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Posted at 10:43 AM ET, 05/28/2008

Reality Check: Living La Vida Lohan

By Liz Kelly

If you disliked Dina Lohan (aka "White Oprah") before -- as the hard-partying mother of Lindsay, whose very public divorce battle with then-incarcerated husband Michael made for tabloid gold -- you'll full on detest her after watching just one episode -- approximately 22 minutes, sans commercials -- of E!'s latest foray into celeb-reality, "Living Lohan."

I endured Monday night's debut episode to deliver to you, in convenient digested (and regurgitated) form, this important message: Don't watch.


First off, Dina is not a likeable sort of woman. She's crass. She's overwhelmed by a flowing mane of hair extensions. She describes herself as daughter Ali's "manager" more than as her "mother." Think "Real Housewives of NYC" meets Joan Crawford and you're on the right track. I had an unshakeable urge to key her Range Rover or push her down off the four-inch stiletto heels she wears around the house. And I wanted to shake this woman for somehow producing a cool, yet mostly ignored, son (Cody, 11) who seems to haunt the house as an afterthought while Dina concentrates on getting 14-year-old Ali's singing career off the ground (with the financial backing of some Vegas hotel owners). Nevermind that Ali's "singing" would scare raccoons away from trash cans.

I could go on, at length, with this stuff -- bashing Dina for pushing another teen daughter into a shaky career trajectory or for decorating her home like a second-rate Carmela Soprano (though this is Long Island). But, life is short, and the show's worst crime: it's boring. The most drama the producers could pull out for this premiere episode was a chronicle of Dina's obsessive scans of tabloids and blogs for news about daughter Lilo and a (seemingly) manufactured false romance between Lilo and Ali's music producer Jeremy (think K-Fed, but less cool).

On Monday, Dina told the "View" coffee klatch that she had no choice but to do a reality show. Fortunately, we do have a choice. Despite Monday's opening night numbers -- which were respectable in a cable kind of way -- spend next Monday evening organizing your sock drawer. Your brain cells will thank you.

P.S. As for E!'s other Monday night debut, "Denise Richards: It's Complicated." It's not. It's plain dumb. And gross. I'm not sure which is going to haunt me longer -- Richards's swears-like-a-sailor mouth or the image of her holding a pig as it defecates all over her kitchen. That bad? Yes. I think I'm actually swinging over to Charlie Sheen's side here.

P.S.S. If you did happen to watch, Mom Logic asks -- Which is the worst mom: Dina or Denise?

By Liz Kelly  | May 28, 2008; 10:43 AM ET
Categories:  Lindsay Lohan, Reality Check  
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"or the image of her holding a pig as it defecates all over her kitchen"

Um, what? What? If this group of words means what it appears to mean, then EW! And maybe E! should change it's name to the EW! network.

I grew up on and around farms of varous types and there is absolutely no excuse for livestock in the house. Period. End of discussion.

Posted by: sunnydaze | May 28, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

"cool, yet mostly ignored, son ...who seems to haunt the house as an afterthought"

Hmmm...that was a pretty accurate description of Daniel Smith, too.

Posted by: MoCoSnarky | May 28, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

liz kelly, thanks for watching so we don't have to.

i just don't get moms who feel the need to live vicariously through (read: pimp out) their kids.

dina did the reality show because didn't have a choice? how about getting a real job instead of living off your children?

Posted by: b | May 28, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Liz Kelly, I honor your sacrifice. Man, even the preview can't make it look dramatic. Her "take you down" line is "If they go after Ali like this, it's gonna mean war"?? What? That's her big scary world-taking-on gesture? Wow. I'm shaking in my boots.

Posted by: h3 | May 28, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

i dont get the whole "tabloids going after lindsay" diatribe that dina talks about. The tabloids just take pictures of lindsay drinking, passed out, clubbing, etc. they aren't giving her the alcohol or drugs!

