Lights, Camera, Sobriety

Retching With the Stars by James Parker
The Atlantic, November 2009

"Peering from beneath hoods, wearing sweatpants, clutching blankets, huddling sideways in their chairs as if centrifugally dislodged from their own lives, the celebs tell their stories at group sessions. The stories, of abuse and neglect, are very sad: sometimes Dr. Drew is literally panting with empathy. Then after each session, in the facility’s little Californian back garden, they sit amid lush, dark leaves and smoke like chimneys, if such furrowed, ritualistic intensity can be attributed to chimneys. And they fall to pieces, punctually."

Jennie Rothenberg Gritz is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she edits digital features.

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