Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Vanilla Ice Project

Yeah, okay, I have a soft spot for Vanilla Ice. I was roped in by his white kid-friendly rapping when I was in middle school, and I still have To the Extreme and his 1998 rap-metal makeover album Hard to Swallow on CD. I even saw Ice live in concert a few years ago and had a pretty good time. It was part of a festival and thus full of people who hadn't specifically bought tickets to see Vanilla Ice, and I was worried everyone was just there to make fun of him. But the crowd was surprisingly enthusiastic, and Ice was so friendly and genuine that I think he won over any of the skeptics. By the end of the show, he had half the audience on stage with him, sharing shots of Jagermeister and the microphone.

So I like the guy, even if his music is lame and he's kind of dopey. His inherent likability is about the only reason to watch The Vanilla Ice Project, an extremely banal reality series on the DIY Network featuring Ice's home-flipping business. The show follows Ice and his associates as they work to fix up a damaged house and sell it for a profit, which I guess is what he does with most of his time since his music career has pretty much dried up. Ice is clearly knowledgeable about fixing up houses, but that doesn't mean it's interesting to watch him lecture on different kinds of palm trees or the best way to pressure-clean a roof. This is like standing outside talking to your landscaper, except your landscaper is a washed-up one-hit wonder who constantly finds new ways to extend his fame. My goodwill only stretches so far.

Premieres tonight at 9 p.m. on the DIY Network.

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