I'm four episodes into the show and I've decided that it's definitely worthy of a weekly writeup. The premise is pretty basic. Several wrecked celebrities have enrolled in a rehab program run by celebrity doctor, Drew Pinski. I don't want this post to overwhelm so I'll start simply with the basics.
Here's a list of the celebrities participating thus far with a brief history.
1.Jeff Conaway - best remembered for his role as Kenickie in Grease, he is also remembered for playing out of work actor Bobby Wheeler on the TV show Taxi. If you look at his resume, he's worked a lot in both film and on television. But his most recent appearances on VH1's Celebrity Fit Club proved to be the most revealing. It was on Celebrity Fit Club that TV audiences learned how far his health has deteriorated. Not only did he appear bloated and out of shape but it was apparent he was dangerously medicated. While all the other celebrities have serious problems, without a doubt he is the most heavily damaged celebrity on the show in terms of drug years.
2. Brigitte Nielsen - Remember how gorgeous she was? She had a few good years in film. She starred in Red Sonja with Arnold Schwarzenegger; she played a villain like person in Rocky IV and she had a good part alongside then husband Sylvester Stallone in that forgettable movie Cobra (which starred an actor who looked a an awful lot like Schwarzenegger but then ended up dying in the end because he was a bad guy). She disappeared for a while but VH1 found her for Surreal Life and stuck her in a house with some other forgotten celebrities.
Thanks to this show, we were able to see how far her looks and health have declined, thanks to alcohol. While appearing on the Surreal Life, she had a drunken affair with Flavor Flav which was followed by VH1's Strange Love. Now, thanks to VH1, perhaps she'll be able to sober up and stop appearing drunk on VH1. It's hard to believe she's only four years older than me. Drinking has caused her to age badly.
3.Daniel Baldwin - This guy is famous for being a mess. He's probably best remembered for being the Baldwin brother with the most problems but I like to remember him from Homocide:Life on the Street. While doing research on him for this post (two minutes on Wikipedia), I learned that he also participated in VH1's Celebrity Fit Club. He's been in and out of trouble for years because of his drug problems. And he joined Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew to help reinforce 9 months of recent sobriety. Unlike the other participants he was sober when he walked through the front door.
The above three people are perhaps the three you would consider celebrities. The others are famous, if you happen to be fans of the specific genre where they excel; a porn star; a rock star; a would be singing star; a wrestler; a former child star; and an ultimate fighter.
Let's start with the porn star.
4. Mary Carey - doesn't want to do porn anymore. She's learning it's not healthy for her and is a gateway to other bad behavior like drinking and doing drugs. When she arrived at rehab, the staff removed all her porn and sex toys when going through her belongings. I think she's interesting. She's certainly not stupid and she doesn't possess a mean bone in her body. Also, she ran for governor of California during the recall election. You may recall that Schwarzenegger won that election. (Perhaps Schwarzenegger is the gateway).
5. Seth Binzer - He is the lead singer of Crazy Town, whose one big hit I've heard but couldn't sing back to you. He's pretty messed up. In the first episode, we watched a home video of a typical night out for Seth which included an intimate closeup of Seth smoking from a crack pipe. He's a good looking guy with a great singing voice and a serious addiction problem. And yes ladies - he's Jewish - which I found surprising because he is covered with tattooes. But according to his myspace page, he's married. So. You'll just to wait his marriage out before trying to hook up with the hot Jewish rock star. Oh and you'll have to wait until he sobers up because you probably don't want a crack addicted boyfriend, even with the shortage of available and exceedingly hot Jewish men.
6. Jessica Sierra - is the least famous person on the show. She had a brief moment in the spotlight as a contestant on American Idol but only became a headliner when she got arrested for something or the other having to do with drugs. She's very young and very sad. Her mother was a drug addict whose bad behavior left Jessica emotionally scarred and ill prepared for the world. The kid is a mess but like Mary Carey, she's very sweet and seemingly good natured. For me, watching her is like watching Britney Spears in rehab by proxy. And I'm sure it's no accident the producers put a young blond singer on the show. Pretty smart move on their part. I'm hopeful that she succeeds and achieves sobriety in this bizarre environment.
7. Joan Marie Laurer - aka Chyna Doll - formerly a wrestler with the WWF. She also starred on a season of Surreal Life and became good friends with Brigitte Nielsen on Surreal Life Games. (I have not seen any of these shows but somehow I know a lot about them). Chyna does not seem to be addicted to anything. I'm not quite sure why she is in rehab. While she's not exhibiting drug seeking behavior, she is definitely exhibiting attention seeking behavior. Not to say that she doesn't need therapy or counseling but I'm not exactly sure she needs rehabilitation. Maybe VH1 felt like they owed her one for all the ratings she generated by being on their programs.
8. Jaimee Foxworth - she was the little girl on Family Matters. I don't know much about her except that she's seriously addicted to marijuana. And she seems very nice. Even though she says she's got this really bad problem, she seems to have more control over her life than all the other celebrities.
9.Ricco Rodriguez - is either a cage fighter, a mixed martial arts fighter or an ulitmate fighter. This guy definitely needs to be in rehab. He's got real problems. His problems with drugs are so bad that the courts took away his kid away not only him, but from his baby's drug addicted mama as well. I think the producers knew that either Jeff Conaway or Daniel Baldwin was going to leave the show, so they brought in another guy in episode 3 to fill a potential void. Daniel ended up leaving the facility in episode 4.
I think that's everybody. And now that you know who everyone is, I can write about the show freely without having to explain everyone's background each and every time. I'll provide links back to this post in my future recaps.