Plastic surgery is big business, not just for the medical industry, but for the television media, as well. Following the success of shows like Extreme Makeover and Dr. 90210, Oxygen has now entered the arena with Addicted to Beauty, a weekly melodrama that critics say is more freakshow than reality show.
Might as well face it: America is addicted to beauty – and to the plastic surgery that is often used to enhance it. But sadly, in the world of television media, the focus is more often on the unfortunate excess of some who have gone under the knife than the dedication and skill of the surgeons who perform cosmetic procedures.
Case in point: Oxygen’s new quasi-reality show Addicted to Beauty, which primarily focuses on the drama that goes on at a California body shop called Changes Plastic Surgery. (We call it a quasi-reality show because, as anyone who has ever lived in La-La-Land or worked in Showbiz knows, “reality” in such places tends to run a bit thin.)
Addicted To Beauty peels away the layers from the lives of its central characters to reveal the plastic core at the center of each:
• Dianne York-Goldman: the Boss. She runs the business with a face of molten plastic and a strange, neurotically-trembling whip hand. Like a character from Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, her life seems to revolve more around her prized Bentley than anything else.
• Gilbert Lee, M.D: the doctor. One of the few more stable people at Changes (which is sort of what you’d hope for), he is often the straight man to Dianne’s zany antics.
• Gary: the receptionist. The resident faboo fop, Gary is like a junior drag queen in training. His pancaked face and club kid hair do not go well with his frequent and copious crying jags. He is also arch enemy of…
• Natasha: the executive assistant. Although her career ambitions and spare surgical record (boob job only!) put her in the Camp of the Saints, she has little patience with Gary or any of his swishy friends, especially…
• Ronnie: the concierge. A friend/foil to Gary and the shop b****, Ronnie is oddly talented in bronzing; yet, he nevertheless manages to do even less actual work than Gary each day.
As the show begins, Dianne brings in Shannyn – don’t laugh – to become Changes’ new office manager. As the new girl quickly becomes the target of each of the spa’s snipers, the unwitting Dianne decides to hold a big party to put Changes on the map. Predictably, all hell breaks loose.
You’d think America would be tired of peeking in on the freakshow lives of SoCal glamour-puss wannabees, but not so. The employees at Changes will undoubtedly illicit a kind of drive-by rubbernecking from viewers. But, in the car wreck that is Addicted to Beauty, the air bags are the stars.
Addicted To Beauty airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on the Oxygen Network.