Thank The Mrs...
Angeles Times Report]
If 'Bobby Brown' is a hit, thank the
By Paul Brownfield
Los Angeles Times
HOLLYWOOD — "Baby girl, where you at?" Bobby Brown
asks Whitney Houston in Being Bobby Brown, new on Bravo Thursday.
He's on his cell phone, standing outside the Hyatt in Atlanta days after his
release from a monthlong stint behind bars. Now the wife's late for their
Two hours later, Brown's still wandering the Hyatt perimeter, Whitney-less,
apparently unaware that she's arrived at the hotel through a private
entrance. Ah, women. "That's what you do with a power couple, know what I'm
saying? Power couple, she gets to go upstairs, know what I'm saying?" Brown
says when he finally locates her. "Make me run around like that."
Note to self: Put Being Bobby Brown on TiVo season pass to gain further
insights into relationship dynamics.
I would hesitate to call Being Bobby Brown a reality show were the staged
reality it presents not so kookily convincing, with Brown, the former R&B
star, and Houston, the pop diva with a career out there somewhere, gamely
allowing themselves to be captured in various stages of celebrity.
Through a well-documented tabloid maze of marital strife, drug problems and
arrests, they've lived to tell their tale — or at least mime it for us in
laconically amusing form.
"It's rare that Bobby and I spend quality time together, since we are both
in the same business, we both do the same thing," she says, in a lucid
moment of voice-over denial. "It is hard sometimes to spend that quality
Also adding to the hardship of finding quality alone time, surely, are the
cameras they've agreed to have there disrupting their quality alone time.
Yet there's something of The Osbournes, MTV's loose-feeling, sitcom-funny
celeb-reality show that started it all, in Being Bobby Brown. Which is to
say, you begin to believe that they have a genuine relationship; a family
(there are children about, his and theirs) is even discernible amid the spa
treatments and hotel suites and court appearances.
Since The Osbournes, of course, a tide of other troubled A-listers and B-
and C- and D-listers have come forward to get their slice, the more
high-powered among them (Britney Spears, for instance, in her UPN thing
Britney and Kevin: Chaotic) using the reality show as infomercial, a
It's one way to get ahead of the media that will use you for their own
purposes and not pay you.
Compared to boring mall kids like Britney and Kevin, Bobby and Whitney work.
They trade insults as easily as endearments and smooches. To sustain our
interest, though, the show needs her more than it needs him, even though
it's called Being Bobby Brown. She's the more viable celebrity, a live,
unpredictable and even slightly sad presence (it's hard to tell whether
these first episodes were shot before or after drug rehab).
It's the unacknowledged engine of the show — waiting to see what Whitney's
going to do next. Brown, on the other hand, needs to gel more as a TV
Still, in this, the summer in which Tom Cruise is using the awesome power of
his celebrity to lecture on the joyousness of Katie Holmes and the evils of
Brooke Shields and anti-depressants, Being Bobby Brown is a tonic, returning
us to the more palatable ways in which celebrity can be cashed in for money
NEWSFILE: 29 JUNE 2005