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'Bret Michaels' on VH1 is scattered, but genial

Last April, says Bret Michaels, "I was sitting on my couch, cycling through Major League Baseball and 'Busting Cops III' when my brain nearly blew up."

That was the aneurysm.

He was later found to have a hole in his heart. Michaels says he "had to prove to America that I was still alive," and Monday, here's that proof.

You see him puttering around the Arizona spread with longtime girlfriend, Kristi, and their two little girls, although he's not one to putter for long, and is soon hitting the road for a concert in Biloxi. His doctors said he shouldn't do it; but since when did Bret Michaels ever listen to his doctors?


If VH1 didn't have Bret Michaels, they'd pretty much have to invent him; he's such a hit on this network that people even watched "Rock of Love," which is some kind of miracle considering how bad that was. Michaels - as the cliche goes - is in VH1's "wheelhouse" - so no little aneurysm, heart defect or diabetes (another of his ailments) is going to get in the way of another reality show.

Michaels is an old pro at the reality TV game, and it's a critical adjunct to his music career. Fans expect to see him onstage just as much as they expect to see him swap saliva with a heavily inked rocker chick on "Rock of Love."

On "Life as I Know It," they do get a slightly different picture: Michaels is a dad, appears committed to his girlfriend (and may propose in a later episode), and even cleans up after his dogs. But he's also a core reactor - unable to sit for more than three seconds, he runs and the camera jogs after him.


The show is scattered, slight and abominably self-promotional. But Michaels is so full of abundant - and infectious - good cheer that you tend to overlook these many faults. Fans will eat it up.




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