Stay Tuned
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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Was "Osbournes" The End of Television As We Know It?

There is no doubt that Mike Darnell is the dark prince of reality television.

Over the years, he has come up with some of the most depraved reality show ideas ever—“When Animals Attack,” “Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire?” “Mr. Personality,” “Joe Millionaire.” You name it, Darnell has done it.

So it only figures that eventually the dark prince of reality TV would team up with the prince of darkness, Ozzy Osbourne, and his raucous family to produce something so crude that dozens of FOX stations wouldn’t even carry it or moved it to the late-night hours.

I was all prepared to unleash a scathing attack on FOX for allowing Darnell to continue to hijack their network for such classless and tasteless drivel.

But then something weird happened. As I was watching “Osbournes: Reloaded” last night, I actually heard myself laughing. Not once. Not twice. But several times.

I have to tell you. I felt a little dirty…

Now, before you guys start taking shots at me, let me say that the whole show wasn’t funny, just parts of it. Much of it was disgusting, like the blindfolded guy making out with the stranger, who turned out to be an elderly woman. But there were some funny moments like the “Little Osbournes” at the movie theater and Ozzy and Kelly working a drive thru.

And the woman who gave her boyfriend an ultimatum to marry her that night or they were through? I guess part of me can relate…
In other words, I don’t think the show was the end of television as we know it, like so many critics suggested. I think it could be the end of the variety show, just not television.

Of course, in the critics’ defense, they were basing their opinion on footage they saw from the show of a stripping granny. I probably would feel differently if I had seen that. And since I probably wouldn’t be the only one, I’m guessing that’s why FOX cut the show to 35 minutes…

I do completely agree that the show was inappropriate to air after “American Idol.” “Idol” is a family show and since many of those families were probably still tuned to FOX for at least the first five minutes of “Reloaded” as they voted for their favorite Idol, they didn’t deserve to have a string of bleeped f-words and blurred hand gestures thrown at them. Yes, there was a strong Viewer Discretion Advised warning before the show started, but since many people were still discussing “Idol,” they probably missed it. I’m sure there were many parents diving for their remotes to quickly turn to “Dancing With the Stars” last night.

And even though I am usually opposed to that sort of thing, I fully support the decision of those FOX affiliates who moved the show to a more appropriate hour. This wasn’t “NYPD Blue” at 10 p.m. This was a variety show following the biggest family show in America. We all know why FOX did it that way, but that doesn’t mean it was the right thing to do.

FOX has not released any plans for the five remaining episodes of the show, but believe it or not, I think there is a place on television for “Osbournes: Reloaded.” It’s just not after a family show.

Because even though “Reloaded” is about a family, it’s definitely not suitable for one to watch…

You can see the show for yourself at…

Photo Credit: Ray Mickshaw/FOX