's live performance of the track. 

At least her husband seems proud of her– Josh Duhamel was kind enough to appear at the American Music Awards last Sunday to introduce Fergie’s live performance of the track.





Movie Review: The Drop (2014)

9 10 2014

Well, I had to wait until September to see the best movie of the summer… because there were no films on my radar that came close to the gripping storytelling or depth of character performance of Michael R. Roskam’s THE DROP.


“I just tend bar. And wait.”

THE DROP is an amazing contribution to the crime-drama genre, expertly crafted by Dennis Lehane (who you may know from his other adapted works: MYSTIC RIVER, GONE BABY GONE, and SHUTTER ISLAND) and Michael R. Roskam.

Based off Lehane’s 2009 short story “Animal Rescue,” THE DROP stars Tom Hardy as Brooklynite bartender Bob Saginowski. The reserved bachelor and one-time thug immediately seems the guy to root for in this Chechen-dominated underworld. On a walk home, he discovers a brutalized puppy in a trash can and strikes up a relationship with the woman, Nadia, whose property the can is on. It turns out, there is a common shady figure, Eric Deeds, in their pasts that lurks back into focus. Trouble on top of trouble, he is.

“Are you doin’ somethin’ desperate? Again?”

The bar, Cousin Marv’s, gets held up by a couple of dumb brothers trying to prove themselves in the game. They’re aware that Cousin Marv’s is a longstanding local haunt, but it hasn’t quite been “locally owned” for more than a decade. Some shot callers from the Eastern Bloc muscled Marv and Bob’s crew out of power, letting Marv retain his establishment but requiring Bob to handle the collection of money to-be-laundered.

Seemingly anxious, self-isolating, and seeking redemption, pragmatic Bob hardly appears the kind of man to get on board with such activity. He lives alone in his parent’s house, prayer cards and plastic-wrapped furniture all around him. He hems and haws over the decision to care for the dog he found, eventually coming to treat the animal like his own child.

“I got news for ya, Fitzy. We’re all dead, we’re just still walkin’ around.”

Cousin Marv, who is in fact Bob’s relative, isn’t sitting by so quietly anymore. He may or may not have had a hand in the stick-up, and he may or may not be planning another hit on the biggest tip night of the year: Superbowl Sunday. He also may or may not end up dead in his car because the “Chechnyans” are on to him.

The robbery plotline kind of dissolves by the end, because Bob gets all riled up at the prospect of protecting his woman and his new canine companion, Rocco, from the psychotic Deeds (Matthias Schoenaerts). Love and respect taking priority over the ego of an aging wannabe, family or no.

Tom Hardy is sexy as hell, even while he’s crazy-eyed and shooting people in the neck. By film’s end, I couldn’t decide if Nadia (Noomi Rapace) was hanging around him because she was afraid to leave or because she was enamored of his extreme efforts to be the alpha-male on the block. Hardy disappears into the role of Bob Saginowski, without a hint of his natural accent or impish charm peeking through. Bob is supposed to come off as straight-laced and pretty vanilla, that is until he expertly disposes of a bloody limb left outside the bar. Hardy masters the script, revealing little bits of Bob’s true (mildly terrifying) self with a quip here and a covert move there. From Bane to Bondurant, I love his diversity!

The late James Gandolfini plays Cousin Marv, a neighborhood guy who sees himself as considerably ‘harder’ than he is able to live up to. Facing pressure from his sister (Ann Dowd) to finally act his age; the financial burden of caring for an ill, elderly parent; and the emasculation of knowingly being pushed out of your own business create the perfect storm for Marv to lash out and get himself in a situation he cannot handle, and Bob is not willing to clean up (like last time). Cousin Marv is kind of the antithesis of Tony Soprano, the groundbreaking HBO gangster whom Gandolfini portrayed for six seasons (and earned 3 Emmys). Tony had vision, Marv has half-assed ideas. It was at once odd and reassuring to see Gandolfini as Marv, his last major film appearance before his June 2013 death. To see this burly, brutish-looking actor take on roles of pronounced vulnerability (ENOUGH SAID, THE DROP) at what turned out to be the end of his career, speaks volumes about the varied body of work the actor was trying to accomplish for his professional legacy. He was much more than Tony Soprano, and we’d do well to acknowledge that for him even post-posthumously.
THE DROP presents as one story and flips you onto a new path a few times to keep your interest. Let’s just say I was alert and engaged from the first frame, while my fellow audience members were actively . THE DROP took in nearly $5 million last weekend, a respectable feat considering it opened in less than 1,000 theaters. Check Fandango and get yourself to see THE DROP as soon as possible- this is one movie that is sure to be a sleeper during the upcoming awards season, and you’ll be sorry to have missed it. #MarkMyWords

