For a new show, Dr. Drew sure spent a lot of time covering old news. Last night, Celebrity Rehab guru (and licensed physician) Dr. Drew Pinsky launched his eponymous HLN show and like a fun drunk at a wedding trying to do the Chicken Dance, it was both entertaining and uneven.
"I will be addressing a whole range of related topics that impact each and every one of us," he promised at the outset. "That's family, relationships, sex."
Apparently, to kill those three birds with one stoner, Pinsky devoted almost the entire first half of the hour to, duh, Charlie Sheen. Tired material, for sure, rendered even less interesting by his guest panel, which included his Loveline co-host Mike Catherwood and Radar Online's Dylan Wynter. Even the via-satellite chat with Sheen's former "goddess" Kacey Jordan was less than winning, since we've already heard her take on romping with the Two and a Half Men star... Not to mention seen what she really brought to the party, thanks to a certain NSFW Twitpic.
Thankfully the premiere rallied in the second half as Dr. Drew followed up a brief but inspiring segment on a Connecticut teen who took to YouTube to confront her bullies with a lively sit-down with Sammy Hagar about everything from his family, to his professional history with alcoholics, to his new book's alien-abduction claims. And while we wish more time had been spent on the fun E.T. stuff, we wish even more that Pinsky hadn't tried so hard to trigger a sentimental response from Hagar over his fall-out with Eddie Van Halen. "You've shed some tears over this, I can tell," he fed the rocker, who cavalierly shot down the concept of crying so fast one might suspect the aliens tampered with his emotional center.
Overall, the show wasn't as bipolar as, say, a warlock assassin, but let's get honest: There is room for improvement. If Pinsky wants to shush the haters who critique him for practicing "diagnosis from a distance," he might want to ease up on tossing around the analyses and medical terms while talking to porn stars and DWTS outcasts. And there are definitely some symptoms of chronic "taking everything too seriously." We get that the topics he plans to cover are important, but nobody ever died from a sense of humor. In fact, any doctor worth his salt — or in this case, his show — should know that laughter is often the best medicine.
Did you check out Dr. Drew last night? Will he be appointment TV for you?