“You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency?”
OK, so maybe Lori Loughlin’s return to acting — after serving two months in federal prison last year for her role in the college admissions scandal — doesn’t quite equal those famous words uttered by Joseph Welch to Sen. Joseph McCarthy during the nationally televised Army-McCarthy hearings in 1954. I mean, she found fame on a mindless TV show called “Full House.” ‘Nuf said.
Still, the announcement that Loughlin, 57, will mount her comeback with a spinoff of “When Calls the Heart” on something called GAC Family, first reported by Deadline, leaves a sour taste in that “I just threw up in my mouth a little bit” kind of way, with a moral compass pointing way out of whack. I once wrote that Loughlin destroyed her television career when she was allegedly involved in the scandal. I was wrong, obviously, but I do think the stink of her eventual conviction, and her blithe, tone-deaf behavior since then, will dog her for some time. And, c’mon, two months in the slammer? Really? It could’ve been worse: Her TV colleague, Felicity Huffman, 58, toughed out a grueling 11 days behind bars (I use that term loosely) after pleading guilty in the college admissions scandal.
I guess Loughlin — whose controversial daughter Olivia Jade Giaunulli, 21, is currently attempting a comeback of her own on ABC’S “Dancing with the Stars” — showed her remorse by plunking down $13 million for a Palm Desert getaway with her husband, 58-year-old Mossimo Gianulli — who, by the way, served five months in the federal slammer for his role in the scandal. They sure seem remorseful. I’d call it obnoxious.
Forget that Loughlin was dumped by her vanilla, Wonder Bread network, Hallmark, in 2019, even before her sentencing. She was too much even for them and was fired from its saccharine-sweet movie franchises “When Calls the Heart” and “Garage Sale Mystery,” both of which went a long way toward dusting off Louglin’s “Where Are They Now?” status. She was also dumped from her Netflix reboot series, “Fuller House,” a family comedy that couldn’t countenance a law-breaking co-star, even one who wore the all-too-predictable celebrity “look at me” eyeglasses in the lead-up to her sentencing — to prove she was serious (and fooling no one).
So, yes, it’s a bit disturbing that Loughlin will return to television, albeit on a new network, GAC Family, whose execs seem to think everything is sweet and good in the world of Hollywood entitlement and sleaze. It helps, I guess, that GAC is run by Bill Abbott, the former CEO of Crown Media Family Networks, which oversees Hallmark Channel. But I’m guessing the decision to hire Loughlin wasn’t made by Abbott alone; there’s strength in numbers, and how else can the blame be spread around evenly if it all goes belly-up?
As per Deadline, Loughlin will appear as her “When Calls the Heart” character, Abigail Stanton, in “When Hope Calls: A Country Christmas,” airing Dec. 18. Nothing like sugarcoating her return under the safe, criticism-proof veil of holiday programming. Oh wait, I just criticized it. Forgive me for being cynical — but it’s a cynical, tasteless move.
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