Aren’t the Osbournes fifteen minutes just about up?
I mean I enjoyed watching the antics of the “first family of rock” on MTV a decade or so ago as much as anybody. Watching Sharon, Kelly, and Jack fumble and cuss their way through a dysfunctional household life where the parents stumbled through dog poop, the kids smoked pot under Mom and Dad’s noses, and everyone involved swore like drunken sailors on shore leave was just too much fun to pass up.
I especially enjoyed the way that the show transformed heavy metal “prince of darkness” Ozzy into the lovable sort of burnout, better known for barely knowing where he was than for the sort of satanic musical fiendishness that once raised the hackles of fundamentalists everywhere. The bumbling drug casualty of MTV’s Osbournes was a far cry from when Ozzy’s days in Black Sabbath made him public enemy number one of the religious right.
But there are limits where shocking, if essentially harmless fun can cross the line from being funny to simply being sort of sad.
Fox’s new Osbournes Reloaded, even edited down from its original one hour run time to forty minutes is such an instance. Basically, it just wasn’t very funny. Occasionally, it was also very mean-spirited in a big time, spoiled brat celebrities thumbing their noses down at all of us “little people” sort of way. Do the Osbournes really need to do this? You have to wonder just what they were thinking.
The gags — like pulling the old switcheroo from hot chick to old lady during one hapless contestant’s blindfolded makeout session — were not just humorless and stupid, they were also kind of tired. When Sharon offered to up the ante to $500 for another round of blind man’s love, the guy wisely declined. Let me guess, it was gonna’ be a guy next, right?
The skits involving a pair of grade-school-aged Osbournes acting like foul mouthed brats during a movie, and Ozzy farting his way through a dance routine in leotards were also just stupid. Another bit where the Osbournes worked at a fast-food drive-thru, screaming things like “are you fucking deaf?” at the customers also seemed to show the family’s contempt for the same working Joes who made them so rich.
In the worst example of this, a clearly planned “random” selection of an audience member to receive a marriage ultimatum from his girlfriend fell particularly flat. After the poor sap painfully accepted, a WWE style ceremony followed (anyone remember when wrestling did the gay marriage story a few years back?). Here again, the sole point seemed to be just to ridicule common folk, showing a strange and rather spiteful side of the Osbourne clan that I must have missed back when they were stumbling and swearing their way through dogshit on MTV.
Fox has reportedly ordered a five episode trial run of the Osbournes Reloaded. This writer for one, will be amazed if it makes it that far. Speaking of those fifteen minutes…