Whenever I sit down to watch Celebrity Rehab, I crack open a Miller Lite.
Clicking on VH1 is a shameful thing. I don’t even remember the decade when it was cool, if ever. Now it hosts the worst of the worst reality shows, and if you’re going to watch that kinda stuff, you definitely want to see the worst.
On to the commercial lead in: Next time on Secrets of Aspen, some whore is spreading a rumor about some other whore being a whore and…oh dear lord, humanity does not deserve to live. Man it’s not easy sneaking onto VH1 without being sullied by their cultural refuse.
This season on Dr. Drew’s Celebrity Rehab 3, Heidi Fleiss is complimented when someone calls her a whore. (I…I don’t think she has a choice really. The normal human reaction would be to weep in the palms of one’s hands, but hey, it’s LA.) Dr. Drew tells us, “drug and alcohol addiction is destroying the lives of people everywhere,” but if you wanna make bank treating it, you should open shop in LA and surround yourself with celebrities. Drew does not strike me as the type to examine the effects of addiction in a rat-filled homeless shelter. Bums, you see, don’t glitter.
We continue with the opening montage. A mock-up of a fake New York newspaper for a headline of Brad Renfro? The New York Ledger? You couldn’t be arsed to do the five minutes of research to dig up an old New York Post for a genuine clip? Do VH1 producers not know where a library is? Oh wait, is the New York Ledger a veiled reference to Heath Ledger? He’s another spoiled actor who’s dead now. We also learn that DJ AM was a close friend of Drew’s. It’s an odd moment of the show, but I can’t pinpoint why. Maybe it’s the intimate picture of the two of them staring in the camera lens in a dreamy fog, listlessly imagining a hammock for two on a beach in Malibu.
Next they parade shots of all of this season’s contestants, I mean, patients. Other than Heidi Fleiss and Dennis Rodman, I don’t recognize anyone. Oh, except Mackenzie Phillips (son–er, daughter of Papa John Phillips, no, no not that one (Bijou), the ugly one. And she was on One Day at a Time. No, no, not that one, the ugly one.) Tom Sizemore, professional trainwreck, is the big draw this season (they should call this show D-list Celebrity Rehab). Sizemore was unable to make a successful career out of sleeping in his own vomit while filming a reality TV show, so now he’s slumming it with Drew. Tom and Heidi are a former couple. By allowing them in the same treatment center at the same time, Dr. Drew erodes the credibility he tried to represent when he separated Kenickie from his leech girlfriend in season 2. Damn it, Drew. You’re making it harder for me to defend you against certain real life psychologists I know.
I guess they couldn’t fill the 90 minutes allotted to them because the preview montage is a solid 10 minutes long. In it is a shot of Heidi Fleiss with a parrot on her arm. Bear with me. The highlight of seasons 1 and 2 was a shot of pornstar Mary Carey doing a ballerina move. They played it every episode at least twice, usually without any context whatsoever. It was brilliant. She was so un-self-conscious and in the moment that I’d feel guilty about mocking her girth bulging against her catsuit. Except I just did, and I don’t. So. Heidi Fleiss. Parrot on her arm. This is why I love this show.