Today's NPR commentary: Addicted to A&E's Relapse and Dr. Drew Pinsky's Addiction TV
My name is Eric, and I'm addicted to Intervention.
Not weepy confrontantions with assorted loves ones and relatives. I'm talking about A&E's series on addicts pushed into treatment by those who care about them most.
But at a time when celebrity nutball Charlie Sheen is drawing crowds at concerts halls ready to gawk at his mania up close, I worry that my jones for such series -- I'm also a fan of A&E's Hoarders and TLC's Hoarders: Buried Alive -- is more about the juice which comes from seeing people in much worse circumstances than my own.
That's why I centered this week's NPR commentary on A&E's newest addition into the addiction TV genre, a series on sober coaching called Relapse. Like Intervention, its a series that may teach you a little bit about the ups and down of addiction, drawing you in with the sizzle of lives gone spectacularly wrong.
And Relapse just happens to debut on the same night as a new show on HLN hosted by celebrity addiction expert Dr. Drew Pinsky. Titled simply Dr. Drew, it's the fourth TV series the good doctor will star in this year, including VH1's Celebrity Rehab and Sober House and the daytime series Lifechangers.
For my day job, I tracked down Pinsky and asked him the same question I chew over in this week's NPR commentary: If you draw us in with the spectacle of an addict's downward spiral, won't any lessons get lost in the exploitation?
"I don't know that I can change what people do. I just want them to think about it," said Pinsky, who also will keep doing his Loveline radio program while on the CW, HLN and VH1. "It's just like if you drive by a freeway accident, you still might slow down and look, but at least feel bad about it (laughs). Maybe you'll learn something." See the rest of our conversation by clicking here.
Judge for yourselves when both shows debut tonight. Here's audio of the actual commentary.