Lindsay Lohan

Lindsay Lohan and Oprah Winfrey kicking off Lohan's new reality show (OWN / March 10, 2014)

Dear Lindsay Lohan:

Just caught the first hour of your new OWN reality show “Lindsay,” and honey, this show is so not a good idea.

I understand that, after 90 days clean and sober at Cliffside Malibu, you felt the need to prove you are not an irretrievable mess; that, despite recent evidence to the contrary (“Liz and Dick,” “The Canyons”), you still have much to offer as a performer.

And having Oprah Winfrey promise she will call you out must make you feel somewhat safe (who wants to disappoint Oprah?) and special. Which is one of the biggest reasons filming one’s recovery for display on national television is not standard practice among 12-step followers.

In your path to sobriety, you aren’t special; you’re just another drunk with the same sort of issues as the guy sleeping in the doorway of whatever part of New York in which drunks are still allowed to sleep in doorways.

It was difficult not to wonder if you had, perhaps, rushed into this whole thing. You were only out of rehab four days when filming began and frankly, your explanation for doing the show -- “There’s something to be said about my being so public” -- is not the best one could have hoped for.

Yes, Lindsay, there are many things to be said and most of them will not be nice. So why on earth would you put yourself in this position, especially at a time when you should just be going to meetings, reading the Big Book and finding a sponsor?

Celebrity is an addiction too.

As for Oprah, well, it was hard not to be a wee bit concerned when she suggested that you not take the trip you were planning to Europe. “I’m wondering,” she said, “is that the best decision. ... There’s something about Europe, being the playground for fun and pleasure.”

So going to Europe, no, but moving from Los Angeles to New York, with a film crew and a famous director (Ann Rice) in tow, yes. Am I the only one who remembers when Kirstie Alley did a realty show so she could lose weight? Which didn't work?

Still, it is difficult not to love a girl who sorts through her endless vault of storage boxes wearing short shorts and knee-high black boots. You looked fabulous, Lindsay.

You do have way too much stuff, though. And possibly you shouldn’t have moved it all until you had found an apartment in New York. As you say yourself, living in a hotel means you can’t get a workout schedule or go to meetings or get a sponsor.

I’m not sure why that is, precisely, but you said it quite convincingly and if that is the case, then surely you could have sent someone on ahead to find you a flat. If only so you didn’t have to dump all your stuff on your mom, which meant hanging with Dina. Something that hasn’t always gone so well. In the past.

I’m certain your personal assistant, Matt, could have found you a place, or your sober coach Doug, a man who seems remarkably unfazed by your refusal to attend a meeting because of all the paparazzi who somehow knew to gather outside your hotel (first clue: film crew).

Frankly, between the assistant, the coach, the driver (black SUV because nothing says “I just want my privacy” like a black SUV), the coterie of unnamed security guards and the film crew, you probably could have put together a small AA meeting in your hotel room. Heck, some of the paparazzi are probably sober, right?

You see, Lindsay? It's difficult for even a sympathetic viewer to watch you shopping and smoking and complaining about how your last judge was “punishing me instead of helping me” without making a crack or two.

The ads for Cliffside Malibu also do not help.

Nor do the scenes in which you throw tantrums about a photo shoot that is not going the way you thought it would or a real estate agent who is not dropping everything to get you into the one apartment you finally decide you like. In one priceless moment, you were telling the audience, with obvious sincerity, that you were just trying to figure out how to live in a sane way and figure out how to do it yourself. You remember? You were wearing a Wonder Woman-like gold headband and a dress cut down to there to a Fashion Week event while, back at the hotel, Matt and your team raced around moving all your crap from one hotel room to another.

As a TV critic, I cannot deny it made for some great if painful television. As someone who would like to see you stay sober and get healthy, well, honey, this show is so not a good idea.