July 12, 2004 12:00 PM

Comedy Central (Tuesdays through Thursdays, 7:30 p.m. ET)

This takeoff on debate shows, premiering July 6, is sometimes funny but hurts itself by adding a twist. As on Crossfire and Hardball, advocates and experts take opposing sides of an issue, though political substance is shunned here in favor of topics like “offensive driving” and the cultural value of reality TV. Most of the guests are fakes played by comedians, including Matt Besser (Upright Citizens Brigade) and Andrew Daly (Mad TV). But on every panel there’s at least one real person who supposedly thinks the show is on the up and up. Since much of the comedy is as subtle as flashing neon—Besser, in a hunter’s cap, pretends to be an instructor from the Ozark Mountain Driving School—it’s impossible to believe anyone could be dense enough to miss the put-on.

COMEDY

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