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'Million Dollar Listing': A Fixer-Upper

Real estate agents in Episode 2 are, from left, Michael Wegmann, Chase Campen, Shannon McCleod, Dia Schuldenfrei and Ray Schuldenfrei.
Real estate agents in Episode 2 are, from left, Michael Wegmann, Chase Campen, Shannon McCleod, Dia Schuldenfrei and Ray Schuldenfrei. (By Vivian Zink -- Bravo)

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By John Maynard
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Bravo network's fascination with the rich and the tanned of Southern California continues unabated.

In recent seasons, Bravo has done hair extensions ("Blow Out"), hard bodies ("Workout") and surreal housewives ("The Real Housewives of Orange County"). And done them entertainingly well.

Now, disappointingly, come high-end hills.

The network's newest entry, "Million Dollar Listing," follows 10 Los Angeles and Malibu real estate agents as they try to move multimillion-dollar properties. It's also the latest series on Bravo's reality-show-laden lineup that can call the Southland its home.

The network's other reality shows are worth a look largely because of the strong, often unlikable personalities of the main players. "Million Dollar Listing," though, is a million-dollar bore -- and the blame falls mainly on its bland stars.

You can't blame the subject matter for this snoozer -- there's a multitude of engaging shows about homes and home improvement that run on such cable networks as HGTV and TLC.

Ironically, it's the sellers of "Million Dollar Listing" who can't sell themselves.

It's not for lack of trying by the producers, who have tagged the agents with cute, albeit obvious, nicknames.

One handsome 24-year-old agent, who's been selling houses for just six months, is called "The Rookie," and a blond bombshell of an agent is dubbed, well, "The Bombshell."

Toothy grin aside, "The Rookie" (real name: Madison Hildebrand) is as plain as vinyl siding. He gets himself in a bit of trouble when he nearly reneges on a deal with fellow agent Scotty Brown (cheesy producer nickname: "The Schmoozer"). Brown is working on behalf of a potential seller looking to buy a major fixer-upper in the Malibu hills.

"Schmoozer," a former club promoter and rock-and-roll manager, is the most appealing of the bunch, sporting Blues Brother shades and a leopard-skin fedora atop his bald pate. It's a pleasure to watch him dress down "The Rookie" during one tense negotiation. Let's hope we see more of him in future episodes.

Meanwhile, "Bombshell" is as deep as one-inch mosaic tile, and her troubles are numbingly predictable when she takes on selling her ex-fiance's home.


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© 2006 The Washington Post Company

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