Although the concept caused a bit of a stir over the summer, “H8R” isn’t hateful — just inane and more than a little boring. The idea of bringing a celebrity (or pseudo-celebrity) together with someone who has ranted about them online — in this reality series produced by “The Bachelor’s” Mike Fleiss and the “Extra” team, including host Mario Lopez – plays like the world’s longest public-service announcement. If you don’t know the real person, the message goes, you can’t judge them — and spewing venom anonymously is cowardice. That hardly qualifies as a revel8ion; it’s simply irrit8ing.
Each hour will feature two “haters” being thrown together with the object of their enmity, beginning with “Jersey Shore’s” Snooki. Yet after witnessing the dude rant about her being a blight on the image of Italian-Americans who “makes us all look like idiots” and a “drunken donkey,” the show runs out of gas.
The two go to a supermarket together, engaging in tedious romantic-comedy-type banter, then she cooks dinner for his family. The guy’s mom expresses her own reservations about the MTV show, but there’s no real exchange, just an excuse for pained expressions and wacky sound effects.
“All you do is judge people,” Snooki protests. “You are a bully.”
Maybe. But those who see the “Jersey Shore” gang as bad role models don’t all boil down to people lashing out in chat rooms — a point that appears beyond “H8R’s” reach.
The premiere also features “The Bachelor’s” Jake Pavelka, with Kim Kardashian among the bigger names lined up down the road.
While one can sympathize with the CW’s desire to schedule an inexpensive hour leading into “America’s Next Top Model” — and the show doubles as a sort-of brand extension for “Extra” — it’s such a tepid effort it’s almost a shame to waste harsh adjectives on it.
“There’s a thin line between love and hate,” the narrator notes at the outset.
True enough, but the line between watching and lunging for the remote control is a whole lot clearer.