Last month, Lindsay Lohan was on The View. It was a warm reception, particularly from Whoopi. There were no tough questions and the panel seemed to cheerily decide to avoid Lindsay’s non-existent career, focusing instead on her philanthropic work and a sizzle reel. That’s what she was promoting, an idea for a reality TV show centered around social media. (On the “personal journey” side, she’s been espousing the same narrative since about 2010 – I meditate, I’m spiritual, LA is bad for me, I made some mistakes, I love my family. Over the years, she hasn’t offered much more insight than that.)
Yesterday, EW posted a teaser for her project, The Anti-Social Network. It starts with “I’m back bitches.” Uh, back? Where’d you go? You are consistently on social media and pop up every few months in a tabloid with a questionable problem or fictional project, like The Little Mermaid and Mean Girls 2.
When it comes to Lindsay, I waver on the reasons why she never recovered from the mid-aughts. Was her bad behaviour exacerbated by the emerging 24/7 entertainment cycle (which rose to prominence just as she became famous)? Would she have fared better in a different era? Are her issues (arrests, addiction) regarded more harshly because she’s a woman?
There are external factors that certainly didn’t help her, but Lindsay’s real downfall wasn’t the arrests or the coke or the clubbing – it was Georgia Rule. In 2006 (yup, that long ago), she was being admonished for her sh-tty work ethic. Seriously, how much of a flake do you need to be for Garry Marshall to request a reprimand?! In Hollywood you can be any kind of f-ckup or any kind of asshole, but you can’t be a no-show. That costs MONEY. Copious amounts of money. And looking back, that really pinpoints the end of Lindsay Lohan. She thought she could stop showing up for work, but was entitled enough to believe the well would never run dry.
Fast forward to the Lindsay docuseries in 2014 and she was still not showing up. Going out late, sleeping in, locking the director out, refusing to answer questions, procrastinating, making excuses. And that project required nothing of her except letting camera people into her apartment. They centered the entire series around her moving and she still wasn’t showing up. She worked with trainer and life coach A.J. Johnson (her clients have included Gabrielle Union, Anne Hathaway and Emily Blunt) and when A.J. pushed for results and set up meetings for Lindsay in LA – extending her own contacts in the process – Lindsay bailed. Stopped returning her calls.
And then Oprah came down from the mountain and visited White Oprah (aka Dina Lohan) to give Lindsay the business end of a talking to but Lindsay STILL couldn’t keep a schedule. A schedule that completely revolved around her life.
Three years later, she’s hoping this social media/reality show/prank idea will catch on. Fine. At this point there is no point in talking about what it means to her career to work in reality TV – Lindsay would be LUCKY to have a reality TV job. Because while reality TV doesn’t require a craft, it does require a type of selective honesty and the willingness to be “on” at all times. Even if you think it’s artless, it’s still work. That’s where Lindsay has failed the most – at the work.
IF The Anti-Social Network gets picked up, will she show up for work? If you are a head of a production company, would you take a chance on her being present, prepared and ready to shoot on a tight schedule and limited budget? Who is going to bet on Lindsay Lohan?