We watch... so you don't have to.

Fall '99: "Shasta McNasty"

Before you can really enjoy Shasta McNasty, you need to take care of a few things. First, get an eight-inch screwdriver and gently insert it into the base of your skull, right where it meets the back of your neck. Now -- and you might want to do this over a sheet of plastic, just to catch the blood -- carefully rotate the handle until you can no longer A) remember your last name, B) control your bowels and C) change the channel.

Because, quite frankly, that's the only way you're going to get through this little disaster.

Shasta McNasty -- the name is never explained, but I think it's the characters' band -- is to television what frat boys are to college: people there only because it looks a hell of a lot easier than getting a job. The premiere episode ran like a kegger thrown by a millionaire with impulse control problems. Midget? Check. Conjoined twins? Check. Bouncing bikini babes? Check. Gary Coleman? Check.

Dude! Where's the ass-biting? We need ass-biting! Ass-bi-ting! Ass-bi-ting!

Ass-biting? Check.

Shasta McNasty is packed to the walls with awfulness, too feeble to manage either well-done clichés or original dreck. Most people couldn't squeeze out a show this bad unless they were being helped by a stomach virus.

The actors, if you can call them that, mug their way through the premiere so egregiously that, somewhere, John Ritter is mourning the loss of his crown. And while Dale Godboldo and Carmine Giovinazzo are inoffensive enough -- urban-hipster dreads and tattoos notwithstanding -- the small screen hasn't seen a face like Jake Busey's since Mr. Ed went off the air.

To get an idea of just how bad Shasta McNasty is, visit the show's Web site. Series creator Jeff Estin actually brags -- once you've slogged through his wacky "fake" biography -- about the fact that he wrote "a screenplay called 'Shadow Dancer,' a thriller based loosely on the Billy Joel song 'The Stranger.'"

Oh, hell, what's the point? To even bother reviewing a show like Shasta McNasty is pointless, because its target audience can't read. You either love it -- in which case, please don't have children -- or you don't.

And even with the screwdriver sticking out of the back of my neck, I don't. I guess my brain stem still works.


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