Picks and Pans Review: Tommy Lee Goes to College

updated 08/22/2005 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/22/2005 01:00AM

NBC (Tuesdays, 9 p.m. ET)
REALITY

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In this six-week series, the 42-year-old rock and roll hell-raiser and reality pioneer (you know—that home video with Pamela Anderson) signs up for a handful of courses at the University of Nebraska. Better that than going to White Castle with Harold and Kumar, right?

Meeting with administrators and teachers, Lee is timid and polite, like a pledge member of the Dead Poets Society. Academically he's not all that serious. He sends his roommate off to English class equipped with a spy camera, then sits back and watches from the gothed-up darkness of his dorm room. He's provided with a gorgeous tutor, Natalie Riedmann, who looks like his pre-Pam ex, Heather Locklear, only carrying books. In one fine Spinal Tap moment, he realizes that a GPA measurement stops at 4, not 10. The lightbulb goes on! He also has a small victory in horticulture class. He identifies a Turkish filbert.

These tiny adventures are given a pleasant rounding-out thanks to a mock-Victorian narrator who seems to be under the impression he's recording the audiobook of Barry Lyndon. Lee, he tells us, will prove to the campus that he's "more than a rock star—he's a shipmate on the voyage to wisdom." This is a gut course, no heavy lifting.

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