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TV Review: Avril in Mexico

In some respects, MTV has created a monster. In its current model as a network, “Music Television” has become required viewing for legions of rubbernecking cynics and schadenfreude fetishists everywhere. Between the spoiled teens (My Super Sweet 16), drunken sociopaths (The Real World), and the soulless he-and-she skanks (every dating show on the station) that populate MTV, there is a value placed on amplified drama morphing into entertainment. Hell, if there isn’t drama in the reality programming, it can be reshot and written in (a la The Hills). As a result, MTV Presents: Avril in Mexico comes across as an even more colossal bore than it already is.

The half-hour special follows pop ragamuffin Avril Lavigne on her seven day trip to Mexico. Tasks include appearing at the MTV Latin Music Awards, dealing with the Mexican press and meeting her fanbase. Everything goes along swimmingly for Avril, which is good for her and bad for us. In a clunky attempt to arouse some excitement, we’re given a scene where our hero and her band hit up a local restaurant and try some of the more daring cuisine. Namely grasshoppers and worms, as its wacky band bonding hijinks ahoy! Something for the Avril completists, I suppose.

Feeling like it was placed through a Cruise-ian PR filter, this documercial comes across as distant and impersonal. Aside from some light knowledge of our hero’s diet of late (chips and guacamole), we never really get to know this polite woman who has a funny way of saying the word “frustrated.” Maybe Avril will release a Truth or Dare-style documentary someday, but this ain’t it.

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