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‘The Osbournes Family Christmas Special’: Better than ‘The Brady Family Hour’by Dale Sherman -- 12/24/2003
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Another season of The Osbournes begins on January 27 – a recent change from the advertised original start date of January 13 – and with it came a chance for MTV to take the family and pretty much squish them into the confines of a mishmash of an hour-long Christmas special. Some funny moments result, as well as some painfully unfunny moments as well.
But before we get to that, let us first take a look at what has been going on with the family behind the scenes since Season Two ended.
Of course, the biggest news to happen to the family was Ozzy’s accident on a quad-bike (ATV) while taking a day off on his estate in England back on December 8. As some of you may remember, Jack and Robert were seen riding these bikes on the estate in a later episode of the second season, so refer to that episode for a good idea of where the accident occurred and what Ozzy was riding around on. In an all too common accident for these bikes (comedian Rik Mayer of The Young Ones suffered a similar incident a few years back, putting him into a brief coma and forcing him from working for quite some time), the bike flipped over on Ozzy and did substantial injuries to him. Ozzy broke six ribs, his collarbone, and fractured his neck in the accident. Although the doctors at the time tried to downplay the accident, Sharon Osbourne stated that Ozzy’s heart stopped after the accident and a security guard on the estate resuscitated him. It was also clear that the accident was worse than originally reported when it was reported Ozzy was on a ventilator for a week and was in the intensive-care unit. Fortunately, as of the beginning of Christmas week, the news is that Ozzy has recovered enough to be sent to a private clinic for further recovery, although it is clear now that it may be up to six months before Ozzy is fully recovered from the accident (not to mention questions as to whether he will be able to perform again).
Of course, I’m sure everyone reading wishes Ozzy and the family the best this holiday season. MTV.com has an online “get well” link up on their site in their Osbournes section for those who want to pass along a word or two.
With the accident in mind, MTV is stating that they are still unsure on how to handle the accident on the program. Since the show will start on January 27, it is most probable that the first ten episodes of the third season have already been completed in some form, so such concerns mostly have to do with the final ten episodes under the negotiated contract between the family and MTV (which are probably being filmed now). The statement from MTV suggested that after covering Sharon’s cancer scare of the second season, doing the same with Ozzy may be too much. Makes sense, as MTV only briefly mentioned Sharon’s cancer scare in the second season and spent an inordinate amount of time with Kelly, Jack, and Robert in order to avoid having to deal much with such a sensitive subject. It will be interesting to see what they decide to cover about Ozzy; although I suspect they will handle it with the same standoffishness they did Sharon in Season Two.
Word right before the accident was leaning towards talk of the “autobiography” done by the family about their lives together, Ordinary People: Our Story. In the book are some new tidbits about the band, in particular Sharon’s one-off affair with famed Ozzy guitarist Randy Rhoads, and Ozzy’s discussion about his being sexually abused by other boys when he was growing up. When a copy is available for review, I’ll pass along my own thoughts on the book. There was also the recent news from Ozzy and Sharon stating that Ozzy was on too much medication prescribed by a doctor in the L.A. area, and that explained the stupor he often was in. That was starting to build up steam in the news right before his accident, so it will be curious to see where it goes in the months ahead.
Nothing new on the year-old New Year’s Eve “jewelry-stealing” press agent that Sharon was going after either, for those curious to know.
On the music front, changes (uh, no pun intended) were in the air over the summer, when both Kelly and Ozzy left Sony to sign up with the small label Sanctuary Records. Kelly’s Shut Up album was reissued through the label as Changes, with several bonus tracks and a duet with her father on the Black Sabbath song, “Changes.” As the months moved along, some critics were getting a few laughs in seeing that Changes only sold an additional 500 copies for Kelly – that is until Sanctuary released “Changes” as a single. Ironically, it was released the same day that Ozzy was injured on his estate, so sales might have been driven a bit by fans and others who wondered if this was going to be Ozzy’s last single. The song went to #1 on the US and UK charts, with Kelly’s album suddenly boosting 89,000 sales that week as well. Hopefully those that were curious will find out that they purchased a pretty good freshman album from Kelly at the same time.
Jack has moved slightly out of the spotlight for now, seemingly happy to be on the road to recovery. He did substitute for Sharon on her daytime talk show during Ozzy’s recovery, but not much more has been happening with him recently (which is probably fine with him).
As to Robert, the new kid in the house last season? Not much at all. There were some rumors that he had moved back out of the household after Jack went into detox, but that’s all. He certainly does not show up in the Christmas special, which was very odd.1 2 3 Next-->
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