This Week in Addiction TV

This Week in Addiction TV

By John Griffiths 04/25/11

Your weekly guide to alcoholism, addiction and recovery on television, one program at a time.

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Aguilera tells Ellen all about it.

SUNDAY APRIL 24

The Simpsons (Fox, 7:30 P.M.)
This should light up former pot heads: in a rerun of the wow-look-at-all-the-colors comedy, not only does Marge become a hoarder but Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong guest voice as their stoney standup selves. The guys stop in Springfield on their reunion tour and big fan Homer winds up replacing Chong on stage—under the moniker "Chunk." Which reminds us: don't forget to get a bag of oatmeal-chocolate chip cookies on the way home from the meeting tonight.
 
Celebrity Apprentice (NBC, 9 P.M.)
Star Jones and her famous ilk's latest task on the charity challenge is to produce an exciting, live hair show for some beauty brand (please let host Donald Trump be one of their models!) One of the stars goes into a rage, while a previously booted player (please, please, please let it be former Celebrity Rehab-er Gary Busey) returns to help with the coifs. 
 
MONDAY 4/25
 
Intervention (A&E, 8 P.M.)
Heroin and Jenna—not the perfect blendship. Once a nice kid with a soul, the girl, now 28, is zombie-eyed and has a thieving boyfriend who helps support her habit. Marvel at how Jenna tells her loved ones "I don't need to hear it now!" as they ambush her with concern. If not now, Jenna, how's tomorrow at three? Penciling it in...
 
Bad Girls Club (Oxygen, 9 P.M.)
It seems even reality vixens who like to knock back tequila shots while knocking each other on the noggin can make amends. As the season's action winds down, wild Nikki "doles out apologies to all the girls she’s wronged." Don't expect bitter enemy Lauren to let it go, though!
 
Relapse (A&E, 9 P.M.) 
Tonight on the show that really should be called Sober Nanny, the recovery experts assigned to chronic relapsers have their work cut out for them again. First off, Kelly's just a handful; her crystal meth addiction has already helped her lose custody of her little girl, and she's gonna wind up in the pokey—probably minus her teeth—if she keeps snorting. Rough case #2: Johnny, a rich and dashing American-Indian who's got a fancy estate, a foodie's palate and a fabulous yen for men. Which all would be fine if he weren't a raging alcoholic with internalized homophobia. Get some recovery, Johnny—and call us!
 
TALK SHOW PICKS Live with Regis and Kelly (syndicated, check listings) Reege and guest cohost Mel B. —not as in Bill W., silly; that's just her eternal Spice Girl handle—chat with Mark Ruffalo, star and director of the new redemption tale Sympathy for Delicious. Mel, please note that Ruffalo played a drug addict who gets sober in 2008's What Doesn't Kill You, is set to play heroin-addled jazz great Joe Albany in the biopic Low Down, and is reportedly considering playing a recovering sex addict in a the cheekily titled Thanks for Sharing. Also note: Ruffalo doesn't identify as an addict himself, but, intriguingly, he did recently tweet this little gem.
 
TUESDAY APRIL 26
 
The Voice (NBC, 9 P.M.)
Christina Aguilera has had some troubles with the drinky-winky (haven't we all), but she's on her best behavior as one of the vocal coaches in this new spin on singing battles. The pop bombshell, along with Cee Lo Green, Blake Shelton and Adam Levine, guides wannabe star-warblers in a race to the top.
 
Raising Hope (Fox, 9:30 P.M.)
On the caucasian-trash sitcom, lovelorn babydaddy Jimmy (Lucas Neff) has a "wild" new girlfriend who hands him "a special beverage" that sends him "on a scary trip." Moral: beware of lower companions!
 
Addicted to Food (OWN, 10 P.M.)
Love, love, love Tennie McCarty, the feisty recovering bulimic (and daughter of "a severe alcoholic") who runs the Shades of Hope eating disorder clinic in Texas. This time on the reality show that charts her work with eight patients there, McCarty nudges her trudgers to express their angers and frustrations. 
 
TALK SHOW PICK Ellen (syndicated, check listings) The aforementioned Ms. Christina Aguilera tells Ellen all about it.
 
WEDNESDAY APRIL 27
 
Minute to Win It (NBC, 9 P.M.)
The latest contestants on the money-grubbing game show must stack seven chocolate snack cakes on their forehead while standing and leaning back. It's called the "Chocolate Unicorn" challenge. Are you listening, Cheech and Chong and Chunk?
 
Breaking In (Fox, 9:30 P.M.)
Good for Christian Slater! He's got a hit sitcom and he's sober. Tonight, security expert Oz (Slater) and his cohorts are hired to protect the movie sequel to Goonies from being pirated at by fantasy flick addicts at a ComicCon-like convention. 
 
THURSDAY APRIL 28
 
TALK SHOW PICK Conan (TBS, 11 P.M.) In a repeat, Seth Rogen—voice of the titular, pot-smoking scamp of an alien in the come-and-gone comedy flick Paul—laughs it up with late night's reigning redhead.
 
FRIDAY APRIL 29
 
Royal Wedding (Every station on the planet, all day)
Storybook-style commoner Kate Middleton weds sauntering yet dogooding Prince William in London's Westminster Abbey. In celebration, much of England gets bombed, bloody fights break out in pubs again, and the stench of vomit and stale booze wafts across the land (followed by one big ouchy-wouchy of a collective hangover). It's at such times that we feel most grateful to be teetotalers.
 
Smallville (CW, 8 P.M.) 
Oh, dear—someone has gained special access to the Phantom Zone's escape portal and sent one of Clark (Tom Welling)'s nastiest nemeses back to earth, dumping him unconscious on a street corner. Or maybe the guy just went down a K-hole. Anyway, call 911.
 
TALK SHOW PICK The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (NBC, 11:30 P.M.) Rob Lowe, who recently said he's got about 20 years of sobriety, chews the fat with Jay about his new memoir and his surprising switch to sitcomdom.
 
SATURDAY APRIL 30
 
Who the Bleep Did I Marry? (Investigation Discovery, 5 P.M.)
Alanon-ies will especially enjoy this special marathon of tales from the reality crimer focusing on folks who somehow wound up hitched to sociopaths. Barbra's sexy surgeon-man turned out to be a  drug-crazed mobster ("Oh, that's okay, honey")! Joe's missus had other misters—concurrently! Then there's Judith, who spent over a decade with a druggie hubby, then moved on to "normal" dude Gary. Seems ol' Gare forgot to put "I killed 48 women" on his Match.com profile. Pray that was Judith's bottom.
 
SUNDAY MAY 1
 
Family Guy (Fox, 9 P.M.)
A nasty storm hits the humble burg of Quahog, sending the Griffins into a tizzy. It's Brian, the martini-loving pooch, who finds the best way to calm his nerves is to consume "some questionable substances." Count on a ruff, ruff comedown. 
 
John Griffiths has been Us Weekly's TV critic since 2003. A longtime celebrity journalist, he was also the host and producer of The Hollywood Pitch (2006-07), a weekly web talk show that addressed recovery in showbiz. He continues to serve on the review committee for the annual Prism Awards, which honor film and TV shows that excel in depicting addiction and mental health issues. He is also on the public awareness task force for the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention.
 
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