2.29.2008

5 Stinky Thoughts on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew - Episode 8: "Graduation"

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 8, "Graduation."

Thought #1: How 'Bout That NurseShelly?
Finally, we get the episode we've been craving. 'Twas nearly all NurseShelly all the time -- beginning with gossip in the teacher's lounge, then sitting in on Dr.Drew's declaration in group, before leading the cleanup detail (much to the assholic chagrin of Jaimee and Jessica, not to mention some precious doorslamming from Ricco - see item 2 below) and a group discussion of transition (where Ricco, again, had a precious moment). But that wasn't all: then NurseShelly shared part of her own gruesome story of addiction with the gang and conducted a 1-on-1 bullshit-detector session with Joanie/Chyna. (Though, with her revolving outfits, it seemed clear that the production snagged moments over several days to create this Shelly tribute episode.) For me, along with MrToughLove Bob, NurseShelly always brings a welcome whiff of honesty to the rehabitant shenanigans, and 'twas nice to hunker down into so much real-ish stuff this week with NurseShelly. (But, of course, that made for perhaps the most emotionally intense episode so far -- or was that just me?)

Thought #2: Severe Chronic Assholism, Exhibit G.
Ever the contender, this week's prize has to go to Ricco Rodriguez who more than earns the honor with his rant about "if I believed the statistics." Yeah, dude, we know, you're special. Every addict struggles with terminal uniqueness to some extent but, when a bully like Ricco -- who's inclined to get physical at the slightest provocatiion -- does, it's especially unattractive. But what really cinched Ricco's acknowledgment this week was his cute little performance before he slammed the door on NurseShelly. Nice, Ricco, nice. (Though the scenario also provided what might be the quote of the week: "Why is it little f'n white women wanna f*** with me all the time." Oh Ricco, Ricco, Ricco...)

Thought #3: Moments of Clarity with NurseShelly.
That unmanagability discussion with Joanie/Chyna? Just delightful. Especially in that NurseShelly might have just laid the foundation for Joanie/Chyna to actually "get it" & break through her denial about her own behavior. And then with the brilliantly incongruous line: "A lot of people have accidents. People wake up dead, and they didn't mean to." Part of what I love about Shelly is that, even when she doesn't make sense, she makes total sense. I love NurseShelly.

Thought #4: What I Didn't Need To See.
With Vikki and Jeff out the picture, and with Mary's digestive system apparently adjusting to the food in rehab, we've remarkably few shocking &/or skeevy moments to reflect upon this week. Yet, I must say my "issues" with Jessica flared again this week when Little Missy was (a) trash-talking NurseShelly ("She better take her f'n attitude somewhere else, cuz I'm not gonna deal with it - I haven't done nothing to her" -- except make a big hot drama mess for her to clean up) but especially when she was (b) so awful describing the women who came to talk to her about her mother. I realize she's challenged, threatened, and emotionally vulnerable but it seems so typically Jessica to be so cruelly indignant about other people as a way to situate herself as the righteously aggrieved one in the scenario. (Thank golly for Jessica's sweet, savvy and empathetic gramma who talked Little Missy off her self-aggrandizing victim ledge.) This ep really showed how deeply Jessica's a scared, stubborn creature who's absolutely confident in her beliefs that no one will truly look out for her. It's sad, yes, but also annoying to watch her act out on other people.

Thought #5: Celebrity Rehab's Lessons in Sobriety.
This episode, at some level, is all about one of the most difficult lessons of sobriety: you're never "better" -- maintenance of sobriety takes both daily vigilance and daily diligence. Which is rarely fun. Which is especially tough to accept when, like many of our lovely rehabitants, you've been able to coast on the glory of past accomplishments. It seems to me that the freakouts and meltdowns on all sides this week are mostly about folks' fears about whether these rehabitants are willing and able to do the work necessary to maintain their sobriety. 'Tis a scary proposition, indeed...

But please share your drama in comments, beloveds.
SEE ALSO previous "Stinky Thoughts" on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew:
Episode 1 ("Intake")
Episode 2 ("Detox")
Episode 3 ("New Arrival")
Episode 4 ("Sex & Trauma")
Episode 5 ("Bye Bye Baldwin")
Episode 6 ("Friends and Family")
Episode 7 ("Retreat")
And be sure to tune in next week for every addict's favorite thing: MORE!!!

(Though please be patient for what will almost certainly be a publication delay, as I will be traveling and might not be able to catch the episode upon first broadcast.)

3 comments:

criticlasm said...

Yes, I think this was the most emotional/uncomfortable episode so far. And it's also nice to feel like I'm rooting for people.

And I also think it may be that two of the biggest dramas, Jeff & Daniel, have left, and that leaves people really dealing with their own stuff in a different way. I'm interested to know how Brigitte is doing for instance, and hope the next episode has some more of her stuff.

Beth said...

As with last week, we really do see Jessica quite differently. What was so awful about the way she described the two women? She described them exactly as they described themselves except she didn't use the ridiculous PC word "sex worker". And in the phone conversation with her grandmother where that description came up, she also referred to herself as a "total f up"...so it's not like she thinks she's done no wrong. Also as regards Shelly and Jessica, there are several deleted scenes on VH1 in which they interact quite differently (aka more positively). I think Shelly is awesome - and don't get why so many folks in some forums (VH1 in particular) think she's a b - but I like Jessica too. It also bears noting that Shelly was no doubt not the same person she is now when she was in her first rehab and recovery.

On a different note...the producers were not playing fair in this episode as there are several scenes included that clearly did not occur in the final days. For ex., the Shelly confesses her past scene was previously a deleted scene on VH1 from the Ricco arrives episode...only the clip, as it ran then, showed Jeff sitting - or rather sleeping! - to the left of Jessica and also showed both Jessica and Seth thanking Shelly for sharing the story before they even left the table. Not sure why it was edited differently or why they are including it now instead of when it actually chronologically happened in the "story", but it seems dishonest somehow, especially given the "Day __" tag that runs each ep.

Chris said...

This show shamelessly repeats the unproven idea that addiction is 'a disease'. Really? How bout some personal responsibility folks? Stop crying, man up, and control yourself. 'I have a disease' is a cop-out.

http://fpffressminds.blogspot.com/2007/09/cult-of-12-steps.html