With the history of reality TV including memorable turns by the likes of Brigitte Nielsen and Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth, you know the bar hasn’t been set very high. But even by those standards, “Britney and Kevin: Chaotic” pushes the limits of taste.
A self-indulgent, mindless piece of drivel, “Chaotic” is a visual assault of nauseating camera angles, likely to upset even the most desensitized TV viewer. Note to Spears: Learn how to use a camcorder before basing a show on its usage.
Considering that there are very few revealing moments in UPN’s highly touted limited reality series, it’s probably safe to assume this is just a desperate grab at end-of-season ratings. That’s the good news. The bad news is there are five episodes.
The premise, if there is one, is that Spears is just like everyone else. She longs for love and friendship. She can be goofy and annoying — in fact, really annoying. On her European tour, she takes along a camcorder and a “cool” new guy named Kevin Federline whom she met in a club back in L.A., and documents the “little moments” for posterity.
In case you live under a rock, Spears later married Federline, and we the viewers are privy to intimate moments of the courtship, engagement and wedding throughout the series. Interwoven throughout the homevideos are brief concert clips and traditional glossy, couch-style interviews.
“It’s controversy. That’s what they want,” muses Spears. But what viewers really get, at least in the first two episodes, which aired back to back, are intimate shots of Federline’s nostrils and footage that wouldn’t even make the cut for “America’s Funniest Home Videos.” It makes the Madonna doc “Truth or Dare” look insightful and groundbreaking. It makes Jessica and Nick look like Mensa candidates.
The sound quality of the video is so bad as to warrant subtitles, which tend to emphasize the utterly inane dialogue. Viewers are treated to such scintillating tidbits as, “They look like boobs, but they’re not. They’re my knees.”
While offensive to all levels of taste except possibly fans of near-stalker mentality, “Chaotic” is totally inappropriate for younger viewers. After asking numerous flunkies about their favorite sexual positions, Spears turns the camera on herself and tells her mom and younger sister not to watch. It’s good advice for anyone.
When you consider Paris Hilton’s inexplicable success as testament to the public’s insatiable appetite when it comes to celebrities, you can understand UPN’s decision to greenlight the show. In a way, it’s a clever twist in covering a celebrity wedding. But don’t think for a moment that “Chaotic” catches Spears off-guard.
This is the celebrity answer to Stars Without Make Up — a sort of preemptive reality strike, which, as opposed to offering any insight, extends carefully manipulated images. Instead of cementing Spears’ place as an entertainment icon, it reinforces the singer as a comic punchline. One can just imagine the “Saturday Night Live” skit that’s sure to come.