Picks and Pans Review: Race to the Altar

UPDATED 08/25/2003 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 08/25/2003 at 01:00 AM EDT

NBC (Wednesdays, 8 p.m. ET)

When I read in an NBC press release that this reality series would feature eight engaged couples competing in "mental and physical challenges," with a lavish wedding as the prize, I pictured a prenuptial Dog Eat Dog. Turns out it's worse than that.

The twosomes that win the weekly challenges—the "mental" part is every bit as brainy as The Newlywed Game—are given the power to eliminate one team from the contest. This process gives rise to the usual reality-show dramatics—conspiring, allying, betraying. In the very first episode, one player said the rivals were "like a family." A week later, the same guy made a pompous reference to "the integrity of the game." Find some integrity here and you deserve a prize.

BOTTOM LINE: Leave it at the altar

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