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Terrell Owens vs. T.O.: Reality TV Gold Mine

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 15:  NFL player Terrell Owens (L) and actress Rashida Jones speak onstage during the 2009 ESPY Awards held at Nokia Theatre LA Live on July 15, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. The 17th annual ESPYs will air on Sunday, July 19 at 9PM ET on ESPN.  (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Nola ChickCorrespondent IJuly 21, 2009

Episode 1 of “The T.O. Show” lived up to all the hype.

Groupie love: Check.

Club hoppin’: Check.

Gratuitous shirtless shots: Check.

Somehow work in an elimination ceremony and I may have to add it to my DVR list.

After months of publicity, the show made its much anticipated debut on VH1 last night. It opened with Terrell Owens learning the news of his release from the Dallas Cowboys. We got to see the sensitive side of Owens. He seemed genuinely shocked and hurt.

While it didn’t seem like he was on the road to another “That’s my quarterback”-esque breakdown, you couldn’t help but notice the tears in his eyes.

Of course, it didn’t take long for sensitive Terrell to take a backseat to the self-obsessed T.O.

After signing with the Bills and being convinced by his publicists and long-time friends Monique and Kita to relocate to L.A., “The T.O. Show” starts to live up to its name. He gets it on in the hot tub with his real estate agent and hosts a groupie-palooza at his fabulous new L.A. crib.

Then, with the mere mention of a gorgeous ex-fiance by the name of Felicia, T.O. melts away and Terrell kicks and claws his way back to the surface.

Owens admits to mistreating and cheating on his supermodel/actress ex. (Pop up blog fact: Felicia currently stars on the soap “Days of Our Lives.”) At the nudging of his female friends, Terrell decides to pay Felicia a visit, equipped with roses and a grab bag of sentimental gifts.

During his talk with Felicia, whose stunning looks admittedly leave me a little distracted, you get the sense that either she still has a handle on his heart or they’re both really good at creating reality TV subtext.

What else did the opening episode reveal about the NFL star? For starters, he’s an equal opportunity groupie banger. (”Bring me your Asians, your Blasians, your Blondes, & Brunettes.”) His best friend Pablo’s farts are so powerful, not even LA smog and freeway wind can mask the odor.

And apparently NFL stars don’t make much time for pedicures. (Anybody else take note of Terrell’s crusty big toe?)

While it’s called “The T.O. Show”, it seems we’ll also get to learn a lot about the two ladies in Owens’ life with the patience to put up with his crap.

Monique and Kita play the role of Mrs. Garrett from “The Facts of Life.” They try to keep him grounded and provide the occasional chuckle-worthy moments, like their impromptu cheer of “T.O to the snow! Let’s go, to the snow” upon hearing Owens had signed with the Bills.

Their top priority is to get Owens to put his bad boy “T.O.” persona in his past so that Terrell can finally settle down with a good woman and focus on life after football.

Of course, the best part of these reality shows is most often the previews.

Coming up in future episodes of “The T.O. Show," Owens will reunite with his estranged father, run around shirtless, have an emotional visit with his grandmother, run across a field shirtless, and refer to himself as "the 8th wonder of the world"…then run up the Art Museum steps in Philadelphia a-la Rocky, shirtless.

Eagles fans who dared to watch this premiere probably choked on their cheesesteak at the sight of that one.

All in all, “The T.O. Show” is just what I expected from an NFL star who loves football just as much as he loves trouble…and himself. My only critique, what was up with all the shots of him fully clothed?

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