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The Telefile
<I>Osbournes: Reloaded</I>: Not As Bad As We Feared

Frankly, the whole variety show thing isn't a format that ever really appealed to me personally, even when it was popular. (Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters being the sole exception, because I was young and loved their big hair and outfits.) And after that whole recent Rosie Live debacle, my expectations for this one involving the Osbournes (who haven't really been interesting since 2002, approximately) were abysmally low. Who wants to watch a variety show hosted by a man who is notoriously incomprehensible? And judging by the commercials, it seemed to involve pranks, which I typically hate even more than variety shows (Howie Do It being the latest excruciating example). So imagine my surprise when I watched Osbournes: Reloaded and actually didn't hate it. Shocking. I know people were protesting having this un-family-friendly programming on after the wholesome Idol, and I have a higher tolerance for their antics than most, but still, it could have been so much worse. I'm not saying that we necessarily need more installments any time soon, but for what it was, it was just more of the foul-mouthed craziness that made their original reality show watchable in the first place. Here's my reasons for not hating it.

1. It was only a half-hour long
Technically 35 minutes, but since Idol ran a little bit over anyway, and there were commercials, it was blissfully short, which meant less time for stupid banter. The perfect length for this sort of program.

2. They brought their dogs
They didn't actually have their dogs do much of anything, but it wouldn't really have been a show with the Osbourne family if they didn't have their infamous pooches.

3. Lots of profanity
Sure it got bleeped out with little Ozzy-shaped censors, but Fox was wise enough to know that this lot cusses up a storm. In fact, they were dropping f-bombs in their introduction, with Kelly calling them, "The first family of fucked-up."

4. Kept Ozzy Quiet
Someone wisely decided to put Ozzy in a big old regal chair and then barely let him talk, leaving the lion's share of work to Sharon and the kids, while he just got to sit around. They wouldn't be "famous" without him, but the producers were right to have him seen and not heard.

5. Jack and Kelly
Jack is looking sort of adorable these days, like a chubbier Pacey. Not bad. And he was just there to yell out random comments about roofies and whatnot. Kelly's costume changes, hairdos and truly foul mouth were on hand for just general entertainment value. It's interesting to see how they've turned out.

6. The audience members
These people are game for anything, sort of unruly and easily entertained. Just what you want for a show like this. They raucously agreed to kiss a stranger for 100 bucks (likely knowing that there had to be some sort of twist to it) and also sassed back on cue. Maybe it was a bunch of out-of-work actors, but hey, at least they were lively.

7. Littlest Osbournes
Two kids dressed like Sharon and Ozzy and swearing a lot? It could have been lame, but I just never get tired of watching kids say the darnedest things.

8. Playing Cupid
It wasn't all tricking guys into kissing old ladies for cash. They also set up a guy who had been avoiding getting married to his girlfriend for seven years and quilted him into getting married on national TV. Sure, that marriage won't last (if it was even real) but it was a nice attempt. Especially since Cupid, which I was really looking forward to watching last night, was pretty much a let-down.

I could have done without the whole "Ozzy and Kelly get a job at a drive-thru," but it didn't bug me that much, and wasn't too terribly long, so it is forgiven. I don't know how it will fare, or if I'll necessarily watch it again, but I've suffered through much, much worse shows.

What did you think? Horrible or passable?

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