The most talked-about show of the year returns a little less nutty, a lot more self-conscious and, after episode two explores matriarch Sharon Osbourne's colon cancer, with a much more serious tone. Round one was a pure nuthouse affair, a tour of the unbelievable. As the second season starts, they seem so, well, normal.

The most talked-about show of the year returns a little less nutty, a lot more self-conscious and, after episode two explores matriarch Sharon Osbourne’s colon cancer, with a much more serious tone. Round one was a pure nuthouse affair, a tour of the unbelievable. As the second season starts, they seem so, well, normal. Or at least overly familiar.

Ozzy doesn’t seem so much like he’s on tour as he is on a business trip. Sharon and Ozzy travel to D.C. for a dinner at which President Bush acknowledges the presence of the former Black Sabbath singer. The more he stays away from Sharon, the more he longs to be home. Apparently, he’s been drinking so much that rehab is in order.

Siblings Jack and Kelly bicker like every other set of teens in America. Jack loves videogames, Natalie Portman and his drums; Kelly is becoming a pop star, most likely a flash in the pan. They fight a lot, cuss like their parents and lead a generally spoiled life in two glorious Southern California homes.

Episodes one and two don’t set up this family the way its premiere eps did in the spring. Going in, the audience knows they’re in for something different with the characters assembled yet there’s no clear point of view or even bizarre antics. The closest “The Osbournes” come is in showing Ozzy throwing knives at a block of wood.

Sadly uneventful, show is well-edited fly-on-the-wall cinema that neither tugs at the heart nor generates laughter. It appears that the show will start to go down a depressing road in which the antics of the kids and Ozzy will be overwhelmed by the ordeal Sharon is about to undergo.

The Osbournes

MTV, Tues. Nov. 26, 10:30 p.m.

Production

Filmed in various locations by MTV. Executive producers, R. Greg Johnston, Jeff Stilson, Sharon Osbourne; co-executive producer, Jonathan "JT" Taylor; producers, Ann Meek, Francis Gasparini, Sue Kolinsky, Matt Swanson; directors, Donald Bull, Brendon Carter, CB Harding, Sarah Pillsbury, Todd Stevens;

Crew

Camera, Zack Kozek; lighting, John Gumina; editor, David Tedeschi. 30 MIN.

Cast

Starring: Ozzy Osbourne, Sharon Osbourne, Kelly Osbourne, Jack Osbourne.

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