Picks and Pans Review: MTV Cribs

updated 01/13/2003 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/13/2003 AT 01:00 AM EST

By M. M. Nathan

For a couple of years now, MTV has had a decent hit in this show about informal tours of celebrity homes. Too bad no one brought a still photographer; the only images available here are the kind you get from hitting pause on the video player.

The resulting photos of the residences of Nelly, Moby, Boy George, etc., are blurry and discolored. The text is almost as uninspiring, combining bland chatter ("This is our lounge area where we come and chill," says Beyoncé Knowles) with cowardly assessments from interior decorators ("The house seems fairly traditional in style. It's familiar and comfortable," says Julia Roth about Snoop Dogg's home). Where are you, Simon Cowell?

The TV edition has lively editing and plenty of star mojo to carry it through, but the book has only the homes themselves. Excepting the gleefully tacky cribs of Rob Zombie and Tommy Lee, most of them are just suburban blah with bigger bathtubs and giant-screen TVs. (Pocket, $19.95)

BOTTOM LINE: Keepin' it real dull

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