Jennifer Armstrong
May 28, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

MTV can’t stop with the pranks! In ”Faking the Video” (premiering Monday, May 24 at 10:30 p.m.), six college-age kids think they’re getting their big breaks working as production assistants on a video shoot — but they’re really signing on to be tortured by the likes of Bubba Sparxxx, JC Chasez, Michelle Branch, and Monica. In each episode, a pop star who’s in on the joke unleashes his or her best abusive behavior in front of the PAs while filming a purposely ridiculous clip for a purposely cheesy Diane Warren tune. Chasez, for instance, demands one candidate play Ping-Pong with him instead of reporting to the set; Monica yells at another for not sweeping confetti fast enough. ”You feel bad when you’re actually doing it,” Monica says. ”One [PA] started crying.” Don’t feel too sorry for them: Each week an assistant is fired (producers make the cut), but the last one standing wins a job with real video director Wayne Isham. ”I figure celebrities have been punk’d enough,” Chasez says. ”It’s time to give it back to regular folks.”

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