Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Celebrities take up law enforcement on ‘Armed & Famous’

By name alone, one can infer that “Armed & Famous” is a particularly awful show.

By concept, one can deduce that it’s even worse than that. La Toya Jackson or Jack Osbourne packing a Glock 22? Need we say more?

But to watch ... ah, to watch. That’s the final confirmation. “Armed & Famous” is completely, joyously, riotously abominable. This is the perfect score: a show so bad even Fox wouldn’t touch it. CBS is to be commended. Shows this dreadful don’t pop up every day, which means – assuming “A&F” survives – this could become a classic of sorts, reality TV’s own “Plan 9 From Outer Space.”

All told, this means “A&F” is actually kind of fun, as shows like this can often be. It’s just hard to know when to laugh or when not to laugh. “A&F” features the formerly sort-of-famous-in-a-vague-sort-of-way, including that game old pro, Erik Estrada – “Ponch” Poncherello of “CHiPs” – and Jackson. They’re joined by Osbourne, Jason “Wee Man” Acuna (“Jackass”) and World Wrestling Entertainment champ Trish Stratus.

Yes, the casting is masterful, considering what “A&F” is all about.

Our heroes head to Muncie, Ind. (“a world away from Hollywood,” the voiceover helpfully explains), where they undergo training to become police officers. Estrada helpfully says he had “some preparation” at “CHiPs,” but “that was make-believe.”

Jackson helpfully tells viewers she always had two

career ambitions – to work at McDonald’s or be a cop, while Osbourne helpfully notes that “the scariest thing I’ve ever seen is La Toya Jackson loading a Glock ... six feet away from me.”

Our gang gets their badges and busts some criminals – or, more precisely, indigents.

It’s “Reno 911” meets “Cops.” Ed Wood would cherish every frame.

“Armed & Famous,” a reality show in which some quasi-famous celebs learn to become cops. It’s a doozy and it runs 8 p.m. Thursdays on CBS.

“Armed & Famous”

8 p.m. Wednesdays on CBS