 

THE DROP
2014
Fox Searchlight Pictures





Kelli Stapleton: A Year Later (And Still a Coward)

22 09 2014

My original post about Kelli Stapleton, 46, the Michigan mother who tried to kill her then 14-year-old daughter, Issy, has been getting a little more play lately as Stapleton’s trial loomed.

According to People, in the eleventh hour Stapleton took a plea, copping to first degree child abuse rather than moving forward to face the attempted murder trial.

Dr. Phil McGraw interviewed Kelli Stapleton in jail, which aired in two parts on his afternoon talk show last week. In that interview, Stapleton said, appallingly, that “the jail of Benzie County has been a much kinder warden than the jail of autism has been.”   That doesn’t sound anything like remorse to me, ladies and gentlemen.

In a July court appearance, Stapleton deflected responsibility or acknowledgement of her despicable actions by stating she could not recall certain visits or conversations with law enforcement and social workers in the aftermath of September 3rd, as she was suffering the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning.  

Though in the Dr. Phil interview Stapleton states that she misses Issy, and she’s “not even worthy to beg for her forgiveness,” she admits that her concerns for her other children do not outweigh her instincts of self-preservation. She tells McGraw that given the opportunity, in a perfect scenario, she would not try to resume contact with or caring for her daughter if released from jail.

Friends of Kelli Stapleton are interviewed for the program, and they describe teenaged Issy as having “a difficult time communicating her wants and her needs,” “agitated easily,” and “impatient.” They allege that at the hands of her child, Stapleton has suffered a traumatic brain injury on three occasions. Their tones are very melodramatic, going so far as to say the child “terrorized” her mother and members of the immediate family lived in fear every moment that Issy could/would kill them.

Of course this whole mess is terrible, but arguably, its been indicated that Kelli Stapleton exacerbated the family’s predicament.

 

upnorthlive_stapleton

 

The response to my other post, published a year ago, has been mixed… with some people so sympathizing with Kelli Stapleton as to attack me. You have the right to voice your opinion as much as I do, but you overlook the actual words I used to frame the reason I wrote about this situation at all. It clearly reads “I can imagine, to a degree,” because of my experience with this community; NOT I understand exactly what Kelli Stapleton’s life and the lives of every other parent of a disabled or autistic child goes through every day of their lives. I was qualifying my perspective, not in any way trying to discount the struggles and sacrifices many of you have had to endure/make.

Furthermore, that is one of the more minute details in my coverage of Kelli Stapleton’s merciless assualt on her daughter. You can think I’m an asshole all you want, but an individual claiming to be the defendent’s sister-in-law wrote to me, and several other online outlets, explaining how my perceptions of Stapleton as a narcissist and a borderline-sociopoath are correct. Laura Kelm commented, “She was and is all about herself. And now she is using the media to dupe people into feeling sympathy where none is deserved. She was not an amazing, involved parent that only had her family’s welfare at heart. And it makes me sick reading comments all over the web from people feeling sorry for her.” [From the research I’ve been able to conduct, Kelm seems legit. The Detroit native, a mother herself, is the step-sister of Matt Stapleton.]

We should be focusing on Issy, and how after her remarkable recovery from the carbon monoxide poisoning she suffered at the hands of her mother, she and her family must cope with an entirely new, challenging dynamic. Kelli is facing life in prison, but even if she were to escape with a lighter sentence than the law calls for (and the public expects), Matt Stapleton has moved forward with divorce and custody proceedings.  She failed to kill herself and her daughter, but she did manage to immeasurably and permanently alter the Stapleton family structure.