Posted by: DC | May 28, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Okay okay so I couldn't resist taping the first episodes of each of these, and Denise wins as the worse parent. Because she rarely interacts with her kids at all, just with her assistant, her friend, her date, and her dad (who, one suspects, has actually been brought in to do all the cooking). Dina, unlikeable as she is, is busily schlepping around with the dry cleaning and bags of groceries. She comes across as the quintessential annoying Long Island helicopter mom. But a Mom nonetheless. Denise is just about . . . Denise.

Posted by: My eyes burn | May 28, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Maybe Denise Richards can let the pig take a dump all over Dina Lohan's kitchen. After watching these two crappy shows, poor Liz had to clean up her mind.

Posted by: Sasquatch | May 28, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Although I'm pretty sure I lost a good eighth of my brain cells I also tuned into these. Liz, you definitely got it right. Boring, dumb, and actually makes them both look worse! As far as who is the worst Mom, I have to go with Denise. The 10 dogs, 3 cats, and now 3 pigs seem to get more attention than the daughters. Not to mention her quest to find a new man seems more focused on finding a "bad boy" than one who might actually be good for her kids.
I always assumed behind that sweet smile was a sweet girl from the Midwest. (as she claims) Wrong!

Posted by: Alex | May 28, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Why do Dina and Denise get multiple episodes while poor Victoria Beckham's reality show became a one-time special? There is no justice in this world.

Posted by: td | May 28, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Both shows were done in an effort to show the "real" mom and how good she was. Well, they got it half right.

Denise is the worst mom. Dina's kids are old enough and independent enough to leave the house while filming is going on. Denise's kids have no choice. A real no choice, not Dina's "I couldn't think of another way to get on tv" choice. Plus, Charlie objected to his kids being used on the show. Denise had to get a judge's permission to do it. Which also means the judge should be removed from the bench. If a pyscho mother ask the court for permission to exploit her children the answer is NO.

Posted by: ep | May 28, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Liz Kelly, you must be feeling really confident that we can avoid another Booby Kennedy Day. Yesterday it was Miley Cyrus, today the Lohans. Maybe we're finally rid of them. Not even a comment from luvlindsey who stuck around a lot longer than the rest.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 28, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

wait a minute - there's a video of Denise Richards with a pig taking a dump... and i dont have to pay to see it? That's an attachment that's going to all my friends... Sure, Senator Stevens might object - but so long as the intarweb tubes are filled with that sort of material i'll settle for delayed email anytime.

Posted by: Quintilus Varus | May 28, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

I think I'd rather watch Denise Richards sit silent in a chair while more talented actresses (that includes just about everyone) deliver -- think Love Letters -- classic lines from Denise's role as Dr. Christmas Jones in the James Bond movie, "The World Is Not Enough," for example (courtesy of IMDb):

"The world's greatest terrorist running around with six kilos of weapons-grade plutonium can't be good. I gotta get it back, or someone's gonna have my a**."

Too bad no one had the sense to throw six kilos of weapons-grade plutonium at this reality show before it aired. Poor Liz!

Posted by: td | May 28, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

I think we've found the replacement for the phrase "jump the shark" or "jump the couch" (yeah, Tom, I'm talking to you) -- Denise Richard's pig defecated all over the kitchen.

As in, "I think the Lohan media saturation has reached the point where it's really just Denise Richard's pig defecating all over the kitchen."

Posted by: M Street | May 28, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Watched both shows...HATED both shows...pig poop...pig penis...and Ali Lohan cryin...I mean singing...I couldn't deal at all

And Denise employed her father as a cook/servant/babysitter...she's far worse than Dina.

Posted by: Bean Sprout | May 28, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Why does Denise have an assistant? I didn't think she had a schedule that would warrant an assistant.

Thanks tons Liz for going through that.

On the matter of which is worse, I think it's a toss up. On one hand Dina has run one kid into the ground and is working on the other. Then there's Denise who seems to have started the pimping at an early age. It's really hard to pick.

Posted by: petal | May 28, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

It's no wonder that Lindsay is such a mess. With a mom like Dina and a dad like Michael, you'd have to have the patience of a saint to come through it unscathed. Remember when she was all cute in the Parent Trap? Maybe we can arrange for her to get on an episode of Lost and then she can go back in time and redo the last 10 years...

