D.L. Stewart web exclusive: New reality show cuts the edge

The most recent entry into the competition for lamest reality show ever involved watching guys get haircuts.


“Cedric’s Barber Battle” made its debut last Friday on the CW network. In subsequent episodes — assuming there are subsequent episodes — it will take its scissors from city to city and feature barbers clipping elaborate designs on customers’ heads. It’s hosted by Cedric the Entertainer, whose role is to provide commentary meant to keep the show even more wildly entertaining. Or at least, to distract viewers from saying to themselves, “I can’t believe I’m actually sitting here watching guys get haircuts.”

The barbers have names such as J-Roc, Rizzo Scissorhands and Rob the Original, although those aren’t necessarily the ones their mothers gave them. And they aren’t the kind of barbers who merely trim your sideburns and bore you with their opinions about Hillary Clinton. While an audience cheers and a panel of judges evaluates their work, they will create haircuts that may resemble soccer balls, Batman or the Flash. Why anyone would want his or her head to resemble a soccer ball is beyond me, but I suppose it’s better than having your head resemble a tennis racket.

While they work, the competitors are expected to engage in witty barber banter. I’m not sure exactly what that might be, because the barbers I went to never said anything much wittier than, “Whaddya think’s wrong with them Browns?”

It’s hard for me to imagine a show like this will last more than one episode, but then it was hard for me to believe that anyone with a life would sit through more than one episode of other people getting tattoos or housewives screaming at each other. Or more than one minute of Honey Boo Boo.

And it’s possible that a show about guys getting haircuts will be a big hit and could spin off into shows in which we can watch people getting pedicures, people getting their teeth cleaned and people having surgery for deviated septums.

Besides, I probably shouldn’t judge “Cedric’s Barber Battle,” because I didn’t actually watch the first episode on Friday.

I spent that evening sitting on the front porch watching my grass grow.

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