So the self-glorifying misery starts again. The new season of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew premiered last night with a fresh batch of moldy stars nursing addictions and grudges.
A sullen Dennis Rodman was in denial, saying, “I’m way beyond this. I don’t need [treatment]. I’m here because of court, simple as that.”
Mackenzie Phillips said, “I sort of pioneered that ‘teen star gone wrong on drugs’ thing.” She and former Alice in Chains bassist Mike Starr, another newbie to the show, had no idea who another patient, country-music star Mindy McCready, was. McCready arrived with lots of painkillers in her bag, confiscated by the show’s long-suffering Shelly.
"I'm Heidi Fleiss and I was the greatest madam that ever lived," said Fleiss. "Every woman's a hooker to me. Someone calls me a whore, it's a compliment." Well, it shouldn't be difficult to come up with group therapy topics for her. Fleiss asked Shelly whether this was “real rehab, not pretend-rehab.” Shelly assured it was real.
But is it? That’s always the question with this show. Lionized recently by The New York Times, Dr. Drew Pinksy hosts with his usual serene calm, and isn’t afraid to reveal his own ego. He began the premiere with a voiceover that said these recovery attempts have “changed me forever.” Not necessarily the patients: him.
This whole first episode was a bit of a tease, because the arguably most volatile personality, Tom Sizemore doesn’t arrive until the next edition. It’s all set up to lure more viewers into watching the interaction between Sizemore and former lover Fleiss, who has accused the star of Heat of beating her, among other things.
Is putting these two in the same rehab program going to help either of them? Or is this the most blatant evidence of what a cynical show Celebrity Rehab is?