WHEN | WHERE Tuesday night at 10 on Lifetime
WHAT IT'S ABOUT Last fall, Bristol Palin -- 21-year-old daughter of former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin -- relocated to Los Angeles for an unpaid position with a charity there called Help the Children, bringing along kid sister Willow and 2-year-old son Tripp.
"It's all about Tripp," she explains. "I'm using this opportunity to show Tripp there's more out there." They move to a house owned by a "friend of my mother's" set "way up on a hill and it's ginormous. There's a ton of bidets in this house and I don't think there's a single bidet in all of Alaska."
The premiere includes that moment in a West Hollywood bar where she confronted a heckler -- he's reportedly suing Lifetime to have the scene excised -- and in the second episode next week, she's shown collapsing in tears afterward.
MY SAY "Life's a Tripp" isn't inept as much as just plain sad. At no point does anyone -- at least on camera -- tell Bristol that this terrible idea for a reality show would subject her, or her family and friends, to ridicule. And based on the first two episodes, there is plenty of ridicule to go around. Everyone gets dunked here, including Sarah Palin, who asks of her daughters, "I have to go study. Do you have any advice on Syria?"
"Life's a Tripp" is full of needle screeches like that and you have to wonder why: Did Lifetime secretly hope to humiliate her? What is going on?
According to Bristol herself, the whole point of the show is for Tripp to see the world. Setting aside the improbable notion of a toddler world traveler, you hardly ever see Tripp because Bristol's too busy shopping or leaving him with a fuming Willow. The bar scene is simply painful, and here's some heartfelt advice to Bristol -- alas, too late: When a moron yells at you in a bar, just walk out.
It's the same advice I'd give for this show, but it's probably too late for that, too.
BOTTOM LINE Grim, sad, painful.