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Don't blink, or you might miss the humor in MTV's 'Barkers'
UNION-TRIBUNE

April 4, 2005


MTV
On MTV's "Meet the Barkers," the celebrity lives of Shanna Moakler and Travis Barker includes party time at the Playboy mansion and play time with their children - Antiana (left) and Landon.

It takes less than 10 minutes for MTV's "Meet the Barkers" to reveal a side of blink-182 and Transplants drummer Travis Barker that even his loved ones haven't seen in years.

Thanks to the magic of reality television, friends and strangers alike can witness Barker losing his lunch to one of the worst hangovers of his 29-year-old life. But it's doubtful that anyone will enjoy the "Meet the Barkers" Morning After Theatre as much as the Barkers do.

"Trav couldn't believe it," Barker's wife, Shanna Moakler, said from a Century City restaurant. "It was the first time that he'd gotten sick since he was a baby, and they filmed it! It was very funny."


DATEBOOK

"Meet the Barkers" Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on MTV
 
Having had months to recover, Barker agrees.

"I love when I'm throwing up after a long night at the Playboy mansion. I think it's funny," Barker said from the couple's home in Los Angeles. "Most people would say, 'Don't show that. It's damaging.' I'm like, '(Bleep) it, you can see me do whatever you want.' "

When "Meet the Barkers" makes its debut Wednesday night, the list of things you can see the rock star and his former Miss USA wife doing will include the aforementioned partying at the Playboy mansion, along with making out at the Teen Choice Awards and debating the placement of Barker's beloved Dracula painting.

You will have to wait until Episode 2 to see Barker trimming Moakler's nose hair with an ominously large pair of scissors, but rest assured, even this graphically intimate moment has the couple's seal of approval.

"I don't have any second thoughts about the show, because I've seen the episodes and I really love them," Moakler, 30, said. "They really show us in all our colors. There are some funny, crazy moments, and there are some touching, sensitive moments that I love that they have on film. When we get older, we can look back, and we'll have this show as a memory."

Filmed during late 2004 and early 2005, the Barkers' show features the kind of celebrity excess you'd expect from the network that brought you "The Osbournes" and "Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica." But in addition to the matching $7,000 watches and the displays of red-carpet affection, "Meet the Barkers" features another reality-TV staple: the sight of eccentric people dealing with the regular-people world.

The show follows the lovable Barker and Moakler as they move into their new mansion; prepare for their Halloween Eve wedding; and share the caretaking of their two children – 6-year-old Atiana (Moakler's daughter from a previous relationship) and 17-month-old Landon, whose feathery Mohawk is a Baby Gap version of his Dad's punky hairdo.

So far, there are no real-world revelations on par with "Ozzy can't figure out the remote!" and "Jessica finds tuna confusing!" Instead, "Meet the Barkers" depicts the lavishly tattooed Barker and the bodacious Moakler as Ma and Pa Minivan. Never mind that the minivan is a limo and Pa is wearing a lip ring.

"A lot of older people would probably look at me and never guess that I'm a parent or I'm a businessman or I'm an entrepreneur," said Barker, who runs a record label and a clothing line. "I think it will resolve a lot of stereotypes that people have."

What "Meet the Barkers" won't resolve is any hurt feelings fans may have over February's announcement that blink-182 was going on an "indefinite hiatus." The band does perform the show's theme song, but that's about the only closure fans are going to get.

"Blink, as far as I'm concerned, is over," Barker said. "I have the Transplants going on. I have a project going on with Mark Hoppus. It's called Plus 44, and we're recording and writing as we speak. I just kind of see that as the past. It just ran its course, and now it's time for something new and fun."



Karla Peterson: karla.peterson@uniontrib.com; (619) 293-1275.

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