THE SHOW "The Pauly D Project"

WHEN | WHERE Tomorrow at 10:30 p.m. on MTV

REASON TO WATCH The first "Jersey Shore" spinoff arrives.

WHAT IT'S ABOUT DJ Paul "Pauly D" DelVecchio has a dream, and it's not about spending the rest of his life GTL'ing (for the uninitiated, that's staying fresh through gym, tan and laundry) in a house at the shore with Snooki. He spins records, and now it's the big time!

Fame on "Shore" has afforded him a new career, and our boy gets a call from the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas to try out his skills there. If the tryout succeeds, then Pauly's on his way. If the tryout is a disaster, there's always the "Shore." We meet Pauly's homies -- Ryan Labbe, former club manager; Michael "Biggie" Morgan, road manager; and Gerard "Big Jerry" Gialanella, the security guy. And Pauly's parents . . . plus a girlfriend (in next week's episode).

MY SAY Some of us have been looking forward to the "Jersey Shore" spinoffs about as much as a root canal. More wasted nights and wasted days . . . next!

But "The Pauly D Project" always promised something else, namely its star. Guileless, carefree, easygoing Pauly -- the kid from Rhode Island who got lucky and knows it. Who else from the "Shore" better to spend a short-run reality series with? "Pauly D" has the usual setup scenes that feel about as authentic as Kim Kardashian's wedding. Amazing coincidence how the call came in from the Palms while the cameras were rolling.

But what does seem genuine is the cast of characters -- the guys from Providence who also got lucky (and know it). MTV is probably hoping the "Project" will evolve into some sort of reality version of "The Hangover," but Pauly D clearly has other ideas. He's coming to town to work and realize his dream, and when (for instance) Ryan gets loaded and acts out at Ultra, a Providence club, Pauly wonders about the advisability of even bringing him along on his big, new adventure. Pauly is still Pauly -- but he's a more grown-up version who cares about his friends, ailing dad and career. The "Shore" and its drunken, antic, increasingly weary sensibility seems far away.

BOTTOM LINE Hey! Pauly D's got his own show, and it's better than that other one.


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