Sunday, January 07, 2007

TV preview: Armed & Famous

• Ponch is back on the beat in … Muncie.

Genres: Reality, celebs
Logistics: Premieres Wednesday, 7 p.m. Central, CBS, with another episode airing Thursday
Cast: Erik Estrada, La Toya Jackson, Jack Osbourne, Jason "Wee Man" Acuña, Trish Stratus
Premiere verdict: &&1/2

It may be a classic reality television moment when La Toya Jackson candidly allows that she has always wanted to do two things — work at McDonald's and be a cop. And you know unequivocally that she can accomplish one of those two things. On Armed & Famous, a series that can only prompt a reaction of "Why?", she and four other quasi-celebs are hustled through police training and onto the street as officers in Muncie, Ind. The others: Estrada, "Ponch" from CHiPs; Acuña, a professional skateboarder and Jackass; Osbourne, a former drug addict who is apparently aspiring to a reality TV career; and Stratus, a "former WWE champion wrestler," says CBS. I wouldn't know. As train-wreck reality TV goes, it's actually well-produced, and you can imagine the potential for some fun Cops-like scenarios. It seemed a wee ironic to see the Jackass star patting down a man after a traffic stop and lining up his drug paraphernalia on the back of the car. When Estrada passes gas during physical training, the viewer is reminded how much reality TV can stink on every level, but it may be worth enduring that golden moment in the premiere to see the lot of them get tasered.

Photo: Erik Estrada / CBS

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