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Mary Carey in “Celebrity Rehab” – The reality Show that Puts You in the Vodka Bottle

WWW- []- This may be the worst idea for a TV show ever.

It’s a reality show called Celebrity Rehab, and VH1 is following “celebrity” drug and alcohol abusers like former wrestler Chyna, porn star Mary Carey, Brigitte Nielsen (not sure exactly what she does these days), multiple-arrests actor Tom Sizemore and comedian Andy Dick as they try to kick their problems at the Pasadena Recovery Center. The show will air next year.

Here’s why it’s a bad idea.

Maybe we should stop glorifying these idiots by putting them on TV and treating their addictions as entertainment and calculated career moves.

Impressionable TV stargazers will think that rehab is cool. Plus, VH1 will play it for entertainment. It’s a pop-culture channel that survives on ratings. Real rehab ain’t pretty. Real rehab won’t sell commercials.

That said, I will watch Celebrity Rehab. I will enjoy the part when they tearfully promise never to take drugs again — unless, of course, Celebrity Rehab gets picked up for a second season.

When Paris Hilton was in jail, the topic on show business “news” shows was, “Will Paris be an even bigger star because of her time in jail?”

Sure enough, two days after her release, Hilton was on Larry King Live reading poetry from the diary she kept in the slammer. There was a bidding war to land the interview with Hilton, with one network reportedly offering more than a million dollars.

Hilton’s jailhouse rhymes weren’t exactly Nelson Mandela’s journal from behind bars. Mandela was in prison for his political beliefs, and he eventually became president of the country that imprisoned him. He won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Hilton was in jail because of drunken driving, driving on a suspended license, violating parole and stupid stuff like that. She thought the food in jail was icky. I don’t see a political career in her future.

I used to work with Danny Bonaduce, the former Partridge Family child star who’s now a professional substance abuser. He got his own series, Breaking Bonaduce (also on VH1), which chronicles his train wreck of a life. He didn’t get a TV show because of his fine acting talent.

Every time Bonaduce falls off the wagon, he gets more TV work. If he ever sobers up for good, he’s out of show business. He’ll have to get a real job.

Lindsay Lohan makes more headlines for being arrested than for acting in movies. On the night she was arrested — again — a few weeks ago for cocaine possession, Jay Leno did jokes about her drug problem.

He even brought out comic Rob Schneider dressed in drag and a silly blond wig to portray Lohan in a comedy skit.

Now VH1 is doing a series about celebrities in rehab. First, is any of them a celebrity because of talent? Or are they celebrities simply because they’re world-class screw-ups?

Chyna was a musclebound freak in World Wrestling Entertainment, got breast implants, posed in Playboy and then made a stumbling fool of her herself on another VH1 series, The Surreal Life.

VH1 seems to be quite the enabling cable channel.

Nielsen? Another tipsy washed-up actress from the reality-TV world.

Sizemore is a talented actor, but he’s more famous for drugs and getting arrested for domestic violence against former madam Heidi Fleiss.

Andy Dick is a comedian relegated to Comedy Channel roasts.

Of all the “celebrities” on Celebrity Rehab, porn star Carey probably has the most actual film work on her credits.

When you put someone on television, regardless of the reason, the public perceives that person as somehow important. There’s an expression, “There’s no such thing as bad publicity.”

Ask Bonaduce. The thing he’s most famous for in his adult life is being arrested for assaulting a female-impersonator prostitute in Phoenix about 15 years ago. He’s made a career of it.

Bonaduce should buy that hooker a silly blond wig as a big VH1 thank you.


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