Some of you know a few years back we shot a pilot tv show for VH1. They never picked it up and obviously after seeing what show starts tonight we were not what they were looking for. Here is a bit about their new show.
Whatever value there ever was in glimpsing the “real lives” of marginal celebrities was long ago leeched from the likes of the Osbourne family and Anna Nicole Smith. And yet the shows keep coming, one after the
other, reality nonchalantly surrendering to banality until the TV grid
begins to read like the invitation list to some C-lister bash at the
Among the recently arrived is Luke Campbell, former member of 2 Live Crew and patron saint of booty-shaking. Not surprisingly, “Luke’s Parental Advisory,” which premieres tonight on VH1, is just about as edgy and real as the
term “booty-shaking” has become. The conceit is
standard-self-proclaimed bad boy, whose hard-R-rated lyrics and album
covers helped create the music industry’s “parental advisory” warnings,
now settling into middle age, with two teenagers to raise and a young
fiancé named Vanessa to keep him on the straight and narrow.
that he’s selling insurance or anything; Campbell’s second career is in
the porn industry. Dutifully, the first episode follows him planning
his wedding and “auditioning” strippers. How ever will he reconcile the
He doles out sage advice along the lines of “a boy
who dates more than one girl is a player,” while “a girl who dates more
than one guy is a slut.” Or: “Vanessa understands that I’m like a
gynecologist; if I don’t see [crude term for female genitalia] every
day, something’s wrong.”
Oh, that wacky Luke.
ensure that we understand he takes his parental duties seriously, we
are treated to a little tough love after Vanessa discovers a porn video
under 15-year-old Luke Jr.’s bed. The elder Campbell emphatically
explains that porn is for grown-ups, not teenagers, and that if he
catches his son watching it he will . . . well, it will mean trouble,
Just like Ward and the Beav, really, down to a
script so heavy-handed you can practically smell the writers room.
Ironically, Luke Jr., with his mouthful of braces and obvious
embarrassment with the whole setup, actually seems like a pretty normal
kid. That is, if it weren’t for those cameras all over the house and an
unfortunate narrative thread that has him “dating” a teen mother.
conveys a profane jocularity that almost makes up for the fact that he
says things like “the girls I’m looking for need to be tri-sexual,
meaning they’ll try anything,” and that he wants a bachelor-party
viewing of the porn-star Olympics. It’s not that any of this is
shocking — “The Sopranos” inured most of us to the sight of a man
conducting a personal phone conversation while staring at gyrating pole
In fact, the show is so by the book, it’s silly. When
Luke’s friends learn over golf of his impending nuptials, they
immediately offer “your life is over” advice. Between the golf caps and
self-mimicking “yes, dears,” it’s such a standard set piece you half
expect Dick Van Dyke to mosey on over with a few choice words.
“Luke’s Parental Advisory” so clearly aims to be outrageous it’s
difficult to watch without wincing. Because for all its stripper poles
and booty-dependence, it’s utterly conventional: just another one of
those shows about someone who used to be sort of famous.