AS SEEN ON: E!'s reality series delve into shallow minds

by Leslie Adkins | 4/29/09 1:19am

by Courtesy of / The Dartmouth

What's worse is that they appear to be right.

Admittedly, my own obsession with the E! series "The Girls Next Door," a playful look at life inside the Playboy Mansion from the perspectives of Hugh Hefner's "girlfriends," has contributed to E!'s trend of superficial programming. Although the show was as novel as the Playboy brand itself, the generation of a loyal fan base would only validate the creation of similar, less-inspired series hoping to garner the same level of worship.

This brings us back to "Kardashians" and "Candy Girls." "Keeping Up with the Kardashians," which airs Sundays at 10 p.m., follows the adventures of Kardashian-Jenner family members as they live a life you can't help but think they don't deserve. Whether you're exposed to Kim's (you know, the one with the Ray J sex tape and J. Lo tush) sisterly squabbles, Khloe's whines about body image or young Rob's issues with his girlfriend, the entire family seems more ridiculously histrionic than Monty Python.

"Candy Girls," which follows "Kardashians" at 10:30 p.m., could actually be interesting if it didn't feature grown women with prepubescent mindsets. The show follows Danielle, a talent agent who provides beautiful women with gigs in music videos and invitations to elite industry parties and other celebrity events. I have always wondered how a "video girl" is hired. If you're a good one, apparently it's done through Danielle.

The problem is that Danielle's clients are all still high school mean girls. Terricka, a self-described "pro," bullies other girls out of makeup seats, and screams and throws tantrums while insisting that she's only trying to be a strong single mother for her daughter.

Olivia, the youngest girl featured on the show, is constantly teased for having attended UCLA and for not being as "hood" as the other girls.

Watching one episode is bearable -- watching two is a lethal injection.

In our celebrity-obsessed culture, we will rabidly follow the misadventures of all D-list entertainers as long as they have enough bling to keep us aesthetically intrigued.

Reading celebrity gossip web sites, however, provides enough frivolous amusement. Network executives, please go back to featuring series with actual talent and imagination.