All that anyone really needs to know or say about Lindsay Lohan can be boiled down to three words: what a waste.
Just how much of a waste will again be in evidence when Lohan brings her poor little me act to television.
The former child star turned tabloid cover regular has a new reality show, “Lindsay”, that begins airing on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network this Sunday at 10 p.m. EST. “Cameras follow Lindsay Lohan as she returns to New York and attempts to build a new life,” reads the program’s description on Oprah.com.
Freckle-faced and redheaded, she first burst on the scene as an adorable 11-year-old in 1998 when she played identical twins, one raised in the U.S. and the other in England, in a remake of “The Parent Trap.” She was talented, likable and cute, and Hollywood took notice.
Soon entire movies were being built around her, including a remake of “Freaky Friday” (2003) and “Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen” (2004). She scored a huge critical and box office hit with “Mean Girls," also in 2004, and was on the verge of mega-stardom.
Ten years later, she’s lucky to get cast in a guest-starring role in a sitcom, as she recently has been for CBS’ “Two Broke Girls.”
What went wrong? It’s a familiar story, one enthusiastically chronicled in press and online gossip sites, of partying, drugs, alcohol and bad parenting. Add to that arrests, jail time, multiple stays in rehab and relentless egging on by the paparazzi and you have a recipe for career suicide.
All of which brings Lohan to the present day and her new TV show. On it, with the help of self-improvement queen Oprah, the actress tries to walk the straight and narrow and get her career back on track. If the preview trailer is any indication, there are some stumbles along the way.
Did I mention that Lohan is all of 27 years old now? Hers is a story we’ve heard too many times before. Think of James Dean, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Edie Sedgwick, John Belushi, River Phoenix and, more recently, “Glee” star Cory Monteith. All found success young, lived hard and died young. The only difference between them and Lohan is that she’s still breathing.
The path she has been traveling may seem glamorous when you’re young, prone to self-dramatization and think you’re immortal. But once you have a few more years on you, say when you’ve reached the point that you realize that there are fewer birthdays ahead of you than behind you, and you understand exactly where that road leads, which is nowhere. Life is fleeting and not meant to be wasted or cut short via stupidity.
Lohan will never get back the decade that she has already messed up. The friends and colleagues she has alienated, some after they’ve cut her breaks repeatedly, don’t want to hear yet another apology after yet another screw-up. We all only get so many chances in this life and she has already used up most of hers.
The tragedy to all this is that, behind all those tabloid covers and this new reality show, there’s a human being and a talented one at that. She’s still fairly young and if she gets the right help and finally is motivated enough, she can move on now to a more sober and productive life.
With luck, Lohan still has plenty of years ahead of her. Let’s hope she grows up soon and decides to live them as an actual adult. Time’s a wastin’ and, as we all know, none of us get enough of it.