Dear Gossips,

Duana and I tape the Show Your Work podcast on Saturdays at 1030am to be posted two days later, on Mondays. This week’s episode was the last of the year because holidays, etc. All week we’ve been sending notes back and forth about what we would be podcasting if the scheduling worked out. I feel like Mischa Barton would have probably made the cut, especially since Mischa Barton is currently in the process of reintroducing herself – this time as the host of a show about luxury cars. The series is called Joyride, by Esquire Network. Mischa is one of four co-hosts, including also T Pain, who, every week:

“…will go on a quest to find the best car in a range of styles and eras, from cutting edge current models to high-end classics. They will put their passionate opinions and personal driving skills to the test as they take the wheels of four beautiful, unique and aspirational cars, and ultimately choose a winner at the end of each episode. With years of knowledge and really strong viewpoints, these four hosts take car testing to new, comical heights. What better way to find the “Best British Car” than to get a “test ride” in the back-seat to see how luxurious the car really is. And you can only find the “Best 80s Car” while rocking out to a mixed tape from that hair-band era. Throughout the run of the series, viewers will not only get to know these celebrity drivers as they go through these funny and thrilling test drives, but they will also learn practical take home knowledge about all of the vehicles.

Car categories will include: Best Classic Truck, Best British Car, Best 80s Car, Best Car for a First Time Driver, Best Muscle Car of the 1960s and Best Midlife Crisis Car.”

So Mischa Barton is trying to pivot from Marissa Cooper to Jeremy Clarkson. OK. But that’s not why Mischa’s in the news today. She’s in the news today because she told The Ringer’s Allison P Davis that being on Dancing With The Stars was like The Hunger Games. Mischa did not do well on DWTS. Because, in her mind, she was misled, she had a vision for her participation that she claims they had promised to support but didn’t end up supporting. That vision was that she was “supposed to control the costumes, I was told that I could do the design aspect of it, that’s kind of the reason why I agreed to do it,” Barton says. The DWTS team had been making her an offer for years, Barton says, but she held out until she could have more creative control. “That didn’t happen. It wasn’t collaborative like a choreographer on a film set. … I was so confused by it. It was like The Hunger Games. It was all a popularity contest. It was awful. I was so glad to get kicked off.”

So Mischa Barton thought she was joining Dancing With The Stars to be Tom Ford? Anything and anyone, I suppose, other than Marissa Cooper. Or Mischa Barton in the age of Marissa Cooper. She acknowledges that she made mistakes, a lot of mistakes. She knows that she’s remembered primarily for Marissa and those mistakes and that we can’t, or won’t, let her move on from Marissa and the mistakes. What Allison P Davis is gently asking in this piece is whether or not that’s fair. I’m not sure Mischa even knows the answer. Because while she describes herself as “old school”, as someone who “came from the days of real film” (seriously), at the same time, she talks about the benefits of modern fame – social media, in particular, and how it’s given her the opportunity to contribute in ways she wasn’t able to before:

“I remember the days when you had no voice, and they could make up stories and say whatever they wanted, and now at least they have an insight into your life. People can see what you’re really like. Twitter less so, but Instagram has an artistic side to it, where you can see through that person’s eye, what they creatively choose, what they’re up to and who they are — you get a feeling for them. I enjoy it now.”

Sure. But the social media moment Mischa is most well-known for is the time she posted a shot of herself floating on a boat with the wind in her hair wearing a sad face and a bikini in tribute to Alton Sterling. If the tabloid representation of Mischa and Mischa’s own Instagram representation of Mischa are indistinguishable, how effective is all this reinvention? Click here to read the full Mischa Barton profile at The Ringer.

Yours in gossip,