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TV Series Review

It’s hard to miss Travis Barker, drummer for Blink-182, given his Mohawk, head-to-toe tattoos and multiple piercings. It’s just as difficult to overlook his wife, Shanna Moakler, a former Miss USA who has starred in various TV series. As if the odd couple wasn’t conspicuous enough, they’ve invited MTV to follow their every move as they raise two children. Their reality show, Meet the Barkers, lands somewhere on the life-stage timeline between The Newlyweds and The Osbournes.

Like those TV forerunners, the Barkers live a charmed life. Big mansion. Fancy cars. Exotic trips. Maids, nannies and personal assistants. Still, Travis is an ambitious provider for his family. When he’s not the doting daddy to their 19-month-old son and Shanna’s 6-year-old daughter from a previous relationship, he’s creating an apparel line, traveling to New York to promote a video or planning a surprise birthday party for his wife, who calls him a “hopeless romantic.” She, on the other hand, is content to be the pampered princess, sleeping until noon on days when she doesn’t feel like showing up for an acting audition. Clearly, Travis wears the pants in this family—which are usually slung halfway down his backside.

The drummer’s baggy attire actually illustrates how looks can be deceiving. While cruising down Rodeo Drive, he comments, “Do you know some of the looks I used to get when I’d go into some of these places? They’d look at me like I was the biggest piece of s--- on this earth, and the security guard would follow me. But now ... they’re all like, ‘Hi, Mr. Barker.’”

That’s the best that can be said of this show. Virtually every episode is filled with enough bleeps to rival the Osbournes and enough crude discussion to warrant a harsher rating than the TV-14 it usually receives. While getting their marriage license, Travis gropes Shanna in public. The couple talks explicitly about oral sex, threesomes and attributes of their private parts. Shanna and others frequently show cleavage. Young viewers have also seen blurred shots of topless models. At the couple’s bachelor/bachelorette party—complete with exotic dancers—former Playboy Playmate Shanna repeatedly makes obscene remarks, and her husband proposes watching pornography (which she’s eager to do). Their honeymoon includes the same sleazy dialogue.

“We’re not trying to change the world here,” Shanna recently told People magazine. “It’s just a fun show. It’s entertainment.” Actually, it’s neither.

Episodes Reviewed: April 13, 27, May 4, 11, 2005


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Marcus Yoars

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