Britney Spears has reportedly reunited with her own mother after bad week, in which she lost custody of her two young sons and faced a barrage of unflattering publicity. “Brit really needed her mom,” a source told People magazine. Access Hollywood quoted another person close to the pop star that the reunion between Spears and her mother, Lynne, came as friends worried that, after the singer’s latest troubles, “suicide could be next.”

The “latest installment” in Spears’ “long-running public drama” was terrific news for gossip-mongers and paparazzi, said Mireya Navarro in The New York Times (free registration). Traffic to gossip Web sites skyrocketed as fans checked in to see if it was possible for something more to go wrong. “Britney is Old Faithful,” said Harvey Levin, managing editor of, a leading celebrity-watching Web site.

There is something about watching a “starlet” self-destruct that Americans can’t resist, said Liz Kelly on her Washington Post blog, Celebritology. Call it the “Brit-down.” Just about any kind of “train wreck” will do—a sex tape, an addiction to drugs, alcohol, or plastic surgery, jail time, or even just a botched performance. Never mind that most teenage stars grow into “steady, solid performers and human beings.” We only seem to pay attention to the “cataclysmic crashes.”

Britney needs to take charge of her life, said Jefferson Reid on E! Online’s The Hum blog. Judging by all the fast food she and little sister Jamie Lynn scarfed down over the weekend, it’s just possible that “some of Britney's downward spiral might be her toxic diet.” A salad might be in order. “Sometimes, fast-food swings = mood swings.”