Tease

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9 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 10
Oxygen


Somebody actually had to greenlight this, shocking though that might be. "Tease" is a reality show where famed "master stylists" (there's an oxymoron for ya) compete via a "mane event" with lesser-knowns before a disturbingly enthusiastic studio audience in a "hair-a-torium" for scissors supremacy. Armageddon truly must be right around the corner.

When you're Oxygen, "Tease" evidently qualifies as high cultural art, though it simply isn't possible for original programming to be less consequential than this. Actress Lisa Rinna -- she of the layered hair and glimmering teeth -- hosts, managing somehow to keep a straight face throughout an exercise that has the uncanny capacity to actively destroy the brain cells of those who dare view it. Bye-bye neurons. Bye-bye synapses. It's been nice knowin' you. Talk about bringing stale new meaning to the term "cutting remarks."

The opener matches Laura and Roger, a couple of unknowns (are there actual "knowns" in this world?) who run their own salons in Texas and Tennessee, respectively. I think they unfortunately call the competition a "cut-off," but I'm not sure. I tried not to pay close enough attention. My active consciousness shut off after hearing this voice-over diatribe from Rinna: "Roger mixes his color using level-10 bleach and 20-volume developer to match the root color to the base color." Oh yes, of course, and thanks for speaking Swahili. We later learn from the three judges (yes, there are those, too) that the key to blow-drying hair is to "make sure it's really dry." I don't know about them, but I prefer my dried hair a little on the mildewy side.

A second cut competition obliges the stylists to make their women resemble Heather Locklear and, in a mind-numbing coincidence, Rinna. If I ever go on "Tease," I'll ask them to try to turn me into Geraldo Rivera, but I'm not anticipating an invite before the ax falls. After all, you know what they say: to hair is human; to cancel, divine.

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