After watching the first episode of A&E’s The Two Coreys, I knew I would never watch it again. I realize that’s a very easy statement to make, and probably (hopefully) one that many other viewers have made and will honor. However, my reasons were very particular. It wasn’t because the show is being packaged like a sitcom, when it is much more obviously a “sad-com.” It wasn’t because of how obviously staged and awkwardly resolved every conflict is in the show. (The premiere episode included the following three scenes in quick succession, without any development between them: A) Corey Haim is feeling “messed up” and decides he needs to step outside Corey Feldman’s house and “take a walk”; B) Corey Feldman and his wife, Susie, sit on their couch together and wonder, out loud, if Corey Haim is going to be OK because he seemed “messed up”; C) Corey Haim, who has no job and probably not much money, returns from his walk with an expensive vase in a Tiffany’s boxâ€”a very-belated wedding present for Feldman and his wife. Really? Corey Feldman’s mansion is right around the corner from Tiffany’s? Haim just walked a few blocks to Tiffany’s? And dropped several thousand dollars on, of all things, a sort of tasteful crystal vase? That’s how Corey Haim’s mind works? Wouldn’t it have been a bit more believable if he’d returned with a gift card for Armani Exchange or Jamba Juice?) And it wasn’t because all the shots of the Coreys shade-tippin’ in leather jackets upset my delicate stomach.
I had to stop watching the show out of a very personal frustration, after realizing the producers had squandered an opportunity to create the best celebrity reality show in television history. I mean this sincerely. I’ll explain.
At the beginning of the first episode, the Coreys are invited to attend a special 20th anniversary screening of their masterwork, The Lost Boys. Forget that the screening was obviously manufactured by the show’s producers, and was held in what looked like a Boy’s Club auditorium in Schenectady, NY. Or that, at one point, Feldman explained to an audience member that he would consider doing a sequel to The Lost Boys “only if it were done right” i.e. with a camera that wasn’t built from a cardboard toilet paper roll taped to an empty box of Crunch n’ Munch, and painted black. The most salient piece of information to come out of that screening was a suggestion, from one of the Coreys, that they write the sequel to The Lost Boys themselves.
When I heard that, I was riveted. I thought, “Oh, that’s pretty smart. The whole arc of this show will be the Coreys (and the third, less handsome, less formerly drug-addicted Frog Brother) hammering out a script for The Lost Boys 2, and trying to sell it as their comeback film.” The best and most realistic scene in the premiere episode of The Two Coreys was watching them sitting around Feldman’s kitchen table, spitballing the plot of The Lost Boys 2. Haim following up his meandering, unfocused idea about “limited psychic vampire powers” with the statement, “Wait. I have one more totally awesome idea,” showed so much promise. Imagine a whole season of that.
Now, take the “revelatory” scene at the end of the episode where Feldman confesses that Lost Boys 2 is actually in the works, as a straight-to-DVD feature, and that he’s been asked to cameoâ€”but Haim hasn’t!!â€”and pretend it never happened. It was a cheap device anyway, greedily played for a brief moment of tears, but it represented very short-term thinking on the part of the show’s producers. WHAT IF…Corey Feldman hadn’t known about Lost Boys 2, either? It would be very easy to keep that information from him. What if neither of them knew? And the entire season of the show was devoted to the two Coreys brainstorming, scripting, calling former friends to lock down casting, and then pitching LOST BOYS 2? And then, in the final episode, the producers shoot a scene where the Coreys are at a Blockbuster video and see, on the new releases shelf right next to Leprechaun in Tha Hood 3: The Glimmering, a copy of the straight-to-DVD film, Lost Boys 2? While the Coreys have just spent 13 episodes writing and pitching their own version of it, calling in favors, burning bridges, getting into arguments, hinging all their hope on the new scriptâ€”the film already existed as some junky DVD with a bunch of soap opera actors and hip-hop artist, The Game? The mind reels.
I don’t wish any additional harm to befall either of the Coreys, but it would have been so easy to keep those guys in the dark. Their combined commitment to fantasy is so rich and enormous that it blots out any real sense of reality. They wouldn’t conduct research. They’d just plow forward with their script in total ignorance, and it would have been amazing. Like Windy City Heat, with somewhat known actors, instead of a shrieking homeless man. Instead, though, A&E has decided to follow the absolutely winning box office smash formula of You, Me and Dupree and, as a result, American TV viewers have lost something very, very precious.