Shatner-Palooza: Raw Nerve Part II

A couple weeks ago, I mentioned William Shatner's Raw Nerve. It's his new talk show.

I've caught several episodes so far. His interviews with Valerie Bertinelli, Tim Allen, Kelsey Grammer, Jenna Jamison, and Jimmy Kimmel all have one thing in common. Eventually, they all come around to a discussion about substance abuse.

There are a couple things that could be going on. One is that there is a tremendous amount of substance in celebrity circle. Another is that there is a tremendous amount of un-discussed substance abuse in the general populace. Another possibility is that Shatner is hand picking people with substance abuse in their past.

All three of those possibilities are likely true.

Several people have commented that the show gets a little creepy. I can see that. Shatner dives into the issue with an odd intensity.

I think there's a reason behind that. I don't think Shatner is just trying to get a good interview. I think the entire show is about Shatner dealing with his third wife's death.

In 1999, Nerine Shatner died in the swimming pool at the couple's estate. In his book, "Up Til Now," Shatner talks extensively about Nerine's alcoholism, her trips to rehab, the challenges he faced in dealing with her alcoholism, the helplessness he felt, and the deep grief he felt. He recorded a song about Nerine's death on his album, "Has Been."

Though Shatner has remarried, he still seems to a lot of trouble dealing with Nerine's alcoholism and death.

As I watch Raw Nerve, and the way he asks guests about their challenges with drugs or alcohol, it strikes me that he is really asking them, "Can you please help me understand Nerine?"

As the show continues, I will be interested to see if this trend continues, or if Shatner moves on to other Raw Nerves with his guest.


Anonymous said...

I haven't seen the programme being in the UK but I will say this about Shatner, he's one of those people that seems to hang on and on, it's like human car crash TV. I loved the original Star Trek series, well I used to until the re-runs got out of control. Then there were the movies, which were rather sad, everyone was getting fat and out of breath by the eighties and Shatner's scripts sucked. Then there's T.J. Hooker which is so bad I am embarrassed mentioning it. These days I am almost feel someone should put the guy out of his misery, his music is awful, he looks ill, he's more arrogant than ever (just ask every person who has ever worked with him) and I think the only reason he still gets any exposure is down to the public's fascination with the decline of celebrity, a sort of long drawn out version of Britney with far less sex appeal. Beam him up Scotty.

Anonymous said...

I caught a few episodes of this show, and you're right, the topic does always seem to come around to substance abuse. Regardless, I think its a good show because the celebs aren't on to promote anything, they are just there to talk. Really talk. I've always thought Shatner was a little creepy, but if the guest is someone you are really interested in then it is worth a watch. I hope he gets some more good guests.

Paul Eilers said...

That is very perceptive. It sounds to me like you are on to something, though I have not seen the show and do not keep up with the world of celebrity.

Anonymous said...

I myself am married to somebody who was a substance abuser.
Even though my situation ended in a much more postitive note
(My dear husband managed to deal with his addiction and issues that led to said addiction through rehab & lots of therapy).
But nonetheless ~ there are still times when I am seriously confused with the "WHY?" of his addiction.
It is so perplexing to the non-user in these situations ...
So I feel for the guy ~
But on the other hand, RETIRE already ... you must have enough money for goodness sakes!!!