Picks and Pans Review: Denise and Dinah

updated 06/02/2008 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/02/2008 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Denise Richards: It's ComplicatedE!, May 26, 10 p.m ET |

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Living Lohan
E!, May 26, 10:30 p.m ET |

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REALITY

Here are two new back-to-back vanity reality productions—would you call the genre vanality?—that are revealing in decisively different ways. Denise Richards' It's Complicated is, well, dumber than an avocado. After her notorious divorce, she gives us a version of her personal life that feels almost panicky in its determination to create an aura of cheerfully messy domesticity. It's hard to imagine, otherwise, why the show wastes so much footage documenting her pet pigs.

After being skewered by Tracey Ullman's cruel but brilliant impersonation, Dina Lohan, the center of Living Lohan, comes off better—just not very likable. We see a grim middle-aged woman styled like a cougar and caught up in the business of monitoring daughter Lindsay's headline eruptions while promoting daughter Ali's singing career. Dina makes her life raising stars look as inviting as taking in laundry. Yet somehow this at least feels honest.

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