Two years ago, Britney Spears was coyly singing the praises of her still intact hymen. Then came Justin Timberlake, who unsuspectingly opened Pandora's Box—or so Britney and Kevin: Chaotic would have us believe. The first episode is still a blur, not least of which because the show's extreme shooting style makes it especially hard to stare at what is—no more no less—a totem to the pop singer's narcissism. Shot almost entirely from the point of view of Britney's home video camera, Chaotic evokes a vagina devouring everything in its path. In 1982, John Waters conceived Odorama for the film Polyester. During the film, odors were delivered to the audience courtesy of scratch-and-sniff cards. Britney's reality show does one better than Waters by delivering the stench of bleach, shit and sperm without the scratch-and-sniff cards. For the first 30 minutes of the show's premiere episode, Britney dogs marriage to everyone within shouting distance; it's as if the show was edited for people who went into comas shortly after Britney divorced Jason Allen Alexander. So much for suspense. But wait! For those who do know that Britney shagged, married and got pregnant by one of her dancers, the disturbingly intimate Chaotic is not without its surprises, some more comforting than others. Britney turns her camera on her perpetually half-naked boy toy Federline as if afraid to let him out of her sight, or to prove that he actually showers. This pop twit, whose views on sex, life and love suggest someone who believes they're the only person on the face of the earth, doesn't appear to be doing much at the moment besides porking Federline (in one scene, a tired Britney proudly declares that she had sex three times in one day), and it shows: Britney has campaigned for Proactiv, but she's unlikely to do so again after the folks at the anti-acne cream's company take a look at what all that sweaty Federline sex has done to her face. This is all good for Kevin, I suppose, since he doesn't seem to do much of anything besides struggle to put sentences together, but this can't be good for Britney's career, which seems to be moving at least 10 times faster than that of Madonna's. It took the queen of pop exactly 20 years to rule the world, get married, get divorced, get freaky, have a baby, bemoan her celebrity status and respond to her critics in her songs and videos, win a Grammy, get married again and burn out. Having done all that in five years, all that's left for Britney is to burn out too. With Chaotic, she seems to have lit the fire herself.
- UPN, Mondays, 9 p.m.
- Britney Spears and Kevin Federline