February 6, 2006

UPN’s “Party’ fizzles

By Erik Pedersen

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Seems like a good idea
on the surface: Surprise some deserving folks with the posh
party of a lifetime. But leave it to reality television to make
even a feel-good story feel tainted.

The new UPN series "Get This Party Started" has its heart
in the right place, and it's tough to criticize the iconoclasm
of a show in this genre that's focused on the positive. But, in
the last football metaphor of the season, it's like watching as
a coach calls the right play only to see it backfire because of
poor execution.

The premiere follows sisters Arin and Alexis, whose family
home in New Orleans was lost to Hurricane Katrina. Arin's dream
is to throw her little sister a 21st birthday bash. Enter the
"Party" people, led by Ken and Barbie hosts Ethan Erickson and
Kristin Cavallari. The latter, a non-pro from MTV's "Laguna
Beach," adds only wooden line readings and a distracting

One after another, a party planner or makeup artist or
hairdresser to the stars is employed to make the Vegas birthday
celebration as fabulous as can be. Yeah, OK. But this hour from
exec producer Allison Grodner ("Big Brother") leads the league
in overreactions and on-cue hugs, making it seem just too phony
to have any real impact.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter