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Tommy Lee Goes to College

Image // Unrated // April 25, 2006
List Price: $19.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Scott Weinberg | posted May 30, 2006 | E-mail the Author
The Series

When is a reality show not a reality show? Well, pretty much all the time, but there are a few examples that wander way too far into "obviously scripted" territory, and the semi-watchable but ultimately insipid Tommy Lee Goes to College falls firmly into that category. As a matter of fact, it might just be the flimsiest reality show yet, a six-episode head-scratcher that replaces the fun of "reality" with the irritant of "fakeness."

So the gimmick here is that Motley Crue drummer (and, along with former wife Pam Anderson, amateur porn star) Tommy Lee will take classes at the University of Nebraska, which will enable the self-deprecating tattoo carrier to look stupid, ogle coeds, and irritate professors. Even if everything here were entirely candid and "real," it still wouldn't be all that fascinating, mainly because Mr. Lee simply isn't all that interesting a guy, but the obvious "staging" of everything starts to get a little grating.

The following disclaimer runs during the end credits of each episode: "Tommy Lee attended classes but was not an enrolled student at UNL. Some elements have been produced and/or edited for comedy. Some scenes were filmed on UNL campus but others were filmed off campus where Tommy lived with his roommate."

It's the "edited for comedy" spot that made me chuckle; there's not one true laugh to be found in all six episodes of Tommy Lee Goes to College. The experiment feels to me like Tommy Lee had a few weeks to kill, the college felt like selling itself out for some network attention, and a few other guys had a camera they weren't putting to better use.

A few real college kids do show up, and a few of them (Tommy's buxom tutor and low-key roommate) are actually quite likable, but they're just pawns being shuffled around from skit to sketch. Fans of bad television might enjoy the half-dozen episodes, but this is pretty lame-duck material all around.

The DVD

Video: The episodes are presented in their original full frame format, with picture quality precisely what it should be for a low-budget fake reality show shot with handheld cameras.

Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo. No subtitles.

Extras: Four music videos, two of which are for the same ridiculously lame song.

Final Thoughts

For the first two episodes, Tommy Lee Goes to College worked as a goofball curiosity, but there's only so far you can take a gimmick this lame. They went with six episodes.

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