Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew (TV Series 2008– ) Poster

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One of the Better Reality Shows- Not as exploitative as expected
D_Burke13 February 2008
So far in this show's run, which isn't over yet as of the time this review is written, the show hasn't really been as exploitative as I had expected. I thought this show would ultimately sugar-coat the whole rehab process. Especially with the show being on VH1, my intuition told me that "Celebrity Rehab" would be this BS game show-type reality show similar to "The Surreal Life" or "Celebrity Fit Club".

In a lot of ways, I think VH1 executives may have wanted "Celebrity Rehab" to be that kind of show. Fortunately, it didn't turn out to be that way, especially with Dr. Drew Pinsky as the head doctor on the show. Dr. Drew is a guy with a good sense of humor, as anyone who has heard the radio show "Loveline" knows. However, he is also a good, smart doctor who takes his field of work seriously despite his celebrity status. When you see him on camera, you can tell that he really cares about his patients, and is doing this reality show to help them and others who may be watching. He does all this without constantly looking into the camera or looking down on his patients. I think that approach to rehabilitation is unorthodox, but it appears to be effective.

I think the main focus of this show is redemption. You look at these B and C-list celebrities, and you see humans, especially in the case of Jeff Conaway. Conaway made a brief and belligerent appearance in 2006 on the third season of "Celebrity Fit Club", and it was made quickly aware to millions of viewers that he had a drug problem that affected everyone around him. On "Celebrity Fit Club", he came off as a jerk, but he's in the process of redeeming himself on "Celebrity Rehab". It is a shame seeing him in a wheelchair because of his back problems, but it's a relief that he's making efforts to improve himself. He has said on the show that this show marks his eleventh time in rehab, but hopefully this stay will be his last.

This show is a good change for VH1 amidst the usual "Best Week Ever" and other shows which involve mostly celebrity gossip. It's educational as well as not sugar coated. I sure hope the celebrities on this show improve in the long run. Of course there are some who are having an easier time than others, but it's good to see most of them trying to improve. Above all, this show, along with "Celebrity Fit Club", is one of the few TV shows, let alone reality shows, that I actually look forward to seeing every week.
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Thoughts From A Rehab-er
benedict_canyon10 March 2008
Thoughts From A Rehab-er

I have been to Rehab and, Sir, this is not the rehab I have been to...

OK. Maybe they did have to make their own beds and they DID all have to eat together and go to their groups, do their own makeup, and other stuff that "regular" treatment patients have to do, but this just did not seem like the "rehab" I went to when I overdosed on Butalbital and Amaretto. This Rehab is cushier and affected. I was not babied, as it appears some of these folks were, and there was a NO SMOKING rule (they might as well have taken my caffeine from me, too).

Of course, there were no cameras and I was not accustomed to fame and fortune, but I was still an addict looking for help. I wonder what it would have been like if I had been famous...


I believe that the more "special" these people are taught to believe that they are, the harder it will be for them to accept their realities of being addicts and alcoholics.

The plain truth is that our little "sacred circles," as Bob Forrest wisely coined them, are simply circles of addicts and alcoholics who have progressively gone down further and further to the point that they cannot stand to live with or look at themselves any longer.

There is no "special-ness" about any addict/alcoholic and THAT, my friends, is what helps us to accept the idea that we are all the same and when it comes down to it, we are all responsible for our own behavior and misbehavior.

The sooner that this recovery community of "stars" accepts this, the better (for them).

I am thinking that it would even be a wise move to mix it up a little bit. Let's put the celebs and the noncelebs together in treatment. Let's gently move the famous into the real world with us regular addicts and see how that works?

A big part of sober living and sober mentality is the idea that you are not any more special than anyone else. I believe that should be the next move in Celebrity Rehab II.
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Relics of a Failing Drug War
Jackalthing17 March 2008
Warning: Spoilers
This pained me to watch for a few reasons.

First off, I do honestly believe that this isn't a bad premise, and I was morbidly fascinated throughout the entire show-- mostly at how everyone there was their own personal trainwreck (to an extreme-- I've known plenty of drug users and I've thankfully never trucked with this particular breed of them), and how eagerly the staff seemed to exercise a need to be controlling, even authoritarian-- which may have been necessary with these people, but even then. In the reunion there was comments about how Dr. Drew and others on staff were painted as the bad guys-- frankly, the moment they started up with propaganda that had no basis in MEDICAL fact (saying nothing of psychology, which dictates that anyone can be addicted to anything, it doesn't matter if it's heroin or pink fluffy bunny slippers)... that was the moment I couldn't help feeling bad for the already arsed-up inpatients.

