Monday, June 11, 2007

Stupid TV

Has anyone else seen the ads for this new Age of Love TV show? (New here in Canada, anyway. Don't know if it's already been aired in the US.)

Basically they put his 30 year old guy on a reality dating show (like The Bachelor) with a bunch of women in their 40’s. Then when he’s gotten to know some of them, and presumably some of them are falling for him… They bring in a group of women in their 20’s to compete for his affections, too.

Sick. Sick. Sick.

Possibly entertaining, but sick, and I hope I can hold out on not finding out just how sick and/or entertaining for myself.

I think what really bugs me about shows like this is the implication that the guy's choice proves anything. I mean, it seems fairly obvious that age is one factor in whether or not two people fall in love and stay in love, but it’s only one factor. And obviously couples form between people of very different ages and in those cases it just didn't matter -- other factors mattered more.

And who one young man chooses, (especially one willing to date multiple women on TV), proves nothing about whether, or how much, age matters. He's one guy, in a very artificial situation, with a limited number of women (also willing to date on TV) and picked by the producers to date him. Yes, the results of that should be published in The Journal of Psychology. It will be groundbreaking evidence about whether age matters in love.

I do think some reality TV shows do end up being interesting studies of human nature. Survivor and The Amazing Race in particular. But I think that’s because those shows aren't out to prove any particular point. They merely toss people into difficult situations and observe how they behave. Sure, the producers manipulate the participants to escalate the tension and to make the situations ever more difficult, but they aren't out (to my knowledge) to prove any particular hypothesis. It’s not like the premise of The Amazing Race is to prove that “couples argue and are hateful to each other when they travel” – even though that’s one of the things we’ve seen on the show.

I’m reminded by a failed reality TV concept of a few years ago, where a woman was supposed to be choosing between a bunch of guys (a la The Bachelorette) but half of them were gay and she had to try to guess which ones were and eliminate them. It was like hate propaganda of the worst kind. The producers staged events like cow roping and square dancing to help her decide. (Because everyone knows all straight men can rope a cow and all gay men can square dance. RIGHT!) And what the f&cK was the show supposed to prove anyway? And how the hell was the woman supposed to form a connection with any of the men (assuming such thing is possible on TV) when she knew half of them were purposefully deceiving her? I only saw the show a couple of times, but this woman was clearly in distress most of the time. (She did NOT know what the show was when she signed up and only found out half the men were gay after she’d been getting to know them all and they’d already been flirting with her and pretending to like her. Mean, mean, mean. If memory serves, the straight men didn't know half of the contestants were gay until the show started either. This show said bad things about most people involved.)

Anyway… I’ve been proved wrong by Reality TV concepts before – ones I thought sounded horrible and I ended up addicted to. Americas Next Top Model and Rock Star are two prime examples.

But I hope I can resist and not peek one night to confirm my assumption that this show will suck. I learned that lesson (I hope) with the gay dating show. (The name of which I’m pretty proud to have forgotten.)


Eileen said...

Is it just me or does the show The Lot keep moving around so it is near impossible to follow. I want to watch it- I just don't want it to be a weekly game of find the show...

Christine said...

That is one reality show I have no interest in seeing. Not that I watch any of them, but I'm not even tempted. It's sad what producers will put on the air to try and get ratings.

Wylie Kinson said...

Oh goody - another reality to show to avoid like the plague. I'm with you - it sounds horrible, manipulative and shallow. Blech!

My pet peeve with reality shows it their need to plot women against men. Like we don't have enough problems communicating already??
My hubby like's Hell's Kitchen and I don't understand why they'd pit girl chefs against boy chefs. Wouldn't it be better to split the teams according to skill level?
Then again -- producers are looking for the highest drama available if that means making the men look like sissy's or chauvenists and the women looking like catty bitches, so be it, right!

Dawn said...

I'm with you on this. There is something unhealthy about the whole Reality television thing - although having said that, a few do give good insight into human nature. Most give insight into nothing more than how low some networks will stoop in the name of ratings.

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