In the new reality show Being Bobby Brown (9 p.m. Thursday, Bravo), the R&B singer and his wife, Whitney Houston, spend most of their time discussing future Supreme Court vacancies, the ramifications of the Central American Free Trade Agreement and the best exit strategy for the U.S. military in Iraq.
No, not really.
Actually, Being Bobby Brown is yet another attempt to satisfy our culture's never-ending sickness: the need to peer into the private lives of celebrities. This show may finally cure us of that desire.
BBB shows us snapshots - Polaroids, really, striking in their lack of detail - of how Brown and Houston live. They're either in court, where he's being accused of hitting her, or on vacation, in fine restaurants, having a day at the spa or knockin' boots in an Atlanta Hyatt. They've both had their share of legal and personal troubles, but they're out to prove that living well is the best revenge.
Unfortunately, they don't have much else to show us. Their conversations are as vacuous as Pam and Tommy Lee's were in the non-sex scenes from their notorious video. In the premiere, after getting out of jail for non-payment of child support, Brown calls Houston to discuss their rendezvous at the Hyatt. (Do they own a house?) Mr. My Prerogative tells her, "Jack be nimble, Jack be quick, Jack jump over that candlestick. Shit. Bring that ass in quick. I'm gonna show you what I do with it." Such a sweet-talker.
In episode two, which follows immediately, Brown actually says to her, "I've had to dig a doodie bubble out of your butt." That's way too much information, especially for a show that fails to explain the basics - like whether either of them works anymore.
Despite its faults, the show also has its moments. Brown starts out by introducing himself to two businessmen. He suggests they don't recognize him because he's not in an orange jumpsuit. Then he puts his hands behind his back, as if they're in handcuffs, and says, "Recognize me now?"
Overall, Brown remains pretty good-natured. While the couple is constantly interrupted by autograph seekers and people wanting to take pictures with them, he accommodates almost everyone. Houston looks significantly more annoyed - and rightly so.
Brown's justification - for both his graciousness and this show - must be image rehabilitation. Early on, he says fans don't really know him. "Don't judge me by what you have read," he asks. "Love me for what you know about my music, my life."
OK. But no more doodie bubble talk. Please.