5 Stinky Thoughts on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew - Episode 3: "New Arrival"

Each week I offer a quick recaplet on the latest episode of the new VH1 experiment in candid celebreality, Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew. The fun continues this week with episode 3, "New Arrival."

Thought #1: How 'Bout That New Rehabitant?
Oh. My. Cripes. This episode made me crabbier than previous installments. And I blame new our "rehabitant," Ricco "Suave" Rodriguez. Such a pluckin' princess. It's interesting to me that the first "celebrity" with whom I had absolutely no experience with prior to this series is the only one who really anticipated special celebrity treatment. Which Shelly wasn't going to give, so Suavecito decided she was the devil. First, pobre Suavecito didn't appreciate being treated like a drug addict. While being processed into rehab. Poor poor Ricco. Second, big man Suavecito got all scared of skinny little NurseShelly, later threatening to put her into a headlock, because she called him on his "funny story": you know the one about the time where he had the near fatal car accident while driving with a revoked license; the one when he moved his girlfriend's unconscious, injured body into the driver's seat so it wouldn't look like he was driving so he wouldn't get in trouble with his probation for all his previous DUIs; the time when he tricked everyone and got the injured mother of his child to take the rap for the entire accident? (I won't even get into his insistence on calling himself a "phenomenal father" when his only son is in Child Protective Custody.) Chyna's famewhoring has her just being dumb about doing rehab so she can be on tv, but Ricco's famewhoring denial is a whole 'nother pot of clueless. (Oh, and that testosterone toxicity moment where Da Baldwin tried to commiserate with Ricco? Ew. The pairing of Suavecito and DaBaldwin is noxious: two bullies gathering to swap stories about how they're the real victims here. Plus, trashtalker Da Baldwin had to insult "the 21 year old" -- the same one he's tried to play Big Daddy with -- in the process.) But speaking of Da Baldwin...

Thought #2: Severe Chronic Assholism, Exhibit B.
Da Baldwin's at it again. Daniel Baldwin doesn't know how to shut up. Not only does he really believe his own "I am only here to help others with my quality sobriety" hype, but he insists on implicating others in his righteous self-aggrandizement. This episode began with Da Baldwin delivering some of his "your behavior is dangerous to my sobriety" schtick to resident disaster/loopylou Conaway. The tough love seemed almost to work for just a moment, but then Da Baldwin had to toss out the accusation (weirdly circulated by Dr.Drew) that Conaway had brought in a secret stash of drugs (translation: a cokedusty $20 bill) which triggered Conaway's heavily previewed "NO-I-did-NOT-take-that-BACK" jag. For some reason, Da Baldwin felt the need to preface his accusation with the phrase "unbeknownst to you," a phrase Da Baldwin repeated again and again as Conaway stood to take him on in a fight. Final count? In the 61 second confrontation, Baldwin lobbed 10 "unbeknownsts" (with one "unbeknownst" assist from Dr. Drew) for a full count of 11 "unbeknownsts" to Conaway's 6 "NO-I-did-NOT-take-that-BACKs." (Though Conaway should get extra points for turning things back on Baldwin, using "it was beknownst to me" in the first exchange after their faux-confrontation.) Alas, Da Baldwin sorta ended up getting the last word, which might just be one of his hobbies, and which he insisted on trumpeting over lunch, in another monolog devoted to diminishing and judging Conaway. (Even perpetual people pleaser Brigitte Nielson couldn't keep up with Baldwin's sobriety sermon as she became briefly absorbed in the food she had spilled on her pants.) Da Baldwin just wipes me out. Next week's previews are teasing that Baldwin leaves Celebrity Rehab because the surroundings are "not conducive to his sobriety" and I can't help but wonder if the absence of DaBaldwin's supersoberself might be more conducive to everyone else's serenity.

Thought #3: Moments of Clarity with NurseShelly.
After receding a little to the background last week, this episode brought Nurse Shelly back to the center where I'm always happy to see her. Indeed, there were an abundance of "Moments of Clarity" from dear NurseShelly this week. I loved her "how not to dress like a slut" moments with Mary Carey (who is easily my favorite rehabitant right now, such a mess but somehow sweet and so so lost). I loved how she dealt with the Conaway puke-crisis. I loved her handling of the cell-phone standoff with Conaway. But the true moment of clarity from NurseShelly is without a doubt her measured, clear response to Ricco Rodriguez's car accident story: "That sounds like a pretty hideous experience." (I did sorta love it, too, that Suavecito's girlfriend -- who's still with the idiot/wtf? -- took Shelly's side when Suavecito whined about her not liking his story when everyone else always does: "That's because your friends are scumbags and Shelly's a good person.") This was the episode, too, when Shelly "came out" as being in recovery. (But I knew that already. Her bullshit detector is pretty finely tuned...)

