'Osbournes: Reloaded,' premiering Tuesday on Fox
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Newsday (MCT) - REASON TO WATCH: Strictly for Osbournes fans only, and even then ...
WHAT IT'S ABOUT: A variety show, with gags, musical guests, comedy bits, and on and on, fronted by the Osbournes _ Sharon, Ozzy, Jack and Kelly. Fox declined (wisely) to offer any sort of meaningful look of the show, but instead coughed up a brief preview reel for sacrifice. Therein, Sharon O promises/warns that "This is a show where anything can happen to anyone at any time. If you're looking for a good old traditional variety show, you might wanna change the (bleeping) channel."
Bits include a pretaped segment with the Osbournes working at a drive-in fast-food restaurant, with Ozzy chucking fries or burgers at customers; an elderly woman stripping behind a screen before a live studio audience; another taped bit about two very young children described as "The Littlest Osbournes" _ presumably Ozzy and Sharon as babes _ who demand entrance to a movie and warn a reluctant ticket collector of a very gross consequence if she does not oblige; Pamela Anderson, as a mystery guest, whose identity the blindfolded Osbournes must guess; some other blindfolded guy from the audience is asked to kiss a stranger, who turns out to be the elderly woman, now fully clothed. For a loose comparison, think "Howie Do It."
BOTTOM LINE: The Osbournes left the TV stage almost four years ago after an improbable MTV run that actually spawned a subgenre still begging for a name _ reality shows about celebrities with a boundless capacity for self-abasement. Some fans declared "The Osbournes" a masterpiece of its kind _ an inverted "Father Knows Best" with father as a former headbanger who has an uneven grasp of reality due to an oceanic ingestion of drugs in his past.
Nevertheless, I'd hazard a guess that even Ozzoids will struggle with an answer to this question: Why are the Osbournes back? Is there something we missed during the MTV run _ something so charming and hilarious and special that a return engagement was just a matter of time?
The honest answer is no. We got the joke. It wore thin. We moved on. This clan, apparently, has not. The clip reel wasn't merely execrable: The whole thing just felt so slack and lazy, as if the O's had turned up five minutes before taping. Watch if you must _ and Fox is guaranteeing that you must by ramming this down a few million unsuspecting throats after "American Idol." But be mindful of Sharon's sage counsel. If you want a good old variety show, change the (bleeping) channel.
GRADE: I for "incomplete," but F for the preview reel.
Tuesday at 9:20 p.m. EDT on Fox
© 2009, Newsday.
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