Late last week, the Houstons’ reality show, “The Houstons: On Our Own” premiered on Lifetime, showing not only a seemingly intoxicated Bobbi Kristina slurring her words, but an entire family struggling with grief in the most public fashion imaginable.
As Pat Houston, Whitney’s sister in law, manager and good friend, explained in a recent interview (see the video below), the reality show, on which they started shooting 3 months after Whitney’s death, is meant to be “cathartic,” helping them deal with the pain of losing her.
Even if that’s the case, reviewers say, Bobbi Kristina, Whitney’s 19-year-old daughter with Bobby Brown, her ex husband, should be left out of this and allowed to grieve for her mother as she sees fit, not in front of the cameras and, implicitly, millions of people from all over the world.
There is a very intrusive and painful quality to the new series, which has prompted reviewers to stress that mourning should never be considered ok for television.
“‘The Houstons: On Our Own,’ feels exploitive. Even if the family invited viewers into their homes in an attempt to control the conversation surrounding Houston's rise and fall, their grief over her demise shouldn’t be accessible at the click of a remote,” the LA Times writes.
“There are some things that shouldn't be documented [and] watching a family grieve and pick up the pieces after a devastating loss is at the top of the list,” the publication also says.
Gawker takes this one step further, ringing the alarm on Bobbi Kristina’s odd behavior, apparent addiction (which is, at the very least, an exaggerated fondness for alcohol) and the need to have her getting the proper help she needs.
To better illustrate that, it offers a video from the first episode of the show, in which Bobbi Kristina and her “brother” / lover / fiancé arrive at her aunt’s place and she’s hardly able to utter a sentence without slurring.
“If you had any question as to whether reality TV was a bad place to mourn, look no further than the joyless The Houstons: On Our Own,” Gawker says.
“There is little indication that Bobbi-Kristina is headed for anything but ruin, as the 19-year-old frequently drinks on camera, stumbles around like it's more than alcohol that is inebriating her and is attached to the side of her fiancé (or something) Nick Gordon, who's not exactly her brother but was ‘unofficially adopted’ by Whitney at age 12. Rarely has phrase ‘train wreck’ seemed so specifically tailored to describe a show. This is neither instructive nor entertaining, just simply tragic,” the same review notes.
The irony in all this, other media outlets point out, is that even if this show is tragic and should not be on TV, these are the exact reasons why people will be tuning in: everybody loves a trainwreck, they say.
The title alone ticked me off. Really? They SHOULD have been on their own!! Granted, Whitney had problems, but even if you're sick of helping someone who can't carry fame and the many employees they must feed by themselves, then get more help. I've seen some videos where Whitney was just pulling everything she had together for a performance. If your immediate employer calls you while you're out on their behalf for them, pick up the phone....I will NOT be watching this one. Take Bobbi out, get her some help and kick the other ones to the curb.