Last night Lindsay Lohan got another chance to make a comeback. And unlike her Canyons comeback, this won’t be considered softcore porn. Lindsay, a docu-series on OWN, follows her post-rehab life as she grapples with her addiction to substances, attention and putting inflatable pool rafts in her lips. Just in case you went into a coma in 2003 and are aghast that this adorable freckled actress could harm a fly, let me catch you up. After a spate of crimes involving drugs, DUIs, theft and constantly wearing tights as pants, Lindsay succesfully (and suprisingly) completed her 6th rehab stint this summer. Since leaving rehab, Lindsay’s been laying low—which for most of us involves ordering Chinese, putting on fuzzy socks, and watching every episode of House of Cards. But for Lindsay it just means not getting arrested. Hence, this show marks the first time in a while that Lindsay has registered on the Richter scale of celebrity relevance. I had been missing her face, so at first I was happy to see her. But as the show went on, watching her fall into her same destructive patterns became overbearingly grim.
The show begins optimistically enough with a fresh-out-of-rehab Lindsay returning to New York for a new start. She is clear-minded, measured and sounding more or less like a 60-year-old Vegas cocktail server with laryngitis. I know even 12-year-old Parent Trap Lindsay had a raspy voice, but these days, it seriously sounds like her words are being translated into frog. Anyway, what follows is an attempt at redemption with Oprah so blatantly cast as the savior that they probably would have had her turn water to wine were it not for Lindsay’s pesky drinking problem. Sadly, if Oprah’s intent truly is to keep Lindsay sober, it really is going take Jesus’ miracle skills to do it, and I think even he’d be like “whoa, gotta call my Dad for back-up on this one.”
Odds are high that Lindsay will fail. We know this because—spoiler alert—she was recently seen wobbling out of a club like you’d walk on a ship during a white squall. So witnessing her slowly lose the battle of self-control isn’t even entertaining; it’s just sad. If I wanted to witness addiction in action, I’d just install a video camera above my fridge and watch 300 hours of footage of myself globbing cheese onto every conceivable cracker product, my fingers, and uh…other cheeses. At least it wouldn’t feel so wrong to watch. But if you want to simultaneously feel bad for her and feel really good about your own life choices, here are some disturbing insights from last night’s show.
1. Lindsay is more incapable of doing things for herself than you at age 8
Lindsay has a crew of submissive minions who heed her commands and never question her logic. Including when she decides to go shopping in the middle of apartment-hunting and makes her time-crunched realtor wait in the car while she tries on jaunty hats. Her lack of self-sufficiency is so cloaked in self-delusion that at one point she actually says the words, “I was living in a bubble where everything was done for me. Now I’m figuring it out for myself.” Keep in mind that this is said at the very moment her assistant is switching all of her belongings from one hotel room into another room just because Lindsay “couldn’t handle [the first] room anymore.” Lindsay is totally helpless, but I’m pretty sure 99% of celebrities have forgotten how to tie their shoes and have no idea what a grocery cart is for (“is that a cage for food?”), so I’ll give her a slight break on this one.
2. She hoards material items and looks at them with the glint of Gollum
I would say that 90% of this show consists of Lindsay feverishly riffling through her jewelry and clothes, which dot every single surface of her hotel room. I don’t even know how people walk around in that room; it looks like the hall closet of my mom’s house that contains every ski jacket, umbrella, and wrapping paper product we’ve had (and keeping buying) since 1992. Lindsay seems to stockpile everything she encounters, so I suggest she watch a few episodes of Hoarders. After she’s seen long-dead cats be discovered between couch cushions, I doubt she’ll feel as strongly about keeping that towel from the set of Just My Luck.
3. Her mom should never have been allowed to rear a living thing, including plants
When Lindsay goes home to see her mother for the first time in months, Dina Lohan is concerned and asks for a moment of privacy away from the prying eyes of the cameras to make sure Lindsay is OK. Just kidding. Dina gives Lindsay a cursory half-hug with no sincerity and looks directly into the camera with an eye-bulging lust for attention. It was as if in that moment, her body was a portal for the souls of all the world’s stage moms, and that’s where they go to ask what low-cut dress to put their 12-year-old daughter in. Poor Linds never had a chance.
4. Everyone around her lies to her face
We always hear about the obsequious “yes men” who erect sound-proof walls of delusion around celebrities to shield them from the truth. Here’s your chance to see that happen when Lindsay’s underling starts talking about how amazing her new movie The Canyons is (conveniently leaving out that it makes Showgirls look like Citizen Kane). What Lindsay needs is that brutally honest mirror from Snow White, so when she’s like ‘Mirror, mirror on the wall, aren’t I totally healthy, beautiful, and talented?” it’ll be like, “Girl, you trippin. It ain’t 2003 and Tina Fey is hella disappointed in you. Go do a detox in India and get back to me.”
5. No one will ever again believe a word she says unless they’ve time-traveled from the past
Everyone knows Lindsay Lohan, and in every language that name translates to liar. There’s even a segment in the show where the filmmakers ask random people on the street to share their sentiments about Lindsay, and they all basically roll their eyes so hard that they give themselves motion sickness. At this point, the only person who would trust Lindsay would be a defrosted caveman a la Encino Man who just wants to make fire and paint woolly mammoths. I tend to believe every movie I see, so I choose to think this could be Lindsay’s future husband.
That’s my take on this naked ratings ploy. Is it mindless reality TV that’ll make you forget that stupid thing you said in a meeting earlier? Not really. It’s the tale of someone with real problems whose (very fragile) life is at stake, and it’s hard to derive harmless schadenfreude from that. My recommendation to Lindsay would be: turn off the cameras, and change your name so your mom can’t find you. We’ll miss you, but we’ll know it’s for the best.