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Green Bay Press-Gazette

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Copy that, good buddy: "Trick My Trucker" sucks

I've got nothing but respect for truck drivers. Let's get that straight first, before some long-hauler gets offended and decides to go all "Duel" on me. Truckers provide an invaluable service to our country, all while putting up with rude SUV drivers, crappy hours, and, one can only imagine, countless cases of sleeping butt. Who couldn't respect that?

Apparently the good folks at Country Music Television, if their new reality show "Trick My Trucker" is any indication. A makeover show in the spirit of weight-loss series "Biggest Loser," "Trick My Trucker" narrows its focus to, obviously, truck drivers. Chosen from submissions sent in by their families, the guys (always overweight with shaggy hair and beards, because what else do truckers look like?) are given a diet and exercise regimen, are taken on a shopping spree with a fashion expert, and are -- gasp! -- forced to shave. (Bet that sleeping butt is looking pretty good right about now, huh?) In the end, the contestants strut their newly groomed stuff in front on family and friends, and are voted on by three judges for style and most weight lost.

That's not even the most embarrassing part. No good reality show (yes it's an oxymoron) would be worth its salt without a "challenge" segment, and here's where "Trick My Trucker's" tires really leave the road. The two contestants are made to run an obstacle course, which involves such degrading tasks as riding a kid's bike and jumping a high bar. By the end, both poor shlubs are left panting and sweaty, while cocky host Bob Guiney mugs for the camera like the sad former "Bachelor" he is.

"Trucker" is a spin off of CMT's far more noble "Trick My Truck," which shamelessly rips off "Pimp My Ride," but at least gives drivers' machines needed repairs and personalized touches. That show is still unwatchably dumb, but it spares those it helps unnecessary embarrassment and gives them lasting help with their livelihood. "Trucker," on the other hand, spends a scant two weeks each episode trying to get drivers in shape and looking smooth. Anyone who has ever tried permanently losing weight knows it takes waaaaay longer than a fortnight. And once the cameras leave, do you really think these guys keep it up, or is it right back to the Mountain Dew and Funyuns?

Hey CMT, stick to tricking out the machines, and leave the men some dignity.

-- Adam Reinhard,

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