Smash. Boom. Bang.

I'll admit it: I watched Fox's new reality show Skating with Celebrities. And I have been looking forward to its debut. Never a huge fan of figure skating, I was enticed less by the potential for surprising grace from decidedly ungraceful people than by the real chance of injury and dismemberment.

Riding the coat tails of other network's reality hits is what Fox does best. With a smarmy grin and a reckless abandon for taste and well-being they are continually upping the bar in the reality television wars. And why not pepper up ABC's performing celebrity formula (Dancing with the Stars) with more absurd pairings on of all places, ice.

Late to skating myself, I didn't don a pair of ice skates until I started dating my wife who is from Minnesota. At the age of thirty I experienced the ever rarer thrill, fear and injury of giving my body a new sensation. At the end of my first night on ice, liquor (in the form of Grand Marnier and cocoa) and adrenaline fed confidence got the best of me. With one swift motion I knocked out both myself and my wife in a bone-jarring mash up, much to the delight of a cackling parent at the edge of the ice.

So with a scar on my shin I watched A-List celebrities like Bruce Jenner, Deborah Gibson, Jillian Barberie and Dave Coulier fall time and again during practice. But the absolute headliner of the night was Todd Bridges of Different Strokes fame.

We were told of how his experience as a roller skater may help him. It didn't. And neither did his partners inability to dance or move to any rhythm. Dressed as a cowboy and skating with his partner to a Will Smith tune, I am amazed they were able to pull off an entire routine. In the end Mr. Bridges and partner came in second to last. That could change next week when they all skate again in an attempt to better their standing.

And as the show drew to a close, I felt comfortably satisfied. However like all of my reality television obsessions, I'll likely lose interest after two or three episodes. But at least for tonight the stars aligned; on ice.

sandie, Jan 19 2006 5:51PM

Great review of a really mindless program! I must however weigh in on the letter-rating system you use for the "celebrities" on Skating with Celebritities. I wouldn't call Todd Bridges et al A-List. More like C-List.

karl, Jan 23 2006 6:11PM

i have to fess-up that my new guilty pleasure is "beauty and the geek" on the WB. i think i'm geek sympathetic and this show helps to right the past.

mark, Jan 24 2006 1:29PM

sandie: ever hear of sarcasm? and i'm pretty sure mr. bridges is a d-lister.

karl: have not seen 'beauty and the geek' but was a viewer of 'average joe' which may be comparable. throw folks in awkward (not gross as in 'fear factor') social or physical situations and i will probably watch it.