Review - Living Lohan
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Before I watched this show I assumed Ali Lohan, 14 year old sister of drug and alcohol enthusiast Lindsay Lohan, was well on the way to a moderately successful career in whatever it is she does to make herself famous.
Apparently, what she “does” is be born of the same parents as her sister, which I would argue hardly qualifies her life as suitable fodder for one half hour tv show, let alone a season. Oh, she sings a bit too. A little bit.
Even when you throw in her mother, the heavily cosmetically-altered, fame-seeking Dina, you still barely have enough parts to make up a whole interesting person.
As luck would have it practitioners of the art of plastic surgery can now carve your face into a combination of pure evil, glaring contempt and crass superiority. Top this off with a Jackson-esque nub nose and there you have, Dina, for whom “no” means “I said no!... OK, go on then you can have it.”
Consider the episode where Ali, having been told “no” to her request for a new dog, decides to buy one anyway and promptly sits smirking while Dina’s temper threatens to boil up and displace her entirely face-encompassing make-up crust. Of course Ali got to keep the dog and we got to see the kind of consequence-free childhood that put Lindsay in “Promises”.
"I'm like totally not allowed to keep this dog."
Ali is saddled with being less attractive, less talented, less likely to succeed than Lindsay. She insists on applying her lipgloss in a straight line across her upper lip, steadfastly refusing to acknowledge the existence of her cupid's bow. Even drugged up, drunk and slumped in her car wrapped round a hydro pole, Lindsay is more than Ali is ever destined to be. If it were possible for the success of your career to be determined by how desperately you wish for fame and fortune, Ali would be well on the way to a glittering future.
"It must have been cold there in my shadow..."
So, we journey through the daily life of a teen, homeschooled due to bullying about to “lay down some tracks” for her second album, (yes, apparently there was a first album) under the watchful gaze of Dina and thanks to the creative talent of the mysterious Jeremy. He apparently bugged Dina online to listen to his songs and like any mother who” just wants to protect her kids”, invited him over to present his tracks for Ali’s approval and uh, babysit.
Tracks duly approved, Jeremy’s worth duly proven he’s welcomed into the enhanced bosom of the Lohan family, only to immediately risk his shot at pseudo fame by selling some convoluted heavily dripping with innuendo (“I wouldn’t say I was Lindsay’s boyfriend” ) to some random pap for which he is taken to task by Ali because “that’s like just so not cool”.
Most things are “like” something or “weird” to Ali and frequently “like...weird”. I know that’s how teens, some teens, talk, but it’s irritating and not entertaining to me, but then I highly doubt I fall within the target demographic for this show.
I felt sure the introduction of college-going Michael, the eldest male Lohan, named for his perpetually absent father, might add some balance and ratchet down the manufactured drama. Sadly I was wrong. Michael breezed into town with girlfriend Nina in tow intent on finding time for Nina to bond with his family.
A reasonably dispassionate debate ensued, as Nina declared she’d rather use the time to bond with her own mother, father and brother than the Clan Lohan. Unless she was just reunited with them I would have thought the fact that they are blood relatives and she’s known them for about 20 years would mean they were pre-bonded, apparently that’s not sufficient for Nina, who decides to catch a train home. During this time Ali repeatedly decided she was within her rights to open her brother’s closed bedroom door so she could stand quite blatantly listening to their argument, despite Michaels repeated requests that she leave. It does seems rather redundant to insist on having a private conversation in a room with a cameraman and sound crew present. They might just as well have had their discussion in the street.
Enough of Nina, she’s really not that important.
Amid the dull repetition of their lives there are two shining lights.
Cody, Ali’s younger brother and Nana, Dina’s mother. Brim full of awesome, Cody seems to mercifully for our sakes, although tragically for his, disinterested in singing fame. Were he to show the slightest inclination towards song Dina would likely provide him with the attention he craves but finds so hard to come by. Not that I wouldn’t welcome the opportunity to see more from Cody, I’d just rather his career not be shepherded by the unrelenting hands of Dina. That’s not the kind of attention he wants, or would likely benefit from most.
So, should you watch Living Lohan?
I don’t know why you’d want to, given the subterranean entertainment level and the limited opportunities to laugh either at, or with the participants. The show views far more as a vehicle for Dina than Ali, but neither ever gives any indication why their lives should be considered interesting enough to merit our time. Unfortunately, standards being what they are that makes the show ripe for at least another season.
Sundays 10.30pm on E!
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