Monday, July 7, 2008

"The Two Coreys" marathon

Because it's what she wanted to do, I spent the evening watching something like eight consecutive episodes of the reality show The Two Coreys over at my friend's house. If entertainment culture is a dying man crawling across a parched desert, then celeb-reality TV is the buzzard that is circling near him and waits patiently for a nibble.

It's a simple equation: Corey Feldman + Corey Haim + 2008 = Roman spectacle of terror.

The thing is, the Coreys were only quasi-heroes even back in the Eighties, and the whole point of this new TV show is for America to gaze at the tragic sight of "the teen-dreams that time forgot" -- in their mid-thirties now, looking the worse for wear, pale shadows of whatever cultural relevance they once possessed. Feldman spends his days pitching "celebrity road-trip" shows to reality-TV producers, while chain-smoking Haim (who looks like he's been through the same physical mangling as Mark Hamill) paces around an apartment bemoaning his lack of acting work. Since Haim looks like a pirate in a seedy pirate bar, he's probably going to be limited to roles in pirate movies.

Every reality-TV show is predicated on something vaguely creepy, and here it's the twisted, onion-layered relationship between two solipsistic child-stars-turned-punchlines. They see a couples therapist together, blame one another for the abuse they endured in their years of teenage stardom, and now scheme pathetically to out-do one another (including a tit-for-tat hiring of personal assistants).

I have to hope that the whole show is essentially a put-on, because in that case I could appreciate the joke. But I suspect this is actually a lot closer to the uncomfortable truth. America has discovered that celebrities really are as screwed up as the rest of us, except with more money -- and the B-listers out there seem to be lined up 100 deep for a chance to confirm this grimly fascinating truth. At least Feldman scored a hot wife and a swank house...Haim looks to be not far off from a job in pizza delivery. In any case, it's a sad sight to see these two pinning all their hopes on cameos in the direct-to-video Lost Boys sequel. With the rise of reality TV, the "quiet desperation" of American life is now getting most of the primetime slots on cable.


rakiel said...

I caught a commercial for this not too long ago and could tell it was voyeurism at it's worse right from the get to. i agree it might be palatable if is were a joke but the sad part is they do it for the money or the fifteen minutes of fame. like Jackass movies - sato-masochism disguised as humor.

Miss Z's Classroom said...

First of all: God Bless YouTube. Secondly, God Bless You for bringing this to my attention, and thirdly, God Bless America.

After reading your post I immediately went to YouTube to find clips for this show, which for whatever twisted reason came out while I'm in exile, and there I sat for the next two hours, except for the five minutes when I got up to make myself a snack to nibble while I feasted upon the splendor that is American Reality Television.

mmm, mmm, good.

no apologies, no regrets.

Brotherman said...

Wow. With all the celeb shows out there? Be careful or you'll find yourself watching the Flavor of love, Simmons family jewels, Run's house and Rob and Big. They're contagious. Someone should do a study 'cause I swear I can feel myself getting stupider by the minute while I watch.

It's not fare to put Jackass in the same category. It's masochism for masochism's sake and there trained professionals. Let's face it we're hardwired to laugh when people hurt themselves. Try it next time there's a crying kid in the room.

rakiel said...

It's only addictive if you let it be. getting stupider is a choice so is getting smarter...

there's nothing splendific about it - you just have too much idle time on tbem hand of yours missie

Daniel Morris said...

I'm hooked. I'm not gonna miss a single episode of this thing.

Miss Z's Classroom said... either. Since this post I've religiously checked YouTube for updates. Some blessed man keeps posting the episodes as they air. I have opinions about which of the Two Coreys is a bigger douche-bag...and I care about their feelings and speedy de-douche-bag-ification at the same time.