As a professional, the 'good' doctor shouldn't be spreading misinformation about the drugs he's attempting to undermine. The unfortunate side-effect of this guilty pleasure put out by VH1 is that it still serves as a mouthpiece for the failing war on drugs, which costs us more money and causes more problems than the legalization of one of the substances he goes to town on-- namely, marijuana. I notice how it's all the same demonizing crap you see in abstinence-only campaigns against teen sex-- and hilariously, it's that attitude that tends to drive people towards these outlets. The show had a chance to demystify drugs and it didn't-- in the end, that's what earned it the low 3 on the voting scale.

There was very little attempt to address people who make use of marijuana and other pain medications-- be it oxycontin, vicodin, any of the opiates, muscle relaxants-- properly. Even amphetamines weren't all that readily discussed. There was very little attempt to show responsible drug use as opposed to just the blanket statement of 'drugs r bad mmkay?' Considering the typical audience for reality TV-- undoubtedly I'll get kicked for saying so, but-- the tailoring of the medium is incredibly telling of what side of the fence these people stand on. Even if I'm with everyone else saying 'my god, these people are throwing their lives away,' (Conaway's record amounts of pain pills seriously blew me away-- I can barely take half a vicodin and I suffer from chronic pain, myself) the utter lack of attention to actual, factual details and the unbelievably Draconian ideals expressed in the series made it a triple-edged sword, one that most won't be able to parse without flailing around an agenda that should have died off a long, long time ago.

In the end, I was suckered in just like everyone else-- but if you're gonna have a pot user up there, you may as well have an internet addict, a porn junkie and an energy drink fiend right up there with them. Better yet, get an overzealous Christian up there as well; I've known plenty of people addicted to religion.

This isn't a bad idea, but the execution was all wrong, and the gross misinterpretation of blatant fact interwoven so imperceptibly with ACTUAL facts makes it an unfortunate addition to a suffocatingly inane line-up. Also: thanks to Jeff Conaway's 'performance,' I'm pretty sure I'll never be able to lol at Taxi as much as I used to. Damn you, Celebrity Rehab!
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Can an addict really be reformed?
johnnymacbest26 July 2010
The topic of drug addiction has been discussed on so many levels as of late; from talk shows, movies, TV, radio, and of course the internet. You name it. True, some of the facts and opinions being said on such facts tend to sometimes lead to no easy answers, but when the process of being physically involved in saving the person's life from their doom is portrayed so poorly on a show such as this, it leads me to wonder if the addicts can be reformed, in this case, celebrities. Or is it that the so-called doctor is actually doing his job and not trying to cash in on the fad. I beg to differ because I don't think this show is addressing the issues that these addicts are facing in a professional matter. Drug addiction is NOT meant to be televised for entertainment. It's to help those who are truly struggling against a debilitating disease. Like it or not, drug addiction is in fact A DISEASE. Those that try to sugarcoat is being in denial and arrogant. The callousness of the shows staff and it's ringleader of this circus from hell couldn't be more clear. In that respect alone, these celebrities deserve each other. I can recall another well-known show that is nothing more than pure exhibition, but that's another topic for another time.

What I really felt is that no matter how adamant the host seems to be at trying to help these poor, lost souls, the pain truth is that none of them want to be helped. They just want fame and attention; albeit in a dark and absurd manner which goes as far as to say to something of the effect of "bringing a loaded gun to school". When your a celebrity, you are loved and adorned all throughout the world and people like to see that. But the life of a celebrity is a double-edged sword because the last thing people want is to see them fall. That is the sad reality we live in and it's having a negative effect on children and teens, some of which, aspire to be just like them. If these people are willing to rid themselves of their inner turmoil, then by all accounts they should seek out private and professional help, NOT let themselves be paraded like a bunch of jackasses on live television. In the case of Lindsay Lohan, personally, I don't think she wants to be helped. The recent news of her sentence being shortened to a mere 3 weeks is nothing more than a slap on the wrist. This same arrogance, this same blatant disregard for not only for his/her safety, but for the public, is definitive proof that America's drug culture is being ignored by politics and media. This show does nothing for them, nor does it cover any ground relating to this national crisis. It is pure exhibitionism. And that's the sad truth.
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rehab-exploitation or sincere
SnoopyStyle21 August 2013
Dr Drew Pinsky helps drug addicted celebrities get treatment. Exploitation! At least that's the complaints from most of the critics. Sure somewhere along the line, somebody has to make some money. But I'm not going to be so cynical. As for the other criticism that these are B-list or lower celebs, I think those people missed the point.

The journey these people go thru is fascinating and eye opening. Dr Drew is not as critical of these people as maybe I would want to be, but I think these aren't in-depth investigations as much as personal recovery. In that sense, digging up old wounds may be counter productive. I really get invested in these people's lives. Sometimes, I do feel the celebs are a little self serving. Dr Drew may treat some with kid gloves. But overall, it's a compelling watch.
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