 

 





Movie Review: Blackfish (2013)

30 07 2014

BLACKFISH
2013

Magnolia Pictures / CNN Films

 

 

 

 

Director Gabriela Cowperthwaite takes no prisoners in her examination of Americans’ fascination with wildlife, perverted into an industry of animals-as-entertainment. The nation’s greatest offender? Sea World, according to Cowperthwaite.

At once beautiful and tragic, BLACKFISH pulls back the curtain on the industry built on trick shows and ‘swim with’ gimmicks. The concept that a several thousand pound marine mammal could/would revert to basic animalistic defense behaviors against their handlers “friends” seems shocking to those in the trade, something that is disturbing on a whole new level as a viewer.

“This culture of ‘get back on the horse’ and you dive back in the water, and if you’re hurt, well then ‘weve got other people that will replace you’ and ‘you came a long way are you sure you want that?’”   (John Jett, PhD – Former trainer at Sea World)

BLACKFISH chronicles an established, savage 1970s practice of kidnapping infant whales from their pods; barbarically housing, training and inseminating them; and maliciously twisting science to fit their profit-driven agenda. In short, BLACKFISH manages to strip any forethought that marine-parks are working in conjunction with conservation and/or research efforts.
Cowperthwaite interviews over a dozen former Sea World trainers, all of whom became disillusioned with the organization. A contributing factor for many was the consistent practice of covering up incidents of animal (specifically orca) aggression and spinning “trainer error” to the concerned public. They now, collectively, feel bad for all of the whales— knowing what they know and having seen what they saw.

Cowperthwaite, who has produced and directed for over a decade, was inspired to make this movie after the highly-publicized attack on veteran trainer Dawn Brancheau at Sea World Orlando in February of 2010.
Brancheau, you may recall, was pulled into a large performance pool by Tilikum, a 12,000 pound bull orca. While the Sea World company higher-ups insisted that Brancheau was at fault for the incident (alleging that her having touched fish then her long pony-tail, confused the animal), witnesses know that the 22.5 foot long mammal targeted her.
It would become public knowledge that the animal had been involved in responsible for two deaths previously; the first, in 1991, at the now defunct Sea Land of the Pacific in British Columbia,  20-year-old swimming star and amateur trainer, Keltie Byrne was killed by drowning (three whales held her under, tossing her back and forth); and another, in 1999, a defiant park-goer sneaked into Tilly’s tank overnight— Daniel Dukes was found naked and mutilated, slung across the whale’s back the next morning. [*This incident is highly suspicious, as the PR explanation is vastly different from the medical examiner’s findings. There are cameras every which way at Sea World, and at least 4 night trainers were on duty at the time of the attack— no one saw or heard anything.]

“It didn’t ‘just happen,’ it’s not a singular event. You have to go back to understand this.” (Dave Duffus, Researcher/Expert witness for OSHA case against Sea World)

Researchers have found that orcas have a part of the brain that humans do not, it is called the paralimbic cleft. The inference of this discovery, based upon it’s location and application as compared to known chemistry/functions, is that orcas have highly elaborate emotional lives and social complexities, in which their sense of self is inherently tied to their community (ex: mass stranding, the pod will not abandon a beached whale).  This information makes Sea World, their less-respectable Canary Islands affiliate Loro Parque, and facilities like them seem so cruel!
Former Sea World trainers who spoke with Cowperthwaite stated that on several occasions when a calf (infant/child aged orca) was separated from it’s parent, the mother whale would vocalize her grief and anxiety with seering cries and long-range sounds that were unlike anything the staff had ever heard from one of the marine beasts.

