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Green Bay Press-Gazette

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

This is how we don't watch "Howie Do It"

First let me apologize in advance for getting Montell Jordan's "This Is How We Do It" stuck in your head. It's already playing on an endless loop in mine — to the point where Mr. Jordan could sue my cranium for royalties — and for that I blame Howie Mandel and NBC.

Having effectively run "Deal or No Deal" into the ground (shocking how a show built around the thrilling concept of opening suitcases could ever grow stale), the Peacock is giving its host du jour Mandel another shot at prime time with "Howie Do It," yet another in the oh-so-lame stable of hidden camera shows. See Howie in a wig pretend to be a waiter and stick is finger in a diner's glass of water! See Howie as a funeral director knock over an urn full of ashes as a mourner looks on in shock! See me turn off my TV!

The concept of the show is simple: Howie lures in people who think they're going to be on a reality show, then humiliates them. I don't pity fame-hungry idiots clamoring for their 15 minutes — especially when they're too stupid to see that this dude is HOWIE MANDEL IN A WIG — but from what I've seen and read about "Howie Do It," the results don't even approach funny, and in fact skew a little mean. Keep in mind, I haven't seen a full episode, but NBC's horrible promos are more than enough to go on:

Variety has a great review that you can read here, which condemns "Howie Do It" as "a foretaste of NBC's plan to turn its prime time lineup into TV's version of a discount mart — a cheaper way to lose on Fridays than with scripted fare like 'Crusoe.'" Everything about this show reeks of bottom-of-the-barrel, from its host and concept, to its 7 p.m. Friday time slot.

Bottom line: If you're an O.G. mack or a wanna-be playa, plan on skipping "Howie Do It."

-- Adam Reinhard,



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