Oxygen’s Bad Girls Club debuts tonight

Tonight, Oxygen debuts a new reality series from the creators of The Real World. The Bad Girls Club puts seven, um, bad girls in a house together to see what happens. As Oxygen’s site asks, “Face to face with a direct reflection of their own bad behavior, will they want to change? Or will they remain stuck in the same old patterns of self-defeat?” More importantly, will they claw each other’s eyes out?

In an interview posted on Oxygen’s site, executive producer Jon Murray says, “In all the reality shows we’ve done, we’ve found that our most interesting characters are the bad girls. So we thought, ‘Wow, wouldn’t it be fun if we had a show that was entirely cast with these kind of women who play by their own rules?'”

Not really, according to people who’ve seen the show. The New York Times’ Anita Gates says the show “is a great argument for bringing back programming with actors.” She calls it a “stilted, fabricated drama.” Worse, she says that “the unpleasant villains cancel one another out and actually make badness uninteresting.”

Variety’s Brian Lowry mostly agrees, saying Bunim-Murray is “perhaps to be forgiven for ripping themselves off, but despite all the grappling, boozing and tears that ensue, the premise here is wispy,” and says the show “at best attracts the same kind of fleeting notice generated when a drunk makes a scene in a bar.”

Bad Girls Club [Oxygen]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.