We watched the new Eddie Money reality show Real Money on AXS TV partially out of a sense of duty to a friend of ours who really likes him.  Frankly, I think the main reason our friend is a fan is that his last name is Karrin and he has, for a lifetime, had fun with saying “Two Tickets to Karrindise.”  At any rate, we felt obliged to give it a shot.  Any excuse to sit down rather than do chores on a late Sunday afternoon is a good excuse. 

Our last experience with Eddie Money made us sad.  We were sweat-walking in New Orleans during a festival of some sort, maybe French Quarter Fest, and as we were wandering from one outdoor musical venue to the next, in search of shade, a blast of southern-style-ultra-cold air conditioning being shot out into the street, and cool beverages (which do little more in the heat bath than make your sweat smell like alcohol), we happened upon a small stage.  We were enticed to pause since there was a small awning on the back of a food vendor shack near the stage and no one was watching.

The absence of a crowd meant less body heat.  It also generally meant that the act wasn’t very good.  Still, we paused.  A minute in, we realized that the performer was Eddie Money.  “That’s weird,” I said.  “You would think more people would be here watching Eddie Money.”  I mean there were fewer people than would normally show up by accident, fewer people than watch the third-string Elvis impersonator at a small county fair. 

“Yea, that’s sad,” said L. 

And that was it.  We couldn’t take it.  The lack of crowd made us feel sorry for him, and feeling sorry for someone isn’t entertaining.  We kept walking. 

So, to sum up, the last time we saw Eddie Money, he was performing for free, and we kept walking.  We were hoping that his new reality show would refresh our Eddie palate and replace the foul stickiness of the old Money gunk stuck in our teeth with a sweeter effervescence of crisp new Money. Or something like that.

The show features “rock legend” Money, his wife, and five children, three of whom perform with him.  All of the kids live at home for some reason. 

The oldest in his 30s lifts weights, once studied fitness for “like two or three years,” but only seems fit at a distance.  I am reminded of Napoleon Dynamite’s brother Kip attempting martial arts, but without the charming sadness that Kip’s sincerity conjured in my heart.        

One of them cloisters himself in his room and makes electronic music that he doesn’t share.  The other three have their own band and back-up their father.  They show up late, or drink, or say things that are mildly irresponsible in a suburban adolescent manner rather than with Rockstar swagger.  Beaver Cleaver was a bit more rebellious and edgy than this crew.  

The daughter Jesse seems to have talent as a singer and charisma that steals every scene.  This would be great, except the show doesn’t really allow her to be an adult.  At least I hope the problem lies with the limitations of the show.  In episode one, she has a drink and is chastised.  A drink.  She chooses Wild Turkey, though, so at least we can respect the choice while judging her poorly for just having one. 

In episode two, she backs into a wall and wrecks her car.  Oh, no, I hope daddy doesn’t find out.  She tries to enlist the help of others to get it fixed before her parents get back from a trip to Mexico where they are helping Sammy Hagar celebrate his 70th birthday.  No one will fix it overnight.  Oh my goodness.  Her brother won’t go to the repair shop with her since the seatbelt doesn’t work (seriously, I don’t know people like that).  The repair guy says it will be around 10,000 dollars and three weeks to fix. 

Fortunately, she has some Eddie Money t-shirts with her so she can get a discount.  I’m not sure Eddie Money t-shirts would get a discount at his uncle’s shop, but we must suspend disbelief when watching reality TV.

She parks the car backwards, but Eddie finds out.  He blows up and gives his sad speech about having to work and work to support these kids, before coming back and hugging her.  Ah, a sweet story. 

But did I mention that this daughter is nearly 30?  All of the “kids” are adults. 

You know how a lot of teen movies and TV shows are cast with short, youthful 25-35 year olds?  And you’re like, who’s that guy fooling?  He’s supposed to be a freshman in college?  Knowing that he’s really 33 1/3 makes all of the lines he is forced to say perverse.  That’s this show.  I hope the Money siblings are just acting like teens.  I hope the storylines are thrust upon them by mindless Hollywood types and don’t represent their real premature e-maturation.  Both ways make my heart sink a bit, but the latter gives me some hope.

Money himself comes off as a grumpy dude who is auditioning for a vaudeville act.  Or maybe he wants to open for the ghost of Shecky Greene.  All you need to know about him can be summed up in one aside.  After he leaves his great pal Sammy Hagar, Money makes a joke to the producers that the fire department showed up to Sammy’s birthday because they saw all the smoke from the 70 candles.  Money laughed with gusto, thinking that he had just said the funniest and most original thing ever.

Here’s where I ended up.  After watching two episodes in which two minutes of almost-substance is jam packed into 22 minutes of repetitiveness and obviousness, and after witnessing the remarkable state of boring in the life of an aging “rock legend,” I feel even sadder when thinking about Eddie Money. 

I have to avoid him now like those commercials for abused dogs.  He’s probably a great guy, and “Baby Hold On” probably helped some people’s love lives back in the day, but, he is too much for a sensitive soul like mine to bear during springtime.