Friday, October 31, 2003

IN TELEVOLUTION, REALITY DATING IS THE PLATYPUS: First there was the Dating Game, then Love Connection and Studs, all shows in which people exposed their wooing, in varyingly suggestive degrees, for no other reason than brief publicity. Those shows begat Blind Date, Elimidate, Chains of Love, Dismissed, and many others, each based upon the premise that young and often extravagantly incompatible imbeciles are watchable if hot tubbing is a possibility. At some point in that line, a gene mutated and we got the deformed spectacle of desperate women on the perceived cusp of old maidhood fighting to wed a lying, unfunny, possibly menacing comic. The DNA righted itself, however, when TV realized that one minor tweak -- replacing "menacing and fake-rich" with "bland and actually rich" -- turned sad pimping into fairy-tale romance; hence the Bachelor/ette. Mad scientists, unsatisfied with this natural progression, amped up the deceit and asked: how long will we feel bad for watching women claw each other to get to a dull-witted construction worker if they think he's rich? (Answer: a couple of weeks.)

Thank goodness we didn't stop there. We now scale the heights of reality dating evolution and simultaneously plumb the depths of dignity with a show featuring alpha-male contestants competing for the affections of, and pawing at, a lovely pre-operative transsexual (link via

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