The Hoff Gets His Own Trainwreck TV Show

Sunday night, David Hasselhoff unleashes his reality show, The Hasselhoffs (A&E, 10:30 p.m. ET). Frankly, you almost wonder what took him so long. With his kitschy, endearing image, tabloid scandals, fading fame and self-delusion, he is the perfect candidate for this genre. He's like a walking punch line, and what reality TV viewer can resist that?

The action centers around Hasselhoff and his two grown daughters, Taylor-Ann, 20, and Hayley, 18. (He got primary custody after splitting with their mother, Pamela Bach, in 2006.) The girls are aspiring actresses and pop singers, and their techno pop group, Bella Vida, opens for Hasselhoff when he tours Europe. The show is essentially about The Hoff as he guides his girls through the choppy waters of the entertainment biz, while contemplating his own, next professional move.

So how is it? Well, if you apply that reality TV maxim -- the bigger the trainwreck, the better the show -- then The Hasselhoffs is a smashing success. We see the humiliating moments pile up like crushed metal. That the stars seem unaware of their own blockheadedness makes you cringe even more.

The girls' conversations amount to vapid drivel about clothes, or how much they hate gossip columnists like Perez Hilton, or how famous they plan to be. The Hoff's scenes, meanwhile, are clearly staged and poorly written. In one, he confides his fears about Taylor-Ann dropping out of college to his agent. Then he asks for his advice. The agent grimaces, takes a dramatic pause, and then quips, "I'm your agent, not your therapist."  Straight out of a script, and sadly, not a well-written one. In another scene, Hasselhoff complains to his friend, Alex Daniels, about the "garbage" written about him in the tabloids. "You're much bigger than life," says Daniels. By this I think he means that Hasselhoff's image in the popular imagination has superseded who he really is. That's true.

I wish The Hoff would let me go on thinking of him as the cheesy Baywatch/Knight Rider guy. You know, the Hasselhoff of the eighties and nineties, the one who's "big in Europe." Sure, his reputation has taken a hit since the viral video of him eating a cheeseburger in a drunken stupor. But this desperate stab at TV redemption isn't making it better.

Will you watch The Hasselhoffs? Chime in below!

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