Picks and Pans Review: The Anna Nicole Show

updated 09/02/2002 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/02/2002 01:00AM

E! (Sundays, 10 p.m. ET)

Initial ratings went through the roof for this reality series that documents the strange, listless life of Anna Nicole Smith. Given her wide-open schedule, the former jeans model, her figure now inflated to Felliniesque proportions, presumably has many hours in which to dream of the day when she finally gets her hands on the millions left by her nonagenarian husband, oilman J. Howard Marshall II. (His will has been in litigation since he died in 1995.) Prattling on in a slurred, widdle-girl voice, she tries squeezing into bustiers (she refers to her breasts as "my puppies"), makes infuriatingly inane observations (on Palestinian suicide bombers: "Don't they think it was kinda painful?") and whimpers tearfully as she places her husband's urn on the TV.

You may wonder whether Smith, who seems pathetically unaware that she comes across numb and dazed, like an enormous baby dumped from its bassinet onto a hot sidewalk, is being exploited by E!—or is she exploiting herself? Like I care. This awful series, drifting from one meaningless vignette to the next, gives no indication that Smith has much humanity to be concerned about. Is that possible? What makes The Anna Nicole Show disturbing is that it's not nearly disturbing enough.

Bottom Line: No cure for the common Nicole

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