PERSON OF THE YEAR
PERSON OF THE YEAR
When Michael Lohan went off to prison in 2005, no one expected that Lindsay Lohan’s troubled father would emerge two years later as a new man with a new mission, setting out not only to reconcile with his daughter and reconnect with his family, but to save others from falling into the same traps that destroyed his own life. And certainly few would expect that he would remain in the tabloid headlines, day after day, week after week in 2007, with new surprises and outrages, sometimes teetering on the brink of ridiculousness, often falling over the edge, but always with an optimistic message that had us chuckling or shaking our heads.
The year of Michael Lohan was a grown-up parallel story to the chaotic chain of kiddie carwrecks, confrontations and McConaughey-perving rolled out by TMZ. Lohan’s was a story with consequence, with much more at stake than his long-awaited-- and unexpectedly successful-- reunion with his daughter Lindsay. There was his emergence as a mail order minister, his work with the Long Island Teen Challenge youth program, his bitter war with his ex-wife Dina, followed by their unlikely reprochement. His plans to open a celebrity drug rehab center in the Hamptons were matched by his blueprints for a restaurant in Los Angeles, where Lindsay could continue to party under his watchful eye.
And Lohan struggled in public, as well. When the pitch reel for the Michael Lohan Reality Project (above) was leaked to YouTube (receiving more than 100,000 hits within hours), Lohan, in fear of offending Lindsay, denied the show existed. While “working for God,” he was spotted treating his new girlfriend to a posh shoe-shopping spree. And all along, he's been on parole, walking that line uneasily, being fitted with a GPS ankle bracelet, living under curfews and the constant threat that a wrong move could send him back to prison.
Considering all those escapades-- not to mention the Writers Strike that has made unscripted programming so crucial to television networks-- every executive who passed on the idea of the Lohan reality series should be strapping him or herself to an ass-kicking machine.
Lohan's road is a bumpy one and he is the poster boy for taking life one day at a time. But we look forward to new grand schemes and projects, more unexpected headlines, and possibly, his testimony in the lawsuit trial of Frozen Pictures’ Lindsay-related lawsuit against the X-17 paparazzi agency (Scoop: We hear the action is being revised next week to seek damages around the $1 million mark). And with the reality series on the back burner for now, he’s also at the center of a new film documentary on the wages of fame, now in production from our pals at Frozen.