August 17, 2005 --
"Battle of the Network Reality Stars"
Tonight at 9 on Bravo
IT should come as news to no one that Bravo's "Battle of the Network Reality Stars" isn't worth the videotape it is recorded on.
And yet, I bring you this news anyway, just in case any of you were thinking seriously about expending an hour of your life tonight watching this vacuous piece of junk.
Previewing a show like this on your behalf gives a TV critic a chance to really earn his pay because watching this show is one torturous experience.
Bravo's publicity campaign reflects its belief that affection for the old "Battle of the Network Stars" of the 1970s will drive viewers toward this new edition, which features more than 30 castoffs from reality TV shows facing off in a variety of competitions.
Hello? Earth to Bravo: There is no affection for the old "Battle of the Network Stars," so what makes you think anyone will be interested in watching a new one?
Amazingly, this new version is even worse since its contestants are all nobodies who became somebodies for a brief time, and then would have returned to lives of anonymity if it weren't for dumb ideas like "Battle of the Network Reality Stars."
I earn my living watching TV so I am familiar with most of these people. If you recognize them, though, then you truly don't have a life and need to get one fast.
What can I say about a show that features so many people most of us are sick of — from loudmouth Susan Hawk of "Survivor" to dorky Adam Mesh of "Average Joe"?
Omarosa of "The Apprentice" is even on hand as a sideline reporter — a role which would seem to require no skill whatsoever, and yet she fails at it anyway.
Everyone else on "Battle of the Network Reality Stars" is just as lifeless — from "Bachelor" clod Bob Guiney to effeminate Austin Scarlett, who was so memorable on "Project Runway," but who struggles here to form complete sentences.
They're just some of many elements — including jousting equipment that literally falls apart in mid-competition — that brand "Battle of the Network Reality Stars" as the most inept production on TV so far this year.