February 20, 2013

Celebrity Rehab

From CNN:

Mindy McCready is the fifth former cast member of “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew” to die in the past two years. The 37-year-old country star, who appeared on Season 3 of the VH1 show, where she suffered an on-camera seizure, was found dead on the front porch of her Arkansas home on Sunday. Authorities said she was the victim of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Let's all admit that there is no such thing as reality TV. Because their isn't. At best, it's cheaply produced entertainment that's the television equivalent of popcorn. And popcorn's good. I love it and Survivor, all the staged home shows on HGTV, and what I'm sure are highly-manipulated contests on the Food Network. But popcorn nonetheless. While we're at it, let's all admit that in the world of reality television nothing is completely altruistic.

“One of my hopes was, in bringing ‘Celebrity Rehab’ out, was to teach people how dangerous addiction was. If I was doing a show on cancer, there would not be much surprise when my cancer patient died. In fact, we’d celebrate a few years of good quality life. People don’t understand that addiction has virtually the same prognosis. If you have other mental health issues on top of that, it’s so much worse."

Teaching is a noble goal and treating people with an addiction is a noble calling. But it's incredibly difficult to teach about addiction without sensationalizing the condition or, worse, the victim, in the process. Worse is the fact that the creators and producers of the show are approaching individuals whose careers have withered and crave some sort of attention. They're dangling a carrot in front of people at rock bottom exploiting the unbridled desire for career resurgence. What do they think is going to happen when a magnifying glass held by a million curious rubberneckers is held up to them?

We should all be amazed that only five of these folks have died.

(Yeah, this story kinda pissed me off. Was it obvious?)

Posted by Chris at February 20, 2013 7:20 AM

Dr. Drew always made me think he was a sociopath.

Posted by: alektra at February 20, 2013 8:35 AM

Dr. Drew is bottom of the barrel. He's just awful. I have never seen him as an expert in anything and immediately turn him off anytime he appears on my TV. He's just plain awful. He and Donald Trump should be sent to an island far away to never bother decent human beings again.

Posted by: cyndy at February 20, 2013 10:38 AM

The whole thing made me sad. Any suicide is sad, but she has little kids, I believe, and their dad also died by suicide via GSW. I feel awful for those poor kids.

Posted by: Heather at February 20, 2013 3:34 PM

I admit I watched Celebrity Rehab more than once - it's like a train wreck. Can't look away.
I don't think that or many of the "reality" shows on TV do anything but exploit people who don't know any better.

Posted by: NancyB at February 20, 2013 9:00 PM

Never saw the show; can't watch stuff like this. I loved The Biggest Loser, but I can't watch that anymore. Gave it up as I can't handle all the fighting, drama and watching people get beat up about their issues.

I remember Mindy when she was at the top of her career. I knew a few of her hits. I have somewhat been following her story since things spiraled.

Loosing a loved one under routine circumstances is one thing. Being touched by a suicide is a a very painful and uncomfortable thing. We had one suicide in our family. It is rarely discussed or shared in my family.

We all have bad moments in our lives. But, unfortunately some people can't see past the pain and in that moment--they take their own lives. The questions still haunt me, and it has been decades.

This story obviously tears at my heart. Two young boys were left behind. One of the two boys lost both of his parents.

I hope someone responsible, loving and dedicated raises them. They will need lots of love and support.

Posted by: One Mom's Opinion at February 20, 2013 10:19 PM