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Bristol Palin’s new reality series not a ‘Tripp’ worth taking

Bristol PalsTripp star new Lifetime series “Bristol Palin: Life’s Tripp” premiering 9 p.m. Tuesday.

Bristol Palin and son Tripp star in the new Lifetime series “Bristol Palin: Life’s a Tripp,” premiering at 9 p.m. Tuesday.

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Back-to-back half-hour episodes 9 to 10 p.m. Tuesdays on Lifetime

Updated: July 20, 2012 6:15AM

When Bristol Palin falls off a mechanical bull in an L.A. bar, someone in the crowd yells a crack about her “riding” her infamous baby daddy, Levi Johnston.

The heckler, who’s been overserved on haterade, follows it up with, “Your mother’s a whore!”

You betcha: Them’s fightin’ words. Bristol, 20, gets in the face of her 47-year-old verbal assailant, demanding to know why he despises former Alaska governor and GOP veep hopeful Sarah Palin. When he can offer up only vague insults, Bristol poses her own theory: “Is it because you’re homosexual?”

This intense confrontation — now the subject of a lawsuit in which the man alleges he was taped without his knowledge or consent — gets stretched over the first two episodes of Lifetime’s new “Bristol Palin: Life’s a Tripp.” The docu-series follows the single mother’s trials and tribulations as she raises her 2½-year old son, Tripp.

With the exception of the bull-ride-gone-bad scene, Bristol’s day-to-day life isn’t very interesting. Neither are the occasional shots where Sarah Palin pops up to offer homespun wisdom and maternal advice.

In the pilot, we see Bristol leaving her hometown of Wasilla, Alaska, as well as her kinda/sorta boyfriend, Gino. She moves to California, ostensibly to take a charity job that’s clearly drummed up to shoot some fish-out-of-water episodes in Los Angeles. It’s also a good excuse for Bristol and former “Dancing With the Stars” partner, Mark Ballas, to reunite over lunch.

Accompanying Bristol on her move are her toddler son and Willow Palin, Bristol’s younger sister and reluctant baby-sitter — who has an uncanny ability to look like a different person in every scene. The trio move into a Beverly Hills mansion where Bristol has to teach Tripp things like the difference between a bidet and a water fountain. No one said being a single mom was easy.

The series is supposed to illustrate Bristol’s journey into womanhood, but it feels like the show is a few years too early for that. It’s also supposed to portray how difficult it is to be a young, single mom. In that respect, the show’s too late. MTV has been there, done that — and done it much better with shows like “Teen Mom,” “16 and Pregnant” and “Caged.”

What we’re left with are Bristol and Willow shopping, squabbling and engaging in vapid conversations. In other words, the Alaskan Kardashians.

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