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The Telefile
<I>Audrina</I>: The Patridge Family Values

Suffering from insomnia? Don't look to infomercials for a pricey cure -- just watch VH1's reality series Audrina. Chances are, you'll be fast asleep long before their other terrible new show, Saddle Ranch, ever begins. Don't worry, you won't be missing anything.

For some reason, producers decided to give the dullest star of The Hills (she did earn the nickname Ceiling Eyes, after all) her own show based on the fact that she's a pseudo-celebrity and somewhat attractive. But did they listen to her talk first? Or did they just hear the words "bikini calendar" and give her the green light? (Speaking of which, I felt for the poor photographer in the pilot who had to guide her, step by agonizing step, into exuding some sort of personality during her swimsuit shoot).

In this series, Audrina has a boyfriend, who is from another country and travels a lot. He wasn't around in the first episode and I can't say I blame him. In his absence, we got to spend more time with the rest of the Patridge family, each of whom are horrible in their own unique way. So not surprisingly, watching Audrina interact with them is like nails on a chalkboard.

First, there's Marky. Yes, a grown man, aged 22, who calls himself Marky and is solely interested in being part of Audrina's entourage, having a lot of parties and cashing in on the Patridge name, such as it is. He and Audrina spent most of the episode together house hunting, presumably so that we wouldn't have to watch her sitting in a mansion alone.

She has a younger sister, Samantha, who is 15 and stuck at home with two terrible parents, Lynn and Mark. Mark seems to be on some sort of magical anti-depressant or something that makes him think everything is wonderful. His daughter appearing half naked? Great! His daughter moving into a house with his half-witted son? Great! This guy's so ambivalent about life and just wants to be famous himself that he might as well partner up with Michael Lohan.

As for Audrina's mom, Lynn, well, she's a character to be sure. A terrible character whom viewers will love to hate, but a character nonetheless. She wants her daughter to be famous and loves being in the limelight herself, but then yells at Audrina for doing anything and then immediately asks for forgiveness. I'm no therapist, but it looks like there's some sort of manic-depressive craziness going on with her. This would make for interesting television, if only Audrina had any discernible reaction to her mother. Instead, when Lynn tries to apologize for a belligerent on-camera rant she made on some sort of TMZ knockoff, Audrina just shrugs and says they shouldn't discuss it anymore, and then tells us that she's never even seen it. Talk about anti-climatic (and hard to swallow).

Now if this show were about Casey Patridge and how much she hates her horrible mother and family, that would be something else entirely. Casey is 24, married with two kids and clearly wants to stab Lynn with a fork. She gets invited to family dinners, but her husband Kyle and her children aren't welcome. There are some deep-rooted issues here, but this show is so tedious that they don't even have the decency to explore them. Instead, we get to see Mark smashing cake in Audrina's face and Audrina worrying about subsequent skin blemishes.

I'm going to be napping through this season. Can someone just wake me up if Casey slaps Lynn? Thanks.

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