The 12 Steps of Watching Lindsay Lohan's Chaotic New Reality Show


Lindsay was supposed to be her redemption song, but it’s unlikely that Lindsay Lohan can carry the tune. It was apparent very early on in last night’s premiere of the OWN docu-series—particularly when she was shown ditching her AA meetings within days of leaving her sixth stint in rehab—that Lindsay is not doing her step work. So let’s run through the 12 steps of watching her show.

1.) Admitting that Lindsay’s life is unmanageable.

The first episode of Lindsay focused on the 27-year-old’s move to NYC, which involved her sifting though boxes upon boxes of crap—mostly clothing, costume jewelry, and old journals from previous stays in rehab—from a massive, warehouse-like facility of storage units in LA to stuff she had stashed in her mom’s Long Island garage. It was never really clear how or if she was organizing anything, as it seemed that she was mostly just rooting through piles for some stuff to wear or bring back to her hotel room.

The girl is a hoarder, and so she literally has a shit ton of baggage. She seems completely incapable of getting it in order—or even letting any of it go—and instead just creates a bigger mess every time she’s confronted with it. The entire situation is one big screaming analogy for the way she lives the rest of her life.

2.) Believing a higher power can restore sanity.

That higher power is Oprah, obviously.

3.) Making decisions.

The theme of the first episode revolves around Lindsay canceling stuff—AA meetings, promotional appearances, work commitments, etc. She always had a reason for her decisions. But “reason” is also another way to say “excuse.”

In one scene we learn that the only way Lindsay can afford to get to Venice to promote The Canyons is if GQ pays for her tickets. The only way GQ will pay for her tickets is if she first appears at the magazine’s event in London. After discussing it over with her sober coach Mike, Lindsay decides that the promotional appearances are pointless since she has no other work to discuss on the red carpet, and doesn’t want to speak about having just left rehab.

A few days later she decides to make a cameo in a lingerie ad/short film, but only after the director agrees to work according to her schedule (that is otherwise completely empty), which means that he would have to move his 5 am call time to noon. When she arrives on set (seemingly late), she immediately gets into an argument with the director over the creative direction of the shoot. She insinuates that he lied to her and says that she hates liars. She begins to cry as she tells him that she cancelled her trip to Venice and London just to shoot this lingerie thing with him. Which is a lie, as evidenced by the previous footage.

4.) Taking a moral inventory.

What keeps Lindsay from being a transformative experience for the actress is that she lacks the self-awareness that’s necessary for self-improvement. Case in point: At one point Lindsay says she’s adjusting after having been “in this bubble where everything was done for me and now I’m figuring everything out by myself.” However, this is said as a voiceover during a scene in which she—on an angry, petulant whim—instructs her personal assistant to quickly go back to her hotel and switch her room because she is “sick” of the one she’s been staying in. This involved several people packing at least a dozen large suitcases worth of clothing—that was spread out in a total mess all over the hotel suite—and moving it and unpacking it in a new location. Lindsay did not in any way help with the move.

5.) Admitting what’s wrong.

Talking about “figuring out everything by myself” while at the same time expecting her assistant to pull off Herculean tasks is demonstrative of the kind of entitlement and willful blindness that prohibits personal growth.

6.) Removing character defects.

It’s going to be awfully difficult for Lindsay to work on herself when she surrounds herself with yes-people who are either sycophantic “friends” or hired help. How can someone fix their faults if they are told they don’t have any?

7.) Getting humble?

It was really clear, even in the first episode, that Lindsay lacks the kind of humility it takes to really succeed with her sobriety. This was apparent when she went to a fashion show that her little sister Ali was walking in. It was supposed to be Ali’s big day, but Lindsay managed to turn it into a spectacle of her own, throwing a hissy fit when she decided to chew out her realtor on the phone over a contract stipulation in lease she wanted to sign. She hadn’t been working or going to meetings. What was she doing during those five weeks after leaving rehab that she simply had to make a call (after business hours) during her sister’s moment to shine?

8.) A list of people.

Here are the people that appeared in the first episode of Lindsay:

  • Mike: Lindsay’s sober coach who is paid to essentially babysit her until she manages to find a sponsor.
  • Matt: Lindsay’s new personal assistant who perpetually wears three-piece suits. He worked for Prince for five years so he’s undoubtedly accustomed to eccentricity, but we’ll see how long he lasts after he realizes that his own sartorial aesthetic doesn’t pair well with the manual labor of hauling suitcases that she requires.
  • Dina: Lindsay’s mom wasn’t involved in her treatment program at all while she was away for 90 days, which is odd because Cliffside Malibu stresses the importance of family therapy. The previews of next week’s episode revolved around Dina getting a DUI so this could get messier.
  • Ali: Lindsay’s sister wasn’t mic’ed for her brief appearance on camera.
  • Cody: Lindsay’s brother would only appear on camera briefly so he could hug his sister goodbye.
  • Chrissie: The LES socialite helped Lindsay go apartment hunting and claimed, unconvincingly, to have enjoyed The Canyons.
  • Markus Klinko and Indrani: The photographers/couple were the directors of the short film that Lindsay bailed on. They had a short-lived Bravo show on which they exploited their friendship with Lindsay. Old habits die hard.

9.) Making amends.

It’s at this point that you should turn to the person sitting next to you on the couch and apologize for making them watch this.

10.) More inventory.

Throughout the airing of Lindsay, there was an ad for Cliffside Malibu during every single commercial break. It just so happened to be where Lindsay’s most recent stint in rehab was completed. Interestingly, Lindsay did not start her treatment at Cliffside. She began at Betty Ford in May 2013, but moved over to Cliffside a month later. Is that because she landed the Oprah interview and show deal, which included complimentary treatment at the advertiser’s facility? A private room at Cliffside goes for about $80,000 for a 30-day stay. Lindsay was there for over two months. If she didn’t have enough money to fly to Venice, she certainly didn’t have $160k to drop on court-ordered rehab.

Mike, Lindsay’s sober coach on the show, is an employee of Cliffside Malibu.

11.) Improve our contact with our high power.

Again, this is Oprah, and we need to see more of her.

12.) Spiritual awakening?

It’s doubtful. Lindsay in Lindsay just seems like same shit, different day. There’s nothing deep or meaningful about this experience—so in that regard it doesn’t differ much from any of Lindsay Lohan’s other work. The bad news is that the only transformation she’s made is of that from movie star to reality star. The good news is that she’s still entertaining

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