"Osbournes: Reloaded" not firing on any cylinders

Fri Apr 3, 2009 1:58am EDT
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By Randee Dawn

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - That's it: Network programmers have officially run out of ideas. How else to explain "Osbournes: Reloaded," a half-hour from Fox that's part video game, part swearathon and part, um, "variety" show?

God love 'em, Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne et al. were a vibrant television commodity on MTV from 2002-05 with their reality show "The Osbournes." Back then, watching the Prince of Darkness try to manage his family, neighbors and dogs while stealing a few minutes to watch the History Channel was alternately touching and hilarious.

But in the past four years, Sharon has morphed into a reality show host/judge, Ozzy's been on the road, and the kids have been in the tabloids. The "reloading" of the Osbournes comes about three years past their relevancy.

To be fair, they were entertaining once, so lightning could strike twice. Except the Osbournes (Sharon, Ozzy and children Kelly and Jack) aren't funny -- at least not intentionally so.

The family variety show comes with a built-in dork factor (the Mandrell sisters, Donny and Marie, the Brady Bunch) which creates a speed bump for any talent. The f-ing foursome (yes, they still all swear like, well, like rock stars) might have overcome such an obstacle if their segments -- onstage and pretaped -- had shown an iota of wit or irony.

Instead, we get them tricking a young man into kissing someone his grandmother's age; Ozzy and Kelly wreaking havoc and tossing milkshakes as drive-in restaurant workers; and Sharon forcing a wedding on an (allegedly) unsuspecting guy in the audience, who's been told he's won "a life-changing moment."

Even with the occasional ad lib from Jack, it's all planned outrageousness, a concept that's pretentious on the surface and, after about five minutes, boring. After 30 minutes, one thing is clear: The writers -- and the Osbournes -- have only reloaded their chambers with blanks.

<p>(From L-R) Ozzy, Kelly, Sharon and Jack Osbourne stand on stage at the Brit Awards at Earls Court in London February 20, 2008. REUTERS/Alessia Pierdonemico</p>