Posted by: wafer | May 28, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

After watching Denise's show for 10 minutes, I'm on Team Charlie.

Please call Children Services of Long Island to save Cody Lohan from his crazy family.

Posted by: Lisa1 | May 28, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

To anon at 11:50--I think everyone agrees that luvlindsey was one of the "regular" posters having a laugh.

But I, too, am surprised at the lack of response to the Miley/Lindsay blogs. I felt sure Liz Kelly was courting a nuclear retaliation of some sort.

Posted by: (real)alex | May 28, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

The TTT have short attention spans. Something flashy could have caught their eyes that and the fact that these posts aren't on the homepage. They would have to look for it.

Posted by: petal | May 28, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Both seemed pretty bad, but Denise's kids are younger, so they'll have to spend longer subjected to their mother's craving for attention. If I were Charlie Sheen, I'd be seriously thinking about revisiting the custody arrangement.
It's as though Dina Lohan thinks her older daughter's eating disorder, disregard for her own privacy and dignity, and drug/alcohol addiction happened in some other universe. It's apparently never occurred to her that the dynamics of their household may have had something to do with it, so now she's happily off to sell her second girl to the highest bidder. Her son better hope he can't sing.

Posted by: JanetK | May 28, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

I guess when you're an entertainment blogger you gotta take the pig excrement along with the John Schneider & Henry Ian Cusick interviews.

Sometimes I don't envy you the job of watching crap but I'm guessing that it's better to get paid for watching crap than watching crap for free, which is what most of us do.

Posted by: Bored @ work | May 28, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

You have to have a license to drive a car, fish and get married, but unfortunately, you don't have to have a license to have kids.

I can't believe that either mom would do a reality show voluntarily. It's like they have no concept of how messed up they are.

(Hope I'm welcome to the group. I'm a long time reader, first time poster)

Posted by: dixie chick | May 28, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

"Her son better hope he can't sing.

Posted by: JanetK | May 28, 2008 1:01 PM"

JanetK, from some of the other posts, that doesn't seem to be preventing Dina from pimping...err, I mean managing Ali's "singing" career.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 28, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

So Denise Richards trades Charlie Sheen for a couple of pigs. Am I the only one who sees irony in this?

Posted by: Sasquatch | May 28, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

I cant believe child services hasnt been called on Dina. She enables lindsay's drug/alcohol addiction (arent there pix of dina and lindsay doing coke together?), and is now exploiting a second daughter. perhaps she's hoping she can get a 2-for-1 one discount at rehab for both ali and "linsey"

Posted by: Shakes, VA | May 28, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

I don't think the Lohan's are going to get any of the tween set rushing to their addled defense. Having watched neither show, I think I can safely say that both are equally bad, that Charlie probably should have the kids and that Diana Lohan's final end may very well be in concrete shoes after kid #2's career flames out.

Wait, how can one be "less cool" than K-Fed? Is this dude a total d-bag?

Posted by: EricS | May 28, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

When's VH-1's 50 Worst Moms (or maybe 100 Worst Parents?) airing?

There's the Culkins, Joe Simpson, the Spears', the Lohans, the Cyrus', Denise Richards, the Hogans, etc.

Posted by: WDC 21113 | May 28, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Um, it's "P.P.S." -- not "P.S.S." I mean, what the heck is a post script script?

Posted by: Bryan | May 28, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Um, it's "P.P.S." -- not "P.S.S." I mean, what the heck is a post script script?

Posted by: Bryan | May 28, 2008 2:36 PM

Maybe post sub script?

Posted by: English 101 | May 28, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

How about NOBODY watches those so-called shows poor Liz had to review. Wow, I've never watched anything on that channel before and I'm sure not ever going to now! Didn't know that "E!" stood for embarrassed, which, whoever owns that station should be.

Posted by: WI | May 28, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

I threw up a little in my mouth watching those women. They give moms a bad name. Totally unwatchable, won't tune in again. Let's pray that they are pulled off the air quickly and the shows die an ugly, permanent death. Shame on both of them.

