Celeb-reality hits new lows on E!

BY TRINA MANNINO
For the Daily
Published June 1, 2008

Denise Richards: It's Complicated

Brian Merlos
(Courtesy of E! Entertainment)
Kate Truesdell
(Courtesy of E! Entertainment)

Rating: 1 out of 5 star

Living Lohan

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Sundays at 10-11 p.m.

E!

This Memorial Day, E! Entertainment gave America a real treat. Not one, but two celeb-reality shows debuted: "Denise Richards: It's Complicated" and "Living Lohan." These two new shows aren't your run-of-the-mill celeb-reality series featuring dysfunctional families, tiny little dogs, and stupid plotlines. Instead, these shows include not only the previously mentioned components of a so-bad-it's-good celeb-reality show, but also managed to sink even deeper. The main "characters," Denise Richards and Dina Lohan, exploit their families while trying to put various nasty rumors to rest and going to extreme lengths to keep themselves in the spotlight.

"It's Complicated" follows the life of B-list actress Denise Richards ("Starship Troopers") post Charlie Sheen divorce. The show's main purpose is to defuse the rampant tabloid rumors concerning said divorce and her terrible taste in men. Richards desperately tries to portray her life as wholesome and normal by showing her interaction with her two daughters, live-in dad, and menagerie of pets, which includes three pot-bellied pigs. The first episode reveals that after being divorced for two years, the actress has casually dated both actors and rockers, most notably ex-best friend Heather Locklear's ex-husband Richie Sambora, and is proud of it. Denise also demonstrates her normalcy by searching for her dating history on the internet, having a spray tan technician make a house call, and searching for a spade for her pig Charlotte. Meanwhile, her two full time assistants and dad pick up the loose ends at home.

Following the Richards's train-wreck, "Living Lohan" explores the lives of Lindsay Lohan's mother, Dina, and sister, Ali. In the show, 14 year-old Ali is in the midst of recording her second album and aspires to be just like big sis and paparazzi favorite LiLo. Dina fills in as Ali's under-qualified manager and claims she wants Ali to follow her dreams of becoming a pop singer. However, while watching Dina dress up in clothing even a young woman shouldn't wear and flirting with a producer half her age, it is hard to tell if Mama Lohan is trying to help her daughter follow her dream or getting wrapped up in her own obsession of becoming famous.

Both Richards and Lohan claim they want to stop the rumors once and for all by showing America that their families are normal. "Denise Richards: Its Complicated" falls flat despite Richards' desperate attempt to be entertaining and funny. The show regurgitates silly scenarios that have been exhausated by past celeb-reality shows. For a woman who wants to set the record straight, Richards' behavior shows otherwise. "Living Lohan" is mildly entertaining but leaves one feeling like they witnessed something they shouldn't have. Dina's stage mother persona gives insight into Lindsay's recent behavior and choices. After watching the first episodes of both shows, it's apparent that Denise and Dina have much more in common than initially perceived. Both women are desperate for attention, delusional about what is appropriate, and have no clue of how ridiculous they look on camera.