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Recovery school

Celebrity Rehab  does it all for you
By JAMES PARKER  |  February 20, 2008

CHARACTER LEAKAGE: For all his smoothness, there is a touch of the rural exorcist about Dr. Drew.

Finally. Into the great secular church of recovery, within whose precincts one finds dramas of redemption and perdition as vivid as in any mediæval fresco, they have penetrated at last: the crooked and backwards-scuttling camera crews of reality TV. Who knows why they waited so long? Recovery is made for them. Everyone’s in pain; everyone is chained to his or her own developmental “arc,” either upward or downward; and you can barely move without treading in some of that “character leakage” so prized by reality-TV producers. And there are some wonderfully famous and exhibitionistic addicts out there. The cast list for Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew (VH1, Thursdays at 10 pm) reads like a bad stand-up routine or a sci-fi movie about the colonization of a distant planet. A porn star, an Ultimate Fighter, Brigitte Nielsen, a contestant from American Idol, one of the Baldwins . . . And Dr. Drew Pinsky himself, of course, sleekly acerbic co-host of radio’s Loveline, wielding his diagnostic jargon like a switchblade.

The show began, six weeks ago, exactly where A&E’s Intervention always ended: at the gates of the rehab facility. And what a picture they made, the stars, rolling up for treatment on the coattails of their goodbye binges. Jeff Conaway, ex of Grease and Taxi, leered insensibly out of an open car door, chin on chest and a champagne glass hanging from loose fingers. Mary Carey, porn queen and former candidate for governor of California, pinballed around the hallways asking random males whether they wanted to fuck her. Daniel Baldwin, second-most-senior member of the hellraising Baldwin fraternity, arrived sober but reeking of BS. “How are you?” asked Dr. Drew. “Blessed by the Lord, thank you!” rejoined Daniel, much too eagerly. Later that evening, when Jeff had been further sedated and Mary relieved of her porn DVDs and her writhing basket of dildos, Daniel confided that his presence in the Pasadena treatment facility, in the ninth month of his sobriety, was part of a privately ordained ministry in which he planned to use his celebrity status to combat the nationwide scourge of addiction. “Mmm-hmm,” said Dr. Drew.

“Your addiction wants you to do this. . . . Your addiction wants you to do that. . . . ” For all his smoothness, his lavender ties and powder-blue shirts, there is a touch of the rural exorcist about Dr. Drew. “That monkey’s on your shoulder,” he tells Seth “Shifty” Binzer of the band Crazytown. “I can see it. I can just see it sitting there.” With Mary Carey he pursues a therapeutic strategy that seems dangerously schizogenic, encouraging her to separate “Mary Ellen,” the ballet-loving little girl she once was, from “Mary,” the Babylonian floorshow she now is. And it works! Mary takes a ballet class and weepingly rediscovers her physical poise, the effect of her arabesque penchée only slightly vitiated by her enormous boob job.

Other patients are less tractable. Chyna the female wrestler will not cop to having used steroids — ever! — despite having suggestive episodes of mania in her past and shoulders like Captain America. Might she be bipolar, Dr. Drew wonders. What are her earliest memories of family life? “Lots of alone time in the basement,” says Chyna. Daniel Baldwin, meanwhile, is speedily undone. He checks himself out of the facility after a couple of weeks, in gusts of self-justification (“The environment here is not conducive to my sobriety!”), shortly before it’s discovered that he’s been sending dirty text messages to Mary Carey. Now that’s some dandy character leakage, kids. That’s eau de realité. Or as we used to call it back in the Old West: human nature.

Related: America Blows, Everybody’s Irish?, Sweet delusion, More more >
  Topics: Television , Culture and Lifestyle, Entertainment, Erotic Films,  More more >
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Recovery school
I liked this show. I was mostly disappointed that they keep showing reruns and it isn't always shown at the afore mentioned day and time. Most are the so called celebs are very likeable and I enjoy seeing their sober, fun sides as well as some of the touching tales that most of us can identify with. Dr. Drew seems to be an excellent counselor and mirror for these people. He seems to really care and does not seem to need the camera time that D. Baldwin apparantely does. Then again, Baldwin had the same "script" in rehab in Anaheim 3 years ago. Only difference being, a.It wasn't filmed, b. he was the only "celeb" and therefore did receive special treatment, and c. he was living with a different woman, different child, and came onto different women in rehab. I believe he had just been born again and apparantely subsequently needed to be reborn several times to sort of get it right. In defense of him, he is intelligent is very funny once you get to know the non acting side of him. He was also much more candid without the cameras. I do feel badly for all the women he lied to and cheated on and the children he seems to have forgotten. I'd love to see more of the show all said and done.
By Sammy on 02/25/2008 at 2:54:49
Recovery school
Please excuse the few grammatical errors in my first blog (comments). My cousin, who was somewhat of a character legend in Tempe, died almost two years ago of an accidental overdose. I hadn't seen him for most of my adult years but I cried and was sad for awhile. My mother died of cancer a year ago and was one of the only members of my family who was not addicted to anything more than cigarettes. When I got off the small amounts of valium I was taking daily , she quit smoking. Unfortunately, life is not always fair and the cancer beat her. Also unfortunately, at a time when I was having a lot of trouble with my back, a guy gave me a pill that took the pain away. For several years I could easily get off the pills with no effects. Sadly, as most addicts know, they finally grabbbed hold of me and wouldn't let go. Hence the short rehab stint with Baldwin 3 years ago. I am better now although I suffer from depression, anxiety, ocassionally the pills; (one is too many, a thousand is not enough) and an isolated mostly unproductive single life. I am working on it though. If you would like to contact me by reponding to my posts, feel free. Thank you for this platform in which to express my opinions and some of my demons.
By Sammy on 02/25/2008 at 3:11:10
Recovery school
Me again. I am currently looking to write for an online website. If anyone has any leads or the inside track after reading my comments, please let me know. Thanks!
By Sammy on 02/25/2008 at 3:12:51

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