Gravy Train

Never mind the bleeps, here comes The Osbournes

It's not with a little pleasure that I begin this piece with a toldyaso. See, already you're getting sick to death of the stumbling-mumbling-fumblings of the Osbourne clan, currently shilling for Pepsi after torpedoing the American Music Awards (not hard work sinking Dick Clark's leaky ship, but still). Turns out Season Two may be Season Last since the once-beloved "reality sitcom" draws fewer viewers than a State of the Union recap on the Fox News Channel (no, really). And such a pity, too; I was so hoping to watch years' worth of dog shits and Ozzy tidbits ("Tellthevaginadoctortogofuckherselfthefuckingcunt") when not channel-surfing between episodes of When Push Comes to Shove(a new NBC show in which contestants throw each other off 50-story skyscrapers) and How Much Does This Hurt? (CBS' latest reality show, in which surgeries are performed without anesthesia).

Since the Ozzies aren't overexposed enough, what with Kelly's new CD garnering decent words from crits deaf-dumb-and-kind and Jack's burgeoning interest in a music biz that made daddy millions well after his milk went sour, Miramax Home Entertainment unleashes this week The Osbournes: The First Season, in all its unexpurgated glory--meaning, in other words, every last "shit," "fuck" and "cunt" without that blasted bleep to dilute your dollars' worth. Better still, you get plenty of outtakes and bloopers and interviews (with Ozzy, the burnout who's only intelligible when screaming at the top of his lungs--eh, Sharon!?!?) and games, among them one in which you're asked to match the dog shit to the dog--sort of like Miramax's Project GreenlightDVD, without the shame.

Maybe it's all that Joe Millionaireand Michael Jackson nonsense to which we've been subjected in recent weeks, but suddenly The Osbournesain't looking so bad; better these dolts than those, perhaps, if only because Ozzy, Sharon, Jack and Kelly don't pretend to be anything other than well-off buffoons with little better to do than curse and clean up after their pets. The kids are spoiled and annoying as hell: Jack's perfect for the music biz, 'cause he's got no taste, and if the voice-processed-like-cheese Kelly really sounds like her album when she plays South by Southwest, I'llbite the head off a bat. But there's something endearing about Ozzy; he's the heavy-metal Alzheimered-out grandfather I never got the chance to have. And Sharon's the genius in the bunch, an inner child with cold-blooded business acumen; she'd rather talk about the time she gave Ozzy a hummer after curry dinner (uh, yuck), but relishes the chance to hold up a promoter dicking her about on a contract.

Funny thing is, one day we'll look back on The Osbourneswith the dewy eyes of nostalgia, recalling a simpler time before Corey Feldman and Melissa Rivers were given their own shows and referred to, with straight faces, as "celebrities" by TV execs who wouldn't know a good show if it took a dump on their carpet. May not be the real world, or The Real World, but at least The Osbournesfelt, during its first season, tangible enough--nice house gone to hell beneath the weight of so much family friction, bad parenting, pampered pets and spoiled brats, which sounds like every home in which the show was airing. Too bad Sharon's gotta ruin all that good will with her forthcoming talk show. Doesn't she know we have no interest in watching her kiss ass; we wanna watch her wipe it.

 
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