Posted by: vicki Pasadena, CA | May 28, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

E! is a pathetic network. The Kardashians are despicable gold diggers with porn skank as its star, Dina Lohan is party hard wanna be MILF whos daughter is a lesbian and addicticted to booze before she was 21, and Denise Richards comes off as just crazy for doing a realty show.

All of these shows are an embarassement to the United States.

Posted by: E is Gross | May 28, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Presenting: "Lohan Lohan - Deuce" -- The tale of a self-indulgent cougar's strange, moronic journey from L.I. to E! made a wrong journey from L.I. to E!
Lohan, Lohan!
You ruined daughter Lindsay, now you're wrecking Ali
Lohan, Lohan!

When the nay sayers nay you go on the set
Say nothing's going to stop me, I was once a Rockette [liar]
I'm whoring my children sans a hint of regret
Lohan LOHAN!

Posted by: Rochelle Rochelle | May 28, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Ok, between the mention of Denise Richards' pig defecating all over her kitchen and last week's video of Amy Winehouse and the mice, I think we're getting into some strange territory here. I hesitate to think what's next...

Posted by: Sappho | May 28, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

E! is a pathetic network

Yeah...the only thing good on E! is The Soup.

Posted by: beaker | May 28, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

E! is a pathetic network

Yeah...the only thing good on E! is The Soup.

Posted by: beaker | May 28, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

you mean there's another lohan kid!?! why hasn't someone stopped that woman from breeding already. there are already enough stupid people polluting the planet we don't really need anymore.

Posted by: melissamac1 | May 28, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Then there's Style and Kimora's Life in the Fab Lane -- I can't even tolerate the 20 second ads while I'm watching Peter Perfect or Clean House. Talk about a big ol' B.

Posted by: WDC 21113 | May 28, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Lohan was born on East 236th Street in the Woodlawn section of the Bronx and grew up in Merrick and Cold Spring Harbor on Long Island. She is the eldest child of Donata "Dina" (née Sullivan), a former Rockette, and Michael Douglas Lohan, Sr., a onetime actor. Lohan has three younger siblings, all of whom are actor-models: brother Michael Jr., whom she affectionately calls "Punk," appeared with her in The Parent Trap as the "Lost Boy at Camp"; sister Aliana had a small role in Freaky Friday, as did brother Dakota, the youngest Lohan child, whom she once saved from drowning. Most recently she starred alongside Jane Fonda in "Georgia Rule".

Posted by: There are 4... | May 28, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

There are 4...who are you, Lilo's publicist?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 28, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

I think that was someone helpfully pointing out (by pasting Lindsay's bio) that she has *three* younger siblings. So there's Ali, Cody, AND ANOTHER ONE. Hold onto your hats!

Posted by: h3 | May 28, 2008 6:08 PM | Report abuse

To Liz,

It's not P.S.S., it's P.P.S... "Post Post Script", not "Post Script Script."

For future reference.

Posted by: Doesn't Matter | May 28, 2008 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Um...h3, I got that, I was I guess you didn't get that.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 28, 2008 10:36 PM | Report abuse

I've been on Charlie's side for a while now. At least he wears his vices on his sleeve for all to see. Richards' were creeping and insidious and swathed in mystery until they threw up all over our TV screens. K-Fed, now Charlie -- not to mention the train wreck that is Dina Lohan. Motherhood ain't what it used to be, eh?

Posted by: LLL | May 28, 2008 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Those kids need entertainment careers. How could they ever pay for the amount of counselling they need with these parents, working an average paying job?

Posted by: HÃ¥gar | May 29, 2008 6:58 AM | Report abuse

There are 4...who are you, Lilo's publicist?

Posted by: | May 28, 2008 5:07 PM

I think that was someone helpfully pointing out (by pasting Lindsay's bio) that she has *three* younger siblings. So there's Ali, Cody, AND ANOTHER ONE. Hold onto your hats!

Posted by: h3 | May 28, 2008 6:08 PM

Not even a fan. Looked it up on-line. And cut and pasted. Probably should have given credit to the site, but I didn't. Oh well.

Posted by: re. there are 4 | May 29, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Ah, facetiousness. Difficult to perceive in blog comments by strangers.

Posted by: h3 | May 29, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

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