Lindsay comes to an end on OWN this Sunday night with a two-hour finale that might liquefy whatever is left inside my skull. To promote it, she went on Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, except apparently the “live” part was not entirely accurate, and said a lot of the types of things one says when one has done a reality show and the resulting portrayal of one’s personality is less than rewarding. Oh, and she also wore a crown:
AND A BRA. In fact, Andy Cohen asked her why she never wears one, and she shrugged that she thinks they’re uncomfortable, and then gestured to her demonstrably present black bra. I REALLY wish I trusted that she wore this outfit specifically as a nod to the Internet criticism she’s received for all that, but I don’t have a read on her self-awareness yet. She pointed it out almost like an afterthought, so if it was meticulously chosen, she forgot that awfully fast. Seriously, if I were on TV in that outfit — or at the grocery store in that outfit, or in my own home in that outfit — I would NEVER be able to forget it. In a bad way.
I MEAN. She looks like the No. 6 skater from one of those small nations that only ever sends, like, half of one figure skater to the Olympics. She’s totally auditioning for Reign, right? Anytime I see someone dressed as Coachella Attendee With Royal Aspirations, I think of that show.
She also does her Real Housewives style walk-with-motto, which she delivers as, “I’m done with mug shots and I’m ready for an Oscar.” She does at least laugh at this, thank God, but later she ALSO tells Andy that former Housewife Jill Zarin, who was fired in 2011, has a message for him — which is that Jill and Dina Lohan should do Real Housewives of New York together and bring up the ratings (their words). I KNEW IT. I KNEW Dina would have her eye on that prize. And that she would somehow try to wrangle Lindsay into giving people the idea. GROSS. STOP IT. To his credit, Andy looks and sounds terrified by that idea and only barely manages to cover it.
#SaveMatt was also present:
He said almost nothing, other than an acknowledgment of his spiffy suit(s). This show has a bar in the back — #SaveMatt was the guest bartender, which is A Thing on this show apparently (I’ve never seen it) [I, on the other hand, am ADDICTED to Bravo so I have seen all of it – J] — and at first I was a little weirded out that Lindsay Lohan was booked on something that usually makes a point of revolving around booze, up to and including a drinking game for the at-home viewer. Because even when you have non-drinkers on the show… there’s something very different about having someone who’s staying sober, and someone who is on your show to promote a documentary in which her ability to stay sober is called into EXTREME question. It’s just… weird, and it made me wonder what her people were thinking when they suggested it, assuming she has any people left (I’m pretty sure #SaveMatt only shows up for promotional appearances and has happily moved onto less infuriating pastures). BUT, having said all that, the drinking angle of the show WAS completely neutered, so that’s good. For her. Possibly not for Andy Cohen, who to his credit asked her blunt questions but also seemed concerned it was all going to go off the rails at any given moment and REALLY may have wanted a martini.
And did it go off the rails? No. But she did say some stuff that’s worth noting — after, of course, a trip through TIME:
This is Lindsay on Another World, and I actually think I might have watched Another World when this was happening. Also, Another World was a cherished gem from a time when soaps had HILARIOUS THEME SONGS. I couldn’t find it on the Internet ANYWHERE but suffice to say it involves a duet where the two end up concluding that they take each other away to Another World. And it involved images like this. Daytime was SUCH A TREASURE.
And we all know about this one. Lindsay said the long hair was a wig, and a very expensive one, at that. She didn’t have much else to share, beyond getting emotional when Andy mentioned knowing Natasha Richardson. Lindsay said she was a wonderful person who exuded a Grace Kelly or Princess Di aura, and says, “I learned a lot about how to carry myself,” and then, amusingly, tacks on, “In certain ways,” which gets lost because Andy had already changed the subject. I actually thought that was sort of sweet, like she didn’t want anyone to think she learned any of her bad habits from Natasha.
This was kind of confusing. So, I remember Lindsay being cast in the pilot for Bette, and then being replaced in episode two (rather than them re-shooting with the new actress). IMDb says this is because Bette Midler moved the show to Los Angeles, and Lindsay didn’t want to be away from her family in New York for the duration of a 22-episode series, which makes decent sense (and also, she dodged a bullet). But to Andy, Lindsay made some weird mumbly remark implying the show didn’t ever get off the ground — even though it aired for most of a full season — and then something vague about a mic that was left on? And why WOULDN’T you re-shoot unless you wanted it to be pretty public that the person got replaced? So… I smell drama. And it smells cruelly delicious. Like when you walk outside and you realize SOMEONE in your neighborhood is barbecuing, but you don’t know who, or where, and so you know that meat will never be yours.
And then there was Life Size — and not, as Bravo has ID’d it, Life-Sized – which we should REALLY fugcap someday if it ever appears in streaming form (an iPad is a fugcapper’s best friend). Tyra Banks essentially plays Lindsay’s doll come to life, and MY GOD, I had forgotten Tyra was ever an innocent.
