Last night saw the premiere of MTV's latest docusoap, The Electric Barbarellas, which follows the members of a girl band searching for their big break. It's well-trodden territory, not unlike Making the Band or The Search for the Next Doll and so forth. Except The Electric Barbarellas (which was creepily strong-armed onto the air by Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone) is far phonier than those shows, somehow distilling all the worst qualities of an MTV reality series into one hypercontrived, superstaged, and hair-extensioned mess. Why do they have to live together? How does the leader afford a house and an assistant? If none of them can sing that well, why do they have a singing group? And is there someone just off camera, shouting out reality staples and ticking them off of a checklist as the girls act them out? ("Now get in the hot tub! Now backstab! Now fight! Okay, we just have to do hugging, making out, and five usages of the word 'journey' and we can all call it a day!") Even in the altered world of reality television, this strains the limits of credulity. We've compiled the most bafflingly contrived moments from the series premiere, which features absolutely zero moments of singing. The rest was merely annoying.
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