Charity Shea, Stacey Dash and LisaRaye star in VH1's 'Single Ladies'

*VH1’s new “Single Ladies” series starring LisaRaye McCoy and Stacey Dash made its debut Monday night via a 2-hour premier movie and the critics are weighing in. One of them, the Washington Post’s Hank Stuever, has written his review and, umm, basically, we don’t think he liked what he saw.

“‘Single Ladies’ is embarrassing to the gilded hilt,” says Stuever. And he’s just getting started:

This is a series for people who found “Sex and the City” too quick-witted and “The Wendy Williams Show” too intellectually stimulating. It’s the TV equivalent of a beach read with no words. Even if “Single Ladies” can be enjoyed in some basic brainless way (and even though it’s safely sequestered on VH1, where standards are aggressively low), there’s something steadfastly embarrassing about it.

The women seem to be operating from a false sense of empowerment, a soulfulness that unfortunately reads as soullessness. The men all talk like that gran­dilo­­quently suave Old Spice spokesman who rides his stallion shirtless. “Single Ladies” dares the more sheltered among us to ask: “Are there people who really look and talk like this?”

Yes, and they’re on a show called “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” which indeed makes “Single Ladies” seem redundant and strangely off-key – to say nothing of how it further advances depressing stereotypes of the black upper-middle class. Again we see popular culture’s bad habit of validating minorities by reaching for their lowest common denominators. Here, people are judged by outdated estimations of what used to be known as bling.

Executive-produced by Queen Latifah, who once upon a time seemed to know better, the two-hour launch of “Single Ladies” tosses uncertainly between a serious attempt at a relationship drama and a pathetic stab at … camp, I suppose?

Hmm, ya think? Read the rest of Hank Stuever’s review here and if you saw the show, feel free to weigh in with your thoughts below.