Later, Lindsay is asked which she’d rather see naked, Tyra or Megan Fox, and she IMMEDIATELY says, “Megan Fox,” and then adds that actually she’s seen them both naked. With Tyra, I can imagine that happening in the wardrobe room, or whatever, but what of Megan Fox? In a movie, or in A SCANDALOUS LIFE CHOICE? HMMMMM? Probably a movie. Sigh. See above, re: the meat-smell of elusive gossip. And, The Meat Smell of Elusive Gossip should be the title of Wes Anderson’s next film.
It will also interest One Tree Hill fans to know that when Lindsay was asked which of these people she’d want to take as her date to a wedding, she said “Justin Long” before Andy Cohen could even choke out the words “Chad Michael Murray.” I also think that’s the right answer, if you want to have a good time at said wedding, but if you want a really awesome and potentially tragically strange story to tell people, CMM is the way to go.
Lindsay has a very awkward demeanor sometimes — she veers between being super confident and sure of herself, and INCREDIBLY self-conscious and giggly, as if she’s blushing, too embarrassed that anyone is looking at her or listening to her. It’s a tic I’ve noticed a little on red carpets, too; on Lindsay, they showed moving footage of this, and she’s done the same half-laugh deer-in-headlights shifty-eyed smile since Parent Trap. Just an observation. Also, that is a short skirt. Also, I feel like Don Draper should own that table.
Andy asks her about speculation that she partied at Coachella this past weekend; she claims she was there with her family, and then by herself on the last day, and did not party. Apparently “party” is the hot euphemism, and so of course, I guess she could be telling the truth depending on what she decides it means. She claims she was partying “in a dancing manner” and that she knows that could “look like anything to anyone,” which is true and also can work both ways. She’s also asked about Rosie O’Donnell calling her “a tragedy on every level,” and LiLo mutters that Rosie just sounds like she’s bored, before insisting she won’t trash-talk other actresses — which she sticks to the rest of the night, so good for her, because she’s right; doing that publicly won’t do her any favors at all, and so we’re going to have to go back to wishing we could be a fly on the wall in her house for just a few select hours a day.
She ALSO doesn’t EXACTLY confirm the veracity of the list of supposed celebrity lovers she’s had, which was printed in a tabloid. But then she stops and says that she made that list as part of Step 5 at Betty Ford — that being, “Admit to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs,” which I believe involves sharing a self-accounting that’s been done as part of Step 4 — and that she thinks someone with the OWN show took a picture of it while she was moving. I think… that is, frankly, totally plausible, although it’s also plausible that she released it herself. I believe either one equally. HOWEVER: If she made that list as Step 5 at Betty Ford, and the rehab stint she completed most recently was at Cliffside, then how long did she have that list in her possession, and why didn’t she throw it out? It’s an honest question. Are you instructed NOT to throw those out? She did read from a Betty Ford journal when she was going through stuff at Dina’s, so maybe it was in there? Maybe she DID keep all that stuff.
So anyway, she talks a little about how she basically gave her life story and a LOT of information about her childhood on-camera, which they never used. Which I’m sure was disappointing from her standpoint because of how much that stuff informs who she is today, in a way that probably incites sympathy, but I’m sure they also didn’t have much to frame it on and there’s only so long you can let her talk about that without a scene to peg it to — and also, maybe that felt more exploitative than the other stuff, if they were not able to get Michael, in particular, to give his side of those stories (whereas everything else they’re shooting, they CAN get Lindsay’s version of, because she’s their star and she’s the one contractually bound to sit down for interviews).
Andy asks her about Elle Indonesia — she points out that the woman was, of course, super nice to her in person — and whether she feels she was presented fairly on Lindsay; her response is, “To an extent.” Then he later makes a reference to her being super late for things all the time, which is where Lindsay says she objects to the edits. In fact, she says, of Elle Indonesia, “None of that ever happened.” She is going to have to be more specific than that, because obviously, honey, a lot of that happened. She sent a rep — who is apparently her real PR rep — to tell Elle that she slept through the shoot. She certainly shot with them three times, and she certainly had very little natural light available, which we watched disappear while she was in hair and makeup. So unless the documentarians are mad puppeteering geniuses, rather a lot of that certainly DID happen, and this comes off like the kind of vague and trendy excuse everyone gives when they don’t like what they see of themselves on TV.
