14 November 2013 7:00 AM, PST | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Representing Esquire network’s first serious bid to get noticed, “White Collar Brawlers” is so conceptually distasteful that it’s easy to overlook the banality of its execution. Like many reality shows, there’s an underlying movie-inspired conceit — in this case “Fight Club,” except the goal here is to violate the “first rule” by getting everybody talking about it. Still, however appealing donning gloves to pummel the guy in the adjacent cubicle might sound, the result is fairly substandard reality fare — a show that’s more about the “journey” and six-week training process than the slow-build to the fisticuffs at the end of each hourlong episode.

The premiere deals with financial planners and former roommates Andrew Devine and Ryan Sainsott, who had a vaguely described financial dispute over their old apartment. Competitive at work, they’re both eager to step into the ring, they say, and settle old scores, filling »

- Brian Lowry

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