Thought #4: What I Didn't Need To See.
Again, a fart moment leads our contemplation of what I didn't need to see - as when Conaway's enabler/girlfriend Vikki called him out on tootin'. But I wasn't so grossed out by the flatulence as I was by Vikki herself. That woman makes me nervous. Her gaze seems entirely dilated. She's totally scamming off Conaway's cash. She's completely dumb. She's got the weirdest fashion sense -- a cross between a witchy 80s rocker chick and "Real Housewives of Orange County" (I betcha she's got a collection of pewter dragons in storage somewhere). But what I really didn't need to see? Vikki's screen test for the movie based on her life. Each shot of Vikki - she's finding her angle, she's "making a choice", she's playing the scene. Seeing her with Conaway this episode, I realized that their relationship is one giant scene-study class, played for maximum dramatic impact in front of what has been, until now, a verrry small audience. Vikki clearly sees this as her "big break" - her chance to be discovered and finally kick-start her screen career... And she's just bad. Bad for Jeff. Bad on camera. Bad bad bad.

Thought #5: Celebrity Rehab's Lessons in Sobriety.
This episode may have been the first episode to really test my patience. And therein lies this week's "Lesson in Sobriety from Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew": addicts are addicted to their own bullshit. And their bullshit can be a real pain in the ass. It was all over the place this week, what with the cockfighting instigated by DaBaldwin and Suavecito, along with the arrival of the terrifying Vikki. But the same thing was at work in Jaimee Foxworth's breakdown in group and Mary Carey's "to be or not to be a giant slut" dilemma. For addicts, the drug becomes the easiest way to sustain the insanity of one's own bullshit. Which creates the dilemma of sobriety: when the drug goes away, what's left is the insane bullshit, for which the addict "needs" the drug in order to survive. It's tough and it's real but the bullshit is usually ridiculous. Which is why I loved so much the "whatever" approach that NurseShelly and DrDrew took to Conaway's threats to leave the facility when NurseShelly tried to take away his phone. DrDrew arrived, clearly in from dinner and/or a date, guns ablazing. (Nice guns, DrDrew.) DrDrew could barely keep from giggling, loosening food from his teeth, as he talked Conaway down. DrDrew's advice is good for everyone: "when in doubt, act as if you are sane." Part of getting sober is shaking the hold of one's own insane bullshit. Unfortunately, from the look of things on Day 4 of a 21 Day treatment process, seems like most of these folks are unwilling to kick the habit of their own particular brand of crazy.

Please do share your thoughts in comments, beloveds.
And be sure to tune in next week for every addict's favorite thing:


jakey said...

As a fully licensed armchair psychologist, Ricco's history of sexual abuse explains a lot (hostility, lack of emotion, constantly on the defensive). If you ever watched "Loveline", Dr. Drew was strangely psychic about that sort of thing.

Word to Shelley completely owning this episode! I'm glad Shifty has her back.

My favorite Mary moment? Her trying to follow along with the complicated Jeff/Vicki meltdown ("Wait, who just got out of prison?").

StinkyLulu said...

That prison moment was just priceless. And I felt for Mary - the Conaway/Vikki meltdowns just make no sense after about 2 exchanges. (I was also amazed by Mary's observation during the Ricco story: "I wouldn't want a boyfriend to do that." She's really barely putting one foot in front of the other...)

One other thing I thought was interesting was how the female rehabitants were shown to totally not approve of Vikki. I couldn't tell if that was empathy or cross-addictive codependence. (But, of course, I agree that Vikki's bad news, but the show's pretty clear about that.)

On some levels, I think Ricco's got a pretty good chance of getting clean but it's that pesky honesty problem that'll trip him up. (He doesn't seem to love the drugs like Shifty does; Ricco just adores the grandiose lifestyle.)

Glad too that Jaimee finally got some camera time. I love her reactions...