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The Osbournes, Season Two in Review: Awkward Moments at the Partyby Dale Sherman -- 02/19/2003
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Before the second season of The Osbournes began, there was a lot of media attention to a comment Sharon Osbourne made to Barbara Walters about wanting to stop the series after the second season. Sharon professed that the show was disrupting the family and that a third season of filming would be detrimental to everyone involved.
When the comment became public, Sharon quickly backed off, leading many (including this writer) to suspect that perhaps it was Sharon’s way to attempt a renegotiation of the family contract for the successful program. Some believed that the MTV’s producers put their foot down and Sharon knew better than to make waves at that junction, thus the retraction. Others believed it was just Sharon’s way to draw attention to the show with a bit of dramatics. Whatever it was, it didn’t stop the filming of the third season, which began in January 2003 and will conclude in time for a final season to be broadcast in late spring of this year.
Whatever it was, after watching the second season, perhaps Sharon really was telling the truth after all.
The season’s first episode laid the groundwork for what to expect in the rest of the season. First, Sharon and Ozzy are shown doing their own thing (the White House press dinner in May 2002), while Jack and Kelly are busy doing their own projects (in particular, Kelly’s appearance at the MTV Movie Awards in June 2002). If that seems confusing in the time differences between the two events, it was even more so while watching the episode, as the two storylines were edited together so that viewers were tossed back and forth in time throughout the episode.
Such time displacement would become the norm this season. As mentioned above, the series really picks up in May 2002. The tenth episode takes place on December 31, 2002. That is eight months’ worth of footage to choose from for the episodes. In that period, the show would bounce around to cover events that may have taken weeks or even months to play out properly for the cameras, yet to the viewers at home it appeared to be as if merely days or hours went by until the resolutions came. Editing also made for some disorienting placement of objects and people. Pictures on the wall of the dogs appear and disappear throughout the season. Kelly promotes music that she may or may not be recording early or later on in the season. Jack is seen taking a girl upstairs to his bedroom who may or may not be the girl Sharon found in Jack’s bed (yes, I fell for that one in the review for the final episode . . . watching it again, I’m now unsure if Sharon really was discussing Angeline, or if the editors just wanted us to believe it was the same girl).
While such editing may have had to occur due to lack of story content (which I’ll come back to in a moment), it led to episodes that no doubt threw off casual viewers of the show.
For example, Kelly is seen getting frustrated by a promotional tour that is driving her to a near breakdown. But why should it? The audience saw was her going to England and then Germany in Episode Three, followed by her tantrums about the cameras and the promoting in Episode Seven. It appears that there was four weeks between active promotion for the record (although it is rarely mentioned that her touring was for the single instead of the album, another missed opportunity), so why is she at her wits’ end? With the mention of the Walters interview in Episode Seven (which would have made their interview sometime in the early fall, I believe), it is evident that Kelly’s promotional tour of New York in Episode Seven is to help get a jumpstart on promoting the album that was released in November. That is not explained to the audience, however, and it appears that Kelly is still promoting her single at the time (since she is also seen recording some of her album while in New York). She’s recording her album, being filmed for the series, and doing a series of interviews and photo-sessions – no wonder she was starting to freak out. That doesn’t excuse her tantrums, but it does explain why she felt like she was being buried at that point in the show (and perhaps another reason why Sharon made the statement publicly near that time about wanting to drop a third season).
Kelly and Sara are seen in Episode Nine obviously drunk and disrupting Sharon and Ozzy’s dinner, yet later in the episode the two are seen meeting Sharon at a point that appears before dinner even started (that’s just a guess on my part, I should point out). Jack and Jason Dill are one minute discussing war in Iraq and the next are seen wrestling in the garage. The implication is that Dill’s comment that Jack was “ignorant” led to the wrestling, but the change in time and space is so abrupt it is hard to gauge why they are wrestling. It’s hard to even tell if they are truly fighting or just playing around.
In saying all this, I should make clear that I'm not pointing a finger at the editors of the show as if they are the sole cause of any problems the series had this season. In fact, they probably tried their best to get something interesting out of the footage they had to work with. After all, if nine months' worth of material only gives us Kelly promoting her music and Jack trying to act cool, it is easy to surmise that the family just did not have much going on that was deemed worthy of the show.1 2 3 Next-->
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