Editorial Gives Props to Scott Baio, Bret Michaels Reality Shows

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The following is an editorial from the A.V. Club, dissecting a pair of new reality shows...

As a rule, I'm not fond of reality TV, but that rule has been shattered in recent years by shows about faded celebrities on the edge. There's pure schadenfreude involved in watching Danny Bonaduce (the world's first post-reality star, in my opinion) get fired up on 'roids and drink himself silly; and an equal amount of joy and pain is involved when Tim Sizemore falls out of his car.

Such a Hottie Now, VH1 has done it again, though to a slightly less-depressing degree. Last Sunday saw the first episodes of Scott Baio Is 45… And Single and Rock Of Love, a Flavor Of Love knockoff starring Bret Michaels of Poison.

Both shows, which air Sundays (and will probably re-run every five seconds), are about marginally talented dudes who got lots of, umm, poontang, in their heydays, but who are now looking for a "meaningful relationship." In other words, pathetic man-children crybabies who somehow still make enough money this long after the fact to shame God. You get to laugh at them, America - that's your prize.

The clear winner in the pain/pleasure game is Scott Baio. Confused by the fact that he always "runs into a wall" in relationships - clearly when he tires of fucking whoever he's fucking - Baio hires a life coach to help him sort his shit out. She suggests that he not have sex with anyone - including his current long-term girlfriend - for two months, and that he revisit old lovers to find out where he went wrong.

In the first episode, Baio lunches with Erin Moran - that'd be Joanie Cunningham - with whom he lost his virginity. I'll let you watch to really experience the moist, ugly patheticness. (Fun fact: Hearing the word "Chachi" sends Baio into a rage.)

But far more exciting than Joanie - or even Chachi himself 0 is Baio's ridiculous Entourage-style posse, including Jason Hervey, a.k.a. the big brother from The Wonder Years, who now chomps on cigars and looks like a choad. But the star of Scott Baio, for my money (and based only on the first episode), is his friend Johnny V. He doesn't want Baio to stop getting laid, because that means he won't get Baio's sloppy seconds. This is almost, but not quite explicitly, stated.

Johnny - mind you, this is based on just one episode - might prove the best thing about the show. And after the show is over (especially if Baio gets his s-it sorted out), I predict Johnny V. will make headlines for killing a hooker. (This may be an exaggeration, but only slight.) In any case, watch this. It's as unnerving as a Michael Haneke movie.

Rock Of Love might lose its luster quickly, but the first episode was ridiculously fun. The premise: 25 slutty rocker chicks compete for the affection of slutty rocker dude Bret Michaels. He thinks they're all amazingly beautiful. (They are most assuredly not.) The first episode is overrun by a drunk Chicago woman who doesn't make the first cut, but begs her way back into the house anyway. She slurs, she insults, she's gross… And do you think she makes it to the next round? She does.

Here's how you know who made it: Bret places an all-access laminate around a girl's neck and says, "Will you stay in this house and rock my world?" What more do you need to know? The second episodes of both shows air this weekend on VH1, as do reruns of the first. Soak it in.

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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