"Lindsay" was touted as a docuseries chronicling Lindsay Lohan's "attempts to build a new life" in New York City following her sixth stint in rehab.
But the premiere, which aired Sunday on Oprah Winfrey's OWN network, could just have easily been an episode of A&E's "Hoarders" or "Intervention," or even Britney Spears' "Chaotic" (the word pops up a lot in "Lindsay").
Emmy-nominated director Amy Rice interspersed the shots with on-the-street interviews and the grim statistics of Lohan's career nosedive, from plummeting box-office numbers to her numerous arrests and stints in rehab. But according to the actress, her cross-country move meant a step on the latest road to redemption. "Lindsay" offers a revealing glimpse into the troubled star's everyday life — and a closet full of skeletons. Or at least necklaces.
Lindsay Lohan has a lot of stuff. Enough to fill a cavernous warehouse — where we found the actress, 11 days out of rehab, when the series began. With film crew in tow, she cherry-picked which items she planned to store at mother Dina Lohan's Long Island apartment in preparation for her move to the Big Apple. The cameras also captured the "Liz & Dick" star's nostalgia over the mementos she saved from her much-lampooned portrayal of Elizabeth Taylor in the Lifetime biopic.
But she also kept souvenirs from her glory days, like the "Mean Girls" "Fetch" T-shirt she brandished at her mom's place — now overrun with boxes of her daughter's possessions. Like "fetch" — the catchphrase that was "never gonna happen" — Lindsay's quest for an apartment seemed hopeless. By the end of the first episode, she had been living in hotels for more than a month — her clothes and jewelry strewn across nearly every inch of furniture and floor space, more like a flophouse squatter than a ritzy hotel guest.
Lohan would be spreading even more jewelry on the carpet if it weren't stolen by Alexis Neiers, one of the notorious "bling ring" thieves who targeted the actress and other Hollywood celebrities. "Lindsay" is saturated in irony, but perhaps the greatest of all — from the star's perspective — is the fact that Neiers occupied an adjacent jail cell but was released when she "got put in."
"They kept making me stay there," she complained about the judge who vetoed her own early release. Whatever sympathy the LiLo had from viewers at the start of the show, it shrank noticeably when she whined, "They were punishing me instead of trying to help me!"
The premiere didn't do any favors for Lohan's reputation for unreliable behavior. She ran out sobbing from a friend's film shoot, in which she was to cameo as an "intellectual" who "gets absorbed into the world of beauty and lingerie."
The filmmaker had to scrap an entire day's work when she pulled out, but Lohan insisted, "I'm not an actress turned model," adding, petulantly, "My sister's the model in my family." (Not that there's anything wrong with that. She did support Aliana during her first fashion show in another segment.)
She also canceled a London promotion for "The Canyons" (which, despite her friend gushing that "it's gonna be a cult movie," made only $51,000) and the film's Venice Film Festival press junket — where the embittered director, Paul Schrader, told the press, "I've been a hostage of my own choosing to a very talented but unpredictable actress."
It's a Catch-22: Lohan's potential landlords are requiring an astronomical $10 million insurance policy, but she can't (or won't) work — or workout, or get an AA sponsor — because she doesn't have a "sanctuary" to call home and help clear her "headspace."
Lohan in cars, getting coffee
But Lohan and her realtor, Cash Bernard (a name made for reality television), didn't give up. In fact, much of the hourlong program featured the actress, sipping Starbucks with her posse (which also included her PA and a "sober coach") and driving around the city. (Ten different shots involved Lohan entering, exiting or riding in a chauffeured SUV.)
And yet, though Lohan pointed to her dedication to her sobriety as the reason for backing out of her professional commitments, she skipped AA meetings because of the paparazzi hounding her.
"Look at my watch," one of the insensitive photographers bragged to the documentary crew. "Lindsay paid for it."
Oprah, as usual, said it best: "The vultures are waiting to pick your bones," she warned Lohan in the previews for the rest of the season. Some highlights: The actress clashes with her assistant, bails on the docueries' filmmaker and causes her coach to question her sobriety.
"This is exactly what everybody said was gonna happen, and I believed differently," said Oprah. "I believed she was ready."
But not everyone is losing faith. Many fans tweeted their support during their show — and plan to keep watching Lohan's story unfold.