And that does have to be hard. When you see your life distilled into forty-two minutes that are obligated to be entertaining, you’re going to be sad they didn’t show all the lovely things you did, but frankly, that doesn’t mean you didn’t also do all that other crap. (And a lot of Lindsay’s interview bites feel like vague statements that only SORT OF have to do with the scenes, and are there to try and give ANY kind of positive/her-side-of-the-story perspective to the crazy stuff we’re watching unfold in front of the documentary cameras, so you can’t even argue they’re building this stuff wholesale from Frankensteined interview bites.) You can’t fake raw footage of people doing things in-scene with other people, and so it is EXTREMELY hard for a production to invent a whole scenario like this. It just is. There were times on Top Model when we’d get accused of pulling strings, and it was never true and it made me laugh, because — aside from the fact that our boss was stringent about not doing that, from an ethics point of view — it is LOGISTICALLY so challenging for a production to be THAT organized in the face of what is by nature complete chaos. For example, we once had a contestant get eliminated in an episode after a) the guest teacher totally forgot she existed at the challenge, and had to be reminded to critique her, and then b) Tyra forgot about her at judging. And understandably, people assumed we’d told Tyra to do that, but in fact, no. And that shoot was PARTICULARLY insane because they flew to JAPAN in between those two incidents and when they landed in Japan they were taken straight to a photo shoot and THEN straight to judging and NOBODY involved in that show at that point could possibly have pulled off a feat of organization like that even if they’d WANTED to, because of jet lag and having to organize the judging set and setting up all the equipment and Japan being a million degrees that time of year.
So I guess my point is, I feel like her argument that Stuff IS Made Up, or that it Never Happened, or that The Editing Is Totally Jacked Up, has to be based on the TINIEST loophole imaginable.
They play the clip of Lindsay swiping the wine bottle from her counter and walking off-camera, and it gets a little awkward because each waits for the other to talk; he says something about whether she’s aware of the buzz about it and her reply — in a vein we’ve seen on Lindsay a lot, where she’d get snippy with AJ about her questions — is, “You think I’m not smarter than that by now?” Although frankly that could also be referring to whether she knew that was on camera. I don’t quite know. But it’s got that half-smile blinking defensiveness to it that we’ve totally seen before. Lindsay’s version is that she cooks a lot, and had just made a wonderful dinner and had friends over who drink, and that it’s a great shame the finished show didn’t use more footage of her making food. Which of course they won’t, because that’s crazy boring, and it’s also possible she had over a bunch of people who refused to sign releases and made all the footage worthless. Just as her side of the story is worth hearing, so would production’s be, one day. Amy Rice (the director) must wish she could write a memoir TOMORROW. But I would also like to point out that her story SOUNDS like complete and utter bullshit, and it’s not helped by the fact that her entire delivery on this night was half a step slower than in the very clear-eyed, expressive interviews she gives on Lindsay. I am not saying that means ANYTHING about her sobriety; for all I know, she was just super tired. But the fact of it does not help sell her excuses. And let’s not mince words: Her friends might be bullshit, too. Going out to dinner with friends who drink is one thing; going to their houses, where they keep alcohol as part of their daily lives, is another thing. But cooking them all dinner and allowing them to bring booze into YOUR house (or even providing it for them, or being unable to cook something that wouldn’t leave a half-empty bottle in your house, which you also could’ve given to a friend to take home) is a WHOLE OTHER THIRD JACKED-UP THING, and a huge mistake, and frankly, if you are two or three months out of rehab and your friends who drink wine can’t suck it up and not have a glass for THREE HOURS while they’re at a dinner party at your house, then you really do need to find new friends. For real. It’s just not acceptable, and if you don’t surround yourself with people who take your recovery seriously, then how can you do it? Likewise, if they see you being lax about it, so will they be. My friends didn’t even want to crack a Diet Coke can in front of me while I was pregnant, and that was so nice of them, and that’s not even remotely as serious as this, although I WILL probably need counseling someday to quit that damn beautiful drink.
Lindsay says she’d lose more than half her friends and her family if she couldn’t be around people who drink — again: !!!!; I understand the fear but I don’t understand why they’re not reassuring her this won’t happen, and that it’s no hardship to put down the hooch for a couple hours– and she then says Dina takes a lot of crap for being The Mom Who Parties, and claims that in fact she’s always begged her mother to come party WITH her as a security blanket. I would like to point out that if this is true, IT DOESN’T HELP, because Lindsay still apparently got herself into all kinds of messy trouble, none of which reflects well on her mother’s ability to BE said Clubbing Security Blanket. I find it extremely challenging to give her the benefit of the doubt on this subject. Andy Cohen says, “Most people don’t go clubbing with their moms.” Her reply is something about how all the Housewives sure seem to, and he says, “Well, they do,” as if to say, “You’re really using THEM as your behavioral beacons?” Linds then points out that she just happens to have a Cool Mom who had her when she was young, and that they’re best friends, and when Andy makes the very smart follow-up observation that “Cool Mom” is a Mean Girls reference — and not a flattering one — Lindsay almost totally misses it. And as much as I love to blame Dina for everything, I do think Lindsay is probably just as culpable for Dina being a Cool Mom; I’m sure there was a willingness on both sides to let it go there. But as much as Lorelai Gilmore made Cool Mom seem like an awesome idea, I think the mom who would rather be your best bud than your parent is a very difficult situation from which to mine a happy ending.