Gen. Wesley Clark, Todd Palin, and Nick Lachey Blow Things Up For America

Blue Steel.Courtesy of NBC Universal


Remember that night you drank too much Drambuie and then had a dream in which Wesley Clark, Picabo Street, Todd Palin, Superman, a WWE Diva Champion, and Nick Lachey were all shooting bazookas and other loud weaponry at inanimate objects in the desert?

Well, mega-producers Dick Wolf and Mark Burnett read your mind, stole your idea, and made a summer reality show out of it for NBC.

Stars Earn Stripes (premiering Monday at 8 p.m. EDT—with a two hour season opener) pairs each C-list celeb with a military or law enforcement tough guy. Together, they simulate wartime scenarios, all of which look like deleted scenes from Joel Schumacher movies. Every time Dean Cain or Todd Palin make something go boom, they raise money for their partner’s charity.

All of this is conducted under the watchful eyes of hosts Samantha Harris and ex-Army general/ex-presidential candidate/ex-non-reality-show-personality Wesley Clark (just for a frame of reference, the guy used to save the lives of Kosovars).

Yes, the show means well. Nick Lachey and co. gush endlessly about how lionhearted our men and women in uniform are. The episodes are set to music that somehow manages to sound even more glowingly patriotic than the score to Air Force One. Things detonate violently.

It’s also one of the most patronizing things to which you could ever subject yourself. But if watching the one-time 98 Degrees frontman fall out of a helicopter in the name of charity and freedom sounds appealing to you, then I suppose it sounds appealing to you.

Here’s a TV spot, in case you need any more convincing one way or the other:

Click here for more TV and movie features from Mother Jones. To read more of Asawin’s reviews, click here.

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