Picks and Pans Review: Spy Tv
NBC (Tuesdays, 8 p.m. ET)
"Is this some kind of a joke or what?" asks one of the prank victims on this hidden-camera comedy series, which premiered in late June. Most of the segments I've seen have prompted me to mutter the same question. A car shopper gets scared when a stunt driver takes him for a dangerous spin. Supermarket customers grow angry when they think they've been cheated out of a $1 million prize. A barbershop patron shouts a couple of bleeped-out obscenities when a bogus test detects an "infectious parasite" in his hair. The generally predictable reactions tend to have a paltry comic payoff, and the sardonic attitude of host Michael Ian Black (Ed) isn't sufficient to make the show seem all that much hipper than Candid Camera.
That said, the July 3 episode includes a segment that not only draws laughs but makes a point. Invited to try out for an "extreme" reality series, three suckers prove they'll do anything, however revolting, for a chance to achieve minor celebrity.
Bottom Line: Low-level espionage
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