October 25th, 2012
10:18 AM ET
The Houston family drama was unfolding both in real time and on reality TV Wednesday.
While Bobby Brown was arrested again on a DUI charge, his daughter with the late Whitney Houston, Bobbi Kristina, and her family members were entering the reality fray with the premiere of Lifetime's "The Houstons: On Our Own."
The point of the reality series, which was announced in May, is to give insight as to how the Houston family is coping with the loss of Whitney, who died in February.
It follows Whitney's brother Gary, his wife Pat (who was also Whitney's manager), their teen daughter, Whitney's mother, Cissy, and, of course, 19-year-old Bobbi Kristina and her boyfriend/the guy who was raised alongside her as a brother, Nick Gordon. A teaser clip for the series highlighted their relationship and the family's distaste for it, centering on their maybe-engagement.
Bobbi Kristina was also a major storyline in the premiere, but that move didn't leave critics begging for more. Quite the opposite in fact: everyone seemed to agree that Whitney's death was far too fresh in our minds to watch the family members she left behind in their intimate moments, which included a visit to the singer's grave.
The New York Daily News warns that the series "does not, at least at first, have the effect either the participants or the viewers might want." While the reality show "could paint the Houstons as solid, regular folks using their faith and love to cope with life's troubles, after the first night, most viewers will likely understand some of the unease."
The Daily Beast found aspects of the series to be "intrusive." Watching Bobbi Kristina and her sort-of-adopted brother/beau lean on each other in the presence of Cissy and Gary as they visited Whitney's grave, "the viewer is pained not only by the family’s loss but also by their apparent need to display that loss in such a visible way," The Daily Beast observes.
The Los Angeles Times called the premiere "uncomfortable" to watch, adding that "there are some things that shouldn't be documented," and "watching a family grieve and pick up the pieces after a devastating loss is at the top of the list."
Salon agreed, writing in a review that "the moments that make the best TV are exactly the same moments that demonstrate this family shouldn’t be on a TV at all."
Did you catch "The Houstons: On Our Own"? What was your take on the premiere?
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