Let me get a few things out of the way first:
I generally don’t like reality shows. I’ve watched a season or two of “Survivor” and “American Idol” but they’re basically the same stuff year after year. Having said that I absolutely love “Bar Rescue”. I feel that the vast majority of “reality” shows are just camera rolling while people fight in the hopes of parlaying their appearance into an entertainment career. Frankly, I have enough conflict in my life that I don’t need to see that of other people. Then of course, there’s the question of whether or not reality television is more scripted than sitcoms and dramas. My feelings about reality and the state of our society in general can best be summed up by this quote I once heard: “In the past, we used to watch TV to escape reality. Now, we watch TV to experience reality”.
The Auteur is a big fan of Bravo’s phenomenally popular “…Housewives…” shows. With the exception of “New Jersey” series, I don’t really pay much attention to these either. However, one night I caught an ad for “The Online Dating Rituals of the American Male”. Since I perceive myself to be something of a men’s advocate, i thought it would be remiss of me if I didn’t give this show at least a passing glance.
I think that Bravo envisions itself as an upscale version of Lifetime. The so called “men” i see on this channel are either at best hard-core metro-sexuals and at worst relentlessly flamboyant homosexuals who make David Alan Grier and Damon Wayans’ characters from the old “Men on Movies” skit from In Living Color look relatively macho in comparison. In any case, virtually all of the men I see on this channel are nothing like real-life guys.
The series premiere of “Online Dating Rituals of the american Male focuses on Marcus, a 36 year-old divorcee who’s looking for his future wife and Alex a 27 year old self-described “Texas boy looking to get laid”- perpetuating the stereotype of the delusional ego-maniacal douchebag.
Some observations from episode 1:
- These guys seem a litte more down-to-earth that most of the people on Bravo shows.
- The show illustrates the real-life concerns that come with online dating: Is her on-line profile a reflection of their real-life self? Trying to extract information, such as their age.
- Alex is talking about his penis on the first date. Classy.
- the show’s bumpers are statistics about on-line dating; the first being “80% of online daters lie about their height, weight or age on their profiles.
- in an interesting twist, the show included a text message exchanges involve the people featured on the show – both the guys and their dates.
- we see a little but from the point of view of Marcus’s date. She thinks they’re going out again. Alex’s date has no such intentions.
- Marcus gets a text message from a perspective date while he’s at work. This is what I will say about on-line dating. People who are online want to date and it seems a lot easier than going out and picking people up the old-fashioned way.
- A therapist describes Alex as a “wanker”. the show takes us through his various dates. God, this guy’s a pig; and he’s obsessed with on-line dating.
- Marcus dates a girl with whom he was scored as 10% compatible. He’s looking for quality.
- The show drives home the theme that anything is possible with on-line dating.
- Marcus has another date that is an absolute train-wreck.
- Alex has a date with a woman who is out of his league. He needs to stop grabbing butts on the first date. Somehow, she is receptive to this.
- I didn’t want to like this show but 30 minutes into the 44 minute episode, i had already decided I would probably watch it again.