Tommy Lee Goes to College

It’s what you’d expect: the ignorant, not so bright drummer from Mötley Crüe and ex-Mr. Pamela Anderson joins the elite student body of UNL (University of Nebraska at Lincoln) for a shot at getting the education he passed on to become a rock star (well, not really — he was a high school drop out). Like most reality television, there is quite a bit of scripting involved but thankfully, Tommy Lee is a dumb, lovable oaf whose ridiculous manner and "dude factor” can charm his way out of just about anything. He does genuinely struggle with his subjects (would you seriously expect him to pass chemistry?) and, surprisingly, auditioning for the drum line in the school band, which most people, including Lee, expected to be a gimme. But if Tommy Lee had it easy this would hardly be worthwhile television. When he’s thrown into a scrimmage with the girl’s volleyball team, he can’t return a ball; with his blonde bombshell tutor he acts like a 14-year-old with a hard on; and it only takes him a minute or two to "pimp” his dorm room for he and his roommate to live like hedonists. And it’s hard not to feel proud for the man-child when he drums in an actual college football game. The close-up shots catching his reaction (i.e., when he’s told that the "rules” of joining the school band include practicing at seven a.m. every day, no drugs, drinking or large piercings) are priceless, especially thanks to some post-production sound effects that accentuate his looks of desperation and idiocy. Better than The Simple Life, but not with the same longevity, Tommy Lee Goes to College is an amusing look at an over-the-hill, tattooed Peter Pan getting as close to a dose of reality as possible. The fact that it’s actually Tommy Lee we’re talking about makes it that much better. Plus: music video, "behind the scenes” videos. (NBC/Image/Paradox)