We say no, no, no

Amy Winehouse isn’t the only celebrity with rehab on her mind.

This January, VH1 will be premiering a new reality show. Hot off the heels of popular shows such as “Flavor of Love,” “I Love New York” and “The Surreal Life,” “Celebrities in Rehab” is VH1’s next attempt to strike reality television gold.

We all know the premise of this type of reality show. VH1 has made it quite clear that they are not averse to shoving recycled reality television down our collective throat. After some unnecessary research, the premise of the show seems to be pretty clear. “D-list” celebrities abuse drugs or alcohol. They realize how foolish they are for falling into the trap. They want help.

Where do they turn? VH1, of course. We didn’t see this coming?

We’re sure each of the celebrities truly does need help. Perhaps rehabilitating their problems on television will make them more likely to kick their habits. Even the show’s voice of reason, Dr. Drew Pinsky of “MTV Loveline” fame, is highly respected in his field. However, the idea that VH1 is capitalizing on legitimate problems of these people is a shame.

Drug and alcohol abuse affects countless people every day. Not only are the abusers themselves being hurt, but also their friends and families as well. Celebrities, “D-list” or not, have an elevated level of visibility in the public eye. For this simple fact alone, it is expected their trials and tribulations with drugs and alcohol will be somehow chronicled in the media.

However, for their efforts at rehabilitation to be sensationalized, cut and edited into an easily digestible weekly cable-television series is simply ridiculous on a human level. It would be perfectly acceptable if VH1 were to present the program in a factual, documentary style. Perhaps something could be learned by using the strategy of skillfully documenting the human side of their problems – the fact that they are celebrities notwithstanding.

Judging VH1’s reality show track record suggests the opposite.

“Celebrity Fit Club” offers a suitable parallel. Celebrities were rounded up to take part in a fitness program, built as competition between two teams with the goal of losing the most weight. This show was executed reasonably well. Legitimate medical doctors and personal trainers were on hand to dispense advice and ensure the safety of the celebrity contestants. However, the show chose to advertise and highlight moments that had nothing to do with the actual issue of weight loss. Conflicts between team members and even conflicts between contestants and doctors were the reason many people tuned in. A great idea for a show was transformed into a mockery of their problems.

Let’s hope “Celebrities in Rehab” is done a bit differently.

Instead of highlighting the garbage that reality television tends to produce regularly, let’s hope that VH1 take the high road when dealing with drug and alcohol abuse. No pun intended.

If VH1 chooses to take the usual route with “Celebrities in Rehab,” it is up to us as educated consumers to look at VH1’s “Rehab” the same way Amy Winehouse looks at it.

No, no, no.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.