Another egregious falsehood being perpetuated by Sea World regards the quality of life and the lifespan of orcas.  Several segments of film are included in BLACKFISH showing trainers and park support staff spouting off facts for an audience; the most blatant lie of which is that orcas in captivity live twice as long as in nature. In fact, whales free in the ocean have been tracked to live 50-80 years (depending on sex). The majority of captive whales die by the time they’re 35.
A hot-button issue in the community is that of dorsal fin collapse; 100% of male whales in captivity have a slumped over dorsal fin, whereas 1% of wild ones are afflicted with the condition. This issue is addressed by Sea World park staffers filmed in the documentary, each of which says that ‘it’s just something that happens,’ although plenty of data exists as to why. (See a scientific article HERE, or videos HERE.)

Several experts featured in BLACKFISH theorize that Tilikum developed a kind of psychosis from his treatment in captivity— from being ripped from the wild at the age of 2; being deprived of food to illicit specific (show) behaviors; being isolated in too small, dark pens; and being rejected by the forced family unit (despite his gargantuan size, he was ganged up on by female whales that would grate their teeth across his skin and ram into bully him).

A thoughtfully written and thoroughly researched NatGeo article on Tilikum, and his far less belligerent, but equally famous “twin,” can be found HERE.

Terrifying incidents are recounted by Cowperthwaite’s panel of former trainers, and in some cases shown with archival video. Among them: 1987 – John Sillick, 26, is crushed between two whales during a show at Sea World San Diego; 2002 – a trainer named Tamarie was thrashed by a whale called Orkid, eventually she rose from the pool waterlogged with a compound fracture to her arm; 2006 – senior trainer Ken Peters was dragged about the show pool, down to the bottom, by 6,000 pound Kasatka. The animal continued to charge him after he fled over a float net and struggled to stand on his mangled feet/ankles.

“…[Dawn] had so much experience. It made me realize what happened to her, really could’ve happened to anyone.”   (Kim Ashdown, resigned as a Sea World trainer one year before Brancheau’s accident)

 

Something particularly eery and jarring for me during this film was the 911 recording played at the beginning. The caller, a man, is incredibly calm while describing to the operator that a Sea World trainer had been “eaten by one of the whales.”  Given the later information, from a paramedic’s testimony, that she was essentially scalped and had an arm ripped off (and a lack of blood shed indicated her heart had already stopped beating when the injuries were inflicted)— a gruesome picture of Brancheau’s death is painted.
BLACKFISH accomplishes for the patronage of wildlife exhibits and water-based amusement parks, what SUPER SIZE ME did for the fast-food industry and WAITING FOR SUPERMAN did for the nation’s broken education system. Certainly it will not eliminate the business, but it is sure to drive people into a tizzy for some time to come.

**  UPDATE:  Initially Sea World claimed that this remarkable and necessarily unsettling documentary had, and would have, ‘no effect’ on their business, yadda yadda, and they would continue their work for ‘research’ and ‘conservation.’ But I’m pleased to report that the organization has in fact suffered a 13% decrease in revenue/attendance in the first quarter of this year.  **

 





Greatest Musical Numbers for Seemingly No Reason…

14 07 2014

Who doesn’t love a countdown! This list first appeared on Tumblr, it was compiled by self-appointed movie critic (and all around pop culture junkie) LauraLikedThatMovie.

Life is random, or so they say. And if life imitates art, as they also say, I guess we have to accept the blah-blah-blahs and the hit-its and the jump-backs that flesh it out.
Now, the title says “Greatest Musical Numbers for Seemingly No Reason,” not because the vibrant and loud twists to the plots are unnecessary, but because in large part they are inessential to moving said plot along. Sometimes, there just needs to be a song or dance number in a non-musical movie. Sometimes they rock, and sometimes they sting. The twenty or so listed below are the best we’ve seen…

 

2020. “Time After Time,” ROMY & MICHELE’S HIGH SCHOOL REUNION
(Lisa Kudrow, Mira Sorvino, Alan Cumming)

1919. “You’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feeling,” TOP GUN
(Tom Cruise, Anthony Edwards)


1818.  
“My Little Buttercup,” THE THREE AMIGOS
(Steve Martin, Chevy Chase, Martin Short)

1717.  “ABC,” CLERKS 2
(Ensemble)

