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The Osbournes

Back when I was growing up, Ozzy Osbourne was the last figure that I was told should be a role model.  Back in the good old 1980s, Ozzy Osbourne was reviled by parents and authority figures.  Seeming a symbol of hedonism, Ozzy was best known for biting the head off a dove and for being a raging drug addict.  Also, Ozzy was known for being the king of heavy metal and the singer for some of the best songs ever.  The former lead singer of the legendary Black Sabbath, Ozzy was viewed as evil incarnate and of course, I and others my age loved him for that.

How things have changed in the years though.  Now, Ozzy is best known for being the patriarch in the warped but ultimately conservative reality TV show, The Osbournes.  Produced by MTV, The Osbournes shows the life of the Osbourne family that has created stars out of the other members of the family that isn’t Ozzy.

Ozzy Osbourne was always a misunderstood figure and a lot less hard than everyone gave him credit for.  While conservative critics felt that Ozzy reflected everything that was wrong in the world, Ozzy always had very hippieish lyrics that is best reflected in his anti-suicide verse on the major Black Sabbath hit Paranoid.  However, with The Osbournes, viewers get to see Ozzy in a much different light from his theatrical stage shows to his role as a loving but somewhat clueless father.

Winner of the 2001 Emmy Award for Best Reality Television series, The Osbournes became a major phenomenon when it first came out.  One of the few water cooler shows that come every couple of years, The Osbournes is now currently embarking on its third season.  Featuring Ozzy’s wife, the feisty manager Sharon Osbourne who once famously quit her job as the manager of The Smashing Pumpkins after nine days because she was sick … sick of Billy Corgan (singer/sven gali of the popular alt-rock band), The Osbournes also made stars of Sharon and Ozzy’s children: Kelly and Jack.

Irrepressible, The Osbournes were a very unique family that seemed out of place in their exclusive Beverly Hills home.  Featuring a ridiculous amount of profanity, viewers get to see the feuding Osbourne children.  Additionally, viewers were able to see how exasperated the feisty Sharon gets trying to create a stable household and also the sight of rock god Ozzy trying with great difficulty to learn how to use a remote control.

Generating an unprecedented amount of laughs from an audience that couldn’t believe what they were seeing, The Osbournes has been a great career move for this whole family.  Ozzy is bigger now than he has probably ever been and Kelly was able to parlay her reality television notoriety into a singing and acting career.  Sharon was able to obtain her own talk show from the success of The Osbournes and Jack became a notorious partier in the Hollywood scene, which led to his unfortunate addiction to painkillers.

Now entering its third season, The Osbournes isn’t as popular as it was when it first came out.  Still it remains a classic and fascinating reality TV show to see.  Beginning the trend of celebrity driven reality TV shows, The Osbournes aren’t only one of America’s most unique and loveable families but also reality television pioneers.