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'Backpackers' review: Painful sitcom territory

Noah Reid as Ryan and Dillon Casey as

Noah Reid as Ryan and Dillon Casey as Brandon in "Backpackers." Credit: The CW

THE SHOW "Backpackers"

WHEN | WHERE Premieres Monday night at 8:30 on CW/11

WHAT IT'S ABOUT What would you do if your fiancee wanted some free-fling time before you married her? Probably you'd agree, let her backpack alone through Europe, then do the same thing yourself with your loose-cannon best bud. And soon have second thoughts.

Then you'd be the online show "Backpackers," which now graduates from the CW Seed website to the real-deal CW TV network. Its lovelorn schlub is played by Noah Reid, while "Nikita" co-star Dillon Casey flexes as his party animal pal. They use the Eiffel Tower as a backdrop for pants-down soccer, and jump off Italian trains while being chased by "gangsters." They hang with hot young chicks and vintage sex symbols, and pretend to be European soccer stars speaking languages they can't.

MY SAY You know what they say these days about web video. It's not just piano-playing cats and guys getting hit where it hurts anymore. It's also original comedy, and drama, and y'know, other stuff.

Here's some of that stuff, transferred to big ol' broadcast TV, and demonstrating forthwith the big ol' difference between idle web bites and watch-next-week series.

"Backpackers" tonight is adolescent gag after sophomoric gag, stacked together without any thread of, y'know, reason, charm, wit or character truth. Next week, it gets worse.

BOTTOM LINE Not worth sitting through for the scenery when you can switch to Travel Channel.


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