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Bristol Palin returns to TV this week in another reality show, Lifetime’s Bristol Palin: Life’s a Tripp.
The show, which airs at 9 p.m. Tuesdays, features the former Dancing With the Stars contestant moving from Alaska to Los Angeles with her sister Willow and 3-year-old son to “show Tripp what’s out there.”
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The show has generated headlines for a confrontation in September with Stephen Hanks, the man who was captured on camera shouting obscene comments at Palin in a West Hollywood bar. Last week, he filed a federal lawsuit against her after seeing footage of himself used in promos for the show, which he claims was unauthorized.
While Palin was riding a mechanical bull, Hanks yelled, “Your mother’s a whore” and informed her that he hoped her mother, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, would go to hell. The younger Palin fired back with a slew of homophobic remarks.
The Palin family members have become polarizing figures since Sarah Palin ran for vice president on John McCain’s ticket four years ago. Since then, they have parlayed the national attention into new careers in front of the cameras. (They also starred in the TLC series Sarah Palin’s Alaska and have made numerous TV appearances.)
So what do the critics think of Bristol’s new show?
Los Angeles Times’ Robert Lloyd describes the show as being “about two sisters, temporarily billeted in a Beverly Hills mansion, mostly complaining about Los Angeles, each other and their lives.”
“Anyone expecting an unvarnished, unmeditated look at [Bristol’s] life or any substantial take on the challenges it represents, or seems to — her child-care issues stem from not wanting to hire ‘some random baby-sitter,’ not from a lack of wherewithal — will be disappointed,” he adds.
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Lori Rackl of the Chicago Sun-Times likewise is less than impressed, calling the show the “Alaskan Kardashians” in that it mostly features “Bristol and Willow shopping, squabbling and engaging in vapid conversations.”
Adds Rackl: “The series is supposed to illustrate Bristol’s journey into womanhood, but it feels like the show is a few years too early for that. It’s also supposed to portray how difficult it is to be a young, single mom. In that respect, the show’s too late. MTV has been there, done that — and done it much better with shows like Teen Mom, 16 and Pregnant and Caged.”
Hank Stuever of the Washington Post says even the haters should stay away: “Even if you have a lasting grudge against all things Palin, there’s no payoff here. It’s a new low for anyone who makes the mistake of watching.”
He also writes that the show follows the cliched reality show formula too closely.
“Life’s a Tripp stumbles blindly over the ghostly rubble and ruined format of what was once commonly known as a reality show,” he writes. “There are sport utility vehicles in which to ride; boutiques in which to shop; Starbuckses in which to argue. There are microphone packs clipped to waistlines and bra straps. There are staged conversations during which one idly examines one’s split ends while the other person is talking. There is the furnished Beverly Hills mansion, redolent in its Bachelorette and Simpson-Lachey decor, smelling faintly of failed enterprises, pool chlorine and compromised souls.”
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David Wiegand of the San Francisco Chronicle writes that the show is “not very interesting, and you probably wouldn’t watch if [Bristol] wasn’t [Sarah Palin’s daughter.]”
He goes on to opine that Bristol herself also is “not that interesting. She’s not especially glamorous, and, at the other end of the spectrum, is no Alaskan Snooki either.”
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