1616. “Say a Little Prayer for You,” MY BEST FRIEND’S WEDDING
(Rupert Everett & Ensemble)

1515. “You Don’t Own Me,” THE FIRST WIVES CLUB
(Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn, Bette Middler)

1414. “I Think I Love You,” SCREAM 2
(Jerry O’Connell)

1313. “Pocket Full of Sunshine,” EASY A
(Emma Stone)

1212. “Backstreet’s Back,” THIS IS THE END
(BSB, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Craig Robinson)

1111. “One Night in Bangkok,” THE HANGOVER PART II
(Mike Tyson)

1010. “I Put a Spell On You,” HOCUS POCUS
(Bette Middler)

99. “Thriller,” 13 GOING ON 30
(Jennifer Garner, Mark Ruffalo)

88. “Puttin’ on the Ritz,” YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN
(Gene Wilder, Peter Boyle)

77. “Grow Old with You,” THE WEDDING SINGER
(Adam Sandler)

66. “Bennie & the Jets,” 27 DRESSES
(James Marsden, Katherine Heigl)

55. “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You,” 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU
(Heath Ledger)

44. “Try a Little Tenderness,” PRETTY IN PINK
(Jon Cryer)

33. “We Are Not Alone,” THE BREAKFAST CLUB
(Ensemble)

22. “Bohemian Rhapsody,” WAYNE’S WORLD
(Mike Meyers, Dana Carvey)

11. “Danke Shoen/Twist & Shout,” FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF
(Matthew Broderick)

 

 

 

 

Definitely comment below if there is a spontaneous song or some cheesy choreo I need to see! The scenes included in this article are based only the films I’ve seen personally… so enlighten me if there is another number you think deserves a spot.





OWN Takes A Major Gamble On LiLo Series

14 03 2014

Legendary talk show host, entrepreneur and philanthropist Oprah Winfrey shocked audiences across America when she retired from her beloved afternoon syndicate, “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in favor of heading her own network. Harpo Productions teamed with Discovery Communications to present “a mix of original programs, strips, specials, documentaries and acquired movies,” to replace the fledgling Discovery Health Channel.

OWN-OprahWinfreyNetworkOWN has established itself as a network with the sort of dynamic and dramatic content viewers ate up on Oprah’s original show; offering in-depth conversations on “Oprah’s Next Chapter” (now “Oprah Prime”), investigative documentaries on “Our America with Lisa Ling,” and scripted drama on “Tyler Perry’s ‘The Haves and the Have Nots.’
As of Sunday night, the reality program “Lindsay” joined the 2014 line-up, with a production order of eight episodes.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last decade, you know who the titular Lindsay refers to. The circus that is Lindsay Lohan’s personal life raised its tents over Los Angeles over two years, notably between when she was filming Herbie: Fully Loaded (erratic behavior and vague hospital stays for a “kidney infection” held up production) and Georgia Rule (unpredictable attendance and attitude, along with a myriad of doctor’s visits for “dehydration and exhaustion” left co-stars and crew in the lurch).
LiLo_graphic1
A once-promising young star, Lohan has been sidelined from big-name and big-budget projects of late for being an ‘insurance risk—’ the industry’s way of highlighting that the actor/actress lacks credibility and poses a threat to the budget and schedule of a project (Film Insurance covers any unforeseen cost overruns related to the legal hiccups (like an arrest or lawsuit), illness, injury or death of cast and crew members of a given production.) Additionally, a string of poor reviews and financial returns have taken the light out of her star.
In the last decade, Lindsay Lohan has been to rehab six times; been charged with two DUIs, theft, assault, and possession of cocaine; violated her probation twice; and served a combined six weeks in the Century Regional Detention Facility, also known as Lynwood Jail.
lindsay-own-tv-show main
The series began filming in the summer of 2013, during the week after Lohan’s release from her sixth facility, Cliffside Malibu. In an effort to maintain the sobriety that has evaded her in the past, Lohan travels to New York City with a sober companion who is employed by the rehabilitation/counseling center. She states the move is to give her a (deserved?) clean slate, and keep her away from the temptations of L.A. nightlife.

