Review: "The Hasselhoffs"
Reason to watch: The Hoff's own reality show.
When/Where: Sunday at 10 p.m. on A&E
Is it worth the hassle for 'The Hasselhoffs'?
As YouTube browsers, tabloid readers and aficionados of cheeseburgers and human car wrecks know far too well, David Hasselhoff has had his share of issues, but those are all behind him (he says here). He's 58, starting over, on the wagon and learning how to be a dad again. To chronicle this work in progress, he agreed to let the ol' camera follow him around.
Over the course of 11 episodes, we see The Hoff and his two daughters. Taylor Ann, 20, and Hayley, 18, learn to live with each other, while Dad dispenses show-biz wisdom to his wannabe star daughters. He's the cautionary sort-of role model, and they're the go-for-broke kids who want to hit the big time. As he notes, "I've trained as an actor and trained as a singer, but no one can train you how to be a dad." On Sunday, Hayley learns she got a role in "Huge," the ABC Family Channel series that launched in June.
MY SAY There are few harder jobs in show biz than career rehab. Minds have been made up. Parodies have replaced reality. But reality TV has offered a whole second chance for those who have descended to the D-list; it is, after all, "real" and bypasses the squalid tabs. "Here's the real me, in all my glory," these shows scream out. "I'm funny, smart, human."
Most of us probably are rooting for The Hoff. He seems like a genuinely sweet guy who's been somewhat upfront about his alcohol abuse - and no one wants to see anyone descend into that black hole. But based on the show's maiden voyage, you're left to wonder if there's any there there - or whether this is just another one of those tired, soul-depleting exercises in self-aggrandizement or self-enrichment.
BOTTOM LINE Nothing particularly interesting or revelatory. For this to work - at least for viewers - The Hoff needs to move past self-parody, or at least take himself seriously. He tries here, but the exercise still seems flimsy and hollow.