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TV Review: 'Osbournes' off to another profane, funny season

Tuesday, November 26, 2002

By Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV Editor

The big question facing "The Osbournes" as it begins its second season is whether the success of the first season will cause the clan to do more "acting" for the cameras.

Tonight's second-season premiere doesn't shrink from the notion that their stardom has grown exponentially. Instead, the half-hour is upfront in acknowledging the changes in their way of life.

'The Osbournes'

dot.gif WHEN: 10:30 tonight on MTV

dot.gif STARRING: Ozzy, Sharon, Jack and Kelly Osbourne.


Do they act for the camera? Sure, but so do the participants in every "reality" show, and no one on any of these programs can sustain that act 24/7.

That said, it's pretty much business as usual on the season premiere. Ozzy can't work a simple TV remote control, which leads to a cursing jag; Jack and Kelly squabble; Sharon discusses the gold filling she swallowed and the long journey it took through her body.

Viewers get to see Sharon and Ozzy attend the White House correspondents' dinner in Washington. Jack calls Kelly a "sexualist" when she says she doesn't want an all-girl band. And Kelly performs at the MTV Movie Awards while Jack, backstage, tries to scam a meeting with "Star Wars" actress Natalie Portman.

Earlier at the MTV awards show, Jack tells Kelly she "needs spritzing" with either water or hairspray, but then she turns the bottle on him, much to his annoyance.

"Stop spraying my Prada jacket!" Jack whines.

Sharon's battle with colon cancer gets foreshadowed in tonight's premiere, titled "What Goes Up?" But it's not diagnosed until next week's episode, which also features Jack, jumping off a pier lemming-like.

"I'm not ready to croak yet," Sharon declares, "and definitely not with a wig on."

In the first episode in which Sharon's cancer is acknowledged, she remains upbeat even as her children fret and Ozzy "self-medicates." It will be interesting to see how Sharon's illness affects future episodes, whether the outrageousness gets toned down and the humor gets damped.

The son of a family friend who died of cancer will eventually have a regular role on the series this season, but Robert Marcato isn't a major presence in the first two episodes made available for review.

In its second season, "The Osbournes" continues to amuse with its crazy (possibly crazed) cast of characters. They're not people you'd want to invite into your home in the traditional sense. But with a television screen between you and them, they're one of TV's more entertainingly profane, un-family-friendly families.

Rob Owen can be reached at rowen@post- gazette. com or 412-263-2582. Post questions to http://www.post-gazette.com/tv under TV Forum.

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