While Lohan says all the right things about her struggles and the uphill battle she continues to face without alcohol or recreational drugs to dull/twist her reality, she continues to lack a certain accountability — despite telling filmmaker Amy Rice, “I know this is my last shot.” There is a fine line between acknowledging and blaming one’s dysfunctional family and upbringing as a source of stress that exacerbated their addictions. Lohan is still full of excuses, at one point foregoing a planned AA meeting because there are paparazzi outside her hotel. Understandably, she didn’t want to bring that sort of prying chaos into the lives of other attendees, but being seen at a meeting could only help her at this point; a fact she remains blind to. Finding a “sanctuary” she can call home is priority number one, when finding a regular therapist in the Big Apple and productive hobbies to fill her time should be.
Regardless of what mantras she spews or plans she alleges, it is difficult to picture Lindsay Lohan riding the subway (like Jay-Z) or walking her kids to school (like SJP). Ever. Jail and rehab have not provided a sufficient bottom, indicated by the “This Season on ‘Lindsay’” clips that followed the show.

Following her stint in rehab, Lohan was given an opportunity to appear on the cult-hit HBO series “Eastbound & Down,” which stars funnyman Danny McBride. Reportedly, the episode filmed without incident, and Lohan was a gracious guest. Recently, dual appearances on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” and a cameo scheduled on CBS’ “Two Broke Girls” are about all the work Lohan can hope for. She has a long road back to blockbusters— given that her most recent ‘feature’ The Canyons co-starred an adult figure (James Deen) and grossed a measly fifty grand.

The reality show, or ‘docu-series’ as Oprah is calling it, has elements of established guilty-pleasure programming many of you readers will be familiar with. In the roughly 48 hours since it premiered, I have watched the inaugural episode three times. I can assure bits of murky substance dependence, ála “Intervention;” a kooky cast of oblivious family members, ála “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo;” a misplaced desire for all things luxurious, ála “The Real Housewives of…;” and a borderline delusional self-assurance, ála auditions week of “American Idol.”  It’s damn near riveting, and at times not for great reasons. At one point, Lohan will declare: “Until I fuck up, you can’t assume I am going to.” History repeats itself, particularly in her life, so excuse us while we brace for implosion.

0202123As a former Lindsay (the actress) fan, I will undoubtedly continue to watch the mayhem that is in-store on “Lindsay” (the show).  I admit, I loved Mean Girls and even occasionally rock out to “Rumors” when it comes across shuffle on my iPod.
There’s a fine line between celebrities who genuinely struggle with addiction or mental illness and those who squander their chances and egregiously self-sabotage. Historically, I have given up (interest and/or creative admiration) on people whose personal lives eclipse their professional achievements.
[For example: In my mind, Katherine Heigl is an ungrateful twat who deserves to never work again; LeAnn Rimes is an attention-starved former childstar who knows she peaked at 13; and Justin Bieber is going to end up with a shell of his career and eternally on probation, just like Chris Brown, because nobody tells him ‘no’ or points out that saying ‘Jesus is my homeboy!’ doesn’t negate your moral misdeeds.] I digress.

I want to look at Lindsay in a decade and not even recall the criminal and pharmaceutical issues that plagued her for the last decade. There is no denying her talent, from her mature and intuitive turn as Ali Fowler on “Another World,” to her comic chops in Freaky Friday and emotional range shown in Prairie Home Companion and Chapter 27. Unfortunately, ratings for the series did not start off on a high, with a reported 693,000 viewers tuning in. It would appear that people are so over the hype and the shortcomings of this woman. Even in our 24/7-media cycle, stalkerazzi, fame-obsessed society watching this kind of epic failure loses its salacious glow and becomes just plain sad. 

I hope that LiLo gets herself together, for real, this time and pulls a Drew Barrymore-level or Robert Downey Jr.-level comeback. Those are the ideals for this situation. Seven more episodes to go; we’ll have to wait and see if the woman known for millions of water-cooler moments can work her magic once more, and reform this squandered celebrity into a stable, sober, consistent adult actress.