Picks and Pans Review: Reality Hell

UPDATED 08/24/2009 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 08/24/2009 at 01:00 AM EDT

E!, Aug. 16, 10:30 p.m. ET/PT |

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A reality show about contestants who think they're participating in another reality show (got that?), this new series combines wicked spoofs of the genre with Punk'd-style practical jokes. In the premiere an aspiring model named Kelly thinks she's appearing on a show called The Complete Package and gamely dons a dog collar to pose for ads for a fake champagne. It's crass and a little mean, but for America's Next Top Model diehards, the biting send-up—including an "aging supermodel" judge, sexually ambiguous contestant and cocky photographer (all actors)—is pretty fierce. Another gag skewers Wife Swap (an actress playing a trophy wife switches with an unwitting suburban mom) to hilarious effect. It's Candid Camera for our anyone-can-be-a-star age.

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