Friday, September 5, 2008

If Lovin "X" Is Wrong Then I Don't Wanna Be Right, Pt 3

So far on Friday Night I have shared a music guilty pleasure and a movie of which I should be but am not ashamed so I figure it was time to talk about the TV Hall of Shame. Here is a little snippet of
what I want to discuss tonight:

Anybody remember the show Studs? Premiered in 1991 and lasted a few years. Played on Fox 13 at like 10pm. Ring any bells? Well thanks to Studs I became addicted to horrible dating shows as a teen. Sure I saw reruns of the Dating Game and the Newlywed Game as a child but it wasn't until I started watching Studs that I realized the pleasure of watching trainwreck relationships and first encounters on television.

Over the past 6 years more "reality" dating shows have come and gone then I can even count or remember. Wheels and I used to watch Elimidate religiously every night and then Shipmates during the commercial breaks of the Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn. More recently MTV has upped the anty with craptastic dating shows like Room Raiders, Next, Parental Control and even Singled Out. I'm not saying that they were appointment tv or my tivo was set to record them but any time I happen to stumble upon them I had to finish the episode. It was a strange phenomena. I think Flanksteak would agree with me. Random side note - my favorite episode of Room Raiders was a "special" Spring Break edition where one lucky girl got to search the rooms of members of Maroon 5. When the mystery room occupants were revealed you could see the girl scrambling in her mind (and she seemed to be extremely bright for sure) to somehow pick the room of Adam Levine, the lead singer of M5. Of course only the weird looking dudes in the band had offered up the option of a date and the poor girl ended up with the ugly guitar player. Not the goofy looking LDS guitar player, I'm talking the REALLY REALLY ugly dude. High comedy.

Anyway, back to the subject at hand. Strangely enough one would assume that my love of these cheesy shows would include an adoration of the Bachelor and their ilk. I think it was the second season, Wheels and I decided we were going to jump on the Bachelor bandwagon. We couldn't even make it through the season premiere. The Bachelor took itself way too seriously. The good natured, tongue in cheek, trainwreckedness of the other shows was not there. So we abandoned ship quickly. Also I find it strange that I have never gotten into Flavor of Love, Rock of Love and all of those "new school" dating shows. Have I matured? Perhaps. Just too trashy? Maybe. I just haven't been able to find any pleasure, guilty or not in them.

So I kind of lied when I said that none of these dating shows ever became more than a reasonable way to kill 30 bored minutes. In the Summer of 2003 the greatest dating show of all time hit the air. I'm talking about Paradise Hotel. Wheels and I were late to the party on this one. We missed the first several weeks because it didn't look that great. Sure we caught clips here and there but nothing really "caught us." One night when hanging out with Dogface and his lovely wife they confessed of their love of Paradise. Wheels and I decided to give it another shot. For those who didn't have the chance to watch this guiltiest of all pleasures, it was basically the bastard child of Survivor, the Bachelor and the Real World. A group of guys and girls were sent to an awesome hotel in an exotic locale and just got to eat, drink, swim and get tan. Each week the studio audience would send a guy or a girl to the resort causing the guys or girls to have an extra person and at the end of the week whoever wasn't chosen to room with someone else was sent packing. Everyone talked about "the game" and playing "the game" but I'm 100% sure that nobody had any idea what in the hell was going on. The viewers at home sure didn't. I think there was a short time where Fox thought about leaving this show on forever. Finally after a few months (the show ran from June to October on multiple nights during the week) they stopped sending new guests to the hotel and began evicting people for good. "The Game" got more and more intense until finally winners were crowned. The big winner was a relatively attractive gal from Wisconsin named Charla. She had hitched her wagon to an unbelievably goofy looking dude named Dave who was the nerdiest but smartest man at the resort. Thanks to Dave's strategery and ability to play "the game" as well as his puppy love and devotion to Charla, she waltzed to the finish line. The real rub was this - as winner, Charla was given the opportunity to split the money with Dave, her partner and roommate for the duration of the Summer, or keep it all for herself. Of course Charla gave some BS excuse about going to school, buying her mom a house (how cheap are homes in WI??) and took the entire $250k winnings for herself. What a perfect ending to the most shallow, yet crack-like addictive TV show in the history of time.

Sorry Dave, but tonight I would like to say, "If Loving Paradise Hotel is wrong then I Don't Wanna Be Right."


Corbie said...

I watch reruns of old game shows on The Game Show Network. I don't mean like 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire' or shows that have any semblance of having been on in the last decade. I mean really old ones like Card Sharks and Let's Make A Deal. My favorite one? Press Your Luck where you push the button and try not to land on the obnoxious dancing monkeys thereby avoiding a double whammy. Sometimes, I have even already seen the episode, which means I am not only watching a two decade old show of chance (as opposed to skill like Jeopardy), but that I also already know the outcome.

Vanwarmer said...

I have watched a few dating shows late at night, I must admit, but only to avoid much-needed sleep.

I used to REALLY like Happy Days. I thought that Fonzie and Richie were very cool. I watched so much that I still remember that Potsie was played by Anson Williams, and I did not look that up just now. In fact, I liked the show to the point that when the Fonz jumped the shark both literally and figuratively, it did not dull my devotion to the show in the slightest.

As far as current shows go, I must admit that I do not change the channel when "The Biggest Loser" is on. Yikes.