Photo Credit: Courtesy of Lifetime
Eight months since Whitney Houston drowned in a hotel bathroom, her loved ones are set to debut in a reality show about…life since then. According to Lifetime, which will air The Houstons: On Our Own (Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET, starting with two, back to back episodes on Oct. 24), the 14-episode docuseries will allow viewers to "see the Houston Family as they come together to deal with the loss of Whitney and focus on Krissy, the 19 year-old daughter of Bobby Brown and Whitney, and the only heir to her mother’s estate."
Indeed, the show zeroes in on Bobbi Kristina (Krissy), who is living in an Atlanta suburb with Whitney’s brother Gary and his wife, Pat Houston -- Whitney’s former manager, executor of her estate and Krissy's guardian. Other loved ones involved in the series are Pat and Gary's 14-year-old daughter Rayah; Krissy's grandmother, Cissy Houston (whom the gang visits in New Jersey) and her family friend/fiance Nick Gordon. Check out a preview here:
“WTF? Totally unnecessary," rapper/activist Chuck D tweeted when the show was announced in May.
Not so, says Pat. In fact, a Houston family reality show was in the works well before Whitney's death. "A little over two years ago we shot a pilot called ‘Power Brokehers,’ with the ‘hers’ because it was about successful women and how they balance different parts of their lives,” she told the New York Daily News. The show included Whitney, Pat, Gary, Rayah and Krissy. When Whitney died, the existing concept simply evolved into a show about how Whitney's family coped with the tragedy, and her mother Cissy joined the group.
But there are elements of this series that are still unseemly. Pat herself discloses that the cameras started rolling shortly after the tragedy. "With Krissy, remember, we started filming this show right after her mother’s passing," she said. "So it’s very difficult for her. To the world, Whitney was a star, but to Krissy she was just Mom." Seems that would be all the more reason to let her grieve in private.
And it gets worse. The most ambitious, guilty-pleasure reality shows tend to veer into salacious territory, and The Houstons: On Our Own is no exception. Krissy is depicted as troubled, handling her emotions much like her mother did -- with alcohol. And in episode two, she shocks the family by announcing her engagement to Nick Gordon, the 23-year-old family friend Whitney took in years ago when he had a falling out with his own family.
Though Gordon explains that Whitney never officially adopted him, everyone besides Krissy appears to think of him as a family member. Their quest to talk Krissy out of the engagement appears to be a major plot point. And Gordon might help their cause, since he's shown asking another woman for her number. Yuck.
These are the types of sleazy family details best kept under wraps. Chuck D may be right when he called the show "totally unnecessary." But it might also be totally harmful to Whitney's daughter.