Every season of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew fills a viewer with contradictory reactions. On the one hand, we’re saddened when we see the sad wreck that, say, former kid pop star Leif Garrett has become, “not sober since age 14,” as he said last night in the season 4 premiere. We wish him better health. On the other hand, we witness the appalling behavior of Jason Davis (who? the grandson of super-wealthy mogul Marvin Davis) as he whines about the lack of rehab servants and insults co-inmate Janice Dickinson by saying “I smell face-lifts!” and we wish he’d get tossed out on his addicted ear. So it goes. Human generosity knows some limits.

The show’s voice-over informed us that this time around, the patients would be “more resistant to change than ever before.” But the show didn’t say the patients would be sadder and more puzzling than ever before. For instance, what was Eric Roberts doing among this bunch? Celebrity Rehab is usually a place where well-known-for-something burnouts go to procure a wee bit more camera time with their meds. But Roberts still pops up in big movies (small roles in The Expendables and this year’s Syfy movie Sharktopus — well, maybe his career isn’t in such good shape after all).

If the icky, spoiled-brat Jason Davis was the least likable new Rehab inmate, Roberts was the one for whom I felt the most sympathy. “I’m kind of your standard a-hole,” he said. Yet he was the kindest, most polite celebrity during the premiere, greeting most of his fellow patients with a wide smile and a “Hello, darlin.'” He seems to live in a marijuana fog of an inferiority complex, saying he’s best known as the brother of Julia Roberts and the father of Emma. Eric said, “I’m a pothead; that’s the thing I need to clean up.” His favorite term for this malady was “dosed”: There hasn’t been an adult day “in my life when I’m not dosed,” he admitted.

Dr. Drew pursed his lips and spoke soothingly to Roberts and all the other new patients, who also include Jeremy London, The Hills‘ Jason Wahler, and Rachel Uchitel during their intake interviews. Janice Dickinson provided the night’s most ridiculous quote: “My behavior is becoming un-sober-like because I’ve hit menopause.”

But let’s face it, this entire show is, once again, a sad mixture of the ridiculous and the arrogant. Don’t you kinda hope that when Dr. Drew’s back is turned, Eric Roberts decks Jason Davis the next time he issues one of his snotty insults?

Twitter: @kentucker