Oprah’s OWN drew solid ratings for the premiere of its Lindsay Lohan docuseries. Are we watching for the wrong reasons? This column originally appeared in the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly.
The most honest words uttered in the debut of Lindsay, the new and deeply problematic docuseries about the troubled actress, came not from the maniacally self-absorbed Lohan or the show’s benefactor, Oprah Winfrey. Rather, they came from a fan on the street who was glibly effusive when asked to speak on behalf of the people. “I’m a big fan of Lindsay Lohan,” he said with a happy grin on his face, “both as an actress and as a media sensation.” Isn’t it entertaining when a young woman is so misguided and bent on destruction that she lands in rehab for a sixth time? As a culture we seem to value Lohan, and countless women before her, as little more than cheap spectacle, marveling at how far former good girls can fall from our manufactured pedestals.
The show was not without its odd voyeuristic pleasures. Show business has never looked so unglamorous as when Lohan’s smartly dressed assistant, whose former bosses range from Sean Astin to Prince, was tasked with packing up her floor-to-ceiling-stuffed hotel room. Earlier, Lohan’s storage unit of expensive junk was the size of an abandoned airplane hangar. I’m convinced that if this woman jettisoned 95 percent of her belongings and spent an anonymous year reading novels and going to meetings, she might just have a shot at enjoying her 30s. Instead she’s starring on a reality series whose viewers spent an inordinate amount of Twitter bandwidth snickering about the amount of side boob she exposed during the hour. READ FULL STORY