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TV Review: The Osbournes Reloaded

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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…

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About Glen Boyd

Glen Boyd is the author of Neil Young FAQ, released in May 2012 by Backbeat Books/Hal Leonard Publishing. He is a former BC Music Editor and current contributor, whose work has also appeared in SPIN, The Rocket, The Source and other publications. You can read more of Glen's work at The Rockologist, and at the official Neil Young FAQ site. Follow Glen on Twitter and on Facebook.
  • http://everythingisamess.wordpress.com Tom Johnson

    You’re a brave man to have made it all the way through the whole episode, Glen. I could hardly make it through the clip/trailer on YouTube. “Painful” and “embarrassing” were the two words that sprung immediately to mind. “Gross” was the one that came a bit later when I thought about it some more – not gross in the sense that it was it was gross-out, but simply gross. Ozzy needs to recede into the shadows for a while and let people forget this humiliating period of his life. He doesn’t to be the “prince of fucking darkness” his whole life, but he also doesn’t need to be the new Bozo the clown.

  • http://sosborne.today.com Melissa

    I know this show wasn’t the great success it was supposed to be, but I love The Osbournes. What you say about them shouting at the customers, that is just the way the Osbourne family act. It isn’t really how they are and not a true representation of the people they are. They are very warm and lovely people, but they do act it up for the camera. At the end of the day it was a television show and they were just acting. The name of the show should give it away really. Loud and dangerous, exactly!