On Sunday, March 19, the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) debuted a new documentary series featuring Lindsay Lohan, the troubled celebrity and once-lauded actress whose bad behavior and rehab stints have made international headlines over the past several years. In this reality show, Lindsay hopes to improve her public image and set the record straight, on her own terms.
The first episode follows Lindsay as she graduates from a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program in Malibu and moves to New York City to attempt to settle down and rebuild her acting career. Since this is the sixth time that Lindsay has gone to rehab, critics are skeptical of the prospect that she is truly clean and able to return to her previous successes.
The eight-week docuseries will not only show Lindsay’s life and times as she moves forward with a new outlook, but is interspersed with clips and interviews with the actress by Oprah Winfrey herself. The participation of the warm and fuzzy media mogul brings cachet and gravity to what would otherwise be another reality show about an addled starlet.
While Lindsay seemed fairly stable in the first episode, spouting self-help cliches and taking Oprah’s advice on her workload and priorities, by the end of the episode the actress was notably tense and frazzled. That pattern looks like it will continue throughout the series, as the previews for next week’s episode showed Lindsay having a full-on meltdown while being chastised by Winfrey.
Despite this predictable pattern, the show will appeal to both fans of Lindsay who hope that she has the moxie to mount a comeback, as well as trainwreck-seekers and those who are simply curious about how the other half lives. With that combination, Lindsay looks to be a triumph for OWN, which has few hits to date despite Winfrey’s star power.