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Wednesday, 28 September 2005

Jack Osbourne – Adrenaline Junkie, ITV2

What to say if you liked it
The uplifting tale of how Ozzy’s wayward son straightened out his life after sinking into a pool of debauchery.
What to say if you didn’t like it
Another microbe of reality TV infects the schedules with his virulent self-pity.

What was good about it?
• Jack Osbourne is a pretty likable bloke. Unlike most reality stars he isn’t screaming for attention and seems to be doing the show because it’s become second nature for every element of his life to be filmed.
• The struggle over adversity theme, in which Jack battles against his addictions to drugs and drink is always an engaging tale.
• Jack justifiably getting upset with his trainers Bean and Mike.

What was bad about it?
• Jack’s body which is caked in more tattoos than a minibus full of rugby players who brandish how “hard” they are by those tiresomely trite pseudo-Maori body etchings or the twisted barbed-wire tattoos which entwine the bicep which are supposed to show their masculinity through the inevitable agony of having the tattoo done like that American Indian ritual where boys have their nipples pierced with hooks. But it shows nothing of the sort, it shows they are overwhelmingly superficial.
• Jack isn’t an especially interesting character. If he wasn’t the spawn of Ozzy he wouldn’t be trying to dispel his demons through an elaborate itinerary of dangerous sports but would be locked in a jail cell sweating the drugs out through his pores. Or if he hadn’t been exposed by the sunburst of the Osbournes, he may not have any troubles at all.
• Sharon Osbourne: “It’s cooler to be a drug addict than to be overweight.” It’s not “cool” to be either, but drug addiction is given an implicit endorsement in the media over gluttony as the majority of the scum Paparazzi still take your photo if you are skinny and
exhibiting “heroin chic”, while fat folk are only targeted by spiteful women’s magazines.
• Jack’s trainers Bean Sopwith and Mike Weeks are in that nauseating sub-species of humanity who berate you for getting up any later than 6am with the conceited, supercilious chiding, “it’s like you’ve wasted half the day”. Better to “waste” those ungodly hours rather than to try to keep awake during them and live out a half-life fuelled by noxious coffee and a deluded sense of self-worth. If you’re sensible and don’t get up at such a stupid time of day, you’ll hear their pattering feet as they stamp their way along the streets heralding to the world “yes, I’m going for a jog and I’m fitter and better than you.” Unscrew their skullcaps and peer inside, and you’ll observe a body without a soul.
• Mike’s eulogy as to why Thai kickboxing is so much better than Queensbury Rules boxing. “Why not use your legs and knees – they’re twice as strong!” Yes that’s right, Mike. Why not use your hands in football as you could simply carry the ball into the net. Oh no, we’ve already got that in rugby.

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