Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Come On, Get Happy

Regular readers of Felt Up know that I like my reality shows, although not all of them. Just as in real-life, I tend to avoid anything having to do with physical exercise or the outdoors ("Survivor," "The Biggest Loser," etc) or working ("The Apprentice"). I pretty much only watch the really ridiculous ones like "Blow Out," or the crazy celebrity ones such as "Being Bobby Brown," "Taradise," and "INXS: Rock Star." Of course, if I had cable I would probably watch nothing but "Celebrity Fit Club" until drool was rolling down my chin. (Yes, I know there's exercise involved, but it has Gary Busey on it this season! I'm not made of stone!)

But this new "celebreality" show on VH1 sounds too crazy even for me, and I'm someone who thoroughly enjoyed hearing Bobby Brown describe sticking his hand up Whitney Houston's ass to help her constipation. The show in question is called "Breaking Bonaduce," and there is an interesting in-depth article about it in the current NY Times. The headline is "An Excruciating Excess of Reality," and it sure seems excrutating to me.

The original subject of the show was the family counseling sessions of Danny Bonaduce, the red-haired radio/tv personality and former star of "The Patridge Family", and his wife, Gretchen. You just know that VH1 thought this was going to be a "Surreal Life" version of "Newlyweds," with a washed-up ex-child star bringing his hilarious brand of self-loathing obnoxiousness to a subject everyone can relate to, keeping a marriage together...Really, how could it lose?

But Bonaduce's original problems--an extramarital affair and struggling to stay off the drugs and booze--quickly escalated to a suicide attempt, threats of physical violence to his wife and the show's crew, and much more:
Soon after the show began filming, however Mr. Bonaduce fell off the wagon. Not only did he binge drink - viewers will see him downing an entire bottle of vodka in a single guzzle at one point - but he also started taking Vicodin and, as part of an obsessive exercise regimen, injecting steroids. During the show, he becomes increasingly muscular and tightly wound. He also becomes verbally abusive toward his wife and their therapist, Dr. Garry Corgiat. After the suicide attempt, Dr. Corgiat refused to work with Mr. Bonaduce until he got in-patient treatment for his substance abuse. VH1 executives found a clinic near Los Angeles, and Mr. Bonaduce checked into rehab.

Jesus. VH1 is supposed to provide "feel-good" entertainment for old people (like me), not depressing crap about Danny Partdridge slitting his wrists and guzzling vodka, Vicodin, and steroids.

But I suppose this is the way the reality cookie is going to crumble. How low can these shows go, I wonder?

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2 comments:

Txbrenna said...

Let's not forget that it was only a few years ago that Danny was one the male version of the View, known as "The Other Half". I spent a lot of time on their message boards, picking on people who liked the show. Danny has always been a ticking time bomb.

Anonymous said...

....I fail to see why we ought NOT forget THAT! :)