I don’t have enough in the tank to drink during this episode, so tonight it’s a very special sober Celebrity Rehab.
Drew wants to examine Mike’s feelings about Layne Staley’s death and getting kicked out of Alice in Chains. Mike’s listening to an old AiC album (it better be Dirt) and Shelly’s like, “So…what’s this stuff called ‘music’ and why do you listen to it again and again?” It’s complicated, Shelly, and it involves ‘feelings.’
For your recapping convenience, the cast of Celebrity Rehab is: Lisa D’Amato (America’s Next Top Model contestant), Heidi Fleiss (Hollywood madam), Joey Kovar (Real World season 20), Mindy McCready (country singer, perhaps country and western singer), Kari Ann Peniche (former Miss Teen USA), Mackenzie Phillips (professional drug addict and star of the retroactively ironically named One Day at a Time), Dennis Rodman (NBA crossdresser), Mike Starr (former bassist of Alice in Chains), Tom Sizemore (Heat, Saving Private Ryan).
Mike and Dr. Drew go one-on-one. They seem to be cracking the surface…juuuuuuuust about ready to dig into the tangy emotional core of Jell-o pudding when Drew abruptly says, “Right. That’s all I got to say.” Dismissed. So much for Drew wanting to examine Mike’s feelings.
Family Weekend. Wait, didn’t they do this back on day 5? Family weekend is the time all the people who’ve done nothing wrong have to show up and get therapy alongside their degenerate spawn/spouse. It’s like prison time for a crime your relative committed. Most people have a human family. Heidi has one of her parrots hang out with her.
In Mike’s corner, Layne Staley’s mom shows up. That’s weird. I always thought Layne was born from a poppy plant. “This is not fun or funny,” she says. Oops. Guess she never watched this show when Dennis Rodman is on camera. Dennis is having a barrel of laughs while his wife (separated) is telling Drew she’s going to file for divorce. She…looks…tired. “I don’t think Dennis has a clue how much we suffer,” she says. Dennis laughs. See that, Mrs. Staley? Good times.
Time to give back. Drew believes it is a key part of rehabilitation that patients perform an act of service to others rather than call their personal assistant to do it for them. Man, they condense so much time in this show that it’s difficult to believe these fuck-ups are anywhere near better. End of withdrawal? Sure. Recovery? No.
They have to redecorate a warehouse and help prepare a meal for their families. Drew says ‘warehouse’ but it just looks like a restaurant without any furniture. It ain’t exactly This Old House. They go to a store to pick out decorations for the restaurant. Kari Ann wants a dragon but it’s out of their budget. Her deftly reasoned argument for the dragon’s inclusion is, “I want it,” repeated ad infinitum. Endearing gal.
Heidi isn’t helping. Drew doesn’t like that she’s isolating herself. He blames the bird. Perhaps he has notions about the bird being an appetizer. Who likes squab? When Loesha (a staffer) tells Heidi the parrot can’t come to dinner, Heidi curses everyone and leaves. She’s going back to Nevada.
Back at the squab-less dinner table, the gang introduces themselves and thanks their families. “Hi everybody, I’m Mack,” says Mack. Wow, everyone calls her Mack then? It’s not just me? Cool. Someone (Mindy?) shouts out, “Mack attack!” It’s the worst nickname ever and I wish the rest of the cast had scowled in Mindy’s (?) direction to shame her. Earlier this week, Mack appeared on Shatner’s Raw Nerve (which is an awesome fake interview show) to talk about her incestuous relationship with her father. NBC should can Leno and stick Big Bill Shatner in the Tonight Show slot. It would be a runaway hit.
Joey tells his mom that she wasn’t the best mom growing up but she’s making up for it now. That’s basically the tenor of this episode. Lots of weepy eyes. Back on day 16, Layne Staley’s mom made a big, tear-jerking speech about her son. The tears continue during the personal speeches around the dinner table. Then Drew does something dumb and says we’re getting a gift from Mindy. She gets up to sing.
Jiminy tapdancing Cricket. These professional musicians. How utterly self-absorbed. As a writer, if I said, “Hey, I have a gift for you,” and handed you a piece of paper with some verbs and adjectives on it, you would punch my shoulder and ask for your real gift. And rightly so! “I’m a dentist! I have a gift for you! Whirrrr goes my drill, haha!” Oh, the gift of song is a dentist’s high-speed drill.
During the song, the restaurant plays a slideshow of pix of all their childhoods, young adulthoods and various run-ins with the law. It’s a real downer, and Tom breaks down in tears. It’s so bad that he’s shaking and Drew has to hug him to prevent all the little Tom bits from falling off.
Heidi is across the street with her parrot. Drew talks to her. She wants to leave. She doesn’t want to use, she says, but she wants to be alone and away from people. She bails and the Celeb Rehab bus back to the Pasadena Recovery Center is one person lighter. Yay, more footroom!