Category One: The Ticking Time Bombs
They’re the cockteases of the comeback. Every time these captains of Hollyweird get photographed looking like a person — instead of a wasted Fraggle — they taunt the public with their star potential. Alas, a Category One’s taste for bad behavior involves getting publicly sloshed at every available opportunity, being incapable of sustaining a committed relationship, and an uncontrollable, Tourette’s-like exhibitionism (i.e., hoo-hoo-flashing, nip-slipping, etc.). A penchant for churning out empty claims of being “ready to heal” is also de rigueur. Babyshambles frontman and recovering heroin addict Pete Doherty has repeatedly apologized, via the pages of NME, to everyone for everything he’s ever done. Jodie Foster-v.-2.0 Lindsay Lohan extolled the benefits of clean living to Elle as she was carted back to rehab. And “What Britney Does Next” is like an adult-only version of What Katy Did, Susan Coolidge’s children’s-book series about a little girl who gets herself in terrible scrapes but wants nothing more than to be beautiful, beloved, and good. Considering Marilyn Monroe and Anna Nicole Smith’s personal histories, Spears would be wise to check herself permanently — or at least say that she will before she totally and completely wrecks herself. In this business, even guileless frauds are treated like comeback royalty.
Category Two: The Great Betrayers
We pity the innocent studio-audience members who were hoping their Oprah tickets would coincide with “Favorite Thing Day” instead of “Oprah Nearly Makes an Ex-Junkie Cry on National Television Day.” Awkward! No, her O-ness was not pleased with James Frey — she, of course, chose his “memoir” A Million Little Pieces for her book club. Later, after Winfrey and the rest of the country learned that Frey had fabricated and inflated key facts and details in his story — and after she finished verbally bitch-slapping Frey and his steely publisher, Nan A. Talese of Doubleday, for making her look like an idiot — the entire publishing industry went to bed assuming Frey would never again lift pen to paper. But those lying liars always have some extra tricks up their sleeves. In September, HarperCollins announced it bought the rights to publish Frey’s third book (rumors swirled that the deal was worth $2 million), a novel titled Bright Shiny Morning. All it takes is a public apology or two, a couple of years of peace and quiet, and a conveniently timed bidding war, and even a disgraced writer can make enough money to deceive his readers yet again! Perhaps Frey ought to kick off his book tour with a promotional appearance on everyone’s favorite racist Don Imus’s new morning-drive show. It debuts on WABC-AM in early December, and Imus will have spent a mere eight months off the air for his ill-advised jokes about the Rutgers women’s-basketball team.
: Lifestyle Features
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