×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

TV Review: ‘Lindsay’

With:

With: Lindsay Lohan

OWN has sought to surround “Lindsay” – its docu-series devoted to Lindsay Lohan – with a patina of seriousness and quality, from touting the involvement of director Amy Rice (“By The People: The Election of Barack Obama”) to preceding it with a showcase in which the channel’s namesake interviews Russell Brand about addiction. But seriously, who’s fooling whom? In the best Hollywood tradition, the Oprah Winfrey-Discovery network and the tabloid-plagued actress are using each other, the irony being that if Lohan stays on the straight and narrow, she’ll yield a show as boring as Sunday’s not-screened-in-advance premiere.

Frankly, one appreciates Lohan’s efforts to stay clean and sober. But it shouldn’t come as a newsflash to anyone – starting with Oprah – that the dramatic needs of reality TV and straightening out her life are mutually exclusive.

The show picks up last August, right after Lohan has finished her sixth stint in rehab. While alcohol, she says, has been her drug of choice, it’s clear another kind of high comes from staying in the spotlight.

The opening runs through Lohan’s spotted history of arrests and slip-ups, while incorporating the “backstage” portion of her Oprah interview, before filming the series began.

Mostly, the show is filled with meta moments. There’s the spectacle, for example, of the cameras filming Lohan being photographed by the paparazzi staking out the hotel where she’s living (they become what amount to extras throughout); or her assistant, Matt Harrell, saying the actress knows the OWN project amounts to a last chance, and thus that she won’t screw things up.

Still, it’s hard to see what screwing up would entail in this context, other than falling completely off the wagon, while Lohan’s sober coach, Michael Cormier, keeps a watchful eye on her.

So what’s left? Lindsay talking to the camera, without makeup; Lindsay visiting her mom, Dina; Lindsay trying on hats; Lindsay looking for an apartment; Lindsay having a minor meltdown at a modeling shoot.

At this rate, Linday watching paint dry is a pretty good subplot for episode three.

Frankly, “Lindsay” says far more about OWN than it does about Lohan. Having already handed a fair amount of time over to Tyler Perry, the channel continues to drift farther away from the “Oprah” brand in pursuit of hits.

That’s worked, to a point, but it also dispels the notion that Oprah’s magic touch would somewhat make broccoli TV palatable.

“The vultures are waiting to pick your bones,” Oprah tells Lohan in the “this season on” tease, as if – in this context – her channel isn’t taking a taste. In that respect, “Lindsay” represents another form of addiction, and spinning things any other way is simply putting lipstick on it.

TV Review: 'Lindsay'

(Series; OWN, Sun. March 9, 10 p.m.)

Production:

Produced by Pilgrim Studios with OWN.

Crew:

Executive producers, Craig Piligian, Nicholas Caprio, Johnny Gould; co-executive producers, Amy Rice, Ralph Wikke, Mitch Rosa; director, Rice. 60 MIN.

Cast:

With: Lindsay Lohan

More TV

  • Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith

    Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith Dies at 78

    Walt Disney Archives founder Dave Smith, the historian who spent 40 years cataloging and preserving the company’s legacy of entertainment and innovation, died Friday in Burbank, Calif. He was 78. Smith served as Disney’s chief archivist from 1970 to 2010. He was named a Disney Legend in 2007 and served as a consultant to the [...]

  • TV Writer Christopher Knopf, Former WGA

    TV Writer Christopher Knopf, Former WGA West President, Dies at 91

    Prolific Emmy-nominated television writer Christopher Edwin Knopf, former president of the Writers Guild of America West, died in his sleep of congestive heart failure on Feb. 13. He was 91. Knopf was born in New York and attended UCLA, leaving during his senior year to join the Air Force during World War II. He finished [...]

  • Jussie Smollett The Black AIDS Insitute

    Jussie Smollett Case: Two Suspects Released Without Charges as New Evidence Emerges

    After two days of questioning, the Chicago Police Department announced Friday evening that it has released two suspects in the Jussie Smollett case without filing charges. Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said that detectives had developed new information in the case. Police no longer consider the men to be suspects. “Due to new evidence as a [...]

  • GOTHAM: L-R: Guest star Cameron Monaghan

    TV News Roundup: Fox Drops 'Gotham' Final Season Trailer (Watch)

    In today’s TV news roundup, Fox released a new trailer for an upcoming episode of “Gotham” and Disney has announced the cast for its upcoming “High School Musical” series.  FIRST LOOKS Showtime released a new trailer and the official poster for the upcoming fourth season of “Billions,” premiering March 17 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. In [...]

  • Chris Rock

    Chris Rock to Direct Kenan Thompson Comedy Pilot at NBC

    Chris Rock has come onboard to direct the NBC single-cam comedy pilot “Saving Kenan,” Variety has learned. Rock will also executive produce the pilot, which stars “SNL” mainstay Kenan Thompson. Thompson will play a newly widowed dad determined to be everything for his kids while begrudgingly letting his persistent father-in-law become more involved in their lives [...]

  • Peak TV Saturation TV Placeholder

    Apollo Global Management Buys Majority Stake in Cox TV Stations

    Private equity giant Apollo Global Management has cut a deal with Atlanta-based Cox Enterprises to buy a majority stake in Cox’s 13 TV stations as well as three newspapers and a handful of radio stations in Ohio. Apollo has been in the hunt for broadcast TV stations for some time. Cox’s station group, which includes [...]

  • Ken Jeong TV Take Podcast

    Listen: Ken Jeong on His Return to Stand-Up and New Netflix Special

    Welcome to “TV Take,” Variety’s television podcast. In this week’s episode, Variety’s executive editor of TV, Daniel Holloway, talks with Ken Jeong about his Netflix comedy special, “Ken Jeong: You Complete Me, Ho,” and being a judge on Fox’s “The Masked Singer.“ Jeong started working on his new standup act after ABC canceled his show “Dr. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content