Reality Check: B-List Stars Joining the Fray
With "Flavor of Love" drawing monster ratings, it's no surprise that production companies are saturating the airwaves with even more burnt-out stars living their lives or thrown into unlikely situations. Below, a handful of new offerings:
Armed & Famous
Post TV critic Tom Shales describes CBS's attempt to horn in on the celeb-reality game thusly: "The show, which exists mainly to be ridiculed, features five feeble excuses for stars pretending to learn how to pretend to be policemen on the Muncie force." Those five feeble excuses, by the way, are Jack Osbourne (Ozzy's son), Jason "Wee-Man" Acuna ("Jackass"), Trish Stratus (pro wrestler), LaToya Jackson (questionable) and Erik Estrada ("CHiPs").
(Airing now on CBS)
Well, it's about time someone turned a junkie's home movies into a series. The premise: Character actor Tom Sizemore ("Saving Private Ryan," "Black Hawk Down") tries to rebuild a post-addiction life with the help of some plucky sidekicks. New footage of the actor is interspersed with Sizemore's own home movies of shooting up and whatnot, which VH1 says gives "the viewer a graphic visual depiction of his drug-fueled downfall." And I thought "Breaking Bonaduce" was hard to watch.
(Airing now on VH1)
We get to watch the '80s-era stand-up comic, best known for adult-themed nursery rhymes, attempt to claw his way back into a career. My favorite bit from the press release: "Also thrown into the fray is ... 'Wheels,' his ever-dieting buddy; Todd, his witless road manager; 'Happy Face,' his stone-faced ninja- trained bodyguard; and Uncle Lee, his doting mentor who spouts sage advice at the drop of a hat." It's like the Fellowship of the Ring, but not.
(Debuts on VH1 in March)
Band of Men
Four aging boy banders -- Chris Kirkpatrick ('N Sync), Jeff Timmons (98 Degrees), Rich Cronin (LFO) and Bryan Abrams (Color Me Badd) -- try to spawn a new musical entity complete with cheesy songs and a stage show. They'll also live together, so expect hi-larity. Really, though, can't we just watch this once a week? Okay, okay -- how 'bout this? No, well, surely this is the right one.
(Premieres on VH1 this summer)
The Coreys: Return of the Lost Boys
Bad Corey (Haim) moves in with Good Corey (Feldman) to rebuild his life after years spent abusing drugs and allowing his "career" to languish. And, since this is A&E, expect impeccable production values and some kind of high/middle brow interpretation of this tale of two Coreys. I am so watching this.
(Debuts on A&E sometime this year)
Liza Minelli's flamboyant ex-husband has signed a deal to take part in a six-part series about his life. If it's anything at all like the unaired pilot for a pre-divorce show with Liza, it should be good watching.
(Sorry, this series is set for a British debut. Let's hope someone YouTubes it.)
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