The Osbournes (MTV)
2002-present

There were reality shows before The Osbournes, and many that followed, but it was truly the show that kicked the trend into high gear. It's the Young MC of reality TV … sung along with by the masses, but not especially hip, and definitely a one-trick pony.

The gimmick of filming Ozzy Osbourne and his family, then editing the footage into a pseudo-sitcom, is a novel one, though once you have watched a few episodes, the "Ha ha" factor wears off and what you see is a pretty sweet, nicely unconventional family. There's a lot of love in the house in between all the expletives.

The first season drew heavily on the joke value of doddering Ozzy stammering incoherently and staring blankly at everything around him. These will eventually be much more painful to watch once people realize that Ozzy was heavily medicated during that time, so his shaking and slurring had much more to do with that than a hard-rockin' life lived to the fullest. It certainly takes the comedic wind out of the show's sails, looking back.

The new episodes are more of the same, but Ozzy is notably more with it, and the family is much more aware of their fame. Sharon is about the same; Kelly is more aloof and less present around the house; Jack is more smug and aggressive. But the various personalities were already somewhat cartoonish, so the exaggeration does not change the pH of the show.

What did I mean by that? Hm … must be my medication talking. At any rate, I like The Osbournes but have no specific enthusiasm for it. I still prefer to rock out to Ozzy, not to point at him and snicker. Call me old-fashioned.

Review by L'il Big Boi © 2004