My Super Mean 16!

class=img_thumbleft>It initially seemed like a one-season throwaway; an MTV documentary series about spoiled teens who throw extravagant birthday bashes on Daddy's dime and summon 400 of their closest frenemies to attend. Who could have predicted that

My Super Sweet 16

could be so habit-forming for otherwise rational adults? Most of us will never slap down a black AmEx for a pair of Gucci heels, so seeing an adolescent brat do so--with a


, no less!--makes for a compelling watch.

The masochists who adore this show (and I'm of that number) tend to align themselves with a specific SSS "star". I'm an Ava gal myself. Young Ava, as fans may recall, couldn't find a decent dress for her party even after wiggling her saline orbs into every designer frock in Beverly Hills. So naturally, she jetted to Paris to continue her shopping mission, a decision that was met with sluggish disdain by her detached parents. In addition to the party, Ava also insisted on getting a new Land Rover for her birthday; the suggestion of a lesser luxury vehicle was met with a delicate "ewww," which quickly escalated to tears. Tears!

Other fans favor Hart, who traveled via private plane and hired go-go dancers for his superbash, or poor Jacqueline, whose drunk, blowsy mother and absentee dad all but ruined her already-tragic Mardi Gras-themed bash. And everyone loves to hate bossy Sophie, who delivered her invites via Rolls Royce and continues her social reign via MySpace. (Note that "only cool people are aloud." That's right, nerds! Those with spelling competency need not apply!) But the delusional, not-quite-loaded kids are even easier snark-targets than the legitimately wealthy ones; witness last week's subject Amanda bragging about visiting "the best hairstylist in central Florida." At a mall. High falutin'! That's like hiring the best caterer in eastern Montana.

Admittedly, it's a bit cruel to mock these children, most of whom have been raised by indifferent folks who parent with their wallets. And yet, if a kid is old enough to pilot a vehicle, have sex, and demand "fire dancers" at his or her party, then said kid should be exepected to exhibit a modicum of respect toward friends and family. So far, not a single My Super Sweet 16 subject has seemed genuinely sweet. Fragile? Perhaps. Disadvantaged? Surprisingly, yes. But not sweet.

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