Girls Behaving Badly and Rocktalk — original programs on Oxygen and WE: Women's Entertainment, respectively — put a distaff spin on two well-known formulas. But neither series brings anything new to the genre it mimics.
Girls is a cheeky, sometimes tasteless would-be Candid Camera. Its difference — given that it airs on a network targeted to women — is that its pranks employ a female cast, and tend to utilize men as the hapless foils. Given that it's on cable, Girls
veers into edgier set-ups, such as one in which interior designers are invited to the home of former supermodel Cheryl Tiegs for a remodeling job that turns out to be construction of a bondage den.
Early episodes are strangely flat. Perhaps it's the inexperience of the cast as provocateurs, or maybe the subjects just happen to be remarkably placid. The victims just don't react very much.
Temporary workers — muscled into inflating the stats on Women's National Basketball Association star Nicky McCrimmon's Fleer basketball card — give token resistance to the arm-twisting by the player's "agent," then cave in completely. There's little drama when the boss "catches" them in their duplicity.
There's also a tacky segment in which a woman asks bystanders for help — in serving as human shields for her while she pees in public. Sigh.
On WE, Rocktalk
is a pallid entry in the genre inspired by VH1's Behind the Music. The host is Lisa Ling, late of ABC's The View,
but her participation is limited to voice-overs and live bumpers. Featured are female rockers, explaining their history and work in their own words. The show's captured time with Pink, Alanis Morissette, Macy Grey, Ashanti, Nelly Furtado and Kylie Minogue, among others.
But how much can you really learn in an eight-minute segment? It will be old hat to fans, and largely ho-hum for the uninitiated.
Rocktalk is part of WE's January music block, themed "We Got the Beat," but other programming may have more potential. Rock 'n' Moms
will interview female musicians and their offspring; and concerts featuring Donna Summer, Pat Benatar and The Go-Go's are part of the lineup.
Girls Behaving Badly
is televised Sundays at 8 p.m. on Oyxgen. Rocktalk
premieres Jan. 17 at 7 p.m. on WE.